Obama to Toughen Standards on Police Use of Military Gear

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from The New York Times,

President Obama on Monday announced that he would tighten standards on the provision and use of military-style equipment by local police departments, but he stopped short of curtailing the transfer of such hardware or weapons to the local authorities.

After a review of the government’s decade-old strategy of outfitting local police forces with military equipment, the White House concluded that the vast majority of these transfers strengthen local policing, but that the government should impose consistent standards in the types of hardware it offers, better training in how to use it and more thorough oversight.

Mr. Obama announced the steps at a cabinet meeting that was called to deal with lingering tensions from fiery clashes between the police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., which broke out after a grand jury declined to indict a police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

The government also announced a $263 million program that will provide up to 50,000 body cameras for the police. The video footage from these cameras could help clarify disputed incidents like the deadly encounter between the teenager in Ferguson, Michael Brown, and the police officer, Darren Wilson.

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