Obama Deems Equipment “not appropriate”

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from MSNBC,

President Barack Obama announced new efforts to demilitarize America’s police departments on Monday, telling an audience in Camden, New Jersey that heavily-armed police forces have left many local residents feeling alienated and intimidated.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force,” Obama said. “We’re going to prohibit some equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for those police departments.”

Obama’s announcement on the ban on the transfer of some types of military weapons to local police departments signals a continued draw down sparked by the militarized show of force in Ferguson, Missouri last summer that exacerbated withered trust between police and communities.

The ban is part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to ease tensions between police and communities of color across the country, including Ferguson and Baltimore, theaters of unrest following the deaths of unarmed black men killed by police.

It includes the transfer of military weapons and gear, including armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers and .50-caliber ammunition, the kind ubiquitous on foreign battlefields and increasingly in recent years, have landed in the hands of local police officers.

The new restrictions are being rolled out as a policing task force. A 116-page report will urge the country’s police agencies to “embrace a guardian – rather than a warrior— mindset to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public.”

The ban is effective immediately.

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