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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Progressives in Congress ask Biden’s cabinet to rein in military surplus transfers to police

HuffPost has learned that a group of progressive senators and members of Congress have written to President Joe Biden’s cabinet to urge the adoption of sweeping new restrictions on federal programs that move surplus military gear to sheriff’s offices and police departments. Huh.

In a letter obtained by HuffPost, he wrote, “militarized law enforcement increases the spread of police violence without making our communities safer.” “When law enforcement has access to military equipment, they are more likely to use it instead of other more appropriate and traditional law enforcement tools. Furthermore, the negative effects of militarization of police disproportionately disproportionately affect communities of color. They affect.”

Led by Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), members urged action as the administration faces a self-imposed deadline to decide whether New restrictions on militarized policing are necessary.

In May, on the second anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Biden signed two executive orders Designed to curb police abuse and withdraw police militarization.

one of the commands Tasked members of his cabinet to scrutinize programs that move military vehicles, weapons and equipment left over from foreign wars to local law enforcement departments and determine the need for new sanctions within 60 days. Silencers of .50 caliber or more, firearms and ammunition, stun and flash-bang grenades, and tracked and armored vehicles (except those useful for public safety emergencies) are all being considered banned .

“This equipment should be prohibited from being transferred to or purchased by law enforcement agencies with either federal funds or from federal agencies or contractors,” the members of Congress wrote, adding that the administration must trace any equipment recalls. needed.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkes and General Services Administrator Robin Carnahan oversee programs that fund or move military equipment.

“When law enforcement has access to military equipment, they are more likely to use it.”

Federal programs have helped thousands of US police departments with military-style vehicles, weapons and tactical equipment, and promoted offensive tactics against the public. In the aftermath of Floyd’s killing, police in dozens of cities responded to nonviolent protesters in armored vehicles and body armor. Several departments have used flash-bang grenades and armored vehicles for routine police work, such as issuing warrants and stopping traffic.

Dozens of agencies have claimed they need military equipment to protect officers in high-risk situations protect the public during natural disasters Only then use the tool to terrorize black neighborhoods, hold peaceful protests against police and Native American environmental activists, A series of HuffPost investigations found last year,

The investigation showed the restrictions on the program to be incredibly lax. For example, although agencies that have violated citizens’ civil rights have been nominally banned from the program, the ban is so narrowly defined that the Department of Defense has issued an order to approve the transfers. Made literal rubber stamps.

Following the 2014 protest in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, police used military-style gear in a brutal crackdown on nonviolent protesters. President Barack Obama responded by banning the transfer of some controversial items, such as tracked vehicles, but President Donald Trump lifted the restrictions during his first year in office, stalling congressional efforts to reimpose the limits. Have become.

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World Nation News Desk
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