Less than a week after pardoning America’s most maniacal sheriff, President Trump is expected to reverse an Obama era executive order — a move which will surely delight police departments across the country.
According to documents obtained by USA Today, the Trump administration will reportedly lift President Obama’s ban on transferring surplus military gear to police departments. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will address the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, TN, where he will likely announce Trump’s decision.
In addition to the aircrafts, command units, battering rams, and riot gear, that Obama’s executive order made exceptions for, police departments will, once again, be able to receive “armored vehicles, large-caliber weapons, and ammunition” from the Department of Defense. Police departments will also be able to buy military gear from “other sources” through grant programs that Sessions will apparently restore.
From USA Today:
The administration’s action would restore “the full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense, along with restoring the full scope of grants used to purchase this type of equipment from other sources,’’ according to a administration summary of the new program recently circulated to some law enforcement groups.
“Assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be re-purposed to help state, local and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime.”
Obama’s executive order banning the transfer of some surplus military equipment was prompted by the Ferguson police department’s staggering response to protests following Mike Brown’s death three years ago; Ferguson’s militarized police department seemed more prepared for war with the citizens it swore to protect than restoring peace.
Trump’s move, while totally unsurprising, is still totally terrifying. If the Ferguson police department’s response to unrest in its city seemed more like an occupying army than community protectors, imagine that response scaled to a national level — and becoming more normalized than it already is.