Obama ordering restrictions on police militarization

May 18, 2015

BearcatU.S. President Barack Obama plans to issue an order Monday banning federal authorities from providing certain types of military-style equipment to local police departments. [New York Times]

Obama is expected to prohibit police departments from using federal funds to acquire tracked armored vehicles, camouflage uniforms and the highest-caliber firearms and ammunition. The decree is aimed at reducing tensions between law enforcement and minority communities in the aftermath of civil unrest that has occurred in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities.

After last year’s unrest, Obama issued an executive order creating a task force that would analyze the militarization of police and issue recommendations on addressing the problem. The task force is releasing its report Monday, and Obama is reportedly taking some of its recommendations.

Obama accepted the task force’s recommendations on imposing additional restrictions on wheeled armored vehicles, pyrotechnics, battering rams and riot gear. Likewise, he is implementing the group’s recommendation on creating stiffer training requirements for police use of military-style equipment.

Through U.S. Defense and Homeland Security Department grants, San Luis Obispo County law enforcement agencies have acquired items including armored vehicles, assault rifles, body armor and surveillance equipment.

Both the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and the San Luis Obispo police Department have acquired Lenco Bearcats, which are armored vehicles larger in size than Hummers. The regional SWAT team has used the Bearcat when responding to incidents in which armed residents barricaded themselves in buildings.


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markslo70

Didn’t someone once say something about being able to measure a society’s failures by the degree to which police/military force need to be employed to coerce the behavior of its citizens? Militarized police forces have always worked so well in every other country (sarcasm) but maybe America is an exception to the rule. Folks, demand for labor is supposed to decline by 35% to 50% over the next decade. An implosion of that size will destroy the middle class, and may jeopardize the stability of the republic as a whole. Police do a great service to well-functioning societies, and they do a pretty good job here, even now. But if history is any indication of what’s to come, things can quickly become very ugly. We will all be tested, and if we regress to violence, all could be lost. Occupational militaries usually foster violent sentiments on both sides, and if you belong to the class that works for a paycheck, you know what side your children will be on when the work is all gone.


DenimShirt

“demand for labor is supposed to decline by 35% to 50% over the next decade”


markslo70 you can’t just make up numbers to scare people


OnTheOtherHand

He should cite his sources for a claim like that but it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong. It does sound a bit high to me but I think the trend is definitely in that direction.


Rich in MB

If you don’t know the obvious…then citing sources to educate the dunbz is…well….kinda a waste of time.


euroamerican

We are very fortunate to live in a County like San Luis Obispo. Also our police do not have to deal with the violence that is a daily occurrence in other areas of California. I think that when our police have to go to work daily in a war zone, then they should be provided with as much protection as possible.


Zuma7

Did you read about the violence and

death that took place in Santa Maria in

the last few days? That city is not very far

from SLO.

Good luck.


euroamerican

Yeah, it is a rough area, but also Santa Barbara County I was referring to our County.

If police in Santa Barbara need more protection then they should have it. Military style equipment should be provided only in areas that it is needed… Why have it in in our area I am not for just having it as a form of intimidation.


Josh Payne

The Posse Comitatus Act protects the people of the United States from having the military on the streets of our nation. A loophole around this law would be to militarize the police. For a free nation we need to be free of troops on our streets. This is a step in the right direction by stopping the federal funding of the militarization of our police forces. Next we should provide body cameras for all police personal that is uploaded to a civilian controlled cloud. Then accountability with the court system needs to happen to ensure the police are protecting citizens, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.


r0y

The only problem with any plan is other people.


I’d love to see the cop-cams uploaded to a civilian-oversight-managed cloud, but it is far too easy to compromise those people. Look at the once-vaunted 4th estate, how far they have fallen by becoming nothing more than shills for a political party.


The idea is sound, but the practicality of it (not to mention privacy rights concerns) are problematic.


Josh Payne

police *personnel


Vagabond

Oh boy, I can hear the wing nut heads exploding all over! Obama is going to send in the Army and take dictatorial control! We need our police to have M1 tanks and TOW rockets to protect up from the evil Guv’ment HAHAHAHA


Stunned

Oh boy. I can see Russia’s buff leader getting this news mid workout…laughing so hard he takes a knee as our President makes a suprise visit to Buffy’s cupcake house.


dogeatdog

So we want our police to go up against thugs without the best in riot gear? WOW


the criminals can have high powered rifles ect but not the police who are there to protect me.The incidents in Baltimore were years in the making, the government did not care about how few of them had jobs or hope. And then they turned to crime and damaged police cruisers, burned down stores, just raised hell.


Yet our president does not want the police to be able to have military grade equipment? Those breaking the law were acting like terrorist to shop owners or the innocent people of the area We are so weak on crime it is sickening, not long enough sentences, the criminals have more rights than us hard working people.


ironyman2000

Que est “ect” dog?


OnTheOtherHand

There is a difference between police being adequately armed and being under-armed. We may well disagree on where the dividing line is. The need for the heavy armor and weapons you describe is really rare for an intelligently run law enforcement agency. Well-armed. regional SWAT teams (one for every million people?) are reasonable for that purpose.


The problem with giving every agency such weaponry is that it often changes their attitude towards their jobs from “serve and protect” to “protect through domination”. That is not healthy for their relationship with the general public and just ends up leading to things like Ferguson and Baltimore and other hot spots ready to boil over.


Rich in MB

So lets see:

A Federal Program written into Law.

The President asks for a Study, then changes the program all with his phone and Pen without any say, imput, etc from the Nations Legislative Branch…IE Congress.


Folks we are living in a Post Constitutional America where the King (aka President) gets to make and change laws as he wishes without the input from the Citizens elected leaders.


It doesn’t matter if you like the outcome of Obama’s Edict, he has no power to make it in the first place.


What will happen when President Paul with the stroke of a Pen decides to not Persecute anyone who decides not to pay over 18% income tax? Those that make the argument for Obama to change the healthcare and immigration law will have nothing to say but…oh shit…what have we done.


zaphod

Obama is elected, ( twice ) your prognostications are imaginative falsehoods . no matter how popular, no substance. America elected a man with alot of melanin in his family tree get over it.


r0y

1) he never said obama was no elected


2) he specifically cites the legislative branch not having any input (or passing of laws) which is the Constitutional mandate of our government.


As is often the case, not only do you completely and utterly miss the point, but create one of your own, unrelated to the comment. Nice work.


kettle

Rich in MB says:”What will happen when President Paul with the stroke of a Pen ”


Why are you going on about things that will never happen? It is called manufactured outrage, as in fabricated.


“Post Constitutional America ” LOL Everyone it’s time for the buzzword cheer!


Post Constitutional America

Bengazi, Bengazi, Switfboat!

US to nationalise/invade Texas.

To the battelments men!


Kevin Rice

Crony Capitalism!

Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

Global cooling…uh…warming…uh…Destabilization!!!

Diversity challenged job opportunity!

Faux News!

TAXES…er, um…Revenue Enhancement!

Shovel-Ready!

Smart-Growth!

Homophobia! Racist! Xenophobe!

Neocon!


OnTheOtherHand

Nice — answering hyperbolic generalizations with more of the same.


Slowerfaster

You’re such a dweeb that apparently you don’t even know that ‘revenue enhancement’ was a Reagan euphemism for increased taxes.


Or you do know. Do I call you DEMAGOGUE ?


r0y

You can cry and call it whatever you want; heck, you can blame Bush, Reagan, or everyone who is not your silly political party of choice – but for the adults in the room, there is growing concern that the Checks and Balances that were set up under the U.S. Constitution are no longer checking or balancing one another.


I think it started with Bush II, a la TARP, etc. But it definitely is quite evident and manifest with Obama. “Post Constitutional” is a silly phrase, let’s just call it what it is:

Illegal based on Constitutional mandates.


SloTownMan

Such a wonderful leader we have…… now I need to wash out my mouth.


Rich in MB

I will supply the soap….20 Mule Team Borax from Boron California.