January 19, 2015

Obama’s Newest Executive Order Barely Tackles Police Militarization

On the heels of Ferguson and the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” protests, Barack Obama has flexed his executive pen to issue a decree tweaking the program that gave surplus military equipment to local police departments. If this is Obama’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s weak and forgettable. He essentially told his Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group to look at the problem, find where government agencies could coordinate better, and get a report on his desk in 120 days. “The Federal Government must ensure that careful attention is paid to standardizing procedures governing its provision of controlled equipment and funds for controlled equipment to [local police],” the president’s executive order read. “Moreover, more must be done to ensure that [local police] have proper training regarding the appropriate use of controlled equipment, including training on the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, and are aware of their obligations under Federal nondiscrimination laws when accepting such equipment. To this end, executive departments and agencies (agencies) must better coordinate their efforts to operate and oversee these programs.” Cutting down bureaucracy, ensuring the respect for civil rights, these are all good things the government has neglected for far too long. Yet like a typical statist, Obama continues the policies that continue the militarization of American police. More…

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