Trump militarises United States police


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump To End Ban On Military Weapons Going To Police Forces

28 August 2017

A leaked draft of a rule from the Trump administration shows that Donald wants to lift an Obama-era ban on giving surplus military weaponry to U.S. police departments. This is a dangerous move – one that could end up creating a police-state here in the United States with over-powered wannabe commandos calling the shots. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

Link here.

A few years ago when we were experiencing the epidemic among police departments in the US of them killing minorities for no other reason than to just kill them, one of the big stories that emerged was the fact that many police stations are actually getting hand-me-downs from the US military, militarized weapons, vehicles, up-armored Humvees as if police departments need these, and they’re using these to go out there and act as these wannabe commando types and they’re killing minorities.

Well, Obama decided to put an end to that. He ended that program that sent police departments across the United States those surplus military goods and Donald Trump, again because it’s something Obama did, is already working on undoing that. According to a leaked draft of a rule by the Trump administration, they are trying to erase Obama’s ban on military gear going to US police forces and so that Donald Trump can sign this order and send even more military-grade weapons, military-grade vehicles, to police officers all across this country.

This story is exceptionally important right now for one distinct reason. As we have discussed, as anyone who’s turned on the news in the last few weeks understands, race relations in this country are pretty abysmal. Bad things are happening, and it’s the result of white supremacists feeling energized under Donald Trump. Police officers are doing virtually nothing to protect the anti-white supremacist protesters. As we all know, somebody was killed in Charlottesville by one of these white supremacists. Black men were beaten down. Finally this past weekend we actually got an arrest, even though the whole thing was videoed and we knew who the guy was. We also had reports this weekend that apparently video has surfaced, there were shots fired by the supremacists into the counter-protestors, and the police didn’t do a damned thing.

What do you think those police officers are gonna do with military-grade weapons in these situations? Do you think they’re gonna use them to keep the peace? Or do you think they’re gonna use them to scare people? Do you think they’re gonna use them against people? Because that’s my bet, you know why? Because that’s what they’ve done in the past with it. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now, especially not with what we’re seeing in the United States today. A new report came out this past weekend that white supremacist groups are trying to infiltrate police departments across this country. The sheriff, I believe, Oklahoma, maybe, I could be wrong on that,

Indeed, it is Texas.

who came out as the owner and director of a white supremacist website. And we want to give these people military-grade weapons and armor and vehicles? That is insane, but that is what Donald Trump wants.

We are on the verge of becoming a full-blown police state in this country if this rule goes through, goes back into effect. Yes, it was bad under Obama, it was bad under Bush, and everybody else before that, but things are so much worse now and they are so much different. Giving these people access to these kinds of weapons, this kind of authority, and we’ve already seen how Donald Trump treats people or law enforcement officers who discriminate against minorities. He gives them a pardon. This is a bad idea that’s gonna end very badly and most likely will end in the loss of life for American citizens because our police departments have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted with military-grade weapons. Furthermore, under very few circumstances, would they ever even need this kind of equipment. But don’t tell that to Donald Trump, because all he knows is that Obama put the ban in place, so he has to be the one to repeal it.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Trump orders resumption of military supplies to local police

29 August 2017

President Trump signed an executive order Monday morning reinstituting a federal program to supply military-grade weaponry and equipment to state and local police forces. The program had been suspended since May 2015 under an executive order signed by Barack Obama that Trump has now rescinded.

The Obama administration was compelled to restrict, at least temporarily, the distribution of “surplus” military equipment after widespread public outrage following the deployment of armored vehicles and other military weaponry in Ferguson, Missouri, after mass protests that followed the August 2014 police murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr.

When thousands took to the streets in anger over the police killing of the unarmed youth, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, mobilized the National Guard, backing the local authorities, who employed armored cars, armed helicopters and police equipped with assault rifles pointed at demonstrators.

Trump signed the executive order without ceremony, leaving it to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announce the policy change formally in an address to the convention of the Fraternal Order of Police held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I am here to announce that President Trump is issuing an executive order that will make it easier to protect yourselves and your communities,” Sessions declared, to loud applause from the assembled police. “He is rescinding restrictions from the prior administration that limited your agencies’ ability to get equipment through federal programs…”

The program to supply military gear to local police, known as the 1033 program, after the section in the National Defense Authorization Act which first established it in 1990, allows the Pentagon to transfer equipment ranging from body armor and bullets to aircraft, armored cars and tanks, at no cost to the local or state government.

Obama’s executive order did not halt the entire program, but restricted distribution of the most flagrant offensive weapons, including grenade launchers, armored cars and armored helicopters. Last year there was a limited recall of equipment that had been placed on a “prohibited” list, including armored cars, aircraft and explosives.

Sessions boasted that the latest executive order was only one part of a wide range of measures taken by the Trump administration to boost local police, including the reinstatement of civil asset forfeiture, which allows local police to confiscate cash and property from people based only on suspicion of crimes, without a warrant or court hearing.

Local police officials interviewed by the press in Nashville said their departments had become increasingly dependent on the free hand-me-down equipment from the Pentagon, under conditions of mounting budgetary pressures on state and local government.

The program was created under the first Bush administration, initially limited to drug enforcement units, but in 1997, under the administration of Democrat Bill Clinton, it was expanded to include all local law enforcement units. More than $5.4 billion has been transferred to local police, a huge subsidy from the Pentagon for building up a police-state apparatus in America.

A White House background paper rejected claims that military-style equipment made the police look like “an occupying force,” saying that the decision “sends the message that we care more about public safety than about how a piece of equipment looks, especially when that equipment has been shown to reduce crime, reduce complaints against and assaults on police, and makes officers more effective.”

The document characterized the equipment as “entirely defensive in nature,” although it includes helicopters, armored cars, battering rams, explosives and .50 caliber machine guns, as well as assault rifles.

The White House cited mass casualty shootings in San Bernardino, California and Orlando, Florida, as well as the current flood rescue operations related to Hurricane Harvey, as instances in which such equipment had been put to use. There was no mention of the far more frequent use of such materiel in protests over police violence, or its likely future use in the event of more widespread civil disorder provoked by the economic and social crisis of American capitalism.

Trump’s action seemed deliberately timed to mark the third anniversary of the police violence in Ferguson—Michael Brown was shot to death on August 9, 2014, and his funeral, attended by thousands, took place on August 25, 2014.

The policeman who shot the 18-year-old to death, Darren Wilson, was never tried for the killing, after a grand jury refused to bring charges against him, in a rigged proceeding stage-managed by St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch, a Democrat.

Both Trump and Sessions have been vehement defenders of killer cops, opposing all efforts to hold police accountable for killing more than 1,000 Americans every year, nearly all of them poor and working class, black, white, Hispanic and immigrant.

Trump’s executive order came barely 48 hours after his issuance of a full pardon to Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix), who was convicted of contempt of court for defying injunctions against racial profiling in the arrest and detention of Hispanics under “suspicion” of being undocumented immigrants.

Imploring President Trump to Reconsider Reinstating Program Offering Military Surplus to Police: here.

Sending an ominous signal to student protest movements nationwide, universities across the US are once again able to equip their police forces with castoff military gear, tying them ever more intimately into the military-industrial complex: here.

SO, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAW A MILITARY PARADE IN FRANCE And now wants one of his own. Needless to say, people are unamused. [HuffPost]

The [Trump] White House will shut down an Obama-era rule that would have required businesses to track how much they pay workers of varying genders, races and ethnicities according to a new report: here.

Report shows that US police militarization does not reduce crime: here.

Australian parliament to pass expanded laws to call out the military to suppress domestic unrest: here.

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23 thoughts on “Trump militarises United States police

  1. Pingback: Houston, USA flood disaster | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Even before the events in Ferguson, the American Civil Liberties Union had published a report entitled War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarisation of American Policing.

    Another report published last month revealed how congressional investigators were even able to set up a fake law enforcement agency and get hold of $1.2 million (£929,000) worth of rifles, pipe-bomb equipment and other kit from the Pentagon, which “never did any verification, like visit our ‘location’.”

    The investigators concluded that “it was like getting stuff off eBay.”

    Scrapping the 1033 Programme was one of the key demands of the Campaign Zero movement launched by Black Lives Matter activists, which also demanded an end to the use of fines for filling gaps in police budgets and tightened restrictions on the circumstances in which an officer is permitted to use deadly force.

    Mr Obama admitted that police using militarised gear could appear to be an “occupying force” in minority communities.

    Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president Vanita Gupta told the CNN news service that “our communities are not the same as armed combatants in a war zone.

    “These guidelines were created after Ferguson to ensure that police departments had a guardian, not warrior, mentality.”

    A White House summary of the executive order states that much of the military equipment police obtain is “entirely defensive in nature,” though military drones, high-calibre guns, bayonets and even “107-millimitre mortar-carrying tanks” are among the weaponry previously distributed through the programme.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8bb9-US-Trump-allows-police-forces-to-arm-themselves-with-military-weapons#.WacPUMZpwdU

    Like

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