Today, in another gift that will be celebrated by his racist alt-right base, Donald Trump will repeal restrictions that President Barack Obama placed on police access to military supplies following the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., that occurred after a police officer gunned down the unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown in 2014.
The images of an outraged community taking to the streets to protest in the face of a highly militarized police force patrolling the neighborhood in what was tantamount to tanks was troubling and unforgettable...
President Obama made the move to limit the distribution of military surplus items to police forces came after experts delivered a report to the Justice Department that found that the police actions “inflamed tensions” and violated constitutional rights.
Nevertheless Trump will sign the executive order today that will allow the federal government to immediately resume handing out free bayonets, grenade launchers, tracked armored vehicles such as tanks, camouflage uniforms, weaponized aircraft, ammunition above .50 caliber and other equipment to law enforcement departments around the country..
Trump’s executive order will also kill the requirement that law enforcement agencies had to meet before obtaining helicopters, planes, riot helmets, batons, drones, armored and tactical vehicles, and explosives and pyrotechnics. Under Obama the administration the police departments had to get permission from their local government, complete training requirements and give a “persuasive” reason why they needed such equipment.
As tensions between law enforcement and communities remain high Trump and his attorney general Jeff Sessions order to allow the police to obtain military-grade weaponry is an unmistakable thumb it the eye of everyone who remembers the images as St. Louis County Police officers drove military armored vehicles and pointed sniper rifles at peaceful demonstrators.