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the militarization of police

Report: Trump administration plans to lift ban on giving military surplus items to police

The Trump administration is gearing up to restore a program that transfers surplus military equipment like armored vehicles and large-caliber weapons to local police departments, USA Today reports.

During the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, police responded with vehicles that belonged in battlefields, and former President Barack Obama paused the surplus program, saying this repurposed gear made the officers look like an "occupying force" as opposed to one that's "part of the community that's protecting them and serving them."

Documents from the Trump administration obtained by USA Today argue that by recycling these items that would "otherwise be scrapped," it helps "state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime." The Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the country, has been calling for a reversal to Obama's executive order, claiming that the gear is needed in communities that don't have big budgets. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is addressing the group on Monday. The White House did not respond to USA Today's requests for comment.