As he promised, President Trump is using an iron fist to respond to protests. He has taken another step toward enabling police forces to flex their muscles and create fear.
USA Today reports that the administration ended an Obama-era ban Monday on the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments.
“We will not put superficial concerns above public safety,” Sessions stated, referring to hurricane relief efforts in Texas, suggesting that the motive behind the move is humanitarian.
However, the surplus equipment on the table includes rocket-launchers, bayonets, armored vehicles, and ammunition, according to the newspaper.
The NAACP said in a statement that it “vehemently opposes this dangerous and irresponsible move.”
“We’ve seen the devastating impact an overly-militarized police force has on communities of color. Undoing these sensible restrictions endangers public safety and further erodes the relationship between police and the communities they are required to serve by feeding the false notion that the public – especially people of color – are enemy combatants,” the statement continued.
President Obama issued the ban in the aftermath of the police response to demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, wan unarmed Black teenager, by a White police officer.
The former president said the use of military equipment to quiet protests only inflames tensions and makes the police feel like an occupying military force in the Black community.
Even some elected officials in Trump’s party are criticizing the move: