Obama will will no longer give U.S. cops bayonets, weaponized aircraft, and grenade launchers

Quartz: The White House has announced that federal programs to pass certain surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies will come to an end.

The programs have garnered attention as public concern has grown about the blurred lines between policing and military operations, especially as relations between law enforcement officers and the communities — particularly minority communities — have soured, and images of police confronting protesters in heavy military gear have spread via the news media.

President Obama will announce today that police officers will not be able to obtain “[tracked] armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, and large-caliber firearms” through federal swap programs.

There is an exception: Law enforcement agencies that meet certain standards for training — including policies in place for better relations with their communities — will be able to obtain certain controlled surplus items. And that list includes lots of equipment that might still concern critics of law enforcement militarization, including armored personnel carriers, all-terrain vehicle, and drones. [Continue reading…]

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