In a surprise move aimed at tamping down the backlash against military tactics by local police forces, President Obama today announced he is banning the transfer of certain military gear considered “not appropriate” for local policing.
The ban will include tracked armored vehicles, grenade launchers and bayonets. Obama said his working group had concluded there was a “substantial risk of misusing” such gear.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people the feeling like there’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community,” Obama added in comments later in the day.
The use of armored vehicles and military-style tactics during the crackdown in Ferguson, MO fueled concerns about the Pentagon’s program to give excess vehicles and weaponry to police departments across the nation.