This week, President Trump reversed the Obama Administration’s prohibitions on police departments buying surplus military gear. President Obama limited the sales in the wake of the Ferguson police shooting of Michael Brown. Iconic images from the subsequent protests showed unarmed citizens facing off against police in full military gear—shocking many Americans.
This action comes at the same time as the President’s apparently ratings-driven pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s contempt of court charge. Sheriff Arpaio is known for his myriad abuses of prisoners, minorities, and women and refusal to bring his office into legal compliance. He has come to symbolize extreme and often violent police power. President Trump has spoken approvingly of the kind of “rough” police behavior exemplified by Sheriff Arpaio.
President Trump now justifies his lifting of the ban as in the interests of community safety. Detractors argue that providing military-grade weaponry to police officers only serves to increase the inherent risk of serious violence in any police confrontation.
What do you think? Does Giving Police Officers Military Gear Make Communities Safer?
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