Sessions: Trump to restore supply of surplus military equipment to police (VIDEO)
By Andrew Shepperson
President Donald Trump will restore the controversial program to supply surplus military equipment, including high-caliber firearms and grenade launchers, to police departments around the country.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision Monday to revive the 1033 program during a speech to the Fraternal Order of Police, drawing thunderous applause from the crowd.
“The executive order that the President will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become a new normal,” Sessions told the crowd.
Trump’s order will effectively undo regulations former President Barack Obama put in place that limited police departments’ supply of military gear, such as high-powered firearms, ammunition, camouflage uniforms, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, and other items.
In 2015, Obama put the regulations in place via executive order after police used riot gear, deploying tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles to subdue crowds protesting the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the Associated Press reported. Groups had expressed concerns over the militarization of police, arguing that using such gear and tactics often escalated already tense situations.
Obama’s order specifically restricted the federal government from supplying police with weaponized aircraft