The Latest: AG: Trump signs executive order on military gear
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s plan to lift restrictions on surplus military gear to police departments (all times local):
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to restore the flow of surplus military gear to local police departments.
The Obama administration severely limited the program two years ago amid a public outcry over how the equipment was used during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions says those restrictions went too far. He says the new approach will boost public safety.
Sessions announced Trump’s decision to a cheering crowd Monday at the national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee.
The White House has released a copy of the executive order signed by Trump.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says a new executive order restoring the flow of surplus military gear to local police departments will boost public safety.
Sessions says President Donald Trump is ending restrictions on a program that provides cast-off equipment such as firearms and helicopters to local and state police agencies. Sessions announced the plan to a cheering crowd at the national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville.
The Obama administration severely limited the program in 2015 amid public outcry over how the equipment was used after protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Sessions says those restrictions went too far. He says the Trump administration will not put “superficial concerns” over public safety.
Police groups say they need the equipment to keep officers safe.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is announcing a plan to lift restrictions on surplus military equipment that can be passed on to police.
It’s a step that civil liberties groups fear will lead to more violent confrontations among police and protesters. But the Trump administration believes the program that supplies grenade launchers and high-caliber weapons to local law enforcement agencies is necessary for public safety.
Sessions is unveiling a revival of the program during a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, one of the groups that had long pushed Trump to end the Obama-era ban.
A summary of Trump’s executive order being circulated among police groups says it shows he values safety over appearances. It describes much of the gear as “defensive in nature,” intended to protect officers.
President Donald Trump is preparing to lift restrictions on surplus military equipment that can be passed on to local law enforcement agencies.
The move comes in spite of past concerns that armored vehicles and other gear were escalating confrontations with protesters.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press indicate Trump is preparing to sign an executive order undoing an Obama administration directive aimed at the restricting the use of surplus military equipment. Under the previous administration, police agencies saw limits placed on their access to grenade launchers, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, firearms, ammunition and other gear.
The documents indicate that Trump’s order would fully restore the program under which “assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime.”