Pres. Obama: Don't lift the ban on military equipment for police.

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    Pres. Obama: Don't lift the ban on military equipment for police.

    The White House is about to undo one of its biggest reforms to stop police militarization since Ferguson--and we need to come together to stop it.

    Last year, after the horror of armed tanks rolling down residential streets and officers using grenade launchers to tear gas protesters, President Obama signed an executive order severely limiting the 1033 Program--which transferred combat gear from the military to local police departments. The order banned the federal government from giving away certain kinds of military equipment--including armored tanks, weaponized aircraft, military-grade weapons, and grenade launchers--to local police departments. Now, police unions and departments are trying to force President Obama to unravel this victory and lift the ban. And they’re making headway: last week, White House administration officials announced they would be reconsidering the 1033 Program ban.

    Lifting the 1033 Program ban would be devastating for Black communities. The proliferation of military equipment and tactics in police departments creates the mentality that the people police are meant to serve are enemy combatants--and it’s claimed the lives of too many. But if we show President Obama that more people want to maintain the ban on police militarization than want to lift it, we can make sure he keeps military-grade weaponry out of our communities. Will you sign the petition?

    Below is the letter we will send to President Obama on your behalf:

    Dear President Barack Obama,

    I am writing to ask you to maintain your ban on certain military equipment transfers through the 1033 Program as outlined in Executive Order 13688. Along with people across the country, I was heartened to know that your administration was taking action to curb police militarization through implementing these restrictions. Turning back the clock on this ban would be devastating to Black communities. We're counting on you to stand by your commitment. 

    The 1033 Program has led to the most militarized police force Americans have ever seen. And unsurprisingly, the influx of combat-ready equipment to local police departments means police too often treat the people they are meant to protect and serve as enemy combatants.  

    The most recent military-style response to peaceful demonstrations in places like Baton Rouge and Ferguson is evidence enough that this program is being wildly misused. However, the danger of the program doesn't stop there. For decades, SWAT team military-style raids have terrorized Black homes, families, and communities as a tactic in the "War on Drugs"--to which too many innocent people have been casualties. The stakes are too high to consider lifting the ban on the 1033 Program. Do the right thing and maintain the ban on military equipment transfers to local police departments.  

    Thank you,

    [Your name]

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