President Trump and Police Unions Want Police Tanks Back in Ferguson

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When the tanks came out in Ferguson -- CNN screenshot

Following the spectacular flameout of the TrumpRyanCare bill last week, President Trump is eager to shift attention away to other matters and to rally his base again.

After having to abandon his ill-fated boast that he would "repeal and replace" Obamacare on "day-one," Trump is now turning his focus towards what he likes calling the "inner cities."

He's going to allow police departments around the country to start acquiring tanks again, which had been banned by President Obama by an executive order. As The Wall Street Journal reported under the headline "Police Seek Use of Banned Military Gear," on March 29, the 333,000-membership Fraternal Order of the Police and the 240,000-member National Association of Police Organizations "have their eyes on big prizes: military equipment banned by the previous administration and tougher laws on violence against officers."

Trump will allow police departments to stock the armored-vehicles we saw on display by police in Ferguson, Missouri, to quell protests after the execution-style killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, Darren Wilson.

As a result of the Obama policy to ban military-type weapons from the police (these arms are clearly meant to intimidate people and suppress legitimate protest in addition to being used as lethal fire-power) many of the departments were returning such equipments.

The Wall Street Journal reported: "As of last summer, police departments had returned 126 tracked armored vehicles, which look like tanks without guns, 138 grenade launchers and 1,623 bayonets to the federal government."

Trump's so-called law-and-order agenda if carried out could lead to increased police brutality incidents around the country and more blood on the streets.

As part of the so-called law-and-order agenda, last month attorney general Jeff Sessions --the same Sessions who was once denied a judgeship because of his racist views-- announced that the Department of Justice halt the investigations into police brutality and corruption launched during Obama's presidency. Supposedly these investigations have prevented officers from "effective" policing.

This is a remarkable declaration that the police are now allowed license to act with impunity.

We've already had Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and dozens of other cases of African Americans being wrongfully killed by police. Now, Trump and Sessions are basically giving the greenlight to misconduct by halting the investigations which in fact could tamper possible abuses.

Under Obama the Justice Department exposed abuses, misconduct and systemic racism including in Ferguson and Baltimore.

Now Trump and Sessions have basically decided that it's not worth exposing the kind of crimes and misconduct exposed by the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

Race-baiting may have worked well for Trump during the presidential campaign. But governing is a different matter as Trump has learned over the past several weeks with his job performance rating collapsing to 37%.

What benefits can be derived by sending a signal to police officers around the country that they can act with impunity?

If President Trump wants to be tough on crime than it must be a two-way street; it must also cover criminal actions by police officers.

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