US President Obama banned certain military-style equipment provided to US police

May 19, 2015 12:14 IST

The President of United States (US) Barack Obama on 18 May 2015 banned giving certain kinds of military-style equipment to local police forces. He also called for a broader shift in law enforcement practices across the country.

This ban means that the armoured vehicles on tracks, camouflage uniforms and grenade launchers will no longer be given out to local police forces.

The ban was announced by the President during his visit to Camden, one of the poorest cities of New Jersey. The city attracted attention as a national model for better relations between the police and residents after it dissolved its police force and replaced it with a new county-run system through that prioritizes community ties.

The decision was taken in the backdrop of criticism that said that the police was heavy handed to deal with protests in Ferguson, Missouri, that turned violent. The series of fatal shootings by police increased mistrust and sparked protests across the US.

Background

The issue came into spotlight after a young black man was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson in 2014 and later in April 2015, another black man was killed in Baltimore after taken in police custody.

The US administration was criticized for being too lax about police practices. It was also criticized for not able to strike a right balance between the law enforcement and civil right activists.

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