Sending Office: Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Please join me in co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1556, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2017. This bill would end transfers of certain military weaponry to local law enforcement in order to preserve the important distinction between
our military and our police.
In August, the
New York Times reported that President Trump intends to fully restore the Pentagon’s “1033 program.” Under the Pentagon’s “1033 program,” the Department of Defense (DOD) has transferred $5 billion worth of surplus military grade weapons, often used in
combat, to our communities. In response, President Obama enacted limits on the program in 2015. Should President Trump reinstate the “1033 program” as he claimed, we will see access to that caliber of weapons further erode the relationship between communities
and the police entrusted to serve them.
We saw this on flagrant display during the Ferguson riots after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Protestors were met with disproportional retaliation from the Ferguson, Missouri police. Under the “1033 program”, America’s streets are becoming increasingly
militarized, and it needs to stop.
The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would revise the authority of the Department of Defense (DOD) to transfer military grade weapons to federal and state law enforcement agencies. DOD property recipients must state the description of intended use
of the weapons, as well as verify that they have proper personnel, technical capacity and training to use DOD property. I introduced this legislation on the premise that it is unwise and unsafe to arm local or state police forces with military grade weapons.
Our neighborhoods need to be protected and we must mitigate the “1033 program” in order to do so.
If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation, please contact Robin Chand in my office at
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