From Consortium News:
Congress is taking action on the 1033 program, which authorizes the Defense Department to send military equipment and weapons to local police departments. Since 1990 more than $5.4 billion in equipment has flowed to the hands of cops with predictable results.
The response by local law enforcement to the nationwide uprising that followed Floyd’s killing has heightened scrutiny of the 1033 Program with lawmakers and activists warning that access to military hardware has made police behavior toward protesters even more brutal and violent.
Three researchers who have studied the 1033 program conclude that “having access to military equipment can change the organization, operations and culture of department too.”
“Militarizing local police forces doesn’t make our communities safer,” tweeted Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Senator Brian Schatz on Sunday said he plans to introduce an amendment to end the federal program that permits the transfer of excess military equipment to police departments across the nation. I will be introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to discontinue the program that transfers military weaponry to local police departments,” the Hawaii Democrat tweeted late Sunday.