Mother Jones reveals hundreds of documents detailing local PDs requests for “combat style weapons, trucks, and armor” from the Pentagon.
Mother Jones‘ Molly Redden has revealed more than 450 requests by police departments to theWikimedia Pentagon’s “1033 program,” which over the past two decades has distributed more than five and a half billion dollars of surplus military gear, vehicles and weaponry to local PDs.
As U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to wind down, the federal government has been left with a glut of weapons and equipment, and many police departments want to get their hands on as much of it as they can.
What is striking about Mother Jones’ analysis of the requests is that they rarely focus on using the gear to defend against terrorism, mass shooters, or hostage sieges. Instead, when it comes to requesting a mine resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), “the single most common reason agencies requested (an MRAP) was to combat drugs.”
Expressing a dire need for their small towns to possess the same weaponized armored vehicles used to storm Fallujah, law enforcement enumerated reasons such as maintaining a “presence” at Ohio State football games and patrolling Delaware beach towns during the summer. To underscore the continually blurred lines between the military and police, a Florida sheriff’s department requested a vehicle capable of carrying enough “troops” necessary to serve search warrants.
Among the requests for militarized equipment to be used on threats unrelated to…