President Obama quietly issued an executive order Friday in which he continued to give local police departments military-style tanks, but also created a working group to make sure that the tanks won’t be used in a racist way.
“For decades, the Federal Government has provided equipment to State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies [LEAs] through excess equipment transfers [including GSA donations], asset forfeiture programs, and Federal grants,” Obama stated in the executive order.
“These programs have assisted LEAs as they carry out their critical missions to keep the American people safe. The equipment acquired by LEAs through these programs includes administrative equipment, such as office furniture and computers. But it also includes military and military-styled equipment, firearms, and tactical vehicles provided by the Federal Government.”
But don’t worry Ferguson protesters — Obama is creating a working group to make sure those tanks will be used in the spirit of diversity.
“There is established an interagency Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group to identify agency actions that can improve Federal support for the acquisition of controlled equipment…ensuring LEA compliance with civil rights requirements resulting from receipt of Federal financial assistance.”
“The Working Group shall engage with external stakeholders, including appropriate State officials, law enforcement organizations, civil rights and civil liberties organizations, and academics, in developing the recommendations required by subsection [a] of this section.”
“The Working Group shall be co-chaired by the Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, and Secretary of Homeland Security. In addition to the Co-Chairs, the Working Group shall consist of the following members: the Secretary of the Treasury; the Secretary of the Interior; the Secretary of Education; the Administrator of General Services; the Director of the Domestic Policy Council; the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the Office of the Vice President; and the heads of such other agencies and offices as the Co-Chairs may, from time to time, designate.”