Responding to the controversy in Ferguson, U.S. President Barack Obama called for tighter standards on the use of military-style equipment by local police departments. The changes come after a months-long review into whether community police actually need some of the military-style weaponry and hardware. The review found a lack of consistency in how federal programs provide such equipment. In response, the Obama administration announced a new $263 million programme to pay for body cameras for police officers and expand training for law enforcement in an attempt to build trust in divided communities such as Ferguson.
This is not a problem just of Ferguson, Missouri. This is a national problem.
President Barack Obama
Obama also asked federal agencies on Monday for concrete recommendations to ensure the U.S. isn’t building a “militarized culture” within police departments. He met with civil rights and community leaders and various elected officials Monday to discuss how to respond to the challenge presented by Ferguson. Obama’s moves were the most tangible he’s taken since a grand jury last week opted not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. Protesters across the U.S. have walked off their jobs or away from classes in support of the Ferguson protesters. Monday’s walkouts stretched from New York to San Francisco, and included Chicago and Washington, D.C.