In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order today that would release surplus Defense Department equipment to local police departments, People’s Action Communications Director Isaiah J. Poole released the following statement:
“As the nation focuses on the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Trump administration is wreaking its own devastation on our basic human values.
“The administration’s announcement today that military weaponry will once again flow into local police departments, where they can be used by untrained and unaccountable officers to terrorize local communities, is just the latest example. We have already seen, in places like Ferguson, Mo., how the militarization of police departments can escalate tensions and cost innocent lives.
“There is no reason for the Trump White House to do this other than their continued scorn for communities of color, and for the principle that no one, including any member of law enforcement, is above the law.
“We call on police departments around the country to reject Trump’s latest offer to place weapons of war on our streets, and to pursue partnerships with communities that have proven to de-escalate tensions and lower crime.
“This is just the latest damage caused by Hurricane Trump. In the last three days he has spit in the face of transgender people by pursuing his military ban, and pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio after he was convicted of violating the laws he was sworn to uphold. These acts sanction discrimination and terroristic behavior by officers of the law.
“The Trump presidency, like a monster hurricane, has done unprecedented damage to our democracy and to our progress toward a country that is more equitable and fair. What the Trump presidency is also unleashing is a flood – a flood of even more fiercely determined people who will take to the halls of power and to the streets to end Trumpism, end structural racism and rebuild a democracy and economy that serves people and protects the planet first.
“On the 54th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we renew our determination to make the dreams of King and America’s fighters for justice a reality.”
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