On Monday, the White House released a review of how local law enforcement agencies use equipment, proposing that the federal government spend $263 million over three years to “expand training for law enforcement agencies (LEAs)” and “add more resources for police department reform.” The review included a proposal to dedicate $75 million over three years to buy up to 50,000 body cameras for local LEAs.
The review and its proposals were commissioned by the Obama Administration in August 2014 after the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. While a few obstructed or blurry videos taken during the shooting by third parties have surfaced, conflicting eye-witness accounts of the incident have escalated the calls for all cops to record interactions with the public using body cameras.
Additionally, the executive branch said it wanted to more closely scrutinize and monitor military equipment provided to local police departments by the federal government. The Ferguson Police Department was also criticized for its response to the ensuing protests, rolling out tanks to meet largely peaceful ranks of protesters in the early days after the shooting.
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