On Tuesday, shortly before the Derek Chauvin verdict was announced, the organization Black Lives Matter said that President Joe Biden “is currently sending more military equipment to our neighborhoods than” former President Donald Trump did.
The statement was part of a thread urging people to sign a petition demanding “that Biden demilitarize our neighborhoods” and end the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), known as the 1033 Program. BLM’s statement came as the nation and the world waited with bated breath for the historic verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin, who was ultimately convicted Tuesday on all charges of murder and manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
“Biden’s first 100 days are up in 10 days. By then we need him to #End1033, which transfers military equipment into the hands of police across the country– including school & campus police,” BLM tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Another example? The military you see out on your streets ahead of the Chauvin verdict.”
“Biden is currently sending more military equipment to our neighborhoods than Trump did. You read that right,” the organization added. “Our communities are being terrorized at a greater rate than they had been under Trump.”
According to the LESO’s website, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 from which the program originates “allows transfer of excess Department of Defense property (equipment) that might otherwise be destroyed to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories,” including to school law enforcement.
Furthermore, the program since its founding has transferred more than $7.5 Billion worth of property, according to its website. In Fiscal Year 2020 alone, a reported $252 Million worth of property (based on initial acquisition cost) was transferred to law enforcement agencies, of which more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies have enrolled in the program.
According to BLM’s petition, “the flow of military equipment to police under the 1033 Program has accelerated under the Biden administration” and “based on recent reporting, police might just receive even more military equipment under the Biden administration than they did with the Trump administration.” The organization could be referring to the reported plans of Biden to bring back Obama-era restrictions governing the transfer of military equipment to police on January 26 that never happened, which the Security Reform Policy Institute believes is the result of reported lobbying from the the National Association of Police Organizations.
The petition argues that “military-style weapons and equipment have no place in our streets,” communities, schools, or campuses, adding that “they especially have no place in the hands of police — violent upholders of white supremacy that have no regard for Black life.”
The effort calls on the president to end the 1033 Program, which BLM said enables and upholds white supremacy, “with the stroke of a pen” before his first 100 days are up.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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State officials, CDC investigating monkeypox case in Florida
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Florida state health officials, are investigating what is believed to be a case of monkeypox. A statement from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County stated the “case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated.”
Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”
Axios reports a person was confirmed positive with the virus in Massachusetts, New York and “roughly a half dozen other cases” are “being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
BREAKING: Florida reports first presumptive Monkeypox case.
Case is in Broward County and related to international travel.
— Cristian Benavides (@cbenavidesTV) May 22, 2022
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