News Release

* Ferguson to Syria * Police Militarization

AJAMU BARAKA, ajamubaraka2 at gmail.com
Baraka is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies who is based in Colombia. He just wrote the piece “Race and Militarism from Ferguson to Syria: A letter to African Americans.”

MICHAEL SHANK, michael at fcnl.org, @Michael_Shank
Shank just wrote the piece “Police Militarization Must Be Halted,” which states: “The Senate and House bills [Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)] target the Pentagon’s transfer to police forces of free military-grade equipment coming back from U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere. This program has gifted over $5 billion worth of recently used and unused war equipment — armored personnel carriers, tanks, Humvees, and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected [MRAP] vehicles, grenade launchers, armed drones, and assault weapons — to U.S. police since the late 1990s when the program first started. The bicameral legislation would prohibit the transfer of these military weapons. Given that the Pentagon has 13,000 MRAPs to give away, this comes at a critical time.”