Militarizing police does not reduce crime but does increase police killings.

It is critically important to ban militarized policing whether or not your local police force is currently engaged in it.

We recommend working with us, as many localities now are, to study your locality, build a coalition, launch a petition, pursue media coverage, and move your local officials. To start a local campaign to ban militarized policing in your locality, anywhere on earth, contact World BEYOND War.

Portland: We’re working with a coalition in Portland, Ore., on this. Portland has already banned tear gas. Sign our petition in Portland. Also use Code Pink’s form to send an email to your City Councilor and County Commissioners to Demilitarize the Portland Police! 

Read the Police Militarization Research Compendium by Alison J. Cole.

Here is evidence that police with more military weaponry kill more people.

Here is documentation of police violence. More here, and here.

Here is a September 16, 2020, report from Costs of War.

Here is an October 2020 report from Peace Direct.

See also the Defunding Violence tool kit from Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

Read Demilitaring America’s Police by The Constitution Project.

U.S. localities can find out what weaponry their police have from the U.S. military here, and here.

We did this in Charlottesville, Va., U.S., using this petition, to pass this resolution (see pp 75-76).

Reporting on that success included: WINA, Charlottesville Tomorrow, Tenth Amendment Center, NBC-29, CBS-19, Daily Progress, Cville Weekly, and earlier: CBS-19, NBC-29.

Here’s a report on what Washington D.C. has done. On July 31, 2020, the state of Connecticut banned police use of “military designed equipment classified by the United States Department of Defense as part of the federal 1033 program that is (A) a controlled firearm, ammunition, bayonet, grenade launcher, grenade, including stun and flash-bang, or an explosive, (B) a controlled vehicle, highly mobile multi-wheeled vehicle, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, truck, truck dump, truck utility or truck carryall, (C) a drone that is armored or weaponized, (D) controlled aircraft that is combat configured or combat coded or has no established commercial flight application, (E) a silencer, (F) a long-range acoustic device, or (G) an item in the federal supply class of banned items.”

Also Pittsburgh.

Here’s what New Orleans is doing. And an update.

One thing you can get started on right away is drafting a petition. You can start by modifying this draft:

To: _________ City Council

We urge you to ban from _________:
(1) military-style or “warrior” training of police by the _____ military, any foreign military or police, or any private company;
(2) acquisition by police of any weaponry from the ________ military;
(3) acquisition or use of automatic or semi-automatic weapons, armored personnel carriers, chemical weapons, kinetic impact projectiles, acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, disorientation devices, or ultrasonic cannons;
(4) any police hiring preference for applicants with military experience;
(5) any cooperation with or toleration of militarized policing in ________ by state or national forces; and

We urge you to require for _________ police:
(1) enhanced training and stronger policies for conflict de-escalation, and limited use of force for law enforcement.

Your goal should be a resolution something like this:

RESOLUTION OPPOSING ____________ POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVING MILITARY-STYLE TRAINING AND ACQUIRING MILITARY WEAPONRY
 
WHEREAS, the _________ Police Department does not receive military-style or “warrior” training by the __________ armed forces, a foreign military or police, or any private company; and
 
WHEREAS, the ____________ Police Department does not acquire weaponry from the ____________ armed forces; and
 
WHEREAS, the __________ City Council opposes the __________ Police Department receiving military-style or “warrior” training by the United States armed forces, a foreign military or police, or any private company; and
 
WHEREAS, the _____________ City Council opposes the __________ Police Department acquiring weaponry from the United States armed forces or any other source;
 
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of ___________ that the ___________ Police Department shall not receive military-style or “warrior” training of police by the ________ military, any foreign military or police, or any private company;
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ___________ Police Department shall not acquire any weaponry from the _________ military;
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ___________ Police Department shall not acquire or use automatic or semi-automatic weapons, armored personnel carriers, chemical weapons, kinetic impact projectiles, acoustic weapons, directed energy weapons, water cannons, disorientation devices, or ultrasonic cannons;
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the _____________ Police Department shall not give any preference in hiring for applicants with military experience;
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ____________ Police Department shall not cooperate with or tolerate militarized policing in ___________ by state or federal forces; and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ___________ Police Department shall provide all police officers with enhanced training and stronger policies for conflict de-escalation, and limited use of force for law enforcement.

According to the 2020 Democratic Party Platform, “Democrats believe weapons of war have no place on our streets, and will once again limit the sale and transfer of surplus military weapons to domestic law enforcement agencies — a policy President Trump reversed immediately upon taking office.” In fact, the pre-Trump policy was far from sufficient. What we need is a ban on the U.S. government providing weapons to police departments.

On January 26, 2021, the Biden White House announced an executive order on this topic to be released that day. It was not released.

Limits on military weapons to police were in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the House (but not the Senate) in the 2019-2020 Congress, but yet to be introduced in the new 2021 Congress with Democratic majorities in both houses.

Cities must act in order to ban weapons from any sources, not just from the U.S. government; in order to ban military-style training by anyone; and in order to build pressure on the U.S. government to act as well.

Here is a page for emailing the U.S. Congress and President.

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