Action needed to stop police militarization

You may have seen them in your town. . .

Police armed with grenade launchers. . .

Driving around in militarized vehicles. . .

Drones flying through the skies keeping a watchful eye on the people.

And you may have wondered why your local police look (and increasingly act) like an occupying army.

The answer should not surprise you --it’s the federal government and their war on terror.

In 1997, Congress added Section 1033 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizing the transfer of military grade weapons to local police agencies.

The program really got ramped up when the “war on terror” began.

Today, even small towns that are highly unlikely to suffer a terrorist attack are using Section 1033 to obtain tanks, grenades, tear gas, and even weaponized drones.

And Section 1033’s “use it or lose it” provision incentivizes local police to use the military equipment obtained under 1033 for routine police work!

Fortunately, you and I have a chance to start rolling back police militarization, but we need to act fast!

You see, this week, the U.S. Senate is considering the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are offering an amendment that would forbid the use of Section 1033 to provide local police agencies with drones, tear gas, military vehicles like tanks, and other military weapons that have no place in domestic law enforcement.

But in order to make sure the Senate debates and votes on this amendment, we must overcome some procedural hurdles, the most significant of which is getting 60 votes for “cloture.”

So please call your U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote YES on the Schatz-Paul Amendment to the NDAA AND to vote for cloture.

Since its creation 23 years ago, Section 1033 has been used to transfer over $7 billion worth of tanks, grenades, weaponized drones, and other military equipment, to more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies.

Yet reports indicate none of this military equipment has helped police reduce crime or even made police safer.

What it has done is heighten the risk that even routine encounters with police will end in tragedy.

It is long past time to put an end to this program.

So please call your U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to support the Schatz-Paul Amendment to the NDAA and to vote YES on cloture to ensure the Senate debates and votes on this important issue.

Turning local police into armed troops may be an ineffective means of protecting citizens and police from criminals, but it is an effective way of providing another source of cash for military contractors, who have outsized influence in Congress.

You can be sure lobbyists for the military-industrial complex are slithering around Capitol Hill twisting arms, cutting deals, and doing all they can to keep the amendment from getting a vote.

That’s why you and I must let the Senate know we are onto their games and will not accept any excuses.

If the Senate will not deal with this issue now, when will they?

So please call your U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote for the Schatz-Paul Amendment to the NDAA and YES on cloture to make sure the amendment is debated and voted on.

In recent weeks, we have once again seen equipment designed for war used against citizens in cities across America.

Today, the tear gas may be aimed at those protesting for police reforms, but in the future, it could be those protesting tax hikes, taking of private property, expansion of warrantless surveillance, or the Federal Reserve.

It could even be used against those protesting the loss of their jobs because of another government-imposed lockdown!

So please contact your U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote for the Schatz-Paul Amendment and YES on cloture.

And please forward this email to your family and friends and ask them to contact their senators as well.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF