On Monday, US President Barack Obama travelled to Camden, New Jersey, America’s poorest city, to praise it’s brutal police department and reaffirm his support for federal programs that have transferred billions of dollars in military hardware to local police departments.
Reports of police brutality by Camden cops have nearly doubled since 2011, and last year Camden had substantially more reported brutality complaints than near-by Jersey City, which has four times more people.
“This city is on to something,” Obama declared, referring to Camden.
America’s major news outlets, which function as little more than state propaganda outlets, could be counted on to report the exact opposite of reality. According to the New York Times, Obama used his visit to “crack down on overly aggressive police tactics,” and “limit … military-style equipment for police forces.”
These claims are based on Obama’s announcement that the White House will no longer transfer a small range of highly-specialized military assets to local police departments, including bayonets, .50 caliber rifles and tracked fighting vehicles.
These types of ordnance are, from a military counterinsurgency standpoint, either obsolete or inappropriate. The US Army, for example, has dropped bayonet training for recruits, while .50 caliber rifles are generally not considered anti-personnel weapons. They are used instead to target communications systems, grounded aircraft and radar installations, meaning that no sensible anti-civilian death squad would carry them.