Police Reform? What Police Reform?
President Obama today announces an executive order banning the purchase or transfer of some military gear and equipment to local police departments across the country. It’s a turnaround of sorts for the president; just last December the White House was defending $18 billion in spending by five federal agencies on programs that provided police departments with military-grade gear and equipment.
Leid Stories in a commentary contends that Obama’s move is largely cosmetric; it doesn’t deal with the central issue that has been raised time and again—real, systemic reforms of police and policing.
In Missouri, which was a national and international touchstone on the subject–with the shooting death in Ferguson last August of Michael Brown by ex-cop Darren Wilson–the state Legislature closed its session without passing a single measure related to police reform. Some 60 pieces of reform-minded legislation were up for passage.
Leid Stories in a commentary explains that politicians have no intention of taking on the matter of police reform. It remains a “people’s struggle.”