It has taken almost seven years in office for President Obama to finally “close the barn door” on police abuse in America. Yesterday, a meeting of law enforcement, national, civil and religious leaders took place at the White House to address issues of race and police abuse in the United States.
President Obama stated that there was a “simmering distrust” between police and minority communities in the country. In an effort to help address the issue, Obama is planning to ask the Republican controlled Congress for $263 million in funding to help purchase police body cameras and provide additional training. In addition, the president wants to address the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which gives surplus military equipment to police forces. Obama is asking that there be greater oversight and training in the program which has led to a militarized police culture within many parts of the United States.
Obama also announced the creation of a task force, under the direction of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and former Office of Justice Programs AG Laurie Robinson, to prepare recommendations for “21st century policing.” The effectiveness of yet another task force is in question as Obama is considered to be a “lame duck” president with a Republican controlled House and Senate. Any recommendations by a new task force will have to go through some sort of congressional review.