August 28, 2017, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following statement in response to the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Trump will sign an executive order lifting limits on the provision of military gear to local police departments:
Trump’s latest executive order is yet another harrowing message that this administration seeks to explicitly declare an open season on people of color. The military equipment exchange programs, launched during the “war on drugs,” have escalated as the United States’ “war on terror” has raged on over the past decades, and the tools of war-making – including grenade launchers, bayonets, and large-caliber weapons – have been brought home to be wielded against Black communities and other communities of color by local police departments around the country.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement at the National Fraternal Order of Police meeting, coming days after Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio after he defied court orders to stop racial profiling, shows the terror this administration seeks to escalate against Black and Brown communities: this, in a country where police officers routinely kill Black people with impunity, and communities of color face systemic, racist police abuse every day.
We stand with communities who are resisting the terror of escalating state violence and the militarization of communities of color. Together, we will continue to affirm that Black lives matter.