Demilitarizing America’s Police

  • November 17, 2016
  • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The White House estimates that federal programs directly or indirectly provided $18 billion in military equipment to state, local and tribal police between 2009 and 2014, much of it with little oversight on who was receiving the gear or follow-up on how it was being used. This trend of police militarization has led to aggressive tactics, over-enforcement, and a rejection of de-escalation tactics that are critical to community policing.

In the aftermath of the public outcry over local police using tank-like vehicles and assault rifles to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer in 2014, the Obama administration placed a modest ban on the transfer of some military-grade equipment –- including tracked armored vehicles, .50 caliber firearms and grenade launchers -– from the Pentagon to law enforcement. However, many advocates say this step did not go far enough. In September, The Constitution Project Committee on Policing Reforms, a bipartisan group of former military and law enforcement officers and criminal justice system experts, released a comprehensive report calling on the Obama administration to tighten restrictions on the transfer of military equipment to state and local police departments and to require greater public disclosure of its use.

Join a panel of experts to discuss the impact of the Obama administration’s changes to federal military acquisition programs and what immediate and long-term steps the next administration, states, and Congress can take to curb the militarization of law enforcement and to improve the relationship between police and communities.


Michael Anzallo, Assistant Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department (D.C.)

Cheye M. Calvo, Committee on Policing Reforms; former Mayor, Berwyn Springs, MD

Sakira Cook, Counsel, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Additional panelists may be announced.


November 17, 2016
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
A light lunch will be provided.


1301 K Street NW
Suite 1000 - East Tower
Washington, DC 20005
  • Reed Smith LLP
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