The Trump administration is preparing to restore the flow of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies under a program that had been sharply curtailed amid an outcry over police use of armored vehicles and other war-fighting gear to confront protesters. Documents obtained by the AP indicate President Trump plans to sign an executive order undoing an Obama administration directive that restricted police agencies' access to the gear, which includes grenade launchers, bullet-proof vests, riot shields, firearms, and ammunition. Trump vowed to rescind the executive order in response to a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire that helped him win an endorsement from the organization.
Trump's order would fully restore the program, under which "assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime," according to the documents. A source says Attorney General Jeff Sessions could outline the changes during a Monday speech to the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tenn. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said in a statement Sunday night that it is "exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible" for the administration to lift the ban and increase "police militarization" again. (Read more military equipment stories.)