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Pres. Obama bans certain military equipment for police

President Barack Obama is banning the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local police.

The announcement is a surprise coming nine months after police in full body armor with armored trucks dispelled last summer’s racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri. The White House suggested last year that Obama would maintain programs that provide the equipment because of their broader contribution to public safety.

But an interagency group found “substantial risk of misusing or overusing” items like tracked armored vehicles, high-powered firearms and camouflage. The task force also created new controls for a longer list of weapons and gear the federal government provides to police.

The announcements come as Obama is visiting Camden, New Jersey today, one of the country’s most violent and poorest cities.

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