In the aftermath of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Davis City Council has ordered its police department to get rid of an MRAP military vehicle within 60 days.
The $700,000 dollar vehicle was acquired for free just a few weeks ago through the U.S. military surplus program that has seen police departments across America obtain vehicles and equipment that were formerly used by the Army to occupy towns and hunt insurgents.
However, after numerous complaints and protests by residents, Davis City Council has given its police department two months to either destroy or otherwise remove from operation the mine resistant ambush vehicle.
“My understanding is that these vehicles were designed to help reduce casualties and fatalities among our military personnel in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where they were being blown up by mines and being ambushed… I don’t think these things are happening very often in Davis,” said one resident during the public forum, which was attended by a large crowd of demonstrators.
Police Chief Landry Black asserted that there was a “legitimate need” for the vehicle in order to protect officers from high powered weapons, but residents fear the MRAP will be used to quell dissent.
During riots and looting in Ferguson earlier this month, numerous concerns were expressed about how the militarization of police departments only served to escalate tensions, with numerous instances of cops pointing guns at protesters and journalists stoking controversy.