President Obama announces $283 million federal response to Ferguson

by Staff, |
President Barack Obama is shown in this file photo. | (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- President Obama announced a $263 million, three-year, federal response to Fergurson, with an estimated $75 million going to match state funding by 50 percent to buy 50,000 body cameras for police. The rest of the money would be directed towards peace officer training and community outreach. Congress must approve his proposal.

In coming months the president will draft an executive order creating a task force that will examine "how to promote effective crime reduction while building public trust," a White House official told The Hill. Task force leaders will include Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson.

The announcement comes in the aftermath of riots and violence spurred by the Ferguson, Mo. shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man on Aug. 9, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. Obama also ordered a review of programs that permit local police to obtain military equipment and found "a lack of consistency in how federal programs are structured, implemented and audited."

Although White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that military equipment in the hands of police officers many times serves "a very useful purpose" like in the Boston marathon bombings, he also said further oversight is needed.

New regulations be instituted in the next four months, according to The Hill. The government will require police departments to create lists of the equipment they need, allow civilian review of the lists, and make sure officers receive proper training to use the equipment. The rules will require police departments to submit after-action reports when such equipment is used.