WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Monday to officially revoke prohibitions imposed by his predecessor on the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local police forces.
"Executive Order 13688 of January 16, 2015 (Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition), is hereby revoked," Trump's order said.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier that Trump would sign the executive order reversing former President Barack Obama's restrictions on the transfer of armored vehicles, large caliber weapons, grenade launchers and other military equipment to police forces.
The use of heavy weapons against protesters in Ferguson protests was criticized by civil rights groups and led to a public outcry over the militarization of police forces in the United States.
The Department of Defense program to provide surplus military gear to local police departments began in 1990.
The DoD program has provided more than $5.4 billion in military gear and equipment to state and local police since its inception, Sessions said.