Criminal Justice

ICYMI: CKI Vice President of Policy Will Ruger on police reform

June 16, 2020

Charles Koch Institute Vice President of Policy Will Ruger recently discussed the federal government’s 1033 program with Washington Post reporter James Hohmann. The program allows the military to provide bayonets, grenade launchers, .50-caliber ammunition, and other equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

Ruger told Hohman:

“The 1033 program improperly treats communities like combat zones, rather than our shared neighborhoods, while inducing fear and suspicion between the public and the police. We certainly want police officers to have the gear they need to keep themselves and us safe from violent criminals, but do the police officers in our cities and towns really need bayonets, grenade launchers … and camouflage uniforms?”

Ruger noted police reforms must go beyond ending the 1033 program and must include transforming police culture to improve transparency and accountability by addressing training, tactics, and police union contracts; reforming civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity, and eliminating unnecessary criminalization.

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