No matter what we look like or where we live, we want our families to be whole and our communities vibrant. But we have repeatedly seen the people who are supposed to serve and protect us treat our communities as spaces of war. Because of racial targeting, those harmed are disproportionately Black and Brown people. The fact that many police departments acquire and deploy militarized equipment into our communities makes the problem even worse.
In response to community demands to take war gear off the streets, especially in Black and Brown communities, California passed new legislation in 2021. The law, called AB 481, gives community members and elected officials insight and power to decide on how militarized their local police should be.
AFSC acquired in-depth data from more than 300 public records requests. “Equipped for War” provides a detailed look at militarized police in California, including the military gear police have amassed and deployed. We invite you to use our data and findings, together with our advocacy toolkit, to push for transparency and demilitarization. If you would like support to reduce militarized policing in your community, please reach out to us at CAHealingJustice@afsc.org.
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- "We Demand Community Safety, Not Safety Theater," Perspectives, October 26, 2022.
- "How much military-style equipment does the SFPD really need - and for what?" 48hills, October 23, 2022
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- "City Council delays approval of LBPD's military equipment inventory, policy," Long Beach Post, July 6, 2022.
- "Bearcats, sound cannons, and 322 AR-15s: Sacramento police reveal military equipment stock," ABC10 News, June 21, 2022.
- "San Jose regulates police use of military equipment," San Jose Spotlight, June 21, 2022.
- "A Quaker Activist Group Forced the City of Orange to Reveal Police Department's Inventory," Voice of OC, May 25, 2022.
- "Chula Vista approves military gear policy; residents ask why AR-15s aren't included," San Diego Union-Tribune, May 14, 2022.
- "LBPD Equipped for War - Harnessed by Law," Beachcomber News, May 11, 2022.
- "Policy Brings Transparency to Santa Cruz PD's Military Weapon Inventory," Good Times, May 3, 2022
- "Guest Opinion: Monitor Pleasant PD's Military Equipment Use," Pleasanton Weekly, April 26, 2022.
- "City Council Moves Toward Full Compliance of 'Military Equipment' Law," Pasadena Now, April 25, 2022.
- "New Law Gives Public a Say on Police Military Equipment," Fullerton Observer, April 23, 2022.
- "Does Your Local Police Department Need a Military-Grade Armored Truck?" Voice of OC, April 13, 2022.
- "Community Organizations Call for Transparency and Demilitarization," April 11, 2022.
"Meeting the California Standard for Police Use of 'Military Equipment' Will Reach Community," Culver City Crossroads, April 15, 2022.
- "Public awareness of military equipment use now required," Hanford Sentinel, April 12, 2022.
“San Diego Police Department’s plan to increase militarization is a real cause for concern,” San Diego Union-Tribune, February 18, 2022
The 1122 Program: An Investigative Analysis, Women for Weapons Trade Transparency, January 2022.