The president made the announcement Monday from the White House during a series of meetings with his cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others. At least for now, Obama is staying away from Ferguson in the wake of a racially charged uproar over a grand jury’s decision last week not to charge the police offer who fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Obama is proposing a three-year, $263 million spending package to increase use of body-worn cameras, expand training for law enforcement and add more resources for police department reform. The package includes $75 million for the small, lapel-mounted cameras to record police on the job.
The White House has said the cameras could help bridge deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public. It also potentially could help resolve the type of disputes between police and witnesses that arose in the Ferguson shooting.
After the shooting and resulting protests in August, Obama ordered a review of federal programs that fund military gear for local police after critics questioned why police in full body armor with armored trucks responded to dispel demonstrators. Obama seemed to sympathize when announcing the review over the summer.
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