Civil Liberties

City Council Tells Cops To 'Tank the Tank' In Davis, California



More of this, please! In Davis, California, the city council has given local police 60 days to kindly dispose of the military vehicle* it was gifted from the federal government. According to CBS Sacramento, the Davis City Council acted Tuesday under pressure from residents who had been circulating a petition against the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle and demanding the local police department "tank the tank", as one protestor's shirt read.

From CBS: 

The vehicle, worth nearly $700,000 didn't cost the Davis Police Department a dime, as it was acquired through a federal government surplus program. The MRAP was developed by the military for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After Pentagon budget cuts, the vehicle has been making its way to local law enforcement.

Davis Police Chief Landry Black made the department's case for the acquisition, showing high-power weapons his officers have confiscated this year.

A big concern for protesters is the vehicle could be used to quash peaceful protests and demonstrations, especially in light of clashes between heavily-armored police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

And here's the money quote of the story, for it's perfect cop-ness: 

"We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time," Black said. 

You hear that? It's all soccer practices and yard sales until … what? What could possibly require the police in Davis, California—population 65,622—to possess their own army-grade MRAP? I'm glad the residents of Davis don't seem too convinced of its necessity, either. 

For more on military gear the Department of Defense is giving to small-town cops—along with bouncy castles and French horns—see this post from Reason Foundation's Lauren Galik. 

* I originally referred to this as a tank, which I've been informed (thanks, commenters!) is not at all correct.