KCRA TV is reporting that the Davis, California City Council voted Tuesday evening, after hearing from concerned people at the city council’s meeting, to get rid of the police department’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected military vehicle. The police department had obtained the MRAP, which is valued at nearly $700,000, for free recently from the US government.
Will Davis, California one day be seen as the beginning of a nationwide local government backlash against police militarization in the US?
With the police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri, Americans appear to be gaining an enhanced awareness of police militarization and the US government’s dumping of military equipment on local police departments. The timing of the Davis City Council vote suggests that this heightened awareness may help reverse the practice of so many local governments accepting the free weapons of war even when, as in Concord, New Hampshire last year, confronted by many vocal opponents.
What to do with the unwanted military vehicle? Maybe, like the cars at the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas, the Davis police department’s MRAP could be half buried in the ground with its exposed posterior painted in a multitude of colors. As a sculpture, it could serve as a reminder of the wrong turn the local police department had taken and the corrective action that concerned individuals were able to bring about. Maybe similar sculptures would start appearing in other villages, towns, and cities across the nation.