DAVIS (CBS13) — The Davis City Council has told the police department it must get rid of a military vehicle it received in the next 60 days.
The controversy over the mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle attracted a large crowd on Tuesday that was largely against it.
The council adopted the resolution to come up with a plan to get rid of the vehicle. A petition is circulating asking the council to press the police to either get rid of or destroy the vehicle.
“I would like to say I do not suggest you take this vehicle and send it out of Davis, I demand it. I demand it!” shouted a man dressed in a “Tank The Tank” T-shirt.
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.
Some suggested other uses for it .
“Since you can’t give it back it should be repurposed for for you can put a water cannon on it,” one person suggested.
The chief promised specific guidelines for its use, and said like many police forces who now have the armored vehicles, it’s a necessary piece of safety equipment.
“We enjoy a certain quality of life but none the less the real world intrudes upon us from time to time,” Black said.
The military has essentially handed down equipment to law enforcement for years. That’s how the Sacramento Police Department received its two helicopters, and Vallejo Police received their own military vehicle—complete with bulletproof tires.