SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A San Francisco Bay Area police department is getting rid of an armored vehicle it received from a federal military surplus program, saying the vehicle could endanger trust with the community.
The move by police in San Jose follows criticism of the the use of armored vehicles by police responding to protesters angry about the shooting of a teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
San Jose police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol says the department was discussing giving up the mine-resistant, ambush-protected troop transport vehicle even before the scrutiny brought on by the unrest in Ferguson.
She tells the San Jose Mercury News while the vehicle is a useful tool, it could be viewed as militarizing the police.
Some police officials, however, defend the vehicles, saying they are intended to keep officers safe.
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