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Thu Feb 19 2015 (Updated 02/20/15)Rallies Opposing Police Militarization Become Fixture at Santa Cruz City Council Meetings
Thu Feb 19 2015 (Updated 02/20/15)Council Members Say BearCat Issue May Return to Agenda in March
February 10 marked the fourth consecutive Santa Cruz City Council meeting where residents have protested the police purchase of a $250,000 BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) funded by two Department of Homeland Security grants. As with the previous protests, community members again rallied in the City Hall courtyard and entered the council meeting as a group to speak out against the purchase of the armored attack-style vehicle during the open communications period.
During the meeting, Council Member Micah Posner and Mayor Don Lane announced that they would be bringing the BearCat issue back to the council's agenda in March. The specifics of their announcement addressed some of the subjects of interest cited by community members organizing with SCRAM! (Santa Cruz Resistance Against Militarization!), but the group's three demands remain as follows: to bring the BearCat back onto the SC City Council agenda for a full public hearing and to rescind the approval; to establish a long-term policy for grant applications and acceptance in the City that ensures timeliness, transparency, full public disclosure and input; and to help develop and implement policies that prevent military equipment from flowing into law enforcement agencies throughout Santa Cruz County.
Community members continue to ask that individuals sign the petition to "Give Back the BearCat," and on Tuesday, February 24, they plan to again speak out at the city council meeting and hold another rally at City Hall at 4:30pm.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Local Activists Continue to Press the Issue on the BearCat and Militarization
Previous Coverage: Activists Say Santa Cruz Police Lied to Secure $250,000 Armored Vehicle Purchase || Santa Cruz Residents Continue to Call for Police to "Give Back the BearCat" || Protesters Shut Down City Council Meeting after Purchase of Armored Vehicle Approved
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