Demilitarize Our Neighborhoods by Ending 1033 - Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter Foundation

Demilitarize Our Neighborhoods by Ending 1033

April 30th marks President Biden’s 100th day as president—and we’ve got a major demand for him before that deadline: demilitarize our neighborhoods and end 1033.

Here’s what you need to know: 

The Law Enforcement Support Office, also known as the 1033 Program, allows the transfer of surplus military-grade equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country—including to those on school campuses.

Over $7 billion have been given to law enforcement agencies since the creation of the 1033 Program under the Clinton administration. Disappointingly, the flow of military equipment to police under the 1033 Program has accelerated under the Biden administration—and, based on recent reporting, police might receive even more military equipment under the Biden administration than they did with the Trump administration.

Even as we attempt to grapple with the Derek Chauvin trial, anxiously awaiting a verdict—killings by police have continued across the country. Our screens continue to be filled with state-sanctioned violence against Black people. And when we peacefully protest in the name of Black lives, we’re met with violence from the police. 

No responsible leader should be increasing the weapons police have access to—and if President Biden cares about the countless Black folks who showed up to put him in office, he would recognize that. If we want President Biden to take swift action before his 100th day in office (just 10 days from now), then we need many voices to speak out right away.

We called on the Biden administration to end the 1033 Program altogether. 

Through an online petition, we sent messages directly to the White House and let them know, we demand they #End1033 by the time President Biden reaches his 100th day in office.

It’s no secret that the abundance of police violence against Black people has a direct correlation to the 1033 Program. Just take a look at this chart from a 2017 study in the journal Research & Politics:

(Graph is from Militarization and police violence: The case of the 1033 Program by Casey Delehanty, Jack Mewhirter, Ryan Welch, Jason Wilks, licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions 4.0 International License. We have modified the axis titles to provide greater context, from “Expected Number of Civilian Deaths” to “Number of Civilian Deaths” and “Logged Expenditures” to “Law Enforcement Expenditure on Military Equipment.”)

This chart shows that as law enforcement spending on military equipment goes up, so do the number of civilian deaths.

Let’s make things abundantly clear: military-style weapons and equipment have no place in our streets. They have no place in our communities and have no place in our schools or on our campuses. They especially have no place in the hands of police—violent upholders of white supremacy who have no regard for Black life.

If we don’t speak out, the only voices President Biden and his team will hear are those of the police—which guarantees more weapons will flow to their departments.

With the stroke of a pen, President Biden can put an end to the dangerous practice of enabling and upholding white supremacy through the 1033 Program. Tell President Biden to demilitarize our neighborhoods and end the 1033 Program NOW! He’s got 10 days, the clock is ticking on justice.