BLM victory: US city becomes first to ban brutal Israeli military training of police forces

BLM victory: US city becomes first to ban brutal Israeli military training of police forces
In a win for the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the US, a city in North Carolina has banned the training of its forces by Israel's military.
3 min read
09 June, 2020
Like Israel's IDF, US police have been filmed using excessive, deadly force [Getty]
A US city in North Carolina has banned the training of its police force by Israel's military in the aftermath of the brutal killing of Black American, George Floyd, at the hands of police.

Durham council voted unanimously 6-0 to adopt the ban, after a petition by activists garnered more than 1,400 signatures amid days of global protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the killing of Floyd.

The council said the ban extends to any country that offers military-style training to its police force.

"The Israel Defence Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of colour," the Demilitarize! From Durham2Palestine petition said.

"They persist in using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling and repression of social justice," it added.

"These tactics further militarise US police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorise black and brown communities here in the US," the petition said.

The move makes Durham the first city to ban the training of its force by Israeli police and military.

However, more could follow as authorities across the US take drastic action to address anti-Black racism and police brutality amid some of the country’s largest ever protests.

On Sunday, a majority of council members in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, have voted to abolish the city's police department, less than two weeks after the killing of the unarmed Black man in police custody.

"A veto-proof majority of the MPLS City Council just publicly agreed that the Minneapolis Police Department is not reformable and that we're going to end the current policing system," council member Alondra Cano said in a tweet on Sunday.

Floyd died after Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder; three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

"We recognise that we don't have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does," nine Minneapolis council members said in a statement on Sunday.

Previous efforts to reform the police department had proven it could not be reformer or held accountable, the statement said.

"We're committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you," it added.

The council's commitment to disbanding the police department came a day after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told a crowd of protesters he did not support defunding the police.

Demonstators booed the mayor in response, telling him to "go home" with cries of "shame, shame".

It is unclear what would replace policing but activists in the Black Lives Matter movement have suggested alternatives such as dispatching social workers and mental health professionals in certain situations.

Read also: Israeli police killing of Palestinian man with autism draws parallel with killing of George Floyd

Organisers also advocate for the reallocation of funds to youth and social services in black and ethnic minority communities.

Advocates of police reform rather than abolition argue that the law enforcement body must remain in some form in order to tackle issues such as domestic violence.

The promise to disband the Minneapolis Police Department marked the second major victory for protesters calling for justice for George Floyd.

In response to the nationwide demonstrations, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison last week increased the severity of charges against police officer Derek Chauvin and charged another three officers in relation the killing.

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