Fox News host Steve Doocy asked, “So, why is the Obama administration pushing to take away life-saving armor” like Kevlar helmets and BearCat vehicles from the police, noting that both were used to save lives during the June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. But neither item is included on a list of prohibited police equipment President Obama created in a May 2015 executive order, which prevents the federal government from transferring certain items to local police departments and the departments from buying those items with federal dollars.
Kevlar Helmet, BearCat Used During Orlando Shooting
Boston Globe: “At Least One Life Was Saved” Due To A Kevlar Helmet. The Boston Globe reported that “At least one life was saved” in the Orlando shooting due to a Kevlar helmet, pointing to a photo released by the Orlando Police Department of a “kevlar helmet with a bullet hole and scratches on it," which the department noted had "saved the life of an officer who was at the scene at the Pulse nightclub.” From the June 12 Boston Globe article:
At least one life was saved in the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub — thanks to a sturdy helmet and some luck.
The Orlando Police Department tweeted a photo of a green kevlar helmet with a bullet hole and scratches on it, noting that it saved the life of an officer who was at the scene at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday.
“In hail of gunfire in which suspect was killed, OPD officer was hit. Kevlar helmet saved his life,” the department tweeted. [The Boston Globe, 6/12/16]
USA Today: Police “Used A BearCat Armored Rescue Vehicle” In Effort To “Minimize Loss Of Life.” According to USA Today, Orlando police “used a BearCat armored rescue vehicle” to “‘get through a club wall’” in order to “‘rescue patrons (hiding) in a bathroom’ and others still trapped inside the club in an effort to minimize loss of life.” From the June 12 USA Today report:
About three hours after the standoff began, Orlando police chief John Mina says the decision was made to storm the club and “rescue patrons (hiding) in a bathroom” and others still trapped inside the club in an effort to minimize loss of life. The police, Mina said, used a BearCat armored rescue vehicle to “get through a club wall.”
Cops also set off a “controlled detonation” around this time to distract the assailant.
After the BearCat rammed the club, the shooter opened the club's door, according to Mayor Dyer, and that's when cops took aim at the shooter.
“We exchanged gunfire with the suspect, and he was dead at the scene," Mina said, adding that the SWAT team's decision to go in saved the lives of “at least 30 possible victims.” [USA Today, 6/12/16]
Fox Host Claims That The Obama Administration Wants To “Take Away” BearCats And Kevlar Helmets From Police
Steve Doocy: “Why Is The Obama Administration Pushing To Take Away Life-Saving Armor” Like The Kevlar Helmet And The BearCat? Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, noting that the Kevlar helmet and the BearCat saved lives, asked Fox contributor Bo Dietl, “So, why is the Obama administration pushing to take away life-saving armor like this and the vehicle known as the BearCat?” Doocy was apparently referencing the items President Obama prohibited the federal government from transferring to police departments in a May 2015 executive order. Doocy noted: “And yet, it wasn't that long ago where we heard a number of people from the political left say, 'You know what, the local police departments have too much heavy artillery. We really have to take that stuff away from them.'” From the June 13 edition of Fox & Friends:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): A new debate igniting after the release of a dramatic image shows just how close one police officer came to death during the brutal shootout between police and that nightclub shooter.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Take a look at this. A bullet hit the officer’s head, but because of this Kevlar helmet we’re going to put up right there, he was able to walk away with only a minor injury to his eye. So, why is the Obama administration pushing to take away life-saving armor like this and the vehicle known as the BearCat?
The BearCat they used at one point during the siege to poke a couple of holes in the side of the building, because there was only one door in and out. And yet, and those are some of the holes right there. And yet, it wasn’t that long ago where we heard a number of people from the political left say, “You know what, the local police departments have too much heavy artillery. We really have to take that stuff away from them.” Well, if they had taken away the BearCat, a lot of those people in that building yesterday would have died as well. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/13/16]
List Of Banned Items For Police Does Not Include Kevlar Helmets Or BearCats
Guardian: “BearCat Vehicles” And “Military-Style Helmets” Are “Not On The List” Of Prohibited Equipment. According to The Guardian, “BearCat vehicles” and “military-style helmets,” such as the Kevlar helmet, are “not on the list” of items the Obama administration prohibited the federal government from transferring to police departments and departments from purchasing with federal funds in a May 2015 executive order. From a May 22 Guardian report:
The list of prohibited equipment includes seven items: tracked armored vehicles; weaponized aircraft, vessels, and vehicles of any kind; firearms of .50‐caliber or higher; ammunition of .50‐caliber or higher; grenade launchers; bayonets; and camouflage uniforms.
Not on the list are some of the most intimidating items in police arsenals: modified M-16 assault rifles, Humvees, helicopters, night-vision goggles, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs), BearCat vehicles, military-style helmets, shin guards, shields – and on. [The Guardian, 5/22/15]