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Activists Say Santa Cruz Police Lied to Secure Armored Vehicle Purchase
by Alex Darocy
On January 27, community members held a press conference at Santa Cruz City Hall to reveal information which has added to their belief that police essentially lied in December when seeking the city council's approval to purchase a BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) they claim will be used county-wide as an "emergency" vehicle. The purchase of the BearCat, which will be paid for with $250,000 in Homeland Security Department grants, has been widely protested in Santa Cruz by those opposed to the militarization of police. The Santa Cruz Police Department has claimed the nearest vehicle that is equipped similarly to the BearCat they want is located in Santa Clara County and would take 3-4 hours to arrive during an emergency, however activists with the organization SCRAM! (Santa Cruz Resistance Against Militarization!) announced they have found that at least two local law enforcement agencies currently possess armored vehicles. The County of Santa Cruz owns two armored vehicles, they say, and the City of Scotts Valley owns one. [Top video: Journalist John Malkin speaks at the January 27 BearCat press conference. Scroll down for photos.]

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