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Durham becomes first US city to ban police training with Israeli military

Law enforcement officers, including a sniper perched atop an armored vehicle, watch as demonstrators protest the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Aug. 13, 2014.

The city council in Durham in the US state of North Carolina has banned training and exchanges between Durham's police department and the Israeli military, which some analysts have said is directly linked to police brutality in the country.

Durham's city council unanimously voted to adopt the measure on April 16, after a coalition of community organizations successfully lobbied the city to prohibit exchanges with the Israeli military, making the first US city to ever explicitly take such measure, Al Jazeera News reported on Thursday.

"The council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham,” the resolution read.

The statement Durham is committed to create safe and healthy environment of its residents and to "recognize and share the deep concern about militarization of police forces around the country.”

“We know that racial profiling and its subsequent harms to communities of color have plagued policing in our nation and in our own community,” the statement said.

Police in riot gear stand guard as protesters gather on August 19, 2015 in St. Louis.

US police have been often criticized over fatal shootings of and brutality against African Americans and other ethnic minorities, who are killed and incarcerated in disproportionate numbers.

Many African Americans have been shot dead in recent years, leading to a series of protests and court trials which have failed to check the repeat of those incidents. 

The militarization of police and use of heavy-handed tactics against protesters, especially in communities of color like Ferguson and Baltimore, have become a major concern for many in the United States.

In court trials, police officers have mostly defended their actions as a measure against the threat which they faced because the victims carried arms, but in other cases those shot dead even did not carry arms. 

Some analysts have said that police brutality in the United States is directly linked to the training of Israel, which is training the US police force with a mindset to become an occupying army. 

“As for the increase in police brutality within the United States,” American political commentator John Miranda has told Press TV, “I think this definitely can be pointed towards the Israeli training that the Department of Homeland Security is giving all of American police officers.”

“This is not a myth, this is actually happening. I know this first-hand from friends of mine that are police officers,” he stated.

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