A Berkeley University official announced late last week that the University Police Department (PD) has cancelled its plans to acquire an "Armored Response Counter Attack Truck," due, in part, to intense media scrutiny sparked by Campus Reform.
Campus Reform reported late last month that Berkeley PD had acquired a grant through the Department of Homeland Security to purchase the eight-ton vehicle, which is often equipped with a rotating roof hatch, powered turrets, gun ports, a battering ram, and a weapon system used to remotely engage a target with lethal force.
Campus Reform's report lead to dozens of news stories in national and local media outlets and drew ire from libertarians, civil rights activists and Berkeley residents who worried the university was becoming militarized. One local blog dubbed the tank a "hippie-stomping armored vehicle"
But in a statement on Wednesday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, suggested that University officials had cancelled the order following the numerous press reports.
"The planned acquisition of the vehicle recently came to the attention of campus and city officials," wrote Birgeneau. "The administrators evaluated the proposal and concluded that such a military-style vehicle is not the best choice for a university setting. UC Berkeley officials are in the process of canceling the order for the vehicle."
University officials did not respond to Campus Reform's further inquiries on the matter in time for publication.
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