Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested late Sunday that President Barack Obama was “profiling” by pointing out that Muslim Americans have had distinguished athletic careers during his speech about combatting terrorism and Islamophobia in the US.

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The first images of Wednesday’s mass shootings in San Bernardino, California showed uniformed law enforcement officers pulling up to the Inland Regional Center in fleets of Bearcats. Police and special agents helped guide victims fleeing the scene of the massacre as emergency medical technicians provided care to the wounded in the parking lot.

The fast and effective response to the shootings saved many lives, though suspects Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik managed to kill 14 and injure 21 before emergency personnel arrived on the scene. The use of military equipment and tactics was critical in this case: a rampage by two heavily armed individuals who, as San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Berguan said, “came prepared to do what they did.”

Within hours, police officers, columnists and cable news pundits began pointing to the San Bernardino shooting as proof of why local law enforcement agencies require military gear and training. They argued that depriving law enforcement of equipment like armored personnel carriers in the post-Ferguson era endangers the lives of officers and civilians alike.

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Ben Carson pointed to the San Bernardino shootings as proof that there are gaps in the U.S. immigration system during a Friday conference in Arizona. According to the Washington Post, the Republican presidential candidate said that shooter Tashfeen Malik’s easy passage through the U.S. visa vetting process should be the “end of the argument” for accepting refugees from Syria.

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