Thursday, May 22, 2008
CHICAGO (CBS) ― " One answer to curbing Chicago's gun violence, according to police, is putting officers on the streets dressed in full battle gear and traveling in vehicles normally used in hostage and barricade situations.
"I think it acts as deterrent," Chicago Police Dept. Supt. Jody Weis said. "The first thought is that it's SWAT and they've backed off. I think the deterrent factor is important."
In addition to the battle dress, police will soon add high powered semi-assault weapons to their arsenal. Weis says it's in reaction to a shooting last month where police encountered a man with an AK-47.
"They were outgunned. I don't want officers going up against an AK-47 with a Smith and Wesson," Weis said. "They would lose every time."
But in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, the idea of police with assault weapons is a concern.
"If they're going to carry assault rifles like that that's just going to be an all out war with citizens criminals because they're going to defend themselves," said area resident Kevine Green.
Pat Hill, a former police officer and the president of the African American Police League, questions the message police are sending to the black and Hispanic communities where the battle-ready officers are expected to be deployed.
"This is the stuff you use in war," Hill said. "This is what you use in Iraq and Afghanistan. So are they telling the community now that they've declared us as the enemy?"
"We're not viewing black and brown communities as war zone," Weis said.
Weis argues that the weapons will only be used when needed.
"I hope they never have to use it, but if they do it'll be to save their own life or another innocent individuals," he said.
"If it's going to help our community and make it better for our kids to play then I think it's a great idea," said South Shore resident Latoya Beamon.
There is no date yet on when the police will get their new weapons.
Rev. Jesse Jackson is holding a news conference Saturday, at which he is expected to have strong criticism for the high-powered rifle plan."
This is true. The Reverend Jackson wants superior weaponry to be banned from all but the criminal element. Not that an AR-15 is a superior manstopper, mind you, but it looks like one so that's that.
And I happen to agree with Superintendent Jody. Will wonders never cease, huh? Certainly no one in their right mind would use a late model S&W revolver as a defensive weapon, as they have been known to lock up when their Hillary-Holes go belly-up. And the relatively new S&W M&P bottomfeeders haven't been in service long enough with well trained shooters, or police even, to determine if they are suitable for real-world use.
But, as the French say, the Pieces de Resistance is the coining of a new gun-grabber term: SEMI-ASSAULT-WEAPON. This leads me to believe...if I'm reading the story correctly...that the cops will be using semi-auto AR's...let's call 'em ASSAULT-WEAPON-LIGHT... while wearing their battle dresses. Can Le Badge Au Folles be far behind...