A Militarization/Professionalism Double-Shot in D.C.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

D.C. Police Chief Kathy Lanier rehires 17 police officers previously fired for misconduct.

Then she decides the city will arm them with semiautomatic weapons.

What could possibly go wrong?

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14 Responses to “A Militarization/Professionalism Double-Shot in D.C.”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Geez! These days whenever the cops shoot a guy it usually turns out there were about 20-30 cops on the scene and they shot him about 17 times. The neighbors are pulling bullets out of their siding for the next three months. And they want to give the cops more powerful weapons?

    Of course, one must consider their point of view. AR-15s are necessary because eleven years ago and three thousand miles away, there were two bad guys with AK-47s.

  2. #2 |  JustinC | 

    Clearly the DC Police Dept is a well-oiled machine. They order 500 full-auto AR-15s then spend 2 years (and ??? dollars) converting them to semi-auto. Brilliant.

    BTW what happened to employment at will? I can fire someone five minutes or five months after they screw up. But the mighty police department (that seems practically immune to every other form of legal oversight) can’t? Next we’ll hear the police chief’s dog ate the paperwork.

  3. #3 |  Adam W. | 

    Well, the guns are WTF, but apparently she had to rehire them because of standards. Stupid, yet, but what can you do.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #2 | JustinC
    BTW what happened to employment at will? I can fire someone five minutes or five months after they screw up. But the mighty police department (that seems practically immune to every other form of legal oversight) can’t?

    It’s a catch 22. You can only get away with firing a cop if you’re clean. You can’t get into a position that high in the department if you’re clean.

  5. #5 |  SJE | 

    I suppose it will reduce controversy since, unlike the TASER, no one considers semi-automatic rifles non-lethal.

  6. #6 |  Max D. | 

    “Then she decides the city will arm them with semiautomatic weapons.”

    That’s a little misleading. They’re already armed with semiautomatic weapons—namely, their duty pistols.

    For maximum effect, you should write, “…the city will arm them with military-surplus assault rifles.” Hey, it works for the MSM.

  7. #7 |  ceanf | 

    while i do believe that officers should have access to this type of firepower because there are situations where it is necessary, there should be very specific protocols as to when they can use the guns. the statement that discretion will be left up to the officers indicates that this isn’t the case. and as we all know, the discretion of the police can be very very poor at times.

  8. #8 |  UCrawford | 

    This piece is a bit misleading. Lanier didn’t willingly hire these officers back…she was forced to hire them back by the courts because her predecessor and internal affairs (who “misinterpreted” the deadlines) screwed up the paperwork on their firings so the courts overturned them. To Lanier’s credit she stated that she wouldn’t have taken them back had the courts not ordered her to because she believes that ethics violations deserve termination. So the subject of the piece’s ire for the re-hirings should be a) Lanier’s predecessors, b) the D.C. police internal affairs department and c) the D.C. courts…not Lanier.

    As for the part about issuing cops AR-15s, Lanier’s completely in the wrong, so blast away.

  9. #9 |  Patrick | 

    Misleading……But hey, if the target is the cops it’s OK. What did Radley call it,”exaggerating for effect” if I recall correctly.

  10. #10 |  Geoff | 

    1) The issuing of higher powered riffles is unwarranted- As though the DC police have been confronted with this level of fire power or have had an inability to kill suspects. 2) That Lanier would hire these jokers back is laughable- though she claims that her hands are tied. 3) The absolute absurdity is that there is a statute of limitations for terminating an officer. A termination has to be processed within 2 months! Are you kidding me? How many lives have been destroyed due to the numerous falsified reports, egregious abuses of authority, and unwarranted acts of violence these officers have committed? Tell me what crimes we civilians can commit with a 2 month statute of limitations?

  11. #11 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #10 Geoff
    A termination has to be processed within 2 months! Are you kidding me?

    As if they were completely unaware of that rule…

  12. #12 |  Joshua Kocinski | 

    Whoa… so when the cops get AR-15’s, they’re “Semiautomatic Rifles”, but when “the bad guys” (e.g. any civilian) have them, they’re called “assault rifles”?? Not that I’m surprised, just haven’t ever seen an actual example of this before. Wow.

  13. #13 |  Atlanta Matt | 

    I would just like to point out that the 5.56/2.23 round is actually about the most anemic rifle round out there, in terms of mass/velocity, so the “high powered” label that is often applied is both misleading and inaccurate.
    Also, the small (55-70grain) round traveling at about 3000fps fragments easily, making it actually less of a danger for over penetration than a larger, slower 9mm round, or the traditional 12g buckshot.
    Personally, I believe the police should be armed at exactly the same level as the community they are serving. Cops want full autos? The locals get full autos. Citizens can’t have “assault rifles?” No “assault rifles” for the police. Make due with bolt-actions and pump shotguns like the rest of us.
    What we have in certain areas is the exact opposite. In DC, Cali, etc. you have more and more restrictions on what law-abiding people can own, while at the same time the police are citing increased threats as justification for more military hardware.

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #13 Atlanta Matt
    …Personally, I believe the police should be armed at exactly the same level as the community they are serving….

    You’re my new hero.

    One can certainly make a case that if cops face those kinds weapons in the hands of bad guys, then the citizens who live there face the same weapons and the same bad guys. Law abiding citizens shouldn’t be forced by law to be at a disadvantage against those who threaten them…

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