“No equipment that has been used on the battlefield should be seen on our streets.”--Albuquerque City Councilor Lan Sena
“We also know that weapons of war are disproportionately used on people of color.”-- ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson
“Using military equipment is out of step with our values around community safety.”-- Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller
I totally agree with City Councilor Sena, ACLU Director Simonson and Mayor Keller. I only wish they would show up at the next protest and “peacefully and lovingly” tell those people in these pictures to put their guns away. These are armed protesters in Seattle and Louisville, Kentucky. Albuquerque doesn’t want their weapons of war on our streets.
But since they aren’t going to do that, Sena, Simonson and Keller should comprehend that this is what police officers in 2020 are facing. People with weapons of war that police officers must confront to keep the peace for the rest of us.
Sena, Simonson and Keller will point to the “tank” that Albuquerque has acquired from this program with the federal government as excess. Except that mine and bullet resistant vehicles save lives. Take another look at the weapons these militia members are carrying. I am sure most of them have armor piercing bullets that will shred a police car, fire truck or ambulance. That’s why an armored vehicle saves lives because it can go into an active shooting situation and safely retrieve the wounded. Don’t Sena, Simonson and Keller want wounded people to be saved?
When you hear media accounts of how violent America’s police are, as compared to the United Kingdom and other first world countries, you must recognize that in America most people have weapons of war under their beds. In those other countries these weapons are prohibited.
Of the 1,000 people who are killed yearly by American officers, the majority are armed with firearms, and many are armed with these weapons of war. Does Keller, Simonson and Sena not want our officers to be able to defend themselves? This is what happens when communities don’t provide the right equipment for officers to protect us : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1IvZFwj0M
That was 1997, North Hollywood shootout. None of the responding officers had AR-15s, they only had sidearms or old model shotguns. They had no ability to confront these two criminals. The officers had to wait for SWAT to show up. Luckily, the responding officers and citizens were only wounded and not killed while waiting for SWAT.
I don’t believe, with the decade old violent crime explosion in Albuquerque, that anyone in Albuquerque doesn’t know that this has happened here. But in case you don’t here is Christopher Chase from 2013, armed with an AK 47 (Yes Councilor Sena, this is a weapon of war).
This rampage lasted 30 minutes, went all around Albuquerque and wounded four law enforcement officers. It was finally ended by other officers who were armed with battlefield type rifles. If Sena, Simonson and Keller had their way I suppose the responding officers should have tried to deescalate the situation by tossing pansies at Chase as he drove by shooting at them.
I get it that some equipment that the federal government hands to law enforcement is not appropriate, but some of it is needed. Until we can make America a utopia of love, flowers, and ice cream shops, we must recognize that America has a love affair with guns, a lot of them military grade. These guns are in the hands of some very violent young men. If communities don’t allow their police officers to equip themselves with weapons and equipment to protect them and us, then chaos will reign.
Albuquerque, is that what we want? Better question, Albuquerque is that what we currently have?