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Posts tagged The Arizona Republic

No, seriously, I could swear the water in this pot is getting a little hotter… (#7)

Here's a cover with a photo of a cop in an ordinary blue duty uniform looking through the site of a huge assault rifle, pointed at a target off-camera.

Posturing macho warrior cops in Chicago, Miami, Palm Beach County, Montana, Johnson City, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. are all now starting to carry are all now starting to carry AR-15 or M4 assault rifles with them on ordinary street patrols, for all those tactical situations that they expect to find themselves in when they’re out there peace-making.

Now, in Phoenix, the police department is ordering more semiautomatic AR-15 rifles for patrol cops to tote on the streets. The goal is to make sure that there will be at least 3 cops carrying an AR-15 in every patrol squad.

More patrol officers on Phoenix streets will soon be carrying semi-automatic rifles, a move that officials say will provide a better match for criminals and more accurate tool in high-risk encounters.

… Phoenix council members on Wednesday approved a request for the police department to purchase 60 Bushmaster .223-caliber rifles from Clyde Armory at a cost of $44,813.28. Officials anticipate having the order fulfilled in time for the first set of 20 officers to train with the rifles in early November.

There are currently 60 rifles assigned to patrol officers. Once the additional 60 are implemented, each squad will have access to a rifle. The eventual goal is to have three per squad, said Sgt. Andy Hill, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Special units have used the high-powered gun for years, and some patrol officers have been carrying them since 1999.

— Lindsey Collom, The Arizona Republic (2008-10-02): Police Department to get more rifles

Meanwhile, cop press outlets like POLICE: The Law Enforcement Magazine continually run stories proclaiming that there aren’t enough cops swarming the city streets, and print demonstrably false claims about violent crime rates–for example:

Consider the widespread belief that violent crime rates are dropping in America. This stanza of the sociologists' catechism is backed up by the statistic that the murder rate is declining. . . . But as recently pointed out by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman in his keynote speeches at TREXPO West, we actually live in the most criminally violent period in American history. The murder rate is down, not because Americans have stopped trying to kill each other but because emergency medicine has advanced far enough to keep the victims of deadly assaults alive when just years before they would have died.

The claim about violent crime rates is demonstrably false; the attempt to explain away declining murder rates is pure bullshit. If you check the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports data from 1992 to 2007, you’ll find that total violent crime rates per 100,000 have fallen every single year for the past 15 years, except for small upticks in 2005 and 2006. (Small enough that the rate never even reached where it had been in 2003.) Absolute numbers of violent crimes reported decreased every year except for 2001, 2005, and 2006, in spite of continuous increases in total population. The total numbers include not only murder, but also robbery, rape, and all forms of aggravated assault, with attempted murders being counted under the aggravated assault category, so advances in ER procedures and technology make no difference at all. And you see roughly the same trends when you break the figures down by each category. In other words, this is a complete lie which could have been proven false by spending a couple minutes perusing easily-read tables on the FBI’s own website. The interesting question, then, is what kind of purpose it serves for heavily-armed government cops — who are stocking up on assault rifles and tanks, cordoning off whole neighborhoods, training themselves in warrior mindset, and calling for a surge by inner-city police forces explicitly modeled on the military occupation of Iraq and funded by Department of Homeland Security — for these cops, I say, to go around trying very hard to convince each other, in spite of the evidence of their senses, that we actually live in the most criminally violent period in American history.

Do you feel safer now?

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