Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Civil Right to Get Shot-up by Gangsters

The MPDC tries to help out a DC neighborhood so, of course, the usual suspects oppose it:

WASHINGTON - Police in the nation's capital set up controversial vehicle checkpoints Saturday in a neighborhood reeling from gun violence, with civil liberties groups considering legal action and closely observing officers.

Police in neon yellow vests stopped motorists traveling through the main thoroughfare of Trinidad — a neighborhood near the National Arboretum in the city's northeast section. Police checked drivers' identification and turned away those who didn't have a "legitimate purpose" in the area, such as a church visit or doctor's appointment.

The checkpoints were announced after eight people were killed in the city last weekend. Most of the killings occurred in the police district that includes Trinidad. Already this year, the district has had 22 killings — one more than in all of last year.

The checkpoints have drawn harsh criticism from civil rights groups.

"Trinidad should not be treated like Baghdad," said Mark Thompson, the leader of the NAACP's local police task force.

Thompson was joined Saturday morning by about a dozen activists representing myriad groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, at the intersection where the checkpoints began in the evening. They warned of legal action if residents' constitutional rights were violated.

The NAACP should ask the residents what they want before they criticize the police for making an effort to clean up the neighborhood. The check points are an inconvenience for some, yes. But the biggest inconvenience is for gangsters and white drug customers who are coming in from the suburbs.

"It seems interesting that police are willing to easily cast aside fundamental freedoms for quick-fix, lazy law enforcement tactics," said Johnny Barnes, executive director of the ACLU for the National Capital Area. "We're going to do everything to make sure that the rights of citizens are protected."
What? A lawyer calling the police lazy? Not to disparage lawyers, but isn't that sort of like a bowler calling a football player slothful? And what's this, "It seems interesting"? Is it just me, or is that teenage dork-talk? "It's interesting to me that you think Captain Kirk could take Captain Picard in a street fight."

Obviously Johnny Barnes has some better way of fighting crime. Someone from the MPDC needs to send him an employment application.