City councilman: “Take guns away from PD, use ‘communications skills’ instead” – including for violent crimes

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The following article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

CHARLOTTE, NC- “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” That saying has been variously attributed to different figures, from Benjamin Franklin to President Abraham Lincoln.

No matter, whoever spoke those words needs to meet Charlotte city councilman Braxton Wilson, a true brain-dead fool if ever there was one.

Winston, who last year made a motion to ban the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department from purchasing chemical agents for crowd control, which was passed, was actually able to outdo his stupidity this year. Or at least he’s trying to.

And this guy looks exactly like you would expect him to…a metrosexual, dreadlock-wearing soy boy.

Winston proved once again this year that one doesn’t have to have two working brain cells in order to be elected to political office. There is one such obvious case residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. He’s getting a run for his money from this guy.

This year, Winston told a local Charlotte newspaper that he believes CMPD should be replaced by an agency without guns. He wants to replace them with people who would use “communications skills” instead of use of force.

 

A Charlotte city councilman told a local newspaper that he believes the city would be better served by replacing CMPD…

Posted by WNDU on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Fox 46 said they asked Winston if he thought police officers should carry weapons. Like a true politician, he refused to give an answer either way.

They asked if police should respond to violent 911 calls without guns. He then referred to multiple SWAT situations where they talked through it to resolve the conflict with words rather than force.

This clown clearly hasn’t done a ride-along with CMPD officers, nor does he apparently read the newspaper, where in just the past few weeks a number of police officers across the country have been ambushed at such “violent” calls. Some of those officers died from their wounds.

“So, I think if you look right now, most of those, those potentially violent situations already right now, resolve using interpersonal skills, as in talking and being present.”

Thank you Dr. Phil.

Winston believes that by police carrying weapons it actually instigates more violence.

“I do not believe that…the utilization of violence creates peaceful outcomes,” Winston said. “And I think there’s plenty of evidence in that and we need to do things differently.”

Fox 46 asked if situations escalate, if they turn violent, then what?

“I think the police, if they weren’t armed, they become a target. And once they become a target. And once they become a target, then we’ll be having other things, then we’ll be having other situations that will be having vigils for and that is absolutely, absolutely ridiculous,” said Charlotte resident Thomas Sadler.

Sadler, who is president of his neighborhood association has lived in Charlotte for 74 years. He said he liked the idea of community policing as a means to deal with stopping violence.

“The police are not bad people. We’ve got a few bad apples, but the police in general, generally good people,” he said. “They went on to that forest because they want to help, and I believe that’s the majority of them.”

While the CMPD has hired an outside consulting agency to help train officers in customer service, Winston thinks that’s a waste of money.

“That customer service approach is not necessarily my view of the types of reforms and changes that are needed for, again, the government’s role in ensuring a safe community.”

The Fraternal Order of Police disagrees with Winston, saying that any additional training is beneficial to officers and the city and is a step in the right direction.

“You don’t see the other types of interactions that police officers have, they have still good relationships with people, they still go into do all these beneficial things for our community,” a spokesman for the organization said.

Winston, who to the best of our knowledge has ZERO police training, said the city needs to start doing things differently when it comes to policing in Charlotte.

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LET Unity

Last year, Winston, in speaking to the removal of chemical munitions from the police budget said, “If you cannot figure out how to deal with human beings without the tactics of violence and fear, the human beings that make up this city will be there step by step to show you how to deal with us as sentient beings that we are.”

The city council then all held hands and sang a few verses of kumbaya, we imagine.

In response to that vote, Chris Kopp, Public Information Officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP Lodge 9 said, “It’s extremely disappointing. To already see city council take this to a vote without getting input from all sides, I think we could have come to common grounds. It sets our city back decades.”

Kopp also mentioned last year that the CMPD was already experiencing a shortage of officers, and he said without city support it would get much worse.

Here’s a little 411 for Winston.

Last August in Prince George’s County, Maryland, three officers responded to a call at 6:34 p.m. Within seconds after arriving at the scene, they were met by a hail of gunfire, injuring all three officers, who survived.

The interim police chief credited their ballistic vests with saving their lives. One officer was struck in the chest while a second officer was shot in the back. The third suffered a gunshot wound to his foot.

Last year as of July, seven police officers killed in the line of duty were ambushed. In McAllen Texas on July 11, two police officers were shot and killed when they responded to a disturbance call at a house and were met with gunfire, ABC News reported.

“The officers never had a chance to suspect a deadly assault on them,” said McAllen Chief Victor Rodriguez.

Also last year, in Bothell, Washington, Officer Jonathan Schoop became the 32nd officer shot and killed in 2020, a 28% jump over the year before. Schoop, on patrol with his field training officer pulled over a car missing the rear license plate.

The driver stopped, then sped off and eventually crashed.

As the officers pulled up on him, the suspect, Henry Eugene Washington got out of his vehicle and charged at the police SUV< firing two rounds through driver’s side window, striking Schoop and killing him.

Meanwhile just this week, 100 miles northwest of Charlotte in Boone, North Carolina, two sheriff’s deputies, responding to a welfare check call, were ambushed when they showed up. K-9 Deputy Logan Fox and Sgt. Chris ward were shot as soon as they showed up at the call. One died at the scene, the other after being flown to a Tennessee trauma center for treatment.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman told WSOC-TV, “You know, he was waiting for the officers. We had an issue with him over the weekend.”

The suspect started shooting at the two deputies as soon as they entered the home.

Perhaps Winston should do some research before making such a boneheaded statement about disarming the police. A two hour ride northwest of Charlotte might provide him with some information. Tell him to look up Sheriff Hagaman. He may be able to enlighten the ignoramus.  

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