Charlotte, NC – A Charlotte City Councilman, Braxton Winston, recently told local media outlet Fox46 that the city would be better served if an unarmed agency replaced the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He stated that the agency could use their “communications skills” instead of force. Winston is an anti-police activist.
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…I do not believe that…the utilization of violence creates peaceful outcomes. And I think there’s plenty of evidence in that and we need to do things differently.Braxton Winston, Charlotte City Council
Violent situations can sometimes “use interpersonal skills” for de-escalation. But by no means can it always be used. When the Charlotte city councilman was asked whether police should ever need to use their guns if a situation escalates, the councilman did not answer yes or no. An outside agency has been hired by the city to train officers in “customer service.” But Winston disagreed that more training for police officers would be beneficial. In fact, he believes it’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.Braxton Winston
Even local residents, one of whom has been in Charlotte for 74 years, believes that unarmed officers “become a target.”
I think the police, if they weren’t armed, they become a target. And once they become a target, then we’ll be having other situations that will be having vigils for and that is absolutely, absolutely ridiculous.Thomas Sadler, local resident and president of his neighborhood association
Other law enforcement groups and a former Chief of Police strongly disagree with Mr. Winston.
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.Excerpt: Fraternal Order of Police
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.Former Chief of Police at Law Enforcement Today.
The argument for unarmed police, or unarmed civilians has been made before, but it’s a tremendously dangerous idea. Yes, some police that have the “gift of gab” can talk down a situation. But if they cannot, they can end up dead. Sometimes situations happen so fast that there is no time for psychological evaluations of the perpetrators. Some of the cities that have disarmed their police or defunded them re about to find out just how dangerous dealing with crime really is.
Featured photo: Screenshot of Braxton Winston
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