Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2022. 7:29 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: While no public declaration has been made, Commissioner of Police (ComPol) Chester Williams confirmed to LOVE FM on Saturday that members of multiple gangs have been detained under a State of Emergency that took effect Saturday morning.
Notably, earlier this week the Commissioner said that “at that time” no State of Emergency was being contemplated following the triple shooting on Lacroix Boulevard, for which retaliation was taken in the murder of Darren Banks and shooting of Kenrick Walton.
He said then that efforts were being made to progress toward peace through mediation and intervention, but on Saturday the ComPol said the gang element have not been upholding their end of the bargain: “Seemingly they go to mediation and pledge to hold the peace, and as soon as mediation is over and they are released they go back to doing the same thing that they were doing before the mediation.” There was no other choice, he continued, if the peace in the area was to be restored.
Since Saturday morning, officers have been rounding up gang members of the BLC (Backa Lands Crips) and the PIV (Peace in the Village) Bloods. The officers have so far detained a total of 56 men and are searching for 24 more. Under the SOE the men will be imprisoned for 30 days, subject to an increase of up to a year.
Williams told LOVE FM that this is more in the nature of a “cooling-off” period and that the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) will continue to work with both groups as well as their associates but that the entire community “cannot be held hostage” by these groups.
The Department’s Public Relations Unit posted its own warning, reminding that “Crime prevention is everybody’s business” and that the church, business community, community activists, and community members all have their roles to play.
It added a quote from American columnist H.L. Mencken “The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander of the poor,” adding, “Crime is never the answer. We call on everyone to stand up against crime and violence.”
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