Police in Compton, Calif., schools will be allowed to carry AR-15 rifles, thanks to a new school board policy, KPCC radio reported on Tuesday. School started on Monday, and the local police chief said that the AR-15 rifles are necessary in case of a school shooting. They’re more accurate than handguns and could hit a shooter wearing body armor.
Many in the community are understandably anxious about school police having such powerful weapons at their disposal.
"The school police has been very notorious in the community and in reality has never had to shoot anyone before," Francisco Orozco, a recent Dominguez High School graduate, told KPCC. "So this escalation of weapons we feel is very unnecessary."
Compton Unified School District police have been accused of racial profiling and using excessive force against students in lawsuits.
That doesn't matter to some gun advocates.
"If there's an issue with Compton and how Unified school police are engaging with the community, that should not affect their availability to tools that can save kids," Joe Grubbs, president of the California Association of School Resource Officers, told KPCC.
Officers will have to apply to carry the gun, must be trained, and must pay for it themselves, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
In other news…
Hostage Rescue Mission Failed: There was a secret raid earlier this summer to rescue journalist James Foley and other hostages being held in Syria, a U.S. administration official told The New York Times. A video released Tuesday shows Foley being beheaded by an Islamic State fighter. ISIS had demanded a ransom from the United States and is threatening to kill three other hostages. (via The New York Times)
Attorney General in Ferguson: Eric Holder went to Ferguson, Mo., yesterday and talked about his own experiences with racial profiling by police. Holder said that when police arbitrarily stopped him on his way to the movies, “I wasn't a kid. I was a federal prosecutor. I worked at the United States Department of Justice.” Protests in Ferguson were quieter last night. Only six people were arrested. (via ABC News)
Done Talking: After peace negotiations in Cairo fell apart, Israeli strikes killed three Hamas commanders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Hamas to the Islamic State and said this would be a “continuous campaign.” More than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began on July 9. (via The Guardian)
Yogi Dies: BKS Iyengar, an Indian yogi who popularized yoga in the West, has died at the age of 95. When he was 90 he could do a headstand without shaking. (via the Los Angeles Times)
American Survives Ebola: One of the two U.S. aid workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia will be discharged from an Atlanta hospital today. Dr. Kent Brantly worked with a Christian ministry in Liberia. (via NBC News)
Marriage Mess in Va.: The Supreme Court has blocked a federal appeals court ruling that would have allowed same-sex marriages in Virginia starting today. The Supreme Court put a hold on the marriages until it can rule on whether gay marriage is constitutional in Virginia. The state of Virginia has asked the Supreme Court to end the ban on same-sex marriage and to rule as quickly as possible. (via NPR)
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