John Cheeks is trying to unseat progressive Phil Mendelson as D.C. Council chairman. On Thursday, I asked Mr. Cheeks, my guest on WPFW-FM, if, as chairman, he would let a lawmaker introduce legislation that would disarm police officers.
“Absolutely not,” responded Mr. Cheeks, an independent.
The beads on my brows subsided.
See, David Grosso, a freshman at-large council member, wants members of the Metropolitan Police Department to serve, but not protect. He wants to take their guns away, and he wants us to participate in a love-in of the ‘60s and ‘70s variety.
“My staff won’t let me tell you that I think we ought to get rid of guns in this city, and that police shouldn’t have guns, so I’m not going to tell you that,” Mr. Grosso said Wednesday at a council hearing at Howard University on D.C. police and public engagement.
Before I detail the rebuke from the police union, a little background on Mr. Grosso.
He worked for two Democratic lawmakers, Eleanor Holmes Norton on Capitol Hill and Sharon Ambrose in city hall.
He is a former Planned Parenthood board member, a card-carrying member of the ACLU, and a member of NARAL ProChoice America and the Sierra Club.
Mr. Grosso is one of the leading voices on decriminalizing marijuana, and sealing court records for some criminals.
If you want a sharper image of Mr. Grosso, consider the fact that he said this, too: “I think we have to re-imagine the way that we relate to one another across the board and then change MPD.”
Whatcha mean “we,” Mr. Grosso?
Tension between John Law and John Doe is a given, and “re-imagining” some fantastical new world order where we all get along ain’t gonna happen — even after “we” all start growing and toking our own weed.
Green thumbs have nothing to do with law enforcers protecting and serving the public.
The job of the Metropolitan Police Department — and police departments across our nation — is to ensure the bad guys and gals do not get the upper hand.
D.C. wasn’t nicknamed the “Wild, Wild West” for nothing, and it didn’t become the “Murder Capital” of the good ol’ USA because too few of the good guys weren’t smoking pot or munching on marijuana-laced goodies. The city earned those monickers because our leaders — more pointedly, our elected leaders — insisted on disarming the good guys.
For several years now, the nation’s capital has been moving at a pretty fast clip rebuilding itself and its image.
Homicides are down. Deliberate economic development efforts are paying off. Education reform remains as ornery as ever, but at least young people and prospective parents are considering staying in the city. Incumbent candidates are fighting for bragging rights to the thousands of new taxpayers moving into and setting up shop in the nation’s capital every year.
Yes, things are finally looking rosier. Then along comes the idiocy.
Progressives are the kings and queens of hypocrisy.
Don’t smoke tobacco, progressives say. Smoke pot instead.
Don’t use illegal heroin, they say. Sign up for a synthetic version, for free — and the needles to shoot up heroin come with it.
Don’t worry about ever breaking the law, they say. Fill out a form that will wipe the slate clean, for free.
Mr. Grosso and lawmakers who support disarming police officers must be having flashbacks from innocently being in the vicinity of second-hand reefer smoke.
The police department had a few strong and sensible words about Mr. Grosso’s line of … let’s be generous and call it “thinking.”
Delroy Burton said Mr. Grosso is “living in a fantasy world.”
“America is a gun-oriented society, so any idea of an unarmed police force is just fantasy,” said Mr. Burton, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Police would be at a total disadvantage.”
All we now need is for Police Chief Cathy Lanier, local and federal prosecutors, and the Justice Department to discredit the Grosso notion and articulate why U.S. police officers aren’t unarmed.
Unarmed police officers wouldn’t be police officers; they’d be sitting ducks.
• Deborah Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.