Burlington, VT City Councilwoman Advocates Unarmed Police
Burlington, Vermont city council woman Perri Freeman is mulling the idea of disarming police. She believes that police officers carrying guns escalates violence, and the need for them is “rare.”
“How much is the lethal force — is it really causing at the end of the day, more harm than benefit? …It actually escalates the violence in our communities. It doesn’t encourage people to be less violent.” Perri FreemanBlue Lives Matter
She referred to her recent visit to Iceland as a reason to float the idea to disarm police, since Icelandic officers do not carry guns. But they do have access to special teams of armed officers. There are only about 5 nations in the world that do not arm their officers with guns, but all of them have access to special units that are armed (UK, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Ireland). And all of them have a much smaller population than the United States.
She did say that sometimes police need their firearms, but that it is rare.
The US isn’t Iceland. She is comparing apples to oranges. Iceland’s entire population was 338,349 in 2017. The US population was 325.7 MILLION in 2017. Burlington’s 2017 population was 42,239, and their violent crime has been trending down since 2015. So violence in her city is going down so she wants police disarmed?
Freeman stated that she wasn’t trying to “offend” police officers or their work. She just wanted a new approach to criminals. You know, the ‘kinder, gentler’ approach that would keep her ‘constituents safe.’
According to NBC5, “She hopes to change the culture of policing, calling current practices a reaction to systemic problems like inequality.”
There it is, the ‘inequality’ argument. Progressives seem to be oblivious to the fact that there are a huge amounts of police officers from every ethnic background: Black, Hispanic, Asian, as well as White. Opportunities for everyone abound. Just like there are criminals of every color and background – they have ‘opportunities’ too.
It’s not “inequality” that drives criminals or violence, it’s greed, power, hate, wrong beliefs, and sometimes mental illness, among others. While there are economic factors in some cases, a lot of the concern about violence by police is driven by the media and the local culture’s portrayal of law enforcement.
The Burlington Police Union had this to say about her idea:
“There are a lot of guns around, and we as the police try to put ourselves in the position of advantage all the time, and to show up to an armed incident unarmed? I can’t think of anything more disadvantaged than that.” Dan Gilligan, President of Burlington Police Association
Featured photo: Screenshot of Councilwoman Perry Freeman via NBC5