WHY IS AN ARKANSAS CITY DEPLOYING POLICE WITH AR-15S TO DEMAND CITIZENS SHOW I.D. ON THE STREETS?

by Liz Klimas, The Blaze  |  published on December 19, 2012

Arkansas

The little more than 26,000 citizens in an eastern Arkansas town could soon see city police patrolling the streets with assault rifles and asking them to show identification and answer questions as to why they’re out and about.

The martial law recommended by the mayor and police chief of Paragould, in response to recent property-related and violent crimes, has begun seeing some backlash from those believing it infringes upon their civil rights.

According to the Paragould Daily Press, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall said in a town hall meeting last week that the initiative to battle street crime would begin in 2013:

“[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.

“We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

“They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.”

The Daily Press reported Stovall saying that the crime statistics in the city were high enough to justify such action by law enforcement. It noted that an attorney was not consulted by the mayor or police chief before the street crimes unit plan was proposed.

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