National News

Connecticut residents form armed group to defend against violent crime

todayJune 7, 2024 2

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A predominantly Black neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut, hoping to fend off violent crime, has turned to an armed group of citizens to patrol their streets by land and by air.The so-called “Self-Defense Brigade” — made up of about 40 legally armed citizens — are voluntarily patrolling the streets of Hartford’s North End wearing body cameras mostly on nights and weekends, according to the group’s founder, Cornell Lewis. CONNECTICUT TOWN REFUSES TO FLY ‘ANTAGONISTIC’ ‘THIN BLUE LINE’ FLAG TO HONOR FALLEN TROOPERWhen the armed volunteers are not on the streets, the group monitors video feeds from a dozen drones hovering over the neighborhood, and 75 home surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. “The Democratic machine in Hartford is either unwilling or unable, incapable of doing it, and people are paying their tax dollars, and they’re not really getting any kind of service,” Lewis told Fox News. “So we want the people to understand, number one, self-defense is not a dirty word.”Hartford’s Democratic Mayor Arunan Arulampalam has denounced the group over concerns they will enact vigilante justice.”Our community has seen so much pain and trauma, and what we need is for those who love this city to do the hard work of healing that pain, not walk around our streets with guns trying to take the law into their own hands,” Arulampalam said in a statement to Fox.FAST-GROWING GUN GROUP ENHANCES INSURANCE COVERAGE TO PROTECT MEMBERS AMID BLUE STATE 2A CRACK DOWNSLewis contends the brigade is not made up of vigilantes and are all trained in discipline legal security. The 40 or so volunteers in Hartford have legal permits to carry concealed weapons and the purpose is self-defense.”I’m a fourth degree black belt, and I trained everybody in hand-to-hand combat,” Lewis said.The group began patrolling the neighborhood at the behest of Archbishop Dexter Burke of the Walk in the Light Church of God. A shooting in February left two men dead near his church and he had enough.”I feel that we are really putting a dent on crime,” Burke said. “I think that we’ve exceeded 100% in terms of success.”BIDEN ADMIN SKEWERED BY GOP FOR RULE DESIGNED TO ‘INTENTIONALLY HARM’ GUN INDUSTRYBurke says having community members invested in the neighborhood patrol combats the anti-snitch culture in Black neighborhoods. As for concerns that this is nothing more than armed vigilantes, Burke points to the use of cameras.The body worn cameras and drones, he says, are meant to provide evidence of crimes to be turned over to police, but the cameras also provide protection to the volunteer members of the group.Both Burke and Lewis say they’ve heard from residents interested in the patrol services in other neighborhoods in Hartford, as well as in New Haven.But New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker reportedly says he strongly opposes the idea of armed patrols in his city. “It’s a bad idea, and it’s not welcome and there’s a number of reasons for that. We need fewer guns on our street, not more,” Elicker told WTNH News 8.But Burke says it’s working in their neighborhood and there are no plans to back down.”Praying alone will never fix it,” Burke said. “We can pray all day, but it’s just some stuff we need to do.”

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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