The NAACP has joined a growing chorus of Los Angeles-area community members who have denounced a new policy that will allow Compton Unified School Police officers to carry semiautomatic AR-15 rifles while on patrol, reports the Los Angeles Times. The policy, approved by the Compton school board in July, allows officers who are specially trained to buy and carry the rifles while on duty.
“Compton schools are not located in Beirut, Gaza, or Kabul,” said Compton NAACP President Paulette Simpson-Gipson. The district, which refused to grant interviews with either Supt. Darin Brawley or School Police Chief William Wu, instead released a statement attributed to Wu. “The safety of Compton school students, faculty and staff is our prime concern,” the statement said. “These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses.” The rifles will be kept in the trunk of patrol cars until needed, the district said.