Where's the line between keeping people safe and a police state? In Washington DC the line just got a lot finer. They're implementing a new plan to seal off entire troubled neighborhoods and establish security checkpoints to monitor who comes and goes and why.
They're calling them "Neighborhood Safety Zones" and will require those entering the area to prove that they work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there — or they'll be sent away or face arrest. The zones are a last ditch effort to quarantine areas thought responsible for the spiraling crime rate plaguing the city.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier has been implementing out of the ordinary programs hoping to reverse the mayhem, but has had to scale back some — like plans for warrantless door-to-door searches for guns and drugs, and "All Hands on Deck" weekends aimed to bump up police presence. To see who's against the move,
Lanier says the "no go zones" have worked in other cities and she's not worried about the Constitutionality of the measure. However the President of the DC ACLU says the plan is "cockamamie" and elaborates
I think they tried this in Russia and it failed,” she said. “It’s just our experience in this city that we always end up targeting poor people and people of color, and we treat the kids coming home from choir practice the same as we treat those kids who are selling drugs.
Is this a creative way to turn around a crime-addled city — or a dangerous move that kills freedom?