Posted on February 16,
Richmond Mayor Responds to Church
RICHMOND, Calif. (KCBS) -- The mayor of Richmond
has given an unequivocal thumbs down to a proposal to set up
checkpoints in town to randomly search cars for drugs and weapons.
As authorities mull over a new theory that Sunday's church
shooting was the result of a crosstown gang rivalry, city councilman
Nathaniel Bates is proposing using random checkpoints to get
criminals off the streets.
"You look inside, you search the car and there's a weapon," Bates
said. "Hey, there's another gun off the street."
here for the radio broadcast of this report.
Bates said they did this in the past and it helped bring some
peace to the violent neighborhoods of Richmond.
But Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said that proposal is
"The use of checkpoints is only permitted for traffic safety
purposes. The U.S. and California Supreme Courts have specifically
disallowed checkpoints to check for guns, other weapons or
drugs," McLaughlin said.
Mayor McLaughlin said she understands the frustration of people
in Richmond, who are more than fed up with brazen criminals
who think nothing of entering a church during services, and
shooting the place up.
But, she said violating civil rights isn't going to solve
Councilman Bates said he's more concerned with law-abiding
citizens' rights to safety.
"I'm not about to start protecting the criminal activity," Bates
said. "My responsibility is to try to protect the people who
are law-abiding and keep them out of harm."