Baton Rouge police chief: The militarization of the police 'saved lives'

Baton Rouge police chief Carl Dabadie defended his department’s “militarised tactics” in a press conference on Monday.

An “ambush”-style attack in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday claimed the lives of three law enforcement officers and wounded three others. A SWAT team officer ended the attack by fatally shooting gunman Gavin Long on Sunday from 100 yards away.

“We’ve been questioned for the past three or four weeks about our ‘militarised tactics’ and our ‘militarised law enforcement,'” Dabadie said. “This is why. Because we are up against a force that is not playing by the rules.”

Baton Rouge police have faced criticism of their response to the death of Alton Sterling, a fatal police shooting that sparked days of protests in the city of 230,000. Pictures of officers wearing riot gear and wielding assault rifles quickly spread across social media, raising questions about their tactics.

But Dabadie said the precautions were necessary for events like Sunday’s worst-case scenario.

“We don’t ever want to use it. But we have to have the ability to use it when we needed it and we needed it here,” he said. “Our ‘militarised tactics’ as they’re being called saved lives here. That shot that our SWAT team made was a hell of a shot, but it had to made.”

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