Compton school board member calls for reversal on assault weapon policy

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One member of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees is calling for the board to rescind its recent policy change to allow some school police to carry AR-15 rifles in their patrol cars.

Mae Thomas issued a statement Thursday calling on fellow board members to hold up implementation of the policy "until we have received the sentiments of the community at large."

The statement comes after a flurry of media attention on the policy change and calls from the NAACP of Compton to shelve the idea.

"Compton already has a negative image," said Compton NAACP President Paulette Gipson. "We do not want to send the same image that we are so afraid of our children and that they're so violent, that this is a requirement." 

But Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu, who requested the policy, said the purpose of the assault weapons would be safety. He said his officers are ill-equipped to deal with a school shooter or terrorist wearing body armor. 

"These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses," Wu said in a statement Thursday. "The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars, unless they are needed. It should also be pointed out that many other community and school law enforcement departments already have these weapons."

Gipson said the policy can't be implemented until the board passes additional regulations surrounding the policy.

The board's expected to discuss the issue at their meeting next month. 

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