A constable in Harris County, Texas constable said his deputies will be getting more AR-15 rifles to better protect the communities they serve amid a rise in crime in the region and the killing of a deputy last year, authorities said.
In a Sunday Facebook post, Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman placed the blame for the uptick in gun violence on the local criminal justice system.
“Harris County has become the county of little or no consequence when it comes to committing violent crimes against citizens or attacking law enforcement,” he said. “The current policies implement[ed] by some Judges has emboldened suspected criminals to go right back out and commit more crimes.”
The deputy constables assigned the rifles have been trained and certified to carry the weapons, Herman said. The weapons cost about $1,000 each in taxpayer funds.
When asked by a commenter why the weapons are necessary, Herman replied: “Our deputy Atkins was murdered with one. The criminals have them so will we.”
Pct. 4 Constable Deputy Kareem Atkins was killed in an October 2021 ambush attack while working an off-duty job. Two other deputies – 28-year-old Darryl Garrett and 26-year-old Juqaim Barthen – were wounded in the shooting.
They were all working security at the 45 Norte Bar and Lounge when they were alerted about a possible robbery. When they tried to intervene, the gunman allegedly opened fire from behind with an AR-15 rifle.
The suspect, Eddie Alberto Miller, has been charged with capital murder.
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