L.A. Police Have History of Seizing Fake ‘Rocket Launchers’
Warner Todd Huston | January 13, 2013
Earlier we reported that the Los Angeles Police Department made a big show of having found “rocket launchers” during it most recent gun buyback program. We pointed out that the so-called launchers were being misreported and the police were illicitly using them as a scare tactic. But now we find that this same Police Chief has done this before.
On December 27 L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck displayed a pair of what he claimed were “weapons of war” turned in during his latest gun buyback program. Chief Beck told the media that a pair of “rocket launchers” turned up and he evidently wanted to scare his city and make waves in the media about his success in getting these “weapons of death” off the streets of L.A.
Of course, the “rocket launchers” Chief Beck showed the Old Media establishment were nothing of the kind. Instead, what Beck waved about during the December press conference were U.S. Army training devices that were dummy devices. They are essentially prop pieces made to show young soldiers what such anti-tank weapons look like and how they feel. These training devices have never been able to fire anything nor could they be made to do so.
After the press conference, the Old Media establishment dutifully posted stories with scary headlines such as the L.A. Times’ piece, “LAPD investigating rocket launchers taken at gun buyback.”
Dozens of other Old Media outlets followed suit with scary headlines and many followed up with false stories, misreporting, and downright scaremongering.
But upon looking into this story further, it appears that Chief Beck has played this misleading game at least once before and with the exact same device.
Back in May, Beck again paraded before the media with a “rocket launcher” he claimed his department had received during a gun buyback program. That piece, too, was clearly marked “trainer” and was incapable of ever firing any rockets.
All this raises many questions. Did the police really ever get any such devices in its gun buyback programs? Is this just a repeat tactic that Chief Beck is using to scare the public and make it seem as if his program is working? Does the Chief and his department understand at all that the devices he keeps claiming are “rocket launchers” are really nothing but harmless plastic tubes? Why do these “rocket launchers” keep showing up in L.A. buyback programs but not anywhere else in the country? Finally, why hasn’t the media called Chief Beck on his repeated fake rocket launcher claim.
Many questions abound about these faux “rocket launchers” that seem to turn up every few months in Chief Beck’s gun buyback programs.
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