Private Security Forces Roam the Streets of an American City


    "As business leaders and government officials talk openly of changing the demographics of what was one of the most culturally vibrant of America's cities, mercenaries from companies like DynCorp, Intercon, American Security Group, Blackhawk, Wackenhut and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) are fanning out to guard private businesses and homes, as well as government projects and institutions...."
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Roy Fokker
    Ok, I'll bite.

    What's wrong here?
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    ...Some patrolled the streets in SUVs with tinted windows and the Blackwater logo splashed on the back; others sped around the French Quarter in an unmarked car with no license plates. They congregated on the corner of St. James and Bourbon in front of a bar called 711, where Blackwater was establishing a makeshift headquarters. From the balcony above the bar, several Blackwater guys cleared out what had apparently been someone's apartment. They threw mattresses, clothes, shoes and other household items from the balcony to the street below....

    ...In an hourlong conversation I had with four Blackwater men, they characterized their work in New Orleans as "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals." They all carried automatic assault weapons and had guns strapped to their legs. Their flak jackets were covered with pouches for extra ammunition....

    ...One might ask, given the enormous presence in New Orleans of National Guard, US Army, US Border Patrol, local police from around the country and practically every other government agency with badges, why private security companies are needed, particularly to guard federal projects. "It strikes me...that that may not be the best use of money," said Illinois Senator Barack Obama. ...
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Hired private security from a company the states don't even have a record of shooting at people on an overpass with AR-15s and glocks with NO REPORT OF THE INCIDENT?
    Pardon me but this seems wrong. And how can people who didn't even know what country New Orleans is in recognize "black gangbangers"?
    I live in LA and can't always tell a gangbanger from a teen in baggy pants. I DO know some of the tatoos from caring for ODs and trauma victims.

    "On his second night in New Orleans, Quinn's security chief, Michael Montgomery, who said he worked for an Alabama company called Bodyguard and Tactical Security (BATS), was with a heavily armed security detail en route to pick up one of Quinn's associates and escort him through the chaotic city. Montgomery told me they came under fire from "black gangbangers" on an overpass near the poor Ninth Ward neighborhood. "At the time, I was on the phone with my business partner," he recalls. "I dropped the phone and returned fire."
    Montgomery says he and his men were armed with AR-15s and Glocks and that they unleashed a barrage of bullets in the general direction of the alleged shooters on the overpass. "After that, all I heard was moaning and screaming, and the shooting stopped. That was it. Enough said."

    Then, Montgomery says, "the Army showed up, yelling at us and thinking we were the enemy. We explained to them that we were security. I told them what had happened and they didn't even care. They just left." Five minutes later, Montgomery says, Louisiana state troopers arrived on the scene, inquired about the incident and then asked him for directions on "how they could get out of the city." Montgomery says that no one ever asked him for any details of the incident and no report was ever made. "One thing about security," Montgomery says, "is that we all coordinate with each other--one family." That co-ordination doesn't include the offices of the Secretaries of State in Louisiana and Alabama, which have no record of a BATS company."
  6. by   Mkue
    I don't know what can do about these security companies, other than just reporting on bad behavior of security guards.

    Personally I wouldn't want to be part of a security group in high crime/drug areas guarding homes and businesses, especially after New Orleans was looted and all the guns were stolen out of Walmart..who do you trust? no one. I'd be watching my back all the time, looking for snipers..etc.. on second thought they couldn't pay me enough to go there and be a security guard. I wouldn't risk my life working as a medical volunteer in a high crime disaster area either, after seeing snipers shooting at med vac helicopters and hospital evacuees and staff..

    As for the incident on the overpass I think CNN reported that the snipers shot at the police/security guards first. Evidently carrying a gun after a disaster and shooting at police and medical personnel is something we might expect from persons traumatized from the hurricane/flood.