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Morning Spew

Don’t Worry: The Soldiers In the Subway Won’t Have Long Guns (Except For the Other Soldiers Who Also Keep You Safe)

Feel safe yet?

A lone Citi Bike in the subway.

(Hell Gate)

Governor Kathy Hochul doesn't want you to get the wrong idea about the 750 members of the National Guard she sent into the subway system last week to help check bags. After Hochul made the announcement to deploy military personnel across our transit system, the governor directed the National Guard members to leave their long guns at home.

A spokesperson for Hochul told several media outlets that the change happened "immediately" after Wednesday's bag check announcement, but didn't provide any other context about the decision. 

So thanks to the governor, New Yorkers who encounter these new bag checks on the subway will feel safe—but not scared!—by members of the military who are not carrying massive firearms.

Except, of course, if New Yorkers see members of the National Guard who are attached to the Joint Task Force Empire Shield, our continuous post-9/11 military presence (which has an incredible font on their official state government page). Those soldiers are still patrolling the subway, and still carrying M4 rifles, and standing…within walking distance of the unarmed bag-checkers. But they're different! "We’re with Empire Shield, but we’re supporting the bag checking," one of the armed National Guard members told the Daily News.

If you watched the governor's bag check announcement with trepidation that it represented an unnecessary escalation, well, the NYPD shares those concerns, mostly because they want to keep rolling back bail reforms. "Our transit system is not a 'war' zone!" NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell tweeted.

Not to be outdone by the governor's show of force, the NYPD invited an amNY reporter to join them on their own subway patrol, which featured classic tactics: A half-dozen guys earning six-figure, taxpayer-funded salaries hiding behind a subway emergency gate to catch people jumping the turnstile.

The story also featured lots of photos of NYPD officers in hoodies stopping subway riders, and putting some in handcuffs. We learn that "police said these individuals harbored box cutters, pepper spray, tasers, and more." Feel safe yet?

More unarmed links to make you feel safe:

And finally: People have Theories about the Princess of Wales.

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