Police Suspect Citizens For Batman
Despite protests from Citizens for Batman that the group has completely purged itself of vigilantes, the GPD believes that the organization is not free from these outlaw elements.
"Citizens for Batman is playing a double game," said GPD spokeswoman Felicia Maria De La Inez. "They pretend to have completely divorced itself from radical members, but we believe that they have merely gone underground."
The group's leadership strongly denies these charges. Brian Douglass, one of the group's founders, said that Citizens for Batman has returned to its initial mission of supporting Batman and teaching residents how to protect themselves.
"We never intended to get into the vigilante business," said Douglass. "Obviously we cannot control all our members, but we have a no-tolerance policy regarding any activities that could be considered illegal or dangerous."
This group, which meets twice a week and has a vocal online presence, has been one of Batman's loudest supporters. Citizens for Batman has mounted rallies to protest City Hall's policy of arresting Batman on sight, and run self-defense workshops.
Involvement of group members in several high-profile vigilante incidents, however, turned the Gotham Police Department against the organization. Acting District Attorney Roger Garcetti labeled the group a "breeding group for vigilantes" and called for its disbanding.
"Gotham belongs to the law-abiding people who live there and it's up to every citizen to make sure it stays that way," said Douglass. "That's why we support Batman. But we have no involvement in any vigilante activities."
But sources inside GPD told The Times that the group is still under intense police surveillance. "We don't trust them, to tell you the truth," a top GPD official said. "We believe they serve as a front group for a dangerous group of vigilantes that are making our streets more dangerous."
But Douglass dismissed the police suspicions. "Any vigilante on the street who isn't Batman is not connected to our little group," Douglass said. "But if City Hall really wants this kind of activity to stop, then they should start doing their jobs and keep our streets safe."