It's a good thing when a prominent city official is forced to issue several corrections and clarifications about a new initiative within a week of its announcement, right? Because that means the NYPD is doing a helluva job. Yesterday, Police Commissioner Bratton once again discussed plans to start an anti-terrorism unit which would empower a team of NYPD officers to roam the city carrying machine guns—but, contrary to previous reports, won't be used to police protesters. Unless, of course, those protesters are classified as threats to national security...

According to the Times, Bratton said that the specially trained unit of 300 to 350 officers will be used to investigate and combat terrorist plots. Those officers in this counterterrorism unit will be outfitted with machine guns, possibly other heavy weaponry, and protective gear.

But despite what Bratton said last week, the commissioner announced that there will be a second new unit of police dedicated to dealing with protests. This unit, which will go by the previously announced moniker the Strategic Response Group, will include around 500 officers. In addition to monitoring protests, they will be used to provide additional resources in precincts with sudden rises in crime, or when other precincts need immediate backup.

"When all is said and done…we will have significantly strengthened the department’s capability to bring large numbers of officers in to deal with...terrorism issues, crime issues, demonstration issues," Bratton said according to the Journal.

So officers in the Strategic Response Group will not, as far as Bratton has announced, be outfitted with machine guns. Despite the fact that Bratton conflated the two groups into one last week—sparking outrage among activists and fans of the First Amendment—Bratton says he was just misunderstood: "I may have in my remarks or in your interpretation of my remarks confused you or confused the issue."