Cops v. Assault Weapons:
a Hopeless Situation

(#410, 5/30/22)

Another Day,
Another Massacre

(#409, 5/16/22)

When Does
Evidence Suffice?

(#408, 5/13/22)

When a "Dope"
Can't be "Roped"

(#407, 4/20/22)

Judicial Detachment:
Myth or Reality?

(#406, 4/4/22)

A Show-Stopper
for Shot-Spotter?

(#405, 3/19/22)

In Two Fell Swoops
(#404, 2/28/22)

What's Up? Violence.
(#403, 1/29/22)

Ex-cops on Federal Trial
(#402, 1/21/22)

Who's in Charge?
(#401, 1/3/22)

What's Up With

(#400, 12/23/21)

Cause and Effect
(#399, 12/6/21)

Backing Off
(#398, 11/18/21)

"Woke" up, America!
(#397, 10/25/21)

Full Stop Ahead
(#396, 9/27/21)

Damn the Evidence -
Full Speed Ahead!

(#395, 9/8/21)

A Partner in Every Sense
(#394, 8/24/21)

Our Never-Ending
American Tragedy

(#393, 8/9/21)

Racial Quarrels Within Policing (II)
(#392, 7/23/21)

Racial Quarrels
Within Policing (I)

(#391, 7/11/21)

Don't Like the Rules?
Change Them!

(#390, 6/28/21)

Regulate. Don't "Obfuscate".
(#389, 6/13/21)

Another Victim:
The Craft of Policing

(#388, 5/29/21)

Is the "Cure" Worse
than the "Disease"?

(#387, 5/17/21)

Let's Stop Pretending
(#386, 5/3/21)

Four Weeks,
Six Massacres

(#385, 4/19/21)

Two Weeks,
Four Massacres

(#384, 4/4/21)

Trial of Derek Chauvin
(#382B, 3/29/21)

One Week,
Two Massacres

(#383, 3/24/21)

Slugging it Out
Before the Fight

(#382A, 3/16/21)

The Usual Victims
(#381, 2/22/21)

A Risky and Informed Decision
(#380, 2/8/21)

Want Happy Endings?
Don't Chase.

(#379, 1/31/21)

Cop? Terrorist? Both?
(#378, 1/20/21)

Chaos in D.C.
(#377, 1/11/21)

Third, Fourth & Fifth Chances
(#376, 1/4/21)

Select, Don't "Elect"
(#375, 12/19/20)

Was a Dope Roped?
(#374, 12/8/20)

Fix Those Neighborhoods!
(#373, 11/23/20)

When Must Cops
Shoot? (II)

(#372, 11/11/20)

When Must Cops
Shoot? (I)

(#371, 10/31/20)

L.A. Wants "Cahoots."
But Which "Cahoots"?

(#370, 10/21/20)

R.I.P. Proactive Policing?
(#369, 10/10/20)

Explaining...or Ignoring?
(#368, 9/21/20)

White on Black
(#367, 9/7/20)

Black on Black
(#366, 9/1/20)

"SWAT" is a Verb
(#365, 8/16/20)

Should Police Treat the Whole Patient?
(#364, 8/3/20)

Turning Cops Into Liars
(#363, 7/20/20)

Violent and Vulnerable
(#362, 7/8/20)

Don't "Divest" - Invest!
(#361, 6/26/20)

Is it Ever OK to Shoot Someone in the Back? (II)
(#360, 6/19/20)

Gold Badges Can Be the Problem
(#359, 6/8/20)

Punishment Isn't a Cop's Job
(#358, 6/3/20)

But is it Really Satan?
(#357, 5/25/20)

A Conflicted Mission
(#356, 5/12/20)

Keep going...


Good Law / Bad Law
(#412, 7/2/22)

When it comes to gun laws,
it's all in the eyes of the beholder

Tenacity is Great -
Until It's Not

(#411, 6/20/22)

An aggressive citizen, a dogged cop,
and a tragic outcome


7/6/22  Three years ago a Maryland judge allowed Austin Jacob Allen Davidson, 20, to avoid jail time after a conviction for armed robbery. Placed under ostensibly strict supervision, the man kept offending. On July 3 he opened fire on Wicomico County (MD) sheriff’s deputy Glenn Hilliard as the officer tried to arrest him on multiple felony warrants. Deputy Hilliard, 42, was mortally wounded. Davidson was arrested and faces murder charges. Baltimore’s police union is bitterly criticizing the supposedly permissive policies of the local prosecutor, which “have now gotten a Deputy Sheriff killed.” Related post

Prosecutors filed seven murder counts against Highland Park (IL) shooter Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III. Police were called about him twice in 2019: once when he attempted suicide, and again when he threatened to kill his family. Officers took away a knife collection but say they lacked reason to arrest. Still, they filed a "clear and present danger" report with State police. Three months later Crimo’s father sponsored him for a firearms I.D. card, which Illinois requires to buy or have guns. Over time Crimo would legally buy five firearms, including the “AR-15-type rifle” he used in the massacre. Related posts 1   2   3

During the early morning hours of July 5th. gunfire broke out at a block party in Gary, Indiana, a struggling city of about 70,000 about 25 miles East of Chicago. Three persons were killed and seven were wounded. That shooting came about fourteen hours after the massacre during the July 4th. parade in affluent Highland Park, Illinois, about fifty miles to the north. Related post

According to a new University of Michigan study, four in ten American children born between 1999-2005 were raised in a household where at least one adult had been charged with a serious criminal offense. Nine percent of children were exposed to adults who had been imprisoned. Childrens’ exposure to adults with criminal records was far higher in lower-income, Black and Native American households. It was also strongly associated with developmental problems. Study  Related posts 1   2

7/5/22  At least sixteen persons were shot, six fatally, soon after the start of a daytime Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a “peaceful” and prosperous city of 30,000 just north of Chicago. Police arrested Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, 22, the self-styled YouTube rapper “Awake”. He reportedly used a ladder to climb onto a roof, then opened fire with a “high-powered rifle,” which was recovered. One of his rap videos repeatedly displays an image of a cartoon character aggressively wielding a rifle. (Click here for our brief version of the video, and here for an image of the rifle.) Related posts 1   2   3

A drive-by shooting outside a Newark bodega during the late afternoon hours of June 30 wounded nine persons, ages 17 to 68, none fatally. Authorities later recovered two cars stolen from Jersey City, including the vehicle used in the attack, and arrested a 17-year old for receiving stolen property and resisting arrest. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka blamed the shooting on an undefined dispute between two groups, and not on gangs. Related post

7/3/22   Akron police released graphic footage depicting the pursuit and shooting death of Black motorist Jayland Walker during the early morning hours of June 27. Walker, who refused to pull over for a traffic violation, fled on foot after a long car chase. Officers fired Tasers, then opened up with their handguns when Walker reportedly turned on them. Walker allegedly fired a shot from his car, and a loaded pistol and an empty cartridge casing were found in the vehicle. But he was unarmed when killed. Edited video
Related posts   1   2   3

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Undersheriff Tim Murakami were subpoenaed to testify before the Civilian Oversight Commission about so-called deputy “gangs”. But neither appeared: Villanueva feared physical threats; Murakami claimed it would be too stressful. Matthew Burson, a retired Sheriff’s captain who had investigated alleged mistreatment of colleagues by deputy members of the “Banditos,” testified that he was ordered on Villaneuva’s behalf to ignore the gang. Related posts 1   2   3

Reacting to the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the requirement that gun-carry applicants show a special need, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a comprehensive law that, among other things, requires “a list of former and current social media accounts of the applicant from the past three years to confirm the information regarding the applicants character and conduct.” Applications are barred from persons with convictions within the past five years for assault, menacing or drunk driving. Bill text   Related post

7/2/22  Officers attempting to serve an emergency protection order in rural Kentucky were met with a barrage of gunfire as they approached the subject’s home. Six were wounded, three fatally. Lance P. Storz, 49, who allegedly raped the woman who sought the order, was reportedly lying in wait for police with a rifle and other firearms. He eventually surrendered. His town of residence, Allen, Kentucky, is too small to have a police force, so officers from nearby agencies were involved. Related posts 1   2

Following recent Federal approval of a drug the State uses for fatal injections, Oklahoma’s State Court of Criminal Appeals set execution dates for twenty-five condemned inmates who have exhausted their appeals. James Allen Coddington is scheduled to be the first to die, on August 25. Every other condemned prisoner is set to be executed by December 2024. Among them is Richard Glossip. His claims of innocence have drawn wide support, including from a State legislator. Related post

Prostitution remains illegal in California ( P.C. 647, a misdemeanor). But a bill just signed by Governor Gavin Newsom strikes wording that criminalizes “loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution.” According to the Governor, “it simply revokes provisions of the law that have led to disproportionate harassment of women and transgendered adults.” While progressives bemoan the toll that policing takes on “sex workers,” others worry that the easing will exacerbate human trafficking. Related post

7/1/22  Citing a recent Supreme Court decision invalidating New York State’s requirement that gun-carry applicants show “good cause,” four CCW permit holders in the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit demanding they be allowed to pack guns while riding its transit system. Their action disputes its inclusion in the city’s list of sensitive areas but doesn’t challenge the notion that certain places merit being off-limits to guns. Related posts 1   2

California’s attorney general announced that the Supreme Court opinion striking the “good cause” requirement for gun carry will lead to its removal from his State’s code as well. But Rob Bonta said “an assessment of dangerousness” including “arrests, convictions, restraining orders” and such will remain in effect. A Senate bill amending the law and specifying places where guns can’t be carried is in the works. Related posts 1   2

Three persons were arrested in the smuggling of dozens of illegal immigrants who perished of heat exhaustion in the back of a tractor-trailer. Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, reportedly messaged his accomplices that the trailer’s A/C unit had failed. He picked up the migrants from a “stash house” in Laredo where they waited after crossing into the U.S. His rig was waved through a backed-up internal CBP checkpoint. Searches at these are less likely than at border crossings, and especially now because of “record numbers” of migrants. Immigration topic  Updates

6/30/22  Justin Flores, a 35-year old Southern California man, had a long criminal record. But thanks to the D.A.’s intercession, his conviction last year for felon with a gun resulted in probation. And even as Flores continued misbehaving - a warrant was recently issued for domestic violence - probation officers failed to follow up in person. So they’re also catching blame for the violent deaths of two El Monte police officers earlier this month, shot dead by Flores when they responded to reports of an assault at a motel. Related posts 1   2   3

To identify the person who first bought a gun recovered from a crime, ATF employees ask manufacturers, distributors and dealers to trace that weapon through their records. Rules prohibit ATF from digitizing the results, so trace requests are returned to police on paper. To help detect gun trafficking schemes, Illinois just established “The Crime Gun Connect Platform,” a computerized registry that compiles all trace replies to agencies within the State into a searchable database. Related post

Hospitals routinely draw blood from newborns to check for disease. Some States, including Michigan, California, New York and Minnesota retained centralized samples for decades, where they are available for use in research. But the practice has drawn privacy objections, and Texas abandoned it after a lawsuit. Michigan has also been sued, and it’s agreed to destroy more than three million samples. Related post

6/29/22  Shootings at public and private elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. have been tracked by the Department of Education since 2000. During the 2020-2021 school year there were fifty that caused injuries and 43 that caused deaths. That’s the most in each category since recordkeeping began in 2000-2001. Then the corresponding numbers were seven and sixteen. DOE report  Related posts 1   2

Our nation’s capital is beset by violence. MPD reports 104 homicides so far this year, a 17 percent increase over 2021. Overall, violent crime is up eleven percent. And teens are falling victim with distressing frequency. This weekend gunfire took the lives of an 18-year old girl who recently graduated from high school and was getting set for college, and of a 15-year old boy who was a local basketball star. Two adults were also shot and killed and “nearly two dozen” other persons were wounded. Related post

Does ideology drive the Supreme Court, just as it seems to affect nearly everything else? Our views are clear. But for an authoritative look no further than the SCOTUS Blog’s statistics page. Click on “Frequency in the Majority,” and lean back. Yup, Justices Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor, the Court’s three “liberals” (SCOTUS colors them “blue”) are most often on the losing end. As they were, most recently, in two sociopolitically charged cases:  Ardoin v. Robinson and Kennedy v. Bremerton Sch. Dist. Related post

6/28/22   A “cry for help” led to the discovery of forty-six dead migrants in an abandoned tractor-trailer near San Antonio, Texas. Later the toll rose to fifty-one. At least twenty-two were Mexican nationals; there were also victims from Guatemala and Honduras. Cause of death was presumed to be, as in most such cases, heat exhaustion. A surge in illegal migration has brought far more deaths; last fiscal year’s toll, 557, was more than twice the previous year’s. Immigration topic  Updates

“Trust me we gone keep you with all the artillery.” Setting up each transaction with expletive-laden text messages, two Indiana men sold “an arsenal” of handguns and assault rifles to undercover Feds in Chicago who pretended they supplied local gang members. Devante Brown, 27, and Corey Sartin, 19, were indicted for conspiracy, unlicensed dealing and, in Brown’s case, felon with a gun. They were arrested last week with four pistols, four rifles, and two ghost guns for which they expected to receive $16,500. Related post

The tiny hamlet of Utopia, Texas, pop. 270, sits in a remote region about 45 miles north of Uvalde. With deputies about a half-hour away, residents must fend for themselves. After the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, the school board authorized teachers at the local elementary school to obtain permits and carry guns. And some - they remain anonymous but are known to deputies and administrators - still do. “If there was a shooter on campus, our job is to neutralize the threats, or at least hold them in the area until law enforcement can get here and do their jobs.”  Related posts 1   2

6/27/22  A Federal judge in Texas ruled that the Administration’s policy to focus removal efforts on illegal immigrants who pose threats to public safety, national security and border security is illegal. So ICE announced its agents would no longer be bound by the directive, which also lists “mitigating” and “aggravating” factors to help guide decisions to act. But as discretion is intrinsic to its mission - agents can’t arrest everyone - the practical effects of the rollback are unclear. Immigration topic  Updates

As pro-abortion forces gather to demonstrate against the Supreme Court’s ruling, anti-abortion activists respond with their own rallies. Feverish messages pervade social media. “Guard and protect your local church. Guard and protect your local pregnancy centers. Call them in advance. Bring rifles and men with you.” DHS warns that a “heightened threat environment” could linger for months. Related post

Caught amidst the abortion furor, cops and the media. In Los Angeles, the latter complain that police are treating them the same as protesters, ignoring guidelines that are supposed to allow credentialed reporters access to controlled space. A photo depicts two LAPD officers, one bedecked with tattoos, roughly shoving batons at a photojournalist during a pro-abortion rally in the central city.
Related posts   1   2   3   4

A Washington Post examination of its national database of police shootings reveals 178 instances during 2019-2021 in which officers shot and killed persons in distress whom they had been called to assist. In a 2020 episode, San Antonio (Tx) deputies visited a combat veteran three times in two days. Their last encounter ended tragically when the disturbed man, who was wearing a holstered gun, engaged the deputies in a fight. Related posts 1   2

6/25/22  Yet another (yawn) Supreme Court ideological split. In Dobbs v. Jackson (no. 19-1392, 6/24, 22) the Court’s five most conservative Justices ruled that the Constitution “does not confer a right to abortion.” Overturning two key precedents: Roe, which established the right, and Casey, which reaffirmed Roe, the Court returned the regulation of abortion to the States. Chronic straddler Chief Justice Roberts agreed that Mississippi's abortion ban should be restored but disagreed about discarding Roe and Casey altogether. Liberally minded Justices Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor dissented. Related post

Passed in the wake of recent massacres, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” was signed into law. It enhances background checks to include juvenile records, helps fund State “Red Flag Laws” and mental health programs, includes “boyfriends” in the definition of domestic partners who may be barred from having guns, and specifically prohibits “straw” purchases (i.e. buying guns on behalf of unqualified persons). It does not create waiting periods or ban assault weapons. Related posts 1   2   3   4   5

Four and one-half years ago U.S. Park Police officers Lucas Vinyard and Alejandro Amaya shot and killed Bijan Ghaisar when he came close to striking one with his car while trying to drive away from them for the third time. Ghaisar, who had fled the scene of an accident, was unarmed. Both officers were charged with manslaughter but a Federal judge called the shooting justified and dismissed the case. They remain on leave and their firing is pending. (Click here for a full video, here for the final encounter.) Related post

Ex-Minneapolis cop Mohamed Noor, who shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk in July 2017 when the local resident unexpectedly appeared at his patrol car after calling 9-1-1, is being released from state prison today. Noor, whose 3rd. degree murder conviction was overturned, served the minimum two-thirds of his 57-month sentence for manslaughter. He will be under supervision for the rest of his term. Related post

6/24/22  ALERTT, a Texas State University site, tracks “active attacks,” meaning attempts “to kill  multiple unrelated people in a public space” by guns, knives or vehicles.  Of the 464 attacks recorded between 2000-2021, 232 were at businesses and 69 at schools. Most attacks (434) were with guns, primarily pistols. Fifty-seven percent (266) ended before police arrived. Of those, victims stopped 16 percent (73), 49 physically and 24 by shooting. Of the remaining 198, police stopped 105 by shooting. Related post

Applicants for gun carry permits, ruled the Supreme Court, need not show “good cause.” But the Court didn’t rule out background checks, mental health assessments, training requirements nor restrictions on places where guns can be brought, such as parks and schools. So for States and localities that want to restrict gun possession in public, that’s where the focus will shift. Related posts 1   2

Many guns used in Chicago crimes are purchased by “straw buyers,” meaning third parties, at gun stores in Illinois and Indiana. Over the years ATF inspections of these Federally licensed dealers revealed serious recordkeeping problems. But even when a license revocation seemed clearly warranted, say, for knowingly delivering guns to a felon or straw buyer, the agency preferred to settle matters with a warning, and no substantial penalties were assessed. Related post

During the span of a few hours, Los Angeles police repeatedly responded to calls about a deranged man who was hopping into backyards and acting threateningly. Officers encountered and spoke with the man several times. Each time they let him go and reassured residents that all was o.k. Then the intruder broke into a bedroom, stabbed a resident dead, then killed himself. A lawsuit has been filed. Related post





Ex-cops on State Trial

Charges   Motions   Pleas/sent.

Ex-cops on Federal Trial
(#402, 1/21/22)

Trial of Derek Chauvin
(#382B, 3/29/21)

Slugging it Out
Before the Fight

(#382A, 3/16/21)

Pretrial evidentiary battles
give the State an edge

Punishment Isn't
a Cop's Job

(#358, 6/3/20)

An officer metes out discipline. He then faces society’s version.


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