10/25/21Police are typically instructed to aim their fire at “center mass,” meaning the
upper torso, so that their bullets are more likely to incapacitate their target and less likely to strike others. But LaGrange (Ga.) police chief Louis Dekmar
is training his officers to aim for the abdomen, pelvis or legs so that a lethal outcome is less likely. “Every time we avoid taking a life, we maintain
trust.” One of his once-skeptical officers has turned into a convert, and an elaborate training program is now in place.
With $10 million in state subsidies and millions more from private donors, a charitable organization is erecting two single-family residences in
Chicago’s impoverished North Lawndale neighborhood. Fifty more are planned. It’s intended that the homes be purchased by low-income families,
who will hopefully benefit from zero-interest and other financial incentives that are in the works. Neighborhoods special topic Related post
across the U.S. have installed license plate scanners that capture the images and record the license plate numbers of vehicles entering their neighborhoods.
Residents review the photos and share information with police to determine if unknown vehicles may be wanted. Some citizens object to the practice as
needlessly intrusive, but others, along with Flock, the firm that installs and maintains the devices, insists that
the scanners perform a crucial public service.
A proposed revision to the Minneapolis city charter
would replace police with a public safety agency and make armed officers optional. Indeed, one sponsor, “Reclaim the Block,” advocates for
a “police-free future.” While many proponents argue that some cops would remain, even some Black activists worry what would happen if the
officer-poor, violence-besieged city loses any more officers. Democrats have lined up on both sides: State A.G. Keith Ellison and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar are for
the measure, while Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are against.
10/21/21Jamarcus Glover, Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, will plead guilty to drug charges in exchange for probation.
Det. Joshua Jaynes obtained the search warrant for Taylor’s residence by alleging that Glover was receiving drug-related supplies at her home. That
turned out to be untrue, and Glover denied that Taylor was involved. Det. Jaynes was fired (he is appealing.) Also fired were officer Miles Cosgrove, whose
bullets struck Ms. Taylor, and Det. Brett Hankinson, whose wild barrage entered another apartment (he awaits trial for endangerment.) Sgt. Jonathan
Mattingly, who was shot by Ms. Taylor’s companion and returned fire, accidentally striking Ms. Taylor, has retired.
data reveals that “illegal crossings...skyrocketed in the months after President Biden took office,” with more than 200,000 arrests during
July and August alone. For the fiscal year ending October 31, CBP arrested 1.66 million persons for illegal entry, three times the 2012-2020 norm. Mexican
nationals comprised 37 percent (608,000). In second place, at 22 percent (367,000) were persons from outside Mexico and Central America. That reflects
a “now truly global” problem. Immigration special topicRelated post
On October 14 a 14-year old member of a Los Angeles gang shot and wounded an LAPD detective who was driving to work. He was arrested in the
area with the unserialized “ghost gun” used in
the attack. That case led to a search warrant and the discovery of an illicit ghost-gun making operation in a tattoo parlor used by the gang. An LAPD report reveals that 863 ghost guns were seized
during the first six months of 2021, compared with 217 during that period in 2020. Detectives have connected these untraceable guns to over one-hundred
violent crimes this year, including 24 murders and eight attempts. San Diego recently enacted a law barring ghost guns, and L.A. seeks to follow in
its footsteps. Related posts
New York City is
requiring that all city workers get their first shot by October 29. Those who don’t will wind up on unpaid leave. While the police union objects, NYPD
Commissioner Dermot Shea feels that the rule “makes sense.” Seattle’s new vaccination mandate has led to the firing of six police
officers; 93 others are off the job seeking exemptions. Washington state fired 127 troopers, and in Massachusetts “at least” 150 troopers are
reportedly resigning. COVID-19 updatesRelated post
10/20/21As of 10/19 twenty-one Chicago police officers who
declined to report their vaccination status, as was required by October 15, have been placed on unpaid leave.
Supervisors are calling in each violator “for counseling,” and Chief David Brown said that “many
[resisters] have decided to comply with the city mandate after getting more information.” Those who still
refuse - Mayor Lightfoot said the number is small - are being laid off. But the police union’s president
says it could reach “thousands”.Related post
A civil settlement has been
reached between the City of Aurora (CO) and the family of Elijah McClain, an unarmed man who died after an
encounter with police. Alerted by a 9-1-1 caller who said that a pedestrian was acting oddly, officers tried to
detain McClain, but he resisted. Officers applied a carotid hold, and paramedics injected him with ketamine.
McClain never regained consciousness.
10/19/21 In August 2016 two Tahlequah (Okla.) officers shot
and killed an intoxicated man who wielded a “claw hammer” as he refused to leave his fearful
ex-wife’s residence. In November 2016 a Union City (Calif.) officer briefly knelt on the back of an
angry, knife-wielding man who was forcibly subdued after he threatened his girlfriend and her children with a
chainsaw. In both cases Federal appeals courts ruled that qualified immunity did not shield the officers
from lawsuits. But on October 18, the Supreme Court held that qualified immunity applied.
Tallequah decisionUnion City decisionRelated post
10/18/21Polly Klaas had two sisters. Jess Nichol, now 38, and Annie Nichol, 34, host “
A New Legacy,” a podcast about crime’s survivors. Unlike their
father, Marc Klaas, who believes in harsh punishment, the sisters oppose “three-strikes laws”
and mass incarceration, which they feel has contributed to a racist criminal justice system.
“As Polly’s sisters, it is difficult to fathom how these laws became our sister’s legacy. The
beauty of Polly’s life shouldn’t be overshadowed by this pervasive injustice.” Related posts
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, “COVID
is the #1 killer of LEOs in 2020 and 2021. Getting vaccinated is just as important as wearing your vest and your
seatbelt.” ODMP reports 362 officer line-of-duty deaths so far this year. COVID-19 led to 231, and hostile
gunfire caused 49. Comparable figures for 2020 are 374 deaths, 245 attributable to COVID-19, and 45 to hostile
gunfire. Related posts
10/16/21One day after the Capitol assault,
veteran Capitol police officer Michael Riley messaged a rioter who had posted video and text about his
role: “im a capitol police officer who agrees with your political stance. Take down the part about being in the
building they are currently investigating and everyone who was in the building is going to charged. Just
looking out!” Riley later advised the rioter to get off social media. On Oct. 14 Officer Riley was indicted on
two counts of obstructing justice, a felony. Assault on
the Capitol special topicRelated post
Louisiana State trooper
Carl Cavalier, a Black man, wasn’t present during the stop of Ronald Greene. But when he found out about it
he gave media interviews that described what happened as a “murder” and the response as
a “coverup.” Cavalier, who has sued the department for discrimination and published an unauthorized novel
about his experiences, has just received notice that he is being fired for disloyalty, unbecoming conduct and violating
policies about public statements.
Nikolas Cruz, the mentally
troubled former student who used an AR-15 rifle to kill fourteen students and three teachers and wound seventeen others
at a Florida high school in 2018, will plead guilty to seventeen counts of murder and seventeen of attempted murder.
Although Cruz has asked for life sentences, prosecutors insist that they will his seek a death sentence at a
10/15/21Andrew G. McCabe, a former FBI Deputy Director who was fired for supposedly leaking information favorable to
Hillary Clinton in connection with the probe of her email server, and then allegedly lying about it to investigators,
has been formally retired at full pay. Attorney General William Barr, who was reportedly upset with President
Trump’s meddling, refused to
indict McCabe last year.
Chicago police officer Carlos Yanez, critically wounded in a shooting that
killed his patrol partner, officer Ella French, was released after two months in rehabilitation. Wounded in the eye,
cheek, brain and back, Officer Yanez is paralyzed on one side of his body and must use a wheelchair. But his spirit is
strong. According to the officer’s father, his son “has many plans for the future” and wants to work
with kids in the city’s beset Englewood area. For the GoFundMe campaign click here.
After six months on
the job, Miami PD Chief Art Acevedo was fired by unanimous vote of city commissioners, whom he once accused of
interfering in an internal investigation. A typical sentiment was that his “personality and leadership style are
incompatible with the structure of our city’s government.” Officers also considered him brusque and
unyielding, and his vaccination mandate had made no friends.
A bullet grazed
the back of the head of a veteran LAPD juvenile detective on his way to work. His wound was minor; he was released
from the hospital and will reportedly “be fine.” His alleged assailant, a 14-year old boy, was caught with
a handgun gun some blocks away. It happened in the chronically violence-beset South Los Angeles area serviced by the
agency’s Newton Street station.
10/14/21 Chicago has required that
all city employees report their vaccination status by tomorrow or be placed on leave without pay. Those who lack shots
can substitute weekly testing until the end of the year. But FOP president John Catanzara has advised officers to ignore
these demands and turn in forms declaring themselves as “conscientious objectors.” Should they be sent home
the city would lose half its already skimpy police coverage. City council members and ordinary residents are predictably
aghast. Former FOP president Dean Angelo, Sr., 67, died from COVID-19 complications
two days ago. COVID-19 updates Related post
Governor Kevin Newsom signed a package of progressive sentencing bills. SB81 directs judges to give “great weight” to mitigating
factors and discourages using sentence enhancements. SB483 abolishes using prior non-violent felony convictions to enhance sentences and
orders the resentencing of persons previously affected. AB333 imposes a heavy burden of proof when prosecuting persons for participating in
criminal street gangs and when using gang membership to enhance sentences. Related posts
Workplace immigration raids are no longer. According to Alejandro Mayorkas, Secy. of Homeland Security, mass arrests
at worksites “misallocated enforcement resources while chilling, and even serving as a tool of retaliation for,
worker cooperation in workplace standards investigations.” Such raids were popular during the last Administration.
One major example, a coordinated August 2019 raid of poultry plants in Mississippi, resulted in the arrest of nearly 700
illegal immigrants. Immigration special topicRelated post
10/12/21 In a letter to Congress, a former top-ranking
officer of the Capitol police accused the agency’s leaders of withholding information from subordinates and from
Congress that online chats between radicals indicated they had maps of the Capitol complex and were preparing for an
armed confrontation with legislators. A prior Congressional inquiry concluded that Capitol police had been alerted to
the possibility of an armed assault two weeks in advance but thought it “remote and improbable.”
10/11/21Social service teams employed by Albuquerque’s new “Community Safety Department” have begun
responding to situations involving mental health, homelessness and suicide. It’s hoped that these unarmed, civilian
-only units will when fully staffed take on all of the 3,000 “nonmedical, nonviolent” calls received by 9-1-1
each month, freeing police to better handle matters requiring their presence.
In Philadelphia, up to 29-
percent reductions in violence were experienced in the poverty-stricken blocks surrounding vacant parcels that got either
a thorough cleanup or a major “clean and green” intervention. In a second study,
a “full remediation” of abandoned homes led to “a clear reduction in weapons violations, gun assaults
and shootings” in nearby areas. According to the authors, these findings suggest that high-need
locations “may benefit the most from place-based investment.” Related posts
Warnings by officers and police unions that doing away with
“qualified immunity” would financially devastate many cops and lead massive numbers to resign have led
legislators to abandon such efforts throughout the U.S. And while seven states have passed laws restricting qualified
immunity since 2020, only Colorado completely bars its use. Even there, officers must be reimbursed should they lose.
Three Minnesota men, ages 29, 32 and 33, each with a substantial criminal record, were arrested for shooting it out in
a packed St. Paul bar early Sunday morning, October 10. Their gunfire left them and eleven others wounded and killed a 27
-year old veterinary technician. She was the city’s 32nd. murder victim this year. St. Paul had 34 homicides in 2020,
same as in the record-setting year of 1992.
An “exodus of officers” and
a nationwide spike in violence has slammed the brakes on once-trendy notions to defund police. Instead, agencies across
the U.S., including New York and Los Angeles, are augmenting law enforcement budgets. In Dallas, which suffered 252
homicides in 2020, a 25-percent increase and the most in 20 years, Mayor Eric Johnson, a Black Democrat, has endorsed
a “hot spots” approach to help “neighborhoods racked by crime.” Two-hundred fifty new cops are
also being hired.
10/9/21A detailed account of Chicago’s Humboldt Park shooting, and its
aftermath, describes the struggle between Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who demands that participants be prosecuted, and Cook
County Prosecutor Kim Foxx, who insists the evidence remains insufficient. While she articulates legal reasons for her
reluctance, it’s thought that police misconduct and past wrongful convictions are playing a role. Related posts
Just released, the near-1,000 page Jan.-June 2021 report by the Independent Monitor overseeing
reforms at Chicago PD criticizes, in part, the agency’s failure to enact a permanent foot-pursuit policy. According
to the monitor, the temporary policy “remains unsatisfactory to the OAG, the IMT, and many in
Chicago’s communities.” The reforms are intended to ensure that police services are delivered legally and in a
manner that “respects the rights of the people of Chicago, builds trust between officers and the communities they
serve, and promotes community and officer safety.” Related posts
On October 8 DOJ announced that Federal charges will not be filed against the Kenosha (WI) officer who shot Jacob Blake.
According to DOJ, “insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the KPD officer willfully
violated the federal criminal civil rights statutes,” and that neither “accident, mistake, fear, negligence,
nor bad judgment” are enough to suffice.
10/8/21Struggling to find
help because of the pandemic, some major employers are taking on promising ex-cons. Their success is encouraging
others. Major industries including Koch and Amazon have partnered with “Honest
Jobs,” an Ohio-based service that seeks out and screens qualified felons to fill vacancies in various fields.
But there are serious challenges. Felons often lack skills and education. Rising violence may also be leading potential
employers to harbor second thoughts.
An analysis by the Council on Criminal Justice revealed
that fifty percent of homicides were cleared in 2020. That’s five percent fewer than in 2019 and “the
largest one-year decline since 1989.” Homicide clearances have been going down since the 1970’s; 82
percent were cleared in 1976.
The Los Angeles Times re-ran a story from 1982 that reported on Black couples who relocated to then-mostly
White suburbia so that they and their children could benefit from “less crowded schools with higher student
achievement scores and less crime.” They admitted feeling a sense of isolation but said that their new neighbors
generally treated them well.