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

Tenacity is Great -
Until It's Not

(#411, 6/20/22)

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...


Loopholes are
(Still) Lethal

(#414, 8/8/22)

Massacres prove no match
for America’s gun culture

Massacres, in Slow-Mo
(#413, 7/25/22)

Poor Chicagoans complain that
their massacre never ends


8/8/22  Violent crime continues to beset Chicago and D.C. Chicago suffered four fatal shootings overnight Friday. Thru July 31st. it recorded 379 murders. That’s better than 2021, when there were 452, but 30 percent worse than the 292 in 2019. But robberies, burglaries and thefts are each substantially worse than last year.  D.C. reports 128 murders thru August 5 versus 114 last year. Robberies are also up (1271 v. 1060.) That, says the Washington Post, reflects “an absence of hope.” Related posts 1   2

Lying on affidavits to obtain search warrants goes well beyond the Breonna Taylor case, says the New York Times. In Houston, an officer awaits trial for falsely obtaining a narcotics search warrant in 2019 that led to a shootout in which four officers were wounded and two occupants were killed. In that case Det. Gerald Goines claimed an informant made a buy, but no such person seems to exist. (Det. Goines is responsible for George Floyd’s 2004 conviction for selling crack cocaine. See 10/6/21 update.) Related posts 1   2

A mid-afternoon Shot-Spotter alert led officers in Chicago’s poor, violence-wracked Englewood area to a parked minivan. Nearby stood Alexander Podgorny, 29. He had a loaded handgun in his pockets. A loaded shotgun, a loaded AR-15 rifle, two handguns and writings containing “incoherent rants and references to mass shooting events” were in the front seat. A video from a nearby camera depicted a shotgun being fired into a park. Podgorny was arrested on weapons charges and a high bail was set. Related posts 1   2

During the early morning hours of August 7th. Cincinnati police officers patrolling a “popular nightlife area” observed two quarreling groups exchange handgun fire. An officer fired at one of the shooters but he apparently got away. Nine citizens were wounded, none fatally. An unrelated shooting nearby left two wounded. Related post

Albuquerque has a severe homicide problem. And its Muslim community may be facing a special  threat. During the last nine months four Muslim men have been gunned down in ambushes. Two of the victims were Pakistanis and belonged to the same mosque. Police think the murders are linked hate crimes. Although they don’t yet have a suspect, a photo of a “vehicle of interest” has been released. Related post

8/6/22  An academic study of prosecutions initiated in Florida in 2017 confirms that criminal cases adjudicated in jurisdictions with progressive chief prosecutors are less likely to yield prison sentences and felony convictions. Outcomes also seem more racially equitable. Whether lenient treatment leads to more crime, as many fear, was not assessed. However, the authors cite one study that suggests it does not. Related post

Strongly supported by the Justice Department, a Congressional bill now in the works would expand a current Federal benefits program for officers and families when officers are permanently disabled from on-the-job injuries to include situations when officers “are permanently and totally disabled due to particular mental health disorders and/or who die by suicide as a result of exposure to a traumatic event they encounter while on duty.” Related post

Loveland, Co. officer Austin Hopp, who roughly handled Karen Garner, a 73-year old shoplifter with dementia, then joked about it with colleagues, was sentenced to five years imprisonment in May. For her failure to intervene, his partner, Daria Jalali, just got 45 days in jail. Loveland settled a suit with the family of Garner, who says the incident led to the woman to require 24-hour care, for $3 million. Related post

Canada is planning to “cap” the number of handguns in the country by instituting a “freeze” on any further purchases, sales and transfers. Handgun importation will also be banned. Handguns must be licensed and will continue to be legal. As it is, most handguns used in crime in Canada were smuggled from the U.S. Canada banned assault rifles in 2020 following a massacre in Nova Scotia. Related posts 1   2

Beset by objections from the police union, which called it make-believe, and civil libertarians, who worry about its civil rights implications, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot’s plan to sue gang members and seize their assets is going nowhere. Instead of the “ Victim’s Justice Ordinance,” one alderman suggested “expanding reach of violence prevention organizations and our summer youth employment program, increasing the number of detectives, and strengthening our area and regional carjacking task forces.” Related post

During the trial of the defamation lawsuit filed against him by the parents of six-year old Scarlett Lewis, who was murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre, Infowars host Alex Jones admitted he was wrong: the massacre did happen. In closing arguments, though, his lawyer denied that Jones’ public rants about what he long insisted was a made-up event caused real harm. But jurors disagreed, awarding $4.1 million in compensatory and $45.2 million in punitive damages. Jones still faces two more lawsuits. Related posts 1   2

8/5/22  Federal authorities indicted former Louisville detective Joshua Jaynes, who obtained the search warrant for Breonna Taylor’s apartment. LMPD fired Jaynes for falsely asserting that Postal Inspectors confirmed Taylor was receiving packages for Jamarcus Glover, her drug-dealing former boyfriend. Current LMPD Sgt. Kyle Meany, Jayne’s supervisor, was indicted for approving the warrant and lying to investigators, and LMPD Det. Kelly Goodlett was charged with helping Jaynes falsify the warrant and lying to investigators. Also indicted was Det. Brett Hankinson, whose gunfire entered another apartment (he was recently acquitted in State court). Related post

Minneapolis’ “Downtown West,” a busy district with concert venues and official buildings, enjoyed a reprieve from crime as activity decreased during the pandemic. But as things get back to “normal,” crime and violence have returned with a vengeance. So far this year violent crime is 25 percent higher than in 2021, gunfire is up 40 percent, and property crimes have soared 65 percent. Police staffing, though, is way down; the downtown precinct has 49 only cops on patrol versus 81 in 2020. Related post

With crime and “quality of life” violations still higher than pre-pandemic, BART, San Francisco’s transit system, uses uniformed civilian “Transit Ambassadors” and “Crisis Intervention Specialists” to conduct “welfare contacts” with homeless persons, the mentally ill and riders suffering from drug overdoses. They work in teams and with transit police to tamp down “quality of life” issues. While they’re said to be effective, their numbers are few, and one rider says he hardly ever sees them. BART website Related posts 1   2

Located just outside of Minneapolis, “The Mall of America” is the largest in the land, with its own theme park. And on August 4 it was the scene of chaos as shoppers ran for their lives when a gunman opened fire by the Nike store after a confrontation between two groups. No one was shot, but the huge complex remained closed through today. On New Year’s eve a shooting at the mall wounded two. At present the mall does not search patrons or deploy metal detectors. Related post

One month after the Highland Park massacre, Chicago is preparing for the yearly Bud Billiken Parade and accompanying festival, to be held August 13. In its ninety-third year, the parade, which celebrates Black culture, is billed as the second largest event of its kind after the Rose Bowl. Organizers have hired a private security firm and are coordinating with police and local authorities. According to the parade’s Chair, a charity executive, “I haven’t heard anything negative from anybody worrying about anything happening. I feel the incident in Highland Park was a somewhat isolated situation.” Related post

One evening last May a group of Federal DHS agents drove their marked vehicles into a group of abortion rights protesters who were dispersing after a demonstration. That encounter, which took place a half mile from the US Courthouse that the agents guard, created a major confrontation that LAPD had to come in and resolve. Police said they did not call in the Feds, which typically have no authority in such matters. LAPD Chief Moore recently said he’s contacted DHS to assure “clear coordination” in the future. Related post

A citizen alerted Richmond, Va. police that two men were planning to stage a massacre on July 4th. Following surveillance, officers seized “two assault rifles, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition” at the residence of Julio Alvarado-Dubon and Rolman Alberto Balacarcel. Both came to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala, and were arrested on Federal charges of gun possession by an illegal alien. Related posts 1   2

Elwood, Ind. police officer Noah Shahnavaz, 24 was shot and killed when a motorist he stopped opened fire with a rifle. His murderer, Carl Boards II, a Marion barber, was released from parole last year. In 2006 he drew 25 years for an incident in which he shot at officers with a pistol and an AK-47. He was sentenced as a habitual offender but only served thirteen years. According to a citizen, he recently recorded a song “making statements that if he was ever caught by police that he would kill them.” Related post

8/3/22  Rebelling against progressively-minded D.A. Kim Foxx, Chicago prosecutors continue to resign. Most recently that includes James Murphy, who headed the prosecution of murder and other serious crimes. He called his boss’s excuse, that the shift away from prosecuting lower-level crimes was a way to concentrate on serious matters, a lie. “This administration is more concerned with political narratives and agendas than with victims and prosecuting violent crime. That is why I can’t stay any longer.” Related posts 1   2   3

Amidst a spate of massacres, Georgia’s permissive gun-carry laws apparently led Atlanta to cancel its yearly Music Midtown Festival. In 2014 Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act” enabled gun carry most everywhere. While a court decision has enabled long-term leaseholders to regulate gun possession on their premises, that privilege is not extended to short-term events such as the festival. Related posts 1   2

“Three dozen” residents of Washington D.C. were struck by gunfire in six days. Six died. Men armed with assault rifles twice “sprayed more than 90 bullets into parking lots,” killing two, and a shooter opened fire into a crowd gathered outside an apartment building, wounding six. D.C. has suffered 127 murders so far this year, eleven percent more than during the same period in 2021. But assaults with dangerous weapons are down eight percent. Related posts 1   2

8/2/22  A scathing editorial in the Los Angeles Times criticizes President Biden’s plan to hire more police as a wrongheaded re-do of the 1994 crime bill, which also added 100,000 cops. But according to the Times, “many of the neighborhoods they promised to protect were soon harmed by excessive force, surveillance and humiliation...We don’t need 100,000 more police to do the same thing all over again. Nor do we need 100,000 Derek Chauvins or 100,000 more cops lurking hesitantly outside classrooms for more than an hour while children die inside....” (Note: the editors did not volunteer to go on patrol). Related post

Enrollment in public schools declined with the pandemic. And even as schools reopened, large numbers of students stayed away. Some enrolled in charters, but where many others have gone is unknown. Funding, which is normally based on enrollment, plunged. That’s led fifty schools to close in Chicago alone, most in impoverished minority neighborhoods. Some Federal Covid relief money is being used to keep remaining schools open, but it will soon run out. “Luring students back” seems vital. Related posts 1   2

In a research study, 86 active-duty FBI forensic examiners compared 44 sets of handwriting samples that were produced by the same person (“mated”), and 56 that were not. Five responses were possible: “written,” “probably written,” “no conclusion,” “probably not written,” and “not written.” Test subjects assigned “written” to 54% and “probably written” to 34.3% of the mated sets. “Not written” was assigned to 29.6% and “probably not written” to 47.8% of the truly diverging sets. Journal article Related post

“Three-percenter” Guy Reffitt, the first Capitol stormer to be convicted at trial, drew the stiffest prison term yet - 87 months. He had brought an assault-type rifle and .40 cal. pistol to D.C., and on returning home threatened his kids to keep quiet. (See 3/1/22 and 3/5/22 updates.) Capitol updates

8/1/22  Four years ago Jake Wagner, a 28-year old resident of Pike County, Ohio, pled guilty to the murders by shooting, two years earlier, of eight members of the Rhoden family, who lived on rural land nearby. He was sentenced to life without parole. Wagner’s brother, mother, father and grandfather were also charged and are pending trial. The motive? Jake Wagner had a child with Hannah Rhoden, but she left him and took the child. So he and his family acquired guns and silencers and plotted their revenge. Related post

In “stash house stings” ATF pays informants to tell associates about places where a large quantity of drugs has been “stashed.” When a crew shows up to rob the premises, ATF agents step in to arrest gun-carrying felons and seize their weapons. But a journal article, a legal decision and a recent op-ed strongly criticize the stings for luring persons into crimes they would not have otherwise committed. Related post

Toforest Johnson has been on death row 24 years for murdering a Jefferson Co. (Ala.) deputy. According to his many notable defenders - and that includes a former Alabama Chief Justice, the former State Attorney General, the current D.A. and a juror - the case against him was made up from whole cloth. Yet despite requests by the present and former D.A.’s, no new trial is on the horizon.
Website  Related posts 1   2

School districts across the U.S. have increased the use of armed teachers. Twenty-eight now allow faculty other than guards to pack guns. Florida’s program, which began after the 2018 Marjory Stoneman high school massacre, is one of the largest. Spurred by the recent massacre in Uvalde, Ohio changed its law, reducing required training to 24 hours from the the 700 hours previously mandated. Related posts 1   2

7/30/22  With two “Reds” in favor, and five “Blues” opposed, the House narrowly passed an assault weapons ban (217-213). It is slightly stiffer than the lapsed measure, as it bans rifles with detachable magazines that have only one special feature (a pistol grip, forward grip, folding stock, grenade launcher, barrel shroud or threaded barrel) instead of two. Semi-auto rifles with fixed magazines that can accept more than 15 rounds are also banned. It is expected to fail in the Senate.
Bill text  Related posts 1   2   3

7/29/22  George Floyd’s family and their supporters have strongly criticized the perceived leniency in the Federal prison terms handed out to Derek Chauvin’s colleagues, which were below Federal guidelines and lower than what prosecutors recommended. Judge Paul Magnuson’s decision was apparently influenced by the fact that Lane and Kueng were rookies, and that Thao, who wasn’t, was nonetheless “a good police officer, father and husband.” But that, said a local activist, should have had no bearing. Related post

Last year prosecutors charged Long Beach (CA) police officers Dedier Reyes and David Salcedo with lying about a 2018 gun-related arrest. That case is pending. A judge has now freed another man  arrested by Reyes, as doubts have arisen about the officers’ truthfulness in that case. In 2010 Reyes shot ex-con Miguel Vargas in the back after saying that Vargas pointed a gun. But Vargas insisted he had dropped the gun. Vargas was convicted and imprisoned, but prosecutors have now dismissed the case. A full review of cases in which Reyes was involved is in progress. Related post

An Oak-Lawn, Ill. teen was hospitalized after three police officers pinned him to the ground and repeatedly punched him. Hadi Abutella, 17 ran off from a car in which he was riding when it was stopped for traffic violations and an odor of marijuana. Officers chased him. They say he repeatedly reached for a bag slung over his shoulders, and kept at it even after being tackled. “Control tactics” were used to take the bag from his grasp. Inside the bag officers found a loaded .25 caliber pistol. One officer was injured. Related posts 1   2

A Black woman whose 24-year old son was recently murdered always hated guns. But violence in the D.C. area where she lives has driven her to a gun range, where she is learning how to use a 9mm. pistol. Data shows that gun ownership “spiked” across the U.S. during the pandemic, and remains high. And an increasing number of gun owners are Black. “I feel a little bit better already,” said Patrice Parker after firing a volley. Related post

7/28/22  On July 27, 2022 J. Alexander Kueng was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment and Tou Thao drew 42 months on their Federal convictions for violating George Floyd’s civil rights. According to DOJ, the sentences serve as a reminder that “every law enforcement officer, whether rookie or senior” has a Constitutional duty to intervene when colleagues misbehave and to render medical aid. DOJ release
Related post  Sentencing

Shootings marked by large volumes of gunfire plague Southeast Washington D.C. During the afternoon of July 27, an estimated ninety shots were fired in the parking area of an apartment complex, wounding its manager, who sat in a vehicle. Late that evening, in another Southeast residential area, a man was fatally shot and a man and woman were wounded. “As many as 90 shell casings” were found. 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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