Damn the Evidence -
Full Speed Ahead!

(#395, 9/8/21)


Lousy policing and prosecution cost
three innocents decades in prison


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


When a K-9 is stabbed its handler
opens fire. Itís not the first time.


Our Never-Ending
American Tragedy

(#393, 8/9/21)


California's gun laws are the
"strongest." Tell that to its cops.


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


In San Francisco, White cops allege
that color and gender count

 



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)



One Week, Two Massacres
(#383, 3/24/21)



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)



Letting Go
(#355, 5/1/20)



Can the Urban Ship
be Steered?

(#354, 4/21/20)



Taking Missiles From Strangers
(#353, 4/10/20)



Fair But Firm
(#352, 4/2/20)



When Should Cops Lie?
(#351, 3/26/20)



COVID-19: R.I.P. Policing?
(#350, 3/17/20)



Place Matters
(#349, 2/29/20)



Must the Door Revolve?
(#348, 2/9/20)



A Recipe for Disaster
(#347, 1/24/20)



Loopholes are Lethal (II)
(#346, 1/4/20)



Loopholes are Lethal
(#345, 12/22/19)



Did the Times Scapegoat L.A.'s Finest? (II)
(#344, 12/3/19)



Did the Times Scapegoat L.A.'s Finest?
(#343, 11/12/19)



Technology's Great -
Until it's Not

(#342, 10/18/19)



Means, Ends and 9/11
(#341, 9/28/19)



Human Renewal
(#340, 9/13/19)



Keep going...

 

 












 

 


9/20/21   A soul-stirring photo in the Washington Post depicts a serious-looking three-year old boy gesturing at the camera as he stands in front of a series of graves, a bottle of water in his hands. He's visiting his father, who was shot and killed in January, and his uncle, whose life was claimed by gunfire in June. With 166 murders in 2019, 198 in 2020 and 153 as of Sept. 20 (versus 135 during this period last year) homicide in D.C. is reportedly “on pace to hit a 17-year high.” Related post

9/19/21  As many as fourteen-thousand illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti, are camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, a border town of about 40,000. Under watch by Border Patrol, the migrants are being processed under the emergency provisions of Title 42, and some have begun to be placed on flights for return to Haiti. Overwhelmed by the recent crush of illegal migration, the Feds are appealing a judicial ruling that in effect gives them only two more weeks to use Title 42 for expedited expulsion. Immigration special topic  Related post

Deterred by warnings that they were being “set up” for arrest, few demonstrators showed up at the September 18th. “Justice for J6” rally at the Capitol, held to protest authorities’ treatment of the January 6th. rioters. Those who came encountered re-installed fencing and a large police presence. Stung by arrests and prosecutions, most far-right groups including the “Proud Boys” declined to participate in the D.C. event. Protests in other areas were also few and muted. Related post

Presently awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature, California Senate Bill 2 would empower the State to investigate instances of alleged police wrongdoing and revoke the peace officer licenses of officers found at fault, thus barring them from further work as a cop. According to one of the principal authors, Los Angeles-area State Senator Steven Bradford, “we’ve seen 150 years of police policing themselves and it doesn’t work.” Related post

9/18/21  Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva refuses to ban deputy cliques (“subgroups”) because it abridges the constitutional right to associate. But the County Counsel disagrees. A new opinion concludes that subgroups “are defined based on LASD stations, bureaus, or units, and their activities are intertwined with law enforcement functions.” Banning them would address deputies “as LASD personnel, not as private citizens” so “it likely does not implicate the First Amendment.” Related posts  1  2  3

9/17/21  In 2019 Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 23 told an FBI informant and an undercover agent who pretended to support ISIS of his plot to bomb a Pittsburgh (PA) church. He provided them with “instructional documents” and bought materials, including nails, that they could use to build a destructive device and made plans to meet them to carry out the attack. He was ultimately arrested. On September 16, 2021 Alowemer pled guilty to “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.” He faces 20 years in prison. Related posts 1  2  3

With time and money running out and only 200,000 of the required 580,000 voter signatures on hand, recall backers suspended their effort against George Gascon, L.A.’s progressively-minded new D.A. But they vow to be back. Gascon’s moves to end cash bail and prohibit assistant D.A.’s from seeking death penalties and sentence enhancements angered crime victims and many of his own deputies. Related posts  1  2  3

Thanks to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Minneapolis residents will soon be voting on a proposal by a progressive citizens’ group, “Yes 4 Minneapolis,” to replace their beleaguered police department with a new agency that provides “a comprehensive public health approach to safety.” The Justices’ decision overrules a lower court’s removal of the measure from the city ballot because it seemed “so complex that voters cannot be expected to understand the meaning or essential purpose.” Related post

Federal authorities have charged a middle-aged Chicago woman with fraudulently obtaining tax refunds and COVID-19 relief payments by misappropriating information from the death certificates of murdered local youth. Posing as a relative, she obtained twenty-six of these in 2019, all for homicide victims ages two to twenty-two. As she carried out this scam, Katrina Pierce, 50 was on parole for a decade-old conviction on a similar crime. COVID updates

9/16/21  Two Chicago men, Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez, will share $20.5 million for being “framed” in a 1993 murder by retired police detective Reynaldo Guevara. In 2004 a witness said his testimony against them was “fed” by the now-infamous detective, who allegedly bullied and coached winesses as a matter of course. In all, eighteen convictions in which Guevara played a role have been tossed. One was settled by the city for $21 million in 2009; another for $17 million in 2018. Related posts 1  2

In 2020 six LAPD Metro officers were charged for falsely stating on field interview cards that persons they stopped were gang members. Each pled not guilty and is pending trial. Now four more members of the unit are suspected of doing the same thing. One filed a lawsuit last year alleging that a “quota system” pressured Metro’s cops to label persons as gang members. “Minimums had to be met.” Related posts 1  2

Prompted by the 2019 death of Elijah Mc Clain, a State investigation of Aurora (CO) police concluded that its officers “engaged in a pattern of racially biased policing and excessive force.” One key finding was that while Black persons constitute fifteen percent of the city’s population, during a recent three-year period Blacks were subject to nearly half of all uses of force. Aurora PD has been invited to voluntarily participate in State monitoring; if it does not, a Court order will be sought. Related posts 1  2

U.S. border authorities detained 212,672 illegal migrants in July 2121, the most in twenty-one years. In August the number was a slightly smaller 208,887. One in four was a repeat offender, far higher than the past average of 14 percent. According to a top Republican Senator, this “unlawful migration crisis” is due to a thoughtless “dismantling” of prior policies, with nothing to replace them. Immigration special topic  Related post

9/15/21  Appearing in Federal court via video, former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao pled not guilty to violating George Floyd’s civil rights. Lane, Kueng and Thao asked that to avoid undue prejudice they be tried separately from Chauvin, whom “everybody knows...was convicted of murder.” Thao’s lawyer also asked that his client, an experienced cop, be tried alone, as his defense would be inconsistent with that of rookies Lane and Kueng. Trial of Derek Chauvin Related post

On September 14 the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed former officer Mohamed Noor’s conviction for 3rd. degree murder. Moor had purposely fired his gun at the victim, Justine Ruszczyk. According to the Court, the law’s required mental state, “a generalized indifference to human life,” is not present when, as in this case, “the defendant’s conduct is directed with particularity at the person who is killed.” Moor remains convicted of 2nd. degree manslaughter and will have to be resentenced. Related post

9/14/21  In an address to police executives, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland pledged to improve how monitors oversee consent decrees. Among the steps are capping yearly costs, prohibiting monitors from serving at multiple sites, assuring they “prioritize stakeholder input,” and mandating hearings to terminate oversight at the five-year mark so that it doesn’t continue longer than necessary. Related post

A Federally-sponsored study reveals that the use of marijuana by young adults “increased to all-time highs in 2020” (click here for the report.) At the same time, marijuana’s perceived health risks reached “all-time lows.” That troubles Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We know that marijuana use, and particularly when it is in regular use…it’s associated to the higher risk of psychosis [and] suicidal thinking...” (click here for a NIDA news release). Marijuana special topic  Related post

9/13/21  San Diego P.D. has nearly 2,000 cops. About half report being unvaccinated. Los Angeles has about 12,000, also half unvaccinated. Both cities are requiring that employees get the shots. According to San Diego’s police union, ninety percent of 733 officers who responded to a survey oppose mandatory vaccination, and sixty-five percent would consider resigning. In August the NAACP urged the FBI to investigate a SDPD officer’s online rant urging colleagues to “stand up for our God given freedoms” and reject forced vaccination and masking. LAPD’s officer union supports vaccinations. But six LAPD officers, including a Lieutenant, have sued the city in Federal Court over the mandate. COVID-19 special topic   COVID-19 updates

9/12/21  A Louisiana State Police panel formed to review bodycam videos from prior stops by officers from the same Troop that tangled with Ronald Greene was “abruptly disbanded.” According to the AP, the footage depicts beatings and excessive uses of force dating back to 2019. A police official recently retired after admitting he routinely approved use-of-force reports without watching the videos. Federal investigators examining Greene’s beating are reportedly looking into these incidents as well. Related post

Capitol police announced that the January 6th. intrusion led to 38 internal investigations for alleged misconduct. None of the 26 officers identified were deemed by prosecutors to have committed a crime. But the agency “sustained” internal charges and recommended discipline against six: “Three for conduct unbecoming, one for failure to comply with directives, one for improper remarks, [and] one for improper dissemination of information.” Action involving a seventh officer is pending. Related post

9/11/21  A RAND questionnaire about officer “subgroups” (i.e., cliques) was distributed to the L.A. Sheriff Dept.’s 10,000 sworn deputies. It was completed and returned by 1,608, including 16.5% (529) of its 3,202 member patrol force. Substantial proportions of respondents agreed that the groups were more common in high-crime areas and expected members to be hard workers, aggressive, and make many arrests. Only sixteen percent of respondents said they had been invited to join a subgroup. Of these, only 15 percent agreed that joining would have necessarily involved them in violating policy, and 22 percent said that they would have been expected to ignore such behavior by colleagues. Related posts 1  2  3  4

Chicago PD reports that year-to-date 3,043 residents have been shot, and 540 killed. The comparable figures for 2020 were 2,781 and 526. To address the violence Mayor Lightfoot has, among other things, spent $35 million on “violence interruption” groups. But a critic says that de-escalating tensions is far from enough. “You need the jobs. You need the housing. We don’t have that right now.” Related posts 1  2

9/10/21   Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four underlings sat in Guantanamo military court as defense lawyers and prosecutors questioned Col. Matthew N. McCall, the fourth judge to preside since 2012, about his qualifications. His appointment was approved by an appeals court, but the defense is expected to object. Their claim, that the Government’s case was irreparably tainted by the prisoners’ torture, is also still to be decided. When evidence will start to be heard is unknown. Related post

Doomed by his nominee’s past remarks about gun ownership and his close association with gun control groups, President Joe Biden reluctantly withdrew the nomination of retired ATF agent David Chipman to be the agency’s permanent director. ATF Directors are subject to Senate approval, and disputes about gun control have left the beleaguered agency without a top manager for nearly a decade. White House statement   Related post

9/9/21  More than two-hundred Capitol rioters were charged with “obstruction of an official proceeding,” a serious felony punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment (18 USC 1512[c][2]). But some judges are questioning whether their behavior substantially differed from other rioters who were charged with misdemeanors, such as entering a restricted area or being disorderly (18 USC 1752). Bottom line: is the felony charge unconstitutionally vague? Capitol special topic  Related post

Loveland, Colorado settled a lawsuit filed by the family of Karen Garner, a 74-year old woman whom two police officers violently arrested in June 2020 after she reportedly shoplifted $14 worth of goods from a Walmart. Garner, who suffers from dementia, says she forgot to pay. Both officers resigned. In May 2021 one was charged with assault, and the other with not intervening and failure to report. A video depicts the officers in the station, laughing after the arrest. One said “I love it. This is great.” Related post

9/8/21  “Project 77,” a new Chicago coalition of existing neighborhood organizations, seeks to reduce violence and get disadvantaged youth “out of the grip of the court system” by providing a full range of services, including free legal help, job development, mentoring, housing and assistance with mental health problems. Case managers will help clients one-on-one. Neighborhoods special topic   Related post

Now a postal employee and mother of two, an Illinois woman claims she was rejected from her dream job as a Chicago cop because she admitted, during the hiring process, to a couple poor moves as a youth: depositing a bad check, and under-charging a friend at a drug store. Such things, according to the Tribune, contribute to an under-representation of Blacks in the ranks: while they constitute 30 percent of the city’s residents, only 20 percent of its cops are Black. Hispanics are equally represented at 29 percent, while Whites, who form 33 percent of the city, are over-represented at 47 percent. Related posts 1  2  3

Eli Vera is no longer a high-ranking “Chief” in the L.A. Sheriff’s Dept. Soon after announcing that he will challenge his boss in next year’s election, Sheriff Alex Villanueva demoted him to Commander. That, said an official, makes perfect sense, as Chiefs are privy to critical insider information. Others who have filed to challenge the Sheriff include a current Lieutenant, a Captain, and two retired officers. Related post

Stung by California voter’s rejection of an initiative to eliminate cash bail, reformers now seek to drastically limit its cost. A new proposal caps the final charge for those who comply with court orders at five percent of the ten-percent fee. For example, one’s out-of-pocket cost for a bail of $50,000 is $5,000. Should they fully comply, they’d get all but $250 back. That, according to bail firms, would effectively put them out of business. But a bill to that effect is winding its way through the Legislature. Related post

9/7/21 “At least 66” persons were shot in Chicago during the Labor Day weekend, seven more than last year. Six were killed. Among them was a four-year old boy, who was struck as he sat in a chair getting his hair done. He and his parents were visiting from Louisiana. Police found 27 spent cartridges from a handgun and “mini rifle.” The shooting happened in Woodlawn, one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. Its Third police district recorded 27 murders in 2020 and 47 through August 31st. this year. Related post

9/6/21  Families of victims murdered by juveniles have reacted bitterly to a decision by George Gascon, L.A.’s progressive new D.A., to forbid prosecutors from seeking judicial approval to keep juveniles convicted as adults in prison past their 25th. birthday. In 2016 Proposition 57 required that judges approve trying juveniles as adults. Those who were tried as adults solely under a prosecutor’s discretion would be reclassified as juveniles unless prosecutors sought and prevailed at a “transfer hearing.” Related post

A “law-abiding” Marine Corps vet employed in security armed himself, donned body armor and burst into a home twenty miles from his Florida residence. Police said that Bryan J. Riley, 33, was high on meth and in the throes of PTSD when he gunned down four members of a family with which he was unacquainted. He then shot it out with police and surrendered. Riley had told his girlfriend that he was divinely inspired. He repeated that claim to persons in the neighborhood where he wound up. Related post

9/5/21  “Auto sears,” small devices that modify semi-automatic pistols and rifles so that a single trigger squeeze discharges multiple rounds, convert weapons into machineguns. So they’re illegal under Federal law. But they’re simple to fit, and like bump stocks and “ghost guns” are becoming common. Related post

In Los Angeles, a vehicle that was observed dropping off a victim of human trafficking sped away when officers tried to effect a traffic stop. In its attempt to elude police the car ultimately crashed into several other vehicles, killing one innocent person and seriously injuring four. Two suspects were arrested; neither was seriously hurt. Based on the given locations, the chase extended about 1.7 miles. Related post

Located near the city center, Los Angeles’ vast MacArthur Park has long been a haven for lower-income residents who patronize the food and article vendors that line the shores of its vast lake. It’s also the stomping grounds for MS-13 gang members, whose “shadow taxation system” extorts “rent” from the struggling retailers and brutally punishes, sometimes fatally, those who don’t pay up. Victims have expanded to include the transgender, whom the gang has decided simply don’t belong. Related post

9/4/21   A Black couple arrested by Beverly Hills police last September for riding scooters on a sidewalk and resisting arrest is suing the city for engaging in a racially-motivated campaign. According to BHPD “street gambling, public intoxication, marijuana smoking and more” led it to create a specialized team. Its officers recovered many guns. Most of the arrestees were (like the couple) from other states and many allegedly had fraudulent debit cards loaded with state unemployment funds. Whether all of those arrested were indeed minorities (the couple claims 105 of 106 were Black) is yet to be confirmed. Related posts 1  2

 



 
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