Does Legal Pot
Drive Violence?

(#420, 11/24/22)

Blows to the Head
Were Never O.K.

(#419, 11/4/22)

Worlds Apart...Not!
(#418, 10/20/22)

Hard Times in
the "Big Easy"

(#417, 9/27/22)

What Were They
Thinking? (Part II)

(#416, 9/3/22)

What Were They
Thinking? And, Why?

(#415, 8/15/22)

Loopholes are
(Still) Lethal

(#414, 8/8/22)

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

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...


Does Race
Drive Policing?

(#423, 2/3/23)

Concerns that police target
Black persons roil Los Angeles

Race and Ethnicity
Aren't Pass/Fail

(#422, 1/9/23)

DOJ quashes obstructing rentals
to Blacks and Hispanics

On the One Hand...
But on the Other...

(#421, 12/13/22)

California's lethal force laws
devolve into a legal Neverland






2/4/23  According to a new ATF study, an increasing number of guns recovered from crimes were sold by licensed dealers as part of a “multiple sale.” That’s when buyers, often unlicensed resellers, acquire guns in quantity for resale to persons, such as felons and the underage, who cannot legally buy guns. Semi-auto pistols fashioned after the popular “Glock” have also become the gun of choice, comprising nearly seven out of every ten recovered guns. ATF study   Related post

“West Town Bakery,” in Wheeling, Illinois, became the State’s “first cannabis store with a bar and a bakery under the same roof.” A photo in the Chicago Tribune depicts employees handling pastries in the clearly well-heeled establishment. For now, though, the spacious and trendy cafe/bar is separate from where marijuana edibles are sold. But the owners hope to add a “consumption area” soon. Drug legal. updates

Two days ago, following the events in Memphis, a statement by the California Faculty Association, which represents 29,000 faculty of the California State University system, the nation’s largest, reiterated  demands, originally made in 2020, to “defund campus policing, remove armed police from our campuses,” and shift to alternatives based on “community accountability and transformative justice.” CFA’s website brims with social justice themes that portray racism in American society as “systemic and linked to other structures of oppression.” Related post

After being wounded in a shootout with ATF agents, Norteņo gang member Angel “Nanu” Uriarte, 35, and his partner, Noah David Beard, 25, were arrested for perpetrating a massacre at a Tulare County, Calif. residence last month. Summoned to the home by a panic-stricken resident, deputies found the bodies of six persons, ranging from a 10-month old baby to a 72-year old grandmother. It’s believed that two members of the family belonged to the rival Sureņo gang. Related posts 1   2

2/3/23  Last Tuesday a 23-year old ex-con shot and killed a 24-year old police officer in the small, peaceful community of Selma, California. Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr., who had two years on the job, encountered Nathaniel Dixon, 23, on a suspicious person call. Dixon quickly pulled a gun and shot the officer dead. Dixon had served a brief prison term for robbery. Once out he was repeatedly arrested on gun and drug charges. But thanks to a considerate plea deal and AB 109, he was released on probation. Related posts 1   2

Federal law (18 USC 922[g][8]) prohibits persons subject to restraining orders barring them from stalking or harassing an intimate partner from having guns. But thanks to a recent ruling by a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, that law conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 2021 Bruen decision, which requires, among other things, that gun laws be “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” Until the full Fifth Circuit and/or the Supremes sort it out, the Texas man who was subject to a restraining order, got caught with guns, and got indicted, is off the hook. AG statement   Related post

2/2/23   In October 2021 Benjamin Obadiah Foster was released from custody on the day he arrived at an Oregon prison to serve a sentence for savagely beating a woman friend. Although he had another beating case pending, a judge had given him a brief term and credited his time waiting for trial. Earlier this year Foster fled after beating another woman nearly to death. After an intense search he was found dead by suicide. In the interim he managed to kill two other persons who lived nearby. Related post

D.C. resident Isaiah Trotman, 31, is under arrest after embarking on a shooting rampage on the capital city’s transit system. Two persons were hospitalized with leg wounds and a long-serving Metro employee, Robert Cunningham, 64, was shot dead when he tried to intervene. During his spree, Trotman put his gun to the head of a bus rider who was on his cellphone and, while flaunting his gun, told a passer-by, “I’m the killmonger today.” Related post

In their written closing argument, Minneapolis prosecutors emphasized that ex-MPD cop Tou Thao, an experienced officer, was besieged by spectator comments that George Floyd was in extremis and had stopped breathing, yet he kept an off-duty firefighter from stepping in to help. Thao also knew from training of the lethal risks posed by Chauvin’s persistent pressure on Floyd’s neck area, but did nothing to intervene. Pre-trial motions

2/1/23   In his stipulated closing argument, defendant Tou Thao submitted photos from the police academy that show students being instructed on applying their knees to the back of a suspect’s neck. Accordingly, he could not know that in doing so Chauvin was committing a crime. He also did not know that Mr. Floyd had stopped breathing and was without a pulse. Tao acted in accordance with his training about excited delirium and helped get Floyd an ambulance as quickly as possible, and even called again when medics didn’t promptly arrive. Trial by stipulation

Two weeks into the criminal trial of notorious veteran NYPD narcotics detective Joseph Franco, an irate judge dismissed the case because prosecutors repeatedly failed to share crucial evidence with the defense. In 2019 ex-cop Franco’s alleged litany of misdeeds led to a perjury indictment. He was fired the next year and hundreds of criminal cases in which he participated were tossed. His own case has now been dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning it cannot be refiled. And his prosecutor has been demoted. Related posts 1   2

More shootings rocked the land. A drive-by in a chronically troubled Lakeland, Florida neighborhood left eleven persons wounded, two critically. Police found packaged marijuana and believe the incident was related to drug sales. In a well-to-do area of Montclair, Calif., an elderly couple and their middle-aged son were found shot dead in the couple’s home. It’s not believed to be a murder-suicide. And in Omaha, Nebraska, where openly carrying firearms is legal, a man in his 30’s entered a Target store with an AR-15 type rifle and “a dozen magazines.” He randomly opened fire. No one was hit, and responding officers shot him dead. Related post

1/31/23  Ex-Minneapolis cops Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng pled guilty to a State charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of George Floyd; Lane in May 2021 and Kueng in October 2022. Both are serving State and Federal terms concurrently. But their former colleague Tou Thao, who was also charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter, chose to go to trial. In October 2022 he agreed to be tried on stipulated evidence presented to a judge. On January 30 prosecution and defense formally submitted a joint stipulation. A decision is expected soon. Pre-trial motions

Louisville P.D.’s killing of Breonna Taylor in March 2020 led to a wave of protests that summer. While helping break up a post-curfew gathering in June, then-cop Katie Crews fired pepperballs, striking a woman in a restaurant doorway. Her uncle, the proprietor, then shot at police and was killed by return fire from a National Guardsman. Crews, who left the force, was charged with Federal civil rights violations over the pepper-ball incident. She just drew two years probation. DOJ release   Related post

1/30/23  A wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood nestled next to Beverly Hills became the scene of another mass shooting early Saturday morning as a “gun battle” broke out in front of a rental home. When it was over three women ages 26 to 33 lay dead in a parked car and four other persons were wounded, two critically. Police identified the deceased as residents of Illinois and Arizona and said that the home’s residents and other witnesses left before their arrival. “More than thirty shots” were fired, and the episode was described as definitely “not random.” Related post

“A cloud of dishonor” that’s descended on her agency’s “Scorpion” anti-crime unit led Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, a Black woman, to disband its three teams. Brenda Andrews, president of a national association of police executives, pointed out that the officers who encountered Tyre Nichols were instantly aggressive and that none tried to intervene with their colleagues. “Nobody tried to stop anything...This was never a matter of de-escalation” she said. Related posts 1   2

On January 26, L.A. Sheriff’s deputies were told by a stabbing victim that his assailant was “a man in a wheelchair.” Huntington Park police soon accosted Anthony Lowe, 36, a double amputee whose wounding, according to his sister, came from an “alteraction” with police in Texas. Related post

1/28/23  “SCORPION”. That’s the name of the specialized anti-crime team to which the five Memphis cops who savagely beat Tyre Nichols belonged. In late 2021 Memphis assigned forty officers to combat violence by “saturating” areas beset by crime. According to Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, the strategy proved effective, reducing violence and leading to the seizure of many guns. Indeed, Mayor Jim Strickland recently praised SCORPION’s success. But it’s now been suspended. Related posts 1   2

With Chicago’s Mayoral campaign in full swing, crime is taking center stage. Touting her pro-police record, Mayor Lori Lightfoot blasted one challenger as a notorious “defunder” and another for “embellishing...his so-called public safety bona fides.” Problem is, violence has risen since Lightfoot took office in 2019, but she notes the numbers have come down. Meanwhile her competitors insist they’re all for the cops. One, Willie Wilson, criticized Lightfoot for putting too many restrictions on police and seconded his former comments that persons fleeing officers should be “hunted down like rabbits.” Related post

1/27/23  Memphis-area schools are closing early as the community braces for the release of video depicting the reportedly brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis cops on January 7. Nichols, who succumbed to his injuries, was supposedly stopped for reckless driving, but evidence of that is said to be lacking. Each officer was indicted on second-degree murder and other charges on January 26; one remains in jail and four made bond. Related posts 1   2

1/27/23  Two New York City-based terrorism convictions are in the news. In Manhattan Federal Court, jurors returned guilty verdicts against Sayfullo Saipov, a 34-year old Uzbek immigrant who murdered eight bicyclists in 2017 by running them over with a truck as they wheeled down a bike path. Saipov said he had been inspired by watching ISIS videos on his phone. And in State court, jurors convicted Jamaican cleric and staunch ISIS backer Abdullah el-Faisal of supporting terrorism by trying to clandestinely help a woman (actually, an undercover cop) journey to an ISIS-controlled area and marry a fighter for the cause. Related posts 1   2

Two young Hialeah, Fla. police officers who handcuffed a troublesome homeless man, drove him out of town, allegedly beat him up and left him on the ground were promptly fired. Lorenzo Orfila, 27, and Rafael Otano, 22, now face kidnapping, battery and other charges over the December 17th. incident. An off-duty cop soon came across the man and called 9-1-1. According to the victim, another homeless person later offered him $1,200 to recant. His money was accepted. Related post

1/26/23  Hawaiian native Ian Schweitzer is a free man. Twenty-five years after he, his brother and a friend were imprisoned for the rape-murder of a tourist, DNA evidence conclusively established his innocence. Their fate was sealed by a false admission from the friend, who was trying to mitigate charges in another case, perjured testimony from a like-minded jailhouse informant, and since-disproven bite-mark evidence. Advances in DNA now conclusively prove that a blood-soaked t-shirt central to the case, plus the victim’s vaginal swab, plus numerous other key items carries the DNA of the real killer. Related posts 1   2

A badly wounded teacher prepares to sue the Newport News school district over revelations that administrators ignored repeated warnings over hours that the student who shot her was indeed armed. Another student had tearfully reported being shown the gun during lunch hour but threatened not to tell, and the teacher who unsuccessfully searched the bookbag thought the student hid the gun in his pockets. Meanwhile the district superintendent has been let go - with $502,000 severance. Related posts 1   2

According to San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus, Zhao Chunli, the 66-year old Half-Moon Bay farmworker who shot and killed seven coworkers, also mostly elderly, “specifically targeted” his victims. It didn’t seem to be about race or ethnicity: the wounded man and two of the dead were of Mexican ancestry, and the other five men killed were, like their murderer, of Asian descent. Related posts 1   2

1/25/23  More lethal gunplay rocked the nation. Jarid Haddock, a 21-year old Yakima man, used a pistol to “randomly” shoot and kill three strangers in and near a convenience store on Tuesday. He later committed suicide. Haddock was once arrested for stealing a car. After some difficulties with drug use, he completed a diversion program and charges were dismissed. And in Oakland, gunfire erupted during the Monday evening filming of a music video at a gas station. A hail of nineteen bullets left one person dead and four wounded. Gang rivalries are blamed, and so far no one has been arrested. Related posts 1   2   3

Former Crawford County, Arkansas, Sheriff’s Deputies Levi White and Zackary King were fired after an August 2022 encounter in which they repeatedly punched Randal Ray Worcester, 27, a local man who misbehaved at a convenience store (click here for our brief video clip.) A Federal grand jury has now indicted them for civil rights offenses that carry a 10-year prison term and a $250,000 fine. Related post

1/24/23  With another victim succumbing to their wounds, the death toll of the shooting at the Monterey Park dance studio now stands at eleven. Tran’s weapon has been identified as a MAC-10 pistol, which is banned in California. Investigators now theorize that he was suffering from emotional issues and was driven by jealousy. Tran had recently complained to police of fraud and theft and said that his family had tried to poison him decades ago. A search of his residence turned up a rifle, a large amount of ammunition, and indications that he was making silencers. Related posts 1   2

That massacre took place on Saturday, January 21, the eve of the Lunar New Year. Only two days later, on January 23, another elderly Asian man opened fire with a pistol at two farm facilities in California’s Half-Moon Bay region, just south of San Francisco. Chunli Zhao, 67, an agricultural worker, shot seven colleagues dead and wounded one. He then parked in a Sheriff’s lot and was arrested. Including the massacre in Monterey Park and the murder of six at a Tulare County residence on January 16, California has endured three massacres in eight days. Related posts 1   2

Shootings aren’t just a California problem. So far no one has died, but a dozen were wounded when shooting erupted in a Baton Rouge nightclub early Sunday morning, January 22. Gunplay isn’t new to the city. Another early-morning shooting left nine wounded near the Southern University campus last October. Related posts 1   2

Continuing “a wave of violence” that began last year, two youths were fatally shot and an adult  was wounded in a “targeted” shooting at a Des Moines, Iowa alternative school. Police detained three youths who were in a car that matched a description of the assailants’ vehicle. One youth had to be chased down. Along with “several” non-fatal shootings, the metro area has suffered “at least ten homicides” since early December. Officers also recently killed a 16-year old who allegedly pointed a gun. Related posts 1   2

1/23/23  Saturday night, on the eve of the Lunar New Year, a 72-year old Asian male who had patronized a Monterey Park, Calif. dance studio entered the packed hall and opened fire with an “assault pistol”, killing ten and wounding an equal number. His gun was a 9mm. pistol with an extended magazine, reportedly illegal in California. Huu Can Tran then burst into a dance studio in a nearby community, but patrons wrestled away his gun. Police later found Tran dead in his van, where he committed suicide with another gun. Located on the Eastern fringes of Los Angeles County, Monterey Park is a modest city of about 61,000 persons, predominantly of Asian descent. Related posts 1   2

In Oakland, Calif., a scathing report by a law firm hired by the city to investigate two egregious episodes of officer misbehavior, one in 2021 and another last year, concluded that Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, who was appointed in 2021, had essentially whitewashed both events. So he’s been placed on “administrative leave.” Oakland P.D. has been under a court order to tighten officer oversight since a group of cops known as the “Riders” ran roughshod in the community. Related post

Five Memphis police officers, all Black men, have been fired for using excessive force to detain Tyre Nichols, a 29-year old Black male whom they stopped for reckless driving on January 7. Mr. Nichols, who was also Black, apparently resisted and ran off. He was chased down, and during a subsequent struggle complained that he couldn’t breathe. He died in a hospital, according to his family, from a heart attack and kidney failure caused by a beating. Prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump is on the case. Related posts 1   2

With sixteen youths shot dead last year, twice 2021’s toll, and homicides at a near-20-year high, Washington D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser agreed that anxiety over crime is running high. Still, as she mentioned at a meeting with the city’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission, the homicide count during the crack epidemic was twice that number. But one of the group’s members complained that “children are picking up their first gun at 12.” Mayor Bowser later conceded that the woman’s remarks were indeed reflective of “what I hear in neighborhoods across the District of Columbia.” Related posts 1   2

1/21/23  At the grand opening of Manhattan’s pioneering recreational marijuana shop, the State’s marijuana chief proudly showed off a container of watermelon-flavored cannabis gummies. Housing Works, the nonprofit that owns the store, displays colorfully labeled cartons containing fruit and even cereal milk-flavored pot. Meanwhile a Columbia University epidemiologist expressed concerns that “mad mango,” “loud lemon” and “peach dream” might entice kids to partake. Really? Drug legalization updates


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