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

Violence besets poor neighborhoods.
So why should the well-off care?

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

Floyd and the virus upend policing.
Some cops react poorly.

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)

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)

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...





10/25/21  Police 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. Related post

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

10/23/21  Homeowners associations 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. Related post

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. Related post

10/21/21  Jamarcus 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. Related post

Federal 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 topic  Related 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 1   2

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 updates Related post

10/20/21  As 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. Related post

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 decision  Union City decision  Related post

10/18/21  Polly 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 1   2

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 1   2

10/16/21  One 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 topic  Related 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. Related post

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 forthcoming hearing. Related post

10/15/21  Andrew 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. Related post

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. Related post

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. Related post

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. Related post

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

10/13/21  Calif. 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 1   2

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 topic Related 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.” Related post

10/11/21  Social 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. Related post

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 1  2

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. Related post

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. Related post

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. Related post

10/9/21  A 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 1  2

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 1  2

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. Related post

10/8/21  Struggling 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. Related post

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. Related post

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. Related post


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