Punishment Isn't
a Cop's Job (III)

(#435, 8/1/23)

San Antonio

(#434, 7/20/23)

the Watchers

(#433, 6/30/23)

Good News /
Bad News

(#432, 6/16/23)

Is Diversion
the Answer?

(#431, 5/30/23)

"Legal" Gun Buyers
Can be a Problem

(#430, 5/15/23)

Fearful, Angry,
And Armed.

(#429, 5/2/23)

Piling On
(#428, 4/17/23)

Are We Helpless
to Prevent Massacres?

(#427, 4/4/23)

A Broken "System"
(#426, 3/20/23)

When Worlds

(#425, 3/7/23)

Punishment Isn't
a Cop's Job (II)

(#424, 2/20/23)

Does Race
Drive Policing?

(#423, 2/3/23)

Race and Ethnicity
Aren't Pass/Fail

(#422, 1/9/23)

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

(#421, 12/13/22)

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...


Confirmation Bias
Can be Lethal

(#438, 9/21/23)

Why did a "routine" traffic stop
cost a Philadelphia man's life?

When (Very) Hard
Heads Collide (II)

(#437, 9/5/23)

What should cops do when
miscreants refuse to comply?
Refuse to comply?

What Cops

(#436, 8/24/23)

America's violent atmosphere
can distort officer decisions






9/29/23  Chicago D.A. Kim Foxx says that her prosecution of police officers has been meant to remedy a “lack of accountability.” But yet another of her cases has fallen apart as a judge acquitted two suspended officers, Ruben Reynoso and Christopher Liakopoulosa, in the wounding of suspected gang member Miguel Medina. His gesture, the officers claimed, led them to believe he was armed. And while Medina didn’t shoot, his companion responded with gunfire, and his gun was later connected to Medina. Related post

Trial took two months, but in the end jurors convicted Deonte Lee Murray of ten felonies, including attempted murder and felon with a gun, in the 2020 ambush shooting of L.A. County sheriff’s deputies Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez as they sat in their patrol car at a transit station. Murray was also convicted of another shooting, ten days earlier, in which he mistakenly thought that his victim was a detective. Murray used an unserialized “ghost pistol.” He faces life without parole. Related posts 1   2

Unable to physically house and care for the waves of immigrants seeking asylum, DHS has released 7,800 into San Diego in two weeks, to await eligibility hearings that might not be scheduled for years. But local shelters and volunteers can’t accommodate all of the arrivals, and many without contacts are in turn flown to major cities such as Detroit and New York, where the process repeats. Immigration updates

9/28/23  At the conclusion of a September 26 preliminary hearing, a Philadelphia municipal court judge dismissed all charges against ex-officer Mark Dial in the killing of Eddie Irizarry. Her finding of “a lack of evidence” was bitterly criticized by the D.A. and, as well, by Irizarry’s family. Each charge, from 1st. degree murder on, was promptly refiled and a “motions hearing” (to be handled by a different judge) was set for October 25. Dial, who was being held without bail, was released. Related post

A review of LAPD shootings by the L.A. Times revealed 38 instances during the past five years when officers mistakenly opened fire on an unarmed person. One was Dexter White, who was struck by multiple rounds in 2018 and still bears serious physical after-effects. Encountered by officers responding to a (it turns out, misleading) domestic abuse call, all White had was a cellphone, but one cop instantly fired, and contagion led his colleagues to shoot as well. A civil jury just awarded White $2.75 million. Related post

9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in 2003. By 2007, when the FBI questioned him at Guantanamo, the CIA had waterboarded him 183 times. FBI agents, though, treated Mohammed respectfully. He did ask about a lawyer, but the practice was no lawyer until charges were filed by a military commission. So he chatted away. And now his lawyer says that his richly-detailed, multi-hour confession can’t be used in the forthcoming trial. Where a conviction would mean death. Related post

In 2018 Long Beach, Calif. police officers Dedier Reyes and David Salcedo filed erroneous accounts about a gun recovery, leading to the arrest and brief jailing of an innocent person. While their superiors and the D.A. initially chalked it up as an innocent mistake, in 2021 a reformist D.A. charged both with perjury and filing a false report, and they were fired. That case just came to trial. Agreeing with the defense that their clients had made an “honest, reasonable” error, jurors acquitted both ex-cops. Related posts 1   2

9/27/23  California’s Governor signed two new gun control measures into effect. Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), a response to last year’s Bruen decision, in which the Supreme Court invalidated New York’s gun-carry licensing law, makes issuing a CCW non-discretionary. But gun carry remains prohibited in a host of places, including schools and public transit. Assembly Bill 28 (SB 28) imposes an 11% tax on gun sales. Proceeds are earmarked for violence prevention, school safety measures and gun violence victims. Related post

Retail thefts, including large-scale assaults by organized bands of shoplifters (“flash mobs”), have made life difficult for chain stores.  Target, which reported a major increase in thefts involving threats or violence this year, is shuttering nine locations across the U.S. Walmart is following suit. Many retailers are trying to deal with the situation by removing desirable items from the shelves and placing them behind the counter. Self-checkout is also being limited. But according to an asset protection executive, “the situation is only becoming more dire.” Related post

With two more murders occurring later that day, Washington, D.C.’s homicide count, which was 199 as of 12:00 am, September 26, has surpassed 200. That’s a 25-year high, and 28 percent worse than at this time last year, when there were 203 total murders. Officials are concerned that this year’s death count may approach 1997’s, when 303 were slain. Ans as usual, the burden has fallen most acutely “on Black residents in the District’s most underserved neighborhoods.” Police are reportedly taking a “tougher approach,” but with 3,328 officers, its force is the smallest in fifty years. Related post

9/26/23  A “Research Letter” just published in JAMA Pediatrics reports that marijuana’s widespread legalization and a failure by many online vendors to confirm buyer age has vastly increased its access to children. Most accept payment via “nontraceable” methods and many ship to other States, even those with different laws. According to a 2022 NIDA survey, almost one -third of 12th. graders had used marijuana in the past year, and 6.3 percent used it daily. Drug legalization updates   Related post

In 1987, after a psychiatrist tipped police about Shawn Melton’s depraved fantasies, Solano County, CA police arrested Melton for the assault and murder of a six-year old boy. Melton denied involvement, and he spent nineteen months locked up as juries twice acquitted him. Melton was free but remained a suspect, He died in 2000. Advanced DNA techniques recently absolved Melton and identified Fred Cain, 69, as the real killer. He was arrested by police in Oregon. Related post

9/25/23  Accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al-Shibh was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, then tortured at CIA “black sites” for four years before arriving in Guantanamo. His recent diagnosis by U.S. medical experts of “post-traumatic stress disorder with secondary psychosis” just led a military judge to declare him “unfit for trial.” No trial is imminent, but if it happens, his four accused accomplices, who are also at Guantanamo, will be tried without him. As for al-Shibh, he’ll be held until he regains competency. Related post

Acting by Executive Order, President Biden established the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. It will seek to reduce gun violence through four initiatives: to “fully implement” the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act; help support the survivors of gun violence and their communities; find new ways to apply executive action; and “expand our coalition of partners in states and cities across America.” Related post

In June 2017 U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez overthrew California’s ban on high-capacity magazines. Four years later he did the same to the State’s assault-weapons ban, which he called it “a failed experiment.” Neither of his moves survived appellate review. But a few days ago he issued another thumbs-down on the magazine ban. This time, though, he’s got implicit support from the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision, which required that gun laws have historical justification. Related post

Baton Rouge police are accused of taking freshly detained or arrested persons to a warehouse operated by the Street Crimes unit. Nicknamed the Brave Cave and “torture warehouse”, it’s a place where cops allegedly conducted rough interrogations and subjected persons to brutal treatment, including kicking and punching, away from public view. So far it’s generated two Federal lawsuits. One of the defendants, an officer who has resigned, faces charges of misusing a stun gun in a separate incident. Related post

Complaints that facial recognition technology is less accurate for Black persons continue to generate lawsuits. Most recently, a Black resident of Georgia is suing after his arrest on a Louisiana warrant for using a stolen credit card to make a purchase in the New Orleans area. An image captured by a surveillance camera was matched to his Georgia driver license. Randal Quran Reid was held in a Georgia jail for several days until his lawyer convinced Louisiana authorities they had the wrong man. Related posts 1   2

9/22/23  Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial, who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry on August 14, was charged with murder and released on $500,000 bail on September 8. But prosecutors have argued that Dial’s liability to a 1st. degree murder conviction made him ineligible for pretrial release. On September 19 a judge agreed and remanded the suspended cop to jail at least until September 28, the date for his  preliminary hearing, when a court will decide what charges Dial will actually face. Related post

A study published in Criminology & Public Policy examined wrongful convictions to discern the relationship between false confessions, prosecutorial misconduct, withholding evidence, and false guilty pleas. According to its authors, false confessions made it more likely that prosecutors would engage in misconduct and withhold evidence. But when prosecutorial misconduct and withholding evidence happened, false confessions became less a factor in convictions obtained through pleas than at trial. Related post

Asylum-seekers are arriving in overwhelming numbers, with nearly 6,000 crossing into a small Texas town in two days. To help oversee the border, 800 regular military troops are being sent to supplant the 2,500 National Guard members already there. And to ease pressures on local governments overwhelmed by the costs of housing and caring for immigrants, DHS is granting temporary protected status to 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived before July 31. That will authorize them to become lawfully employed. Nearly a quarter-million who already have the status are getting an 18-month extension because of their country’s “increased instability and lack of safety.” Immigration updates   Related post

9/21/23   A newly-published study in Criminology and Public Policy examines whether loosening state restrictions on gun carry and CCW licensing affected gun crimes, injuries and deaths between 1981-2019.  Findings suggest that gun assaults increased significantly in states that did away with “live firearm training” requirements for a license, and by a smaller but still substantial amount in states that abolished a prohibition against issuing CCW permits to violent misdemeanants. Related post

9/20/23   As Illinois began its first day without cash bail, judges across the State were required to release accused persons unless prosecutors presented convincing evidence that they posed a substantial risk to others or were a serious flight risk. Faced with making decisions about two defendants who committed crimes while armed, a judge released one on home monitoring but remanded the other, as to whom there was substantial proof that they pointed a gun. “I do find that he does (pose a threat)”. Related post

Billy Chemirmir, who was serving two life sentences in a Texas prison for murdering two elderly women he met while pretending to do maintenance work at senior living homes, was murdered by his cellmate, also a convicted murderer. Chemirmir, who may have have killed as many as two-dozen women during his years-long spree, was caught after a 91-year old woman survived an attack in 2018 and informed police. Related post

Court-ordered mental health commitments disqualify persons from possessing or buying guns under California and Federal laws. Kevin Salazar, who is under arrest for the recent murder of an L.A. deputy sheriff, had attempted suicide and was hospitalized for mental health issues. But he nonetheless “legally” bought a gun (presumably, the one used in the killing). How that was possible reveals the complexities of the law. And, as well, its limitations. Related post

9/19/23  After deploying chemical agents, a SWAT team arrested a 29-year old schizophrenic at his parent’s Palmdale home for the ambush slaying of L.A. County Deputy Sheriff Ryan Clinkunbroomer. According to his mother, Kevin Salazar, 29, had long suffered from severe mental problems. Deputies had previously visited the home, but said they could not force him to take his meds. “Numerous” firearms were recovered. Salazar was identified with help from the victim of a road-rage incident. Related post

Taser’s new Model 10 has a range of 45 feet, double the old device, and offers the ability to expel up to ten prongs - user’s choice - instead of two. To help control unruly persons and avoid using lethal force, LAPD will be furnishing 100 of the devices to each of four geographical divisions for a year-long test run. These Tasers don’t feature the “stun” mode, in which the device can be activated through direct contact, and LAPD no longer authorizes that form of use. Related post

Fiercely opposed by police and many prosecutors, a California bill that would have essentially outlawed pretextual traffic stops died in the Legislature. Its backers contended that prohibiting officers from stopping vehicles for minor transgressions such as a single broken taillight would greatly reduce the disparate treatment of minorities. “Police departments acting in a racially biased manner and wasting their time is not a good way to solve crime,” said the chair of a Penal Code revision committee. Related post

9/18/23  Authorities have detained “a person of interest” in the murder of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Clinkunbroomer two evenings ago. Shot and killed while sitting in his patrol car outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s station, the eight-year LASD veteran was a third-generation deputy with an excellent reputation. Surveillance video depicts a dark gray car stopping behind the parked cruiser, and a passerby found him in his vehicle.  No reason for the apparent ambush has been revealed. Related post

Despite opposition from psychiatrists, who fear that persons “struggling with mental illness” are being misled, Oregon’s first legal dispensary of psilocybin-based “magic mushrooms” is open for business. Clients with “depression, PTSD or end-of-life dread” must take their “trips” during six-hour in-house sessions, and three-thousand are on a wait list to experience their “oneness with the universe.” Legalization measures have also passed in California and Colorado. Drug legalization updates   Related post

“BTK” killer Dennis Rader is now 78, doing ten consecutive terms of life-without- parole in a Kansas prison. His daughter Kerri Rawson, whom he helped raise during his decades-long murderous spree, has been visiting him in prison to help police identify more of her father’s victims. After all, she had (unwittingly) helped in his capture. Nearly two decades ago, when Rader was only a suspect, her DNA, obtained through a hospital, was used to match him to the killings. Related post

After a Federal judge, siding with gun groups, temporarily blocked her temporary ban on gun carry in Albuquerque, New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham amended her order to only prohibit “open or concealed carry in public parks or playgrounds, where we know we’ve got high risk of kids and families.” But the judge’s final decision, which is yet to be announced, may torpedo the Governor’s gun control actions altogether. Related post

Jury selection began in the trial of Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, two of the three Aurora, Colorado police officers charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Elijah McClain, a Black man whom they detained during an August 2019 encounter.  McClain, who had been reportedly behaving oddly, was allegedly affected by the use of a neck restraint and paramedics’ application of a large dose of calming agent. A third officer and the paramedics will be tried separately. Related posts 1   2

9/15/23  A judge’s refusal to go along with Hunter Biden’s plea agreement led the special counsel investigating him (primarily, for tax shenanigans) to indict the President’s son on Federal firearms charges. In 2018 Biden, a self-admitted cocaine addict, bought a revolver. Biden faces three counts: two for asserting on the purchase form that he did not use illegal drugs, and one for possessing the gun. Such charges, though, are seldom filed on their own, and the underlying law is under judicial attack. Drug legalization updates    Related post

“Crime-free housing” laws and rules prohibit renting homes or apartments to persons with a criminal history. Some require evictions should a tenant or member of the household be convicted of a serious crime. Their disproportionate effect on Blacks and Latinos has led California legislators to pass a bill to prohibit local governments or agencies from imposing such laws or regulations. But landlords would remain free to impose conditions on their own. AB 1418 text  Related post

In the wake of the January 21 massacre at a Monterey Park, California dance studio that took eleven lives, word that L.A. County’s probation department had enlisted an online auction house to sell off “hundreds” of unneeded S&W and Beretta 9mm. pistols startled local legislators. So much so, that they passed a policy mandating that surplus firearms - most would presumably be with the probation and Sheriff’s departments - be destroyed. Related post

9/14/23  A proposed Federal initiative to affix GPS tracking devices to the ankles of asylum seekers to insure that immigrants who arrive in Texas remain in Texas is drawing heat from...Texas. While DHS feels that it could speed up deportations, the “Reds” who run the show in Texas, such as Rep. August Pfluger, are determined to make “Blue” sanctuary cities suffer for making border states “bear the brunt” of their progressivism. Meanwhile the 13th. busload of migrants from Texas has arrived in L.A. Immigration updates   Related post

In June 2022 California enacted a law that provides civil penalties and allows victims to sue for damages should gun makers or sellers advertise or market their wares “in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors.” But a Ninth Circuit judicial panel just ruled that the measure is inconsistent with other state laws that authorize minors to have and use firearms, and also violates the First Amendment. AB 2571 text
Related post

9/13/23  A Federal grand jury returned an indictment accusing the five Memphis police officers who killed Tyre Nichols of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations. Officers Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith already face State murder charges for allegedly beating Mr. Nichols to death during a January 7 traffic stop. Related post

Drafted in response to the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which invalidated New York’s “good cause” requirement for issuing gun carry licenses, a bill pending the California governor’s signature rules out applicants who “are reasonably likely to be a danger to self, others, or the community at large.” Among other things, it also sets the minimum age as 21, same as for buying a handgun, mandates that the licensee be the gun’s owner of record, and requires 16 hours of training. SB 2 text   Related post

Small-town police forces are being dismantled. But Lancaster, an inland community (pop. 180,000) 60 miles NE of Los Angeles, never had its own cops. And 9-1-1 calls will continue to be handled by the Sheriff, which has a station in the city. But to help fight crime and supplement the busy, short-staffed deputies, the city is creating a small, initially eight-officer police force comprised of experienced cops and retirees. They will handle less-urgent calls, back up the deputies, and strive to be “visible.” Related posts 1    2


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