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...


Is Diversion the Answer?
(#431, 5/30/23)

California has a new approach.
But, yes, there are limits.

"Legal" Gun Buyers
Can be a Problem

(#430, 5/15/23)

They figure in many killings,
as both doers and enablers

Fearful, Angry,
And Armed.

(#429, 5/2/23)

Do “Stand Your Ground” laws
increase armed violence?






6/2/23  NYPD officers get “courtesy cards” from their unions. They hand them out to friends and family members, who use them to prove their bonafides should they be stopped. According to a Federal lawsuit filed by officer Mathew Bianchi, ignoring a card and ticketing anyway (it turned out to be the friend of an NYPD big shot) is what got him transferred from the traffic division to a graveyard shift on patrol. Related post

A 58-year old owner of a South Carolina convenience store is charged with murder after shooting and killing a 14-year old boy he and his son chased from the store after wrongly suspecting the youth had shoplifted. During the pursuit, Rick Chow’s son said that the youth had a gun. Chow promptly fired at the teen’s back, inflicting a fatal wound. A handgun was found next to the youth’s body, but there is no indication he pointed it at anyone. Chow, who has often called police to the store, had previously shot at thieves and wounded one. But those episodes were found to be justified. South Carolina has a SYG law. Its laws also let private persons use deadly force to prevent thieves from fleeing in the nighttime. Related post

Two and one-half years in Federal prison. That’s the sentence handed down to a supervisory physician at a Colorado medical clinic who falsely secured $250,000 from two COVID-19 relief programs that were intended to help firms struggling because of the pandemic. Instead, Dr. Francis F. Joseph, 58, spent the proceeds “to pay for his personal expenses.” COVID updates

Overcoming objections that Chicago’s needy communities were a better place to spend the funds, its city council authorized $51 million to help care for and shelter the scores of undocumented immigrants that continue to arrive, many on buses dispatched by Texas. “The problem here is, in the frustration, we all want to yell and point fingers at Texas,” said council member Anthony Napolitano, who favored the appropriation. “That’s not right. We declared ourselves a sanctuary city.” Immigration updates

Paterson (N.J.) police have been long beset by accusations of misconduct, misuse of force and bias against minorities. But the killing of Najee Seabrooks, a mentally disturbed man on March 3, was the last straw for progressively-minded State Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. Three weeks later, using a law unique to his state, the AG took control of the police. But his move doesn’t satisfy a local Black Lives Matter organizer, who would prefer that a truly independent monitor step in. Related posts 1   2

6/1/23   Progressively-minded elected D.A.’s in several Texas counties have made decisions to not pursue election law violations, abortion cases, and marijuana possession. That greatly displeases the majority “Reds”, which includes Texas Governor Greg Abbott. He is soon expected to sign a bill that defines those practices as official misconduct punishable by removal from office. Drug legalization updates

Texas’ appeal for help in securing its southern border was first answered by Florida, which is sending 100 national guard troops. Three more “Red” states - Virginia, West Virginia and South Carolina - just announced they’re joining in. Virginia is sending 100 soldiers, to be accompanied by 21 support staff. According to Gov. Glen Youngkin, they’ll help “reduce the flow of fentanyl, combat human trafficking and address the humanitarian crisis.” More “Red” states are soon expected to follow. Immigration updates

Washington D.C. is plagued by armed robbers who are literally children. Days ago, an 11-year old was arrested for three street robberies. One of his victims remarked that the masked youth seemed to weigh all of ninety pounds. Charges were also recently levied against a 12-year old for nine “carjackings, robberies and assaults.” A local outreach worker remarked that older teens are having their young siblings accompany them on the streets. According to D.C. police a majority of the 43 persons arrested for carjacking in 2023 are juveniles in their mid-teens. Related post

During trial of a civil lawsuit filed by an L.A. Sheriff’s Lieutenant who claims he was demoted after complaining about the nefarious behavior of a deputy “gang,” Undersheriff April Tardy testified that her prior account to an oversight commission had been incorrect, and that there was no work “slowdown” at the Sheriff’s station where that deputy gang was supposedly in control. Her account, which sharply contradicts the plaintiff’s assertions, backs up testimony by a deputy member of that gang, who insisted that the behavior of its tattooed members was actually benign. Related post

Faced with officer shortages and difficulties in recruitment, police departments across the U.S. are loosening hiring standards. Some are offering hiring bonuses. Others, including Chicago and New Orleans, have dropped college requirements. Physical testing has become more forgiving (Massachusetts eliminated sit-ups). A few (Golden, Colorado) are experimenting with 4-day, 32-hour workweeks. But not everyone’s on board. Memphis officers fear that relaxed standards will bring on more unqualified candidates and lead to more episodes such as the beating death of Tyre Nichols. Related posts 1   2

5/31/23  Minnesota, the home of the George Floyd imbroglio, has changed the rules on peace officer licensing. In the past an officer had to be convicted of a serious crime before the POST board could strip his authority. And that could only happen for misusing deadly force. Chauvin, for example, remained licensed until convicted of murder. Now the board will be able to revoke peace officer authority for misusing lesser forms of force. And no criminal charges against the officer need have been filed. Related post

In 2020 L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Larry Waldie sued his own agency, claiming that he was demoted for objecting to the control that “The Executioners” deputy gang exercised at the Compton station. Trial has been underway for two weeks. A recent witness, Deputy Jaime Juarez, rolled up a pants leg to show his gang tattoo. But he said it was “a positive thing” and denied he had led a slowdown. Meanwhile the defense insists that Waldie was himself a member of a deputy gang, the “Gladiators.” Related post

In 2014 Illinois generally barred the police use of drones (click here for the law). Eight years later came the July 4th. 2022 massacre in Highland Park. A bill now sits on the Governor’s desk that amends the law to permit the use of drones to monitor special events, help in search and rescue, and aid victims or identify suspects when responding to dispatched calls for service (click here for the bill). Related posts 1   2

5/30/23   As Memorial Day came to a close gunfire broke out during a dispute between two groups gathered on a Hollywood, Florida beach. Nine persons ranging in age from one to sixty-five were wounded, none fatally. One person was arrested; another is being sought. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 263 shootings this year where at least four persons were wounded or killed excluding the shooter, and 23 mass murders where at least four victims died. Related post

Faced with violence that remains far higher than pre-pandemic, cities are readying for the summer. In Detroit, which is beset by shootings, the Feds will pursue gun crimes and armed robberies. Chicago, whose mayor has promised to reduce the police role, will deploy State-funded civilian “peacekeepers” in crime-stricken neighborhoods. Civilians will enforce Baltimore’s youth curfew, taking recalcitrant youngsters to “engagement centers.” Cleveland, Newark and Philadelphia will use a mix of strategies, increasing officer presence in troubled areas while encouraging community-based solutions. Related post

Chronic understaffing plagues police departments and sheriffs offices across the U.S. Last year Illinois reported that sixty percent of its law enforcement agencies were understaffed, and that nearly one in five had shortages exceeding ten percent. Such dilemmas have led managers to raise the bar when deciding whether and how severely to punish officers, and to significantly lower it when making hiring decisions. Misbehavior that would normally result in firing is being overlooked, and lowered entrance requirements and academy standards have allowed poorly-qualified candidates to join the force. Related posts 1   2

A small-city detective who was working a vehicle theft sting with San Diego County deputies is suing after a bullet from gunfire that deputies directed at a thief struck him in the leg. According to the plaintiff, the deputies, with whom he couldn't communicate because he was not given the proper radio, fired at the man although he did not pose an immediate threat. It’s also alleged that the deputies were poorly trained and that one had a history of improper use of force that was never addressed. Lawsuit   Related post

A 20-year old Arizona man faces four counts of murder and one of attempted murder after confessing that he engaged in a Phoenix- area killing spree that left four persons dead and one wounded. Iren Byers told Mesa police that he was motivated by a hatred for drugs, and that his middle-aged victims, allegedly street persons who used fentanyl and other narcotics, “didn't deserve” help. Officers found the 9mm. pistol that Byers used in his grandmother's bedroom. Related posts 1   2

Casting themselves as “political prisoners,” many indicted Capitol rioters have raised thousands of dollars - some tens of thousands - from online appeals. Perhaps the most prolific, Nevada man Nathaniel DeGrave, raked in $120,000 thru the favored GiveSendGo website. Most pleas for money cite lawyers’ fees and such, but even those using public defenders have raked it in. Judges have returned the favor by imposing fines; in DeGrave’s case, for $25,000. Capitol updates

Citing her role as “more aggressive, more assaultive, more purposeful than perhaps others,” a judge imposed the third-longest prison so far - 8 1/2 years - on Jessica Watkins, who led an Oath Keepers chapter in Ohio and recruited participants for the Capitol assault. Co-defendant Kenneth Harrelson, a resident of Florida, drew four years. Jurors had acquitted both of seditious conspiracy but convicted them, among other things, of obstructing Congress. Click here for a dramatic photo. Capitol updates   Related post

5/26/23  “Today’s sentences reflect the grave threat the actions of these defendants posed to our democratic institutions.” That’s how A.G. Merrick Garland characterized the record-setting 18-year term handed down to Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, and the stiff twelve -year sentence given to Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs, for their roles in the Capitol assault. Both had been convicted of seditious conspiracy and other crimes at a jury trial in November. Capitol updates   Related post

A report by Chicago’s Inspector General blasts the police department for thumbing its nose at a 2019 Federal consent decree by continuing to employ scores of police officers who lied during criminal investigations. But the city’s Police Board states that twenty-one officers have been fired for lying during the past five years. Before then, some were given leniency, but nonetheless received three-year suspensions. A city law requiring that officers who lie be fired has been recommended. Related post

An eleven-year old boy who was asked by his mother to call police because of the presence of an intruder was shot and seriously wounded by an Indianola, Mississippi police sergeant who opened fire when the boy stepped into the home’s living room. And in Mantua, New Jersey, a police officer has been indicted on manslaughter charges for a 2021 shooting in which he opened fire on the 9-1-1 caller “less than five seconds” after arriving on scene. Related post

It was a horrendous crime - the attempted gunning down of six L.A.-area high school students. Three gang members were convicted in 1990 and received lengthy terms. In 2017, one told the parole board that he was the shooter and that one of those convicted, Daniel Saldana, told the truth when he denied being present. But his words weren’t passed on to the D.A. for six years. When they were, things moved swiftly. Acting on the D.A.’s motion, a judge declared Saldana innocent. He had served 33 years. Related post

5/25/23  “The traumas we suffered that day were endless.” So said D.C. police officer Christopher Owens during a sentencing hearing for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs. Both were convicted of seditious conspiracy over their roles in the Capitol assault. Prosecutors have asked that Rhodes draw twenty-five years, which would be by far the longest term yet imposed. Capitol updates

“I’m here and I have a gun.” Those were the words allegedly uttered at the gates of the CIA’s McLean, Virginia headquarters by Gainsville, Florida man Eric Sandow, 32. He was turned away and police were called. Sandow, who seems free of prior criminal convictions, was later arrested at the nearby preschool where he had parked his car. Inside police found an AK-47 type rifle, a pistol, and a large quantity of ammunition. According to officers, Sandow “exhibited paranoid behavior, irrational verbal behavior, incoherent statements and had an inability to state a plan or purpose”. Related post

Two former Jackson, Mississippi police officers, both Black, have been indicted for murder in the death of a disorderly man, also Black, with whom they struggled on New Year’s eve. A third former officer, who is White, was charged with manslaughter. During the struggle the officers forced Keith Murriel, 41, to the ground, flipped him onto his stomach and repeatedly stunned him with a Taser. Jackson’s Mayor called their actions “excessive, disheartening and tragic.” Bodycam video  Related posts 1   2

Trial is set to begin on May 31 for a fired Sheriff’s deputy who responded to the 2018 massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. Scot Peterson, 60, is charged with multiple counts of child neglect and culpable negligence for failing to enter the school and confront Nikolas Cruz as he shot multiple students on the third floor. Peterson, who took cover outside the building, claims that he didn’t go in because he thought the gunfire was originating from elsewhere. Related posts 1   2

5/24/23  L.A. County’s Inspector General and L.A. Sheriff Robert Luna recently ordered that three dozen deputy sheriffs who allegedly participated in deputy gangs answer questions and show their tattoos. In response, the deputies’ union filed an objection asserting that these moves violate the collective bargaining process. They are also suing the county for violating the Fourth Amendment's provisions on search and seizure, and the Fifth Amendment's ban of compelled self-incrimination. Related post

Illinois is dispatching more than thirty civilian “peacekeepers” trained in de- escalation and violence interruption to Chicago. Timed for the Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer, it’s hoped that street outreach workers will help tone down the violence that besets the city's gang- ridden neighborhoods. This move is part of a “holistic”, not just police approach to violence that's championed by Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago's progressive new mayor, Brandon Johnson. Related post

A middle-aged Capitol rioter whose actions reportedly helped set the stage for fellow rioter Ashli Babbitt’s fatal shooting by police was sentenced to nearly seven years’ imprisonment. Christopher Griner, who runs a Texas winery, had once served in the Air Force military police. Opting for a trial by a judge, he was convicted on seven charges, including obstructing Congress. Capitol updates   Related post

In a long-delayed decision, the Los Angeles City Council voted 8-4 to approve the donation of a “robot dog” for use by LAPD SWAT officers in high-risk situations. But opposition continues. According to the “Stop LAPD Spying Coalition”, its acceptance augurs an era where such devices will be “walking all over the place.” Others fear that the gadget will be used “to harm and spy on Black and brown communities.” Facing similar concerns, NYPD recently gave its version back. Related posts 1   2

“Stabilizing braces” that can transform handguns into shoulder-fired weapons were to be banned under a proposed Federal regulation. But the New-Orleans based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has put the ban on hold while it litigates a lawsuit against the rule that was brought by gun-rights advocates and a maker of the braces. In February the Fifth Circuit invalidated a Federal prohibition on gun possession by persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders. Related posts 1   2

5/23/23   Break the Wheel: Ending the Cycle of Police Violence,” a new book by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, describes behind-the-scenes work by state prosecutors to gain the conviction of Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd. According to Ellison, the State’s evidentiary approach was heavily influenced by trial runs with mock juries, which revealed that ordinary citizens were far more concerned about the officers’ failure “to render aid to George Floyd” than about his drug abuse. State Trial of Derek Chauvin   Trial updates

One year after the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, a State grand jury inquiry into the police response continues. The school police chief was fired, and five officers employed by various agencies were fired or quit. But DPS Chief Steve McCraw, who had ninety officers on scene, refuses to resign. Meanwhile Gov. Greg Abbott continues to turn away requests to tighten gun laws, as he did after the mass shootings in Sutherland Springs in 2017 and the El Paso Walmart in 2018. Related post

In 2012 a Federal complaint charged then-Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio with civil rights violations for using traffic stops and “sweeps” to arrest persons illegally in the U.S. So far a decade-plus of sanctions and controls has cost local taxpayers over $250 million. Arpaio, who was voted out of office, was convicted of contempt but pardoned by President Trump. And while the Sheriff’s Dept. seems to have achieved substantial compliance with Federal mandates, critics say that racial profiling persists. Related post

5/22/23  Days before the January 6th. assault on the Capitol, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio stole a BlackLives Matter flag from a church during a MAGA rally. Suspended D.C. cop Shane Lamond, then head of intelligence, was just indicted for warning Tarrio that an arrest warrant had been issued. And, as well, for allegedly keeping Tarrio informed about what police were doing to counter the Proud Boys. Tarrio testified during his trial that he shared information with Lamond which benefited the authorities. Capitol updates   Related post

Maryland doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law. However, it lets persons openly carry long guns in public. And that’s what MAGA-hat clad J’Den McAdory, 20, has been doing since February as he walks around suburban neighborhoods with an AR-type rifle fitted with an extended magazine slung around his shoulders. McAdory concedes that seeing him near schools and school bus stops might put people off. But his purpose is benign: to do away with “the stigma of people carrying guns in public.”Related posts 1   2


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