LAPD 77th. Street Division’s
“alternatives to incarceration” offers addicts, homeless and the mentally ill treatment and housing instead of jail. But most decline to
participate for the required 3-6 month period. LAPD’s officer in charge says that arrestees know they will be released pending trial, and prefer
that to obeying the program’s rules. “The court’s zero-bail practice is wreaking havoc on this program.” Homeless persons also
want privacy, which is impossible in a communal shelter. But a citywide diversion program for juveniles, which offers mentoring and tutoring, is far
more popular. Related posts
Two groups of persons
clashed at a crime “hot spot” in Chicago’s 18th. police district on the evening of May 20. One shooter is blamed for gunfire
that killed two men on their early 30s and wounded seven others, including a 19-year old man who suffered a critical chest wound. Police say they arrested
the shooter and seized his gun. Mayor Lightfoot and Police Supt. Brown ascribe the violence to poor parenting and a flood of guns; Brown also blames the
courts for releasing gun offenders on low bail.
Siding with twenty-four States, including Arizona, that sued to block
expiration of the Presidential directive that enabled summary deportations because of the pandemic, a Louisiana Federal judge has ruled that the order
remain in place. Proponents feared a “wave of illegal migration and drug trafficking” if the “tens of thousands of new migrant
admissions” that were certain to occur took place.
Immigration topic Updates
“Happy hunting.” Uttered by an LAPD SWAT officer to colleagues as the team responded to an armed suspect (the man would be shot and killed
during an exchange of fire), those words - “gallows humor” according to Chief Michel Moore - were caught on an officer’s body
camera. They’ve led to their utterer’s “removal from the field.” And to renewed concerns about the “SWAT Mafia”
that Sgt. Colomey complained of in his (still, unresolved) lawsuit.
5/20/22Passed in the wake of the
killing of George Floyd, New York City’s ban on “diaphragm compression,” which a lower court found to be
unconstitutionally vague, was reinstated by a State appellate panel. According to the Justices, the statute, which forbids “restrict[ing]
the flow of air or blood by compressing the windpipe or the carotid arteries on each side of the neck, or sitting, kneeling, or standing
on the chest or back in a manner that compresses the diaphragm,” is sufficiently precise. Related posts
Chicago police officers stopped a vehicle that four carjackers had reportedly used to escape from suburban police.
Two young males fled; officers chased after one and shot him. He turned out to be thirteen years old and, apparently, unarmed. He was
seriously wounded. Chicago PD’s foot-chase policy, which was flagged for revision after officers shot and killed Anthony Alvarez last
year, remains a work in progress. Related posts
Chicago man Daniel Taylor signed an elaborate confession admitting that he and seven others committed a double murder. But in 2013 lawyers
from the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University proved that Taylor was actually in police custody for a disturbance when
the murders occurred. It turns out that officers covered up evidence that Taylor wasn’t released until an hour after the
killings. Chicago has agreed to pay Taylor $14.25 million for his two decades behind bars. Related posts
A Buffalo 9-1-1 dispatcher with eight
years experience has been suspended and faces termination for reportedly hanging up on one of the TOPS employees who called in during the
massacre. An assistant office manager said her voice was hushed because she feared being overheard
by the shooter. But the dispatcher insisted she speak up, then hung up when she didn’t. “...Out of nervousness, my phone fell
out of my hand, she said something I couldn’t make out, and then the phone hung up.” Related posts
5/19/22 On May 18 ex-MPD cop Thomas Lane pled guilty to one count of aiding and abetting manslaughter in the
case of George Floyd. A count of aiding and abetting Floyd's murder was dismissed. He will be sentenced to 36 months imprisonment,
less one-third possible good time credits, to run concurrently with a Federal term which is yet to be imposed.
Pleas and sentence
In response to the Buffalo massacre, New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order directing that State Police seek an extreme risk protection
order barring persons from gun possession “when there is probable cause to believe the respondent is likely to engage in conduct that
would result in serious harm to himself, herself, or others.” She also directed that State Police form a counterterrorism team that would, among other things,
analyze social media posts for potential threats. Related posts
Organized through social media, large gatherings of teens are besetting downtown Chicago. “But when you think of
hundreds, if not thousands of teens, as we had on Saturday, no matter how many officers we have down there, the situation is always going to
be chaotic,” said the chief of CPD’s patrol division. That “chaos,” which led to the shooting death of a 16-year old,
prompted Mayor Lori Lightfoot to order a 10:00 pm weekend curfew for minors. But that’s led to complaints, and its
future is in doubt.
prosecutors, law enforcement officials and leaders of community organizations gathered for a virtual, two-day
“summit” about “reducing violence and “strengthening communities.” Called under auspices of
DOJ’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, the meeting emphasizes the key role that local communities play in preventing violence
and building trust. DOJ’s announcement mentioned a recent CDC
report which indicates that gun murders jumped 35 percent during 2019-2020, and that high-poverty counties had 4 1/2 times
the homicide rate of their wealthier cousins. Related posts
A new ATF report depicts a surge in firearms production during the past decade. Semi-automatic pistols have become the most popular weapon
type. In 2020 over five and one-half million were manufactured and distributed in the U.S., with over half in 9mm. caliber. Between 2016-2021
the number of unserialized, privately assembled “ghost guns” reportedly recovered by police increased by 1,000 percent, from 1,758
to 19,344, with 692 used in murders. ATF Report (Vol. I) Related posts
Laguna Woods (CA) church shooter David Wenwei Chou, 68, who opened fire with two handguns during a banquet, was a deeply troubled
person. His wife had left him and moved back to Taiwan. Impoverished and unable to pay rent, he was evicted from his apartment.
New tenants found “horrible pictures” of Chou posing with a gun, including one at a memorial to a mass shooting.
“I just don’t care about my life anymore” he said. A beating he suffered years earlier had also left its toll. Related posts
5/17/22Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron began posting his plans and
intentions in November 2021 on Discord, an online chat application. His screen name was
Jimboboiii. One message explained that he avoided being flagged and losing his gun rights after being taken in for the mental
health check by insisting to the authorities that his “murder-suicide” comment had been a joke. But it wasn’t
- “I wrote that down because that’s what I was planning to do.” Gendron also wrote that he made
an advance visit to Tops to check it out and had a “close call” with the guard, who became suspicious about his
multiple entrances and exits. Related posts
Orange County church shooter David Wenwei Chou, 68, who is of Chinese descent, reportedly harbored hatred towards Taiwan
and, by extension, to the congregates at the church, which serves the Taiwanese community. Intending to commit a massacre,
he brought incendiary devices and chained the doors closed. Chou used two 9mm. pistols that he lawfully purchased in Las
Vegas, where he lived.
An NIJ study of 172 mass shooters between 1966-2019 reveals that most were deeply troubled persons and often in
“a state of crisis” when they committed their acts. Most were employees or students of the institutions they
targeted, used lawfully purchased handguns, and “engaged in leaking their plans before opening fire.”
NIJ’s data source was the Violence Project database of mass shootings.
5/16/22 A weekend of violence beset the land. In Milwaukee twenty-one persons were
wounded, none fatally, in three sets of shootings at outdoor “watch parties” of an NBA finals game. Eleven arrests
followed. One night later, three separate shootings in Milwaukee led to three deaths. In Buffalo, suspects in a car being pursued by police opened fire, wounding three officers.
And in a tony section of Orange County, Calif., a man with two pistols inexplicably began shooting during a church banquet,
killing one and wounding four. Other parishioners tackled him and held him for police.
5/14/22In the evening of May 7 Los Angeles police and firefighters responded to a call about a woman who was intoning
the Lord from someone else’s backyard. Angeles Flores, 38, was taken away on a stretcher. The following morning police
learned that neighbors had just found her three children, ages 8, 10 and 12, in Flores’ home, 25 yards away. They were
unresponsive. Flores reportedly said that she thought the children were possessed and, with help from her 16-year old, stomped
them to death. She and the youth were arrested. Why police didn’t look for the children earlier has not been disclosed.
Two years ago a Federal grand jury indicted former Muncie, Indiana police officers Joseph Chase Winkle, Jeremy Gibson and
Joseph Krejsa for civil rights violations (using excessive force during arrests) and obstructing justice by covering it up.
One year ago a superseding indictment added counts and charged a fourth former cop, Corey Posey.
So far there have been two pleas. In August 2021 a fifth former officer, Dalton Kurtz, pled guilty to obstruction.
And on May 13, 2022 former officer Gibson pled guilty to civil rights violations and obstruction. Chase, Winkle and Krejsa will
be tried in August.
A feature story
in the L.A. Times accuses ICE of providing poor medical care to detained immigrants, most of whom are held in privately-
run facilities. Should their condition turn critical, ICE quickly processes their parole and rushes them to an emergency room, so
that if death results, it is not of a person in its custody.
5/13/22Former Minneapolis deputy police chief Art Knight will be paid $70,000,
and former officer Colleen Ryan will receive $133,600 to settle claims of discrimination. Mr. Knight, a Black man, said he was
demoted in 2020 because he accused the city of discriminating against minorities when hiring cops. Ms. Ryan, who is lesbian,
claims that her advocacy for gender non-conforming officers led to unending harassment in the agency’s “misogynistic
and homophobic culture.” Related posts
A 14-year old girl who had cycled through
Florida’s mental health system for years and a deeply troubled 12-year old boy ran off from a group home and broke into a
large residence. Inside they found an assortment of guns and ammunition. Gathering the weapons, they began firing. A protracted
shootout with deputies followed. The girl was wounded but recovered. Both youths face attempted murder charges; the girl, who is
being prosecuted as an adult, will likely be sentenced to prison.
5/12/22In a 2-1 decision, a Ninth Circuit panel held that California’s prohibition on
the sale of semi-automatic rifles to persons under 21 violated the 2nd. Amendment. Both judges in the majority had been appointed
under President Trump, while the dissenter was appointed under Clinton. Ruling Related posts 12
An investigation by the Los Angeles Times reveals that LAPD did not sustain any of the 1,073 complaints of
“biased policing” filed by citizens against officers in 2021. None made the grade in either 2020, when 764 complaints
were made, or in 2019, when there were 734. According to the 2019 report, there were 494 such complaints in 2018 and 514 in 2017. None of
those were upheld, either. LAPD Commission president William Briggs told reporters that he was “not satisfied” with
zero. Related post
After reviewing “more than 750”
complaints over the behavior (mostly, misuse of force) by NYPD officers during the 2020 demonstrations sparked by the killing
of George Floyd, New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended disciplinary action against 145 officers. But
NYPD has only investigated forty cases. It waived acting against 23 officers and has only agreed on penalties for ten. Related posts
In 2012, after confessing
that he murdered two elderly sisters two years earlier, South Carolina man Joseph Jermaine Brand was sent to a mental institution
so that he could regain the capacity to stand trial. He was apparently released in 2016, without notice to anyone. After a decade of
hearing nothing, family members of the victims recently learned, through friends, that Brand was back home. Authorities say
they’re keeping an eye out but can do nothing until a grand jury acts.
5/11/22According to the CDC, the firearm
homicide rate in 2020 was 6.1/100,000 pop. That’s more than a third greater than the 2019 rate of 4.6 and the highest since
1994. Homicide rates and poverty moved together, with the higher rates in poorer areas. Males and Black persons experienced the
highest rates and the largest year-to-year increase. Males in the 25-44 age group had the highest rates: for White persons, 5.4, for
Hispanic persons of any race, 13.4, and for Black persons, 90.6.
In California all gun transfers, including between private persons, must go through a background check. Gun and purchaser
information is perpetually stored in a State database. That data is an integral part of a new, State-funded effort at U.C. Davis to measure gun violence and assess and develop preventive measures. But
gun-rights groups object to the project’s intrusion into privacy and have challenged the Constitutionality of the authorizing
legislation in State and Federal courts. Related posts
Four Illinois cities – Peoria, Springfield, East St. Louis and Waukegan – will be receiving State funds to implement
“co-responder” programs that partner social workers with police, creating teams that respond to mental-health emergencies
and offer solutions other than arrest. Peoria’s police chief praises the initiative as part of a “new era of
policing.” Chicago began a similar program last year. Related posts
5/10/22A Pulitzer Prize was awarded to
the New York Times for its reporting on police traffic stops. Its research found that during a five-year period officers shot and
killed “more than 400” unarmed vehicle occupants during stops that did not involve pursuits for violent crimes.
According to the Times, officers reacted with “outsize aggression” because of training that led them
to “presume danger.”
Settling a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and privacy advocates that accused it of selling photos of persons without their consent,
Clearview AI agreed to completely stop offering its products to the private sector. It also agreed to withhold its services from all
agencies in the State of Illinois for five years.
5/9/22First-degree manslaughter charges were filed against former Lawton, Oklahoma police officers Nathan Ronan and
Robert Hinkle for shooting and killing Quadry Sanders, an unarmed man, on December 5, 2021. They were called to a residence where
Sanders was reportedly holding a person who had a protective order against him at gunpoint. But when Sanders stepped outside to deal
with police he was unarmed. As he waved his arms officers opened fire, shooting him twelve times. Brief video clipRelated post
“Hundreds” of LAPD officers reportedly ignored agency policy to mask up during the pandemic. In all, 268 formal complaints
about mask violations were filed during 2020 and 2021; some apparently involved multiple cops. But only two officers wound up being
formally punished for not wearing a mask. Nearly all the others were admonished or counseled in a way that circumvented the need to
record a “sustained complaint” in their personnel file.
COVID updatesRelated post
5/7/22“Have a safe trip to Danville.” That’s how Cook County (Chicago)
Judge Stanley Stacks disposed of prosecutors’ motion to lop off a year from serial burglar Charles Miles’ sentence so he
could get the special supports and participate in re-entry programs offered to convicts who are granted early release under
Illinois’ new resentencing law. Judge
Stacks called Miles a “congenital burglar” and unlikely to take advantage of or benefit from the new offerings. So he sent
him back to finish his term.
John Creuzot, Dallas
County’s progressively-minded D.A., came to office promising to reform the system. Reaching back to
the George Floyd protests that rocked Dallas during the summer of 2020, he has obtained indictments charging two Dallas and one
Garland officer with felonies for using impact projectiles that seriously injured several unarmed protesters who allegedly posed no
threat. Dallas’ police chief bemoaned the effects of the indictment on his force, while Garland’s openly disputed the