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...


"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?

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

Swarming unruly citizens
and pressing them to the ground
invites disaster






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

Two weeks after the March 27th. Nashville massacre, Tennessee’s governor signed a law that  further limits lawsuits against the firearms industry. According to the bill’s sponsor, its purpose “is just to try to help businesses in this state.” Still, some “high profile” shootings have led to settlements. For example, the $73 million paid by Remington to the families of the Sandy Hook victims. Meanwhile in Texas, families of the Uvalde victims are pressing on with their lawsuit against gun manufacturer Daniel Defense over its allegedly risky marketing practices. Related posts 1   2   3

A Minnesota law legalizing recreational marijuana is on the Governor’s desk, and Gov. Tin Walz has promised to sign it. It passed with narrow margins, as many legislators fear it will worsen health and safety. Persons over 21 will be authorized to possess small quantities of pot and to grow it at home; prior criminal convictions for such acts will be expunged. A retail marketplace is expected to take one year to get underway. Minnesota thus becomes the twenty third State to legalize recreational pot. Drug legalization updates

California pot farms require both State and County licenses. The latter provision is rigorously enforced in Trinity County, where the Sheriff recently raided three of the 134 farms that lack a local permit (345 are presently licensed). To enforce the $500 misdemeanor, armed, armor-clad deputies staged elaborate tactical strikes that included killing one of the farmer’s dogs. Meanwhile the county is beset with numerous fully illegal (and unmolested) grows that supply the State’s illegal retail outlets. Drug legalization updates

California’s new CARE Court system will focus on persons at least 18 years old who suffer from schizophrenia or another psychosis. Referrals can come from a variety of sources, including families, first responders and social service agencies. Participants will be assigned public defenders, and judges can impose treatment plans lasting up to two years. Medication can be refused, but failure to successfully exit a treatment plan can lead to involuntary commitment. CARE Court fact sheet   Related post

5/19/23  Relatives of three persons murdered by a Virginia cop who “catfished” a California family’s 15-year old daughter are suing Virginia for failing to discover during Austin Lee Edwards’ hiring process that he had once been committed to a mental facility. Related post

By a vote of 13-1, L.A.’s City Council approved its progressive new Mayor’s budget, which includes funds to hire 1,000 new officers. It really means about 400 new cops, as 600 are expected to quit or retire. Karen Bass called her plans, which also increased funding for mental health teams, drug treatment facilities and homeless housing, a “bold new” approach that will improve neighborhood safety. Related post

Challenging a Federal law that prohibits employing persons without legal immigration status, the University of California announced it is formulating a plan to hire students who are not authorized to be in the U.S. for on-campus jobs. Its move will benefit approx. 4,000 students who lost out on the DACA system, which no longer accepts new applications. UC’s lawyers intend to argue that the controlling Federal rule, the 1986 Immigration Act, doesn’t mention States, so it doesn’t apply to them. Immigration updates

5/18/23  Ruling that cash bail can violate equal protection guarantees, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction restoring the zero-dollar bail provisions for minor crimes that were in effect during the pandemic. His order does not apply to arrests based on warrants, nor to violent misdemeanors or violent or serious felonies. Injunction   Related post

Los Angeles County’s Inspector General has issued written orders to “nearly three dozen [Los Angeles County Sheriff’s] deputies” directing them to appear for questioning about deputy gangs. They are also instructed to bring photographs of all leg tattoos “from the ankle to the knee” and of any tattoo on their body that resembles attached images. Deputies may be represented by counsel and may invoke the Fifth Amendment. However, they are advised that will not bring an end to the process. Related post

Prompted by the 2022 4th. of July massacre in Highland Park, Illinois and the city of Naperville banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Challenges to these laws are coursing through the state’s appellate courts. Meanwhile, the 7th. Circuit, and now the US Supreme Court, have turned aside, without comment, a Naperville gun store’s petition that it enjoin the laws. Petition   Related post

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach warns about a proliferation of “auto sears”, small devices that convert weapons to fully automatic fire, so that a single trigger squeeze discharges multiple projectiles. While illegal, their use has proliferated, placing officers and the public at risk. In Mississippi a Federal judge just imposed a 14-year term on a defendant who was making them on a 3-D printer. Related post

Beau Wilson, the 18-year old Farmington, New Mexico youth who killed three and wounded six, fired most of his volleys, including 176 rounds from his assault rifle, from the home where he lived with his father. He left behind a note that begins “If your reading this Im the end of the chapter.” Related posts 1   2   3

5/17/23  Beau Wilson, the youth who went on an armed rampage in his Farmington, New Mexico neighborhood on May 15, killing three and wounding six, had three weapons, including an assault rifle that he legally purchased when he turned eighteen last October. His other guns came from his family. According to the police chief, Wilson had a record of “minor infractions” and was reportedly mentally ill. Related posts 1   2   3

A Texas man and his 12-year old son face murder charges after the boy got an AR-style rifle from his father’s vehicle and repeatedly shot a fast-food worker who had tangled with his father during a disturbance outside a Sonic drive-in. Texas has a “stand your ground” law. Related post

Many marijuana sellers in the Los Angeles area, licensed or not, are peddling magic mushrooms, a potent hallucinogenic. While it’s been decriminalized in some Northern California cities, it remains illegal elsewhere in the state, so most sellers (but not all) keep it out of sight. Magic mushrooms reportedly have therapeutic value, and a state bill to legalize possession of small amounts is in the hopper. Meanwhile, NIJ issued a warning about the dangers of vaping, whose health risks have been ignored. Drug legalization updates

A $10 million reward has been offered for tips that lead to the capture and conviction of Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev. A Russian national, Matveev has been Federally indicted for staging thousands of  ransomware attacks against private and public entities “around the world”, including police in D.C. and New Jersey. On threat of publicly posting stolen data, his “LockBit,” “Babuk” and “Hive” ransomware variants have extorted payments of more than $200 million dollars. Related post

To help Texas deal with illegal immigrants, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is sending the beset state more than one-thousand law enforcement officers, including troopers, game wardens and investigators. They’ll be there for a month. DeSantis recently signed a state bill that provides additional funds to relocate immigrants, limits their use of social services, and expands the use of E-Verify, which checks on applicants’ eligibility to work in the U.S., to all workplaces with more than 25 employees. Immigration updates

5/16/23  An 18-year old man armed with an AR-15 style rifle and two other guns roamed through a working-class neighborhood of Farmington, New Mexico just before the noon hour on Monday, randomly firing at homes and cars. Nine persons were struck by bullets; three died. A local police officer and a State trooper were among the injured; neither was seriously wounded. Police shot the gunman dead. His name and possible motivation have not yet been released. Related posts 1   2

Former FBI counter-intelligence chief Peter Strzok once messaged a colleague that Trump would never be president. “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Once Trump was in office, he brought in a lawyer to probe the FBI’s alleged attempt to “prove” that his campaign colluded with Russian intelligence to smear Hillary Clinton. After four years, that investigation is over. Special Counsel John Durham slammed the FBI for its shoddy use of “raw” intelligence. But all he got was one conviction - an FBI lawyer pled guilty to lying to get a wiretap. Two other defendants were acquitted. Related post

Severely criticized over her progressive approach, St. Louis D.A. Kim Gardner is stepping down in two weeks. But Gardner, who recently helped exonerate convicted murderer Lamar Johnson,  has now moved to exonerate convicted killer Christopher Dunn, who has been imprisoned 33 years. Dunn was convicted largely on the testimony of two boys, who now say that their accounts were coerced. A judge opined that he would probably be acquitted if retried, and a 2021 state law provides for special court hearings in such cases. Related post

Former Indianapolis Police Sgt. Eric Huxley pled guilty to Federal civil rights violations over a Sept. 2021 incident in which he stomped a disorderly and combative man in the face even though other officers had taken him to the ground and had him under complete control. Huxley’s actions, which were caught on video, have also led to state charges and a lawsuit. DOJ news release   Related post

Two years ago the Orange County, Calif. Grand Jury excoriated sheriff’s deputies for failing to book evidence, then lying about it in their reports. One of the accused, Det. Matthew LeFlore, reportedly left seized drugs and ammunition in a pair of boots and labeled it “free”. A defense lawyer now accuses Det. LeFlore of transferring seized drugs from one case to another so as to support charges against his client, Ace Kuumeaaloha Kelley. And lab records seemingly back his allegation. Related post


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