Backing Off
(#398, 11/18/21)


Leaving suspects alone cuts against the grain. But there are few options.


"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)



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...

 

 










 

 


11/30/21  A woman returning to her Lancaster (CA) residence discovered that her four young children and grandmother had been shot dead. "My babies are gone! They're all dead!" she screamed in the front yard. Her husband, Germarcus David, 29, an unemployed security guard, soon turned himself in to police. He admitted he was the killer. David, whose online posts have a religious tinge, had no known motive. Related post

Last year LAPD investigators discovered that Archi Duenas stole dozens of guns from the gun store he managed at the police academy. He resold many to cops, who should have known better. His thievery ultimately earned him probation. Problem is, some of his badge-wearing customers, including a station commander, were also selling guns as an unregulated sideline, even offering so-called “off roster” guns that State laws normally keep out of civilian hands. Several are under investigation. Related post

11/29/21  There have been 130 murders in the Bronx through 11/21. That’s nearly thirty percent more than in 2020 and sixty-five percent more than in 2019. That increase in caseload alone poses a major challenge. There are other obstacles. Residents of troubled neighborhoods fear cooperating with police. Many locations lack sufficient surveillance cameras, and those in place can’t see through masks. Clearances are substantially down. But about sixty-two percent of murders are presently being solved. Related post

Jury selection begins tomorrow in another potentially explosive Minneapolis area case: the prosecution of ex-Brooklyn Center cop Kim Potter for first-degree manslaughter in the April 2021 killing of Daunte Wright. After stopping the 20-year old Black man for a traffic infraction, Ms. Potter, who is White, discovered he had a gun possession warrant. But when she moved to arrest him, he tried to flee. Intending to stop him with her Taser, she mistakenly drew and fired her gun instead. Her defense is that she isn’t “culpably negligent” as the law requires because Mr. Wright “caused his death himself.” Related posts 1   2

11/27/21  Commenting on the recent spate of takeovers of high-end retailers by organized groups of thieves, Allen Zarenberg, the retiring head of the Calif. Chamber of Commerce, attributed it to the 2014 enactment of Prop. 47, which greatly eased the penalties for thefts under $950. “It creates a culture in certain jurisdictions where retail theft is OK.” Indeed, a 2018 study by the Public Policy Institute reported that minor thefts went up. A recent review of Prop. 47’s effects on the city of Santa Monica arrived at a similar conclusion. But a university study concluded that the seeming uptick in larceny and motor vehicle theft in the year after passage was insufficiently robust. Related posts 1   2

11/26/21  Chicago prosecutors allege that in July, Detrevion Williams, 18 and another young male opened fire on five teens standing on the street in the notorious Lawndale neighborhood. All were struck: two, ages 15 and 16, suffered gunshot wounds to the head and were killed. Williams’ companion reportedly had a gun with a “50 round drum magazine.” Both assailants fled in a stolen BMW. Witnesses, videos, license plate readers and other means led police to Williams and an alley where the vehicle and guns were found. Williams is charged with two murders and three attempts; he has been denied bail. Related post

11/25/21  D.C. suffered 201 homicides this year as of Nov. 23. That’s 11% more than during this period in 2020, when there were 179. Compared to full years, it’s the most since 2003, when there were 248, more than twice the 88 murders in 2012, and 42 percent greater than in 2017, when there were 116. D.C. also has 200 fewer officers than last year. According to the police union, the loss of cops and new rules that “impede” the fight against crime caused the increase in gun violence. But activists disagree. (2019 ACS: D.C. pop. 673,041, pov. 13.5%, 2020 hom. rate 29.4, 6X U.S. & higher than 7 of 8 listed cities.) Related post

In August 2020, “after numerous policy violations and conduct issues,” Kansas City police fired Det. Lionel Womack, a 13-year veteran. Within days he tangled with Sheriff’s deputies when, supposedly from fear, he ran away during a traffic stop. (Womack was injured and sued.) On November 22 a 9-1-1 caller reported that Womack was “standing in a road pointing at the sky and trying to jump in front of traffic.” During a violent encounter with his former colleagues, Womack took away an officer’s gun, jumped behind the wheel of the patrol car, and was shot dead by the cop’s partner. Related post

11/24/21  Acting on motions filed by Jackson County, Missouri D.A. Jean Baker and the Midwest Innocence Project, a judge exonerated and freed Kevin Strickland, who served more than forty-three years for his alleged involvement in a triple homicide. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, and a survivor who picked him out of a lineup and was the sole basis for his conviction later insisted she had been pressured by police. Strickland’s alibi witnesses were ignored, as were the statements of two confessed participants who swore that he wasn’t there. Related posts 1   2

On November 22, acting on motions of defense and prosecution, a Syracuse (NY) judge fully exonerated Anthony Broadwater, who was released from prison in 1998 after serving 16 years for a rape he insists he did not commit. His cause was taken up several years ago by a film maker who grew doubtful of the man’s guilt while researching a screen adaptation of “Lucky,” the debut novel by Alice Sebold, the rape victim. She originally had problems identifying Broadwater, but did so in court, and her testimony along with since-discredited microscopic hair comparison ultimately gained the conviction. Related posts 1   2

11/23/21  U.S. will pay $127.5 million to settle lawsuits filed by the families of Parkland High School victims over the FBI’s failure to follow up on warnings that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was planning a rampage. Cruz, a mentally troubled former student, used an AR-15 rifle to kill fourteen students and three teachers and wound seventeen others at the Florida high school in 2018. He pled guilty in October to 17 counts of murder and seventeen of attempted murder and asked for a life sentence. But prosecutors say they will his seek a death sentence at a forthcoming hearing. Related post

“We feel safe. We really do. I know violence is everywhere. If someone wants to hurt you, they’ll hurt you. But I have peace.” Those are the words of a nurse who moved from inner-city Chicago to a suburb where their children “can play in the yard without the possibility of gunfire.” Her husband agreed that “safety was an issue.” He also said that access to necessities became far more plentiful. Related post

In “Does racial congruence between police agencies and communities reduce racialized police killings of civilians?”, Shytierra Gaston, Matthew J. Teti and Matheson Sancheza studied the relationship between the racial composition of 1,988 local police agencies and their use of force against Blacks. They found that forces with larger proportions of Black officers used significantly less force against Blacks, and that the use of force against Blacks was more common in areas with fewer Blacks. Related post

11/22/21  On November 21 a speeding SUV plowed into a Waukesha (WI) Christmas parade, killing five and injuring 48. A police officer fired on the vehicle, but without apparent effect. Its driver, Darrell E. Brooks Jr., 39, was fleeing from a domestic dispute. A registered sex offender, his felony convictions include a 1999 aggravated robbery and a 2010 strangulation. On November 5 Brooks was released on a $1,000 bond for “reckless endangerment” and other charges for allegedly “running over” a woman after a dispute. Prosecutors have criticized that bail as being far too low. Bail reform special topic  Related post

A lawsuit filed by the family of Elijah McClain, an unarmed man who died after a 2019 encounter with Aurora (CO) police, has been settled for $15 million. 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

As the COVID era continues to upset things, “smash-and-grab” and “follow home” robbers have been picking on the wealthy. Fourteen “grab and run” bandits hit a Louis Vuitton store in an upscale Chicago area. “Dozens” of thieves swept through a string of high-end retailers in the San Francisco Bay region. Hollywood celebrities are being followed home and robbed at gunpoint. One victim, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Dorit Kemsley, had to give up pricey handbags and jewelry. Related post

Mount Sinai Medical School researchers have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to increased levels of aggression, anxiety and hyperactivity in young children. Cannabis reportedly affects the mother’s immune function, which in turn alters the neurobehavioral development of the unborn. Marijuana special topic  Related post

Louisville will spend tens of millions in COVID relief funds on police reforms. Housing will get $100 million, and violence prevention and youth programs tens of millions more. But Feds in town conducting a pattern-and-practice review prompted by the killing of Breonna Taylor are digging into a recent police killing, in which officers say the man they shot while responding to a domestic call fired first. “You can’t control the timing of these things,” said Erika Shields, the new police chief. “...with so much violence and guns on the streets, you just know there’s a likelihood of this kind of thing happening.” Related post

The recent slaying of an international student, and the robbery “at gunpoint” of a university worker, finds one of the nation’s premier places of learning, the University of Chicago, at the mercy of the violence and gunplay that besets its surroundings. Officials and campus staff want a larger police presence, outside and within. Chicago’s police chief agrees. “Having a large presence will not only add to safety but also the perception of being safe.” But others disagree. “The proof is literally in the existence of University of Chicago and the fact that it can sit inside one of the most terrorized neighborhoods when it comes to gun violence and think that epidemic shouldn’t touch their campus.” Related posts 1   2

11/20/21  On November 19, a jury found L.A. sheriff’s deputy Luke Liu not guilty of manslaughter. In 2017 Liu shot and killed Francisco Garcia, who was driving a stolen car, when Garcia suddenly pulled away after telling the deputy that the vehicle’s ownership was “none of his business.” Liu claims the vehicle struck his knees, and that he fired in self-defense. L.A. Sheriff’s policy generally prohibits shooting at vehicles unless a weapon other than the vehicle is being used. Related posts 1   2

After three days of deliberation, Kenosha (WI) jurors acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on each of the five counts of reckless and intentional homicide and reckless endangerment that he faced for fatally shooting Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during street protests against the police killing of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, then 17, was armed with an AR-15 rifle he got through a friend. He took the stand and testified that each shooting was motivated by self-defense. Related post

Anaheim (CA) police released a police video that depicts, in great detail, the extensive pursuit and fatal shooting of Brandon Lopez, 33, on September 28. Lopez, who was wanted on armed robbery charges and was driving a stolen car, was ultimately blocked in by police. After “several hours” chemical agents forced him from his car. An officer who apparently mistook a “black object” in Lopez’s hands for a handgun yelled “gun” and opened fire. A knife was found in the car, but Lopez was otherwise unarmed. Related post

11/19/21  After “agonizing” a great deal, a Niagara County (NY) judge sentenced a 20-year old man to eight years probation for sexually attacking three 16-year old girls and a 15-year old in 2017-2018. These crimes took place in a bedroom of his wealthy parent’s home, which was known as a “party house” where well-to-do youngsters drank and did drugs. Families of the victims were appalled at the judge’s leniency, and particularly because the defendant had violated the terms of his prior release. Related posts 1   2

On November 18 a Manhattan judge granted prosecutors’ motion to dismiss the murder convictions of Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam. In 1966 they and Mujahid Halim were convicted of the February, 1965 murder of Malcom X. Aziz and Islam drew life terms; Aziz was paroled in 1985 and Islam in 1987. Halim confessed but said the others were, as they claimed, innocent. It now turns out that the FBI and New York police withheld a trove of documents that “pointed away” from Aziz and Islam. Related posts 1   2

11/17/21  To prevent sheriff’s deputies from using bicycle violations as pretexts to detain members of minority groups, L.A. County Supervisors approved a measure that legalizes riding on a sidewalk in unincorporated areas should no bike lanes exist. An investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 85% of cyclists stopped by deputies are searched, and seventy percent are Latino. Related post

Short-circuiting his intended firing for posting inflammatory comments online and making allegedly false statements against former bosses, Chicago FOP President John Catanzara retired from the force. But he intends to remain as the police union leader, and possibly run for Mayor. His retirement paperwork bore the handwritten comment: “Finally!!! Let’s go Brandon.” Related posts 1   2

11/16/21  Yesterday, during the noon hour, six Aurora (CO) teens, ages 14-18, were shot in a park one block away from the high school they attend. Each is expected to recover. A witness reported that he hard a large barrage of gunfire, “30 to 50 shots ...but at least 30,” and police recovered multiple bullet casings of different caliber. None of the victims were reportedly armed, and a drive-by is suspected. Related post

11/15/21  Federal prison staff and contractors face criminal charges, mostly for on-duty conduct, far more often than other U.S. Justice Department employees. Twenty-eight have been prosecuted so far this year. Accusations include stalking and abusing colleagues and subordinates, sexually molesting prisoners, accepting bribes to pass inmates on exams, and taking cash for smuggling in drugs. In notorious off-duty behavior, an associate warden was charged with murdering her husband. Related post

Anaheim and Irvine become the third and fourth Southern California cities to utilize the services of Be Well OC, which uses the Cahoots model to dispatch teams of medical workers and mental health specialists to non-emergency calls involving persons who are in mental distress. Garden Grove and Huntington Beach, which are already using the service, praise its ability to properly tend to persons in crisis and allow police to focus on crime-related work. Police and mentally ill topic  Related post

In a major study of “ghost guns,” The New York Times asserts that gun kits purchased online enable youths and criminals to easily acquire guns, thus fueling “an epidemic of violence,” and that its effects are most pronounced in California, which supposedly has some of the stiffest gun controls in the nation. Proposed Federal rules that would expand the definition of firearms to include “ghost” part kits seems stalled, and even if it passes their overwhelming abundance bespeaks a grim future. Related post

11/13/21  Former Trump advisor and White House official Stephen K. Bannon, who predicted on January 5th. that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” was indicted for refusing to testify before a Congressional panel investigating the storming of the Capitol. Meanwhile, January 6th.’s “most heavily armed man,” Alabama septuagenarian Lonnie Coffman, pled guilty to Federal charges of bringing eleven molotov cocktails and five loaded guns in his truck to Capitol Hill. Improvised explosives were also found in his home. Related post

North Carolina’s Governor granted a “Pardon of Innocence” to Montoyae Dontae Sharpe, whose 1995 murder conviction was based on an eyewitness account by a 15-year old girl who later admitted that her testimony “was entirely made up based on what she saw on television and what investigators told her.” Sharpe served 24 years in prison before a judge vacated his conviction in 2019. For an in-depth analysis of the case by the Duke Law school, click here. Related post

11/12/21  Chicago PD’s audit division helps oversee the agency’s compliance with the Federal consent decree. But its civilian commander, Chad Williams, despaired that the agency’s uniformed leaders failed  “to even feign interest in pursuing reform in a meaningful manner.” So he resigned. Despite criticism about foot pursuits, and the killing of Adam Toledo, police leaders still insist that they are making progress. Related posts 1   2

Eric Adams, New York City’s newly-elected Mayor (he’s Black and an ex-cop) vows to carry through on a campaign promise to restore NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime units, which focused on getting guns off the streets. They were disbanded last year because they apparently generated too many citizen complaints. And civil rights activists strongly object to their return. Should that happen, “there will be riots, there will be fire and there will be bloodshed,” promises BLM leader Hawk Newsome. Related posts 1   2

Capitol intruder Scott Fairlamb, a New Jersey bar bouncer, got the stiffest-yet sentence, 41 months, for “pushing” and “punching” a police officer as he strong-armed his way over a scaffold and into the building. Fairlamb, 44, a trained MMA fighter, had two prior convictions for assault. Related post

11/11/21  To help the “more than 8,500 people who leave its prisons every year...with only a bus pass and a small sack of belongings,” Colorado is spending nearly a million dollars to develop a list of employers who will hire newly-released inmates. Smaller amounts are going to private organizations that assist new releasees. Related post

Nearly two years into his term, San Francisco D.A. Chesa Boudin is facing recall over complaints by citizens and staff that the ex-public defender lacks the enthusiasm to fight the surge in violent crime. Even some boosters have turned. According to a disenchanted former homicide prosecutor, while Boudin “ran on a platform of being progressive and reform focused, his methodology to achieving that is simply to release individuals early or to offer very lenient plea deals.” Related post

 



 
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