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...


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

Exploiting yet another break,
a parolee absconds.
He wounds three police officers,
and society shrugs.

When Worlds

(#425, 3/7/23)

Wary cops, uncompliant citizens
and troubled communities

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

(#424, 2/20/23)

In Memphis, unremitting violence helps sabotage the craft






3/20/23  Serious disciplinary cases against LAPD officers are decided by a three-member panel. Accused officers can choose it be all-civilian. After a random draw of nine from the sixty-seven citizens on board, officers can ”strike” those whom they consider biased. And that, says a prospective panelist who’s yet to sit on a case after a year on the team, regularly excludes those who have found against cops or, like herself, are rumored to have incorrect (i.e., “woke”) views that bias them against policing. Related post

With the prosecution case done, the trial of the five Proud Boys, including leader Enrique Tarrio, seems at an uncertain place. Evidence that the defendants created and led a conspiracy to massively storm the Capitol was lacking. Not even cooperating witnesses went that far. Instead, prosecutors used videos of the event to argue that the accused used the group as “tools” to stop the transfer of power. It’s expected that the defense will try to capitalize on that weakness. Capitol updates

“Blue” moves to eliminate cash bail and facilitate pre-trial release have become the target of “Reds” who warn they would seriously compromise public safety. As an example they cite the murderous November 2021 rampage of Darrell Brooks, a multi-convicted felon and registered sex offender who was on $1,000 bail for domestic violence when he plowed his speeding SUV into a Waukesha (WI) Christmas parade, killing five and injuring 48. Related posts 1   2

Ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pled guilty to failure to file state tax returns. He drew a 13-month prison sentence, to run concurrently with his 21-year Federal and 22 1/2 year State terms for murdering George Floyd. Chauvin and his ex-wife also failed to report all their income. She recently pled guilty and will draw probation. Chauvin updates

“Judge- shopping” is the practice of filing suit in a small court presided by a lone judge whose inclinations the plaintiff considers favorable. That’s likely why a lawsuit challenging a program to admit 360,000 parolees a year from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela was filed in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Federal Judge Drew B. Tipton presides. Judge Tipton, who struck down an earlier immigration proposal, turned down the Government’s request to transfer the case elsewhere. Immigration updates   Related post

Hordes of rowdy revelers and two shootings, leading to one death, led Miami Beach to declare a nighttime curfew in its trendy South Beach area for the third Spring Break in a row. Mayor Dan Gelber rejects the notion of Spring Break altogether. He doesn’t want a replay of three years ago, when there were about 1,000 arrests and “dozens of guns” were seized. Related post

3/17/23   Cullman, Ala. is home to West Elementary School. And it’s now home to bulletproof fold-out 8 X 8 rooms that can protect up to thirty persons from deranged shooters. Designed and installed by a local contractor, they were inspired by a plea from his wife as she watched coverage of the Uvalde massacre. Their ballistic protection is said to protect occupants from “most handguns and rifles,” and their locks are supposedly impermeable. Each costs about $50,000, and there’s hope for funding. Related posts 1   2

In 2016 researchers randomly assigned 504 Milwaukee patrol officers to one of two groups. One group wore body cameras for eight months; the other did not. A recently published Crime Solutions study reveals no significant between-group differences on overall proactivity, number of arrests or citizen complaints. However, officers with cameras stopped significantly fewer persons in non-traffic “suspicious person” situations and conducted significantly more neighborhood “park and walks”. Related post

Seven Henrico County, Virginia sheriff’s deputies and three hospital employees were charged with murdering Irvo Otieno, a 28-year old Black man with mental problems who was being admitted to a hospital after spending several days in custody. During the transfer, deputies allegedly pinned the shackled man to the ground for a prolonged period and smothered him to death. And even as Mr. Otieno turned “lifeless” and stopped breathing, hospital staff supposedly failed to act. Related post

3/16/23  A Federal-local task force arrested three men for creating a ghost-gun “pipeline” that moved large numbers of untraceable weapons, including assault-style rifles, from Massachusetts to New York City. A 123-count indictment charges that the defendants sold unserialized guns, parts sets and cocaine to undercover agents, and that one of the accused, a former Smith & Wesson employee, provided instruction for the weapons’ assembly and operation. Related post

In March 2021 Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa used an AR-556 “pistol” to murder ten at a Boulder, Colorado supermarket. One of his victims was Suzanne Fountain. Her son has now filed suit against Smith and Wesson for promoting the weapon, essentially an AR-15 rifle refashioned to get around assault weapons restrictions, in a way that appeals to killers. After the Supreme Court refused to intervene, Remington Arms settled a similar suit filed by the families of the Sandy Hook victims for $73 million. Related posts 1   2

3/15/23  President Biden’s March 14 “Executive Order on Reducing Gun Violence and Making Our Communities Safer” directs the Attorney General to take steps to assure that gun dealers comply with Federal firearms laws, that background checks are properly performed on all gun sales, and that “rogue” licensees are weeded out and kept from returning to the gun business. His order also addresses “modernizing” the definition of “ghost guns” and expanding State and local use of “Red Flag” laws. Related posts 1   2   3

Debating their public safety views, Chicago Mayoral candidates Brandon Johnson, a Black man and county commissioner, and Paul Vallas, a White man and past leader of the city school system, tried to assure their audience that they did not hold extremist views. Mr. Johnson, who once held up defunding as “necessary” and endorsed “removing ourselves away from...state-sponsored policing,” pledged to keep police spending as-is. Vallas, who’s called for abolishing rules that “literally handcuffed officers” denied that “to restore proactive policing” (which he favors) means “taking the handcuffs off.” Related posts 1   2

3/14/23  On March 3, after an “hours-long” negotiation, two officers from a special Paterson, NJ police team shot and killed Najee Seabrooks as the disturbed man allegedly advanced on them wielding knives. Their actions were criticized by community members who pointed out that the officers were wearing protective gear and had shields. His killing fanned calls to investigate the agency. Six of its officers were convicted in recent years for stealing from victims, and one was recently charged after shooting and paralyzing a man who supposedly had a gun. Related posts 1   2

Immigration woes continue to beset the Administration. ICE stopped “crowds” of would-be migrants at the terminus of a bridge connecting Ciudad Juarez to El Paso. Barricades were used to the same effect elsewhere. Rumors that asylum-seekers would be let through have been sparking large-scale crossing attempts. Meanwhile a San Diego newspaper published an op-ed by a long-held detainee who alleges that ICE repeatedly shuttled him between facilities for complaining about poor medical care and other negative conditions under which he and others were being held. Immigration updates

“Rampant” drug use and disorder in and around L.A.’s Metro subway system have driven many riders away. Fentanyl has become an overwhelming problem, and persons under its influence are everywhere. Overdoses - and deaths - are commonplace. “Sleepers” who take up seats also abound. But while police assigned to the trains have arrested dozens for drug use and possession, in the burdened justice system, criminal filings are exceedingly rare. But alternatives to policing have also proven futile. Related post

3/13/23   Beset by a shortage of applicants, Memphis P.D. dropped college-credit requirements in 2018 and began hiring candidates with a high-school diploma and work experience. Academy standards were lowered and grading was made far more lenient. Officers say that these and other easings in hiring and retention standards led to hiring the five officers who now face prosecution in the killing of Tyre Nichols. Related posts 1   2

In 1970 police searching through the woods found the body of Maryland high-school student Pamela Conyers, who had gone missing after a trip to a mall. Her killer’s identity was a mystery. It so remained for fifty-two years, until detectives used a public genealogical database to connect a Virginia family to DNA recovered from the scene. From there they identified its source. Forrest Clyde Williams III was 21 when he murdered the teen. Williams, who had a “minor” criminal record, died in 2018. Related post

3/10/23  Jonathan Mangana, a 32-year old Los Angeles-area resident, was convicted of robbery in 2020. He was briefly imprisoned, then paroled. Last October he was arrested for battery on a cop and having a gun. He was released on bond, but failed to show up for arraignment. That’s why LAPD was looking for him yesterday. Mangana opened fire. He wounded three officers, none critically. Mangana was shot dead. Related post

NYPD seized 463 “ghost guns” in 2022, an increase of nearly eighty percent over 2021. That just led the state’s attorney general to secure a court order forbidding ten gun distributors from sending “key” ghost-gun components to customers in the state. New York City’s most recent ghost-gun seizure took place yesterday, when police confiscated ghost-gun parts and other contraband from an upscale apartment occupied by Christopher Fox, the brother of a famous actress and model. Related post

After spending twenty years in Guantanamo without a trial, Ghassan al-Sharbi, 48, was  repatriated to Saudi Arabia. Sharbi, who had been going to college in Arizona, was detained in 2002 on information that he had recently received terrorism training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. He was also accused of teaching English to terrorists. Sharbi was charged in 2009, but the case was dropped four years later. Thirty-one detainees remain in Guantanamo; most are “eligible for transfer.” Related post

In one evening, two LAPD pursuits ended in crashes. One chase involved a car jacked by armed teens; the other, a vehicle stolen by adults. At least six innocents wound up hospitalized, two critically. Four teens and two adults were arrested. Meanwhile a pursuit last year that ended in a crash with serious injuries to an innocent person led to misdemeanor reckless driving charges against a veteran LAPD Sergeant. According to D.A. George Gascon, “sworn police officers have a responsibility to obey all laws, particularly when they are on the job and in uniform.” Related post

Last year East Cleveland police chief Scott Gardner was suspended after being indicted for stealing $150,000 from the State. Charges were also filed against six current and past officers for crimes allegedly committed since 2012 including robbery, bribery and evidence tampering. Fast-forward to 2023. A grand jury just indicted eleven current and former East Cleveland cops (including four charged previously) for “brutally pummeling, stomping and harassing residents.” So many East Cleveland cops have been charged that county deputies have been brought in to police the town. Related posts 1   2

3/9/23  Three LAPD officers are recovering after being shot by a “parolee at large” whom they were trying to apprehend. According to the Times, their assailant had a lengthy record and was facing recent charges of battery on a police officer and unlawful possession of a firearm. Other officers later shot the man dead. Related post

Prompted by the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor, DOJ’s civil rights inquiry into Louisville PD concludes that its officers engaged in a “pattern or practice” of First and Fourth Amendment violations, using excessive force, serving “invalid” warrants, and failing to properly announce their presence. Heavy criticism is levied on the deployment of aggressive “Viper” teams that made pretextual, often illegal stops in Black neighborhoods. Negotiations for a consent decree are reportedly in the works. Related posts 1   2

At the request of Memphis officials, DOJ will conduct a review of its police department’s policies, practices, and training in regards to use of force and de-escalation. DOJ will also address the management of specialized units, such as the “Scorpion” team that killed Tyre Nichols. That incident has also led DOJ to embark on a program that will “produce a guide” for cities across the U.S. about the purposes, training and management of specialized teams. Related post

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the State of Florida, a Federal judge agreed that the mass release of asylum seekers into the interior of the U.S. flouts existing law, which requires that persons seeking asylum be detained pending proceedings. His decision is stayed for one week to allow appellate review. Immigration updates

3/8/23   A 2021 Missouri state law that nullified several key Federal gun laws and prohibited state and local officers from assisting in their enforcement was declared unconstitutional by a Federal judge. “At best, this statute causes confusion among state law enforcement officials who are deputized for federal task force operations, and at worst, is unconstitutional on its face,” said U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes. But Missouri’s Attorney General has pledged to challenge the ruling. Related post

Released by Federal authorities to await hearings, “more than 50,000” asylum-seekers have landed in New York City in less than one year. A majority wound up in city shelters. A special city agency is being created that will partner with local organizations to handle the massive, ongoing influx and provide housing and other services. Meanwhile three of L.A.’s fifteen council members are seeking to have L.A. declared a “sanctuary city” and prohibit city employees from assisting immigration agents. Immigration updates

When progressive Los Angeles D.A. George Gascon took office in 2020, he ordered a number of easings. Among them was that juveniles charged with serious and violent crimes not be transferred to adult court. Many deputies resisted. One was Shawn Randolph, a veteran D.A. who headed the juvenile division. So Gascon placed her elsewhere. She sued, alleging retaliation. A jury just awarded her $1.5 million. And more such suits are pending. Related post

Even though opponents were outspent “more than 20-to-1,” Oklahoma voters rejected a law that would have made it the 22nd. state to legalize recreational pot. Its highly competitive medical marijuana industry struggles for profits, and boosters hoped that full legalization would draw crowds from Texas. But opposition by religious groups, medical authorities and police helped kill the measure. Drug legalization updates

Concerns that the technology would be used “to harm and spy on Black and brown communities” led the L.A. City Council to defer accepting a $280,000 donation from the L.A.P.D. Foundation to acquire a robotic dog. Police insisted the “animal” would only be used by SWAT, and then only to prevent injuries to officers and civilians, and both the Board of Police Commissioners and a council committee approved the move. But a hostile crowd convinced council members to wait sixty days to make a decision. Related post

3/7/23  D.C.’s council is “withdrawing” a controversial measure that would have reduced the penalties for serious and violent crimes committed in the District. Its move comes after President Biden announced that he endorsed a Senate bill that torpedoes the easings. But the pot’s been stirred, so that prohibition remains likely to be enacted. Related post

Atlanta’s plans to build a police training facility on a wooded 85-acre site has long been opposed by environmentalists. But “left-leaning protesters” have also joined in. One, nicknamed “Tortuguita,” was shot dead by police during a raucuous demonstration in January. That’s led to more conflict, most recently on Sunday, March 6, when a confrontation between cops and dozens of rioters from around the U.S. led to the arrest of twenty-three on terrorism charges. And the conflict is likely to continue. Related post

A widely used approach to reduce armed violence, “Project Ceasefire” targets violent offenders with deterrent messaging delivered one-on-one and through group meetings. Over the years it’s been deployed in many communities, and assessments are often positive. But according to a study in Detroit, researchers found “no statistically significant effects” on shooting victimization overall. Ceasefire participants were not less likely to be arrested for having a gun. But those who attended “call-in” group meetings were significantly less likely to be arrested, including for violent crimes. Related posts 1   2

3/6/23  Two males in their twenties approached a group gathered at a beachfront barbecue in San Pedro, a working-class community of South Los Angeles. An “altercation” ensued. One of the intruders - he was dressed in black and was wearing a black mask - opened fire with a pistol. Five persons were wounded, two critically. No arrests have been made. A shooting last July in a local park killed two and wounded several. But an elderly resident shrugged it all off. He likes San Pedro for its small-town feel. Related post

Harold Carpenter’s DNA was collected when he was accused of a 1994 sexual assault in Washington state. But no charges were filed, and the DNA was never tested. And there it sat until this year, when a grant let the state process untested DNA and submit profiles to the FBI’s CODIS database. And that’s how it was matched to DNA recovered from the exhumed cadaver of Patricia Carnahan, who was was murdered in California in 1979. In 2020 a familial search got California authorities as close as Carpenter’s uncle. Harold Carpenter, now 63, has been arrested and awaits trial. Related post

3/4/23  Twelve of the L.A. Sheriff’s Academy cadets who were on a training run when an assertedly “sleepy” driver veered into their formation last November were unable to graduate with their classmates. One remains in critical condition. Some plan to resume their training. So far no charges have been filed. Drug legalization updates

Privacy advocates and device makers such as Samsung and Apple are outraged, but police have been eagerly downloading an upgrade to a hacking tool that could promises to allow access to the supposedly most secure cellphones. Pasadena police detectives hope that Cellebrite’s new “Premium” software will finally let them break into a murder suspect’s phone and retrieve information that might link him to a 2015 homicide. Related post

Citing a special counsel report that asserts deputy gangs or “cliques” including the “Regulators, Spartans, Gladiators, Cowboys and Reapers” continue to operate in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the county’s Civilian Oversight Commission urged Sheriff Luna and the Board of Supervisors to formally ban these organizations. According to the commissioners, gang leaders “call the shots” when it’s time for assignments and promotions, and ignoring their wishes can lead to a deputy’s isolation from his peers. Related posts 1   2


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