Race and Ethnicity
On the One Hand...
But on the Other...
Does Legal Pot
Blows to the Head
Were Never O.K.
Hard Times in
the "Big Easy"
What Were They
Thinking? (Part II)
What Were They
Thinking? And, Why?
Massacres, in Slow-Mo
Good Law / Bad Law
Tenacity is Great -
Until It's Not
Cops v. Assault Weapons:
a Hopeless Situation
When a "Dope"
Can't be "Roped"
Myth or Reality?
In Two Fell Swoops
What's Up? Violence.
Ex-cops on Federal Trial
Who's in Charge?
What's Up With
Cause and Effect
"Woke" up, America!
Full Stop Ahead
Damn the Evidence -
Full Speed Ahead!
A Partner in Every Sense
Racial Quarrels Within Policing (II)
Within Policing (I)
Don't Like the Rules?
Regulate. Don't "Obfuscate".
The Craft of Policing
Is the "Cure" Worse
than the "Disease"?
Let's Stop Pretending
Trial of Derek Chauvin
Slugging it Out
Before the Fight
The Usual Victims
A Risky and Informed Decision
Want Happy Endings?
Cop? Terrorist? Both?
Chaos in D.C.
Third, Fourth & Fifth Chances
Select, Don't "Elect"
Was a Dope Roped?
Fix Those Neighborhoods!
When Must Cops
When Must Cops
L.A. Wants "Cahoots."
But Which "Cahoots"?
R.I.P. Proactive Policing?
White on Black
Black on Black
"SWAT" is a Verb
Should Police Treat the Whole Patient?
Turning Cops Into Liars
Violent and Vulnerable
Don't "Divest" - Invest!
Is it Ever OK to Shoot Someone in the Back? (II)
Gold Badges Can Be the Problem
Punishment Isn't a Cop's Job
But is it Really Satan?
A Conflicted Mission
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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