Are Civilians Too Easy
on the Police? (II)

(#442, 12/18/23)

Warning: (Frail)
Humans at Work

(#441, 11/29/23)

See No Evil - Hear No
Evil - Speak No Evil

(#440, 11/14/23)

Policing Can't Fix
What Really Ails

(#439, 10/18/23)

Confirmation Bias
Can be Lethal

(#438, 9/21/23)

When (Very) Hard
Heads Collide (II)

(#437, 9/5/23)

What Cops

(#436, 8/24/23)

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

(#435, 8/1/23)

San Antonio

(#434, 7/20/23)

the Watchers

(#433, 6/30/23)

Good News /
Bad News

(#432, 6/16/23)

Is Diversion
the Answer?

(#431, 5/30/23)

"Legal" Gun Buyers
Can be a Problem

(#430, 5/15/23)

Fearful, Angry,
And Armed.

(#429, 5/2/23)

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

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)

Keep going...


Houston, We Have
(Another) Problem

(#445, 2/28/24)

Fueled by assault rifles,
“senseless” murders plague the land

Wrong Place,
Wrong Time, Wrong Cop

(#444, 2/8/24)

Recent exonerees set
soul-wrenching records for
length of wrongful imprisonment

America's Violence-Beset
Capital City

(#443, 1/20/24)

Washington D.C. is plagued by
murder. Has the President noticed?






3/1/24 Acting on a lawsuit filed by DOJ, a new Texas state law that makes illegal immigration a State misdemeanor, and a felony for repeat violations, has been blocked from taking effect by a Federal judge. Among its provisions, the law authorizes judges to order that illegal immigrants be expelled by police. But DOJ argues that Texas has unconstitutionally exceeded its jurisdiction. Immigration updates   Related post

For the last thirty years, Federal law has required that private persons who buy guns from licensed dealers pass a criminal record check. These are now quickly accomplished through the FBI’s “Insta-Check” system. But according to The Trace, “nearly a quarter of gun sales” happen wholly between private parties. So there’s no Federal records check. Twenty states have laws that require checks for such transactions, but the others do not. And it turns out that many guns that are used in crimes wound up in the wrong hands thanks to this loophole. Related post

2/29/24 Try and try again? Idaho’s execution team tried to carry out Thomas Eugene Creech’s death sentence earlier today. But they couldn’t tap into a vein. After eight tries, things got put off. Creech, 73, has been locked up fifty years. He was doing life for five murders when he beat a fellow inmate to death forty-three years ago. That earned him the death penalty. Citing the State’s “inability to carry out a humane and constitutional execution,” his public defenders now demand that Creech be left alone. Related post

Arguing before the Supreme Court, gun-rights advocates insist that bump stocks, which enable a form of automatic fire, are legal accessories. ATF once agreed. But the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, in which two shooters used bump-stock equipped rifles to murder sixty persons, led ATF to issue a ruling that bump stocks are illegal. Fifteen States and D.C. have outlawed them. But lower Federal courts have clashed over their status. And today, the Justices seemed split. Garland v. Cargill Related post

2/28/24 A newly-published study analyzed the sales history of 38,441 handguns and 6,806 long guns recovered in California crimes between 2010-2021. Recoveries were positively associated with several factors, including dealer sales volume, percent of sales that were denied, less expensive handguns, larger-caliber handguns, and buyers with previous arrests or living in more “socially vulnerable” census tracts. Study   Related post

To help prevent gun misuse, the White House wants gun owners to lock up guns kept at home. Oregon and Massachusetts have passed such laws, and several other States, including California, have proposed legislation to that effect. But while the move is supposedly to help keep children safe, opponents counter that it would make guns harder to access in emergencies, such as break-ins. So far, California SB 53 lacks the support to pass. And Federal safe-storage legislation has stalled. Related post

2/27/24 San Francisco’s crime problem may be changing public attitudes about policing. Deaths from Fentanyl have skyrocketed, leading the D.A. to warn dealers that overdoses will be prosecuted as murders. And on the March city ballot, Proposition E would relax rules that limit pursuits to the most urgent situations. Instead, they would be authorized to arrest persons who are reasonably suspected of having committed a felony or violent misdemeanor. Use of drones, cameras and facial recognition technology would also be expanded. Related posts 1    2

Has Texas’ push into immigration enforcement met the Lone Star State’s goals? Compared to a year ago, January 2023 CBP data reveals half the number of arrests along its border. In contrast, CBP arrests along San Diego’s border increased sixty percent, and detentions in Arizona more than doubled. That suggests a displacement effect as well. And this “effect” is greatly stressing already- burdened Federal and State resources along the Western U.S.  Immigration updates  Related posts 1   2

2/26/24 In 2022 California enacted AB 1594, a law that enables private persons to sue the gun industry over practices that unreasonably endanger the public. But a Federal judge just blocked enforcement of a provision that allows lawsuits for making and peddling “abnormally dangerous” guns. Other provisions, including those that forbid unfair business practices and require “reasonable controls” for gun safety, remain in effect while litigation over the law continues. Related posts 1   2

In August 2021 An’Twan Gilmore was roused by D.C. police after he fell asleep at the wheel of his car. Officers noticed he had a pistol in his belt. But before they could act Gilmore began driving off. Sgt. Enis Jevric promptly fired a barrage of shots, killing him. Originally charged with murder, Jevric just pled guilty to manslaughter and civil rights charges. He is the seventh D.C. officer convicted of like crimes since the Floyd episode led to a tightening of oversight. Gilmore’s gun, a Glock, had 17 rounds. Related post

Chicago police Supt. Larry Snelling berated the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) for recommending that 28 officers pending discipline be fired. According to Snelling, its decision was based on “personal opinions and speculation” rather than facts. He was also incensed that nineteen came on a single day. But COPA insists that was due to the timeline set by the city’s labor agreement. Related post

Has the unending stream of mass killings made Americans “numb to violence”? That’s what ATF boss Steven Dettelbach fears. Meeting with families of the victims of the October 2023 massacre in Lewiston, Maine, where eighteen were killed, he emphasized that speaking out was crucial. “Your voices are very important...It really makes a difference.” Dettelbach later told reporters that it was “too easy” for unstable persons to get firearms, and that keeping them away from guns was key. Related post

One year ago Fairfax County (Va.) police sergeant Wesley Shifflett and another officer chased Timothy McCree Johnson, 37 after he shoplifted a pair of sunglasses from a mall. As Mr. Johnson entered a dark wooded area both officers fired their guns. Sgt. Shifflett’s rounds killed Mr. Johnson, who was unarmed. It turns out that Sgt. Shifflett had pointed his gun at other shoplifters in the past. Sgt. Shifflett was fired and is awaiting trial. Mr. Johnson was Black; both officers are White. Original story   Related post

2/23/24 “The Regulators” is one of the oldest L.A. Deputy Sheriff “gangs”. Based at the Century station, it’s supposedly not accepting new members. But inspectors from the County’s Oversight Commission noticed a large sticker of “a grinning skeleton in a cowboy hat” in the parking garage of a women’s jail last December. That’s the Regulator’s insignia. And it was still there more than a month later. Why it was there in the first place, and why it wasn’t immediately removed, are now major bones of contention. Related post

2/22/24 D.C. council-members representing the First and Sixth Wards have been targeted for recall by critics who accuse them of fueling the crime surge. Both, along with the rest of the Council, approved a 2020 budget that redirected police funding to “alternate justice programs.” They also backed a 2022 initiative - again, passed by the full Council - that, among other things, lessened mandatory penalties for violent crimes. But Congress blocked the latter move. Related post

Polymer80, the largest manufacturer of mail-order “ghost gun” kits, is paying Baltimore $1.2 million to settle a suit that accused it of fomenting violent crime. Polymer80’s so-called “80%” complete kits, which come with instructions for making a working gun, were reportedly used to make many of the 462 ghost guns seized by Baltimore police in 2023. Polymer80 agreed not to sell kits to state residents, and Maryland law now bans their possession. A lawsuit against a dealer who sold the kits is pending. Related post

Called by concerned persons who were unable to contact the family, San Mateo, Calif. police found the bodies of a man, woman and their two children inside their home. Anand Henry, 37, apparently shot his wife dead, then killed himself. Their twin sons were also deceased, but not from gunfire. Their cause of death is as yet unknown. Henry’s registered handgun was found nearby. He was a software engineer; his wife was a data scientist. According to police, neither had a violent history. Related post

2/21/24 Gary, Indiana, a city of 68,000, lies about 25 miles SE of Chicago. Indiana lawmakers are trying to quash its decades-old lawsuit accusing eleven handgun manufacturers, a wholesaler and five retail dealers of knowingly contributing to the city’s violent crime problem. According to the Bill, only the State could sue. But Gary Mayor Eddie Melton strongly objects. “Local governments have the right to fight back against bad actors...who they believe are harming their community.” Related post

Three days ago two suburban Minneapolis police officers and a paramedic were shot and killed by a heavily-armed man who opened fire during a domestic violence call. Their assailant, 38- year old Shannon Gooden, was prohibited from having guns because of a conviction for assaulting a man with a knife when he was twenty-two. In 2020 a court turned down Gooden’s petition to have his gun rights restored. Gooden reportedly once told an ex-spouse that he would shoot police if she called 9-1-1. Related post

2/20/24 “Auto sears” are small, illegal devices that convert guns into “machineguns” that fire fully automatically, expelling numerous rounds with a single trigger squeeze. While Federally banned, they can be bought from online sources or made at home with a 3-D printer. Those peddled for use in Glock 9mm. pistols (called “Glock switches”) have become especially popular and are being increasingly used in violent crimes; most recently, in the January 2024 murder of Mississippi Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Malone. Related post

Louisiana Governor (and ex-cop) Jeff Landry declared a statewide “state of emergency” over a shortage of police officers. Landry campaigned for office on a crime-reduction platform - Louisiana’s murder rate is one of the highest in the U.S. - and his action temporarily removes bars for hiring deputy sheriffs, whose numbers are 1,800 short statewide. According to PERF, it’s not only Louisiana. Officer resignations and retirements surged nationwide after the George Floyd episode and the pandemic. In 2022 resignations were 47% higher than in 2019, while retirements increased by 19%. Related post

2/19/24 Charles McGonigal led the FBI’s New York City office between 2017 and his retirement in 2018. He’s just been sentenced to 28 months in prison for accepting $225,000 to secretly “advance” the business interests of an Albanian man while McGonigal conducted official duties abroad. This follows on a 50-month term handed out to McGonigal in December for money laundering and other crimes. Related post

To help identify problematic gun dealers, ATF has long kept a list of those which sold twenty-five or more guns in a single year that wound up being seized by police within three years of their sale. And to help identify unlicensed gun marketers, stores that wind up on the list must submit quarterly information about their sale of used guns. USA Today got access to the lists. More than half of Turner’s Outdoorsman stores are on them. Related post

“Senseless” killings plague the land. In a Minneapolis suburb, two police officers and a paramedic who responded to a domestic violence call were shot and killed by a heavily armed man who opened fire after “hours” of “negotiation.”  Another officer was wounded, and the shooter was killed. And in San Bernardino, California, an angry motorist reacted to a minor parking lot fender-bender by shooting and killing the driver of the other car. The shooter, who apparently had a serious mental history, used an unregistered 9mm. pistol. She was booked on murder charges. Related post

COVID-19 fraud prosecutions continue. In a major case, a pair of Georgia residents face decades in prison after a jury convicted them of orchestrating a scheme that drained more than $11 million dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program. Testimony revealed that they and several accomplices submitted documents that claimed they employed dozens of employees and incurred major expenses running a number of businesses. Alas, there were neither employees nor businesses. COVID updates

2/16/24 With a population of about 150,000 and a grisly 118 murders, Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capital city, reportedly had the nation’s worst homicide rate last year, about twice Detroit’s in magnitude. To lessen the toll, a collaborative effort involving local and state police, the FBI and DEA is now in effect. Aimed at violent offenders and drug traffickers, “Operation Unified” ostensibly settles a protracted dispute between the “Reds” and “Blues” about the best way to bring down crime. Related posts 1   2

2/15/24 Kansas City’s football team had already left on buses when, despite the presence of “more than 800” police officers, gunfire broke out at the end of a parade celebrating the Chief’s Super Bowl victory. One person was killed and twenty-one were wounded, including eight children. Fans pursued several suspects, and three were detained. Several firearms were also recovered. Related posts 1   2

Three D.C. police officers were shot and wounded, none seriously, as they forced their way into a residence to arrest its occupant for animal cruelty. Thirteen hours later, their as-yet unidentified assailant was taken into custody. He had fired on the officers through the door. Two were struck in the lower legs and a third was shot twice in his ballistic vest. He was bruised but the bullets didn't penetrate. Related post

2/14/24 Chicago’s progressives are applauding Mayor Brandon Johnson’s decision to carry through on his promise to cancel the contract with ShotSpotter, whose gunshot detection sensors are deployed in some of the city’s most violent sectors. But with nearly 3,000 shootings in Chicago last year, his move, which will take effect in October, is opposed by law enforcement, which values the instant notifications that the sensors can bring, independently of 9-1-1. Related post

Denver prides itself on the support it offers immigrants. But as of January it’s received 40,000, many bused by Texas Governor Abbott. On top of its homelessness problem, for a city of 750,000 the burden of providing for the arrivals is overwhelming. Renting hotel rooms and such will consume $180 million this year. That’s ten percent of the city budget. So it’s being forced to throttle back. Immigration updates   Related post

In their second try, by a one-vote margin, House Republicans impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Secretary Mayorkas, the first sitting cabinet member ever impeached, is accused of “willfully and systematically” turning his back on the enforcement of immigration laws, and of falsely asserting that the border is secure. But a trial seems unlikely, as the Senate, which is where it would take place, is controlled by the “Blues.” Immigration updates   Related post


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