old man opened fire in a Dallas residence, killing three adults and a 3-year old. He then stole a vehicle and drove to
Austin. Byron Carillo, 21, shot himself dead as officers closed in. Carillo had been wearing an ankle monitor since his 2021
conviction for aggravated assault. But he apparently cut it off shortly before or after the murders. Dallas PD releaseRelated post
According to the Washington Post mass shooting
database, there have been 38 “mass killings with guns” - meaning four or more persons shot dead, other than the
gunman - so far this year. That’s two more than in all of 2022 and a record high since WaPo began tracking these
incidents in 2006, when there were 24.
“violent crime deprives communities of a fundamental sense of security in their own homes and neighborhoods,”
DOJ announced a major new effort to target gangs and violence in Memphis. Partnering with local police, ATF and the FBI will
apply “data-driven, targeted, and focused enforcement” techniques to dismantle criminal networks through Federal
and State prosecutions. Community members will also play a key role in identifying problems and devising solutions.
12/4/23NIJ released a study of the role of forensics in 732 wrongful convictions listed by the National Registry of
Exonerations. These cases included 1,391 forensic examinations in 34 disciplines, ranging from serology to bitemarks. Sixty-
four percent (891) of the examinations had at least one error. Disciplines with errors in over half the examinations include
seized drug analysis, bitemarks, shoe/foot impressions, fire debris, forensic medicine, blood spatter, serology, hair
comparisons, and DNA. Related posts
A new, revised
set of rules and mandating that deputies wear
body cameras are two of the major correctives revealed by Rankin County (MS) Sheriff Bryan Bailey as he awaits the Federal and
State sentencing of six White former deputies who participated in the unconscionable beating of two Black men last January. A
$400 million lawsuit is in the works. Related posts
In a blow to Texas’ fight
against illegal border crossings, the U.S. Fifth Circuit ordered the state to remove a string of buoys it installed to block
passage through the Rio Grande. According to the ruling, Texas’ claim that Federal jurisdiction doesn’t extend
through certain parts of the river is incorrect. Governor Greg Abbott has pledged to challenge the decision all the way to the
Supreme Court. Law aside, a lower court had cast doubt on the buoys’ potential effectiveness. Immigration updatesRelated post
12/1/23Ex-Shreveport, Louisiana police officer Dylan Hudson was sentenced to 21 months in Federal
prison after a second jury found him guilty of Federal civil rights violations. Hudson was convicted of “punching,
kneeing, Tasing, pistol-whipping and slamming the head” of Markeil Tyson, a trespassing suspect whom fellow officers
detained in August 2019. They testified that Tyson was not resisting and that Hudson’s actions violated both training
In 2019 Aaron
Dean, a rookie Forth Worth police officer, responded to a call about a home’s open front door. Observing through a
window that an armed Black woman had appeared inside, Dean, who is White, fired a shot through the glass, killing her. She
turned out to be the homeowner, Atatiana Jefferson. Dean was later convicted of manslaughter. His victim’s eight-year
old nephew, who was present, testified at his trial. Fort Worth just agreed to pay Zion Carr $3.5 million in compensation.
11/30/23The Minneapolis family that owns the businesses, including Cup Foods, which are located where the encounter
with George Floyd took place are suing the city for curtailing police response to what’s now called “George Floyd
Square.” Keeping cops away, they claim, has led to a great increase in crime and “made the area so dangerous that
it has become known as the ‘No Go Zone’.” Meanwhile, Tou Thao, the cop who watched over the spectators to Mr.
Floyd’s abuse, has appealed his Federal civil-rights conviction to the Supreme Court because he allegedly lacked the
required “willfulness.” Related posts
In January 2020
two Prince George’s County (MD) officers arrested an addled driver who crashed into other cars. William Green, 43, a
Black man, was handcuffed behind his back and placed in the front passenger seat of Cpl. Michael Owen Jr’s patrol car.
Cpl. Owen (he didn’t have a body cam) sat behind the wheel. Suddenly, while his partner was speaking with witnesses, Cpl.
Owen (he is also a Black man) repeatedly fired at Mr. Green, killing him. His claim, that Mr. Green became combative and went
for his gun, was ultimately rejected. Cpl. Owen’s second-degree murder trial has just begun.
11/29/23Last year El Cajon, Calif. sheriff’s deputies unleashed a barrage
of gunfire at Erik Talavera when the homeless man grabbed for a knife after he was caught stealing a trailer that police parked
as bait. Talavera, who was struck sixteen times but survived, is suing because the deputies who shot him were under no
immediate threat. What’s more, a police detective who was assisting in the investigation was also struck by one of the
rounds. He too is suing, as the deputies “had no need to immediately and recklessly fire their weapons.”
Kim and Michael Clinkunbroomer, the parents of slain L.A. County deputy sheriff Bryan Clinkunbroomer,
are suing the county because excessive overtime work demands allegedly left their son insufficiently alert to avoid being shot
at ambush while seated in his patrol car last September. His alleged murderer, Kevin Cataneo Salazar, has pled not guilty to
murder by reason of insanity.
11/28/23Jason J. Eaton, a 48-year old man who recently relocated from Syracuse, was arrested for
the November 26 shooting of three Palestinian-American college students in Burlington. Eaton, who legally purchased the gun he
reportedly used in the attack, pled not guilty and is being held without bail. He does not have a criminal record and was never
suspected of committing a crime. But he is named in 37 Syracuse police reports dating back to 2007, including 21 as a victim or
complainant. Related posts
A brand-new NBC News poll of 1,000 registered voters reports that 52% - a record high - said they or a member of
their household owns a gun. That compares with 42% who said so in 2013, and 46% in 2019. Gun ownership was reported as 66% by
Republican respondents, 45% by independents, and 41% by Democrats. While percentages have varied, the groups’ relative
positions have held steady since 2004.
With the settlement of
lawsuits that accused New York state of withholding pot sales licenses from worthy entrepreneurs, more than 400 applicants can
now move on with the process. That, authorities hope, will quickly increase the number of licensed pot shops (presently there
are “only” 27) into the hundreds, even a thousand, and make a dent in the state’s “600,000-pound”
Drug legalization updatesRelated post
Waves of murder convictions
accompanied the crack wars of the nineties. In time, many were successfully challenged by innocence projects that sprang up to
counter the unholy effects of a hurried, imprecise and occasionally corrupt police response. Nationwide there have been 1,300
murder exonerations since 1989, including 115 in New York City. Its two most recent beneficiaries are Jabar Walker and Wayne
Gardine. Walker’s accuser recanted, but his change of mind was ignored. Gardine’s accuser, a self-serving drug
dealer, originally described the killer as a six-footer. Gardine is five-eight.
cop Derek Chauvin, who is serving concurrent Federal and State twenty-years-plus sentences at a Federal prison in Arizona,
has been hospitalized after his stabbing by a fellow inmate on November 24. Beyond confirming that Chauvin “is expected to
survive,” authorities have not released any information about motive or assailant. Concerns that Chauvin is especially
vulnerable to attack previously led to his sequestration, and it’s assumed that some protective measures continue.
Chicago CRED provides
youths who live in the city’s most highly violence-impacted neighborhoods “with a modest stipend, a life coach,
trauma treatment, education and job training.” According to a recent study, young men who complete the two-year program are
significantly less likely to be subsequently arrested for a violent crime. But their victimization rate is not yet provably
affected. CRED websiteStudy
Passed in 2018, California’s “Fair Chance” Act prohibits
firms with five or more employees from asking about applicant criminal histories before they extend a “conditional”
job offer. They can then inquire, but the circumstances that allow them to deny jobs are limited. Even so, a review of the
Act’s efficacy reveals that it’s mostly benefited persons who perform unskilled labor and don’t directly
interact with customers. Most employers otherwise continue looking into criminal histories in advance, and persons with
convictions are unlikely to prevail even if they appeal.
unidentified assailant ostensibly motivated by racial hatred shot three Palestinian-American college students as they walked
through downtown Burlington, Vermont Saturday evening, November 26. They were wearing traditional Arab scarves and conversing in
Arabic when a “White male” armed with a handgun approached on foot and wordlessly opened fire. All three were
hospitalized, one with apparent critical injuries. Two of the students are U.S. citizens; one is a legal resident.
11/24/23Racial animosity and, particularly, “suicidal ideation” are blamed for
motivating 20-year old Benjamin Charles Jones to storm a Dayton-area Walmart and open fire on November 20, wounding four persons,
one critically. Jones then shot himself dead. Jones used a .45 cal. carbine-style rifle he purchased at retail a few days earlier.
That drew concern, as Fairborn police twice took him to a hospital last year because he was expressing suicidal thoughts. Whether
that should have barred his gun purchase (or could have) is at question. Related posts
Agreeing with a department board, the LAPD Commission recently ruled that LAPD’s repeated application of a Taser on
Keenan Anderson, a mentally ill man high on drugs, was improper. Mr. Anderson later died. And three days ago, the
Commission similarly ruled that LAPD officers were wrong to shoot and kill Takar Smith, a schizophrenic man who was in a
kitchen, armed with a knife. Their actions were deemed unnecessary, as they could have retreated and called for a mental unit
to assist. Related posts
Derek Chauvin’s final attempt to reverse his State conviction for murdering George Floyd has fallen on deaf ears. On
November 20 the Supreme Court rejected his contention that pre-trial publicity and public protests denied him the right to a fair
trial. Minnesota’s high court came to the same conclusion in July. Post-trial motions Related posts
Citing the Supreme
Court’s Bruen decision, the U.S. 4th.
Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated Maryland’s ten-year old handgun licensing law. Going above and beyond the regular
background check, it imposed a State licensing requirement that called for fingerprinting, specialized training, and a
waiting period of up to thirty days. An appeal by the State is possible.
DHS announced its
continuing commitment to assure the validity of claims for asylum and to repatriate non-citizens who do not qualify. Since
May, removal flights have returned “more than 380,000 individuals”, including over 60,000 family members, to their
countries of origin, including Ecuador, India, Peru, Venezuela and Central America.
Immigration updatesRelated post
Former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella, who plied his trade thirty-plus years ago, had a “rep” as someone who
could solve the toughest murder cases. Problem is, his “propensity to embellish or fabricate statements” (that’s how a judge put it)
ultimately led to the exoneration of more than a dozen inmates, many of whom had been locked up for decades. Settling their
lawsuits has so far cost the city and state more than $100 million. Hired in 1973, he retired in 1999. And no, he was never
punished. Related posts
In January 2022 a mentally-ill man
murdered a 40-year old New York City woman by shoving her in front of an oncoming subway train. Although he was still
symptomatic, the killer had been nonetheless released from a state psychiatric facility. A New York Times investigation
revealed a litany of such problems. Poor funding of mental health services has led to chronic personnel shortages, brought on
“harried treatment”, and normalized “the narrowest possible approach to care”.
Undercover purchases of
cocaine and AR-15 style machineguns made using unserialized “ghost” parts led to the conviction of two Texas men
who had made a profitable business supplying large quantities of fully automatic firearms to the Mexican cartels. Jaime Jesus
Esquivel, 37, of Laredo got ten years, and Jose Abraham Nicanor, 34, of Houston, got five years. Two straw buyers who helped them
acquire the guns they converted and illegally exported have already been sentenced.
“Finite resources” have led Chicago’s mayor to announce that the “sanctuary city” is
imposing a sixty-day occupancy limit for the more than 11,000 immigrants now housed in city shelters. “Rogue buses”
that arrive packed with immigrants will also be discouraged from discharging their passengers. Chicago has asked the Feds to
authorize temporary protective status and work authorization for the more than 21,000 migrants who have arrived since August 2022.
Meanwhile Illinois’ Governor authorized $65 million for the city to set up another tent encampment.
Immigration updatesRelated post
In October 2020 California required that police not openly transmit sensitive State criminal record information. That’s
led some agencies, most recently the San Diego County Sheriff, to encrypt all radio traffic. But police watchdogs object this
impairs citizen oversight over the police. It’s “giving them the ability to hide.” Some agencies, such as San
Diego police, use both open and encrypted radio channels. But effectively managing both can be problematic. And a California bill that would limit
encrypted police radio traffic to sensitive data remains hung up.
NYPD will freeze hiring and its force will drop below 30,000 cops for the first time in forty years as Mayor Eric Adams, an
ex-police captain, announces deep cuts to police, education and other city services supposedly made necessary by the cost of
accommodating the huge influx of migrants seeking asylum. Projected as $11 billion over two years, these costs threaten to leave
next year’s $110 billion budget $7 billion in the red.
In the prosecution of a five-time convicted felon who used a gun during an
armed robbery, a New York Federal judge ruled that the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision rendered the Federal law that bars felons from possessing firearms unconstitutional. But
he agreed that it was “a close question.” His decision is now in the hands of the Seventh Circuit, which set a December
19 deadline for prosecutors to file their objection. Related posts
police officer Brett Hankinson’s Federal trial for violating the civil rights of Breonna Taylor and other residents whom
he endangered with his wildly misplaced gunfire ended in a mistrial. Jurors could not unanimously decide whether his actions were,
as he insisted, a reasonable response to protect his colleagues from gunfire by Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker,
who mistook the officers serving a search warrant as intruders. Hankison was previously acquitted on like charges in State court.
Juvenile deaths by gunfire are soaring in Chicago, with “twelve shot in under two weeks.” Fifty-five Chicago
youths under eighteen have been shot and killed in 2023, compared with sixty-six in all of 2022. Across the U.S., at a Las Vegas high school campus,
ten students beat another to death over “headphones and a vape pen.” So far eight have been charged with murder. In
both cities, the killings struck in chronically beset and poor neighborhoods. In Chicago, it was Austin, Avalon Park and East Side;
in Las Vegas, the high school is located in a Zip code (89101) with 31.2% poverty. Related posts