Monday, February 28, 2005

Cops finally get a win on the 4th Amendment

From CrimProf Blog:

The Sixth Circuit held last week in U.S. v. Yoon, 03-5875, 2005 WL 427883, (and here) that once a civilian informant gains permission to enter a suspect's home and establishes probable cause that contraband is present, the informant may signal the police to enter the house as well and the police may then conduct a search. The court held that the permission given by the homeowner/suspect to the informant to enter the home constitutes "consent once removed" for the police to then search the home, even if the homeowner/suspect is not aware that the civilian is a police informant. The scope of the police search is limited to areas where the informant was granted access under the consent initially given to him, and of course, the police can seize any contraband in plain view in those areas. In so holding, the Sixth Circuit agreed with the Seventh Circuit's decision in United States v. Paul, 808 F.2d 645 (7th Cir.1986).

It's about time we got a few Search and Seizure cases in our favor! I had honestly never heard of this "consent once removed" before. I wasn't even aware that enough cops were using it that it ended up a court case. In any event, while I don't fully understand why we can have consent once removed but we can't use temperature detectors to see if people are growing marijuana, I'll take what I can get!

Jails sure have changed...

Check out this story from MercuryNews. (you have to register to read it, but it's free) I'll post the relevant part:

California Youth Authority officials are pledging changes after a Fresno gang member walked away from a prison work detail and began what law enforcement officials believe was a multistate crime spree. Yatau Her escaped while doing charity work in Sacramento and was arrested this past week in Minnesota after the shooting of a sheriff's deputy.

Now, I always thought jail was this place where you were chained to something or locked inside of something. Why do we keep hearing stories of inmates walking out of prison? Not only did this knucklehead walk away, but he shot a police officer! Of course now the CYA is going to engage in some CYA, which should be interesting. Here's my plan for making sure this doesn't happen again: Bring back the ball and chain. Just hook a giant 450 pound weight to the guy's leg while he's anywhere besides his cell. Or make it really big and awkward so that if he does try to drag it around, it will get stuck on doors and coffee tables and stuff. If that doesn't work, just use the dog collar that shocks your dog if he leaves the yard. Just crank it up really high. Not enough to kill the guy, but enough to make him ruin his pants. Problem solved.

Seriously though, this has got to stop. We trust Corrections to keep these animals penned in safely away from society but they still manage to just wander away. No bueno. Having said that, I do feel for the California Dept. of Corrections because they have a really tough job: They have to watch thousands of people who have all day to think of ways to maim and kill officers. I understand that you just can't keep a strict eye on all men at all times. And hey, we've all had our bad days at work. But I hope this is yet another wake up call that something substantial needs to be done.

Any ideas out there? If not the ball and chain or the shock collar, what can we do to stop prison walk-offs? If anyone has a great idea, we should send the DoC a letter.

Also, this story is precious. (Same site, you may need to sign up):

At a recent county board of supervisors subcommittee meeting, [Santa Clara County District Attorney George] Kennedy was asked to comment on statistics showing a spike in the number of inmates at county jail. The female jail population grew significantly faster than the male population over the last few years.``This is a nationwide thing with females and I think it has to do with females being more liberated and independent in every way,'' he told the subcommittee, comprising two female supervisors, Blanca Alvarado and Liz Kniss.

Just in case he wasn't clear, the DA reiterated his point a few minutes later: ``If you look at the flowering of the women's movement, you're going to find criminality increases right in parallel with it on the part of females.'' Kennedy went on to assure the panel that ``I'm not passing judgment on anything.'' Word after the meeting was that participants were so dumbfounded by Kennedy's remarks that no one challenged him (``I'll have to research that'' was about all Alvarado mustered in response).

Can I just take this opportunity to admire DA Kennedy? Can you imagine how much guts this guy had to have to say that? Maybe he's right, maybe he's an idiot, but he actually creditted the women's movement with more crime among women! He said it out loud, in front of people! He's the bravest government official I've ever heard of! Imagine the PR bombshell that just exploded at his office! I love it!

(And who knows, he could be correct. But I guarantee you that instead of researching the truth, people will just label him a sexist. It's much easier.)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Drug Blog

I've added a blog called Voice of the Victims to my blogroll, you might notice. It's a pretty cool blog about the victims of drugs, the effect drugs have on society, and other drug-related posts. A few days ago I posted about how dangerous meth use is. Well, VotV goes into greater depth on meth use as well as ecstasy, date rape drugs, and various other illegal substances. Go take a look!

(Thanks to Laer from CheatSeekingMissiles for the tip!)

Totally Off-topic!

This has nothing to do with Law Enforcement, but you need to go see Downfall.

It's the story of Hitler's last days in power, holed up in his bunker. It is a deeply moving film with an incredible cast. It's German with English subtitles, so be prepared. In any event, this movie will captivate you. It also has a great message about the cowardice and patheticness of suicide, as opposed to movies like Million Dollar Baby, which glorify the act.

If you have any interest at all in Hitler, WW2, or how powerful men fall, go see it.

P.S. If you think this is a lame post, tough. I was at the range all day trying to figure out why my grouping sucks, then I got trapped in Norco. Then I almost missed the movie tonight. I've been busy! ;)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Take 'em to the limit

The guys over at CrimProf Blog have posted on an interesting article. Apparently, there is a bill in Massachusetts that will eliminate the Statute of Limitations on most sex crimes.

Can I get a "Hell Yeah"?

First of all, sex crimes aren't like theft or car jacking. They keep on keepin' on long after the abuse has stopped. For some people, it ruins their entire lives. I think it's one of the worst kinds of victimization you can participate in. Second, many victims have a hard time coming forward in a timely manner. This is either because they suppress the memory or because they are too scared and ashamed to talk about what happened. Getting rid of the SoL would allow victims to receive therapy and gain some inner strength before they have to dredge up the memories of the abuse in court. I'm all for it. Anything to make sex abusers pay.

I'm in favor of a law that would force registered sex offenders to let you punch them in the stomach three times a year. Write your congressman!

We're living the dream...

This is the kind of thing that reminds me why I started the police academy.

A Kansas City man is in jail this morning after Lenexa police said they arrested him driving nude and covered in corn oil.

I don't think I would have put him in the back of my car. Maybe we'd just walk back to the station. How big is Lenexa anyway?

On a more serious note...

BAGHDAD — A suicide car bomber disguised as a police officer drove into a police station parking area this morning, killing at least 15 people in the northern city of Tikrit.The victims were members of the new Iraqi police force, whose station is along the main road through Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's home city.

The bomber struck at a busy time, 8 a.m., when police were changing shifts, police Lt. Col. Saad Dahan Abid said. About a dozen cars caught fire. The police official said the attacker was able to slip into the station undetected because he was wearing a police lieutenant's uniform.

I wonder how different police work and police training would be if we had to contend with this sort of thing in America. Right now, in the Academy, we are learning how to disarm an attacker, how to approach a car or pedestrian, how to conduct an investigation. If LAPD was attacked with the same frequency as Tikrit PD, I wonder if we'd be learning how to approach the station or how to tell a fake police uniform from a real one. It's a scary situation over there and those Iraqi police are real heroes for putting themselves in extreme danger everyday. They literally have no safe haven from terrorist thugs. My heart goes out to them.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Probably stands for "Did Not Attack"...

A little tribute to Dana Carvey's Johnny Cochran impression. Whatever happened to that guy?

Anyways, exciting new technology for Law Enforcement.

The kit is a natural progression of the Company's DNAWitness(TM) testing service, which previously was only performed at DNAPrint's Sarasota laboratory, and will enable forensics experts to conduct their own tests in their own facilities," stated Richard Gabriel, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Cool stuff! And howabout this nifty technology:

Microwaves — high-powered electromagnetic beams that can rapidly heat water molecules — and other directed-energy weapons could bring advantages to the battlefield in places like Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - websites), where U.S. troops have had to deal with hostile but unarmed crowds as well as dangerous insurgents. Aside from paralyzing potential attackers or noncombatants like a long-range stun gun, the weapons could disable the electronics of missiles and roadside bombs or even disable a vehicle in a high-speed chase, developers say. The weapons emit a pulse of energy and can destroy semiconductors with a surge of volts.

I like it. But I loooove the Sticky Shocker:

The Sticky Shocker concept involves a blunt projectile that sticks to the clothing with glue and imparts a short burst of high voltage pulses.

Can I get a "Hell Yeah"?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Meth is an evil evil drug...

Check out this article from Des Moines:

DES MOINES- It's something you don't want to brag about, but Iowa ranks second in the nation in the number of meth labs. Monday law enforcement officials teamed up to try to get one step closer to winning the war on meth.

They say the current senate bill doesn't do enough to fight the problem. According to law enforcement, the only way to win this war is to keep all products that contain pseudoephedrine behind the counter.

Now, the bill that the senate passed includes retail exceptions. That means cold medicines that contain small amounts of pseudoephedrine can be sold without going through a pharmacist.

However, law enforcement officials say that makes it too easy for meth makers to get their hands on the key ingredient. Chief Bill McCarthy, Des Moines Police, said, "I am telling you what law enforcement faces on the frontlines and what our children are exposed to and our citizens are exposed to and we think it's serious enough to digest a little bit of an inconvenience for a short period of time."

Michael O'Meara, Polk County Attorney, said, "So we're asking the members of the house and the senate to keep faith with the citizens of the state of iowa and to pass the strongest legislation they can."

Last year, Iowa law enforcement responded to about 1,400 meth labs. That's about four per day.

If you guys aren't aware of meth and it's issues, this drug is pure evil. There are many opinions, even in the Law Enforcement community, regarding legalization. But we are not talking about marijuana. Meth makes weed look like corn flakes. It utterly destroys a person from the inside out. This article talks about the growing problem of meth. It's exploding everywhere. What's worse is that not only does using meth put you at greater risk of STDs, but it can cause diseases like HIV to ravage you much more rapidly.

Meth users also can go a long time without sleep, committing crimes and running amok for days at a time. We saw a scary video in class where a methed-up Nazi Lowrider ran down a police officer while the officer was just pumping gas. With meth use increasing out there, it's going to be a dangerous time to be a cop (i suppose that's nothing new...). Stay safe out there, guys.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This post is about a different kind of race...

Enough posts about genetic races. Let's talk about car races.

Check out this
Wired magazine article.

If a Los Angeles-area scientist has his way, car chases may become as antiquated as horse-mounted cavalry. James Tatoian, chief executive of Eureka Aerospace in Pasadena, California, is developing a system that uses microwave energy to interfere with microchips inside cars. Once the chip is overloaded with excessive current, the car ceases to function, and will gradually decelerate on its own, he said.

"If you put approximately 10 or 15 kilovolts per meter on a target for a few seconds, you should be able to bring it to a halt," Tatoian said.

(click link for more)

Oh baby. Summer can't come soon enough for me: Academy graduation, car-stopping microwaves, the latest Harry Potter book...
I'll say it again: oh baby.

More Tension...

Check out this story from Mercury News

LOS ANGELES - The killing of a 13-year-old boy by police in South Los Angeles has exposed unresolved tension between the black community and police in a city scarred twice in the last 40 years by riots. The shooting of Devin Brown at the end of a pre-dawn car chase on Feb. 6 triggered immediate outcry. Quickly, the word "riot" was in the air - in reaction on the street and from officials wondering if public anger would send the nation's second-largest city spiraling into a repeat of the violence of 1965 and 1992.

Amid candles, flowers and balloons placed at the scene was a homemade sign that called the Los Angeles Police Department a "cancer" to the community. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, issued a statement saying her immediate reaction was, "Once again, the police in our community acts as judge, jury and executioner." Mayor James Hahn pushed Police Chief William Bratton to finish a revision of a moving-vehicle shooting policy begun a year ago, then got the city Police Commission to immediately approve it. Bratton also released preliminary investigative details to counter what he termed misinformation that was being deliberately spread.


"Some of us have come to the conclusion that it's not about whether the right procedure was used or following policy," Waters said. "It's about a mind-set inside the Police Department that causes officers to shoot first and ask questions later." The revised shooting policy bans firing at a vehicle unless something other than the vehicle is a threat. The mayor said it is important because it will give guidance to police and help to change their mind-set.

"An incident like the shooting of Devin Brown causes a lot of anguish. ... It's a tragedy," Hahn said. "But it doesn't negate all the other good things that have been happening. The department really has been working to try to improve community relations." The "over-the-top" criticism of the Police Department by some black leaders has mischaracterized the police force and current racial relations in the city, Hicks said. A similar view was offered by Fernando J. Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. "Every single day in Los Angeles there are hundreds of thousands of inter-ethnic contacts and the vast majority is either positive, constructive or neutral," Guerra said. "Only a very small part of it, maybe 1 or 2 percent, is conflictual and gets out of hand. We allow that 1 or 2 percent to define us instead of the other."

This goes back to what I talked about yesterday. This "Blame Cops First" attitude is seriously unproductive and unnecessary. Yes, it's hard when a child dies, but let us not forget that this child stole a car and fled the cops only to later attempt to back over them. Also, you can hardly say a 13-year-old didn't know any better. The kid was a criminal and he was forced to accept the consequences of his behavior. Did you know that I have never stolen a car and tried to run over cops and not once have any cops ever shot at me! We can debate until next Christmas about whether or not police officers should be able to shoot at someone trying to run them over, but the fact remains that if you don't attempt to run them over, you have a 99.99% chance of not getting shot at! Learning is fun!

Anyways, the only cancer in the community is Ms. Waters. She condemns police for doing their jobs and plays up racial tensions in order to stay in power. She profits from community unrest. If you want to find black leader who will fight for the real interests of black people, look no further than Bill Cosby. He's been out there recently trying to improve the community by edifying it from the inside instead of blaming everyone else in the world. If people would elect more Cosbys and less Waters, I think you would see the black community florish and prosper. And despite what Ms. Waters would have you believe, this upper middle class Caucasian would love to see that.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Black-on-black Crime?

Check out this story from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

An excerpt:
Some Saturday questioned whether it's helpful to use race in defining the problem.

"They don't call it white-on-white crime," said Gormas, who is white. "It seems to me that we're blaming black people for being the problem."

As pastor at Praying Hands Church of God in Christ, co-organizer Bishop Walter Durham said he rejects the concept of black-on-black crime as racist.

"We take the position that there's no such thing as black-on-black crime. There's just crime," Durham said.

"When those girls were assaulted here recently, you didn't hear people talking about white on white crime," he said, referring to the assaults of two Wyoming area schoolgirls earlier this month.

I think these rally attendees are missing the point. For so long, many in the black community have blamed every external source imaginable for violence against blacks. Every excuse in the book is given, but these stats of black-on-black crime paint a different picture. The problem is within the community itself. This is not to say that all (or even most) black people are criminals, but the much of the crime problem is emanating from the minority community. I think the point of discussing black-on-black crime is to light a fire under the good and noble people of the black community so that they will clean house. It's time the community addresses their own contributions to the problem and then fix them. This isn't about degrading people, it's about finding the cause of a problem and solving it.

I'd say most black people are just good hardworking folks who want to make a good life for themselves and their children. It's a small segment of the population that constantly victimizes and terrorizes others. But unfortunately people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, Kweisi Mfume, and others want to use it in a political way to stick it to other people. These guys make a lot of money by convincing black people that everyone is out to get them. All they really do is hold down the community and allow problems to fester. They also drive a wedge between the Law Enforcement community and the people we serve. How are we supposed to have a solid partnership with the community when you have race-baiters constantly telling them "The Man is out to screw you over! The police are your enemy!" It's frustrating to see it happen because the people I know in Law Enforcement and the people I am training with in the academy have a genuine heart for the community. They genuinely want to see people stop being victimized. They want to see bad guys go to jail so that kids can play in the street without fear. All of us - black, white, latino, asian, whatever - want to make the cities a safer places for people of any race or background. Hopefully someday the entire community will see that we share their same goals for a safer world.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Punishing motive...

I used to live in Travis County, where this news story comes out of.

If you don't feel like clicking on the link, it's just a story about a guy from Austin, TX who beat up a man because he was gay. He's being charged with a hate crime. He could get up to 20 years for it.
Now, I think victimizing people because they are black, gay, women, or whatever minority group is wrong. But here's the deal: It is just as bad to beat up a gay guy because he's gay as it is to beat up a white straight guy because you want his wallet. Beating innocent people up is wrong period; the motive is irrelevant.

When you prosecute motive like this, you open up a door that I think should be left closed. When society decides to punish hate crimes, what the reason you do something is the crime, not the crime itself. What it ultimately says is that we as a society believe that beating up a man because you want to remove his rightful property from him is more honorable than beating up a man because you believe his race is inferior. How absurd! Assaulting innocent people is wrong for any reason. There's no excuse for it. There is no degree of acceptibility attached to some motives rather than others.

For example, let's see I cut off a man's right hand, maiming him for life. Now here is a list of potention motives:

1. He cut me off in traffic
2. I wanted his Camero
3. He was flirting with my girlfriend
4. He was black
5. No reason, I just wanted to.

You're going to tell me that we should somehow rate these five in an order of Best to Worst? That we could "sympathize" with 3 but not with 4? That 4 shocks us worse than 5? Cuz right now, if I did it for reason number 4, I'd get way more jail time than if I did it for number 5, even though 5 is arguably the most evil motive of them all.

This doesn't even get into the fact that hate crimes are almost never charged when a straight white Christian male is the victim... I went searching for some statistics on this, but a lot of the thorough analyses of Hate Crimes stats are on white supremacist websites, and I don't want to affiliate myself with them whether their stats are true or not. Suffice it to say, a lot goes on with this stuff that is suspicious and off-putting.

Now, take away race/religion/ethnicity-biased crimes. Can anyone find any more motives that should be punished more than others? What other mindsets should we severely punish?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Cops, Dogs, and Who Not to Punch



Officer Allen joined state lawmakers at the General Assembly yesterday to support proposal to impose greater penalties for assaults on police officers. Supporters say the current law sets tougher penalties for attacking a police dog than his handler.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Annapolis, called HB 2 a "priority" measure this session. The bill, cosponsored by 50 delegates, would make attacks on a police officer a felony carrying up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine and would make the crime equivalent to that of assaulting police dogs.


Well thank God human cops finally get the same respect as canine cops! This is a great moment in human rights history. And here I was, afraid that we'd always be second-class citizens compared to the K9 Unit. Oh hallelujah!

However, thinking about canine officers raises some interesting ethical questions. I've heard it said that any good officer would never send his canine into a situation that he wouldn't put a human in. However, another school of thought says that we have canines precisely to use them in situations that would be too risky for humans. After all, it is just a dog. He doesn't have a wife and kids at home. This attitude makes the dog more of a tool than a "partner".

Personally, I don't think I like the "tool" approach to police dogs. I think police dogs are capable of doing certain things that officers can't do (sniffing for drugs, chasing down some runner and catching him quickly, barking at stuff), but I don't think their purpose is to be cannon fodder either. I don't think that I would consider a canine partner to be on the same level as a human partner, but I certainly don't think he's just some tool that might as well go in the trunk when I'm not using it.

What do you guys think? Any canine officers out there want to comment on this?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Video Games Train Killer

From FoxNews

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A lawsuit claims the video game "Grand Theft Auto" led a teenager to shoot two police officers and a dispatcher to death in 2003, mirroring violent acts depicted in the popular game.

The suit announced Tuesday seeks damages from the game's manufacturers and two stores that allegedly sold it to Devin Thompson (search), now 18.

An attorney for relatives of two of the victims said Thompson, who is charged with murder, had played the video game repeatedly.

Thompson is accused of killing the three men in June 2003 after being brought to the Fayette police station on suspicion of driving a stolen car. Thompson allegedly grabbed one of the officer's guns, shot him and the other two, then fled in a patrol car.

The suit alleges Thompson purchased "Grand Theft Auto III" at the Gamestop (search) in Jasper and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" at the Jasper Wal-Mart when he was under 17. The games, which depict police killings and other acts of violence, are rated M, meaning they are appropriate for those 17 or older.

"What has happened in Alabama is that four companies participated in the training of Devin ... to kill three men," attorney Jack Thompson told The Tuscaloosa News, which reported the suit's filing.

Named in the suit are Wal-Mart Stores (search) and Gamestop along with Take-Two Interactive Software, the manufacturer of the games, and Sony Computer Entertainment, the maker of the PlayStation 2.

Messages left for officials of three of the companies were not immediately returned. There was no answer at the listing for Gamestop in Grapevine, Texas.

At a December hearing, authorities said Devin Thompson, when he was apprehended, told officers, "Life is a video game. You've got to die sometime.

Please. Is anyone buying this?

I have been playing the most sick and twisted games since I was a wee lad and I've never felt the need to kill a cop. People who murder are sick in the head and it is not triggered by a video game. If he didn't have a PS2, he'd blame it on television or the movies or violent books. He's a sick little freak with a sick freak lawyer. Luckily, no judge or jury in the world is going to buy it. I hope that kid has a fun time in prison.

This points to a larger problem with society: people do not want to take responsibility for themselves. Whether it's welfare, Jesse Jackson, or violent video games, people have stopped having the personal honor to be responsible for themselves. Lost your job? It's not because you are an incompetent dunderhead, it's because your boss is a misogynst! Do you hit your kids? It's because your daddy never came to your little league games, not because you are an abusive monster! Don't feel guilty! Don't trouble yourself with personal betterment. Just be the same worthless human you always were but blame white people, Christians, the Bush Family, the Ozone Layer, and Marylin Manson for your troubles!

Makes me sick.

Right now what we need badly is a "loser pays" legal system. That kid and his family and his scummy lawyer should have to foot the bill when they lose. It's time to end the Lawsuit Lottery and start punishing friviolous lawsuits. You realize what this means for you out there... You have to vote responsibly. You have to take the initiative and get out there and make sure people who will stand up for common sense are elected so that they can appoint judges and pass laws that will end the madness. It is your responsibility to do the right thing at the ballot box.

P.S. My fellow Californians, this means you have to stop electing Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein!!!

A new felony...


Abortion should be a crime in South Dakota if states are given the right to outlaw the medical procedure, a House panel recommended Friday. The State Affairs Committee unanimously approved HB1249, which would make it a felony to do abortions if Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, is overturned. The bill would allow exceptions in cases where a pregnant woman's life is at risk.

Those who do abortions could face up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. The committee changed the bill to remove a provision that would have made it a crime to advise women to seek abortions. Rep. Joel Dykstra, R-Canton, the bill's prime sponsor, said it is designed to protect the rights of fetuses in case states are given the right to regulate abortion. Rachel Hansen of the South Dakota Right to Life Committee, which helped draft the bill, said abortion rights supporters are gearing up for a fight in case the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

"In South Dakota, House Bill 1249 would throw a monkey wrench right in the middle of that strategy," Hansen said. Rob Regier of the South Dakota Family Policy Council
urged the committee to pass the bill. "Send a message that South Dakota is more than just prepared to protect the unborn, but eager to," Regier said. Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood said the bill is one of the most extreme measures she has seen. The measure would tie physicians' hands and ignore women's ability to make decisions for themselves, she said. "Making abortion illegal never has and never will stop women from having abortions," Looby said, urging the committee to reject the bill. Jennifer Ring of the American Civil Liberties Union said the bill makes no provisions for abortions in cases where a woman's health is at risk or a fetus develops a potentially fatal condition. In such cases, women would be forced to allow the pregnancy to develop until it threatens their lives, Ring said.

HB1249 goes now to the House floor.

This is a fascinating bit of legislation. Many Americans (even some cops) are in favor of abortion. If Roe v. Wade were overturned (keep your fingers crossed) and the states were allowed to govern themselves, that would mean that South Dakota police offices would conceivably have to arrest women who tried to get abortions. Even though cops tend to be on the conservative side, surely there are some left-of-center officers out there who vehemently disagree with what this bill is trying to do. Would they look the other way if they ran into abortive "mothers" or abortion doctors? Abortion is such a socially charged issue, it would be hard for people to be objective, I would imagine.

As a very right-wing guy, I would have a slight tension if I had to pursue, arrest, or perhaps even apply deadly force to someone who, for example, burned down an abortion clinic in the middle of the night. I truly and honestly and deeply believe abortion is the full-fledged murder of a living innocent human being. Yet, in this country, I will be expected to enforce the law, and part of that law allows this act. That's tough. This isn't like thinking drugs should be legal. This is about life and death!

So, on the one hand, I can sympatheize with left wing South Dakota cops if they have to enforce this new felony law in the future. On the other hand, it's about time it was hard for liberals to be cops instead of just conservatives!

What do you all think about this out there? Should a pro-choice cop be forced to arrest an abortive woman? If not, then should a pro-life cop be allowed to look the other way when "his team" does something illegal as well?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Public Pressure

From the Daily Breeze:

LAPD chief seeks changes in rules for police firearm use


Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton on Friday proposed a new use of deadly force policy that would ban officers from firing at moving vehicles. The proposal was given to the civilian Police Commission for its review less than a week after the controversial killing of a 13-year-old boy police said was driving a stolen car. The revised policy prohibits officers from firing at a moving vehicle "unless the officer or another person is being threatened with deadly force by means other than the moving vehicle," Bratton said in a memo to police commissioners. He asked that the commission approve the policy Tuesday at its next meeting. Police departments in major cities, including Boston, Cincinnati and Detroit, have adopted similar restrictions in recent year.

Bratton said a year ago he was considering revising the department policy after officers killed a suspected burglar in a confrontation broadcast live on local TV.Nicholas Hans Killinger, 23, was shot 10 times as his vehicle slowly rolled backward into police patrol cars that had closed in on him following a 90-minute pursuit. The shooting policy again came under intense scrutiny following the Sunday shooting of Devin Brown after a pursuit in South Los Angeles. The shooting occurred about 4 a.m. after the 13-year-old crashed a 1990 Toyota Camry that was reported stolen onto a sidewalk. A 14-year-old boy who was a passenger in the car ran from the scene and the Camry then backed into and damaged a patrol car. Officer Steven Garcia, 31, a nine-year veteran, fired 10 rounds toward the vehicle. Brown was struck and died at the scene.

After the shooting, Bratton said a revised policy would be presented to the Police Commission in 30 to 45 days, but the matter was put on a fast track under pressure from Mayor James Hahn and community leaders. The proposed policy would require that officers in the path of a vehicle should move out of its path instead of firing at it. Among the reasons given for revising the policy was that bullets are "extremely unlikely" to stop a moving vehicle, gunfire could miss the intended target or ricochet into innocent people, and the vehicle could crash and hurt others if the driver is shot.

Bob Baker, president of the local police union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said he opposes changing the existing policy. Current policy generally prohibits firing at a moving vehicle, but allows using deadly force as a last resort. "You can't legislate what is going to happen in the streets. Our work is highly unpredictable and usually dictated by the actions of suspects," Baker said. "You can't take away all discretion from a police officer to try and save a community member's life or his own life or his partner's life." Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina, said the proposed policy would save lives.

I heard Chief Bratton being interviewed on the radio this morning and he says that the new policy will allow officers to fire at a moving vehicle if they can justify it. Well, isn't that always the case?

Unless I misunderstood my use of force training (and I'll have you know I got 100% on the test), you always have to be able to articulate why you used the force you did. The policy also states that you should move out of the way rather than shoot. Well, current rules of use of force dictate that we must exhaust other alternatives before shooting. That would mean that under current policy, if you could move out of the way safely, you should. So basically this policy does very little besides assauge the rage of the community. Just what we need. More ink and paper wasted on making an unreasonable community happy.

What happens when the community gets mad that a thirteen year old firing at cops gets dumped? Are we going to make a policy that redefines handguns as non-deadly weapons? That may sound silly, but you never know these days...

Hello and What's Crackin'?

Greetings all!

My name is Phil Aldridge and I am a 22 year old police academy recruit and I have started this blog for the purpose of talking about law enforcement and advancing police interests. There will be plenty of news and politics discussion, maybe a teensy bit of religion where appropriate, and hopefully this will be an original blog that people would actually want to read. I noticed a severe dearth of cop blogs out there, so I want to get the ball rolling. There's about a million blogs for theologians, republicans, democrats, professors, lawyers, and the like, so we in the law enforcement community (or in my case, wanna-be's for the enforcement community) need to step up and get in.

So, check back often and please join in the discussion so that this isn't just a monologue.