Tuesday, May 31, 2005

10-8 is 10-98 for the time being...

Well ladies and gentlemen, it's been a fun experiment in blogging, but we all knew the good times couldn't last. With the last days of the Academy ahead of me, my search for a job continual, and my energy waning, keeping up this blog just isn't feasible right now.

10-8 will be going on hiatus for awhile until my life gets back into a more manageable territory.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I gave you something interesting to think about every once in awhile. In the meantime, why don't you go check out all the blogs I've linked to, since they are NOT going on hiatus. If they weren't cool, I wouldn't have linked to 'em.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Working at Cross Purposes

This is a story out of Ohio. The site needs registration, so I'll post the text of the story for you, as always:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - State officials acknowledged Thursday that Ohio paid for Viagra and another drug to treat impotence for 13 convicted sex offenders in the last 14 months. The state discovered the issue after running a cross check of Ohio's 13,000-person sex offender registry with a database of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Ohio Medicaid will no longer supply erectile dysfunction drugs to sex offenders, said Jon Allen, spokesman for the state Department of Job and Family Services. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clarified this week that states can cut sex offenders off from these drugs. The federal government even issued a warning that states could face sanctions if they don't. "We just don't feel that's appropriate," said Gary Karr, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Ohio spent $3,968 on impotence drugs for those 13 sex offenders. Their prescriptions will no longer be honored, and any future Medicaid claims for Viagra, Levitra and Cialis will be checked against the state's sex offender registry, Allen said. About 1.7 million Ohioans are enrolled in Medicaid, a state-federal program that provides health coverage for the poor and disabled. The federal Medicaid agency issued its directive on sex offenders after New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi announced Sunday that from 2000 through March, 198 rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra.

Elsewhere, Florida said its Medicaid program had paid $93,000 to provide Viagra to 218 sex offenders in that state over the last four years. Heather Herron Murphy, manager of the Columbus-based Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, agreed with Ohio's decision to stop prescribing impotence drugs to sex offenders. But she warned against blowing the issue out of proportion. "Erectile dysfunction drugs aren't aphrodisiacs," she said. "It's important to recognize that if we're only talking about what Viagra does for a man, then we're not thinking about how sexual assault really works. It's not about sex, it's about one person utilizing his power and control over another person," Herron Murphy said.

Overall, Ohio Medicaid spent $455,447 last year on impotence drugs, covering 7,600 prescriptions for 1,441 men. Earlier this year, a group of Ohio lawmakers began a fight to end reimbursements for impotence drugs to all Medicaid recipients, saying taxpayer money would be better spent on dental care and other essential health services. House Republicans pulled state funding for the drugs from its proposed budget and the Senate version also calls for eliminating the funding.

What in the world is wrong with these people? I mean, how on Earth does any right minded person approve this sort of thing? It boggles the mind at how inept bureaucracy can really be. If I was an Ohioan, I would be livid that my state was arming sex offenders with their weapon of choice. Isn't that really what they are doing? Why not give an arsonist a bunch of matches? Why not give a gang member a gun? There is absolutely not one good reason to give a sex offender a sex drug and shame on everyone that allowed it to happen.

Furthermore, government purchasing sex drugs is wholly inappropriate, if you ask me. The government shouldn't be in the business of giving people erections. Do you think the founding fathers had that in mind when they created this great union? Do you think Thomas Jefferson was all "I say, General Washington, I'm feeling a bit sluggish with Mrs. Jefferson, if ye know what I mean... If only there was a great and sprawling government which could assist me with my bedroom problems and various other bad humours...". How vulgar.

Oh well, it's your tax dollars at work and your representatives at work, Ohio. If you are outraged, only you can do something. Punish your elected representatives if they keep this up. Teach them a lesson at the ballot box.

(HT to Crim Prof)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Boston Botch

Interesting story out of Boston, from ABC News:

BOSTON May 25, 2005 — A panel investigating the death of a woman hit by a pepper spray pellet at a Red Sox celebration said Wednesday that police made mistakes at every turn, from the department's decision to buy the pellet guns for crowd control to an officer's decision to fire the errant shot.

Five officers face internal disciplinary action and those still on duty could be fired for their involvement in the shooting, police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole said as the independent commission's report was announced. Victoria Snelgrove, 21, an Emerson College student, was shot in the eye Oct. 21 outside Fenway Park after Boston defeated the New York Yankees for the American League pennant. The city paid her family a $5.1 million settlement earlier this month.

"We find that inadequate planning and training, combined with a breakdown of command discipline, set up a situation ripe to produce an unintended result," read the report by the commission, headed by former U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern. Patrolman Rochefort Milien, who was certified to use the weapon, fired the pellet that killed Snelgrove. His lawyer has said the officer was aiming at someone near Snelgrove who was throwing bottles. "Officer Milien failed to take sufficiently into account that he was shooting at a moving target in the midst of a crowd and that a missed shot could easily strike a bystander," the report said.

The commission also faulted the Police Department's decision to buy the air-powered pellet guns in early 2004. Police officials did little research before making the purchase, then failed to properly train officers in their use, the panel said. Stern's commission also called for a national study on the effectiveness and safety of the FN303 pepper-pellet guns, manufactured by FN Herstal USA.

The report said the officers "did not appear to appreciate that a person could be seriously injured or killed." Milien and four others face internal charges alleging excessive use of force and poor judgment, the commissioner said at a news conference with Stern. O'Toole said each officer was "deeply distressed" by what happened.

Now, I don't know what happened, I wasn't there. I don't even like baseball. However, from just what this article is telling me, I can't say I side with the family of the victim here. Yes, the officer fired at a bottle-throwing jackass and missed and a seriously unfortunate incident happened. However, it seems to me to be an accident with no improper actions by the officer.

Yes, if the officer misses, he could hit someone behind. However, the bottle-thrower was a more dangerous element in my estimation. A guy throwing glass around could seriously injure someone. The officers were completely justified in trying to employ a less-lethal device against him. What followed was a freak accident, but it was in no way indicative of "excessive use of force". If you want to get right down to the nitty gritty, at least in the state of California, a man throwing bottles at a police officer could be considered a deadly force situation. Employing a less-lethal device is a favor to this rioting idiot. If anything, the family should have sued him for creating the conditions that necessitated the use of force in the first place. But no, let's blame the cops...

Granted there may be more to the story, but from what I read here, there is simply no indication that the officer acted improperly. Now, if it's a training issue, then it's still not the officer's fault if he was acting within his training. I wish ABC news would have taken an extra 20 minutes and found out a little more of the story. Oh well... If nothing else, I just hope that the officers are treated reasonably and with respect and not used as scapegoats or offered up as human sacrifices to the public.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Great Use of Resources

This is a fantastic story out of Austria:

VIENNA - An Austrian politician has a novel idea for cracking down on people who don’t clean up after their dogs. A council member in Vienna proposes a DNA registry for dogs, so their droppings can be tested. People who fail to clean up their dogs’ droppings would be fined and charged for the DNA analysis. Vienna’s sidewalks are littered with dog droppings, and campaigns to get dog owners to clean up have made little headway. Dog owners already can be fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs, but tickets are rarely issued because the pet has to be caught in the act. The proposal isn’t likely to get very far. The governing Social Democrats have dismissed the idea, saying it would create a “police state.”
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Is there really such an abundance of resources and time in Austria that they want to DNA test dog poop in order to ticket dog owners? What planet is this?

I've posted other stories about putting up cameras around town or just generally being in favor of Big Brother keeping an eye on all you hooligans out there, but even someone like myself can only marvel at the sheer inanity of poop testing. Not only is the idea inane but the dog owner would be charged for the cost of the DNA testing. I'm sure that's not cheap! How fair is that! And anyway, how are they going to keep a registry of every doggie DNA in Austria? The logistics are staggering.

In the good ol' US of A, you probably couldn't do this because unless it's a felony, you have to personally witness the crime in progress in order to make an arrest or give a ticket. There's no way you could claim that the crime occurred in your presence if you have to DNA test it.

In any case, for you Austrians out there, if you want to avoid prosecution, just carry a bottle of bleach or battery acid and bathe the feces in it in order to destroy the DNA. Problem solved!

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(HT to Crim Prof Blog)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Feel-good Story of the Year

Sorry for the late post, I was busy doing my oral interview at Downey. I think I did really good, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyways, I dont have much today, so I'll post this terrific story out of Omaha.

An Omaha woman is in custody, accused of Felony Child Abuse, after allegedly trying to sell her one-year-old child into prostitution.

Thirty-four-year-old Elizabeth Harlan was arrested shortly before 11:30 Sunday night.

Police were responding to a call near 32nd and "V" Street to check the well being of a child. Neighbors made the prostitution allegation.

Officers were directed to 3913 ½ South 24th Street.

Police entered the apartment and say they found Ms. Harlan passed out on the sofa while the one-year-old sat on the floor eating cigarettes.

The child was transported to Creighton University Medical Center for treatment and Harlan was taken to Central Police Headquarters where she was interviewed and then booked into detention for Felony Child Abuse.

No comment necessary. Kill her and be done with it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

More On Meth

An article from the WOWT.com, an Omaha NBC affiliate:

A new law restricting the sale of cold medicines that contain an ingredient used to make methamphetamine took effect in Iowa Sunday.The law, passed by the legislature this session, is designed to clamp down on homegrown meth in Iowa.

The law targets pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. Those containing the drug can only be sold by pharmacists and customers are now required to show a photo ID and sign a logbook. Consumers will be limited to purchasing no more than 7,500 milligrams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period.

Authorities found nearly 1,500 meth labs in Iowa last year. While they expect the law to result in fewer labs, they don't expect it to solve the state's meth problem since it's estimated that 80% of meth used in Iowa is smuggled in from Mexico and the southwestern U.S.

In the academy, we're working through our narcotics class right now, and I learned that Columbia is to Cocaine as California is to Meth. Aces!

For law enforcement, these drug labs are dangerous. Besides drug degenerates always carrying weapons and being willing to kill cops, the chemicals mixed in these labs can kill you, either instantly or 20 years later. Depending on how they mix and which particular cloud enters into your lungs, you could be sick for the rest of your life or even pass on deformities to your kids. I know cops who have permanent resperatory damage from clearing meth labs. It's seriously a dangerous business. Anything that makes it harder to create these ticking poison bombs is okay by me.

Unfortunately, the drug trade has something on it's side that even the forces of good have a hard time dealing with: lots of money. I'm going to tell you guys something that you aren't going to want to hear, but it's the truth: There are some people out there who are willing to do bad things for money.

I know, I was shocked when I found out, too.

But seriously, the drug trade is so lucrative that buy-offs are widespread. Personally, I can't think of many things more pathetic than selling out your fellow man for a few bucks. To help destroy human life for a profit is one of the most ignoble and uncivilized things someone can do (Isn't that right, Planned Parenthood...). But it happens and there's not alot we can do about it. As long as misguided souls are willing to pay for a body-destroying drug, some degenerate scumbag will make it in his basement and sell it to them.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Just a thought...

From the Newport News Times:

One man died and another faces criminal charges as a result of a traffic crash Saturday night on Pioneer Mountain Loop.Dead is Aaron Allan Handy, 25, of Springfield, who was a passenger in a 1972 Chevrolet Blazer being driven by Steven James Berliner, 25, of Toledo. Aaron Patrick Strom, 25, also of Toledo, was a passenger in the vehicle as well.At about 10:25 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies, the Oregon State Police, Toledo Fire Rescue, and Pacific West Ambulance were dispatched to a report of a crash on Pioneer Mountain Loop near milepost 1.7.

According to OSP, Berliner was driving west when he failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the road. The vehicle hit a tree and rolled down an embankment, ejecting the occupants. All three were transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. Handy was pronounced dead at the hospital. Berliner and Strom were treated for their injuries and released.
The Lincoln County Multi-Agency Crash Team was called out to investigate the accident, and it was determined that alcohol was a factor in the crash. None of the occupants of the vehicle were wearing safety belts at the time of the accident.Berliner was arrested after being treated at the hospital, and he was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on charges of criminally negligent homicide, Assault II, reckless driving, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and driving while suspended. His bail was set at $97,500.
Now, I have a question here...

We've all done stupid stuff under the influence of alcohol (well, all the cool people anyway). We've all taken stupid chances when we were young, you know how it goes. However, if you were going to let someone who's been drinking drive you home, why wouldn't you wear a seatbelt?

It's pretty dumb not to buckle up in the first place, but if your driver has alcohol in him, you'd be suicidal not to put your belt on! I just don't understand it... Of course, they picked the guy who was not only drinking but had a suspended license to drive them home. These weren't exactly rocket surgeons.

And just so this post isn't solely about making fun of injured and dead people, here's some interesting stats from MADD Online:

For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3:00 AM, 77 percent involved alcohol in 2003. The next most dangerous time period for alcohol-related crash deaths were 9 PM to midnight (64 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol), followed by 3 AM to 6 AM (60 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol). (NHTSA, 2004)
The rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes is more than 3 times as high at night as during the day (61 percent vs. 18 percent). For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times as high at night (16 percent vs. 3 percent). (NHTSA, 2004)
In 2003, 30 percent of all fatal crashes during the week were alcohol-related, compared to 53 percent on weekends. For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate was 5 percent during the week and 12 percent during the weekend. (NHTSA, 2004)
The lesson here? At 2am Saturday morning, get the hell off the road! You're gonna die!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

We could use a little more support...

I have an article here from the San Francisco Gate:

Cooperation on homeland security often is a one-way street, with federal authorities ignoring advice from state and local counterparts, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Chiefs said Tuesday. Homeland security efforts have focused on a few communities, leaving most others vulnerable despite billions of dollars voted by Congress since the Sept. 11 attacks, the chiefs said.

The nation's homeland security strategy "is handicapped by a fundamental flaw: It was developed without sufficiently seeking or incorporating the advice, expertise or consent of public safety organizations at the state, tribal, or local level," the chiefs said. Most police forces have "not significantly improved their ability to prevent, respond to or recover from a terrorist attack in their community," the report said. The chiefs said prevention also had taken a back seat to response to an attack. Federal money has gone increasingly to major metropolitan areas at the expense of public safety agencies in the rest of the country, the chiefs said.

In addition, the Bush administration has cut grants to local police forces and is seeking further reductions this year. The cuts have hampered state, local and tribal police in their day-to-day work, from meeting with community groups to investigating reports of strange and suspicious behavior, the report said. It noted that police came face-to-face with three of the Sept. 11 terrorists through traffic stops in the months before the attacks. "These activities are the cornerstone of any successful crime or terrorism prevention effort," it said.

Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the police chiefs organization was heavily involved in drafting the national emergency response standards the administration issued in January. More than $13 billion has been distributed to first responders, including many police forces, in the past two years, Roehrkasse said. He acknowledged that the administration has given priority to some urban areas that have been targeted in the past and could be again.

"We have made it a priority to maximize homeland security funds by allocating resources based on risk to ensure those with the greatest needs get what they deserve," he said. Steve McCraw, the Texas homeland security director, said he has been pleased with the cooperation between federal and state authorities. "There's a tsunami of information that comes in," said McCraw, a former senior FBI official.

First of all, can you use the word "tsunami" positively again? I would wait until 2006 before calling things tsunamis.

Seriously though, I can't say I'm thrilled at the administration for apparently cutting us off at the knees after asking for our help combatting terrorism. What the heck is the point of a Department of Homeland Security if not to bolster and support local law enforcement?

Now, having said that, I can understand why more Homeland Defense money is going to New York and LA and not to Appleton, NJ or Waxahachie, TX. I mean, Waxahachie is a bustling American icon, buuuut I have a sneaking suspicion that we might not see too many suicide bombings down there.

In any event, I believe that you won't find too many administrations more pro-cop, pro-soldier, and anti-terror than the Bush Administration. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that we are still in the feeling out stages for what the DHS is going to be all about. I hope in the future we see even more partnership and support from them.

I don't suppose any of you out there have any experiences working with the DHS that you'd like to share with the class?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I hope you're happy LA!

Well, you guys did it.

Actually, I take that back. By sitting on your butts and not doing anything, you did nothing to stop it, which is as good as doing it here. Only 30 percent of you voted. Well, congrats, you now have yourself a fine fine man as mayor.

Antonio Villaraigosa is your mayor! Are you nuts?!

A former MeCHA member is your mayor?

The guy that wants to give licenses to illegal aliens?

The guy with a list of shady friends a mile long?

The guy that would rather kiss up to Mexico than bring justice to rapists and murderers?

So you guys really elected an extreme Mexican nationalist?

How disturbing.

Now, I'm sure this will be met with cries of racism or anti-latinoism or something like that. I'm sure there are those out there who think I must just be some white supremist idiot. On the contrary, I have a huge love of mexican culture. I used to train in mexican wrestling down in Santa Ana, if you want to know the truth. I spent many hours with lower income Mexican people and they are some of the nicest, hardest working people you will ever meet. It is because I respect Mexican-Americans that I don't want these MeCHA thugs gaining more power. It is because I respect the hard work of the Mexican-Americans that I don't want people who support illegal immigration in office.

The long and the short of it is that if you are pro-illegal, you are anti-Mexican-American. It's that simple. Don't even get me started on being anti-cop or anti-law-enforcement. If you think James Hahn was a crappy mayor for cops, just wait until Antonio Villaraigosa gets going. You ain't seen nothing yet.

Congratulations L.A.!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jesse Jackson Is An Idiot

I finally found this news item on SignOnSanDiego.com. I'd heard it on the radio but couldn't find the story. As promised, here's the King Racebaiter himself:

TORRANCE – The Rev. Jesse Jackson called the shooting of an unarmed driver by sheriff's deputies "a hate crime" after meeting with the man and his family. Jackson said he visited Winston Hayes, who is still in the hospital recovering from four gunshot wounds, to offer spiritual, emotional and legal counseling and called on the FBI to investigate the incident."This is in fact a hate crime," Jackson said Sunday. "It is a violation of Mr. Hayes' civil rights."
That's right!
If a guy tries to run over a cop and the cop shoots him, it's a hate crime!
You have to wonder why Jesse Jackson keeps getting day passes from the mental institution he must live in. How on Earth does a man become so twisted inside that he allows himself the indignity of exploiting historical black oppression? Yes, Blacks (and Latinos, Women, Jews, and the Irish) were oppressed and mistreated years after slavery ended. But when Jesse Jackson throws around claims of racism just to make a buck, all he is doing is using their pain for his gain. When you think about it, slavery was about powerful men using weak men for their own personal profit. That's what Jesse Jackson does! He mistreats the slaves just like the plantation owners did. He uses them just like they did. Jackson is just another slave owner profitting from the misery of others.
The Black Community has a duty to denounce and get rid of Jesse Jackson. They owe it to themselves and to the ancestors that worked hard for the equality of Blacks. The world will be a better place when people like Jesse Jackson are cold, alone, and penniless in a gutter somewhere.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday Morning Bits n' Pieces

I don't really feel like talking at length about any one thing, so I'll just throw up some stories I found interesting.

First, from the indomitable
CrimProfBlog, we have this update to a story I posted awhile back:

We previously blogged here about the growing trend of cities putting suveillance cameras in public places to detect crime. This week, Baltimore rolled out its new public surveillance system, and while the Mayor was performing a public demonstration of the system during the unveiling ceremony, a man was witnessed stuffing his cigar with pot and was promptly arrested. I suppose the Mayor couldn't have dreamed of a better PR event to support his $2 million expenditure. Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

Professor Godsey may be speaking tounge-in-cheek with that last line, but my philosophy is "Hey! It works!". We may consider rolling a blunt to be a minor crime, but I'm happy that minor crimes and major crimes alike will be caught on tape. I would seriously consider moving to/working in Baltimore just to be a part of this cool new paradigm for cities.

Another tidbit from

Gail Heriot at The Right Coast blogs about a death row inmate who wants to hurry up the process and be executed. His lawyer is trying to stop the execution by arguing that it would constitute assisted suicide in violation of state law. [Mark Godsey]

Very clever.

And lastly, a tibit from the Boston Herald:

Even if the state continues to pump money and scientists into its overburdened crime laboratory, it will take ``five to seven years'' before DNA testing can be turned around in 30 days rather than the current rate of up to 15 months, officials told a legislative committee yesterday.

Although the state will double the 12 DNA chemists within a year and plans to build a new crime lab capable of meeting all the commonwealth's forensic testing needs, it would take 80 scientists alone to handle the massive requests for DNA testing. ``The (Romney) administration and the Legislature has stepped up to the plate over the past several years but it's a long road,'' said Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe. ``We have to stay on it and make sure we don't get off it. We're five to seven years out on that but none of these things happen overnight.''

The state's beleaguered crime lab made headlines again in April when a suspect was arrested in the murder of Truro fashion writer Christa Worthington. Because the crime lab is backlogged with thousands of cases, it took almost a year to match a suspect's DNA profile to evidence recovered from Worthington's body.

I had no idea it took that long to get DNA tests squared away like that. Hopefully we can get this process streamlined in the future.

Well that's all the bits n' pieces for today. Tune in tomorrow when I try to find a ridiculous Jesse Jackson quote that he just made today so that we can make fun of him.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Tough Gang Bill Passes House

HR 1279 passed the house today. It's a tough new gang bill. From the Law Librarian Blog:

GovTrack.us reports that HR 1279 passed the House yesterday with 91% of Republicans supporting and 63% of Democrats opposing. The measure passed 279 to 144.
If you click on the link, it will take you to a PDF with the text of the bill on it. The GOP website has this summary of the bill:

Summary: H.R. 1279 is a comprehensive bill to increase gang prosecutions and prevent gang-related crimes. The bill authorizes increased federal funding to support Federal, State and local law enforcement efforts against violent gangs, and to coordinate law enforcement agencies’ efforts to share intelligence and jointly prosecute violent gangs. The Act also creates new criminal gang prosecution offenses, enhances existing gang and violent crime penalties to deter and punish illegal street gangs, proposes violent crime reforms needed to prosecute effectively gang members, and proposes to reform the federal juvenile justice system to authorize prosecution of 16 and 17 year old gang members who commit violent crimes.

Sounds like an awesome bill. I can't imagine why 63% of Democrats opposed this bill. I'm sure it was for purely non-partisan reasons of principle...

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Hahahaha sorry, even this cat thinks that's a hilarious joke.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Court Victories For Law Enforcement

From CrimProfBlog:

State v. Sykes, Wis., No. 2003 AP1234-CR, 4/22/05

The existence of probable case will justify treating a warrantless search as a search "incident" to a later arrest for a different crime even when the officer, at the time of the search, did not intend to arrest the defendant and the later arrest is based on evidence found during the search, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides. It is not the officer's subjective intent that is important, the court says; it is the fact that the officer actually had probable cause to arrest the defendant at the time he performed the search. Decision here.

Garvey v. State, Del., No. 5-2004, 4/28/05

A defendant who responded to a request to waive his "Miranda" rights by saying, "Depends on what you ask me," unambiguously waived his rights, the Delaware Supreme Court holds. Decision here. [Mark Godsey]

I'm not exactly sure what the first one means, so if there are any legal eagles flying around, feel free to break it down better than I can. What I believe it's saying is that an officer has legitimate reason to search a person if he has probable cause that the crime was committed, regardless of whether he actually arrests that person for that crime or a different one or doesn't arrest him at all. If I'm correct, then I'm definitely in favor of this ruling. I'm in favor of virtually any court decision, executive order, or state law that lets me ignore your Fourth Amendment right to commit crimes in private.

I like the second decision because some smart-ass crook just lost his case. Here's a tip to criminals out there: when you're in custody, don't try to be cute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Understatement of the week

"Deputies lacked a plan", says an article from the L.A. Times. No kidding...

The Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who fired 120 rounds at an unarmed car chase suspect early Monday appeared not to have a coordinated plan and at times worked at cross-purposes, department officials said Tuesday after a preliminary investigation. As a result, some deputies opened fire because they erroneously believed that the suspect had shot two colleagues, while others were firing because they thought the suspect was trying to ram officers, Capt. Ray Peavy said.

The findings prompted Sheriff Lee Baca, who said Monday that he was reserving judgment on the deputies' action, to question some of their tactics, saying Tuesday that the amount of gunfire seemed excessive. The shooting, which was broadcast repeatedly on TV newscasts across the country, also came under criticism from Merrick J. Bobb, who serves as the Board of Supervisor's special counsel on Sheriff's Department matters. He described the deputies' response as disorganized and undisciplined."The fact that 120 rounds were expended indicates panic, lack of planning and an absence of control," said Bobb, who plans to examine the policy issues surrounding the case and report to the Board of Supervisors.

An unedited videotape of the incident obtained by The Times offered a clearer picture of what happened when deputies blocked in a white SUV they had been chasing through a residential area of Compton early Monday.The tape shows that deputies fired several shots initially when the suspect, 44-year-old Winston Hayes, backed toward them.

That was followed a second later by a much larger burst of gunfire coming from deputies who had surrounded Hayes' Chevrolet Tahoe. The vehicle lurched forward a short distance down Butler Avenue, moving between two groups of deputies, who delivered a third barrage, with bullets flying wildly toward officers and into homes. Hayes and Deputy Edward Clark were wounded. Clark was treated and released; Hayes, who was shot four times, remains hospitalized.

I've seen the video. Oh God, the video...

You know, I come on from week to week and defend officers on the grounds that in stressful situations, people react in certain ways that they have a split second to decide and you have a lifetime to dissect. I try to show you the other side of the coin. I try to make you give them the benefit of the doubt.

But, oh God... the video...

I am not claiming to be a tactics expert. But right now in the Academy, I'm being taught by several tactics experts and they would kick me out of the Academy if I ever did what those deputies did on that shooting.

Besides firing 120 rounds into a car at an unarmed man AND NOT KILLING HIM, they let him get between them and started firing at each other! One guy pull his police car in front of the suspect car and exited his vehicle ON THE SIDE THAT WAS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE SUSPECT CAR! I try to avoid profanity on this blog, as it is a family blog, but that was a clusterf**k of epic proportions.

And it's all on video.

Oh God... the video...

UPDATE: In case you can't get the video (oh god... the video...) I have a little diagram for you of what happened. It just shows the position of the suspect vehicle and how the officers were endangering them selves. The red dots are their approximate lines of fire. You can see how dangerous it was.

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Mr. Hampton found an even better place to get graphical info for the shooting. Try this page!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Everyone's favorite Schedule 1 Drug

First, I bring to you an interesting story from Jointogether.com which made me laugh at first because I saw the word "joint" in it:

A growing number of teenagers and preteens are being treated at emergency rooms or are entering drug treatment as a result of using a highly potent type of marijuana, government officials say.

The Los Angeles Times reported April 26 that although marijuana use by youths has declined overall since the mid-1990s, the latest statistics show an increase in more serious problems related to the drug. According to federal health officials, the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits for children ages 12 to 17 more than tripled since 1994, to 7,535 in 2001, the most recent year for which figures were available.

Most of the hospital visits were for an "unexpected reaction" to the drug, while "overdose" was listed in 10 percent of the cases, "chronic effects" in 6 percent, and "accident or injury" in 4 percent."The stereotypes of marijuana smoking are way out of date," said Michael Dennis, a research psychologist in Bloomington, Ill. "The kids we see are not only smoking stronger stuff at a younger age but their pattern of use might be three to six blunts -- the equivalent of three or four joints each -- just for themselves, in a day. That's got nothing to do with what Mom or Dad did in high school. It might as well be a different drug."

According to federal officials, the marijuana being taken by youngsters today is nearly twice as potent as it was in the 1980s. "There is no question marijuana can be addictive; that argument is over," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "The most important thing right now is to understand the vulnerability of young, developing brains to these increased concentrations of cannabis."

We hear so much propaganda from the pothead lobby about how safe and non-threatening marijuana is, so I think it's good to hear some other stats for a change. Did you know that the number 1 illegal drug that people go to rehab for is marijuana?
Also, in case you think lighting nature on fire and breathing in whatever results is a safe and healthy activity for the whole family, think about this, which I got from DrugStory.org:

Smoking marijuana causes many of the same respiratory complications as smoking tobacco, including daily cough and phlegm (symptoms of chronic bronchitis), frequent chest colds, and increased risk for lung infection, tissue damage and cancer. Regardless of THC content, the amount of tar and carbon monoxide delivered to the lungs is approximately three to five times greater for marijuana smoke than tobacco smoke. This is largely due to differences in the method of smoking tobacco and marijuana, such as larger puff volumes and longer durations of inhalation with marijuana. Some experts have linked marijuana use to a weakened immune system, which could impact the body’s ability to resist viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microbes, thereby increasing risk for infections among youth.

Mmm, sounds like a tasty treat.
Can someone remind me why we are listening to the POTHEAD lobby about anything? What's next, pulling tweekers off their bikes and asking them about tax policy?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Who wants to apply for Belgium PD?

I am a member of a message board for my police academy. Well, other people interested in police and police academy are members too. One of these members is currently living in Belgium and is pursuing a career in law enforcement out there. He posted a message about use of force policy in America versus policy in Belgium. I wanted to post part of what he wrote because I find it fascinating:

Let me explain to you how it works here in Belgium. If someone shoots at a COP, unless the COP is hit, he has no right to shoot back. If someone attacks a cop with anything else......a knife for example...unless the cop get stabbed, he can't stab the guy back. Now if he gets stabbed, he can ONLY stab the guy back (if he finds a way to get hold of the knife) but he can't shoot him or hurt him in any other ways. COPS can only defend themselves with equal force and same weapons. These laws apply as well to citizens. belgian citizens are not allowed to hurt back someone who is hurting them. If someone breaks into my house, I have to let him hurt me, give him what he wants and let him go....then call the cops.

Now, I'm not going to give out this guy's name just on the off chance it could harm his career. But, what he has to say here is important. This is your so-called "enlightened" European view of police work. This is how the "cultured" Europe treats their cops. They give license to their criminals to run amok and prevent the cops from doing their job.

That policy puts police in grave danger. It's almost as if someone who hates cops is in charge over their because they have basically said a cop cannot defend himself unless he is wounded. I don't need to tell you how dangerous that is.

But I want you to think about something: Next time the media starts foaming at the mouth about police using excessive force, ask yourself if the media won't be happy until we are more like Belgium. Think about who typically criticizes police and ask yourself what the real agenda is. If we revise our policies everytime race-baiting extortionists like Sharpton and Jackson decide that they don't like our decisions, ask yourself how long it will be until a cop can be stabbed and still not be allowed to use his gun.

Ayn Rand prophesied in her book Atlas Shrugged that the world would end not in a fiery explosion, but by a great softening that eventually turned it into a pulpy mush. You all need to help stand guard against the softening of America. Otherwise, we're screwed.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Let's shoot our mouths off...

Friends, well-wishers, and fellow contemporaries, I come to you today with some friday gun stats for your perusal. They come from the US Department of Justice.

Normally I put things in block quotes, but today I'll just number the ones I find interesting.

1. In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their gun at a flea market or gun show. Over 80% got them from friends, family, a street buy, or an illegal source.


2. Of those armed during the commission of their crime, over 80% of State and Federal prisoners DID NOT CARRY a firearm!


3. About 84% of State inmates who possessed a gun also had some characteristic that would have prevented them from buying the gun.


4. Between 1993-2001, about 703,800 violent crimes against 12-17 year olds occurred on school campuses. Only 1% were committed with a firearm, compared to 3% with a sharp object, 4% with a blunt object, and 4% with miscellaneous objects like ropes, chains, and poisons.


5. From 1993 to 2001, firearm violence fell 63%.


6. The same percentage of violent offenders carried a firearm as a blunt or sharp object (10%). Over 2/3 carried no weapon.


Now, obviously I'm having a bit of fun with this, but the point is this: When someone tells you that handgun violence is a huge and growing problem, they are either ignorant, stupid, or liars. Not only is handgun violence falling, but guns aren't even used much of the time. Not only that, but most people who own guns didn't buy them from WalMart because laws prevent most of them from owning one.


This ought to clearly show how increasingly restrictive laws against gun owners do nothing to solve anything. When over 4/5s of the criminals who committed a crime with a gun were already legally prevented from owning it, you know that the laws aren't reducing anything.

Strict enforcement is the only answer. What if carrying an illegal gun carried a minimum sentence of 25 years in the State Pen? Do you think people would think twice about carrying them around?

It's something to think about. Enjoy your weekend. ;)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Fashion Police

Charming tale from IOL News

London - The fashion-conscious owner of a burgled clothes shop said on Wednesday he helped to catch the man who robbed him after spotting the thief dressed in a criminally uncouth mix of stolen trousers and tops. "I couldn't believe that this guy was wearing all the pinched stuff, with little thought of matching items with any real taste," said Neil Primett, who owns the Planet Clothing store in Bedford, a town in south-east England.

Primett, 36, was left dumbfounded when he spotted the man in a blue sleeveless T-shirt - ironically emblazoned with the logo "Criminal" - green trousers and a tracksuit top, just 36 hours after the shop was raided. "I couldn't believe it, he was
wearing such a mismatch," he said.

"Picture Rupert the Bear, green check trousers with elasticated bottoms, an electric blue sleeveless T-shirt carrying the word 'Criminal' and a tracksuit top," said the store owner, referring to the British comic book character. "I always recognise clothes from my store because there are not many other places that sell them." After spying the thief, Primett rang the police and then trailed him until officers arrived 20 minutes later.

A Bedford police spokesperson said a man had been released on bail until May 13 in connection with the burglary.

Can't you just picture this guy, hand on his hip, gesticulating wildly about the unfashionable criminal? I love that this guy was more offended by the ensemble than by the crime itself.

However, this story brings to a light a very serious issue which I cannot remain silent on.

Primett, 36, was left dumbfounded when he spotted the man in a blue sleeveless T-shirt - ironically emblazoned with the logo "Criminal"

Yet again, a JOURNALIST misuses the word Ironic. Irony is NOT a coincidence, it's not a funny event, it's nothing like that!

Irony is a very precise term that refers to a very specific scenario, one in which the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of, and in mockery of, the intended outcome of a situation. It is NOT a funny coincidence. A coincidence could almost not be farther from Irony. Unfortunately, the world at large has decided to utterly gut the meaning of Irony. I almost do not blame them, because true Irony can be hard to spot.

There are two important components: The actual outcome being the opposite of the intended outcome, and the element of mockery. It is the latter of the two that makes Irony difficult to ascertain. I give you this scenario: A diabetic is crossing the street to go to the pharmacy to buy insulin. As he crosses, he is hit and killed by the insulin delivery truck. This is ironic because he needed the insulin to live, yet it ended up being the death of him. Do you see the element of mockery there? Try this one: An African refugee survived intense civil war only to be killed by a box of humanitarian aid when it landed on him after being ejected from a plane.

The only instance of irony in Alanis Morissette's insipid song "Isn't it Ironic?" is that fact that nothing in the song is ironic at all. I certainly don't think Ms. Morissette had enough wit to give the song meta-irony, I think she's just stupid.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

On Hoaxes

The 32-year old who faked a kidnapping will not face criminal charges--the thousands of hours, millions of dollars and, presumably, multiple gunpoint stops of people fitting the fabricated description of the suspects must be disregarded in light of the fact that the woman faced a stressful wedding--only a cad would insist on the
letter of the law. "She needed some time alone," empathized Albuquerque's Chief of Police.

The Albuquerque Tribune reports that "authorities from several law enforcement agencies went beyond the call of duty - giving her a teddy bear, an FBI cap and polo shirt, a tote bag, meals and even a shoulder to cry on - to make her daylong stay in the city comfortable." Last year, Minnesota college student Audrey Seiler faked her kidnapping and got misdemeanor probation. On the other hand, the
19-year old college student who faked a racial incident is facing the hammer--the highest degree of all possible charges. After all, she selfishly disrupted the campus for her own personal reasons. [Jack Chin]

UPDATE: Although apparently in the clear in New Mexico, where the false statements were made, the runaway bride may in fact face criminal charges in Georgia, according to prosecutors--even though Duluth, GA Police Chief Randy Belcher has been quoted as saying no charges would be filed. AND PS: I don't deal with the Wendy's hoaxer here because it is uncontroversial that scammers for profit are subject to prosecution. The more difficult problem is people who do this sort of thing for emotional reasons.

Aw... I sure am glad that criminal acts that cost millions of dollars and emotional stress to hundred of people are going to go unpunished. I mean, she just needed some time alone, right? Who among us hasn't claimed to be kidnapped by mexicans when we get really stressed?
This is the sort of thing I was talking about in my earlier post about judging INTENT versus MOTIVE. We should punish or not punish someone based on their intent. Their motive is only mildly interesting. She clearly intended to fake her kidnapping and file a false report. She was nervous about her wedding? So what?!?! EVERYONE IS NERVOUS BEFORE THEIR WEDDING, BUT NO ONE ELSE FAKES THEIR OWN ABDUCTION!
Of course, it looks like the police chief is going to coddle this 32-year old baby instead of discipline her. That's a shame because it just teaches everyone else that if you ever get sad or upset, do whatever you want because we care more about your feelings than about law and order.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

When molesters lose, everyone wins

From CrimProf Blog:

From MSNBC.com: "Spurred by the killing of a 9-year-old girl, Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday signed a law imposing tougher penalties on child molesters and requiring many of those released from prison to wear satellite tracking devices for the rest of their lives. The measure gives Florida one of the toughest child-sex laws in the nation. The Jessica Lunsford Act was quickly drafted after Jessica’s death was discovered in March and was pushed through by lawmakers outraged that the man accused of killing her was a registered sex offender. It passed both the Senate and House unanimously.

It establishes a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life behind bars for people convicted of certain sex crimes against children 11 and younger, with lifetime tracking by global positioning satellite technology after they are freed. Until the new law goes into effect Sept. 1, molesting a child under 12 is punishable in most cases by up to 30 years in prison." Story . . . [Mark Godsey]

I like the huge mandatory sentence. You always hear stories about these creepy animals going to jail for short amounts of time. Hopefully there is no "time off for good behavior" with this mandatory sentence. The whole reason you're in jail is because you didn't have good behavior!
What also drives me crazy is that of all the crimes one can commit, child molestation is the most indicative of an irreversible mental defect, yet many times they are just back out among the populace as if they shoplifted a CD. These people cannot be rehabilitated, only prevented from committing the crime. It's not like they see the errors of their ways. So, I'm all for huge sentences, satellite tracking, and whatever else we can do to confound them.
If I had my way, they'd all have to move to their own little island, away from decent folk. Ah well...

Monday, May 02, 2005

The State Babysitters

So, I went on a ride-along on Saturday with my dad. If you don't know, a ride-along is when you get to ride in the front seat of a cop car and follow the officer around while he patrols. You get to see the real cops instead of reel cops (get it?). Anyway, we had a good time cruising the fair city, making life better for all creatures great and small. But I noticed something that hadn't occurred to me before for some reason.

A very large amount of people are childish idiots.

I mean, I've always known that many people are jerks, but try going on a ride along for a few hours. Your faith in the basic goodness of all people will be decapitated and buried in a shallow grave by the railroad tracks. Custody disputes are the worst. Seemingly normal grown men and women act like bickering schoolchildren. They call the police at the drop of a hat trying to screw over their ex in any way possible. Then they put on their little brave face and talk about just trying to make it out there and not wanting any trouble and the like.

Then you get the guy that hits his wife and then he calls us and has us come out to "make sure nothing happens" because he thinks that if he calls, we won't be able to go after him. I'm not even a cop and I've been out on like three calls like that! Who does he think he's fooling?

I don't even need to get into the racism nonsense. A guy could be standing in middle of Hollywood Blvd covered in blood holding a severed head and he will still accuse you of racial profiling.

But moreso than people being jerks to cops or using cops to be jerks, a lot of calls are just because people are jerks on their own. People are brutal to each other, and for no reason. Many of them spend all day thinking of ways to screw over their fellow man. I'm not even talking about robberies or car thefts. I'm talking about shady car dealerships who sell people cars and then reposses them in the middle of the night with no warning or notice. I'm talking about guys locking their wives out of the house. I'm talking guys in their mid-twenties seducing high school girls. Guys who steal stuff from drunk vagrants. Teenagers playing "pranks" like smashing windows, throwing stuff into traffic, or anything else that could seriously hurt someone.

It's like, if you are going to be a jerk, at least have the deceny to be enough of a jerk to go to state prison for awhile. Don't just be a small time jerk that ruins people's days every once in awhile. Be enough of a jerk that we can teach you a powerful lesson.

At one point, I was starting to think "Damn, am I devoting my life to babysitting childish adults?". But then I realized, with a smile, "No, I am devoting my life to making life miserable for childish adults! And teenagers too!"