February 24, 2018

Protesters smash windows in 2nd violent night near St. Louis

Posted on September 17, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jim Salter and Summer Ballentine Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Protests turned violent for a second night near St. Louis following the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man, as a small group of demonstrators refused to disperse, breaking windows at dozens of businesses and throwing objects at police, who moved in with hundreds of officers in riot gear to make arrests.

The confrontation took place late Saturday night in the Delmar Loop area of University City, a suburb about 10 miles west of St. Louis near Washington University. The area is known for concert venues, restaurants, shops and bars, and includes the Blueberry Hill club where rock legend Chuck Berry played for many years.

University City had been the scene of a peaceful march earlier in the evening to protest a judge's ruling Friday clearing ex-officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. That march ended with organizers calling for people to leave and reconvene Sunday afternoon.

But a few dozen protesters refused to go. Police ordered them to disperse, saying the protest was illegal. Hundreds of police in riot gear eventually moved in with armored vehicles. The demonstrators retreated down a street, breaking windows with trash cans and throwing objects at police.

Several protesters were seen in handcuffs, and city and county police later tweeted that they had arrested at least nine people. Police were seen carrying one handcuffed man away from the scene upside down. At least one demonstrator was treated after he was hit with pepper spray.

After the spasm of violence ended, a reporter for The Associated Press found at least half of the businesses on one side of the street with broken windows along a two block area.

Sam Thomas, who was helping his friend clean up the glass from the shattered windows of his clothing and accessories boutique, OSO, said he understood why people were angry. The U.S. justice system is broken and needs to be fixed, Thomas said.

"I'm not saying this is the right way to fix it," he said of the damage.

"The window isn't murdered. Nobody is going to have a funeral for the window. We can replace it."

On Friday night, nearly three-dozen people were arrested and 11 police officers suffered injuries, including a broken jaw and dislocated shoulder. Five officers were taken to hospitals. Police said 10 businesses were damaged that night, and protesters broke a window and spattered red paint on the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

Saturday night's violence capped a day of noisy but peaceful demonstrations at suburban shopping malls.

Protesters shouted slogans such as "black lives matter" and "it is our duty to fight for our freedom" as they marched through West County Center mall in the suburb of Des Peres, west of St. Louis. A group also demonstrated at another suburban shopping center, the Chesterfield Mall, and at a regional food festival.

Organizers hoped to spread the impact of the protests beyond predominantly black neighborhoods to those that are mainly white.

Smith's death is just one of several high-profile U.S. cases in recent years in which a white officer killed a black suspect, including the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson that sparked months of angry and sometimes violent protests.

Stockley wasn't charged until May of last year, which was three years after he left the force a moved to Houston and more than four years after his December 2011 confrontation with Smith.

Stockley shot Smith after Smith fled from Stockley and his partner, who were trying to arrest him for a suspected drug deal.

Stockley, 36, testified that he felt he was in danger because he saw Smith holding a silver revolver when Smith backed his car toward the officers and sped away.

Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after the shooting. The officer's DNA was on the weapon but Smith's wasn't. Dashcam video from Stockley's cruiser recorded him saying he was "going to kill this (expletive)." Less than a minute later, he shot Smith five times.

Stockley's lawyer dismissed the comment as "human emotions" during a dangerous pursuit. St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson, who said prosecutors didn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley murdered Smith, said the statement could be ambiguous.


Calif. ‘sanctuary state’ bill closer to approval

Posted on September 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Democrats approved a "sanctuary state" bill Saturday that would limit how local and state police can interact with federal immigration agents.

The bill is intended to bolster immigrant protections in the state that are already among the toughest in the nation.

It will now be considered by Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced his support after the top state Senate leader agreed to water down the bill and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases.

The legislation is the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in California, home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization, to create barriers to President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to step up deportation efforts. They've also approved money for legal assistance and college scholarships for people living illegally in the U.S., and made it harder for businesses and government agencies to disclose people's immigration status.

California lawmakers are debating the measure as the U.S. Congress considers offering legal status to young immigrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally or overstayed their visas.

"This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening," said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The measure cleared the Legislature with support only from Democrats over the objection of Republicans who it will protect criminals and make it harder for law-enforcement to keep people safe.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, introduced SB54 shortly after Trump's election to cut off most interactions between federal immigration agents and local police and sheriff's officers. Following sharp dissent from law enforcement officials and Brown's intervention, it was scaled back significantly.

The final version prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person's immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. It also prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.

Police and sheriff's officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. But they'll be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

Immigration advocates generally applauded the latest version, even with de Leon's concessions. For them, the bill delivers a rare victory during Trump's presidency, preserving some protections for people in the country illegally and adding others.

The bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine," de Leon said.

California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed.

"In my view this bill's going to make us less safe," said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton. "It's going to protect the criminal at the expense of the law abiding citizen."

The changes did not mollify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, who said the bill will deliberately destruct immigration laws and shelter criminals.

"If California politicians pass this bill, they will be prioritizing politics over the safety and security of their constituents," Homan said in a statement this week.

As lawmakers considered the bill Friday another high-profile killing in San Francisco spotlighted the sanctuary issue. Immigration and Customs Enforcement disclosed that two weeks ago, before 18-year-old Erick Garcia-Pineda was a murder suspect, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department denied a request to hold him until federal authorities could take him into custody for deportation proceedings.

California's Democratic political leaders have positioned the nation's largest state as a foil to Trump and his administration. They've passed legislation and filed lawsuits aimed at protecting immigrants, combating climate change and blocking any future attempt to build a registry of Muslims.

A federal judge in Chicago ruled Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot follow through with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to so-called sanctuary cities for refusing his order to impose tough immigration policies.


UK police make ‘significant’ arrest in London subway blast

Posted on September 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Katz Associated Press

LONDON — British police made a "significant" arrest Saturday in the manhunt for suspects a day after the London subway was hit by a partially-exploded bomb and launched a heavily armed search of a home southwest of London.

The fast-moving inquiry into the subway blast that wounded 29 people has shifted to Sunbury, on the outskirts of the British capital, where neighbors were evacuated amid the police operation as a precaution.

A no-fly zone was established over the area to keep out small planes and drones as police moved in and police cordons were put in place to keep the public well away.

No details about the police search were released, but it came after the arrest of an 18-year-old man who is being held under the Terrorism Act. The man was arrested Saturday morning by Kent police in the port of Dover on the English Channel.

Dover is a major ferry port for travel between Britain and France — and it was not clear if the suspect was trying to board a ferry for France when he was taken into custody.

"We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning," Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu said. But he warned that the investigation was ongoing and the terrorist threat level remains at "critical," meaning that top British security services believe that another attack is imminent.

Basu's comments suggested that other dangerous suspects may still be at large.

Police Commissioner Cressida Dick called the arrest "very significant" but said the public should still be vigilant.

The 18-year-old suspect hasn't been charged or identified. Police say he was being brought to a south London police station for more questioning. Police haven't said if he is suspected of planting the bomb or of playing a supporting role in a possible plot.

Authorities had increased Britain's terrorism threat level to "critical" late Friday — the highest possible level — after a bomb partially exploded on a subway train during the morning rush hour.

Police are combing through closed-circuit TV images and have extensively studied the remains of the explosive device. Images from inside the subway car showed that it was contained in a bucket with wires hanging out of it and concealed in a plastic shopping bag.

The train hit by the bomber at Parsons Green station in southwest London had video cameras in each car, and the London Underground network has thousands of cameras at the entrances to stations and along its labyrinth of subterranean and aboveground passageways.

Officials have hinted there may be more than one person involved, but haven't released details in what is termed an ongoing and covert inquiry.

Prime Minister Theresa May said raising the threat level to its highest point was a "proportionate and sensible step." Police called on the public to be vigilant.

The soldiers will add to the armed police presence Saturday at public places to deter further attacks.

The bomb went off around 8:20 a.m. Friday as the District Line train, carrying commuters from the suburbs — including many school children — was at the Parsons Green station. In all, 29 people were wounded, some with burns, but none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.

The station was reopened Saturday, officials said, restoring some normalcy to London's transport network after a day of severe disruption. There was no sign of panic among Londoners and the weekend life of the multicultural city continued undeterred by the raised threat level.

Officials said the bomb was intended to do grave harm to commuters. Analysts said the carnage would have been far worse had the entire device exploded.

"They were really lucky with this one. It could have really become much worse," said terrorism specialist Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defense University.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said was carried out by an affiliated unit.

Britain has endured four other attacks this year, which have killed a total of 36 people. The other attacks in London — near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London — used vehicles and knives.

In addition, a suicide bomber struck a packed concert hall in Manchester in northern England, killing 22 people. That attack in May also briefly caused the threat level to be set at "critical."


St. Louis braces for more protests after 10 cops injured

Posted on September 16, 2017 by in POLICE

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — About 1,000 protesters surrounded the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in the Central West End late Friday, breaking at least two windows and throwing red paint at the brick house before some 200 police in riot gear moved in to break it up.

There was no indication on the scene that Krewson was in the home at the time.

A total of nine police officers had been reported injured as of 9 p.m., including one officer with a dislocated shoulder and an officer with a possible broken jaw, Acting Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said shortly after midnight Saturday, appearing with Krewson in a video. A Highway Patrol trooper was also reported injured.

Two of the city police officers were injured by thrown bricks, police said. They were taken to a hospital, with one officer's injuries described as "serious." A third officer was hurt but declined treatment.

Police spokeswoman Schron Jackson said early Saturday that police arrested 32 people Friday. She did not have more details, but said the names of those arrested and the charges they face "are forthcoming."

Mostly peaceful protests following the not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of former police Officer Jason Stockley turned into unrest after dark, as police officers responded to several locations throughout the Central West End.

“Many of the demonstrators were peaceful," O'Toole said. "However, after dark, many agitators began to destroy property and assault police officers."

Several restaurants and a St. Louis Public Library branch were also damaged by the end of Friday night. O'Toole said officers fired pepper pellets and tear gas to dispel crowds.

“Orders to disperse were given numerous times," O'Toole said. "Tear gas was deployed after officers were assaulted with bricks and bottles. Officers did deploy pepper balls as a less-than-lethal option after agitators continued to assault officers with objects and destroy property.”

Krewson did not speak about the apparent damage to her home, but thanked officers and those watching the video.

Rocks & water bottles have been thrown at our officers throughout the day. Officers used great restraint. #STLVerdict pic.twitter.com/LIl2OxKhcO

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 15, 2017

"Thank you to St. Louis police officers," she said. "Thank you also to the citizens of St. Louis for your patience and your tolerance. We look forward to finishing this evening on a good note, and to tomorrow.”

After the large group of protesters was able to march unimpeded to Krewson's home, gather on the lawn and knock on the door — a process that took some 30 minutes — the first police finally arrived and began pushing them back, firing canisters of tear gas. Journalists witnessed at least one arrest.

City police tweeted: "Tear gas was deployed because agitators became violent towards officers and destroyed property" in the area.

Amid that confrontation, some protesters were holed up at the Central Reform Congregation synagogue at Kingshighway and Waterman. It was near there that the officers were hit with bricks.

Agitators damaging a police car. Those causing destruction distract from the mission of peaceful protesters. #STLVerdict pic.twitter.com/Rbtpo1gAxc

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 15, 2017

Multiple Central West End venues had windows shattered, including Culpeppers grill and the St. Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch.

Earlier, police pepper-sprayed demonstrators Friday afternoon as they declared the ongoing protest at Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue downtown as "no longer peaceful".

By early evening, protesters had dissipated from downtown and were gathering in the Central West End. They filled the streets there as they marched through the neighborhood, their number growing to what appeared to be more than a thousand. At one point, they tried to enter Forest Park but were stopped by police. By nightfall, protesters were marching south on Kingshighway toward Highway 40 (Interstate 64), some chanting: "If you kill our kids, we kill your economy!"

Southbound Kingshighway was closed from Lindell to the interstate, police said. A large number of police vehicles blocked on- and off-ramps there. The marchers eventually turned back north again after being denied access to the interstate.

Later, protesters in the Central West End were pulling down American flags that lined the streets on Euclid, and burned several of them. At least one of the flag burning incidents, on a knoll near the interstate, led to a heated argument between factions of protesters.

4 officers injured downtown

Stockley, who is white, was charged with murder in the 2011 shooting death of black drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith. His acquittal in a bench trial early Friday sparked the protests downtown and in the Central West End.

Early in the day, four police officers sustained minor injuries downtown, mainly as a result of protesters throwing things at them, and more than a dozen protesters were arrested, O'Toole said. He said one officer was treated for a hand injury, and three others declined medical treatment.

Police make their first few arrests because folks were blocking a bus that contained other officers. #JasonStockley pic.twitter.com/Iq8U4PUYJC

— Christian P. Bryant (@BryantCP) September 15, 2017

"It's hardly been completely peaceful," O'Toole said at an early evening news conference. His department later tweeted out photos showing rocks and water bottles that were thrown at police.

A joint statement from the protest groups ArchCity Defenders, St. Louis Action Council and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment criticized city officials' response to the protests, saying they were demonizing protesters by “preemptively bemoaning violence and civil unrest, calling instead for peace.”

“True peace, requires justice, and there was nothing just about today's verdict,” the statement said.

Lots of police at Spruce and Tucker. pic.twitter.com/uzEQXG92fI

— Jesse Bogan (@JesseBogan) September 15, 2017

“The optics of closed business, walled off city buildings and a highly militarized police force are merely staging for the city's spin that we the protesters are the violent ones,” the statement continues. “While our communities grieve, we are demonized. While we stand in bold assertion of our constitutional rights, we are criminalized.”

Earlier, hundreds of people chanted peacefully, while other protesters blocked an on-ramp to Interstate 64, some throwing bottles and trash toward police.

At one point earlier in the afternoon, at least a few protesters were pepper-sprayed by police as protesters tried to block police from traveling in vehicles on Tucker between Clark Avenue and Spruce Street.

Later that afternoon, some people jumped on a police SUV near the corner of Tucker Boulevard and Clark Avenue and smashed the windshield. Police officers, some in black riot gear and holding police shields, approached the crowd as some demonstrators shouted expletives at them and threw water bottles. Police pepper-sprayed several demonstrators who remained on the street after being ordered to disperse.

Man on bike arrested in #stockleyverdict protest at wash ave and 14th pic.twitter.com/ST8lGyHZk0

— Jesse Bogan (@JesseBogan) September 15, 2017

"We're very angry, we're tired and we're just bringing awareness to let this community know, this is not OK and let this judge know his ruling was not OK," demonstrator Bishop Derrick Robinson said. "We're upset by his ruling and we're out here today to continue to bring awareness and disturbance on the day."

"However long it takes, we're out here," he added.

Multiple protesters were arrested. Police shoved one man with a baton then yanked him to the ground.

Greg Harvey, 28, a producer with KMOX-AM 1120, said police told him to move out of the street, shoved him then pepper-sprayed him while people were protesting peacefully.

"God, it burns so bad," Harvey said.

More than 100 police, many with batons and riot shields, were there. Dozens of police at one point formed a line across Tucker.

'The power of the people'

"My goal is to resist the power of the state," said the Rev. Renita Lamkin Green, pastor of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cape Girardeau, after standing in front of the line of police. "The power of the people is greater than the power over the people."

Others, like architect George Nikolajevich, stood off to the side.

"We have to find a way to live together and resolve our problems in a peaceful and constructive way, because, for the future of America, it's important," said Nikolajevich, who works at CannonDesign and is originally from Yugoslavia. "I am very optimistic, but some others are not."

Meanwhile, at 13th Street and Washington Avenue, some protesters threw chairs that had been set up for an event in front of the St. Louis Public Library.

Later in the afternoon, the protests calmed. Many police dispersed and hundreds continued chanting and walking on the streets.

protesters not happy to see police in riot gear https://t.co/MSQtpHKSPP

— Laurie Skrivan (@LaurieSkrivan) September 15, 2017

Earlier morning protests witnessed by Post-Dispatch journalists had been nonviolent, when police went out of their way to give marchers space, often blocking off traffic to let them pass. By noon, there were hundreds of protesters downtown.

"We are saddened, we are frustrated and quite frankly we are pissed off," said St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad. "Until black people in this city get justice, until we get a seat at the table, there will be no peace in this city."

State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., who was a frequent protester in Ferguson in 2014 before he was elected to office last year, said "we can't be so pro-police to the point where we forget about accountability. If you don't truly understand the challenges and barrier of what we go through, that's an issue."

A group of protesters led by veteran activist Zaki Baruti started at Market Street in the morning, walked south on Tucker, west on Clark, and tried to get up the on-ramp to westbound Highway 40 (Interstate 64). But about 30 police officers with bikes blocked their access.

Many of the protesters started heading for the multi-modal transportation hub nearby, but some in the group instead went toward police headquarters at 1915 Olive Street.

Police did not come outside the locked building to address the group. Protesters called for police resignations and an economic boycott on St. Louis.

A protest leader known as Pastor Doug said through a megaphone, "They won't get no rest until we get some justice," he said. "We are shutting down every big event this weekend."

One man on a bike was arrested at Washington and 14th Street.

Protesters also tried to get into the America's Center. Some banged on windows, but were told to stop by other protesters. They opted for a group hug instead.

"We are all subjected to white supremacy and there's nothing we can do about it," said activist Johnny Roberts, 26. "What can we do about it?"

Immediately after the verdict, activist Anthony Shahid stood outside the courthouse downtown and held up a light-blue cloth bag over his hand with Stockley’s picture attached to it.

“This is what you call white privilege. This is what you call unconstitutional," Shahid said. "We don’t even have constitutional rights. This is what you call human rights being violated … What they’re doing throughout America they’re treating us like straight (racial epithet), rats and roaches.”

Meanwhile, activists including Franks held a press conference at the scene of the shooting.

Protesters also gathered at West Florissant and Acme avenues where Stockley fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011.

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Viral ‘hot cops’ photo removed amid complaint against officer

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A Florida police department has removed a widely-shared Facebook photo of three officers who had been praised for their good looks amid an investigation into a complaint against one of the men.

Gainesville police say in a statement that several people have brought information to the department's attention regarding a complaint against Officer Michael Hamill, the bearded officer at the center of the group selfie. The department hasn't disclosed the nature of the complaint, but The Gainesville Sun reports screen shots sent to the newspaper show anti-Semitic posts on Hamill's personal Facebook page. The Sun reports the posts were made in 2011 and 2013.

Hamill's selfie produced more than 100,000 comments after it was posted to the Gainesville police Facebook page on Sunday.


Quiet Warrior: How a detective’s mentorship changed a young boy’s life

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by 5.11 Tactical

By Cole Zercoe for PoliceOne BrandFocus

A few years ago in Roanoke, Virginia, a fourth grade teacher kicked off a discussion about police officers and their role in society by posing a question to the class.

“What do police do?”

“They shoot people, that’s what they do,” a student responded.

Another student’s hand shot up in the air: “My big brother’s a police officer and he doesn’t shoot anybody.”

The young boy, Robert, didn’t have a brother in law enforcement – at least not in the traditional sense. His “big brother” was Ryan Brady, a detective he met through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s “Bigs in Blue” mentorship program, which pairs law enforcement officers with children in at-risk communities.

Robert’s defense of police officers that day was quite the contrast to his initial reaction to Brady and other Roanoke PD officers when they visited him and other students for the first time.

“The kids saw us walk in in uniform, and were almost scared,” Brady said. “They didn’t want to talk to us, they were shy, they didn’t hear very good things about the police beforehand. This may have been their first face-to-face contact with an officer outside of police responding to some type of issue in their neighborhood or even their home. When I met Robert, he didn’t know how to open up or what to expect. So I think there were a lot of questions about how this would go.”

THE FACE BEHIND THE BADGE

Brady, a six-year veteran LEO who currently serves as a city detective and on a federal task force for combating violent crime, was inspired to sign up to be a big brother a few years ago while he was still working as a street cop.

“I worked in a part of town that was riddled with crime and dilapidated,” Brady said.

The detective faced a challenge most cops encounter in rough neighborhoods: a community deeply concerned about the crime occurring around them, yet hesitant to reach out to the officers there to combat it. Whether that hesitation stemmed from fear of law enforcement or pressure from criminals to keep quiet, Brady struggled to connect with the community members in his beat.

“While you go on patrol and you feel like you’re doing a great job and you’re helping people, it felt a little bit lacking,” Brady said of his difficulty in truly connecting with the public. “You wanted to do more but you didn’t really know how to do it.”

Brady saw Big Brothers Big Sisters as the solution to that problem. It was an opportunity to get to know the children in his city - and by extension, their families – at a deeper level than what an interaction on patrol would allow. Initially, Brady met with children from rotating schools in the area for about an hour each week – one of two mentorship programs the department is involved in through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Officers and other participants build relationships with the kids through activities like shooting hoops or helping them with their homework. From there, officers can choose to sign up for “Bigs in Blue,” the one-on-one mentorship program geared specifically toward cops.

It was in the group program that Brady first met Robert, who loved to draw and wanted to design footwear when he grew up. Their mutual appreciation for drawing was the first step in breaking down the walls and building a friendship. They spent their time drawing shoes and comparing designs.

As they got to know each other, Brady discovered Robert had some behavioral issues and trouble with his grades. He had a stable home life, but growing up in the same tough neighborhood that Brady patrolled was a struggle.

“There’s a lot of violent crime, a lot of narcotics issues in that area,” Brady said. “It’s a neighborhood where you see a lot of youth influenced by people who are older than them with criminal records that are trying to pull them into that lifestyle. It’s a lot to be exposed to at a young age. I’ve had times where Robert’s called me because they’ve [his family] heard gunshots one or two streets over. There are always sirens.”

PLANTING THE SEED

Brady took Robert under his wing in a one-on-one mentorship. Like most young kids, Robert had a wide variety of hobbies and interests – from WWE to Yu-Gi-Oh.

“He can tell you every wrestler there is. “I don’t keep up with it as much but I try to stay up to speed so I can have conversations with him,” Brady said, laughing.

Robert also had a knack for running. The two would often go out with a stopwatch and work on their times by doing sprints.

“He’s a fast kid – and he knows that,” Brady said.

And when Robert started expressing interest in baseball, Brady talked to the local little league team and got him a free spot at their baseball camp. Robert didn’t have any equipment, so Brady reached out to his PD for help.

“I wanted to make sure we got enough for Robert so when he showed up at camp he wasn’t feeling like he didn’t have anything,” Brady said. “The officers were great. They already give so much of their time through these community programs … to reach into their pockets and donate money or go pick up equipment from their homes and bring it in – in less than 24 hours Robert was decked out. He had a bag, bat, glove, hat, jersey, cleats – you name it, he had it. And he loved it.”

As Brady and Robert continued to develop their relationship, the boy’s grades began to improve. He was having fewer behavioral problems at school, and when an issue did come up, he was quick to reach out to his big brother.

A particular problem area – reading – was solved through an incentive program Brady came up with in collaboration with a Big Brothers Big Sisters educational support specialist. They kept Robert active in reading during the summer while he wasn’t in school – which, as any parent will tell you, is a gargantuan task.

“He got a nice little payday at the end of the summer and he’s since developed a love of reading,” Brady said. “Big Brothers Big Sisters was able to get him a few of the first Harry Potter books. He’s on the fifth one now – he’s burning through those things on almost a weekly basis. That just goes to show you the teamwork between Big Brothers Big Sisters and the bigs can go a long ways.”

A TRUE GUARDIAN

Brady sees the Bigs in Blue program as working on two levels. On the one hand, he’s making an impact in a child’s life – leading that person on a path to success despite difficult environmental circumstances. On the other hand, he’s also planting the seeds for his “little” and other children in the community to view officers in a different way that what is often portrayed in the media.

“We’ve all seen this – whether it’s an actual increase or whether it’s just an increase in media coverage of it – this animosity towards police and this distrust of law enforcement,” Brady said. “The best way to go in and show these communities how trustworthy we are and the integrity behind what we do is to be a face in the community. With the kids in particular, you’re planting a seed. And we won’t be able to reap the benefits of what we’re planting right now for a long time to come. But as these kids grow, they’re already familiar with the police and they trust the police. They see you as a regular person. And as they get older, you gotta hope that will instill that piece of the puzzle that’s maybe lacking right now with the distrust and the unfamiliarity with law enforcement.”

And although Brady says the true impact of his work is something that he won’t be able to determine for many years to come, there’s already evidence that his role as a mentor is making a difference. When Brady experienced a house fire last year, he lost his entire home and his beloved dog, Remington.

Brady hadn’t realized how close Robert had gotten to the dog until the fire occurred. During their weekly visit, Robert was down and had had some behavioral issues earlier in the day. The pair went out to play basketball to work through what was bothering Robert.

“He was doing fine,” Brady said. “Then I turn around to chase the basketball and I turn back around and he was crying. So we went over and sat down and I asked him what was going on. He said, ‘I miss Remington.’ “That was a big moment for us because he showed how invested he was in my life just like I try to be in his. It was a moment in our relationship where I said, ‘We’re brothers for life now man, you’re my family. You’re one of my brothers just like I would call my blood brother a brother. You hurt like I hurt, you’re gonna have good days and bad days and I’m gonna have good days and bad days and we gotta be here for each other. “

After the fire, Robert’s family went to their church and started raising money for Brady’s recovery.

“You’re looking at a neighborhood that doesn’t necessarily look kindly at police officers,” Brady said. “I just thought it was a tremendous show of support for the officers that are working in their communities.”

THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT

Since he signed up for the program, Brady has witnessed first-hand the difference one cop can make in a community. When he meets up with Robert in the neighborhood he used to patrol, the kids who had previously been so scared or hesitant to speak with him now run up and give him high fives and hugs.

“I investigate violent crimes,” Brady said. “Being an officer, you see the worst of humanity sometimes. You’re dealing with the worst five percent of the population ninety percent of the time, and it can really weigh on you. I didn’t realize how much therapeutic value there would be in being with and seeing just how good people can be. It reminds you that these neighborhoods you’re working – you’re seeing the extreme negative things that are happening – you’re coming in at the worst points of these people’s lives. And having this opportunity to get to know Robert and his family and to come out in the community and go to his church and meet the other ninety-five percent of people – the good people – who you never really deal with much while you’re out on the street, it’s refreshing. And it reminds you of why you’re out there doing what you’re doing.”

For more information on how you or your department can get involved in Bigs in Blue, visit their website.


Judge: Sessions can’t deny grant money for sanctuary cities

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Attorney General Jeff Sessions can't follow through — at least for now — with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to Chicago and other so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to impose new tough immigration policies, a judge ruled Friday in a legal defeat for the Trump administration.

In what is at least a temporary victory for cities that have defied Sessions, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that the Justice Department could not impose the requirements.

He said the city had shown a "likelihood of success" in arguing that Sessions exceeded his authority with the new conditions. Among them are requirements that cities notify immigration agents when someone in the country illegally is about to be released from local jails and to allow agents access to the jails.

The city had asked the judge for a "nationwide" temporary injunction this week, asking the judge not to allow the Justice Department to impose the requirements until the city's lawsuit against the department plays out in court.

City officials have said such a ruling would prevent the Justice Department from withholding what are called Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to the cities based on their refusal to take the steps Sessions ordered.

Chicago has applied for $2.2 million in the federal grant money — $1.5 million for the city and the rest for Cook County and 10 other suburbs. But in a recent court hearing, attorneys representing the city said that more than 30 other jurisdictions across the United States filed court briefs supporting Chicago's lawsuit and have up to $35 million in grants at stake. At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, are refusing to cooperate with the new federal rules.

Though the $1.5 million is just a tiny fraction of the city's budget, the ruling could be a major victory for a city that has been in a public fight with Sessions. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the city would not "be blackmailed" into changing its values as a city welcoming of immigrants, and Sessions responded that the Trump administration would not "simply give away grant money to city governments that proudly violate the rule of law and protect criminal aliens at the expense of public safety."

The ruling is another blow to Sessions, a longtime champion of tougher immigration laws. Earlier this month, Sessions announced that the administration would end a program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed their visas. Trump later announced he was working on an agreement to protect them.

Whether or not the ruling means that Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city is unclear.

During a hearing, Ron Safer, an attorney representing the city, said that if the Justice Department prevailed, it could use the same argument to "seize" even more authority to tie grant money to doing what he wants.


P1 Photo of the Week: Good boy

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Sergeant Greg Bock and K-9 Chase of Goochland County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office pose after a briefing session with local citizens. Chase is a three-year-old Belgian Malinois and is trained in drug and explosive detection, as well as general policing duties. As the only K-9 team in a small rural county, Sergeant Bock and Chase are kept busy.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Policing Matters Podcast: How to ‘harden the target’ against ambush attacks

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Ambush attacks on police officers are undeniably on the rise in the United States. In 2016 alone, at least 20 officers were fatally shot in ambush attacks. In this week's podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss some of the ways in which officers can "harden the target" and prevent such tragedy from befalling them on patrol.


How I hitchhiked into my first big drug bust

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Lt. Dan Marcou
Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

During my 33-year career I was involved in more drug busts than I can count, but my most memorable bust will always be my first.

It was the winter of 1972, and I was a police science student in Madison, Wisconsin. I was missing my fiancée, so I found myself, on the spur of the moment, standing on the ramp to I-90 West holding a homemade sign that read, “To La Crosse, please.” (I know. Dumb move.)

After quite a time waiting I was thrilled when a gold-four-door-beater-mobile pulled over and the passenger yelled, “Jump in!”

When I climbed in I discovered that in place of the back seat there was an old couch cushion. I had to nudge a large suitcase over to make room. As I slammed the door the driver squealed away to the music of The Doors’ “Love Her Madly,” which seemed appropriate as both the passenger and the driver were Jim Morrison look-alikes.

As soon as the car slid into traffic on I-90 the driver and passenger, undeterred by my presence, each lit up a doobie. The passenger turned, leaned over to the back seat and popped open the suitcase next to me.

“The grass is free, but you will have to pay for anything else. We got it all…ludes, uppers, downers, acid, smack. What’s your poison?” he asked.

As a police-officer-wannabe I answered, “No, thanks. I have allergies.”

“Dude! That’s so sad,” was the response.

He turned around and took a long toke, held it in and then blew it out repeating, “That’s so sad.”

Plan A: Be Afraid

Fear!

I was riding in a car that had no working muffler with a driver who did not feel compelled to respect either speed limits or lane markers. If the car was stopped I doubted any police officer on the planet would believe I was just hitchhiking.

The drug-filled suitcase next to me had the capacity to not only kill my dream of becoming a police officer, but also land me in prison.

Plan B: Escape

I decided I had to get out of the car. I asked, “Can you drop me at Portage?”

The passenger replied puzzled, “But your sign said La Crosse.”

I answered as nonchalantly as I could, “The trip was a last-minute decision and the La Crosse Sign was all I had. I figured if someone was going to La Crosse they would be going by Portage as well. My girlfriend in Portage is upset with me so I got to try to make things right.”

Unmoved, the driver answered, “Sounds good. We’ll drop you at Portage.”

The passenger turned, looked at me and slowly turned back. “Portage,” he declared, clearly suspicious. I was thankful when one more hit of THC changed his focus.

Plan C: Call the Police

I counted the miles, while dripping with dread, until the ever-careening-drug-dealer-carrying-car pulled off the interstate and dropped me on the Portage ramp. I climbed out of the car, thanking them for the ride. Shouldering my pack, I leisurely walked to the back of the car, waving as I mentally noted the tag number.

Instantly the passenger shouted, “He’s getting our plate, man!”

I looked for cover, but there was none.

I was relieved as the driver accelerated, causing the back tire to spit gravel loudly. Standing alone on the ramp I watched the car’s single tail light disappear into the line of traffic on the interstate.

Without a second thought I walked to the pay phone at the nearest diner/gas station. I had little money on me so I dialed zero and asked to be connected to the Wisconsin State Patrol Dispatcher. The operator connected me for free.

The dispatcher was a pro. He kept me on the line and took down the description of the vehicle and plates, the description of the drugs I saw, as well as the description of Jim Morrison one and two. I heard the call go out and the trooper acknowledge he was in position to intercept the vehicle. The dispatcher told me to stand by and put me on hold.

I stood holding the phone for what seemed like forever until the dispatcher’s voice said, “Mr. Marcou, are you still there?”

I answered, “Yes, sir.”

“The suspects are in custody and the officers found the suitcase you described.”

“Do you need me for anything else?” I asked.

“No. We’ve got it all. They are cooperating. We may not even need your testimony, but we have your information if we need to follow-up. Thanks for your help, sir. Goodbye.”

I felt a rush that had to be as exhilarating as anything the drugs in the suitcase could produce. In time, as a police officer, I would become just as addicted to it. The reason for the feeling was caused by five little words:

“The suspects are in custody.”

I longed for the day when I would not just be hearing those words, but saying them. I wanted to be a police officer and catch the bad guys before they killed innocent people with their bad deeds, bad driving and bad drugs.

While coming down from the rush I realized I was standing in the middle of nowhere with a buck twenty five in my pocket without a ride. But that didn’t matter because the suspects were in custody!

I shuffled over to the counter of the diner and ordered a Mountain Dew on ice knowing that in order to get home, I would need to initiate Plan D.

But that’s another story.


Chick-fil-A provides Fla. first responders with free breakfast

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By PoliceOne Staff

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Chick-fil-A went above and beyond for a group of hungry dispatchers working long hours after an influx of Irma-related 911 calls.

On Wednesday, the Coral Springs Human Resources manager went to purchase some Chick-fil-A for her dispatch center.

The fast food restaurant put in the order of two boxes of coffee, two dozen fruit cups and two dozen breakfast sandwiches, but when she pulled out her card to pay the Chick-fil-A manager walked away, the department wrote on Facebook.

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Our Human Resources Manager went to Chick-Fil-A this morning to purchase breakfast for our 911 Communications Center....

Posted by Coral Springs Police on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Human Resources manager attempted to pay again, but the Chick-fil-A manager refused to take her money and said “we are here for our first responders.”

Chick-fil-A has long supported law enforcement. In August when Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter were killed in the line of duty, they were honored with a table. The restaurant also honored Deputy Norman Lewis in January with a table.


Photo: Shaq surprises Ga. police after Irma

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By PoliceOne Staff

GWINETT COUNTY, Ga. — After several days of responding to Hurricane Irma emergency calls, some Georgia officers received a large surprise.

Shaquille O’Neal was filming a PSA on distracted driving with the Lawrenceville Police Department Wednesday when he stopped a group of officers to take a photo, the department wrote on Facebook.

The PD wrote that it was “a nice quick break for a photo.”

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Shaquille O'Neal was at Lawrenceville PD today filming a PSA on distracted driving. After a very long few days of responding to Hurricane Irma emergency calls, it was a nice quick break for a photo.

Posted by Lawrenceville Police Department on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

O’Neal is a sworn Clayton County sheriff’s deputy, an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal and a reserve officer with agencies in California, Arizona and Florida. In August, he announced that he was running for sheriff in Henry County, Georgia.

O’Neal told the Washington Post that he has always wanted to run near Orlando, when he has a home, but recently changed his mind because of a TV deal he signed in Atlanta.

“I don’t think I could be sheriff in Florida and work in Atlanta,” he said. “So I bought a house in Atlanta, and I’m going to be in Atlanta full time, so it’s like, let me try here first, and maybe when it’s all said and done, I could go back and be the sheriff in Florida.”


Police: Man opened fire on Ariz. LEOs, stole big rig before fatal shootout

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By PoliceOne Staff

QUARTZSITE, Ariz. — A man who engaged in multiple shootouts with law enforcement was fatally shot after a pursuit.

A trooper pulled over Marcos Ricardo Ruiz-Zazueta Wednesday for a suspended license plate, AZCentral reported. Rodolfo Ballardo was riding in the passenger seat.

The trooper asked Ruiz-Zazueta to step out of his vehicle. Ballardo stepped out as well and fired shots at the trooper. The trooper returned fire and Ballardo fled.

Border Patrol spotted Ballardo and initiated a pursuit. After a short pursuit, Ballardo abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot.

Ballardo and Border Patrol agents exchanged gunfire. Ballardo broke into a parked 18-wheeler and beat the sleeping driver before fleeing in the stolen big rig. The driver was injured, but was not hospitalized.

During the second pursuit, Ballardo exchanged more gunfire with troopers, Border Patrol and La Paz County deputies. The pursuit ended when he crashed the big rig at a gas station.

He engaged in a final shootout with law enforcement and was seriously injured after he was shot by Border Patrol agents. Ballardo died at a hospital from his injuries. No LEOs were injured.

Ruiz-Zazueta is being held in a La Paz County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and several drug violations.


Former Mo. cop found not guilty in 2011 fatal OIS

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. LOUIS — A judge found former officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder Friday in the death of a drug suspect in 2011.

Stockley fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith after a December 2011 pursuit, the Associated Press reported. Stockley testified during his bench trial that Smith was holding a gun before the pursuit began and he felt he was in imminent danger. Stockley opened fire when Smith refused commands to show his hands and reached across the seat “in the area where the gun was,” according to the officer’s attorney.

Stockley was charged in May 2016 with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He pleaded not guilty, stating he acted in self-defense, records obtained by CNN show. Judge Timothy Wilson ruled that “this Court, in conscience, cannot say that the State has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt, or that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense."

Barricades going up at Thomas Eagleton federal courthouse today in anticipation of #jasonstockley 1st-degree murder trial verdict pic.twitter.com/CRqqVO69Fl

— Christian Gooden (@pd_shutterspeed) September 14, 2017

On Monday, several faith leaders and first responders met with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to discuss a proactive approach to fears of unrest, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported. Al Watkins, an attorney for Smith’s fiancee, urged protesters to stay peaceful.

"We have a right to disagree. We have a right to express our opinion. We have a right to protest. Exploit that right, don't compromise it," he said. "Stay peaceful."

Anthony L. Smith fiancé Christina Wilson & Mo. Gov. Greitens meet, call for NON-violent protest ahead of #JasonStockley murder trial verdict pic.twitter.com/NGtUHMj8NF

— Christian Gooden (@pd_shutterspeed) September 15, 2017


Protests after former Mo. cop found not guilty in 2011 fatal OIS

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Joel Currier and Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Former St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty Friday of murdering a man while on duty.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s highly anticipated verdict found the white former St. Louis police officer not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the December 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black drug suspect, after a high-speed pursuit and crash.

Activists, with support from some of the city’s black clergy, had pledged disruptive protests ahead of Wilson’s verdict. Wilson addressed such statements in his order:

“A judge shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism.”

Protesters began gathering immediately. They tried to get on Interstate 64, but were blocked by police. They marched to police headquarters.

Police pepper-sprayed a few protesters in the early afternoon as they tried to block police from traveling on Tucker Boulevard between Clark Avenue and Spruce Street. More than 100 police, many with batons and riot shields, were there. About 5:30 p.m., police said the protests were no longer considered peaceful, and they asked people to leave.

As the protests grew Friday morning, Wells Fargo, Stifel and Nestle Purina PetCare sent their thousands of employees home for the day.

Damone Smith, 52, an electrician headed to work, was among the motorists being rerouted from the protest area.

“I think the verdict is disgusting,” said Smith, who is black. “I’m proud of these people protesting. If you look like me, then you feel like there is no other way to express yourself in the face of this kind of verdict. Time and time again, African-American men are killed by police and nobody is held accountable.”

“I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy,” Stockley said in an interview Friday with the Post-Dispatch.

The judge explained his rationale for the verdict in a 30-page document filed about 8:30 a.m. Friday.

“This court, as the trier of fact, is simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt. Agonizingly, this court has pored over the evidence again and again … This court, in conscience, cannot say that the state has proven every element of murder beyond a reasonable doubt or that the defendant did not act in self-defense.”

Because the state did not prove Stockley did not act in self-defense, Wilson wrote that he could not address lesser charges of homicide or manslaughter.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said at a news conference that she was disappointed with the decision.

“While officer-involved shootings are very hard to return a guilty verdict, I am confident that we presented sufficient evidence at a trial to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley was guilty of murder in the first degree,” Gardner said. “But at the end of the day, it was the judge who served as the finder of fact. … I must respect Judge Wilson’s decision but I stand by the evidence we presented in court.”

Mayor Lyda Krewson released a statement following the verdict saying, “I am appalled at what happened to Anthony Lamar Smith.”

“I am sobered by this outcome. Frustration, anger, hurt, pain, hope and love all intermingled. I encourage St. Louisans to show each other compassion, to recognize that we all have different experiences and backgrounds and that we all come to this with real feelings and experiences,” she wrote.

Krewson’s comment drew a rebuke from Neil Bruntrager, Stockley’s lawyer.

“How do you promote all those things by creating distrust in a system that clearly worked under these circumstances?” Bruntrager said. “It is irresponsible and a disservice to the community to make statements like that. It’s an insult to Judge Wilson to make statements like that. And it falsely encourages the belief that an injustice was done here when in fact justice was done.”

More than a month has passed since Stockley’s bench trial ended, a case that has rekindled racial tensions not seen in St. Louis since the Ferguson uprising and police killing of VonDerrit Myers Jr. in the second half of 2014.

Ahead of the verdict — and the threat of violent protests — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens took steps to activate the National Guard, although it was not in evidence as of mid-afternoon.

Police officers in St. Louis and St. Louis County were on 12-hour shifts, and some St. Louis schools called off classes for Friday. Barricades went up around downtown courthouses and the police station, and some downtown businesses boarded up their windows.

Stockley, 36, whose home is now Houston, was charged last year with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Smith, 24. The chase began when Stockley and his partner Brian Bianchi tried to arrest Smith for a suspected drug deal at a Church’s Chicken and ended when the officers rammed Smith’s car.

The decision in the trial was Wilson’s alone because Stockley waived his right to a jury trial. Bianchi did not testify and was not charged.

Prosecutors said Stockley carried out the premeditated murder of Smith by shooting him five times at close range and then planting a .38-caliber revolver in Smith’s Buick after police pulled Smith’s body from the car. They asserted a “kill shot” was fired at close range after the first four shots were fired in close succession and struck Smith in the shoulder.

Defense attorneys said Stockley acted “reasonably” in self-defense in killing a drug suspect he believed was reaching for a hidden handgun.

Wilson quoted Dr. Gershom Norfleet, who performed the autopsy on Smith, in his ruling saying, in part, “The wound on the shoulder would not have caused Smith’s death and to call it a ‘kill shot’ would be wrong.’”

“An obvious question the state made no attempt to answer was how Anthony Smith could have been shot in the left lower abdomen by a person standing outside the car if Smith was simply sitting in the driver’s seat. Dr. Norfleet testified that the wounds in Smith’s left flank could indicate that Smith was reaching for something to his right at the time the wounds occurred.”

Wilson also noted that there was no evidence to support the state’s contention that there was a gap in time between any of Stockley’s shots.

During the chase, Stockley shouted commands to Bianchi, who drove their police SUV while chasing Smith through the Walnut Park neighborhood at speeds approaching 90 mph. Amid sirens, engine noise and squawking radio traffic, Stockley can be heard on an in-car camera video telling Bianchi “Gonna kill this (expletive), don’t you know it.”

Prosecutors argued the statement proved Stockley’s “cool reflection” of his intent to kill Smith.

But Wilson called the events “dangerous, highly stressful and frenetic … the antithesis of a ‘cool’ anything, much less reflection.”

During the trial, Stockley didn’t deny making the statement but said he couldn’t remember uttering it and therefore couldn’t explain its meaning or context.

After the shooting, in-car camera footage shows Stockley sort through a duffel bag. Prosecutors alleged he was getting a gun to plant on Smith.

Wilson wrote, “Stockley does not have anything in either hand during the brief periods his hands are in view on this video, immediately before he exits. The video does not show defendant trying to stealthily recover a revolver and conceal it on his person.”

With 10 city and county police officers standing near Smith’s crashed car, a bystander’s cellphone video showed police pulling Smith’s body from the car shortly before Stockley climbed inside. Stockley testified he found a loaded revolver shoved between the center console and passenger seat. Lab tests of the gun revealed only Stockley’s DNA. A plastic bag of heroin seized from the car had Smith’s DNA but not Stockley’s.

Wilson devoted nearly two pages of his 30-page ruling to discussion of the DNA found on the gun police said they found inside Smith’s car, saying three scientists that testified at trial said their analysis did not conclude that Stockley’s blood was found on the gun as the prosecution asserted.

Mary Ann Kwiatkowski, a supervisor at the biology section for the police department, “could not say there was blood on the gun, and that the absence of a person’s DNA on a gun does not mean that person did not touch the gun. She reiterated that if DNA is not found on a gun, all she can say is that there is no DNA there, not that someone did or did not touch the gun,” Wilson wrote.

He also said that after 30 years of experience on the bench, “an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”

Smith had been released from prison in May 2011, about seven months before his death. In 2010, he had pleaded guilty to weapon and drug charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to a theft charge from a Ferguson case and was sentenced to three years. He served 16 months in prison.

The investigation into Smith’s shooting lay dormant for years after it was reviewed by state and federal prosecutors without criminal charges until then-Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce charged Stockley, citing new, unspecified evidence. Prosecutors still have never said what the new evidence was; the defense claimed in closing arguments Aug. 9 that there’s been no new evidence in the case since 2012.

In a text message to the Post-Dispatch Friday, Joyce said only: “I’m confident that the citizens understand why this case was prosecuted.”


Photo: Fla. men attempt to steal power pole

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

By Dan Scanlan The Florida Times-Union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Call it a pipe dream gone bad.

The tweeted image shows a long pipe precariously roped to the top of a Kia Sorento pulled over Wednesday morning on Wonderwood Drive and two shirtless men handcuffed and seated nearby on a curb.

The Sheriff’s Office tweet simply states that the pair were “caught stealing a JEA pole just this morning,” indicating that someone saw the Kia’s balancing act and called it in Wednesday.

“Citizens watching out and officers cleaning up = partnership!” the tweet added.

These two were caught stealing a JEA pole just this morning! Citizens watching out and officers cleaning up = partnership! #Irma #JSO pic.twitter.com/q6VKOvPKuU

— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) September 13, 2017

The power pole, complete with reflective numbers at one end, was equipped with a white rag at the rear to warn drivers following it. It was apparently removed from the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. A 911 caller saw “two white males, no shirts and several tattoos” putting a JEA light pole on top of their Kia, according to the arrest report.

The responding officer drove over the Wonderwood Drive bridge and saw the spot where the pole was missing. Then he pulled over the Kia with pole roped on top about 9:30 a.m., the report said. The officer asked the men inside where the pole came from, and the driver said he was moving the pole because it was lying on the ground near the road.

“When asked why he did not just roll it further into the shoulder, he did not have an answer,” the report said.

Under arrest for grand theft are Blake Lee Waller, 42, of Sapelo Road, and Victor Walter Apeler, 46, of Illusion Street, according to the report. A Sheriff’s Office pawn shop database search showed Apeler had completed 73 pawn transactions this year, 72 of them scrap metal-related. The pole was retrieved by JEA officials, who valued it at $2,500.

The State Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that law enforcement in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties are working with it to “enhance efforts” to arrest and prosecute anyone who uses the recent hurricane and its effects to commit crimes of opportunity. Anyone in Duval, Clay, or Nassau county who thinks they were victimized by a storm-related crime can call the State Attorney’s Office Human Rights Division hotline at (904) 255-3099, or use the electronic form at the office’s sao4th.com website to report it.

———

©2017 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)


10 critical lessons from the Garland terror attack

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

On May 3, 2015, a pair of terrorists launched the first ISIS-inspired attack on U.S. soil in the city of Garland, Texas.

Arriving outside the Curtis Culwell Center, the site of a controversial "Draw the Prophet" contest, the terrorists sprung from their vehicle with rifles in hand and began shooting. Moments later, both lay dead. Fortunately, none of the event participants were harmed, and the only law enforcement injury was non-life threatening.

The rapid, professional and successful conclusion to this attack was not the result of chance, but rather of intensive planning, proper training and good police work. At the 2016 California Association of Tactical Officers conference, Lieutenant Dan Colasanto of the Garland (Tex.) Police Department described those preparations in detail and presented valuable lessons about how police departments can prepare for similar incidents.

Some of the many lessons included the following:

1. "Local is Global"

Few people could have envisioned that Garland, Texas, would become the site of the next battle in the war on terror, but the world has changed. Thanks to advances in communication, transportation and information technology, distance is no buffer, and attacks don't have to be focused on major cities for visibility and effect.

The contest in Garland drew the attention of people around the world, inspired threats from across the globe and motivated two attackers to drive across several states to launch their assault. The Garland attack fit neatly into a global narrative that included the prior killing of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in Paris, and the prior killing of a terrorist (who also planned to assault cartoonists that had lampooned Mohammed) by Dutch police. No city is too small or too remote to avoid becoming the next target of terrorism.

2. Consider OPSEC

The same information technologies that alerted the world to a small, local contest also placed the security of the event at risk. When the controversial organizer of the contest arrived on site, pictures with geotags were immediately broadcast on social media. When participants were evacuated to a secondary safe site after the attack, the location was compromised by social media as well. Media with powerful camera lenses and helicopter-mounted cameras broadcast images of the scene that could have provided valuable intelligence to other attackers, and their monitoring of police radio frequencies was another potential risk to operational security.

3. Don't Get Tunnel Vision

It would have been easy for the Garland Police Department to limit its attention and resources to the immediate site of the contest, but the department was wise to step back and take a broader view. A tall hotel across the street was identified as a potential sniper hide, a possible secondary target and also a valuable observation post for the police. The perimeter around the contest site had to be evaluated, secured and monitored. The possibility of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) forced police to consider a theoretical blast radius that encompassed a six-lane highway and a busy shopping complex with several large anchor stores, including a Walmart, which would have to be notified and evacuated as conditions warranted. The scope of Garland's preparations extended far beyond the contest site, leaving them better prepared to manage potential threats.

4. Collect Intelligence

In the days prior to the event, the police became aware of the theft of 40 propane tanks from a nearby store, as well as the theft of several trucks. These ordinary crimes could have been easily overlooked, but the potential for a VBIED attack during the contest gave them new significance. Collecting and synthesizing information to create actionable intelligence is resource intensive process, but a vital part of preparing for a possible terror attack.

5. Planning is Vital

Garland police had to notify area hospitals about the event so they would be ready for a possible mass casualty response. Emergency medical resources were reserved and properly staged. A fleet of buses was prepped for possible evacuation needs, and protocols established for suspicious packages, VBIEDs, person-borne IEDs and highway traffic detours. Parking at the event was carefully planned, and observation and command posts established. Hotel maps were obtained and charges to breach doors readied. Electronic key fobs for electrically-locked doors had to be obtained and distributed to breaching teams. Emergency vehicles were staged where they were needed, and located in ways that would interrupt a sniper's line of fire. The scope of required preplanning activities for an event like this is exhaustive and broad, and requires dedicated effort far in advance.

6. The Value of Training

The Garland police officer who initially engaged and downed the terrorists had recently attended agency firearms training, where he was required to engage multiple targets with multiple shots. He put those skills to good use shortly thereafter, when he shot the pair of rifle-armed and body-armored attackers with his handgun, starting at 15 yards and working in to 7 yards. Tactical team members also put their training into action, firing additional shots that killed the pair when they refused to follow commands and stop reaching for their weapons. This event demonstrated that dynamic and realistic training is vital to preparing officers to perform under the stress of combat.

7. The Danger of Self-Deployed Responders

As in similar incidents, such as the one in San Bernardino, an army of self-deployed individuals responded to the attack after the initial shots were fired. Some of these resources were welcome, but many were unnecessary, and they complicated the situation by jamming radio communications and crowding the scene with extra vehicles and personnel. A "blue-on-blue" shooting was narrowly avoided when responders who self-deployed began searching the woods on the perimeter without coordination. Agencies should focus training efforts on the need for self-deploying officers to use good communications discipline, and to immediately check in with command post functions to avoid creating additional problems.

8. Mutual Aid

An offsite safe location for evacuees was secured and staffed by a neighboring agency, and used to good effect after the attack. Allied explosive ordnance disposal teams also contributed to the mutual aid effort, with their impact amplified by the fact that all of their equipment was interoperable. This commonality was exceptionally helpful when robots broke down or batteries died and needed to be replaced. Even the largest agencies can benefit from the assistance neighboring agencies can provide in a crisis, but this requires coordination beforehand.

9. Communications

Garland police made a decision before the event to put all players on a single frequency for better coordination. During the attack, the frequency quickly became cluttered and sometimes unusable. As such, they advise it is wise for tactical teams to retain their own team-specific frequency for intra-team communications.

10. Resource Availability

Garland's experience indicates that if critical resources aren't already on site at the start of an attack, they probably won't get there in time to be useful. It takes time for offsite resources to respond, and their arrival can easily be delayed by the degrading traffic situation in the proximity of the attack, and the crush of responding emergency vehicles.

Similarly, equipment left behind in a vehicle can quickly become inaccessible if the area where the car is parked becomes a hot zone, or is within the evacuation radius for a bomb. As such, Garland recommends keeping critical individual equipment (weapons, batteries, hydration, protective garments, chemical masks, etc.) close at hand, and ensuring that required resources (fire, EMS, buses, etc.) are staged reasonably close to the site.

Lieutenant Colasanto had many more valuable insights to share with the CATO audience, as did other presenters at the conference. I'd like to extend a personal thanks to "Lieutenant Dan" and the Garland Police Department for their efforts at keeping fellow officers safe and ready to confront the threat.


Cop shares gunfight lessons from ISIS-inspired ‘Draw the Prophet’ terror attack

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

Garland, Texas, Police Officer Greg Stevens had just resumed his post at the west entrance to the Curtis Culwell Center when a car pulled to an abrupt stop in the driveway, parallel to the traffic cones that blocked public access to the parking lot and buildings behind him. From his position at the right rear of the car, which was parked partly in the street and partly in the blocked driveway, he could see the Arizona tags on the vehicle.

Although it had been anticipated that the widely-advertised and controversial “Draw the Prophet Contest” would attract visitors from all over, the out-of-state plates caught Stevens’ eye. The plates didn't grab his attention nearly as much, however, as the passenger who was exiting from the right front of the vehicle with an AK-pattern rifle in his hands.

Homegrown terrorists

The passenger was Elton Simpson, one of two radicalized American citizens who had come to attack the crowd at the Culwell Center, shortly before 1900 on May 3, 2015, in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Wearing soft body armor and load-bearing equipment (LBE), and carrying a pistol and an ominous backpack, Simpson exited the car with a smile and began firing the rifle, which fed from a 100 round drum magazine.

Witnesses said the rifle was fired so quickly it sounded as if Stevens and nearby Garland Independent School District Security Officer Bruce Joiner were taking automatic fire.

The smile on Simpson’s face gave Joiner the impression it was all a joke, but when Stevens saw the rifle barrel poke out of the car, he immediately recognized the threat for what it was, and also recognized that his tactical position was poor.

Stevens was standing in the open, with no hope of reaching any kind of cover, when Simpson tracked the rifle toward him and the unarmed security officer to his left rear. Stevens instantly recognized that the only way he was going to prevail in the coming fight was to aggressively engage Simpson and the driver, who was now exiting the vehicle on the far side with a drum-fed, AK-pattern rifle of his own.

Taking the fight to the enemy

Stevens immediately drew his Glock 21 pistol and engaged Simpson with four to five rounds as Simpson fired at him and Joiner with the rifle.

As Stevens fired, he slowly advanced on the suspects from 15 yards away, pressing the attack on the pair as he fired “rhythmically,” obtaining a “decent sight picture” for each round. Stevens was conscious of the fact he had to make his hits count, and his deliberation was rewarded with the sight of Simpson falling to the ground and dropping his rifle.

Switching to the next threat, Stevens pivoted to the left and fired at the driver, Nadir Soofi, who also wore soft armor and LBE, and had a backpack and a pistol. As Soofi rounded the back of the car with his rifle raised in the firing position, his left side was exposed to Stevens, who drew careful aim and shot Soofi in the elbow, above the elbow, the side of the chest and the shoulder, as he continued to advance and fire at a controlled pace.

The .45 caliber Speer Gold Dot 230 grain hollow point that hit Soofi in the shoulder got plugged with material from the LBE and didn’t open, lodging in his spine at the base of his neck. However, the round that hit above the elbow went through the arm, dodged the soft body armor, and entered the side of his chest, where it destroyed the heart and damaged a lung. After Soofi hit the ground, he did a momentary “push up” then slumped back down.

Stevens didn't know where his rounds had impacted on either suspect, but he knew he “was making progress” because they had both gone down. However, since neither threat had been eliminated for sure, he went back to Simpson and assessed him.

Simpson was still down, but his arms were moving in the area around his upper chest, near where the pistol was located in his LBE. Fearing that Simpson would access the pistol, or possibly trigger an improvised explosive device (IED) in his backpack (intelligence briefings before the event indicated this was a likely threat), Stevens fired several rounds at him again to end the furtive movements. Just as quickly, he traversed back to Soofi a second time and fired the remainder of his 14 rounds at the suspect, who stopped all movement.

Stevens instinctively knew that the familiar Glock 21 had run to slide lock and completed an emergency reload without any conscious thought. Still moving, he approached Simpson with the intention of shooting him again, if necessary.

Help arrives

Around this time, a self-described “in the zone” Stevens slowly became aware of a group of SWAT officers yelling commands to the non-compliant suspects. When the still-moving Simpson failed to show his hands, the SWAT officers shot him with their 5.56mm Colt Commando carbines to prevent him from triggering a suspected IED. Stevens later recounted that the commands and the shots from the rifles sounded “muffled,” as his own gunfire had been.

With both suspects down, Stevens and the SWAT officers took cover behind a Bearcat that had been moved up. The possibility of an IED loomed in everyone’s mind at the scene, so SWAT covered the downed attackers while explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) assets were summoned to clear them, their backpacks and the vehicle. Meanwhile, the wounded Joiner was evacuated and given medical treatment for the only wound sustained by the good guys – a bullet wound to the calf believed to have been caused by a ricochet.

A long day gets longer

There was considerable concern that Soofi and Simpson were just a feint or diversion, and the main thrust of the attack was still forthcoming. As a result, Stevens joined a group of other officers to hold a position on the perimeter on the other side of the Culwell Center to safeguard against a potential attack from the wooded tree line in that area.

Stevens maintained the watch for a few hours before he could be relieved and taken off the line, but was not allowed to leave the scene because EOD clearing procedures were still underway. By the time he was debriefed and sent home, he had been on duty for almost 15 hours, and the shooting had been over for almost nine.

It had been a hell of a day for a guy working what was supposed to be a “simple extra-duty assignment.”

Lessons and observations

There are many lessons to be learned from Officer Stevens’ experience in the Culwell Center shooting. Some of the most important areas to focus on include the following:

1. Situational awareness

Stevens knew something was up before he ever saw the rifle barrel coming out of the car. The abrupt stop that left the car partially in the traffic lane and the out-of-state plates that were consistent with intelligence estimates suggesting the possibility of an attack by non-locals were important cues that alerted him to potential danger. His awareness allowed him to quickly gather information and confirm the threat before those around him could piece things together.

2. Mental preparation

Stevens participated in several pre-operation briefings that discussed potential threats and the plans to counter them. These briefings served as mental rehearsals, which, when combined with strong officer safety habits and a tactical mindset, mentally prepared him for the reality that an attack might occur. This enabled him to make rapid judgments about the threat when it presented itself, allowing him to bypass the denial and confusion that are a common reaction in these scenarios. He didn't ask himself, “What is happening?” or say, “This can't be happening.” Instead, Stevens, in his words, “immediately knew the fight was on” when Simpson exited the car and acted without hesitation, even as others around him were telling themselves it was a prank and not a real attack.

3. Aggressive counterattack

Stevens’ immediate and aggressive counterattack was the key to his safety and victory after the fight commenced. By aggressively closing with the terrorists and attacking the ambush, Stevens changed the dynamic and put them on the defensive. He interrupted their OODA loop and capitalized on the confusion he created in their minds, while minimizing his vulnerabilities. His aggressive counterattack destroyed their ability to flank or target him by creating shock, surprise and injury, and shortened the amount of time they had to inflict casualties.

4. Closing the distance

Had he retreated for cover instead of attacking, Stevens would have allowed the attackers to take advantage of the superior range, power and hit probability afforded by their rifles. A retreat would have given them an uninterrupted shot at his back, and even if he had made it to cover – such as a car or tree – unscathed, the rifles would have been able to penetrate that cover, as well as his soft armor. Increased distance wouldn’t have hindered the rifle-armed attackers, but would have made it harder for Stevens to make accurate hits with his handgun. By closing the distance, he maximized the effectiveness of his short range weapon, while denying the attacker's long range advantage.

5. Skill at arms

Stevens describes himself as a “better than average” shooter but “not a master class shooter,” as many of the officers on his department are. However he rates himself, the facts are clear that he made more hits than misses on a pair of moving threats, as he himself moved from 15 to seven yards while under fire from weapons that could easily defeat his soft armor.

National police gunfight hit ratios hover around the high teens, percentage-wise, but Stevens hit with almost all of his rounds, as a result of his composure and his skillful execution of marksmanship fundamentals. It's instructive that Stevens had a clear view of his front sight while shooting, and took the time to obtain an appropriate, but not perfect, sight picture – what most instructors would call a “flash sight picture” – because, “I knew I needed to make the hits.”

Obtaining a suitable sight picture for the circumstances certainly aided him in getting shots on target. “Master class” or not, he demonstrated a masterful balance between speed and precision that serves as an example for us all.

6. The value of training

Stevens didn't achieve this level of skill by accident. Over the course of 38 years in law enforcement, he paid careful attention to the instruction he received, taking advantage of extra training opportunities available to him.

Shortly before the Culwell Center shooting, he participated in department firearms training that required him to engage multiple targets at various distances – the very skills he would soon use to stop the terrorists. Stevens cautions that officers need to “train with a purpose,” build and reinforce good habits in training, and “avoid the temptation to be lazy and take shortcuts” during training. He believes that “training is a gift, a privilege,” and encourages officers to make the most of it, because, “We don't choose the moment, it chooses us.”

His exceptional performance in his first-ever officer involved shooting is a testament to the power of good training and a personal dedication to wringing the most out of it that you can.

Salute!

Officer Stevens is a modest, family man who takes great pride in his service to the community, but is somewhat uncomfortable with the attention he received after the Culwell Center shooting. He believes most officers “appreciate an occasional pat on the back” because they're unaccustomed to getting much thanks or praise, but don't seek or need much public attention to be satisfied.

However, he deserves a hearty pat on the back from his fellow officers for the positive example he set for them in this incident. We can all benefit from his experience, and we owe him a debt of thanks for his service and the model of professionalism he displayed in the first ISIS terror attack on American soil.

Remember Officer Stevens’ warning: We don’t choose the moment, it chooses us. So train hard and stay alert out there.


For the 1st time, NYPD releases body cam video of fatal OIS

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — NYPD body camera videos released Thursday showed a deadly confrontation in which officers repeatedly tried to coax a Bronx man into dropping a knife, then shot him when he raised his other hand with what appeared to be a gun with a laser sight.

It was the first video release of a fatal police-involved shooting under the body camera program that kicked off in April. Police officials said the decision to show the images was an effort to balance NYPD desires for transparency and the need for Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark to conduct an investigation.

The graphic, 16-minute compilation of the Sept. 6 incident involved a case in which officers shot and killed Miguel Richards, 31, in what started out as a wellness check after his landlord reported not seeing him for a couple of days. As reporters viewed the video, Chief of Department Carlos Gomez offered some descriptive comments and said officers fired 16 rounds.

The video was derived from recordings from the body cameras of four officers, two of whom initially responded, and two others who arrived later with a stun gun. The first two who responded to 3700 Pratt Ave. in the Edenwald section were let in by the landlord to a rear second-story apartment, where the officers found Richards standing by a wall at the foot of a bed.

“Drop the knife, put your hand up, drop that knife, I don’t want to shoot you, drop that knife,” said NYPD Officer Mark Fleming of the 47th Precinct during the initial moments as he and Officer Redmond Murphy confronted the knife-wielding man.

“I don’t want to shoot you,” Fleming said a number of times as part of what a police official said was efforts to de-escalate the situation.

Richards didn’t say a word during the confrontation and ignored requests by Fleming, Murphy and a neighbor to drop the knife from his left hand. Police officials said Richards was asked 44 times to drop the knife and six times to drop a gun he held in his right hand.

“Dude, put your hands up, dude, I am pleading to you, put your hands up ” said an unidentified neighbor.

Two other 47th Precinct officers arrived with a stun gun after Fleming and Murphy requested assistance. All patrol officers in the precinct were outfitted with body cameras in July.

The recording showed Richards in the final moments raising his right hand, which held what turned out to be a toy gun that flashed a red laser dot at the officers. Another image from a body camera showed Murphy, Fleming and Jesus Ramos flinch, possibly because of the laser. Officer Ramos then fired the stun gun and, two seconds later, Murphy and Fleming fired their handguns.

Richards fell by the foot of the bed. The city medical examiner said he had one fatal gunshot wound.

Gomez said the department force investigation division was probing the incident with prosecutor Clark.

A law enforcement source said all of the cops, who remain on active duty, reported seeing the red laser dot.

———

©2017 Newsday


Search underway for driver who struck Mo. trooper with car, fled traffic stop

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Glenn E. Rice The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Authorities continued their search for a motorist who struck a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Thursday morning during a traffic stop on Raytown Road, just south of Interstate 470.

The trooper was not seriously injured during the incident, reported at 11:49 a.m. The motorist pulled over momentarily but sped away when the trooper walked up to the car, said Sgt. Collin Stosberg, a spokesman for the state highway patrol.

The trooper was struck as the driver fled south on Raytown Road near 105th Street. The highway patrol, along with Kansas City police, are searching the area.

Anyone who has seen the car or has information should call the highway patrol at 816-622-0800.

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)


Thousands pay tribute to fallen Minn. officer

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kevin Duchschere Star Tribune

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Members of the public lined roads in Plymouth and Wayzata on Thursday to pay their respects and bid farewell to Wayzata Police Officer William Mathews, killed last week by a motorist who struck him while he was clearing debris from a highway.

A lengthy procession was to begin after the close of Mathews’ funeral at Wayzata Free Church in Plymouth, where he was eulogized as a conscientious officer with a friendly smile and big heart.

The funeral, which ran a little longer than an hour, was attended by hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Minnesota and around the nation.

It was to be followed with a 3-mile procession taking a horse-drawn caisson with Mathews’ flag-draped casket from the church to his final resting place in Summit Park Cemetery, Wayzata.

Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the United States and Canada were expected to lead the procession along a route going down Hwy. 101 to Lake Street in downtown Wayzata, festooned with blue balloons in tribute to Mathews, and then to Wayzata Boulevard. Hwy. 12 ramps were to be closed at Hwy. 101 for the procession.

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Bringing home Wayzata Officer Bill Mathews to Wayzata. At the David Lee Funeral Home

Posted by Jim Wilson on Saturday, 9 September 2017

Wayzata Police Officer Dan Lee said at the funeral that Mathews was a dedicated police partner who became “a more dedicated friend.”

“With Bill, there was never goodbye ... After every shift, he’s simply say, ‘Enjoy,’ ” Lee said.

Mathews received full honors, as he had requested in the event he lost his life in the line of duty.

Pastor Kevin Meyer greeted the mourners while standing before the flag-draped casket. Nearby were sprays of flowers and framed pictures of Mathews with his family and on the job.

“I have seldom seen such an outpouring of love ... from blue ribbons on bridges to blue lights on porches,” Meyer said.

Friends and family members read scripture passages and preached on them, and a sister-in-law read a message from Mathews’ widow, Shawn, and their 7-year-old son, Wyatt, thanking those gathered for their love and support.

The children of St. Bart's School await the funeral procession of Wayzata police officer Bill Mathews, pic.twitter.com/hJAhzTEwyu

— Boyd Huppert (@BoydHuppert) September 14, 2017

“Bill lived his life to serve as an officer ... He showed up early and he stayed late. He deeply cared about his Wayzata police family,” she said.

“Bill had a big heart, a strong work ethic and we all knew he was a nice guy,” said Lee, his badge wrapped with a black ribbon.

Lee said that Mathews covered him on calls even when he didn’t need to, and didn’t hesitate to take a call when his partner was eating.

“If you should happen to fall, then we’ll fall together,” was Mathews’ philosophy, he said.

“On Sept. 8, 2017, a piece of myself and everyone who knew Bill died on that day,” said Lee, his voice breaking.

Row upon row of officers from numerous Minnesota departments -- dressed in uniforms of blue, black, khaki, brown and maroon -- filled the church.

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Today MPD gathered with thousands of officers and community members to mourn the loss of Wayzata Police Department Officer William "Bill" Mathews who died in the line of duty last week. Please take a moment to remember his sacrifice. — Listen: final call for Officer Mathews —

Posted by Minneapolis Police Department on Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gov. Mark Dayton, who was at the funeral, ordered that flags be flown at half-staff statewide on Thursday in Mathews’ honor. Officials at the funeral included Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.

Giant video screens were set up in the church parking lot to accommodate the hundreds who showed up for the services but unable to fit inside. Spouses of law enforcement officers handed out blue and white roses.

It was an Honor to represent the SFPD today at the funeral for Ofc. William "Bill" Mathews of the @WayzataPoliceMN. /794 pic.twitter.com/NUBQWjbRWW

— Sioux Falls Police (@siouxfallspd) September 14, 2017

A visitation at the church was held Wednesday at the church, where dozens lined up to pay their respects.

Beth Freeman, 54, of Mound, has been charged in connection with Mathews’ death. She made her first court appearance Tuesday, and prosecutors said she had been talking on her cellphone and under the influence of drugs when she struck Mathews.

———

©2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


Improvised bomb injures 22 on London subway train

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Jill Lawless Associated Press

LONDON — A homemade bomb exploded on a packed London subway train during rush hour on Friday, leaving 22 people injured, police and health officials said. None of the injured is thought to be seriously hurt.

Police say the explosion was a terrorist attack, the fifth in Britain this year. Britain's domestic spy agency is helping out in the investigation.

Police were alerted to an incident at 8:20 a.m. local time (0720GMT) after commuters reported a noise and a flash aboard the District Line train at Parsons Green station in the southwest of the city. Chaos then ensued as hundreds of people rushed to get away from danger.

"I ended up squashed on the staircase, people were falling over, people fainting, crying, there were little kids clinging on to the back of me," Ryan Barnett, 25, said of the "absolute chaos" as people tried to leave the station.

Work colleague was on district line train at Parsons Green when bag exploded #london pic.twitter.com/1yXOsFVAJ1

— Andy Webb (@andyjohnw) September 15, 2017

Mark Rowley, head of counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Police, said "we now assess this was a detonation of an improvised explosive device."

He said 18 people had been injured, most with "flash burns." Health officials later said four others took themselves to hospital.

I'm safe - just had to run for my life at #ParsonsGreen station - huge stamped, lots injured. Not sure why - fire/explosion mentioned. pic.twitter.com/zRvRPWOuzA

— Emma (@EmmaStevie1) September 15, 2017

Rowley said the domestic intelligence service, MI5, was assisting with the investigation, led by the police counter-terrorism unit.

He gave no information about potential suspects, saying "It's very much a live investigation." Forensic officers combed the scene for clues and detectives examined surveillance camera footage in an attempt to get a glimpse at who planted the bomb.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that it was another attack "by a loser terrorist," adding that "these are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard."

Blast caused by detonation of improvised explosive device - @metpoliceuk on Parsons Green tube explosion https://t.co/9YcBEPhI3y pic.twitter.com/0SZrqYeGJ9

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) September 15, 2017

The London police force declined to comment on Trump's suggestion that it knew about the attacker.

Photos taken inside the train show a white plastic bucket inside a foil-lined shopping bag. Flames and what appear to be wires emerge from the top.

London ambulance service said they had sent multiple crews to the Parsons Green station and 18 people were hospitalized, though none had life-threatening injuries.

#parsonsgreen pic.twitter.com/0OUV819EtE

— Sylvain Pennec (@sylvainpennec) September 15, 2017

"There was out of the corner of my eye a massive flash of flames that went up the side of the train," eyewitness Chris Wildish told Sky News, then "an acrid chemical smell."

He said many of those on board were schoolchildren, who were knocked around as the crowd surged away from the fireball.

Another commuter, Richard Aylmer-Hall, said he saw several people injured, apparently trampled as they fled what he described as a packed train.

London police ask anyone with photos/video from #ParsonsGreen Tube incident to upload here to help investigation: https://t.co/zOuMEp03NS pic.twitter.com/wVtkdi5Gm3

— CNN (@CNN) September 15, 2017

At capacity, the train could hold more than 800 people.

"I saw crying women, there was lots of shouting and screaming, there was a bit of a crush on the stairs going down to the streets," Aylmer-Hall, said.

Aerial footage later showed commuters from other subway trains being evacuated along the elevated track.

Transport for London said subway services were suspended along the line.

Parsons Green station fire a 'terrorist incident', says #London's Metropolitan Police https://t.co/otBJ91u6lL pic.twitter.com/HOSySXjhhJ

— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 15, 2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city "utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life."

London has been targeted by attackers several times this year, with deadly vehicle attacks near Parliament, on London Bridge and near a mosque in Finsbury Park in north London. Beyond the capital, a May 22 suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena killed 22 people.

The London Underground itself has been targeted several times in the past, notably in July 2005, when suicide bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus, killing 52 people and themselves. Four more bombers tried a similar attack two weeks later, but their devices failed to fully explode.

Last year Damon Smith, a student with an interest in weapons and Islamic extremism, left a knapsack filled with explosives and ball bearings on a London subway train. It failed to explode.

In its recent Inspire magazine, al-Qaida urged supporters to target trains.

Separately, French counterterrorism authorities were investigating an attempted knife attack on a soldier patrolling a large Paris subway interchange.

The Paris prosecutor's office says counterterrorism investigators have opened a probe into Friday morning's incident at the Chatelet station in central Paris, based on preliminary examination of the attacker's background.

The knife-wielding assailant tried to attack a soldier with a special military force assigned to protect prominent sites following deadly Islamic extremist attacks. He was quickly arrested and no one was hurt.


Texas nursing home that kept residents in floodwaters raided

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Police have raided a Southeast Texas nursing home where police found elderly residents kept in floodwaters during Tropical Storm Harvey.

KFDM-TV of Beaumont-Port Arthur reports Port Arthur police executed a search warrant Thursday at the Lake Arthur Place, where officers say 74 elderly residents were stranded in floodwaters on Aug. 30.

A police affidavit obtained by the station said administrative director Jeff Rosetta resisted efforts to evacuate the center and had to be handcuffed until the evacuation was completed.

The affidavit says Rosetta's resistance to police efforts to evacuate the center and his failure to act before the flooding led to the injury of residents, so he and the center are being investigated for injury to the elderly.

Calls to Lake Arthur Place and Rosetta's home went unanswered.


Lawsuit targets searches of electronic devices at US border

Posted on September 15, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Deb Riechmann Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the U.S. government's growing practice of searching laptops and cellphones at the border is unconstitutional because electronic devices now carry troves of private personal and business information. The government has vociferously defended its searches as critical to protecting the homeland.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires law enforcement to secure warrants based on probable cause. Courts, however, have made an exception for searches at U.S. ports of entry and airports. They've ruled the government can do warrantless border searches to enforce immigration and customs laws and protect national security.

In today's digital world, these searches should not be conducted without a warrant, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union argue. Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security and two of its units — Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — are named in the suit.

"People now store their whole lives, including extremely sensitive personal and business matters, on their phones, tablets and laptops and it's reasonable for them to carry these with them when they travel," said foundation attorney Sophia Cope. "It's high time that the courts require the government to stop treating the border as a place where they can end-run the Constitution."

The foundation and ACLU filed their suit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on behalf of 10 American citizens and a lawful permanent resident from seven states. The plaintiffs include an artist, two journalists, a limousine driver, two students, a filmmaker, a college professor, a business owner, a computer programmer and an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

All had their electronic devices searched by border agents when they returned from trips abroad, the suit said. None had ever been accused of any wrongdoing. Border officials confiscated several plaintiffs' devices and kept them for weeks or months. One plaintiff's security device, confiscated in January, is still in government custody.

Matthew Wright, a 38-year-old computer programmer in Colorado, said his phone, laptop and camera were confiscated at the Denver airport on April 21, 2016, as he returned from Southeast Asia where he participated in four Frisbee tournaments. Border agents asked him to unlock his laptop.

"They said 'If you refuse to unlock it, we're going to confiscate it,'" he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "I said 'Well, I don't want that to happen, but I'm not going to unlock it.' And so they confiscated the laptop and then they confiscated my other electronics — my smartphone and my camera."

When he left the airport, Wright went straight to an Apple store and spent $2,420 for a new laptop and phone, which he needed for work. Fifty-six days after being confiscated, they were mailed back to him.

DHS has not yet commented on the suit. But the government has previously emphasized that such searches are exceedingly rare. From last October to the end of March, they affected fewer than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the 189.6 million international travelers who arrived in the United States.

Searches, however, are becoming more frequent.

In the 2015 fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection searched the electronic devices of 8,503 international travelers. The number rose to 19,033 the next year. In the first half of the current fiscal year, there were 14,993 searches.

"The government cannot use the border as a dragnet to search through our private data," ACLU attorney Esha Bhandari said.

DHS officials have asserted that U.S. citizens and everyone else are subject to examination and search by customs officials, unless exempted by diplomatic status. The department says no court has concluded that border searches of electronic devices require a warrant. Searches, some random, have uncovered evidence of human trafficking, terrorism, child pornography, visa fraud, export controls breaches and intellectual property rights violations, according to the department.

One plaintiff, Akram Shibly, was ordered to surrender his phone on Jan. 1 as he re-entered the United States after a social outing in Toronto. Shibly, an independent filmmaker from Buffalo, New York, refused to give it up, partly because customs agents had just searched it three days earlier when he returned from a work trip in Toronto.

According to the suit, one officer squeezed his hand around Shilby's throat. Another retrained Shibly's legs. And a third officer pulled the phone from Shibly's pocket. The phone, still unlocked because Shilby had never restored the lock screen he had disengaged during the first search, was taken to a separate room and searched.

Another plaintiff, Diane Maye, 38, of Orange City, Florida, was stopped on June 25 when she returned at the Miami airport from her vacation in Norway. A border agent led her to a back room where she was instructed to unlock her phone and computer. She complied, but still doesn't know why she was stopped.

One officer kept the phone for 90 minutes to two hours. Another questioned her for a couple of hours about her travels, academic life and career.

From June 2008 to November 2009, Maye worked in Iraq managing a defense contract that provided bilingual and cultural advisers to Defense and State department employees involved in reconstruction efforts.

They asked her if she knew any Iraqis.

"I know literally thousands of Iraqis," Maye told the AP in a phone interview.

Maye, who also wrote a doctoral dissertation on Iraqi politics, is now an assistant professor of homeland security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She has worked in the defense industry and was a former Air Force captain.

"I use my phone for my work. I use my phone for my emails. I have banking information, text messages, photographs," said Maye, who was released with her computer and cellphone in hand. "While I don't have anything that I care that people know about, I just didn't want my privacy in the hands of a security officer. It kinda started to disgust me."


Book Excerpt: So You Want To Be A Cop

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Chapter 2: YOU’RE HIRED! NOW WHAT?

Every law enforcement agency is different, but where I started the first week of my life as a police officer began with the initial rite of passage: Limbo Week.

Actually, my first four months at the police department could have been called “Invisible Week,” because I didn’t exist as far as the officer corps was concerned. Frankly, becoming invisible, or flying under the radar, as many police officers refer to it, is an important skill to develop in your law enforcement career, so use this time wisely. Learn from it. In fact, learn from everything. Be a big blue sponge.

My greeting this week by our training sergeant went something like this: “Eeeeevvvoooahheehhhlaaa? How do you say that? Oh, Evola (Eee­vo-lah). Okay, Evola, this is Limbo Week, and we’ll be getting your paper work in order, issuing you gear, getting you qualified on your hand­gun, and getting you sworn in. In the meantime, keep your mouth shut, your eyes and ears open, and report to Ms. Smith in records. She’ll tell you what to do. Oh, one more thing. Keep your mouth shut!”

During Limbo Week, when I wasn’t filing records or filling out paper­work in the administrative offices of the police department, I observed police officers as they came and went from the station. Apparently I was invisible, because during this time, I was not talked to, but rather, I was talked around.

You have to be with the department for a while before you become part of the family, and even when you earn a place at the table, you’ll come to realize that membership isn’t as great as you hoped it would be in the brotherhood of law enforcement officers. You know, “The Thin Blue Line.”

While it’s true to the general perception that a police department is a family, more accurately it’s a dysfunctional family. The company line is all about professionalism and unity, but inside the hallowed halls of the station, officers are tearing each other up overtly and covertly. Big egos, bigger ambitions and politics create a figuratively cut-throat environ­ment.

Occasionally, we’ll patch up the verbal injury we’ve visited on each other, but generally speaking, it’s not a build-you-up kind of place. If you want someone who loves you unconditionally and attends lovingly to your slightest boo-boos, go home to your mother. And remember what the famous blues musician from Mississippi, B.B. King, said, “Only your mamma loves you, and she could be jivin’ too!”

Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t thrilled to be on the inside of the mysterious and exciting blue curtain. Outwardly, I appeared to be invisible and quiet, but inside, I was jumping around, yelling and high-fiving myself. I was a police officer, the city employee badge with my officer title hanging from the lanyard around my neck proved that, right? Boy, was I naïve! I hadn’t even been sworn in yet.

As Limbo Week progressed, I was ferried to the police supply and uniform store where I was fitted for my standard issue of three uniforms, the training sergeant selected my duty gear, and I was even allowed to choose which type of clipboard I would like to hold the citations and fine sheets I would issue someday. I was in police heaven.

Wait. Three uniforms? We worked a four-day, 10-hour-per-day schedule. No, the math doesn’t work, and thus, the first rule of becoming a law enforcement officer: expect the unexpected. You have to adapt. Constantly. Forever. Not bitch or whine – adapt.

Change is one of the few constants in law enforcement, so be prepared for it. Expect it. Embrace it. Roll with it. My first sergeant summed it up well: “Alley, if there’s something you don’t like here, wait two weeks and it will change.” He was right.

Near the end of the week, I, along with another rookie, was issued my duty weapon, which at my agency was the Sig Sauer Sig Pro 2340. Our training sergeant, who was a firearms instructor, took us to the county sheriff department’s range to qualify on our weapons for the first time. I shot a respectable score in the eightieth percentile on the qualification course with my handgun, and I scored in the ninetieth percentile with the department-issued shotgun. Not bad for a rookie who had never fired a handgun in her life. At the time, an officer needed a minimum score of 72 percent to qualify with a hand gun. Since that time, the score required has increased to78 percent.

Now, fully armed with an arsenal and tedious paperwork-processing expertise, Limbo Week Friday came, and it was time to be sworn in. There were only two of us selected to be sworn in from more than three hundred applicants who applied for the position of police officer with the department. We were both women. You have to think in terms of that federal guideline here that requires 10 percent of the department’s sworn personnel to be female. I waited nervously in the police department train­ing room for the chief of police, his secretary, and a few people they rounded up from the administrative pool to make the ceremony look important. I was excited to take the next step in finally becoming a repre­sentative of the law, or in my television-affected mind, “The Law.”

Taking the Oath of Office was a defining moment. In my mind, that made it official. Of course, I had a lot to learn, as I was still within my probationary year.

The chief asked us to raise our right hand and to repeat after him, “I, (state your name), do solemnly swear that as a member of the police department, I will support the Constitution of the State of (fill in the blank) and the Constitution of the United States of America, and that I willperformwithfidelityandfaithfullyexecutethedutiesofthisofficeto the best of my ability, so help me God.” And with that solemn promise before God, the chief of police, a secretary, and a handful of other admin­istrative strangers, on June 21, 2002, I officially became a police officer.


About the author Alley Evola is a retired, nine-year veteran of a mid-size police department in Tennessee. She worked her way up the ranks as a patrol officer, crime scene technician, field training officer, flex unit (street level gang/narcotics unit) officer and detective assigned to the major crimes unit. She graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and maintains her P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission) Certification in the State of Tennessee. Aside from her law enforcement career, she is also the author of “A Simple Warrant Service,” which appears with a collection of short stories in “American Blue.”

From “So You Want to Be a Cop: What Everyone Should Know Before Entering a Law Enforcement Career” by Alley Evola. Copyright © 2017 Rowman & Littlefield. Used by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or printed without permission in writing from the publisher.


How an off-duty deputy’s poolside joke turned into an undercover drug sting

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Kristina Davis The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — Sarcasm can be a tricky thing. Just ask Andrew James Harris, who, according to court records, discovered the joke was on him when he ended up the subject of an undercover drug sting.

It all started at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Mission Valley on March 26, where Harris got into a friendly conversation with a woman and two men relaxing in the hot tub. He asked the reason for their stay, and one of them jokingly responded: Their crack lab had blown up.

But the wisecrack was lost on Harris. He excitedly disclosed he was in the drug business, too, according to investigators.

Little did he know, his three new acquaintances were off-duty sheriff’s deputies from Marin County who were in San Diego for a two-week specialized narcotics training. And they were about to get some hands-on experience.

The meeting and the investigation that followed are outlined in a search warrant affidavit written by an El Cajon police officer working on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotics Task Force. It was unsealed in San Diego federal court last week.

One of the detectives in the hot tub said in an interview Wednesday that it was especially surprising that Harris fell for the crack lab joke. Crack labs can’t blow up.

“We let him lead the conversation,” she said, “take it where he wanted to go.” She said they had a great story for their class the next day. The detective works drug cases as part of Marin County’s Major Crimes Task Force and asked not to be named due to her undercover work.

The next night, the three deputies were in the hot tub again, this time with six other law enforcement officers also in town for the training, when Harris came wandering up, according to the detective.

“Hey guys, I think I have something you’ll be interested in,” Harris told them, she said. He came back with an eight-ball of cocaine in a hat, she said. She told him she was in her bikini and had nowhere to put it, but they’d talk later, she said.

The deputies later reached out to the narcotics task force officer teaching their class, and the decision was made to run with the scenario.

The next day, the deputies met with Harris at a restaurant and introduced him to the undercover task force officer as their uncle, a hippie from Ocean Beach interested in buying LSD. The officer bought 4 grams of cocaine and 50 tabs of LSD for $600, according to the affidavit.

The deputies eventually went back home to Marin County, and the undercover officer continued the sting. On April 7, the officer and Harris met for another deal at a Point Loma Starbucks parking lot, where about 3.5 grams of cocaine and 20 tabs of LSD were purchased for $360, the affidavit states.

On April 27, the officer and another undercover special agent met Harris at a Point Loma Home Depot parking lot. When he attempted to sell them 30 grams of cocaine and 100 tabs of LSD for $2,000, he was arrested, according to the court document. Besides the drugs for sale, Harris was also in possession of $4,100 in cash, suspected drug proceeds, investigators said.

That day, a San Diego Superior Court judge had signed a search warrant for Harris’ apartment on Barnard Street and his Nissan. (Harris had told the undercover deputies that he was at the hotel waiting to move in with his girlfriend to a new place.)

At the Dylan Point Loma Apartments, investigators found 180 grams of cocaine, 30 grams of Ecstasy, 90 tabs of LSD, 3 grams of psychedelic mushrooms and several bottles and vials of what are believed to be anabolic steroids, according to the affidavit.

A digital scale, $2,600 cash, hundreds of tiny plastic baggies printed with designs and a Savage Model 10, 6.5 mm bolt-action rifle with ammunition were also discovered, the records state.

Harris was arrested at first on state charges, but the case was dropped so one could be filed in federal court. A federal grand jury indicted him June 8, and he was arrested on June 15.

He has pleaded not guilty to drug-trafficking charges. He was released on $30,000 bond.

The Marin County detective, who has five years on the force, said the case made for a unique experience.

“This was totally bizarre,” she said. “This is probably a career case for me. I don’t think it will ever happen again.

“I work undercover on a regular basis and have never encountered anything like this.”

———

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune


Suspect shoots at Colo. deputies interviewing a witness

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — A man is in police custody after allegedly firing several shots at officers and causing over $10,000 in damages.

Police responded Wednesday to a 911 call of shots fired, KOAA reported. While the two responding deputies were interviewing the person who called 911, they heard several gunshots and multiple rounds hit the ground near them.

The officers took cover and called SWAT in for backup. Police said the suspect, 43-year-old Benjamin Chavez, fired at least 20 more rounds from a home during the standoff.

Chavez surrendered nearly two hours after officers initially responded and was arrested without further incident.

No officers were injured in the standoff. A search found nine guns, two assault rifles and marijuana plants in a greenhouse on the property.

Chavez is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree-murder on a peace officer, attempted first-degree murder, criminal attempt, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Deputies later executed a search warrant on the property and found nine guns, including two assault rifles, and various types of ammunition in locations throughout the home and yard. (Photo/PCSO)


Maine officer stuck with bloody heroin needle

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WISCASSET, Maine — An officer was stuck with a used heroin needle while conducting a search of a woman’s purse.

Police Chief Jeffrey Lange pulled over Jenen Sherman Sunday for speeding when he saw drug paraphernalia inside her car, NECN reported.

He called an officer for backup, who conducted a search of Sherman’s purse. Lange said they repeatedly asked her if she had anything that would poke or hurt them. She said “absolutely not.”

The officer reached inside the Sherman’s purse and was stuck with a needle. Later, she admitted the needle had heroin in it and old blood, Lange said.

The officer was taken to a hospital for testing. His HIV test has come back negative and officials are still waiting on the results of a hepatitis test.

Lange told the news station that this could have all been avoided if Sherman had just told them about the needles.

"Man up, and tell the officer that has to deal with you so they’re not at risk," he said.

Sherman is charged with assault on a police officer and recklessly lying about the four needles inside her purse. She is also charged with use of drug paraphernalia and was issued a speeding ticket.


RCMP officer killed while helping motorists

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MEMRAMCOOK, New Brunswick — A Mountie who stopped to help motorists with a flat tire was struck and killed Tuesday.

Const. Francis Deschenes, 35, stopped to help the motorists change their tire when a utility van collided with his patrol car and the motorist’s SUV, Global News reported.

Deschenes died at the scene. The two motorists in the SUV were treated at a hospital and released. The van driver was also treated and released to police custody.

Deschenes, a 12-year veteran of the force, worked with the RCMP Musical Ride. He returned shortly after to work in traffic service and was a Special Tactical Operations/Tactical Troop member and traffic reconstructionist.

In June 2008, Deschenes saved a woman by pushing her vehicle off the railroad tracks with his patrol cruiser seconds before a train came. In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

Here is Deschenes' official photo. pic.twitter.com/lGO7OVWjwR

— Marieke Walsh (@MariekeWalsh) September 13, 2017

Colleague and friend Blake DeCoste told Global News that Deschenes was “truly one of the good guys.”

“I can say that he was an amazing police officer and person. He was dedicated to his job, loyal to the RCMP, and would do anything for anyone,” DeCoste said.

Asst. Commissioner Brian Brennan said in the weeks ahead, “our focus will be on the continued support for Const. Deschenes’ family, friends and colleagues.”

“This is going to be a tough road ahead and we have to take care of each other and ensure people are receiving the care and support they require,” he said.

An investigation is ongoing.


Police: Man nabbed trying to rob just-burglarized restaurant

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

COVINA, Calif. — Police say a man with a knife tried to rob a Southern California pizza restaurant just a few hours after burglars had already stolen from it.

Covina police Lt. Trevor Gaumer tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that burglars broke into Pizza Chalet on Tuesday and made off with $1,500.

As the owner was cleaning up after the burglary less than three hours later, the knife-wielding man walked in and demanded money.

The owner flagged down an officer providing extra patrol help.

Gaumer says the suspect, 19-year-old Ernest Ramirez, didn't listen to the officer's order to give himself up, and fought with arriving officers briefly until he was subdued.

Gaumer says Ramirez was treated for minor injuries.


Man who killed San Antonio officer, critically wounded another had anti-police tattoo

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Emilie Eaton San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — The man who shot two San Antonio police officers, killing one and critically wounding the other, had a tombstone tattooed on his left wrist that read “RIP COPS,” according to an autopsy released Wednesday by the Bexar County medical examiner’s office.

The autopsy also found that Andrew C. Bice, 34, had several opiates in his body, including codeine, morphine, and 6-monoacetylmorphine, one of three active ingredients of heroin.

The “RIP COPS” tattoo, which the San Antonio Express-News also obtained a photo of, sheds new light on Bice’s mind-set on June 29.

Police said then that Bice fired at officers Miguel Moreno and Julio Cavazos before running from the scene and killing himself. The two officers, who were on patrol to focus on car burglary prevention, had approached Bice and another man, walking near Tobin Lofts, to check their identification.

The medical examiner’s office also released Moreno’s autopsy Wednesday. It found that Moreno died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. He also had a gunshot wound on his left hand. Moreno, 32, an officer for nine years, died June 30. Cavazos, 36, was wounded in the chin and recovered.

Bice, who had an extensive criminal record in Louisiana and Texas, had several tattoos on his body, including a cross, a Chevrolet symbol, snakes, flowers and two that read “Only God can judge me” and “F... wit me,” with the obscenity spelled out.

He also had one tattoo with a clock and prison bars. In some gangs or criminal organizations, a clock tattoo represents “doing time,” according to a report about U.S. gangs by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Autopsy: Man who killed San Antonio police officer had drugs in his system, "RIP COPS" tattoo: https://t.co/RAYmDk6G9X via @emilieeaton pic.twitter.com/5JMW7Wd1XR

— John Tedesco (@John_Tedesco) September 14, 2017

Bice also had tattoos that read “MOB,” possibly an acronym for “Money over bitches,” and “MPR,” which can stand for “Money, Power, Respect” or “Marijuana, Pot, Reefer.” The report also notes that tattoos used by criminal organizations can have several different interpretations.

The autopsy, which the San Antonio Express-News obtained through an open records request, concluded that Bice died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He also had a gunshot wound in the left upper buttocks, which likely was a result of return fire from Moreno or Cavazos, the report concluded.

Moreno’s organs were donated, including his heart, both lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys to various recipients, according to the report.

“We as citizens have a huge debt for his sacrifice,” Pastor Manuel Ortiz said during Moreno’s funeral service in July. “He gave the gift of life to so many. Miguel Moreno III will continue to live on.”

Copyright 2017 San Antonio Express-News


UC Berkeley under tight security for conservative speaker

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jocelyn Gecker Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of California, Berkeley has ramped up security as it braces to host conservative commentator Ben Shapiro Thursday night, the latest polarizing figure to raise concerns of violence on the famously liberal campus.

Authorities plan to seal off the campus' central hub, Sproul Plaza, with a "closed perimeter" around several buildings including where Shapiro is scheduled to speak to a sold-out, 1,000-person audience. There will be "an increased and highly visible police presence," the university said in a statement.

For the first time in two decades, officers have been authorized to use pepper spray to control violence after the city council modified a 1997 ban at an emergency meeting this week.

Berkeley city police chief Andrew Greenwood said officers would make "very strong, rapid arrests" of protesters wielding weapons and wearing masks.

The city and campus at UC Berkeley have become a flashpoint for the country's political divisions, drawing extremist groups from the left- and right-wing. Four political demonstrations have turned violent in Berkeley since February, prompting officers to come up with new strategies to control rowdy and sometimes dangerous crowds.

"We have seen extremists on the left and right in our city," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, a Democrat who backed the police request to use pepper spray. "We need to make sure violence is not allowed."

Shapiro was invited to speak by campus Republicans, who say the liberal university stifles the voice of conservative speakers.

The Berkeley College Republicans invited right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to speak last February, but the event was abruptly canceled when masked left-wing anarchists rioted outside the event to shut it down.

Police and UC Berkeley officials were criticized at the time for giving demonstrators wide latitude and standing aside as the masked anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails at officers and caused $100,000 worth of damage.

Tighter, new security measures are expected to disrupt campus life Thursday and later this month, when Yiannopoulos says he plans to hold a "Free Speech Week" on campus with a lineup of controversial figures including Ann Coulter and Stephen Bannon, Trump's ex-chief strategist and head of Breitbart News.

Thursday's event is being watched as a warm-up act for later this month, although campus officials say the event later this month is not yet confirmed.

Sociology professor Michael Burawoy, who is chairman of the Berkeley Faculty Association, says there is growing frustration over the disruptions.

"There are faculty who don't think the campus should be the site of this, what they call, political circus," Burawoy said, adding that the headline-grabbing visits by controversial speakers put the university in a no-win situation.

"We bring them on campus and allow them to speak and we encourage both right- and left-wing groups" to hold potentially violent protests, he said. "If we exclude them, they say Berkeley doesn't believe in free speech. It's a lose-lose situation."


‘It’s on’: Knoxville police challenge Gainesville police to a hunk-off for Irma recovery

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chuck Campbell Knoxville News-Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Yo, Gainesville: We have hunky cops too.

The Gainesville Police Department inadvertently caused a stir with admirers earlier this week as some of the photographs the department posted on Facebook of officers dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma caught more than a little attention.

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Officers Nordman, Hamill and Rengering...part of the night crew getting ready to do some work. #Irma UPDATE: 1. We...

Posted by Gainesville Police Department on Sunday, September 10, 2017

One photograph in particular. … Let’s just say heroes in uniform are hard to resist.

The response was so intense that the GPD has quickly put in motion plans to produce a calendar of its comely officers to raise money for Hurricane Irma relief.

Don’t think the sharp-eyed men in blue in Knoxville haven’t noticed. In the spirit of competition, spurred by Saturday’s Tennessee vs. Florida football game, on Wednesday night the Knoxville Police Department posted a photo on its Facebook page of four officers standing tall and proud against a backdrop of the tall-and-proud Sunsphere – along with a gorgeous K-9 officer in the foreground for good measure.

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There's no denying the Gainesville Police Department has set the internet on fire with a picture of three of their...

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

And with this post, the KPD challenged admirers to comment and make a small donation to any Hurricane Irma charity in the name of either the KPD or the GPD.

The KPD then drops the mic with: “We're confident the Volunteers of Tennessee will see that our KPD officers take it to those gators once again.”

The GPD shared the KPD post with a simple retort:

“It’s on.”

———

©2017 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)


NYPD set to release video from fatal OIS of knife-wielding man

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

By Anthony M. Destefano Newsday

NEW YORK — NYPD officials are preparing to release — perhaps as early as this week — the first body camera images of last week’s fatal police shooting of a man in the Bronx, officials said.

Both police Commissioner James O’Neill and Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark have met on the issue and have agreed that any release should be done in a way that doesn’t compromise the prosecutor’s ongoing investigation into the Sept. 6 afternoon incident that took the life of Miguel Richards, 31, law enforcement officials told Newsday.

According to police, officers from the 47th Precinct went to 3700 Pratt Ave. on a wellness check after getting a call from a landlord who reported not seeing Richards for a couple of days. When police were let into the apartment by the landlord, they saw Richards brandishing a knife in his left hand with his right hand behind his back, Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said later.

Richards didn’t comply with repeated requests by the cops to drop the knife and at some point pulled out what later turned out to be toy gun with a laser sight and pointed it at the officers, Gomez said. At that point, the two cops first on the scene fired their service handguns while another fired a stun gun, Gomez said. Richards was hit several times and pronounced dead at the scene.

A law enforcement source said about 12 minutes of body camera recordings from the devices worn by four officers on the scene would likely be released out of the about 90 minutes of footage between the time police first arrived and when the shooting took place. The selected images are those deemed most relevant in the context of the confrontation, the source said.

The NYPD began outfitting officers with body cameras in April, with the 47th Precinct getting the devices in early summer. The department hopes to have 22,000 officers using the cameras by 2019.

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said O’Neill and Clark met last Friday and discussed the various issues, including the prosecutor’s concerns about possible witnesses being influenced by any release of the tapes before they were interviewed. Another law enforcement source said police wanted to be as transparent as they could be about the release of the recordings, which is within their purview.

In a statement, Clark spelled out the two overriding concerns of her office and the police on the video issue, saying she wanted the footage released after she finished her probe.

“Transparency is critical to building trust between community and law enforcement,” Clark said. “Notwithstanding, I still have an obligation to protect the integrity of the investigation into this shooting. Releasing videos to the public during the early stages of an investigation may resolve some questions about the incident but it many compromise the integrity of the investigation.”

———

©2017 Newsday


Man pleads guilty to 2015 killing of Texas deputy at gas station

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — A man accused of fatally shooting a Texas sheriff's deputy at a gas station pleaded guilty Wednesday to capital murder and accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The plea by Shannon Miles, of Houston, allowed him to avoid a possible death sentence for the August 2015 slaying of Darren Goforth. The 47-year-old Harris County sheriff's deputy was shot 15 times while at a suburban Houston gas station where he was putting fuel in his patrol car.

Prosecutors had said Miles ambushed Goforth, a deputy for 10 years, simply because he was a law enforcement officer.

Miles, who turns 33 on Friday, has a history of mental health issues, initially was found incompetent and spent several months at a state hospital since his arrest days after Goforth's death. Doctors later determined him competent and a judge ruled him competent to stand trial.

Brett Ligon, a special prosecutor brought in to handle the case, said Miles' mental health issues "weighed quite heavily on me." He said he was confident in getting a conviction and death sentence but believed the likelihood of Miles being executed was "zero" because of his mental issues. Instead, life without parole meant justice for Goforth's wife, Kathleen, and two children, he said.

"I would say there's not a single one of you or anybody in your family that would want the beat down that is life without parole," Ligon, who is district attorney in nearby Montgomery County, told reporters. "You die nameless. You die faceless. And you die an anonymous death. That is the beat down that is life without parole.

"I've executed people and I've put then on life without parole. And I tell you, neither one of those is a good option," he added. "They both suck if you're the defendants. And that's what I want. The ultimate suck. And he got the ultimate suck."

Ligon said when he presented the plea idea to Goforth's wife, she "said it was a no-brainer."

"It took me by surprise," he said.

Under terms of the plea, Miles also waives any appeals.

"We think it's a just outcome taking into consideration all the evidence and circumstances in the case," Miles' lawyer, Anthony Osso, said.

He also said Miles "accepted responsibility when he entered his plea of guilty."

The seemingly senseless slaying prompted outrage in Houston and spurred an outpouring of support for police.

At a news conference, Kathleen Goforth held up what she said were the last photos of her husband with her and their children. They were taken during a mini-vacation shortly before his death.

"Mine and Darren's two children have been spared," she said of the plea, her voice shaking at times. "They will not have the backdrop of their lives for the next 10 to 25 years being court dates, trials and appeals. ... Nor will they be accosted by ... the image of the man who so violently ended their father's life. They won't have that inflicted upon them.

"And that is merciful and compassionate and the right thing to do."

She described her husband as "a really good dad."

"That's how I want him remembered, as a man who loved his family," she said.

Ligon was named special prosecutor after the Harris County district attorney, Kim Ogg, asked to be recused because her chief of staff while in private practice represented two witnesses who could testify on Miles' behalf.


Mourners remember Houston officer lost to Harvey’s floods

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HOUSTON — A veteran Houston police officer who drowned in Harvey's floodwaters was remembered Wednesday for his faith and his dedication to family and public service.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner were among the hundreds of mourners who attended the service for Sgt. Steve Perez at Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.

Perez, 60, was driving a patrol car before dawn on Aug. 27 when the vehicle went into a flooded highway underpass. He served 34 years as a Houston police officer.

"Sgt. Perez represented and epitomized first responders," Turner said.

Many uniformed law enforcement personnel crowded into the church, including Houston police Chief Art Acevedo. Acevedo described Perez as "a man that had faith in his community and his family and his mission."

The police chief praised Perez for his work ethic and said he displayed it until the end.

"We saw people coming together, putting aside any differences with one single focus," Acevedo said, referring to the way emergency responders joined forces after Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 in Texas. "And that was Steve's focus, to make a difference."

Perez leaves behind a wife and two children. His burial was planned at the Houston National Cemetery.

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Final honors for Sgt Steve Perez

Posted by Houston Police Department on Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Police find marijuana plants at Wyo. organic farm

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PINEDALE, Wyo. — Authorities say they have uncovered a marijuana growing operation at an organic farm in southwest Wyoming.

The Sublette County Sheriff's Office says state and local police searched the farm on Aug. 25 on a warrant after receiving information about marijuana being grown at the site.

The office says officers confiscated about 50 pounds of processed marijuana, about 300 marijuana plants and more than $63,000.

The search resulted in felony drug charges against three individuals.


Anti-gang troopers being sent to Long Island high schools

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — A special unit of the state police is being assigned to 10 high schools on Long Island in an effort to stamp out gang violence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

The 10 state troopers will work to educate school administrators and teachers about ways to recognize if a student is a member of a gang or at risk of joining. The troopers will also create a curriculum that instructs students on the dangers of gangs such as MS-13, which has been tied to a wave of recent violence on Long Island.

"They are thugs that have to be stamped out," said Cuomo, a Democrat, who traveled to Long Island to make the announcement. "I consider them domestic terrorists. Either they win or we win ... and we are going to win."

The 10 schools are in Brentwood, Central Islip, Huntington, Longwood, South Country Central and Wyandanch. Each school was determined to have higher concentrations of gang violence and more students perceived to be at risk of recruitment.

State police have already beefed up patrols in affected areas and added investigators to a joint law enforcement task force on gang violence. The new troopers, and their educational mission, represent another front in the fight.

"It's a partnership," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini. "So we'll be doing educational seminars with educators. Educating the educators about gangs and also providing them information about what resources are available in the county and the state so that they can intervene in children's lives; children who are at risk of joining gangs."

The street gang MS-13 has been blamed for 21 deaths in the suburbs east of New York City in the past 21 months. The killings, many of which have involved teenagers, have caught the attention of both President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both of whom have visited Long Island in recent months to promise federal action to stem the violence.


6 ways to improve your written communications

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Steve Knight, Ph.D. P1 Contributor

While formal memos and letters may be long gone, we’re communicating with the written word more than ever before via email, social media, text messages and more.

The platforms may have changed, but certain universal truths about effective writing remain. Here are some tips that can help you with anything you’re writing, from a two-sentence email to a formal report.

1. Write with a goal

Before beginning any form of written communication, spend a few minutes establishing a goal or intended outcome. In a world influenced by social media, many communications lack clarity, other than updating the world on what the writer had for dinner.

Taking a brief pause to focus on the ultimate goal of your communication is well worth the effort. When there is not a clear outcome, it may be better to table the message and incorporate it into a subsequent message.

2. Style matters

The speed of communication, coupled with the need for instant gratification, has created an expectation that communications are not only shared rapidly but are reviewed and responded to immediately. This accelerated exchange has lured many of us into responding with quick excerpts and text language that may be inappropriate for professional communications.

For example, the auto-correct feature on your mobile device is sometimes helpful but often erodes both form and professionalism. Therefore, it is important to focus your attention and review your communications prior to hitting send. Format, syntax, grammar and spelling often help people develop a first impression that may be difficult to overcome.

3. Be concise, except when you shouldn’t

Conciseness is not a new concept in professional communications. Adding more words doesn’t make you sound smarter or more prepared. However, the proliferation of written communication media that restrict our available word or character count has swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. These restrictions force us to be overly brief, and sometimes the lack of punctuation or a misunderstood abbreviation can cause more headaches than the extra 20 seconds you need to use proper syntax and spell things out.

4. More is not always bad

While clear and concise communications are preferred, there are times when lengthier communications are appropriate. It is important to know your audience. For example, if your audience doesn’t share the same technical expertise or understanding, concise communications that assume too much about the reader’s base knowledge may be less than optimal. However, a balance must be achieved to understand when to transition to verbal communication rather than written communication. For example, tasks and assignments are good for written communications, but if it’s necessary to explain the tasks or assignments, they are better left to direct verbal exchanges.

5. Public information and the echo factor

For those of us who work in public agencies or communicate with public agencies, it is important to review our written communications through the lens of public consumption. With some exceptions for privacy protection and quality improvement, nearly every written communication to or from a public official can be legally obtained by members of the public or the media.

Even in private organizations, we should ask ourselves how we would feel if an email, memo, presentation or report appeared on a popular citizen advocacy blog, in the newspaper or on the evening news, because it easily could.

In addition, when communications are digitized, they can be reproduced, disseminated widely and easily stored — meaning they could spread across the world and still be around long after we’ve all retired.

6. Ask for clarification

Finally, when you read a policy, memo or message written by someone else, keep in mind how difficult it sometimes is to write clearly and concisely. If something seems confusing or unclear, ask the writer to clarify rather than assuming you know what he or she meant.

Encourage colleagues and subordinates to have someone review written communications before they are widely disseminated. Sometimes it’s impossible to know how others will interpret something you’ve written until it’s too late, and while you might know your intent, the true meaning of the words is in the reader’s mind, not the writer’s mind.


About the author Steve Knight, PhD, a Fitch & Associates consultant, has been a subject matter expert for both the National Fire Academy and the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE), a nonprofit corporation that serves as the governing body for the organizations that offer accreditation, education and credentialing services to the first responder and fire service industries.

For more than three decades, the Fitch & Associates team of consultants has provided customized solutions to the complex challenges faced by public safety organizations of all types and sizes. From system design and competitive procurements to technology upgrades and comprehensive consulting services, Fitch & Associates helps communities ensure their emergency services are both effective and sustainable. For ideas to help your agency improve performance in the face of rising costs, call 888-431-2600 or visit www.fitchassoc.com.


7 steps to becoming an expert in your field of law enforcement

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Keith Graves
Author: Keith Graves

At some point in your career you will find a specialty you are good at and love doing. You may be a new traffic collision investigator, detective or a SWAT team member and are at the point where you are ready to become an expert in that field.

For me, it was drug enforcement. After becoming a drug recognition expert, I became a narcotics detective and fell in love with that aspect of policing. That was 25 years ago. Now I travel internationally teaching others about drugs and drug enforcement and often testify throughout the U.S. as an expert in drug-related matters, as well as narcotic unit operations.

How did I become an expert in drug enforcement? It was a lot of hard work and dedication, but I also took advantage of opportunities as they arose. Another narc asked me how to become an expert, so I put pen to paper and came up with the seven things that helped my police career.

1. Read everything on your specialty

You have to start somewhere and reading books is a great place, but you don’t want to read books just written by cops. Criminals write books and so do people who are neither cops nor criminals. It’s important to read everyone’s view.

I frequently read books written by drug users and drug advocates. I don’t agree with their point of view, but it is important for me to read what they have to say because their arguments on legalization constantly come up in my work. I can now predict their talking points and quickly counteract them. As an example, it is important for use-of-force experts to read books on the militarization of the police or police excessive force to understand and counteract the arguments they will face in court or from the public.

2. Take every class you can

If you are going to become an expert in your field, you need to attend training regularly. How regularly? At least two classes a year to start. Your agency may not send you to this training, so if you want to be an expert, you will need to send yourself.

Fortunately, I have not had to pay for many classes. After sending myself to a few classes, I joined my state’s narcotics officers association and got on the regional board. As a board member, I was able to attend training for free. My agency also let me attend board business on duty because it benefited the agency, including attending the free classes. Later, when I became an instructor, I was able to attend classes for free because I taught for the association.

Attending courses not only increases the knowledge you’ll need to be considered an expert, but can assist you when testifying in court. It’s also important if you start a business where you use your expertise. Your clients want to see a hardy education if they are going to pay for your experience.

3. Testify as an expert

Nothing says “expert” like having a long list of court appearances as an expert witness. When I got enough experience to qualify as an expert, I testified as much as I could. I let my subpoena clerk know to send the expert witness subpoenas to me and let the DA know I wanted to testify as an expert. I got a lot of overtime and a lot of experience testifying.

Now I can say I’ve testified as an expert in all major drug categories, as well as sales, influence and trafficking. I get paid to testify for what I used to do as part of my job and it’s not just in criminal court. There is a large market on the civil side of law for police officer expert witnesses.

4. Land special assignments

You’re going to need special assignments to become an expert. If you didn’t do the job, then you won’t become an expert. These assignments can be very competitive to land. Meet with the supervisor of the job you want and ask how to make yourself the best candidate. Then meet with the people doing the job and ask them how you can help them.

When I was in narcotics, cops who wanted to learn more about drug enforcement often met with my unit for advice. I would give them drug tips that my unit couldn’t get to. If they followed up on those tips, we always used them as the uniform for our investigations. We also gave them tips knowing they would take action. We had a good helper and the officers were able to get a lot of experience they wouldn’t have if they didn’t come and ask for help.

5. Be a teacher

You get better at your job if you start teaching others in a formal setting as you have to know every minute detail of your specialty. This knowledge also helps when you are consulting or testifying. Repeatedly explaining the same process of your job will come up again in a consulting job or in court. It also looks good to others that hire you for any post-law enforcement positions.

6. Write articles

I write articles so that people see my name. I recently attended a national drug conference and was stopped several times by people who had read my work. Not only does it feel good to pass on knowledge to others, your name becomes a brand and you are seen as an expert.

Writing is also a great way to pass on your knowledge. Whenever someone asks me a question I think others would want to know the answer to, I write a blog post or I write an article for PoliceOne. That’s how this article came to be: A detective simply wanted advice on how to become an expert.

7. Obtain a degree

Degrees matter. Maybe not to you, but they do matter to people who hire you when your career as a cop is over or when you testify. You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree is highly desirable. I recently obtained my Master’s degree. I have been using it consulting with attorneys in civil cases while writing reports and using academic studies to support my point of view. When you testify in front of a jury in civil cases, a degree conveys experience and knowledge that others don’t have. Obviously, this is a long-term goal. I didn’t get my degree until the end of my 29-year law enforcement career.

Closing thoughts

Becoming an expert in your field is a lot of hard work. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would be an expert. For me, after working as a police officer for 29 years, I now have a lucrative second career consulting and teaching others. You have a roadmap to reach your goals; it’s up to you if you want to follow it.


The ‘SWAT nod’: How to tell other cops what your duty assignment is without saying a word

Posted on September 14, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Like snowflakes, no two police officers are alike. Similarly, no two duty assignments are alike. SWAT cops and School Resource Officers are all cops, but they have vastly different training, responsibilities and types of citizen contacts.

Motor cops have the primary objective of enforcing traffic laws, while vice cops go after street drugs and conduct prostitution stings. Even instructors are different – an FTO uses different training methods than a DT instructor.

Let’s not even get started on the differences between patrol officers and administrative guys.

What follows is a list of how to make it clear to everyone in your department (as well as any other department) what your duty assignment is. In many cases you don’t even need to open your mouth – your attire and behavior will do all the work for you!

An important note before we begin: Be advised that what follows is not of my creation so I do not claim any ownership or authorship of it. Various versions of this have popped up in my Facebook feed, but I’ve never been able to ascertain its origin or identify its author. So with that disclaimer, enjoy this excellent piece of internet levity.

And to whoever wrote this, thank you!

Narcotics Grow facial hair and tell everybody you were ordered to do so Start wearing “Tap Out” T-shirts Start watching every episode of “Monster Garage” Buy a biker wallet with a big chain Practice the “Don’t acknowledge me, even in the police station” look Ensure that every case involves overtime pay Learn to play golf while drunk SWAT Wear team T-shirts (size small), Oakley sunglasses and boots every day Try to fit the word “breach” and “tactical” into every conversation Have a mirror handy to check hair (if you have hair) Never say hello to anyone who is not an operator – just practice your SWAT nod Subscribe to Soldier of Fortune, Guns and Ammo, and Muscle and Fitness magazines Learn to play golf wearing a gun, a tactical knife and a back-up gun (just in case) Community Service Units Hate SWAT Work to make everybody love you Paint your office in pastel colors Think feng shui at all times Subscribe to Psychology Today magazine Learn to play miniature golf Motor Patrol Write tickets to EVERYBODY Spend every weekend cleaning your bike and polishing boots Annoy the shit out of everyone on the radio by having complete disregard for anyone else’s radio traffic Talk about nothing but how many tickets you wrote in one day Constantly ride by a building with big windows to see your reflection Refer to the “other” law enforcement officers as “car cops” Remember that “LBR” (Look Bitchin’ Riding) is your mantra Golf is lame – motor rodeos are cool K-9 Units Become completely sadistic Show pictures of your latest dog bite Brag about your largest drug find Smell like a dog at all times Workout three times a day Show off your bruises Administrative Units Attend three-hour lunches every day and tell everybody it’s a “meeting” Upgrade department cell phone every month Tell everybody you are published in a national law enforcement magazine Update your revenge list on a weekly basis Expert at PowerPoint, bar charts and graphs Play LOTS of golf – golf is awesome Patrol Units Develop nerves of steel and tell everyone about said nerves of steel Remain in a terminal state of nausea from department politics Lose your ability to keep your mouth shut Acquire a refined taste in alcohol Beat the crap out of your caddy on any bogeyed shot FTO Automatically grasp the door handle until your knuckles turn white as soon as the car is put in gear View a multiple-victim homicide in progress as a “good training opportunity” and ask to take primary Develop a life-long case of irritable bowel syndrome Remember that less than three hours of OT is a quiet day Detectives Come in at 0800 Take “breakfast” from 0815 to 1030 Work from 1030 to noon From noon to 1400, eat lunch and work out From 1400 to 1700, sit in CID and plan your next RV, fishing or motorcycle trip Patrol Sergeant Remind everyone as often as possible “how we used to do it” Try to fit the word “liability” into every sentence Talk about “what you’re hearing from upstairs” Rookie/Trainee Don’t be ashamed that you are unable to grow facial hair Watch every episode of “Cops” and “Southland” Memorize the opening monologue to “End of Watch” Try not to get too excited when the SWAT guys walk by Arrive for work three hours early Never drink on the golf course because it violates the open-container ordinance New Corrections Officers Show up for work 15 minutes early Buy only the best ink pens (Pilot G2) Wear t-shirts of your “dream department” under your uniform Wear a full duty belt of gear even though you have to remove everything when you arrive at the facility Become friends with every local police officer Defensive Tactics Instructors Remember to stretch before making an arrest Spend hours debating the advantages of RCB vs. straight stick Wear yoga pants off-duty Always remember that Chuck Norris is GOD Spend more than $50 on a quality wood baton Giggle when a suspect starts to resist Firearms Instructor Respond to every question/statement with the word, “Huh?” Remember that you have a lead/blood percentage level higher than the current chief’s approval rating Operate under the assumption that the more beer you drink, the more of that lead leaves your system Buy a new tactical handgun as a Christmas gift for the wife/girlfriend Use an image of a custom 1911-A1 for a screensaver Wear the latest high-tech electronic hearing protectors during normal conversation Conclusion

That’s the list. Again, I have no idea (despite serious effort to find out) who came up with this gem. Now it’s up to all of you to add to it in the comments section below. Have fun my brothers and sisters, and stay safe out there.


How to help Hurricane Irma first responders

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sarah Calams, P1 Contributor

Hurricane Harvey was called one of the costliest storms in U.S. history just weeks ago.

Following quickly behind it, Hurricane Irma became one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. in years. Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, told the Associated Press that Hurricane Irma "could easily be the most costly storm in U.S. history, which is saying a lot considering what just happened two weeks ago."

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane for a nearly record-breaking three days, topped out at winds of 185 mph for more than 24 hours, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. The storm has claimed the lives of dozens of people, including a Hardee County, Florida sheriff's deputy and corrections officer, across the Caribbean and United States.

The relief efforts are still ongoing after Hurricane Harvey's catastrophic devastation. Nonetheless, hundreds of first responders are in Florida helping after Irma, just days after arriving in Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.

For first responders, jumping from one disaster to the next is no easy task – especially when their own homes may be experiencing similar flooding and destruction. In Largo, Florida, a firefighter's home was destroyed in a fire during Hurricane Irma. Crews were unable to respond until five hours after the fire due to suspended service during the storm.

We commend every responders' immeasurable hours of work during back-to-back disasters. In order to help the helpers, we want to shed light on the organizations and charities raising money for first responders directly affected by the storm.

Here are some ways you can give back to first responders affected by Hurricane Irma.

ACADIAN EMPLOYEE EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

Acadian Ambulance, headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, created a relief fund to provide immediate financial assistance to Acadian Ambulance employees who are experiencing financial hardships resulting from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Click here to make a contribution and help the agency's team members in Texas and Florida.

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS FOUNDATION DISASTER RELIEF FUND

You can help IAFF members working during Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma through the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate here.

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER FIRE COUNCIL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER SUPPORT FUND

Volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel whose homes have been impacted as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma can apply for a NVFC stipend to assist with basic needs in the aftermath of the storm. Learn more here.

MARTINSVILLE, INDIANA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HURRICANE RELIEF

Martinsville Fire Department Captain Chad Cooke, along with Long Boat Key, Florida, Battalion Chief Rocky Parker, is leading efforts for the victims, including first responders, of Hurricane Irma with the mayor's office, fire department and policy department. They are asking for monetary and item-specific contributions. Learn more here.

FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE FOUNDATION DISASTER RELIEF

The FOP Foundation is helping officers who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. You can make a one-time donation or can contribute monthly. For more information, click here.

As with any organization or charity, be sure to check its legitimacy. Some organizations claim to be sending 100 percent of their funds to Hurricane Irma victims, but may not be entirely truthful. Charity Navigator compiled a list of reputable organizations providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma. This list can also help you determine if a charity or organization is legitimate.

To all first responders: Thank you for your continued efforts during the recovery efforts and remain safe out there. In the comment section below, please feel free to share your stories and photos with us. Also, if you know of any other Hurricane Irma responder-specific relief funds, please share those below as well.

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Police respond to shooting reports at Wash. high school

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

UPDATE 1:46 p.m. (CST):

ROCKFORD, Wash. — Fire officials in Washington state say people have been injured and taken to a hospital after a shooting at a high school.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department says the threat “has been eliminated” at Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane. He wouldn’t release how many people were injured Wednesday or their conditions. He provided no more details.

Spokane Public Schools says on Twitter that the school is no longer lockdown.

No information was immediately available on who opened fire.

#BREAKING: Sacred Heart now reporting 3 patients all in stable condition. Hospital says they are not expecting more patients.

— KREM 2 NEWS (@KREM2) September 13, 2017

BREAKING/Confirmed: 4 shot, suspect in custody in shooting at Freeman High School south of Spokane, WA. #kxly

— Melissa Luck ? (@MelissaKXLY4) September 13, 2017

EARLIER:

Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — Authorities are responding to reports of a shooting at a high school south of Spokane, Washington.

The Spokesman-Review reports that first responders were at Freeman High School in Rockford on Wednesday morning.

Spokane Public Schools said on Twitter that all schools in the district are "being placed into modified lockdown as a precautionary measure."

No other information was immediately available.

A very active scene at Freeman High School. @KHQLocalNews pic.twitter.com/yyDI1nibkr

— Peter Maxwell (@KHQPeterMaxwell) September 13, 2017

At Freeman elementary currently. I am a junior, evacuated from the high school. At least 4 shots. pic.twitter.com/RnGbbbahbK

— Christina???? (@TheChristinaXX) September 13, 2017

Parents are standing outside of Freeman High School right now waiting to see their kids. pic.twitter.com/SoJ6JhXHsJ

— Kierra Elfalan (@KierraKREM) September 13, 2017

Latest from Freeman High School shooting: Six being transported to Sacred Heart in Spokane. https://t.co/hXEHOEVPVR

— Carolyn Lamberson (@clamberson) September 13, 2017


Officials: 1 dead, 3 injured in Wash. school shooting

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press

ROCKFORD, Wash. — A shooter opened fire at a high school in a tiny town in Washington state Wednesday, killing one student, injuring three others and sending worried parents to the school in a frenzied rush, authorities said.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department told reporters that one child died at Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane, while three injured victims were taken to a hospital and expected to survive.

"The shooter has been apprehended and is taken into custody," he said.

Michael Harper, 15, a sophomore at the school, told The Associated Press that the suspect was a classmate who had long been obsessed with past school shootings.

A very active scene at Freeman High School. @KHQLocalNews pic.twitter.com/yyDI1nibkr

— Peter Maxwell (@KHQPeterMaxwell) September 13, 2017

Harper said the suspect had brought notes to Freeman High in the beginning of the year, saying he might get killed or jailed and that some students alerted counselors.

The shooter came into the school Wednesday carrying a duffel bag, Harper said. After shots were fired, students went running and screaming down the hallways, the teen said.

Harper said the shooter had many friends and wasn't bullied, calling him "nice and funny and weird."

Schaeffer, who didn't release any information about a possible motive or the age of the suspect, said the shooting was especially hard for first responders, many of whom have children at the school.

A two-lane road into the community of about 500 people near the Idaho border was clogged with vehicles. Some people abandoned their cars on the street to make it to their children.

At Freeman elementary currently. I am a junior, evacuated from the high school. At least 4 shots. pic.twitter.com/RnGbbbahbK

— Christina???? (@TheChristinaXX) September 13, 2017

Cheryl Moser said her son, a freshman at Freeman High School, called her from a classroom after hearing shots fired.

"He called me and said, 'Mom, there are gunshots.' He sounded so scared. I've never heard him like that," Moser told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. "You never think about something happening like this at a small school."

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital received three pediatric patients, spokeswoman Nicole Stewart said. They were in stable condition and surrounded by family, she said.

Authorities didn't immediately release the ages of the victims.

Stephanie Lutje told The Associated Press that she was relieved to hear her son was safe after his high school near Freeman was put on lockdown. She commended the school district for its communication.

"It's been amazing, within probably 15-20 minutes of hearing about it, I'd already received a phone call, I'd already received a text message saying that their school is OK," she said.

She still worried for others she knew, including a co-worker who had yet to hear from her son, a sophomore at Freeman.

"My stomach's in knots right now," she said.

Parents are standing outside of Freeman High School right now waiting to see their kids. pic.twitter.com/SoJ6JhXHsJ

— Kierra Elfalan (@KierraKREM) September 13, 2017

Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that "all Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families, and are grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe."


How police departments are using 3D printing to solve crime

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Hornick, P1 Contributor

While 3D printing has a dark side, it is also being used to help law enforcement agencies recreate detailed models of crime scenes, car crashes, footprints and fingerprints, as well as making architectural models for planning raids and for courtroom use.

Police departments worldwide use 3D printing

The Hong Kong Police Briefing Support Unit is using its own 3D printers to make crime scene models, which help them understand the crime and present cases in court. The unit also uses 3D printed models of buildings and streetscapes for counter-terrorism planning. Like many law enforcement agencies, the Hong Kong police have made such models for many years, but 3D printers do it faster, with greater accuracy.

3D printed crime scene models can also be used to help gather additional evidence. In 2013, a 3D printed model of a crime scene helped Japanese police gather thousands of possible case-related clues from local citizens.

In the case of the 2013 death of six-year old Ellie Butler in Sutton, England, forensic pathologists supported the homicide prosecution of her parents by presenting detailed replicas of Ellie’s severely damaged skull, which were 3D printed from CT scans of her remains.

In May 2015, detectives and prosecutors in Birmingham, England, used a combination of 3D scanning and 3D printing to obtain a conviction in the notorious “suitcase killing,” in which Lorenzo Simon was accused of murdering his tenant, Michael Spalding, dismembering the body with a saw and partially burning it, and sinking the parts in weighted suitcases in the Birmingham canal.

Using this technology, the West Midlands Police – with the help of the University of Warwick’s Manufacturing Group – were able to show that a piece of burned broken bone found in the suspect’s backyard was an exact mate for a piece of broken bone found in the suitcases.

Using high-resolution scans of nine pieces of damaged bone, the team displayed the pieces on a large screen for investigators to study, which protected the actual evidence from handling and potential damage or loss. The scans were then used to 3D print courtroom replicas of the bones in such detail that saw marks from the saw used to cut up the body were visible and the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Lorenzo Simon got life in prison.

3D printing assisting U.S. investigations

In late 2016, the Greene County Ohio Sheriff’s Office partnered with Ohio State University to try to identify the remains of a woman found in the woods near Dayton. After all attempts to identify the victim from the badly decomposed remains had failed, the police turned to 3D printing. After CT scanning and 3D printing a model of the victim’s skull, the model was fleshed out with clay. Images of the model were then released to the public, which quickly led to the victim being positively identified. The police investigation then shifted into high gear, resulting in suspects being identified, arrested and charged a short time later.

New York State Police recently teamed with the State University of New York New Palz’s Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center to solve a 47-year old Jane Doe murder case. After the SUNY team 3D printed a replica of the victim’s skull, it was handed off to a forensic artist to recreate the victim’s face. Before this step was completed, the victim was identified by other means.

Students at the Richmond County School in North Carolina are learning forensic pathology with 3D scanners and printers. University of South Florida students and researchers, along with local police, are using 3D printing to help identify the victims in nine Florida cold cases, some of which are decades old.

Joe Mullins, a well-known forensic imaging expert, teamed up with 12 students from the University of South Florida’s Institute for Forensic Anthropology and Applied Science. After 3D printing replicas of the victims’ skulls from 3D scans, the students rebuilt the faces with clay, then sculpted the lips and inserted fake eyeballs. The finished replicas were displayed at a USF event called The Art of Forensics: Solving Florida’s Cold Cases, and published in the media, in hopes that viewers would identify the victims.

How 3D printing is advancing

As digital tools for 3D modeling faces from 3D scans of skulls improve, forensic researchers should eventually be able to create a digital model of the face, which can then be 3D printed. Clay modeling will be unnecessary.

If CT scans, which are noninvasive, can be made before remains and clothing are disturbed by forensic pathology procedures, such 3D data can be used to 3D print models that allow investigators to examine bone and bullet fragments outside wounds, and even to go inside wounds to inspect and measure bullet or knife tracks and trajectories in relation to entry points and surrounding tissue. Such models could be 3D printed life-sized, or in larger-than-life-size for easier examination.

As stated by Eugene Liscio, President of the International Association of Forensic and Security Metrology, “There is a special need for techniques that allow pathologies to be presented clearly in the courtroom…3D printed models offer real three-dimensionality as well as a haptic component, which make it easier for medical laymen to understand.”

Could 3D printing help unlock smartphones?

3D printers can also reproduce fingerprints and palms. In addition to printing life-sized or larger-than-life models for comparing fingerprints and palm prints in the lab or the courtroom, in 2016 Michigan State University Police worked with researchers at the university to 3D print fingerprints, to attempt to unlock an otherwise uncrackable Samsung Galaxy 6S smart phone. Using fingerprints taken in life from the smartphone owner – a homicide victim – the researchers 3D printed replicas of the owner’s fingertips and coated them with metallic particles to conduct the slight electrical current the phone needs to respond to the fingerprint. Ultimately, this attempt failed, but only because the fingerprints from which the replicas were 3D printed lacked sufficient detail. With better fingerprints, this is a promising technique for unlocking smartphones.

In later research, the same Michigan State team found that they could 3D print hands capable of bypassing fingerprint and hand scanners. Although the intended use of the 3D printed hands was to calibrate such scanners, the researchers soon realized that 3D printed hand replicas could be used to defeat such security devices. Printed from flexible material that simulates the texture and feel of human skin and coated with metallic particles, the 3D printed replicas can be worn like a glove to fool slap readers and contactless readers.

Accessing 3D printers

Some law enforcement agencies, such as the UK’s West Yorkshire Police, are installing their own 3D printers to help solve crimes and to prosecute offenders. As the agency’s Crime Scene Surveying Supervisor, Daniel Sharp, said, the 3D printer enables “the judge and jury to hold the crime scene in their hands.”

A Florida company, 3D Printed Evidence, offers such services to the law enforcement community, converting data from MRIs, CT scans and 3D scanners into physical models.

Law enforcement agencies lacking the budget or the personnel to 3D print replicas of evidence can farm out the work to one of thousands of independent 3D printing fabricators (often called “service bureaus”), which operate like local machine shops, and to university 3D printing facilities. In the long term, law enforcement agencies will probably operate their own 3D printers and scanners.

Although illegal uses of 3D printing could be substantial, this disruptive technology can help solve crimes and convict perpetrators. Governments, law enforcement agencies and homeland security must learn the risks of 3D printing, plan accordingly, and use the technology to help prevent or solve crimes.


About the author John Hornick, author of “3D Printing Will Rock the World,” offers educational programs to the law enforcement community on both the dark side of 3D printing and how 3D printing can be used to aid law enforcement. Contact him at johnhornick@outlook.com.


How criminals are using 3D printing

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Hornick, P1 Contributor

3D printing has the potential to transform the world in several ways.

It can:

Simplify manufacturing; Shorten supply and distribution chains; Democratize production; Create and repatriate jobs; Customize products to our needs.

3D printing can also be used for both causing crimes and solving them.

How 3D printing is being used to make guns

In 2013, Texas law student Cody Wilson made headlines by 3D printing a plastic gun and posting the blueprints on the internet. The gun was primitive but it worked, successfully firing multiple live rounds. The blueprints for Wilson’s gun were downloaded 100,000 times before the U.S. government forced them to be removed from the server.

In early 2014, the “ZigZag” plastic revolver was 3D printed in Japan. Because Japan has strict antigun laws, the maker of the ZigZag gun was sentenced to two years in prison for 3D printing several guns and posting instructive videos on the internet.

Since then, 3D printing of guns has flourished. In June 2015, police in Chiloquin, Oregon, made arrests for the illegal possession of an AR-15 assault rifle. Its lower receiver—the key to what makes it a weapon—was believed to have been 3D printed.

In early 2016, a gun and 3D printing enthusiast called Derwood 3D printed the “Shuty” semi-automatic handgun. Ninety-five percent of the weapon was 3D printed. It fired at least 800 rounds and Derwood later announced an improved version.

In August 2016, the TSA found a 3D printed revolver in carry-on luggage at the Reno-Tahoe Airport. The gun was detected because it was loaded with live rounds.

A month later, a “Guy in a Garage,” as he calls himself, 3D printed the “Songbird,” which uses rubber bands for springs and a roofing nail for a firing pin, and fires multiple .357 rounds.

3D printed weapons need not be guns in the traditional sense, but may be just as dangerous. In late 2015, a plasma railgun was made by an anonymous Imgur user known as NSA_Listbot, who used a 3D printer and commonly available parts to make a handheld electromagnetic projectile launcher that fires rods made of Teflon/plasma, graphite, aluminum and copper-coated tungsten at a speed of about 560 mph.

In March 2017, the U.S. Army announced its 3D printed grenade launcher, which it nicknamed “RAMBO” (Rapidly Additively Manufactured Ballistic Ordnance). The weapon was 100 percent 3D printed, except for the springs and fasteners, and fires 3D printed grenades.

Although the law prohibits the sale of guns to convicted felons, 3D printing allows felons to get guns without anyone knowing about it. In separate raids in Brisbane, Australia, and its nearby Gold Coast, police found 3D printed gun parts and a fully functioning, loaded 3D printed gun. According to Queensland Police Detective Inspector Scott Knowles, “We can identify most if not all of the major components of a weapon. To us it appears that they are complete weapons just requiring assembly.”

How 3D printers are being used for criminal activities

In developments surely being followed by the underworld, a German hacker used a 3D printer to reproduce handcuff keys for high-security handcuffs. MIT students have CT-scanned locks and then used the scans to 3D print master keys. Skilled lock-pickers Jos Weyers and Christian Holler 3D printed a bump key, which can be used to pick almost any pin tumbler lock. In July 2016, hackers released 3D printable designs for TSA-approved master luggage keys. None of these uses are illegal, but the criminals could adopt these methods for illegal uses.

A French man 3D printed fake facades for cash machines, which clone the data on users’ ATM cards. Criminals in Sydney, Australia, used 3D printers to make attachments for bank machines that skim bank card information from unsuspecting ATM users. By using 3D printers, the criminals make the skimmers look like they are part of the ATM machines.

Organized crime is jumping on board. In coordinated raids against gangs in Malaga, Spain, and the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Burgas and Silistra, police seized equipment used to 3D print sophisticated skimming equipment, including fake card slots for bank machines.

A criminal who calls himself “Gripper” makes a skimmer by the same name, which he sells online. Gripper recruits other criminals to join his international network and offers round-the-clock tech support in Moscow, South Africa, the UK and the United States. The Gripper boasts, “Bare [sic] in mind we have the power to mass-produce these ATM skimmers with the latest technology…We have all files needed and printing facilities in China. Also we have files to mass-produce MSRV [magnetic-stripe-reading] electronics.” The Gripper is a good example of the power of combining the internet and 3D printing.

The portability of 3D printers means illegal items can be made in constantly relocated stealth factories, while the internet can be used as the illegal information superhighway.

Various researchers are working on 3D printing legal drug-delivery devices and pharmaceuticals. It may not be long before 3D printers will also be used to print illegal drugs. In his article, “Can You 3D Print Drugs?,” Chris Gayomali wrote:

“But with all the useful and practical applications of 3D printed drugs comes an obvious dark side. Take, for instance, the potential for amateur organic chemists to engineer their own designer drugs. In Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High, author Mike Power envisions a near future where DIYers (mostly college grads with chemistry degrees) are using highly sophisticated techniques – including 3D printers – to render ‘controlled substances’ an obsolete relic of the past.”

This will be a boon to organized crime, which will be able to print illegal drugs at the point of need, thereby eliminating the capital investment and risks of shipping and storing large quantities of illegal drugs. And when personal printers are capable of printing your customized prescription at home, the same type of printers also will be used to make illegal drugs.

In fact, there is no reason why drug dealers will continue to sell drugs when they can sell the digital blueprints instead, which local dealers or users can use to print their supplies. But of course drug dealers may also become obsolete relics of the past when free blueprints for illegal drugs become widely available for 3D printing by anyone with the right equipment.


About the author John Hornick, author of “3D Printing Will Rock the World,” offers educational programs to the law enforcement community on both the dark side of 3D printing and on how 3D printing can be used to aid law enforcement. Contact him at mailto:john.hornick@outlook.comjohn.hornick@outlook.com.


6 things cops should do before running for office

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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Politics affects everything around us, and police officers often find themselves on the frontline of political decisions. However, there is no reason for law enforcement officers to remain on the sidelines of democracy, or to be lulled into thinking running for office is only something they can do after retirement.

While employed as a police officer in Newark, Delaware, I ran for state senate in 2016 against a 40-year incumbent. I lost the race, but found that you can still lose an election and win the process. By campaigning hard, I made lots of new friends and met so many people it is hard for me to consider it a loss.

For police officers looking to enter the political arena, here are six things to consider:

1. Check the law

Look at the laws in your state involving sworn police officers running for office. For example, I was protected by this Delaware Supreme Court advisory opinion based around a Delaware state trooper running for office in 1998. It stated that sworn police officers could campaign for office while employed, but would have to resign if elected.

2. Formulate talking points

As soon as you express interest in running for office, people will ask you why you want to run. It is important to have a response when asked, even before you officially announce your campaign. I recommend having three main issues to talk about. At least one of those should be a local, non-partisan issue such as a lack of parks, road maintenance, etc. Local issues will appeal to your future constituents probably more than your political issues, and are especially important if your party registration numbers are lopsided against you.

3. Get prior political experience

Ideally you’ve been involved with your political party and civic leaders for some time. If not, set up meetings with key political players and civic leaders at least two years before the election. Relationships are important. As Matt Meyer, County Executive for New Castle County, Delaware, said in my interview with him, campaigns in local politics are less about policy and more about relationships.

Civic leaders can provide insight into local issues you might not know about. Political leaders can offer insight into the political environment of the seat you are interested in, other potential candidates, your opponents’ backstories, history of previous races, etc. It is best to network before you officially announce you are running for office.

Depending on the political environment of the seat you would be running for, your party may or may not be supportive of your efforts. Be mindful that everyone has their own interests at play in an election. It is ultimately your decision if you want to enter the race, not the party’s.

4. Inform your chain of command before you announce

Advising your organization of your plans a few days prior to announcing is warranted and appropriate. They might think you are asking for permission, but regardless, tipping them off is the polite thing to do. I told the City of Newark around a week before I announced and the City was entirely neutral during my campaign, which is all I could ask for.

5. Make a media splash

I used my public information officer experience to draft a press release and had a supportive state senator insert a quote. I ended up getting coverage in a few different papers, including a major Delaware newspaper. If you run while still employed as a police officer, the rarity of that will be appreciated by the media.

6. Trust yourself

You will be told, “No, don’t do this.” People you trust will say it isn’t a good time for you to run. You will feel like you can’t win. You might even get laughed at like Alex Torpey, who was elected mayor was he was 23. Every one of the officials I’ve interviewed for my Elected Officials of America podcast has countless tales of the issues they had in running. These are issues that are intrinsic to politics and you won’t be exempt. But just as others overcame the odds, so can you. A good democracy demands active participation and police officers have a lot to offer. It’s just a matter of stepping up.


About the author James Spadola is an Iraq war veteran, a former police officer who created the #HugACop video, a previous state senate candidate in Delaware and the founder of Delaware Law Enforcement for Progress. He now runs Elected Officials of America, a podcast that features interviews with underdog elected officials who overcame the odds to win their race. Contact him at james@electedofficialsofamerica.com; follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


NY cop who moonlights as lingerie, swimsuit model walks in 1st NY Fashion Week

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — An officer who captured the attention of the public after posting photos of her lingerie and swimsuit shoots on Instagram has walked in her first New York Fashion Week show.

Samantha Sepulveda, a seven-year veteran of the force, walked in designer Azulant Akora’s bridal show Friday, the New York Post reported.

“That was so exhilarating!” Sepulveda said. “It was a different kind of adrenaline pump.”

In January, Newsday reported Sepulveda had the full backing of the mayor and her department to moonlight as a model. She said she began modeling almost three years ago and they were aware of her Instagram photos.

“Samantha appropriately executes her responsibilities as a law enforcement officer and is well-respected by the community and peers,” Mayor Robert Kennedy told Newsday at the time. “Many police officers have legal businesses and Officer Sepulveda is entitled to the same opportunity.”

??????#NYFW #SamanthaSepulveda pic.twitter.com/pG3lJIrzTg

— Sam Sepulveda (@SamSep177) September 9, 2017

Sepulveda, 33, told the Post that since news of her side gig went public, the people on her beat are “a lot nicer because they feel they know me. I’m not just a jerk cop.”

But the warm reception doesn’t mean she’s gone soft, she’s still “the No. 1 summons issuer.”

Sepulveda said she plans to pursue more international modeling and is looking into acting or reality TV. But for now, she said she is focused on keeping the streets of Freeport safe.


NY deputy delivers own son in back seat of family car

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BOSTON, N.Y. — A sheriff's deputy in western New York has delivered his own son in the back seat of the family vehicle after his wife went into labor while they were headed to a hospital.

Eric and Kelly Szkatulkski were on their way to a Buffalo hospital from their home south of the city Monday night when she began to give birth in the vehicle. Eric pulled over to the side of the road. He's a deputy with the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

Eric Szkatulkski helped his wife give birth in the back seat to their 8-pound, 5-ounce boy. The couple named him Eli. An ambulance crew arrived and took the mother and baby to the hospital. Both are said to be doing fine.

Eli is the couple's third son.

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Deputies are prepared for everything - even if they have to deliver their own son. On September 11, Deputy Szkatulkski...

Posted by Erie County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Fla. sheriff who said fugitives would be arrested at Irma shelters faces lawsuit

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is facing a lawsuit from a man who alleges he was denied access to a shelter unless he underwent a background check.

Last week, Judd posted a series of tweets stating that every shelter would be checking IDs and sex offenders and predators would “not be allowed.” He also tweeted that those with warrants seeking shelter would be escorted to the Polk County Jail.

Judd told the Orlando Sentinel that the lawsuit is “frivolous” and it won’t make him change his policy.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman told the Orlando Sentinel last week that the department hoped the policy would make residents feel safe at shelters and spur more turnout.

The suit, filed on behalf of Andres Borreno, alleges that deputies told Borreno he would have to undergo a criminal background check before he was able to enter a shelter. Since Florida driver’s licenses clearly mark someone as a sex offender, the policy was discriminatory and violates the Fourth Amendment, according to the lawsuit. The suit does not state if Borreno had an outstanding warrant.

“The officer … also never told Borreno that he was suspected of any crime or illegal act at that time,” the suit states. “Criminal suspicion is not raised by trying to enter an emergency shelter to save one’s life and the life of family members.”

Judd responded stating that Borreno wasn’t treated differently than others seeking safety. He said Borreno was offered shelter at the jail and was offered a ride.

“We check everyone who comes to a shelter to ensure they aren't a sexual predator or a child sexual offender,” Judd said. “We are absolutely not going to let a sexual predator or a child sexual offender sleep next to a child in a storm shelter.”

Judd told the Sentinel that 43 Polk County sex offenders were being sheltered at the jail. They were not in custody or behind bars.


Off-duty Puerto Rico officer fatally shot during armed robbery

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

PUERTO RICO — A Puerto Rico police officer was fatally shot by armed robbers while he was off duty at a restaurant.

Agent Roberto Medina-Mariani, 35, was eating when three armed suspects robbed four people in front of the building, ODMP reported.

Medina-Mariani identified himself after witnessing the robbery and the suspects opened fire. Even after he was shot multiple times, Medina-Mariani returned fire, wounding one of the suspects.

Telemundo reported that Medina-Mariani died at the scene. The wounded suspect was transported in police custody to the hospital. The two other suspects were arrested shortly after.

Medina-Mariani served with the U.S. Army before joining the Puerto Rico Police Department. He is survived by his wife and two children.


Ohio couple: Thief stole 15-pound pet mini pig named Spam

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police are investigating a reported break-in after a couple said someone entered their home and stole their 15-pound pet pig named Spam, jewelry, TVs, and a camera.

The owners say they suspect the thief is planning to sell the miniature pig, which they say could be valued at as much as $1,000.

Valerie Couch posted about the missing pig on Facebook and says she hopes her public plea will lead the thief to return Spam.

Cleveland police say a detective will be assigned to the case.

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CROSS POSTED ON DETROIT SHOREWAY COMMUNITY Hi, neighbors. Our house was broken into this afternoon. We live on W. 50th...

Posted by Valerie Couch on Monday, September 11, 2017


Thompson submachine gun nets $90K for Ohio sheriff’s office at auction

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Jon Baker The Times-Reporter

NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — The bidding started at $40,000, and went sky high from there.

The prize?

A Thompson Model 1921 submachine gun that was purchased by the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office on May 13, 1934, and is no longer used.

After several minutes of spirited bidding Monday evening at the Tuscarawas County Justice Center, the weapon was sold for $90,000 - significantly higher than its appraised value of $37,000. The winning bid was placed by Ryan Armstrong of Dover, who was bidding for an anonymous purchaser.

The auction was conducted by Steve Cronebaugh of Cronebaugh Auction Service. He donated his service to the county for the event.

Several other weapons were sold during the evening, netting the sheriff's office $93,275, which will be used to purchase new weapons and other necessary equipment for deputies.

Sheriff Orvis Campbell was pleased with the amount brought by the submachine gun, saying that the bids showed support for his agency.

"I know that the buyer was apparently bidding for another individual," he said. "I believe that individual is local and he wanted that gun to stay local. I know that individual, if it's who I think it is, and he is a supporter of this office, so that makes me very, very happy.

"I continue to have mixed emotions, including getting somewhat sick to my stomach during that auction, because it just seemed unreal that it was going for that kind of money.

"Although I truly respect the history, our world is getting a little more violent, and my No. 1 priority is to make sure my guys have good equipment and training. We're not a bunch of killers. We're not going out to shoot and kill people, but I have a duty."

Thompson sub machine gun sells for $90,000 at auction Monday at Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office. pic.twitter.com/UpuVcRkEYS

— Jon Baker (@jbakerTR) September 12, 2017

Earlier this year, Campbell used seized drug money to buy patrol shields and a new sniper rifle.

"I want to get my guys the stuff that they need to be safe," he said.

The money will be used to buy all deputies the same weapons, which will save on ammunition costs, "and we'll start doing a lot more scenario-based training instead of just shooting at paper targets," Campbell said. "I want to make it more realistic."

One of the other weapons sold, a Savage rifle, was purchased by Sgt. Ed Jones of the department. His father, J.R. Jones, seized that gun many years ago when he was a deputy.

County Commissioner Chris Abbuhl, who attended the auction with Commissioner Joe Sciarretti, said he was excited by the results of the auction.

"It's going to be a benefit to the sheriff's department to be able to purchase additional equipment and things the sheriff thinks are necessary for the operations of the department," he said. "This is a huge boost for the sheriff's department."

Abbuhl was surprised by the amount the sub machine brought at the auction.

"I can't fathom that kind of money for a firearm, but I'm glad there are people who have a passion for that, and have that type of expendable money," he said. "I'm glad that they showed up tonight. Not only are they adding to their collection but they're helping out the sheriff's department for law enforcement."

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©2017 The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, Ohio


Baltimore plans to offer $2,500 a year property tax discount for police, firefighters

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Ian Duncan The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — Baltimore’s leaders plan to offer local police officers, firefighters and sheriff's deputies a property tax break of $2,500 a year if they own a home in the city.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Councilman Eric T. Costello introduced the legislation that would allow the discount at a council meeting Monday. Young’s office provided an advance copy of the measure to The Baltimore Sun.

“Having more of our city’s public safety officials reside in Baltimore makes great sense from a fiscal standpoint, and will go a long way toward building better relationships between officers and the public they’re sworn to serve,” Young said in a statement.

Officials have sought in recent years to draw more police officers in particular to live in the city. They hope that would improve the relationship between the department and the community, which has been strained by years of policing that a federal investigation concluded often involved people’s rights being violated.

Fewer than one in five Baltimore Police officers live in Baltimore, according to police data.

The measure has the backing of Mayor Catherine Pugh, who as a state senator sponsored the 2016 legislation that authorized the city to offer the tax credit.

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Press Conference about Public Safety Officer’s Property Tax Credit

Posted by Baltimore Police Department on Monday, September 11, 2017

“I believe the passage of this legislation will encourage this important group to make our city their home,” Pugh said in a statement.

If the bill is to become law, it must advance from a City Council committee and then receive approval of the full 15-member council.

The property tax rate in Baltimore is more than twice that in some surrounding counties, making even similarly priced houses much more expensive to own.

Alyssia Essig, the president-elect of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, said the credit could have a significant impact because it would allow officers and firefighters to borrow some $40,000 more to buy a home.

“I love the idea, it’s a step in the right direction and I think it really helps those who are giving back to the community the most,” she said. “There are plenty of people who want to live in the city, but they’re priced out.”

State legislative analysts estimated that had the tax break gone into effect for the fiscal year that began in July, the city would have lost $1.7 million in tax revenue. The cost would rise to $2.7 million by 2022 if the number of police officers, firefighters, EMTs and deputies residing in the city grows by 3 percent a year. The program also would cost $440,000 to administer for five years.

But Costello, chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, said attracting officers to live in the city would provide an economic boost as they spend their paychecks at local businesses.

“In addition to having our public safety officers live in our city and making a positive impact on our local economy, this legislation should help grow our city,” he said in a statement.

Some cities have tried requiring officers to live locally, but it’s common for only a minority of police officers in big departments to live in the jurisdictions they serve, according an analysis of Census data by the website FiveThirtyEight.

There are notable exceptions: Almost 90 percent of Chicago officers live in the city and in Philadelphia the figure is almost 85 percent.

In Baltimore, the number of officers who live in the city has fallen in recent years, to 19.5 percent at the end of 2016 from 21.4 percent the year before. The drop came despite renewed efforts by the Police Department to recruit more local residents.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the tax break would be one among several incentives the department offers, including educational benefits and referral bonuses, to rebuild its depleted ranks.

“This is yet another tool to help fulfill our goals of recruitment and retention, which have enormously expanded over the past two years,” Davis said in a statement.

After passing the property tax break legislation for Baltimore last year, the General Assembly extended the program across the state in its most recent session. It’s not clear how many jurisdictions will offer the benefit.

Andy Barth, a spokesman for Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, said officials there are considering it. Owen McEvoy, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, said officials are planning to offer a one-time $2,000 bonus to public safety workers who buy a home in the county.

The General Assembly also considered a measure to provide a similar benefit in Baltimore to officers who rent a home, but it did not pass.

Copyright 2017 The Baltimore Sun


Ore. trooper saved by ballistic vest

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

By Samantha Matsumoto The Oregonian

CRESWELL, Ore. — An Oregon State Police trooper was shot during a traffic stop near Creswell, according to Oregon State Police officials.

The trooper is expected to survive, and a person of interest is in custody, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Yvette Shephard.

The trooper was shot in the vest at Oregon 99 and Davisson Road after attempting to stop a stolen vehicle about 1:20 p.m., Shephard said.

The trooper fired back but didn't hit the suspect, Shephard said.

She did not know how many times the trooper had been shot or whether the trooper was alone or with a partner.

The suspect initially fled but was later taken into custody, according to reports by The Register-Guard.

The shooter's car was found at Saginaw Road near milepost 1, The Register-Guard reported.

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security and Lane County sheriff's deputies were also at the shooting scene.

The Lane County Head Start outpost in Saginaw was on lockdown from just before 2:30 p.m. to about 3:30 p.m.

Charleen Strauch, operations director for Head Start of Lane County, was sent to the Saginaw building to help with crisis response.

Strauch said six toddlers and 10 adults were in the Head Start center and about 25 kids in the school that shares a building with Head Start. She estimated eight to 10 adults were with those children.

When the lockdown began, Strauch said, Head Start had a bus on the road, taking kids home. "We were told by state troopers to turn around," she said over the phone Tuesday.

When the lockdown was lifted about 3:30 p.m., the children were able to go home.

Summer Hankins, an employee of Whitsell Manufacturing off Oregon 99 and West Saginaw Road, said she and others who were working during the shooting and subsequent search were confused that law enforcement didn't contact them.

Hankins said they could see through their camera that officials were searching vehicles.

"We were kind of surprised," she said. "They didn't even come to the gate."

The Lane County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting. There is no threat to the community, Shephard said.

The most recent shooting of a state trooper was on Christmas Day, when state trooper Nic Cederberg was shot by a murder suspect 12 times. Cederberg survived. The shooter, James Tylka, later killed himself.

No other details were immediately available from the Creswell shooting.

———

©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


Berkeley police get to use pepper spray at violent protests

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Paul Elias Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Berkeley City Council on Tuesday gave police permission to use pepper spray to repel demonstrators attacking officers and others during violent protests that have repeatedly hit the city this year during political protests.

The 6-3 vote by the council came ahead of another planned speech Thursday at the University of California, Berkeley.

The city banned pepper spray in 1997 as a crowd-control weapon, though most law enforcement agencies permit officers to use it to disburse violent crowds, Berkeley police Chief Andrew Greenwood said.

Greenwood sought such permission at an emergency council meeting, saying it is preferable to batons and tear gas, which the city is allowed to use but disburses far wider than pepper spray.

The council rejected its use for crowd control Tuesday, but agreed to modify its ban and expand police powers to use it.

The council said pepper spray "shall not be used as a crowd control technique to disperse a crowd or move a crowd," the motion stated. "Police may use pepper spray upon specific individuals within a crowd who are committing acts of violence upon police or others."

Berkeley police do carry small canister of pepper spray for use on individual suspects. But the police chief said officers need permission to use bigger canisters if necessary.

Officers were preparing for violence as soon as Thursday when conservative political commentator and former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro appears on campus and again later this month when conservative figures have been invited to speak.

"It is a request made of urgency," Greenwood said.

Dozens of people lined up at City Hall to oppose arming Berkeley police with the larger canister of pepper spray, saying it is too easy for officers to use and has the potential to be used on peaceful protesters.

Some cities nationwide banned pepper spray after several high-profile incidents of police using it on peaceful protesters. An incident in which students at the University of California, Davis, were pepper-sprayed during a peaceful demonstration in 2014 led to a $1 million legal settlement for the protesters.

Ishmael Tarikh, a civil rights lawyer with the National Lawyers Guild, said police must issue a dispersal order before firing tear gas canisters. Tarikh said police don't have to issue a warning when using pepper spray.

"It's a blunt instrument used for a very precise problem," he said.

Four political demonstrations have turned violent in Berkeley since February, prompting officers to come up with new strategies to control rowdy and sometimes dangerous crowds. Berkeley police said they have not deployed tear gas at the other protests.

Police say they are struggling to balance free speech rights with preventing violence. Berkeley is facing a "large, armed coordinated group" at political events, Greenwood said.

"Our officers do not have the tools to address this threat," he said.

Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former New York City police sergeant, said it would be advantageous for police to be able to use pepper spray during protests but tactical decisions should be made based on the conditions.

He said although tear gas and pepper spray often cause the same effects, shooting tear gas at a group of protesters often means spraying innocent bystanders and people frequently throw the cans back at officers.

"There are going to be bystanders in that crowd, and let's face it, the people you're trying to control come prepared for it. They have gas masks on," Giacalone said.

Later this month, a conservative group says it plans to bring former White House adviser Steve Bannon to speak on campus along with former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos and politically conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

A Yiannopoulos appearance on campus in February was canceled for safety reasons when protests turned violent and spilled into downtown Berkeley. Protesters smashed windows of businesses and marred walls with graffiti.


Calif. police chiefs end opposition to sanctuary measure

Posted on September 13, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper and Elliot Spagat Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California police chiefs have dropped their opposition to a weakened "sanctuary state" measure that would restrict their interactions with immigration authorities, but sheriffs remained opposed Tuesday saying the measure would still limit their authority to work with federal officers in jails.

The bill was introduced in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's election as California Democrats looked to protect immigrants fearing the new Republican president would ramp up deportation. It was watered down on Monday to win support from Gov. Jerry Brown and is expected to be considered in the Legislature on Friday.

The legislative push comes as lawmakers and Brown look to spend $30 million on scholarships and legal assistance for young immigrants living illegally in the U.S. The state is also pursues two lawsuits against Trump over his decision to end a program that protects some young immigrants from deportation.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon's SB54 originally would have strictly limited the authority for state and local law enforcement officers to cooperate and share information with immigration agents, stepping up statewide sanctuary for people living in the country illegally. It drew sharp condemnation from law-enforcement officials who warned that they'd be unable to work with federal authorities on task forces or ensure dangerous criminals were deported upon release from jail.

With changes announced Monday, it will now allow local officers to transfer immigrants to federal authorities if they've been convicted of one of some 800 crimes.

It's better, the sheriffs said, but still problematic.

"We're passing laws to not communicate with other governmental agencies and I just struggle with that," Kings County Sheriff David Robinson, a vocal critic of the bill, told The Associated Press. "I'm still adamantly opposed to the bill. It does nothing to protect immigrants, whether legal or illegal. It only protects criminals."

Immigration advocates generally applauded the latest version, even with DeLeon's concessions. For them, the bill delivers a rare victory during Trump's presidency, preserving some protections for people in the country illegally and adding others.

Police chiefs dropped their opposition because the final version will allow officers to collaborate with federal investigations while reaffirming that they "should not be used to assist in mass deportations," Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said in a statement.

Sheriffs, however, held firm against the bill. Much of the bill's impact will now fall on jails, which are run by elected sheriffs who say they'll take the blame if they release someone who ends up committing another crime.

The final version prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person's immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. The bill prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.

"There's so much in this bill that prohibits us from doing stuff we already don't do," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, another outspoken critic, said in a phone interview. "It's a horrible bill that is now made where it has a minimal impact on my county."

Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, acknowledged local law enforcement may already be following some of the bill's provisions but that it was significant to enshrine them in law.

"It's not perfect but there are some reassuring things," she said Tuesday. "This is a step in the right direction."

The new legislation will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents access state law enforcement databases — something de Leon sought to prohibit in his original proposal.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the bill was a "timely and important step" toward divorcing the state from immigration enforcement and "will serve to protect communities throughout California."


DOJ won’t bring charges against officers in Gray case

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Juliet Linderman Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Department of Justice won't bring federal charges against six police officers involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, a young black man whose death touched off weeks of protests and unrest in Baltimore.

The officers were charged by state prosecutors after Gray's neck was broken in the back of a police transport wagon in April of 2015. The 25-year-old was handcuffed and shackled at the time, but he was unrestrained by a seat belt.

Three officers were acquitted at trial. Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the remaining state cases.

The Gray family's attorney, Billy Murphy, says the Justice Department informed him on Tuesday that no charges would be filed.

Five officers face internal disciplinary trials, scheduled to begin Oct. 30.


Woman found concealing gun during vaginal search at jail

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Edith Brady-Lunny The Pantagraph

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A Missouri woman faces armed violence charges after a handgun was found inside her vaginal cavity by a McLean County correctional officer performing a strip search related to the woman's arrest on drug charges.

Amika Witt, 20, of Ozark, was stopped at 5 a.m. Thursday by Chenoa police after allegedly driving 90 mph on Interstate 55.

During a search of the vehicle and the suspect, police found drugs, including heroin in the suspect's bra, and ecstasy, according to a statement read in court Friday by McLean County Assistant State's Attorney Layne Roberts.

Witt is charged with armed violence by possessing a weapon during the alleged commission of a felony and while in possession of drugs, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

A passenger in the car, Clinton McDonald, 29, of Springfield, Mo., was charged with unlawful possession of heroin with intent to deliver the drug, and unlawful possession of ecstasy.

After Witt was taken to the McLean County jail, a female correctional officer found the Kimber .380-caliber handgun inside the suspect's body, said Roberts. The gun had a fully loaded magazine and "a bullet in the chamber ready to fire," said the prosecutor.

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said a complete body search is performed on all suspects brought into the facility on drug charges. It is not uncommon for people accused of dealing drugs to be armed, he added.

"When you find drugs, you look for guns," said Sandage.

The weapons incident, while unusual, is not the first time a gun has been brought into the jail, said the sheriff.

According to Roberts' statement, the woman told police she and McDonald were en route to St. Louis with the drugs.

Witt was jailed in lieu of posting $40,035, and McDonald was jailed in lieu of posting $20,035.

———

©2017 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)


Calif. K-9 injured, suspect shot after pursuit

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A K-9 officer was injured and a suspect was shot after a police pursuit.

Police told KCRA the suspect rammed his car into a gate and struck a parked patrol car at a police substation Monday night. Multiple officers pursued the truck until the suspect crashed into a yard and fled on foot.

K-9 Reno was released to pursue the suspect. While the suspect fought with Reno, police fired multiple shots at the suspect.

The suspect fled again, broke into a home and began attacking the resident with a pipe. The suspect was taken into custody shortly after. He was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive. The resident was injured, but did not require hospitalization.

K-9 Reno was taken to a veterinary hospital where he was treated for lacerations. He is expected to fully recover.

Active search for a 2nd suspect. CHP also here helping block off street. They tell me there was a crash and shooting. @kcranews pic.twitter.com/AvuxBvi2gJ

— Dana Griffin (@KCRADana) September 12, 2017


Retired NY officer dies of 9/11-related cancer

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HARRISON, N.Y. — A retired officer who responded to Ground Zero died from cancer related to the response.

Walter Mallinson died Saturday after a “long and courageous battle,” his obituary said. He was 56.

Before his retirement, Mallinson was a K-9 officer with the Harrison Police Department. Salvatore Piazza, who owns a K-9 training company, told LoHud News that Mallinson worked well with others and was dedicated to his K-9.

Mallinson leaves behind a wife, daughter, and son, who is a state trooper.

According to LoHud News, more than 1,300 people have died due to illnesses from exposure at Ground Zero after 9/11.


Robbery suspects run into Ill. police station while fleeing

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Mark Lawton Pioneer Press Newspapers

CHICAGO — Three Chicago men charged with armed robbery in Lake Bluff inadvertently fled into the Highland Park Police Department while trying to elude capture Friday, according to police.

Eddie L. Hill, 24, of the 9300 block of South King Drive, Cordell C. Prince, 21, of the first block of East 100th Place and Aries A. Rickenbacker, 22, of the 800 block of South Vernon Avenue were all charged with armed robbery and related charges on Sept. 9, according to the Lake County Sheriff's website.

At 4:13 p.m. Sept. 8, two men went into a Verizon store at 235 S. Waukegan Road. One had a semi-automatic handgun that he held against the head of a male employee, said Lake Bluff Deputy Chief Mike Hosking.

The men then forced the store's two employees to open the safe and used zip ties on the employee's wrists, he said. They took at least 20 cell phones and other electronic devices from the safe and left through the back door, Hosking said.

The employees freed themselves and called 911, Hosking said. Lake Forest and Highland Park squad cars were stationed along Route 41 and Lake Forest police officers saw a car speeding and run a red light at Kennedy Road, police said.

The chase continued along Route 41 and exited on Old Deerfield Road in Highland Park, Hosking said.

At Richfield Avenue and Deerfield Road, the car crashed, said Highland Park Deputy Chief Timothy Wilinski.

"That's when the suspects bailed," Wilinski said. "They fled on foot. Where the crash was, was adjacent to the police parking lot. One was taken into custody in the rear parking lot of the Highland Park Police Station. The other two fled on foot and ran into the lobby of the police station, where they were taken into custody."

Wilinski said the men may have unknowingly entered the station.

"I don't think they knew it was a police facility," Wilinski added. "They were hiding behind a vending machine in our lobby."

Hill and Prince are each being held at Lake County Jail against $500,000 bond. Rickenbacker is being held against $750,000 bond. If convicted on armed robbery, a class X felony, each could be sentenced to 6 to 30 years in prison, said Cynthia Vargas, spokesperson for the Lake County States Attorney.

All three were also charged with felony possession or use of a weapon, defacement of firearm ID markings and unlawful restraint.

The next court date for all three is Oct. 5.

———

©2017 Pioneer Press Newspapers (Suburban Chicago, Ill.)


Calif. governor agrees to immigrant protections

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Don Thompson and Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Senate leader said Monday they've agreed to changes in proposed legislation that would further restrict interactions between law enforcement officers and federal immigration agents.

The agreement came on the same day the state sued the Trump administration over its decision to end a program that shields young immigrants from deportation.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, agreed to changes demanded by Brown following fierce opposition from sheriffs and other law-enforcement officials.

The bill would still prohibit state and local police from asking about people's immigration status or enforcing federal immigration laws.

However, following Monday's changes, it would preserve the ability of law officers to cooperate on federal task forces as long as the task force doesn't specifically work on immigration enforcement.

Police and jail officials would be able to notify U.S. immigration agents if they detain people with convictions for some 800 crimes, including serious felonies, battery, assault and sexual crimes.

Immigration agents would still be allowed to interview immigrants in jail, and immigration agents would not be barred from accessing state databases.

"This bill protects public safety and people who come to California to work hard and make this state a better place," Brown said in a statement.

Brown and de Leon reached their agreement in the last week of the legislative year. The Assembly and Senate must approve the measure by Friday or delay action until next year.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had no immediate comment.

California already has some of the most protective laws in the country for immigrants detained by law enforcement. The state has limited the ability of police to detain immigrants for federal deportation agents since 2014, and requires jailers to inform inmates if agents are trying to detain immigrants.

Illinois recently passed even more protective legislation that bars law enforcement from detaining immigrants solely for deportation, said Shiu Ming Cheer, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.

A handful of cities including Chicago and San Francisco, meanwhile, are refusing to cooperate with new federal requirements for tougher immigration enforcement, prompting the Trump administration to threaten to withhold funding.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, a critic of the initial state bill, said sheriffs would be discussing the latest version on a call Tuesday and declined to discuss the details. He noted that ICE generally seeks cooperation on people convicted of major crimes.

Immigrant rights groups held a noisy rally in the Capitol last week urging Brown and de Leon not to back off from the strict immigrant protections de Leon originally proposed in the wake of Donald Trump's election as president.

But the activists generally praised the compromise with Brown.

"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections," said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California. "This is where the dragnet is."

The legislative deal was announced the same day that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he's filing a lawsuit over the Trump administration's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally from deportation.

The lawsuit's legal arguments largely mirror those already filed in a lawsuit last week by 15 other states and the District of Columbia. Attorney generals for the states of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota joined California's lawsuit.

More than 200,000 of the 800,000 participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program live in California.

The University of California has also filed a legal challenge to ending the program.

Also on Monday, Mexico Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray said he and other Mexican diplomats are urging members of Congress to make the DACA program permanent and that he is not expecting an immediate influx of hundreds of thousands of young people back to Mexico.


Mo. governor meets with St. Louis clergy as wait for fatal 2011 OIS verdict continues

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Celeste Bott St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Monday met with black faith leaders, police and first responders in what he called a proactive approach to fears of unrest, as the city anxiously awaits a verdict in the murder trial of a former St. Louis police officer.

Days earlier, other clergy members calling for the first-degree murder conviction of former city cop Jason Stockley delivered a warning to the judge in the case: “The blood will be on your hands” if a guilty verdict is not issued.

Greitens addressed that tension while speaking at Washington Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in St. Louis on Monday, where he said he initiated the meeting in the hope of keeping open lines of communication between state officials and community leaders should Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson’s impending ruling spark protests similar to those in Ferguson.

“In the past in Missouri, we’ve had leaders who wanted to wait until violence happened to ask people to sit down, who wanted to wait until there are screaming people and sirens wailing,” Greitens said. “And that’s a very hard time to have a conversation.”

People are hurting, the governor acknowledged, and they’ve said as much already. Activists recently promised mass disruption if Stockley is acquitted for killing Anthony Lamar Smith, the 24-year-old he shot five times at close range after a car chase in 2011.

Stockley’s attorneys say he acted in self-defense by shooting a drug suspect who appeared to be reaching for a firearm, but prosecutors contend Stockley “executed” Smith and planted a gun in his car to justify the killing.

Stockley waived his right to a jury trial, meaning all eyes are now on Wilson, who could make a decision any day, either by calling a hearing or issuing his ruling outright.

Greitens said he had no idea when that could happen, but insisted he heard the concerns from the clergy members who wanted assurance that those protesting with dignity don’t have their demonstrations disrupted.

After the meeting, Greitens issued a warning to those with any plans to protest violently.

“Breaking a window is not free speech. Throwing bricks at police is not free speech. For folks who want to light a candle and walk in a vigil, they should know that we are here to protect them,” he said. “For those who want to light a Molotov cocktail and burn down a home, they should know we are going to arrest them.”

The Rev. Dr. Linden Bowie, president of the Missionary Baptist State Convention of Missouri, said he felt the governor was sincere in his effort to get in front of any potential destruction. But he offered a warning of his own.

“We’re not here to try to control our young activists. That’s not our responsibility. That’s not our job,” said Bowie, who had been invited to attend the sit-down with Greitens. “If a militarized police presence shows up, that will incite a certain response.”

Bowie said Greitens was told to talk not just to religious leaders, but to activists who have been on the front lines since Ferguson.

“He’s going to need to talk to people who are feeling angry, who feel their voices have been squelched,” he said.

———

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Irma leaves 3 dead in Ga., 1 in SC

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan Landrum Jr. and Russ Bynum Associated Press

ATLANTA — Irma weakened to a still-deadly tropical storm as it swirled beyond Florida, killing at least three people in Georgia, flooding the coast, sending trees crashing onto homes and forcing the world's busiest airport in Atlanta to cancel hundreds of flights.

The former hurricane remained an immense, 415-mile (668-kilometer) wide storm as its center moved on from Florida Monday afternoon, giving its still-formidable gusts and drenching rains a far reach.

Some 540,000 people were ordered to evacuate days earlier from Savannah and the rest of Georgia's coast. Irma sent 4 feet of ocean water into downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as the storm's center passed 250 miles (400 kilometers) away. City officials urged residents to stay off the streets.

In Atlanta, people nervously watched towering oak trees as the city, 250 miles inland, experienced its first tropical storm warning.

The body of a 62-year-old man who climbed a ladder behind his home was found under debris on the roof of his shed in southwest Georgia, where winds topped 40 mph (65 kph), Worth County sheriff's spokeswoman Kannetha Clem said. His wife had called 911 saying he'd had a heart attack.

"He was lodged between two beams and had a little bit of debris on top of him," Clem said. "He was on the roof at the height of the storm."

Another man, in his 50s, was killed just outside Atlanta when a tree fell on his house, Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham said.

And a woman died when a tree fell on a vehicle in a private driveway, according to the website of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

Charles Saxon, 57, became South Carolina's first recorded death when he was struck by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls amid wind gusts of about 40 mph, according to a statement from Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley.

Communities along Georgia's coast were swamped by storm surge and rainfall arriving at high tide Monday afternoon. On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Holland Zellers was grabbing a kayak to reach his mother in a home near the beach.

"In the street right now, the water is knee-to-waist deep," Zeller said.

Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen said waters were receding quickly, but many of the 3,000 residents' homes were flooded.

"I don't think people who have lived here a long time have ever seen flooding this bad," Gillen said.

The tidal surge sent damaged boats rushing more than three blocks onto downtown streets in St. Marys, just north of the Georgia-Florida state line, St. Marys Police Lt. Shannon Brock said.

Downtown Atlanta hotels remained full of evacuees. Many milled about the CNN Center, escaping crowded hotel rooms in search of open restaurants. Many were glued to storm coverage on the atrium's big screen. Parents pointed out familiar sites, now damaged, to their children.

"We've been here since Friday night, and we're ready to go home" to Palm Beach County, Florida, Marilyn Torrence said as her 4-year-old colored.

FORECAST

Irma weakened into a tropical depression late Monday, and the National Hurricane Center discontinued all storm surge and tropical weather watches and warnings related to the storm. Meteorologist Keith Stellman said Atlanta's airport recorded sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) with gusts up to 64 mph (103 kph). The hurricane center forecast Irma to drop 5 inches to 8 inches (13 to 20 centimeters) or rain across South Carolina and the northern regions of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi over the next two days.

TRANSIT

About 800 flights had been canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which remained operational Monday, even as many planes turned corners of the tarmac into a parking lot. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority suspended all bus and rail services Monday but said it would resume limited service Tuesday morning with plans to expand service as weather conditions improve. Downtown Atlanta's streets were eerily quiet, with restaurants, businesses and schools closed. Traffic flowed easily on the city's interstates, normally a sea of brake lights during rush hours.

POWER

Nearly 1.5 million Georgia Power and EMC customers were without power. Alabama Power reported 45,000 outages. Utilities said thousands of employees were prepared to respond, but repairs could take several days.

COASTS

Georgia's coast was largely empty less than a year after Hurricane Matthew caused $500 million in damage and killed three people last October. In Charleston, South Carolina, the ocean topped the Battery wall that typically protects downtown. Only Hurricane Hugo's direct hit in 1989 and a 1940 hurricane that hit a short way down the coast pushed higher seas.

Smaller communities also were inundated — the entire South Carolina town of Edisto Beach, population 530, was covered with several feet of water, Mayor Jane Darby said, despite a $17 million dune restoration project following Matthew's destruction.

TREES

Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong said six crews were responding to fallen trees around the city as winds and rain intensified. About half the city's land area is covered by trees — more than most urban areas. Savannah's winds caused palm trees to bend and sway. And much of Alabama has pine trees that can snap in high winds.

Firefighters were rescuing people from homes struck by trees near the Florida line in Lowndes County, Georgia. With wind gusts reaching 70 mph (112 kph), authorities imposed a daytime curfew for the 112,000 residents of Lowndes County, which includes Valdosta, county spokeswoman Paige Dukes said.


Suspect wanted after SC officer-involved shooting

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Noah Feit The State

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputy was involved in a shooting Monday night.

The officer-involved shooting in Leesville was reported prior to 6 p.m. by the LCSD, which said a suspicious person pulled handgun on Lexington County deputy.

A deputy was reportedly flagged down by a citizen about a suspicious person, and the deputy made contact with the suspect in the 2100 block of Devil’s Backbone Road, not far from Cedar Grove Lutheran Church.

If you know who she is, please have her call us at 785-8230. We'd like to talk to her as our work on this case continues. #LCSDnews #LESM https://t.co/8hMfOG1f5r

— Lexington Sheriff (@LCSD_News) September 12, 2017

“At approximately 4:20 (p.m.), the deputy located the subject along the road,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

After a brief encounter, the suspect pulled a handgun and pointed it at the deputy, who then fired his service weapon, according to Koon, adding the deputy was not struck by gunfire.

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?Latest from Sheriff Koon on officer-involved shooting on Devil's Backbone Road in Leesville. #LCSDnews #LESM?

Posted by Lexington County Sheriff's Department on Monday, September 11, 2017

The suspect fled into woods, and the LCSD was in pursuit with a K-9 unit before concluding the search Monday night, according to the LCSD, adding extra patrols are scheduled for the area overnight.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-10, or 5-11, black male with a medium build wearing dark clothing, according to Koon. It is unknown if the subject was struck by the deputy’s shots.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, said Koon, urging anyone who sees him to call 9-1-1.

SLED was called in to assist in the investigation, as is the standard policy for officer-involved shootings by other agencies.

#BREAKING: Officer-involved shooting in Leesville. Suspicious person pulled handgun on Lexington County deputy. More info to come. #LCSDnews pic.twitter.com/hEtpnBiFoz

— Lexington Sheriff (@LCSD_News) September 11, 2017

———


Police: DNA confirms identity of boy encased in concrete

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — Police say DNA results have positively identified the Kansas boy discovered earlier this month encased in concrete.

Wichita police said in a news release Monday that the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center determined that the remains are those of 3-year-old Evan C. Brewer, grandson of former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.

Police discovered his body on Sept. 2 inside a Wichita house where his mother, Miranda Miller, and her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, had lived. Miller is charged with aggravated interference with parental custody, while Bodine is charged with aggravated assault.

No charges have been filed in the boy's death.

The landlord cleaning out the property alerted police to the suspicious concrete structure emitting an odor.

The boy's father, Carlo Brewer, had earlier contacted state officials and police about his son's welfare.


Fingerprints on bomb central to terror trial of US citizen

Posted on September 12, 2017 by in POLICE

By Tom Hays Associated Press

NEW YORK — A U.S. citizen accused of abandoning his birth nation to fight for al-Qaida was to be put on trial Tuesday, a day after the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, in a case that hinges partly on fingerprints found on an unexploded bomb.

Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, who was born in Houston and raised in Dubai, was captured by security forces in Pakistan in 2014. His case has drawn extra attention because of reports American officials had debated whether to try to kill him in a drone strike, a step almost never taken against U.S. citizens. The administration of President Barack Obama ultimately decided to try for a capture and civilian prosecution instead.

Farehk, 31, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other crimes. There was no response to a request for comment from his defense team.

Most the charges against Farehk stem from an attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost City, Afghanistan, on Jan. 19, 2009, involving two vehicles rigged with explosives and driven by suicide bombers. An initial blast injured several Afghans, including a pregnant woman, but a much larger bomb failed to go off, sparing the lives of American soldiers.

Forensic technicians in Afghanistan recovered 18 of Farehks' fingerprints on adhesive packing tape used to bind the explosives on the unexploded bomb, prosecutors said in a court filing.

A jury was to hear about the evidence at opening statements Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Before Farekh's capture in Pakistan, the Pentagon nominated him for a kill list for terrorism suspects, with CIA officials also lobbying the White House to authorize his killing, according to a report in The New York Times. But the Department of Justice pushed back, questioning whether he was a big enough player in the terror network to take the extraordinary step of killing an American overseas without a trial.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken steps to give the CIA and the military more latitude to target and kill al-Qaida and Islamic State group militants without presidential sign-off in places including Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has argued Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. military base in Cuba, is the best place to try terror suspects, saying civilian courts give legal protections to which they are not entitled.

During the presidential campaign, Trump, a Republican, said he wanted to keep the detention center in Cuba open after Obama, a Democrat, had long fought to close it. Trump promised to "load it up with some bad dudes."


Police: Thieves take SUV pulling U-Haul with a casket inside

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police say thieves have stolen an SUV and an attached U-Haul trailer — with a casket inside — outside an Albuquerque motel.

Albuquerque police say the coffin heist occurred early Monday at a Residence Inn.

Authorities say the casket contained the body of the victim's father-in-law.

Police are searching for a black 2005 Chevy Trailblazer SUV with Oklahoma license plates.

No arrests have been made.


Chicago’s lawsuit over sanctuary city threat goes to court

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Attorneys for Chicago will urge a federal judge on Monday to block President Donald Trump's administration from following through on threats to withhold public safety grants from so-called sanctuary cities unless they agree to tougher enforcement of immigrations laws.

Chicago is among at least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, refusing to cooperate with the new federal requirements.

Chicago sued the U.S. Department of Justice last month, arguing the new policy was unconstitutional. The nation's third largest city has also requested a preliminary injunction that would halt the safety-grants policy at least until the civil case plays out.

The city's lawsuit focuses on conditions set by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to qualify for the grants, including that cities give federal agents access to detention facilities. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said Chicago won't "be blackmailed" into changing its values as a city welcoming of immigrants.

Sessions has said tougher enforcement of immigration laws will help reduce crime. He also warned that Chicago would forfeit its rights to the federal funds if it insists on violating the "rule of law." The city says complying with the federal rules would harm relations between the immigrant community and police on crime.

Chicago has received the public safety grants since 2005, spending $33 million to purchase police vehicles and equipment. The city received $2.3 million last year. The city hasn't been denied its grant applications for the money in the past.

The Justice Department argues that tying public safety grants to conditions isn't new. It says cities had to meet more than 50 special conditions, including demonstrating compliance with civil rights laws, to receive grants in 2016, "none of which generated ... legal challenges" from Chicago.

In April, a federal judge suspended the Trump administration's orders in San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick said federal money that "bears no meaningful relationship" to immigration can't be threatened simply because Trump doesn't like local policies. The Justice Department at that time said "only a limited range of grants" were at risk.

Some cities that don't have formal sanctuary policies said they've been targeted, including Baltimore. Two California cities, Stockton and San Bernardino, said they were told they wouldn't qualify for a federal anti-crime program unless immigration agents had access to their jails.


What the post-9/11 evolution of Islamic terror means for police

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Mike Wood
Author: Mike Wood

It was 16 years ago today that Islamic terrorists commandeered four commercial aircraft and used them as weapons in the most deadly terror attack on U. S. soil. A battered and shocked America soon dusted itself off and struck back against the enemy’s strongholds in Afghanistan in the opening blows of a campaign against Islamic terrorism that remains unfinished.

America has changed significantly in the intervening years. Our enemies have changed as well, and the threat of Islamic terrorism has evolved in ways that Americans couldn’t have comprehended as they stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center or Pentagon, or in the charred soil of a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 16 years ago.

In order to fulfill our public safety mission, the law enforcement community must understand the changes in the Islamic terror threat so that we’re prepared to defend against it. If we don’t keep pace with the current threat, we’ll be no better off than we were on September 10, 2001, the day before the “unthinkable” happened.

CHANGING TRENDS

Some of the notable changes in the Islamic terror threat since 9/11 include:

1. Decentralized control

In the 9/11 era, terrorists established small cells that operated with a lot of autonomy but still interfaced with the organization and its leaders to coordinate critical items like funding, logistics and date/time of mission execution. Since these communication links allowed us to locate and terminate many key figures, the organizations have taken steps to further decentralize control.

Nowadays terrorists may run through the planning and execution cycle without interacting with a handler or the organization’s leadership. Terror leaders may simply identify a target (or even a broad goal) in a secure announcement, and expect that dedicated followers will organize and execute their own fully independent efforts to comply with the direction. This makes it increasingly difficult for law enforcement and intelligence services to identify and locate potential terrorists before they attack.

2. Recruiting sources

In the 9/11 era, terrorists were largely sourced from foreign locations and trained overseas before they were sent to the target country to conduct operations.

Since then, Islamic terror organizations have emphasized the radicalization and recruiting of “homegrown” terrorists most often through social media. This provides cost and logistical advantages, and also makes it more difficult to identify and locate potential terrorists before they attack, particularly if they already have “insider access” to potential targets.

3. Target Location

In the 9/11 era, the logistics of getting trained foreign personnel into America helped prevent terrorists from being able to strike targets here. This was especially true during the period when the U.S. military was actively engaged in combat operations overseas. As a result, many terror attacks were launched against U.S. interests in foreign countries (embassies, deployed U.S. military assets, etc.).

Since that time, the recruiting of home-grown terrorists, the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the easing of military pressure on the enemy made it more practical to target locations on American soil.

4. Target Selection

In the 9/11 era, there was an emphasis on hitting “hard” targets such as government buildings, military assets or critical infrastructure like transportation systems.

Since then, Islamic terror groups have switched focus to “soft” targets with less rigorous security measures and greater vulnerabilities such as shopping malls, schools, churches, nightclubs, businesses and cultural attractions. “Soft” areas of “hard” targets (such as security queues) are also more likely to be hit.

5. Weapons

In the 9/11 era, there was an emphasis on using weapons that required a relatively high degree of sophistication (hijacked aircraft, explosives, chemical or biological weapons). Since these weapons required advanced training to employ, made logistics more complicated and increased the risk of detection (during acquisition, transportation, and employment), they were unsuitable for the next generation of homegrown, unsophisticated attackers that were being recruited. It was easier for radicalized, self-trained, homegrown terrorists to acquire and successfully use fire, a vehicle, a knife or a gun without being detected beforehand.

6. Complex, Coordinated Attack (CCA)

Prior to 9/11, most terror attacks were executed against a single target, but the success of the 9/11 attack showed that even the mightiest of nations could be temporarily paralyzed by a series of closely-spaced, coordinated attacks that were executed by multiple teams across many target locations. The trend toward complex, coordinated attack methodology has increased rapidly over the last several years, and we should expect it to continue.

LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

In order to guarantee our ability to defeat these attackers, law enforcement should focus on the following areas:

1. Study the threat

Law enforcement has an obligation to keep abreast of changes and trends in terrorist activity, and to share this information with the larger public safety community (EMS, fire, private security, etc.). We cannot allow our understanding of the threat to grow stale – we need to constantly seek intelligence, analyze it and synthesize it into a continuously evolving action plan.

2. Education and training

We must push for continuous education and training for public safety professionals, and be careful not to overlook the critical needs of agency and civic leaders.

Training efforts frequently focus on “the troops” while neglecting civic leaders and agency command staffs, creating a weak link that will doom any emergency response.

Rigorous training and practice in Incident Command System (ICS) skills – to include frequent tabletop exercises for key civic and department leaders – are an essential part of the training and education effort.

3. Focus on skills, not equipment

Enhanced equipment (night vision, armored rescue vehicles, patrol rifles, etc.) is an important force multiplier, but no amount of technology can make up for deficiencies in training and education. A highly trained and tactically proficient officer equipped with standard patrol gear is a greater asset in a terror attack than a kitted-out officer with no training in tactical movement and team operations.

4. Enhance flexibility

We must remain flexible in our tactics, techniques and procedures for dealing with an ever-evolving terror threat. If we practice the same things and plan for the same set of fixed scenarios, we will be unprepared to deal with new and unanticipated developments. No two terror attacks are identical, and we must be flexible enough to adapt to the unique circumstances of any attack. Agencies should focus on building the core capabilities that are necessary in any emergency response (independent thinking, communications, command and control, individual skill with weapons and equipment, transportation, logistics, interagency coordination, casualty care, etc.) and avoid investing too much effort on the development of specific contingency plans and tactics that could easily be overcome by events.

5. Stay light

It’s easy for specialized teams such as SWAT to become so big and heavy that they lose their mobility and responsiveness. Armored rescue vehicles are an important asset, but may not allow a SWAT team to keep up with highly mobile attackers using hit-and-run tactics in a CCA. Ensure that tactical teams retain their agility and the ability to quickly deploy where they are needed.

6. Have a reserve

In an environment where CCA tactics are likely to be used, it’s important to have a force in reserve. Committing all of an agency’s assets to a single location may leave that agency unprepared to respond to an attack elsewhere. Additionally, it makes us vulnerable to a secondary attack at the original scene, which could decimate our capabilities.

It requires a substantial commitment in resources and training to have enough trained personnel and equipment to maintain reserves, and it also requires special training and education for leaders to understand how to deploy available forces wisely. Agencies should consider adopting a training program like the National Tactical Officers Association Advanced Response Patrol Officer program to enhance the training of selected patrol officers so that they can provide an intermediate level of capability between patrol and SWAT.

7. Protect assets

Ensure that critical assets such as police stations, communications towers, etc., are hardened and secured against attack. Disperse critical assets so that an attack on a single location cannot eliminate them en toto or prevent them from being accessible if key transportation arteries are blocked. Similarly, ensure redundancy for critical assets by having more than one of anything that’s important (teams, equipment, communication systems, leaders, etc.).

8. Focus on cyberspace

The online environment is where recruiting, resource acquisition and the planning cycle are conducted in the modern era of terrorism. Every agency needs trained personnel who can operate in this arena, extract the best intelligence from it, use it to communicate with the public and make the greatest use of this vital tool. Most agencies are deficient in the amount of resources they have committed to this critical area.

9. Improve interagency capabilities

The day of public safety “stovepipes” is over – it’s no longer possible for police to focus on “police stuff” and fire to focus on “fire stuff.” All public safety agencies need to be able to work together and combine assets in the tactical environment. They need to cultivate common language and common tactics, and be able to integrate command and control structures so that “blue” and “red” forces can migrate toward a “purple” operational capability. In a similar vein, law enforcement agencies must work closely with allied law enforcement agencies from surrounding areas so that they can seamlessly integrate when the situation demands cooperation. In the era of CCA tactics, no one agency can supply enough manpower to deal with a terror attack – outside help will be required.

10. Work with the community

The communities we serve are the eyes and ears of our operations. We need to encourage heightened public awareness and foster relationships that enable a two-way transfer of information. Community members are the real “first responders” and need to have the training, mindset and equipment necessary to defend themselves and save lives while they wait for public safety professionals to respond. We need to partner with the community and share our expertise to help them improve their self-sufficiency, because there simply aren’t enough of us to help all of them, particularly in the wake of a major incident. We have a responsibility to train the public in disaster preparedness and response, first aid, active shooter response and the lawful use of force in self-defense so that they can reduce their vulnerabilities to attack and aid in recovery efforts. If we want to fulfill our mandate to protect and serve the public, then we need to ensure that the public, civic leaders and agency leaders understand the role they play in their own safety, and cannot rely solely on government to protect them. We need to support them in that effort.

THE WAY FORWARD

The threat of Islamic terrorism has evolved since the 9/11 attack 16 years ago, and so must our response to defending the public from it.

This is a process, not a destination. There will never be a time or place where we will be able to declare total readiness and retire our efforts because the threat is constantly changing and our training and preparations require continuous effort and updates to keep them viable.

It’s been said that the military is always preparing to fight the last war, and it’s likely that the public safety community is in jeopardy of doing the same. On this sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, let’s agree to prevent that mindset from taking hold, and commit ourselves to keeping pace with the changing threat.

Never forget. God bless you all and be safe out there.


Photo: First responders deliver baby during Hurricane Irma

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Amid the chaos of Hurricane Irma, a group of first responders brought a sense of peace to a woman who went into labor during the storm.

Dispatch Lou Falco told CNN that the baby was already on her way when he picked up the 911 call.

Police and fire crews drove an armored vehicle through the city, but it was difficult to reach her home due to storm damage.

“When we got there, [the baby] was pretty much all the way out… and the mother of the person in labor was actually pretty much delivering the baby – her own granddaughter – in the bathroom on the floor,” Asst. Fire Chief John Whalen said.

First responders cut the baby’s umbilical cord before the mother and child were transported to the hospital. A photo posted by the Coral Springs Fire Department shows the first responders comforting the mother while another first responder holds the baby.

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#BREAKING: Kudos to our 911 Dispatch, Coral Springs Police and Coral Springs Fire Department for delivering a baby girl safely at home during #HurricaneIrma @cbs4 @nbc6 @wsvn

Dikirim oleh Coral Springs Police pada 10 September 2017

“We were trying to do everything professionally, but I wanted to take pictures to share this moment because it’s not very often that we get to experience something like this,” Sgt. Scott Myers said.

The mother and baby are recovering. The first responders were invited back to meet the baby named April.


Body cam shows shootout between Ariz. officer, driver

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Police released body camera footage Friday of a January shootout between a driver and an officer.

Officer Anthony Cano was on patrol on Jan. 20 when he came across a car that looked like it had been involved in a crash, AZFamily reported.

The body camera footage shows Cano speaking to the driver, Abel Rodriguez, asking him who owns the vehicle he’s driving because the plates didn’t match the car. Cano asks for paperwork and tells Rodriguez to open the car door, but he refuses.

Sgt. Scott Waite told the publication that Rodriguez drew a weapon he had concealed under his shirt and opened fire on Cano. Cano tells the dispatcher that shots have been fired and several other shots are heard.

Cano tells Rodriguez to get on the ground and to not reach for his firearm again. Waite said Rodriguez got out of his vehicle and fired more shots at Cano before the officer returned fire.

Cano was uninjured. Rodriguez was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released into police custody.


Viral photo shows Fla. LEO, K-9 passed out from Hurricane Irma response

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MIAMI — As Irma made landfall in Florida Sunday as a Category 4 storm, first responders were working overtime to ensure people in their communities stayed safe.

A photo tweeted by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department Sunday shows an officer sleeping on a cot while holding the hand of his sleeping K-9. The PD captioned the photo “#WeAreInThisTogether.”

#FLPD #WeAreInThisTogether #HurricaneIrma pic.twitter.com/HFUfS41DU7

— Fort Lauderdale PD (@FLPD411) September 10, 2017

Multiple agencies posted on social media, assuring those who stayed behind or sought safety in shelters that first responders were working tirelessly through the storm.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared a photo on Facebook Sunday of a stuffed trunk of a patrol car, writing that “when you leave for work and you don’t have any idea when you will be back home.”

“You are prepared that your police car is now your bed,” the post read. “You have enough food and clothes to be self sustained for 72 hours. JSO is ready for Hurricane Irma. We are here for you!”

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When you leave for work and you don't have any idea when you will be back home. You are prepared that your police car is...

Posted by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Gainesville Police Department shared a 360 photo on Facebook on Sunday as well showing a room full of police officers preparing to assist.

“Hundreds of officers have left their families at home to serve and protect you! We are here if you need us and will be out until the sustained winds keep us inside for safety,” the post read.

Stay safe out there.

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We're ready to get to work for you, Gainesville. As of this morning, GPD is working Alpha/Bravo emergency rotations...

Posted by Gainesville Police Department on Sunday, 10 September 2017


Portland police to halt, purge all gang designations

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By Maxine Bernstein The Oregonian

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police next month will end their more than 20-year-old practice of designating people as gang members or gang associates in response to strong community concerns about the labels that have disproportionately affected minorities.

The Police Bureau recognizes that the gang designations have led to "unintended consequences'' and served as lifelong barriers for those who have shunned the gang lifestyle and tried to get jobs, said Acting Tactical Operations Capt. Andy Shearer.

Leaders from Black Male Achievement, former police Assistant Chief Kevin Modica and others have lobbied to end the designations.

"Gang violence isn't going to go away. There are still crimes attributed to known gang sets. There are still criminal gang members. That doesn't go away because we don't have a gang designation,'' said Capt. Mike Krantz, who helped spearhead the change. "We're not pretending gang violence doesn't exist. We're just taking this one thing away.''

Krantz said Friday that the Police Bureau has considered ending gang designations for two years as gang enforcement officers met with parole and probation officers, community members and others to figure out the details. They recently got the approval of former Chief Mike Marshman and current Interim Chief Chris Uehara.

The move also comes as city auditors since last fall have closely examined the bureau's Gang Enforcement Team and its work.

Police will send out letters to everyone on the gang list alerting them that the bureau will purge all documents related to the designations. The new policy will take effect Oct. 15.

"It takes courage for the bureau to take this step,'' said C.J. Robbins, program coordinator for Black Male Achievement.

He applauded Modica and others in the bureau who responded to his group's concerns and "acknowledged, 'Hey this is not OK.'"

"This is too long coming,'' said Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as the city's police commissioner. "It was the right thing to do.''

Wheeler, who recently selected the first African American woman to serve as the bureau's new police chief, said the decision shows that city police are committed to rebuilding trust with the community.

The Oregonian/OregonLive review of the controversial gang affiliation database showed that police labeled someone a "criminal gang affiliate'' more than 100 times each year, without a conviction, without an arrest. Police were able to add someone to the list if the person self-identified as a member of a gang, participated in a gang initiation ritual, committed a gang-related crime or displayed two or more observable signs of gang membership.

Those labels would pop up as a red flag when officers ran someone's name on their mobile computer database. Nicknames, employers, schools, vehicles and associates were included in the gang designation reports.

Those reports and flags will no longer exist, Krantz said. Instead, police will record alleged criminal conduct, such as a person's past possession of guns or involvement in a shooting, which may pop up as a flag on a computer screen and still help alert officers to a potential threat.

Police said improved technology by the Oregon State Police and its crime lab, allowing officers to more rapidly compare shell casings or bullets recovered from scenes of shootings, has allowed officers to improve investigations and better track suspects or shootings without a need to identify people as members of a certain gang.

Kirsten Snowden, a Multnomah County chief deputy district attorney, said the change shouldn't affect prosecutions stemming from gang violence. Prosecutors still will have to present evidence through other means if they want to prove a certain crime was motivated by gang rivalries, for example.

Roberta Phillip-Robbins, executive director of MRG Foundation that works for social justice and against racial inequities, asked police what steps they're taking to get rid of "other forms of profiling?''

Shearer said officers are instructed and trained to focus on the crime not the person to investigate violent crimes.

The Gang Enforcement Team and its officers who respond immediately to investigate shootings or stabbings will continue in its role. This year, it has responded to 81 shootings, assaults or stabbings, a roughly 25 percent drop compared to the same period last year.

"There are still certain characteristics of gang-involved shootings,'' Krantz said. "Was there 30 shots and no one stuck around? Was it a drive-by shooting?''

Police are noticing more shots fired at each shooting. About 3:40 a.m. Tuesday, for example, a house that wasn't the intended target was sprayed with 28 gunshots and two more shots struck its front fence. Remarkably, no one was injured, police said.

With no state laws other than racketeering statutes that prohibit illegal activity by an organized criminal enterprise, police asked, "Why do we have gang designations?'' Krantz said.

"What we're really investigating is the violent crime,'' he said.

Yet Krantz said some officers have expressed concerns about the decision, and how it will impact their work.

Choo Fair, who works as a mentor for Multnomah County probation and parole and is a former Bloods gang member, praised the move.

"It's a beautiful thing. They can no longer label anybody,'' he said.

He expects it also will affect county parole and probation officers, who sometimes find an offender in violation of their probation because they continued to hang out with known gang members.

———

©2017 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)


Miami police investigate looting during Hurricane Irma

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By David Smiley Miami Herald

MIAMI — Miami police are investigating reports of looting as the remnants of Hurricane Irma blow through the city.

Police have detained two people and taken two suspects into custody Sunday evening, and officers are now back patrolling the streets after strong winds toppled cranes, pushed the bay over sea walls and forced police to stay inside, Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera told the Miami Herald.

Burglary call at sporting goods store has been peacefully resolved. Two suspects in custody. No officers hurt: pic.twitter.com/nJppsK7MYq

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) September 11, 2017

Cabrera said the people detained were stopped by officers in relation to reports of looting at the Shops at Midtown around 1:10 p.m., when winds from the hurricane were at or near their strongest. He said one crew in a white truck hit multiple locations, and police have received additional reports of looting as the evening loomed.

“During the peak of the hurricane, we got a call about looting at Midtown,” he said. “Our units are being dispersed throughout the city with high visibility.”

#BREAKING Local 10 cameras catch looters breaking into stores in Fort Lauderdale during #Irma https://t.co/45ESxKpUdk pic.twitter.com/tjCH1iqhH8

— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) September 10, 2017

Miami police issued a curfew Saturday night in part to ward off looters by giving officers probable cause to stop people for simply being on the street, given how many people have abandoned their businesses and homes during the hurricane. Fort Lauderdale police also arrested looters.

Cabrera didn’t know exactly how many lootings have been reported, and it’s unclear what shops were hit at Midtown. City Manager Daniel Alfonso said police are responding, though officials remain concerned about the weather.

“If the looters can be out there, we can be out there,” he said.

EYEWITNESS: Looters caught ransacking Miami Foot Locker store during #HurricaneIrma pic.twitter.com/c9lw4cRFdj

— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) September 10, 2017

———

©2017 Miami Herald


Police: NC officer fatally shoots armed man who fired shots in hospital

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Authorities say a police officer in North Carolina shot and killed a man who had opened fire in a hospital.

Police say they were called to Novant Health Medical Center in Huntersville at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday about a man who had fired several shots.

The man was armed when officers found him. Police said in a statement that they felt "threatened by the man's actions" and fired multiple shots, killing him.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released. Authorities say no one else was injured.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

We're waiting on the Huntersville PD Chief to give an update about the shooting that happened at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center. pic.twitter.com/D7jGCmEiGy

— Ann Wyatt Little (@AnnWyattonFOX46) September 11, 2017


Cops find red balloon floating in Stephen King’s hometown

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BANGOR, Maine — Police in the Maine city that's home to Stephen King played a prank to coincide with the opening of the horror film "It," based on King's book.

The police department said Thursday on Facebook that a red balloon was "found" floating near the department's stuffed duck, which has been the department's mascot over the years.

A red balloon is the calling card of Pennywise, the sewer-dwelling, homicidal clown in "It." The book is set in Derry, Maine. King has said the fictionalized town is based on Bangor.

Lt. Tim Cotton joked in the Facebook post that the balloon's discovery was "a little creepy." He says King says he has "no idea" how the balloon ended up behind the secure doors of the police department.

The feature film "It" opened Friday.

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When we found the red balloon floating near the Duck of Justice, I surmised out of town pranksters were to blame. I...

Posted by Bangor Maine Police Department on Thursday, September 7, 2017


9/11 first responders face illness, uncertain future

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chau Lam Newsday

NEW YORK — The day after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, then-New York City police officer Tom Wilson joined thousands of first responders and rescue workers at the Lower Manhattan site searching for survivors.

He spent weeks digging through the ruins at Ground Zero and sorting debris at the Fresh Kill landfill on Staten Island. Now he’s sick, diagnosed with cancer in 2008.

“I had half my tongue cut out,” Wilson said in a recent interview.

The 48-year-old from Bellport is one of thousands of first responders and rescue workers who, a decade and half after the Twin Towers fell, are battling diseases that doctors with the World Trade Center Health Program have associated with exposure to toxic fumes and dust at Ground Zero.

Many are living lives of disability and facing an uncertain future. Others know their fate all too well. Soon, they will join a burgeoning roll call of those whose dedicated service in the days after the nation’s worst terror attacks will likely cost them their lives.

This week, 156 names will be added to the memorial walls in a Nesconset park, bringing the total number of first responders who died from illnesses linked to their work at Ground Zero to more than 850, according to John Feal, a 9/11 first responder and president of the FealGood Foundation.

The three walls inside the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park were erected to honor their service.

“I find solace that those names are etched and they’ll be there forever,” Wilson said. “But at the same time, I find it disturbing that it’s just growing and growing.”

Here are the stories of three first responders from Long Island whose lives and the lives of their loved ones have been forever altered by their work in the days after 9/11.

Robert Tilearcio

These days, Tina Tilearcio rarely leaves her husband’s bedside. She times her errands and breaks to coincide with his naps.

“I ran to the beach twice when I knew he was sleeping and he wasn’t going to get up,” said Tilearcio, of Massapequa Park.

In the finite amount of time she has remaining with her husband Robert Tilearcio — be it a day, a week, or a month — Tina Tilearcio wants to spend every minute of it with the man she fell in love with more than three decades ago.

Robert Tilearcio, 58, a New York City firefighter, is dying of brain cancer, a disease connected to his work turning over debris searching for survivors and remains in the days and weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Rounds of radiation and chemotherapy after surgery to remove the tumor kept the disease at bay for more than two years. But on July 11, doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in Manhattan told Robert Tilearcio there was nothing else they could do to treat his cancer — glioblastoma, a fast-spreading malignancy.

“We started crying,” said Tina Tilearcio, 53.

On the Tuesday when terrorists crashed two commercial planes into the Twin Towers, Robert Tilearcio and fellow firefighters at Engine 266 in Far Rockaway drove toward the Lower Manhattan site. He spent two days looking for survivors and searching for remains of fellow firefighters and the men and women who perished when the buildings collapsed.

“He didn’t have any masks, nothing,” said Tina Tilearcio.

For at least a month after that, Tina Tilearcio said her husband worked 24-hour shifts, came home for about eight hours, and returned to Ground Zero.

“Just enough time to sleep, shower, and go back,” she said.

For more than a decade, Robert Tilearcio continued to work, switching to light duty whenever symptoms of his growing list of ailments, including gastroesophageal acid reflux, or GERD, and difficulty breathing, prevented him from fighting fires.

Then, on April 29, 2015, Robert Tilearcio came home from work, mowed the lawn and showered. He and his wife, a real-estate agent, were about to leave to show houses to prospective buyers.

“And, all of a sudden he screamed from the top of his lungs, and threw his hands up in the air, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God’, as loud as he could,” Tina Tilearcio recalled. “He did like a ballerina turn. I managed to grab him by his pants and eased him down so his head wouldn’t hit the ceramic tiles.”

At St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage, doctors found a tumor the size of a chestnut on his brain. The official diagnosis came on May 8, 2015.

“They said he had 18 months,” Tina Tilearcio said.

Several weeks ago, Robert Tilearcio, who had been receiving end-of-life care at a hospital, returned home.

“The first day he woke up, he looked at the time, he went ‘8:30’,” Tina Tilearcio said. “He couldn’t believe he slept until 8:30.”

When his daughter came home from work, they sometimes told jokes or watched recordings of Robert Tilearcio performing on stage when he was a student at Stand-Up University, a comedy school in Bellmore.

“She plays her music and we dance around,” Tina Tilearcio said.

Friends and family stopped by, including Robert Tilearcio’s parents, who usually brought him newspapers. Visitors left rosary beads.

“I wish that somebody out there could find a cure, and a miracle could happen,” Tina Tilearcio said.

Tom Wilson

When Tom Wilson learned he had cancer in 2008, the father of four young boys had just welcomed a newborn daughter into the world.

He was only 39.

“I said I could die from this,” said Wilson, a former New York City Police officer who is now working for the Suffolk County Police Department.

Although currently cancer-free, Wilson continues to struggle with the side effects of the radiation used to treat his cancer and the occasional scare that the disease might return.

“One year, my tongue blew up to the size of a lemon. I couldn’t breathe,” Wilson said. “Over the years, I get these flare-ups. I can’t swallow.”

One such episode in December 2016 was so bad he couldn’t open his mouth or move his jaw, Wilson said.

Less than six months later, doctors at the Stony Brook WTC Wellness Program diagnosed Wilson with osteoradionecrosis or dead bone.

“Radiation not only kills the cancer cells, but it kills the good stuff around it,” said Wilson. “Basically, certain areas of my jaw [are] turning into sawdust.”

Wilson is taking medication that helps change the viscosity of his blood.

“Hopefully that slows it down,” Wilson said. “But I got to be careful with the jaw. It’s very fragile.”

So, wrestling with his four rambunctious sons and daughter, which he used to love to do, is out of the question.

“I got to limit my physical activity. That takes a toll,” said Wilson. “I try to put up a front because you don’t want to bring your kids down.”

Wilson’s teeth are beginning to fall out, but implants are not possible because he said the blood vessels in the jawbone don’t regenerate.

His fear, Wilson said, is the day when the jawbone cracks.

“So, when my jaw does fracture, I’d have to take a piece of (bone from) my leg area and rebuild it,” he said.

For right now, Wilson is thankful to be alive and around to watch his children, ages 9 to 16, grow up.

He knows that one day his name will be added to one of the memorial walls at the 9/11 Responders Remembered Park.

“Yeah, I guess I can be on that wall someday, but I am not going to dwell on it,” Wilson said. “If you dwell on it, the terrorists win.”

Ken George

Ken George gets angry when he hears people say the 9/11 terror attacks happened 16 years ago, get over it.

“How can I get over it when I have to take 32 different medications a day,” said George, of North Babylon.

The medications George takes daily for myriad ailments include those for his heart, lungs, cough, and PTSD.

His bones, he said, are deteriorating, causing him pain.

“To live with pain, like I do, 24/7, I think that’s enough suffering,” said George, now 53, who worked for the New York City Department of Transportation.

On the first night of the terror attacks, George was sent to Ground Zero to sort and remove debris, including human remains.

George remembered that when he and other workers at the site removed a large steel beam, a plume of green smoke floated out of the ground.

“We all fell to our knees,” he said. “We couldn’t breathe.”

Soon after, George developed a cough, which he said lasted a month. At the time, his doctor said he had bronchitis and asthma.

“But the cough wouldn’t go away. I went back to the doctor but none of the cough meds worked,” said George, adding that the doctor finally found one that controlled his cough. “And, I’ve been on that cough medicine now for 16 years.”

One illness led to another and soon they put a strain on his heart, which he said led to a heart attack in 2005.

When George was working, he said he was required to submit to a physical examination every two years. His health and his weight, George said, were “perfect.”

Now he depends on an oxygen tank and walks with a cane.

Activities that once brought him joy are now off limits, such as swimming in a pool or attending a baseball game.

“I can’t go out to a ballgame because when there are too many people around, I have a panic attack,” he said.

If his daughter wears too much perfume, it triggers an attack.

“I can’t breathe,” he said.

At night, when the crickets chirp, George closes his bedroom windows. The sound of the insects reminds George of what he heard during those days at Ground Zero: the ringing of personal alert safety systems worn by firefighters to let others know they are in distress.

On Sept. 11, 2001, George heard many of these alerts coming from the rubble pile. It meant the firefighters wearing the devices hadn’t moved.

At times, he can’t escape the echo of that sound in his head.

“It’s like a circus, a carnival, it keeps in your head and you can’t control it. It won’t shut off,” George said. “It keeps going and going and going.”

———

©2017 Newsday


NY officer dies of 9/11-related illness

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

By Michael O'Keeffe Newsday

NEW YORK — Luis A. Palermo Jr., a decorated Nassau County police officer who rushed to lower Manhattan to help search-and-rescue efforts at the ruins of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks, died Monday from a 9/11-related illness, authorities said. He was 49.

Acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Palermo was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago. The cause of death was acute lung disease.

“He was the kind of guy who never asked for accolades. He just did what he had to do,” said Eric Cintron, Palermo’s brother-in-law. “He went down there [Ground Zero] without hesitation.”

Palermo’s life and career were celebrated at a funeral Saturday at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens. Burial was at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Palermo, a 23-year Nassau police veteran who lived in Suffolk County, was stationed for many years in the department’s Third Precinct in Carle Place. Ryder said Palermo loved serving that community so much that he turned down at least one transfer.

Cintron said Palermo was a deeply religious man whose life was focused on family and faith. Despite his illness, he remained devoted to his church and children.

“Luis would sit in the backyard, hooked up to his oxygen tank, with the family,” Cintron said. “Luis was not a victim. He was a tough dude. He kept a smile on his face and he had his faith in the Lord. That is what sustained him.”

Thousands of police officers and other first responders are suffering from cancer and a host of other ailments as a result of breathing in toxic air in the weeks and months after the Twin Towers collapsed.

Ryder said the department filed for compensation for Palermo under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides funds to monitor and treat first responders — and assist their families posthumously. “He has not been designated yet, but he will be. He fits all the requirements for the Zadroga bill,” Ryder said.

“We’re just days away from the 16th anniversary of 9/11 and we are still burying people who were down there,” he added.

Ryder said the department honored Palermo shortly before his death by promoting him to the elite Bureau of Special Operations.

Palermo is survived by his wife, Deborah, and their three children: Celine, 18; Caitlyn, 15; and Caleb, 9.

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Luis A. Palermo Jr., a decorated Nassau County police officer who rushed to help search-and-rescue efforts at the ruins...

Posted by Newsday on Sunday, September 10, 2017

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©2017 Newsday


Police: At least 8 dead after shooting in Texas 

Posted on September 11, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PLANO, Texas — At least eight people are dead, including the suspect, after a shooting at a home in Plano, Texas, authorities in North Texas said Sunday night.

LATEST: Eight dead, including shooter, after shooting at a Dallas Cowboys watch party at a Plano home. Two more shot & injured. pic.twitter.com/4VApgHbrDD

— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) September 11, 2017

The shooting occurred around 8 p.m. in the city less than 20 miles (32.19 kilometers) northeast of Dallas.

Plano police spokesman David Tilley said police initially responded to a report of shots fired. When the first officer arrived and went inside the home, the officer confronted the suspected shooter.

UPDATE: scene is just east of Spring Creek / Blue Ridge Trl - told it started w/a weapons call - ofc saw / heard shots in home @wfaachannel8 pic.twitter.com/Iz03dYGXzh

— David Goins (@dgoins) September 11, 2017

The officer opened fire, Tilley said, killing the suspect. Two others were injured in the shooting. Their conditions were not released.

The victims and suspect have not been identified. All of those killed and injured were believed to be adults.

Police also have not determined a motive for the shooting. Additional details were not immediately available.

Crystal Sugg describes the altercation she saw between shooter & a woman before shooting started in Plano. pic.twitter.com/U9yqdkN2Kh

— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) September 11, 2017

Tilley said that a shooting of this magnitude was unusual for Plano, especially in such a quiet neighborhood. He could not say whether police had been called to the home before Sunday.

A police investigation is ongoing.


Wis. cops cleared in fatal shooting of armed carjacker, video released

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chris Hubbuch La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Two La Crosse police officers who shot and killed an armed carjacker have been cleared in the Aug. 13 incident.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke announced Friday that officers Stephen Hughes and Andrew Adey acted in self defense when they shot 54-year-old Roger Burzinski after he failed to comply with their orders after leading them on a high-speed chase with a baby in the stolen Chevy Trailblazer.

Burzinski, of Green Bay, took the truck from Houska Park after confronting a woman in the passenger seat at gunpoint. She was able remove her 3-year-old daughter from the backseat before Burzinski sped off with her 1-year-old daughter in the back seat.

Burzinski led officers on a pursuit of speeds up to 47 mph from South Avenue to Eighth Street, where he drove through a road construction site, went airborne and crashed into a parked car.

According to the DA’s office, Hughes approached the driver’s side of the Trailblazer, broke out the front and back windows with his baton and ordered Burzinski to stop and get out, but Burzinski continued rocking the vehicle back and forth in an effort to escape.

Adey approached from the passenger side and both officers pointed their firearms at Burzinski while ordering him out of the vehicle. According to the DA’s report, the officers saw Burzinski lean toward the center console, sit up straight, and then point a gun toward Hughes.

Hughes fired twice, while Adey fired three rounds through the passenger window. Burzinski was struck four times.

The officers then administered first aid, and Burzinski was taken to Gundersen Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The Dane County Medical Examiner determined he died from gunshot wounds to the torso.

Neither the child nor the officers were injured.

The firearm was later determined to be a BB gun, according to the DA’s report.

Based on an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the DA’s office concluded Burzinski’s actions — including raising what appeared to be a firearm — justified the use of deadly force.

“It was reasonable for both Officer Hughes and Adey to believe the suspect had the intent and the means to inflict death or great bodily harm to an officer, a member of the public, or the child in the stolen vehicle,” Gruenke concluded.

Both officers have since returned to regular duty.

Burzinski was released from prison in September after serving 11 years for armed robbery, fleeing police and felony drunken driving in two Brown County cases. The state Department of Corrections issued an apprehension request for him on March 24 when he absconded from extended supervision and failed to comply with the state’s sex offender registry.

©2017 the La Crosse Tribune


Berkeley police chief asks to use pepper spray on protesters

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rachel Swan San Francisco Chronicle

BERKELEY, Calif. — As Berkeley officials brace for protests that could easily turn violent when conservative writer Ben Shapiro appears at UC Berkeley next week, the city’s police chief is advocating for a controversial form of crowd control: pepper spray to subdue agitators.

The City Council will vote on whether to approve Chief Andrew Greenwood’s request — and overturn a 20-year ban on using pepper spray during protests — at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Greenwood made his case in a 26-page memo to the City Council, pointing out that Berkeley’s university campus and Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park have become stages for right- and left-wing extremists who are raring for a fight.

He cited four recent events — on Feb. 1, March 4, April 15 and Aug. 27 — when large, coordinated groups of masked attackers assaulted police officers and “people who were engaging in free speech activities.”

During the Aug. 27 event, a right-wing “No to Marxism in Berkeley” rally at Civic Center Park, scores of masked extremists arrived with a flatbed truck full of weapons and shields, Greenwood wrote. The group set off smoke bombs around the park, then charged in and attacked individuals, then left “under the cover of peaceful demonstrators,” Greenwood wrote.

He said that if officers had been allowed to use pepper spray, they might have deterred the extremists — who often identify as “antifascists” or “antifa.”

“The Berkeley Police Department is currently limited to using batons, less lethal projectiles, smoke and tear gas to confront coordinated groups of extremists who have launched brutal and determined attacks against officers and people whom they have determined should not be allowed to speak or publicly assemble,” Greenwood wrote.

The right to protest is a core credo in Berkeley, which is known as the home of the Free Speech movement, and as a harbor for just about every social movement that followed.

But many politicians appear to be fed up with seeing their city used as a gladiatorial arena for instigators on the right and the left, and support is building for Greenwood’s pepper spray measure.

“I support it,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who recently told reporters at KPIX-TV that antifa should be classified as a gang.

“We need to differentiate between peaceful protesters and violent agitators,” Arreguin told The Chronicle. “Our police need to prevent violence in order to allow free speech.”

Berkeley Police officers are allowed to use pepper spray during individual arrests, but they seem to treat it as a last resort — since 2012, officers have used the chemical irritant an average of three times a year, despite handling hundreds of thousands of calls, and making tens of thousands of arrests and citations, Greenwood said.

He pointed out, however, that large hand-held aerosol spray cans are “an industry standard tool” for situations when angry mobs attack a police line. Such dispensers are used in San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Jose, he said.

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


9/11 memorial to include names of sickened responders

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Frank Eltman Associated Press

POINT LOOKOUT, N.Y. — A Long Island beach where people gathered and watched in horror as the distant World Trade Center towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001 is the site of the latest memorial to victims of the terror attacks and among a growing number that honor people who died of illnesses years after participating in the rescue and recovery effort.

The monument, built by the town of Hempstead near the Atlantic Ocean on Long Island's south shore, features a twisted, 30-foot-tall beam of Trade Center steel, an elevated walkway and granite plaques engraved with the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks.

A separate plaque will have the names of 582 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, cleanup volunteers and others who spent time in the rubble of the World Trade Center in the days or months after the attacks and, years later, died of a variety of causes that they, their families or their doctors suspected were linked to toxic ash and smoke at the site. There will be room to add more names.

"I think what the town of Hempstead is doing is nothing short of honorable," said John Feal, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders with health problems. "People who lost a loved one to illness suffer just like someone lost on that day. Hopefully this will offer some ease and comfort to them."

Hempstead will officially dedicate its $1.3 million memorial at a service Monday, the 16th anniversary of the attacks.

It joins a short but growing list of similar memorials recognizing people who fell ill after participating in the rescue and recovery operation.

In May, officials at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced plans to set aside a commemorative space at the World Trade Center to honor rescue and recovery workers.

New York's police and fire departments also have memorials for personnel who have died of illnesses since Sept. 11. A 9/11 memorial in Staten Island recently added a plaque with the names of residents there who have died of illnesses.

Feal's charitable organization also maintains a memorial wall to 9/11 responders in Nesconset, New York.

"I truly believe that everyone there that day was a hero," said Robert Gies, who was 13 when his father, New York City Fire Department Lt. Ronnie Gies, died in the south tower. "Whether they died on 9/11 or four years later, every person is a hero. Those people who worked there in the aftermath in those hazardous conditions, those people touch my heart. They rushed there to save and find my father. They found him and he was able to be laid to rest. That's huge closure."

Researchers continue to study the long-term health impact on people exposed to sooty air at the Trade Center site.

Determining how many people had serious illnesses directly linked to that exposure is a challenge, especially because many of the people involved are now of an age where health problems, like cancer, are quite common.

Roughly 30,000 people have applied to the government compensation fund for people with illnesses they think might be related to 9/11. Officials overseeing the fund still are reviewing those claims but have so far awarded $3 billion. About 2,700 of the 17,400 people whose claims have been approved have cancer.

Through the end of August, 144 of the approved claims involved someone who died of an illness that made them eligible for compensation.

That doesn't mean the government has concluded that their illness was definitely caused by toxins unleashed on 9/11. The program was designed to cover anyone who could show they were exposed to World Trade Center smoke, dust and ash and was subsequently diagnosed with an illness that, at least theoretically, might be caused by some of the chemicals present at the site.

Hempstead officials said their criteria for inclusion on their memorial mirrored rules set by Feal for a similar list of dead that he maintains.

In addition to the steel beam, planted like a flag, and the plaques with names, the memorial park includes a table inscribed with the Walt Whitman poem "On the Beach at Night."

The east side of the park features a pear tree grown from a seedling from the so-called "Survivor Tree" that lived through the destruction at ground zero.

Another plaque will point in the direction of the rebuilt World Trade Center, visible 24 miles in the distance.

"Having it on the beach at Point Lookout, the same place where hundreds of people assembled in the wake of the terrorist attacks, makes it uniquely compelling," town supervisor Anthony Santino said.


After national anthem controversy, Cleveland Browns walk on field with first responders

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CLEVELAND — In a show of unity, the Cleveland Browns ran onto the field for their season opener accompanied by police, firefighters, emergency workers and military personnel.

After being criticized for kneeling during the national anthem before a recent exhibition, several Browns players met with owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam about how to better connect with the community. They later met with Cleveland's police chief and one of the ideas hatched was the pregame introduction and the public servants stood alongside the players for the anthem.

Before the anthem Sunday, a video featuring several Browns players, including 10-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was shown on the stadium's scoreboard. During the video, players asked for unity, equality and cooperation during a time of division in our country.


Fla. sheriff’s office warns public not to shoot at Hurricane Irma

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By Terry Spencer Associated Press

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — A Florida man says his Facebook event inviting people to shoot at Hurricane Irma was a joke that got out of hand, saying Sunday that he never expected anyone to take his suggestion seriously.

More than 50,000 people had signed up by Sunday after 22-year Ryon Edwards of Daytona Beach posted the invitation with the note, "YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADASS NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST."

Edwards told The Associated Press on Sunday in a Facebook message it "seems the joke may have gone over many people's heads. I've got people in my inbox mad as hell because they think this is actually happening. I don't know whether to laugh or sigh."

To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won't make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effectshttps://t.co/CV4Y9OJknv

— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) September 10, 2017

Most, but not all, Facebook responders seemed to understand that Edwards was not serious, posting photos and comments making fun of Florida stereotypes, including pot-bellied men dressed only in their underwear holding handguns and rifles.

Just in case some people didn't understand the joke, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office tweeted late Saturday: "DO NOT shoot weapons @ (hashtag) Irma. You won't make it turn around (and) it will have very dangerous side effects." People have been killed by falling bullets.

Edwards said in a Facebook post Sunday there is a lesson to be taken from his viral experience.

"I've learned that about 50 percent of the world could not understand sarcasm to save their lives. Carry on," he wrote.


Deputy working at Irma shelter, CO killed in head-on collision

Posted on September 10, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HARDEE COUNTY, Fla. — Two LEOs were killed Sunday in a head-on collision.

According to the Miami Herald, a Hardee County sheriff’s deputy collided with a state corrections officer. Both were killed.

Our thoughts & prayers are with Hardee Sheriff's Dep., the Florida Dep. of Corrections & the families of the 2 deputies who lost their lives

— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) September 10, 2017

Deputy Julie Bridges was a 13-year veteran officer, according to NBC 2. Bay News 9 reported Bridges was working at an Irma shelter and was on the road to pick up some items from home when the crash occurred.

Sgt. Joseph Ossman, the 21-year veteran CO who was killed, was reporting for duty when the incident occurred, according to the Herald.

Officials are investigating if the weather conditions from Irma played a factor.

UPDATE: Florida Department of Corrections employee Sgt. Joseph Ossman was also killed in traffic accident pic.twitter.com/YP1A3kWWGk

— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 10, 2017


Paramedic truck stolen in Vegas, stopped in California

Posted on September 9, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Authorities say a woman stole a paramedic truck in Las Vegas and led pursuing police officers on a 50-mile (80-kilometer) freeway chase that reached California.

Media outlets reported that Clark County firefighters had parked the truck outside a pharmacy on Friday when the truck was stolen. The woman, whose identity wasn't released, ended the chase on Interstate 15 inside California, apparently realizing officers were going to use tire-puncturing spike strips to stop the vehicle.

Nevada officers had used spike strips that deflated at least two tires but didn't stop the truck.

Las Vegas police, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and a police helicopter all tailed the ambulance during the chase. California troopers joined the pursuit at the state line.

No additional information was released.


Calif. officers’ wounds result of blue-on-blue shooting

Posted on September 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — California authorities say bullet wounds suffered by two police officers responding to a report of a man with a knife were the result of gunfire between the officers.

Both officers have been released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries sustained during the confrontation in Huntington Beach Thursday.

The suspect, who was also shot, remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department says a preliminary investigation finds the officers were injured by friendly fire.

They were called to a residential neighborhood in the coastal city for a report of a man with a knife slashing tires.

During a confrontation with the suspect, at least one of the officers opened fire, striking him. Both officers were hit as well.

A knife was recovered at the scene.


Smaller US cities struggle with high teen gun violence rates

Posted on September 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Juliet Linderman, Brittany Horn, Esteban Parra, and Larry Fenn Associated Press and USA TODAY Network

WILMINGTON, Delaware — When the shots rang out — "pop, pop, pop," and then a thunder roll of gunfire — Maria Williams hit the floor.

The bullets sprayed through her front door and window, leaving perfectly cylindrical holes in the glass. They blasted across the nursery, where her 2-year-old daughter's toys were strewn on the carpet. They burrowed into the kitchen cabinetry — and hit her teenage son and daughter.

Amid their screams, "All I could think of was, 'I'm not losing another child,'" Williams recalled, tears streaming down her cheek.

Her 18-year-old stepson — William Rollins VI, known as Lil Bill — had been gunned down two years before, another victim of Wilmington's plague of teens shooting teens. His shooter was 17.

Wilmington isn't Chicago or Los Angeles, Baltimore or Detroit. It is a city of less than 72,000 people known primarily as the birthplace of chemical giant DuPont and as a cozy home for big banks and Fortune 500 firms. But an Associated Press and USA TODAY Network analysis of Gun Violence Archive data — gathered from media reports and police press releases, and covering a 3½ year period through June of this year — reveals that Wilmington far and away leads the country in its rate of shootings among young people ages 12 to 17.

"It's nonstop, just nonstop," said William Rollins V, father of the teenagers. "Around every turn, they're taking our kids."

Of the 10 cities with the highest rates of teen shootings, most had populations of less than 250,000 people. Among them were Savannah, Georgia; Trenton, New Jersey; Syracuse, New York; Fort Myers, Florida; and Richmond, Virginia. Chicago was the lone large-population city high on the list.

Poverty and a sense of hopelessness in the most violent neighborhoods is a common thread. Syracuse, a university town that once cranked out air conditioners and televisions, now has a poverty rate of 35 percent.

Size also may play a role. In tightly packed neighborhoods, insults and perceived insults ricochet like shots in an echo chamber. One shooting inevitably leads to speculation about who will be targeted next.

"The streets remember," said Mark Denney, a state prosecutor who is trying to end Wilmington's retaliatory warfare.

In Wilmington, data from the Gun Violence Archive show that roughly 3 out of every 1,000 adolescents are injured or killed annually from gun violence. That is almost twice the rate reported from Chicago and just over 9 times the national average as reported for 2015 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The news organizations sought to measure teenage gun violence in America's cities because it is something the federal government does not track on a regular and comprehensive basis.

Nearly a quarter of Wilmington's residents live below the poverty line, and 86 percent of the city's youth receive some form of state assistance.

About 30 active street crews exist in Wilmington today, estimated David Kennedy, a national expert in criminology who has for years studied the city's crime problem. Prosecutors say these crews, made up of roughly 20 people per group, are responsible for most of Wilmington's crime.

A yearlong investigation by The News Journal, Gannett's Wilmington newspaper that is part of the USA TODAY Network, detailed a veritable war between two groups — Only My Brothers and Shoot to Kill. A News Journal analysis of court records, social media and the newspaper's internal database found that a third of the shooting victims under age 21 during the first seven months of 2016 had links to the rivalry.

Mayor Mike Purzycki said some of the blame can be laid on a "fractured education system" that sends children on buses to schools in rival neighborhoods. Many fathers are either in prison or have past convictions that make it difficult for them to find good jobs.

Wilmington officials have desperately cast about for solutions — without success, at least so far.

In December 2013, City Council President Hanifa Shabazz asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate. It would be the agency's first-ever inquiry into gun violence as a public health epidemic. The agency found that, between 2009 and 2014, 15 percent of the people arrested in Wilmington for a firearms crime were under the age of 18.

The CDC recommended that agencies share information such as school truancy records, child welfare reports and emergency room visits to identify minors who need help earlier in life to avoid violence later. But after closing a $400 million budget gap through a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, Delaware Gov. John Carney said the state doesn't have the money to execute the CDC's plan.

The community, meanwhile, is pressing forward on its own.

Derrick Reed, who owns His Image Barber Lounge near Wilmington's Little Italy, began holding sessions for teens at his shop on Monday evenings.

Latisha Jackson organized 302 MAFIA (302 is Wilmington's area code; MAFIA stands for Mothers and Fathers In Action) to create a support system for those returning home from prison, and to wake parents up to the possibility that their children are becoming caught up in dangerous activity: her two boys were recently indicted on gun charges; the younger one also pleaded guilty to a gang charge as well. She said she had no idea.

"The craziest thing about it is, these kids are accepting it," William Rollins said. "Like, they're accepting going to jail for life. They're accepting getting put in the grave. But they don't realize the effect that they do to everybody else around them."


For Miami’s homeless, a choice: Take shelter or be held

Posted on September 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Adriana Gomez Licon Associated Press

MIAMI — On what is likely the last clear day in Florida before Hurricane Irma's monster wind and rain, social workers and police officers are giving Miami's estimated 1,100 homeless people a stark choice: Come willingly to a storm shelter, or be held against their will for a mental health evaluation.

With the outer edge of the storm approaching Friday, these officials — backed by a psychiatrist and observed by an Associated Press team — rolled through chillingly empty downtown streets as dawn broke over Biscayne Bay, searching for reluctant stragglers sleeping in waterfront parks.

"We're going out and every single homeless person who is unwilling to come off the street, we are likely going to involuntarily Baker Act them," said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.

Invoking the "Baker Act" — a law that enables authorities to institutionalize patients who present a danger to themselves or others — is not something law enforcement does lightly, but officers detained at least six people by Friday afternoon. Under the law, they can be held up to 72 hours before the state would have to go to court to prolong their detention.

By then, Irma's howling winds and terrifying storm surge should be somewhere north of the city.

"I am not going to sign suicide notes for people who are homeless in my community. I am just not going to do it," Book added. "That's why you have a Baker Act. It's there to protect those who can't otherwise protect themselves."

Book's group was working closely with police, who acknowledged that the effort is unusual: Officials said it is the first time Miami has invoked the law for hurricane preparedness.

About 70 people willingly climbed into white vans and police squad cars Friday, joining others who already arrived at shelters. About 600 others were thought to remain outside somewhere, exposed to the storm, despite mandatory evacuation orders for more than 660,000 people in areas that include downtown Miami and coastal areas throughout the county.

One older man pushing his belongings in an empty wheelchair in Bayfront Park tried to wave them off.

"I don't want nothing," he said, insulting a social worker.

"So you are cool with dying in the streets?" he asked.

"Get out of my goddamn face," he responded.

"What's your name?" asked Dr. Mohammad Nisar, a psychiatrist who was looking for evidence of mental illness, a necessary factor for a Baker Act detention.

"None of your damn business!"

Police officer James Bernat intervened.

"We are here to help you. Listen to me. You are being very aggressive. We are trying to help you," Bernat said. "It's very dangerous out here."

"You are trying to make me go somewhere I don't want to go," he insisted.

Finally, the man was handcuffed without a struggle and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation.

"A person who has a history of mental illness and who is staying in harm's way, and doesn't have a logical cohesion of what is right or what is wrong at that point, is a harm to himself, and at that point we can Baker Act them for his own protection," Nisar explained later.

Friday's encounters alone weren't enough to justify their involuntary detention — Nisar said social workers and officers on the team already know these men and can testify to prior signs of mental illness to support each case.

Also, the law requires a court order to keep them detained against their will after 72 hours, and public defenders have pushed back against such requests, citing court rulings that the Baker Act can lead to unconstitutional curtailments of individual liberty.

But those hearings won't happen until Monday at least — and by then, Irma's wrath will have moved on from Miami.

Ron Honberg, a senior policy adviser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said there is always potential for a slippery slope that would violate people's civil rights, but this storm seems extraordinarily dangerous.

"I think sometimes situations arise that are so dire that safety consideration supersedes everything else," he said. "But you don't want this to be used on people who don't have a mental illness."

The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said people need to be encouraged to take shelter during a disaster, but there are limits.

"But this is a democracy, and you can't force people to seek shelter if they don't want to," Howard Simon said. "I don't think you can manipulate the mental health laws by assuming that anyone who is homeless and doesn't seek shelter is mentally ill."

After driving more than 400 people to shelters, the Homeless Trust said it would continue searching for stragglers until winds reach 45 mph (72 kph), sometime Saturday afternoon.

"I am not happy to have to do it," said Steven Nolan, whose face has weathered many days of Florida sunshine. "But I'd rather be in there than out here when the storm hits."


Minn. officer fatally struck; driver arrested

Posted on September 9, 2017 by in POLICE

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By S. M. Chavey Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

WAYZATA, Minn. - A Wayzata police officer was struck and killed Friday afternoon while clearing debris from the roadway of U.S. 12, authorities said.

Officer William Allen Mathews, 47, was responding to a call around 12:30 p.m. about potential traffic hazards on the highway when a Nissan Murano struck him in the eastbound lanes. He was rushed to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he died, Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold said.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce the death of one of Wayzata’s finest,” Risvold said at a late-afternoon news conference at police headquarters in the Lake Minnetonka community.

The driver, Beth Ilene Freeman, 54, of Mound, stopped after the crash and was cooperating with investigators, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. She was booked into the Hennepin County Jail early Friday evening on suspicion of criminal vehicular operation.

Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, said he didn’t know whether alcohol or distracted driving played a role in the crash.

Authorities declined to say much about the investigation because the case remains active.

Mathews was married and had a 7-year-old son, Risvold said. He had been with the department for nine years.

“He was one of the good ones,” Risvold said.

Freeman has a minor criminal record dating back to 1987.

In addition to several traffic violations — including driving after license cancellation, “inimical” to public safety — Freeman has also been convicted of check forgery, theft, possession of controlled substances and massage without a license.

Mathews was involved in law enforcement even before becoming a licensed officer. A graduate of Pine Island High School, he earned a law enforcement degree from Winona State University and served with the Winona police as a reserve officer and the Rochester police as an intern.

After becoming a licensed peace officer in 1998, he worked for the Zumbrota Police Department as well as part time with the Olmsted and Goodhue county sheriff’s offices.

Mathews began working with the Wayzata Police Department in October 2008, serving as a firearms instructor, field training officer and reserve coordinator.

His death was first announced by new Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who asked for a moment of silence before being sworn in during a Friday afternoon ceremony. Arradondo was confirmed as police chief last month, after former Chief Janee Harteau was asked to resign days after an officer fatally shot an Australian woman who had made a 911 call in July to report a possible assault.

U.S. 12 at Hennepin County Road 101/Central Avenue in Wayzata was shut down in both directions after the collision.

The Hennepin County sheriff’s office and the Minnesota State Patrol are investigating the case. They ask that any witnesses to the crash call 1-888-988-TIPS (8477).

The last time an officer died in the line of duty in Minnesota was in October 2015, when Aitkin County sheriff’s Investigator Steven Sandberg was shot at St. Cloud Hospital, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Sandberg was guarding a hospitalized domestic violence suspect, who seized the officer’s handgun and shot him. Hospital security officers used a stun gun to subdue the suspect, who later died.

2017 the Pioneer Press


Utah nurse arrest: Why cops need to know the law before they act

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Terrence P. Dwyer, Esq.

By now it is likely that many police officers have viewed the video footage of Utah detective Jeff Payne grabbing and arresting an emergency room nurse who did not acquiesce to the detective’s demand that she draw blood from an unconscious motorist in a burn unit.

Nurse Alex Wubbels had explained to the detective that hospital policy forbids her from acting upon the detective’s request unless she was presented with a search warrant or there was consent from the victim. She even notified the detective about the policy for blood testing entered into between the hospital and the Salt Lake City Police Department. The response from the detective was, “We’re done, we’re done here…you’re under arrest,” as he moved in to physically restrain her and push her outside the emergency room doors where he handcuffed her.

To be fair, a news report on the incident indicated that the video may have been edited, and the version many have viewed may not be the entire video. Still the video clip available for public viewing does not offer any possible explanation for the detective’s actions. Instead it supports the department’s placement of the detective on administrative leave and the ensuing internal investigation aided by the FBI.

Video suggests officer misunderstood the law

The unfortunate image resonating from this incident is that police officers – who are sworn guardians of the law – do not have an adequate grasp of the laws they are empowered to uphold. The incident is compounded by the fact that the detective seemed to rely on an order from his lieutenant to place the nurse under arrest if she did not comply.

Such ignorance from a trained professional is inexcusable, particularly from a ranking officer who should have been the voice of reasoned judgment, not the catalyst for unconstitutional behavior. A professional agency like the Salt Lake City Police Department has surely trained its officers well, and the detective and his lieutenant are merely two outliers in an isolated incident that sadly created another negative public impression of law enforcement.

Whatever we may learn as the investigation progresses, it is important for police officers to remain current on the law and developments in certain areas such as DWI enforcement, otherwise there may be more damning video on the evening news and your name as a defendant in a civil lawsuit.

Court rulings on blood alcohol testing

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in Missouri v. McNeely said that police have to obtain a search warrant prior to subjecting a DWI suspect to a blood test. The Supreme Court held that the dissipation of alcohol in the blood was not an exigent circumstance for the purpose of seeking a warrantless blood draw without consent.

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota ruled that implied consent statutes could not include a criminal sanction for refusal to submit to breath or blood testing. In its decision, the Supreme Court reiterated the fact that absent an exigent circumstance – other than the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood – a warrant was required for non-consensual blood draw.

Case law in Utah is no different. The Utah Supreme Court in State v. Tripp, 227 P.3d 1251 (2010) suppressed blood draw evidence that tested positive for alcohol and cocaine because it was obtained without a warrant. Despite the defendant having caused the death of another motorist, the Utah court stated that the grievous nature of the case did not foreclose its duty to maintain the constitutional balance between liberty and security. In the Tripp case, the police also lacked probable cause to justify a warrantless blood draw. Even though Utah Code section 41-6a-520 provides for implied consent, this alone does not create an exigency or any other type of legal exception to the warrant requirement of Missouri v. McNeely.

Unlawful arrest of Utah nurse

Aside from the detective’s unlawful attempt to extract blood from the body of an unconscious motorist who was declared not to be a suspect, he also announced the nurse was under arrest for interference with an investigation. Even though she was not eventually charged, a review of the law raises a question as to the basis of the detective’s probable cause.

Utah Code 76-8-301 describes the crime of Interference with a public servant, the presumable offense for which the nurse was handcuffed. Subsection (b) of the statute defines the culpable conduct as that which “knowingly or intentionally interferes with the lawful service of process by a public servant.” The prior subsection (a), which describes conduct “that uses force, violence, intimidation, or engages in any other unlawful act with a purpose to interfere with a public servant performing or purporting to perform an official function,” certainly could not be the basis of the detective’s actions.

Similarly, Utah Code 76-8-306, Obstruction of justice in criminal investigations or proceedings did not apply since there was no discernible “intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of any person regarding conduct that constitutes a criminal offense” by any of the 10 means listed in the statute.

What was the basis for the detective’s probable cause when he announced to the nurse that she was under arrest? A plain reading of the relevant state statutes does not support any.

Why police officers must review penal codes and statutes

There is no substitute to reading legal bulletins and updates issued by your department and undertaking a semi-annual review of your state penal codes and vehicle and traffic statutes. No matter how much time a police officer has on the job, professional education should never cease, and part of being a professional is maintaining standards of ethical and lawful behavior. For some that time may be past, but that does not prevent the rest from upholding traditions of excellence.


First responders increasing use of drones to save lives

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WILMINGTON, Del. — First responders are upping their use of drones to increase their visibility of incidents and save more lives.

In an interview with ABC News, Jamie Moore, with the Public Safety UAS Response Team, explained how drones combined with thermal imaging cameras help firefighters.

“It’s better information, and with better information comes better decisions. It’s the next best thing since a fire hose,” Moore said.

Members of the Joshua (Texas) Fire Department demonstrated how drones can reveal a person hidden in a smoke-filled room through the thermal imaging camera. From the outside, firefighters are unsure if anyone is trapped inside, but when the drone goes inside it’s much easier to see.

“High-tech firefighting, that’s the way to do it,” a Joshua Fire Department firefighter said.

Drones can also help police in active shooter scenarios. As demonstrated in a training exercise, the drone goes into the building first and spots the suspect, so that police can go in safely for the takedown.

Officer Barry Moore of Mansfield (Texas) Police Department explained what goes through his mind before a drone goes into a scene.

“Keep the officers that are coming in safe, make sure I can get eyes on the bad guy … make sure they’re not walking into something that’s going to get them killed,” he said.

Officer Moore was part of a drone task force that found an escaped convict in 2015 hours before a search helicopter arrived.

Drones are also being used in search and rescue missions. Two lost kayakers and their dog were spotted by a drone in June in two hours, and thermal imaging drones were used to find stranded kayakers in just 20 minutes at night.

More than 300 agencies have added drones, which are 400 times cheaper than using a helicopter, to their fleet.

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Las Vegas police union asks NFL to investigate Michael Bennett, NFL says it won’t

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By Bob Condotta The Seattle Times

LAS VEGAS — In response to claims Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett made Wednesday alleging that Las Vegas police singled him out for being black and using excessive force, the police’s union on Thursday wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking for an investigation of Bennett.

Later in the day, though, the NFL sent out a short and forceful statement saying it found no such investigation necessary.

“There is no allegation of a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy and therefore there is no basis for an NFL investigation,” the NFL statement read.

The letter from the Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro, Inc., claimed that Bennett made “false and defamatory” comments about the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and asked Goodell to “conduct an investigation, and take appropriate action, into Michael Bennett’s obvious false allegations against our officers.”

The letter, reported by 8 News Now in Las Vegas, also notes that Bennett has been sitting for the anthem and states “While the NFL may condone Bennett’s disrespect for our American Flag, and everything it symbolizes, we hope the League will not ignore Bennett’s false accusations against our officers.”

John Burris, an Oakland attorney who is representing Bennett on matters related to this incident, said in a phone interview with the Seattle Times that he didn’t put much stock in the impact of letter because “I don’t give a lot of credibility to unions because they always support the police no matter what.”

But Burris said “to impugn the integrity of Mr. Bennett is just outrageous.”

Burris said for the police to admit that they have not completed an investigation of the incident but for the union to conclude that Bennett is making “false and defamatory” statements is nonsensical.

“To suggest he is lying without having conducted an investigation is ridiculous,” Burris said.

Bennett on Wednesday detailed via Twitter an incident in which he was held on the ground with a gun pointed at his head while the Las Vegas police investigated if he was a suspect in a reported active shooter at Drai’s Nightclub at Cromwell Casino on Aug. 27 — Bennett was in Las Vegas to attend the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight. Bennett was later released after he said police realized who he was, and no shooting was found to have occurred with police unclear what the sound was that led to the call.

The union’s letter, authored by Detective Steve Grammas, claims police had “reasonable suspicion” to detain Bennett while they determined if he was a suspect. It concludes that Bennett’s claims that the officers, which the department has said are each Hispanic, are racist is “false and offensive to the men and women of law enforcement” and says the union is happy to meet with Goodell.

The NFL on Wednesday released a statement about the incident, saying Bennett “represents the best of the NFL” and that it will support Bennett and other NFL players in “promoting mutual respect between law enforcement and the communities they loyally serve.”

In a statement, Bennett said Wednesday he is considering filing a federal civil-rights lawsuit and has asked for the LVMPD to release any body camera footage of the incident. The LVPMD said Wednesday the officer directly involved in the incident did not have his camera turned on.

Burris said a lawsuit “is imminent, just not today.”

Burris also said that he has had communication with the Las Vegas Police Department and that they have agreed to turn over videos.

“We expect that soon,” Burris said. “They indicated they will try to get them available to us soon.”

Burris also took issue with a suggestion made by the Las Vegas Police Department that they had not heard of Bennett’s issues with how his situation was handled prior to Wednesday. Burris said his office made a request for the videos on Aug. 29 and did so again on Wednesday prior to a press conference conducted by undersheriff Kevin McMahill.

Burris also countered a statement McMahill made saying the department wants to talk to Bennett saying Bennett’s statement released via social media “creates enough of a basis for an investigation.”

While talking to media in Seattle on Wednesday, Bennett said he wasn’t attacking police as a whole.

“Do I think every police officer is bad? No, I don’t believe that,” he said. “Do I believe that there are some people out there that judge people by the color of their skin? I do believe that and I’m just focused on trying to push forward and keep continuously championing the quest for justice for people, keeping pushing equality for oppressed people and that’s what I am about and going to keep doing.”

Bennett’s teammates, meanwhile, continued to publicly support him on Thursday, including quarterback Russell Wilson.

“To see him on the ground like that, there’s not much more words to say then, it’s terrifying and it’s unacceptable based on the situation,” Wilson said. “Michael is a good guy. He is a guy that is trying to stand up for something good, trying to stand up for love and bringing people together, not hate. If you know Michael Bennett, he is a person who loves all people and is a person who wants to make the world a better place and he is addressing an issue that is right in the heart of the matter of what we are going through. To see him on the ground like that and to be a person who is standing up for something, but also be on the ground like that too, it’s terrifying. It’s devastating to even think about.”

#BREAKING: letter from union for @LVMPD officers to @nflcommish requesting investigation into Michael Bennett @mosesbread72 @LVPPA @8NewsNow pic.twitter.com/B7tdqgag7K

— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) September 7, 2017

———

©2017 The Seattle Times


Milwaukee police chief revises police pursuit policy

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MILWAUKEE — Under new changes to the Milwaukee PD’s pursuit policy, officers will be allowed to pursue cars with ties to drug dealing or reckless driving in specific circumstances.

This summer, a civilian oversight board issued a directive pushing Police Chief Edward Flynn to overhaul the policy, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He calls the revisions, which were unanimously approved by the Police and Fire Commission Thursday, a “good faith effort.”

Flynn pushed officials to implement serious penalties for people who flee from police at high speeds "if we are going to risk literally life and limb to pursue people."

"Lives are at risk when we engage in high-speed pursuits," he said.

While the changes allow officers to pursue certain vehicles, Flynn said regulations are still in place so drivers aren’t targeted because of neighbor’s suspicions or anonymous tips.

"It can't be a mere hunch or a suspicion or somebody said something," he said.

The existing policy allows officers to pursue a car if they have probable cause that the vehicle, or the people inside, were involved in a violent felony. The policy was tightened so officers cannot pursue for misdemeanors, or nonviolent felonies. Those changes came in 2010 after four bystanders were killed by drivers fleeing police.


Felon who killed NM officer in 2016 sentenced to life without parole

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A fugitive who fatally shot a New Mexico officer during a 2016 traffic stop was sentenced to life without parole Thursday.

Jesse Hanes took a plea deal in May and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the death of Officer Jose Chavez, KOB News reported. Hanes and passenger James Nelson were wanted for a fatal shooting in Ohio when they were pulled over by Chavez in August of 2016. A hitchhiker who befriended the duo, Tony Jones, was in the car as well.

Hanes reached across the passenger seat and shot Chavez in the neck as he approached to ask for paperwork, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. Chavez was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery. He died shortly after. He was 33 and left behind two young daughters.

The three men fled after the shooting, leading police on a high-speed pursuit. After ditching Jones and Nelson, Hanes attempted to carjack two cars, one successfully, and fled again. He was later arrested.

Jesse Hanes sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole for the death of Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez #NM #JesseHanes pic.twitter.com/NAwzP4TKGe

— Samantha Lewis (@SamKFOX_CBS) September 7, 2017

Chavez’s father, Jose, asked in a letter that Hanes be placed in a maximum-security prison “so that no one else has to go through the pain that I am going through." He also asked that Hanes’ request to be jailed near his family in Ohio be denied because "I will never be able to see my son and I do not think that (Hanes) deserves this privilege ... for what he has done." The judge said he did not have authority to determine where Hanes is jailed.

Nelson pleaded guilty in June to one count of trafficking methamphetamine. Police discovered 61 grams of meth and 30 grams of marijuana during a search of the vehicle. He was sentenced to nine years, but six were suspended. Jones also pleaded guilty in March to one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to two years and six months, but that term was suspended and he was placed on supervised probation for 18 months. Hanes and Nelson’s murder charges are still pending.

Hanes sentenced to life without parole for #HatchNM officer killing: https://t.co/8Mos2UciA4 via @CrucesSunNews @carlopez_los

— Diana Alba Soular (@AlbaSoular) September 8, 2017


Policing Matters Podcast: Vigilantes, bounty hunters, and neighborhood watchmen

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

We all remember the story of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, but there have been other less-famous incidents in which non-sworn personnel attempted to do the work of a sworn law officer that resulted in unintended and unwanted consequences. Vigilantes are criminals and should be prosecuted as such, but where do people like bounty hunters and neighborhood watchmen fit into the mix? In this week's podcast, Jim and Doug discuss the upsides and the downsides of these well-meaning but potentially dangerous individuals and groups.


Suspect arrested after shooter reported at Ohio school

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Authorities who responded to a report of an active shooter at an Ohio high school say they arrested one person and took a gun, and no one was hurt.

Officers were called Friday morning to Columbus Scioto, which is a few miles south of downtown Columbus. Shortly thereafter, the police department said on social media that SWAT officers had one person in custody. No details were immediately released.

Franklin County sheriff's spokesman Marc Gofstein says students and teachers at the school have been evacuated off campus. Gofstein says he can't immediately confirm further information about what happened.

A message was left for a Columbus schools spokesman.

ACTIVE SHOOTER LATEST 9:45am 9/8: 1 suspect arrested, gun taken, no injuries reported. First call@8:33AM. Arrest@8:58 AM. Awesome teamwork! pic.twitter.com/l8O8wvMDEW

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) September 8, 2017


Suspect arrested after shooter reported at Ohio school

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Authorities who responded to a report of an active shooter at an Ohio high school say they arrested one person and took a gun, and no one was hurt.

Officers were called Friday morning to Columbus Scioto, which is a few miles south of downtown Columbus. Shortly thereafter, the police department said on social media that SWAT officers had one person in custody. No details were immediately released.

Franklin County sheriff's spokesman Marc Gofstein says students and teachers at the school have been evacuated off campus. Gofstein says he can't immediately confirm further information about what happened.

A message was left for a Columbus schools spokesman.

ACTIVE SHOOTER LATEST 9:45am 9/8: 1 suspect arrested, gun taken, no injuries reported. First call@8:33AM. Arrest@8:58 AM. Awesome teamwork! pic.twitter.com/l8O8wvMDEW

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) September 8, 2017


Chicago officer dies of injuries suffered in 1988 shooting

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Jeremy Gorner Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Bernard "Bernie" Domagala, a former Chicago police officer who was left with brain damage after he was shot in the line of duty 29 years ago, died Tuesday as a result of his injuries. He was 66.

An autopsy performed Thursday showed Domagala died of complications from a bullet wound to his head, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

"The City of Chicago has lost a true hero," the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said in a statement about Domagala, a father of three sons who became a Chicago cop in 1981. "Despite the many challenges his life held for him since being injured, he never lost his love for the two most important things in his life: his family and the Chicago Police Department."

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Chicago Police Officer Bernie Domagala End of Watch: 5 Sept 2017 The City of Chicago has lost a true hero. It is with...

Posted by Chicago Police Memorial Foundation-Official Page on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

On July 14, 1988, Domagala, then 37, was working as a member of the department's Hostage, Barricade and Terrorist unit when he was shot in the forehead as he and other officers surrounded a home in the 7200 block of South Stony Island Avenue. Domagala was shot by a former Chicago police officer who had barricaded himself inside the home after shooting a mover trying to evict him.

After Domagala was wounded, police fired at least 50 tear gas canisters into the home before the former officer, Tommie Lee Hudson, surrendered after an eight-hour standoff, waving a white flag on a stick.

At the time of the shooting, then-police Superintendent LeRoy Martin said, "I'm shocked that a former officer would do it. I'm dismayed."

Police said Domagala was shot when he peeked around a corner of the garage toward the home. He was then taken to Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, where he underwent about six hours of surgerysurgery to remove a lead ball, which was fired from a revolver, from a bone behind his ear.

Hudson was later charged with several crimes, including attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed violence. A psychiatrist later found Hudson to be mentally ill and he was committed to a state mental health facility. He died in the 1990s.

In a statement Thursday, First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro said that "a part of Chicago was lost" with Domagala's death and that he'd never be forgotten.

"For nearly three decades he and his family bravely faced the challenges of his injuries up until his recent passing," Navarro said. "On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, we extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones for the loss of a true hero."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also offered condolences to Domagala's family, saying his death is an example of the dangerous job that police officers face on the streets.

"The passing of Chicago police Officer Bernard Domagala is a tragic reminder of the danger our officers confront and the sense of dedication and duty in which they serve," Emanuel said in a statement. "Officer Domagala dreamed of being a Chicago police officer from a young age, and he served and sacrificed for the city he loved."

Domagala is survived by his wife, Denise, and his three sons, Erik, Craig and Adam, all of whom were young children when their father was shot.

A visitation for Domagala is scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Blake Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd St. in Oak Lawn. His funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Queen of Martyrs Church, 10233 S. Central Park Ave. in Evergreen Park.

———

©2017 the Chicago Tribune


Thousands mourn Calif. deputy killed in hotel shootout

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Nashelly Chaves The Sacramento Bee

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — More than 3,000 law enforcement officers, family and community members gathered on Thursday to remember the life of Robert French, the veteran Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed last week.

The memorial was held at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, which was packed full during the ceremony. The sanctuary seats just under 3,000 people. Several officers watched the service on television screens set up in the lobby, as co-workers and friends recalled the jokester with the southern drawl who was passionate about protecting his community.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who spoke during the ceremony, said while he felt both anger and hurt following the shooting, he also felt honored to be part of the law enforcement community in Sacramento.

“I’m honored to know a man like Bobby French, who in his life, touched and impacted the lives of countless people and even in death, stood tall as a warrior, continued to fight until everybody else was safe,” he said.

French, 52, was a patrol officer in the North Division, serving 21 years in the department. He also had experience as a training officer. Sacramento County Chief Deputy Kristofor Palmer estimated French helped train more than 300 deputies for the department in the span of 13 years.

French was killed Aug. 30 while responding to reports of shots fired at the Ramada Inn hotel on Auburn Boulevard. The Sheriff’s Department said French exchanged gunfire with a fleeing suspect after he fired rounds through a hotel room wall at two California Highway Patrol investigators assigned to an inter-agency auto theft task force.

The suspect, identified as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, allegedly shot the officers as they attempted to enter the hotel room to conduct a probation search. The CHP officers faced minor injuries from the gunfire.

Littlecloud then made his way down the room’s second-floor balcony, armed with an high-powered assault rifle and a 9mm handgun, the department said. He exchanged gunfire with French in the parking lot and pierced French’s shoulder as the deputy fired from behind a car. The bullet hit his heart, the department said on Tuesday. Still, French kept firing, Jones said.

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Rest easy, Commander. We'll take it from here.

Posted by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Littlecloud was taken into custody after he crashed his car in a pursuit with police following the shootout, and was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. He died on Saturday.

French died en route to the hospital. He leaves behind live-in girlfriend, Kara Merino, her two children, three adult children, a sister and three grandchildren.

Criminal records show Littlecloud had an extensive criminal history and had been running from police for a month before the shooting. Jones said Littlecloud should have never been released from jail.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers from across the state and other parts of the country, like Nevada and Texas, attended the memorial service.

French was considered a class clown, always cracking jokes with other officers, said Lt. James Giannelli, the watch commander for the North Division team that French worked on since 2009.

The two met while French was stationed at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove, at the start of his career, and after Giannelli had been promoted to sergeant and transferred to the facility. He remembered French’s enthusiasm as a young deputy.

“He was bigger than life and had a magnetic personally,” Giannelli said.

French started patrolling in 2000, a task that Giannelli called French’s true calling. He used his knowledge of the area and investigative skills to try to solve cases or resolve problems, often keeping an eye out for opportunities to help victims.

“He didn’t just answer calls for service, he actively looked for the bad guys,” he said.

At home, French was a loving father and a good friend to many, said Merino, his girlfriend of four years who lived with him in El Dorado Hills.

She remembered weekends spent with French and her kids on her boat, and how he would go out of the way to do things for her on a daily basis. He became a role model for her young son during the time they spent together.

“I love you and your parents would be so proud of you,” she said.

Friend Mark DelCarlo recalled French’s drawl, which DelCarlo said came from French’s southern roots, as did his love for cowboy garb and country music.

“Most of all, he loved to make everyone’s life better,” he said. “He always had your back, up until the last minutes of his life.”

Copyright 2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Thousands mourn Calif. deputy killed in hotel shootout

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Nashelly Chaves The Sacramento Bee

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — More than 3,000 law enforcement officers, family and community members gathered on Thursday to remember the life of Robert French, the veteran Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed last week.

The memorial was held at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville, which was packed full during the ceremony. The sanctuary seats just under 3,000 people. Several officers watched the service on television screens set up in the lobby, as co-workers and friends recalled the jokester with the southern drawl who was passionate about protecting his community.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who spoke during the ceremony, said while he felt both anger and hurt following the shooting, he also felt honored to be part of the law enforcement community in Sacramento.

“I’m honored to know a man like Bobby French, who in his life, touched and impacted the lives of countless people and even in death, stood tall as a warrior, continued to fight until everybody else was safe,” he said.

French, 52, was a patrol officer in the North Division, serving 21 years in the department. He also had experience as a training officer. Sacramento County Chief Deputy Kristofor Palmer estimated French helped train more than 300 deputies for the department in the span of 13 years.

French was killed Aug. 30 while responding to reports of shots fired at the Ramada Inn hotel on Auburn Boulevard. The Sheriff’s Department said French exchanged gunfire with a fleeing suspect after he fired rounds through a hotel room wall at two California Highway Patrol investigators assigned to an inter-agency auto theft task force.

The suspect, identified as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, 32, allegedly shot the officers as they attempted to enter the hotel room to conduct a probation search. The CHP officers faced minor injuries from the gunfire.

Littlecloud then made his way down the room’s second-floor balcony, armed with an high-powered assault rifle and a 9mm handgun, the department said. He exchanged gunfire with French in the parking lot and pierced French’s shoulder as the deputy fired from behind a car. The bullet hit his heart, the department said on Tuesday. Still, French kept firing, Jones said.

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Rest easy, Commander. We'll take it from here.

Posted by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Littlecloud was taken into custody after he crashed his car in a pursuit with police following the shootout, and was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. He died on Saturday.

French died en route to the hospital. He leaves behind live-in girlfriend, Kara Merino, her two children, three adult children, a sister and three grandchildren.

Criminal records show Littlecloud had an extensive criminal history and had been running from police for a month before the shooting. Jones said Littlecloud should have never been released from jail.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers from across the state and other parts of the country, like Nevada and Texas, attended the memorial service.

French was considered a class clown, always cracking jokes with other officers, said Lt. James Giannelli, the watch commander for the North Division team that French worked on since 2009.

The two met while French was stationed at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove, at the start of his career, and after Giannelli had been promoted to sergeant and transferred to the facility. He remembered French’s enthusiasm as a young deputy.

“He was bigger than life and had a magnetic personally,” Giannelli said.

French started patrolling in 2000, a task that Giannelli called French’s true calling. He used his knowledge of the area and investigative skills to try to solve cases or resolve problems, often keeping an eye out for opportunities to help victims.

“He didn’t just answer calls for service, he actively looked for the bad guys,” he said.

At home, French was a loving father and a good friend to many, said Merino, his girlfriend of four years who lived with him in El Dorado Hills.

She remembered weekends spent with French and her kids on her boat, and how he would go out of the way to do things for her on a daily basis. He became a role model for her young son during the time they spent together.

“I love you and your parents would be so proud of you,” she said.

Friend Mark DelCarlo recalled French’s drawl, which DelCarlo said came from French’s southern roots, as did his love for cowboy garb and country music.

“Most of all, he loved to make everyone’s life better,” he said. “He always had your back, up until the last minutes of his life.”

Copyright 2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Officers, paramedics sue over chemical plant fire after Harvey

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Frank Bajak Associated Press

HOUSTON — Seven sheriff's deputies and medical emergency responders who say they were sickened by a chemical fire at a plant outside Houston that flooded during Harvey sued the owner Thursday for gross negligence, seeking $1 million in damages.

A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to prevent plant owner Arkema Inc. from removing evidence or altering the scene, said Kimberly Spurlock, the attorney for the plaintiffs. She said a hearing was set for Sept. 22.

The suit alleges Arkema failed to properly store the estimated 18 tons of chemicals that burned or prepare for a major flood even though it was a foreseeable event.

Record rains from Harvey flooded the plant 25 miles northeast of Houston with six feet of water, according to a report Arkema filed with the state. The storm knocked out power, and therefore the refrigeration needed to keep the chemicals stable.

Spurlock called Arkema's preparations "woefully inadequate" and questioned why the first responders did not know what chemicals were blowing up or the risks.

"They weren't told to wear masks, They weren't told to go in there with safety equipment and they're suffering as a result," Spurlock said.

Arkema said in a statement that it will "vigorously defend" the lawsuit.

"We reject any suggestion that we failed to warn of the danger of breathing the smoke from the fires at our site or that we ever misled anyone," the company said.

The chemical compounds — organic peroxides used to make a gamut of products from plastics to paints — became unstable and exploded in flames more than 30 feet high early on Aug. 31, spewing an acrid plume of black smoke.

The Harris County sheriff's deputies who sued were manning the 1.5-mile (2.41-kilometer) perimeter of an evacuation zone set two days earlier after plant workers abandoned the facility, warning of impending disaster.

The suit says they doubled over vomiting, gasped for air and "began to fall ill in the middle of the road."

Another explosion just occurred at #Arkema. This video was sent to me by a neighbor who lives 2.6 miles from the plant @BuzzFeedNews pic.twitter.com/BqXQHot1EG

— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel_) September 3, 2017

No one from Arkema warned of toxic fumes, it says, and when medical personnel arrived to help they were overcome "even before exiting their vehicle."

Some deputies jumped inside their vehicles and drove themselves to the hospital.

Later that day, local authorities told reporters 15 officers were treated for respiratory irritation and released.

The last of the organic peroxides were ignited Sunday by fire officials in a controlled burn. Neighbors were allowed to return home the following day.

Neither Arkema, Texas nor the federal Environmental Protection Agency have released results of air monitoring done by the EPA during the fire. Texas environmental regulators have declined to provide The Associated Press with a list of the Arkema plant's chemical inventory, saying they are confidential under the state homeland security act.

A 2016 analysis led by Texas A&M University researchers identified Arkema's facility as one of biggest risks in a corridor with the country's greatest concentration of petrochemical plants.

In accident plans Arkema submitted to the EPA in 2014, executives identified hurricanes and power loss as potential hazards. Yet the plans, which were supposed to address worst-case scenarios, didn't explain what Arkema would do if faced with either.

Texas' environmental commission penalized the plant at least three times.

In June 2006, Arkema failed to prevent unauthorized emissions during a two-hour warehouse fire. In February, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Arkema more than $90,000 for of 10 serious safety violations found during an inspection.

JUST IN: Smoke and fire raging at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas https://t.co/2AQSH2eRoy pic.twitter.com/kIOghc59Sp

— CNN (@CNN) September 1, 2017

Large fire burning at #Arkema plant in Crosby #TX pic.twitter.com/bon6mMXFt9

— Richard Guerra (@richardassigns) September 1, 2017


Suspect convicted in 2006 death of LA deputy

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Alene Tchekmedyian Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A man who was driving a truckload of stolen appliances when a stove tumbled off his truck, causing a crash that claimed the life of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder, officials said.

An Orange County jury deliberated for several hours before finding Cole Allen Wilkins, 41, guilty in the deputy’s July 2006 death, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Wilkins faces 25 years to life in state prison and is due to be sentenced this month.

Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said in a statement that Wilkins “deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering a police officer who was on his way to serve and protect the public.”

Wilkins’ attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Early that July 2006 morning, prosecutors said, Wilkins stole a shipment of appliances from a home under construction in Riverside County.

As he fled, he failed to secure the items, leaving the tailgate of his pickup truck down. Soon after, on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim, a full-size stove fell off the truck’s bed.

David Piquette, a 10-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department and father of twins, was driving to work from his Corona home when he swerved to avoid hitting the appliance. He collided with a cement truck, which landed on top of his Crown Victoria and crushed him.

Wilkins did not stop until a driver behind him flashed his lights and honked his horn. When he finally did stop, prosecutors said, he gave the man a fake name and two bogus phone numbers. Later, he also gave a false name to California Highway Patrol officers investigating the collision.

Wilkins fought his case for more than a decade, all the way up to the California Supreme Court.

At his first trial in 2008, he was found guilty of first-degree murder, but the state high court overturned his conviction on the grounds the jury was not properly instructed.

He had been convicted under the "felony-murder rule," under which a defendant may be convicted of first-degree murder if someone dies while the suspect is committing a felony, even if the defendant did not intend to kill.

A jury convicted Wilkins because the crash occurred soon after he had stolen the household appliances.

But the state high court overturned the conviction, saying that if a defendant had already escaped to a "temporary place of safety," any death he then causes is not felony murder.

Copyright 2017 Los Angeles Times


Police shoot knife-wielding man at Miami airport amid Irma evacuation

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kelli Kennedy Associated Press

MIAMI — Police shot a man who wielded a knife and tried to get into a Miami airport terminal from a runway, prompting the closure of a busy concourse as travelers tried to leave Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma, authorities said.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said late Thursday that the unidentified suspect entered a restricted area on the tarmac "where the airplanes actually come in."

"One of the sergeants that responded observed a gentleman on the tarmac. The gentleman fled into a room allegedly armed with a knife," Perez told reporters during a news conference.

The man tried to leave the room and get back into the terminal through the ceiling, Perez said. That's when officers confronted the man and shot him, Perez said.

Perez said the suspect was taken to a hospital in stable condition to be treated for his injuries. It's not clear how he was able to breach security and get onto the runway.

Authorities tried to keep travelers at ease, stressing they believe the suspect acted alone.

"We do not believe this is related to a terrorist incident at all, but we are not ruling that out because it is early," Perez said.

Many travelers are jamming flights to get out of the path of the hurricane, which devastated a string of Caribbean islands and is on its way to Florida this weekend. A half-million people were ordered to leave South Florida on Thursday. The powerful storm was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane early Friday.

Shawn Woodford and his wife were about to board a flight home for Canada when firetrucks and police cars came "flying across the tarmac" and "surrounded a plane at the gate next to us," he told The Associated Press.

The plane at the gate was a Latam Airlines flight to Santiago, Chile, according to Miami's departures board. Latam officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP.

A short time later, police came into the terminal where Woodford and his wife were and "said 'everybody out of here' and evacuated the entire concourse," he said.

The closure led to some flights being delayed or moved to other gates. Woodford was able to board his flight for Toronto — at a different concourse and nearly 4 hours after his original departure time.

The Latam flight to Santiago was listed as delayed for hours, finally leaving at 1:30 a.m. Eastern.


Texas deputy dies after completing tactical team qualifications

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A Tarrant County constable who helped deliver a baby girl on the side of the road last year died Thursday, officials said.

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold had just finished tactical team qualifications Thursday morning when he collapsed, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said.

Members of the tactical team started CPR, and he was taken to Alliance Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he died. He was 48.

His official cause of death has not been determined. Officials suspect a heart attack was the cause.

Diebold worked for the sheriff's office from 1994 to 2008 before transferring to the constable's office.

Last July, Diebold was on his way to work when a vehicle sped past him. He turned on his lights and sirens to slow the driver down and pulled up at a light next to a couple. Caleb Hall explained that they were rushing to the hospital because his wife, Destiny, was in labor, KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported.

They drove to a nearby parking lot and less than a minute later, Diebold was helping deliver the Granbury couple's baby in the front seat of their SUV.

"She started crying and we both were ecstatic, jumping, screaming, 'The baby's here,' " Diebold told the station. "It was a wonderful experience. It was one I'll never forget."

They remained close, and in July, Diebold, a muscular and tattooed man, sat down for a tea party photo shoot with Evelyn Hall, now a toddler.

On Thursday, the couple recorded memorials to Diebold on Facebook Live. At a loss for words, Caleb Hall came up with a workout in his honor. Through tears, Destiny Hall described "Uncle Mark" as "the world's finest man" and a member of their family.

"Heaven just received the biggest angel. Thank you Mark for the kindness, compassion, courage and love you showed," Destiny Hall said in a Facebook post. "You did way more than help with Evelyn's delivery ... you brought a light into our life as well as countless of others. I will miss your daily corny jokes on FB and your big smile."

In a written statement, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn said Diebold was "an amazing person, and his light will be missed."

"We are all one family. No matter what happens we have our brothers and sisters to rely on

for support," Waybourn said. "Not only to support each other, but to rise up and support Mark's family. They need us more now than ever."

Funeral arrangements are pending. Diebold is survived by his wife and children.

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


Texas deputy in viral tea party photo dies after completing tactical team qualifications

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A Tarrant County constable who helped deliver a baby girl on the side of the road last year died Thursday, officials said.

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold had just finished tactical team qualifications Thursday morning when he collapsed, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said.

Members of the tactical team started CPR, and he was taken to Alliance Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he died. He was 48.

His official cause of death has not been determined. Officials suspect a heart attack was the cause.

Diebold worked for the sheriff's office from 1994 to 2008 before transferring to the constable's office.

Last July, Diebold was on his way to work when a vehicle sped past him. He turned on his lights and sirens to slow the driver down and pulled up at a light next to a couple. Caleb Hall explained that they were rushing to the hospital because his wife, Destiny, was in labor, KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported.

They drove to a nearby parking lot and less than a minute later, Diebold was helping deliver the Granbury couple's baby in the front seat of their SUV.

"She started crying and we both were ecstatic, jumping, screaming, 'The baby's here,' " Diebold told the station. "It was a wonderful experience. It was one I'll never forget."

They remained close, and in July, Diebold, a muscular and tattooed man, sat down for a tea party photo shoot with Evelyn Hall, now a toddler.

On Thursday, the couple recorded memorials to Diebold on Facebook Live. At a loss for words, Caleb Hall came up with a workout in his honor. Through tears, Destiny Hall described "Uncle Mark" as "the world's finest man" and a member of their family.

"Heaven just received the biggest angel. Thank you Mark for the kindness, compassion, courage and love you showed," Destiny Hall said in a Facebook post. "You did way more than help with Evelyn's delivery ... you brought a light into our life as well as countless of others. I will miss your daily corny jokes on FB and your big smile."

In a written statement, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn said Diebold was "an amazing person, and his light will be missed."

"We are all one family. No matter what happens we have our brothers and sisters to rely on

for support," Waybourn said. "Not only to support each other, but to rise up and support Mark's family. They need us more now than ever."

Funeral arrangements are pending. Diebold is survived by his wife and children.

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News


5 new features make Reveal’s new D5 the most advanced body camera on the market

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

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Sponsored by Reveal Media

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

For most departments it’s no longer an issue of whether to use body-worn cameras but what they need those cameras to do. The technology has come a long way, and now storage, redaction and automatic recording capabilities are must-haves.

Reveal Media, an early provider of body-worn camera technology, introduced advanced features such as front-facing screens and adjustable, articulating lens heads to the body-worn camera market. The company has successfully deployed this technology with law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries.

Now Reveal is building on its history of innovation with the D5 camera, which adds in-field annotation, high-quality image capture in low light and automatic redaction, as well as GPS tagging for enhanced officer safety and optional Bluetooth triggers for automatic recording.

Foundational features

Reveal’s new D series cameras retain the trademark front-facing screen, articulated heads and one-touch recording.

One-touch recording makes operation simple – simply flick the big red switch on the side of the camera and you’re recording.

The articulated camera head allows officers of all sizes and shapes to adjust the recording angle as needed. This feature also ensures that the same camera can be mounted on the chest or helmet or used a dash camera or an interview recorder.

Reveal pioneered the front-facing screen, which displays what the camera is recording in real time. It’s human nature to be more mindful of your behavior when you know someone is watching, and even more so when you can see yourself in action, and customers have told the company that this feature makes the cameras an important tool for de-escalation.

You can also choose to switch the screen off entirely and operate the camera in stealth mode, which disables the screen and the LED indicator for officer safety during covert operations.

Here are five new features of Reveal’s D5 body-worn cameras:

1. Low-light image quality

The D5 cameras provide adjustable resolution from low (480p) to high (1080p), and each camera’s 64GB memory can hold up to 30 hours of high-resolution video.

More significant is the visibility the cameras provide in low-light situations. With its very low lux or minimum illumination rating, the lens allows more light into each frame in darker environments to capture useful video despite low light.

“The D series cameras’ incredible low-light performance mirrors the human eye,” said Spate. “This is achieved through use of a fast lens, custom development and a best-in-class sensor using a large pixel area to maximize light capture.”

2. GPS tagging and live streaming

Reveal’s D5 cameras also provide GPS tagging and live streaming capabilities. GPS tagging enables officers to record specific location information along with body camera footage, and the tags are stored in the video metadata, pinpointing the location when the footage is reviewed.

Live streaming enables officers at headquarters to remotely monitor a developing situation on the ground if needed.

“If it’s a chase situation and somebody at headquarters is monitoring it, you can see on your screen exactly what’s happening and where the officer is as the GPS coordinates move,” said Spate. “If it’s a case of looking back at the recording and the geography might not make it easy to identify the location, you can’t argue with the GPS tagging on the actual footage.”

3. Bluetooth triggers

The D5 camera series also offers a Bluetooth trigger option for automatic recording. Agency administrators can set up certain actions, such as switching on the cruiser’s lights and sirens, to trigger the camera to begin recording without requiring the officer to manually activate the camera. This maximizes the benefit of the camera, which can only provide value when it’s capturing what’s happening.

4. Annotation on the go

The Reveal smartphone app, part of the new DEMS 360, Reveal’s latest generation of its Digital Evidence Management Solution, allows officers to annotate videos in the field, while events are still fresh in their minds. This supports more accurate reporting and saves officers time. The notes become part of the metadata and are uploaded into DEMS 360 along with the videos, where both can be searched and reviewed.

5. Digital evidence management support

Agencies can securely store, manage and share their data using DEMS 360, The platform can be hosted in the cloud or on site (or a combination of both), and users can access it from any desktop or mobile device.

Secure web access means officers can access evidence from anywhere using a web browser, and the files can be shared securely right from DEMS 360. The system emails the recipient a link to provide access via password, and the sender can choose the date when access expires.

A key benefit of DEMS 360 is that the new platform can aggregate and manage all types of media files, allowing it to become a single repository for all digital evidence files of any format, whether it be body camera footage, witness statements, audio interview recordings, etc. All related evidence can be collated into case support folders for convenient reference.

DEMS 360 also enables automated redaction of video footage and audio files. The redaction function recognizes and selects faces, enabling officers to efficiently obscure innocent bystanders, minors and other individuals as needed. It can also be used to redact audio, license plates or any other sensitive information with a few clicks.

Conclusion

All of these features are packed into a camera roughly the size of a double deck of cards that weighs 5.47 ounces (less than 1/3 pound). The 12-hour battery life of the D5, an improvement over previous models’ eight hours, enables them to cover a full shift, and the battery is fully charged in five hours.

Spate says that while an agency might not immediately make use of features like the Bluetooth triggers or live streaming, the D5 camera can prepare them for future needs.

“You have access to all of this functionality should you need it, should you want to explore the possibilities of what can be done,” he said. “The option is there for you to pick and choose what you need to make it a better piece of equipment for your officers.”


Review: CSAT Sight Tool serves many purposes

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Todd Fletcher
Author: Todd Fletcher

A few months ago I received a CSAT Sight Tool from Patriot Products AZ, LLC. With a two-day carbine class coming up with a variety of rifles and optics, the timing couldn’t have been better. I figured if this tool was going to get tested, this was a great opportunity.

CSAT Sight Tool is Small and Effective

The minimalistic packaging on the CSAT Sight Tool consists of a clear plastic baggy with a manufacturer’s card inserted. A quick examination of the tool shows it is well-made and should last a lifetime on the range. The edges have a slight bevel to prevent them from chipping off, which will contribute to the longevity of the tool.

I used the CSAT Sight Tool to punch out tight-fitting takedown and pivot pins on an AR upper and replace with a different upper. A simple test of functionality for the CSAT Sight Tool, but so far so good.

The first thing we do during class is check the zero on everyone’s rifles. This particular class had a variety of sighting systems including iron sights, red dots and some high-end magnified optics.

While adjusting a front sight, I broke a pin off one of my standard AR front sight tools. The CSAT Sight Tool came to the rescue. I found the CSAT Sight Tool was an effective way to depress the spring and detent in the front sight. It was definitely faster and easier than using a bullet tip.

From an instructor standpoint, if you have a CSAT Sight Tool, you don’t have to worry about having both four- and five-pin front sight tools with you at the range.

Another student had an Aimpoint red dot, and I used the 3/8 inch box wrench to adjust the tension on the LaRue Tactical mount. This was one place the smaller, more compact size of the CSAT Sight Tool was advantageous. Getting the box wrench into the tight space and secure around the tension nut was simple compared to a larger wrench. The tension on this mount had to be adjusted quite a bit, and the CSAT Sight Tool made this a quick and simple process.

Next I adjusted the Aimpoint’s zero using the CSAT Sight Tool. The flat blade edge fit securely into the adjustment slots on the Aimpoint making large and small adjustments easy. Plus the CSAT Sight Tool is way cooler than using a quarter!

CSAT Sight Tool Offers Variety of Tools

The CSAT Sight Tool also consists of a 10mm box wrench, a ½-inch open face wrench and a ¼-inch hexagon hole to use as a T-handle for Torx, hex and screwdriver bits. It can adjust windage and elevation on many popular optics and mounts. Overall the variety of tools built into the CSAT Sight Tool enables it to fill multiple needs.

The compact size of the CSAT Sight Tool makes storage simple, and since it doesn’t take up much space, it’s handy to carry with you. It fits inside a variety of AR grips and buttstocks so it’s readily available. However, rather than risk it falling out and getting lost, I decided to loop a length of paracord through the round hole in the handle forming a lanyard to attach to my rifle case. This way the CSAT Sight Tool is always with me, eliminating the need to search for additional tools in my armorer’s kit.


Off-duty safety: 5 tips to protect yourself and your family

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Ron LaPedis
Author: Ron LaPedis

Since 1999, PoliceOne columnist Richard Fairburn has been tracking ambush attacks on police officers. He offers a wealth of information in his column and in this insightful video.

Dick says you must train to counterattack with overwhelming force and in this article, writes that administrations that prohibit officers from firing at or from a vehicle prevent the deployment of possible life-saving solutions.

In the video, Dick shares several clips showing how officers can either use their car as a weapon or can shoot through their windshield to stop a threat. He says that in a worst-case scenario, you don’t want to be a sitting duck while you are trying to release your seatbelt and get out of the car. If you can lower the window, that’s great; if not, a couple of shots will punch through, letting you target the baddie.

Dick also talks about how a downed officer can be used as bait to target backup responders and why situational awareness is especially important when you are responding to this type of event.

Remember “Full Metal Jacket”? Yeah, you might roll up into a setup with a wannabe sniper behind a high-powered rifle. How many of your sergeants and other leadership know how to lead a combat team into this type of situation? The National Tactical Officers Association offers dozens of courses to help grow your skills and will bring the instructors to you if you have the resources to host them.

I don’t want to steal Dick’s thunder. You should read his column and ask your leadership to invest in his video. What I do want to talk about is how to extend his excellent advice to protect yourself and your family when you are off duty. Here are five strategies you can employ to ensure everyone’s safety.

1. Does your family have one or more code phrases?

In Season 4, episode 3 of “Blue Bloods,” we learn the entire Reagan clan has a code phrase that means “hit the deck,” and everyone from the oldest to the youngest knows what to do.

Have you and your family trained for the day when you are overtly attacked or ambushed? How often do you practice the drill?

In this column, I talked about a correctional officer friend of mine who was with his family when a previous “guest of the county” came running toward him across a mall parking lot. Luckily, he and his family were prepared and everyone survived the incident. Make sure your family will too.

Dick adds that if you have decided not to get involved in an incident and will be leading your flock to safety (possibly with gun in hand), use another code phrase like, “Follow me.” Everyone in the group must react instantly without discussion or argument. Small children should be in physical contact with an older guide and, in low-visibility situations, they may all stay linked hand-in-hand to your belt.

If you issue the code phrase that means you are going to get involved, does your family move away and leave you behind without question or hesitation? I talk about this in more detail in a following section.

2. Do you keep your Spidey sense turned on?

Have you talked with your family about how they can hone their Spidey senses? One of my favorite books is “The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence.” Through dozens of stories taken from his career and life, author Gavin de Becker shows how imminent violence is preceded by clear warning signs. Like Lt. Col. Dave Grossman says, you should never be in any condition below yellow – even when you are at home mowing the lawn. This is important, especially if you bring your squad car home.

When you are at a sports venue or watching your kids at the playground or on the field, is your head on a swivel? Until we saw congressmen under attack during a morning baseball practice in Virginia, who would have thought that could happen? Do you mentally catalog your escape routes and where you can find concealment or cover if the need arises?

By now you should know that if you come home or back to a hotel room and the door is open, you move directly to condition red. Does your family know what to do if they see an unexpected open door that could lead to an ambush?

3. Are you watching your six?

I was at the San Francisco cruise ship pier a few months back and saw an officer leaning his shoulder against this wall with his nose in his smartphone and his back to the plaza. What's wrong with this picture?

If you need to check your smartphone, at least make sure your six is covered. In this case, the officer could have leaned back against the wall facing toward the plaza.

It follows that if you are seated you should be against a wall facing the room in the “gunfighter’s seat.” Read up on the dead man’s hand and where Wild Bill was sitting for some background on why this is a good idea. If you’re out with a group of officers, maybe you should put the best shooters against the wall.

Keep an eye out for escape routes if you need them. My mom thinks I’m crazy because I check out the exits when I first enter a building, and my head is always on a swivel.

4. Do you have the means to protect yourself off duty?

Whether you carry today or will make a promise to start carrying tomorrow, check out Doug Wyllie’s column discussing four key considerations for off-duty carry.

If family members don’t carry and for whatever reason you cannot use your off-duty firearm, do they know how to take it from you, get off the x, and use it?

If things go from bad to worse and you have to engage, does your family know to move to safety immediately then call 911 and calmly but quickly state you are LEO then describe your appearance, your location and your firearm? Do they know not to say, “My husband just shot someone, please come quickly?”

Identification as a LEO plus a good description can help to avoid a blue-on-blue incident when the cavalry arrives.

5. Do you carry a pocket-size trauma kit when you are off duty?

I carry a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) on my belt. If anyone asks, it’s a cellphone charger.

Even if you don’t want to carry a trauma kit, get some training in combat care. Remember the saying, “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me?”

It’s only a matter of time before the terrorists bring their game to U.S. cities and I want to be ready to care for myself and to offer care if I can.

Wrapping up

There’s a lot of information in this column. Where can you start? As I said in the opening paragraph, your first mission is to ensure you are always aware of your surroundings – even when you are at your own house.

While they don’t need your level of training, impress upon your family that it is their duty to understand how to protect themselves as relatives of a LEO. Make it a game for younger kids. It doesn't hurt to have code phrases that mean “move away from me and call 911” or “hit the deck.” Keep it simple. Too many code phrases can be confusing, especially to younger family members.

See if your CO will host a family day at the range. Even if he or she won’t, you can take your family to the local range for some training. If you train at home, remember to double- and triple-check your firearm is unloaded. I do “get off the X” and “shoot and move” training at home using this system, but anyone can practice on the cheap with dry fire and a paper target.

If your agency cannot or will not let you practice shooting from a vehicle, find a dark area where you can practice on your own. Just remember to double- and triple-check your firearm is unloaded so that you don’t have to explain a shattered windshield to your significant other – or your sergeant.

Watch your six and stay safe.


Omaha police plan to use medical center for crime lab testing

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha Police Department says it will have a new partner in fighting crime: the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Omaha officials announced Thursday an agreement that will see the police department break from Douglas County for forensic crime lab services and instead rely on UNMC for crime lab needs.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Mayor Jean Stothert have long advocated for independent crime labs. UNMC will provide drug testing and DNA testing.

The agreement will take effect Oct. 1 if approved by the Omaha City Council. That vote is expected on Sept. 26.

Schmaderer says the new system will allow for faster crime test results. He says his department will still sometimes use the Nebraska State Patrol lab, but most of its work will move to UNMC.


P1 Photo of the Week: Sending dad to work

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Sgt. Brent Benson with the Iron County (Mich.) Sheriff's Office sent in this photo his wife took of his kids as he was leaving for work. It's always difficult to leave those sweet faces.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Minneapolis police consider carrying opioid antidote naloxone

Posted on September 8, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Libor Jany Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis firefighters have carried the lifesaving drug called naloxone since last May to revive people overdosing on opioids like prescription painkillers and heroin.

But city police officials have so far resisted calls to outfit their officers with the drug, previously arguing that firefighters and paramedics -- not officers -- are usually the first ones on the scene of an overdose. That may change soon.

New Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced at a community meeting earlier this week the department may soon start supplying naloxone to some of its officers. The proposed pilot project would for now focus on the 3rd Precinct, which encompasses the southern portion of the city, officials said.

The department on Friday emphasized that the program was far from a done deal.

“We are in the very early discussion of an exploratory phase to see if this is something that even can be possible,” department spokesperson Sgt. Catherine Michal said Friday, adding that she didn’t know why the department was warming up to the idea.

Narcan, a brand of naloxone that usually comes in spray form, works by blocking the receptors in the brain that take in the drugs and kick-starting the respiratory system.

The news comes as the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation has tightened its grip on parts of Minneapolis.

Fire officials said that last year responded to 418 cases of overdoses or poisoning, a roughly 45 percent jump over the total number from 2015. So far this year, firefighters have responded to 297 such calls, officials say.

The fire department last May started equipping firefighters with Narcan Since then, they have used the drug 294 times to people experiencing overdoses from opiates.

Councilwoman Alondra Cano said the number of overdoses in her ward alone are staggering, and disproportionately affect blacks and Native Americans.

“These lives are not disposable and so we should be doing anything possible to make sure that any responder should be equipped to handle a situation as well as possible,” said Cano, who for months has pushed for outfitting officers with the drug antidote.

———

©2017 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)


2 Mich. sergeants to be honored for lifesaving efforts

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

TROY, Mich. — Two sergeants will be honored for risking their lives to save others.

Royal Oak Sgt. Karly Wingart was on patrol Jan. 15, 2017 when she saw smoke coming from a bus, the Oakland Press reported. The driver of a Ford Fusion had crashed into a bus and a passenger was trapped inside the car.

Wingart sprang into action as the engine of the Ford caught fire. She can be seen on dash camera footage climbing into the burning car to free the woman.

The woman’s legs were pinned under the dashboard, according to a press release.

Once the woman was out, Wingart and an EMT moved her away from the car. As soon as Wingart knew the woman was in good hands, she switched gears to secure the scene. The driver, passenger and one bus rider were transported to the hospital and later released.

Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a statement that he is proud of his sergeant.

“I am very proud, but not surprised with Sgt. Wingart’s quick thinking and bravery,” he said. “With complete disregard for her own personal safety, she entered a burning vehicle to assist an injured passenger.”

Kalkaska Sgt. Blake Huff will be honored as well for his attempts to rescue a woman from a burning home.

Officers responded to a house fire on Feb. 22 and discovered two people and two dogs were trapped inside, Up North Live reported.

Police were able to get homeowner Grace Tester and the two dogs out, but Mary Jo Tester, a paraplegic, was still trapped inside.

Huff and other officers went back into the home and pulled Mary Jo to safety. She was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. She died from her injuries days after the fire.

"Do we recommend running into a burning building? No,” Lt. Glenn Artress said at the time. “However police officers make split decisions all the time. They got here, they assessed the situation, they knew each other and they knew what each other's abilities were and they carried out a plan."

One woman is being treated in a GR hospital for severe burns after being rescued from #Kalkaska house fire https://t.co/ov1RCkVcCH pic.twitter.com/YIyNQjxkun

— TC Record-Eagle (@RecordEagle) February 23, 2017

Huff told 9&10 News that he was glad they could help, even if the situation ended on a sad note.

“I’m glad we could help and try to possibly save a life,” he said. “We try to do our best we can to prevent anything that happens like this and just do our job that we signed up to.”

Both sergeants will be honored at the Law Enforcement Education Program Outstanding Service Awards on Sept. 22 during the Police Officers Labor Council/General Employees Labor Council Conference.


2 Sacramento officers shot; suspect down

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two officers were wounded in a shooting Thursday afternoon.

KCRA reported that the officers were shot and transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the suspect is down. The suspect’s condition is unknown.

It’s unclear what led to the shooting.

Officer involved shooting in Sacramento -- 26th Franklin -- two officers confirmed shot, suspect down @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/X682Ah8a6c

— Angela Musallam (@AngelaNews) September 7, 2017


Best-in-show baked goods eaten during masked Ohio burglary

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BURTON, Ohio — Authorities have identified a suspect in an Ohio county fair burglary who took a bite out of best-of-show baked goods during the heist.

The Plain Dealer reports that officials say whoever broke into an exhibit at the Geauga County Fair in northeast Ohio last week has a masked face, soft fur and walks on four legs.

Wanted posters are now on display for a raccoon or raccoons that left paw prints on baked goods judged to be the best in show among the more than 1,000 entries submitted at the 195-year-old fair.

Fair Board Director Paul Harris says the raccoon took "a little sample here and a little sample there" from seven of the 11 best-of-show entries, including breads, muffins, scones, pies and a chocolate cake.


Why your police department needs a brand

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Lieutenant W. Michael Phibbs, P1 Contributor

Every organization has a brand. Great organizations understand and strategically control and shape their brands to enhance their value proposition. Branding defines their core mission to both employees and the public. The importance of effective branding cannot be overstated.

A good brand is all encompassing, creating a desirable emotional image and physical response when you think of that brand. For instance, mention Nike and the “swoosh” logo or “Just Do It” tag line come to mind. Likewise, think Starbucks and you see the image of a mermaid with Starbucks Coffee around the edges.

Private sector companies understand the power of differentiation as a necessity for their own survival. To create greater community engagement, increase retention and improve recruitment, every law enforcement agency should understand how to develop and capitalize on their own brand.

Public safety brands

Law enforcement’s business is safety and our product is providing protection to the citizens we serve.

“To Protect and to Serve” became the LAPD’s motto in 1955 and, since then, has become a tagline adopted by police departments around the country. But a tagline is different from a brand. It is your agency’s brand that differentiates you from any one of the other 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States. In these trying times, it is imperative agencies develop and own their brands.

For simple examples of branding think about the visceral response you have when summoning up the image of the Texas Ranger of the Old West. A desired image is a key consideration in developing an organization’s brand. Consider how the United States military has effectively branded organizations for decades. The use of slogans such as “Be All You Can Be” and “The Few. The Proud,” and symbols like Green Berets or images of Navy SEALS, are interwoven with stories from veterans to create a sense of pride and value in one’s mind. Such branding is also a call to action – to join and become a member of the team.

Brands have internal and external impacts

Your brand has an impact internally, as well as externally. A well-developed brand helps engage current employees and assists in recruiting individuals who embrace the agency’s mission, vision and values. It helps in turning away applicants who are not a good fit or who may even harm a forward-thinking agency.

When the agency and its frontline people internalize the promises inferred by the brand it helps create positive relationships within the communities and businesses.

Who will control your messaging?

Brands have their own momentum; once moving they are difficult to alter in direction. Will you control your messaging, or will you allow outsiders to control what people think and feel about your agency? An agency either owns or shapes its brand, or it allows others and events to create the brand and layer it upon an agency. Agencies that ignore their brand do so at their peril.

Agency administrators must shape their call to action. What do they want citizens to know or do? Your credibility is on the line and eventually you will have to show concrete examples supporting your statements.

What is your agency’s value proposition?

As part of any public safety branding initiative, consider your agency’s value proposition. Does it raise the level of safety people feel when looking to relocate to the community, or as a place to start a small business or expand a current one, or does it persuade them to look elsewhere or move away? Do the residents of your communities feel pride or anxiety when they see your officers?

If possible, get help when your agency begins a branding campaign. To save time and reduce cost, begin with a deep dig into your organization to determine what really differentiates it from others. Begin by asking simple questions:

Why does our department exist? How does it fulfil the promise set out in the rationale for its existence? What makes us different from other departments in the area? What would happen if our agency did not exist? How does our agency improve lives? What are our core values and how are they incorporated into our brand? What mechanisms will we use to help officers internalize the brand? How is our agency perceived by the citizens? Are they pleased or apprehensive when they see officers on patrol, and does it change depending on location within your jurisdiction? Are we more focused on enforcement of law or community support, or a combination of the two?

Once your agency determines the nature of the brand that works best, how do you reach out and communicate with different community groups? Perception matters. The landing page of your website or social media can have a significant impact on the perception of your agency from outsiders.

If citizens are already apprehensive of the police it is best not to feature a SWAT truck on your website’s landing page. A photo showing officers in a relaxed stance in class B uniforms or a bike team wearing shorts on bicycles presents a different message than an armored vehicle. A landing page with officers and citizens pictured working together on a project shows commitment to community. Each of the above creates a different emotional impact.

Communication strategies must evolve

With the advent of social media, messaging to current officers, potential recruits, citizens and businesses requires forethought. Everything you say may be taken down and used against you. Communication strategies must evolve as changing demographics occur in your communities. Agencies not only have to tailor their messages differently, but research how citizens communicate. Questions to ask include:

Does word of mouth work? Do pamphlets need to be written in English and Spanish? Should most communication happen through social media? If so, which platform and style?

The impact and use of color and fonts should also be considered in your messaging and micro-messaging efforts.

To create trust, be meaningful to communities and avoid the perception of being an occupying force, law enforcement agencies must understand the impact of branding. Like it or not, all agencies carry a brand. For it to be a positive one and work as a force multiplier, it needs to have a strategy for implementation. Agencies that control and strategically shape their brands successfully enhance their value proposition for the betterment of employees, businesses and communities they serve.


About the author Lieutenant W. Michael Phibbs has 24 years’ experience in law enforcement. He holds a Master’s degree and PHR certification in Human Resources. He has conducted research and published articles on topics that include performance management, employee engagement and organizational branding. He is a member of the Central Virginia Type Three All Hazards Incident Management Team and holds certifications in Operations and Air Operations.


Cop pulls over woman for no brake lights, attempts to fix them

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HENRICO, Va. — When Chy-Niece Thacker was pulled over while on her way to an interview, she thought she was going to receive a ticket. Instead, the officer that stopped her went above and beyond the call of duty.

Officer Jenkins stopped Thacker Friday for no brake lights, WWBT reported. But when she reached for ID and insurance, Jenkins stopped her.

Thacker wrote on Facebook that the officer said, “Don't worry about pulling anything out. I just want you to know that your brake lights are out."

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Thank you Chy-Niece Thacker for sharing this about one of our officers. We are so proud of our officers, especially when...

Posted by Henrico County Police on Saturday, September 2, 2017

Thacker explained she replaced the brake lights last month and Firestone wanted her to pay $600 to do a test wiring of her car. Jenkins told her to pop her trunk and spent 30 minutes attempting to fix the problem.

“He checked the lights in the trunk and tapped them, but they didn't come on,” she wrote. “So he told me to pop the hood to check the relay box then asked me to get out to check the other one.”

While Jenkins wasn’t able to fix the brake lights, he left an impression on Thacker.

"He said, 'I care more about your safety than giving you a ticket. I thought, 'He's an angel, he's a blessing,’” she told WWBT. “We've seen so many stories where a traffic stop has turned into the death [of an officer], and it's given people a bad taste in their mouth. I think this one officer helping can set a trend.”

After the officer wasn’t able to fix the lights, he told Thacker to turn on her hazards and he escorted her to the closest mechanic.

Thacker said she hopes to one day cross paths with the officer again, just to thank him one more time for his kindness.


Fleeing felon hides in dumpster, gets dumped by trash collector

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

APPLETON, Wis. — A felon hiding from police was captured after a trash collector unknowingly dumped the man into his recycling truck.

Police witnessed a disturbance in a parking lot Tuesday, NBC 26 reported. A man fled from the scene after an officer drove into the lot to investigate. Later, officers learned the man had a warrant out for his arrest.

Officers said the man seemed to disappear, until it was time to collect the trash. According to WBAY, the suspect hid in a recycling bin and was picked up and dumped into the truck by the trash collector. The trash collector was activating the blade that packs the recycled material when he heard shouting.

Nate Loper, Deputy Director of Appleton's Department of Public Works said it “would have been a very bad situation had the driver not caught this in time and hit the stop button.”

The suspect escaped again until he collapsed with a serious head injury after a short foot pursuit.

"He was still conscious," Sgt. Dave Lund said. "He could talk to them, provide them with some information but it was clear to the officers that were there that the injury was pretty significant and that he needed to get medical care for that."

The suspect is expected to recover and is under police watch at the hospital. An officer also suffered minor injuries during the pursuit. Police expect additional charges.


Off-duty Ind. K-9 fatally struck by vehicle

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LEBANON, Ind. — A K-9 was killed by a vehicle near his home over the weekend.

CBS 4 Indy reported that K-9 Nico got out of his outdoor kennel while his handler, Officer Tommy Nash, was away Saturday.

When Nash arrived back home and noticed Nico was gone, he launched a search. He later found Nico’s body near a roadway.

Nico was a dual-purpose narcotics K-9 who served with the Lebanon Police Department for two years.

“When Nico was not chasing after suspects and sniffing out drugs, he was at home with his handler and family,” the department wrote on Facebook. “Nico was social, caring, and even seemed to be able to sense when someone needed some extra attention. He will be missed.

Police said Nico was cremated and they are working on establishing a memorial for him.

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It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to LPD K-9, Nico, who passed after a tragic accident this past weekend....

Posted by Lebanon Police Department on Wednesday, September 6, 2017


7 ways police leaders can prioritize transparency with their staff

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Guillermo Fuentes, P1 Contributor

Leaders and organizations often fall victim to an urge to keep information hidden, only informing the fewest people possible. While transparency may seem risky, it is almost always the better choice.

Transparency improves relationships with employees and other stakeholders, encourages accountability and prevents uncomfortable situations that arise when people discover that they were kept in the dark.

The meaning of the word “transparent” itself is sometimes clouded by the vantage point of the speaker. Organizational leaders often feel being transparent means revealing the limited information they feel is necessary to share. Outsiders sometimes demand the release of any and all information as the only way to demonstrate transparency.

What is clear is that some version of openness must exist, in the areas of data and information exchange as well as policy and regulations. Information that is not released officially will likely be leaked or replaced with rumor and innuendo, adding another reason to embrace organizational transparency.

So how do you take the steps required to make your organization transparent?

In “Straight A Leadership: Alignment, Action, Accountability," Quint Studer outlines seven steps to creating a more transparent organization.

1. Align senior leadership

This is the most difficult step for all paramilitary emergency services. They tend to have operational structures that are designed around command and control, not open dialogue. Studer states that leaders need to ask themselves three questions:

Does everyone see the external environment the same way? Does everyone understand organizational goals and plans? Does everyone agree on what success looks like?

Honestly look at your last leadership meeting you had and ask yourself if you can answer yes to all three questions. If you fail here as a leadership team, the next six steps will likely fail as well.

2. Close the perception gap between senior leadership and middle managers

Senior leaders who face external pressures daily (media, legal, etc.) understand the financial constraints and the political environment. The supervisory level is dealing with staff issues every day with little knowledge of what the organizational environment is. This perception gap builds mistrust and often creates an “us-versus-them” mentality.

3. Ensure employees understand the financial impact of decisions

Employees on the frontlines of public safety organizations tend to have little or no knowledge of the true costs and return on investment of certain decisions, such as using overtime staffing or purchasing new equipment. Often, senior management’s knee-jerk reaction to these requests is to reject them outright. A better solution, according to Studer, is to spend the time educating frontline managers about the costs of doing business.

4. Communicate vital issues to frontline employees

Contrary to popular belief, an email or a memo does not communicate more than the most elementary information. Real communication still occurs verbally, so organizations must have communication rituals, such as scheduled meetings, where senior leaders and middle managers carry the same message to the frontline staff.

5. Prepare managers to answer tough questions

Chiefs make difficult decisions every day. They choose to spend resources in one area, and not another. But often the managers who are forced to explain these choices to the staff don’t have input on the decisions and often don’t know the reasons they were made. This forces them to make up answers or side with staff on the latest rumor. A pillar of a transparent organization is that the frontline supervisor provides the same answer as the chief of the service when questioned about organizational decisions.

6. When delivering bad news, treat employees like adults

Unpopular decisions create fear and apprehension, which is where rumors are born. If you as a leader know that a decision is going to affect people negatively, it is important to communicate the decision—and the “why”—or people will fill in the blanks, often with something much worse.

7. Keep people posted

When something changes, communicate the change and keep people abreast of what is to come. As leaders, we often feel that this is burdensome. We say to ourselves that things are always changing, and we don’t have the time to keep everyone up to date. Yet this step of keeping people up to date builds trust with the frontline and keeps people within the fold of the organization.

Organizational transparency is not easy; it is a purposeful act of building trust. It represents the moment when an organization reaches the maturity to deal with employees as adults and trusts them to be ambassadors within the organization and the community at large. This is particularly important in public safety agencies, whose frontline employees are often trusted and respected by the community.


About the author Guillermo Fuentes, MBA, is a partner at Fitch & Associates. He supervises statistical and operational analysis, computer modeling and the development of deployment plans as well as major technology purchases and communications center installations for clients. He previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Niagara Regional Police Agency, in Ontario, Canada, and Associate Director of EMS for the Niagara Region.

For more than three decades, the Fitch & Associates team of consultants has provided customized solutions to the complex challenges faced by public safety organizations of all types and sizes. From system design and competitive procurements to technology upgrades and comprehensive consulting services, Fitch & Associates helps communities ensure their emergency services are both effective and sustainable. For ideas to help your agency improve performance in the face of rising costs, call 888-431-2600 or visit www.fitchassoc.com.


Calif. deputy died on anniversary of parents’ death

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nashelly Chavez The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a hotel shootout last week died exactly a decade after his parents perished in a plane crash in El Dorado County, his children said.

Robert French, 52, was shot during a gunbattle at the Ramada Inn hotel on Auburn Boulevard on Aug. 30. French was a 21-year veteran of the department and worked as a patrol officer for the North Division.

He was responding to reports of shots fired at the hotel when the Sheriff’s Department said he was fatally wounded by an armed, fleeing gunman. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones would later say a bullet passed through French’s shoulder and hit his heart.

French kept firing at the suspect, identified as 32-year-old Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, even after he was hit, Jones said. Littlecloud later died as well.

Since French’s death, his family has been mourning in private.

“It’s been horrendous,” said Nicholas French, 30, one of the deputy’s sons. “Nobody wants to hear what we all had to hear.”

A public memorial for French is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Adventure Christian Church in Roseville. Law enforcement officers will follow the service with a procession to the Bayside Church in Granite Bay.

Nicholas French, along with his older sister Kaylen Bynoe, 32, and their stepbrother, Kosai French, 28, received news of their father’s death exactly 10 years after a fatal plane crash at the Cameron Airpark killed their grandparents on August 30, 2007.

Robert and Patricia French were on their way to a scuba diving trip in Ensenada, Mexico, when their six-seater plane crashed on takeoff. Aviation officials blamed the high heat and weight of the aircraft, Bynoe said.

“(My dad) called me and I knew there was something wrong because he was crying,” said Nicholas French, recalling his grandparents’ death.

The three siblings remembered their father as a devoted street cop, with an affinity for country music (his favorite singer was George Strait) and the Dallas Cowboys. He spent much of his time outdoors, enjoying hikes at Mount Shasta and skiing.

French grew up exploring the country, and different parts of the world, because his family always moved with their father during his career in the U.S. Air Force. French was born in Shreveport, La., and spent his early years there, but would live in Florida, Kentucky, North Dakota and the island of Guam during his life. His younger sister, Lori Mitchell, currently lives in Folsom.

He attended high school in Washington state, where he met his first wife, Christine Grace. Bynoe was a few days old during her mother’s graduation from high school, she said.

French, Grace and their daughter would move to the Sacramento area in 1986, following French’s father when he was relocated to the area for good. The couple had their second child, though they later split in 1992.

Bynoe said French raised her and her brother in a cream-colored house with a big yard near Watt Avenue and La Riviera Drive, just a few houses away from where their grandparents lived.

She and her older brother spent much of their time with their grandparents in the mid-1990s, after French decided to become a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, she said. “He wanted to serve and wanted to be there and help,” she said.

It was sometime after French earned his badge that he met his second wife, Kosai French’s mother. The two married within a year of meeting and moved their families in together, Bynoe said.

Kosai French said he was close to his stepfather, whose name he adopted as his own.

“We all grew up and blended together,” French said. “We had a great childhood.”

The couple would divorce after about 13 years, though their three children remain close. “We have each other’s back,” Bynoe said. “We are intertwined.”

Bynoe said they welcomed her father’s girlfriend, Kara Merino, and her two children, about four years ago. The four lived in El Dorado Hills.

“He just loved her so much,” Bynoe said. “He looked like a different person when he was with her.”

In addition to his children, French leaves behind two granddaughters, Evelyn and Marley, and a grandson named Dallas.

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


Public safety couple accused of using charity to scam responders’ families

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A firefighter and police officer couple allegedly stole $12,000 of fundraiser money after hosting an event to support the families of fallen responders, according to officials.

Tallahassee Democrat reported that Tallahassee police officer Jennifer Amison and her husband, firefighter Joseph Amison, held a fundraiser to support the families of two fallen firefighters, the daughter of another and two Texas State Troopers who had terminal cancer.

The fundraiser sold 900 raffle tickets, 600 dinner tickets, decals and shirts to help the families.

Three months after the event, no payments were made to anyone involved.

The couple is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, failure to apply contributions in a manner substantially consistent with solicitation and grand theft.

Investigators said the couple “demonstrated a pattern of taking advantage of the tragedies of other first responders by selling items under the guise of benefiting the families."


New video shows incident involving Seattle Seahawks player, Vegas police

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LAS VEGAS — Police released body camera footage Wednesday of the incident involving NFL player Michael Bennett.

The officers were responding to reports of a potential active shooter at a nightclub last month when Bennett was placed in handcuffs.

Bennett claimed he was seeking safety after he and hundreds of others heard what sounded like gunshots on Aug. 26, NPR reported. Bennett has alleged that police ordered him to the ground, where he complied with commands, and an officer placed a gun to his head and threatened to “blow his head off.” Bennett also alleges that race played a factor in the encounter.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said in a news conference that he believes race was not a factor in the incident, according to CBS Sports.

"I can tell you as I stand here today, I see no evidence of that," McMahill said. "I see no evidence that race played any role in this incident."

Body camera footage shows officers running to the scene and the chaos inside and outside of Drai’s nightclub. After clearing the scene in the casino the nightclub is located in, the officers headed toward the nightclub. As this was happening, McMahill said Bennett was seen “crouched down behind a gaming machine as the officers approached.”

"Once Bennett was in the officer's view, he quickly ran out the south doors, jumped over a wall onto Flamingo Road East of Las Vegas Boulevard into traffic," McMahill said. “Due to Bennett's actions, and the information the officers had at the time, they believed that Bennett may have been involved in the shooting and they gave chase. Bennett was placed in handcuffs and detained while officers determined whether or not he was involved in the incident."

McMahill said Bennett was detained for 10 minutes and released. After police explained the situation to Bennett, he told officers he “understood” why the situation occurred. He did mention having an issue with one officer who allegedly put the gun to his head.

McMahill said they are investigating the allegation, but the arresting officer did not have his body camera on. He said part of the investigation is gathering all relevant video footage from the casino and elsewhere.

“As of today, we know there are at least 126 videos associated with those cameras that we have to review,” McMahill said. “As you can imagine, it takes a significant amount of effort and time to review all the video and available evidence. If the investigation reveals that any policies or training was violated, those officers will be held accountable."

In a press release, the department asked anyone with video that could help the investigation to contact the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Internal Affairs Bureau. Bennett has hired civil rights attorney John Burris and is exploring legal options, NPR reported.

"We think there was an unlawful detention and the use of excessive force, with a gun put to his head," Burris told the Associated Press. "He was just in the crowd. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He wasn't in a fight. He wasn't resisting. He did nothing more or less than anyone in the crowd."

According to the AP, police are investigating the incident and couldn’t comment on Bennett’s account of the encounter.


Police: Taco Bell employees fatally shoot armed robber

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Police say three employees of a Cleveland Taco Bell opened fire on two armed robbers, killing one.

Police have said two masked robbers entered the restaurant early Wednesday and ordered three employees to lie on the floor. Police say three other employees pulled out handguns and opened fire, shooting one of the suspects six times. The other suspect ran off.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office on Thursday said the man killed was 24-year-old De'Carlo Jackson.

Investigators say Jackson was found with a loaded gun in his hand. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

No one has been arrested. The employees who opened fire are said to be two 19-year-old men and a 23-year-old man.

A Taco Bell spokeswoman told Cleveland.com the company is "shocked" by the shooting and is offering counseling to employees.

Employees at Cleveland Taco Bell shoot suspect during attempted robbery https://t.co/WNBidx1KRc pic.twitter.com/1cDrs83GRh

— fox8news (@fox8news) September 7, 2017


Video shows Ohio deputy shoot news photographer

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A body cam video released Wednesday shows a Clark County deputy shoot a newspaper photographer after mistaking his camera and tripod for a gun, and the deputy can be heard repeatedly apologizing and assuring the man he'll be OK.

"Stay strong with me brother, I love you," Deputy Jake Shaw tells New Carlisle News photographer Andy Grimm after calling for paramedics. "I'm sorry, brother. Listen, Andy ... I'm sorry, dude ... you pulled (the camera and tripod) out like a gun, dude. ... Dude, I thought that was a freakin' gun, Andy."

Grimm is understanding with Shaw and actually takes responsibility for the shooting, telling him, "It's all right, dude ... it's my fault. I got ya." He also tells the deputy that he waved at him and had flashed the lights of his Jeep.

The shooting occurred Monday night. Grimm had gone out to try and get photos of lightning during a thunderstorm. Shaw was in the middle of a traffic stop and Grimm stopped nearby to take photos.

Without warning, Shaw fired two shots at Grimm, one grazing Grimm's left arm but the other hitting him in the side, WLWT Channel 5 reports.

Grimm was taken to a hospital for surgery and is expected to fully recover.

Meanwhile, Shaw has been placed on administrative leave, and the shooting is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Shaw, 25, has been with the Clark County Sheriff's Department since 2012, reports say. He became a full-time deputy in 2015.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Calif. man fatally shot after simulating gun with can in bag

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A man who simulated having a gun with a can inside a paper bag followed an employee into a state office building in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, took "an aggressive shooting stance" and ordered workers to the ground before an officer fatally shot him, police said.

The Ronald Reagan State Office Building, which houses a California appeals court, a regional office for Gov. Jerry Brown, the state insurance department, and several other state offices, was not open to the public when the shooting happened around 6 a.m.

The man, whose name hasn't been released, was able to enter the building by following an employee who used their identification card to swipe into the building, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Saul Gomez said. The man "initially began yelling at the employees, stood in an aggressive shooting form, and he demanded people get down," Gomez said.

The employees began to get on the ground when a CHP officer, who was guarding the building, confronted the suspect and at least three shots were fired, Gomez said. The suspect, who police say is in his 40s, was shot and killed at the scene. Police said Wednesday afternoon that after processing the crime scene they determined the man had simulated having a handgun with an aluminum can that was concealed inside a paper bag.

The man briefly exchanged words with some of the employees in the lobby, the sergeant said, but police would not provide details about the conversation.

Authorities said the man was carrying out-of-state identification, but they do not believe he traveled to California to target the building, Gomez said. Police said he was not a current or former employee.

Investigators are still trying to pin down a possible motive and will probe the suspect's background to determine if he had "a gripe with anyone in the building," Gomez said.

California Highway Patrol officers stood guard outside the building Wednesday afternoon as investigators continued to comb for evidence. A throng of police vehicles lined the street outside, and part of the building was cordoned off with crime scene tape.

The CHP is responsible for security in the building. But Gomez said it was too early to say whether the agency would review or reevaluate any security procedures.


Cop delivers his own baby in parking lot

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

By Chris Green Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The initial year or two for any police officer is full of firsts: being on patrol for the first time without a field training officer, making your first arrest, testifying in court, delivering your first baby.

Yup. The last was the case early Sunday for Rockford police officer James Nachampassack.

The one-year veteran, assigned to the police department's squadrol, or transport van, spent much of his night and early morning transporting arrested individuals to the Winnebago County Jail. What had all the makings of another routine shift changed about 5 a.m. when he got a call from his girlfriend, Phenh Thammavong.

"She said nonchalantly, 'I think I'm going to give birth today.'"

Nachampassack informed his sergeant who picked him up at the jail and drove him to the District 3 New Towne Drive headquarters to pick up his personal vehicle. Nachampassack said he drove home quickly and before he could open the door, he heard Thammavong screaming.

"I thought I was going to walk in and see a baby dangling by the umbilical cord," he said. "Thankfully, it wasn't like that. She was just kind of hanging out at the table, and I said, 'Are you okay?' And I saw the water underneath her, and she said, 'I think I'm going into labor right now.'"

Nachampassack loaded up his girlfriend and her belongings into his car and while en route to the hospital, he called dispatch on his cellphone. "I said, 'Can you make sure the emergency room is ready because this baby is coming in hot. We're going to pop right when we get there.''

Nachampassack said it is about a 20-minute drive from their home to SwedishAmerican Hospital. They didn't quite make it.

"We're heading down Alpine, and we finally hit East State Street, and she looks over at me and says, 'This is happening now.'

Still in uniform and in possession of his police radio, Nachampassack informed dispatch his girlfriend was giving birth and requested an ambulance be sent to the parking lot of the Alpine Inn.

Nachampassack parked the car and ran over to the passenger side. "I put my hands out to catch him and as soon as I did that, she did all the work, and pushed him right on out."

Holding a baby still attached to the umbilical cord Nachampassack said, "The first thing that popped into my head was skin-to-skin. Keep the baby warm. I'm still in uniform, so there's really not too much skin exposed. So I put him up to my face."

Shortly thereafter, Nachampassack heard sirens approaching.

"I'm like, 'Thank God. The EMTs, fire is here."

No.

Nachampassack said, "It's five or six police cars. It's everybody I work with. I mean I was happy they were there, but I was really hoping for the EMTs. They were great though. They just kind of walked me through everything. Told me I was doing good. They were like, 'What can we do for you?'"

The officers retrieved some blankets from Thammavong's bag that she had prepared, and Nachampassack wrapped the baby in them.

What seemed like an eternity was a only a matter of minutes before the ambulance arrived.

Thammavong, according to Nachampassack's dashboard clock, gave birth at 5:42 a.m. to a healthy 7-pound, 12-ounce boy, whom they named, Leo.

He was born two weeks before his Sept. 17 due date. Mother and baby are expected to be released today from the hospital.

Although this was the couple's second child together — they also have a 2-year-old son named, Wyatt — Thammavong said, "I don't think anything could have prepared me for this."

Nachampassack, who is also an Army reservist, said neither police officers nor soldiers are trained to deliver babies. But they are trained to perform under pressure no matter the task, he said.

"I stayed as calm as I could, but I don't ever want to listen to the dispatch (recording) because I'm sure I was a wreck."

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Congratulations Officer Nachampassack and family - what a beautiful addition...and great story!

Posted by Rockford Illinois Police Department on Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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©2017 Rockford Register Star, Ill.


NY to get $26M to pay for securing Trump tower

Posted on September 7, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York state is getting nearly $26 million in federal funds to reimburse law enforcement agencies for costs associated with guarding President Donald Trump, his family and their Manhattan residence.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced the grants Wednesday. She says the money covers costs incurred during the 2 1/2 months between Election Day and the Republican president's Inauguration Day.

Lowey is a Democrat and a ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.

The New York Police Department is getting $18.9 million. The Suffolk County Police Department is getting $7 million.

NYPD commissioner James O'Neill had written to New York's congressional delegation seeking the reimbursement. The original estimate had been lowered from $35 million to $24 million.

Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says his city's taxpayers are getting back part of what they're owed.


Sacramento moves forward on controversial $1.5M approach to prevent gun violence

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a deadly shooting related to gang-supported rappers, Sacramento has voted to move forward on a controversial gun-violence prevention program targeting those who are suspected of committing most of the violence in the city.

The city council unanimously approved a three-year, $1.5 million contract for Advance Peace on Aug. 29, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The controversial program would target nearly 50 young men, who police and city officials believe are responsible for the gun violence in the city, .

In the program, mentors help recruit “fellows” to the 18-month program. They use one-on-one behavioral therapy, life coaching and a monthly stipend of up to $1000 for nine months to help move the fellows away from violence.

The program is credited with significantly reducing gun crime in Richmond, where the program began, but has been criticized for giving stipends to those who reach goals. But Sacramento police and city officials told the publication there’s no better time to implement the program. Police are currently investigating five homicides this year that may be gang related. Thirteen people total have died in 2017 from gunshot wounds in the city.

“We don’t have a moment to wait here,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “It’s another shooting on Sunday in Meadowview involving this feud over who gets credit for writing music. On the one hand it’s baffling, but on the other hand it’s real.”

Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said the proposal was lacking in details and “in my opinion leaves the city of Sacramento completely vulnerable to being taken advantage of.” She said there is nothing that requires Advance Peace to work directly with police departments, school districts or local activists. It does not explicitly state if outreach will happen in three neighborhoods that are heavily impacted by violent crime.

Another concern is that the contract doesn’t require the program to match the city’s financial investment with its own money. The mayor and others said Advance Peace will match the city’s money.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said he supports the program as a “tool” in fighting gun crimes, but current enforcement and community intervention programs are needed as well. He believes monitoring the program and obtaining proof of results would be essential to seeing how successful it is.

A two-thirds approval will be required by Council members because the vote involves a contract and has not had the required 10-day notice.


Quiz: What should you do if you come across a cardiac arrest?

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Sponsored by Philips

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

As first responders, police officers are often the first people on scene. When that scene includes a cardiac arrest, every second counts. According to the American Heart Association, for every minute that a person is in cardiac arrest, the chances of successful resuscitation decrease by 7-10 percent. It's important to know what to do in such a situation. Test your knowledge with the quiz below.


Polk County sheriff: Fugitives at Irma shelters will be arrested

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued a warning to sex offenders and those with warrants: If you seek shelter from Hurricane Irma, we’ll escort you to jail.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Judd said authorities would be checking IDs at every shelter and sex offenders and predators “will not be allowed.”

If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

“We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders and predators. Period,” he tweeted.

We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period. https://t.co/DlhqjqFrkM

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

He also tweeted that those with warrants should turn themselves in.

“If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail,” he wrote.

If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail https://t.co/Qj5GX9XQBi

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman told the Orlando Sentinel that the department hopes the process will spur more turnout at shelters and make residents feel safe.

“We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in,” she said.


‘More dead cops’ banner hung on NY overpass

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ALBANY, N.Y. — Police are looking into the source of a disturbing banner tied to an overpass.

Police received a call Sunday that a banner reading “more dead cops” was hanging over a busy highway, News 10 reported. Authorities are unsure of how long it was up, but it was removed shortly after police received the call.

Retired police Capt. John Cooney said whoever hung the sign is “ignorant.”

“They put the sign on the overpass, but it’s insignificant. The police are resilient,” he said.

Members of the community said it’s dangerous to have anti-police rhetoric out there.

“It’s absolute horror,” area man Johnathan Falk said. “We’re talking about people who put their lives on the line every day for strangers for not a lot of money, and they’re getting so disrespected. It’s terrible.”

Police said they are “looking into the matter.”

'More Dead Cops' Banner Found Hanging on Overpass in NY https://t.co/mpDJ55KbCj

— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 6, 2017


Police officer who arrested Utah nurse fired from medic job

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By Lindsay Whitehurst Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah police officer seen on video roughly arresting a nurse who refused to draw blood from a patient was fired Tuesday from his part-time paramedic job.

Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne's termination came after he said on the video that he'd bring transient patients to the hospital and take the "good patients" elsewhere to retaliate against nurse Alex Wubbels.

Those remarks were concerning for Gold Cross Ambulance President Mike Moffitt, who said he'd heard them for the first time when the video was released last week.

"That's not the way we conduct our business, that's not the way we treat people in our city," Moffitt said.

Wubbels was following hospital policy when she refused on July 26 to let Payne take blood without a warrant or formal consent from the patient who was unconscious in the hospital burn unit.

He had been in a car accident that started with a police chase. Payne maintained in his report that he wanted the blood sample to protect the man rather than prosecute him.

There were no answers Tuesday at publicly listed phone numbers for Payne. The Salt Lake police union didn't immediately return messages seeking comment

Police body-camera video shows Wubbels calmly explaining that she could not allow a blood draw from a patient who hadn't been arrested or consented, unless police had a warrant. They did not, but Payne insisted and put her on the phone with his lieutenant who said she would be arrested if she didn't agree.

The dispute ended with Payne handcuffing Wubbels and dragging her outside while she screamed and said, "I've done nothing wrong!"

Her lawyer, Karra Porter, said she can understand ambulance company would be troubled by his comments and the decision to let him go wasn't surprising.

Payne was put on paid leave by Salt Lake City police after the video emerged. A second officer was also put on leave after authorities opened a criminal investigation into the arrest.

The other officer has not been identified. Police have said the lieutenant's actions are also under review.

Payne joined Salt Lake City police more than 20 years ago and worked for Gold Cross as an EMT and paramedic since 1983. He was generally a hardworking, conscientious employee who followed the rules, so his behavior on the video was shocking, Moffitt said.

Gold Cross is a private company that contracts with Salt Lake City to respond to medical calls in the city.


How to make body cameras a reality for a small police department

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Chief Mark Pacholec, P1 Contributor

Technology is revolutionizing police operations, helping to expedite and improve investigations. Unfortunately, implementing new technology can be as complicated as solving a 20-year-old cold case. Why? Many police departments are using servers or hard drives that are unable to handle the amount of data produced by new technology like body cameras.

Body-worn cameras are becoming a crucial part of public safety operations. It’s no longer a question of if police forces should adopt body cameras, but rather how and when.

So why isn’t every police department jumping at the chance to update their legacy IT systems and adopt body cameras? The answer is cost. The cost to integrate body-worn cameras – from buying the cameras to housing the data the cameras produce – can be crippling for smaller departments.

Research by the Police Executive Research Forum found data storage costs can reach up to $2 million annually for a police department. Many departments don't have enough space on servers or hard drives to meet the considerable data needs for video storage. However, there is a way for body cameras to become more than a pipe dream without breaking the bank.

Overcoming The Cost & Storage Problem

Located just outside of Buffalo, New York, the town of Orchard Park is recognized by many football fans as home to the Buffalo Bills stadium, which means the population grows dramatically at the first kickoff of the season. With an influx of visitors, the likelihood of incidents that require police attention greatly increases.

The new Orchard Park Police Department’s body cameras were an asset during football season for on-duty police officers, helping them keep the public safe. However, the department faced challenges storing the large amounts of data produced from the footage obtained by the cameras.

While a grant from the Orchard Park Police Foundation paid for all of our cameras, our department needed its own funding to update the infrastructure to store video data and to retrieve and stream footage.

Department modernization was a necessity for our team to properly take advantage of our investment in body cameras. First the system had to fulfill legal mandates that required us to retain video data for various periods of time, from as few as 30 days to permanent storage. The network also needed to store data from mounted surveillance cameras and operational data from town employees. For a smaller police department like ours, this was a complicated video environment with a high risk of open-ended costs.

Software-Defined Storage

We took advantage of the most economical and impactful approach, a technology called software-defined storage. This solution helped our department store large volumes of data with limited resources.

Software-defined storage is an approach to data storage in which the programming that controls storage-related tasks is decoupled from the physical storage hardware, enabling the use of industry-standard hardware, which is much more cost effective. By taking advantage of software-defined storage technology, the department could store footage from more cameras and keep the data for longer periods of time.

Solutions like these are a result of an open developer initiative by the open source community, harnessing the engineering strength of thousands of active developers. With this community approach, the developer contributions enable organizations such as ours to stay current with storage technology while also keeping costs down.

Using this newly adopted storage system, Orchard Park is now supporting surveillance cameras, body cameras and operational data from all of the town’s departments. The network can also support surveillance tools that help keep police officers and citizens safe.

Police departments need to invest in technology that will help them protect individuals and bring a greater transparency to their communities. Body-worn cameras increase transparency and professionalism and even offer a cost savings on internal investigations and lawsuit settlements.

Don’t let the fear of storage costs hold your department back from upgrading to relevant technology. The variety of camera and storage options available today can help your department keep costs down and help your teams keep everyone safe.


About the author Mark Pacholec is the Chief of Police for the town of Orchard Park. The primary purpose of the Town of Orchard Park Police Department is the protection of life and property, enforcement of laws, reduction of crimes, maintaining public order and the delivery of services which promote community well-being.


Ga. police shoot, kill tiger roaming through neighborhood

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Henry County police responded to an odd and dangerous call Wednesday: A tiger was on the loose in a neighborhood.

Officers responded and kept a visual on the tiger while animal professionals were called in, the department wrote on Facebook. At one point, the animal ran into the back of a residence and began attacking a dog.

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WILD MORNING a TIGER on the loose in Henry County!!! Attacked a tiny dog in its backyard on Meadowbrook Drive. Officers...

Posted by Kaitlyn Pratt FOX 5 on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Police said when the tiger came close to a school bus route in a heavily-populated area, they decided to shoot the animal fearing residents could be in danger.

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Media Release On September 6, 2017, at approximately 6 a.m., Henry County 911 received a call of a tiger loose on I-75...

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary told Fox 5 Atlanta that police contacted them, hoping to bring the tiger back to their facility after chemically immobilizing it.

"Unfortunately, human life became at risk and the tiger was shot by the authorities," Noah's Ark said. "All of our tigers are accounted for."

The Henry County Police Department and animal control are now working to determine where the tiger came from. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Henry County police, Henry County Animal Control or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

"STAY INSIDE" what police told employees at Stockbridge Hardee's this AM LISTEN: #BREAKING pic.twitter.com/LF6gsvbaY3

— Kaitlyn Pratt Fox 5 (@Fox5Kaitlyn) September 6, 2017

#BREAKING SHOTS FIRED near I75 Jodeco Rd where reports of tiger came in. Just heard dozen shots - officers with rifles LISTEN: shots fired pic.twitter.com/d5DmVBlgDz

— Kaitlyn Pratt Fox 5 (@Fox5Kaitlyn) September 6, 2017


Nearly 200 Houston LEOs lose homes to Harvey

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Officers who were out rescuing residents from floodwaters and keeping the community safe have no home to return to.

The Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association tweeted Thursday that nearly 200 Houston officers lost their homes when Harvey hit. The police union told Fox News that more than 500 officers have been affected by flooding.

Donations of food, water, clothing and other items have poured in. Police officials said money can be sent to Assist the Officer as well.

Vice President of the police union Douglas Griffith said they’ve been overwhelmed with people wanting to help.

“I can’t say enough about the people who have come out and helped us. We’ve had people delivering food to our officers every single day,” Griffith told Fox. “I can’t tell you how blessed we’ve been with all the donations.”

Houston officers have been working mandatory 12-hour shifts and cleaning up their flooded homes in between shifts. The department has also been struggling with the death of Sgt. Steve Perez, who died after becoming trapped in high water while on his way to work.

“Our guys have stepped up and done a wonderful job. And I’m proud of every single one of them,” Griffith said.

Down the street from the police station, Trinity Lutheran Church is offering showers to officers. They have also set up a store with donations that allows officers to pick up what they need.

“This is our way of saying thanks, and we’re willing to share our space to help and be good neighbors too,” Senior Pastor Michael Dorn said.

Because of the influx in donations they’ve received, the Houston Police Department and church decided to send donations down to police agencies near Corpus Christi and Rockport. The homes of all five Port Aransas officers were destroyed.


How UAS technologies are changing the way police view incident scenes

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Mike Worrell, P1 Contributor

A long-time FirstNet supporter, Charlottesville Fire Chief Emeritus Charles Werner has been a strong advocate for UAS technology as an additional tool for all public safety disciplines.

During his 42 years of service, Werner learned first-hand about the importance of communication and the value of new technologies when responding to major emergencies.

With the introduction of UAS devices for public safety use, first responders gain access to aerial views of the incident, as well as the ability to send real-time pictures and data to different locations.

“You actually get a 3-D idea of what’s happening at an incident scene and that’s really important for a responder.” Werner says. “I can take that video from the drone and connect it to the FirstNet network and be streaming live video to all those people that are decision makers – whether they’re incident commanders or the emergency operations center – simultaneously.”

Werner recently initiated efforts to create the National Council on Public Safety UAS. In this capacity, Werner works to advance public safety use of UAS through awareness, education, training, collaboration and best practices.

With interest in UAS technology from emergency first responders dramatically increasing, the Council is keeping the public safety community informed about the evolution of UAS technology and its benefits, and gives public safety a voice to lend valuable guidance and influence as significant decisions are made about UAS issues.

Guidelines on public safety UAS

When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released new guidance about UAS in 2016, the council played a key role in educating public safety disciplines about making this technology more accessible, efficient and safe for public safety use.

These new guidelines on public safety UAS use was one of several reasons the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) made the decision to adopt UAS technologies to enhance and support tactical operations. The LASD will use UAS devices primarily for search and rescue missions or when deputies are in dangerous situations, such as during explosive detection, hazardous materials incidents, disaster response, arson fires, hostage rescue, as well as armed and barricaded subject calls.

The adoption of UAS technologies is expanding across all public safety disciplines as an additional resource for first responders to make better decisions in life-threatening situations. To advance 911 capabilities, the Spokane County Regional Intelligence Group 9 (RIG 9) in Washington State built a real-time analysis capability for 9-1-1 centers in the region.

RIG 9 analyzes video camera inputs and other sensors, such as UAS deployed around the city. These feeds could be part of a next generation 911 deployment, with the resulting analyses rapidly forwarded via FirstNet to responders for real-time decision-making during a crisis.

Making informed decisions during disaster management

FirstNet recognizes that with the necessary safeguards and guidelines in place, UAS technology can be helpful when used for specific missions related to law enforcement, firefighting, border patrol, disaster relief, and search and rescue.

In many states, including Georgia, statewide UAS programs have rapidly grown in the last two years. Georgia streams real-time video from the UAS to their SOC during initial damage assessments, enabling leadership to make informed decisions in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

For incidents impacting multiple regions, Georgia also provides live footage from multiple UAS at once, giving a clearer picture of what is happening across the state. This capability proved very useful during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, when the state flew several missions per day for the first three days after the winds calmed down, conducting damage assessments of restricted areas and also providing aerial situational awareness to responders conducting search and rescue missions on the ground.

As UAS capabilities are enabling public safety to respond to and recover from disasters more quickly and more effectively than in the past, it’s important to consider the limitations to using UAS technologies, and to consider what has curtailed the adoption of UAS in more states.

Restrictions on UAS use

In addition to the expenses incurred to purchase UAS equipment and train pilots, numerous legislative restrictions on UAS usage have been introduced to address privacy concerns. However, these federal restrictions have lessened over time, particularly for public safety usage, enabling more UAS programs to surface.

Poor weather conditions and technical limitations, such as weak cellular or Wi-Fi service in the area, also pose significant limitations to UAS operations.

In both situations, agencies without access to reliable broadband service when it matters most will not receive live stream video and be able to make time-sensitive decisions in the aftermath of disasters. Additionally, poor or disrupted broadband signals hamper the ability to send real-time photos and videos to responders on the ground searching for survivors.


About the Author Mike Worrell, senior fire services advisor, has been with FirstNet since 2015. He served the Phoenix Fire Department for 29 years, most recently serving as the technical services division chief. Mike was also a member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee to FirstNet, a member of the National Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Team, and a qualified communications unit leader and communications technician instructor. Prior to joining the Phoenix Fire Department, Mike was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, Submarine Service.


Paramedic saves police officer being attacked by murder suspect

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DENVER — A paramedic rushed to help a police officer who was being attacked by a murder suspect.

KDVR reported that Paramedic Lt. Otis McKay Jr. and Officer Jonathan Davis responded to an assault call June 16. They found two teens with severe facial injuries and another victim lying in the street with a man standing over his motionless body.

“Lt. McKay and Officer Davis quickly recognized that the situation may possibly be a homicide in progress,” officials said.

Officer Davis ordered the suspect to the ground, but the man charged at Davis, knocking his firearm to the ground and tackling him.

When McKay saw the situation, he rushed to help. McKay and Davis fought with the suspect until backup arrived and the man was subdued, according to officials.

Both McKay and Davis were injured in the fight, but police said McKay possibly saved Davis’ life.

Honored Paramedic Otis McKay with Neighborhood Hero Award for aiding @DenverPolice Ofcr attacked by homicide suspect https://t.co/Rl47NsBAX5 pic.twitter.com/Tfst6Z62W5

— Daniels Fund (@Daniels_Fund) September 5, 2017

Daniels Fund and DPD recognized Lt. Otis McKay today for helping an officer being assaulted in a potentially life-threatening situation. pic.twitter.com/aWalWB111h

— Brad Bogott (@bbogott) September 5, 2017


Suspect flees, assaults two Pa. troopers following traffic stop

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Erie Times-News

ERIE, Pa. — A North East man faces two felony charges of aggravated assault after he allegedly fled state troopers during a traffic stop and later assaulted them as he was being taken into custody.

According to an affidavit, state troopers observed Scott J. Lauderbaugh, 34, of 83 S. Pearl St., driving a Mitsubishi Mirage on Sunday morning eastbound on state Route 20. They learned he was driving on a suspended license after running his license plate number.

Lauderbaugh provided troopers with a fake name and date of birth during a traffic stop near the Brickyard Road intersection. Lauderbaugh put his vehicle into gear and sped away, exceeding speeds of 100 mph at times.

He stopped again on Clinton Street and ran behind a home. One of the troopers made two unsuccessful attempts to use his Taser on Lauderbaugh. The trooper tried to place Lauderbaugh into custody after both tripped on a piece of fencing. Lauderbaugh knocked the trooper's Taser from his hand, grabbed at the trooper's duty belt, which caused a firearm magazine to fall to the ground, and removed the trooper's lapel microphone that is used to communicate with fellow officers and dispatchers.

Lauderbaugh fought with a second trooper who responded to the scene. The troopers used pepper spray to subdue Lauderbaugh and place him in handcuffs.

In addition to the two felony counts of aggravated assault, Lauderbaugh faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and fleeing a police officer, and a summary charge of driving on a suspended license from a previous drunken driving arrest. He will go before District Judge Scott Hammer for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 14.

Lauderbaugh is being held at the Erie County Prison.

———

©2017 the Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.)


Slain Calif. deputy kept shooting, even after bullet hit his heart

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Nashelly Chavez The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy killed in a hotel shootout last week continued to fire his weapon at an armed gunman, even after a bullet had pierced through the soft tissue of his shoulder and hit his heart, Sheriff Scott Jones said during a press conference Tuesday.

Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the department working for the North Division, rushed to the hotel parking lot after hearing reports of shots fired at the Ramada Inn, Sgt. Shaun Hampton said Tuesday. French, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was taking cover behind a police vehicle at the time of the shooting. He died on his way to the hospital, the department said.

“Even though he was mortally wounded, (French) continued to engage and pin down the suspect as best he could,” Jones said. “He only showed signs of injury once (the) scene was stabilized.”

The man suspected of firing the fatal shot, identified by the department last week as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, shot approximately 34 rounds from his assault rifle, and at least a dozen more from a 9mm handgun during the hotel shootout, Jones said.

Littlecloud, 32, of Castro Valley, died in a hospital on Saturday from injuries suffered in the incident.

Several sheriff’s deputies, each wearing a black band across their badges, attended the press conference at the sheriff’s department headquarters in downtown Sacramento.

On a wall behind Jones, 19 plaques carried the names of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officers who have died in the line of duty. Jones said French’s name would soon be added to the memorial.

“It’s difficult for us,” Jones said. “Unfortunately, we’re a very large agency, we’re the largest agency in Northern California, and one of the downsides is that we’re no stranger to this.”

The fatal shooting began last Wednesday, as auto theft task force investigators from both the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff’s Department were following up on reports of a BMW stolen earlier that morning, said Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Sgt. Paul Belli.

Officers from the task force located the car at the Ramada Inn, off of Auburn Boulevard, and attempted to stop two women who had entered the car. The driver, identified by the department as Priscilla Prendez, sped off and led officers on a chase when they attempted to pull her over.

Prendez eventually stopped in Elk Grove, and was booked on auto theft and felony evading charges. The passenger in the car was questioned and let go.

It was Prendez’s probation status that led officers back to the Ramada Inn, where they discovered a hotel room was booked under her name. When they returned to the hotel to search the second-floor room, officers were met with gunfire that tore through the room’s wall, striking two undercover CHP investigators. They suffered minor injuries in that shooting.

Belli said Littlecloud then made his way to the back of the hotel room and fired at an officer positioned there as he climbed down a balcony. Moving around the building to a parking lot at the front of the hotel, Littlecloud fired his weapon from behind a tree toward French and other officers who had arrived at the scene.

French fired back at Littlecloud, taking cover behind a patrol car near the Ramada Inn’s carport, Belli said. Littlecloud was able to reach a stolen car in the parking lot during the shootout and drove off, coming in close contact with officers at the scene.

It was at some point in the shootout that a bullet went through the car where French had taken cover, and he was struck. Jones said he continued to fire his weapon at Littlecloud, giving no indication of his injury.

Officers followed Littlecloud as he drove off, eventually crashing his car just west of Watt Avenue, the department said in a press release. In total, six Sacramento County deputies who fired their weapons in the incident were put on leave following the shooting.

Hampton said it was not known how many gunshots hit Littlecloud, or where they struck him. An autopsy of Littlecloud was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, he said.

Once officers were able to safely enter the hotel room, they located other guns and methamphetamine, Belli said.

French is survived by three adult children, grandchildren and a girlfriend. A memorial service for the deputy is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Roseville’s Bayside Adventure Church.

———

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)


34 arrested during NY DACA protest

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Laura Figueroa Newsday

NEW YORK — New York City elected officials and immigration activists vowed Tuesday to fight President Donald Trump’s ending of an Obama-era policy that has provided legal status to thousands of undocumented immigrant students and young adults.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at news conference at City Hall, said he would “use every legal avenue” to defend New Yorkers affected by Trump’s decision to upend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“This is a day of heartbreak for so many,” de Blasio said, as he stood surrounded by city Council members, union heads and religious leaders. “It is a terrifying moment for so many people who wonder if they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country they’ve known. The actions today by President Trump undermine a bond that has developed in this country between hundreds of thousands of people and all of the rest of us.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, speaking at a rally at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, reiterated the state’s plan to sue the Trump Administration to preserve the DACA program that offers protected status to some 42,000 New Yorkers, including 30,000 New York City residents.

“Immigration has been and always will be the lifeblood of this state,” Schneiderman told a cheering crowd of several hundred.

The city and state’s pledges for legal action came as protesters took to the Manhattan streets Tuesday. There were at least 34 arrests, according to the NYPD. The mayor’s spokesman said in a Twitter post that protesters who cooperated with officers “will only be ticketed released without fingerprinting.”

Shouting “Undocumented! Unafraid” and “No Papers No Fear” some 200 protesters marched in front of Trump Tower Tuesday morning, at one point briefly shutting down traffic as nearly a dozen demonstrators joined hands to form a human chain across 56th Street and Fifth Avenue.

About a dozen protesters, many undocumented, arresting while protesting repeal of #DACA in front of Trump Tower pic.twitter.com/MzkFOuATIs

— Jeff Mays (@JeffCMays) September 5, 2017

Among the demonstrators was Luis Chicaiza, 28, a DACA recipient from Hackensack, New Jersey who said he moved to the United States from Ecuador when he was 10. He now works at a Cheesecake Factory in New Jersey.

“Without DACA I wouldn’t be able to work, to drive, I wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Chicaiza said. “We’re not second-class citizens, we are human beings.”

Some signs from today's protest in NYC following Pres. Trump's decision to end #DACA pic.twitter.com/zDpDXdJAvf

— Shira Tarlo (@shiratarlo) September 5, 2017

Outside the New York Immigration Coalition’s midtown offices, immigration advocates and local politicians, including city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, denounced the DACA repeal and called on Congress to act quickly.

“I still believe in the dream,” said James, who called the decision to end DACA “blatantly racist.”

At City Hall, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Rev. Al Sharpton joined de Blasio in calling for a restoration of the protections offered under the DACA program. Both argued that those who were brought to the U.S. without legal status by their parents should not be villainized.

“As a pastor, I can tell you these Dreamers are not criminals, aliens . . . intruders . . . they are us. They are our people,” Dolan said. “To demonize them as threats or terrorists contradicts the Bible, America, New York and human decency.”

RIGHT NOW: We're at NYC's Foley Square as more than 1,000 protest Pres. Trump's decision to end DACA pic.twitter.com/IitQ93HL7h

— Michael George (@mgeorge4NY) September 5, 2017

Sharpton recalled Trump’s past efforts to question former president Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship, saying “You have a president who tried to discredit his predecessor’s documents . . . documents are not what he’s preoccupied with, bias and division is what he’s preoccupied with.”

Four NYPD helicopters hovering over Fight for #DACA protest in NYC. pic.twitter.com/SztphhkM3a

— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) September 5, 2017

———

©2017 Newsday


LAPD detectives solve 48-year-old cold case

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — It should have been an ordinary errand: a trip to a Mid-Wilshire drugstore to buy a hair dryer.

Wendy Jo Halison drove her prized green Thunderbird down Fairfax Avenue on that Sunday afternoon in 1968, stopping at the Thrifty on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard. After shopping, the 22-year-old art student was seen filling up her car at a gas station down the street.

But Halison would never return home to her family.

Her body was found the next morning, stuffed in the trunk of her car, a few blocks from where she was last seen alive.

The mystery of her murder lingered for nearly half a century, outlasting several detectives and potential suspects. New forensic techniques sometimes revealed tantalizing clues, but investigators failed to identify her killer.

Halison’s family was haunted by her death. Her parents died without learning who killed their daughter. Her sister wondered if she would too.

When an unexpected break came 48 years later, the revelations were chilling.

The man who strangled Halison had already been convicted of murdering two other women — and was suspected of killing more.

———

Halison grew up in Los Angeles with her parents and older sister, Linda. The daughters of a real estate salesman and a bookkeeper-turned-homemaker, the girls painted and played the piano. Halison was gregarious, with a big smile that still beams through the black-and-white photos hanging on her sister’s wall.

She took classes at San Fernando Valley State College — known as Cal State Northridge today — and lived in a Mid-City home with her parents and her beloved poodle, Pierre.

“She had everything going for her,” recalled Gil Kort, who was then married to Halison’s sister.

Halison called her sister that Sunday about a newspaper ad for a hair dryer on sale at Thrifty and asked if she wanted to go buy one.

Linda Kort Trocino told her sister no — she had two young sons at home and wanted to spend the day with her family. Decades later, her eyes welled with tears as she recalled the conversation.

“That still haunts me,” she said.

When Halison didn’t return home later that day, her family began to worry. It was unusual for her not to check in.

Halison’s mother called police that night to report her missing, but was told they couldn’t launch a missing persons case so quickly. Rather than wait, the family began to search on their own.

Gil Kort was a private investigator and rallied friends to help. He also hired a helicopter to scour the neighborhood from above.

Less than an hour after the search began the next morning, Halison’s boyfriend spotted her Thunderbird parked on Fairfax Avenue. Kort found her keys on the floor of the back seat and went to open the trunk.

Halison’s body was inside.

“It was the worst day of my life,” Kort, now 77, recalled.

Investigators later determined Halison had been sexually assaulted, then strangled, said Richard Bengtson, an LAPD detective now handling her case. Her fingernails were broken — detectives think she tried to fight her attacker.

The rope used to kill her was found at the scene. She still wore her jewelry and watch, causing detectives to rule out robbery as the motive. The only thing missing was the hair dryer.

———

Trocino was waiting at her parents’ house when her husband walked in. It was the first time Trocino had seen him cry, she recalled.

“We found her,” Kort told them. “She’s gone.”

Police quickly zeroed in on four men who knew Halison well: her boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend, her brother-in-law and another friend. They guessed that she might have known her attacker, someone who knew she was shopping alone.

The boyfriends, however, especially stood out to investigators, Bengtson said. The one who had spotted Halison’s car from the helicopter had seemingly picked a needle out of a haystack. Even the pilot wondered how he was able to see the car from where they were flying.

He also failed a lie detector test, raising more eyebrows.

Kort said he took a polygraph test right away, so police could eliminate him as a suspect and move on with their search. He said he understood why detectives initially focused on the men close to Halison.

“I thought it was somebody that knew her,” he said. “Strangling somebody is very personal.”

But the weeks turned into months and the months into years without much progress. Detectives were able to glean some clues — a white man was seen near Halison at the drugstore and again at the gas station — but the case ultimately stalled.

———

Harry Klann Jr., a criminalist for the LAPD, got involved three decades later when storied detective Frank Bolan asked him to look at evidence collected in Halison’s case.

In 1998, DNA analysis was in its infancy and the LAPD had been working with the forensic technique for only about four years, Klann said.

But when a colleague found semen on Halison’s capri pants and underwear, Klann said, they decided to analyze it in hopes that DNA would yield a fresh lead. Sure enough, he said, they found a sample from the suspect.

Investigators went to work, drawing blood from each of the four men they had originally questioned in connection with Halison’s death. They eliminated all four as suspects.

“Now you can move on,” Bengtson said. “It closes one door, but opens up others to look at.”

But the investigation stalled yet again. The DNA samples were too meager to test against collections in state and national databases.

“It just wasn’t going anywhere,” Klann said.

He recalled talking to Bolan about the case late one night as the detective smoked a cigarette outside Tom Bergin’s, a bar just down the street from where Halison’s body was found.

“This case will be solved long after I’m gone,” Bolan told Klann.

———

Halison’s death — and not knowing who was responsible — devastated her family.

Her parents left her room intact. For years, Kort avoided driving down Fairfax and felt sick when he saw Thunderbirds on the road.

Halison’s father, Lee, diligently stopped by their neighborhood police station, asking if there were any new leads. He offered rewards looking for anyone who might have seen Halison that day.

The family thought of the milestones Halison was robbed of: a wedding, birthdays, watching her nephews grow up, having children of her own.

Halison’s death seemed to hit her father the hardest. She was born on his birthday, and her absence hung over every celebration.

“If something happens to me, I want you to promise, don’t forget your sister,” he once told Trocino. “And you do what you think you can do to find out who did this.”

———

By 2016, three LAPD investigators had been working Halison’s case for years: Klann, the criminalist; Bengtson, the cold-case detective; and Peter Berman, a former head deputy district attorney who now helps detectives look over old cases for new clues.

Bengtson was assigned to the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, a group of detectives who handle some of the toughest cases in the city. He was among the original eight detectives assigned to the cold case unit when it was created in 2001, and the only one of those still working there.

Bengtson is of the classic detective mold, with a deep voice, sharp eye for detail and a determination to find answers. He doesn’t like the word “closure,” he said, because he’s not sure families of those killed will truly gain it.

At his desk inside the division, thick binders line the cubicle behind him. Halison’s files — what detectives call the “murder book” — are neatly arranged on his desk.

The investigators frequently flipped through those files, looking for the clues that could lead them to Halison’s killer.

Last summer, they asked Klann to run the DNA again, hoping improved technology would finally help them identify enough markers to upload the sample in the state’s system.

When Klann got the results, he said, he immediately sent Bengtson a text message.

“Are you sitting down?” he wrote.

———

Edwin Dean Richardson’s criminal record stretched to his childhood, escalating from burglaries and thefts to more violent crimes scattered across the country. He was a drifter, working odd jobs as he moved from state to state.

In 1960, he was convicted of attempted robbery and kidnapping in San Diego and spent eight years behind bars. He was paroled in April 1968 — five months before Halison was killed.

Richardson landed in an Ohio prison in 1981, after being convicted of killing 21-year-old Jo Anna Boughner in Belmont County, a steel-and-coal community on the state’s eastern border. Richardson was also convicted of kidnapping two girls across the river in West Virginia.

Tom McCort, now 76, was Belmont County’s sheriff for two decades. Before that, when he was an investigator for the prosecutor’s office, he spent more than three years looking for Richardson, who skipped town after Boughner’s body was found.

McCort eventually used a phone bill tossed in the trash to track Richardson to a trailer park in Mesa, Ariz., where he was arrested for Boughner’s murder. On the flight back to Ohio, the retired lawman said, Richardson bragged about killing another woman, wrapping her body in a blanket and tossing it over a cliff.

“He was almost boasting about what he had done and what he had gotten away with,” McCort recalled.

About 20 years later, authorities used DNA to link the still-imprisoned Richardson to a cold-case killing in Orange County.

Richardson was flown to California to face trial, where he pleaded guilty to raping and strangling Marla Jean Hires in 1972. The 23-year-old’s battered body was wrapped in cloth and dumped down an embankment not far from the Yorba Linda Country Club — just as he’d told McCort on the plane.

Richardson, then 70 and suffering from emphysema, was sentenced in 2006 to life in prison, all but ensuring he would die behind bars.

———

By the time the investigators in L.A. used the DNA to identify Richardson as the man who strangled Wendy Jo Halison, the convicted killer had been dead about four years.

Bengtson cursed at the news.

“Even alive and in prison is better than dead,” the detective lamented. “Because then I get to go to him and say: ‘Guess what? I’m going to put another charge on you.’”

Because Richardson was dead, investigators couldn’t interview him in prison or, more importantly, take a sample of his DNA to confirm their initial hit. Instead, they matched a blood sample identified as Richardson’s in the Orange County investigation to the DNA from Halison’s case. They also combed through his background, to see if his habits matched those of Halison’s killer.

As they did, Bengtson said, they noticed disturbing similarities.

Halison, Hires and Boughner were all young, attractive brunettes who were alone when they were abducted. Each was assaulted and strangled. Their cars were abandoned.

Bengtson thinks Richardson was an opportunist, targeting women who were about to get in their cars. The detective believes he used some type of weapon to force them to slide into the passenger’s seat.

There are gaps on his rap sheet that worry Bengtson and the others. A killer like Richardson — a serial killer — doesn’t typically take a break, they said.

“This guy didn’t stop at one or two or three,” Bengtson said. “There’s no chance in hell.”

There was another woman, another pretty 22-year-old killed a year after Halison. Margie Schuit’s beaten and strangled body was found in Burbank, but her car was found in Los Angeles — in the parking lot of the same Thrifty drug store where Halison shopped.

It’s too much of a coincidence for Bengtson and Berman. They think there’s a chance Richardson killed Schuit too.

The problem, they said: The evidence from Schuit’s 1969 killing was lost. There is no DNA to test.

———

When Bengtson was confident Richardson was the man who killed Halison, he picked up the phone to call her sister. Those calls are “a little nerve-racking,” the detective admitted, because he knows they bring a wave of mixed emotions to the victim’s relatives.

“All at once, it’s just a hurricane hitting them,” he said.

Trocino was eating brunch with her husband when she got the call.

She didn’t answer at first, assuming it was a telemarketer, and let the call go to voicemail. When she listened to the message, she said, she immediately felt sick.

“We found who killed your sister,” Bengtson said.

———

Last month, Trocino and her husband, Tony, drove to the LAPD’s glass headquarters in downtown L.A. to meet the investigators for the first time. A necklace that once belonged to her sister hung around her neck.

Trocino sat quietly, her hands folded and her eyes wide, as the investigators patiently answered her questions. At 48 years, it was the oldest cold case they had solved, they told her.

When Bengtson walked through Richardson’s criminal history, Trocino shook her head.

“You OK?” her husband asked, rubbing her back.

“Unbelievable,” she said.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Texas seeks swift reversal of blocked ‘sanctuary cities’ law

Posted on September 6, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a federal appeals court for an emergency order blocking a lower ruling that kept Texas' new anti-"sanctuary cities" law from taking effect.

In a filing Tuesday, Paxton requested expedited consideration and a ruling from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court within two days.

A San Antonio-based federal judge last week temporarily suspended Texas' new law amid a lawsuit questioning its constitutionality. The law had been set to kick in Sept. 1.

It allows police to inquire about people's immigration status during routine interactions like traffic stops. Police chiefs also could face removal from office and even criminal charges for not complying with federal requests to hold people jailed on non-immigration offenses longer for possible deportation.

Opponents call it a "show your papers" law.


You’ll float too: Pa. police find over 20 red balloons tied to sewer gates

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LITITZ BOROUGH, Pa. — Police in Lititz Borough came upon a terrifying discovery over the weekend: red balloons tied to sewer gates all over town.

The police department wrote on Facebook Tuesday that someone “took it upon themselves to promote” the upcoming release of the child-killing clown movie “It.”

“We give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again,” the department joked.

The titular character of the movie, adapted from a Stephen King novel, is a clown who lures children down into the sewers with red balloons.

Sgt. Stephen Detz told CBS that while they don’t have an accurate balloon count, he knows it’s “definitely above 20.”

Detz said while there are fans of the movie in the department and they find the prank funny, he would like the pranksters to stop.

"I mean, somebody eventually has to clean it up, obviously," he said. "We've removed several, but there are still a lot more out there."

Last year, clowns terrorized multiple cities in several different states. At least a dozen people were arrested in Georgia, Alabama and Virginia for taking part in the stunts or making false reports. In a recent bulletin by the Pennsylvania State Police, authorities warned that similar clown sightings could happen because of the Sept. 8 release of the “It” movie.

Detz mentioned to CBS that while wearing a clown costume isn’t a crime, harassing and assaulting people while wearing the costume is.

"They should respect others boundaries,” he said. If they are showing support for a movie that's not a problem. It's when they start trying to harass or annoy people with their presence."

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A certain movie is coming to theaters in two days, and a local prankster took it upon themselves to promote the...

Posted by Lititz Borough Police Department on Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Cop dressed as Batman brings smiles to Harvey victims, first responders

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Cpl. Damon Cole is famous for his heroic acts. Whether it’s capturing shoplifters while dressed as Batman or driving 11 hours to be Superman for a boy with cancer, Cole knows what it means to rise to the occasion.

On Saturday, Cole worked patrol with the Houston Police Department to assist with Harvey rescues.

“It was heartbreaking seeing so many people that have lost everything from Hurricane Harvey,” he wrote on Facebook. “After I got off work I really wanted to do something more for the families.”

He called Houston Police Sgt. BK Klev who allowed Cole, dressed as Batman, into the George R. Brown Convention Center to bring joy to the families staying there. He even met with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cole shared photos of his act of kindness on Facebook and Twitter, saying “doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today.”

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Time to be the reason someone smiles today.

Posted by Heroes & Cops Against Childhood Cancer on Saturday, September 2, 2017

Even though we work for different cities, we all have the same goal. Protect and help ALL people in Texas. pic.twitter.com/Z5uqg1GWc5

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 2, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

I worked patrol today with Houston PD (6am-6pm) and it was heart breaking seeing so many people that have lost...

Posted by Heroes & Cops Against Childhood Cancer on Saturday, September 2, 2017

I am honored to meet such wonderful officers @houstonpolice like Officer Fortson doing such an amazing job. pic.twitter.com/cePMhTff93

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

Doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today. pic.twitter.com/mSt1tLJtmp

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

I started watching Spdierman with him on his phone. He wouldn't stop watching me, instead of the movie, lol. pic.twitter.com/CZfVwsz4o8

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017

Doing my part to help make these amazing families smile after going through so much. Be the reason someone smiles today. pic.twitter.com/2OPH8FXdF0

— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) September 3, 2017


Shoplifting suspect assaults man with ax after he offers to pay for the suspect’s items

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

LOS ANGELES — Police said a man who offered to pay for a shoplifting suspect’s items was attacked with an ax.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CBS LA that a suspect was stealing the items from a 7-Eleven Saturday when a man offered to pay for them.

The suspect became upset and began arguing with the man. Police said the suspect then attacked the man with an ax, striking him in the head several times. The suspect fled on foot. The victim was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Authorities have released a surveillance image of the suspect. He is considered armed and dangerous. The public should call 911 with any information regarding his whereabouts.


Should cops see body cam video before giving use-of-force statements?

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Force Science Institute
Author: Force Science Institute

Article reprinted from Force Science News #330.

A recent webinar on the question of whether officers should be allowed to review body cam video before giving statements on use-of-force incidents featured a spirited clash of opinions among two law enforcement lawyers and a forensics expert, but in the end offered agreement on two critical points:

1. To avoid potentially damaging pitfalls, officers and their attorneys need special expertise about the nature and limitations of video recordings, regardless of when they’re viewed;

2. Departments must be actively educating their communities now about the surprising realities of video footage to preserve trust in the face of future controversial episodes.

The webinar, Point/Counterpoint: The Debate over Officer Viewing of BWC Video Footage, was presented by Lexipol, a prominent public safety risk management and policy consulting group.

The roundtable participants were Ken Wallentine, an attorney and supervisory special agent who directs the Utah Attorney General’s Training Center; Laura Scarry, an attorney and former police officer who specializes in defending law enforcement officers and their agencies; and Grant Fredericks, a former Canadian officer and a certified Forensics Video Analyst.

Here are some highlights of their exchanges.

Video footage is a common, but flawed, source of evidence

These days Fredericks states, “Video images are more common in serious criminal investigations than any other source of evidence – more than DNA, fingerprints or eye-witness testimony.”

The popular belief is that cameras capture exactly what happened at the scene they’re recording. But in truth, Fredericks emphasizes, video images can be significantly deceptive because there literally is more to them than meets the eye.

In the webinar, he used compelling footage from actual cases to demonstrate a few of the scientific shortcomings of body cams, dash cams and surveillance cams that UOF investigators commonly are unaware of.

He explains that all modern digital video footage is “encoded using various forms of compression,” a process that reduces data size but “fools the human eye.” Because of compression a camera may appear to have recorded continuous action when, in fact, some of what appears to be new images is actually repeated footage “stolen” from previous recordings.

Moreover, some action that occurred may be omitted entirely from what a viewer sees later, Fredericks says. When images are dropped but gaps are not immediately obvious, the footage “can give the illusion of increased levels of force that didn’t exist” at the scene. In short, a distorted and false record of what happened is created but not easily detected.

Without a working knowledge of such sophisticated forensic techniques as “macro-blocking analysis” and “time tree analysis,” it can be impossible to “identify the reliable images and ignore the images that are not reliable,” Fredericks says.

It’s been his experience, he says, that officers can easily “misinterpret” video of force events they’ve been involved in. “They don’t want to be perceived as lying,” so if the video seems to contradict what they remember, “they’ll change their memory to accommodate the video.”

Heightened vulnerability

Wallentine picks up on this concern in arguing that letting officers see their video before giving a statement merely sets them up for trouble “by making their entire account of the incident vulnerable” to damaging scrutiny.

“Inevitably they’ll be asked by plaintiffs’ attorneys, investigators, and the media, ‘Are you relating perceptions of the event at the time you used force or are you giving a version you believe is supported by the recording?’ There is almost no way for officers to prove the former,” he claims.

“Once they’ve viewed a video, they can’t unview it. They may see something on the video that is contrary to their perceptions and feel pressured to change their account. This makes them vulnerable to accusations they are lying. If they merely relied on their perceptions of the situation, they would be in a better position in court.

“Training can help cops be more comfortable testifying to what they remember, while being fully aware that video may depict something else. It is so innocent not to remember something perfectly. That fact needs to be impressed again and again on cops. Training should help officers admit without feeling funny that they don’t really know what all they saw at the time [of the incident] or precisely what they processed.”

In defending a pre-statement viewing position, Scarry emphatically disagrees regarding enhanced vulnerability. Seeing video before giving a statement “will result in a statement that is much more difficult to pick apart in court,” she insists.

Even with video’s acknowledged shortcomings, she says, watching footage “allows the officer to review the incident in a more controlled environment in which he or she no longer experiences the distorted sensory perceptions that take place during a critical incident.” This can aid the officer’s recollection and “assist in obtaining the truth of what occurred.”

The officer then has a chance to address contradictions, differences in perception or memory gaps at the time the statement is taken.

“It is much better that an officer’s first and only statement address all issues,” Scarry argues. “That’s a lot better than having an officer make errors and then in a ‘Gotcha moment’ in court have to say, ‘Oops, I guess I got it wrong.’”

She adds that investigators taking an officer’s statement should make clear that the officer “should be as candid as possible about any differences” that he or she perceived at “the moment of executing a force option decision,” compared to what he or she perceives during a video review.

Anticipate public opinion

Allowing officers to preview video, Wallentine posits, “can contribute negatively to police/community relations and to a department’s respect for transparency and legitimacy. Public confidence can diminish if citizens perceive that an officer’s statement is tailored to the video rather than a recall of perception.”

Scarry counters: “Police/community relations rest on far more” than an officer viewing video of any singular incident. “Having a clear policy in place, educating citizens ahead of time about the policy, communicating clearly in the event of an officer-involved shooting – these all are essential and will help overcome any negative feelings associated with letting an officer watch a video.

“How an agency communicates about what is seen on body-worn camera video is far more important than the timing of an officer’s viewing. The agency’s transparency about how it handles the video and how it reached that decision and its willingness to engage the public’s perception [are what] build trust.”

Guidelines need to constantly evolve

Scarry points out that the policy Lexipol currently recommends is not a rigid dictum but is “still evolving.” She quotes it this way: “Any officer involved in a shooting or death may be permitted to review available video or audio recordings prior to providing a recorded statement or completing a report.”

The qualifier “may be” makes this policy “permissive, not restrictive,” Wallentine observes. “It allows for a case-specific determination [that’s] nimble, agile, and customizable” and accommodates possible input from outside parties like a district attorney or independent investigative agency that may have a critical role in the case at hand.

A possible “compromise” policy, the debaters agreed, would mirror the approach Fredericks strongly believes to be the best. First, the involved officer gives a statement “to the best of his memory and ability.” Then, after being cautioned about the limitations of recordings and ideally with the assistance of a knowledgeable professional, he views video of the event. Then he is asked to “fill in gaps” by commenting on elements “that may not be consistent” with his memory.”

Training is key

The unequivocal point of agreement among the webinar’s participants is succinctly stated by Wallentine: “Cameras without proper training are a recipe for disaster.”

He supplements Fredericks’ demonstrations of often-unrecognized video shortcomings with a litany of his own: “Cameras don’t track with an officer’s eyes. They don’t capture tactile cues, such as when a suspect flexes muscles and starts to resist. They don’t reveal a suspect’s prior history known to the officer. They don’t record at the speed of life. They don’t capture images in 3-D or represent distances accurately. They don’t accurately reproduce what the human eye sees, and they don’t reproduce the subjective fear an officer feels.”

Without training to detect and assess the impact of such factors, a UOF video may appear skewed to an officer’s severe disadvantage. Absent special analysis skills, in Fredericks’opinion, the “average LEO is not qualified to interpret video evidence.”

In addition to strengthening the expertise of agency personnel, the webinar panel expresses the hope, in Scarry’s words, that “agencies are educating their community about the scientific nature of body-worn cameras and other methods of gathering video surveillance,” as well as the nature of human memory of high-stress encounters.

This is “absolutely mandatory,” Wallentine says, as part of the effort to keep the public from rushing to judgment about UOF encounters.

Additional points of debate

The roundtable participants also debated a number of other topics:

• Whether permitting an officer to preview video violates the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Graham decision, which cautions against bringing “20/20 hindsight” to a UOF evaluation;

• Whether previewing constitutes an unfair special privilege for officers that is not extended to suspects and key witnesses;

• Whether officers should be entitled to preview relevant video from all cameras, including cell phones and surveillance units that are known to have recorded the action in question.

The purpose of debating these and other webinar topics is not to “solve” the controversy about previewing, explains moderator Shannon Pieper, Lexipol’s marketing communications director. Instead, the aim is to “explore different perspectives” to arm stakeholders “with information to consider when making their own decisions” about training, practices, and effective written policies.


About the participants Ken Wallentine is an attorney and supervisory special agent who directs the Utah Attorney General’s Training Center. He is a certified Force Science Analyst and a current student in the Advanced Force Science Specialist program, as well as a consultant and senior legal advisor for Lexipol.

Laura Scarry is an attorney and former police officer who specializes in defending law enforcement officers and their agencies in litigation for her law firm DeAno & Scarry in Chicago. Also an attorney for Lexipol, she is an instructor for Force Science Institute courses on Force Science Analysis and on Body Cameras & Other Recordings for Law Enforcement.

Grant Fredericks is a former Canadian officer and a certified Forensics Video Analyst who heads the firm Forensic Video Solutions in the Spokane, Washington, area. A contract instructor in video analysis at the FBI National Academy, he has testified as an expert witness on video-related matters in more than 150 cases in North America and abroad.

For more information on Lexipol, see www.lexipol.com.

Thanks to Lt. Glen Mills of the Burlington (Mass.) PD and president of the Massachusetts Assn. of Crime Analysts for helping to facilitate this report.


Video shows Mich. cop terminated pursuit long before suspect killed 5 in crash

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By PoliceOne Staff

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Police released dash camera footage of a high-speed pursuit after rumors spread that an officer was pursuing the car before it crashed and killed five.

Undersheriff Paul Matyas said Saturday that the video shows otherwise.

An officer attempted to pull over a Dodge Charger Saturday that was going an estimated 100 mph, MLive reported. Footage shows the officer activating his lights and sirens to begin the pursuit.

Shortly after, the officer can be heard telling a dispatcher, “yeah, I’m going to have to terminate it. It’s well over 100 mph.” The officer deactivates his lights and sirens and slows down. He can be heard saying he’ll continue down the road to see if the car crashed.

Videos shows the officer come across the crash scene about 90 seconds later.


ASPCA training equips police with tools to investigate animal abuse

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By Stacy Wolf, ASPCA Senior Vice President

Animal cruelty is a crime against animals, but also a crime that offends our most basic community values.

The scale of this cruelty can be shocking, as seen in 2016 when the ASPCA assisted the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office in a cruelty case involving nearly 700 animals living in deplorable conditions at an unlicensed, self-described animal rescue facility. It was the largest companion animal cruelty case in ASPCA history.

Animal cruelty doesn’t just hurt animals. Research shows that some forms of animal cruelty are indicators of potential future violent acts against people. But effectively investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases presents unique challenges to law enforcement, prosecutors and animal welfare agencies alike.

The ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group is made up of investigators, lawyers, behaviorists and forensic veterinarians who collaborate with law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of animal crimes and help rehabilitate animal cruelty victims.

The goal of this work is to save animals in jeopardy today, while helping law enforcement agencies build their own capacity to handle such cases independently in the future.

Training courses provide information on animal cruelty

ASPCA research has found that nearly half of law enforcement officers encounter animal cruelty at least several times a year, nearly a quarter of them on a monthly basis.

Almost half of officers say more training is needed on how to investigate animal cruelty cases.

Feedback from law enforcement agencies demonstrates a keen interest in receiving additional training to help officers identify animal cruelty and conduct effective investigations that result in successful prosecution.

In response to these findings, the ASPCA has increased efforts to offer training courses to law enforcement and animal control officers on various animal cruelty topics and trained nearly 2,000 law enforcement officers across the country last year to effectively assist victims of cruelty and neglect.

These trainings provide crucial tools that empower law enforcement to identify, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty.

Current training opportunities

This September, the ASPCA is collaborating with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, the New York State Office of Public Safety and the Mohawk Valley Police Academy to offer a statewide animal cruelty investigations training.

During the two-day course, attendees will learn about New York State animal cruelty laws, evidence collection, the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, animal fighting, and investigating equine and large-scale cruelty cases.

Numerous ASPCA animal welfare experts spanning specialties in veterinary forensic sciences, investigations, criminal law and animal behavior will offer training, which will be held September 11 and 12 at Mohawk Valley Community College in Oneida County.

Law enforcement officers based in New York interested in attending this training should submit a course application at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3660801/ASPCA-Symposium-Utica. Those not based in New York or unable to attend can visit aspcapro.org for information on ASPCA trainings in your area.


Cleveland police chief responds to police unions’ choice to not hold flag at Browns’ opener

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Force Science Institute

By Jane Morice Advance Ohio Media

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams released a statement Sunday night responding to the past week's news that the Cleveland police and rescue unions would not participate in holding the American flag during the National Anthem during the Browns opener due to players' protests.

Below is the statement in full:

"Hello, Cleveland,

Recent statements made by the President of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association would lead one to believe that members of the Cleveland Division of Police are against participating in events with our Cleveland Browns athletes. This is simply not the viewpoint of all of our officers. The Cleveland Browns Organization has been a longtime partner of the Cleveland Division of Police, donating and assisting (many times quietly) to our Police Athletic League and hosting events with kids in the city's Muny League Football. We know that we can count on this partnership to continue.

As law enforcement officers, we took an oath to serve and to protect. We protect the rights of all citizens to express their views as protected by the First Amendment of our constitution, no matter the issue. Our American flag is an important symbol to our great country and we, as officers, will continue to salute it.

More importantly, we as Cleveland Police Officers strive to open the lines of communication with all of our citizens--athletes and enthusiastic Browns fans alike. Who are we kidding?! We are CLEVELAND!! And we stay strong together. We stand together.

Moving forward, I can tell you that we within the Cleveland Division of Police are in communication with the Cleveland Browns Organization as we have been in the past. We want to hear from our players, the fans and our citizens of this great city. We want to bridge the gap. We want to talk.

I look forward to a continued partnership with our CLEVELAND athletes, our community and a great BROWNS season!!!"

Steve Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, which represents the department's rank-and-file officers, said late Friday that protests by some of the Browns players is offensive.

"It's just ignorant for someone to do that," he said. "It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that's as offensive as it can get."

The union that represents the city's dispatchers, EMTs and paramedics followed the CPPA's lead Saturday.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


After violence, Calif. debates classifying ‘antifa’ as a street gang

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

null
Author: Force Science Institute

By James Queally and Benjamin Oreskes and Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Not long after dozens of black-hooded protesters were filmed pummeling people on his city’s streets, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin made clear his disgust for the self-stylized vigilantes.

“Antifa,” he said, is no different than a street gang, and police should start treating protesters in the anti-fascist movement accordingly.

Later that day, legislators in Sacramento advanced resolutions that would treat violent acts committed by antifa movement’s enemies — white nationalists and neo-Nazis — as terrorist acts under state law.

As forces on the extremes of the nation’s ever-widening political divide continue to battle with fists and weapons on the streets of California, law enforcement officials and politicians have started debating whether these extremist groups should be classified as street gangs.

Such a designation could give law enforcement new tools to combat the groups. Numerous laws on the books give authorities the power to restrict the movements of gang members and enhance criminal charges against them.

But such a move raises legal issues because unlike with traditional street gangs, the underlying motive of these extremist groups is political expression rather than criminal enterprise.

Law enforcement experts say the groups that have been warring in the Bay Area for months — which include anti-fascists and those using “black bloc” militant tactics, far-right organizations such as the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, and white nationalist groups such as Identity Evropa — certainly share similarities with a street gang.

“It is gang behavior with some ideology. But it is also a social entity as well as a political one,” said Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Arreguin, the mayor, said he believes that groups on both the left and the right meet this definition. But “it’s something I would want to discuss with our enforcement partners before I make that announcement,” he said.

“There are violent extremists on both sides, and we need to look at a variety of legal and law enforcement strategies to deal with these groups,” he said. “There are organized groups — violent extremists groups — on the left and right that have encouraged people to come to Berkeley and physically confront the antifa or to confront the alt-right.”

But some gang experts also expressed concern about linking the far left to street gang activity. While the groups may share commonalities with gangs, the idea of labeling them as such could be seen as a punishing a political viewpoint, no matter how extreme.

“There’s an argument for it, but there’s also a very grave concern because they are exercising their constitutional rights,” said San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. Britt Imes, a nationally renowned expert on gang activity. “Their criminal actions, not their free speech actions, their criminal actions, will determine whether they qualify as a criminal street gang.”

Labeling either far-left or far-right groups as street gangs could have serious consequences for those arrested during the inevitable next clash at a counter-protest in California. Under the state’s Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act — a piece of legislation passed at the height of the nation’s gang boom — gang enhancements can add two to 15 years to a criminal sentence for people convicted of committing a crime in concert with gang activity.

Identified gang members can also be subject to injunctions, or civil restraining orders, that would prevent them from being in certain areas or congregating with friends and even family. Such tactics have been hailed as successes, and decried as draconian by civil liberties groups, in Los Angeles.

A spokeswoman for the Berkeley Police Department said she did not know whether antifa would qualify as a gang under California law.

Any law enforcement agency trying to label antifa protesters as gang members might also run into another problem: Technically, they don’t exist.

Joanna Mendelson, a senior investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said “antifa” generally describes a way of thinking, rather than a group.

“The antifa is a loose network of individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far-right movements,” she said. “There’s not a clear organizational structure. It’s a movement.”

Antifa does not have a membership, nor does anyone have to claim to be part of the group to embrace its tactics or approach to protests, she added. But some far-left groups that espouse violence have taken on this banner.

Some law enforcement officials believe those groups fit the description of a street gang, even if identifying their followers would be next to impossible.

“I think under state law they could easily be declared a gang,” said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators’ Assn. “They behave like a gang. They have defined commitment to violence. They have their own gang dress.”

Imes, who said that he was speaking as an expert and that his comments did not reflect the opinions of the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office, added that many black and Hispanic factions defined as gangs under the law also lack structure or formal membership.

Antifa’s stated goal may be to defeat white supremacists and neo-Nazis, but if the means by which its followers achieve that mission are violent, they could still be defined as a gang, he said.

“The question is going to become have they engaged in a pattern of criminal activity … and is that part of their primary purpose for existing? When you talk about a group engaging in civil disobedience, I am very hesitant to label them a street gang,” Imes said. “However, if their purpose is to come together to cause havoc, or engage in violence, and this is antifa or the white supremacist side … they’re going to engage in conduct that will eventually fit the definition of what a criminal street gang is.”

Those standing across Bay Area battle lines from anti-fascists, including the Proud Boys and the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, seem to have more in common with what the average citizen associates with gang lore. The Proud Boys, a national collective of “western chauvinists” founded by former Vice media executive Gavin McInnes, has a formalized initiation process that includes being beaten by members, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Members have to declare themselves as Proud Boys, follow a dress code that includes polo shirts and engage in violent brawls with anti-fascists as part of their initiation, the SPLC has said. The group has regional chapters, including in the Bay Area and Orange County, and some members refer to themselves as “commanders” of specific sets. After an April rally, the Bay Area Proud Boys claimed Berkeley as its “territory,” according to a tweet pinned atop its social media page.

“When they do things like that, and they put things in writing like bylaws … it makes our job a lot easier,” Imes said. “It makes proving the associational organization much easier. When you talk about whether something is a criminal street gang or not, you look to what evidence you have.”

Factions on both sides of the political divide also commit a pattern of crimes that are described in the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, experts say. The repeat brawls in the Bay Area and elsewhere could constitute a pattern of assault. Arson is also listed under the law, Imes said, pointing to fires believed to have been set by anti-fascists during protests in Berkeley earlier this year.

Still, most experts agree that it’s easier to label a group a gang when its criminal acts are divorced from political speech. The Golden State Skinheads are a white supremacy group, for example, but its members have also been known to engage in robberies and drug trafficking.

McBride said he’s less concerned with labels than he is with stopping the endless series of brawls in the Bay Area before they escalate into something worse.

“These young men see it as an adventure with the excitement of a fight,” he said, warning that sooner or later “someone is going to pull a gun.”

———

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


5 use of force studies cops should know

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.
Author: Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.

You know it. I know it. Unlawful shootings by police are extremely rare. The question is, can we make the skeptic believe the realities of police use of force?

Line officers, police leaders and public information officers can get educated about the facts behind such encounters if they read these studies.

1. Klahm C, Tillyer R. Understanding police use of force: A review of the evidence. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 2010, 7(2) 214-239.

When researchers want to know if other researchers have arrived at similar conclusions, one method is to do a meta-analysis.

In Klahm and Tillyer’s review, the reader can conclude that many of the assumptions about what precipitates a police officer’s decision to employ force – such a race, nature of the offense, and the number of officers present – are not universally true.

Force encounters are an anomaly in police conduct, influenced by so many factors – many of them unresearched – that prediction is impossible.

Core quote: “Based on the empirical evidence summarized, it appears that few suspect and encounter characteristics are highly influential in determining use of force by police.”

2. Police Executive Research Forum for the National Institute of Justice. Comparing Safety Outcomes in Police Use-Of Force Cases for Law Enforcement Agencies That Have Deployed Conducted Energy Devices and A Matched Comparison Group That Have Not: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation, September 2009.

This study compared multiple agencies, some of which used conducted energy devices (CED) and some of which did not, in nine categories covering death and injury to subjects and police officers. The outcome of the research is a clear justification of these devices.

Core quote: “LEAs should consider the utility of the CED as a way to avoid up-close combative situations and reduce injuries to officers and suspects.”

3. Phoenix Project: Predictors of Suspect Use of Force, April 2001.

This study is valuable because of the number of factors examined, and the author’s comparisons to other research.

Three general categories are summarized: those factors that have no apparent influence in predicting use of force, those that are inconsistent and those that are consistently associated with use of force during arrest situations.

Among the interesting findings is that the number of officers at the scene is not a predictor of less force, thus the critique that an officer is at fault for not waiting for backup is refutable.

Core quote: “Groups are likely frustrated by their inability to obtain complete and reliable information on incidents of police use of force.”

4. Restraint in the Use of Deadly Force. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June 2012, 81:6.

This insightful article gives a statistical glimpse at how many times law officers were legally entitled to use deadly force but choose not to.

Written within the context of the FBI’s statistics on officers killed in the line of duty, a key finding is that while using deadly force is a rarity, the majority of police officers have been in situations where they had a deadly force decision to make.

Core quote: “The authors’ experiences have revealed that a large number of officers have been in multiple situations in which they could have used deadly force, but resolved the incident without doing so and while avoiding serious injury.”

5. National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Use of Force by Police Overview of National and Local Data, October 1999.

This report is a good summary of use of force research from several perspectives, including citizen complaints.

Core quote: “About 1 percent of people who had face-to-face contacts with police said that officers used or threatened force. In 7,512 adult custody arrests…fewer than one out of five arrests involved police use of physical force. That can be considered a low rate in view of the study’s broad definition of force.”

There are lots of good resources on this issue, as will certainly be pointed out in readers’ comments. Most research tells us the following:

We need more research; The variables are too many to precisely define; Police officers in the United States are doing an amazing job!

Photos: Conn. K-9 gets hero’s send-off before being euthanized

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MIDDLETON, Conn. — A K-9 received a hero’s send-off before he was put down.

The Middletown Police Department wrote on Facebook that K-9 Hunter had been ill for the past couple of days. Tests revealed he had an aggressive form of liver cancer and doctors recommended euthanization.

The department posted photos of Officer Michael D’Aresta carrying Hunter through a line of saluting officers as the duo made their way to the vet’s office.

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Hunter and Officer D'Aresta have been such a huge part of our department the past ten years. Such a dedicated K-9...

Posted by Middletown Police Department -Connecticut on Friday, September 1, 2017

“Officer Michael D'Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads making this evening,” the department wrote.

D’Aresta and Hunter began serving with the Middletown PD together in 2007.

“Such a dedicated K-9 team,” the department said. “It will never be the same. Rest in Peace Hunter you've done well.”

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Officer Michael D'Aresta unfortunately has to make the toughest decision any K9 handler dreads making this evening at...

Posted by Middletown Police Department -Connecticut on Friday, September 1, 2017


Houston LEO battling stage 4 cancer braves Harvey to rescue residents

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A Houston police officer battling stage 4 metastatic colon cancer braved Harvey’s floodwaters to help rescue thousands of stranded residents.

Norbert Ramon’s sergeant called him as rain began to fall on Aug. 26, Fox News reported. The 24-year veteran began preparing for the worst.

“By Sunday morning when he woke up, there was so much rain and standing water that he could not go to his regular duty in downtown Houston,” Ramon’s wife, Cindy, said.

Ramon notified his sergeant then reported for duty with the Houston Lake Patrol, the nearest patrol unit.

“From then it was a madhouse,” Cindy told Fox. “They started going out rescuing people in all parts of Houston. That’s where it started from and it’s been non-stop.”

Ramon was put on desk duty three weeks ago over concern about his health. But Cindy said the cancer hasn’t been on Ramon’s mind. He’s concerned with helping Harvey victims. So far, he’s helped rescue 1,500 residents.

“He’s been so caught up in the emotions and the excitement of trying to rescue people, he had no time to even think about it,” Cindy said. “You wouldn’t even think he had cancer, he’s plugging along like he doesn’t.”

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Incredible photos from our Lake Patrol Unit as they helped evacuate the Kingwood area. Great job guys!

Posted by Houston Police Officers' Union on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ramon receives chemotherapy in Oklahoma every two weeks. After the hospital staff saw photos of Ramon’s work, they were reportedly worried for his health, but believe he’s truly a hero.

“The people actually reached out to me, they called us and said ‘Hey how are you guys doing, we’re seeing all the photos and we wanted to check up on you,’” Cindy said. “It’s just an emotional roller coaster.”


PD thanks Utah nurse for protecting injured LEO’s identity

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — An Idaho police department is thanking a nurse for protecting an injured officer’s identity during a viral incident between the nurse and a Utah detective.

The Rigby Police Department wrote on Facebook Friday that it was one of their reserve officers, William Gray, who was injured in the July accident that led to the viral video. A suspect fleeing Utah State Highway Patrol collided head-on with Gray’s truck, killing himself and critically injuring Gray.

Dash camera footage of the high-speed pursuit shows suspect Marco Torres fleeing from police before swerving into oncoming traffic and striking Gray’s truck head-on. Police initially attempted to pull over Torres for erratic driving. The impact caused an explosion. Police told Fox 13 that Gray was on fire when he exited his vehicle. Gray was airlifted to the burn unit at University of Utah Hospital.

Det. Jeff Payne entered the burn unit where nurse Alex Wubbels was working as a charge nurse on July 26 and asked for Gray’s blood as part of an investigation, KSL reported. Payne, a trained police phlebotomist, did not have a warrant and the unconscious patient could not provide consent, so Wubbels denied him access, the Washington Post reported. An argument between Payne and Wubbels was caught on body camera and Wubbels was arrested for “interfering with an investigation.” She was later released without charge.

The Rigby Police Department said they were not made aware of the incident until Aug. 31. They noted that Gray, at no time, was under any suspicion of wrongdoing and was the victim in the accident.

“The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim,” the agency wrote. “The Rigby Police Department would also like to acknowledge the hard work the involved agencies and trusts that this unfortunate incident will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action will be taken.”

CEO of University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City Gordon Crabtree told USA Today on Tuesday that hospital security should have intervened to stop the incident and “this will not happen again.”

"Nurse Wubbels was placed in an unfair and unwarranted position (and) her actions were nothing less than exemplary,” he said.

Crabtree said policies have been changed and police officers can now speak only to “house supervisors.” No contacts can be made in patient-care areas.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, Salt Lake City’s mayor and the department’s police chief apologized Friday, stating what they had seen was unacceptable.

"It was clear that the arrest was completely mishandled, was inappropriate and didn't need to happen," Police Chief Dale Brophy said. "She did everything possible to make that situation work and she wasn't rewarded for it."

Per department policy, Payne and a second officer are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Payne was also put on administrative leave from his part-time position as a paramedic with Gold Cross Ambulance, Fox 13 Now reported.


Police: Houston looters targeting cops, firefighters

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Firefighters were targeted by looters while rescuing people from Hurricane Harvey floodwaters, according to police.

Daily Caller reported that a group of firefighters were shot at while conducting search and rescue operations.

“We had firefighters out there helping people, and looters started firing on them,” Officer Joe Gamaldi said. “We sent officers down there on a code 1 (which means as fast as you can) to assist, and they too came under fire.”

Gamaldi said there were no injuries in the incident.

“This was absolutely the most despicable and disgusting thing that you could imagine,” Gamaldi said. “That our officers had to stop what they were doing, high water rescues and saving lives, to deal with looters firing at our officers and firefighters.”

Gamaldi had a message for looters: “If you are caught, you will go to jail and there will be severe consequences.”

Neighboring Houston area Montgomery County District Attorney reinforced Gamaldi’s message and made it clear that looters would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“Leniency and probation will be off the table for these offenses committed during this time,” Ligon said.

Texas law allows punishment to be enhanced for crimes committed during an official natural disaster.


Police union: Houston looters targeted cops, firefighters

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Firefighters and officers were targeted by looters, according to a police union.

The Houston Chronicle reported that a group of firefighters and officers were shot at while responding to the scene.

Police Union Vice President Joe Gamaldi said police diverted from making high-water rescues to respond.

Shout out to looters who are breaking into businesses/shooting at firemen/officers and advertising it while we are saving people #disgusting

— HPOU (@HPOUTX) August 29, 2017

A tweet by the HPOU called the shooting "#disgusting," and said that looters were "advertising it while we are saving people." Gamaldi retweeted the HPOU's tweet.

Harris County DA Kim Ogg told Fox News that looters would be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“Anyone who tries to take advantage of this storm to break into homes or businesses should know that they are going to feel the full weight of the law,” Ogg said. “Offenders will be processed around the clock without delay.”

Texas state law “allows for enhanced punishment ranges for certain offenses committed during a declared natural disaster event," Montgomery County officials said.


Photographer mistakenly shot by officer who mistook camera for weapon

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A newspaper photographer was shot by a deputy Sunday night after the deputy mistook the man's camera for a weapon, reports say.

The New Carlisle News reports its photographer, Andy Grimm, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for surgery and is expected to recover from his wound.

Grimm had his camera and a tripod and was outside at about 10 p.m. Sunday attempting to take photos of lightning during a storm, the News reports.

Clark County Deputy Jake Shaw reportedly was on a traffic stop that didn't involve Grimm when he saw the photographer with the tripod and camera and mistook it for a weapon. Shaw then fired at Grimm, the News reports.

"I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, 'Hey, cool. I'll get some pictures here,'" Grimm tells the News. "I turned around toward the cars and then 'pop, pop.'"

Grimm tells the News he was in full view of Shaw and that the deputy gave him no warning before firing. However, he said he knows Shaw and that he hopes the deputy will not lose his job over the incident.

The newspaper also used its Facebook page to urge that people not criticize the deputy.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, the News reports. Clark County is located in southwest Ohio near Dayton.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Photographer shot by officer who mistook camera for weapon

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

By Cliff Pinckard Advance Ohio Media

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio — A newspaper photographer was shot by a deputy Sunday night after the deputy mistook the man's camera for a weapon, reports say.

The New Carlisle News reports its photographer, Andy Grimm, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for surgery and is expected to recover from his wound.

Grimm had his camera and a tripod and was outside at about 10 p.m. Sunday attempting to take photos of lightning during a storm, the News reports.

Clark County Deputy Jake Shaw reportedly was on a traffic stop that didn't involve Grimm when he saw the photographer with the tripod and camera and mistook it for a weapon. Shaw then fired at Grimm, the News reports.

"I was going out to take pictures and I saw the traffic stop and I thought, 'Hey, cool. I'll get some pictures here,'" Grimm tells the News. "I turned around toward the cars and then 'pop, pop.'"

Grimm tells the News he was in full view of Shaw and that the deputy gave him no warning before firing. However, he said he knows Shaw and that he hopes the deputy will not lose his job over the incident.

The newspaper also used its Facebook page to urge that people not criticize the deputy.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, the News reports. Clark County is located in southwest Ohio near Dayton.

———

©2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland


Police: Driver crashes into crowd at Labor Day block party, injuring 8

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Police say a woman who tried to drive around a block party in Philadelphia and crashed into a crowd, injuring eight people including a pregnant woman, is facing a charge of driving under the influence.

The unidentified woman told officers that the brakes on her SUV failed Monday afternoon, causing her to hit the people.

Police say the victims were taken to area hospitals. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Police say the driver remained at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

UPDATE: Police will charge driver of vehicle that plowed into South Philadelphia block party with DUI. @6abc pic.twitter.com/xsrO1FfEuJ

— Jeff Chirico (@JeffChirico) September 5, 2017


Conn. sergeant kills himself during hotel standoff

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Rob Ryser The News-Times

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — A Danbury police sergeant who barricaded himself inside a hotel died Sunday from a self-inflicted injury, police said.

Sgt. Drew Carlson, who joined the force in 2004, was promoted to sergeant in 2016.

Danbury police Chief Patrick Riddenhour said officers had notified Carlson’s kin.

“We would just ask for prayers and privacy at this time,” Riddenhour said Monday morning.

Police arrived at Wyndham Hotel on Strongtown Road around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, State Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said. Both Southbury police officers and the State Police Tactical Unit were at the hotel for several hours.

Kelly said troopers were able to gain access to the room the man was in and he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police said there was no criminal aspect to the incident, but the Western District Major Crime detectives will conduct an investigation.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner will also conduct a post-mortem exam.

———

©2017 The News-Times (Danbury, Conn.)


NYPD officer helps deliver a baby in apartment, for 2nd time

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — When a New York City police officer helped a woman give birth in an apartment bathroom, it wasn't the first time the officer helped deliver a baby on the job.

New York Police Department Officer Doris Vega and partner Timothy Canniff were called to a Bronx apartment around 3 a.m. Monday. They found a 30-year-old woman in the midst of giving birth, standing up.

Great job by P.O Doris Vega and P.O. Timothy Caniff of the 48 pct. who helped a mom deliver a healthy baby girl @JPeterDonald @NYPDNieves pic.twitter.com/oL29aPytPa

— Ahmed Nasser (@NYPDNasser) September 4, 2017

Vega says they guided the woman to the floor and helped her complete the delivery safely, with emergency medical services workers advising by phone. Mother and baby were taken to a hospital and are doing well.

Vega recalls she also helped deliver a baby some years ago in a living room. She says she felt more confident this time, "and it was a beautiful experience."


Police: Huge WWII-era bomb successfully defused in Frankfurt

Posted on September 5, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Michael Probst Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany — Bomb disposal experts defused a huge unexploded World War II-era bomb in the German financial capital Frankfurt that forced the evacuation of more than 60,000 residents, police said Sunday.

Hospital patients and the elderly were among those affected in what was Germany's biggest evacuation in recent history.

Construction workers found the 1.8-ton (4,000-pound) British bomb Tuesday. Officials ordered residents to evacuate homes within a 1.5-kilometer (nearly a mile) radius of the site in Germany's financial capital. Dozens of ambulances lined up early Sunday to pick up anyone unable to independently leave the danger zone.

The high capacity bomb, also dubbed a Blockbuster, was one of thousands dropped over Germany by the Royal Air Force during the final years of World War II to cripple the Nazi war machine and demoralize the German population.

Authorities warned that if the bomb had exploded, the shock wave could have caused widespread damage throughout the western part of the city.

Unexploded bombs are still found regularly across Germany, even 72 years after the war ended. About 20,000 people were evacuated from the western city of Koblenz before specialists disarmed a 500-kilogram U.S. bomb there Saturday.


Mass. trooper saves kitten from tunnel

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Antonio Planas Boston Herald

BOSTON — An adorable gray kitten that strayed onto the Interstate 90 Connector Tunnel yesterday was rescued by a state trooper — and now the staties are seeking the public’s help naming the frisky feline.

The cat, which is undoubtedly now down to eight lives, made it out of the tunnel with her life but suffered an injury to her tail, police said yesterday in statement on the agency’s Facebook page.

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This ended purrrrrrrrrrrfectly. Today, this little gal decided to play a little hide and seek in the Route 90...

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Sunday, September 3, 2017

“Today, this little gal decided to play a little hide and seek in the Route 90 Connector Tunnel in Boston. Multiple calls were received about her walking around in the tunnel,” cops said. “This little kitten looks like she has been through a lot, as she has lost quite a bit of fur on her tail from some sort of burn. Her prognosis is good however, and she will be up for adoption soon, when she is medically cleared.”

The cat was rescued with the help of Sgt. Bob Dateo, who “shut traffic down to enable the rescue of her,” police said. The Animal Rescue League of Boston also assisted in the rescue.

On its Facebook post about the curious kitty, state police posted pictures of her, along with video of her walking on the side of the highway while cars zoomed by.

As of last night, the post had been viewed more than 1,000 times and generated more than 200 comments about how cute the kitty is, and with ideas for potential names.

Some suggested names from people who commented on the post included: “Lucky,” “Boston,” “Beans,” “Troublemaker” and “Dateo — after her rescuer.”

———

©2017 the Boston Herald


Cleveland police union refuse to hold flag at Browns opening game

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Members of unions representing Cleveland police officers and paramedics have said they won't hold a large U.S. flag during pregame ceremonies prior to next Sunday's Cleveland Browns season opener after a group of Browns players knelt during the national anthem before a preseason game last month.

Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, cited his service in the U.S. Navy when he told WKYC-TV he was astounded that Browns management knew of the protests but allowed it to occur.

"I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem," Loomis said.

Nearly a dozen Browns players knelt in a circle and prayed in silent protest during the anthem before a preseason home game Aug. 21 against the New York Giants. A smaller group of players placed hands on the shoulders of their kneeling teammates.

A team spokesman issued a statement at halftime that said the organization has a "profound respect" for the national anthem, the U.S. flag and those who serve in the military.

"We feel it's important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression," the statement said.

Dan Nemeth, president of the Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees Local 1975, said he had a similar reaction to Loomis'. He told Cleveland.com he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and finds it "hypocritical" for Browns management to say they support the military while allowing players to kneel during the anthem.

"When I was growing up, we were taught to stand every morning, put our hands over our hearts and say the Pledge of Allegiance," Nemeth said. "And when we did that, we typically had someone holding the flag in front of the class. For them to disrespect the flag by taking a knee did not sit well with me."

About 30 Browns players stood arm-to-arm in a line behind the rest of the team during the national anthem before an Aug. 26 preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A veterans group outside Strongsville said last week that it would not show Browns games because of the player protests.

The Browns' protests are part of a social-consciousness movement started last season by then-quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure for kneeling during the anthem.


Ohio sheriff’s new bomb-sniffing dog has day job as DARE sidekick

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

By Holly Zachariah The Columbus Dispatch

COMMERCIAL POINT, Ohio — The Pickaway County deputy sheriff stood at the front of the fifth-grade classroom to teach a most-important lesson about what happens when you drink too much alcohol, so he adopted his serious, I-mean-business, law-enforcement face.

Until, that is, someone basically Army-crawled to his feet and licked his boots.

Well, not a someone. A dog. And not just any dog, but Deputy Mike, a Belgian Malinois who will turn 2 in November.

Mike stretched his long and lean body as far as he could — he was temporarily tethered to a desk because the kids would be throwing a ball while wearing "drunken-driving" goggles — to try to wrap himself around the legs of Deputy Dale Thomas. As Mike did so, the 25 students in Classroom 318 at Scioto Elementary School dissolved into a chorus of "awwwwwwws" and giggles.

Thomas broke character and laughed. "This guy," he said about Mike. "Geez."

For just a moment, the class became a lesson in Cuteness 101.

Although Mike has become quite an ambassador for Thomas, and has turned out to be a great companion and tool in the classroom, this is not his job or primary objective. He is a bomb dog, specifically trained to sniff out explosives. He is the first such dog in Pickaway County, and each of the four school districts in the county, plus Ohio Christian University in Circleville, pitched in $2,000 apiece to help the Pickaway County sheriff's office obtain Mike and outfit and train him this summer.

Pairing him with Thomas, who has been the county's DARE officer for 21 years, just made sense, Sheriff Robert Radcliff said.

Bomb threats are (thankfully) rare, Radcliff said. He recalls only four since he became sheriff in 2013. One of those was at the Circleville Wal-Mart; the other three were in the Teays Valley school district, home to Scioto Elementary.

"In these times, especially, you take nothing for granted. It is expected when you have a threat — any threat — you take it seriously and investigate it quickly," Radcliff said. "A dog can sweep a school or a building or an event quickly and efficiently, and everyone can get back to normal."

When the sheriff asked Thomas if he would like to have a canine partner, the deputy jumped at the chance.

"No hesitation," Thomas said. "I try to make the DARE program the funnest part of the kids' day, and Mike certainly now steals that thunder." Deputy Mike's whine when no one pays attention to him is evidence of that.

But on a more serious note, Thomas is in the county schools every day. He knows the layouts, the students, the staffs. If a threat arises, it made sense that he and Mike would be able to find it or discount immediately.

Teays Valley Superintendent Robin Halley said the district's nonprofit education foundation happily ponied up the district's $2,000 share.

"The landscape of schools has changed, and security is our first priority," Halley said. "We already get a high degree of support from our village police departments, but when the sheriff said this dog would help us — in an emergency — not have the kids on lockdown so long and more quickly get back to the business of the school day, we were all for it."

Before Deputy Mike, Pickaway County had called on the sheriff's office in neighboring Ross County to bring in a bomb-sniffing dog. Now, Ross County is calling on Pickaway County. Just two weeks ago, after regularly training with the Columbus Bomb Squad, Mike had his first real test: The Ross County sheriff was investigating a bomb threat at a halfway house in the middle of the night and needed a hand. Deputies Thomas and Mike responded. Nothing was found, but you can't put a price on security, Thomas said.

Each district has welcomed Mike as an addition. Some of the schools where Thomas teaches DARE have made sure that Deputy Mike has a special and comfortable bed in his room. Between classes, Thomas takes Mike outside to run off his energy, fetch a ball, get a drink and, ummmmm, you know.

"He is high energy," Thomas said. "That's what makes him so good, his drive."

Mike is a passively trained dog. Although he can do some passive tracking (such as when a child is lost), he isn't trained in drug detection or bite-aggression of suspects.

In the summer, when Thomas isn't in school, Deputy Mike will sweep festivals and special events; he'll also be at the iconic Circleville Pumpkin Show in October.

"When it's time for him to work and sniff out trouble, he does great," Thomas said. "But here in the classroom? Here, he's just a big help in teaching the kids that officers are their friends."

———

©2017 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)


Man accused of killing Calif. deputy in shootout dies

Posted on September 4, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Dominic Fracassa San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The Castro Valley man accused of killing a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy and wounding two California Highway Patrol officers died Saturday, succumbing to the injuries he suffered during a shootout with police Wednesday.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department announced the death of 32-year-old Thomas Daniel Littlecloud.

Littlecloud was accused of killing Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, during a stolen-vehicle investigation. He also wounded a pair of Highway Patrol investigators. The investigators are are expected to survive.

French was shot with an assault rifle while pursuing Littlecloud as the Castro Valley man fled a motel room through a back balcony. Littlecloud made it to a vehicle — which was stolen from the Bay Area, according to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department — and drove off, crashing the car and firing more shots at officers. Littlecloud was shot by police and taken to a nearby hospital.

Littlecloud had an extensive criminal history in the Bay Area, dating back at least 14 years.

———

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


2 men arrested in wounding of 2 St. Louis police officers

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Authorities have arrested two men suspected of wounding two St. Louis police officers in an attack that also left a 24-year-old woman in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.

Acting Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole said Friday evening that the third victim was in her home directly behind the officers when they were attacked.

The woman's mother identified her as Tamara Collier and said she was wounded when a bullet went through their back door and struck her while she was doing laundry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She said she returned from a store after seeing police in the neighborhood and found her daughter lying in a pool of blood.

A 35-year-old male officer and 32-year-old female officer were treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs and hands and facial wounds caused by shrapnel. They were in stable condition.

O'Toole said the suspects are 22 and 24 years old and have criminal records. He described them as violent offenders but didn't provide further details. Authorities recovered a handgun and an assault rifle that they believe was the weapon that fired the bullet that struck Collier.

The injured officers are members of a unit that investigates gang crimes. O'Toole said they were patrolling the area in their car and were "ambushed" by the suspects. He did not say how the suspects were taken into custody other than it occurred without more shots being fired.

"They're firing an assault rifle like this in a highly urban area — obviously they have total disregard for the safety of anyone other than themselves," O'Toole said.

Relatives told the newspaper that Collier was scheduled to start a new job Tuesday as a certified nursing assistant at a veterans' nursing home. Her mother, Mia Caddell, said Collier's 1-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the shooting but wasn't hurt.


Retired police officer steps off with college marching band

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio — A retired police officer with multiple college degrees has re-enrolled as a freshman at the University of Toledo for the opportunity to step off with the school's marching band.

WNWO-TV reports 59-year-old grandmother Virginia Todd took to the field with her clarinet Thursday night for Toledo's football season opener.

Meet 59-year-old Virginia Todd. She's a member of the Univ of Toledo marching band. She hasn't played since her high school days at Whitmer! pic.twitter.com/Ovwj05DG7E

— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) September 1, 2017

Todd spent 21 years with the Oregon Police Department outside of Toledo and is now an attorney, a coroner's office death investigator and a full-fledged member of the Rocket Marching Band.

She says her young band mates accepted her with open arms and have helped her out as she re-learned her marching band skills after training for three months and attending a nine-day band camp.

Todd says Toledo created a special program that allowed her to re-enroll as a freshman.


Ill. police work to build relationship, trust with city’s teens

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Janelle Walker The Courier-News

ELGIN, Ill. — Angela Mascote feels, as a 15-year-old Larkin High School student, she and many of her friends have a pretty good relationship with the Elgin Police Department.

Two years ago, Mascote was the first winner of the department's "Chief for a Day" poster competition, which included a ride from her middle school to a tour of the police department.

But according to Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda, while the department does quite a bit of outreach with adults in the community, they may not be addressing the concerns of its youth.

That concern was among the reasons for the first STEP — Students Together Engaging the Police — session, Thursday night at the Centre of Elgin's Heritage Ballroom.

"Our outreach is mostly older people — we are not getting input from this age range," Swoboda said. "We are not connecting to this age as well as we think we can."

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Chief Swoboda here - Our first Students Together Engaging Police (STEP) event has begun. As you can see, it's a full...

Posted by Elgin Police Department on Thursday, August 31, 2017

That age range is 13 to 19 year olds. The department reached out to Elgin's high schools, Boys & Girls Club, Youth Leadership Academy and via its Facebook page to bring in teens.

Nearly 100 attended the 5 p.m. event which offered free food before the 6 p.m. kick off.

Rather than talk to the teens, Swoboda made an opening statement, followed up by Bob Whitt, a self-described former gang member. Whitt has been working on community outreach with the department.

The idea, Whitt said, is to help build the relationship and trust between the department and community youth.

The youth were broken into small tables with one or two police officers at each table. The officers then led the youth through a few prepared questions to help understand what their current relationships and thoughts were with police in general.

Sgt. Kevin Senne and Officer Heather Farrell of the Resident Officer of Program of Elgin asked their table what their thoughts were on officers. Many of the youths said they had thought about being police officers or teachers.

There are similarities between teachers and police, Senne told the table. Oftentimes, he said, officers don't want to arrest youth, but rather teach them about the law and set an example for them.

Mascote was also at that table — Senne recognized her from her poster project a few years earlier.

She had heard about the session through her mother, a nurse at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital who follows the department's Facebook page.

"I wanted to come and learn about the community," Mascote said.

She believes the department has a good reputation among her friends, but does realize that some teens may not be fans of police in general because of national news reports.

She will talk to those peers about how the Elgin department is different, Mascote said.

That is another reason the department wanted to hold a teen-centric session, Swoboda said.

"Perception is reality," Swoboda said. While many Elgin teens may be used to seeing the school resource officers in their high and middle schools, that doesn't mean they have a relationship with the officer other than saying "hi" in the hallway, he added.

The input from teens will also be used to develop a teen advisory committee for police, he said.

The department has a citizen's advisory committee now, Swoboda said — but again, that isn't addressing youth issues.

The city is looking to bring youth onto some of its advisory committees, and having youth involved in the department brings a talent pool for those assignments.

A few of the youth were asked to speak about Thursday's event, and their relationship with police, on camera. That video will be used as a recruiting tool in the future, Swoboda said

———

©2017 The Courier-News (Elgin, Ill.)


Ill. police work to build relationship, trust with city’s teens

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

By Janelle Walker The Courier-News

ELGIN, Ill. — Angela Mascote feels, as a 15-year-old Larkin High School student, she and many of her friends have a pretty good relationship with the Elgin Police Department.

Two years ago, Mascote was the first winner of the department's "Chief for a Day" poster competition, which included a ride from her middle school to a tour of the police department.

But according to Chief of Police Jeff Swoboda, while the department does quite a bit of outreach with adults in the community, they may not be addressing the concerns of its youth.

That concern was among the reasons for the first STEP — Students Together Engaging the Police — session, Thursday night at the Centre of Elgin's Heritage Ballroom.

"Our outreach is mostly older people — we are not getting input from this age range," Swoboda said. "We are not connecting to this age as well as we think we can."

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Chief Swoboda here - Our first Students Together Engaging Police (STEP) event has begun. As you can see, it's a full...

Posted by Elgin Police Department on Thursday, August 31, 2017

That age range is 13 to 19 year olds. The department reached out to Elgin's high schools, Boys & Girls Club, Youth Leadership Academy and via its Facebook page to bring in teens.

Nearly 100 attended the 5 p.m. event which offered free food before the 6 p.m. kick off.

Rather than talk to the teens, Swoboda made an opening statement, followed up by Bob Whitt, a self-described former gang member. Whitt has been working on community outreach with the department.

The idea, Whitt said, is to help build the relationship and trust between the department and community youth.

The youth were broken into small tables with one or two police officers at each table. The officers then led the youth through a few prepared questions to help understand what their current relationships and thoughts were with police in general.

Sgt. Kevin Senne and Officer Heather Farrell of the Resident Officer of Program of Elgin asked their table what their thoughts were on officers. Many of the youths said they had thought about being police officers or teachers.

There are similarities between teachers and police, Senne told the table. Oftentimes, he said, officers don't want to arrest youth, but rather teach them about the law and set an example for them.

Mascote was also at that table — Senne recognized her from her poster project a few years earlier.

She had heard about the session through her mother, a nurse at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital who follows the department's Facebook page.

"I wanted to come and learn about the community," Mascote said.

She believes the department has a good reputation among her friends, but does realize that some teens may not be fans of police in general because of national news reports.

She will talk to those peers about how the Elgin department is different, Mascote said.

That is another reason the department wanted to hold a teen-centric session, Swoboda said.

"Perception is reality," Swoboda said. While many Elgin teens may be used to seeing the school resource officers in their high and middle schools, that doesn't mean they have a relationship with the officer other than saying "hi" in the hallway, he added.

The input from teens will also be used to develop a teen advisory committee for police, he said.

The department has a citizen's advisory committee now, Swoboda said — but again, that isn't addressing youth issues.

The city is looking to bring youth onto some of its advisory committees, and having youth involved in the department brings a talent pool for those assignments.

A few of the youth were asked to speak about Thursday's event, and their relationship with police, on camera. That video will be used as a recruiting tool in the future, Swoboda said

———

©2017 The Courier-News (Elgin, Ill.)


Chicago police superintendent leaves hospital after kidney transplant

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has left the hospital three days after undergoing a kidney transplant.

Johnson was discharged on Saturday afternoon. On Wednesday, doctors removed a kidney from Johnson's son and then transplanted into the 57-year-old Johnson.

A day after the surgery, doctors said it went smoothly and that both Johnson and his 25-year-old son, Daniel Johnson, were doing well.

Johnson disclosed in January that he had suffered from a serious inflation of his kidneys for decades and was on a transplant list.

Johnson is expected to be out of the office for three to five weeks.


Spanish police arrest 12 in drug bust

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MADRID — Spanish police have arrested 14 people, including 12 British nationals, in an operation to bust a drug trafficking ring in a resort town on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca.

Spain's Civil Guard said Saturday that it made the arrests during raids of 12 different residences.

Police confiscated three kilograms of cocaine, unspecified quantities of other drugs, more than 100,000 euros ($118,000), and four vehicles used by the alleged drug dealers.

A police video showed officers with weapons drawn breaking down an apartment door while a helicopter hovered overhead.

The dealers allegedly sold the drugs in Magaluf, a seaside resort that has become a popular destination for tourists and partygoers seeking nightlife.

Besides the 12 U.K. citizens, police also arrested one Spaniard and one man from the Dominican Republic.


Del. officer dies of injuries suffered in 2012

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Dover Post

DOVER, Del. — Dover police are reporting the death of an officer due to complications from an injury he suffered five years ago.

Cpl. Thomas Hannon, 42, died early in the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Hannon died at Christiana Hospital with his family at his side, Hoffman said.

Hannon's death was the result of medical complications stemming from a leg injury sustained in the line of duty in 2012.

Hannon had been with the Dover Police Department since 2005. During that time, he served in the Patrol Unit, Quality of Life Unit, the TAC section of the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit, and as a K9 officer in the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit.

He had been on restricted duty during part of the time following his injury and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in 2013.

Hannon was also a highly decorated officer; receiving a 2006 Officer of the Quarter award, two distinguished unit awards, a DUI enforcement award, numerous perfect attendance awards, and two life-saving awards.

He earned his first life-saving awards in 2008 when he helped save a woman after she stopped breathing and the second in 2009 when he rescued a handicapped woman from a burning residence.

In a prepared statement, Chief Marvin Mailey eulogized the late officer.

"Cpl. Thomas Hannon was a big part of the Dover Police Department family," Mailey said. "His larger than life personality, sense of humor, and his unwavering commitment to the citizens of Dover will be greatly missed by all.

"We lost an excellent police officer, friend and, brother today. Cpl. Hannon's family lost an even better husband, father, son, and brother as well.

"Our thoughts continue to be with them at this time, and we are committed to keeping Cpl. Thomas Hannon's memory alive and supporting the entire Hannon family during this tragic time."

The department will share more information as it becomes available, Hoffman said.

———

©2017 Dover Post, Del.


Del. officer dies of injuries suffered in 2012

Posted on September 3, 2017 by in POLICE

null

Dover Post

DOVER, Del. — Dover police are reporting the death of an officer due to complications from an injury he suffered five years ago.

Cpl. Thomas Hannon, 42, died early in the morning of Friday, Sept. 1, department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Hannon died at Christiana Hospital with his family at his side, Hoffman said.

Hannon's death was the result of medical complications stemming from a leg injury sustained in the line of duty in 2012.

Hannon had been with the Dover Police Department since 2005. During that time, he served in the Patrol Unit, Quality of Life Unit, the TAC section of the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit, and as a K9 officer in the Drugs, Vice, and Organized Crime Unit.

He had been on restricted duty during part of the time following his injury and had been promoted to the rank of corporal in 2013.

Hannon was also a highly decorated officer; receiving a 2006 Officer of the Quarter award, two distinguished unit awards, a DUI enforcement award, numerous perfect attendance awards, and two life-saving awards.

He earned his first life-saving awards in 2008 when he helped save a woman after she stopped breathing and the second in 2009 when he rescued a handicapped woman from a burning residence.

In a prepared statement, Chief Marvin Mailey eulogized the late officer.

"Cpl. Thomas Hannon was a big part of the Dover Police Department family," Mailey said. "His larger than life personality, sense of humor, and his unwavering commitment to the citizens of Dover will be greatly missed by all.

"We lost an excellent police officer, friend and, brother today. Cpl. Hannon's family lost an even better husband, father, son, and brother as well.

"Our thoughts continue to be with them at this time, and we are committed to keeping Cpl. Thomas Hannon's memory alive and supporting the entire Hannon family during this tragic time."

The department will share more information as it becomes available, Hoffman said.

———

©2017 Dover Post, Del.


Yacht’s distress call leads to big Greek marijuana bust

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece — A rescue operation in the eastern Aegean Sea has turned into a big marijuana bust.

A Greek coast guard statement says a Turkish-flagged wooden sailboat that issued a distress call near the island of Nisyros was found to be carrying around 700 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of marijuana. The three Turkish nationals on board were arrested.

The yacht's crew radioed for help late Thursday, citing engine failure. Greek authorities sent a coast guard launch to look for the vessel. A freighter that had been diverted to help located the sailboat.

The statement says the yacht was towed to Nisyros, where a search early Friday turned up the marijuana cargo.

It was not immediately clear where the yacht had been heading.


Police: Woman steals shoes and flees, leaving son behind

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. — Alabama police have arrested a woman who they say left her 5-year-old son behind after stealing a pair of shoes.

Mobile Police Department spokesman Donald Wallace tells news outlets 24-year-old Debrina Scott shoplifted the shoes Saturday from a Mobile shoe store. Wallace says that when Scott was confronted by security at the store, she took off running across the parking lot. Her son followed her and was nearly struck by a vehicle.

News outlets report that Scott was arrested Tuesday on charges of theft and endangering the welfare of a child. She was released Wednesday evening. It's unclear if Scott has an attorney.

@MobileALPolice looking for Debrina Scott. She's wanted for theft of property, endangering the welfare of a child. https://t.co/lR3XrKq1NW pic.twitter.com/AEuF3A4KqY

— Cassandra McAboy (@McaboyCassandra) August 30, 2017


New Calif. law will extend immigrant protections

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

By Sophia Bollag Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California police will soon be barred from arresting crime victims or witnesses just because of actual or suspected immigration violations under a new law the governor signed Friday.

The measure is one of several authored by state lawmakers to ensure people living in the country illegally who otherwise follow the law are not deterred from reporting crimes or serving as witnesses.

Police are already prohibited from detaining people who report or are assisting with investigations of hate crimes.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will extend the protection to victims and witnesses of all crimes unless police are executing a warrant.

It will also prohibit police from turning a crime victim or witness over to federal immigration authorities without a warrant.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who authored the measure, says it will help immigrants cooperate with law enforcement.

The Los Angeles Democrat has argued the measure is particularly important in light of Republican President Donald Trump's promises to crack down on illegal immigration and ramp up deportations.

California is home to a significant portion of the country's undocumented population. Democrats who control the state Legislature have vowed to push back against Trump's immigration policies.

Also on Friday, another high-profile immigration bill, SB54, passed out of a key committee. That bill, known as the "sanctuary state" bill, would prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. It now heads to the floor of the Assembly for a vote.


Calif. court rules LDR data can’t be kept private

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that data from millions of vehicle license plate images collected by the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments are not confidential investigative records that can be kept from public disclosure.

The unanimous opinion came as civil liberties groups raise concerns about the increasing use of police cameras mounted on cruisers or street poles to take photographs of passing vehicles. The devices use software to almost instantly compare the plates with vehicles linked to crimes and the information can be stored for years.

Law enforcement officials say the data are invaluable for tracking down stolen cars, catching fugitives or solving other types of crimes. But the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have criticized the indiscriminate nature of the surveillance and how the movements of innocent drivers are captured alongside potential criminals.

The latest legal dispute arose when the two groups sought data from about 3 million license plate images that the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department collected in a week. The organizations said they planned to analyze the data to determine if police were disproportionately capturing license plates in particular neighborhoods.

The Supreme Court stopped short of ordering the agencies to release the raw data, saying that doing so would violate the privacy of motorists whose licenses were captured. But the justices said there may be other ways to make the information publicly available by redacting some of the information or replacing each license plate number with a random unique identifier.

“It is an enormous win for disclosure and transparency,” said Peter Bibring, director of police practices for the ACLU of California. “The court recognized California’s sweeping public records exemption for police investigations doesn’t cover the mass collection of data.”

The city and county did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The civil liberties groups submitted their requests in 2012. At the time, the LAPD gathered about 1.2 million images of vehicle plates a week while the Sheriff’s Department collected as many as 1.8 million, the Supreme Court said. The data are stored on confidential computer networks. The LAPD keeps its data for five years; the Sheriff’s Department keeps its for two.

The two departments declined to release the data, arguing that they were investigative records protected from disclosure.

But the Supreme Court disagreed, noting that the vast majority of the images were from vehicles not linked to any crime. The justices said at least some disclosure should be attempted.

“It is hard to imagine that the Legislature intended for the records of investigations exemption to reach the large volume of data that plate scanners … now enable agencies to collect indiscriminately,” the court noted. It pointed out that the scans are not gathered as part of a targeted investigation.

The court cautioned, however, that disclosing the raw data could help someone figure out where a motorist lives, works or frequently visits.

“The act of revealing the data would itself jeopardize the privacy of everyone associated with a scanned plate,” the court said, adding that with so many scanned images, the “threat to privacy is significant.”

The justices sent the case back to the trial court to consider whether the raw data can be redacted or turned over in another form that protects the identity of drivers.

Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the court’s privacy qualms validate her organization’s concerns about police collecting huge volumes of data to track the movements of millions of people. Agencies could misuse the data to obtain personal information about department critics or target people based solely on their political activities, she said.

“Location data like this, that’s collected on innocent drivers, reveals sensitive information about where they have been and when, whether that’s their home, their doctor’s office, or their house of worship,” she said.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Finnish police officers to get submachine guns

Posted on September 2, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jan M. Olsen Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Police in Finland released a third suspect Friday in a fatal stabbing attack allegedly carried out by a Moroccan asylum-seeker, a development that came hours after the Nordic country's news agency said officers will be issued MP5 submachine guns in addition to their normal equipment.

The released man was arrested a week ago on suspicion of helping plan the Aug. 18 attack that killed two people and injured eight, the National Bureau of Investigation said.

Two other Moroccans who also had been detained as suspects were released earlier this week.

None of them still are considered suspects, the bureau said.

The main suspect — a Moroccan asylum-seeker whose application was denied — is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder with terrorist intent.

Investigators said he had become radicalized, but did not elaborate. He also had given a false name and age when he first was interviewed.

Investigators have said they weren't aware of a motive for the attack in southwestern Finland, but that it appeared to target women.

Earlier in the day, Finnish news agency STT said the country's more than 7,000 police officers soon will have submachine guns. A top police official cited the increased terror threat is the main reason for the upgrade.

Ari Alanen of Finland's top police body told STT on Friday that "we must increasingly consider the weapons we need to take with us."

No one with the National Police Board was immediately available for comment. No details were immediately available on when the weapons would be handed out.

In June, Finland's security agency raised its threat assessment to the second level on a four-step scale.


FBI, Homeland Security warn LE of more antifa attacks

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials have been sending warnings to local and state law enforcement since 2016 that antifa has become increasingly dangerous.

Warnings from the Department of Homeland Security state that there’s a growing threat of lethal violence between antifa and white supremacist and nationalist groups, according to interviews and confidential documents obtained by Politico. Antifa’s actions have concerned federal officials, pushing DHS to formally classify their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

By April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the main instigators of violence at rallies. After the election in November, antifa focused on President Donald Trump’s supporters in addition to white supremacist and nationalist groups.

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official told Politico. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

Rallies are scheduled for the next couple of months, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida.

“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” former New York City police officer Brian Levin said. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”

A senior state law enforcement official told Politico that “a whole bunch of them [antifa]” have been deemed dangerous enough to be placed on U.S. terrorism watch lists.

The FBI and DHS had no comment on the statement or the documents, stating that they were not intended to be made public.


FBI, Homeland Security warn LE of more antifa attacks

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials have been sending warnings to local and state law enforcement since 2016 that antifa has become increasingly dangerous.

Warnings from the Department of Homeland Security state that there’s a growing threat of lethal violence between antifa and white supremacist and nationalist groups, according to interviews and confidential documents obtained by Politico. Antifa’s actions have concerned federal officials, pushing DHS to formally classify their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

By April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the main instigators of violence at rallies. After the election in November, antifa focused on President Donald Trump’s supporters in addition to white supremacist and nationalist groups.

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official told Politico. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

Rallies are scheduled for the next couple of months, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida.

“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” former New York City police officer Brian Levin said. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”

A senior state law enforcement official told Politico that “a whole bunch of them [antifa]” have been deemed dangerous enough to be placed on U.S. terrorism watch lists.

The FBI and DHS had no comment on the statement or the documents, stating that they were not intended to be made public.


St. Louis preps for possible unrest as verdict nears in fatal 2011 OIS

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is preparing for potential unrest as a verdict is expected soon in the first-degree murder case against a former St. Louis officer who fatally shot a suspect after a 2011 pursuit.

Jason Stockley is charged with the fatal shooting of drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith, the Associated Press reported. Smith was shot five times in his car after a pursuit in December 2011. Stockley testified that Smith was holding a gun before the pursuit began and he felt he was in imminent danger. Stockley opened fire when Smith refused commands to put up his hands and reached across the seat “in the area where the gun was,” according to the officer’s attorney.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Robert Steele cited video of the incident that captured the officer saying he was “Going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it” moments before Smith was shot.

Stockley’s attorney said the comments were made in the heat of a dangerous situation. A gun was later found in the car. Steele has claimed the weapon “was a plant” that only had the officer’s DNA on it, according to the report.

Stockley’s bench trial ended on Aug. 9. Protesters are pledging to shut down highways and the airport and disrupt businesses if he is acquitted, according to the report. Officials have set up barricades around the courthouse, the civil courts building and the police headquarters as a precaution.

Barricades surround two courthouses in downtown #STL in advance of #JasonStockley verdict. Source does not expect decision today. pic.twitter.com/kOA0G9vN3x

— Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) August 29, 2017

“It’s going to look a lot like Ferguson. It’s going to be a hundred-plus days, three hundred-plus days of direct action,” activist Tory Russell said Monday during a rally on the courthouse steps.

St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said he’s met multiple times with the judge, police leaders and others about the potential unrest. He told AP that the judge has offered no insight into how he’ll rule or when. Betts anticipates a late-night verdict, hoping that the courthouses are mostly empty and downtown employees have gone home. He asked the judge to give enough notice so courthouse employees can leave, if necessary.

“If the protest gets violent in any kind of way, we’re going to shut the buildings down,” Betts said.

It’s unclear if Gov. Eric Greitens will send in the Missouri State Highway Patrol or activate the National Guard, like they did with Ferguson.

Highway Patrol Capt. John Hotz said in an email that the agency “stands ready to assist local law enforcement agencies when requested.”


Mich. State Police suspend vehicle pursuits following ATV death

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By Allie Gross Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Michigan State Police has prohibited troopers from engaging in vehicle pursuits involving misdemeanors and traffic violations following the death of a Detroit teenager who was being chased by a trooper Saturday.

State Police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue released a statement Thursday saying the department is "reassessing its pursuit policy." In the interim, effective immediately, "troopers patrolling in the city of Detroit will be prohibited from engaging in vehicle pursuits resulting from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense."

The ban applies only to Detroit, said Etue. However, she also noted that all State Police officers "have been reminded that current policy requires members to weigh the hazard presented by the violator against the risk created by the pursuit."

On Saturday evening, 15-year-old Damon Grimes died after crashing his four-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle into a pickup during a high-speed chase with a trooper. Trooper Mark Bessner, who was trying to get the teen off the road, reached out the passenger window of his patrol car and shocked the teen with a Taser, according to a source familiar with the case. It's a violation of Michigan State Police policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle.

Detroit police are investigating the incident and the death of the unarmed teen.

On Thursday, Mayor Mike Duggan weighed in on the matter, specifically focusing on the issue of high-speed chases.

"Police chases often have the potential for tragedy, and the difference in the policies of the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police highlight that concern," Duggan wrote in a news release, noting that he supported Police Chief James Craig's decision to have the Detroit Police Department conduct an independent investigation into the events leading up to the teen's death.

The Detroit Police Department has a policy not to engage in high-speed chases for traffic offenses or misdemeanors, and in the cases of felonies, the decision is made by a supervisor, Duggan explained.

Duggan noted that since Damon's death, he has met with Gov. Rick Snyder and "urged the State Police to adopt the City of Detroit’s policy when patrolling in our city."

State Rep. Sheldon Neely, D-Flint, has proposed legislation requiring state troopers to follow local pursuit policies when patrolling within the boundaries of a city. Duggan wrote that he spoke with Neely and expressed support for the provision.

"I am encouraged that MSP leadership is taking steps towards changing its policy," said Duggan. "Chief Craig and the Detroit Police Department will continue to work with them to ensure that safe policing procedures are followed in the city of Detroit."

On Wednesday, a $50-million lawsuit was filed against the trooper on behalf of Damon's parents, Monique and John Hughes. The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Detroit by attorney Geoffrey Fieger and assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain, was originally filed as a "John Doe" suit, as the firm had not yet confirmed the trooper's identity.

Following the news conference, the Free Press confirmed the identity of the trooper involved in the incident as Bessner.

Court records obtained by the Free Press indicate that Bessner, 43, who joined the State Police Metro Post in 2012 after serving three years with the Canton Police Department, has a history of excessive force. Since 2013, two civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against Bessner.

The first, which was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Detroit and settled a year later, alleges that Bessner "repeatedly struck" and "gratuitously kneed" an unarmed plaintiff, who was never charged with a crime.

The second case, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in 2015, alleges that Bessner Tased the plaintiff on "multiple and continuous occasions with the specific intent of inflicting pain," including after the plaintiff was in handcuffs.

On Wednesday evening, Bessner's defense attorney, Richard Convertino, released a statement to the Free Press in regard to his client, emphasizing that the teen refused to obey Bessner's commands to stop prior to the Tasing.

"The death of Damon Grimes was tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," Convertino wrote in an e-mailed statement to the Free Press.

"On Aug. 26th, troopers attempted to stop Mr. Grimes, who recklessly and dangerously drove an ATV as he actively resisted and evaded arrest. During the pursuit, Trooper Bessner was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.

"We are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and trust the investigators will assess the facts objectively in light of the totality of the circumstances.”

———

©2017 the Detroit Free Press


2 officers shot in St. Louis; suspect at large

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are hospitalized in stable condition after being shot on the city's north side.

The shooting happened early Friday afternoon. A police spokeswoman confirmed the shootings and says both officers are in stable condition.

Media reports say one officer was shot in the leg. No information was immediately released about the other officer's injury, or what led to the shooting.

Police are searching for a suspect. No arrests have been made.

Police spokeswoman Leah Freeman says the officers were taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital and more information will be released later Friday.


2 officers shot in St. Louis; 2 suspects at large

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are hospitalized in stable condition but expected to recover after a shooting near downtown.

Both officers — a 35-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman — are being treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs and hands, and facial wounds caused by shrapnel.

Interim Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole says police are searching for two suspects.

The officers are part of the department's unit that investigates gang crime. Around 1:45 p.m. Friday they saw a person they wanted to speak with. But O'Toole says the suspect fired at the officers with a high-caliber assault weapon before they could get out of their car.

O'Toole and Mayor Lyda Krewson were joined by several dozen officers at the hospital. Krewson called the officers' actions "courageous."

Acting Chief O'Toole briefing media on two officers shot at 14th and Cass. https://t.co/Yls53SqsyZ

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) September 1, 2017


Fla. LEOs turned away by restaurant security, owner says it was a misunderstanding

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DAVENPORT, Fla. — A wife of an officer said two uniformed Polk County Sheriff’s deputies were turned away by restaurant security Saturday night.

Crystal Nobre, a member of Central Florida LEO Wives, wrote a post on Facebook saying she, along with other LEOs and their wives, reserved a table at Davenport’s Ale House for the Mayweather vs. McGregor boxing fight. The LEOs were not in uniform and off duty and the group was quickly seated and served.

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So a group of LEOs and wives are out at the Davenport's Ale House for the big fight. I reserved a table in advance to...

Posted by Central Florida LEO Wives on Saturday, August 26, 2017

While they were being served, Nobre invited a few on-duty Polk County deputies for food on their lunch break.

When the uniformed deputies arrived, they were turned away by security, who allegedly told the deputies they were making customers nervous.

“I was stunned and mad, and I was hurt for my guys to have to hear that,” Nobre told ABC Action News.

Restaurant owner Danny Chopra told the news station that the incident was a miscommunication between staff. He said he was told by his assistant manager that the deputies were there to serve a warrant. Chopra said that it wasn’t the right time to do that.

"We are extremely sorry it was a misunderstanding, any law enforcement are always welcome at our restaurant," he said.

Chopra said if he would have known the deputies were just there to eat, he would have let them in.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook that they had met with Chopra, along with the restaurant’s general manager, and had a “very positive meeting.”

“Both Danny and [restaurant GM] Ray expressed their heartfelt apologies for what happened,” the agency wrote. “They said there were a series of mistakes and misunderstandings that led to a poor decision being made, and they sincerely regret what happened. They have asked to meet with the deputies involved so they can apologize to them in person—we are passing on that invitation.”

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UPDATE (8.28.17): Friends: Today, Captain Ken Raczynski of our Northeast law enforcement district met Danny, one of...

Posted by Polk County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, August 27, 2017

The sheriff’s office said they have not had any issues with the restaurant before and deputies frequently dine there. The department wrote they “believe people can make a mistake, apologize for it and move forward.”

Nobre told ABC Action News that despite the apology and invitation to the officers, her family probably won’t eat there in the near future.

"We as wives want our guys to be respected,” she said. “The men and women in blue don't get enough respect as it is and two days prior to that they laid two of their brothers to rest one city over, and for an establishment to turn them away for dinner I'm not going to have that. It's unacceptable in my mind as a police wife."


Ga. cop fired for comment at traffic stop says he’s retiring

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A police lieutenant who was fired after a 2016 video surfaced showing him making what is believed to be a sarcastic comment to an uncooperative driver said he’s retiring.

As Police Chief Mike Register was announcing Cobb County police Lt. Greg Abbott’s termination Thursday on TV, Abbott sent an email to the county announcing his retirement, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Cobb County Public Safety Director Samuel Heaton confirmed to CNN Friday that the department had received an email from Abbott requesting immediate retirement.

"He was eligible for that. Once he retires he is no longer employed so no disciplinary action can take place. He is entitled to his retirement, which he would've received even if he was fired," Heaton said.

Abbott was recorded on dash cam footage telling a driver who said she was afraid to move her hands that “Remember, we only kill black people.”

“But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right?” Abbott says to the driver.

An internal review report of Abbott’s comments indicate that the officer was being sarcastic, according to the chief. A representative of the driver said she also believes the officer was being sarcastic because the woman “gave him some lip” but said it makes you cringe, Fox News reported.

The chief said that he considered the 28-year veteran officer to be an honorable man, but the comments were “inexcusable,” no matter the intent, the Associated Press reported.

"I feel that no matter what context you try to take those comments in, the statements were inexcusable and inappropriate. They're not indicative of the values that I'm trying to instill within the Cobb County police department and that I believe the county holds," Register said.


Police helicopter crashes near Atlanta; 2 officers hurt

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

By John Bazemore and Jeff Martin Associated Press

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A police helicopter crashed as it returned to its air base after searching for a suspect near Atlanta on Friday, injuring both occupants.

Firefighters had to free one of them from the wreckage, but both survived and are expected to recover, said Gwinnett County Cpl. Michele Pihera.

The crash scene is a grassy field at the airport, about 200 yards (180 meters) from the hanger where the helicopter is based.

The chopper was returning from helping officers on the ground search for a suspect, Pihera said.

By police radio, they had told the officers on the ground that they planned to head back to the airport since a storm was approaching, and conditions were getting windy, she said.

The chopper then went down around 11 a.m. at Briscoe Field, a general aviation airport in the Lawrenceville area where the police department's two helicopters are based about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta.

The Federal Aviation Administration was sending personnel to the scene Friday and will investigate, said agency spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, who identified the helicopter as an MD 369.

The black copter was broken into two main pieces, its tail section separate from the main fuselage.

Helicopter crash update: Briscoe Field / Lawrenceville Airport is shut down during this investigation pic.twitter.com/9UNHSUeaIa

— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) September 1, 2017

Helicopter crash update: Helmet belonging to one pilot pic.twitter.com/p9LFwZy18p

— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) September 1, 2017


How to help Hurricane Harvey first responders

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Sarah Calams, P1 Contributor

Hurricane Harvey is being called one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. Its catastrophic devastation has caused over one million people to evacuate their homes in Texas.

FEMA officials say that about 325,000 people have already sought federal emergency aid. First responders are continuing to conduct block-by-block searches, looking for anyone alive or dead. The current death toll has risen to 46, but officials said that number may change in the coming days or weeks.

However, amongst the flooding and destruction, it has been incredible to watch people from all walks of life help in the rescue efforts. The "Cajun Navy," a group of good Samaritans formed after Hurricane Katrina, have helped save thousands of stranded people in Houston.

First responders – police, fire and EMS – have banded together from all over the U.S. to help save those affected by the powerful storm. Additionally, active duty service members, the National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard have assisted in countless water rescues.

Among the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes destroyed in the Houston area, are homes belonging to the men and women who have put everything on the line to save others: our first responders. The State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas reported that many firefighters suffered major losses in the disaster. It's estimated that 80 percent of firefighters in one department have lost their homes.

Many first responders are exhausted after working non-stop during search and rescue efforts, as captured in this viral photo of a deputy who took some much-needed rest after rescuing those trapped by rising waters.

We commend their immeasurable hours of work during this disaster and we also want to shed light on the organizations and charities raising money for first responders directly affected by the storm.

Here are some ways you can give back to first responders affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Acadian Employee Emergency Relief Fund

Acadian Ambulance, headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana, created a relief fund to provide immediate financial assistance to Acadian Ambulance employees who are experiencing financial hardships resulting from Hurricane Harvey. Click here to make a contribution and help the agency's team members in Texas.

International Association of Fire Fighters Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

You can help IAFF members working during Hurricane Harvey through the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate here – the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund is aiming to raise $10,000. The fund has currently raised over $3,500.

National Volunteer Fire Council Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund

Volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel whose homes have been impacted as a result of Hurricane Harvey can apply for a NVFC stipend to assist with basic needs in the aftermath of the storm. Learn more here.

State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas Hurricane Harvey Relief

By donating here, you can help the fire departments in the impacted area – 78 percent of which are volunteer – recover financially and continue to help those in need. All proceeds will go toward an immediate relief fund. The Texas Fire Marshal’s Office is also requesting that any unused firefighter or EMS T-shirts be donated so they can be distributed specifically to firefighters, paramedics and their families in need.

Fraternal Order of Police Foundation Disaster Relief

The FOP Foundation is helping officers who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. You can make a one-time donation or can contribute monthly. For more information, click here.

Assist the Officer Foundation

Assist the Officer is accepting donations to aid Houston-area officers who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can donate online or send checks to: 1600 State Street in Houston, Texas, 77007.

Los Angeles Protective League Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

For one week, the LAPPL will be matching all donations (up to $5,000) made to the Assist the Officer Foundation. Donate by Sept. 6 and type "LAPD" in the special instructions box. The LAPPL will double the impact of your generous donation. Learn more here.

Police Wives of America Relief Fund

Police Wives of America is gathering drinks, snacks and toiletries to send to first responders in Houston. You can donate here – 100 percent of all proceeds will go to first responders affected by the storm.

As with any organization or charity, be sure to check its legitimacy. Some organizations claim to be sending 100 percent of their funds to Hurricane Harvey victims, but may not be entirely truthful. Charity Navigator compiled a list of reputable organizations providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. This list can also help you determine if a charity or organization is legitimate.

There are hundreds of Houston-area charities and organizations. If you're looking to help outside of first responder charities and organizations, consider local organizations such as the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society, Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi or the San Antonio Humane Society.

To all first responders: Thank you for your continued efforts during the recovery efforts and remain safe out there. In the comment section below, please feel free to share your stories and photos with us.


Policing Matters Podcast: The best cop shows in TV history

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

There have been tons of terrible police procedurals, but we've had some good cop shows too. That list includes Southland, Streets of San Francisco, Hill Street Blues, Barney Miller, and The Wire. What are the best cop shows in television history? What makes those good shows good? In this week's podcast, Jim and Doug go to Hollywood and talk about their favorites. Add your favorites in the comments section below - movies too, if you want.


8 NYPD officers hospitalized after exposure to suspected fentanyl fumes

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Eight officers were hospitalized after inhaling fentanyl fumes after entering an alleged drug lab.

Officers were called about a man who was suspected to be high on heroin Friday, NBC New York reported. He was taken into custody.

Shortly after responding, the officers became light headed and nauseous. Officials said they believe they were sickened by fentanyl fumes. The entire midnight shift at the precinct needed medical attention. They are expected to fully recover.

An investigation is ongoing.


Houston retailer becomes home base for Harvey first responders

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A sporting goods retailer has opened its doors for first responders who have traveled from all over the country to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.

Wall Street Journal reported that Academy Sports and Outdoors hosted more than 400 first responders from all over the country in Houston, as well as Academy employees who have been flooded out of their homes.

“This was as democratic a catastrophe as could possibly be. It didn’t pick one part of town,” Academy CEO J.K. Symancyk said. He and his family are among the employees taking shelter at the store.

The four-story headquarters has gyms for sleeping, as well as places to shower.

Academy has also helped out with supplies for responders rescuing stranded individuals. They have opened the doors of closed stores so responders could grab things like kayaks, ponchos and pontoon boats.

For the evacuees on land, Academy provided air beds, backpacks, T-shirts, socks, shoes, underwear and more.

To open more space, Academy made its distribution center available after the governor’s office requested the National Guard take shelter at Academy as well.

Currently, Academy is determining where to donate $1 million of clothes and shoes.

“We’re trying to balance where it can be most useful in the here and now,” Symancyk said.

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#HoustonStrong #HurricaneHarvey In the past, Academy has prided itself on providing a quick response with trucks of...

Posted by Academy Sports + Outdoors on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kudos Academy Sports + Outdoors & J.K. Symancyk for opening your doors to support 1st responder rescue activities https://t.co/65WGyQNntZ

— Chanda MonWill (@Chandarmw) September 1, 2017


CHP officers shot during gun battle recovering from wounds

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Veronica Rocha Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Two undercover California Highway Patrol officers who were shot Wednesday during a deadly gun battle with an armed suspect are recovering from their wounds, officials said.

The officers, whose names were not released, were assisting with a stolen vehicle investigation when they were struck by gunfire, according to the CHP. Deputy Robert “Bob” French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, was also shot and died on the way to the hospital.

One of the officers was shot in his shoulder and released Tuesday night from a hospital. The other officer was struck in his hand and wrist, the CHP said. He underwent surgery Thursday morning and is recovering.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the deadly shooting continued Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect, who was also shot by officers, as Thomas Daniel Littlecloud, a 32-year-old Castro Valley resident.

Littlecloud initially wasn’t the focus of Wednesday’s stolen vehicle investigation, which started just after 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard.

Members of a Sacramento County auto theft task force were monitoring the hotel after they found a stolen vehicle in the parking lot, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said.

They saw two women enter the vehicle and drive off, Turnbull said. When officers tried to stop the vehicle, the women led authorities on a pursuit that ended in Elk Grove, about 16 miles south of Sacramento.

Officers arrested Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland and released the other woman, Turnbull said. Prendez was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft and felony evasion, authorities said.

Authorities discovered Prendez was on probation and had been staying at the hotel, Turnbull said, so officers returned to the hotel to search the room.

When officers arrived, he said, they knocked on the door and announced themselves. That’s when multiple shots were fired through hotel room door and walls, striking the CHP officers.

As sheriff’s deputies surrounded the hotel, Turnbull said, Littlecloud, armed with a high-powered assault rifle, tried to escape from the balcony.

“He engaged the deputies in gunfire, striking Deputy French during his attempt to flee,” Turnbull said in a statement.

French, 52, was shot in his side, and the bullet entered his chest cavity, authorities said.

Littlecloud then climbed off the balcony, jumped into a vehicle and led police on a pursuit that ended in a crash and an exchange of gunfire, authorities said.

He was shot and taken into custody, Turnbull said.

Littlecloud remained hospitalized Thursday with life-threatening injuries, the sergeant said.

The Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division, along with the Sacramento County district attorney’s office and the county’s Office of Inspector General, are investigating.

Six deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on leave during the investigation.

———

©2017 the Los Angeles Times


After Harvey’s fury, police tasked with gathering up the dead

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Molly Hennessy-Fiske Los Angeles Times

HOUSTON — The woman’s body, slight and petite, was revealed as floodwaters receded, washed up against the green metal fence surrounding her apartment complex.

Neighbors knew exactly who she was: Kiesha Williams, a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant and single mother of two girls. They had watched her drown in angry floodwaters as they frantically called 911.

Now, they wondered how many more victims remained entombed in flooded apartments.

So far, Hurricane Harvey has claimed at least 31 lives. But the death toll is expected to rise this week as flooding subsides and people return home and search for the missing, making the same sorts of grim discoveries as people did in neighboring Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, a dozen years ago.

Houston officials embarked on the house-to-house search Thursday in areas where floodwaters rose 3 feet or more. That included the Woodforest Chase apartment complex in the eastern neighborhood of Northshore.

As they searched, the storm was still causing havoc. On Houston’s northern outskirts, a fire at a chemical plant rattled nerves when it spewed a plume that was deemed noxious, but not dangerously toxic. A major hospital in Beaumont, 90 miles east, had to shut down after the town’s water supply failed.

But the recovery of the dead was a quieter affair: sorrowful, slow, infused with dread of what still remained to be discovered.

The boxy tan stucco complex of Woodforest Chase faces Greens Bayou, an unruly, brush-choked river that overflowed during the worst of the storm last weekend, sweeping families from their homes. Farther north, the same bayou swept away a van containing a family of six. The vehicle was retrieved Wednesday.

At Woodforest Chase, some fled to the complex’s rooftops as the waters rose. From there, they shouted for help and watched helplessly in horror as neighbors drowned.

One resident who had taken refuge on a roof, Roshanda Harris, said she saw five bodies float away, including those of three children.

Derrick Vance, 29, said he saw half a dozen people die. He descended from the roof at one point to help families next door. But he couldn’t reach Williams and others stranded across the complex. The parking lot between them had become a roaring river.

“Most people that died was on that side. There might be some people still in their apartments,” he said Wednesday, pointing to the area where Williams’ body was found.

A team from the local medical examiner’s office removed Williams’ body from the complex fence Wednesday, and relatives broke the news to her daughters that their mother had died.

Neighbors said they couldn’t be sure how many had fled before floodwaters rose nearly to the roofs. The storm peeled open apartment doors, windows and whole walls, washing the contents through the surrounding fence. There, they became mired like flotsam on the beach, with the same briny stench.

Shaky cellphone video posted on Facebook showed figures clinging to a tree in the parking lot as brown water rushed around them, ripping one woman’s clothes off and threatening to tear her away as the other figure clung to her underwear.

“Pull her up! She underwater!” shouted a woman filming from across the complex.

“Pull her head up!” yelled a girl.

A man can be heard on his phone nearby calling 911.

“Tell them she going underwater and she can’t breathe,” the woman said.

“We need someone out here now, we’ve got people drowning,” the man told an operator.

Suddenly, the woman filming screamed.

“She’s gone — they let her go,” she said. Noting others had already drowned, she added, “That’s not the first person.”

A cousin, Daquan Green, said he recognized Williams in the video. He also recognized a friend in a pink jacket, who had accompanied her back to the apartments, and was the one who tried to save her. The friend survived, he said.

Williams could not swim, according to Green, 21, who was at her apartment Wednesday with relatives.

Williams had graduated from Houston’s Furr High School and worked at a local hospital while studying to become a certified nursing assistant, virtually living in her scrubs, relatives said. The single mother rented her own apartment, bought a blue Chevy Malibu sedan and had just received her license before Harvey hit, he said.

When the storm started, Green said, Williams left daughters Kiaja Williams, 13, and Kinaya Williams, 11, with her aunt and returned to the complex to save her dogs, pit bulls Tiger and Doughboy.

“They lived. She never made it to them,” Green said.

Saturday would have been her 33rd birthday.

As the search crews pressed ahead with their task, Sheldra Brigham, a Fire Department spokeswoman, said the crews will not mark unoccupied homes with Xs, the notorious “Katrina Cross” search codes spray-painted by Federal Emergency Management Agency crews across the front of stricken houses after that deadly storm.

“It alerts the wrong people that no one is there,” Brigham said, explaining that the Xs could attract looters or squatters.

The search crews will use a new GPS tracking system to record and map what they find, Brigham said.

The process could take weeks.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times


Anti-death penalty prosecutor loses fight with Fla. governor

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Brendan Farrington Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida state attorney who refused to seek the death penalty lost her court fight Thursday with the Republican governor who reassigned her murder cases to another prosecutor.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Scott had the power to reassign cases from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The ruling ends a power struggle between Scott and Ayala that began in March when she said she wouldn't consider seeking the death penalty in any homicide case. Her decision outraged Scott and others because execution wouldn't be an option if Markeith Loyd was convicted in the slayings of an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Scott has reassigned more than 25 cases to a neighboring prosecutor, including ongoing murder cases and resentencing hearings for people already on death row.

"Crimes like these are pure evil and deserve the absolute full consideration of punishment — something that State Attorney Ayala completely ruled out," Scott said in a prepared statement. "She unilaterally decided to not stand on the side of victims and their families, which is completely sickening."

Ayala said in a press release that she respects the court's decision and that she has formed a panel of seven assistant state attorneys to review every death penalty eligible case.

"It is my expectation that going forward all first-degree murder cases that occur in my jurisdiction will remain in my office and be evaluated and prosecuted accordingly," she said.

In March, Ayala said the process of executing a murderer is costly, isn't a crime deterrent and drags on for years for the victims' relatives. When the Supreme Court heard her case in June, she said she has followed state law and there's nothing that requires her to seek the death penalty. The only other option in first degree murder cases is life in prison without parole.

But the Supreme Court ruling said Ayala has shown a "misunderstanding" of Florida law by having a blanket policy instead of considering the death penalty on a case-by-case basis.

"Ayala's blanket prohibition against the death penalty provided the Governor with 'good and sufficient reason' to reassign the cases at issue," the court wrote in the 5-2 decision.

The court also noted that Scott didn't mandate that the death penalty be sought in any of the cases he reassigned to neighboring prosecutor Brad King, but left it to King's discretion.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office represented Scott before the court.

"The Governor has every right to reassign these cases to prosecutors who will uphold the laws of our great state. This year, we have seen the brutal murders of law enforcement officers in State Attorney Aramis Ayala's circuit, and her unconscionable decision to never seek the death penalty will not be tolerated," Bondi said in a prepared statement.


P1 Photo of the Week: Dunking a cop

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

PFC M. Leung, with the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department, captured this great photo of PFC Emmilie Cherry taking one for the team at a "Dunk a Cop" event on Aug. 14.

Calling all police photographers! PoliceOne needs pictures of you in action or training. Submit a photo — it could be selected as our Photo of the Week! Be sure to include your name, department information and address (including city, state and ZIP code) where we can reach you — Photo of the Week winners have a chance to win a PoliceOne.com T-shirt!


Doctor: Chicago police superintendent’s kidney transplant successful

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson's kidney transplant was a success and he was already feeling well enough to check his emails just hours after the surgery, doctors said Thursday.

The 57-year-old Johnson will likely be released from the hospital this weekend, the doctors said at a news conference at Rush University Medical Center. His 25-year-old son, Daniel Johnson, who donated the kidney, was doing so well that he would likely be allowed to go home later Thursday, they said,

"The superintendent looks really good, he's awake, he's sitting up (and) he's probably by now sitting in a chair," said Dr. Edward Hollinger, Jr., who took part in the transplant surgery at Rush University Medical Center. "We are very pleased with the function of the kidney."

Johnson disclosed in January that he had been battling a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the kidneys for decades and was on a waiting list for a new kidney — something doctors said on Thursday was becoming more and more urgent as his kidney function slipped to about 10 percent. They said he would have soon been forced to undergo dialysis if he did not receive a new kidney.

The doctors who performed the 6-hour surgery said Johnson will soon feel better than he has in the years his condition has been deteriorating, and that his energy will improve as his new kidney removes toxins from his body that his damaged kidneys were unable to completely remove.

They also said chances are slim that Johnson's body will reject the kidney, and the odds of rejection are even less because the kidney he received was from his son. They said the chances of rejection fall after the first month and that if there are no problems in the next year it's highly unlikely that Johnson's body will reject the kidney.

Doctors said Johnson will be allowed to walk as much as he wants next week and they expect him to return to his office in three to five weeks.


Ala. police receive Byrne Justice Assistance Grant

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

By Kimberly Hyde WTVY

DOTHAN, Ala. — The Houston County Sheriff's Department is teaming up with Dothan Police once again to receive the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant.

The federal money is set aside for law enforcement and allows departments to buy things like vehicles, training, equipment and computers for patrol cars. The Houston County and Dothan City Commissions have approved the federal grant for several years in a row.

“It’s just another example of the cooperation with have with the City of Dothan,” said Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver. “We work daily to try to work with them and other governments to make tax dollars go further. This is a good opportunity and example of that.”

Full story: Law enforcement in Houston County will get new technology thanks to federal grant


Fla. supreme court rules governor had power to reassign death penalty cases

Posted on September 1, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Brendan Farrington Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida state attorney who refused to seek the death penalty lost her court fight Thursday with the Republican governor who reassigned her murder cases to another prosecutor.

The state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Scott had the power to reassign cases from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

The ruling ends a power struggle between Scott and Ayala that began in March when she said she wouldn't consider seeking the death penalty in any homicide case. Her decision outraged Scott and others because execution wouldn't be an option if Markeith Loyd was convicted in the slayings of an Orlando police lieutenant and Loyd's pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Scott has reassigned more than 25 cases to a neighboring prosecutor, including ongoing murder cases and resentencing hearings for people already on death row.

"Crimes like these are pure evil and deserve the absolute full consideration of punishment — something that State Attorney Ayala completely ruled out," Scott said in a prepared statement. "She unilaterally decided to not stand on the side of victims and their families, which is completely sickening."

Ayala said in a press release that she respects the court's decision and that she has formed a panel of seven assistant state attorneys to review every death penalty eligible case.

"It is my expectation that going forward all first-degree murder cases that occur in my jurisdiction will remain in my office and be evaluated and prosecuted accordingly," she said.

In March, Ayala said the process of executing a murderer is costly, isn't a crime deterrent and drags on for years for the victims' relatives. When the Supreme Court heard her case in June, she said she has followed state law and there's nothing that requires her to seek the death penalty. The only other option in first degree murder cases is life in prison without parole.

But the Supreme Court ruling said Ayala has shown a "misunderstanding" of Florida law by having a blanket policy instead of considering the death penalty on a case-by-case basis.

"Ayala's blanket prohibition against the death penalty provided the Governor with 'good and sufficient reason' to reassign the cases at issue," the court wrote in the 5-2 decision.

The court also noted that Scott didn't mandate that the death penalty be sought in any of the cases he reassigned to neighboring prosecutor Brad King, but left it to King's discretion.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office represented Scott before the court.

"The Governor has every right to reassign these cases to prosecutors who will uphold the laws of our great state. This year, we have seen the brutal murders of law enforcement officers in State Attorney Aramis Ayala's circuit, and her unconscionable decision to never seek the death penalty will not be tolerated," Bondi said in a prepared statement.


First look: Glock Gen5 G17 and G19

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Author: Sean Curtis

On Saturday, I stood in line cursing myself for not getting up earlier. Some 48 people stood between me and the Gen5 Glocks I had come to test at my local firearms mecca, Liberty Firearms Institute in Johnstown, Colorado. Another 20 folks waited in line behind me, their fate marginally worse than mine. Eventually the doors opened, and we were allowed inside.

The release was seemingly minuscule compared to traditional Glock fanfare. There was a small social media campaign, with 100 gun ranges across the country selected to preview the new Glock iteration.

Liberty Firearms Institute general manager Heather Rubal said they had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and received the new gun models just two days before their official release, with no idea of what they were. When they arrived, she learned they were the Gen5 G17 and G19.

People lined up to spend $20 to test the weapons with a target and receive a Glock promotional Gen5 cap too. The response was overwhelmingly positive. People like the new trigger. A few did not care for the finger groove in the front of the magazine well.

I had come for a sincere testing, not some taste, but I am not the creature you often find at the traditional gun range. I feel confined by stalls and shelves…I’m not used to not working from a holster. When I run my weapon dry, I drop my mag without concern and glance laterally for cover (get off the X!). This does not serve well where 20 people are shooting and another 40 are waiting in line to try the new Glock. However, I still managed to wring both models out and gather some impressions.

What’s new with the Gen5 Glock?

Taking the guns out of the boxes, they are blacker due to the nDLC. It’s a new finish that replaces the nitride previously used. The coating, applied to the frame and barrel, is supposed to be tougher and offer less friction.

Speaking of the barrel, Glock claims this is the new Glock Marksmen Barrel (GMB). The polygonal rifling that had been used in previous generations is gone in favor of more traditional rifling. Glock claims this barrel has tighter tolerances and will provide greater accuracy. I did not have a bench for testing that theory, but the weapon demonstrated at least the same accuracy I was used to at the 25-yard line.

Another big change is the trigger. The group is completely different than before, it feels smoother. One of the biggest differences is the trigger reset. I would squeeze a round off, reset, then begin to squeeze and bang! I was shooting again. This will take some getting used to, but the follow-up shots via trigger reset definitely felt faster than even the Gen4 I’m used to.

Externally, the finger grooves are gone, though the backstrap system is still in place for fitting different hand sizes. In addition, a true ambidextrous slide stop lever has been added, meaning lefties can utilize the gun a little easier. The magazine release is the same as Gen4 and can still be switched to a left-handed grip within the magwell.

The magwell probably provided me with my greatest revelation when testing both models. Reloads were much faster. For history’s sake, I’ve been shooting Glock since Gen1. I don’t go crazy with mods or polishing or any of that stuff because for a duty weapon, I don’t want to vary from stock should I end up on the stand. The flared magwell, with its beveled edges, made my reloads a lot faster. In addition, I experienced a more resounding magazine seating as a result. We practice reloads a lot in law enforcement. This gun allows for slightly greater angles and will make your reloads quicker and more assertive.

A new half-moon has been cut out of the front of the magwell, creating a gap between the upcurved floorplate of the magazine and the well itself. The function of this serves to allow a finger to dig out a magazine either jammed or just reluctant to leave.

The magazines have received some bumps too. Orange followers vibrantly identify when you’re empty. In addition, they help serve as visual reference in the round counter in the back of the magazine. On the downside, this is another thing you’ll need to clean when you get back from the range.

Ever bang your flat-nosed Glock on a Kydex holster? The new Gen5 models have received tapered muzzles, creating a smoother entry.

Glock armorers will notice several of the internals have changed too. From the trigger group, to firing pin, firing pin channel and slide cover plate, things have been beefed up to make the legendary Glock’s durability even tougher. The recent bid for the U.S. Army contract pays off for the rest of us with this new version of a couple of Glock’s vanguards.

What’s the same?

Alas, Glock’s standard sights are still the same and are interchangeable with previous models. Magazines are also swappable according to Glock sources. Many flexible holsters will work with the Gen 5, but keep in mind the ambidextrous slide stop lever creates some width not previously accounted for.

With the different internal parts, many things will not be compatible with previous models. Though with Glock being the 400 lb. gorilla it is, the aftermarket is probably already tooling up to meet inevitable demand.

Conclusion

Joined by two other shooters, we fired a total of 500 rounds through both the Gen5 G17 and G19. They performed remarkably with no failures of any kind. The trigger reset and subsequent break was a surprise, but something training could get me accustomed to. The magwell and magazine upgrades are a welcome change that indicates Glock is listening to the consumer. The barrel upgrades are a boon that fits the state of law enforcement in the U.S. today – no one is paying less attention to where our shots go.

I attended a Glock armorer training recently and they have a pretty fair corner on the law market in the U.S. I’d like to think this is righteously earned. Their reliability, simplicity and affordability make them great candidates for government service. The Generation5 Glocks continue this fine tradition. They are evolving, growing and improving to meet the mission parameters of officers across the nation. Quantities of the new Gen 5s release the first week of September with Blue Label to follow.


Clerk: Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke resigns

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Scott Bauer Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Outspoken Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who built a following among conservatives nationally with his provocative social media presence and strong support of Donald Trump, resigned on Thursday.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said he received a resignation letter from Clarke, but the letter did not say why the sheriff was leaving office more than a year before his term is up.

Clarke's office referred questions to an email address that he had provided. He did not immediately respond to an email seeking his reasons for leaving or what he planned to do next.

Clarke's most recent Twitter post from Thursday afternoon showed him posing with law enforcement officers at the National Fraternal Order of Police convention in Nashville.

Some Wisconsin conservatives had encouraged Clarke to challenge U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, but he repeatedly rejected their overtures.

Clarke announced in May that he had taken a job at the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency never confirmed it. He later said he withdrew his name. He recently published a memoir, "Cop Under Fire."

The tough-talking, cowboy hat-wearing firebrand made himself a darling of the political right through his brash social media presence, his staunch support for Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration and his support for patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.

Clarke was one of the few African-Americans to speak at the Republican National Convention last year. He has been vocal about gun rights and critical of what he called the "hateful ideology" of the Black Lives Matters movement, saying at times, "Stop trying to fix the police. Fix the ghetto."

Clark has been sheriff of Milwaukee County since 2002 and spent more than two decades before that with the city's police department.

A lengthy inquest into the dehydration death of a Milwaukee County Jail inmate earlier this year raised troubling questions about how Clarke managed the jail — just as the White House was said to be considering him. Despite that investigation, Clarke remained popular with many conservatives.

The frequent Fox News guest earned more than $105,000 last year in speaking fees — almost as much as his sheriff's salary — at more than three dozen events across the country.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker would be responsible for appointing someone to serve the remainder of Clarke's term, which runs through 2018. Walker's spokesman Tom Evenson said once he receives official notification of his resignation, the process of finding a replacement will begin.

Evenson did not immediately respond to an email seeking reaction from the governor to Clarke's decision to resign.


Cartel shipped drugs hidden in sex-organ shaped candles

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

PATERSON, N.J. — Law enforcement sources said a Mexican cartel allegedly shipped drugs inside candles shaped like sex organs.

More than 1,300 pounds of candles were discovered, NBC 4 reported.

The candles were shipped to a Long Island facility before they were transferred to a New Jersey warehouse.

Police said five alleged members of the cartel have been arrested. The suspects allegedly intended to use the warehouse to make crystal meth from the methamphetamine inside the candles.


Police: Cartel shipped drugs hidden in genitalia-shaped candles

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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Author: Sean Curtis

By PoliceOne Staff

PATERSON, N.J. — Law enforcement sources said a Mexican cartel allegedly shipped drugs inside candles shaped like sex organs.

More than 1,300 pounds of candles were discovered, NBC 4 reported.

The candles were shipped to a Long Island facility before they were transferred to a New Jersey warehouse.

Police said five alleged members of the cartel have been arrested. The suspects allegedly intended to use the warehouse to make crystal meth from the methamphetamine inside the candles.


NYPD release video to show illegal chokehold wasn’t used on suspect

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Police released video Wednesday of a 2013 incident involving an officer accused of using a banned chokehold.

Video shows two officers struggling with a suspect in an elevator on Oct. 9. Police said the man attempted to kick one of them, ABC 7 reported. He then allegedly turned and spit on an officer.

The officer is then seen placing his hands on the back of the suspect’s neck and covering his face with a pair of pants.

Police said the video is evidence the officer did nothing wrong, but the Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended the officer be disciplined. According to the New York Daily News, Police Commissioner James O’Neill decided in July to overturn the CCRB’s verdict - the first time he’s done so.

“The New York City Police commissioner also reviewed this video and all evidence involved in this case previously and rejected the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s conclusion and directed that the officer be found not guilty,” Assistant Commissioner Peter Donald said in a statement.

Councilman Rory Lancman threatened to subpoena the department for rec­ords in the case.


Quiet Warrior: Why it matters that we honor our best

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

A colleague recently asked me, “What does the term ‘Quiet Warrior’ mean to you?”

My reply was, “The quiet warrior shuns the spotlight and shrugs off public praise, but is willing and able to do things that most ordinary humans either cannot or will not do in service of their communities. The Quiet Warriors are the best of us — they are guardians whose bravery and heroism may go unappreciated by a small but vocal fraction of the population, but who are respected and admired by a an equally quiet majority of Americans.”

My colleague asked me for some examples of quiet warriors. I was simultaneously filled with memories of officers I’ve personally met or read about that fit the description like poster children and also at a loss for words. There were just too many to list.

Some have made headlines, but the overwhelming majority has not. Seeking only the feeling of satisfaction a person feels after having done something to help someone, countless cops have served the public in truly compelling ways that fit the Quiet Warrior mentality.

The acts of a Quiet Warrior can be mundane. Cops change tires for stranded motorists , help a kid learn how to tie a necktie , help a homeless man who was “down on his luck” or help rescue a boy trapped underneath a pontoon dock.

The acts of a Quiet Warrior can also be extraordinary. Cops save people from jumping to almost certain death, rescue people from burning cars (even felons after pursuit), and pull a colleague from the path of an oncoming car.

You can see some of Quiet Warriors we already profiled, such as Officer Jonny Castro, who has created inspiring portraits of fallen officers; Chet Parker, who has organized a program to help connect the homeless in his area with services they desperately need; and Officer Jennifer Maddox, who has worked to connect with the children of one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods and bridge the gap between police and neighborhood residents.

Why a program like Quiet Warrior matters

For the past several years, it’s been tough sledding for coppers in America. It seems that now more than in my memory, citizens are more prone to see cops negatively. This is partly due to how media works now and partly due to how often police are portrayed negatively in pop culture. Despite the fact that every day literally thousands of police-citizen interactions are entirely uneventful — are positive even — that’s not what leads the six o’clock news. And a good cop’s story certainly is not going to be as titillating as a Training Day or a Bad Lieutenant. Of course not all portrayals are bad, but the lately, the majority have been.

This is why I am so thrilled that PoliceOne and 5.11 Tactical have teamed up on this program. I won’t delve deeply into detail on the program itself — click here to get a full description — but suffice it to say that I feel like we’re filling an important need to shed light on just a small fraction of the thousands of positive stories which happen every day in this country. My hope is that these stories are not only seen by those within the profession, but by the citizens as well.

Doing a tough job with honor and valor

For the Quiet Warrior, the words kindness and service are synonymous. The Quiet Warrior is motivated by their unending desire to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. They don’t seek fame or fortune. They simply do an incredibly difficult job with a deeply held sense of honor, duty, and valor.

Quiet Warriors are faced with astonishing challenges every day, and are increasingly asked to do things for which they have not been trained. They are marriage counselors at DV calls. They are social workers at nuisance calls. They are counselors at calls at schools. They are psychologists at suicide-watch calls.

Despite the fact that the near-constant chorus of criticism continues unabated, the Quiet Warrior dons the ballistic vest and the uniform, straps on the duty belt and polishes the badge for another shift, every day, all day, in every city and town in this great country.

So I say, thank God for the Quiet Warriors. We are more than merely fortunate to have them — without them the world would be a miserable place.

If you have a Quiet Warrior story, please share it with us here.


DHS warned state officials of potential violence at Charlottesville rally

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential warning to law enforcement about potential violence in Charlottesville, three days before the deadly rally.

The Aug. 9 report obtained by Politico said that white supremacists and antifa had previously clashed twice before in Charlottesville at a May 13 white nationalist rally and a KKK gathering on July 7. The report also stated that the Aug. 12 rally would be “among the most violent to date” between the two groups.

The assessment warned that both “anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists” were calling online for supporters to “be prepared for or to instigate violence” at the rally.

“They predicted it,” a senior law enforcement analyst told Politico. “[Some from both sides] were saying, “'All right everybody, go get your weapons, and we're gonna go kick their asses.' And that’s exactly what happened in Charlottesville.”

According to the Associated Press, one woman was killed when a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters. Two state troopers were killed later in the day in a helicopter crash and more than 20 people were injured.

When Politico contacted federal, state and local authorities for comment about the DHS report, they said they were aware of the warnings and had taken the appropriate steps to prepare for potential violence.

City Manager Maurice Jones said that the “city and state police prepared for the worst-case scenarios” and “were well aware of the potential for violence.”

“It’s the reason why we sought to move the rally to a more amenable space outside of our dense downtown, where police could more effectively address the safety concerns,” Jones said. “We hoped that the groups that descended on our community would not engage in violence, but they did, and the police responded in an effort to restore order.”

On Aug. 24, Charlottesville officials met in a private meeting to discuss “personnel matters” regarding the deadly rally. Mayor Mike Singer said that the events “raised serious questions about the city’s handling of security, communications and governance.” The council called for an independent review of all decisions related to the Aug. 12 rally, the torch-lit rally held the night before and a July KK rally.


Man stuffs $1K in buttocks to hide it from deputies

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Carli Teproff Miami Herald

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A man in Marion County who was arrested on drug trafficking charges learned quickly that hiding a stash of cash in his rear-end doesn't pay off.

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, a deputy stopped 26-year Pattreon Stokes for speeding early Saturday morning in the area of East Highway 40 and Baseline Road.

Deputy Calvin Bates smelled marijuana from the car, the sheriff's office said.

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"CRACK MONEY": MAN STUFFS OVER $1,000 IN RECTUM IN ATTEMPT TO HIDE IT FROM DEPUTIES To quote everyone’s mom, “Don’t put...

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, August 28, 2017

A search revealed approximately 197 grams of methamphetamine, rock cocaine, four grams of heroin, a scale, a small amount of marijuana and a large amount of currency on his person.

Also in the car, deputies said: A 7-month-old in the front passenger seat.

Stokes was arrested and when he arrived at the jail, the money he had on him was missing.

“Detention deputies then noticed something quite unusual… they observed $20.00 bills falling from Stokes’ buttocks area,” the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post. “After a necessary but undesirable process for everyone involved, MCSO Detention Deputies located $1,090.00 in U.S. currency hidden in Stokes’ rectum.”

Stokes is charged with smuggling contraband into a detention facility, trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking heroin, possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, manufacture or deliver, possession of marijuana and possession of drug equipment.

———

©2017 Miami Herald


La. police searching for suspect who opened fire on cop’s home

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

EUNICE, La. — A search is underway for the suspect who fired shots at an officer’s home in what police believe was a targeted shooting.

"I'm thinking that he was targeted because he was an officer," Police Chief Randy Fontenot told KATC. "I don't think it was just a random shooting."

The officer and his family were home at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured. Police are searching for a dark-colored sedan seen on surveillance footage. Officials are also looking into recent arrests to see if there could be a possible connection.

"It's something that bothers us a lot knowing that they're going to target one of our officers just for doing their job or for who they are," Fontenot said. "We don't take this activity lightly we will investigate and we won't let up until we find who's responsible for it."


NYPD officer mistakenly shoots US marshal in blue-on-blue

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A U.S. marshal was wounded after an NYPD officer opened fire on a dog that was attacking them.

Law enforcement attempted to arrest a man wanted for a New York armed robbery Thursday morning, NJ.com reported.

When police arrived, the dog became aggressive and attacked one of the marshals. The NYPD officer, who was assisting, fire five times at the dog, killing it, the department said.

The marshal was struck in the foot during the gunfire. He was transported to a hospital in stable condition. A police source told NJ.com that a suspect was arrested during the operation.

An investigation is ongoing.


Gunman enters MMA studio, leaves handcuffed, bloodied

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Andy Nguyen Burbank Leader

BURBANK, Calif. — A man got more than he bargained for when he entered a Burbank mixed martial arts studio armed with a gun Tuesday night while a class was in session.

The incident occurred sometime around 9 p.m. at the Defiant MMA and Fitness studio at 146 W. Cypress Ave.

According to Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department, the man entered the studio carrying a black bag and approached one of the instructors in a reportedly aggressive way.

As he reached inside his bag, a scuffle ensued between him and the instructor — 34-year-old Jacobe Powell.

Powell, a lightweight MMA fighter, told KTTV in an interview that he thought the man was reaching for a weapon, so his instincts kicked in to defend himself.

“[I] got the weapon away from him before the cops arrived,” he said. “One of my guys who was training called the police, and I just subdued him until the police showed up.”

News footage at the MMA studio showed the suspect with a bloodied face. He was placed into custody and transported to a nearby hospital.

Green said police recovered a loaded handgun from the scene, but no shots were fired. Although it’s unknown why the man entered the gym with a gun, Green said the suspect and the gym instructor may know each other.

As of late Wednesday morning, the man had not yet been booked into a jail because he is still being treated at a hospital. His identity has also not been officially confirmed, although the man was carrying a Virginia identification card, Green said.

He faces, at minimum, a charge for assault with a deadly weapon.

———

©2017 the Burbank Leader (Glendale, Calif.)


Utah K-9 shot during police standoff

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A police K-9 suffered gunshot wounds to the neck and mouth area while assisting police in a standoff.

K-9 Tess and her handler responded to assist in the apprehension of a carjacking suspect Tuesday, St. George News reported.

According to KSL, the suspect told police he had a rifle and ammunition. The suspect opened the truck door at one point and opened fire, striking Tess twice in the mouth area. Both bullets exited her neck.

Washington COSO (Utah) #K9 officer shot in the line of duty transported to Vegas for surgery this morning. Now in stable condition. pic.twitter.com/cSOJ6Ojywy

— LVMPD (@LVMPD) August 30, 2017

Officers opened fire, striking the suspect several times. He was transported to the hospital for surgery and his condition is unknown. Tess was transported to a local hospital, but after an evaluation, she was airlifted to a Las Vegas speciality center.

“I was going to ask for [the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police] assistance to actually transport her from where they landed at the airport or hospital or something over to the vet clinic,” Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said. “They said, ‘We’ll do one better than that’ and they actually blocked the road on Tropicana in front of the vet clinic to get her immediate response down there.”

K9 Tess happy to be headed home. pic.twitter.com/nto98OaRyl

— Washington Co SO, UT (@washeriff) August 30, 2017

Tess was stabilized after surgery and was released Wednesday to recover at home. She is expected to make a full recovery. A GoFundMe has been created to help with medical costs.

“The Sheriff’s Office would like to again extend their deepest thanks to all the first responders and veterinary staff who took part in Tess’ treatment and recovery,” a statement said. “This was undoubtedly a team effort and each individual played a critical part in her survival.”

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UPDATE: Great news! Washington Co. Sheriff's Office just shared on Twitter that K9 officer Tess is headed home! ---- UPDATE: Las Vegas police posted on Twitter that K9 officer Tess of the Washington County sheriff’s office (Utah) underwent surgery at Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center and is listed in stable condition. READ MORE→http://bit.ly/2gpPmV8

Posted by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Fla. deputy wins appeal in ‘stand your ground’ shooting

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Rafael Olmeda Sun Sentinel

Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza cannot be prosecuted for the July 2013 shooting death of Jermaine McBean in Oakland Park, an appeals court affirmed Wednesday.

The ruling from the Fourth District Court of Appeal determines that police officers are entitled to same immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law as private citizens, despite an earlier ruling from another appeals court that reached the opposite conclusion.

The legal conflict will have to be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court, and Peraza’s lawyer said he’s anticipating a showdown in Tallahassee.

Broward State Attorney’s Office spokesman Ron Ishoy agreed, saying the inconsistency between the current and former appeals court decisions must be settled by the Florida Supreme Court.

Peraza had been charged with manslaughter in the July 31, 2013, shooting of McBean, 33, a computer engineer who was walking home in his Oakland Park neighborhood after having just purchased a realistic looking air rifle at a nearby pawn shop. Peraza was one of several deputies who responded to reports of an armed man walking through the neighborhood, and the only one to open fire when McBean failed to follow orders to put the weapon down.

Peraza testified that he only pulled the trigger when McBean appeared to begin raising the weapon as if to fire it. Family members said McBean likely did not hear the deputies’ orders because he was listening to music through a pair of earbuds at the time.

The shooting did not attract the same level of national attention as other incidents that gave rise to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but it did result in Peraza’s indictment on the manslaughter charge. Before that, no on-duty officer had been charged in a homicide case in Broward County in 35 years.

Locally, Black Lives Matter activists rallied around McBean’s family, calling the shooting an unjustified use of lethal force.

McBean family lawyer David Schoen called Wednesday’s ruling a travesty, adding his belief that Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan was wrong on the facts and the law when he originally dismissed the case.

“Peraza would be convicted on the evidence,” Schoen said. “The McBean family is heartbroken. I can’t say this it’s unexpected. They saw what happened with the original decision and they lost all faith in the justice system.”

Schoen expressed hope that the Supreme Court would let a jury decide whether the shooting of McBean was justified.

“There are strong feelings on both sides of this — members of our community and law enforcement, the men and women who don the uniform,” said defense lawyer Eric Schwartzreich, who represents Peraza on behalf of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.

“At the end of the day, a law enforcement officer needs to be able to do his job,” he said. “He’s entitled to use the ‘stand your ground’ defense just like anyone else in our criminal justice system. That’s what this case is about.”

Five years ago in Southwest Florida, the Second District Court of Appeal ruled that Haines City Police Officer Juan Caamano was not entitled to the stand your ground law’s protection from prosecution because other laws that deal specifically with the conduct of on-duty law enforcement officers while making arrests should take precedence.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office failed to convince Usan to apply the Caamano ruling to the Peraza case in 2016. Usan decided that stand your ground should apply to law enforcement officers as well as civilians.

Attorneys argued their positions in front of the Fourth District Court of Appeal in June.

Wednesday’s ruling in Peraza’s favor acknowledged the conflict with the Second District’s 2012 decision and asked the Supreme Court to settle the question of whether an on-duty officer making an arrest is entitled to immunity under the stand your ground law.

Peraza has been working for the Broward Sheriff’s Office in an administrative role during the appeals process. Schwartzreich said he will be asking to get back to his previous assignment — on patrol and in uniform — now that the appeals court has ruled.

But, Schwartzreich said, the case has not reached its conclusion.

“We want this nightmare to be over for Deputy Peraza,” he said. “It’s far from over, but I think we’re going to prevail.”

———

©2017 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)


Ga. cop under investigation for comment at traffic stop: ‘We only kill black people’

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A police lieutenant is under investigation after a 2016 dash cam video surfaced showing the officer making what is believed to be a sarcastic comment to an uncooperative driver.

“Remember, we only kill black people,” Lt. Greg Abbott of Cobb County Police Department was recorded as saying to a driver who said she was afraid to move her hands.

“But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right?” Abbott says to the driver.

A representative of the driver said she believes the officer was being sarcastic because the woman “gave him some lip” but said it makes you cringe, Fox News reported.

Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso told Channel 2 News that Abbott is cooperating with the investigation and his comments “must be observed in their totality to understand the context.”

“He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger's own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest,” LoRusso said.

Police Chief Mike Register said Abbott has been placed on administrative duties pending an investigation. He said while the department is dealing with the issue “head-on,” “no matter what context [the statement] was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”


‘Suspect apprehended!’ Police nab 6-foot Miami Beach python

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A 6-foot (2-meter) Burmese python slithered near a popular Miami Beach pedestrian mall, scaring the crowd outside a convenience store.

Customers leaving Exprezo noticed the snake beneath a royal palm tree on Wednesday. Someone called Miami Beach police and the python was captured.

Police Chief Daniel J. Oates tweeted "suspect apprehended!" along with photos of the capture.

Suspect apprehended! Officers responded to a call of a 6ft snake just off Lincoln Road and safely captured it. #GoodWork pic.twitter.com/N5M2mq47T6

— Daniel J. Oates (@MBPDChiefOates) August 30, 2017

Store owner Indika Wanigarathne tells the Miami Herald she was thinking, "How big can it be?" Then she saw the python and "freaked out."

Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez says the snake will be turned over to a wildlife refuge.

Officer Traci Sierra, whom Rodriguez describes as an animal advocate, captured the snake.

The store owner had another word for Sierra: hero. "Trust me," she said, "I wouldn't grab that thing."

Six-foot Python captured on Lincoln Road https://t.co/IvLP0frAQn pic.twitter.com/b7KE34DiGB

— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) August 31, 2017


Easy collar: Men allegedly robbed bar during police party

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The police response time was quicker than ever.

Two men were arrested after police say they robbed a bar outside Baltimore while off-duty officers were there for a police retirement party.

The Baltimore Sun reports the men allegedly demanded cash from the register at a Woodlawn bar Tuesday evening while a group of officers gathered for a longtime sergeant's retirement. The officers chased and arrested them.

Baltimore County police spokesman Cpl. Shawn Vinson says 21-year-old Joseph McInnis III and 22-year-old Tyree McCoy face armed robbery, theft and other charges. The Sun reports neither had an attorney listed in online court records.

Monaghan's Pub owner says it's odd that someone would attempt a robbery because a precinct station is across the street.

Vinson says the party was for David Neral who has been with the department since 1988.


Police chief: Smoke from Texas chemical plant fire not toxic

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Bull, Emily Schmall and Reese Dunklin Associated Press

CROSBY, Texas — A Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey engulfed the area in floods was rocked by fires and two explosions early Thursday, but local authorities said the resulting smoke presented "no danger to the community at all."

Arkema Inc. said in a statement on its website that the Harris County Emergency Operations Center reported two explosions and black smoke coming from the plant in Crosby, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, at about 2 a.m.

At a news conference Thursday, Assistant Harris County Fire Chief Bob Rayall said different grades of organic peroxides in a semi-trailer caught fire not long after midnight. Rayall said the fire emitted a 30- to 40-foot (9- to 12-meter) flames and black smoke.

Rayall did not refer to any blasts, but Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel Moreno said there had been "small explosions."

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says some deputies suffered irritated eyes from the smoke but insisted it wasn't dangerous.

"It is not anything toxic," Gonzalez said. "It is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all."

At a separate news conference in Washington, D.C., FEMA administrator Brock Long told reporters that "by all means, the plume is incredibly dangerous."

A plant spokeswoman said late Wednesday that the flooded facility had lost power and backup generators due to the flooding, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as the temperature rises.

Gonzalez said the fire would burn itself out. Rayall said the fire service was not monitoring the fire — "that's industry's responsibility" — and that the company hired a contractor to do aerial monitoring of the smoke to see which direction it was going.

An AP photographer at a roadblock about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the scene could see no sign of a blaze in the direction of the chemical plant as the sun rose Thursday morning.

Arkema had warned that a fire was going to happen, saying it was inevitable because of the loss of power in the floods.

"The fire will happen. It will resemble a gasoline fire. It will be explosive and intense in nature," spokeswoman Janet Smith told The Associated Press late Wednesday.

There was "no way to prevent" the explosion, chief executive Rich Rowe said earlier Wednesday.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides, a family of compounds used for making a variety of products including pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

"As the temperature rises, the natural state of these materials will decompose. A white smoke will result, and that will catch fire," Smith said. "So the fire is imminent. The question is when."

Harvey struck Southeast Texas last week, slamming into the coast as a Category 4 hurricane, then weakening to a tropical storm that dumped record amounts of rain on the state, in particular the Houston area. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression late Wednesday.

The company shut down the Crosby site before Harvey made landfall, but a crew of 11 had stayed behind. That group was removed and residents living within a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) radius were told to evacuate Tuesday after the plant lost power.

Moreno said late Wednesday that the 1.5-mile radius was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other subject-matter experts.

"The facility is surrounded by water right now so we don't anticipate the fire going anywhere," she said.

The plant falls along a stretch near Houston that features one of the largest concentrations of refineries, pipelines and chemical plants in the country.

Arkema was required to develop and submit a risk management plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release, evaluate worst-case scenarios and explain a company's response.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said potentially 1.1 million residents could be impacted over a distance of 23 miles (37 kilometers) in a worse case, according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

But, Arkema added, it was using "multiple layers of preventative and mitigation measures" at the plant, including steps to reduce the amount of substances released, and that made the worst case "very unlikely."

Daryl Roberts, the company's vice president of manufacturing, technology and regulatory services in the Americas, did not dispute that worst-case scenario but said that assumed all the controls in place failed and strong winds blew directly toward Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city.

"We have not modeled this exact scenario but we are very comfortable with this 1.5-mile radius," Roberts told the AP. He added that it mostly resembled less serious scenarios that would affect a half-mile radius and a few dozen people.

Roberts said the vessels containing the organic peroxide are equipped with controls to slow the release of chemicals. He said the chemicals will quickly vaporize because of the water, reducing the size and scope of the fire.


Explosions rock flood-crippled chemical plant near Houston

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Gregory Bull, Emily Schmall and Reese Dunklin Associated Press

CROSBY, Texas — Explosions and fires rocked a flood-crippled chemical plant near Houston early Thursday, sending up a plume of acrid, eye-irritating smoke and adding a new hazard to Hurricane Harvey's aftermath.

The plant's owners warned more explosions could follow because a lack of refrigeration was causing chemicals stored there to degrade and burn.

The top federal emergency official in Washington warned that the plume of smoke was "incredibly dangerous." But local officials disputed that.

There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries.

Dozens of workers were pulled out of the Arkema Inc. plant before the hurricane hit and a small crew that had been left behind was evacuated before the blasts for fear of just such a disaster. Officials had also ordered people living within 1½ miles (2.4 kilometers) to leave on Tuesday.

Fire and plant officials said the substances that caught fire were organic peroxides, a family of volatile compounds used for making a variety of products, including pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

Earlier this week, Arkema warned of the possibility of an explosion at the plant about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, saying Harvey's floodwaters had knocked out power and backup generators, disabling the refrigeration needed to keep the organic peroxides stable.

On Thursday, Rich Rennard, an Arkema executive, said the chemical compounds were transferred to refrigerated containers after power was lost. But he said those containers also failed, causing the chemicals to degrade and burn in one unit before dawn.

He said the company expected more explosions from the eight remaining containers.

Assistant Harris County Fire Chief Bob Royall said the organic peroxides caught fire in a tractor-trailer and sent up 30- to 40-foot (9- to 12-meter) flames and black smoke. Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel Moreno put the quantity of burning organic peroxide at 2 tons.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said some deputies suffered eye irritation from the smoke, but added: "It is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all."

In Washington, however, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told reporters that "by all means, the plume is incredibly dangerous."

Arkema had warned earlier this week that the chemicals would erupt in an intense fire resembling a gasoline blaze. There was "no way to prevent" the explosion, CEO Rich Rowe said on Wednesday.

The company shut down the site before Harvey blew ashore, though a crew of 11 had stayed behind until it, too, was pulled out.

The plant is along a stretch near Houston that contains one of the biggest concentrations of refineries, pipelines and chemical plants in the country.

Moreno, of the fire marshal's office, said the 1½-mile radius was developed in consultation with the Homeland Security Department and other experts.

"The facility is surrounded by water right now so we don't anticipate the fire going anywhere," she said.

Arkema was required to submit a risk management plan to the Environmental Protection Agency because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas. The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release and how the company would respond.

In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said that in a worst-case scenario, 1.1 million residents could be affected over 23 miles (37 kilometers), according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

Arkema said that scenario was highly unlikely because it assumed that all of the plant's safety measures failed and that strong winds were blowing directly toward Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city.


‘Hell’s breaking loose’: A 911 center under siege by Harvey

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Matt Sedensky, AP National Writer

HOUSTON — Some of the callers are panicking; others exude a strange serenity. One moment, Harvey's floodwaters are pouring into a home, the next a motorist is trapped on an inundated interstate. A woman goes into labor in a washed-out neighborhood, and a split-second later, a family seeks rescue from their attic. The pleas for help stream in hour after hour, call after call after call.

In the thick of a paralyzing storm and its aftermath, the weight of this swamped city's problems are landing at the cavernous 911 call center, where operators are racing to keep up as people dial in by the tens of thousands.

"This is like nothing we've ever experienced before," operator Erika Wells says, in a short reprieve between calls.

At its worst, from Sunday into Monday, some 75,000 calls poured in, more than eight times the normal 24-hour load, and those dialing sometimes endured long waits to reach an operator. Even as time passed and the volume dropped, more than 21,000 people called between Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon, when an Associated Press reporter was given exclusive access to observe work at the center. In a single hour, dozens of calls can arrive at a single operator's headset.

Wells reported for work on Saturday at 2 p.m. and worked a 20-hour stretch through Harvey's immediate aftermath before she finally stepped away at 10 a.m. Sunday. Like her colleagues, she has camped out at the center since. She works frenzied 12-hour shifts and sleeps each night on a cot in a darkened hallway with a cluster of female colleagues. It feels like some sort of strange summer camp.

She is 26, a lifelong Houstonian, and first set foot in the call center nine years ago, when she was a high schooler taking part in a co-op program. She's worked here ever since, through floods and Super Bowls and New Year's Eves, but never something quite like this.

Wells sits before four screens in a massive, dimly lit room thick with the hum of the dozens of others tending to Houston's misery. Giant displays hang from the back wall, projecting images from the world outside — streets turned to rivers, rescues from rooftops, and officials chattering about a storm that won't seem to go away. All the while, the calls stream in to her.

"Houston 911: Do you need medical, police or fire?" she asks each one.

After so many hours and so many calls, it all has become a blur. Still, some stick out: The man who calmly reported water had reached his knees and drowned his dog; the house packed with 10 people in desperate need of an escape; the woman whose baby chose the worst time to enter the world.

"I literally watched it go from a regular Saturday, to this water is everywhere, to now all hell's breaking loose," she says.

She cajoled callers to breathe and stay calm as she tried to collect the information she needed to help them. Some surprised her with their seeming nonchalance in the face of tragedy, like the man who was trapped in his home, and the woman whose husband had died. Each time she hung up or transferred the caller to a police or fire dispatcher, another came through, almost immediately.

"It was back to back to back to back," she says.

As operators have tended to strangers' tragedies, they've juggled their own lives. Though Wells' home is unscathed, on Monday she received word her ex-husband's home was not and that her children, ages 2 and 4, had to be evacuated by boat. Other operators have suffered severe losses to their homes. Wells said one operator needed to dial 911 to request a rooftop rescue.

They have taken to heart the suffering of others, too. LaKendric Westbrook, a call center supervisor, says some operators have been overwhelmed by the pain they hear through their headsets, and the limited relief they can offer.

"You just want to go through the phone and help them," Westbrook says.

On Tuesday afternoon, as 841 calls reach the center in a single hour, Wells encounters the ordinary and the harrowing. A little girl, with shrieks and laughter in the background, calls to say she needs a firetruck; clearly, she does not. A woman seeks help for her sister, trapped in her home with a sick baby. A burglary, an assault, a report of looting, mixed among repeated misdials.

"I need to get out of the house. I need help," a trembling voice pleads.

This is the slowest it's been in days, and still the pace is furious. A woman calls wondering if she's in danger, if the rising waters mean she should be rescued. A report of a woman seen drifting into chest-deep water on the freeway. A woman fearful for the fate of a friend.

"I got flooded," one woman says flatly. "Do you need to be rescued?" Wells asks. "Yes," she answers.

Wells shows no sign of stress as the calls come in. Her pink-manicured fingers type away the details of each person's report.

Inside this bunker, the tragedy feels both intensely personal and strangely distant. The news coverage plays over and over and the calls continue to come in, but it doesn't quite seem real — Wells hasn't yet emerged from this building or seen the damage first hand.

Her children have said they're proud of her, and she has felt a bit of pride too. She saw a tweet about the volume of calls coming in and thought to herself, "I was part of that."

A circle of new faces has emerged in the center of this sprawling space, a signal that new operators have arrived and Wells' shift has finally neared its end. The faint sound of a helicopter can be heard outside as a steady rain continues to fall. She misses her children, her bed, and soy chai lattes at Starbucks.

But after all that this storm has brought, she says, her colleagues feel like family, and this place feels like home.


Ark. state police working on training for gun law expansion

Posted on August 31, 2017 by in POLICE

By Andrew DeMillo Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas law dramatically expanding where concealed handguns are allowed will take effect this week, but the training needed to carry those guns to college campuses, bars, government buildings and other new locations may not be available until early next year.

After the law takes effect Friday, Arkansas State Police will have 120 days to design the additional training requirements which concealed handgun licensees will need to complete before they can carry their weapons at college campuses and other places allowed under the new measure. More than 225,000 people have concealed handgun licenses in Arkansas.

A state police spokesman said the agency is making progress, but didn't give a timeline for when the training standards would be available for the roughly 1,000 concealed handgun instructors around the state. The additional training can be up to eight hours long.

"We're not cranking up the enhanced concealed carry license machine on Sept. 1. There's got to be these checks and balances in terms of rules and procedures," spokesman Bill Sadler said.

Higher education officials around Arkansas have already been briefing faculty, staff and students about the new law, including reminders that concealed weapons are banned on campus until the enhanced licenses are available.

"The message from our campus is that firearms are not allowed on campus unless you meet the qualifications of this statute and it's not possible to meet those qualifications yet," said Brad Phelps, general counsel for the Arkansas State University System.

At the University of Arkansas' flagship campus in Fayetteville, officials are holding a forum on Sept. 6 to address the new law but said those are still some questions.

"We're not trying to tell anyone everything they need to know because we don't know all the answers yet," UA Spokesman Mark Rushing said. "Some of the answers to some of the questions we're receiving we won't know until we have a better understanding of what (state police) are going to include in the enhanced training."

Lawmakers who pushed for the measure earlier this year said the additional training would prepare licensees for active shooter situations at places like colleges and universities, but the legislation doesn't refer to such situations and leaves the guidance up to state police.

"No law enforcement-styled training will be part of the syllabus being prepared for concealed handgun license instructors," Sadler said. "Instructors will be encouraged to emphasize training for licensees about complying with orders from police and applicable laws should a licensee be present as an active shooting incident might begin to evolve."

Republican Sen. Trent Garner, a lead sponsor of the guns measure, said lawmakers wanted to give state police leeway in developing the training program.

"I think it'll be both an enhancement of what you already learn in concealed-carry (training) with the added-on training of how to respond to a person in a closed area who is actively trying to engage you," Garner said.

A Democratic lawmaker who opposed the gun expansion said he's hearing concerns from students and faculty about the law's effects, and questioned how much the additional training would help.

"I don't think anything they cram into an eight-hour training session could properly prepare somebody for the trauma of a live shooting," Rep. Greg Leding.

State police are also working on the rules for the security plans colleges and universities will have to submit to exempt sporting events from the expanded guns measure. The exemption was added in follow-up legislation after the campus guns law drew objections from the Southeastern Conference and others over fears about allowing weapons at football games and other events. So far, no schools have submitted security plans for the exemptions.


Federal judge blocks Texas’ tough ‘sanctuary cities’ law

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked most of Texas' tough new "sanctuary cities" law that would have allowed police to inquire about people's immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops.

The law, SB 4, had been cheered by President Donald Trump's administration but decried by immigrants' rights groups who say it could force anyone who looks like they might be in the country illegally to "show papers."

The measure sailed through the Republican-controlled Legislature despite months of protests and opposition from business groups who worried that it could cause a labor-force shortage in industries such as construction. Opponents sued, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's ruling in San Antonio keeps it from taking effect as planned Friday — allowing the case time to proceed.

In a 94-page ruling, Garcia wrote that there "is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe" and that "localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, will harm the state of Texas."

"The Court cannot and does not second guess the Legislature," he continued. "However, the state may not exercise its authority in a manner that violates the United States Constitution."

Garcia's order suspends the law's most contentious language while suggesting that even parts of the law that can go forward won't withstand further legal challenges.

The law had sought to fine law enforcement authorities who fail to honor federal requests to hold people jailed on offenses that aren't immigration related for possible deportation. It also would have ensured that police chiefs, sheriffs and constables could face removal from office and even criminal charges for failing to comply with such federal "detainer" requests.

The four largest cities in Texas — San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas— have joined the lawsuit, saying the law is vague and would have a chilling effect on immigrant communities. Their attorneys told Garcia that his ruling could determine if other states pursue copycat measures. Lawyers for the Texas attorney general's office responded that the new law has fewer teeth than Arizona's 2010 "Show Me Your Papers" measure that was partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Top conservatives say an immigration crackdown is necessary to enforce the rule of law. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has maintained that only lawbreakers have anything to worry about.

On the final day of the legislative session in May, tensions boiled over when Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi told Democrats that he had called federal immigration agents to report protesters in the Capitol who held signs saying they were illegally in the country. One Democratic legislator admitted pushing Rinaldi, who responded by telling one Democrat that he would "shoot him in self-defense."

The Trump administration has made "sanctuary cities" a target. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to pull federal money from jurisdictions that hinder communication between local police and immigration authorities and has praised Texas' law.


1 Calif. LEO dead, 2 wounded in shootout

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A gunman with an assault rifle shot and killed a California sheriff's deputy and wounded two CHP officers Wednesday at a Sacramento hotel that was later surrounded by officers searching for suspects.

Three people, including the man suspected of killing the deputy, were in custody following a chase in a stolen car investigation that led to the hotel.

Police believe other suspects may still be holed up in a room where the shots were fired. Guests at the hotel were told to shelter in place.

Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital from a gunshot wound to his side, Sheriff Scott Jones said. The two wounded California Highway Patrol officers were expected to survive.

The man suspected of killing French was shot by authorities and was in custody. His name was not released.

Two women were also in custody. Their names were not released.

The incident began when authorities said the women led CHP officers on a vehicle chase in what was believed to be a stolen car. When the chase ended about 20 miles from where it began, the women were taken into custody and police learned one of them had booked a hotel room in Sacramento.

Officers went to search the hotel. When they announced themselves, they were hit with gunfire coming from inside the room. Authorities say a man inside then left through the back, where he shot French and fled in a vehicle.

After a short pursuit, police exchanged fire with the man, who was hit, sheriff's spokesman Tony Turnbull said.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a grey Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

French, 52, is survived by a girlfriend and several adult children, Jones said.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Suspects in shooting of 3 LEOs linked to stolen vehicle ring

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan J. Cooper Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two women believed to be part of a stolen car ring led California police on a 20-mile chase Wednesday before pointing them to a Sacramento hotel where another suspect opened fire with an assault rifle in a shootout that left one officer dead and two others wounded, authorities said.

Deputy Robert French, a 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, died on the way to a hospital from a gunshot wound to his side, Sheriff Scott Jones said.

The two wounded California Highway Patrol officers were expected to survive. Their names have not been released.

The gunman was arrested after he was wounded during a short car chase, authorities said. Police did not name him or the two women.

Authorities spent hours searching the hotel before determining there were no other suspects inside.

"It was an extremely dynamic, horrific series of events," Jones said.

Officers initially went to the hotel during an investigation by an auto theft task force — a joint project among departments.

The chase occurred after they spotted a gray Dodge Charger they thought had been stolen.

Police say they learned while apprehending the women that one had a room at the hotel. Officers returned and knocked on the door of a room to investigate.

Authorities say a man inside opened fire then left through the back, where he shot French and fled in a vehicle. Pursuing officers exchanged fire with the man, who was hit, sheriff's spokesman Tony Turnbull said.

The gun used by the man held a high-capacity magazine, which are now illegal to purchase in California, authorities said.

Jeff Marshall, who lives near the hotel, said he heard gunshots and then tires squealing and saw a gray Dodge Charger speed by his home, going the wrong way down a busy street.

Marshall estimated he heard 12 shots.

"It was like the wild West," Marshall said.

The sheriff described French, 52, as a well-known, well-respected training officer assigned to patrol the county's northern areas.

He was a "go-to guy for advice and counsel, not just career advice but tactical advice and things like that," Jones said.

French is survived by his live-in girlfriend, adult children and grandchildren and a sister.

"Words aren't going to make an appropriate appreciation of him as a man or his career," Jones said.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Survey: How does your police agency handle policy and training in the video age?

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Few forces are impacting law enforcement like video, which is shaping training, policy, community relations, and creating major technology challenges even as it solves problems. PoliceOne is currently working on a special coverage project that aims to address all facets of the topic with expanded analysis and reporting, and we’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to fill out this quick, eight-question survey that aims to explore how police departments are handling training and policy in a recorded world.


3 Calif. LEOs shot near motel, 2 arrested in connection with shooting

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — Two California Highway Patrol officers and a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy were wounded in a shooting.

The three officers were shot near a Ramada Inn Wednesday afternoon, KCRA reported.The officers are alive, but their conditions are unknown.

CHP officials said two people were detained in connection with the shooting, but the scene is still active. It’s unclear if law enforcement is still looking for suspects.

Nick Cruz, who was staying at the Ramada Inn, told the news station that he looked outside when he heard gunshots and saw a woman walking with an AK-style assault rifle. He said officers were shooting, but she got into a car and fled.

A nearby high school and middle school were put on a brief lockdown, but it has since been lifted.

No other details have been released. An investigation is ongoing.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


3 Calif. LEOs, 1 suspect shot near motel

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities say three police officers and one suspect were shot during a vehicle theft investigation.

The scene in Sacramento remains active and there may be more suspects.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tony Turnball says two California Highway Patrol officers and one sheriff's deputy were in a hospital Wednesday after being hit by gunfire from inside a hotel room.

Turnball says he doesn't know the officers' conditions.

Authorities say a male suspect had exited the room and fired at a deputy on the hotel balcony. The male suspect was also hit with gunfire and is in custody.

Two women have also been arrested.

The incident began when the women led CHP officers on a vehicle chase in what was believed to be a stolen car.

The investigation then led officers to a Sacramento hotel.

Helicopters in the area are warning people nearby to lock their doors and stay inside, call police is they see something suspicious @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/AdJi3aNx6f

— Pedro Rivera (@PedroRiveraTV) August 30, 2017

Massive police activity on Fulton Avenue. Officer down. pic.twitter.com/ue6pPT08Gq

— Mike Luery (@KCRALuery) August 30, 2017

Officer down at Ramada Inn in #Sacramento. Suspect search underway. Neighbors ordered to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/pRkl58rZEY

— Lemor Abrams (@LemorAbrams) August 30, 2017

Traffic on WB CapCity freeway at Fulton slow due to Law Enforcement Activity Fulton/Auburn @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/NYdYqP1Yt0

— David Grashoff (@CameraGuyDave1) August 30, 2017


Mom, daughter police duo work last shift together

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CALGARY, Alberta — A mother and daughter who both work for the Calgary Police Service worked their last shift together.

Const. Renata Cattoni retired Monday after more than 40 years in law enforcement, according to a department Facebook post. Cattoni was able to work her last shift with her daughter, Const. Amanda Maodus.

During her time with CPS, Cattoni patrolled multiple districts and worked with the department’s Major Events and Emergency Management Unit.

Close to four years ago, Maodus joined the force as a patrol officer after working as a dispatcher. Maodus said her mom and dad, who is also retired from CPS, inspired her to work in law enforcement.

Cattoni said her favorite memory of working in law enforcement was when she was able to present Maodus with her badge at graduation.

“There are a lot of ups and downs in this job, but if I had the opportunity I would do it all over again in a heartbeat,” Cattoni said. “I have loved this job and I am lucky to have been able to share these experiences with my daughter.”

The department said Cattoni has “undoubtedly made a difference in thousands of Calgarians’ lives throughout her career and we wish her lots of relaxation in her retirement!”

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Policing - The Next Generation Today, we have the neat experience of watching two generations of officers – a mother...

Posted by Calgary Police Service on Monday, August 28, 2017


ICE warns Harvey victims of people impersonating immigration agents

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are warning the public after multiple reports of people impersonating Homeland Security Investigations agents.

According to a statement issued on the ICE website, the impersonators are telling people to evacuate their homes so they can rob the empty houses.

“Real HSI officials wear badges that are labeled "special agent," which members of the public can ask to see and verify,” the statement said. “ICE officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) also wear badges labeled with ERO Officer. They also carry credentials with their name and organization.”

Officials said citizens who interact with the fake agents should ask to see their badges and credentials. If the public suspects something, they are asked to call ICE at 866-347-2423.

FEMA, ICE and the city of Houston issued statements Tuesday informing the public that no one will be asked for papers or ID if they seek shelter from Harvey.

ICE issues statement on "disturbing reports" of people impersonating ICE officials in Houston: pic.twitter.com/YdIMphGxgf

— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) August 30, 2017


Which pocket holster is best for you?

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Lindsey J. Bertomen
Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

I’m quite partial to carrying a handgun in my pocket. It’s a practice that works well on and off duty.

Lightweight revolvers and thin autos work best, and some guns are superior for this job.

For revolvers, I recommend the M&P 340CT. For autos, I like the Kahr PM9. Both choices don’t weigh the pocket down and they have the prerequisite reliability and accuracy.

Pocket holster carry takes training and practice. Training includes learning to carry the speedloader in the same pocket as the gun for revolver users for rapid reloads.

If pocket holsters were simple pouches, choosing one would be easy. You could just sew your own pouch and be done with it.

I have been carrying my Charter Arms Undercover Lite for a year or so in three different pocket holsters: Gould & Goodrich, BLACKHAWK and Sticky.

The question I asked was, “Which pocket holster is the best for me?” The answer isn’t complicated, as long as the user follows the rules:

1. The holster must completely cover the trigger guard;

2. The holster must agree with the user’s tactics;

3. The holster must let the user acquire the master grip before drawing;

4. The holster must conceal and protect the gun.

Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster

The holster with the lightest material is the Gould & Goodrich 701 Pocket Holster (MSRP $19.09 for the shield; price varies).

The non-slip layer on the outside is like some of the tacky materials we put on our guns to improve the grip. After several months of use, the “wing” area – designed to break up the outline of the gun – is a lot more flexible.

The G&G 701 is the most concealable of the choices, and I use it in pants with narrow pockets. It is the most flexible of the three, and I recommend it for garments with stiffer materials. The suede smooth lining provides flexibility and gives it a really fast draw.

I also use the G&G 701 for unconventional applications. I have a running waist pack not designed for holding a gun, but it has a smooth zipper. With this holster, it becomes my running companion.

The G&G 701 isn’t stiff enough for IWB carry, like the other two in this review.

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster

BLACKHAWK’s TecGrip Pocket Holster (MSRP $18.95) has a very tacky exterior. It uses high-density, closed-cell foam to make it stiffer than the G&G 701. Although it has stitching on the edges, it is mostly thermal-bonded laminate.

The TecGrip Holster does a great job breaking up the gun’s outline. The interior is smooth and, like the G&G 701, can be machine or hand washed.

The TecGrip Holster is best used for pocket-sized autos like the Kahr PM9 because of its ability to soften the vertical lines of the slide. Occasionally, I stick my 40 Shield in my pocket using TecGrip’s larger size.

The Sticky Holster

The Sticky Holster (MSRP $29.95) is well named. It is definitely sticky against almost any material. Despite its extreme tackiness, pet hairs and the like don’t adhere to it.

Sticky Holsters are stitched in the shape of the gun, like the G&G 701, and the “wing” created by the stitching fills many different pocket shapes. This product positioned my gun in a predictable position no matter what I wore.

The edges of the product are seam taped, and I have cleaned this holster several times with no loss in stickiness.

Besides pocket use, this holster is perfect for a BUG. In fact, Sticky Holsters make a BUG Pad for vest carry. They also make an Anklebiter Ankle Holster, which makes the Sticky Holster even more versatile.

IWB Considerations

The design of these holsters means they are tacky enough to be used as an IWB set up. The beltline pins the gun and holster enough for this kind of carry. The Sticky products definitely have the structural integrity for this application. I even tried my Sticky Holster on a trip to the corner store wearing a pair of drawstring shorts.

But please apply the casual spandex wear rule when it comes to carrying a pocket holster for IWB. Just because one can do it, does not mean one should do it. There are sounder tactical options.

OK, which one did I like the best? Well, I carry all three depending on the application. After all, pocket holsters are cheap, and I use them all the time.


Police: Man used prosthetic leg to smuggle heroin into Fla. jail

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

OCALA, Fla. — A man used a prosthetic leg to smuggle heroin into Marion County Jail, according to police.

William Conley, 53, was being searched Thursday at the Marion County Jail after being taken there by deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court for driving with a suspended license, ClickOrlando reported.

Corrections officers ordered Conley to remove his leg during the search, but he became hesitant and asked if it was necessary. Conley compiled and deputies found a syringe inside the fake limb.

Conley said the syringe was used to inject chickens with vitamins, but heroin showed up in a test. He then told police that he used methamphetamine and morphine, but the needle wasn’t used for heroin.

He was charged with use or possession of drug paraphernalia and smuggling contraband into a detention facility.


Photos: SC man holds fugitive at gunpoint until police arrive

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — An armed citizen held a man who had been on the run since Aug. 18 at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

Police told WLTX that a deputy was serving a car theft warrant Tuesday when Christopher Cravets saw the officer and fled on foot. He was wanted on an armed robbery charge.

Manhunt for wanted suspect in Keyshawn County pic.twitter.com/yMfex8URI7

— chris brathwaite (@number1bajan) August 29, 2017

Deputies, K-9s and helicopters searched for Cravets, 21, for several hours. Charles Belcher, a medic, was visiting his girlfriend and went out to grab his gun from his truck after hearing about the manhunt.

Belcher went to check the property and found Cravets in the back of an SUV parked in a carport.

"I came out to check the green Explorer and saw somebody in the back and I just pulled my weapon and ordered him out of the vehicle and made him get on the ground until the cops got here," he said. “The only thing I was worried about is if he had a gun and if he was going to try to shoot me.”

Suspect caught on Dry Branch Rd pic.twitter.com/uzljBV9nfE

— chris brathwaite (@number1bajan) August 29, 2017

Belcher held Cravets at gunpoint for a couple of minutes before deputies arrived to take Cravets into custody.

Sheriff Jim Matthews said Belcher did “a heck of a job.”

"[Cravets] pistol-whipped a girl and tried to rob her at gunpoint,” Matthews told WLTX. “We will never turn down civilian assistance when we have a situation like that because we're pretty shorthanded and even though we had a SLED helicopter up, we need all of the help we can get and this guy stepped up to the plate and he did the right thing.”

Cravets was charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and second-degree burglary.

Our Chris Brathwaite @number1bajan was there as Charles Belcher captured a wanted Kershaw Co suspect who deputies say triggered a manhunt. pic.twitter.com/0GHAjIledc

— Chuck Ringwalt WLTX (@ChuckRingwalt) August 29, 2017


Judge: Philly can’t immediately release LEO names in shootings

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — After the Fraternal Order of Police filed a suit, a Philadelphia judge has ruled that the city can’t immediately release the names of officers involved in shootings. The temporary injunction issued on Friday comes after protesters gathered outside the home of Officer Ryan Pownall, who fatally shot David Jones on June 8 after a fight over Jones’ gun, the Associated Press reported. A line of LEOs stood in front of Pownall’s home to separate protesters from the officer. Pownall is currently on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The city must wait 72 hours to release an officer’s name, during which time the union can challenge the city’s attempt to release the name.

A hearing on whether an extension will be made to the ruling is set for Sept. 29.


Video shows suspect crashing BMW M3 during pursuit

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

WEST MIDLANDS, England — Police released video of a 2016 high-speed pursuit that ended when the suspect crashed his BMW.

Police attempted to pull over Kamar Farooq, 30, last September when he fled at a high speed, the BBC reported. Footage shows the pursuit reaching speeds up to 115 mph.

Farooq drove erratically and on the wrong side of the road before he drove over a roundabout and crashed into a gas station, the Mirror UK reported. He moved to the backseat after the crash and claimed to be a passenger.

Farooq and two other men in the car were arrested. Footage from earlier in the day helped police ID Farooq as the driver. They matched the clothes he was wearing when he was arrested.

He was convicted of dangerous driving and driving while banned. He was sentenced Friday to two and a half years. He was also banned from driving for 10 years.


Deputy wearing night vision goggles stops attempted ambush

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ENUMCLAW, Wash. — A deputy wearing night vision goggles stopped an attempted ambush on officers when he saw the suspect approaching police with a rifle.

Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance Tuesday after a woman said her boyfriend hit her and her son, KOMO reported. She said the boyfriend locked himself in a room where they kept guns.

The woman and her two children exited the home safely, but the man stayed inside the home and turned the lights out.

A deputy wearing night vision goggles saw the man walking through the darkness with a rifle aimed at deputies. Police ordered the suspect to drop his weapon several times. He was shot and seriously wounded when he refused.

The suspect is expected to survive and is being treated at a hospital. No deputies were injured. The woman sustained a back and leg injury during the disturbance. The children were uninjured.

An investigation is ongoing.

King County deputies shoot man after domestic disturbance in Enumclaw SE 472nd. Man should survive pic.twitter.com/Ff8FqrH7Bx

— Carleen Johnson (@CarleenOnKOMO) August 29, 2017


Sheriff proposes sending inmates to help with Harvey damage

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

TAUNTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts sheriff who proposed sending county jail inmates to help President Donald Trump build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is offering to send inmates to Texas to help clean up damage from Hurricane Harvey.

WGBH-FM first reported Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson wants to send inmate "volunteers" to help rebuild Houston.

Hodgson says 10 inmates have expressed interest in the project. He says he hopes federal disaster relief funds can cover inmates' transportation and housing costs.

The plan would need approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, local sheriffs involved and the National Sheriffs' Association.

Hodgson says he has been in contact with the sheriffs association. The association's executive director said Tuesday that the idea is innovative.

Hodgson and Trump are both Republicans.


Philadelphia latest city to sue on sanctuary conditions

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over what officials call "unlawful" immigration restrictions placed on a major federal grant.

In the lawsuit announced Wednesday, the city is asking the court to stop Sessions from adding these conditions to a grant program used to pay police overtime, upgrade equipment and courtroom technology and train officers.

Philadelphia's so-called "sanctuary" status has made it a frequent target of the attorney general. Sessions said in July that cities and states can only receive Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants if they allow federal immigration officials to access detention facilities, and that they must provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.

Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have also sued over the grant conditions.


Man arrested for allegedly slashing tires of NJ police, fire vehicles

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SOMERDALE, N.J. — Police in New Jersey have arrested a man who they say slashed 52 tires on multiple police and fire vehicles.

Philly.com reports police have charged the 51-year-old with multiple charges including criminal mischief following an arrest on Tuesday. Investigators say a Somerdale Police officer recognized the suspect in surveillance videos because he had previously reported a stolen bicycle at the station.

According to police, the suspect slashed tires on nine police cruisers, one fire vehicle and three personal cars of police officers on Sunday.


Evaluation ordered for man accused of killing Fla. officers

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The man suspected of killing two Florida police officers will undergo a competency evaluation before his first court hearing.

Orange-Osceola Circuit Court officials announced Tuesday that a judge will then review the evaluation of 45-year-old Everett Miller. Miller is accused of gunning down Kissimmee Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard on Aug. 18. Baxter died that night and Howard passed away the next day.

Officials said Miller is a veteran who spent 21 years in the Marine Corps. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Miller was previously involuntarily hospitalized after he stripped down to his boxers and walked down a street carrying a high-powered rifle.

Miller is facing first-degree murder charges.


Houston police chief blunt and emotional during Harvey

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Michael Graczyk Associated Press

HOUSTON — In a matter of hours, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo had warned looters to stay away from his city and then choked back tears as he announced the death of one of his veteran officers.

It's that empathetic side mixed with a heavy dose of no-nonsense law-and-order that makes Acevedo so endearing to the communities he has policed over his 30-year career in law enforcement.

The Cuban-born Acevedo, who came to the U.S. with his family in 1968, has been on the job in the nation's fourth-largest city for less than a year. He is the city's first Hispanic police chief and regularly answers questions from reporters in Spanish. Before Harvey elevated his national presence, he was known locally for his active role on social media and his blunt speaking style, which he showcased in his threat to looters.

"So word to the wise: Don't come to Houston," he said Tuesday, "because you're going to be caught. And I guarantee you when you take advantage of people and prey on them in these circumstances, that's despicable behavior and we're all going to push hard to make sure you don't see the sunlight anytime soon."

Acevedo grew up in California, started in law enforcement in East Los Angeles with the California Highway Patrol and rose to chief of that agency. He arrived in Houston last November after nine years as Austin's chief.

His tenure in Austin was marked by efforts to strengthen ties with community groups. He faced criticism for several use-of-force incidents, including the 2015 arrest of a black teacher who was thrown to the ground by a white officer and the fatal shooting of an unarmed, naked 17-year-old.

After the shooting, the police union criticized him for speaking at a news conference while standing with groups such as Black Lives Matter.

In another sign that he is not the typical Texas cop, he has been a vocal critic of the so-called anti-sanctuary cities law that expands police powers to question people who have been detained about their immigration status. He was also critical of recently-enacted laws that allow people to openly carry licensed handguns and carry concealed handguns into colleges buildings and dorms.

On Tuesday, Acevedo vividly laid out the details of how his officer, Sgt. Steve Perez, had lost his life trying to get to work when he became trapped in his patrol car in a flooded highway underpass.

His voice cracking, Acevedo chronicled how Perez left home about 4 a.m. Sunday to get to work, even after the sergeant's wife had urged him to stay home. Harvey's torrential rains had started the previous evening and continued to rage.

"I've got work to do," Perez told his wife, according to the chief.

"He has that in his DNA," Acevedo said.

"He was one of the sweetest people I've met," Acevedo said of Perez, whose death Sunday was two days short of his 61st birthday. "I've only been here nine months, we've got 6,500 employees and I knew who Steve Perez was, because he was a sweet, gentle public servant."

When Perez failed to show up at the regular roll call Monday, investigators back tracked his movements and narrowed their search to an inundated underpass.

On Tuesday morning, divers recovered Perez in 16 feet of water. Acevedo said he had "the privilege" of notifying Perez's family.

Mayor Sylvester Turner credited Perez for making "that extra effort" to get to work.

"What we can say is Sgt. Perez fulfilled his mission and the Lord called him home. I would dare not say he lost his life in vain, because he didn't."

As Turner and Acevedo turned from a podium, they hugged.


Md. police, fire departments used as ‘safe stations’ for opioid addicts

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

By Phil Davis The Capital

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — The “Safe Stations” initiative in Anne Arundel County has taken off over the past month, offering opioid addiction help to 45 people over the last three weeks.

At 15 people a week, according to Anne Arundel police, its popularity is well beyond what county officials expected.

The program — which turned police and fire departments into veritable safe havens for those addicted to drugs looking for help — originally launched with the expectation that its capacity would be about five people per week.

The increase has led to an influx of people in need of detoxification and caused those in charge of the program to make some changes to fit the growing demand.

“A large portion of the people, because they’re fearful of the withdrawal, need that detox piece,” said Jen Corbin, head of the Mobile Crisis Team that oversees the program.

Corbin said word of mouth is helping the Safe Stations program’s popularity, with people coming out of it and “spreading the word that, ‘This has helped me.’”

The initiative was expanded last month after the state sent the county a $287,000 grant to hire personnel for the county’s Crisis Response Team, which refers those in the program to various resources throughout the county to help with treatment.

For Peter D’Souza, executive director of the Hope House Treatment Center, it’s part of what’s led to a longer waiting list of people awaiting treatment.Souza, executive director of the Hope House Treatment Center, it’s part of what’s led to a longer waiting list of people awaiting treatment.

Currently, 60 people are on a wait list for treatment at the Crownsville-based center, D’Souza said.

Not all of it can be attributed to Safe Stations, he added. Part of the center’s policy is to prioritize those who are referred there after having suffered an overdose over those who voluntarily commit themselves.

With 715 people having overdosed as of Wednesday, according to Anne Arundel police, there’s no shortage of new patients as the county continues to set weekly highs for overdoses.

But he said he’s worried he won’t be able to adequately staff the center, which just increased its capacity from 16 beds to 49 beds as of July.

Maryland law requires the center to have one substance abuse counselor for every eight patients admitted, D’Souza said.

While he has the beds to accommodate more patients, he only has three counselors and is struggling to find more with an accredited counseling degree.

“The salaries in the addiction field are lower than those in other fields,” D’Souza said. “That is something that the state and the county … needs to start addressing.”Souza said. “That is something that the state and the county … needs to start addressing.”

County Health Officer Fran Phillips said while a federal waiver that allows treatment centers in Maryland with more than 16 beds to receive federal dollars allowed places like House Hope to expand, it magnified the issue of a lack of accredited addiction counselors.

“They’re full and they’re looking for staff like everybody else is,” Phillips said of Hope House. “Where are we going to find qualified addiction counselors?”

Corbin said her team has started to work closer with many of the detoxification providers — such as Hope House and Pathways in Annapolis — to better accommodate incoming patients.

In addition, the team is referring some people who come through Safe Stations to treatment centers outside the county if it’s more convenient, she said.

Copyright 2017 The Capital


Ky. House holds private meeting to discuss police, fire pensions

Posted on August 30, 2017 by in POLICE

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By Adam Beam Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Facing unpopular decisions on the state's failing public pension systems, the Kentucky House of Representatives shut the public out of its first discussion of potential changes by holding a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss a state-funded report that recommends pay cuts for retirees and freezing benefits for current workers.

House Republicans campaigned on changing the pension system last fall, and voters gave them a super majority for the first time in state history. Since January, Republican leaders have vowed to pass legislation in a special session this year to fix the pension system, which is at least $33 billion short of paying the retirement benefits for state workers, police officers, firefighters and public school teachers over the next 30 years.

But Republicans have not said what those changes would be. Monday, a state-funded analysis recommended major changes, including taking away 16 years' worth of cost-of-living raises for some retirees and freezing the benefits for current workers and moving them into a 401(k)-style plan. Tuesday, Republican House Speaker Jeff Hoover invited all 100 members to a closed-door meeting to discuss the report.

"This is beyond frightening," said David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees. "We would hope that the legislators would recognize the importance of being more open about this discussion."

Bryanna Carroll, governmental affairs director for the Kentucky League of Cities, said the group does not have an opinion on how the House of Representatives does business. But she said the meeting will "hopefully be a positive for us to gauge where the members are on the issue."

The Associated Press objected to the meeting being closed to the public. Kentucky's Open Meetings Act requires any meeting of a quorum of any public agency to be open to the public. Laura Hendrix, general counsel for the House majority leadership, said caucus meetings are exempt from the law. She said Tuesday's meeting was officially a meeting of the House Republican caucus with the Democratic caucus as invited guests.

"In effect, the Speaker of the House has decided to call a meeting of the entire House for the purpose of discussing public business," Associated Press attorney Brian Barrett wrote in a letter to the Speaker's office. "It cannot be the case that the House can avoid its obligations under the (Open Meetings) Act merely by describing a meeting as a collection of committees rather than a quorum of the governing body. This plainly violates the spirit of the law and is both substantively and legally dubious."

Democratic state Rep. Jim Wayne walked out of the meeting after he said his request to make it open to the public was denied. He appeared to be the only lawmaker to leave the meeting.

"It's not the right way to do things," Wayne said. "We've seen under the leadership of Jeff Hoover a number of opportunities for transparency to have basically been kicked off the road."

Hoover told reporters after the meeting that "there was no discussion, it was members asking questions of our budget director and our consultants." He said the meeting was "for informational purposes only."

"I felt really good about it. We wanted to do that to give them the opportunity to do it without the media there and to make it a more comfortable setting for them to ask questions," he said. "I hope it sends the message to state workers that we are trying to solve this problem in a bipartisan manner."


Top 10 videos of sovereign citizens getting owned

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

While the threat of the sovereign citizen movement is no laughing matter, it’s undeniably funny when these anti-government agitators have interactions with police that don’t quite go the way they had hoped. That’s why we’ve gathered the 10 best clips of sovereign citizens getting owned by cops. Take a look, and share your humorous sovereign citizen encounters with us in the comments section.

1.

After this sovereign citizen spent nearly five minutes talking about the legality of Texas traffic codes, the officer familiarized him with the landmark SCOTUS case, Baton v. Window.

2.

One classic sovereign citizen tactic is attempting to throw as much “legal” mumbo jumbo at a cop as they can in the hope the officer will let them go, as this video is a great example of. Spoiler: It doesn’t work.

3.

“Article Four Free Inhabitant.” ‘Nuff said.

4.

This video doesn’t feature a cop, but it was too good not to include. The judge deserves a raise for his patience and his sense of humor in dealing with this sovereign citizen.

5.

“I do not consent!”

6.

Surprisingly, this sovereign citizen’s stand down order had no effect on the officers arresting him.

7.

Last anyone checked, the argument was still going.

8.

“The wind’s pushing your car? It’s not even windy out.”

9.

One of the many examples of the classic “traveling not driving” sovereign citizen argument.

10.

His “legal counsel” wasn’t of much help.

Conclusion

All laughs aside, chances are you’ll run into a sovereign citizen at least once during the course of your police career, so it’s important to be prepared. For more information about them, check out “5 common crimes committed by sovereign citizens" and “5 responses to a sovereign citizen at a traffic stop.”


5 things to know about white supremacist groups

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

The largest U.S. public gathering of white supremacists in decades occurred earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia. A vehicle terror attack during the rally left one person dead and dozens hospitalized. While the violent gathering of white supremacists, neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups shocked the nation, it is only the latest in a troubling trend of violence from these fringe groups. Here are five things all cops should know about this extremist threat.

1. White supremacy is on the rise.

White supremacists, as well as other hate groups, are growing.

According to a 2016 report, the SPLC identified 130 KKK camps, 43 neo-Confederate groups, 99 neo-Nazi groups, 100 white nationalist groups, and 78 skinhead groups currently active in the U.S. Overall, the number of hate groups in America has increased 17 percent since 2014. The Daily Stormer, one of the most infamous white supremacist websites, expanded from one chapter in 2015 to around 30 last year, according to ABC News. Icons in the movement both old, like David Duke, and new, like Richard Spencer, are a regular presence at rallies.

“Since the era of formal white supremacy – right before the Civil Rights Act when we ended [legal] segregation – since that time, this is the most enlivened that we've seen the white supremacist movement,” Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told ABC News.

And it’s not just the numbers that are cause for concern. As evidenced in Charlottesville and other cities, where much of the violence has stemmed from clashes with the violent far-left-leaning group antifa, white supremacy has moved from the dark corners of the internet into American streets, bringing the threat of violence along with it.

2. White supremacists are responsible for more violence than any other current domestic extremist movement.

According to a May 10 intelligence bulletin obtained by Foreign Policy, the FBI and DHS warned that white supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement” and that these groups “likely will continue to pose a threat of lethal violence over the next year.”

The mass killing at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church carried out by Dylann Roof, the deadly train stabbings in Portland by suspect and “known white supremacist” Jeremy Christian, the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, which was carried out by white supremacist Wade Michael Page, and the aforementioned violence in Charlottesville – in which attendees were instructed by prominent white supremacist figures like Mike “Enoch” Peinovich and The Daily Stormer to bring weapons – are just a few of the more well-known incidents.

White supremacist Christopher Cantwell received widespread attention after being filmed in a Vice documentary about the Charlottesville rally, in which he’s quoted as saying: “These people want violence, and the right is just meeting a market demand." Cantwell has a history of violent threats that also extends to law enforcement.

He has called for overthrowing the government and advocated killing “government agents.” He celebrated the ambush killings of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and said he once considered going on a bloody rampage like Vegas police ambush killer Jerad Miller.

Recently, news broke that federal investigators uncovered what they believed to be a “credible threat” to the public by neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division. While investigating the murder of two members by another member who converted to Islam, police found materials for explosives in the garage of their residence.

Devon Arthurs, the suspect in the murders, told police his victims were planning a terror attack "because they want to build a Fourth Reich."

3. Who are these groups?

Although white supremacist, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups number in the hundreds, there are some that have received particular attention in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

One you may be most familiar with is Vanguard America. VA’s slogan, “Blood and Soil,” was heard among the chants in Charlottesville during the torch march the night prior to the rally that turned deadly. And James Alex Fields, the suspect in the car attack that killed Heather Heyer, was seen posing with VA at the rally prior to the killing (the group later denied that Fields was a member). VA’s leader, Dillon Irizarry, said earlier this year that the group had around 200 members, with representation in 20 states.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, at a rally with other white supremacist groups in April, VA became a member of the Nationalist Front – an umbrella organization led by Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party and Jeff Schoep of the neo-Nazi Nationalist Socialist Movement (Cantwell is also associated with these two groups). Among other groups in the NF alliance: the KKK, Aryan Nations, and Phineas Priesthood.

Heimbach is considered one of the most prominent faces of the modern white supremacist movement. He founded the Traditionalist Youth Network in 2013 and also had a leadership role in the neo-Confederate League of the South. The aforementioned Traditionalist Workers Party is a political offshoot of TYN created to run in local elections, which Heimbach says will happen in 2018. Heimbach was a major presence at the “Unite the Right” rally and helped promote it. He also made headlines for shoving a protester at a Donald Trump rally last year and subsequently suing Trump for indemnity in connection with the assault.

When asked if the outcome of Charlottesville was what he had hoped for, Heimbach told the New York Times:

“We achieved all of our objectives. We showed that our movement is not just online, but growing physically. We asserted ourselves as the voice of white America.”

The TWP was also responsible for putting on the rally in Sacramento last year that led to mass stabbings and other injuries during a clash between white supremacists and antifa.

4. The federal government previously expressed concern about the possibility of a growing threat.

The FBI has investigated potential infiltration of white supremacist groups into law enforcement. In a 2006 report obtained by The Intercept, the agency detailed its discovery of a white supremacist group that was encouraging “ghost skins” (defined as “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes”) to join the ranks of police agencies as a way to give white supremacist groups advance warning of any investigations into their activities.

In 2009, a DHS report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” stated that “The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” The report sparked a political backlash, and in response, DHS “cut the number of personnel studying domestic terrorism unrelated to Islam, canceled numerous state and local law enforcement briefings, and held up dissemination of nearly a dozen reports on extremist groups,” according to the Washington Post.

The government continues to divert resources from investigations into white supremacist groups. Earlier this year, the DHS cut grant funding to “Life After Hate,” an outreach and intervention organization focused on white supremacists.

5. How is the issue being combated now?

In the wake of Charlottesville, some states have introduced legislation that would classify white supremacist groups as terrorists and politicians from both sides of the aisle have come out on social media to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

And police agencies are beefing up manpower at rallies where white supremacist groups are expected to show. In San Francisco, for example, every single officer in the city was on duty in anticipation of an Aug. 26 “free speech” rally, which was eventually canceled by its organizers.

In the private sector, tech companies like Google, GoDaddy, Spotify, Apple, PayPal and Facebook have made moves to cut white supremacists out of their platforms.


Officials: No immigration enforcement at Harvey relief sites

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

Undocumented immigrants seeking relief and shelter from Hurricane Harvey won’t be arrested or have to show ID, officials said.

FEMA, ICE and the city of Houston have all confirmed that immigration enforcement is not their main priority during Hurricane Harvey. They want to make sure people stay safe.

In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said their highest priorities are “to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible and the speedy recovery of the region.”

Under the “rumor control” tab on their website, FEMA wrote that ICE and CBP agents will not be conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites like shelters and food banks. However, if local law enforcement informs ICE of an undocumented immigrant at a relief site that “presents a public safety threat, ICE will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about the appropriate enforcement actions.”

Additionally, the city of Houston said in a tweet that they “will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter.” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told ABC News that he would represent any immigrant facing deportation after seeking relief from the storm.

“If you are in a stressful situation, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you’re religion is, I don’t care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have,” Turner said.

We will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter. This rumor is FALSE!

— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) August 29, 2017


Houston emergency officials: Stay out of the water

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — The continuous flooding in Houston is displacing more than humans—bayou animals such as alligators, snakes and fire ants are all looking for higher ground as well.

Meyerland Patch reported that Houston emergency officials warned residents to stay out of the water because of unseen hazards lurking inside.

The Houston Gator Squad, a group that removes alligators from unwanted places, retrieved its first alligator Saturday, but is preparing for what they believe will be a busy week.

“Alligators that show up on your property during flooding and heavy rain are not seeking you out for food or trying to be aggressive,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “They are trying to deal with the weather like the rest of us.”

The Texas Cooperative Extension Service said that fire ants are clinging together to form a living flotilla to make it through the flood. The floating fire ant colonies can inhabit around 500,000 fire ants.

According to the Houston Zoo, there are 34 species of snakes in the city, which are also being dredged up. Six of the 34 species are venomous, including the Texas coral snake and three species of rattlesnakes, the western cottonmouth and the southern copperhead.

The Gator Squad in Houston is warning people of danger and telling them to leave the alligators alone: https://t.co/I5dnouNH9r pic.twitter.com/LJMp8uFP4u

— KLTV 7 (@KLTV7) August 28, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

WATCH OUT FOR GATORS, Y'ALL: Yup, this one was caught right here in Meyerland. The Texas Gator Squad safely relocated it to El Campo. Randy Wallace FOX 26 http://bit.ly/2wI6f4i

Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fire ants form a protective island as they float out the #Houston flood pic.twitter.com/UBORwAzA4R

— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) August 27, 2017

Pro tip: Don't touch the floating fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey pic.twitter.com/uwJd0rA7qB

— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) August 27, 2017

Photos: Flooding brings alligators and floating fire ants to Houston area https://t.co/Lf0SpsphYM #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/fE1a53HYQB

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 28, 2017


Harvey’s hidden hazards: Gators, snakes and fire ants

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — The continuous flooding in Houston is displacing more than humans—bayou animals such as alligators, snakes and fire ants are all looking for higher ground as well.

Meyerland Patch reported that Houston emergency officials warned residents to stay out of the water because of unseen hazards lurking inside.

The Houston Gator Squad, a group that removes alligators from unwanted places, retrieved its first alligator Saturday, but is preparing for what they believe will be a busy week.

“Alligators that show up on your property during flooding and heavy rain are not seeking you out for food or trying to be aggressive,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “They are trying to deal with the weather like the rest of us.”

The Texas Cooperative Extension Service said that fire ants are clinging together to form a living flotilla to make it through the flood. The floating fire ant colonies can inhabit around 500,000 fire ants.

According to the Houston Zoo, there are 34 species of snakes in the city, which are also being dredged up. Six of the 34 species are venomous, including the Texas coral snake and three species of rattlesnakes, the western cottonmouth and the southern copperhead.

The Gator Squad in Houston is warning people of danger and telling them to leave the alligators alone: https://t.co/I5dnouNH9r pic.twitter.com/LJMp8uFP4u

— KLTV 7 (@KLTV7) August 28, 2017 (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

WATCH OUT FOR GATORS, Y'ALL: Yup, this one was caught right here in Meyerland. The Texas Gator Squad safely relocated it to El Campo. Randy Wallace FOX 26 http://bit.ly/2wI6f4i

Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fire ants form a protective island as they float out the #Houston flood pic.twitter.com/UBORwAzA4R

— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) August 27, 2017

Pro tip: Don't touch the floating fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey pic.twitter.com/uwJd0rA7qB

— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) August 27, 2017

Photos: Flooding brings alligators and floating fire ants to Houston area https://t.co/Lf0SpsphYM #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/fE1a53HYQB

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) August 28, 2017


Chicago cop who opened fire on stolen car in 2013 found guilty of civil rights charges

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — An officer who wounded two teenagers when he opened fire on a stolen vehicle in 2013 was found guilty Monday of federal civil rights charges.

Marco Proano, 42, allegedly fired several shots into the stolen car as it backed up after police stopped the car for speeding, WLS reported. Two teenagers were wounded in the shooting and Proano was charged in 2016 with federal civil rights violations for using unreasonable force and causing bodily injury.

A defense attorney said during the trial that Proano made a split second decision when he opened fire. Dash cam video shows the stolen car reversing and then driving away from officers.

Proano arrived on the scene after two other officers came across the car full of at least six teenagers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The driver fled before Proano arrived, and as he approached the scene, Proano saw the car suddenly reverse with one teen hanging out a window. Another person jumped from the backseat, put the car in reverse and pushed the gas pedal with his hands.

Proano is seen in dash camera footage stepping forward with his gun drawn as the vehicle reverses. He steps back then forward again and he opens fire. Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis said Proano fired 16 shots. A police statement released to the Associated Press at the time of the shooting said the officer opened fire out of fear that the "occupants who had been in the vehicle were in a position to sustain great bodily harm.”

The jury found Proano guilty after less than four hours of deliberation, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He faces up to 20 years in prison, 10 years for each civil rights violation.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said in a statement that they were “disappointed in the jury’s verdict.”

“The pressure on the police is making the job extremely difficult,” Graham said. “It seems that the criminal elements in our society are not accountable in our justice system, while the police face an intense scrutiny for every split second decision they make. We will meet with our legal advisers to consider the next steps."


Quiz: Are these long guns real or fake?

Posted on August 29, 2017 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Police departments have long warned the public about the dangers of replica guns. A split-second decision can mean the difference between life and death, and there is no training in the world that can teach police officers how to differentiate fake from real when mere seconds count. The following photos shared by police departments are of replica and real long guns. With all the time in the world (which officers in the field do NOT have), can you tell which of these long guns are real or fake? Take the quiz below. Think you can accurately identify replica handguns? You can find our quiz on those here. For information about how cops can educate the public about the dangers of replica guns, click here.