Father of pipeline protester injured in explosion says she may lose arm

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Blake Nicholson and Amy Forliti Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. — A New York woman seriously hurt protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline faces multiple surgeries and could lose an arm, her father said Tuesday, and protesters and law enforcement gave conflicting accounts about what might have caused the explosion that injured her.

Sophia Wilansky, 21, was listed in serious condition and was undergoing surgery at a Minneapolis hospital.

Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, said his daughter was hurt when law enforcement threw a grenade. The Morton County Sheriff's Office maintains authorities did not use concussion grenades or any devices that produce a flash or bang during a clash late Sunday and early Monday near the camp along the pipeline route in southern North Dakota where protesters have gathered for months.

The sheriff's office suggested in a statement Monday that an explosion heard during the skirmish might have been caused by small propane tanks that authorities said protesters had rigged to explode.

Dallas Goldtooth, a protest organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Wayne Wilansky disputed the claim by authorities, saying "there's multiple witnesses and my daughter, who was completely conscious, said they threw a grenade right at her."

The North Dakota Highway Patrol in a statement Tuesday backed up the sheriff's office's version of events, saying officers during the skirmish spotted protesters with "multiple silver cylinder objects."

"It was at this time an explosion occurred and several protesters ran to the area, pulled a female from under the burned vehicle, and fled the scene," the patrol said.

Officers who investigated found 1-pound propane tanks "including one that appeared to be intentionally punctured," the agency statement said.

During the clash, officers using tear gas, rubber bullets and water sprays against protesters who they say assaulted officers with rocks, asphalt, water bottles and burning logs. One officer was injured when struck in the head with a rock. At least 17 protesters were injured severely enough to be taken to hospitals, according to Goldtooth.

Wayne Wilansky denounced the law enforcement tactics, saying "this is not Afghanistan, this is not Iraq. We don't throw grenades at people."

Morton County Sheriff's office spokeswoman Maxine Herr on Tuesday said "authorities continue to defend our tactics."

A GoFundMe account for Wilansky had raised more than $194,000 in 18 hours, with more than 7,200 people contributing. It was the highest trending account on Monday night, according to GoFundMe spokeswoman Kate Cichy.

The $3.8 billion pipeline to carry North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois is largely complete outside of a stretch under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe and others have been opposing the construction for months, saying the pipeline threatens the tribe's drinking water along with American Indian cultural sites.

Protests have intensified as the dispute plays out, with total arrests since August reaching 528 on Monday.

North Dakota officials may need to borrow more money to police protests, with costs exceeding the $10 million in emergency spending authorized by the state.

Total state law enforcement costs related to the protests reached $10.9 million last week, according to state Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong. Morton County has spent an additional $8 million.

Fong said it's "very likely" officials will go back to the state's Emergency Commission to request more money.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners, told The Associated Press last Friday that he made a verbal offer to reimburse the state for policing costs during an earlier conversation with Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Dalrymple's spokesman, Jeff Zent, said the governor doesn't recall Warren making an offer and that even if one was made, it's unclear whether the state could legally accept it.

"The bottom line is the governor has not received a formal (offer), nor are we seeking one out," Zent said, adding that "our focus is to continue to press the Obama administration to help cover these costs."


Detroit university officer shot, manhunt underway

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

DETROIT — An officer who works for a major university in Detroit has been shot while on duty off campus, a Wayne State University statement posted on the school's website said Tuesday night, while armed officers continued to search the area of the shooting.

The victim was shot a few blocks southwest of the school, Officer Shanelle Williams said. The school statement said he was injured and taken to a local hospital, Detroit Receiving.

The school has more than 27,000 students and is located in the heart of Detroit.

Detroit Police, MSP, ATF, & more w/ grid search. Cop found on ground outside police car shot in head. DPD Chief says appears to be ambush. pic.twitter.com/D61asWXzp3

— Rod Meloni (@RodMeloni) November 23, 2016

Several dozen armed officers from the Detroit police and Michigan state police were seen in the residential area of Woodbridge near campus.

The shooting occurred at around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday and follows four recent incidents in which law enforcement officers were shot.

The shootings of police officers in Texas and Missouri on Sunday were the latest in what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks. A San Antonio detective was fatally shot, and a St. Louis officer was shot twice in the face but survived.

Police officers were also shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, but authorities have not suggested those were targeted attacks.

One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Wayne State University Police Officer shot in head in stop of man on bicycle. Command post set up. Manhunt underway. pic.twitter.com/a8FwdAbN43

— Rod Meloni (@RodMeloni) November 23, 2016

How command presence can hurt police officers in court

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Val Van Brocklin

One essential tool officers are trained in for their street confrontations is command presence. When I ask officers to describe it (beyond a sharp uniform), they explain that command presence is:

• An air of authority. • Decisiveness. • Firmness. • An air of invincibility. • Communicating that an officer is fully in control of situation. • Demands respect.

Officers explain that command presence isn’t communicated so much by what an officer says, as how it is said and displayed in non-verbal body language. Officers’ comments on internet forums about command presence say they’ve known 5-foot-1-inch, 110-pound female officers who had it in spades, and 6-foot-2-inch, 250-pound male officers who couldn’t muster any.

Command presence is communicating in a way that makes others believe and accept you are in charge. It can be critical to officer and citizen safety in law enforcement situations.

How we decide whether we believe someone Courtroom credibility is the degree to which the jury believes you, and therefore, accepts your testimony. It can be challenging in a confrontation with an experienced defense attorney whose white-hot, focused purpose is to discredit you. Defense attorneys know if they can raise a doubt about a police officer’s credibility it may cause the jury to doubt the credibility of the case.

As in street confrontations, how an officer appears to jurors may be as important as what the officer says. An explanation for this can be found in an often cited study conducted by UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian in which he and his researchers concluded that what we communicate is made up of:

• Seven percent what we say. • 38 percent how we say it - our voice volume, tone and pitch. • 55 percent non-verbal body language, gestures and demeanor.

The Reid Technique of interrogation recognizes this hard-wired human behavior when it trains interviewers on non-verbal signs of deception that run contrary to what a suspect is saying.

Jurors may decide whether they believe an officer based on the 93 percent of communication that has nothing to do with what the officer says. This explains why some testifying officers can make honest mistakes in what they say and still be found credible. It also explains how an officer may tell the objective truth, get the seven percent correct and still be doubted.

Street credibility may not equal courtroom credibility Command presence is a very effective tool in gaining the credibility to win street confrontations. Research strongly suggests it may not be an effective tool in achieving the credibility to win courtroom confrontations.

Jury research shows:

• A witness will be seen as more credible if she testifies, in part, in a way that runs counter to her interest or the position of the side she is testifying for. • Consistency is important. Jurors look to see if what you say matches how you say it and how you behave when you say nothing at all. Sarcastic, defensive, hostile or belligerent expressions weaken credibility. • Witnesses who show respect to the process and others such as the judge, both attorneys and the jurors are viewed as more credible. • Witnesses who treat jurors as their equal and as intelligent adults are seen as more credible. • A witness will be perceived as more credible if he or she is not arrogant. Arrogance suggests you don’t listen to or value others’ ideas and opinions and put yourself above others.

I ask officers what the opposite of arrogance is. Humility, they say. Humility is not a hallmark of command presence.

The first item above seems counter-intuitive. You can actually strengthen your credibility by candidly conceding a point to the defense attorney or readily admitting you made a mistake. Remember, if an officer made a mistake that left a reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt, the officer isn’t in court in a criminal trial.

The defense attorney wants to put you on trial and make you defensive. What kind of people act defensive? Guilty people. That’s what the jury will see more than what the officer says. It can be a hard trap to avoid when officers are ingrained to take charge and command of situations. Let it go. You’re not on trial. Look for opportunities to be humble, respectful and admit you made a mistake – even with the defense attorney.

Different arenas call for different tools Many prosecutors fail to properly prepare officers to testify. If they conduct pretrial preparation at all, they usually focus exclusively on what the officer is going to say. I’m trying to change that in my training of prosecutors and officers.

Fortunately, cops are amazingly adaptive. They can go from hooking and booking an assaultive drunk to distracting and comforting a toddler rescued from a crash that killed her father by pointing to the emergency responder lights and singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The courtroom arena can be similarly challenging. A firm, commanding, authoritarian presence effective on the street may not be nearly as credible in court as an open, thoughtful, considerate, humble one. Armed with the right research, I know officers will be able to be just as adaptive in court to most effectively protect and serve as they are on the street.


Police: Miss. deli workers refused to serve cop

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MOSS POINT, Miss. — Police said two employees at a local grocery store refused to serve an officer Sunday.

Sgt. Doug Adams and the manager of the Piggly Wiggly reviewed footage that shows the workers acknowledging Officer Scott Clayton, but refusing to serve him, the Sun Herald reported.

“One worker walked to the back of the deli and it appears he asks the two at the counter if they could help him, but they did not,” Adams said.

According to WXXV, Clayton’s finance wrote in a Facebook post that the employees turned their backs and said, “I’m not serving him.”

Manager Barry Carmack told the publication they’re investigating why the employees refused service, but they could lose their jobs.

“It’s not something we tolerate,” Carmack said. “We will do everything we can to rectify this.”


Suspect in killing of Texas cop got married in time between ambush and arrest

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SAN ANTONIO — The suspect in the killing of Det. Benjamin Marconi got married in the time between the ambush and his arrest.

According to My San Antonio, Otis Tyrone McKane, 31, obtained a marriage license and a waiver which allowed him to marry without waiting the customary 72-hour period.

Marconi, 50, was fatally ambushed in his car near the department Sunday.

McKane said he was upset about a custody battle and “lashed out at someone who didn't deserve it."

McKane was arrested Monday without incident. A woman and a two-year-old child were in the car as well, the publication reported.


Photo of crying suspect posted online by Fla. sheriff’s office draws criticism

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is facing criticism after posting a photo of a suspect being arrested.

Marquis Porter was arrested Friday after allegedly intentionally running a deputy off the road and holding 9.5 grams of meth, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The office then posted a photo on Facebook and Twitter of Porter crying with two deputies holding his hair back. The office told the publication they do this with every suspect as a part of growing their social media following.

"This criminal is not different than any criminal we post about every single day," spokeswoman Melanie Snow said. "He was a threat to the community before. It's important the community know he is in custody and no longer a threat to them."

Sad Criminal of the Day: Ran Dep. off road, initiated pursuit in car, fled on foot, tracked by K9 Shep, found with 9.5g of meth...he cried. pic.twitter.com/xUewS6QBqT

— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) November 18, 2016

Critics are concerned that if a person is caught, but not yet convicted, the posts could cause issues later.

Attorney Steve Romine said the post could affect Porter’s case. He said no matter the evidence, he is innocent until proven guilty after a trial. He also told the publication that if the charges are dropped, Porter could sue for libel.

Retired police chief John DeCarlo said that his department treated social media like press releases given to the media.

"Just because social media is organic doesn't mean it should be any less structured, vetted and professional," he said. "I wouldn't have posted a picture like that. That would still be in the case file."


Robbery goes awry in Austria after suspect finds bank closed

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

VIENNA — This robbery failed before it began. The bank was closed.

Austrian police have arrested a man who they say tried to rob a bank in Vienna — but arrived too early.

Police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer says the 45-year old suspect entered the bank foyer Tuesday armed with a gas pistol and with a hood drawn over his head but 15 minutes before opening time.

He says that passers-by alerted police after the man hid his weapon under newspapers and paced nervously as he waited for the main doors to open.

The man wasn't identified in line with Austrian privacy laws. Police say his planned getaway vehicle was a stolen scooter.


US: Denver sheriff illegally excluded non-citizens in hiring

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

By Sadie Gurman Associated Press

DENVER — The Denver Sheriff Department will pay $10,000 and change its hiring practices after the Justice Department found it broke the law by excluding job candidates who were not U.S. citizens, according to the terms of a settlement agreement announced Monday.

The federal agency's investigation found Colorado's largest sheriff's department illegally required deputy sheriff applicants to be U.S. citizens and posed job ads with citizenship requirements.

The practice went on from Jan. 1, 2015, to March 23, when the troubled department was on a push to hire more deputies as part of a far-reaching reform effort.

The Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision's requires most employers to consider people who are not U.S. citizens, as long as they have a work permit.

Yet the federal law also allows police departments to impose hiring restrictions based on citizenship status as long as they are the result of state law or government mandate, not internal policies.

More than 40 states have rules in place keeping law enforcement agencies from hiring non-citizens. Only Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Vermont and West Virginia have no such statewide citizenship restrictions, according to an October Justice Department report addressing the subject.

Though permitted in some places, "this requirement may prevent a considerable number of racial and ethnic minorities — many of whom have valuable foreign language skills — from being hired by law enforcement agencies," according to the report on diversifying law enforcement.

The Justice Department has sanctioned other agencies for citizenship requirements.

The Eugene, Oregon, police department agreed in August 2015 to pay fines and retrain its employees after the Justice Department found the city asked police officer applicants about their citizenship status to exclude applicants who were not U.S. citizens.

And the Justice Department began monitoring the hiring practices of the Arapahoe County sheriff's office in suburban Denver in 2013, after an investigation showed it improperly restricted jobs to citizens, when no law allowed it.

Denver sheriff spokesman Simon Crittle said the roughly 890-member department did not know it had broken the law.

"While we didn't commit this violation intentionally, we accept responsibility and are taking steps to clarify policy and amend language in hiring documents," Crittle said.

Sheriff's officials must now reconsider disqualified candidates without regard to their citizenship, according to the settlement agreement. The department will also re-train staff and revise its policies to adhere to federal law.

Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said in a statement that eliminating the unlawful citizenship requirement will ensure the sheriff department hires the most qualified applicants.


Suspect in deadly ambush of Texas officer upset over custody battle

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Jim Salter and David Warren Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — The suspect arrested in the ambush shooting of a San Antonio police detective has said he was angry about a child-custody battle and "lashed out at somebody who didn't deserve it."

Otis Tyrone McKane was being led by police to the Bexar County Jail late Monday when he told reporters that he was angry with the court system for not letting him see his son and took it out on Detective Benjamin Marconi.

"I've been through several custody battles, and I was upset at the situation I was in, and I lashed out at someone who didn't deserve it," McKane said. He said he wanted to apologize to the family of the slain officer.

McKane, 31, of San Antonio, was arrested on a capital murder charge Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of Marconi. The detective was shot as he sat in his squad car Sunday after making a traffic stop. Authorities have said a gunman walked up to Marconi's driver's-side window and fired.

It was one of several weekend attacks against law enforcement in multiple states.

The San Antonio detective and officers shot in Missouri and Florida were conducting routine tasks Sunday when they became the targets of violence. Marconi was writing a traffic ticket.

"I think the uniform was the target and the first person that happened along was the first person that (the suspect) targeted," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

In Missouri, a St. Louis police sergeant was shot twice in the face Sunday evening while he sat in traffic in a marked police vehicle. He was released from a hospital Monday.

Law enforcement officials say there's been an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks. Sixty officers, including the San Antonio detective, were shot to death on the job this year, compared with 41 in all of 2015, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Of the 60 killed, 20 were purposely targeted by their assailant compared with eight last year, the group said.

Police officers also were shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, but authorities have not suggested those were targeted attacks. All the shootings come less than five months after a black military veteran killed five white officers at a protest in Dallas — the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Race was a factor in the Dallas attack, but police have not said if race played a part in any of the attacks on Sunday. In San Antonio, the suspect is black and the officer was white. In St. Louis, the suspect was black, but police have not released the officer's race. Most killings of police officers are carried out by white men, and most people shot and killed by police are white, said Craig W. Floyd, president of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Chief McManus said McKane was arrested on a capital murder warrant without incident after the car he was riding in was stopped Monday afternoon on an interstate.

McManus said earlier that he doesn't believe the suspect has any relationship to the motorist who was pulled over initially.

Surveillance video shows the suspect at San Antonio police headquarters about four hours before the 50-year-old Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the force, was shot. The suspect asked a desk clerk a question but left before receiving an answer, said McManus, who declined to say what the man asked.

"I don't know why he was in headquarters. We have some ideas," he said.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson declined to name the 46-year-old officer who was shot and wounded there. He said the officer is a married father of three and has been with the department for about 20 years.

"This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer's window," Dotson said.

The suspect, 19-year-old George P. Bush III, was wanted for questioning in recent violent crimes that included several robberies, a carjacking and perhaps a killing, Dotson said without elaborating.

"We believe he knew he was good for those crimes and that we were looking for him," Dotson said. "That's why he aggressively attacked a police officer."

Police said Bush was later killed in a shootout with officers.

On July 7, Micah Johnson shot and killed five law enforcement officers who had been working to keep the peace at a protest in downtown Dallas over the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. Ten days after that attack, a man wearing a ski mask and armed with two rifles and a pistol killed three officers near a gas station and convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And earlier this month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area police officers were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

"It's always difficult, especially in this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country," McManus said.


Fla. sheriff’s deputy killed by traffic during foot pursuit

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

YULEE, Fla. — Authorities say a Florida sheriff's deputy who was chasing a suspect on foot died when he was struck by oncoming traffic.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper tells local news outlets that 32-year-old Deputy Eric Oliver was struck by a vehicle around 7:30 a.m. in Yulee, which is near Jacksonville.

Leeper says Oliver had worked for the department for just over seven years and has a 6-year-old daughter.

Television news reports say sheriff's cruisers and fire department vehicles escorted an ambulance carrying the deputy's body away from the scene of the crash.

No further details were immediately available.

RIP Deputy Eric Oliver - You were doing your job well and you will be missed! #NassauEM says be thankful every day and hug your loved ones. pic.twitter.com/0BgUzXxML0

— NassauEM (@NassauEM) November 22, 2016

Officers seen escorting an ambulance down SR-200. Our @FCNLindsey is one the way to the scene of a fatality involving a Nassau deputy pic.twitter.com/wWFqxDRq9y

— Katie Jeffries (@Katie_Jeffries) November 22, 2016

Chicago shootings down another weekend, but violence still draws national attention

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Gun violence in Chicago declined for the second weekend in a row, but the shooting death of a congressman's grandson thrust the city back into the national spotlight.

Javon Wilson, the 15-year-old grandson of Rep. Danny Davis, was among nine people killed between Friday afternoon and Sunday night.

Nineteen other people were wounded by gunfire, including four who were hit as they sat in a car in the North Austin neighborhood on the Northwest Side, according to police.

This was the second straight weekend that shootings decreased in Chicago after a bloody end to October, when 17 people were killed and 42 others were wounded over the last weekend, according to data kept by the Tribune.

There have been nearly 700 homicides in the city so far this year and nearly 4,000 people shot, a level of violence not seen in Chicago since the late 1990s, according to Tribune and police data.

But it wasn't the numbers that drew national attention this weekend. It was the shooting death of Jovan over a pair of gym shoes, according to police.

Jovan was arguing with two other teens about a pair of borrowed gym shoes Friday evening when the confrontation escalated and Jovan was shot dead in his Englewood home in the 5600 block of South Princeton Avenue. The teens have been charged with murder.

"I grieve for my family," Davis said at a news conference over the weekend. "I grieve for the young man who pulled the trigger. I grieve for his family, his parents, his friends, some of whom will never see him again."

Later Friday night, Chicago police officers shot and killed a man they say was shooting at another man in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, authorities said.

The officers were in a marked car near the 2000 block of West 69th Street when they saw someone firing at a 26-year-old man, police said. They parked, got out of their car and ran toward the gunman as he kept firing, according to authorities.

The officers drew their weapons and fired, hitting the man several times. He was identified as Darius Jones, of the 2000 block of West 68th Place.

The Independent Police Review Board was investigating, which is routine in police-involved shootings.


Minn. officer’s attorney says DA overstepped

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Chao Xiong and Brandon Stahl Star Tribune

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An attorney for officer Jeronimo Yanez accused Ramsey County Attorney John Choi of overstepping when he laid out the case for charging Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.

Defense attorney Thomas Kelly criticized comments Choi made about the case at a news conference Wednesday, saying that they were "beyond the complaint and unnecessary and prejudicial." Kelly took issue with Choi's statement that "no reasonable officer -- knowing, seeing and hearing what officer Yanez did at the time -- would have used deadly force under these circumstances."

The defense will argue that Yanez's actions were justified, Kelly said in an interview Friday, "but I'm going to reserve the discussion of the facts for the courtroom."

Yanez, 28, a St. Anthony police officer, made his first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on Friday afternoon on three felony counts -- second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.

A second court date for Dec. 19 was set for Yanez at the hearing, where his attorneys waived a reading of the charges.

Two of Yanez's attorneys, Kelly and Earl Gray, and a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy escorted Yanez, dressed in a gray suit, into the courtroom through a side door.

Asked by Judge Mark Ireland if he was waiving his right to a second hearing within 28 days, Yanez replied, "That's correct, your honor," he said.

About 10 sheriff's deputies stood watch over the proceeding at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center as others were posted in the hallway outside, an unusually high level of security.

Yanez was charged via summons Wednesday. He turned himself in to the Ramsey County jail Thursday, where he was booked and released on his own recognizance.

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Richard Dusterhoft told the court Friday that there would be no change to Yanez's release status.

In an interview before the hearing, Kelly said that Yanez is under "tremendous pressure" and is disappointed with how the proceedings have unfolded in Ramsey County.

"It's difficult when your lifelong goal is to be a police officer and you're not able to work at your chosen profession," Kelly said.

Yanez will not ask for a speedy trial, he added.

Nakia Wilson, Castile's first cousin, said she attended Yanez's hearing because she wanted to look him in the face. Seeing Yanez made her body shake, she said.

Tyrone Terrill, president of the African-American Leadership Council, said he attended Yanez's hearing to support Castile and the fight for justice in officer-involved shootings.

"It's a long battle yet," Terrill said.

St. Anthony City Manager Mark Casey said Yanez's union, not the city, is paying for his defense.

Yanez's defense team -- Kelly, Gray and Paul Engh -- are well versed in handling high-profile cases.

Kelly represented former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, who was arrested in 2007 in an investigation into complaints of sexual encounters in men's bathrooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Engh is representing former Starkey Hearing Technologies executive Lawrence Miller, one of five executives charged with stealing more than $20 million from Starkey.

Gray successfully defended former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper when he was accused in 2005 of misdemeanor charges for alleged behavior on a boat on Lake Minnetonka that featured lap dances and sex toys.

Engh has said he's concerned about the amount of media attention his client's case has received and its influence on Yanez's right to a fair trial. But, he said, it's too early to say how the legal team will address that issue.

Clarence Castile, Philando Castile's uncle, said Friday that Castile's mother and other relatives are emotionally drained but inspired by the support.

"For the most part," Clarence Castile said, "people are just excited there was a positive decision."

According to the criminal complaint filed against Yanez: The officer pulled over Castile, 32, on Larpenteur Avenue near Fry Street in Falcon Heights because he matched the description of a suspect in a gas station robbery due to his "wide-set nose." The officer said Castile also had a nonworking brake light.

Castile complied with the stop and informed Yanez that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a valid permit. Soon afterward, Yanez shot at Castile seven times as Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter watched.

A Facebook Live video recorded by Reynolds showed him bleeding to death in the car as Yanez stood nearby with his gun drawn. The video turned Falcon Heights into the latest flash point in the national debate over police killings of black men.


Minn. officer’s attorney in Philando Castile case says DA overstepped

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Chao Xiong and Brandon Stahl Star Tribune

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An attorney for officer Jeronimo Yanez accused Ramsey County Attorney John Choi of overstepping when he laid out the case for charging Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.

Defense attorney Thomas Kelly criticized comments Choi made about the case at a news conference Wednesday, saying that they were "beyond the complaint and unnecessary and prejudicial." Kelly took issue with Choi's statement that "no reasonable officer -- knowing, seeing and hearing what officer Yanez did at the time -- would have used deadly force under these circumstances."

The defense will argue that Yanez's actions were justified, Kelly said in an interview Friday, "but I'm going to reserve the discussion of the facts for the courtroom."

Yanez, 28, a St. Anthony police officer, made his first appearance in Ramsey County District Court on Friday afternoon on three felony counts -- second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.

A second court date for Dec. 19 was set for Yanez at the hearing, where his attorneys waived a reading of the charges.

Two of Yanez's attorneys, Kelly and Earl Gray, and a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy escorted Yanez, dressed in a gray suit, into the courtroom through a side door.

Asked by Judge Mark Ireland if he was waiving his right to a second hearing within 28 days, Yanez replied, "That's correct, your honor," he said.

About 10 sheriff's deputies stood watch over the proceeding at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center as others were posted in the hallway outside, an unusually high level of security.

Yanez was charged via summons Wednesday. He turned himself in to the Ramsey County jail Thursday, where he was booked and released on his own recognizance.

Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Richard Dusterhoft told the court Friday that there would be no change to Yanez's release status.

In an interview before the hearing, Kelly said that Yanez is under "tremendous pressure" and is disappointed with how the proceedings have unfolded in Ramsey County.

"It's difficult when your lifelong goal is to be a police officer and you're not able to work at your chosen profession," Kelly said.

Yanez will not ask for a speedy trial, he added.

Nakia Wilson, Castile's first cousin, said she attended Yanez's hearing because she wanted to look him in the face. Seeing Yanez made her body shake, she said.

Tyrone Terrill, president of the African-American Leadership Council, said he attended Yanez's hearing to support Castile and the fight for justice in officer-involved shootings.

"It's a long battle yet," Terrill said.

St. Anthony City Manager Mark Casey said Yanez's union, not the city, is paying for his defense.

Yanez's defense team -- Kelly, Gray and Paul Engh -- are well versed in handling high-profile cases.

Kelly represented former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, who was arrested in 2007 in an investigation into complaints of sexual encounters in men's bathrooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Engh is representing former Starkey Hearing Technologies executive Lawrence Miller, one of five executives charged with stealing more than $20 million from Starkey.

Gray successfully defended former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper when he was accused in 2005 of misdemeanor charges for alleged behavior on a boat on Lake Minnetonka that featured lap dances and sex toys.

Engh has said he's concerned about the amount of media attention his client's case has received and its influence on Yanez's right to a fair trial. But, he said, it's too early to say how the legal team will address that issue.

Clarence Castile, Philando Castile's uncle, said Friday that Castile's mother and other relatives are emotionally drained but inspired by the support.

"For the most part," Clarence Castile said, "people are just excited there was a positive decision."

According to the criminal complaint filed against Yanez: The officer pulled over Castile, 32, on Larpenteur Avenue near Fry Street in Falcon Heights because he matched the description of a suspect in a gas station robbery due to his "wide-set nose." The officer said Castile also had a nonworking brake light.

Castile complied with the stop and informed Yanez that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a valid permit. Soon afterward, Yanez shot at Castile seven times as Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter watched.

A Facebook Live video recorded by Reynolds showed him bleeding to death in the car as Yanez stood nearby with his gun drawn. The video turned Falcon Heights into the latest flash point in the national debate over police killings of black men.


Police officers ‘keenly aware’ they are targets for violence

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Tammy Webber Associated Press

CHICAGO — The shootings of police officers in Texas and Missouri on Sunday were the latest in what law enforcement officials say is an alarming spike in ambush-style attacks.

One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The San Antonio detective was writing a traffic ticket in his squad car Sunday morning outside police headquarters when he was shot to death. A St. Louis police sergeant who was shot twice in the face Sunday evening while he sat in traffic in a marked police vehicle is expected to survive.

Police officers were also shot and injured during traffic stops in Sanibel, Florida, and Gladstone, Missouri, on Sunday night, but authorities have not suggested those were targeted attacks.

"Officers are at tremendous and growing risk; they're being targeted because of the uniform they wear and the job they do," said Craig W. Floyd, president of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Growing concern San Antonio Detective Benjamin Marconi was the 60th officer shot to death this year, compared to 41 in all of 2015, and the 20th to die in an ambush-style attack, compared to eight last year, Floyd said.

This year's targeted killings are the most since 1995, Floyd said. In fact, Marconi's was the fourth targeted slaying of an officer this month: On Nov. 2, two Iowa officers were killed in separate but related attacks. And on Nov. 10, a Pennsylvania officer was targeted as he responded to a domestic disturbance.

The worst single attack was in July, when a black military veteran killed five white officers at a protest in Dallas — the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001. Ten days later, a former Marine killed three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers.

"It is unusual, alarming and a real problem," Floyd said, adding that 44 officers have been killed in targeted attacks in the past three years.

Element of surprise An ambush-style attack does not necessarily involve someone lying in wait for police officers; it's any shooting designed to catch police off-guard and put them at a disadvantage, Floyd said.

"There usually is an element of surprise and concealment involved," he said, and it's unprovoked.

Police have been killed while writing reports, like Marconi was, or eating in restaurants. They've responded to 911 calls, only to have people shoot them as they get out of their cars. And in the Dallas shooting, they were targeted by someone in a building.

"In all the cases, the officers were essentially assassinated before they had any contact with the suspect or placed that suspect in jeopardy," said Nick Breul, the Memorial Fund's director of officer safety and wellness.

Race not the biggest factor The attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge came amid protests over the shootings of black men by white officers, and were carried out by black gunmen — but race is not always a motivating factor, Floyd said.

In fact, he said, white men are responsible for most police slayings, and the majority of people shot and killed by poIice are white.

Some officers have been killed by people who identify with the so-called sovereign citizen movement, whose adherents believe they're immune to most state and federal laws, including paying taxes and getting driver's licenses. Gavin Long, the Baton Rouge shooter, had filed documents last year declaring himself sovereign.

The man who shot and killed the two Iowa officers earlier this month as they sat in their patrol cars had a history of contacts with police, including a recent confrontation with officers at a high school football game. Others have been mentally ill.

"So much dialogue has centered around race relations, but there is a hatred in this country right now that's just gotten out of control," Floyd said. "There is a lack of respect for government in general, and the most visible and vulnerable symbol of government in America is patrolling our streets in marked cars."

Trying to stay safe Departments around the country are doing everything from pairing up officers to installing new technology on cruisers in an effort to keep officers safe.

Putting two officers in each squad car is more expensive and might mean that fewer calls can be handled at once, Floyd said. But he added that it's a good approach "if there is a greater sense of safety," even if officers aren't necessarily safer in pairs.

Other departments are installing sensors on squad cars that can alert officers when someone approaches.

Still, training is the best weapon, Floyd said. Officers are being reminded to practice "situational awareness," to expect the unexpected and to "never take any assignment for granted," he said.

"Every law enforcement officer is now keenly aware of being targeted," he said.


Ohio prosecutor to discuss potential new trial in fatal OIS

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — An Ohio prosecutor could soon announce whether there will be a new trial for a white former University of Cincinnati police officer, after a jury couldn't agree on a verdict in the fatal shooting of a black man during a traffic stop.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters scheduled a Tuesday morning news conference in the Ray Tensing case.

A judge declared a mistrial Nov. 12 when jurors deadlocked after deliberating some 25 hours on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose.

Tensing's attorney, Stewart Mathews, has asked the judge to acquit Tensing. He said Monday he expects Deters to retry Tensing on the same charges.

Tensing testified that he feared for his life when DuBose tried to drive away.

DuBose family members, the Cincinnati City Council and groups including faith leaders have pushed for a new murder trial.

Prosecutors said repeatedly during the trial the evidence contradicted Tensing's story. Deters said after the mistrial the jury was leaning toward a conviction on voluntary manslaughter.

The jury of 10 whites and two blacks was seated Oct. 31 for the first trial.

To convict Tensing, now 27, of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed DuBose, 43. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison with conviction. The voluntary manslaughter charge means the killing happened during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.

Deters had said immediately after the trial that he expected to make his decision by Nov. 28 on whether to retry Tensing. That's the date the judge set for a hearing in the case.

The case is one of several across the country calling attention to how police deal with blacks.


Ohio prosecutor to try police officer again for murder

Posted on November 22, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — An Ohio prosecutor said Tuesday he will again seek a murder conviction against a white former University of Cincinnati police officer, and wants to move the trial after a jury couldn't agree on a verdict in the fatal shooting of a black man during a traffic stop.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he wants to move the case to seat a jury that won't be feeling fear and community pressure in the Ray Tensing case. A judge declared a mistrial Nov. 12, when jurors deadlocked after deliberating some 25 hours on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose by the then-University of Cincinnati police officer. Deters will retry him on both counts, but said the murder charge is appropriate.

"It's my belief that Sam DuBose was murdered. Period," Deters said.

Tensing's attorney, Stewart Mathews, has asked the judge to acquit Tensing in the aftermath of the mistrial. He had asked to move the first trial because of pretrial publicity and comments by Deters and other local officials.

Mathews didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Nov. 28 before Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan.

Tensing testified in his trial that he feared for his life when DuBose tried to drive away.

Deters repeated Tuesday that the shooting wasn't justified, and that no one should be shot in the head for a traffic stop — DuBose was pulled over near the university campus for a missing front license plate.

"It troubles me deeply that this happened," Deters said.

DuBose family members, the Cincinnati City Council and groups including faith leaders have pushed for a new murder trial.

Prosecutors said repeatedly during the trial the evidence contradicted Tensing's story. Deters said after the mistrial the jury was leaning toward a conviction on voluntary manslaughter.

The jury of 10 whites and two blacks was seated Oct. 31 for the first trial.

To convict Tensing, now 27, of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed the 43-year-old DuBose. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison with conviction. The voluntary manslaughter charge means the killing happened during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.

The case is one of several across the country calling attention to how police deal with blacks.


4 key considerations for off-duty carry

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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

An off-duty Philadelphia Police Officer was shot Friday while he shielded his son from gunfire. Angelo Romero and his two-year-old son were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between a two rival groups of suspects aged between 15- and 18-years-old. Romero was shot in the hand. His son was not injured. Romero is recovering and is expected to be OK.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross later said, “He was just so, so lucky.”

At the time of the incident, Romero was unarmed. This fact raises once again the never-ending discussion about off-duty carry. What follows is in no way a criticism of Romero, whose actions that afternoon were truly heroic. But the topic of off-duty carry is too big an issue to ignore, especially when it is so starkly presented in the news headlines of the day. News like Officer Romero’s bravery last week creates an opportunity to revisit training and other consideration for off-duty carry. Here are four things to think about.

1. Choosing your equipment An off-duty gun is like a parachute. When you need it, you really, really need it, and nothing else will do. Like a parachute, you want to be sure that you’re packing the best possible equipment.

In an ideal world, you will be permitted to carry your duty weapon while off-duty, but we do not live in an ideal world. For many officers, their off-duty gun ends up being a different model, if not even a wholly different manufacturer than their on-duty rig.

The good news is that smaller and more-concealable versions of existing duty guns have recently come to the market. The Glock 43 and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield are both excellent single-stack 9mm auto pistols with mechanics that mirror their bigger brothers which sit on the hips of hundreds of thousands of American police officers.

Make a very deliberate decision about location of carry (appendix, hip, ankle) and be sure you select the best possible holster for you. There are countless good options in both leather and Kydex. I’m not a fan of pocket carry (for a host of reasons), but if that’s your selection, an absolute must is getting a pocket holster from Sticky.

You can elect to add a laser-grip from Crimson Trace, or upgrade your sights to a high-visibility option such as is available from HIVIZ Shooting Systems. Both options can lead to better performance.

Be sure to spend top-dollar for the best possible ammo — cheap ammo is for plinking — and purchase a couple of spare magazines and mag pouches.

Remember that the easiest element in off-duty carry is the shopping trip to your local firearms dealer.

Things only get much, much more difficult from there — starting with training.

2. Committing to training Simply carrying a gun off-duty is not enough — one must vigorously train to use it safely and effectively. This means putting hundreds — perhaps thousands — of rounds downrange, and doing so on regular and ongoing basis.

Bring your new off-duty set-up to the company range — assuming that’s within policy, of course — and get busy. Your marksmanship training may begin with the “dot-torture” drill or some other high-intensity accuracy drill. Move on to the “who’s your buddy” drill or some other hostage-shot exercise.

Practice drawing and moving to cover simultaneously. Practice drawing and shooting from a seated position — as if at a restaurant. Practice your verbalization skills.

Whenever possible, train with a buddy — so much the better if your buddy is a firearms instructor — because having someone present to observe and critique your work is very valuable. You may even elect to attend private training from a certified instructor who specializes in CCW tactics. Be sure to do your homework on the school and the instructor — there are some snake oil salesmen out there.

When you are at home, practice dry-fire manipulations and everything else that goes into running your gun at the highest possible level. Do your mental preparation with scenario visualizations and when/then thinking.

Remember to include your family in your training. They don’t necessarily have to go to the range with you — although that is also an option to consider in the event that you go down in the fight and they have to defend themselves. Develop a language between you and your spouse and you and your kids so when you suddenly yell ‘Get behind me!’ or ‘Get away from me!’ they instantly know what to do.

Train your family to immediately call 911 in the event of an off-duty shooting. They should be able to calmly but quickly describe your appearance, your location and your firearm.

Remember, when the time to preform arrives, the time to prepare has passed.

3. Picking your battles Sometimes, the battle picks you, and armed response is the only way to reasonably believe that survival of yourself or an innocent victim is possible. Recall that when 43-year-old Traci Johnson was about to be beheaded at a Vaughan Foods processing plant in 2014, the company’s chief operating officer — an off-duty Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Deputy named Mark Vaughan — shot and killed the attacker, saving Johnson’s life.

However, there are cases in which you are at such a tactical disadvantage that an armed response actually puts you in more danger than other options — most notably, seeking cover.

Remember that in Philadelphia on Friday, Romero was not the intended target — he and his son simply were caught in a lousy place at a lousy time. Had he been packing, and had he started uncorking rounds at the two warring groups, he and his son could well have become bullet magnets — not a good situation when you’re outnumbered and carrying little more than a single-stack 9mm or a six-shot .38 revolver.

Moving away from the fray and seeking solid cover is a viable option that simply must not be forgotten when you find yourself heavily outnumbered or outgunned.

Further, consider the fact that there are instances when an off-duty officer’s best course of action is to make the best possible witness for investigators. For a sheepdog, this can be a very difficult thing to do, because sheepdogs are creatures of action, not passivity. But getting into an off-duty beef can be a one-way ticket to another career, or a civil lawsuit, or both.

This reminds me, one of the most important things to have in your pocket in the event of an off-duty shooting is the name and telephone number of a good attorney. This is a relationship that has to be established when you first make the decision to carry off duty. Have this programed into your contacts list on your phone.

4. Welcoming the cavalry If you’re off-duty and you get into a shooting, as soon as the gunfire ends, you should prepare to immediately comply with commands of arriving uniformed officers. When the threat has been neutralized, reholstering the gun or even setting it on the ground is a good way to prevent a tragic blue-on-blue situation when the good guys get to the scene.

Once the uniforms get there, they run the show and you do your best imitation of a compliant citizen. Put yourself in the shoes of those arriving uniforms. Would you want a guy in plain clothes waving a badge and a gun around at a “shots fired” scene?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Stay safe out there my friends.


Suspect arrested in Texas detective’s shooting death

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A suspect has been arrested in the fatal weekend shooting of a San Antonio police detective.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Monday evening that 31-year-old Otis Tyrone McCain was arrested without incident in the Sunday night killing of Detective Benjamin Marconi. He was arrested around 4:30 p.m. Monday after the car he was driving was stopped on Interstate 10.

McManus had said previously that dashcam video from Marconi's patrol vehicle provided "a lot of information" for investigators about his death.

Marconi was shot as a he sat in his vehicle after making a traffic stop. Authorities have said a gunman walked up to Marconi's driver's-side window and fired.

Marconi was writing a ticket for a motorist at the time. Investigators have said that driver was not connected to the shooter.


5 things to know about sanctuary cities

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

Cole Zercoe
Author: Cole Zercoe

In the wake of Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory, police chiefs in a number of “sanctuary cities” have spoken out against the president-elect’s immigration policies, stating that they will not use their police force as an extension of federal immigration enforcement. The following is a brief breakdown of what you should know about sanctuary cities, as well as a summary of the arguments in what is likely to be a protracted battle between local law enforcement and the Trump administration.

1. What are sanctuary cities?

“Sanctuary city” is an imprecise term with multiple meanings. Generally, it is used for cities that are viewed as lenient toward undocumented immigrants. It can be used in reference to cities that don’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, such as ignoring federal requests to keep an undocumented immigrant detained. It is also used to refer to cities that enact policies that prevent local police or other city workers from asking about the immigration status of a person soley for the purpose of prosecuting them for violating immigration laws.

Los Angeles began enforcing a version of the latter definition in 1979 via a police mandate known as Special Order 40, which states, “Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code (Illegal Entry).”

Since then, a number of cities have become associated with the term. Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are just a few that have fallen under the label, although some city officials avoid the broad classification.

2. Sanctuary cities have come under fire before.

If the term sounds familiar, that’s because it was the focal point of a firestorm in San Francisco after the murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in July 2015. The suspect in the case, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is an undocumented immigrant with a long criminal history and multiple prior deportations. He was released by San Francisco police a few months prior to the murder, despite a federal request to keep him in custody.

Trump cited the case during his speech at this year’s Republican National Convention, saying, “My opponent wants sanctuary cities. But where was the sanctuary for Kate Steinle?"

The murder trial is set to begin in February.

3. What is Trump’s position on the issue?

Outlining Trump’s policies as he prepares for Inauguration Day is admittedly tricky, given that they are murky and subject to sudden shifts. But he has clearly taken a combative stance against cities that fall under the sanctuary category. As he prepares to deport as many as three million immigrants from the United States, he has threatened to block federal funding to any city with sanctuary policies.

4. Some police chiefs and other officials are taking a clear stance against Trump on the matter.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said last week, “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job,” the Los Angeles Times reported. He’s one of many chiefs who have outright rejected aiding the feds with immigration enforcement.

Here’s what Tuscon Police Chief Chris Magnus had to say on the issue, from the Arizona Daily Star: “It is important our residents understand that the policies and practices put in place over the past decade to direct and clarify how our officers interact with undocumented persons and handle immigration enforcement issues are not changing. We will not compromise our commitment to community policing and public safety by taking on immigration enforcement responsibilities that appropriately rest with federal authorities.”

And here’s a statement from the Denver Police Department, via the Denver Post: “Immigration enforcement is handled at the federal level — not by local law enforcement. The Denver Police Department has not participated in those enforcement efforts in the past and will not be involved in the future.”

Aurora, Chicago, Seattle, New York City, Nashville – the list goes on of police departments and city officials taking a stand against Trump.

5. This is an issue that agencies argue could potentially threaten investigations and public safety.

Law enforcement officials have argued that barring officers from asking subjects about their immigration status allows witnesses and victims to speak more freely about crimes, without fear of deportation.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Capt. Jeff Scroggin told the Times, “We just want people to come forward so we have a better community. It doesn’t matter whether they’re an immigrant or going through the process of citizenship. Whatever it is, we want to hear from them. We don’t want them to not cooperate. It’s important to keep the community safe.”

The concerns that a reversal of these policies would fracture communities and potentially threaten public safety come in an era when police agencies are arguably working harder to rebuild trust in their communities. While there’s no telling whether Trump will follow through on his threat to block funds to these cities come Jan. 20, or how cities will react to such a maneuver, there is no doubt this could get ugly.

Officers, what’s your stance on the issue? Do you serve in a sanctuary city? Sound off in the comments below.


Photos: Chicago cops throw birthday party for girls found in abandoned house

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — Local police threw an impromptu birthday party for two young girls they found in an abandoned house.

According to the department’s Facebook, officers responded to a call of unsupervised children in a home. When they arrived on the scene, they found three girls aged 7, 2, and 1.

After an evaluation at the hospital, the girls were placed with their grandmother. The department wrote that the grandmother was “very willing to take the girls, but has limited resources due to recently losing her job.”

For the past week, officers made stops by the apartment with clothes, food, toys, diapers, and furniture for the girls.

Officers also learned two of the three girls recently had birthdays. On their off time, the officers threw a birthday celebration for them.

“Officers gave birthday presents, along with cake and ice cream,” the department wrote. “These officers have shown compassion and generosity that is rarely captured. They make us proud to be CPD!”


Cops corral unlikely animal trio on the loose in Colo.

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado officers found some unlikely escapees while on patrol.

According to the Daily Camera, Boulder police found two sheep and a dog walking without their owners Sunday.

Boulder police tweeted that the animals were all returned to their owners safely.

"Something we don't see everyday!" the tweet read. "2 sheep and their dog friend decided to take themselves for a walk. All were safely returned to their owner."

Something we don't see everyday! 2 sheep and their dog friend decided to take themselves for a walk. All were safely returned to their owner pic.twitter.com/VPJBmJLgzT

— Boulder Police Dept. (@boulderpolice) November 21, 2016

Off-duty Philly officer shot while shielding son from gunfire

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — An off-duty officer was shot Friday while shielding his two-year-old son from gunfire.

Officer Angelo Romero was walking in a neighborhood with his son when a group of armed suspects opened fire at each other, NBC10 reported.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross told the news station the suspects are between 15- and 18-years-old.

Romero was shot in the hand.

Officials said Romero was unarmed and was not the intended target. His son was not injured.

"He was just so, so lucky. We are so glad that his 2-year-old was not struck and that he took immediate action to protect his son," Ross said.

Romero is recovering and is expected to be OK.


Ex-NBA all-star charged with threatening officer

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

HOUSTON — Former NBA all-star Steve Francis is charged with felony retaliation after prosecutors say he threatened to assault a police officer in the Houston area.

Court records show the 39-year-old Francis also faces a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge stemming from the Saturday incident. Online jail records show he was released on $5,500 bond. He's scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

KHOU-TV reports Francis was pulled over in Harris County, Texas, for speeding. The station says a deputy smelled alcohol and Francis was belligerent. The report says more deputies were called to the scene and Francis was arrested.

No attorney is listed for Francis in online court records.

Francis played for 11 seasons in the NBA, including seven in Houston.


Authorities say Texas, Mo. officers shot in ambushes

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Jamie Stengl and Jim Salter Associated Press

A police officer has been fatally shot in San Antonio, Texas, and another in St. Louis was shot in the face but is expected to survive, in what authorities are calling the latest in a series of target attacks on law enforcement.

The San Antonio detective was writing out a traffic ticket when he was shot to death in his squad car late Sunday morning outside police headquarters by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus identified the officer as Benjamin Marconi, 50, a 20-year veteran of the force.

Police said the search for a male suspect was still underway early Monday and that no arrest has been made. McManus said he doesn't believe the suspect has any relationship to the original motorist who was pulled over, and that no motive has been identified.

The St. Louis police sergeant was hospitalized in critical condition after he was shot twice as he sat in traffic in a marked police vehicle about 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

"This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer's window," Police Chief Sam Dotson said during a news conference.

Dotson declined to name the 46-year-old officer, but said he is a married father of three who has been with the department for about 20 years.

"Fortunately, for the blessing of God, the officer's going to survive," Dotson said.

Police reported early Monday that the suspect, who was wanted for other violent crimes, was later killed in a shootout with police.

At least two other police officers were also shot in other cities Sunday night, but it wasn't clear whether the incidents were targeted attacks.

An officer with the Gladstone, Missouri, police department near Kansas City was shot, while the suspect was shot and killed. A Sanibel, Florida, officer was shot in the shoulder during a traffic stop, and was treated for his injuries and released.

The attacks on police came less than five months after a gunman killed five officers in Dallas who were working a protest about the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Ten days after the Dallas attack, a man wearing a ski mask and armed with two rifles and a pistol killed three officers near a gas station and convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And earlier this month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area police officers were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

"It's always difficult, especially in this this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country," McManus said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the slaying of Marconi a "horrific act of violence." Abbott said in a statement that "attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice."


Newly promoted NOPD sergeant dies of stroke

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Matt Sledge The Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — An eight-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department died Tuesday from a stroke he suffered over the weekend, just days after he was promoted to sergeant.

The death of Sgt. Jeff Wellborn came shortly after that of a former officer who succumbed to injuries he suffered in an on-duty 2001 crash.

Wellborn, who most recently served in the 4th District in Algiers, was one of nine officers who were promoted to sergeant during a Thursday ceremony. In a statement, Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said Wellborn embodied the "true essence of community policing."

"I was extremely proud to promote him last week," Harrison said. "We will never forget the sacrifice he made to serve his community."

Wellborn, the father of two adult sons and a 16-year-old daughter, had used the occasion of his promotion ceremony to thank both his fellow officers and the people of the city.

"I want to really thank all of the ones I've worked with over the many years that I've been with the department, that have taught me how to be a police officer and how to make good decisions out on the street," Wellborn said. "But I'd also like to thank, basically, the people of New Orleans for giving us the opportunity to police them."

Mike Glasser, the president of the Police Association of New Orleans, said that Wellborn, 59, was older than the average officer when he joined the force. But he proved his mettle on the streets, Glasser said.

"He had a good outlook and a mature viewpoint on everything. Clearly he was selected to be a sergeant for a reason. It's tragic that he died so young," Glasser said.

Wellborn was off-duty when he suffered the stroke over the weekend.

His death came shortly after that of former officer Jude William Lewis, who died Nov. 8.

Lewis, an Army veteran who joined the NOPD in 1998, was behind the wheel of a police cruiser as he rushed to respond to a report of a fleeing assault suspect on June 1, 2001, according to a Times-Picayune article. His car spun out of control, striking a tree near Washington Avenue and Pine Street. He suffered severe brain injuries that sent him into a coma.

Lewis hung on to life but suffered serious effects from the crash, according to an article that appeared nine months after the incident. He was never able to return to duty.

Tyler Gamble, a Police Department spokesman, said it is believed that Lewis died as a result of his injuries in the crash.

"People always associate the danger of police work with being shot or being stabbed, but sometimes (it's) just being responsive," Glasser said. "A lot of time we forget just how dangerous that can be."

A memorial service for Lewis is set for Wednesday at Resurrection of Our Lord Church, 9701 Hammond St. Visitation begins at 9 a.m., with a Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell.

Wellborn's services will be Saturday at Parkview Baptist Church, 6301 Camphor St., Metairie. Visitation will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a funeral service at 6 p.m.


3 reasons your agency should invest in SceneDoc’s eCitations platform

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by SceneDoc.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

As more police agencies adopt mobile technologies, it’s important to leverage these tools to enhance one of the most common police functions: citations. A mobile electronic citations solution can improve police operations by increasing efficiency and reducing the number of devices an officer has to manage in the field.

SceneDoc’s new eCitations solution runs on the smartphones and tablets officers are already carrying. A mobile platform that works on any device, anywhere, means you can issue faster, more accurate citations, as well as collect information, submit reports and run queries in the field. The platform also turns citation data into actionable intelligence for your agency in real time.

1. Mobility boosts efficiency

Handwritten tickets take 15-20 minutes to complete. Electronic citations, using data automatically populated by scanning the driver’s ID, can complete the same form in seconds.

SceneDoc’s eCitations solution uses the cameras built into smartphones and tablets for these scans, consolidating the hardware and eliminating additional equipment for an officer to carry and manage.

“We want to start consolidating more of the functions that police rely on and need every day to devices that can be used for multiple things,” said Alex Kottoor, SceneDoc founder and CEO. “The more we can get officers using the devices that they’re familiar with using in their personal lives, they more they benefit.”

The platform is easily accessed from any mobile device. Further, citation information is shared across systems – no redundant data entry is needed. Electronic citations are added to your agency’s RMS and delivered to the courts digitally in minutes instead of days, making data analysis and scheduling much more efficient.

2. Electronic forms improve accuracy

The SceneDoc eCitations solution enables auto-fill, mandatory fields and “if/then” rules (sometimes referred to as progressive disclosure) that populate or skip fields as needed. This feature improves accuracy and efficiency, providing better data for the courts and for your agency’s analysis as well as reducing time spent issuing citations.

And a platform that is flexible and configurable means you can customize your eCitations to fit your agency’s needs.

With SceneDoc, your agency has full control of the eCitations module to manage what citations and forms get published to the officers. You can build your own forms, and the platform links citations data to populate existing fields in your agency’s system.

No vendor intervention is needed to add new forms, and there is no restriction on the number of citations or forms you can build in the system. This means predictable pricing with no surprises for easier budgeting.

SceneDoc eCitations also includes configurable ticket numbering and smart scheduling for court dates, eliminating cracks that offenders too often slip through.

3. Mobile citations data provides real-time intelligence

All data from SceneDoc eCitations is available immediately across the agency for search and analysis. In addition, the platform supports queries from state and national databases and makes it easy to connect to any required database.

With data entry happening in the field and moving to the server within seconds, one officer’s citations data becomes intelligence to others within the department immediately. The scanned license information is entered automatically, eliminating manual entry and room for human error, so you can trust that the data is accurate.

Supervisors can generate reports around citations issued as well as gain critical insight by analyzing activity by officer and geographical area through SceneDoc’s Timeline capability.

Timeline works like familiar social media feeds, providing a record of each task the user initiates as well as the data shared with that user. SceneDoc’s Timeline allows supervisors to view and compare what each officer in the unit is doing using a visualization dashboard.

Agencies can piece together a complete picture from multiple officers responding to one scene or incident. Timeline’s geographical features also support pattern analysis and searches by offense, description, area and other search parameters.

The software represents an important step toward mobile-centric policing, said Kottoor.

“Command staff are looking for ways to drive more of their police activities through a device like a smartphone, and as CAD and records systems start becoming more mobile-friendly, this will just become standard,” he said.

An eCitations platform that works on any smartphone, tablet or laptop enables your officers to be untethered from their vehicles. This mobility provides the officer with the critical tools for the job anytime, anywhere, improving efficiency, accuracy and access to data, as well as providing critical intelligence for your agency as a whole.


How ticket quotas negatively impact police morale and public trust

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Sgt. Glenn French

Traffic enforcement is one of the highest priority objectives of any police agency and the most common daily function of the uniformed officer. Traffic enforcement is necessary to analyze traffic patterns and enforce traffic laws for the prevention of traffic problems and vehicular accidents.

Most officers don’t enjoy traffic enforcement. It’s been my experience that officers don’t want to write tickets just to meet a quota (if a quota exists). Usually, officers only write traffic violations when they observe an obvious infraction. They likely do not enjoy targeting areas for traffic enforcement or writing a certain amount of tickets to satisfy a supervisor. There are plenty of traffic enforcement minded officers in our ranks to keep drivers honest, but many patrol officers feel traffic enforcement isn’t their priority.

This disparity in policing philosophy can often place leadership in difficult positions and often leads to some form of ticket quotas. Too often leadership simply places a number on an officer’s monthly performance and requires a certain number of violations to meet the minimum performance goal. This is a lazy way to require officers to meet their objectives. It also has the potential to be unethical and generate bad public relations.

I recently read an article about a sergeant who challenged his officers to compete for ticket production for a day off. This challenge was handwritten. A news agency got ahold of this note. This was a public relations nightmare for the chief and it created some public distrust. When this occurs, a complete breakdown in leadership develops.

Many of us have experienced sitting in the sergeant’s or lieutenant’s office during a performance evaluation and receiving a dissertation about ticket production. If you’re like me, you fight to stay focused on the conversation as your mind wanders while your supervisor’s bloviating lulls you to sleep. The conclusion of this lost moment in time typically ends with some magic number of total traffic tickets that should be issued for the month to keep you off the hot seat in the future.

During my patrol days, I didn’t care for traffic enforcement – when I wrote a violation to a motorist it was usually well deserved. I was fortunate enough to work for an agency that had a patrol bureau and traffic enforcement bureau. Therefore, the emphasis on traffic enforcement wasn’t as significant within the patrol bureau as it was within the traffic bureau. However, officers were still expected to produce traffic violations. This type of situation is where good leaders excel and weak leaders fail. The weak sergeant would have to impose quotas on his officers and imply some type of sanctions if they weren’t met. This technique may be effective on some officers, but it is bad for morale. Ticket quotas can place your agency in a precarious situation and diminish your department’s reputation and trust with its citizens.

The fact is, however, that aggressive traffic enforcement can be effective and producing large numbers of citations for traffic violations may be justified. A study by the NCBI in partnership with the City of Fresno, California tracked the results from a vigorous traffic enforcement program that included an increase in traffic patrol officers. The study utilized data from a 12-month period before the increased traffic patrol and for a period of 12 months during the increased traffic patrol.

The traffic officers significantly increased their issued violations to motorists during this period with the intent to measure if there were any changes in motor vehicle accidents from the increased ticket production. The results were not surprising – there were significant decreases in crashes, collisions, injuries and fatalities. Hospitals saw significant decreases in patients with injuries, as well as a decrease in length of hospital stay for motor vehicle crash victims and a decrease in hospital charges to crash victims.

For those officers with the traffic enforcement personality, the aforementioned study is probably motivating to you, but let’s get back to the officers who could care less about traffic violations.

Placing a monthly ticket quota on an officer is counterproductive and it’s usually done because the leadership doesn’t have the ability to inspire their officers to be productive.

Strong leadership skills are often an inherent personality trait, however, they can also be learned. I have had success when training leadership skills to some degree, but personal communication skills and egos can ruin a leader.

A strong leader gains respect by placing an officer’s welfare before his or her own. A strong leader listens to officers and has the humility to change an opinion or position when an error is made. A strong leader has a reputation for being a good cop and a leader before getting promoted.

This type of leader can make any qualified cop productive without placing quotas on a monthly performance evaluation. The officer that respects direct supervisors will work to avoid placing him or her in a compromising position with the top brass. Thus, officers will produce without leaders having to place quotas on ticket production and threatening sanctions.

Traffic enforcement is a vital component to maintain law and order and we all must do our share. Imposing traffic quotas on your officers to measure performance is an easy way to supervise, however, likely not the most effective. It’s a sign of lazy and ineffective leadership.

Stay safe.


Body camera footage released of NM university OIS

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

By Carlos Andres López Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State University released video Friday from a body camera worn by the campus police officer who fired two shots at a gun-wielding student Monday night.

The video shows the student, identified as 28-year-old Karsten Cuthair, making verbal threats to open gunfire on the third floor of a campus apartment complex before he is shot by NMSU police officer Jarrod Colliver.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Monday, Colliver and another NMSU police officer were dispatched to the Chamisa II Village Apartments to the report of a man with a gun in the H Building.

In the video, Cuthair repeatedly yells "stay in your room" as the officer approaches the third floor. Later, Cuthair can be heard saying, "If you want to catch a bullet, step out."

As Colliver rounds a corner, Cuthair appears seated on the ground, pointing a gun down the hallway. Colliver then commands Cuthair to drop the weapon. About two seconds later, as Cuthair pivots with the gun in hand, Colliver fires two shots, striking Cuthair once in the thigh.

Colliver backs away, indicates that shots were fired, and then approaches Cuthair as he again orders him to drop the gun. "I did, I did," Cuthair says while yelling.

The video then shows Cuthair laying supine on the floor, arms above his head, the gun on the opposite side of the hallway.

"Did I hit you?" Colliver asks Cuthair after retrieving the gun.

Cuthair doesn't directly respond, but later he obeys Colliver's commands to turn over and put his arms behind his back. At which point, he is handcuffed.

Colliver again asks Cuthair if he was struck by a bullet. "Yes, sir," he replies, indicating he was shot in his left thigh.

"What are you doing, man?" Colliver asks.

Less than two minutes after the shooting, Colliver tells another officer, "He pointed it at me," referring to the gun.

Cuthair appears to be in pain as he struggles to turn on his side when ordered by the officers.

About six minutes after the shooting, two men who were fishing at Alumni Pond arrive on the scene to render aid. Shortly thereafter, NMSU firefighters and the paramedics arrive on the scene.

Cuthair was transported to University Medical Center in El Paso, where he was listed in stable condition on Monday. He has been released from the hospital.

Following the shooting -- the first by an NMSU police officer -- Colliver was placed on administrative leave for three days. An NMSU spokeswoman said Friday that Colliver is back on duty, but he is not scheduled to work until next week.

Colliver has been with the NMSU police department for two years. He was recently pictured in the Sun-News helping build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

NMSU police Chief Stephen Lopez did not immediately return requests for comment on Friday. But during a news conference Monday, Lopez said, "I am very pleased that despite being confronted with an armed threat, the officer maintained his composure, communicated effectively with the second officer and dispatch, and quickly secured the suspect and requested emergency medical treatment."

Cuthair is back in New Mexico after having been released from the hospital, and has been arrested on a warrant charging him with:

* Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer with a Deadly Weapon (3rd degree felony) * Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (4th degree felony) * Unlawful Carrying of a Deadly Weapon on University Premises (petty misdemeanor) * Negligent Use of a Firearm (petty misdemeanor)

He is in the process of being booked under a $150,000 cash only bond at the Doña Ana Detention Center.


Spike in hate crimes prompts special NY police unit

Posted on November 21, 2016 by in POLICE

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By David Olson Newsday

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in a speech at a historic Harlem church Sunday morning, decried what he called "the whirlwind of hate and division all across this country" since the election of Donald Trump and announced initiatives to combat hate-based crime and harassment.

Speaking to the predominantly African-American congregation at Abyssinian Baptist Church, Cuomo cited Ku Klux Klan fliers that were found on cars in Patchogue on Thursday and a swastika surrounded by "Make America White Again" scrawled on an upstate park building as examples of "the demonization of differences."

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate incidents, says there has been a surge of hate-based harassment against immigrants, African-Americans, LGBT people, Muslims and others since the election of Trump, who was supported by the KKK and whose victory was touted by white nationalist groups as a validation of their cause.

On Friday night, a swastika was scrawled at a Brooklyn park named for the late Adam Yauch of hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. Yauch, who died of cancer in 2012, was Jewish. A sign that said "Go Trump!" was also left at the park.

Close to 2,000 people turned out at the park Sunday, including a fellow Beastie Boy, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz, to condemn the vandalism and call on Trump to denounce it.

"I reject Donald Trump's vision of America," Horowitz said. "New York City, I'm asking you to do the same."

Officials with the Trump campaign did not return a phone call and email requesting comment.

Cuomo said he is directing the State Police and the Division of Human Rights to put together a special team of trained professionals to investigate hate crimes statewide.

"We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law the perpetrator of any of this ugliness and divisiveness," he said to applause.

The new hate crimes unit will offer assistance to other law enforcement agencies investigating potential hate crimes and to district attorneys in prosecuting them, the governor's office said later Sunday.

Cuomo said that in January he would ask the Legislature to allow the human rights division to investigate bullying, harassment and other discrimination in public as well as private schools. Current law covers only private schools, the governor's office said.

Cuomo said he wrote an open letter to all the state's college students that was emailed Sunday.

"We will not tolerate hate or racism," the governor wrote in the email, vowing to "firmly enforce" hate crime laws and urging those who were victims of bias or discrimination to call a recently launched bias hotline: 888-392-3644. It is staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Cuomo also announced the formation of "a public-private legal defense fund to provide immigrants who can't afford their own defense or the legal assistance they need. Because in New York we believe in justice for all."

The fund, which would assist immigrants in the country illegally and those here legally, is the first in the nation and will be run in partnership with major colleges and universities, law firms, legal associations and advocacy groups, the governor's office said.

Cuomo spoke of how the nation was built by immigrants.

"If there is a move to deport immigrants, I say then start with me, because I am the son of Mario Cuomo, the son of Andrea Cuomo, a poor Italian immigrant who came to this country without a job, without money, without resources," the governor said.

Cuomo said the state must work to address the widening income inequality and economic displacement that he said are leading people to become angry and seek scapegoats.

"This fear and this anger, misdirected, seeks an enemy, and it seeks a target, and the target has become people who one sees as different than oneself," he said.


St. Louis police officer shot; suspect at large

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis police officer has been shot.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the shooting took place around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a half-block south of the St. Louis Police Officers Association Union Hall.

The St. Louis Police issued a statement saying the officer "is conscious and being treated at a hospital."

The injured officer is a 46-year old male sergeant with 20 years of service. The officer is in critical/stable condition.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

The Post-Dispatch reports the officer was shot twice in the face and was in serious condition but expected to live.

LIVE on #Periscope: Chief & Mayor brief media on injured officer https://t.co/2wZiziY2UW

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

A police detective in San Antonio, Texas, was fatally shot Sunday morning while writing a ticket in his squad car.

Suspect drove alongside officer's marked police vehicle & fired shots into the vehicle, striking the officer. Suspect fled and is at large.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

.@ChiefSLMPD asks anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Officers searching for video & looking at every lead. pic.twitter.com/lyZZWLPvCx

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

St. Louis police officer shot; suspect at large

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis police officer has been shot.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the shooting took place around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a half-block south of the St. Louis Police Officers Association Union Hall.

The St. Louis Police issued a statement saying the officer "is conscious and being treated at a hospital."

The injured officer is a 46-year old male sergeant with 20 years of service. The officer is in critical/stable condition.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

The Post-Dispatch reports the officer was shot twice in the face and was in serious condition but expected to live.

LIVE on #Periscope: Chief & Mayor brief media on injured officer https://t.co/2wZiziY2UW

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

A police detective in San Antonio, Texas, was fatally shot Sunday morning while writing a ticket in his squad car.

Suspect drove alongside officer's marked police vehicle & fired shots into the vehicle, striking the officer. Suspect fled and is at large.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

.@ChiefSLMPD asks anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Officers searching for video & looking at every lead. pic.twitter.com/lyZZWLPvCx

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

St. Louis police chief: Officer shot in ‘ambush’ attack

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis police sergeant was hospitalized in critical condition but expected to survive after being shot Sunday night in what the police chief called an "ambush."

Police Chief Sam Dotson said the 46-year-old officer was shot twice in the face. The suspect got away and a massive search was underway.

"Fortunately for the blessing of God the officer's going to survive," Dotson said during a brief news conference after the shooting. He declined to name the officer but said he is a married father of three who has been with the department for about 20 years.

Suspect drove alongside officer's marked police vehicle & fired shots into the vehicle, striking the officer. Suspect fled and is at large.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

The officer was not involved in a call or a traffic stop but was sitting in traffic about 7:30 p.m. Sunday when another car pulled up alongside his marked police vehicle. The officer told police he heard at least two shots.

"This officer was driving down the road and was ambushed by an individual who pointed a gun at him from inside of his car and shot out the police officer's window," Dotson said.

Mayor Francis Slay said the officer did nothing to provoke an attack.

"He didn't deserve this," Slay said. "It looks like he's going to survive. He's going to be OK. But this is traumatic. It's traumatic for him, his family. It's traumatic for the city of St. Louis. He was just doing his job."

Police were looking for a silver car, which was all the description the wounded officer could recall. Helicopters, SWAT teams and scores of officers searched the south St. Louis neighborhood where the shooting occurred. Police were also looking for any surveillance video that may have captured the shooting.

The attack in St. Louis came on the same day a San Antonio detective was fatally shot in his squad car while writing a traffic ticket by someone who pulled up from behind. Detective Benjamin Marconi, 50, was a 20-year veteran of the San Antonio department.

In July, a gunman in Dallas killed five officers who were working a protest about the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. Ten days later, a man killed three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And earlier this month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area officers were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

In the St. Louis area, Ballwin, Missouri, officer Mike Flamion was paralyzed from the neck down after being shot during a traffic stop in July. And St. Louis County officer Blake Snyder was fatally shot while responding to a disturbance call in October.

"This just shows the dangers of policing, not only here in St. Louis but around the country," Dotson said.

LIVE on #Periscope: Chief & Mayor brief media on injured officer https://t.co/2wZiziY2UW

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

.@ChiefSLMPD asks anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Officers searching for video & looking at every lead. pic.twitter.com/lyZZWLPvCx

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) November 21, 2016

San Antonio officer fatally shot while writing ticket; suspect at large

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio police officer writing out a traffic ticket to a motorist was shot to death in his squad car Sunday outside police headquarters by another driver who pulled up from behind, authorities said.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus said the suspect is not known and has not yet been apprehended. A motive is not known.

"This is everyone's worst nightmare," he said.

McManus said the officer had pulled over a vehicle and while he was inside his squad car writing a ticket, a car pulled up behind him. He says the driver of that car got out, walked up to the officer's driver-side window and shot the officer in the head. The man fired a second time, then walked back to his car and drove away, McManus said.

The officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The shooting came less than five months after a gunman killed five officers in Dallas who were working a protest about the fatal police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana. It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Ten days after the Dallas attack, a man wearing a ski mask and armed with two rifles and a pistol killed three officers near a gas station and convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And earlier this month, two Des Moines, Iowa-area police officers were fatally shot in separate ambush-style attacks while sitting in their patrol cars.

"It's always difficult, especially in this this day and age, where police are being targeted across the country," McManus said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the slaying a "horrific act of violence." Abbott said in a statement that "attacks against law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Texas and must be met with swift justice."

Statement on murder of San Antonio Police Officer pic.twitter.com/m1WrgMaFva

— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) November 20, 2016

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor extended condolences to the family of the slain officer and the entire police force.

Some streets downtown were blocked off with police tape as officials investigated the slaying.

"Hopefully, we'll solve this one real quick," McManus said.


Off-duty Ky. trooper helps save life of 4-year-old girl

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

By Morgan Eads Lexington Herald-Leader

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — An off-duty Kentucky State Police trooper helped save the life of a 4-year-old girl Wednesday afternoon in Elizabethtown.

Trooper Josh Cummings was on his way home from a gym about 3 p.m. when he drove up on a one-vehicle accident on the U.S. 31 West bypass, according to state police. Several people had already stopped to check on the people in the vehicle.

When Cummings stopped to help, he saw Mark Wood holding a 4-year-old girl who wasn’t breathing, according to state police.

The men began giving the girl CPR, with Cummings giving chest compressions and Wood giving rescue breaths, according to state police. They were able to get the girl to start breathing and kept her breathing until an ambulance arrived.

The girl was eventually flown to Norton Children’s Hospital, according to state police. She is now listed in stable condition.

The crash is under investigation by the Elizabethtown police.


Confessed Minn. killer to be sentenced for boy’s death

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

By Mary Divine Pioneer Press

MINNEAPOLIS — In a federal courthouse in September, Patty and Jerry Wetterling sat in the front row and cried as they listened to what Danny Heinrich said he did to their 11-year-old son Jacob on the night he was abducted and killed almost three decades ago.

On Monday morning, Heinrich is expected to hear from the Wetterlings for the first time.

Patty and Jerry Wetterling and their surviving three children, Trevor, Amy and Carmen, have submitted victim-impact statements to be read at Heinrich’s sentencing in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, said Doug Kelley, the family’s attorney.

“I don’t know who is going to say what,” Kelley said in a phone interview Thursday. “Some may read from the statement in court, others may speak extemporaneously.”

Heinrich, 53, of Annandale confessed in court to abducting, sexually assaulting and fatally shooting Jacob on Oct. 22, 1989. In chilling detail, he described taking Jacob at gunpoint less than a mile from his home in St. Joseph, Minn., and driving him to Paynesville, Minn., where Heinrich was living at the time. At a spot near a gravel pit, Heinrich forced Jacob to undress and sexually assaulted him. He said Jacob cried after the assault, told him he was cold and asked to go home.

Heinrich said that he panicked after a police car drove by and that he shot Jacob twice in the head. He said he left Jacob’s body at the scene, came back an hour later and buried it. A year later, he said, he moved the body after he returned to the scene of the crime and could see that Jacob’s jacket had begun to show through the dirt.

In an interview with the Pioneer Press last month, Patty Wetterling said she wanted to ask Heinrich one question: Why? She declined to be interviewed last week.

“We know what happened and when and where, but we don’t know why,” Wetterling said in the interview. “As a rational person, you try to figure it out, but this one you can’t, because it makes no sense.”

Authorities, searching for ties to Jacob’s disappearance, found hundreds of photos and videos of young boys during a search of Heinrich’s home in July 2015. The images spanned decades, but photos of Jacob were not among them, investigators said.

Heinrich was arrested in October 2015 and later charged with 25 counts of possessing and receiving child pornography.

Heinrich’s confession came as part of a plea agreement offered by prosecutors and agreed to by the Wetterlings. Heinrich agreed to plead guilty to one count of child pornography. In return for leading authorities to Jacob’s body in August and confessing what he had done, Heinrich will not be charged with Jacob’s murder.

Instead, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim will sentence him to 20 years in federal prison on the child-pornography charge. He will spend at least 17 years in prison at a location that won’t be made public until after he arrives there, said Justin Long, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There is no parole in the federal system; all federal prisoners must spend a minimum of 85 percent of their sentences behind bars before being eligible for release.

“In a perfect world, you would love to have more time for the crimes that Heinrich has committed,” attorney Kelley said. “We don’t live in a perfect world, though. With the cards we were dealt, at the time we were making the decision, for the Wetterlings, I think, having an idea and knowing what happened to Jacob was worth giving up time for them.

“They were clear in that decision,” he said. “I recommended that to them, and I don’t think they ever looked back on it.”

What led to this point Kelley said he received a phone call from U.S. Attorney Andy Luger on Aug. 29 requesting a meeting with the Wetterlings. “I sensed something big was happening, so I just got in my car and drove up (to St. Joseph) and knocked on their door,” he said.

Kelley said he had previously explained to the couple that they might be confronted with a deal “where you’ll have to give a little time away for Heinrich in order to get information.”

“Patty and Jerry were uniform … and have maintained it ever since, that they were more interested in information than they were in retribution,” he said.

The next day, the Wetterlings met with prosecutors and law enforcement officials to discuss the plea agreement. “The hardest decision was that Stearns County had to agree not to prosecute for murder,” Kelley said. “Obviously, that’s something that you want to think about long and hard.”

Kelley said he asked Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall if she had a prosecutable case against Heinrich for Jacob’s murder. “Janelle answered candidly and said ‘No, not even close,’” he said. “We said, ‘Do you have anything to make you think there is going to be some kind of break in the case?’ She said, ‘No, there’s none.’”

Kelley said he told the Wetterlings that since there was “no murder case, there’s really nothing that you are bargaining away.”

“When you saw that after 27 years, they didn’t have a prosecutable case, it really wasn’t a hard decision to say, ‘OK, so how many years would he get under sentencing guidelines just on the pornography case?’” he said.

Kelley praised Kendall for agreeing to have federal authorities charge Heinrich. Kendall knew that the U.S. attorney’s office “would be able to exact a much greater sentence and, thereby, have more leverage over Heinrich,” he said.

On Labor Day, just a few days after Jacob’s body had been identified, prosecutors and law enforcement officials met with the Wetterlings to share the horrifying details that would later be revealed in court by Heinrich.

“It was really hard, but I think they needed to have that preview,” Kelley said. “That allowed them then to hear about it without making (Heinrich’s testimony in court) be the absolute first time.”

Under the plea agreement, Heinrich also had to confess in court to kidnapping and sexually assaulting 12-year-old Jared Scheierl in Cold Spring, Minn., on Jan. 13, 1989, nine months before he abducted and killed Jacob. The statute of limitations has expired in that case, meaning Heinrich can’t be charged in it.

In court, Heinrich told of “driving around Cold Spring, looking for a child.” Heinrich said he noticed a boy walking down a dark street about 9 or 10 p.m., and asked him if he knew “where the Kramers lived.”

Heinrich said he threw Scheierl in the back seat and sexually assaulted him. He said he then let him go, telling “him to run and not look back or I’d kill him.” He said he kept Scheierl’s underwear and pants as a souvenir.

Retested DNA evidence last year linked Heinrich to Scheierl’s kidnapping and sexual assault. Authorities said they had long suspected a link between the two cases, leading them to circle back to Heinrich.

Heinrich had been questioned by police in 1989 and 1990 about Jacob’s disappearance but denied any involvement.

The Scheierl abduction was part of the so-called “Paynesville Assault Cluster” — eight attacks on seven boys from 1986 to 1988. The victims were about the same age and gave similar descriptions of their assailant. Each said his attacker wore a mask and threatened him with violence.

Hearing Heinrich talk in court about the kidnapping and sexual assault was hard, but “Jared has been remarkable, and he’s resilient,” Kelley said.

“It gives him solace that he was one of the ones, that with his untiring efforts to continue to connect the dots, that led to the DNA and that led to the child-pornography charges,” he said. “That has helped him tremendously.”

Scheierl also has submitted a victim-impact statement and plans to read it in court, Kelley said.

Scheierl filed a civil suit against Heinrich in Stearns County District Court in early May, just a few weeks before the May 25 deadline for the Minnesota Child Victim Act, which lifted the statute of limitations for people who say they were sexually abused, said Kelley, who also serves as Scheierl’s attorney.

According to the lawsuit, Scheierl has suffered pain, emotional distress, loss of self-esteem and psychological injuries since he was kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

The lawsuit against Heinrich, who is being held in the Sherburne County Jail in Elk River, is still “active at this time,” Kelley said. “We will have to evaluate after all is said and done what we will do with it.”

As part of his plea, Heinrich has acknowledged that he could be civilly committed as a sex offender, perhaps indefinitely, after he serves his criminal sentence. The plea agreement spells out in graphic detail what Heinrich did to Scheierl so “all of those facts will be available to the committing authorities,” Kelley said.

“I think Danny Heinrich will be viewed, even in 20 years, as one of the most hard-core people who would be eligible for that program,” Kelley said. “There are no guarantees, but nonetheless, I believe that the probabilities are that he will never see the light of day.”

What's next Heinrich will have 14 days to appeal his sentence after Tunheim files the judgment and commitment order against him.

If Heinrich does not appeal, the Jacob Wetterling files will become public under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

Kelley said it could take some time for the Stearns County sheriff’s office to make the files ready for public review. Juveniles’ names, social security numbers, bank account information and credit card numbers will have to be redacted, he said.

“If you think about it, there are 27 years’ worth of law enforcement files there,” Kelley said. “I’m told there are some 37,000 pages of documents. There are 80,000 lead sheets. There are just all kinds of things in there.”

The Wetterlings have expressed some concern about the release, he said.

“I am concerned, too,” he said. “I understand the public’s right to know, but in a certain way, you almost become victimized a second time.”


2 NY officers injured, suspect fatally shot during scuffle

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Police say a 21-year-old Brooklyn man was fatally shot during a skirmish with two police officers in a housing project.

New York housing police Chief James Secreto says the officers — one male, the other female — encountered the man Saturday afternoon on the ninth floor of the Van Dyke Houses in the Brownsville neighborhood. The New York Police Department housing officers were responding to a 911 call reporting a suspicious person.

When they asked for ID, a scuffle ensued, and Secreto says the man grabbed one officer's metal baton and struck both in the head. They then fired.

One suffered a gash, the second contusions. They were in stable condition.

Authorities identified the dead man as Erickson Brito. The officers' names were not released. Police are continuing an investigation.


8 arrested as rival protest groups clash near Texas Capitol

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Eight people were arrested on Saturday when a small group of protesters calling themselves White Lives Matter were confronted by counter-demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter at the Texas State Capitol near where Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier dedicated a monument recognizing the contribution of African-Americans to the state.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Victor Taylor said four of the arrests were for assault, two for evading arrest, one for disorderly conduct and one for "interference with public duty." Two of those arrested were on Capitol grounds and the others on adjacent streets.

"Some protesters assaulted other protesters," Taylor said. "We don't know for sure which side they were on. A lot of them were co-mingled."

Austin police and state troopers dressed in riot gear and some mounted on horseback had tried to keep the two groups separated.

Taylor said the confrontation did not affect the unveiling of the monument, which was in a different part of the grounds. A state helicopter circled overhead.

About two dozen individuals with the White Lives Matter group, some of whom were armed, demonstrated against what they called the unequal application of hate crimes laws, which they said are applied in a way that favors minorities. The group said it was a coincidence that its protest was held at about the same time as the ceremony for the monument.

White Lives Matter member and protest organizer Ken Reed said into a bullhorn that his group was concerned with "white people's preservation."

"You all are anti-white and anti-American," he told the counter-protesters, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The White Lives Matter group was shouted down by several hundred counter-protesters, who held up signs that said "Stand Against Hate" and "Black Lives Matter."

One of them, Marie Catrett, said she came to stand up for the rights of minorities.

"I think they are full of hatred," Catrett said about the White Lives Matter group. "They don't represent our community or our values."

During the unveiling ceremony, Abbott told a crowd in attendance that the monument honors African-Americans who helped grow Texas.

"The fact is African Americans have shaped this land that we are on today since long before it was even named the state of Texas. They fought for their own freedom. They fought for the freedom of Texas and the freedom of the United States of America," Abbott said.

The monument is located on the Capitol's south lawn, close to other monuments that honor Confederate soldiers for their service during the Civil War.

The new monument features the African-American experience in Texas, from exploration in the 1500s to slavery and emancipation to achievement in arts and science.

It will be the 21st monument on the Capitol grounds and the second memorial dedicated to a specific ethnic group. Texas installed the Tejano Monument to Mexican-American history in 2012.


8 arrested as rival protest groups clash near Texas Capitol

Posted on November 20, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Eight people were arrested on Saturday when a small group of protesters calling themselves White Lives Matter were confronted by counter-demonstrators supporting Black Lives Matter at the Texas State Capitol near where Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier dedicated a monument recognizing the contribution of African-Americans to the state.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Victor Taylor said four of the arrests were for assault, two for evading arrest, one for disorderly conduct and one for "interference with public duty." Two of those arrested were on Capitol grounds and the others on adjacent streets.

"Some protesters assaulted other protesters," Taylor said. "We don't know for sure which side they were on. A lot of them were co-mingled."

Austin police and state troopers dressed in riot gear and some mounted on horseback had tried to keep the two groups separated.

Taylor said the confrontation did not affect the unveiling of the monument, which was in a different part of the grounds. A state helicopter circled overhead.

About two dozen individuals with the White Lives Matter group, some of whom were armed, demonstrated against what they called the unequal application of hate crimes laws, which they said are applied in a way that favors minorities. The group said it was a coincidence that its protest was held at about the same time as the ceremony for the monument.

White Lives Matter member and protest organizer Ken Reed said into a bullhorn that his group was concerned with "white people's preservation."

"You all are anti-white and anti-American," he told the counter-protesters, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The White Lives Matter group was shouted down by several hundred counter-protesters, who held up signs that said "Stand Against Hate" and "Black Lives Matter."

One of them, Marie Catrett, said she came to stand up for the rights of minorities.

"I think they are full of hatred," Catrett said about the White Lives Matter group. "They don't represent our community or our values."

During the unveiling ceremony, Abbott told a crowd in attendance that the monument honors African-Americans who helped grow Texas.

"The fact is African Americans have shaped this land that we are on today since long before it was even named the state of Texas. They fought for their own freedom. They fought for the freedom of Texas and the freedom of the United States of America," Abbott said.

The monument is located on the Capitol's south lawn, close to other monuments that honor Confederate soldiers for their service during the Civil War.

The new monument features the African-American experience in Texas, from exploration in the 1500s to slavery and emancipation to achievement in arts and science.

It will be the 21st monument on the Capitol grounds and the second memorial dedicated to a specific ethnic group. Texas installed the Tejano Monument to Mexican-American history in 2012.


Details emerge in fatal shooting of US marshal

Posted on November 19, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LUDOWICI, Ga. — The hunt for a fugitive accused of shooting at police in South Carolina turned deadly when law officers tracked the suspect to southeast Georgia, where an attempt to arrest him erupted in gunfire.

The brief shootout at a mobile home in rural Long County killed a deputy U.S. marshal as well as the man his team was trying to apprehend.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Patrick Carothers, deputy commander of the agency's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, died after being shot twice as the officers entered the mobile home.

"Pat is a hero," David Harlow, deputy director of the Marshals Service, said in a statement Friday offering condolences to Carothers' wife and five children. Carothers had served 26 years with the agency.

The slain suspect was identified as Dontrell Montese Carter, 25. He had been wanted in Sumter County, South Carolina, since mid-September on charges of attempted murder, domestic violence and illegally discharging a weapon.

The agency said Carothers and his team had tracked Carter to a mobile home just outside Ludowici, about 55 miles southwest of Savannah. Carothers was shot as they were entering the home.

Law enforcement officers returned fire and shot Carter multiple times, the Marshals Service said. Both men were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

Carter had been on the run since he fled South Carolina in mid-September.

According to Sumter County Sheriff's reports, Carter assaulted his girlfriend on Sept. 18 and fled their home in rural Dalzell before officers could arrive. Carter then drove about 10 miles to the home of the woman's uncle. Carter drove by the home twice, firing at least seven times at the uncle and others who were standing outside. No one was struck.

Carter then led officers on a car chase at speeds up to 110 mph, according to the reports, and crashed into an embankment when he tried to make a turn too fast. He fired shots at the officers from a "high-powered rifle" as he left his vehicle and escaped on foot into the woods.

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis offered condolences in a statement Friday. His office declined further comment.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, in a statement Friday, said she was "deeply saddened" by Carothers' death.

"He stayed true to his oath to the last, laying down his life to keep his community safe and his neighbors secure," Lynch said. "I know that his legacy will live on in the proud annals of the U.S. Marshals Service and in the memory of his fellow law enforcement officers from coast to coast."

Carter has had numerous encounters with the law since at least 2010, when he was arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon. In 2013, Sumter police charged Carter with firing a gun into a home and attempted murder. The following year, he was charged with grand larceny, according to his South Carolina arrest record.

It also shows misdemeanor charges that include driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, trespassing and driving under suspension.


Mo. high court won’t hear Ferguson-related lawsuit

Posted on November 19, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Missouri's highest court says it won't intervene in a lawsuit by activists seeking an independent probe of a prosecutor's handling of grand jury proceedings in the Ferguson police shooting of Michael Brown.

The Missouri Supreme Court announced in an order obtained by media outlets Friday that it won't hear the matter.

Activists were challenging a state appellate court's May conclusion that a St. Louis County judge correctly dismissed the suit, which sought a special prosecutor to scrutinize prosecutor Robert McCulloch's conduct during the secret grand jury proceedings.

The activists questioned McCulloch's role. The grand jury cleared white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Brown, who was black and unarmed. Wilson later resigned.

A U.S. Justice Department probe concluded Wilson acted in self-defense.


Heavy security at Trump Tower not going away anytime soon

Posted on November 19, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Tom Hays Associated Press

NEW YORK — The phalanx of police officers armed with assault weapons, bomb-sniffing dogs and concrete barricades causing congestion and other headaches outside Donald Trump's home will remain in place at least until his inauguration in late January, city officials warned on Friday.

It's a situation that has put the Republican president-elect's hometown in the position of asking his new administration to pay ongoing costs for what Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called an unprecedented security effort for a U.S. president's unofficial residence.

"We're being asked to do something on a scale that's never been done before," the mayor said at a news conference with New York Police Department and Secret Service officials.

The mayor spoke at a command center at NYPD headquarters where four video monitors carried live feeds of the intersection outside Trump Tower, in midtown Manhattan. The monitors showed how police have closed two of Fifth Avenue's five lanes, completely barricaded the block where residents have a private entrance and set up checkpoints manned by officers in guard booths.

The measures, largely intended to fortify Trump Tower in a terror attack, have slowed motor and foot traffic outside and raised concerns among retailers it could hurt business during the holiday shopping season. Anti-Trump demonstrations have shut down Fifth Avenue entirely at least three times in the past 10 days.

Authorities are still refining their tactics to minimize inconveniences to workers and shoppers through late January. In the immediate aftermath of the election, Trump Tower's entrance was walled off by dump trucks filled with sand and its atrium was closed to tourists, measures that were lifted within a couple of days.

What happens after the inauguration will depend on how the new president divides his time between his high-rise apartment and the White House, officials said. Depending on the answer, the NYPD might create a new command assigned full time to securing Trump Tower.

Officials also said they have begun exploring ways to get federal help in covering potentially huge overtime costs for the nation's largest police department. Similar reimbursements have been made in the past for large-scale events like Pope Francis' visit to the city last year.

"I think the federal government will recognize that the NYPD is carrying a burden for the entire nation," De Blasio said.

The mayor predicted New Yorkers would shrug off the hassle of protecting Trump.

"After we get through legitimately grumbling, we'll go on with our lives," he said.


Minn. officer released after hearing in Philando Castile shooting

Posted on November 19, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile during a July traffic stop will be allowed to remain free as a manslaughter case against him proceeds, a judge ruled during a brief court hearing Friday.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was released on his own recognizance after an initial court hearing. Yanez was charged this week with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Castile, a 32-year-old black man who was shot during a July 6 traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights after he told Yanez, who is Latino, he had a gun and a license to carry.

Castile's girlfriend streamed his final gruesome moments live on Facebook.

On Wednesday, prosecutors said Yanez acted unreasonably and was not justified in using deadly force.

Yanez did not enter a plea Friday, which is standard during initial court appearances, but one of his attorneys, Tom Kelly, said Yanez intends to plead not guilty. His next hearing is set for Dec. 19.

Kelly said Yanez's defense team is disappointed in the charges and concerned by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi's statements that no reasonable officer would have acted as Yanez did.

"We find those comments to be unnecessary beyond the scope of the criminal complaint and unfairly prejudicial," Kelly said. When asked if defense attorneys would seek to move the case to another jurisdiction, he said it was too early to tell. Yanez, 28, had been with the St. Anthony Police Department for four years.

Kelly declined to discuss the facts of the case, saying the matter should now be resolved through the judicial process. He said the situation has been stressful but Yanez is "a very strong individual with a good moral compass and he's holding up."

Supporters of Yanez attended the hearing. Some of Castile's family members also were in the courtroom.

Nakia Wilson said she attended the hearing because she wanted to see the face of the person who killed her cousin. She said she was nervous and sad, and had difficulty describing how she felt after seeing Yanez.

"I just want justice served for my cousin," she said.

Tyrone Terrill, president of the African American Leadership Council, a community group in St. Paul, said Castile's death was senseless.

"We were out there 30 minutes after he was shot. And to see the mental anguish and pain in our community — I've seen grown men crying like I've never ever seen before," he said. "To see the pain — and for no reason."

Terrill, who also attended the hearing, commended prosecutors for bringing charges and said he wants to see Yanez behind bars.

"He did not value Philando's humanity," Terrill said.


Baltimore officer says custody-death charges surprised her

Posted on November 19, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BALTIMORE — One of six Baltimore police officers formerly charged in the death of a black man fatally injured in a police van says she was surprised to hear her name when charges were announced.

Sgt. Alicia White, the first accused officer to give a sit-down interview, told WMAR-TV and The Baltimore Sun for stories broadcast and published late Thursday that she was devastated by State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's announcement after Freddie Gray's 2015 death. She hadn't consulted a lawyer since it had never occurred to her that she would be implicated, she said.

"I felt blindsided," White said. "I didn't see that coming at all. I was devastated. I broke down and started crying. It was hard; it was a hard pill to swallow."

White was responsible for investigating complaints about Gray's arrest, Mosby said in the televised announcement. Gray was already injured when White first encountered him, Mosby said, but she "spoke to the back of Mr. Gray's head," and did nothing more when he didn't respond.

White's interaction with Gray lasted just seconds, attorney Ivan Bates said, and if he was indeed injured then, White didn't see anything medically wrong and wasn't trained to recognize the injuries an autopsy showed Gray had suffered.

White was charged with manslaughter, assault and misconduct. Prosecutors dropped all charges after three officers were acquitted, but they've said they only did so because they believe the judicial system was stacked against them. White maintains she did nothing wrong.

"I still believe that, when I went to work that day, I did everything that I was trained to do," White said. "Unfortunately, that day someone lost their life. But I feel like everything I was trained to do, I did."

Asked if she would have done anything differently, White answered, "No."

White said she prayed for Gray's family as they struggled with loss and for her hometown as unrest broke out. White faced severe anxiety, and said at one point she was rushed to a hospital. The stress led her and her fiance to call off their engagement, and without pay, she said she faced financial difficulties. She has since received $96,800 in back pay and is now assigned to the training academy in an administrative role.

Still, the case is not yet behind her. An internal investigation has not yet concluded and White and four of the other officers in the case are suing Mosby for defamation.

The country's current police brutality debate is fueled in part by the Gray case. Gray was a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015. The death set off protests and the worst riots in the city in decades.

The Department of Justice launched a patterns-and-practice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department afterward and found officers routinely used excessive force, made unlawful stops and were racially discriminatory. The department has undertaken similar wide-reaching investigations into the police in Chicago, Cleveland, Albuquerque and Ferguson, Missouri, among other cities.

White hopes to return to policing and granted interviews as she works to clear her name. She said she still believes she can serve the community.

"This is home for me. So to be able to continue to help serve the community in which I grew up in, that's important to me," she said.

White was assigned to Councilman Brandon Scott's neighborhood and he worked with her at the community children's center, where he said people would "welcome her back with open arms."

"I know her character," he said. "This is someone I trust with my life and, more importantly, that we entrust with the lives of young people in the neighborhood."


CHP officer talks man down from bridge

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

CONTRA COSTA, Calif. — A California Highway Patrol officer convinced a suicidal man to come down from the ledge of a bridge Thursday.

Officers arrived on the scene to a man in tears on the ledge, according to a Facebook post written by the agency.

Officer Westropp-Bennet told the man about his own difficulties, telling him there are people out there willing to help him through his struggles.

The man came down from the ledge and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

“At the end of the day, we are all connected in this journey of life and we are all community members,” the post reads. “We hope this man gets back on track to a prosperous and healthy life.”


Students write letters to Idaho cops shot by fugitive

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BOISE, Idaho — A group of third graders who were learning how to write letters decided to sent words of encouragement to two injured police officers.

Mrs. Brown, the children’s teacher, told KPVI that she thought of the idea after the police chief posted a video asking for letters and pictures for the officers.

“Dear officer, get better soon. You're awesome. Thank you for protecting us. You're awesome. You're amazing,” Afton Young’s letter read.

The students wanted to let the officers know how much they are appreciated.

“We talk about the golden rule,” Brown said. “What goes around comes around, and they want to share that and help them feel better.”

One of the officers shot in the Nov. 11 incident is still in critical condition.


Legislation could allow SC teachers to carry guns at school

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

COLUMBIA, S.C. — New legislation would allow South Carolina teachers to apply for a special concealed handgun permit allowing them to carry guns in school.

After a Sept. shooting that killed 6-year-old Jacob Hall and injured another student and teacher, Rep. Joshua Putnam drafted the bill to launch the voluntary program, WSPA reported.

The legislation requires principals and superintendents to vote to allow their teachers to take a special course to get the permit, according to the news station.

Putnam said this offers schools with no resource officers extra protection in case of an emergency. The class would provide the same training as police officers get for active shooter situations.

Weapons have to stay concealed and holstered. Parents and students would not know who is carrying.


Policing Matters Podcast: How cops can leverage private security personnel as investigative assets

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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

There’s no denying that there are private security people who have absolutely no business being in any way involved in law enforcement efforts. However, there are opportunities for sworn law enforcement professionals to develop relationships with the individuals in private security who are diligent about their chosen career, and who can provide excellent information to help prosecute cases. Jim and Doug discuss the ways in which the real cops and the “mall cops” can be better partners in fighting crime.


Study: White cops are not more likely to shoot black subjects

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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

The death of Michael Brown in August 2014 caused millions of dollars in property damage locally, and precipitated the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement nationally. Further, it focused scrutiny on law enforcement by the press, the public, and the political elites. Following that fatal OIS in Ferguson, there has been a widespread perception — perpetuated by the mainstream national media — that white police officers are biased against black subjects in their use of lethal force.

However, a new study authored by John Lott and Carlisle Moody of the Crime Prevention Research Center digs deep into the numbers to demonstrate that this assertion is inaccurate. The study examined data from 2013 to 2015, which represents 19 months prior Brown’s death, and 16 months after the incident. In short, the study found “no statistically significant difference between shootings of black suspects by black and white officers.”

Because there are myriad data sets explored, a thorough review of the entire text is strongly recommended. However, because the 32-page document is filled with 13 “eye-chart” data tables and is peppered with terms like “logit model,” “binary dependent variable,” and “unobserved heterogeneity,” a summarized version of the highlights is merited in this space.

Digging deep into the data Lott and Moody examined a total of 2,699 fatal police shootings for the years 2013 to 2015. “This is 1,333 more killings by police than is provided by the FBI data on justifiable police homicides,” the study stated.

Lott and Moody noted that while the CDC and FBI collect data on police shootings, they miss many shootings, in part because not all jurisdictions provide data. Further, very important data is left out of the CDC and FBI data, such as race of the officer and the race of the subject. There is also a lack of information on the incident — such as whether or not the suspect presented a threat meeting Graham standards.

“In only about 31 percent to 35 percent of the cases does the FBI have data on the age, race, and gender of the person killed,” Lott and Moody wrote. “By contrast, we have this information for 100 percent of our cases.”

Lott and Moody collected data from sources including LexisNexis, Google, and several online databases concerned with police shootings. The team also consulted online police data directly from police departments. They also directly contacted police departments with fatal OIS incidents during the period studied in order to get more information on the officers involved in the shootings.

The researchers gathered information about the number of officers on the scene as well as the subject’s involvement in a crime. The researchers suspect that the more officers on the scene, the less likely it is that the suspect will resist. They also contend that having more officers present might lead to more accurate police reports.

“Increasing the number of police on the scene reduces the suspects’ odds of being killed by about 14 to 18 percent for each additional officer. Going from one officer to the average number of the police on the scene of 2.39 thus implies a drop in the rate of shootings from 19 to 25 percent.”

With regard to the suspects, Lott and Moody collected data on the age of the suspect as well as whether those individuals were involved in a violent crime, a property crime, or a drug-related crime. They also sought to determine whether the suspects were armed — and if so, with what type of weapon.

The researchers found that suspects were an average age of 36 years old, with whites somewhat older than blacks. Thirty-nine percent of the suspects were involved in a violent crime, 17 percent in a property crime, and five percent in a drug crime.

“These percentages are approximately constant across races,” the study said.

Lott and Moody found that sixty percent of the suspects were armed with a firearm, 18 percent with a knife or cutting instrument, and four percent of the suspects used a vehicle as a weapon. The study also sought to see if the OIS on West Florissant Street had any effect on the number of police shootings involving black subjects.

“After the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, one might expect that the ensuing publicity would have caused a drop in the rate at which blacks were shot,” the study read.

However, Lott and Moody found the percentage of black suspects killed before Ferguson (24.8 percent) was almost exactly the same as the percentage killed in the aftermath (25 percent).

Some other not-so-surprising conclusions The researchers found in their investigation that when either the violent crime rate or the demographics of a city are accounted for, white police officers are not significantly more likely to kill a black suspect.

“For the estimates where we know the race of the officer who killed the suspect, the ratio of the rate that blacks are killed by black versus white officers is large — ranging from three to five times larger,” read the report.

“However, because the media may under-report the officer’s race when black officers are involved, other results that account for the fact that a disproportionate number of the unknown race officers may be more reliable. They indicate no statistically significant difference between shootings of black suspects by black and white officers,” the study stated.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post famously asserted that since black suspects made up 25 percent of those killed by police, and only 12 percent of the population is black, blacks are more likely to be shot by police.

But Lott and Moody shoot that down — pun very much intended.

“Crime rates differ across neighborhoods. Black neighborhoods tend to experience higher crime rates. Therefore, race-neutral police randomly assigned to neighborhoods will encounter more criminal activities in black neighborhoods. As such, they can be expected to employ lethal force against a higher proportion of black suspects,” the study said.

“Furthermore, police are not randomly assigned to neighborhoods, but tend to be concentrated more heavily in crime ‘hot spots.’ These areas tend to be relatively poor and black, leading to more encounters between the majority white police force and black suspects. A small percentage of these encounters will result in the deaths of black suspects. For both of these reasons, suspects shot by a color-blind police force will be disproportionately black, as compared with the overall population,” the study stated.

Miscellaneous other findings The study also examined several other currently debated topics. Consider the following:

• “We find no evidence that body cameras affect either the number of police killings or the racial composition of those killings,” the study stated.

This conclusion will have no appreciable effect on the demands by the public that police agencies adopt them, nor will it affect the stock price of the countless companies building and selling them.

• “Being suicidal also significantly reduces the odds of being killed,” the study stated.

This conclusion likely indicates the fact that officers who encounter someone who is obviously suicidal are able to utilize their de-escalation and CIT training to resolve the issue.

• “The violent crime rate, police unionization, and the suspect’s involvement in a property crime all significantly increase the black suspect’s odds of being killed. The impact of unionization is extremely large — with black suspects about 65 to 140 percent more likely to be shot in unionized departments,” the study stated.

This conclusion will have no effect on the reporting by the mainstream media, which routinely leaves out the subject’s involvement in crime and the crime rates in the location where an OIS takes place. However, we may need to brace for imminent protests demanding the dismantling of police unions.

• “Older suspects are also much less likely to be killed. Each additional year older that a suspect is reduces the probability that they will be killed by almost four percent,” the study stated.

This conclusion may have something to do with the natural evolution of the human survival instinct — the closer one gets to a natural death, the more averse they become to taking chances on having an unnatural one.

Finally, a final conclusion Lott and Moody found that “black officers do not shoot black suspects at a lower rate than other suspects. This finding is quite robust and supports the race-neutral theory that a small proportion of encounters between suspects and police officers end in the death of the suspect.”

All of this data-driven analysis aside, law enforcement officers across this great nation know from firsthand experience and anecdotal evidence that the level of force used on a subject is determined by the actions of the subject — not on the race of either party involved.

Officers of all races and creeds — black, white, Asian, Jewish, and others — know from being on patrol in dangerous, high-crime areas that compliance by the subject is the clearest path to preventing a fatal officer-involved shooting.

As always, stay safe out there my friends.


US marshal shot to death during arrest attempt

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

LUDOWICI, Ga. — A fugitive accused of attempting to murder police officers fatally shot a deputy U.S. marshal trying to arrest him Friday in southeast Georgia, where other law officers returned fire and killed the suspect, federal authorities said.

The U.S. Marshals Service said 53-year-old Patrick Carothers, deputy commander of the agency's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, died after being shot twice as a team of officers tried to serve a warrant at a mobile home in rural Long County.

The slain suspect was identified as Dontrell Montese Carter. He was wanted in Sumter County, South Carolina, since September on charges of attempted murder of police officers, domestic violence and illegally discharging a weapon, the Marshals Service said in a news release.

The agency said Carothers and his team had tracked Carter to a mobile home just outside Ludowici, about 55 miles southeast of Savannah. Carothers was shot as they were entering the home.

Law officers returned fire and shot Carter multiple times, the Marshals Service said. Both men were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

"The fugitive who killed Deputy Commander Carothers was extremely dangerous, wanted for trying to kill law enforcement officers and deliberately evading authorities," David Harlow, deputy director of the Marshals Service, said in a statement. "Pat is a hero and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and five children."

Carothers served 26 years with the Marshals Service and had been deputy commander of the fugitive task force for more than a year.

Carter, 25, had been wanted in South Carolina since Sept. 18. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office said at the time that officers tried to arrest Carter after receiving calls that he had assaulted his girlfriend and fired gunshots into the home of a relative who tried to intervene.

Carter ended up leading officers on a car chase, the sheriff's office said, and fired shots at the officers as he left his vehicle and escaped on foot.

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis offered condolences to the slain marshal's family in a statement Friday. His office declined further comment.


Autopsy: Man shot self in Ala. police station attack

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SELMA, Ala. — A preliminary autopsy shows that an Alabama man who died of a gunshot inside Selma's police station shot himself to death.

Authorities say 21-year-old Rykemp Giles attacked a clerk inside police headquarters after being arrested on a domestic violence charge involving his mother on Nov. 7.

Police say Giles got into a scuffle with an officer and was shot, but that wound wasn't serious.

Police Chief John Brock tells The Selma Times-Journal the man then got an officer's gun and was later found dead in a cell.

District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed says the autopsy determined Giles shot himself.

An officer and the police clerk suffered injuries that weren't life threatening.


Man accused of killing 2 Iowa officers had called police ‘heroes’

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Ryan J. Foley Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Days before he allegedly killed two Iowa police officers, Scott Michael Greene sent a note to one of their departments apologizing for prior run-ins, saying his "dark days" were over and praising police as "absolute heroes."

In an online compliment form addressed to the "many officers" of the Urbandale Police Department, the unemployed 46-year-old father wrote Oct. 29: "I love you folks."

"I love the fact that you will give your life for my daughter and myself. You guys are absolute heroes and I mean that from the bottom of my heart," Greene wrote in the note from his Gmail account. "I'm so proud to have you guys around. I respect each and every one of you with all my heart. I really do."

Four days after the laudatory email, authorities say Greene shot and killed first-year Urbandale police officer Justin Martin, 24, and Des Moines Police Sgt. Anthony Beminio, 38. The ambush-style attacks took place about two miles apart within minutes of each other as both officers were sitting in their patrol cars. Greene is in jail awaiting trial on two counts of first-degree murder, which would put him in prison for life if convicted.

The Associated Press exclusively obtained the document and dozens of others about Greene on Thursday from the Urbandale Community School District under the open records law. The district had initially refused to release them at the urging of Urbandale police, arguing they were part of a police report and confidential. The district reversed course after the AP argued that exemption did not apply to school records.

The records reveal that for two weeks before the shootings, Greene was enraged by the district's decision to bar him for security reasons from district activities. The district acted after Greene had waved a large Confederate flag in front of black spectators at a high school football game Oct. 14. He told the district he targeted those spectators with the flag because he was upset they did not stand for the national anthem.

Greene warned school officials in a rambling email Oct. 26 that he wasn't violent but that "you messed with the wrong guy." He said the ban was a violation of his civil rights and promised legal action to restore the right to watch his daughter perform on the high school cheerleading team and in other extracurricular activities.

"I will fight you guys like a pit bull who's been fed gunpowder," he wrote to the principal and superintendent.

After the flag incident, police escorted Greene out of the game and temporarily banned him from school property. He later posted video of the incident on YouTube. One of the black parents who was targeted told the principal in an email that he expected additional security measures to prevent future harassment, saying many fans were on edge given the racial unrest going on nationwide.

"The last thing I want is for anything 'newsworthy' to occur and take focus away from the sporting event," the parent wrote Oct. 17.

District officials asked Greene not to attend the following week's game at a neighboring school district, but he showed up anyway. At that game, district activities director William Watson wrote in an email that Greene asked the school to lift the ban, citing "his desire when he was on his deathbed to state that he had been to all of his kids' events."

High school principal Brian Coppess told Watson that he believed Greene was "really enjoying all the attention" and remained a threat.

"I think something we need to be prepared for is that if Scott does end up missing an event, we have increased security at that event in preparation for whatever he might try," Coppess wrote Oct. 24. He said additional administrators should also be on hand "because there's no way of knowing what he might try next."

Later that day, Urbandale superintendent Steve Bass sent Greene a letter notifying him he had banned him under school board policy from attending district events for 90 school days — through March 9, 2017.

Noting that one parent complained that the flag incident was "racial hatred," Bass told Greene his actions were demeaning to spectators and interfered with the event. He warned Greene would be removed or prosecuted for trespassing if he didn't comply with the ban.

While Greene opposed the ban in calls, emails and meetings with school officials, he struck a different tone in his Oct. 29 compliment to Urbandale police. He said that he was sorry for causing disruption but that he was trying to exercise his free speech rights in the flag incident.

"I was sticking up for you men and women in blue," he wrote. "I could not stand anymore to see people sit during the anthem ... They are not protesting anything except for their hatred towards police."

He said that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder but that he has gotten it "worked out lately so you're not gonna hear much of me anymore."

"I respect each and every one of you with all my heart," he wrote. "I apologize that I ran my mouth and shown such disrespect at times but my dark days are over. I've been treated. I've been healed."


Fla. man launches ‘First Responders Lives Matter’ charity

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By Laura Layden Naples Daily News

NAPLES, Fla. — Ron Ziemba's attention has gone from transportation to transformation.

Ziemba, the founder of American Comfort Limousines in Naples, has taken a step back from the day-to-day operations of his transportation business to start and run a charity he hopes will transform lives. The new nonprofit is called "First Responders Lives Matter."

Moved by the recent rash of violence against law enforcement officers around the country, Ziemba felt a call to help. His charity will raise money to purchase more safety equipment for emergency workers and to help support their families when they're injured or killed.

"I just got fed up with all these people being targeted," Ziemba said.

He recalled the story in October about two police officers who were killed in California. One officer, a 35-year veteran, planned to retire soon. The other, a young mother, had recently returned to the force after maternity leave. They were shot as they tried to resolve a family dispute.

"Somebody has to step up — and see what we can do to help these people," Ziemba said.

His charity will focus on first responders in three counties: Collier, Lee and Charlotte. Ziemba wants to expand the effort through chapters across Florida and the U.S.

"I'm trying to help," he said. "Everyone talks the game, but no one is playing the game."

Part of the nonprofit's mission is to teach school age children about the importance of first responders and why they deserve respect. About 10 percent of the charity's donations will go toward that effort, with 40 percent of the money steered toward the purchase of new equipment — and the rest going directly to workers and their families for immediate needs such as paying medical bills or funeral expenses.

When he was a little kid growing up in Chicago, Ziemba said, police officers walked the neighborhood and firefighters let children slide down the pole at their station. Kids admired these emergency workers and appreciated them, which is not often the case today, he said.

Ziemba has invested more than $10,000 to get his charity started.

"I'm not expecting a return," he said. "I'm not taking any payroll."

He once had three convenience stores in Illinois, and it made him appreciate first responders even more. "Any owner can have a problem in business, and they are there for us," Ziemba said.

The charity has attracted a few sponsors — and there are hopes of getting many more. "I just need to get the word out," Ziemba said.

Sponsors receive vehicle stickers to show their support for first responders. Annual sponsorships start at $50 for individuals and at $250 for businesses. Donations can also be made in smaller amounts for those who don't want to become sponsors.

The first fundraiser, a Poker Run, is slated for Saturday. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Naples Harley-Davidson off Pine Ridge Road, near Interstate 75. The cost to participate is $15 for drivers and $5 for passengers.

There will be five stops on the poker run, starting at Gators Crossroads at the corner of U.S. 41 East and San Marco Road and ending back at the Harley-Davidson dealership. At each stop, competitors will get a poker card. Whoever has the best hand at the end of the run gets the grand prize, which will depend on the number of riders.

Besides the prize for the winning poker hand, there will be several raffle drawings. Prizes include $500 in cash and dinner for two at Coopers Hawk in North Naples. A 50-50 drawing is planned for 2 p.m., with half the money going to the winning ticket holder and the rest to the charity.

First Responders Lives Matter is registered as a nonprofit with the state's Division of Corporations. It's still awaiting federal approval of its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. "Our validation will be soon," Ziemba said.

He hopes to have more than 100 bikers and others sign up for the Poker Run. Ziemba's goal is to raise $20,000 from the event.

Lauren Smith, a stay-at-home mom in East Naples who has known the Ziemba family for more than four years, said the charity resonated with her immediately and that's why she joined its board of directors.

Her husband is a high school teacher and football coach at Naples High, so they're around law enforcement officers often, and they've developed close relationships with them.

"When a police officer acts upon a dangerous situation, there is such negativity. ... It seems like they aren't supported as much as they are judged or questioned," Smith said. "We wanted to support them."

Initial corporate sponsors include Forge Engineering and Exploritech in Naples.

Alycia Seevers, an administrator at Forge, which donated $3,000, said giving money to the cause was a "no-brainer" for her company.

"This really hit home," she said. "We employ former police officers within our organization. Not only is this just supporting the families of the first responders injured on the job, but supporting people that are close to us."

Copyright 2016 Naples Daily News All Rights Reserved


Active shooter hoax prompts evacuation at Texas college

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

HOUSTON — A 911 call from a woman claiming she saw a gunman on a college campus has been determined to be a hoax.

ABC13.com reported that Lone Star College-North Harris County campus was evacuated Thursday night. A woman called 911 just after 8 p.m. and said there was an active shooter on campus.

"She quickly said, 'Hurry, hurry, he's coming to shoot me now, he's coming in the room, hurry,'" Lone Star College Police Chief Paul Willingham said.

Close to 100 police officers responded to the call.

Chief Willingham said charges will be filed against the woman once she's identified.


Experts: Video evidence isn’t cut and dried in fatal OIS

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — When Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer, his girlfriend broadcast his final moments live on Facebook. But experts say the footage from a squad car camera was probably a bigger factor in prosecutors' decision to charge the officer with manslaughter.

And that footage, which has not been made public, is still no guarantee that Jeronimo Yanez will be convicted, as other police shootings have shown.

"There have been cases that had video that resulted in either an acquittal or a hung jury, so sometimes the video may raise more questions," said Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University who tracks fatal police shootings. "It's very hard to convict in these cases."

Since the beginning of 2005, a total of 78 officers in the U.S. have been charged with murder or manslaughter. Of that number, about a third of the defendants were convicted — 14 by juries and 13 through guilty pleas, Stinson said.

Of the 18 police officers charged with murder or manslaughter last year, at least 11 cases involved video evidence, he said.

Some of those cases are still pending, including the one against Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged last year with first-degree murder in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was charged the same day the city, under judge's orders, released dashcam video that showed he shot the teen 16 times.

Video does not always lead to a conviction. The trial of Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder in the 2015 death of Sam Dubose near the University of Cincinnati campus, ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial, despite video from Tensing's body camera.

In the Minnesota case, Yanez was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and other counts. Prosecutors say he shot the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker seven times in July after Castile told him he was armed and had a license to carry.

Prosecutors concluded that the situation did not call for deadly force. They said the charges were based on evidence that included squad car video and conflicting statements from Yanez.

Yanez turned himself in Thursday, was processed and released. He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday. One of his attorneys, Earl Gray, said he had not read the charges but "we weren't hired to plead guilty. We were hired to go to trial." Another defense attorney, Tom Kelly, has previously said Yanez reacted to the presence of a gun.

Some of the video shot by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, could be relevant because it might provide context or back up witness statements, said Jeff Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and managing director of the Berkeley Research Group in Chicago.

But Cramer predicted the dashcam video will be more revealing.

"Video does give prosecutors the ability to bring stronger cases, and it gives jurors the ability to see what happened," Cramer said.

Based on information that's been publicly released about the case, Cramer said, it seems Yanez would be hard-pressed to articulate a reason for drawing his weapon and firing. He noted that Yanez gave different statements on the night of the shooting than he did to investigators later.

"The officer didn't wake up that day saying, "I'm going to kill somebody,'" Cramer said. "This is just a tragic incident ... but this one could have been avoidable. I'm not sure what else Philando Castile could have done."

Lee Berlin, a criminal defense attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a former state prosecutor, said the video provides important context for the jury, and the combination of video with witness testimony is powerful. Still, he said, these cases are tough.

"I would much rather defend this case than prosecute it," he said, adding that the video streamed by Reynolds showed an officer who was clearly distraught but maintained a position of authority.

"It all comes down to what that officer saw at a particular time" and whether "a reasonable officer" would have done the same thing, Berlin said. He said a defense attorney would need only to plant a reasonable doubt with jurors and to show that Yanez was afraid.

The multiple shots fired by Yanez show the "real palpable fear and concern he must've had," according to Berlin.

That said, when Castile told Yanez he had a permit to carry a weapon, that should have been a signal that Castile was not a felon, Berlin added. But if Castile made any move that was not authorized by Yanez, it would be tough to find fault with Yanez's actions.

"I have no idea," Berlin said, "what he actually saw in those brief moments."


Experts: Video evidence isn’t cut and dried in fatal police shootings

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Amy Forliti Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — When Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer, his girlfriend broadcast his final moments live on Facebook. But experts say the footage from a squad car camera was probably a bigger factor in prosecutors' decision to charge the officer with manslaughter.

And that footage, which has not been made public, is still no guarantee that Jeronimo Yanez will be convicted, as other police shootings have shown.

"There have been cases that had video that resulted in either an acquittal or a hung jury, so sometimes the video may raise more questions," said Philip Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University who tracks fatal police shootings. "It's very hard to convict in these cases."

Since the beginning of 2005, a total of 78 officers in the U.S. have been charged with murder or manslaughter. Of that number, about a third of the defendants were convicted — 14 by juries and 13 through guilty pleas, Stinson said.

Of the 18 police officers charged with murder or manslaughter last year, at least 11 cases involved video evidence, he said.

Some of those cases are still pending, including the one against Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged last year with first-degree murder in the 2014 killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was charged the same day the city, under judge's orders, released dashcam video that showed he shot the teen 16 times.

Video does not always lead to a conviction. The trial of Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder in the 2015 death of Sam Dubose near the University of Cincinnati campus, ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial, despite video from Tensing's body camera.

In the Minnesota case, Yanez was charged Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and other counts. Prosecutors say he shot the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker seven times in July after Castile told him he was armed and had a license to carry.

Prosecutors concluded that the situation did not call for deadly force. They said the charges were based on evidence that included squad car video and conflicting statements from Yanez.

Yanez turned himself in Thursday, was processed and released. He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday. One of his attorneys, Earl Gray, said he had not read the charges but "we weren't hired to plead guilty. We were hired to go to trial." Another defense attorney, Tom Kelly, has previously said Yanez reacted to the presence of a gun.

Some of the video shot by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, could be relevant because it might provide context or back up witness statements, said Jeff Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and managing director of the Berkeley Research Group in Chicago.

But Cramer predicted the dashcam video will be more revealing.

"Video does give prosecutors the ability to bring stronger cases, and it gives jurors the ability to see what happened," Cramer said.

Based on information that's been publicly released about the case, Cramer said, it seems Yanez would be hard-pressed to articulate a reason for drawing his weapon and firing. He noted that Yanez gave different statements on the night of the shooting than he did to investigators later.

"The officer didn't wake up that day saying, "I'm going to kill somebody,'" Cramer said. "This is just a tragic incident ... but this one could have been avoidable. I'm not sure what else Philando Castile could have done."

Lee Berlin, a criminal defense attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a former state prosecutor, said the video provides important context for the jury, and the combination of video with witness testimony is powerful. Still, he said, these cases are tough.

"I would much rather defend this case than prosecute it," he said, adding that the video streamed by Reynolds showed an officer who was clearly distraught but maintained a position of authority.

"It all comes down to what that officer saw at a particular time" and whether "a reasonable officer" would have done the same thing, Berlin said. He said a defense attorney would need only to plant a reasonable doubt with jurors and to show that Yanez was afraid.

The multiple shots fired by Yanez show the "real palpable fear and concern he must've had," according to Berlin.

That said, when Castile told Yanez he had a permit to carry a weapon, that should have been a signal that Castile was not a felon, Berlin added. But if Castile made any move that was not authorized by Yanez, it would be tough to find fault with Yanez's actions.

"I have no idea," Berlin said, "what he actually saw in those brief moments."


Ky. departments receive grant to help violent crime victims

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

By Mark White The News Journal

KENTUCKY — Gov. Matt Bevin and Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley announced Thursday that grant money to help victims of violent crime is more than doubling this year — all thanks to an aggressive effort to capture federal funding and pair grants with Kentucky organizations. This includes funding for an organization in Corbin and another in Williamsburg.

In total, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is awarding more than $14 million in grants to programs that aid crime victims, including rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and child advocacy centers. That’s a 127 percent increase over the $6.2 million given out last year.

The funds are awarded to Kentucky under the federal Victims of Crime Act — known as VOCA — which supports public agencies and non-profit programs that provide direct services to victims. Services include crisis intervention and follow-up, therapy, group counseling, information and referral, court advocacy, and assistance with victim compensation claims, among many others.

Read more: Local agencies receive Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grants


Houston gets new police chief after community criticism

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Juan A. Lozano Associated Press

HOUSTON — Austin's police chief is moving to Houston to head the police force in the nation's fourth-largest city, which has long faced criticism for excessive use of deadly force.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the hiring of Art Acevedo, who had headed Austin's police force for nearly a decade, at a news conference Thursday afternoon. He fills a post vacated by the February retirement of Charles McClelland. Martha Montalvo had served as interim chief since then.

Acevedo said his priorities as new chief will include meeting with members of his department along with local residents and community leaders to get their ideas on how to improve the agency.

"I am very happy to be here in the city of Houston. The only person who needs to fear the police is the criminal," Acevedo said, briefly speaking in Spanish.

Turner said he chose Acevedo for the job in part because the police chief values balancing law enforcement along with maintaining good community relations.

Acevedo's tenure in Austin was marked by efforts to strengthen ties with community groups. He has been an active user of Twitter, tweeting about community events and his support of police officers.

"Folks are quick to critique when officers fall short and they should, but we also need to lift up and acknowledge good policing," Acevedo tweeted on Nov. 12.

But Acevedo has also faced recent criticism from some community leaders and police commanders over 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 February fatal shooting of an unarmed, naked 17-year-old.

After the February fatal shooting, Acevedo was criticized by the police union after speaking about the shooting at a news conference while standing with groups such as Black Lives Matter.

In a survey released earlier this year by the Austin Police Association , 52 percent of officers thought morale within the department was poor and 42 percent of officers said they didn't think Acevedo could effectively lead the department in the future.

Acevedo will take over a police department — with about 5,000 officers — that has been criticized by some Houston community leaders and activists over the agency's recurring issues with use of deadly force. Nearly every officer-involved shooting in Houston for more than a decade has been deemed justified by the law enforcement agency.

"We feel that the police department needs to be reviewed very carefully. We look forward to meeting the new chief and seeing what inroads we can make," said Johnny Mata, a longtime activist with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice.

Turner also announced on Thursday that Samuel Peña, the fire chief in El Paso, has been hired to lead the Houston Fire Department.


P1 Photo of the Week: Batman to the rescue

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Eric Ponton, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was working a community event during Halloween dressed as the Dark Knight and spotted his nemisis: The Joker.

Bringing villians to justice!

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!


Baltimore OKs ban of replica guns

Posted on November 18, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: PoliceOne Members

By Luke Broadwater and Yvonne Wenger The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to a citywide ban on toy guns that look like working handguns and rifles.

Council members introduced the legislation after a 14-year-old East Baltimore boy holding a BB gun was shot by a city police detective in April.

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said replica guns are contributing to violence on Baltimore's streets. He said people are using the fake weapons in robberies, and children who carry them are put in harm's way.

There have been more than 800 shootings this year in Baltimore, which is on pace to pass 300 homicides for a second consecutive year.

"It's something that we should do for the safety of our children," Young said. "We're getting stores robbed with replicas. We've got people running around with these things and they almost look real. ... I don't think we should be allowing replica guns in the city of Baltimore, especially with the murder rate we have."

Under the legislation, owning, carrying or otherwise possessing a replica that could "reasonably be perceived to be a real firearm" could result in a $250 fine for a first offense. Fines would rise to $1,000 for second and subsequent offenses.

The council voted unanimously Monday, without discussion, to allow a final vote on Kraft's bill. The bill is expected to pass by December.

"These replica guns are not toys," Kraft said. "They look exactly like real guns, and unless you are standing there holding them in your hands you cannot tell the difference. We need to get them off the streets.

"The fewer guns we have on the streets, real or replica, the safer it is."

Gun-rights advocates opposed the bill.

Mark W. Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue Inc., wrote to the council that the legislation is "hopelessly vague" and violates federal law, which prohibits states from banning the sale of some replica firearms.

The city law department notes that Kraft's bill prohibits possession of the replica guns, not their sale, and argues it is therefore legal.

Pennak wrote that the legislation would "create a whole new class of criminals in the City of Baltimore for the mere home possession by entire families of otherwise perfectly legal toys!"

"There are better ways to address the underlying concerns without flouting federal law and without subjecting the citizens of the City to discriminatory arrests and prosecutions for violations of a vague law," he wrote.

Kraft said the bill was amended to respond to concerns of the National Rifle Association and firearms instructors. Under the revised legislation, replicas can be used for training purposes by certified instructors and in certain competitions.

Antique replica guns are not prohibited. Kraft said replicas also are allowed for theatrical productions.

"If you have a replica gun and you're using it at Center Stage, then you can use the replica gun," he said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake supports the ban, her spokesman said.

"Mayor Rawlings-Blake has every intention of signing the legislation when it reaches her desk," spokesman Anthony McCarthy said. "Her interest is in ensuring that we educate the public of the potentially dangerous consequences of putting replica guns in the hands of our children."

The Baltimore bill follows similar legislation in New York, Chicago and Washington.

Dedric Colvin's shooting came amid a series of violent encounters nationwide involving realistic-looking toy guns. Police in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed 13-year-old Tyre King after he allegedly pulled out a BB gun with a laser sight.

The police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a public park in Cleveland in 2014 drew national attention. Video footage showed the boy holding a toy gun in a public park.

The city of Cleveland agreed to pay $6 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by Tamir Rice's family.

The shootings have helped fuel discussion of the way police officers -- and others -- view black youths. Many have argued that black children playing with BB guns are perceived as threats in a way white children are not.

Davis, who is white, has said the Baltimore encounter might have ended differently if his sons had been in Dedric Colvin's place.

"They're two 13-year-old white kids," he said. "If they had a gun in their hand, would it be perceived differently? Yeah, I'd be the first one to admit that."

The Baltimore Police Department submitted testimony supporting the legislation. Andrew G. Vetter, the chief of staff of the department, wrote that it's virtually impossible for officers to tell the difference between real firearms and replica guns when making quick decisions.

"There are a plethora of replica guns on the market intentionally designed to look as real as possible," he wrote. "When replica guns are mistaken by police as real guns, the outcome can be tragic."

Vetter wrote that replica guns are "frequently being used in street robberies" in Baltimore.

"The widespread availability of real-looking and inexpensive replica guns translates to an easily-accessible street robbery tool," he wrote.

Gun-rights advocates and paintball facility operators successfully opposed a statewide ban of replica guns proposed in Annapolis this year.

After Dedric Colvin's shooting, some state lawmakers said they would try again when the General Assembly convenes in January.


5 police IT project management best practices 

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

Police information technology projects take time to roll out. From identifying the department’s need needs to going live, a police IT project is often implemented in one to two years or longer. Throughout the process, from concept to go live, there is often an officer assigned to oversee the project management aspect of the department’s new initiative.

When a police officer graduates from the academy, the last thing he or she is likely thinking is how awesome it’s going to be when assigned to manage the department’s new technology project. The academy doesn’t train officers to manage IT projects like implementation of license plate readers, body worn cameras, a CAD or RMS. Once on the job, most departments don’t formally train police officers in IT project management.

This is a common issue for police departments from rural areas to major cities. Managing police IT projects takes a significant amount of organization, an understanding of business analysis and systems integration, the ability to work with end users and senior leadership and the ability to correlate any project change to the timeline or personnel with the project’s budget.

I’ve worked on a number of local, state and federal technology projects — from the FBI’s N-DEx system to local and state level law enforcement projects. These opportunities inspired me to share five do’s and five don’ts for police IT project management. The five things listed below are what I consider best practices to keep your project moving forward (good) and help prevent the bad or ugly from occurring.

1. Do communicate often Regular communications during every phase of the project is the key to its success. Project communications include regular core team member meetings, additional meetings with the vendor and regular status reports to your project team and possibly your vendor, project champion, leadership and possible funding source. Poor communications with the team and the vendor may result in project delays or failure, and that may cost your agency thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the size of your project. It is also important to recognize that everyone communicates differently. For example, emailing an action item to your vendor does not mean the message is received because you hit the send button. As the project manager, you need to make sure you follow up on that action item you assigned. Find out what communication methods works best for you, the team, the vendor and everyone else and adjust accordingly to ensure that the project you’re responsible for does not fail.

2. Do develop a written project plan The project plan is a living document throughout the project as changes are made, risks are identified and the technology implementation is completed. A written project plan typically includes the following:

A project scope statement. The project’s purpose. The project champion (e.g. generally the chief, sheriff or commanding officer). A list or table of the core team members with contact information and their role within the project. A list of external stakeholders with contact information and their role within the project. A financial section that includes the project’s overall budget. A change management section, the process in which a suggested change is reviewed, adopted or rejected. A risk management section which includes a risk register and mitigation strategies. A communications plan. A legislative analysis section which includes any existing or pending legislation that may impact your project. Key milestones or high-level list derived from your project schedule.

Once the project plan is developed, it must be shared with the core team members for input and buy-in. For version control, simply document the version number on the cover page as updates are made. Every time an update is made, send out the new version to the core team members and set up a meeting to review and discuss the changes. The project plan is typically developed using MS Word or in an online document that is always up-to-date and has editing and sharing controls.

3. Do create a project schedule A project schedule includes project phases, key tasks, deliverables, milestones, critical paths and assignments. The project schedule is essentially a timeline that documents each task, when each task will be completed and who is responsible. There is no way to predict the future, but you must build out a project schedule based on well-thought out assumptions. The project schedule should be frequently reviewed and adjusted.

Changes are to be expected along the way. This is important to communicate to your core team members and external stakeholders so no one is caught off guard when there is a shift in the timeline. For projects that are longer than one year in scope and have multiple phases, more robust software tools like MS Project, Basecamp, Trello or JIRA should be considered. For less complicated projects, MS Excel will work for creating a timeline.

4. Do expect there to be legal or political concerns Police IT project managers need to expect legal or political issues to occur and when they do, it is important to communicate the issue to your project champion and let him or her manage the issue. Be sure to inform the project champion about the implications the issue may have on your project schedule and major milestones.

5. Do expect to create new agency policy and training. In theory, the policy for the new technology should be created before the project goes live. The policy, like the project plan and project schedule, will likely be amended throughout the first year of a project as new issues surface. Plan accordingly for these changes. Managing police IT projects requires a tremendous amount of attention to detail and strong communications skills. Every police IT project has risks from procurement to implementation. It’s never as easy as it may seem, and there are often issues beyond your control. But a good project manager will be informed about those issues, communicate them and seek out strategies to resolve so the department will be able to fully implement and train its officers on the new technology.


5 things to avoid as a police IT project manager

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

While working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of police IT project management.

The good projects have a core internal team of end-users that come prepared to discuss the project at every meeting with detailed questions or concerns. Their preparedness is the result of a project manager keeping them informed and motivated.

The bad is when someone forgets to involve legal counsel in reviewing how existing or pending legislation may impact use of the data or the system. This occurs when the project manager fails to include legal review as part of the project plan.

The ugly is when there are communication failures between the project manager, the vendors, the project team and executive leadership. Because I’ve witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly in many projects I have successfully muscled my way through all of them.

Police IT projects have a high risk for failure. Here are five habits I have seen others do that contributed to a police IT project falling apart. New and experienced IT managers should review these lessons to ensure the success of their next project.

1. Holding project meetings without an agenda Make sure to create an agenda for every meeting you hold to keep the discussion guided and include the date, time and location of the meeting. Use your project schedule and plan as tools to inform your meeting agendas. Be sure to discuss timelines, deliverables, risks and mitigation strategies and other key project issues. The agenda should be distributed in advance of your meeting to allow team members the opportunity to pull together any information they need to present at the meeting and it should also be handed out at the meeting. Post a copy of every meeting agenda for later reference in a shared project management folder.

2. Creating infrequent, irregular project status reports As a police IT project manager, you should create weekly or monthly project status reports and distribute them to your core team members and possibly other stakeholders. If your project is grant funded, this is likely a requirement. The project status reports are an opportunity for the project manager to take a step back and document progress, financial status, issues and upcoming milestones. Once the status report is developed, it should be shared and then reviewed with the team during a meeting. Status reports are a necessary part of successful project management.

3. Forgetting to ask for help When a police IT project begins and the timeline exceeds six months, departments must consider assigning a deputy project manager to fill in when the project manager takes leave or is in training. With long-term IT projects, it will benefit your department to have two officers overseeing the effort versus one.

For multiyear projects, like for a new CAD or RMS procurement, it is unlikely that the officer initially assigned to oversee the project will be the same officer managing system testing and implementation because, over that period of time, the officer will likely be on a different assignment whether it’s due to a promotion or a lateral move to another unit. A deputy manager also acquires experience and knowledge to manage the next IT project for your department.

4. Allowing your vendor or in-house IT support to fall behind schedule Since project schedules are built on assumptions, delays in tasks or milestones will occur. There is, however, a point in which a delay becomes unreasonable and has the potential to spiral the project out of control. As the police department’s IT project manager, you are responsible for ensuring your project is done on time and within the department’s budget. This means constantly staying on top of issues, discussing risks during meetings and developing risk mitigation plans to keep the project moving forward. Do not let your vendor or your in-house IT personnel let things get so far behind that you can’t move forward. It’s your responsibility to push through and overcome the challenges.

5. Forgetting to involve legal or review legislation A project may be delayed due to legislation or in-house legal review of a contract or policy. Make sure to include legal reviews in your project schedule and legislative analysis in your project plan. Failure to involve legal or to review legislation can put your project on hold, impact your budget and possibly delay the go-live date. Since laws are dynamic, make legal review and review of existing or pending legislation a standing agenda item throughout the duration of the project. Projects often fail due to unrealistic expectations and poor project management. All police IT projects encounter challenges, but the key to overcoming them is to adopt a patrol officer's when/then mentality to project management.

The project manager has to keep the team members engaged, encourage their input, manage the vendor, be aware of legal concerns or legislative impacts, stay organized and on top of the project schedule and communicate about the project often across multiple stakeholders from the engineers to the chief.

Police IT is not easy. It takes time, patience, organization, good communication skills and the ability to see a project through over a period of time (sometimes years).


Idaho K-9 dies days after being shot during manhunt

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

BOISE, Idaho -- A police dog who was shot last week during a manhunt for a shooting suspect has died, the department reported.

Boise Police posted several photos and a message on its Facebook page that K-9 Jardo was rushed to the hospital after his family noticed he was acting strangely. He died after going into cardiac arrest.

“Jardo served our community and though we were blessed with these few extra days to share with him, he ultimately gave his life in the protection of fellow officers,” said Boise Police Chief William Bones.

After Jardo was shot Friday, the department was flooded with hundreds of cards and letters of support.

Jardo, a Belgian Malinois, joined the department in 2013 and was trained to track and apprehend dangerous criminals, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The six-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to his chest. He lost a lung and a lot of blood during surgery, reported KTVB.

Officials said they found a hemorrhage near Jardo’s heart Wednesday night, leading to the cardiac arrest and eventually his death.

Two Boise police officers were also shot during Friday’s manhunt. Cpl. Chris Davis has been released from the hospital after being shot in the leg. The other officer, a 17-year veteran of the Boise Police Department, remains in critical condition.

(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=v2.8"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); K9 Officer Jardo's final journey.

Our dear Boise friends, we are simply devastated at the loss of our friend and loyal, faithful canine officer Jardo. Jardo was recovering well at home when on Wednesday night, at approximately 8 PM, he collapsed and was immediately taken to WestVet by his handler. Jardo was evaluated and diagnosed with internal bleeding. He was stabilized by the WestVet ER team, with assistance from Dr. Nell Dalton who serves as the Boise Police Canine veterinarian, and prepped for emergency surgery. Two WestVet boarded surgeons worked to save his life, but unfortunately, due to the amount of blood loss, Jardo experienced cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived. Our hearts go out to the men and women who served with Jardo and those who feel his loss so greatly today. We also send our well wishes to Officers Corporal Kevin Holtry and Chris Davis on their continued recovery.

Posted by WestVet 24-hour Animal Emergency & Specialty Center on Thursday, November 17, 2016

Va. 10-year-old says no to birthday presents, buys K-9 vest instead

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Six unprotected K-9s now have ballistic vests and one of those vests was purchased thanks to a generous 10-year-old.

Alexis Mattingly donated her birthday money to the Virginia Beach Police Department to make sure every K-9 in the department was protected, WTVR reported.

“Dogs are awesome and I just wanted to help,” she told the news station.

Instead of asking for presents for her birthday, Mattingly asked for donations to help purchase a ballistic vest. She said she was following the lead of others who donated after the death of Norfolk Police K-9 Krijger.

According to the news station, she raised $2,500 in less than a month through donations and bake and craft sales.

“It just proves no matter how old you are or how young you are, if you want to do something then just do it,” Alexis’ mother, Holly Mattingly said. “It speaks volumes for society as well.”

Sgt. Chris Tull said the donations from Alexis and others couldn’t have come at a better time.

“These have been tough times for police officers in general,” Sergeant Tull said. “There’s been a lot of negativity that’s come out, so to see the community step forward and provide this support, really is heartening.”


Mounted NJ police break up street shootout, arrest 3

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWARK, N.J. — Mounted officers happened to be in the right place at the right time Monday when they interrupted a street shootout and arrested three people .

The officers were on patrol when they saw Alex Cora shooting at William A. Jones and Quamarly Boykins, NJ.com reported.

Jones and Boykins fled when officers arrived, but police brought the group to a stop and found a 9mm handgun on Cora, officials told the publication.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found two other guns at a barbershop.

All three men were charged with aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

The mounted unit was reintroduced after it was disbanded due to budget cuts in 2011, according to the publication.


4 LEOSA cases and what they mean for your concealed carry

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Heather R. Cotter, PoliceOne Senior Editor

By PoliceOne Staff

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) allows qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States. The law was intended to improve response to threats in public, and to allow current and former LEOs to protect themselves against criminals they may have had past dealings with.

Am I a qualified active officer?

As a refresher, here’s are the conditions that an law enforcement officer must meet to qualify for protection under LEOSA:

is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest or apprehension under section 807(b) of title 10, United States Code (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice); is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm; is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency which could result in suspension or loss of police powers; meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm; is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm. Case: Ronald Eugene Duberry, Appellants v. District of Columbia, Appellees

Decided: June 3, 2016 Why it matters: In a 2 - 1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit extended the right of retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons under LEOSA to retired corrections officers.

The Facts: Four retired D.C. correctional officers from the D.C. and Maryland area sought to carry concealed weapons because they “frequently encountered former inmates in public.” They allege that under the LEOSA, they are qualified retired law enforcement officers who each retired in good standing after working for ten years or more for the D.C. Department of Corrections.

The appellants applied to receive the required firearms certification from a qualified instructor, but were denied on the grounds that a career as a correctional officer did not fulfill the criteria and definition required by LEOSA because D.C. law gave correctional officers neither law enforcement status nor “arrest authority.”

Conclusions: Each appellant worked at least 10 years for the Department of Corrections, and each officer carried a photo ID confirming their retired status. The courts decided that because their roles as corrections officers gave them the authority to “arrest and apprehend, and to act in a law enforcement capacity,” they indeed qualified to be protected under the LEOSA.

James Roger Thorne v. United States

Decided: November 15, 2012 Why it matters: The Court declared private security guards are not protected by LEOSA.

The Facts: James Roger Thorne of Washington, D.C. was convicted for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

The Court held that private security officers were not given the right to carry concealed weapons under LEOSA. (Photo: Ad Meskens)

Thorne worked for a company called Alexandria Security Patrol Corporation, which hired him as a “special conservator of the peace (SCOP).” His job description offered him some authority to act in a law enforcement capacity, including the power to make arrests and to carry a gun on duty. Because of his job, the defendant argued that he should be protected from prosecution for carrying an unregistered firearm and ammunition by the LEOSA.

First, the defendant argued that the Alexandria Security Patrol Corporation was a government agency because it was a “criminal justice agency,” and thus he should be protected under LEOSA. The Court replied that there was a distinct difference between a private corporation and government/state police agencies, and said there was "no authority" to consider the corporation a government agency.

Conclusions: The defendant was employed by the Alexandria Security Patrol Corporation, which the court decided was a private business entity and not a branch of government. Because the defendant did not demonstrate that he is an employee of a governmental agency, he is not entitled to the protection of LEOSA.

The People of the State of New York vs. Benjamin L. Booth

Decided: May 29, 2008 Why it matters: Before the LEOSA was amended in 2013 to include qualified military personnel if they possessed an approved photo ID, this case affirmed the privileges of Coast Guard members to carry concealed weapons if they met other criteria.

The Facts: Defendant Benjamin L. Booth was stopped for driving 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. An officer searched his vehicle and found a loaded Glock handgun under the driver’s seat. The magazine contained 12 rounds, with an additional round in the chamber. The defendant stated he did not have a license to possess a firearm.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard have been involved in two high-profile LEOSA cases, and were not prosecuted in either instance. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

After being arrested, brought to the station and being read his Miranda rights, the defendant stated that he had received a waiver from the Coast Guard to use the firearm to practice shooting.

Lieutenant Benjamin W. Stevenson of the U.S. Coast Guard testified regarding the duties of the defendant as a member of the Coast Guard. According to Stevenson, the defendant was permitted to carry a weapon when conducting operations for the Coast Guard. He was required to be in uniform and carry a badge and ID card while conducting operations. The defendant was also authorized to make arrests and take part in law enforcement. His authority to carry a weapon did not extend beyond his role as a member of the Coast Guard, and he was not permitted to carry a concealed weapon while out of uniform.

Conclusions: Although the defendant broke the rules of the U.S. Coast Guard by possessing a handgun without a license, he is exempt from prosecution from New York State Law as a result of LEOSA. The evidence presented at the hearing showed that Booth was a qualified LEO who possessed photographic ID issued by the Coast Guard. As the defendant was fully qualified as an officer of the law and met all of the necessary criteria outlined by LEOSA, he is exempt from prosecution.

The People of the State of New York v. Arthur Rodriguez

Decided: 2006 Why it matters: Though constables are elected officials and paid as “independent contractors,” the Court decided they were employed by the executive branch and thus qualify for LEOSA privileges. This case showed that the court was willing to take a broad definition of what qualified as a law enforcement official.

The facts: Arthur Rodriguez was a full-time construction worker who was also employed as a Pennsylvania State Constable: an elected position that was essentially paid like an independent contractor. He was arrested in New York City for the criminal possession of a weapon.

The People vs. Rodriguez was one of the first cases to be raised under the then-novel LEOSA provision. (Photo: Dave Conner)

Rodriguez testified that he was qualified, certified, and authorized to carry a weapon in his home state, and as a constable, could make arrests and enforce the law.

Conclusions: The Court dismissed the charge after applying LEOSA to these guidelines. According to their opinion, Rodriguez qualified as a government employee and was thus protected from prosecution by the State of New York.

Though LEOSA was meant to be interpreted broadly and supersedes most state and local laws, many people have gotten into legal trouble for possessing a firearm while mistakenly thinking they were protected by the act. Don’t be next!


Mo. to pay millions for student who drowned in trooper’s custody

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

By Laura Bauer The Kansas City Star

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — The state of Missouri will pay $9 million to the family of an Iowa college student who drowned in handcuffs while in the custody of a state trooper.

The settlement, announced Thursday morning, ends a civil lawsuit that Brandon Ellingson's family filed in federal court nearly two years ago. The family alleged that Trooper Anthony Piercy, the state and the Missouri Highway Patrol were liable for Brandon's death in the Lake of the Ozarks.

"The money isn't going to bring Brandon back, but at least that amount shows they are at fault," said Craig Ellingson, Brandon's father. "If they weren't at fault, they would have kept fighting us."

The settlement allows the family to focus on Piercy's criminal case. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a Class C felony, in December. That case is on its third judge and is set for a hearing Monday in Morgan County. Piercy has been on unpaid administrative leave.

Lawyers for the Ellingson family sent out a release Thursday morning detailing the civil case settlement, which one attorney called "justice for Brandon."

"Nine million dollars is a sizable settlement indicating that there was clearly an undeniable liability on behalf of Tony Piercy and his actions," Des Moines attorney Matt Boles told The Star. "What the family has always wanted is for the state of Missouri to accept responsibility for what Tony Piercy did to Brandon -- and (the state) wrote a check."

But, he said, the family still feels it has not yet seen sincere remorse or heard words of condolence from the state or highway patrol.

"The silence is deafening," Boles said. "No apology, no 'Sorry for your loss.' "

The only person from the state or patrol who has offered a true apology, Craig Ellingson said, is retired Sgt. Randy Henry, a whistle-blower who spoke out after Brandon's death.

A spokesman for the patrol released a statement to The Star Thursday morning.

"The mission of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is to serve and protect all people, and any loss of life is a tragedy," said Capt. John Hotz. "With this case now settled through the court system, the patrol will have no additional comment on this matter."

The Missouri attorney general's office, which represented the agency and troopers, declined to comment.

The Ellingson family -- his parents and older sister Jennifer -- filed the lawsuit in federal court on Dec. 5, 2014, two days before Brandon would have turned 21. The suit initially named the patrol and several top commanders and troopers, as well as Piercy, who stopped Ellingson on May 31, 2014 for boating while intoxicated.

Piercy's actions and inactions that day caused Ellingson's death, according to the lawsuit. The state and patrol were also responsible, the suit alleged, because of a lack of training for troopers after the 2011 merger of the Missouri Water Patrol into the Highway Patrol.

As the civil case played out in federal court, the judge dismissed several counts and claims against multiple defendants. Only three counts -- including conspiracy and negligence -- remained, all against Piercy.

Ellingson's parents have said the suit wasn't about the money but about uncovering exactly what happened that day in 2014 and what the state and highway patrol did to try to conceal it.

"We knew ... that it was a cover-up from the beginning," Craig Ellingson said.

Not having their day in civil court is one reason the settlement is difficult for Sherry Ellingson, Brandon's mother.

"The rest of the corruption that surrounds this will not see the light of day," she told The Star. "The lying, the keeping the information from us, the changing of stories. That really saddens me and is hard to let go of."

The Ellingson family "understood how much more time it would take to take this case to the jury, and I think it was just time," said attorney Thomas Burke, who with Jerry Spaeth and other attorneys represented Sherry and Jennifer Ellingson and Brandon's estate. "This was never about the money for Craig and Sherry. No amount of money is ever going to bring Brandon back. But it's the only way, sadly, our system compensates for these types of things."

Earlier this year, a circuit judge ruled that the patrol "knowingly" and "purposely" violated the state's open records law in the days and months after Ellingson's drowning. The agency and its custodian of records didn't properly respond to Sunshine Law requests by attorneys for the Ellingson family and in some cases didn't hand over requested information, the judge wrote.

Through multiple records requests and interviews with past and current troopers and former water patrol commanders, the newspaper discovered that the 2011 merger of the Missouri Water Patrol and the Highway Patrol set the stage for the drowning.

After the merger, some road troopers were assigned to help out on the water, and Water Patrol officers at times were put on the road. Piercy -- an 18-year veteran road trooper -- received only two days of field training before he worked on the lake alone, The Star found.

In September 2014, the jury in a Morgan County coroner's inquest found that Ellingson's death was an accident. In that inquest, Piercy cried at times as he told jurors he wasn't properly trained for what he encountered the day he stopped the 20-year-old man's boat.

Ellingson and a group of his high school friends from Clive, Iowa, had gone to the lake for the weekend, and they were heading back to his family's lake house.

Brody Baumann, one of Brandon's closest friends, watched as Piercy arrested Ellingson for boating while intoxicated, cuffed his hands behind his back and then grabbed a Type III life vest, with arm holes.

Brandon's friends say Piercy stuffed the already buckled vest over Ellingson's shoulders and was unable to get it down over his entire torso.

Piercy was taking Ellingson to a zone office at speeds up to 46 mph when the young man was ejected from the patrol boat. The life vest soon came off. Piercy eventually jumped in the water to try to save Ellingson, but couldn't.

A toxicology report would later show that Ellingson's blood-alcohol level was 0.268, more than three times the legal limit. His family thinks the test was inaccurate because Ellingson's body wasn't recovered from the water for more than 18 hours.

The civil settlement is a step toward justice, Baumann told The Star.

"It's something that never should have happened in the first place," he said. "Right from the start, it seemed like the trooper was out to get us or out to get something. ... I don't think any of us will feel complete or as complete as we can be until something happens to (Piercy)."

Already, the family has seen changes to the patrol, after legislative hearings in late 2014 led to improvements across the state.

Road troopers no longer patrol the lake alone, and training for troopers who work the water has increased, as has the patrol's swimming requirement.

More troopers have been assigned to the Lake of the Ozarks, and a commander with the old Water Patrol now oversees the water division.

The Ellingsons also have seen strangers stand up for their son. Thousands of people nationwide have reached out to the family, and many residents at the lake have demanded justice for the young man they never met.

"I'm still overwhelmed from the support of people across the country and how touched they've been by Brandon's story," Sherry Ellingson said. "They've been what's kept us afloat. I can't imagine continuing with this fight if they weren't there fighting this with us."

The Ellingsons say they know people will be with them as they face Piercy's upcoming criminal trial. The past 2 1/2 years have been unbearable, Brandon's father said, and so will the coming months and years.

"Knowing I won't have grandkids by Brandon and he won't get to go to Jenny's wedding," Craig Ellingson said, his voice breaking. "Just the companionship. Brandon used to tell his fraternity brothers that I was his best friend.

"For the rest of our lives, there will be a big hole." ___ (c)2016 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC


City Council wants former officer retried in fatal Ohio OIS

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati's city council wants a white police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man retried after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

The council has unanimously approved a resolution asking Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters "to take all steps necessary to pursue a retrial" of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing. Tensing was fired after fatally shooting Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop near campus in July 2015. He was indicted on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges.

Tensing testified at trial that he feared he was going to be killed.

A mistrial was declared Saturday when jurors failed to reach a verdict after deliberating 25 hours.

Deters has said he expects to decide by Nov. 28 whether to retry Tensing.


Defense opens case in fatal SC OIS

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Bruce Smith Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The defense has opened its case in the murder trial of Michael Slager, the white former South Carolina patrolman charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.

Slager is charged in the April 2015 shooting of 50-year-old Walter Scott as he ran from a traffic stop. Cellphone video recorded by a bystander shows Scott being shot five times in the back.

The defense contends the two men struggled and Scott got hold of the officer's Taser before the shooting.

The first defense witness Wednesday was an audio expert who played enhanced audio from Slager's uniform microphone in which the officer warns Scott he is firing his stun gun.

The prosecution rested Wednesday after calling 32 witnesses over nine days.


Autopsy: Ga. man may have shot himself during foot pursuit

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Georgia authorities say an autopsy found a man who was fatally shot during a foot chase with a Savannah police officer may have killed himself.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release that 24-year-old Brandon Christopher Adams died early Wednesday. The GBI said autopsy results showed the fatal injury was "consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest." However, the agency said it's still investigating the death.

Savannah-Chatham County police say an officer stopped Adams on the street at about 3:30 a.m. and he fled on foot. Police say that during the chase, the officer heard a shot and saw Adams fall, but the officer never fired his gun.

Police recovered a handgun at the scene, but authorities have not said whether it belonged to Adams.


Prosecutor details key moments of Philando Castile shooting

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota prosecutor who filed manslaughter charges Wednesday against a police officer in the death of motorist Philando Castile detailed the deadly encounter July 6 between Castile and officer Jeronimo Yanez. The following excerpt from John Choi's remarks closely matches a criminal complaint. In his remarks, Choi also mentioned Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds:

Officer Yanez asked Castile to produce his driver's license and proof of insurance. Castile first provided him with his insurance card.

Castile then, calmly, and in a non-threatening manner, informed Officer Yanez: "Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me."

Before Castile completed the sentence, Officer Yanez interrupted and calmly replied: "OK," and placed his right hand on the holster of his own, holstered, gun.

Officer Yanez then said: "OK, don't reach for it, then."

Castile tried to respond but was interrupted by Officer Yanez, who said: "Don't pull it out."

Castile responded, "I'm not pulling it out," and Reynolds also responded by saying: "He's not pulling it out."

Then Officer Yanez screamed, "Don't pull it out!" and quickly pulled his own gun with his right hand while he reached inside the driver's side window with his left hand.

Officer Yanez pulled his left arm out of the car, and then fired seven shots in rapid succession into the vehicle.

The seventh and final shot was fired at 9:06 and two seconds p.m.

After the final shot, Reynolds frantically yelled: "You just killed my boyfriend!"

Philando Castile moaned and uttered his final words: "I wasn't reaching for it."

To which Reynolds loudly said: "He wasn't reaching for it."

Before Reynolds completed her sentence, Officer Yanez again screamed: "Don't pull it out!"

Reynolds responded by saying: "He wasn't."


10 dos and don’ts for obtaining a confession during a police interrogation

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Louis C. Senese

Physical coercion, torture, duress, denial of rights, threats and promises of leniency are the poison pills of legally admissible, reliable and voluntary confessions. Obviously we should not engage in such behaviors or any tactics that could render a confession involuntary. This article is intended to assist the professional investigator by outlining statements and techniques that should be avoided so as to ensure the integrity of a subject’s confession.

In August 2016, in the Dassey v. Dittmann case (which was highlighted by the popular Netflix television show, “Making a Murderer”), U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled that the guilty verdict returned by a trial jury in 2007 against Brendan Dassey for the murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach was based on an involuntary confession that was obtained as a result of constitutionally impermissible promises.

In his order to the State of Wisconsin to either release or retry Dassy, Magistrate Duffin stated, “These repeated false promises [of leniency], when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Also factoring into the finding of involuntariness was the magistrate’s concern that Dassey’s confession may not have been reliable because some of the corroborative details described by Dassey could have been the product of contamination from other sources, including the investigators’ own statements and questioning, or simply logical guesses, rather than actual knowledge of the crime.

The following recommended dos and don’ts will substantially aid in facilitating legally admissible confessions that are voluntary and reliable. There is a longstanding legal principle known as corpus delicti which translates to body of a crime and is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “the substantial fact that a crime has been committed.”

This principle suggests that a mere admission of culpability, standing alone, may not be sufficient to establish the substance or foundation of a crime. Instead, the corpus delicti is established through a more comprehensive confession within which the confessor, without prompting by the interrogator, affirmatively provides details of the crime that only the actual offender would know.

Two evidentiary elements that address the corpus delicti within legally acceptable confessions are:

    Independent evidence – verifiable information known only by the perpetrator of a crime but not revealed until the confession. An example of independent evidence is disclosure during the confession of the location of the murder weapon or body which had previously not been found. Dependent evidence – verifiable information known by both the investigator as well as the perpetrator that had been withheld from the public. An example of dependent evidence is disclosure during the confession of specific cause of death (such as strangulation) or point of entry to a break-in (such as a window-well on the east side of the house).

Once the suspect admits to committing the crime, the following suggestions will aid in obtaining a legally corroborated confession containing independent and dependent evidence that will firmly establish the authenticity of the statement. Throughout this process, bear in mind that an admission is the offender’s initial acknowledgement of participation in a crime, while a confession is a comprehensive statement made by the suspect that accepts personal responsibility for committing the offense and discloses the circumstances and details of the act.

Guidelines for asking the initial questions after the subject’s first acknowledgement of guilt are:

    Eliciting a narrative account of the crime. Making questions short and brief. Phrasing questions in such a way that will allow the suspect to initially give brief answers. Avoiding legal or descriptive terminology.

Follow the below guidelines while obtaining corroborating information from the suspect after the admission of committing the crime. For example, if a suspect admits to a home break-in, here are 10 suggested dos and do not’s for corroboration.

    Do not, during the development of corroborating details, ask leading questions which by definition are questions that suggest the answers. “You broke in through the sliding door at the rear of the residence, right?” Rather ask open ended questions, such as, “Where did you enter the house?” Also, do not ask, “You entered the home through the kitchen, right?” Rather, ask the open ended question, “What room was it that you first entered?” Do not ask questions at the outset of the confession that are too general, such as, “Tell me what happened.” Rather, begin by asking questions that develop the statement point by point. “About what time was it when you entered the house?” Do not provide crucial dependent information to the suspect, such as, “You stole jewelry from the house and discarded the costume jewelry in the Constantine Cemetery, right?” This is important especially when this information had never been publicly divulged and was known only to the perpetrator and the investigators. Do not challenge or berate a suspect who describes a memory gap during a critical time line. During this process of obtaining details if the suspect responds to the investigator’s question with, “I don’t remember,” do not retort with a challenge such as, “That’s a bunch of garbage, don’t lie to me, you do remember.” Rather, follow up with a question like, “What’s the next thing you do remember?” The subject will be brought to the crime timeline and will be less likely to get into an argument with the investigator. Do ask the suspect what he or she did and who he or she saw prior to and after the commission of the crime. This will assist in developing a crime timeline and possibly additional incriminating information. Do ask the suspect where he or she obtained the tools, weapons, keys or security code. Do ask the suspect to draw a sketch relating to the crime. This should be initialed or signed and dated by the suspect. Do ask the suspect who else he or she told about committing the crime. This information may assist in obtaining corroborating witnesses. Do validate the offender’s confession by asking the suspect at the conclusion, “If you are asked these same questions at a later date, what will your answers be?” The suspect that has legitimately confessed his crime will respond, “The same.” Follow up with “Why is that?” The suspect response is generally, “Because it’s the truth.” Do size up the suspect for intellectual capacity and emotional maturity as an appropriate guide for the investigator’s approach during the interrogation. These are also key indicators to the validity and reliability of the information obtained during a questioning session.

It is critical that we do not, even inadvertently, reveal details of the crime to a suspect during an interrogation, including after the initial admission.

Instead, we should ask questions that allow the suspect, of his or her own volition, to voluntarily reveal critical independent and dependent evidence that will effectively establish the accuracy and voluntariness of their incriminating statement.

Our goal during an interrogation is to obtain the truth by following legally acceptable practices.


Okla. man arrested after pursuit with speeds topping 200 mph

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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The Oklahoman

EL RENO, Okla. — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers arrested a man on Saturday and said he fled from them at speeds of more than 200 mph.

Authorities said the pursuit began Saturday morning when a trooper working along the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City clocked a Ford Mustang traveling 85 mph in a 70 mph zone and turned around to stop the vehicle, according to an OHP news release.

The driver of the car, Hector Fraire, 19, who troopers said is a member of a local racing group, reportedly began accelerating as he fled from the trooper, who clocked the vehicle at 176 mph and then 208 mph. Fraire attempted to elude the trooper by turning off his headlights and brake lights, according to a news release.

The trooper was able to catch up to the car at a red light at Northwest Expressway and State Highway 3. The driver reportedly turned south, pulled over and dropped his keys out the driver side window, according to the news release.

Fraire was arrested and booked into the Canadian County jail on complaints of reckless driving and felony eluding of an officer. Authorities said he posted bail and was released on Monday.


Deputy wounded in Baton Rouge ambush moved to new hospital

Posted on November 17, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A sheriff's deputy who was critically wounded in a shootout that killed three other Baton Rouge, Louisiana, law-enforcement officers in the summer was transferred Wednesday to a rehabilitation hospital in Texas.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Tullier had been treated at a hospital in Baton Rouge since the July 17 shooting. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center said in a statement that Tullier was discharged Wednesday morning and transferred to a hospital in Houston.

A lone gunman, 29-year-old Gavin Long, fatally shot two Baton Rouge police officers and one sheriff's deputy before a SWAT officer gunned down Long. Two other officers besides Tullier were wounded in the attack outside a convenience store.

Police said Long, an Army veteran from Kansas City, Missouri, was seeking out law enforcement and ambushed the officers. Tullier was shot in the head and stomach in his patrol car, authorities said.

"It has been our honor to serve Deputy Tullier, and we pray for his continued healing as he begins the next phase of his recovery," Our Lady of the Lake President and CEO K. Scott Wester said in a statement.

The shooting occurred less than two weeks after 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a black man, was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge in a confrontation that sparked nightly protests and has reverberated nationwide.

Tullier, a father of two teenage sons, joined the sheriff's office nearly two decades ago, serving for the past 10 years in the traffic division.

Relatives of the slain and wounded officers met privately with President Barack Obama during his visit to Baton Rouge in August. Tullier's father, James, has said the president introduced him to his personal physician, who called him to discuss options for transferring his son to a rehabilitation facility.


Fla. bystander who shot cop’s attacker receives new gun

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ESTERO, Fla. — A bystander who assisted a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy who was being attacked received a new gun Tuesday.

Shoot Straight reached out to the agency to follow-up on the shooting, The News-Press reported.

“He had to impound the gun for evidence,” Mark Williams, who manages the company’s Fort Myers location, said. “We wanted to donate a gun so this man’s not unarmed.”

The bystander fatally shot suspect Edward Strother after warning him to stop attacking the deputy. Strother was initially pulled over for speeding.

The sheriff’s office is calling the unnamed man a “Good Samaritan,” and the case is still under investigation.

“I know he wants to stay anonymous,” Williams said. “He’s a super nice guy. He doesn’t want any attention.”

After the man showed the company his concealed weapon permit and passed a background check, the company donated the gun to him.

“The sheriff is calling him a hero,” Williams said. “If they were comfortable with him getting a gun, I was completely comfortable with giving him a gun.”


NY welcomes first official pit bull K-9

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — The state of New York is welcoming a new K-9 to their ranks.

Before she became a K-9 officer, Kiah was recovering in a shelter from a skull injury. CBS News reported she was hit in the head with a hammer before she arrived at the shelter.

(Photo/CPPD)

Brad Croft, operations director for UniversalK9, decided to take Kiah home to see if she would fit as a police dog.

“From what I saw, I just couldn’t believe that she survived it [the attack], but she did,” Croft told CBS News.

Two years later, Kiah now works for the Poughkeepsie Police Department as a K-9 officer in narcotics and missing persons detection.

(Photo/City of Poughkeepsie)

According to the publication, Kiah is the first pit bull officer in New York State.

“They’re just good, good dogs. The Achilles heel is the stigma,” Croft said. “She’s so friendly, she wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

She is receiving the ASPCA Public Service Award on Thursday for her heroism and police work.

(Photo/CPPD)


Pa. trooper fatally shoots suspect while being dragged by car

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A trooper is recovering after a fleeing driver attempted to crush him.

According to the York Daily News, an unidentified trooper attempted to pull over Rasheem Singletary, 25, for a traffic violation.

He fled during the traffic stop, dragged the trooper and attempted to crush him against the cement median, the publication reported. Before firing shots, the trooper tried to stop Singletary without lethal force. When the attempt was unsuccessful, the trooper fired multiple shots, killing the driver.

The trooper suffered non-life-threatening injuries and received medical attention.


Texas officer dies in collision with train

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

KINGSVILLE, Texas — A police officer was killed Wednesday after his vehicle was struck by a train.

Sgt. Nathan Brandley told the Caller-Times that Officer Ken Starrs, 65, was driving in a pickup truck en route to his office, attempted to cross the railroad tracks and was struck by an oncoming train.

Brandley said the intersection does not have railroad crossing arms.

Starrs stopped at the intersection and looked north for traffic, according to the report. The train’s onboard camera footage was submitted for investigation.

Before he came to work for the Kingsville police, Starrs worked with the Corpus Christi police from 1977 until he retired in 2004, the publication reported.

He retired as a captain and worked with juvenile justice and narcotics, later working with the Port of Corpus Christi police.

“Debbie (Farenthold) and my thoughts and prayers are with those involved in this morning's train accident in Kingsville,” Rep. Blake Farenthold wrote. “Our law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to our communities and their sacrifices will never be forgotten.”

TX DPS Sgt. Brandley said the crash that killed a law enforcement officer near #Kingsville occured around 7:30 a.m.: https://t.co/yIu4mvzYBz pic.twitter.com/xoM7ziwLWy

— Caller.com (@callerdotcom) November 16, 2016

Ala. sheriff found dead inside office

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

BIBB COUNTY, Ala. — An investigation has been launched after a sheriff was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Investigators have made no official statement about Sheriff Keith Hannah’s death, but al.com reported an autopsy has been ordered to dermine the cause and manner of death. No foul play is suspected.

Hannah was found dead inside the restroom that connects to his office.

“I’m shocked and stunned,”' Bibb County District Attorney Michael Jackson said. “I enjoyed working with the sheriff over the years. I'm praying for his family.”

Hannah recently celebrated his 29th year with the sheriff’s office. He joined the force at 21 and became sheriff in 2003.


Police: Pizza shop customer shoots 2 robbers, killing 1

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LEVITTOWN, Pa. — An armed pizza shop customer shot and killed one robber and injured another as they tried to hold up the restaurant, police said.

The shooting happened late Tuesday night at Porfirio's Pizza and Pasta, located in a shopping plaza in Levittown, about 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

The customer took out a gun and shot both men after they allegedly pistol-whipped him, Middletown Police Chief Joe Bartorilla told reporters.

One suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The second suspect was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately available.

Bartorilla said the customer and employees were the only people in the restaurant when the two armed robbers walked in. The Bucks County Courier Times reported that the two employees were not hurt and the customer declined medical attention.

The customer's gun was properly registered, though police were still trying to confirm whether he had a concealed carry permit, Bartorilla said.

Police said the investigation was ongoing.


Police: Ga. man shot during foot pursuit, but not by pursuing officer

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Police say a man was fatally shot during a foot chase in Savannah — but not by the officer pursuing him.

Savannah-Chatham County police said the shooting happened at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday after an officer stopped a pedestrian on the city's suburban south side. The pedestrian fled and the officer chased him on foot.

Police say in a news release that "during the foot chase the officer reported hearing a shot and observing the individual fall. The officer did not discharge his firearm."

The man shot during the chase was pronounced dead at a local hospital. His name was not immediately released.

Police say they recovered a gun at the scene. Savannah police have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to lead the inquiry.


Inauguration Day: A marvel of security cooperation

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Fred Burton

The world will be watching in two months when Donald Trump takes the oath of office and becomes the 45th president of the United States. A laundry list of luminaries and thousands of well-wishers will converge on Washington, D.C., for the latest edition of the quadrennial ceremony, making it the ultimate special event from a security perspective. But U.S. Secret Service agents have long been working on the plan to ensure everyone's safety on Jan. 20.

Their job is made somewhat easier by the fact that inaugural events have, with a few exceptions, been held in the nation's capital since Thomas Jefferson took his oath of office in 1801. That means that the basic physical geography that must be considered remains relatively static, as do the venues and the parade routes that must be secured. In addition, the Secret Service does not bear the protective burden alone. A number of agencies — including the FBI, the State Department and its Diplomatic Security Service, the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia — all serve roles in the mammoth undertaking.

From my experience as an agent working on several inaugurals, I know that every conceivable security issue and contingency is discussed and gamed out several months in advance. The mountain of work to be done includes running background checks of staff, also known as credentialing, and setting emergency evacuation locations, motorcade routes and staging areas. There are also countless discussions about potential threats, from known terrorists to mentally disturbed individuals. The plan is a marvel of technology, teamwork and law enforcement cooperation made especially remarkable in a city where agencies guard their turf with a vengeance.

This year, the challenges surrounding the inaugural extend beyond Washington. The polarization that Trump generates across all parts of society has already spawned demonstrations throughout America, leading to concerns that agitators could attempt to disrupt his swearing-in. Plus, the businessman's numerous ventures offer a variety of potential soft targets that must be protected. An attack on a Trump-branded property as an expression of discontent or terrorism cannot be ruled out.

Operational Challenges Once security plans are finalized, they will have to be put into operation. On Inauguration Day, which has routinely been scheduled in January since 1937, weather invariably seems to play a part. Most assignments for the cops and agents on watch are outdoors. But if you are lucky enough — or senior enough — you are stationed inside. Keeping warm in the often frigid conditions is important, because agents must be nimble enough to respond to a potential threat.

The logistics of moving VIPs present another challenge. Hours before events get underway, motorcade routes must be swept for bombs, then shut off from traffic and guarded. Unauthorized vehicles parked on the route are towed. Secret Service sniper teams are perched on rooftops at chokepoints, ready to neutralize potential threats. The U.S. Park Police helicopter keeps watch from above while hazardous materials teams patrol below for chemical, biological and radiological threats. Meanwhile, joint interagency command posts are established to deconflict logistics and coordinate responses to threats. Counterassault, SWAT and hostage rescue teams are briefed and on standby.

The national intelligence community adds another layer of security. Before the big day, its analysts issue threat assessments that might make you want to stay home. As the event takes place, those agencies monitor potential threats in real time. If one is detected, any information, such as pictures of suspects or vehicles, is funneled quickly to agents on the ground. Despite the extensive intelligence networks tapped by analysts, in the back of your mind is always the possibility that something might have slipped through the cracks. As a result, you must always be ready to react if plans go awry or an eleventh-hour threat surfaces.

One year, during the holidays preceding an inaugural, the National Security Council dispatched my Stratfor colleague Mike Parks, then a State Department special agent, overseas. His assignment was to vet the story of a person who claimed to have knowledge of a threat to the ceremony. In that case, fortunately, he was able to debunk the person's tale, with the help of a polygraph technician.

A Chance to See History Even for seasoned agents and cops, taking part in the historic event generates excitement. Special badges manufactured for the event become cherished mementos. I still have one of mine from the inaugural of President Ronald Reagan. And in my mind's eye, I can still picture scenes from previous inaugurals, including the sight of the Clintons and the Gores together on stage with the entire foreign diplomatic corps during President Bill Clinton's first inaugural.

Come January, like millions of my countrymen, I plan to watch on television as Trump takes the oath of office. But nothing can compare to being there in person, even if you are on the job. As I look back on the inaugurals I have worked, I realize how lucky I am to have witnessed history firsthand. And I am proud of my role, no matter how small, in helping keep everyone safe.


Minn. officer charged in Philando Castile shooting

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Fred Burton

By Kyle Potter and Amy Forliti Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota police officer has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the killing of a black man in a St. Paul suburb, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile, 32, during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who was with him in the car along with her young daughter. The woman said Castile was shot several times while reaching for his ID after telling Yanez he had a gun permit and was armed.

Yanez's attorney, Tom Kelly, has said Yanez, who is Latino, was reacting to the presence of a gun, and that one reason Yanez pulled Castile over was because he thought he looked like a possible match for an armed robbery suspect.

But family members claimed Castile, an elementary school cafeteria worker, was racially profiled.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi got the case from investigators in late September and began reviewing the evidence for possible charges. Choi resisted pressure immediately after the shooting to turn the case over to a special prosecutor, but added one to his team to get an outside perspective. He also enlisted the help of national use-of-force consultants.

Choi's office has said a key question in his review was determining whether Yanez was justified in believing deadly force was necessary.

In Minnesota, second-degree manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter, carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

The shooting prompted numerous protests, including a weekslong demonstration outside the governor's mansion and one protest that shut down Interstate 94 in St. Paul for hours. The interstate protest resulted in about 50 arrests and injuries to more than 20 officers, after police said they were hit with cement chunks, bottles, rocks and other objects.

The shooting also exposed a disproportionate number of arrests of African-Americans in St. Anthony, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, which are all patrolled by the St. Anthony Police Department. The Associated Press reported in July that an analysis of police data showed black people made up nearly half of all arrests made by St. Anthony officers in 2016. Census data shows that just 7 percent of residents in the three cities are black.

The fatal shootings of black men and boys by police officers have come under heightened scrutiny since the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and led to calls nationwide for officers to be held criminally responsible.

No charges were filed in the death of 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, after a grand jury found officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense. The white officer had said Brown tried to grab his gun during a struggle through the window of the police vehicle and then came toward him threateningly after briefly running away.

Other police shooting deaths also did not result in charges, including the killings of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 in Cleveland and 24-year-old Jamar Clark last year in Minneapolis. A grand jury determined the white officer who shot Tamir had no way of knowing whether the boy, who was drawing a pellet gun from his waistband, was trying to hand it over or show them it wasn't real.

In the Clark case, prosecutors said the two white officers involved in the shooting feared for their lives when Clark tried to grab an officer's weapon during a struggle.

Officers have been charged in other cases, though. Michael Slager, a white officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, who has since been fired, is currently on trial for murder in the 2015 death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was shot while running from a traffic stop. More recently, Betty Jo Shelby, a white Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting of Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man whose car was stopped in the middle of the road.

When looking at whether to file charges, authorities must determine if the officer believed he or she, or fellow officers, were in danger in the moment the decision is made to shoot. If the fear of danger is deemed reasonable, charges are typically not filed. To prove a serious charge such as murder, prosecutors must also show that the officer was not just reckless, but had ill intentions.


2 incidents prove that citizens will risk their lives to save a cop

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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

I’ve reported on small acts of kindness by ordinary citizens in support of police and big-money efforts by really famous folks to support law enforcement.

I’ve also contended that the vast majority of American’s respect, admire, and support their police, and when the chips are down, most people would do whatever they can to help their LEOs.

In the span of just two days, two incidents have proven my thesis that when it really counts and lives are on the line, Joe Citizen is more than willing — and often quite able — to rescue a cop in danger.

From South Carolina to Florida On Sunday in South Carolina, a subject was beating two Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputies — Deputy Robert Bittner and Deputy Levi Reiter — about the head and neck with one of the LEOs’ batons.

According to reports, between six to 10 bystanders came to the aid of those deputies, and the assailant ended up dead from as-yet-unspecified injuries.

The very next day in Florida, a driver who viciously attacked a Florida sheriff’s deputy — Dean Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff's Office — was shot and killed by a law-abiding citizen with concealed-carry weapons permit. According to reports, the suspect pulled the deputy out of his car and began beating him. The CCW citizen then ran to the scene and told the suspect that he’d shoot him if he didn't stop beating the deputy.

When the attack continued, the good Samaritan shot the assailant three times. The suspect later died.

What we learned from these incidents Both of the above suspects learned the hard way that when you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes — had they ceased their brutal attacks and complied with lawful commands, they might be alive today.

All three deputies learned something as well: that many “ordinary” citizens who populate this great nation have an inherent willingness to step in to a dangerous confrontation to save a cop’s life.

Even while a small fraction of the population seize the narrative in the mainstream media with anti-police protests, that silent majority exists. Even while evil predators are increasingly attempting to murder our officers in ambush attacks, good Samaritans exist. The folks in South Carolina and Florida who sprang to action this week are just the most recent examples who prove the point.

Indeed, citizens helping cops dates all the way back to when Sheriffs in the Frontier West would deputize people in order to confront and apprehend dangerous criminals whose violence was tearing at the fabric of those emerging communities.

Famously, when Charles Whitman was shooting and killing people from the observation deck of the tower on the University of Austin Campus in 1966, a citizen named Allen Crum joined the team ascending the stairs and charging toward the sound of the guns. Crum was one of a number of citizens who raced home to arm themselves and take the fight to the gunman that day.

Dozens — perhaps countless — other acts of bravery and heroism have been displayed throughout American history and more can be expected in years to come.

Our turn to say thank you I’ve said for years that the general public is more likely to thank the airline pilot at the pointy end of the airplane than they are to thank the police officer taking a burglary report down the street, even though the officer’s impact on their safety is 24/7/365 and the pilot has dominion over their wellbeing for merely a matter of hours. However, every so often — and seemingly more regularly — a citizen will offer a word of thanks to a cop.

But when the chips are down and a cop really needs some help, that silent majority frequently steps up and risks everything to offer assistance. And in those cases, it is us who have the opportunity to give praise and thanks.

To all those “ordinary” citizens involved in helping resolve these two recent incidents in which officers’ lives were in peril, I say, “thank you.”


What 2 incidents say about the public’s true feelings toward police

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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

I’ve reported on small acts of kindness by ordinary citizens in support of police and big-money efforts by really famous folks to support law enforcement.

I’ve also contended that the vast majority of American’s respect, admire, and support their police, and when the chips are down, most people would do whatever they can to help their LEOs.

In the span of just two days, two incidents have proven my thesis that when it really counts and lives are on the line, Joe Citizen is more than willing — and often quite able — to rescue a cop in danger.

From South Carolina to Florida On Sunday in South Carolina, a subject was beating two Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputies — Deputy Robert Bittner and Deputy Levi Reiter — about the head and neck with one of the LEOs’ batons.

According to reports, between six to 10 bystanders came to the aid of those deputies, and the assailant ended up dead from as-yet-unspecified injuries.

The very next day in Florida, a driver who viciously attacked a Florida sheriff’s deputy — Dean Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff's Office — was shot and killed by a law-abiding citizen with concealed-carry weapons permit. According to reports, the suspect pulled the deputy out of his car and began beating him. The CCW citizen then ran to the scene and told the suspect that he’d shoot him if he didn't stop beating the deputy.

When the attack continued, the good Samaritan shot the assailant three times. The suspect later died.

What we learned from these incidents Both of the above suspects learned the hard way that when you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes — had they ceased their brutal attacks and complied with lawful commands, they might be alive today.

All three deputies learned something as well: that many “ordinary” citizens who populate this great nation have an inherent willingness to step in to a dangerous confrontation to save a cop’s life.

Even while a small fraction of the population seize the narrative in the mainstream media with anti-police protests, that silent majority exists. Even while evil predators are increasingly attempting to murder our officers in ambush attacks, good Samaritans exist. The folks in South Carolina and Florida who sprang to action this week are just the most recent examples who prove the point.

Indeed, citizens helping cops dates all the way back to when Sheriffs in the Frontier West would deputize people in order to confront and apprehend dangerous criminals whose violence was tearing at the fabric of those emerging communities.

Famously, when Charles Whitman was shooting and killing people from the observation deck of the tower on the University of Austin Campus in 1966, a citizen named Allen Crum joined the team ascending the stairs and charging toward the sound of the guns. Crum was one of a number of citizens who raced home to arm themselves and take the fight to the gunman that day.

Dozens — perhaps countless — other acts of bravery and heroism have been displayed throughout American history and more can be expected in years to come.

Our turn to say thank you I’ve said for years that the general public is more likely to thank the airline pilot at the pointy end of the airplane than they are to thank the police officer taking a burglary report down the street, even though the officer’s impact on their safety is 24/7/365 and the pilot has dominion over their wellbeing for merely a matter of hours. However, every so often — and seemingly more regularly — a citizen will offer a word of thanks to a cop.

But when the chips are down and a cop really needs some help, that silent majority frequently steps up and risks everything to offer assistance. And in those cases, it is us who have the opportunity to give praise and thanks.

To all those “ordinary” citizens involved in helping resolve these two recent incidents in which officers’ lives were in peril, I say, “thank you.”


Ore. deputy shot; suspect in custody

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

null

The Oregonian

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — A sheriff's deputy was shot in the leg and a man was injured after a shooting Tuesday morning in Happy Valley, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.

The deputy responded after Steven W. Wilson, a pedestrian, was struck by a vehicle at Southeast Sunnyside Road and 139th Avenue, said sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Brian Jensen. The deputy and Wilson then got into an altercation, Jensen said.

Shots were fired, striking the deputy in the leg, Jensen said.

The sheriff's office does not know who fired the shots or how many were fired, Jensen said.

Wilson, a 40-year-old from Portland, was also injured, though it is unclear how. His condition is unknown. He is currently being treated at OHSU, Jenson said.

A civilian was on a ride-along with the deputy and came to his aid, Jensen said. Another person passing by also stopped to help, he said.

The deputy, who patrols Happy Valley under a sheriff's office contract with the city, was taken to a local hospital, Jensen said. The deputy's injuries are not life-threatening and he is in stable condition.

The deputy will be placed on administrative leave while officials investigate, which is common practice, Jensen said. The deputy has not been identified.

Sunnyside has been closed, but officials said about 1:40 p.m. it had reopened.

Jordan Blue was waiting for his bus when he saw the deputy and a man begin fighting, he said.

Blue, who lives nearby, saw four cars with their hazard lights on, two women standing outside and a man sitting down wrapped in a blanket across the street from his bus stop, he said. He saw the deputy go over to talk to the people.

After about five minutes, Blue looked down at his phone. When he looked up, the deputy was on top of the man and the two were fighting on the ground, he said.

"It happened in an instant," he said.

He heard a gunshot ring out, then two more seconds later, he said.

Another man came out of the deputy's car to help him, Blue said. They were still trying to subdue the man when Blue got on his bus to go to work.

Blue said he was shocked to witness the shooting in his neighborhood, where he has lived for two years.

"I wasn't expecting to see anything like that," he said.

Deputy shot in leg, enroute to hospital. Suspect detained, unk status.

— Clackamas Sheriff (@ClackCoSheriff) November 15, 2016

Jon Ragsdale lives a couple houses from where the shooting took place. He said his 18-year-old daughter awoke about 6 a.m. to a popping sound, which was likely the sound of gunfire.

Ragsdale said the shooting rocked the quiet neighborhood.

"Nothing like this has happened before," he said.

The sheriff's office asks anyone with information about the shooting or the crash to contact the sheriff's office tip line at 503-723-4949 or by using its email form.


History and use of the billy club

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

Billy clubs were the first less-lethal weapon used by police officers to subdue criminals and maintain public order. Known by many names, the police officer’s club, mace, truncheon, nightstick, or baton is as old as the profession itself. Though the names and techniques have changed, the tool itself has not, and is now a symbol of police officers worldwide.

British police constable wearing a decorated billy club. (Photo: Anthony McCallum)

The billy club in early police history

London’s first police department was founded in 1829 by Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. His concept of a modern police force was based on the principle of “policing by consent:” earning the respect and compliance of the public instead of ruling by intimidation. The new police force would be unarmed except for the billy club, the signature tool of early police officers.

Billy clubs differed in length depending on the officer’s preferences and physical size. Historically, they ranged from about about 14 inches in length for close-quarters use, to over 36 inches for use in riots or by officers on horseback.

A mounted officer carries a 36-inch club to a Vietnam War protest, 1968. (AP Photo)

Because of the billy club’s versatility and the police culture established by Robert Peel, British law enforcement’s use of firearms was very limited until the mid-1990’s.

Billy clubs as a symbol of police worldwide

Between the different sizes and personal ornamentation, many Victorian era billy clubs are unique items. The staffs were ornately decorated with marks such as a royal crown and scepter, various coats of arms, and sometimes, the initials of the billy club’s owner.

A collection of decorated 19th century billy clubs. (Photo: Kim Traynor)

The tradition of decorating a billy club, truncheon, or baton was carried over to the United States. In New York, batons made of finely carved woods and ivory were given to officers by police personnel under their jurisdiction. These particular items are largely ceremonial and not used in the field.

A collection of fine clubs presented to NYPD officers. (AP Photo)

In Baltimore, a large club called the espantoon became known as an officer’s “Badge of Authority” sometime in the 19th century. Police officers from the area were known for twirling their trademark batons, which became a unique piece of the department’s culture. Though espantoons were banned in 1994 by police commissioner Thomas C. Frazier for being “too intimidating,” they were brought back by popular demand in 2000 following his replacement.

Billy clubs as a less-lethal option

The first London police officers were issued billy clubs as a tool for self-defense, but these tools can still cause great physical harm in the hands of a trained officer—especially when striking vulnerable areas such as the head, spine, or groin.

A baton has numerous advantages as a striking weapon. Most notably, it preserves the hands which can be easily injured while boxing, and can be used defensively to protect against blows from blunt and sharp objects.

If they must strike with their batons, today’s officers are taught to disable offenders by targeting nerve clusters and bony prominences in the limbs and torso rather than hitting to cause a concussion.

Points of impact from a mid-20th century FBI training manual. (Photo: Technique and Use of the Police Baton)

An FBI tactical manual called “Technique and Use of the Police Baton” also contains several instructions on how to use a straight baton to restrain a suspect, force them to move in a certain direction (“come alongs”), or manipulate a resisting offender’s limbs.

Even if officers never use a billy club as a tool of force, there are other applications for the baton. Clubs have been used to break windows and intimidate (but not harm) belligerent folks into compliance. Billy clubs were even used as a means of communication: before they had radios, Baltimore police officers used to knock their espantoon clubs along curbs and pipes to alert other officers. Even the way an officer carries their baton on their person can be used to send messages to a hostile person or crowd.

Billy clubs today

After incidents such as the beating of Rodney King, the use of straight clubs declined out of public image concerns. The availability of TASERs, pepper spray, and collapsible batons along with a greater concern for officer safety have also contributed to the reduced use of the traditional straight club.

Billy clubs might take more training to use effectively and reasonably than other less-lethal weapons, but the officers who possess that knowledge may have greater control over how much force they apply. It’s a fading art, but even so, billy clubs are a part of police history and a useful tool, versatile tool for those willing to learn.


Police search for motive in killing of Okla. airport worker

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Sean Murphy Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police are investigating why a man waited to gun down an airline employee outside Will Rogers World Airport in a deadly ambush that forced hundreds of travelers to take shelter and prompted authorities to shut down the state's busiest airport for hours.

Later Tuesday, police discovered the suspected shooter dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a pickup truck in a parking garage near where they believe he waited, watching airport employees come and go before shooting and killing Michael Winchester, 52, a Southwest Airlines employee.

"We do believe this was a premeditated act against the victim," said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama. "This was not random, and obviously the investigation is ongoing."

Normal operations resumed Wednesday morning at the airport after 25 flights were canceled Tuesday because of the shooting.

Balderrama said late Tuesday that investigators hadn't positively identified the shooter, but said the man apparently knew Winchester's schedule and routine and that the two men likely knew one another.

"It's too early in the investigation to figure out the exact motive," Balderrama said.

The 1 p.m. shooting set off a scramble at the airport, with police immediately closing the sprawling complex and asking passengers inside to seek cover.

They diverted incoming flights and refused to give already-loaded aircraft permission to leave. There were concerns the gunman might have entered the terminal and mingled among passengers or employees.

"We have a heightened level of security all the time. These people have access to aircraft so we're very concerned about that," airport spokeswoman Karen Carney said.

Winchester — whose address is listed as Washington, Oklahoma, about 35 miles south of the airport — was a former University of Oklahoma football player whose son James is a player for the Kansas City Chiefs. The NFL team tweeted Tuesday night: "Our love and support is with James and the entire Winchester family."

Southwest Airlines canceled flights out of the city for the remainder of the day even though the rest of the terminal reopened.

Hundreds of people were stranded inside the terminal for more than three hours before officers began letting them leave slowly. Carney said about 300 people were held on aircraft away from the terminal after their planes landed ahead of a ground stop.

Police found the suspect's red pickup truck on the second floor of a public parking garage about three hours after the shooting and used a robot to determine the suspect was dead, then gave an all-clear.

The airport handles between 7,000 and 8,000 passengers daily for Alaska, Delta, Southwest and United airlines and has a separate terminal that serves as a transfer center for federal inmates. A jet carrying inmates to the transfer site was allowed to land while the rest of the airport was shuttered.

Video from a television station helicopter showed what appeared to be a pool of blood about 100 feet from the airport's employee parking area — and about 100 yards from the airport's ticket counters and departure area.

While airports have high security, Balderrama said he didn't know whether surveillance cameras might show the shooting.

Balderrama initially said police had received reports of a possible second victim, but no one was found.

Michael Winchester was a punter on the University of Oklahoma's 1985 national championship team.

"Our hearts are truly heavy for the entire Winchester Family. Mike was a former Sooner student athlete as was his son James/daughter Carolyn," the school's athletic director, Joe Castiglione, tweeted Tuesday afternoon. He added "daughter Becca was also a student athlete. Please keep this beautiful family in your prayers" in a later tweet.

___

Associated Press reporters Ken A. Miller and Tim Talley contributed to this report.


Police: Okla. airport shooting likely case of workplace revenge

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By Sean Murphy Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A man who gunned down a Southwest Airlines employee outside of Oklahoma City's airport likely killed the victim in retaliation for circumstances that led to the attacker leaving his job with the airline last year, police said Wednesday.

Lloyd Dean Buie, 45, killed 52-year-old Michael Winchester on Tuesday as Winchester was leaving work for the day and walking to an employee parking lot, police Capt. Paco Balderrama said at a news conference. Buie fired the shot from the fourth floor of a parking garage when Winchester was about 50 yards away, he said. Buie was later found dead in his pickup truck in the garage.

Buie resigned from Southwest Airlines in April 2015. Balderrama said Winchester wasn't Buie's immediate supervisor, and though the circumstances surrounding Buie's departure were not immediately available, he said investigators believe they were the reason behind the attack.

Winchester, whose address is listed as Washington, Oklahoma, about 35 miles south of the airport, was a former University of Oklahoma football player whose son James is a long-snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs. The team tweeted Tuesday night: "Our love and support is with James and the entire Winchester family."

The 1 p.m. shooting set off a scramble at Will Rogers World Airport, with police immediately closing the sprawling complex and asking passengers inside to seek cover. They diverted incoming flights and refused to give already-loaded aircraft permission to leave. There were concerns the gunman might have entered the terminal and mingled among passengers or employees.

Police found Buie's red pickup truck in the parking garage about three hours after the shooting. They used a robot to determine he was dead inside it before giving the all-clear.

The attack led to the cancellation of 25 flights. Normal airport operations resumed Wednesday.

The airport handles between 7,000 and 8,000 passengers daily for Alaska, Delta, Southwest and United airlines and has a separate terminal that serves as a transfer center for federal inmates. A jet carrying inmates to the transfer site was allowed to land while the rest of the airport was shuttered.

Michael Winchester was a punter on the University of Oklahoma's 1985 national championship team.

"Our hearts are truly heavy for the entire Winchester Family. Mike was a former Sooner student athlete as was his son James/daughter Carolyn," the school's athletic director, Joe Castiglione, tweeted Tuesday afternoon. He added "daughter Becca was also a student athlete. Please keep this beautiful family in your prayers" in a later tweet.


Ga. deputy dies from crash injuries

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Steve Burns Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Newton County deputy sheriff died Tuesday from injuries he suffered in a single-car crash Oct. 30, Newton Coroner Tommy Davis confirmed.

Justin White, 28, of Covington, was taken to Atlanta Medical Center after the crash. He was in intensive care until he died.

Newton deputies took White’s body from AMC to sheriff’s headquarters Tuesday via I-20 eastbound through DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

White, a Newton County deputy since 2012, was responding to a medical emergency call when the crash happened, officials said. White’s car was traveling south on Highway 162 negotiating a curve, according to a Georgia State Patrol statement.

“The right-side tires left the roadway and entered the west shoulder before re-entering the southbound lane of Ga. Highway 162,” the GSP said. “The driver lost control and eventually struck an embankment and overturned, coming to an uncontrolled rest on its roof on the south shoulder of Mote Road, facing east.”

White was not wearing his safety belt.


NJ police receive grant for new body armor

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By Frank Mustac CentralJersey.com

PENNINGTON, N.J. — The borough will be adding grant money to its municipal budget to help pay for protecting its police officers.

According to Pennington Borough Councilman Charles “Chico” Marciante, approximately $900 from the state will be granted to Pennington to help pay for body armor for the Pennington Borough Police Department.The money comes from the state Body Armor Fund grant program, which offers funds to local law enforcement to offset the costs of purchasing body armor vests for officers.

The program is supported by the Body Armor Replacement Fund, a non-lapsing revolving fund financed through a $1 fee assessed on convictions for motor vehicle and traffic offenses and on forfeitures of bail, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice, which administers the program.

Read more: PENNINGTON: Grants to pay for police body armor


How police officers can increase their income during the holidays without overtime

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jason Hoschouer

I don’t want to alarm you, but Christmas is in December this year. I hope your family isn’t calling the paramedics right now because you’re choking on your turkey. I apologize if I freaked you out.

Just because you only have a short time before present-a-palooza kicks off, this does not have to be a financial stressor for you. This article will illustrate some quick ways to make some cash that doesn’t necessitate overtime. All too often, cops become reliant on overtime and yet we still feel like we’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. This article won’t solve all your financial woes between now and Christmas, but it certainly will make a dent in the issue. Below are four ideas on how you can get some margin so you can spend more time with your family instead of pushing a patrol car around for 18-hour days.

1. Have a garage sale Take a look around your home. Look at all the stuff you have. Did you look in that box in the garage you haven’t opened since you moved in three years ago? Unless you’re a devout minimalist, you likely have things in your home you can easily part with for some easy cash.

A well-organized garage sale can bring you a few hundred dollars in profit in one or two days. It costs you nothing to post your sale on social media or Craigslist. It may cost you a couple of dollars to buy some neon poster board and make some signs. The point is your investment is minor and your gain could be huge.

2. Leverage social media Don’t like people in your garage? Are you tired of yelling at people to get off your lawn? Are you exhausted at the mere thought of wondering if the guy trying to buy your lava lamp is on parole? Perhaps the garage sale isn’t your cup of tea.

It’s likely that your neighborhood has a Facebook page designed specifically for people to list items for sale. Here’s how it generally works. The page is made up of people in your community. It is likely a closed group and you must be vouched for/vetted prior to approval.

You post your vintage Evel Knievel lunch box for sale for $20 (I have done zero research on the value of Mr. Knievel’s lunch box value, so don’t hold me to it). Then some dude across town sees it and wants to buy it. You agree. You leave the lunch box on your porch. The dude comes over, takes the lunch box and leaves you a twenty spot under the doormat.

This is coined as magic money. Are there potential issues with this? Sure. Someone could steal the lunch box. Someone could steal the $20. If that’s your life perspective, this concept won’t work for you. What I can tell you, however, is that I’ve been doing this for years and have never had an issue.

3. Craigslist: the virtual garage sale This is similar to the previous tip, but you determine where to meet someone to sell your items. I once sold a motorcycle for $6,000 and simply had the buyer meet me at the PD. He paid in cash (I used a counterfeit detector pen) and three uniformed cops loaded the bike in the back of his pickup. I had zero worries about his authenticity and the transaction went swimmingly. I have had my reservations about Craigslist, but after countless transactions, I’ve grow accustomed to it.

4. Nothing to sell? Try reducing Look at your financial outflow. Where can you cut back with a quickness that will be a boost to your bottom line during the holidays? Here’s a brief list of possibilities:

• Cable • Gym • Eating out • Groceries (the single largest category in which most people overspend) • Subscriptions

I’m not saying to cut these things forever, but it’s likely you’d be able to squeeze out a few hundred dollars simply by spending less in these areas. And who knows, if you keep up this kind of behavior and combine these new habits with a good budget, you may be able to cut out overtime altogether. I haven’t worked overtime out of necessity since the end of 2011, and I assure you this side of the fence feels amazing.


Report: Cities boost policies to criminalize homelessness

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

By Cathy Bussewitz Associated Press

HONOLULU — A new report says cities nationwide are enacting more policies that criminalize homelessness.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty said Tuesday many cities have banned living in vehicles, camping in public areas and panhandling.

The center says policies that criminalize homelessness harm communities because they create barriers to employment, housing and education.

Honolulu is among a handful of cities named in the report's "hall of shame" for what the authors call bad policies. The report says Honolulu issued more than 16,000 warnings to people violating its sit-lie ban since it was enacted in Waikiki in 2014.

Honolulu officials say the ban is necessary so people can safely use public sidewalks and because tourists and residents complained.

Denver, Dallas and Puyallup, Washington, also were criticized for criminalizing policies.


Chicago’s top cop helps nab carjacking suspects

Posted on November 16, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Rosemary Regina Sobol Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson helped capture three carjacking suspects Friday night on the West Side.

Johnson was already in the area on his way to a 9:30 p.m. press briefing in the Austin District when he and several other officers spotted a Lexus sedan that had been carjacked in Cicero speeding east through the district and gave chase, said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

"We heard on the radio that there was a carjacking so the superintendent got involved and he and about 30 other units apprehended three people," Guglielmi said.

After a brief pursuit and a collision, the Lexus was curbed at Quincy Street and Laramie Avenue, where the driver got out and fled on foot. Officers ran after him and placed him into custody.

Additionally, a woman and another man who were inside the Lexus were arrested. No charges have been filed yet, but they were being questioned by detectives Friday night, Guglielmi said.

Police are investigating if this carjacking was part of a recent pattern that involves luxury sports cars being stolen in the suburbs and being used in the city to commit shootings and robberies, Guglielmi said.

The incident happened as Johnson was on his way to brief the media on this weekend's anti-violence missions at a mobile command center.


Anchorage police tie gun used to ambush officer to 5 killings

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Mark Thiessen Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The handgun used to wound an Anchorage police officer last weekend has been linked to five previously unsolved homicides this year in Alaska's largest city, police said Tuesday.

Lt. John McKinnon, head of the city police's homicide division, said the Colt Python .357 revolver was linked through ballistics to two double homicides and one other killing.

"It is just heartbreaking," Anchorage Police Chief Chris Tolley told reporters.

The gun was used by James Dale Ritchie, 40, early Saturday morning to ambush police officer Arn Salao, who was responding to a report that a man hadn't paid a cab fare.

Even after he was shot repeatedly, Salao returned fire as he jumped out of his police cruiser. Sgt. Marc Patzke arrived at the same time and also shot at the suspect, Tolley said. Ritchie was killed in the exchange.

McKinnon said the guns had been used in the July 3 shootings deaths of Jason Netter and Brianna Foisy, whose bodies were found on a trail near downtown Anchorage; in the July 29 death of Treyveonkindell Thompson, who was found on an isolated street, and the Aug. 28 deaths of Bryant De Husson and Kevin Turner, who were both shot in the Valley of the Moon Park near downtown Anchorage.

Detectives continue to look into Ritchie's past, and McKinnon asked the public to provide any information they could about him.

"He hadn't been on our radar for a while in Anchorage, so that's part of what they're trying to determine is, where he's been, who he'd lived with, what other contacts he had," said Anchorage District Attorney Clint Campion. "He hasn't had any real police contact in the last decade in Alaska."

Campion said the five homicide cases remain open because the link to the gun provides investigative leads that need to be pursued. He said Anchorage police would be working with various agencies in the state in the investigation.

The gun was not registered to Ritchie, police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said.

"What I'd be looking at is to see what the evidence is and which way that points us," Campion said. "I think the firearm is a significant lead in that direction, and there's other investigation that need to be done."

Tolley said actions of Salao and Patzke in returning fire at Ritchie were heroic and "made sure that this individual will not hurt any one of you or any one of the citizens of Anchorage. I'm so very, very proud of them."

Salao was hit at least four times in the lower part of his body, with bullets fracturing bones, ripping apart muscles and going through the intestine and lodging in his liver, Tolley said.

He underwent seven hours of surgery on Saturday. Tolley said the officer is recuperating at an Anchorage hospital, and has been moved out of the intensive care unit.

"The officer is a fighter," Tolley said, adding Salao is determined to live.

Salao has been a patrol officer since joining the force in October 2011. Patzke has been with the force since November 2007. ___

Associated Press reporter Becky Bohrer in Juneau, Alaska, contributed to this report.


Bystander fatally shoots suspect attacking Fla. deputy

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

ESTERO, Fla. — A bystander came to the rescue of a deputy who was under attack Monday.

According to WINK, Lee County Deputy First Class Dean Bardes was working a crash when he recognized a suspect and tried to pull him over. The suspect fled and Bardes pursued him at speeds of over 100 mph.

The driver exited his vehicle on an off-ramp and attacked Bardes, WZVN reported.

"He just kept beating him and beating him," witness Shanta Holditch said. She said after the deputy was pulled out of his patrol car, the suspect began "throwing him to the ground and punching him in all different directions."

A bystander passing by the scene, who had a CCW permit, exited his vehicle and told the armed suspect that if he didn’t stop attacking the deputy, he would shoot him, WINK reported.

Holditch told WZVN the suspect "refused to get off the officer and the officer kept yelling, 'shoot him, shoot him, shoot him,' and then he shot him. I think approximately three shots were heard."

The suspect later died.

Deputy Bardes was rushed to the hospital. He was not shot and is expected to recover.


6 tips for preparing yourself for courtroom testimony

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Testifying in court can be terrifying for anyone, even for the most seasoned police veteran. It’s easy to let the attorneys unexpectedly shift your thought process if you don’t have a lot of practice in the courtroom, and you may forget the facts you want to speak about.

Based on your location, rank and responsibility, you may testify often, rarely or never. The six tips in this article are perfect for an officer who has little experience in the courtroom. Go in prepared, stay focused, and you’ll do just fine.

Here are six tips for your upcoming testimony

1. Remember why you’re there. If you’re testifying, it’s likely because a defendant is saying he or she is innocent of the crime you charged them with and thereby inferring you are either lying or did not do your job correctly. The defense attorney will do everything in his or her power to prove their client is telling the truth. Don’t take this lightly.

2. Assume the jury is skeptical of you. The jury selection process (if you’re testifying in front of a jury) is arduous and far from perfect. While many questions are asked to weed out potentially biased jurors on both sides, it’s not a flawless system. This means that the jurors who are selected may or may not have a bias against police officers. It’s important to go into the trial assuming the jury is judging you just as intensely as the defense and the prosecution.

3. Be prepared. The scrutiny you’re about to face is intense, so arm yourself with preparation. Don’t look at your police report quickly before you walk in to testify. Take the time to relearn the particulars of the case and bring any notes you have from the event.

Often you’ll be called into court on a case where the offense happened long ago. It’s not normal to remember every detail of the case, but you’ll be expected to have well-prepared answers to the questions. The less prepared you are, the less credible you appear and the more pressure you will feel.

4. Know your professional scope inside and out. It’s OK if you haven’t memorized every line of your police handbook, but you should familiarize yourself with relevant components for the case being tried.

Let’s say you’re at court for a DUI case. Make sure you have memorized every clue for every field sobriety test you conducted. You don’t want to be caught off guard when the defense asks you to recount the six clues of the horizontal gaze nystagmus and you can only think of two.

Don’t be surprised if you’re asked about obscure parts of your job, either. When is the last time you brushed up on Title 17 (this title relates to DUIs in California)? You can guarantee the defense attorney has definitive knowledge of Title 17 and can find a shortcoming in your efforts or testimony based on your lack of knowledge of a minor byline in Title 17.

Remember, they want to poke holes in your credibility to sway the jury toward reasonable doubt.

5. Brief is good. Don’t give more detail than you need to. Being brief requires listening to each question carefully and thinking before you speak. It also requires being prepared enough to know what you’re saying.

The defense’s case likely relies on a story you won’t be privy to. The defense attorney will pull you in directions you didn’t even think about if you give them an inch. Being brief does not mean you’re hiding something or lying, it just means if you’re prepared enough to be able to give concise answers that are specific to the events. Don’t add unnecessary information or allow yourself room for tangents outside of what you need to say.

6. Speak to the jury. It’s easy to speak in cop jargon without realizing what you’re doing. Most of the jurors have probably never been exposed to law enforcement language, so speak to them like civilians. They aren’t the reason why you are on the stand either, so be professional and kind when addressing them.

Most importantly, no matter how much the defense rattles you, remain calm while testifying. Losing control in front of the jury will not bode well.

Lastly, brush up on your presentation skills if you haven’t since the academy. Preparation will take you far. Refer back to these basic steps each time you need to prepare for testimony.


New book about twin tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base offers lessons for cops

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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

In June 1994, Dean Mellberg — who had been repeatedly referred for mental health evaluations and recommended for discharge from the military at every stage of his short two-year Air Force career — killed five and wounded 22 in the hospital at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington.

Four days after the deadly attack, a B-52 fell from the sky while practicing for an air show. The senior pilot at the controls was known among his peers to be talented but reckless, routinely pushing the massive B-52 bomber to — and arguably, beyond — its limits. Several aviators refused to fly with him and had attempted to get him grounded but the base leadership dismissed their concerns.

The crash and the shooting have much more in common than the fact that they occurred in the same week at the same base. Both incidents offer multiple lessons for leaders, and in a new book entitled “Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base,” former military law enforcement officer Andy Brown delves into the multiple signals which were ignored.

Police response to the active shooter Staff Sergeant Brown not only served with the 92nd Security Forces for the Air Force, he was on duty when Mellberg unleashed hell in the hallways of the hospital, which sits just outside of the perimeter of the base. Brown also happens to be the officer who ended the threat, shooting Mellberg with his 9mm Beretta sidearm. The resulting investigation determined Brown had been between 68 and 71 yards away when he shot him.

Brown had been a patrolman for five years, but that day was his second shift on the base’s newly implemented bike patrol. He had just patrolled the housing areas on base and had stopped at a gate shack on his way to patrol some off-base housing areas and the base hospital grounds. A call came over the radio that an individual was running around inside the hospital with a shotgun. In fact, the gunman was armed with a MAK-90, a variant of the AK-47.

“I immediately started riding toward the hospital, about three tenths of a mile away down a straight two lane road,” Brown told PoliceOne. “Several vehicles passed me as they fled the area, the occupants attempted to alert me to what was going on at the scene, but I could not hear them and just kept pedaling. As I neared the hospital campus I rode through a crowd of people fleeing the area and asked ‘Where is he?’ The crowd collectively pointed behind themselves, yelling, ‘There’s a man with a gun. He’s over there. He’s shooting people’.”

Brown rode further, charging toward the deep boom of gunfire reverberating off the buildings. He spotted a man dressed in dark clothing, walking down the road with a long gun at his hip. As he walked, he fired to his left and right.

“I rode up onto a sidewalk, dumped the bike and took a kneeling position as I drew my M9 Beretta. I yelled at the man, ‘Police! Drop your weapon!’ He fired to his side again as I repeated the command. Then he turned his attention and his rifle on me. I didn't know how far away he was, but I figured if I could see him, I could hit him. I struggled to acquire a sight picture. His upper torso was nearly obscured behind the steel post of my front sight. When the sights lined up, I continued the trigger press and fired three rounds in a controlled succession, as fast as I could reacquire him in the sights.”

Brown fired a fourth round and the gunman spun around and landed flat on his back, motionless. That round struck on the bridge of his nose, passed through his brain and exited neatly at the base of his skull. Brown told PoliceOne that a responding medic had said, “He had a great pulse but wasn’t breathing ... he was gone, his body just didn’t realize it yet.”

Lessons learned from two preventable tragedies Doctors suggested on several occasions that Mellberg suffered from schizophrenia and adult-onset autism. They repeatedly said that he should be released from military service, but those recommendations were ignored or overruled. When he was finally discharged, Mellberg fixated on two specific mental health care doctors at Fairchild AFB and sought revenge.

“As for prevention, there were countless warning signs exhibited by the would-be gunman that were missed or ignored,” Brown said. “There were numerous people sounding the alarm that he had the potential for violence, others predicted he would come to work with a weapon seeking revenge.”

Brown includes Dan Marcou’s Five Phases of the Active Shooter in the book and as you read about the gunman’s history, you can see him progress through each phase.

Brown writes that the Fairchild shooting is an example of what a solo responding officer can achieve. It is also demonstrates the need to practice beyond your handgun’s maximum effective range. It also reveals the need for officers to carry a patrol rifle.

Another lesson learned is found in how Brown continually prepared himself for that fateful day. Because security police were not allowed to take their duty weapons home after work, and Brown didn’t think they received enough firearms training, he had bought a Taurus PT92 — a clone of the Beretta M9 — so he could train in his off-duty time. He also bought Chuck Remsberg’s Street Survival books and studied the life-saving information they contained.

“The books taught me the technique of mental rehearsal,” Brown said. “Every day before I went to bed, I would mentally practice responding to a lethal threat.”

As for the B-52 pilot, the previous base commander forbade Lieutenant Colonel Arthur “Bud” Holland from performing in air shows, but when a new commander took over at Fairchild AFB, that status had not been fully communicated. Instead, Holland had been told to fly by the book in future air shows. That admonishment fell on deaf ears.

“His aggressive flying went unchecked and grew progressively dangerous,” Brown said. “He routinely exceeded the safety protocol for the heavy bomber, which was the size of an airliner, and performed dangerous maneuvers at low altitude, ignoring his crews’ requests to fly more conservatively. The story of the B-52 crash is another example of what can happen when leadership becomes lackadaisical and when politics get in the way of doing what is right.”

During what was supposed to be a training flight in the BUFF, Holland had even once buzzed his daughter’s high school while she played in a softball game, but that incident was not reported to command staff, and his behavior continued to become more dangerous.

Holland’s deadly crash of Czar 52 was the direct result of too many occasions of tolerance of previous reckless piloting. Colonel Robert Wolff, Lieutenant Colonel Mark McGeehan and Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth S. Huston all perished because of a failure of leadership.

Brown’s book presents the circumstances of both tragedies in a narrative style using the words of the people who lived and died during these events. The lessons are clear if the reader wants to learn from history. Readers will plainly see the positive and negative consequences of people’s actions and inactions. The reader can ask themselves, “What would I have done, or what should I be doing to prepare for something similar?”

“The book is not a memoir of my experience but it is interspersed with short chapters that reveal the preparations I made that allowed me to respond as I did. I also write about my experience with the after effects of trauma. The reader will see what can happen if you fail to address the negative symptoms that can follow a mass-casualty incident,” Brown said.

A long road to recovery in the aftermath Brown was twenty-four years old at the time of the shooting. He is doing well today, working for the Department of Homeland Security in the Spokane area, happily married and the proud father of his school-age son and daughter. However, it took a while for him to get there.

“I struggled with the guilt after the shooting,” Brown said “I experienced the stress effect of time distortion and believed it took me too long to get to the scene, that it took me too long to return fire and too long to stop the killer. I felt responsible for the wounded and the lives that were lost.”

Brown would later obtain a copy of the police radio audio recordings and discovered his response time was remarkably fast. With the additional help of the counseling services of the Spokane VA, Brown eventually worked through that guilt and learned to manage the other post shooting trauma symptoms he developed.

“Another lesson I hope people take from this is to not be ashamed of seeking counseling,” Brown said “I believe if I had not waited so many years to seek help, it would not have affected my quality of life nearly as much as it did.”

Indeed, Brown’s book contains many lessons, but reads a lot like a novel. Brown chronicles both troubled individuals alternately, covering Mellberg in one or two chapters and Holland in the next. The lessons contained in those pages can benefit those in the military, law enforcement, mental health community, as well as everyday citizens. As an added bonus, it’s a really great read.


15 must-read books for law enforcement

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

P1 Lifestyle Staff
Author: P1 Lifestyle Staff

By Megan Wells, PoliceOne Contributor

Recently, PoliceOne asked readers to recommend some of the best law enforcement-related books they’ve read, and they shared plenty of interesting titles.

Whether you’re shopping for a holiday gift for your LEO or just looking to pick up a new read, check out this list of LEO-recommended books.

1. Law Enforcement Families: The Ultimate Backup by James T. Reese, PhD, FBI Special Agent Retired and Cherie Castellano

Law enforcement officers undertake complex and stressful endeavors, and LEO families are often unequipped to deal with the repercussions of this stress. This book sheds light on the relationship between LEOs and their families. The goal is to garner an appreciation for what each person is going through and learn how to embrace mutual support.

2. Cadet Blues by Rob Krider

Cadet Blues details author Rob Krider’s misadventures while attending the California Highway Patrol Academy. This hilarious book is all too real, and it’s a great read for anyone thinking about attending a law enforcement academy or someone who is nostalgic about their academy days.

3. Men in Blue (Badge Of Honor) by W.E.B. Griffin

In Men in Blue, the first book of a 12-book series, get a glimpse of what’s behind the badge with the main characters as they deal with a shocking event: the killing of a cop in the line of duty.

4. On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace: 2nd (second) Edition by Dave Grossman

What type of training does it take to head into a situation from which others will flee? On Combat takes a look at the evolution of combat and the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans.

The author also takes a look at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle and discusses new research that describes measures warriors can take to prevent debilitation so they can stay in the fight, survive and win.

5. Busting Bad Guys: My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers and Ladies of the Night by Mark Langan

Sergeant Mark Langan details his 26-year career as a narcotics officer on the Omaha, Nebraska, police force. From starting his career as the youngest rookie in 1978 to becoming a highly decorated sergeant, Langan had a front-row seat for the steamy, drug-laden side of crime.

6. COP: A True Story by Michael Middleton

In this brutally honest portrait, Sergeant Michael Middleton, a retired veteran of the LAPD, tells the gripping tale of his two decades on some of America's meanest streets.

7. Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator by Gary Noesner

Noesner, a specially trained non-violent confrontation and communication technique hostage negotiator, has seen plenty of action throughout his career. Noesner’s unit successfully defused many potentially volatile standoffs, and he takes readers on a heart-pounding tour through some of the most intense hostage crises of the past 30 years.

8. Performance Thinking: Mental Skills for the Competitive World...and for Life! by Jacques Dallaire

This book addresses two basic but profoundly important questions: “How do I mentally sabotage my own performance?” and “How can I control my thinking in order to optimize my performance?”

Learn a simple but powerful framework of mental rules that you can use to understand clearly how your thoughts influence your performance.

9. Birmingham's First Black in Blue by Leroy Stover

This first-person memoir traces the often difficult path of Leroy Stover, the first black law enforcement officer in Birmingham, Alabama. You will shake your head in disbelief as you read about the treatment Stover received during his first days and weeks on the force.

You also will learn what a huge difference a police officer can make in a community. This book is especially important as we continue to strive toward becoming a truly equitable society. Birmingham's First Black in Blue makes a vital contribution to this discussion as an authentic and fascinating first-person history.

10. Rising Through the Ranks: Leadership Tools and Techniques for Law Enforcement by Michael Wynn

Effective leadership is a journey, not a destination. Rising Through the Ranks, written by a former DEA agent and police chief, details real stories of leadership and courage from police departments and investigative agencies. The goal of this book is to help inform potential leaders, from local police officers to federal agents, about useful tools and techniques for strong leadership.

11. All the Centurions: A New York City Cop Remembers His Years on the Street, 1961-1981 by Robert Leuci

Leuci takes us into the world of the New York City Police Department at a time when the city was crumbling under its own weight, drugs were taking over sensitive neighborhoods, and crime was rampant on the streets and subways.

This is a story of shattered illusions, endurance, healing – and most importantly, growth. Leuci describes his evolution from a naive rookie to a seasoned detective who believes that the only people he can trust are his fellow cops – until he learns even that might not be true.

12. The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker shows you how to spot subtle signs of danger before it's too late. The book describes specific ways to protect yourself and those you love in a variety of situations, regardless of how non-threatening they may seem. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

13. The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh

In this novel, the Los Angeles Police Department night shift officers have a nightly routine. They call the end-of-shift get-togethers “choir practice,” or, which almost always involves heavy drinking, complaints about superior officers and sharing war stories. Each of the officers is disillusioned and uses cynicism as a shield, with the feeling that many of the people they're paid to protect are not unlike the suspects they arrest.

14. Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools by John Giduck

This novel is a historic recounting of the Beslan School Siege that occurred in Russia on September 1, 2004. The book details untold stories about the victims, the soldiers who were there and the events that led up to the tragic incident. This book also highlights the lessons America's school system can learn from the tragedy and what school leaders can do to protect themselves and their students from terrorism.

15. Newhall Shooting - A Tactical Analysis: An inside look at the most tragic and influential police gunfight of the modern era. (Concealed Carry Series) by Michael E. Wood

As the son of a California Highway Patrolman who was a peer of the slain officers in the famed 1970 Newhall shooting, Michael E. Wood grew up hearing about the event and its influence on CHP and the law enforcement community. This experience led Wood to be a lifelong researcher of the event. This book may be the most thoroughly researched and documented account of the shooting to date.

What books did we miss? Tell us in the comments below and we’ll continue to grow our list of must-read books for law enforcement.


Mayors of ‘sanctuary cities’ say they’ll fight Trump’s plans

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Gene Johnson Associated Press

SEATTLE — Democratic mayors of major U.S. cities that have long had cool relationships with federal immigration officials say they'll do all they can to protect residents from deportation, despite President-elect Donald Trump's vows to withhold potentially millions of dollars in taxpayer money if they don't cooperate.

New York's Bill de Blasio, Chicago's Rahm Emanuel and Seattle's Ed Murray are among those in "sanctuary cities" who have tried to soothe immigrant populations worried about Trump's agenda.

"Seattle has always been a welcoming city," Murray said Monday. "The last thing I want is for us to start turning on our neighbors."

In Providence, Rhode Island, Mayor Jorge Elorza, the son of Guatemalan immigrants, said he'd continue a longstanding city policy of refusing to hold people charged with civil infractions for federal immigration officials, and Newark's Ras Baraka echoed that, calling Trump's rhetoric on immigration "scary."

During the campaign, Trump gave an immigration speech in which he promised to "end the sanctuary cities" and said those "that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars." He blamed such policies for "so many needless deaths."

Trump didn't elaborate further on his plans for cracking down on the cities, and in a "60 Minutes" interview broadcast Sunday, he said his administration's immediate priority will be on deporting criminals and securing the border.

But significant questions — and unease — remain concerning his approach to sanctuary cities.

There's no legal definition of the term, which is opposed by some immigration advocates, who say it doesn't reflect that people can still be deported. It generally refers to jurisdictions that don't to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That can mean, for example, they don't notify immigration officials when an undocumented immigrant is about to be released from custody.

Some cities, like San Francisco, have long declared themselves safe havens for immigrants, issuing local ID cards to allow them to access government or other services. It's also been used to refer to cities that bar employees, including police, from inquiring about a person's immigration status, on the grounds that crime victims and witnesses might be less likely to talk to investigators if they're worried about being deported.

"We don't want anybody to be afraid to talk to us," said Sheriff John Urquhart in Washington's King County, which includes Seattle.

Since states and cities can't be required to enforce federal law — and there's no federal law requiring police to ask about a person's immigration status — it's likely that any Trump effort to crack down on sanctuary cities would focus on those that refuse to comply with ICE requests, said Roy Beck, chief executive of NumbersUSA, which wants to see immigration levels reduced.

It's also unclear what money Trump might pull from the cities. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that for Congress to impose conditions on the receipt of federal money by the states, the conditions must be reasonably related to the purpose of the money. For example, the feds threatened to withhold highway funds from any state that failed to adopt a 0.08 blood-alcohol limit: Both the limit and the highway funding were related to road safety.

"If the funding is for improving childhood education, it's hard to say that's reasonably related to local law enforcement cooperation with deportations," said Mary Fan, a University of Washington Law School professor.

That said, the U.S. Justice Department's inspector general looked at some jurisdictions with sanctuary policies earlier this year and concluded some appear to violate a federal law that says state and local governments may not prohibit or restrict officials from sharing information about a person's immigration status with federal immigration officials. Having such policies could jeopardize millions of dollars in DOJ grant money the jurisdictions receive, the IG memo said.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, which also calls for lower immigration levels, about 300 jurisdictions around the country have sanctuary-like policies.

"The result is people who should be deported, who have come to the attention of police because of crime, are released back into the community," said the group's director of policy studies, Jessica Vaughan.

Exhibit A for supporters of a crackdown on sanctuary cities is the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle in 2015, on a San Francisco pier by a man who had been previously deported and who was released by local law enforcement.

But pro-immigration advocates say they're worried that Trump's plans will wind up deporting much more than violent criminals and they're gearing up for a fight, in the sanctuary cities and beyond.

"These cities have reaffirmed they're going to respect the dignity of all their residents," said Matt Adams, legal director at the Seattle-based Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. "What they're saying is, 'We're not going to use our resources to separate families, to deport children, to tear communities apart.'"


5 Utah students stabbed at high school, teen in custody

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

OREM, Utah — Five students were stabbed inside their Utah high school Tuesday and a 16-year-old boy identified as a suspect was taken into custody, police said.

The stabbings of the male students at about 8 a.m. at Mountain View High School happened near the school's gym in Orem, a city of about 90,000 people about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, authorities said.

All of the victims were stabbed at least once and were being treated for their injuries at local hospitals. Their conditions ranged from critical to fair, Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez told reporters.

The suspect was apprehended shortly after the stabbings by a police officer regularly assigned to work at the school, Martinez said.

"We do have the suspect in custody and the rest of the students are safe," Martinez said.

The school was put on lockdown after the stabbings for about an hour. Students were later allowed to remain in school or leave for the day.

Dozens of parents arrived at the school to take their children home.

Orem Police confirm stabbing at Mountain View High School in Orem; school on lockdown | https://t.co/1i4dRFM2kY pic.twitter.com/b8wsTCGmMP

— Deseret News (@DeseretNews) November 15, 2016

Suspended cop who displayed Confederate flag at anti-Trump protest resigns

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A Michigan police officer suspended after flying a Confederate flag from his pickup during a political rally has resigned.

Traverse City Manager Marty Colburn says Michael Peters turned in his resignation Monday evening.

Colburn says Peters apologized to the community and "for the stain he put on the city" and its police department. Colburn says he believes Peters' apology was sincere.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Peters was suspended with pay after he was seen Friday driving the pickup with the flag near a group protesting the election of Republican Donald Trump as president. Peters also was seen drinking a beer in a restricted parking zone. He had previously parked the vehicle displaying the flag in the police department's lot.

Colburn says Peters' behavior remains under investigation.

The Associated Press was unable to find a telephone number for Peters.

Orem Police confirm stabbing at Mountain View High School in Orem; school on lockdown | https://t.co/1i4dRFM2kY pic.twitter.com/b8wsTCGmMP

— Deseret News (@DeseretNews) November 15, 2016

Survivor of attempted ‘suicide by cop’ thanks Reno officers

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Scott Sonner Associated Press

RENO, Nev. — The gunfire had the makings for controversy when three white police officers shot a black man multiple times last year in a downtown Reno casino parking garage.

The trio of Reno officers said Arthur Richardson Jr. pointed his gun at them while he suggested he wanted them to kill him.

But Richardson didn't die after they fired their 9mm revolvers a total of 14 times.

In fact, they ended up helping save his life, and he later apologized for putting them in the "precarious position of doing what they had to do."

The unusual outcome in a so-called attempted "suicide by cop" unfolds in a 40-page investigative report clearing the officers last week of any wrongdoing in the June 2015 shooting. Casino surveillance video shows Richardson pull a .45 caliber handgun from his waist band and point it at police, their guns drawn 20 feet away with bystanders nearby.

Officer Wesley Leedy, a six-year veteran of the force, said in an interview his partner once shot a suspect, but he'd never personally pulled the trigger. Moments later, the ex-helicopter pilot for an Army National Guard medivac unit that served in Afghanistan experienced another "first."

"I have applied first aid to gunshot victims numerous times, but it was the first time I applied first aid to a gunshot wound I personally caused," Leedy told The Associated Press.

The officers responded to the scene after Richardson pointed a gun at another man's head. When he refused to comply with multiple commands to show his hands and get on the ground, they eventually fired until Richardson collapsed, the report said.

Officer Aaron Flickinger kicked his gun away and Officer Christopher Good handcuffed him as some in a crowd of onlookers became agitated.

"It was apparent they did not approve of what we had just done and made it very well known," Leedy said.

As the other officers quieted the crowd and Richardson slipped in and out of consciousness, Leedy un-cuffed him and initiated first aid. According to the investigative report, Richardson asked, "What are you doing?"

Leedy told Richardson he was "putting pressure on your wound." He said Richardson responded, "Just let me die."

"I'll never forget that," Leedy told AP on Monday.

Richardson later told detectives from his hospital bed they were "good guys." A nurse said Richardson told her he wanted police to shoot him because he "wanted to die" but "was too afraid to do it myself."

In subsequent statements to police, Richardson — who was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2000 — said he knew he'd "be in big trouble because I'm a felon."

"My intentions weren't to hurt anybody. My intentions were to not go to jail," he said. "So I chose for them to kill me, and obviously that part didn't work."

Richardson pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including assault with a deadly weapon upon an officer and felon in possession of a firearm. He apologized in December before Judge Janet Berry sentenced him to six years in prison.

"Words can't express the remorse or regret I feel for the intolerable acts that put me here and for the police that I respect that I put in the precarious position of doing what they had to do given their profession," Richardson said.

"Whether it was self-loathing, self-pity, or depression, the sort of exploits that were going through my mind that night don't excuse my actions," he said. "Suicide by cop is not only a vulgar term, it's a vulgar idea."

Leedy said he was glad it was proven to be "a good shooting."

Officers increasingly face "tough crowds" quick to judge their actions, he said. He remembers being welcomed home from Afghanistan as "a hero, no matter what I had done."

"But then, when I take off that uniform and put on a blue uniform, it doesn't matter what I do or what life-saving efforts I provide on a daily basis, many people believe we are truly racially motivated and corrupt," he said. "I hope this helps show there are good officers in this town trying to make a difference."


Body camera footage of NM officer killed at traffic stop released

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Dan McKay Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The man on the motorcycle had nothing but excuses.

Pulled over by police, the driver — identified by police as Davon Lymon — repeatedly ignored officer Daniel Webster's commands to put his hands up. He whined instead.

"This hand won't reach back there, sir," the driver said.

The excuses continued until Webster managed to secure handcuffs around one of the man's wrists.

Then shots rang out, and Webster took cover behind his squad car.

"Shots fired! Shots fired!" he yelled into his radio.

Footage from Webster's body camera -- released by federal prosecutors Monday -- captured the last moments of his fatal struggle after a traffic stop in October last year. Lymon faces charges of murder, shooting from a motor vehicle and other felonies.

Release of the video by the U.S. Attorney's Office comes after a legal struggle over whether to unseal it. The lapel camera footage and other videos were used in the trial and conviction of Lymon on charges of illegally possessing the gun that police say was used to kill Webster.

Lymon's lawyers and Webster's widow had argued against release of the videos, which initially were sealed. The Journal and other media organizations intervened in the case and argued that it was inappropriate to block their release, given that they were played in open court and used to obtain a conviction.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Armijo rejected a final request by Lymon's lawyers on Monday to postpone release of the video.

Webster's widow, Michelle Carlino-Webster, asked the news media to refrain from publishing the video, or at least the part after the struggle on the motorcycle.

"It is horrific," she said in a letter to media organizations, "and it is not the way we want to remember this great man."

She also asked the media to refrain from airing the audio.

The Journal made the decision to post the video on ABQJournal.com.

"We certainly sympathize with Mrs. Carlino-Webster," Journal editor Kent Walz said. "It is a difficult decision. But the video primarily shows events leading up to the shooting and we believe it helps the public understand the tragic events of that night and illustrates the danger police officers face every day."

The body camera footage released Monday ends just seconds after the shooting and does not show the wounded officer. Webster calls out "shots fired" into his radio and retreats toward his police cruiser. There's nothing after that.

A video from a Walgreens security camera, with no audio, also was released, but it doesn't show the shooting itself. It shows Webster's move toward his squad car, but his image is quickly washed out in the glare.

Lymon's appearance in a police interview room — presumably after the shooting — is also shown in the videos released Monday. Lymon is wearing a hospital gown, and his left hand is bandaged.

He makes an apology of sorts, though he doesn't say to what he's referring.

"If you see that person — that guy's family — tell him I'm so sorry," Lymon says. "Please. I honestly don't know what the (expletive) happened. Don't remember it."


Man sentenced in DUI death of Calif. deputy

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By John Scheibe Ventura County Star

VENTURA, Calif. — A Camarillo man was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison Monday for killing a Ventura County Sheriff's deputy in 2014.

"This is by far the most difficult case I have ever dealt with," Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco told the court moments before sentencing Kevin Hogrefe for the death of Yevhen "Eugene" Kostiuchenko.

Hogrefe, 27, struck and killed Kostiuchenko as he was entering northbound Highway 101 along the Lewis Road on-ramp shortly after 1 a.m. Oct. 28, 2014. Hogrefe had a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.24 at the time, three times the legal limit.

Deputies soon found Hogrefe sitting in his car after he had driven off the Las Posas off-ramp into a field of ice plants about a mile and a half north of where Kostiuchenko was killed.

In October, Hogrefe was convicted of second-degree murder and felony fleeing the scene of an accident.

Guasco sentenced Hogrefe to 15 years to life on the murder charge and an additional three years for fleeing the scene of an accident. The sentences are to be served concurrently.

"I've been associated with the law and courts for over 30 years," Guasco said. "It is rare that I find myself speechless."

Monday's hearing started with Rebecca Day, a Ventura County senior deputy district attorney, showing the court a video detailing Kostiuchenko's life.

Born in Ukraine, Kostiuchenko was intensely curious about the world from a young age, his father, Anatoliy Kostiuchenko, told the court.

His father said his son was raised in a simple village.

"We drank from a well and utilized an outhouse," the elder Kostiuchenko said.

His son later attended a prestigious university in Moscow, one where many students were allowed to attend because of their connection with the Communist Party elite. But his son was admitted because he was a superior student, he said.

The future Ventura County deputy met his American wife, Maura Kelley, while he was on assignment in Ventura County with the Ukrainian military, working with the FBI on an international money-laundering case. Kostiuchenko later moved to California and started working for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services in 2003. He soon worked as a patrol deputy, the job he had when he was killed.

Kelley recalled the night she was told by Sheriff Geoff Dean that her husband had been killed.

"Suddenly, with those words, all of the sunshine in my life disappeared," she told the court, noting it was inconceivable "that I would never see his loving face again."

Kelley said she wanted to go to the accident scene but authorities would not let her. She said it was only during Hogrefe's trial that she saw the photographs that showed just how gruesome her husband's death had been.

She said the impact of Hogrefe's car left Kostiuchenko with "almost every bone in his body broken." Rather than stop and render aid, she said, Hogrefe fled, leaving her husband "to die on the cold asphalt alone."

Hogrefe sat still next to his attorney, Justin Tuttle, as Kelley and others addressed the court.

Kelley told Guasco that Hogrefe showed no signs of remorse, something that "absolutely floors me."

As to forgiveness, Kelley said, "It's too late for that."

Day told Guasco that Hogrefe had shown a complete disregard for the safety of others.

"Society is at risk when the defendant is nearby," she said.

During the trial, jurors were told that the night of the accident, Hogrefe had spent more than five hours at a Pickwick Drive bar in Camarillo, where he drank six bottles and four mugs of beer. He left that bar about 12:30 a.m. and crossed an alleyway to another bar, where he drank some more, jurors were told.

After being asked to leave the second bar, Hogrefe got in his car and tried to drive to a fast-food restaurant south of the 101 along Las Posas Road.

Hogrefe's father, Scott, pleaded with Guasco to show his son clemency.

"On behalf of myself and Kevin and his family, we offer our most sincere condolences" to Kostiuchenko's family and friends, Scott Hogrefe said.

"We, too, mourn the traffic loss of Deputy Kostiuchenko," he said. He noted that Kostiuchenko's death has caused his son an immense amount of remorse, sadness and suffering.

"This has been a complete and total nightmare for Kevin and our family," Scott Hogrefe said. "Along with Kevin, we have longed for a magic prayer to undo this tragedy," he said. "Kevin never intended to harm anyone in his entire life."

Hogrefe said his son joined Alcoholics Anonymous after Kostiuchenko's death and has never drunk alcohol again.

"Kevin firmly believes in and is completely committed to sobriety for the rest of his life," his father said. "He has done everything he could in the past two years to be positive and constructive." Scott Hogefre said his son has also taken college classes and worked.

"I and my family can only sit and wonder how justice can possibly be served by a long (prison sentence) because of this tragic accident," said the elder Hogrefe.

"We struggle daily to find peace of mind," he said. "Please find it within your hearts to understand Kevin's actions and to forgive him."

Hogrefe's attorney, Justin Tuttle, told Guasco that his client was "prepared to accept punishment for his actions."

"He is horrified by his actions and has profound sorrow for the pain and suffering he has caused."

As proof, Tuttle cited a letter he sent to the Ventura County prosecutor's office in April, stating Hogrefe had agreed to plead guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and serve an upper term of 10 years in prison. Tuttle said Hogrefe had also agreed to plead guilty to hit-and-run after manslaughter and serve another five years in prison, for a total of 15 years.

"My client did want to accept responsibility for what he felt he had committed," Tuttle said. "My client throws himself on the mercy of the court. We ask for equal justice under the law."

Tuttle declined to comment on the sentence after Monday's hearing. He also would not comment on whether any appeals were planned.


Attorney: NM officer rejects plea deal in deadly standoff

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Mary Hudetz Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A retired Albuquerque police detective who was charged with second-degree murder in the on-duty shooting death of a homeless camper has turned down a deal that would have called for him to plead guilty to a lesser count, and for a special prosecutor to clear charges against a second officer accused in the case, attorneys said Monday.

Sam Bregman, the attorney for retired Detective Keith Sandy, said his client rejected the offer to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated battery in the shooting of James Boyd because the shooting was justified and Sandy did not commit a crime.

Police video of the shooting shows Boyd, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, gathering his belongings at the end of an hourslong standoff before a flash-bang grenade goes off. Seconds later, a K-9 officer releases his police service dog on Boyd, and then chases after the animal — a fateful move that appeared to prompt the camper to pull two pocket knives and defense attorneys say led Perez and Sandy to shoot.

A jury deadlocked last month on whether to convict Sandy and Perez after a two-week trial, with nine jurors saying they wanted to acquit the men, and three holding out for a guilty verdict. The trial played out amid a national debate about officers' use of deadly force.

"The fact of the matter is this case should not be tried again," Bregman said. "You know they know there's no good-faith basis for moving forward."

Bregman disclosed after a court hearing that his client had been offered the plea deal in a letter last week from special prosecutor Randi McGinn.

At the hearing, District Court Judge Alisa Hadfield decided to schedule a new trial for July. Hadfield also will make a final ruling in January on whether incoming district attorney Raul Torrez, who was elected last week and will take office in January, can prosecute the officers — should he decide to move forward with it and take it to trial.

A judge last year disqualified the current district attorney from prosecuting the case and ordered that a special prosecutor be assigned to it. McGinn, a well-known trial attorney in Albuquerque, agreed to take the case.

Under the plea deal McGinn offered Sandy, she would have cleared charges against Dominique Perez, the other former officer charged with second-degree murder in Boyd's death.

Sandy also would have received no jail time under the deal, Bregman said. But McGinn dispute that claim, saying she only offered to remain silent at Sandy's sentencing hearing had he accepted the offer. Boyd's family still would have had the right to speak at the hearing if they wished.

McGinn said a term of the plea deal was that it be kept confidential — otherwise it would be withdrawn. She also said the rejected plea deal sought to permanently revoke Sandy's law enforcement certification in the state.

Bregman aimed to criticize McGinn's case, saying the proposed plea deal offered proof that she "doesn't have faith in the case" and that the prosecution had become vindictive.

"Justice for James Boyd isn't vindictiveness," McGinn responded.

McGinn presented Sandy to jurors as a detective who was eager to impress other officers when he inserted himself into the hillside standoff with Boyd, who had been camping illegally in the Sandia Mountain foothills when he pulled his knives on the first two officers to approach him the day he was killed.

Jurors also listened to a recording in which Sandy called Boyd a "lunatic" soon after he arrived on the scene and said he would shoot the camper with a stun gun.

Sandy testified that he regretted the remarks. His attorneys depicted him as a well-trained veteran officer who served his community for more than a decade.

The shooting also marked the first time Perez, a SWAT officer, had used his gun. McGinn has made clear that she doesn't believe Perez was responsible for escalating the standoff prior to Boyd's death, but she still faulted him for deciding to shoot Boyd, who was on a hillside virtually surrounded by officers when gunfire erupted.


Police loosen standards for accepting recruits

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Dave Collins and Lisa Maria Pane Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Police departments are relaxing age-old standards for accepting recruits, from lowering educational requirements to forgiving some prior drug use, to try to attract more people to their ranks.

The changes are designed to deal with decreased interest in a job that offers low pay, rigorous physical demands and the possibility of getting killed on duty all while under intense public scrutiny. There's also the question of how to encourage more minorities to become police officers.

"We have a national crisis," said Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York City police officer and now a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "For the first time in my life, I would say I could never recommend the job. Who's going to put on a camera, go into urban America where people are going to critique every move you make? You're going to be demonized."

There's no national standard for becoming an officer; it's left up to each state to set requirements. In general, prior drug use or past brushes with the law, however minor, have been enough to bar someone from becoming an officer. On top of that are physical fitness standards that have long been academy graduation requirements. And even after graduation, recruits often face a background check that might include a credit-history review.

The physical requirements have impeded the hiring of women, while credit histories and education standards have stood in the way of some minorities. Amid the push to diversify, many police departments question whether those long-held, military-style standards are the best ways to attract officers able to relate to communities and defuse tensions.

Departments that are changing testing and other requirements that have been shown to disproportionately disqualify minority candidates were praised in a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

People from minority communities are more likely to be disqualified by criminal background and credit checks, because members of those communities are more likely to have contact with the criminal justice system and have lower credit scores, the report says. Minorities also may have more trouble on written tests that don't accurately screen people for the skills needed for police jobs, it says.

A 2013 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that about 12 percent of the nation's officers were black and 12 percent were Hispanic. The percentages were higher than three decades earlier, but minorities continue to be underrepresented in many communities, according to the department. About 13 percent of the U.S. population is black and about 18 percent is Hispanic, according to the census.

The new police diversity report called diversity the linchpin to building trust between law enforcement and communities.

"Hiring is particularly problematic in this environment we live in," said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. "I've been in a room with a large group of police ... I've asked how many of you would like your son or daughter to be a police officer, and no one raises their hand."

Police officials say they have increased efforts to hire officers of color, including holding recruiting events in cities, targeting minority groups on social media, and visiting military bases and colleges.

The Connecticut State Police is among the agencies wrestling with diversity.

Blacks and Hispanics comprise about a third of trooper applicants and about a quarter of the state's population, but only 10 percent of the force — the base set three decades ago after the agency was sued. Since 2004, nearly 4,500 blacks and 4,200 Hispanics have applied to be Connecticut troopers, but only 28 African-Americans and 38 Hispanics have graduated from the academy, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. During that same period, 15,000 whites applied and 527 graduated from the academy.

State police officials say they have increased efforts to recruit minorities, but many don't make it through the hiring and testing process — including a background check, lie detector and physical agility tests, and a written exam designed to assess logical reasoning, reading ability, communication skills and other personal traits. Officials also cited stiff competition; many candidates end up taking jobs at other departments.

"They always state that they're going to make an honest effort in order to improve the numbers, but I don't see it happening," said Fred Abrams, a black retired Connecticut trooper who led the 1982 federal lawsuit that resulted in the department agreeing to hire more minorities. "No one holds them accountable."

While many departments won't hire someone who admits to having used marijuana within the previous three years, in Baltimore, where riots took place after a black man died after being transported in a police van, the commissioner is seeking to change the rules — calling it "the No. 1 disqualifier for police applicants."

"I don't want to hire altar boys to be police officers, necessarily," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told The Baltimore Sun. "I want people of good character, of good moral character, but I want people who have lived a life just like everybody else — a life not unlike the lives of the people who they are going to be interacting with every day."

In Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay is working to relax some standards, saying it will help officers relate better to people they encounter.

"People who have struggled in life ... can relate better to the people we deal with," Ramsay said. "My experience is they display more empathy."

In Arizona, the state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Board adopted new guidelines to allow for prior use of Adderall, often used to treat attention deficit disorder or as a study aid, if the use was not extensive.

Education requirements were changed in Louisville, Kentucky, where police recently set aside a requirement for at least 60 college credit hours after seeing a steady decline in applications. In the past fiscal year, applications for the force dropped to 1,081 from 1,867 the year before, said Sgt. Daniel Elliott, the agency's commander of recruitment and selection.

In just a month since it was scrapped, the agency received so many applications — 667 — that it had to stop accepting them to ensure it had time to properly review them, Elliot said.

Still, although the changes may encourage more people to sign up, some law enforcement experts worry it will lead to untrustworthy hires and cause more problems down the road.

"Lowering your standards is an absolute mistake. It's an absolute connection to misconduct, corruption and a degrading of the agency," said Jeff Hynes, a former Phoenix officer who is chairman for public safety sciences at Glendale Community College. "It is just a recipe for disaster."


Police chief: LAPD will not help deport immigrants under Trump

Posted on November 15, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Kate Mather Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday that he has no plans to change the LAPD's stance on immigration enforcement, despite President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to toughen federal immigration laws and deport millions of people upon taking office.

For decades, the LAPD has distanced itself from federal immigration policies. The LAPD prohibits officers from initiating contact with someone solely to determine whether they are in the country legally, mandated by a special order signed by then-chief Daryl Gates in 1979. During Beck's tenure as chief, the department stopped turning over people arrested for low-level crimes to federal agents for deportation and moved away from honoring federal requests to detain inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms.

On Monday, Beck said he planned to maintain the long-standing separation.

"I don't intend on doing anything different," he said. "We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody's immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job."

Fear among immigrants and their families has rippled across the country in the days following Trump's election to the presidency. Trump made illegal immigration a central issue of his campaign, vowing to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, deport people who are in the country illegally and unwind immigration relief created under President Obama.

In Los Angeles, officials have tried to alleviate some of those concerns by signaling their support for the city's immigrant residents. At a meeting Friday at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would question Trump's decisions on immigration.

"If the first day, as president, we see something that is hostile to our people, hostile to our city, bad for our economy, bad for our security, we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out," Garcetti said.

The mayor also said that the LAPD would continue to enforce Special Order 40, the Gates-signed directive that bars officers from contacting someone solely to determine their immigration status.

"Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don't go around asking people for their papers, nor should they," he said. "That's not the role of local law enforcement."

Beck said his command staff has also been meeting with community leaders to hear their concerns about immigration enforcement.

"This is the same LAPD you had Monday, a week ago. We have not changed because of the election on Tuesday. We have the same principles. We have the same values," he said. "This is not going to change the way that the Los Angeles Police Department enforces the law."

Times staff writer Dakota Smith contributed to this report.


Video of Iowa coffee shop confrontation offers reminders about de-escalation

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

An Iowa woman’s attempt to spark a confrontation with police officers inside a coffee shop is an important reminder about de-escalation and the inevitability that such encounters will be video recorded for social media distribution.

During nearly eight minutes of “live streaming” on Facebook, the woman verbally assaulted officers who were called to a restaurant whose owners complained that she had been causing a disturbance. Iowa police — indeed, cops across the country — were squarely in the middle of mourning the ambush deaths of Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio and Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin in separate but related ambush attacks.

Here vitriol was reprehensible. Her disdain for first responders was vividly displayed. The woman said at one point, “We got the popo wearing the black thing on her badge. I guess she’s sorry a coupla cops go whacked in Des Moines.”

However, despite all manner of provocation, the responding officers did not take the bait. They were patient and professional and the incident ended peacefully. Check out the video, and then proceed to my key takeaways below.

Key takeaways for law enforcement moving forward This incident starkly demonstrates a handful of very simple principles. Before we delve into those, we must acknowledge the difference between simple and easy.

Dealing with a belligerent subject who is passively resisting is a simple problem, but in no way easy. Simply, officers must use verbal skills (like Verbal Judo, CIT, and other training) to gain compliance without having to escalate to some level of force. This is anything but easy and the responding officers in Iowa handled the matter with aplomb.

“Maam, I’m going to ask you to step outside for me,” one officer said. “I don’t want to go hands-on with you, so I’m going to request that you exit the premises.”

“Why don’t you go die laughing,” the woman replied.

Eventually, the woman was escorted from the premises without further incident, and those officers did a tremendous job to resolve the situation. They did not allow the woman to escalate the situation. They used their verbal skills and showed an extraordinary ability to remain calmly detached.

In viewing this video, I am reminded how the “Five Universal Truths” https://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/tips/5816202-5-Universal-Truths-for-home-and-street/ — first articulated by the late Dr. George Thompson, founder of the Verbal Judo Institute — can help officers successfully interact with belligerent subjects. Consider the following:

1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect. 2. All people want to be asked rather than told to do something. 3. All people want to be told why they are being asked to do something. 4. All people want to be given options rather than threats. 5. All people want a second chance.

Even if these tactics ultimately prove to be ineffective and you have to go hands-on with a resistive subject, it will be clear that you were the good guy when the cell phone video inevitably surfaces after a confrontation.

In watching the video I was also reminded of two acronyms — QTIP and ATM — which can be keys to de-escalation:

• QTIP: Cops must “Quit Taking It Personally” when a subject attempts to create confrontation. • ATM: Cops can successfully use the “Ask, Tell, Make” method to resolve situations.

In the Iowa video we saw officers use many of the above principles. Clearly they were well trained in CIT or some other verbal de-escalation techniques. Training in Verbal Judo remains available nationwide, and many departments have benefited greatly from it. Whatever type of training you pursue, it is an investment that pays dividends when officers encounter a person like we saw in that Iowa coffee shop.


Video of Iowa coffee shop confrontation offers reminders about de-escalation

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

An Iowa woman’s attempt to spark a confrontation with police officers inside a coffee shop is an important reminder about de-escalation and the inevitability that such encounters will be video recorded for social media distribution.

During nearly eight minutes of “live streaming” on Facebook, the woman verbally assaulted officers who were called to a restaurant whose owners complained that she had been causing a disturbance. Iowa police — indeed, cops across the country — were squarely in the middle of mourning the ambush deaths of Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio and Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin in separate but related ambush attacks.

Here vitriol was reprehensible. Her disdain for first responders was vividly displayed. The woman said at one point, “We got the popo wearing the black thing on her badge. I guess she’s sorry a coupla cops go whacked in Des Moines.”

However, despite all manner of provocation, the responding officers did not take the bait. They were patient and professional and the incident ended peacefully. Check out the video, and then proceed to my key takeaways below.

Key takeaways for law enforcement moving forward This incident starkly demonstrates a handful of very simple principles. Before we delve into those, we must acknowledge the difference between simple and easy.

Dealing with a belligerent subject who is passively resisting is a simple problem, but in no way easy. Simply, officers must use verbal skills (like Verbal Judo, CIT, and other training) to gain compliance without having to escalate to some level of force. This is anything but easy and the responding officers in Iowa handled the matter with aplomb.

“Maam, I’m going to ask you to step outside for me,” one officer said. “I don’t want to go hands-on with you, so I’m going to request that you exit the premises.”

“Why don’t you go die laughing,” the woman replied.

Eventually, the woman was escorted from the premises without further incident, and those officers did a tremendous job to resolve the situation. They did not allow the woman to escalate the situation. They used their verbal skills and showed an extraordinary ability to remain calmly detached.

In viewing this video, I am reminded how the “Five Universal Truths” https://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/tips/5816202-5-Universal-Truths-for-home-and-street/ — first articulated by the late Dr. George Thompson, founder of the Verbal Judo Institute — can help officers successfully interact with belligerent subjects. Consider the following:

1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect. 2. All people want to be asked rather than told to do something. 3. All people want to be told why they are being asked to do something. 4. All people want to be given options rather than threats. 5. All people want a second chance.

Even if these tactics ultimately prove to be ineffective and you have to go hands-on with a resistive subject, it will be clear that you were the good guy when the cell phone video inevitably surfaces after a confrontation.

In watching the video I was also reminded of two acronyms — QTIP and ATM — which can be keys to de-escalation:

• QTIP: Cops must “Quit Taking It Personally” when a subject attempts to create confrontation. • ATM: Cops can successfully use the “Ask, Tell, Make” method to resolve situations.

In the Iowa video we saw officers use many of the above principles. Clearly they were well trained in CIT or some other verbal de-escalation techniques. Training in Verbal Judo remains available nationwide, and many departments have benefited greatly from it. Whatever type of training you pursue, it is an investment that pays dividends when officers encounter a person like we saw in that Iowa coffee shop.


4 essential elements to the perfect police workout routine

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

As a police trainer, I have noticed many officers start their career in top physical condition and retire severely physically altered. Too many police officers are leaving their physical fitness to chance and ignoring their personal fitness and wellness. By leaving fitness to chance, a police officer may find he or she is physically challenged by the duties expected of the job, which creates tremendous officer safety risk.

A foot pursuit in full duty gear can be as taxing as a marathon. A back-alley lone struggle with a resistive suspect has more at stake for the officer involved than a heavyweight champion fighting to retain a title.

Too many officers are dying in the line of duty without being killed in the line of duty. They put their heart into their career. When police work becomes physically demanding and causes an officer’s heart rate to suddenly increase, the heart isn’t able to bear the strain.

Police work is physically demanding Since these physical moments of ultimate exertion are imminent for every street officer, it behooves all who wear a badge to find the perfect physical police workout and to do it regularly.

The most common barriers that police officers have when starting or continuing a fitness program are usually barriers built in his or her mind. Here are some keys to overcoming these mental barriers.

    Convince yourself that you love working out. Once that is done, hold that thought for the rest of your life. Understand that no matter what physical condition you are in now, that condition can be improved one workout at a time. Do not require a partner to workout with you. Trying to work through two schedules only offers twice as many excuses to skip a workout. Have a flexible workout schedule of three to five days a week, but never less than three. Have an out-of-town and vacation workout alternative. Two weeks off can cause a serious set-back. When you don’t work out, even for a short amount of time, your entire body begins to deteriorate. Realize that the easier you make it to give up on your workouts, the easier you may give up physically on the street.

The perfect physical workout The perfect workout develops these four essential elements:

1. Improve muscular and joint flexibility It is imperative that a police workout includes full range of motion movements. Extra time should be spent on stretching the hamstrings and lower back to reverse the inflexibility, which is the natural result of seated patrol and sitting at a desk.

Police officers need this flexibility when they have to suddenly exit the squad in full foot pursuit or rescue mode.

The key with stretching is to have a fitness professional teach you how to stretch correctly.

2. Increase cardiovascular strength and endurance The most common cardiovascular activity is running. Running along rivers, up bluff passes, across battlefields, in a city or rural settings can enhance the experience, even for officers who do not like to run. Build in a pause to take in nature to make the run even more enjoyable.

Police officers can also camouflage running with another activity whether it’s a slow jog while dribbling a basketball and shooting lay-ups for repetition or even tossing a football around. You can even try running to the spot of your ball while playing golf.

Other ideas for cardiovascular workouts include bicycling, swimming, skipping (jump roping – just look at any professional boxer), kettlebell, walking fast or any number of professionally marketed cardiovascular workouts.

In every career there comes those urgent moments, when conditions will cause even the most ill-prepared officer to instinctively run. Physical training does not ensure you will catch every fleet-of-foot felon, but it increases your odds that you will survive the pursuit.

3. Build muscular strength and endurance Effecting the arrest of any resistive suspect requires a combination of technique and strength. Muscles will atrophy if not regularly stimulated. For resistance training, police officers can choose from free weights, kettlebells, machines or bodyweight (e.g. push-ups, pull-ups, squats, isometric holds) for building pure muscular strength and endurance.

4. Improve fitness levels to ensure better performance on the street Police fitness instructor Tim Powers has described this as specificity of fitness training. Some physical training is directly transferable to street performance. To prepare for the resistive suspect, while in the weight room, concentrate on upper body strength exercises from the bench press to the pull-up. The repetitions will be appreciated when the path to victory is paved by physical strength and endurance. While doing cardiovascular workouts consider running steps and sprints to prepare for the sudden acceleration needed for the emergency response on foot.

Additionally, all elements of fitness can be obtained by a police officer in any martial arts studio. The exercise is achieved while practicing skills that have direct application on the street. For those officers and trainers who maintain that martial arts techniques do not work on the street, my personal survival is at the very least anecdotal evidence that they do.

Speaking of physical, before you start working out after a long period without exercise, make sure you have a complete physical.

It is imperative for every police officer to discover his or her perfect police workout and make exercise part of a regular routine and lifestyle. You will find it so gratifying and emotionally fulfilling you’ll wonder why you never did it before.

Once your perfect police workout is discovered, work out like your life depends on it, because it does.


4 essential elements to the perfect police workout routine

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Lt. Dan Marcou

As a police trainer, I have noticed many officers start their career in top physical condition and retire severely physically altered. Too many police officers are leaving their physical fitness to chance and ignoring their personal fitness and wellness. By leaving fitness to chance, a police officer may find he or she is physically challenged by the duties expected of the job, which creates tremendous officer safety risk.

A foot pursuit in full duty gear can be as taxing as a marathon. A back-alley lone struggle with a resistive suspect has more at stake for the officer involved than a heavyweight champion fighting to retain a title.

Too many officers are dying in the line of duty without being killed in the line of duty. They put their heart into their career. When police work becomes physically demanding and causes an officer’s heart rate to suddenly increase, the heart isn’t able to bear the strain.

Police work is physically demanding Since these physical moments of ultimate exertion are imminent for every street officer, it behooves all who wear a badge to find the perfect physical police workout and to do it regularly.

The most common barriers that police officers have when starting or continuing a fitness program are usually barriers built in his or her mind. Here are some keys to overcoming these mental barriers.

    Convince yourself that you love working out. Once that is done, hold that thought for the rest of your life. Understand that no matter what physical condition you are in now, that condition can be improved one workout at a time. Do not require a partner to workout with you. Trying to work through two schedules only offers twice as many excuses to skip a workout. Have a flexible workout schedule of three to five days a week, but never less than three. Have an out-of-town and vacation workout alternative. Two weeks off can cause a serious set-back. When you don’t work out, even for a short amount of time, your entire body begins to deteriorate. Realize that the easier you make it to give up on your workouts, the easier you may give up physically on the street.

The perfect physical workout The perfect workout develops these four essential elements:

1. Improve muscular and joint flexibility It is imperative that a police workout includes full range of motion movements. Extra time should be spent on stretching the hamstrings and lower back to reverse the inflexibility, which is the natural result of seated patrol and sitting at a desk.

Police officers need this flexibility when they have to suddenly exit the squad in full foot pursuit or rescue mode.

The key with stretching is to have a fitness professional teach you how to stretch correctly.

2. Increase cardiovascular strength and endurance The most common cardiovascular activity is running. Running along rivers, up bluff passes, across battlefields, in a city or rural settings can enhance the experience, even for officers who do not like to run. Build in a pause to take in nature to make the run even more enjoyable.

Police officers can also camouflage running with another activity whether it’s a slow jog while dribbling a basketball and shooting lay-ups for repetition or even tossing a football around. You can even try running to the spot of your ball while playing golf.

Other ideas for cardiovascular workouts include bicycling, swimming, skipping (jump roping – just look at any professional boxer), kettlebell, walking fast or any number of professionally marketed cardiovascular workouts.

In every career there comes those urgent moments, when conditions will cause even the most ill-prepared officer to instinctively run. Physical training does not ensure you will catch every fleet-of-foot felon, but it increases your odds that you will survive the pursuit.

3. Build muscular strength and endurance Effecting the arrest of any resistive suspect requires a combination of technique and strength. Muscles will atrophy if not regularly stimulated. For resistance training, police officers can choose from free weights, kettlebells, machines or bodyweight (e.g. push-ups, pull-ups, squats, isometric holds) for building pure muscular strength and endurance.

4. Improve fitness levels to ensure better performance on the street Police fitness instructor Tim Powers has described this as specificity of fitness training. Some physical training is directly transferable to street performance. To prepare for the resistive suspect, while in the weight room, concentrate on upper body strength exercises from the bench press to the pull-up. The repetitions will be appreciated when the path to victory is paved by physical strength and endurance. While doing cardiovascular workouts consider running steps and sprints to prepare for the sudden acceleration needed for the emergency response on foot.

Additionally, all elements of fitness can be obtained by a police officer in any martial arts studio. The exercise is achieved while practicing skills that have direct application on the street. For those officers and trainers who maintain that martial arts techniques do not work on the street, my personal survival is at the very least anecdotal evidence that they do.

Speaking of physical, before you start working out after a long period without exercise, make sure you have a complete physical.

It is imperative for every police officer to discover his or her perfect police workout and make exercise part of a regular routine and lifestyle. You will find it so gratifying and emotionally fulfilling you’ll wonder why you never did it before.

Once your perfect police workout is discovered, work out like your life depends on it, because it does.


10 de-escalation tactics for cops and their significant others

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Olivia Johnson

Fights and disagreements are expected in any relationship and can even be healthy. But how we fight not only says a lot about us, it says a lot about whether the relationship will last.

There is no such thing as a fair fight in law enforcement. If you’re in a fight, it may be for your life. You fight to win and you win at all costs. This is how we operate on duty, but off duty this mindset often hinders us. In fact, it may be costing many of us our relationships or the emotional intimacy and trust needed to weather the storms.

Most of us will look back at the way our guardians handled disagreements, and for some, this memory may foster the cycle of continued dysfunction. If you’ve never witnessed a healthy long-term relationship, many of your relationships will start out behind the learning curve. Being behind the learning curve means you could jeopardize numerous relationships before identifying the root issue.

Let’s take a moment to remember what Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

Sometimes we just don’t know better, or if we do know better, we don’t know how to do things differently. I’m sure all of us can remember at least one fight or disagreement that did not go well, one that we are still ashamed of or one we wish we could change. It is never too late to start fighting right.

Mature fighting Disagreements aren’t necessarily about the issue or whether we triumph, but about the relationship. We must never lose sight of what truly matters, and that is the relationship and the person in it with you. Here’s how to avoid losing perspective during a fight. While this is not a comprehensive list, it is a great place to start.

1. Avoid name calling and hitting below the belt. These low blows can compromise trust and foster resentment. The last thing anyone wants is to feel like the one person who is supposed to be there during the hard times is distant or you feel like they are not there to back you up.

2. Try to see the other person’s point of view. Pick and choose your battles wisely. Sometimes we have to remember that the relationship is more important then being right. Ask yourself whether this will matter in a day, week or month. If not, is it really worth bringing it up?

3. Be a good listener. Oftentimes, we are so caught up in our point of view or preparing a comeback during a fight that we really aren’t even listening to the other person.

4. During a fight someone wins and someone loses. Try to maintain open communication and make it a discussion (a win-win). One of the hardest things for people to remember is that before you came together to form this relationship, you were and still are two different human beings. There is not one couple who does everything the same way. We may have different beliefs and perceptions and in turn, we respond differently. This doesn’t necessarily mean one is right and one is wrong.

5. Make sure you are keeping disagreements private and stay focused on the topic. The fastest way to lose trust and build resentment is to make the other person feel put down and disrespected in front of others. You should not be looing for outsiders to pick a side; you are on the same team. This is where we should be looking for the win-win. Do not argue around children. Let them see the modeling of good behavior so they know what to do.

6. Compromise is essential to seeing another person’s point of view. It also tells the other person that you value them and their viewpoint more than trying to be right.

7. If you are wrong, admit it and apologize. If you get an apology, accept it. If you’ve accepted the apology, avoid bringing up things you’ve already agreed to let go. Not doing so tells the other person that you haven’t really gotten over it and that maybe you didn’t truly accept the apology.

8. Watch body language. Body language can speak volumes to how well your message is being perceived. Are your arms folded across your chest? Are you closed off? Do you look upset or are you rolling your eyes and sighing when the other person speaks? These are all things many of us are unaware of – be sure to be mindful of them.

9. Cooler heads prevail. If you are too heated or emotional to be rational and not hurtful, take a time out. Walk away, cool off and come back to the issue (Parrott & Parrott, 2012).

10. During an argument or disagreement, we usually have an issue with something the other person is or is not doing. Start off with “I” statements instead of “you” statements. “You” statements put the other person on the defensive. Remember, we want the other person to hear us and be persuaded to understand our point of view.

Punching below the belt can lead to serious issues. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”

Fighting and having disagreements is a natural part of life, but many of us were not taught how to successfully navigate this area of our lives.

Most cops are experts at de-escalation techniques, but sometimes those techniques can seem to disappear when we need them most. Being able to discuss things and to have disagreements that leave both parties feeling good about the situation is what we should be striving for.


University apologizes to daughter of slain Dallas officer after rescinding invite

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

DALLAS — Southern Methodist University issued an apology Friday after rescinding an invitation to the daughter of a slain Dallas officer to do an honorary serve at a weekend volleyball game.

WFAA reported Heidi Smith, the widow of Sgt. Michael Smith, posted an email from SMU on Facebook that stated her daughter, Victoria, could no longer perform the honorary serve. The email stated the volleyball program “...feels that in light of recent events and diversity within the SMU community, that the demonstration could be deemed insensitive.”

Michael Smith was one of the five Dallas officers killed in an ambush in July.

Victoria was offered an “autograph” session with the players after the game instead of the honorary serve.

The school later issued an apology and reversed course after the email went viral.

“The SMU Volleyball program extends its sincere apologies to the Smith family and is reaching out this morning to speak directly to Mrs. Smith to apologize and reinforce that the invitation stands. This incident does not reflect SMU values,” the university said in a statement. “Due to a change in staffing, there was a breakdown in communication that led to this unfortunate situation. This communication to Mrs. Smith would never have occurred if proper approval and communications procedures had been followed. The invitation was intended to help a family heal, and we very much look forward to Victoria’s first serve in the volleyball match Saturday.”

Dallas Police Officer’s Association President Fred Frazier said that besides an apology, the university needs to take further action.

"For that college to sit there and slap them in the face, and rescind it, it's a slap in all of our faces," he said.


Thousands raised for Idaho officer wounded in shooting

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

BOISE, Idaho — A community is coming together after one of their officers, along with a K-9 and another officer, was critically injured in a shootout Friday.

The unnamed 17-year veteran of the department is in critical, but stable condition, according to KTVB.

A GoFundMe page for the officer said he sustained “significant injuries and will require long-term medical care.”

"This is just one more example of how the community comes together for its department and I can't tell you how much we appreciate it," said BPD Lt. Ted Snyder.

The other officer injured in the shootout, Cpl. Chris Davis, was released from the hospital and is recovering at home. K-9 Jardo, who was also injured, underwent surgery and lost a lung, but is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect, Marco Romero, was fatally shot by police, according to the news station. He was wanted in connection with a double shooting and a carjacking at the time of the shootout.

Cpl. Chris Davis was released from Saint Als today. We anxiously await the day when our 2nd injured officer will be allowed to go home. ?? pic.twitter.com/W6EN0OBdQH

— Boise PD (@BoisePD) November 12, 2016

Tough boy Jardo headed home after a rough 2 days. #boise #k9 #thankful pic.twitter.com/er84nqb2Ql

— Boise PD (@BoisePD) November 13, 2016

Bystanders aid officers under attack on SC highway

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

LADSON, S.C. — The suspect who beat two Charleston County Sheriff’s deputies over the head with one of their own batons is dead after a struggle on a highway Sunday.

According to ABC4, Deputy Robert Bittner and Deputy Levi Reiter were responding to a call of a man walking barefoot in the road, blocking traffic.

Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson told the station when the deputies approached the man, he grabbed one of their batons and began beating them on the head. One deputy deployed his TASER, but no shots were fired.

The news station reported the suspect was taken down with the help of six to 10 bystanders.

"We saw two officers being tackled...," Michael White, one of the bystanders who aided the officers, said. "About this time the guy was extremely combative, reaching for weapons and anything else. We all took the necessary measures to make sure the officers were safe."

White just returned from a four-year deployment and his wife, an EMT, helped treat one of the deputies, according to the station.

"She tried to patch one of the guys up. Unfortunately he was pretty badly gashed," White told ABC4. "When you see an officer help them, they help you in everyday situations. I'm not going to sit by and watch one of our fellow officers get harmed."

Both deputies have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to the Post and Courier, the cause of death is unclear. It is not currently known if the TASER made contact with the suspect.


Anti-Trump protests continue in NY, LA, Philly

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

NEW YORK — Immigrants, their advocates and others opposing a Donald Trump presidency continued to protest Sunday, speaking out against the president-elect's support of deportation and other measures.

Organizers in Manhattan carried signs in English and Spanish saying things like "Hate won't make us great," and chanted, "We are here to stay."

More than 1,000 people joined the march that started mid-afternoon and extended into the evening.

It was the latest in days of demonstrations across the country, and even throughout the world. Protests were held Sunday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and more cities.

Several hundred protesters Sunday marched around Philadelphia's City Hall and then down Market Street to Independence Mall, carrying signs and chanting "Donald Trump has got to go!" and "This is what democracy looks like."

In Los Angeles, a few hundred people gathered outside CNN's Los Angeles headquarters, and in San Francisco, hundreds of people, including many families with children, marched from Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach chanting "Love trumps hate!" By nightfall, a few hundred people marched across downtown San Francisco's main street, blocking traffic at an intersection when they held a sit-down protest.

Elsewhere in California, about 800 people marched through Sacramento and thousands others formed a human chain around the nearly 3.5-mile perimeter of Oakland's Lake Merritt. Rallies in Oakland have at times become unruly, but those who came to the lake held hands and chanted, "We reject the president-elect."

In Oregon, protesters marched through Portland again Sunday night following a gathering of anti-Trump demonstrators earlier in the evening. Television footage showed dozens of chanting but peaceful marchers moving through downtown streets. Sunday night's protest came after police said they arrested 71 people late Saturday and early Sunday during downtown protests.

Demonstrations also took place internationally. On Saturday, a group of Mexicans at statue representing independence in Mexico City expressed their concerns about a possible wave of deportations. One school teacher said it would add to the "unrest" that's already in Mexico. About 300 people protested Trump's election as the next American president outside the U.S. Embassy near the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Mostly, the demonstrations were peaceful. However, in Portland, Oregon, a man was shot and wounded Saturday morning during a confrontation. Police arrested two teenagers in the shooting.


Anti-Trump protests continue in NY, LA, Philly

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

null

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Immigrants, their advocates and others opposing a Donald Trump presidency continued to protest Sunday, speaking out against the president-elect's support of deportation and other measures.

Organizers in Manhattan carried signs in English and Spanish saying things like "Hate won't make us great," and chanted, "We are here to stay."

More than 1,000 people joined the march that started mid-afternoon and extended into the evening.

It was the latest in days of demonstrations across the country, and even throughout the world. Protests were held Sunday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and more cities.

Several hundred protesters Sunday marched around Philadelphia's City Hall and then down Market Street to Independence Mall, carrying signs and chanting "Donald Trump has got to go!" and "This is what democracy looks like."

In Los Angeles, a few hundred people gathered outside CNN's Los Angeles headquarters, and in San Francisco, hundreds of people, including many families with children, marched from Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach chanting "Love trumps hate!" By nightfall, a few hundred people marched across downtown San Francisco's main street, blocking traffic at an intersection when they held a sit-down protest.

Elsewhere in California, about 800 people marched through Sacramento and thousands others formed a human chain around the nearly 3.5-mile perimeter of Oakland's Lake Merritt. Rallies in Oakland have at times become unruly, but those who came to the lake held hands and chanted, "We reject the president-elect."

In Oregon, protesters marched through Portland again Sunday night following a gathering of anti-Trump demonstrators earlier in the evening. Television footage showed dozens of chanting but peaceful marchers moving through downtown streets. Sunday night's protest came after police said they arrested 71 people late Saturday and early Sunday during downtown protests.

Demonstrations also took place internationally. On Saturday, a group of Mexicans at statue representing independence in Mexico City expressed their concerns about a possible wave of deportations. One school teacher said it would add to the "unrest" that's already in Mexico. About 300 people protested Trump's election as the next American president outside the U.S. Embassy near the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Mostly, the demonstrations were peaceful. However, in Portland, Oregon, a man was shot and wounded Saturday morning during a confrontation. Police arrested two teenagers in the shooting.


For 2nd year in a row, Mass. police receive grant to combat opioids

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By Dave Rogers Newbury Port News

SALISBURY, Mass. — For the second year in a row, the Salisbury Police Department is receiving federal grant money to help combat the rise of opioid abuse.

According to Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler, the department will receive almost $100,000 as part of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The program is administered statewide by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research.

This year's grant is roughly equal to the amount awarded to the department last year.

Read more: Salisbury police get grant to continue fight against drug abuse


Details emerge in ambush of Alaska officer

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Michelle Theriault Boots Alaska Dispatch News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A police officer shot in his patrol car in downtown Anchorage early Saturday was in stable condition Sunday night.

The officer, whose name has not been released, underwent two surgeries for "multiple gunshot wounds" on Saturday, said Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. On Sunday, he was recovering in a local hospital, she said.

The suspect in Saturday's incident was killed in gunfire from police. Police are still trying to notify his next-of-kin, and no name had been released as of Sunday night.

The incident is the second time in a month an Alaska police officer has been taken by surprise by gunshots as they were arriving at a call. It has unsettled police ranks already on edge, said Sgt. Gerard Asselin, the president of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association.

"It's a tenuous situation for our folks who see this on a national level, who less than three weeks ago saw it in Fairbanks and now it's right here affecting our own department," Asselin said Sunday.

The attack drew parallels to the still-raw death of a Fairbanks police officer. In that incident, Sgt. Allen Brandt was shot as he responded to a report of gunfire in downtown Fairbanks Oct. 16. Brandt later died after complications from a surgery to remove bullet fragments from his eye.

Many facts about Saturday's shooting have not been publicly disclosed by police, or are still under investigation.

Here's what police have said happened.

An APD officer was on a downtown patrol in the early hours of Saturday morning when a call came in to police dispatch reporting a theft suspect around the area of Fifth Avenue and Cordova Street, a quiet stretch of a major downtown thoroughfare.

As the officer was "initiating a stop" a man with a gun "approached the patrol car and started firing at the officer," hitting him multiple times, according to police. The officer fired back. The call came in about the shooting at 4:36 a.m., police have said. Another officer arrived as the shooting was happening and also fired at the suspect, who was declared dead at the scene.

On Sunday, nothing was left on the sidewalk outside the Office Depot at Fifth Avenue and Cordova Street but a scattering of crushed glass on the sidewalk.

Police have not released the name of the suspect, or any details about his background or motive. It is also not clear whether the man who shot at the officer was the person described by the caller as the thief suspect.

At a Saturday news conference, police chief Christopher Tolley described the shooting as an "ambush." The officer was shot while he was still inside his patrol vehicle, wrote Castro in an email. Police are still investigating whether the officer was lured to the area on purpose, she said.

Anchorage police have dashcam footage of the shooting unfolding. Releasing it would have pros and cons, Castro said. Such footage can support what the department has said about an incident. But it "can show horrific events and you have to consider how your residents feel about seeing something like that as well as the family and loved ones of the people who were involved."

No determination has been made about whether the footage will be released, she said.

Anchorage police don't ride in pairs but typically arrive at calls involving weapons or the threat of violence with a second unit for backup, according to Castro.

In this case, Asselin said, there was no warning at all.

"This was a simple theft and this officer was in a battle for his life."


Gunman opens fire on San Jose officers; manhunt underway

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By Aaron Kinney and Robert Salonga Palo Alto Daily News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police were searching Sunday night for a man who fired multiple gunshots at two officers on patrol near Luby and Ripley drives.

The officers were on foot shortly after 7:30 p.m. when they approached a group of men. The men ran off, but one one of them turned and fired “several rounds,” police said.

The officers were not hit and did not return fire, police said.

Officers have surrounded the area to find the man, whom police accused of attempted murder.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, 6 feet tall, 160-180 pounds and clean shaven. Police said he was wearing a black and gray Pendleton over white T-shirt with dark pants.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 911 or provide an anonymous tip at 408-947-7867.

The crime occurred the same day that Stanislaus County deputy sheriff Dennis Wallace was shot and killed at close range by a wanted felon in Hughson. The suspect, 36-year-old David Machado, not long afterward.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that Wallace was the ninth U.S. law enforcement officer killed since Nov. 2.

9 officers killed in 13 days. That's one officer every 34 hours. Guns used to kill officers up 70%. pic.twitter.com/vmYC0Ev4nI

— Alameda Co. Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) November 14, 2016

Internal memos show Wis. police no longer free to ‘call off’ backup

Posted on November 14, 2016 by in POLICE

By Karen Rivedal The Wisconsin State Journal

MADISON, Wis. — A new rule adopted last month that was framed as reminding Madison police officers to wait for their backup at crime scenes in fact represented a clear departure from then-current practice in the department, according to internal records obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal.

The procedural change — referred to as “significant” and an “important initiative” in a Sept. 30 email to command staff and sergeants by Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, who ordered it — took effect Oct. 3. In short, while officers previously had the option of rejecting backup, now they don’t, in an effort to keep officers and the public safer.

Codified in two short paragraphs added to the department’s rules for dispatching officers to calls for service, the new language tells officers they “shall not disregard backup” and, specifically, shall wait for backup “before physically approaching any involved subject(s),” unless someone at the scene is in imminent danger.

In practice, that means the first or primary officer sent to an incident can no longer unilaterally call off, or send back, other officers who have been dispatched to the same call, as the primary officer was free to do before.

The primary officer typically did that by telling dispatchers via squad radio, often while en route to the scene, that he or she could handle the incident alone, or that he or she would check it out alone and report back. Doing that now, absent an imminent danger, requires a supervisor’s OK.

“You no longer have the discretion to say, ‘Call those other officers off. I can handle this,’” Koval said, in a video message he made for rank-and-file officers.

“The officers do NOT have the discretion to disregard backup any longer,” Koval said in the email to supervisors.

Now some six weeks into the change, Koval on Thursday said he believed officers were accepting the new approach. “I absolutely do,” he told the State Journal. “I think they get it.”

Safety over efficiency The new approach also requires all officers dispatched to a scene to “arrive, stage, approach and assess the dangerousness of the situation together” before a decision can be made about anyone leaving the scene, Koval said in an Oct. 6 followup email to supervisors.

Koval’s emails and the video were released to the State Journal in early November in response to a public records request.

Koval last month called the change “not a ‘new’ protocol” but rather just a codified reflection of how officers “have been trained, for decades, in the interest of officer and community safety,” in emailed answers to questions from a State Journal reporter. He did not mention in those emails that officers had previously been allowed to call off their backup, despite that training. On Thursday, he said he didn’t get into those details previously because he considered the new policy a “work in progress,” with minor changes to it still possible through next week.

In his Sept. 30 email to command staff, Koval noted that despite the police department’s training emphasis on waiting for backup, “It has become painfully evident that this is not happening as much as I would like to see.”

“I am concerned,” Koval added in the email, “that our ‘business efficiency’ is trumping and thereby potentially compromising officer/public safety.”

Koval said officers were calling off backup to try to work faster as calls for service in the city increase.

And he praised their work ethic in doing so but said it was posing an unacceptable risk, potentially to both officers and members of the public. Citing the July assassinations of police officers in Dallas and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Koval said it would be safer for officers to employ more teamwork at scenes. Sending both primary and backup officers to “priority calls,” to which two or more officers are always dispatched, is a necessary approach in a city where officers routinely patrol one to a squad car, he said.

“So much has happened over the last three years,” Koval told officers in the video. “Anything and everything that could be calamitous has happened, especially during my tenure of office. And the one thing, God forbid, that I don’t want is to have to pay a visit to anybody’s family or friends with dire news of anybody being hurt or worse.”

Koval also said in the video that there had been management discussions after those July killings about assigning two officers per car, but no agreement was reached. Koval then developed the waiting-for-backup mandate as a necessary alternative, he said, and because it could help officers de-escalate conflicts, an outcome long sought by both police and critics of police.

“I want our officers kept safe(r), and the benefits of arriving at a call with more than one officer has certainly shown that with a greater ‘presence,’ the necessity to go ‘hands on’ in using force could be mitigated, at least to some extent,” Koval told command staff in the Sept. 30 email.

“Will that mean more calls stacking up?’” he added. “YES! But I am willing to take that issue on because it pales in comparison to officer and community safety.”

Change emphasized I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site consitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Koval also told department supervisors he was sending them the Sept. 30 email as an early “heads up,” so they could “begin to process and consider what this change will mean, fundamentally, in how we move forward.”

Further underscoring the importance of the changes, Koval sent spreadsheets to each of the department’s five districts, which supervisors were to return by Oct. 17, certifying that each officer had received an electronic copy of the new language and had watched Koval’s videotaped message, along with the date they had done so.

“I want this (change) to stand out,” Koval said.

Koval also told supervisors “the major points to bear in mind” about the policy were that:

“This procedural change will be significant and require us to slow down and be safe.”

“Primary and backup officers should stage” — meaning to meet up near the scene — “and approach together.”

“Primary and backup officers should handle the call together until it is resolved.”

“If another officer volunteers/assigns themselves to the call, the net effect should be the same as if two were dispatched: stay together until the call is resolved.”

Koval also exhorted his street sergeants to pay close attention to the new policy, calling them “the linchpin” to whether it “is given a fair chance to be evaluated.”

“If you are ambivalent and do not hold people accountable, this effort to slow things down and keep our officers safe(r) will not be fully realized,” Koval said.


Calif. deputy killed in line of duty

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

The Modesto Bee

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — A Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deputy was killed Sunday morning at Fox Grove Park in Hughson, authorities said.

Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, spokesman for the department, confirmed the death at 10:30 a.m.

A traffic stop has been made in Ceres, and detectives are looking for a Kia Rio. There’s been no confirmation that the traffic stop is related.

There also is no confirmation on how the deputy died.

Sheriff Adam Christianson said he would be holding a press conference later today.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to a “critical incident” involving a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deputy in Hughson early Sunday morning.

We will have more on this breaking story as information becomes available.

A @StanSheriff Deputy was killed in the line of duty this morning. Sheriff Christianson will speak with the media as soon as he can. pic.twitter.com/yGSwCGbxaa

— Stanislaus Sheriff (@StanSheriff) November 13, 2016

Calif. deputy shot and killed in ‘an execution;’ suspect in custody

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Ruben Vives and Jack Leonard Los Angeles Times

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — A sheriff’s deputy in Stanislaus County, in California’s Central Valley, was shot and killed Sunday in “an execution” carried out by a wanted man who was caught hours later after an extensive manhunt, authorities said.

Deputy Dennis Wallace, a 20-year department veteran, was shot twice in the head after calling dispatch about a suspicious car and person in Fox Grove Park, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters at a news conference.

“We know for a fact that the gun used in this crime was in direct contact with his head when the trigger was pulled — twice,” Christianson said, according to video posted by news station KCR3. “This was an execution.”

The suspect, identified as David Machado Jr., 36, fled before carjacking a 2009 white Kia Rio in the nearby community of Keyes, Christianson said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department sent out a tweet saying Machado had been taken into custody in Tulare County by a local police agency.

Christianson said the events that led to the shooting began around 8:24 a.m. when Wallace called in and was told by dispatch that a car he saw at the Fox Grove Fishing Access was stolen. Wallace asked for another unit but never responded to additional messages from dispatchers, Christianson said.

A second deputy discovered Wallace when he arrived. The gunman had fled, Christianson said. The carjacking in Keyes occurred around 8:40 a.m., the sheriff said.

Machado, he said, had an outstanding warrant in connection with another felony, but the sheriff did not elaborate.

“He is a known criminal,” Christianson said.

Wallace, he said, was well known for working on anti-drug and early intervention programs. He was married with a family, the sheriff said.

The killing was the second in four years for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. In 2012, Deputy Robert Paris, a 16-year department veteran, was killed along with a civilian when a gunman opened fire as authorities tried to serve an eviction notice at an apartment complex in Modesto.

Last month, four law enforcement officers were slain in California in a two-week period.

On Oct. 6, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen was shot as he responded to a burglary report in Lancaster. Days later, Palm Springs Police Officers Lesley Zerebny, 27, and Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, were shot and killed in what officials said was a planned attack. Authorities said John Hernandez Felix, 26, ambushed the officers as they stood outside his door.

And on Oct. 19, Modoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins was gunned down while responding to a disturbance call.

On Sunday, Christianson decried having to face reporters again to announce the slaying of one of his deputies and called for a show of unity for law enforcement nationwide.

“Unfortunately, we do this far too often here in California and nationwide,” he said. “You have to ask yourself the question: Where does it stop? Where does it end?”

A @StanSheriff Deputy was killed in the line of duty this morning. Sheriff Christianson will speak with the media as soon as he can. pic.twitter.com/yGSwCGbxaa

— Stanislaus Sheriff (@StanSheriff) November 13, 2016

Anti-Trump protesters march by tens of thousands nationwide

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Robert Jablon and William Mathis Associated Press

NEW YORK — Donald Trump's presidential upset win sparked a fourth day of protests across the United States, with tens of thousands of protesters marching and railing against him.

Saturday protests — held in big cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago as well as smaller ones, such as Worcester, Massachusetts, and Iowa City, Iowa — were largely peaceful, although two police officers were slightly injured in protests in Indianapolis.

Demonstrators rallied at New York's Union Square before taking their cause up Fifth Avenue toward Trump Tower, where they were held back by police barricades.

About 2,000 demonstrators march on Trump Tower in fourth day of protests https://t.co/n0VD9eRU62 pic.twitter.com/n2a2AsOWCD

— ABC News (@ABC) November 12, 2016

The Republican president-elect was inside his tower apartment, working with aides on the transition to the White House.

Among those railing against him was filmmaker Michael Moore, who tweeted a demand that Trump "step aside."

Fashion designer Noemi Abad, 30, agreed.

"I just can't have Donald Trump running this country and teaching our children racism, sexism and bigotry," she said. "Out of his own mouth he made this division. He needs to go — there's no place for racism in society in America."

Trump's comments — particularly a 2005 recording of him making lewd comments about women — sparked outrage during his campaign. That spilled over into demonstrations following an election that ended with half of U.S. voters choosing the other candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Demonstrators in Indianapolis on Saturday threw rocks at police, slightly injuring two officers, said Police Chief Troy Riggs. Some protesters began chanting threats including "Kill the Police," and officers moved in to arrest seven demonstrators.

Police briefly fired pepper balls into the crowd during the confrontation.

"We believe that we have some instigators that arrived in our city," trying to start a riot, Riggs said.

Rowdy demonstrators marched through downtown Portland, Oregon, for the fourth night Saturday despite calls from the mayor and police chief for calm.

Several hundred people took to the streets and Portland authorities made multiple arrests after protesters threw bottles and other items at officers in riot gear and blocked streets and light rail lines. The exact number of arrests wasn't immediately available.

The gathering came after a news conference Saturday in which Mayor Charlie Hayes and Police Chief Mike Marshman urged restraint after several days of violent marches that damaged property and left one person shot.

Friday night, police used flash-bang grenades to disperse a crowd of hundreds in the downtown area. Seventeen people were arrested and one man was shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries in what police described as a confrontation with gang members. Two people were arrested on attempted murder charges.

In Los Angeles, an estimated 8,000 people marched through downtown streets Saturday to condemn what they saw as Trump's hate speech about Muslims, pledge to deport people in the country illegally and crude comments about women.

Wow. Just look at how many people are marching in an #antitrump protest in LA.#california #calexit pic.twitter.com/UC7wBSCBip

— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 13, 2016

Jennifer Cruz, 18, of Ventura, California, carried a sign that asked: "Legalize weed but not my Mom?" — a reference to Californians' Tuesday passage of a measure legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Cruz said her parents have been in the United States illegally for 30 years, although her mother has spent years seeking citizenship. She called the possibility of their deportation terrifying.

"We talk about it almost every day," she said. "My Mom wants to leave it in the hands of God, but I'm not just going to sit back and not do anything. I'm going to fight for my parents, even if it kills me."

Shawn Smith, 41, of Los Angeles, wore an American flag vest and held a glittery sign that said "Love Trumps Hate."

"What he's been able to do is make 50 percent of the nation look over their shoulder," he said. "If you're gay, if you're LGBT, if you're Muslim, if you're Latin, if you're special needs, if you're female, it's a much unsafer place now."

"What is happening today is going to be the normal for a while," he said of the demonstration, "because we're not going to just sit back and watch our rights being taken away, our health care being taken away."

Meanwhile, several dozen Trump supporters gathered at his vandalized star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to urge the protesters to give him a chance. One person held a cross that read "All lives matter to me."

In other parts of the country, spirited demonstrations on college campuses and peaceful marches along downtown streets have taken place since Wednesday.

Evening marches disrupted traffic in Miami and Atlanta.

Trump supporter Nicolas Quirico was traveling from South Beach to Miami. His car was among hundreds stopped when protesters blocked Interstate 395.

"Trump will be our president. There is no way around that, and the sooner people grasp that, the better off we will be," he said. "There is a difference between a peaceful protest and standing in a major highway backing up traffic for 5 miles. This is wrong."

Protests also were held in Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Olympia, Washington, Iowa City and more.

4000 people estimated to be in the anti trump protest marching in DC, per a pd source pic.twitter.com/Xo12WetR9S

— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) November 13, 2016

More than 200 people, carrying signs, gathered on the steps of the Washington state Capitol. The group chanted "not my president" and "no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA."

In Tennessee, Vanderbilt University students sang civil rights songs and marched through campus across a Nashville street, temporarily blocking traffic.

In Cincinnati, hundreds of protesters already had taken to the streets early Saturday afternoon to protest a jury's failure to reach a verdict in the trial of a white former police officer who killed an unarmed black motorist in 2015.

A mistrial was declared in the trial of former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing. He was fired after shooting Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate last year.

Several hundred anti-Trump protesters joined the trial protesters and marched through downtown Cincinnati.

In Chicago, hundreds of people including families with small children chanted "No hate. No fear. Immigrants are welcome here" Saturday as they marched through Millennium Park, a popular downtown tourist attraction.

Sonja Spray, 29, who heard about the protest on Facebook, said she has signed an online petition urging the electoral college to honor the popular vote and elect Clinton.

Demonstrations also took place internationally. A group of Mexicans at statue representing independence in Mexico City expressed their concerns about a possible wave of deportations. One school teacher said it would add to the "unrest" that's already in Mexico. About 300 people protested Trump's election as the next American president outside the U.S. Embassy near the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

President Barack Obama meets in Berlin next week with Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other European leaders, and is expected to confront global concerns about Trump's election.

___

Jablon reported in Los Angeles. Associated Press writers William Mathis and Jonathan Lemire in New York, Lisa Baumann and Phuong Le in Seattle, Carla K. Johnson and Greg McCune in Chicago, Terrence Petty in Portland, Oregon, and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.


Flash mob attacks in Philly send 4 to hospital

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Four people, including an off-duty police detective and his wife, were taken to a hospital after a "flash mob" attack by some among a crowd of juveniles in downtown Philadelphia, police said.

Police said a large crowd of juveniles were at 16th and Walnut streets, a popular spot for dining and shopping, at about 6 p.m. Saturday when some people began randomly assaulting people on the street.

A 55-year-old off-duty police detective saw a 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman being assaulted and tried to arrest one of the offenders. He was punched from behind by several people, police said.

The detective's 53-year-old wife splashed water on the offenders to try to stop them from attacking her husband, and she was punched in the face, police said. All of the offenders then fled.

One of the five people assaulted there declined medical treatment, but the other five were taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for treatment. The police detective had an orbital fracture to his right eye while the others had minor injuries.

Immediately afterward, there was another assault by several juveniles nearby, and two 16-year-old youths were arrested, police said. The victim had minor injuries and didn't seek medical attention.

One man told WPVI-TV that he feared for his safety when the large group of teens appeared, and he saw other people running into nearby stores to escape.

"It's crazy out here," said Dwight Magood. "I don't know if they were trying to protest or 'flash mobbing.' But it's not the right way to do it, whatever it was."


Police: Gunman who shot Pa. police tried to set off explosions

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CANONSBURG, Pa. — A man who fatally shot the expectant mother of his child and a Pennsylvania police officer before killing himself apparently had tried to set off explosions in the house they were in and in a vehicle parked out front, police said Saturday.

Michael Cwiklinski, 47, opened fire with a rifle from a second-floor window on two Canonsburg police officers who were first to arrive in response to a 3:20 a.m. domestic violence call Thursday. Both officers were stuck; one of them died, Canonsburg police said.

Patrolman Scott Bashioum, 52, an officer for seven years and a married father of four, was struck twice. He returned fire, "emptying his duty magazine, striking multiple rounds in and through the window," Chief Alexander Coghill said.

Other officers got him into a patrol vehicle and took him to Canonsburg General Hospital, where he died. Patrolman James Saieva Jr. was struck by one round while still inside his patrol vehicle. He underwent emergency surgery and is "in excellent spirits" and expected to be released soon, Coghill said.

Cwiklinski and Dalia Sabae, 28, who was three months pregnant, were later found dead. Police said she died of multiple gunshot wounds, and he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Police said the gunman also fired at the parked sport utility vehicle, which he had loaded with gasoline, propane and acetylene tanks. At least two rounds struck the vehicle, but it didn't ignite.

A police robot sent into the home found two more propane tanks along with a lit acetylene torch inside the front door. Officials said the robot helped dissipate some of the gas, preventing an explosion.

State police Cpl. Kiprian Yarosh, asked why there was no ignition of fuel in either location, replied. "To be honest with you, luck."

"I don't think it happened the way he planned it," said Yarosh, who is leading the investigation. "Had the vehicle been struck and ignited, yes, it would have been tragic."

Sabae had filed an application for a protection-from-abuse court order last month in Washington County, saying Cwiklinski was drunk when he took her belongings and then called police when she broke down a door to retrieve them last month. "As he was leaving, he was saying that I and our baby that I am pregnant with have to die," she said in the application.

Bashioum's funeral is set for noon Wednesday at Church of the Covenant in Washington. A procession through Canonsburg also is being planned.


Police Limit Comic: November 13, 2016

Posted on November 13, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Garey McKee

Police Limit Comic is published on PoliceOne on Sunday. For more than a decade, the strip's cast of unnamed characters has been constantly struggling with stresses, not only from the criminal element on the street, but also from the upper echelons of the police department's top brass, clueless judges, and the liberal media.


Alaska officer shot; second man killed in attack

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

By Mark Thiessen Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A gunman repeatedly shot an Alaska police officer in an ambush early Saturday morning as the officer lay on the ground near his police cruiser, Anchorage police said.

The officer was expected to survive and was undergoing emergency surgery, department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said.

The wounded officer and another officer who responded exchanged gunfire with the man, who was killed.

The shooting happened before 5 a.m. in downtown Anchorage as the officer was responding to reports of a theft suspect in the area on foot.

"The officer was pulling his patrol vehicle over and a man brandished a gun and started firing at the officer," Castro says in an email to The Associated Press.

Additional officers arrived and provided first aid to both the officer and the suspect, who was declared dead, Castro said. Police haven't released the shooter's name.

Per department policy, the names of the two officers who fired their weapons will not be released for three days. Both the department and the state will conduct reviews to determine if the use of force was within department guidelines and justified.

Castro says the department will hold a news conference later Saturday morning to provide updates.

It's the second shooting involving Alaska officers in the past month.

Sgt. Allen Brandt, an 11-year veteran of the Fairbanks Police Department, was shot Oct. 16. He died Oct. 28 in Anchorage of complications during surgery.

Brandt was attacked as he responded to calls of a shooting in a neighborhood east of downtown Fairbanks. Video from his dashboard camera showed his car slowing to a stop as Anthony Jenkins-Alexie, 29, approached on foot on the sidewalk.

The video showed Jenkins-Alexie, armed with a handgun, dashing in front of the car. Prosecutors say Jenkins-Alexie shot Brandt as Brandt tried to take cover behind his patrol car. He was hit six times. Jenkins-Alexie is charged with first- and second-degree murder and other counts.


Odd behavior continued as SC slayings suspect built real estate firm

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Jonathan Drew and Seanna Adcox Associated Press

WOODRUFF, S.C. — As he built a successful real estate firm, Todd Kohlhepp's behavior struck some as odd: watching pornographic videos during work, making macabre jokes in marketing literature and openly discussing that he was a sex offender.

But he was also an award-winning agent described as a hard worker and good boss.

All the while, authorities say, he was hiding a grisly secret that included seven killings over 13 years. He gunned down four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003 and within the last year killed three more, authorities said. The crimes were uncovered earlier this month when investigators rescued a woman chained up in a 30-foot long storage container on his property.

"He was the kind of Type Double A, hair-on-fire kind of guy. ... You felt that if he wanted to take you out, he could take you out easily," said Lawrence Shorts, a mortgage banker who worked on transactions with Kohlhepp.

Kohlhepp made ominous comments about having trouble sleeping and how he would "know where people live," Shorts said. A neighbor, Scott Waldrop, said Kohlhepp bragged about chasing people off his rural property with an arsenal including guns with silencers and night-vision equipment.

Kohlhepp moved to South Carolina sometime after the 2001 completion of his 15-year prison sentence for raping another teenager at gunpoint in Arizona. He was in his early 30s and began studying at Greenville Technical College in 2003. While attending classes that November, he killed four employees at the Superbike Motorsports store in Chesnee, authorities said.

Those slayings went unsolved for 13 years. When Kohlhepp was arrested last week, the sheriff said he confessed to the bike-shop shootings and pointed investigators to three shallow graves on his land.

Detectives notifying victims' families of Kohlhepp's confession said he was an angry customer at the shop. Motives aren't clear for the more recent killings and the woman's kidnapping.

In 2004, Kohlhepp transferred to the University of South Carolina-Upstate and ranked near the top of his class the next year, said college spokeswoman Tammy Whaley. He finished his business degree in 2007, then distinguished himself in real estate. A 2008 news article said he was Weichert Realtors' top-selling rookie agent for a region spanning parts of both Carolinas.

Next, he went into business for himself, registering Todd Kohlhepp & Associates in 2009. The firm's website listed over a dozen agents, but also an unusual sales pitch. Describing the team that developed the firm's marketing, it said "we threatened not to feed them if it didn't work. It's amazing the motivation you can get after day three!"

Still, Kohlhepp developed a hard-working reputation.

"Todd did his job well and we never had any issues or saw any flags in the years we worked with him," Velocity Design Group owner Danielle Cuddie said in an email.

An agent at Kohlhepp's firm, Cherry Laurens, said they met a decade ago and were study partners at USC-Upstate. She said the accusations surprised her.

"Everybody loses their temper, but as far as out of character for what would be normal? No," she said.

Shorts, the banker, said Kohlhepp appeared successful, driving expensive cars. Records show he owned two BMWs and a motorcycle.

Kohlhepp worked from home, and Shorts came over occasionally to exchange documents.

"You used to walk in his office, and he had porno going on," he said. "I can remember walking in there two or three times, and there was pornography on his dad-gummed laptop. Realtors would walk in, and he had it on there too."

Shorts distanced himself in recent years, saying Kohlhepp would make statements such as: "'You know I don't sleep much at night and get up at 3 o'clock in the morning, and I kind of know where people live.'"

Kohlhepp appeared to be a loner. His neighborhood was close-knit, but neighbors said he never attended its occasional get-togethers.

Kohlhepp's sex-offender status was common knowledge, though Kohlhepp claimed the charges were trumped up after a joyride with another teenager upset her father, acquaintances said.

But authorities described something far worse: Kohlhepp was 15 when he tied up a 14-year-old at gunpoint and raped her in Arizona in 1986. Court documents say he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced in adult court.

Kohlhepp had psychological problems from a young age, according to records obtained by WHNS-TV in South Carolina.

An Arizona judge wrote in 1987 that he was bright but "emotionally dangerous" and preoccupied with sex. A 1987 presentencing report says a neighbor described Kohlhepp as a "devil on a chain."

He had moved in with his father in Arizona around age 12 after growing up in South Carolina and Georgia. His parents divorced when he was an infant.

Now his mother is defending him, telling CBS: "Todd is not a monster."

"He wasn't doing it for enjoyment," Regina Tague said of the South Carolina cases. "He was doing it because he was mad and he was hurt."

On Facebook, he frequently described trimming trees and moving boulders on the 95-acre property near Woodruff, about 10 miles from his primary home in Moore. In September, he wrote that buying land was a way to stay out of trouble: "you won't have any time to misbehave no mo ... too sore and tired."

But that sprawling property was where authorities said they rescued the chained woman and began unraveling the killings. Investigators say they unearthed three bodies there.

Authorities also confiscated assault rifles and handguns. It's not clear how Kohlhepp obtained them; South Carolina law prohibits violent felons from owning firearms.

Waldrop, the neighbor, met Kohlhepp soon after he bought the property in 2014. To keep people out, Kohlhepp installed deer cameras, bear traps and a chain-link fence.

"To me, he didn't seem like no threat," Waldrop said. "We'd just shoot the bull. ... I didn't know all this stuff. Nobody knew."


NY police commander released from hospital

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Joan Gralla Newsday

NASSAU, N.Y. — Finally, two months after a driver broadsided his car on Woodbury Road, a gravely injured Nassau police commander soon will get to walk away.

The recovery achieved by Second Precinct Commanding Officer Inspector Robert Psoinas is nothing short of miraculous, said physicians Thursday at Nassau University Medical Center.

Psoinas spent almost two months in intensive care at the East Meadow hospital after his black 2010 Ford Crown Victoria was struck by a car on Sept. 23 in Woodbury, authorities said.

Psoinas, seated in a wheelchair, one hand clasped by his surgeon, thanked all the medical staff for making the celebration of his discharge from the hospital possible. The event included bagpipes, four mounted officers and about 100 police and medical staff.

Upon waking from a coma four or five days after the crash, he said: “In a short time I realized they saved my life ... the care here has been really outstanding and I thank them so much.”

“They were my team. They were my life,” Psoinas said.

Police presented his doctors with two plaques to recognize their service. In turn, doctors noted how much the officer’s recovery from what one called extensive abdominal damage was due to his own determination and strength.

Saluting “all the fight he has in him,” Dr. Kelley Sookraj, whose hand he’d held a few moments earlier, said: “It is very satisfying to see him. He’s come such a long way to be sure.”

Psoinas’ daughter Megan, 25, who is expected to join the Nassau police department’s next class of recruits, and her mother were on hand.

“It’s the family supporting the patient, the optimism, the patient needs,” said Dr. George Angus, the hospital’s director of trauma.

Acting police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said the department knew Psoinas “was going to be in the best possible hands” at NUMC.

Several officers said the celebration Psoinas’ recovery was “bittersweet” because it occurred just a few hours after the NYPD buried Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, who was shot to death in the line of duty last Friday.

Psoinas’ injuries included bone fractures but, his surgeon said, he could be walking within a few weeks. A scar on the back of his skull bore witness to the trauma he suffered, his doctors said, adding his body bears many other scars.

The inspector had a green light while driving north on Yukon Drive when a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, heading east on Woodbury Road, smashed into his unmarked car, officials said.

The impact of the early afternoon crash shattered his windshield and caused the air bags to deploy.


2 Idaho officers, K-9 wounded in shootout

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

By Cynthia Sewell The Idaho Statesman

BOISE, Idaho — The man who traded shots with Boise police Friday afternoon was declared dead on arrival at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said this evening.

That man is believed to be Marco Romero, sought since Tuesday in connection with a shooting injuring two people in Meridian.

Two BPD officers were also shot during the incident, which took place at Irving and Wilson streets. One is being treated in the Saint Al’s ER, the other is in surgery, Bones said. The officers have not been named.

And a BPD police dog, Jardo, was shot and taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment.

Jardo, a Belgian malinois, joined the department in 2013. He is trained to track and apprehend dangerous criminals.

Garden City police are the lead agency investigating the shooting as part of a Critical Incident Task Force.

Treasure Valley law enforcement agencies have been searching for Romero since Tuesday.

Romero, 33, a recent parolee, was sought in connection with a Tuesday shooting in Meridian that injured two people. Meridian police say Romero may also have been the man who stole a Mercury Sable from an 89-year-old woman on Thursday at a retirement community in Meridian.

According to Boise police, a search began around 1 p.m. in the neighborhoods north of Emerald Street and east of Orchard Street.

At about 3:25 p.m., many shots were reported fired in an alleyway near Irving and Wilson. Two police officers and the suspect were all injured. It’s unclear how many shots were fired and who fired them.

During the search, police were in communication with residents in the area through a reverse 911 system. That notification asked residents to stay inside and to report any suspicious activity to 911.

It appears, though, that not everyone is either signed up for the city’s notifications or otherwise got them.

Ebony Jorgansen, who lives near Wilson and Gage streets, said she did not receive any notification on her cellphone of there being a dangerous suspect in her neighborhood. She doesn’t have a landline.

She said a police officer used her garbage can to set up crime scene tape to block access on Wilson. When she popped out the door to talk to her, the officer advised her to stay inside her house.

Resident Jeff Sele said he was talking with someone on the street when shots rang out.

“I heard guns and shotguns, it sounded like to me. You can definitely tell the difference between a gun and shotgun blast. It happened real fast....It was 10 to 12 shots, and then it was done.”

Sele has lived on Irving for 25 years and has been home recovering from back surgery. “It’s usually a pretty quiet neighborhood.”

Jake Chappele, another Irving resident, said he was just getting home from school with his three kids. He ushered them inside the house when the gunfire broke out.

He thought he heard 15 to 20 shots, he said: “At least 10.”

This is the third police shooting in the Treasure Valley in 24 hours. Ada County sheriff’s deputies shot a 72-year-old Melba man Thursday night after a chase leading from Canyon County to southern Ada County. Caldwell police today shot a man suspected of attempting to break into a home.

Only one Boise police officer has been killed in the line of duty. Officer Mark Stall was shot and killed on September 20, 1997, during a traffic stop.

Idaho law enforcement officers have fatally shot five other people this year.

Last year, Idaho police shot and killed seven people, tying the 2007 record.


1 shot in Ore. amid nationwide anti-Trump protests

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Terrence Petty Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — As protests of President-elect Donald Trump entered another day, police in Portland, Oregon, say one person was shot by a man who had gotten into a confrontation with a protester.

Portland police said the person who was shot was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening. Police said they were looking for the shooter, who apparently fled in his vehicle after the attack early Saturday morning on a Willamette River bridge.

The shooting followed rowdy Friday night protests, when police used tear gas in response to "burning projectiles" thrown at officers, police said on Twitter. Hundreds of people marched through the city, disrupting traffic and spray-painting graffiti.

Authorities reported instances of vandalism and assault during a rally that organizers had billed as peaceful earlier in the day.

In other parts of the country, spirited demonstrations on college campuses and peaceful marches along downtown streets have taken place since Wednesday.

A mainly peaceful protest by about 3,000 people ended in Los Angeles early Saturday with about 200 arrests for failure to disperse after police broke up the lingering demonstration.

Hundreds joined a Friday afternoon "love rally" in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

Leslie Holmes, 65, a website developer from Wilton, Connecticut, took an hour-long train ride to the demonstration — her first protest since the 1970s, when she hit the streets of San Francisco to oppose the Vietnam War.

She described herself as an armchair liberal but declared, "I'm not going to be armchair anymore."

"I don't want to live in a country where my friends aren't included, and my friends are fearful, and my children are going to grow up in a world that's frightening, and my granddaughters can look forward to being excluded from jobs and politics and fulfilling their potential, so I'm here for them," she said.

Evening marches disrupted traffic in Miami and Atlanta.

Trump supporter Nicolas Quirico was traveling from South Beach to Miami. His car was among hundreds stopped when protesters blocked Interstate 395.

"Trump will be our president. There is no way around that, and the sooner people grasp that, the better off we will be," he said. "There is a difference between a peaceful protest and standing in a major highway backing up traffic for 5 miles. This is wrong."

More than a thousand protesters took to the streets across California after night fell including downtown Los Angeles, where over 200 were arrested a night earlier. In Bakersfield, where Trump is far more popular than in most of the state, some held signs reading "Anti-Trump, Pro-USA."

Small protests also were held in Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Olympia, Washington and Iowa City.

More than 200 people, carrying signs gathered on the steps of the Washington state Capitol. The group chanted "not my president" and "no Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA."

In Tennessee, Vanderbilt University students sang civil rights songs and marched through campus across a Nashville street, temporarily blocking traffic. A protest also occurred in Minneapolis.

In Chicago, multiple groups planned protests through Saturday.

Nadia Gavino, 25, learned about the rallies on Twitter and protested Thursday evening. Gavino, whose father is from Peru and whose mother is of Mexican and Lithuanian heritage, said she took Trump's harshest statements about immigrants and Latinos personally.

"I obviously agree that he's racist, he's sexist, he's phobic, he's misogynistic. He's all these things you don't want in a leader," she said.

Ashley Lynne Nagel, 27, said she joined a Thursday night demonstration in Denver.

"I have a leader I fear for the first time in my life," said Nagel, a Bernie Sanders supporter who voted for Hillary Clinton.

"It's not that we're sore losers," she said. "It's that we are genuinely upset, angry, terrified that a platform based off of racism, xenophobia and homophobia has become so powerful and now has complete control of our representation."

Demonstrations also took place internationally. About 300 people protested Trump's election as the next American president outside the U.S. Embassy near the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

President Barack Obama meets in Berlin next week with Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other European leaders, and is expected to confront global concerns about Trump's election.

Demonstrations also were planned Saturday in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other areas.

Previous demonstrations drew thousands of people in New York and other large urban centers. The largely peaceful demonstrations were overshadowed by sporadic episodes of vandalism, violence and street-blocking. ___

Associated Press writer Lisa Baumann in Seattle contributed to this report.


Mistrial: Ohio police shooting trial jury deadlocked

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Lisa Cornwell and Janice Morse Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A judge declared a mistrial after a jury said it was deadlocked Saturday in the case of a white former police officer charged with murder in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

The Hamilton County jury had deliberated some 25 hours after getting the case at noontime Wednesday following Judge Megan Shanahan's instructions. University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.

Tensing, 26, testified he feared he was going to be killed. Prosecutors said repeatedly the evidence contradicted Tensing's story.

The jury of 10 whites and two blacks was seated Oct. 31.

Shanahan said Saturday that the jury spent two hours deliberating Saturday morning after getting a night's sleep and still could not reach a decision.

"It's obvious to me you have made a sincere and contentious effort," the judge said before setting a new hearing date for Nov. 28 to determine whether the case will re-tried.

The shooting is among those across the nation that have raised attention to how police deal with blacks.

To convict Tensing of murder, jurors would have had to find he purposely killed DuBose. The charge carried a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Legal experts say juries generally tend to give police officers the benefit of the doubt because of the inherent dangers of their jobs, but that they will convict if the police actions were clearly unwarranted.

In tearful testimony Tuesday, Tensing said his arm was stuck in DuBose's car after he tried to stop him from driving away by grabbing the car keys.

"I remember thinking, 'Oh my God, he's going to run me over and he's going to kill me,'" Tensing said.

An expert hired by prosecutors said his analysis of the former officer's body camera video shows the officer was not being dragged by the car. A defense expert countered that the video shows Tensing was justified in fearing for his life because his body was "violently twisted" during the confrontation.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters suggested in questioning that Tensing had racial motives, saying a study found that eight of every 10 drivers Tensing pulled over for traffic stops were black, the highest rate of any University of Cincinnati officer. Tensing also made more traffic stops and citations than other UC officers. Deters also pointed to a T-shirt with Confederate flag on it that Tensing was wearing under his uniform the day of the shooting.

Tensing said he was often unaware of a driver's race, did not single people out unfairly and was not racist. He testified that the Confederate flag on his T-shirt had no meaning to him.

The trial was conducted under beefed-up security, and city officials had met with civil rights and faith leaders in the weeks before it began in hopes of reducing unrest. The city suffered 2001 riots sparked by the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas, a black man who was wanted on misdemeanor warrants and was fleeing from police. Hundreds of people were arrested in the several days of violent protests that caused millions of dollars in damage.

The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing last year after his indictment. It has restructured its public safety department and made other policing reforms. The university reached a $5.3 million settlement with DuBose's family, including free undergraduate tuition for DuBose's 13 children.

DuBose had significant amounts of marijuana and cash on him, and defense attorney Stewart Mathews contended that was why he was desperate to get away. DuBose had a lengthy history of convictions, mainly marijuana or traffic-related.

Tensing had about three years of suburban police experience before joining the UC police in 2014. He had no record of using deadly force.

Mathews had asked to move the trial to another county, contending Tensing couldn't get a fair trial in Hamilton County because of extensive pretrial publicity and what he said were prejudicial comments made by the county prosecutor and several city officials. Deters, when announcing the indictment last year, called Tensing's decision to shoot "asinine" and "senseless" after a "chicken-crap" traffic stop.

While the Tensing case concluded, trial continued in South Carolina for white ex-patrolman Michael Slager, charged with murder for the April 2015 death of Walter Scott, a black man shot in the back as he fled for a North Charleston traffic stop.


NC judge blocks release of video from fatal June OIS

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

By Michael Gordon The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Mecklenburg County judge on Thursday blocked the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of a Charlotte man in June.

WFAE's request for the footage appears to have been the first under a new North Carolina law requiring a court order for all police video releases.

On June 2, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Rodney Rodriguez Smith, 18, shot and seriously wounded a man on a CATS bus, then fired at least one shot at police before he was fatally wounded.

Officers Michael Bell and Garret Tryon have since been cleared by CMPD and are back at work. Five months after the shooting, however, the Mecklenburg District Attorney's Office has not announced whether it will seek charges.

Under a new state law that went into effect Oct. 1, a judge must approve the release of video from patrol cars and the body cameras worn by officers.

On Tuesday, WFAE, the city's public radio station, went to court seeking a court order for the release of video capturing the Smith shooting. Reporter Lisa Worf argued that the public had a compelling interest in police shootings and in the transparent workings of their local governments, according to WFAE's account.

Attorneys for the police department, the district attorney's office and the officers opposed her request, WFAE reported Thursday. Assistant District Attorney Bill Stetzer said the events surrounding Smith's death remain part of an active law enforcement investigation. George Laughrun, an attorney for one of the officers, said the public viewing of the videos could compromise his client's trial, should prosecutors decide to bring charges.

On Thursday morning, Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson ordered the video to remain sealed. He said the interests of an ongoing criminal investigation outweigh the more generalized public right to know. Under the law, he wrote, the courts must decide whether a "compelling" necessity exists for a video to be made public. Any release of Smith video, he added, would "create a serious threat to the fair, impartial and orderly administration of justice" at future criminal or civil trials involving the officers, should they occur.

Supporters of the law say it balances the rights of the public with those of police. Critics say the added restriction undermines the public's right to know at a time when the nation's attention is fixed on police use of deadly force like never before.

In his order, Levinson said the law "has been the subject of discussion in scholarly publications but not by a court of record."


NC judge blocks release of video from fatal June OIS

Posted on November 12, 2016 by in POLICE

By Michael Gordon The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Mecklenburg County judge on Thursday blocked the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of a Charlotte man in June.

WFAE's request for the footage appears to have been the first under a new North Carolina law requiring a court order for all police video releases.

On June 2, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Rodney Rodriguez Smith, 18, shot and seriously wounded a man on a CATS bus, then fired at least one shot at police before he was fatally wounded.

Officers Michael Bell and Garret Tryon have since been cleared by CMPD and are back at work. Five months after the shooting, however, the Mecklenburg District Attorney's Office has not announced whether it will seek charges.

Under a new state law that went into effect Oct. 1, a judge must approve the release of video from patrol cars and the body cameras worn by officers.

On Tuesday, WFAE, the city's public radio station, went to court seeking a court order for the release of video capturing the Smith shooting. Reporter Lisa Worf argued that the public had a compelling interest in police shootings and in the transparent workings of their local governments, according to WFAE's account.

Attorneys for the police department, the district attorney's office and the officers opposed her request, WFAE reported Thursday. Assistant District Attorney Bill Stetzer said the events surrounding Smith's death remain part of an active law enforcement investigation. George Laughrun, an attorney for one of the officers, said the public viewing of the videos could compromise his client's trial, should prosecutors decide to bring charges.

On Thursday morning, Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson ordered the video to remain sealed. He said the interests of an ongoing criminal investigation outweigh the more generalized public right to know. Under the law, he wrote, the courts must decide whether a "compelling" necessity exists for a video to be made public. Any release of Smith video, he added, would "create a serious threat to the fair, impartial and orderly administration of justice" at future criminal or civil trials involving the officers, should they occur.

Supporters of the law say it balances the rights of the public with those of police. Critics say the added restriction undermines the public's right to know at a time when the nation's attention is fixed on police use of deadly force like never before.

In his order, Levinson said the law "has been the subject of discussion in scholarly publications but not by a court of record."


How will the election result influence the gun industry?

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

TFB Staff
Author: TFB Staff

This article originally appeared on The Firearm Blog.

By Steve Johnson

TFB avoided clickbaiting during the election. I even killed a number of grey-area stories that my team wanted to write. This resulted in us conceding a lot of traffic to our competitors, but I could hardly claim we are not about politics if we suddenly become political when it suited us.

That said, this election was always going to have a significant effect on the gun industry, regardless of the outcome, and due to popular demand from readers I am going to share my opinion on how the election of Donald Trump as President, along with a Republican House and Senate is going to affect the industry over the next four years.

In the short term, we can expect NICS background checks to slow resulting in lower total numbers. The sale of pistols, Modern Sporting Rifles (semi-automatic rifles) and ammunition will soften. Consumers are not going to feel any sense of urgency to buy guns like they had after the previous two elections.

It is ironic that both Smith & Wesson and Ruger’s share prices have fallen significantly (both dropped approximately 15% over the last week) on what is ultimately good news for the industry. Investors had assumed a Clinton win which would have led to yet another round of panic gun buying in the short term. The share price fall has wiped $230 million off the market cap of S&W and about $130 million off Ruger.

Long term, of course, a pro-gun President is good for the industry, but the record profits after the Obama elections are not going to happen. Obama was truly the world’s greatest gun salesman. Investors will be confidant that Federal gun-control legislation is unlikely to be passed over the next four years and so I would expect greater investment in the gun industry. This will ultimately lead to innovative products for consumers, rather than a race to produce as many AR-15 stripped lowers as possible.

As far as gun right legislation, I think the common sense Hearing Protection Act should easily pass into law. The NPA allows suppressors to be purchased with just an ATF Form 4473 like any pistol or rifle, no tax stamp or waiting period. Quite frankly there is no reason why suppressors should require more paperwork than car mufflers to purchase, but the HPA is at least a good step forward.

Sadly I don’t foresee the manufacture of transferable machine guns being legalized anytime soon, but now is the time to remove restrictions on Short Barreled Rifles and Any Other Weapons (AOWs). It is insane that screwing a vertical grip onto a pistol (making is an AOW) is a federal crime punishable by 10 years imprisonment. This is just common sense.

It seems likely that Trump will start talking to Russia and eventually roll back the sanctions, imposed by Executive Order, against Russian companies thereby allowing Kalashnikov firearms back into the USA. Trump will need to be seen to get something in return for easing sanctions, so don’t expect them to disappear overnight.

Chinese firearms are also banned by a number of Executive Orders. I cannot see Trump reversing these. He campaigned on fixing the trade imbalance with China and he is not about to open up the domestic gun market to cheap Chinese imports. For the same reason I cannot see the general ban on the importation of “non-Sporting” firearms to be dropped.

Lastly, I know for sure that SHOT Show 2017 won’t be as chaotic as it would have been if Clinton was elected. It was complete madness four years ago when Obama decided to proclaim his intention of introducing gun control during the Show. I am looking forward to an optimistic and drama free SHOT Show in January.

Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with my assessment, and what you think will happen to the gun industry.


FBI seeks military applicants through Facebook live video

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: TFB Staff

By PoliceOne Staff

In honor of Veterans Day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation held a live video feed interview on their Facebook page with two special agents who have prior military service.

One of the agents spent four years as a naval officer on active duty, and then another four years in the active reserves before applying to the FBI at the age of 30.

The other agent spent three years in the Army after participating in ROTC in college, and applied to the FBI at the age of 27 after meeting with an FBI recruiter at a job fair.

Both men discussed how the military is instrumental in preparing potential applicants for a job as a special agent, based on the similar structure of both organizations and the coordinated efforts to complete a mission.

They also said the overall mission of the FBI is similar to that of the military, in that both organizations exist to protect and follow the U.S. Constitution and mitigate threats to the country.

One agent mentioned when the FBI and the military show up at a crisis, they are both looked to as leaders, another attribute that makes the FBI a great post-military career due to the similarities.

They also discussed how the FBI provides more private, off-duty time than the military, and how your time is more your own, as opposed to the military’s 24/7 service member standard. Any overseas missions are normally on a volunteer basis with the FBI, in contrast with the military’s mandatory deployments that often come like clockwork.

Several commenters asked questions during the interview, including if the maximum age requirement could be waived with years of military service (yes), and if disabled veterans were eligible to apply to be a special agent (yes).

For more in-depth answers, interested applicants were directed to the FBI’s website at http://www.fbijobs.gov/veterans.


Several injured in hostage situation at Pa. mental health facility

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

PITTSBURGH — Law enforcement and emergency officials are responding to calls that a man opened fire or stabbed people at the Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health facility.

KDKA reported that a “man with a gun and a knife” was in the facility and several people were injured.

According to the station, a counselor on the inside sent texts claiming the suspect stabbed multiple people.

The counselor said in a text the man allegedly pulled a gun on her after he exited the elevator.

Police said they shot the suspect in the chest, but there is no word on his condition.


6 stabbed, suspect shot in hostage situation at Pa. mental health facility

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

By Andrew Goldstein, Torsten Ove and Liz Navratil Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MUNHALL, Pa. — A man who entered a mental health facility in Munhall this afternoon stabbed six people before he was shot by police and taken into custody.

The incident unfolded this afternoon at the Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health facility at 1800 West Street in Munhall. Multiple police departments and the Allegheny County Police SWAT team converged on the building shortly after 2 p.m. today.

Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said officers were called to the center about 2 p.m. after receiving a call for a stabbing and sexual assault.

When local police arrived, people were exiting the building and told officers to go to the fifth floor. Police also received calls at some point from stabbing victims who were inside the center.

Police said 38-year-old Dustin Johnson, whose address was not immediately available, had two kitchen knives and a BB gun without markings. Mr. Johnson was standing at the end of a hallway when police first encountered him.

Some of the victims had barricaded themselves inside an office.

"The urgency escalated as the situation went on," and police learned that some victims were bleeding badly, Superintendent McDonough said.

Cherrell Fulton, 28, of Wilkinsburg works at the Turtle Creek Valley mental health facility on West Street in Homestead. pic.twitter.com/LGFyi0KPI7

— TribLIVE.com (@TribLIVE) November 11, 2016

Three SWAT officers "engaged the suspect," and fired shots at 3:13 p.m. The suspect was hit and was still alive and in surgery when the police last checked.

"Right now, no one is deceased as a result of this incident," the superintendent said about 5 p.m.

Six stabbing victims and Mr. Johnson were taken to at least four local hospitals for treatments.

It's unclear how Mr. Johnson got in with weapons.

"Some of the staff recognized him almost immediately," the superintendent said.

At least one witness said someone had been pistol-whipped. Asked if that happened, Superintendent McDonough said "not to my knowledge, but that's certainly a possibility."

As police converged on the scene, schools in the area were locked down and friends and relatives who were outside the building got text-message updates from employees within the facility.

Cherrell Fulton, 28, of Wilkinsburg said she was sitting in her fifth floor office when a man she knew as Dustin came in, even though he wasn't scheduled for an appointment.

"I knew something wasn't right," said Ms. Fulton, who is a resident adviser at the facility.

She said she started asking Dustin how he was doing, and he said he was OK. But within seconds he pulled a gun from his pocket.

"He just told me to sit down, I'm not going to hurt you," Ms. Fulton said.

Ms. Fulton said she dove under her desk and closed her eyes as the man attacked three of her coworkers.

He kept repeating "You ruined my life!" Ms. Fulton said.

Eventually, Dustin left the office and Ms. Fulton locked the door behind him, where she stayed until authorities arrived.

Ms. Fulton’s aunt, Elena Lawson, was outside and got information from texts her niece sent.

Ms. Fulton told her aunt that the patient stabbed two people, and pistol whipped another person.

Ms. Fulton was still inside the facility hiding under the table when she sent the messages, her aunt said.

Ms. Fulton, 28, of Wilkinsburg, later exited safely.

Her sister Courtnie Hill said she was overjoyed that her sister was all right.

"My sister is a very strong person," Ms. Hill, 38, of Swissvale said, still in disbelief about the day's events. "This only happens on TV."

Ms. Hill said she was at work in Oakland when her aunt called to tell her about the situation. She said she shut down her computer and raced to Munhall.

Ms. Hill said her sister, who had worked at the facility for two years, told her that police shot the attacker. She said the man had a gun and a knife, according to what her sister said. Ms. Hill said one of the victims was her sister's supervisor.

A 23-year-old man who said he is a patient at the hospital said he was sleeping in his room on the fifth floor when he heard someone screaming to call an ambulance.

He looked down the hall from the door in his room and saw what he described as a large man with a handgun.

"I was scared," the patient said. "I didn't know if the dude was going to try to bust open my door, shooting."

"I hid in my shower because I didn't know what was going on," he said.

Kharissa Kightlinger, 14, was visiting her grandmother nearby when she heard five or six shots.

"I saw a lady walk out holding her neck 'cause she was stabbed in the neck," Kharissa said.

The woman was put on an ambulance. Other witnesses reported seeing a bearded man put on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.

Dozens of civilians, including anxious relatives of those inside, and dozens of police officers were milling about the scene this afternoon. The police hailed from Munhall, Braddock Hills, Pittsburgh and other municipalities.

Arnold Holliday, 64, works in rehabilitation helping people with mental health and drug addiction issues at the facility. He was at home when the stabbings happened. He said he called another person at the office, who confirmed it.

Mr. Holliday said he's been in contact via phone with some coworkers who were inside when the attack occurred. Officials escorted those people outside and they were safe on a different side of the building, he said.

He was waiting across the street about 4 p.m. so that he could go to work to start his shift.

Mr. Holliday said many patients live at the facility for a few months.

West Street was shut down to traffic in the area. Barrett Elementary School in Homestead was locked down as a result of the situation. Barrett is part of the Steel Valley School District.


Policing Matters Podcast: What civilians should do during a police contact

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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

With a growing number of citizens listening to the Policing Matters podcast, we want to take this opportunity to directly address that segment of the audience. When a police officer stops a person for any reason — a traffic stop, a field interview, or another scenario — the cop wants one thing from the subject: compliance. Jim and Doug discuss what people can do to ensure that whatever the circumstance, everyone goes home safe after the encounter.


10 reasons why veterans should consider a career in policing

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Andrew Rathbun

Veterans have the fortune of obtaining experience at young ages that many can only dream of. This experience of being a veteran sets the course for their code, conduct and values for the rest of their lives. This is exactly why veterans are needed now more than ever in today’s law enforcement, especially given the recent wars resulting in an influx of young veterans.

Veterans are brought up in a culture where everyone is an informal leader. One doesn’t have to hold a formal leadership billet in order to provide leadership to a unit. Informal leaders take initiative to improve the unit or act when opportunities present themselves without being told by a formal leader. This mentality is ingrained from day one in basic training.

To further advocate for veterans to consider law enforcement, I will reference the Marine Corps Leadership Traits.

1. We need your dependability Your high level of discipline provides the dependability needed to keep our communities safe. Law enforcement is paramilitary in nature and thus requires a level of discipline regarding adherence to orders. I will never forget drill instructors making us repeat the phrase “discipline is instant willingness, obedience to orders, self-reliance and teamwork, sir” for 2 hours straight in basic training.

2. We need your courage, decisiveness, bearing and judgment Active violence incidents are an unfortunate reality. These incidents serve as the climax for law enforcement as they are on the frontlines for these incidents. It’s the one thing you spend countless hours training for, but hope to never experience. However, when the time comes to act, the time to prepare has long passed. Having the ability to make correct, rapid decisions while maintaining composure under duress is the key to making sure everyone comes home alive at the end of a shift.

3. We need your endurance Law enforcement agencies are doing more with less. This isn’t a foreign concept to the military either. Both professions require long hours and dedication in order to accomplish the mission set forth. I recall times going without a shower for almost a month while overseas. I also recall times being out on patrol for multiple days at a time, often with very little or sometimes no sleep. This experience has allowed me to take everything in my law enforcement career, as well as my life, into perspective. Being held over late for a few hours dealing with an incident at work could be a lot worse. The military trained me to be prepared for the mental and emotional toll the law enforcement profession can take on us at times.

4. We need your enthusiasm Veterans know the pride of wearing a uniform for their respective military branch of service. This can be continued through a career in local law enforcement. Think of your local police department as its own branch of service, but instead there are thousands of different branches with their own subculture.

5. We need your initiative Law enforcement needs people who want to do the right thing without being instructed to do so. A go-getter attitude combined with military discipline can help elevate the level of service law enforcement has been known to provide. Taking initiative allows for you to make your own luck rather than waiting for opportunities that may never present themselves. Remember, luck is preparation meeting opportunity.

6. We need your integrity and tact Integrity and tact go a long way in this profession and will mold the reputation you build for yourself as a police officer to many factions of people: your peers, your supervisors, the judicial system and the community we are sworn to serve. The values of never lying, cheating or stealing serve as the foundation for what law enforcement is based upon. Additionally, the tact you bring will help strengthen the bond between law enforcement and the community you serve.

7. We need your sense of justice Every occupation in the military supports the overall mission of bringing foreign enemies to justice. The mission of local, state and federal law enforcement is no different, but with a more domestic focus. Bringing enemies to justice is the primary mission of both professions.

8. We need your knowledge Veterans have exposure to tactics, training and procedures that have been used for many years in past operations. Additionally, veterans have thousands of hours of experience with various weapons systems. This knowledge and experience can be used as a resource for developing a department’s firearms policy and procedure or for increasing the department’s overall proficiency in weapons usage and maintenance. This provides an opportunity for the veteran to be an informal leader by stepping into a leadership role which can improve a department’s overall preparedness for a critical incident.

9. We need your loyalty Devotion to a cause greater than yourself is one of the most honorable things a person can do for their country. The unwavering loyalty displayed to your peers, supervisors and your unit’s mission can prove to be an example for newer officers in how to carry themselves throughout their career.

10. We need your unselfishness Every veteran and police officer knows the honor it would be to take a bullet for another brother or sister in arms if it meant saving their life. Self-sacrifice is the most unselfish act a human can do for their country or community. Both professions are proud of this ultimate display of brotherhood. We’re proud to sacrifice ourselves for society’s benefit.

Serving your country is a calling that very few answer. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2008, there were 765,000 total sworn officers employed in America. Law enforcement allows for that call to be answered in a different yet equally as important capacity as well as providing a seamless transition to civilian life. The exclusivity of being a veteran or a law enforcement officer strengthens the bond one has with their peers within the profession. This association is what drives us to continue looking out for each other and doing the right thing for our communities.

Veterans should see serving in law enforcement as a continuance of answering the call to service in a different uniform closer to home. It provides a similar fulfillment and war stories that the military has come to be known for. Serving in a local, state or federal capacity may just be the solution to the void discovered by many once the end of active service arrives.

I couldn’t be more honored to be able to continue my service to my country in the capacity I currently am. I don’t feel by serving a smaller area that I’m making a lesser impact than I was when I was enlisted in the military. If anything, I feel I am making a bigger impact with a greater sense of fulfillment that keeps me driven to succeed each and every day.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all past, present, and future veterans for their service to our wonderful nation. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten or silenced. Semper Fidelis.


About the Author Detective Andrew Rathbun currently works at Michigan State University Police Department. Andrew was assigned to the Uniform Division for the first four years of his career in which he performed various road patrol duties. He is now assigned to the Investigative Division Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime Unit specializing in digital forensics and cybercrime as well as conducting general investigations. He has also been involved in the following areas of assignment at MSU PD: Background Investigator, Honor Guard, Bike Patrol Instructor and Football Travel Team.

Prior to joining MSU PD, Andrew served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a Rifleman. He served one combat tour to Fallujah, Iraq in 2006-2007 with his infantry unit. In continuation of his service, he works with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency with various PTSD awareness campaigns.

Andrew is currently the FOP Vice President and Joint Health Care Coalition Representative. He earned his bachelor’s from Western Michigan University in Criminal Justice/Sociology and his master’s from Central Michigan University in Human Resources Administration.


Dash cam shows NJ officer-involved shooting

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By Michael Boren The Philadelphia Inquirer

HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Police dashcam video obtained by the Inquirer shows what happened during a struggle in which a Haddon Township police officer shot a man who tried to drive away during an Oct. 29 traffic stop.

Authorities are investigating whether the officer was justified in opening fire, as is standard procedure when police use lethal force in New Jersey.

Edmond Brown, 38, had been pulled over for having a visible handicap placard, which the officer said should be taken down while driving. Brown then crashed the truck he was driving into a parked car, walked out with his hands up, and tried to run from the officer.

The officer grabbed Brown, then shot him once in the leg. In the video, obtained through a public records request, the officer does not appear to know his gun has fired.

"You shot me!" Brown yells.

"No, I didn't," the officer says as he reaches around Brown.

The shooting occurred just before 10 a.m. along Alabama Road, a residential area just off Route 130 near the border of Haddon Township and Camden.

Authorities have not identified the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave, also standard procedure, as the Camden County Prosecutor's Office investigates.

The Prosecutor's Office declined to comment Thursday, citing the investigation.

Kenneth Aita, who said Friday he is Brown's attorney, said his firm is conducting its own investigation and seeking witnesses to the incident.

"I just ask that nobody rushes to judgment based on a short video clip alone," he said, adding that the gunshot in the clip happens "extremely fast."

He declined to make Brown available.

In the video, once police have restrained him, Brown points out his leg wound to the officer.

"You shot me," Brown says.

"I pulled you out at gunpoint, and you started running and wrestling with me," the officer says.

"I got out, and you had a gun in my face," Brown says.

Brown has been charged with aggravated assault, eluding, hindering apprehension, and unlawful possession of a weapon. Authorities said they searched the truck Brown was driving - he told police it belonged to someone he knew - and found a loaded revolver.

The officer had pulled Brown over only for the handicap placard.

When the officer first flashed his squad car's lights, Brown kept driving down Route 130. The officer followed him for at least a minute.

"What are you doing? Turn right," the officer said aloud as Brown turned on his left blinker and then cut across several lanes of traffic.

Brown soon turned onto Alabama, stopped, and provided a name and date of birth at the officer's request.

The officer, in his squad car, had dispatchers check both in a records system, but it found no match. The officer walked back to the truck and questioned Brown again, saying, "I don't care what time of day it is. . . . I know my date of birth. I know how old I am."

"I need you to tell me the truth," the officer responded.

After further questioning, the officer told Brown to turn off the truck's ignition. Then the truck jolted forward.

The officer climbed briefly into the driver's-side window but let go as Brown drove the truck into a parked vehicle, setting off car alarms.

The officer pulled his gun and yelled at Brown to get down. Brown stepped out of the truck with his hands up and got down on his knees before standing and putting his hands on the truck.

The officer then reached around Brown's chest, apparently in an effort to get Brown to the ground. Brown then ran, and the officer chased him.

The officer grabbed Brown's jacket with his right hand, then moved his left hand around Brown's waist. In that hand was the officer's service weapon. The gun went off.

The officer then put the gun back in his holster and took Brown down. Additional emergency responders arrived.

After the officer had seen Brown's leg wound, he described the incident to another law enforcement official.

The officer said Brown "had a fight with me basically while my gun was in my hand," and it went off.

"Is everything on tape?" the law enforcement official asked. The officer said yes.

Brown, who was treated at Cooper University Hospital, is at the Camden County Jail on $100,000 bail.

The judge who sentenced him in 2000 for a separate crime - a robbery in Camden County - is now the county's lead prosecutor, Mary Eva Colalillo.

Colalillo has declined to recuse herself from this case. She will determine whether to present it to a grand jury, which would review whether the officer who shot Brown used justified force.

The last police-involved shooting in Camden County happened in November 2015, when police in Camden fatally shot Freddy Baez, 24, following a domestic disturbance. Authorities said Baez had exchanged gunshots with two officers, who were not injured.


Records: Man who shot Pa. cops, woman had threatened to kill her

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

CANONSBURG, Pa. — Court records show a man who fatally shot a woman who was pregnant with his child plus two Pennsylvania police officers — killing one — had threatened to kill the woman last month.

Dalia Sabae filed an application for a protection-from-abuse court order last month saying 47-year-old Michael Cwiklinski was drunk and told her she "and our baby that I am pregnant with have to die."

Authorities say Cwiklinski gunned down Canonsburg Officer Scott Bashioum and wounded Officer James Saieva when they responded to a domestic dispute at the couple's duplex early Thursday.

Police later found Cwiklinski had killed Sabae and then himself with a gunshot to the head.

Sabae had obtained another protection-from-abuse order last year, but let it lapse when she didn't show up in court to pursue it in December.


Police release body cam footage of Pulse nightclub shooting

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

By Christal Hayes, David Harris and Gal Tziperman Lotan Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orange County Sheriff's Office on Thursday released hours of body camera footage from deputies who responded to the Pulse nightclub shooting. About two dozen videos show law enforcement responding to the club in Orlando on June 12. Some show officers going inside where gunman Omar Mateen had barricaded himself in a bathroom, while others offer details about what was happening outside.

In one video, law enforcement officers were in the process of clearing the entrances and making sure nobody was getting into the club. The deputy in the video was stationed at one entrance, rifle drawn, waiting for orders.

Then a cellphone started ringing.

"Is that yours?" the deputy asked someone next to him. "It's not mine."

The phone kept ringing. The deputy peeked behind a Coca-Cola-branded refrigerator into what looked like a well-lit kitchen. The ringing got louder, but he couldn't see the phone. The ringing stopped, and the deputy got back into position.

The same ringtone can be heard two more times. After about 20 minutes, the deputy got an order to back away from the club and left his post.

Another redacted video shows deputies clearing a bathroom. One law officer has a gun aimed into the room. As he's standing guard near an exit door, his body camera shows a table with cups and a beer bottle. Disco lights still illuminate the dance floor, creating colorful flowers on the walls.

In one video, a deputy is preparing stretchers near the side of the club where a SWAT team blasted several holes through the building to rescue trapped victims. As he and other law officers approach the club, several club-goers start coming out of the building.

Then chaos erupts and he and others run from the building, looking for cover.

Several minutes of the footage then goes black. When the video comes back, several large holes are seen on the side of the building. The deputy appears panicked and asks other law officers what happened and whether anyone was rescued.

"Did they clear everyone out?" he asks. "They clear everyone out? Hold up, what's going on?... No way everyone is dead in there."

Other officers said victims were still inside, but it was unclear whether any were alive.

Another video, which is redacted and has only audio, a deputy says he was scared after hearing the slew of shots erupt.

"Those shots sounded so damn close when we were standing here," the officer said. "This guy came prepared."

Another redacted video shows deputies lined up in the doorway of the club wearing blue hospital gloves.

"I'm just hoping to God my buddy Nick wasn't in here," one deputy says.

In the background, a dispatcher is heard over the radio calling out the number of victims still trapped inside the bathrooms and dressing rooms.

"What kind of [expletive] up person would do this?" the deputy asks.

About 5 a.m., deputies move from parking lot to parking lot, positioning gurneys and searching people for possible bombs as they flee.

More than a dozen officers move closer to the club then fall back when told it's not safe.

At one point, a voice tells them, "No shooting. No shooting."

Several minutes later, a law officer tells the others, "A SWAT guy took one in the helmet," a reference to Orlando Officer Brian Napolitano, who suffered a minor injury from a bullet fired by Mateen.

"When they breached, he took one round," the unidentified officer said.

Shortly afterward, there's an announcement that the gunman is down. A deputy said four people were found in one bathroom and nine in another. It was not clear whether they were alive or dead.

The videos are the latest public records released in the aftermath of the shooting, which left 49 people dead and at least 68 injured.

Also on Thursday, a judge ruled that the city of Orlando should release many of the 911 calls made during the shooting. Some will be released in audio form and the rest will be released as transcripts next week, city officials said.

Staff writers Stephen Hudak, Susan Jacobson and Rene Stutzman contributed to this report.


Mass. police receive grant to combat opiate crisis

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

CapeCod.com

DENNIS, Mass. — The Dennis Police Department was recently awarded a year two grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program in the amount of $72,443 by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research (OGR).

The department’s goal for the use of the grant funding is to continue to focus on two issues that impact the community; persons with mental health issues and the abuse of opiates.

The department’s efforts will include increased drug interdiction and investigation to identify the sources of opiates in the Town of Dennis and the training of officers in Crisis Intervention Team concepts of responding to persons with mental health issues.

Read more: Dennis police win grant to combat opiate crisis


P1 Photo of the Week: Backing the blue

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: PoliceOne Members

Jake Cambria sent in this law enforcement support truck he and his team built in Naples, Fla.

What a way to support law enforcement!

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!


Thousands of officers line streets for slain NYC sergeant

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. — Thousands of police officers from across the nation paid tribute Thursday to a New York City police sergeant who was killed during a gunfight last week.

Throngs of officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder for nearly a mile as hearse carrying the body Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo arrived for his Long Island funeral. The 19-year veteran officer was killed last Friday in the Bronx.

"Paul was everything we could wish for in a police officer," Police Commissioner James O'Neill told mourners. "Paul protected all New Yorkers and he died while keeping people safe." During a eulogy, his voice cracking, O'Neill posthumously promoted Tuozzolo to Sergeant-Special Assignment.

Tuozzolo's wife Lisa and their two young sons, Austin and Joseph, walked alongside the flag-draped casket; fellow officers served as pallbearers. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Police Commissioner William Bratton also were among those who attended the service.

De Blasio, a Democrat, said Tuozzolo was a hero who "gave his life protecting his fellow officers, protecting all of us. He laid down his life for his friends."

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said Tuozzolo was a "warrior" who lived for his job and his family. The 41-year-old officer would have been eligible to retire next year. He was the fifth New York City police officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in the last two years.

"The memory of Paul will be a part of this department forever and ever and ever," said police chaplain Monsignor Robert Roman.

Blue ribbons were tied to trees and lampposts near the St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa; businesses hung signs and photos of Tuozzolo with messages of condolences for his family. A police helicopter hovered over the church as snipers stood watch on nearby rooftops.

The encounter that took Tuozzolo's life unfolded after the gunman, Manuel Rosales, had broken into his estranged wife's home. Rosales, of Brentwood, stayed for hours before fleeing. He also was killed in the gunfire.

Tuozzolo's partner, Emmanuel Kwo, was treated at a hospital for a leg wound. Mullins said Kwo told him that his partner "saved my life" and shouted "gun, gun, gun!" before Rosales opened fire.

Authorities say Rosales had a history of 17 arrests and served time in state prison for possession of stolen property. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Rosales was bailed out of jail after his last arrest, in July, on a domestic violence charge. He said his officers have "taken a hard look" at Rosales' arrest history as part of the investigation.

Today we stood side by side, brothers and sisters in blue, to honor & remember #Hero #NYPD Sgt Paul Tuozzolo. EOW 11/4/16 #RIP #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/3PJvzwdCqi

— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) November 10, 2016

Texas cop’s daughter hopes in note that ‘this violence stops’

Posted on November 11, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth police sergeant traveling to New York for the funeral of an officer killed in the line of duty opened his luggage Tuesday to find a sweet note from his young daughter.

"Dear Dad, I'm sorry about NYPD officer," Sgt. Pablo Mendoza's daughter wrote. "I pray and hope this violence stops. You are my hero, be careful and be safe. Grace, Mom and I are going to miss you. WE LOVE YOU! Love, Emily. I <3 U Daddy."

Mendoza said the note brought tears to his eyes, KDFW-TV reported.

"My daughters, they see the news and what's going on -- the violence toward police," he told the station. "So they pray for me and other police officers on a nightly basis."

His wife said Emily became more curious and concerned after the July 7 ambush in downtown Dallas.

"We have been having so much violence throughout this year, and it's getting worse," Emily said. "So I just decided to write him a note."

Mendoza went to New York for the funeral of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, a 19-year veteran of the New York Police Department who was gunned down Friday while responding to a call about a man with a gun who had broken into a woman's apartment in the Bronx.

As Tuozzolo and Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo approached a Jeep that the suspect was in, Manuel Rosales opened fire with a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, striking them both, police said.

Officers returned fire and Rosales, the estranged husband of the woman who called 911, died at the scene. Tuozzolo was pronounced dead at the hospital. Kwo, who was shot in the leg, is expected to recover, police said.

Tuozzolo's viewing was held Wednesday and the funeral was Thursday morning.


How Safe Life Defense is making body armor more affordable for individuals to purchase

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by Safe Life Defense.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

It’s no secret that body armor can save an officer’s life. But many departments lack the funds to provide every officer with a vest, and the price of a vest can make it difficult for an individual to afford one.

New manufacturer Safe Life Defense is on a mission to make it easier for first responders to obtain body armor by providing NIJ-rated multi-threat protection at an affordable price.

The company realizes cost savings by manufacturing its own material and producing vests in set sizes with multiple points of adjustment to fit most body types. The vests also provide protection against multiple threats so that buyers don’t have to choose between knife or bullet defense.

Strike, slash and bullet-resistant

Traditionally, the first step in buying a vest is identifying the threats you’re most likely to face in the field. Protection from handguns is different from what’s needed for rifle rounds, and knives are another matter entirely.

Because of this complexity, most ballistic vest manufacturers don’t offer protection against multiple threats. But Safe Life Defense has developed a Level IIIa-rated vest that is strike-, slash- and bullet-resistant for a one-stop solution.

“We wanted to create a vest that would protect against all of the common threats that someone would come across and offer as much protection as we possibly could,” said Nick Groat, founder and CEO of Safe Life Defense.

The vest also has pockets for rifle plates, which can be purchased separately.

Manufacturing and testing

Groat and a team of engineers developed the multi-threat vest, which is made with Kevlar threads, over the course of two years. Creating their own ballistic material instead of purchasing premanufactured Kevlar sheets significantly cuts down on the cost.

The result is a layered fabric that provides structure and strike resistance as well as bullet resistance. The vests are water-resistant and machine washable, and they feature a mesh liner for breathability and reduced odor.

Safe Life Defense tests the vests in house to make sure they are performing as expected. They also send samples to the Oregon Ballistics Laboratory for certification.

Savings through set sizing

Most ballistic vests are custom-fit items, which increases the time and cost of production. It also requires that a customer submit his or her measurements, which leaves room for error.

Safe Life Defense vests come in set sizes, XS-XXXL, and are designed with 10 points of adjustability to provide a wide range of fit options without the need for custom measurements.

Because they are produced in large batches rather than one by one, Safe Life Defense vests can be made faster and cheaper. The vests are ready to wear off the shelf and can be shipped immediately. At $399, they are priced at roughly half the cost of comparable products.

The 10 points of adjustment enable you to customize the fit for maximum comfort. Two attached shoulder straps adjust height, and four independent comfort straps connect at eight points of your choice on the front and back of the torso. Each vest comes with a set of four straps, and you can order a spare set as well.

Customer service

The company offers a fit guarantee and will exchange a vest for free within 30 days if you feel that it doesn’t fit properly. So far, said Groat, they’ve sold more than 1,000 vests with zero returns.

“We’ve had a ton of positive feedback on the adjustability, fit and quality of our vests,” he said.

Safe Life Defense offers a five-year manufacturer’s warranty on all ballistic panels and plates and a two-year warranty on all carriers. The company also provides an incident guarantee.

“If someone is shot while wearing our vest, we’ll replace it for free,” Groat said. “We don’t want them to have to fork over some more of their hard-earned cash to buy another vest.”

Groat and Safe Life Defense are working to make it easier for individuals to buy body armor by offering multi-threat protection in a range of standard sizes. By reducing the costs and of ordering a vest, Groat hopes to provide more protection to more first responders.

“We want to make sure that we have a quality product they can wear on a daily basis and be confident in, that would provide everything they need at a price point that would be more affordable,” said Groat.


Videos: 3 officers injured, 30 arrested during Oakland Trump protest

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — Three Oakland officers were injured and 30 people were arrested during the second night of protests against Donald Trump’s presidential victory.

After what began as a peaceful march, KTVU reported protesters threw rocks, bottles, fireworks, and molotov cocktails at officers during the demonstration.

Police told the station many protesters broke into smaller groups and began vandalizing the city.

Oakland police called for backup from 12 outside agencies to maintain order.

Police arrested 30 people, with charges ranging from assaulting an officer, vandalism, unlawful assembly, and possession of a firearm.

Another protest is planned for tonight.

Protest in Oakland ??????????????? pic.twitter.com/ciFNEQeTks

— Trelly? (@OMGtrelly) November 10, 2016

Crowds remain gathered in the streets of #Oakland for an anti-Trump protest. https://t.co/YWcAzgWKuf pic.twitter.com/NsZHxHcelb

— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) November 10, 2016

Protest in Oakland is starting- speaker tells crowd it's not a crime to protest government decisions but warns them not to vandalize. pic.twitter.com/CXlIDwsyBd

— Jenna Lyons (@JennaJourno) November 10, 2016

Donald Trump's election greeted with protests in SF, Oakland, Berkeley https://t.co/m9rpDITRbO #Election2016 pic.twitter.com/QlZEol9vsC

— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) November 9, 2016

Some footage from the ground in Oakland of the Trump protest. You can hear the first shot of tear gas being deployed pic.twitter.com/Uc5aF9wG67

— Him (@viaendz) November 10, 2016

Voters overwhelmingly approve Oakland Civilian Police Commission

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

OAKLAND, Calif. — Voters approved a new civilian police commission to oversee the Oakland Police Department with 82 percent of the vote.

According to KNTV, the new commission will be have power to investigate officer misconduct, discipline officers, and hire and fire the police chief.

Councilman Dan Kalb, who sponsored the commission with Councilman Noel Gallo, told KTVU “I'm happy that an overwhelming majority of our residents support police accountability and reform.”

The councilmen said they began establishing a police commission before recent scandals came to light about the department.

“Most police officers are very good people who are doing a very difficult job but we need improved accountability,” Kalb said.

It will take six months to get the committee going, according to the report. Until then, the city council must approve an enabling ordinance that will further spell out new policies and reforms.


Body armor protects NY cop from knife attack

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — During a struggle after a foot pursuit, a burglary suspect attempted to stab an officer multiple times, but the body armor the officer was wearing protected his chest.

According to The Journal News, Ronald Clare Greenland, 53, engaged in a violent struggle with Officer David Sanchez after the officer attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle during his patrol at a car dealership.

Police stepped up patrols of car dealerships due to an increase in thefts. Sanchez tried to pull over the reportedly stolen vehicle when Greenland drove off, left the van and fled on foot, the publication reported.

After a short pursuit, Sanchez caught Greenland, who violently resisted arrest by hitting and attempting the stab the officer multiple times, police said.

Police said if Sanchez had not been wearing the armor, he would have been seriously injured.

“I commend Officer Sanchez for the courage and skill he demonstrated in apprehending this violent and dangerous suspect,” Police Commissioner George N. Longworth said. “He could have been seriously injured and we are thankful that did not occur.”


42 Veterans Day deals for cops who served in the military

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Rachel Engel

Veteran’s Day is around the corner, and along with the flag-waving, parades and handshakes, the business community often offers discounts and freebies to military veterans and active duty.

If you’re heading out on Veteran’s Day for lunch, check out our list and see if there’s a business in your town offering a discount as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your service.

Feel like a bite?

Applebee’s is offering a free meal to service members from a limited menu with proof of service. They will also provide a $5 off coupon that can be used Nov. 12 to Nov. 27.

Billy Sims Barbecue is providing a free pulled pork sandwich, side and collector’s cup to all former and active military personnel.

BJ’s Restaurant is offering a free meal with a limit of $12.95 to all service members with ID.

Black Angus Steakhouse is providing a Top Sirloin steak dinner, with mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic butter and sweet molasses bread on Veteran’s Day.

Bob Evans is offering select menu items for free to veterans on Nov. 11, as well as a 10 percent off discount from Nov. 12 through the end of the year.

Boston Market is providing a free cookie or brownie to all current and former military personnel and their families.

Bricktown Brewery is offering a free meal to all veterans and military, up to $14. They will also receive a $10 off coupon for their next visit.

Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a free 10-12 order of its traditional bone-in wings, and a said of fries to current and former military members.

California Pizza Kitchen is offering a limited menu for veterans to choose a free meal from, with proof of service.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse is allowing veterans to eat a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chipotle is offering a free bowl, burrito or salad to current and former military members and their family members with proof of service.

Cotton Patch is giving active and prior military the choice between a free chicken fried steak meal or chicken fried sandwich.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is giving away a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake to veterans, and will take donations for the USO from patrons on that day.

Denny’s is offering veterans a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast from 5 a.m. to noon with proof of service.

Dickey’s Barbecue is providing a free sandwich, side and Big Yellow Cup to veterans, and a free Big Yellow Cup to anyone dining with a veteran and purchasing a meal.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is offering a free lunch or dinner to active and former military with proof of ID.

Golden Corral is offering a free “sit in” dinner to military vets, retirees and current service members from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with proof of service.

Hooters is offering a free meal to current and former military with proof of service.

IHOP is offering an order of its Red, White and Blue pancakes to current and former military.

Krispy Kreme will hand out a free small coffee and donut to patrons who identify themselves as military (no ID required).

Little Caesar’s Pizza is offering a free Hot-N-Ready pizza to veterans and active duty members with proof of service.

Logan’s Roadhouse will offer a free dessert to service members and veterans with ID.

Olive Garden will offer a free meal to veterans from a limited menu, along with unlimited salad and breadsticks.

On the Border is offering a free meal to veterans from their Create Your Own Combo menu.

Red Lobster will offer a free appetizer or dessert to veterans, retirees and active duty from a selected menu with proof of service from Nov. 10-11.

Red Robin is giving away a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Veteran’s Day.

Rib Crib is offering a free two-meat combo with two sides to veterans and active duty.

Ruby Tuesday is offering a free appetizer to veterans up to a $10 value.

Starbucks is offering a free tall brewed coffee to active duty, retirees, veterans and military spouses.

Texas Roadhouse is offering a free meal to veterans from a select menu.

Village Inn is offering a free Inn-Credible V.I.B. breakfast to current and former military.

Doing some shopping?

Amazon is offering a 20 percent discount on selected apparel on Veterans Day, using the code "20veterans".

Bed Bath & Beyond will offer 20 percent off to active duty and veterans Nov. 10-13.

Dell is offering a 15 percent discount on select PC's and electronic devices.

Jockey is offering a 25 percent discount to military members and veterans with the promo code "MILITARY" through Nov. 14.

Sleep Number is offering discounts on selected mattresses for military and veterans with ID.

Tractor Supply Co. is offering a 15 percent discount to military and veterans.

Under Armour is offering a 15 percent discount to military members, veterans and first responders.

Walgreens is offering a 20 percent discount of a purchase with a Walgreens Rewards card and a military ID.

Looking for a hair cut or need work done on your car?

Great Clips will give every patron a card to give to an active, retired, former or reserve member of the military for a free hair cut.

Meineke is offering a free oil change to service members with proof of ID.

Sports Clips is offering a free haircut to military and veterans with proof of service.

Don’t see your favorite restaurant or retailer listed? Call or ask inside if they’re offering a discount for Veteran’s Day. Many places run discounts year-round for service members, if they’re not doing something special on that day.


Saving officers’ lives: The value of tactical medical training and IFAKs

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

American Military University
Author: American Military University

By Andrew Cannito, Founder of the Homeland Security Network at American Military University

During the United States’ engagement in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers were dying from what was considered preventable battlefield wounds. In order to save more lives, the United States Department of Defense began conducting research into the causes and subsequent solutions to these battlefield deaths. Its findings showed that hemorrhaging (massive arterial bleeding) was the leading cause of preventable battlefield casualties, followed closely by compromised airways.

In response to this research, the military underwent a massive revamping of its first responder program, improving training for non-medical military personnel and issuing the first modern Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) to personnel. IFAK’s were first used during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and more widely used during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The program also developed a new standard of tactical medical training for all troops called Tactical Combat Casualty Care or TCCC (pronounced “TC3”). TCCC found a place in both the Combat Life Saver program (for non-medical personnel) and in each of the branch’s medical corps training curriculums.

These improvements to first responder protocol proved to be highly successful for the military and have saved countless lives on the battlefield.

Read more: Saving Officers’ Lives: The Value of Tactical Medical Training and IFAKs


Bodies found on suspected serial killer’s land identified

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Seanna Adcox Associated Press

WOODRUFF, S.C. — Two bodies found on the rural property of a South Carolina man linked to five other deaths were a couple who had a history of panhandling and had been buried there for nearly a year, authorities said Wednesday.

One of the victims was 25-year-old Meagan Leigh McCraw-Coxie of Spartanburg, who appears to have died from a gunshot wound to the head. The other was her husband, 29-year-old Johnny Joe Coxie, who was shot in his chest, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said.

Their families were told simultaneously that the couple was killed, and they're grieving, he said.

"It's bad news but also they have questions that we're able to give them answers to. This isn't a run of the mill case. It never has been," Clevenger said.

The couple's "extensive tattoos" helped identify them, he said. They have at least one child who is accounted for.

Authorities caught a break in the cold cases last week when investigators searching the property discovered a woman alive and chained by her neck and ankle in a large storage container, yelling for help. Her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charlie Carver, was found shot to death and in a shallow grave on the land. That couple had disappeared about two months earlier.

The property owner, Todd Kohlhepp, was arrested last Thursday at his suburban home about 10 miles from his 95-acre property. After his arrest, deputies say he confessed to killing four other people in the county at a motorcycle shop in 2003, leaving behind their bodies and a mystery the local sheriff thought he may never solve.

Kohlhepp acknowledged the grisly cold case after authorities granted him several requests, including letting him speak to his mother.

On Saturday, investigators brought Kohlhepp out to his land and he identified the gravesites, even calling the Coxies by name, authorities said. It wasn't clear what the couple's relationship with Kohlhepp was.

Authorities believe they've uncovered all the bodies on the land, Sheriff's Lt. Kevin Bobo said. Investigators were searching other properties Kohlhepp either currently or used to own, but Bobo declined to say where those are.

The FBI said Wednesday it was helping local authorities and conducting its own investigation to determine whether any federal laws were broken.

As a convicted felon, Kohlhepp could not legally purchase guns.

But multiple weapons, including an assault rifle and handguns with silencers, were confiscated from both his home and the rural property, where used practice targets showed he was "a very good shot," Solicitor Barry Barnette said at a hearing Friday.

Investigators haven't given a motive for the Coxies' slaying or the killing of Carver. In the motorcycle shop slayings, the wife of the shop's owner said detectives told her that Kohlhepp was a disgruntled customer.

Kohlhepp, 45, was denied bond Sunday on four murder charges in those slayings. He has chosen to represent himself. More charges are expected.

"There's no reason to rush," Bobo said. "He's not going anywhere."

As a teen, Kohlhepp was sentenced to 14 years in prison in Arizona for binding and raping a 14-year-old neighbor at gunpoint. Released in 2001, he managed to obtain a real estate license in South Carolina in 2006 and by most accounts, lived a very private and seemingly quiet life.

The Coxies were reported missing last December, after being released from jail earlier that month. McCraw-Coxie had told her mother she needed to be bonded out so she could go to a job, but then her mother lost contact, Bobo said. He did not specify why they were in jail, other than to say both had a history of panhandling around Interstate 26.

Both had outstanding arrest warrants on "various offenses" issued after they disappeared, Bobo said.

The two were buried roughly 11 months ago, Clevenger said.

"There's no way of putting an exact time of death," he said.

Also Wednesday, the metal container where the woman spent two months locked inside was removed from the property.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman because the suspect is a sex offender, though authorities have not said whether she was sexually assaulted.

Her boyfriend's estranged wife, 35-year-old Nichole Ellen Carver, was arrested Tuesday after police said she posed as a detective when she called AT&T last month to try to track down Charlie Carver's phone.

She was released from jail Wednesday. It was unclear if she had an attorney, and a phone listing for a Nichole Carver had been disconnected.

Police know of no connection between her and the killing. The couple married about three years ago and had not filed for divorce, The Anderson Independent-Mail reported.


Comey faces complicated path under Trump administration

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Eric Tucker Associated Press

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey faces a complicated path under a Donald Trump administration. Does he try to serve out the remaining seven years of his term under a president who has publicly questioned the FBI's integrity? Or does he stay on as a safeguard against executive power and a guide for a novice president on complex national security matters?

The term of the FBI director is set at 10 years as an affirmation of the bureau's political independence, and some other chiefs including Robert Mueller, Comey's predecessor, have served presidents of both parties.

But Comey would be in the delicate position of working with a president who lobbed occasional criticisms from the campaign trail against the nation's premier law enforcement agency. Though attention had centered on whether Comey could have co-existed with a Hillary Clinton presidency, given the FBI's investigation into her email practices and his own public statements about the probe, that question applies at least equally to a Trump administration.

As recently as Sunday, Trump complained that Clinton was "protected by a rigged system" after Comey renewed his decision not to recommend charges for her use of a private email server while secretary of state. Trump repeated his assertion that Clinton was "guilty" and that the FBI "knows it," the bureau's own public statement notwithstanding. Earlier, Trump appeared disrespectful of the Justice Department's independent decision-making power when he said he'd ask his attorney general to name a special prosecutor to take another look at Clinton. That stance went hand-in-hand with "lock her up" chants from some supporters.

Trump's past rhetoric on the terrorism threat, including warnings that "radical Islam is coming to our shores," is out of step with Comey's more measured assessments. And his stated desire to have an improved relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin comes even as federal intelligence officials have publicly accused the Russians of meddling through hacking in the American electoral process.

FBI officials did not respond to a message about Comey's plans, but James McJunkin, a former FBI assistant director, said he doubted Comey was fazed by Trump's campaign trail statements. He said Comey knew when was appointed in 2013 by President Barack Obama that his 10-year term would carry over at least two presidential administrations that might differ sharply.

"I can't imagine he would think this is anything more than politics as usual," McJunkin said. "I think politicians say whatever they think they can in order to seize the moment, and I think that once Trump settles into office, he'll realize the value of the independence that Comey displayed."

In three years as FBI chief Comey has been notable for speaking his mind, breaking with White House talking points on matters of matters of race and policing and speaking more forcefully than others in the administration about his concerns about encryption technology. That independent-minded streak predates his FBI career, famously surfacing in 2004 when, as deputy attorney general in the Bush administration, he had a dramatic standoff with White House officials in the hospital room of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft over the authorization of a government surveillance program.

Though the White House has not always endorsed his positions and Obama last week appeared to frown on Comey's public statements on the Clinton email matter, there have been no overt signs of the personal animus that's sometimes marred the relationships between other presidents and FBI directors.

But one clear point of division in a Trump administration would come if Trump followed through on the appointment of a special prosecutor. Such a decision rests entirely with the attorney general and does not require the cooperation of the FBI or its director. So despite Comey's decision not to seek charges against Clinton over her email practices, a Trump-appointed attorney general could name an outside prosecutor to reopen the matter. It's not clear what his plans are, and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday the matter hadn't been discussed.

"Director Comey is a subordinate of the attorney general, and this is not his bailiwick," said Robert Bittman, who served as deputy independent counsel under Ken Starr.

It's clear from his public statements that Comey would bristle at such an appointment. He has said the FBI's investigation was thorough and that "no reasonable prosecutor" would have brought a case.

Such conflicts over major cases, including the 1993 Waco siege and now the Clinton email matter, are "not new to us," said Robert Anderson, a retired FBI executive assistant director.

Comey understood when he took the FBI job "that it wasn't going to be smooth sailing at every minute," McJunkin said.


Jury deliberations resume in Ohio police shooting trial

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Dan Sewell and Lisa Cornwell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Jurors resumed deliberations Thursday in the murder trial of a white former police officer who said he feared for his life before fatally shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate in Ohio.

Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan had sequestered the jurors Wednesday night after the deliberated for more than four hours and told them to resume Thursday morning.

Before they got the case, Shanahan instructed them to apply the law to the facts presented in court, and to judge the facts "from the perspective of a reasonable officer at the scene," not in "20-20 hindsight."

Prosecutors want the jurors to conclude that now-fired University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing "purposely" killed Sam DuBose. Jurors also have the option of convicting him of voluntary manslaughter, meaning he killed in a fit of rage or sudden passion after being provoked.

Tensing, 26, has said he shot DuBose, 43, while being dragged by DuBose's car as he tried to drive away on July 19, 2015.

The prosecution said evidence including Tensing's own body camera video contradicted his story.

"The video is the ultimate witness ... this video exposes Tensing's lies," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said during closing arguments.

He said Tensing and his lawyer became "almost comical with their word games," calling shooting DuBose "stopping the threat" and saying he "perceived to be dragged."

But defense attorney Stewart Mathews insisted Tensing was trying to keep from being run over.

"He was in sheer terror," Mathews told jurors. "The evidence is very clear that a car can be just as deadly as a gun or knife."

He said prosecutors tried to use race as "a smokescreen." They pointed to Tensing's T-shirt worn under his uniform that day. The "Great Smoky Mountains" shirt had a Confederate flag on it. Mathews said it had "no evidentiary value."

City officials met with civil rights and faith leaders in the weeks before the trial, trying to reduce tensions over a racially charged case that brought demonstrators — including Black Lives Matter activists — outside the courthouse. It is among cases nationwide that have raised attention to how police deal with blacks.

Deters told jurors Wednesday that "emotions are high," but they must decide based on the facts.

Tensing wept on the stand Tuesday. He said his arm was stuck in DuBose's car at the time and the car was turning toward him.

Deters asked Tensing about an outside report that eight out of every 10 drivers that Tensing pulled over for traffic stops were black, the highest rate of any University of Cincinnati officer.

Tensing said he was often unaware of a driver's race, did not single people out unfairly and wasn't racist.

Witnesses testified that DuBose had significant amounts of marijuana and cash on him, which Mathews described as a reason why he was desperate to flee.


Racial tension flares in Chicago neighborhood after police shooting

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO — A largely white Chicago neighborhood that many police officers and firefighters call home took center stage this week in the city's tensions over gun violence, race and policing as protests erupted following the fatal police shooting of a black man.

Some residents used racial slurs, revved motorcycle engines and yelled "go home" Tuesday night as protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement demanded an investigation into the death of 25-year-old Joshua Beal. It was the second confrontation in Mount Greenwood since Beal, who police say was armed, was shot Saturday in what police said was a road rage incident following a funeral.

When the latest protest erupted, as Donald Trump was being elected president, residents of the southwest Chicago neighborhood expressed the same kind of fears — often using racially charged and profanity-laced language — that the country saw voiced among the white working class audiences that clamored to Trump's rallies in recent months.

When protesters tried to conduct a prayer, some residents shouted "CPD, CPD" in support of the Chicago Police Department.

"I think there is a concern about protecting the neighborhood. But the larger concern from some people is protecting the neighborhood from people who don't look like them," said John Lyons, who is white and lives in Mount Greenwood with his wife and two young daughters.

"It is a very ugly side to our neighborhood and our community," Lyons said.

Unlike some of the largely black neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the city's violence that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured this year, Mount Greenwood has very little crime. A quiet community on the outer edge of Chicago, it's a neighborhood of neat homes and small family businesses.

There have been just 14 robberies and not a single homicide in the last year in the neighborhood, according to statistics compiled by the Chicago Tribune. The police district responsible for Mount Greenwood has seen fewer than half the number of homicides this year than the district to the immediate northeast.

Over the years, Mount Greenwood has attracted residents looking for a safe atmosphere to raise their families in the city. Many are firefighters, police officers and other city employees.

That feeling of safety was shattered when an off-duty police officer fatally shot Beal, residents said. Investigators said Beal was armed with a handgun during a melee sparked by a road rage incident involving Beal and others who had just left a funeral in their car.

The incident also led authorities to arrest the dead man's brother on allegations that he attacked a police officer, tried to disarm him and threatened to kill him.

"Who brings a gun to a funeral?" asked an incredulous Peggy Hederman, who has owned a Lindy's Chili & Gertie's Ice Cream franchise in the neighborhood for a quarter century.

When protesters arrived demanding an investigation and the release of any video of the shooting — a common request since the city was forced last year to release video of a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager 14 times in 2014 — residents confronted them.

"I think they just feel they had to stand up for the policemen that are in the community and serve the community," Hederman said. "You do feel around here a connection to the police (because) they're your neighbors."

Ja'Mal Green, a black activist who took part in the Tuesday protest, said what unfolded that night reminded him of watching Martin Luther King Jr. marching across his television screen.

"To see them so openly be racist to our faces, to tell us to go back home to the ghetto," he said, "felt like we were back in those '60s videos."

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a white Roman Catholic priest who joined Green and others at the Tuesday night protest, said he had not felt "that kind of hatred" since a protest march decades ago in Chicago in which King was struck in the head with a rock.

"A police officer said, 'We've got to get you out of here. They hate you and I don't think we can protect you,'" Pfleger said.


Man gets life without parole in NY trooper’s ‘assassination’

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for deliberately running down a New York state trooper on an upstate New York highway.

Judge Joseph Cawley imposed the life sentence on Almond Upton on Thursday, calling the crime "nothing less than an assassination."

The Melrose, Florida, man was previously convicted of first-degree murder in the 2014 death of 42-year-old Trooper Christopher Skinner.

Prosecutors say the trooper was issuing a ticket along Interstate 81 near Binghamton when Upton drove his pickup truck at 93 mph into the officer.

Attorneys for the 62-year-old Florida man argued he was in a "manic state" at the time of the crash, making him unable to understand the consequences of his actions.


Mass. police use radar darts to track fleeing suspects

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By Lisa Kashinsky The Eagle-Tribune

METHUEN, Mass. — It was a police pursuit that started in Epping, New Hampshire, and ended on a dead-end street in Methuen with a crash that police Chief Joseph Solomon said could have been avoided with new technology.

In May 2015, police chased a vehicle on Hampstead and Howe streets in Methuen at high speeds before it turned onto Kensington Avenue. Faced with a dead-end, the driver tried to turn the vehicle around and a police cruiser rammed its right side.

That high-speed chase and crash might have been avoided, however, had the police department had StarChase, Solomon said.

With StarChase, officers can tag a fleeing car with a GPS tracker contained in a dart and monitor the vehicle from a distance without losing track of it.

A Starchase dart on the back of a fleeing vehicle. (Photo/Starchase)

“I've seen pursuits over my career where people have been seriously injured,'' Solomon said. "Vehicles have lost control and crashed into other cars. I've seen pursuits where people in the stolen car were killed during the pursuit when they lost control and crashed.

“As a leader you have to say, 'What can I do to help steer the direction of law enforcement to better protect citizens and police?'” he said.

The solution was StarChase — a technology that can help reduce risk in a pursuit by allowing officers to use safer speeds and better manage setting up road blocks and other tools to catch a fleeing vehicle.

Methuen is the first police department in New England to use the tracking technology, developed by a company based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Solomon discovered StarChase while doing internet research into ways to reduce police pursuits.

The department previously used “stop sticks” to slow cars by deflating their tires, but Solomon was looking for something even safer.

He saw a video for the StarChase darts and was intrigued. He got in touch with the company for more information and a demonstration.

StarChase works by having a launcher attached to a police cruiser. The equipment includes two darts and a laser that helps target the fleeing vehicle. The darts can be launched from the police cruiser either by the officer at the controls inside the cruiser or from outside the cruiser, if an officer is approaching a vehicle on foot at a traffic stop, for instance.

The control panel for the GPS darts. (Photo/Starchase)

Once a vehicle is tagged with a dart, officers can track the location and movements of the vehicle through a web-based mapping portal, with updates delivered every three to five seconds, according to the StarChase website.

“One of the things I like about it is that it deescalates the pursuit right when it starts,” Solomon said. “Bang – I've tagged the vehicle and I'm backing off. I activate the GPS locator, pull up the screen and just start dispatching people. I think it's very important that it's an immediate deescalation.”

Being able to track a vehicle using GPS helps in several ways. Officers involved in the pursuit can drive at safer speeds – for instance, 80 mph instead of 100 or 120, the chief said – and can dispatch other officers farther along the fleeing vehicle's path to set up something like a rolling road block.

“In most pursuits when (the suspects) believe the police are gone, they'll pull into traffic and slow down and drive normally or they ditch the vehicle,” Solomon said.

Even if a suspect leaves a vehicle behind, police will know the location of the vehicle and can respond to the area with K-9 units for a foot search.

“I'd much rather have my dog chasing someone than us driving at 100 mph,” the chief said.

Reducing the risks of the chase could also help those involved psychologically, keeping adrenaline more at bay to help “reduce the level of force used at the end with the arrest," Solomon said.

Solomon said StarChase has an 80-to-90 percent success rate. All of the darts fired during recent demonstrations at the police station stuck to the target vehicle.

“So we fire both darts and we miss. What do we lose? Nothing. If we tag you, then we back off,” Solomon said.

The department has outfitted five vehicles with the dart launchers – two that will be stationed in the east side of the city, two for the west side and one in the central area, for full coverage – and Solomon hopes to expand that in the future to other units in his department.

Methuen police demonstrated that technology, along with the department's body cameras, at the Verizon Innovation Center in Waltham recently and plan to hold a demonstration for local police departments in December.

“Not too often do you get something that helps save people's lives in a real-life situation,” Solomon said.


Spotlight: Hurst Jaws of Life committed to powerful, portable rescue tools

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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Company Name: Hurst Jaws of Life Headquarters: Shelby, N.C. Product: StrongArm Website: http://www.jawsoflife.com/

Hurst Jaws of Life's commitment to research and development, along with its dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of products known for their safety, durability and performance.

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Because Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tools reduce the time to extricate a patient from a car crash, literally snatching them from the “jaws of death,” the tool and company earned the name Jaws of Life.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tool system was the first ever of its kind the patent application was made on April 26, 1971. The tool was introduced to the market shortly thereafter. Originally manufactured by Hurst Performance Inc., in Warminster, PA, the tool was developed for use in the race car industry. Hurst Performance also manufactured the famous Hurst Shifter which was used extensively in race cars. The original tool was a two-part system consisting of a 32-inch hydraulic spreader powered by a two cycle gasoline power unit. When activated, the scissor-like spreaders opened and forced crushed metal away from trapped race car drivers.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

In 2010, Hurst Jaws of Life introduced the next generation in rescue tools – the eDRAULIC line of electric-hydraulic tools. The new, game-changing eDRAULIC line of rescue tools operate with an internal hydraulic pressure that generates the same force as the power unit driven tools. Utilizing electrical-over-hydraulic force eliminates the need for power units, hoses and hose reels.

This innovation led to the development of the StrongArm rescue tool, a versatile, multipurpose tool that fills a critical need for police and SWAT teams.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?

The StrongArm rescue tool is a game-changer for the police community. Customarily, police and SWAT teams have an arsenal of tools to choose from in the field, but StrongArm truly does it all. It breaches doors, cuts through rebar, security bars and locks. In addition, it is powerful enough to pry open car doors with ease. We’re very excited to introduce this remarkable tool to police and SWAT teams around the world.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Hurst Jaws of Life is leading the industry in keeping ahead of the challenging demands of police and SWAT teams. Hurst has developed a versatile, multipurpose tool that fills a critical need for police and SWAT teams.

Replacing a number of single purpose hand tools, StrongArm provides portable hydraulic power to use in a variety of applications. With a built-in Picatinny accessory rail and a four position handle, StrongArm breaches, cuts, lifts and spreads. More specifically, it can cut through 3/8” rebar, grade 43 chain, two-by-four wood and is in protection class IP54. The compact, portable design makes StrongArm easy to carry and allows it to fit into tight spaces.

6. What makes your company unique?

Hurst is the only manufacturer of the Jaws of Life and StrongArm brands. There is no equal to saving lives. Hurst’s commitment to research and development and dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of innovative products known for outstanding safety, durability and performance. The Hurst Jaws of Life brand is the most trusted brand in the industry.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

Power, speed and innovation

Hurst Jaws of Life keeps those three critical goals in mind when designing new tools for our customers:

• Power – Tools need more brute force in breaching, cutting and spreading to deal with the unprecedented needs of police and SWAT teams.

• Speed – Rescues are increasingly requiring more breaching maneuvers, so cycle speed and speed under load as well as fast deployment are critical.

• Innovation – Unprecedented needs are taxing police and SWAT team budgets faster than can be addressed, so designing tools that reach further into the future is vital.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

Providing the finest, most reliable rescue products to first responders.

10. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

Hurst will continue the development of the StrongArm product line in order to provide additional new, game-changing StrongArm rescue tools to answer the unmet needs of the first responder community. Stay tuned!


Trump denounced in protests across US

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Andrew Dalton Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A day after Donald Trump's election to the presidency, campaign divisions appeared to widen as many thousands of demonstrators — some with signs with messages declaring "NOT MY PRESIDENT" — flooded streets across the country to protest his surprise triumph.

From New England to heartland cities like Kansas City and along the West Coast, demonstrators bore flags and effigies of the president-elect, disrupting traffic and declaring that they refused to accept Trump's victory.

Flames lit up the night sky in California cities Wednesday as thousands of protesters burned a giant papier-mache Trump head in Los Angeles and started fires in Oakland intersections.

Los Angeles demonstrators also beat a Trump piñata and sprayed the Los Angeles Times building and news vans with anti-Trump profanity. One protester outside LA City Hall read a sign that simply said "this is very bad."

Late in the evening several hundred people blocked one of the city's busiest freeways, U.S. 101 between downtown and Hollywood.

City News Service reported that 13 people were arrested as officers in full riot gear walked the protesters off the freeway.

By 1:30 a.m., the freeway was clear of demonstrators but lanes remained closed for cleanup.

In Oakland, several thousand people gathered in Frank Ogawa Palaza, police said, clogging intersections and freeway on-ramps.

In Chicago, where thousands had recently poured into the streets to celebrate the Chicago Cubs' first World Series victory in over a century, several thousand people marched through the Loop. They gathered outside Trump Tower, chanting "Not my president!"

Chicago resident Michael Burke said he believes the president-elect will "divide the country and stir up hatred." He added there was a constitutional duty not to accept that outcome.

Police said that an estimated 1,800 to 2,000 people participated in the Chicago protests. Police reported five arrests, including two for obstructing traffic, but said there were no major incidents.

A similar protest in Manhattan drew about 1,000 people. Outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in midtown, police installed barricades to keep the demonstrators at bay.

Hundreds of protesters gathered near Philadelphia's City Hall despite chilly, wet weather. Participants — who included both supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost to Clinton in the primary — expressed anger at both Republicans and Democrats over the election's outcome.

In Boston, thousands of anti-Trump protesters streamed through downtown, chanting "Trump's a racist" and carrying signs that said "Impeach Trump" and "Abolish Electoral College." Clinton appears to be on pace to win the popular vote, despite losing the electoral count that decides the presidential race.

The protesters gathered on Boston Common before marching toward the Massachusetts Statehouse, with beefed-up security including extra police officers.

Hundreds also gathered in Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Maine.

A protest that began at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday night with about 100 people swelled at is moved into downtown St. Paul, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Protesters blocked downtown streets and traveled west on University Avenue where they shouted expletives about Trump in English and Spanish.

There were other Midwest protest marches in Omaha, Nebraska, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Marchers protesting Trump's election chanted and carried signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Media outlets broadcast video Wednesday night showing a peaceful crowd in front of the new downtown hotel. Many chanted "No racist USA, no Trump, no KKK."

Another group stood outside the White House. They held candles, listened to speeches and sang songs.

In Richmond, Virginia, 10 people were arrested after protesters sat in travel lanes of the Downtown Expressway and refused to leave. Earlier, hundreds had gathered near Monroe Park and blocked the streets near Virginia Commonwealth University with some marchers chanting "No Trump. No KKK. No fascist USA."

Dallas activists gathered by the dozens outside the city's sports arena, the American Airlines Center.

In Oregon, dozens of people blocked traffic in downtown Portland, burned American flags and forced a delay for trains on two light-rail lines.

Hundreds massed in downtown Seattle streets.

Many held anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter signs and chanted slogans, including "Misogyny has to go," and "The people united, will never be defeated."

Five people were shot and injured in an area near the protest, but police said the shootings and the demonstration were unrelated.

Back in New York, several groups of protesters caused massive gridlock as police mobilized to contain them under a light rain.

They held signs that read "Trump Makes America Hate" and chanted "hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go." and "Impeach Trump."

___

Associated Press writers Robert Jablon in Los Angeles, Olga Rodriguez in Oakland, California, Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Steven Dubois in Portland, Oregon


One Pa. officer dead, another injured after ambush

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By Karen Kane and Liz Navratil Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CANONSBURG, Pa. — One Canonsburg police officer was shot to death and another wounded in a shooting this morning. A SWAT team is on scene in another part of the borough where they believe the shooter is located.

State police said one officer was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital for medical treatment and a second officer was taken by ambulance to Canonsburg Hospital. One of the officers later died of his wounds. Police did not say which hospital he had been taken to. Their names have not been released.

State police Trooper Melinda Bonderanka said the officers responded to a call of a domestic issue at 3:14 a.m. in the 100 block of Woodcrest Road and were ”ambushed upon their arrival.”

Homes in the Woodcrest Road area were evacuated. All other residents in the peripheral area were being told to “stay in place.”

Trooper Bonderanka would not say where police were specifically targeting their search for the suspect but police, firefighters and the Washington County sheriff's office have blocked off a stretch of road near the intersection of Bluff Avenue and West Pike Street.

Much of the view is blocked by fire trucks, but a white tent and an ambulance can be seen further up the street.

Departments on the scene include Peters, North Strabane, Hanover, state police and others.

Canon-McMillan School District has cancelled classes for today and Chartiers-Houston School District is on a two-hour delay because of the shooting.

District Judge David Mark, of Canonsburg, said he knows the slain officer and his family well.

“He is a great guy, top to bottom, one of the best people I know inside and out,” District Judge Mark said. “I can’t imagine what the family is going through.”

Keith Jacob, of 126 Woodcrest Drive, said he lives two doors down from where the shooting took place and heard gunshots this morning.

"That’s what woke me up. Then I thought I heard someone say ‘My partner’s down’ " he said.

He said the couple who live at the house where the shooting occurred have had past domestic problems.

“She has had a [protection from abuse order] against him ... there have been back and forth disputes going on,” said Mr. Jacob, who also said the woman was two months pregnant.

Richard Crothers, 48, who lives on Pike Street, said he heard sirens about 3:30 a.m. He thought he saw an ambulance followed by two police cars "and then all hell broke loose."

"This here is just unbelievable," he said, noting that there are rarely police on the street, except to pull over speeders who use it as a pass through to Cecil when they get off Interstate 79.

Police have been on his street all morning. He watched shortly before 8 a.m. as a SWAT truck and then a bomb squad unit pulled in.

"This is the craziest it's been," he said.

He said police didn't tell him what's been going on but did tell him to stay inside for a long stretch. He said the snippets he's heard came from the news.


‘Suicide by cop’ prevented by Calif. police, behavioral health team

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By Beatriz Valenzuela San Bernardino Sun

RIALTO, Calif. — A collaboration Monday between Rialto police and the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health helped de-escalate a situation where police say a man was threatening “suicide by cop.”

Just before noon, officers were called to a home in the 300 block of East Huff Street by someone stating that a loved one, a 37-year-old man, had threatened to harm himself with a knife and had reportedly made comments that he wanted police to shoot him, according to a police statement.

Detective David Padilla, a crisis negotiator with the Inland Valley SWAT team, arrived at the home and tried to speak to the distraught man, officials said. After some time, Padilla requested the Triage Engagement Support Team — known as TEST — come to the location.

The TEST team is made up of Rialto police officers and two behavioral health specialists who have been assigned to the department five days a week to assist with crisis situations.

Padilla managed to convince the man to come outside of his home, where he was first detained and then given the chance to speak to a TEST specialist, officials said.

After some time, the man reportedly agreed to get professional help and was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Behavioral Health Department. No one was injured during the tense situation.


Miss. girls raise funds for first responders with lemonade stand

Posted on November 10, 2016 by in POLICE

By Robin Fitzgerald The Sun Herald

D’IBERVILLE, Miss. — Paige and Kaley Wilson are using proceeds from a lemonade stand they have to give “a hug and a mug” to first responders.

They’ve raised $1,202 since July and bought Arctic mugs to give to police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

The girls, along with their dad, John Wilson, took 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office on Wednesday to give to state troopers.

“I love seeing their reactions because it just makes me smile,” Paige said.

Piage is 11, Kaley is 8, and both attend North Woolmarket Elementary School.

They call their project Delicious Divas’ Lemonade, and they will set up shop at a public event in D’Iberville on Saturday.


Videos: Thousands protest Trump win around US

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — The raw divisions exposed by the presidential race were on full display across America on Wednesday, as protesters flooded city streets to condemn Donald Trump's election in demonstrations that police said were mostly peaceful.

From New England to heartland cities like Kansas City and along the West Coast, demonstrators carried flags and anti-Trump signs, disrupting traffic and declaring that they refused to accept Trump's triumph.

In Chicago, where thousands had recently poured into the streets to celebrate the Chicago Cubs' first World Series victory in over a century, several thousand people marched through the Loop. They gathered outside Trump Tower, chanting "Not my president!"

Anti-Trump protest in downtown SF pic.twitter.com/h6La8QUomK

— ??The Yoc ?? (@AntiochTweets) November 10, 2016

Chicago resident Michael Burke said he believes the president-elect will "divide the country and stir up hatred." He added there was a constitutional duty not to accept that outcome.

A similar protest in Manhattan drew about 1,000 people. Outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in midtown, police installed barricades to keep the demonstrators at bay.

Hundreds of protesters gathered near Philadelphia's City Hall despite chilly, wet weather. Participants — who included both supporters of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost to Clinton in the primary — expressed anger at both Republicans and Democrats over the election's outcome.

In Boston, thousands of anti-Trump protesters streamed through downtown, chanting "Trump's a racist" and carrying signs that said "Impeach Trump" and "Abolish Electoral College." Clinton appears to be on pace to win the popular vote, despite losing the electoral count that decides the presidential race.

The protesters gathered on Boston Common before marching toward the Massachusetts Statehouse, with beefed-up security including extra police officers.

Protests flared at universities in California and Connecticut, while several hundred people marched in San Francisco and others gathered outside City Hall in Los Angeles. And they spread south to Richmond, Virginia, and to middle American cities like Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska.

Hundreds of University of Texas students spilled out of classrooms to march through downtown Austin. They marched along streets near the Texas Capitol, then briefly blocked a crowded traffic bridge.

Marchers protesting Trump's election as president chanted and carried signs in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Media outlets broadcast video Wednesday night showing a peaceful crowd in front of the new downtown hotel. Many chanted "No racist USA, no Trump, no KKK."

Another group stood outside the White House. They held candles, listened to speeches and sang songs.

Earlier Wednesday, protesters at American University burned U.S. flags on campus.

In Oregon, dozens of people blocked traffic in downtown Portland, burned American flags and forced a delay for trains on two light-rail lines. Earlier, the protest in downtown drew several Trump supporters, who taunted the demonstrators with signs. A lone Trump supporter was chased across Pioneer Courthouse Square and hit in the back with a skateboard before others intervened.

The only major violence was reported in Oakland, California, during a protest that began shortly before midnight and lasted into early Wednesday morning.

Some demonstrators set garbage bins on fire, broke windows and sprayed graffiti at five businesses in the downtown area, police said. No arrests were made.

Another protest began Wednesday evening downtown, with several hundred chanting, sign-waving people gathering in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

In San Francisco, hundreds are marching along Market Avenue, one of the city's main avenues, to join a vigil in the Castro District, a predominantly gay neighborhood.

Hundreds massed in downtown Seattle streets.

Many held anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter signs and chanted slogans, including "Misogyny has to go," and "The people united, will never be defeated."

At Evergreen State College south of Seattle, scores of students walked out of classes Wednesday to gather with anti-Trump signs.

Back in New York, several groups of protesters caused massive gridlock as police mobilized to contain them under a light rain.

They held signs that read "Trump Makes America Hate" and chanted "hey, hey, ho, ho Donald Trump has got to go." and "Impeach Trump."

#TrumpTower protests causing massive gridlock throughout Midtown. #BREAKING #abc7ny pic.twitter.com/deOVCWgUk7

— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) November 10, 2016

Folks protesting trump headed toward the #WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/OqZZxoXDdv

— Ben Bell (@BenjaminBell) November 10, 2016

At trump hotel in #dc pic.twitter.com/CTt4UFvGyT

— Ben Bell (@BenjaminBell) November 10, 2016

Unrest @AmericanU as some students burn American flags to protest #TrumpPresident #Elections2016 pic.twitter.com/RnDMV6LU1p

— Seyda (@Seyda_Karaoglu) November 9, 2016

HAPPENING NOW: 100s are protesting Donald Trump's victory in Seattle #KOMONews pic.twitter.com/PwXf37xibH

— KOMO News (@komonews) November 10, 2016

#Oakland protesters moving east on Broadway. Massive crowd upset about President Elect #Trump #Election2016 #abc7now pic.twitter.com/NHuFkfu8Tv

— Katie Utehs (@KatieUtehs) November 10, 2016

Thousands marching in Back Bay chanting "Trump Not My President". "No Facistol USA,No KKK"#wcvb pic.twitter.com/qYyFL9Sr6C

— Jorge Quiroga (@JorgeWCVB) November 10, 2016

About 150 #UMass students marched to Goodell building in protest of Donald Trump's election chanting "Trump must go!" @MDCollegian pic.twitter.com/XooKQQA8Xp

— Kyle DaLuz (@Kyle_DaLuz) November 9, 2016

6 holiday gift ideas for cops

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

It’s that time of year again! I’ve gathered up six gift ideas for police officers. But before I get to them, I want to recommend (as I’ve done in the past) a charity organization you should consider giving a holiday donation to.

Find your local chapter of C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) and support them by volunteering or giving a donation in your name or in the name of someone else (a great gift idea).

Without further ado, here are six gift ideas that any law enforcement professional will love.

1. Henry Classic Lever Action .22

Anyone who knows about the history of the original lever action repeating rifles will understand the draw of the Henry Rifle. The Henry H001 rimfire has a smooth action and accuracy that belies the price. I’ve put hundreds of rounds through the one I’m testing, and this has to be the best bargain in firearms right now.

All Henry Lever Actions are made in the U.S., using American labor and parts. They are faithful to the legacy and their quality is amazing.

MSRP $360

2. Gunfighters INC Kenai Chest Holster

The Gunfighters INC Kenai Chest Holster has one of the most unique designs on the market. It consists of a Kydex scabbard suspended from three points, which places the firearm high on the chest. This design provides an unobstructed fast draw without straps or any devices. It's the fastest way to get the gun into play that I have ever seen.

The Kenai Chest Holster was not necessarily designed for concealed carry. In fact, it was made for outdoor use, where other methods of carry would be impractical. It is perfect for paddling, hunting or hiking.

Not only does my .40 S&W Shield fit under my waders, I can draw and fire accurately faster than my strong side carry, simply because the gun is prepositioned.

One thing that users will notice right away is that this holster is comfortable and quiet. The weight distribution allows for a full day of wear, and the gun is still available during nature calls. It's made of quality materials and there are dozens of applications. For example, any air insertion assignment calls for this rig.

The Kenai Chest Holster can be purchased for a wide variety of handguns, including bear-resistant-sized revolvers. Their MSRP is around $150, but retired officers receive 10 percent off and active officers get 20 percent off.

3. “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps' Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life,” a book by Patrick Van Horne and Jason Riley.

If you are in combat arms, you probably have either read this book or heard about this book. The impact of this book is along the magnitude of “The Book of Five Rings.”

Written by Marine combat veterans, the authors describe the lessons learned from the Marine Combat Hunter program. The purpose of this book is to teach the reader in recognizing anomalies and applying tactical decision-making. The authors describe prevailing in combat as a means of recognizing behavior and factors outside of the baseline and categorizing and responding to them. The price varies, but Amazon carries the paperback for $18.43.

4. Swiss Army Rescue Tool

What multi-tool knife fits in the pocket, glows in the dark, has a seat belt cutter, glass breaker and a disc saw for shatterproof glass? Did I mention this knife has a one-handed opening locking blade? I find the ergonomics of the Swiss Army Rescue Tool to be exemplary. At a $90 MSRP, every officer should have one.

5. SPOT Gen 3

The SPOT Gen3 satellite communicator is designed to give you peace of mind outside of cellular reach.

The SPOT Gen3 is palm sized and weighs 4 oz. It is MIL-STD-810F and IPX7 waterproof. It can send an “I’m OK” message, which includes the ability for friends and family to track your trek through the wilderness. It can be set for motion-activated tracking or continuous tracking.

It can send a signal to mobilize a rescue. More importantly, it can send a pre-recorded text or summon non-emergency help, like signal a vehicle breakdown.

I go fly fishing with a guy who knows all these hidden streams in the Sierras. His ability to guide is limited to “…turn left here.” That is, he can never point to a USGS map and tell my wife where exactly we will be going. By the time I know the turn off, we are out of cell range. The SPOT Gen3 has resolved this and reduced the silent treatment when I arrive after dark.

The SPOT Gen3 has an MSRP of $169.95 and service is roughly $14.99 a month. This is an amazing price for peace of mind.

6. Blue Line Beasts

I really want only one clothing item this year. It’s a Blueline Strong sleeveless tee. The thin blue line in the shirt is a barbell. MSRP is $21.99.

Above all, stay safe.

I wish everyone a very safe holiday season.


What cops need to know about California’s criminal justice measures

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

By Bob Walsh

California has a very lively 100-plus year history of referendum and initiative direct democracy on the ballot. This has given us some very significant things, like Proposition 13 in 1978 which limited property tax increases to prevent people from being “taxed out” out their homes and “Three Strikes” in 1994 which dropped the hammer on career criminals.

Mike Reynolds, the man behind “Three Strikes,” originally went to the legislature with his proposal. His daughter was murdered by two career criminals. He was told to go home. He did and got the ball rolling on a ballot initiative. He was so successful the legislature eventually passed its own version of the law in an attempt to short-stop him. He continued anyway and got the initiative passed, making it much harder to diminish or alter its requirements.

The floor for getting issues on the California ballot is low, but not ridiculously so. For instance, there was an attempt made this year to get six anti-gun pieces of legislation put up for referendum. The signature gathering process fell short by about one-third of the signatures required.

This past Election Day there were several California propositions on the ballot that were criminal justice related. The most obvious of them concerned the death penalty.

Proposition 62: Failed Proposition 62, which didn't pass, would have banned the death penalty in California and replaced it with life imprisonment without parole. This would have impacted the nearly 800 individuals currently on death row.

Proposition 66: Passed Proposition 66, which passed, intends to streamline the death penalty procedures to speed-up executions. Currently, all death penalty cases in California are automatically appealed to the State Supreme Court. The offender is not allowed to waive this appeal. To work on these appeals, lawyers must be specially certified and the pay isn’t particularly good. It takes many years for a case to make its way through the courts. In addition, there are always multiple attacks on the death penalty due to constitutional concerns over procedure. There are pending court orders over execution methods that have stalled any execution in the state for over ten years. The impact of the failed repeal of the death penalty and the successful passage of the speed-up ballot initiative remains to be seen.

Proposition 63: Passed Proposition 63, strongly advocated for by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, passed. It requires a special license to legally buy ammunition. Obtaining ammunition from out-of-state will be illegal for California residents. This creates heavy administrative requirements on retailers that would drive many ammunition sellers out of the business. In addition, Proposition 63 bans the personal possession of any ammunition magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition, even those which had been purchased legally and legally possessed for years.

Proposition 64: Passed Proposition 64, which passed, legalizes the personal recreational use of marijuana by adults in California. This has no effect on the federal law which still makes possession of marijuana illegal. This will also, in all probability, result in a modest decrease of the prison population. Some offenders previously sentenced may have those convictions expunged.

Proposition 57: Passed Proposition 57, which also passed, allows a greater availability of early parole for persons designated as non-violent felons. The definition of non-violent only concerns the most recent offense for which a person has been convicted and not past convictions. In addition, the definition of what is and what is not a non-violent felony would surprise many people. For instance, resisting arrest that results in injury to the officer is considered a non-violent offense. Theft of a firearm with a value of under $1,000 is not even a felony in California. This proposition was presented for its potential cost savings and as pro-rehabilitation.


Prehospital care of the critically injured K-9

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Lindsey J. Bertomen

By Catherine R. Counts

NEW ORLEANS — Veterinarians Amber Davidson and Erin Daniels from MedVet, a 24-hour veterinary emergency and specialty referral hospital, gave a synopsis on the care and treatment of operational K-9s at the fourth annual McSwain EMS Trauma Conference.

Prehospital providers are increasingly being turned to when emergency care for a working K-9 is needed due to the rising prominence of their use in law enforcement and search and rescue. Both the general public and K-9 handlers have an expectation that in a time of need, EMS will be prepared to treat these animals as the four-legged members of the first responder family that they are.

Much of the information covered followed an algorithmic assessment approach similar to human patient assessment, with caveats for the unique anatomy and temperament of an operational K-9, a category that houses law enforcement, military and search and rescue K-9s. Here are some memorable quotes, key takeaways and additional resources from the session.

Memorable quotes on injured K-9 assessment Davidson and Daniels, when discussing assessment, shared these memorable quotes.

"If they are good enough to wrestle with you, they are good enough to sit there on their own."

"Advanced diagnostic assessment with human equipment is often done in the vet setting, but it should never delay treatment"

"Do CPR in lateral recumbency on the broadest point on the chest. Don’t try to turn them on their back unless you’re working with a bulldog, a breed I doubt you’ll see in this context."

"If you do something painful, they may be less unconscious than you thought."

Key takeaways on K-9 emergency care As a SAR K-9 handler, I found this presentation especially interesting. Here are my top takeaways for other EMS providers.

Although only California and Ohio have legislation that explicitly allow EMS personnel to render emergency services to animals, providers in other states, including Louisiana, are protected to do so, so long as they are governmental employees performing their official duties. These animals are extremely intelligent and can sense fear. Always approach an ill or injured K-9 calmly and within view to avoid a startle response. Muzzles save fingers, but since K-9s don’t sweat and rather expel heat by panting, basket muzzles are preferred since they don’t preclude the K-9's ability to breathe. Defer to the handler for information on the K-9's behavioral status. Always make sure a handler is with the K-9 during treatment and transport. The utility of aid rendered on scene should be balanced with the benefits of a faster transport time to a veterinarian.

Additional resources on K-9 emergency care:

Veterinary Committee on Trauma K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care Training Centers - NC State K9 Program Down - K9 Medic - Veterinary Tactical Group

Photo courtesy of http://www.k9tecc.org/assets/K9_Vitals_Card.pdf.


About the Author Catherine R. Counts is a doctoral candidate in the department of Global Health Management and Policy at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where she also previously earned her Master of Health Administration. Counts has research interests in domestic health care policy, quality and patient safety, organizational culture and prehospital emergency medicine. She is a member of AcademyHealth, Academy of Management, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and National Association of EMTs. Counts is the author of a blog focused on applying the concepts of health services research to the field of prehospital emergency medicine. Connect with her on Twitter or contact her via email at ccounts@tulane.edu.


5 things American police can expect from President Donald Trump

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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

With Hillary Clinton securing 228 and Donald J. Trump winning 279 Electoral College votes, one of the most stunning political upsets in American history has been made, with a political outsider defeating a career politician in the 2016 presidential election. When the nation swears in the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017, the person with their hand on the Bible will be the billionaire businessman from New York City.

In a stunning rebuke of the political establishment, Trump’s victory shocked an electorate that had all but anointed the first female president in Hillary Clinton — the overwhelming majority of the pollsters and the pundits predicted that Clinton would win with a sizeable majority of the Electoral College. The talking heads called Trump’s path to the White House “narrow” and Clinton’s lead in the polls “insurmountable.” However, while the general public and the mainstream press puzzle over the events of November 8 2016, law enforcement officers go to work as they have done every day during this marathon of a campaign — taking to the streets to serve society and protect people from themselves.

What will the next four years mean for those cops? Even the deep-in-the-weeds political analysts are befuddled at the outcome of this election, so it’s no small thing to offer predictions, but it is certainly worth the effort to examine a few general ideas about what a Trump presidency means for American law enforcement.

1. Greater general support for law enforcement Roughly six months into his presidency, Barak Obama famously remarked that police “acted stupidly” in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor in July 2009. That set the tone for how the White House would be positioned on law enforcement matters for the next seven years.

In stark contrast, Trump has gone out of his way to demonstrate support for law enforcement throughout his presidential campaign. He has been photographed and videotaped on numerous occasions shaking hands with officers assigned to his protection detail. Officers have, in turn, overwhelmingly thrown their support to the president-elect, with the National FOP and myriad other police organizations endorsing the candidate in the run-up to Election Day.

It is safe to assume that there will be no need for a “Beer Summit” during the Trump administration, and that politically left-leaning appointees at the Department of Justice will soon be floating their resumes on K Street and elsewhere.

2. More funding and support for immigration enforcement When Trump descended the escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for the Republican Party’s nomination for president on June 16, 2015, he declared that he would build a wall on America’s southern border in order to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

While experts can agree to disagree on the efficacy of such a behemoth undertaking, it is not difficult to imagine that President Trump will seek to pour resources into U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the two agencies charged with keeping illegal immigrants out and apprehending those who have slipped through the existing net.

Trump has also declared on the campaign trail that he would end federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” but that may be more difficult to accomplish by presidential fiat. There would almost certainly be lawsuits and injunctions filed should he try, and that process could go either way.

3. Anti-Trump protestors hit the streets early and often Even as Trump supporters revel in what Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called “the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime,” people are lining up to protest the outcome of the election.

“From Pennsylvania to California, Oregon and Washington State, hundreds of people hit the streets, according to reports by local news media and The Associated Press,” said one report in the New York Times this morning.

KRON-TV has reported that demonstrators are planning to take to the streets in Oakland and San Francisco on Wednesday evening, and it takes very little imagination that people will do so in countless cities across the country not just in the days following the election, but at times throughout the Trump presidency.

Police will have to protect the First Amendment rights of those who take to the streets, while also preventing the destruction of property that has become commonplace in demonstrations following controversial police shootings in recent years. This is an ongoing officer safety (and public safety) issue that could extend well into the Trump presidency, as we simply cannot predict with certainty what Trump will do on any given day.

4. A shift in the fight against radical Islamist terrorists Throughout his campaign, Trump has repeatedly criticized President Obama’s handling of the fight against the Islamic State, as well as the handling of the domestic terror threat inspired by ISIS. He has stated that he would “knock the hell out of ISIS” but has provided virtually no specifics on his plan.

In the event that Trump delivers on his promise to increase military intervention in Syria , that could certainly lead to a retaliatory increase in the terrorists’ efforts in recruiting new members online and inspiring lone-actor attacks like we’ve seen at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

Local law enforcement is on the front lines of domestic counterterrorism, so it will fall on officers to be even more vigilant in their defense of innocents at the hands of self-radicalized attackers. This will require even greater collaboration and information sharing between agencies. This is simple, but not easy, and it is an undertaking that should begin in earnest immediately.

5. A conservative Supreme Court for decades Perhaps the most significant outcome of the 2016 election is that Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court will almost certainly be filled by a conservative nominee. Further, with the advancing years of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 78, , Trump will likely have the opportunity to add several other conservatives to the Court.

Adding one or more of the conservative nominees Trump has publicly named the Court will affect how myriad cases are decided for several decades to come — issues as diverse as firearms ownership and personal privacy in a digital age are likely to be argued before the Court in coming years.

As the people charged with enforcing the law, those decisions will have a direct impact on how police officers do their jobs. We simply don’t yet know what the future holds for Constitutional law.

Conclusion Brexit. The Chicago Cubs. Donald J. Trump.

Three things that nobody thought would ever happen, have all happened.

For cops out on patrol, today is “just another day at the office.” But many people across the nation — indeed, the world — are reeling in shock that a man who has never before held public office has secured the most powerful office on the planet.

In coming weeks, the Trump camp will begin to reveal his Cabinet selections and other key predictors of what the Trump presidency will look like. One thing is certain: the future is uncertain. We shall soon see what we shall see. In the meantime, stay safe out there my friends.


10 range habits that can get police officers killed

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Duane Wolfe

What you do consistently will become your habit. The range is a long way from a gunfight, and all too often officers adopt range behaviors that can lead to serious injury or worse. Here are 10 quick tips to improve your abilities in a gunfight and correct a few bad behaviors I have seen in my time on the range.

1. Snap your snaps In order to draw or reload faster, some officers will release one or more of their retention devices to speed up their draw. The Force Science Institute has determined that if you undo a snap it slows you down because you are programmed to follow a certain sequence. When you change that sequence your brain gets confused and works slower. Train the way you fight because you will fight the way you train. If you train with one device deactivated when the fight comes and that device is in place you will be fighting with the holster, rather than with the suspect(s).

2. Don’t worry about the score All too often shooters are so concerned about putting one bullet on top of the other that they never push themselves to shoot fast enough for a gunfight. A score is nice as a gauge of progress to meet a qualification standard, but qualification and a gunfight are two different worlds.

3. Take a hard look at the target that you use Disregard the scoring rings, many of them bear no resemblance to the human body. Work on placing the majority of your rounds in an area about four inches wide from the base of the throat down to the bottom of the sternum. The heart and all of the arteries and veins leading to and from it are concentrated in that area. That is the area you want to hit to stop a suspect quickly. More than likely your target doesn’t have the 10 ring in that area. I have seen targets with the “X” down in the stomach – bad practice, bad training, expect a bad outcome.

4. Speed kills Most qualification times are very generous. In a gunfight officers fire around five rounds per second. If you haven’t trained to shoot and hit at that rate of fire in practice, don’t expect a visit from the ballistic fairy to guide your rounds in a gunfight. Realistic training must include realistic rates of fire.

5. Reload like your life depends on it When your gun goes dry, reload fast every time like your life depends on it (because it does). If you ever find yourself standing with an empty gun and counting the holes in your target, kick yourself. The bad guy probably won’t be showing any bullet holes. If your gun is empty, ammo is your priority.

6. If things don’t go perfectly, get over it I’ve lost track of the number of times I have seen shooters freeze up or quit a course of fire when a gun malfunctioned or they fumbled a draw or reload. There are no alibis in a gunfight. Fix the problem and finish the fight even if things don’t go perfectly. There is no such thing as a perfect fight, train to win regardless of the obstacles that you face. Fine motor skills can deteriorate under stress, prepare for it in your training.

7. Push yourself to the point of failure If you always stay in your comfort zone, then you are not training for a fight. A gunfight will be very uncomfortable. You can’t predict the time, the date, location or opponent(s). Push yourself out of your comfort level on the speed of your presentation and your firing rate. Once you find your failure point (the majority of your rounds start going outside the high chest area) slow down, identify the problem and work on fixing it as you continue to speed up.

8. Move Practice side stepping on your draw to teach you to get off the line of attack. If you don’t have cover, side step on your reloads. Practice shooting moving sideways, forward and back. If the range your normally practice on won’t allow it, find a different range to train on.

9. Use cover The use of cover or concealment will increase your likelihood of surviving a gunfight. As you approach the site of a call, are you identifying your available cover and concealment? A pre-planned response will be faster than having to do an environmental survey before seeking cover when bullets start to fly. Use cover so that the least amount of you sticks out while you locate and shoot at your threat. Practice using cover at all of the levels: standing, crouching, kneeling and prone. A vertical line of cover is better than a horizontal line of cover because less of your head is exposed. In a gunfight you get what you get, make the most of it.

10. Scan with a purpose A range is usually a 180 degree world and, as a result, a lot of training is done using only half of the world. Threats and bullets can come from any direction once you step outside the range. Once you finished shooting, check the world around you before you put your gun away. Draw quickly, holster reluctantly. All too often a scan turns into a fast head whip in all directions. Understand that when you move your head quickly from side to side your vision actually shuts off. When you scan, look carefully for any additional threats. In practice have someone stand and hold up their fingers to show a number between one and five. That way you are always looking with the intent of seeing your environment.

Ammo is cheap, lives are expensive. Maintain your level of proficiency by regular practice.


Utah lawmaker proposes death penalty for cop killers

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Paul Ray is drafting legislation that makes the death penalty a mandatory sentence for any person convicted of targeting and killing a police officer.

According to the Deseret News Utah, Ray said that harsher consequences need to be put in place to prevent ambushes on officers that have become all too common.

The current law counts murder of a law enforcement officer as an aggravated crime, allowing prosecutors and jurors the choice to ask or sentence the suspect to the death penalty.

The proposed bill eliminates the district attorney’s choice of pursuing capital punishment, and makes the death penalty a mandatory sentence, the publication reported.

After news broke of the ambush of two Des Moines officers sitting in their patrol cars, Ray told the publication he became “furious” and even more committed to make the bill a law.

“These are guys who knowingly, every day, go to a job they know they may not return from,” Ray said. “And then you've got cowards that are going out and targeting these guys, trying to make sure they don't go home to their families.”

Rather than focusing on officers who are attacked or killed during process of investigating other crimes, the bill focuses on targeted attacks that single out officers, the publication reported. Defining exactly what constitutes targeting is still in progress.


Texas elects first black female sheriff

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Texas — Texas’s first black female sheriff was elected after beating out a strong Republican challenger Tuesday night.

Zena Stephens was elected Johnson County Sheriff over opposing party Ray Beck in a close election, the Houston Chronicle reported.

According to the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, Stephens is the first black woman to be elected sheriff in Texas.

“I think it is important, because I never saw anybody who looked like me in this role, or as a police chief, when I was growing up,” Stephens said. “And so the idea, not just for girls but for any minority, that you can obtain these jobs at this level, I think that's important. And it's important for these jobs in law enforcement and any job to reflect the community they serve.”

Stephens told the publication that she will tackle concerns within the department first.

“Anytime you institute change, there may be some opposition to that, but I understand that, and I don't plan to get in there and make any sweeping changes,” Stephens said.


Fugitive compliments Wash. deputy, K-9 for locating him

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — A fugitive, who was hiding from police in the trunk of an abandoned car, thanked a deputy and his K-9 after they found him.

The suspect, Timothy J. Lafontaine, 35, was allegedly high, armed with a knife, and had a valid felony DOC warrant out for his arrest, according to a statement from the department. When officers couldn’t find Lafontaine, Deputy Tyler Kullman and K-9 partner, Khan, were called to the scene.

After a search, Khan discovered Lafontaine in a trunk of an abandoned vehicle under clothes and other random items.

When discovered, Lafontaine told Kullman he did a “phenomenal job” of finding him, according to the department.

Lafontaine followed up with “God bless you and your dog. Your dog is a bad (expletive).”


Sheriff Joe loses re-election bid

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Nigel Duara Los Angeles Times

PHOENIX — The path he started on years ago led Joe Arpaio to a red-lit stage in July, his hand outstretched as thousands cheered “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

Never before had a presidential candidate so embraced the man who calls himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” a founding father of the strong-borders movement whose hardened views on immigration seemed to square perfectly with those of the Republican nominee. Donald Trump gave Arpaio a full five minutes in front of the Republican National Committee.

It was probably the last major national appearance of Arpaio’s political career.

While the sheriff never changed, the landscape around him slowly did, and Tuesday, his constituents — now younger and more Latino — voted him out of office, ending a six-term career as the sheriff of Maricopa County. In his place, Paul Penzone — a retired police officer — will be the top lawman of the state’s most populous county.

An epilogue awaits in December, when Arpaio faces trial on charges of criminal contempt over allegations that he ignored a court to stop his deputies from racial profiling.

Arpaio attracted national attention for housing inmates in canvas tents in the scorching Arizona heat and his tough talk on immigration. But when he first won election in 1992, the former Drug Enforcement Administration agent ran on a traditional platform — being tough on crime at a time it was increasing in the U.S. Within a decade, after writing an autobiography and winning re-elections by wide margins, Arpaio was considered a favorite as the Republican nominee for governor but chose not to run, instead supporting Democrat Janet Napolitano for the job.

In 2004, the Maricopa County Republican Party took its revenge, refusing to endorse Arpaio for sheriff. It was a lesson he would remember as he sought influence at the national level.

When Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas won election in 2004 promising to crack down on illegal immigration duting a burgeoning border crisis and drug cartel wars in Sonora, Mexico, Arpaio took notice. He would not need the county Republicans if he could expand his base nationally.

He did, by turning to the rest of the country for campaign donations. The result was a political fund that dwarfed those of his opponents.

Never a kingmaker, Arpaio had an unfortunate penchant for backing candidates at the wrong time. He endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president in 2008 over his home state senator, John McCain, who won the nomination. In 2011, Arpaio gave his earliest endorsement to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was tumbling in the polls.

Never a graceful speaker, Arpaio instead intoned from the pulpit, index finger extended, in a deep baritone. But aided by a former TV reporter as his right hand, Arpaio developed a savvy press strategy with the understanding that good video will always get on the air, and live video will lead newscasts. So Arpaio gave the press good video, particularly if it involved armed agents busting drug-trafficking or human-smuggling operations.

The downside to his successes was the opposition he helped galvanize. It began with Mothers Against Arpaio, a group that focused on the sheriff’s treatment of inmates under his watch. His opponents have since spread to business groups, drug-reform advocates and an expanding Latino voter base that viewed Arpaio overwhelmingly unfavorably.

Before his current court troubles, he was used to defeating federal investigators. As recently as 2012, the Justice Department cleared Arpaio of wrongdoing in a four-year abuse-of-power investigation. But in U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow, Arpaio met his match.

After reviewing Arpaio’s treatment of Latino drivers in stings, Snow deemed Arpaio’s application of justice as “unfair, partial, and inequitable.”

Bit by bit, Arpaio’s fellow strong-borders advocates fell away in the face of changing national attitudes toward immigrants and illegal immigration.

©2016 Los Angeles Times


Voter support of marijuana reaches new high

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Pail Elias Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Voter support for marijuana legalization reached a new high as California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot, joining four other states and Washington, D.C., with similar laws.

Voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas passed medical marijuana measures, pushing the number of states with such laws past two dozen.

The California vote makes the use and sale of recreational cannabis legal along the entire West Coast and gives legalization advocates powerful momentum. Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi to allow recreational use.

The victories could spark similar efforts in other states and put pressure on federal authorities to ease longstanding rules that classify marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug with no medical benefits.

"I'm thrilled," said Northern California marijuana grower Nikki Lastreto. "I'm so excited that California can now move forward."

California was the first state to approve medical marijuana two decades ago. It was among five states weighing whether to permit pot for adults for recreational purposes. The other states were Arizona, which defeated the idea, and Maine, where the question remained undecided early Wednesday.

Montana voted to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

In general, the proposals for recreational pot would treat cannabis similar to alcohol. Consumption would be limited to people 21 or older and forbidden in most public spaces. Pot would be highly regulated and heavily taxed, and some states would let people grow their own.

State-by-state polls showed most of the measures with a good chance of prevailing. But staunch opponents that included law enforcement groups and anti-drug crusaders urged the public to reject any changes. They complained that legalization would endanger children and open the door to creation of another huge industry that, like big tobacco, would be devoted to selling Americans an unhealthy drug.

"We are, of course, disappointed," said Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association. Corney said his organization plans to work with lawmakers to develop a driving-under-the-influence policy.

The California proposal sowed deep division among marijuana advocates and farmers. In Northern California's famous Emerald Triangle, a region known for cultivating pot for decades, many small growers have longed for legitimacy but also fear being forced out of business by large corporate farms.

"I'm not necessarily stoked nor surprised," said Humboldt County grower Graham Shaw, reflecting the ambivalence of the region to the measure. "I am very happy that the war on cannabis in California is finally over."

If "yes" votes prevail across the country, about 75 million people accounting for more than 23 percent of the U.S. population would live in states where recreational pot is legal. The jurisdictions where that's already the case — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and the District of Columbia — have about 18 million residents, or 5.6 percent of the population. Twenty-five states allow medical marijuana.

According to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization.

Proposition 64 would allow people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of weed and grow six marijuana plants at home. Varying tax rates would be levied on sales, with the money deposited into the state's marijuana tax fund.

The exit poll of 2,282 California voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 30 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 744 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.


Photos: Atlantic City officer shot in head returns home from rehab

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A police officer who was shot in the head responding to a robbery at an Atlantic City casino garage is home.

Doctors, nurses and fellow officers cheered Tuesday as Officer Josh Vadell was discharged from the brain injury unit at MossRehab in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

Vadell and his family thanked everyone for their support.

Authorities say the nine-year veteran of the police force and another officer saw three men trying to rob three others near a parking garage at Caesars casino on Sept. 3. Vadell was shot in the right side of his brain as he exited his vehicle.

The second officer returned fire and killed 25-year-old robbery suspect Jerome Damon of Camden.

The other suspects are charged with attempted murder and robbery.

.@AtlanticCityPD Officer Josh Vadell discharged today from the Drucker Brain Injury Unit at @MossRehab to a heroes welcome! pic.twitter.com/F8NPYNUmW6

— Einstein Healthcare (@EinsteinHealth) November 8, 2016

Videos: Trump’s victory sets off protests on both coasts

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump's presidential victory set off protests early Wednesday on both coasts.

From Pennsylvania to California, Oregon and Washington hundreds of people hit the streets to voice their opposition to Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.

Police said at least 500 people swarmed on streets in and around UCLA, some shouting anti-Trump expletives and others chanting "Not my president!"

There were no immediate arrests.

Smaller demonstrators were held at University of California campuses and neighborhoods in Berkeley, Irvine and Davis and at San Jose State.

In Oakland, more than 100 protesters took to downtown streets. KNTV-TV reported that protesters burned Trump in effigy, smashed windows of the Oakland Tribune newsroom and set tires and trash on fire. Police said they issued one citation, but no one was arrested.

The California Highway Patrol says a woman was struck by a car during the protest and severely injured.

In Oregon, dozens of people blocked traffic in downtown Portland and forced a delay for trains on two light rail lines. Media reports say the crowd grew to about 300 people, including some who sat in the middle of the road to block traffic. The crowd of anti-Trump protesters burned American flags and chanted "That's not my president."

In Seattle, a group of about 100 protesters gathered in the Capital Hill neighborhood, blocked roads and set a trash bin on fire.

In Pennsylvania, hundreds of University of Pittsburgh students marched through the streets, with some in the crowd calling for unity. The student-run campus newspaper, the Pitt News, tweeted about an event later Wednesday titled "Emergency Meeting: Let's Unite to Stop President Trump."

Gayley Avenue... We elected a president who has brought together a nation... I guess #Trump2016 #why #wellgetthroughthis #relax

A video posted by Paul Ishiyama (@paul.ishiyama) on

Students are now chanting "not my president" pic.twitter.com/d2EJNytJw7

— Emaan Baqai (@EmaanBaqai) November 9, 2016

The chanting comes in waves here. The latest: "No KKK, no fascist U.S.A, no Trump." @ThePittNews pic.twitter.com/gAWtNMgscO

— J. Dale Shoemaker (@JDale_Shoemaker) November 9, 2016

Hundreds – maybe thousands – gathered in front of the Janss Investment Company Building. #Westwood #UCLA #ElectionNight pic.twitter.com/IOlCYUM1Uh

— Tanner Walters (@tannerbwalters) November 9, 2016

Scene on Broadway in downtown #Oakland after #ElectionNight results. Also smashed windows. @EastBayTimes @OakTribNews @mercnews pic.twitter.com/jIW7Kw7DmC

— Tyska (@Tyska) November 9, 2016

Ariz. cop killer fatally shot in gun battle

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

SHOW LOW, Ariz. — A man suspected of killing an Arizona police officer was fatally shot by officers who had surrounded a cabin where he was holed up, authorities said.

KNXV-TV in Phoenix reports authorities say 36-year-old Daniel Erickson shot at police after more than 6 hours of negotiations late Tuesday, and officers returned fire on the man who was barricaded inside a cabin near the city of Show Low.

There was no immediate word on a motive.

Officer Darrin Reed was taken to a hospital in critical condition after the 1:30 p.m. shooting and later died from his injuries, police said.

Police said Erickson, of Huachuca City, was a convicted felon who has served two prison sentences in Arizona — a four-year term for a drug conviction in 2009 and five months for an endangerment conviction in 2007.

Police said Erickson was seen leaving a Show Low hotel near the scene of the shooting in a vehicle and was dressed in a black leather trench coat and reportedly armed with a silver handgun.

The car Erickson drove from the scene was found abandoned Tuesday evening and he was believed to be driving another vehicle with an Arizona license plate, according to authorities.


3 Fla. K9s sickened by fentanyl

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

By Rebeca Piccardo Sun Sentinel

LAUDERHILL, Fla. — Moments after searching for drugs inside a house in Lauderhill, Broward Sheriff's Office K-9 handler Dustin Thompson noticed there was something wrong with one of his dogs.

Primus, a German shorthaired pointer, laid down in the car and stopped moving. He had a blank stare and didn't react to anything around him.

"He was in kind of a sedated state. He had a lack of energy," said Detective Andy Weiman, who trained Primus and was assisting his handler that day. "Primus is a pretty high-energy dog. He's very excitable. He would usually be standing or trying to jump out of the car."

Primus and two other K-9s who had been searching for hidden cash inside the same house were rushed to Coral Springs Animal Hospital on Oct. 27 after they showed signs of drug exposure and possible overdose, the sheriff's office said.

While the dogs were on the way to the clinic, other law enforcement agents continued searching the house and found a bag of drugs that authorities said tested positive for fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opiate that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Fentanyl — and its even more potent derivative, carfentanil — pose a particular danger to paramedics and law enforcement, who run the risk of inhaling the drug simply by coming in contact with it while on duty. Even a very small amount can be lethal.

That morning, members of the sheriff's office Detection Canine Unit were assisting Lauderhill police, Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security Investigations agents with an investigation into the sale of heroin and heroin laced with fentanyl, the sheriff's office said.

Primus and two other K-9s, a German shorthaired pointer named Finn and a yellow Labrador retriever named Packer, were tasked with searching a house for drugs and money. Merely getting a whiff of the drug was enough to sicken the dogs, the sheriff's office said.

"It was believed that the supplier of the fentanyl had been arrested some weeks prior to the execution of the warrant and the presence of fentanyl was unlikely," the sheriff's office said in an email. "Prior to the search, the handlers conducted a walkthrough and did not observe any obvious hazards to the handlers or canines."

At the animal hospital, Primus was given fluids and a dose of naloxone, an antidote used to revive drug users from opiate overdoses. It is often known by its brand name, Narcan. Finn and Packer were given IV fluids to help them "metabolize the drugs," Weiman said.

All three dogs recovered quickly and were back on duty the next day, he said.

Weiman said he is even more wary of the hazards that handlers and K-9s can encounter with a drug such as fentanyl out on the streets.

"It seems as though it can be a danger to everybody," Weiman said. "It's a whole other level of precautions that you have to take [with this drug] so you don't become one of the victims."


Calif. gunman attempted to ambush officers

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Veronica Rocha Los Angeles Times

AZUSA, Calif. — A cocaine-fueled "gun fanatic" armed himself with an assault rifle and launched a rampage Tuesday in his Azusa neighborhood, killing one man and critically wounding two women before he attempted to ambush responding police officers.

During a furious gun battle in the quiet San Gabriel Valley neighborhood, police shot him dead, and his body was found in a home's entryway.

The gunfire forced authorities to secure the neighborhood and shut down nearby polling places — sending voters scrambling to find alternate locations as police confronted the assailant.

The motive for the shooting remained under investigation, but Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. John Corina said the 45-year-old assailant was on a cocaine binge that had prompted his wife and two children to leave the family's home Monday evening.

"He is kind of a gun fanatic," Corina said. "He came out in the street and, according to people, he started shooting randomly at people."

About 2 p.m. Tuesday, the man — who has not been publicly identified — armed himself with handguns, a rifle and shotgun. Clad in black combat gear, he headed for the street.

He opened fire at a woman driving a van, causing her to crash into cars.

When a 77-year-old neighbor left his home to see the commotion, the assailant fatally shot him, Corina said.

A woman making her way down the street was also wounded in the rampage.

Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Ron Singleton said that two people were airlifted to a hospital. Corina said the women remained in critical condition and have not spoken with detectives.

Responding officers were tending to the victims when they were met with a hail of gunfire by a gunman armed with an assault rifle with "a rapid-fire capability," acting Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt said.

"He was hiding when officers came up," Corina said, adding that police had seen the wounded victims in the neighborhood. "When they went attend to those people, he opened up fire."

The shooter fired at least 20 rounds at police.

Officers took cover and returned shots at the assailant, who retreated into a home in the 500 block of Fourth Street. No officers were injured.

"I heard this 'boom boom' like a rifle or shotgun, and then I heard 'pop pop' back, then boom boom again," said neighbor Hector Serrano, 21.

"I came outside and [police] were throwing gas at the house."

Another neighbor saw the same man as he was walking away from the Memorial Park parking lot.

"I just ran inside," Fabiola Morena, 47, said after the man stopped to reload his weapon and glanced her way. "I secured the door, grabbed my granddaughter and ran into the bathroom, and we locked ourselves there."

Inside the home, she heard police sirens and more gunshots.

"I don't know if he shot at the police or they shot at him, but it was several gunshots," said Morena, who spoke to The Times by phone while locked in the room. "I was afraid a bullet would come through the walls of the house."

Liberata Collela said she saw a body lying near the front door of the house next door.

Sheriff's officials used a robot with a camera to confirm the gunman was dead.

Inside his home, investigators found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and family members told authorities he would occasionally binge on cocaine, Corina said.

The man was employed at a public works division in an unidentified Orange County city and was previously in the U.S. military, Corina said.

He collected guns and had at least four weapons, including handguns, a shotgun and a rifle. He had lived in the Azusa home for about five months.

Officials said that an earlier report by authorities that the shooter was a woman was the result of "misinformation" as the events were unfolding.

The shooting unsettled Azusa -- a bedroom community of 50,000 that marks the entrance to the San Gabriel Canyon -- on the eve of a contentious election.

The Azusa Unified School District issued a lockdown for Slauson Middle and Mountain View Elementary schools about 2:15 p.m., officials said. A nearby daycare center and preschool were also locked down.

As helicopters droned above, residents attempted to navigate around sheriff's cruisers stationed in multiple intersections, cutting off traffic. Some approached officers outside the city's police headquarters, searching for a place to vote. Residents were told they could cast a provisional ballot anywhere in the county.

Rosa Valdovinos, 62, said she had raced to Memorial Park, where some children who attend nearby schools huddled on a bleacher, and was relieved to learn her grandson had already been picked up by a relative. Still, she was rattled by the violence.

"We never have this happen before here in Azusa. Especially with the election? It's weird," Valdovinos said. "There are so many crazy people, acting emotionally."


Family’s quest reactivates case of Ohio officer who was shot 44 years ago

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

By Jim Woods The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Her father frequently said the man who shot him never served a day in jail for the attack.

Niki D. Cooper was a Columbus police officer with an elite unit when a bullet tore apart his left arm during a gunbattle on the Southeast Side more than 44 years ago.

"This changed his life and our lives forever," said Lori Cooper, 54, his eldest daughter, who lives in central Ohio.

Niki Cooper was 71 when he died in December 2013 after suffering a stroke, leaving his widow and two daughters.

This past May — when her father would have had his birthday — Lori Cooper set out to learn more about her father's shooting.

"I just decided one day that I wanted to find out what happened because we didn't talk about this," Cooper said. She spent months making phone calls, digging up old files and doing research.

It led to the reactivation of a long dormant case involving Charles E. Hays, 82, the man accused of shooting Cooper on March 15, 1972.

Robert Essex, the public defender assigned to Hays' case, entered pleas for him on Oct. 5of not guilty to charges of assault with intent to kill and carrying a concealed weapon in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. Essex said he is prohibited from commenting on the case.

Hays, who now lives in the Dayton area, did not appear in court and a $20,000 recognizance bond was set. A Dec. 12 trial date has been scheduled. A message left at Hays' home was not returned. Cooper said she has heard that Hays is in a wheelchair and suffers from a number of ailments.

But she still believes that he needs to stand trial.

"He's escaped justice for 44 years. He has not had to answer for attempting to murder a police officer. It's about time that justice be served," Cooper said.

Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said the warrant for Hays from the 1972 case remains valid. His office is trying to determine why Hays never stood trial for Niki Cooper's injury, though he did serve prison and jail time in other states for offenses unrelated to the shooting.

"We are pursuing it aggressively on behalf of Lori and the family," O'Brien said.

Paperwork that fell through the cracks In March 1972, Niki Cooper was 29 and in the prime of his career. A standout football player while he was at Eastmoor High School where he graduated in 1961, he briefly attended the University of Tennessee on an athletic scholarship.

Cooper decided to return home, marry his high school sweetheart and become a Columbus police officer. He was a member of a unit called "D Platoon" that was a SWAT-like force, designed to respond immediately to serious crimes.

On the night of March 15, Cooper and his partner, Robert Stout, were called to the Walnut Bluff addition — then a fairly new subdivision on the Southeast Side — to investigate a rash of burglaries.

A Columbus police report and newspaper stories give the following account:

Cooper and Stout had stopped at a house in the 5100 block of Carbondale Drive, where people thought their house might have been broken into.

While Cooper was talking with residents in the front yard, Stout walked around back and surprised two men by the rear sliding door.

Stout soon got one man — William Viars — to the ground and handcuffed him.The other man, identified as Hays, ran around to the front of the house and across the street. Cooper pursued, cornering him by a fence.

Police say Hays pulled out a gun and fired, hitting Cooper's left upper arm. Lori Cooper said she's learned that the gun supposedly used by Hays was found on a roof.

Cooper fired three shots at close range, eventually wrestling on the ground with Hays in a struggle for control of Cooper's service pistol. Cooper managed to knock the gun away with his good right arm and ran toward his fellow officer, telling him he had been shot.

A front page photo in The Dispatch showed Cooper holding his arm, grimacing.

Hays was shot four times — in his left thigh, twice in the chest and once on the right side, the initial police report said. He was hospitalized for a time.

And though newspaper stories said that Cooper was in good condition, the family says the reality was different.

"People underestimate the degree to which these injuries actually affect and impair people on a permanent basis," Lori Cooper said.

Her father spent about a month in the hospital, underwent a number of surgeries and was off work for months. He could never bend or straighten his left arm again, she said.

Some supervisors suggested that Cooper take disability retirement. Lori Cooper said her father was grateful that Deputy Chief Francis "Bo" Smith advocated for his return to patrol. He worked as a patrol officer for eight years and worked desk jobs for seven until he retired with 25 years service.

"Today they would never allow a man with my dad's injuries to be back out on the street," Lori Cooper said.

In 1972, a Franklin County grand jury indicted Hays and Viars and Charles Cox, accused of being a getaway driver and accomplice, with shooting with intent to kill an officer and multiple burglaries.

Viars and Cox were later convicted on the burglary charges and sentenced to five to 30 years in Ohio prisons. Lori Cooper said Viars has died and Cox is still living. The prosecutor's office has since dropped the old burglary charges against Hays.

He was released on a $10,000 recognizance bond after his indictment. Cooper said she learned that soon afterward, Hays was arrested on unrelated charges in Lexington, Kentucky, and sent to Connecticut.

Connecticut records — which are incomplete — show that Hays was in a Hartford prison on a burglary conviction from November 1976 to September 1980, said Andrius Banevicius, spokesman for the state's Department of Correction.

Meanwhile, the Franklin County case against Hays was forgotten. "All of this paperwork somehow fell through the cracks," Lori Cooper said.

O'Brien said his office is piecing together what happened. He said that under the old filing system, the cases of the three men — Hays, Viars and Cox —were filed under one number and that might have caused some confusion. Another potential issue: The indictment in Franklin County spells Charles Hays' last name as "Hayes."

The defense probably will attempt to make the argument that Hays did not receive a speedy trial, O'Brien acknowledges. But the prosecutor said it's the position of his office that Hays skipped bond and was responsible to answer for the charge. He said it will be up to the court.

"We want there to be a determination made, one way or the other," O'Brien said.


Father of slain Dallas officer sues Black Lives Matter

Posted on November 9, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Claire Z. Cardona The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — The father of one of five officers slain July 7 in downtown Dallas is suing Black Lives Matter for the death of his son.

Enrique Zamarripa, father of Dallas police Officer Patrick Zamarripa, on Monday filed a 43-page lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

In the suit, he blames the national organization and 13 other defendants, including the Nation of Islam, Reverend Al Sharpton, the New Black Panthers Party and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson in the deadly ambush.

He is seeking damages of up to $550 million.

The suit claims Micah Johnson shot at officers because he was incited by the defendants' anti-police rhetoric. They have convinced their supporters "that there is a civil war between blacks and law enforcement, thereby calling for immediate violence and severe bodily injury or death," the suit says. The suit cites a statement from then-police Chief David Brown who said that Johnson wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.

The suit does not name the Next Generation Action Network, which organized the July 7 rally. Black Lives Matter does not have a local chapter.

Dominique Alexander, leader of the Next Generation Action Network, said he does not think a lawsuit will solve underlying issues in the community.

"The main thing is communication," he said. "The frustration that leads to the anger in these communities. ... All of us, whether we say that we line ourselves up with Back the Blue, Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, whatever it is, we should be standing together to address this issue."

Patrick Zamarripa, a 32-year-old Navy veteran who graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, left behind both parents, a girlfriend and two children. He served three tours of duty in Iraq.

His father, who could not be reached Monday night, is being represented by Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch.

Klayman filed a suit against Hillary Clinton this year on behalf of two men killed in Benghazi in 2012, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

In September, a Dallas police sergeant filed a federal lawsuit against Black Lives Matter, blaming it for race riots and violence against officers.

The suit, filed by Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, the president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, named some of the same defendants including Louis Farrahkan and George Soros.


Ariz. officer shot and killed

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SHOW LOW, Ariz. — A police officer was shot and killed outside a restaurant Tuesday, and police have cornered the suspect.

According to AZ Central, Officer Darrin Reed was shot to death by suspect Daniel Erickson, 36, who police say was wearing a long trench coat and carrying a silver handgun.

Police say the suspect is barricaded in a nearby cabin and officers are currently engaged in a standoff.

Erickson is a convicted felon who spend time in prison for an endangerment conviction and a marijuana conviction, according to the report.


Police contacts with deaf subjects: Tips and resources to keep everyone safe

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost one in 10 people in the U.S. could benefit from hearing aids. About two percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss. The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64, to 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74, and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older.

Police interactions with deaf subjects are fraught with the possibility that one side or the other — and possibly both — misunderstanding the person in front of them. It is uncommon for law enforcement officers to know American Sign Language, and there is woefully little instruction done in our schools about how individuals — deaf or otherwise — should respond to the lawful commands of police officers.

Some encounters between deaf individuals and the police in recent memory have ended in tragedy. Others ended in lawsuits levied against the law enforcement agency. In both cases, people suffered. Here are some considerations for law enforcement agencies seeking to minimize problems that can arise from contacts with deaf subjects.

Avoiding a problem through better understanding One common scenario is when a deaf person doesn’t respond to verbal directions. There may be an assumption on the part of the officer that the subject is being intentionally non-compliant, when in fact those commands have simply not been heard.

There have also been instances in which a deaf subject reaches into his or her pocket to get a card that says “I am deaf” and usually has instructions on how to reach an interpreter, but the officer believes instead that he or she is reaching for a weapon.

Marilyn Weber, who serves as president and CEO for Deaf Interpreter Services, maintains that the very first few moments of a contact can be the most important.

“The critical moments — when someone might get shot or very upset — are usually in the beginning, before the officer has figured out that the deaf person is actually deaf,” Weber told PoliceOne. “There are certainly deaf criminals, but among the majority who aren’t, they are probably more scared of a policeman or woman than a non-deaf person, at least in the beginning of an encounter because of their fear of being misunderstood. This is a good thing to keep in mind.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that law enforcement agencies “must provide the communication aids and services needed to communicate effectively with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, except when a particular aid or service would result in an undue burden or a fundamental change in the nature of the law enforcement services being provided.”

Some departments have made it policy to use pre-printed signs in order to communicate with hearing impaired subjects. Others have instructed officers to communicate by writing on a piece of paper. Weber said that this is sufficient for very short interactions, but it’s important for officers to understand that English is a very different language than sign language, which has its own grammar, structure and rules. Most deaf people know English as a second language, but typically aren’t as fluent in it as they are in sign language.

“It’s not OK to use writing for an extended interview or complex issues,” Weber said.

Generally speaking, for any sort of extended conversation or interview with a deaf subject, Weber advises law enforcement officers to seek to get the assistance of an interpreter.

“Sometimes it’s OK to just issue a citation with no interpreter present, but anything more than that, police need to provide an interpreter,” Weber told PoliceOne.

Weber said that because most police departments don’t have an interpreter available in house, they can contact a company — such as hers — that provides interpreter services 24 hours a day.

Weber also cautioned against using a deaf person’s companion or family member as an interpreter.

“You might think this is obvious and OK, but it’s not,” she said. “The emotional connection between the two may impede accuracy and full disclosure in a conversation. Get an interpreter instead.”

If an officer does attempt to communicate with a hearing impaired person before an interpreter becomes available, Weber offers several basic tips.

• You should find an area that’s well-lit and where there’s not very much noise before you begin speaking. • You want to make sure you have a deaf or hard-of-hearing person’s attention before you begin speaking by offering a light tap on the shoulder or a wave of a hand. • Make sure only one person speaks at a time. • Don’t chew gum or cover your mouth when speaking. • When you can, use visual aids — such as pointing at a citation or other document — to make your point very clear. • Speak slowly.

Weber cautions, however, that not all deaf people can read lips. “Even if they can, lip-reading only provides about 30 to 40 percent accuracy at most. The rest is guesses, via context. It’s very imprecise and shouldn’t be relied upon,” she said.

Resources are available for police The U.S. Department of Justice has prepared information for law enforcement agencies available on the Americans with Disabilities Act website and includes the following:

• Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers • Model Policy for Law Enforcement on Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing • Commonly Asked Questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement

Marlee Matlin — who is deaf and the wife of a police officer — teamed up with ACLU and HEARD (Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf) to produce an American Sign Language video to ensure deaf people know their rights when interacting with law enforcement.

“Matlin’s video is oriented mostly towards deaf people, and what they need to know. But one subsection of the site is a list of resources for law enforcement that are quite helpful,” Weber said.

Weber said that she believes that every police station should have a written set of instructions on how to deal with deaf people available and regular training on the topic.

“The number of people with deaf or hard of hearing today isn’t as small as you might think, and it’s growing faster and faster as the population ages,” Weber said. “Every policeman and woman should remember in the back of their mind when they pull someone over or serve a warrant that they might come upon a deaf person.”

Finally, remember that when an officer handcuffs a deaf subject, that person’s ability to communicate has been taken away — sign language relies entirely on the ability to make gestures with the hands. Officer safety is obviously paramount and should never be jeopardized by allowing a potentially dangerous subject who should be handcuffed to retain use of their hands, but weigh into your tactics the fact that communicating with a deaf subject who is cuffed becomes all but impossible.

Check out the above resources and talk with your command staff about what the department expects of you when you come into contact with a hearing impaired suspect, witness, or victim.


Photo of Mo. officer giving thumbs up with dead body draws criticism

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

NORTH COUNTY, Mo. — A photo of an officer giving a thumbs up next to a dead body is going viral after a television station published it last week.

According to KMOV, Omar Rahman, 28, was found dead of an accidental overdose in August. Kim Stanton, Rahman’s mother, told the station she has heard little from police since the death.

“I really don't know, actually, what happened to my son,” she said.

The photo, dated August 8, shows an officer with the North County Police Cooperative giving a thumbs up with one hand, and holding Rahman’s arm with the other gloved hand.

Questions arise after photo of deceased man with officer surfaces. https://t.co/JamvPSxcGj pic.twitter.com/KtE7we2MI1

— KMOV (@KMOV) November 5, 2016

Stanton said the image brought back the pain she felt when her son died. A She, along with her attorney, is asking for a complete investigation into the matter from an outside agency, according to the news station.

Antonio Romanucci, Staton's attorney, told KMOV that during his years as a lawyer, he has “never seen a staged photograph of an officer next to a deceased body.”

The agency’s police chief, Tim Swope, responded in a statement posted on Facebook.

“The officer gave the ‘thumbs up’ sign related to his positioning of the body in response to the photographer’s question as to whether he was ready for the photo to be taken,” Swope said in the statement.

The statement also said the photographer took a different photo once he reviewed the original and realized the officer was in the picture.

The agency also stated that they provided this information to KMOV’s reporter before the story aired, and that they “would not comment publicly on the photograph until our investigations were complete — into both the death and how the photograph was stolen.”

Romanucci is considering a lawsuit against the agency to receive more information.


Patriots owner, players go on ride-along with Boston police

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff

BOSTON — On Halloween, some NFL players showed up to the doorstep of the Boston Police Department.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and players Devin McCourty, LeGarrett Blout, and Matthew Slater paid a visit to the department to show their support and learn more about the challenges today’s officers face, WBZ reported.

Along with conversations about community policing, the team went on a ride-along with Boston’s Youth Violence Strike Force, which aims to suppress violence and help at-risk teens.

“We appreciate them stopping by during their precious downtime, look forward to seeing them back in action next week and wish them luck in the second half of the regular season,” the department wrote on their blog. “Go Patriots!”


2nd Ga. deputy dies after weekend shooting

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Assocated Press

BYRON, Ga. — Authorities say a second sheriff's deputy has died after a shooting in central Georgia.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles says Peach County Sheriff's Deputy Daryl Smallwood died Tuesday after he was injured in the Nov. 6 shooting near Byron, about 16 miles southwest of Macon. Authorities say Sgt. Patrick Sondron also died in the shooting.

GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson says 57-year-old Ralph Stanley Elrod is charged with murder and four counts of aggravated assault.

The deputies were shot upon approaching Elrod's home while responding to a report that Elrod used a rifle to threaten two young men who were riding a motorcycle and a four-wheeler near his property.

Investigators say Elrod is the father of a deputy in Jones County, northeast of Macon. It's unclear whether Elrod has an attorney.


1 dead, multiple wounded in shooting near Calif. polling station

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

AZUSA, Calif. — Police say a person with an assault rifle killed one person and wounded two others near two Southern California polling sites that were locked down.

Azusa police Chief Steve Hunt says the suspect began firing Tuesday at arriving officers who returned fire before they took cover near a park.

Hunt says a person is down at the front door of a home but couldn't immediately say whether that person was the shooter.

Elections officials say one of the polling sites has reopened. Voters were being urged to seek nearby polling places.

The motive of the shooting was unknown and it was unclear if it had anything to do with the election.

No officers were hurt.

Monitoring #ActiveShooter situation in Azusa. Two polling locations currently impacted - Memorial Park & Dalton Elementary in Azusa (cont).

— Dean Logan, RR/CC (@LACountyRRCC) November 8, 2016

(cont) - Voters should avoid the area and, if necessary, cast a ballot at an alternate polling location. Updates to follow. #Azusa

— Dean Logan, RR/CC (@LACountyRRCC) November 8, 2016

Update: One person has died as a result of the shooting near a polling station in Azusa; at least 3 others injured https://t.co/XB9VWafNWp pic.twitter.com/9kHlI22PSV

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 8, 2016

2 dead, including gunman, in shooting near Calif. polls

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

Associated Press

AZUSA, Calif. — A gunman with an assault rifle killed a man and critically wounded two women Tuesday in a California neighborhood near two polling sites that were shut down before the attacker was found dead inside a nearby home, authorities said.

One polling place was reopened hours after a gunbattle involving the gunman and Azusa police.

The shooting "had nothing to do with the ballot or voting," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said. "It just happened to be across the street from the park where the voting was taking place and also an elementary school" that was being used as a polling site.

"Nobody was shooting at those locations," Corina said.

County election officials advised voters to visit other polling places where they could cast provisional ballots.

Police responding to reports of afternoon gunfire exchanged shots with the suspect before taking cover in the park, Azusa police Chief Steve Hunt said. No officers were hurt.

A SWAT team sealed off the area and hours later entered the nearby home, where they found the gunman dead, authorities said.

Investigators didn't know whether the gunman died by police bullets or killed himself, Corina said.

Two women in their mid-50s were wounded and hospitalized in critical condition, Corina said.

The motive of the shooting was unknown and it was unclear whether the attacker knew his victims, Corina said.

The names of the gunman and victims were not immediately released.

Monitoring #ActiveShooter situation in Azusa. Two polling locations currently impacted - Memorial Park & Dalton Elementary in Azusa (cont).

— Dean Logan, RR/CC (@LACountyRRCC) November 8, 2016

(cont) - Voters should avoid the area and, if necessary, cast a ballot at an alternate polling location. Updates to follow. #Azusa

— Dean Logan, RR/CC (@LACountyRRCC) November 8, 2016

Update: One person has died as a result of the shooting near a polling station in Azusa; at least 3 others injured https://t.co/XB9VWafNWp pic.twitter.com/9kHlI22PSV

— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 8, 2016

Couple charged in Calif. police explorer’s death planned slaying for days

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Kimberly Veklerov and Michael Bodley San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — A young couple meticulously planned for days the slaying of a 21-year-old volunteer with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, who was found bludgeoned, stabbed and burned almost beyond recognition, prosecutors charged in court documents filed Monday.

Laura Rodgers and her boyfriend, Curtys Taylor, were both charged with murder in the death of Karla Ramirez-Segoviano. The Oakland couple, both 23, were ordered held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Monday, records show.

Rodgers lured Ramirez-Segoviano, who police said was her friend, to a creek bed in Arroyo Viejo Park in East Oakland, where she was killed, according to the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

After Ramirez-Segoviano’s body was discovered in the park around noon on Thursday — so badly burned that the coroner had trouble lifting a fingerprint — police picked up Rodgers for questioning and she admitted to her role in the slaying that investigators called “senseless” and “heinous.” Rodgers, an Oakland resident, was placed under arrest late Thursday — the same day the body was discovered — while Taylor was arrested early the next morning.

Ramirez-Segoviano, a sheriff’s department volunteer Explorer, had been reported missing by her parents the night before when she didn’t come home after dropping off an acquaintance in San Leandro, said Lt. Roland Holmgren of the Oakland Police Department’s homicide division.

It wasn’t clear exactly when Ramirez-Segoviano was killed or why she was targeted.

In the planned cold-blooded killing, Rodgers had Ramirez-Segoviano pick her up and talked her into driving her to Arroyo Viejo Park, according to court records. Taylor was waiting at the park with a can of gasoline when Rodgers and the victim arrived, records say.

Rodgers is suspected of repeatedly stabbing Ramirez-Segoviano to death as her boyfriend doused her body with the gasoline, prosecutors said. The alleged killers then dropped a match, igniting the woman’s body, prosecutors said.

Rodgers and Taylor then gathered up the incriminating evidence — the knife believed to be the murder weapon, the gas can and Ramirez-Segoviano’s car keys — and took off, the district attorney’s office said.

The evidence was later located inside a trash bin at a Days Inn in Hayward, authorities said.

Both suspects briefly appeared in court Monday and were referred to the public defender for representation. They are scheduled to return to court Tuesday for arraignment and to enter pleas. In addition to murder, Rodgers is charged with use of a deadly weapon.

In jail booking records, Rodgers listed her occupation as a postal worker. Taylor has no employment listed.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the volunteer program Ramirez-Segoviano was involved in can serve as a “step into law enforcement” for some, but it wasn’t clear whether she harbored those aspirations.

“Our worst fears were realized” when the coroner identified the body, Nelson said.

©2016 the San Francisco Chronicle


How license plate readers are helping one California PD catch more criminals

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by Vigilant Solutions.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

La Verne, California, is a suburban city of about 8.5 square miles, located about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Its roughly 33,000 residents are served by the 39 sworn officers of the La Verne Police Department.

Problem

The local crime rate had risen in recent years, driven by people from surrounding areas coming into La Verne and committing thefts, burglaries and other crimes. La Verne PD needed a way to monitor who was entering the city so they could catch these criminals and protect citizens from those who might be passing through with ill intentions.

Lt. Chris Fenner had heard about the success neighboring communities had with fixed automatic license plate reader systems. The department already had a mobile LPR system, but Fenner worked for more than three years to add fixed cameras to create a virtual fence around the city.

“My goal was to get every major entrance into the city covered to get the majority of cars coming into our city,” he said. “Anyone who comes into our city in a stolen car is probably here to commit a crime, so if we can be alerted to the presence of a stolen car coming into our city, we can prevent crime before it even happens.”

Solution

Fenner and LVPD chose Vigilant Solutions because Vigilant maintains a nationwide LPR database and robust search capabilities. Vigilant also offered the lowest price of the three bids the department received.

Since January, LVPD has installed two dozen fixed LPR cameras that monitor nearly every possible point where a vehicle could enter the city. The data collected has been integral in apprehending dozens of occupied stolen vehicles, as well as aiding a number of successful investigations and arrests.

Using the system is simple: The Vigilant cameras capture a photo of each car and transmit the images and the plate numbers to the database, which collects plates and alerts from all over the state. If a vehicle has been reported as stolen or is flagged as part of a crime, the system will send an alert to every officer on patrol in the vicinity. LVPD can add its own internal alerts as well.

Fenner said the Vigilant system is user-friendly and that it didn’t take long to get officers trained and up to speed. Alerts include audible tones and pop-up windows that provide patrol officers with real-time notification of a flagged vehicle, including an image, what crime the vehicle is flagged for and which camera picked it up so you know where you need to go look for it.

The images and plates captured by the LPR cameras are stored in the Vigilant database and can be searched later. This helps detectives investigate any crime where a vehicle description is available. La Verne PD has used the Vigilant LPR data to solve 10 burglaries and intercept a number of domestic violence suspects and mail thieves before they could do further harm.

For example, a restaurant reported a stolen safe and provided surveillance video that showed the suspect vehicle but not the plate. But with the exact time and a vehicle description from the video, investigators were able to review all the plates coming into the city in that timeframe and find the suspect vehicle.

The database also helps locate suspects and identify patterns. An investigator can run a specific plate associated with a suspect through the whole system and see all of the places where that vehicle has been captured. Fenner said this is a big help in finding suspects and persons of interest.

Results

The numbers are impressive. In less than a year, La Verne officers have arrested 39 drivers of stolen cars, up from four or five in previous years. They’ve also solved 10 burglaries and apprehended four domestic violence suspects and five wanted felony suspects using the Vigilant Solutions cameras and data.

One felony suspect, wanted for pimping and human trafficking, was caught simply passing through town on his way from northern California.

“He just pulled off the freeway to get gas,” said Fenner. He passed one of the fixed cameras, and LVPD was able to capture him thanks to the LPR alert.

In late October, La Verne police arrested a man who had bought a new luxury car using a stolen identity. Thanks to an alert from the Vigilant database, said Fenner, they recovered stolen checks and half a dozen different IDs in the car bearing the suspect’s picture.

La Verne officers are enthusiastic about the program and its success rate so far. In fact, two officers have qualified for state awards for stolen car arrests.

“I can’t even tell you the last time that anyone in La Verne got this award,” said Fenner. “The No.1 thing that we’re focused on is being alerted to these guys’ presence and preventing the crime before it happens.”

La Verne PD has successfully created a virtual fence around the city with fixed LPR cameras. The Vigilant Solutions LPR database also expanded the department’s ability to investigate and close cases. Combined, these enhanced capabilities mean LVPD can prevent crime before it happens, catch more criminals and better protect the community.


Questions of use of force by police raised in SC shooting trial

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Bruce Smith Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Testimony in the trial of a white former South Carolina police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist is raising the questions about how much force is justified.

Michael Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot and killed fleeing a traffic stop.

The prosecution's case enters a fourth day in Charleston on Tuesday.

Scott was shot in the back in a shooting captured on a cellphone video that stunned the nation. He ran after being pulled over for a broken taillight on his car.

On Monday, police officers testified there are various levels of force officers can use to get suspects to comply. The lowest level being just their presence wearing a uniform which can be followed by voice commands, use of force and eventually deadly force.

North Charleston police Sgt. James Gann, who responded to the scene following the shooting, testified shooting someone in the back is not part of any officer's training. He said the video of Scott running away from Slager indicated to him that Scott was trying to ease the level of confrontation.

"Through the video I would agree that he would be deescalating," a situation in which an officer would have been taught then to use less force, Gann testified.

Responding to questions from Slager's attorney Andy Savage, he agreed Slager had no way to know if Scott was armed and was running to get behind a tree and fire back.

He also testified Scott showed no sign he was surrendering and that there was no way Slager, in a few split seconds, could know Scott's intentions.

Gann also testified Slager was no hothead and had "always been even keeled."

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials are investigating nine suspicious letters mentioning racial violence sent to hotels, a church and a park in Charleston amid the Slager trial and another across the street in federal court with racial overtones.

Charleston city officials say local police and the FBI are investigating letters sent last month from outside the United States. They were received by hotels, Emanuel AME Church and a local park where a popular holiday light display opens this week.

Jury selection resumes Wednesday in federal court in the trial of Dylann Roof who is charged with hate crimes, obstruction of religion and other counts in the shootings of nine black parishioners at Emanuel in June of 2015.


La. officer sues Black Lives Matter activist over protest injury

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A Baton Rouge police officer who claims he was injured during a protest after a deadly police shooting filed a lawsuit Monday against prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, who was arrested at the demonstration.

The unnamed officer's federal lawsuit says he was struck in the face by a piece of concrete or a "rock like substance" thrown at police during a July 9 protest over the death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot and killed during a scuffle with two white officers.

The suit doesn't accuse Mckesson of throwing anything at officers but claims he "incited the violence" on behalf of Black Lives Matter, which also is named as a defendant.

Mckesson "was in charge of the protests and he was seen and heard giving orders throughout the day and night of the protests," the suit says. "The protest turned into a riot."

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, says the officer lost teeth and had injuries to his jaw and brain.

Mckesson, who said he hasn't seen the suit and couldn't immediately comment on it, was among nearly 200 protesters arrested during the protests sparked by Sterling's fatal shooting July 5. He and other protesters have sued the city of Baton Rouge over their arrests, accusing police of using excessive force and violating their constitutional rights.

The officer suing Mckesson is identified only as "John Doe" in the suit, saying the anonymity is "for his protection." A separate court filing Monday cited the July 7 sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers and the July 17 shooting that killed three law-enforcement officers in Baton Rouge as grounds for concealing the officer's identity.

The suit describes Black Lives Matter as a "national unincorporated association" and claims Mckesson is a "managing member" of it. Mckesson described himself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"No organization started the movement," he said.

Dane Ciolino, a Loyola University law professor in New Orleans, said it's "really unusual" for the officer to sue under a pseudonym in a case of this kind. Ciolino also said it could be difficult for the officer's attorneys to prove that Mckesson or Black Lives Matter "aided and abetted" the alleged battery or somehow negligently allowed it to happen.

"Black Lives Matter is just a social movement. It's not an entity. I don't know how it could be liable," he said.

Donna Grodner, a Baton Rouge-based attorney for the officer, declined to elaborate on the suit's allegations. She said the officer is still being treated for his injuries.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has defended the police response to the protests. The governor, a Democrat who comes from a family of sheriffs, also noted that a police officer had teeth knocked out by a rock during the protests.

It's unclear if that officer is the same one suing. Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola, a department spokesman, declined to comment on the suit.

Mckesson, a Baltimore resident, was arrested July 9 near Baton Rouge police headquarters on a charge of obstructing a highway. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore has said Mckesson is one of roughly 100 arrested protesters who will not be prosecuted by his office for the same charge.


Former Ohio officer in murder trial: I feared for my life

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Janice Morse Associated Press

CINCINNATI — A white former police officer on trial for murder testified Tuesday that he feared for his life when he fatally shot an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop.

Ray Tensing, who was fired by the University of Cincinnati after the July 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose near the campus, also testified that the Confederate flag on the T-shirt he was wearing that day was under his uniform had no meaning to him.

Also Tuesday, an expert defense witness testified that a frame-by-frame analysis of a body cam video shows Tensing was justified in fearing for his life because his body was "violently twisted" during the confrontation.

James Scanlon, co-owner of North American SWAT Training Association, said DuBose made "aggressive, life-threatening action" against Tensing, including turning the steering wheel sharply to the left while the officer's arm was caught inside the car.

Scanlon noted that one of the vehicle's tires narrowly missed running over Tensing's foot — a scenario that has killed some police officers.

Some police officers had testified for the defense Monday that they found Tensing looking shocked and scared after the shooting.

Jurors spent much of Tuesday morning watching video footage of other traffic stops Tensing, now 26, had made before the shooting.

The prosecution rested Monday after a series of state witnesses testified they didn't find any evidence to support Tensing's claim that he was going to be dragged to death as DuBose, 43, tried to drive away.

The university fired Tensing after his 2015 indictment on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. The university then restructured its public safety department and made other changes in its policing.

A firearms expert testified for the prosecution that Tensing fired his .40-caliber Sig Sauer service revolver between 1 and 2 feet from DuBose's head, and a deputy coroner said the gunshot severed DuBose's brain stem, causing immediate fatal injury.


Man charged with murder in death of Ga. deputy

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BYRON, Ga. — Authorities have charged a 57-year-old Georgia man with killing a sheriff's deputy and critically wounding another.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said Monday that Ralph Stanley Elrod faces a murder charge and four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer following the Sunday afternoon attack on 41-year-old Sgt. Patrick Sondron, who was killed, and Deputy Daryl Smallwood near Byron, about 16 miles southwest of Macon.

The deputies were shot upon approaching Elrod's home while responding to a report that Elrod used a rifle to threaten two young men who were riding a motorcycle and a four-wheeler near his property.

Smallwood remained in critical condition Monday.

Investigators say Elrod is the father of a deputy in Jones County, northeast of Macon. It's unclear whether Elrod has an attorney.


Widow of fallen Calif. deputy sues driver

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Marjorie Hernandez Ventura County Star

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Camarillo man convicted of murder last month in the DUI death of a Ventura County sheriff's deputy.

Maura Kelley, the widow of Deputy Yevhen "Eugene" Kostiuchenko, filed the suit against Kevin Hogrefe, claiming negligence. She is seeking an undisclosed amount for "compensatory damages" and legal fees.

Hogrefe remains at Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula. He is scheduled to be sentenced for the criminal charges Nov. 14.

A jury in October found Hogrefe guilty of second-degree murder and felony fleeing the scene after he struck and killed Kostiuchenko on Oct. 28, 2014. Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Day argued Hogrefe was intoxicated when he hit Kostiuchenko with his vehicle. The deputy was struck while walking back to his patrol car after an unrelated traffic stop on the shoulder of Highway 101 near Lewis Road in Camarillo.

According to court records, Hogrefe's blood-alcohol level was 0.23 percent about two hours after the crash. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

The civil suit, which was also filed on behalf of Kostiuchenko's stepson, said Hogrefe had been drinking beer at the Club House Sports Bar and Grill and then Take Five Cocktails, both in Camarillo, before getting into his vehicle.

"Defendant Hogrefe admitted to consuming a minimum six Coors Light beers and two Indian IPA beers in the time leading up to the incident in which he struck and killed Kostiuchenko with his vehicle," wrote Chris Kroes, Kelley's attorney, in the complaint. "The impact of the accident forced Kostiuchenko onto the hood and then the windshield and right A-pillar of (Hogrefe's car). He was then propelled in a northernly direction approximately 126 feet before he came to rest on the right shoulder. Kostiuchenko sustained injuries that resulted in his immediate death."

Deputies found Hogrefe sitting inside his car after he drove into a field of ice plants next to the Las Posas Road exit ramp, more than a mile north of the crash.

In the amended complaint filed Oct. 24, Kroes wrote that Hogrefe was negligent and acted with "willful" malice because the Camarillo man had previously been charged in a 2013 drunken-driving accident.

"It's just a tragic and horrible situation and something that never should've happened because this fellow had problems with drunk driving before," Kroes said Monday. "There is no amount of money that could compensate her for the loss of her husband ... and she would rather have him back, but she also felt this was the right thing to do. Drunk driving only causes havoc and pain."

According to court records, Hogrefe was served the summons on the civil complaint on Oct. 28 at Todd Road Jail.

Hogrefe, 27, faces 19 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco on Nov. 14.

A hearing on the civil suit has been scheduled for March 3 in front of Judge Vincent O'Neill.


NYC plans large police presence on Election Day

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Barbara Demick Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK CITY — It is a rare celestial crossing that has both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spending election night not only in the same city, but barely more than a mile apart in midtown Manhattan — and it is creating unprecedented security headaches for New York City.

Not since they sparred with each other on the debate stage have the Clinton and Trump orbits overlapped in this way.

Clinton is planning a big bash in a symbolically significant glass-roofed atrium that is part of the Javits convention center. Trump will be ensconced in a Hilton a mere 15 blocks away.

“Tomorrow, election day, brings with it a unique set of challenges. For the first time in modern memory, both major party candidates will monitor the results here in New York and will have election night parties in midtown Manhattan,’’ New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday.

More philosophical about the election was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. “It has been in many ways a challenging and painful year,” he told reporters. “It stained our democracy. Tomorrow is the day when we get to make it right, when democratic process comes alive and people choose.’’

The last time two presidential candidates were from New York was 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won his fourth term, prevailing over New York Gov. Thomas Dewey, but celebrations were subdued because of World War II. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, live in the suburb of Chappaqua, where they moved in 1999 so that she could run for U.S. Senate. The Queens-born Trump lives in a penthouse condominium atop the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

The election night jitters come in the midst of a heightened terrorism alert. A bomb that exploded in the Chelsea neighborhood in mid-September injured 29 people. Federal officials have said they have received intelligence warnings of a terrorist threat from the Al Qaeda militant group. Islamic State has also called on its supporters to attack election targets.

“Currently the credibility and the sourcing of that information is under investigation and ongoing with no new information since last week,” said James Waters, head of the Police Department’s counter-terrorism bureau.

Since last year, New York City has tripled the size of what it calls its Critical Response Command, a counter-terrorism unit that grew out of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Police officials said they would have more than 5,000 police officers out on election night, uniformed and plain-clothed, as well as bomb-sniffing dogs, and what they called “long gun trained” special forces.

Up until now, the largest deployment of security in New York City was during Pope Francis’ visit last year, which coincided with the U.N. General Assembly, attended by President Obama and 170 other world leaders.

It is not just the threat of terrorism that is causing a headache. The polarizing presidential election has elicited strong, occasionally destructive passions. High-rise buildings in Manhattan bearing the Trump name have been pelted with eggs repeatedly. In Staten Island, the borough where Trump is most popular, a gigantic sign erected on the lawn of a supporter was set on fire in August.

“You have two things going on at once,’’ De Blasio said. Besides the competing election night parties, he said, “this campaign has generated particular passion and concern. NYPD has taken into account the historic nature of this night … and has really prepared with tremendous force levels at the right locations.’’

Huge crowds are expected at Times Square, where people often watch election results in much the same way that they gather on New Year’s Eve. Another key location is the 58-story Trump Tower, which has become the epicenter for protests for and against Trump’s candidacy.

On Sunday, competing crowds tried to drown each other out under the gold marquee of the building as police struggled to keep the sidewalks clear. A man wearing nothing but bikini underwear with the word “Trump” written on it strummed a guitar. A Filipino American nurse yelled, “God bless America. Vote for Trump,’’ and a man walking by yelled back at the Trump supporters, “You drank the Kool-Aid!”

Clinton appears to be planning the larger, more lavish party at the sprawling Javits Center, which occupies a city block along the Hudson River and can accommodate as many as 85,000 people. Her campaign also received a permit for a fireworks display over the river, but the plan has been called off, according to a police official, who said he did not know the reason.

According to the New York Post, if Clinton wins there will be an after-party at the Peninsula Hotel, just one block away from Trump Tower.

Heavy security was already in place over the weekend at the Javits Center and television vans with satellite dishes were parked out front. On Sunday, the scene was quieter in front of the Hilton, where the only evidence of an impending election event was a sign that read “No Parking on Tuesday.”


5 questions to ask when choosing an online degree program

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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The following is paid content sponsored by Norwich University.

By PoliceOne BrandFocus Staff

Many police officers are pursuing bachelor’s degrees online to further their careers. But with so many options now available, choosing the right degree program and institution can be a daunting task. The wrong choice could result in higher costs, or worse, a diploma that doesn’t help you advance your career.

Before you make your choice, here are five questions you should ask to help find the right online program for you.

1. Does the program match my career goals?

Earning a degree is a huge commitment of time and money, and you want to make sure you’re investing in something that will not only enrich your mind but help boost your earning potential as well.

Look for a program that offers coursework relevant to the kind of work you want to do. If you want to get into a specialized field of law enforcement, look for a program that focuses on that specialty.

For example, students in Norwich University’s online criminal justice program can choose from more than a dozen courses covering law enforcement topics ranging from immigration law and policy to narcotics and gang investigations to administration.

“Make sure that you’re on the right path by understanding how your studies will get you where you want to be,” said Michael Anton, assistant director of admissions at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

2. Is the institution accredited?

One aspect that many people may overlook is academic accreditation, which is a quality assurance process whereby a school or program has proved that it meets academic standards and provides a quality education. State, federal and independent groups perform these assessments.

Always be sure to check the accreditation of the schools and programs you’re considering. This should be one of the most important factors in your decision-making process, said Anton, because a degree from a non-accredited school or program may not be as useful in the job market.

“Make sure that the program you pick is worth the time and the resources that you’re going to invest into it,” said Anton.

Also consider the reputation of the school. The U.S. News & World Report rankings are one place to look for this information.

3. Can I afford it?

Cost is always a factor. Grants, loans and scholarships can help, but you need to make sure you can shoulder the costs of a degree program before you enroll. Compare the costs of an online degree to future opportunities for pay raises, promotions or even a career change.

Financial aid options include federal student loans, private student loans, scholarships, Pell Grants, employer tuition assistance, military Tuition Assistance and more.

To get the most bang for your buck, look for the total price tag of a program to make sure you account for all fees. Do you have to buy books, or are course materials provided as part of the online experience? Contact the school’s financial aid office for answers and advice.

4. Can I transfer existing course credits or professional certifications?

You want to make the most of any college credit you’ve already earned. This will help cut costs and shorten the time it will take to complete your degree. Plus, it’s a good feeling to build on what you’ve already accomplished.

Some programs even offer credit for professional on-the-job training you’ve completed. For example, Norwich University takes police training and military service into account and awards credits for Peace Officer Standards and Training. This puts you a few courses ahead.

“We award transfer credit that reflects the knowledge that students have already gained from their training,” said Anton. “If they have accumulated enough training hours in a certain field or topic, we can apply it toward the program. We evaluate each individual to make sure they receive an excellent education and get the most out of their previous experience.”

Credit evaluations can also help you choose between programs. If you are able to receive more credits toward one than the other, it may be wiser to go for the shorter option.

5. How will this program help me build my professional network?

One of the most important benefits of a college degree is the boost to your personal and professional network.

Explore the websites for the programs you’re interested in. Ask the advisers what kinds of interactions you can expect with faculty, staff and your fellow students. Access to these kinds of contacts can help open doors in your career.

Also find out what sort of resources are available to alumni once you’ve earned the degree. Check out LinkedIn for alumni groups from the schools on your short list.

“The nice thing about online programs is that you are able to connect with people from across the country and even beyond,” said Anton. “We have an extensive and influential network of alumni who are always looking to make new connections. It’s a great opportunity to meet people whom you otherwise wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet.”

Do your homework

Pursuing an online degree can be a great career move, but it’s important to make an informed choice. The five questions above should help you do your research and choose an accredited university with a solid reputation and an affordable program that feeds your career goals.


SC police receive grant for new life-saving equipment

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

By Kendall McGee WBTW News13

CONWAY, S.C. — The Conway Police Department is celebrating a $15,000 grant presented by Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation for life-saving equipment for the department.

According to a press release, Conway police received a police service dog worth $14,000 to replace the department’s previous patrol dog that recently retired. The new K9 will help officers locate narcotics, track missing people, conduct searches, and build a bond between law enforcement and the community, the release says.

In addition to the service dog, Conway police will also receive an automated external defibrillator worth $1,300 to help first responders provide additional assistance if a person goes into cardiac arrest.

Read more: $15,000 grant provides Conway police with new K9 and defibrillator


Federal grant expands Mass. community-policing effort

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

By Elizabeth Dobbins Sentinel and Enterprise News

FITCHBURG, Mass. — Collaboration between officials and community organizations helped secure a $250,000 federal grant for the Fitchburg Police Department, Chief Ernest Martineau announced at a press conference Monday.

He hopes that collaboration creates another — a stronger partnership between police, residents and businesses in downtown Fitchburg.

"This grant is going to allow us to foster a new type of mentality downtown," he said.

Read more: Grant expands Fitchburg's community-policing effort


LA airport gunman sentenced to life in prison

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Brian Melley Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A deadly rampage at Los Angeles International Airport grew from a suicide plan that morphed into a twisted mission to die in a blaze of glory taking out federal officers, the gunman said before being sentenced Monday to life in prison.

In explaining the roots of his rage and offering a half-hearted apology, Paul Ciancia calmly told a federal judge the steps that led from him being "sick of life" to gunning down a Transportation Security Administration officer at point-blank range and wounding two other officers and a teacher before he was shot in the face and subdued three years ago.

"I knew exactly how I wanted to die," Ciancia stated. "I was going to take up arms against my own government."

Ciancia, 26, was sentenced to a mandatory term of life, plus 60 years for the Nov. 1, 2013, attack that crippled the nation's second-busiest airport and disrupted travel nationwide. He previously pleaded guilty to murder and 10 other charges in exchange for prosecutors dropping efforts to seek the death penalty.

Dressed in an all-white jail suit and shackled at the ankles, the diminutive and pale Ciancia stared at the agents he had shot and airport police who sat in the courtroom with black bands across their badges. He offered no apology to them, but he said he was sorry to Brian Ludmer, a teacher who was headed to a wedding in Chicago when he was struck by gunfire.

Ludmer was so appalled by Ciancia's "bizarre lack of remorse" for the officers and the family of slain Officer Gerardo Hernandez that he decided to address the killer by reading from an eloquent statement he had filed with the court.

Ludmer spoke about the pain he still endures and how he has lost faith in a system that allowed Ciancia to raise so many "red flags," yet avoid treatment for mental illness and be able to buy an assault rifle.

He then went off script to say Ciancia's apology meant nothing to him and that he needed instead to apologize to the TSA officers, the widow of Hernandez and the two children he left behind.

"If you can't see that, if you can't feel that, your sense of remorse is just as deranged as your actions," Ludmer said.

Outside court, TSA officer Tony Grigsby, who was wounded, said he felt Ciancia was giving him a "death stare."

"It's like he's inhuman," Grigsby said. "Seeing him with no kind of remorse made me sad for him."

Ciancia had shown no mercy for Hernandez on the day he gunned him down as the officer manned a security checkpoint. As Hernandez lay on the floor, Ciancia returned to fire several more shots because he saw him move.

Hernandez was not supposed to be at that station, but he volunteered to relieve a colleague when another officer didn't show up for work, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joanna Curtis said.

Hernandez was a well-liked officer who was proud of his family and his work, she said.

At moment of the shooting, surveillance video showed travelers and employees in the nearby screening area drop to the floor in unison, Curtis said. They lay still for a moment and then pandemonium broke out as they tried to flee the gunfire, some trying to push baby strollers through body-scanning machines.

"It was chaos," Curtis said.

Ciancia reloaded at the secondary screening point and shot Grigsby in the ankle and Officer James Speer in the shoulder as they tried to run. He hit Ludmer in the calf.

The unemployed motorcycle mechanic originally from New Jersey said he wanted to kill himself in the fall of 2012. He planned to spend $26,000 in savings and "enjoy ... retirement" as he developed the plot over the next year.

He was watching a lot of cable news during the presidential campaign and heard frequent discussion about gun control. After combing a conservative website known for peddling conspiracy theories, he decided to get a gun.

Not long afterward, he said he was hassled by Los Angeles police. He did not give details, but said that incident triggered his decision to take on the government.

The TSA was not in his first or even second choice as a target but while doing research he found it was the most hated agency in America.

"I wanted to make a statement," he said.

He threw his plan into action Nov. 1 when his money ran out and he was unable to pay rent.

"My retirement was over," he said.

Judge Philip Gutierrez recommended Ciancia be sent to the Federal Medical Center run by the Bureau of Prisons in Rochester, Minnesota, where he could be treated for mental illness.

Although the sentence carries no chance of parole, Ciancia apparently thinks he may one day be released.

In a court filing, one of his public defenders noted: "Ciancia believes he will get out of prison when the revolution begins."


Judge unseals videos from NM LODD

Posted on November 8, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Ryan Boetel Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal court judge unsealed video evidence used against Davon Lymon at trial and said the materials can be released next week.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina Armijo announced the ruling Monday morning.

She said the portion of Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster’s lapel camera video that was played during trial, and three other videos that prosecutors used against Lymon, can be released to the public. She said they can be released at noon next Monday.

Michelle Carlino-Webster, the widow, has asked that the videos remain sealed. She said in a court affidavit that releasing the videos would hurt her family and her deceased husband’s legacy.

The Journal and other local media outlets intervened in the case and said the videos shouldn’t be sealed, as they were played in open court last month and used to obtain a conviction. Lymon is facing up to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Armijo ruled that the portions of the lapel video that weren’t used in trial, which show Webster calling for help and losing consciousness, will not be released.

Alexandra Freedman Smith, Carlino-Webster’s attorney, said her client was glad the images of her husband’s death won’t be released but was disappointed the judge unsealed some of the videos.

Police had accused Lymon of fatally shooting Webster during a traffic stop in October 2015. Lymon has been in custody since the shooting on federal firearms and drug trafficking charges.

But an arrest warrant on murder charges in state court wasn’t issued until last month, more than a year after the shooting.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the federal firearms case, had filed a motion seeking the videos to be unsealed.

U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez said in a letter on Saturday that the office will release the materials to the media if asked.


How to align your PD’s strategic priorities to win the next grant opportunity

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Denise Schlegel

As we wait for the election process to be completed and while funding opportunities are in a holding position, now is a good time for your department to embark on the task of assessing your needs, outcomes, successes and police deployment strategies. This will lead you to clarity for your focus for next year.

This process helps you plan your direction for your department’s future, determine your needs and figure out what grant funding you will need to continue to successfully serve your community. The elements of this process are not hard to accomplish, but some may take more time than others. Getting your department heads and administration together to complete this task will prepare you to jump into the grant application planning process and application much more quickly.

The process requires strategic thinking, evaluation, and assessment of the past years’ strategic plan and the opportunity to identify which goals were met, by how much and what has been left unaccomplished and why. Before you begin, locate a copy of last year’s plan and your state’s strategic plan, which may be obtained through your state administering agency.

Determine your needs for personnel, training, strategic deployment, technology purchases and/or updates and retirement succession planning. Next, assess your level of accomplishment for any goals set in 2016. Review your current status in all grant award projects and outcomes. Review and assure that your current deployment strategies are up-to-date and align with the DOJ’s recommendations as much as possible. Review your needs with your state strategic plan to assure that your goals and objectives align with the state. By demonstrating alignment of goals and projects, you assure that your grant needs can be met.

The Office of Justice Programs recommends the following outline when creating your strategic plan document:

Department vision. Department mission. Goals and objectives: major steps to accomplishing a goal; specific, measurable and achievable in a defined period of time. Tasks: more specific activities designed to accomplish objectives. Action steps: timeline, activities, person’s responsible and sequential chain of events. Results measurement.

Goal-based strategic planning is the preferred process in community-based planning. Here are some recommendations to follow:

Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These can exist both within and outside of your organization. Identify and prioritize major problems and goals. Go through the list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and identify your goals and the problems that might prevent your program from reaching those goals. Design major strategies (or programs) to address problems and goals. Design or update your mission statement (some organizations may do this step first). Establish action plans (e.g., objectives, resource needs, roles, responsibilities for implementation). Compile your strategic plan. A strategic plan contains all the documentation assembled so far and records problems, goals, strategies, an updated mission statement, action plans and any identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In the past I have provided a number of resources to help with this process. Here is a review of some of those which will assist with preparing for the planning process and grant application process

CrimeSolutions.gov Diagnostic Center https://www.justnet.org/ Developer Resources https://www.ncjrs.gov/

The new Presidential Administration will be following the remainder of the 2016-2017 federal fiscal budget until September 30th 2017.

October 1, 2017, resets the fiscal year and the new administration budget should be in place. Many grants programs will still be in place and new ones will be developed to meet the goals of the new administration.

Prepare now and you will be successful with any new grant funding opportunity.


How to align your PD’s strategic priorities to win the next grant opportunity

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Denise Schlegel

As we wait for the election process to be completed and while funding opportunities are in a holding position, now is a good time for your department to embark on the task of assessing your needs, outcomes, successes and police deployment strategies. This will lead you to clarity for your focus for next year.

This process helps you plan your direction for your department’s future, determine your needs and figure out what grant funding you will need to continue to successfully serve your community. The elements of this process are not hard to accomplish, but some may take more time than others. Getting your department heads and administration together to complete this task will prepare you to jump into the grant application planning process and application much more quickly.

The process requires strategic thinking, evaluation, and assessment of the past years’ strategic plan and the opportunity to identify which goals were met, by how much and what has been left unaccomplished and why. Before you begin, locate a copy of last year’s plan and your state’s strategic plan, which may be obtained through your state administering agency.

Determine your needs for personnel, training, strategic deployment, technology purchases and/or updates and retirement succession planning. Next, assess your level of accomplishment for any goals set in 2016. Review your current status in all grant award projects and outcomes. Review and assure that your current deployment strategies are up-to-date and align with the DOJ’s recommendations as much as possible. Review your needs with your state strategic plan to assure that your goals and objectives align with the state. By demonstrating alignment of goals and projects, you assure that your grant needs can be met.

The Office of Justice Programs recommends the following outline when creating your strategic plan document:

Department vision. Department mission. Goals and objectives: major steps to accomplishing a goal; specific, measurable and achievable in a defined period of time. Tasks: more specific activities designed to accomplish objectives. Action steps: timeline, activities, person’s responsible and sequential chain of events. Results measurement.

Goal-based strategic planning is the preferred process in community-based planning. Here are some recommendations to follow:

Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These can exist both within and outside of your organization. Identify and prioritize major problems and goals. Go through the list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and identify your goals and the problems that might prevent your program from reaching those goals. Design major strategies (or programs) to address problems and goals. Design or update your mission statement (some organizations may do this step first). Establish action plans (e.g., objectives, resource needs, roles, responsibilities for implementation). Compile your strategic plan. A strategic plan contains all the documentation assembled so far and records problems, goals, strategies, an updated mission statement, action plans and any identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In the past I have provided a number of resources to help with this process. Here is a review of some of those which will assist with preparing for the planning process and grant application process:

CrimeSolutions.gov Diagnostic Center https://www.justnet.org/ Developer Resources https://www.ncjrs.gov/

The new Presidential Administration will be following the remainder of the 2016-2017 federal fiscal budget until September 30th 2017.

October 1, 2017, resets the fiscal year and the new administration budget should be in place. Many grants programs will still be in place and new ones will be developed to meet the goals of the new administration.

Prepare now and you will be successful with any new grant funding opportunity.


Unpacking implicit bias in policing

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: David Blake

Implicit bias is the new catchphrase for what is wrong with the nation’s police officers and law enforcement in general. Yet, important points are left out of the rhetoric surrounding law enforcement implicit bias. One point being that every single human on the planet has unconscious thoughts, feelings and attitudes toward people, places and things that affects our judgments and decisions. To truly understand implicit bias is to know it does not equate solely to racism or prejudice, but rather is a fundamental way human beings function. Bottom line, we are built this way and for good cause.

Those familiar with Daniel Kahneman’s “System 1” instinctual thinking paradigm or Malcolm Gladwell’s “Thin Slicing” will understand that intuition (bias) is not only human but necessary. Without unconscious guidance, we would accomplish little in a given day while contemplating the technical facets of brushing our teeth. We, humans (yep - cops too!), learn and store information over the lifespan through training and experience. This allows us to make quick, unconscious and often correct judgments about people, places and things that are based the patterns we’ve learned. However, there are times when these judgments and decisions can be wrong.

The facts The big issue with implicit bias isn’t its basis in humanity, but rather that police officers may subconsciously use force based on it – or do they? According to 2016 research from Washington State University, participating officers’ bias likely caused them to hesitate using deadly force against black suspects compared to white suspects. In this study, officers were also more correct in deadly force decisions against blacks than whites. Another study found the same hesitation, but also demonstrated how police training ensured correct decisions between armed and unarmed black and white suspects. We’ve potentially seen this type of hesitation in real life situations when officers don’t respond appropriately because they are fearful of the ramifications.

The limitation with racial disparity in use of force discussions is the lack of centralized data and an agreeable manner of how to analyze it if it existed. The most comprehensive data available on officer-involved shooting deaths is found in the Washington Post. Their data does more to debunk racial disparity in officer-involved shootings than it does to support it. Recent academic support comes from a 2016 Harvard study of police use of deadly force which found no racial disparity in officer-involved shootings.

While racial disparity in deadly force situations is a current social issue, these study findings don’t mean law enforcement is off the hook. The same WSU study from above illustrates that during testing, 96 percent of the officer participants implicitly associated black Americans with weapons. Additionally, the Harvard study did find racial disparity in non-lethal uses of force, sometimes significant. We also cannot ignore existing research showing a racial disparity in traffic enforcement stops and subsequent vehicle searches. While it may not be happening everywhere and to the level some suggest, it should be no surprise that implicit racial bias exists within law enforcement. However, contrary to popular belief, methods to mitigate implicit bias remain unproven.

Implicit bias training To begin, we all must ask the fundamental question in regards to implicit racial bias: Can an eight hour, 24 hour or 40 hour diversity class reduce subconscious prejudice learned over a lifetime? Even the most prolific implicit bias trainers cannot give an empirical answer to this question.[1] A 2009 meta-analysis of prejudice reduction programs conducted at Harvard University found that $8 billion dollars was spent in corporate diversity training with little or no demonstrated impact. A quote from the study states, “…sensitivity training administered to medical personnel and police are rarely based on theory or subjected to rigorous evaluation.” Interestingly enough, more recent studies have found that certain methods of teaching social bias can actually increase stereotyping. Has the water become muddy enough?

While I agree that awareness education on the subject is important, many others are skeptical of the long-term benefits. From a training proficiency point of view, keep in mind how difficult it is to overcome an old skill with a new one. If the new skill is not regularly practiced or correctly learned, old skills will take over – especially under a time constraint or stress. However, this does not mean we cannot increase awareness and try to remind ourselves that not everything is what we initially think it might be.

Awareness appears to be the only validated answer we currently have. Are you racially biased? Take the Harvard Implicit Bias test (link & instructions below) and find out. Be safe and be vigilant.

Harvard Implicit Bias Test Instructions: please click on this link, read the information and click “I wish to proceed”. On the next page, scroll down to “Race IAT” and simply follow the instructions. Knowing is half the battle.


[1] Fridell, L. (2017). SpringerBriefs in Criminology (page 58) states in regards to scenario based anti-bias training: “…We do not know empirically how much is enough and that research is needed”.


Educate your community: 3 key points about use of force

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Booker Hodges

I have had many recent conversations with friends and other well-meaning citizens regarding the use of force by police officers. These discussions made me realize how law enforcement has failed to explain to the public how and why we use whatever force we use in a given incident. There is no consistency or standards in law enforcement regarding use of force techniques. Every agency is different. Every situation is unique. Just take a look at the comments section of a use of force video posted on PoliceOne to see the differing of opinions regarding what type of force is used in a particular situation.

Realizing that we will never all agree on what type of force should be used, I created a list of three values that I’m referring to as the gospel of use of force. If police departments develop a practice of communicating and educating citizens and the community about these three core values, I believe we will see an enhancement of neighbor relationships, help change some perceptions of the law enforcement profession and improve overall public trust.

1. Priorities of life. Hostages, innocents, officers and suspects are the order that I was taught and still firmly believe we should follow as a profession. Sharing this with citizens and our communities may help them better understand why officers use a particular force tactic when dealing with suspects.

In terms of the priorities of life, the safety of officers is above that of a suspect who is attempting to harm people regardless if they are unarmed or mentally ill. Does this mean that we shouldn’t try to de-escalate situations involving unarmed or the mentally ill? Absolutely not. We have a duty to de-escalate these situations, but we should not put their safety before ours.

It is incumbent on us to communicate this to citizens to help them understand why we don’t charge into a room where a person who may be experiencing a mental health crisis is alone and armed with a weapon or why we run towards gunfire when others are running away.

2. We are human. Lt. John McClain (“Die Hard” movies) did an excellent job of dodging bullets, shooting down a helicopter with his last bullet and defeating heavily armed suspects with his bare hands and a handgun. Unfortunately, none of us are John McClain.

Given that police officers are human, we are susceptible to all the same human things as everyone else. We get angry. We feel pain. We get sick. We have family issues. We make mistakes.

The law enforcement profession does not do a good enough job of admitting when we make mistakes. The consequences of not admitting our faults have contributed to the perception that we are all corrupt and cover for each other all the time.

Obviously, this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, this perception is reinforced when the general public reads in the media that their municipality is paying out thousands of dollars for an alleged act of police misconduct, but admits no wrongdoing.

To the average citizen this looks like we did something wrong, but are unwilling to acknowledge our mistake. We need to do a better job of projecting the human side of our profession to the public.

3. The optics of using force are not pretty. No matter what new fast moving grappling, L.O.C.K.U.P. or other defensive tactic arises, it’s never going to look pretty when using it in the field.

Since force is never going to look pretty, techniques should be used to end physical confrontations as safely and quickly as possible. You can go on YouTube and see countless videos of police officers attempting to arrest uncooperative suspects using optic friendly techniques that only serve in prolonging the confrontation and increasing the likelihood of injury to both the officer and the suspect.

Law enforcement, as a profession, could do a better job of communicating to the public that using force is always our least desirable option, but when we do use force, it’s not going to look pretty regardless of our intentions.

As a profession, we may not agree on what use of force technique should be used in a given incident, but we can come together as a profession and shed light on these issues to better inform the community we’re serving. If we communicate and educate our communities about the three core values listed above, maybe we can make some head way at changing the current false perception that all we want to do is harm innocent people.

To get started, police departments could use their social media sites to publish videos of their use of force instances after the legal process has concluded. Publishing these videos along with a detailed explanation could help educate the public about the gospel of the use of force.

In addition to publishing the videos, agencies could continue to facilitate citizen and youth academies.

The more we explain to people why we do what we do, the better chance we have of turning around this false narrative surrounding our profession.


Educate your community: 3 use of force core values for police

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Booker Hodges

I have had many recent conversations with friends and other well-meaning citizens regarding the use of force by police officers. These discussions made me realize how law enforcement has failed to explain to the public how and why we use whatever force we use in a given incident. There is no consistency or standards in law enforcement regarding use of force techniques. Every agency is different. Every situation is unique. Just take a look at the comments section of a use of force video posted on PoliceOne to see the differing of opinions regarding what type of force is used in a particular situation.

Realizing that we will never all agree on what type of force should be used, I created a list of three values that I’m referring to as the gospel of use of force. If police departments develop a practice of communicating and educating citizens and the community about these three core values, I believe we will see an enhancement of neighbor relationships, help change some perceptions of the law enforcement profession and improve overall public trust.

1. Priorities of life. Hostages, innocents, officers and suspects are the order that I was taught and still firmly believe we should follow as a profession. Sharing this with citizens and our communities may help them better understand why officers use a particular force tactic when dealing with suspects.

In terms of the priorities of life, the safety of officers is above that of a suspect who is attempting to harm people regardless if they are unarmed or mentally ill. Does this mean that we shouldn’t try to de-escalate situations involving unarmed or the mentally ill? Absolutely not. We have a duty to de-escalate these situations, but we should not put their safety before ours.

It is incumbent on us to communicate this to citizens to help them understand why we don’t charge into a room where a person who may be experiencing a mental health crisis is alone and armed with a weapon or why we run towards gunfire when others are running away.

2. We are human. Lt. John McClain (“Die Hard” movies) did an excellent job of dodging bullets, shooting down a helicopter with his last bullet and defeating heavily armed suspects with his bare hands and a handgun. Unfortunately, none of us are John McClain.

Given that police officers are human, we are susceptible to all the same human things as everyone else. We get angry. We feel pain. We get sick. We have family issues. We make mistakes.

The law enforcement profession does not do a good enough job of admitting when we make mistakes. The consequences of not admitting our faults have contributed to the perception that we are all corrupt and cover for each other all the time.

Obviously, this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, this perception is reinforced when the general public reads in the media that their municipality is paying out thousands of dollars for an alleged act of police misconduct, but admits no wrongdoing.

To the average citizen this looks like we did something wrong, but are unwilling to acknowledge our mistake. We need to do a better job of projecting the human side of our profession to the public.

3. The optics of using force are not pretty. No matter what new fast moving grappling, L.O.C.K.U.P. or other defensive tactic arises, it’s never going to look pretty when using it in the field.

Since force is never going to look pretty, techniques should be used to end physical confrontations as safely and quickly as possible. You can go on YouTube and see countless videos of police officers attempting to arrest uncooperative suspects using optic friendly techniques that only serve in prolonging the confrontation and increasing the likelihood of injury to both the officer and the suspect.

Law enforcement, as a profession, could do a better job of communicating to the public that using force is always our least desirable option, but when we do use force, it’s not going to look pretty regardless of our intentions.

As a profession, we may not agree on what use of force technique should be used in a given incident, but we can come together as a profession and shed light on these issues to better inform the community we’re serving. If we communicate and educate our communities about the three core values listed above, maybe we can make some head way at changing the current false perception that all we want to do is harm innocent people.

To get started, police departments could use their social media sites to publish videos of their use of force instances after the legal process has concluded. Publishing these videos along with a detailed explanation could help educate the public about the gospel of the use of force.

In addition to publishing the videos, agencies could continue to facilitate citizen and youth academies.

The more we explain to people why we do what we do, the better chance we have of turning around this false narrative surrounding our profession.


Photos: Australian police find koala in backpack

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Booker Hodges

By PoliceOne Staff

QUEENSLAND, Australia — Police officers in Queensland, Australia discovered a cute surprise during a traffic stop Sunday.

After pulling a woman over and arresting her on “outstanding matters,” police asked her if she had anything to declare. The woman announced she had a baby koala in her backpack, according to a police statement.

An ambulance was called to care for the six-month-old koala, who was a little dehydrated.

“He’s been on fluids but is doing well and will shortly be going out to a carer,” RSPCA Qld spokesperson Michael Beatty said.

“He weighs 1.5 kg and we’ve called him Alfred.”


Mass. lieutenant teaches officers about autism

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Booker Hodges

By PoliceOne Staff

NORWOOD, Mass. — Norwood Police Lt. Martin Baker has spent 10 years teaching autism education in police departments across the state.

Baker’s 22-year-old son Drew has autism. The officer has made it his personal mission to inform fellow cops of how to interact with people on the spectrum, NECN reported.

“One of my biggest fears is Drew being out there without my family that knows Drew, and knows his disability, and knows how to handle him and help him,” Baker said.

Baker recently taught forty-eight recruits from 22 different departments how to prevent incidents with people on the spectrum from escalating, according to the station.

When dealing with autistic people, physical contact can cause unintended results and requires a specific approach compared with contacts who are not on the spectrum.

“A light touch on the shoulder can trigger a violent response from somebody with autism,” Baker said. “Yet if you went in and kind of gave them a bear hug, they’d probably melt right in your arms.”

Drew told the station he’s proud of his father for educating police officers about autism.

“Sometimes, people don’t understand autism,” Drew said. “I’m glad dad is helping them.”

We are proud of our own Lt. Martin F. Baker and his passion for educating law enforcement professionals on how to... https://t.co/yeIDPiAPYZ

— Norwood Police (@NorwoodPolice) November 1, 2016

Mass. cops hospitalized after suspect throws heroin

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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Author: Booker Hodges

By PoliceOne Staff

FALMOUTH, Mass. — Two officers were hospitalized Friday after a suspect being booked on drug charges threw an open bag of heroin at them.

According to WJBD radio, officers were searching Russell Pena’s vehicle on suspicion of distributing heroin and cocaine. They discovered marijuana, cocaine and $1450 in cash on Pena and passenger Michael Lopes.

Police told the station Pena struggled during booking and began to fight officers.

“During this struggle he was able to remove a bag of narcotics believed to be heroin from his pants in the area of his genitals,” Falmouth Police said in a statement. “Pena then tore the bag apart and dispersed the drugs in the air purposely toward and onto the police officers.”

Both officers and Pena were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for exposure to narcotics.


Files provide insight into deadly Md. standoff documented on social media

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Alison Knezevich and Kevin Rector The Baltimore Sun

RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — Korryn Gaines stared into her cellphone camera.

"This is for anybody who wanna know what I'm doing," she said, panning down to a shotgun perched in her lap. She turned the camera toward her pajama-footed 5-year-old son, who smiled and waved. Then back to herself.

"I'm m— f— tired, but the devil at my door, and he's refusing to leave," said Gaines, 23, with a cartoon blanket wrapped around her shoulders. "I'm at peace. I'm in my home. I ain't trying to hurt nobody. ... They been quiet a while so they plotting to come in here and disturb the peace. ... I am not a criminal."

Outside Gaines' Randallstown apartment, Baltimore County police were in the midst of a tactical operation aimed at coaxing Gaines out. Minutes later, they would secure a warrant for her arrest on charges of assault and resisting arrest, alleging she pointed her shotgun at an officer after police kicked in the door to serve pre-existing warrants on her and her fiance that morning.

Eight family members gathered at a church nearby, desperately waiting for answers.

The Baltimore Sun obtained the video through a public records request for the evidence that prosecutors reviewed to determine that the fatal police shooting of Gaines and the wounding of her son Kodi — at the end of a six-hour standoff on Aug. 1 — were legally justified.

The evidence includes the contents of Gaines' mobile phone, hours of police radio chatter never before heard by the public, hundreds of photos and documents, and statements from the officers involved. It provides a rare look at the buildup to a deadly police encounter, at a time when such incidents are under intense national scrutiny.

While most of the case file presents the police version of events, Gaines' voice is present through extensive recordings she made while police staged outside her home. She used her phone to communicate with the outside world through an array of platforms, including text messages, FaceTime, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

The department ultimately took the unprecedented step of asking Facebook and Instagram to temporarily deactivate her accounts, believing social media was distracting her from negotiations with police.

Key points in the encounter — including when officers entered the apartment and fatal shots were fired — were not recorded, either by Gaines or police. The officers involved were not wearing body cameras.

Gaines' killing has spurred intense controversy in the months since. Gaines' family has filed a lawsuit against the county and some of the officers involved. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has called for an independent review of Gaines' death and Police Department policies.

Police declined to comment for this article, citing pending litigation in the case. An administrative review of the incident remains open. A separate review of the tactical response, standard after any barricade situation, also remains open.

The evidence does not answer all of the questions. What it shows is an emotionally charged standoff that played out in fits and starts — and then ended in a sudden burst of violence.

At the door It was already 80 degrees outside when Officers Allen Griffin and John Dowell arrived at the three-story Carriage Hill apartment complex that Monday morning, looking for Apartment T4.

Police had two warrants: one for Gaines and another for her fiance, Kareem Courtney, 39. Gaines was wanted for failing to appear in court on charges related to a March traffic stop. Courtney was wanted on an assault charge related to domestic violence allegations filed by Gaines.

Griffin knocked on the door about 9 a.m., announcing they were police. No one answered, but the officers said they could hear coughs and a crying child.

They called for another officer from the Woodlawn precinct, who went to the apartment building's rental office and got a key for the apartment. Officers tried to open the door with the key but found that it was also chain-locked.

Dowell kicked in the door, and Griffin went inside, according to documents filed in Baltimore County District Court. Gaines, seated on the floor, allegedly pointed a black shotgun at Griffin and told the officers to leave.

Gaines had bought the weapon 11 months before, for $429 at a store called The Cop Shop near downtown Baltimore. According to her family, she bought it after someone broke into her home.

At 9:41 a.m., tactical officers and members of the department's Hostage Negotiation Team were paged to the apartment. Police were now describing the incident as a barricade situation.

At the start, there were four people in the apartment: Gaines, Courtney, Gaines' son Kodi and the couple's 1-year-old daughter. But Courtney left apartment with the 1-year-old and surrendered to officers. He told police that he had tried to bring Kodi out as well, but the child went back to his mother.

Now, it was only Gaines and Kodi in the apartment on Sulky Court, and an increasing number — eventually dozens — of tactical, hostage negotiation and patrol officers outside.

Gaines remained connected to her family and friends on social media.

"She is texting and Facebooking her father," police noted in a timeline of events at 10:54 a.m.

But Gaines' mother, Rhonda Dormeus, believes her daughter never knew that family members, including her parents, grandmother and cousins, were gathered nearby at the Colonial Baptist Church, where police set up a staging area. The relatives spent the day in a day care classroom at the church.

"My baby felt like she was alone," Dormeus said. "She had no idea that we were there."

Dormeus said police took her phone and used it to send messages to her daughter, pretending to be her. But she said police did not use the same language she would have.

"She knew it wasn't me," Dormeus said.

'Collective trauma' Gaines' communications and social media activity became central to the standoff.

Police believed that they were a significant distraction from negotiations, documents and audio files in the case file show. Gaines turned to her devices throughout the day to document her interactions with police — something she had done before.

In March, Gaines was arrested by county police for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and other charges after being pulled over on traffic violations not far from her home. In videos she recorded of that encounter, she discussed incidents of police brutality and killings of black people across the country.

She told an officer that she didn't "participate" in laws governing the state's roadways, and a police report from the incident said a cardboard sign on the back of her car read: "Any Government official who compromises this pursuit to happiness and right to travel will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right or freedom."

Gaines also told an officer during the stop that she believed Baltimore County police would kill her.

"I'm not going to murder you, I promise you that," an officer says in one video.

"Oh, OK, well one of you will," she said. "One of you will. I promise you, you will."

In the days after her March traffic stop, she wrote in an Instagram post that all she could think about was Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in a Texas jail days after her arrest during a contentious traffic stop.

J. Wyndal Gordon, a lawyer for the Gaines family and for Courtney, believes that Gaines, like other black Americans, was psychologically affected by seeing images of police killings across the country.

"It impacts us," he said. "It's like a collective trauma that we all feel."

Gaines had also suffered from anxiety and depression, her mother said in an interview. In the summer of 2014, she had a "breakdown" and was hospitalized. At the time, her mother said, Gaines was filled with anxiety about how to handle a large monetary settlement related to a lawsuit over her exposure to lead paint as a child.

Talks continue Throughout the Aug. 1 standoff, officers discussed what mobile devices Gaines was using and how they could open a direct line of contact with her. One officer wondered about Gaines posting messages on social media, and whether they could jam her phone service and disrupt her access.

"It's a phone that the number's already dead," an officer responded. "She's just using the Wi-Fi portion. We can't control that phone."

Police commandeered the apartment of Gaines' next-door neighbor, Ramone Coleman, drilling holes in his living room, bedroom and bathroom walls to monitor Gaines' movements with surveillance equipment connected to TV-like monitors.

At one point, police noted Kodi brought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the kitchen to his mother. Over the course of the day, she used her phone to record police, at times posting videos to social media.

"Ain't nobody getting hurt today, I promise you," an officer in the hall tells Gaines in one exchange she filmed. "You, me, the baby, can go sit, we talk, I get you something to drink, something to eat, whatever you want. But I'm telling you, OK, I promise you — that gun you have, that is not a solution, dear."

Gaines also recorded phone conversations with a police negotiator, Sgt. Kathy Greenbeck.

"So right now, all we're really looking for is for you to come out without any weapons, and for your son to come out, so that we can talk with you," Greenbeck said.

"OK, well, what you just said is just not what I got from these people who are standing outside my door," Gaines replied. "I'm sure that they are going to tell you the best story to make me look like I'm the criminal, or I'm doing something wrong. But I already explained to you that the only thing that I'm doing right now is keeping my peace."

Gaines recounted to the negotiator her traffic stop arrest in March, when she said she was "kidnapped" by police and suffered a miscarriage of twins during hours of mistreatment starting at the Police Department's Woodlawn precinct.

"Goodness. So that was a bad experience," Greenbeck said.

Gaines said she believed the officers at her door were trying to take her back to the precinct. According to police, Gaines was taken to Northwest Hospital after scuffling with officers during the traffic stop, treated, and then processed at the precinct and released.

"Well, I can hear how upset you are about that. And I am so sorry that you —" the negotiator began, before Gaines interrupted.

She sounded like she was crying. She said she was not a criminal.

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"I believe that you're not looking to hurt anybody," Greenbeck said.

"And I don't need anybody here to hurt me, either," Gaines said. Police, she said, could never convince her that "50 guns surrounding my home" were necessary.

Gaines also told the negotiator about Courtney spending time in prison in the past — he has a criminal record in Baltimore, including for attempted murder — and its effect on the family.

"Those are moments that you can never get back," she said.

In documents, police say Gaines repeatedly hung up on Greenbeck during their conversations.

Gordon, the Gaines' family attorney, described the footage as "chilling."

"What I saw is a very frightened person, a person who's filled with anxiety and a lot of distrust," he said. "At the end of the day, she just wanted to feel safe."

Negotiation breakdown Throughout the day, police were gathering information from Gaines' family. Courtney told them that she had mental health issues and had been off her medication.

At one point, they learned that Kodi's father was a former county police officer. They considered having him contact her, but learned they were no longer close.

Gaines' father recorded a message that police planned to play for her over the phone, but Gaines never got it. Police wrote in documents detailing the incident that negotiations broke down before they could deliver the message. It's unclear what the message said.

Police said they wanted to avoid talking about the March traffic stop, believing it was "one of her triggers" to becoming emotional.

About 2 p.m., police asked Facebook to shut down Gaines' account but didn't immediately hear back. They also asked the company to shut down her Instagram account. Police officers consulted with a psychologist about their decision to make the request, according to their notes.

"We've never done it before," an officer said on the radio. The decision would prove controversial among activists who say it prevented Gaines from posting video of police at a time when citizen videos of law enforcement have sparked a national dialogue about police brutality and misconduct.

About 2:40 p.m., Gaines recorded another video of herself. She was holding the shotgun up near her chest, pointed forward. She checked behind her, cleared her throat and looked down at the gun's trigger. Her shoulders shook.

"Hey Mommy, I don't want my milk," Kodi said, asking if he could put his glass in the kitchen.

"No, I want you to stay right there for a second," Gaines said, still holding up the gun.

At 2:45 p.m., police confirmed they had shut down power to Gaines' apartment. They discussed bringing in cooling stations for other residents who would be affected.

As the afternoon wore on, police believed their negotiations were breaking down.

"Is she still somewhat calm?" an officer asked over the radio at one point.

"No, she is now mostly rambling, still about the previous arrest and the previous contact with us," another responded.

"She knows we're not leaving, right?"

"Yep."

According to Robert W. Taylor, a criminology professor at University of Texas at Dallas and former police negotiator, Gaines' access to social media added "just another complexity to an already difficult situation."

"When you have this outside line to Facebook and social media, it's just a compounding factor," he said. "You're only going to be able to control the media to a certain degree."

Because of Kodi's presence, police had no choice but to remain at the apartment, he said.

"The police are damned if they do and damned if they don't," he said.

Shots fired At 3:21 p.m., Gaines had entered the kitchen of her apartment, according to a police timeline.

Three minutes later, police noted that Gaines was "highly agitated" and "screaming at officers to get back."

A minute later, they noted it appeared Gaines' Facebook and Instagram were down.

Then, at 3:26 p.m., a voice came across the SWAT tactical channel: "Shots fired. Shots fired."

Officer Royce Ruby Jr., who fired the fatal shots, said in a statement that the shooting happened after Gaines, who had been sitting on the floor within view of the officers through much of the day, suddenly ran into her kitchen.

"This was a huge tactical advantage to her, giving the suspect a good angle to shoot at" officers stationed just outside of her open front door, Ruby wrote in the written statement given to police investigators the day after the shooting.

The statement has not been made public before.

Ruby, who also was outside Gaines' front door, wrote that he could see the muzzle of the shotgun and a piece of her hair at the entrance to the kitchen. Police commanded her to drop the gun.

Then Ruby saw her gun "raising up and sticking further into the hallway," pointed at the officers positioned next to him, he wrote.

Fearing for their lives, he fired "through the drywall at her head," he wrote. She then fired her shotgun for the first time, he wrote, but did not strike any officers.

Ruby and the other officers then rushed in, trying to reach Gaines before she could pump the shotgun and fire again, he wrote.

But Gaines did shoot again toward the officers approaching through the other kitchen entrance. Officers said they hoped to pull Kodi to safety.

As Ruby rushed to Gaines, he wrote, he saw her turning the shotgun toward him. Ruby wrote that he was in fear for his life and the boy's life when he fired three more rounds at Gaines' "center mass," as Kodi "was moving from her side, to behind her and away."

No other officers fired a weapon.

Gordon, the Gaines family's attorney, said police should have waited Gaines out longer. Ruby should not have shot into the apartment, Gordon said — especially through a wall, when Kodi was there, next to his mother.

According to her autopsy, Gaines was shot in the left chest, the left back, the right arm, and the left wrist and forearm, with an additional graze wound to the right thigh. Her son suffered a gunshot wound to the face that wasn't life-threatening.

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said investigators believe the bullet that hit Kodi first passed through his mother.

After the shooting, an officer asked over police radio whether Kodi could be brought to the family members waiting outside. Instead, he would be rushed to the hospital.

Editor's note: To see more footage and audio from the standoff, click here.

©2016 The Baltimore Sun


Police shoot, injure man after he kills Ga. sheriff’s deputy

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

BYRON, Ga. — A Georgia man fatally shot a sheriff's deputy and wounded a second before he was shot and injured by a police officer, authorities said Monday.

The suspect started shooting at the deputies Sunday when they responded to a call that he was using a rifle to threaten two young men visiting his neighbors just outside the city of Byron, about 16 miles southwest of Macon, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent J.T. Ricketson said.

The men, visiting their aunt and uncle's house for a cookout, were riding a motorcycle and a four-wheeler on their relatives' property, which backs up to the suspect's property. The suspect threatened them with a rifle as they rode down a nearby road, prompting the men to return to the house and call 911.

Two Peach County sheriff's deputies came to the home and took statements from the family and then drove over to the neighbor's house about 5:30 p.m., Ricketson said. The deputies drove up the long driveway and got out of their vehicle. They'd taken only a couple of steps when a man came out of his house and began shooting at them with a handgun, killing one and critically injuring the other, Ricketson said. As far as investigators can tell, neither of the two deputies had withdrawn his gun.

Peach County coroner Kerry Rooks said 41-year-old Patrick Sondron was killed. The other deputy's name was not immediately released.

The owners of the home where the young men were attending the cookout had walked to where their property abuts the suspect's after the deputies left their house. They heard the gunshots, saw the deputies fall, and rushed back to their house to call 911 again, Ricketson said.

One of the three police officers who responded used a ballistic shield to protect himself as he approached the house, while at least one of the others positioned himself behind his patrol car. The suspect, whose name hasn't been released, walked out of his garage with a rifle and began shooting at the police officers, Ricketson said. One of the officers returned fire, hitting the suspect in the abdomen, after which the officers were able to subdue him and take him into custody, he said.

Ricketson identified the suspect as a 57-year-old white male whose name he said he would release later Monday after he is arrested. Ricketson said the man will be charged with murder and three charges of aggravated assault.

The slain deputy was white, but the races of the other deputy and the three officers from Byron were not immediately available.


Police search for remains after SC man’s confession to decade-long crime spree

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Seanna Adcox and Meg Kinnard Associated Press

WOODRUFF, S.C. — A South Carolina man's confession to a decade-long crime spree has cracked open a cold case that had haunted the victims' relatives and has prompted law enforcement investigators to expand their search for human remains beyond the property where they discovered a woman chained inside a storage container.

Todd Kohlhepp became a suspect in at least seven deaths in the days after a woman was found Thursday chained by her neck and ankle in a metal storage container on his 95-acre property near rural Woodruff.

Following his arrest, he confessed to a 2003 quadruple slaying at a motorcycle shop in the small town of Chesnee, investigators said. He was denied bond Sunday during a brief court appearance on four murder charges for those slayings.

He's also charged with kidnapping the woman, and more criminal counts are expected. Authorities suspect he killed at least three people in addition to the motorcycle shop victims.

A Spartanburg County Sheriff's investigative report says Kohlhepp "confessed to investigators that he shot and killed" the motorcycle shop's owner, service manager, mechanic and bookkeeper, giving details only the killer would know.

Now, Sheriff Chuck Wright, who was first elected about a year after the Superbike Motorsports killings, has a wide-ranging investigation of a crime spree over more than a decade.

The investigation has expanded to other properties that Kohlhepp, a real estate agent, either currently or used to own. Those properties are not limited to South Carolina, Wright said Sunday, declining to be more specific.

Both the FBI and Homeland Security are involved, he said.

Kohlhepp showed investigators Saturday where he says he buried two other victims on the property he bought two years ago. Human remains were uncovered Sunday at one of those sites, Wright said.

"We're not even close" on identifying the remains or cause of death, he said. "We can't tell anything."

Kohlhepp did not tell investigators who was buried there. Removing the remains to "preserve every bit of evidence" is a meticulous, time-consuming process, said Coroner Rusty Clevenger.

The gravesites Kohlhepp pointed to are in addition to the body found Friday in a shallow grave at the site. Authorities identified that victim as the boyfriend of the woman found Thursday. Clevenger said he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman because the suspect is a sex offender, though authorities have not said whether she was sexually assaulted.

On Sunday, Kohlhepp appeared in an orange jumpsuit for the brief bond hearing and declined to make a statement. He didn't have an attorney.

After Kohlhepp left the courtroom, Magistrate Judge Jimmy Henson told the family members they would have a chance later to address Kohlhepp in court.

"You have something to say. You've been waiting 13 years to say it," he said.

The father of Brian Lucas, the 29-year-old slain service manager, thanked the judge.

"Your honor, I appreciate your words to us and your counsel," Tom Lucas said as two others put their hands on his shoulders. "We thank you."

Before the hearing, Lucas said he wanted to be in court to look Kohlhepp in the eye.

"I want to look at him, and I want to try to use that in healing," he said.

Before Kohlhepp emerged as a suspect, investigators had said all four victims were killed with the same pistol. They have theorized that the killer came in the back and killed mechanic Chris Sherbert, 26, as he worked. Bookkeeper Beverly Guy, 52, was found just outside the bathroom in the middle of the showroom.

Thirty-year-old shop owner Scott Ponder was found just outside the door in the parking lot. He was Guy's son. Brian Lucas was in the doorway of the shop.

Melissa Ponder, who was married to Scott Ponder, said detectives told her Kohlhepp was an angry customer who had been in the motorcycle shop several times.

"It isn't closure, but it is an answer," Ponder said by phone. "And I am thankful for that."

Kohlhepp was released from prison in Arizona in 2001. As a teenager, he was convicted of raping a 14-year-old neighbor at gunpoint and threatening to kill her siblings if she called police.

Kohlhepp had to register as a sex offender. But that didn't stop him from getting a South Carolina real estate license in 2006, building a firm and maintaining the appearance of normalcy.

In Woodruff on Sunday, scores of people congregated outside the chain link fence that surrounds the wooded property.

"Things like this don't happen at home," said Tina Gowan, who lives in Pauline but grew up in Moore, where Kohlhepp lived. "He looked like your everyday Joe."

She was among those who prayed at the fence.

Frances Bradley, who lives near the 95-acre site, said God answered prayers in solving the 2003 cold case.

"I was so awe-struck by the revelation," she said, she felt a need to pray at the fence before going to church. "I thanked God for giving us good out of this."


2 Mo. officers shot, suspect in custody

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

By Christine Byers and Tim O'Neil St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ARNOLD, Mo. — Two police officers suffered non-life-threatening wounds when they were hit in the face with bird shot near Fox Elementary School on Friday afternoon.

Arnold police Detective Lt. James Jones said a man, 52, was taken into custody after the shooting, which happened about 2:38 p.m. as officers were responding to a call for a “disturbance” in the 2100 block of Plaza Drive at Jeffco Estates.

Chief Robert Shockey later identified the officers who were shot as Cpl. Jason Gorenstein, a 19-year veteran of the department, and Officer John Palme, who has spent nine years with Arnold but more than 30 years in law enforcement.

“We were very fortunate today that we didn’t lose two officers,” Shockey said.

The chief said police had been called to the same house that morning for a disturbance that involved the man and teenage children. That incident ended quietly.

When police arrived for the second call, the man was outside of his mobile home when the officers pulled up, Shockey said.

“As they were approaching the residence, the suspect fired a shot into the air,” he said.

The man then fired two shots at the officers, Shockey said. “The officers took cover behind a car, and they got hit in the face with the shots,” he said.

The officers did not return fire, he said.

After the shooting, the man went into his home, smoked a cigarette and then came out and surrendered, Shockey said.

The man was taken to a hospital after his arrest but was released to police custody by the time Shockey spoke at a press conference at City Hall at 5:30 p.m.

He said both of the officers had been struck in the forehead and one in the shoulder. One may need surgery, the chief said, but both are expected to make full recoveries.

“I am proud of them,” he said. “They did a great job. They are doing well. They are in good spirits.”

Jones said police found a long gun at the scene. The suspect is expected to be charged soon with assault and armed criminal action.

Fox Elementary School was briefly on lockdown during the incident.

Emir Muhic, 21, who lives on nearby Dudler Drive, said he heard two shots and started running in that direction. He jumped a back fence into the trailer park area and encountered a man with a 12-gauge shotgun painted in camouflage.

“He told me to go inside, he kept telling me that,” Muhic said.

He said another man, a neighbor with a concealed carry permit, then went into the scene with pistol drawn. He said the neighbor and the gunman threatened each other but neither fired shots.

“[The suspect] then walked back to his house and sat down and waited for the police,” Muhic said.

The last time an officer with the Arnold department was shot was Oct. 22, 1976. That shooting left Officer John LeCompte mortally wounded. He died 29 days later.


Prosecutor: LA airport gunman lacks remorse, holds to views

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Brian Melley Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The gunman who killed a federal security officer and wounded three other people during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport has shown no remorse and clings to the beliefs that led to the violence in 2013, prosecutors said in advance of his sentencing Monday.

Paul Ciancia, 26, faces a mandatory life sentence in federal prison for the attack that crippled the nation's second-busiest airport and disrupted air travel nationwide.

Ciancia "plotted to commit mass murder at one of the nation's foremost transportation hubs, murdered a beloved public servant in cold blood, seriously injured two other federal officers whom he shot and was attempting to kill, shot and injured a passenger who was traveling to attend a wedding, and terrified hundreds of other passengers and employees at Los Angeles International Airport who feared for their lives and the safety of their families," Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote in sentencing papers.

Fitzgerald is asking that Ciancia be sentenced to an additional 60 years even though it would have no practical impact on his term. He also asked that the court not recommend that Ciancia, who has a combination of mental disorders and has been suicidal in the past, be sent to a federal medical facility instead of prison.

The probation office made that recommendation in a sealed presentencing report the prosecutor referenced, but Fitzgerald said it would be inappropriate given Ciancia's crimes and the threat he poses to federal employees. That determination should be made by the federal Bureau of Prisons, he said.

Fitzgerald said the bureau needs to protect its "personnel from a prisoner who killed a federal official, attempted to kill many more, has shown no remorse over his conduct, and continues to harbor the same beliefs that led him to commit his crimes."

Ciancia, 26, an unemployed motorcycle mechanic from New Jersey, pleaded guilty two months ago to murdering Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez and to 10 other charges for the attack driven by his anger over airport security measures.

Ciancia shot and wounded TSA officers Tony Grigsby and James Speer as they ran from a screening checkpoint, and he struck passenger Brian Ludmer, who had been in the screening area, in the calf.

Ludmer, a high school theater technical director at the time, wrote a letter to the court saying he could no longer walk without pain or work in the same way, and his outlook on life has been altered. He's lost his sense of security, is anxious in crowds and feels "utterly vulnerable in the world around me."

Ludmer has nothing to say to Ciancia, but he noted the crimes were another example where warning signs of a killer's mental illness went unheeded and didn't prevent him from buying an assault rifle.

"I'm mad at the system that failed him. That is failing all of us," Ludmer wrote. "If cases like his are passing by without any red flags, if guns and ammunition can be sold to people without even checking for any such flags, then of course someone like him would do something like this."

The pale, thin Ciancia expected to die in the attack and left behind a note venting about unconstitutional searches. He wrote that the TSA treated Americans as terrorists, and he intended to strike fear in their hearts.

"I want it to always be in the back of your head just how easy it is to take a weapon to the beginning of your Nazi checkpoints," he wrote in the note signed with his name and "Pissed-off Patriot." ''If you want to play that game where you pretend that every American is a terrorist, you're going to learn what a self-fulfilling prophecy is."

Ciancia's lawyers didn't return requests for comment. Their sentencing brief was sealed, so it was unclear what pitch they would make to Judge Philip Gutierrez.

Regardless of a sentence that carries no parole option, Ciancia apparently still thinks he may one day be released.

In a court filing, one of his lawyers noted: "Ciancia believes he will get out of prison when the revolution begins."


Technology helps Conn. cops catch speeding drivers

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

By Jesse Leavenworth The Hartford Courant

MANCHESTER, Conn. — In their ongoing effort to slow speeding drivers, police traffic officers are getting more detailed data, allowing timely, targeted enforcement in areas where speeding poses the most danger.

In use for the past year, digital speed signs and devices called Stattraks use radar to gather information on traffic volume and vehicle speed during every hour of the day. The three signs, which inform motorists how fast they're going, and two Stattraks have enabled more efficient use of the four-member traffic squad, unit supervisor Sgt. Stephen Bresciano said.

Also boosting the squad's efficiency, Bresciano said, are two longtime volunteers, Doug Curry and Andrew Main, who move the signs and detectors and replace batteries as needed. The volunteers' work allows traffic officers to focus more on enforcement, Bresciano said.

Enforcement operations typically follow residents' complaints and data collection. Citizens will call, for example, to say drivers are whipping by their house at all hours, endangering children and neighbors backing their cars out of driveways. In many cases, a Stattrack, a product of All Traffic Solutions, would be installed on the street for seven to 10 days. Most motorists do not even notice the plain-looking devices, which also are called "stealth detectors" and are about the size of shoeboxes.

Officers analyze computer reports on the data. Some summaries show complaints to be unfounded, either because of low traffic volume or few violators flouting the speed limit by more than a few ticks on the speedometer, Bresciano said. In cases that merit further action, police may post a digital speed sign to make drivers more aware of how fast they're going. The devices, which can be mounted to static speed limit signs, replaced bulky trailers.

Bresciano pointed to a recent report on Bush Hill Road traffic. From Oct. 11 to Monday, motorists traveled an average speed of about 39 mph on the road in the southwestern section of town, which has a posted speed limit of 25 mph. The average volume of vehicles each day was 3,663.

The highest recorded speed was 69 mph, but police focus on the 85th percentile speed, in this case, 44.88 mph. That means that 85 percent of drivers were traveling at that speed or lower. The 85th percentile calculation is used to omit extremes and determine the speed of most motorists on a particular road. Based on the traffic volume and recorded speeds, Bresciano said, periodic speed enforcement is warranted on Bush Hill Road.

Another recent example comes from Hackmatack Street. From June 3-14, about 9,900 vehicles traveled on the road, which is posted for 25 mph. In that period, 85 percent of the drivers were traveling at 39 mph or lower (the highest recorded speed was 95 mph on June 8 at 10 :15 a.m.). Speeding was too prevalent, Bresciano said, and posting of digital signs and enforcement followed.

The radar detection technology in the signs and Stattracks allows police to track volume and speed hour by hour and adjust awareness and enforcement efforts as needed. On Keeney Street from Oct. 11 to Monday, for example, reports showed that speeding was most prevalent from about 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fines for speeding range from $132 to $196, depending on how much a driver exceeds the posted limit. One recently ticketed driver, Bresciano said, was a resident who had complained repeatedly about breakneck motorists on her street, the same street where she was stopped for speeding, he said.


Park renamed in honor of fallen Mo. officer

Posted on November 7, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Christine Byers St. Louis Post-Dispatch

GREEN PARK, Mo. — Before Blake and Elizabeth Snyder became parents, he took her to Clydesdale Park in this south St. Louis County community for a run along its trails.

“It was just us,” she recalled Wednesday.

The moment is among memories Elizabeth Snyder said she would forever hold dear of her husband, a St. Louis County police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Oct. 6 not far away. An 18-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder.

His wife, along with her husband’s family, elected officials and hundreds of police officers, gathered at the park Wednesday morning to dedicate it under the new name Officer Blake C. Snyder Memorial Park. The Mehlville Fire Protection District flew an American flag from a ladder truck at the park entrance.

Two people started a petition to name the park for Blake Snyder, and thousands signed it. County Executive Steve Stenger then changed the name by executive order.

Stenger and Police Chief Jon Belmar joined Elizabeth Snyder in speaking to the crowd.

She began by asking for a moment of silence in honor of two officers who were separately killed in Iowa while sitting in their patrol cars early Wednesday.

Then she thanked the community as well as Stenger, Belmar, and her husband’s commander, Capt. Jeff Fuesting of the Affton precinct, for all they have done for her and her family.

“I feel like my family has grown by thousands,” she said.

She held her son, Malachi, 2, as he tugged at a blue rope to unveil the park’s new entry sign that bears his father’s name.

The crowd clapped as it fell.

Malachi clapped, too.

And a class from Buerkle Middle School, in the Mehlville District, released blue balloons.

Elizabeth Snyder told reporters that had her husband been there, his face would have turned “five shades of red” for all that was done in his honor.

“This is definitely a beautiful day, and I love that this is happening,” she said. “This is a place where we will forever remember him.”

She joked that she and her son would become “permanent residents,” at the park.

His favorite place there is the trails.

“He loves to run,” she said.


FBI chief: No charges for Clinton after new emails reviewed

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Eric Tucker Associated Press

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey told Congress in a letter sent Sunday that a review of newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails has "not changed our conclusions" from earlier this year that she should not face charges.

Sent just two days before Election Day, the letter appeared to resolve any lingering ambiguity over the prospect that the Democratic presidential nominee could yet face a criminal indictment over her use of a private email sever as secretary of state.

"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton," Comey wrote to congressional leaders, less than two weeks after first telling them about a cache of newly found emails that investigators thought might be pertinent to their investigation.

But the letter left unresolved other questions, including the content and number of new emails, and how many of the messages investigators reviewed were duplicates of emails they had already seen.

"The growing number of unanswered questions demand explanations," Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

A senior law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal decision-making, said the letter was intended to reflect a conclusion to the email review and not merely a status update.

The letter also drew fresh criticism from lawmakers who said the new email review, announced in a vague letter to Congress on Oct. 28, shouldn't have been made public so close to the election and created unnecessary suspicion.

"Today's letter makes Director Comey's actions nine days ago even more troubling. There's no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency's inquiry," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Clinton was being protected by a "rigged system" and pronounced her "guilty," notwithstanding the FBI's conclusion.

The FBI had been under pressure to reveal additional details about its new email review following Comey's abrupt disclosure on Oct. 28 that the bureau had discovered emails that were potentially relevant to the Clinton investigation.

The emails were found on the computer of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced congressman and estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is under investigation by federal authorities for online communications he had with a 15-year-old girl.

Upon discovering emails thought to be potentially pertinent to the Clinton email investigation, Comey advised Congress that investigators would review the messages to see whether they were classified. The FBI subsequently obtained a warrant to begin the process of going through the emails.

That disclosure, made over the objections of the Justice Department, roiled the presidential race in its final days and revived an issue that the Clinton campaign thought had ended over the summer when the investigation closed without charges.

In July, the FBI chief chastised Clinton for her use of a private mail server but said the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against the Democratic presidential nominee or her aides. The Justice Department accepted that recommendation.

In his letter to Congress on Sunday, Comey said the FBI had reviewed all new emails to and from Clinton and that nothing had changed its July conclusion. But the letter did not address how the messages wound up on Weiner's computer and what, if anything, the announcement means for Abedin.

Abedin's attorney, Karen Dunn, has said Abedin learned from media reports about the possibility that her emails had been found on a laptop belonging to Weiner.

Comey has already said that investigators found classified emails on Clinton's server, and that although Clinton and her aides had been "extremely careless" in their handling of classified information, there was no evidence that anyone had willfully broken the law.

The new email review did not automatically increase the chances that anyone was in renewed danger of criminal prosecution, even if additional classified messages were found.

"We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it," Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said Sunday on Twitter.


1 deputy killed, 1 injured in Ga.

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

BYRON, Ga. — Authorities say a Peach County deputy was killed and another was wounded responding to a dispute between neighbors in central Georgia.

The Macon Telegraph reports the shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. Sunday near Byron, about 16 miles southwest of Macon.

Peach County coroner Kerry Rooks confirmed 41-year-old Patrick Sondron died at about 6:40 p.m.

GBI special agent J.T. Ricketson says the sheriff's office contacted him about 6 p.m. requesting assistance responding to "a dispute between neighbors."

Ricketson says when deputies arrived "they were under gunfire." He says they returned fire.

A suspect was taken to a hospital. Ricketson would not say if the suspect was shot.

A person who answered the phone at the sheriff's office said no one was there who could release any information.


Utah officer fatally struck by car during pursuit

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Police in Utah say a suburban Salt Lake City officer was deploying tire spikes when he was struck and killed by a stolen vehicle.

West Valley City police say 25-year-old Officer Cody Brotherson was standing outside his vehicle when he was hit Sunday morning.

Brotherson died at the scene.

According to investigators, the incident began when officers saw three people steal a car from an apartment complex. They fled in the car while police chased them.

Police say the car came to a stop after Brotherson was struck. The three occupants are in custody and being questioned.

West Valley City police say Brotherson had been with the department since December 2013.


Utah officer fatally struck by car during pursuit

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A suburban Salt Lake City police officer was killed Sunday when authorities say he was struck by people fleeing in a stolen vehicle.

West Valley City police Officer Cody Brotherson was deploying tire spikes when he was hit, authorities said. He is the first officer to die in the line of duty since the department formed in 1980.

"A West Valley born and bred individual and our hearts are heavy with his loss," Police Chief Lee Russo said at a news conference just hours after the officer's death.

According to Russo, it was not clear why the 25-year-old officer was outside his vehicle since spike strips had already been deployed before he was hit.

"He was certainly responding to the coordinated effort in stopping this vehicle," Russo said.

However, the chief said it was not yet clear if the suspects deliberately hit Brotherson.

Brotherson joined the department in December 2013. He is survived by a fiance, his parents and two brothers.

Dozens of officers saluted as his body was loaded into a hearse, which was escorted by police cars to the state medical examiner's office.

The incident began around 3:30 a.m. when an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle. Officers then witnessed three people in the car steal another vehicle from the parking lot of an apartment complex, police said. They tried to stop the vehicle but the suspects fled, leading to a pursuit.

Less than a minute later, an officer called for medical help for Brotherson. He died at the scene.

After hitting Brotherson, the vehicle went off the road and came to rest a short distance away.

All three people in the stolen vehicle were taken into custody. They are still being questioned, police said. Their identities were not released.

Another Salt Lake City-area police department will now lead the investigation.


Secret Service says no gun involved in Trump rally commotion

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Press

RENO, Nev. — No weapon was involved in a commotion that briefly disrupted Donald Trump's Saturday night rally and caused agents to hustle Trump from the stage, the Secret Service said.

The Republican presidential nominee had been speaking to supporters for a while when a disturbance broke out in the crowd close to the podium. Two Secret Service agents quickly surrounded Trump, then hustled him away.

In a statement, the Secret Service said a person in front of the stage had shouted "Gun!" but that no weapon was found after a search of the person and the immediate area. The person was apprehended, but officials did not identify the person or disclose whether the person had been charged with a crime.

The Secret Service said an investigation into the incident was ongoing.

Upon his return to the stage a few minutes later, Trump thanked the Secret Service and told the crowd: "Nobody said it was going to be easy for us. But we will never be stopped. Never ever be stopped."

The Secret Service statement noted that magnetometers are used at presidential campaign sites.

"All general public attending these events must go through a magnetometer screening prior to entering a protected area," the agency said.

Donald Trump's son and a top campaign aide were falsely spreading the rumor that an incident at a Nevada rally was an "assassination attempt" against the candidate even though no weapon was found.

Trump's son, Don Jr., and Dan Scavino, who runs Trump's social media operation, re-tweeted a message that read, "Hillary ran away from rain today. Trump is back on stage minutes after assassination attempt."

At Trump's next rally in Denver, a pastor, introduced as Father Andre Y-Sebastian Mahanna, also falsely called the Reno incident "an attempt of murder against Mr. Trump." Mahanna blamed the incident on the media for inciting hate against the Republican nominee.


Ohio city to honor police, dispatcher who helped child

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

Associated Press

FRANKLIN, Ohio — An Ohio city plans to honor three police officers and a dispatcher for the compassion they showed in response to a 7-year-old boy trying to sell a stuffed animal to buy food.

Police Chief Russell Whitman says officers Steve Dunham, Amanda Myers and Kyle O'Neal and dispatcher Lindsay Alvarez will receive the Police Exemplary Performance Award. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the presentation is planned Monday at the Franklin city council meeting.

The boy's parents are serving 180-day jail sentences after pleading guilty to child endangering charges.

The boy told Dunham in August he hadn't eaten for days, so the officer took him to a restaurant. He left him with Alvarez to join the other officers at the child's home, finding four older boys living amid garbage and cat urine.


Mo. group helps fallen officers’ families

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

By Nassim Benchaabane St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — The family of a St. Francois County deputy sheriff is the sixth this year to get assistance from BackStoppers.

Paul Clark, 55, died July 4 from injuries he suffered when his patrol car was struck by a vehicle fleeing a traffic stop in October 2015. He suffered a broken back that required multiple surgeries.

BackStoppers is helping Clark's wife and two adult children. The non-profit provides financial support to the spouses and dependent children of first responders who suffer a catastrophic injury or die in the line of duty in parts of Missouri and Illinois.

The organization is now helping 81 families of first responders, including the families of fallen St. Louis County police Officer Blake Snyder and wounded Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion.

“We recognize the tremendous sacrifices public servants make every day when they go to work,” Ron Battelle, executive director of BackStoppers, said in a press release. “We understand the burdens placed on surviving spouses and children when tragedies occur and believe our community has an obligation to care for the loved ones of those who have died in the line of duty.”

Clark served in the St. Francois County Sheriff's department for 13 years. Before that he served in the Park Hills Police Department for five years.

He will be honored at Backstoppers' largest annual fundraiser, the Budweiser Guns ’N Hoses boxing event Nov. 23 at the Scottrade Center. The event pits firefighters against police officers in the boxing ring and garners between $200,000 and $300,000 for the group.


Mo. group helps fallen officers’ families

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

By Nassim Benchaabane St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — The family of a St. Francois County deputy sheriff is the sixth this year to get assistance from BackStoppers.

Paul Clark, 55, died July 4 from injuries he suffered when his patrol car was struck by a vehicle fleeing a traffic stop in October 2015. He suffered a broken back that required multiple surgeries.

BackStoppers is helping Clark's wife and two adult children. The non-profit provides financial support to the spouses and dependent children of first responders who suffer a catastrophic injury or die in the line of duty in parts of Missouri and Illinois.

The organization is now helping 81 families of first responders, including the families of fallen St. Louis County police Officer Blake Snyder and wounded Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion.

“We recognize the tremendous sacrifices public servants make every day when they go to work,” Ron Battelle, executive director of BackStoppers, said in a press release. “We understand the burdens placed on surviving spouses and children when tragedies occur and believe our community has an obligation to care for the loved ones of those who have died in the line of duty.”

Clark served in the St. Francois County Sheriff's department for 13 years. Before that he served in the Park Hills Police Department for five years.

He will be honored at Backstoppers' largest annual fundraiser, the Budweiser Guns ’N Hoses boxing event Nov. 23 at the Scottrade Center. The event pits firefighters against police officers in the boxing ring and garners between $200,000 and $300,000 for the group.


Amid protests, oil pipeline may be rerouted

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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By William Yardley Los Angeles Times

President Obama said federal officials are considering rerouting the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, the $3.8-billion project that has stirred large protests by Native Americans and violent clashes with law enforcement.

“As a general rule, my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans, and I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline,” Obama said Tuesday in an interview the social media start-up NowThis News, referring to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the permitting process for the pipeline.

“So we’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans,” he said.

The 1,170-mile pipeline would transport as much as 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken production area of North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill. It would travel less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation near Cannon Ball, N.D., crossing under Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River that provides the tribe’s water supply.

Construction began early this year and is about 75% complete, according to the company building it, Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners.

In September, after a federal judge rejected a request by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to halt construction, the Corps of Engineers, Interior Department and Justice Department issued a joint statement announcing that the Corps would withhold a permit needed to build under Lake Oahe and nearby federal land while it conducted a review of its previous decisions.

The agencies also said the Corps would hold a series of meetings with tribal groups this fall to look at ways to improve consultation with them on major infrastructure projects.

The Obama administration also asked Dakota Access to voluntarily halt construction within 20 miles of federal land. The company has declined to do so.

The Standing Rock Sioux say the pipeline threatens sacred sites and puts their water supply at risk Protests started this spring and began escalating in late summer.

Last week, demonstrators blocked a road and set vehicles on fire. More than 140 people were arrested.

The president’s comments on Tuesday, his most specific public remarks about the pipeline, prompted praise from its opponents.

“We applaud President Obama’s commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water and the water of 17 million others,” Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, said in a written statement on Wednesday.

But Archambault also called on the Obama administration to go further and “issue an immediate ‘stop work order’” on the entire pipeline and begin a broad review of its potential environmental consequences.

Supporters of the pipeline have argued that the administration is improperly interfering with a project that had already received most of its required permits, and that the meddling will cause businesses to lose trust in the permitting process.

“Although a reroute sounds simple enough, it would be, in fact, incredibly difficult and it might be impossible,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for MAIN Coalition, an industry and labor group that supports the pipeline. “Even if possible, rerouting the line would require years to complete, new easements, new environmental and cultural studies, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Stevens also took issue with the president’s saying that the administration would let the situation “play out” for several more weeks. He said the protests and accompanying violence were “the direct result of the federal government’s unnecessary late-stage intervention.”

Obama told NowThis that the protests and the response to them have become “a challenge situation” and that “there’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint.”

“I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt,” he said.


Amid protests, oil pipeline may be rerouted

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

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By William Yardley Los Angeles Times

President Obama said federal officials are considering rerouting the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, the $3.8-billion project that has stirred large protests by Native Americans and violent clashes with law enforcement.

“As a general rule, my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans, and I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline,” Obama said Tuesday in an interview the social media start-up NowThis News, referring to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the permitting process for the pipeline.

“So we’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans,” he said.

The 1,170-mile pipeline would transport as much as 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken production area of North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill. It would travel less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation near Cannon Ball, N.D., crossing under Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River that provides the tribe’s water supply.

Construction began early this year and is about 75% complete, according to the company building it, Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners.

In September, after a federal judge rejected a request by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to halt construction, the Corps of Engineers, Interior Department and Justice Department issued a joint statement announcing that the Corps would withhold a permit needed to build under Lake Oahe and nearby federal land while it conducted a review of its previous decisions.

The agencies also said the Corps would hold a series of meetings with tribal groups this fall to look at ways to improve consultation with them on major infrastructure projects.

The Obama administration also asked Dakota Access to voluntarily halt construction within 20 miles of federal land. The company has declined to do so.

The Standing Rock Sioux say the pipeline threatens sacred sites and puts their water supply at risk Protests started this spring and began escalating in late summer.

Last week, demonstrators blocked a road and set vehicles on fire. More than 140 people were arrested.

The president’s comments on Tuesday, his most specific public remarks about the pipeline, prompted praise from its opponents.

“We applaud President Obama’s commitment to protect our sacred lands, our water and the water of 17 million others,” Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, said in a written statement on Wednesday.

But Archambault also called on the Obama administration to go further and “issue an immediate ‘stop work order’” on the entire pipeline and begin a broad review of its potential environmental consequences.

Supporters of the pipeline have argued that the administration is improperly interfering with a project that had already received most of its required permits, and that the meddling will cause businesses to lose trust in the permitting process.

“Although a reroute sounds simple enough, it would be, in fact, incredibly difficult and it might be impossible,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for MAIN Coalition, an industry and labor group that supports the pipeline. “Even if possible, rerouting the line would require years to complete, new easements, new environmental and cultural studies, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Stevens also took issue with the president’s saying that the administration would let the situation “play out” for several more weeks. He said the protests and accompanying violence were “the direct result of the federal government’s unnecessary late-stage intervention.”

Obama told NowThis that the protests and the response to them have become “a challenge situation” and that “there’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint.”

“I want to make sure that as everybody is exercising their constitutional rights to be heard that both sides are refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt,” he said.


Police Limit Comic: November 6, 2016

Posted on November 6, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Garey McKee

Police Limit Comic is published on PoliceOne every Sunday. For more than a decade, the strip's cast of unnamed characters has been constantly struggling with stresses, not only from the criminal element on the street, but also from the upper echelons of the police department's top brass, clueless judges, and the liberal media.


Body of missing Calif. police explorer found bludgeoned, stabbed and burned

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Michael Bodley and Kimberly Veklerov San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 21-year-old volunteer with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office missing since Wednesday was found dead at an East Oakland park, her body bludgeoned, stabbed and burned almost beyond recognition, authorities said Friday.

Karla Ramirez-Segoviano vanished Wednesday evening in San Leandro. Her body — which police said was burned so badly the coroner had trouble lifting a fingerprint — was discovered around noon Thursday at Arroyo Viejo Park.

A woman — believed to have been friends with Ramirez-Segoviano — and a man were taken into custody on suspicion of committing the “disturbing” slaying, said Lt. Roland Holmgren of the Oakland Police Department’s homicide division.

The names of the suspects, both from Oakland, were not immediately released.

“This is something that nobody should deserve to see,” Holmgren said of the crime.

The body had multiple stab wounds and signs of major blunt force trauma, plus burns all over her upper body. The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau identified her Friday afternoon.

Investigators are handing over evidence to the Alameda County district attorney’s office to review for charges, which could include murder, torture and mayhem, among other serious crimes, police said.

Ramirez-Segoviano was a volunteer member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Explorer Program for about four years. She was last seen dropping off an acquaintance in San Leandro Wednesday night, police said.

Her parents, with whom she lived in San Leandro, reported her missing when she didn’t come home Wednesday night, which was unusual for the young volunteer.

“Her family members had some concerns about letting her daughter out late at night, so you can imagine,” Holmgren said.

The brutal killing wasn’t believed to be directly connected to her volunteer work with the Sheriff’s Office, Holmgren said — just days after the point-blank ambush killings of two police officers in Iowa renewed fears across the nation of officers being targeted for their work.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the volunteer program Ramirez-Segoviano was involved in can serve as a “step into law enforcement” for some, but it wasn’t clear whether she harbored those aspirations.

“Our worst fears were realized” when the coroner identified the body, Nelson said.

Ramirez-Segoviano’s family is a “very tight-knit group,” Holmgren said, adding that he could “only imagine what type of person she was by the interactions we’ve had with her family. She was a very sweet person.”

And that made the violent crime all the more troubling, he said.

“Whenever you decide to inflict harm on somebody with something as personal as stabbing them, coming into that person’s close, personal space, actually having to utilize a knife and push it through a person’s skin, that is a very personal type of crime, and it takes a certain type of anger,” Holmgren said.

©2016 the San Francisco Chronicle


NYPD sergeant wounded in gunfire released from hospital

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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Associated Pres

NEW YORK — A New York City police officer injured during a gunfight with a suspect has been released from the hospital.

Police say Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, left the hospital Friday night after treatment for a leg wound.

His partner Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, was fatally shot in the head in the exchange of fire Friday with an armed man on a Bronx street. The encounter unfolded after the gunman, Manuel Rosales, had broken into this estranged wife's home.

Rosales, of Brentwood, Long Island, stayed for hours before fleeing. He also was killed in the gunfire.

Authorities say Rosales had a history of 17 arrests, some related to domestic disputes. He had served time in state prison for possession of stolen property.

Tuozzolo lived on Long Island with his wife and two young children.


Sheriff: Fla. hit-and-run suspect ‘left them for dead’

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Christal Hayes and Caitlin Doornbos Orlando Sentinel

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A man was arrested Thursday in a hit-and-run crash that left a woman dead and a Polk County deputy severely injured.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest at a news conference, describing the suspect, Charles "Charley" Lewis, 71, as "vicious."

Judd said Lewis had been drinking beer at a party late Friday into Saturday morning and was driving home when he crashed into Jessica Enchautegui-Otero, 33, and Deputy Adam Pennell, 25, near Lake Wales.

Pennell had pulled over to help Enchautegui-Otero, who crashed along State Road 60 between Tiger Lake and Sam Keen roads about 12:40 a.m.

He got out of his patrol car, turned on his emergency lights and called dispatchers for assistance. But before medics could arrive, Lewis crossed into the median in his blue pickup and struck both the deputy and Enchautegui-Otero. He then drove off.

Judd said Lewis confessed to hitting the two and drinking before getting on the road. He said he remembered seeing the deputy's vehicle and swerving off the road to avoid crashing, Judd said.

"He said that he didn't remember hitting anyone, so he went on home. He didn't stop. He left them for dead," Judd said.

A tip from Crime Stoppers helped lead detectives to Lewis and his vehicle, which Judd said tested positive for human blood.

"Never underestimate the power of the community. Thanks to an anonymous tip, we were able to solve this case and help bring some closure to these two families whose lives were forever changed by the reckless actions of Charlie Lewis," Judd said.


AG files charges against alleged NM cop killer

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Maggie Shepard Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Attorney General's Office has filed state charges against Davon Lymon, 35, who was convicted in late October of federal charges connected to the death of Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster.

Webster was fatally shot during a stolen motorcycle investigation near Eubank and Central in October 2015.

Authorities arrested Lymon but only charged him in federal court with firearms violations since he had previous felony convictions and was accused of possessing a gun -- the same one used to shoot Webster.

A federal judge last week found Lymon guilty of possessing that gun. He faces up to 10 years in prison, but the sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. He still has three unresolved firearms charges in the same case.

Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a news release Thursday that the state was waiting for the federal charges to resolve before charging Lymon in connection with Webster's death.

"Now that the federal matter has been adjudicated, we will present the homicide case to a grand jury," Balderas said in the release.

The charges filed Thursday include homicide, assault, shooting from a motor vehicle, receiving a stolen vehicle and tampering with evidence, according to the criminal complaint.

In the federal gun case, Savannah Garcia, 17, testified that Lymon shot Webster as the officer attempted to handcuff him after determining the license plate on the motorcycle they were riding on had been reported stolen. She said she met Lymon earlier in the day and they had been delivering drugs to various locations when they decided to stop at Walgreens to buy cigarettes.

Lymon fled the scene but was found hours later, with, police say, Webster's handcuff still on his wrist.


Jurors examine video of fatal SC OIS

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Bruce Smith Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A fired police officer's defense team couldn't keep jurors from seeing a cellphone video Friday that shows him killing an unarmed man who was running away, so they spent much of the day trying to discredit the man who recorded it.

Jurors wore headphones at Slager's murder trial while they watched the video, which has been seen millions of times on the internet, shocking the conscience of a nation already sickened by violent encounters between police and the public.

Recorded in April 2015 by Feidin Santana, a 25-year-old barber, it shows black motorist Walter Scott wrestling with Slager over a stun gun, then breaking away, until he's shot in the back from a distance and crumples to the ground.

"For some reason I decided to use my phone to record and prevent something that might happen," the 25-year-old barber testified. "It was something I will never forget."

Slager's defense had sought to keep the video out of the trial, but didn't object after Santana took the stand. The defense did ask that jurors be instructed that the proper perspective to consider the action would be from the perspective of the officer. They also wanted the judge to prevent the video from being shown in slow-motion.

Judge Clifton Newman denied both requests, saying "I don't seek to control the manner in which the state presents its evidence."

Slager, who was swiftly fired from the force and charged with murder after the video surfaced, faces 30 years to life if convicted.

The defense says the two men fought over the Taser, but Santana said he never saw it in Scott's hands, and never saw Scott on top of the officer. He said Scott got away and began running before he was shot down.

Santana also explained why he did not immediately give the video to the North Charleston police.

As a legal permanent resident of the U.S., he said he didn't want to be caught up in legal proceedings before returning home to the Dominican Republic. Also, he said he initially thought Scott was still alive, so perhaps the video wouldn't really matter.

He said he told another North Charleston police officer at the scene that he had video of the slaying, and the officer told him he should stay around, but Santana thought better of that. As a biracial man, he said he worried for his own safety in North Charleston in the days after the shooting.

"There were only three people there -- Walter Scott, the officer and me," he said.

Once he learned Scott was dead, Santana said, he reached out to representatives of the Scott family, and it was their attorneys who released it to the media. Later, he turned over his phone to agents from the State Law Enforcement Division.

Tawayne Weems, an assistant high school principal and friend of Santana, said he helped Santana contact the Scotts, and described how the victim's family saw the video for the first time in the back of his car.

On cross-examination defense attorney Andy Savage asked Weems why Santana didn't immediately hand it over to police.

"The concern is whether it would be released or whether it would be altered," Weems said. "There was concern about what the police would do with it. He was not trusting. He had just seen an officer shoot a man eight times in the back."

Earlier, Savage questioned Santana about some song lyrics he wrote months before the shooting, which include the phrase: "Those who must defend us are the worst criminals. Who can I trust?"

Savage asked if that was how he saw things when he made the recording.

"I'm not against any law enforcement, any officer," Santana replied. "I am against police brutality."


Texas cop fired after giving fecal sandwich to homeless man

Posted on November 5, 2016 by in POLICE

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By PoliceOne Staff

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police have fired an officer for giving a homeless man a fecal sandwich.

The incident was reported back in May when Officer Matthew Luckhurst, a five-year veteran of the force, bragged to a colleague that he made a fecal sandwich, put it in a styrofoam container and set it next to a homeless man, KSAT 12 reported.

Officials told the station the officer told Luckhurst to go throw the sandwich away. Police are still searching for the unidentified homeless man.

An investigation was launched when internal affairs was notified in July after another officer reported Luckhurst’s actions, according to the publication.

The case was presented to civilian and sworn review boards in October. They recommended Luckhurst be placed on indefinite suspension.

“This was a vile and disgusting act that violates our guiding principles of ‘treating all with integrity, compassion, fairness and respect,’” Police Chief William McManus said in a statement. “The fact that his fellow officers were so disgusted with his actions that they reported him to internal affairs demonstrates that this type of behavior will never be tolerated.”


NY sergeant fatally shot, officer seriously injured; suspect killed

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in POLICE

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A police sergeant was fatally shot and another officer injured while responding to a robbery in progress Friday afternoon, The New York Times reported.

The officers were responding to the call when they encountered an armed suspect and exchanged gunfire, the publication reported.

#BREAKING: cops rushing to scene where two of their own have shot, at least one is gravely wounded. #abc7ny pic.twitter.com/E9yTjH9Yjg

— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) November 4, 2016

The suspect fled the scene. When officers tracked the suspect down, the sergeant approached the car and was shot in the face, officials told the publication.

The suspect was fatally shot.


NYPD sergeant fatally shot, another wounded in gun battle with suspect

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in POLICE

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By Jake Pearson Associated Press

NEW YORK — Two police sergeants were shot, one fatally, in an exchange of gunfire on Friday with a man suspected of breaking into a woman's home, authorities said. The gunman also was killed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Police Department sergeant's death, saying in a statement the sergeant had "made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty." The other sergeant, who was shot in the leg, was undergoing treatment at a local hospital, said Cuomo, a Democrat.

The gunman, Manuel Rosales, fired on officers who had stopped his car following a brief pursuit near a ballfield, a law enforcement official said.

A woman who had an order of protection against Rosales had called 911 after he broke into her home and stayed for hours, giving police a description of his car, the official said.

Officers on patrol pursued Rosales, pulled him over and were attempting to arrest him when he opened fire, said the official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the ongoing case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

News helicopter footage of the scene showed a red SUV mounted on a sidewalk pinned between a flatbed truck and a police vehicle.

Area resident Gary Mayo, a city worker, was home on a day off when he heard five or six booms.

"That doesn't sound like firecrackers," he said he thought.

From the terrace of his fourth-floor apartment he saw a swarm of police cars converging on a nearby street and could tell whatever happened was "something really big," he said.

Rosales, 35, was listed as homeless in court records from July. A lawyer who previously represented him said he wasn't violent.

The sergeant is the fifth New York Police Department officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in the last two years.

The mayor's office said a press conference was scheduled for later Friday evening.

#BREAKING: cops rushing to scene where two of their own have shot, at least one is gravely wounded. #abc7ny pic.twitter.com/E9yTjH9Yjg

— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) November 4, 2016

Iowa ambush attacks raise officer safety reminders

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in POLICE

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

This week, the state of Iowa lost two heroes — Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio and Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin — in separate but related ambush attacks. Both officers were in their patrol vehicles when they came under sudden, unprovoked attack.

In the first shooting, investigators believe the gunman walked up to the officer’s car and fired more than two dozen rounds. Officers responding to the shots-fired call found Martin in his Urbandale squad car. Despite attempts to save his life, Martin later died. A short time thereafter and less than two miles away, Sergeant Beminio was ambushed during the search for the suspected cop killer.

The 46-year-old suspect — who was arrested soon after his murderous attacks — had a recent confrontation with officers at a high school football game last month, had a history of racial provocations and other contacts with police.

Ambush attacks on the rise The ambush killings of these two officers in Iowa are the latest in an ugly trend. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, ambush attacks on police officers have increased by 167 percent this year, with 16 ambush-style killings so far this year.

In another troubling trend, many of these ambush attacks have claimed the lives of more than one officer in a single incident. Two Palm Springs police officers were murdered in an ambush in October. In early July, five officers were killed in Dallas while they were protecting a protest march. Three more were killed in ambush later that month in Baton Rouge.

According to preliminary data supplied to PoliceOne by NLEOMF, police officers have also been shot and killed in ambush attacks in Salt Lake City (Utah), Danville (Ohio), Bel Air (Maryland), Prince William, (Virginia), Landover (Maryland), and Richmond (Virginia) this year.

Not all ambush attacks in 2016 have been fatal. In October, two Boston police officers who were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance were wounded in an ambush attack. University of Pennsylvania Police Officer Eddie Miller and Philadelphia Police Sergeant Sylvia Young survived a shooting rampage in September. In January, Philadelphia Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot three times in a brazen ambush. He survived that sudden attack, and even took the fight to his assailant.

Thankfully those officers survived. However, those incidents were ambush attacks nonetheless. It is unclear how many officers have been shot in ambush attacks but saved by body armor and improved trauma care in recent years. We simply do not have that data — somehow, some way, we should.

Targeted in the patrol vehicle Speaking about the loss of his officer, Urbandale Police Chief Ross McCarty said, “I don’t think he may have even been aware that there was a gunman next to him,” according to reports.

That statement offers the reminder that especially when the patrol vehicle is not moving, officers are particularly vulnerable to ambush attacks. When stopped, officers are more likely to be looking at their in-car computer and not at their surroundings. That brief lack of situational awareness can be fatal. And the practice of doing written reports in a stationary vehicle should be banned outright. Even taking up space at the kitchen table at the local firehouse is better than that (and you might even get a good meal out of that deal).

This not to suggest that Martin was staring at his MDT, doing a report or was otherwise distracted — we presently don’t know and will probably never know what happened in Urbandale — but the fact is that the more time you spend looking at something other than your surroundings, the more vulnerable you become. Suffice it to say, it is imperative that you not allow individuals to approach you while you are sitting in your car. The more you keep your eyes on your side and rear view mirrors and keep 360 awareness, the harder a target you become.

Another way to open yourself up to an ambush in the squad car is to have a well-worn patrol path. Vary your routes around your assigned sector and take note of the possible pinch points where an attacker might lurk in hiding. Do your when/then thinking about how you would respond should an attack occur there. Watch out for choke points and areas that have only one avenue of access and egress. Be especially on guard in those locations.

Finally, remember that your vehicle can be used tactically to protect you. For example, an assailant in front of you can be run down — get as low as you can behind the engine block and attack the ambush. Conversely, slamming the transmission into reverse and making a hasty exit from the kill-zone can also save your life. You’re sitting in a one-ton weapon — use it to your advantage.

Ambush after an officer-down call It is unclear whether or not the assailant in Iowa planned his attack on one officer in order to lure responders into a trap, but this incident does make us consider the prospect of the threat.

It has been a tactic of terrorists in the Middle East for decades: commit an attack that lures others into a kill zone, and unleash an even more catastrophic attack on that “second wave” of first responders. Because the ease with which such a thing could be pulled off, it’s actually a little surprising that this tactic has not been successfully employed by anti-police individuals and groups here in America.

That is not to say it has not been considered or planned. The Hutaree militia in Michigan allegedly planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then ambush the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral.

PoliceOne Columnist Richard Fairburn has been teaching about countering ambush attacks for years, and has included the prospect of this tactic in his instruction.

“I’m teaching everyone to stop responding to a potential ambush call individually,” Fairburn told PoliceOne. “Someone needs to take command of the response and designate a Rally Point some distance out. Then send in teams who are better able to deal with an attacker who may be using the first scene as ‘bait’ to draw in additional single victims.”

Training for ambush attacks in patrol vehicles should be incorporated into and emphasized in EVOC training. Ambush attacks should be discussed regularly at roll call.

Unhinged individuals and organized groups Municipal cops, sheriff’s deputies, tribal officers, state troopers, and federal officers are potential targets from organized criminal groups and as we’ve seen just this week, unhinged individuals — are equally dangerous. The gunman in Iowa reportedly had been facing intense money problems, had been found by a judge to be financially exploiting his mother and was ordered to move out of her basement hours before the shootings.

As I have said previously about terrorism, ambush attack is a tactic, not a tribe. Watch for pre-attack indicators of an ambush attack and do everything in your power to win whatever confrontation you encounter.

Stay safe out there my friends.


Policing Matters Podcast: How to become a cop

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

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

In watching the audience of the Policing Matters podcast grow, we have observed that a considerable portion of the people clicking and listening to the show are civilians. We theorize that among this group of listeners are police supporters and people who just want to know more about policing. We also believe there may be individuals who want to become a cop. With this in mind, Jim and Doug discuss the things that folks should (and should not) do as they prepare to join the noble profession.


Pa. lawmakers approve ban on naming cops in shootings

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in POLICE

Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie

By PoliceOne Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that blocks public officials from immediately releasing names of officers involved in shootings.

Currently, the law lets officials determine when to identify officers. Typically, Pennsylvania police departments name the officer within 72 hours, if there is no credible threat to the officer and family. The new bill requires officials to wait until 30 days after the OIS, or after the investigation has ended, to publicly name the officer.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, anyone who violates the order could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The state AG’s office and DA offices would be exempt.

Supporters of the bill told the publication that the vote was necessary to protect officers and families after incidents.

"We are the protectors of our protectors," Rep. Dominic Costa told the publication.

Opponents said the bill eliminates transparency, which they believe is necessary to ensure trust with the community in the current climate.

“Do not undermine the bridges that have been built between law enforcement and communities of color,”Rep. Margo Davidson said. “This legislation will do nothing but breed suspicion.”

The bill was sent to Gov. Tom Wolf to finalize measures. The publication reported Wolf has not said if he will sign or veto the bill.

If the governor were to veto the bill, the legislature would have enough votes to override it, but would have to reconvene after the election.


NY man pleads guilty to assaulting deputies with bat

Posted on November 4, 2016 by in