Tag: Law Enforcement

Two Sides Fighting Terror

 

praying-mosqueFor years many of us have been saying that the Muslim leaders in the US must actively speak out against terrorism. We have also heard of Muslim leaders who profess to oppose terrorism and insist that they do not harbor recruits or recruiters of terrorism.

Imagine my disappointment as I learn that mosques may not be screening for jihadis. According to Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, who has been tracking mosques who report to the authorities, “…mosques are not putting jihadis out, or making it clear that they are unwelcome, or, for the most part, reporting them to authorities when they learn of what they’re doing.”

In contrast, a counterterrorism program in Dearborn led by its Police Chief Ron Haddad, has shown success in identifying potential terrorists:

A Bloody Pause In The Non-War On Cops

 

shutterstock_241549918This morning brought the sad news that a Deputy US Marshall was murdered in the line of duty during a gun fight in Southeastern Georgia. Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a suspect wanted for the attempted murder of police officers in South Carolina.

Carothers’ death marks the 10th intentional killing (you might say “murder”) of a law enforcement officer in the United States in the Month of November this year. Nine of the 10 have been shot, while the 10th, a young Salt Lake City area officer, was intentionally run over during a pursuit. This already makes the bloodiest month of Thanksgiving for American cops since 1988 (page 24 of this link), when 11 officers were slain, and it is barely half over.

Sadly, this is not, by all evidence, an anomaly. In October nine officers were murdered on duty, including eight shot and a veteran Detroit officer who was run over. That marked the bloodiest October for law enforcement since 1999, a number that has only been eclipsed twice in 30 years. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 57 officers shot to death this year, a 68% spike over 2015. Sixteen of those slayings were in mass, targeted killings of officers.

Member Post

 

One of my Rico-friends asked me this question recently. Then, no more than a day or two later, a flesh-and-blood friend made the same enquiry, and in more or less the same, slightly weirded-out spirit. “You sound so normal,” goes the subtext. “It doesn’t make sense that you are…you know…religious.” Preview Open

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The Rules of Gun Safety Are for Everyone, Not Just Gun Owners

 

GunLet’s begin with the obvious: The senseless, stupid tragedy of a 73-year-old Punta Gorda, FL volunteer being killed was caused by a cop and/or a police department who thought it would be a good idea to point an actual firearm (loaded with blanks or not) at a person and pull the trigger.

Period, full stop.

For reasons that are sure to come out at a later date, they thought that breaking the fundamental rules of gun safety in order to set up a poorly-design “active shooter” drill was a good idea. They’re the ones who broke the fundamental rules of gun safety, and so they need to be rightly excoriated for what they did.

Member Post

 

I had written an old blog post on the issues between law enforcement and African Americans over a year and a half ago. With all of the recent clashes over the losses of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, I figured I would share my post here to see what any of you all thought. Thanks for […]

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Member Post

 

Happy Police Week… In case you missed it, Sunday was National Police Memorial Day. It was marked by a large ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol, with the widows, orphans, grieving parents, siblings and colleagues of the 128 American police officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2015.  Preview Open

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This is a new podcast from Krista Tippet, of NPR’s “On Being,” based on her new book Becoming Wise. Krista included me in the book, and in the podcast, so I thought I’d share it with y’all! The recording was done not long after my first book, Here If You Need Me came out, and […]

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Tomorrow, it will have been twenty years since my first husband, Trooper James A. (“Drew”) Griffith of the Maine State Police was killed in the line of duty. This is the last picture ever taken of him. It appeared in the local newspaper to illustrate a story about the Maine State Police’s pilot project in […]

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Sooo… The news media screams that it’s just terrible that people are able to “evade” taxes by stashing money offshore, and why the heck isn’t the government doing something about it? Oh, but no, we’re not gonna give law enforcement any of the actual information they need to do something about it, because journalism? Media didn’t have any problems revealing […]

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The Honor of Thieves in the Paris Métro

 

This video has gone viral in France. I couldn’t find a version subtitled in English, so I’ll walk you through it with a rough translation.

A particular kind of pickpocket works the early-morning shift in the Métro. They target passengers who are trying to get a few extra winks in before work, or people who are still drunk after partying all night. “The corpse robbers of dawn,” the cops call them.

NPR Station’s “Investigation” Goes Where Their Narrative Led Them

 

shutterstock_56280433In recent weeks, Southern California National Public Radio affiliate KPCC produced web and broadcast “analysis” of Officer-Involved Shootings (OIS) in Los Angeles County over the last five years. Their quest, per the website, was to establish “how often” law enforcement shoots suspects in LA County. They did anything but.

The project was built on examinations of the LA County District Attorney’s reports on OIS incidents and coroners’ reports for fatal shootings, and included an extensive database and website, from which were generated radio reports focusing on certain discrete aspects of the data. Having covered use-of-force issues for 20 years, I found the reports were predictably biased with selective, cherry-picked data framed to generate innuendo and misconceptions.

Almost every “Officer-Involved” radio report opened with three facts KPCC “discovered”: A quarter of all people shot by LA law enforcement are unarmed. About 23 percent are black, a number disproportionate to their 8 percent share of the population. And, no officer has been prosecuted for an on-duty shooting in 15 years.

Member Post

 

What follows may sound nutty, almost survivalist. Last night on the news a reporter explained that the FBI is keeping an eye on potential Muslim terrorists in every state in the Union. That didn’t surprise me. Our enemies are determined—it sometimes seems much more than we—to inflict as much pain as possible wherever they can. […]

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Not All Abortions Are Equal

 

shutterstock_65609728Editor’s Note: This is one of two pieces we’re publishing today on abortion. Mike Rapkoch’s response may be found here.

Abortion is a contentious political issue because the two most visible positions are irreconcilable. If you think that all abortions are the moral equivalent of murder, then any accommodation with abortion makes one complicit with great evil. If, however, you think a woman has a fundamental right to terminate any pregnancy without reference to any interests besides her own personal preference, it is similarly difficult to justify restrictions on the practice.

Having hashed out my opinions on the matter on this site and elsewhere, I’ve concluded that, regardless, an unsatisfying compromise between the competing interests and factions is the best available political option. There’s the interest of the mother, the (tragically underserved) interests of the father, the interests of the fetus, and the interests of the public to be considered. Most importantly in my mind, there is the matter of practical law enforcement and the appropriate limits of state action.

Government, Govern Thyself

 

shutterstock_214071850The purpose of anti-child pornography laws is to protect innocents from exploitation and humiliation, particularly by adults, but also by their peers. Ironically, these very laws — not the actions of the teens involved — are directly to blame for precisely that outcome in a case out of Cumberland County, North Carolina.

Via Reason — though I also recommend this article from the Fayetteville Observer, which has a number of important updates — two North Carolina high school students were charges with multiple felonies last month for exchanging and storing nude photographs of themselves and each other on their phones. The girl subsequently pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge and is on probation, but the boy is fighting the charges and potentially faces 10 years in prison and registry as sex offender.

A few details make the case particularly noteworthy and offensive:

Retired Detective Russell Poole, R.I.P.

 

Wednesday brought the sad news that retired LAPD detective Russell Poole had died from an apparent heart attack. He and I worked together in South L.A. in the mid-1980s, and like everyone who worked with him, I very much admired his skills as a cop. He became a detective and worked homicide in South L.A. for almost 10 years before earning a coveted position at Robbery-Homicide Division, the most elite detective assignment in the department.

It was while at Robbery-Homicide that he was assigned to investigate a controversial incident in which Frank Lyga, an on-duty LAPD undercover detective, shot and killed Kevin Gaines, an off-duty LAPD patrol officer. (I discussed the incident last year at PJ Media.) In the course of that investigation, Poole discovered links between the deceased officer and various figures connected to rap music label Death Row records. As chronicled in Randall Sullivan’s book LAbyrinth, Poole wanted to follow up on leads that suggested other LAPD cops were working for or were otherwise inappropriately cozy with some unsavory characters in the rap music world. Poole was ordered not to pursue those lines of inquiry.

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 Seriously? Have you not seen this show?  Okay, admittedly, I normally would not have seen it either, since I don’t have TV. (Just a lot of Netflix). And anyway, for me, it’s kind of like watching home movies. (“Oh, look at Kris?! Wasn’t he cute then?”) But this Animal Planet reality show is hugely popular, because […]

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Book Review: Chasing The Scream

 

Johann Hari’s new book, Chasing The Scream,CTS provides a broad (but not deep) history of the War on Drugs. He offers not only a convincing case for why it is counterproductive and self-defeating (it’s been said before) but why everything we think we know about addiction is wrong and why — without addressing addiction and its causes — the the war is an exercise in futility.

The book engages with a variety of viewpoints from both sides: Not just the usual prohibitionist and harm reduction positions, but also the viewpoints of law enforcement officials as well as (unusually) those of a variety of drug users.

The book comes with endorsements (on the cover, no less) from Glenn Greenwald, Stephen Fry, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and — somewhat be musingly — Elton John. I know that one or more of these names is the mark of doom for many Ricochetti, but the book contains compelling arguments and statistics worth addressing nonetheless.

Small Town SWAT

 

policetanksI was on my way to church a few weeks ago when I noticed that several roads in my town had been blocked off. Turns out there was a 5K race to raise money for something called SRT. I had no idea what that was, but the logo — a gladiator helmet in front of crossed swords — looked pretty cool. When I looked it up, I discovered it stood for the police Special Response Team.

The SRT isn’t so much a team as some officers who volunteered to take extra training, sort of like a SWAT without snipers. They do, however, have all of the helmets, body armor, and assault rifles needed to play soldier. Some of these guys were soldiers once, but they’re not now. Now they are police officers.

All of the training and equipment for the SRT comes from fundraisers. As a taxpayer, I like that. Still, I have to wonder: Is this really needed?