NEWS of the Week - April 2 to April 8, 2012
on some NAACC / LACP issues of interest


NEWS of the Week 
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ... We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...

NOTE: To see full stories either click on the Daily links or on the URL provided below each article.


Apr 8, 2012


From the Washington Times


Bill Cosby weighs in on Trayvon Martin case

“The gun.”

Those two simple words flowed easily from the mouth of social commentator Bill Cosby during an exclusive interview Friday regarding the Trayvon Martin case, arguably the most high-profile, citizen-on-citizen U.S. slaying facing the Obama administration .

Trayvon was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman , who told police that a “confrontation” with the unarmed 17-year-old led him to shoot in self-defense.

Mr. Cosby , a Navy veteran, said “the gun” empowered Mr. Zimmerman , whose actions have stirred a firestorm of debate, protests and remarks from President Obama.

“We've got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch,” said Mr. Cosby , whose remarks were the first he has made publicly about the case.



Neighbors fearful after shootings in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Residents of Tulsa's predominantly black north side said Saturday they're afraid a shooter is still roaming their neighborhoods looking for victims after five people were shot — and three killed — a day earlier.

“We're all nervous,” said Renaldo Works , 52, who was getting his hair cut at the crowded Charlie's Angels Forever Hair Style Shop on Saturday morning. “I've got a 15-year-old, and I'm not going to let him out late. People are scared. We need facts.

“You don't want to be a prisoner in your own home,” he said.

Police are still waiting for the results of forensic tests, but investigators think the shootings are linked because they happened around the same time within a 3-mile span, and all five victims were out walking when they were shot. All the victims are black, and community met this weekend in an effort to calm any unrest.

One of the victims told police that the shooter was a white man driving a white pickup truck who stopped to ask for directions before opening fire. Officer Jason Willingham said Saturday that the pickup was spotted in the area of three of the shootings.



From Google News

2 suspects arrested in Oklahoma shootings

TULSA, Okla.— Police said special operations officers and other agents arrested two white men early Sunday, saying they were suspects in recent shootings that left three people dead and two others critically wounded, all black, in the Tulsa area.

Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham said the two men were arrested at a home just north of Tulsa at 1:47 a.m. Sunday and they were expected to face three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill. He said police acted on an anonymous tip and went to one location and followed the suspects after they had traveled about a half mile on foot to another place where they were apprehended. He declined to characterize that as a pursuit.

"There obviously still is a lot of investigation" ahead, Willingham told The Associated Press by telephone. "We don't' have a motive at this time. We are still asking questions and hopefully that will become clear in coming days."

Willingham identified the men in custody as 19-year-old Jake England and 32-year-old Alvin Watts, both white, but gave no hometowns for them. He said the two men were taken early Sunday for questioning at a downtown Tulsa police station and would be booked and then jailed.



Community Policing Defined

Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.

Community Policing is comprised of three key components:

  • Community Partnerships
    Collaborative partnerships between the law enforcement agency and the individuals and organizations they serve to develop solutions to problems and increase trust in police.
  • Organizational Transformation
    The alignment of organizational management, structure, personnel, and information systems to support community partnerships and proactive problem solving.
  • Problem Solving
    The process of engaging in the proactive and systematic examination of identified problems to develop and rigorously evaluate effective responses.



Michael Eric Dyson Offers Ed Schultz A Solution To Racial Profiling: ‘Community Policing'?

With the Trayvon Martin case still at the forefront of much of the news, racial profiling in general has become a frequent topic of conversation, and many have shared the frightful experiences that have come out of profiling situations. One such person in the spotlight this week is Tyler Perry , who wrote a long Facebook post about a traffic stop that could have gotten ugly had a black police officer not intervened. Ed Schultz used the Perry example to illustrate the dangers of profiling with guest Michael Eric Dyson on his program yesterday, and Dyson offered some solutions. Strangely among them, he cited community policing. Isn't community policing what brought racial profiling into the news cycle to begin with?

Perry wrote a post last Sunday on Facebook about an experience in which a police officer stopped him for an illegal turn, and he and his white partner became extreme hostile towards him until he began to behave the way his mother had taught him to in the presence of officers:

I finally realized that he thought that switch was the key, so I told him that it wasn't the key he was grabbing. I reached down into the cup holder to get the key, not realizing that the key had a black leather strap on it. As I grabbed it they both tensed up and I dropped it as I heard my mother's voice from when I was a little boy.

My mother would always say to me, “if you get stopped by the police, especially if they are white policemen, you say ‘yes sir' and ‘no sir', and if they want to take you in, you go with them. Don't resist, you hear me? Don't make any quick moves, don't run, you just go.” My mother was born in 1945 into a segregated hotbed town in rural Louisiana. She had known of many colored men at the time who were lynched and never heard from again. Since I was her only son for ten years, growing up she was so worried about me. It wasn't until after I heard her voice that I realized that both of these officers were white.



Apr 7, 2012


From the L.A. Daily News

Van Nuys man passes torch of USO of Greater L.A.

Patriotism swelled in months following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the United States mounted a war with Afghanistan and, nearly two years later, with Iraq.

At the time, the nonprofit United Services Organization, or USO, at Los Angeles International Airport was in shambles. The facility was open only for a few hours three days per week. Four volunteers staffed the office.

"It hardly served anyone back then," recalled Michael Teilmann, a Van Nuys resident who stepped down Friday after serving 11 years as executive director of the USO of Greater Los Angeles.

Comedian Bob Hope and radio personality-turned-honorary Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant each asked Teilmann to take a "leave of absence" from his television producing duties to build the local USO back up.

The temporary gig turned into a job that spanned more than a decade, allowing him to oversee the USO's operations and about 500 volunteers spread across LAX, Ontario International Airport and Palm Springs Airport.



Top Juarez cartel figure who ordered 1,500 killings gets life in U.S.

MCALLEN, Texas - A top Juarez cartel figure was sentenced to life in prison in a U.S. court on Thursday after he admitted ordering more than 1,500 killings, including the slaying of a U.S. consulate employee in Mexico.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez pleaded guilty in El Paso to 11 counts that included conspiracy, racketeering and murder. U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone sentenced Acosta to seven concurrent life terms, three additional consecutive life terms and 20 years in federal prison.

Investigators alleged that Acosta headed La Linea, the Juarez cartel's enforcement arm. He admitted in court Thursday to ordering more than 1,500 killings before he was captured in July with his bodyguard in the northern Mexico city of Chihuahua.

Acosta, nicknamed Diego, was one of 10 people named in the indictment as participating in the killings of Leslie Ann Enriquez, an employee at the U.S. consulate in Juarez; her husband, Arthur Redelfs; and Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of another consulate employee.

The three had left a children's party on March 13, 2010, in two white sport utility vehicles that were pursued separately by gunmen and riddled with bullets.



From the Washington Times

Weapons dealer Bout sentenced to 25 years in arms conspiracy

International arms dealer Viktor Bout , the so-called “Merchant of Death,” was sentenced Thursday in federal court in New York to 25 years in prison following his conviction in a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to finance a fleet of aircraft to arm bloody conflicts and support terrorists worldwide.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan also ordered the former KGB agent to forfeit $15 million.

Bout , 45, declared his innocence until the last, telling the judge he was “not guilty” and charging that the charges against him were false. He shouted “It's a lie” and “God knows the truth” when a prosecutor said Bout had agreed to sell weapons to kill Americans.

A federal jury found him guilty in November after deliberating a full day, convicting Bout on charges of conspiracy to kill Americans and U.S. officials, deliver anti-aircraft missiles, and aid a terrorist organization.

Defense lawyers claimed their client was a political prisoner and requested that a jury verdict of guilty in the case be reversed and the charges dismissed. They called the case “the product of outrageous, inexcusable government conduct.” Prosecutors asked that Bout be imprisoned for life.



From Google News

Homeland Security's 'Secure Communities' Didn't Intentionally Deceive, Report Says

by Elise Foley

WASHINGTON -- Two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security began an immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities, designed to find undocumented immigrants who had been arrested by local police. Homeland Security explained how jurisdictions could remove themselves from the initiative, at least temporarily, and confirmed to local officials that they could opt out if they wish.

But when states and localities tried to opt out, they were told they couldn't. Homeland Security officials seemed to switch the definition of "opt out" and then admitted they planned to expand the program nationwide by 2013, whether state and county leaders liked it or not.

None of this amounted to "intentionally" misleading the public, according to a report released on Friday by Charles K. Edwards, Homeland Security's acting inspector general. The report, in response to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a critic of the program, kept the department line on Secure Communities: The agency handled the expansion of the initiative badly, but they stand behind it.

Secure Communities is a centerpiece of the President Barack Obama administration's immigration enforcement efforts, and is partially credited with the record number of deportations in the 2011 fiscal year. The program takes fingerprints from arrests by local police and shares them with Homeland Security to catch undocumented immigrants. It has been criticized for hurting community policing, netting non-criminals and potentially encouraging racial profiling.



Apr 6, 2012


From the L.A. Daily News

Parents fear redefining autism will lead to exclusion from therapies

CHICAGO - One child doesn't talk, rocks rhythmically back and forth and stares at clothes spinning in the dryer. Another has no trouble talking but is obsessed with trains, methodically naming every station in his state.

Autistic kids like these hate change, but a big one is looming.

For the first time in nearly two decades, experts want to rewrite the definition of autism. Some parents fear that if the definition is narrowed, their children may lose out on special therapies.

For years, different autism-related labels have been used, the best known being Asperger's disorder. The doctors working on the new definition want to eliminate separate terms like that one and lump them all into an "autism spectrum disorder" category.

Some specialists contend the proposal will exclude as many as 40percent of kids now considered autistic. Parents of mildly affected children worry their kids will be left out and lose access to academic and behavioral services - and any chance of a normal life.



ADDICTED TO PAIN: Pill sales soar across U.S. fueling addiction

NEW YORK - Sales of the nation's two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients' suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic.

From New York's Staten Island to Santa Fe, N.M., Drug Enforcement Administration figures show dramatic rises between 2000 and 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. Some places saw sales increase sixteenfold.

Meanwhile, the distribution of hydrocodone, the key ingredient in Vicodin, Norco and Lortab, is rising in Appalachia, the original epicenter of the painkiller epidemic, as well as in the Midwest.

The increases have coincided with a wave of overdose deaths, pharmacy robberies and other problems in New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Florida and other states. Opioid pain relievers, the category that includes oxycodone and hydrocodone, caused 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008 alone, and the death toll is rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.



From the Washington Times

Conn. on track to be 17th state sans death penalty

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Senate voted Thursday to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut , a state that has executed only one prisoner in a half-century and is now on track to join a national trend away from capital punishment.

In an early morning vote that followed more than 10 hours of debate, the Senate approved legislation that would set life imprisonment as the maximum punishment for all future cases. The bill, which has the support of the state's Democratic governor, now goes to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, where it's expected to win approval.

In the past five years, four other states have abolished the death penalty — New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Connecticut would become the 17th state without a death penalty .

Repeal proposals also are pending in several other states, including Kansas and Kentucky, while advocates in California have gathered enough signatures for an initiative to throw out the death penalty that is expected to go before voters in November.

“I think with the revelations of so many mistakes, aided by DNA testing, it's been made clear that the death penalty risks (innocent) lives,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit capital punishment tracking organization in Washington.



From Google News

Man pleads guilty in botched 'Fast and Furious' US gun-running sting

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A man pleaded guilty on Thursday to two felony counts of purchasing and running high-powered rifles to Mexico from Arizona under the botched "Fast and Furious" federal sting operation tied to the murder of a U.S. federal agent.

Jaime Avila Jr. was among a ring of 20 defendants charged with buying high-powered firearms including Kalashnikov type assault rifles and Barrett sniper rifles to run to the Mexican cartels.

The purchases were made in the Phoenix area from 2009 to 2010 when a bungled U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation allowed more than 2,000 U.S.-bought weapons to slip across the border to Mexico.

Two of those weapons were found at the spot near the Arizona-Mexico border where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed during a shootout with illegal immigrants in December 2010. It was not clear, however, if those weapons fired the fatal shots.

Fast and Furious was run by the Phoenix field office of the ATF and the U.S. Attorney. Its goal was to try to track guns being smuggled from the initial purchaser to senior drug cartel members.



New Jersey

Hackensack offers citizens police academy

HACKENSACK — For those in Hackensack who wonder what it's like to wear the badge, the Police Department and Bergen Community College have teamed up for the sixth year in a row to give civilians the opportunity to learn what police work is all about.

The Citizens' Police Academy is a nine-week program designed to provide the citizens of Hackensack and the surrounding area an understanding of the training, education and experiences of the law enforcement community.

The program will meet every Thursday from March 29 to May 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The sessions will be held at Bergen Community College's Hackensack campus at the Ciarco Learning Center on Main Street.

The course curriculum includes subjects such as self-defense, personal safety, gang awareness, surviving an armed encounter, homeland security, Internet safety, juvenile laws, liability laws related to DWI offenses and motor vehicle stops.

The course will also include trips to the Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office in Paramus and the Bergen County Jail Annex in Hackensack.



Apr 5, 2012


From the Washington Times

5 former New Orleans cops sentenced in Katrina killings

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Five former New Orleans police officers were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for their roles in deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

Kenneth Bowen , Robert Gisevius , Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon were convicted of firearms charges in the shootings. Retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was assigned to investigate the shootings, was convicted of helping orchestrate the cover-up.

Faulcon received the stiffest sentence of 65 years. Bowen and Gisevius each got 40 years while Villavaso was sentenced to 38 years. Kaufman received the lightest sentence at six years.

A federal jury convicted the officers in August 2011 of civil rights violations in the shootings on the Danziger Bridge and the cover-up.



From Google News

Rochester Police Department outreach goes big and digital

Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard is taking his Policing in the Spirit of Service campaign out of RPD headquarters and into the community — and bringing the way the department receives feedback and complaints into the 21st century.

This week, Sheppard announced two tech-friendly ways the community can offer feedback: A smartphone application that makes commenting on a police officer as easy as a few touches on a screen; and a web page that sends comments and complaints directly to the chief's email inbox.

And 14 billboards and dozens more posters are being plastered across the city promoting Sheppard's themes of partnership between the department and community members.

“I don't think as an organization we should be afraid to have people give us feedback,” Sheppard said. “We shouldn't be afraid to have people complain. That's all the nature of the beast, that's how you get better.”

Modernizing the complaint and feedback process was long overdue, he said.



Apr 4, 2012


From the Washington Times

Students with empty holsters protest gun bans on campus

On the same day that a gunman killed seven students at a small California Christian university, hundreds of college students across the nation went to class wearing empty holsters on their hips.

The message was part of Students for Concealed Carry's weeklong Empty Holster Protest, an event designed to encourage universities to allow students, faculty and administrators to carry concealed weapons on campus.

That the demonstration began on the same day as Monday's shootings was “a poignant and ironic example of the very thing we're protesting,” group spokesman David Burnett said.

“Colleges invite these shootings by guaranteeing criminals their victims will be disarmed,” Mr. Burnett said. “It takes more than signs to fend off killers.”



From Google News


Downtown Ambassadors may help police

New Haven's blue and yellow-clad Downtown Ambassadors could soon help patrol neighborhoods throughout the city as part of a new crime-fighting idea discussed at a March 20 meeting of the Board of Aldermen's public safety committee.

Ward 7 Alderman Doug Hausladen '04, who pitched the idea, said adding "ambassadors" — non-sworn individuals charged with assisting locals and tourists — could provide a cost-effective means of increasing patrols and community engagement in the policing districts beyond downtown. While Hausladen, who sits on the public safety and finance committees, has not formally proposed the measure to the Board, business owners said they would welcome the expansion of the ambassador program. Other city officials, however, said the idea should be scrutinized further before it is implemented.

"What everybody wants is the ability to walk up to an officer and interact with them as a human, and so the shorthand for that is they want walking beats, which are very expensive," Hausladen said. "But if we deploy our ambassadors on a neighborhood level, and give them appropriate training and radios to get in touch with the police dispatch, we'll have another way of reaching out and protecting the community at much lower cost."




Crime tips go high tech

Residents in the Tomball community now have the ability to help their city police officers fight crime through the use of a cell application that can be downloaded to an iPhone or Android smartphone.

The application, known as TipSubmit, is similar to the iWatch phone application that has been in use through the Harris County Sheriff's Office since 2011.

Police Chief Robert Hauck, a strong proponent of community policing, expressed his enthusiasm for the new TipSubmit program.

"I am actually surprised about all the information we've gotten," he said. "We've gotten information about (narcotics) sales, and made apprehensions based on tip information sent to

us, and we recently (apprehended) a sex offender who was out of compliance, all based a tip submitted to us."



From the FBI

The Grandparent Scam
Don't Let It Happen to You

You're a grandparent, and you get a phone call or an e-mail from someone who identifies himself as your grandson. “I've been arrested in another country,” he says, “and need money wired quickly to pay my bail. And oh by the way, don't tell my mom or dad because they'll only get upset!”

This is an example of what's come to be known as “the grandparent scam”— yet another fraud that preys on the elderly , this time by taking advantage of their love and concern for their grandchildren.

The grandparent scam has been around for a few years —our Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has been receiving reports about it since 2008. But the scam and scam artists have become more sophisticated. Thanks to the Internet and social networking sites, a criminal can sometimes uncover personal information about their targets, which makes the impersonations more believable. For example, the actual grandson may mention on his social networking site that he's a photographer who often travels to Mexico. When contacting the grandparents, the phony grandson will say he's calling from Mexico, where someone stole his camera equipment and passport.



From the Department of Homeland Security

Don't Be Fooled by Too Good to Be True Websites

Posted by Stop. Think. Connect.

While the tricks and jokes exchanged online are often innocent and fun, there are individuals lurking online who want to trick you into handing over your personal information.

Cybercriminals often rely on social engineering to trick people into installing malware with scams for free products, offers for pirated entertainment, or “never before seen” footage or photos that spark a fan's curiosity. Clicking on one of these links makes it easy for criminals to steal your identity and passwords.

According to a recent report, the fan craze created by the film The Hunger Games has created the perfect opportunity for devious cybercriminals to take advantage of Internet users. While clicking on a link may seem innocent enough, it can actually infect your computer, phone, or tablet without you even knowing what happened.



Apr 3, 2012


From the L.A. Daily News

Supreme Court OKs routine jailhouse strip searches

WASHINGTON - Jailers may perform invasive strip searches on people arrested even for minor offenses, an ideologically divided Supreme Court ruled Monday, the conservative majority declaring that security trumps privacy in an often dangerous environment.

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip searched in two county jails following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

The decision resolved a conflict among lower courts about how to balance security and privacy. Prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, lower courts generally prohibited routine strip searches for minor offenses. In recent years, however, courts have allowed jailers more discretion to maintain security, and the high court ruling ratified those decisions.

In this case, Albert Florence's nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the circumstances of the arrest were of little importance. Instead, Kennedy said, Florence's entry into the general jail population gave guards the authorization to force him to strip naked and expose his mouth, nose, ears and genitals to a visual search in case he was hiding anything.



Man kills 7, wounds 3 at small Christian college in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. - A 43-year-old former student of a small Christian university in California opened fire at the school Monday, killing at least seven people and setting off an intense, chaotic manhunt that ended with his capture at a nearby shopping center, authorities said.

Police Chief Howard Jordan said One L. Goh surrendered about an hour after the shooting at Oikos University. Jordan initially reported that authorities recovered the weapon used during the rampage, but later clarified that police only recovered enough ballistics evidence to determine that a handgun was used in the rampage.

"It's going to take us a few days to put the pieces together," Jordan said. "We do not have a motive."

Police first received a 911 call at 10:33 a.m. reporting a woman on the ground bleeding. As more calls came in from the school, the first arriving officer found a victim suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound, he said.

It was an "extremely chaotic scene," Jordan said.



From The Washington Times

ICE arrests 3,100 convicted criminal aliens in sweep

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) agents, as part of what the agency says is its commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, has arrested more than 3,100 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators in a six-day national “Cross Check” enforcement operation.

ICE Director John Morton said Monday the operation, which he described as the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from all of the agency's Enforcement and Removal Operations' 24 field offices, assistance from ICE Homeland Security Investigations as well as coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout the United States.

Arrests occurred in all 50 states, Puerto Rico , three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Morton said those arrested included 2,834 persons with prior criminal convictions including at least 1,063 who had multiple convictions, including murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, armed robbery, terroristic threats, drug trafficking and crimes against children.



Debunking the ‘stand your ground' myth

Anti-gun advocates mislead on Trayvon case to erode right to self-defense

Whatever happened on the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, we know one thing for sure: The gun prohibition lobbies and their compliant media friends have been deceiving the public about Florida's laws. Among the many deceits is the claim that Florida's “stand your ground” law affects the legality of whatever Mr. Zimmerman did.

The assertion that Florida law allows shooting whenever someone believes it to be necessary is a flat-out lie. The actual law of Florida is that “a person is justified in the use of deadly force” if “(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony” (Florida Statutes, Section 776.012).

The second part of the law provides special provisions for self-defense against violent home invaders or carjackers. Neither of those is relevant to the Zimmerman case.

If the factual claims of Trayvon's supporters are true, Mr. Zimmerman criminally attacked Trayvon and killed him, while having no reasonable belief that Trayvon was perpetrating a forcible felony, or imminently about to kill or gravely wound Mr. Zimmerman . So Florida's self-defense laws simply would not apply, since Mr. Zimmerman would have no right under Florida law to use deadly force.



From Google News

U.S. puts $10 million bounty on Pakistan terror group's leader

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan--The U.S. Justice Department is offering a $10 million bounty for the arrest of of Hafiz Sayeed, founder of the group blamed for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai . The reward is intended to increase the pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militant groups.

Sayeed, founder of the outlawed Lashkar-i-Taiba and its successor group, has long been designated an international terrorist. Yet he continues to preach jihad with impunity and operates a large campus for religious training in the eastern city of Lahore.

U.S. and Indian officials allege that Sayeed, as well as other militant leaders, operate with the tacit permission of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, the army's chief spy agency, but Pakistan denies it.

The U.S. Rewards for Justice Web site now puts Sayeed in the same company as fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in terms of the payoff for his arrest. Omar is widely believed to be based in the tribal region of northwest Pakistan.

The Justice Department is also offering $2 million for the arrest of Sayeed's deputy, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki. Both men are wanted for planning the gun-and-bomb attacks in Mumbai , in which six Americans were killed.



Apr 2, 2012


From the L.A. Times

Decline in inmates prompts closure of new Colorado prison

Alternative ways of handling nonviolent offenders has helped cut the number of prisoners so much that a $184-million penitentiary is being closed after just 18 months.

CANON CITY, Colo. — Sometimes if you build it, they don't come.

When construction was first planned in 2003 for a $184-million high-security facility within the Colorado prison complex in Canon City, the number of inmates being locked up in the state was increasing at what officials considered an alarming rate.

But something happened between the first shovelful of dirt in 2007 and the final paintbrush stroke in 2010: The Colorado prison population started decreasing, first a little and then a lot.

So much, in fact, that officials announced in March that the new facility — open just 18 months and two-thirds empty — would close next year.

The 316-bed prison, called Colorado State Penitentiary II, is the fourth correctional facility in Colorado ordered closed in the last three years because of a dwindling prison population. At its peak in July 2009, the state's inmate population was 23,220. As of February, it had dropped to 21,562. A decrease of 900 more inmates is expected by June 2013.



From the Washington Times

Army's ‘chilling trend' puts women at risk

The Army is pushing more women closer to the front lines and in closer contact with men even as the number of sexual attacks on female soldiers has surged during the past six years.

Army figures show that reports of violent sex crimes have nearly doubled, from 665 in 2006 to 1,313 last year.

Nearly all the victims were women. Most were young soldiers moving from one post to another, a time when they were most vulnerable, according to “Generating Health and Discipline in the Force,” a comprehensive study into the Army 's mind and body.

“This chilling trend suggests that the increase in offenses going forward will likely continue unless directly mitigated by other factors,” the report says.

Military analysts now are asking what this “chilling trend” means for the future force.



From Google News

Trayvon Martin: Are rallies a rebirth of civil rights movement?

A Trayvon Martin rally in Miami Sunday brought out basketball stars, civil rights leaders. The 911 call has Trayvon Martin crying for help, not George Zimmerman, according to analysis of 911 call.

The rally in Miami Sunday for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was one of the largest yet and drew basketball stars Alonzo Mourning and Isaiah Thomas , singers Chaka Khan and Betty Wright, politicians and civil rights leaders.

Martin's father, speaking briefly, promised the crowd he would not stop fighting "for my Trayvon and for your Trayvon."

"Each and every one of us feels the pain of this family simply because Trayvon Martin could have been one of all of us," said Mourning, the former Miami Heat player.

The rally came a day after thousands marched through Sanford, the central Florida town where 28-year-old George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin in February. Martin was walking back from a convenience store, where he had gone to buy candy and iced tea, when he and Zimmerman got into an altercation. Zimmerman says he was attacked and has claimed self-defense; Martin's family disputes his version of events.



New Jersey

Emerson kids can collect ‘cop cards'

EMERSON — A program aimed at fostering a healthy relationship between children and the Police Department is returning this month.

The "Cop Cards Program" was launched by the community policing unit in 2003, Police Officer Joseph Alasio said during a recent Borough Council meeting.

Alasio said the department raised its own money to produce the limited-edition baseball cards, featuring photos of all 17 officers on the force and the department's dispatch staff.

Children are encouraged to go up to police officers and ask for their cards, Alasio said. Each officer will get 1,200 cards.

The cards have a small biography of each officer, with information about their hobbies and favorite sports teams. Children who can't find officers on the streets can go to police headquarters.