| NEWS of the Day - August 6, 2012
|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 ...
From Google News
Sikh temple shooting suspect identified as Wade Michael Page; Motivation unclear
(CBS/AP) OAK CREEK, Wis. - The suspect in a shooting that left six people dead at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday has been identified as Wade Michael Page, who served in the U.S. Army for about six years.
According to sources in the U.S. Army, Page enlisted in April 1992 and given a less-than-honorable discharge in October 1998. He served at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the psychological operations unit in 1994, and was last stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, attached to the psychological operations unit. The details of his discharge were not immediately clear.
Wade was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers after the rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help.
Officials had previously described the suspect as a heavy-set, 40-year-old Caucasian with numerous tattoos.
Sources tell CBS News some unspecified evidence suggests race or ethnicity may have played a role in the violence, but no links to extremist groups have been confirmed.
Local police called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, but other sources tell CBS News correspondent Bob Orr it may be more accurate to refer to "an investigation into a possible hate crime."
Neither the local nor the federal sources provided further details or suggested a possible motive, including whether the suspect specifically targeted the Sikh temple.
Late Sunday, the investigation appeared to move beyond the temple as police, federal agents and the county sheriff's bomb squad swarmed a neighborhood in nearby Cudahy, evacuated several homes and searched a duplex. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Tom Ahern said warrants were being served at the home of the gunman.
Records show that Page was the registered inhabitant at an apartment in South Milwaukee from December 2011 until the present.
CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports Page is only believed to have lived at the residence for two weeks, according to neighbors.
"Nobody has really seen him," neighbor Alma Rayes tells CBS News. "We heard here and there that they've been doing a lot of arguing, between him and another female, but I haven't seen him."
"He did not speak, he just began shooting," said Harpreet Singh, relaying a description of the attack from the wife of his uncle, temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka.
Singh said Satpal Kaleka told him she was in the front room when the shooter walked in. She said the 6-foot-tall bald white man — who worshippers said they had never before seen at the temple — seemed like he had a purpose and knew where he was going.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said police expected to release more information Monday. He said the FBI will lead the investigation because the shootings are being treated as domestic terrorism, or an attack that originated inside the U.S.
"While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time," Teresa Carlson, Special Agent in Charge with the agency's Milwaukee division, said in a Sunday night statement.
Edwards said the gunman "ambushed" one of the first officers to arrive at the temple as the officer, a 20-year veteran with tactical experience, tended to a victim outside. A second officer then exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was fatally shot. Police had earlier said the officer who was shot killed the suspected shooter.
Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment. Sikhs are not Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.
Even though the gunman's motives were a mystery Sunday, Kaur said the shootings reopened wounds in a community whose members have found themselves frequent targets of hate-based attacks since Sept. 11.
"We are experiencing it as a hate crime," she said. "Every Sikh American today is hurting, grieving and afraid."
Shooting survivors call for gun control plan from Obama, Romney
by Leigh Ann Caldwell
(CBS News) Coincidentally, on the same day that seven people were killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a coalition of mayors released a new ad - before the shooting - calling for the presidential candidates to present a plan addressing gun violence.
The TV ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns aired during the Sunday political shows and the Olympics and is part of the group's Demand a Plan campaign , which was launched in the wake of last month's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo.
The ad features three survivors from the 2011 Tucson, Ariz., shooting that killed six and injured 13, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
"Our leaders gave us a moment of silence then, but they haven't given us a plan," the survivors say in the ad. "President Obama, Governor Romney: We demand a plan because 48,000 Americans will be murdered with guns during the next President's term."
"The Tucson survivors have waited nearly 600 days for Washington to take action to end gun violence - they are still waiting, and we are all waiting," said New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of gun control. "Every day that goes by without action, 34 more people will be murdered with guns. The people who want to run this country need to tell us their plans to stop the bloodshed."
Newport News police use community building approach to fight neighborhood crime
by Tyra M. Vaughn
NEWPORT NEWS — Seven Oaks Apartments resident L.A. Marshall said drug dealers, prostitutes and gang members were once plentiful in his Southeast Newport News neighborhood.
Even though a lot of the nuisance and violent behavior still exists in the complex, he said the criminal activity is becoming harder to find.
"This place was known for getting anything you wanted," said Marshall, a retiree who has lived in the privately owned apartment complex for seven years. "This place still has that reputation, but it's getting a little better out here."
Marshall credits the progress to police taking more interest in his community.
"The police department is out here more now," he said. "It was a time when you use to call and you wouldn't see police for an hour or 30 minutes. When I see the police, I see happiness, because people aren't going to do what they would do when the police aren't here."
Newport News police say they are keeping a more watchful eye on Seven Oaks and the neighboring Marshall Courts public housing complex in an effort to curb the crime that has plagued the community for years.
In the past six years, there have been 379 felony drug offenses, 105 aggravated assaults and 10 sexual assaults or rapes in the adjacent neighborhoods, according to Newport News police crime statistics released to the Daily Press in January.
The city's intelligence-led policing strategy is being used to combat and solve crimes in the neighborhoods, but so are bike patrols and home visits, community cookouts and classes.
Police are using this type of outreach to get to know the communities' residents and hear their needs and concerns. It's a strategy known as community policing, which is used in varying forms throughout the city and throughout the country to encourage people to partner and cooperate with police in the fight against crime.
"We're trying to reach out to the community to show them the police department cares about the community," said Donald C. Greathouse, a community resource officer in the South Precinct. "We want them to know that we can make this a better community if we work hand in hand."
In Seven Oaks and Marshall Courts, community policing is a key component in the year-old Drug Market Intervention Program, which is specifically being used to deal with crime in these communities.
The Drug Market Intervention program seeks to dismantle drug markets by identifying low-level offenders and offering them the opportunity to avoid jail if they cooperate with police and stop selling drugs. The police department provides social services and other community resources for those who choose to take advantage of the program.
Police are relying on the neighborhood's residents to report drug and other criminal activity so they know where to focus the program's efforts, Greathouse said. However, police know residents will be more apt to talk to them if they have an established relationship.
In June, police sought to strengthen those relationships by starting a monthly door-to-door outreach program where members of the police department and Sheriff's Office, and community and city employees hand out fliers to residents with information about arrests and wanted persons. They also use this time to talk to residents about crime and other concerns, Greathouse said.
Before that, police had partnered with the city's Human Services to offer classes for residents on topics such as parenting, employment and accessing city services.
"We want people to feel more comfortable," he said. "We want them to know they can come out and talk to us, and they'll do that if they know and trust us."
Greathouse said the police department has made in-roads in earning the community's trust because calls for service are up in the neighborhoods, which means people are reporting more incidents.
He said residents are also showing a greater appreciation for police as they see them out in the community more.
"I've gotten a couple of hugs from residents and lots of handshakes," he said.
One of them came from 21-year-old Alyshia Claiborne during the July door-to-door outreach event.
"I commend you all for what you're doing," Claiborne said from the steps of her Seven Oaks apartment. "We need more police out here."
Even with the strides, police are still face challenges in getting people to share information with them, Greathouse said.
During the July door-to-door outreach, police handed out fliers seeking information on the whereabouts of Tyrek Allen, who was wanted in connection to a triple shooting in the area of 33rd Street and Marshall Avenue. On July 22, the day after knocking on doors in Seven Oaks and Marshall Courts, police said Allen went on a shooting spree, killing a man in the 700 block of 36th Street Newport News and wounding a man in Hampton.
"Somebody had to have seen him out there, but they were too scared to come forward," Greathouse said.
He said police have to continue their outreach efforts to work better with the community.
"We want to show residents we're out here and ready to make this a safe place," he said. "They need to know we're not just talking the talk, but walking the walk."