Jared Loughner to be sentenced for Tucson rampage
TUCSON, Ariz. The man who pleaded guilty in the Arizona shooting rampage will be sentenced Thursday for the attack that left six people dead and wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others.
The sentencing hearing will mark the first time that victims will confront Jared Lee Loughner in court about the January 2011 shooting at a Giffords political event outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz.
Prosecutors say an unspecified number of victims will comment before U.S. District Judge Larry Burns sentences Loughner, though it's unknown whether Giffords or her husband plan to attend or have a statement read on their behalf. Three shooting victims have told The Associated Press that they intend to comment at the hearing.
The 24-year-old had pleaded guilty three months ago to 19 federal charges under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. The deal calls for the dismissal of 30 other charges and a sentence of seven consecutive life terms, followed by 140 years in prison.
Both sides reached the deal after a judge declared that Loughner was able to understand the charges against him. After the shooting, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and underwent forcible psychotropic drug treatments.
Some victims, including Giffords, welcomed the deal as a way to move on. It spared victims and their families from having to go through a potentially lengthy and traumatic trial and locks up the defendant for life.
Ron Barber, a former Giffords staffer who was shot in the cheek and thigh during the attack and later won election to her seat when Giffords stepped down, plans to make a statement, said his spokesman, Mark Kimble.
Suzi Hileman, who was shot three times while trying to save her 9-year-old neighbor, and Mavy Stoddard, whose husband died shielding her from bullets, plan to address the court.
"He has to pay the consequences for what he did, and justice will be served," Hileman said.
Judy Clarke, Loughner's lead attorney, didn't return messages seeking comment.
Christina Pietz, the court-appointed psychologist who treated Loughner, had warned that although Loughner was competent to plead guilty, he remained severely mentally ill and his condition could deteriorate under the stress of a trial.
When Loughner first arrived at a Missouri prison facility for treatment, he was convinced Giffords was dead, even though he was shown a video of the shooting, but eventually realized she was alive after he was forcibly medicated.
It's unknown whether Pima County prosecutors, who have discretion on whether to seek the death penalty against Loughner, will file state charges against him. Stephanie Coronado, a spokeswoman for Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, said Wednesday that no decision had been made.
It's unclear where Loughner will be sent to serve his federal sentence. He could return to a prison medical facility like the one in Springfield, Mo., where he's been treated for more than a year. Or he could end up in a prison such as the federal lockup in Florence, Colo., that houses some of the country's most notorious criminals, including Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.
The exact placement will depend on the nature of his mental illness and its treatment.
Woman Forced to Wear ‘Idiot' Sign as Punishment for Driving on Sidewalk
by JuJu Kim
And as Cleveland resident Shena Hardin discovered this week, today's justice system is not above embarrassing wrongdoers.
Hardin, 32, was caught on a cell phone video driving on a sidewalk to avoid waiting for a school bus last month. After witnessing Hardin bypass his vehicle repeatedly, the bus driver contacted authorities before his route one day and recorded the crime, CBS affiliate WOIO reported. The footage, posted on YouTube , shows police pulling the offender over immediately following her stint on the walkway.
The Associated Press reported Hardin appeared on Monday at Cleveland Municipal Court, where a judge decided that she must wear a sign bearing the message, “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus” while standing at the intersection of East 38th Street and Payne Avenue . The punishment will occur between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 13 and 14. In addition, Hardin's license was suspended for 30 days, and she had to pay $250 in court fees.
Punishment through public humiliation is nothing new. Throughout history, punishers have turned individuals into public spectacles thanks to devices such as scold's bridles — a forehead-enclosing iron instrument with a metal gag used to torture nagging wives and gossipy women in Europe during the 1600s — and dunce caps. And this isn't the first time this year a judge has employed sign-shaming to penalize lawbreakers. NBC affiliate KSDK reported an Indiana judge forced a man who skipped jury duty to hold a sign with the message, “I failed to appear for jury duty” outside the Crown Point courthouse for two days in January. In 2009, two Bedford, Penn. women who stole a child's gift card on her birthday were compelled to display signs that said, “I stole from a 9-year-old on her birthday! Don't steal or this could happen to you!” outside of Bedford County Courthouse as part of their plea agreement.
Sikh relations: What police officers should know
by Sgt. Glenn French
The Sikh community is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with 25 million Sikhs worldwide and half a million in the United States
Last week on PoliceOne, we saw an amazing interview with Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, who you will recall was shot a dozen times by an assailant who had attacked the local Sikh temple. In that interview Lt. Murphy was clearly grateful for the kindness and support he'd received from the Sikhs in that Wisconsin community.
It just so happens that I recently had an opportunity to sit in on a cultural awareness training session with some Sikh community leaders and Arab American activists with a goal to enlighten the attendees with knowledge of their culture, customs, and traditions.
I have to admit, as I first sat down in the class, I felt I had a lot of experience and knowledge of these cultures since our city has such a large population of them. I worked most of my career working a patrol sector with a heavy concentration of Arab and Sikh Americans (the 2000 census stated “among places with 100,000 or more population, the highest proportion of Arabs lived in Sterling Heights, Mich.”) 1 .
You Don't Know What You Don't Know
My ignorance got the best of me that day. After 23 years policing in this city — and many Arab and Sikh friendships forged — I thought I knew all I needed to know when dealing with these ancient cultures.
That was not the case, and I gained a valuable insight into the Sikh culture. The following information was provided by these Sikh leaders and cultural awareness trainers from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Sikh community is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with 25 million Sikhs worldwide and half a million in the United States.
The Sikh religion is unrelated to Hinduism and Islam.
The first Sikhs arrived in America in the 1890s and many even served in the first two world wars.
Sikh community leaders want to educate Americans in hopes of stopping the stereotyping that exists in this country against some Sikh Americans.
A couple of points that they shared with us during our “cultural awareness training” was that the Sikhs origin is from Northern India and not the Middle East, and a vast majority of bearded men wearing turbans in the U.S. are Sikh and not Muslim or Arab.
The Five Articles of Faith
When dealing with Sikhs, it will serve you well to understand that they are very religious and greatly value their “five articles of faith.” Being prepared with this knowledge may help you obtain information from them during encounters.
The five articles of faith are:
1.) Kara: A steel bracelet, worn around the wrist, signifies “strength and unity with God.” When practical, avoid removing since most have been worn for many years without ever being removed.
2.) Kangha: A wooden comb for the hair, represents “cleanliness and discipline”
3.) Kachera: Undershorts, represents “self restraint and high moral character.”
4.) Kirpan: Religious sword, signifies “commitment to truth and justice.” Worn in a sash over the shoulder and to the side of the waist. Kirpans are commonly three to six inches in length and dull. They are viewed by the Sikhs as a religious symbol and not necessarily a knife.
However, Sikh men in the class I attended advised that some will keep their Kirpan sharpe. Therefore, I advise that you treat any Sikh with a Kirpan with the same caution as you would any person with a knife.
The Sikh men reassured me that they understand a policeman's concern with the Kirpan and they anticipate that officers will confiscate them during any interactions and encounters they have with police.
Be mindful that the Kirpan is a religious symbol and handling with care might help you achieve your goals with the Sikh as you gain their respect. Many states and cities have laws and ordinances specific to Kirpans, so please educate yourself.
5.) Kesh: Uncut hair and beard of Sikh men, represents “honor and dignity.” Sikhs will grow their hair long and tie the hair into a knot daily and cover the knot with a turban. The turban is typically 18' to 24' in length and can take up to 20 minutes to wrap around the head.
The turban is an obvious place to conceal items from a cop's perspective. During casual encounters with Sikhs, if you wish to search the turban, and when practical, avoid removing it in public as they view this as humiliation. Ask the Sikh to remove it himself as it doesn't come off the head like a ball cap would.
When searching a turban, laying it on a cloth — again, when practical — will help to ensure a greater relationship between you and the Sikh subject you're dealing with.
Keep in mind that I am only providing you with a small amount (albeit a valuable amount) of information regarding the Sikh community.
Some of their customs — and any suggestions I make — will not apply in all encounters you may have with them. Obviously, my suggestions are speaking of casual encounters you may have with Sikhs. I am not suggesting that criminals receive preferential treatment of any kind.
If your encounter with a Sikh is on a high priority run, then handle your run as any other high priority run — with officer safety being the priority.
About the author
Glenn French, a Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 22 years police experience and currently serves as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and Sergeant of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 14 years SWAT experience and served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.
He is the author of the award-winning book “Police Tactical Life Saver” which has been named the 2012 Public Safety Writers Association Technical Manual of the year. Glenn is also the President of www.tacticallifesaver.org.
Glenn has instructed basic and advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, basic and advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses, Tactical Lifesaver Course and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army. During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations.
Contact Glenn French .
Citizens' class bridges gap between WPD and community
Sue Ringenberger of Washington aimed down the barrel of an AR-15 and fired at her target.
Editor's note: Marlo Guetersloh is attending the Citizens Police Academy this fall. This is the first of a multi-part series on the program.
Sue Ringenberger of Washington aimed down the barrel of an AR-15 and fired at her target.
“That was a good grouping on your rounds for that one,” a range instructor told her a few minutes later as the two worked to pull down her target from its stand at a police gun range near Metamora.
For Ringenberger, an insurance company employee, this was the first time she fired an assault rifle. In fact, it was the first time she fired a gun.
“The kick-back is more than I expected,” Ringenberger said. “What was interesting to me was knowing these officers have to use these weapons swiftly and they have to make incredibly fast judgements on using these weapons.”
Ringenberger's new understanding of how police do their work is the primary goal of the Washington Police Department's Citizens Police Academy program.
Ringenberger is one of 16 members of the academy's current 12-week class that started Oct. 2.
Police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker said the creation of a citizens academy was part of his overall goal to bridge a division between the police department and the community.
“When I came here in 2004, one thing was evident: there was a clear disconnect between the police and the community,” Kuchenbecker said. “What the academy does is it helps create better understanding and even better trust between the police and citizens.”
The class, conducted by the department's community policing officer Jim Fussner, includes an overview of the police department and a tour of its renovated facility at 115 W. Jefferson St. Topics covered in the program include a tour of the Tazewell County jail, a mock crime scene and a discussion of crime scene techniques, traffic and DUI stops, self-defense and CPR lessons and firearms education and decision shooting.
Erica Allison of Washington joined the class because her husband, Scott, encouraged her to take it as one of her education requirements to be a tornado spotter and volunteer for Emergency Services Disaster Agency.
“Shooting was the scariest,” she said. “I had never fired a gun before and didn't know what to expect.”
Erica Allison said because of her attention to details, she was more excited about the crime scene unit, that include not only a discussion of evidence collection techniques but also a mock crime scene for students to explore.
“The one that is so clear about this unit is, it's not like the TV shows,” Erica Allison said. “Police have small budgets and they have to prioritize what cases to use lab testing or DNA testing for.”
At the beginning of class, Fussner explained that the program is designed to break down barriers between the police and the community as well as perceptions about what police can actually do.
“We want to show you the real job of a police officer and not the TV type,” Fussner said.
For Ringenberger and Allison, the program is doing just that.
Currently, the Citizens Police Academy has had about 200 people graduate from the program. Those alumni have formed a support group for the police department, the Citizens Police Academy Alumni.
The group is active in raising money for special programs including providing a $10,000 donation to help the department with the start up of a K-9 Unit.
Advisory forum for airing Glendale police concerns, issues is disbanded
by Veronica Rocha
The Glendale Police Advisory Council, a forum for residents to bring their concerns, has disbanded, with officials citing sparse attendance.
The council's last scheduled meeting in August was canceled, but officials said they were mostly ill-attended or were frequented solely by City Hall gadflies.
“Unfortunately, many people seem to fear speaking to the police,” Sharon Weisman — a member of the larger Community-Police Partnership Advisory Committee — said in an email Tuesday.
She and her colleagues voted unanimously in September to dissolve the advisory group, which was created in 2008 by former Police Chief Randy Adams as a venue for residents to bring complaints and make inquiries.
But since the group's inception, no significant complaints have been reported, said Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa said.
At some points, he said attendance was “nonexistent” and demonstrated a lack of need for the group.
Member Art Devine said he attended a few of the group's meetings, and “it was clear to me that, in spite of outreach efforts, there was no community interest in attending this forum.”
While the group will no longer hold meetings, De Pompa said there are other ways for the public to air concerns.
Residents, he said, can speak during the oral communications period of City Council meetings and address the larger police committee during the public comment portion of their own hearings.
The public may also address concerns to any member of the Police Department for a formal complaint, De Pompa added. Concerns can be made via the Police Department website or by phone.
“Access to the Police Department has never been an issue,” he said.
Looking forward, committee members and police administrators will focus on hosting additional town hall meetings, which officials said seem to attract better attendance and participation.
“It seems to be working very well and is filling the void,” De Pompa said.
Community policing efforts, anti-crime events like the annual National Night Out, and neighborhood watch groups would also allow residents to interact with police, Weisman said.
“Those of us on [the committee] are approached by residents with problems with the police, and we bring them to the attention of the group and GPD leadership,” she said in the email. “That seems to be the best we can do now."