NEWS of the Day - Sept 5, 2013
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day
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 ...


Police: Serial rapist targeting women around Fair Park

Dallas police said an armed serial rapist is targeting women in areas around Fair Park.

Police said at a late Tuesday news conference there have been seven victims in six locations.

On Wednesday morning, police said an eighth victim had come forward after hearing about the attacks in the media.

The most recent attack happened Tuesday in the 4100 block of Metropolitan.

The attacks happened between June 22 and Sept. 1, all at early hours of the morning.

Police investigators say that after the first two attacks happened, there was no obvious connection. There was a gap in the rape cases of six weeks. Once there was a clear connection of the same man and same crime pattern, the department alerted the public as soon as they realized a serial rapist was at work.

Police Chief David Brown said his team is supposed to talk to a witness Thursday morning with a description of the suspect. He said he hopes it's enough to draw up a composite sketch.

Some people are complaining it took police too long to send out an alert. Chief Brown is defending his department and insisted South Dallas has not been slighted. His mother lives in the same neighborhood where the attacks are occurring, giving him a more personal touch to the case. "I've taken great pains at looking at all the things we've done looking back at the first two rapes and what we knew and what we could come forward with," said Chief Brown. "What we have consistently said about the first two rapes is that we didn't have information from the first victim. She was traumatized and unwilling to give us any information. That's not uncommon in rape investigations," he said.

Police said in all but one case, the victims were walking alone when they were attacked. "He first robs them then he takes them to a secluded area. So being aware of your surroundings, walking with someone, walking in a light area. Call 911 with anyone you see that's suspicious. That's really the most important thing," said Chief Brown.

Police said Wednesday they have a DNA sample from one of the attacks and testing on it is being expedited.

The Southeast Patrol Division, the area where the rapes have occurred, have increased the number of uniformed and undercover officers on the street.

A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday night at the True Lee Missionary Baptist Church for people to ask questions of Dallas police.

Police said the suspect is a black man, 25 to 30-years-old, between 5' 6'' and 5' 11'' and weighs about 200 pounds.

They said the suspect always wears a t-shirt and shorts, uses a piece of clothing to cover his face and wears glasses.

"He is armed with a handgun and he demands the victims - or guides them through a demand - to a secluded area nearby where he sexually assaults them," Dallas police Maj. Jeff Cotner said.

"There are no additional injuries to the victims other than the sexual assault, and then he lets them go."

Police are also looking for a grey Honda Civic or older model grey Volvo Sedan.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for an arrest and indictment in this case.



N.Y. Police Facilitator Appointed in Stop-and-Frisk Case

by Patricia Hurtado

Vera Institute of Justice President Nicholas Turner was appointed by a federal judge to help facilitate the New York Police Department's compliance with a ruling last month that the department engages in racial profiling as part of its so-called stop-and-frisk strategy.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled Aug. 12 that the city's police department unlawfully targeted people on the basis of their race and violated their constitutional rights.

Turner, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, has initiated and managed projects on racial profiling in prosecutions, safety in U.S. prisons and sentencing reform, Scheindlin said today.

Turner will facilitate the reform process and his fees and staff will be paid by the city, she said.

The judge on Aug. 12 appointed Peter L. Zimroth, a New York University law professor and former corporation counsel for the city, to monitor changes in the police department. Zimroth is responsible for developing changes, informing the city of milestones it must achieve, conducting regular progress reviews and issuing public reports every six months with details on the department's compliance.

Further Reforms

Zimroth will work with Turner to develop “any further reforms necessary” to ending the violations and will work with the parties to create “a more thorough set of reforms,” she said.

Turner will hold town hall meetings in each of the city's five boroughs for the community to discuss police department issues and handle anonymous information from police officers and officials.

The Vera Institute “has a long history of working to improve public safety by strengthening the ties between police and the community,” Scheindlin said. “In the early 1980s, Vera partnered with the NYPD to develop the Community Patrol Officer Program, one of the first community policing programs in the country.”

The institute, based in New York, is “recognized for its use of rigorous testing and broad-based collaboration to help governments plan, implement, and evaluate improvements in the justice system,” the judge said.

Bail System

A founding project of the Vera Institute was to help reform the city's bail system and that a 1999 study by the organization of two police precincts in the South Bronx examined approaches to “respectful and effective policing” in minority communities, Scheindlin said.

The city on Aug. 16 filed a notice it will appeal Scheindlin's rulings. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday sued the city council to overturn a statute that allows lawsuits based on allegations a police officer used racial profiling to pick someone out for questioning. Two bills were passed by the City Council after Scheindlin issued her ruling.

Bloomberg said after the rulings Aug. 12 that the city benefited from the policy and that the judge “ignored the real-world realities of crime.”

The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.

The case is Floyd v. City of New York, 08-cv-01034, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).



From the FBI

The Crime of ‘Swatting' -- Fake 9-1-1 Calls Have Real Consequences

The distraught-sounding man told the 9-1-1 operator he shot a family member and might kill others in the house. A SWAT team was urgently dispatched to the address corresponding to the caller's phone number. But when the tactical team arrived, ready for a possible violent encounter, they found only a surprised family panicked by the officers at their door.

It's called “swatting”—making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team. The individuals who engage in this activity use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim's phone. Sometimes swatting is done for revenge, sometimes as a prank. Either way, it is a serious crime, and one that has potentially dangerous consequences.

Since we first warned about this phone hacking phenomenon in 2008, the FBI has arrested numerous individuals on federal charges stemming from swatting incidents, and some are currently in prison (see sidebar). Today, although most swatting cases are handled by local and state law enforcement agencies, the Bureau often provides resources and guidance in these investigations.

“The FBI looks at these crimes as a public safety issue,” said Kevin Kolbye, an assistant special agent in charge in our Dallas Division. “It's only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured as a result of one of these incidents.”

There have already been close calls. A police officer was injured in a car accident during an emergency response that turned out to be a swatting incident, Kolbye said, and some unsuspecting victims—caught off guard when SWAT teams suddenly arrived on their doorstep—have suffered mild heart attacks.

“The victims are scared and taken by surprise,” he said. Law enforcement personnel, meanwhile, rush to the scene of a swatting incident on high alert. “They believe they have a violent subject to apprehend or an innocent victim to rescue,” Kolbye explained. “It's a dangerous situation any way you look at it.”

It is also expensive. It can cost thousands of dollars every time a SWAT team is called out. And although there are no national statistics on how many swatting incidents occur annually, Kolbye guesses there are hundreds. A recent trend, he said, is so-called celebrity swatting, where the targeted victims are well-known actors and musicians.

“People who make these swatting calls are very credible,” he said. “They have no trouble convincing 9-1-1 operators they are telling the truth.” And thanks to “spoofing” technology—which enables callers to mask their own numbers while making the victims' numbers appear—emergency operators are doubly tricked.

Most who engage in swatting are serial offenders also involved in other cyber crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud, Kolbye said. They either want to brag about their swatting exploits or exact revenge on someone who angered them online.

Kolbye suggests making a police report about any swatting threats you receive online. Such threats typically come from the online gaming community, where competitors can play and interact anonymously. With a report on file, if a 9-1-1 incident does occur at your home, the police will be aware that it could be a hoax.

“The FBI takes swatting very seriously,” Kolbye said. “Working closely with industry and law enforcement partners, we continue to refine our technological capabilities and our investigative techniques to stop the thoughtless individuals who commit these crimes. The bottom line,” he added, “is that swatting puts innocent people at risk.”



From the Department of Homeland Security

More Passengers Able to Experience Expedited Screening

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today that it will expand its TSA expedited screening program to 60 new airports in addition to the existing 40, bringing the total number of airports with TSA Pre ? ™ to 100. These airports are expected to have TSA Pre ? ™ lanes at select checkpoints by the end of the year.

The agency also will expand the number of TSA Pre ? ™ lanes and availability at the existing 40 airports in the coming weeks.

TSA Pre ? ™ is an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. To date, more than 15 million passengers have experienced TSA Pre ? ™ since it launched in October 2011.

“As TSA continues to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, we are looking for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “Expanding TSA Pre ? ™ to more locations enables many more passengers across the country to experience expedited screening.”

Passengers who are eligible for TSA Pre ? ™ include U.S. citizens of frequent traveler programs invited by participating airlines. Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler program and Canadian citizens who are members of CBP's NEXUS program qualify to participate. Later this year TSA will launch an application program, allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA Pre I ™.

Eligible passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America may receive expedited screening benefits. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to begin participating when operationally ready.

If a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, a TSA Pre ? ™ indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass so that when scanned at the checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to a TSA Pre ? ™ lane. Many participating airlines already print a TSA Pre ? ™ indicator directly on the boarding pass so passengers will know in advance they have been cleared for expedited screening. TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport. No individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.

Travelers can check the TSA Pre ? ™ Participating Airports page for information on locations and hours of active TSA Pre ? ™ lanes.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of September 11, 2001, to strengthen the security of the nation's transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Today, TSA secures the nation's airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. TSA's workforce comprises approximately 50,000 frontline officers who screen approximately 1.8 million travelers each day at more than 450 airports nationwide. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at www.tsa.gov .

Upcoming TSA Pre I ™ locations

An asterisk denotes a current TSA Pre ? ™ location. Once new TSA Pre ? ™ locations are active, they will be listed on the TSA Pre ? ™ Participating Airports page.


Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport


Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport*


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport*
Tucson International Airport


Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (Little Rock)


Bob Hope Airport (Burbank)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport
John Wayne Airport (Orange County)*
Long Beach Airport
Los Angeles International Airport*
Oakland International Airport
Ontario International Airport
Sacramento International Airport
San Diego International Airport
San Francisco International Airport*
San Jose International Airport


Colorado Springs Airport
Denver International Airport*


Bradley International Airport (Hartford)


Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport*
Jacksonville International Airport
Miami International Airport*
Orlando International Airport*
Palm Beach International Airport (West Palm Beach)
Pensacola International Airport
Southwest Florida International Airport (Fort Myers)
Tampa International Airport*


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport*
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport


Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (Hagåtña)


Honolulu International Airport*
Kahului Airport
Kona International Airport
Lihue Airport


Boise Airport


Chicago Midway International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport*


Indianapolis International Airport*


Des Moines International Airport


Wichita Mid-Continent Airport


Louisville International Airport


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport


Portland International Jetport


Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport*


Boston Logan International Airport*


Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport*
Gerald R. Ford International Airport (Grand Rapids)


Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport*


Kansas City International Airport
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport*


Eppley Airfield (Omaha)


McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)*
Reno-Tahoe International Airport

New Hampshire:

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

New Jersey:

Newark Liberty International Airport*

New Mexico:

Albuquerque International Sunport

New York:

Albany International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Greater Rochester International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City)*
LaGuardia Airport (New York City)*
Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Westchester County Airport

North Carolina:

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport*
Piedmont Triad International Airport (Greensboro)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport*


Akron-Canton Airport
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport*
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport*
Dayton International Airport
Port Columbus International Airport


Tulsa International Airport
Will Rogers World Airport (Oklahoma City)


Portland International Airport*


Philadelphia International Airport*
Pittsburgh International Airport*

Puerto Rico:

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (San Juan)*

Rhode Island:

T. F. Green Airport (Providence)

South Carolina:

Charleston International Airport
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
Myrtle Beach International Airport


McGhee Tyson Airport (Knoxville)
Memphis International Airport*
Nashville International Airport*


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport*
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport*
Dallas Love Field
El Paso International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston)*
San Antonio International Airport
William P. Hobby Airport (Houston)


Salt Lake City International Airport*


Norfolk International Airport
Richmond International Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport*
Washington Dulles International Airport*


Seattle-Tacoma International Airport*
Spokane International Airport


Dane County Regional Airport (Madison)
General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee)