NEWS of the Day - Sept 22, 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 ...



(Video on site)

Terryl Peters, Mary Peters' Husband, Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison In Sex Abuse Case

PHOENIX -- The husband of former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has been sentenced to 14 years in prison in a sex abuse case.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 67-year-old Terryl Gene Peters Sr. also was sentenced Friday to lifetime probation for one count of child molestation and two counts of attempted child molestation.

Terryl Peters, of Peoria, Ariz., was accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl in April 2008. The allegation was reported to police in June 2012.

Prosecutors say the victim's mother called Terryl Peters to confront him in a recorded phone call, and he admitted having sex with the girl.

Mary Peters served as the nation's transportation secretary from October 2006 until January 2009.

She considered a run for the Arizona governor's post in 2006 but ultimately decided against it.




Shooting shows policing gap

CHICAGO (AP) — A shooting that injured a 3-year-old boy and 12 others in Chicago occurred just outside a section of the city that police have flooded with officers, reigniting outrage over the toll of the community's gun violence and the inability of stepped-up police action to stop it.

Residents had gathered in a neighborhood park Thursday to watch a late-night basketball game when assailants armed with an assault rifle indiscriminately sprayed the crowd with bullets.

On Friday, residents decried the perpetrators' disregard for those caught in the crossfire, the invasion of drugs into their communities and a lack of local leaders to stand up for them. A prominent rap artist, meanwhile, said more must be done to understand the city's youth, and a frustrated police chief again called for tougher gun laws.

“We can do a lot of really good policing. ... We can reduce crime, like we're doing, but we're not going to have success occur as long as these guns keep flowing into our community,” police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said during a news conference.

“Illegal guns, illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence,” he said as he called on lawmakers to toughen the nation's gun laws.

The shooting happened shortly after 10 p.m. in Cornell Square Park — in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city's southwest side.

The assailants used a 7.62 mm rifle fed by a high-capacity magazine, a type of weapon that belongs on a “battlefield, not on the street or a corner or a park in the Back of the Yards,” McCarthy said.

Among those hit was 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who was shot in the face, and two teenagers, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old.

“It's devastating,” said one of the boy's relatives, Morris Shadrach Davis, 63. He said one of the boy's uncles was fatally shot during a violent Labor Day weekend in the city that claimed a total of eight lives and left 20 others wounded.

“The black community is really messed up now,” he said at his home on the city's West Side. “We had leaders before. ... Drugs have infiltrated our community. We as a people have been totally forgotten.”

In response to a surge in violence last year, the police department stepped up its crime-fighting efforts, including paying overtime to add patrols to some neighborhoods, including the Back of the Yards. Through the first six months of 2013, the department had spent more than $57 million on overtime for officers, more than half of it from a program that saturates dangerous neighborhoods with hundreds of officers every night.

The park where the shooting took place slipped through the cracks, demonstrating the difficulty of trying to contain all of the city's gang hot spots. Police said they had “impact zones,” with intensified patrols, three blocks north and three blocks south of the park.

Violent crime is down this year in Chicago compared with 2012, when homicides surged past 500 for the first time since 2008. Police have recorded 305 homicides so far this year, 21 percent fewer than the 389 slayings recorded over the same period last year.

Rap artist Common, a Chicago native who has spoken eloquently about his hometown's violence, said the city needs to better understand its young people and be more consistent in its efforts to help them. Speaking at a city-sponsored summit aimed at helping local musicians develop their careers, he noted that while the violence remains a problem, so does increasing poverty and other hardships that families face.

“It makes me think I got to do more; we got to do more,” said Common, who has a foundation that helps expose disadvantaged young people to the creative arts. “Young people, we have to meet them where they are. Some of them may not be in a place where they can say, ‘OK, I'm going to stop.' It may be a process. You have to deal with that.”

Some residents responded with resilience.

At the park where the shooting took place, two men with a well-worn basketball came onto the courts Friday afternoon to proclaim the site safe.

“We're not going to let an act of evil discourage us,” T.T. Turner, pastor at Mount Sinai Baptist Church, said as he shot baskets with Cleo Miller, a 26-year-old with Michael Jordan “Jumpman” logo earrings.

“Those that did this will be caught,” Turner said.




Wounded 3-year-old boy is recovering

CHICAGO (AP) — A 3-year-old boy shot in the head during this week's mass shooting at a southwest Chicago park was recovering from surgery in intensive care Saturday, a family spokesman said.

Deonta Howard was among 13 people wounded late Thursday when an unknown number of people shot up a crowded basketball court with an assault rifle. The family's pastor, the Rev. Corey Brooks, said the boy had surgery Friday that went well.

“There's going to have to be some plastic surgery done later on,” Brooks said. “... Thankfully there was no brain damage or eye damage.”

Police hadn't announced any arrests as of Saturday afternoon.

Police have said they think Thursday night's attack at Cornell Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood was gang-related. Several gang members were among those shot, though it was not yet clear who the intended target was, police said.

Deonta was among the bystanders, Brooks said, allowed to stay up late to enjoy one of the last warm nights of summer and watch the neighborhood game with his mother, something he loves doing. Brooks, the pastor at New Beginnings Church in Chicago, has found himself repeatedly comforting victims of gun violence.

“Typically the kids are at home with the grandmother at 7:30, that's their routine,” Brooks said of the 3-year-old. “But that one particular night they stayed up later than normal because it was a nice day and there was a lot of people in the park and everybody was throwing basketballs.”

As the gunfire rang out, Deonta was struck just below an ear, and the bullet exited his jaw, Brooks said. The boy remained sedated in intensive care as of Saturday morning, the pastor said.

Brooks described Deonta as a “real smart little kid” with lots of energy.

“I was told he loves to dance,” he said.

Cornell Square Park is better lit than most parks in the area and so it draws lots of people on warm nights. It's also in an area that Chicago's top police official referred to as a “high gang-conflict zone.” But the park is between two other areas that police have flooded with officers as part of stepped-up patrols — demonstrating the difficulty of trying to contain all of the city's gang hot spots.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Friday that the assailants fired at least 16 rounds from a 7.62 mm assault-style rifle. He said detectives were “interviewing a number of people,” but hadn't taken anyone into custody.

On Saturday, police spokesman Jose Estrada said that had not changed. He had no other updates.




Residents learn about public safety

by Walter Allen

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) - A number of agencies, including police, fire, Marines, street maintenance and utility crews were at Carmel's Public Safety Day Saturday to teach residents about what they do.

It was a great opportunity for those to say thanks to a group that often goes unsung.

24-Hour News 8 spoke with a Carmel Police officer that said it's understandable, because law enforcement is usually involved when something bad that has happened. When they do get a "thank you," it goes a long way.

“Stuck his hand out and said, 'thank you!' That really means a lot to us in law enforcement. A young man who has an appreciation for law enforcement and an understanding of what public safety is all about really means a lot to not only law enforcement but all of us in public safety," Officer D.J Schoeff said.

Organizers say the goal is for the families to leave Safety Day knowing more than they did when they arrived.

That way, residents can be introduced and taught safety concerns from the professionals



New York

Extra $169 Million Will Go to Public Safety


In an era when most city and state agencies struggle under the weight of budget constraints, the Manhattan district attorney's office this year found itself in an unusual position: sitting on a veritable windfall.

In December, federal and state authorities secured a record $1.92 billion payment from HSBC Bank to settle charges that the banking giant transferred billions of dollars for nations under sanction by the United States, enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder tainted money through the American financial system, and worked closely with Saudi Arabian banks linked to terrorist organizations.

For its role in the investigation, the Manhattan district attorney's office cashed a check this week for $169 million — slightly more than twice its total annual budget of $80 million.

Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said the money would help lower crime in public housing projects, modernize courtroom technology, increase cybercrime investigative capabilities and add programs to help keep children out of the criminal justice system.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to enhance public safety in New York City,” Mr. Vance said. “We are sharing these funds with our colleagues in all five boroughs, so that this investment of funds benefits all of New York City.”

The payment was the largest ever made by the Department of Justice to a single law enforcement agency in the nearly three decades it has been sharing assets seized or forfeited by defendants in criminal investigations, said Mythili Raman , acting assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice's criminal division.

Under Robert M. Morgenthau, the former Manhattan district attorney, the office began investigating multinational banks that were disguising the identities of clients in countries on United States sanction lists by stripping their names from paperwork.

Settlements with banks by Mr. Vance's office have added $900 million in the last four years to the city and state general funds, without any guarantee that the money would be used on public safety measures. The new settlement money is arriving through a different financing stream with a requirement that it be spent on law enforcement purposes, and not on continuing salaries.

The money from such settlements has at times raised contentious issues.

In 2009, as Mr. Morgenthau was about to leave office, the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg apparently sought to embarrass him by raising questions about dozens of unregistered bank accounts controlled by his office that held tens of millions of dollars from settlements, forfeitures and seizures.

The city later acknowledged it had thousands of similar accounts that had not been registered with the city comptroller's office, as is required. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, later said the district attorney's office should register all its accounts. Mr. Vance agreed, and the new settlement money is going into registered accounts, his office said.

Because the amount of money is so large, the Department of Justice required that spending plans be approved in advance. The department also requires an annual audit of expenditures by an external auditor.

Working with the office of the mayor's criminal justice coordinator, John Feinblatt, Mr. Vance's office has been making plans for the money for several months. Federal guidelines would allow Mr. Vance to direct the money exclusively to his own office — for things as prosaic as new cars or a new office building — but his office chose to share the wealth across the city's law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Vance said he expected that the money would allow for an increase in his department's capacity to forensically analyze electronic devices, something that has become a major component of many investigations, and help other district attorneys in the city do the same. The New York Police Department will also probably receive some of the money.



From the FBI

Latest Crime Stats for the U.S.



From the Department of Homeland Security

USCIS to Welcome More Than 18,000 New Citizens During Annual Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Celebration

Agency's Partnerships with Libraries, National Parks Highlighted

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome more than 18,000 new citizens during more than 180 naturalization ceremonies from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23 in honor of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.Museums, historic libraries, government landmarks and national park sites will provide the backdrop for this week-long celebration of citizenship and the achievements of our newest citizens.

“This is a time for all Americans to reflect on what it means to be a U.S. citizen,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “For the 18,000 people taking the Oath of Allegiance this week, it is the beginning of a privileged status as full participants in our nation's democracy. Each and every one of these individuals can now exercise the rights and fulfill the responsibilities that help define United States citizenship.”

USCIS's ongoing partnership with the National Park Service and a recent agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services allow USCIS to showcase some of the nation's prominent landmarks and important community institutions during this year's Constitution Day and Citizenship Day celebration.

National park sites hosting ceremonies span the country from the Springfield Armory National Historic Site in Springfield, Mass., to the Point Reyes National Seashore in Point Reyes, Calif. Other landmarks hosting naturalization ceremonies include the New York Public Library in New York City and the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. For a full list of featured 2013 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day naturalization ceremonies and landmark locations, visit http://www.uscis.gov/news

Additionally, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers will administer the Oath of Allegiance at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington; Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will welcome new citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, Calif.; and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at a ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is celebrated each year on Sept. 17 in remembrance of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Constitution Day. Congress first underscored the significance of U.S. citizenship in 1940, when it designated the third Sunday in May as “I Am an American Day.” In 2004, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day."

USCIS invites new citizens, their families and friends to share their experiences from the ceremonies via Twitter using the hashtag #newUScitizen. The President has also issued a Proclamation for Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, and Constitution Week, 2013.