LACP - NEWS of the Week
on some LACP issues of interest
NEWS of the Week
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles is but a small percentage of the info available to the community policing and neighborhood activist. 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.
"News of the Week"  

July, 2017 - Week 4
MJ Goyings
Many thanks to our very own "MJ" Goyings, a resident of Ohio,
for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.



Back to the future with community policing in Cleveland

by Mark I. Singer and Bernard L. Buckner

CLEVELAND -- A great deal of attention has recently been given to police and policing tactics, much of which centers on minorities residing in low-income, high-crime communities. On a policy level, the role of policing and law enforcement has come under scrutiny and debate -- points and counterpoints.

Are police officers enforcers or peacemakers, warriors or guardians? This discourse provides an important opportunity to examine the role of police officers in our country. Our belief mirrors that of the roots of modern policing: The police are the community and the community's citizens are the police.

Modern policing as we know it began in 1829 in London, England, with Sir Robert Peel , who established the first professional police force there. His officers were known as Bobby's Boys, which was later shortened to bobbies. He had strict written principles for all members of his police force, among them:

* The basic mission of police is to prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.

* The ability of police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

* Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to secure and maintain public respect. Higher levels of cooperation with the public will result in less necessity to use physical force.

The founding principles of policing are particularly applicable today, especially given some key current trends:

* On a national level, violent crime is not soaring and is at relatively low levels.

* Our need for scrutiny of individuals by law enforcement is at a high level due to the threat of terrorism and the ubiquitous presence of guns .

* The perception of police brutality and disproportionate scrutiny of minorities is high and influences these citizens' perceptions of police legitimacy.

* And finally, on a national level, the percentage of minority law enforcement executives, chiefs, and high-ranking command-level officers is at a historic high.

Over the years, law enforcement in the United States increasingly saw a shift towards police officers serving as warriors and enforcers. Recently fueling this shift have been the drug wars, organized terrorism, and, lately, individual acts of terror which have resulted in equipping officers with significant military armament and establishing highly aggressive specialized units.

At the same time, there is a new awareness of the mental health issues facing society; often officers take on the role of first social-responders . While we tend to focus on "the Police," it is society that must come to terms with its expectations of the differing functions of warrior versus guardian, which exposes our protectors to unmanageable situations due to this role confusion.

As a result of the current focus on police actions, we are now seeing the beginnings of a shift -- a questioning of the effectiveness of these tactics -- and an opportunity to revisit the roots of modern policing. With continued public and media attention, the possibility of change grows with each new event.

The average citizen is more likely to interact with the police when he or she needs assistance to defuse a volatile domestic situation, or to take a report for an accident or theft. Most routine encounters do not require heavy fire power or helmeted officers with battering rams. In these situations, sending a commando to act as an advocate is counterproductive; while we want our officers safe, we also want them to be part of the community and not seen as an occupying force.

As Peel so aptly noted in 1829: "The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of their actions."



Ariz. tells armed drivers how to avoid deadly police stops

by Jacques Billeaud

PHOENIX — Gun-friendly Arizona is trying to avoid deadly encounters between police and people behind the wheel by teaching armed drivers how they should handle themselves when they are pulled over.

Arizona, which allows residents to carry weapons without permits, recently changed its rule book for the road in a bid to avoid confrontations such as the one that killed Philando Castile. The Minnesota man, who had a gun permit, was fatally shot during a 2016 traffic stop after telling an officer he was armed.

Arizona is among a small number of states instructing drivers on what to expect during traffic stops. It appears to be the first to use its driving rules to address situations in which motorists are armed.

Democratic state Rep. Reginald Bolding said Castile's death inspired him to seek changes to the state's driver's manual. He said the revisions were necessary because Arizona does not require gun permits and some owners have not been trained to handle firearms.

"The goal was to create a set of standards," Bolding said.

The new edition of the driver's manual, published about a month ago, advises drivers with guns to keep their hands on the steering wheel during traffic stops and tell officers right away that there's a firearm in the car.

It also tells drivers not to reach for anything inside the vehicle without getting permission first. And officers can take possession of guns, for safety reasons, until the stop is completed. The firearms would be returned if no crime has been committed.

Lawmakers in Tennessee, Virginia and Illinois have enacted laws over the last year that require driver education courses to teach people how to react when they are pulled over. Unlike the guidelines published in Arizona, none of the laws explicitly mentions what to do when armed motorists are stopped.

The revision in the Arizona manual would mostly be seen by those who are getting a driver's license for the first time. Most people who move to Arizona and have a license from another state don't have to take a written test. That's also true for Arizonans renewing their license.

The changes in Arizona happened without a law being passed. The Department of Public Safety worked with Bolding to produce the new guidelines.

"It all comes down to safety," said Quentin Mehr, a spokesman for the state police agency.

Arizona's gun laws are less restrictive than other states, allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in most places. Gun owners are seen with some frequency in public places with guns holstered on their hips.

Will Gaona, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, said it's not a bad idea to tell drivers what to expect when getting pulled over. But the manual's new section does not include descriptions of a driver's rights, he said.

For instance, the rules say a driver can be arrested for disobeying an officer's order. Gaona said the rule book should tell people that they have a right to refuse an officer's request to search a vehicle.

"You also need to tell them what their rights are — not just what you think they should do, but also what they are allowed to do," Gaona said.

In the Minnesota case, the officer said Castile was pulling out his gun despite his commands not to do so. Prosecutors said the officer never saw the gun because it remained in Castile's pocket until paramedics removed him from his car. The officer was acquitted of a reckless-homicide charge.

The material from the new section of the Arizona manual could appear on driver's license tests, said Doug Nick, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division, which produces the rule book.



San Antonio driver says he didn't know immigrants were in truck

by Holly Yan and Jason Morris

San Antonio (CNN)Crowded inside of the boiling tractor-trailer, they took turns taking breaths from a hole in the semi. Some fainted. Others banged on the wall to get the driver's attention but he kept going, one man who survived the journey told federal authorities.

The driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr. told federal investigators he had no idea dozens of undocumented immigrants were stuffed inside tractor-trailer he was hauling. The 60-year-old Florida man was charged Monday with knowingly transporting undocumented immigrants.

The assistant public federal defender who is representing Bradley couldn't be reached for comment.

The tractor-trailer was found parked at a Walmart in San Antonio early Sunday morning after an employee at the store called police. Authorities found dozens of undocumented immigrants inside.

Eight people in the truck were already dead, and two more died after being hospitalized. Dozens more were severely injured, and many will suffer from "irreversible brain damage," the city's fire chief said.

A federal complaint shed light on the ordeal. One man from Mexico, who crossed the border through Laredo, Texas, said he and his brother traveled for a day before they climbed into the tractor-trailer; another man said he spent nearly 11 days at a Laredo "stash house" with about two dozen others before their journey on the semi.

Federal authorities are classifying the incident as a human smuggling case.

"This most recent example is an example of human smuggling where individuals were brought into the United States in violation of immigration law," Jack Staton, acting assistant director for intelligence for Homeland Security Investigations at ICE, told reporters on Monday.

Driver said he was surprised by 'Spanish' people

When police came to investigate the semi, an officer found "multiple people standing and laying at and around the rear of the trailer," according to a criminal complaint against Bradley.

That's when they started talking to the driver.

"Bradley advised the officer that the trailer he was hauling had been sold and he was transporting the trailer from Schaller, Iowa, to Brownsville, Texas," on the border with Mexico, the federal criminal complaint says. Bradley said he was delivering the truck to its new owner in Brownsville at his boss' request, but that he was not given a time frame nor a delivery address, the complaint said.

Bradley later told authorities he was traveling to San Antonio from Laredo, Texas, after getting the tractor-trailer washed and detailed, the complaint said. After the wash at the Laredo truck stop, Bradley said he drove to the "old truck stop," which was about 10 miles away, to have the tractor-trailer detailed and polished, the complaint said.

Pat Sullivan, a spokesman for Blue Beacon Truck Wash, told CNN the tractor-trailer was washed at the company's facility on Beltway Parkway in Laredo at 11:58 a.m. on Saturday. Sullivan said drivers typically pull up, pay inside the facility and then workers wash the truck, which takes about 20 minutes.

Sullivan said the employees who washed the truck did not report hearing any noises from inside the trailer or notice anything strange about the truck. The company is investigating and cooperating with authorities, Sullivan said.

"Bradley stated he was unaware of the contents and/or cargo," the complaint said, until he parked the tractor-trailer at the Walmart and went outside to urinate. That's when he heard movements in the trailer, the driver told investigators.

"Bradley said he went to open the doors and was surprised when he was run over by 'Spanish' people and knocked to the ground," the complaint states.

"Bradley said he then noticed bodies just lying on the floor like meat. Bradley said he knew at least one of them was dead. Bradley said he knew the trailer refrigeration system didn't work and that the four vent holes were probably clogged up."

But the driver didn't call 911, authorities said. Instead, he went back to the tractor and called his wife.

Bradley was in handcuffs as he limped into a federal court on Monday, surrounded by several US marshals. The driver spoke briefly with his assistant public federal defender before the arraignment. Bradley's detention and request for bail will be addressed at a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

A horrific journey

Homeland Security Investigations agents interviewed several of the undocumented immigrants who had been hospitalized.

One said he left the central Mexican city of Aguascalientes and waited with about 28 other people in Nuevo Laredo to be smuggled across the river into the United States, bound for San Antonio.

He told investigators he paid about 12,500 pesos ($707) for protection and a raft ride across a deep portion of the Rio Grande. After crossing at night, "they walked until the next day," the court document states.

At 9 a.m the next day, his group was picked up in a silver Chevrolet Silverado truck and taken to the trailer, which already had about 70 people inside, the criminal complaint says.

"He was told to get inside and he would be transported later that evening. The smugglers closed the door and the interior of the trailer was pitch black and it was already hot inside."

With no food or water, the migrants tried to make noise and get the driver's attention, "but nobody ever came."

Twelve hours later, they were moved to another trailer, the man said. Some people had trouble breathing and passed out.

When the trailer eventually braked hard and stopped, some people fell over because they were so weak, the man said. After the door opened, six black SUVs were waiting to pick up the people, but those SUVs quickly filled up and took off.

The man said once he arrived in San Antonio, he was supposed to pay his smugglers $5,500. But instead he was taken to a hospital, severely injured from the journey.

"These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters," said Richard L. Durbin Jr., US attorney for the Western District of Texas. "All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo."

Authorities have not released the nationalities of the people crammed inside the tractor-trailer. But the Mexican government issued a statement offering its condolences to the families of the victims.

7 ways to spot that someone is being trafficked

Four Mexican nationals died after the journey, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Twenty-five of the immigrants are also Mexican nationals, officials said, of which 21 remain hospitalized.

Guatemala Foreign Minister Carlos Morales confirmed to CNN that Frank Guisseppe Fuentes González, 20, of Guatemala City, was among the dead. Fuentes González was supposed to meet with his family in the United States, officials said.

'Irreversible brain damage'

The tip-off to authorities started when a man from the trailer asked a Walmart employee for water, the police chief said. The employee was concerned and called police for a welfare check.

The fire department also responded and soon declared a "mass casualty incident," San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

"With heat strokes or heat injuries, a lot of them are going to have some irreversible brain damage," he said.

A heatstroke can cause swelling of the brain and other vital organs, possibly causing permanent damage, if a person's body temperature isn't quickly lowered, according to the Mayo Clinic .

Officials said the air conditioner in the trailer was not working. And the high temperature in San Antonio on Saturday was 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

"Unfortunately, some of them were severely overheated, and that was a refrigerated truck with no refrigeration," Hood said. "So we were very fortunate that they were found."

Two of the people hospitalized are 15 years old, the fire department said.

Echoes of 2003 case

In a state where human smuggling happens with alarming frequency , Sunday's discovery stirred memories of a 2003 case in Victoria, Texas, that left 19 people dead. At the time, a border and transportation security official called it " the greatest loss of life in recent history in what appears to be an alien smuggling case ."

The victims, ranging from a 7-year-old boy to a 91-year-old man, died of asphyxiation, dehydration or heat. They had been crowded in the back of a truck with about 100 other people, with temperatures soaring past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, investigators said.

The driver in that case, Tyrone Mapletoft Williams of Schenectady, New York, was initially sentenced to life in prison, but in 2011 was resentenced to almost 34 years in prison .

Thomas Homan, the current acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was a lead investigator in the Victoria case.

Last month, he disputed the notion that his policies were heartless and said the humane thing to do is to deter people from paying the human smugglers and cartels that are the only way to illegally cross the Southwest border.

"Why am I so strong in what I'm trying to do? Because people haven't seen what Tom Homan's seen," Homan said.

"They haven't seen the dead immigrants on a trail that were left stranded. ... People weren't standing with me in Victoria, Texas, in the back of a tractor-trailer with 19 dead aliens including a 5-year-old child laying dead under his father that suffocated."

'Human smuggling is a horrendous crime'

Because deaths are involved in the case, Bradley faces up to life in prison or the death penalty if he is convicted of the federal alien smuggling charge.

"Human smuggling is a horrendous crime, and unfortunately, it does not get a lot of media attention, until you have a tragic situation like this happen," Staton said.

Staton pointed to several other instances of human smuggling over the past 30 years: In 1987, 18 people died in a boxcar in Sierra Blanca, Texas, and 11 people died in a grain hopper in Denison, Iowa, in 2002.

"Time and time again, I've seen houses where people are being pretty much held against their will. People abused, people left in the desert to die," Staton said.

Human smuggling across the southwest border is like a "travel agency type of event," and fees are paid to smugglers at points in the journey, Staton said. There is an overlap with transnational drug sales, but he said human smuggling cases typically are not run by cartels.

It's too soon to say if the immigrants found alive inside the sweltering truck will be deported, or if they could be eligible for visas protecting them as crime victims if they testify or cooperate with investigators.

Staton said he couldn't discuss details of the pending San Antonio case. But he said some survivors could be called as witnesses.

Asked what's happened to victims in past smuggling cases, Staton said each case is different.

"It just depends on the case, and what had transpired, and what information was provided," he said. "In some cases, people could get sent back, and in some cases, people do stay."



How California's 'sanctuary state' bill would further limit ICE's ability to arrest immigrants

by Alejandra Molina and Brenda Gazzar

About a dozen immigration agents huddled just before dawn outside an Ace Hardware store in Jurupa Valley.

They were equipped with firearms, protective vests and intelligence on the morning routines of the six men they were seeking.

It was 4 a.m. Thursday, June 22, and many of the men would soon be on their way to work or coming home from a night shift.

One by one, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officers discussed their targets:

A 24-year-old man from Mexico who was previously deported in 2011 following an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He came back to the U.S., was arrested four times since 2014 for assault with a deadly weapon and convicted of assault charges last year.

A 28-year-old Mexican man deported in 2013 after he was convicted for possessing a controlled substance for sale. He also was arrested in May for driving under the influence.

A 46-year-old Lebanese man who had a 2009 deportation order. He was convicted earlier this year of assault with a deadly weapon.

Members of ICE's L.A.-area fugitive operations teams were briefed before embarking on the six-hour enforcement operation to find and arrest undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes and later released from local jails.

While immigrant advocates have voiced concern about recent enforcement operations, ICE says it could be taking a higher number of convicted criminals into custody – and more easily – if not for internal law enforcement agency policies and state laws.

“These policies that some cities and jurisdictions have created – that's definitely hampered us,” said David Marin, field office director for ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in Los Angeles. “So we've had to sort of adjust our resources to go out into the communities and apprehend these individuals instead of apprehending them in a secure environment.”

Now, ICE officials say they would be further constrained by the possible implementation of Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act. The legislation, sometimes referred to as a ‘sanctuary state' bill, has been passed by the state Senate and is making its way through the Assembly.

“It would put a limit with the working relationships that we have with the law enforcement agencies,” said Thomas P. Giles, deputy field director for ICE's Los Angeles-area office. “It would be difficult for us.”

On that cool June morning, ICE officers arrested five men – including two who were not intended targets – after stopping their vehicles or going to their houses.

The circumstances of these arrests, ICE suggests, could have been different.

Unlike most sheriff's departments in Southern California, Riverside County “prohibits ICE from accessing its jails” to conduct interviews or to pick up inmates at the time of their release, said ICE western regional spokeswoman Virginia Kice, citing her operational colleagues in ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations. The county also doesn't notify ICE when individuals of interest are being released, so that immigration officers can take them into custody at the jails, she said.

But Riverside County Assistant Sheriff Jerry Gutierrez disputed the federal agency's assertions, saying ICE is allowed in its jails if inmates agree and sign a consent to be interviewed by the agency as required by state law.

That does not mean, however, that “ICE roams our hallways in our jail,” Gutierrez said.

The department also notifies ICE about two hours before individuals of interest are being released, he said.

Degrees of cooperation

Whether and how law enforcement agencies in the state cooperate with ICE in custody operations varies greatly from county to county, said Angela Chan, policy director and senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, which promotes the rights of Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

“Some counties do let ICE have free reign in the jails. Some put limits (on ICE's interaction with inmates) like Trust Act limits,” Chan said. “San Francisco and Santa Clara don't allow ICE into their jails at all.”

The Trust Act, which went into effect in January 2014, limits when local jails can hold people extra time for deportation purposes. Under it, law enforcement agencies can only hold inmates with most felonies and a number of other crimes for longer than their release date so that ICE has extra time to take them into custody.

That's “another reason a significant number of criminal aliens are being released into our communities,” Kice, of ICE, said.

Trust Act advocates say the law encourages immigrants who are crime victims or witnesses to cooperate with police without fear of deportation. It was intended to rebuild trust following the implementation of the “Secure Communities” deportation program, which relied on cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

But the Trust Act's impact is largely moot today, because no local law enforcement agency in California is known to honor these immigration holds issued by ICE due to a 2014 federal court decision out of Clackamas County, Ore., said Jennie Pasquarella of the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

“They don't want to be sued,” she said.

The judge in that case found a woman's Fourth Amendment rights, which deals with unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated by holding her in jail for close to 20 hours after her case was settled so that ICE could ascertain her immigration status.

Trust Act limits

However, some law enforcement agencies in the state, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, have chosen to apply Trust Act limits to other custody functions in the jails, further restricting ICE's access to inmates.

“The Trust Act sets the floor, not the ceiling,” Chan explained. “Counties can choose to go above the Trust Act and enact more protections for immigrants.”

These restrictions in California are significant because since 1996, the criminal justice system has been “the major funnel” through which immigration authorities detain immigrants for removal rather than going out into neighborhoods, factories and the fields, said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute's office at New York University School of Law. The Institute is a nonpartisan think tank whose research has supported granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.

“California is clearly in the forefront of states and localities in limiting the ability of ICE to apprehend and remove people from within the criminal justice system,” he said.

About 70 percent of all immigration enforcement that happens in the U.S. is the result of cooperation with local law enforcement, Pasquarella said.

A ‘brighter line of separation'

If SB 54 becomes state law, it would go even further than the Trust Act by prohibiting the use of state and local public resources to aid federal ICE agents in deportation actions.

It also would prohibit ICE from interviewing inmates or picking inmates up at jails, with certain exceptions, unless the agency obtains a judicial warrant. The California Values Act “would draw a brighter line between local law enforcement and state law enforcement and ICE,” and would also close loopholes left by the Trust Act due to evolving ICE tactics, said Chan, who co-wrote the Trust Act and SB 54.

While ICE used to rely on immigration detainers to get people from local jails, they now make notification and transfer requests to law enforcement agencies, which are honored to various degrees, she said.

“When local law enforcement is engaged in deportations, it scares community members, creates fear and community members are afraid to come forward and report they are witnesses to crime,” Chan argued.

While the bill has been lauded by Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, it concerns many local sheriffs. Among them is L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who says he's been able to work within the parameters of state laws to balance public safety and public trust.

SB 54 “would limit access by ICE to our jail facilities,” McDonnell said, resulting in serious offenders whom ICE would normally interact with in being released into their communities, “thereby creating a risk to those communities.”

Trust may be ‘eroded'

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department allows ICE into its jails to conduct interviews with certain inmates and allows immigration agents to pick them up at the time of their release. However, the department allows ICE to do these things only with inmates who have serious offenses specified under the Trust Act, McDonnell said.

If ICE is forced to seek out their targets in the community rather than at the jails, they will likely arrest more people with them who were not their intended targets, the bill's critics say.

“We'll all be painted as part of that equation,” McDonnell said. “And the word on the street, unfortunately, will be that the police came and deported this family or that family. And all of the hard work done for so many years to build trust with our communities could potentially be eroded overnight.”

Authorities were looking for his 24-year-old son during the June operation in Riverside County, but they ended up arresting Fidel Delgado Guerrero, who had been previously deported but had no criminal record.

His wife also had been previously deported. She will be served with a letter to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, an ICE official said.

The two have five children.

“We don't do any wrong by coming here to work and move our families forward,” Delgado said. “Being illegal is the only problem I have.”

The Orange County Sheriff's Department, which has its own federally trained deputies who interview inmates about their immigration status, also notifies ICE of undocumented individuals in their custody who have been convicted of specified serious offenses under this state law. ICE is able to pick them up, if they choose, once they are released.

“Shared communication between the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the federal government has resulted in several dangerous undocumented offenders being removed from our community,” Orange County sheriff's Lt. Lane Lagaret said in an email.

Like many other counties, San Bernardino County does not restrict ICE's access to inmates with only serious and other offenses under the Trust Act.

Whatever their custodial policies, every county must abide by the Truth Act, which went into effect in January. It requires authorities to inform immigrants held in local jails when ICE requests to interview them to gauge eligibility for deportation and allows the immigrants to decline via a written consent form.

Senate leader Kevin de Leon, who introduced SB 54, dismissed the sheriffs' concerns, saying ICE agents are already in the community “tearing apart families.”

He also echoed concerns voiced by Los Angeles city officials that deportation fears have resulted in drops in domestic violence as well as sexual assault reports among Hispanics.

“Crimes are not being reported and criminals remain free to claim more victims,” de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement. “Our communities are becoming less – not more – safe.”

Pasquarella, of the ACLU, acknowledged that it may be easier for ICE to apprehend people who are already at the jails.

“But it doesn't mean that's what should happen,” she said, “and it doesn't mean ICE can't do their work through other ways.”

Bill's future uncertain

But whether SB 54 will ultimately be signed into law and how much of an impact it would truly have is still up in the air.

Chishti, of the Migration Policy Institute, noted that Gov. Jerry Brown did not sign the Trust Act in its first iteration. It was only after the bill was amended, and a number of law enforcement officials came on board, that he signed it, he said.

But Chan, who argued it was activists' efforts that instead led to Brown's 2013 signature, says there's a much different climate today under President Donald Trump, where essentially all undocumented immigrants are vulnerable to deportation. If the California Values Act passes the Assembly and the governor waits to sign it, “who knows how many immigrants can be deported under the Trump administration?” she said.

There's also federal legislation in the works that, if passed, could conflict with SB 54. For example, House Resolution 3003, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals” Act, passed the House in June. It would require state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and strip certain grant funds from jurisdictions that do not comply.

And SB 54 could be challenged by the courts.

Chishti noted that case law on such issues favors states and localities, such as the Oregon case regarding immigration detainers and other cases in which judges ruled that you cannot force local jurisdictions to comply with these federal requests.

“If that realm of thinking prevails, then the states would prevail,” he said.

But Everard Meade, director of the Trans-Border Institute at UC San Diego, which aims to build sustainable peace in Mexico and the border region, said local law enforcement agencies will not be able to totally shut out the federal government.

“The courts won't allow that,” he said. “If you look at the mandate for immigration law under the executive branch, it's continually broadened. There's a lot of things they can do.”

And all these law enforcement policies, state laws and bills are really on the margins of the real issue at hand, Meade said.

“We have 11 million in the U.S. who don't have (legal) status, and an immigration system that's fundamentally broken and has been for a very long time,” he said. “And no progress on fixing it in a generation. That's what it boils down to.”

Personal impact

For some, law enforcement cooperation with ICE is a matter of life and death.

San Fernando Valley resident Rodrigo Macias lost his fiancee and the mother of his child, Sandra Duran, in a car crash earlier this year that allegedly involved an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times.

“I think she would still be here if there was more cooperation between (LAPD's) Chief Beck, the mayor and the governor, but they are against that,” Macias, 39, of Arleta said. “All politicians want is votes.”

Meanwhile, for Anselmo Moran Lucero, 50, his time in the U.S. is likely over.

He first came to the U.S. when he was 16. He has six children; four are adults. He worked as a gardener.

Moran was deported in 2007 after he was previously convicted for felony corporal injury to a spouse that resulted in a six-month jail term. He was arrested by authorities in Orange County in 2014 on a domestic violence charge. ICE lodged a detainer. He was cited and released the day of his arrest.

ICE came for him Thursday, June 22.

“I have to recognize that the laws here in the United States are very strict. I feel like I'm a bad person who ruined my record here in this country,” he said.



Sheriff's office hosts community policing workshop

by Andrew Cephas

On the heels of recent community-police tensions both locally and across the U.S., law enforcement officers of various ranks joined community stakeholders at the College of Southern Maryland Prince Frederick campus July 19 for a workshop to discuss community policing and how the Calvert County Sheriff's Office can build stronger relationships with the community.

Lt. Col. Dave McDowell of the sheriff's office opened the forum by welcoming everyone before introducing the workshop leader, Melanye Smith — a 20-year law enforcement veteran and administrator.

Smith defined community policing as a strategy of policing that focuses on police building ties and working closely with community members. She identified officers as the thin blue line between order and chaos.

Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R) described how community policing began in Calvert County in the early 1980s, while the county's sheriff's office was still very small. Evans, who was a state trooper at the time, said there were two different kinds of troopers — one of which focused on being more involved in the community and making contacts with people. Evans said this is now the job of everyone in the police department.

The essential components of community policing are community engagement, tactical and strategic consideration, natural progression from partnerships to problem solving and staffing to achieve police goals, according to Smith's presentation.

“While each community has its own unique set of needs and concerns, many of the problems that we're having around the country in law enforcement and what we see are the same. They're a lot of similarities,” Smith said before rhetorically asking why. She attributed a lot of law enforcement issues to a lack of supervision.

Smith referred to police officers as a reflection of society and urged citizens to remember that officers are people just like them. She described officers as the most powerful figures in society because “they are the only individuals that the people have delegated the role of instantaneous life-and-death decision making,” although she believes many officers don't fully comprehend the importance of their role.

After being asked by Smith who he is, Capt. Brent Parrott of the sheriff's office said he is a proud police officer and lifelong citizen of Calvert County. He said protecting the county's citizens is of the utmost importance to him. Parrott expressed his frustration with people rushing to judge police during officer-involved shootings or use-of-force incidents.

“Social media and the media itself is very detrimental a lot of times to our profession,” Parrott said, referring to the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., as an example. “It's tough to sit by and watch it.”

Deputies from the Calvert County Sheriff's Office came under fire this month after a social media post alleged police brutality occurred during a traffic stop. The sheriff's office released a statement in the days that followed stating it was investigating the claims.

Smith also described the struggle of balancing being transparent with giving out too much information, and said sometimes officers divulge too much information.

“I think it's more than being transparent. I can be transparent all day long, but if you don't know me, my character, values or beliefs, what difference is my transparency?” Smith explained. “I think the two things that are most important are trust and respect. When we no longer trust the individuals in the society that we have identified and given the role to protect us, then we have to ask ourselves why.”

Former county commissioner Michael Moore explained some reasons he believes citizens have a distrust of officers.

“Now [officers] have video cameras and things of that nature that are used against the citizens to convict them, but then when the same video is applied to police officers, it's a justification — some reason that he or she did, according to the rules and regulations of the police department, to inflict an act that citizens would perceive as an act of murder or things of that nature,” Moore said. “It's a double standard and I think that's why we don't have the trust. There has to be trust, respect and accountability on both sides.”

Smith said mending the relationship starts with understanding and learning, as too often members of law enforcement and citizens think they know exactly what the other person does, what their responsibilities are and how they see things. Indicating communities have a right to have expectations, Smith placed responsibility on constituents to engage with officers in their communities.

“I think that you can't put all the responsibility on the police department. You can't hire enough police to police. The community needs to step up. You know what goes on in your community. You must be the eyes and ears,” Moore said.

Comparing the police presence in Calvert County to neighboring Prince George's County, Roseanna Vogt, director of the Circle of Angels Initiative, credited Calvert officers' community policing for the low crime level.

Before the end of the workshop, Evans thanked Smith for hosting and presented her with various Calvert County Sheriff's Office memorabilia, including a coffee mug, a hat and an inaugural coin.



Police officer buys diapers for mother he arrested for stealing them

by Evan Lambert

LAUREL, Md. - A police officer bought diapers for a woman accused of stealing them after he realized she could not afford them for her two-year-old son.

Rookie Officer Bennett Johns says he was called to the Giant store on Fairlawn Street this weekend for a report of a woman stealing $15 worth of diapers. When Johns spoke to the woman and realized she was struggling to buy other items for her toddler, he reached into his own pocket and paid for the diapers.

Officer Johns did have to issue the woman a criminal citation for theft, but he says he felt compelled to make the purchase for her.

"This mother was going out of her way and doing everything she can to provide for her kid and I can respect that," said Johns. "I can sympathize with that as well so that is why I felt compelled to help the mother in purchasing the diapers for the kid."

Johns says he saw the struggling family reflected in his own.

"I see [the toddler] and I see myself growing up with a single mother and I want him to have a better life too," Johns said.

Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin says what his officer did is the kind of community policing his department aspires to do on a daily basis.

"I'm very proud of my officers," said McLaughlin. "All of my officers and particularly this one. I think it speaks volumes that they are doing the right thing for the right reason when nobody is watching."

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe also says it is the city's goal to have all its employees help citizens regularly.

"They do many many things that the general public doesn't really see," said Moe. "They work hard at it. I can tell you that and we are going to continue to make sure we reach out to the community."

Officer Johns says the mother will need to appear in court while the legal process plays out with her citation. The theft charge is a misdemeanor.



Marion police, salon provide haircuts, manicures for school children

by Whitney Downard

Tufts of hair surrounding the swivel chairs and the constant buzz of razors transformed the Marion Town Hall and Marion Police Department into a barbershop Monday morning.

Barbers and stylists from Total Upscale, at 3105 5th Ave., set up inside the town hall from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and donated their services to school children in need of haircuts and a fresh manicure for the upcoming school year.

The Marion Police Department partners with the barbershop annually, holding the event at the town hall, which also serves as the police station, and providing doughnuts and drinks.

Lazarus Mathis, 4, squirmed in a chair between his brothers Emanuel Mathis, 10, and Alex Dukes, 12. Their mother, Edwina Mathis, sat across the room, watching her sons and cheering when Ricky "B" Boggan, barber and co-owner, shaved off Alex's high-top hairstyle.

"She's clapping like it's funny," Alex said, protesting the forced haircut.

Mathis said Alex's hair was damaged, prompting the change before the school year starts.

"He has to look like a gentleman," Mathis said. "He has to represent."

"It feels good to help out the community," Jimmy Seale, a barber with Total Upscale, said. "We're helping to motivate (the kids); showing that we believe in them, encouraging them to finish what they've started and saying that we're proud of them."

Seale promoted the barbershop's next event, at Skate Odyssey from noon until 2 p.m. Aug. 2, challenging kids to race him.

"I'm the skate king. Meridian's skate king," he said, laughing with the parents and children packed into the room.

Boggan estimated that Total Upscale had given at least 100 haircuts during two days of events, serving a constant stream of young boys and giving young girls a fresh manicure.

"You can't always give back financially," Boggan said. "But we can give back with the gift that God has given us: our creative hands."

Stylist Daisha Collins painted teenager Taliyah Ward's fingernails while her younger sister, Jamyrical Moore, waited for her nails to dry.

Jamyrical, going into kindergarten, had one blue hand and one purple hand with sparkles and stripes.

"I want to learn how to read books," Jamyrical said. "And learning about the whole world, how to take care of babies... and how to paint nails."

Officer Robert "Jeff" Moore said both of his sons, Tristan, 7, and Jayden, 4, got their haircuts.

"It's not just about my sons, it's about all the kids," Moore said. "It's about changing their perception of us (too)."

Moore said that through social media some kids may get the wrong idea about law enforcement.

"So we try to reach them when they're young so that by the time they're a teen we can say, 'You don't have to be afraid. We're here to help,' " Moore said.

And while some children may protest, Marion Police Chief Randall Davis knows the importance of a good haircut.

"We provide hope to these kids," Davis said. "Kids may have something else negative in their life and they won't do good in school if they start off negative... What we do as adults will influence what they do."

Davis said that the haircuts, combined with the annual school supply drive scheduled for Saturday, were part of the department's community policing. However, this year's event drew more children than expected.

"We can't get everyone," Davis said. "But it's like that old saying, if you've done just one you've done your job."



Responders begin 600-mile 'Brotherhood Ride' to honor fallen colleagues

The annual tribute began by reading the names of 531 police officers, firefighters and paramedics the group has honored in 10 years

by Thaddeus Mast

NAPLES, Fla. — Two dozen black-and-white police motorcycles sat, engines revving, lights flashing. Behind them, 22 first responders donned helmets and prepared for the first leg of a 600-mile journey to honor their fallen colleagues.

Members of this year's Brotherhood Ride gathered their bikes Sunday outside the North Collier Fire and Rescue District Station 45. A small ceremony started the trip, first by reading the names of 531 firefighters, police officers and paramedics the tight-knit group has honored in 10 years.

The weeklong ride will loop around the state, ending in Miami. The riders will stop in many stations along the way, meeting families of fallen brothers and sisters.

"Today begins a seven-day trek around Florida to honor 20 fallen heroes—20 fallen heroes who will not be going back to their families," Brotherhood Ride co-founder Candy Morse said.

The names of 20 responders adorn the back of every shirt. Lt. Scott Wilson, of the Greater Naples Fire and Rescue District, has been on 10 rides since the group's inception.

"It's a tough ride," he said. "We'll take 100 miles today in this heat, but it doesn't really matter. If you start struggling, you look up and see the shirt of the guy in front of you and those names, and you go. That's it."

Brotherhood Ride co-founder Jeff Morse explained the idea stemmed from a single fire call a decade ago.

"This ride was started June 18, 2007," he said. "Our first ride was a year after that when we honored the Charleston Nine."

Morse referred to a fire in Charleston, South Carolina. Firefighters were dispatched to a furniture store blaze that quickly grew out of control. After rescuing a trapped employee, nine firefighters were killed as the building collapsed.

At the time it was the single worst firefighter tragedy since the Sept. 11 attacks.

"A small group of us met the next day after the Charleston Nine had perished, and we wanted to come up with some way of honoring those who have gone before us," Morse said. "It started the Brotherhood Ride right there."

Riders jumped on their bikes and went up to South Carolina, meeting the nine firefighters' families and honoring their memories. They thought their mission was done, Morse explained.

"It wasn't even a month later when we heard about Andy Widman down in Fort Myers Police Department," he said. "Being so close, the Police Department actually reached out to us and asked if we could honor him the next year."

Widman was shot and killed responding to a domestic disturbance call in downtown Fort Myers on July 18, 2008.

Every year since, the Brotherhood Ride has honored fallen first responders on long rides, meeting families and raising funds.

"With the support of you people and our sponsors, we've been able to hand-deliver, in the past 10 years, $379,000 to these families," Morse said.

The trips are more than a simple fundraising campaign, Wilson explained.

"When you walk into a station and you see (a fallen hero's) family, you get goosebumps talking to them and how much they appreciate you," he said. "At first they don't understand why we do it. It's an honor. I know that if anything happened to me, these guys would be here for my wife and kids."



As fatal overdoses rise, pioneering police effort evolves

Some communities are seeing more addicts overdosing on more potent varieties of opiods than it did when its amnesty program rocketed to national notoriety

by Philip Marcelo

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Gloucester is seeing more heroin overdoses today than it did two years ago when it introduced a unique amnesty program replicated by hundreds of police departments across the nation that encourages addicts to turn in their drugs to police without fear of arrest in order to get fast-tracked for treatment.

About halfway through the year, the historic fishing city north of Boston has had 16 confirmed and suspected fatal opioid overdoses, said Police Chief John McCarthy. That's on pace to exceed the nine confirmed cases the city saw last year and 10 in 2015, when the ANGEL program launched, according to state data.

At the same time, the number of addicts walking through the police station doors has declined. The department has helped 564 addicts get into treatment, but roughly two-thirds of those came within the first full year. McCarthy estimates the department is now averaging about one walk-in per week.

"We're in a position to get people into treatment, but the sad part is the drug that they're taking, in all probability, is going to put them into overdose," he says on a visit earlier this month. "It's a lot harder drug that's on the street."

Gloucester, like many other communities, is seeing more addicts overdosing on more potent varieties of the drug than it did when its amnesty program rocketed to national notoriety. The rising toll is prompting city officials to try new approaches.

Police and the addiction counselors they work with have been stepping up efforts to reach addicts on the streets and in the homeless shelters and other places they congregate, rather than simply waiting for them to come through their doors.

McCarthy, who took over last October after the prior police chief and founder of the ANGEL program was forced into retirement after misleading investigators in an unrelated matter, says a recent spate of overdoses on fishing vessels prompted local officials to start distributing Naloxone, the overdose reversal drug commonly known as Narcan, to boat operators and training their crews on how to use it.

The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative — a nonprofit established to help the Gloucester police as well as more than 260 other departments in 30 states that have adopted its model— has also brought on a number of full-time staffers, including an outreach worker whose job is to keep up with the hundreds of addicts that have gone through the program and to seek out new participants.

"I try to meet people where they're at," Roberto "Tito" Rodriguez said one recent July afternoon as he dropped into a local meal center for the homeless and low income. "Some people just need to vent. Others need a ride to a meeting or help with housing. Whatever they need, that's what I do."

The organization, which goes by its initials P.A.A.R.I., has also received a grant to post 25 AmeriCorps service members at police departments throughout Massachusetts to do similar work. It's also working with the local sheriff's office to start assisting inmates with substance abuse problems as they're released from prison.

Few experts are willing to fault the ANGEL program for failing to curb the growing opioid epidemic. Indeed, at least 2,500 people have been placed into treatment through the program and its affiliates, according to P.A.A.R.I.

"Opioid overdoses are soaring in much of the country, and the total for Gloucester might well have been higher if not for the ANGEL program," said Keith Humphreys, a psychiatry professor at the Stanford's School of Medicine who is not affiliated with the program.

Even the office of Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, which has long complained that police don't have the authority to grant blanket immunity to addicts possessing illegal drugs, noted that measuring the success of the program based on overdoses is "comparing apples and oranges."

Gloucester police still have the same open door, no-questions-asked policy that was the hallmark of the original ANGEL program. But as a practical matter, they've done away with the volunteer "angels" that helped provide emotional support and counseling to addicts as they awaited transfer to a treatment facility, a process that used to take hours, said McCarthy.

These days, few addicts actually come into the station. Most call the department and can typically be connected to treatment in short order by either a police officer or P.A.A.R.I., which opened its office across the street.

Richard Naugle says he'll be "forever grateful" for the new ways Gloucester officials are reaching out to addicts.

The 39-year-old father of two young boys says their efforts put him back on the right path after he was arrested in February for stealing thousands of dollars from a Gloucester hardware store where he worked in order to support his oxycodone addiction.

Naugle, who was sentenced to 18 months' probation and ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution, was referred by police to Rodriguez at P.A.A.R.I., who quickly placed him into treatment and has kept tabs on him ever since.

Naugle says he's now six months sober and working at a power equipment repair shop.

"They're doing God's work over there," he said. "How do you repay someone for saving your life?"



After Justine Damond shooting, Minneapolis police now must turn on body cameras for all calls

by Mark Berman

Police in Minneapolis must now activate their body cameras during every call for service or any self-initiated work, officials said Wednesday, a change that comes amid a lingering controversy over an officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed Australian woman there earlier this month.

An officer fatally shot Justine Damond, a 40-year-old woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home, on July 15. For reasons that still remain unknown, one of the two police officers responding to Damond's call shot and killed her, and neither officer present activated their body cameras .

Since her death, which sparked international outrage and prompted the ouster of the city's veteran police chief , more questions than answers have surrounded the shooting. Authorities have questioned why Officer Mohamed Noor drew and fired his gun, and have been critical of the lack of video footage.

Every patrol officer in Minneapolis is equipped with a body camera , and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called it “unacceptable” that no footage existed of the shooting. A day after making these remarks, Hodges forced out Janeé Harteau, the Minneapolis police chief , saying she had “lost confidence in the chief's ability to lead us further.”

Hodges, who has herself faced calls to resign since the shooting and is up for reelection, joined the new police chief, Medaria Arradondo, for a news conference Wednesday announcing the expansion of when body cameras would be utilized.

“What good is a camera if it is not being used when it may be needed the most?” Arradondo said at the briefing. He added: “We are not passing judgment on a single officer nor are we looking at a single event.”

While Arradondo said the change in body-camera policy has “been in process for a few months now,” the specter of Damond's death loomed over this shift. The changed policy will go into effect on Saturday, two weeks after Damond's death.

Under the previous Minneapolis police policy, officers have been required to activate body-worn cameras before any use of force or, if that is not possible, “as soon as it is safe to do so.” The new policy directs officers to activate their cameras before a wide range of actions, and no longer states that cameras must be activated before a use of force. Instead, it now states that the cameras must be activated for “any use of force situation.”

“It has been my expectation that our body camera program work for our city and work for our people,” Hodges said at the news conference. “It was my expectation then and it remains my expectation today that the program actually does what we want, expect and need it to do.”

Mystery has surrounded Damond's death for days, in part because no footage captured what happened leading up to the shooting. Noor, the officer who fired the fatal shot, has so far declined to be interviewed by state investigators, who say they cannot compel him to be interviewed.

According to police records, Damond had twice called 911 the night of her death to report a possible sexual assault happening nearby. She first called to say she may have heard a rape happening, and then called eight minutes later to make sure officers had the right address.

What happened next is still not clear. The only account of the shooting that has been publicly released came from Officer Matthew Harrity, who was driving the squad car. Harrity told investigators that he was startled by a loud sound moments before Damond approached his side of the vehicle. Noor, in the passenger seat, then fired a single shot at Damond through Harrity's open window, investigators said.


US Muslims: Survey suggests nearly half suffer discrimination

by the BBC

Almost half of Muslims in the US say they have experienced discrimination in the past year, a study by the Pew Research Center suggests.

Three quarters say there is "a lot" of discrimination against Muslims, while 74% say President Donald Trump is "unfriendly toward" them.

In 2011, 64% said President Barack Obama was "friendly toward" them.

The research also suggested that Muslims in the US are becoming more socially liberal.

The proportion saying society should accept homosexuality has almost doubled.

Researchers spoke to 1,001 US Muslims by phone. They said the people they chose were a representative sample.

More discrimination - but more outward support too

Half of those they spoke to said it had become harder to be a Muslim in the US in recent years, while 48% said they had personally experienced discrimination in the past year.

The most common form of discrimination cited was being treated with suspicion (32% of those the researchers spoke to), followed by being singled out by airport security (19%), being called offensive names (18%), being singled out by law enforcement (10%) and being physically threatened or attacked (6%).

Some felt unsafe as a result, with one immigrant man saying: "We have to take extra care scanning our surroundings, know where we are, who is around and what kind of thoughts they might hold for Islam."

Those with a distinctively Muslim appearance - for instance clothing like a hijab - were more likely to say they had experienced discrimination. In fact Muslim women were more likely than Muslim men to say it had become more difficult to be a Muslim in the US.

The numbers for all of these forms of discrimination had gone up since 2007, when George W Bush was president, but most had decreased or stayed level since 2011, under President Obama.

At the same time, there was evidence of growing vocal support for Muslims.

Almost half (49%) said someone had expressed support for them because of their religion in the last year.

Unhappy with the way the country is going

A majority of Muslims voted for Hillary Clinton, so perhaps it is no surprise that they are unhappy with the team that is now at the top. But their experiences of discrimination, and President Donald Trump's attempts to restrict entry for people coming from Muslim countries , have coloured this too.

One man said: "When the Muslim ban was introduced the first time around, I literally felt like the persecution had started. Because we had read the history of Europe and what happened to the Jewish people in Germany."

Another said: "You almost get that post-9/11 atmosphere because of the suppression, really, of minorities and minorities' thoughts and voices.

"People like the alt-right or ultraconservative Trump supporters now have a larger voice that was suppressed just years ago, and now they're really allowed to make heard what they think about Muslims and minorities in general, so a lot of tensions have been rising."

More socially liberal than before

US Muslims' views on homosexuality have changed in the last decade. This year, more than half (52%) said society should accept homosexuality - up from 27% in 2007.

The leap corresponded with a smaller bump in the number of US Muslims saying there is more than one way to interpret Islamic teachings. In 2007, 57% agreed with this liberal view; this year, the figure was 64%.

Views on terrorism and extremism

Muslims were more likely to condemn terrorism than the general US population.

They were asked the following question: "Some people think targeting and killing civilians can be justified in order to further a political, social or religious cause. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason, this kind of violence can never be justified. How do you personally feel?"

75% of Muslims said it could never be justified, while just 59% of the general public said the same.

Some people from both Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds said they thought it was often or sometimes justified. To try and understand the answer better, the researchers rang some of those people back and asked them what they meant. Many of them mentioned situations other than terrorism, including military action and self-defence.

Three quarters of Muslims said they saw little or no support for extremism among US Muslims, and 6% said they saw a "great deal". The general public were more likely to perceive Muslims as supporting extremism.

And Muslims were more likely than the general public to be concerned about extremism in the name of Islam, in the US and around the world.

Do Muslims think they fit in to American life?

Most Muslims think they are not seen as being part of the American mainstream, and 60% thought their coverage in the mainstream media was "unfair".

But 92% said they were proud to be American. 89% of respondents said they were both proud to be a Muslim and proud to be American.

One woman in her 40s told researchers: "What I have in common with most Americans is a dedication to this country.

"We also have in common our shared humanity.

"We're all struggling to earn, pay our taxes and raise our kids."

Pew Research Center estimates that there are 3.35 million Muslims of all ages in a US, a million more than there were in 2007. A majority of Muslim adults were born outside the US, in more than 70 different countries of origin. On the whole they are younger than the general US population.


Three New Books Discuss How to Confront and Reform Racist Policing

by Elizabeth Hinton

A Life in Faithful Service to the Community That Made Me
By David O. Brown with Michelle Burford
Illustrated. 255 pp. Ballantine Books. $28.

Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment
Edited by Angela J. Davis
321 pp. Pantheon Books. $27.95.

Policing Black Men
By Paul Butler
Illustrated. 304 pp. The New Press. $26.95.

Black people have never been truly safe in America. Police brutality and the use of excessive force have been enduring features of our history. Today social media has allowed us to make our collective vulnerability newly visible to the general public. Not since the civil rights era, when images of police officers beating peaceful protesters made the nightly news, have we engaged in this level of national conversation about racial inequality. With formal segregation behind us, the racism that pervades our society has pooled in the criminal justice and law enforcement strategies that developed in the wake of Jim Crow. We police black and brown citizens and lock them in cages like no other country in the world.

Three new books lay out an alternative path. In “Called to Rise,” by the former Dallas police chief David O. Brown, we learn how a black law enforcement officer ascended the ranks and reformed the department, helping to make the entire city safer. “Policing the Black Man,” edited by the activist and law professor Angela J. Davis, brings together 11 essays from scholars and criminal justice practitioners who offer forward-thinking policy suggestions. And in the most readable and provocative account of the consequences of the war on drugs since Michelle Alexander's “The New Jim Crow,” the law professor and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler argues that our society must be completely remade in “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.”

Brown, who is best known for his handling of the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers by a sniper in July 2016, believes “we will make progress only when we set aside our assumptions and really start listening to each other.” He admits he didn't always think this way. When Brown was a patrol officer in the 1980s, he ascribed to the dominant approach: “Put the criminals in jail, and let God sort them out.” In the 1990s, the Dallas police chief at the time assigned Brown to a community policing program. Brown had been “a cop who gloried in locking away villains,” but his “instincts had slowly shifted,” and he began to see the value in having police officers “connect with the people they served.”

In 2010, Brown became police chief, and he had his officers go door-to-door to meet the people they were charged with protecting, attending homeowners association meetings and block parties, hosting basketball games and offering counseling sessions at local schools. (He also lost his 27-year-old son that year, to police gunfire. His son, who had bipolar disorder, was killed after fatally shooting a bystander and a police officer.) Brown's approach, based not on arrest numbers but on police-community engagement, led to a historic decline in Dallas's crime rate between 2010 and 2015. Brown retired in 2016, after he noticed an uptick in the crime rate, which he attributes to budget cuts that led to staffing shortages.

Although Brown offers us one of the most impressive models for community policing, his view begins to look idealized in light of the racist practices described by Paul Butler in “Chokehold.” “Cops routinely hurt and humiliate black people because that is what they are paid to do,” Butler writes. “The police, as policy , treat African-Americans with contempt.” Like Brown, Butler admits that he was once an active participant in this system, a prosecutor who “sent a lot of black men to prison” and “defended cops who had racially profiled or used excessive force.”

While Butler urges us to rethink the purpose and function of policing entirely, a number of the essays in Angela J. Davis's anthology suggest that the historical tension between low-income residents of color and the police charged with protecting them can be addressed with training programs. In one of the most popular of these programs, known as procedural justice, policemen are taught that if they treat people with dignity, respect and fairness, they will build trust and gain legitimacy. Meanwhile, implicit bias training encourages officers to recognize the set of racial assumptions they carry but do not consciously control. These measures can also save lives. As Yale Law School's Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler put it in their essay, the more trust communities have in the police, the more likely they are to report crime, provide testimony and help “to hold offenders accountable.”

Barring fundamental legal reforms, however, these programs can have only a limited impact. Indeed, much of the discussion in “Chokehold” and “Policing the Black Man” highlights the impact of major Supreme Court decisions of the last 50 years, including ones that supported racial profiling and deemed statistical evidence of racial disparities insufficient to prove a “discriminatory purpose” on the part of police officers or the courts. As Jin Hee Lee and Sherrilyn A. Ifill, both from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, point out in their contribution to Davis's book, “the courts function in a distorted reality that only recognizes racial discrimination in a specific and distinct form: overt racial animus by a specific actor.” The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution has largely failed to extend African-American citizens protection from police abuse and sentencing disparities.

Lee and Ifill suggest that hope might lie in pursuing “a more effective body of equal protection and anti-discrimination law.” Butler, however, remains skeptical of incrementalist measures. “Liberal reforms, such as anti-discrimination laws, have not brought long-term change,” Butler writes in “Chokehold.” “Civil Rights laws have helped stigmatize discrimination but have barely blunted its effect.” He demonstrates that when citizenship rights are extended to African-Americans, policy makers and officials at all levels of government historically used law and incarceration as proxy to exert social control in black communities. Black Codes, convict leasing and Jim Crow segregation followed Emancipation; overpolicing and mass incarceration followed the civil rights movement. “In order to halt this wretched cycle we must not think of reform — we must think of transformation,” Butler writes. “The United States of America must be disrupted, and made anew.”

For Butler, remaking America entails abolishing both prisons and the conditions of segregated poverty that increase the likelihood of criminal justice supervision. Butler cites a study from New York University's Brennan Center for Justice estimating that 40 percent of the nation's prisoners could be released without compromising public safety. This alone would save taxpayers $200 billion over 20 years, freeing up new opportunities for resources and outcomes. He suggests those funds could be used to hire 327,000 new public-school teachers, or to create jobs for low-income citizens who often have no options for survival outside of the informal economy. And since nearly 80 percent of people in prison suffer from drug addiction or mental health issues, Butler thinks it wise to reallocate funding from police departments and correctional authorities to community health care.

If the prospect of this level of structural change sounds impossible or rash, at the very least we can heed the insights the public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson provides in “Policing the Black Man.” Stevenson looks to South Africa, where a series of truth and reconciliation hearings followed the end of apartheid, and Germany, where citizens are encouraged to visit the sites of Nazi concentration camps and reflect on the history of the Holocaust, as examples of the kind of historical reckoning we must also commit to as a nation. For it is only by fully confronting the traumatic and contradictory currents of American history that we can begin to change course. Past abuses must be repaired so that safety and justice can exist for us all.



Community-oriented policing

by Brian Masterson

In Rohnert Park's Public Safety Department, we pride ourselves on what we call community-oriented policing. To us, this means we build strong relationships with the residents and businesses in Rohnert Park. By working together, we can ensure the safety of our residents – demonstrated by historically low serious crime rates in recent years.

There are many ways we do this. For example, our Public Safety Officers are expected to meet daily with at least one resident or business. These daily contacts build trust and allow us to listen to safety issues our residents may have. We hold community meetings periodically, including four earlier this year throughout the city to hear from our residents, to inform them on the latest crime trends and to provide tips on how we can work together to make us the safest city on the 101 freeway – the mission of the Department. We also hold informal gatherings such as Coffee with a Cop, and August 1 we will host National Night Out, a national celebration of community and law enforcement collaboration. Please join us at the City Center Plaza.

As your Public Safety Chief, I am pleased that the community survey completed earlier this year showed that nearly half of our residents had contact with our Public Safety staff in 2016 and that the vast majority of those contacts were positive experiences. I attribute this directly to our community oriented policing philosophy.

Civilian Academy:

Another example of the Department's Community Policing Philosophy and partnering with our residents is our Civilian Academy. I feel it is important to encourage community members to meet their police and fire personnel through a Civilian Academy. The Civilian Academy helps to educate Rohnert Park residents on what their Department of Public Safety does to keep the community safe.

For example, Rohnert Park is only one of two agencies in the State of California that has Public Safety Officers who perform both the duties of a firefighter and the duties of a police officer. Our Public Safety model improves service and saves limited tax dollars by having officers who perform both police and fire responsibilities.

People over the age of 18 who attend the academy will be introduced to many different subject areas to include the philosophy of the Department, state laws and the United States Constitution that govern police, use of force by officers, officer safety, police investigations, traffic enforcement, narcotics, hazardous materials, emergency medical services, fire prevention and fire suppression as well as being able to go through a simulator that reflects real-life decisions which officers must make. All attendees will also have the opportunity to receive CPR training and certification.

The 10-week Civilian Academy meets Monday nights from 6-9 p.m. The class is scheduled September 11 through November 13. The classes are interactive and taught by subject matter experts from both sworn and professional staff. Eligible participants must live or work within the City of Rohnert Park and have no criminal conviction that would prohibit possession of a firearm. To register for the upcoming Civilian Academy, please call Catherine Colburn Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 584-2650 or contact her by email at

We look forward to meeting you in our next Civilian Academy in September!


New York

NY eyes textalyzer to bust drivers using cellphones

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to examine the technology and questions about privacy and civil liberties its use would raise

by David Klepper

ALBANY, N.Y. — Police in New York state may soon have a high-tech way of catching texting drivers: a device known as a textalyzer that allows an officer to quickly check if a cellphone has been in use before a crash.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday directed the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to examine the technology and the questions about privacy and civil liberties its use would raise.

"Despite laws to ban cellphone use while driving, some motorists still continue to insist on texting behind the wheel — placing themselves and others at substantial risk," Cuomo said in a statement first reported by The Associated Press. "This review will examine the effectiveness of using this new emerging technology to crack down on this reckless behavior and thoroughly evaluate its implications to ensure we protect the safety and privacy of New Yorkers."

The device is called the textalyzer because of its similarity to the Breathalyzer, which is used to identify drunken drivers. Once plugged into a person's phone for about a minute, it will indicate whether a motorist was texting, emailing, surfing the web or otherwise using his or her cellphone before a serious crash.

Supporters of the technology say the officer would not be able to access personal information on the phone, such as pictures, emails or web browsing history.

The technology is still some months away from being ready, according to Cellebrite , the Israel-based tech company developing the device.

Digital privacy and civil liberties groups already have questioned whether the technology's use would violate personal privacy, noting that police can already obtain search warrants if they believe information on a private phone could be useful in a prosecution.

Many security experts are skeptical when it comes to promises that the textalyzer would only access information about phone usage, and not personal material, according to Rainey Reitman, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for civil liberties when it comes to digital technology.

"I am extremely nervous about handing a cellphone to a law enforcement officer and allowing them in any way to forensically analyze it," she said. "This is a technology that is incredibly problematic and at the same time is unnecessary. There are already legal avenues for a police officer."

Westchester County resident Ben Lieberman lost his 19-year-old son Evan Lieberman to a fatal car crash in 2011 and later discovered the driver of the car his son was in had been texting while driving. He's now a leading advocate for the textalyzer and has worked with Cellebrite on the project. He said he understands concerns about privacy but they're unfounded, noting the device would only tell police whether a driver had been breaking the law.

"A Breathalyzer doesn't tell you where you were drinking, or whether it was vodka or Jack Daniels, just that you were drinking," he said. "This is the right balance between public safety and privacy."

Count Emily Boedigheimer as a supporter of the idea. The Albany area resident said she's fine with police using a textalyzer, as long as there are rules about what police would be able to see.

"If you're texting and driving you're breaking the law and you're risking people's lives," she said during a lunchtime walk in downtown Albany on Wednesday. "Why can't you wait, or pull over, to make that one call or read your texts?"

The committee will hear from supporters and opponents of the technology, law enforcement officials and legal experts before issuing a report, Cuomo's office said. Particular areas of focus will include the effectiveness of the technology, constitutional and legal issues and how the device would be used in practice.

Sen. Terrence Murphy, a Westchester County Republican, this year sponsored legislation that would have set out rules for the use of the textalyzer. The bill didn't get a full vote, but Murphy said he believes it's only a matter of time before New York and other states adopt the technology.

"It's not if, it's when," he said. "This will literally save lives."

Under Murphy's bill, motorists who refuse to hand over their phones to officers could have their licenses suspended.

Twelve people were killed and 2,784 were injured in cellphone-related crashes in New York state from 2011 to 2015, according to figures from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. State statistics show 1.2 million tickets for cellphone violations were issued in that period.



4 Idaho police cars torched in city hall parking lot

No information was immediately available about the suspect, but no injuries were reported

by Kristin Rodine

EMMETT, Idaho — Four parked Emmett police cars were reportedly burned shortly after midnight Wednesday, and a pursuit some seven hours later ended in an arrest on the Letha Bridge, a Gem County dispatcher said.

But Idaho State Police, leading the arson investigation, declined to comment about the pursuit and apprehension.

“We have a suspect in mind,” ISP spokesman Tim Marsano said about 10:40 a.m., declining to say whether that person was in custody or was involved in the pursuit. He stressed that the investigation is in its early stages.

Gem County Sheriff's deputies pursued a vehicle from the Emmett intersection of Central and Pioneer in Emmett about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday and ended on the bridge in Letha shortly before 8 a.m., the dispatcher said. No information was immediately available about the suspect, but no injuries were reported.

Emmett resident Tim Rynearson posted photos of the torched patrol cars and an account of the pursuit on Facebook. He said the pursuit ranged across the bench area north of town then headed west to Letha. The police cars were parked at City Hall, he said.

Idaho State Police are investigating the incident as an arson, Emmett police said in a midmorning news release that offered few details. Gem County Dispatch received an early morning call about a fire behind Emmett City Hall, and when crews arrived they found the four patrol cars on fire, police said. Flames were quickly extinguished, and no structures were threatened, police said.

The Emmett Police Department news release did not mention the Gem County pursuit or apprehension, but notes that a person of interest has been identified. The early morning arson is being investigated as an isolated incident, Emmett police said in a news release that reported “a person of interest” but gave few details.

“There is no threat to the public at this time, and the investigation is ongoing,” police said.


North Korea fires another missile, its latest step toward putting the U.S. within reach

by Anna Fifield

TOKYO — North Korea has taken another bold step toward achieving its stated goal of being able to send a nuclear weapon to the U.S. mainland, firing another intercontinental ballistic missile late Friday and highlighting the regime's rapid technological progress.

The missile flew almost straight up for 45 minutes and reached a height of about 2,300 miles before crashing into the sea off Japan. But if it had been launched on a normal trajectory, the missile could theoretically have reached Denver and perhaps even Chicago, experts said.

This latest provocation compounds the problem facing the Trump administration and North Korea's neighbors: how to stop the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from making progress with its nuclear weapons program.

“Kim Jong Un does seem hell-bent on acquiring the capability to reach the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Sharon Squassoni , director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “Although some experts judge this means he will never negotiate, it could also mean that he's looking for the capability that forces the United States to the table.”

The Pentagon and South Korea's joint chiefs of staff both said they had detected the launch, which occurred Friday at about 11:11 p.m. North Korea time(10:41 a.m. Eastern time). The late-night launch was unusualTOKYO — North Korea has taken another bold step toward achieving its stated goal of being able to send a nuclear weapon to the U.S. mainland, firing another intercontinental ballistic missile late Friday and highlighting the regime's rapid technological progress.

The missile flew almost straight up for 45 minutes and reached a height of about 2,300 miles before crashing into the sea off Japan. But if it had been launched on a normal trajectory, the missile could theoretically have reached Denver and perhaps even Chicago, experts said.

This latest provocation compounds the problem facing the Trump administration and North Korea's neighbors: how to stop the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from making progress with its nuclear weapons program.

“Kim Jong Un does seem hell-bent on acquiring the capability to reach the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Sharon Squassoni , director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “Although some experts judge this means he will never negotiate, it could also mean that he's looking for the capability that forces the United States to the table.”

The Pentagon and South Korea's joint chiefs of staff both said they had detected the launch, which occurred Friday at about 11:11 p.m. North Korea time(10:41 a.m. Eastern time). The late-night launch was unusual, as North Korea usually fires missiles soon after dawn.

“We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected,” said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

However, the North American Aerospace Defense Command “determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America,” Davis said.

American officials assessed that the missile flew on a “lofted” trajectory to reach an apogee of 2,300 miles, before landing about 620 miles from its launch site in Chagang province in northwestern North Korea, near the border with China.

The missile landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone off the coast of the northern island of Hokkaido, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference convened early Saturday at 1 a.m. Tokyo time.

“We cannot tolerate North Korea's repeated provocations like this,” Suga said. “We have made a strong protest to North Korea and condemned this act in the strongest terms.”

A launch this week — the anniversary of the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War was marked on Thursday — had been anticipated. Not only has Kim Jong Un repeatedly said he wants a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the United States, but U.S. intelligence agencies in recent days had spotted preparations for another test.

North Korea on Wednesday threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States.

“If enemies misunderstand our strategic status and stick to options of staging a preemptive nuclear attack against us, we will launch a nuclear attack on America's heart as the most relentless punishment without warning or prior notice,” Pak Yong Sik, North Korea's defense minister, said at a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the Korean War, which ended in an armistice but which Pyongyang claims it won. The occasion is celebrated annually in North Korea as the “Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War.”

The test comes barely three weeks after North Korea fired its first missile technically capable of reaching the United States, launched as July 4 dawned in Asia.

That missile, which North Korea called the Hwasong-14 (or Mars-14), was fired from Panghyon, a northwestern part of the country not far from the Chinese border, and flew to an altitude of 1,741 miles — seven times as high as the International Space Station. It landed 577 miles from its launch site, splashing down in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

If fired on a trajectory designed to maximize its range, rather than a “lofted” flight path, the missile could have flown 4,970 miles, according to the missile defense project at CSIS. That would put Hawaii and Alaska within reach.

But analysts at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California have suggested that the missile was capable of reaching New York City.

Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia program at CNS, said that this latest test would have been designed to demonstrate that North Korea could hit more of the mainland United States.

“My guess is that they want to show more range,” Lewis said, adding that North Korea was essentially calling the Pentagon's bluff. “We basically dared them to do this. We said, ‘It's not really an ICBM until it can hit Alaska,' and they're, like, ‘okay.'”

The Kim regime has been testing missiles — and making observable technical progress — at a pace that has alarmed analysts and officials alike. Friday's firing becomes the 14th ballistic missile launch this year alone, and the 10th that can be deemed a success, according to CNS researchers.

The ­Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency has shaved two full years off the consensus forecast for North Korea's ICBM program, now estimating that North Korea will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year.

The aggressive testing schedule has already allowed North Korea to validate its basic designs, putting it within a few months of starting industrial production, the officials said.

The July 4 test, which violated United Nations resolutions against North Korea, was met with the usual rounds of international condemnation, but the world has not found a way to persuade North Korea to stop.

The United States has been leading the charge for more and more sanctions against North Korea, but Russia and China — both veto-wielding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — have been reluctant to impose painful measures and are instead calling for a “de-escalation plan” to deal with Pyongyang.

The Trump administration needs to focus on diplomacy as well as sanctions, said Kelsey Davenport , director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association.

“A deployed North Korean ICBM is not inevitable, but it will be if policymakers in Washington keep putting the cart before the horse and demanding Pyongyang meet onerous preconditions to begin talks,” she said.



Youth gets a chance to ask cops about their role in the community

by Thomas Geyer

Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski had a question for the 70 or so young people who were attending this month's edition of Hoopn 4 Change at Beyond the Baseline on the campus of the former Marycrest College on Thursday.

Sikorski was responding to a question from the audience as to why there aren't more minorities on the Davenport police force.

“How many of you men or ladies are looking at law enforcement for a career?” he asked. Only a couple of hands went up.

“Why not?” he asked.

Sikorski, along with other members of the command and patrol units, were part of the night's events to discuss community policing. But there also were other community outreach programs there from Boys and Girls Clubs to Vera French to Genesis Medical Center to the Scott County Y.

But the attention was on the cops.

When the crowd asked him why more minorities don't apply for police work, Sikorski said that, “I think there is a perception that it's not an honorable and noble profession. I think there is the perception among some people that it's not cool, that their friends won't accept it.”

Sikorski told the crowd that he has been a police officer for 29 years. “You young men and you young women, if you're interested in making a difference in your community, there is no better way to do it than on this platform.”

Police officers are human, he told the crowd. Once out of the uniform, they are with their wives and children doing all the things families do.

Most of the questions thrown at Sikorski were about community policing.

“Our philosophy is community policing,” he said, adding that there are three components to the issue. One is developing relationships and partnerships in the community, while another is organizing the structure of the police department to support community policing from the top to the bottom.

“In our interviews to hire police officers we talk about community policing,” Sikorski said. When it comes to recruits, he added, “I want to know where their heart is.”

And while there is still the old style of policing that is reactive by going out and arresting criminals, putting them in jail and then going out to arrest more criminals, Sikorski said that they key to community policing is problem solving.

“It's finding out what are the roots to the problems in the community and then using our resources to make good things happen in our community,” he said.

One person wanted to know if police still walk a beat.

Police Lt. Kevin Smull, commander of the crime prevention bureau, said that while there are officers in cars running from call to call, there are officers whose job it is to be in a particular neighborhood.

That is the job of the NETS officers, with NETS standing for Neighborhoods Enhanced Toward Success.

These officers, Smull said, “go out and take care of their area.”

Teri Graves, 47, of Davenport, said that seeing the cops up close and personal helps a lot.

“People see on TV that they shot and killed someone and all that,” Graves said. “It's important that we see you guys aren't all bad. It puts more work on you guys, but it's nice to see you be involved and engaged.

“How do we know if you guys are good unless you show us?” Grave said. “I just appreciate that.”



University of Toledo police among those receiving grant for community-police relations


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The State of Ohio has awarded more than $500,000 dollars in grants to local police departments.

The money is aimed at strengthening community-police relations. The University of Toledo police department is among those who will receive money.

Each of the 20 law enforcement agencies and community organizations will receive up to $40,000 from the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS).

The state says all agencies receiving grants have agreed to become certified through the Ohio Collaborative Law Enforcement Agency Certification through the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.

The money will be used for programs including community-policing initiatives; training; juvenile-mentoring programs; education and awareness tools; and evidence-based policing strategies.

So far, more than 520 agencies with a total of more than 27,000 officers are either certified or in the process of becoming certified. The process includes meeting standards for the use of force, including deadly force, and agency recruitment and hiring.

The following agencies have been awarded a Community-Police Grant:

University of Toledo Police Department
Lakewood Police Department
Youngstown Police Department
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland
Medina County Police Activities League
Parma Heights Police
Montville Township Police Department
The Ohio State University Police
City of Dayton
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio
Pickaway County Sheriff's Office
Whitehall Division of Police
Kent Police Department
Deaf Women Against Violence Everywhere
South Central Big Brothers Big Sisters
Cambridge Police Department
Chillicothe Police Department
Santa Maria Community Services
Agape Ministries
University of Cincinnati Office of Safety and Reform



National Night Out, Night to Unite set for Tuesday

by William Morris

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — National Night Out is approaching fast, and every law enforcement agency is planning to get in to the action.

The national community policing event on Aug. 1 brings millions of residents in thousands of communities out for neighborhood block parties, where they can meet with local police, share concerns and build relationships that police say can help prevent crime. The Owatonna Police Department and Steele County Sheriff's Office have been taking part for years, and this year, Blooming Prairie is holding its very first National Night Out party.

“This is absolutely going to be huge,” Blooming Prairie Police Chief Greg Skillestad said. “It's unbelievable what we're going to have here. Another officer and I decided to just go big with it.”

The party — which Skillestad said he and one of his officers are financing personally to see how it goes this first year — will include carnival games, food, an outdoor movie, costumed superheroes and more.

“We've got a photo op section, we've got a Blooming Prairie city jail made so you can get your photo in there, and we've got lots of photo props,” Skillestad said.

Of course, the event is about more than just throwing a party, and Skillestad said it serves a number of important law enforcement purposes.

“[We want] to make that connection with families, find out what's going on in the community, making sure they know they can build that trust with us, they can call us, and if they have any concerns about the city or law enforcement in general, they can approach us, ask us questions and we'll try to address them and make sure they feel comfortable living here in BP,” he said.

This year, the Sheriff's Office will be on hand in Ellendale, which is holding its second annual citywide celebration Tuesday in City Park. In announcing the party, City Council Member Stephanie Kibler wrote, “Enhancing relationships between neighbors, law enforcement, our fire department and EMTs brings back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

While Ellendale is forging a new city tradition, Medford Mayor Lois Nelson says she's trying to get one to take root. Individual neighborhoods in Medford have thrown National Night Out parties in the past, although none are doing so this year, and Nelson said she's currently working on plans for a community-wide event, similar to Ellendale and Blooming Prairie, for next year.

Sheriff Lon Thiele said he and his deputies will be happy to visit any community that puts together an event.

“This is something we love doing, this style of community policing,” he said. “We love being able to stop by and talk with everyone, whether it's Ellendale or Medford or anywhere else in Steele County.”

The longest-running National Night Out event in Steele County is in Owatonna, where it goes by the name Night to Unite. This year will be the ninth that OPD officers will fan out to parties all over town to talk about the latest in crime trends and technology and hear feedback from residents. As of Thursday, there were 29 such parties registered with the department, and more can be added through Friday.

And in all the departments, officials are hoping to build stronger relationships, open new lines of communication, and throw a fun party to boot.

“I hope everyone enjoys it and hope we have some good weather for it,” Thiele said.



U.S. flies bombers over Korean peninsula after North Korea missile test

by James Pearson and Jack Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday after Pyongyang's recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), the U.S. and South Korean Air Forces said.

North Korea said it conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday that proved its ability to strike America's mainland, drawing a sharp warning from U.S. President Donald Trump.

The B-1B flight was in direct response to the missile test and the previous July 3 launch of the "Hwansong-14" rocket, the U.S. statement said. The South Korean air force said the flight was conducted early on Sunday.

The bombers took off from a U.S. air base in Guam, and were joined by Japanese and South Korean fighter jets during the exercise, according to the statement.

"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability," Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy said in the statement.

"If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing".

The U.S. has in the past used overflights of the supersonic B1-B "Lancer" bomber as a show of force in response to North Korean missile or nuclear tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un personally supervised the midnight test launch of the missile on Friday night and said it was a "stern warning" for the United States that it would not be safe from destruction if it tries to attack, the North's official KCNA news agency said.

North Korea's state television broadcast pictures of the launch, showing the missile lifting off in a fiery blast in darkness and Kim cheering with military aides.

China, the North's main ally, said it opposed North Korea's missile launches, which it said violate United Nations Security Council resolutions designed to curb Pyongyang's banned nuclear and missile programs.

"At the same time, China hopes all parties act with caution, to prevent tensions from continuing to escalate," China's foreign ministry said in a statement on

Trump "Very Disappointed in China"

However, Trump said he was "very disappointed in China".

In a message on Twitter, he said: "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet..."

"...they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!" he said in a subsequent tweet.

The Hwasong-14, named after the Korean word for Mars, reached an altitude of 3,724.9 km (2,314.6 miles) and flew 998 km (620 miles)for 47 minutes and 12 seconds before landing in the waters off the Korean peninsula's east coast, KCNA said.

Western experts said calculations based on that flight data and estimates from the U.S., Japanese and South Korean militaries showed the missile could have been capable of going as far into the United States as Denver and Chicago.

David Wright of the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists wrote in a blog post that if it had flown on a standard trajectory, the missile would have had a range of 10,400 km (6,500 miles).

North Korea said on Sunday it had been forced to develop long-range missiles and nuclear weapons because of hostile intent by "American imperialist beasts" looking for another chance to invade the country.

"In case the U.S. fails to come to its own senses and continues to resort to military adventure and 'tough sanctions', the DPRK will respond with its resolute act of justice as already declared," its foreign ministry said in a statement.

DPRK is short for the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It did not specify what action it would take.

The missile test came a day after the U.S. Senate approved a package of sanctions on North Korea, Russia and Iran.

The foreign ministers of South Korea, Japan and the United States agreed to step up pressure on Pyongyang and to push for a stronger U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution.


US, allies prepared to use 'overwhelming force' in North Korea, general says

by Fox News

The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.

The training mission was a response to North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear program, and part of the U.S. regular commitment to defending its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the general's statement said.

“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” O'Shaughnessy said.

“Diplomacy remains the lead,” he said. “However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.

“If called upon,” he added, “we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”

North Korea conducted test launches of ICBMs on July 3 and July 28, and has claimed that its weapons can now reach the U.S. mainland.

The country's recent actions have drawn condemnation from President Trump, and prompted U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to confer with counterparts from South Korea and Japan to develop a response, Fox News has reported .

Both Trump and Tillerson have criticized China, saying the Beijing government has failed to use its influence to discourage North Korea from developing its nuclear program, Fox News reported .

On Saturday, two U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers, under the command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, joined counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces in sequenced bilateral missions.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, then flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by two Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force) F-2 fighter jets.

The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula, where they were joined by four F-15 fighter jets from the South Korean air force.

The B-1s then performed a low-pass over Osan Air Base, South Korea, before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam.

Throughout the approximately 10-hour mission, the air crews practiced intercept and formation functions, enabling them to improve their combined capabilities and strengthening the long-standing military-to-military relationships in the region, the Pentagon said.

U.S. Pacific Command maintains flexible bomber and fighter capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, retaining the ability to quickly respond to any regional threat in order to defend the U.S. and its allies, the statement said.



Police disrupt plot in Australia to 'bring down and airplane'

by Rod McGuirk

CANBERRA, Australia — Police disrupted the first alleged plot in Australia to bring down an airplane and arrested four men in raids on Sydney homes, officials said Sunday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that security has been increased at Sydney Airport since Thursday because of the plot. The increased security measures also were extended to all major international and domestic terminals around Australia overnight.

“I can report last night that there has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane,” Turnbull told reporters. “The operation is continuing.”

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said details were scant on the specifics of the attack, the location and timing.

“In recent days, law enforcement has been become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an improvised devise,” Colvin said.

Deakin University security expert Greg Barton said the first plot to target aircraft in Australia, which is the highest aspiration of many extremists, was a “pretty big threshold moment.”

The plotters were apparently making a peroxide-based explosive device rather than using nitrate-based chemicals that can be detected by airport security swab tests, Barton said.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi used such a peroxide-based explosive, triacetone triperoxide, better known as TATP, to kill 22 concert-goers in Britain on May 22.

“TATP's called Mother of Satan because it often kills the bomb maker because it's very unstable as it's mixed,” Barton said. “But if it's mixed well, it can be very potent and a small amount can be enough to bring an aircraft down if it's done very, very expertly.”

The plan most likely was to take the explosive on board in carry-on luggage unless there was a baggage handler involved who could ensure that a stowed bomb exploded near the fuselage where it would be most damaging.

“The speculation is that the bombers would like to put it in carry-on luggage so they can be sure of getting it placed near the fuselage skin,” Barton said, adding however that putting something in a suitcase is “a lottery whether it ends up near the outside of the luggage hold or packed near the middle.”

There was no evidence that airport security had been compromised, Colvin said.

“We believe it's Islamic-inspired terrorism,” Colvin said when asked if the Islamic State group was behind the plot.

Seven Network television reported that 40 riot squad officers wearing gas masks stormed an inner-Sydney house before an explosives team found a suspicious device. Colvin declined to say whether a fully equipped improvised explosive device had been found at that address.

A woman led from a raid by police with her head covered told Nine Network Television: “I love Australia.”

None of the four suspects arrested in five raids had been charged, Colvin said. He would not discuss what charges they might face. None of the arrested men worked in the airport industry, Colvin said.

Australia's terrorist threat level remained unchanged at “probable,” Turnbull said. He advised travelers in Australia to arrive at airports earlier than usual — two hours before departure — to allow for extra security screening and to minimize baggage.

The plot was the 13th significant threat disrupted by police since Australia's terrorist threat level was elevated in 2014, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said. Five plots have been executed.

Since Australia's terrorist threat level was raised in 2014, 70 suspects have been charged in 31 police operations, Keenan said.


New York

Police push back against Trump's law-and order speech

by Ray Sanchez

President Donald Trump's statement encouraging police officers to be "rough" with people they arrest has drawn criticism in law enforcement circles for sending the wrong message at a time of heightened tensions with the public.

"As a department, we do not and will not tolerate 'rough(ing)' up prisoners," the Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement.

Trump delivered a combative law-and-order speech in the New York suburb Friday, calling gang members "animals" and praising law enforcement for being "rough."

Speaking before law enforcement officers, Trump praised the aggressive tactics of immigration officers and suggested that police shouldn't protect the heads of handcuffed suspects being put in the back of a car.

"When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, 'Please don't be too nice,'" Trump said to applause, referring to officers shielding prisoners' heads with their hands.

"Like, don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody. I said, 'You can take the hand away, OK?'"

From Boston to Los Angeles, however, law enforcement agencies pushed back.

The police statement in the suburb where Trump spoke added, "The Suffolk County Police Department has strict rules and procedures relating to the handling of prisoners, and violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously."

Suffolk County police have been under Justice Department oversight since 2013, after a federal investigation exposed a pattern of anti-immigrant violence .

'Sends wrong message to law enforcement'

A Boston Police Department statement said its "priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve. As a police department we are committed to helping people,not harming them."

In New York, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement that to "suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable and necessary is irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public."

The head of the New York City agency tasked with investigating complaints against officers also denounced the remarks.

"President Trump's comments fly in the face of the responsibility our city's officers display in the line of duty," Maya Wiley, chairwoman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, said in a statement.

"But for many communities in our city, President Trump's comments only (stoke) fears of interacting with officers. President Trump's speech today was shameful, dangerous, and damages the progress our city has made toward improving police-community relations."

The Gainesville, Florida, police department said on Facebook the President "has no business endorsing or condoning cops being rough with arrestees and suggesting that we should slam their heads onto the car while putting them in."

Trump's remarks "set modern policing back and erased a lot of the strides we have made to build trust in our community."

Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias took to Twitter to rebuff the President's position.

"I'm a cop," he wrote. "I do not agree with or condone @POTUS remarks today on police brutality. Those that applauded and cheered should be ashamed."

'This is disgusting'

A Los Angeles police spokesman, Mike Lopez, said the department will "treat everyone with integrity and respect."

"We work with partnerships in our community and continue to do that to keep our communities safe and secure from crime. With the help of our community we will continue to do this."

The Portland Police Bureau in Oregon expressed similar sentiments on Twitter, saying that officers were "expected to treat everyone with dignity & respect, even when they are a suspect."

The International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a statement on the use of force by police , saying officers are trained to treat everyone with "dignity and respect."

Jim Bueermann, the president of the nonprofit Police Foundation, which works to improve policing, said Trump's support for law enforcement was appreciated but "we cannot support any commentary -- in sincerity or jest -- that undermines the trust that our communities place in us to protect and serve."

The topic of rough police tactics is a sensitive one in Baltimore, a city still reeling from the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray after he was arrested and put in the back of a police van.

"Are you kidding me? This is disgusting," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz wrote on Twitter about Trump's remarks on the handling of suspected criminals.

There was no immediate response from Baltimore's police department, where six officers were charged in connection with Gray's death. The 25-year-old suffered a fatal spine injury while being transported in the van. The cases against the officers, who were charged with crimes ranging from reckless endangerment to murder, ended without convictions.

Gray's death sparked protests and riots in the city and fueled an impassioned national debate over fatal police encounters involving African-American men.

Trump's Justice Department is charged with enforcing a sweeping consent decree with reforms for Baltimore's police department after a federal investigation, launched in the wake of Gray's death, revealed patterns of discriminatory and unconstitutional policing.

'It was a joke'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year directed his lawyers to ask the judge for additional time for the department to review the proposed decree to ensure it aligned with the priorities of the Trump administration on "crime reduction."

In April, a federal judge approved the reform plan anyway. That same month, Sessions had ordered a comprehensive review of all police reform activities, including any existing or contemplated consent decrees.

Several rights and civil liberties groups also criticized the President's law enforcement remarks, but the head of the Suffolk County Deputy Sheriff's Police Benevolent Association said his members backed Trump's message.

"For the first time in many years we feel we have a president who supports law enforcement," John Becker said in a statement.

The group Blue Lives Matter tweeted that Trump's remarks were made in jest.

"Trump didn't tell police to go out & brutalize people as the media would have you believe," the tweet said. "It was a joke."

Support also came from the head of the union representing Cleveland's rank-and-file police officers. Without addressing Trump's specific comments on Saturday, Detective Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN there is "unwavering" support for Trump from law enforcement agencies across the country.

"Not surprisingly, (Trump's) comments have been completely taken out of context by the racially exclusive and divisive profiteers seeking to call into question his support of all law abiding citizens and the law enforcement that live and work among them," Loomis said in a statement to CNN.



In shooting simulator, fairgoers aim from police perspective

A firearms training simulator was placed at a county fair by a sheriff who hoped to help citizens better understand how quickly police must make life-or-death decisions

by Kantele Franko

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — When the gunman showed up at the hospital, Mike McDorman raised his handgun, took aim and shot the guy. He did the same when an impaired driver stepped out of a vehicle and aimed his way.

Then, having dealt with a handful of these tense scenarios in just a few minutes, he handed the gun back to a sheriff's deputy and walked out of the police shooting simulator with a relieved smile.

"I'm a mess. Sweaty!" said McDorman, the local chamber of commerce president, who acknowledged he shot an innocent person in one scene. "I'm not quitting my day job."

McDorman was among dozens of people who took aim in a firearms training simulator placed at a county fair by a sheriff who hoped to help citizens better understand how quickly police must make life-or-death decisions. Some participants saw value in the exercise as police around the country face increased scrutiny for shootings, especially those involving unarmed black men.

That's the educational effect that Sheriff Deborah Burchett hoped for when she rented the simulator to offer as a free exhibit at this week's Clark County Fair. Her staff built a darkened room for it, right between booths for a golf cart raffle, an anti-abortion group, a cellphone company and the National Guard.

The operators estimate that at least a couple hundred people tried the simulator in the first three days, plus deputies, local officials and fair officials who took turns before the fair opening each day.

Participants see realistic scenes such as school shootings and domestic disputes projected onto a screen from an officer's perspective. Participants hold a modified gun that shoots air, and a computer tracks their shots at the suspect on the screen, showing splatters of red when one is hit.

Seeing a kill shot in her second try on the simulator left 30-year-old Melissa Tuttle wondering how she'd react if the situation were real.

"I don't know if I could walk home that night and be OK," said Tuttle, a former defense attorney and now county clerk whose father was a sheriff's deputy. For civilians, she said, the simulator seems to be a deterrent to after-the-fact armchair policing in real life.

Frank Robinette noted he'd have ended up dead after reacting too slowly in one scenario. The 50-year-old gun owner from Springfield called it a big eye-opener.

"I'm glad I didn't become a police officer," he said.

The sheriff's office says participants' responses to the exhibit have been almost unanimously supportive, aside from a few teenagers' complaints about not being allowed to try it. Burchett limited it to adults out of concern about how it might affect youngsters.

Burchett said she thinks it's worth every penny of the $3,000-plus she paid to rent the equipment from Tactical Edge Protective Services, a Warsaw, Indiana, business run by an officer who mostly rents the high-tech equipment for law enforcement training.

Participant Scott Greene, a 30-year-old Springfield insurance agent, saw value in it, too, in the context of police shootings making headlines around the country.

He said officers sometimes make mistakes, "but it's very easy for people to say this is how I would have acted." Going through the simulator, he said, shows it might not be that simple.