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"  

December, 2017 - Week 3
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.

North Korea: New UN sanctions an 'act of war violating peace and stability'

by Julia Manchester

North Korea reportedly said on Sunday that new sanctions passed by the United Nations are an "act of war" and violate peace and stability in the region.

“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the U.S. and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution’,” a statement from North Korea's foreign ministry said, Reuters reported, citing the KCNA news agency.

“There is no more fatal blunder than the miscalculation that the U.S. and its followers could check by already worn-out ‘sanctions’ the victorious advance of our people who have brilliantly accomplished the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”, the statement continued.

The ministry also threatened to punish those who supported the sanctions, according to the news service.

“We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the U.S. nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the U.S."

The comments from Pyongyang come after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Friday to impose new sanctions on North Korea aimed at weakening the country's economy.

The resolution aims to cut off roughly 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to the country while ensuring the return of North Korean citizens working abroad within 24 months.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley praised the vote on Friday, saying it "sends the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation."

President Trump also voicedhis approval of the sanctions in a tweet.

Tensions between North Korea and the global community have increased after Pyongyang launched a series of intercontinental ballistic missiles this year.



QU professor stresses importance of trust between community, police

by Steve Eighinger

QUINCY -- By nature, Harry Cramer is an optimistic sort.

That's why he was probably a perfect choice to teach a course on community-police partnerships in a time where the news cycle is filled with stories of unrest between those two entities.

"The most gratifying part of this (as an instructor) was to see the willingness of students to see both sides, to ask questions, to challenge and be challenged," Cramer said.

An assistant professor of criminal justice at Quincy University, Cramer's resume explains why he could provide insight above and beyond what might be found in the average classroom.

Before he left law enforcement, Cramer had a long history with the Quincy Police Department, retiring 12 years ago as a deputy chief. He also worked as part of a major case investigation unit in conjunction with the Adams County Sheriff's Department.

The name of the course Cramer taught this fall was quite cumbersome in name: "Community-Oriented Problem Solving Policing." Cutting to the chase, the course, which Cramer helped develop himself, was a response to what is being seen often on the front page of daily newspapers or on the nightly news.

At the heart of the course was the role of police in confronting hate and discrimination, plus trying to build trust within the communities they serve.

One of Cramer's strengths in law enforcement was developing problem-solving strategies, which he has tried to incorporate into his classroom.

Successful policing, which includes the building of community partnerships, involves walking a fine line of responsible balance.

"Strengthening transparency and opening lines of communication are important, but some of what is done is not always visible," Cramer said.

Patience is another important item in the overall equation of cooperation, Cramer believes. At the time of an incident, especially one that can be controversial in nature, he said there is always a process to follow. That's where patience from the public becomes vital.

"Let the investigation mature, don't jump to an immediate judgment," he said. "It is important to educate the public about how and why things are done. Sometimes you have to wait (for all of the facts regarding) what happened to see why it happened."

Working with specific communities and knowing their socioeconomic backgrounds also becomes important in building a workable relationship, Cramer said.

He said it's important for police officers to be able to immerse themselves in the communities they protect by attending neighborhood events and developing friendships, which, he feels, is all part of building a trust.

"I think progress is being made," Cramer said.

He hopes to offer the course again, although there are no plans to do so.



Committee recommends ways to improve ways police, community relations

by Jon Collins

A Minnesota advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has released a draft report recommending a dozen ways to improve the relationship between communities and police departments in the state.

Each state has an advisory committee associated with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — Minnesota's is made up of 12 members and chaired by Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel.

The issue of police use of force has been a prominent one in Minnesota in the last two years. Jamar Clark was killed by Minneapolis police officers in November 2015 and Philando Castile was shot by a St. Anthony officer in Falcon Heights in July 2016.

In the wake of those and other high-profile killings of young black men by police, the state committee voted last October to put together a report about policing and civil rights in Minnesota.

The draft recommendations the committee included in their report cover everything from the role of law enforcement agencies in enforcing immigration policies to urging departments to bring in independent investigators when officers kill someone while on duty.

The draft report makes the following recommendations:

• State bodies that license and oversee policing policies should emphasize community policing.

• State authorities should improve access to officer training, including mental health, use of force and implicit bias training.

• The state should create better guidelines for how officers should use “tasers, chemical irritants, and other lethal and less-lethal weapons.”

• The governor, Legislature and Minnesota League of Cities should urge Minnesota police departments to bring in experienced, independent investigators when officers use deadly force.

• Authorities should create “effective and legitimate” civilian oversight over police misconduct.

• State agencies should explore ways to promote more officers living in the communities where they work.

• State officials should “clearly and firmly delineate relationships between local police agencies and federal agencies” on issues of immigration enforcement.

The draft report also recommends that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights undertake a new national study of policing practices that's focused on use of force, body cameras and other technology, diversity and the impact that different policing practices might have on communities of color across the country.

The committee approved the draft report and recommendations on Friday. The report will be vetted by the commission and then published in its final form by early 2018. After that, the advisory recommendations will be made by the committee to each of the government bodies and police associations they identified.



Seeing Charlottetown policing from the inside

Deputy chief hopes to continue Citizen's Police Academy after initial success

by Mitch MacDonald

Charlottetown's deputy police chief Brad MacConnell hopes last week's Citizen Police Academy graduation will be the first of many to come.

Nineteen Charlottetown residents received certificates at city hall last week after finishing the three-month course, which aimed to gives residents a better understanding of policing.

He said the academy also provided police officers with new perspectives.

“We hope this is the start of many Citizen Police Academies to come,” MacConnell said before handing out the certificates. “Charlottetown Police Services is always looking for ways to build relationships and partnerships and gain new perspectives on the many diverse communities within our city and province.”

MacConnell said he floated the idea of the academy to senior management and the city's protective services committee earlier this year, with some wondering if there would be enough interest in the program.

“I said ‘don't worry if we build it they will come.' And they did,” said MacConnell.

While 40 residents applied for the course, police ultimately selected 20. One person had to later leave the program due to his employment.

Graduate Omair Imtiaz said the course was eye-opening.

“What an amazing experience… when signing up for this, I wasn't 100 per cent sure what it was all about,” he said. “The gained knowledge and insight is incredible.”

The group met for about three hours every Tuesday for 12 weeks to go over a number of aspects in policing from dispatch and community to the basic court process, crime scene forensics, the e-watch program, illegal drug trade and even the emerging outlaw motorcycle gang presence in the province.

Imtiaz noted the class also got an inside look at some higher profile cases, including the collaborative police work required in last year's “screencutter” investigation.

Imtiaz said he was impressed to see how closely the city police works with RCMP to keep the province safe and commended officers for what they do.

“The countless hours, who can forget the overtime, missing important family events and holidays… to help keep us safe, that's what you guys do,” said Imtiaz. “And for that, on behalf of all the cadets and guests in this room, we thank you.”

MacConnell also praised the group, whose members he described as committed, respectful and engaging.

“I don't think I could have picked a better group of people for the first citizen police academy. We, as instructors and staff, enjoyed it as much as you guys did,” said MacConnell. “We didn't just build partnerships, we built friendships along that way. I hope tonight is not the end of our relationship.”

Mayor Clifford Lee congratulated graduates while also noting that society often takes for granted the work done by police officers.

“Seldom do we thank (police) but folks be assured your work does not go unnoticed,” said Lee, who felt graduates from the program likely now have a better understanding of the challenges and frustrations officers may face.

Chief Paul Smith noted that Charlottetown police delivers services from a “community-based” policing concept with the principle that officers must partner with the public.

“The citizen police academy is another way to expand that philosophy and to strengthen our partnerships with the broader community,” he said. “The academy provides our citizens not only with an inside look at law enforcement and modern policing, it is also designed to provide participants with the understanding of why the partnership between police and the community is so important.”



2 Wash. officers shot, suspect killed

The condition of the wounded officers were not being immediately released

by Christine Clarridge

BREMERTON, Wash. — Two Bremerton police officers are in the hospital with gunshot wounds after a 53-year-old man fired numerous shots at them early Sunday morning.

The man opened fire on the officers as they approached him while he was seated in an SUV because he was believed to have violated a domestic-violence protective order. The officers returned fire and the man was declared dead at the scene, according to Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan.

The conditions of the wounded officers were not being immediately released.

Strachan said in a statement that preliminary information indicates the incident started when officers attempted to talk to the man at 1:16 a.m. while he was seated behind the wheel of an SUV in the parking lot at Lions Park near Lebo Boulevard and Hefner Avenue.

As the two officers approached, “the man immediately began firing numerous shots directly at both officers,” Strachan said.

“One officer was struck with at least two rounds in the abdomen and the other officer was struck in the waist,” he said. “Officers returned fire and the suspect was killed.”

Both officers are being treated at Harrison Hospital.

The Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team, which responds to major incidents, is at the shooting scene.

Strachan said the investigation into the shooting will be conducted by the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office and Washington State Patrol, along with officers from the Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard police departments.



Mass. could become 29th state to have 'Blue Alert' system

The notification system would alert the public to fugitives who have injured or killed a cop

by Laurel J. Sweet

BOSTON — Massachusetts could become the 29th state to put in place a “Blue Alert” notification system that alerts the public to fugitives on the run after injuring or killing a cop — the same way Amber Alerts help capture kidnappers and Silver Alerts bring home wandering elders.

The Joint Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety will hear testimony at the State House tomorrow on House Bill 1308, proposed by Republican Reps. Todd M. Smola of Warren and Timothy R. Whelan of Brewster.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday gave the green light to let states plug their Blue Alerts into the Emergency Alert System to broadcast warnings on cellphones, television, radio and satellite, in addition to traditional LED highway signs. It will also enable states to share information. The FCC estimates implementation will take a year to 18 months.

Daniel Bennett, secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, declined to comment; however, a spokesman said the office is generally supportive of the measure.

“Anything that's going to increase officer safety, I think is a good thing,” police Commissioner William B. Evans said yesterday. “As we've seen over the last couple of years, the job seems to be getting more dangerous. Absolutely I'd support it.”

Mark K. Leahy, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said, “We think an attack on a police officer is an attack on the community. We don't want people to grab their pitchfork and baseball and go handle the situation on their own. But while we would never ask the public to physically intervene, their eyes and ears could be essential in the apprehension of a dangerous fugitive.”

Disabled Desert Storm veteran Tom Berry, a former military police officer and communications specialist for the Army, founded the nonprofit National Blue Alert System to provide states guidance and support. He urges legislators not to think of Blue Alert as something special for police, but as a “vote for public safety. If you're willing to kill a police officer and know that you may be facing the death penalty, what do you have to lose? We don't want civilian casualties.”

The National Blue Act of 2013 was a bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2013 and sponsored by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) It instructed the Department of Justice to create a national Blue Alert communication system under the direction of a national coordinator.



San Antonio Law Enforcement Make 215 Gang-Related Arrests in 90 Days

by Lyanne A. Guarecuco

Law enforcement officials arrested 215 people in San Antonio over the last three months as part of a 90-day operation to reduce gang violence on the East Side.

The San Antonio Police Department announced on Monday they had concluded the sting earlier this week, dubbed “Operation Triple Beam,” which began in September.

“The operation resulted in 215 arrests, to include 40 federal fugitives. Over 70 firearms were seized, over $176,000 in drug value were seized, $233,000 in currency was seized, and 51 sex offender compliance checks were completed,” said SAPD Assistant Chief James Flavin in a press conference on Monday.

The multi-agency operation included SAPD, the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Bexar County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. SAPD and the sheriff's office received approximately $90,000 in federal funding to conduct the operation.

Flavin said they had arrested several members of “some of the most violent gangs in San Antonio.”

“Anytime you get those kind of results — if you look at the numbers alone, that's pretty significant for an operation like that, so yeah, we're happy,” Flavin told the Current .

The department will kick off a different operation, called the “Texas Anti-Gang Program,” combining federal, state and local agencies to address gang violence in San Antonio starting on January 1, Flavin said.

Earlier this year, SAPD was awarded $3.125 million by the U.S. Department of Justice to expand "community-oriented policing," a sum which City Council agreed to match, meaning approximately $12 million will go into community policing over the next four years. The money is expected to go toward fighting gang-related gun violence and other violent crimes across the city.


From the Department of Justice

Attorney General Sessions Delivers Remarks on the Administration's Strategies to Fight Violent Crime

Thank you, Andrew for that introduction, and thank you for your decade of service in the District Attorney's office, and your service in the Coast Guard.

This marks my 33rd U.S. Attorney's office to visit this year. On behalf of the President, I want to thank all of our Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the support staff here, and our state and local law enforcement officers.

Thank you for all you do, day in and day out. You all that make the difference on the front lines.

I especially want to thank FBI Special Agent in Charge John Strong, U.S. Marshal Kelly Nesbit, Director Robert Schurmeier of the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, as well as our Sheriffs, police chiefs, and the state and local law enforcement officers who are here with us today. And congratulations on your retirement, Kelly.

The President and I are proud to stand with all of you.

On Friday the President spoke at the FBI National Academy Graduation ceremony. He's the first President to do so in 46 years. He said, loud and clear, “America's police have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House…The President of the United States has your back 100 percent.”

This President was elected as the law and order President.

He was elected to make American safe again and to once again have the backs of our men and women in blue.

And that mission has never been more important.

It was largely because of dedicated law enforcement officials like you that crime declined in America for 20 years.

It took decades of hard and dangerous work—but it saved lives and made countless lives better.

But sadly, over the last two years, the trends have reversed. The violent crime rate is up by nearly seven percent. Murder is up by more than 20 percent.

I strongly believe that these trends are not a blip or an anomaly. I know everyone in this room works day and night to combat this trend, but I fear that, if we do not act now and smartly—and surge our resources to the areas that need them—this nation could see decades of progress reversed.

Sadly, this beautiful city has not been immune to these problems. Over just the last two years, the violent crime rate is up by nearly a quarter; robbery is up by a third; assault is up by 29 percent, and murders are up a staggering 42 percent.

And as we all know, these are not just numbers—these are moms, dads, daughters, spouses, friends, and neighbors. These are empty places at Christmas dinner this year and holes in the hearts and souls of victims' families that will never close.

But let me tell you: I will not accept rising crime. Plain and simple, we will not allow the progress made by our women and men in blue over the past two decades to simply slip through our fingers now. We will not cede a community, a block, or a street corner to violent thugs or poison peddlers.

As Attorney General, I am committed to combating the surge in violent crime and supporting the work of our police officers. I have made it one of our top priorities both in word and deed.

The day I was sworn in as Attorney General, President Trump sent me an executive order to reduce crime in America.

At the Department of Justice, we embrace that goal. And you and I know from experience that it can be done.

At the Department of Justice, we are well aware that 85 percent of law enforcement is state, local, and tribal. These are the officers that have the critical street level intelligence regarding the criminal element.

We are most effective when experienced state and local investigators are paired with the resources and expertise of our federal law enforcement.

And the U.S. Attorney's office here knows this well. Because its this type of collaboration that led to the indictment of 83 Bloods gang members earlier this year.

This operation—with more than 600 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers involved—serves as a wonderful example of what we can achieve we work together.

And a special thank you to those of you in this room from FBI, US Marshals, North Carolina SBI, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the Shelby Police Department, the Gastonia Police Department, and the Cleveland County Sherriff's office for making that happen. And to our AUSAs—Matt Warren, Chris Hess, Andrew Chreighton.

It was impressive work and the kind we want to replicate. No one should doubt that with this success against gangs like these, crime and violence will fail.

That's why today I am here to announce two new violent crime task forces that will focus on the areas most in need here in the Charlotte area and Western Pennsylvania.

The violent crime rate in Charlotte is high. In Pittsburgh, it's even higher.

But we will not be complacent and accept the status quo. We will rise to meet this challenge.

The Charlotte violent crime task force I announced will bring together federal agents and local law enforcement officers, and it will be assigned to the FBI Charlotte Division Headquarters.

Gang-related crime is already being addressed by the FBI's Charlotte Division Safe Streets Task Force, so this new Violent Crime Task Force will concentrate on other violent criminal activity—like bank robberies, carjacking, kidnappings or extortion. This new task force will help the FBI and local police communicate, coordinate, and ensure that we're not duplicating our efforts.

Violent crime has been increasing here in America and in Charlotte—and that is deeply troubling. So to the communities that are suffering, hear this: we are marshaling our resources with you and we will be relentless in our pursuit of violent criminals that are victimizing your neighborhood. These taskforces are the kid of efforts that are a part of our PSN crime plan.

And thanks to our law enforcement officers, this is not hopeless. We can see crime in America trend down once again.

I want to personally express my deep appreciation and profound thanks to all the women and men of law enforcement—state and local—and their families, for sacrificing so much and putting your lives on the line every day so that the rest of us may enjoy the safety and security you provide. We love you and honor your work.

Know this: we have your back and you have our thanks.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.



National guardsman admits threatening Vice President Pence

by the Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A National Guardsman has admitted that he threatened to kill Vice President Mike Pence before his visit to Pennsylvania for the annual commemoration of the Flight 93 crash on Sept. 11.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports that William Robert Dunbar pleaded guilty Tuesday. The 23-year-old Berlin, Pennsylvania, man now faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced.

Authorities say Dunbar was on duty at the Army National Guard Training Center on Sept. 8 when he said, "If someone pays me enough money, I will kill the vice president." Witnesses said they contacted commanding officers after they heard Dunbar make the threat twice.

Authorities say Dunbar initially denied making the statement but eventually admitted saying it.

Pence's appearance went ahead as scheduled.


HBO Revisits the Baltimore Uprising

The activists at the center of a new documentary talk about the fate of the city's struggling police reform efforts.

by Brentin Mock

As the Baltimore police department contends with back-to-back years of record-high homicide rates, it's also dealing with its own internal strife: police caught on body camera planting drugs on suspects, surfaced corruption among the police department's elite Gun Trace Task Force, and a fight between Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan over how to fight crime. Going further back, there's also a damning U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the police department and its consent decree , and, of course, the ongoing fallout from the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in 2015. Meanwhile, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue to instigate more police violence and posterchild Baltimore as a city out of control. It's quite a bit to unravel.

But in many ways, Gray is the cynosure for Baltimore's criminal justice woes. It's from this tension that Baltimore Rising , an HBO documentary directed by actress/filmmaker Sonja Sohn (who played a homicide detective on the Baltimore-set HBO series “The Wire”) was created. It follows the work of several activists in Baltimore through the post-riot fog, when everyone in the city—from the mayor and police chief on down—seemed to know that something needed to be done to rein in police violence, but no one was sure exactly what. Activists roam the streets, the city council chambers, and state legislative chambers exploring what police reforms are possible and launching demands accordingly. Mostly what they want is accountability from the police.

Baltimore Rising looks at several routes that activists in the city are taking to find that accountability. Much of the story follows Genard “Shadow” Barr, a former gang member who now works as an addiction specialist at the Penn-North Recovery Center. Black residents respect him, so Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Davis entrusts Barr with creating plans for tightening relationships between the community and the police. The idea is that these strong ties would lead to less violent interactions, especially as the dates of the trials for the police officers involved in Gray's death approach in the documentary.

When the cameras aren't focused on Barr, they follow the work of a group of young activists: Adam Jackson and Dayvon Love head up Leaders of the Beautiful Struggle , a local public policy organization founded several years before Freddie Gray's death, while Makayla Gilliam-Price and Kwame Rose became radicalized during the Baltimore Uprising itself. In the film, this group spends much of their energies on crafting proposals to change the laws that govern how police can and can't conduct themselves while on duty. Through their eyes, viewers learn about the legislative processes in both the city and the state of Maryland (Baltimore's police department is a state agency, though the city controls its budget).

The documentary shows how all the activists' respective approaches are woven together in the lead-up to key court dates for the six Baltimore police officers who faced charges stemming from Gray's death. The outcomes of those court hearings , however, were not what many activists had hoped for. CityLab spoke with Barr, Jackson, and Rose last month about their activism, their appearances in the film, and where their work stands today.

What I took from the film was that there are these two major strains of activism in Baltimore. One is focused on containment and forging a relationship between black communities and the police, which Shadow is working on—a kind of insider strategy. And the other is more at the macro level, as an outsider strategy, that LBS is working on. Does Baltimore activism fit that neatly in those two buckets, or is the picture much wider than that?

Kwame Rose : Baltimore is a big city with a small-town feel, but we all were connected in some type of way before this happened. If you look at the young people in the film, such as myself and [fellow activist] Makayla [Gilliam-Price], we were thrust into a spotlight, but we were building upon work that Adam [Jackson] and Dayvon [Love] did way before the uprising. It really honed our skills and our attitudes, willingness, and resilience to challenge institutions, to speak out against the status quo, and to fight for the liberation of people in Baltimore.

Genard “Shadow” Barr : Without other groups, organizations, nonprofits, protesters—none of this happens. The tone of the film seems rather chaotic because the whole process was very chaotic.

Adam Jackson : Some people think [the relationship between the activists] is antagonistic when the reality is that we really need Shadow, we need LBS, and all the people working towards a common path, as opposed to us working against each other. So, with brothers like Shadow—for whatever [negative things] people say about people who are “gang members” or people who are returning citizens from jail, those brothers were out there working with us. Having some balance amongst our people is always important because it could never be that LBS is the only solution.

Shadow, the fact you were able to work so intimately with members of the Baltimore police department seemed really courageous, given tensions toward the police at that time. Were you concerned that this might get misinterpreted by others in the community as too much cooperation with police, like snitching?

Barr : Yeah, absolutely, if I went according to how movies portray us. Remember, the only exposure that [people outside of Baltimore have] to what we do is from the news, but they will never tell you that we invented community policing. So it wasn't really a courageous thing. We were already working with police to keep our communities intact. But at the same time we were also getting blamed for [the perceptions of Baltimore seen in] “The Wire.” I feel you and there's a certain amount of danger, but there's also the fact that if I don't know nothing, I can't tell nothing.

After all the work you did with the police, were you disappointed that none of the police officers were convicted for any crimes related to Freddie Gray?

Barr : What disappointed me was that anyone believed that they were going to convict one of their own. More of our work was making sure that folks know that it ain't gonna change tomorrow and as long as you know it ain't gonna change tomorrow you should be better equipped to deal with it. When people from the news showed up right after the verdict, nobody in any hood anywhere were under the impression that these people who do these things to us, with their badges and such, will ever be in trouble for any of it. That wasn't the point. Our point was, you know that they are going home, why get mad about it? Everybody was riding around looking for angry black people, and that wasn't the case. That's never going to be the case. We know for a fact that these people will never be convicted as long as the policy is what it is.

Kwame and Adam, I know you all worked very hard on the policy piece. Where are you at today with police reforms?

Rose : One thing that has to change is we have to continue to mandate that civilians have voting power on police review trial boards, and that police are not allowed to investigate themselves. Police officers should not have ten days to get their stories together. People have been reporting police brutalities in Baltimore for decades—and we saw this with the [U.S. Department of Justice] consent decree: The department that investigates the police still operates from within the police department, and they even found corruption within the way those complaints were being received and pursued. When we talk about community policing, it has to be community-centered. So the police department is being held accountable by our community, is responsible to the community, and the community has the power to implement change in policing departments and practices. We cannot continue to give police officers more money for astronomical amounts of overtime and for new militarized weapons and vehicles. That is not a way to solve crimes. That is a way to provoke crimes and to continue the practices of injustice that led to the uprising in the first place.

Jackson : Some things have moved in a positive direction. One thing we were trying to change was the police trial boards , which is the process that the police department uses to determine whether or not someone committed misconduct and also the level of punishment. Now in theory, that should be a good platform for us to determine whether someone should lose their job, but what you find is what's currently happening with the officers involved in the Freddie Gray case, who've walked thus far without punishment. The reason for that is because there are no residents on those trial boards. What the police say is [residents] don't have the proper training, or they don't know policing so they can't be involved.

The problem with that is the police department is a third of the city budget, and we don't have any way to judge the police department on its inefficiencies. As of this year's general assembly we were able to make the trial board hearings public, and we were also able to shorten that 10-day time span that Kwame talked about to 5 days.

The main thing is that the FOP [Fraternal Order of Police] union here in Baltimore do not want any residents on those trial boards. In fact the city has failed at negotiating a new contract with the FOP because that's the one thing they don't want. What that tells us is they are not interested in transparent accountability to residents and being able to open up some of those police files to residents.

What do you want people to take away from this narrative?

Jackson : There are black people in Baltimore who have been doing this work for years, so there's no need for white saviors here. What we need are investments in the institutions and leaders who have been doing this work. Usually black people are seen as people who are in need of saving, or who need white institutions to come grab us, as opposed to what the documentary shows, which is that we have been doing this work in our communities and we just need more investments in the work that we're doing.

Barr : The primary thing for me is there is no answer, no microwaved way to fix all of this. There's gotta be steady work and collaborative efforts between multiple organizations and people. People always think the community doesn't get involved, but the community does get involved. This just doesn't get picked up by the media. I hope that we can see that it takes a lot of work and dedication and humility.

Rose : Before the uprising, people were doing this work, and after the uprising those same people have continued to do the work. Though the documentary highlights only a few of us, there are countless people in Baltimore doing this work. But the status quo still has not changed, and the conditions of how black neighborhoods are policed are still very militaristic. The solution to this problem has to be led by an independent black institution.



Chicago officer honored as one of 'CNN Heroes of the Year'

Quiet Warrior Jennifer Maddox was recognized for her efforts to curb violence in the city's South Side

by PoliceOne Staff

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer who went above and beyond the call of duty to help kids on the South Side was one of 10 people honored at CNN's 11th Annual “Heroes of the Year” event .

WLS-TV reports that Officer Jennifer Maddox was honored at the event in New York on Sunday. The event recognizes everyday people who do extraordinary things to change the world.

Maddox began a non-profit program called Future Ties that is dedicated to helping kids and aims to curb violence by giving the youth a safe place to learn and discuss violence in the community. Five days a week , kids in the program receive homework help, mentoring and a hot meal after school.

"They want the same normal as any other youth, to play, to live, to grow up, to have fun, to eventually finish school, and have plans for their future," Maddox said.

The program has become so successful that students who were once in the program are coming back to volunteer.

Maddox works a second job to support the program, and will receive $10,000 in funding as part of her award.

As part of PoliceOne's “Quiet Warrior” program, which honors LEOs who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to strengthen the bond between officers and citizens, we profiled Maddox earlier this year. You can read it here .


Opioids now kill more people than breast cancer

by Nadia Kounang

More than 63,600 lives were lost to drug overdose in 2016, the most lethal year yet of the drug overdose epidemic, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of those deaths involved opioids, a family of painkillers including illicit heroin and fentanyl as well as legally prescribed medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. In 2016 alone, 42,249 US drug fatalities -- 66% of the total -- involved opioids, the report says. That's over a thousand more than the 41,070 Americans who die from breast cancer every year.

Much of the increase was driven by the rise in illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl and tramadol. The rate of deadly overdoses from synthetic opioids other than methadone has skyrocketed an average of 88% each year since 2013; it more than doubled in 2016 to 19,413, from 9,580 in 2015.

Heroin also continues to be a problem, the report says. Since 2014, the rate of heroin overdose deaths has jumped an average of 19% each year.

The opioid crisis has raised significant awareness of prescription painkillers. Between 1999 and 2009, the rate of overdoses from such drugs rose 13% annually, but the increase has since slowed to 3% per year.

In 2009, prescription narcotics were involved in 26% of all fatal drug overdoses, while heroin was involved in 9% and synthetics were involved in just 8%. By comparison, in 2016, prescription drugs were involved in 23% of all deadly overdoses. But heroin is now implicated in about a quarter of all drug fatalities, and synthetic opioids play a role in nearly a third.

These increases have contributed to a shortening of the US life expectancy for a second year in a row.

A state-by-state look

The states with the highest rates of overdose in 2016 were West Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire, the report said. The rate of overdose in West Virginia was over 2.5 times the national average of 19.8 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people.

While the outlook nationwide is fairly bleak, it's particularly bad in some states. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia had overdose rates significantly higher than the national average.

While overdose rates increased in all age groups, rises were most significant in those between the ages of 25 and 54.

Provisional data for 2017 from the CDC show no signs of the epidemic abating, with an estimate of more than 66,000 overdose deaths for the year. "Based on what we're seeing, it doesn't look like it's getting any better," said Bob Anderson , chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics.

He said the data for this year were still incomplete because of the time it takes to conduct death and toxicology investigations. However, Anderson says, the 2017 estimates are alarming. "The fact that the data is incomplete and they represent an increase is concerning," he said.

But addiction specialist Dr. Andrew Kolodny said that despite the devastating overdose numbers, there appeared to be some indicators of good news.

"Even though deaths are going up among people who are addicted heroin users, who use black-market opioids ... it's possible that we are preventing less people from becoming addicted through better prescribing," said Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

Studies have shown that while rates of opioid prescribing remain high in the US, they have decreased from a peak of 81 prescriptions for every 100 people in 2010 to about 70 per 100. Kolodny also pointed to recent surveys indicating that opioids were being less-frequently abused by teens.

A public health emergency

In October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. "As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue. It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction," he said. "We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic."

The week following, the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction issued its final report with more than 50 recommendations to help solve the opioid crisis, including expanding medicated assisted treatment, increasing the number of drug courts, coordinating electronic health records and increasing prescriber education.

However, Kolodny and other public health experts were disappointed that the actions by the president and the commission were not accompanied by funds.

"You don't call it an emergency and sit around do nothing about it -- and that's where we are," Kolodny said. "The doing something should be a plan from the agencies ... and it should be seeking money from Congress."

Commission member and former Rep. Patrick Kennedy agreed. "It means nothing if it has no funding to push it forward. You can't just have a speech like the President gave."

But fellow commission member Bertha Madras said that funding requests can't be immediately answered and pointed out that the White House is working with agencies now to determine costs and processes to implement the group's recommendations. "The commitment has to be accompanied by wise decisions and wise planning and a very judicious use of funding," she said.

The White House's Council of Economic Advisers recently estimated that the cost of the opioid crisis in 2015 alone was $504 billion, nearly 3% of gross domestic product.

Kennedy worries that the tax bill passed this week will only worsen the crisis. "It's going to be the vote that sets this country back further than anything else in our ability to tackle this crisis. Period. There's going to be no more significant vote on opioids."

The bill, which is now headed to the President's desk to be signed into law, eliminates provisions of the individual mandate or penalties for being uninsured that were required under Obamacare. Once it is enacted, the nonpartisan Congressional Budge Office estimates, 13 million individuals will be uninsured by 2027, and health insurance premiums will go up. According to the 2016 Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health , 30% of Americans do not seek any sort of addiction treatment because they do not have insurance and cannot afford treatment.

"We've got a human addiction tsunami. We need all hands on deck," Kennedy said.



19 Injured In Australia As SUV Mows Down Pedestrians In 'Deliberate Act'

by Scott Neuman

An SUV plowed through a group of pedestrians during rush hour Thursday in the city of Melbourne, injuring at least 19 people, in what police say they believe was a "deliberate act."

Two people are in custody following the incident at the intersection of Elizabeth and Swanston streets, near Flinders train station at about 4:45 p.m. local time in the southern Australian city of nearly 4 million people.

Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett told reporters that 14 people had been injured and that several of them are in critical condition.

"At this stage we believe it was a deliberate act, but we don't yet know the motivation," he said.

Later, Melbourne police said they had no immediate evidence to suggest it was terrorism-related. The driver, an Australian of Afghan descent, was known to police on "historical assault matters," the Associated Press reports. Police say the man has a history of drug use and mental health issues.

The car came to a halt after hitting what The Sydney Morning Herald describes as a "metal bollard."

The newspaper, which identified the vehicle as a Suzuki Vitara, says bystanders "stepped in to restrain one of the men in the car."

NPR's Rob Schmitz reports that the vehicle appeared to have run a red light before striking the pedestrians.

"I saw a car, a SUV coming at high speed and really just heard the collision with people with bags and what must be shopping trolleys — and I hope not prams," a witness identified only as John was quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He said the vehicle was traveling "at high speed," ABC says.

A preschool-aged child is among those injured, sustaining a serious head injury, the Herald says.

The newspaper reports that "Up to seven have been taken to hospital ... Officers are holding up tarps around some victims."

Sue, another witness, who was working at a nearby doughnut shop, was quoted by local 3AW radio as saying she heard screams before she saw "people flying everywhere." "We could hear this noise, as we looked left, we saw this white car, it just mowed everybody down," she told the radio station. "We heard thump, thump. People are running everywhere."

Thursday's incident took place near the location of a January vehicle attack in which four people were killed and about 20 injured. The driver was reportedly fleeing police after stabbing his brother and it was not deemed a terrorist attack.



The Listening Post Asks: What Strategies Should Community Policing Include?

by Thomas Walsh

A member of the New Orleans community recently told us about a time she tried to be a good samaritan and wound up arrested by NOPD. This inspired The Listening Post to look at community policing in New Orleans. We asked:

1) What strategies do you think community policing should include?

2) If you could sit down for coffee with the police, what would you ask?

3) What could the NOPD specifically do to imporve its relationship with your community?

Visit to see a complete list of the results. Here's some of our favorites:

1) Community members should have a chance to approach officers instead of officers taking proactive role- they need to be on the receiving end. Having them coming into the neighborhood never feels right- let us go to their houses

2) When a cop faces charges for shooting someone do you think "I felt my life to be in danger" is in and of itself an adequate defense?

3) Other than be more visible, I don't know. I've lived in this neighborhood 15 years and I think NOPD has done a good job with dealing with some of the issues we've had in this neighborhood over the years



Elderly Couple Stopped In Nebraska With 60 Pounds Of Weed 'For Christmas Presents'

by Laurel Wamsley

Sheriff's deputies in York County, Neb., stopped a pickup truck on Tuesday when they noticed it driving over the center line and the driver failing to signal.

During the traffic stop, deputies noticed a strong smell of raw marijuana, the sheriff's department says.

Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara Jiron, 83, said they were from northern California and were en route to Boston and Vermont.

Deputies asked the driver, Patrick Jiron, about the odor, and he admitted to having contraband in the truck and consented to a search of the vehicle.

With the help of the county's canine unit, deputies searched the Toyota Tacoma. When they looked under the pickup topper, deputies found 60 pounds of marijuana, as well as multiple containers of concentrated THC.

"They said the marijuana was for Christmas presents," Lt. Paul Vrbka told the York News-Times . The department estimated the street value of the pot at over $3oo,000.

The Jirons now face felony charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp. (Nebraska law requires marijuana dealers to purchase drug tax stamp from its Department of Revenue as evidence that the state's drug tax has been paid.)

For the friends and family in New England who expected a bag of weed in their stocking this year, it looks like it won't be a green Christmas, after all.


South Carolina

Homeless man praised for helping cop subdue suspect who attacked her

Cray Turmon said he wasn't "going to stand around and do nothing" when he saw a suspect attack Officer Ashley Hardesty

by Clif LeBlanc

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cray Turmon — a homeless man going on 50 years old — is accustomed to meeting police who write him up for DUI.

Ashley Hardesty, 27, has been a Columbia police officer for two years and is just earning her chops in uniform.

They met Tuesday by chance in an Elmwood Avenue gas station parking lot, and both emerged better for the encounter. Turmon was even hailed a hero and an online effort has been launched to help him.

Turmon, a welder by profession, was on his way back from a gym workout Tuesday afternoon when his better instincts told him to tackle the burly man wrestling with Hardesty .

“The impulse was, I visualized it was my girlfriend,” said Turmon, who is a resident at Transitions, a downtown center for homeless adults. “I'm not going to stand around and do nothing.”

The suspect, Donald Songster Brown, 39, had slapped away Hardesty's handcuffs several times. Brown had yanked off tethers to the prongs of her stun gun before the full brunt of the shock could immobilize him. Pepper spray didn't stop him, either.

“I needed someone to assist me to get him on the ground,” Hardesty said Wednesday, recalling the tense standoff.

“I didn't see him coming,” she said of Turmon. “I thought, ‘Is that a cop? That's awesome. Oh, it's not a cop.'

“He tackled him and actually held him – just like he was playing football,” the officer said of Turmon. “He changed the situation altogether. He, basically, ended it.”

What Turmon didn't know is that Brown, 39, has a 10-page criminal record that shows largely petty crimes such as trespassing, credit card theft, shoplifting and resisting arrest. Many offenses involve alcohol or drugs.

Until Tuesday, the most serious charge against Brown was an armed robbery case filed in June.

Now, Brown is facing attempted murder and kidnapping among other offenses after police said he threatened people in the gas station store, pulled a knife, wouldn't let them leave and refused to leave himself.

The confrontation was captured on cellphone video and posted to Facebook. The person who posted the recording joked, “I'm Live PD today.”

Cop's workday grows intense

Hardesty's shift on Tuesday had an exciting start even before she answered the call at the BP S-mart. An inmate being treated at a local hospital had escaped, and she was assigned to help lock down the nearby Spirit Communications Park baseball field.

About 1:30 p.m., she was doing paperwork at police headquarters when dispatchers reported a possible shoplifting incident at the BP gas station. That's pretty common for the site because of its proximity to Calhoun Street, which some call “Homeless Row.”

As Hardesty pulled into the station parking lot, several clerks were agitated.

“There he is,” one shouted. “That's the guy that punched me.”

The man was shouting, “‘She has my money, or something like that.' I couldn't quite understand,” the officer said. “We were walking toward each other.”

Hardesty could see the man was unarmed, but very worked up. His nostrils flared and his shoulders were hunched, she said.

He refused to be handcuffed, slapping away her hands. He wouldn't get on the ground as Hardesty had commanded him to do. They tussled, her body camera flying from her uniform. She could not subdue him.

Hardesty fired her stun gun, and the man started to go down. But he stopped himself before he hit the ground.

“He ripped the cords off the prongs and threw them on the ground,” the officer said. It usually takes about 5 seconds to get the full force of the electric shock, she said, estimating the prongs stuck for only 2 seconds.

“So we went back to fighting,” Hardesty said.

An unlikely hero arrives

Turmon, who is from Hampton, S.C., and is the youngest of 12 children, has been at Transition several months. He said he's grateful for its help in returning to sobriety and rebuilding his life. Now, Turmon said, he's finally decided, “It's time to put my big-boy pants on and stop running away.”

He has applied to the city's Homeless Court. If he completes its rigorous requirements, misdemeanor charges on his criminal record would be removed.

On Tuesday, Turmon was walking to the station to get a pack of Newport cigarettes after riding the bus from Planet Fitness in the Dutch Square mall. The workouts there help “me turn negative stuff into positive stuff,” the 6-foot, 222-pounder said.

He walked into an escalating situation. The first thing Turmon noticed was that the manager, who he called “the nicest person you'd ever want to meet,” was hysterical and had a black eye.

He knows her as someone with a sweet smile, but also one who puts up with no guff from unruly customers.

“He hit me. He hit me. He pulled a knife on me,” the manager screamed, according to Turmon. Other clerks were upset too.

That's when Turmon saw a Columbia police car pull in. “It was a lady officer,” he said. “She tried to get him to calm down. He wouldn't.”

By the time Hardesty sprayed the 6-foot, 210-pounder without success, Turmon charged the man without thinking. “I just dove,” he said, pinning the suspect to the ground. Turmon said he's never played football.

“It's kind of ironic,” he said, reflecting on the incident. “I actively helped a police officer even though I've been in trouble with them. I don't know. I just felt like I had to step in.”

Another person hit and kicked Brown in the head as he lay on the ground.

On Wednesday in the Transitions day room, police Chief Skip Holbrook presented the good Samaritan a certificate of appreciation. He called Turmon a hero and handed him two $50 Walmart gift cards just in time for Christmas.

With reporters present, Turmon seemed shy about all the attention. But he let a sly grin creep across his face. Asked if he was enjoying the spotlight, he responded with a twinkle in his eyes, “I like it.”


From the Department of Homeland Security

DHE and FBI Release PSA Advising Vigilance During the Holiday Season

If You See Something, Say Something

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement urging the public to remain vigilant during the holidays:

“As you travel, shop, and gather together to celebrate the holiday season, we ask you to stay alert. While we are not aware of any specific, credible threats at this time, the recent attempted attack in New York is a reminder that we must remain vigilant.

“You play a critical role in keeping our nation and our neighborhoods safe. So if you see something suspicious, or notice behavior that doesn't seem quite right, say something. Contact local law enforcement. Tell them who and what you saw, where and when you saw it, and why it seemed suspicious.

“Hopefully, it's nothing. But maybe, it could save your life. Help us make the holidays safer. If you see something, say something.”

Watch the PSA featuring Christopher Krebs, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for DHS's National Protection and Programs Directorate; Nikki Floris, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division; and David Glawe, the DHS Counterterrorism Coordinator.


Departments of Homeland Security and Justice Release Data on Incarcerated Aliens

94 Percent of all Confirmed Aliens in DOJ Custody are Unlawfully Present

WASHINGTON – President Trump's Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. On December 18, 2017, DHS and DOJ released the FY 2017 4 th Quarter Alien Incarceration Report , complying with this order. [1] The report found that more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign born, and that 94 percent of confirmed aliens in custody were unlawfully present.

“While the administration is working diligently to remove dangerous criminal aliens from our streets, this report highlights the fact that more must be done,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen. “We will continue to pursue President Trump's immigration priorities, including securing the border, enhancing interior enforcement, and pursuing a merit-based immigration system, but Congress must act immediately to adopt obvious solutions to strengthen DHS and DOJ efforts to confront dangerous criminal aliens.”

"The American people deserve a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest," Attorney General Sessions said. "But at the border and in communities across America, our citizens are being victimized by illegal aliens who commit crimes. Nearly 95 percent of confirmed aliens in our federal prisons are here illegally. We know based on sentencing data that non-citizens commit a substantially disproportionate number of drug-related offenses, which contributes to our national drug abuse crisis. The simple fact is that any offense committed by a criminal alien is ultimately preventable. One victim is too many. It's time for Congress to enact the President's immigration reform agenda so that we start welcoming the best and brightest while turning away drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals."

Section 16 of the Executive Order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports regarding: (a) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons; (b) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service; and (c) the immigration status of all convicted aliens in state prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 people had been confirmed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be aliens ( i.e. , non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage and/or removability.

Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 people (94 percent) were unlawfully present. These numbers include a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody.

This report does not include data on the foreign-born or alien populations in state prisons and local jails because state and local facilities do not routinely provide DHS or DOJ with comprehensive information about their inmates and detainees—which account for approximately 90 percent of the total U.S. incarcerated population.

Information Regarding Immigration Status of Aliens Incarcerated Under the Supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has an operational process for maintaining data regarding foreign-born inmates in its custody. On a quarterly basis, BOP supplies this information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE, in turn, analyzes that information to determine the immigration status of each inmate and provides that information back to BOP.

Out of the 185,507 inmates in BOP custody, 39,455 (21%) were reported by BOP as foreign-born. Further details regarding these 39,455 foreign-born inmates are as follows:

•  20,240 (51%) were unauthorized aliens who are subject to a final order of removal;

•  14,979 (38%) remain under ICE investigation;

•  2,374 (6%) were unlawfully present and now in removal proceedings;

•  1,852 (less than 5%) were lawfully present aliens but are now in removal proceedings; and

•  10 were aliens who have been granted relief or protection from removal.

Information Regarding the Immigration Status of Aliens Incarcerated as Federal Pretrial Detainees

USMS identified 19,311 aliens and foreign-born inmates under ICE investigation detained at USMS facilities. Further details regarding these 19,311 foreign-born inmates are as follows:

•  11,459 (59%) were aliens who are subject to a final order of removal;

•  6,230 (32%) remain under ICE investigation;

•  1,261 (6.5%) were unlawfully present and now in removal proceedings;

•  358 (less than 2%) were lawfully present but are now in removal proceedings; and

•  3 were aliens who have been granted relief or protection from removal.

Immigration Status of All Convicted Aliens Incarcerated in State Prisons and Local Detention Centers Throughout the United States

The Departments continue to progress towards establishing data collection of the immigration status of convicted aliens incarcerated in state prisons and local detention centers through the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics.

[1] The FY 2017 2nd Quarter report is available at: Data for the 3rd quarter of FY 2017 is available at: