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for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.
Death on foot: Pedestrian fatalities skyrocket in U.S.
by Eric D. Lawrence, Chris Woodyard, Ziati Meyer and Kristi Tanner
Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. have skyrocketed 46% since 2009, creating an emerging public health crisis as researchers grasp to understand the reasons.
The increases far outpace growth in overall traffic deaths, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Almost 6,000 pedestrians — people who might have been out for a walk after dinner, hurrying to get to work or rushing to cross a street — were killed by motor vehicles on or along America's roads in 2016, the latest year for which numbers are available. That's almost twice the number of deaths tied directly to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Put another way, more Americans are dying each year as they walk than have died in combat in Iraq since 2003.
The question for policy makers and others is what explains the dramatic increase.
Distraction behind the wheel, texting while walking and even marijuana legalization have all been tagged as potential culprits in past research.
In addition, a new study released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows an 81% increase in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs between 2009 and 2016, based on federal records.
At a time when SUVs have overtaken passenger cars in new vehicle sales and automakers are shifting their production plans — Ford, for instance, recently announced it was dropping most of its passenger car lines in the U.S. — the implications for America's most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, could be stark.
David Harkey, Insurance Institute president, said one reason SUVs have an outsized impact on pedestrian fatalities has to do with their design.
“SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars,” Harkey said. “We do think that the number of SUVs on the roadways now and the size of the vehicles is playing some role.”
The institute, best known for its video-recorded crash tests using dummies inside vehicles, has not performed such tests with pedestrian dummies to examine the impact of SUVs versus passenger cars.
Reached for comment, a spokesman for a top auto industry advocacy group said that he was unaware of specific research on SUVs and pedestrian fatalities, but that huge strides are being made in accident prevention.
“Safety continues to be a priority for automakers,” said Wade Newton of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, “and companies are working to advance pedestrian-sensing automatic emergency braking — with some versions already on the market.”
Whatever the combination of reasons, pedestrian fatalities reached 5,987 in 2016, their highest level since George H.W. Bush — the first President Bush — was in the White House.
The USA Today Network is investigating the phenomenon of rising pedestrian fatalities, an urban problem primarily plaguing either cities with high poverty rates or warm-weather spots such as Florida and Arizona. Our analysis so far has found that African Americans are killed at a disproportionate rate compared with their population nationwide.
Nationally, more pedestrians die in collisions when they are jaywalking along busy arterial roads. More of those fatalities also occur at night and involve males. Many of these crashes also involve alcohol, though federal safety researchers say that does not explain the increase. In 2016, pedestrians accounted for 16% of traffic deaths; in 2007, that figure was just 11%, according to NHTSA.
The varying factors at play highlight a problem with many components and many unanswered questions.
“There's a lot of unknowns in this space right now,” said Jana Lynott, a senior strategic policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute.
The crisis is felt most keenly in America's cities, and its effects are nationwide. The highest rankings in 2010-16 among cities with more than 200,000 people were not just older industrial centers such as St. Louis and Newark but also in Sun Belt cities such as Phoenix, Baton Rouge, La., and Miami.
In Detroit, which had the highest rate among larger cities, nearly a quarter of the 118 people who died in traffic crashes in 2016 were pedestrians. Despite its troubling ranking, the city in 2016 saw improvement in its fatality numbers, which dropped after 65,000 streetlights were installed over a three-year period.
The dramatically increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities has caught the attention of city planners, safety agencies and researchers seeking to drill down on why more people are dying as they walk. They are developing strategies, including suggestions for improving pedestrian infrastructure and slowing driver speeds, for cutting those numbers substantially.
NHTSA has begun a major examination into the effect of electronic device usage on pedestrian deaths. That process could help clarify the role that distraction, particularly connected to cell phone use, plays in pedestrian fatalities. NHTSA said no studies show “a direct link between the behavioral effects of distraction and pedestrian crash risk,” but the agency says distraction-affected motor vehicle crashes lead to many deaths and injuries.
The Governors Highway Safety Association earlier this year suggested that marijuana legalization could be one reason for the rise, noting that the seven states and Washington, D.C., where recreational use of pot was legalized between 2012 and 2016 had a 16.4% increase in pedestrian fatalities for the first half of last year, while other states saw a decline. That suggested link has drawn skepticism from some who call it hard to prove. The study also noted the increase in cell phone usage, with the number of smartphones in active use in the U.S. increasing by 236% from 2010 to 2016.
Some cities have responded to the carnage by taking action.
New York targets drivers
In 2017, 101 pedestrians were killed in New York City, the lowest number since the city began keeping that statistic in 1910. The number has dropped 45% since Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was elected in 2014, implemented a strategy called Vision Zero, a multi-agency effort that uses engineering, education and enforcement. Compare that with the 184 pedestrian deaths in 2013.
“We are proud of the fact that here in New York, we are, at the moment, bucking the disheartening national trend,” said Polly Trottenberg, commissioner of the city's Department of Transportation.
Underpinning all that is lots of data, she explained. The city identified where the accidents were happening — about 10% of streets or intersections are responsible for 50% of them — and began redesigning the roadways, using methods including installing plastic lane bollards to prevent drivers from making sudden, sharp left turns and tweaking walk/don't walk signs to change before the traffic lights do to give pedestrians several extra seconds of crossing time.
Officials lowered the city's default speed limit from 30 m.p.h. to 25 m.p.h. and increased the number of school zones outfitted with cameras from 20 to 140. One oft-cited success is Queens Boulevard, a 12-lane road in the eponymous borough, which had been nicknamed the Boulevard of Death for the 185 deaths there, 138 of them pedestrians, since 1990. In 2015 and 2016, the number was zero.
Professional drivers, such as cabbies, truckers and city bus drivers, underwent special training, and a public-safety campaign worked to explain to civilian drivers that the choices they make behind the wheel are critical. There is no similar education effort for pedestrians.
“We focus our education efforts on folks who are driving 4-ton vehicles,” Trottenberg said. “They're the ones who are in control of life or death.”
But making these Vision Zero changes doesn't come cheaply, so other municipalities that wish to emulate New York's success didn't just happen in a New York minute.
The city has spent more than $700 million since 2014 and has $1.6 billion allocated to use through the summer of 2022, according to the New York City DOT.
The New York Police Department has also taken action.
The department agreed to change traffic-enforcement officers' shifts after DOT accident data showed a huge spike in serious injuries and fatalities later in the day when Daylight Saving Time ends in the fall. Officers also wrote many more tickets for behaviors known for causing accidents, such as speeding, failing to yield to a pedestrian, using a cell phone while driving and texting while driving — close to 685,000 in 2017, up from 7.3% in 2016 and 20.2% in 2014.
Ann Arbor effort
In Ann Arbor, a campaign is under way.
In a video being aired on local TV, an elderly man waves to a stopped driver as he crosses the street.
“If your dad was crossing, you'd stop,” a female narrator says before viewers are reminded they would do the same thing for a favorite aunt, their high school biology teacher, even someone wearing a chicken suit because they love chickens.
The videos are part of Ann Arbor's effort to educate drivers on the requirement to stop, not just yield, for pedestrians in crosswalks in the city that is home to the University of Michigan.
The video launched last week as an ad on TV stations with a message that will reach not only viewers in Ann Arbor, but also in nearby Detroit.
Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance requires drivers to stop for a pedestrian if the pedestrian is still on the curb and has not yet stepped into the crosswalk. That approach has prompted grousing from some residents who believe it encourages bad behavior on the part of pedestrians, even though the ordinance also prohibits pedestrians from stepping in front of a vehicle that has no time to yield.
The city also has a growing network of midblock crossings — 137 as of last year and 35 with enhanced warning devices, such as flashing lights, according to a city report. Driving along some of the city's busier residential streets dotted with crosswalks, it's easy to see why some residents think that many more of those crossings should have warning lights. The city has paired the infrastructure expansion with ticketing of drivers, which officials credit with doubling the stoppage percentage in some cases.
Robert Kellar, a city spokesman, said Ann Arbor has no jaywalking ordinance, and he does not appear ready to recommend one.
“When pedestrians can cause the driver of a vehicle to be killed,” that might be the time for a jaywalking ordinance, Kellar said.
In Los Angeles, the focus is on making streets safer.
"If we can design our streets to protect our most vulnerable users, we can create a better environment for everybody," said Nat Gale, program manager for Los Angeles' Vision Zero program, noting the high number of pedestrian fatalities. "What we find is our walkers are overrepresented. They represent 15% of traffic collisions, but half of deaths."
After identifying the corridors that have the highest number of deaths, the team went about finding solutions.
Some intersections, for instance, were given "walk" signals that activate before the main traffic light turns green. That way, drivers see pedestrians in their field of vision.
Crosswalks are being made more visible. Some, for instance, get bold white stripes to make them more visible to drivers, like the Beatles on the cover of their Abbey Road album. Pavement markers help, too.
The city also has more "scramble crosswalks," where intersections are closed to cars entirely so pedestrians can cross however they'd like, including diagonally. One is at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the intersection next to the theater where the Academy Awards are held.
Some cities are passing laws against walking and texting when crossing streets.
Honolulu, which had seven pedestrian deaths in 2016, is one of them.
"The hope is more municipalities will adopt similar language looking at pedestrians and vehicles," said Council member Brandon Elefante, who led the effort to the pass the law.
He said he got the idea after visiting a local high school where a "youth for safety" club had formed.
"They invited us to come and look at their campaign to educate their peers, who were basically texting in a crosswalk," Elefante said. They thought a law was needed.
The law passed, 7-2, on the council. There was opposition from some people who thought it was government overreach. At first, the fines were going to be high, up to $500 for a violation.
"We lowered it to $99" for those who violate the law three times in a year. Now, the minimum for the first violation is a minimum of $15 and maximum of $35 for a first violation, then at least $35 and not more than $75 for the second. The third is between $75 and $99.
The law, however, has been in a warning phase. Since it was enacted, there have been 88 violations. But they have been decreasing, so much so that by March, only 14 were written, Elefante said. Under the law, you can hold a cell phone, you just can't use it in a crosswalk.
"It's actually millennials who advocated and conceived a law," he said. "They are concerned about their peers. Now it is a law.
"The story and law have really taken off."
Another city that has adopted a similar law is Montclair, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb of about 40,000.
"We're in our warning phase, our education phase," said Jon Hamilton, director of administrative services and human resources. "We have been putting up signage around the city, engaging with our local schools so we can get our message out to them."
From January to April 16, however, police had issued 30 warnings. As in Honolulu, the numbers have been decreasing as the word gets out. The youngest violator was 13 and the oldest 51.
"The feedback we have gotten has been overwhelmingly positive," Hamilton said.
He said the law was prompted by an accident in which a woman was injured. "We want to make this a pedestrian-friendly city."
Police search for body of girl missing since 1979, believe property might be 'burial site' for 4 other victims
by Lucia I. Suarez Sang
The body of a young girl who disappeared nearly 40 years ago -- and the remains of perhaps four other victims -- could be uncovered Tuesday as authorities continue a desperate dig at a vacant Michigan farm that officials believe may have been a burial ground for a potential serial killer.
A spokesman for a task force led by the Warren Police Department confirmed to Fox News that cops are searching a property in Macomb Township for the remains of Kimberly King, a 12-year-old who was reported missing in September 1979.
The spokesman said officials believe the location is also the burial ground for at least four other teenage girls.
“It's bittersweet, but by finding those remains we might bring closure to these families,” Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer told Fox News.
The site, located near 23 Mile Road and North Avenue in Warren, is in the same area where police found the remains of 13-year-old Cindy Zarzycki in 2008. Convicted child murderer Arthur Nelson Ream led police to Zarzycki's body.
The girl went missing in 1986 after meeting Ream, her boyfriend's father and her killer, at a Dairy Queen.
Authorities said Ream, now 68, tricked the teenager by telling her he was planning a surprise party for his son, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Ream, a convicted pedophile who raped a 15-year-old, is currently serving a life sentence for Zarzycki's murder.
Other cold cases that could be connected to Ream include Kellie Brownlee, from Novi, who was 17 when she disappeared in 1982; and Kim Larrow, who disappeared from Canton Township in 1981 at the age of 15, WDIV reported.
While Dwyer did not elaborate on what prompted the search that began Monday, he said they had interviewed Ream prior to launching the investigation.
FOX2 Detroit said crews were seen on the property with a backhoe, shovels and other tools.
The task force investigating what may be hidden beneath the farm's dirt is composed of the Warren Police Department, the FBI, Michigan State Police and Macomb County Sheriff's Office.
King was reported missing on Sept. 15, 1979, during a stay at her grandparents' home in Warren, Michigan. The girl had planned to sleep over at her friend's house across the street. Around 11:30 p.m. that night, however, King called her sister from a public telephone near their grandparents' home.
Her sister Konnie Beyma said she told her sister to go back to her friend's house, but that never happened. The next day she was reported missing.
“It's a day I won't forget,” Beyma told WXYZ last year.
Nearby property owner Ron Dehondt told FOX2 Detroit that the property had been vacant for about 20 years or so.
“The front part was farm up until a few years ago, the back part is open but I think it's not being developed right now," Dehondt said. "There's a river that runs through it, the north branch of the Clinton River.”
The search on the property is expected to continue for several more days.
Fla. officers take special needs students to prom
Boynton Beach Police Department officers attended a high school prom as the dates of several special needs students
by PoliceOne Staff
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Several special needs students had their dreams come true thanks to a group of Florida officers.
On Saturday, several Boynton Beach Police Department officers attended the John I. Leonard High School's prom as the dates of several special needs students, WPTV reported. Scott Harris, a retired officer for the department, said the department came up with the idea so the students could have the same fun as their peers.
"We came up with this idea of having these students come to the prom since they wouldn't have the opportunity if we didn't take the chance and bring them here. My wife is a teacher at John I. Leonard and teaches these students,” Harris said.
The officers also prepared boutonnieres and corsages for the students, according to KCRG. The department documented the event on social media throughout the night, showcasing officers dancing along with the students.
"It's amazing to see these young kids that don't have the opportunity to be here today,” Harris said. “They are awesome kids and now they are mingling with the other kids, doing the same thing that kids that don't have disabilities are doing."
From the Department of Homeland Security
Statement from DHS Press Secretary on April Border Numbers
On May 4, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for April:
"The recently released April 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers underscore the continuing security crisis along our southwest border. The number of illegal border crossers increased in April from the previous month, and more than tripled in April 2018 in comparison to April 2017. For the second month in a row, we have seen more than 50,000 individuals try to illegally enter the United States.
"If you enter our country illegally, you have broken the law and will be referred for prosecution. DHS has zero tolerance for those who break the law and will no longer exempt classes or groups of individuals from prosecution. Whether you are a single adult or an adult member of a family unit, if you are apprehended you will be prosecuted and put in removal proceedings.
"DHS has significantly increased our referral rates to the Department of Justice for illegal border crossers when compared to the same time period in FY 2017. DHS and DOJ have taken recent steps to surge the necessary resources – such as asylum officers, immigration judges, prosecutors, and ICE attorneys – to promptly adjudicate cases through our civil immigration system or through criminal prosecution.
"To those seeking to abuse our generous laws – we are watching. We will not sit back and watch our laws exploited. If you make a false immigration claim, you will be referred for prosecution. If you assist or coach individuals in making false immigration claims, you will be referred for prosecution."
CBP's Southwest Border Migration Numbers for April can be found here.
From the FBI
Latest Internet Crime Report Released
IC3 Says Victim Losses Exceeded $1.4 Billion in 2017
Beginning in 2015, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) forwarded multiple complaints to the FBI's Houston Field Office regarding fraudulent offers of investment opportunities by perpetrators who impersonated U.S. bank officials and financial consultants over the Internet and telephone. Victims in various countries, including the U.S., were deceived into believing they would receive millions of dollars from joint ventures with certain U.S. banks if they paid up-front fees—ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars—to participate. According to court documents, victims lost more than $7 million collectively in this scam.
The complaints submitted by victims to the IC3 helped investigators uncover this elaborate international advance fee and money laundering scheme, and in February of this year, six individuals were federally charged in Houston in connection with the scam.
The IC3, which has received more than 4 million victim complaints from 2000 through 2017, routinely analyzes complaints like these and disseminates data to the appropriate law enforcement agencies at all levels for possible investigation. The IC3 also works to identify general trends related to current and emerging Internet-facilitated crimes, and it publicizes those findings through periodic alerts and an annual report.
And today, the IC3 is releasing its latest annual publication—the 2017 Internet Crime Report —which reveals that the center received more than 300,000 complaints last year with reported losses of more than $1.4 billion.
If you use the Internet, the 2017 Internet Crime Report is a document you should read carefully. You'll learn a great deal, including:
What the most common crime types reported by victims were (the top three were non-payment and non-delivery, personal data breaches, and phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming scams);
What the most common crime types in terms of dollar loss were (top three were business e-mail compromise/e-mail account compromise, non-payment/non-delivery, and investment scams);
How the IC3 is monitoring trending scams such as business e-mail compromise, ransomware, tech support fraud, elder fraud, and extortion;
Which age groups are more likely to be victimized by Internet-facilitated criminal activity (people over 60 rank number one in terms of victimization and dollar losses);
What victims can do after reporting the crime to the IC3 (take steps to block or freeze bank or credit card accounts, dispute charges, attempt recovery of lost funds, etc.);
Where each U.S. state ranks in terms of the number of victims of Internet-facilitated frauds, dollar losses, and criminal subjects (California has the top spot on all three lists, while Texas and Florida take turns at the number two and number three slots on the lists); and
Which IC3 initiatives directly support law enforcement (remote search capability of its database available to all sworn officers, and the Operation Wellspring initiative, which helps build state and local law enforcement's cyber investigative capabilities).
The success of the above-mentioned Houston investigation is just one example of the impact that the IC3 can have on Internet-facilitated criminal activity—and proof positive that the short amount of time it takes individuals who think they have been scammed to go the IC3 website and submit a complaint form is well worth it.
“We want to encourage everyone who suspects they have been victimized by online fraudsters to report it to us,” says IC3 chief Donna Gregory. “The more data we have, the more effective we can be in raising public awareness, reducing the number of victims who fall prey to these schemes, and increasing the number of criminals who are identified and brought to justice.”
North Korea Releases 3 American Political Prisoners In Advance Of Historic Summit
by Willa Frej
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departed North Korea on Wednesday with three Americans the country had been holding in captivity, another sign that relations between the U.S. and North Korea are warming in advance of a first-of-its-kind nuclear summit.
President Donald Trump announced the prisoners' release on Twitter, noting that they appeared to be in good health and applauding Pompeo's “good meeting” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Pompeo tweeted an hour later that he was “delighted to bring home” the three liberated Americans.
Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang was timed with Trump's declaration that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. His meeting with Kim follows the North Korean leader's second secret trip to China.
Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul, and Kim Sang-duk, who is more commonly referred to as Tony Kim, were due to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 a.m Thursday, according to Trump's tweets.
“I will be there to greet them,” Trump tweeted. “Very exciting!”
In a statement following the announcement, Tony Kim's family thanked Trump for “engaging directly with North Korea.”
“We are very grateful for the release of our husband and father, Tony Kim, and the other two American detainees,” the family wrote. “We ask that you continue to pray for the people of North Korea and for the release of all who are still being held.”
Hak-song, who had been doing research at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was detained in May 2017 and accused of “hostile acts.” Dong-chul, accused of spying, was arrested in 2015 but sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016. Tony Kim, who had been living in North Korea with his wife, taught for a time at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. He, too, was accused of “hostile criminal acts” against the regime and was detained in April 2017.
Trump hinted last week that the release could be imminent, tweeting that people should “Stay tuned!” There was no elaboration until Pompeo's departure from Pyongyang on Wednesday.
Trump's unconventional approach to launching a dialogue with the reclusive North Korean regime consisted of wrangling with both the South Koreans and the Chinese to bring Pyongyang to the negotiating table. Pompeo also made a secret trip to North Korea prior to his confirmation, while he was still CIA director.
Trump and Kim plan to meet either this month or next in a location that has yet to be determined. Despite the fanfare surrounding the significance of such a meeting, experts have expressed caution that Kim will commit to meaningful steps toward denuclearization.
“The fact that we have the opportunity to change direction here and go in a more peaceful one and having it occur so quickly is good news,” said John McHugh, an Atlantic Council board director and former secretary of the U.S. Army. “But the lesson there is that we could very rapidly, if the upcoming summit is a failure, return to that [earlier] posture, which was an extraordinarily dangerous one.”
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met last week in another historic gathering, jointly committing to ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. The two leaders also agreed to officially end the Korean War after 65 years.
US Senate bill would make violence against LEOs a hate crime
The measure aims to make it a federal crime to knowlingly cause or attempt injury because of the "actual or perceived status" that the person is an LEO
by PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators have introduced a bill that would make purposely attacking a law enforcement officer a federal hate crime.
Newsweek reports that the Senate version of the Protect and Serve Act of 2018 was introduced Tuesday by Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Orrin Hatch. The measure aims to make it a federal crime to knowingly cause or attempt injury because of the “actual or perceived status” that the person is an LEO.
The bill uses the same “actual or perceived” language found in the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The legislation also aims to address “ambushes and violence against police” in wake of high-profile attacks on officers, such as the 2016 ambushes of Dallas and Baton Rouge officers.
“Every day, law enforcement officers across the country put their lives on the line to protect us from harm,” Hatch said. “These heinous, cowardly assaults are an attack not just on law enforcement, but on the rule of law. The Protect and Serve Act of 2018 makes clear that no criminal will be able to escape justice when he singles out and assaults those who put on the badge every day to keep us safe.”
Many law enforcement groups have expressed their support for the bill. Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said 87 officers have been shot in the line of duty in 2018, and 28 of them have been killed.
“Our nation's law enforcement officers face dangers every day in the course of protecting their communities, but now they face a new threat—deliberate attacks, often by ambush, by people who desire nothing more than to wound or kill an officer. Finally, Congress has decided to act,” Canterbury said.
A similar law, known as the Back the Blue Act of 2017, was introduced last year but stalled in Congress, according to the Guardian . Under current federal law, persons convicted of first degree murder of federal employees or LEOs face a life sentence or the death penalty.
Why we need to leave police policymaking to the police
While police leaders should be encouraged to widen the scope of voices they hear, inviting hostile and unqualified persons to implement policy is another matter
by Chief Joel F. Shults
Law enforcement leaders are facing increased outside pressure to release internal control of their own policy and procedure making. Police unions and leaders' concerns used to be centered on the creation of civilian review boards dealing with allegations of officer misconduct. Now we have legislators attempting to dictate local policy through state law as in California, and groups traditionally hostile to law enforcement seeking a seat at the policymaking table for the Chicago Police Department. One group is pushing back.
The National Police Association, a law enforcement advocacy group, is demanding information on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual's decision to invite the ACLU and Black Lives Matter Chicago to oversee policy making for the Chicago Police Department. The NPA's actions reflect the dismay of many in the law enforcement community over this move.
City of Chicago signs agreement in principle
In July 2017, the City of Chicago and representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice signed an Agreement in Principle in response to a federal investigation of police practices in the city.
The agreement forestalls any further federal action on the promise that Illinois' Attorney General , the city and the U.S. District Court will negotiate a consent decree to address deficiencies noted in the federal report that found “reasonable cause to believe that CPD engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional use of force.”
The agreement requires “participation of community members, including officers, in the implementation of the reform process.” The NPA questions that this mandate includes allowing oversight from groups like the ACLU and Black Lives Matter that have shown hostility to law enforcement.
The ACLU was part of two lawsuits calling for federal intervention despite the Trump administration's opposition to such measures and calling for a more collaborative approach. The DOJ investigations under the Obama administration were ordered reviewed under Trump. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called federal investigations of law enforcement "dangerous," saying that federal intervention "can reduce morale of the police officers."
The ACLU Illinois website quotes representatives of activist groups as having “watchdog” authority and “the right to enforce” the consent decree.
The NPA press release announcing its Freedom of Information request about the action states, “The ACLU has represented unrepentant cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal, while Black Lives Matter Chicago advocates entirely de-funding the police on its website. The consent decree will among other things establish and govern the Chicago Police Department's use of force policies, directing officers in when and how they are allowed to defend themselves.”
The FOIA request specifically seeks to know the qualifications of anyone who may be establishing policy and procedure for Chicago police officers.
The value of multiple perspectives
In the storm of multiple lawsuits, investigations, public scrutiny and – not least of all – politics, the mandate for reform in Chicago is strong. The link between sky high murder rates and police oversight isn't clear, as the Ferguson effect is still being debated, but the irony of investigating the crime fighters in the middle of hundreds of unsolved homicides is not lost on rank and file police officers.
Historian Doris Kearns famously examined President Lincoln's strategy of including rivals among his advisors in the aptly title biography “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” Akin to the adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, there is great merit to opening discussion to include widely varying perspectives. Some leaders have a practice of appointing at least one person on any decision-making committee to speak up against any idea brought forth in order to avoid blind consensus.
Police leaders and their governing executives should be encouraged to widen the scope of voices that they hear. This will necessarily include uncomfortable and oppositional messages. It is that area of discomfort where nuggets of truth can be found that could positively inform policing practices. Everyone tends toward making routine decisions within the comfort zone of their own experience. Getting fresh eyes on a situation can be invaluable when developing mission statements, policy and procedure. Even if oppositional positions are predictably refuted, the exercise of defending the status quo can be instructive.
Seeking advice and input is constructive, while inviting hostile and unqualified persons to actually implement policy is another matter. The NPA request is understandable. Collaboration is a necessary skill in police leadership, but allowing coercive influences that serve interest groups over public safety deserves its own high level of scrutiny. Without a strong voice for self-governance, local law enforcement faces an increasing loss of its professional autonomy in decision-making.
14-Year-Old in Custody After Shooting Student in Arm With Rifle at Highland High in Palmdale: LASD
by Anthony Kurzweil, Sara Welch and Rick Chambers
A 14-year-old former student is in custody after allegedly shooting a current student in the arm with a rifle at Highland High School in Palmdale Friday morning, and the suspect's parents helped find him, authorities said.
Deputies responded to the school, located in the 39000 block of West 25th Street, after receiving reports of an shooter on campus about 7 a.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Darren Harris said.
Both father and mother of the alleged shooter separately called an off-duty Los Angeles police officer they know shortly after the crime to express concern, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in an afternoon news conference.
The officer helped capture the suspect after the father told him he had received a call from his son who indicated he had "shot his gun in the air and headed toward Vons," McDonnell said.
The officer detained the teen who was without a weapon near the grocery store soon after, McDonnell said.
The shooting sparked a major response from deputies, who said they received almost 100 911 calls, and a frenzy on social media.
Authorities responded within five minutes, soon learning that a 14-year-old armed with a rifle had fired and struck another student in the arm, Harris said.
The wounded teen was taken to a nearby hospital by a bystander and was expected to make a full recovery, McDonnell said. Authorities initially said the victim was also 14, but later stated he was 15 years old.
Freshman Alexis Piercy said she could hear several shots ring out as she ran for cover.
“I heard the first loud bang and I just thought it was maintenance, because yesterday they were working on the roof, and then it just continued to ring out," she said. "After I started running, there was about four more.”
The shooter fled the campus with the gun, the captain said.
After the incident, the suspect called his father to tell him he had shot his gun in the air and was making his way toward a shopping center near the school, according to a sheriff's news release . His father relayed the information the off-duty LAPD officer, who located the suspect and alerted the Sheriff's Department.
He was taken into custody on suspicion of attempted murder, and an SKS rifle was recovered from a field about half a mile from the school, officials said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which also responded to the incident, was working to track down where the gun came from.
McDonnell said investigators haven't determined a motive for the crime and were still waiting to interview the suspect.
"They're still processing the scene out there," he said. "There was a number of shots fired ... The potential was for anyone to take a stray round there. As far as trying to estimate what he was aiming for it's too early to go into that. He fired rounds and deliberately left the campus into the adjoining neighborhood."
Neither the victim nor suspect was being identified due to their age, but authorities said the suspected shooter had previously been voluntarily taken out of the school by his parents. The suspect's mother said he ran away from home Friday morning, according to sheriff's officials.
The school was "cleared by deputies" following the shooting, the Sheriff's Department said about 9 a.m. A lockdown that had students sheltering in place was lifted by 10:30 a.m., and students were being released to parents, the school's principal said on Twitter .
"Parents can rest assured there is no threat to any campus here in the Antelope Valley," Harris said. "We have a heavy presence here, and we have a suspect in custody. We feel very confident that our schools our safe."
A concerned parent waiting for her son near Highland High said she got a text from him saying he heard a gunshot and that he had locked himself in a classroom. She was waiting to learn when her son would be released.
“It's scary, I don't know what to feel,” Ana Salazar told KTLA. “It's something I never expected to happen.”
Amid a climate of heightened scrutiny for gun violence and school safety in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Palmdale shooting immediately sparked a frenzy on social media and in the national news media. The term "active shooter" was a focus in much of the reaction, though authorities initially told KTLA they were not describing the situation that way.
Superintendent Raul Maldonado wrote in an alert on the website for Palmdale School District that there was a "confirmed ... active shooter" at Highland High. Palmdale School District runs elementary and middle schools in Palmdale, though Highland High School is part of the Antelope Valley Union High School District, which operates several high schools in the broader area.
All of Palmdale School District's campuses were placed on lockdown. The campuses were searched and no incidents of concern were reported, the superintendent later said.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Department searched the campus of Manzanita Elementary School in Palmdale, about 6 miles east of Highland High, after a report of "shots heard." Authorities said no evidence of a crime was found and the report was not linked to the Highland High shooting.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the Manzanita incident to determine if it was "potentially a distraction or a coincidence," McDonnell said.
The Highland High School campus was cleared at 10 a.m., McDonnell said.
"We are incredibly grateful for the actions of Highland High School teachers and staff and our first responders who courageously protected the lives of our students today," said Betsy Sanchez, director of communications for the Antelope Valley Union High School District in a statement.
Police arrest Illinois man in girl's 1986 cold case murder in Washington state
by Robert Gearty
An Illinois man has been arrested in the cold case rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Washington state more than 30 years ago, according to reports.
Jennifer Bastian, who was last seen riding her new 18-speed Schwinn bicycle in a local park in Tacoma on Aug 4, 1986, had been strangled, local media reported. Police found her body near a wooded trail in the park 24 days later.
The suspect was identified Thursday as Robert Washburn, 60, of Eureka, Ill., according to the Tacoma News Tribune. He is a former Tacoma resident, who lived near the park at the time of the murder.
“I think everybody who has been involved with this over the years is extremely happy that it's been solved,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said, according to the paper.
“Not a day goes by that we don't think of her,” Patti Bastian, Jennifer's mother, told the newspaper in 2013. “She's our little girl.”
For years, police believed the man who killed Jennifer also raped and killed 12-year-old Michella Welch in March 1986 in another North End Tacoma park, the Sky Valley Chronicle in Monroe, Wash., reported.
But police ruled out a connection in 2016 when they released composite sketches of a male suspect in each case. Welch's murder is still unsolved.
James Peterson, one of Jennifer's former classmates, told Q13 Fox in Seattle that he last saw Jennifer the day she disappeared.
“I distinctively remember Jennifer riding up and asking if we wanted to go riding with her and, being teenage boys, we all kind of ignored her,” he said. “Then, we never saw her again.”
Sacramento Officials Want More Community Policing, But Some Argue Communities Of Color Can't Trust Law Enforcement
by Ezra David Romero
Evin Johnson works with victims of gun violence in Sacramento. He also survived a gunshot wound — not by police — and says the thought of having more cops patrolling the streets of Sacramento's communities of color makes his toes curl.
“It would take a lot out of a black person to work with these guys every day,” Johnson said. “I think it would do something to your soul. It's going to break you down.”
That's what Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is up against with his goal to have police do more than just respond to calls or chase criminals. He wants to do this by having more police on neighborhood beats, something he says that Sacramento does not have anymore.
At a council meeting last month, the mayor told Police Chief Daniel Hahn that finding a way to increase community policing would be “among the greatest services” he could provide on the heels of the Stephon Clark shooting.
Steinberg asked Hahn to “lay out a strategic plan for how we get back to genuine — I don't even want to call it community policing — neighborhood policing.”
Community policing is a style of law enforcement he says he witnessed in Sacramento in the 1990s, when many officers jobs were to walk the streets to get to know neighborhoods. Now, he says there's too much rapid response from officers that spend most of their time in their cars. Building relationships would boost “confidence in ways that create less fear for both the community and the police officer,” he argued.
Community policing almost entirely went away when the city lost federal funding. To restore this style of policing, it'll take millions of dollars and time. Steinberg says there's a potential way to fund this.
It's called Measure U, which was created to restore services to police, fire and parks that were cut during the recession. The measure expires next year, and the city anticipates asking voters to renew it this fall, including the possibility of asking for more money for neighborhood officers. But residents also want more investment in communities of color.
The mayor, who says he'll make an announcement soon, said Sacramento believes the philosophy of community policing already exists in the city.
But that's not true for Black Lives Matter Sacramento leader Tanya Faison. Going on seven weeks, her group has held demonstrations outside the district attorney's office, calling for justice for Clark.
When it comes to law enforcement, Faison's ideas are dramatically different than Steinberg's.“I want the police to go away,” she said, “but until that happens we do need to see reforms happen and they need to move in the direction of community power.”
Her goal is for the community to police itself, which is part of the reason she's organizing a cop-watching group and a network of volunteers that can help residents during encounters with police. She says this practice of live-videoing law-enforcement activities hopefully will reduce the number of black and brown people killed by police.
Faison remembers a moment a year-and-a-half ago in Del Paso Heights, where she says cop-watching prevented a man from being shot. “As a result, they stopped acting as aggressive with him,” Faison claimed. “They took their guns down and pulled out tasers instead and then they broke his window and got him out.”
But how feasible is it that community policing can work in Sacramento?
Really tough, says Sacramento State criminology professor Ryan Getty, who says there's no blueprint for how to establish a philosophy of community policing in a city.
Getty says elements of community policing should have started “as soon as Chief Hahn came in,” but that “now it's highly reactive, and they [city officials] are kind of just trying to stop the bleeding” after outrage over the Clark shooting.
He teaches community policing to students wanting to become law-enforcement officers, including Sacramento police, every year, and he says it's taught in less than half-a-day. He also explained that some officers view being put on the community beat as punishment. Getty explains that many departments thought it was “a good way to put some of these officers that weren't really making it onto the street into a different position.”
There are 646 police officers in the city, but only 15 are sort of dedicated to community policing, according to department spokesperson Vance Chandler. They're called “problem oriented police officers,” or POP, which differs from community-oriented policing because the work those officers do often can't be quantified or measured.
But Chandler emphasized the importance of providing for the community. “Ideally, we continue to development those relationships with our community leaders and build that trust,” he said.
Police Chief Daniel Hahn declined to discuss community policing for this story. But in an interview with Capital Public Radio's Beth Ruyak last month , he claimed that Sacramento already has community policing.
“I would say we are absolutely, unequivocally a community-oriented police department,” Hahn told Ruyak. “There's no question in my mind. We have been for many years.”
But the community doesn't always agree. Evin Johnson says for community policing to be successful, the fear of law enforcement will need to come to an end.
“Unless [police] change the culture, I don't want them to come to the community, because I'm going to be scared,” Johnson said.
South Sacramento pastor Les Simmons couldn't agree more. He says for community policing to work officers need to be held accountable for their actions or that trust may never happen.
“Our community wants policing that is effective in saving lives even in critical moments like this,” Simmons said. “Our community wants guardians in policing and not warriors.”
Lack of officers main barrier to youth-oriented community policing
by Nnamdi Egwuonwu
COLUMBIA - According to the Bureau of Justice, one in ten young black person comes into contact with police officers; those officers use force on one in four.
That's why at a Wednesday meeting, members of the Citizens Police Review Board called for more focused interaction between police officers and Columbia's young people, particularly those of color.
"For the most part when we see a lot of the negative interactions with law enforcement, it's young black males," said board Chairman Darryl Smith. "If we can do something to stem that tide, I think we have a responsibility to do so."
Andre Cook, the Columbia Police Department's trainer, said a video about interaction with young people of color is already part of officer training. However, Smith said, because the video is not based in Columbia, its impact is limited.
"It's great to have a video, but the concerns of Columbia youth are not expressed in that video," Smith said. "The concerns in those videos may be generalizations."
Smith and other members of the board suggested more hands-on, labor-intensive remedies centered around outreach, but acknowledged the limitations officers face.
"Getting into the communities you're policing and getting out of the car - it's hard to do that when you don't have enough officers," Smith said.
The Columbia Police Officers Association echoed that sentiment.
"It's one of many ideas out there that I think the officers look at and go 'it'd be great if we had the capacity to do it,'" said Dale Roberts, the executive director of the association.
Roberts said, while he's unsure of CPD's ability to executive a labor-intensive program, he understands it's appeal.
"The theory, as I understand it, is you invest in the youth and it fosters a better relationship and that surely a worthy goal," he said.
Both Smith and Roberts agree that, in order to create an effective community outreach program that engages the young people, more officers need to be hired.
"It's a matter of setting priorities," Smith said. "Are there places to make reallocations? What is important? I think that's something that needs to be addressed at a level above where I am."
NCOs to tackle subway crime
NYPD community policing program, already in precincts, comes to MTA's IRT #2,5 and 6 lines
by Patrick Rocchio
An important community policing effort had arrived on the borough's subway lines.
The NYPD's Neighborhood Coordination Officers initiative has arrived on three Bronx subway lines in Transit District 12, with new officers trained in community policing riding on the IRT #2, #5 and #6 lines.
The program, which some have compared to a ‘cop-on-the-beat' for the 21st century according to a recent Bronx Times article, is being rolled out only in Transit District 12 and another in Brooklyn for now. It commenced Sunday, April 1.
NCO officers have their pictures and e-mails on posters throughout subway stations along the lines they patrol every day.
They will even give out cell phone numbers to some of the people they meet to remain up to date on conditions, according to sources.
They are getting to know the passengers and subway personnel, as well as troubled locations and conditions, NYPD personnel said.
Deputy Inspector Joyce Williams, Transit District 12 commanding officer, said that there is a community in the transit system despite any misconceptions to the contrary.
Officers can form a bond with the people who use the various lines every day, as well as with Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees, she said.
“That's the community we deal with,” said Williams. “And being able to foster a relationship with them helps us address crime conditions, give us information about possible perpetrators that are wanted and can also alert us to different conditions going on at specific stations.”
The officers can be contacted directly if they see a perpetrator that is wanted by the police, for example, said Williams.
She noted that in one instance two NCOs officers working at the Transit District 12 headquarters at East 180th Street and Morris Park Avenue were able to help a man who was found crying in a wheelchair during a snowstorm because he did not believe he could get home because of the weather. Two of the borough's NCOs in training during the March blizzard pushed the man home about a mile in the snow, said Williams.
The NCOs will continue to address conditions like farebeating and selling swipes, which are both criminal, she said.
These crimes won't be tolerated, said police sources.
The Bronx Times got to speak with two NCO officers assigned to the IRT #6 line, identified by the inspector as police officers Manny Burgos and Jason Melendez.
Posters with Burgos and Melendez's photos, along with that of Rachelle Glazier, MTA chief station officer, are up in stations along the IRT #6.
“It makes me feel a like a celebrity a little bit,” said Melendez, a 13-year veteran of the force, when he saw his poster at the Westchester Square station recently.
Already the two NCOs have seen action.
Burgos, an NYPD officer with nine years experience in transit, said they were able to stop a concerted farebeating effort at the Pelham Bay Park station that had been occurring between 6 to 8 a.m. most mornings, involving about 20 to 30 individuals.
They were also able to arrest a man selling swipes at the Parkchester section found to have about 50 rounds of ammunition, magazines and burglars tools, both in his bag – and stuffed into his pants.
The NCOs are interacting with the riders.
On Tuesday, May 8 at the Westchester Square station, Burgos was handing out basketballs that had on them the name of hero Detective Steven McDonald, a patrolman who was paralyzed by gunshots in the line of duty in 1986 and who later went onto to advocate for forgiveness and self-worth.
The public is informing both officers of conditions that need addressing, confirmed Burgos.
“Everybody here is taking the same trains and the same times, so you get to know these people,” said Burgos. “We ride the same trains every day, north and south. We see the same faces every day.”
What the NCOs are doing is fostering a shared responsibility and a collaborative approach, according to police sources.
In a statement from the transit NCO launch, Glazier stated: “We are pleased the NYPD is trying a creative new approach to make our customers' rides more safe and secure.”
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said deploying NCO officers to the subways would add another layer of safety for commuters.
“The NCOs are great liaisons between the police and the public, and they are vital tools in preventing, deterring and solving crime,” said Clark. “Seeing the same officer in the station as you catch the train every day brings a sense of security.”
Civilian panel: LAPD cops broke policy after shooting man who fired at LEOs
Los Angeles police's rank-and-file offiers' union said it was baffled by the ruling
by Brenda Gazzar
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police's rank-and-file officers' union said it was baffled by a ruling this week that found a dozen officers acted outside of LAPD policy in using lethal force against a suspect who fired at officers and a police helicopter in Sunland.
The Los Angeles Police Commission decision involved the fatal shooting of burglary suspect Anthony Soderberg, 29, of Shadow Hills on May 8 of last year. It occurred near the 11300 block of Alethea Drive after a standoff with LAPD officers.
It was the first time the department used snipers in a helicopter to shoot a suspect though officers also shot at the suspect from the ground.
Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said he was “kind of shocked” at the civilian panel's split ruling.
“(The suspect) had a gun. He was shooting at officers. It was the ultimate safety risk,” Lally said Wednesday, adding that he had not yet seen the Inspector General's report, which will be released in the coming days.
Monday's 3-1 ruling, which was discussed during a more than three-hour closed-session meeting, sided with the recommendation of the Inspector General, who acts as a watchdog of the police department.
It was not immediately clear why the Inspector General believed the officers acted out of policy in using lethal force.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck had argued that the 13 officers involved in the hours-long incident acted within policy.
The Commission found that one police officer acted within policy in using lethal force. It was not clear Wednesday whether that officer acted from the helicopter or from the ground.
Beck, echoing the findings of the department's Use of Force Review Board, agreed “that an officer with similar training and experience (as the 13 officers involved) would reasonably believe Soderberg's actions presented an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury and that the use of lethal force would be objectively reasonable,” according to his April 26 report to the Commission.
Lally noted that the officers tried to negotiate and used tear gas to diffuse the situation even after the attempts on their lives. The officers also operated with authorization from command staff.
“All (the suspect) had to do was put his hands up and come outside, and there would never have been a shooting to begin with,” Lally said.
The incident, which began on 9 a.m. that day, was prompted by a radio call at a home in Alethea Drive, LAPD previously said in a news release. A woman met Foothill Division officers outside the home after she awoke to find a man in the kitchen and then fled and called police. She told the officers there were firearms inside.
The officers saw the man inside, set up a perimeter and requested more resources, including Metropolitan Division SWAT and K-9.
Around 1 p.m., SWAT was on scene when the suspect began shooting in the direction of officers. Between 1 and 3 p.m., the suspect did not surrender and would intermittently shoot at officers, according to the department. During that same period, officers were involved in shootings with the suspect. In one instance, two officers shot at the suspect from a helicopter.
The suspect exited the residence around 3 p.m. and fell down a hillside, where he was determined to be dead. A handgun was recovered at the scene.
The Commission found that officers and command staff acted within policy with regard to tactics, drawing and exhibiting a weapon, and less lethal use of force.
According to the Beck's report to the Commission, a commander believed Soderberg was in a position where it would be “very dangerous for anybody to try to contain or engage him on foot.”
The “aerial platform shooting” – or shooting from the helicopter – offered the ability to control the terrain from the air “and it was appropriate,” Beck wrote.
“It was essential to utilize the (aerial platform shooting) to prevent Soderberg from getting into the surrounding community,” thus prompting command staff to give approval to deploy it, he said.
Before he was shot, the suspect said he would “kill all those SWAT officers that are out there,” according to Beck's report.
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS Reissues the NTAS Bulletin
On May 9, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reissued the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the terror threat to the U.S. homeland. After carefully considering the current threat environment, as well as input from the Department's intelligence and law enforcement partners, Secretary Nielsen determined it is necessary to extend the NTAS Bulletin at this time.
Terrorist groups continue to inspire, enable, and direct their followers to spread chaos using homemade weapons and by striking soft targets and crowded places. They also remain focused on conducting more sophisticated attacks using conventional weapons as well as new technologies and tactics. DHS is committed to staying a step ahead of our enemies, and an informed and vigilant public remains one of the Department's greatest assets in protecting the homeland.
This marks the sixth iteration of the Bulletin on the homegrown threat, which has been reissued five times since the first Bulletin was released in December 2015.
You can read the new NTAS Bulletin here.
From the Department of Justice
Attorney General Sessions Recognized Law Enforcement Service And Sacrifice During National Police Week
Attorney General Sessions recognized the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week, and commented on the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.
“One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Sessions said. “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high. At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families. We are also following President Trump's Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety, and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us. As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”
According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.
Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.
For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released today at www.fbi.gov .
In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice.
During Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe.
The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide will be formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2018. So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be livestreamed beginning at 8:00 PM (EDT) on May 13th. To register for this free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast (link is external) .
The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation's capital during National Police Week 2018.
For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org (link is external) .
From the FBI
Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
FBI Releases Police Line-of-Duty Death Statistics for 2017
A total of 93 officers were killed in the line of duty last year, according to a portion of the FBI's Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2017 (LEOKA) report released today.
Of these deaths, 46 were felonious and 47 were accidental.
Both numbers have decreased from 2016, during which 66 officers were feloniously killed and 52 were accidentally killed, for a total of 118 line-of-duty deaths.
The FBI collects data on officer assaults and deaths from local, state, tribal, campus, and federal law enforcement agencies from around the country, as well as organizations that track officer deaths. The Bureau publishes the data annually through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, and the national-level statistics can be used to help create data-driven safety training for officers.
Among the officers who were feloniously killed:
The average age was 38 years old, with an average tenure of 11 years in law enforcement.
Forty-three of the officers were men, and three were women.
Most of the officers (42) were killed by firearms, three were killed by vehicles (used as weapons), and one officer was killed with a knife.
Among the officers who were accidentally killed:
The average age was 40 years old, with an average tenure of 12 years in law enforcement.
Forty-five were men, and two were women.
The most common accidental deaths were automobile accidents (29), being struck by vehicles (six), or motorcycle/ATV accidents (five).
To provide more timely data to the public, the FBI released portions of its annual LEOKA publication today, instead of in the fall as we have in past years. The remaining portions of the publication, featuring data on officer assaults in the line of duty for 2017, will be released later this year.
As a result of a recent technical refresh, the database containing LEOKA information can process more data than ever before, which means the FBI can now share additional details about incidents in which law enforcement officers are killed and assaulted in the line of duty. A description of all the changes to this report can be found at Updates to Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2017 .