Sunday, July 31, 2005
The premise of Wanted is as follows: An elite team is put together to go after LA's most wanted criminals. The team is made up of a seasoned, weathered, tired (and every other cliche of veteran LA cops) leader who calls the shots. Working under him are an ATF field agent, an FBI agent, a Navy Intelligence Officer, and a US Marshal. There's no doubt in my mind that I'm leaving out someone from another agency, but I'm guessing someone will correct me in the comments. On top of tracking down LA's most wanted, the team has to go against a Deputy DA who sounds like she managed to hide her ACLU business card under the pillow just long enough to infiltrate the Office of the District Attorney, where she gives the team a hard time by standing up for the bad guys. But hey, every show needs an antagonist. It just makes it look rather stupid an unrealistic when something occurs that you know wouldn't happen in real life, and it gives people like me who deal with the real life version of this on a daily basis a good reason to not tell others to watch the show.
A good friend told me that he doesn't go to the movies anymore, unless it's for a cartoon, a slapstick comedy, or some type of fantasy Sci-Fi movie. His reason for this is because a good percentage of the movies out there are not realistic from his point of view, or from the point of view of anyone with half a brain. He's absolutely right. Wanted would be a halfway decent show if they could plug the holes that make you want to leave ten minutes into the program. For example, the maximum security prisoner, who is number ninety-eight on the "Wanted list," escapes custody after the Department of Corrections allows him to go to a funeral. At the funeral, one of his gang buddies shoots one of the DOC guys who is standing outside, who then shoots the other DOC guy who is inside of the funeral with him. Who in their right mind can take a show seriously when we're lead to believe the DOC would let a [maximum security] prisoner out of prison to go to a funeral, and then attach two custody assistants to him, both of whom get shot like they've never received a day of training before in their lives.
Granted, it's fiction, and I understand that. This isn't a documentary we're watching, and frankly, a good portion of the people who tuned-in wanted (no pun intended) to see action, not a realistic portrayal of law enforcement agents tracking down bad guys. And if I can say one thing about the show --- a good thing --- it doesn't put cops in the position of good-for-nothing, two-bit, thugs. All of the cops in the series are intelligent and have good hearts, which is slightly redeeming.
Proof once again that there's always a light at the end of every tunnel.
The Starkcast #12
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Thoughts and Thinking
150 Rounds and a Smile
KMBC's Peggy Breit reported that nine people were in the home at the time of the shooting. They hit the floor and hid in a back room to avoid injury. Investigators said the drive-by shooting was all over a dispute about a bicycle part. Neighbors said that Nolan accused a 12-year-old of stealing a trick bar from his bicycle. Nolan allegedly hit the boy and when his father confronted Nolan, he said Nolan pulled a rifle. Soon afterward, the drive-by gunfire at their home started.
Why They All Need Cells
The two bunk modules are set up the same way just reversed. The module is a rectangle about 38 feet from my desk to the back wall and 48 feet across from wall to wall – a very small area for 54 inmates to live in. On day and evening shifts you expect the noise, but on midnights you’d expect quite. I try to picture myself as an inmate in this module trying to get some sleep. You get to listen to inmates fart as loud as they can and then giggle about it. Or, inmates pissing in the toilet area use the center of the bowl and can’t seem to hit the sides to reduce the noise. And then the few inmates who actually wash their hands after using the pisser, like to take the paper towel dispenser and rack the handle then let it go at the bottom so it slaps back up to the top. They can’t seem to move the handle were it makes little to no noise. Then there’s the metal bunks that have metal lock boxes underneath where inmates can lock up their property. The lid opens straight up from the bottom to the bunk, and to close the box all you have to do is hold the lid on the way down, but that is way too complicated for these mental midgets. They just slap the lid and let gravity do the rest causing a bang when the door hits the metal frame.
My job from midnight to six is to control the talking – there is NO TALKING, so I wonder around for the first half and hour and say, “Sir, there is no talking during the lock down hours. If you would like to communicate you will have to wait to six o’clock free movement. Thank you for your corporation.” Now if you believe that, I have stuff to sell. Hell, most inmates can’t even understand half of those words. See, if it was a maximum custody module you wouldn’t have to put up with this piddle stuff, because all maximum custody inmates have been to Department of Corrections. There they learn common courtesy really quick, and if you are a slow learner… well you’ll learn.
After the six o’clock unlock, the dragging of the plastic chairs across the floor made me snap. They weigh 20oz pick them up for God’s sake!
Denial of service
UPDATE --- 7/30/05 --- 11:30 AM PST: I just had a thought. Due to the fact that the Starkcast is featured on iTunes, the huge amount of traffic it receives might be responsible for the fact that the websites are down. From what I understand, all of them are hosted on the same server. I'll give Lee a call in a few minutes and see what's going on.
UPDATE --- 7/30/05 --- 3:10 PM PST: Lee isn't picking up his phone, which makes me believe that my worst fears might have come true: he's been abducted by aliens --- the same aliens he's been telling me about for years --- who are currently experimenting with him. More information to come as it's made available to me.
UPDATE --- 7/30/05 --- 3:30 PM PST: I just attempted to contact JimK, and received no response. A few days ago, JimK mentioned to me that Glenn Reynolds was parked outside of his house. I hypothesized that Reynolds might be feeling hostile towards JimK, due to the fact that JimK has a nationwide --- wait, scratch that --- worldwide podcast that is drawing fans of Instapundit. This might also explain why I heard breaking glass, following by the words, "I've gotta go! He's inside!" right before JimK hung up the phone.
UPDATE --- 7/30/05 --- 4:00 PM PST: The Starkcast has appeared on a mirror server, which means the reason the sites are not loading is due to the extremely high traffic/downloads the Starkcast is receiving. Here's a message from JimK:
My server blew up and may have taken the hard drives with it. But because I use Feedburner, I was able to resurrect my show by redirecting the RSS feed to Libsyn, and in a matter of a few hours I was back up and running and iTunes could see the new feed no problem.Oh well, so much for the aliens.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Charges Filed: Jose Luis Orozco
District Attorney Steve Cooley announced today that capital murder charges were filed against a Hawaiian Gardens gang member accused of gunning down Deputy Luis Gerardo (Jerry) Ortiz a month ago.
Cooley said Jose Luis Orozco was charged with murdering the 35-year-old deputy on June 24 outside a Hawaiian Gardens apartment. The complaint alleged three special circumstances that would make Orozco eligible for the death penalty: murder of a peace officer during performance of his duties, lying in wait and murder to avoid arrest.
“Deputy Ortiz was killed while investigating a shooting in which the defendant was a suspect,” Cooley said at a news conference at the Bellflower courthouse. “He was shot in the head and left dying on the ground while his killer ran away and tried to hide.
“Law enforcement officers like Deputy Ortiz are the last line of defense between criminals and the law-abiding citizens they protect. When one is killed, all of us lose. We will not let their killers go unpunished,” the District Attorney said.
Orozco, 27, was found hiding in a house a few doors away from the shooting some hours after Deputy Ortiz was slain. He was arrested and remained in custody on a parole hold.
“The defendant’s custody status gave Sheriff’s detectives and our prosecutors in the Crimes Against Police Officers Section (CAPOS) additional time to fully investigate this murder and the case on which Deputy Ortiz was working when he was killed,” Cooley said. “Having time to do the fullest investigation possible results in a stronger criminal case.”
Orozco is scheduled to appear in Bellflower Superior Court’s Division 3 at 1:45 p.m. today for arraignment.
The defendant, who lives in Hawaiian Gardens and also is known by the street moniker of Sepe, is charged in case No. VA089897 filed this morning by Deputy District Attorney Lowell Anger of CAPOS. Although filed as a capital case, the District Attorney’s office will decide closer to trial whether to seek the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Orozco is charged with one count of murder of a peace officer with the special circumstances of murder of a peace officer during performance of his duties, lying in wait and murder to avoid arrest. It was alleged the defendant personally used a handgun to commit the crime.
The complaint also alleged two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon for the June 24 murder of Ortiz and on June 20, when a man was shot and wounded in Hawaiian Gardens. It was that shooting that Deputy Ortiz was investigating when he was killed.
Deputy Ortiz was shot to death outside an apartment in the 12000 block of East 223rd Street. The deputy was with the Sheriff’s gang enforcement unit and was investigating the June 20 shooting. Authorities said he spotted Orozco shortly after 3 p.m. and chased him to the apartment. The killer was hiding behind the apartment’s front door.
The defendant was arrested five buildings away on 223rd Street shortly before midnight. A .38-caliber revolver believed to be the murder weapon was recovered.
Orozco also was charged with one count of attempted willful, deliberate, premeditated murder in connection with the June 20 shooting. The victim was shot while doing yard work at a home in the 22000 block of Joliet Avenue. He was hit in the back, but survived.
The complaint charged that the June 20 shooting was for furtherance of a street gang. The complaint also alleged prior convictions including auto burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting and executive officer. Orozco will be held without bail.
Joining Cooley at the news conference was Assistant Sheriff Doyle Campbell.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Getting smacked around
California's legal system frequently fails to issue and serve restraining orders in domestic-violence cases and even allows some abusers to own firearms, a critical report issued Tuesday said.
The report by the state Attorney General's Office also found there is no uniform protocol for serving or enforcing restraining orders; that mandatory education programs for offenders are not carried out; and that counties are failing to adequately update a weapons database with the names of domestic-violence abusers prohibited from possessing firearms.
"The laws on the books … need to be implemented and enforced," Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who commissioned the report, said during a news conference in San Francisco. "System fatigue is not a valid excuse."
The report, the result of two years of work by a task force assembled by Lockyer, laid out a history of institutional neglect toward domestic-violence victims, including the process of obtaining and enforcing restraining orders.
It noted that law enforcement agencies statewide received 186,439 domestic-violence calls in 2004 and made 46,353 arrests for spousal abuse, reflecting the scope of the problem.
Shooting from the side
The Feb. 6 shooting unfolded at the end of a brief chase in which Devin drove onto a sidewalk, then backed the stolen car toward officers at 83rd Street and Western Avenue in South Los Angeles.
Ever since, police investigators have been trying to determine whether the officer was standing directly in the path of the car or off to the side.
Police Chief William J. Bratton said Tuesday that by painstakingly reenacting the shooting, detectives had concluded that Officer Steve Garcia was standing to the side of Devin's red Toyota Camry when he fired 10 rounds into the vehicle, hitting Devin seven times.
The finding is potentially crucial, because Garcia has told investigators that he felt in danger as Devin backed the car toward him, leaving him no choice but to shoot, law enforcement sources say. LAPD rules allow an officer to fire at a moving vehicle if he believes his life or the lives of bystanders are in jeopardy.
Bratton, who plans to submit the department's report on the shooting to the district attorney's office next week, said he didn't believe that the results of the re-creation in themselves showed that Garcia acted criminally. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to file charges.
The reenactment showed that although Garcia was not behind Devin's vehicle when he fired, he had been within the car's path a few seconds earlier. Several LAPD sources said detectives were examining the possibility that Garcia drew his gun while behind the car but fired seconds later after moving to the side.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Worthwhile government spending, part 1
The United States may have to spend $40 billion a year deporting undocumented people, a new report says.In other words, this group claims it's too expensive to deport them, so their answer is to let them stay. That's the whiniest logic I've heard in a long time. Considering the fact that we have an administration that spends like drunken sailors, I don't think many people will turn away from spending the right amount of money to make sure their lives will be saved from potential terrorists crossing the border, as well as the constant unflux of illegals from Mexico. The vast majority of us support the spending in the war on terror, which has resulted in the spread of democracy to former tyrannic lands, so why not spend a few extra dollars to kick-out the people who don't belong here, and tighten border security?
The costs of deporting every undocumented person would be at least $206 billion over five years according to a new report released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress.
CAP, a Democratic-leaning think tank, described the report as the first-ever estimate of the costs of deporting every undocumented person in the United States and those who have successfully crossed the border with Mexico, which it estimates at around 10 million people.
Using publicly available data, the report, "Deporting the Undocumented: A Cost Assessment," estimates the costs of a mass deportation policy to be at least $41.2 billion annually.
I don't have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with is excessive spending on frivilous government programs, which do not include preventive measures such as border security and homeland defense.
Side Note: This is the first of the "Worthwhile government spending" posts, which I plan on continuing indefinitely. Look for The Jailer to chime-in with other worthwhile programs. It should be duly noted that because I support government defense programs, it doesn't mean I support many other government programs.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Dunphy on Pena
The misinformed opinions of politicians are another matter. Given their positions of responsibility, elected officials should be intelligent enough to know better. Some don't. Leading the list, predictably, is Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), who released a statement critical of the police officers involved in the Peña shooting. "I just wonder," the statement read, "if 11 well-trained police officers, including some from the sharpshooting elite SWAT team, could not have disabled this supposedly crazy and confused man."
UPDATE: Patterico agrees.
Keeping them poor
If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: The crime rate in Los Angeles isn't only a matter of complete losers who turn to gangs because they're too stupid to do anything else, it's also has a lot to do with people who don't want to work based on laziness alone. These people who don't want to work, or ruin their own lives by having eight kids by age 29, looking to Section 8 and various other forms of government assistance to pic up their slack, have absolutely no desire to make themselves or their communities a better place to live. Here's a great example of that.
In a hulking, tattered apartment building on Mott Street in Boyle Heights, four families share one bathroom and one stove.This is one of these times in life where I wonder if what I'm reading is actually something that is being proposed and taken seriously. Anyone outside of Los Angeles will have a hard time relating to this post, but these are the facts of the matter. East Los Angeles was once a nice part of LA, which you would have a hard time believing if you drove through it right now. In fact, I would dare most readers of this blog who aren't in law enforcement to drive though East Los Angeles with your windows down, absorbing the scenery. Since the late 50's (the 1950's, for our younger readers), East LA has been overrun with Hispanic gangs and gangsters. Drugs, mostly in the form of marijuana, moved into the community around the same time, at which point a police presence (via LASD Region 1, East LA Division, and LAPD's Hollenbeck station) helped the quash the violence that came with the combination of a sale of drugs and increasing poverty.
It is a lifestyle without dignity, said Guadalupe Lopez, whose family — nine in all — squeezes their beds, clothes, television and other belongings into two rooms on the second floor.
"We are people, human beings," she said. "To have to live like this is unbearable."
A nanny by day, Lopez, 46, is a housing advocate at night, chanting "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!" (The people united will never be defeated) at community meetings demanding better housing for the working poor.
Boyle Heights, a densely populated neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles, is changing; developments are going up and millions of dollars in government subsidies are poised to pour in.
Among plans for the area, a Santa Monica-based developer is finalizing drawings for a $300-million project of upscale condominiums and retail outlets at the landmark Sears building. If the project comes to fruition, affluence will gain a toehold in a community where the median household income is $24,821 and unemployment is 14%.
Some residents, including Lopez, wonder whether the project will make enough room for those who can't afford high rents or mortgages.
A coalition of community groups, made up of the East L.A. Community Corp., Union de Vecinos and Homeboy Industries, has galvanized a contingent of low-income residents — gardeners, maids, nannies, housewives and some small-business owners — urging them to speak up for affordable housing before it's too late.
Their plea is part of a citywide movement for zoning that would require developers to set aside units affordable to a family making below the area's median income.
For a community to "plea" for developers not to come in and develop nicer forms of housing, which in turn would get rid of the gang members who could no long afford to live there, I don't even know where to start. My first question to these community members would be to ask why they do not want for their own community to be a safer place, especially considering it will not cost them a penny out of pocket. I remember at one point in time when it was a routine, daily occurance for various police agencies to assign witness relocation teams to people in the community who dropped the dime on gangsters. Something like that would be stressful, at least until the point that the perpetrator went to jail, but if a form of Darwinism took effect, and the members of the community worried less about gang members because the gangsters couldn't survive in that community any longer, how could that not be a good thing? The answer is that it would be a great thing to force them out of the community.
In part, I blame the Los Angeles Times for issuing a victimhood-mentality pass to these people. Instead of reporting about how the community of Boyle Heights could be on its way back to how it was 60-plus years ago, they highlight the ire of the people who destroyed the community.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
The U.S. Mint Presents
Now, I Usually don’t pimp things, but this is pretty cool. Also since I am a former Marine I must pimp this coin; and because of the fact that I like shinny things.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Jumbo Jack and a nine
Police said the would-be victim of a robbery attempt early Thursday morning at a drive-through restaurant shot and killed the assailant.
The robbery attempt occurred at a Jack In The Box at Lincoln Boulevard and Grant Street in Santa Monica.
Police said two men were waiting in a van in the drive-through at about 4:30 a.m. Authorities said a masked man approached the passenger side of the vehicle.
During a struggle, the passenger was stabbed and the assailant brandished a gun, according to authorities. Police said the driver retrieved a gun from the back seat of the vehicle and shot the assailant.
Santa Monica police said the suspect died at the scene.
This once again proves my point that you should never try to come between a man and his breakfast.
A good way to get fired
Lee also notices that news channels tend to push worthwhile reporting to the side in favor of beautiful women who garner ratings. Since I get most of my news from the net, I can't really say that I mind.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Stupid is as……
A teenager with a bad attitude was slapped with a contempt of court citation, then subdued by deputies when he tried to fight his way out of Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday.There is dumb then there is dumb.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Comments and trackbacks
If you would like to see your comment(s) again, feel free to leave them in the post of your choice. The same goes for trackbacks.
Success: Operation Swift Intruder
A press release by the multi-agency task force investigating the gang had described the case in far more sweeping terms: "21 members of San Fernando Valley Street Gang Named in Second Federal Indictment," the release stated. "Vineland Boys Street Gang Dismantling Continues in Massive Police Action."
Authorities have been arresting and pursuing members of the Vineland Boyz for more than a year and a half since the killing of Mathew Pavelka, a rookie Burbank police officer, in November 2003. David Garcia, whom police have described as a member of the gang, was arrested a few days after the killing and has been charged with the murder.
Check mate. The Vineland Boyz were a pretty tough gang, despite the fact that they didn't originate in South Central, nor any surrounding areas. Instead, they were born into a San Fernando Valley, an area that is on my list as a current gang hot spot. I've worked nights in that area, and been in situations that rivaled the worst that I've seen in some of Los Angeles' more hardcore areas. If I have to make a bet, I'd say that the San Fernando Valley, as well as the surrounding areas, are going to be major targets for gang violence in the next five years. About ten years ago I saw the movement of Asian gangs move from the Central Los Angeles area into Northridge and Reseda, and I believe the same areas will see a rise in Latin gangs as well.
That's just one more reason why Los Angeles needs more cops in every available agency.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Behind the red curtain
Eric Leonard over at KFI 640 AM reported on some research that was made available to us this morning, and after a quick web search, I noticed that the pieces fit, making this more than just rumor and solidifying it as actual fact. The protestors down in Watts weren't the angry community members we were led to believe they were, instead, they're street gangs and members of the Community Party / Socialist Party. This confirms something else that I knew all along --- that I smelled a rat, or rather a bunch of rats, in the mix.
As anyone in law enforcement, and more and more people in the intelligence community will tell you, the website Indymedia has been a bastian of communist and socialist net-meeting and socializing since the day it was started. I dove into the red waters and found this piece about the Pena situation, which confirms the warnings we received, as well as Leonard's report.
Jose Raul Peña, aged 34, died of multiple gunshot wounds, and his daughter, Suzie Marie Peña, who was less than 2 years old, died after being shot once in the head in a shootout with the LAPD in Watts. That afternoon, the had police received a report that a man was firing random shots. When they went into the area they encountered Raul with Susie in his arms. Shots were exchanged and Raul went back into the office of his auto dealership. Several of Raul's family members begged police to let them go in and talk to Raul because they felt they could talk him into surrendering, but the police refused. 80-100 cops came into the area and laid siege to the place. Raul was on the phone with family members and people in the neighborhood during the 3 hour siege. He was also negotiating with the cops by phone. "I can tell you now I have SWAT officers having tremendous emotional problems. They are getting therapy. Some may not be coming back to work," an Assistant Police Chief said afterwards.
Watts community residents took the streets in response to the shooting of 17 month old Susie Lopez who was shot in the head with a rifle by the LAPD.
This propaganda avoids every fact of the matter, and makes it sound as if Pena is some sort of saint who was simply avoiding a shakedown by the LAPD, and protecting himself and his daughter. If you take note of the lines, "Raul was on the phone with family members and people in the neighborhood during the 3 hour siege. He was also negotiating with the cops by phone," they fail to mention that he was taking shots at officers, holding his older daughter hostage, and using his 19-month old as a human shield. Instead, this report makes it sound as if he was the good guy, and the officers were targeting him for a hit.
Let's see what the communists and socialists do when the 9-1-1 tape comes out and the truth is revealed. It's hard to hide the details and push an agenda when the cold, hard facts of the case are staring you straight in the eyes.
UPDATE --- 7/19/05 --- 11:00 PM PST: I would like to extend a personal welcome to readers from LAPD Wife and GOP Vixen, two sites I visit many times during the day. Please feel free to raid the fridge and make yourselves at home.
Just Push Reset
On Saturday, May 30th 2005, I was assigned as the Booking Officer from 0000 to 0800 hours. A combative subject (Clarke) who was in holding cell 1E3, started to bang his restraints on the glass of 1E3. Inmate Clarke had previously been placed in two sets of handcuffs connected end-to-end due to his large girth. Inmate Clarke was able to pass the hand irons under his legs so the restraints were in front of him. Sergeant XXXX and Deputies One, Two, Three and I went into 1E3 to restrain Inmate Clarke with one set of handcuffs behind his back.After the incident this inmate went from wanting to fight everyone to, “Yes Sir, No Sir.” He kept rubbing his forehead and stating, “Man, did someone kick my ass?’
Inmate Clarke was instructed to kneel on the bench of 1E3. I was holding Inmate Clarke’s right arm while Deputy One was removing the restraints. Inmate Clarke tried to pull away from me and started to turn around on the bench. Deputy One and Two secured Inmate Clarke to the bench, as I secured his right arm. Inmate Clarke continued to pull away and was placed on the floor of 1E3 for better control. As inmate Clarke was being moved from the bench to the floor he struck his head on the floor. Deputy Three secured Inmate Clarke’s feet. Deputy One and Two secured his left arm and I secured the right arm.
Deputy Two placed handcuffs on Inmate Clarke, checked them for proper fit and double locked them. A spit hood covered inmate Clarke’s head as a precaution. We left him lying on his right side on the floor of 1E3. The nurse due to the large bump forming in the middle of his forehead checked inmate Clarke.
Another Victim of Gun Violence
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police said a woman shot an intruder after he broke into her home near 34th Street and Norton early Monday morning.I wonder if the Million Mom March will add this story to their “A million stories of why we march?”
The man was shot in the head. He is in serious condition at a hospital.
KMBC's Brenda Washington reported that there were four young children inside the home at the time. The homeowner told a friend that she felt she had no choice but to shoot after the man started to break in the door of her infant daughter's bedroom.
"I don't know what happened after that, but she said she had to protect herself and the baby. I understand that," said a friend of the homeowner.
"I think I would have done the same thing if someone broke in on me and my kids. To protect us, I would do the same thing," neighbor Sharon Bedford said.
Neither the woman nor her children were hurt.
Friends told Washington that the intruder was a former boyfriend. The shooting is under investigation.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Starkcast, part 10
The Starkcast: Get it here in MP3 or here in bookmarkable AAC.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Friend On Drudge
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Contest: Name this picture
If you said "Jose Pena," you guessed right. In Watts at this very moment, protestors are doing what they do best --- holding up signs and threatening to riot --- claiming the LAPD targeted an innocent person in an assassination attempt. Included in this not very well thought out conspiracy theory is the claim that they targeted the 19-month old child as well.
The picture you see above is Jose Pena holding the 19-month old baby girl, Suzie Pena, and using her as a human shield as he takes shots at LAPD officers and SWAT team members with a handgun. As I said before, the only person responsible for her death is Jose Pena.
See here, here, and here for complete details and history of this incident.
UPDATE --- 7/17/05 --- 12:15 PM PST: A hearty welcome to all readers from Patterico's Pontifications!! Please make yourselves at home. There's lots of fun stuff to do, so feel free to wander around.
Sacramento Sheriff's Department's "Worst Day"
To leave a reflection at The Officer Down Memorial Page, Deputy Sheriff Kevin Blount, Deputy Sheriff Joseph Kievernagel
SoCal Legal Watch: UCLA Law School Chair
Regrettably, it turns out that there's actually no physical chair involved, though maybe I could just rename my chair the Gary T. Schwartz Chair. Gary was a torts scholar, so perhaps that will decrease my chance of having accidents in the chair -- or would it increase the chance?
Introduction: The Glorified Jailer
When it was time to get this blog going, I knew that I had to get a hold of the Jailer after the many wonderful topics we've discussed on blogs and websites such as Right Thinking, Drumwaster's Rants, and Right Thoughts. He's sharp, retains the ability to pick-up on key facts of criminal cases, and knows his way around the justice system. Feel free to pick his brain, and please give him a warm welcome by leaving a few nice comments.
Watts, CA: Officer, 19 month old baby injured in shooting (part 3)
The LAPD went on a citywide tactical alert at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, after two crowds gathered in South Los Angeles -- one forming at 84th Street and Towne Avenue, where a short pursuit ended and a second at 104th Street and Avalon Boulevard, where protesters demonstrated over against the weekend's officer-involved shooting that left a baby and her father dead.Let's get one thing straight: The only person responsible for the death of this child, Suzie Pena, is Jose Pena, the man who was holding her and using her tiny body as a human shield. Anyone who picks up a child and holds her body in front of bullets in an attempt to save their own pitiful life should never be looked at as a victim. Any group or individual who is claiming the LAPD should have waited to use sharpshooters, or taken another course of action would have been screaming bloody murder if the LAPD had decided to wait it out and let him expel all of his ammo shooting sky-high and at who knows what. This man, Jose Pena, was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine, and using the security equipment inside of his business to track the movements of the officers outside of the building. News reports indicate that the SWAT team member who was shot in the shoulder received the injury from a bullet that flew through a wall due to Pena's use of CCTV cameras. When the officers returned fire, the baby was caught in the action and died. It's not the fault of the LAPD, it's the fault of the man who put the baby in that situation in the first place.
Frankly, I don't see how any rational human being can see it any other way without having an obvious agenda.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Dad, Can I Have The Keys To The Meth Lab?
NEAR PORTAGE (NEWS 3) - A fire at a Kalamazoo County home uncovered a meth lab that, at the time of the blaze, was in the control of a 13-year-old boy.
It happened in the 12000 block of 39th Street in Wakeshma Township. According to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department, the 13-year-old was left in charge of the residence while meth was being cooked. The fire started when the home's curtains caught on fire.
The boy has been turned over to his mother and was taken to the hospital to make sure he was not affected by inhaling the dangerous chemicals used in the making of meth.
A 54-year-old who lives at the home where the meth lab was operating will face drug and child abuse charges.
This time, I was in a hurry to get home so I drove by the Detention Center. I noticed a just released inmate leaving the front lobby and walking across the street. You always can tell an inmate that has just be released. They usually have a brown paper sack with all their crap in it, and their clothes are all wrinkled from being in the property bags. As this numb-nuts is walking across the street combing out his mullet, I see his family waiting for him across the street next to a beater car. There are two females one guy and three kids, all of them were clapping and waving and the little kids were jumping up and down. It was if he had just slayed a lion in the coliseum and was coming out to meet his adoring fans. The only thing missing were the flowers and stupid party hats.
I looked back at my little one and thought – what a bunch of idiots. Since when did committing a crime and going to jail for a period of time count as an accomplishment? It was this fools choice to commit a crime and separate himself from his family. Then they cheer him on like his is some hero for sitting in jail playing cards and watching television while they are out supporting his children. I use “supporting” children loosely. If you show your kid that going to jail is something to be proud of, do you not think they will follow in your footsteps? This is why I go to work (instead of jail), because I could not stand being separated from my family. This scene just drove me crazy… it was wrong on so many different levels, and I don’t just mean the mullet.
Watts, CA: Officer, 19 month old baby injured in shooting (part 2)
I like to let the facts speak for themselves. Here's information from the LAPD in regard to the Force Investigative Division (FID) inquiry that is still going on.
Prior to the incident that precipitated the encounter with Peña, his wife made a Domestic Terrorist report to Southeast officers, at about 2 PM, after Peña had threatened the wife, the stepdaughter and the baby. Officers were unable to locate Peña at the time of that investigation.
Almost two hours later, Peña’s stepdaughter called 9-1-1and reported that Peña had threatened her. Prior to police arriving, a dispatcher called back and the stepdaughter answered, but the call was abruptly ended. Dispatchers upgraded the urgency of the call to an “unknown trouble.” Patrol officers arrived just after 4 PM and Peña began shooting almost immediately, using the infant as a shield.
Over the next hour, the 17-year-old stepdaughter was able to escape from Peña’s location, rescued under fire from Peña, by LAPD officers. The rescue of this family member provided valuable information to crisis negotiators and officers at the scene. She said Peña had threatened to kill her, the baby, the wife and himself; he was very unstable and under the influence of cocaine and alcohol. Police already knew Peña was shooting at them, as well as shooting indiscriminately across the neighborhood.
Patrol officers were able to establish phone contact with Peña by about 5 PM, and crisis negotiators were talking to him soon after, but he abruptly ended that contact by 5:35 PM, with no further contact until about 6:30 PM when the last of the three shooting encounters occurred, when Peña was killed and the baby was found dead.
It seems pretty cut and dry to me. I must commend Chief Bratton for sticking up for the department by not taking any guff in relation to the comments made in the media about the shooter being some kind of hero. Most of those comments can be found in Spanish-language outlets, and as soon as they appear on the web, I'll be providing links with translation(s).
“[Whatever the results] it will change nothing having to do with the circumstances of the case. If it is found that the child died at the hands of the police department, it compounds the tragedy; it compounds the grief of this Department and our officers, in that they would have taken such a young life when they were trying to rescue that young life, but it will not change any thing relative to what we were working with: a very volatile, unstable individual, who, in many respects, left us no choice but to take the actions we took.”
Reiterating, it was Peña who was shooting at police and the neighborhood; it was Peña who was trying to kill his 17-year-old stepdaughter; it was Peña who was making threats to kill himself and his family; he told officers he was not going to jail; and it was he who was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“He [Peña] was showing no predilection to give up,” Chief Bratton added. “He had already attempted to kill his 17-year-old stepdaughter in full view of your [media] cameras. Our mission was to rescue that child and protect the safety of our officers and the public.”
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Guilty: Steve Sugerman (Fleishman-Hillard)
Steve Sugerman's formal guilty plea in the Fleishman-Hillard case, expected on July 5, finally came Monday. He copped to three counts and sentencing was put off to March 20, presumably after the trials of former Fleishman execs Doug Dowie and John Stodder. Sugerman is expected to be a key prosecution witness and receive leniency. Sugerman originally managed Fleishman's billings to the DWP that are in dispute.
Convicted: Gang member, South Central LA
One down, half of a city to go.
A Los Angeles jury convicted a street gang member today of the first-degree murder of a 13-year-old boy near a church in South Los Angeles two years ago.
The jury also found true the special circumstances that the murder was a street gang killing and that the shots that killed Joseph Swift were fired from a motor vehicle. The jury late today also convicted the defendant of two counts of attempted murder. They found that one of the attempted murders was premeditated, but that the other was not.
On Friday, the jury found Collier guilty of five additional counts of attempted murder and one of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
The Great Flood
On Thursday, January 12, 2005, at 1836 hours, I was assigned as the 7B Module Officer from 1600 to 0000 hours, in the Kaw County Adult Detention Center. Inmate Titian pressed his emergency call button located in cell 7B-9 upper tier. I asked Inmate Titian what his emergency was, but he did not answer. All I could hear through the intercom was the sound of running water. I noticed a large amount of water cascading down the right module stair case coming from cell 7B-9. In the window of the cell I could see Inmate Titian's face pressed to the glass of the cell window attempting to mouth something at me. I noticed a large amount of water coming down on his head thru the cell window.An audio and visual fire alarm activated as Central Control announced a Code 300, Fire and Water Flow Alarm, over the all call intercom system. I repeatedly told Inmate Titian to exit his cell over the intercom, as I used the panel to unlock cell 7B-9 Inmate Titian did not comply with my orders he was unable to hear the intercom or the door cycle due to the large amount of water coming down on his head. I then proceed to cell 7B-9 and using my keys unlocked the cell. As the cell door opened Inmate Titian was washed out of his cell with about a foot and a half of water. I check to see if Inmate Titian was alright.Sergeant XXXXX, Deputy One, and Deputy Two entered the 7B Module. The 7 Control Officer informed me over the radio that the high-pressure industrial sprinkler system had been shut off from the Control Center. The water continued to flow for five minutes before it stopped completely. Inmates were evacuated from cells 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 20 to the 7B recreation area due to water flowing into the cells and flooding of the day-room. Due to odor and the stagnate water staining his uniform, Inmate Titian was issued a new uniform and allowed to shower. I interviewed Inmate Titian about the sprinkler head break. Inmate Titian informed me that he was cold so he covered the sprinkler with a towel. I asked Inmate Titian why he didn't cover the air vent in the room instead, since air doesn't come out of the sprinkler head. Inmate Titian informed me he that was messing with the sprinkler head and it started to leak. Then, Inmate Titian pushed the intercom button in the cell to inform me of the leak, and that's when the sprinkler went off.Inmate Titian was taken to medical because of bruising and small skin lacerations due to high pressure water coming from the sprinkler.
Monday, July 11, 2005
“Two Cents” Lets Do It Like the Chinese
so I have posted the complete article.
This must be a great comfort to her, her family, and the community at large.
Prosecutors charged a convicted rapist late Monday afternoon in the July 2 attack of a 17-year-old Olathe girl who was walking on Indian Creek Greenway Trail. Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison filed a charge of rape against Matthew J. Cullen, 27, in the incident. Cullen, a former Olathe resident, was picked up Thursday on a parole violation and has been held in the Wyandotte County jail since then. He had been living in a halfway house in Kansas City, Kan. Morrison said because Cullen was incarcerated Thursday, it gave his office time to collect solid evidence against him through forensic testing and other evidence before filing the formal charge.As long as his rights weren’t violated everything will be alright; and for the 14-year old girl who was handcuffed with her hands behind her back, and then shoved head first into a toilet, while some scumbag was attempting to rape her....
Olathe police reported that the attack took place at about 4:45 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon as the 17-year-old girl was walking on the trail. She reported that a man she didn't know approached her and spoke with her and asked her to look at something off the path. Away from the trail, she said the man attacked and sexually assaulted her. A passing cyclist saw what was happening, and the suspect fled on foot. Morrison said Cullen was a suspect from early in the investigation based on the victim's physical description of him and his prior offenses.
Cullen pleaded guilty in July 2000 to the 1999 rape of a 14-year-old girl. According to testimony in the 1999 case, the girl was acquainted with Cullen and let him into her home when he asked to use the telephone. He handcuffed her hands behind her back and shoved her head into a toilet while trying to rape her. She fought back, and Cullen fled the house. He was arrested nearby.
Prosecutors charged him with rape and kidnapping in that case, but dropped the kidnapping charge in a plea bargain. Cullen pleaded guilty to raping the girl and received a sentence of 10 years and two months in prison, double the normal sentence. The U.S. and Kansas Supreme Courts later ruled the type of extended sentence Cullen received unconstitutional, and he filed an appeal that resulted in his sentence being cut in half. Morrison again filed the kidnapping charge he had once dropped for the plea bargain.
"If you want to get the benefit of a plea deal, then take it, but you can't have it both ways," Morrison said. "... I didn't think it was fair, and I was angry because I felt like the public got taken advantage of by Matthew Cullen." The kidnapping charge against Cullen went to the Kansas Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional in December 2004. "They said, 'You can't do that,' and effectively cut him loose," Morrison said. "So this is what happens."
Morrison said Cullen's is one of the most frustrating sex offender cases the district attorney's office has prosecuted in the last decade because of the court struggle and his early release. "It's just unfortunate that people have to get hurt," he said. Morrison said he wanted to keep Cullen behind bars after his first conviction. "We obviously consider him to be a very dangerous and active sex offender," he said. Cullen was released from the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections on May 11, less than two months before the attack on the 17-year-old Olathe girl. Cullen's first appearance in court has not been scheduled yet. Morrison said it could be as early as today. Cullen's bond will be set at that appearance.
Well she'll just have to suck it up.
On Tuesday, January 18, 2005, at 1836 hours, I was assigned as the 5D Module Officer from 1600 to 0000 hours, in the Kaw County Adult Detention Center. Inmate Parker refused to lock down into his cell at the 1800 hour, lock down. Inmate Parker told me that he was not going to his cell due to the commando's from Sudan awaiting him in his cell. Inmate Parker would not look at at me but appeared to be looking at one specific place, but it was hard to determine due to his lazy right eye. Inmate Parker would stare into an area and nod, "No." Inmate Parker further stated that if he was in his cell he would miss the pick up time, and he needed a little time to think about joining the commandos. I told Inmate Parker that he could think about if he wanted to join the commandos in his cell, and if they showed up I would let him out. Inmate Parker then stated, "I just have to do a test of loyalty." Inmate Parker attempted to strike me in the face.
I was able to avoid being struck by Inmate Parker, and returned a knee strike to the common peroneal nerve in his upper leg. The strike cause Inmate Parker to fall to the ground. I secured Inmate Parker to the ground by placing my knee on the back of his neck while leaning on his back with my feet on the ground - which allowed me to control the pressure I placed on his back. A Code 100 was called by the Central Control Officer. (Officer needs assistance) I continued to secure Inmate Parker to the ground until the response team arrived to the module. Inmate Parker yelled, "You have beaten me. I have failed in my task to over-throw you!"
The Sergeant and several officers arrived to the module and assisted in securing Inmate Parker. As Inmate Parker was being lifted from the floor he attempted to kick me but missed. He was taken to the ground by the response team which placed him in "full" and "transport" restraints. Inmate Parker stated, "I have failed again." Inmate Parker was taken to 1H for transportation to the Downtown facility and placement into Administrative Segregation.
Inmate Parker was issued the following citations, 76980 for Major 308, Refusal to Obey an Order; and 76981 for Major 307, Interference with Facility Operations and/or Staff Duties.
A use of Force Form #0992 was completed.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Watts, CA: Officer, 19 month old baby injured in shooting
UPDATE --- 7/10/05 --- 10:05 PM PST: The shooter was killed by return fire from the officers. FOX News (Los Angeles bureau) has the details.
Los Angeles police say officers have shot and killed a man who emerged from a home carrying a baby and fired at them following an hours-long standoff. Police say an officer suffered a gunshot wound and officers also shot the 19-month-old baby. Police did not say how badly the baby was injured. The standoff began at around 3:45 PM when officers responded to an area west of Watts because residents reported a man behaving erratically and aggressively. The suspect, who was not immediately identified, fired at the officers and ran inside a home. LAPD spokeswoman Officer April Harding says he took two people hostage. The man emerged at around 5:30 and began shooting at officers while holding the baby. Officers returned fire.UPDATE --- 7/10/05 --- 10:18 PM PST: Word from news AM radio news sources is that the baby has died at the hospital. What kind of spineless hunk of flesh uses a poor, defenseless baby as a shield? There's a special place in hell for people like that.
UPDATE --- 7/11/05 --- 4:25 PM PST: The previous FOX News (Los Angeles Channel 11) link seems to have expired, but Chief Bratton of the LAPD held a press conference that details the incident from yesterday. Here's details from NBC.
Jose Lemos (pictured, left), 35, and his 18-month-old daughter were both killed in a shootout with LAPD officers Sunday night. A police officer, identified only as a father of five, was shot in the shoulder and was expected to survive.Tragic story.
Crimes Against Peace Officers: G8 protestors attack SFPD
Billed as the "West Coast Anti-Capitalist Convergence and March against the G8," the protest drew anarchists who used sticks, poles and skateboards to break windows of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and a Wells Fargo Bank. Protesters also overturned news boxes at several intersections along Valencia Street to prevent police from driving up those streets, witnesses said.
Someone threw a large foam mattress under a police car, Oropeza said, and when police got out of the car at 23rd and Bartlett Street they were swarmed by protesters.
"One officer was hit in the head with an unknown object and has a serious head injury," Oropeza said. The officer was taken to San Francisco General, and his name will be released after the family is notified.
Michelle Malkin has more links to third party websites as well as political reactions to this incident.
UPDATE --- 7/10/05 --- 6:51 PM PST: Wizbang also follows this story with pictures of the officer who was attacked.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Profiling: Is it worth it?
“Oh no!” I hear you say. “We can’t treat certain people to increased scrutiny. That’s just not fair!” I agree. It’s not fair to law-abiding Muslims that the vast majority of terror attacks are carried out by their religious and ethnic brethren. It’s also not fair to law-abiding citizens for governments to ignore
Consider this scenario: 12 people are getting on a plane. 6 are men of European descent, and 6 are men of Middle-Eastern descent. You are required to search half of the men. Which ones do you search? Your answer depends on what you hope to accomplish. If you hope to search the people who are most likely to pose a threat, you’ll search the 6 Middle-Eastern men. If you are more concerned with making your search selection appear random, you’ll search 3 men from each group. It’s not that all Muslims are terrorists. Far from it. It’s that almost all terrorists are Muslim, so in any group of people, the Muslim male (or sometimes even the Muslim female) is the one who is most likely to be a terrorist. If you do not search the people who are most likely to be a terrorist, you have a goal other than maximizing the safety of citizens.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Terrorist Attack: London
Terror struck in the heart of London on Thursday as explosions ripped through three subway trains and blasted the roof off a crowded red double-decker bus. At least 37 people were killed and more than 700 wounded in the deadliest attack on the city since the blitz in World War II.If this doesn't convince some people that we must attack terrorists and terrorism, two closely related, yet vastly differing entities, then I don't know what to say. I've been working on a long, yet detailed post about terrorism and the mindstate of terrorists that I'll be posting soon.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair blamed Islamic extremists and said the bombings were designed to coincide with the opening in Scotland of a G-8 summit of the world's most powerful leaders. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the bombings — which came the day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics — have the "hallmarks of an al-Qaida-related attack."
London police said they could confirm at least 37 people had been killed. But French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said the death toll was 50, citing a conversation with his British counterpart, and Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Friday said the toll was 52; he did not disclose the source of his information.
Police said there had been no warning and that the blasts at three subway stations went off within 26 minutes, starting at 8:51 a.m. in an Underground train just outside the financial district. Authorities initially blamed a power surge but realized it was a terror attack after the bus bombing near the British Museum at 9:47 a.m. — less than an hour after the first explosion.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff issued a statement, asking state and local law enforcement agencies to be aware of any possible threats.
We have asked state and local leaders and transportation officials to increase their protective measures, including additional law enforcement police, bomb detecting canine teams, increased video surveillance, spot-testing in certain areas, added perimeter barriers, extra intrusion detection equipment, and increased numbers of inspection of trash receptacles and other storage areas.Per Kevin Roderick, the LAPD and LASD issued a modified tactical alert over Los Angeles City and County, respectively.
We ask the public to remain alert and to report any suspicious activity, particularly in or around transportation systems to local police authorities. But we are not suggesting that people avoid public transportation systems; rather we are asking that they use those systems, but with an increased awareness of their surroundings.
In response to the London bombings, the LAPD is on modified tactical alert and the operations command center has been activated. It's a precaution and not due to a specific threat, Mayor Villaraigosa said at a press conference just after 7 a.m. with Chief Bratton and Sheriff Baca.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Website: LASD murder highlights
Sheriff Lee Baca has launched LACountyMurders.com, a website to publicize homicide stats and spread information about suspects and victims. There is an edge of scare tactic about it. The site's purpose, it says, is "educate the citizens of Los Angeles County of the potential violence that lurks within every community in this county."I think this is great. It's unfortunate that people don't realize how many murders occur in LA county. As it stands right now, most police agencies are overburdened with the amount of investigations their homicide and robbery/homicide bureaus are working, and relief isn't anywhere in sight. I see more cases come in on a daily basis that need attention, but the fact of the matter is that the manpower isn't there to handle them, and budgeting doesn't allow for more LEO's to be hired. Public awareness of the amazingly high rate of crime in Los Angeles county is one of the only forms of a forward-deployable offensive that we can rely on right now, and the dynamic statistics on this webpage that highlight the crime statistics should help raise the idea in peoples heads that we are up against the wall right now.
There's a great quote from a Los Angeles Times article about LASD detectives that was written back in 1977. I've heard various quotes from this article via word of mouth storytelling, but this is the first time that I've seen it in print.
“You want to know why the Sheriff’s conviction rate is so much higher in homicide, not just last year, but for several years? It is because the guys from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are a bunch of bulldogs.”That is how crime used to be fought. Detectives would stay on the case until it was solved, and the public would do their best to help the investigating officers. These days, the citizens who the officers are helping instantly pick up the phone and dial their local two-bit lawyer once their emergency dies down, in order to find out how much money they can make off a false police brutality charge.
“From the time they are called to the murder scene, until we prosecutors get the case through the courts, they never let go....and I mean on every murder case, not just the high publicity cases....”
“They are routinely tenacious, and the investigator assigned to the case sticks with it until the end. There is no shuttling cases to somebody else... . With the Sheriff’s people, if you need follow-up done, they are marvelous; they are super. They even give you their home phone numbers in volunteering to help out.”