Sunday, November 27, 2005


Sunday Morning Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-- Robert Frost

Saturday, November 26, 2005


California Highway Patrol: CHP officer shot, fugitive on the run, investigation underway

Never let it be said that criminals won't keep doing the stupidest acts known to man. Another great example of that is this genius who decided that it would be a good idea to pull a gun on a CHP officer.

ONTARIO - During what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, a California Highway Patrol officer was shot and wounded after he pulled over a speeding car on the 15 Freeway on Friday afternoon, causing traffic to back up for several miles.

The CHP officer pulled the car over on the southbound 15 just north of the Jurupa Street exit at 2:40 p.m., said Ontario police Officer Craig Ansman.

For whatever reason, the driver fired on the officer a short time later, Ansman said.

"He makes a traffic stop," Ansman explained. "He starts talking to the driver, he starts issuing a traffic violation. Gunfire ensues, and he's hit. He was hit in the lower extremities."

"The officer was struck several times, but was able to return fire," said Ontario police Officer Bill Russell during a press conference Friday evening.

The officer was then able to get back to his patrol car and radio for help, Russell said.

The officer, whose name was not released, was transported to an undisclosed local hospital for treatment of his wounds. He was listed in stable condition, Ansman said.

There isn't a single law enforcement agency within 1,000 miles that isn't on the lookout for this guy right now. I'll post updates as they're made available.

UPDATE: Looks like we have a name:

Police have released the name of a suspect they say shot and wounded a California Highway Patrol officer on Interstate 15 near Ontario yesterday afternoon.

A manhunt is under way for 37-year-old Jaime Zavala Garcia of Mira Loma.

It figures that he would be a local, but I'm still interested to know why he pulled a gun on the CHP officer. Warrants? Expired tags? Recent divorce? You make the call.

UPDATE: It appears that the US Marshals have picked him up in Kansas with the assistance of local agencies.

A man suspected of shooting and wounding a California Highway Patrol officer on Friday was arrested in a small city in Kansas Sunday afternoon.

Jaime Zavala Garcia, 37, of Mira Loma was arrested along with his brother, 43-year-old Antonio Garcia Zavala of Hesperia, during a traffic stop in Liberal, Kan., Ontario police Detective Dave McBride said.

As of late Sunday evening, Ontario police were still awaiting official confirmation of Garcia's identity, but, McBride said, they are "sure" they have the right men.

Kansas police were given investigative leads by the United States Marshals, McBride said, leading them to begin surveillance on the home of an acquaintance.

Shortly after the surveillance began, the two men were seen getting into a vehicle outside the home, he said.

Garcia and Zavala were arrested without incident during a traffic stop a short distance from the home, McBride said.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005


December 13, 2005: Stanley "Tookie" Williams will die (part 4 of a series)

As I predicted, the "Save Tookie" crowd is going overboard, now screaming about how those of us who hope that Stanley "Tookie" Williams will meet his maker on December 13th are racist, and racially motivated in our desire to see justice carried out. Jasmyne Cannick, an activist who supports Tookie and claims that anyone who doesn't support him is a savage racist, has decided to levy a complaint to the FCC about John and Ken. As I mentioned in the first post, John and Ken started their "Tookie Must Die" campaign in order to provide information to those who want to know why Tookie is on death row, that might otherwise be drowned in the screams and yells of those who support Tookie. To demonstrate the sheer idiocy of Cannick, here's what the Reuters report has:

Supporters of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the street gang leader and convicted killer facing execution in three weeks, have filed a federal complaint against a Los Angeles radio station for a "Tookie Must Die" campaign by two talk-show hosts.

The Federal Communications Commission complaint, dated Tuesday, charges "racist and inflammatory statements" by KFI AM talk-show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou and comes amid an escalating political battle over Williams, who has been embraced by death-penalty activists and some celebrities.

Williams, 51, the Crips gang founder, is scheduled to die on December 13 unless granted clemency by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Williams was convicted of shooting Albert Lewis Owens to death during a February 27, 1979, convenience store holdup and of killing three members of Asian-American family while robbing their motel.

"If any other radio station set aside an hour as 'President Bush Must Die' and set forth in that hour to incite a riot among people and to call for the death of the president, that station would be in trouble," Williams supporter Jasmyne Cannick wrote to the FCC. "There is no difference with the 'Tookie Must Die/ Kill Tookie' hour on KFI 640 AM."

Cannick said Kobylt and Chiampou were being racially insensitive by calling for the execution of Williams, who is black, in a city that saw more than 50 people die in race riots after the 1992 acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the racially charged Rodney King case.

I don't know why a major news organization such as Reuter would give Cannick the time of day, but I'm guessing it's because the words "racist" and "riot" appear in her press release. There's nothing racist about John and Ken's "Tookie Must Die" campaign. Cannick is trying to draw some comparison by saying that if a radio station ran a campaign calling for the assassination of President Bush, then the station would be in trouble. You better believe they would be, and I can't think of a single reason why they shouldn't be. However, we're not talking about killing the President of the free world --- we're talking about a fully legal, voted on (by a jury of twelve) execution for a criminal who not only created one of the worst street gangs in history, but a killer who murdered four people in cold blood. If Cannick can't figure this out on her own, I don't even know what to tell you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


"The gate's broken and the door on the trailer's open"

Guess who's a bit angry about the fact that their land is being used by Mexican nationals to run drugs and bodies across the border? You guessed it, guys on horseback who have guns. Big guns, to be exact, such as M-16 A2's with wooden grips and full-sized clips. Roger McCaslin is one of those guys, and he's one of the many who are
taking matters into their own hands to stop the flow of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

As he careered along the rock-strewn gulley towards his silver mine deep in the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, Roger McCaslin first checked his bowie knife, then his pistol, and finally his Kalashnikov. From the road, he had already noticed that something was wrong.

"The gate's broken and the door on the trailer's open. They've been here, I know it," he said ominously. "I just hope they've moved on - for their sake."

Under the harsh sun, Mr McCaslin's black cowboy hat cast a shadow over his droopy moustache and a face so deeply creased that it resembled cracked saddle leather.

Welcome to the Wild West 2005, where modern-day cowboys still guard their land from interlopers - but using AK47s and four-wheel drives instead of Winchester rifles and horses.

Mr McCaslin's small mine sits on a knoll of red earth and scrub near the Mexican border. Like his 19th-century predecessors, he is sure there is money in "them thar hills" after a geological survey indicated there may be rich veins of silver.

Today, however, he has other priorities. For the mine also sits in the middle of a network of trails used by heavily-armed Mexican trafficking gangs to smuggle people and drugs into America.

Notoriously porous, the border has reached new levels of lawlessness this year as smugglers, known as "coyotes", have become increasingly brazen, willing to fire on anyone - from border patrols to the likes of Mr McCaslin - who gets in their way.

I think I'd be a little bit mad if my property was being used for illegal activities, too. As you can see, horseback riders save the day again.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


GPS: Saving lives left, right, and center

GPS has done a wonderful job of saving the lives of people who are lost and have no idea of what direction to turn. You can go on the web and read the stories of people who were stuck in deserts, mountains, ravines, and even major metropolitan areas who relied on GPS to get them home safely. However, another aspect I like about GPS is the fact that it can track people, specifically convicted sexual offenders who might decide that it's a good idea to wander into playground every now and then.
A global position monitoring program that tracks sexual offenders has resulted in an arrest.

The arrest is the first in Orange County attributed to the system, which was introduced last month as part of a pilot program.

Robert Dobucki was taken into custody Tuesday for an alleged parole violation after he was tracked via an electronic ankle bracelet to a grade school parking lot, a doll shop and a small amusement park for children, officials said. Dobucki had been ordered to stay out of areas frequented by children, according to parole officials.
The ACLU and all the civic rights groups can yell all they want about how sticking a GPS device on a sexual offender takes away his rights to be a human all they want. I'll just keep reminding them that the same people they are defending are the one's that took away the lives and fond memories of countless men, women, and children with their inability to perform as normal members of society.

Tip: Kevin Roderick


December 13, 2005: Stanley "Tookie" Williams will die (part 3 of a series)

I've always said that you can judge a person by the company that he or she keeps. In part three of our ongoing series, we see that Stanley "Tookie" Williams doesn't exactly have the most reputable people going to bat for him. I told you in previous posts that celebrities from all over the globe are coming to the defense of Tookie, in an attempt to prove to the world that the governor should grant clemency to him and either push forward his date of death or remove it completely. That's a hard thing to consider, especially when ex-felons such as Snoop Dogg are leading the fight for your rights.

Snoop Dogg's requests to visit Williams in prison have so far been denied.

"We were unable to provide him with a security clearance because of his arrest history," said San Quentin spokesman Vernell Crittendon.

The musician, real name Calvin Broadus, was once associated with the Crips, the notorious Los Angeles-area street gang that Williams co-founded.

The rapper has been arrested several times for weapons and drug-related offences, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In 1990 he was sentenced to four years in prison, but the sentence was suspended, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

In 1993, Snoop Dogg faced charges in connection with a drive-by shooting, but was later cleared.

Tookie would have a better chance of proving that he is a nice guy if he would renounce his membership in the Crips and become as anti-Crip and anti-gang as possible. Instead, he remains on the fence and has ex-cons holding down the fort for him. The decision to keep him on that slow boat downstream still sounds like the right one to me.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Dunphy uncovers the mysteries of James Ellroy

The one and only Jack Dunphy decided to sit down with James Ellroy, the writer of LA Confidential, to talk law, order, and politics in policing. Even I have to admit that some parts made me do a double-take.

Dunphy: Do you think the same contract between cops and criminals is still observed?

Ellroy: No. Since Rodney King, which was an event blown grossly out of proportion by a biased media, police are afraid to conduct business as usual in Los Angeles for fear of censure within the LAPD, censure in the media, and fear of a lawsuit. If you look at the entire Rodney King incident in context and in real time, you see that Rodney King had two companions in the car, both of them black. They submitted willingly and were led out of the frame. Rodney King charged several times and was thrown down and got up again and again, took a Taser from Sergeant Stacy Koon, kept on coming and finally took the 56 blows from batons that, absent context and in slow motion, look terrible. In full-blown context it looks like nothing but a justified response to a suspect who would not submit. I think most people not schooled in the street and the realities of police work think the cops are supposed to engage dangerous suspects in something like one-on-one fights like you might see on television, and of course it doesn't work that way.

It's hard to believe that someone who is pro-cop is working in Hollywood. What's even more surprising is that he hasn't been blacklisted. Ellroy has a film adaptation of his book The Black Dahlia coming out in 2006, so make sure to stay tuned. I'm a huge fan, and I've been mighty pleased with his work, so naturally I'm eagerly anticipating it.


December 13, 2005: Stanley "Tookie" Williams will die (part 2 of a series)

I told you the loonies would be coming out in full-force to save Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the founder of the Crips, which is proven in this editorial by Tom Kerr:

Whether Stanley "Tookie" Williams is innocent, as he claims, or guilty, as determined at his original trial by (an imperfect) jury, or whether he deserves all the attention, awards and honors-including a 2005 Presidential Call to Service Award by merciless George W. Bush-- bestowed on him for his Herculean efforts over the past two decades to dissuade kids from joining gangs and embracing violence-these question are beside the point.

The first mistake, if not blatant lie in this paragraph --- which is taken from a long piece that you can read if you choose --- is that the jury was imperfect. A common call by those who look for ways to excuse those who do bad while persecuting those who do good is to claim that juries are "imperfect," or as many in the Save Tookie crowd cry, racist.

There was nothing racist about the jury. They based the fact that Stanley "Tookie" Williams should get the death penalty on what can be seen in the DA report that I linked to in the previous post. Tookie decided that it was a good idea to commit armed robbery multiple times, taking the lives of four people as he did it. The weapon that was used was a shotgun that was registered to him, and he has yet to prove otherwise. In fact, the criminologists have yet to be proven otherwise, as science speaks louder than emotion.



How do you like the new HBR logo?

Thursday, November 17, 2005


December 13, 2005: Stanley "Tookie" Williams will die

The media groups are going nuts taking the side of Tony Muhammed and the rest of the nutballs, but we at The Horseback Riders are counting the days until Stanley "Tookie" Williams is fried. In the event you don't know, Tookie was the founder of the Crips, a gang that not only plagues Los Angeles to this day, but has spread into groups and factions across the globe. The Los Angeles County District Attorney has released a report to rebutt the claims that Tookie is a hero to the community, and has made it available to the public here. But that doesn't matter to the groups that are calling for clemency by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who still believe Tookie, who won a Nobel Peace Prize, is one of the most light-hearted, sweetest people in the world. In fact, celebrities from across the nation have come together to stand for Tookie, including Snoop Dogg and Danny Glover.
As a Dec. 13 execution date nears for former gang leader Stanley Tookie Williams, the condemned inmate has challenges pending in two branches of state government, and his supporters are planning a series of rallies and vigils around the state.

The events include a youth rally led by rap artist Snoop Dogg outside San Quentin State Prison on Saturday morning.

Stefanie Faucher, program director of San Francisco-based Death Penalty Focus, a group opposed to capital punishment, said she expects "at least hundreds" of people to attend the rally Saturday.

Other upcoming events include anti-death penalty rallies at San Francisco and Santa Cruz city halls on Nov. 30; a screening hosted by actor Danny Glover of "Redemption," a movie about Williams, in San Francisco on Dec. 4; a continuous vigil at San Quentin beginning Dec. 4; and several rallies in Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento.

Faucher said she thinks death penalty protests are intense in Williams's case because "he has touched so many lives."

Ask the families of those who lost loved ones about this piece of trash, and they'll tell you how they really feel. In fact, ask the correctional officers who have come forward and released information about how Tookie is still calling the shots from prison, and refuses to renounce his membership as a Crip.
Before a celebrity-led effort begins to save him from a Dec. 13 execution, the people who have watched over Williams for two dozen years have questioned whether he's truly redeemed, claiming he's still calling the shots from death row for the Crips, one of the nation's most notorious gangs.

The Corrections Department earlier this month posted a press release at its Web site about the upcoming execution. It gave biographical information about Williams, as well as a narrative about his crimes. In 1979, Williams shot and killed four people during two robberies in Los Angeles.

"By 1994, having firmly entrenched himself as the leader of the Crips at San Quentin, he wielded his power as his lieutenants and other minions were dispatched to carry out his objectives," according to the release.
John and Ken have also started a counter-offensive with their "Tookie Must Die" campaign on KFI 640 in Los Angeles. Where you stand is up to you. Please leave messages in the comments and make sure you state a position, not just an emotional argument.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005



Oh, the wonders of the blogosphere. For the past few days, has been loading very slowly --- or not loading at all. I just spoke to Lee via e-mail, and this is what he told me:

We're under a MASSIVE denial of service attack, and it was taking down the whole box, which was also killing Moorewatch and all the other servers on the same machine, so we shut my domain down so it wouldn't kill everything. Hopefully everything will be back up to normal later on today. If you could spread the world that would be great, thanks.
Both and are hosted on the same server, and Lee writes for both sites. If you're familiar with Lee, you'll know that he's not a political hack who goes off on a limb and writes for the sake of writing. However, the vast majority of his posts are guaranteed to call a pig a pig, which makes a lot of people in the liberal blogosphere very mad. Because of that, the websites are often his with Denial of Service (DOS) attacks that prevent them from loading.

UPDATE: Lee is back, and he's operating here on Blogspot to keep the hackers from interfering. As JimK said, "Anyway…let’s see someone try to do a denial of service on Google…they own Blogspot." Right on.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The 1st of Many

On July 1st 2005, I was assigned to work the 2F Module from 0800 hours to 1600 hours, in the Kaw County Adult Detention Center. At 0845 hours, Sergeant Ices and several other Deputies entered the 2F Module to conduct cell inspections.

Deputy Peary and I were assigned to search cell 2F-6 which housed Inmate Jones. Deputy Peary entered Inmate Jones’ cell to begin to inspect for contraband. I instructed Inmate Jones to exit the cell, stand still, and place his arms out to the side. As I searched Inmate Jones’ person, I felt an item in his groin area. When I grabbed the item, Inmate Jones pulled away from my grasp. I grabbed Inmate Jones by the collar of his uniform shirt, and placed him on the ground to secure him on the module floor. Inmate Jones would not remove his hands from his groin area to be placed into handcuffs. Deputy Peary performed several knee strikes to Jones’ common peroneal. Inmate Jones released his grasp from the item in his groin and placed his hands behind is back. I place handcuffs on Inmate Jones, checked their fit, and double locked them.

Inmate Jones was placed in a standing position and instructed to stand still. As I attempted to approach Inmate Jones’ to check his waistband, he once again attempted to pull away from my grasp. Sergeant Ices then grabbed Inmate Jones by the arm and instructed him to stand still. Inmate Jones became argumentative with Sergeant Ices. Inmate Jones attempted to kick Sergeant Ices in the chest. I was able to place my arm underneath Inmate Jones’s right leg while he attempted to kick Sergeant Ices. I drove back Inmate Jones’ right leg while Deputy Peary delivered a knee strike to Inmate Jones left leg causing it to buckle. Inmate Jones fell backwards and was unable to catch himself due to the handcuffs. Inmate Jones struck his head on the module floor causing him to blackout. A Code 211 (Medical Emergency) was called. The nursing staff responded to the module and was able to revive Inmate Jones. I pulled the item from Inmate Jones’ groin which was a plastic bag containing pictures of a nude eleven-year-old daughter who was the victim in his case. I found nothing else on his person. Inmate Jones was transported to the local hospital for observation.


Discovered: A living moonbat

I'm pleased to announce that I have taken-in my very own
moonbat. Anyone know what I should feed this thing?

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Garden of the Gods

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.

I said: "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter-bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

-- Stephen Crane

Friday, November 11, 2005


Riverside school board election winner: Randy Logan Hale

Randy Logan Hale won the election for the prestigious Romoland school board out in Riverside, California. But there's one problem --- good ol' Randy is a convicted felon, who happens to be serving time in jail for an unrelated matter. But that sure didn't stop him from getting the most votes.
The winner of a school board election didn't campaign, attend forums or even go to any school board meetings before the vote - because he was in jail.

Randy Logan Hale won 831 votes in Tuesday's election, securing one of three open seats on the Romoland School District Board in a community about 70 miles north of San Diego.

"This is wild, he'll be glad," said his wife, Penny.

Hale, 40, was returned to prison in September for violating his parole on 1998 convictions for spousal abuse and drug possession, the California Institution for Men in Chino said, and is due to be released Feb. 15. He declared his candidacy in August.

His wife and a district trustee confirmed he was imprisoned.

The election of an inmate to the school board is a conundrum for the district, and Superintendent Roland Skumawitz said he's consulting lawyers to figure out how to handle the situation.

Shaun Bowler, a political science professor at the University of California, Riverside, said Hale may have gotten votes because he was at the top of the ballot.

I was wondering why Arnold's propositions failed in the election, but seeing that people voted for someone who was in jail, and also considering the fact that felons can't hold public office, let alone be on a ballot, that answers a lot of my questions. Only in California, folks.



Here's a new way to rob a bank that I have yet to see detailed in the FBI UCR reports, nor the quarterly training manuals.

The woman has held up four branches of Wachovia bank branches in the Washington suburbs of northern Virginia, police said Friday, though it is unclear whether the cell-phone bandit was actually talking to anyone on the other end of the line.

In the most recent robbery, in Ashburn on November 4, surveillance video footage shows the 20-something woman talking on the phone as a teller hands her a pile of cash. She continued talking as she walked out of the bank.

The gabbing bandit had displayed a gun in her purse to the teller, Loudoun County sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell said.

Common sense tells me that as long as we have criminals, they're going to keep coming up with dumb ways to pull heists. What they don't realize is that doing something like this creates a profile for them, and immediately puts everyone on a heightened state of alert for some gal walking into a bank talking on her cell phone as she keeps her purse close to her person.

Proof once again that criminals might be the dumbest form of life on the planet.

UPDATE: I just added a picture of this gal. Yes, that's right, a picture. Of her entire face. A picture of her entire face as she robs a bank, which is also known to us who work in law enforcement as a Federal offense.

UPDATE: A friend just e-mailed and said, "Hey, at least she's not ugly!" I've never acquired a fondness for criminals, so you're in your own world, buddy.


Sex Crime: Mother offered her child for sex on the internet

The lows that people will dip to never cease to amaze me, as we see another reason to keep our children off the internet. This mom decided it would be a good idea to make a few extra dollars by prostituting her four year old child on the net for $500 a session. There aren't prisons dirty enough, raunchy enough, or just downright bad enough on the planet to house people like this.
The Martinez Police Department reports that a 22-year-old resident was arrested Tuesday for allegedly offering her four-year-old child for sex.

Police received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a posting on Craigslist that was soliciting for prostitution.

Authorities contacted Shannon Nicole Woods via the computer and learned that she had a four-year-old child and was also pregnant.

During these electronic conversations, an inquiry for sex and one regarding the child were made, police report.

Woods allegedly offered the child for sex for $500, according to police.

Authorities then served a search warrant at a residence in the 200 block of Thistle Circle and placed her into custody.

Woods was booked into the Contra Costa County Main Detention Facility and charged with offering a minor under 16 for lewd and lascivious acts. She is being held on a $50,000 warrant.


50 Cent Movie: Man shot, thigh and chest, DOA

Who would have guessed that there would be a shooting at self-proclaimed street gang member 50 Cent's movie? Not me, say's I.
Gunfire in the Loews Waterfront movie theater killed a man Wednesday night, West Homestead police said.

The victim, identified as Shelton Flowers, 30, of Wilkinsburg, was hit in the thigh and chest. He died later at UPMC Presbyterian.

Allegheny County police said a confrontation broke out between Flowers and three other men in a bathroom. Employees at the concession stand reported hearing shots, and Flowers was then found near some video game machines.

Two men were seen running out of the main entrance after the shooting, witnesses told police. Another man left through the rear doors.


Armistice Day

"Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month."

"Five little minutes only. Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession. Communion with the Glorious Dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow. Church services, too, if you will, but in the street, the home, the theatre, anywhere, indeed, where Englishmen and their women chance to be, surely in this five minutes of bitter-sweet silence there will be service enough."

-Warren Foster

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Gang members on trial for the death of LAPD Explorer

A few months ago an LAPD Explorer who was going through the process to become a full-time LAPD officer was gunned-down on his way to pick-up some stuff for a BBQ at his house. The shooters were gang members who thought it would be a good idea to shoot the Explorer, not knowing that doing so would result in a nice 25-to-life sentence.
Two admitted gang members were ordered Friday to stand trial in the July 28 shooting death of a former LAPD Explorer in a supermarket parking lot.

After a preliminary hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jose Sandoval ruled there was enough evidence for Joshua Mansion, 18, and Dwayne Wheeler, 20, to stand trial on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Loli Castaneda, 25, was shot about 11:45 p.m. in the parking lot of the Ralphs store at Vermont Avenue and Adams Boulevard. His companion, Carlos Avalos, 25, was slightly wounded.

This kid is exactly what the LAPD needs --- someone who wants to do the job, and is excited about becoming an officer. Those are two traits the vast majority the new LAPD recruits are seriously lacking. It's a darned shame that he didn't even get to see one day in the academy, because he would have been a great officer.


Two Hundred and Thirty


Holly Ashcraft: Bail reduced to $200,000

In a move that I have yet to understand, the Superior Court has lowered Holly Ashcraft's bail from $2 million dollars to $200,000 dollars. After that happened, she proceeded to walk out of court, as you can see here:

A USC student accused of killing her newborn by dumping the infant in a trash dumpster was released from jail late Wednesday afternoon after a magistrate reduced her bond from $2 million to $200,000.

The bail reduction came as 21-year-old Holly Ashcraft, dressed in a business suit, entered a not guilty plea to murder and child abuse charges.

Many of the more than two dozen family members and friends who gathered for the college junior's hearing tearfully embraced in the hallway of the downtown criminal courts building after Commissioner James N. Bianco ruled that the Montana native was not enough of a public danger — or flight risk — to justify the multimillion-dollar bond.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Chief Bratton: Overruled

Oh boy, the LAPD is never let off the hook, and never seems to get a day of rest when it comes to sorting out their own internal struggles. As we approach 2006, it seems that nothing has changed.

Before the vast majority of us stepped into law enforcement, each and every major department had an internal affairs bureau. The investigators from internal affairs, all sworn law enforcement officers, spent their time weeding through cases that involved a use of force and/or an officer involved shooting. Despite what you might want to believe, cops are good people, and 99% percent of the time their use of force is justified. Many people get the wrong idea about internal affairs because of what they see on TV, but internal affairs does more to help cops than they do to harm them. If anything, you want them on your side when a shooting happens, because they'll be the ones to clear you and justify your use of force.

Enter John Mack, the new president of the Police Commission within the City of Los Angeles. Mayor Villaraigosa appointed John Mack to head the Police Commission, who oversees every use of force case by officers. Despite what the Internal Affairs Bureau does to clear an officer, there's a good chance that Mack's commission will recommending that the officer is given his walking papers. Today, a detective learned that lesson first hand.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's newly appointed Police Commission has overruled Police Chief William J. Bratton and concluded that a detective with the Special Investigation Section acted improperly in shooting an unarmed burglary suspect last year.

The commission, which the mayor promised would be "vigorous in their oversight" of the LAPD, declined to accept Bratton's recommendation that the detective used proper force as allowed by department policy when he wounded the man last year in Van Nuys.

"This decision was not bound by personalities," commission President John Mack said. "We went where the facts took us. It is nothing personal."It is unusual for the commission to reject the chief's findings. In the vast majority of LAPD shootings, commissioners follow the recommendations of the chief when it comes to determining whether officers acted within the department's use-of-force policy, a Times review found. This track record has prompted LAPD critics to accuse the commission of being a rubber stamp for the chief and for not acting vigorously against police misconduct.

The new panel is expected to deal with several high-profile police misconduct cases in the months ahead, including the killing of 13-year-old Devin Brown at the end of a police chase and the shooting death of 19-month-old Suzie Peña during a hostage standoff.

If you remember, the Suzie Pena case involved a crazy illegal immigrant who was hooped-up on meth and decided to take a shotgun to SWAT team members while using his daughter as a human shield. We're going to be waiting on pins and needles to see what happens to the officers who had no choice but to shoot the man who was using the child as a shield, and in turn, shot the child as well.


Crime Against Peace Officer: SFPD officer attacked with Molotov cocktail

When I was young and naive, I believed that protestors had the right to assemble in order to make their ideas heard. I still believe that under the Constitution of the United States, the right to assemble is one of the things that makes our country the best place in the world, but it really irks me that a bunch of criminals use it as an excuse to cause havoc and attempt to harm peace officers in any way possible. Case in point:
The uniform of a San Francisco police officer caught fire after a Molotov cocktail was hurled at an anti-Bush protest Wednesday afternoon in downtown San Francisco.

A large crowd made its way from the Civic Center down Market Street, blocking traffic during the afternoon commute. Nine people were arrested for blocking traffic, said San Francisco police Commander David Shinn.

Shinn said the march was mostly peaceful except for the person who threw the Molotov cocktail.

"My partner and I are standing here monitoring the crowd and all of a sudden I heard glass breaking, and the bottle apparently hit right there and gasoline spilled and the next thing I know my shoulder is on fire," police officer Gary Constantine told television station KRON.

Police arrested a person who was found with Molotov cocktails, but were uncertain whether that person was the one who threw the explosive, Shinn said. Constantine was not injured.

Just when it looked like the protest was wrapping up in the evening, some protesters sat down in the middle of a busy intersection to block more traffic. The group refused police requests to disperse so they were arrested at the scene, according to police.

These people weren't there to protest and spead knowledge and ideas in the so-called peaceful fashion that has become their battle cry. They were there to hurt and intimidate people. That's the bottom line of this whole incident. The officer who was hurt should receive an apology, and this group should be banned from public demostrations.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Orange Line: 13 injured

About a week ago I posted a story about how someone decided that the rules of the road didn't apply to them, which resulted into them crashing into a bus that wasn't even open to the public yet. Now that the bus line has opened, we see that people are still driving as bad as ever.
An accident on the Orange Line today in which 13 people were injured has raised concerns about the safety of the newly inaugurated bus line.

In the wake of the crash, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called on the Metropolitan Transportation Agency to slow down the speed of the buses.

Critics have expressed concerns about the buses and cars navigating around each other on the new busway.

The busway — which is only for use by the buses — crosses 36 roads throughout the San Fernando Valley. During test runs, some motorists had trouble navigating the crossings.

The collision between a 60-foot-long bus carrying 40 passengers and a car occurred on Woodman Avenue, near Oxnard Avenue.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the driver of the car apparently ran a red light and collided with the bus. The driver of the car was reported in critical condition, according to Rick Jager, an MTA spokesman.


HBR Guide to the November 8, 2005 California Special Election

Here's our voting guide:

YES - Proposition 73: Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Waiting Period and Parental Notification. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends California Constitution to bar abortion on unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver. Permits judicial waiver of notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or minor’s best interests. Physician must report abortions performed on minors and State shall compile statistics. Authorizes monetary damages for violation. Minor must consent to abortion unless mentally incapable or in medical emergency. Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent to abortion is coerced.

Simple description of Prop 73: Parents receive notification if a minor decides to terminate a pregnancy.

YES - Proposition 74: Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status. Dismissal. Initiative Statute.

Increases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years; measure applies to teachers whose probationary period commenced during or after the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Authorizes school boards to dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

Simple description of Prop 74: Teachers who are not performing will be fired, and a new, better teacher will be hired in their place.

Proposition 75: Public Employee Union Dues. Required Employee Consent for Political Contributions. Initiative Statute.

Prohibits public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form. Prohibition does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefiting the public employee. Requires labor organizations to maintain and submit to the Fair Political Practices Commission records concerning individual employees’ and organizations’ political contributions; those records are not subject to public disclosure.

Simple desciption of Prop 75: Public employee unions take member dues to support political campaigns without the approval of the member. As it stands right now, for a member to opt-out, it is extremely difficult and takes more time than people are willing to put in. This would prevent them from spending millions of members dues on campaigns they do not agree with without asking their permission first.

YES - Proposition 76: School Funding. State Spending. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98), permitting suspension of minimum funding, but terminating repayment requirement, and eliminating authority to reduce funding when state revenues decrease. Excludes above-minimum appropriations from schools’ funding base. Limits state spending to prior year total plus revenue growth. Shifts excess revenues from schools/tax relief to budget reserve, specified construction, debt repayment. Requires Governor to reduce state appropriations, under specified circumstances, including employee compensation, state contracts. Continues prior year appropriations if new state budget delayed. Prohibits state special funds borrowing. Requires payment of local government mandates.

Simple description of Prop 76: Despite the confusing wording of the proposition, this makes sure schools are funded with at least as much money as they received the previous year, with the addition of whatever revenue growth is accured.

YES - Proposition 77: Reapportionment. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Amends state Constitution’s process for redistricting California’s Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts. Requires three-member panel of retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and again after each national census. Panel must consider legislative, public proposals/comments and hold public hearings. Redistricting plan becomes effective immediately when adopted by judges’ panel and filed with Secretary of State. If voters subsequently reject redistricting plan, process repeats. Specifies time for judicial review of adopted redistricting plan; if plan fails to conform to requirements, court may order new plan.

Simple description of Prop 77: A panel of judges will re-map the state voting districts so new representatives can be voted into office.

NO - Proposition 78: Prescription Drugs. Discounts. Initiative Statute.

Establishes discount prescription drug program, overseen by the Department of Health Services. Enables certain low- and moderate- income California residents to purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices. Imposes $15 application fee, renewable annually. Requires Department’s prompt determination of residents’ eligibility, based on listed qualifications. Authorizes Department to contract with pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts negotiated in advance, and to negotiate rebate agreements with drug manufacturers. Permits outreach programs to increase public awareness. Creates state fund for deposit of rebate payments from drug manufacturers. Allows program to be terminated under specified conditions.

Simple description of Prop 78: Creates a big-government prescription drug program.

NO -
Proposition 79: Prescription Drug Discounts. State-Negotiated Rebates. Initiative Statute.

Provides for prescription drug discounts to Californians who qualify based on income-related standards, to be funded through rebates from participating drug manufacturers negotiated by California Department of Health Services. Rebates must be deposited in State Treasury fund, used only to reimburse pharmacies for discounts and to offset administration costs. At least 95% of rebates must go to fund discounts. Prohibits new Medi-Cal contracts with manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program, except for drugs without therapeutic equivalent. Establishes oversight board. Makes prescription drug profiteering, as defined, unlawful.

Simple description of Prop 79: Coupled with Prop 78, this also creates a big-government prescription drug program.

NO - Proposition 80: Electric Service Providers. Regulation. Initiative Statute

Subjects electric service providers, as defined, to control and regulation by California Public Utilities Commission. Imposes restrictions on electricity customers’ ability to switch from private utilities to other electric providers. Provides that registration by electric service providers with Commission constitutes providers’ consent to regulation. Requires all retail electric sellers, instead of just private utilities, to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, with 20% of retail sales procured from renewable energy by 2010, instead of current requirement of 2017. Imposes duties on Commission, Legislature and electrical providers. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Annual state costs of up to $4 million for regulatory activities of the California Public Utilities Commission. These costs would be fully offset by fee revenues. Unknown impact on state and local costs and revenues, as the measure’s impact on retail electricity rates is uncertain.

Simple description of Prop 80: This creates a system similar to the one that was created under Grey Davis, in which the public utilities of the state are regulated through a big-government commission. This would mean less control and input by consumers, resulting in higher prices and less competition.

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