Latest News

Defendant's lawyers claim cop at fault in murder case

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 12:37

By PoliceOne Staff

NEWARK, N.J. — Defense lawyers for a man who allegedly killed his daughter’s mother in a 2015 shooting implied that the responding officer’s actions escalated the situation that ended in the death.

Det. Kemon Lee said he approached the house of Latrena May, 27, when she called out for an officer on May 1, 2015, NJ.com reported. May was standing with the defendant, Andre Higgs, in front of the house. The officer exited his patrol vehicle with his gun out of the holster because he felt the need to “establish and maintain control in a potentially dangerous situation.”

Lee told May to come down the steps toward him, but before she could Higgs, 45, pulled out a gun and shot her, the publication reported. Lee then shot Higgs.

Their 4-year-old daughter was inside the home at the time and was unharmed. Lee was found justified in the shooting by the state Attorney General’s office.

Defense Attorney Joseph P. Rem Jr. questioned why the officer felt it was necessary to approach the couple with his gun out.

The cross-examining of Lee about why he drew his service weapon and why he shot Higgs drew many objections from the prosecution.

The assistant prosecutor told Judge Ronald D. Wigler after court was dismissed Wednesday that he took issue with the defense’s line of questioning, saying it suggested lawyers were arguing self-defense. The judge had not previously authorized that argument, according to the publication. The defense lawyers argued they were challenging the narrative that Higgs purposefully shot May in front of a police officer.

Wigler determined that the defense can resume cross-examination of Lee when court resumes Tuesday morning, but they cannot ask Lee about previous officer-involved shootings he’s been involved in.

Murder trial of Andre Higgs begins in Newark court https://t.co/MxDJqEKwnc pic.twitter.com/tWYPSBCgEZ

— Robert Sciarrino (@SciarrinoRobert) May 24, 2017


Categories: Latest News

3 reasons for cops to #RockOneSock

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 12:21

By Haywood Talcove

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is asking the public to “Rock One Sock” during the month of May to show support for missing and exploited children and their families. The #RockOneSock campaign is simple:

Wear one sock and take a photo or video of it; Share your photo or video via social media using the hashtag #RockOneSock; and Care by donating to support the work of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and challenge your friends, colleagues and family to do the same.

Thursday, May 25, the nation recognizes National Missing Children’s Day to bring attention to the problem of missing and exploited children. Here are three reasons for police offices to support this great cause and to #RockOneSock:

1. It’s the easiest thing you’ll do all day to help the cause of missing and exploited children.

Unfortunately, we all know too well the dark journey that may lie ahead for a missing child and his or her family. When I hear about a missing child, my stomach turns. Missing children are not news stories or cases, they are innocent victims; lives that potentially hang in the balance while the law enforcement community searches for them.

When we hear about a missing child or a child that has been the victim of child trafficking or other sexual exploitation, we hug our own children a little tighter before they go to bed. Often, there is very little we can do to help. But on May 25, we can take the time to “Rock One Sock” to support the cause of missing children and their families.

2. It’s a simple way to give back to NCMEC.

When NCMEC was founded more than 33 years ago, missing children were not entered into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crime database. And, there was no statewide or national effort among law enforcement to investigate missing children. Thanks to NCMEC, that has all changed. The organization’s stated mission is “to serve as a resource center for law enforcement, families and the public to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization.” In 2016 alone, they assisted law enforcement and families with more than 20,500 cases of missing children.

NCMEC provides free training, technical assistance and resources to law enforcement who investigate missing children and child sexual exploitation. In doing so, they host classroom training at their Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center, as well as online courses through its NCMEC University Online. As of January 2017, NCMEC had trained more than 331,000 law enforcement, criminal/juvenile justice and private security professionals.

Law enforcement knows that NCMEC is a critical resource for support. Now, law enforcement has an opportunity to support NCMEC. Whether through donations, rocking one sock (#rockonesock) or just spreading the word about the problem of missing and exploited children, law enforcement can help.

3. You can share the message to missing children and their families that you will never give up hope.

NCMEC's organizational vision “is a nation free from child abduction and sexual exploitation of children.” They never give up hope – hope that missing children will return, and hope that their vision will be realized. Like you, they will do everything within their power and the bounds of the law to help bring home missing children.

Hope is essential for the families of the missing, the missing children themselves and even the law enforcement community working to find the missing children. Without hope, there is only loss. Hope is what makes everyone – the families, the missing children, law enforcement and the people working at NCMEC get up in the morning and keep going. By rocking one sock, you can stand with NCMEC and give the gift of hope.

So, stand up for missing children and their families. Get your precinct together or do it on your own. Wear one sock, take a photo of yourself wearing it and post it through your social media channel of choice using the hashtag #RockOneSock.

Then, challenge someone else to do it. It’s something simple you can do to help missing children, to help NCMEC and to provide hope to all those impacted when a child goes missing or is sexually exploited. Maybe we can all get a little closer to a nation free from child abduction and sexual exploitation.

About the author Haywood “Woody” Talcove is CEO, LexisNexis Special Services Inc. and CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. A go-to source for government agencies and the media on how government can use identity intelligence to find fraud, criminals and safeguard law enforcement. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Missing & Exploited Children for the last four years.


Categories: Latest News

Robot cop now on patrol in Dubai

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 12:04

By PoliceOne Staff

DUBAI — There’s a new officer in town and he’s operated by a touchscreen.

Dubai’s robocop was deployed Sunday at the city’s malls and tourist attractions, according to a press release.

The multi-lingual robot comes equipped with a touchscreen, allowing citizens to report crime, pay traffic fines or chat with the officer in Arabic or English. The robot has built-in cameras that stream directly to the police command center.

"It has a smart intelligent system so it can protect people from crime, because it can broadcast what is happening right away to our command and control centre," Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, Dubai Police director general of smart services, said in the statement. "We are also working on facial-recognition systems."

Police officials said that the next robots deployed will be used to combat crime and misdemeanors. In the next two years, the department plans to debut a robot that can run up to 50 mph and will be operated by an officer seated inside. The department told The Gulf News that they hope robocops will make up 25 percent of the police force by 2030.

"We are not going to fire our police officers by replacing them with this tool,” Al Razooqi said. “But with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city.”


Categories: Latest News

Man with 'private' license plates arrested

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:33

By PoliceOne Staff WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — A man driving a truck with fake “private” license plates was arrested after he refused to identify himself. Police pulled over Richard Leroy Garrison, 63, after noticing his plates said “no driver license or insurance required,” KPTV reported. When the officer asked him to provide identification, he refused and was taken into custody where he was identified. He is charged with failure to carry and present a valid license and interfering with a peace officer.


Categories: Latest News

Restaurant employee pays bill for cops attending slain deputy's funeral

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:31

By PoliceOne Staff GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Officers who were in town to honor a fallen officer received a “thank you” note instead of a restaurant bill. Rosebud County Sheriff Allen Fulton wrote on Facebook that he was dining with a Rosebud undersheriff and officers from Chicago and Fort Worth at Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse Tuesday after attending the funeral for Deputy Mason Moore. Moore was fatally shot during a pursuit on May 16, the Associated Press reported.

When it came time to receive the bill for their meal, server Jaclyn Machado handed them a note stating their meal was covered, KRTV reported.

“Gentlemen, dinner tonight is a gift from my family and me,” the note read. “May the Almighty watch over you. Thank you for all that you do to serve.” Fulton thanked the restaurant and employee for their support.

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I would like to thank the Oasis restaurant in Manhattan, Montana for dinner tonight. Undersheriff Bruce Price, the...

Posted by Rosebud County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Categories: Latest News

Calif. deputy wounded, suspect killed in shootout

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 08:01

By Sarah Parvini Los Angeles Times

COMPTON, Calif. — A man was fatally shot and a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy was wounded after the suspect shot at two officers who pulled him over during a traffic stop in Compton, authorities said.

Deputies had pulled over a white sedan on the 900 block of North Santa Fe Avenue around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday when one of the officers opened the rear passenger door of the car, according to Deputy Trina Schrader, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

The man pulled out a gun and shot at the deputy, Schrader said. When the deputy shot back, the man shot at the second officer, who also opened fire, she said. The suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene.

#LASD #Compton Deputy shooting Rosecrans & Santa Fe. Deputy injured, suspect died at Hospital. LASD Homicide on scene @KNX1070 @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/vSdfnxJ5A3

— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) May 25, 2017

The suspect was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Schrader said. A deputy who was examining the vehicle was also taken to the hospital, treated for his injuries and released, she said. The second deputy was not wounded.

Two others in the car, both women, were being detained pending further investigation, Schrader said.

Authorities said the suspect may have been a gang member.

Copyright 2017 Los Angeles Times


Categories: Latest News

Judge rejects motion to dismiss charges against Ohio cop

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:41

By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Jury selection is underway after an Ohio judge rejected a defense motion to dismiss charges in the retrial of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist.

Attorneys for former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing had filed a motion Wednesday saying comments made in an interview by county prosecutor Joe Deters violated the judge's gag order and tried to influence and bias prospective jurors.

Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz ruled Thursday that the comments weren't "egregious" enough to dismiss the case, but she warned prosecutors they could face contempt action.

Tensing testified he feared for his life when Samuel DuBose tried to drive away during a 2015 traffic stop. His first trial on murder and voluntary manslaughter counts ended with a hung jury.


Categories: Latest News

Manchester police find valuable items; stop sharing info with US

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:53

By Jill Lawless, Paisley Dodds, and Gregory Katz Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England — Home searches across Manchester have uncovered important items for the investigation into the concert bombing that left 22 people dead, Manchester's police chief announced Thursday. A British official said Manchester police have decided not to share further information on the probe with the United States due to leaks blamed on U.S. officials.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said the eight suspects detained so far were "significant" arrests and said the searches will take several more days to complete. Police have swooped in on multiple addresses in the northwestern city since Tuesday and those arrested include bomber Salman Abedi's brother Ismail.

Hopkins did not elaborate on the material that has been found so far.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she plans to discuss the leaks with President Donald Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels. She said she plans to "make clear to President Trump that intelligence that is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure."

British officials are particularly angry that photos detailing evidence about the bomb used in the Manchester attack were published in The New York Times, although it's not clear that the paper obtained the photos from U.S. officials.

British police and security services were also upset that Abedi's name was apparently leaked by U.S. officials and published while British police were withholding it — and while raids were underway in Manchester and in Libya, where the bomber's father lives.

A British official told The Associated Press on Thursday that police in Manchester have decided to stop sharing information about their bombing investigation with the U.S. until they get a guarantee that there will be no more leaks to the media. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The White House had no immediate comment on the Manchester decision. Trump, in Brussels, ignored two questions from journalists on whether Britain can trust the U.S. with sensitive information. Trump himself has been accused of leaking confidential security information to the Russians.

The New York Times on Thursday defended its publication of photographs of evidence collected at the Manchester bombing crime scene.

"The images and information presented were neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims, and consistent with the common line of reporting on weapons used in horrific crimes," the paper said. "We have strict guidelines on how and in what ways we cover sensitive stories. Our coverage of Monday's horrific attack has been both comprehensive and responsible."

Earlier, the Greater Manchester Police condemned the investigation leaks on behalf of the National Counter-Terrorism Policing units in a statement that suggested a severe rupture in trust between Britain and the United States.

"When the trust is breached it undermines these relationships, and undermines our investigations and the confidence of victims, witnesses and their family," the statement said. "This damage is even greater when it involves unauthorized disclosure of potential evidence in the middle of a major counter terrorism investigation."

May insisted Thursday that progress is being made in the Manchester bombing investigation but added the national threat level remains critical — meaning another attack may be imminent.

"The public should remain vigilant," May said, speaking after a meeting of the government's crisis committee.

As hundreds of British soldiers protected some of the world's most visited tourist sites in London and elsewhere, police are pressing to uncover the network that is thought to have helped Abedi in the deadly attack Monday night at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, many across Britain fell silent and bowed their heads for a minute in tribute to the victims of Monday night's bombing. Crowds gathered at well-known sites including London's Parliament and Trafalgar Squares and Manchester's Albert Square.

In one of the more touching moments, a crowd in Manchester then joined a woman singing the Oasis song "Don't Look Back in Anger."

Queen Elizabeth II, meanwhile, visited Royal Manchester Children's Hospital to talk to some of the bombing victims, their families and the medical staff treating them.

"It's dreadful. Very wicked, to target that sort of thing," the 91-year-old monarch told 14-year-old Evie Mills and her parents.

She also chatted and shook hands with hospital staff, and told the father of another injured teenager at the hospital: "It's not something you expect at all."

In addition to those killed, 116 people have received medical treatment at Manchester hospitals for wounds from the blast. The National Health Service says 75 people have been admitted to eight hospitals, "including 23 patients currently receiving critical care."

The Manchester United and Manchester City Football Clubs announced they have jointly pledged 1 million pounds ($1.29 million) to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

In Berlin, former U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a message of solidarity to the Manchester bombing victims.

"(This is) a reminder that there is great danger and terrorism and people who would do great harm to others just because they're different," Obama said.

Mohammed Fadl, a spokesman for Libyan expatriates in Manchester, said Salman's family was well known in the community, especially his elder brother Ismail, but said Salman "was not socially involved in the community."

"Very few people in the community here were close to him and therefore Salman's fanaticism wasn't something the community was aware of," he told the AP.

He said he heard that Salman's father took his son's passport away amid concerns about Salman's close ties to extremists and criminals, but had no proof of that.

Manchester's Libyan community held a meeting Wednesday night on combating radicalism, he said.

"Parents expressed fears of this danger, and agreed to take measures to help youths get more integrated in the community while making sure that future visits to Libya take place as families, and not as individuals," Fadl said.

On the investigation front, Greater Manchester Police say two men were arrested overnight in Manchester and in the Withington area south of the city. Officers also raided a property in the city's Moss Side neighborhood early Thursday.

A German magazine, meanwhile, reported that British police informed their German counterparts that Abedi had received paramilitary training in Syria. It also said he passed through Duesseldorf airport four days before the concert attack.

Citing unnamed federal security sources, Focus reported that Salman Abedi twice flew from a German airport in recent years and wasn't on any international watch list.

A German security official told the AP on Thursday the report was accurate, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information hadn't been cleared for public release.

The bomber's father, Ramadan Abedi insisted Wednesday in an interview with the AP that Salman had no links to militants, saying "we don't believe in killing innocents."

He and another of his sons, Hashim, were taken into custody Wednesday in the Libyan city of Tripoli.

Grande cancelled concerts that were to take place Thursday and Friday in London, and in several other sites in Europe.


Categories: Latest News

Off-duty Texas Border Patrol agent dies after being stabbed

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 06:44

By Daniel Borunda El Paso Times

EL PASO, Texas — A U.S. Border Patrol agent died at a hospital Wednesday after being stabbed during an assault while he was off-duty during the weekend, El Paso police officials said.

Border Patrol Agent Isaac Morales, 30, was fatally wounded when he was stabbed several times in a confrontation in the parking lot of The Union Draft House on Tierra Este Road next to Zaragoza Road, police said.

Morales was "a kind, big hearted person who has the ability to light up any room with just his smile. Isaac has impacted many people, who can all attest to what an amazing person he is," states an online GoFundMe account set up when he was hospitalized.

Hisaias Justo Lopez, 39, who was initially arrested on a charge of attempted murder, will now face a murder charge, police said. Lopez is being held at the El Paso County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, Morales, his girlfriend and another couple were walking to their cars when Lopez began an unprovoked confrontation in the bar parking lot, police said. After Morales identified himself as a Border Patrol agent, Lopez allegedly attacked him with a knife and then ran.

Morales, a friend and witnesses ran after Lopez, who during the chase allegedly turned around and stabbed Morales in the face and an eye, police said.

The others then caught Lopez a block away and held him for police.

Morales' death comes a day before the annual Border Patrol memorial service at 9 a.m. Thursday at the National Border Patrol Museum, 4315 Trans Mountain Road.

———

©2017 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)


Categories: Latest News

Mass. police receive $100K grant for community events

PoliceOne - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:00

By Lisa Redmond Wilmington Patch

WILMINTON, Mass. — The Wilmington Police Department is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive a $100,000 grant through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program

The Department was chosen from a total of 549 applicants.

Chief Michael Begonis will join approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion of grant money into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector.

Full story: Wilmington Police Receive $100K Grant From Cummings Foundation


Categories: Latest News

Preventing the next attack: Why gun-free zones don't work and combat profiling does

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:40

Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

In Manchester England shortly after 10:30 p.m. , a suicide bomber targeted children, teenagers and their families exiting a concert performed by pop-music star Ariana Grande, killing at least 22 people and injuring at least 59 others. It was the worst terrorist attack in Britain since the 7/7 attacks in 2005, during which al-Qaida suicide bombers killed 52 people riding on London buses and trains.

ISIS is claiming responsibility for the concert bombing, although it is unclear whether the suicide bomber was acting under orders from ISIS leadership, or was self-radicalized. It is almost certain that the attacker had help in building the bomb, as ISIS and other terrorist organizations rarely sacrifice their bomb-makers — those skills are too valuable to intentionally destroy.

The bomber was born in the UK — the 22-year-old son of Libyan refugees. The IED reportedly contained nuts and bolts, and all indications are that the explosive used was TATP, also known as “The Mother of Satan.”

The outrage in England and across the free world is palpable. The nature of the attack was even more wantonly evil than the 2015 ISIS-directed attack on the Bataclan Theater in Paris because the audience for Ariana Grande is almost entirely young girls. The explosion occurred outside an exit near the Victoria Train Station, where concert-goers were departing the largest indoor concert venue in the United Kingdom.

British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to her nation late in the evening of May 23, and raised the threat level for her country from severe to critical, the highest possible alert level — forecasting that another attack may be imminent.

The formula for TATP is relatively simple, but the compound is very unstable and requires some real expertise to safely manufacture and manage. Consequently, bomb-makers are rarely used as suicide bombers. Thus, the suspicion that the UK is still facing a skilled bomb-maker in their midst is founded.

PM May also said that for the foreseeable future, armed police would be joined by members of the British military at a variety of events such as concerts and sports matches in an effort to deter, detect, defend and defeat any potential attacks.

Why ’gun free zones’ are bad

Putting good guys with guns at the gates of gun-free zones seems like a sensible decision. Just like in England, at sports venues across the United States police presence has been dramatically increased following the Manchester massacre.

This, of course, will not last for long — it never does.

Time will pass and the show of force will slowly dissolve and “normalcy” will return. No police agency in the country can sustain the level of visible presence seen at Yankee Stadium after the concert bombing — not even the vaunted NYPD. It’s simply not possible.

Those same “soft targets” — hardened briefly by a military or police presence — will become just as vulnerable as they were two days ago.

The proprietors of vulnerable venues (and that is to say ALL venues) need to do one of two things in order to assure the safety of the people who attend events at their facilities. They need to hire armed security, or reverse their policies on concealed carry for legally armed citizens.

Speaking in the aftermath of the attack, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said, “This was a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society — young people and children out at a pop concert.”

Some argue that all manner of attackers — from hardened terrorists to irrational madmen to career criminals — tend to target places that ban the carrying of firearms. They know that in those locations they will not meet armed resistance. The fact that this attacker targeted little girls at a concert underscores the enemy’s desire to attack the vulnerable, not the well-defended.

In the wake of the Manchester concert bombing, can we finally declare the total failure of gun-free zones as a means to protect the innocent from the evil acts of terrorists and maniacs?

Why ‘profiling’ is a good thing

With the Manchester bomb-maker likely still at large, investigators will closely examine video from around the area to determine the suicide bomber’s approach to his target, potentially leading all the way back to his point of origin. Investigators will dig into the attacker’s life, seeking to determine his contacts and history of radicalization.

Meanwhile, if authorities in England and elsewhere are smart, they will order their security forces to watch for the bombers, not the bombs. Too much emphasis is placed on detecting devices, not watching the behaviors of the individuals who are approaching for an attack.

In “Left of Bang”, Patrick Van Horne and Jason Riley write in detail about how attacks can be prevented when trained professionals are observant of things like kinesics, proxemics, atmospherics, and iconography. They also detail the effectiveness of combat profiling.

Too many law enforcement officials in the Western world are afraid to use the word “profiling” because it conjures up images of racial and/or religious discrimination.

Van Horne and Riley define combat profiling as being “a method of proactively identifying threats based on human behavior and other cues from one’s surroundings.”

They go on to explain that combat profiling allows law enforcers to “proactively identify threats based on human behavior” by utilizing skills such as situational awareness, sensitivity of baselines and anomalies, critical thinking and decision-making.

Riley and Van Horne write that “combat profiling is a method of making decisions in complex, chaotic, hostile environments where no perfect solutions exist, where decisions need to be made quickly and with little information, and where operators need to make the most of their intuition.”

Every cop in America should read “Left of Bang” and bring that mindset to your time on patrol, as well as your life off duty. The country would be a safer place.

What century is this?

According to NPR, the Manchester bombing is the 12th terrorist attack in Western Europe since the beginning of 2015. We’ve seen carnage in Paris, Brussels, Nice and Berlin.

In the wake of these terrible events, people on social media change their profile pictures to the flag of the nation affected by the most recent attack. They declare their sympathy and allegiance with hashtags.

Then, in time, they move on with their lives without really affecting any real change.

Sure, the world changed after 9/11 — Democrats and Republicans even got along for a couple of months — but here we are more than a decade and a half after that terrible Tuesday morning and the threat from radical Islamist terrorists is worse than it was on Sept. 10. The threat is more distributed, more disguised, and more disgusting than it was a decade and a half ago.

Sure, we now have the TSA, the DHS, and a host of other three-letter agencies in and around the Beltway that closely monitor the ledgers of fertilizer and ammonia distributors. Hijacking an airplane is harder than it was back then.

But the other side has the internet and propaganda magazines like “Inspire,” which provided step-by-step instructions for the Boston Marathon bombers, and “Dabiq,” which provided the blueprint for the attacks in Nice and on the campus of the Ohio State University. Most recently, ISIS has begun publishing an instruction manual called “Rumiyah,” which is named for a Hadith in which Muhammed said that Muslims would conquer Rome.

The adversary is not going to stop until they realize the objectives set forth by their prophet back in the 7th century. We need to use 21st century intelligence to ensure that the enemy in this Holy War is not only defeated — they are destroyed.


Categories: Latest News

Photos: Girl's favorite cop shows up to her police-themed birthday

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:10
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff AUGUSTA, Maine — A 5-year-old girl’s favorite police officer showed up to surprise her at her police-themed birthday party. Officer Brad Chase and Evie Flanagan met during “Coffee With a Cop,” ABC News reported. A snowstorm canceled the event, but no one notified Chase or the Flanagan family and they were the only ones there. “I was getting ready to leave and Evie and her family walked in,” Chase said. “She was dressed up in her cop uniform and I felt horrible and told them, ‘Hey, if you won't mind driving, come down to the police department and I’ll give you a personalized tour.’” Evie and her siblings got to sit in a patrol car and left with police stickers. Chase gave Evie’s mom, Lauren, his card and asked them to keep in touch. Evie, who has wanted to be a police officer since she saw the movie “Zootopia,” decided she wanted a police-themed party. Lauren emailed the Augusta police to see if they could help in any way. “[Chase] had let us know it probably wouldn’t be him to be there on her birthday because that’s not typically a day he’d be working, but over time he started to notice how much Evie would appreciate it if he himself was there,” Lauren said.

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Yesterday, Ofc. Chase got a special invite to a special little girl's 5th birthday party. Young Evie here is Ofc. Chase'...

Posted by Augusta Maine Police Department on Sunday, May 14, 2017

To Evie’s surprise, Chase showed up to her May 13 party. Her face “lit right up.” The duo posed for pictures in their matching police uniforms and ate some cake and doughnuts. Chase told ABC that he “thinks it’s cool that she’s my biggest fan.” “It’s great for Evie to see someone who is taking the time to connect with the community,” Lauren said. “Anytime Evie sees a police officer, no matter what they’re doing, she would say to them, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to make the world a better place. I’m going to be a police officer.’ In her mind, that’s what cops do.”


Categories: Latest News

Photo: Pigeon with tiny backpack used to smuggle drugs

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 13:08
Author: Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor at Large

By PoliceOne Staff KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait — Customs agents intercepted a homing pigeon that was being used to smuggle drugs into the country. According to the Arab Times Online, inspectors at the Abdali border noticed the bird was struggling to fly from one place to another. When they looked closer, they discovered a tiny backpack attached to the pigeon. Officials recovered nearly 200 pills from the pigeon, Al Arabiya reported.The bird was turned over to police to determine the owner.

Police catch a pigeon with 200 ecstasy pills hidden in a little backpack pic.twitter.com/vSB9eYtd84

— Cass Lowe (@CassLowe) May 24, 2017


Categories: Latest News

The one simple question that can improve traffic stops

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:15

Author: Duane Wolfe

Like any good cop, you’re always looking for ways to improve how you do your job. There is one question that can reduce citizen complaints, change driver’s behavior and improve your effectiveness on the street.

Kirk Hensley of the North Carolina State Patrol uses and teaches this method and has seen improved citizen interactions and more cooperation during traffic stops, resulting in greater seizures of contraband and wanted subjects.

Hensley starts his traffic stops with an introduction. Unlike most officers, instead of saying, "Good morning, I’m Trooper Hensley," he uses his first name, "Good morning, I’m Kirk Hensley."

He does this for several reasons. By using his first name, he attempts to reduce the barrier created when we place a title in front of our name. Instead of seeing an officer in uniform, drivers see him as another human being. By humanizing yourself, you can cut down on the likelihood of assault – it is easier to assault a uniform than a person.

Then, instead of stating the reason for the stop, Hensley asks the driver a question. He doesn’t ask the usual, "Do you know why I stopped you?" Many experts suggest that question isn’t the best start to a traffic stop because it places the driver on the defensive and puts the officer in the position of inquisitor.

Some people are proponents of immediately following up the reason for the stop by asking, "Is there any legal justification to why you are (fill in the offense)?" Hensley believes this continues to place drivers in a defensive, reactive mode as they attempt to rationalize or justify their actions. Instead, he asks them a personal question.

"Are you OK?"

He does this to accomplish several things:

• He places himself in the position of being a helper rather than the role of prosecutor or persecutor.

• Drivers generally do not expect an officer to show concern for their personal wellbeing during a traffic stop.

The question serves two purposes:

• It helps to defuse any resistance from the driver’s perception of how the traffic stop will be conducted and its purpose.

• The surprise of the unexpected approach will create a condition of cooperation, even during concealed interrogation, leading to greater cooperation if the stop evolves beyond just a traffic infraction.

By asking the question, "Are you OK?" it allows drivers to drop their guard, which may be up because they don’t want a ticket, have an outstanding warrant, or are hauling contraband. The question leads drivers to believe the officer’s focus of concern is on their personal wellbeing and not on a continued police investigation that may lead to a ticket or incarceration.

It also allows a driver who has a legitimate (at least in their mind) reason for the driving infraction to voice it to the officer. Reasons like, "I am speeding because I just got a call that my husband has been involved in an accident," or "Sorry, I was swerving in my lane. I’m a little distracted because I just found out my mom has terminal cancer." While rare, allow drivers to explain the personal reason for the infraction. This verbal exchange can enhance a driver’s positive feelings toward the officer since he or she has been given an opportunity to express their reasons to an officer who they see as empathetic and caring.

As the conversation continues during a criminal interdiction stop, the question regarding the driver’s condition can continue when the officer sees signs of nervousness. For example, "Are sure you are OK? You’re shaking and sweating. Do you have a fever? Are you sure you aren’t sick?"

By pointing out the signs of stress, the driver who is trying to conceal them will feel greater stress knowing that the officer sees them. By choosing to continue questioning the driver’s wellbeing versus taking an accusatory strategy, ("I know you're lying because you are shaking and sweating and that means you’re up to something") the driver is more likely to continue answering your questions and give permission to search the vehicle.

One of the key factors in any investigation is getting suspects to talk. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. By showing an interest in them, you can use their desire to talk to your advantage and use it to take the conversation in the direction you want. As any good investigator knows, building rapport is critical in gaining information.

By utilizing this concept Hensley has seen several changes in the results of traffic stops he’s conducted, as well as those by officers he trains. First, there has been a decline in complaints from motorists. He feels if you show care and concern for someone they have less reason to complain. Second, there’s greater cooperation of suspects during criminal interdiction stops, resulting in more seizures of contraband and more arrests.

While the concept sounds simplistic in its execution, understand that there is a great deal of scientific research that lies at its core. While there is not enough space here to get into the details, I highly recommend Hensley’s training, available through Safetac.

This approach is sure to make the community, your administrators and supervisors happy.


Categories: Latest News

'Clown' with bladed gloves fatally stabs man, flees on scooter

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:44
Author: Duane Wolfe

By PoliceOne Staff DENVER — Witnesses say a man was killed after a suspect dressed as a clown stabbed him with bladed gloves. Witnesses told police that the suspect, Cristian Lee Gulzow, threatened Brian Lucero, 29, with gloves that had 2- to 3-inch blades attached to them, the Denver Post reported. Gulzow began punching Lucero, who attempted to dodge the attack. Lucero punched Gulzow, which led to an argument and Lucero collapsing in a nearby parking lot, the police report said. Lucero was pronounced dead at the hospital, KDVR reported. Police said Lucero died from a single stab wound to the throat. Gulzow fled on a scooter until police recognized him and detained him. He threw a knife in the bushes, which police recovered. Gulzow’s clothes were covered in blood when police arrested him. While in custody, Gulzow told police that a man threatened him and told him to “get out of my alley.” Lucero allegedly attacked Gulzow and stole his scooter, court records said. Guzlow said he tackled Lucero when he took the scooter and Lucero may have died after falling on Guzlow’s spiked bracelet. Guzlow admitted he might have cut Lucero with his bladed glove. Guzlow, also known as “Diablo” in jail, has a long criminal history including various domestic violence, assault and weapons convictions. According to KDVR, he is being held for investigation of first-degree murder.


Categories: Latest News

How community-based enforcement will help close the trust gap

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:25

Author: Booker Hodges

Our profession has been under constant scrutiny and it’s only going to get worse. As I watch chief law enforcement officers respond to accusations of unfair treatment by certain segments of the population, I often cringe when I hear the following phrase: “We don’t racially profile, we just enforce observed behavior.”

They are being sincere when they make this statement, as most police officers are trained to enforce laws based on observable behaviors. Despite their sincerity, many in certain communities view this statement as confirmation of racial profiling. I have seen this many times in community meetings where a chief makes this statement and community members start shaking their heads and say, “See, this is what we are talking about!”

The notion that we make enforcement decisions based on observed behavior and not a person’s race seems to be the central point of disagreement between our profession and those in certain communities. We are trained from the beginning of our careers to look for a certain set of behaviors and to make our enforcement decisions based on our observation of those behaviors. So, it makes perfect sense to us when we say we practice color-blind policing by enforcing based on behavior.

It’s about perspective

Although this makes sense to us, we need to ask ourselves: Are we enforcing behaviors from a law enforcement perspective or from the perspective of the communities we serve?

I grew up in the inner-city but started my career in a suburban/rural area. On my second day of field training I observed a raised pickup truck driving through town with very loud dual exhaust pipes. I was in the rural part of our patrol area. I went to stop the truck for two very clear observable violations. As I went to stop the truck, my FTO looked at me and said, “You won’t last long around here if you start stopping people for having a jacked-up truck and loud exhaust.”

What my FTO was essentially telling me was that enforcing these types of violations in this particular community was not something the community was going to tolerate. Had I stopped this truck I would have been enforcing behaviors from a law enforcement perspective and not those of the community I was serving.

I have found that most of the contention between us and certain communities we serve centers around the enforcement of traffic laws. I reached out to many dispatch communication centers around the country to gain a greater perspective on this issue.

I was seeking information on observable behavior, citizen-initiated complaints. In other words, were citizens calling, requesting that we enforce some of our most commonly-enforced observable behaviors? By observable behaviors I mean the following: suspended object from the rearview mirror, out taillight, out third brake light, out license plate light, loud exhaust, cracked windshield, riding a bike at night without a light, recently expired registration, and white light to the rear.

I have been guilty – and probably guiltier than most – of enforcing based on these types of observable behaviors. Unfortunately, like most of us, I was enforcing behaviors that I found to be important but those behaviors were not necessarily important to the community. I didn’t find a single dispatch center in which a citizen called to complain about the above-mentioned observable behaviors.

Getting community buy in and ownership

I know people will read this and say we get a lot of bad people off the streets enforcing these behaviors. I would say you’re right, but at what cost? Sir Robert Peel’s second of nine principles reads as follows: “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.”

In certain communities it’s obvious that we have lost our ability to secure and maintain public respect in part because of the behaviors we enforce.

I believe the solution to regaining the trust and closing the perception gap is to transition from our current behavior-based enforcement philosophy to one that is more community based. This could be accomplished by holding community meetings and asking community members which behaviors they want officers to focus on enforcing. By doing this you may get buy in and ownership from your communities. In addition, you may be surprised by what they tell you.

For my agency, this type of community engagement has worked in a similar fashion with our character-based hiring model. Our former Sheriff Matt Bostrom conducted community meetings to solicit the types of characteristics they wanted to see in the officers that were being hired. The list of characteristics that the community came up with was almost completely different from what he thought their responses would be. As a result of those meetings, we have hired deputies over the past six years who possess those community-directed traits and we have seen amazing results. The community was right; so much so that Bostrom is taking this character-based hiring method worldwide through Oxford University in England.

I know many will have a hard time buying into this, but after having a front row seat to how our enforcement actions are viewed in certain communities it behooves us to take a different approach. The current reactive-only policing that is taking place throughout many communities is not working. Instead, let’s try taking an enforcement approach that is tailor-made and designed by and for our specific communities.

All communities want to trust their police and all police want to be trusted by their communities. We all have a shared responsibility in bridging the current trust gap. It’s obvious that the current approach isn’t working at reducing this gap. Maybe it’s time to take a different joint approach.


Categories: Latest News

Man who claimed girlfriend choked during oral sex acquitted in murder case

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:10

Author: Booker Hodges

By Rafael Olmeda Sun Sentinel

MARGATE, Fla. — Richard Henry Patterson, the Margate man who initially claimed his girlfriend choked to death during oral sex, was found not guilty Monday of second-degree murder.

The verdict was announced just under five hours after the jury began its deliberations.

Patterson, 65, faced a maximum of life in prison if convicted of the murder of Francisca Marquinez, 60. whose decomposing body was found in her condo unit Oct. 28, 2015, after Patterson reached out for help from a defense lawyer, Ken Padowitz, without calling police.

Padowitz and Patterson embraced after the verdict was read, as family members of the victim sat in unconcealed frustration. “This is not justice,” one family member called out. Marquinez’s son, Omar Andrade, declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

The defense claim that Marquinez choked to death while performing oral sex on Patterson was the focus of Padowitz’s approach through most of the week-long trial, but late Friday the lawyer switched his emphasis to the possibility that Marquinez died of a heart attack or stroke that went unnoticed by the defendant.

Medical experts were not certain exactly how long Marquinez was dead. She was last seen by someone other than Patterson on Oct. 25, according to trial testimony, and by the time investigators arrived her face, neck and arms had been so badly discolored that if there were bruises, no autopsy would have detected them.

But her neck bone was not broken and the cartilage around her neck was still intact, medical experts testified. Her official cause of death is undetermined.

In closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Peter Sapak concentrated on the evidence that does exist — Patterson spoke to his ex-girlfriend and sent text messages to his daughter that appeared to indicate a guilty conscience. The ex-girlfriend, Holly Graff, testified during the trial that Patterson admitted he choked Marquinez, though she couldn’t recall exactly how he phrased it. In text messages, Patterson said he “did something terrible” and was “really sorry.”

Most significantly, Sapak said, Patterson did not call police or paramedics. He called Graff, who put him in touch with Padowitz.

After consulting with Padowitz, Patterson’s attitude changed from contrition to “preservation,” Sapak said. He was recorded repeatedly telling Graff not to talk about the case and insisting that he could not go to jail.

Padowitz concentrated on the evidence that could not be presented at trial.

“They still don’t know how she died,” said Padowitz. While the medical evidence does not entirely exclude strangling, Padowitz said the testimony of the prosecution’s medical expert agreed with his own — strangling was not likely. But other possibilities could also not be ruled out, Padowitz said. Marquinez could have had a heart attack or a stroke, he said.

Padowitz downplayed the argument that was a centerpiece of his opening statement, that Marquinez may have choked to death while performing oral sex on Patterson. Defense medical expert Ronald Wright said such a death was consistent with the physical evidence, but he agreed with the prosecution’s expert, Louri Boiko, who said it was unlikely because of what it would have involved.

The victim would need to have her air supply cut off for at least 30 seconds before she passed out, then at least another two to three minutes before she died.

Even Padowitz admitted Monday that was not a reasonable theory for the jury to believe.

“That’s not the way she died,” Padowitz said. "But that’s the way Richard Patterson thought she died.”

The defense claims about what Patterson thought and why he didn’t call 911 were complicated by the fact that he did not testify. Without Padowitz’s assertions, there was no one to testify that Marquinez’s death was preceded by a sex act. There was also no testimony to suggest, as Padowitz did during opening statements, that Patterson failed to call for help because he was embarrassed and humiliated for Marquinez dying from oral sex.

“He believes that’s how she died,” he said. “He’s wrong!”

———

©2017 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)


Categories: Latest News

With undercover Instagram account, DEA nabs alleged drug dealer

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:06

Author: Booker Hodges

By Nate Gartrell East Bay Times

OAKLAND, Calif. — While a Hayward man allegedly was posting pictures of Xanax, pot, and guns for sale on Instagram, Drug Enforcement Administration agents were busy taking screenshots.

Last week, federal authorities made their move, arresting 20-year-old Marcos Hatch on charges of trafficking alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety. He faces five years in prison, but court documents indicate that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is reviewing the case to recommend federal gun charges be filed as well.

According to a DEA affidavit released Friday, authorities came across Hatch’s Instagram account while researching another suspected drug dealer named Christian Vanleer. It all started when an undercover Oakland policeman requested to follow Vanleer on Instagram and he accepted, unwittingly allowing the feds access to his pictures and follower lists.

Police also requested to follow some of Vanleer’s followers, including one named “triggerplayornoplay” (sic), who was later identified as Hatch, according to federal agents.

Authorities then began monitoring Hatch’s account day-to-day. They identified about 20 pictures advertising prescription painkillers and Xanax, and believe he used the hashtag #Holla to invite customers to purchase illegal drugs.

In other pictures, other users would do business with Hatch in the comments section. For instance, one user commented on a picture of marijuana, “How much for (an ounce)?” and Hatch replied, “200,” according to federal agents.

Other photos showed stacks of U.S. currency, including one where authorities say Hatch showed his face. It was hashtagged #Takenpenitentiarychances (sic), an indication that, “(Hatch) obtained the large amount of money shown by selling controlled substances, and he was taking a chance that if he got caught, he would be arrested and go to jail,” a federal agent wrote in the affidavit.

In April, more than a month before Hatch was arrested, authorities were given a search warrant to his account and began electronically monitoring his personal messages. They say he had numerous conversations involving the purchasing or selling of handguns and prescription drugs.

On May 16, authorities searched Hatch’s home and seized numerous guns, including an AK-47 in Hatch’s bedroom. They found small amounts of various drugs, clear plastic baggies, scales, and other evidence of drug sales, according to the DEA.

Meanwhile, Vanleer, as it turned out, was being investigated for his alleged role in an unrelated Bay Area drug trafficking ring centered in Discovery Bay, and headed by a man named Oscar Escalante. Authorities say its members distributed heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pills all over the Bay Area and beyond.

Court documents say federal agents seized hundreds of thousands in cash, dozens of guns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition when they raided stash houses and marijuana grows associated with the ring. The 2016 case against Escalante, Vanleer, and 14 other defendants is still pending.

———

©2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)


Categories: Latest News

Suspect fleeing police fatally struck by Prius

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:57
Author: Booker Hodges

By Sarah Ravani San Francisco Chronicle

SUNNYVALE, Calif.— A 54-year-old San Jose man fleeing police was killed Monday night when he jumped out of his car on Highway 101 in Sunnyvale and ran into the path of a vehicle, officials said.

The fatal 16-minute chase began about 9:50 p.m., when Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies spotted the man sitting in a 1998 Toyota Avalon at a gas station on Commercial Street in San Jose, officials said. When deputies approached the driver to question him about why his car had a broken windshield and paper license plates, he put the vehicle in reverse, struck the patrol car and took off, said Sgt. Rich Glennon of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies and responding backup officers chased the driver, who made several attempts to hit patrol cars, Glennon said.

During the pursuit, the suspect blew out one of his car’s tires, but that didn’t stop him, Glennon said.

The pursuit continued onto northbound Highway 101, where the driver crashed into the center median near Fair Oaks Avenue in Sunnyvale, Glennon said.

The suspect got out of his car, hopped the center divider, ran into the southbound lanes and was struck by a 2015 Toyota Prius driven by a 45-year-old woman, officials said.

California Highway Patrol officers began to apply first aid on the gravely injured man until paramedics arrived and took him to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he died. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

No other injuries were reported.

———

©2017 the San Francisco Chronicle


Categories: Latest News

Sheriff: $500M in poppy plants seized in NC

PoliceOne - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:12
Author: Booker Hodges

Associated Press

CLAREMONT, N.C. — A field of poppy plants that could be used to make opium was discovered in North Carolina and had an estimated value of $500 million, a sheriff says.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said the only other opium poppy plant field found in the U.S. this year was in California.

The acre (nearly half a hectare) of poppy plants were in rows, similar to how corn would be planted, in a field behind a home.

"One of our narcotics investigators came to the house looking for something else. When he knocked on the door, the guys said 'I guess you're here about the opium,'" the sheriff said.

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Captain J. Reid seizing poppy plants from large seizure in Claremont, NC.

Posted by Catawba County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The sheriff's office says Cody Xiong was arrested and charged with manufacture and trafficking by possession. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Officials don't think opium was being made on the property.

"The plants are being harvested here, and sent somewhere else where the opium is being produced from the plant," Capt. Jason Reid said told WBTV.


Categories: Latest News

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