• DOJ’s Loretta Lynch Inherits the Lie About the SPD

    It’s astonishing how this federal administration’s anti-cop agenda has worked. Create a false narrative. Besmirch the reputations of thousands of good cops nationwide. Impugn great police departments with fraudulent statistics about racism and use-of-force following flimsy, predetermined “investigations.” Impose an unnecessary and costly consent decree. And then, a few years later, return to those departments and “praise” the “reforms” that have occurred.

    Loretta Lynch’s recent praise for the “progress” the Seattle Police Department has made with DOJ-recommended “reforms” is infuriating. Consider that those who were a part of the process for instituting the reforms admitted years ago that they believed the DOJ investigation was flawed and the results, which the DOJ refused to reveal, were bogus.
     
    This should not be a surprise. Consider what former U.S. Attorney, Andrew C. McCarthy, who successfully prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, said to Newsmax.com’s Sean Piccoll about the DOJ’s investigation of American police departments, “They’ve [DOJ] had their thumbs on the scales from the beginning.”

    Piccoll wrote further, “McCarthy cited a string of federal civil-rights investigations into some 20 police departments, including Ferguson, Missouri’s, which he said the Justice Department has approached with a presumption of racial guilt.”

    McCarthy’s description is precisely what the DOJ did to the Seattle Police Department back when I was still there. This slimy method is ongoing and the DOJ is currently using it against law enforcement agencies across America.

    By the way: If anyone knows of a department where the DOJ did not find their cops guilty of racism and constitutional use-of-force violations, I love to hear about it.

    Early on, when the consent decree came into full force, Mayor McGinn and Seattle Police Department leaders, despite being armed with validation from Seattle U. criminal justice professor Matthew J. Hickman, and having conceded that the DOJ results were bunk, essentially told their cops (I heard it during a roll call from SPD’s consent decree compliance coordinator), that officers need to cooperate quietly in order to, “…prove that the DOJ was wrong about the SPD.”

    In response to a question during an interview about the DOJ’s bogus findings, Merrick Bobb, the federal consent decree monitor, made this Orwellian statement: “Whatever the correct figure might be [percentage of police physical abuse against suspects], it is not relevant to our task today. This is not the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s. The feud is over, and past disagreements must not impede current progress. What I know for sure is that the settlement agreement embodies best practice in policing and that it is to the SPD’s and Seattle’s benefit that it be implemented regardless of what led up to it” [Bold mine] (The Guardian, August, 2013).

    The federal monitor essentially told Seattle’s cops that despite that you may have been exonerated for a crime, you still have to serve your prison sentence—and do it with a smile.

    The fraud continues, and Seattle’s cops continue to serve their unwarranted sentence to this day.

  • The Age of “See Something, Say Something” is Over

    While I feel a tad uncomfortable addressing a situation involving a fourteen-year-old student, Ahmed Mohamed apparently has no problem with publicity, a trip to meet the president included, so, I’ll wade in. At any rate, it’s more about the situation than the individual involved, regardless of age.

    I investigated suspicious people, places, and things for over two decades. Without hesitation, I can tell you that had I been called to a school and observed the “clock” Ahmed had carried with him to school in a small suitcase, I would have been derelict in my duty if I didn’t treat it like a possible bomb.

    News reports indicate he showed the self-initiated, science project to his engineering teacher who advised him not to show anyone (the science teacher obviously thought it looked like a bomb) the “clock.” Ahmed ignored the warning and showed it to his English teacher. Not a science teacher or engineer, we know from the aftermath that this English teacher definitely thought the device looked like a possible bomb.

    So, so far we have a science/engineering teacher and an English teacher who thought the device looked like a bomb. The police responded and obviously they also thought it looked enough like a bomb to take the actions they did.

    Now, consider the following as reported in the media:

    Ahmed refused to cooperate with the police and provide details, so police have to assume the worst. I can tell you that I’ve called the bomb squad for less suspicious-looking devices during my career.

    One thing everyone seems to agree on is that Ahmed Mohamed is a bright student with a scientific mind. In other words: He’s very smart—perhaps, even brilliant. One might wonder, though, just how smart is Ahmed? Smart enough to know what at least two teachers and the police officers (not to mention every other objective person looking at the device) knew? That the device looked like a homemade bomb. Maybe? Probably?

    Consider these comments Ahmed made as reported by CNN, “‘I felt like I was a criminal,’ the teenager said. ‘I felt like I was a terrorist. I felt like all the names I was called.

    ‘In middle school,’ Ahmed said, ‘he had been called ‘bombmaker’ and a ‘terrorist.

    ‘Just because of my race and my religion,’ he said, adding that when he walked into the room where he was questioned, an officer reclined in a chair and remarked, ‘That’s who I thought it was (Really?).

    ‘I took it to mean he was pointing at me for what I am, my race,’ the freshman explained.’”

    Think about it: If bright, inquisitive science student Ahmed, who claims he’d been harassed by classmates specifically as a “bombmaker” and a “terrorist,” and then stereotyped by a cop, didn’t know that a suitcase containing a device with wires protruding from it and fitted with a timer could be mistaken for a bomb, maybe he ain’t all that smart after all. But, I doubt it.

    Seems all to convenient; or is it just me?

    Could it simply have been a matter of adolescent retribution?

    And, is this worthy of an knee-jerk invitation to the White House?

     

  • What if Police Followed Obama’s Strategy?

    When reflecting on global issues, it’s good to consider their local equivalents to determine how they could be better handled. Basically, adopt a keep-it-simple-stupid approach to understanding how an issue should be handled. For example, how the U.S. is dealing with ISIS, or should be dealing with ISIS, can be compared with how law enforcement might deal with a motorcycle or street gang taking over a neighborhood.

    I employed this tactic when assessing President Obama’s reasoning for entering into what sounds like such a dangerous nuclear agreement with the Islamofascist tyrants ruling Iran. A few days ago, a pundit on a news program, I can’t recall who, said he is convinced that the poor agreement is a result of an avoid-war-at-all-costs position the president has adopted.

    Consider that for all practical purposes, the West, including the U.S., is effectively allowing the ISIS’ atrocities. This includes the destruction of irreplaceable antiquities and the torture, rape and murders of Middle-Eastern Christians, minority religion adherents, and non-compliant Muslims.

    What if America, under a strong leader, rallied the civilized world against ISIS? It seems, even to my ordinary citizen sensibilities, that the Western powers, along with their Arab allies, could efficiently defeat the blasphemous rogue army. However, the president seems to be content to bide his time until his term expires. This will ensure the next president will have to deal with the consequences of his “Chamberlainian” appeasement of Iran, ISIS and other world bullies.

    Let’s return to reducing the global issue to the local level. Such a strategy of Iran appeasement and hesitation with ISIS, won’t avoid violence forever. Iran will cheat, and, eventually, someone will have to stop ISIS. After all, is there any evidence that either foe is going to stop on its own?

    The prudent move would be to, as the cliché informs us, nip it in the bud. Nipping Iran’s nuclear program before they gain a nuclear weapon and the ISIS rampage in the bud is becoming much more difficult as the movements grow. Just the other day ISIS issued its first Islamic caliphate state coins. In a bold insult to the West, especially the U.S., the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were portrayed on two of the coin’s—both, of course, were attacked on 9/11.

    I’m afraid, like Neville Chamberlain, Barack Obama is content to sit back and watch his successor, hopefully, like Churchill, make the necessary and courageous diplomatic and, if necessary, military moves to save the Middle East–perhaps the world–from these evils.

    Sadly, as with Prime Minister Chamberlain, President Obama also had it within his power to prevent untold misery, destruction and death. But, the true irony here is that many believe President Obama has also chosen this hesitation, appeasement strategy to preserve his legacy. Instead, he may find that he was chiseling his dubious legacy in granite.

  • Conflating Institutional Racism with Individual Racism.

    When people hear my perspective on racial bias in American law enforcement, which is predictably pro-police, in response, they leap to the extreme end of the spectrum. They challenge: “So, I suppose you don’t think there is any racial/ethnic bias in policing?”

    To frame my argument in such a restricted and disingenuous—and, if I may, black and white—manner does little to foster the “open discussion on race” the left is always advocating. Of course, there is bias in policing—always has been, always will be—as long as we’re human. And, while there is individual racism, this is not evidence of institutional racism? The evidence of this is overwhelming.

    Let’s consider three issues:

    First: Can an officer harbor racial/ethnic biases and still do the job properly?

    Second: Even if an officer does possess a racial bias, does he or she allow that bias to affect law enforcement decisions?

    Third: Does the left conflate individual racism with institutional racism, deliberately, specifically to preserve and perpetuate racial animosity?

    Whatever you do for a living, especially if it is in some sort of service-provider capacity, do you allow your biases to affect how you treat certain people? Is it possible to harbor racial bias and still provide excellent service? I say it is, and people do it every day in all occupations.

    Let’s say there is a cop who has a long-held contempt for Republicans. This officer arrives to investigate a burglary at a house where the homeowner has hammered a Republican candidate’s election sign into the front lawn. If the officer conducts a thorough and proper investigation and treats the victims with civility and respect, despite their political polarity, is there still a problem, or is the left not satisfied until everyone is forced think a certain way? Or, is it okay as long as it’s left against right?

    Even if an individual police officer allows racial bias to influence enforcement decisions, against policies established by his or her institution, how can that signal an example of institutional racial bias? Since a law enforcement agency isn’t supposed to support racial bias affecting its officers’ work, and would sanction any officer who was caught doing so, objectively, isn’t this an example of individual bias and not institutional bias?

    People all over America, who, after learning of an event that involved individual racism, often conflate it to rise to the level of institutional racism. So, some idiot kids paint a swastika on a Jewish temple. Now, somehow, the spirit of Jim Crow has risen because of it? People should note that the major American cities being criticized for having high crime and low employment rates happen to be Democrat-run, many for over half a century.

    When the left conflates examples of individual racism with institutional racism, they set up a situation where institutional racism, like individual racism, can never be perceived as eradicated.

    Oh, wait. Could that be the plan?

  • The Police Oath: Why is it Still Necessary?

    A person has to possess an exceptional civic, professional, educational and personal background just to be considered for a position as a sworn law enforcement officer. Once recruits have been accepted to the hiring process they will complete a battery of examinations including medical, psychological, interrogatories: written and oral, physical fitness and polygraph (lie detector). Agencies may offer positions as recruits to those who achieve among the highest scores.

    After this arduous process, recruits will attend a police academy for many months. The academy may be followed by a agency-specific “mini-academy,” and then the recruit will move on to several more months of training, partnered with a veteran field training officer.

    In addition to all of these rigorous requirements, in order to become an officer, a successful recruit must also swear an oath to faithfully, fairly, with proper discretion and integrity, uphold the law. Specific phrasing may vary in different jurisdictions, but the intent of the oaths is comparable.

    A law enforcement officer occupies a special place in American society. Therefore, cops are expected to execute the responsibilities of their offices properly. Because cops swear an oath, they ask for society’s trust and also ask them for the benefit of the doubt when necessary. If officers betray that trust and violate their oaths, they should suffer greater sanctions than ordinary citizens might receive for a similar violation.

    Sadly, while officers do suffer greater sanctions when convicted of wrongdoing, often they do not receive the requisite trust and benefit of the doubt from their communities that they need to do their jobs.

    Also sad, society has come to the point where, if a camera does not record an incident, many people will not take a police officer’s word over that of a suspected criminal (many, with multiple convictions). Last I checked, cops take oaths, criminals do not.

    In a crisp, new uniform, an officer stands proudly before his or her police chief or sheriff, surrounded by fellow recruits, family, friends and flags, right hand held up high and swears to uphold his or her oath of office.

    If society has chosen not to place any more weight on a cop’s word than it gives to career criminals; if a jury chooses not to give any veracity to a cop’s testimony unless video corroborates it; if a cop’s word means nothing in this new normal, then don’t we have to ask why do cops still swear oaths?

  • Denali: Americans Have no Aversion to Indian Place Names.

    Why the sudden urgency to change the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali? To judge the rhetoric, one might think that, historically, Americans have had some sort of aversion to employing Indian words when naming important American places. However, history teaches us this does not seem to be the case.

    America has thousands of Indian, Native Alaskan and Native Hawaiian place names including the names of nearly half its states, including my native state of Massachusetts. The others are: Connecticut, Delaware, Alabama; Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas; Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa; N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Wisconsin; Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois; Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky; Tennessee, Utah, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.

    The other odd thing is that Mt. McKinley has been located in the Denali National Park and Preserve established in 1917. One could see if there was some aversion to using the word Denali, but there obviously wasn’t, indicating naming (re-naming) the mountain, Mt. McKinley, wasn’t done out of some form of racism. In other words: it doesn’t appear there was any great injustice to correct.

    So, what is one left with? Politics. Plain and simple, President Obama needed a prop to enhance an Alaska visit that will make him the first sitting U.S. president to travel above the Arctic Circle, where he will drone on about the horrors of Global Warm… uh, Climate Change… blah, blah, blah.

    While I happen to prefer the name Denali, there are some interesting issues to consider regarding this presidential, political maneuver: If it took an act of congress to create the name, how is it right for a president to unilaterally change it simply for political expediency, and to couch the move as some sort of overdue repair of some historical, racial slight? Mt. McKinley/Denali has also been known by other Alaskan native names besides Denali—so, why Denali? Is this fair to other natives who knew (know) the mountain by another name?

    Mr. Obama has demonstrated time and again he is no fan of any of America’s venerable traditions–except, perhaps, for dirty politics. He seems to have no respect for American traditions, which is bad enough, but he also seems to have no respect for our constitutional government or established laws.