Police Issues

Decriminalizing illegal immigration would have serious consequences

(#335, 7/1/19)

     Given a belt-busting load of twenty candidates and only four hours air time, we didn’t expect that the Democratic debates of June 26 and 27 would dive into crime and justice in any depth. And for the most part we weren’t surprised. What’s more, the “arguments” that did take place seemed so fine-tuned to avoid offending ideological sensibilities – in this case, of the “blue” persuasion – that we were unsure whether the owners of those lips knew that should their quest prove successful they would be Constitutionally bound to faithfully execute the laws that already exist.

     That takes us to immigration. (We’ll be referring to debate transcripts published by the New York Times. Click here for a transcript of the first debate and here for the second.) Title 8, U.S.C., Sec. 1325, “improper entry by alien,” makes it a crime to sneak in. First offenders can draw six months in prison, and repeaters can get two years. That’s essentially how the law has read since 1950, when its text used the terms “misdemeanor” and “felony” to distinguish between penalties.

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A Distinction Without a Difference Do guns merely enable violence? Or are they its cause? (#334, 6/22/19)

Informed and Lethal Accurate information can provoke lethal errors (#333, 5/5/19)

Mission Impossible? Inner-city violence calls for a lot more than cops. Is America up to the task? (#332, 4/13/19)

Driven to Fail Numbers-driven policing can’t help but offend. What are the options? (#331, 3/27/19)

No Such Thing as "Friendly" Fire As good guys and bad ramp up their arsenals, the margin of error disappears (#330, 3/4/19)

A Not-So-Magnificent Obsession Lapses in policing lead to chronic rulemaking. Does it hit the mark? (#329, 2/15/19)

A Victim of Circumstance Building cases with circumstantial evidence calls for exquisite care (#328, 1/26/19)

When Walls Collide Ideological quarrels drown out straight talk about border security (#327, 1/14/19)

Cops Aren't Free Agents To improve police practices, look to the workplace (#326, 1/3/19)

Red Flag at Half-Mast II Preventing more than suicide may carry serious risks (#325, 12/5/18)

Red Flag at Half Mast California’s Guv nixes expanded authority to seize guns from their owners (#324, 11/21/18)

Preventing Mass Murder With gun control a no-go, early intervention is key. Might artificial intelligence help? (#323, 11/4/18)

Notching a "Win" A self-professed “sleeper agent” is (legally) flimflammed by the FBI
(#322, 10/21/18)

Is it Ever OK to Shoot Someone in the Back? Laws, policies and politics clash with the messiness of policing (#321, 10/8/18)

Speed Kills Acting swiftly can save lives. And take them, too. (#320, 9/23/18)

The Bail Conundrum Bail obviously disadvantages the poor. What are the alternatives? (#319, 9/4/18)

Make-Believe Surprise! A well-known terrorist winds up in the U.S. as a refugee (#318, 8/18/18)

Police Slowdowns (Part II) Cops can’t fix what ails America’s inner cities - and shouldn’t try (#317, 8/4/18)

Police Slowdowns (Part I) Bedeviled by scolding, cops hold back. What happens then? (#316, 7/22/18)

Should Every Town Field Its Own Cops? Recent tragedies bring into question the wisdom of small agencies (#315, 7/6/18)

No One Wants Ex-cons to Have Guns The New York Times affirms its liberal creds. And falls into a rabbit hole. (#314, 6/24/18)

Fewer Can Be Better Murder clearances have declined. Should we worry? (#313, 6/9/18)

The Blame Game Inmates are “realigned” from state to county supervision. Then a cop gets killed. (#312, 5/21/18)

Is Your Uncle a Serial Killer? Police scour DNA databanks for the kin of unidentified suspects (#311, 5/6/18)

There's no "Pretending" a Gun Sometimes split-second decisions are right, even when they're wrong (#310, 4/18/18)

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7/14/19: New Zealand began buying back semi-automatic weapons it banned in April, one month after the massacres at two mosques by Brendon Tarrant. Semi-auto rifles are now legal only in .22 caliber and with magazine capacities of less than ten rounds. Semi-auto shotguns have been restricted to five rounds. Related post

7/13/19: On July 5th. a distraught 17-year old girl was shot and killed after pointing a replica gun at a Fullerton (CA) police officer whose vehicle she apparently purposely struck. Her family said she borrowed a car without permission and apparently intended to harm herself. Related post

7/13/19: In connection with her Presidential campaign, Senator Elizabeth Warren released a proposal that would, among other things, decriminalize illegal entry, making it a civil violation. Of the candidates, only Joe Biden has come out in favor of retaining illegal entry as a criminal offense. Related post

7/11/19: FBI agents are probing tattooed cliques of L.A. Sheriff's deputies, including the East L.A. station’s “Banditoes,” the Century station’s “Spartans” and “Regulators,” and the South L.A. station's “Reapers.” These gang-like factions allegedly encourage deputies to violate citizen rights and harass officers who don’t comply. Related post1 Related post2

7/10/19: In 2008 Jeffrey Epstein, a hugely wealthy and politically influential financial whiz pled guilty in Florida state court to trafficking young girls to New York for his sexual gratification. Epstein’s money and connections allegedly led to an exceedingly lenient sentence and helped him avoid Federal prosecution. But a new Federal indictment in New York aims to change all that. Related post

7/9/19: Thanks to America’s switch to fentanyl, many Mexican farm families who cultivated opium poppies “ so that your kids could go to school, so you could buy clothes, so that you could get something extra” face potential ruin. For some, the fix is to illegally emigrate to America. Related post

7/4/19: LAPD touts PredPol, a computerized “predictive policing” strategy that uses past activity to map where crimes are likely to occur. But many agencies now say that it doesn’t tell officers anything new, or that it simply doesn’t work. According to a researcher the software’s effect “ is very small...it can be hard to see.” Related post

6/27/19: An unnamed veteran NYPD detective committed suicide yesterday. That brings the city’s tragic count to four officers in three weeks. Related post

6/26/19: On June 19 Adel Ramos, 45, used a high-powered rifle to shoot and kill rookie Sacramento, Calif. police officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, during a domestic violence call. Ramos, who had a record and an open warrant for domestic violence, had a shotgun, a handgun and two California-illegal AR-15 type rifles assembled from parts. This tragedy apparently led California Governor Gavin Newsom to change his mind and endorse expanding the State’s red flag laws to allow, among other things, “teachers, employers and co-workers to also petition the courts.” Related post


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