Category Archives: Crime

Three Other Minneapolis Cops Arrested

Good.

The three cops who watched on as Minneapolis police officer George Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck are now in custody after being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were arrested Wednesday – nine days after Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests.

[…]

Meanwhile, Chauvin – who was originally charged with third-degree murder – has now been slapped with an additional charge of second-degree murder. He now also faces 40 years in prison.

I do worry if they have over-charged them. We all want justice and proving intentional homicide may be difficult.

Riots Roil America

Sigh

Protesters have clashed with police in cities across the US over the killing of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of officers in Minneapolis.

Minnesota’s governor said the tragedy of the death of George Floyd in police custody had morphed into “something much different – wanton destruction”.

New York, Atlanta, Portland and other cities have seen violence, while the White House was briefly locked down.

An ex-Minneapolis policeman has been charged with murder over the death.

Unlike some previous cases, everybody seems to agree on this one. The cop appears to have murdered George Floyd. He has been arrested and is being tried for murder. We all agree that it’s the right thing to do, but people are still rioting.

The protests about this killing are completely justified. It was an outrageous abuse of police power and we have a right to be angry about it. Even as some of that anger spilled over into aggression, it can be understood. But it is also clear that many people are taking advantage of the chaos to just commit mayhem. We have certainly seen that before.

Two other things may be at play here. First, remember that many people are unemployed and have been cooped up for weeks or months. That has an effect on the mood and psyche. Second, it is an election year. Every four years we seem to erupt with racial tension before the presidential election. This year it happened right as Joe Biden was telling black folks that they “ain’t black” if they don’t vote Democrat. How convenient it is, then, that we stoke the racial fires. If it wasn’t this horrible murder, it would have been something else.

Finally, if the riots were moving through your city and the police were intentionally standing down, wouldn’t you want a gun right about now? Government is always there except when you need them the most. Be safe out there.

Officer Who Killed George Floyd is Arrested

Good. Let justice be done.

The former Minneapolis police officer seen in a video with his knee on George Floyd’s neck before the unarmed black man died this week was taken into custody Friday by state authorities, according to John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as fires continued to burn from violent protests overnight as demonstrators demanded justice for Floyd.

Rioting In Minneapolis

Yikes 

Stores including Wendy’s, Target, Walmart and AutoZone were looted, ransacked and some set alight before rioters tried to bust open an ATM, as many ignored pleas from the Floyd family’s lawyer and Minnesota Governor Walz to protest peacefully Wednesday night.

Videos showed what was reported to be an apartment building entirely engulfed by flames as rioters stood and watched and the fire department was nowhere to be seen. An AutoZone store was also one of those which was set on fire.

Outside a GM Tobacco store, a group of four men with huge firearms were seen and said they had come to protect local businesses from looters,

During the riots, a woman in a wheelchair was punched in the head and sprayed with a fire extinguisher after trying to block protesters – allegedly with a knife in her hand.

Two Pro Football Players Wanted for Armed Robbery

What the… each of these men earns millions and millions of dollars and they throw everything away for $12k? Crooks to the core.

Florida police are searching for two NFL players after they allegedly robbed people at a house party.

Deandre Baker of the New York Giants and Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks are said to have robbed other guests at gunpoint.

About $12,000 (£9,850) in cash and watches worth up to $25,000 were taken.

[…]

According to the police arrest warrant, the incident occurred after an argument broke out at the house party, where guests were playing cards and video games.

Baker allegedly took out a gun before he, Dunbar and another man – described as wearing a red mask – started taking valuables and cash from people.

The man in the red mask is not fully identified in the reports. Baker allegedly asked this person to shoot one witness, but the red masked man did not do so.

All three then made off in separate vehicles – a Mercedes Benz, a Lamborghini and a BMW.

Covid Crime Wave Cometh

This will end badly.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has released nearly 1,600 inmates since March to help address the COVID-19 crisis, a DOC spokeswoman said Thursday.

The vast majority — 1,447 individuals released from March 2 to May 4 — are inmates who had been detained because they violated terms of their probation, parole or extended supervision while being monitored in the community, DOC spokeswoman Anna Neal said. The inmates were being held either in a county jail or DOC’s Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility.

In other words, the vast majority of people who wee released have already demonstrated that they will not abide by the law. They committed crimes. They were punished. And then they violated the terms of their punishment. Perhaps they were carrying a gun. Perhaps they went too close to their victim from the previous crime. Perhaps they were getting drunk or high. They were put back in jail a second time because they could not behave by the terms of their releases. What are the odds that these people will commit more crimes against innocent people instead of dying of Covid?

New York Mayor’s Fascist Crack Down of Jews

Is this America? Do you want it to be?

‘When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.’

The mayor went on to send a stark warning to the community that the police will issue summons and even arrest people flouting social distancing guidelines.

‘My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,’ he wrote on Twitter.

De Blasio slammed the Jewish community in a Twitter rant Tuesday night after he had broken up the gathering with the NYPD

De Blasio slammed the Jewish community in a Twitter rant Tuesday night after he had broken up the gathering with the NYPD

‘I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.’

De Blasio’s response faced a backlash from some members of the Jewish community who said he was ‘singling out’ the group.

‘This has to be a joke.Did the Mayor of NYC really just single out one specific ethnic community (a community that has been the target of increasing hate crimes in HIS city) as being noncompliant??’ wrote Chaim Deutsch, a City Council member who represents a large Orthodox Jewish population, in a Twitter post.

Evers Halts Prison Admissions

This will not end well.

Under the order, any defendant who is sentenced to prison will be held in a county jail instead of being transferred to one of DOC’s more than 30 prison facilities across the state.

Neal said most individuals who violate probation and parole rules would also go to the county jails, but some would go to a DOC facility in Milwaukee that is specifically for felons who violate their supervision terms. It is the only such DOC facility.

Although the emergency order could help prevent an inmate from bringing COVID-19 into a prison, it might also put extra pressure on county jails, including potential overcrowding.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said there were “absolutely no conversations” with county sheriffs about the impact the order will have on county jails. The Dane County Jail was notified of the change via email at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

“It’s really got sheriffs really upset,” Mahoney said. “It’s just very frustrating — as we’re trying to keep our own institutions healthy while we continue to hold prison inmates for the Department of Corrections — that we were not involved in at least a conversation about the need to find a collaborative solution.”

Mahoney said if the governor would have consulted county sheriffs, they could have come up with another solution to keep the prisons and jails safe, such as screening all inmates before transferring them to prisons.

We’re watching a very average man lurch from draconian thing to stupid thing without any real understanding of the consequences. Why are we allowing this one man to have so much power over our lives? We elected a governor, not a king.

Evers’ vetoes tell us his values

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s how it starts:

Governor Tony Evers spent last week telling the people of Wisconsin what his values really are by vetoing several bills that would have made Wisconsinites wealthier, healthier, and safer. Our governor’s actions tell us that he would rather Wisconsinites be poorer, sicker, and less safe if it means that he can appease his liberal benefactors and the social justice warriors.

 

 

Test Your Meth for Coronovirus

Well played.

A police department in Wisconsin has generated buzz on social media after it sent a Facebook post encouraging people to turn over meth to police for a “free” test to make sure it is not “contaminated” by the new coronavirus.

The Merrill Police Department framed the post as a public service announcement, writing, “If you have recently purchased Meth, it may be contaminated with the Corona Virus.” It encouraged people to take it to the police department “and we will test it for free.”

“If you’re not comfortable going into an office setting, please request any officer and they’ll test your Meth in the privacy of your home. Please spread the word! We are here for you!” the department added.

Reporting Child Abuse is a Tricky Business

This is really a minefield for parents.

The hospital’s guidance advised doctors to notify the Child Protection Program of even small bruises found on infants who are not yet “cruising,” or pulling themselves up on furniture. Such bruises, the guidance warned, are “sentinel” injuries that can signal possible child abuse. Knox helped to write the policy, basing it on “national guidelines and practice,” Russell said.

The Siebolds offered several innocent explanations for Leo’s bruises. Perhaps they came from Leo’s “Army crawling” over toys on the wooden floor of the family home — or from Leo’s struggle with Brenna Siebold and ER staff during the examination a day earlier. Knox and physician assistant Amanda Palm rejected those theories. The hospital reported the bruises to authorities as “unexplained.”

Mount Horeb Police officers Susan Zander and Jenn Schaaf interviewed the Siebolds at the hospital; one officer knew Brenna Siebold personally. They quickly discounted the allegations, writing in a one-paragraph police report that the bruises were “caused by medical staff.”

After a two-month investigation, the Dane County Department of Human Services also concluded there was no evidence of abuse.

Minor bruises could spark even more investigations under a bill introduced in 2019 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. It would create a $10 million demonstration program on how to use “sentinel injuries” in children 7 months and younger, including minor bruises, to detect — and prevent — child abuse and fatalities.

Child abuse is terrible and everyone (almost) wants to see it discovered, reported, prosecuted, and prevented. This creates a huge incentive for people – especially medical professionals – to report even their smallest suspicions to law enforcement. And because child abuse is so horrendous, even the accusation can ruin the lives of parents and pull apart families.

The problem is that some kids get hurt is weird ways, some kids bruise easily, and some kids lie. Even if the authorities never prove that there was child abuse or actually conclude that there was no child abuse, the accusation will still linger. People will doubt. Employers will wonder. Family members will question. Nobody wants to be the person who did not report suspected child abuse if there actually is child abuse. And nobody wants to let their kids go to little Timmy’s house when his dad is an accused child abuser.

I don’t have any good answers. The amount of scrutiny for child abuse is appropriate given our collective concern for the welfare of children. But once that accusation is made, it can’t be retracted even if it is disproven. Be very careful before you accuse.

NEWS: If You Let Crooks Off Easy, They Commit More Crimes

This is a very long story, but very good. Go read the whole thing. Essentially, Cook County implemented “reform” where they let more crooks out without bail. The judge in charge proceeded to cook the books to show that there were no negative consequences. After pressure from the Chicago Tribune, they found the underlying data to be flawed and there were, in fact, significant negative consequences. This is a good insight to the consequences of criminal justice reforms being considered in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans for months has defended the bail reform he ordered by citing an analysis produced by the office he runs.

His report, released in May, noted that Chicago saw no increase in violent crime after judges began implementing those reforms by reducing or eliminating monetary bail for many pretrial defendants. Far more of these defendants were released from custody, yet only “a very small fraction” were charged afterward with a new violent offense, the report states.

But a Tribune investigation has found flaws in both the data underlying Evans’ report and the techniques he used to analyze it — issues that minimize the number of defendants charged with murder and other violent crimes after being released from custody under bail reform.

One central conclusion of Evans’ analysis was that only 147 felony defendants released from custody in the 15 months after bail reform went on to be charged with new violent crimes, or 0.6% of the total. He has called this a “rare” occurrence.

But Evans’ definition of violent crime, while acceptable to criminologists under some circumstances, was limited to six offenses and excluded numerous others, including domestic battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, armed violence and reckless homicide.

Hundreds of these charges were filed against people released after bail reform took effect, according to data Evans provided after the Tribune filed a public records petition to the Illinois Supreme Court. If those charges were included in the analysis, the total would be at least four times higher, the Tribune found.

The report’s underlying data also was flawed in multiple ways that led to an undercount of murders and other violent crimes allegedly committed by people out on bail.

In one example, the Tribune identified 21 defendants who allegedly committed murder after being released from custody in the 15 months after bail reform. Evans’ report said there were three.

[…]

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Sheriff Tom Dart and other law enforcement officials have championed the intent of Chicago’s reforms. But they also have warned that there are consequences when judges release people with violent charges and backgrounds into neighborhoods already shaken by crime and gunfire.

“The low bails give those dangerous criminals a sense of impunity and make their victims less likely to cooperate with police,” Lightfoot said at a news conference as she stood beside police after the July 4 weekend, when 66 people were shot, five fatally.

“The Bill Clinton of Cities”

Ouch.

“San Francisco has squandered its place in the sun,” said John Price, CEO of the genetic engineering company Greffex Inc. “San Francisco is the Bill Clinton of cities. It squandered itself with its flaws.”

Man Commandeers Airport Monitor for Gaming

Good on you, man.

(CNN)Most airport travelers with time on their hands will open a book, browse their phone or take a nap. Others will take things a level further.

A man traveling through Oregon’s Portland International Airport on Thursday was caught playing a video game on one of the airport’s video monitors.
“I couldn’t believe it. You’ve got all these monitors there and he’s playing a video game,” said Stefan Dietz, who captured the moment and tweeted it. The gamer even appeared to be talking on a headset to other players, according to Dietz.

Corrupt Former UWO Officials Reach Plea Deal in Criminal Cases

This better not be a sweetheart deal. Public corruption involving millions of taxpayer dollars needs to be severely punished.

OSHKOSH – The public will have to wait until Wednesday to learn more about the plea agreement two former University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh executives made in a criminal misconduct case stemming from their involvement with the university’s private foundation.

Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner, who have been free on $10,000 signature bonds since their first court hearing in June 2018, reached a deal with prosecutors, Assistant Attorney General Richard Chiapete said this week in a letter to the court.

Winnebago County Circuit Judge John Jorgensen on Friday granted a request from Sonnleitner’s defense attorney, former federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic, to seal the agreement until the end of Wednesday’s plea and sentencing hearing.

[…]

The Wisconsin Department of Justice charged Wells and Sonnleitner in April 2018 with five counts each of misconduct in office in excess of their authority as a party to a crime after negotiations stalled in the lawsuit, which the UW System filed more than a year before. The Justice Department also represents the UW System in the civil case.

The criminal complaint, which largely mirrors the lawsuit, claims Wells and Sonnleitner improperly funneled $11 million in taxpayer money into five foundation building projects: the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel; the Culver Family Welcome Center; two biodigesters, which turn waste into electricity; and the Oshkosh Sports Complex, which includes Titan Stadium.

The complaint also outlines how Wells and Sonnleitner wrote a series of “comfort letters” to various lenders, assuring the banks the university would help out if the foundation was unable to make loan payments. The DOJ says money can’t go from the university to the foundation under state law. Attorneys for both men argued the letters did not constitute legally binding commitments.

Trump Deploys The Hulk to the Border

Hehe.

As the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno brought the bad guys to book with his famous thunderclap, a signature superhero move as loud as a sonic boom or a hurricane.

But the actor most famous for bringing the Marvel Comics legend to life in the long-running 1970s CBS television series will have to rely on more traditional crime-fighting tools in his latest role, as a sheriff’s deputy in the New Mexico desert.

The 68-year-old former bodybuilder will be sworn in on Thursday as the newest recruit of the Socorro county sheriff’s department.

As a deputy, Ferrigno will continue a journey in law and order that began as the ferocious green alter ego of Dr David Bruce Banner on the small screen and progressed to real-life spells as a reserve deputy in two California counties … and as a member of notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s volunteer posse which targeted illegal immigrants.

No Bail Policy Allows Crook to Continue Crime Spree

Some folks are trying to bring this to Wisconsin.

A serial bank robber targeted four New York banks, was released under the city’s new law which requires no bail for holding suspects, only to strike a fifth financial institution, police claim.

The suspect, Gerold Woodberry, 42, is alleged to have robbed banks in New York’s Midtown Manhattan, Harlem, West Village and the Upper West Side, since December 30, sources said.

However, under the new ‘no bail’ law, he was released on Thursday.

‘I can’t believe they let me out,’ sources said he was overheard saying on the way out of the New York Police Department’s headquarters, reports the New York Post.

‘What were they thinking?’ he added, allegedly striking a fifth bank in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday, the sources told the Post.

[…]

The new law, designed to reduce jail overcrowding and which went into effect in the new year, drops the bail requirement for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, including robberies.

Epstein Video “Lost”

Uh huh.

NEW YORK (AP) — Video footage of the area around Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on a day he survived an apparent suicide attempt “no longer exists,” federal prosecutors told a judge Thursday.

Officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York believed they had preserved footage of guards finding Epstein after he appeared to have attempted suicide, but actually saved a video from a different part of the jail, prosecutors said.

The FBI also has determined that the footage does not exist on the jail’s backup video system “as a result of technical errors,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold wrote in a court filing.

Governor Evers Wants to Let Crooks Out on the Street to Commit More Crimes

No.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and fellow Democratic lawmakers have introduced a series of proposals designed to reduce overcrowded prisons, but without support from Republican leaders they are unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Evers told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview published Thursday that he hoped the bills would spur a bipartisan discussion on the need to address the state’s rising prison population, which is expected to reach 25,000 inmates by 2021. Evers campaigned on the pledge to cut the state’s prison population in half.

[…]

The bills would set incarceration limits for non-criminal supervision violations, extend earned release eligibility to include vocational or educational programs and expand on a compliance credit to allow for shortened community supervision options. The measures, introduced by Rep. Evan Goyke and Sen. Lena Taylor, both of Milwaukee, applies only to nonviolent offenders.

Setting a target prison population is not a rational or moral goal. The population of our prisons is a function of how much crime is being committed and how we choose to punish people. If we can reduce the number of crimes being committed so that the prison population declines, then great! If the prison population increases because more people are committing crimes, then so be it. But to just let criminals out on the street to commit more crimes in order to reach an arbitrary number of people in prison so that Evers can feel good is dangerous and immoral.

In my experience, the vast majority of people are decent, law-abiding folks. They might speed or double park every now and then, but they are good people. A tiny slice of the population are wretched human beings who commit the vast majority of the serious crimes. Those people are just bad, and they will continue to commit crimes for as long as they are able to because they are criminals. That’s just what criminals do. Bakers bake. Farmers farm. Drivers drive. Criminals commit crime. The only way to reduce crime is to remove the criminals from society as often as possible and for as long as possible.

Criminalizing Jerk Parents

This is bad law.

State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has experienced that firsthand. He’s been officiating since the 1970s. Referees and umpires face more hostility today than they did when he was starting out behind the plate, he said. Vruwink is co-sponsor of a new bill in the state Assembly that aims to address the problem.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, could make it a criminal misdemeanor to harass or intimidate a sports official in Wisconsin.

Vruwink said the bill’s purpose is to help address the national shortage of youth and amateur sports referees, which hasn’t spared the state.

[…]

Reports of confrontations and assaults on officials are increasing, said Dave Anderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

WIAA pushed for the legislation to be drafted, while NASO, the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has also expressed support for it, according to a WIAA news release.

Anderson emphasized that the purpose of the bill isn’t to have parents arrested.

“The last thing anyone really wants to see is somebody to go to jail or going to prison because of their inability to control emotions in a kids’ basketball game,” he said.

Rather, it will serve as a tool to make the environment more comfortable for referees and umpires at a time when it’s critical to retain them, he said. Anderson said the legislation will not only benefit WIAA’s member high schools, but also younger kids who play sports and adults who participate in recreational leagues.

There is no question that there has been a general decline in decorum at youth sports events. However, criminalizing the behavior is not the answer. There are already laws against assault or disorderly conduct. If a parent goes that far, then those laws can be used. This bill is an effort to criminalize behavior that falls somewhere below the threshold of those laws. The bill is attempting to criminalize being a jerk. While nobody likes jerks at games, it is a bad idea to begin hauling those parents off to jail.