RANDOM QUESTIONS

* What is the difference between Former President Jimmy Carter laying a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat, and me, a former cop, laying a wreath at the grave of Ted Bundy?

* How can we respect the Nobel Peace Prize when it honored a man who dedicated his life to killing people?

* If Billy Graham’s church had bestowed honors upon David Duke, (a devout anti-Semite, racist) would that have been any different than the Trinity Church of Christ bestowing honors upon Louis Farrahkan (devout anti-Semite, racist)?

* If John McCain or Hillary Clinton had remained as member of a church that honored David Duke — for twenty years — would that not send a message to voters about their character and their values?

* If John McCain or Hillary Clinton ever used the term (no matter the context) “…like a typical black person…” would they have been considered racists? Would blacks have been offended?

* Is there anyone out there with an IQ over 90 who actually believes that Obama was unaware of his pastor’s anti-Semitic, anti-American, pro-Farrahkan leanings over a period of twenty years?

* Why isn’t Barack Obama being questioned by the media about his past support of cousin, Raila Odinga, Marxist-terrorist, now co-leader of Kenya who has sworn to impose strict Islamic (Sharia) law over the country.

* I wonder what would happen if any white U.S. Senator suggested the formation of a “White Caucus” in congress?

* How would the American media treat Billy Graham if he formed a million-man march of white people on Washington D.C.?

* How is America ever to be color blind, when folks like Obama, Farrahkan, Wright, Sharpton and Jesse Jackson keep reminding America what color they are?

* Why is it that white racism is condemned, but black racism is excused?

* If he had run for office, can anyone imagine Colin Powell making an issue of his race?

* If a race of people are given special preference for jobs and promotions over another race, strictly based on race, is that not discrimination?

* If America’s goal is to put a stop to racial discrimination, then why do we still apply affirmative action in government agencies?

* If illegal aliens are called “undocumented workers,” should not drug pushers should be called “Unlicensed pharmacists?”

* Should bank robberies be called “unauthorized withdrawals?”

* Why do the laws of government declare it a crime to kill and then legalize killing by government?

* If America is the land of the free, why do we have 2.4 million human beings locked in cages — more than half for non-violent offenses – comprising enough people to form the 35th largest state?

* Why does our presidential election process require two years, while other nations do not require more than two or three months?

* Is Rap Music an Oxymoron?

* If the make-up of the 1966 Supreme Court had been similar to today, would there ever have been a “Miranda” Decision?

* What’s the moral difference between alcohol “Prohibition” of the 1920’s, and marijuana “Prohibition” of today?

* Why does Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — who are not important — garner more media attention than Ahmedinijad, Kim Jong-Il and Putin — who are important?

* If United States taxpayers are going to provide food clothing and shelter to all Americans who need it, and taxpayers are going to provide higher education to those who can’t afford it, and taxpayers are going to provide free health care to all who need it, how can that not be defined as socialism?

* If all these benefits are provided free to people in “need”, wouldn’t it be advantageous for those people to remain needy?

* If Palestinians laid down their arms, would they still exist? If Israel laid down their arms, would they still exist? Is there anyone who does not know the simple answer to those questions?

* Since when was it declared wrongful conduct for a nation whose population is under armed attack, to defend itself?

* If Osama Bin Laden was the leader of the attack on America on September 11th, why did we go after Saddam Hussein in Iraq? And why is Bin Laden still at large?

* If we declared war against Japan in December of 1941, why didn’t we declare war against Radical Islam in September of 2001?

* If the Saudis are funding Islamic fundamentalism and terror throughout the western world, and they send rewards to families of suicide bombers, why does our government continue to kiss their butts?

* If radical Islam has openly announced its intentions to destroy the United States from within, and considering the wake-up of 9-11, why do we still hand out multi-thousands of student visas to kids from the mid-east?

* If Homeland Security became the primary issue after 9-11, why are the southern and northern borders still being breached six years later?

* If our nation’s security was of utmost importance following 9-11, why were 142 Saudi nationals given free, secret passage out of the country two days later, when all airports were closed?

* Can anyone possibly imagine, a United States that is no longer free?

* Are there any answers?

CRIME VICTIMS: THE FORGOTTEN AMERICANS

The following is a fictional scenario extracted from the annals of true crime.

On a warm summer evening in North Miami, Mary Smith and her daughter, 13, were invaded by three house robbers. The mother was held at gunpoint while the criminals raped the child. The three subjects were apprehended, tried and convicted. Justice, so to speak, was served. But was it? The child was left with severe psychological trauma, nightmares and major phobias not to mention three forms of permanent sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, Mrs. Smith and her daughter were subjected to frequent appearances and interrogations via the justice system, a nightmarish ordeal in itself. Mrs. Smith lost her job and her house, unable to pay for the humongous costs.

The three criminals all had prior arrests and convictions for violent crime and had been given light sentences and/or had served a part of their sentence before being paroled. The bottom line: Representatives of the state (judges and parole boards) erred in their judgement which, post facto, resulted in these crimes. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but this tragedy would never have occurred had the criminals been given the hard time prescribed by statute. They should have been sentenced to the maximum with no probation and served their full terms. Law enforcement did their part. They identified, arrested and prosecuted the criminals. Yet, the system still failed Mary Smith and her daughter.

Oh well, Mrs. Smith. We’re sorry.

Victims of crime are often forgotten and/or treated as just another cog in the wheels of criminal justice. Yet, many victims of theft, robbery, rape and other physical assaults, are relegated to reliving those horrid moments for the rest of their lives, in terms of financial ruin, physical and mental disability, or by the death of loved ones. Too many of the perpetrators of those crimes had already been through a justice system which failed to keep dangerous criminals off the street, or at the least, correct their behavior. If we are a government whereby a citizen can be awarded millions of dollars from a restaurant because the coffee was too hot; If we are a government who rewards illegal aliens with billions in benefits and social services; If we are a government who sends billions of dollars overseas to assist citizens of other countries; If we can afford to spend billions more on sending space ships to Mars and beyond, we certainly can do a little more to assist the victims of crime in our own communities, especially when the system dropped the ball.

The tiny nation of Iceland passed a compensation program that provides financial relief for all victims of crime (Icelandic citizens) who suffer financial and/or physical loss. It’s the law. Not bad.

Besides the long range effects, crime victims, and/or their family members, are often required to spend considerable time at trials or other legal proceedings in a major case. Most are not paid for being away from their jobs. Some not only lost wages, they lose jobs. State legislatures should pass laws that protect victims of crimes or families of deceased victims by allowing up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work during any 12-month period to attend court proceedings.

As part of the terms of parole and/or probation, perpetrators should be required to pay restitution — at least in part — to victims that have suffered financial loss from their crimes. Inmates who work at paid jobs while in prison should provide some degree of restitution to their victims.

There are several victim advocacy organizations who work hard at bringing these issues to the attention of government leaders and who have strived toward introducing a constitutional amendment that would read (or similarly) as follows:

“A victim of a crime shall be treated with fairness, compassion and respect by the criminal justice system. A victim of a crime shall not be denied the right to be present at public judicial proceedings except when, prior to completing testimony as a witness, the victim is properly sequestered in accordance with law of the rules governing the courts of the state. A victim of a crime shall be entitled to those rights and remedies as may be provided by the legislative branch. Victim of a crime is defined as: a) a person who has suffered physical or psychological injury or has incurred significant loss or damage to personal or real property as a result of a crime or an incident involving another person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and b) the spouse, parent, legal guardian, grandparent, child or sibling of the decedent in the case of a criminal homicide.”

Texas passed a Crime Victim Compensation Program that allows for up to $50,000 paid to victims of violent crime. This is a good start, but not nearly enough in cases where permanent injuries, physical and psychological, can spiral lifetime costs ten times that amount. Consider a victim who has been shot in the spine and relegated to a wheelchair for life, after major surgery.

The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards has been advocating for victims of crime, boasting $444 million dollars in assistance to victims in 2006. Good for them. But that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the losses incurred by victims of crime.

If I could wave the magic wand, I would want all states passing legislation that would provide for financial assistance to victims who suffer physical/mental disabilities as a result of a crime, providing they are not involved in the offense. And if a U.S. Senator, Congressman or even a president, cared enough to push through a bill, the federal government could chip in to help the funding . Who deserves it more?

If Iceland can do it, why not the USA?

Crime victims are the forgotten Americans, out of sight, out of mind. Until…that is…it happens to you or me.

Calling 9-1-1: Staying Calm Can Be Hazardous

Sometimes it pays to lose your cool.

Take the case of Lenona Suggs, age thirteen. Lenona was raised as a single child by a single parent who worked by day and mothered by night. She dreamt one day of becoming a lawyer and prayed that she would makes grades that would earn a scholarship. She was an attractive child, wire thin, with smooth chocolate skin and slanted eyes which suggested a hint of Asia somewhere in her bloodline.

Mama had been married once but her man vanished one day after a night out with the boys when Lenona was only a year old. Mama worked the next twelve years cleaning white people’s homes in upscale neighborhoods. A devoted mother, indeed, Mama would make sure her daughter would never suffer the same foolish fate, marrying a loser, then having no other skills than scrubbing toilets and floors on bended knees. She read stories to Lenona at night, helped her with homework and spoke openly about sex, drugs and violence and the rigors of life.

She often left Lenona home alone during late afternoons while she worked beyond rush hour. She covered those bases also. “If you’re ever real sick or you’re hurt, or you’re afraid, be sure and call 9-1-1,” she said. “They will be at the house in seconds. And whenever you talk to the police, try and be real calm and speak clearly so they can understand you.”

“Okay, Mama.”

One bright Thursday afternoon, while Lenona was working on her algebra homework, she heard a rap at the window. There was Darryl Ray Stiles, a 15 year-old boy she knew from school, a boy who had often made advances for her attention to no avail, a boy who had failed the seventh grade and then the eighth. Lenona waved him off. “Go away!”

But Darryl was persistent. He beat on the window, then went to the front door. “Let me in,” he shouted.

“Go away! Please.” Lenona scampered from door to door making sure bolts and latches were in place. Then she peered out the windows following his motion as he circled the house. She could see that he was wired, intense, determined.

As he pounded on the door, she was afraid he’d break the locks. Petrified, she lifted the phone and called 9-1-1. Her mother’s words echoed through her brain. “When you talk to the police, try to be real calm….”

     Lenona: “Hello, my name is Lenona Suggs. I’m thirteen, and I’m alone, and there is a boy trying to break into my house. He’s outside right now, please send someone.”

     Officer: “I see. Give me your address young lady.”

     Lenona: “It’s 3640 Northwest 77th street. Please, he trying to get inside.”

     Officer: “I see. Do you know this boy?”

     Lenona: “Yes, his name is Darryl. I know him.”

     Officer: “Uh huh. And how do you know this boy, Miss Suggs?”

    Lenona: “He be after me all the time in school. Please, could you send someone out here. He’s trying to get into my house.”

     Officer: “Sure. Just stay right there, and we’ll get someone out there as soon as we can.”

And so it went. Judging by her quiet and deliberate manner, the complaint officer logged the call as a domestic dispute between schoolmates and lay it in the “non-emergency” stack. Police would be dispatched only after other more pressing calls were answered.

A two-man cruiser arrived thirty-five minutes later where they found the rear kitchen door ajar and windows broken with shards of glass strewn about the floor. Inside, Lenona Suggs lay on the bedroom carpet agaze at the ceiling in a pool of crimson blood, her clothes ripped from her body and a screwdriver impaled into her heart. Lenona’s dream of becoming a lawyer was forever terminated by a young lunatic and his rock of crack cocaine.

No one will ever know, for certain, if Lenona’s life would have been saved had the police rushed there in emergency mode. But we do know that these split-second decisions are often guided by the emotional pitch of the moment. In this case, Mama’s good advice backfired.

Sure, Darryl Ray Stiles was arrested, tried as an adult, and sentenced to life in prison. But so what? Nothing could bring Lenona back.

Unconsoled by good detective work and a fine prosecution, Mama went into depression and ultimately disappeared from the face of the earth, just like Lenona’s father.

The Complaint Officer? Handicapped and wheelchair bound, this congenial old man simply thought it was a domestic squabble and no emergency, because the girl didn’t sound like she was in peril. He wished the caller had been more hysterical.

No discipline was administered to the gentleman, but it didn’t matter. He’ll live with it for a lifetime.

Yes, this is a true story…from the annals of Miami-Dade P.D. It could happen anywhere.

POLICE MISCONDUCT SKEWS PUBLIC CONFIDENCE

Some folks reject the old cliche`, “Don’t judge an entire profession by the actions of a few.” But it’s true.

Having been a cop for thirty years, and well aware of how news stories are often skewed to give the appearance that police are the bad guys, I generally hold back judgement on reports about brutality until both sides of the issue are known. In 1991, Rodney King was subjected to a street whipping by L.A. Police after leading them on a chase, assaulting the officers and resisting arrest. The famed video tape was played on national television a thousand times over, but only that portion which made the cops look bad. (And they did)

My sense of loyalty will always lean toward police officers who put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect Americans. If there is a hint of doubt about the veracity of an accusatory report, I will support the police until I am convinced otherwise. After all, they are my extended family. With rare exception, they are brave, diligent American patriots who might be relaxing over a lunch one second, then facing a sudden crisis the next, expected to make the right decisions at all times, no matter how instant.

This time, it’s tough. Two recent incidents alleging police misconduct have hit the news media, both of which are hard to swallow, even without knowing the other side of the story.

Stark County (Canton) Ohio, Mrs. Hope Steffey was hauled in to jail following her own call to the cops, after allegedly being assaulted by her cousin. Because she produced a drivers license that had belonged to her deceased sister, the police thought her to be suspicious. She claimed it was an error, that she held her sister’s license for sentimental reasons, and then produced her own identification. When the woman — who had no criminal record — asked for her sister’s license back, the officer refused. Somewhere in the interim, tempers flared and the woman’s face was slammed to the hood of the police car, chipping one of her teeth. She then was taken to the ground where she was arrested and handcuffed.

Okay, maybe the woman was unruly and the cops were justified. Maybe. Benefit — doubt.

Next, Mrs. Steffey was taken to the county jail and forcibly strip-searched to naked, under protest — while handcuffed — by six or seven deputies, including two male officers. Stark Countýs policy — as are all police policies — states that a strip search must be conducted by a same sex officer. The citizen turned inmate was left unclothed in a cell for six hours without even a blanket, wrapping herself in toilet tissue for warmth and modesty. She was not allowed a phone call or medical attention. When she was brought to booking, only a small weighted vest was provided to cover her nudity. She had been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

More amazing, is that these officers not only engaged in conduct which appeared improper, they did it under full scope of a video camera. Check it out. It’s quite condemning: http://www.sheriff.co.stark.oh.us/

Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson states the reason Mrs. Steffeýs clothes were taken from her and she was left naked in a cell, was for her own safety. Sheriff Swanson maintains that his deputies are not guilty of any wrongdoing and that they have a job to protect prisoners in their custody.

Ooookay.

Needless to say, litigation has already begun. I hope Stark County is solvent.

The next case is even more disturbing. On February 12th of this year, a disabled man was arrested for a traffic warrant in Hillsborough County, Florida, and taken to the police station. Brian Sterner had suffered a neck injury fourteen years before, and has no feeling below the chest area. With an adapted vehicle, he is able to drive.

Though a bona fide, wheelchair-bound, quadriplegic, the female deputy at the station apparently thought Mr. Sterner was faking the whole thing. So, she stepped behind his wheelchair and unceremoniously lifted the back handles and dumped him like a wheelbarrow full of cement upon the station floor. Another deputy is seen in the tape, apparently amused. Mr. Sterner was then searched while lying on the floor like a beached seal, obviously paralyzed. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would have doubted it all. Click here:

By all accounts brought out in the tape, these officers should be stripped of their badges, not only because of their contemptible actions, but for utter stupidity knowing that despite the video cameras rolling, they still act like barbarians.

I feel comfortable in asserting that 99 percent of all police officers in this country are fine, upstanding and competent public servants who do not engage in such behaviors. The other one percent would comprise a very small number from the 850,000 cops in the United States, and even that, I’m sure, is an exaggerated number. But by broadcasting these incidents over national news, over and over, it will unfortunately give the cynical public an impression that the majority of cops are unfeeling idiots who should be feared and not trusted. Nothing can be further from the truth.

During my career with a three-thousand man department, I rarely encountered cops who indiscriminately abused citizens. With rare exception, officers I knew treated citizens with respect and dignity, even child molesters and murderers. Yet, when it came time to bring a bad cop to justice, my colleagues and I never had any compunction. My last arrest as a sworn officer, in 1980, was that of five officers charged with the brutal killing of an unarmed traffic offender. Their acquittal led to the Miami Liberty City riots of May, 1980.

Police agencies spend arduous time and a great deal of money screening applicants and training officers to prevent such incidents from happening. Now and then, a bad cop will slip through the cracks. That’s the way it is with most any profession. I’m sure the cops who acted so poorly in these two videos will soon be experiencing a new direction in their lives.

In 2007, 186 police officers were killed in the line of duty protecting you and me. Another five thousand were seriously injured. Folks should bear that in mind before judging harshly and broad brushing the police profession.

I’m proud to have been one of them.

COPS IN PRISON – WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?

Where is the National PBA? The National FOP? The International Association of Chiefs of Police? The National Association of Police Organizations?
Why are the cops of America remaining silent? Where is the outrage?
In September of 2007, nearly 20,000 demonstrators marched on the small town of Jena, Louisiana to protest what they thought were discriminatory practices by the prosecutors office against local blacks. It brought national attention to an issue which is still yet to be resolved. But, it sure made a lot of people listen up. Perhaps the nation’s police officers should pay attention.
Whether it be issues of blacks, gays, Hispanics, women or even illegal aliens, people have been rising up across America to confront injustice, from suffrage to the civil rights movement to this very day. Most of the time, it renders results, because there is power in the people, and power in numbers. When numbers band together, government listens.
In the last seven years, police officers have been the target of federal prosecutions like never before in history. One case after another, scumbag drug dealers, thieves, robbers, many of them illegal aliens, are being given perks and rewards for no other reason than to testify against law enforcement officers. And for cops who are convicted, it’s often an automatic ten year sentence because of the minimum mandatory laws that are imposed on judges when anyone is convicted of a crime while in possession of a firearm.
Of course, police officers possess firearms. Yet, in virtually all these cases, juries are not informed of the penalties cops face.
One juror in the case against Officer Stephanie Mohr stated, after trial, had he/she known that a minimum of ten years would be her sentence, she would not have been found guilty. The “crime” did not warrant ten years in federal prison.
In truth, the “crime” did not warrant prosecution, yet the government went after her with a fervor.
A decorated K-9 cop in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Mohr was on the scene of an attempted burglary where two illegal aliens were caught at one a.m. atop a commercial building. After the subjects scaled down, it appeared one was going to run, so she released the dog. The man was bitten on the leg and apprehended. Five years later, one cop on the scene traded a long prison sentence for turning witness against Mohr, saying the bite wasn’t necessary. One day before the statute of limitations expired, Mohr was indicted. It took two trials, and mega thousands of taxpayer money, plus a search for the “victim” who had long since returned to Central America, just to secure his testimony. He never complained.
Mohr, a mother, is now serving ten years in federal prison, while her “victim” was afforded all kinds of favors compliments of the government. In the land of the free.
Everyone knows about the case against Border Patrol Agents, Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, who shot a drug smuggler in the butt as he was running back across the border, leaving more than 700 pounds of marijuana behind. Nothing was considered wrong, until the Mexican government complained. The two career cops were then prosecuted after the smuggler, a lifelong illegal alien criminal, was given special treatment, medical care, a special pass to cross the border, and more, just for his testimony. Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor, forgot to mention to the jury, that the smuggler was apprehended again before trial, for more criminal acts in the U.S. These officers, both family men, were sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison. The land of the free.
Even if the officers had not followed proper procedure, it warranted administrative action, not a prison sentence. But who cares about ruining lives.
Johnny Sutton also went after Deputy Gilmer Hernandez of Rocksprings, Texas. On a dark night in 2005, Hernandez stopped an SUV filled with alleged illegal aliens. As he approached the vehicle, it sped off, nearly running over his foot. He fired at the tires. People bailed out. One woman was hit in the teeth by a ricochet bullet. Four days later, the Mexican consulate complained. Mexico snaps its fingers. America jumps. Sure enough, Hernandez was indicted and eventually convicted and served a full year behind bars, a convicted felon for life.
Americas Most Wanted, John Walsh wrote a letter to the president urging consideration of these injustices. See :Click here: amw.com | John Walsh:
Twelve year Border Patrol agent, Noe Aleman and his wife went about following legal procedures to adopt their three teenage nieces from Mexico. An apparent glitch in the issuance of a visa brought the wrath of prosecutor Johnny Sutton who loves nothing better than to wreck the life of a cop. Instead of clearing up the matter administratively, which was entirely possible, Noe was arrested and then convicted of harboring illegal aliens. He served six months in jail, his life a shambles. Read the story: Click here: Border Patrol Agent Noe Aleman
Johnny Sutton logged another victim in the likes of Border Patrol Agent, Gary Brugman, career cop, who did his job by chasing down illegal aliens and in one case, had to physically restrain a smuggler who appeared to be ready to assault another officer. Sure enough, Sutton praised the Mexican consulate in trial, as Brugman sustained a conviction and was made to serve two years in federal prison, while the criminal dirtbags laughed all the way to freedom, replete with benefits. Read: Click here: Gary Brugman – Another Victim
Border Patrol agent, David Sipe, of Pinedas, Texas, chased down twelve to fifteen illegals in 2000 and ended up in a scuffle with one. As the smuggler was going for Sipe’s gun, he hit the man over the head with a flashlight. In my day, it was legal for a cop to defend one’s self. Anyway, federal prosecutors managed to secure testimony of three illegal aliens who helped convict Sipe and end his seventeen year career as a law enforcement officer. But Sipe managed to get a new trial, and the case was thrown out. Seems that the prosecution filed to tell the jury about all the favors that were bestowed upon the aliens in exchange for their testimony, including green cards, cell phones, and more, not to mention immunity from prosecution.
The “Bush War On Law Enforcement” press conference was held in April of 2007, and sponsored by the Friends of the Border Patrol. I urge everyone to read the transcript.
Click here: http://www.fobp.us/Files/Docs/Bush_War_On_LE_Statement.pdf
Rep. Ted Poe of Texas, in the House of Representatives, March 15, 2007: “It makes you wonder, Madam Speaker, why our Federal Government is so relentless in prosecuting border agents…Why must our Federal Government withhold and hide evidence that is favorable to the defense in a criminal case? Is it just so they can have convictions of border agents? It makes one wonder, does it not, Madam Speaker?”
I’m no bleeding heart for cops who commit criminal acts. The last arrest I made as a sworn officer was of five fellow cops in 1980, who had beaten a man to death for speeding. But the government is taking it too far, and too many of our nation’s sentries are wasting away in prison cells for no good reason, while their families languish. This is all known to us, but we sit by.
In years past, most of these valiant police officers, who risk their lives daily to protect you and me, would have been seen as heroes. Today, they’re seen as convicts. Is it any wonder why so many young men and women are reluctant to enter the filed of law enforcement in 2008?
It’s time for police officers everywhere, and those who support law enforcement officers, to rise up and let our voices be heard. Write the president. Write the Attorney General. Write your national and local media. Your senators and congressmen. There are over 800,000 cops in America, yet their voices are silent.
Why?