Tag: Criminal Justice Reform

The Last Report

What do Baltimore, St. Louis and Chicago all have in common? First, all three have seen huge surges in crime in the last few years, with St. Louis and Baltimore vaulting to the murder capitals of the United States. And second, all three have now been the target of damning DOJ investigations:

The Chicago Police Department routinely violates civil rights, uses unnecessary force, discriminates against minority residents, and fails to hold officers accountable — creating a climate of distrust, violence, and fear that makes residents and cops unsafe. That’s according to a massive new report that the US Department of Justice released on Friday.

As part of the investigation for the report, the Justice Department reviewed thousands of pages of documents, conducted hundreds of interviews with officials and residents, and participated in dozens of ride-along observations with police over 13 months.

Federal investigators attributed the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) vast problems not to individual officers but to policies from the city and police department that regularly failed to adequately train officers and hold them accountable for wrongdoing — sending a message that bad behavior is tolerable.

This isn’t unexpected, of course. The attempt to cover-up the shooting of Laquan McDonald (and the subsequent revelation that Chicago cops were routinely destroying dash cams); the revelation of a black site where suspects were taken to be abused; the recent expose about how the CPD covered up for a cop who was routinely taking money from drug dealers for protection. But the scale of this is simply massive. First-hand reports of abuse and discrimination — many from cops themselves. A record of investigating only a tiny fraction of complaints, a culture of escalation of dangerous situations. And, making everything worse, a culture of denial and cover-up. Here is just one example:

I mentioned at the top that these three cities have all seen huge surges in violent crime. Balko (and many reseachers) don’t think this is a coincidence. When people don’t trust the cops, crimes become way harder to solve and prevent. And a good way to make people not trust cops is to hold cops accountable when they do bad stuff. The DOJ does not think (and neither do I) that Chicago is filled with bad cops. They lay the blame squarely on policies that fail to create accountability and even encourage this sort of thing.

Now you can contrast this to de Blasio “vile anti-cop rhetoric” and ending of stop-and-frisk, which has results in a gigantic surge in … well, actually crime has fallen in New York. To the point where the Daily News admitted they were wrong to opposed ending stop-and-frisk. (Mark this down. It may be the only time I ever say anything positive about de Blasio. Well, two things: he is, for the moment, not Hillary Clinton).

The good news, this should be the last we hear of this. Jeff Sessions, our pending AG, has indicated he will stop these investigations, end consent decrees and get the feds to stop bothering with this.

These people think George Orwell’s 1984 is an instruction manual

If you have not read 1984, you should, but here is a synopsis about what at that time was seen as a work of fiction that reflected a world gone mad. Basically Orwell created a dystopian world run by “Big Brother”, an entity that pretends to run this upside down world for the betterment of all people, but really is only out for the elite few (basically every collectivist system in history), where amongst other things the “Ministry of Truth” twists language to suit whatever the agenda du jour of the masters is. Stories change, often and blatantly, without regard for the obvious contradictions and abuse, so the masters can get what they want from the sheep.

Queue in the latest instance of our own Obama Administration’s “Ministry of Truth”, and man have we had a few doozies from these people, where they now are relabeling criminals and criminal activity. I admit that when I saw this piece for the first time I double checked to make sure it was not a belated April first joke or some publication from whatever site finally replaced the now DNC controlled Onion as the latest site for sarcastic, ironic, and moronic news. It tuns out that it is for real. Sure, the claim is that this relabeling is to give people a second chance, but me, I see it as another chess move in the much greater game where the left wants to specifically use the power of government restore voting right to criminals, whom would predominantly vote for them.

Whatever your feelings about criminality in this country, you have to admit that we have a problem with our leadership at this time. On the one hand they are criminalizing all sorts of albeit stupid but not criminal behaviors the left dislikes, and yet here we have the administration going out of its way to destigmatize real criminals and crime. Personally I, if I for a second believed that we could get a system where if drugs were decriminalized the government wouldn’t make people like me pay for the cost of the nanny state safety net that they would create, would decriminalize drug use. But rape and robbery, armed or otherwise, are serious crimes I feel far stronger about. I don’t mind people making personal choices about associating or interacting with people convicted of these sorts of crimes, but I have serious reservations about government pushing people into that, and doing so at such an Orwellian level, just so they can eventually tell us they will give these people the ability to vote (for them) again.

Series Review: Making a Murderer

So you’ve probably heard something about Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer. The series centers around Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man with a long criminal history who was convicted of a sexual assault he did not commit in 1985. After his exoneration, he sued Manitowoc County and the sheriff, alleging misconduct in the initial investigation and prosecution.

In the middle of this, a young photographer, Teresa Halbech, went missing. Avery was the last person she supposedly saw and police found her car and burned bone fragments on his property. He and his nephew were convicted of murdering her.

Avery insists on his innocence and claims he was railroaded again because of the lawsuit. The documentary goes through his case, from the previous charge, to the investigation, through the trial and the first round of appeals. It has caused an online sensation, with numerous blogs discussing the case and a White House petition for Avery and his nephew to be pardoned.

This review is going to be very spoilery. I’m going to discuss the case as if you’ve watched the documentary or read some of the coverage. So if you haven’t and plan to, you might want to bookmark this and come back in ten hours.

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