Taking a Bite Out of Crime While Putting Police Back in Position – Drug Seizure Money

Policing agencies have always used criminal seizures such as money, vehicles, and property to pay parts of their budget or buy new equipment, but now maybe the desire to make those busts may have an added incentive. In fact, several law-enforcement agencies has been taking drug monies and shoring up their budgets, which have been drastically cut due to lower tax revenues, and government shortfalls. Yes, the economy has taken its toll on our police agencies in a big way.

Now then, getting the drugs isn’t as good as getting the money and assets of these drug gangs, dealers, and over-the-border drug cartels. The money collected in a big bust might just prevent them from losing their jobs, which is what definitely happens to the drug cartel gang members who are caught, as they are cuffed-and-stuffed and moved to a local gated community if you know what I mean?

According to the DEA official newsletter their recent “Operation Four Horsemen” apparently resulted in 8 million dollars in drug money seizures, which will now go back into the operational funds of local Atlanta law enforcement agencies – five agencies in all. This in part will occur thanks to the DEA and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program. The recent press release states;

“This investigation further reveals that the greater Atlanta area has become the hub of operations for Mexican cartel groups who seek to destroy lives by distributing a multitude of illegal drugs in the Eastern United States,” and now “the seizure of large sums of U.S. currency from this organization severely disrupted its operations.”

An agency insider told the news gathering; “Today’s sharing of these forfeited funds are a direct result of the great working relationship that DEA continues to have with its federal, state and local counterparts.” And these quotes were displayed on the agency website. So, let’s discuss all this shall we?

Is this a correct use of these funds? Most would agree that it is, and yet, what about other costs associated with the drugs; publicly funded rehabs, court system, drug awareness, etc. If the police catch the bad guys before they distribute they only get the drugs, and not the money, but if they wait until they distribute there is harm done to the community. Addicted teens, violence, and theft to pay for the drugs by those addicted who steal to get the money. See that point.

Realize this article is only to make you think. Since I live in a safe neighborhood, and we don’t have such problems, I am unaffected, but intellectually intrigued by the unnoticed ethical implications of all of this. Please consider it.

Drunk Driving – Myths, Facts, and Breaking the Law

Although most people don’t realize it, alcohol is a drug. In fact, alcohol is the most commonly found drug in fatally injured motorists. While it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages, many teenagers still do. This becomes even more of a problem when a drinking teen gets behind the wheel. Alcohol education programs have increased in homes, schools, and communities; but alcohol-related collisions are still a major issue. Not only is a drunk driver endangering their own life, but they are putting all the other drivers on the Highway Transit System in jeopardy. It is important to never mix drinking with driving.

Alcohol is derived from the fermentation of fruit, alcohol, and other plants. It is classified as a depressant, a drug that slows down the central nervous system. The effects of alcohol vary from person to person, but everyone is affected to some degree. As a motorist you cannot afford to have your driving skills dulled by alcohol. Some common impairments include: slowed reflexes, lost inhibitions, slurred speech, clumsiness or loss of balance, blurred vision, a decrease in muscle coordination, and distorted depth perception. Drinking alcohol is not something to take lightly.

Alcohol is surrounded by many myths. Some of them deal with how long it takes a drunk person to “sober up.” You may have heard that drinking some black coffee, going for a quick jog, or taking a cold shower will reduce your blood-alcohol concentration. The truth is: These activities may stimulate you for a moment; but do absolutely nothing to reduce the amount of alcohol in your body. Only time will allow your liver to get rid of alcohol. (Up to 1.5 hours for a 12 ounce beer.) While many factors such as the number of drinks consumed, the amount of time they are consumed in, a person’s body weight, and their natural resistance to alcohol will affect how rapidly a person gets drunk, it takes the same amount of time for alcohol to work its way through your system.

Driving drunk is a crime that’s punishable by law. A DUI (Driving Under the Influence), or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in some states, carries severe penalties. These punishments can include: suspension or revocation of the offending motorist’s license, payment of a fine, or even serving a prison term. (Although, penalties are harsher if the intoxicated driver is involved in a collision.) Driving after drinking is always a bad idea. If your friend is considering drinking, you have some responsibilities as a good friend.

You can help by: encouraging them to drink something non-alcoholic, telling them to set limits, convincing them to avoid drinks with high alcoholic concentration, or just doing something else. If they’ve already had a drink, help them by making them aware of their behaviors, providing them with transportation home, or staying with them until the alcohol has worked its way through their system. Remember: “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

Child Curfew Laws

Curfew laws restrict the right of youngsters (usually under 18) to be outdoors, in the streets or public places during certain hours of the day. Children are required to be at home or an authorized place between a set hour in the evening until a designated time the following morning. Most often youth curfew laws allow for minors to be in public places for an extended time on Friday and Saturday nights. There are certain communities that relax curfew laws in the summer months when schools are closed for break. Others take a different approach and impose more severe time restrictions when children are on vacation or break.

The implementation of laws governing child curfews in the United States of America is a matter of what is known as the police power of the individual states. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to enforce any kind of national curfew, and this includes child curfew, except in the event of a national emergency. Juvenile curfews have been imposed by state, country, city and township authorities.

Local laws dictate that parents are responsible for the administration and transportation costs of returning a minor to his or her home on a second curfew violation. A child who is a frequent offender of the curfew may be declared a ward of the court and be treated as a status offender. Most curfew laws prohibit minors from being out past 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. There are certain exceptions to the law, however, which allow kids to legally stay out late if they are:

· Running an errand for a parent or guardian

· Participating in a religious, educational or political activity

· Accompanied by a parent, guardian or another adult

· Working or going to or returning from their place of employment

· Returning home from a school, cultural or recreational activity

· Responding to some emergency

What happens when the curfew is broken?

When a child breaks the curfew, he or she could be temporarily detained by the police and then returned home. The State Law also gives the local police officers some flexibility in their enforcement of such curfew laws – if the officer believes the youth has a “legitimate reason based on extenuating circumstances” for the breach. Some of the other penalties for breaking the curfew are:

· Fines (gradually increases for subsequent violations)

· Restrictions of driver’s license privileges

· Possible detention in jail or juvenile hall

· Imposition of community service or compulsory enrollment in after-school programs

Crime against the youth

The primary concern of every parent and the community is obviously keeping children safe and protected. The main objective of implementing juvenile or child curfew is to safeguard the well-being and welfare of children. With the steady rise of crime rates against the youth, the underlying rationale of community members is that children are much safer when they are at home and not outside after a certain time in the evening.

Delinquency by the youth

The second objective is to protect the community as a whole from the miscreant conduct of certain children who are inclined to break the law. Crimes committed by the youth are a major problem in all big cities today. Restricting the presence of unsupervised children from public venues after a curfew each night will reduce the number of children and teens that end up involved in criminal activity and break the law.

Gang violence control

Law enforcement officers maintain that juvenile curfew laws provide them with another weapon in their battle against gang violence. It can be hard to gather substantial evidence to arrest members of a gang, but a violation of curfew law will at least provide officers a chance to interrupt their presence on the streets of a community.

There are quite a few misconceptions when it comes to child curfew laws. Children have the right to be at the homes of their peers after the curfew, provided there is an adult present at the residence and the children are transported from home to home by an adult. Even organized community events that have adult supervision are also permissible during child curfew hours.

Since child curfew laws vary by locality and government enforcement, it can depend on a number of factors. If you would like to know more about the curfew laws in your community, you could get in touch with your local police department. If your community does not have a curfew, be sure to obtain a list of the laws and a list of the exceptions and exceptional circumstances. Please feel free to express your views on the subject by dropping us a comment below.

With Technology Comes a New Crime – Sexting

As technology steam rolls over us like a runaway train a new set of crimes have evolved. Many of these crimes often creep up on people without warning and the law does everything it can do to make an example out of a select few in order to really startle everyone else thinking about jumping on the back of that same wagon. Sexting is the new crime that is sending young minors through a whirl wind in the legal system, some as young as 12 years old.

Sexting is the new craze for young teens and it requires just a cell phone and experimentation. Sending nude photos from one cell phone to another amongst the school systems has been creeping up onto the news channels across the nation. What many of the youngsters don’t realize is that it could very well land them in years of probation and counseling if not prison. Cell phones are getting more high tech by the minute leaving the imagination of our young youth curious and exploring. Exploring that could land them behind a set of jail house bars. Some statistics are showing that as many as 60% are sending nude photos over cell phones. This is a staggering number that only seems to be growing. Some states have already made it a felony to send nude photos of anyone under the age of 18. Next time you decide to send a photo of your child playing in the bath tub I would think twice about it.

Offenders are treated just like sex offenders, with your name in the newspaper and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender for many years. The law is taking this very seriously and eagerly looking to make examples of as many individuals as they can get their hands on. Technology has made it very easy for sex offenders to prey on the young individuals in society. As these laws might seem very harsh they have been put in place to protect all the young children out there that might have a little more freedom than they should. This type of conviction can quickly escalate prohibiting you from working in certain areas or even causing you to lose your job entirely. Sexting has even caused some to commit suicide due to all the pain and grief it has caused them amongst their peers. This has become a serious problem in many cities across the United States and without these harsh laws it will only get worse. More and more kids are finding ways to bring cell phones into schools and as technology grows and gets stronger the cell phones will become smaller and more powerful only adding fuel to the fire. It is up to society to put a kink in that growth by applying some of these harsh repercussions.

Just the Facts About Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown, and Dorian Johnson: No Sensationalism!

Recently I heard a black retired military officer, in his late 50s, say some extremely provocative things contradicting the facts about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, concerning the shooting of black strong-arm robber Michael Brown by white Police Officer Darren Wilson. I seriously believe that he said those things without considering the implications of what he was saying. Racial bias can play a powerful emotional role in shaping a person’s perceptions of the actual facts surrounding the shooting of a black by a white or a white by a black, or, for that matter, the shooting of any person by another person of a different race or ethnicity. If the material facts about any such shooting, unobstructed by overshadowing racial biases and subjectivity, are not accepted as reality by the men and women associated closely, or distantly, with the people involved in it, an extremely slanted and inaccurate picture of what actually happened can be generated and publicized to the detriment of the innocent.

Here are the correct facts about Michael Brown, as have been properly established by law enforcement. Brown was an eighteen year old black male weighing approximately 300 pounds with a height of well-over over six-feet. An autopsy of Michael Brown has determined that a substantial amount of THC, the main chemical in Marijuana, was in Brown’s blood at the time of his death. About 20 minutes prior to the shooting, Brown, and his black cohort, Dorian Johnson, robbed a convenience store, by strong-arm means, and Brown physically charged at the store-owner, physically threatening him, as was shown in the video footage of the convenience store robbery. Dorian Johnson was with Brown at the time he grabbed the merchandise, and was probably there to help intimidate the victim, if needed, and to share in the stolen merchandise. It was established that Brown strong-arm-robbed the store-owner of over fifty-dollars of merchandise. After Brown, and Johnson, left the scene of the convenience store robbery, they were seen by Officer Wilson, approximately 20 minutes later, walking down the center of a public road in the town of Ferguson.

At the time Officer Wilson saw Brown and Johnson, he was in his police cruiser and drove past Brown and his cohort with his driver’s window rolled-down. From inside his car, where Officer Wilson was sitting, Wilson shouted for Brown and his cohort to move from the middle of the road to the side of the road and the sidewalk; to which Brown and Johnson responded by refusing to move, and by shouting profane and demeaning diatribes and epithets at Officer Wilson. Whether, or not, Officer Wilson had heard a report of the strong-arm robbery on his radio, he had justifiable cause to stop the car for the purpose of field-interrogating Brown and Johnson, since they had refused to follow Wilson’s instructions to get out of the street. If Wilson had heard the report about the robbery and the description of the perpetrator, he had more than ample justification for conducting a valid Terry stop.

According to eye witness testimony, Officer Wilson stopped the car, stepped out of the car, and, with the car door left open and his gun holster unsnapped, approached Brown who, a few seconds later, ran toward Wilson and pushed him back into the car, hitting him with his fists in an attempt to take his sidearm away from him. During the fight that ensued inside the car, Brown slammed Officer Wilson’s head into the dashboard causing severe damage to the officer’s eye. Officer Wilson gained control of his sidearm and pointed it at Brown as the large black man backed out of the car. Wilson ordered him to get down onto the ground with his hands and feet spread. Brown was about 35 feet away from Officer Wilson at the time. With Brown facing Officer Wilson, he said, “You’re not going to shoot me.” Then he charged Officer Wilson again, running and flailing his arms. It was only then that Darren Wilson, fearing for his life, began firing his handgun at Brown until Brown was subdued on the ground. From the foregoing facts, it is very clear that Michael Brown’s aggressive and hostile actions and behaviors caused Officer Brown to have a reasonable fear for his life, since he was already injured and feared that Brown would attempt to take his gun away from him and use it to kill him.

Had Michael Brown been white and the size of the massive television character “Big Smo,” probably nothing at all would have been publicized by the media accusing Officer Wilson of an unjustified shooting. The shooting would have been totally justifiable in the eyes of the black community. What I fail to understand is the blatant disregard by the media of what Brown had done just prior to his encounter with Officer Wilson. Brown was caught on video, with Dorian Johnson, strong-arm robbing a convenience store and leaving the store with Johnson in trail behind him. The retired black man I mentioned at the beginning of this essay, who had said what he did without knowing all of the facts, told me that he had not seen the video of the robbery; but acted as though the robbery, if true, hadn’t really mattered. Why should Dorian Johnson be regarded as an accessory in the strong-arm robbery? Do you think that Brown and Johnson had probably planned to hold-up the store before they robbed it? The great majority of strong-arm robberies are planned, and involve two-or-more perpetrators. And was Dorian Johnson doing anything in the store besides standing behind, and next to, Brown while he was taking the merchandise? Doesn’t this clearly indicate that both Brown and Johnson were in the convenience store for the same reason? Does it matter what the merchandise was that was taken in the robbery; a pack of cigarettes, a package of Twinkies, or beer, or soda? The cost of the merchandise taken by Brown was over 50 dollars.

Then came Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Eric Holder, three conspiring pragmatic black men seeking racial sensationalism and an obfuscation of the material facts for the benefit of the liberal media and the corrupt Obama administration. The unjust denigration of Officer Wilson and the promotion of lies promoting the innocence of Michael Brown, as an innocent gentle giant, followed, culminating in the sensational funeral for an ordinary 18 year old criminal thug, a media event that was publicized to be in the likeness of a funeral for a saint; and, of course, the biggest media offenders were CNN and “The Washington Post.” I subscribe to the “Post” to only read and know the propaganda that they are regularly dispensing to the public, which they call news. I don’t see why any Northern Virginian would want to read the “Post” for correct news coverage; for only 25 percent of what they publish is actually news. The rest is consistently hype and sophistic Marxist punditry. Even their comparative political, economic, and social discourses are designed with rhetoric made to make the “Post” editorial view look more cogent, at the expense of the facts. I think that the only redeeming aspect of the “Post” are the comics that they publish on Sunday and on a daily basis in their “Style” section.

Brown’s funeral eulogy by Al Sharpton was an exercise in sophistry to try to make a robbing felon look like a peaceful innocent choirboy. He actually eulogized a criminal offender, a strong-arm robber who had injured, and attempted to kill, a police officer who was endeavoring to perform his sworn duties. A law-abiding citizen, who has been taught right from wrong by his parents, will not strong-arm-rob a convenience store for any reason. Only a person with a history of violent juvenile crime would have the anti-social mindset to rob a convenience store. A good kid does not get-up in the morning and aspire to commit a robbery. Perhaps Brown was high on marijuana laced with some other mind-altering drug at the time, but, again, a gentle, law-abiding citizen, even under the influence of marijuana, would not have even considered robbing a convenience store; that is, without having some history of committing violent crimes. Furthermore, for some reason, nothing has been said about how much money Brown had in his pockets at the time he was stopped by Officer Wilson. Is it possible that he had possessed the money to pay for the merchandise he took in the robbery, but just wanted to rob the store for kicks? Remember how the juvenile criminal history of Trayvon Martin had been unlawfully withheld from public scrutiny? I seriously think that the collective outpouring of support for Officer Wilson, coming from millions of reasonable folks, black and white, around the nation, greatly overshadows what has to be one of the most flagrant demonstrations of rabid racial sensationalism that has been witnessed in the country during the last two decades.

A friendly city police officer can’t afford to not do his duty. If, perchance, Officer Wilson had disregarded the diatribes and epithets hurled at him by Brown and his partner in crime, Dorian Johnson, after he had ordered them out of the middle of the Ferguson street on which they were traipsing, and let them proceed in the middle of the road, he would have been intentionally derelict in his sworn responsibilities. If he had heard the report of the convenience store robbery on the radio, and had a description of the suspect, Wilson had reason to suspect that Brown had committed a crime. The Officer would have, again, been derelict if he said to himself, “That guy is massive. I don’t want to mess with him,” and had driven on by without doing anything. Officer Wilson was placed in a position, such as I was placed on several occasions in 1985 and 1986 as a San Diego County, California, Sheriff’s deputy. He had to do what he was sworn to do, regardless of the dangers involved, and had just, and probable, cause to stop and interrogate Brown and Wilson. There, however, was no mention of Officer Wilson calling for back-up; that is, if he had heard the radio report of the robbery. Calling for back-up is a normal procedure for police officers who are by themselves and are certain that a felon is in sight, and needs to be apprehended and arrested. This is why I suspect that Officer Wilson hadn’t known that Brown was a robbery suspect. Yet, Brown and Johnson certainly realized, if they were in their right minds, that a report had in all certainty been called-in from the convenience store that they had robbed, including Brown’s very distinct description. Isn’t it, then, reasonable to believe that Brown and Johnson thought that Officer Wilson was stopping them because of the robbery, and resisted Officer Wilson’s instructions because they did not want to be arrested? I think that that is a reasonable and plausible conclusion.

The bottom-line is that orders came down from Jay Nixon, that appeaser of a Missouri Governor, to give the blacks of the City of Ferguson what they wanted by offering innocent Officer Wilson as a sacrifice. The Ferguson Police Chief, of course, wasn’t buying what the Governor was selling, but, unfortunately, was forced to obey unjust orders to keep his job. That was why the picture of the injured Officer Wilson was not, and has not yet, been revealed to the public by the Ferguson Police Department. What would have been a simple, local, news report about the killing of a 290+ pound strong-arm robber who had attempted to kill a police officer in the performance of his duties was turned into a media sideshow. If the strong-arm robber had been white, instead of black, the shooting would have been regarded by all concerned as justified.

Today is September 1, 2014, and one of the front-page “Washington Post” articles is about poor Dorian Johnson’s “budding” friendship with Michael Brown. Nothing, however, was mentioned about their friendly cooperative plans to strong-arm rob a convenience store. Real law-abiding friends don’t encourage each other to commit crimes, and that is what they probably did just before robbing the convenience store. I had managed a high-volume 7-Eleven Store in Carlsbad, California in 1990, and had two strong-arm robberies occur while I was managing the store on the graveyard-shift. One of them involved two men in their late-teens came into the store together just after midnight. One of them went to the magazine rack, and the other went to the beer cooler. The man at the magazine rack created a noise to which I was attracted, which caused me to be distracted for a moment from the man on the beer aisle. Suddenly, while my back was turned, the man on the beer aisle grabbed two six-packs of expensive can beer in both hands and ran rapidly out of the store, with the man by the magazine rack right behind him. Responding as quickly as I could, I jumped over the sales-counter by the cash register and bolted after them; and as I ran outside the front-swinging glass door, the second man poised, waiting for me, on the side-walk about 30 feet away with a beer can in his hand. Then the man threw the beer can hard at me with an accurate aim, which hit me, lacerating my forehead and knocking me nearly unconscious for a few seconds. Yet, I saw through blurred vision the second man, who had injured me, getting into a car parked on the side-street, and the car roaring-off. Perhaps, Brown had arranged with Johnson, in like manner, to help him if someone had tried to stop him from leaving the store. The video showed Brown leaving the convenience store with Johnson right behind him, looking around.

If anything, this incident of strong-arm robbery, and of the perpetrator receiving the brunt of the proper application of the law, should be a strong deterrent for other men and women to heed who believe that they can break the law with impunity. It should not be a means to denigrate the police officers who, on a daily basis, put their lives on-the-line to perform their sworn duties to protect and serve. There are unfortunately bad law enforcement officers presently around the nation, mostly federal. Most state, county, and municipal peace officers are good and reliable people. They are the ones called-upon to do the most dangerous work with felons on the streets. Most of them are faithful to the U.S. Constitution and to their States’ constitutions and penal codes. The root problem of fascism raising its ugly head in police departments, and officers abusing citizens illegally under color of authority, stems from the acceptance of federal money and equipment by state, county, and city police departments and the federal strings that are attached. The feds are inexorably encroaching on fundamental liberties and freedoms of the People through their subtle manipulations of state, county, and city police departments. If State governors, State legislators, State attorneys general, county supervisors, and city mayors and managers will tell the feds in no uncertain terms to butt-out of the management of the People, or States, and refuse to accept the federal money, armaments, and other paramilitary equipment offered by, already, fascist Executive branch agencies, there might perhaps be a return to a veneration, by the People, of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Things have changed for the worse since I was a sheriff’s deputy. This is certainly not the same America in which I swore to protect and serve the People of San Diego County in 1985. Evil immorality is currently regarded as transcendent morality, severe criminal offenses are regarded as tolerable pranks and mischief, sordid lies are regularly regarded as the truth and sustained by those sworn to tell the truth, and the Constitution of the United States is currently regarded by the federal government as only a piece of paper and not the Supreme Law of the Land. When standing federal laws are systematically unenforced by the U.S. Department of Justice at the behest of the U.S. President, how else do you think criminals in the American society are going to act, but to regard State criminal laws as equally unimportant and unenforceable.

It takes a great deal of courage, integrity, and intelligence for men and women to be good and honorable State, county, and city cops. In the end result, they will be the ones to stand-up and protect the rights and freedoms of the People when the federal government is sending its minions to abolish them. That’s why the States, counties, and cities in America must select, and hire, the best officers to do the most dangerous and intricate jobs of enforcing the criminal laws. From all I know about Officer Darren Wilson, I truly believe that he was, and is, one of the best.