Tag Archives: Law Enforcement

Media Decides Which Criminal Case Makes Headlines

Ladies and Gentlemen: I spent the morning with Fox News as the back drop to my work. It struck me as odd that the only missing and murdered people who made consistent headlines were WHITE and FEMALE. There was one Amber alert posted just once looking for an African American male who allegedly took some children.

Honestly, I prefer FoxNews over other news providers. But I am astounded that the news alerts and updates included the minutae of the missing 2 year old in Florida and a murdered pregnant military officer in N.C. This country has hundreds of missing people from sea to shining sea. Why are white females the focus of such attention? Even to the fair and balanced media outlet?

The controversy within media circles of late has been out of balance coverage in favor of Obama to the neglect of McCain. But the self righteous media turn a blind eye to the color of its own coverage when crime and salaciousness are involved. What not enough drama in the drug cartels moving into suburban Atlanta? Murder after murder. Children are missing throughout this country. Why not devote time and energy to following clues to aid underfunded law enforcement agencies? No glamour in that though.

Media ethics. Media ethics. Media ethics. Who determines the standard? I hope its not the media.

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Filed under Media, News, Politics, Senator Obama

Bad Negotiation Tactics…

Ladies, this tactic will land you in jail, NOT with any satisfaction.

As reported in the Athens Banner Herald:

Story updated at 10:36 PM on Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Athens woman used a gun Tuesday to make a one-sided settlement with her estranged husband, Athens-Clarke police said.

Ben Russell, 59, of Nicholson, agreed to meet his wife about 11 a.m. at her home on Honeytree Drive to exchange marital property, police said, but Patsy Ann Russell pulled a gun and wouldn’t let her husband leave until 1:45 p.m.

During that time, the woman forced her husband – a self-employed insurance salesman – to call his girlfriend and fire her as his employee, police said.

“Then he had to agree to sell his girlfriend’s car and put the proceeds into the children’s trust fund,” Athens-Clarke police Capt. Clarence Holeman said. “That’s when she allowed him to leave.”

Ben Russell went to police headquarters on Lexington Road to make a complaint, and officers arrested Patsy Russell, also 59, on charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, police said.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 050808

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia, News, The South

Do unto others…

No complaints about this story

Thank you to all involved. This is a great story. As reported at the ajc.com

Boy Scout finds $800 in wallet and promptly returns it

When an 11-year-old Boy Scout found someone’s wallet with $800 inside, he understood what the person who lost it was going through.

Only a few weeks before, he had lost his own wallet and the $45 it contained.

J.R. Bouterse immediately told an adult about his discovery, which was turned over to a law-enforcement official and returned to its grateful owner.

“We’re just so proud of him,” said the boy’s mother, Michelle Bouterse, 41. “We can’t say enough.”

To reward the boy, the Michigan State Police threw a pizza party Monday night, not only for the law-abiding child but for all 30 Scouts in Troop 90.

Another guest at the party, to J.R.’s surprise, was 20-year-old Jessica Cutler, the wallet’s owner, who wanted to personally thank him for his act of honesty.

“I can’t believe someone would find a wallet with that much money in it and not take some,” she said. “A lot of people maybe wouldn’t have done that same thing. I’m just glad he found it and not someone else.”

J.R. found the wallet a little more than a week ago while leaving a Scout meeting at the church.

“I knew exactly how she felt,” he said.

Not exactly: His own wallet has not been returned to him.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Media, News

Forced DNA Samples: Privacy vs. Safety

Federal Agencies with arrest powers have decided to take DNA samples from every individual arrested. According the on-line article, the rule is being published in the Federal Register for a thirty day comment period.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080416/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/dna_collection

What would this new rule mean? Any person arrested by a federal agent will have a DNA swab taken and placed in CODIS (the National DNA registry). Supporters cite to the expansion of law enforcement in crime solving. What about civil rights? What about privacy rights?

To substantiate an arrest, an officer must only provide a Magistrate with probable cause to believe the person committed the crime. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not proof that the suspect committed the crime, just probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crime. Only after an acquittal or dismissal of the charges would the person be able to request destruction of the DNA sample taken. This request, like all other matters Federal, would be required to filter through the Federal Bureaucracy.

Does the Federal Government have a right to the DNA of every individual residing in this country? No. Does the Federal Government have a right to the DNA of every person arrested? No. A Senior Judge who passed away several years ago once told me that when he first started practicing law he advised clients to refuse fingerprinting. At the time that seemed so foreign to me. Fingerprinting is a way to track individuals and is commonly used. But there was a time when it wasn’t.

Does the minimal invasion of the mouth with a cotton swab create trauma for the suspect? No. Should that person be required to give up a genetic fingerprint because an officer made an arrest? Absolutely not. Once we as citizens give up our privacy rights in favor of some perceived security concern, we will no longer be free.

DNA samples in a database will not prevent crime. DNA samples in a database may aid in the capture of criminals, but it will NOT prevent crime. Do not fall into the security trap. Stand up for your privacy rights.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Politics

Cruel

Circumstances call on law enforcement officers to execute many life changing duties. Informing family members of the untimely death of a loved one is the most dreaded duty. In some cases, these officers are required to withhold information from the public and from family members in order to protect the details of a case. But to withhold, for two years, the death of a child from the parents is cruel.

As reported by Foxnews.com:

New Jersey Detective Waited Two Years to Inform Parents Their Missing Daughter Was Dead

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

TRENTON, N.J. — Authorities are disciplining a Trenton police detective who waited more than two years to tell the family of a missing woman that she was dead.

Detective Edgar Rios is charged with 28 departmental violations and has been removed from the homicide unit.

The city’s Officer of the Year for 2007 has said he waited to disclose Amber Ramsey’s death because he wanted to make sure forensic evidence checked out. But Police Director Joseph Santiago says there’s no evidence that was the case.

Rios’ administrative charges include failure to follow leads and failure to document his work. Two of his supervisors, including his brother, have also been transferred.

Ramsey was reported missing in February 2006 and her body was found, along with a coat that contained ID, seven months later.

Her parents were not notified until last month. She apparently died of a drug overdose.

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