Senate Bill 443, authored by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember David Hadley (R-Torrance), establishes some of the nation’s strictest standards to protect due process and property rights by requiring a conviction in most cases prior to the permanent loss of property through civil asset forfeiture. Starting on January 1, 2017, California law will require a conviction prior to forfeiture in any state case where the items seized are cash under $40,000 or other property such as homes and vehicles regardless of value. This updates current law, which has a conviction threshold for cash up to $25,000.
For all future cases handled through federal courts, the new law prevents California law enforcement agencies from receiving a share of federally forfeited property unless there is a conviction in an underlying case involving seized property that is up to $40,000 in cash or for cars and homes. Previously there was no threshold whatsoever for law enforcement accepting cash or proceeds from federal forfeitures, even when there was no conviction.
California on Wednesday became the first state to require that undocumented immigrants be told of their right to an attorney before being interviewed by federal immigration authorities while in custody. The Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act, parts of which goes into effect in 2017, was sign by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called it a “measured approach to due process and transparency principles.” The law, commonly referred to as the Truth Act, also requires that police departments give an immigrants’ attorney or advocate the same information they shared with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A public forum must also be held every year to disclose local law enforcement’s role in federal immigration policy. Immigrants will also be advised that they don’t have to speak with ICE agents. “Behind closed doors, ICE has inserted itself into the fragile relationship between local police and immigrant communities by requesting local police take on the role of federal immigration agents,” said California Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who authored the Truth Act. “With today’s action, California leads the nation with sensible immigration policies that protect the rights of immigrants and shine a light on flawed federal priorities.”
CHADBOURN, NC (WECT) - Chadbourn Interim Town Manager Pat Garrell has confirmed Ricky Soles, a police officer with the Chadbourn Police Department, was fired Tuesday following backlash over a post he made on Facebook.
Soles said he was given the opportunity to resign, and refused. Soles added he was then terminated on the grounds that his actions were unbecoming of a police officer and violated the law enforcement code of ethics.
Garrell said Wednesday another officer with the police department has since resigned, and a recently hired officer, who was supposed to begin working Monday, pulled their employment. Garrell said numerous people in the department are working overtime as a result, and that the Columbus County Sheriff's Office has offered their assistance.
Soles deleted his Facebook account Monday after many community members called his post racist and offensive.
Rob Duke's insight:
Poor judgement. As an officer, there's never a time when you get to say "oh, I was off-duty, that doesn't count..."
REDLANDS >> Officer Joseph Aguilar transferred from San Bernardino to the Redlands Police Department just a few months before the Dec. 2 terrorist attack.
So, when he heard over the radio that Redlands police were pursuing Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s black sport utility vehicle toward San Bernardino, a town he knew very well, he immediately jumped in to assist.
“Seeing how they were going to San Bernardino and me coming fresh from there, I figured I would be a benefit and I could help out any way I can,” Aguilar recalled.
He joined the pursuit, which ended in a shootout on San Bernardino Avenue.
“That’s when everything gets real,” Aguilar said. “You kind of buckle down and let your training kick in.”
The shootout ended in the deaths of Farook and Malik — the couple who hours earlier had opened fire on a gathering of county workers at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and wounding 22 others.
Earlier this month, Aguilar and officers from San Bernardino and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were honored for their efforts on Dec. 2 with the Medal of Valor, awarded by Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Rob Duke's insight:
Redlands is my "home" department where I got my start many years ago.
Community policing has long been a matter of life and death in Chicago. When it's worked, researchers have found that communities of color report less fear of crime and better relations with the police, which can translate into improved crime prevention and fewer shootings. And in a year when shootings have skyrocketed and community trust of the police has been severely damaged by the release of a series of videos capturing police shootings, it's been touted by politicians as a powerful crime-fighting strategy.
"Chicago is where the whole idea of community policing began," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a speech on police accountability on December 9, 2015, just two weeks after the release of the Laquan McDonald video rocked the city and sparked a crisis in police-community relations. "It remains the best and most comprehensive approach we have in changing the everyday conditions that breed crime and violence and then breed mistrust."
FAIRBANKS — A majority of Fairbanks City Council members want to launch an independent investigation into police Chief Randall Aragon’s alleged business impropriety. A city official said the administration is
A jury on Wednesday acquitted a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy of federal charges that he helped cover up the beating of a visitor to a county jail, but the panel deadlocked over whether the lawman lied to investigators about the incident.
Deputies walk past cells on the 3000 floor of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail. (Credit: Los Angeles Times) The verdict marks a rare loss for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, which has won a string of abuse and obstruction cases against deputies and higher-ranking sheriff’s officials following an FBI investigation into county jails.
Byron Dredd, 33, faced two counts of wrongdoing that arose from allegations he had conspired with the deputies involved in the beating to fabricate reports that placed the blame on the victim. A third charge indicated he lied about the incident to FBI agents during an interview. Dredd himself was not accused of taking part in the beating.
Rob Duke's insight:
This was always going to be a tough case. Here's the scenario: the FBI thinks there's abuse going on in L.A. County Jail, so they send in an informant who sneaks in cell phones, etc. so he can document anything he sees that might be abusive and can call the FBI. The problem is that there are laws and policies about bringing contraband into jails. Cel Phones create a security risk and are just as dangerous as sneaking a gun into a prison. LASD finds the phone and the offender may or may not have told them that he was an informant for the FBI. Everything that stems from this is a bit of a "pissing contest" between then LA Sheriff, Lee Baca and the FBI. Everybody knows you can't fight the feds, and maybe LASD just played some games with them (hiding the informant by releasing the wrong guy under the informant's name, moving the informant into obscure locations in the jail, etc.). The FBI's case doesn't rest on alleged abuse, but on the obstruction charges and "lying".
Should the FBI have contacted Baca's office and asked for cooperation in the investigation before all this got started? It depends if they thought Baca had knowledge and condoned the behavior. Though I doubt that was the case: Anyone who knows how big organizations work would likely know that Baca had no idea what was happening with employee x way down in his 18000 employees. If you don't think the top is involved, then yes the best way to have done this type of investigation that: 1. jeopardizes the safety of the jail; and 2. breaks the law by smuggling in contraband would have been to ask for cooperation. Could have avoided all this through cooperation? Yes, it's highly likely. Will anyone "spank" the Feds for this? Hell no.
The downside to going the cooperation route? If abuse is really happening in the jail, messages get sent on the sly and everyone is told to "pull in their horns". Worst case is that deputies retaliate against the informant.
If this were 1950, I'd take those worries seriously, but in my experience, a professional jail anywhere in L.A. takes this type of allegation seriously and they'd have cooperated and not alerted the line operations that the investigation was afoot.
Davis said the man refused multiple instructions from an officer and “concealed his hands in his pockets.” He said the man “drew an object from his front pants pockets, placed both hands together on it and extended toward the officers.”
One officer fired a Taser and another fired rounds from his handgun. No weapon was recovered at the scene.
The shooting sparked protests in the San Diego County city, with friends of the man's family saying he suffers from a mental illness and did not pose a threat to the officers.
The man, who was believed to be age 30, was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries.
A crowd of about 30 people gathered at the shooting scene. By the evening, the crowd grew to about 100 people, including community leaders and members of local churches.
Most of the demonstrators voiced concerns that the shooting was racially motivated.
The El Cajon violence comes amid growing national debate over police shootings of African Americans. Charlotte was rocked by days of protests last week after police fatally shot 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.
Basic Workshop: This 18-hour workshop presents conflict resolution skills through experiential learning exercises and practice with the goal of helping Direct Service providers and community members think about and make choices to reduce conflicts in work and everyday settings. The Basic workshop is required before participation in the Advanced workshop. Participants are expected to attend all three days of the workshop.
Date: October 7 - October 9, 2016 Friday, Oct 7 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, Oct 8 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, Oct 9 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: AKTC Fairbanks Office 701 Bidwill Avenue, Suite 300 Fairbanks, AK 99701
Rob Duke's insight:
Some great local training right here in Fairbanks....
Police departments across the country are keenly aware of community distrust.
Many have responded after incidents like Ferguson and now Charlotte, but far fewer have taken initiative before they ever happened.
The Longmont Police Department fits into the latter category.
“We've walked over 90 neighborhoods within the community,” said police chief Mike Butler as he walked down Lincoln Street on Sunday.
For two and a half years, Butler has dedicated his Sundays to walking around a different neighborhood in Longmont. Some last an hour, others last four, but each includes introducing himself to the people who live there as a way of building relationships within the community.
Rob Duke's insight:
Management By Walking Around (MBWA). Government can be extremely intimidating and walled off from many of our constituents. By putting yourself out where they can find your or "accidentally" bump into you is very empowering for your community. One Chief who taught me had a breakfast spot where you could find him every morning and then he rotated lunch spots so that every group in the community had a "safe" place to meet or run into him without braving the police station. I adopted his practice and it served me well.
It's important that you institutionalize the system; however, and keep established office hours so that folks who are more structured or connected to the organization also feel like they have access (e.g. employees, elected officials, members of the chamber and other growth engines in your area).
Common crime lab techniques made famous by shows like Law & Order have come under fire yet again—this time by President Obama’s top scientific advisers. A damning report released this week by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology calls into question the scientific basis of the forensic analysis of bite marks, mixed DNA samples, hair samples, and footwear, among other techniques. In spite of the esteemed origin of the report, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department wouldn’t heed the findings.
“While we appreciate their contribution to the field of scientific inquiry, the department will not be adopting the recommendations related to the admissibility of forensic science evidence,” Lynch said in a statement.
The brush-off from the nation’s top cop might come as a surprise, but it’s worth noting that prosecutors have relied on evidence garnered by these techniques to win cases for decades. The FBI was also quick to release a statement asserting that the report made many “unsupported assertions” about forensic science. If a growing list of widely accepted forensic analysis techniques is called into question—as it just was—what does that leave prosecutors?
“Juries are unschooled in forensic science and tend to believe the prosecutor’s expert testimony,” Nancy Petro, coauthor of False Justice: Eight Myths That Convict the Innocent, told TakePart. “While the defense’s cross-examination is meant to challenge this testimony, often the defense lacks the resources to do so effectively.”
Rob Duke's insight:
Ain't it funny how the DOJ and FBI are willing to stand around and let local cops be attacked, but when they're asked to drink the koolaid, they balk?
Militarization of Local Law Enforcement Erodes Civil Liberties, Encourages Overly Aggressive Policing March 6, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org NEW YORK – American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in 23 states...
Departmental policies vary over when, and how, officers should provide medical aid
Rob Duke's insight:
This isn't easy to answer and there's no one size fits all. For instance, a guy who is wounded, but still fighting--what do you do? I'd restrain, handcuff, search. If he's still uncooperative, it's hard to see a policy or law that says you must render aid.
What about the guy who you just shot 18 times? Same thing at first: restrain, handcuff, search. Then? Well, exactly what am I going to do to render aid to a guy who's been shot in a life-threatening manner. We don't have the equipment out there in the field to do much. I've applied tourniquets in the field, applied pressure to wounds, but will I do that if I still think there's a co-conspirator looking to run up behind me? How about if there's a crowd that wants to lynch me just for doing my job?
I think we can have policy that says: if you can reasonably do so, then you should. But, I don't think any policy or law is going to be able to account for even the "normal" shooting....so, it's always going to depend on discretion.
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