Disgraced former Bakersfield Police detective Patrick Mara was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking and bribery ring. It's the same sentence handed his one-time police partner, Damacio Diaz -- and a sentence Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green called "extremely lenient."
FBI Director James Comey has again defied the official White House line on policing and the Black Lives Matter movement. The “narrative that policing is biased and violent and unfair” is resulting in “more dead young black men,” Mr. Comey warned in an Oct. 16 address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego. That narrative, he added, also “threatens the future of policing.”
Mr. Comey has spoken out before. In October 2015, after he observed that rising violent crime was likely the result of officers backing off proactive policing, President Obama obliquely accused the FBI director of “cherry-pick[ing] data” and “feed[ing] political agendas.”
But as much as Mr. Obama has tried to dismiss the violent crime increase that began after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the data are clear.
Last year’s 12% increase in homicides reported to the FBI is the largest one-year homicide increase in nearly half a century. The primary victims have been black. An additional 900 black males were killed last year compared with the previous year, resulting in a homicide victimization rate that is now nine times greater for black males than for white males. The brutality of these killings can be shocking. Over the weekend of Sept. 16, a 15-year-old boy in Chicago was burned alive in a dumpster.
More police are being killed this year too. Gun murders of police officers are up 47% nationally through Oct. 21, compared with the same period the previous year. In Chicago gun assaults on officers are up 100%. In New York City attacks on officers are up 23%. In the last two weeks, four California officers have been deliberately murdered.
Gangbanger John Felix prepared for his lethal attack on two Palm Springs officers on Oct. 8 by setting a trap and ambushing them as they stood outside his door. Two days earlier, parolee Trenton Trevon Lovell shot Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen in the face as he investigated a burglary call. Lovell then stood over Sgt. Owen and fired four additional rounds into his body. A planned assassination of two officers on coffee break in Vallejo, Calif., on Oct. 17 failed only when the assault rifle used in the attack jammed. In Indianapolis on Oct. 13, police headquarters were sprayed with bullets by a car that then fled, echoing a similar attack on Oct. 4 against the same police station.
Officers are second-guessing their own justified use of force for fear of being labeled racist and losing their jobs, if not their freedom. On Oct. 5 a female officer in Chicago was beaten unconscious by a suspect in a car crash, who repeatedly bashed her face into the concrete and tore out chunks of her hair. She refrained from using her gun, she said, because she didn’t want to become the next viral video in the Black Lives Matter narrative.
The Chicago Police Department now wants to institutionalize such dangerous second-guessing. Its proposed guidelines for using force would require cops to consider the “impact that even a reasonable use of force may have on those who observe” it.
A Los Angeles police officer recently described to me his current thought process in deciding whether to intervene in suspicious or criminal behavior. A man high on meth was violently accosting pedestrians around a Santa Monica bike path. The cops were “very hesitant to arrest,” the officer said, because “we knew we would be on YouTube before we could get back to the station.” That reluctance to make contact intensifies when the suspect is black, he added.
The Black Lives Matter narrative about an epidemic of racially biased police shootings is false: Four studies published this year showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. Officers’ use of lethal force following an arrest for a violent felony is more than twice the rate for white as for black arrestees, according to one study. Another study showed that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed whites.
We are at a crucial juncture on law and order. Police officers unquestionably need more hands-on tactical training that will help them make split-second shoot-don’t shoot decisions. Some officers develop obnoxious attitudes toward civilians that must be eradicated. But as Mr. Comey said in San Diego, “Police officers are overwhelmingly good people . . . who took exhausting, dangerous jobs because they want to help people.”
No government agency is more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police. If the next administration continues to disregard that truth in favor of a false narrative about systemic law-enforcement racism, the next four years will see more urban violence and race riots, and more dead cops.
Two Port Barre (LA) police officers were treated for injuries over the weekend after a hit-and-run investigation led to a violent confrontation with some neighborhood residents, according to Chief Deon Boudreaux. One officer was treated for injuries after a 15-year-old struck him in the head with a fishing pole, while the other suffered an arm injury after he was struck with a metal folding chair, Boudreaux said. The chief said the officer who was struck with a fishing pole then aimed his gun at the teen, while other officers used pepper spray against the aggressive crowd that swarmed officers responding to a hit-and-run complaint in the 100 block of East Courtableau Drive. “These officers were there to investigate a hit-and-run crash but instead had to fight with a family of all ages, defend their own lives and nearly had to use deadly force, all because of the disrespect and aggressive lifestyle that was taught from parents to children,” Boudreaux said in a statement. “Had back up not arrived, had there been deadlier weapons laying around the yard, an officer, a husband, a father, could’ve lost his life over a hit and run complaint. A 15-year-old young man could have lost his life had it not been for the compassion and restraint by that police officer.”
When employees speak up, companies benefit. Thus not surprisingly, lots of leaders say they want to encourage their employees to speak freely, whether it’s by offering creative new ideas, identifying process improvements, or even calling out unethical behavior. But several studies suggest that leaders often undermine their own efforts to get employees to speak up.
Research by Ethan Burris, for example, has shown that leaders generally react quite negatively to employees who challenge them, even when employees do so constructively. Employees trying to resist certain changes or demands in non-hostile and constructive conversations are more likely to be labeled poor performers by their supervisors.
In ongoing research we are still conducting, we are finding that supervisor retaliation can go further than that. In a recent study, we examined the question whether those employees who speak up to their supervisors in constructive yet challenging ways are confronted with more abusive leadership.
We collected data from employees across a wide array of different industries in Belgium. Email invitations were sent to employees of these organizations requesting their participation in a web-based survey. These employees were then asked to invite a coworker familiar with their work to participate as well. We ended up with 138 employee-coworker dyads (for a total of 276 subjects). The employees answered questions about how abusive their supervisor was, while the coworkers answered questions about how much constructive resistance the employee showed towards his or her supervisor. Our analyses (while controlling for differences in education and industry) revealed that the more that employees were perceived by coworkers to show constructive resistance towards their supervisors, the more likely the employees were to rate their supervisors on a validated scale as showing abusive behavior towards them. Examples of abusive behavior included asking whether their supervisor ridiculed them, were rude, invaded their privacy, or gave them the silent treatment.
For managers who want to avoid these pitfalls and foster a speaking up culture, the research suggests several takeaways. One important one is to actively embrace constructive conflict. Rather than waiting for employees to speak up – thus risking their own professional reputations – start a debate. A structured debate can force multiple perspectives out into the open.
Another is to regulate your emotions. Whenever you feel threatened by something an employee says, think about whether you want to escalate a potential conflict further before you react. Don’t shy away from stating — in a direct and constructive way – your own point of view. But don’t let negative emotions come pouring out.
Finally, be aware of cultural differences. In some cultures, speaking directly is the norm; in others, people will say nothing but still mean something. In some cultures, for example, subordinates may not challenge leaders openly but may still disagree with you. In others, a blunt critique may just be the start of a good discussion.
For employees trying to speak up, we suggest starting by building trust. The simplest way to do this? Be good at your job. The primary cue for leaders to trust their employees is that those employees show that they are competent in the work they do. Of course, cultural differences in building trust also exist. In many Western countries, the idea exists that initially trust needs to be given by the leader to see how well employees will do, whereas in many Asian countries, it is tradition that the leader expects their subordinates to show that they deserve his or her trust.7
It’s also important to speak up as early as possible. If you do not provide feedback as early as possible, conflicts and frustrations are likely to build up, which ultimately may result in abusive responses.
Finally, of course, employees also have to regulate their emotions. Try to come across as a professional by being in control, and adopting a cooperative attitude. Make clear that you understand the complexity of your leader´s job and that you speak up to create joint value.
Building speaking up cultures is, on the whole, a good thing. However, senior leaders should be wary of encouraging employees to speak up without also training their middle managers in how to respond. Wise companies encourage both their managers and their employees to communicate candidly, without dysfunctional repercussions.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is important for a police department, too. Our employees are the closest to our communities, but we hitch them to a rigid organization where the safest course is to follow the policies with pedantic glee. The employees that do not follow this tactic are often ostracized by the organization. This is unfortunate.
But, employees won't communicate unless there are "safe" ways to do so. We need effective communication systems and ones that behave in honorable ways. Clearly, you can't go off on every wild goose chase, there are some employees that would pull the fire alarm just to experience the glee of watching the chaos. One way to better channel employee communication is to hold periodic visioning exercises, goal setting workshops, and have open and fair budgeting processes so that employees feel connected to the plan. There should also be fair and effective appraisals (I'm partial to the balanced-scorecard, though every system is susceptible to becoming dogma and ritual--which defeats the purpose). We also need to have a system by which employees can make suggestions (to lodge complaints, "blow the whistle", alert the organization to strategic opportunities, and cry out when it's time to slam on the brakes), but also hold them accountable to be constructive and bring potential solutions (and the willingness to solve problems and conflict). Finally, every good organization has a good dispute resolution process and practices fairness.
The complaint states that Landis allegedly said of Campbell, “If he doesn’t want to work here, he can go back to his thug life! I don’t care but he won’t quit so I guess I am gonna have to do it for him.”
This news organization was provided with recorded audio that matches those words and purportedly was said by Landis.
“His demeanor, and his actions to me resembled a bully,” Landis told investigators. “And that is what I call a bully.
“The term, that does not have a color to me. That doesn’t have a race, or anything.”
The allegation also claimed Landis said, “Thanks for keeping up on the sign-offs and keeping Little Hitler off my back. Not the little (sic) over here, the Little Hitler over there.”
The complaint also said Landis made reference to corrections officers wanting to “string him up” and “lynch” regarding possibly changing days off schedules. Banks — who is white — said the comments were racially insensitive and that he was offended by them.
Rob Duke's insight:
Good grievance policies and a mediation program could have prevented much of this....
Brenda Riley was the first person to come to the aid of Fairbanks Police Sgt. Allen Brandt after he was shot by an unidentified assailant in the dark early hours of Sunday morning.
Riley, the executive director of the Fairbanks Children's Museum, said she had just returned from a black-tie fundraising event and was getting ready for bed when she heard multiple gunshots outside her downtown Fairbanks home.
"I reached over and looked out the window and saw a police car speed off. I saw that there was somebody on the ground and I knew that wasn’t right, that a police officer would never leave somebody on the ground," Riley said when reached by telephone Monday afternoon.
Riley threw on a robe, slippers and a vest and ran across the street to where Brandt lay on the ground, critically injured by five point-blank gunshots to his legs and chest. Shrapnel from Brandt's body armor had also seriously injured his left eye.
Riley said Brandt was still conscious and was radioing police dispatch when she reached him.
"I just held his head and did that mom thing of 'Look at me, look at me, stay with me,'' Riley said. "He was saying, 'My eye. My eye,' and I was saying, 'Everything’s going to be OK.' His leg was pretty bad, and I just focused on his face and tried to keep him from slipping into shock."
Riley stayed on the phone with a dispatcher until emergency responders arrived and took over. When asked if she was afraid that Brandt's assailant might return and hurt her, Riley said the thought crossed her mind but that it didn't stop her.
"I was scared for myself and scared that Sgt. Brandt wouldn't make it," she said. "My brother is a VPSO in Kiana, and I would want someone to do the same if he needed the help."
FBI Director James B. Comey told a gathering of police chiefs that despite a wave of protests prompted by fatal police shootings of black men and boys, “Americans actually have no idea” about how often police use force because nobody has collected enough data.
Do you think he had come to believe that the vision of the LAPD that he presented was not sanitized, that it was real?
No, he was a smart man. He knew that it was. But he also knew that what I was presenting to the American public was something that would undermine his sanitized portrayal, and it did. Almost every review at the time would say “This ain’t ‘Dragnet.'” Or “‘Adam-12,’ this is not.” Something like that. Every one of them began like that. He knew that my book was going to cause a bit of harm to the image that he had worked so hard to maintain, really, that sanitized version. …
I was totally unfamiliar with all of the attention that I got. Of course. This was absolutely new to me. And doing PR myself, and suddenly being asked to go on the “Today Show,” or the “Tonight Show,” which I did many times. All that sort of thing. And the phone ringing to the distraction of every detective in my squadroom. All of that, all of that was new, and I made mistakes, because I’d get baited by the press with the “Adam-12″ “Dragnet” image. I would get baited constantly. …
Police Commissioner James O'Neill on Monday kicked off a campaign to hire compassionate cops. As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the effort comes as the shooting death of Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old emotionally disturbed Bronx woman, has cast a shadow over the department.
He is now due to appear in front of a disciplinary panel after he allegedly said: “At the end of the day if they are black and from London I will fingerprint them, as you know what they are like, all lying b*******.”
The officer was on duty with Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Team when he made the comments at Brampton Hut Services on November 15, the Cambridge News reports.
A police document released ahead of the hearing said: “It is alleged that on 15 November 2015, whilst on duty with the Road Policing Team, you were taking a refreshment break at the Brampton Hut Services with your colleagues and, whilst discussing the stop of an uninsured driver that you had conducted earlier on the shift, made a comment to the effect that: ‘At the end of the day if they are black and from London I will fingerprint them, as you know what they are like, all lying b*******.’
“It is alleged that this matter amounts to Gross Misconduct, namely a breach of the standards of Professional Behaviour that, if proved, is so serious that your dismissal would be justified and that the officer has breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour and in particular the standings relating to Equality and Diversity.”
The man shot by Vallejo police after he leveled an assault rifle at them in a Starbucks on Sunday was being sought in connection with the shooting of a toddler in Suisun City earlier in the day, police said in a press conference Monday.Adam Pow
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