Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category
Jazz Shaw’s post about the murder of a Utah police officer is heartbreaking but important within the context of criminal justice reform. Far too frequently, we’ve heard stories about “non-violent offenders” being incarcerated after being convicted for a felony.
Jazz’s post is about how Cory Lee Henderson murdered a police officer Sunday. Henderson allegedly murdered “Scott Barney, an 18-year veteran of the Unified and Taylorsville police departments and a father of three who worked in the Holladay Precinct.” Since then, lots of disturbing information has come out about Henderson. In his post, Shaw wrote that “Henderson was indicted by a federal grand jury on felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense” on Nov. 24, 2015.
That’s just the most recent incarceration for Mr. Henderson. After being indicted, things take a bizarre twist. On “Dec. 4, 2015, Henderson is arraigned in federal court, pleads not guilty. On Dec. 8, 2015, Henderson is paroled to the Fortitude Treatment Center. Federal court records show U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse allowed him to be released from federal custody to go to the treatment center. On Dec. 18, 2015, Henderson is reported as a walkaway from the Fortitude Treatment Center. The Utah Department of Corrections said Henderson checked out in the morning to look for employment but did not return at the end of the day. That night, state dispatch was contacted and notified that he was missing.”
What type of nutjob judge paroles a felon with a lengthy history of convictions? This article is must reading:
Henderson’s criminal history includes arrests for drugs, weapons, assault and theft. He was convicted of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015. He was imprisoned for possession of a firearm by a restricted person in 2014 and was jailed on parole violations in November and December last year.
Criminal justice activists will surely attempt to tell the public that he never should’ve been jailed for the drug charges. That’s BS. In this and many other instances, drugs are just the tip of the iceberg. Notice that Henderson’s record includes arrests for “weapons, assault and theft,” too.
Last night, Megyn Kelly demolished defense attorney Arthur Aidala’s argument that no state laws were broken when the Duggars’ daughters were identified as victims of sex crimes. Check this video out:
First, here’s the Arkansas law that’s being debated:
Arkansas Legal Code
ANN. SEC. 16-90-1104
“A law enforcement agency shall not disclose to the public information directly or indirectly identifying the victim of a sex crime.”
Aidala argued that the lawyer in question relied on the opinions of 2 different Arkansas attorneys general in making his decision. If that’s true, which I believe is true, then these attorneys general got their opinions horribly wrong.
The Arkansas statute is exceptionally clearly written. It isn’t ambiguous. If there’s another law that says that people who commit sex crimes must be identified, then these attorneys general should’ve brought these conflicting statutes to the attention of the Arkansas legislature, Arkansas’ governor and the people of Arkansas. Those conflicting statutes must be fixed so that they aren’t conflicting anymore. Otherwise, teenage victims of sex crimes will be doubly victimized in the future.
Fortunately, a judge has stepped in and said “Don’t release it and destroy the remaining reports.”
What people think about Josh Duggar is irrelevant to this topic. That’s totally separate. The law states what the law states. Releasing the report that identified those girls was illegal. Now that the Arkansas judge has ruled, that’s the law of the land unless and until the legislature changes those statutes. I’m betting that the legislature won’t touch it because it’s an emotionally charged subject that’s settled at this point.
The bigger point, though, to this discussion is that a state attorney general’s opinion shouldn’t conflict with clearly written state statutes. Opinions and precedents that conflict with statutes are simply wrong. There can’t be any question about that. Period.
When Marilyn Mosby won an indictment against 6 police officers in the death of Freddie Gray and when Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake watched Baltimore descend into chaos, they became the public face of Baltimore’s political and legal leadership. Now that violence engulfs Baltimore, it’s clear that this disastrous duo deserve the criticism they’re getting.
In most instances, I’d argue that Marilyn Mosby deserves the lion’s share of the blame for Baltimore’s problems. This isn’t like most situations, though. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first gave the thugs permission to loot stores and destroy buildings. She told police officers to “Let them loot. It’s only property”:
As amazing as that sounds, it’s gotten worse since:
BALTIMORE (AP) — Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire.
“I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”
This explains why the officers aren’t there:
Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said last week his officers “are not holding back” from policing tough neighborhoods, but they are encountering dangerous hostility in the Western District. “Our officers tell me that when officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time,” Batts said.
This doesn’t help, either:
At a City Council meeting Wednesday, Batts said officers have expressed concern they could be arrested for making mistakes. “What is happening, there is a lot of levels of confusion in the police organization. There are people who have pain, there are people who are hurt, there are people who are frustrated, there are people who are angry,” Batts said. “There are people, and they’ve said this to me, ‘If I get out of my car and make a stop for a reasonable suspicion that leads to probable cause but I make a mistake on it, will I be arrested?’ They pull up to a scene and another officer has done something that they don’t know, it may be illegal, will they be arrested for it? Those are things they are asking.”
Marilyn Mosby’s hostility towards the police has accelerated the mistrust between City Hall, her office and the police officers. The police officers don’t know whether they’ll get arrested for making a mistake because Ms. Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will take the thugs’ side or the officers’ side.
Two of the things that are fundamental to city governance is public safety and law enforcement. These ladies are failing to produce on either count. Based on their hostility towards police officers, it’s unrealistic to think they’ll suddenly change their policies and start making the streets safe or prosecuting the thugs that are murdering people.
Part I of this series highlighted a timeline of events that led to the termination of Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Part II highlighted some of President Davenport’s rationalizations for terminating Coach Hoffner. This post will highlight the substantive complaints from Coach Hoffner’s attorneys. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy:
Second, in that same section, the OLA report devotes an entire paragraph to President Davenport’s justification for his reaction to the charges against Coach Hoffner and, specifically, the description of the Pennsylvania State University sex scandal. No comparable explanation from Coach Hoffner is included, nor is the fundamental distinguishing fact that the alleged conduct that MSU Mankato investigated had nothing to do with sexual abuse or similar conduct with respect to MSU Mankato students.
Comparing the Hoffner situation with what happened at Penn State is foolish. According to a footnote in the OLA’s report, Penn State’s high-level administrators, including Penn State’s president at the time, “were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. They are awaiting trial.” In Coach Hoffner’s case, he didn’t exercise good judgment. Still, the Blue Earth County judge that dismissed the charges said that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”
There’s a little bit of hyperbole in this paragraph:
To omit from the OLA’s report even the most basic of facts in this regard is misleading and profoundly unfair. The notion that a person could equate Coach Hoffner with Jerry Sandusky is absurd, and that a person could draw such a comparison exemplifies why that person should not have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.
First, Hoffner’s attorneys went a little overboard in saying that President Davenport shouldn’t “have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.” That being said, Hoffner’s attorneys are right in saying that comparing Coach Hoffner’s actions with Sandusky’s is absurd. They aren’t close to being similar, much less close to being the same thing.
Jerry Sandusky is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. According to Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t always the most accurate website, “Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. Cleland immediately revoked Sandusky’s bail and remanded him to the Centre County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.”
It shouldn’t be difficult for university presidents to differentiate between a man who was investigated and had charges dropped and a man convicted of “eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault [and] nine counts of unlawful contact with minors…” I’m betting that most high school students could differentiate between the two.
Simply put, this would be a disaster for President Davenport if the MnSCU Chancellor, aka Davenport’s boss, were a principled man or if the DFL-chaired Higher Ed committees took their oversight responsibilities seriously. Since neither is the case, it isn’t likely that this will hurt President Davenport.
That’s the biggest of disasters in this entire situation.
This post about Richard Davenport’s termination of Coach Todd Hoffner highlights the timeline of Mankato State University, Mankato’s investigation that ultimately led to Coach Hoffner’s termination. This post will highlight the OLA’s report of what happened that triggered the investigation:
On August 10, 2012, Coach Hoffner asked a MSU, Mankato information technology staff person to examine his cell phone because it was not working properly. The staff person found a video recording of naked children on the phone and brought it to the attention of MSU, Mankato officials, who turned the cell phone over to the Mankato police. Coach Hoffner was arrested at his home on August 21, 2012. The following day, the Blue Earth County Attorney filed charges against Todd Hoffner alleging that the images of the children were pornographic and criminal.
After reviewing the images, other evidence, and considering the applicable laws, on November 30, 2012, a Blue Earth County District Court Judge dismissed the criminal charges for lack of “probable cause.” In her order, the judge noted that the children in the video were Todd Hoffner’s children, who asked their father to record a “performance” after they emerged from a bath. The judge went on to say
that the context of the video showed that the “children’s performance was not intended to be erotic or pornographic in nature.” She also noted that the children acted silly, playful, and age appropriate.
Despite the fact that charges were dismissed by a Blue Earth County district court judge, President Davenport proceeded with his investigation.
It’s worth highlighting that the judge ruled that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”
Here’s another situation that might put President Davenport into a delicate situation:
President Davenport also told us that he responded to the allegations against Coach Hoffner with the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) football sex scandal in mind. In that case, a former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of sexually abusing children for more than a decade. In addition, university officials were accused of failing to respond adequately when concerns about the coach were brought to their attention.
The Penn State situation was dramatically different from what happened in Mankato. Here’s one of the report’s footnotes:
In June 2012, former Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and, in October 2012, he was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) imposed severe sanctions against the Penn State football program, including: a $60 million fine to create an endowment to prevent child sexual abuse and help child abuse victims; barring Penn State’s football program from post-season play for four years; and vacating the team’s wins from 1998-2011. In addition, former Penn State officials, President Graham Spanier, Senior VP for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, and Athletic Director Tim Curley were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. They are awaiting trial.
In the Penn State case, senior members of the administration, including Penn State’s president were accused of lying to investigators and for trying to hide Jerry Sandusky’s actions. Further, they “were indicted “for endangering the welfare of children…”
The underlying allegations included this:
Victims also commonly reported that Sandusky would place his hand on their thighs or inside the waistband of their underpants. Two recounted oral sex with Sandusky, sometimes culminating in his ejaculation.
That’s totally different than the situation at Mankato. First, President Davenport didn’t attempt to cover anything up. Second, he wasn’t accused of lying to investigators. Those things alone differentiate this situation from the Penn State scandal.
I understand that administrators nationwide worried about being accused of covering up a pervert’s lengthy history of child sex abuse. That’s appropriate and justified. What isn’t appropriate or justified is conflating everything into another Penn State.
The Baltimore Ravens have terminated Ray Rice’s contract:
DEVELOPING: The Baltimore Ravens fired running back Ray Rice after new video emerged showing the vicious punch he used to drop his then-fiancée in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel.
The team confirmed the move in a tweet that came hours after video obtained by TMZ showed the 5-foot, 8-inch, 220-pound athlete delivering a left-handed blow to the face of Janay Palmer, appearing to knock her unconscious. The video was shot from inside the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and is the footage shot before the previously circulated video that showed Rice dragging his unconscious wife-to-be out of the elevator on Feb. 15.
I just saw the unedited video of Rice punching his then-fiance. Saying that it’s a disturbing, emotion-jarring video is understatement.
This afternoon on ESPN, the entire crew of analysts (Louis Riddick, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson) expressed outrage at everyone involved in this disaster. Schefter said that law enforcement messed up by not getting the video to the NFL. He said that the prosecutors screwed up by not charging Rice with a felony, instead letting him off the hook with a slap on the wrist. He criticized the Ravens for letting Rice use their facilities to hold a press conference after the incident.
That press conference included testimonial after testimonial about Rice being “a good man.” It included Janay Palmer, now Rice’s wife, apologizing for the part she played in Rice’s violence. (That, by the way, is still the most bizarre part of this horrific incident.)
Riddick said that the league needs to do a better job of doing what’s right rather than doing what it needs to do to promote the sport.
Finally, Mortenson got after Goodell, hinting that it isn’t good enough to say that he “got it wrong.” He said that, while the NFL didn’t have the video, they certainly had the report of what Rice did.
Goodell should be suspended for getting this horrific incident woefully wrong. He should lose a hefty chunk of his alleged $50,000,000 a year salary, too. It looks like he isn’t the impartial arbiter that his job requires him to be. Honestly, I wouldn’t feel bad if he lost his job over this.
Chuck Todd, NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent, apparently hasn’t figured it out that the initial IRS scandal isn’t the only IRS scandal. Here’s what he said on the matter:
On Monday, the IRS Commissioner testified before Congress. A week after the IRS told Senate investigators that two years of e-mails disappeared in a computer crash back in 2011. While this certainly doesn’t make the Obama administration nor the IRS look very good, it’s important to remember what this actual story is about because it’s gotten lost.
The question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code and both political parties are pointing blame. Republicans say that just conservative-sounding groups were targeted by the IRS.
The thing is that the IRS targeting of TEA Party organizations is just part of the scandal. Another facet of the scandal is Lois Lerner’s illegal activities, starting with her sending confidential donor information of the National Organization of Marriage to the Human Rights Campaign.
Another facet of the scandal is how her emails were suspiciously ‘lost’. That’s actually a big deal because the only plausible explanation for 2 years of Ms. Lerner’ emails disappearing is that they were intentionally destroyed to hide incriminating facts about how she was using the IRS to terrorize President Obama’s political opponents.
In fact, it was learned Wednesday that Ms. Lerner used her position within the IRS to get a sitting US senator audited.
People that think this scandal is about whether 501(c)(3) organizations “should be filing as tax exempt social welfare” organizations have their head in the sand. This scandal is mostly about whether the Obama administration is using the IRS to terrorize its political enemies. Whether the tax code should be fixed is trivial in comparison.
When the IRS targets the president’s political opponents, it’s frightening because the IRS has the ability to destroy people’s lives. When the IRS attempts to limit organizations’ ability to participate in the political process, that’s trampling on those organizations’ constitutional rights. When a high-ranking official attempts to have a sitting US senator audited, That’s about as corrupt as it gets.
In fact, I’d argue that that’s more corrupt than Watergate. Here’s part of what Article 2 in the Articles of Impeachment brought against President Nixon said:
He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
It clearly states that Nixon tried to obtain “confidential information” from the IRS. Lois Lerner didn’t resist HRC’s request for confidential information from NOM’s filing with the IRS. Ms. Lerner handed them over without hesitation.
If Chuck Todd thinks that Lois Lerner’s allegedly illegal actions aren’t the focus of this scandal, then he isn’t qualified to be a journalist. That doesn’t mean, though, that he isn’t the closest thing MSNBC has to a journalist. In all seriousness, though, I suspect Todd would like to take that statement back.
Finally, I wish Lois Lerner was never a government employee. She’s done tons of damage to average citizens over the past 5 years. If we had a real attorney general, she’d already have been indicted for her treachery.
Technorati: Chuck Todd, MSNBC, IRS, Lois Lerner, Confidential Records,Richard Nixon, Watergate Scandal, Archived Emails, Targeting Conservatives, IRS Audits, Democrats, Chuck Grassley, TEA Party Activists, Republicans
This morning, I wrote this article about Rep. Rick Nolan’s cancelled fundraiser with convicted pedophile Peter Yarrow. Yarrow was convicted in 1970 of “making ‘immoral and improper’ actions with an underage girl.”
That’s a little too politically correct for me. The unabridged, politically incorrect version of the story is that Yarrow is a convicted pedophile who did unspeakable things to a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old sister. While Nolan insists that Yarrow has “done a lot of good for a lot of people,” the truth is that those children are scarred for life. They’ll never be whole again.
Unfortunately, this is just the most recent incident involving the DFL and a pedophile. In 2012, State Rep. Kelly Gauthier was caught in an almost equally disgusting act of pedophilia:
State Patrol will confirm that one witness approached a trooper around 11 at night on July 22nd to report an incident.
The State Patrol turned the investigation over to the Duluth Police Department. Well placed sources today told the Northland’s NewsCenter, the incident involved a 17 year old boy with whom Gauthier was reportedly engaged in a sexual act.
Because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, it is not illegal to have sex with someone who is 17. However it can be a misdemeanor to engage in sex acts in a public place.
Our sources say Representative Gauthier met the young man on Craig’s List and that police are investigating the potential that money changed hands which could make it a criminal matter.
I suspect that most Minnesotans wouldn’t be satisfied with 16 being able to consent. I suspect that most Minnesotans would be disgusted with a forty-something-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old. I’m betting most Minnesotans would define that as pedophilia even if the courts wouldn’t.
What’s worse is that DFL Chairman Ken Martin and DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen knew about Rep. Gauthier’s actions in July, 2012, which is more than a month before this news broke. Martin and Thissen protected that disgusting person for more than a month before word got out.
The sad truth is that, whether we’re talking about Peter Yarrow hosting a fundraiser for Rick Nolan or Paul Thissen hiding Rep. Gauthier’s public sexual conduct with a 17-year-old, the DFL isn’t outraged by the actions of creeps like Peter Yarrow and Kelly Gauthier.
That’s a history I’d want suppressed if I were a Democrat. That’s a history I’d be disgusted with if I was just an average citizen.
It’s time that the DFL stopped making excuses for disgusting excuses of a human being. It’s time they actually stood against pedophiles.
Friday night, Mike Hatch enlisted himself as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney. First, here’s a little background on the conversation. The first subject discussed during the Almanac Roundtable was medical marijuana.
When Cathy Wurzer brought up the subject of Gov. Dayton’s alleged statement to a parent to buy marijuana from a street dealer, Brian McClung jumped all over that, saying that it’s disgraceful that Gov. Dayton would tell someone to break the law. Then McClung said that it wasn’t just the mother who is making that accusation, that others attending that impromptu meeting had verified the fact that Gov. Dayton had said that.
That’s when Mr. Hatch came to Gov. Dayton’s defense, saying that “nobody knows what was said. Nobody here was in that meeting.” Then he said that since nobody on the panel was there, they shouldn’t state their opinion on what happened.
First, that’s exceptionally rich coming from someone who made a career as Minnesota’s Attorney General by avoiding trials by trying the cases in the court of public opinion. Hatch’s habit was to hold splashy press conferences where he’d say that another evil corporation had shafted John Q. Public. Most of Hatch’s lawsuits didn’t make it to trial because the defendant settled before trial.
But I digress.
Hatch’s argument is flimsy at best. Crime aren’t committed in front of a room full of upstanding citizens as witnesses. Despite that, juries frequently deliver guilty verdicts without eyewitness testimony to a shooting or robbery.
In this instance, however, there were a bunch of parents/activists who stepped forward and said that they’d heard Gov. Dayton make this statement. If they’re telling the truth, then Gov. Dayton told a distraught mother to commit a crime. This video shows at least 2 women, including Jessica Hauser, making the statement that Gov. Dayton told Ms. Hauser to buy marijuana from a street dealer:
If Mr. Hatch wants to argue that these women aren’t telling the truth, then he’d better bring a lunch because he’s in for a long day. There were at least a half dozen people standing with Ms. Hauser at Ms. Hauser’s press conference. If that’s the case, then Mr. Hatch’s job as Gov. Dayton’s defense attorney is to discredit each of these eyewitnesses’ testimony. I won’t say that’s impossible but I’d say accomplishing that is as likely as me hitting the Powerball jackpot…twice.
If I were Gov. Dayton, I’d either hire a better attorney or I’d throw myself on the mercy of the court because, right now, he doesn’t have a chance of winning this fight.
This video shows some ecoterrorists trespassing on Mark Maki’s private property:
This is the unhinged, despicable left terrorizing a private citizen on his private property. That didn’t matter to them. This article fills in the details from that act of terrorism:
Masked protesters carrying torches and threatening organized violence protested outside the home of an executive at a major oil pipeline company last week. Eight environmental activists gathered on the lawn of Mark Maki, a member of the Enbridge Energy Company’s board of directors and president of Enbridge Energy Management, to protest the arrests of three anti-pipeline activists last year.
The protesters, who brandished torches for a photo posted online, held a sign warning, “solidarity means attack” and “we will shut you down.”
Maki stepped out of his Houston, Texas, home to talk with the protesters, though he said he was not familiar with their grievances. “It’s 10 o’ clock at night, I’m happy to discuss it, [but] not here, not in my neighborhood, not with my neighbors around,” Maki told them.
As protesters stood on Maki’s lawn, they told him that Enbridge is “criminalizing protest” by testifying against three anti-pipeline activists who were recently convicted of criminal trespassing for chaining themselves to Enbridge construction equipment in July.
There’s no denying the fact that these terrorists are criminals. What’s stunning is that their actions are accepted by supposedly mainstream environmental organizations:
Anti-pipeline activism has recently spurred even nominally mainstream environmental groups to endorse criminal activity.
The Sierra Club, one of the most prominent environmentalist groups in the country, gave its official endorsement last year to acts of civil disobedience as a means to stop the popular Keystone pipeline.
Anti-pipeline activism has become a pillar of the post-Al Gore environmentalist movement, which has found it to be an effective issue around which to rally its supporters.
It isn’t just environmentalists that terrorize people at their homes:
Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America, a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that, in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action, makes his family fair game.
Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack, alone in the house, locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.
President Obama, when he was still candidate Obama, stated proudly that he’d marched with SEIU. SEIU is considered a central part of today’s Democratic Party, as is the Sierra Club.
Altogether too often, the Democratic Party has turned a blind eye towards the Sierra Club or SEIU when they’ve condoned terrorizing private citizens. Altogether too often, they’ve essentially said that the ends justify the means. In the Democrats’ minds, evil is acceptable when it’s used to terrorize one of the Democrats’ boogeymen.
Terrorism, whether it’s used against Mark Maki or Greg Baer, isn’t acceptable. If the Democratic Party doesn’t want to be known as the party that condones terrorism, needs to start standing up to these terrorists. If they don’t, the Democratic Party should be known as the party that appeases terrorists.