News Roundup

My family and I went to the State Fair last weekend, the same day as Bobby Joe Snyder, the third registered sex offender to be arrested at the Fair this year. WRAL has the story here. We had a good time, watching some clogging, cheering for the Axe Women Loggers of Maine, and eating fried Oreos.

In other news:

Fourth Circuit to rehear cell site location information case. I blogged here about United States v. Graham, the case in which the Fourth Circuit ruled that a search warrant is required to access cell site location information over a protracted period. The court has granted the Government’s petition for rehearing en banc. Stay tuned for future developments.

FBI Director feels a “chill wind blowing through American law enforcement.” FBI Director James Comey recently gave a speech at the University of Chicago Law School. It was wide-ranging, touching on his affinity for basketball, his work as a prosecutor, sentencing reform, and policing. One part of the speech has proven controversial: Comey’s suggestion that some major cities have seen a spike in violent crime because police feel besieged, in part by a rise in citizens’ video recording of officers, and so are less vigorous in their work. The text of the entire speech is here. I found it thoughtful and worth reading, but whatever the accuracy of Comey’s suggestion, I seriously doubt that the people-recording-the-cops genie is going back in the bottle.

Deputy fired after arrest of student. In a related development, the Associated Press notes here that cellphone video played a major role in the firing of a South Carolina School Resource Officer for using excessive force in arresting a 16-year-old girl. The New York Times reports skeptically here on the rise of the School Resource Officer.

Debate over sentencing reform. Speaking of the Times, its Room for Debate section showcases different perspectives on the question, will crime rise if more people are kept out of prison? Of course, the answer to that question is only one piece of the larger puzzle of sentencing reform. Another is whether current sentencing is fair and reasonable. Justice Kennedy doesn’t think so, describing long prison sentences as part of “an injustice of great proportions” in a recent address. Sentencing Law and Policy has the story here.

12 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. “…while many schools have adopted “zero tolerance” policies for misconduct. That has produced sharp increases in arrests, especially for minor offenses, giving criminal records to students who in the past might have faced nothing more serious than after-school detention.”

    Isn’t this exactly right? Isn’t the “zero tolerance” policy really just an abdication of responsibility by the school system that places responsibility on the criminal justice system where none had previously existed? Parents have responsibilities for their children, but so do schools when school attendance is compelled.

    We put these kids in the system with little to know consequence (because they are juveniles) and then are surprised when they have little respect for the system when they become adults (at 16… which is a whole other issue).

  2. …but whatever the accuracy of Comey’s suggestion, I seriously doubt that the people-recording-the-cops genie is going back in the bottle.

    JW Schrecker: God help us I certainly hope not.

    I can assure you that law enforcement officers have NOT changed their actions with regard to the cameras other than to feel more confident and SAFER in the proper application of legal force, deadly or otherwise.

    As smart as this FBI individual touts himself to be I find it surprising that he does nothing more than spouts the liberal talking points rhetoric. This “protect5 and serve” nonsense… no, not correct. THIS is the Oath of Office;

    “I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of [State] not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as a law enforcement officer of the [Name of Department] so help me God.”

    We are sworn to enforce law Mr. Welty, NOT that “serve and protect” nonsense generated by California liberals. That was nothing more than a radio contest by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1950’s for a slogan for them. It is nothing more than a LIBERAL attempt to try to exert control over law enforcement. It’s pure liberal meaningless bunk. Go ahead and google it.

    It is through the enforcement of the laws legislated by society as a whole that an area of peace and safety is developed and maintained in which you, the citizen, can live your life in a relative measure of security.

    You also might be interested in:

    The police have no general duty to protect. Warren v. District of Columbia (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981) is an oft-quoted District of Columbia Court of Appeals (equivalent to a state supreme court) case that held police do not have a duty to provide police services to individuals, even if a dispatcher promises help to be on the way, except when police develop a special duty to particular individuals. Because the police have no general duty to protect individuals, judicial remedies are not available for their failure to protect. In other words, if someone is injured because they expected but did not receive police protection, they cannot recover damages by suing (except in very special cases). Despite a long history of such failed attempts, however, many, people persist in believing the police are obligated to protect them, attempt to recover when no protection was forthcoming, and are emotionally demoralized when the recovery fails. Legal annals abound with such cases.

    And it has ALWAYS been this way.

    Now you can see why that in SOME cases the FBI are referred to as the First Bunch of Idiots by you average street line officer/deputy.

    Law enforcement has quickly and willingly embraced the dash/body cameras because they save the officer’s job and credibility far more than they hurt any officer.

    If you took the time to actually research the issue you’ll find that it was City and Police Attorneys who bitterly complained and “advised” against body and dash cams saying they put the department and city at risk. Attorneys don’t like body/dash cams because they made the work of the attorney much harder in that they have to suddenly WORK and defend the department and officers because they are clearly and undeniably shown to be in the right. These attorneys could no longer take the easy path of paying off the whiners and complainers to just go away while at the same time callously throwing the officer under the bus as a sacrificial lamb to appease liberals, activists and liberal media hyper-sensitivities. Attorneys now actually have to argue well established law and policy and are expected to succeed. Attorneys hate that.

    These cameras aren’t showing any of the conspiracy theorists’ “disproportionate number of police involved shootings and ‘other’ crimes committed by police officers” either as often incorrectly posited. They ARE showing the liar violators, the racist and anti-law enforcement belligerent demeanor and verbiage towards law enforcement officers and an entire generation of spoiled, entitled brats, who believe rules and laws don’t apply to them because of parents who failed in raising their children properly.

    What some cite as fewer incidences of police misconduct is nothing more than the body/dash cameras showing the TRUTH and those complaints/whines are quickly UNFOUNDED…or simply NOT MADE because the unethical violator realizes that they won’t win the law suit lotto and may in FACT be charged with filing a FALSE police report because there was a camera proving their lies, half truths and misdirection of exculpatory information clearing the law enforcement officer.

    I assure you…we officers ARE laughing uproariously at the discomfiture of those lazy, slothful, greedy, violent, Thug Life|Prison|Gang|Welfare culture practitioners, worshipers and enablers when faced with the audio/visual proof that they lied and the officer(s) did everything right and within policy and law.

    We also find it hysterically funny when we are able to SUE the LYING VIOLATOR.

    • The police are fond of saying ” If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear “, so all officers should welcome unbridled filming of them while on duty and in public . Many instances of police misconduct,including the unlawful killing of citizens, have been captured on film by citizens who would have otherwise had no proof . Yes, cameras also protect officers who might be falsely accused, but these incidents are far more rare than the misconduct we see almost daily . The ONLY reason an officer would object to being filmed is if they do not want an irrefutable record of their actions .

      A visit to a site like will expose how many citizens are routinely falsely detained, harassed and arrested merely for filming police in public . Numerous lawsuits have paid out millions of TAXPAYER dollars for such violations of rights, but sadly the officers involved do not end up paying the damages out of their pocketṣ..if they did, we would see a quick halt to such illegal suppression of 1st Amendment rights .

      Since dash cams in police cars and body cams and surveillance cameras are allowed to film the public, it is only fair and right that the police accept such scrutiny themselves . Many police feel that they have to ” bend ” the laws and rules in order to be effective, an d do not want to be caught doing so…that is the real reason many cops detest undeniable proof of the actions, period . You guys expect us to follow the rules, so don’t whine when we hold you to the same standard .

      Lastly, not many spurious complaints against cops end up benefitting the accuser; DAś will move the earth to protect officers and defense attorneys advise clients without video evidence that they stand virtually no chance of prevailing in court against a cop . The word of an officer is usually accepted over the word of a citizen UNLESS there is undeniable proof such as VIDEO. That is why we must film the police at every opportunity: To protect innocent cops and expose guilty ones .

  3. So you think that law enforcement is responding incorrectly to out-of-control school “children” and that the students are needlessly abused? Well, I have a solution for that.

    Law enforcement isn’t the appropriate entity to be calling for these issues in the first place. Law enforcement’s job is to “enforce law”…not deal with what are clearly student disciplinary issues which are the provenance of the education systems.

    So here’s what you do; The county (or whoever is in control of area education) hires a team per every 20 schools that is comprised of;

    • One Psychiatrist/Psychologist
    • One Attorney
    • Two UNARMED Security Guards
    • Two EMTs

    It will be the responsibility of this team to take all calls regarding any student disciplinary issues, whether they are armed or not, such as little JaQuan or JaQuellen acting out by throwing desks, fighting teachers/other students. Law enforcement will NOT be sent to these calls because they have already been deemed incapable of handling these calls correctly by psychiatrists/psychologists, attorneys, parents and liberals education administrators.

    Now it will be the psychiatrists/psychologists and attorneys who will get to show their professionalism and show us all how such matters are properly handled.

    No more will there be any “abused” students because a fully trained and qualified psychiatrist/psychologist will be immediately on hand to gain student compliance by talking to the student(s) and help them get in touch with their inner feelings …as the violent unreasonable student beats on him or chases him or her around the classroom or school yard with a knife or even a gun. The psychiatrists/psychologists who have been telling law enforcement for so long how to deal with such and that we don’t have to hurt them can now show all of us just how that is accomplished without any use of force. And of course the psychiatrist/psychologist will be the team leader.

    The attorney will be a very valuable asset to the team because he or she will be there running alongside of the psychiatrist/psychologist giving them advice on how to not violate the violent/uncooperative student’s rights… as the violent unreasonable student beats on him or chases him or her around the classroom or school yard with a knife or even a gun. Yes, the attorney is there to keep the county out of trouble with lawsuits and to protect the rights of little JaQuan or JaQuellen… as the violent unreasonable student beats on him or chases him or her around the classroom or school yard with a knife or even a gun. But this should be no problem for the attorney. Remember, they’re all the time telling law enforcement what they did wrong… so the attorney knows how to do it just right, of course.

    The two unarmed security guards? Why they are there to keep anybody from interfering with the psychiatrist/psychologist and the attorney. Why no… they will not be assisting the psychiatrist/psychologist and attorney because that would violate one of the most common complaints, that there would be 3, 4, 5 on one student and that’s wrong! No, the psychiatrist/psychologist and attorney should be just fine dealing with the vicious uncooperative student because they have told us all so many times how law enforcement “should” have done it… without so many people.

    The two EMTs? They stay inside the locked response vehicle until the psychiatrist/psychologist and attorney have the vicious uncooperative student under control. Only then are they to exit the response vehicle and treat injuries (But, of course there won’t be any — since the psychiatrist/psychologist and attorney know what they’re doing). In cases where gunshots or a gun are reported they will park a block away from the address and the psychiatrist/psychologist, attorney, and unarmed security guards can walk the rest of the way.

    Oh, don’t worry about the unarmed security guards — the psychiatrist/psychologist and attorney are professionals and know how to “talk” down a vicious uncooperative student safely as they so often insist that law enforcement should be able to do.

    The cost? Why the offsets of what would certainly be a reduction in lawsuits makes the cost completely acceptable.

    It’s time we put the “professionals” where they will do the most good.

    • You seem to be saying that if we use the police to deal with issues that are beyond the abilities of the staff at school then we must accept excessive force and brutality as the price of involving the police . If a student requires physical removal ( or is ” chasing staff around with a knife or gun “, ( which I have not heard about ) then officers may indeed be needed . But that does not give the police carte blanche to abuse kids to get it done . It is not an ” all or nothing ” scenario . We expect the police to use the minimum force necessary to affect an arrest, not unbridled and excessive force . If an officer of 300 pounds and 6’3″ cannot get a skinny girl out of her desk and turn her around and cuff her then he needs more officers, not a violent explosion where he dumps her over and throws her across the room before mounting and cuffing her. Ego over authority and no tolerance for the slightest resistance is not the reaction we expect from ” professional ” police . Just do the job reasonably and without brutality and most everyone will back you up. That is not too much to ask, is it?

    • I don’t know why you decided to use “Jaquan/Jaquellen” in your example except to mar an otherwise intelligent comment with dogwhistle racism and the implication that students acting out in schools are black and/or low SES.

  4. JW,

    Where do you work? You must make you’re supervisors so very proud of your performance. I want to shake your hand!! Rarely do you find someone who would comment on such on matter on a blog such as this. After I shake your hand, I want to personally tell you that you are a complete and utter idiot! As said above, you are crazy.

    In my nearly 30 years in LE, I’ve taught and attended many Use of Force continuums, and all advise to have a show of force present when feasible. It was feasible in the matter you speak. How does a girl sitting in a desk pose a threat to anyone? Sticks & Stones JW, sticks and stones…. Ya know, Officer Dummy had a 5k dollar radio on his hip in which he could have called, and should have called, for additional units. I bet he wishes he had now as well. Time was his friend, and he turned his back to that friend.

    LE has changed a few times in my tenure, and it’s funny how some officer don’t change with those times. LE is changing again JW… Didn’t you know??? Especially since Ferguson and the like. Those officers like Officer Dummy, and you, JW, will end up fired, sued and imprisoned for pure stupidity. The class was already disrupted JW, so that dog don’t hunt.

    Please respond, we’d all love to know where you work, and I want to come visit you personally. If not, hopefully you’ve learned something from this…. although I have my doubts.

    You can reach me at:


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