NEWS of the Week
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
NOTE: To see full stories either click on the Daily links or on the URL provided below each article.
July 14, 2013
Zimmerman acquittal: Cries for justice continue
Jurors reached this moment after 16 hours of deliberations. They found George Zimmerman "not guilty."
Not guilty of murder, and not guilty of manslaughter. The jury of six women agreed prosecutors had not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Zimmerman shook hands with his lawyers. Behind them in the gallery, his wife Shelly wept.
Trayvon Martin's parents were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
Outside the courthouse, 100 demonstrators reacted bitterly, chanting "No justice! No justice!" Most of them wanted a murder conviction.
People also protested the verdict as far away as San Francisco
Since Zimmerman shot the unarmed teenager 17 months ago, this racially-charged case -- and his claim of self-defense -- have divided American public opinion.
What's next for George Zimmerman?
George Zimmerman is a free man.
After being found not guilty Saturday night in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the judge told Zimmerman that he would be released and his ankle monitor removed once he left the courthouse in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman could also be a marked man.
Robert Zimmerman Jr., Zimmerman's brother, spoke to CNN after the verdict and expressed concern for his brother's safety. "He will be looking around his shoulder the rest of his life," he said.
Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara said that people who think Zimmerman killed Trayvon for racial reasons could react violently. "He has to be cautious and protective of his safety," O'Mara said after the verdict.
A new normale
Tony Bock of Baldwin lost his older brother Albert to murder six years ago.
On July 5, Bock, a professional comedian, used humor to commemorate his brother's July 11 birthday and to generate support for the Center for Victims, the East Liberty-based organization that helps survivors of crime rebuild their lives.
He performed at Altar Bar in the Strip District, with a portion of proceeds going to the center. The event coincides with the center's production of a short documentary film — “Life After” — aimed at calling attention to the services it provides to victims of rape, domestic violence, assault and other crimes.
Bock, 29, says the center was pivotal in helping him and his family cope with their tragic loss.
“They give you a sense that you're not going through it alone,” he says. “We received pro bono counseling, and they offered my mother help with funeral expenses, although she declined.
July 13, 2013
Napolitano resigns as Homeland Security secretary
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has handled hot-button issues ranging from immigration to counter-terrorism, said Friday she is resigning to run the University of California and its system of colleges.
"I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history," Napolitano said in a statement. "And I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects."
Obama praised Napolitano's performance during four-and-a-half years at the Department of Homeland Security, noting that its responsibilities during her tenure ranged from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, as well as efforts to thwart terrorism.
"Since day one, Janet has led my administration's effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values," Obama said. "And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet's leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks."
July 12, 2013
Military's Counter Insurgency Strategy – C3 Policing – a Success in Massachusett
by Susan Kaplan
Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri drives through Springfield, Massachusett's North End neighborhood in his cruiser. Several years ago, a Puerto Rican gang had a violent stranglehold on this largely Latino community. In one week there were three murders, including a gun battle in a hospital parking lot. It was like something out of a movie.
And Barbeiri said he was desperate. In large part because he couldn't get people in the community to talk to him.
“I've worked in this neighborhood off and on in the heydays of community policing, as a gang intelligence officer, as a detective, in narcotics and I've never been able to foster any type of long term commitment in this neighborhood. I get one or two people that will talk to me but the majority of residents are afraid, inured or apathetic.”
Army Major Kevin “Kit” Parker said getting rid of the bad guys isn't rocket science.
DNA test links Boston Strangler suspect to last victim
Albert DeSalvo, who recanted his confession to the 1960s slayings, was killed in prison in 1973.
The remains of long-time Boston Strangler suspect Albert DeSalvo were being exhumed Thursday after preliminary DNA tests found a link between him and the last slaying attributed to the infamous 1960s serial killer, according to a prosecutor in Boston.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley told reporters Thursday that DNA extracted from the body of 19-year-old Mary Sullivan shows a "familial match" with DeSalvo.
"There was no forensic evidence to link Albert DeSalvo to Mary Sullivan's murder until today," said Daniel F. Conley, the Suffolk County district attorney, at a news conference Thursday in which the findings were announced.
Sullivan, who is widely believed to be victim in a string of 11 -- possibly as many as 13 -- sensational murders, was found strangled in her Boston apartment in January, 1964.
How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages
• Secret files show scale of Silicon Valley co-operation on Prism
• Outlook.com encryption unlocked even before official launch
• Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls
• Company says it is legally compelled to comply
Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.
The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.
July 11, 2013
Fla. cities on guard for any potential post-Zimmerman verdict unrest, stressing non-violence
MIAMI – Police and city leaders in Florida say they've taken precautionary steps for possible protests or civil unrest if George Zimmerman is acquitted in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
For months, officials have been working with pastors, youth coaches and community activists to stress a non-violent approach once a verdict is announced. But police also have quietly been making plans to deal with potential violence.
In South Florida where the 17-year-old Martin was from, police may set up "First Amendment Zones" in the Miami area for peaceful rallies. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also is airing TV ads stressing non-violence.
Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder in the shooting of Martin in Sanford. Martin's supporters say the shooting was racially motivated, while Zimmerman claimed self-defense.
Community policing making a difference
SARASOTA -- "It was getting a little scary a while back because there was a lot of shootings going on," said Newtown resident Sherrina Brown.
Brown says there was a point when the crime in her area had gotten really out of hand.
"People were getting killed quite a bit in one week. It was getting to the point where their was a murder or two to three a month," added Brown.
But crime in the Newtown area is on the decline. And Brown says that's partly because of the efforts of local churches and community organizations. Now the city of Sarasota and the Police Department are teaming up with those groups to continue the trend.
"We are not just going to stand by and allow criminals to come into our community. We are going to do everything we can and working with the citizens in our community to fight crime," said Chief DiPino.
Recently that partnership was on display. The group held what they called a "March Against the Madness". It was in response to a rash of violence and other crimes in the area. The strategy is called Drug Market Intervention and it already seems to be paying off.
The cop who wants to fight crime with the community
From a troubled corner on the west side, Chicago police captain Roger Bay sees the promise of preventing violence one storefront and milk crate at a time.
Captain Roger Bay has been making arrests in tough neighborhoods for almost three decades, but in the last few years he's come to believe that's not good enough.
He was thinking about this again one evening recently as he pointed to an inch-wide bullet hole in the wall outside an empty storefront at Chicago and Ridgeway—the mark left by a shooting a year ago that killed a 29-year-old.
Police believe the violence was likely the direct result of a gang or personal dispute. It didn't happen in a vacuum. Like so many other parts of the west side, that corner had been troubled for decades. "People just felt this was a spot to be out and do whatever you want," Bay said. He nodded toward the empty storefront. "This right here used to be Titanic Subs. The sign says, 'Best gyros in town,' but in five years I never saw them sell one gyro."
Instead, the store was selling cigarettes brought in illegally from out of state to avoid local taxes. "People from all over came here for cheap cigarettes, and this place was open 24 hours a day. That causes chaos, because then a person can come out here and buy that pack and sell it as single cigarettes, and so it creates an open-air market that looks like a drug market. And when [the driver of] the car wanted something different, they would point to somebody else"—the heroin dealer down the block.
At the same time, the liquor store next door made its sales through a walk-up window. Customers would drink on the sidewalk.
9 Investigates: Percentage of rapes in Charlotte increases
Local leaders are trying to stop a disturbing problem. Rapes are up by double digit percentages in parts of Charlotte.
While Eyewitness News Reporter Catherine Bilkey was investigating why the numbers are so high, she found out they may be even higher.
"They all three took turns raping me, but they had a camera set up that was just stagnant," Jillian Mourning said. "They videotaped the entire thing."
Mourning is a rape survivor who now runs a local charity working to stop sexual exploitation.
"Nobody is immune from sexual assault," Mourning said.
July 10, 2013
Confessed serial rapist granted release from prison
CLAREMONT -- A man who admitted to raping nearly 40 women throughout California is set to be released from prison.
Christopher Evans Hubbart was granted a conditional release from custody by Santa Clara County Judge Gilbert Brown in May. Hubbart is an inmate at the Coalinga State Mental Health Hospital in Central California.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a news release Tuesday that her office will file a writ challenging the court's ruling to release Hubbart in Los Angeles County.
"Our ultimate goal is to seek justice for all residents of Los Angeles County and make sure sexually violent predators remain in custody," Lacey said in the release. "This inmate has a long history of horrific violence against women, and we must act to keep our community safe."
Hubbart was born in Pasadena in 1951 and lived there until his family moved in 1957 to Claremont.
Female inmates sterilized in California without approval
Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years -- and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.
From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.
The women were signed up for the surgery while they were pregnant and housed at either the California Institution for Women in Corona or Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, which is now a men's prison.
Former inmates and prisoner advocates maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future.
PRINCETON: After survey, police to reach out to Hispanic community
Princeton police said this week that the department is increasing its outreach to the local Hispanic community after getting “zero” feedback from that part of the population on a town-wide police survey a few months ago.
”They have to have concerns like everybody else. And we want to make everybody a part of our community and address everybody's concerns,” said police Capt. Nicholas K. Sutter in releasing the survey findings to reporters on Monday.
That outreach, he said, has taken the form of reaching out to church and community groups and community leaders. The department said it has been in contact with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a nonprofit with offices in Trenton and Princeton.
Capt. Sutter said the department wants to address any fears they might have about interacting with police. According to the last Census, Hispanics make up about 8 percent of the total population of roughly 28,500 people living in Princeton, officials said. The department, which has seven officers who speak Spanish, said two of them have been going into the Hispanic community to explain the department's role as part of an education campaign.
From the White House
America's immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.
Together we can build a fair, effective and common sense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
The President's plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It's a plan that requires anyone who's undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules.
There are four principles to the President's common sense proposal:
Strengthen Border Security
Cracking Down on Employers
Hiring Undocumented Workers
Immigration Blueprint [PDF] .
July 9, 2013
Chicago Police Dept. revamps community policing program with Twitter, texting, anonymous tips
CHICAGO — Chicago Police on Monday rolled out changes to a community policing program they hope will turn residents' cell phones into crime fighting tools that can be used to provide anonymous tips to help officers catch criminals — and stem the kind of bloodshed that marred the recent holiday weekend.
During a news conference at which he was peppered with questions about a weekend that left 11 people shot to death and several dozen more wounded, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said residents will be able to come forward anonymously with tips and the police officers who get that information will never know where it originated.
McCarthy said the department's efforts to build trust in the community, starting with an emphasis on putting beat officers in neighborhoods so they can get to know the people they serve, are paying off. But McCarthy has repeatedly talked about the no-snitch street culture that often leaves people reluctant or unwilling to come forward with information. Monday's announcement came with an assurance that police will never know who the tip came from or even the tipsters' phone numbers.
"That is one of the concerns that we hear echoed across the communities when we talk to them about new technology," said Jonathan Lewin, managing deputy director of public safety information technology for the department.
McCarthy said tips can be routed to police officers in squad cars before they arrive at crime scenes.
On New Haven Streets, A Return To Community Policing
NEW HAVEN — — As Officer Cherelle Carr walked through a basketball court with her partner, she spotted a bruised boy in a group of kids and asked his friends to step away.
Gently holding both of his cheeks in her hands, as a mother would, Carr softly asked where he had gotten the marks on his face.
"I fell down the stairs," the boy said, trying to explain away the discoloration under his right eye.
"I fell on the basketball court," he said, attempting to explain the bruises on the left.
Carr stood still for a moment and let her hands down as her partner, Officer Lesley Billingslea, stood nearby. Then, Carr — who grew up in the neighborhood — opened the door for future contact.
"You see us around and you need to talk to us ... " Carr said, her voice trailing off, but the message clear.
July 8, 2013
Files on bin Laden Raid to Remain Secret
The nation's top special operations commander ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.
The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon's inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the Freedom of Information Act.
An acknowledgement by Adm. William McRaven of his actions was quietly removed from the final version of an inspector general's report published weeks ago. A spokesman for the admiral declined to comment. The CIA, noting that the bin Laden mission was overseen by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta before he became defense secretary, said that the SEALs were effectively assigned to work temporarily for the CIA, which has presidential authority to conduct covert operations.
"Documents related to the raid were handled in a manner consistent with the fact that the operation was conducted under the direction of the CIA director," agency spokesman Preston Golson said in an emailed statement. "Records of a CIA operation such as the (bin Laden) raid, which were created during the conduct of the operation by persons acting under the authority of the CIA Director, are CIA records."
ICE's top 10 high profile removals
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects the United States by promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration. To accomplish this mission, ICE removes individuals wanted by its foreign law enforcement partners and conducts multi-faceted federal law enforcement operations.
Below are ICE's top 10 high profile removals.
John Demjanjuk, a former Nazi death camp guard and a resident of Seven Hills, Ohio, was removed by ICE to Germany May 12, 2009. Demjanjuk was removed through a court order of removal obtained by the Department of Justice. March 10, 2009, a German judge issued an order directing that Demjanjuk, 89, be arrested on suspicion of assisting in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor extermination center in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. In addition to serving at Sobibor, Demjanjuk served the SS as an armed guard of civilian prisoners in Germany at the Nazi-operated Flossenbürg concentration camp in Germany and at Majdanek concentration camp and the Trawniki training and forced labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
George Saigbe Boley, 62, formerly of Hilton, N.Y., was the leader of the Liberian Peace Council that committed human rights abuses during the Liberian civil war in the 1990s. He was deported to Monrovia, Liberia, March 30, 2012. Boley was found by an immigration judge Feb. 6, 2012, to be removable from the United States. This was the first removal order obtained by ICE under the authorities of the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008, which added the recruitment and use of child soldiers as a ground of inadmissibility to and deportability from the U.S.
From the FBI
Tracking the Money Trails
The U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki once wrote an essay called “44 Ways to Support Jihad.” Five of his top 10 strategies focused on the same topic—money.
It's not surprising. Money fuels the operations of terrorists. It's needed to communicate, buy supplies, fund planning, and carry out acts of destruction.
But there's a flip side to this proverbial coin. In the shadowy, secretive world of terrorists, this spending leaves a trail—a trail that we can follow to help expose extremists and their network of supporters…sometimes before they can strike.
That's why shortly after 9/11, we established the Terrorist Financing Operations Section (TFOS). Within the FBI, TFOS is responsible for following the money, providing financial expertise on our terrorism investigations, and centralizing efforts to identity extremists and shut down terrorism financing in specific cases. More recently, TFOS has adopted a broader strategy to identity, disrupt, and dismantle all terrorist-related financial and fundraising activities. A key element is using financial intelligence to help identify previously unknown terrorist cells, recognize potential terrorist activity/planning, and develop a comprehensive threat picture.
It's challenging work. The dollar amounts can be small—for example, the Oklahoma City bombing cost a little over $4,000 to carry out, the attack on the USS Cole about $10,000, and the London subway bombings around $14,000. At the same time, terror groups can obtain funding from seemingly legitimate sources— like donations, community solicitations, and other fundraising activities. They can also generate money from criminal activities such as kidnappings, extortion, smuggling, and fraud. And their financial networks—their methods and means of moving money—use both formal systems (i.e., banks, licensed money remitters, and the Internet) and informal systems (i.e., unlicensed money remitters and money couriers).