A Lesson from Ferguson: Our Criminal Justice is Broken

This is just astounding:

Ferguson is a city located in northern St. Louis County with 21,203 residents living in 8,192 households. The majority (67%) of residents are African-American…22% of residents live below the poverty level.

…Despite Ferguson’s relative poverty, fines and court fees comprise the second largest source of revenue for the city, a total of $2,635,400. In 2013, the Ferguson Municipal Court disposed of 24,532 warrants and 12,018 cases, or about 3 warrants and 1.5 cases per household.

Was Brown stopped just so the police could write a revenue-generating ticket?  That is something we need to determine as the investigation goes on – regardless of how the shooting is ruled or what happens to the police officer.

It has been growing on me for years now that we are massively over-law’d in the United States. There are too many laws, too many fines – and the police and prosecutors have too much discretion in deciding whom will enter the meat grinder of our criminal justice system.  Of course, as long as you have money, you’re going to be ok – OJ Simpson, after all, got away with double murder because he had the scratch to hire an all-star defense team. But for some poor body in the inner city who gets pulled over for a traffic violation or gets picked up for minor drug possession?  Forget it: he’s screwed…and once the criminal justice system gets hold of him, it won’t let him go.  Remember, if you don’t appear in court (and maybe you don’t because you have a job you can’t get out of – or have children you can’t find a sitter for and the judge won’t let you bring them into court), you get a warrant for your arrest…and if arrested, you’ll get more fines on top of the original fine.  And if you can’t pay, then you just get in more trouble.

Things like this really make me wonder – do murders go unsolved because there’s no revenue upside for the city?  Are high crime areas ill policed because the cops are out writing tickets? Last time I got a ticket (figured that STOP meant Short Tap On Pedal) the officer was about 20 minutes writing me up.  Twenty minutes he wasn’t out patrolling the streets. He writes 10 tickets per shift and how much time does that leave for the actual job of the police?  Additionally – when we hear someone has a criminal record, does that mean he’s a murderer, or just someone who got busted for pot?

We really need to rethink this – most importantly, the fact that the revenues from fines goes to the municipality which issued the ticket. There’s just too much incentive for cash-strapped cities and counties to see fines as a means to revenue rather than a tool for law enforcement. Maybe make fewer fines and more community service, instead?  I don’t know, but we need to think about this – and I think we might have a situation where the poor, especially the urban poor, are caught in a bind.

The Police Problem

Over at National Review Online, A J Delgado points out that it is time that conservatives stop reflexively defending the police when they make errors:

…it’s time for conservatives’ unconditional love affair with the police to end.

Let’s get the obligatory disclaimer out of the way: Yes, many police officers do heroic works and, yes, many are upstanding individuals who serve the community bravely and capably.

But respecting good police work means being willing to speak out against civil-liberties-breaking thugs who shrug their shoulders after brutalizing citizens.

On Thursday in Staten Island, an asthmatic 43-year-old father of six, Eric Garner, died after a group of policemen descended on him, placing him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes. A bystander managed to capture video in which Garner clearly cries out, “I can’t breathe!” Even after releasing the chokehold (chokeholds, incidentally, are prohibited by NYPD protocol), the same officer then proceeds to shove and hold Garner’s face against the ground, applying his body weight and pressure on Garner, ignoring Garner’s pleas that he cannot breathe. Worse yet, new video shows at least eight officers standing around Garner’s lifeless, unconscious body.

Who can defend this?…

No one can, of course.  On the other side of it, Jack Dunphy – the nom de post of a police officer – points out, correctly (though involving a different case), that the police are often put in a very difficult position by the forces of the left: if they do something, they can be blamed and if they fail to do something, they could just as well be blamed. Pointing out that videos of alleged police misconduct are often either edited for dramatic (and political) impact or simply incomplete, Dunphy shows that the police do have a hard time of it in our modern, lawyer-ridden, political correct era.

Continue reading

The Knockout Game

I’ve seen reports on this sort of activity for some time, but I guess it is getting rather widespread as even the MSM is starting to report on it.  For those still unaware, the “Knockout Game” appears to be something which mostly involves groups of young African-Americans who set out to “knock out” a victim with a punch – and it appears to be that you “win” by doing it in one punch.  While we cannot say for certain that there hasn’t been a group of white, Latino or Asian kids doing it, I’ve seen no reports of such.  Additionally, most of what I’ve seen is that the victims are non-black (whites, Jews, Asians, etc). 

The activity neatly encapsulates the entirety of our civilization’s collapse: it is almost a certainty that these young people have no fathers worthy of the name; it is almost a certainty that all of them have been heavily exposed to the glorified violence of popular culture; it is almost a certainty that none of them have been instructed in any religious faith, let alone the Christianity which is in the ancestry of nearly all of them; given that they are minority youth, it is almost a certainty that they have been fed a pack of lies about how white America is out to get them; it is almost a certainty that a very large number of them – and perhaps a majority – have never lived in a household where one or both parents work for a living on a regular basis; it is almost a certainty that whatever education they have is via the public schools and thus there is a high probability they are functionally illiterate and almost entirely ignorant of history.  These kids simply know no better – still responsible for their actions, but where was their instruction on how to live a decent life?

Now it is time to be very blunt:  these kids are the product of liberalism.  Yes, they are filled with rage and hopelessness and our liberals will tell us that is because of racism…but they are actually so filled by liberalism, itself.  The liberalism which broke down the family, ruined the education system, denigrated religious faith, preaches hatred of the United States, and so forth. These are the children of liberalism.

But aside from that, I find something very odd and very worrying – you would expect kids who have had their lives ruined to, well, be bad…but why such a cowardly and cruel activity?  I’ve seen some of the videos and its not like they are challenging someone to a fight and then winning.  They are sneaking up on people and whacking them in a cowardly, underhanded attack.  Where did that particularly nasty aspect of it come from?  Who is teaching them to be cruel and cowardly?  That is something I would look in to: where did this come from?

Other than that, the only fix for this is to entirely defeat liberalism – destroy it and remove every last liberal from any position of power and influence.  Only then can we start to fix our society and slowly build back towards a place where a young kid simply wouldn’t dream of doing something like the Knockout Game.

 

Tell Us Something We Didn’t Already Know!

Another proggy myth disproven! Of course, the proggy politicians already knew this.

Really all you had to do was look where gun control was in place and see the crime statistics!

Gun Control Reduces Violent Crimes

The proggy drones will be out in force regurgitating the mindless talking points. (Since this posting, they have not – I guess they did not get their marching orders).

In short, as we defenders of the 2nd Amendment have long known, the observable facts simply will not support the strictly emotional arguments of the aping gun grabbers regarding both violent crime and suicide. Interestingly, the study also relates a survey of incarcerated felons that confirms that a criminal’s greatest fear is that his victim may be armed. That certainly makesthe case for a well-armed citizenry regardless of the definition of militia. The fact that the most recent acts of gun violence were conducted in gun free zones (by mentally troubled individuals who should have been in an institution – another leftist barrier), also shows the folly of the left’s mindless arguments.

The Odd Reaction to Christopher Dorner

No, I haven’t read his “manifesto” and I’m not inclined to ever do so.  You want me to read your revolutionary manifesto?  Then engage in a full scale attack on a police station or military base – don’t bushwhack unarmed people, especially if one of them is merely the daughter of the person you’re mad at.  Real revolutionaries are manly and do the right thing.  But what Dorner has done and is doing is of less interest to me than some of the reactions I’ve seen.

Twitchy has been diligent in gathering reactions, and Robert Wargas went over to Huffington Post and got a large sample, as well.  What is happening is that a lot of our liberal friends out there are finding much to cheer about in the actions of Dorner.   Dorner is described as a hero – which does make a little bit of sense once you place yourself in a liberal mindset:  liberals have a long history of applauding cowards who attack the unarmed in the name of “justice”.  The Los Angeles Police Department is described as a pack of racist pigs who are getting what they deserve, and t his is after decades of the LAPD making every possible effort – often to the detriment of actual law enforcement activities – to implement “diversity” at the command of our liberals.

This is all very bizarre.  Liberals are essentially applauding violent, insane attacks upon the sources of their own power – and describing someone as a hero who, had he been of the right, they would have condemned as a lunatic.  Ultimately, this whole case is just another bit of proof that we are living in the Age of Lies…so much moral confusion that way too many people here – starting with Dorner – are disconnected from reality

The Gun Debate

From the Chicago Tribune earlier this month:

There were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November – a 49 percent increase from a year earlier – according to police records obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

In November of 2011, Chicago recorded 129 shootings compared to the 192 shootings this November.  Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012 compared with a year earlier.

Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year.  On November 30, 2012, there were four fatal shootings within the city.  These murders brought the homicide total to 38 for the month, just above the 37 recorded in November of last year.

Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans on restricting gun ownership further by banning individuals with a violent misdemeanor conviction from getting a gun permit for five years.  The mayor also hopes to ban convicted felons from ever owning a gun.

Emanuel’s intentions are no doubt well intentioned, but like many cities with strict gun laws, the disarming of law-abiding citizens doesn’t remove guns from the hands of those who wish to do harm.  On the contrary, it often leaves innocent victims vulnerable to criminals.

Despite the fact that gun laws are a proven failure, the American President again called for the possibility of more legislation just today in the wake of Sandy Hook. What’s more troubling is the media’s sudden attention to gun violence because of Sandy Hook, when more people than that are murdered in Chicago every month, and that’s despite Chicago’s strict gun laws. But don’t be fooled by the medias, or the regimes sudden  attention to gun violence either, because it is all agenda driven. The unfortunate murders of all middle class, white children became a very fortunate and convenient crisis for the regime and the liberal media to further their anti gun legislation. If you doubt me, then tell me why the monthly murder rate of inner city black children doesn’t register on their radar.

Despite liberals best intentions, “gun free zones” simply don’t work, and are literally an advertisement for those with mal intent. Amazona nailed it in the previous thread when she said:

“There is no greater control over others than to control whether they live or die, and no greater control over one’s own fate than to take his own life before it falls into the control of others.”

A responsible, well armed, God-fearing populace is the best deterrent than any government issued sign and well-intentioned legislation could ever be. We just need to hopefully get back to the point where we fear God, more than we fear guns.

 

Connecticut School Shooting

Just absolutely horrific:

Twenty-seven people are dead, including at least 18 children, after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, CBS News reported.

Officials say the gunman, who apparently had two guns, was also killed. It happened around 9:40 a.m. Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School..

Web chatter indicates there might have been a second gunman.  We’ll have to see.  Please pray for the families.

UPDATE:

A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God’s love forever.

Amen.

UPDATE II:  Predictably, some are trying to make a political case right away – probably in service to someone’s idea of never letting a crisis go to waste.  Seriously, people, start to think a bit.  First off, guns can’t be banned without a constitutional amendment, which would never in a million years be enacted…and if the government tried to go ahead and ban them, anyway, you’re just not going to get them out of the approximately 200 million Americans who have them.  Secondly, can you lay off for just a day or two?  At least until the bodies get cold?  A gigantic, unimaginable tragedy has just occurred and the 2014 mid-terms are nearly two years away…whatever points you think you’re scoring right now, they are at best just a waste of time.

UPDATE III:

The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people. But faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ’s word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it. —Blessed John Paul II