Attorney Vann Leonard who practiced law out of Ridgeland faces sixty years behind bars and a $750,000 fine. Leonard has pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement.
He’s admitted to misleading 2 of his former clients between June 2008 and December 2011. Leonard told his clients he’d hold their money in his trust account for legal fees, when he actually spent the funds for his own personal use.
WLBT TV reports (http://bit.ly/Kv9M4i ) Leonard will go before Judge John Emfinger for a sentencing hearing Monday in Madison County Circuit Court.
The incident occurred about 11:30 a.m. at the satellite emergency room, which is near the 128th Street SW exit of I-5 south of Everett.
The employee had four tiny holes and a scratch on his arm, said Shari Ireton, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
“No one heard gunshots,” she said. “As far as we know, there’s been no crime committed.”
At around 4:45 p.m., Novato police received a call about the incident at the lounge at 7377 Redwood Blvd., Sgt. Eric Riddell said.
Several minutes later officers arrested Ora Parrott near the intersection of Redwood and Mulligan Lane on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and a probation violation, Riddell said. Police said Parrott has no fixed residence.
Witnesses reported that the suspect picked up a credit or ATM card that belonged to someone else off the bar floor and then headed for the door, Riddell said.
The suspect allegedly tried to strike a bouncer with his walking stick in order to escape.
“That was promptly taken away but then he pulled out a knife and he swung it towards the bouncer, and then he ended up getting out and running from the bar,” Riddell said.
In October 2010 Parrott was arrested on suspicion of exhibiting a knife at workers in the KFC/Long John Silver’s at 7145 Redwood Blvd. in Novato.
NATCHEZ, Miss. June 12 2012 (AP) – A Natchez City Jail booking officer and a food delivery driver are facing felony charges for reportedly bringing a cellphone and batteries into the jail for inmates.
Interim Chief Danny White tells The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/L870UR ) the booking officer, 26-year-old Kenneth Newborne, was charged with introduction of contraband into the jail Friday.
Lt. Craig Godbold says officers got a report that someone had received a call from an inmate in the jail and also heard about the phone from other inmates.
Godbold says Dantrell Minor, a delivery driver for the food service company that provides meals for inmates, brought batteries to the jail and gave the batteries to Newborne for the inmates.
Minor was charged with assisting introduction of contraband into the jail.
RICHMOND, Va. June 12 2012 – A man has been taken into custody after a SWAT team and negotiators were called to a parking deck in downtown Richmond Monday morning.
“It’s scary because on any given day I could be walking in the parking deck and you just never know what can happen from one day to the next,” said Melissa Hobson.
Hobson works in downtown Richmond and was trying to make her way into the Crowne Plaza parking garage when she witnessed the so-called scary scene unfold.
“They told me that I couldn’t park and I later learned there was a standoff inside the parking deck,” said Hobson.
James Mercante with the Richmond Police Department said at 5:18 a.m. officers responded to a call about a suspicious person inside the parking garage on Canal Street. Investigators said when they arrived, they found several cars had been vandalized and when they attempted to approach the man they thought might be responsible for the break-ins he grabbed a woman.
“The young man then behaved as if she was a shield,” said Mercante.
Officials said in addition to grabbing the woman, the man also put his hand inside a bag and went behind an air unit in the parking garage. Because police were unsure if the woman was a hostage or what may have been inside the bag, a SWAT team and negotiators were called to the scene. Detectives said as the SWAT team arrived, the man released the woman and surrendered to a uniformed officer at 7:27 a.m.
Several surrounding streets were temporarily closed as police tried to get the man to surrender. The area has since reopened.
Police said it’s still unclear if the woman was a victim or if she too is a suspect. Detectives are trying to figure out if the man and woman know one another.
“Detectives don’t really know what the dynamics were between the pair,” said Mercante.
No injuries were reported and charges are pending.
Nanticoke, Md. June 12 2012 CNN — A U.S. Navy drone crashed Monday in marshy area near Salisbury, Maryland, military officials said.
The unmanned RQ-4A Global Hawk drone went down during a routine training flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, according to Jamie Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Program at the base.
The Associated Press quoted the spokeswoman as saying the unmanned aircraft was 44-feet in size.
The drone crashed into a tributary of the Nanticoke River, according a U.S. Coast Guard official.
The crash site has been blocked to recreational boat traffic while the agency investigates, according to the Coast Guard official.
GATLINBURG TN June 12 2012 - A woman who was stabbed and sexually assaulted Friday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is out of the hospital. Authorities have not found the suspect.
The woman, who’s 44, was attacked on the Gatlinburg Trail Friday afternoon. She received multiple stab wounds to her neck, shoulder and hand.
Officials said she made her way from the trail to Highway 441 and flagged down a visitor, who reported the incident.
The woman was flown to UT Medical Center and released on Sunday night.
National Park Service Special Agents continued to investigate the case over the weekend. They’re working with the victim to create a sketch of the suspect.
The suspect is described as white, around 5’7″, appearing to be in his 40s, with a thin build, a crew cut and a thin mustache. He wore black dress pants and a T-shirt. He also has multiple tattoos, including one on his stomach, and no distinctive accent.
Anyone with any information about this incident should call the park dispatch emergency line at 865-436-9197.
Washington DC June 12 2012 The Defense Department has stopped issuing weapons to thousands of law enforcement agencies until it is satisfied that state officials can account for all the surplus guns, aircraft, Humvees and armored personnel carriers it has given police under a $2.6 billion program, The Associated Press has learned.
The department’s Defense Logistics Agency ordered state-appointed coordinators in 49 states to certify the whereabouts of that equipment that has already been distributed through the long-running arrangement overseen by the agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office. The temporary halt on transferring weapons applies to all states, agency officials said Thursday.
The program provides police departments and other law enforcement agencies with military equipment ranging from guns and helicopters to computers and air conditioners and even toilet paper. The equipment is cheap or free for law enforcement agencies to acquire, but much of it comes with strict rules that prohibit it from being sold and dictate how it must be tracked.
The military decided to conduct a “one-time, clean sweep” of all state inventories instead of reviewing them piecemeal, said Kenneth MacNevin, a spokesman for the federal agency. While some gear, including guns, has been stolen or otherwise gone missing over the years, MacNevin said the reporting requirements themselves aren’t new and that the review wasn’t prompted by anything specific.
“Leadership decided to make sure we have a good, full accounting for all of this,” he said. “We’re not doing this based on any thought there’s a problem. We’re doing it because accountability is accountability.”
However, MacNevin said a pair of news media reports and a weeks-long series of AP requests for records were factors in the decision to send letters to the states late last month ordering them to comply with program rules or face suspension from it. Only New Hampshire didn’t get a letter, for reasons that weren’t immediately clear.
The Arizona Republic reported last month that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has stockpiled millions of dollars’ worth of equipment through the program, distributing some of the gear to non-police agencies, and intended to sell other property, which would violate the program’s rules.
“I don’t have any info on if something triggered” the Defense Department’s recent order, Matt Van Camp, a police detective in Payson, Ariz., who coordinates that state’s program, told the AP in an email. “All I know is Arizona is 100 percent compliant on weapons inventory.”
A report in March by California Watch, which was founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting, found that California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the program’s two-decade history. That follows the overall trend in the program, which last year doled out almost $500 million in gear, up by more than double from the year before.
Tim Hoyle, another spokesman for the Battle Creek, Mich.-based Defense Logistics Agency, said all weapons will be withheld until the accounting is completed.
Easier said than done. Most of the state surplus program coordinators who have responded to records requests from the AP say they only keep paper records. The few states that keep electronic records only recently made the switch from paper.
The Illinois Department of Central Management Services, for instance, said it would take its staff members at least 500 hours merely to review the records requested by the AP.
“There are over 800 Illinois law enforcement agencies that submit applications to the state under the LESO program,” agency employee Sunny Clark wrote. “CMS would need to go through each file individually in order to gather the records requested, which would be a difficult and time-consuming process.”
In a letter dated May 24, the military notified the state of Florida that it had failed to certify that a “complete (100 percent) physical inventory” of weapons, aircraft, Humvees and armored personnel carriers was completed in 2011. The agency said it intended to suspend Florida from participating in the Law Enforcement Support Office program if the certifications weren’t received by June 22.
But a Florida official who supervises the state coordinator for the program said the letter was sent in error, because the state had, in fact, completed its required annual audit.
“We should be receiving a letter from LESO in the coming days formally rescinding their earlier memo,” the official, Mike McClure, wrote in a June 1 email to several colleagues.
Hoyle said the letters were tailored to each state based on the information the agency is seeking.
The surplus program has grown exponentially in recent years, with a record $498 million worth of property distributed in fiscal year 2011. That includes $191 million in aircraft alone and more than 15,000 weapons worth nearly $4.8 million. Military officials said the program has become more popular as law enforcement agencies sustain deep budget cuts.
The sudden cutoff in the supply of free weapons is an “inconvenience,” but not a big problem, said Jeff Shadburn, Ohio’s program coordinator. Shadburn said he already had collected the information as previously required, but now he simply has to certify the information under the penalty of perjury.
Houma LA June 12 2012 Authorities say a 41-year-old Houma man died after a scuffle inside a Wal-Mart that left three police officers injured.
Houma police tell The Courier Randolph Bonvillian Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene late Saturday night by the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office.
An officer working a security detail at the store, 933 Grand Caillou Road, heard a man screaming, then when he approached Bonvillian, city police say in a news release. Bonvillian began fighting and injured the officer’s arm.
The officer radioed for backup, and several officers were able to subdue him. However, Bonvillian injured two other officers in the process, police said.
Amid the struggle, Bonvillian became unresponsive, and officers administered CPR to no avail, according to police.
The Jefferson Parish Forensic Center will conduct an autopsy today.
The officers were treated for their injuries and, per departmental policy, were placed on administrative leave with pay. Officials were not immediately available this morning to answer questions about the extent of the officers’ injuries or other details.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office will investigate. Witness statements and evidence are being gathered.
Police ask anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Office at 876-2500 or Bayou Region Crime Stoppers at 1-800-743-7433.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel said a 26-year-old driver was traveling south on FM 741 at 11 p.m. Saturday and “for unknown reasons” crossed into northbound traffic.
The driver, identified as Warren Ray Patton, 26, of Kaufman, drove his BMW into a 2001 Chevrolet truck at FM 741 at U.S. 175. Guy Mundy Farley, 40, was killed.
Farley was later identified as the constable. He died at the scene. Patton was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Haschel said.
Neither vehicle had passengers inside, Haschel added.
Cedartown, Ga.June 12 2012 - Police have arrested two teenagers in connection with the death of pizza delivery woman Elizabeth Hutcheson, who was stabbed 50 times and bludgeoned as she made a delivery in northwest Georgia.
Hutcheson, a Domino’s Pizza worker and mother of one, was reportedly delivering pizza to a house in Cedartown Thursday night when 18-year-old Cadedra Cook and a 15-year-old boy attacked her. The attackers were arrested Friday after a short foot chase.
Cedartown Assistant Police Chief James Newsome said two officers were conducting a traffic stop around 9 p.m. Thursday when they heard screaming. The officers responded and found Hutcheson with multiple stab wounds.
Newsome says Hucheson was taken to Polk Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
The suspects were arrested together Friday after a manhunt ended in a local field, the Cedartown Standard newspaper reported.
Records indicate the boy was a troubled teen who left his parents’ home to stay with Cook in March 16.
Suspect Cook lived at the house where Hutcheson delivered the pizza. The name of the teenage boy has not been released to the public. Both teenagers are reportedly in custody in Polk County Jail on murder charges.
Storrs CT June 12 2012 A female NBA security officer is suing Geno Auriemma, coach of the Connecticut and U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team, for employment discrimination.
Kelley Hardwick, the security offer, said in the lawsuit that Auriemma acted vindictively by demanding the NBA remove her from her position as the top security official for the U.S. women’s team at the London Olympics in response to her fending off his advances at a hotel in Russia in October 2009.
In the lawsuit, Hardwick said Auriemma “stalked, assaulted and battered (her) by following her to her room, grabbing her about the arm and attempting to forcibly kiss her on the mouth.” The acts were “unwanted but fortunately thwarted” by Hardwick.
USA TODAY Sports obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed Monday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
In a statement released by USA Basketball, Auriemma said, “This claim is beyond false. I will defend myself to the fullest, and I’m confident that the truth will ultimately prevail. In the meantime, I remain focused on representing the United States this summer and getting our team ready to compete for the gold medal.”
A statement from USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky given to USA TODAY Sports said: “Any allegation of this nature demands serious attention, and we are working with our partners at USA Basketball to determine the facts. Having just learned of the allegations, it would be inappropriate to make further comment at this time.”
USA Basketball said in a statement, “USA Basketball just became aware of this lawsuit today. As it is our policy not to discuss pending legal matters, we will have no further comment while this case is active.”
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league would not comment on pending litigation. The New York Times was the first to report the story.
The suit alleges the NBA failed to fully investigate Hardwick’s assertion that she thought Auriemma’s push to have her removed from the security detail stemmed from her rejecting his advances. Hardwick’s suit also claims “she has been a victim of a corporate culture of gender discrimination” in terms of employment possibilities and her salary. The lawsuit names the NBA and USA Basketball in addition to Auriemma.
Hardwick, 46, was willing to move on from Auriemma’s alleged advances in 2009, according to her lawyer, Randolph McLaughlin of the firm Newman Ferrara. She traveled with the U.S. women’s team two times following the 2009 incident, and in those instances, Auriemma avoided her.
But in April, McLaughlin said Harwick “was advised that she would not be going to the Olympics, that that assignment was being pulled from her. She was advised that the reason for that was that Mr. Auriemma had demanded that she not provide security for the Olympic team. … She went through the chain of command to try to get that decision reversed. It was unsuccessful. She came to us, and here we are.”
According to the lawsuit, she was convinced Auriemma “had exercised his influence” through USA Basketball and the NBA to “retaliate against her for rejecting his prior sexual advance and causing him embarrassment and discomfort with her continued presence.”
Hardwick is seeking an award of injuctive relief, compensatory damages, an award of back pay and front pay and punitive damages. McLaughlin said the lawsuit was filed Monday.
Asked why Hardwick did not file a complaint in 2009 against Auriemma, McLaughlin said she reported it to the NBA, but it “didn’t do anything about it. They didn’t investigate it. They didn’t follow up. She’s a trained professional. Women have to deal with this kind of behavior on a regular basis in the workplace. She is a strong, ex-police officer who felt that she had affirmatively and forcefully asserted herself as a woman and pushed this back and said, ‘I’m going to be a professional. I reported it to my employer.’ And went about doing her job as a professional. And she put it behind her. And tried really hard to do that.”
In addition to his role with the U.S. women’s team, Auriemma has led Connecticut to seven national championships in his 25-plus years at the helm of its women’s program.
David Benjamin Schrooten, 21, was expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday on 14 counts of conspiracy, access device fraud, bank fraud, intentional damage to a computer, and aggravated identity theft.
Schrooten, also known in the hacking community as “Fortezza,” was arrested in Romania in March and arrived in Western Washington Saturday.
“This indictment alleges that in just one transaction he trafficked in as many as 44,000 stolen credit card numbers resulting in millions of dollars in losses to financial institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan. “I commend the cyber investigators at the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and Seattle Police Department for tracking down these international criminals.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Schrooten and Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Maryland marketed stolen credit card numbers online. Schroebel is accused of hacking into the point of sale computer of a restaurant in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and in a restaurant supply store in Shoreline.
Prosecutors say Schroebel used malicious code to copy the personal information of credit card transactions at the point of sale terminals. The information was then sent to a server in Kansas controlled by Schroebel.
“Last fall, a single business in Magnolia experienced a serious loss – they immediately notified the Seattle Police Department. SPD detectives on loan to the Electronic Crimes Task Force quickly matched this case with other patterns and connected the dots to an international criminal enterprise,” said Assistant Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel.
The Dept. of Justice says Schroebel stole at least 4,800 credit card numbers and security information across the country, then worked with Schrooten to build websites in order to sell the information to criminals.
At least four Western Washington people were victimized.
Schroebel pleaded guilty last month and will be sentenced in August.
Possible punishments include:
– Bank fraud: Up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine
– Access device fraud: 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
– Damaging a protected computer: 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine
– Conspiracy: 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
– Aggravated identity theft: Mandatory 2 year prison term
Orlando Sanford International Airport seeking bids from private security companies www.privateofficer.com
Relying on a new aviation law, managers of the small airport west of Sanford have been pushing since February to start the process that could result in the federal Transportation Safety Administration being replaced with a private force.
Months likely will pass before a final decision is made, but airport president Larry Dale said he is confident he can find a company that will provide the same services as – if not better than – TSA and at a cheaper price.
The key to going private, TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said in an email, is to “not compromise security or detrimentally affect the cost-efficiency or the effectiveness of the screening of passengers or property at the airport.”
Even if airports employ private screeners, the TSA likely would continue to oversee and pay for them.
Dale tried to boot TSA almost two years ago, but the agency rejected his request.
But the Federal Aviation Administration law passed earlier this year made turning down Sanford much more difficult. U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, inserted a word in the legislation saying the TSA “shall” consider opt-out requests from airports rather than “may,” as the previous rule said.
Mica, who wrote the law creating the TSA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, contends the agency has become an inefficient bureaucracy with too many managers among its 67,000 employees.
“I hope this opens a new era of reform for TSA operations, not only at Orlando Sanford but across nation,” Mica said, adding “TSA needs to focus on going after terrorists – not little old ladies, veterans and children.”
Right now, 16 airports have private security, including San Francisco, Kansas City and smaller airports such as Key West and Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Another dozen airports have applied to go private, Mica said. The largest is Sacramento International Airport.
The reason to change, Mica and Dale contend, is improved customer service and the possibility of lower cost through a reduction in what they maintain is TSA’s overly burdensome and unnecessary management.
Mica said he intends to encourage all airports in Florida to opt out of TSA coverage. The board of Orlando International Airport, which annually handles about 35 million passengers, has not announced plans to replace TSA. The Sanford airport had almost 1.2 million passengers in 2010.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. June 12 2012– Police identified a paroled gang member on Monday as the suspect in a late-night weekend assault that left four people dead, including the gunman, in a Sacramento home, authorities said.
The suspected shooter is 26-year-old Xue Lor, said Officer Michele Gigante, a Sacramento police spokeswoman. She described him as a parolee subject to high supervision who was released after serving time on gun possession charges.
Lor was killed at the scene after police say he entered a home late Saturday and fatally shot a husband and wife who lived there, as well as killing a male guest identified as Lee Doua Cha, age 33. Another male guest was critically wounded.
Lor was shot by another resident, who was not injured.
He was sent to state prison in 2009 to serve a nearly five-year Sacramento County sentence for possessing a firearm as an ex-felon, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was sentenced to eight months in 2010 in neighboring Yolo County for possessing a stolen vehicle. Records show he was returned to prison for six months on a parole violation in 2011 before he was paroled for the final time in October 2011.
Gigante says other members of the victim family also have gang connections, and the motive for what police initially described as a home invasion remains unclear.
Su Vang, who often acts as a spokesman for the Hmong community in Sacramento, said the dead included a husband and wife, and their son was the one who confronted and killed the assailant. He said the husband was known in the Hmong community as a shaman, or faith healer.
The Sacramento County coroner’s office would not immediately name the husband and wife who were killed in the home because relatives had not been officially notified of their deaths.
There were no signs of forced entry, but the gunman entered the home and opened fire, Gigante said.
Another resident was in a back room of the home.
“He hears all this, he comes out and they exchange fire, the suspect is killed at the scene,” Gigante said. “We’re pretty confident we’ve got our shooter, and he’s deceased.”
The dead couple were in their 50s, said Gigante, who did not have an age of the surviving wounded guest. She said the resident who killed the suspect was not injured, but she declined to release his age.
Deputy coroners removed the last two bodies from the single-story, light blue home Sunday evening. Crime scene investigators were observed carrying a half-dozen rifles from the home and putting them in a police van.
As investigators worked Sunday, more than a dozen people gathered just outside the crime scene tape that cordoned off the home and the entire block of the residential neighborhood of one-story homes.
Television news trucks were parked nearby, while reporters looked on and children rode their bicycles and played in nearby yards.
Neighbor Mai Thao, who previously lived on the same block, said she knew the victims.
“They’re really nice people,” she said. “They’re always quiet and looked really happy.”
She said she had seen them tending to the flowers and vegetables that could be seen growing in the front yard of the home. The shades were drawn, and wind chimes swayed from the front porch.
Neighbors said they hadn’t heard the shootings, though one said his nephew heard what he thought were fireworks and didn’t pay attention until police began arriving.
The surviving victim remained in critical but stable condition Sunday, Gigante said, but she declined to provide additional details.
Police were asking members of the public who may have information about the shooting to contact them.
Lukace Kendle was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. One man was killed and another was wounded in the shooting.
The 26-year-old Homestead man is being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, 7000 NW 41st St. He is being represented by Stephen Harper of the Miami-Dade public defender office. He did not return three calls on Monday.
The June 1 shooting unfolded when Kendle, who worked security at Club Lexx, came across two men parked beside the building, 12001 NW 27th Ave. in North Miami-Dade. He told police he felt threatened by the men and shot them.
Miami Gardens residents Kijuan Byrd, 29, was shot 11 times and died, according to police. Michael Smathers, 31, was shot four times and was listed in critical condition on Friday. Jackson Memorial Hospital declined to give an updated condition for him on Monday.
Kendle remained free for nearly a week as police investigated.
The death has taken a heavy toll on the Byrd family, said attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represents Smathers’ relatives. During his son’s funeral, Donald Byrd Sr. suffered a heart attack and has been confined to bed rest, Crump said.
TAYLORSVILLE, KY June 12 2012 – A workplace accident involving a piece of farm equipment in Spencer County has killed one person on the grounds of an elementary school.
According to Chief Toby Lewis of the Taylorsville Police Department, a 911 call was received at 11:10 a.m. about the accident which happened in a maintenance building of Taylorsville Elementary School.
Sources tell WAVE 3 that a bush hog mowing device was involved.
The Spencer County coroner has identified the victim as Wayne E. Howell, 60, of Taylorsville. Howell was an employee of the school system.
The cause of Howell’s death has not been released. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday.
Officials are calling Howell’s death a workplace accident.
Spokane WA June 12 2012 A Spokane woman is accused of stealing a federal Homeland Security officer’s passport and and using it to pawn two stolen rifles.
Investigators identified Amanda Wayne Macklin, 23, as a suspect after finding her number in Double Eagle Pawn’s phone records. They say she called the pawn shop on Nov. 21 asking if a passport could be used to sell items there, then went to the East Sprague Avenue store and sold the stolen guns for $475 using a passport belonging to Shannon L. Hart.
Hart was at Oz Fitness at 603 E. Holland in Spokane on Nov. 20 when someone prowled her vehicle and stole her Homeland Security identification card, her passport and a Sig Sauer .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, according to court documents.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms obtained surveillance video of a woman pawning the rifles, which were stolen in a burglary Nov. 21 at a home in the 12000 block of North Denver Street. Macklin’s family members identified her as that woman, according to court documents. Macklin told them she dumped Hart’s passport and pistol into a dumpster, investigators say.
Federal agents also obtained a recording of Macklin telling her mother in a phone call from the Spokane County Jail that she pawned the guns and burglarized other homes to support her and her sister’s drug habit. Macklin and her sister, Jordan Newkirk, already are charged with several felonies for an alleged burglary ring.
In the Dec. 26 break-in, the thieves used a spring-loaded punch to break holes through a lower window at a home in the 100 block of West Falcon Avenue and stole thousands of dollars in jewelry, including a ring that contained the ashes of the homeowner’s mother.
Police in Kent, Wash, had noted the unusual burglary tool in Macklin’s Kia Spectra when they arrested her there four days before the burglary.
Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Mark Newton noted in his report that he and his partner have been detectives for 45 years total and have never found anyone in possesses of such a device, which he said would shatter normal glass but didn’t at the Falcon Avenue home because the glass was tempered.
“If one were to use such a punch on a normal piece of glass, the punch would shatter the glass leaving no indication a punch was used,” Newton wrote in court documents.
Macklin was charged in that case in March. Prosecutors filed six new gun and property crime charges May 25 for theft of Hart’s passport. Then a federal grand jury indicted her last week on a charge of unlawful possession and barter and disposal of a stolen firearm and misuse o a passport for allegedly dumping Hart’s gun and passport.
Charlotte NC June 12 2012 Private security is big business. Estimates suggest that private security guards outnumber police in the US by a 5:1 ratio. The Department of Justice believes that “at least two million persons are … employed in private security in the United States.” In the United States alone, customers spend nearly $35 billion each year on private security services. Globally, the numbers are staggering, approaching nearly $100 billion annually.
In an unpredictable and unstable world, experts believe this number will only increase. Unable to meet all demands, public law enforcement agencies have explored private sector alternatives in lieu of increasingly scarce taxpayer dollars. Both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Department of Justice have embraced some of these public / private partnerships as a logical outgrowth of community policing. However, a dependency on private security instead of public law enforcement, over time, could erode the hard-won trust between communities and the officers who are sworn to protect and serve.
Looking at the history of law enforcement in America, it’s clear that private security firms have played a role since at least 1855. That’s when Allan Pinkerton founded the now-famous private security company.
While many in the United States fear our health care system may become like the British, apparently many in Britain fear something similar for their public law enforcement agencies. Debate has emerged recently in Great Britain because of large-scale proposals to privatize many responsibilities typically assigned to patrol officers.
“Oh my God,” some have gasped in a properly clipped British accent, “we’re becoming more like the Americans everyday. We must to move to Scotland,” where, apparently, they are NOT becoming more like Americans.
In March of this year reports surfaced in the British press that some politicians and police professionals were considering a privatization scheme for two large police forces, those in West Midlands and Surrey. These emerged in the wake of similar proposals for Lincolnshire. The company at the forefront of these efforts fashions itself the “leading international security solutions group.”
Private security firms provide specific tasks for individuals, companies, or concerns that demand a more immediate and tailored service than public police can provide, especially given the large number of resource constraints on the public sector. As a result, private security can serve corporate interests, supplement sworn law enforcement when necessary, and in the rarest-of-circumstances, replace public law enforcement officers.
Business and corporations that employ private security firms — or have their own in-house security personnel — want their security specialists to weigh risks, profitability, and corporate image, something that public police may not consider if their focus is on catching criminals for prosecution.
One example is the FedEx Police, recognized by the State of Tennessee as sworn law enforcement personnel. Though they are not uniformed, they apparently have full police powers, work closely with the FBI, and even have a seat on a regional terrorism task force.
FedEx is not the first or only corporate entity to have police powers. According to Gene Voegtlin of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as early as the 1800’s the railroads established private police forces and today their authority remains intact on railroad property, but beyond that varies from state-to-state. Other modern examples are some metro area transit authority police and police at selected private universities and colleges that work under similarly-limited conditions.
The growth of private security to supplement public law enforcement has also accompanied the increase in gated communities. According to professor of urban policy Edward Blakely, somewhere between six and nine million U.S. citizens “live in single-family residences in gated suburban developments…” They live in what they believe to be an oasis from the crime and violence outside their walls.
Blakely’s research concluded that “gated communities do not have less crime than the suburbs from which they’re walled off,” the one exception being car theft. “For many,” Blakely continues, “the guards at the gate provide an artificial sense of safety.”
Richard Schneider, a professor of urban planning at the University of Florida, is another academic who questions the viability of gated communities to provide a crime-free environment. He believes that “[y]ou’re just as likely to be burgled by your next-door neighbor, especially if there are teenagers.” The gates don’t serve as an effective deterrent, argues Professor Schneider. Criminals “learn the code from the pizza guy…The effects of gating decay over time.”
If those living in a gated community (or outside for that matter) cannot afford to contract security services, they may turn to the less expensive alternative of an unarmed or armed nationally recognized Neighborhood Watch program. Typically, neighborhood watchers report crime and do not respond, leaving that responsibility to the police.
Residents in Georgetown, a non-community in Washington, DC, have adopted a program with support and training from the Washington DC Metro Police Department. This training is based, in part, on the Department of Justice’s Neighborhood Watch Manual.
Though not armed, this approach is similar to the one at the Retreat of Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by an armed neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman.
In the United States, much of the debate over law enforcement privatization has centered on prisons, where, according to the Department of Justice, approximately 1.5 million prisoners — or seven percent — of our total prison population, are serving their sentence. Supporters of privatization, such as Florida’s governor Rick Scott, believe that the benefits of reported cost savings outweigh the possible limitations. Critics point out that privately run prisons reduce essential services so they can maximize profits and, in some instances resemble “a historically racist practice of the old Confederate South: convict leasing.”
With the exception of prisons, private security services typically do not replace public policing authority. However, there are some examples where this has occurred and the trend could increase. State peace officer certification boards are responsible for opening this door. Tennessee, which modified the laws for the Tennessee Valley Authority to accommodate FedEx, is only one example.
In North Carolina, the Capitol Special Police look and act like sworn officers. The officers pictured on their home page look no different than those found on web pages of small departments nationwide. They have the power to arrest, so there is no need for them to detain a suspect and wait for sworn officers to respond. Though the Capitol Special Police supplement public law enforcement, elsewhere a community opted to replace their whole police force with private security.
In the early 1990s, and in the wake of a drug scandal that involved the then-acting police chief, New Jersey’s town of Sussex Borough disbanded their local four-person department and privatized police services. The private cure proved contentious and ultimately unworkable. The contract between the town and Executive Security and Investigative Services lasted only a few months. Originally meant to supplement the state police, the courts found that the company’s mandate exceeded statutory authority and forced Sussex to abandon the experiment. One New Jersey Deputy Attorney General argued in court that the contract put “a disruptive new layer between the citizens and law enforcement.”
There is, of course, another cautionary tale. The legionnaires, centurions, and tribunes that marched with C. Marius and L. Cornelius Sulla during the first two Roman civil wars (circa 88-81 BC) and, later, G. Julius Caesar (circa 49-45 BC) did not owe their loyalty to the Roman citizenry or the state. No longer did Roman citizens man the legions that had protected the Republic.
The conscripts’ and foreign mercenaries’ loyalties lay instead with their generals, who paid them, provided retirement options, and brought them glory.
The Republic fell under their weight.
Local police are not likely to cross the Rubicon as Caesar did to openly seize power. However, a contracted police force that works for a corporate entity is not subservient to legitimate political authority. Instead it owes its loyalty to paymasters, who in turn are responsible to shareholders, no matter how much rhetorical or contractual makeup is applied.
We should heed the lessons of Sussex and Rome…
PALM BEACH, Fla. June 12 2012— From its long abandoned practice of ticketing shirtless joggers and issuing ID cards to gardeners, the rules in Palm Beach have always been different.
Now, in response to complaints from town residents who agree that rules on the tony island should be different, police officers are being investigated and fired for writing too many traffic tickets.
Officer William Eaton, who has patrolled the town’s ficus-lined streets for six years, was fired this week. Union leaders say two other officers face similar fates.
In a termination letter signed Tuesday, the town’s director of public safety says Eaton’s ticket-writing frenzy violated several department rules, including conduct unbecoming and using his position to intimidate the citizenry. His attorney views it differently.
“It was a clear and utter witch hunt,” said attorney Elizabeth Parker, who said Eaton will fight to be reinstated.
She doesn’t dispute that the number of traffic tickets Eaton wrote soared, going from 222 citations in 2011 to 115 in one month this year.
However, she claims Eaton began writing more tickets when the town in January changed how raises are handed out. When they switched to a bonus system based on merit, instead of longevity, Eaton decided he needed to work harder to ensure he would be among the top officers who received a possible $6,000 bonus.
Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin said Eaton’s sudden and intense interest in traffic enforcement was more sinister. In the termination letter, he said it was retaliation for the contract changes and the town’s decision to reduce police pension benefits.
He recalled a conversation he had with Eaton several years back when the pension changes were first proposed. “What are they going to do when we start writing them all tickets and arresting them for DUI?” Blouin recalled Eaton asking. At the time, Blouin said he viewed the comment as a threat to retaliate against town residents if pension benefits were cut. He said he warned Eaton that such conduct could result in his termination.
In a 19-page letter to Blouin, Parker said Eaton was merely questioning whether the town’s unwritten rule of being more lenient toward residents than nonresidents when it comes to drunken driving would remain if police were pushed to do more while getting less.
At that time, she said, the pay changes hadn’t even been proposed. Eaton, who has gotten stellar reviews, never intended the comment as a threat, she said.
Further, the evidence shows he didn’t target town residents. Of the 115 tickets he wrote from mid-January to mid-February, only 24 — 20 percent — went to town residents. She also gave examples where Eaton ignored obvious violations, such as inoperable brake lights or not having proof of insurance, and only gave residents warnings.
The only thing both agree on is that the stepped up traffic enforcement has been controversial.
Beginning in January, Blouin wrote that he began getting complaints from residents, accusing the agency of setting up speed traps. At a February town meeting, Councilman Robert Wildrick said police were “harassing and intimidating” residents because of the pension plan changes. Blouin responded: “I share some of your concerns. We have a small percentage that we consider bad apples.”
But, Parker insisted, Eaton is not among them. He was merely trying to ensure he would get a raise under the new system. In messages to other officers, he encouraged them also to work hard, she said.
Rather than attaboys, Blouin described those messages as further evidence of Eaton’s misconduct. Eaton, he said, was trying to get other officers to join his crusade.
Two officers identified so far are Chris Beesley and Roth Rock. Beesley made his case to Blouin Wednesday. Rock will get his chance next week, said Joe Puleo, who is representing the two for the Fraternal Order of Police.
Source: palm beach post
Portland OR June 12 2012 A man who fled after allegedly pointing a gun at a Portland State University security officer Monday morning has been identified as David W. Chilton.
Portland Police and Portland State University have issued an alert urging the public to be on the lookout for Chilton, 54. He has gray hair and a gray beard, blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark jacket, rust colored plaid shirt over a green T-shirt, black shoes, and gray baseball cap. He had a North Face backpack, and a gym bag.
A campus security officer came upon Chilton and another man “loitering” outside Portland State University’s Center for Science Education Monday morning, said Scott Gallagher, a spokesman for PSU.
After talking with the men, the officer learned there was a warrant for the arrest of one of them, Gallagher said.
After his companion was put in handcuffs, Chilton allegedly displayed a gun and pointed it at the officer, Gallagher said.
Chilton then “asked him if he wanted to die,” according to information that officers relayed to investigators at the incident, which occurred around 10:20 a.m. Chilton then fled toward a parking garage at Southwest 12th Avenue and Market Street.
Portland Police, including tactical officers with the Special Emergency Reaction Team, swarmed the parking garage. Nearby buildings, including the Helen Gordon Child Development Center and Lincoln High School, were put in lockdown.
Traffic was diverted from Southwest Clay Street and 11th and 12th avenues during the incident and the Portland Streetcar was out of service for a time.
After calling out to Childers, officers searched the parking garage, concluding around 1:50 p.m. that he was not in the structure.