Archive for October, 2011

At what point did Society “Cross The Line”?

At what point did Society “Cross The Line”?

I’ve been a cop for over 20 years, and I’m sure Jim will agree with me, we’ve all seen crime trends come and go. Burglaries, identity theft, drugs, weapons violations, vehicle thefts, forgery, criminals are always looking for better, faster and less detectable ways of committing crimes. But there’s a new trend that seems to be growing and it has me worried along with most other law enforcement officers. And it should worry you too. What is this trend? Guns in the hands of young people who have no regard for life. There’s always been teens and guns which occasionally mixed but in the past, guns were not used as frequently or with such disregard for life as in today’s society.

Last night there was a local shooting at a 3-yr-olds birthday party. A large family birthday party was going on with people behind a mostly closed garage door and a few scattered on the porch. Two subjects walked up, one with a red hat on, and opened fire spraying the porch and garage with gunfire. In the end, 4 people were shot including a 9-yr-old girl. When these two thugs opened fire, they had NO IDEA where those bullets were going to go. They shot through a partially closed door knowing people were behind the door. They didn’t care a 9-yr-old girl was shot. They wouldn’t have cared if a bullet went through 2 walls killing a sleeping baby in another room. They just don’t care. I’m thinking walking up to a large Hispanic party with a gun and a red hat on was an obvious sign of saying “I’m a Norteno” but hey, I’m just a cop with an opinion. Whether or not they saw someone they were targeting, it doesn’t matter. To endanger kids at a 3-yr-olds birthday party, that’s just insane.

At what point did society “cross the line” to where guns are being pulled out and used by so many young people nowadays? I believe a lot of the kids are de-sensitized by the violence in society today. The violent movies, songs, and especially the video games kids are playing today. The graphics are so realistic that these kids are shooting and stabbing real looking people on their video screens over and over and over, getting de-sensitized to death with each kill. Then they turn the game off, put a gun in their pocket and hit the streets. How do you think these kids are going to react when they get into a confrontation on the street? The same way they did playing the video game; pull a gun out and shoot.

As cops, we train until our tactics become “muscle memory”. At the range or in self defense class, we practice over and over until we react the same way automatically without having to think about it. When the whistle blows at the range, we draw out guns and shoot the target without even thinking about it, we train so much the action becomes automatic, muscle memory. Unfortunately, the youths of today are playing so many violent video games, killing people over and over, they are developing “muscle memory” on how they handle street conflicts; they pull out a gun and shoot.

But in real life there is no re-set button, no on-off switch, no extra lives. It seems the youths of today are confusing video game life with real life. How else can you explain teens opening fire at a kid’s birthday party just because they spotted a possible “rival” gang banger at the house? How do you explain the disregard for human life, for the carnage those bullets cause. This wasn’t a loser parolee pulling a gun to commit a robbery; these were young punks with guns and no sense. They don’t think about what happens if they get caught, the years they’ll have to spend in jail. Or if someone at the party recognized them and later sprays their house with gunfire killing their family or young siblings. Video games don’t have that reality check built in so these young kids don’t think about that.

I sound angry because I am. Why should a 9-yr-old girl have to experience a gunshot wound because someone wants to play gang banger? It’s a miracle no one was killed, that a baby or toddler at the party wasn’t zipped up in a coroner’s bag that night.

There have been several recent high profile incidents of innocent children being shot or killed by stray bullets from idiots shooting at each other. They usually miss each other and hit innocent people, including children. When did society “cross the line” to where people are so de-sensitized that they shoot at each other in front of children or innocent people? De-sensitized to the point where these criminals and young thugs just don’t care if an innocent child gets struck by gunfire? Don’t these people have little brothers or sisters? Trouble is they don’t think of the consequences of their actions and they don’t have a conscience, two very dangerous things for someone with a gun in their hand.

Crime statistics rise and fall with the economy but I’ve seen a seen a huge increase in the number of guns carried by teens and young adults, and the number of shootings. Youths are shooting at each other for wearing the “wrong color”, for looking at each other “the wrong way”, for “disrespecting” them or their family, basically for nothing. It still shocks me to see these people gunned downed in the street because they had a red or blue hat on, or because they looked at someone and it was taken as a “mug”. Not only are today’s kids killing each other, but they are also wounding and killing innocent people.

When did society “cross the line” where the youths of today feel this is the norm, the way to respond to being disrespected, that this is the way to settle differences, that it’s OK to open fire at a kid’s birthday party. Each fired bullet doesn’t have a joystick control, no re-do, each fired bullet is on an unstoppable route with the potential to maim or kill. When did this become OK to today’s kids? Is it the way society presents itself today? Is it piss-poor parenting or lack of parenting? When did society “cross the line” to where this is happening so frequently. We really need to reverse this trend before it happens to you. But it probably won’t be a party at your house bringing the bullets; it will be the large youth party across the street or next door.

It’s a shame in today’s society where youths can’t have a large party without some kind of violence breaking out. When I was young we’d hunt down parties to go have fun at, sneak a beer, not to look for trouble. But most large youth parties nowadays more often than not end up with fights, stabbings or shootings. Neighbors houses struck by gunfire. Violent fights, stabbings, parents asking themselves “what went wrong”. Society is what went wrong. At some point, society gave these kids the idea that violence is cool, killing someone is OK, shooting into a crowded kids birthday party is the norm.

I’m all for gun rights and legal possession of guns, but parolees and kids carrying stolen guns don’t quite fit the term legal. And why do we have laws such as carrying brass knuckles is a felony but carrying a loaded concealed firearm is a misdemeanor? Which weapon really has the potential for more damage? We need to fix things, change laws, make the youths of today fear punishment or consequences.

If we don’t change something fast, this will soon be coming to a neighborhood near you!

Episode #37 – CopTalk Podcast

    • In the News
    • Cameras and the Police – More coming in the next show….
    • NY Protests

    In The News:
    Phoenix Az brothel poses as church
    Courts–Man sues white castle over booth size
    burglar tries to claim reward money
    Gumby Robbery

    NJ police chief: Double-parking wife not above law
    The Associated Press
    Posted: 09/29/2011 10:14:13 AM PDT

    LODI, N.J.—A New Jersey police chief says no one is above the law—not even his wife.
    Lodi (LOH’-deye) Police Chief Vincent Caruso ordered an officer to ticket his wife after she double parked while dropping off their 5-year-old son at school.

    Caruso told The Record newspaper ( he didn’t want her to get any special treatment because of who she is. The chief paid the $54 ticket. It’s not the first time for Paula Caruso. The chief ordered another officer to ticket her two years ago after she forgot to move their vehicle for street cleaning. The chief told the newspaper he loves his wife and she’s very busy driving their four sons around. His wife couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. The Carusos’ phone number is unlisted.

    Associated Press Posted: 10/03/2011 08:27:37 AM PDT Updated: 10/03/2011 08:29:33 AM PDT

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An Oakland officer’s city-issued video camera shows the shooting death of an armed suspect during a struggle with police. The Police Department won’t release details on what is depicted in the video of the Sept. 25 incident. The San Francisco Chronicle says the city of Oakland paid $540,000 for 350 wearable cameras last year from Vievu of Seattle. The cameras are worn on the chest of officers. Investigators say two officers pulled over a car and the passenger, who had a gun and drugs, fled on foot. One of the officers caught the suspect and shot him during a struggle. The name of the suspect and the officers has been withheld.

    A pair of Alabama conservation enforcement officers think they’ve come up with the perfect way for avid hunters to honor their loved ones for eternity. Officers Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell have launched Holy Smoke LLC, a company that will, for a price, load cremated human ash into shotgun shells, and rifle and pistol cartridges.

    It’s the perfect life celebration for someone who loves the outdoors or shooting sports, Parnell says.
    “This isn’t a joke. It’s a job that we take very seriously,” he said. “This is a reverent business. We take the utmost care in what we do and show the greatest respect for the remains.”

    The company, launched in July, shipped out its first two orders on Sept. 16 – one from Florida and one from Kentucky – Holmes says. It has established to promote the service and traffic on it has been growing , Holmes says.

    For $850, one pound of ash will be loaded into 250 shotgun shells. The ash is mixed in the cups that hold the shot, not the powder. The same amount of ash will fill the bullets of 100 standard caliber center-fire rifle rounds or 250 pistol rounds. For the rifle and pistol ammunition, the ash is put into the tips of hollow-point bullets with the cavity sealed with wax. Any remaining ash is shipped back to the customer, along with the loaded ammunition.
    “Some people have been concerned that a small amount of ash will remain in the animal that is shot with the ammunition, Holmes said. “But it’s just carbon, and a small amount at that. You don’t have anything to worry about.” The process takes about 48 hours from the time the ashes are received, Holmes said. “The people we use are all experienced reloaders and know exactly what we want them to do, he said. “Only one bag of ash will be opened at a time, and the equipment will be thoroughly cleaned before the next set of remains is loaded.

    Tim Godwin, a Montgomery landscaping company owner and avid hunter, says he sees no problem with the practice.

    “People have had their ashes sprinkled in rivers and the ocean, there have been ashes spread out of airplanes,” he said. “If you love hunting or the outdoors, this really isn’t much different.”

    People should take care in with how the meat that is shot with this ammunition is handled, cautions Robert Chapin, a toxicologist who worked for 18 years at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
    The animal should be killed quickly by the shot, to prevent any possibility of spreading the ashes in the animal’s blood, he says. The area around where the animal was struck should not be consumed.

    “I would expect that the ashes would pose less of a problem than any lead pellets historically used,” Chapin says.


    Serious crimes to warn people about
    SJSU sexual assault  (Don’t walk alone, don’t take risk)


    And a recent local robbery where 2 suspects used a ruse to get an elderly couple in their 70’s to open their door at 0130 hrs, tied up the woman and beat the man until he opened a safe.


    Subject: New California law bans warrantless cell phone searches

    New law bans warrantless cell phone searches

    Editor’s note: Amy Gahran writes about mobile tech for She is a San Francisco Bay Area writer and media consultant whose blog,, explores how people communicate in the online age.

Making a Point about Lasers Illegal Use of Devices a Serious Crime

Laser in Cockpit

What appears as a dot of light on the ground can illuminate an entire cockpit,
disorienting a pilot or causing temporary blindness. | Watch Video

Making a Point about Lasers

Illegal Use of Devices a Serious Crime


Justin Stouder was aiming a laser pointer at a distant tower from his suburban St. Louis yard one April evening in 2010 when a police helicopter appeared in his line of sight more than a mile away.

At the time, the 24-year-old had no idea that his decision to point the laser at the helicopter was a federal felony—or that the beam of light might have serious consequences for the pilot and his crew.

“It’s equivalent to a flash of a camera if you were in a pitch black car at night,” said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Doug Reinholz, the pilot on patrol that night when Stouder’s green hand-held laser “painted” his cockpit. “It’s a temporary blinding to the pilot,” he said during a recent news conference highlighting the danger of lasers directed at airplanes and helicopters.

Interfering with the operation of an aircraft is a crime punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and laser incidents are on the rise. Since the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began keeping records of laser events in 2004, “there has been an exponential increase every year,” said Tim Childs from the Federal Air Marshal Service, who serves as a liaison officer with the Bureau on laser issues.

Watch law enforcement arrest a suspect with a laser pointer.

In 2009, there were 1,489 laser events logged with the FAA—that is, pilots reporting that their cockpits were illuminated by the devices. The following year, that figure had nearly doubled to 2,836, an average of more than seven incidents every day of the year. And the overwhelming number of the incidents involved green lasers—especially dangerous because the human eye is most susceptible to damage from the yellow-green light spectrum.

Hand-held lasers—about the size of fountain pens—are used legitimately by astronomy hobbyists and in industrial applications. Anyone can purchase one, and technology has made them inexpensive and more powerful. Lasers costing as little as $1 can have ranges of two miles—strong enough to target a variety of aircraft.

And what appears as a dot of light on the ground can illuminate an entire cockpit, disorienting a pilot or causing temporarily blindness. That’s because the farther the beam travels the more spread out it becomes. “At 500 feet,” Childs said, “that two-centimeter dot you see on your wall can be six feet wide.” To date, no aircraft have been lost as a result of laser incidents, he added, but there have been eye injuries, and perpetrators have gone to jail.

Those responsible for “lasering” aircraft fit two general profiles, Childs explained. “Consistently, it’s either minors with no criminal history or older men with criminal records.” The teens are usually curious or fall victim to peer pressure, Childs said. The older men simply have a reckless disregard for the safety of others. There are also intentional acts of laser pointing by human traffickers or drug runners seeking to thwart airborne surveillance, Childs added.

As for Justin Stouder, the helicopter pilot he lasered helped guide police to his house, where he was arrested minutes after the incident.

“I had no idea it illuminated the whole cockpit and blinded everybody inside,” Stouder said during the news conference. He offered a public apology and volunteered to tell his story in the hopes of educating the public about the dangers of laser pointing. “It was really a selfish mistake,” he said of his actions.

How Teens Smuggle Booze Under Your Nose


See how teens are fooling parents, teachers — even cops! And it’s so potent they’re getting drunk, sick and worse! The Defenders reveal the secret!