PoliceOne Daily News
1 dead on Vegas Strip shooting, gunman barricaded on bus
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:59:01 GMT

By Sally Ho Associated Press LAS VEGAS — A gunman barricaded himself inside a bus Saturday along the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting that left one person dead, officials said.

The attack prompted a partial closure of the busy boulevard.

The standoff began after a shooting was reported on Las Vegas Boulevard in the heart of the Strip near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said two people were taken to the hospital after the shooting.

She said one died and the other was in fair condition.

Police say they do not believe there are any other suspects. No further information was available.

#BREAKING 1 dead, 1 hurt in Las Vegas Strip bus shooting. Suspected shooter believed to be barricaded on this bus. We are LIVE @News3LV pic.twitter.com/txvnCtXqMC

— Kyndell Nunley (@KyndellNews3LV) March 25, 2017

1 shot along Las Vegas Strip; suspected shooter barricaded on bus, according to @LVMPD https://t.co/aTScCQvvae pic.twitter.com/XSYdIN8TMn

— KTLA (@KTLA) March 25, 2017

Dallas raised more than $500K for mentoring program that pairs cops, kids
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:16:00 GMT

By Tasha Tsiaperas The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS — Dallas police officials hope 300 of its officers will act as mentors in the Bigs in Blue program, a branch of the one-on-one mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The effort was announced Thursday at Dallas Police Headquarters, and the Bigs in Blue program received $550,000 in grant funds and donations from Dallas residents, including $500,000 raised at the Crystal Charity Ball.

The mentoring organization has also partnered with law enforcement agencies in Chicago, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles and New York City through the Bigs in Blue program.

The Dallas officers who choose to volunteer will each be matched with one of the 1,000 kids on the waiting list in the local chapter. The pairing could help officers better understand minority and at-risk communities, said Pam Iorio, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

"We cannot live in a country where there are strained relations and tensions between police and the communities they serve," she said.

Assistant Police Chief Paul Stokes said the program is an extension of the outreach the Dallas Police Department does with Dallas youth. The department hosts youth athletics programs and educational events that teach kids how to interact with cops.

"This is all about one-on-one relationships ... with the most vulnerable demographic within our community," Stokes said.

But, he said, the program will also teach the officers more about where the children come from.

"We need to learn from them. We need to grow with them," he said.


©2017 The Dallas Morning News

La. officer convicted of manslaughter in boy's death
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:11:12 GMT

Associated Press

MARKSVILLE, La. — A Louisiana law enforcement officer was convicted Friday on a lesser charge of manslaughter in a shooting that killed a 6-year-old autistic boy, a gruesome encounter captured on tape by another officer's body camera.

Jurors found Derrick Stafford guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges, multiple news outlets reported. He had faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the case.

Stafford, 33, and another deputy city marshal opened fire on a car — killing Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father — after a 2-mile car chase in Marksville on the night of Nov. 3, 2015.

Video from a police officer's body camera shows the father, Christopher Few, had his hands raised inside his vehicle while the two deputies collectively fired 18 shots. At least four of those bullets tore into Jeremy, who died within minutes.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement that his office is happy with the verdict,

"As we have said all along, our goal in this case was to get justice for Jeremy Mardis, his family, and the people of Louisiana. Today, that happened," the statement said.

Stafford's sentencing is set for next week.

The Advocate reports that Stafford testified Friday that he shot at the car because he feared Few was going to back up and hit the other deputy, Norris Greenhouse Jr.

"I felt I had no choice but to save Norris. That is the only reason I fired my weapon," Stafford said.

Greenhouse, 25, faces a separate trial on murder charges later this year.

Stafford cried when a prosecutor showed him photographs of the slain first-grader. He said he didn't know the boy was in the car when he fired and didn't see his father's hands in the air.

"Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that car. I would have called off the pursuit myself," Stafford said.

Two other officers at the scene — a third deputy city marshal and a Marksville police officer — didn't fire their weapons that night. Prosecutors said the officers weren't in any danger and shot at the car from a safe distance, with none of their bullets hitting the front or back of Few's vehicle.

Jurors heard testimony that Stafford fired 14 shots from his semi-automatic pistol. Stafford said Greenhouse stumbled and fell to the ground as he tried to back away from Few's car.

Stafford and Greenhouse are black. Few is white, and so was his son.

Defense attorneys accused investigators of rushing to judgment, arresting the officers less than a week after the shooting. One of Stafford's attorneys has questioned whether investigators would have acted more deliberately if the officers had been white.

Stafford's attorneys tried to pin the blame for the deadly confrontation on Few. They accused the 26-year-old father of leading the four officers on a dangerous, high-speed chase and ramming into Greenhouse's vehicle before the gunfire erupted.

During the trial's opening statements, defense attorney Jonathan Goins called Few "the author of that child's fate." Goins also said Few had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting.

But prosecutors said none of the father's actions that night can justify the deadly response. Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell, whose body camera captured the shooting, testified that he didn't fire at the car because he didn't fear for his life.

Few testified on Tuesday that he never heard any warnings before two officers fired. He said he learned of his son's death when he regained consciousness at a hospital six days after the shooting, on the day of Jeremy's funeral.

A prosecutor, Matthew Derbes, asked Few if he regrets not stopping his car when he saw the blue lights from an officer's vehicle.

"Most definitely," Few said. "Every day."

But he insisted he was driving safely and wasn't trying to escape. Few said he kept driving in hopes of catching up with a girlfriend in a van ahead of him, so that she could take care of his son if he got arrested.

"The whole reason there was even a chase was for his well-being," he said.

Stafford, a Marksville police lieutenant, and Greenhouse, a former Marksville police officer, were moonlighting on the night of the shooting.

Before the shooting, Stafford and Greenhouse both had been sued over claims they had used excessive force or neglected their duties as police officers. The Marksville Police Department suspended Stafford after his indictment on rape charges in 2011, but reinstated him after prosecutors dismissed the charges.

Quick-thinking officer pulls deputy from path of oncoming car
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:07:27 GMT

By Bill Lindelof The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Quick thinking by a police officer early Thursday prevented a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputy from suffering more serious injury when a car plowed into police cruiser causing a chain-reaction crash involving three patrol vehicles parked along Franklin Boulevard.

The alert officer noticed an oncoming vehicle in the pre-dawn hours and pulled the deputy to the side, preventing the crashing car from causing him further harm.

The incident began after a sheriff’s deputy had pulled over a suspected stolen auto about 1:15 a.m. The driver of the suspected stolen car was cited and released.

Later, about 2 a.m., the deputy’s patrol vehicle and two Sacramento police vehicles were parked along Franklin Boulevard near Mack Road. The owner of the vehicle had arrived on the scene and was sitting in one of the police cars, which was parked in a row in front of another police car and the deputy’s squad car.

The deputy was outside the vehicle on the passenger side of a police patrol car and was speaking to the rightful car owner, who was seated in the back seat. Next to him was a Sacramento police officer.

When the officer looked up, she saw a vehicle barreling toward the police car northbound on Franklin Boulevard. It was then that she took action.

“Our officer did not believe the car was going to stop,” said Officer Linda Matthew, Sacramento police spokesman. “So she grabbed the sheriff’s deputy to alert him and pull him out of the way. He was still hit, perhaps by the door of the car, but his injuries could have been a lot worse because he was leaning into the car.”

The oncoming car hit the first police car hard, pushing it into the other police car, which then crashed into the deputy’s vehicle.

“It was a domino effect,” Matthew said.

Five ambulances arrived on the scene to transfer six people to the hospital. The deputy was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

The registered owner of the stolen car, the driver of the car that crashed and her front-seat passenger all complained of pain. Two small boys in the back seat of the oncoming car, ages 3 and 5, were taken as a precaution to the hospital.


©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

6 people, including two kids and a deputy, were hospitalized after a car crashed into officers investigating a stolen veh in S. Sacramento pic.twitter.com/rfZN8hSD0P

— Brian Hickey (@kcraBrianHickey) March 23, 2017

Study: Chicago stop-and-frisk numbers drop, more work needed
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:59:42 GMT

By Don Babwin and Sophia Tareen Associated Press

CHICAGO — A study of the Chicago Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures released Friday revealed a dramatic decrease in the number of stops since an American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois lawsuit, but found that officers were still targeting racial minorities.

The report by former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, the first one issued under an agreement the city reached with the ACLU in 2015, was not surprising to ACLU officials. The organization expected the decrease because of changes in the law and a deal the organization reached with the department that requires officers to fill out more detailed reports of stops than they once did.

According to the report, the number of investigatory stops fell from more than 1.3 million in 2014 and 2015 to just over 54,000 in the first six months of 2016.

"We needed something to change, those numbers just could not continue," said Karen Sheley, director of Police Practices Project at the ACLU of Illinois. She said the rate of stops in Chicago on a per capita basis was more than four times than it was in New York. The number of stops has dropped dramatically in New York as well.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department would "carefully review the recommendations" and work on implementing reforms while "protecting civil rights of the public." And Chicago's city attorney, Edward Siskel, said the report documents the city's "dedication to fully adopting the new policies and procedures."

But Sheley said more work needs to be done, pointing out that while the number of stops has dropped, blacks still make up more than 70 percent of those who are stopped even though they account for about a third of Chicago's population.

During the presidential campaign last fall, then-nominee Donald Trump endorsed the stop-and-frisk policing method for Chicago when calling the city out for its high number of homicides and shootings. But a federal judge earlier ruled that New York City's practice was unconstitutional because of its overwhelming impact on minority residents.

The new report comes as Chicago police are trying to regain public trust in the wake of a video that shows a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. An ensuing Justice Department report this year found the Police Department had a long history of civil rights violations and excessive force.

The report also included a statistic that might surprise those who criticized the department, both on and off the force, when the 2015 agreement with the ACLU was reached. At the time, critics wondered if reducing the number of stops might decrease the number of illegal guns taken off the street. But the report found that of the 18,364 stops involving a pat-down search, frequently called stop-and-frisk, 465 weapons were recovered — a fraction of the thousands of guns the department takes off the street every year.

"They don't get a lot of guns from those stops anyway," Sheley said.

Vehicle attacks: easy success for IS, challenge for police
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:55:18 GMT

By Dominique Soguel Associated Press

BASEL, Switzerland — In the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group became infamous for its spectacular variations on explosive vehicles. For attacks in the West, it has advocated the use of the same tool but suggested a simpler method, encouraging its followers to use regular vehicles to achieve bloodshed.

Experts say that vehicle attacks — whether IS-inspired or coordinated — present a unique challenge for law enforcement officials as they are nearly impossible to predict and easy to pull off. They require no advanced training, no specialized materials. Almost anyone can own or rent a vehicle.

Some feel that these low-tech, lone wolf operations can have the same psychological impact as larger, more sensational attacks. Four people were killed in London on Wednesday with this tactic in what was the worst attack on British soil since the transport network bombings on July 7, 2005.

Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, says what makes such attacks so frightening is the relatively low barriers to entry. The method was embraced by al-Qaida before being revitalized by IS.

"It makes for a very effective unsophisticated high impact, very frightening form of an operation," he said. "You don't need to know someone who can make you a bomb or buy you a gun in order to carry out an attack. It's a very difficult thing to fight against. There is no quick fix."

British authorities on Thursday identified Khalid Masood as the man who mowed down pedestrians with an SUV and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament. The British national wasn't on a terrorism watch list although he was once investigated for extremism. IS claimed the attack.

Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence group, says it is almost impossible for law enforcement agencies to stop IS-inspired attacks, especially vehicular-style ones like the one in London. Since 2014, this simple but effective method has been laid out repeatedly and in detail in IS propaganda material which continues to circulate online.

"It's not a style of attack that you can monitor by increasing security and intel on who has weapons or other attention-grabbing variables," Katz told The Associated Press. "Every car suddenly turns into a possible weapon, so it's really very difficult to stop."

Vehicle attacks, like knife attacks, are aggressively promoted by IS and its online supporters. In its November issue of its online magazine Rumiyah, IS extolled the virtues of the car as a weapon of attack and offered guidance to its followers, suggesting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as a possible target.

"Vehicles are like knives, as they are extremely easy to acquire," points out the online magazine issue. "But unlike knives, which if found in one's possession can be a cause for suspicion, vehicles arouse absolutely no doubts due to their widespread use throughout the world. "

Two weeks later, an Ohio State University student rammed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus and then got out and started stabbing people with a butcher knife before being gunned down by a police officer. IS claimed the attack, which left 11 people wounded.

The devastating potential of such violence was dramatically illustrated last summer in the French beach town of Nice when a cargo truck took to the crowds celebrating Bastille Day in an attack that left 86 people dead and hundreds of others wounded. A truck was also used in last year's Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 people, including the driver of the truck that was commandeered.

In the London attack on Wednesday, the weapon of choice was an SUV. Katz sees the similarities between these attacks as evidence that IS propaganda is taking hold and that more needs to be done to counter it. Winter says that the impact of propaganda is overplayed and a copycat effect is also a factor.

Omar Ashour says these attacks are gaining traction precisely because authorities have their defenses up. The IS leadership began urging attacks on the West after the U.S-led coalition launched airstrikes on the group. The message then evolved to spell out the best ways to use a knife or inflict the most damage possible with a car.

IS may provide "very detailed tactical information that helps the attackers to create more damage but there is a ceiling to that. They could not do as much damage as firearms or bombs would do. The capacity to execute largish, more complex operations is extremely limited," says Ashour, a lecturer in security studies at the University of Exeter.

Anne Giudicelli, director of the security risk consultancy firm Terrorisc, says that such attacks are becoming a signature approach for IS in Europe. While not much more can be done to boost security on the ground, more can be done to fight the spread of IS ideology online, and cooperation between European countries confronting this threat can be tightened.

"At the level of strict security, the maximum is done," she told the AP. "The authorities are confronted to the fact that all the outward signs, what we call indicators, the criteria for surveillance, are today very volatile because individuals adapt, they know what will get them detected."

Miss. governor signs bill doubling penalties for anti-police crimes
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:52:25 GMT

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — People who commit crimes in Mississippi against law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency workers will face doubled penalties starting July 1.

Gov. Phil Bryant on Friday signed House Bill 645 , the "Back the Badge Act," meant as a response to killings of police officers last year in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Mississippi is the third state, after Louisiana and Kentucky, to enact such a "Blue Lives Matter" law.

A former deputy sheriff, Bryant said Mississippi needed to do more to protect first responders, citing the death of two Sumrall volunteer firefighters earlier this month. They were killed directing traffic in a hit-and-run by a driver whom authorities say was drunk.

"As a former law enforcement officer, I all too well understand the challenges that occur every day, when you put that badge on and you go to work," said Bryant, a Republican.

The governor said he believes the law will deter people from attacking officers.

The law expands Mississippi's existing hate crimes law, which enhances penalties for crimes committed because of a victim's race, religion, national origin or gender. The measure says it shouldn't be interpreted to limit free speech — addressing concerns about people being punished for protesting police behavior.

During earlier debates, some lawmakers warned they feared that police would use the heavy penalties as a shield to abuse black men. Others said supporters were trying to turn the national conversation away from police violence against African-Americans.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Clinton Republican, praised first responders for "keeping evil at bay," while Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said it was an expression of gratitude.

"In the great state of Mississippi, we not only respect those men and women who put on the badge every day and go and protect us, we celebrate your efforts, we thank you for your efforts," said Reeves, also a Republican.

Bryant also signed House Bill 1367 , which bars people from intimidating witnesses, lying under oath about their knowledge of a crime, or encouraging witnesses to lie about a crime.

NH leads effort to view overdoses as crime scenes
Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:43:39 GMT
Double amputee Marine vet becomes NY cop
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:39:31 GMT

By PoliceOne Staff

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — A double amputee Marine veteran fulfilled a childhood dream Friday when he was sworn in as a police officer.

Matias Ferreira, 28, is believed to be the first full active duty double amputee officer in the United States. He and 59 other recruits were sworn at the Suffolk County Police Department graduation, the department wrote on Facebook.

Ferreira was in Afghanistan on a tour with the U.S. Marines in 2011 when he stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs below the knees. He also suffered a broken femur and pelvis.

Ferreira told Newsday that he didn’t let the titanium prosthetics hinder him from becoming an officer. He knew he just had to work harder.

“I was given a second chance,” he said. “Not many people survive an IED blast like I did. I don’t want to be one of the guys who just kind of gives up on themselves.”

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Posted by Suffolk County Police Department on Friday, March 24, 2017

Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said Ferreira, who was elected president of his recruit class, is the “quintessential example” of what they look for in their officers.

“This is someone who served our nation, paid a significant sacrifice, and is now able to overcome adversity in a tremendous way,” Sini told Newsday. “He’s done a terrific job as a recruit in the academy, both physically, academically and in his leadership to the other recruits, and he’s going to make a fine officer.”

During the 29 weeks of training, Ferreira completed everything his fellow recruits did. He completed his mile and a half within 11 minutes and received no special accommodations, even when police leaders asked if he needed them.

Lt. Steven Rohde said Ferreira’s answer was the same every time: “I don’t need anything, sir.”

“A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’” Ferreira said. “‘I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one. If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.’”

He is scheduled to begin his patrol duties next week. According to the department, 43 recruits, including Ferreira have military experience.

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Posted by Suffolk County Police Department on Thursday, March 23, 2017

Policing Matters Podcast: How Trump's DOJ will differ from Obama's
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:11:52 GMT
Author: Jim Dudley and Doug Wyllie


Download this week's episode on iTunes, SoundCloud or via RSS feed

Elections have consequences, and President Donald Trump's pick to serve as Attorney General and lead the Department of Justice may be one of the biggest consequences for American law enforcement. Put simply, Jeff Sessions represents “a new sheriff” at DOJ. It’s likely that Sessions will take resources that under Loretta Lynch — and Eric Holder before her — had been put toward initiatives related to things like same-sex marriage and gender identity, and reallocate those resources toward efforts on national security, terrorism, organized crime, and international gangs. Jim and Doug discuss other ways in which the DOJ will differ in the next four years from the DOJ of the previous administration.