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Man Arrested After Disturbing Video Shows Elderly Man Being Punched in the Head in Nursing Home

Detroit police have arrested a man after a disturbing video circulated on social media appearing to show the man “punching elderly victims” as they lied helplessly in bed, the Detroit News reports.

The incident allegedly occurred at the Westwood Nursing Center on the city’s northwest side and is being investigated, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

“The nursing home was unaware of the assault until they saw the video,” Craig said during a press conference Thursday. “We are still investigating that aspect of the case, but we do have a suspect in custody.”

Police did not name the suspect or provide further details.

One video that appeared online shows an elderly man being repeatedly punched in the head by a black man at what appears to be a nursing home.

“This b-tch-ass n-gger,” he tells the bleeding senior after the sustained assault. “Get the f-ck off my bed, n-gger.”

Update:

According to WXYZ Detroit, the perpetrator is a 20 year old man who was also being treated at the nursing home for “recovery and rehabilitation.”

He allegedly took the video of the assault himself on the 75 year old man with his cell phone, and also filmed himself assaulting an elderly woman confined to her bed. People who saw the videos online tipped off the police and they were quickly able to track him down.

The Westwood Nursing Home said in a statement that the video is shocking and that they are cooperating with the police.

News

Obama-Era Whistleblower Philip Haney’s Death Likely Murder, Lawmakers Say

Obama-era whistleblower Philip Haney was found dead with a gunshot wound last month in Amador County, California and while an investigation into the cause and manner of his death is ongoing, two Republican lawmakers who knew him have indicated that he was, in fact, murdered.

Haney, one of the founding members of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), exposed the Obama Administration’s dangerously P.C. national security policies in 2015 and 2016, and was reportedly in recent “contact with top officials about returning to work for the DHS.”

The whistleblower was said to have kept a thumb drive around his neck containing sensitive government data about Islamic extremists and national security, but the whereabouts of that thumb drive are unknown.

An initial statement put out by the Office of the Sheriff-Coroner of Amador County incorrectly stated that Haney’s death was due to a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” but a subsequent statement corrected that “misinformation.”

Currently we have scheduled a forensic autopsy to be performed by forensic pathologists from the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office. Additionally we have reached out to our law enforcement partners in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist in analyzing documents, phone records and a lap top that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney’s RV. We are currently in possession of his vehicle, the firearm located at the scene, and his RV and we will be requesting evidence processing assistance from the FBI on those items as well.

Our investigators conducted a neighborhood canvas and interviewed his RV park neighbors on the day of the incident along with checking key areas for any video surveillance that may exist from that time. The investigators are continuing to follow-up with the overwhelming number of persons who are calling our office from throughout the United States asking for detailed information on our investigation.

Haney’s body was “located in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124. Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento.” The DHS whistleblower lived in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento, less than three miles away.

Over two weeks ago on the House floor, Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) delivered shocking, but under-the-radar remarks about Haney’s demise, both strongly suggesting that he was murdered.

“I’m standing on the floor here saying, Madame Speaker, I don’t believe that Phil Haney committed suicide,” King said. “I expect that we’re going to get a thorough investigation. The evidence that is coming to me indicates that he was murdered.”

King said that even when he first met Haney many years ago, he was concerned that “he would be a target of people.”

“Phil often said, ‘I would never commit suicide,'” King explained, adding that he was a good friend of Haney’s.

Gohmert, who was also friends with Haney, said that the two had a “mutual pact”: “[If] either one of us ended up having committed suicide, then the other is going to make sure that the truth wins out.”

Gohmert also noted that he’d been concerned about Haney’s safety, “with all the information he knew and people who could’ve gotten in trouble.”

In a bombshell piece in the Hill on May 5, 2016, Haney revealed that the Department of Homeland Security had ordered him “to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS).”

A month later, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was forced to destroy documents about people tied to Islamic terrorism. Haney further detailed the Obama administration’s Islam-friendly policies in his book: See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.

“And see, that’s what a real whistleblower—he testified before the Senate—that’s what a real whistleblower does,” Gohmert said on the House floor. “A real whistleblower does not remain anonymous. They come forward, subject themselves to cross-examination, and supposedly have protection. But that’s not happened in the Obama administration.”

The Texas Republican pointed out that the Obama administration prosecuted more people for leaking than any other administration.

Both King and Gohmert claimed that Haney always kept a thumb-drive around his neck containing a cache of highly sensitive data related to allegations that the government could have prevented domestic terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists.

“He had a thumb drive with a lot of data on it … hanging on a lanyard around his neck,” King said. “He kept that with him and I understood that that information was also deposited in a remote location or two or more, so there was a redundancy if anything happened to Phil Haney that information would be accessible to the people I imagine he trusted the most,” the Iowa Republican explained. “So that was his insurance policy that he wouldn’t be killed.”

Several of Haney’s friends spoke out in the media after his death was initially deemed a suicide.

Bill Becker, president and chief counsel of Freedom X posted on Facebook, “I’m in shock this morning to learn that my dear friend Phil Haney, former DHS whistleblower and author of “See Something, Say Nothing,” has died from gunshots in San Francisco. Phil, Trevor Loudon and I are the first recipients of American Freedom Alliance’s American Freedom Award. May he RIP.“

Becker told the California Globe that “Phil had firsthand evidence that Obama was secretly advancing Islamic hegemony in the U.S. He sacrificed his career to expose it. He was a friend and a patriot.“

Kelly Walton, another friend, posted on Haney’s Facebook page, “Phil was a hero. No way this is suicide. While I was running the ACT chapter network, Phil tirelessly worked to get the truth out. Watch your back everyone.”

Former Marine Randy McDaniels told the California Globe, “There are a lot of conflicting reports. I knew Phil well enough to say for certain…he would in no way commit suicide.”

American Greatness reached out to the Amador County Sheriff’s Office for an update on the Haney investigation but did not receive an immediate reply.

UPDATE:

A spokesman from the Office of the Sheriff-Coroner of Amador County got back to American Greatness but had no new information to offer on the case.

“This case is still under investigation and no release of information is being made at this time,” Undersheriff Gary Redman said in an email.

 

News • Uncategorized

DHS Whistleblower Philip Haney Found Dead with Gunshot Wound

An Obama-era whistleblower was found dead Friday morning in Northern California, after suffering a single gunshot wound.

Philip Haney, one of the founding members of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), exposed the Obama Administration’s dangerously P.C. national security policies in 2015 and 2016. His body was found next to a vehicle near Drytown, California.

An investigation is reportedly underway to determine whether his death was a homicide or a suicide.

According to Law Enforcement Today, Haney’s friends said that they spoke with Haney earlier this week and he’d “never been happier.”

Close friends of Haney told the police news site that his wife lost her battle with cancer in 2019 and he was engaged to be married later this year.

Haney rose to national prominence in late December 2015 when he made a series of accusations about the Obama Administration’s reckless, soft-on terrorism policies.

The whistleblower claimed that he could have prevented the December 2, 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino if the government had not shut down a surveillance program he had developed three years earlier.

Haney had worked in the Intelligence Review Unit (IRU), where his job was to investigate individuals with potential links to terrorism. He was looking into global terror networks that were infiltrating radical Islamists into the United States and was making progress to that end, when he said the State Department came in and pulled the plug.

Haney said internal memos showed that his investigation was shut down because he was allegedly engaging in “profiling” of radical Islamist groups.

“The Obama Administration is more concerned with the rights of noncitizens in known Islamist groups, than with the safety and security of the American people,” Haney said in 2015.

The whistleblower went on to reveal two months later in The Hill, that he was ordered to actually scrub records of Muslims with terrorism ties.

Incredibly, then-president Obama threw DHS officials under the bus after the San Bernardino attack, faulting them for failing to “connect the dots.”

Haney wrote: “This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”

In June 2016, Haney testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing titled, “Willful Blindness: Consequences of Agency Efforts To Deemphasize Radical Islam in Combating Terrorism.”

In his 2016 book, See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, Haney expounded more on how critical law enforcement records were intentionally destroyed during the Obama years.

“The national campaign by the DHS to raise public awareness of terrorism and terrorism-related crime known as If You See Something, Say Something effectively has become If You See Something, Say Nothing,” he wrote.

In January 2017, Haney offered to help President Trump “drain the swamp.”

“I know where the valves are and people like me do,” the Haney told the Daily Caller‘s Ginni Thomas.

The former DHS official said that Trump’s national security team would have to “‘put our hazmat suits on,’ and wade into that toxic muck to dig all the pieces of evidence out of the bottom of the pond.”

Haney also predicted that “the forensics of draining the swamp will yield evidence of decisions and policies made in senior people in the DHS, FBI, CIA, the White House in the last eight years and more.”

In October  2019, Haney warned in an interview with American Truth Project that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamic advocacy group believed to be a front group for Hamas, had saturated three major arenas in the country: the social arena, the political arena, and law enforcement arena.

CAIR has, I use the word saturation, saturated into the three major arenas of our country, and that would be the social arena, in particular, the catalyst in that area is immigration reform. And they’ve attacked and have gone after immigration reform, calling it the Muslim ban. So in that area, they’re very visible. The second one is the political arena, and they’re very active in promoting pro-Islamic causes in whatever arena you want to discuss up to and including the State Department. And the third arena is law enforcement, and they constantly file lawsuits and send threatening letters to local law enforcement, sheriffs, and police that want to have training about the threat and coerce and intimidate them into shutting the programs down. So every one of the major three arenas in our society CAIR is there exerting an inordinate amount of influence on the affairs of our country. And it’s unfortunate because they should have been shut down more than ten years ago.

Just last month, he warned in another interview of a growing jihadist threat in Germany.

“[Islamists] are penetrating right into the heart of Germany, [which] means they are already spread out all over the country,” he said.

Haney’s friends stressed to Law Enforcement Today that there was “absolutely no way he would have taken his own life” and pointed out that he had made many enemies when he blew the whistle on the Obama administration.

American Greatness will provide an update when additional details emerge about Haney’s death.

Update: Amador County Sheriff Martin A. Ryan put out a media release on Twitter late Saturday afternoon stating that Haney had “suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound,” and that the firearm was located next to the vehicle. He later deleted the tweet.

Correction:

An earlier version of this report indicated that Haney died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

While initial reports indicated that Haney had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, no evidence has yet been produced to verify that.

News

Plymouth Rock, Other Pilgrim Monuments Vandalized

Plymouth Rock, the famous landmark where the pilgrims first set foot on American soil in 1620, was vandalized Sunday night, alongside other iconic monuments to the pilgrims, as CNN reports.

On Monday morning, it was discovered that many monuments had been defaced by the same red graffiti, including the iconic Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrim Maiden statue, and the National Monument to the Forefathers.

Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi condemned the vandalism on Twitter, saying that “we are saddened and sickened” by the actions, and that they would “begin clean up as soon as possible,” adding that “the police are investigating.”

Additional landmarks that were vandalized include four new pieces of art in the shape of scallop shells, depicting various images of the pilgrims’ landing. These sculptures were commissioned in preparation for the upcoming celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims first landing in America, an iconic moment in American history that symbolizes the bravery of the explorers, and the earliest beginnings of the founding of America.

The shells have already been cleaned, and the Plymouth Department of Public Works, which is responsible for the cleanup operations, has requested that anyone with information on the culprits reach out to the police.

News

Repeat Offender Ecstatic Over Dems’ New Bail Reform Law in NY: ‘You Can’t Touch Me!’

After being released from prison for the sixth time since the beginning of the year, a New York City thief proudly praised the new law that made it all possible.

“Bail reform, it’s lit!” Charles Barry yelled to reporters last Thursday outside the NYPD Transit District 1 headquarters. Barry knew which party to thank for his good fortune, too. “It’s the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me. You can’t touch me! I can’t be stopped!” he cried.

“I’m famous! I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cracker! You can’t stop me!” he shouted to reporters. “It’s a great thing. It’s a beautiful thing. They punk’ed people out for bull***t crimes.”

Barry, 56, has allegedly stolen hundreds of dollars from unsuspecting subway commuters since the Democrats’ outrageous “Bail Elimination Act” went into effect on January 1. The new law prohibits criminal courts in the state from setting bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, meaning petty criminals like Barry get promptly released from jail after each arrest.

According to Fox News, the lifelong criminal has served several stints in state prison. His record includes “six felonies, 87 misdemeanors and 21 missed court hearings,” according to court records.

After his most recent arrest Thursday, Barry was held in custody for about 36 hours until his Saturday morning arraignment hearing in his Manhattan Criminal Court. He was then released before trial without paying bail. He had two warrants out for his arrest for missing court dates related to past alleged subway theft, including one instance in January when he allegedly snatched a $50 bill out of a woman’s hand while she was trying to buy a Metro card at a Bryant Park station machine.

Officers arrested him Thursday after he was spotted jumping a subway turnstile in Penn Station. Barry, a career criminal, has repeatedly duped subway-goers by dressing as MTA officials and robbing people after offering to help them buy their tickets, police said.

Thousands of criminals in New York have been returned to the streets since the bail reform law went into effect.

A high-ranking official in the New York City Police Department told the New York Daily News that the law is dangerous because it allows offenders like Barry back out on the streets to possibly escalate their crimes against the public.  begins as a nonviolent crime often turns violent if a robbery goes awry, he added.

“At least before, he’d be remanded and be behind bars for a couple of days. He wouldn’t be able to victimize people,” said Assistant Chief Gerald Dieckmann, the No. 2 officer in the NYPD’s Transit Bureau. “When someone doesn’t pay them or give them the money, it’ll turn into a robbery, a slashing an assault.”

The Legal Aid Society, which represents Barry, argued the NYPD is cherry-picking a few cases “to spread fear” over the new law.

“Mr. Barry’s case underscores the need for economic stability and meaningful social services, not a need to roll back bail reform,” the society said in a statement. “Locking up Mr. Barry on unaffordable bail or worse, remanding without bail, ultimately does nothing to protect the public and fails entirely to address his actual needs.”

But during an appearance on Fox and Friends last month, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin argued that the new law was already proving to be a dangerous disaster.

Zeldin, who represents much of Long Island, pointed out that the law was impacting the Trump administration’s effort to protect the public from the dangerous MS-13 gang.

“This focus from the President of the United States on down to the local law enforcement … they’ve had this great crackdown in the course of the last few years against MS-13. They all get released,” he said on January 18.

In one egregious case, a person with six felony conviction, six misdemeanor convictions and sic failures to appear, was released because of the law, and the prosecutor couldn’t even get the judge to agree to put an ankle monitor on him. That person went on the commit a fatal DWI hit and run, Zeldin said.

And in two high profile burglary cases in NYC, the culprits were allowed to go free under the new law, and of course went on to commit more burglaries, according to the congressman.

Zeldin said people in his district are furious.

“It’s not just happening once,” it’s happening multiple times,” the NY Republican explained. “Remember Hanukkah 2019? We had all these anti-Semitic assaults that took place around town,” he said.

Zeldin cited the notorious case of Tiffany Harris, the 30-year-old black woman who allegedly assaulted three Orthodox Jewish women in separate incidents over a span of ten minutes in Crown Heights on Dec. 27.  At one, she point screamed “F–k you Jews” after smacking one of the victims in the back of the head, according to prosecutors. She was released on Jan. 1 without bail in that case.

Within a few days,  the New York Daily News reported, Harris was right back at it.

Three days later, she was arrested again for another assault on a woman in Prospect Heights that also did not qualify for bail.

After a third arrest for missing a date with social workers, a judge committed Harris to a hospital for mental health evaluation. Harris has remained hospitalized since then, missing a court date on Jan. 22.

“Tiffany Harris was someone who was released and then went out and committed another violent, anti-Semitic attack. Released again. And then arrested again,” Zeldin said.

He noted that Mayor De Blasio had to finally step in because her repeated attacks on Jews were bad PR for the law.

Harris was finally hit with federal hate crime charges on January 28, which angered her lawyers.

“I am appalled that Tiffany Harris is being used as a scapegoat for the fear-mongering surrounding bail reform. Ms. Harris is quietly in the hospital getting the treatment she needs,” said Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, in a statement to the Daily News.

“She is not endangering anyone. Many members of the Jewish community have spoken out against the use of incarceration in her case, including one of the victims. I don’t know how this can be seen as necessary or even humane,” Schreibersdorf added.

 

 

News

Historic Cathedral in San Jose Vandalized With Satanic Messages

A historic Catholic Church in San Jose, California was vandalized with satanic and antisemitic graffiti early Sunday morning, leading a City  Councilmember to blame the crime on “the national rhetoric that’s going on throughout our entire country.”

The disturbing images were spray-painted onto the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph’s outside walls, including the messages “Hail Satan Forever, Truth Lies in You, and Jewbus Wuz Here, alongside drawings of a ghoulish smile below two windows and a pentagram.

“Jewbus” may refer to Jewish practitioners of Buddhism or vice versa. The graffiti has since been painted over.

“That’s absolutely uncalled for, and not the kind of spirit we want to have in our city,” a neighbor told NBC Bay Area.

City Councilmember Raul Peralez posted some of the photos on his Facebook page, writing, “it’s sad to see repeated acts of hate throughout our community. My mother serves as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Joseph’s Cathedral and this morning she sent me these discouraging photos that the congregation was greeted with.”

Peralez, who represents the downtown district that includes the cathedral, told the San Jose Spotlight that this was the first time he’d seen the church vandalized in more than 10 years. The Democrat took the opportunity to link the satanic attack on the cathedral to the current political climate.

“I think this is certainly rare for the church itself and we’ve certainly seen it happening, unfortunately, throughout our entire country,” added Peralez. “Is it a Satanic group? Is it some youth that maybe weren’t even affiliated with the church or anything to do with Satanism, they just wanted to vandalize? I don’t know. But I think, without a doubt, everybody has to be able to believe that the national rhetoric that’s going on throughout our entire country is not helping at all.”

Two weeks ago, a group of Silicon Valley lawmakers unveiled “proposals to address hate crimes on both city and county levels, including establishing a Hate Crimes Task Force.”

Peralez added that targeted attacks on an “individual, entity, organization, or religion” for a set of beliefs is alarming and provokes fear among the community. Whether it’s a vandalism attack on a religious organization or even living in fear of going out to a public place because of a potential mass shooting, Peralez said hate crimes are on the rise.

“These are hate crimes against people for just who they are. There’s nothing that is bringing it on besides somebody else’s hate,” said Peralez. “And so yes, I would say they’re absolutely scary. And the reality is that I think they are on the rise throughout our entire country.”

According to FBI statistics, hate crime incidents increased from 6,121 in 2016 to 7,175 in 2017. Many more hate crimes are reported, but turn out to be hoaxes upon investigation.

Religiously motivated hate crimes have decreased in the San Jose area, however.  “There was a significant drop in religiously motivated hate crimes in San Jose in the last year — from 13 in 2017 to 5 in 2018,” the Spotlight reported.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph has been “a religious flagship” in Santa Clara County for more than a hundred years and is listed as a historic landmark in California, as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Spotlight.

Church officials said that they were working with police, who are investigating the incident.

“The Diocese of San Jose is aware of the incident and is working with San Jose police to apprehend the culprits,” said spokesperson Liz Sullivan in a statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America • Black Lives Matter • Cities • Drugs • Government Reform • Identity Politics • race • self-government • The Culture

Crime, Race, and the Thin Blue Line

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Four decades ago, I worked in oil and gas exploration. I was laying a seismic survey line through a community outside of Dallas when an old man came out of his home to see what I was up to. Before long, he was telling me his problems.

He couldn’t own anything, he said, because boys in the neighborhood helped themselves to everything he had. He caught one in the act once, and the judge made the thief pay $40.

“Forty dollars! And he had stolen $400 of my stuff!” the man complained.

I agreed that the law was crazy, but said maybe it would get right again soon.

“I’ll tell you what they should do,” he said. “They should do like they did in the cowboy days, and that’s look for the nearest tree.”

Let me tell you some more about this man and the community he lived in. It wasn’t a scattering of fine brick houses such as you see today in rural areas all over the Southeastern states. Nor was the community a trailer park, though those are a common sight in the South. And the man wasn’t sitting in a wicker chair on the porch of one of those fine homes, sipping a mint julep, or enjoying his white privilege. Neither was the man some gap-toothed redneck with a KKK robe hanging from the clothesline.

Indeed, a trailer park would have been palatial next to this place. His community was just a collection of shacks and camper trailers separated by varmint-wire fences and dirt streets, tracks as rutted and uneven as you would expect unpaved and unimproved roads to be. And the man who wanted to look for the nearest tree—he was black.

Here was a black man in the South, old enough to have felt the weight of segregation, old enough perhaps even to have seen a Klan terrorist in action—and he wanted to lynch burglars! He wanted to do that because his life was being made miserable by the absence of law and order where he lived.

I have spent the past 40 years hoping for the law to get right again soon—to get right not by lynching burglars, but by hanging murderers. Hanging them with due process, but hanging them inexorably, as certainly as their victims lie cold in the ground, and as swiftly as the wheels of justice will allow.

I turned from surveying to journalism largely with a view toward that end. Writing for newspapers in Texas and Tennessee, I argued the case for law and order, and especially against the idea that there is something contemptible about people who are angry about crime.

Take that guy in the shantytown outside Dallas. Suppose we put on our Social Justice Warrior hats and write him off as a mean old man who cared more for his chickens and tools and transistor radios than he did for the lives of his young neighbors. What, then, can the SJWs say against my friend, Tracy Beard?

Tracy was a co-worker of mine in those days, a fellow surveyor who had been recruited under our company’s affirmative action program. I knew him well enough to know there was nothing mean about him.

On Aug. 18, 1979, The Dallas Morning News carried a front-page story about how a murderer invaded a Houston family’s home, killed four children and set fire to the house. The story was illustrated with a picture of one of the survivors, who watched as emergency workers removed his dead grandchildren from the ruins.

Coincidentally, the grandfather’s family name was also Beard, so I asked Tracy if he had any relatives in Houston. When he said no, I showed him the paper.

Tracy sat for several minutes, reading about the murderer’s evil deeds. Then he looked at me and said, “That guy should be stood against a wall and shot.”

Tracy was not alone in saying such things. When Bill Simpson (a black man who had drawn media attention when he was harassed by white racists in Vidor, Texas) was murdered by black street thugs in nearby Beaumont, the local neighborhood weekly asked people if there was any way to stop gang violence. Five replies appeared in the Sept. 8, 1993, Orange County News.

One respondent, a white man, said, “I wish there were, but I don’t know how.”

A white woman recommended “stronger family values and mandatory parenting classes in our schools.” Another white woman called for “stiffer penalties,” and a black woman requested “more cops.”

Toughest of all was a black man.

“Yes,” he said. “When they commit a serious crime, like the Simpson murder, put them in front of a firing squad and kill them. It works in other countries.”

The reporter was agog at this. Relating the experience to me at the Beaumont newspaper where we both worked, she said she asked the man again if that’s what he meant to say. She was another liberal getting mugged by reality.

So, the three strongest statements against crime I ever heard all came from black people. Where does that leave the progressives’ mantra, “‘Law and Order’ are code words for racism?” That mantra is belied not only by my personal experience but also by recent scholarship:

In his new book, Locking Up Our Own, Yale University Law School Professor James Forman, Jr. points out that in national surveys conducted over the past 40 years, African Americans have consistently described the criminal justice system as too lenient. Even in the 2000s, after a large and sustained drop in the crime rate and hundreds of thousands of African Americans being imprisoned, almost two-thirds of African Americans maintained that courts were “not harsh enough” with criminals.

Where does that leave today’s complaints about “mass incarceration?” Perhaps, like me, the people in those surveys would like to see the prison population reduced, not by setting murderers free to kill again, but by marching murderers to the gallows, whose stark example might restrain everyone’s homicidal impulses and make for less violence both in the communities where murder abounds and in the prisons where murderers are confined.

What of the police shootings that are such a flashpoint of crime today? That at least is a point upon which black people seem to be of two minds about law and order. They may want harsh punishment for gang-banging hoodlums, but they demand it also for trigger-happy cops and vigilantes.

In fact, the absence of capital punishment has aggravated the problem of such shootings. When Michael Brown slugged Officer Darren Wilson; when he tried to grab Wilson’s gun; when, in the face of Wilson’s drawn weapon and peremptory commands, he charged the officer headlong—he didn’t see the gallows looming behind his intended victim. The same goes for Trayvon Martin, pounding neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman’s head against the pavement. Neither one of these young men feared execution as the inevitable consequence of their reckless actions, and we’ve all suffered as a result.

And in cases such as the Philandro Castile shooting, where jumpy officers have pulled the trigger on people who turn out to have posed no threat at all—they all were painfully aware that the gallows aren’t there to back them up. Without its deterrent effect, and lacking a superhero’s skill and discernment in handling the life-and-death situations their job forces on them, the police will make tragic mistakes, rarely but inevitably. How much of the ensuing tumult could have been avoided if the death penalty were not a dead letter?

Proactive policing played a huge role in bringing crime down from the heights of the early 1990s, but it hasn’t solved the crime problem, and today’s anti-cop agitation shows that overreliance on the police to correct it creates its own difficulties. The Thin Blue Line can’t protect people from criminal violence all by itself. It’s high time the courts shouldered their responsibility to ensure that, where the shield of the law has failed to protect, the sword of justice is there to avenge.

 

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