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Two Campaign Workers for GOP Opponent of Minn. Rep. Ilhan Omar Shot, One Fatally, Amid Deadly Crime Wave

Two campaign staffers for the Republican congressional candidate running against Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar were shot in Minneapolis on Monday, one of them fatally.

A teenager and another individual who worked on Republican Lacy Johnson’s campaign were both shot outside of a gas station on Minneapolis’ north side. Andre Conley, a 17-year-old outreach coordinator for Johnson’s campaign, was killed in the attack. The other outreach coordinator was taken to the hospital in serious condition and is expected to survive.

Minneapolis has seen homicides spike 87 per cent in the wake of the George Floyd riots and the city council’s efforts to “dismantle the police.”

The staffers were not performing campaign duties at the time of the incident, the Johnson campaign said. According to police, one or more assailants opened fire on a group of people standing in front of the gas station and then fled on foot.

Police took a suspect into custody Thursday morning following a high-speed pursuit, the Daily Mail reported.

Just before 7am on Thursday, police attempted to pull over a suspect wanted in Conley’s killing, reported KARE11.

A police spokesperson said that the man fled, leading officers on a high-speed chase that led down Interstate 394 westbound to northbound Highway 169.

The suspect was eventually apprehended after crashing his car in Plymouth.

“It is shocking and unnecessary acts of violence like this that prove why change is needed now more than ever in our community,” Johnson said. “The shooting did not occur during a campaign or outreach and we do not believe it has any connection to their work for the campaign.”

Authorities say there is nothing to suggest the attack was motivated by politics.

The fatal shooting, however, comes just two months after the Minneapolis City Council voted to defund the police.

Now, council members are griping about the predictable surge of crime in the city.

During a business meeting on Tuesday, members of the Council questioned police Chief Medaria Arradondo about the increase in crime, including daylight car jackings, robberies, assaults, shootings and street racing.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police'” Council Member Jamal Osman complained, adding that calls to the Minneapolis Police Department from constituents have gone unanswered.

Crime data from the Minneapolis Police Department shows homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, theft from motor vehicles and arson were all up in the city so far in 2020, when compared with 2019 up until September 15.

Violent crime, including domestic aggravated assault, was up almost 15 per cent in the first nine months of the year, while property crime was up almost eight per cent in the same time period.

Of all the crimes that have increased, homicide saw the largest spike of 87 per cent, rising from 30 in 2019 to 56 in 2020, while incidents of arson have increased by 82 per cent over the total at this point in 2019.

Robbery rose from 931 to 1,275 (37 percent) while incidents of aggravated assault increased from 1,750 in 2019 to 2,100 this year (20 percent). Meanwhile, rape fell by 22 percent, and domestic aggravated assault fell by 8.4 percent.

In terms of property crimes, burglary rose from 2,223 to 2,785 (25 percent), thefts from motor vehicles rose from 3,127 to 3,937 (26 percent), and auto theft rose from 1,982 to 2,766 (40 percent), while larceny fell by almost 10 percent.

President of the Council Lisa Bender reportedly accused the police of purposefully not enforcing the law or making arrests.

‘This is not new,’ Bender said. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”

Johnson on Thursday ripped the lawmakers for being such brazen hypocrites.

“The hypocrisy and failure that we’re seeing from this City Council is astounding and deeply troubling,”  Johnson said on Fox News.

The Republican pointed out that the council had been calling for the ‘dismantling or demilitarizing or the disarming of police’ all summer long.

‘Now they’re turning around and blaming these brave officers for a situation that they have created,’ Johnson declared.

 

The Minneapolis City Council in June approved an amendment to remove $1.1 million from the police department’s budget as part of its multi-step plan to dismantle the MPD. That money was to be allocated toward the health department in order to hire “violence interrupters.”

“No singular action is going to undo longstanding systemic oppression, racial oppression,” said council member Jeremiah Ellison.
“This is one action of many that we need to take on the road to a more equitable and just system that keeps people safe.”

Unfortunately, there were no “violence interrupters” near that North Minneapolis gas station to keep young Andre Conley safe.

 

News • Obama

NFL Player Charged for Using Coronavirus Relief Funds for Personal Use

Joshua Bellamy, a former wide receiver for the New York Jets, is facing charges of fraud using coronavirus relief funds for his own personal use, as reported by CNN.

The Justice Department announced the charges against the former NFL player on Friday, where he was charged in the Southern District of Florida. Among the charges were wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire- and bank-fraud.

According to the charges, Bellamy managed to get a loan of over $1.2 million for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, only to use over $100,000 of that money to buy things such as jewelry and clothing for himself. He is also alleged to have spent nearly $63,000 of that money at a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Seminole, Florida.

Even the acquisition of the loan was fraud, according to the DOJ, since one of Bellamy’s associates used “falsified documents” to obtain the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. After submitting an initial PPP application, the associate in question “worked with other co-conspirators, including Bellamy, on a scheme to submit numerous fraudulent PPP loan applications.”

In response to a request for comment, the Jets disavowed Bellamy and simply said “Josh is no longer with us.” Bellamy’s attorneys issued a statement defending him as “a good and decent man,” and hoped that “the public will give him the benefit of the doubt at this time,” while also mostly blaming the alleged crimes on the associate “taking advantage of” Bellamy.

 

News

Chicago: 8-Year-Old Girl Killed, 3 Others Injured After Shots Fired Into Vehicle

Fox News reports an eight-year-old girl was killed and two others were shot Monday evening after gunshots were fired into an SUV in Chicago’s South Side according to police.

The girl and three adults were sitting in a Subaru SUV at a stoplight when the shooter’s black Dodge Charger intentionally pulled up behind them and opened fire targeting someone inside, Chicago Police Chief of Operations Brian McDermott said at a news conference at the scene.

The child was taken to a local area hospital with a gunshot wound to the back, where she was pronounced dead around 6:30 p.m., police said. The two other gunshot victims were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. A 30-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man were both shot in the back, Fox 32 reported.

“I stand before you, saddened and angered that another child has lost their life in senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago,” said McDermott during a news conference on Monday night. “I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of the victim.”

The fourth person in the car — believed to be the girl’s mother — was also injured when the victim’s vehicle struck a car and crashed into a tree as they were escaping the gunfire, police said. He believed the occupants of the vehicle “were targeted.”

“I heard 17 gunshots from a block away, come over here to see a little kid laying on the floor,” said area resident David Johnson. “It’s a tragedy and horrible.”

Witnesses said people nearby tried to save the little girl’s life with CPR, police say the gunman made a U-turn and fled southbound on Union in a black, newer-model Dodge. At least one suspect was said to be wearing a black hoodie and black pants, the station reported.

The incident comes amid a violent Labor Day weekend in Chicago that had seen at least 44 people shot, six of them fatally before the deadly shooting on Monday,

More than 175 children ages 16 or younger have been shot in the city this year and at least 21 of them have died, according to data from the Chicago Tribune.

“Where do we go from here? We try to stop the shootings,” McDermott told reporters when asked about the violence. “Like I said before we’re all saddened and angered by this.”

He added that the Chicago Police Department has recovered more than 7,000 guns this year and that officers have been getting shot or fired upon “at a record pace.”

“We’re out there every single day doing our best to protect the citizens of the city and that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” McDermott continued.

News

7-Year-Old Shot Dead During Indiana Birthday Party

As violence continues to rise nationwide, a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot after gunfire erupted outside a birthday party in South Bend, Indiana, The Daily Caller reports.

Chrisyah Stephens was shot around 7:40 p.m. when multiple shots were fired from a vehicle driving by the home in South Bend. Chrisyah along with 60-70 people moved outdoors to celebrate the birthday of one of her relatives with ice cream and cake, SlyLavecchio Hines, Stephen’s uncle, told the South Bend Tribune.

“We were standing right here,” Hines told the Tribune while he pointed to the area where the shooting occurred. “I would say about 20 seconds after we came outside, we hear gunshots, ‘Pow, pow, pow.’”

“I ran and I was trying to grab her, to block her from the bullets,” Hines continued, according to the local news site. “But it was too late. As soon as I grabbed her, her body got heavy. I laid her down, I called her name, and then I seen the blood.”

Stephens was one of four shooting victims in South Bend last weekend and the city has already seen almost 100 people shot this year, according to a statement from the department’s police chief Scott Ruszkowski released on  Sunday.

The three other victims were reportedly shot in separate incidents, law enforcement told the Tribune.

“Just this weekend, we’ve already had 4 people shot. One being an innocent 7-year-old girl, playing at a birthday party. We’re almost at 100 people criminally shot this year,” Ruszkowski said in the statement. “As a community, we can no longer accept this senseless violence and we all have to do our part.”

“South Bend had the highest number of violent crime incidents in Indiana last year, and the city experienced a 78% uptick in violent actions from 2018 to 2019, according to last year’s FBI data. Of the three cities the FBI analyzed for violent crime, South Bend had the lowest population, statistics show,” according to a report by The Daily Caller.

Homicides have risen 24% nationally in the 50 largest U.S. cities and shooting incidents have soared precipitously, according to analysis of data by the Wall Street Journal in the beginning of August. A total of 3,612 have been killed in the places analyzed and incident rates for robberies have fallen, WSJ reported.

The shooting is part of a rise in gun violence, riots and unrest in cities across the country this summer, following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes May 25, video showed.

News

Portland Police Too Busy With Riot to Handle 911 Calls

More than 60 Portland 911 calls were left unanswered overnight as officers responded to a ‘violent’ riot where protesters threw ‘softball-sized’ rocks and glass bottles at officers outside of a local police building.

Police said protesters engaged in “violent, tumultuous conduct” after peaceful protests escalated with participants chanting “take it to the streets!? and “kill a cop, save a life,” according to authorities.

The dozens of unanswered calls for help included some for “theft, vandalism, suspicious activity, hazards, hit and run, burglary, violation of restraining order, alarms, stolen cars, harassment and many others,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement Sunday.

Instead of helping the innocent victims of crime, officers had to deal with hundreds of violent militants who trespassed the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses the Portland Police Bureau and other government agencies.  The violent rioters launched mortars at the police and cars late Saturday and officers had “rocks, frozen eggs, glass bottles, and frozen water bottles” thrown at them until the mob finally broke up around 2:30 a.m. after 11 arrests, according to the Police Bureau.

Two officers were injured in the riot by rocks thrown from the crowd. Both were hospitalized for further treatment. Police shared photos of the rocks thrown at officers, including one that weighed 9.5 pounds and was thrown by a person wearing a ‘press’ badge.

“Portland rioters have targeted local government buildings since anti-police protests began in late May. Throughout June and July, rioters repeatedly attacked the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse with fireworks and other explosives—at one point, rioters barricaded a group of federal officers inside the courthouse and launched fireworks toward the building. Earlier this month, rioters set fire to the Portland police union headquarters,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.

In June, the Portland City Council passed a budget to slash at least $15 million from the police bureau, cut 84 positions and divert $4.8 million in funding to the Portland Street Response, a program proposed as an alternative to policing that sends unarmed responders to some emergency calls.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said the council intends to create a safety plan where Portlanders “don’t have to worry about who shows up when you call 911.”

Saturday night marked the 80th consecutive night of protests in Portland, which began in late May following the death of George Floyd. Last week newly elected Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt decided not to prosecute people arrested for non-violent misdemeanors. Since the protests began, over 500 people have been arrested. So far, fewer than 50 are being prosecuted, according to The Associated Press.

News

Over 50 Shot, 7 Fatally, Since Thursday in New York City

Over 50 people were shot, seven fatally, between Thursday and Sunday night in New York City.

On Sunday night, ABC 7 reported the victims were the result of 50 separate shootings that occurred throughout the city since Thursday. AM NY reports 40 gun-related incidents since Friday night alone.

On Friday, there were 12 shootings, with 20 victims throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, law enforcement sources told The New York Post. One of the 20 victims, 28-year-old Deshawn Reid, died from his wounds. He was shot in front of his Flatbush apartment on Ocean Avenue Friday afternoon in broad daylight at 4 p.m.

According to ABC 7, two people were killed in shootings overnight. The first was a 30-year-old shot and killed in Harlem, and police are looking for the gunman who killed a 28-year-old NYC off-duty correction officer with his own department-issued service weapon Saturday morning as he was leaving a party in Queens.

The Post noted that Friday’s 12 shootings mean “there were at least 32 shootings this week before sunrise Saturday.

New York Police have placed the blame on de Blasio for the uptick in violence in the city, citing his move to slash $1billion from the NYPD’s budget, a new law that lets some defendants go free without posting bond and the release of thousands of prisoners and sex offenders from Rikers Island due to coronavirus concerns.

News

8-Year-Old Ohio Girl Shot Dead During Backyard Birthday Party

An 8-year-old Ohio girl was fatally shot late Friday night during a backyard teen birthday party in Akron, according to police and local reports.

The shooting came about 11:45 p.m. at a home on Roselle Avenue, between East Avenue and Manchester Road, police said. Police said a large group of teenagers gathered at the house and an unknown gunman fired gunshots into the house from outside, police said.

Around 11:45 p.m. little Mikayla Pickett was struck in the back when gunfire erupted in the Sherbondy Hill neighborhood of Akron, police said.

A large group of teenagers gathered at the house and an unknown gunman fired gunshots into the house from outside, according to the police report.

Willie Walker, 62, told the Akron Beacon-Journal that he was hosting a birthday bash for his 15-year-old grandson in his backyard when the shooting occurred.

“All hell broke out,” he said.

Three or four people showed up at the property and started firing at family members and friends who were at the celebration, said Walker, who was inside the house when the gunfire started.

He said he didn’t know the girl who died.

Police officers found shell casings at the scene. “I don’t know how many shells they took,” Walker said. “A lot of them.”

A neighbor, who declined to give her name, said a couple of windows were shot out at the home of her son, who lives next door to her.

“I heard I don’t know how many shots,” she said. She said when she felt safe enough to look outside, she expected, based on the gunfire, to see a lot of bodies on the ground.

She said there was another shooting in the neighborhood Wednesday or Thursday, when someone fired into another home on the street. She also found two shell casings in her driveway last week.

According to a report by the Akron Beacon Journal, Akron police track murders in the city, excluding killings such as unintentional homicides. This is the 31st murder that police are investigating in 2020.

Detectives have made no arrests and are still investigating.

News

ACLU Calls for Release of 50,000 Prisoners Nationwide to Combat ‘Systemic Racism’

The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is beginning a campaign to push for the release of tens of thousands of prisoners across the country, claiming that the prison system itself represents “systemic racism,” as reported by Fox News.

The campaign, which is referring to itself as the “Redemption Campaign,” seeks to lobby governors of various states to use the power of executive clemency in order to grant mass pardons of imprisoned criminals. The group claims, without any evidence, that criminals being sent to prison is representative of “decades of racist, punitive, and degrading incarceration.”

Among the kinds of prisoners that the campaign seeks to “liberate” are those who were “convicted of drug distribution offenses.” ACLU spokesman Anthony Romero claimed, again without evidence, that “across the country, people are rising up to demand change.” He baselessly described the prison system as “systemic racism that has defined so much of the American experience.” He also claimed that those who are currently imprisoned for committing crimes are “trapped,” and that they should be freed because they are “black and brown.”

The effort mirrors ongoing efforts by Democratic governors and mayors to release thousands of prisoners due to fears of the coronavirus spreading through prisons. It also parallels the rising far-left calls to defund or abolish police departments all across America, which also seeks to release prisoners and make it harder to send criminals to prison.

News

Minneapolis Police Department Tells Residents to Submit to Criminals

Minneapolis Police warned people to obey criminals for their own safety as violent crime increases amid BLM protests. Residents of the city were advised to, “be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet” if approached by robbers, and “Do not argue or fight with the criminal” 

The “robbery prevention tips” were circulated by the police department and publicized by local ABC affiliate KSTP-5.  The tips  on how to protect themselves were addressed to residents of the 3rd District, the area of the city in which George Floyd was killed. The letter provides advice on robbery prevention that residents should consider in the face of rising violence. The letter notes that “thefts and carjackings have increased in our constituency”, and indicates that personal valuables, such as cell phones and handbags, have been the most important. target of aggressors. The aggressors used threats of armed violence to achieve their goal. Some people were reportedly “dragged” and “assaulted”.

The tips were posted on social media:

The Democrat-dominated Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a resolution to abolish the police department — despite the opposition of local leaders in the black community.

The local Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that local black leaders had called the plan to abolish or defund the police “Egregious, grotesque, absurd, crazy, ridiculous.”

News

Michigan Couple Should Not Have Been Charged in Chipotle Parking Lot Incident, Attorney Says

A white woman and her husband are facing criminal charges after she was captured on video pulling a handgun on a black woman and her daughters during a heated confrontation outside of a Chipotle in Lake Orion, Michigan, last week. A viral video shows the pregnant woman brandishing the weapon after Takelia Hill and her teenage daughters verbally abused her for several minutes, tried to block her from getting into her car, and after Hill banged on the vehicle as the couple tried to leave.

Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were arrested after the July 1 incident and charged with felonious assault.

Mr. Wuestenberg was also reportedly armed during the altercation, but his gun is not seen in the video footage. The Wuestenbergs are both current Concealed Pistol License holders, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s office.

The couple were released on a $50,000 personal bond after turning over all of their firearms and promising not to engage in any additional “assaultive behavior.”  Additionally, Mr. Wuestenberg lost his job as the coordinator of Oakland University’s veterans support services.

The couple’s attorney, Dean Greenblatt, told American Greatness that his clients have also been subjected to threats since the altercation in the Chipotle parking lot.

Takelia Hill and her daughters were not charged.

Full video of the confrontation shows Mrs. Wuestenberg being loudly and angrily assailed by Hill, her 15-year-old daughter, Makayla Green, and Mckiyah Dezeray Green. Wuestenberg claims the group blocked her from getting into her car, which was in a handicapped parking spot due to her husband’s disability.

At the beginning of the video, Hill can be heard fuming that Wuestenberg bumped into her daughter and that she “needs to apologize.” Mrs. Wuestenberg has no recollection of bumping into Green, according to her attorney.

“This ignorant woman bumped into a 15-year-old!” one of the teens hollers. The teen repeatedly calls Wuestenberg “ignorant” throughout the video.

Besieged and blocked by the angry women, Mrs. Wuestenberg calmly says, “call the police.”

“You’re blocking me from getting into my car,” she adds.

“No we aren’t! You’re ignorant!” the teen with the phone cries in reply. After Mrs. Hill accuses Wuestenberg of “violating a 15-year-old,” the teen again cries “she’s ignorant!”

The video shows Hill continuing to hound the couple near the passenger door of the vehicle as Mr. Wuestenberg opens the door for his wife. After Mrs. Wuestenberg says something about calling the police, Hill hollers “do it bitch! I want you to call the police!”

“She’s very ignorant!” the teen with the phone hollers yet again.

“Dumb-ass bitch!” cries the mother.

Turning to Mr. Wuestenberg, Hill says, “yeah I said it and if you say anything about it I’ll beat your white ass too!”

Hill’s daughters joined their mother in verbally abusing the man.

Having had enough, Mr. Wuestenberg turned to them and said, “who the f—k do you think you guys are?!” prompting even louder shrieks from the Hill clan.

“Who do you and your wife think they are?!” one of the teens screams.

“You’re calling her names—she did nothing to you!” the frustrated man exclaims.

“You’re very racist and ignorant!” the teen behind the camera phone cries.

At this point, Mrs. Wuestenberg rolls down the window and tells the Hills that they “can’t just walk around calling white people racists.”

“This is not that type of world,” she says. “White people aren’t racists!”

“Why did you bump her? Why did you bump her? Why did you bump her? Mrs. Hill demands repeatedly.

While Hill continues to perseverate, Mrs. Wuestenberg says “No one’s racist! I care about you! I’m sorry if you’ve had an incident that has made you feel like that.”

“Why didn’t you say you were sorry?!” Hill demands.

“I’m sorry if you’ve had something like that happen,” Wuestenberg says, rolling up the window.

“Ignorant!” the girl with the phone seethes as Mrs. Hill makes her way toward the back of the car.

Hill got behind the vehicle as Mr. Wuestenberg was trying to pull out, and then started banging angrily on the couple’s car.

“I’ll beat your f–king ass!” she shrieks.

At this point, Mrs. Wuestenberg departs the vehicle brandishing a handgun.

“Get the f—k away from me!” she cries. “Get the f—k away!”

The teen continues to record as Mrs. Wuestenberg points the gun at the group and tells them to “get the f—k away.”

“Call the cops!” one of the teens cries.

According to Greenblatt, there were more people involved in the altercation than can be seen in the video.

“A number of people were approaching (the Wuestenberg vehicle) behind the mother and daughter with the camera phone,” he told WWJ News.

The attorney estimated that between five and eight people were part of the Hill group.

“All those people, combined with the mother that threatened (the Wuestenbergs), created a sense of fear,” he said. “Mrs. Wuestenberg feared for herself. She also feared for her husband.”

Hill accused Mr. Wuestenberg of trying to run her over, but Greenblatt says the evidence shows otherwise since the unhinged woman banged on the car repeatedly.

“Not once, to alert someone she was back there, but repeatedly,” Greenblatt said. “There are five separate handprints on the car.”

Greenblatt told WWJ News that Mrs. Wuestenberg took the action she did to defend her husband.

“She feared for his safety. She feared her own safety, which is quite clear from the video. If you watch the video, you can see Mrs. Wuestenberg is scared to death,” Greenblatt said. “After she drew her weapon, she was backing up and she was informing – in no uncertain terms – the people that had the camera phones to stop and back up … but they continued to approach her, even as Mrs. Wuestenberg was backing up.”

Moreover, Greenblatt told American Greatness Tuesday evening that he found out from the prosecution through discovery that both Hill and her daughter Mckiyah at one point “struck the window of the Wuestenberg’s minivan.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office put out a statement saying that “preliminary findings have shown this began over one of the parties bumping into the other while entering and exiting Chipotle.”

Greenblatt told American Greatness that Jillian Wuestenberg has no recollection of bumping into anyone.

“Jillian was carrying two large carryout bags in her left hand when exiting through a single operating door at the restaurant,” he explained in an email. “The teenager was to Jillian’s left. Jillian has no idea if one of the bags could have contacted the teen. Certainly, Jillian did not contact the teen.”

According to Greenblatt, Mrs. Wuestenberg  had picked up a “to-go” order at the Chipotle restaurant and was exiting while the teen was entering.

“There were two doors to the restaurant, but only one was operating at the time,” he explained. “The second door was locked, forcing all patrons to enter and exit through the single door.”

Greenblatt noted that the whole dust-up would have been avoided had Takelia Hill and her daughters followed basic rules of civility.

“Common courtesy requires those wishing to enter a building to yield to those exiting,” he said. “But common courtesy was the last thing on the minds of Makayla Green or Takelia Hill.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement that both sides said they felt “threatened” but the video shows only one side engaging in threatening behavior until Mrs. Wuestenberg finally snapped and exited the vehicle with the gun.

American Greatness contacted Bouchard to ask why Takelia Hill was not charged for banging on the Wuestenbergs’ car.

“After conducting the investigation, it was turned over to the Prosecutor’s Office who makes the decision on who gets charged,” the sheriff replied. Bouchard stressed that it was up to the prosecutor to decide on charges, not the Sheriff.

“Our investigation presented the interviews and evidence from both parties,” he told American Greatness in an email.

“At the time of the incident, there were many conflicting reports as to who the aggressor was, which is why no one was arrested at the scene, because we needed to gather more evidence, conduct interviews, etc.,” Bouchard said. “Once we completed the report and had as much evidence as had been given by bystanders and members of the public, it was turned over for review of both parties actions by the Prosecutor. At the time, they made the decision to issue charges only against the one party. Once a Prosecutor issues a warrant for any party, we are Constitutionally obligated to enforce the active warrant,” he explained, stressing again, “charging decisions are not made by the Sheriff.”

Greenblatt was not optimistic when asked if he thinks Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper would drop the charges against the couple.

“I do not expect this prosecutor to drop any charges now,” he replied. “I do not believe that the charges should have been brought in the first place.”

He added: “However, co-counsel Terry Johnson and I will provide both Eric and Jillian the best possible defense against the unwarranted charges that we are capable of providing.”

In addition to losing his job at Oakland University, Mr. Wuestenberg was kicked off of several veterans advisory boards, Greenblatt said in a statement regarding financial contributions in support of the couple.

Eric is a combat-wounded veteran that has given much of his physical health in service to our Country. The Wuestenbergs do not have much in the way of economic resources and now Eric has lost his sole source of income.

A legal defense fund that was established for the Wuestenbergs had raised almost $12,000 as of Monday evening.

News • Uncategorized

Woman With ‘Trauma Visible’ on Her Body Found Dead in Car Overnight in Minneapolis Riot Zone

A woman with “trauma visible on her body” was found dead in Minneapolis overnight in an area that was overrun with violent rioting.

A motorist reportedly flagged down Minneapolis police officers on patrol at 3:16 a.m. and told them they’d seen a car in the middle of the street in North Minneapolis. The battered woman, thought to be in her 30s, was found deceased in the back seat. Police say a suspicious death investigation has been initiated.

 

 

According to a Twitter account that monitors police and fire department activity in Hennepin County, there were reports of women being kidnapped Thursday night.

WCCO-TV said that the area became so dangerous last night, it could not send a crew to the scene to report on the riot “out of safety concerns.”

The woman’s death is the second fatality connected with the unrest following the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

On Wednesday night, a man was shot as looting broke out near the 3rd Precinct police headquarters, on the city’s south side. A Lake Street business owner has been arrested.

Floyd, a black man, died Monday night after being arrested by police. Cellphone video of the incident showed a white officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, until he lost consciousness. Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after.

The officer who was videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck for minutes before his death, was arrested on Thursday.

Floyd and Chauvin, it turns out, worked security at the same nightclub near Minneapolis’ Third Precinct for a year, according to the club’s owner. It’s unclear whether the two men knew each other.

The police brutality sparked protests that devolved into violent rioting, property destruction and looting in Minneapolis both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Thursday night, according to WCCO, St. Paul was also affected by the unrest.

The St. Paul Police Department said more than 170 businesses were looted or damaged Thursday, and dozens of fires were set. But there were no serious injuries reported in the city. Fires continued to burn in the city early Friday morning, with the largest one at Big Top Liquor near Snelling and University avenues, nearby Allianz Field.

Looters didn’t discriminate between white and black businesses.

A woman in a wheelchair was attacked outside of the Minneapolis Target as it was being looted.

At about 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, the lawless mob took over the police department’s 3rd Precinct building, with rioters setting fires both inside and outside of the building.

Police released a statement shortly after 10 p.m., saying in part, “in the interest of the safety of our personnel, the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated the 3rd Precinct of its staff. Protesters forcibly entered the building and have ignited several fires.”

More than 500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers arrived in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding suburbs late Thursday night to “protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate.”

Early Friday, as the soldiers, and Minnesota State Patrol cleared people out of the area around the 3rd Precinct, troopers arrested a black CNN correspondent, Omar Jimenez, and his crew as they reported on the unrest in city live on air.

CNN reported that Jimenez was released before 7 a.m. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz personally apologized to the network’s president, accepting full responsibility.

Protests and rioting also broke out in several other U.S. cities Thursday night, including Los Angeles, New York, Denver and Louisville.

 

 

News

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

 

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.