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The Letter the “Fish Wrapper” Refused to Publish

Below is a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which the newspaper or, as many old school Milwaukee police officers call it, the “fish wrapper,” refused to publish.  On October 28, after receiving no response from the Journal Sentinel Editorial staff, I e-mail David Haynes — the JS’s Editorial Editor — and requested that the below op-ed be published.  Mr. Haynes never replied to the e-mail.

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October 24, 2014

Dear Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor:

On the first floor of the City of Milwaukee’s Safety Academy, the names and photographs of over five dozen Milwaukee police officers grace a wall that literally showcases their service. This distinguished honor, however, is one that every Milwaukee police officer seeks to avoid, as the faces on this wall are of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

During my three-decades with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), I have spent a great deal of time — as a homicide detective and as a lieutenant — retracing the final moments of those who no longer walk among us. Certainly, some of these tragic deaths could have been avoided. One particular case that comes to mind is the March 19, 1985, coldblooded murders of Rosario Collura and Leonard Lesnieski — two Milwaukee police officers gunned down on the near north side. On that fateful day, the officers approached Terrance Davis, who they suspected on selling drugs from the porch of a home.  When one of the officers asked if he had anything in his pockets, Davis replied, “Yeah, I’ll show you,” at which time he removed a handgun from a pocket and shot both officers to death. What we will never know is why the officers, instead of asking, did not conduct a pat down of Davis.

Seventeen-years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers could conduct a frisk of an individual’s outer most garment if an officer — based on the totality of the circumstances— reasonably believed that a person may be armed. Pat downs have undoubtedly saved the lives of numerous police officers. From experience, few things are as hair-raising as conducting frisk and detecting a concealed weapon on a person.  Yet, 29-years after the deaths of Officers Collura and Lesnieski, the importance of officer safety is being marginalized by the political correctness of Police Chief Edward Flynn.

On October 15, Chief Flynn terminated the employment Officer Christopher Manney, an officer with 13-years of street-level experience, for allegedly conducting a pat down of Dondre Hamilton in violation of MPD policy. After reading the MPD’s allegations and Officer Manney’s response, I sought input from a number of veteran officers.  To a person, we collectively believe Officer Manney’s actions were appropriate. While I typically do not purport to speak for others, I am confident in noting that Chief Flynn’s firing of Officer Manney is being met with widespread condemnation from those who have worn an MPD uniform.

Unfortunately, I believe Chief Flynn’s irresponsible termination of Officer Manney is directly related to his lack of an institutional memory. In 1985, while serving with Officers Collura and Lesnieski at District Five, I have vivid memories of both officers smiling and conversing with their colleagues. During the same period, however, Chief Flynn was an officer in far-away Jersey City.  Thus, the image of Flynn as an east coast carpetbagger is fueling a consensus amongst the rank-and-file that the chief sees those fallen officers on that wall at the Safety Academy as simple strangers from a bygone era. This perception, vis-à-vis his treatment of Officer Manney, is reinforced by the police chief’s de facto memo to the rank-and-file that politics takes precedent over officer safety. No doubt, Chief Flynn is sending a dangerous message that, I believe, may result in more faces appearing on that wall of no return at the Safety Academy.  Will officers — fearful for their careers — be compelled to repeat the disastrous ways of the past by asking a dangerous or unstable person what those “bulges” are in his or her pockets instead of conducting a simple frisk? If only Officers Collura and Lesnieski could speak from the grave.

Sincerely,

Steven Spingola

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Steve Spingola is a retired Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Lieutenant.

During the month of November, Spingola is donating his share of the proceeds from the sale of his book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. 1 & 2, to the Officer Manney Support Fund.

Author Mitchell Nevin is also donating  his November royalties of the print edition of his Milwaukee-based crime novel, The Cozen Protocol, and Glenn Frankovis is also providing his share of the royalties of his book regarding Area Saturation Patrol.  These books make great stocky stuffers and the authors’ share of the proceeds will assist Officer Manney.

SF Encourages a Vote ‘No Confidence’ on October 30

On October 30, the Milwaukee Police Association — the union representing the Milwaukee Police Department’s rank-and-file — will hold a vote regarding their confidence in Police Chief Ed Flynn. While retirees do not have a vote, SF would encourage active officers to register a vote of ‘no confidence.’

Clearly, the termination of Officer Christopher Manney is premised on political correctness. Supporters of Flynn’s irresponsible firing of Manney claim that politics had no role in the chief’s decision; however, the record shows otherwise.

“We’ve been placed in an almost impossible position,” Flynn is quoted in the April 3, 2013 edition of the New York Times, where he was listed as an “advocate of pedestrian stops, who said that stopping the tactic could harm the low-income, high-crime neighborhoods that civil rights groups say they want to protect.”

Then, in an August 2013 article in InPublicSafety.com, Flynn seemed to endorse New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk initiative.  “That’s what worries us about what’s happening in New York,” said Flynn.  “It would  be a shame if some people decided to put us back  in our cars just answering calls and ceding the streets to thugs.”

Yet when his own officer, seeing “bulges” in the pockets of a man who appeared unstable, dared to conduct a same type of frisk that Flynn had previously supported, the chief terminated the officer’s employment.

As is the case with politicians, it is important to pay little attention to what they say but, instead, watch what they do. Flynn likes to talk tough and support his fellow east coast chiefs. But back in Milwaukee, where the rubber meets the road, the chief didn’t flinch when tossing a veteran officer under the bus to appease interest groups.

Milwaukee does not need a politician running its police department. Last year, the city’s per capita homicide rate surpassed Chicago’s.  In 2014, the Milwaukee Police Department’s homicide clearance rate is a dismal 40 percent. In the 1990s, when I served as a detective in the homicide unit, the clearance rate for murders was over 80 percent.  Under Chief Flynn’s leadership, a once nationally recognized detective bureau has been run into the ground, an officer now has been terminated for simply doing his job, and Americans have more confidence in Congress than Milwaukee officers now have in their police chief.

The time to act is now. On Thursday, SF encourages rank-and-file Milwaukee officers to register a vote of ‘no confidence.’

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

JS Editorial a Finger in the Eye of Rank-and-File Coppers

Last Thursday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board stuck a finger in the eye of Milwaukee’s rank-and-file police officers by endorsing Police Chief Ed Flynn’s termination of Officer Christopher Manney.  The one-sided editorial did little but regurgitate the company line offered by Flynn.

The arrogance of the JS Editorial Board is evident for all to see. Why is it that those who penned the editorial did not reach out to critics of Flynn’s decision and obtain their input? The likely answer is that the cop haters on the editorial board, so willing to carry water for Flynn and the political hacks at City Hall, were well aware that the response to the police chief’s decision would be universal condemnation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have yet to speak to a seasoned law enforcement veteran who, after reading the reports of Officer Manney’s contact with Dondre Hamilton, viewed Manney’s actions as inappropriate. Sure, there are a handful of bootlickers on the seventh floor of the Police Administration Building that will jump when Chief Flynn snaps his fingers, but real cops — those who work the streets and put their lives on the line — know that Chief Flynn and the JS Editorial Board are more interested in politics than making Milwaukee a safer place to live and work.

What is clear is that the newspaper’s editorial cabal have absolutely no police experience. If they had, they would care more about the safety of Milwaukee’s police officers than placating interest groups.  And, quite frankly, it is easy for white collar journalists to sit in their ivory tower on West State Street and pontificate about how cops should do their jobs, even though these same editorial writers probably lack the intestinal fortitude to police the streets of Milwaukee.

From this point forward, I would encourage Milwaukee police officers to set aside the October 16, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial supporting the termination of an officer for simply doing his job.  The rank-and-file needs to understand that they are under attack.  To paraphrase Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu: know your enemies, know yourself; one-hundred battles, one-hundred victories.

The firing of Officer Manney is so bizarre that it rivals the fictional plot to undermined rank-and-file Milwaukee police officers in The Cozen Protocol. Unfortunately, in the hallways of the seventh floor, fiction is now becoming a sad reality.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

How Can Ed Flynn Sleep at Night?

On Wednesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn terminated the employment of Police Officer Christopher Manney for conducting a frisk of Dondre Hamilton — a troubled man with psychological issues — in Red Arrow Park.

According to the Milwaukee Police Department’s Internal Affairs complaint:

During the April 30 incident, Hamilton resisted Officer Manney’s attempted pat down by putting “his arms down and a confrontation ensued.” Manney drew his baton and, after delivering a strike to Hamilton’s arm, Hamilton disarmed Manney and struck the officer in the neck with the baton. Fearing for his life, Officer Manney shot Hamilton numerous times.

Mr. Hamilton later passed away from injuries sustained in the shooting.

On September 23, 2014, Deputy Inspector Michael Brunson, the commanding officer of the Internal Affairs Division, alleged Manney “failed to adhere to policy when he failed to have a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Hamilton was armed with a weapon or posed a threat to him.” However, during a compelled interviewed with Internal Affairs, Manney told investigators that he observed “bulges” in Hamilton’s pockets.  In a response to the charges, Manney noted that Hamilton was lying down in a public park “in the path where the public walks” and that the officer “immediately suspected” that Hamilton “wasn’t in a normal state.”

Having over 30-years of law enforcement experience, I believe Manney followed the edicts of the courts during his contact and subsequent pat down of Dondre Hamilton. The burden of proof needed to conduct a frisk is a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a person MAY BE armed — an evaluation that is determined by the totality of the circumstances.  Bulges in the pockets of a seemingly unstable person in a public place could certainly lead a reasonable police officer to believe a person may be armed.  Moreover, I have yet to speak to a single officer — not a one — who believes Manney’s frisk of Hamilton was unjustified.

Consequently, Chief Flynn’s decision in this matter merits scrutiny. In situations such as the shooting death of Mr. Hamilton, rank-and-file police officers soon learn if their police chief is a dedicated law enforcement officer — a person who once toiled in the field and likely conducted dozens of frisks in a similar manner as Officer Manney — or a politician with a badge.  In this instance it is obvious that Flynn is a politician in a blue uniform.

So, I have a few questions for Chief Flynn:

Sir, how can you sleep at night knowing full well that you have thrown a police officer under the bus for simply doing his job?

Chief, do you actually believe that the rank-and-file officers of the MPD — the men and women who put their lives on the line policing troubled areas of Milwaukee — have any confidence in your leadership?

And how will your officer’s react knowing that you, sir, are willing to end their careers to appease City Hall political operatives, the press, and some disgruntled members of the public?

Chief Flynn, what incentive do the officers of your department now have to stop and question potentially armed and dangerous individuals, when, career wise, a better decision might be to drive right on by?

Chief Flynn, as a cop, you have lost your way. While I generally do not purport to speak for others, I feel confident in noting that your decision to fire Officer Manney for seeking to protect his person while performing a dangerous job is an embarrassment to those of us who have worn an MPD uniform.

Chief, with a 2014 homicide clearance rate of just 40 percent, and a per capita murder rate that rivals Chicago’s, maybe it is time to pack it in and call it a career.

Only the bootlickers on the seventh floor of the PAB or the Internal Affairs ‘yes men’ will bother to wave goodbye to Ed Flynn as he trots off to the east coast for a cushy consultant’s position.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

Michael Chertoff’s Brave New World

On the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, various media outlets revisited the events of that fateful day, which caused me to wonder: how long it will be before 9/11 becomes a footnote in American history. After all, most of this year’s incoming college freshmen were entering kindergarten at the time the World Trade Center came tumbling down.

Nonetheless, it is the adults that I am most concerned about. The first group is the Obama administration, which seems hell bent on fulfilling George Orwell’s 1984 prophecy.  Americans are fortunate that the Constitution will force this group of misfits from power in the early days of 2017. Another troubling group is the cabal of neo-cons who have convinced Americans to surrender much of their privacy in the name of security.

Michael Chertoff is a member of the latter group. As a guest on Fox News last evening, Chertoff used the anniversary of 9/11 to chastise lawmakers’ efforts to marginalize the NSA’s Orwellian collection of Americans’ electronic data.

Now, Mr. Chertoff, a high-profile former prosecutor instrumental in New York’s Mafia crackdown, should know better. He is keenly aware that 99.999 percent of Americans using cellular telephones and the Internet have absolutely no relationship to terrorism.  Mr. Chertoff must know that government funded surveillance cameras at intersections in Sauk City, Wisconsin — a town with a population of 3,410 — will never capture an image of a plotting terrorist.  Still, Chertoff, Dick Cheney, President Obama, Janet Napolitano, et al, have spent billions and billions of dollars creating an American surveillance state in venues as small as Sauk City.  In the process, many of their special interest connections at corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, have received billion dollar government contracts paid for with borrowed money from China and quantitative easing.

And Michael Chertoff, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Belling, and the judges on the FISA courts, know full well that the NSA charter prohibits that agency from collecting information from American citizens while on U.S. soil. They further are aware that the Fourth Amendment requires warrants and court orders for searches to cite specific crimes that that have been or might be committed by specific persons before a search is authorized; yet they trample on the Constitution whenever it does not fit their political narrative.  When asked if the seizure of virtually every Americans’ cellular telephone and Internet data has stopped a single terrorist attack, members of both of the aforementioned groups refuse to answer, hiding behind national security concerns.  By refusing to answer, the members of these two groups are simply telling the public to shut-up, go away, and pay your taxes, as transparency is no longer needed in this republic.  Instead, American taxpayers should blindly trust the government, and leave our freedoms in the ever crushing grasp of the rubberstamps at the FISA courts, where an adversarial argument is NEVER heard.

Unlike this year’s incoming college freshmen class, I grew-up in an era when the United States was considered the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today’s youth have come of age in at a time when our nation is slouching, at light speed, towards China.  It is unfortunate these young people only know this nation as the land of the regulated and the home of the watched.

Class of 2018: it’s a brave new world out there.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com  and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

Romney 2016: Say It Ain’t So

Yesterday afternoon, on the Fox News show The Five, Bob Beckel predicted that Mitt Romney will again seek the Republican nomination for President in 2016.   For a number of reasons, SF believes another Romney run would equate to yet another loss to a Democrat Party challenger.

Mitt Romney is a class act, which is part of the problem.  Any serious candidate for President must be willing to take the proverbial gloves off to defeat an ethics-less Democrat Party candidate.   In the last election, Romney’s challenge to Obama was akin to taking one’s fists to a gunfight.  The goons from the Chicago political machine claimed the former Massachusetts governor was waging a war on women. Obama himself lampooned Romney for suggesting that Russian might be a geopolitical threat, while Harry Reid spread the big lie that Romney paid no federal income taxes.

With nine of ten members of the mainstream media voting Democrat, the Fourth Estate gave Obama and his operatives a free pass to campaign like the goons from the Chicago political machine that they are.

Meanwhile, Romney gave Obama — a President who makes Jimmy Carter look like Genghis Khan — a pass on the Iranian nuclear program.   Besides talking loudly while carrying a wet noddle, Obama has done little besides appease the Iranians.  Now, the mullahs are only months away from having nuclear weapons.  Instead of producing a Lyndon Johnson like daisy-ad depicting an Iranian nuclear weapon exploding in an American city or over the Middle East, Romney did little to call out Obama.

The Romney/Ryan ticket also refused to make Eric Holder a campaign issue.  In 2014, Holder, the most partisan Attorney General in American history, has sent dozens of FBI agents to investigate local police shootings and has sued states over voter ID laws, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld such laws in the past.  An author of a book about Holder insists that the AG had carried a card in his wallet for 30-years proclaiming his sympathies with the African-American criminal.

Because Mitt Romney refused to take off the gloves and fight like a serious political candidate, the nation is now saddled with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Russian invasion of the Crimea and the Ukraine, China threatening our Japanese and Filipino allies over islands, and a porous southern border that leaks to the tune of 1,100 illegal immigrants each day.

Quite frankly, if Romney was unwilling to take the good fight to Obama, why would Americans believe that the GOP standard bearer is willing to stand-up to the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, and ISIS?  No matter how the Republicans try to parse Romney’s failed campaign, weakness is a character flaw.  In a world full of despots, butchers, thieves and thugs, the timid soon become the trampled.  In 2016, the U.S. hardly needs a Soeren’s Ford nice guy as President.

Contemporary U.S. history shows that only a handful of Presidents, such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, could campaign and, then once elected, govern effectively.  Romney would have probably been a good President; however, politicians who run poor campaigns rarely get the opportunity to govern.  Others, like Obama, are great campaigners but are inept at governing.  In this respect, the 2012 race for President produced two duds.

What is clear is that this nation is in need of new blood with a fresh set of ideas.  Hillary Clinton with her Chinese manufactured Russian “reset” button hardly fits this bill.  On the other hand, Mitt Romney is not a candidate who has proposed bold ideas to fix a broken nation that, under Obama’s leadership, is in full retreat.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

Police Use of Force: A Wedge Issue for Grievance Politicians

The use of force by law enforcement has been the issue du jour in the news lately.   While Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri has dominated national headlines, the shooting death of unarmed Dontre Hamilton, a troubled 31-year-old man killed by a police officer at Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park in April, resulted in a smaller, yet similar, protest last Friday.

Some of the African-American political officials present brought a litany of complaints to the table: the high rate of joblessness in the black community, poverty, ignorance, and despair.  While serving in their public capacities, however, many of these same African-American officials have actually done little to pass laws that would significantly curb the use of excessive police force.

For instance, state legislatures can pass laws that expand the rights of individuals beyond those that are constitutionally protected.  One example is Wisconsin state statute 946.75, which criminalizes an officer’s denial of an individual’s request “…to consult and be advised by an attorney at law at personal expense, whether or not such person is charged with a crime” while in police custody.  From my experience, though, the most effective way to curb police abuse is not the criminalization of some forms of law enforcement conduct.   After all, how many officers have ever been convicted for violating § 946.75?  None that I know of, even though there have been documented instances of police officers violating this statute.

Some, especially civil rights attorneys, believe lawsuits are the answer, even though the vast majority of the monetary costs and damages associated with police officer lawsuits are absorbed by a municipality’s insurance.  Consequently, the only persons actually feeling any pain from police officer use of force lawsuits are the taxpayers.

Most law enforcement officers and district attorneys are going to cringe when they read this; nevertheless, the most effective way to marginalize the use of excessive force is the suppression of evidence.  The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to steer the nation’s courts this way in Graham v. Conner, 490 U.S. 386 (1989); whereby, the Court shifted the constitutional protection of an excessive use of police force (for those not incarcerated in jails or prisons) from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Fourth Amendment, in effect, making an excessive use of force tantamount to an unlawful seizure.

Defense attorneys soon realized that a remedy to an unlawful seizure might be the suppression of evidence, and cases began working their way through the courts.   In U.S. v. Watson, 558 F.3d 702,  the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals abruptly put the kibosh on such a defense by finding no casual connection between the evidence collected and the seizure of a defendant via an excessive use of police force, even though the sole purpose of suppression is to discourage police misconduct.  The Wisconsin Court of Appeals used the Watson decision as a catalyst to negate the suppression of evidence based on excessive police use of force in State v. Herr, 346 Wis. 2d 603.

Regardless of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling or a Wisconsin court’s finding in State v. Herr, the state legislature can — when it sees fit — offer more rights by law than the Constitution or the courts grant.  If the Milwaukee delegation in the state legislature is so outraged by what it sees as a pattern of excessive force on the part of the police, why is it then that not one Democrat has offered a bill to suppress evidence seized after a police use of excessive force, not even during the Doyle years when the Democrats controlled all three branches of government?

Some officers believe that the police use of force is being used by Democrats as a wedge issue.  In other words, African-American lawmakers use these protests to garner some street credibility and to gin-up their political base, but, when the rubber meets the road, they fail to propose legislation that would suppress evidence gathered as a result of an excessive use of police force.  In this way, the issue of excessive force stays alive for yet another day to be used whenever the grievance political community sees fit.

Unfortunately, based on the turnout at Friday’s protest at Red Arrow Park, it appears that Democrat lawmakers from Milwaukee are playing their base like a fiddle.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

The Media Embarrasment in Ferguson

Watching “Fox and Friends” this morning made me realize why I rarely watch television. The topic du jour, of course, was the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.   Here is some advice to television hosts who know very little about law enforcement and criminal investigations: before asking questions or making ignorant statements, get a grasp on the issues at hand.

For example, much as been made about the police releasing the video of a man, reportedly Michael Brown, acting thug-like while stealing some cigars from the store.  From the video, the item being removed appeared to be a box of Philly Blunts. These cigars are known to have their tobacco removed and marijuana inserted.  More importantly, the video depicts the mindset of Mr. Brown moments before he was stopped by the officer.  Statements from the Ferguson police chief indicate that the officer was stopping Brown and his friend for walking in the middle of the street.  The officer apparently had no knowledge of the strong-arm robbery that had occurred moments earlier; however, Brown allegedly did.  As such, Brown might have reacted in a manner consistent with an individual involved in a robbery.

Thus, the reason the police released the video is to illustrate that Brown might not have been the gentle giant — simply minding his own business — when he had police contact.  The video does exists and does not disparage the robber; the robber disparaged himself.  Moreover, in the immediate aftermath of the Rodney King beating, the media and the public had no issues with the video of the officers beating King being released.  Video is not an allegation but an illustration of what actually occurred.  After watching the video, members of the public are free to draw their own conclusions.

Showing a significant lack of understanding regarding the criminal justice system, one of the “Fox and Friends” hosts wondered, aloud, why a warrant had not been issued for the officer who shot Brown, leading readers to believe that the officer had been charged.  At this point in time, I am unaware of the results of Brown’s autopsy or that statement of the officer investigators. This is a complicated process.  Internally, the officer might have been ordered to provide a statement. When this is done, the officer is typically read a “Garrity warning,” which states that any information provided by the officer during an internal investigation cannot be used in any subsequent criminal proceeding.  This warning is the result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garrity v. New Jersey; whereby, the Court held that statements obtained by threats of discipline would violate the officer’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if admitted in a criminal case.

The next issue is the police response to the protestors and the looters.  From my experience, these issues need to be dealt with separately.  Missouri’s governor should have called out the National Guard to protect Ferguson’s businesses, which would have enabled civilian law enforcement personnel to focus on order maintenance matters. Instead, law enforcement has refused to protect area businesses, even suggesting that the business owners arm themselves. The last time I checked, businesses paid property taxes and, as such, deserve to have their property protected against looters. Moreover, if one of the business owners had shot a looter, the level of violence would surely escalate.

In regards to the shooting of Michael Brown, the investigation will work its way out.  Forensics and ballistics will provide more detailed information, which is important because physical evidence does not lie.  In the interim, the media — seeking ratings during the doldrums of August — will, no doubt, continue its uninformed coverage of events in Missouri.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

 

Clarke v. Baldwin? An Election for the Ages

After thumping his opponent in the Democrat Party primary Tuesday, there is a lot of speculation about the political future of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.  Some talking heads think the sheriff will enter the race for Milwaukee mayor.  Others believe that after this term, Clarke will simply ride his horse into the sunset and take a talk-radio gig.

From SF’s perspective, Clarke needs to think bigger.  The sheriff might want to consider backing Bob Donovan’s candidacy to knock-off Tom Barrett and, instead, finish his term, accept a talk-radio spot, and then challenge Tammy Baldwin, who critics have dubbed Wisconsin’s “do-nothing” U.S. Senator.

Clarke v. Baldwin would be a classic match-up.  The ultra-liberal Baldwin resides, of course, in the ultra-liberal city of Madison.  Clarke lives in Milwaukee, where residents of the metro area roll-up their sleeves and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.  Baldwin lends de facto support to those who belly-ache about racial disparities in the criminal justice system.  Sheriff Clarke makes no excuses for criminals, regardless of their skin color.  Baldwin supports President Obama’s gun control initiatives; Clarke supports thug control.

Tammy Baldwin is not up for reelection until 2018, a non-Presidential year election typically dominated by right-of-center voters.   And liberals probably gave Sheriff Clarke’s state-wide name recognition a huge boost by throwing a kitchen sink’s worth of political resources at him, including a $150,000 from New York City’s former Orwellian, nanny-state  mayor, Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg.

Traveling the state prior to last Tuesday’s primary, I was surprised to see how many supporters Clarke had in rural areas of Wisconsin.   By raising the sheriff’s profile, the Democrat Party can thank Tom Barrett, Chris Abele, WEAC, and Michael Bloomberg, for a surge in Clarke’s  out-state appeal.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com  and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014

Think Officer Safety When Voting Tuesday

In Mitchell Nevin’s book, “Psychic Reprieve,” FBI agents, working in conjunction with a detective from the Milwaukee Police Department, track down a would-be terrorist at a San Diego naval shipyard. The investigation results in the arrest of a man who planned a biological attack of a U.S. Navy ship. As depicted by Nevin, good intelligence is necessary to thwart such plots.

Written in the early Sixth Century B.C., Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu understood the importance of knowing those who would do him harm. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles,” Sun noted. “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Nevin’s book, which spotlights how a Jihadist terror suspect slipped across America’s southern border, as well as Sun’s quote, illustrates why President Obama’s open borders strategy is so utterly dangerous.

Late last month, Texas Senator Dan Patrick objected to the Obama administration’s unwillingness to adequately vet unlawful immigrants streaming across the southern border of the United States. In just four years, Patrick believes over 143,000 criminal gang members had entered Texas illegally. “We charged them with 447,000 crimes,” said the senator, “a half-million crimes in four years, just in Texas, including over 5,000 rapes and 2,000 murders.”

On Thursday, two unlawful immigrant gang members were charged in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr., who was killed during a bungled robbery attempt. The two alleged suspects, Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, had been arrested and deported “numerous times.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/06/suspected-gunman-in-border-patrol-agent-murder-has-ties-to-gulf-cartel-sources-say/

In an attempt to admit millions of unlawful immigrants he believes will vote Democrat, President Obama and his political operatives know very little about those who are entering this nation illegally, and, from the looks of it, they don’t care. Until our government gets a grip on who is seeking to cross the border and performs its due diligence on those who have already entered the U.S., any immigration bill should be put on hold.

Locally, a similar set of circumstances exist in southeastern Wisconsin. In the Democrat Primary for Milwaukee County Sheriff, Milwaukee Police Department Lieutenant Chris Moews has said that he will not fully cooperate with federal law enforcement if he is elected Milwaukee County Sheriff.

“I don’t think we should be doing the federal government’s job for them,” said Moews, as quoted on the Facebook page of Voces de la Frontera, a radical immigrant group that supports a wide-open southern border.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Voces-de-la-Frontera-Action/152554251431318

“Chris Moews has just sold his soul to a radical group that has no respect for the rule of law,” said Sheriff Clarke. “He is demonstrating that he will say anything and collaborate with a radical group to get elected.”

SF’s concern in the debate over unlawful immigration focuses primarily on one issue: public safety. Quite frankly, I — like the rank-and-file members of the U.S. Border Patrol — am very concerned that law enforcement officers will be the one’s forced to make the ultimate sacrifice as President Obama and Chris Moews’ wink-and-nod as criminal gang members, human traffickers, terrorists, and drug cartel members, stream into the U.S under the guise of garnering future Democrat Party votes.

The first course of action needed is to secure the southern border, even if it means deploying the United States Army. Once the border no longer leaks like a sieve, the nation needs to find a means to recognize those that are here short of full citizenship. After all, citizenship should be reserved for law-abiding adults who came to the U.S. legally, such as the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here, regardless of how they may or may not determine future elections.

For law enforcement officers in Milwaukee County, the safety of those wearing a badge is something to think about when voting in Tuesday’s primary election.
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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

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© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2014