Archive for the ‘Crime & Punishment’ Category

The gun clock is ticking

Photo courtesy of ttstamAnother Monday has come and gone without a Supreme Court ruling on DC v Heller, the case that is going to determine when if you can have a gun in the District. Mike O’Shea over at Concurring Opinions, a law-focused blog, has a good writeup here talking about what the potential upshot will be when the ruling hits the street. He also speculates on when we’ll see the ruling show up, and accurately predicted that it wouldn’t be today.

If you’re not a regular reader of law blogs some of it might be a little obscure but most if it is pretty readable. Check it out.

“Big Guns” Susan, courtesy of ttstam

Detained by Montgomery County Police For Buying Sugar

I was detained by the police today and accused of stealing. I was also illegally detained against my will by several Wal*Mart employees preceding the detention by police. My crime? Leaving Wal*Mart with four bags of sugar (that I had just purchased) without showing a receipt, because I was not given one by the Wal*Mart cashier. I was threatened with being taken to jail, threatened with physical violence as I attempted to leave, and had to defend myself and my property while Wal*Mart security attempted to rip it from my hands, breaking my bags and causing one of my items to break open on the pavement. After I was released (having been completely innocent all along), I was lectured by the police officer and Wal*Mart manager about how next time I could make it easier on myself by just agreeing to give up my rights to their goons to begin with. While the initial employee who detained me apologized, the others, including the Wal*Mart Manager, did not.

I was at the Germantown Wal*Mart to buy four bags of sugar because earlier in the day I had been at Butler’s Orchard picking 10 pounds of strawberries to turn into delicious jam. And to make delicious jam, you need lots of sugar. I grabbed four bags and headed to the checkout, where I also decided I could use some refreshment. I grabbed a Mountain Dew from the cooler, but the cashier had already processed my card for the four bags of sugar. He apologized and rang up another transaction for the Mt. Dew. At that point, he crumpled up my receipt for the four bags of sugar and handed me the receipt for the Mountain Dew. I headed for the exit, and was greeted by Wal*Mart security who wanted to check my receipt. I produced the receipt for the Mountain Dew and explained that the cashier had tossed the other receipt for the sugar. I would repeat this explanation 6 more times before this affair ended. The rest of the tale is below… (more…)

Recycling does not mean efficiency

The all-staff email went out last week: “We recently learned that the DC Government is now enforcing its recycling regulations. Inspectors are making unannounced inspections and issuing warnings for failure to recycle. Second violations are subject to fines. As we know, the DC government is in need of funds so we can expect enforcement to be serious…”

Since I work on our website and just don’t generate much paper waste, I made mental note of what common items in my cube would go into which containers (soda cans mostly, like any self-respecting geek), assumed that the promised at-desk recycling boxes would once again not make it to me, and didn’t think about it again.

Until yesterday, that is. Our Vice President of Facilities and Property came to my cube around 4:30 yesterday, and said, “Hi Tiffany, how’s your trash?”

“Um, empty, mostly…” I pulled my trash can out, displaying the two items inside: a used sub shop napkin and a square of paper.

“What’s THAT?” she said, indicating the non-napkin item.

“Oh, it’s a page from this calendar here,” I indicated my Page-A-Day calendar. Coated paper, questionably recyclable.

“Okay, great.” She walked away.

And then I noticed the email she had sent shortly before- a DC Recycling Inspector was going to be visiting our building the next day and would be issuing fines for any violations.

Let me clarify- an employee of the DC government, paid by tax dollars, would be entering our office for the purpose of poking at our trash cans. And let’s not pretend this is about the environment: the inspector could fine us for throwing away recyclable material, but at the end of the complex list of what is and is not appropriate in recycle bins, DC admonishes us “WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.”

But that’s how it came to pass that this very morning, before the arrival of the inspector, the Senior Director of my division came around to each individual member of our department, and delivered a perfunctory speech about how our organization takes recycling very seriously both for environmental and fine-avoidance reasons, and that complying with company procedures is the responsibility of every employee.

I’m so delighted that commitment to efficient stewardship of our resources extends to how DC businesses must spend the time of their well-compensated executives.

If you were wondering, we passed our recycling inspection perfectly. In fact, only one tenant in th building was fined for recycling violations- an office of the DC Government.

The Goddess of Recycling

Originally uploaded by His and Hers Parigi

Chief Lanier Thinks We’re All Being Mean.

Chief Lanier doesn’t understand the problem with her new plan to turn parts of DC into little parts of Baghdad right here on US soil. In fact, when challenged about the new program, her defensive response is pretty telling: “We put check points in place all the time for major events around federal buildings and nobody cares. Now that we want to do it to stop shootings and violence in our neighborhoods, it’s as if it’s something that’s unreasonable.”

We’re talking about people’s homes here, Chief. We’re talking about hassling them at the end of their long day. And for what, exactly? It’s not like the people from Trinidad go over to Georgetown to rob the rich white folks who live there, is it? Crimes that we’re seeing are local. They’re within the neighborhoods, not without them. So the people that you’re “letting through” the cordon aren’t always going to just be innocent residents. So really, what did you think we were going to do when you decided to set up Sadr City in DC? Were we just going to sit there and say, “Good on you, chief! This is perfect!”

Hell no. Crime’s not as simple a problem that you can fix it with barriers like this. You might get more results just from having more officers in the neighborhood. Which is what you should have anyway. According to DC Law, you are never required to carry identification, yet this new law will bring that to all residents of certain (poor) neighborhoods in the city. So, really, Chief, go back to the drawing board and figure out how to really fight the crime, not just push it around the city with cameras that no one’s really watching, and regulations that make it seem like they belong in a gulag or an eastern bloc country. Okay?

Sealing Off the Rough Parts of Town? Papers Please?

We’ve all seen the news reports lately indicating a rise in violence in the District, with murders up year-over-year, but is it really necessary to start to setup soviet travel checkpoints inside DC? Chief Lanier says yes. In fact, she’s advocating that certain neighborhoods have cordons set up around them, with police controls on who enters and exits the neighborhood. Residents, and those wishing to enter the neighborhood, will have to display ID and a reason to be in the area, or be subject to being turned away, or arrested. Each “Neighborhood Safety Zone” will last for up to 10 days.

Wait. Really? Have we reached a point where we have to put up police checkpoints all over DC in order to feel safe? Needless to say the DC ACLU is on high alert and was seen in the corner mumbling something like “what could they possibly be thinking?”

I know that in situations like this it’s not exactly polite to mock a proposal so clearly, but do you really think that just six officers will be able to create an effective neighborhood-wide cordon?

FBI Raids Local State Senator’s Home

Ulysses Currie Agents of the FBI today raided the Prince George’s County home of State Senator Ulysses Currie (D-25 MD), as well as the headquarters of SUPERVALU’s Shoppers Food Warehouse in Lanham, MD. NBC 4 says that the raids are related, but can’t show a correlation. I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot about this in the next few days, as Sen. Currie is chairman of the Budget & Taxes committee in the Maryland State Senate. You can also watch WJLA’s coverage via their website.

45 Years for Keith Washington

If the full sentence is served, Keith Washington won’t see the inside of his home again until 2053. He was sentenced today for the murder of Brandon Clark and the shooting of Robert White. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2028. Apparently, his attorneys are filing an appeal, but the grounds for it aren’t public at this point. The Post has a good Timeline of Events in the case, if you’re interested in knowing more.

Have We Gotten to the Point Where This Needs to be Said?

Picture 8.png

I applaud the Post for stating the obvious, when it’s clear that the obvious needs stating, but did they really need to write a whole article when that one sentence would’ve been enough?

Vanity theft deterrants?

Photo courtesy of REPRESENT.CO.ZAI get a mailing from Arlington county periodically with a report on crimes that have occurred in the area, and stolen cars are listed in there too, like this section from today’s report:

  • STOLEN AUTO 05/14/08, VA XWR7413, 2007 Honda Odyssey, blue, 1300 block N. Danville Street
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/15/08, DC BF6112, 1996 Mercedes C220, blue, 400 block of S. 18th Street
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/17/08, VA YLX-2805, 1997 Honda Accord, Black (Recovered), 1000 Arlington Boulevard
  • STOLEN AUTO 05/16/08, VA KEH-2906, 2004 GMC Savanna Van, White, 1200 block of S. Clark Street

What I’ve noticed it that it seems like I almost never see vanity plates listed there. In some places this might not be a big deal but with 16% of the cars in Virgina having them it seems like they should show up more often… every 3 out of 20 cars stolen, really.

Am I failing to detect the pattern or do thieves not want to drive off with a more identifiable car?

car theft, courtesy of REPRESENT.CO.ZA

Police Required to Rehire 17 Fired Officers

17 officers fired from the Metropolitan Police Department for misconduct were rehired by the department, because of bureaucratic failures within the internal affairs department. They missed a deadline or two, and as a result, arbitrators and the courts have forced Chief Lanier to rehire 17 officers not fit for duty. They were fired initially for reasons including lying about their hours, and accessing private citizens’ information and making it public with suggestions to investigate the individuals, on internet sites not associated with the police department.

Wait. We’re rehiring 17 bad cops because the department can’t get their shit together to file some papers? Epic fail, Chief Lanier. Epic fail.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.