Ofc. Krupke at 5:28 AM Permalink |
21 June 2005
Reader Roger G. sent along this account of the botched robbery of a hairdressing school in Shreveport, LA on 14 June.
The alleged offender walked into Blalock's Beauty College, showed a gun, and demanded that the 30-odd instructors and students empty their purses. The lead instructor tripped him, and the victims set on the robber with curling irons, table legs, and pretty much anything they could get their hands on.
He's going to need some stitches, " [Officer] Swartout says. "He had some pretty good swelling and knots on his head, a lot of lacerations on his face."
Now, the sober, public-servant side of my brain is honestly a little concerned about some of this, since the reports seem to imply that they kept pounding on him long after he was under control and no longer a threat. Proportionality, everyone. Self-defense is a justification, but it's not a blank check.
Still, I couldn't help but smile when I read the words of Blalock instructor Dianne Mitchell:
"Oh, I put something on him baby. He wasn't coming up out of here and telling nobody he robbed us and got away with it."
Her words called to mind many victims I have interviewed for my reports, crying and bleeding, who lacked the opportunity or good fortune to prevent the crime at the time it was occurring.
It may be wrong, but it's hard not to be perversely happy about the cosmic justice of this thing.
Ofc. Krupke at 1:20 AM Permalink |
This piece by Washington Post correspondent Dana Milbank describes a pretend "impeachment inquiry" held by Democratic lawmakers and activists in an unused Congressional basement.
As luck would have it, all four of the witnesses agreed that President Bush lied to the nation and was guilty of high crimes -- and that a British memo on "fixed" intelligence that surfaced last month was the smoking gun equivalent to the Watergate tapes. Conyers was having so much fun that he ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.
Note to the Democrats: if Dana Milbank, who never misses an opportunity to sneer at the President, can't keep himself from laughing at you, you've got a problem.
Among other highlights of the mock hearing (which was carried on C-SPAN for a while until they apparently decided their time would be better spent elsewhere) included activists handing out pamphlets repeating the rumors about Israeli workers supposedly staying home the day of the 9-11 attacks.
The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."
What is this world coming to when you can't even declare that U.S. policy is being controlled by a conspiracy of sinister Jews without being called an anti-Semite?
The "British memo" to which Milbank refers and which provided the nominal inspiration for this whole farcical episode, is of course, the "Downing Street Memo". Well, not the whole thing, actually, just this paragraph:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
So never mind all those investigations that found there wasn't any effort to pressure intel on Iraq, because now we have the impressions of an aide to a British cabinet official, about what unnamed Americans may or may not have told him about their impressions of what the President was thinking.
I couldn't nail somebody with a traffic fine on that kind of evidence. Nobody tell the Democrats, though. A little low comedy is always appreciated.
Ofc. Krupke at 2:23 PM Permalink |
15 June 2005
I don't have much to say about the not guilty verdict in the Michael Jackson case, except to say that I was pretty confident that this was how it would turn out. I know, that's perfectly easy to say now, but you'll just have to take my word for it.
This prediction was not based on a careful analysis of the evidence or a clear-eyed balancing of the facts of the case, you understand. I frankly paid the whole business as little attention as possible. Unavoidably, a few things leaked through my great wall of indifference, sort of like the conjugal disagreements of the couple in the apartment next door when I'm trying to sleep off a midnight shift. So I was aware of things here and there: I know George Lopez testified to something or other. So did Jay Leno. Larry King was called to testify, but then sent home. I heard legal experts on the radio news discussing the relative credibility of Chris Rock, which is not something you generally expect to hear legal experts discussing.
My belief that Jackson would be acquitted rested on one thing and one thing only: the knowledge that famous people don't get convicted for anything, at least not anything serious. Minor sports figures, sure. Politicians, maybe. But there's something about the entertainment world that renders even who-the-hell-is-he-again schmucks like Robert Blake immune to the Grand Majesty of the Law. And Jackson is probably the single most famous person ever to go on trial anywhere, so you knew they had no shot. (Film snots who write in to argue that Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle had, in his day, fame comparable to Jackson's will be politely ignored.)
So I'm going on record: Phil Spector won't do a day. You heard it here first.
Ofc. Krupke at 12:37 PM Permalink |
10 June 2005
Last week I attended court for "Jane", the woman I arrested in an earlier post for Domestic Violence. When I entered the Southern City municipal courtroom, she was sitting in the front pew. I'm not sure exactly why they have pews in the court, but even when they recently moved the courtroom from its scuzzy digs in SCPD headquarters to its shiny new office building, they kept the pew design. Perhaps it's due to Southern City being part of the Bible Belt, or maybe it's just intended to make the court experience more uncomfortable as a way of deterring crime. "Dick", I noticed, was nowhere to be seen.
Not long after I sat down, a guy in a suit with some folders under his arm came through the doors. He was pretty obviously a lawyer, and for some reason I knew immediately that of all the assorted miscreants in the room, he was there for mine. Cop ESP, I guess. He briefly scanned the pew where I was sitting with my buddies (cops in the Southern City municipal courts always sit in the back, much like surly, disgruntled adolescents in classrooms), trying to figure out which one was me. I didn't volunteer anything. He conferred briefly with Jane, confirming my suspicion, then came back to the back of the room, where the seated cops regarded him with silent expectation.
"Uh, Officer Krupke?" he asked the group of us, in hopes one would stand up. Evidently, a law school education these days doesn't prepare you to read a name tag. I answered up, and agreed to head out into the hallway to talk.
"I spoke to Renee [pseudonym of the city prosecutor] on the phone," he smiled by way of introduction. "And she told me you were a nice guy I could deal with."
"Hmm. She must have me confused with someone else."
"Oh. Heh, heh."
The lawyer went into his pitch: he wanted to set something up where Jane would go into counseling, and prosecution would be deferred. Deferred prosecution generally means that the case is held over for six months. If there is no further trouble in that six months, the charges get dropped. I had no problem with Jane getting counseling instead of jail time (I also knew perfectly well that even if she were convicted, she'd just be sent into court-ordered Anger Management anyway). But I wanted some guarantee that it would happen before I agreed to defer. The lawyer pointed out that a recent court decision in Southern State had held that deferral of prosecution could not be contingent on the defendant doing anything more than staying out of trouble, and suggested that some good faith would be involved. Remembering Jack S. and his therapy that didn't take, I informed him that I did not wish to be played for a sap. So I suggested that the case be continued for two months, at which time we'd be back in court. If at that time I was satisfied that Jane was actually doing her counseling, I'd agree to the deferral. He accepted that, and we passed the good news on to the judge. I was in and out of court in 20 minutes, which meant it wasn't even worth putting in for the overtime.
Overall, it wasn't a bad deal: with any luck, Jane will get some help without acquiring a criminal record (this was her first arrest). Had the lawyer decided to hold a bench trial that day, I would have been a long shot to win without Dick's testimony. Everybody wins.
Until Dick and Jane's next fight, that is.
Ofc. Krupke at 2:16 AM Permalink |
08 June 2005
In a recent fundraising appearance, DNC chairman Howard Dean was complaining about voting machines, and the fact that several polling stations required people to wait in long lines:
You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives.
Unlike robust salt-of-the-earth workin' men like John Kerry, one presumes.
I suppose, as a Republican voter who has done a day of work or two at some point, I should be offended by this at some level, but it's hard because it's just kind of idiotic. I mean, on what commonly-held belief is this joke supposed to operate? I thought Republicans were all supposed to be ruthless corporate powermasters with Lear jets and minority-group servants they cane with passing regularity. Perhaps Dean wouldn't consider that an "honest living", but he would at least acknowledge that such people are typically busy, so the "waiting-to-vote" bit doesn't work.
After criticism, including from some prominent Dems, Dean clarified that his remark was meant to be about "Republican leaders." So, if you believe that, now the joke morphs from weird and clunky to completely nonsensical.
It would have worked better for Dean to say, "Well, Republicans, I guess can do that. Maybe they pay people to stand in line for them." It wouldn't have been any more accurate or likely to garner new Democratic votes, but at least it would have been funnier. (Note to the DNC: feel free to borrow that joke. You're welcome. You really could use the help.)
You would think, with all the entertainment luminaries infesting the Democratic party, they would be a little better at framing a gag. Look at their national security platform, for example. (rimshot)
If I were in charge of the Republican party, I would be rushing production on a series of commercials that would play video of Dean's quote, followed by a montage of real-life Republican voters to say, in effect, "Oh, yeah?" These people wouldn't just be working Republicans, they'd have jobs that Americans tend to hold in some regard: firefighters, cops, teachers (yes, some of them do vote Republican), military personnel, construction workers, etc. Dean is always talking about how the Democrats are going to go into the red states and win their votes. He's doing a bang-up job so far.
Say what you will about Dean - he's the best committee chairman the Republicans ever had.
Ofc. Krupke at 3:18 PM Permalink |