Category Archives: crime news

Outrage doesn’t change

Five police officers beat a Black man, Tyre Nichols, to death in early January and now are facing multiple felony charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping.

The Memphis (Tenn.) Police Department fired the officers immediately. The district attorney calls the video of the incident one of the most horrific things he’s ever witnessed.

Now, what makes this case so different from previous officer-involved reports of brutality? All five of the former cops are Black!

Memphis police are planning to release the video to the public later today. Big-city PDs are gearing up for potential violent reactions from the communities they protect. We have two big cities near us in North Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth, and those cities’ police departments are preparing for the worst, which no one wants to occur.

The mother of the man who died in Memphis has asked that any protests occur peacefully.

Police brutality is the same heinous act no matter the race of the officers or of their victims. Thus, police departments throughout the land are wise to be on guard to react to violent protests should they occur.

May their preparation deter any response that crosses the line separating peaceful protest from all-out mayhem.

The gift just keeps giving

Admission time … I haven’t read the 800-page-long report issued by the House select 1/6 committee on the crimes committed by the former president of the United States and many of his minions.

I’ll get around to reading the executive summary, which I understand is about 150 pages.

But … from what I understand this is the gift that keeps giving for those of us who are repulsed by Donald Trump’s conduct during the 1/6 insurrection and the efforts he undertook to keep The Big Lie alive in the minds of the traitors who stormed the capitol building two weeks before Trump left office.

What’s more, the committee appears to have wrapped its findings up in a tidy — albeit voluminous — bundle of information that it will turn over to the special counsel, Jack Smith, who has been assigned by Attorney General Merrick Garland to pore through the evidence and decide whether to indict the former POTUS.

I believe the AG has enough evidence to proceed. The question for me is whether he has the guts to do what he must, which is indict Donald Trump and put this crooked, corrupt, immoral narcissist on trial for violating the oath of office he took to “protect and defend” the Constitution.

How does GOP defend this?

As I listened today to the members of the House 1/6 select committee lay out the allegations against Donald J. Trump, I could not help thinking about how Trump’s sycophants will defend the individual’s indefensible actions.

How are they going to say that Trump’s speech on the Ellipse on 1/6 didn’t incited an angry mob of traitors? How are they going to defend the ex-president’s refusal to stop the assault on the Capitol? How are they going to defend with a straight face the actions of that mob, other than to say they were engaging in “legitimate political discourse”?

Make no mistake: They will do all of that. They will continue to cower in their cowardly fealty to Trump. The cabal of cultists in Congress will high-five each other, slap each other on the back and defend what only can be called the actions of a criminal.

Ethics referral: DOA?

Many of us are stunned by the news that the House 1/6 select committee referred four criminal charges against Donald J. Trump to the Justice Department.

There happens to be another bit of news released today by the committee that held its final meeting before it is disbanded. It is the referral to the House Ethics Committee on four Republican House members for their refusal to testify before the committee.

The congressmen are Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs and Scott Perry. All of them received subpoenas by the House committee to testify. They all refused.

I must report that I fear that the Ethics Committee referral likely is dead on arrival. Why is that? Because the Republicans will take control of the House after the first of the year and they likely will toss the referral into the Dumpster.

That, of course, would be a travesty.

When a duly constituted congressional committee orders one to testify before it, you are obligated to follow the panel’s instruction. That’s the law. It is not normal to stiff a congressional committee by refusing to obey a summons when the committee issues it.

The House Ethics Committee, I also am saddened to report, traditionally has been a toothless beast. It rarely takes any serious action against members when it gets referrals such as what has been delivered regarding these four GOP blowhards.

That all said, I will not be holding my breath waiting for the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to take action against these four MAGA nimrods.

The House GOP caucus, we must remember, is populated by a cabal of cowards.

Trump makes history!

Donald John Trump pledged — in so many words — to make history if voters elected him president of the United States in 2016.

Well … today the ex-president made good on that promise by making history of a staggering type. He became the first POTUS in U.S. history to ever be referred for criminal prosecution by a duly constituted congressional committee.

The House 1/6 select committee held its final meeting today and referred four charges against Trump to the Justice Department. They all refer directly to his role in inciting the 1/6 insurrection and in refusing to stop the attack on the Capitol that resulted in many injuries and some deaths.

The treasonous mob’s intention was clear: It was acting on Trump’s orders to stop the Electoral College certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Now comes the real hard task awaiting DOJ. It must decide whether to indict Trump on any of these referrals. Therein we have the words of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has told us repeatedly that “no one is above the law.”

To be absolutely clear, the congressional referrals have zero legal consequence. They are symbolic in nature. However, Justice Department prosecutors have been handed an enormous pile of evidence that ought to persuade them that Trump did obstruct justice, that he did conspire to overturn the 2020 election results and that he most surely did incite the assault on the Capitol Building.

My head is spinning as I ponder the consequences of whatever the Justice Department decides. If it indicts Trump but then whiffs on getting a conviction, then the MAGA crowd will be energized beyond belief. If it chooses to forgo any indictments, it will signal to Congress that the work of the select committee was essentially a waste of time.

Then again, if DOJ indicts Trump and a trial jury convicts him of a felony … I would spend American real money to see this individual hauled away to spend time behind bars.

Arming teachers? No thanks!

Let’s discuss for a brief moment the issue of gun violence in schools … shall we?

The Keller Independent School District over yonder in Tarrant County has just voted 4-3 to train teachers on how to use firearms and then allow them to pack the pistols into their classrooms.

Oh, my. How can I say this properly? Well … that’s a bad idea. Period.

I get that there remains considerable public support for arming teachers, allowing them to take “whatever measures are necessary” to stop a lunatic from killing people inside the school walls. I remain terribly concerned, though, about the level of training that Keller ISD is going to provide for its teachers and whether there’s a fool-proof way to ensure that teachers don’t shoot someone other than the lunatic by mistake.

Where I live, in Princeton, the independent school district has employed armed marshals. They are former law enforcement officers with considerable training and expertise on how to handle potential emergencies. The marshals will join the existing staff of “resource officers” employed by the Princeton Police Department in keeping our district’s schools safe. Every campus will be covered by heavily trained personnel who know what to do when trouble erupts.

Just down the highway, about seven miles east of Princeton, the Farmersville ISD has a staff of sworn police officers led by a Texas law enforcement-certified chief of police. All the officers in the Farmersville school system, by the way, are certified by the state law enforcement authority. They, too, are well-equipped and trained to respond correctly in case of emergency. Every Farmersville ISD campus has such an officer on duty.

Quite obviously, no one wants a teacher to pull a gun out of his or her desk drawer and start firing at a wacko. I just have this nagging fear that a young college grad entering a classroom as a teacher would be petrified at having to respond to a violent outbreak.

Tamping expectations

Try as I have done to tamp down expectations on what will occur Monday when the House select committee makes its criminal referrals on the insurrection and assorted crimes relating to the 1/6 insurrection, I admit to difficulty doing so.

However, I am prepared to acknowledge that the House panel charged finding truth behind that violent chapter in our nation’s history only is going to recommend criminal charges be brought against those who were responsible for the onslaught.

The heavy lifting will occur in the offices of the Department of Justice and the special counsel who is examining the evidence.

I believe the referrals will include Donald Trump. He incited the assault on 1/6. He refused to stop the assault, even as the treasonous assailants were shouting “Hang Mike Pence!”

Let us remember that the House committee has no power to issue indictments. That power rests solely within the executive branch of government, which means the DOJ and the man who is serving as special counsel in this probe.

Still, I am certain that Americans who decide to tune in Monday will be treated to some riveting TV watching. I look forward to watching this drama unfold.

Ex-cop gets correct verdict

Here I go, weighing in on a subject about which I know little and cannot relate directly to its social implications.

That said, I believe a Fort Worth trial jury delivered the correct verdict in the trial of former Fort Worth police officer Aaon Dean, who shot Atatiana Jefferson to death in 2019. The jury convicted Dean of manslaughter.

Dean was responding to a disturbance at Jefferson’s home. He shot her to death after believing she had pulled a gun out and was preparing to shoot him.

Dean is white; Jefferson was Black. Therein lies the social consequence.

It’s been said that a decade or two ago, this case likely wouldn’t have gone to trial in Fort Worth. This one did. The jury could have convicted Dean of murder. It could have found him not guilty. Instead, it split the difference by delivering a manslaughter verdict.

Jurors now must decide whether to send Dean to prison for a maximum of 20 years. It could bring back a probationary sentence. If the jury declines to sentence to hard time in the slammer, I do believe there could be serious recriminations from those who believe justice was only partially served with the manslaughter verdict.

The conviction has drawn a mixed response. Some residents wanted him convicted of murder. They worry that justice has been served only partially. I won’t comment on that, as I am sitting about 40 miles away in Collin County with no — if you’ll pardon the expression — skin in this game.

Now that he has been convicted of a felony, this former cop now will be a felon for the rest of his life. I will offer my expression of hope that the jury sends him to prison. He has to pay for the crime he committed.


Ah, yes, the ‘sarcasm’ defense

Congress’s reigning QAnon queen, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has tossed out the old “it was sarcasm” canard in response to criticism she has received for making what sounds for all the world like a statement of a traitor.

Greene told a roomful of MAGA sycophants that had she been running the show on 1/6, the assault on the Capitol that day would have succeeded and that Donald Trump would have been able to overturn the 2020 presidential election result and returned to the White House.

They cheered her for those treasonous remarks. Did she say in the moment that it was all for fun? Did she walk any of it back? Ohhh, no. She responded only when others began reporting on the remarks and calling them what they are: the moronic muttering of an individual who has no business making laws that affect you and me.

The Georgia Republican, feeling emboldened I am sure by her re-election this past month, is getting ready to return for just her second term in the House of Representatives. To think that this certifiable idiot has been able to win election in the first place, win re-election to a new term and then possibly take the reins of congressional leadership is utterly astounding.

God help us!

Stay tuned, my friend; it’s gonna get hairy!

This post is dedicated to my friend and former colleague, a fellow I have known for 22 years who has contended ever since Donald Trump’s first impeachment that the former POTUS needs to be hauled away in cuffs and leg irons.

It looks as though the good guys are gunning for Trump and will issue indictments for criminal conduct. That is my message to my friend, Peter, who lives far away in Australia but who is following the machinations of the American political and judicial systems as closely as any American I know.

The House select committee appears ready to issue referrals for indictments based on Trump’s incitement of the 1/6 assault on our Capitol Building. The attorney general’s office has handed over investigations into the insurrection and the pilfering of classified documents from the White House as Trump was leaving the place for his refuge in Florida to a special counsel who is moving at breakneck speed to finish what the DOJ has begun.

The Fulton County (Ga.) district attorney is working on her own probe into whether Trump violated state law by pressuring Georgia elections officials to “find” enough votes to give the state’s Electoral College votes to Trump rather than to Joe Biden, who them in the 2020 presidential election.

This is all getting quite dicey for the ex-president.

They won’t slap the cuffs on him when the indictments arrive. Thus, my friend might be disappointed that Trump isn’t hauled away in a paddy wagon. I wasn’t prepared to say that indictments are a sure thing. They’re looking more certain all the time.