Progressive Review

POLICE & JUSTICE

2007

DRUG WARRIORS RAISE COCAINE PRICE, CAUSING VIOLENCE TO INCREASE

WASHINGTON POST -The price of cocaine has increased sharply in the District and other U.S. cities because stricter enforcement has curtailed supplies on the street, federal drug officials said. Nationally, the price of cocaine shot up 44 percent from January to September, and the purity dropped 15 percent, according to a report released yesterday by the White House drug policy office and the Drug Enforcement Administration. . .

D.C. police investigators said that they had no statistical evidence to back the DEA's claim but that dealers appear to be fighting over a dwindling product. They said that could be contributing to a recent rise in other crimes, such as homicides and robberies. When supplies are scarce, some dealers turn to other crimes to make money, said D.C. police Inspector Brian Bray, head of the narcotics branch.

"When there's the same amount of demand and less supply, people are going to try to get what's out there," Bray said. "That's when you see violence on the street level. A lot of these beefs are drug-related. A lot of homicides are drug dealers fighting over turf and supply."

The District has had 165 homicides this year, a 12 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Because many cases are unsolved, authorities can't say how many are drug-related. . .

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/08/AR2007110802147_pf.html

POST ADMITS GUN BAN DIDN'T WORK

[We've been saying this for years. The real news is that the Post has finally discovered it. The overwhelming cause of the increase in gun violence was the institution of a war on drugs in the 1980s.]

PAUL DUGGAN WASHINGTON POST - Three decades ago, at the dawn of municipal self-government in the District, the city's first elected mayor and council enacted one of the country's toughest gun-control measures, a ban on handgun ownership that opponents have long said violates the Second Amendment. . .

Although studies through the decades have reached conflicting conclusions, this much is clear: The ban, passed with strong public support in 1976, has not accomplished everything that the mayor and council of that era wanted it to.

Over the years, gun violence has continued to plague the city, reaching staggering levels at times. . .

In 1977, the first full year of the ban, the city recorded 192 homicides, a rate of 28 per 100,000 residents. The total rose to 223 in 1981 (a 35 rate), then fell to 147 (a 23.5 rate) in 1985 -- the lowest annual homicide toll in the District since 1966. At the time, the rate for the country as a whole also was trending down.

Which turned out to be the calm before the slaughter.

The advent of the lucrative crack-cocaine market and the unprecedented street violence it unleashed in poor neighborhoods nationwide sent homicide rates soaring in the latter half of the 1980s. Not only did the number of killings surge in the District, as it did in most urban areas, the homicide rates here also far exceeded the rates in crack-ridden cities where handguns had not been banned.

In the peak killing year, 1991, the District recorded 482 homicides, or 81 per 100,000 residents, more than triple the 1985 rate. And more than ever, as the city became known as "the nation's murder capital," the gun was the weapon of choice. In 1985, firearms had been used in 65 percent of D.C. homicides. In 1991, they were used in eight out of 10 slayings.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/12/AR2007111201818_pf.html

FINAL APPROVAL OF JUDGMENT IN 2002 POLICE RIOT

DC INDYMEDIA - A federal court gave final approval to a $1 million judgment against the District of Columbia in a class action lawsuit by more than 100 peaceful demonstrators and bystanders who were unlawfully trapped and arrested by DC police on September 27, 2002. At a hearing in United States District Court, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan also declared the arrests to be "null and void" and ordered the police to expunge their records of the arrests.

The demonstrators in this case were trapped by police on Connecticut Avenue between K and L Streets, or near Vermont Avenue and K Street, while they were peacefully marching in connection with protests against the threatened invasion of Iraq, the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and other U.S. policies. They were arrested without being warned that their protest was unlawful (which it was not) or being given an opportunity to disperse. Some of the people arrested were journalists covering the events. . .

In response to the 2002 mass arrests and several lawsuits, the D.C. Council enacted legislation making it clear that parading in the street without a permit is not a crime. "Arrests like these shouldn't happen again," said Susan Dunham, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers. "Since the new law became effective, I've seen two spontaneous street marches, one of which changed direction unpredictably. Police escorted the marchers and protected them from traffic without making arrests. That's what should happen."

http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/140184/index.php

THE HEAD OF the ill-behaving Special Operations Division was none other than Cathy Lanier, the new police chief. Lanier was interviewed about the incident and the treatment of protest prisoners on January 23 2003 and she justified a brutal hogtying-like handcuffing technique used because it prevent escape, protect the protesters from one another and to "prevent them from committing sexual acts with each other."

JUNIOR HIGH WHERE PARENTS COMPLAINED ABOUT PRINCIPAL'S TREATMENT OF KIDS SUBJECTED TO MOCK COLUMBINE STYLE POLICE RAID

[And the alleged shooter was a parent who unhappy with his child's grades]

NEW CHANNEL FOUR - D.C. police and emergency management teams held an active shooter drill Monday at Alice Deal Jr. High School in northwest Washington, News4's Cheryl Butler reported. . . The drill had all of the makings of a horrifying massacre -- reminiscent of Columbine or Virginia Tech. In the scene, the mock shooter is a disgruntled parent upset about his child's grades. To retaliate, he rushes the school building with an M-16 semiautomatic gun. The rampage begins with a security guard being the first to go down. Then the gunman fires at students.

"We heard the gunshots and my class is on the first floor," student Elizabeth Stone said. "The gunshots were really close by. The teacher went over and closed the door. We had to move our desks and everything."

The mock shooter -- a D.C. police officer in costume -- held a third-floor classroom hostage in the simulated emergency. Then the shooting intensified. . .

Police officers evacuated the building during the drill. Dozens of injured students filed out of the building and away from the scene. Officers worked to apprehend the gunman, who was still armed and dangerous. There was an exchange of gunfire. Finally, the gunman was apprehended. . .

D.C. school administrators and police plan to hold similar drills at other D.C. schools in the coming weeks.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/13482935/detail.html

[The mock assailant was a parent unhappy with his child's grades, which makes the following more than a little interesting]

CHANNEL FOUR NEWS, MAY 30 - Some D.C. parents say they want the principal of the Alice Deal Junior High School in Northwest kicked out on accusations that she physically abused some students.

On Wednesday, parents took those concerns to D.C. schools Superintendent Clifford Janey. Parents protested outside D.C. schools headquarters Wednesday afternoon, saying that students, particularly black and Hispanic students, have been subjected to abuse and unfair treatment by Deal principal Melisa Kim.

"This is psychological warfare that she's imposing on our children, cycling and hazing," said Kim Dickens. Click here to find out more!

Kim's supporters were present at headquarters, too.

"Clearly, if there were any truth to it I'd be on the other side marching," said Leticia Long. "There are injustices in the city and in schools, and I don't think these allegations merit any attention."

News 4's Derrick Ward reported that there was a bit of a standoff outside headquarters when security would only let some of the protesters in for a meeting with the superintendent. At that point, they all decided to remain outside, but eventually they all were allowed in.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/13415981/detail.html

VIDEO
http://video.nbc4.com/player/?id=118042

[And the mock assault was carried out under the direction of the city's new police chief who was involved in the torture of arrested protesters at a Washington demonstration]

HENRI E. CAUVIN, WASHINGTON POST - The District has agreed to pay $200,000 to four people rounded up in the wave of arrests made by D.C. police during a September 2002 protest of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The settlement resolves one of several lawsuits stemming from the mass arrests. The city earlier agreed to pay more than $440,000 to 10 people who said they were illegally arrested at Pershing Park, and a class-action suit is pending. . .

Under the terms, D.C. police officers who are assigned to the Special Operations Division, which is in charge of patrolling major demonstrations, will be required to sign statements confirming that they are familiar with the D.C. laws governing public protests. . .

In 2004, the D.C. Council passed the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act, largely in response to the arrests on Sept. 27, 2002, most notably at Pershing Park, where more than 400 people were arrested without warning. Charles H. Ramsey, the police chief at the time, came in for withering criticism for the decision to undertake mass arrests. He later admitted the arrests were improper.

In November, the city agreed to pay $685,000 to settle another lawsuit over police conduct at demonstrations, this one involving the treatment of protesters at President Bush's inauguration in 2001. More than 80 percent of that money was to go toward legal fees, with the rest going to two people hit with pepper spray.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/28/AR2007022801985.html?nav=rss_metro

WHAT THE POST forgot to say was who the head of the misbehaving Special Operations Division was: Cathy Lanier, the new police chief. Lanier was interviewed about the incident and the treatment of protest prisoners on January 23 2003 and she justified a brutal hogtying handcuffing technique used because it prevent escape, protect the protesters from one another and to "prevent them from committing sexual acts with each other."

[Earlier stories]

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - Jim Ridgeway reported in the Village Voice following one of the police riots that occurred during demonstrations in the reign of Charles Ramsey, "Demonstrators brought a class-action suit in Federal District Court in D.C., claiming they were surrounded by cops, arrested, handcuffed, and held up to 13 hours on buses and then at the police academy gymnasium for up to 36 hours. While at the gym, the protesters say, they were handcuffed one wrist to the opposite ankle."

COLUMNIST LOOSE LIPS has come up with more on prospective police chief Lanier's role in the abuse of demonstrators than we had previously noted. Says LL: "Prior to the much-anticipated April 2000 IMF/World Bank demonstrations, Lanier, by now an experienced white shirt, was charged with preparing a plan for 'prisoner control,' according to a deposition she would later give in a civil case. Among the measures that Lanier & Co. developed during the planning exercise was a method of prisoner restraint known as 'hogtying,' in which the detainee's left wrist is cuffed to his right ankle.

"Lanier justified hogtying as a sound way to prevent arrestees from escaping, assaulting police officers, or assaulting other arrestees. The tactic, she said in a deposition, had 'met all of those goals.' . . . Then came the events at Pershing Park. In September 2002, another round of anti-globalization protests hit D.C. . . Ramsey and his top deputies panicked, ordering the arrest of everyone in the park without giving any warnings. The roundup netted not just protesters but also passersby, tourists, and others. They were hogtied, and some of them remained restrained for up to 18 hours. They would dispute Lanier's "not uncomfortable" assessment of hogtying, pointing out that the restraints hampered their circulation and left them numb in places. . .

"In January 2005, the city paid out $425,000 to seven Pershing Park victims, part of a settlement that also required a letter of apology from Ramsey to the plaintiffs."

LL adds: "The Pershing Park experience, though, didn't sour Lanier on mass arrests. During a march on the occasion of President George W. Bush's second inauguration, police officers under Lanier's supervision swept up roughly 70 protesters in Adams Morgan following a spasm of vandalism. Plaintiffs in a January 2006 federal lawsuit claim that the cops repeated the sins of Pershing Park in failing to issue orders to disperse. They claim they were arrested despite the fact that they were attempting to break from the protest and had not committed any of the alleged property crimes. In an affidavit on the Adams Morgan roundup, Lanier admitted that no orders were issued prior to the arrests. But she justified her actions by playing up the threat posed by the protesters: 'Members of the group were carrying pipes and torches.'

No one responsible for the abusive handling of demonstrators should be given a promotion, let alone made chief. Fenty really blew this one.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/2006/lips1201.html

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - Adrian Fenty's selection of a new police chief, Cathy Lanier, seems more aimed at satisfying the city's business and political elite than its citizens. There is something distinctly odd about appointing a chief whose area of expertise is terrorism. Does Fenty feel that terrorists are the major criminals threatening DC? Are they the people who go around at night robbing and killing citizens? We always thought it was all more homegrown than that. . .

Some time ago, Sari Horwitz in the Washington Post explained how Lanier was trained by, among others, Israel security officials, those who have done such a fine job increasing the threat of terrorism by arresting Palestinian cabinet ministers and killing their constituents and so forth:

"Levy has been traveling across the United States with other Israeli security experts to share counterterrorism tactics with American law enforcement officials. . . Classes include the history of Islamic fundamentalism and how to spot a suicide bomber. . . State and local police officials across the country say the Israeli exchange is unique for them - and invaluable for the quantity and quality of information. . .

"Several of the Israel trips have been organized by the research forum, a Washington-based organization that works with police nationwide. Others are planned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a Washington think tank that focuses on defense and national security issues and promotes cooperation with Israel as vital to U.S. security interests."

Horwitz, in another article, further described Lanier's training in terrorism:

"Cathy Lanier had to think like a terrorist and come up with a way to kill a few thousand people at a picnic in San Luis Rey. The virtual town in California, repeatedly cursed with smallpox epidemics, explosions and attacks on its nuclear power plant, is part of her new education: The commander of special operations for D.C. police is earning a master's degree in the fast-growing field of homeland security. . .The federal government has pumped cash into this new fight, spending more than $12 billion for homeland security research and development over the past four budget years. . .

"She has read the 9/11 commission report, learned about budgeting, technology and civil liberties. She's studied the psychology of fear and terrorism. And she's learned about such critical links as banking, transportation, water and power supplies, down to the details of how fuel travels through pipelines and how power grids work."

So now we have someone trained to treat all Washington citizens as potential terrorists, to see the world through the paranoiac lens of those who made the world angry enough at the U.S. over the decades to result in 9/11 and who since have done nothing to make things better. . . We apparently are to remain guarded by those trained in the law of perpetual fear. It's not a happy prospect.

NEW WAYS OF DOING IT

ALTHOUGH WE WOULD RATHER see drug addiction treated as a health rather than as a criminal matter, even in the justice system there are far better ways of handling it. Such as the drug courts in New York started with the aid of the Center for Court Innovation. The methods used have produced a 32% reduction in recidivism.

CCI - In 1996, the Center for Court Innovation, in partnership with the New York State Unified Court System, opened New York City's first drug treatment court. The Brooklyn Treatment Court links nonviolent, substance-abusing defendants to drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Participants return frequently to court to report on their progress and submit regular urine tests. The judge uses the court's coercive power to keep participants on track, rewarding progress and imposing sanctions-including short jail stays-on defendants who fail to comply with court orders.

To support defendants, the court offers a range of social services on-site. A psychiatric nurse practitioner screens for mental health needs and makes appropriate referrals to outside services. A vocational - rehabilitation counselor helps graduates find jobs. In addition, defendants are required to complete a community service requirement, paying back the community they have harmed through their past criminal acts. Defendants who successfully complete treatment have their cases dismissed.

In April 2003, the demonstrated effectiveness of the Brooklyn Treatment Court led to its institutionalization by the New York State Unified Court System, which has assumed total administrative oversight of the program.

THE CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION is run, incidentally, Greg Berman, a Washington native and former intern for this journal, who whose interest was piqued in part covering the death of basketball star Len Bias of a cocaine overdose. Berman helped to create the center and also the unique Red Hook community justice center

CCI: Launched in June 2000, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is the nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court. Operating out of a refurbished Catholic school in the heart of a low-income Brooklyn neighborhood, the justice center seeks to solve neighborhood problems like drugs, crime, domestic violence and landlord-tenant disputes. At Red Hook, a single judge hears neighborhood cases that under ordinary circumstances would go to three different courts - civil, family and criminal. The goal is to offer a coordinated, rather than piecemeal, approach to people's problems. The Red Hook judge has an array of sanctions and services at his disposal, including community restitution projects, on-site educational workshops and GED classes, drug treatment and mental health counseling-all rigorously monitored to ensure accountability and drive home notions of individual responsibility. The courthouse is the hub for an array of unconventional programs that engage local residents in "doing justice." These include mediation, community service projects that put local volunteers to work repairing conditions of disorder and a Youth Court where teenagers resolve actual cases involving their peers. The idea here is to engage the community in aggressive crime prevention, solving local problems before they even come to court.

CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION
http://www.courtinnovation.org/

RED HOOK COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER
http://www.courtinnovation.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&PageID=572&currentTopTier2=true

LOCAL HEROES: THE ROVING LEADERS

JIM MYERS, HILL RAG - Dennis Homesley, principal of Payne Elementary School, often talks about Roving Leaders. He got his start working with kids as a Roving Leader from 1972 to 1981, and he still believes in the concept.

The program, run by the District's Department of Parks and Recreation, was bigger in Homesley's day. But the idea remains the same: You don't wait for kids to cause trouble. You go out and find the kids who are heading in the wrong direction and help them.

The program seemed to founder in the late 1980s. By the 1990s, it was too easy to spot kids in the neighborhood that the system wasn't reaching - the ones most susceptible to negative influences. Thereafter, you could watch them "progress" on corners and local playgrounds from alienation to car thefts and stick ups or drug selling.

Now, we have Darby Clark and Bridget Miller, the two Roving Leaders who are assigned to work the schools, recreation centers and playgrounds of eastern Capitol Hill. Clark, 37, has been a Roving Leader for seven years. Miller, 41, a gang worker for 20 years, joined Roving Leaders only last year. . .

I saw Clark take a dozen squirming, noisy kids with their attention flying all over the place and turn them into a cooperative, engaged group of youngsters who raised their hands to participate in discussions about having positive attitude.

Magic it wasn't, but a serious change took place before my very eyes. "They want attention and structure - and consistency," says Clark. "Like if I say I'm going to be there for them at a certain time, I've got to be there." It sounds so basic, but these are missing elements in many kids' lives. . .

At Eastern High, Clark picks up names of kids who are not showing up for school - eight or nine kids in some weeks, he says - and visits their homes.

Occasionally, Clark encounters parents who don't care if the kids go to school or not. "At one home, the mother was smoking a joint, and the son was sitting in the Lazy Boy," Clark recalls. "The mother said, 'My son not going back, so you can just get away from my door.'"

In Bridget Miller, our Hill East area has the services of one of the region's top experts on the girl gangs. . . Girl gangs are a growing phenomenon on eastern Capitol Hill and in the rest of the city. . . With the Roving Leaders, she's on call to investigate and mediate girl gang disputes that arise often enough in a city with "over 60" such gangs in operation.

So what do these girls gangs do? "They like to fight," Clark interjects. That's when the call goes out for Miller, who describes an upside down world of street gangs like this: "What we call right and what they call right aren't the same thing."

For example, Miller says, if you accidentally step on a gang member's foot, it may be viewed as disrespectful to say, "Excuse me." It's like you're rubbing it in, Miller says. And don't go "grillin'" or "muggin'" - making faces, that is.

But Miller says gang members are frequently willing to enter in mediation of disputes, and once they do, disputes are most often resolved without fighting. Once again, a firm adult hand seems to have its place. . .

http://www.capitalcommunitynews.com/publications/hillrag/2007_April/html/HillEast.cfm

ANOTHER SETTLEMENT IN POLICE RIOT CASE

HENRI E. CAUVIN, WASHINGTON POST - The District has agreed to pay $200,000 to four people rounded up in the wave of arrests made by D.C. police during a September 2002 protest of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The settlement resolves one of several lawsuits stemming from the mass arrests. The city earlier agreed to pay more than $440,000 to 10 people who said they were illegally arrested at Pershing Park, and a class-action suit is pending.

The four plaintiffs - Jeffrey Barham, Miles Swanson, Brian McAteer and Laury Saligman - were arrested at Vermont and K streets NW, near the park. Each will be paid $50,000, said their attorney, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice. . .

Barham and Swanson were law students working as legal observers for the National Lawyers Guild, McAteer was a high school student who was filming the protest, and Saligman was a cyclist who happened upon the protest when they were arrested. They filed suit in U.S. District Court.

Under the terms, D.C. police officers who are assigned to the Special Operations Division, which is in charge of patrolling major demonstrations, will be required to sign statements confirming that they are familiar with the D.C. laws governing public protests. "We want to ensure that not only is there a law on the books, but there's a law that's obeyed and that police officers who have a responsibility for protests can't try to skirt the law by claiming ignorance," Verheyden-Hilliard said.

In 2004, the D.C. Council passed the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act, largely in response to the arrests on Sept. 27, 2002, most notably at Pershing Park, where more than 400 people were arrested without warning. Charles H. Ramsey, the police chief at the time, came in for withering criticism for the decision to undertake mass arrests. He later admitted the arrests were improper.

In November, the city agreed to pay $685,000 to settle another lawsuit over police conduct at demonstrations, this one involving the treatment of protesters at President Bush's inauguration in 2001. More than 80 percent of that money was to go toward legal fees, with the rest going to two people hit with pepper spray.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/28/AR2007022801985.html?nav=rss_metro

WHAT THE POST forgot to say was who the head of the ill-behaving Special Operations Division was: Cathy Lanier, the new police chief. Lanier was interviewed about the incident and the treatment of protest prisoners on January 23 2003 and she justified a brutal hogtying handcuffing technique used because it prevent escape, protect the protesters from one another and to "prevent them from committing sexual acts with each other."

EARLIER STORIES

CITY DESK - Jim Ridgeway reported in the Village Voice following one of the police riots that occurred during demonstrations in the reign of Charles Ramsey, "Demonstrators brought a class-action suit in Federal District Court in D.C., claiming they were surrounded by cops, arrested, handcuffed, and held up to 13 hours on buses and then at the police academy gymnasium for up to 36 hours. While at the gym, the protesters say, they were handcuffed one wrist to the opposite ankle."

LOOSE LIPS has come up with more on prospective police chief Lanier's role in the abuse of demonstrators than we had previously noted. Says LL: "Prior to the much-anticipated April 2000 IMF/World Bank demonstrations, Lanier, by now an experienced white shirt, was charged with preparing a plan for 'prisoner control,' according to a deposition she would later give in a civil case. Among the measures that Lanier & Co. developed during the planning exercise was a method of prisoner restraint known as 'hogtying,' in which the detainee's left wrist is cuffed to his right ankle.
"Lanier justified hogtying as a sound way to prevent arrestees from escaping, assaulting police officers, or assaulting other arrestees. The tactic, she said in a deposition, had 'met all of those goals.' . . .

The roundup netted not just protesters but also passersby, tourists, and others. They were hogtied, and some of them remained restrained for up to 18 hours. They would dispute Lanier's "not uncomfortable" assessment of hogtying, pointing out that the restraints hampered their circulation and left them numb in places. . .

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/2006/lips1201.html

CITY'S GUN BAN CASE UNDERMINED LOCAL RIGHTS, TOO

BEYOND its general attempt to undermine the Second Amendment, the city government in its support of its handgun ban actually claimed that whatever effect the Second Amendment had elsewhere, it did not apply to DC residents because we are not a state. In other words, the city government went to court to limit DC residents' powers under the Bill of Rights. It's hard to get more colonial and anti-home rule than that.

But it's not the first nor the last time. The mayor plans to circumvent the citizens' charter rights by asking Congress to rule them moot in the school takeover issue. Further:

- The local establishment - including the delegate, mayor, and city council - supported the federal takeover of the city, loss of local pension fund contributions, loss of a regular federal payment, and further loss of control over the justice system.

- Both Mayor Walter Washington and Delegate Walter Fauntroy opposed the creation of the neighborhood commissions. After the city council worked hard to weaken their powers, including denying them the right to use city funds in joint activities and the right to sue. Since then there has been a conscious effort to subsume the ANCs into the city bureaucracy rather than accepting their role as an autonomous citizen voice.

- Led by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city establishment has chosen to devote its energies to a largely symbolic vote in the House rather than substantive democracy such as gaining control over the budget, legislation, and the justice system. Norton has even gone so far as to suggest that we trade our democratic rights for a federal tax-free status.

- In recent years not a single elected member of the city government - other than members of the DC Statehood Party - have lifted a finger on behalf of statehood and full self-government other than verbal approval.

- The city council has overridden citizen passed initiatives.

- The mayor and city council conspired to eliminate elected positions on the school board.

- The city government has reduced citizen access to trial by jury.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/index.php/2007/03/07/hovel-craft/

2006. . .

FENTY'S POLICE CHIEF CHOICE LOOKING MUCH WORSE

LOOSE LIPS has come up with more on prospective police chief Lanier's role in the abuse of demonstrators than we had previously noted. Says LL: "Prior to the much-anticipated April 2000 IMF/World Bank demonstrations, Lanier, by now an experienced white shirt, was charged with preparing a plan for 'prisoner control,' according to a deposition she would later give in a civil case. Among the measures that Lanier & Co. developed during the planning exercise was a method of prisoner restraint known as 'hogtying,' in which the detainee's left wrist is cuffed to his right ankle.

"Lanier justified hogtying as a sound way to prevent arrestees from escaping, assaulting police officers, or assaulting other arrestees. The tactic, she said in a deposition, had 'met all of those goals.' . . . Then came the events at Pershing Park. In September 2002, another round of anti-globalization protests hit D.C. . . Ramsey and his top deputies panicked, ordering the arrest of everyone in the park without giving any warnings. The roundup netted not just protesters but also passersby, tourists, and others. They were hogtied, and some of them remained restrained for up to 18 hours. They would dispute Lanier's "not uncomfortable" assessment of hogtying, pointing out that the restraints hampered their circulation and left them numb in places. . .

"In January 2005, the city paid out $425,000 to seven Pershing Park victims, part of a settlement that also required a letter of apology from Ramsey to the plaintiffs."

LL adds: "The Pershing Park experience, though, didn't sour Lanier on mass arrests. During a march on the occasion of President George W. Bush's second inauguration, police officers under Lanier's supervision swept up roughly 70 protesters in Adams Morgan following a spasm of vandalism. Plaintiffs in a January 2006 federal lawsuit claim that the cops repeated the sins of Pershing Park in failing to issue orders to disperse. They claim they were arrested despite the fact that they were attempting to break from the protest and had not committed any of the alleged property crimes. In an affidavit on the Adams Morgan roundup, Lanier admitted that no orders were issued prior to the arrests. But she justified her actions by playing up the threat posed by the protesters: 'Members of the group were carrying pipes and torches.'

No one responsible for the abusive handling of demonstrators should be given a promotion, let alone made chief. Fenty really blew this one.

PS: Loose Lips also tells a disturbing story of Lanier handling a of a horse mounted unit personnel matter. It doesn't add up to a pretty picture.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/2006/lips1201.html

FENTY'S NEW CHIEF

AS with his choice for education deputy, Adrian Fenty's selection of a new police chief, Cathy Lanier, seems more aimed at satisfying the city's business and political elite than its citizens. There is something distinctly odd about appointing a chief whose area of expertise is terrorism. Does Fenty feel that terrorists are the major criminals threatening DC? Are they the people who go around at night robbing and killing citizens? We always thought it was all more homegrown than that.

While terrorism is a threat, it is largely a threat to those who fly or work in federal buildings where more than a few plot new ways to make Muslims angry at us.

As a statistical matter, you are less likely to be killed in a terrorist incident than you are to drown, die in an workplace accident, die as result of the war on drugs, be murdered, commit suicide, be killed by a prescription drug, die of a hospital related infection, or from cancer or heart disease. According to an article in Foreign Affairs, your chances of dying in a terrorist incident are one in 80,000 or about 7 DC residents a year.

All death needs to be discouraged but the obsession with terrorism - especially when the government does nothing in its policies to make it less likely - is helping to make us a chronically ill society.

Some time ago, Sari Horwitz in the Washington Post explained how Lanier was trained by, among others, Israel security officials, those who have done such a fine job increasing the threat of terrorism by arresting Palestinian cabinet ministers and killing their constituents and so forth:

"Levy has been traveling across the United States with other Israeli security experts to share counterterrorism tactics with American law enforcement officials. . . Classes include the history of Islamic fundamentalism and how to spot a suicide bomber. . . State and local police officials across the country say the Israeli exchange is unique for them - and invaluable for the quantity and quality of information.

"Israel is the Harvard of antiterrorism," said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer. "No experience in my life has had more of an impact on doing my job than going to Israel," said D.C. police Cmdr. Cathy Lanier, who heads the District's special operations division and oversees the bomb squad and the emergency response team. . .

"After returning from Israel, Gainer retrained his officers to shoot a potential suicide bomber in the head rather than aim for the chest, as they were originally taught, because shooting the chest could detonate a suicide vest. Ramsey ordered his officers to keep their red and blue roof lights flashing all the time to be more visible - something he picked up when he, Gainer and Wexler went on a ride-along with the Jerusalem police two years ago. . .

"Several of the Israel trips have been organized by the research forum, a Washington-based organization that works with police nationwide. Others are planned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a Washington think tank that focuses on defense and national security issues and promotes cooperation with Israel as vital to U.S. security interests."

Horwitz, in another article, further described Lanier's training in terrorism:

"Cathy Lanier had to think like a terrorist and come up with a way to kill a few thousand people at a picnic in San Luis Rey. The virtual town in California, repeatedly cursed with smallpox epidemics, explosions and attacks on its nuclear power plant, is part of her new education: The commander of special operations for D.C. police is earning a master's degree in the fast-growing field of homeland security. . .The federal government has pumped cash into this new fight, spending more than $12 billion for homeland security research and development over the past four budget years. . .

"She has read the 9/11 commission report, learned about budgeting, technology and civil liberties. She's studied the psychology of fear and terrorism. And she's learned about such critical links as banking, transportation, water and power supplies, down to the details of how fuel travels through pipelines and how power grids work."

So now we have someone trained to treat all Washington citizens as potential terrorists, to see the world through the paranoiac lens of those who made the world angry enough at the U.S. over the decades to result in 9/11 and who since have done nothing to make things better.

There are some other reasons to be leery of Lanier. Jim Ridgeway reported in the Village Voice following one of the police riots that occurred during demonstrations in the reign of Charles Ramsey, "Demonstrators brought a class-action suit in Federal District Court in D.C., claiming they were surrounded by cops, arrested, handcuffed, and held up to 13 hours on buses and then at the police academy gymnasium for up to 36 hours. While at the gym, the protesters say, they were handcuffed one wrist to the opposite ankle. During the course of the suit, the judge released documents from the Metropolitan Police Department's own internal investigation of the incident. According to one of the documents, Cathy Lanier, a Special Operations division commander, 'stated that the handcuff technique was used to prevent escape, protect the protesters from one another, and to prevent them from committing sexual acts with each other.'"

We had been hoping for a cop trained in actually caring for a city, someone like Richard Pennington, the chief of Atlanta. An ex-MPD type who the city wasn't smart enough to make chief, Pennington went to New Orleans where he reduced homicides and other violent crimes by 50%, worked hard on internal corruption, fostered community policing and decentralized enforcement and investigation. He engaged in similar decentralization in Atlanta.

Instead, we apparently are to remain guarded by those trained in the law of perpetual fear. It's not a happy prospect.

HOW NOT TO PICK A CHIEF

ASIDE from the fact that the city's new police chief thinks abusing demonstrators by handcuffing one hand to the opposite foot for long hours is fine (which she says helps prevent them from having sex with each other when they are in custody), our new mayor's way of selecting a chief also leaves something to be desired. According to the Post:

||| Three days after the election, Cathy L. Lanier was called to the office of Mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty. The police commander figured that Fenty wanted to ask about the inner workings of the force. Instead, he asked: "Would you be the next police chief?"

"Are you kidding me?" Lanier stammered back.

There had been no formal interview, no hints he would ask the 39-year-old single mother to take on one of the most high-profile, demanding jobs in law enforcement. Since April, she had been the head of homeland security and counterterrorism for the department.

Lanier called Fenty two days later and accepted. |||

It would appear that Lanier may have thought about it longer than Fenty. But whether Fenty was operating under strong suggestion from uncertain powers that be or whether he was working on a hunch, it's not the best way to choose a chief.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/20/AR2006112000279.html

FENTY IN TROUBLE OVER CHIEF APPOINTMENT

IT'S NICE TO HAVE the Post on our wave length for a change. The day after our comments on the way Fenty picked his new police chief, the Post reported the following:

WASHINGTON POST - Mayor-elect Adrian M. Fenty's decision to select a new police chief without input from his closest advisers surprised and angered some of them and raised concerns about how his maverick style will play out once he heads the D.C. government. . . Left out of the selection -- arguably the most important a big-city mayor makes -- were the public safety experts on Fenty's transition team, the two chairmen of his campaign and key campaign consultants, including former D.C. police chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. To many, including some close advisers, the process smacked of a headstrong young mayor-in-waiting who appears to be relying on a committee of one to make critical decisions.

"The more you can vet this up front, the more you can avoid a contentious confirmation process," warned Vincent C. Gray (D), who in January will take over as chairman of the D.C. Council. . . Fulwood, who advised Fenty on public safety issues during the campaign, seemed disturbed. "I was not in on the decision-making process," he said, adding that Fenty didn't mention Lanier to him during a brief telephone conversation Sunday. "I was surprised by the choice." Tom Blagburn, a 23-year police official and member of Fenty's transition team on public safety, said Lanier "wasn't even on the radar screen."

"There must have been a lot of thought and deliberation" on Fenty's part, Blagburn said. But, he added, "anytime you make a major selection like that, you have to engage people. . . . It's very tough if you're mayor to make a decision without anyone else knowing about it."

For a candidate who swept the city's 142 precincts by establishing himself as a populist, Fenty, 35, has begun to develop a counterintuitive reputation as someone who eschews dialogue and consultation in favor of action and expediency.
He has filled other cabinet posts in nearly identical fashion. He announced after winning the Democratic primary in September that he probably would seek a takeover of the public school system -- even though he never mentioned the idea during the campaign. And he fired his longtime campaign spokesman by telephone shortly after the primary. Some wonder whether this approach signals an impulsive nature that could create trouble as Fenty leads the city's 34,000-employee bureaucracy. . .

HERE'S HOPING the city council - albeit sadly without justice bird dog Kathy Patterson - really looks into Lanier, especially her role in the 2002 police riot where she later publicly defended the mistreatment of demonstration prisoners.

MPD SETTLES WITH VICTIMS OVER 2001 POLICE RIOT

THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CIVIL Justice has announced the settlement of a landmark lawsuit against the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department that arose in connection with the demonstrations against the 2001 inauguration of George W Bush. As a consequence of this federal court litigation, the MPD will now undertake significant changes in its police practices and training programs with regard to demonstrations.

This lawsuit uncovered and exposed the police department's long-term domestic spying operation in which officers were sent undercover to infiltrate protest groups in the absence of any allegations of criminal activity. This led to a DC Council investigation and efforts to reign in police spying. This lawsuit also revealed that felonious attacks on lawful protestors along the parade route who were beaten and pepper sprayed were carried out by MPD plain-clothed detectives on an undercover counter-intelligence detail. The MPD initially denied that these men were their officers until PCJ established it in the litigation.

A critical change as a result of this litigation regards use of force against demonstrators. "This litigation uncovered the fact that the MPD had suspended use of force reporting requirements during demonstrations," stated Carl Messineo, attorney and co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice. "In other words, the police had been given a green light to assault protestors knowing that they would not have to report their actions or acknowledge that force had been used."

The District of Columbia has now agreed that use of force reporting requirements will stay fully in force during mass demonstrations. Further the settlement agreement requires changes in police training to reflect this requirement. Additionally, the police training will now include restrictions and prohibitions on use of police lines against protestors and instruction to officers that parading without a permit is not an arrestable offense.

"This is a victory for the First Amendment rights of all people who seek to protest in the capital of the United States without police brutality and disruption of assembly," stated attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, co-founder of PCJ, and co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee. "This agreement puts an end to the police department's practice and policy of letting officers brutalize demonstrators without concern for accountability and makes clear that protestors cannot be swept off the streets regardless of whether they have permits."

The District will also make a payment of $685,000 for attorneys fees and costs incurred during this 5 1/2 years of litigation as well as damages, including to two people who were violently assaulted by plain-clothed MPD officers along the Inaugural route.

Yesterday, it was announced that Chief Ramsey would be leaving the MPD. In addition to this lawsuit, he leaves in his wake additional mass violations of free speech rights and outstanding claims for over 1,000 false arrests of political protestors including two class actions that are still pending. The Partnership for Civil Justice is class counsel in these pending lawsuits.

HTTP://www.JusticeOnline.org

WASHINGTON POST - The settlement, which comes as Ramsey is preparing to leave his post, is the latest in a series of payments the city has made stemming from police conduct at demonstrations. In January 2005, the District government agreed to pay $425,000 to seven people caught up in a mass arrest at Pershing Park in September 2002. More than 400 people were rounded up at the downtown park during demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Several investigations found that Assistant Chief Peter J. Newsham, after conferring with Ramsey, had ordered arrests without warning or evidence of a crime -- including of people who had nothing to do with the protests. In that Pershing Park settlement, Ramsey was also required to send an apology letter to each of the plaintiffs.

In January 2004, the city agreed to pay $7,000 to $10,000 to each of three Corcoran College of Art students who sued. The students had said that they were photographing the Pershing Park protests and were encouraged by police to enter the park and then arrested in the roundup.

THE SPIN BEHIND THE CRIME EMERGENCY

JUSTICE POLICY INSTITUTE - Most crime is not committed by youth: Data from the Metropolitan Police Department shows that 94 percent of all arrests and 82 percent of violent arrests in 2006 were committed by adults. Among robberies - a specific area of concern in Washington, D.C. - sixty percent of the arrests were adults, not juveniles.

Juvenile robberies are not driving crime in DC: In the days before the crime emergency bill vote at council, the Chief of Police, the Mayor and others continued to refer to a "82 percent increase" in juvenile robberies. While the figure is correct, the increase in juvenile arrests represented a small number, 60 more robbery arrests (from 70 in first six months of 2005, to 134 in the first six months of 2006). This, in a city that is annually witness to 30,000 reported crimes. A comparison of juvenile robbery arrests over the last six months of 2005 and the first six months of 2006 show that the number of arrests has remained consistent.

Did homicides decline because of the crime emergency measures?: Prior to the crime emergency being declared - even with the spate of deaths in July - homicide arrests were already down for the year.

Did violent crime decline during the crime emergency?: By time the $8 million police overtime funds were to be fully spent (September 3, 2006), there were 143 fewer violent crimes reported in this six week period than there were in the similar six week period in 2005. This represents $55,944 in police overtime spending for every violent crime that was allegedly averted. Other jurisdictions, such as New York - which do not have any of the DC crime emergency measures-also experienced a decline in crime during roughly the same period.

While the Chief says that juvenile arrests fell 46 percent between 10 pm and 6 am, that belies the fact that DC already had a midnight to 6 am curfew. Between the hours of 10 pm and midnight, the number of arrests fell from 15 to 13 - two fewer arrests.

It is worth reminding residents, that serious and violent crime-the kind of crime that people are most afraid of--doesn't impact DC neighborhoods equally. Police districts 5, 6 and 7, Northeast and Southeast represent nearly 70 percent of the violent crime arrest (robbery is an exception, but not much of an exception). Of the 195 homicides in 2005, half occurred South of the Anacostia river, and none were reported in East of Rock Creek Park. It is regrettable, and certainly a cause concern when pockets of robberies and assaults occur anywhere in the city, but it simply isn't the same for public officials, and the media to treat the crime problems some residents and neighborhoods experienced as if they were the same.

http://www.justicepolicy.org/releases/PR_DC_Crime_Emergency_Response_FactSheet.doc

YOUTH TELL WHAT'S WRONG WITH CITY'S NEW CRIME POLICIES

YOUTH ACTION RESEARCH GROUP - To us, it seems like only youth were blamed for what D.C. police are calling a sharp increase in crime when it is mostly adults who commit violent crime in D.C. Only one youth has been charged with homicide in D.C. this year. We feel, it's easy to blame youth and put all these rules on us because we can't vote. Besides, the things they put into place aren't going to work. They haven't yet; it's almost been 30 days and people are still being killed in D.C.

The curfew of 10 p.m. wrongly punishes all youth. Young people who are out on the streets late at night and doing wrong are going to be out even if there is a curfew. The youth the curfew affects the most are the majority of us that are not out doing anything wrong. A 10 p.m. curfew means that we can't go to an 8 o'clock movie without adult supervision. We are on lock-down in our own city.

The cameras that the crime bill calls for also make no sense. Why is the city going to spend millions of dollars on a strategy that is not supported by research and has not been proven to work in other cities? A lot of people in D.C. neighborhoods have been saying that cameras are going to work and that they want them in their neighborhoods. They probably wouldn't think that if D.C. Council members told them how well they have worked in other cities.

The other thing that the crime bill does is make it so that cops can look into youth's records and hold them without bond. Cops can also tell principals about a youth's suspected involvement in a crime and they can be expelled from school. That is the last thing that is going to help youth stay out of trouble. Isn't our justice system supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? This crime bill makes it so that all youth in D.C. are considered guilty until they or their lawyers prove them innocent.

If D.C. wants to help keep us safe and out of trouble, what we really need is the city to invest more in us instead of in locking us up. D.C. spends $150,000 dollars per youth they lock up at Oak Hill, D.C.'s juvenile detention center; and only $12,000 per youth trying to get an education in DC public schools. The crime bill spends $2 million on cameras and $8 million to pay cops for overtime.

All this money is going for 'crime prevention' strategies that don't work even in the short term, when it could be better spent on long term strategies that we know help youth, like making sure we get a good education at schools that aren't falling apart and have no air conditioning in 80 degree weather and job training programs that prepare us to have good paying jobs in D.C. when we are older.

http://yargdc.blogspot.com/

GOOD COP GETS BAD RAP

ONE OF THE CITY'S BETTER COPS, Andrew Solberg, has been reassigned from commander of the West of the Park district while the MPD checks the fallout from an infelicitous comment Solberg made about the recent murder of a Briitsh citizen in Georgetown. Solberg told citizens upset about the murder, "I would think that at 2 o'clock in the morning on the streets of Georgetown, a group of three people, one of whom is 15 years old, one of whom is a bald chunky fat guy, are going to stand out. They were black. This is not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown. This is a fact of life."

Cops talk like that not because they're racist - although plenty are - but because they are trained to note anomalies in life, to observe when something is missing or something is someplace when it usually isn't. If you don't like it, you can forget about solving crimes. It's not Commander Solberg's fault that there aren't many 15 year old black guys in Georgetown at 2 am, but if there usually aren't it's part of his work to know it.

But DC is a town that always puts appearances first and so a good cop gets a bad rap so his chief and the mayor look good, even if the latter has, among other things, been pretty successful at making sure there are fewer 15 year old black guys anywhere in town at anytime of day.

Remember: you hire cops to catch the bad guys not to talk nice. If they're like the scores of cops a few years back who were sending racist and anti-gay emails that's another story and one, incidentally, that it took some effort to get the chief interested in. But you don't trash one of the your better cops for a public relations blunder.

MAGGIE HALL, CAPITOL HILL RAG, JUNE 2005 - Capitol Hill is getting a new "top cop." One lead- ing contender has a degree in theology, a master's in philosophy, is a big fan of Aristotle and his idea of a good read is Greek poetry. Turns out he was a late entrant into the police force because he was busy bumming-out in Mexico, Guatemala and earning a dollar as a New Orleans-based deck-hand on a Mississippi tug. Broke and wandering what to do with his life he arrived in DC with $40 in his pocket and promptly had his beat-up old van clamped and towed. Interesting, but sounds whacky. How about this guy? Spent a year, as a high school student in Bologna, Italy, followed by a season playing basketball for Moscow University, and then traveled in India. . .

Next month, Inspector Solberg celebrates his first year at the First District sub-station, opposite Marion Park, on E Street, SE. Because he refuses to spend much time behind his desk, he's become a familiar figure on the Hill. He gets out among us. Talks to us. Especially the social misfits, the street-yobs, and those darned drug-dealers. The children. Every Wednesday morning he's on special-duty. He reads to fourth graders at the Friendship Edison Charter School, on Potomac Avenue, SE. Currently the book is Alex Hailey's classic Roots. Kaye Davis, the class teacher says: "Inspector Solberg has made me look at our police department with a new eye- a new respect." But he confesses that he and the kids, are not making a lot of progress, in the reading department
that is.

Much of the hour is spent chatting, as he pauses often to ask the children what they think of what they've just heard. They express their views and in so doing open-up to him. He listens, he talks, they have a giggle and exchange knowing nods. He believes what he's doing is an investment in the future. That belief is prompted by a framed statement in his office. It reads: "What young people these days lack, more than anything, is good healthy role models."

With 49-year-old Solberg as a role-model for police officers, there shouldn't be a lot wrong with the MPD. But he almost didn't make it. DC nearly missed-out on one of its star cops. When he moved to DC, after his gig on the mighty Mississippi, he decided that the fire service was his future. But the city was not hiring. So he switched his attention to the police department. But it was no-go there too. Not because it didn't need officers- but because he was "medically unfit." Strange jargon, for a strange "condition" that initially got him barred from the force. Solberg was too tall! At 6'8", he exceeded the cut-off height by three inches. He set about changing the archaic, bizarre, peculiar-to-DC, law. He wrote to every member of the City Council, pointing out the stupidity of the situation. He recalls: "I told them: you know what, I could be a police officer if I was gay, Jewish, left-handed, Hindu, or whatever. But you're discriminating against me because I am tall. There's no purpose to this law. In the end they said I was right. But it was a convoluted process."

It was 1987 before Solberg was allowed into the police academy. Instinctively he knew he'd made the right career move. He knew because his colorful background, and varied experiences gave him plenty to compare policing to. Raised in Urbana, Illinois, Solberg's father lectured in American history, his mother taught fifth grade, his older sister is an art historian in Italy and his younger sister a criminal-defense lawyer. As a 12-year-old he spent a year in Bologna, Italy, when his father taught there; later he lived there again when his father went on an exchange program. He spent a semester in Moscow, when his height had the university basketball team drooling over him. He got a degree in religion from Haverford College, a liberal arts college outside Philadelphia. With no burning ambition in any special direction he went to New Orleans, simply because he had a pal there he could crash with. "I spent three glorious years being kind of a bum," Solberg laughs. "Other than being a policeman, my favorite job has been working on the Mississippi River as a deck-hand on a tug. I tied coal barges together. Outdoors, physical labor." But in the end he knew his roving days had to end. Broke, with only $40 and a Volkswagen van to his name, he headed for DC because he knew he could find another crash-pad with his legal-intern sister. .

"And so began a wonderful relationship with this city," he says. But he still didn't settle down. He tended bar. As for his parents? "They were hoping that one day I would find myself." But that was not to happen until he "bummed-off" again, this time back and forth to Central America. It took a pretty-girl in a pink jump-suit to get him to stay put. He was working at Au Pied de Couchon, in Georgetown. He couldn't help but notice the young woman, who kept coming in to use the restroom. A recently arrived Turkish immigrant, she was selling leather handbags on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Their first date was a day-long reading of James Joyce's Ulysses, at Kramer Books. Shortly after that he got his career act together and applied to join the police force. A year later, they married. . .

He made sergeant within five years, lieutenant by 1995, captain in 2001 and arrived on Capitol Hill as an inspector. During those years, as he worked in four of the seven police districts, he got a masters in philosophy at American University. And the Latin and Greek he studied at college stayed with him. He still recites part of the book of John in Greek. . .

He's known for happily handing out his cell phone number to anyone and everyone. That's had an impact; it's a sure sign that he wants to be involved, wants to know what's going on, wants to help. "I think that's one of the things I do best," he says. "I listen. I try to be aware of the community's concerns." Another thing he does, and encourages his officers to do, is explain to the people on the front-porch what is happening when the squad cars come screeching into their street. "Going over and saying, 'I bet you're wondering what we're here for ...' is an easy way of building bridges."

The rank and file under his command like Solberg's style. One 11-year MPD veteran enthuses: "He's a terrific supervisor. And for cops on the beat, like me, there's nothing better. "He's got a refreshing approach to policing. The great thing about his command is that he has an open door policy. Any of us can go and see him, at any time, and talk about our work. He's very receptive to any ideas we have. He's very into prevention and having us get involved without waiting for an emergency."

http://www.capitalcommunitynews.com/publications/hillrag/2005_june/28-29-RAG-0605.pdf

DC'S LACI PETERSON CASE

THE DAVID ROSENBAUM CASE has become DC's answer to the Laci Peterson case in a town where dead NY Times reporters outrank dead attractive women in news appeal. It is no disservice to the victims in either case to say that the coverage has been grossly disproportionate to that given similar deaths and, in the process, demean those other deaths in a manner not even noted in passing by the media.
Just for the record, for example, here are the unsolved deaths just from this year as listed by the MPD:

Preston Allen* - March 24, 2006, 400 block of Quackenbos St., NW - Note: Double Homicide; see also Kristopher Gilmore . . . Jehu Arias* - May 27, 2006, 1322 Half Street, SW . . . Michael Berry* - March 1, 2006, 900 block of Wahler Place, SE - Note: Double Homicide; see also Michael Branham . . . Chartate Blyther* - January 18, 2006, 615 Edgewood St., NE . . . DeAngelo Borras* - June 14, 2006, 120 Irvington St., NE . . . Michael Branham* - March 1, 2006, 900 block of Wahler Place, SE - Note: Double Homicide; see also Michael Berry . . . Deion Butler* - June 7, 2006, 1617 Isherwood St., NE . . . Josheryl Byrd* - January 26, 2006, 3300 block of Minnesota Avenue, SE . . . Doug Campbell* - February 4, 2006, 1200 North Capitol St., NW . . . Ivory Campbell* - February 26, 2006, 240 37th St., SE . . . Verone Carter* - May 24, 2006, 3600 block of Eastern Ave., NE . . . Willie Demonia* - January 12, 2006, 800 block of Barnaby St., SE . . . Darius Dyson* - May 24, 2006, 1265 Simms Pl., NE . . . Eric Edley* - June 13, 2006, 2400 block of Pomeroy Rd., SE. . . Darnell Ford* - January 30, 2006, 4265 4th St., SE . . . Marc Ficarra* - January 21, 2006, 2300 block of 18th St., NW . . . Randy Gibson* - May 18, 2006, 1209 Valley Ave., SE . . . Kristopher Gilmore* - March 24, 2006, 400 block of Quackenbos St., NW - Note: Double Homicide; see also Preston Allen . . . Anthony Goldsberry* - January 27, 2006, 4500 block of Quarles St., NE . . . David Howard* - February 4, 2006, 2410 3rd St., NE . . . Carrington Hooper, aka "Weedy"*. . . June 1, 2006, 3124 Newton St., NE . . . Angelo Hursey* - January 13, 2006, 2921 Knox Pl., SE . . . Francois Jones* - January 20, 2006, 400 block Park Rd., NW . . . Delonta Kelsey* - April 1, 2006, Georgia Ave. & Bryant St., NE . . . William Rashad Kemper* - February 6, 2006, 700 block of 50th St., NE . . . Daon Middleton* - May 30, 2006, Northbound I-295 near Exit 2 . . . Ronald Morton* - March 17, 2006, 1700 block of 8th St., NW . . . Reimond Nate* - May 30, 2006, 3011 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE . . . Tamarki Oates* - May 17, 2006, 2647 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE . . . Ronald Taylor* - February 9, 2006, 1368 Meridian Pl., NW . . . Antonio Thrower* - April 27, 2006, 10th & V Streets, NW . . . Damien Turner* - February 28, 2006, 18th Street & Independence Ave., SE . . . Unidentified Victim* - March 24, 2006, 1300 block of 1st St., NE . . . Domingo Reyes* - March 19, 2006, 1300 block of Randolph, NW . . . Baldwin Robertson Jr.* - February 21, 2006, 100 41st St., NE (Benning Elementary School) . . . Thomas Simms* - May 11, 2006, 1225 Valley Ave., SE . . . Eric Walker* - May 31, 2006, 700 block of Columbia Rd., NW . . . Gregory Washington* - February 20, 2006, 300 block of W St., NW . . . Ronald Washington* - January 19, 2006, 1420 Saratoga Ave., NE . . . Damon Ward* - February 26, 2006, 1208 U Street, NW . . . Bruce Warren* - February 15, 2006, 300 block of Livingston Terrace, SE

What distinguishes these cases from the Rosenbaum death? Well, for starters, not one of them occurred west of the park.

It is good to see a matter pursued as diligently as the Rosenbaum case, but it is both sad and disgraceful that it stands as such a rare example.

Part of the problem is that both politicians and the media have a hard time thinking about more than one thing at a time. They create these 11PM icons to make life easier, but in the process badly distort what's going on.

It gets even worse during an election year, witness the demand by both Cropp and Fenty for the ouster of the fire chief. Is this the way they're going to act when they become mayor? Termination based on column inches of negative publicity?

What should be happening right now is the accumulation of some useful information. Here are some of the questions that we should be asking but aren't:

- How does DC rank with other fire departments and emergency medical services?

- Why has DC had such a hard time in recent years finding good fire officials?

- What role did the city council and mayor play in the events leading up to Rosenbaum's death? Did they provide proper support and budgeting? If not, should they also resign for "lack of confidence?"

- How chronic are the problems uncovered in the Rosenbaum case? How can they be corrected?

- The Washington Times wrote that "the report also faulted city police officers who responded to the scene and failed to recognize that a crime had occurred, did not search the victim for identification and did not write an incident report." Why is only the fire department a target of the media? Why no criticism of the police chief as well as the fire chief?

- How can we, in the future, approach these matters more rationally and in a way that they improve citizens' safety and not as a media circus?

COURT RULES MASS ARREST 'INDEFENSIBLE'

THE FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS has ruled that Assistant Police Chief Peter J. Newsham can be held personally liable for his "indefensible " action in the mass arrest of nearly 400 protesters in 2002. "No reasonable officer " would have done what Nesham did, said the court. But the court said it didn't have enough information concerning Chief Ramsey to make a similar decision. This was the largest illegal arrest since the notorious May Day 1971 sweep that locked up 12,000 demonstrators. Here are excerpts from the court's decision:

||||| Newsham and Ramsey concede that the mass arrest was executed with no prior warning to the occupants of the park to disperse and no warning to them that arrest was imminent. In the end, 386 people were arrested. . . . . Undisputed evidence reveals that Newsham arrested an undifferentiated mass of people on the basis of crimes committed by a handful of individuals who were never identified. Because nothing in the record suggests that Newsham had particularized probable cause to arrest each of the 386 persons caught in the police sweep, . . . his claim to qualified immunity raises no genuine issue as to any material fact.. . . Newsham has no entitlement to qualified immunity.

Ramsey's situation is somewhat different. The Chief admitted having "tacitly approved " Newsham's arrest order. His entitlement to qualified immunity thus turns on whether he knew that the park had not been cleared of individuals who were not observed breaking the law. Based on the record assembled for summary judgment, it is not possible for us to answer that question. Because Ramsey's claim for immunity turns on the resolution of factual disputes regarding his participation in the events of September 27, 2002, his appeal is premature. . .

The "demonstrators " Newsham described never operated as a cohesive unit that entered or left the park intact. Newsham never asserted that the park was empty before "demonstrators " began entering it, nor that everyone who was not a protestor left the park as demonstrators entered. Rather, Newsham stated that "demonstrators " streamed into the park continuously, from "every direction " and over an extended period of time. . . . Ultimately, everything in the record indicates that a diverse flow of human traffic entered and exited the park as long as its perimeter remained unsealed. And there is nothing in the record to indicate that officers attempted to distinguish between persons who were lawfully in the park and had engaged in no lawless activity before entering and persons who were engaging in unlawful activity in the park or had done so before entering the scene.

Quite simply, Newsham had no basis for suspecting that all of the occupants of Pershing Park were then breaking the law or that they had broken the law before entering the park. Vague allegations that "demonstrators " committed offenses will not compensate for this shortcoming. Appellants have attempted to justify the sweep by focusing on allegedly illegal activities observed near the scene of the arrest before "demonstrators " converged on Pershing Park. Indeed, Newsham evidently justified his decision to Ramsey by citing the unlawfulness that he claims to have witnessed earlier that morning in the surrounding areas. Traffic offenses and scattered acts of vandalism by unidentified individuals in the streets, however, could not have incriminated all of the individuals who happened to occupy the park when Newsham ordered the arrest.

Even to the extent that Newsham asserts that some "demonstrators " were unlawfully assembled in the park, he has made no effort to ascribe misdeeds to the specific individuals arrested. Nowhere have appellants suggested that the particular individuals observed committing violations were the same people arrested; instead, they refer generically to what "demonstrators " were seen doing. . .

There is no indication of how an officer might distinguish between a "demonstrator " and a person walking to work or enjoying a stroll through the park, let alone how one would distinguish someone engaged in an allegedly illegal assembly from a passerby interested in hearing the political speech of protestors. Ramsey's statement that he "did not realize" the park had not been cleared is not enough to establish an undisputed fact, because both he and others submitted statements that do not square with Ramsey's denial. There appears to be a contradiction between Ramsey's initial claim that he "tacitly approved " Newsham's actions without having discussed whether the park was cleared, and his subsequent statement that Newsham assured him the park had in fact been cleared of innocent persons.

THOUSANDS WIN LAW SUIT FOR FALSE IMPRISONMENT. . . A federal judge gave final approval yesterday to an agreement under which the District will pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates who alleged that they were jailed longer than they should have been and were subjected to unreasonable strip searches. As part of the settlement of the 2002 class-action lawsuit, $3 million of the $12 million will go to the D.C. Department of Corrections to be spent on improvements to the inmate release process and other changes to comply with the agreement. Several thousand people could be eligible for a share of the funds. - WASHINGTON POST

LOOKS LIKE THE CAPITOL Police and the US Attorney are learning not to mess with citizens' attorney Jim Klimanski. As soon as he filed suit, they were ready to settle. . . KARLYN BARKER, WASHINGTON POST - Organizers of a planned protest during President Bush's State of the Union address next week reached an agreement yesterday with law enforcement officials and will now be allowed to use the area around the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool for their demonstration. The demonstrators had initially been offered the Reflecting Pool area on the west side of the Capitol as a protest site but then were told that the site had been reclassified as part of the security perimeter for the day of Bush's speech. Organizers of the Tuesday protest, called "World Can't Wait -- Drive Out the Bush Regime," filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking a court order to let them hold the gathering at the Reflecting Pool. They met yesterday with police and government representatives to resolve the issue. . . "A protest not seen and a protest not heard is not a protest," said Travis Morales, one of the organizers of the demonstration, who accused the Bush administration of trying to keep demonstrators far from the Capitol. He said yesterday that the Reflecting Pool area "will hold thousands more people" than the gravel walkways.

NEW HOPE FOR YOUTH DETENTION PROGRAMS

JAMES JONES, CITY PAPER - D.C.'s top juvenile-justice official, Vincent Schiraldi, wants to revolutionize how the city deals with youths who've been convicted of crimes. He believes that the agency he directs, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, should offer some of the city's toughest kids a shot at a brighter future, not just a bit of junior-varsity seasoning to prepare them for time in adult prisons. And for a director with no previous experience running a government agency, Schiraldi has at least one indication that his reform effort is gaining traction: He has pissed off the union representing guards at agency facilities.

"I don't think Vinny has the same concept of discipline as the correctional officers have," says youth corrections officer Glenn Adams, who works at the DYRS's Oak Hill detention center in Anne Arundel County. "His idea of consequences is not our idea of consequences." Adams is president of the Fraternal Order of Policelocal at DYRS and says he likes Schiraldi's passion. But he worries that the new boss is too soft. "Vinny is not a disciplinarian." . . .

Mark Steward, who ran the Missouri Division of Youth Services for 18 years, recently surveyed the DYRS. He now heads a consulting firm that Schiraldi hired to remake D.C.'s agency in the image of Missouri's system, which boasts the lowest recidivism rate for juvenile offenders in the nation. . .

Schiraldi says research shows that get-tough programs have been a dismal failure. He wants to decentralize D.C.'s youth-corrections system and emphasize rehabilitating young offenders in a homey, small-group setting. In Missouri, youth-corrections facilities aren't surrounded by razor wire. The kids wear their own clothes instead of uniforms. For Schiraldi, the key to turning kids around is building a system that exposes detainees to positive and caring relationships. ". . .

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/2006/lips0120.html