Law Enforcement

Best of POLICE: Our 12 Most Popular Articles

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 17:22

Each year in our annual Buyer's Guide edition of POLICE, we used to run an index of the magazine's content for the previous 12 months. We don't do that anymore because indexes of print content are no longer necessary, as we post each issue's content on Which gave us the idea of doing a new kind of index in this Buyer's Guide issue in the form of a gallery of our 12 most popular articles based on website visits.

A few notes before we get into the list. We decided to set the timeframe at five years (give or take a few months). Also, you may notice that many of the most popular articles tend to be from 2013 and 2014. This is because pageviews on accumulate with time. So here's our list of your favorite articles in police since January 2013.

1) 9mm vs. .40 Caliber

In October 2015 the FBI announced that it was switching from .40 S&W handguns to 9mm handguns. Dr. Sydney Vail—trauma surgeon, SWAT medic, and wound ballistics expert—wrote this discussion of why the FBI made this decision and why he believes it is the right one. The article includes a look at the FBI's recent history with handgun ammo, the performance of various sizes of pistol rounds, and Dr. Vail's experiences treating gunshot wounds. His conclusions can be summed up in this statement: "From a trauma surgeon's perspective, both the 9mm and the .40 caliber can wound, injure, incapacitate, or kill. However, shot placement is the best predictor of accomplishing the intended goals." No article published in POLICE before or after has garnered as much attention and debate.—January 2016

2) Does the LEOSA Carry Law Apply to You?

NRA Associate Litigation Council James M. Baranowski explains the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA). This article discusses who qualifies for LEOSA rights and the steps qualified officers, former officers with 10 years of service, and sworn retirees have to take in order to exercise their LEOSA rights. In addition, Baranowski looks at the arguments some agencies use to deny LEOSA rights to officers who are qualified and explains the pertinent case law. The article also explains how LEOSA rights do not supercede all federal, state, and local statutes that ban carry into certain areas. LEOSA-qualified person must also adhere to the wishes of private individuals and companies who prohibit weapons on their properties.—January 2014

3) Stopping Power: Myths, Legends, and Realities

Dr. Sydney Vail is one of the most popular POLICE authors and this is his second most read article. In "Stopping Power," Dr. Vail, who is both a trauma surgeon and a tactical medicine provider, discusses the wound ballistics performance of common calibers of handgun ammunition used by law enforcement. He explains the limitations of gelatin testing and argues the best way to determine performance is to examine how the bullets performed in actual human bodies. Vail also details the factors that go into estimating the stopping power of firearms ammunition. He concludes: "No single ammunition that is typically used by law enforcement officers today can reliably claim to have superior stopping power. I have seen a .22 caliber bullet completely incapacitate someone and a .45 ACP fail to achieve that result."—January 2013

4) Understanding Graham v. Connor

There is perhaps no more important Supreme Court ruling for American law enforcement than Graham v. Connor. The ruling establishes the "reasonable officer" standard for constitutional use of force, up to and including deadly force. In this article, veteran police sergeant (now retired) Mark Clark discusses how the case came to be, including the original arrest that led to the Supreme Court decision. The article also examines the actual language of the decision. Clark ends the discussion with advice on how Graham can be used in police reports from retired LAPD Capt. Greg Meyer, a POLICE Advisory Board member and noted use-of-force expert. "When you focus on the Graham factors, your police report will be better," Meyer says. "Your report should be specific about what the suspect was doing that caused you to use force." —October 2014

5) Revisiting the "21-Foot Rule"

Retired police detective, use-of-force expert, and forensic investigator Ron Martinelli is a frequent contributor to POLICE who addressed the so-called "21-Foot Rule" in a 2014 "Winning Edge" piece. He details how the concept of an attacker being able to execute a knife assault from 21 feet away before an officer could draw and fire came from a 1983 experiment by Lt. John Tueller. Martinelli writes that officers tend to misunderstand the intent of the Tueller drill: "I have heard it misstated, misrepresented, and bastardized by use-of-force, firearms, and police practices experts from all sides." Martinelli also reminds officers that the Tueller drill involved drawing a holstered firearm. In addition to looking at what the "21-Foot Rule" really means, Martinelli discusses the science behind officer reactions to deadly threats.—September 2014

6) 20 Things You Need to Know About Night Vision

For this article on night vision POLICE Editor David Griffith interviewed numerous experts about night vision and thermal devices and how they are used in law enforcement operations. This article looks at how night vision and thermal devices work, explains the generational differences between night vision tubes, what these systems can be used for, what the systems cost, how to evaluate night vision device quality, grants available to law enforcement agencies that want to acquire night vision, alternative technologies that can be used by law enforcement agencies, and the next generation of night vision and thermal devices. Some of the information—such as pricing—from this 2013 article is a bit dated. But it remains one of the popular articles at—March 2013

7) Understanding Armor Plates

In this article POLICE Managing Editor Melanie Basich consulted a number of experts on the benefits of hard armor for law enforcement and what officers need to know about this protective gear. The first thing most officers think about when discussing hard armor is protection from rifle-wielding active shooters in urban areas, but Georg Olsen, general manager of body armor and plate manufacturer U.S. Armor, says hard armor is also a critical need for rural officers. "I've talked to officers working in rural jurisdictions who say, 'You guys who work in the city, you're wondering if there's going to be a rifle there [on a call]. Out here, we wonder how many,'" Olsen said. This article discusses the different types of hard armor, their performance capabilities, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.—January 2013

8) How To Write Better Police Reports

This "Winning Edge" article by Mark Tarte discusses how to write more effective and comprehensive reports. We included it in our "Winning Edge" department, which generally involves tactics because quality reports can be critical in an officer's legal defense. "It is incumbent upon you to paint a word picture for the jury and others that will read your reports. You can be the best shot, the fastest runner, an expert at interviewing, and look like a Marine recruiting poster in uniform, but without the ability to write a proper and factual report, it will all be for naught," Tarte wrote. The article also addresses the need to preserve physical evidence of attacks on officers such as torn uniforms and damaged or broken equipment. And of course, it discusses the role of video in evidence capture both for and against the officer.—July 2013

9) Constitutional Home Entry

This extremely educational "Point of Law" article from Devallis Rutledge focuses on when law enforcement officers can legally enter someone's home. He wrote: "Private residences enjoy the highest levels of Fourth Amendment protection against governmental intrusion. 'The Fourth Amendment protects an individual's privacy in a variety of settings. In none is the zone of privacy more clearly defined than when bounded by the unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home.' (Payton v. New York)" The article details 10 reasons that officers can enter private homes: search warrant, arrest warrant, consent, rescue, threat to officer or public safety, prevent imminent destruction of evidence, fresh pursuit of a dangerous suspect, prevent escape of detainee/arrestee, prevent substantial property damage, and probation or parole search. Rutledge cautions: "When exigencies require immediate action, search warrants are unnecessary; however, if the situation is not immediately threatening, it's best for you, your department, and your local prosecutor that you get a warrant. Warrants increase your protection against civil liability (Messerschmidt v. Millender) and reduce the risks of suppression of evidence. (U.S. v. Ventresca) This is why your rule-of-thumb should be: seek a search warrant whenever practicable."—February 2014

10) Military Vets Joining Law Enforcement

Former contributing Editor Mark Clark wrote this article about military veterans returning from the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to pursue law enforcement careers. The article discusses why vets are well suited to police work, why the transition from military life to the civilian world can be difficult for some vets, and how some organizations help vets find civilian job opportunities in law enforcement and other professions. One expert told Clark, "Some 20% of returning veterans are seeking civilian law enforcement jobs. Some actually go into the military with the long-term goal of being a civilian police officer." In addition to looking at why some agencies want or don't want military vets in their recruit ranks, the article discusses how law enforcement officers with National Guard and military reserve commitments have been affected by the wars.—January 2014

11) Rethinking Active Shooter Response

Ever since the 1999 Columbine school massacre and even before, active shooters have been a serious concern for American law enforcement officers. This article by J.D. Lightfoot discusses the different tactics that officers can use to engage an active killer. Lightfoot focuses on the effectiveness of double- and single-officer response and he explains that officers have some advantages in these encounters. Lightfoot wrote: "You have been trained to deal with active shooter incidents. In most cases, the active shooter is not a trained combat operative. You have been trained and you can use your training to take the fight to him and foil his plans for mass murder." He explains that proper training is an important aspect of effective active shooter response. "One great way to practice these techniques and tactics is in force-on-force training. Many agencies, especially those that are progressive, make force-on-force training with airsoft guns, Simunition (marking rounds), or paintball guns an integral part of their regular training schedules. The benefits of this type of training are well known, and if your department doesn't provide it, then find some of this training on your own. It's the kind of experience that can really make a difference when the bullets are real."—February 2013

12) Second Careers

Former POLICE Senior Editor Dean Scoville wrote this feature article on a question facing many officers: "What will I do when I retire from law enforcement?" This article looks at both officers who retired with 25 or 30 years on the job and those who retired earlier for medical reasons, including PTSD. Scoville also discusses the tendency of officers to go back into law enforcement after a long career. The article includes the stories of officers who retired to take the position of chief at other agencies and some who became part-time patrol officers. "The Age Discrimination in Employment Act allows agencies to establish mandatory retirement ages, but it does not require them to do so. To the contrary, many agencies believe that having access to experienced officers outweighs the dangers that older officers may face," Scoville wrote. The article also discusses a wide variety of non-law enforcement jobs officers gravitate to in retirement, including security, private investigations, insurance investigator, and police trainer.—August 2013


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Police Week 2018

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 16:55

Each May 13 the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) holds a candlelight vigil for fallen law enforcement and the names of the officers who are being added to the Washington, DC, Memorial are read. This event marks the beginning of National Police Week.

The Candlelight Vigil, held on the National Mall, is an extremely moving event, but it is just one of many law enforcement memorial services held during Police Week across the nation.

Last month POLICE asked readers who planned to attend Police Week events to send us their photos so we could consider them for publication and our favorite would appear on our cover. The winning image is on this month's cover and it leads this photo feature. The photo—taken by Sgt. Telayna Luttrell of the Williamson County (TN) Sheriff's Office—captures a St. Louis County bagpiper after he played a midnight salute to the fallen at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Vehicle Spotlight: The Armored Group BATT-X and Discreet Armored Suburban

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 16:42

Armored vehicles used in law enforcement come in a wide variety of configurations, ranging from patrol vehicles with ballistic protection in the doors to large and heavily shielded rescue vehicles. The Armored Group (TAG) makes both. Two of the company's most popular products are the BATT-X and the Discreet Tactical Suburban.


Jeremy Johnson, sales manager for TAG, says the company's Ballistic Armored Tactical Transport (BATT) line offers some of the most innovative and versatile armored rescue vehicles on the market. The BATT-X is built on an F-550 chassis and features a design that focuses on officer protection and comfort as well as ease of maintenance.

The BATT-X is available in NIJ Level III to Level IV (.50 caliber ball). It also has a blast protected floor. In addition to the armor, the vehicle is engineered to offer as much protection as possible for its occupants. When the doors open, they lock in at 45 degrees for rapid exit by the officers but in such a way that armored panels in the vehicle shield the occupants from incoming rounds. In addition, the vehicle's gun ports have a special design that allows officers to use optics on their rifles while providing protection from incoming rounds. Johnson says the gun port design was developed with the assistance of tactical officers who wanted gun ports to be smaller but still allow them to use optics on their rifles when shooting out of the ports.

BATT-X options include: fire suppression, observation window in roof hatch, rescue pull points, and a winch. Another feature of the BATT-X that can provide officers with protection is the Multi Position Hydraulic Ram. This proprietary ram can be moved up, down, and side to side. Johnson says this allows officers to ram a window and then rake away the glass without leaving the protection of the vehicle. He explains that the ram was developed as part of the company's mission to allow officers to take advantage of the vehicle's protection as much as possible. "You are in a ballistic vest on wheels. You want to be in that as long as you can because it's the safest place to be."

Knowing that officers will be in the BATT-X for a significant amount of time on their way to and during an incident, TAG has engineered the vehicle to provide as much comfort as possible. The interior is designed to permit officers to move and Johnson says the climate control for BATT-X is the best in its class.

In addition to a more comfortable cabin for operators, customers for the BATT-X said they wanted easier maintenance and servicing access, according to Johnson. The problem, he says, is how to get to the engine of a vehicle with a heavy armor hood. TAG's engineers came up with a solution for this problem; they created a flip-forward hood so that the engine is accessed in a manner similar to the engines on semi-trucks. "It took us over a year to re-engineer that hood to make sure it was ballistically sound and it worked the way we wanted it to," Johnson says.

Discreet Armored Suburban

Another TAG vehicle that is popular with law enforcement is the Discreet Armored Suburban (DAS). This vehicle consists of an up-armored Chevrolet Suburban. Johnson says the most popular version is a 1-ton Suburban with NIJ Level III armor.

The DAS is designed as a stealth armored vehicle that looks like any other Suburban. Johnson says some agencies are using the vehicle for surveillance and for high-risk operations. He adds that a few agencies are using it as a patrol vehicle. Johnson says the DAS makes an excellent rescue vehicle. "With the Discreet Armored Suburban on scene, you don't have to call for an armored vehicle when things go bad. You already have it," he says.


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Have Officers Changed Their Minds About Mandatory Body Camera Use?

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 16:23

Back in 2014, body cameras were well known in law enforcement technology circles but not as widely used as they are today. So when POLICE asked our readers via Web poll on should body camera use be mandatory, many of the officers who responded had very little if any experience with these personal video systems. To put things in further perspective, this Web poll was posted just three months after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by former Ferguson, MO, police officer Darren Wilson.

One of the things that came about because of the Ferguson shooting and the riots that followed was a demand for law enforcement officers on patrol to wear body cameras. Just about every law enforcement agency with the means to buy body cams or access to grants for purchasing cameras started researching and testing these devices.

What these agencies quickly discovered is that while the technology was ready for such widespread use by officers, policy was not in place to cover when the cameras would be worn, when they would be activated, how the video data would be stored, and when the video data would be released. Larger agencies soon found they not only had to get buy-in from their officers, they also needed support from the unions that represent their officers and from the communities they serve.

Chiefs and sheriffs have tried a number of different strategies to achieve officer buy-in. Former Chief Jeff Halstead of the Fort Worth (TX) Police Department brought body cameras to the department. He believes officers should have a major say in establishing the body worn camera policy. "My push was I wanted the officers to feel it was their policy, so I allowed the Police Officers Association to work with a deputy chief and draft the policy," Halstead says.

Earlier this decade when the Fort Worth PD's body camera policy was implemented, officers may have been more receptive to mandatory wear requirements than they are today. In our 2014 poll, 68% of respondents said body camera use should be mandatory and 32% said it shouldn't. In our current Web poll, which asks the same question, the split was 50-50.

This was a simple Web poll. So we are not sure why 18% of officers have changed their minds. Perhaps officers have more experience with body cameras now and are not sure that their use should be mandatory. POLICE will conduct a more comprehensive survey on body camera use by law enforcement in the near future.


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Interacting with Homeless People

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 16:10

Cops are often in frequent contact with homeless people. Homeless individuals can be victims of crime, witnesses, associates of suspects, or suspects. They can also be a useful source of information about life on the streets, but only if the patrol cops who come across them treat them like human beings.

This is not to suggest all cops treat homeless people with contempt, but their interactions or concerns can range from, "I don't really care about them, as long as they aren't breaking the law" to "Get the hell off my beat!" to "I'll buy them a hamburger and a cup of coffee when I see them trying to stay warm on the corner."

Some officers at larger agencies will volunteer to create or work in so-called HOT or Homeless Outreach Teams, which may consist of cops, social workers, mental health clinicians, and grant-funded or religious-based homeless advocacy specialists. The goals for these teams, of course, is to break the hardened cycle of homelessness, their accompanying untreated mental illness problems, and their interconnected harmful relationships with drugs and alcohol. Many of these team members engage in what homeless advocate Ryan Dowd calls "empathic problem-solving."

Dowd is the executive director of Hesed House, the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois. He has written a new book, "The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness," specifically for library staffers, who clearly encounter the homeless regularly at their facilities. (Homeless people go to libraries because they are spacious, quiet, calm, stimulating, escapist, police-free, and usually inclusive.)

His book offers his decades of insight and dozens of practical tools for the library folks, but his words also serve as an entrance into a world few cops understand, or may not even care about. As such, his book is useful for patrol officers as well.

He offers these statistics about this at-risk, highly stressed part of our population:

National estimates are that 20% to 25% of homeless people are mentally ill. Of those, 70% have personality or other psychiatric disorders: bi-polar, depression, paranoid, borderline, antisocial, schizoid, delusional, psychotic). Many struggle with autism disorders. Many cannot learn from their repeated mistakes and are constantly in conflict and rude with nearly everyone who tries to help them because they cannot control their interactions. About 40% of homeless people struggle with alcohol abuse and 25% with drug abuse. On any given day in the United States, 22% of the known homeless population are children, 40% are women, and 35% are families.

Homeless people, says Dowd, often have traits, ideas, and characteristics that are similar to ours and yet widely different. Based on his long observations of people in his shelter, Dowd suggests many homeless:

  • Grew up poor. (Often over many generations.)
  • Speak differently. (We use a "formal register" with strangers or authority figures; they use a more "casual register.")
  • Have a smaller vocabulary. (Limited education hurt their development as communicators. Simple words and clear commands to them work best.)
  • Pay more attention to nonverbal cues. (They really read into body language, vocal inflection, tone perceptions, and volume.)
  • Argue differently. (Their "anger ratio" is quicker and stronger, meaning they start loud and get louder, without much warmup.)
  • View respect differently. (They see it as earned by fair, humane, and consistent treatment, not shouting, force, or punishment.)
  • Look at time differently. (They don't have much more than a 24-hour time horizon. Beyond tomorrow is a long time for them.)
  • Value relationships. (They are highly protective of their peers. They share lots of information with each other: safe libraries; fair or mean library staffers; fair or mean security guards or police; where to get free food, clothing, shelters.)
  • Value their possessions. (They have an understandably strong emotional attachment to the stuff in their bags; it's often truly all they have in this world.)
  • Look at space differently. (Every room they are in is the same as any other room and is to be used the same way, no matter where it is or who else is there.)
  • Are funny. (They use gallows humor, just like cops.)
  • Have experienced more trauma. (This includes repeated exposures to physical assaults, sexual abuse, evictions, abandonment, random or targeted violence, brain injuries, arrests, job loss, and relationship losses.)
  • Are in more danger. (They cannot always protect themselves – especially when they are asleep. This population has a lot of accompanying and untreated PTSD problems.)
  • Want to look scary. (Looking like a modern-day version of Charles Manson, says Dowd, is an intentional protective device to keep predatory people away from them.)
  • Have had their IQs lowered. (Their education often stopped early and their lives on the streets have hurt their capacity to learn.)
  • Are habituated to punishment. (Their usual and near-daily punishments—getting kicked out of a public place or threatened with jail—are not much of a deterrent to their behavior. Dowd says, "Homelessness is often the culmination of repeated punishment failing to change behavior.")
  • Have less self-worth. (Most homeless people have almost none after six months of living on the streets and shelters, and having to resort to begging to survive.)
  • Are treated like crap more. (Just about every non-homeless person looks down on them, literally, as they sit below normal human eye level on the sidewalk all day, asking for money.)
  • Trust people less. (Their behavior and life circumstances have caused them to be abandoned by family members, employers, landlords, co-workers, friends, spouses, partners, or their children.)
  • Value fairness. (They hate being singled out for punishment for rules that others get to break.)

None of this means that you should ever exchange your officer safety for your compassion when dealing with this population. But perhaps just having this knowledge as to the why and the how of homeless life can make your contacts with the homeless population easier on both sides.

Steve Albrecht worked for the San Diego Police Department for 15 years. He has written seven books on police officer safety and gun tactics. He can be reached at or on Twitter @DrSteveAlbrecht


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Rhode Island State Police Arrests Two Additional Employees of Flint Audio Video for Illegally Accessing and Sharing Nude Photos from Customers' Cell Phones and Computers

State - RI Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:45
Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, announces the arrests of two additional employees of Flint Audio Video for allegedly accessing and sharing nude images found on customers' cell phones and computers. (A store...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Troopers arrest a Rochester man for Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd Degree

State - NY Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:41
On June 22, 2018. The New York State Police in Rochester arrested Taryn R. Lopez, a 22 year old Rochester resident, for Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd degree following a traffic stop for driving with no headlights on I-490 in the City of Rochester. 
Categories: Law Enforcement

Beaver Dams Man Arrested for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana

State - NY Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:37
On June 22, 2018, Troopers out of SP Horseheads arrested Tyrone J. Smith, 19, of Beaver Dams, New York for unlawful possession of marihuana.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Understanding domestic violence homicides: offender typology and warning signs

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:36

Author: American Military University

By Scot DuFour, alumnus, Criminal Justice at American Public University

Studies across the globe confirm that the biggest threat of murder for women comes from the man with whom they are intimately involved. In the U.S., 35 percent of female murder victims are killed by a husband or boyfriend and studies in Europe show similar or higher percentages. [1]

Domestic violence homicides (DH) are different than non-domestic violence homicides (NDH) for many reasons. First and foremost, in a DH incident, murder is almost never the first incidence of violence, threat, or coercion against the victim. Second, the evolution of the relationship to the point of murder comes with warning signs that officers and prosecutors can identify.

Characteristics of Domestic Homicide Victims

Women in poverty and with higher numbers of children in the household are at higher risk for domestic victimization, and women living in male-dominated cultures are often slow to report or even identify certain behaviors as domestic violence. [2] Additionally, the same study found that women with higher levels of education are less likely to become domestic violence victims.

Every officer receives training on identifying domestic violence and why women stay with their abusers. The cycle of violence is taught in police academies to educate officers about the different stages of violence including the tension-building stage, making-up stage and the calm stage. Many women in these situations also become brainwashed by their abuser and can be convinced that they are to blame for the problems. Helping the victim overcome her self-blame and shame of reporting the abuse can be difficult, but is a very important aspect of successfully investigating these cases. [2]

Patrol officers are in a unique position to identify and keep an eye on domestic violence situations. Any patrol officer who has spent a few years working the same area can identify the residences where they receive repeated calls for assistance from domestic violence victims. However, those same officers can’t make an arrest unless there is probable cause. Stalking behavior can start with the offender showing up unannounced or monitoring the victim’s activity, but initially such behavior may not meet the requirements of a crime. However, it’s important for officers to still document these non-criminal behaviors as this evidence can prove pivotal in the investigation if the situation does evolve into a case of stalking.

Other commonalities can help an officer identify victims who might be in extreme danger of DH. The victims of DH are less likely to be under 20 years of age compared to the victims of NDH. [3] Women who are in poor or failing health and women who attempt to separate or leave the situation are at significantly increased risk for DH. [4]

Police officers responding to repeated reports of domestic violence should take advantage of their position to evaluate the danger level and the relationship dynamic. Officers are able to watch the relationship evolve and their observations can play a key role in identifying when the relationship is escalating towards the point of DH.

Domestic Violence Offender Characteristics

It is also very important for officers to understand the risk factors of domestic violence offenders. A great deal of past research has shown that DHs are not usually crimes of passion. [3] The relationships that end in DH are often the culmination of escalating violence that results in homicide. Several domestic violence risk assessment tools have been introduced with varying degrees of ability to predict DH. Risk assessments are a list of questions about prior acts of violence as well as questions about the relationship dynamic and other characteristics about the offender and victim that can be used to try to predict the chance of future violence.

The 2014 study utilized one particular risk assessment and found that 86.5 percent of cases they identified as “extreme danger” did in fact end in DH. [3]

Risk factors most commonly associated with domestic homicide offenders included:

A prior history of violence that increased in severity was present in 83.8 percent of cases; Alcohol was involved in 75.7 percent of cases; An actual or pending separation in 70.3 percent of cases; The suspect attempted to avoid arrest in 62.2 percent of cases; Extreme jealousy on the part of the suspect in 62.2 percent of cases; Threats to kill the victim in 51.4 percent of cases; and stalking behavior in 45.9 percent of cases.

This particular study found several key factors that were also found in other recent studies across the globe. For example, women at the stage of finally leaving or separating from the offender are at great risk, which increases exponentially when increasing severity of attacks, alcohol, jealousy, threats, and stalking behavior are present.

Stalking and Domestic Homicide

According to another study, stalking behavior is very predictive of DH, but can be difficult to prove in the legal system. A 2017 study explored the relationship between stalking and DH. [4] The study focused on identifying stalking behavior based on its severity or its duration. For example, officers might be quick to minimize a husband who drops his wife off at work every day or constantly calls to check on her whereabouts when these may actually be signs of dangerous stalking behavior. Officers must remember that every time they respond to a domestic violence incident, they are seeing merely a snapshot of the situation that is likely an ongoing trend.

The study defined stalking behavior as fixation, obsession, and surveillance by the offender, and when defined in that way, found that stalking behavior was present in 94 percent of DH cases in the study. Stalking behavior can easily go underreported because of its secretive nature and because many victims are reluctant to report domestic violence incidents in the first place. Police officers must take reports of stalking seriously and document them even if there is no probable cause for arrest at the time.

The following chart could be very helpful to officers responding to domestic violence calls related to stalking behavior:






Coercive control





History of stalking

Threats of suicide



Threats to kill

Failing mental health of victim or offender


Strangulation/restrict breathing

Financial ruin

Issues with rejection

Vexatious litigation, criminal allegation, child custody battles



Entering the home covertly

Losing control of the victim


Acting on threats of sexual violence

*The victim is at high risk for DH when at least one characteristic is present from each of the three categories.*

Patrol officers, detectives and prosecutors should become aware of these DH studies to more actively identify high risk cases, protect victims, and effectively prosecute offenders. Police officers would do well to thoroughly document cases of stalking or escalating violence even if they do not rise to the level of criminal charges at the time. That documentation can help in the future if charges are filed and can assist in a more accurate threat assessment. Prosecutors can rely on police reports when making arguments on bond issues and victim protection. Protecting those who cannot protect themselves means responding patiently, intelligently and diligently to all kinds of domestic violence cases.


1. Hanlon R, Brook M, Demery J, Cunningham M. Domestic homicide: Neuropsychological profiles of murderers who kill family members and intimate partners. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2016; 61(1).

2. Kulkarni S, Racine E, Ramos B. Examining the relationship between Latina’s perceptions about what constitutes domestic violence and domestic violence victimization. Violence and Victims, 2012; 27(2), 182-193.

3. Juodis M, Starzomski A, Porter S, Woodworth M. A comparison of domestic and non-domestic homicides: Further evidence for distinct dynamics and heterogeneity of domestic homicide perpetrators. Journal of Family Violence, 2014; 29(3), 299-313.

4. Monckton Smith J, Szymanska K, Haile S. Exploring the relationship between stalking and homicide. University of Gloucestershire Centre for Learning and Innovation in Public Protection, 2017.

About the Author: Scot DuFour has been a police officer since 2004 and is currently an investigator in a domestic violence prosecutions unit for a district attorney’s office in Colorado. Scot was previously a police officer with the Aurora Police Department, Phoenix Police Department, and a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He is a graduate of American Public University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in criminal justice. To contact the author, please email For more articles featuring insight from industry experts, subscribe to In Public Safety’s bi-monthly newsletter.

Categories: Law Enforcement

Elmira Man Arrested for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana

State - NY Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:27
On June 21, 2018, Troopers out of SP Dundee arrested Michael P. Williams, 32, of Elmira, New York for unlawful possession of marihuana.
Categories: Law Enforcement

Information Regarding June 22 Incident at Bertie Correctional Institution

State - NC Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:19
Friday, June 22, 2018

At approximately 3 p.m. today at Bertie Correctional Institution, inmate Angel Phillips (#1164752) assaulted a correctional officer by striking him in the head and facial area with his fist. The officer was taken to an outside medical facility for evaluation for non-life threatening injuries.

RI State Police Arrests Three People on Weapons Charges After Seizing Stolen Handgun and Armor-Piercing Bullets During Traffic Stop

State - RI Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:45
Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, announces the arrests of three people on weapons charges after troopers seized a stolen handgun, armor-piercing bullets and a bulletproof vest during a traffic stop in Warwick...
Categories: Law Enforcement

Orlando LEO critically wounded in standoff breathing on his own

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:43

By Michael Williams Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando police officer who was shot in the head and critically injured nearly two weeks ago is breathing on his own, a police spokesperson confirmed.

Officer Kevin Valencia, 27, was shot while responding to a domestic-violence call at a west-Orlando apartment complex on June 11. His shooting was the catalyst for a standoff that ended when Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr killed four children before turning the gun on himself.

Valencia, a married father of two young children, remains comatose in critical condition, a police spokesperson said.

Valencia’s wife, Meghan Valencia, described him as an amazing father and husband who she’s been with since they were both 12 years old.

“My boys need a daddy, and I need my husband, and this community needs a real hero,” she said shortly after the shooting.

©2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Categories: Law Enforcement

Cop killer granted parole after 44 years in state prison

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:32

By Graham Rayman New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A convicted cop killer who has spent the past 44 years in prison has been granted parole, state prisons officials said.

Robert Hayes, 69, was granted release on June 12 by the Board of Parole. Hayes was convicted in 1974 of shooting and killing transit cop Sidney Thompson in 1973.

Thompson was trying to arrest a friend of Hayes for jumping a turnstile. Both Hayes and his friend were members of the Black Liberation Army.

Hayes’ impending discharge, as soon as Sunday, follows the release in April of another convicted cop killer Herman Bell, who shot and killed NYPD officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini in 1971. Hayes had been denied parole 10 previous times.

“The Board adheres to statutory requirements that take into consideration a number of factors prior to making any final determination,” a state prisons spokesman said in a statement.

“The Board must consider statements made by victims and victim’s families, as well as an individual’s criminal history, institutional accomplishments, potential to successfully reintegrate into the community, and perceived danger to public safety.”

The board’s vote was quickly criticized by law enforcement unions. “It is a travesty that yet another murderer who killed a member of law enforcement in cold blood will be turned loose on the streets to reintegrate with the public, whom his victim gave his life to protect,” said Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Associated.

“If Gov. Cuomo truly is serious about criminal justice reform, he must start by fixing a broken parole system that would allow such a sinister killer to go free.”

Powers also slammed Gov. Cuomo’s executive order, which gave paroled prisoners the right to vote. “Forcing citizens to be vigilant that convicted killers may be in their polling place makes a mockery our democratic process,” he said.

Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said the governor disagrees with the parole board.

“Our law enforcement officers and first responders have dedicated their lives to keeping their communities safe and anyone who murders one of these heroes should remain locked away,” he said. “This is an independent board, but we disagree with this decision in the strongest possible terms.”

About 35,000 people are on parole.

©2018 New York Daily News

Categories: Law Enforcement

Troy Man Arrested for Grand Larceny

State - NY Police - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:31

The New York State Police in Clifton Park arrested 43 year old Johnny R. Bryant from Troy, NY, for Grand Larceny in the fourth degree.

Categories: Law Enforcement

When does your Terry stop run into Miranda?

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:14

Author: Val Van Brocklin

In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment requires police to advise suspects of their right to remain silent and to obtain an attorney before interrogating them in police custody. “Custody” for Miranda purposes occurs when under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person would consider himself to be deprived of his freedom to the degree associated with a formal arrest.

Miranda’s central concern was to protect the individual right against self-incrimination from the inherently coercive nature of custodial interrogation. Statements and evidence obtained in violation of Miranda cannot be used against the defendant in court.

Terry’s Fourth Amendment exception

The Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio (1968) established an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of probable cause before seizing and searching someone.

Terry held that police may briefly stop a person and investigate based upon reasonable suspicion the person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime. If the officer additionally has reasonable suspicion that the individual is armed and dangerous, the officer may perform a limited search for weapons, generally via a “pat down” of the outer clothing. Such preliminary investigation does not require Miranda warnings.

In Berkemer v. McCarthy (1984), the court held that the roadside questioning of a motorist detained in a “routine” or “usual” traffic stop is more like a Terry stop and so does not constitute “custodial interrogation” that would trigger Miranda.

While Miranda was intended to protect the right against self-incrimination, Terry balanced the Fourth Amendment’s protection against the public’s need to have police investigate crime – and be safe while doing so.

The issue

In response to evolving public safety challenges, police use of Terry “stops” has expanded significantly since the case was decided – a move sanctioned by many courts. Along with the expanded use of the “stops,” courts have also recognized increased dangers to police in the 50 years since the Terry case. Lower courts have broadened the types of offenses, persons and situations deemed to pose a danger. They’ve also broadened the measures officers may employ to ensure their safety during a legitimate Terry stop to include handcuffing, putting suspects in police cruisers, drawing weapons and demanding suspects lie face down on the ground.

While such police conduct has been found reasonable by some courts within Terry’s exception to the Fourth Amendment, it can create the “custodial” situation that Miranda held might violate the Fifth Amendment.

Courts’ line drawing is split and squiggly

This has led to a federal circuit split on whether coercive – albeit reasonable – Terry stops constitute Miranda custody.

The First, Fourth, Eighth and D.C. Circuits have rolled the Fifth Amendment “custody” issue into the Fourth Amendment “reasonableness” determination. In those circuits, if the stop meets the Terry requirements – and is, therefore, reasonable – Miranda warnings aren’t required even if the circumstances were coercive. This is a misunderstanding of the distinction between the two rights – according to at least one legal scholar. The Second, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth circuits holds that a valid Terry stop might require Miranda warnings if the circumstances are coercive enough that they rise to a level contemplated by Miranda.

Adding to this inconsistency, is the uncertainty of the “totality of the circumstances” test used to determine “custody” for Miranda purposes. These circumstances may include:

    The location of the contact and whether it’s familiar to the suspect or at least neutral or public. The number of officers involved. The degree of physical restraint used. The duration and character of the interrogation. The language used to summon the suspect. The extent to which the suspect is confronted with evidence of guilt. Whether the suspect or police initiated the contact.

But most courts acknowledge their list of factors isn’t exhaustive and the courts vary on the weight to give individual factors. Even the Supreme Court has conceded, “[T]he task of defining ‘custody’ is a slippery one.”

Further muddying the waters is that state courts aren’t necessarily bound by federal circuit court opinions. State courts may grant citizens more Fifth Amendment protection under their constitutions than federal courts grant under the U.S. Constitution.

What’s a cop to do?

First, you need to have your local prosecutor clarify your jurisdiction’s case law on when a valid Terry stop might require Miranda warnings, if ever.

Second, consider the factors above – which the courts consider – when deciding what investigative and protective measures, tone, duration and location to employ for purposes of your Terry stop. Articulate in your police report the reasonable suspicion that supports your investigative stop. Separately articulate the reasonable suspicion that supports any protective measures you took. It isn’t enough to just say you did something for “officer safety.” You must articulate a reasonable suspicion for the particular danger(s) you are protecting against.

Third, while courts have come to recognize that the “officer safety” aspect of a Terry stop might justify more than a simple pat down, officers can mitigate the coercive aspects of additional protective measures. Consider, when consistent with officer safety, communicating to the suspect the brief or temporary nature of the protective measure. Informing a person the officer has a few brief questions to address their suspicion of criminal activity or that they’re being handcuffed only out of officer safety concerns may allay a courts’ concern about the coercive effect of additional protective measures during a Terry stop.

Lastly, in the words of “Hill Street Blues” Sergeant Phil Esterhaus, “Let’s be careful out there.”


Categories: Law Enforcement

Amazon Employees Join ACLU, Investors in Protest of Amazon’s Sale of Tech to Police

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:11

Embed from Getty Images

In a letter posted to an internal company Wiki page and later obtained by The Hill, a group of Amazon employees have asked company executives to discontinue its sale of the company’s Rekognition facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies. They also asked the company to stop providing services to a company called Palantir — a data analytics concern that provides “mission critical software” to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in support of their detention and deportation efforts.

“We refuse to build the platform that powers ICE, and we refuse to contribute to tools that violate human rights. As ethically concerned Amazonians, we demand a choice in what we build, and a say in how it is used,” the document said.

The letter, addressed directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Besos, said. “Along with much of the world we watched in horror recently as U.S. authorities tore children away from their parents … we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS.”

The employees' action follows closely on the heels of another effort by the ACLU and a group of company investors.


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Categories: Law Enforcement

Inmate charged in deaths of 2 Kan. deputies

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:07

Author: Val Van Brocklin

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday in the shooting deaths of two Kansas sheriff's deputies who were transporting him between a courthouse and jail.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney's office on Friday announced charges against Antoine Fielder, 30, but didn't immediately specify what he is charged with. A news conference was scheduled for later Friday afternoon.

Wyandotte County deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King were killed June 15 when they were apparently overpowered by Fielder in a gated area behind the courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas, possibly with one of their own guns.

Rohrer, 35, died shortly after the shooting and King, 44, died the next day at a hospital. A joint funeral service was Thursday.

Fielder was shot but survived. He has an extensive criminal history.

Fielder was tried twice for the June 2015 killing of 22-year-old Kelsey Ewonus, a single mother of a 1-year-old son whose body was found in a parked car in Kansas City, Kansas. But the murder charge was dropped in September after a second trial ended in a hung jury.

Authorities allege that Fielder then fatally shot 55-year-old Rosemarie Harmon in December in Kansas City, Missouri, and wounded her friend. Ballistics testing on a gun stolen during a carjacking in Kansas City, Kansas, earlier in December tied him to Harmon's slaying.

At the time that the deputies were shot, Fielder already was facing a first-degree murder charge in Jackson County, Missouri, in Harmon's death as well as multiple charges in Wyandotte County in the carjacking.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Fielder.

He could face charges for additional crimes.

According to court records filed in Harmon's killing, Fielder bragged to a woman whom he allegedly held at gunpoint that he had killed four people. The court records don't provide details about those alleged crimes, but Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has said the claims are "under investigation."

#BREAKING Antoine Fielder, the suspect in the murder of two deputies has been booked into the Johnson County, KS jail. More on @fox4kc

— Karra Small (@ValerieParaso) June 21, 2018

Mark Dupree, the Wyandotte County district attorney, has said that prosecutors did "everything we could to prove to a jury that he was guilty" of killing Ewonus. The charges against Fielder in Ewonus' killing were dropped in such a way that they could be refiled if new evidence arises.

Ewonus' father, Kent Ewonus, told WDAF-TV in an interview that he "knew without any doubt" when Fielder was freed that he would kill again.

"I think I am disgusted with a system that would allow such an evil individual to be out on the streets," he said.

Categories: Law Enforcement

With great power comes great responsibility: Ethics in AI

Police One - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 13:57
Author: Val Van Brocklin

Technology is constantly developing and so are the ways it can assist law enforcement. What didn’t seem possible just five years ago is now taken for granted today. The next stage in the LE-friendly technology evolution lies with Artificial Intelligence or AI.

The ability to conduct facial recognition or read the number plate on a passing car is not new. AI-driven facial recognition occurs on your smart phone right now, whether as a security measure like Apple’s Face ID or cataloging thousands of your digital photos for easy reference.

The sophistication of AI is increasing and will enable police departments to quickly process video for automatic redaction, transcription and reporting.

While AI will make life easier, there are still protocols and politics to sort. For example, the ability of a police department to redact anything not associated with the crime or criminal is essential to preserve the rights and liberties of the citizens that same department is sworn to both serve and protect.

Axon for one is considering the human factors in AI via its ethics board, formed to ensure transparency in the LE tech giant’s work space and to take responsibility for the power Axon platforms will provide moving forward.

When Axon announced the formation of its AI ethics board in April of this year, it didn’t just take the public safety world by storm – the entire tech community paid attention. Forbes magazine suggested Google should follow the kind of transparency being advocated by Axon when it comes to discussing the role of AI in our lives.

At Axon’s recent Accelerate symposium, CEO and co-founder Rick Smith, along with two members of the ethics board – Jim Bueermann and Tracy Ann Kosa – took to the stage for a panel discussion on how and why the board came into existence.

Axon Vice President Mike Wagers, who moderated the panel discussion, introduced the session saying that just as for superhero Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility. Recognizing what AI could do and how great that power is in terms of what it means to bring new and innovative technologies to law enforcement, we also recognize the challenges it brings when it comes to civil liberties and privacy. That was the purpose of establishing the board.”

Learning from ELSI

When Axon acquired two AI teams in 2017, the announcement was met with concern from both the tech and mainstream media with suggestions the acquisition was the first step on the way to an Orwellian police state.

Getting both media and public buy-in early in the development of groundbreaking tech is the key to its success. Interpreting public opinion and responding in an appropriate way requires strategizing around how best to introduce new technology.

Similar negative headlines were seen in the early 1990s when the federal government launched the human genome project to sequence human DNA. As public discussion focused on nightmare scenarios of scientists creating designer babies or unleashing super viruses, the National Human Genome Research Institute founded the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) program to identify and address the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic and genomic research for individuals, families and communities.

“While the first human genome cost about $3B to read one person’s DNA, it now costs a little over $100 today,” Smith told the Accelerate audience. “Most of the promising cancer therapies are coming out of the human genome project now. This is a life-changing thing that is going to make the world a much better place, but it never would have happened if the public turned against it. AI could die an early death if the world freaks out and states pass laws against it and we may never get to see the promise of it. That is one of the reasons why Axon created an advisory board around ethics and privacy.”

A model for trust and legitimacy

Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann, who helped initiate Axon’s AI board and run the board’s first meeting, told the Accelerate audience there are no wallflowers on the board: “Members of the ethics board are not shy. I think individually we have taken the position that we serve policing best by telling Axon the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. Rick was in the first meeting the whole time. When the big boss spends the entire day in a meeting focused on something as dry as the ethics of artificial intelligence, there is a message there about the commitment of the organization to try to do the right thing with what is probably one of the most powerful technologies the world has ever seen.”

For Bueermann – who worked for the Redlands (California) Police Department for 33 years and retired as chief – educating the community about new policing technology maintains credibility.

“When we set up a citywide camera surveillance system, we decided to stand up a citizen privacy council. Legitimacy, trust and credibility in the community are the lifeblood for a police department. You are able to do your job as a cop because the community trusts you to do the right thing. That can go off the rails if you use a technology as powerful as AI without some sense of where it is going. In the public sector, you are obligated to do certain things because you are publically funded. Axon is under no obligation to do this. My own personal belief is that this is a good model for literally any corporation or part of the private sector that is engaging in technology development for the police.”

Facial recognition

As a company, Axon has yet to invest any money or manpower into facial recognition initiatives, Smith told attendees, with facial recognition remaining relatively controversial in the United States. This is in contrast with other nations where, for example, the technology is more acceptable in France as the French National Police focus on how tech can help detect and prevent homegrown terrorist attacks like the Bataclan massacre.

The dilemma is how to build a system with the right controls that can be deployed in different geographies under different cultural norms.

“We know it is a technology that is going to be of interest, but in terms of bang for the buck, there are a lot of things we can be doing around helping redaction and improving current business processes for departments, which is where we think it is best to build our AI capabilities,” Smith told the audience.

The board will meet later this summer to discuss facial recognition and form operating guidelines.

The shifting sands of privacy

Ethics board member and Accelerate panelist Tracy Ann Kosa is a senior program manager at Google working on privacy features for the Google Cloud Platform. Previously at Microsoft she led the development and implementation of the global privacy compliance program. During the panel discussion, Wagers asked Kosa if the notion of privacy was dead.

“Previously privacy was very much a one-to-one relationship, where you were collecting data from me and you would tell me what that collection looks like and I would tell you yes or no depending on how much control I had,” explained Kosa. “Now I think we have a greater understanding that my answer also impacts the privacy of everyone else in this room.

"The more we all consent to the sharing of our data with large organizations, and I don’t mean just ones like Facebook, the less privacy we all have. But that doesn’t mean the concept is dead. The most visceral example I can give to you is that public bathrooms still have locks on doors. We very much value privacy and there is still some notion of control that exists in all of us. I think some of the challenges we will have with AI, is that are we going to teach the technology what our human values are so it can incorporate them and represent the privacy concerns of all of us?”

“If I could go back and be a police chief again, I would designate someone to be our internal privacy officer, which Seattle has done,” Bueermann told the audience. “The minute you assume that mantle and look through the lens of privacy, you see the whole operation differently. As AI continues to evolve we should ask, ‘Just because we can, should we?’”

Axon AI Ethics Board

Axon’s AI Ethics Board is comprised of thought leaders in computer science, privacy, civil liberties and policing, who will provide guidance on how the company develops and uses AI. Board members include:

Ali Farhadi, PhD, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington, Senior Research Manager at AI2 and CEO of

Barry Friedman, Professor and Director of the Policing Project at New York University School of Law

Jeremy Gillula, PhD, Privacy and Civil Liberties Technologist

Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation

Miles Brundage, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute

Tracy Ann Kosa, PhD, Fellow at Stanford University and Adjunct Professor at Seattle University School of Law

Vera Bumpers, Chief of Houston Metro Police Department, incoming President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

Walter McNeil, Sheriff of Leon County Sheriff's Office, Florida, former President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police

For more on Axon’s AI board, visit

Accelerate 2019 is scheduled for April 30-May 2 in Phoenix, Arizona. Register now at

Categories: Law Enforcement

Officer Wounded in Texas High School Shooting Heads Home

Police Magazine - Fri, 06/22/2018 - 13:51

Officer John Barnes — who along with Officer Gary Forward rushed to end the threat of an active shooter at Santa Fe High School in May — walked out of a Houston-area hospital on Wednesday.

Barnes credits Forward — the department’s assistant chief — for saving his life by quickly applying a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding from his severely wounded arm.

“Had he not done that, I would have bled out within minutes,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “Had he not been right there with me, I would have died.”

Barnes still faces many months of rehabilitation, but upon his release from hospital, his mind was on relaxation.

“I just want to sit on the porch and smoke a cigar,” Barnes told the Chronicle.


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Categories: Law Enforcement


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