Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh, They Meant a Real Snake!!!!

When I read the headline "4-foot long rat snake causes disorder at the (Harris County) courthouse" I didn't pay it much mind. In fact, I said to myself "wow, some short lawyer must have acted a fool!" To my surprise they really did mean a literal snake. Or, one could say, "why all the fuss? There are even bigger snakes walking in and out that courthouse every day!"
Feel free to insert your own lawyer jokes.
Sorry Harris County Lawyer, I couldn't pass this one up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Springer! Springer! Springer! Springer!

On what should have been a quiet Sunday afternoon, police were called to a West Houston home. A 17-year old male punched out a window with his bare hand. He then picked up a knife and started "tearing up the house." When officers arrived they cuffed him and put him in the car. When asked what the problem was, he simply snapped. He wants to get out of his house. He is sick of his mother (natural) and step mother's lifestyle. See folks, his natural mother, and step mother are bisexual, and having sex with each other. Whoa!!!!!!!! Now, I'm a 'live and let live' kind of guy. However, if one has children, and wants to "get their freak on." They really do need to consider the impact their lifestyle will have on their children.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Does The Chronicle Think Code Pink Cares?

With recent articles, one may think that Cindy Sheehan is the new editor for the Houston Chronicle. If you click today's home page, you will find an article about what to do today. Underneath that, is a camera icon with pictures of Memorial Day observances. When you get to picture 12, you find a code pink member with a picture of an Iraqi civilian. Either the chronicle is brain dead, or like minded. I guarantee you, code pink is no lover of the U.S. military. There "observance" in Hermann Park will more than likely blame the military for the deaths of the civilians it holds pictures of. For some of code pink's activities, click here.
Kind of scary if you ask me. They seem to hate America and its military, yet bask in the protections granted by the Constitution. What other country would tolerate an organization such as this?

Chronicle's Eye for the Killer Guys

Check out these two articles from today's Houston Chronicle;

This article talks about the shift away from the death penalty. In part I agree with it. Over the years the media has been taking up the cause of convicted murderers to try to make the impression that nobody deserves to die for their crimes. As I mentioned in a previous post, the general public does not like being forced to make tough decisions and if given a lighter alternative will do so. While many people can still handle the task, there are the few who cannot and look for the easy explanation given by lawyers. In a death penalty case, all 12 have to agree, all it takes is one imbecile. The article goes on to cite past cases, yet (as usual) try to paint a picture different from reality;

"When Edward John Benavides escaped death after shooting a Pasadena police officer in a 1993 drug raid, the mechanics of the raid itself became an issue: A lingering possibility was that Benavides, suddenly roused from sleep, may not have known exactly what was going on when he started firing."

First of all, the officer's name was Leslie Ian Early. Next point the chronicle fails to mention is that the drug house was fortified. So Benavides knew damn well what was going on in that house. Officer Early was the point man in the raid. It sounds like the Chronicle is eager to buy into the defense. It doesn't matter that this was a fortified drug house or that he ignored the repeated shouts of "police" as they entered the house.

"Man Nhu Truong got a life sentence for killing an off-duty sheriff's deputy at a wedding in 1996, lawyers pointed immediately to the unusual absence of a criminal record or history of violence."

Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Eng was working an extra job at a restaurant. Truong was drunk and told to leave. Deputy Eng walked to the bathroom when Truong followed him and shot him dead. Truong also shot another officer. Yet, jurors thought his life was worth saving.

The article also cites the case of Alex Adams. "He had been arrested during a drug sweep at an apartment complex and was handcuffed to another prisoner when he shot Vasquez with a pistol he had concealed in bandages. His sentence angered the jury foreman, who said several jurors spared Adams because of a difficult childhood, immaturity and low IQ."

Not many people know Adams was suspected of being involved in a murder of a Prairie View A & M student. Adams' arm was in a cast, this was where the pistol was hidden. Apparently his IQ was just high enough to be caught dealing drugs with a hidden pistol. Notice how the real issue is avoided in all of these paragraphs? The real issue being someone murdered a police officer when they were caught doing wrong. Aside from the media (and legislative) attempt to phase out the death penalty, they have been trying to phase out personal responsibility. The only people who are ever held responsible for their actions anymore seem to be police officers (as they should be I might add). Yet, the chronicle and many like-minded folks will look for any reason to explain and murder and (as long as it isn't their own loved ones) suggest that "while it is tragic, there are mitigating circumstances so you should just suck it up and deal with it!"

In the second article, it compares the pains of the wives of HPD Officer Rodney Johnson and the wife of his killer. What I gathered from this article is the widow of Officer Johnson will only have photographs and memories, the killer's wife will still be able to see him. Yet, the Chronicle tries to paint the killer's wife's feelings with a sad brush.

"Joslyn Johnson said the seething anger she managed to staunch before the trial resurfaced the moment she locked eyes with Juan Quintero.

"I just wanted to jump over there and choke him," she said.

Theresa Quintero wrestled with different emotions. She wanted to slap the man she married in 1997 but also embrace him."

Then there is this;

"She hugged me several times," Joslyn Johnson said. "She always sounded like she was crying, but she never cracked a tear."

That sums it up. If your spouse murdered someone, would you stand by them?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Intown Suite Profiling....

A while back I was having a conversation with an officer. He told me he likes to drive through the parking lot of Intown Suites. An officer can get some good arrests out of there. I thought of that conversation when I read this story. A man and woman had been living at the Intown Suites on Hwy 6 for a year with a dead baby in the freezer. To think, I've driven past that place hundreds of time in the past year. I remember the officer saying "ain't nobody who stays at those Intown Suites any good!" Looks like he was right.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

That is a prevalent expression in the law profession. Police officers are given discretion in many scenarios for a reason. Not all situations call for arrest. For example, officers find a man in a bank who appears to be pretty drunk. He lives about a block away. The officer recognizes the man from a recent news story. His daughter was disciplined by her mother (his wife) so she took a knife and stabbed her to death. With his wife dead, and his daughter in prison, obviously, this man is in pain. The officer cannot bring himself to arrest the man for public intoxication. So, the officer arranges for the man to get home (true story).

Now, Justices of the Peace get many cases where the law dictates what must occur. However, sometimes discretion is a good tool. In this case, a Fort Bend JP did not take eviction cases around Christmas time. After the new year, the cases could be filed again. Yet, a landlord wanted to make an eviction around Christmas time and was told to return after New Year. Instead he filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In return, the JP got admonished. I imagine the Commission felt the same way I do and the admonishment was the lowest form of punishment they could give. However, the JP "....has instructed his staff to accept all eviction cases, no matter when they are requested." I would imagine that this would be great in his next campaign. He took a hit from the Commission for his constituents. Although officially this is punishment, there is a silver lining. Plus, his office will accept the cases, however due to "backlog" they may not be served until after the New Year. Yet still, I wish this article would have named the land lord who made the complaint.

Randall Kallinen, The Man of Smoke and Mirrors

The Chronicle's story

KPRC's story

I was surprised that this investigation is still ongoing yet the suit is already filed. Usually, the civil suits are served once the investigation is complete. Yet, for some reason, Roland Carnaby's widow and her ACLU lawyer Randall Kallinen can't wait to get to court. For anyone who may forget, Randall Kallinen was (or he may still be, I don't know) the director of the ACLU for this area. Contrary to perception, the ACLU is no friend to the taxpayer or the law abiding citizen and certainly hate the police. Kallinen is shouting that Houston Police violated their own policies during this chase. Well, taken in with the whole situation, my answer is "so what?" Mr. Kallenin does what all lawyers do, only tell you part of the story that suits them. The last thing lawyers like Kallenin want is for the public to know the whole story and make up their own minds. Let me address his grievances and point out the flaws in his logic;

Mr. Kallenin says that a couple of weeks prior, "HPD revised its chase policy. It states, in part, that officers should weigh a variety of factors before initiating a chase."One (of the factors) is what was the original crime that was committed? Here it was speeding."

Does that mean the officer cannot chase or is it saying the officer has to take that into consideration? Remember, this guy claimed he was a CIA agent. In this day and age of "war on terror" police need to investigate this. He was stopped for speeding, but it became another issue entirely when Carnaby made the claim of being a federal agent. Also, Mr. Kallenin is hoping the smoke and mirror act will shield the fact that Carnaby started the whole thing by taking off from police. Now, ACLU believes that people have a right to run from the police, and lie to them. The ACLU have argued that citizens making false misconduct complaints against officers is free speech and should not face consequences. So, with this in mind I hope you have an idea where Mr. Kallenin is coming from. So, with this logic, guy wants to run from the police, hey, no problemo!

He also cites HPD policy about establishing verbal communications with subjects on 'high risk' stops. How do we know that wasn't already happening. Were the officers shouting commands? To lawyers like Kallenin it doesn't matter. From their perspective, the inmates are running the asylum. If police were to adopt procedures written by them, nothing would get done. The bottom line here is that one man is responsible for this whole scenario. His name was Roland Carnaby. He made the decision to speed. He then said he was a CIA agent. He then made the decision to lead police on a high speed chase across the city of Houston. He made the decision not to comply and surrender, but to instead make a furtive movement (that if he really was the police as one of his friends later claimed) known to illicit a response from a police officer. This is just another self-proclaimed "crusade" of Randall Kallinen against the police. I would also like my dear readers to remember, just because a policy is violated, doesn't mean the law was violated. Polices cannot dictate actions in every single situation. They are guidelines to follow that account for most routine scenarios. However, when the scenario goes from routine to uncharted territory, officers have to make split second decisions that will be reviewed by police-hating lawyers like Kallenin who needs to read up on Graham v. Conner.

Chronicle is 2 for 2

Well, it appears even in death, the Houston Chronicle can't resist taking a jab at police officers. In this story, a Harris County Deputy and his wife were found dead after a house fire. First off, the investigators did not name the dead deputy nor his wife. More than likely, to notify the family first. After all, isn't it common courtesy to notify the family before the public? Yet, the Chronicle can't wait to get the story out so they look at records and report the listed names of the owners of that address. Reporter Cindy Horswell better hope she correctly named the deceased. Otherwise she may get some angry emails from angry relatives. So far, it appears this is a tragic accident. However, the Chronicle couldn't resist taking a jab at the dead deputy;
"The deputy was well known in the area and often volunteered to assist Liberty County deputies responding to calls in the subdivision.

Five years ago, the deputy was also involved in an accident there in which he ran over and killed a child on a bicycle who swerved in front of his vehicle, Bishop said."

It's like the reporter put this as the last impression she wanted her readers to have, a cop who accidentally ran over and killed a child. I'm sure that man had a difficult time living with that. I'd like to ask Cindy, "what did that accident 5 years ago have to do with him burning to death with his wife? Do you think it's divine retribution?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Leave It to the Chronicle to Ask Ignorant Question

This morning on Houston's east side, a man with a gun decided to go on a robbery spree. He robbed an individual at first, then proceeded to a Tacqueria. A Harris County Sheriff's Deputy drives up on the scene and practically walks into the man who is carrying the gun. According to the Sheriff's Captain, the Deputy was able to give an order to drop the weapon, the suspect didn't comply. Instead he raised his weapon, a clear indication that he agrees to forfeit his right to life. I read both versions of this incident on KPRC's website and on the Houston Chronicle's website. It looked like the Chronicle's article would actually report the facts. However, one sentence shows the reporter's ignorance when it comes to encountering armed suspects;
"He was not sure who fired first or how many shots were fired."
I sure hope he didn't ask who fired first as a way of seeing if the deputy was justified in shooting the robber. It's not about who shoots first that justifies the shooting, it's about who shoots first has the better chance of surviving the gun battle. Neither does the number of shots fired have any bearing on the justification. It takes time (proven in scientific studies) for the human brain to perceive the threat (robbery call, man with gun), devise a plan to respond to the threat (bring up gun preparing to shoot), IF the deputy is able to give an order to drop the weapon, THEN determine the suspect's reaction (not dropping gun, raising gun instead), brain commands finger to pull the trigger (oh **** shoot shoot shoot), perceive the threat has stopped (robber hit, runs off), brain commands finger to lay off trigger (stop shooting threat stopped). I put that "if-then" sentence in italics because there is not always an opportunity by the deputy to give a verbal command. Lawyers and reporters generally have an unrealistic view that police should always give a verbal command to a suspect with a gun pointed their way. By the time the deputy sucks in the breath to utter the words, the suspect has already made his decision to shoot and is shooting. However, officer survival isn't the lawyers nor reporters concern. The story here is a piece of crap decided to to robbing people and was stopped by a Deputy Sheriff and everyone should be wishing him a quick recovery. As for the robber, who cares?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some Accident Pictures

This guy apparently had some medical problems that caused
him to wreck with his toddler grandson in the back. He was seen
by several other motorists flying down the Katy Frwy cutting across
four lanes of traffic. People thought he was drunk. Fortunately
the boy was okay, he was scared and crying for his mother.
His grandfather asked an officer what happened. The officer,
who was a little impatient because the kid was crying for his
mother and the driver couldn't give him any information replied,
"I don't know sir! You wrecked the car, you tell me what happened!"

This woman had problems remembering what happened also.
She rear ended a parked semi.

Would you buy this????

It's English. I found it at my local Kroger store.

"Why Ain't I Surprised?"

I wasn't surprised to hear that the piece of crap who murdered HPD Officer Rodney Johnson was given life in prison. All day yesterday I heard officers express their shock and dismay. Many of them feel that the public (especially that jury) feel a murderer's life is worth sparing while theirs is expendable. To officers, the choice was simple. He murdered a police officer, he forfeited his right to live. I asked all of them, "why are you surprised? This is the public we're talking about!" I went on to explain how the general public do not really want to make life and death decisions (as if officers liked making those decisions themselves). People do not want the burden of having made a decision to take someone else's life. The mentality of the general public is for someone else to make the tough decisions so they can sit and play "Monday morning quarterback" afterward from the safety and comfort of their dinner tables. I feel many people have become so "sympathetic" that it has become ridiculous. Thomas Jefferson wrote "all men (women too) are created equal." That does not mean that all men (women) are equally deserving of life. There is a line in an old Jane's Addiction song "Pigs in Zen" that says "some people should die!" That line is correct, not every man (woman) is worth sparing. If someone forced me to make a decision on whose life to spare, Juan Quintero, or my dog Foxie. The choice is simple, kill Quintero and give me my dog, she earned herself a doggie treat.
Another reason I feel his life was spared was the jury selection. The defense succeeded in finding people who probably could find sympathy with the Manson family's actions. When the 'life without the possibility of parole' law was passed I knew this would happen. It gave juries the option to "shoo away" these killers under the rug instead of having to make the decision to put them out of our misery.
I don't know if anyone else noticed, but compare the Houston Chronicle's version of this verdict with KPRC's version. Anyone see a glaring contrast? Once again, the Chronicle's 'plight of the illegal alien' mentality is the focus of their story. KPRC writes of the reactions of both sides of the aisle regarding the verdict. The story is "cop killer got life in prison, his family and fellow officers feel slapped in the face and kicked in the nuts while the defense side is joyful." However the Chronicle just can't help but to inject their pro-illegal alien views into their story.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How In the Hell Did This Happen?

I found this story on Isiah Carey's Insite. The City of Liberty, TX, my hometown, where I was born has threatened to shut off the hospital's power unless it pays $259,000 in water and electric bills owed. Apparently, the hospital hasn't paid a bill since October of last year. I was born in that hospital back in 1975 when it was called the Yettie Kersting Memorial Hospital. Problem that community faces is this is the only hospital in the Liberty-Dayton-Hardin-Daisetta (sinkhole country) area. If that hospital shuts down, then anyone in need of an emergency room will have to go to Cleveland which is roughly 30 miles away. Or, they will have to go Beaumont or Houston which is roughly 45 to 50 miles either way. Another question that has to be asked is how did the hospital lapse on its bills to begin with? Isn't there an administrator who is supposed to be handling that business? Did he/she fall asleep on the job? I just hope something happens for this little hospital, the people out there need it. Plus, there is a little sentimental feeling since I was born in that hospital.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A New Lead In Unsolved Murder

In my previous blog life I did a post about the 1990 abduction of Cheryl Henry and Garland Atkinson. A few years ago I discovered a small cemetery in a Harris County pocket park near Eldridge and Enclave Parkway. I was talking to someone about it who told me two people were found tied up and murdered in that area years ago. I thought it was a local legend until a Houston Chronicle story with this letter popped up. It bugged me to realize I had been standing in an area where someone tied these two kids up, raped the woman, and cut their throats, and the case was unsolved. Today, the Chronicle has this story in which the perpetrator committed another rape. This had lead to a composite sketch. Of course this sketch is how the guy looked 18 years ago. Still, it's the best lead police have had in years. I have my fingers crossed they can now catch this guy. For more information on this case, visit this site.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Illegal Immigration Enforcement = Prohibition Enforcement
According to this article, the recent, headline-grabbing immigration raids are responsible for an increase in fake documents.
"Illegal immigrants fearful of being caught in stepped-up workplace raids are fueling a growing market in Houston for phony immigration and work documents.
The result, experts say, is a glut of false, altered and counterfeit documents that are easily obtained at Houston-area flea markets, businesses and clandestine printing shops set up in homes and apartments. The bogus documents include counterfeit Texas driver's licenses, fake Social Security and "green cards," and even worthless international driver's licenses sold here and in other states."

I have news for Mr. Pinkerton (the reporter), the heavy demand has always been there. Go to Trader's Village, or down any freeway and you'll find an "ID store." These ID stores usually sell fake IDs and put the disclaimer "not a government document/driver's license, etc" trying to shield themselves from liability. Another problem is the lack of prosecution, especially by the Harris County District Attorney's office. Many assistant DA's won't take the charge for a variety of reasons (the best reason I've heard is that an assistant DA refused to take a charge on a guy for presenting a fake ID card because she wanted a state trooper to say it was fake. She didn't think a deputy was trained enough to spot a fake ID card with 10 numbers instead of 8).
I think this reporter is trying to compare the illegal immigration raids to 1920s prohibition. It sounds like Mr. Pinkerton is trying to convey the impression that enforcing the immigration laws is causing a spike in fake ID sales and purchases and in identity theft crimes. It also appears he is making the correlation that more officials are corrupt and cites some examples of corruption. Like I said earlier, the corruption has always been there, and always will be there on a small scale. The way I see this, it is another veiled plea to stop immigration raids using the prohibition argument "it's too much trouble, it forces people to commit more crime, etc." So, using this logic, would the demand for fake IDs go down if the illegal immigration raids were halted? How about identity theft crimes?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Trooper Burns Laid To Rest


Hundreds of law enforcement officers from all over attended the funeral of slain DPS Trooper Scott Burns. As mentioned in the previous post, my brother had met Trooper Burns with his daughter a while back. He told me the other day he cannot get the image of Trooper Burns with his baby girl out of his mind. It is a little relief that the piece of garbage who killed Trooper Burns ended his own life saving the taxpayers the trouble of caring for him. I borrowed two pictures from the Tyler Morning Telegraph. The first is from the graveside service. Here is where the 21 gun salute is fired. It is also here when his radio number is called, for the very last time. It's chilling to hear this solemn goodbye. The second picture shows my brother, from behind. He is in the middle behind the officer (a friend of ours) in the hat.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

RIP Trooper James Scott Burns

Taken from the Officer Down Memorial Page:

Trooper James Scott Burns Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol Texas
End of Watch: Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Biographical Info
Age: 39
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: 11187
Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: At large
Trooper James Burns was shot and killed following a high speed pursuit in Marion County, Texas, at approximately 8:00 pm. A citizen used the trooper's radio to inform dispatchers that the trooper had been shot near the intersection of Farm-to-Market roads 1969 and 729. The suspect remains at large. Trooper Burns had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for 5 years. He is survived by his wife and 6-month-old daughter.
Agency Contact Information
Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol5805 North Lamar Boulevard Austin, TX 78752Phone: (512) 424-2000
Please contact the Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.
As reported in the Chronicle, the piece of crap that killed the Trooper was a former officer. From reading the brief mention of his previous law enforcement career I gather the killer was a screw-up as a cop. After he left law enforcement he got arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Yep, he was a f*** up. Hopefully when he is found he will have to be carried out.
My brother called me and told me he'd met Trooper Burns before. Some relatives of his have a store where my brother has a deer lease. On every trip he would stop into the store and buy some deer corn. He told me Trooper Burns was in there with his baby daughter. My brother and he struck up a conversation after telling the Trooper he too, was an officer. It was a pleasant conversation. Then the news broke of Trooper Burns' death and when my brother saw his photograph, he recognized him. It's a damned shame. We all want to know how the killer got the drop on Trooper Burns so as to learn from this tragedy. Rest in Peace brother!