Saturday, April 15, 2006


In April, 2004, a Drug Enforcement Agent was giving a "drug education presentation" to a group of Orlando, Florida youths and their parents. During the presentation, for one reason or another, he changed the subject from drugs to gun safety. Taking and holding up one of several guns he had brought along, he described it as a Glock .40 and stated, "You see, this is an UNLOADED gun." Following that, he told everyone, "I'm the only one in this room PROFESSIONAL enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40," Then he lowered the gun and - BANG - shot himself in the foot. (Some reports said he shot himself in the thigh.) Accordingly, he is well qualified to receive my MODERN KEYSTONE COP award.

This month, the agent filed a federal lawsuit against the United States of America, claiming that the DEA had defamed him by releasing a video tape of the incident over the internet. The complaint states that prior to becoming a DEA agent (in 1990), he "was a hghly repected football player for Florida State University and played professional football for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Bandits. (His mame) was subsequently a Corrections Officer at Polk Correctional Institution, a Florida State Prison, and a Deputy Sheriff with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Tampa, Florida." He complains that the realease of the video tape had made him a laughingstock and had crippled a promising career.

The video, which had been shot by an audience member, was given to the DEA, which used it as a training tool before someone released it over the internet. The agent received a five day suspension for the incident and was no longer allowed to work as an undercover officer. Many internet users think that the agent should have received the DUMB COP OF THE YEAR award. The incident has received wide coverage by the mainstream media since the filing of the lawsuit.

Whatever possessed this DEA agent to change the subject from drugs to gun safety? I think I know why. During my law enforcement career, I gave a number of school presentations on drug problems, most of them in high schools. Some were given in middle schools and a few in elementary schools. Even though the students seemed to pay close attention during the drug presentations, inevitably, the first question during the question and answer part would be, "Are you carrying a gun?" Then someone would say, "Let's see it." Other students would always ask, "Have you ever shot anyone?" or "How many people have you shot?" The same questions always popped up regardless of the age group being addressed or where the school was located. My response would always be that I was there to talk and answer questions about drugs, not about guns or shooting people. Did I ever even consider removing my weapon from its holster under those circumstances? Absolutely not!

I suspect that the DEA agent was confronted with the same questions and responded by switching the subject to guns, thus falling into the trap of displaying his weapon(s), something he should never have considered doing in front of a room full of children. He told his audience that the gun was "unloaded." While he may have removed the clip fom his Glock, he obviously did not clear the weapon to make sure there was no round in the chamber. Thus, BANG - OUCH, another idiot shot with an "empty" gun and humiliated by his own stupidity. Fortunately, no one in the audience got shot. Perhaps, anticipating there would be questions about guns, he brought several weapons, indicating it may have been his intention all along, to talk about guns. He should have known that the only time police firearms can be safely displayed to a group of school children is when they participate in an organized and supervised visit to a police facility.

The agent made a point that he had 21 years of law enforcement experience. Well, some people have 21 years of experience, while others have only one year of experience repeated 20 times. With respect to guns, this DEA agent would appear to fall within the latter category. I have seen the video and it is sort of hilarious to watch him make his "professional" statement, then to hear a loud bang and see him hopping around like a chicken. Amazingly, despite his wound, he continued on with his gun safety presentation until he was ushered out of the room by those in charge of the youth group because he apparently frightened the audience when he grabbed a military assault rifle and shouted above the resulting clamor, "Hey, its empty, its an empty weapon." In any event, his federal law suit seems to have little, if any merit because he brought all this humiliation and ridicule on himself and was personally responsible for damaging his own career.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


During my 25 years of teaching Criminal Justice courses, there have been many occasions during which some of my students gave answers or made statements in class or on evaluatioms which gave me and my students a big laugh. Here are just five examples.

MODUS OPERANDI. During a Criminal Investigation class in which we were studying burglary investigations, I covered the not uncommon modus operandi of some burglars to defecate on the floor of the victim's residence. I asked one young lady, "How do you spell defecate?" Without a moment's hesitation she replied by spelling out, "S-H-I-T." Needless to say, that broke up the whole class, and it wiped out the remaining 10 minutes of the period. (Some years later, she was elected to a constable's position.)

TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT. During a Human Relations class we were discussing when to issue a citation to a traffic violator, and when to give the violator a pass. My contention was (and still is) that when you give a ticket because the violator pissed you off with a bad attitude, your are not citing him for the violtaion, but rather for his attitude. I suggested that if an officer had considered giving the violator a break before talking to him, he should go ahead and give him a warning without writing a ticket, even if the violator mouthed off at the officer. One student, a police captain, agreed that from a human relations point, it was a good idea. However, he said that if a violator pissed him off he would not give him a break. When I asked why not, he replied, "Because IT SURE FEELS GOOD when you give that asshole a ticket." About half the students in that class were police officers, and all of them cheered at the captain's response. Most of the other students laughed, while I was left dumfounded.

CRASH COURSE IN PENOLOGY. During an Introduction to Criminal Justice class, one student told about the time he had been jailed on a misdemeanor charge. He was placed in a two-bunk cell which was already occupied by a "big fat Mexican." His cellmate was sitting on top of two mattresses on the lower bunk. The student said, "Sir, I think one of those mattresses is mine." His cellmate replied, "You got any money?" The student answered, "No, the cops took it all when they booked me." His cellmate then asked, "You got any cigarettes?" The student answered, "No, I don't smoke." The cellmate then said, "YOU AINT GOT NO MATTRESS." While the student was dead serious, most of the class laughed at his predicament. (Actually, his story presented the class with a good illustration of life behind bars, where the strong prey on the weak.)

EVALUATION OF INSTRUCTOR. At the end of a police academy, the trainees were given an evaluation form for each instructor. The form had seven catagories, each to be evaluated by a sliding scale number. There was also a blank space where the trainee could comment on what he LIKED most about the instructor and another space for what he DISLIKED most about the instructor. A final blank was for additional comments. I had conducted a number of classes during the academy. One trainee who turned in the evaluation form on me, did not mark any of the sliding scale catagories, nor did he fill in the "like" and "dislike" blanks. However, in the "additional comments" blank he wrote, "YOU CAN'T MAKE CHICKEN SALAD OUT OF CHICKEN SHIT." To top it off, he underlined "chicken shit." (That evaluation has been framed and occupies a prominent space on my office wall.)

SAY WHAT? I went to study another college's criminal justice program which was directed by an old friend of mine. He asked me to attend one of his seminars. After he introduced me to the 100 or so students, he told them, "Recently we've both switched to oral sex." There were a lot of very audible gasps. Then he went on, "At our age, all we can do is talk about it."

ZAPPED BY DICK IN THE BOX. Every regional Police Academy has a special graduation ceremony. These affairs are usually attended by police administrators from all the agencies whose cadets are graduating, by city and county officials, by one or more chaplains, and by the parents, spouses, children, and other family members of the graduates. The cadets usually present the academy staff with laudatory plaques and other gifts. While I was in the middle of conducting one of these ceremonies, the class president approached the podium and gave me a gift-wrapped present. All the cadets yelled for me to open it right then and there. I unwrapped the box, lifted the lid, and like a Jack-in-the-box, up popped a life-sized plastic PENIS. The audience reaction ranged all the way from hysterical laughter to absolute silence, accompanied by frigid stares and glares. (Later, someone told me that I looked like I was going to die, and I almost did.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006


On March 29, 2006, a confrontation took place in the nation's capitol between an African-American Congresswoman and a white officer of the Captiol Police Department which brought into question the behavior of the Congresswoman and the motive of the police officer.

WHAT HAPPENED? Members of Congress are permitted to bypass metal detectors upon entering Congress or any of the congressional office buildings. To help the Capitol Police identify them, they are given a lapel pin to wear. On the day in question, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., an African-American, was not wearing her pin, and she had just recently changed her hairdo from cornrows to a curly brown afro. A white Capitol Hill police officer, who was working the security checkpoint at a congressional office building entrance, failed to recognize her. (Is it realistic to expect an officer to recognize each and everyone of the 435 House members and 100 Senators whenever they pass by a checkpoint?) When McKinney bypassed the checkpoint, the officer ordered her three times to stop. Each time she ignored his lawful orders. In order to stop Rep. Mckinney, the officer grabbed her by the shoulder. She spun around and - KAPOW! - slugged him in the chest with her cell phone.

McKINNEY'S PUBLIC STANCE(S). The assault on the officer quickly gained a lot of media attention. In her first press conference, flanked by Hollywood limouzine liberals Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, McKinney claimed she was a victim of racial profiling by a white police officer. She also claimed that he touched her "inappropriately." When it was suggested during a subsequent press conference that an apology might be in order, she stated that she would not apologize and that instead, she and her lawyers were considering filing a civil action against the officer. By April 5th, when word leaked out that the assault would be taken up by a grand jury, she downplayed the incident by stating that, "This has become much ado about hairdo." On April 6th, under pressure from her fellow Democrats, she changed her tune by claiming that the whole affair was just a MISUNDERSTANDING and stating, "I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation. And I apologize."

PLAYING THE RACE CARD. On a number of occasions, since she was elected to Congress in 1992, McKinney has complained about having to deal with WHITE Capitol Police officers. She claimed there was a pattern of making it difficult for black members of Congress to pass through security checkpoints. Once, she claimed that former Vice President Al Gore had a low "Negro tolerance level." In 2002, she blamed jews for the loss of her Congressional seat, claiming that they poured money into her black opponent's campaign because she had sided with the Palestinians against Israel. Her father, Billy McKinney, blamed the defeat on a jewish plot and stated that, "Jews bought everybody, that's (spelling out) J-E-W-S." (She regained her seat in 2004.) She has also associated herself with a group of WACKOS who claim that President Bush and the Defense Department are developing a RACIALLY SELECTIVE weapon of mass destruction, and with those who allege that ETHNIC CLEANSING was behind the government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING. What inappropriate touching was committed by the officer? Did he grab McKinney's ass? No. Did he grab her tits? No. Did he snatch her by the crotch? No. He did the only thing he could have done when she continued to ignore his orders to stop, and that was to grab her either by the arm or, in this case, by the shoulder. In fact, the only inappropriate touching committed in this case was when McKinney struck the officer with her cell phone.

McKINNEY'S MISUNDERSTANDINGS. McKinney does not seem to understand that one has to obey the lawful order of a police officer. She does not seem to understand that when you ignore the lawful orders of an officer, he has the right to restrain you physically, and it does not matter whether the officer is white and the person is black, or if the officer is black and the person is white. She does not seem to understand that you do not have the right to attack a police officer and that when you do it, you are committing a serious criminal offense. She probably does not understand that even the President of the United States does not have a right to strike a police officer.

MISUNDERSTANDINGS BY THE POLICE. The police officer in this case does not seem to understand that the instant a person strikes an officer in the performance of his duty, that person must be arrested and taken to jail forthwith! In a bygone police era, the person who assaulted an officer, instantly became a candidate for reconstructive facial surgery. If it is the policy of the Capitol Police not to arrest a member of Congress until an investigation has been completed, they do not seem to understand that the high and mighty are not exempt from any action that would be taken against an ordinary citizen when an officer is assaulted in the performance of his duty.

THE APPROPRIATE RESOLUTION. In order to send a crystal clear message that even a member of Congress cannot "kapow" a cop, the grand jury must indict Congresswoman McKinney for assaulting a police officer in the performance of his duty. Then, a petit jury can convict her and a judge can sentnce her to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail, followed by at least three years of SUPERVISED probation. While in jail, she can commiserate with her fellow jail birds, all of them having been inappropriately touched by the arresting officers, as she understands it. Will McKinney serve any time in jail? Don't hold your breath.

EPILOG: On June 16, 2006, the Justice Department announced that a grand jury had refused to indict McKinney. Once again justice has been denied. Grand juries in the District of Columbia tend to be predominantly black and McKinney had alleged she was a victim of bias and racial profiling.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Protesters throughout the United States have been demonstrating against a bill passed by the House of Representatives which would make felons out of illegal immigrants and those who would offer them the kind of assistance that would enable them to remain in this country. These demonstrations have been the largest since the Vietnam War era. In Lost Angeles alone, some 500,000 demonstrators turned out. Most of the demonstrators were Latinos, including both citizens and illegals. In some cities, most of the demonstrators were Latino public school stutents. In many of those demonstrations, a few protesters carried American flags. Many demonstrators carried the flag of Mexico.

The media keeps referring to the illegals as "undocumented workers", a rather innocuous term. Political correctness aside, let;s call undocumented workers what they really are - ILLEGAL ALIENS. They entered this country illegally and remain here illegally. The overwhelming majority are Latinos, most having come from Mexico, with some coming from Honduras and other Central American countries. Most estimates put the number of illegals at 12 million, while other estimates put the number at 20 million or more. Whatever the number, they are here to stay.

No matter what laws are passed, there is no way we could throw millions of people in jail, nor could we ever deport that many. Every year, while we continue to debate the immigration problem, several hundred thousand additonal Latinos sneak into this country. A viable solution, short of amnesty, does not appear to be in sight. Before we worrry about the illegals that are already here, we need to put a stop to the continuing influx of new arrivals. A high wall/fence running the length of our 700 mile boundary with Mexico seems to offer the best way to reduce the flow of illegals across our southern border. In Israel, such a wall/fence has all but eliminated suicide bombings by Palestinians.

Most of the illegals come here in search of work. They provide cheap labor for American farmers and businesses, and for private families in need of domestic help. They are hard working folks and they send most of their earnings back to their families in Mexico and Central America. While illegals do contribute to the nation's economy, their presence has come at a high cost to American taxpayers. They pay sales taxes on their purchases, but most do not pay the other taxes that our citizens must pay. They usually do not receive any health insurance benefits. Our schools are forced to use expensive bilingual teaching programs.

The failure by illegals to pay taxes, their lack of health insurance, their inability to speak English, and the crimes some of them have committed, are factors which are very costly to our health care institutions, social services, public schools, and criminal justice system. The extra funds these institutions need to handle illegals have required substantial increases in local and state taxes. And, most illegals drive without the required automobile insurance, thus driving up our insurance rates.

In one respect, the Latino demonstrations are reminiscent of the Vietnam War protests during which many demonstrators carried the flag of North Vietnam, an in-your-face defiance of "the establishment." Those anti-war demonstrators clearly sided with this nation's enemy, North Vietnam. Were the anti-war demonstrators successful? You bet they were! They provided the enemy with hope for an eventual victory. The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese were consistently defeated on the battlefield, suffering extremely high casualty rates throughout the war. Even the highly touted Tet offensive was a battlefield disaster in which we suffered higher than usual casualties, but in which the ranks of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese were thoroughly decimated. The war would probably have been over after the Tet offensive, and we would have been victorious, were it not for the anti-war demonstrations. The war was lost on the streets of the United States, not on the battlefields of Vietnam, because the North Vietnamese hung on, encouraged by the highly publicized protests, believing that the public would eventually tire of the war and the rising number of American casualties. And they were so right.

Will the Latino demonstators succeed in killing the House legislation? Probably, but not by waving the flag of a foreign nation in our faces. Whether the demonstrators who carried the Mexican flags were American citizens or illegal aliens is besides the point. Displaying the flag of Mexico is a clear sign that the allegiance of the flag waver is to Mexico, not to the United States, and that is very offensive to most Americans. What Mexican-Americans do in the privacy of their homes is their business, but waving the Mexican flag in public is akin to someone of German origin waving the swastika in public. The Confederate flag is expecially offensive to African-Americans, and when white supremacists display the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag in public, most other Americans take offense to these symbols of racism. And, when these hate groups include the American flag in their parades and rallies, as they usually do, that is also offensive, because they are against everything our flag stands for.

In Houston, almost all the Latino protesters were middle school and high school students who cut classes in order to demonstrate. A number of them carried Mexican flags and there were no American flags in sight. The principal of Reagan High School hoisted the Mexican flag on the school's flagpole, an obvious effort to pander to his mostly Latino students. Reacting to a public outcry, the school board "disciplined" the principal (without revealing what discipline he received) for his "mistake", while praising him as a "good educator." If he is an example of a good educator then it is no wonder that many Houston public school students cannot read, write, multiply, or divide.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Raul Ramos, a professor of Texas History at the University of Houston attempted to justify the public display of Mexican flags by stating: "Most students at Reagan High School have relatives or ancestors from Mexico. The flag represents Mexican heritage as much if not more than citizenship." These are the musings of another educated academic idiot. These students can honor their relatives, ancestors and heritage by displaying the Mexican flag in the privacy of their homes. Few Anglo visitors would be offended by such an expression of pride in their heritage. What Professor Ramos does'nt seem to fathom is that there are better ways of celebrating one's heritage when the public display of a foreign flag, other than one flying in front of an embassy, consulate, or the United Nations, is an affront to most citizens of the United States.

To all those demonstrators who waved the Mexican flag, please feel free to return to Mexico and proudly fly it there to your heart's content. If you're going to protest an unjust law in the United States and you want to carry a flag in the streets, by all means do so, but make sure that it's the American flag!