The Public Is Responsible for Crime-Not Cops

Observations Cops take the heat for rising crime, but that emphasis is misplaced. It’s communities that control crime. This is criminology 101. But if you want to see the power of law enforcement, remove them or criticize them to the point of inaction and see what happens. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior […]

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Observations Cops take the heat for rising crime, but that emphasis is misplaced. It’s communities that control crime. This is criminology 101. But if you want to see the power of law enforcement, remove them or criticize them to the point of inaction and see what happens. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior […]

The post The Public Is Responsible for Crime-Not Cops appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Violence, School Achievement and Future Criminality

Observations Schoolchildren exposed to violence have a tougher time learning. Violence also affects the success of people caught up in the criminal justice system. If students exposed to violence affect school test scores, then the state of education will be stalled unless we impact multiple forms of violence and abuse. If you were wondering why […]

The post Violence, School Achievement and Future Criminality appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

Observations Schoolchildren exposed to violence have a tougher time learning. Violence also affects the success of people caught up in the criminal justice system. If students exposed to violence affect school test scores, then the state of education will be stalled unless we impact multiple forms of violence and abuse. If you were wondering why […]

The post Violence, School Achievement and Future Criminality appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Violent Chicago Clash After Fatal Police Shooting

The shooting occurred after patrol officers saw a man who was “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person,” a police spokesman said. “They go to question him, and at that point a confrontation ensues and he is shot.’’ The spokesman blamed “inaccurate information that the individual was unarmed” for inciting the crowd.

A fatal shooting by Chicago police Saturday afternoon fueled a violent clash between officers and a large crowd of onlookers who threw bottles and rocks as cops swung back with batons, the Chicago Tribune reports. After the fracas, a comparatively peaceful protest at a police station stretched into Sunday morning. The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. and police took about five hours to bring things under control. Some people screamed “murderers” as officers lined up against them. Some in the crowd held cameras up to take video, while others behind them threw rocks and glass bottles, some filled with urine. As officers tried to contain the crowd, some of them dragged people to the ground or struck them with batons. Other officers held batons over their heads to ward off people yelling at them. “You violent mother——-,” one woman in the crowd screamed.

Around 10:30 p.m., Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers had “cleared the crime scene.” He said that four officers were injured from rocks and thrown bottles and four demonstrators were arrested. Two squad cars sustained minor damage. The shooting occurred after patrol officers on foot saw a man who was “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person,” Guglielmi said. “He looked like he may have something on him. They go to question him, and at that point a confrontation ensues and he is shot.’’ Guglielmi blamed “inaccurate information” for inciting the crowd. “There was some inaccurate information that the individual was unarmed,” he said. “We have cops out there, community affairs officers, trying to give them as much information as we can … There were some members of the community who were upset. This is a tragic situation where an individual lost his life.’’

from https://thecrimereport.org

Chicago Issues Police Shooting Video After Violence

Police in Chicago released video Sunday that showed a man who was shot to death by an officer a day earlier had a firearm and tussled with officers before the shooting. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson quickly disseminated the body camera video in the face of angry protests after the shooting.

Police in Chicago released video Sunday that showed a man who was shot to death by an officer a day earlier had a firearm and tussled with officers before the shooting, USA Today reports. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson quickly disseminated the body camera video in the face of angry protests after the shooting. Dozens of protesters took the streets Saturday, with some demonstrators calling the police “murderers” and a few slinging bottles and rocks at officers. The suspect was identified as Harith Augustus, 37, a barber in the South Shore neighborhood who was shot by police early Saturday evening not far from where he worked.

“We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re not trying to fluff anything,” Johnson said. “This video speaks for itself.” Officials met with the Augustus’s family and showed them the video before making it public. “The family wants to ensure there is a just investigation, but they also want to make sure this city doesn’t overreact,” Johnson said. Augustus had a valid firearms license but did not have a concealed-carry permit. The decision to make video public less than 24 hours after the incident was a notable departure from Chicago policy in officer-involved shootings. The department has faced scrutiny for disproportionately using deadly force in black and Latino neighborhoods. In 2016, the city said it would release video and audio recordings within 60 days of a use-of-force incident. Johnson said he released the video to dispel inaccurate information on the street that led to the violent protests. “We can’t have another night like that,” Johnson said. “If we don’t get in front of things, the narrative will spin out of control.” Police described the officer who fired the weapon as a “probationary officer” with the department for less than two years.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Re-think Sentencing for Violent Offenders: Philly DA Larry Krasner

Six months after taking office, Philadelphia’s controversial DA says incarceration levels have dropped as a result of his reforms, with no increase in most categories of violent crime. But he argues that further reductions require changes in the way the justice system deals with individuals convicted of violent offenses.

The nation cannot effectively reduce prison populations unless the justice system changes the way it handles violent offenders and sex criminals, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Tuesday.

“This is the topic that the left and the press never want to talk about, because this is the tough one,” he told journalists at a John Jay College conference.

“Young people are all in favor of legalizing weed, but as soon as you say violent, there’s a certain visceral response,” said Krasner, who delivered the keynote luncheon address at the conference on “Rural (In)Justice: America’s Hidden Jail Crisis.”

“And yet the reality is, if you’re going to take a serious shot at reducing levels of incarceration, you do have to address this issue.”

While he acknowledged that the gravest offenses necessitate long sentences—“none of us are going to tolerate stranger rape, none of us are going to tolerate serial murder, none of us want Charles Manson walking around”—Krasner stressed the exorbitant cost of incarceration, and the potential good those funds could do in other areas.

He estimated that a five-year sentence in Philadelphia cost $210,000–roughly the same price tag as five public school teachers’ annual salaries.

“We disconnected all of this from the discussion of where the assets might otherwise have gone,” he said.

“Somehow we got to the point where one year just felt like five years, because we’re not talking about $210,000, or $420,000, and what that could have meant in terms of prevention in the long term.”

Krasner acknowledged that perpetrators should pay a price for crime, but “the price doesn’t have to be much higher than in every other country, and so debilitating that we bankrupt the public schools in Philly.”

The DA, who was elected last November after a long career as an outspoken public defender in America’s sixth-largest city, entered office with a sweeping plan to transform Philadelphia’s prosecutorial practices.

Less than three months after taking office in January, he issued a memo instructing assistant district attorneys to cease charging certain offenses entirely, and to charge lower gradations for others.

In addition to declining and lowering charges, Krasner recommended that district attorneys utilize diversion more frequently, implement bail reform, and opt for lower sentences when they do seek convictions.

“Don’t come up with artificial obstacles” to decarceration, he said, citing the example of a statute that prevented undocumented immigrants from being sent to diversion when charged with driving under the influence because they were prohibited from owning a driver’s license.

“What’s the big deal? So you expand it,” he said. “You expand the provisions that allow people to get in, and maybe you require more of those people so that there’s a level playing field. But you expand it.”

Currently, one of Philadelphia’s four jails stands empty, the result of efforts that Krasner conceded began before he was elected but accelerated since he took office. He said he expected the jail population to continue declining, a boon to taxpayers that, he pointed out, has done no discernable harm to public safety.

“The result of all these people getting out of jail is a reduction in homicides, a reduction in rapes, a reduction in armed robbery,” he said. “Shootings are up four percent, everything else in the violent category is down.

“Among the property offenses, the bottom line is a zero percent change.”

Krasner said the media and political opponents had warned during his election campaign that his policies would result in Philadelphia being overrun by violent criminals and “zombies.”

“But it turns out when you let some of the zombies out of the jail, they’re not really zombies,” he said.

He added that while he continued to face opposition from tough-on-crime advocates and from the Fraternal Order of Police, a substantial number of Philadelphians welcomed his reforms—including, he noted, the Guardians, the association representing African-American police officers in Philadelphia.

“The jail population…is dropping 13 a day [since] our policies went into effect,” he said. “So there’s no question there’s an impact, and there’s no question that the impact is significant.”

Elena Schwartz is a TCR news intern. She welcomes comments from readers.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Violence Affects Students from Safer Areas: Study

Using data from Chicago, Julia Burdick-Will of Johns Hopkins University linked exposure to neighborhood violence to a drop in test scores, an effect that extended to students coming from communities that experienced little or no violence.

Research has shown that schoolchildren exposed to neighborhood violence can have a tougher time learning, as they experience more stress and depression than their peers growing up in safe neighborhoods. A Johns Hopkins University sociologist discovered that the consequences of neighborhood violence reach further than previously known, even spilling over to students who come from safe neighborhoods, the Washington Post reports. Using data from Chicago, Julia Burdick-Will linked exposure to neighborhood violence to a drop in test scores, an effect that extended to students coming from communities that experienced little or no violence. “The individual effects may really be the tip of the iceberg. . . . We could potentially see this effect in schools for more than just the kid who lived around the corner from a homicide,” said Burdick-Will, who studies urban schools. Her findings were published in the journal Sociology of Education. “You can detect what seems to be the effect of . . . a classmate’s exposure to violence on everyone in the classroom.”

Schools are recognizing trauma as a factor that may be derailing learning, with more districts training educators on how to teach students who may be grappling with traumatizing events. Alex King, a 17-year-old anti-violence activist in Chicago, has grown up surrounded by gun violence. His nephew was fatally shot the day after school let out one year. King helped organize the End of the School Year Peace March and Rally in Chicago last month with survivors of the Parkland, Fl., school shooting, and he found out that night that a friend had been killed. “I’ve been shot at multiple times. I’ve lost family and friends to violence,” King said. “It kind of, like, became a part of life, violence. It’s like something that you can’t escape.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Idaho Man Could Face Death Penalty As Girl, 3, Dies

A 3-year-old Idaho girl who was stabbed at her birthday party died Monday, two days after Timmy Kinner, 30 is accused of invading the celebration and attacking nine people with a knife

A three-year-old Idaho girl who was stabbed at her birthday party died Monday, two days after a man invaded the celebration and attacked nine people with a knife, the Associated Press reports.  Timmy Kinner is accused of stabbing a group of children and the adults who tried to protect them at the party at an apartment complex that is home to many refugee families. Ada County Magistrate Judge Russell Comstock told Kinner he was “an extreme danger to the community” and ordered him held without bond.

Kinner, 30, is American, and the victims are members of refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. Boise Police Chief William Bones said the evidence does not suggest the attack was a hate crime. The suspect had recently stayed at the apartment complex but was asked to leave Friday over bad behavior, Bones said. Kinner appeared in court through closed-circuit video. He told the judge he didn’t understand the charges or proceedings. Three stabbing victims were adults, the others children: the 3-year-old girl who died, two four-year-olds, a six-year-old, an eight-year-old, and a 12-year-old. Kinner could be eligible for execution under Idaho law. Monday evening, 1,500 people turned out at a vigil honoring members of refugee families targeted in the stabbing. Signs were dotted throughout the crowd, some reading “love wins” and “we are all immigrants.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Man Stabs Refugee Children at Idaho Birthday Party

Timothy Kinner, 30, was charged with stabbing children who were members of refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia.

Several families who had fled danger and violence overseas were enjoying a 3-year-old’s birthday party on Saturday night in Boise, Idaho, when the unthinkable happened: A man ran up and began chasing and stabbing the children, turning his knife on the adults who tried to intervene, the Associated Press reports. The attack happened at a low-income apartment complex that is also home to refugee families from around the world. Nine people were injured, including the birthday girl and five other children ranging in age from four to 12. The most gravely injured were clinging to life Sunday evening, said Police Chief William Bones.

“The victims are some of the newest members of our community,” Bones said. “This was an attack against those who are most vulnerable.” The chaos began shortly before 8:46 p.m. Saturday, when police received a report of a man with a knife. They arrived less than four minutes later to find victims lying in the street, in the parking lot and inside the complex. Thirty-year-old Timmy Kinner was arrested a short distance away; investigators later found a knife believed to be use in the attack in a nearby canal. Members of refugee families from Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia were among the injured. Kinner, who is not a refugee, had been asked to leave the apartment complex Friday after staying there for a short time with a resident, Bones said. The motive remains under investigation. The attack resulted in the most victims in a single incident in Boise Police Department history.

from https://thecrimereport.org

What Drives Men to Commit Violence?

Researchers at Kansas State University say that adherence to an “honor culture” is a predictor of violent male behavior in many parts of the US—but such behavior isn’t admired by peers if the violence is unprovoked.

Researchers at Kansas State University say that adherence to an “honor culture” is a predictor of violent male behavior in many parts of the U.S.—but such behavior isn’t admired by peers if the violence is unprovoked.

In a study that challenges some stereotypes about violence, to be published in the September 2018 issue of Personality and Individual Differences, the researchers argue that masculine “honor ideology” only supports the use of physical violence to defend against threats or to protect reputations.

“Masculine honor ideology does not necessarily endorse…that men should behave violently in all situations,” the authors write.

“Instead, men are expected to respond aggressively to insults or [to] threats directed at themselves, their significant others, their families, or their property.”

The study, authored by Conor O’Dea, Steven Chalman, Angelica Castro Bueno, and Donald Saucier—all researchers at Kansas State University’s Department of Psychological Science—say violence is considered an acceptable way to reassert masculinity and community standing, particularly in the southern and western regions of the US.

The researchers based their findings on two surveys of nearly 500 people who self-identified as believers in “honor culture” and were recruited through Amazon TURK software. The majority of respondents were white and more than half were female, but no information about their geographical locations was provided.

The effort to examine third-party perceptions of masculine honor ideology represented an attempt to flesh out previous research showing higher support for honor-related violence in the Southern and Western regions of the US than in the North. In those regions, homicide rates are also four times higher than in other areas, the authors say.

They recorded people’s perceptions of a protagonist in quick scenes, or vignettes, depending on how the protagonist reacted to a verbal insult, or polite remark.

Individuals who adhere to masculine honor beliefs show a “hypersensitivity” to reputational failure, which explains the added motivation to respond violently when confronted or humiliated, the study said.

The authors found that people who endorse masculine honor ideology only look favorably on those who act violently in response to a threat or insult, suggesting an element of rationality in honor culture behavior that permeates large swaths of the US, despite its dangerous and volatile nature.

This finding goes against a common misperception that honor culture endorses violence for the sake of violence, without provocation.

But it also cited earlier research in an August 2015 article published in Social Psychology, showing that males who rank high in their commitment to beliefs about honor ideology also have more negative attitudes towards mental health services, report higher incidences of depression and also, somewhat counter-intuitively, have “stronger negative attitudes toward rape and women who have been raped.”

The study found that masculine honor beliefs are characterized “more positively” by individuals when the beliefs are employed to “confront threats…but not when they behave violently in general.”

Another phase of the study measured perceptions of a protagonist coming to the aid of a woman who was physically assaulted. It found that perceptions remained positive even if the man was defeated. The most important factor was simply whether or not the protagonist attempted to defend the woman.

The authors suggest that a man enhancing his reputation by defending against provocations makes him a hard target. It has the dual effect of “both preemptively deterring threats…by functioning as a shield, but also to swiftly and decisively respond to threats and provocation as a sword.”

The study notes that honor culture has deep roots in the American South, where rural residents needed to burnish a tough reputation to ward off livestock thieves, in contrast to the North, which had more easily defensible agricultural crops.

The study, “Conditional aggression: Perceptions of male violence in response to threat and provocation,” is available for purchase only.

This summary was prepared by Dane Stallone, a TCR news intern. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Chicago Braces as Summer–and Shooting Season–Arrives

While shootings have declined in Chicago, violence continues to acutely impact a handful of neighborhoods. Both residents and the police know that Memorial Day weekend often brings a spike in gunplay.

When 80-degree temperatures roll into Chicago in time for Memorial Day weekend, Solomon Johnson knows just where he’ll be: Safely inside his centrally cooled home in the Austin neighborhood, maybe slipping out for a barbecue dinner at his grandmother’s home in a safer neighborhood. There have been too many shootings around his home, and there’ll be even more as the weather finally turns. While shootings are down across the city, they have been concentrated in three West Side police districts that border each other: Harrison, Austin and Ogden. The districts rank first, second and third in the number of people shot this year, data shows. In the first week of May, nearly half the shootings in the city occurred there.

The Chicago Police Department plans to deploy more than 1,000 extra officers to contain violence over the weekend and, as in years past, hundreds of them will be sent to the West Side. Just how many, the department will not say. Two years ago, 27 of the 69 people hit by gunfire over the Memorial Day weekend were shot in or near the Harrison District. So many were shot there that patrols were beefed up. Nine more people were shot over the next two days. Last year, more officers were sent into the district and no shootings were reported there, though violence continued in the other West Side districts. This year, Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson would only say that a “large police presence” will be added to the lakefront, parks, the CTA, as well as neighborhoods.

from https://thecrimereport.org