Saturday, November 26, 2005

November 26

Along with two armed robberies, the Sun's Police Blotter reports that a 79-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder.

Police are still puzzled by those pesky light pole thieves. And thanks to John for pointing out that our missing light poles are now receiving national coverage on CNN.

Civil disobedience is alive and well, unless you try it at the mall.

Friday, November 25, 2005

November 25

More about Jeryl Anthony Singleterry, the kidnapping victim who was murdered despite the fact that his ransom was paid.

Updates on the double homicide in West Baltimore and the shooting at the Glen Burnie restaurant supply company in the Metro Digest.

More on witness intimidation in the Sun: Baltimore County police have spent over a year looking for witness Ronald Patrick Johnson, Jr., but he can't be found.

Speaking of witness intimidation, John posted some interesting comments under yesterday's post.

A newly launched campaign to stop human trafficking in Montgomery County this week.

A bank robbery in White Marsh lurks amidst the theft and burglary in the Sun's Police Blotter

There must be something in our fine city that is more deserving of an In Depth Investigative Report than a dirty bathroom in a Wal-Mart...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

November 24

Two men in two adjacent rowhouses were shot to death in West Baltimore.

35-year-old John Lewis escaped from PG Corrections officials who were transporting him between facilities. Lewis jumped out of the van while it was stopped at a traffic light. Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem as if the Corrections officers might have been prepared for something like that?

Dissent in the legal system over the fact that victims aren't being called to testify at their attackers' trials. Circuit Judge Alfred Nance said, "The state has a responsibility not simply to seek and obtain a conviction, but to seek justice." Does getting killed or having your house torched because of your testimoney now qualify as justice?

Judge John M. Glynn declared a hung trial for William Crudup yesterday. One of the jurors apparently made up her mind at the beginning of the trial and refused to consider any evidence. Crudup is accused of attempting to kill to police officers in March.

The Sun's Police Blotter tells of stolen money from St. Frances Academy (a private school that primarily serves inner city kids who are dealing with extreme family/personal difficulties) and stolen money from an 84-year-old woman who was shoved to the ground during the theft.

A Cecil County robber has expanded her territory into Pennsylvania.

Jeremy Justin Lepone is facing state and federal charges after his Harford County carjacking stunt, which included stealing a car from an elementary school staff member and then crashing through the gates of a military facility.

Ehrlich has agreed to pardon 12 prisoners, including two women who were convicted on charges of theft and/or shoplifting, and one man who has served 44 years for murder.

Harvey Edward Brown, a man who attacked one woman and pursued four others on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail, was sentenced to life in prison.

The yet-to-be-determined fate of the Charm City Church gives a microscopic glance into the ongoing class struggle in Baltimore.

Ten police officers were required to restore order (if not sanity) to a throng of unruly shoppers at an Elkton Wal-Mart who were waiting to buy the Xbox 360.
Biffy will be away until November 30. Please leave stories of interest.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

November 23

Four murders last week brought the total '05 body count to 242.

Kidnapped 26-year-old Anthony Singleterry was found dead after his family paid ransom. Detectives have no suspects or motive.

Three people were shot at the Glen Burnie food distribution company Wagner & Sons, including the gunman.

A fight between two off-duty Baltimore police officers ended with one guy going to shock trauma for stab wounds.

An attempted murder arrest for the Sunday shooting of William Delrio, robberies, shootings and arson in the blotter.

A former Towson police officer, Samuel Chambers, will serve five years for sexually abusing a young girl.

Future voter on the hot-button juvenile civil rights issue of today: "curfews are so gay." Speaking of juvenile rights &tc, there are 15 Marylanders serving life-without-parole sentences who committed their crimes as juveniles. And chilling stat (which I would like a source on because I just don't buy it, but I'm sure the real number is no great comfort either): "reports show that 92 percent of cases filed in adult criminal courts in Baltimore City involve minority juveniles."

A CP story traces the retelling of the Steele Oreo Urban Legend.

Mayor to Councilman Keiffer Mitchell: the help of state troopers would not do much good. Also re: local politics, Councilmania really caputres the feel of the slow grind of government. That would be great if they abolished ground rents ... but you get the feeling it would take a quarter-century for anything that ambitious to happen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 22

Ellis Lee Hickman, Jr., 33, was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida for the murder of his neighbor, Rakiyya States.

How many macabre claims to fame can one city have? Now it turns out the nerve gas and mustard gas used on the Kurds by Saddam's regime came from Baltimore.

A 14-year-old, Haymond Burton, was arrested and charged as an adult on two counts of attempted murder for shooting Lewis Jefferson, 18, and Mark Smith, 25. Also, two teenage boys were shot on Hillen Road.

PG County has set a new murder record with 155 killings so far this year.

25-year-old Dale Brown of Easton is charged with abuse and assault for allegedly shaking his five-month old son to death.

Corey Grant of the North Avenue Boys pled guilty in Federal court to gun charges.

Hopkins freshman: an e-mail about Michael Bryant's body in Wyman Park "would have been nice."

I'm so bored of hearing about cameras.

University of Maryland students protested against rascism following the Nov. 13 violent arrests of two students living off-campus.

In Laurel, 15-year-old David Jahangiri was arrested for wearing a "Stop Snitching" shirt to school. He's suing, of course.

Wow, remember that 90's ecoterrorist group, ELF? Someone repping them claimed responsibility for burning down townhomes in Hagerstown. Other retro institution apparently still alive in the area: the gay bathhouse.

November 22-- Promoted from Comments

We [ED: The people of the Park Heights Community Meeting? Baltimoreans in the last election?] had such an outpouring of homeowner sentiment for basic crime control. Martin O'Malley took up the charge and became Mayor promising to impose 'zero tolerance' upon the criminals here. That's a direct quote.

He later turned around and claimed that we all 'misunderstood' what zero tolerance is.

The first step in politically organizing is.. to sack O'Malley for the lying politician he is. Not Governor. Not even Mayor.

The platform is Safety First. All other considerations take a back seat until Baltimore is no longer in the top ten most dangerous major cities. No junket to Rome for Agnes Welch. No raise for City Councilmembers. No municipal hotels. No below-market city land deals. No grants to nonprofits. Mandatory across-the-board cuts in total payroll for DPW and DHCD.

Within the police department:

  • 311/911 operators must be dedicated dispatchers, not disgruntled officers being punished by having to answer calls for service.

  • Responding officers must be charged with filing accurate incident reports. If the victim disagrees with the report, the officer should automatically be required to appear before an independently appointed quasimunicipal board, which will determine whether the report was incorrectly filed. If so, (maybe at least x number of times) the officer will be dismissed. Wherever the officer's write-up is materially at odds with the victim's recollection of facts, the officer must refer it to the Board, with written notice to the victim. Failure to comply will result in dismissal.

  • The State's Attorney should refuse consent to supervised probation where the terms of probation do not provide for a nightime curfew barring supervised probationers from being in the public easement after dark except en route to a verifiable job, a meeting with a parole officer, or a verifiable medical emergency (including drug treatment).

  • The State Legislature should eliminate the distinction in penalties between misdemeanor Breaking & Entering and felony Home Invasion. If you're caught in another's property unlawfully, you go to jail. If you think you 'might' be Breaking & Entering, you probably are. Stay out or go to jail.

  • The State Legislature should adopt a provision doubling the penalty otherwise applicable to a felony if the offender is under the influence of drugs or is found by a court of law to have been engaged in a drug offense at the time of the felony, including simple possession. The same should apply wherever a felony is accompanied by a high-speed automotive chase.

  • Any drug conviction or factually proven possession or distribution on or within 100 feet of a subsidized housing unit by any person who has been granted access by the tenant should disqualify the tenant from the program henceforth.

  • Any offenses committed on the premises of a public school which would otherwise constitute a felony if committed by an adult should necessarily require immediate removal of the juvenile from the school.

  • Maximum sentences for both misdemeanors and felonies should be ratchetted up in proportion to the number of offenses adjudicated to have been committed. You want judges motivated to treat career offenders more harshly than very occasional offenders. This invokes the law of seven and seventy.

  • The State's Attorney and Judiciary should be forbidden to take into account resource constraints at Dept. of Corrections when seeking a just penalty.

  • City Council should adopt a resolution each year fixing the number of officers necessary to Adequately Provide for the Public Safety. The appropriation for the police department should be created a Fund, whose contents do not revert to the General Fund of Baltimore City. Thus, the Mayor's Office would no longer have any incentive to undersupply policing so as to fund pet projects, such as economic development.

  • Contributions to the local police district's coffers should constitute a tax credit against a taxpayer's tax bill to the City. This ensures that City government cannot divert taxes which taxpayers intend should provide public safety.

  • Baltimore City council should be obligated by resolution to refuse any requests for industrial revenue bonds (other than water treatment/pollution control) while public safety benchmarks are unattained.

  • Baltimore City Health Dept. should provide a single, lifetime treatment slot for drug abuse. Once used, the relapsed offender should be denied terms of probation unless he can provide for his own treatment.

-- JG

And Dan Rodericks would like to add, it's time to get serious about repeat offenders by using any tools that work.

Monday, November 21, 2005

November 21

Our Nation's President Geroge W. Bush will be at M&T Bank Stadium on November 30th for a fund-raiser for himself and Oreo-battered Tom-called Mike Steele. If you truly believe in Republican principles you'll be there with $5,000, by God.

The murder trial of Michael Johnson, 15, of West Franklin Street, is scheduled to begin at 9:30 tomorrow morning before Judge Edward R.K. Hargadon, 509 Courthouse East. The Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Johnson for first-degree murder and handgun counts May 18. Court documents allege that on December 1, 2004 Johnson shot and killed Flenall Carter III, 19, in the 4100 block of 10th Street.

At a recent meeting the residents of Park Heights were all like, "we're so fartik with the shvartzers and farshlugginer slow police response times and the farshtunken unreported incidents" and the police were, all like, "what are you gonna do, sue somebody?"

The Court of Appeals struck down MD's prisoner-treatment laws. The problem was not legal content but the procedure of filing appropriate paperwork.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

November 20

Secret plea agreements for three of seven men in a drug-dealing gang in the Northern that tried to burn down Edna McAbier's rowhouse. Miss Edna, Harwood Community Association President, ran afoul of the local Bloods.

Dogs picked up the scent of flammible liquid at the building at the 2100 Garrison Boulevard apartment-building site where two people, including Thomasina Evans, died on Friday. Oddly, the building is owned by a company that appears to consist of a single New Jersey man.

Since Friday, eight people have died in fires in the city, most recently a mysterious rowhouse fire that killed three. Check those smoke-detector batteries and think about your escape plan, it's that time of year.

Justice will be delayed at the trial of Wayne Lavon Bond, accused of shooting Edgewood cab driver Derald Howard Guess, a 37-year-old father of nine, as part of a gang-initiation rite.

The conviction in the shooting death of Marcellus Maddox (also in a cab) is under Appeal in Wicomico County. The ruling could potentially help define assault sentences in the state.

In Carroll County, 40-year-old Anthony Hughes pled guilty to assaulting ex-wife Ellen Redifer with a claw hammer in 2002.

Another great date opportunity from the State's Attorney's office: a concert tonight at 6:30 p.m, in which the Baltimore City Police Choir will be singing with the Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church Choir at the New Metropolitan Baptist Church at 501 McCulloh Street. The free concert that will also involve eulogizing the state's fallen police officers. The most recent Baltimore City death was the July 3, 2004 shooting of Officer Brian D. Winder.

Life's bitter irony dept: the most recent MD police fatality, Grant Turner, had a heart attack while running a 5K in honor of fallen hot officer Duke G. Aaron III.