Sacramento police shoot, kill man wanted for attempted murder of an officer

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SACRAMENTO, CA— We first heard about the story when “activists” emailed Law Enforcement Today.  Their message?  “Police murdered another innocent man.”

Let us tell you more about that “innocent man”.

On the evening of Tuesday, September 1st, Sacramento police officers shot and killed a man who was wanted for attempted homicide on a police officer. 

The suspect, who has not been identified, was found around 4 pm. in a residence on Wisconsin Avenue with several other people.

According to police, SWAT and crisis negotiators responded to the scene and were able to negotiate the release of the other people in the home.

After several hours of continued negotiations, police say the suspect exited the back of the residence, and tried to hop a fence, in an effort to escape. 

SacramentoCBSLocal reported that police said the suspect was armed with a firearm but are not saying if the suspect threatened officers with the weapon. At least one officer fired their weapon at the suspect.

Police state that after the suspect was shot, officers immediately tried to save the suspect by performing first aid until Firefighters took over the life-saving efforts.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thankfully, no officers were injured in the incident.  

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Here is more on the mayhem taking place in Sacramento. 

SACRAMENTO, CA– The ways that officers are being attacked are becoming more and more disgusting.

In the wake of the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the city of Sacramento saw three straight nights of protests against law enforcement.

The Sacramento Police Department (SPD) announced that at least two people were arrested on August 29th, during Saturday night’s protests. One individual was taken into custody for pointing a laser into an officer’s eyes and another for resisting officers.

Police confiscated a bottle of urine, gas masks, and a smoke bomb for the two protesters that were arrested.

Over the weekend, authorities reported that there were also isolated incidents of vandalism, including graffiti on a bail bonds office that read, “Police are domestic terrorists.”

CBS Sacramento reported that on Friday, August 28th, Antifa Sacramento was the group that led demonstrations for that night.

The protest was planned for 8 p.m. and protesters were seen gathering in Cesar Chavez Park and allegedly for the first half-hour it remained peaceful. However, multiple buildings ended up being vandalized.

The following night, August 29th, there were additional buildings with graffiti on them as well as some damage to some buildings.

Some windows at the Sacramento Music Circus were reportedly broken.

According to reports, police were able to quickly stop a man who started swinging a sword at some members of the crowd. No one was hurt in the incident.

On Thursday, August 27th, which seems to be the night that started the destructive protests, several buildings including the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Officer had several windows broken and the walls were covered in graffiti.

On Saturday, August 29th, Mayor Steinberg tweeted out a response to the protests taking place:

“The last two nights have been challenging for our city. Any damage to public and private buildings is wrong, but it is also important to have a perspective, especially where other cities have experienced injuries, deaths, and large scale destruction.”

According to authorities, the groups of protesters that caused damage and vandalized buildings were not affiliated with the more “peaceful” groups that demonstrated earlier each day.

ABC 10 reported that on Friday, August 28th, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones requested the National Guard to deploy after the first night of protests when protesters tried to set the district attorney’s office on fire.

Sacramento wasn’t the only California city to see violent protests over the weekend. Authorities reported that in Oakland rioters threw harmful projectiles and flashed lasers at police during Saturday’s protest. Police also reported that some protesters were throwing rocks and using shields to assault officers.”

Several arrests were made after the county courthouse and several local businesses were vandalized. No officers were injured during the violent protesting.

Prior to the nights of destructive protesting, in a series of tweets, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) asked that protest organizers help law enforcement provide a safe space for demonstrations.

Instead, there were reports of violence and civil unrest as the demonstrations began. One of OPD’s tweets said:

“Some people in the crowd are setting fire to garbage cans and breaking windows along Broadway.”

Police also said that agitators in the crowd also attempted to set fire to a business, set off illegal fireworks, and then threw them at the officers. 

OPD remained active on Twitter throughout the several nights of protests, reaffirming their support for demonstrations, but also pleading with crowds to keep it peaceful, safe, and legal.

Within one hour of police putting up barricades so that protesters had safe spaces for their demonstrations, agitators in the crowds were breaking windows, lighting trash cans on fire, and yelling, “Burn it down.”

Former deputy is first to face murder charge under California’s new use of deadly force law

SAN DIEGO, CA – Former San Diego Corrections Deputy Aaron Russell will be tried in California on murder charges after a recent change to California law regarding deadly force.

First, a little background:

On May 1,  a man named Nicholas Bils allegedly used a golf club to attack park rangers at the Old Town San Diego State Park. According to Bils’ mother, he suffers from schizophrenia. Bils was arrested by the park rangers and placed in a police vehicle for transport to the San Diego Central Jail. 

The transporting ranger had apparently left a back window down in the vehicle. Bils slipped out of one of the handcuffs during transport, reached outside the vehicle, opened the back door and escaped. 

Russell, who was reporting for duty at the jail, witnessed Bils running from the police vehicle and gave chase with other officers. At some point during the chase, Bils was running toward stopped vehicles on Front Street and Russell opened fire, striking and killing him.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced murder charges against Russell.

This prosecution will be the first in the state after California’s new deadly force law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The revised law changed the conditions under which a police officer can legally use deadly force from times when it is “reasonable” to when it is “necessary” to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury and/or death.

Prosecutors in the case noted that part of the decision-making in charging Russell was because no other law enforcement officers fired their weapons.

In fact, no one, other than Russell, even drew a firearm.  In their minds, this means that they can prove that the use of force was not necessary, based upon the language of the new law.

Russell has pleaded not guilty for the charge of second-degree murder. Richard Pinckard, Russell’s attorney, has not said much publicly on the case, other than that he will be raising “significant defenses” for his client.

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In earlier court hearings, Pinckard argued against the new California law which requires that deadly force be necessary instead of reasonable. One of his attacks on the law change stems from Graham v. Connor, a bedrock of U.S. Supreme Court case law that guides use of force in law enforcement. 

In that Supreme Court opinion, the precedent set was that use of force should be judged by the “reasonable officer on the scene” as opposed to hindsight. 

Public defender Ed Obayashi, a former police officer himself, believes that the courts will ultimately judge this case and any that follow according to the guidelines of Graham v. Connor. Obayashi said:

“The bottom line, whether he is convicted or not, is still going to hinge on whether his actions or the shooting was reasonable under the circumstances. And reasonable means necessary – legally they mean the same thing.”

Adrienna Wong, a lawyer for the ACLU in California, disagrees with Obayashi. Her belief is that the law was in fact changed and not the same thing as reasonableness. Wong said:

“Overall, the standard has changed from reasonable to necessary.” 

Robert Weisberg, a law professor and faculty co-director at the Criminal Justice Center for Stanford University, and Eugene Iredale, a civil rights attorney representing the Bils family, made it a point to address an element of the revised law that could potentially undermine a possible defense for Russell: they noted that the revised law has tightened up the circumstances under which police can legally shoot a fleeing felon. 

In years past, California state law allowed deadly force to be used as a means of capturing a fleeing felon. 

However, that law has now changed. The law now says that deadly force can be used in that situation only to stop a person suspected of committing a felony that “threatened or resulted in death or serious bodily injury, if the officer reasonably believes that the person will cause death or serious bodily injury to another unless immediately apprehended.” 

Weisberg’s and Iredale’s argument seems to be that Russell will have to show that he had a reasonable belief that Bils, who was unarmed at the time of escape, would cause death or serious bodily injury to the community if not immediately apprehended. 

We at Law Enforcement Today will update you as this case progresses.

Sen. Wiener pushes for California law allowing men to identify as women prior to prison assignment

SACRAMENTO, CA – The same Senator pushing to remove gay sex offenders from the state’s sex offender registry now wants to make sure that men sentenced to prison get to pick whether they want to be in a men’s or women’s prison.

Biological men who have been sentenced to prison may soon have the ability to identify as a woman and be placed in a women’s prison. 

California Democratic State Senators Scott Wiener, Cathleen Galgiani, and Assembly member Mark Stone sponsored SB-132, which basically allows for biological men to inform prisoner workers of the preferred gender. 

By doing so, it allows the person to be assigned to a prison population of their choice, either men’s or women’s.

The bill requires the State Department of Corrections to ask incoming prisoners during the intake process, in a private setting, what their biological gender is as well as which one they identify with at placement. 

If the person refuses to answer, for any reason, no disciplinary action can be taken against them. 

The bill does not advise what will happen if an inmate refuses to answer any of the questions, like, will the guards have to guess which gender the person identifies with … and what happens if that guess is wrong?

Jonatan Keller, the California Family Council President shares this concern.  He said:

“The legislature should not victimize prisoners, especially biological women, by requiring them to allow members of the opposite sex into facilities that are currently female-only or male-only.  This bill is a recipe for complete chaos in our state’s correctional facilities.” 

This bill also orders all prison staff to refer to the person as their preferred gender identity. 

This means if the person is a biological male, but identifies as female, the staff must call them female pronouns or face some type of discipline. 

In addition, if the person, in this case a biological male, but say they identify as a female, can decide the sex of the officer who will be searching them.  The law says:

“A search of that person according to the search policy for their gender identity or according to the gender designation of the facility where they are housed, based on the individual’s search preference.”

There are many people who would argue that this bill could lead to more danger, especially in the women’s prison setting.  A reason for this is any biological man can simply tell the prison intake staff that he wants to be seen as a woman and entered into that population. 

If that person does not really feel that way, and say, he was arrested for rape, how does the state justify placing women inmates at risk? 

If there is some type of plan for that type of event, that would ensure the safety of the women at the facility, the state has not shared it.

Proponents of the bill, mainly from the LGBTQ community, say that the change is long overdue, mainly because transgender people face a greater risk in an all-male population. 

The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed some men who currently identify as women who have experienced this firsthand.

Jasmine Jones, a transgender woman, spent 17 years locked up in the state prison system. 

Jones alleges as a result, she was the victim of sexual battery and several assaults because of her gender identity. 

Jones also alleges that corrections officials would subject her to embarrassing strip searches which would leave her exposed in a public setting.

Jones said:

“They [prison officials] weren’t going to protect me.  I knew that for a fact.  The only person that was going to protect me was myself.”

Wiener uses this example as to one of the reasons why he co-sponsored the bill.  He said:

“Transwomen, in particular, are at such extreme risk of brutalization in men’s facilities.  We need to treat them with the basic respect and dignity that they deserve.” 

California legislator proposing bill to remove gay sex offenders from the state’s sex offender registry (op-ed)

This editorial is brought to you by a former police officer and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Push…push…nudge…nudge. This was entirely predictable actually.

When the Supreme Court blessed gay marriage, many people thought that it was only a matter of time where that would not be enough.

Recently we saw the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expanded to include the “t” in LGBTQ. Now, a state senator in California is trying to destigmatize gay sex between young adults and minors.

He argues that the present state law which governs the state’s sex offender registry unfairly discriminates against the LGBTQ community.

As reported in the Daily Wire, a report attributed to The San Francisco Chronicle says that Democrat State Sen. Scott Wiener (seriously) is trying to gather support in the waning weeks of the legislative session for SB145, which he introduced last year and which is held up in a key committee.

The legislation would provide “judges discretion over sex-offender registration in all cases involving voluntary intercourse between teenagers age 14 to 17, who cannot legally consent, and adults who are less than 10 years older.” In other words, this legislation would allow a 24-year-old to have “consensual” sex with a 14-year-old of the same sex and not be placed on a sex offender registry. Disgusting.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“If  a man has vaginal intercourse with an underage teenage girl, the judge can decide whether he should be placed on the sex offender registry based on the facts of the case. But if anal or oral sex, or vaginal penetration with anything other than a penis is involved, the adult must register as a sex offender—a relic of a penal code that criminalized those acts until 1975, even between consenting adults.”

Wiener said, “California’s sex offender registry continues to draw that distinction—an antiquated, outdated, leftover distinction—that somehow oral sex is worse than vaginal sex.”

He continued that such a precedent is “horrific homophobia” that is “irrational and it ruins people’s lives.”

Wouldn’t it make more sense for California legislators to be going in the opposite direction? Making such conduct between members of the opposite sex fall under the same guidelines? Not necessarily under the auspices of fairness but because adults should not be having consensual sex with children under the age of 17. Period.

“It makes no sense. It disproportionately impacts LGBTQ people because LGBTQ people are far less likely to be engaging in penile, vaginal intercourse,” Wiener told The San Francisco Examiner.

Wiener is nothing if not a little bit obsessed with sexually oriented legislation. In 2017, he co-sponsored a bill which made knowingly exposing a partner to HIV no longer a felony.

 Wiener’s support for this bill has, according to him, exposed him to death threats.

“I’ve been the subject of death threats and personal attacks, threatening to decapitate me and send my head to my mother,” Wiener told an online news conference.

“This kind of slander, not just against me but against my community, is outrageous and we have to speak out against it.”

Always playing the victim.

Wiener singled out so-called “QAnon conspiracy theorists,” whom he says believe he is making a subversive plan to legalize pedophilia. Trust us, that will be next. There are already those trying to claim that pedophilia is a “psychological disorder” and therefore an illness, not a crime. It’s coming.

Wiener also told the Chronicle that he has been the target of online harassment, and hit with “toxic, poisonous hate and homophobia and anti-Semitism,” he claims from right-wing conspiracy theorists and others.

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Chad Felix Greene, a journalist who also happens to be gay wrote in The Federalist, “As has become far too common, opposing perceived right-wing attacks is more important than critically addressing dangerous legislation.”

Continuing, Green said:

“Providing reasonable legal accommodation to this very specific and narrow experience should not be an open invitation for adults to exploit young teenagers by engaging in sex with them.

Unfortunately, Wiener and other California lawmakers, who have had no formal pushback on this legislation so far, are more interested in pursuing grand social ideals rather than writing simple, rational law.

Left-wing media is all too happy to use labels of ‘hate’ and ‘conspiracy theories’ to dismiss legitimate concerns.”

Wiener’s proposal is backed by Equality California, a LGBTQ rights organization, as well as groups representing district attorneys and oddly enough, police chiefs.

Law enforcement agencies say that California’s sex offender registry has simply become too large to fulfill its’ mission, which is to track potential predators. Officials have previously advocated to have people convicted of less-serious crimes removed from the list.

One such official is Bradley McCartt, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County who prosecutes sexual assault cases involving children. He claims the unequal treatment of same-sex couples is a civil rights issue.

He says that “there’s a lot of misinformation about what the sex offender registry does, what its purpose is. That is why there is such strong, unbelievable support among law enforcement about this bill.”

While the bill was passed in the state Senate last year, it was held up in a key committee in the Assembly by the chair, Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) who was seeking amendments to narrow its scope. Wiener says he is pushing to get the bill out of committee, which must be done by the end of next week.

Wiener says that he is trying to bring attention to the so-called “marginalization” of LGBTQ youth. So, apparently 24-year-olds are now considered “youth.”

“We need to be lifting these young people up,” Wiener claims, “and not criminalizing them and attacking them.”

Cool. Not.

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