RICHMOND, VA – Pretextual stops are on the chopping block in the state of Virginia. The state wishes to severely handcuff its police forces.
Recently, the State of Virginia has begun pushing forth new legislation which would prohibit officers from making what is termed as a pretextual stop. Pretextual stops are when an officer uses a mundane traffic violation to stop a vehicle because he or she believes there may be criminal activity afoot.
For instance, an officer may see a tag light out on a vehicle driven by a little old lady coming out of Walmart. That officer probably is not concerned that the woman driving is a criminal. However, spotting the tag light out on a vehicle that is coming out of a high crime area, the officer will make the stop to determine if criminal activity is afoot.
Now, the Virginia State lawmakers want to take that away from the police, in effect, killing a lot of proactive policing that keeps communities safe. Why? Because the idiot lawmakers in the state feel that police are using it in some manner to attack black people. Democratic State Senators Patrick Hope and Louise Lucas presented the bill. Hope said:
“A disproportionate number of people pulled over for minor traffic offenses tend to be people of color, this is a contributor to the higher incarceration rate among minorities.”
Now, a reasonable person would start to dig into the weeds on this claim, and see if the people who were stopped, regardless of race, actually committed criminal offenses, thus, ending up in jail. If blind to race, if the answer is yes, then the system works.
If, blindly, the people did not commit criminal violations, then they may have a point.
But, since they are speaking of incarceration rates, we can assume that they speak of people who committed criminal offenses, and why anyone would worry about a criminal being arrested is beyond reason.
And yet, here we are, with a bill passed and sent to the desk of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.
When, if, this bill is signed into law by Northam, it will bar officers from stopping vehicles for broken or loud exhaust, non-functioning brake and tail lights, objects obscuring the drivers view, tinted windows, and a state inspection which is less than four months past its expiration date.
These violations would become a secondary offense, meaning that police officers would no longer be able to stop someone who has committed these violations. However, if the officer effects a traffic stop for something else, then the officer could issue a citation for these offenses.
The law would also prevent officers from searching a vehicle when they smell, based on training and experience, the odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle or person. While this is already starting to happen with the legalization of the drug, there have been provisions to allow for these probable cause searches if the occupant denies having a medical marijuana card in some states.
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These changes have been met with Republican resistance, who have called these democratic efforts at so called police reform to be an attack on law enforcement. State Senator Bill DeSteph from Virginia Beach said:
“I feel we’re villainizing our police departments.”
Others, like Roanoke Police County Police Chief Howard Hall said:
“Does anybody really think that it’s appropriate or safe for a vehicle on Interstate 95 to be travelling without tailights at 11 at night? Does anybody not think that law enforcement should deal with that situation?”
State changes law to keep child predators out of jail. Judge: “The law is stupid but I have to follow it”
New York – A Manhattan judge has confirmed what many in law enforcement, as well as some government officials are already thinking about new criminal justice “reforms” due to go into effect in New York State on January 1.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley sharply criticized the new reforms in open court on Wednesday. Wiley, in addressing one burglary suspect, said he believed it went “against all common sense and wisdom” to release him.
In yet another case, a man who was facing charges related to robbery with a possible sentence of four years in prison, had Wiley rolling his eyes before ordering the man, Jose Gonzalez, released.
“The law is stupid, but I have to follow it,” Wiley said, almost reluctantly.
As LET previously reported, the New York state legislature passed a series of laws earlier this year with the goal of reducing “mass incarceration” and fixing so-called “unfairness” in the criminal justice system.
The series of laws requires judges to release people who are charged with misdemeanors and “nonviolent’ felonies without bail, and issue an appearance ticket, tantamount to a traffic citation. In addition, prosecutors need to provide all evidence to be used in the case to defense attorneys within 15 days.
The law also requires that anyone currently incarcerated who is being held on said misdemeanors and “non-violent” felonies must be released when the law goes into effect. It’s kind of like a Monopoly “get out of jail free” card.
Criticism of the new measures has been far and wide, ranging from police officers to prosecutors, town and city officials, and mostly Republican legislators. One Democrat, however, has been particularly vocal in his opposition to the new regulations.
“We can and we must ensure our justice system is fair and maintains our public safety—but the fact is with the bail and discovery reforms Albany went too far, too fast,” Rose said in a statement.
“That’s why I’m joining law enforcement and bipartisan colleagues from across the state in calling for quick action in Albany to ensure the safety of our communities—and especially the victims of these crimes—are not put in jeopardy.”
As a US Congressman, Rose has no jurisdiction over the state’s criminal justice system. However Rose joined three other Republican Congressmen—Tom Reed, Peter King and Elise Stefanik—in expressing concerns over the reforms in a written letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“While we agree criminal justice reform has long been needed around the country, New York State’s new soft-on-crime bail laws, which will let dangerous criminals roam free, endanger their victims and hamstring the authorities who want to hold them accountable, this is not the answer,” the congressmen said in a letter.
- Second-degree manslaughter
- Aggravated vehicular assault
- Third-degree assault
- Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
- Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
- Promoting a sexual performance by a child
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Making terroristic threats
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Aggravated vehicular homicide
Non-violent crimes? Recently a suspect in Warren County New York was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter. He allegedly struck a bystander while leading police on a high-speed chase. He is currently in jail awaiting trial however in January, he will be a free man when the new bail guidelines go into effect.
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Criminals have gotten so bold as to thank Cuomo for signing the “jailbreak” legislation, according to the New York Daily News. “Cuomo for president!” the accused drug dealer shouted in Spanish. The man allegedly had caused the death of a man who overdosed on drugs sold to him by the dealer’s crew.
This nonsensical “reform” movement has not been restricted to New York. On a federal level, the First Step Act that was signed into law by President Trump has freed hundreds of criminals charged with sex crimes, nearly 60 convicted murderers and assailants, and almost 1,000 individuals charged with drug crimes.
— ✨Wildlotusgirl✨Parler✨ (@wildlotusgirl) November 21, 2019
Joel Francisco is among those released under the First Step Act. Who is he? Well, he’s the former leader of the “Latin Kings” gang who, as soon as he was released, returned to a life of drugs and one other thing. He now stands accused of murder.
I don’t think anyone believes that someone who has a low-level drug beef, such as possession of marijuana, should be locked up in jail. It isn’t a violent crime and so long as the marijuana is being consumed for private use and not being sold on the street, it’s not that big a deal.
But when you are talking crimes of violence, sex crimes involving children, and threatening to commit terrorism, one must wonder what these legislators, and President Trump are thinking.
We just saw last Wednesday the result of terrorist acts on our own soil with the incident that happened in Jersey City, New Jersey. By tying the hands of law enforcement, and forcing judges to release violent criminals out of some feel good, virtue signaling criminal justice “reform”, how long before we don’t end up with “only” three civilians and one police officer killed, but many, many more?
Justice Wiley is right. The law is “stupid.”
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