Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 — Good Morning, Stay Safe
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Report of 24 Precinct Police Pursuit
4-Year-Old Girl Struck By SUV On Upper West Side Dies
Child's Grandmother Is Hospitalized In Critical Condition
By Carol D'Auria and Alex Silverman (CBS News - New York) — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013; 10:40 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 4-year-old girl who was struck by an SUV on the Upper West Side has died.
The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday near Amsterdam Avenue and West 97th Street.
Police had pulled the SUV over and the driver took off as officers approached the vehicle, 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported.
The vehicle then jumped the curb, backed up on the sidewalk and struck the girl and her 55-year-old grandmother, D'Auria reported.
The two were pinned against a building, CBS 2 reported.
Both of the victims were taken to St. Luke's Hospital where the child died. The child's grandmother is listed in critical condition, D'Auria reported.
The driver of the vehicle, a 17-year-old male, is under arrest, D'Auria reported.
Dozens of officers are at the scene and the investigation is ongoing, WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reported.
4-year-old child fatally struck by car on Upper West Side
By Unnamed Author(s) (WABC Eyewitness News) — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013; 10:42 a.m. EDT
NEW YORK (WABC) -- A 4-year-old girl is dead and her grandmother in critical condition after they were struck by a car on the Upper West Side of Manhattan Tuesday morning.
The incident happened at Amsterdam Avenue and West 97th Street around 8:15 a.m.
Police say the teen driver of the vehicle apparently refused to pull over for cops after a collision in the intersection, and the driver lost control and jumped the curb, pinning the victims against a wall.
The child was rushed to St. Lukes Hospital, possibly by police officers, where she was pronounce dead.
The 55-year-old grandmother was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
The driver was taken into custody at the scene.
Question and Frisk Search
The Bloomberg Administration's Attack on the Judiciary
By Bill de Blasio [New York City Public Advocate] — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Huffington Post' / New York, NY
Soon, Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin will issue a ruling in the high-profile federal lawsuit regarding the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk practices. After years of failing to meaningfully reform this broken policy, City Hall now faces the prospect of federal intervention and monitoring to mend stop-and-frisk.
Of all the case's twists, the most disturbing is Mayor Bloomberg and his administration's public campaign to stain the integrity of Judge Scheindlin ahead of her ruling. The goal of this campaign is clear: to shoot the messenger rather than deal with the expected message that stop-and-frisk, an important and lawful policing tactic when applied appropriately, has been misused and abused in this city.
In April, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly claimed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that Judge Scheindlin was in the corner of civil rights lawyers, a claim for which he offered no supporting evidence. Earlier this month, the Bloomberg Administration "leaked" a memo to the New York Daily News that attempted to show bias against the NYPD in Judge Scheindlin's rulings. The 'study' cited only the frequency of her written rulings against the NYPD -- a meaningless exercise, since it failed to analyze the merits of each case or include her countless oral rulings from the bench.
Simply put, the leaked memo is an unambiguous ploy to discredit this judge if she rules against the city and the NYPD in the stop-and-frisk trial.
This attack on the judiciary signals a disturbing new track by the mayor and his team as they continue to cling to the notion that stop-and-frisk in its current form is being applied appropriately. The city is well within its rights to mount a vigorous legal defense on the merits, but for the mayor and his team to personally attack a judge disrespects not only the judiciary but also the appropriate separation of powers. At worst, the Bloomberg Administration's tactics could be seen as an attempt to intimidate or influence a judge's ruling. At best, these are feeble acts of deflecting responsibility, rather than accepting it and reforming unconstitutional practices.
Perhaps, in light of the evidence, this approach is the one that the administration deems best to preserve its dubious assertion that the current stop-and-frisk regime is necessary. After all, in 2011 and 2012, more than 88 percent of all stops failed to produce a gun, contraband or arrest. Put another way, 88 percent of New Yorkers stopped in 2011 and 2012 were innocent. Over 2011 and 2012, approximately 85 percent of the people stopped were African-American or Latino. And while in 2003 the NYPD had to stop 266 New Yorkers for every gun confiscated, by 2011 that number peaked to an astonishing 879 New Yorkers stopped just to recover a single gun. And while the Administration claims high levels of stop-and-frisk are necessary to crime under control, crime rates have actually fallen as the number of stops has also fallen.
All New Yorkers have much to celebrate over the unprecedented reduction in crime over the past 20 years. And fighting crime and catching the bad guys remains an urgent priority. But we can praise the police, the prosecutors, the judiciary and all the citizens who have contributed to public safety without blindly accepting the incorrect and counterproductive notion that the current misuse of stop-and-frisk is a necessary evil to be tolerated in that mission.
The test of true leadership is not how you accept praise, but how you handle criticism. When challenged, you can either make your case on the merits and allow quality of your analysis to win the day, or you can resort to bully tactics and smears to undermine the credibility of those with whom you disagree -- and whom are likely to be right when you are wrong.
Sadly, in the stop-and-frisk case, the Bloomberg team appears to favor the latter. And this is a bad sign for New Yorkers looking for the City to address some of the very serious problems before us all.
Bill de Blasio is Public Advocate for the City of New York
Racial-Profiling and Independent I.G. for the NYPD Bills
New York City Council Lawmaker Bottles Up Speaker Quinn
By MICHAEL HOWARD SAUL — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The Wall Street Journal' / New York, NY
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has long been accused of blocking legislation she opposes from reaching the floor. Now, one of her own members is blocking her from moving forward with two bills she publicly promised would get up-or-down votes.
The two bills in question—one that would create an inspector general for the Police Department and one that would open state courts to claims of racial profiling—have become a flash point in this year's race for mayor. Ms. Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat, is the front-runner in the race, but her once-sizable lead has slowly eroded in the past few months.
The speaker supports the inspector general bill and opposes the other. But she has publicly promised to allow both bills to the floor, an olive branch to the left wing of the Democratic Party that is pushing for changes to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics. Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposes both bills.
Peter Vallone Jr., a Queens Democrat and chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, is standing in Ms. Quinn's way. He said he won't allow a vote on the racial-profiling bill in his committee. He said he opposes the inspector general bill, but would permit that one to move forward. The bills' supporters want both proposals to be voted on as a package.
"I won't have blood on my hands," said Mr. Vallone, explaining his decision to block the racial-profiling bill. "That's absolutely what this bill will result in—more crime and more deaths."
Jamie McShane, a spokeswoman for Ms. Quinn, said "conversations are continuing" on how to move the bills forward. He declined to comment further.
There's a possibility of using a so-called motion to discharge, a parliamentary maneuver that which would allow the bills to bypass Mr. Vallone's committee.
Messrs. Vallone and Bloomberg have argued that the profiling bill will allow state judges to micromanage the NYPD, and that officers might avoid doing their jobs in order to avoid court cases.
Council Member Brad Lander, one of the bill's chief sponsors, called the criticism "preposterous," saying: "The bill is very carefully tailored. And all it does is make sure the NYPD can't engage in biased-based policing."
Cites Imposition on P.D., DOI
Mayor Marshals Forces Against Profile, IG Bills
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
The Bloomberg administration last week launched a new offensive against two City Council bills calling for an Inspector General for the NYPD and expanding the rights of those who feel they were stopped and frisked because of racial or other profiling.
Michael Best, Counselor to Mayor Bloomberg, sent a letter to Council Members on May 27 saying that one of the bills, which seeks to bar officers from making stops on the basis of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual-identity or other profiling, "would authorize new lawsuits that could result in a blanket prohibition against the use of stop, question and frisk in New York City—and potentially many other strategies and tactics used by police to address and prevent crime."
'Full of False Statements'
Civil-liberties advocates said many of Mr. Best's contentions were ridiculous. "We think the letter is full of completely false statements about the bill," Johanna Miller, advocacy director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview. Potential lawsuits envisioned by Mr. Best are, she said, "completely frivolous."
"They're moving into thea-ter of the absurd now," Councilman Jumaane Williams, who with his colleague Brad Lander sponsored the bills, told THE CHIEF-LEADER. He scoffed at what he called Mr. Best's "scare tactics," adding, "When we've had legitimate issues, we've modified the bill.
Mr. Williams said the criticism from the Bloomberg administration stemmed from fear for his legacy now that the Mayor is seven months from the end of his term. Mr. Bloomberg does not want to admit the possibility that some of his policies have been in error, Mr. Williams said. "I can't change the bill based on someone afraid of their legacy being tarnished," he said.
DOI Head's Concerns
To his own letter, Mr. Best attached a May 21 letter to Council Speaker Christine Quinn from Commissioner of Investigation Rose Gill Hearn. She said there were "aspects" of the second bill, which would establish an Inspector General, "that raise serious concerns and make its implementation unworkable." She said its provisions would give the NYPD Inspector General wider responsibilities than any of the other departmental IGs overseen by DOI.
The bills are part of the Community Safety Act, which was introduced after Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Kelly rejected repeated requests issued over more than a year that they meet with Council Members, civil-rights advocates and local leaders who questioned the way the department was running the stop-and-frisk program. Supporters of the bills believe they can probably muster the 34 votes to override the expected vetoes from Mr. Bloomberg.
The bill Mr. Best takes issue with would allow people who believe they were stopped by police because of their race, ethnicity or other characteristics to sue in state courts. A provision allowing a plaintiff to sue for damages was deleted from the bill; instead, someone who brings suit can ask a judge to order the practice that led to his or her stop halted or modified.
Lower Standard of Proof
In his letter, Mr. Best says the new law would encourage claims of "disparate impact" that could play havoc with police policy. "Disparate impact" means a law has a disproportionate effect on a particular population group. Proof of intent to discriminate is not required; proof that a policy had such an effect on a group, even though unintentional, is enough.
"An advocacy organization, or a man under 35, could immediately file a lawsuit claiming that the NYPD's use of stop, question and frisk has a disparate impact on men (sex) and on those under 35 (age)," he wrote. "Given that the percentage of men who are stopped and frisked by police is greater than their proportion of the population, and the same is true of those under 35, a plaintiff could establish a 'disparate impact' as defined by the bill and a judge would then have the power to issue an injunction against the use of stop, question and frisk."
Ms. Miller and Councilman Williams both said the letter shows a misunderstanding of the disparate-impact principle. "You can have disparate impact," Mr. Williams said. "You just need to show it was in connection with a significant law-enforcement objective." He noted that under the proposed law, the burden of proof is not on the city but on the person bringing the suit.
Cites High Court's Standard
Ms. Miller also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had endorsed stop-and-frisk as an investigative tool, while requiring that officers base their stops on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or that their subject is carrying a weapon. Therefore, she said, no judge could bar the NYPD from using the tactic.
"Reasonable suspicion is the thing that would get a lawsuit tossed out immediately," she added.
Mr. Best wrote that "local law, meanwhile, already expressly prohibits racial or ethnic profiling by police." Civil-liberties advocates say that law, signed by Mr. Bloomberg in 2004, is ineffective. Ms. Miller and Mr. Williams contend that it is unenforceable.
The law defines profiling as an act by a law-enforcement officer "that relies on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin as the determinative factor in initiating law-enforcement action against an individual, rather than an individual's behavior or other information or circumstances that links a person or persons of a particular race, ethnicity, religion or national origin to suspected unlawful activity.
A Hazy Legal Area
There is no legal definition of either "determinative factor" or "law-enforcement action." And there are no penalties for officials who violate the law.
The original version of the bill included a definition of racial profiling and penalties for officers who were found to use it. The final bill was reportedly watered down after objections from Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, according to the ProPublica independent news group.
Ms. Gill Hearn's objections to the Inspector General bill seem to concentrate more on organizational issues than legal ones.
"This bill asks DOI to do things that are very different from what this department currently does with other city agencies," Ms. Gill Hearn wrote. "That is, the bill is not asking DOI to investigate corruption. Instead, it broadly requires DOI to examine operations and practices—purely as a matter of policy rather than as part of a particular investigation. It also mandates examination of the NYPD's 'ongoing partnerships with other law-enforcement agencies,' which we think is, in and of itself, highly irregular."
'Will Tax DOI's Strength'
Noting that the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau has 700 people while DOI has 350, she said the bill "will tax DOI's capacity to carry out its existing enormous obligations" to other city agencies.
The Federal lawsuits challenging stop-and-frisk could result in decisions "that could substantially impact what the bill requires, and/or could create conflicting structures for oversight of the NYPD," she said. She also recommended holding back on any legislation until the Federal cases challenging the way the department handles stop-and-frisk are decided.
Mr. Williams said Ms. Gill Hearn's arguments amount to, "It's never been done before, so we can't do it."
The Police Support 'Kiss of Death' ??
Uniformed Coalition Backing Thompson In Mayoral Race
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
COMMENT: Am I wrong? Why do I have the distinct perception that anytime the P.B.A. or any other major police union has come out in support of a mayoral candidate, it spells defeat. (See next article.) - Mike Bosak
The United Uniformed Workers of New York City has voted to give its mayoral endorsement to William C. Thompson Jr., coalition spokesman Michael J. Palladino told THE CHIEF-LEADER May 31.
Mr. Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, said the endorsement was tentatively scheduled to be announced outside City Hall on June 4, the day this newspaper hits the stands.
'Reasonable and Realistic'
"We feel he is the most reasonable and realistic of the candidates, and the most well-prepared to lead the city into the future," Mr. Palladino said.
The vote was actually taken May 13, he said, but the announcement was delayed in case additional candidates declared that they were seeking to succeed Mayor Bloomberg.
Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner did so, and he was interviewed by the coalition on May 29. "He did not persuade us to alter the vote from the 13th," Mr. Palladino said.
Of the 20 unions in the coalition, 18 voted to endorse Mr. Thompson. One of the exceptions was the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association, whose president, Harry Nespoli, abstained because he did not want to go against a possible later endorsement by his union's parent organization Joint Council 16 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The other exception was the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, whose president, Norman Seabrook, voted no, according to Mr. Palladino.
Seabrook Waiting on Kelly?
Mr. Seabrook said in an interview that he did not know a vote was going to be taken on the 13th. He said he left early for an appointment with Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and no one said anything to him about a vote. "My position is, I didn't even get a chance to vote," he said.
But he said he would have voted "no" anyway. "I think the window of opportunity is still open until June 10 for [another] candidate to surface," he said. June 10 is the deadline for candidates to file if they're seeking city matching funds for their campaigns. Although his union endorsed Mr. Thompson in 2009, he said, this time around "I haven't made a decision on who I'm going to endorse."
He would be happy to be able to consider Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, he said. Mr. Kelly has repeatedly denied he wants the job, although polls say he is extremely popular compared with the other candidates. Many Republicans believe he is the best chance their party has to beat the Democrats.
'Easier to Unite Than Elect'
Mr. Palladino said he was happy the unions "emerged united" from the endorsement process. "I think it's monumental that 20 unions came together for the purpose of collectively vetting mayoral candidates, and that 18 unions voted to endorse one candidate," he said. "Of course, it's much easier to vet and endorse than it is to get them elected, and that's where we turn our attentions now."
In addition to the Detectives', Correction Officers' and Sanitation Workers' unions, the organizations in the coalition were those representing NYPD Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains; Correction Captains and Assistant Deputy Wardens/Deputy Wardens; Fire Dispatchers; Sanitation Officers and Sanitation Chiefs; Port Authority Police Officers, Detectives, Sergeants and Lieutenants; Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officers of all ranks; District Attorney's Investigators; Court Officers; Lieutenants and Sergeants in the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority; and the Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association decided to go their own way. The Uniformed Fire Officers Association was initially part of the coalition but withdrew and endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for Mayor.
Mr. Thompson, who was finishing a second term as City Comptroller, ran against Mr. Bloomberg in 2009 and although he was outspent 14 to 1 came within 4.3 percentage points of defeating the incumbent Mayor. He is currently a senior managing director at Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co., the nation's largest minority-owned public-finance firm.
New York City mayoral hopeful William Thompson's stand on stop-and-frisk causes him problem in black community
City Council candidate Kirsten John Foy says he won't collect signatures to help the African-American Thompson get on ballot
By Erin Durkin — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Daily News'
Even as he won the endorsement of two prominent black leaders, William Thompson's moderate stance on stop-and-frisk policing caused him a new political headache in the black community.
Brooklyn City Council candidate Kirsten John Foy said Monday he will not collect signatures to help get Thompson on the Democratic primary ballot for mayor because of Thompson's pledge to keep the police tactic.
"I consider him a good man, but I think he's on the wrong side of history," said Foy.
Foy has been a vocal advocate for police reform since his controversial detention by police alongside City Councilman Jumaane Williams at the 2011 West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.
"The civil rights community has made it clear: Stop, question and frisk is at the top of its agenda, and Mr. Thompson has shunned that. He's going to be a fourth term of (Mayor) Bloomberg in terms of policing. We don't need a fourth term in terms of anything."
Foy also cited opposition by Thompson to proposals that would allow people to pursue claims of racial profiling in state courts, and would create a police inspector general operating outside the NYPD.
Foy is running for the Council seat in Bedford-Stuyvesant being vacated by Democrat Al Vann because of term limits.
Dinkins and Rangel stop-frisk proponents
By DAVID SEIFMAN — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Post'
The city's first black mayor isn't about to abandon stop-and-frisk.
David Dinkins said such searches can help reduce gun violence.
"I trust Ray Kelly," said David Dinkins, who first appointed Kelly police commissioner in 1992. "That doesn't mean Ray can't make mistakes. We got a lot of police out there, and they're not all perfect."
But, Dinkins added, "clearly, it's a good thing if we can get weapons off the street."
He joined Rep. Charles Rangel to endorse Bill Thompson for mayor yesterday in Harlem, where the contentious stop-and-frisk issue came up again.
Rangel reiterated his support for allowing cops to do their jobs as long as they follow the law.
"If there is anybody in law enforcement who has reason to believe that someone is carrying a weapon . . . they have a duty based on the evidence they have to search and find out," said Rangel.
"That does not include abuse of a privilege that the uniform doesn't carry, that the badge doesn't carry. No one said you have a right to insult our young people."
For his part, Thompson said stop-and-frisk is a "useful policing tool" but charged that it has been "misused and abused" by the NYPD and needs to be fixed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg downplayed the 25 shootings in 48 hours over the weekend. He said the number of total shootings last week was the lowest since 2004.
"That's how safe this city has gotten," he said.
But Bloomberg charged that the City Council and critics of the NYPD are siding with criminals instead of the public by pushing to curb stop-and-frisk.
"We are giving the NYPD every tool that we possibly can to crack down on illegal guns, even as special interest groups and members of the City Council are trying to take those tools away from the police," he said..
"I don't know who you think the criminals are rooting for -- us or the special interests in the City Council, I don't know. But it seems like they are probably not on our side of this," he said.
"I didn't see the NYCLU decry the fact that an 11-year-old girl was in the hospital," he said. "I talked to her father today. She's paralyzed from the neck down. Just shot by some kid with a gun. You have a right to live in Bed-Stuy and not have bullets whiz past your head."
With by Laurel Babock
Kelly for Mayor
Bloomberg hasn't heard anything about Kelly running, but says he's a 'very good manager'
By Dana Rubinstein — Monday, June 3rd, 2013; 1:08 p.m. 'Capital New York' / New York, NY
Notwithstanding that mysteriously financed survey last week, Ray Kelly doesn't seem any more interested now in running for mayor as a Republican, or anything else, than he was before.
But it came up at the mayor's press conference today.
At an event about post-Hurricane Sandy rebuilding, an Associated Press reporter asked Michael Bloomberg if he had any thoughts on the prospect of Kelly running for mayor.
"If he's running, it's the first I heard about it," said the mayor. "Is he running?"
"If he were running," said the reporter.
"He's been a phenomenal police commissioner," said Bloomberg, who has been intermittently supportive of Christine Quinn's candidacy. "He's done an enormous job for this city. Far as I know he doesn't have any interest in running for mayor, but this is a very good manager who cares very much about people and has done a great job."
Ray Kelly, New York City Police Commissioner, Says He's Not Running For Mayor
By COLLEEN LONG and JENNIFER PELTZ (The Associated Press) — Monday, June 3rd, 2013; 5:07 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is the most popular public figure in New York City not running for mayor. And when asked, his answer is always the same: He has no plans to enter the race and is focusing solely on running the police department.
But that hasn't stopped political insiders from urging the 71-year-old Kelly to get in, suggesting his tough-on-crime record would make him the front-runner from Day One.
"Ray Kelly great public servant. Only hope of averting disaster for NY," media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted last week.
Such chatter has reached a fever pitch ahead of an upcoming deadline for candidates to file petitions to get on the ballot. But experts say the odds of Kelly entering are slim, and it's not clear whether the commissioner who has served for more than a decade would even stay on after the election.
"I think that the conservatives, plus some business elites, are concerned about the Democrats being too liberal for them," so they want someone like Kelly who can replicate the policies of outgoing independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Republican predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, said City University of New York Graduate Center political scientist John Mollenkopf.
Kelly is an independent who has served under both Democrats and Republicans, including former President Bill Clinton as the head of customs. He's seen as someone comfortable being a public figure, with the managerial experience of leading the nation's largest police department.
Kelly also has presided over a precipitous drop in crime – last year there were a record low 419 murders in a city of 8 million people – and has remade the NYPD's counterterrorism and crime-fighting efforts. His reputation remains untarnished despite department scandal and criticism.
"He's a phenomenal police commissioner," said Bloomberg, who is limited to three terms. "He's done an enormous job for this city. As far as I know, he doesn't have any interest in running for mayor. But this is a very good manager who cares very much about people and has done a great job."
Kelly regularly gets a higher approval rating than the mayor and other public figures; in a Quinnipiac University poll late last month, more than two-thirds of voters said they liked how he's doing his job. The same poll also found nearly half thought he should run for mayor.
"There's no question that he's admired in what he's doing in his job," but it's not clear that would translate into support for him as a political candidate, said the poll's director, Maurice "Mickey" Carroll.
Late last week, when asked about the election, Kelly gave the standard response: "I have no plans to run for elective office."
But he acknowledged he was flattered by the poll numbers, citing them as a reflection of how well police officers do their jobs.
"They are doing a superb job and I'm the beneficiary of that," he said.
Talk of Kelly's political prospects picked up after some voters started getting survey calls last month about their views of him and the mayor's race. Conducted by longtime Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, the $17,000 survey was commissioned by a businessman who's not well known in political circles, she said, declining to identify him. She said he had seen media reports about interest in a potential Kelly candidacy and was curious about how he might fare.
"I believe that there is room for a new entrant, especially someone as well-known as Ray Kelly," Conway said.
But with a July 11 deadline to submit petitions to enter the race for the Sept. 10 primary, it could be tough to put together a campaign and fundraising apparatus. Many experienced political strategists are already committed to other candidates, as are many endorsers.
Plus, as an independent, Kelly would need party leaders' permission to run in a primary.
"I admire the commissioner greatly, but in terms of being a candidate for mayor, I don't believe it's going to happen," said Manhattan Republican Party Chairman Daniel Isaacs. "I don't believe he, personally, is inclined to run, and I think, quite frankly, at this juncture it's quite late to run."
The Manhattan GOP is busily preparing to help gather petition signatures for its choice, billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis.
Kelly's popularity has remained high even as his department's tactics have come under fire.
An ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit claims thousands of street stops made under the department's "stop, question and frisk" policy were based solely on race. During the 10-week trial, city lawmakers reached agreement on a proposal to create an inspector general to oversee the police department, based largely on the outcry over stop-and-frisk and a series of stories by The Associated Press about the department's monitoring of Muslims. A 2011 investigation found instances of ticket-fixing by dozens of officers who are now being charged criminally. And the 50-shot police barrage that killed unarmed Sean Bell on his wedding day prompted protests and debate about excessive force.
Some current mayoral candidates have said they would keep Kelly as commissioner, but he hasn't said whether he'd stay if asked.
Others would look for new leadership in the police department if elected.
"Ray Kelly has done a tremendous job for the people of this city ... but after 12 years, it's time for a new set of eyes and some new ideas and new management," according to the campaign of Adolfo Carrion, a former Bronx borough president.
Braulio Collado, a 49-year-old Manhattan flower vendor who lives in the Bronx, said the leading Democratic candidates, such as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, had flaws.
"He's a good commissioner, and maybe he'd be good in politics because he has a lot of personality – and he represents the law," Collado said.
Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik and Frank Eltman contributed to this report.
The NYPD's DNA Policy
The 'gene' of the crime
Supremes OK DNA tests after even minor busts
By JAMIE SCHRAM and KATE SHEEHY — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Post'
Police may now be able to force anyone under arrest — even for a minor shoplifting bust — to surrender a DNA sample without consent or a warrant, according to a controversial Supreme Court decision yesterday.
The bitterly divided court said that taking the genetic information by running what looks like a long Q-Tip along the inside of a person's cheek and entering the information into a database is equivalent to collecting fingerprints and mug shots.
"This ruling is going to be great for law enforcement,'' an NYPD official told The Post. "Those guys arrested for misdemeanor crimes are no longer going to be able to fly under the radar for felony crimes they've committed.''
Currently, the NYPD typically collects DNA from suspects in violent felonies or sex crimes, but only with consent or a judge's OK.
Under yesterday's ruling, authorities can routinely swab even turnstile jumpers without either.
Still, "it's too soon to know what effect, if any, the ruling has on NYPD procedures,'' said department spokesman Paul Browne.
Another NYPD source said, "I know that it's going to get the civil-rights groups all revved up . . . but I really don't see how an innocent person could be affected by the ruling.
"If you don't commit crimes, then you have nothing to worry about," he said.
Yesterday's ruling bitterly divided the court.
"Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police-booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in a 5-4 split.
But dissenting conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a stinging response, "Make no mistake about it: Because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason."
Steven Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed that the ruling was deeply flawed.
"The Fourth Amendment has long been understood to mean that the police cannot search for evidence of a crime — and all nine justices agreed that DNA testing is a search — without individualized suspicion," he said in a statement. "Today's decision eliminates that crucial safeguard.''
Additional reporting by Larry Celona
A Violent Exception
Even With Bloody Weekend, Shootings and Killings Are Down
By TAMER EL-GHOBASHY and LAURA KUSISTO — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The Wall Street Journal' / New York, NY
In what once was a seasonal rite in New York City, the first weekend of sustained simmering temperatures often led to spasms of violence resulting in double-digit homicides and even more injured by gunfire.
But in recent years, the headlines referring to "bloody" weekends had waned—until Monday, after seven people were fatally shot and 19 more were wounded by gunfire from Friday to Sunday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to remind New Yorkers of gains made in public safety when he addressed the violent weekend during a news conference Monday on a separate matter at City Hall.
"The bottom line is, including this weekend, we had the lowest number of shootings that we had in a decade," said the mayor, who referred to the number of shootings so far this year.
It has been about two years since such a level of violence was seen in the city during the course of a weekend. Over Labor Day weekend in 2011, 10 people were killed and at least 50 were wounded in incidents citywide.
Through Sunday, 439 people have been victims of shootings—down from 615 in the same period in 2012. That is a decline of about 29%, which a law-enforcement official said was the greatest drop in at least 12 years.
In 1993, when there were nearly 82% more shootings and 83% more shooting victims in New York than in 2012, an average of five people were homicide victims per day. Warm weekends were particularly violent in New York City, experts said.
"Usually on the first hot night, people bust out," said Walter Signorelli, a retired New York Police Department inspector who is now a professor of police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
"One night of shootings sometimes led to another night of shootings because of retaliation," he added.
On Monday, even as Mr. Bloomberg highlighted advances the city has made in crime reduction, he said, "One shooting is one too many."
He invoked an incident Friday when an 11-year-old was shot in the neck by a bullet that wasn't meant for her.
Tayloni Mazyck suffered a severed spine following the 8:30 p.m. shooting outside her home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Mr. Bloomberg said he spoke to her father Monday and "promised [him] I would not flag in my desire to get guns out of the hands of minors and people with criminal records and have background checks on the sale of guns."
A 17-year-old was arrested and charged in Tayloni's shooting.
In a news release, the NYPD said it was stepping up patrols in the areas that saw multiple shootings over the weekend to prevent retaliatory shootings and to make an arrest sweep of people with outstanding warrants.
NYPD Boosts Patrols After Bloody Weekend
By Anthony M. Destefano — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'New York Newsday' / Melville, L.I.
Responding to a bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and more than two dozen were shot, the NYPD on Monday beefed up police staffing at public housing developments, and deployed mobile and stationary observation towers for patrols, officials said.
In addition, plainclothes officers are being assigned to anti-crime units citywide at crucial periods, and officers were told to track and arrest those wanted on outstanding warrants, said police spokesman Paul Browne.
He said investigators also would monitor gang crews to try to prevent retaliations for the weekend's shooting spree.
Among those hurt in the weekend gunfire, which began late Friday, was 11-year-old bystander Tayloni Mazyck of Brooklyn, who police said appears to have been paralyzed Friday night by a stray bullet outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. Police suspect Tayloni was struck by a bullet fired by Kane Cooper, 17, as he fired at rival gang members.
Cooper was arrested Saturday and was held without bail on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and other counts, said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg chalked up some of the violence to the hot and humid weather this past weekend, which he said often leads to short tempers and higher crime. But at the same time, Bloomberg said the number of shootings for the year is way down from the same period a year earlier.
"The bottom line is, including this weekend, we have the lowest number of shootings that we've had in a decade, OK?" Bloomberg said in response to a question Monday about the weekend violence. A mayoral spokesman said later that Bloomberg was referring to year-to-date trends in making his overall comparison.
Bloomberg also said the city remains safe. He could take heart from the latest FBI crime statistics, which on Monday showed that the city last year had the second-lowest "murder" rate per 100,000 population of any major U.S. city with more than 1 million people, behind San Diego. The city rate for all homicides was 5.05 per 100,000, compared with 3.51 per 100,000 for San Diego.
There were 26 shootings including seven homicides this weekend, Browne said, although some unofficial tallies put the shootings at 25 and homicides at eight. Police didn't have a borough-by-borough breakdown of the shootings. Three shooting victims were younger than 16.
"Even with the weekend shootings, homicides are still down 24 percent from last year," Browne said.
He said there have been 127 killings in the city so far in 2013, down from 167 last year.
According to NYPD statistics, there have been 383 shooting incidents involving 439 victims through June 2, compared with 522 shootings and 615 victims in the same period of 2012. That represents declines of 28.6 percent in the number of victims and 26.6 percent in the total shooting incidents.
"This happens," former NYPD Det. Sgt. Joseph Giacalone said of the blip in shootings in what has been a less violent year in the city. "It happened last year, too. The only thing you have to make sure that you are not dealing with a gang war or drug wars."
Giacalone expressed concern that with fewer of the controversial stop-and-frisk searches done by police -- 51 percent fewer were conducted in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2012 -- street criminals are becoming emboldened.
"The bad guys follows these things," Giacalone said. "This is something that has to be monitored."
Police late Monday said they were questioning a man whom they called a person of interest in the shooting of three men in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn on Sunday.
NYPD: Subway robberies down 30.7% over 2012
By DAN RIVOLI — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'am NewYork.Com'
Reversing a trend, robberies are down 30.7% in subways compared to a year ago, according to NYPD data released Monday.
The reduction in robberies, as well as grand larceny — down 7.9% — follows a spate of thefts of phones and other electronic devices in the system last year. In April 2012, robberies were up 27.3% and grand larcenies increased by 18.3% compared to the same period in 2011.
"It's pretty directly attributable to the change in tactics of the transit bureau," said Bill Henderson, the executive director of the MTA's citizens advisory council.
Henderson cited the use of decoy sting operations and a public awareness campaign regarding electronic devices.
"It seems every couple of years, the criminals on the subway change their tactics, so the police have to go out and do something new to prevent it, so they have," Henderson said.
The data presented to the MTA's board meeting showed 205 robberies from January to April, compared to 296 in the same time frame last year. Grand larcenies, meanwhile, fell to 488 from 530.
"Part of this decrease can be attributed to continued success of our decoy operations," the NYPD said in a statement. "We substantially increased the number of our decoy teams and the frequency of our operations in the end of 2011. System-wide, we have conducted 130 decoy operations this year, resulting in 54 arrests – 36 of those for grand larceny."
When asked during the board meeting by acting MTA Chair Fernando Ferrer where the crime reductions occurred, NYPD Chief of Transit Joseph Fox said, "We're doing well in all the boroughs."
"It's spread across the system," Fox said of the improvement in the crime numbers.
From January to April 2013, there have been 15% fewer major felonies — seven categories of crime that include robbery, grand larceny, rape and murder — compared to the same period last year.
Further, the daily average of major felonies fell to 6.3, from 7.4; the daily robbery average decreased to 1.7 from 2.5.
MTA board member Andrew Albert praised the "spirited" campaign police enacted to get the number of subway thefts and robberies down.
"That's with record ridership — that's even better," Albert said. "The best takeaway was that this was successful in all four boroughs [with subways]."
Gene Russianoff, a transit advocate and counsel for the Straphangers Campaign, attributed the change to policing, not riders being more careful with their gadgets.
"I think a byproduct of having more presence of cops is having a downturn in crime," he said. "They are crimes of opportunity."
Kerik Released To Home Confinement From Federal Pen
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
Disgraced ex-Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik was released from Federal prison May 28 and returned to his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J. He is required to stay close to that home until Oct.15, when he will complete his sentence.
Mr. Kerik, 57, has so far served three years of a four-year sentence on a guilty plea to charges of tax fraud and making false statements to Federal investigators regarding $255,000 in renovations paid for by mob-linked contractors to an apartment he owned in the Riverdale section of The Bronx.
Still Under Federal Watch
Federal officials said he was let out early because of good behavior but his movements will be restricted for the next five months. After that, probation officials will monitor him for three years.
"Kerik is confined locally to family duties," wrote New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, who talked to him after his release. He will wear an ankle bracelet to track his movements, she said.
"I'm already planning my next book and have been writing, longhand, daily," he told Ms. Adams.
His autobiography, "The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice," was published shortly after 9/11. He later agreed to repay the city $2,500 after the Conflicts of Interest Board found he had improperly sent three Detectives to Ohio to chase down facts about his mother.
He was also criticized for using NYPD photos from Ground Zero in the book, and his Federal guilty plea involved a settlement of tax-evasion charges for not reporting $75,000 he received for a foreword he contributed to a book about 9/11.
Swift Rise, Hard Fall
Mr. Kerik was a Detective Third Grade in the NYPD when he latched onto mayoral candidate Rudy Giuliani, serving as a campaign chauffeur and security guard. After Mr. Giuliani was elected, he appointed Mr. Kerik to top posts in the Department of Correction, in 1998 making him Correction Commissioner. In August 2000 Mr. Kerik became Police Commissioner.
He got that job although Mr. Giuliani was told by his Investigation Commissioner, Edward Kuriansky, that Mr. Kerik had lobbied the head of the city Trade Waste Commission on behalf of Frank and Peter DiTommaso, two reputedly mob-linked brothers seeking a license to operate a waste-transfer station.
In 2004, Mr. Giuliani recommended that President George W. Bush nominate Mr. Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security, at which point his facade began to crumble.
He said he withdrew from consideration because he never paid taxes on a nanny who might have been in the U.S. illegally.
Additional questions arose about security work he was hired to perform in Iran, and about affairs he carried on simultaneously with his publisher, Judith Regan, and a female Correction Officer in an apartment overlooking Ground Zero that had been set aside for use by first-responders.
In 2007, he was indicted on Federal charges of conspiracy, tax fraud, and lying to White House investigators. He pleaded guilty in November 2009 and was sent to prison in 2010, by which time Mr. Giuliani had severed all ties with his longtime friend and business partner.
He returned to the city last year, testifying in The Bronx about his relationship with the DiTommasos, who prosecutors said paid for the luxurious renovations at his Riverdale apartment.
His Plea Undermined Them
They were charged with perjury for telling a grand jury that they had not paid for the work, in apparent contradiction of Mr. Kerik's later statement when he pleaded guilty in 2006 in Bronx Supreme Court to two misdemeanors related to the renovation work.
Mr. Kerik testified last year that he had not understood what his lawyer told him to say at that proceeding. He said he believed the $30,000 he provided had paid the full cost of the renovations.
Frank DiTommaso was acquitted; his brother was convicted. Peter DiTommaso's lawyer told THE CHIEF-LEADER he did not believe Mr. Kerik's testimony was a major factor for the jury that found his client guilty.
Mr. Giuliani had arranged the renaming of a jail in lower Manhattan in honor of Mr. Kerik at the height of their post-9/11 fame. Mayor Bloomberg had it rechristened the Manhattan Detention Center after the first of Mr. Kerik's criminal convictions seven years ago.
P.O. Isaias Alicea Perjury Conviction
Phantom Drug Bust, Real Conviction For Jail-Bound Officer
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
Police Officer Isaias Alicea said he arrested two men in the lobby of a Harlem public-housing building after seeing them engaged in a drug transaction. He described the circumstances of the arrest to police supervisors and an Assistant District Attorney, and filed reports on it.
Only one problem: A video filmed by the lobby security camera showed no drug transaction. It didn't even show the two men coming in contact with each other.
Guilty of Trumping-Up Case
The charges against the men were dropped, and Mr. Alicea took their place in Manhattan Supreme Court. On May 29, a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of filing a false instrument, a felony, and one count of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Sentencing was set for July 12. Mr. Alicea, 29, faces up to four years in prison.
"The defendant, assigned to the NYPD's Housing Bureau, was entrusted with keeping public-housing residents and their guests safe," District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement. "By falsely accusing a man of a drug sale, this defendant betrayed the public's trust."
Mr. Alicea's attorney, Angelo D. MacDonald, told the New York Times, "We were obviously disappointed with the verdict...My client is going to lose his job, and he wanted to remain a police officer and continue to serve the public."
State law generally requires that a police officer convicted of a felony must be fired. Mr. Alicea has been with the NYPD since 2006.
The Peter Figoski Tragedy
3rd Guilty Verdict In Murder of Cop Who Interrupted Robbery
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
A fourth member of a robbery crew was found guilty May 29 in the murder of Police Officer Peter J. Figoski.
The conviction of Kevin Santos, 32, on charges of second-degree murder and burglary ends the prosecution of the five men involved in Officer Figoski's death in December 2011. The 22-year veteran officer was responding to a robbery report in the East New York section of Brooklyn. He was surprised by Lamont Pride when Mr. Pride exited a basement apartment, then shot Officer Figoski in the face.
Shooter's Long Sentence
Mr. Pride was sentenced to 45 years to life. State Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus took the unusual step of making his sentences on second-degree murder, burglary and manslaughter consecutive rather than concurrent.
The mastermind of the robbery, Nelson Morales, was convicted five days earlier of second-degree murder. Michael Velez, who was charged as the getaway driver, was acquitted. The final member of the robbery crew, Ariel Tejada, agreed to testify against his co-conspirators in return for an 18-year sentence.
Mr. Santos can receive a sentence of 25 years to life.
Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, applauded the verdict, saying, "These jurors have every reason to be proud of themselves, because their courageous verdict will allow their neighbors to live in the comfort of knowing that these killers are off the street. While the trials are over, the pain and suffering of the Figoski family will continue for a lifetime. Although no one will ever be able to replace Peter, as police officers, we will do everything possible to ease their pain."
Smaller Crime Snares Them
The second-degree-murder charges all involved felony murder, meaning the robbers who did not shoot Officer Figoski were guilty because they were involved in the crime that resulted in his death.
Mr. Santos claimed at the trial that he was never inside the apartment. Prosecutors argued that his fingerprints were not found there because he was wearing socks over his hands. His lawyer, Harold Baker, said his client was "a pothead" who just wanted to get high.
Statue of Liberty screening moved to Manhattan
By Unnamed Author(s) (The Associated Press) — Monday, June 3rd, 2013; 6:49 p.m. EDT
NEW YORK — Security screening for visitors to the Statue of Liberty will be held in lower Manhattan instead of on Ellis Island when the site reopens on July 4 after cleanup from Superstorm Sandy.
The National Park Service originally had planned for visitors to board cruise ships in Manhattan or in Liberty State Park, N.J., and stop at Ellis Island for security, but New York officials criticized the plan. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly urged federal authorities to reverse the policy, saying it could leave visitors vulnerable.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Monday that establishing a temporary screening facility at lower Manhattan's Battery Park would address security concerns while security procedures are further reviewed. Plans for screenings at Liberty State Park are being developed.
About-face on Statue of Liberty screenings: Feds switch security checks back to Battery Park
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Sen. Chuck Schumer had warned that the plan to inspect visitors on Liberty and Ellis islands would make every ferry boat 'a sitting duck' for terrorists
By Joseph Straw AND Daniel Beekman — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Daily News'
(Edited for brevity and NYPD pertinence / Politicians edit out.)
THE FEDS agreed Monday to screen tourists at Battery Park before they set sail for the Statue of Liberty, scuttling an earlier plan that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ripped as unsafe.
The National Park Service had initially decided to move security screenings from lower Manhattan to Liberty and Ellis islands. But Kelly and Sen. Chuck Schumer warned the arrangement would make every ferry boat headed to Lady Liberty a "sitting duck" for terrorists.
For more than 12 years, starting soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, visitors bound for the Statue of Liberty have been screened at Battery Park.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reverted to that setup Monday, asking Mayor Bloomberg for help expediting the building of a Battery screening facility in time for the July 4 reopening of Liberty Island, which was pounded by Hurricane Sandy.
"We're happy they were willing to reach an agreement with the mayor that comports with the Police Department's concerns," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
"The Statue of Liberty is vital to maintaining our preeminence as the tourist capital of America, and with these procedures in place, it can continue to safely draw people from around the world to this beacon of freedom," he said.
The now-abandoned plan to move the screenings away from Battery Park was made earlier this year against the advice of the NYPD.
"Al Qaeda and those who share its violent jihadist ideology repeatedly call for attacks on America, and they have long shown an interest in targets that represent our country," Kelly wrote last month.
NYPD Harvard Grads
NYPD Sgt. to Grads At Harvard: Success Should Be Redefined
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
NYPD Sgt. Jonathan Murad may have started his career patrolling housing projects in Harlem, but after eight years on the job, he ascended May 30 to the rarefied precincts of Tercentenary Theatre at Harvard University.
On that broad meadow in the shadow of the Widener Library, he not only received a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government but also delivered a commencement oration on behalf of all recipients of graduate degrees to an audience of 32,000.
The Virtues of a Break-Away
His colleagues in Harlem would have appreciated the subject of his speech: "In Praise of Clip-On Ties."
"Not the height of fashion, perhaps," he said, "but when you're a cop—as I am—there's a definite value in break-away neckwear, especially if someone's trying to choke you."
Mr. Murad, 40, recalled his graduation from Harvard College in 1995. "Back then," he said, "greatness was the only option, and if you'd told me then that I'd end up a cop in The Bronx I'd have slooowly backed away. Harvard graduates don't take jobs like that; they become i-bankers and start-up entrepreneurs. There are expectations.
"The first of Harvard's eight U.S. Presidents, writing to the second, his son, drove this home: 'You come into life with advantages which will disgrace you if your success is mediocre.'...I imagine John Adams would have had been unenthused if John Quincy had come home with a clip-on tie."
'How We Change Counts'
"...I'm probably not the only municipal cop in the country with two Harvard degrees, but I'm surely in a tiny cohort, and that's not a boast, it's a lament. If there is something special about this place and the lessons we've learned here, and I think there is, then America—the world—needs people like you in these roles. Because John Adams was dead wrong. Success doesn't mean rising to the top, it means changing the world. And here's the secret: Everyone changes the world. Everything ripples. It's how we do it that counts.
"...The crimson letter [H, a university symbol] and the expectations that come with it are yours. And so is the way you choose to change the world. For the time being, I'll be doing it one radio run at a time, while wearing a clip-on tie. You can pick whatever neckwear you want, or none at all, but let us go forth, and serve as we can."
Mr. Murad, who worked in the Office of Management Analysis & Planning after two assignments in the Housing Bureau, said he expected to be sent to a precinct in The Bronx or Manhattan North when he returned to work June 3.
Two Other NYPD Grads
He was one of three student speakers at Harvard's 362nd commencement. Of the others, one delivered a speech in Latin, and the second spoke in English on behalf of those receiving undergraduate degrees.
The commencement address was delivered by Oprah Winfrey.
Two other NYPD officers also received MPAs from the Kennedy School. They are Lieut. Frank Merenda of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information and Sgt. Matthew Delaney of the 6th Precinct in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.
Ex-NYPD Sergeant Guilty of Real-Estate Ripoff of Investors
By MARK TOOR — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Chief / Civil Service Leader'
A former Police Sergeant who prosecutors say used his NYPD status to inveigle investors to put money into a fraudulent real-estate scheme pleaded guilty May 29 in Manhattan Federal Court.
When dealing with investors, James Monahan, 43, "repeatedly touted his prior service with the New York City Police Department as proof of his trustworthiness," according to the indictment, which was issued in August 2012.
'Phony Who Exploited NYPD'
"Like the real-estate-development project he promoted, James Monahan was a phony who exploited his past association with the NYPD to woo investors, only to trade that badge of pride for a badge of fraud," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Mr. Monahan, owner of Panam Management Group, was indicted along with Manhattan attorney Edward Adams, who was to manage escrow accounts for a 1,200-unit condominium project in the Dominican Republic in which Panam was supposedly involved.
"From October 2008 through February 2009, approximately $4.7 million in investor funds were deposited into the escrow accounts," Mr. Bharara's office said. "Shortly after the deposits were made, the funds were improperly withdrawn from the account by Adams without disclosure to investors.
'Cleaned Out Escrow'
"In an effort to hide the fact that the funds had been removed from the escrow account, Monahan mailed a forged letter in May 2009 on the stationery of a major bank to investors claiming that their money was safely deposited with that bank," the statement continued.
"However, by June 2009, all of the investor funds had been taken from the escrow accounts. At that point, almost no work had been performed on the purported project in the Dominican Republic and no money was returned to investors."
Mr. Monahan pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
He joined the NYPD in 1994 and left with a vested pension in 2005.
NY/NJ Port Authority Police
Port Authority police officer suspended after allegedly attacking Staten Island girlfriend
By Frank Donnelly — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The Staten Island Advance' / Staten Island
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- An off-duty Port Authority Police Department officer found himself on the wrong side of the law after cops say he back-handed his Staten Island girlfriend, despite a judge's order limiting his dealings with her.
Police say Shawn Dossie, 31, of Parlin, N.J., was inside the St. George apartment of his 33-year-old girlfriend at 2:50 a.m. May 26 when he hit her with the back of his open hand, cutting her face.
A Richmond County Supreme Court justice had previously ordered Dossie in February "to refrain from assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, strangulation, intimidation threats or any criminal offense" against the woman, court papers allege.
Dossie faces charges of first- and second-degree criminal contempt, third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment, according to information from District Attorney Daniel Donovan's office.
He has been suspended without pay from the Port Authority Police Department, said an agency spokesman.
Dossie is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, and the alleged incident is under review, said a Coast Guard spokesman.
Thomas Dale: Nassau County's Top Cop Talks Crime, Scandals, and Cleaning Up the Embattled Department
By Shelly Feuer Domash — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The Long Island Press' / Farmingdale, NY
Thomas Dale stumbled blindly with his hands outstretched in front of him through the engulfing thick white cloud of dust, debris and human remains rolling through Lower Manhattan in the moments following the World Trade Center's collapse.
Walking slowly, desperately hoping to reach a nearby school, the New York City Police Department veteran with 43 years on the job did his best not to fall down.
Out of the darkness someone had handed him a moist towel to help him breathe.
During a lengthy and exceptionally candid recent interview with the Press, Dale admitted to being scared, even "petrified," yet like so many other brave first responders on the scene that day, he stuck it out, both accepting and giving orders—orders that undoubtedly helped save lives.
Sept. 11, 2001 was a defining and life-changing moment for the now-63-year-old, he says, and has forever shaped his outlook on life and the way in which he handles his job—which since his December 2011 appointment by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, has been heading the Nassau County Police Department, an agency that for the past several years has been the subject of not only an unprecedented downsizing, but several high-profile scandals.
Dale has been charged with cleaning up the mess.
"I almost died that day and I felt a lot different toward people after that day," he confides, following a pause. "I saw tragedy that day and I saw people working with one another that I had never seen in my lifetime. The entire city, the entire Island, the entire United States—we worked together," he recalls.
As much as a team player the former NYPD chief of personnel is, Dale's not afraid to go it alone, something he's had to do since nearly his first day at the helm—whether in front of the county legislature defending Mangano's controversial plan to shutter half its precincts (to jeers from even "people who worked for me," he says), or taking it upon himself last month to travel upstate to personally inform 21-year-old Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello's parents that their daughter was accidentally killed by one of his officers May 17.
"It was the right thing to do," he says of his visit to Tarrytown. "I'm the head guy. I thought that's what a man should do."
"The investigation is going on as we speak," he continues, "we're not finished with it. Every time there is a shooting we want to go through the procedure: Can we do something not to shoot? Can we make it better? This one is more exaggerated because of the seriousness of it and you always try to find if there is something we can do better."
"Doing better" could be the mission statement of Dale's administration thus far. Almost immediately upon his appointment he'd been thrust into the hot seat.
Dale was tapped shortly after New York State Inspector General Ellen Biben issued a report on the department's troubled crime lab, which in 2010 became the only such laboratory in the nation to be put on probation following a scathing accreditation agency inspection report that November highlighting 26 areas of noncompliance with universally accepted standards. (It's still closed and officials at the time had put the cost for outside testing and analysis of narcotics, blood and ballistics at $100,000 per month.)
"When I got here I found a lot of problems that I don't think people thought about when they said, 'Just close the lab,'" he says. "We are the people that bring the product in. We bring the evidence in here every day, the fingerprints, the blood sample, DNA. These are the other things. What are we going to do with it if we don't have a lab to deal with it? Who do we give it to? There was no one to give it to."
Dale appointed his new deputy commissioner to deal with "this very complicated issue."
His goal is to have the lab completely outside the purview of the police department.
"It just doesn't make sense anymore," he says, "why have officers in there? You can have civilians who went to school for that. Put a sergeant in there and the sergeant gets promoted. I have an evidence management team that has set up a report every month on every piece of evidence."
Dale hopes to stop sending out their evidence to numerous different places including Pennsylvania, Westchester and Texas, and to set up a complete lab in the county medical examiner's office.
Three months on the job, Dale had to handle a different type of scandal. A March 31, 2011 Press investigation into the department and nonprofit Nassau County Police Department Foundation had resulted in a probe by the Nassau District Attorney's Office and the indictment of three of the county's top former cops a year later for their roles in covering up a burglary committed by a wealthy foundation donor's son.
Former Nassau Police Second Deputy Commissioner William Flanagan was convicted of conspiracy and official misconduct this February. Ex-Deputy Chief of Patrol John Hunter pleaded guilty last month to the same charges. Retired Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe's next court date is June 26.
After reading our series and subsequent agency reports, Dale was swift with his response.
"I realized I could do some things right away," he says. "So one thing was they [foundation members and donors] all have these special ID cards. I asked them and they agreed from now on everybody has the same ID card. We do have a lot of civilians with ID cards. We have an Explorer board that have ID cards, we have a foundation board, we have some honorary surgeons that we deal with. A lot of people who have ID cards, but I want everybody's to be the same so there's no one special."
In addition to the police IDs the members had police shields, though putting the kibosh on those wasn't going to be that easy.
"I can't tell them not to buy a shield," he explains. "I don't give them a shield, they buy it themselves. I can't stop it. I said, 'Guys, you should not be showing them, that's not appropriate.'"
Dale did "immediately" cancel a department-wide order requesting officers verify foundation membership, however.
"We revoked that order immediately," he says, adding that the group's members no longer have free access into police headquarters, nor an office there, as was the situation under his predecessor former Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey (who retired the following day of our series' first installment). Dale closed that down, too.
After researching other foundations, Dale says he told members that there had to be a separation between him and the organization. Regarding the larger issue of monetary donations often coming with strings attached, Dale says:
"There are two ways that we are approaching it. One way is basically what has happened, which scared the pants off of most everybody here. The other way is internally. What I do now is every day I read every complaint that comes in. If someone makes a complaint anywhere—Internet, any government office, or through us—I get it and I read it. I get briefed from our internal affairs on a lot of the cases that were always handled out there. Now they are not handled by them, they are handled by me."
As a result of his changes, Dale believes that "the guys out there on the street know that I mean business. These were very serious cases that I have been dealing with since I got here. Can I ever prevent somebody not to call up somebody? I told them, I met them in person and spoke to them—man to man, woman to woman—'If you do this, you're going to get in trouble.'"
"I have to do everything in my power to prevent that, but it's a very difficult thing to prevent, very difficult. It would be naïve to say it would never happen again."
Dale says one of his goals was to reinforce the authority of supervisors. Prior to his taking office, he said the route was a cop would go to the union, who would go to the government and do an end-run around their supervisors, leaving those supervisors without any authority. He was able, he says, to get a "bill passed where I am in charge of discipline." Now, when a cop is put on disciplinary probation, a supervisor can write them up and they may be terminated. "I have empowered the sergeants and lieutenants. They had no power before—I needed to empower my bosses."
"They weren't being supported so I've supported them," he continues. "Now they know when they do something they're going to have to pay the price. I'm not looking to fire anybody. I'm looking to just maintain discipline. We don't have enough people to go around firing everybody, that's just crazy. Everybody is saying, 'He is firing everybody.' I'm not firing everybody that comes before me. You don't have to agree to with what I said. You can go to trial. You can do this you can do that. They don't want to go to trial."
The department, according to numerous sources, had become lax when it came to discipline. Dale said his job was to turn that around. He said while he couldn't discuss specific cases, "I have been strict." He added that "A couple of people have been terminated."
Some of the cases he has dealt with, he says, include an officer shoplifting, officers using internal records to run plates for friends, officers involved in the Jo'Anna Bird domestic violence murder case and several "Romeo" cases, whereby officers were involved with women while on the job.
"There was some pretty serious stuff," he says.
Dale's been spearheading the internal housecleaning while also keeping his eye on what he says is his main priority: crime. That is no easy task with a depleted department and a shortage of cops.
"Crime is our number-one issue and I think the best way to attack it is to be smart, as we don't have the personnel," he says.
Doing more with less has become a major challenge for Dale. He believes the biggest difference between Nassau County and New York City police departments is "we don't have enough people."
The city can direct personnel to problem areas, whereas Nassau doesn't have the manpower to do so, he explains.
"We don't have that luxury," he says. "We have to do it with intelligence policing that we developed to try to be smarter with what we got."
"Omnipresence is our goal but we are so short right now," he adds. "I am hoping as time goes by and things get better and we start hiring a little bit more, I think it will get better. I know it will get better. I know it's getting better."
The grandfather of four doesn't know how long he will keep working, but one thing he is sure of: "In 1970 my first day on the police department I got up and I had like a fire in my belly and now at 63 years old I still feel the same thing when I go to work."
When that feeling stops, he stops, he says.
"Now I'm in a position where I can do something some really good things," he says. "I've seen so much, I could use all that experience, and I really try to do that in Nassau County. I have family here, I pay taxes like everybody else and I want to make sure that we get a good product."
Dale thinks back to that tragic day in September 2001 for inspiration and guidance.
"There was no crime, we were working for a purpose, together, and I've accepted that into my own life," he says. "That is the way we should be all the time."
He has the towel the stranger handed him during those darkest of hours to prove it.
Suffolk detectives return to gang task force
By TANIA LOPEZ — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'New York Newsday' / Melville, L.I.
Suffolk police will rejoin a federal anti-gang task force less than a year after withdrawing from the unit, officials said Monday.
The department will also team with State Police and U.S. Marshals to patrol an area plagued by deadly shootings, police said. The moves come a week after the killings of three men in a Central Islip neighborhood less than two days apart. Law enforcement sources said two of the shootings may have been the work of MS-13 gang members.
Chief James Burke said Monday two detectives would be placed back on the federal task force. Last August, three officers were removed from it because, Suffolk police said, fighting gangs on the precinct level would be more effective. County Executive Steve Bellone in January 2012 said the same thing when he announced that he was disbanding the police department's own centralized gang unit and returning those officers to the precincts.
"They have made fighting gang violence a top priority by promoting community and intelligence-led policing," according to the statement. "I am proud of the work our police do each and every day to make our streets and communities safer."In a statement last night through his spokeswoman, Bellone said he supported the police department's efforts.
Monday, Burke said it was prudent to rejoin the task force.
"We want to show the public that we are doing everything possible . . . the federal toolbox is more effective than the state."
Burke did not say when the two detectives would rejoin the team or who they are.
Two of the detectives removed from the task force had been credited with solving some of the most brutal gang homicide cases in the county.
The teaming up with State Police and U.S. Marshals is in response to last week's shootings that claimed the lives of Derrick Mayes and Keenan Russell, both 21, and Matthew Gilmore, 25, Burke said. He refused to discuss the shootings because they are ongoing homicide cases.
Law enforcement sources have said the killings of Mayes and Russell have similarities to shootings that took place in the Central Islip area in 2009 and 2010, when gang activity terrorized the community. Some of those shootings targeted perceived rival gang members, but others claimed innocent victims.
The third fatal shooting is not believed to be the work of gang-members. The assignment of new detectives would cost upward of $100,000 for each to pass federal security clearances that could take six months.
"This is about saving lives," Burke said. "The cost, I'm sure, will be through the federal government. Cost is not a factor here."
One law enforcement source who spoke on the condition of anonymity cautioned that the federal government has had to deal with funding issues of its own and paying for two new security clearance checks is "not going to happen again. It's just not going to happen. He may have to absorb the cost."
Burke said that rejoining the task force should not be viewed as an admission that leaving last summer was a mistake.
"Those decisions were made as a result of our intelligence-led policing model," Burke said.
He said the department will evaluate its staffing on the task force, which includes the FBI, Nassau police, Nassau sheriffs, and the Hempstead Village Police Department.
"We may look at it down the road and we may add people, we may take people away," Burke said. "We do it constantly in every area, even within the police department."
The timing and the sudden removal of the detectives from the task force last year shocked law enforcement sources and relatives of crime victims whose cases had been solved after being deemed unsolvable.
Between April 2010 and August 2012, two of the detectives helped arrest 27 gang members linked to 12 homicides, more than 20 assaults and more than a dozen robberies.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), whose district covers Central Islip, said Sunday he has been in touch with Burke, Det. Lt. James Hickey, commanding officer of the department's criminal intelligence section, and others in the department but would not comment further.
When asked if he would push to allocate more federal funding to cover the cost of putting new detectives on the task force, King said, "We'll have to wait and see what happens."
Southampton cop defends self in scandal
By DAVID M. SCHWARTZ — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'New York Newsday' / Melville, L.I.
The cop at the center of the Southampton Town police department turmoil says he is subjected to "continued harassment" and contends the former police chief improperly tried to get him to use his political position "to get things he wanted" from the town board.
Lt. James Kiernan, who supervised the town's now-defunct Street Crime Unit, made his remarks in a May 13 letter to the town board. It was his first personal response to former police chief William Wilson's allegations that Kiernan received special treatment because of his political position.
In the letter, Kiernan defended his role as police officer and member of the town's Republican committee, which screens candidates for town board.
"I have never asked for, hinted at, or even suggested to any political leader that I receive any type of benefit from my position in the Republican Party," he wrote. "I earned every promotion.""As a citizen of the United States of America I have certain rights that are protected by the constitution," he wrote. "One of my rights is to affiliate myself with any political activities that I see fit in accordance with election law.
Kiernan wrote his position as one of more than 80 committee members "is considered a very minor one."
Seven men convicted of selling drugs on the East End -- on the basis of investigations by Kiernan's unit -- have had their convictions dismissed, following a Suffolk County district attorney probe into cases handled by the street crimes unit.
Kiernan was suspended last year, in part for his supervision of the unit, but was reinstated at his full rank in November by the town board over Wilson's objections. He retired late last year.
Kiernan's letter, obtained by Newsday through a Freedom of Information request, was directed at a proposed change in the town's ethics law that bars law officers from being political committee members or party officers. The proposal passed, 4-1.
Kiernan said Wilson asked him to use his political position with the town board but did not specify in the letter how. He called Wilson's alleged request a violation of election law and civil service law.
Kiernan's attorney, Ray Perini of Hauppauge, did not respond yesterday to a request for Kiernan to detail those claims.
"It was my refusal to help him in this way that caused him to lie about me and create bogus evidence to support those lies," Kiernan wrote.
Wilson disputed the claims.
He said Monday the first time Kiernan brought up his political clout was when Wilson recommended him for lieutenant. "He told me flat out . . . it will get done," Wilson said.
Wilson said he later recommended Kiernan not pass his probationary period and be demoted to sergeant because of concerns about his handling of the Street Crime Unit and a subsequent investigation. Kiernan was defended by GOP-aligned members of the town board in executive session, Wilson said.
Kiernan in the letter accused the bill's author, Democratic councilwoman Bridget Fleming, of "political grandstanding."
Fleming, in response, said Monday, "The broad support the measure received demonstrates it's just welcome reform that continues to move the police department in the right direction."
New York State
Panel Extends FOIL Exemption to Shield Records of Ex-Officers
By John Caher — Monday, June 3rd, 2013 'The New York Law Journal' / New York, NY
(Edited for brevity and generic law enforcement pertinence)
ALBANY - A provision in the state's Civil Rights Law shielding the personnel records of police officers, professional firefighters and corrections officers also bars the release of those documents after an officer has left the job, the Appellate Division, Third Department, held on May 30 in a novel Freedom of Information Law decision.
In Matter of Hearst Corp. v. New York State Police, 515693, the panel found that Civil Rights Law §50-a applies not only to the records of current officers, but former officers as well. The court rejected an effort by an Albany newspaper to obtain personnel records of a former state trooper allegedly involved in a hit-and-run while off-duty, even though the officer is no longer employed by the State Police.
Civil Rights Law §50-a exempts from public disclosure personnel records "used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion," with the aim of protecting public safety officers from the dissemination of documents that could potentially be used to harass or embarrass, or to impeach an officer's integrity.
The Third Department decision marks the first time that an appellate court has directly applied §50-a to a former official and is contrary to the recommendations and opinion of the state's Committee on Open Government, according to its executive director, Robert Freeman.
Freeman's agency has urged the Legislature to repeal §50-a, which shields public safety officers to a far greater extent than other government employees and bars the release of personnel records even if the police officer, corrections officer or firefighter is found to have committed misconduct. Freeman said personnel records of other public employees found guilty of misconduct are not exempt from disclosure from FOIL.
"There have been recommendations over a course of years by the Committee on Open Government to repeal §50-a of the Civil Rights Law," Freeman said. "It provides police officers, the people who have the most control over our lives, with a lesser degree of accountability than other public employees. If anything, in my opinion, they should be at least as, if not more, accountable."
The decision adds a new wrinkle, allowing public safety agencies to safeguard records of ex-officials. That finding contradicts opinions of the Committee on Open Government, Freeman said.
"We have advised that if so-and-so is no longer a police officer, how can it be that disclosure of certain personnel records are used to evaluate performance?" Freeman said.
The Third Department suggested that disclosed personnel records could be used against a former officer in a lawsuit.
Last week's decision stemmed from an incident in 2011, when then off-duty Trooper Brian Beardsley allegedly ran over a drunken 29-year-old man lying on a rural road and then left the scene. Police learned of the incident through a 911 call reporting a body in the road during the early morning hours. An investigation tracked the call to Beardsley's girlfriend and ultimately indicated that the officer had run over the victim with his pick-up truck.
Officials have said Beardsley was not intoxicated, and a Fulton County grand jury declined to press criminal charges. Beardsley, who was initially suspended by the State Police, left the agency for undisclosed reasons.
Albany Times Union reporter Brendan Lyons FOILed all records related to the incident. But the State Police refused to disclose any records, citing the §50-a exemption.
Supreme Court Justice Henry Zwack upheld the agency's determination, setting up the appeal.
Presiding Justice Karen Peters (See Profile) said it is irrelevant that Beardsley is no longer employed by the State Police, finding it "illogical" to suggest that "a document ceases to be a personnel record immediately upon the officer's severance from employment."
She said that "whether a document constitutes a personnel record under Civil Rights Law §50-a does not hinge on whether the officer to whom it relates is a current or former employee of the agency maintaining the record."
The panel said §50-a does not necessarily justify the withholding of all of the investigative and related documents Lyons' requested—only those that constitute personnel records used to evaluate Beardsley's performance—and sent the matter back to Zwack for further proceedings.
Conn. lawmakers revise gun control legislation
By STEPHEN KALIN (The Associated Press) — Monday, June 3rd, 2013; 9:03 p.m. EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut lawmakers who passed strict new gun control measures in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre approved a package of revisions Monday to reduce confusion about the new rules and expand the list of officials who can legally possess restricted firearms.
Both chambers of the state legislature voted to adopt changes and exemptions to the bipartisan deal that strengthened the state's assault weapons ban and banned the sale of high-capacity magazines.
The legislation emerged from a bipartisan working group that sought to refine the original gun control bill, which proponents hailed as one of the most far-reaching in the nation, in response to ambiguity that came to light in part through feedback from constituents and gun owners. A spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he supports the changes.
The new bill allows individuals to possess and register assault weapons they purchased or placed on consignment prior to or on April 4, the day the gun control law was passed, but did not receive until after that date.
The bill also clarifies the status of .22-caliber rimfire rifles, defining them as assault weapons when fitted with a detachable magazine and more than one of several features including a folding or telescoping stock, bayonet mount or flash suppressor. With passage of Monday's revisions, the firearm so constructed will no longer be available for sale in Connecticut, but consumers who purchased it since April 4 will be allowed to register and keep it.
The revisions expand the list of inspectors and enforcement officers who can legally possess and purchase the banned firearms to include sworn and certified officers at the department of motor vehicles, the chief state's attorney office, the department of energy and environmental protection and some constables with police certification. It exempts such officers from the certificate requirement for long gun ownership, and allows them to maintain possession of assault weapons and large capacity magazines after their service ends by registering them.
The bill excludes Olympic target pistols from the assault weapons ban, and exempts curios and relics collectors from the ban. It allows assault weapons to be bequeathed to underage beneficiaries through establishment of a trust.
The bill also clarifies that criminal background checks for firearms and ammunition purchases are conducted by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and only submitted for a federal background check at the department's discretion.
The bill's passage comes as the state faces the first legal challenges to the gun control law. A group of Connecticut organizations that support gun rights, pistol permit holders and gun sellers filed a lawsuit in federal court last month against Malloy and other state officials, arguing the state's new gun control law violates their constitutional rights.
Lead attorney Brian Stapleton argues that Connecticut's new law is too vague. For example, he claims it is unclear which guns are banned under the expanded assault weapons ban and says guns similar to banned guns aren't on the list.
Monday's bill passed both chambers of the legislature by a stronger margin than the original bill. The Senate approved it in a 33-1 vote, followed by the House of Representatives several hours later in a 131-15 vote.
Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, opposed the bill on April 4 but supported Monday's revisions.
"I think it does attempt to at least square the intent of that bill on that night, on that day, with what the public was hoping to have happen," he said.
But Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington said it reflects the "faulty premises" of the original legislation. He was the only senator to oppose Monday's bill.
"I think if we acknowledge that we are putting law enforcement officers at risk by limiting their ability to defend themselves," he said, "I think we have to acknowledge that we're putting homeowners at risk by limiting their ability to defend themselves."
Violent Crime in U.S. Rises for First Time Since 2006
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Times'
Violent crime rose in the United States in 2012 for the first time in six years, led by an increase in major crimes in large cities, according to preliminary data released Monday by the F.B.I.
The largest increases took place in cities with populations of between 500,000 and one million people, where violent crime rose by 3.7 percent, including a 12.5 percent spike in murder rates, according to the data.
The nation's largest cities, those with more than one million people, also had upturns in violent crimes, though at more modest rates. The largest cities had a 1.4 percent increase in violent crime, including 1.5 percent for murders and 3.2 percent for rapes, according to the statistics.
Over all, the nation's violent crime rate ticked up by 1.2 percent in 2012 after years of steep declines.
In 2011, for instance, the nation's rate of violent crime rate fell by 3.8 percent after having dropped by 6 percent in 2010 and 5.5 percent in 2009, according to F.B.I. data.
The last year in which violent crime rose nationally was 2006, when the rate went up by 1.9 percent. Before that, from 1996 to 2005, violent crime had declined by 17.6 percent, according to the F.B.I. figures.
In fact, crime levels have been dropping so much for so long that criminologists had been left guessing the reasons — and where it might end.
"We probably now have answered the question of how low it can go, and we may be bouncing off the bottom now," said Dennis Jay Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
But Dr. Kenney added a note of caution, saying that seeking to pin a reason for a single year's increase in serious crime was inadvisable. "We probably need another year to tell if we've got a pattern here," he said.
Joseph Pollini, another John Jay College professor, said that one possibility was that there were fewer police officers on patrol in some metropolitan areas that have cut spending sharply in recent years because of the recession.
"You're dealing with depleted police resources," he said of budget cuts that have caused a reduction in the size of nearly every urban police department.
Among the big cities where violent crime increased was Indianapolis, with a population of 840,000.
While murders there rose only modestly — the 101 recorded in 2012 were five more than in 2011 — there were nearly 780 additional violent crimes in the city, led by 5,967 aggravated assaults. That figure, according to the F.B.I. data, represents some 700 more aggravated assaults than in 2011.
Memphis, with a population of 657,000, had an increase of more than 1,000 violent crimes — 11,505 in 2012 compared to 10,338 in 2011. That included a jump in the number of murders to 133 from 117.
While Detroit, with 707,000 residents, saw a drop in its violent crime rate, murders in the city increased to 386 from 344. In New York, where there was a small increase in violent crime, murders dropped by about 20 percent to 419, the lowest number in more than half a century.
Justices Allow DNA Collection After an Arrest
By ADAM LIPTAK — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Times'
WASHINGTON — The police may take DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 5-to-4 decision.
The federal government and 28 states authorize the practice, and law enforcement officials say it is a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes. But the court said the testing was justified by a different reason: to identify the suspect in custody.
"When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, "taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment."
Justice Antonin Scalia summarized his dissent from the bench, a rare move signaling deep disagreement. He accused the majority of an unsuccessful sleight of hand, one that "taxes the credulity of the credulous." The point of DNA testing as it is actually practiced, he said, is to solve cold cases, not to identify the suspect in custody.
But the Fourth Amendment forbids searches without reasonable suspicion to gather evidence about an unrelated crime, he said, a point the majority did not dispute. "Make no mistake about it: because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason," Justice Scalia said from the bench.
The case featured an alignment of justices that scrambled the usual ideological alliances. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion, while Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Justice Scalia's dissent.
Justice Scalia has been a strong voice for Fourth Amendment rights this term. In recent months, he joined his three liberal allies from Monday's decision, along with other justices, to form majorities that limited the use of drug-sniffing dogs outside homes and the drawing of blood in drunken-driving investigations.
Justice Breyer, who generally votes with the court's liberal wing, was on the other side from his usual allies in all three of the recent Fourth Amendment decisions.
Monday's ruling, Maryland v. King, No. 12-207, arose from the collection of DNA in 2009 from Alonzo Jay King Jr. after his arrest on assault charges in Wicomico County, Md. His DNA profile, obtained by swabbing his cheek, matched evidence from a 2003 rape case, and he was convicted of that crime.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that a state law authorizing DNA collection from people who had been arrested but not yet convicted violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches.
Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the "quick and painless" swabbing procedure was a search under the Fourth Amendment, meaning it had to be justified as reasonable under the circumstances. It was, he said, given "the need for law enforcement officers in a safe and accurate way to process and identify the persons and possessions they must take into custody."
Such identification, he said, "is no different than matching an arrestee's face to a wanted poster of a previously unidentified suspect; or matching tattoos to known gang members to reveal a criminal affiliation; or matching the arrestee's fingerprints to those recovered from a crime scene."
The information retrieved through DNA testing as performed by law enforcement officials is limited, Justice Kennedy wrote, and whether "the testing at issue in this case reveals any private medical information at all is open to dispute."
In dissent, Justice Scalia wrote that identification was not the point of the testing. Mr. King's identity was established before the DNA testing, Justice Scalia said, as officials had his full name, race, sex, height, weight, date of birth and address.
Nor was there a serious dispute about the purpose of the Maryland law under review, he wrote. The law said one purpose of the testing was "as part of an official investigation into a crime."
Chief Justice Roberts, in staying the state court decision while the Supreme Court considered the case, acknowledged that the law "provides a valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes and thereby helping to remove violent offenders from the general population."
The law authorized testing for purposes of identification, Justice Scalia wrote, but only for missing people and human remains. It said nothing about identifying arrestees. "Solving crimes is a noble objective," he concluded, "but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law enforcement searches. The Fourth Amendment must prevail."
All 50 states require the collection of DNA from people convicted of felonies. After Mr. King was convicted of assault, there would have been no Fourth Amendment violation had his DNA been collected and tested, Justice Scalia wrote.
"So the ironic result of the court's error is this: The only arrestees to whom the outcome here will ever make a difference are those who have been acquitted of the crimes of arrest."
From the bench, Justice Scalia repeatedly invoked the generation that fought the Revolutionary War and framed the Constitution. "The proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties," he said, "would not have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection."
Mississippi: DNA and Statutory Rape
Miss. Turns To 'Cord Blood' To Track Down Statutory Rapists
By Jeffrey Hess — Monday, June 3rd, 2013; 6:10 p.m. 'NPR News' / Washington, DC
Mississippi lawmakers have embarked on a controversial campaign to discourage older men from having sex with teenagers.
Starting in July, doctors and midwives in the state will be required by law to collect samples of umbilical cord blood from babies born to some girls under the age of 16. Officials will analyze the samples and try to identify the fathers through matches in the state's DNA database.
"It is our hope that we can deter men over the age of 21 from having sex, particularly with girls 16 years and younger, particularly if they know we are going to pursue them," said Jim Hood, the state's Democratic attorney general who helped draft the bill.
Officials said Mississippi is the first state in the country to try the approach.
Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, is also a supporter of the effort. Previously a deputy sheriff, Bryant said it's necessary to protect young women who might be victimized by older men, even if the teenagers say they consented to having sex. Too many of these young teens are becoming pregnant against their will, he said.
"It is a tragedy that I think has been accepted over the years where people say the young girl agreed to it so we have to accept it. And that has got to stop," he said.
State statutory rape law applies if the two people are more than three years apart in age, until the girl is 16, the age of consent in Mississippi. For example, if the mother is 15 and the father is 19, even if sex is consensual, it's considered rape in the state.
The bill doesn't explain who would prosecute the men if they are located and are believed to have broken the law, but prosecutors would have to determine in which county conception had occurred before charges could be filed. It also isn't clear what age range prosecutors will target.
The law also doesn't lay out who is going to pay for testing. Regulations about implementation are still being drafted.
Republican state Rep. Andy Gipson, who drafted the bill, said one of his motivations is to find "who harmed that child," because these new mothers often refuse to name the father of their child.
The bill is a solution looking for a problem, according to Jamie Holcomb-Bardwell, director of programs for the Women's Fund of Mississippi, an advocacy and funding group on women's issues. Few teen pregnancies involve very young girls and much older men, she said.
"It is a lot easier for politicians to talk about protecting young women than it is for them to talk about adequate sex education, access to contraception, looking at multigenerational poverty, making sure we have an adequately funded education system," she said. "All of these things have been shown to decrease the teen pregnancy rate."
While Mississippi's teen pregnancy rate is about 60 percent above the national average, it is near a 40-year low. Of the 6,100 births to teenagers in 2012, 111 were babies born to girls under the age of 15.
Roughly 65 percent of teenage pregnancies in the state occur between teens who are one or two years apart in age.
The state medical association reluctantly accepted the law, but insisted that lawmakers remove a provision in the early version of the bill that levied penalties against doctors who don't comply.
But Matthew Steffey, a constitutional law professor at the Mississippi College law school in Jackson, said the measure could raise a "hornet's nest" of legal problems. "It is not at all clear that the legislature can deputize health care workers to collect evidence without a warrant," he said.
Opinion: DNA Sampling Pro & Con
Why the Court Was Right to Allow Cheek Swabs
By AKHIL REED AMAR and NEAL K. KATYAL — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Times'
(Op-Ed / Commentary)
SOMETHING astonishing happened Monday: Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's longest-serving member and one of its most conservative justices, joined three liberal justices in a sharply worded dissent arguing for the rights of criminal suspects.
The court decided, 5 to 4, that the Constitution permits the police to swab the cheeks of those arrested of serious crimes, and then do DNA tests on the saliva samples to see if the suspects are associated with other crimes. Justice Scalia joined three liberal justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — in dissenting.
DNA is already revolutionizing law enforcement. The ability for police to use cheek swabs of arrestees rests on a threadbare majority. The closeness of the vote, and the unusual coalitions on either side, suggest that the matter is far from settled. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who was part of the majority, rightly called the case, Maryland v. King, "perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this Court has heard in decades."
As prosecutors, police agencies and civil libertarians consider the ruling's implications, Justice Scalia's stark dissent — and the fact that President Obama's two appointees to the court so far agreed with it — makes it worthy of scrutiny, even if he was on the losing side. His argument is deeply flawed, because he did not get his history quite right.
Justice Scalia summarized his scathing dissent from the bench — a rare act that signals sharp disagreement. His opinion opened with these lines: "The Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence. That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment."
But the Fourth Amendment's text is not nearly so simple as he makes it out to be. It merely requires that all searches and seizures be not "unreasonable." Its words do not distinguish between intrusions seeking "evidence of crime" and other sorts of intrusions — say, to collect revenue, or preserve public safety.
Justice Scalia failed to identify even one source from the founders articulating the ultraprecise rule that he claims is the central meaning of the Fourth Amendment. And his version of the Fourth Amendment would lead to absurd results.
The government, for example, permits searches at the border to prevent contaminated livestock and plants from entering the country — is such authority permitted only because these searches are not seeking "evidence of crime?" If so, if what happens if the government at some point criminalizes the intentional introduction of diseased animals and vegetables? Why should these searches magically now become unconstitutional?
To take another example: the government requires people to pass through airport metal detectors, both to find evidence of crimes or the tools to commit them, like guns and bombs, and to save lives. These searches occur even when there is no basis for suspicion. (Consider the controversies about searches of small children and wheelchair-using elderly people.)
Justice Scalia properly notes that the Constitution's framers loathed "general warrants," but these colonial-era warrants had odious features that cheek swabs lack. These general warrants were issued by judges ex parte — that is, in secret, without the affected citizen present — and blocked the citizen from later taking his complaint to a civil jury and seeking damages against the oppressive official. The Fourth Amendment's words do indeed prohibit general warrants — warrants lacking "probable cause" — but this language regulating warrants simply does not apply where no warrants are involved. For example, the police may stop and frisk without warrants, even where they lack probable cause. Certain kinds of warrantless searches — at the border, in airports, in stop-and-frisk searches and elsewhere — may exist even though a warrant to authorize these very same actions would indeed be unconstitutional.
In other words, general warrants, which were essentially "get-out-of-jail-free cards" for the police, to insulate them from civil liability, raised special problems at the time of the nation's founding, when the framers were concerned about the arbitrary exercise of imperial authority from London.
Warrants were not always the framers' solution; sometimes warrants themselves were the problem. And here, unlike the secret ex parte generalized warrant, the DNA in the Maryland case was collected pursuant to a law enacted by the Legislature. In approving the law, Maryland's lawmakers knew they would run the risk of being swept up in the DNA database themselves — and balanced that risk against the potential benefits. That is nothing like a secret warrant that could be aimed at a single unpopular individual. To be sure, the framers disliked certain kinds of warrants, but when no warrant has been issued — as in the cheek swab situation — the framers simply required that the search or seizure must be reasonable.
This is precisely the question that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the five-justice majority, squarely confronted in this landmark case: Is a policy of swabbing and DNA testing only certain arrestees — who have not been convicted and may never be convicted — truly reasonable?
On one hand, the swabbing itself is not particularly intrusive — no more so than a fingerprint or a lineup. Proper DNA testing can simultaneously exonerate innocent people who have been wrongly accused and find the bad guys — a true win-win situation — and in the process, this amazing new technology can powerfully deter crime. On the other hand, DNA testing without strict safeguards can reveal lots more personal information than a mere fingerprint. (For example, who is the suspect's actual biological father or child?) If members of racial minorities are more likely to be wrongly arrested, they and their relatives will loom disproportionately large in the government's DNA database.
Reasonable minds can differ on this. And therein lies the real genius of the Fourth Amendment. Contrary to Justice Scalia's view, the framers did not answer the DNA question in 1791. Rather, the framers posed the question for us, their posterity. The distinction between criminal evidence-gathering and all sorts of other government programs and purposes is not an all-purpose touchstone or talisman. Rather, we must ponder how intrusive a given search policy is, how discriminatory it might be in application, how well justified and well administered it is, how democratically accountable it is, how it might bear upon human dignity, and so on.
The words of the Fourth Amendment mean exactly what they say. Warrantless searches are unconstitutional only if they are "unreasonable." That rule, and no other, is the true "heart of the Fourth Amendment."
Akhil Reed Amar is a professor of law and political science at Yale. Neal K. Katyal is a former acting solicitor general of the United States, a professor of national security law at Georgetown and a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Times' Editorial:
DNA and Suspicionless Searches
Alonzo Jay King Jr. was arrested in Maryland on assault charges in 2009. When he was booked into jail, the police took a sample of his DNA by swabbing the inside of his cheek without a warrant to collect his DNA or probable cause to think it would link him to any crime. His DNA profile matched evidence from a rape in 2003, and he was convicted of that rape.
Maryland's highest court last year wisely struck down the state law that permits DNA collection from people who have been charged but not yet convicted because it violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches.
On Monday, the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, overturned that ruling and upheld the Maryland law.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, pretended that collecting DNA is like fingerprinting, a legitimate part of the police booking procedure to identify a suspect.
But the main reason law enforcement seeks DNA sampling is not to get an accurate name. It is to connect the suspect to other cases, unrelated to the arrest, by matching the DNA found at other, older crime scenes, when there is no reasonable suspicion to do so.
That is exactly the use of DNA that Justice Samuel Alito Jr. alluded to during oral argument in February when he called this "perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades" — because the use of DNA could help in investigating unsolved crimes with "a very minimal intrusion on personal privacy."
The federal government and 28 states currently permit DNA collection before conviction. The decision severely undermines fundamental Fourth Amendment principles that protect individuals against unjustified searches and incursions on privacy by law enforcement.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the dissent that was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, eviscerated the logic of the majority opinion.
"The court's assertion that DNA is being taken, not to solve crimes, but to identify those in the state's custody, taxes the credulity of the credulous," he said. "Solving unsolved crimes is a noble objective, but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law-enforcement searches."
That has been a bedrock rule in court decisions about the Fourth Amendment, Justice Scalia explained, which the majority has cast aside. Until now, the Supreme Court has allowed suspicionless searches — also called "special needs" searches by the court — only when there is some justification other than discovering evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
For example, the court has approved such searches in the form of random drug tests of railroad employees to ensure safety of the railroads.
In this case, there was neither a basis for suspicion nor a special need. "This search had nothing to do with establishing King's identity," Justice Scalia wrote, warning that "as an entirely predictable consequence of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason."
Blacks Are Singled Out for Marijuana Arrests, Federal Data Suggests
By IAN URBINA — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 'The New York Times'
WASHINGTON — Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.
This disparity had grown steadily from a decade before, and in some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, blacks were around eight times as likely to be arrested.
During the same period, public attitudes toward marijuana softened and a number of states decriminalized its use. But about half of all drug arrests in 2011 were on marijuana-related charges, roughly the same portion as in 2010.
Advocates for the legalization of marijuana have criticized the Obama administration for having vocally opposed state legalization efforts and for taking a more aggressive approach than the Bush administration in closing medical marijuana dispensaries and prosecuting their owners in some states, especially Montana and California.
The new data, however, offers a more nuanced picture of marijuana enforcement on the state level. Drawn from police records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the report is the most comprehensive review of marijuana arrests by race and by county and is part of a report being released this week by the American Civil Liberties Union. Much of the data was also independently reviewed for The New York Times by researchers at Stanford University.
"We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner," said Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the A.C.L.U.'s Criminal Law Reform Project and the lead author of the report.
During President Obama's first three years in office, the arrest rate for marijuana possession was about 5 percent higher than the average rate under President George W. Bush. And in 2011, marijuana use grew to about 7 percent, up from 6 percent in 2002 among Americans who said that they had used the drug in the past 30 days. Also, a majority of Americans in a Pew Research Center poll conducted in March supported legalizing marijuana.
Though there has been a shift in state laws and in popular attitudes about the drug, black and white Americans have experienced the change very differently.
"It's pretty clear that law enforcement practices are not keeping pace with public opinion and state policies," said Mona Lynch, a professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
She added that 13 states have in recent years passed or expanded laws decriminalizing marijuana use and that 18 states now allow it for medicinal use.
In the past year, Colorado and Washington State have legalized marijuana, leaving the Justice Department to decide how to respond to those laws because marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
The cost of drug enforcement has grown steadily over the past decade. In 2010, states spent an estimated $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws, a 30 percent increase from 10 years earlier. The increase came as many states, faced with budget shortfalls, were saving money by using alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. During the same period, arrests for most other types of crime steadily dropped.
Researchers said the growing racial disparities in marijuana arrests were especially striking because they were so consistent even across counties with large or small minority populations.
The A.C.L.U. report said that one possible reason that the racial disparity in arrests remained despite shifting state policies toward the drug is that police practices are slow to change. Federal programs like the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program continue to provide incentives for racial profiling, the report said, by including arrest numbers in its performance measures when distributing hundreds of millions of dollars to local law enforcement each year.
Phillip Atiba Goff, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that police departments, partly driven by a desire to increase their drug arrest statistics, can concentrate on minority or poorer neighborhoods to meet numerical goals, focusing on low-level offenses that are easier, quicker and cheaper than investigating serious felony crimes.
"Whenever federal funding agencies encourage law enforcement to meet numerical arrest goals instead of public safety goals, it will likely promote stereotype-based policing and we can expect these sorts of racial gaps," Professor Goff said.
Russian official: FBI careless with Boston intel
By Unnamed Author(s) (The Associated Press) — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013; 7:58 a.m. EDT
MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian official says the Boston Marathon bombings could have been prevented if American officials had followed through with Russian intelligence.
Officials previously hewed to President Vladimir Putin's statement that Russia had no information that could have prevented the attacks.
"The Russian side warned the American side about the Tsarnaev brothers, but this information was not taken seriously by the American side, which is what led to that tragedy," Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of Russia's senate, said Tuesday, referring to suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Interfax news agency reported.
Russia told the FBI in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had plans to join insurgents in Chechnya. The agency did a cursory investigation and closed its assessment on Tsarnaev.
Silicon Valley at front line of global cyber war
By MARTHA MENDOZA (The Associated Press) — Tuesday, June 4th, 2013; 9:39 a.m. EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and American counterpart Barack Obama will talk cyber-security this week in California, but experts say the state's Silicon Valley and its signature high-tech firms should provide the front lines in the increasingly aggressive fight against overseas hackers.
With China seeking to grow its economy and expand its technology base, companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter are inviting targets. In fact, all have been attacked and all point the finger at China, which has denied any role.
The U.S. government has stepped up efforts to thwart cyber-attacks, but those efforts are mainly focused at protecting its own secrets, especially regarding military operations and technologies.
Paul Rosenzweig, a former Department of Homeland Security official whose Red Branch Consulting provides national security advice, said the responsibility for preventing attacks in the private sector lies with the U.S. innovators who created the technology that's being hacked in the first place.
"To some degree, they were getting a pass," he said. "If a car manufacturer made a car that was routinely able to be stolen, they'd be sued. If software is made with gaps that are a liability, they bear some responsibility, and in recent years there's been a sea change in high tech firms accepting that responsibility."
Big firms like Google employ thousands of security experts who can spot a potential attack on just a few individuals and quickly disseminate protection for everyone using their products. Google routinely detects unsafe websites that spread malicious software or trick people into revealing personal information, posting warnings in front of users and contacting webmasters who may have been hacked.
But Chinese hackers have managed to hit even Google, and in a book released this spring, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt said China is the world's "most sophisticated and prolific hacker."
Cybersecurity is high on the agenda for the meeting between Obama and Xi on Friday and Saturday in Southern California's Rancho Mirage. A recent government report found nearly 40 Pentagon weapons programs and almost 30 other defense technologies were compromised by cyber intrusions from China. Earlier this year, cybersecurity firm Mandiant linked a secret Chinese military unit to years of cyber-attacks against U.S. companies.
Mandiant's chief security officer, Richard Bejtlich, said his firm tracks more than 20 potentially threatening groups of hackers in China, some with links to the government and military.
China's government denies any involvement, with Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng telling reporters Sunday that the U.S. claims "underestimate the intelligence of the Chinese people."
Frustration is growing, however, as the attacks continue. Although none have come out publically, analysts say some U.S. companies even are considering cyber-attacks of their own as retaliation, even though it's illegal. Retaliatory hacking was a hot topic at the 2013 RSA Conference on tech security in March, where attorneys and sitting judges even held a mock trial over an imaginary firm that struck back.
And on May 20, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, headed by former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, recommended that Congress and the Obama administration reconsider the laws banning retaliation.
"If counterattacks against hackers were legal, there are many techniques that companies could employ that would cause severe damage to the capability of those conducting IP theft," they wrote.
Marc Maiffret, chief technology officer at security firm BeyondTrust in San Diego, warns against private firms going on the offensive.
"There are a lot of people lobbying to `hack back' but I think that is a disastrous idea," said Maiffrett, who was a hacker of government sites before discovering the first Microsoft computer worm, "CodeRed."
"Most of corporate America is failing to secure themselves, let alone become competent hackers to hack back against someone like a China."
Tim Junio, who studies cyber-attacks at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, doesn't expect much to change because of the Xi-Obama talks.
"China benefits too much by stealing intellectual property from the U.S., so it's really hard to imagine anyone convincing them to slow down," he said.
Indeed, the payoff for successfully stealing critical information can be enormous. For example, if a company spends many millions of dollars developing expensive intellectual property, such as a pharmaceutical firm investing in a new drug, it's very cost-effective for a Chinese firm or government entity to dedicate a small team of hackers to gain access to that company's networks.
A patient approach of sending emails for months, hoping an employee eventually clicks on a link or opens an attachment that they shouldn't, usually works. It's a probabilities game, and the offense has the advantage, especially when targeting a company with thousands of employees. Sooner or later, someone will make a mistake.
Hackers then sell the stolen intellectual property to competing companies, which can try to replicate the product and sell counterfeits at a cut rate. For a developing country like China, this is a great way to stimulate domestic economic growth.
Junio suspects that China's political leaders may not even be aware of the extent of hacking by their own cyber teams, because corrupt government officials may also be using them for personal gain.
James Barnett, former chief of public safety and homeland security for the Federal Communications Commission, said the government's role in fighting Chinese hackers should be to offer high-tech firms tax deductions, credits or liability limits.
"The private sector's role is to continue to innovate, something it can do much better than the government, and something that Silicon Valley does better than just about anywhere in the world," he said.