Law enforcement

Photo of the Day

Elizabeth Smart: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.

Elizabeth Smart: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.

The Extraordinary Resilience of Elizabeth Smart

“Never be afraid to speak out. Never be afraid to live your life. Never let your past dictate your future.”

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months.

Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction.

The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, “My Story.” In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.

Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by “every day” people and the belief that hope always exist to find every missing child.

Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012, and gave birth to her first child in 2015.

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Photo Of The Day

Pictured, officers working the Phantom Killer case in 1946 gathered in the Miller County Sheriff's office. Law enforcement officers believed they once caught the hooded killer behind a murder spree in Texarkana that left five people dead in 1946, but the suspect got off on a technicality. The case remains unsolved.

Pictured, officers working the Phantom Killer case in 1946 gathered in the Miller County Sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officers believed they once caught the hooded killer behind a murder spree in Texarkana that left five people dead in 1946, but the suspect got off on a technicality. The case remains unsolved.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Terror In Texarkana Twilight

Silvery, Cold Moonlight and Night Conspire To Create an Eerie Sense of Foreboding and Terror.

For the night stalkers of the world – the serial killers, the sexual predators – a moonlit night provides just enough illumination to see the prey, but not so much light that the victim can easily identify the assailant.

Presuming the victim remains alive, of course.

Texarkana was a throwback village in the mid 20th Century. The town not only straddled two state lines (Texas and Arkansas) it also straddled two distinct states of mind: the wild, lawless Texan and the hillbilly fussin’ of Arkansawyers.

Taxarkana .. The enduring legend began not with death, but with a frightening and vicious attack on two young lovers who managed to survive.

On a February night in 1946, 24-year-old Jimmy Hollis and his girlfriend Mary Jeanne Larey, 19, had attended a downtown movie, then decided to prolong the evening with a romantic visit to a secluded lane on the edge of town. They had, according to the story the young woman would later tell authorities, been parked no more than 10 minutes, when a man, his face hidden beneath a white hood, approached the car, pointing a flashlight and pistol at them.

She would recall the assailant telling her boyfriend, “I don’t want to kill you, fella, so do what I say.” He then ordered both of them out of the car, angrily demanding that Hollis remove his trousers. Then, with the young man clad only in his boxer shorts, the attacker hit him twice in the head, knocking him unconscious. When Larey tearfully tried to convince the gunman that they had no money, even pulling a billfold from her date’s discarded pants to show him, she, too, was struck in the head. Bleeding and dazed, her screams echoed through the woods as the man then sexually assaulted her with the barrel of his gun.

It was when Hollis began to regain consciousness that her attacker’s attention was diverted long enough for the young woman to get to her feet and run. The intruder quickly caught up to her and hit her in the head again. “I remember looking up at him and saying, ‘Go ahead and kill me,'” she later said. Then, for reasons she would never know, the masked man suddenly turned away and disappeared into the darkness.

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Photo Of The Day

Catt Family Bank Robbers: Father Ronald Scott Catt And 2 Children Suspected Of Multiple Heists.

Catt Family Bank Robbers : Father Ronald Scott Catt And 2 Children Suspected Of Multiple Heists. Catt, 50, and his 20 year old son Hayden are alleged to have carried out the raids while 18 year old Abigail acted as the getaway driver.

I Would Only Rob Banks For My Family

The Catts of Katy, Texas seemed to be a normal, quiet, family before their secret lives as bank robbers were revealed.

Scott Catt, 50, and his 20-year-old son Hayden and 18-year-old daughter Abby stole $100,000 in two bank robberies before they were arrested at their apartment complex.

In a confessional prison interview, Scott Catt tells  how he recruited his two children to become his accomplices in crime.

‘All I can tell you is that I thought it would help us as a family,’ Catt said.

‘I did it for the family,’ he said. ‘I swear to you, I would only rob banks for my family.’

Just after sunrise on the morning of August 9, 2012, in the Houston suburb of Katy, Scott Catt, a fifty-year-old structural engineer, was awakened by the buzzing of his alarm clock in the master bedroom of the apartment he shared with his twenty-year-old son, Hayden, and his eighteen-year-old daughter, Abby. The apartment was in Nottingham Place, a pleasant, family-oriented complex that featured a resort-size swimming pool and a large fitness center.

Scott took a shower, dried off, and ran a brush through his closely cropped, graying hair. He put on a T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and some work boots and walked into the living room, where Abby and Hayden were waiting for him on the couch. Hayden was also wearing a T-shirt and jeans, along with some slip-on tennis shoes. His short dark hair was brushed forward, splayed over his forehead. Abby, whose highlighted blond hair fell to her shoulders, was wearing a blouse, black yoga pants, and flip-flops.

“Okay, kids,” Scott said. “You ready?”

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Media beating up on cops again, this time for daring to protect themselves

Yesterday the Sunday Star-Times ran a hit piece on a rural cop who routinely straps on his Glock, especially when dealing with domestic incidents.

It was a shameful piece. Our cops have a hard enough job as it is without panty-waisted wombles in the media attacking their every move.

You have to start thinking that the media would like nothing better than a string of dead cops in rural towns such is their insistence that cops shouldn’t be able to protect themselves.

A policeman in rural New Zealand admits he routinely breaches regulations by carrying a firearm and will continue to do so – saying he needs to for protection.

“I work on my own in a remote area, which is why I am able to do this,” he wrote in a letter to the Police Association magazine Police News.

“I have not had a complaint; if anything, very few people even notice.”

The unnamed officer said he carried a firearm “at times” while patrolling.    Read more »

Mega’s little problem with a pesky thing called the law

Kim Dotcom is blowing hard once again on Twitter.

megachat

He is going on about ‘his’ MegaChat…funny thing is he was crying poverty and said he had given all his shares in Mega to his estranged missus…so quite how it is his is another matter entirely. Perhaps he has misled another court?

In any case his boastfulness ignores a problem.

Chris Keall at NBR explains.

Mega has said it will abide by the laws of every company it operates in. As a registered commercial entity it can barely take any other stance.

And when the FBI so successfully eavesdropped on the Skype chats and instant messages Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants while investigating Megaupload, it did so with a warrant issued by a judge.

What would Mega do if a law enforcement agency in a country its service operates in (that is, anywhere), hands it, or one of its users, a lawful warrant asking for encryption keys? In NZ, it has to live under the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act, aka TICS, which gives our government broad-brush powers to demand depcryption keys from a service provider when there is a (very broadly defined) threat to NZ’s national interest. This as-yet-untested legislation gives the ICT Minister discretion over who is defined as a service provider. Network operators like Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees are very clearly service providers. It’s more of a grey area for the likes of Microsoft Skype, Google Hangouts and now MegaChat – but I’m guessing the Crown won’t give MegaChat a free pass.   Read more »

Police think it is “shocking” finding people under the new alcohol limit?

I’m starting to wonder about the Police communications strategy.

In just three hours at three different locations in the CBD last night, a team led by Sergeant Chris Painter issued 12 tickets for using cellphones while driving; 22 to “at risk drivers” breaching their licence conditions; 15 to drivers exceeding the speed limit, including 12 doing 11km or more over it; and 14 to drivers for intersection offences such as running red lights or ignoring stop signs.

As well, said Mr Painter, one driver was over the legal alcohol limit, and a “shocking” 34 were just under it.

Why is it “shocking” that people were under the limit…if their blitz was a month ago they would have ben well under the limit…now the limit has dropped and these drivers are still under it…and that is “shocking”?

What drugs are these cops taking?    Read more »

I agree with Keith Locke, take the tasers off the cops…

It is a new year and so I suppose we didn’t have to wait long for Keith Locke to have a bleat about Police and their use of Tasers.

Police have revealed they fired a Taser stun-gun at an offender five times – the latest incident that has Taser critics calling for a review of its use.

The case is contained in statistics released by police about Taser use in the first half of last year.

A police spokesman said the incident involved a violent offender resisting arrest and fighting with an officer in the Counties-Manukau district with the Taser being pressed directly against the body of the suspect in “contact stun” mode.

“While the Taser was discharged [in contact stun mode] five times, three made contact with the person,” the spokesman said.

“Of the three which made contact, the first two were not effective in bringing the person under control, while the third was effective in stopping the violent behaviour.”

Police said two of the discharges missed the offender as he grappled with the officer on the ground.

The suspect was not injured, but a critic says increased use, and two recent Taser-related deaths overseas, suggest the device will kill someone here.

This week 38-year-old Kevin Norris died after being Tasered by police in the New South Wales town of Mittagong.

According to reports, Norris was conscious when taken into custody but died at the police station. His death is now the subject of an investigation.

Former Green MP Keith Locke, who has been a critic of the Taser since it was introduced in 2007, said the death should send a message.    Read more »

du Fresne: Police burned off goodwill with their zero tolerance scam

Karl du Fresne thinks the Police have well over stepped the mark with their zero tolerance scam run these past holidays.

In fact he says it failed.

Human nature is a perverse thing. It consistently thwarts all attempts to coerce us into behaving the way bureaucrats, politicians and assorted control freaks think we should.

Take the road toll. Since early December New Zealanders have been subjected to a ceaseless barrage of police propaganda about the futility of trying to defy speed and alcohol limits.

Stern-looking police officers have been in our faces almost daily, warning that zero tolerance would be shown to lawbreakers. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found their lecturing increasingly tiresome and patronising.

Of course the police can claim the best possible justification for all this finger-wagging: it’s about saving lives. But what was the result? The road toll for the holiday period was more than double those of the previous two years. For the full year, the toll was up by 44 on the record low of 2013.

The figures suggest that people crash for all manner of reasons, and that the emphasis on speed and alcohol is therefore simplistic. The police focus on speed and booze because these are easy targets, and when the road toll comes down they can take the credit.

In the ideal world envisaged by ever-hopeful bureaucrats, wayward citizens can be managed much as sheep are controlled by heading dogs. But people will never be harangued into driving safely; human nature is just too contrary.

Besides, police crackdowns are only one factor in achieving a lower road toll.

Improved road design, safer cars, better-equipped emergency services and more immediate medical attention all contribute too. It would be interesting to know, for example, how many lives have been saved because of the use of helicopters to get victims promptly to hospital.

Given that their heavy-handed propaganda campaign appears to have had minimal effect, I wonder if the police will now be humble enough to sit down and review their tactics.

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Liberal hand-wringing over Kiwi criminals in offshore jurisdictions

Watch as the clamour to try and bring our criminal scum back home to  face “justice” in New Zealand rather than the much harsher treatment they will get offshore.

One such person is this Anthony De Malmanche fellow.

The liberal panty-waists are all upset that he might face the death penalty. Well boohoo, only the congenitally stupid don;t know that in most Asian countries the penalty for smuggling drugs at the very minimum is a sound beating and a long time in prison or the worst, a death sentence.

i have little sympathy for them.

The crim-hugging panty-waists though think this is terrible and one such womble is Alexander Gillespie who is supposedly a professor of law at Waikato University (snigger).

He is having a moan that these criminals are hard done by.

Two recent incidents involve Kiwis allegedly involved in trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine. The men were caught in Indonesia and China. These are not cases of attractive females with relatively small amounts of marijuana which would cause debatable social damage.

These are people who, if convicted, will be found to be responsible for the destruction of the lives of hundreds of others. Indonesia and China have a strong interest in putting these individuals on trial. This is standard practice as each state jealously guards its laws to protect its citizens, society and principles.

Accordingly, when people are tried for crimes in foreign countries, it is no defence to say they are foreigners. As the recent debate over the Malaysian diplomat returned to the New Zealand judicial system has shown, the public expect the law to be applied regardless of nationality.

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AA gets it right, stop taxing our motorways with speed cameras

The AA has called for Police to stop targeting soft speeding on relatively safe roads.

Almost half of all tickets from speeding cameras are given out in Auckland, prompting the Automobile Association to urge the police to ease up on targeting low-level speedsters on Auckland motorways and instead focus on higher-risk roads around the country.

The cameras and a decision to lower, over holiday breaks, the usual 4km/h tolerance – and this season even to scrap it – have resulted in a boom in tickets. Twenty-six thousand more were issued each month last year on average than in 2009. That is despite police saying average speeds have dropped.

Last year, an average of 82,000 speeding tickets were issued each month, compared to 56,000 five years before. Much of the increase is down to the crackdown on low-level speeding over holiday periods.

The Police say it isn’t revenue gathering but it is. And Auckland with its extensive motorway network is being targeted as an easy get.

AA spokesman Mike Noon questioned whether focusing on drivers doing just over the limit on relatively safe urban motorways was the best strategy.

“Focusing on low-level speeding on the motorways, we think, is maybe not very beneficial. We’d prefer more focus on higher-risk areas, such as people speeding on State Highway 27 or between Turangi and Taupo.

“We get a bit concerned if there’s too much focus on low-speed tolerances on motorways, particularly since some of those motorways, we think, may move to 110km/h, to reflect the safety of them.”

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