Thursday, December 31, 2015



Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated an extra $5.5 million for the city's Gang Reduction & Youth Development program. He also directed the expansion of Domestic Abuse Response Teams, groups of civilian workers who accompany police officers on domestic violence calls.



Crime in Los Angeles rose in all categories in 2015, LAPD says

For the first time in more than a decade, all categories of crime rose across Los Angeles in 2015 as police struggled to get control of the problem, according to LAPD data.

Violent crime in L.A. climbed 19.9% and property crime increased 10.3% through Dec. 26 compared with the same period last year, according to the police data. It marked the second year in a row that violent crime rose, but the first time since 2003 that both violent and property crime rose.
The increases follow more than a decade of steep declines in crime, particularly in homicides. Police officials said the recent upswings should be viewed in that larger context.
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“We ask people to keep this in perspective,” said Assistant Chief Michel Moore, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department's crime-tracking unit. “The city is not on fire, the city is not falling into the ocean.”

Still, the increases have sparked concern in neighborhoods across the city, including Southside areas that have seen jumps in gang-related homicides as well as more affluent areas where residents have complained about thefts and car break-ins.

In Venice, thieves have taken packages from doorsteps, lifted smartphones from pedestrians and attempted to steal cars during the day, said resident George Francisco, co-chairman of the Venice Neighborhood Council's public safety committee.

“I walked out of my apartment on Main Street and there was a dude just slim-jimming a car in full daylight,” Francisco said of an early-summer incident. He called 911 and the suspect was apprehended before stealing the car.

Francisco routinely talks to officials at the LAPD's Pacific Division and believes they are working hard to address the nearly 10% property crime increase there. Still, some residents are fed up.
“There is definitely frustration,” he said. “Once you are a victim of crime you look at things differently. I think people will learn and become aware when they hear more of these things happening.”

Parts of South Los Angeles saw troubling increases in violent crime this year. The area experienced its deadliest August since 2007, with 15 people killed in the last two weeks of the month.

LAPD commanders deployed Metro, a squad with a reputation for hard-charging tactics, to some of those hot spots and also partnered with gang intervention workers. By the fall, the homicide numbers in the area had returned to levels comparable to recent years.

City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the area, praised police for increasing patrols without creating an oppressive atmosphere for residents.

“There is the knee-jerk reaction of sending in the cavalry to occupy the streets, and I think they resisted that instinct,” Harris-Dawson said. “I think their integration in the community makes it much easier for the community to work with the police rather than be concerned about what the police might do.”

Since the Metro expansion began in July, citywide violent crime figures dropped 1 percentage point, while the property crime rate did not change.

Police officials said they believe their strategies are showing signs of success. The Metro unit has taken 236 guns off the streets since July, nearly three times as many as in the first half of the year, Moore said. Felony arrests by Metro officers have also tripled, he said.

But end-of-the-year violent crime figures all showed increases: Police reported 280 homicides, up 10.2% from last year, and 1,097 shooting victims, a 12.6% increase.

Rapes were up 8.6% and robberies rose 12.3%, while the biggest change came in the category of aggravated assault, which climbed 27.5%.

Some portion of the increase in serious assaults was the result of improvements in how the department classifies those offenses, Moore said. LAPD officials launched reforms after a 2014 Los Angeles Times investigation found widespread errors in how assaults were classified.

Property offenses also fueled the overall increase, including burglary (4.8%), personal theft (6.3%), theft from vehicles (15.1%) and motor vehicle thefts (16.7%).

All 21 LAPD divisions reported crime increases this year.

LAPD's Central Division — which includes parts of downtown, skid row and Chinatown — led the city in both violent and property crime increases. Although the violent crime rate dropped by 15 percentage points since the summer, property crime was up slightly in the second half of the year.
LAPD officials noted that other large U.S. cities have also reported more homicides this year, including New York, Chicago and Houston.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported more modest increases, with violent crime rising 5.5% and property crime up 8.2% through the end of November compared with the same period last year.

Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated an extra $5.5 million for the city's Gang Reduction & Youth Development program. He also directed the expansion of Domestic Abuse Response Teams, groups of civilian workers who accompany police officers on domestic violence calls.

Despite the increase in crime, the city remains safer than at any time since the 1950s, said Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for Garcetti.

“But that's little comfort to those whose lives have been impacted by crime,” Curry said in a statement.

The rash of kidnappings and beheadings come just days after, as Breitbart Texas reported, a Coahuila court ordered the release of nine police officers who had previously been convicted for working with Los Zetas. While authorities have not made any public statements on the case, investigators believe the two cases are closely related.

In Denial About Crime by Heather Mac Donald, City Journal December 29, 2015

Eye on the News

Heather Mac Donald
In Denial About Crime
The Brennan Center and other liberal groups pretend that murders and shootings aren’t spiking in many cities.
December 29, 2015

Photo by Mark Makela
The campaign to deny the murder and shooting spike in many American cities continues apace. The latest effort is a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, which the press has hailed ecstatically as a refutation of what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect”—the phenomenon of officers backing off of proactive policing and thereby emboldening criminals. In fact, the report confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing.

The Brennan Center researchers gathered homicide data from 25 of the nation’s 30 largest cities for the period January 1, 2015, to October 1, 2015. (Not included were San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, El Paso, and Nashville.) The researchers then tried to estimate what 2015’s full-year homicide numbers for those 25 cities would be, based on the extent to which homicides were up from January to October 2015, compared with the similar period in 2014.

The resulting projected increase for homicides in 2015 in those 25 cities is 11 percent. (By point of comparison, the FiveThirtyEight data blog looked at the 60 largest cities and found a 16 percent increase in homicides by September 2015. On Monday, the Brennan Center revised its own estimate of the 2015 murder increase to 14.6 percent.) An 11 percent one-year increase in any crime category is massive; an equivalent decrease in homicides would be greeted with high-fives by politicians and police chiefs. Yet the media have tried to repackage that 11 percent increase as trivial. They employ several strategies for doing so, the most important of which is simply not disclosing the actual figure. An Atlantic article titled “Debunking the Ferguson Effect” reports: “Based on their data, the Brennan Center projects that homicides will rise slightly overall from 2014 to 2015.” A reader could be forgiven for thinking that that “slight” rise in homicides is of the order of, say, 2 to 3 percent. Nothing in the Atlantic write-up disabuses the reader of that error. Vox, declaring the crime increase “bunk,” is similarly discreet about the actual homicide jump, leaving it to the reader’s imagination. Crime & Justice News, published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, coyly admits that “murder is up moderately in some places” without disclosing what that “moderate” increase may be.

A second strategy for brushing off the homicide surge is to contextualize it over a long period of time. Because homicides haven’t returned to their early 1990s or early 2000s levels, the current crime increase is insignificant, the Brennan Center and its media supporters assert, echoing an argument that arose immediately after I first documented the Ferguson effect nationally. “Today’s murder rates are still at all-time historic lows,” write the Brennan Center researchers. “In 1990 there were 29.3 murders per 100,000 residents in these cities. In 2000, there were 13.8 murders per 100,000. Now, there are 9.9 murders per 100,000 residents. Averaged across the cities, we find that while Americans in urban areas have experienced more murders this year than last year, they are safer than they were five years ago and much safer than they were 25 years ago.” The Atlantic is similarly reassuring: “The relative uptick [which he never specifies] is still small compared to the massive two-decade drop [in homicides] that preceded it.”

It’s unlikely, however, that the nation would give back in one year a 50 percent crime drop that unfurled over two decades. The relevant question is: What is the current trend? If 2015’s homicide and shooting outbreak continues, those 1990s violent-crime levels will return sooner than anyone would have imagined. Violent crime was down nearly 5 percent in the first half of 2014; the post-Ferguson violent-crime spike in the second half of 2014 wiped out that earlier crime success, leaving 2014 a wash. Since then, crime has continued rising.

The most desperate tactic for discounting the homicide increase is to disaggregate the average. Yes, some cities have seen a homicide increase, the Ferguson-effect deniers argue, but others have seen a homicide decrease. “Fears of ‘a new nationwide crime wave’ are premature at best and wildly misleading at worst,” asserts The Atlantic, because the “numbers make clear that violent crime is up in some major U.S. cities and down in others.” But such variance is inherent in any average. If there weren’t variation across the members of a set, no average would be needed. Any national crime increase or decrease will have counterexamples of the dominant trend within it, yet policymakers and analysts rightly find the average meaningful. The existence of a Ferguson effect does not require that every city experience de-policing and a resulting crime increase. Enough cities are, however—in particular, those with significant black populations and where antipolice agitation has been most strident—to demand attention.

Baltimore’s per-capita homicide rate, for example, is now the highest in its history, according to the Baltimore Sun: 54 homicides per 100,000 residents, beating its 1993 rate of 48.8 per 100,000 residents. Shootings in Cincinnati, lethal and otherwise, were up 30 percent by mid-September 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. Homicides in St. Louis were up 60 percent by the end of August. In Los Angeles, the police department reports that violent crime has increased 20 percent as of December 5; there are 16 percent more shooting victims in the city, while arrests are down 9.5 percent. Shooting incidents in Chicago are up 17 percent through December 13.

The Brennan Center takes one more stab at underplaying the homicide increase: looking at crime overall. It projects that in 19 cities, the 2015 average for all seven of the FBI’s index crimes—murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and car theft—will be 1.5 percent less than in 2014. The FBI’s crime index is dominated by property crimes, which outnumber offenses committed against persons. Proponents of the Ferguson effect have argued that it is violent crime, not theft, that is responding to de-policing. Proactive stops and low-level misdemeanor enforcement deter gun-carrying and interrupt retaliatory gang shootings by intervening in suspicious behavior before it ripens into a violent felony. Career burglars are less affected by whether a cop is willing to get out of his car and question someone hitching up his waistband on a known drug corner at 1 AM. That property crimes have not spiked to the same extent in response to de-policing is no refutation of the claim that violent crimes have.

Ferguson-effect deniers would have you believe that the nation’s law-enforcement officials are in the grip of a delusion that prevents them from seeing the halcyon crime picture before their eyes. Since summer 2015, police chiefs have been sounding the alarm about violent crime. In August, the Major Cities Chiefs Association convened an emergency session to discuss the homicide and shooting surge. In early October, Attorney General Loretta Lynch brought together more than 100 mayors, police leaders, and U.S. attorneys to strategize privately over the violent-crime increase. Attendees broke out in applause when mayors attributed the increase to officers’ sinking morale, according to the Washington Post. “Most of America’s 50 largest cities have seen an increase in homicides and shootings this year, and many of them have seen a huge increase,” FBI director James Comey noted at the end of October. Two weeks later, the acting chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chuck Rosenberg, seconded Comey’s crime analysis as well as Comey’s hypothesis that the backlash against the police was likely responsible for that violent-crime increase.

Yet, according to the long train of Ferguson-effect deniers, all these criminal-justice professionals are imagining a crime problem that they, the deniers, know is both nonexistent and insignificant.
Among the most unqualified of those deniers is President Barack Obama, who accused FBI director Comey of “cherry-picking data” and ignoring “the facts” on crime in pursuit of a “political agenda.” The idea that the president knows more about local crime and policing than the nation’s top law-enforcement official is absurd. Yet after DEA chief Rosenberg threw his weight behind the Ferguson effect, the White House lashed out again, petulantly claiming that he had no evidence.
The deniers whitewash the animosity that the police now face in urban areas, brushing off the rampant resistance to lawful police authority as mere “peaceful protest.” A black police officer in Los Angeles tells me: “Several years ago I could use a reasonable and justified amount of force and not be cursed and jeered at. Now our officers are getting surrounded every time they put handcuffs on someone. The spirit and the rhetoric of this flawed movement is causing more confrontations with police and closing the door on the gains in communication we had made before it began.” St. Louis alderman Jeffrey Boyd, at a news conference in July after his nephew was slain, made a poignant plea: “We march every time the police shoot and kill somebody. But we’re not marching when we’re killing each other in the streets. Let’s march for that.”

The St. Louis area includes Ferguson, the site of the police shooting that was so utterly distorted by protesters and the media. The Justice Department later determined that the officer’s use of force was justified, but the damage to the social fabric had already been done. Now cops making arrests in urban areas are routinely surrounded by bystanders, who swear at them and interfere with the arrests. The media and many politicians decry as racist pedestrian stops and broken-windows policing—the proven method of stopping major crimes by going after minor ones. Under such conditions, it isn’t just understandable that the police would back off; it is also presumably what the activists and the media critics would want. The puzzle is why the activists are now so intent on denying that such de-policing is occurring and that it is affecting crime. (A 2005 study out of the University of Washington previously documented the impact of de-policing on crime in the aftermath of the 2001 antipolice riots in Cincinnati.)

The answer lies in the enduring commitment of the antipolice Left to the “root causes” theory of crime. The Brennan Center study closes by hypothesizing that lower incomes, higher poverty rates, falling populations, and high unemployment are driving the rising murder rates in Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and St. Louis. But those characteristics have not dramatically worsened over the last year and a half. What has changed is the policing climate. “Proactive policing is what keeps our streets safe,” says Chief William Bryson, chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council. “Officers will not hesitate to go into a situation that is obviously dangerous, but because of recent pronouncements about racism, they are not so likely to make a discretionary stop of a minority when yesterday they would have.”

To acknowledge the Ferguson effect would be tantamount to acknowledging that police matter, especially when the family and other informal social controls break down. Trillions of dollars of welfare spending over the last 50 years failed to protect inner-city residents from rising predation. Only the policing revolution of the 1990s succeeded in calming urban violence. As the data show, that achievement is now in jeopardy.


GRAPHIC CONTENT: Terror In Mexican Border State, 4 Beheadings by Los Zetas Cartel After Release of Narco-Cops

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Coahuila to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Coahuila’s “JM Martinez” and Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz.

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Coahuila — Terror continues to take hold of this border city as the number of gruesome beheadings by the Los Zetas drug cartel continues to grow. Just days after Los Zetas had beheaded three informants and made a gory show of spreading their heads around the city, they have done it again.

On Tuesday, shortly after 8 p.m., authorities responded to emergency calls at parking lot of the Soriana shopping center just outside of a store called Coppel on the corner of Industrial Avenue and Mendoza Berrueto Boulevard in the border city of Piedras Negras, just south of Eagle Pass, Texas. In the parking lot, authorities located a human head wrapped in a black plastic bag that had been left next to a Cadillac Escalade.
Coahuila Beheading
Authorities cordoned off the area as they began to document and gather evidence before eventually removing the human remains from the area.
Coahuila  Beheading
Shortly after 10 p.m., authorities responded to a second call about human remains in an empty lot near the red light district. Authorities arrived to the area and discovered the body of the severed head that had been found just hours before. investigators documented the evidence and took the body to the morgue to carry out an autopsy and other investigative procedures.
Coahuila Beheading
This fourth beheading comes just days after, as Breitbart Texas reported, Los Zetas had kidnapped and beheaded three victims who had been providing authorities with information. The victims have since been identified as 33-year-old Eliseo Ruiz Santos, 37-year-old Claudia Elizabeth Hernandez Cardenas and 17-year-old Cristian Ramos Alvarado.
Zeta Execution
In that case, Los Zetas left a poster board warning the public that anyone who trusted the GATES (special anti-cartel police unit) would receive a similar fate.
Zeta Execution
The rash of kidnappings and beheadings come just days after, as Breitbart Texas reported, a Coahuila court ordered the release of nine police officers who had previously been convicted for working with Los Zetas. While authorities have not made any public statements on the case, investigators believe the two cases are closely related.
Tuesday’s beheading came as a slap to the face of Coahuila government officials since, just hours before the fourth head was found, Secretary of State Victor Zamora held a press conference to announce the capture of three gunmen that he believes are responsible for the three earlier beheadings.
Zamora identified the three detainees as Juan Enrique “La Sirena” Pena Zapata, Ernesto “El Pollo” Juantos Vasquez and Carlos Gerardo “La Chiva” Flores Rodriguez. 



Overall Deportations Drop in 2015, 27% for Criminal Aliens

Overall Deportations Drop in 2015, 27% for Criminal Aliens

DECEMBER 23, 2015
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After a year after freeing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is distorting annual deportation figures by falsely claiming the number of criminal aliens removed from the U.S. keeps increasing when in fact it’s shrinking drastically.
In fiscal year 2015 deportation figures released this week, DHS celebrates that its enforcement efforts prioritize criminals and threats to public safety as well as national security. The agency created after 9/11 to keep the country safe claims the latest stats show “the number of convicted criminals removed from the interior continued to increase.” The reality is that deportations of criminal aliens declined 27% from last year—from 86,923 in 2014 to 63,127 in 2015. This serious discrepancy was exposed by the Washington D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which further reveals that the number of criminal deportations in fiscal year 2015 is less than half of what it was in 2011.
Not surprisingly, the total number of deportations has also dropped thanks to President Obama’s policies—including broad amnesty—limiting federal immigration authorities from initiating removal proceedings. The latest DHS figures analyzed by CIS show total deportations in 2015 were one-third less than in 2011, before the Obama administration implemented its various initiatives to protect illegal aliens in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported 25% less illegal immigrants last year than the previous year—from 315,943 in 2014 to 235,413 in 2015. Those figures include both border and interior cases. CIS also broke the numbers down by interior deportations and that number declined even more—31% from last year, from 100,114 in 2014 to 69,478 in 2015.

The figures are sure to drop further in the coming year, according to CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan, who recently testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing along with ICE Director Sarah Saldana. While Saldana expressed pride in her agency’s deportation numbers, Vaughan testified that they are abysmal. “This willful neglect has imposed enormous costs on American communities,” Vaughan told lawmakers. “In addition to the distorted labor markets and higher tax bills for social welfare benefits that result from uncontrolled illegal immigration, the Obama administration’s anti-enforcement policies represent a threat to public safety from criminal aliens that ICE officers are told to release instead of detain and remove. The administration’s mandate that ICE focus only on the ‘worst of the worst’ convicted criminal aliens means that too many of ‘the worst’ deportable criminal aliens are still at large in our communities.”

Last year the Obama administration released 36,007 aliens convicted of 88,000 crimes from detention centers throughout the United States, according to breathtaking DHS records obtained by CIS. The crimes committed by illegal aliens released from federal custody include homicide, sexual assault, theft, kidnapping and alcohol-related driving convictions. It’s unlikely that these undocumented convicts will ever get deported, at least not during the remainder of the Obama presidency. In the statement announcing the latest deportation figures DHS lays the foundation for even lower numbers in the future by warning of “changing migrant demographics” that impact removal operations.
This is a reference to the significant increase in Central Americans apprehended at the southwest border in recent years. “Higher numbers of Central Americans crossing our border require greater resources, as the removal process for this population takes more time, personnel resources, and funding to complete compared to the removal process for Mexican nationals,” DHS states.

“Additionally, many of these Central American nationals are asserting claims of credible or reasonable fear of persecution. Such cases require careful adjudication, and therefore, take longer to process. Early data indicates that some individuals have successfully obtained asylum in the removal proceedings process.”
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