Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: March 2012


Blocking out the rhetoric of hate and fear

A young man is fatally shot and his killer goes free. This may be the story of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, but it is only the latest incarnation of an oft replicated theme.

In 2009, a local gang member shot and killed a young man, and I was dispatched to the initial call. During the investigation I learned that the gang member instigated a fight with the victim before he resorting to the cowardly act of shooting him. He fled on foot, but was soon caught and arrested. To my utter dismay, he was released without charges and remains free to

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Making the case for a civil rights case

The anger radiating out of Sanford, Florida, is palpable. The killing of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, has energized the country unlike any single death in recent memory.

The rising tide of anger has washed up in other parts of the country; thousands have gathered for protests against Martin’s killing in cities such as Los and New York City, Miami and Chicago. His death is largely seen as a racial issue involving a Hispanic shooter and a white police department that has so far failed to deliver justice in the form of an arrest. Groups such as the

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Florida shooting highlights folly of “amateur hour”

The alleged shooting death of a Florida youth by a citizen watch volunteer has officially crossed over from tragedy to spectacle.

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-0ld African-American, was reportedly shot after being confronted by Robert Zimmerman, an armed resident voluntarily patrolling the gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense, but the 911 tape and excerpts from Martin’s last phone conversation suggest otherwise.

As a result, Sanford, a suburb of Orlando, is currently hosting an armada of civil rights tourists, including the NAACP, the ACLU, the National of Islam and the Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights. The

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Systemic problems in sex offender registration and oversight

2nd in a series on sex offenders.

A few years back I signed up to coach my son’s little league team. Not so fast, I was told; first fill out the mandatory criminal background check. My thoughts were on pitching skills, practice times and getting parent volunteers, but first the league needed to know I was not a sex offender.

Many people take exception to the huge amount of bureaucracy and privacy issues that has insinuated its way into our lives, courtesy of sex offender legislation. I had a different perspective, partly based on my experiences investigating sex crimes and

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Giving in to the cliche on St. Patty’s Day

Traditionally speaking, the arrival of March 17 on the calendar brings a few things to mind. March Madness, brackets and rabid basketball fans. Spring training, torrential downpours and frozen little leaguers. Two days past the Ides of March, Caesar’s ghost at rest again.

And, of course, it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. Which means that it is time to put on something green, head down to the pub, drink to excess and, if you’re very lucky, get into a fight. That is certainly the traditional way to celebrate this pseudo-holiday, at least in America.

In Ireland, a country from which my father

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Controlling one’s gun is not “Gun Control”

There is at least one commonality between the role of parent and that of gun owner – both require a heightened level of personal responsibility. Ensuring the safety of children is an instinctual trait for our species. Being a responsible gun owner just makes good sense. When both these roles are ignored, the results can be tragic.

As I began research for this column, the circumstances surrounding the February 22 accidental shooting of an 8-year-old girl in a Port Orchard elementary school were well-documented (Trib 3/13). On the heels of this tragedy came the

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Dealing with the predators among us

First in a series on sex offenders.

After several knocks on the front door, a lean man in his 20s opened it and squinted at us through thick glasses.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“It’s the police.” My partner answered.

The man shrugged, sighed and opened the door. We walked past him into the stale-smelling studio unit and saw a young lady sitting on a sofa with a small child on her lap. I looked down at the sex offender bulletin in my hand. Front and center was a picture of the now very guilty looking man with glasses. I

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KONY 2012: a wakeup call for United Nations

The brave new world of social media is buzzing with its latest paradigm shift. It is called, “KONY 2012.”

“KONY 2012″ is a Youtube video with 58 million views, and counting. It is also a plea for international help to right decades of injustice in Uganda and an attempt to use the massive power of the Web-connected world for a single-minded project: To arrest the Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony.

Kony has been identified by the International Criminal Court as their most wanted fugitive. He was indicted in 2005 for actions as the leader of the

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