Blue Byline

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

Archives: Sep. 2012


In a land of immigrants we all have a story

Last installment in a series on illegal immigration

In this nation of immigrants, most people can count on one hand the number of generations since their family tree found American soil. The struggle to immigrate and integrate into America is an ongoing narrative.

Of course not all arrival’s come through our front door. The Trib’s comprehensive article, describing Oscar Campos Estrada’s journey from illegal entry to a deportation trial, is a peek inside the world of illegal immigration. It is a bizarre, contradictory reality that resembles the land Alice found when she fell down the

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Free speech on the street and in a dangerous world

When gunmen stormed the house occupied by Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, killing him and three former Navy Seals working as private contractors, they must have hoped their actions would fracture our Arabic partnerships and test the mettle of our resolve in their part of the world. They were correct.

Had they also guessed that their murderous rampage would have us questioning the very framework of our democracy – the right to free speech – they would have again, and unfortunately, been correct.

As news on the tragic event in Libya unfolded, we watched hate-filled mobs burn our flag, storm our

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The murky front lines of illegal immigration

Second in a series on illegal immigration

The job of a city cop has its ups and downs. For every intriguing investigation or adrenalin-dumping pursuit, there are scores of minor calls – the barking dogs and noise complaints that make up the narrative of patrol work. Yet fighting crime is mostly a black and white concept, an effort that brings satisfaction at the end of a shift.

That is not always the case for the agents of Homeland Security Investigations, the agency authorized to detain and deport illegal immigrants. HSI is a part of the sprawling Department of Homeland Security which

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“Cops Behaving Badly” – the Bellevue episode

The scene: CenturyLink Field during the first quarter of last Sunday’s Seahawks game.

The characters: One Seattle police officer directing traffic; a Seahawks fan and his 12-year-old son; several allegedly drunk and obnoxious off-duty Bellevue police officers.

Welcome to another round of “Cops Behaving Badly.”

Let’s bring you up to speed on an incident which has sparked heated debate in Seattle and put the Bellevue Police Department under the media microscope. An article in The Seattle Times (9/21) gives this account:

Three drunk off-duty Bellevue police officers enter the Seahawks game following an altercation with

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Life sentence a rebuke for the vigilante

(this is an update from a June 12 column)

For the record, it didn’t have to be done.

The “it” I refer to are the vigilante killings of two sex offenders, Gary Blanton and Jerry Ray, carried out by one Patrick Drum. The two shootings on the Olympic Peninsula, which occurred on June 2 and June 3 of this year (Trib 6/4), were the result of Drum’s violent frame of mind and his decision that, “it” in his words, “had to be done.”

If that is true, then we have truly made no progress as a civilized

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We are of two minds on illegal immigration

First in a series on illegal immigration

The recent Trib series on illegal immigration was an exhaustive piece of investigative journalism. With its lengthy account of the recent events that brought the Northwest Detention Center to the Tacoma Tideflats, along with the parallel story of an illegal alien incarcerated there, Oscar Campos-Estrada, it was also an exhausting read.

The collection of Trib reports told a story that is just as relevant now as when the Statue of Liberty first raised its torch over the waters of Upper New

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Freedom for Jason Puracal!

The latest news on Jason Puracal, a Foss High School and University of Washington alum, is nothing short of fantastic – Jason is a free man.

The latest update on Puracal came from the Idaho Press-Tribune (9/14) at 4:17pm PDT, which stated that Puracal had been released from prison (Thursday) and had since left Nicaragua for an undisclosed location. Given the way the country treated him for the last two years, who would blame him for making a hasty, if unauthorized exit (I would have dug my way out of Nicaragua with a fork).

Puracal spent

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Finding meaning in a senseless tragedy

Every year at the Puyallup Fair is the same for my family. After we finish eating scones, watching jugglers, and nodding off at the hypnotist show, my wife drags us to the State Patrol exhibit at the Puyallup Fair where the display is always the same – the twisted wreckage of a severe car crash.

Along with the car, the exhibit includes a poster board printed with the driver’s biography (or epitaph) and some background on the crash. The visual draws in quiet onlookers who gain a healthier respect for the laws of physics. The story provides them with a

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