We begin the podcast with a reference to – but not a discussion of – the trial in which St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted Officer Jason Stockley of premeditated murder this week in St. Louis. Peter and Nick have completed a separate podcast on that incident which will drop this week.
First up: the Portland Oregonian wrote the article on the Portland Police Bureau discontinuing its gang database that Nick and Peter discuss. Generally speaking, Nick believes that PPB is pandering at the cost of the removal of a legitimate policing tool, and Peter likes Insane Clown Posse. Or something like that.
The gist of it is that when cities charge alarm companies for false alarms, cops get a huge break, because false alarms comprise such a large percentage of police calls, especially in business districts. You can read the DOJ numbers Nick and Peter mentioned for false alarm calls. Peter and Nick omitted one crucial metric relevant to this discussion. According to Asher, the reduction in New Orleans, “translates to 3,548 hours or nearly 150 days of work saved by the ordinance over the course of a year.”
The Annenberg Survey discussed next is available online. The high-level takeaways are astonishing:
- More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution;
- More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment;
- Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government.
This came up because of the growing numbers of self-appointed roadside attorneys who argue with police over their often inflated sense that they are “standing up for their rights,” without actually knowing their rights. It’s particularly galling that so many Americans – 60% – can name no branch of the federal government, or only can name one.
For the record, the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the freedom of speech, press, petition, religion, and peaceable assembly.
And finally, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would not seek civil rights charges against the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. The DOJ reported on September 12 that, ”
Although Gray’s death is undeniably tragic, the evidence in this case is insufficient to meet these substantial evidentiary requirements. In light of this … this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the federal civil rights statutes.”
For those legions of you who have yelled about Nick Selby’s microphone quality (many of which strangely coming on the phone, with Peter’s number showing up on Caller ID), be advised that Nick has ordered a new microphone and it will arrive this week. You’re welcome.