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Monday Must Reads: Bratton, the 2nd Amendment, Patient Dumping and More

August 15th, 2011 by Celeste Fremon


You gotta love Bill. Sunday’s Guardian reports on how much Bratton wanted to apply for the position of commissioner of the Metropolitan police—an ambition that got squashed over the weekend. The Guardian also reports in great detail about how Bill verbally thrashed anybody who suggested that one ought to be born in Britain to hold such a job.

The New York Times also has a report on the Bratton in London adventure.

Adore the aviator glasses, by the way.


The LA Times Alexandra Zavis and Richard Winton have the alarming story. Here’s a clip:

The graying veteran in a wheelchair was found in the parking lot of a Westside cold weather shelter wearing hospital pants, carrying a urine bottle and screaming for help.

Senior officials at the Los Angeles city attorney’s office say they believe James Boykin was “dumped” Dec. 1 at the shelter after his toe was removed at the nearby Department of Veterans Affairs medical center because of a bone infection. Moreover, according to city prosecutors, VA officials blocked an investigation that could have shed light on whether there were other similar incidents.

“This was an unprecedented interference with an investigation,” said Jeffrey B. Isaacs, who heads the office’s criminal and special litigation branch.

VA officials strongly dispute the allegations involving Boykin, adding that the city does not have authority to conduct a criminal investigation on federal property.


Julia Preston for the New York Times writes that resistance to the Secure Communities program is growing. Here’s a clip:

Mayor Thomas Menino, who often invokes his heritage as the grandson of an Italian immigrant, was one of the first local leaders in the country to embrace a federal program intended to improve community safety by deporting dangerous immigrant criminals.

But five years after Boston became a testing ground for the fingerprinting program, known as Secure Communities, Mr. Menino is one of the latest local officials to sour on it and seek to withdraw. He found that many immigrants the program deported from Boston, though here illegally, had committed no crimes. The mayor believed it was eroding hard-earned ties between Boston’s police force and its melting-pot mix of ethnic neighborhoods.

Last month, Mr. Menino sent a letter to the program with a blunt assessment. “Secure Communities is negatively impacting public safety,” he wrote, asking how Boston could get out.

On Aug. 5, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which runs the program, gave an equally blunt response. Its director, John Morton, announced he was canceling all agreements that 40 states and cities had signed to start Secure Communities. Their assent was not legally required, he said, and he planned to move ahead anyway to extend the program nationwide by 2013.


In Monday’s Washington Post, Robert Barnes has a round up of the second Amendment cases that are likely headed to the Supreme Court.

A funny thing has happened in the three years since gun-rights activists won their biggest victory at the Supreme Court.

They’ve been on a losing streak in the lower courts.

The activists found the holy grail in 2008 when the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller said the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to own a firearm unconnected to military service. The court followed it up with McDonald v. Chicago two years later, holding that the amendment applies not just to gun control laws passed by Congress but to local and state laws as well.

The decisions were seen as a green light to challenge gun restrictions across the country, and the lawsuits have come raining down — more than two a week, according to the anti-gun Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

But it is the Brady Center that is crowing about the results.

“Three years and more than 400 legal challenges later, courts — so far — have held that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller was narrow and limited, and that the Second Amendment does not interfere with the people’s right to enact legislation protecting families and communities from gun violence,” the center said in a report optimistically titled “Hollow Victory?


On Monday, Jim Newton’s LA Times column profiles Chrysalis. A Los Angeles-based nonprofit with facilities in Santa Monica, Pacoima and on the edge of skid row that manages to put desperate people to work.

Read it. It’ll cheer you up.

Posted in Bill Bratton, Homelessness, How Appealing, immigration, Must Reads, Skid Row, Supreme Court | 7 Comments »

7 Responses

  1. donna myrow Says:

    Bratton’s over-size ego alienated British “Bobbies.” He should share his expertise policing large cities, clearly they need all the help they can get. I do have a concern re his comment “social media is the cause of much of the violence and should be stopped if necessary.” That’s impossible, he can’t shut down business and emergency services.

  2. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Hi, Donna. Yikes. I didn’t see that. That’s a staggeringly irresponsible statement. Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!

  3. donna myrow Says:

    A guy who’s had four wives is very sure of himself!!!

  4. Celeste Fremon Says:


  5. jim hitchcock Says:

    NPR today said that Bratton would not fit British style law & order because in America we practice `force policing’.

  6. John Moore Says:

    We’re doing just fine with gun rights these days, and there is good reason to believe that SCOTUS will find extensions(pneumbras) to those rights, soon, the way it has with the 1st and 4th Amendments.

    10 years ago few states allowed concealed carry. Now most states do, and recognize the permits from other states. A few, like Arizona where I live, don’t even require a permit.

    Gun rights have been on a major upswing for at least 10 years, and the momentum is with us.

  7. Sure Fire Says:

    You think they don’t practice “Force Policing” in England? You think the response you’re seeing now from law enforcement in England to the rioters isn’t “Force Policing”? They’re knocking down doors and dragging people away daily.

    The government there is also talking about taking pensions or money from government programs from the people that are convicted of crimes that were due to the riots. Think we’d do that here? They’ve already convicted and sentenced people for their roles. England law enforcement, in my opinion, didn’t do enough in the initial stages same as LAPD didn’t when ours started after Simi Valley. England though has a camera system that helped them immensely in identifying suspects, we don’t have that luxury.

    “Force Policing” is a two edged sword. Force is something police have to have as a tool to hang over the head of criminals and they know it. When too much force is used, as what most people think took place in the Fullerton case, the police have to be held responsible. I don’t know any cop that feels differently. The argument is in the details of what force is necessary in any given situation.

    Bottom line is that police forces everywhere use “Force Policing, and always will.

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