Crime and Punishment

A thin blue and heavily armed line

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Garda Inspector Kathleen O’Toole is recommending the deployment of “less than lethal weapons.” Uniformed gardai could be using pepper spray devices within the next two months, and highly controversial “less than lethal” weapons… The recommendations for these weapons, which are widely used by other police forces, were made in the report by Garda Inspector Kathleen [...]

Major newspaper columnist speaks out against technophile policing of streets

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Washington Post columnist Mr. Courtland Milloy has some much needed criticism of the expensive technophile policing that law enforcement in Washington, D.C., has become heavily vested in: With all the high-tech crime-fighting gadgets and gizmos being deployed throughout the District in the past couple of years, you’d expect to see at least a dent in [...]

The acoustic bodycounter

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Boston City Council’s precious and presumably soon-to-be-deployed ShotSpotter gunshot detection system is once again providing tragicomedy in Rochester, New York: Shalonda Simpson, 25, of Rochester was killed about 2:15 a.m. outside School 29 at 88 Kirkland Road. Police believe she was the victim of robbery. Simpson died in a particularly violent time span on city [...]

Call it SomeShotSpotter

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

TV station WHAM reports on a drive-by shooting that may or may not have taken place in Rochester, New York. The story includes this little nugget: The police department’s ShotSpotter technology did not activate Saturday morning on Avenue A, although that’s common in drive-by shootings. Swell. More on ShotSpotter here.

Squandering jurors

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

The Boston Globe‘s Michael Levenson and Jonathan Saltzman report that Suffolk County (which is to say Boston and some neighboring towns) will “will run out of prospective jurors by October.” That’s strange. My wife has been to jury duty a few times, and every time she’s been sent home without actually sitting in a jury. [...]

Early morning mugging in Kenmore Square

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Short story: Young woman attacked, mugged on Commonwealth Avenue, between Kenmore Square and Charlesgate West at 3 am. I’m pretty sure the cops caught a suspect. [Update: has an account of the incident. The description of the suspect alters slightly from the one I recount below, which is as one can expect since I [...]

Welcome to Robmore Square

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Truly Jörg’s in Kenmore Square was held up today, according to Fox 25 News. Two weeks ago some scum held up the Cold Stone Creamery a couple of blocks south of here. And about two weekends ago D-4 ignored an hour-long disturbance incident outside a residence. Can somebody please put some police in the community [...]

It was an otherwise strong case

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

The prosecution puts an end to the persecution: The eyewitness identification procedures were faulty and unreliable. No DNA confirms the accuser’s story. No other witness confirms her story. Other evidence contradicts her story. She contradicts herself.

The safest big city in Massachusetts

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Here’s a widely held notion that Bostonians should free themselves from: Boston still has one of the lowest crime and murder rates of major cities in the U.S. Really now? City Population Murder rate Boston 593,000 12.3   Austin 693,019 3.7 Dallas 1,230,303 16.8 El Paso 601,839 2.3 Fort Worth 613,261 9.8 Houston 2,045,732 16.3 [...]

ShotSpotter may not be quite what Brian McGrory has been led to believe

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Brian McGrory, Boston Globe metro columnist, somewhat belatedly chimes in on Boston’s decision to spend $1.5 million on the hi-tech sound-surveillance system known as ShotSpotter. Mr. McGrory finds it entirely resonable for the cash-strapped Hub of the Universe to spend the money on a system that pretty much tells residents that they can’t be trusted. [...]