Category Archives: Policing

Brazen Shoplifting and Traumatized Staff Impacting Company Profits

So Dems don’t want to prosecute shoplifting.. Hmm. mrossol

The Epoch Times, 11/24/2021

November 24, 2021 Updated: November 24, 2021

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said Tuesday that theft is a growing problem in the company’s stores, and the aggressive behavior displayed by shoplifters is “traumatizing” staff members, which has led to retention issues in the otherwise tight labor market.

Barry told Wall Street analysts on a conference call to discuss earnings that criminals often carry in weapons like guns or crowbars and threaten employees and customers. Consumer electronics have reported an increase in organized crime, according to the CEO.

The company has begun locking up products and hiring more security when possible. The safety of individuals will be prioritized over products, said the CEO. Locking up creates a delay in the customer experience as an employee is required to open up an enclosure each time for the customer.

“This is traumatizing for our associates and is unacceptable,” Barry said on the call. “We are doing everything we can to try to create [an] as-safe-as-possible environment.”

A common tactic is a loosely-formed gang of criminals who burst into the store and make off with an entire shelf’s worth of high-value goods, which they then resell. Barry said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the crime surge has begun to hit the company’s bottom line and its ability to retain staff.


Best Buy has reported fourth-quarterly earnings below expectations although shares have gained nearly 40 percent this year despite the supply chain crisis and resulting shortages.

It’s not just Best Buy that has been affected. Other retailers like CVS Health, Neiman Marcus, Kroger, and Walgreens are also facing similar issues, with Walgreens recently closing down five stores in San Francisco because of aggressive shoplifting.

Barry mentioned that San Francisco and other parts of California were “hot spots” for criminal activity but there were problematic areas in other parts of the country as well.

Organized Shoplifting

The Best Buy CEO’s comments come days after a dramatic criminal attack on a Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek, California. On Saturday, a gang of 80 thugs pulled up to the store, blockaded the entry, and ransacked the luxury store. Employees were assaulted in the raid, which was over within a minute.

Then there was another incident with a Nordstrom store in The Grove retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles where a group of thieves smashed windows, triggering a police pursuit. Three people have been taken into custody.

The thefts are reportedly part of organized crime networks that recruit mostly young men for $500 to $1,000 to steal high-value store merchandise. The goods are then shipped to other parts of the country or resold online. The number of crimes has seen an increase during the holiday season, according to law enforcement officials.

“Crew bosses organize them, they’ll give him the crowbars, and in some cases even rent them cars, or provide them with escape routes or a list of products to actually go out and steal. It looks very chaotic but it’s actually very well organized,” Ben Dugan, president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, said to ABC News.

Retail security guards are not equipped to handle such aggressive criminal behavior. They’re not trained to subdue suspects or pursue them, but instead, to simply “observe and report,” according to mall security expert David Levenberg.

“The value of the merchandise is not worth somebody being injured or killed,” he told ABC News.

Levenberg added that cities with progressive prosecutors like Los Angeles and San Francisco are the hardest hit. “The consequences are minimal and the profits are substantial,” said Levenberg.

Many do not consider the recent spate of thefts in places like San Francisco as “shoplifting” because the term denotes an effort to conceal the crime.

One of the reasons behind this increase in criminal behavior is that, according to California state law, stealing merchandise worth $950 or less is just a misdemeanor, which means police won’t bother to go after the criminals. In cases when they do, and capture the perpetrator, prosecutors will let it go.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a new law in which he made shoplifting, even below $950, a crime but only when an organized syndicate is behind it and they plan to resell the stolen goods.


Hamstrung by New Law, Portland Police Make No Arrests in Latest Riot

DOJ and FBI were not able to send any help; they are too busy monitoring and tracking down parents who show up at school board meetings. mrossol

The Epoch Times  10/22/2021

As a group of about 100 anarchists raged through a Portland neighborhood on Oct. 12, police reportedly remained in their vehicles.

Some say their inaction is a direct result of confusion over an Oregon police-reform law passed last summer, which restricts how they can respond to such crowds.

In less than two hours, the group did an estimated $500,000 of damage to 35 locations, including banks, retail stores, coffee shops, and government buildings.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers issued verbal warnings through a megaphone.

“Those who refuse to leave the area are subject to arrest,” the warning blared on a loop. “The bureau will investigate crimes and will make arrests either tonight, or in the future.”


Meanwhile, the anarchists blocked the streets, smashed windows, set off illegal fireworks, lit dumpsters and trash cans on fire, and tagged buildings with spray-painted messages like “kill cops” and “anarchy means attack.”

Some group members laid down in front of bureau vehicles to attempt to prevent a police response. Police believe that some people involved in criminal activity were changing clothes to further stymie efforts to identify them.

According to a public statement by Portland police’s Lt. Jake Jensen, they did not intervene because of Oregon House Bill 2928 and the restrictions placed on law enforcement in a crowd-control environment.

Instead, Jensen said that investigators will work to track down those behind the vandalism at a later time.

The law, which took effect last summer as part of Oregon’s police-reform initiative, prohibits the use of crowd-control tools commonly employed by law enforcement—including pepper spray, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds, and sound and light devices.

The only exception, according to the law, is when the circumstances constitute a riot, which has also been narrowly defined in the law, and if an officer reasonably believes such tactics are necessary to “prevent more destructive behavior.”

Lt. Jensen “was providing his own interpretation of the law,” said police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen.

“The entire bureau membership has been made aware of the potential implications of House Bill 2928 and that it’s being analyzed by the City Attorney’s Office,” Allen told The Epoch Times. “Until we have some clarity on the bill we have to follow the most restrictive interpretation of it.”

Finding that clarity could be tricky.

“Attorneys are interpreting [the law] differently, so it’s a question of intent versus interpretation,” Andrew Fromm, a spokesman for the Oregon House of Representatives, told The Epoch Times.

“The law clearly allows Portland police to use effective tools necessary to control violent crowds,” said House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, a Republican.

“However, activist attorneys are deliberately misinterpreting legislation to prevent police from intervening,” she said. “They have no business putting law enforcement and community safety at risk.”

Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office issued a statement as well.

“Our legal team at the City Attorney’s office is reviewing HB2928 to better understand how it will affect PPB’s operation during the management of crowds.

“We will be working closely with our colleagues at the Oregon State Legislature and Department of Justice for further clarification to remain in compliance with this new law.”

Meanwhile, no arrests have been made.


7-Year-Old Girl Shot in DC Survives, Reunites With First Responders

This is from The Epoch Times, but I’m pretty sure it will be posted on the BLM website, too. mrossol

The Epoch Times  5/19/2021  

A 7-year-old girl who was shot while playing outside in Washington D.C. has been reunited with the first responders who helped save her life. Her family calls her survival a “miracle” and say they are grateful.

“Thank you for praying for me,” said Reagan Grimes in an interview with Fox after hearing how many people in the community had prayed for her recovery.

On May 5, Reagan had the opportunity to meet the first responders who’d helped save her life that fateful night.

Epoch Times Photo
7-year-old Reagan Grimes reunites with first responders who saved her. (Courtesy of DC Metropolitan Police Dept.)

The D.C. Fire and EMS departments posted photos of the reunion on Twitter, stating that they were “happy” to see her recovered.

“Reagan Grimes, the 7 year old shot 4 days ago, was reunited with the crew that helped save her life at Engine 27 in Deanwood,” the department wrote. “#DCsBravest and @DCPoliceDept officers are happy to see she’s doing well, and were able to give her some gifts.”

In the pictures they posted, the 7-year-old girl is smiling with a huge basket of gifts presented to her by the officers and EMTs.

But just a few days prior, Reagan and her family weren’t smiling.

Epoch Times Photo
Reagan thanked the first responders who saved her. (Courtesy of DC Fire and EMS Department)

“You almost ended my sister’s life,” Reagan’s brother, Amir Grimes, said on camera to the news outlet, hoping the shooters would hear his message. “She makes so many people happy. She’s the star of [our] life.”

Reagan was playing outside on May 1, around 7 p.m., when a dozen gunshots rang out on J Street northeast. The little girl was tragically struck in the back.

The family thought they were going to lose her.

“I was scared,” said Amir. “I was shocked … she’s 7, she’s too young.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Left) Dashawn Grimes, Reagan’s mom. (Courtesy of DC Fire and EMS Department); (Right) Reagan Grimes with her mom. (Courtesy of DC Fire and EMS Department)

First responders called her injuries “life-threatening,” and her family began preparing for the worst.

“She’s a soldier, she’s a warrior, she’s a fighter,” Reagan’s grandmother, Tina Grimes, said. “She fought. She fought hard.”

Fortunately, the young girl was able to return home and was reunited with her family just 3 days later.  “Today, we’re rejoicing,” added Tina.

“I’m just so thankful that she could be saved,” Reagan’s mom, Dashawn Grimes, told the department. “A lot of people don’t make it.”

Police are reportedly still searching for the shooter. Though they have little information on the culprits, investigators released a photograph of a white sedan they believe could have been involved.

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Data Undercuts Myth of ‘Racism’ in Police Killings

Looking at all the data takes time and effort, and just might not cause the conclusion that you want. mrossol

By John R. Lott, Jr.
The Epoch Times.  Updated: April 30, 2021

President Biden claimed that Derek Chauvin’s conviction on Tuesday, April 20 “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism” of police. With the police shooting that same day of 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio, the White House again pushed the racism claim, noting that this was just another example of how “police violence disproportionately impacts Black and Latino people.”

But where is the evidence for these claims? In Chauvin’s trial, the prosecution never once mentioned evidence that the now-former officer is racist. A day after the verdict, the Biden administration announced plans for a pattern-or-practice investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department to determine if there is such racism, but the administration’s comments sure sound as if they have already determined the study’s outcome.

In the other case, body camera footage released by police revealed that Ma’Khia Bryant was fatally shot as she charged another girl with a knife. The officer shot one black girl in an attempt to save what appears to be another black girl from being stabbed.

Politicians such as Biden as well as the media have helped create a biased perception that is far from the reality of shootings by police. In a study, the Crime Prevention Research Center (where I serve as president) found that when a white officer kills a suspect, the media usually mention the officer’s race. When the officer is black, news coverage rarely mentions that detail.

And there’s evidence that blacks aren’t all that fed up with the police. A July 2017 Quinnipiac University poll in New York City found that blacks strongly support the cops in their neighborhoods—62 percent approved compared to just 35 percent who disapproved. That approval rating was 11 percentage points higher than for the New York City Police Department as a whole. It makes sense that people only know their local cops, and rely on media reports to form impressions about other areas they are less familiar with. A 2020 Monmouth University poll found that 72 percent of both blacks and whites are satisfied with their local police.

There is other evidence. If blacks don’t trust the police, they presumably won’t turn to them as frequently as whites when a crime occurs. Yet, blacks report violent crime to police at a higher rate than either whites or Hispanics, even when controlling for income levels. Low- and middle-income blacks are about 11 percentage points more likely to report violent crimes to police.

Through extensive research, we found 2,699 police shootings across the nation from 2013–2015. That’s far more than the FBI found, since its data is limited to only 1,366 cases voluntarily provided by police departments. The FBI data has other shortcomings, too: It disproportionately includes cases from heavily minority areas, giving a misleading picture of the frequency at which blacks are shot.

Our database keeps track of characteristics of both the suspect and the officer involved in each shooting, local violent crime rates, demographics of the city and police department, and many other factors that help determine what causes police shootings.

Officers kill blacks at a higher rate than their share of the population: 25 percent of the suspects killed were black, 45 percent white, and 16 percent Hispanic. As for where the deaths are occurring, black suspects tend to die in heavily black larger cities with populations averaging over 600,000, while whites are killed in smaller cities with an average population of 250,000.

White suspects were slightly more likely to be holding a firearm than blacks (63 percent to 61 percent). Black and white suspects were both equally likely to be involved in violent crime when they lose their lives at an officer’s hands, though blacks who died were more likely to be involved in drug or property offenses. But police generally have more challenging jobs in cities where blacks are killed. The average city where blacks are killed had a 61 percent higher violent crime rate and 126 percent higher murder rate than where the average white was killed.

After accounting for these and other factors, including averaged cultural differences in police departments, we found that black officers were at least as likely as their white peers to kill black suspects, but that black officers were more likely to kill unarmed blacks than were white officers.

The data offered some clues for how to reduce these fatal incidents. It can’t explain all instances, such as George Floyd’s case where Floyd resisted arrest by four officers, or possibly the Columbus case where an attack by a knife-wielding suspect was already in process. But, usually, when more police are present at the scene of a confrontation with a suspect, the odds of a fatality decline. There is about a 14 percent to 18 percent reduction in the suspect’s chances of being killed for each additional officer present. Officers feel more vulnerable if they are alone at the scene, making them more likely to use deadly force. Also, suspects may be emboldened and resist arrest when fewer officers are present.

It is a dangerous fiction that prejudiced white officers are going out and disproportionately killing black men. But that doesn’t mean that measures can’t be taken to reduce shootings by police. The most obvious step would be to increase the number of officers responding to a call, to avoid forcing lone, vulnerable officers to make life-or-death decisions.

From RealClearWire.

John R. Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “Gun Control Myths“ (2020), “Dumbing Down the Courts,” and “Freedomnomics.”