Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
POSTED AUGUST 7, 2007
Apart from the officer-involved shooting, Fiesta 2007 was absent any other major crime problems, according to a police report. Here are tentative results of police activity through late Saturday, including a comparison to Fiesta 2006:
- 21 felony arrests; a 34% decrease
- 97 misdemeanor arrests; a 4% increase
- 274 criminal citations; a 6% decrease
- 282 traffic citations; a 53% increase
- 18 DUI arrests; a 20% increase
CRIME IS UP AND DOWN.
Every so often the media, on a slow news day no doubt, will read the temperature of the "crime problem". What does it mean? Am I safer or less safe? Am I more or less likely to be arrested? Is humankind becoming more unruly? Most likely, none of the above. More people means more crime. So, we keep hiring more cops. More cops means more arrests. As long as the hiring of cops out-paces the population growth, the busier I will be.
If crime is not actually on the rise (beyond the modest increases one expects as the population grows), more conduct is deemed criminal and cops become more "sensitive" to criminal conduct. For example, it used to be "drunk driving", now it is "driving under the influence" (read: however slight). It used to be "drunk and disorderly conduct", now it is "public intoxication". What does that mean? Well, one cop (still out there) told me "it depends....could be as little as .01". Yes, consuming a third of a beer, according to this cop, is possibly a forfeiture of your freedom and a one-way ticket to the drunk tank. Think about that the next time you are trying to decide between an import or a domestic...
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
“The reason I’m standing my ground on this,” Sound publisher Gordon said, “is because I believe reporters and photographers are neutral observers protected by the First Amendment, they are not supposed to be an arm of the police, the District Attorney, or the Public Defender.” http://www.independent.com/news/2007/aug/02/emdaily-soundem-ordered-surrender-photos/
What important interest is Gordon really trying to protect here? And whatever the real or imagined interest, could that interest be more powerful than the right of the "little guy" to defend himself against the Government? While Ms. Atkins delivers herself as a powerful member of Government, in reality she is rather powerless in as much she is a mere advocate for an indigent teenager charged with murder. It is absurd for Mr. Gordon to be styling himself the victim of an overbearing Government when it is a teenager accused of murder - and not the Government - who is putting a demand on him. The only victim possible, it seems to me, would be the accused, if indeed the Santa Barbara Superior Court were to have followed along any further with this irritating assertion of First Amendment privilege by Gordon. The Court made the right call.