Daily Archives: March 27, 2012

AM Gurney: Violence is Violence

Screen Cap of Racist taunts. Source: Daylight Disinfectant

Note from Editor: I asked AM to write this post because the left is now raising money on the Trayvon Martin death. The MoveOn.Commie missive is disgusting. It says in part, As parents, we all have to warn our children about the dangers of the world—strangers, bullies, which streets not to walk down. But there’s a special pain in explaining to my sons the suspicion and dangers they face, simply by being young black men.” How well we know, MoveOn, how well we know. I also asked AM to write this post because she and her two sons, who are black, were called racist names, hurled insults at and intimidated by socialists, leftists (but I repeat myself) at last April 15th’s Tea Party in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Here’s what AM has to say about the Trayvon Martin situation. 

As I continue to read the absolutely tragic and senseless murder of Trayvon Martin in recent weeks, I run a spectrum of logical thoughts and feel an immense passion that his death was horrifying. It was a beautiful, young life shot down for absolutely no reason.

As a mom, with children only a few years younger than Trayvon, I am reminded of the things I must teach them. I live in a neighborhood probably similar to Trayvon’s. It is racially mixed of working class people. After dark, the neighborhood has a different feel. People occasionally walk down the street you have never seen in daylight. The neighborhood park gets a cursory check from the local beat officer to check for nefarious activities. It has a dark side that comes out at night.
What do I teach my kids?
The Author & One of her Sons
If you ever get pulled over by the police, do whatever they say, even if it is absolutely unfair. Do not put your hands in your pockets. Call us when you can. We’ll be there. Getting into a misunderstanding with the police can cost you your life. 
You wear a belt. If I see your “business”, you walk around the rest of the day with no pants, because it’s the same result. Plus, you are sending a signal that you identify yourself a certain way. It is a signal you don’t want to send.
Don’t wear certain colors, and no bandanas. Wearing those can send wrong signals again. 
So apparently, I also need to cut my kid’s wardrobe in half because hoodies seem to send an inadvertent message too. I am in the same boat, in this case. As the 43 year old mom, I wear hoodies all the time. 
However, in all of this sadness, I will not do this. I will not sign any petition that delineates the lines of color in this situation. Why? 
Yelling Racist & Homophobic Taunts at Tea Partiers 4/15/11
Two reasons. I am out and about in my neighborhood late at night. I am a runner. I run four plus miles through my neighborhood after 9 pm, often. I also run late at night wearing a hoodie. I have seen people in hoodies walking through my neighborhood. In the dark of night with the only light coming from an occasional street light, I know you cannot identify a person’s race unless you are under a street light right next to them.
That communicates to me one thing, the race issue of this outrage is media induced, not racially motivated. 
Also, violence is violence is violence is violence. The alleged shooter is 26 year old George Zimmerman. In this tragedy, while I don’t think George could necessarily see Trayvon’s race, I think he acted in pure, unadulterated violence. He shot a person who showed no immediate threat of life or limb. There was no immediate threat. George acted in violence because, at best, he was spooked. 
So give me a petition to sign that speaks out against spooked neighborhood watch volunteers that are armed, I will sign it.
Send me a petition to require neighborhhod watch volunteers to attend safety training, I will sign it.
Place the petition in front of me demanding justice for senseless violence and murders of unsuspecting victims minding their own business, I will sign it.
Ask me to message my civic leaders warning them that middle aged moms runs in hoodies late at night, I will sign it. 
However if you place a petition in front of me adding any delineation of race, I won’t sign it. Don’t ask me to send an email to a community leader in protest of racial violence. I won’t do it. 
As long as we continue to make senseless violence race-against-race based, the argument will always focus on race instead of on the victims, the violence, the injustice, and perpetrators. We will always have our focus in the wrong place.
Guess what? My kids and myself have been the victims of what Portland’s city code defines as “hate speech”. We were standing at a peaceful rally 4/15/2011 while having racial charged epithets hurled at myself and my kids. Does it matter the perpetrator of such hate speech towards my kids and others is a black man himself? It makes it kind of twisted and ironic, but it doesn’t change the fact the man broke the law yelling those hideous words. 
I have asked numerous times for Mayor Sam Adams meet with me, discuss this with me, and speak out against this kind of behavior. He has refused my requests each and every time. My kids learned several racially charged words that day that, as a mother, I had hoped they would never hear. Instead, I got the privilege of explaining them. 
So while I get my story is not in the same camp in terms of severity as the Trayvon Martin case (thankfully) if you take the idea of race out of what happened to me, then the focus is no longer on the races in my family. It is on the violence and keeps the focus where it belongs. It also gives leaders of our community (Hello! Calling Sam Adams to speak out against hate speech!) laser focus, go after the perpetrators instead of who is giving and receiving the violence. Same for the Trayvon Martin case. The focus is to bring justice to the perpetrator instead of what race the players were. 

 Violence is violence is violence. All of us have the potential to be a victim of a senseless crime and I will always speak out against that and keep the focus where it belongs.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bernie Giusto: Trayvon Martin: Is Justice Delayed A Right Denied?


When a violent action takes the life of a child senselessly and perhaps criminally, it fuels our collective anger.

Violence intrigues us. When violence involves our children it focuses and motivates us. We expect police and prosecutors to act in the interest of justice for all and pursue that justice quickly.

That did not happened in the case of Trayvon Martin.

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin on February 26th has  focused us on finding answers to such a seeming injustice. But answers have been slow in coming. There’s been near silence from authorities. Angry citizens, partisan operatives and political charlatans have filled the void with their anger and conjecture. The anger has begun boiling over.

Some of it is justified. 

What is missing is the pursuit of timely justice. But the risk is that the more hastily we try to find the fix –and fix the blame–the less we will really learn. The lesson should be more about what didn’t happen leading to Trayon’s death than the justice we seek for his family now. 

If we settle blame for this awful event on laws such as “Carry Concealed” or “Stand your Ground”, we are just cheating ourselves. We are surely doomed to chase the results of violence; not solve the obvious reasons it happened. 

Regardless of the final finding of this investigation into why George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, this fact cannot be ignored: This predictable national firestorm over the death or race– or whatever motivates us– has as much to do with police inaction and prosecutorial politics as it does the act itself.  

That is not to blame the police for the death of Trayvon Martin but more for not addressing actions of George Zimmerman before he acted out in his misdirected need to protect the neighborhood. 

I don’t blame the prosecution for the death of Trayvon Martin, but I blame this national fallout on the decision to not take the facts to a grand jury in a timely manner.  

This is not a complicated criminal investigation, at least not on its face. I don’t mean to imply the implications are not complex nor the details unimportant. But even if I don’t have all the facts I have the instincts that come with a 34 year law enforcement career.

If the State’s Attorney believed Florida’s new “Stand Your Ground Law” gave George Zimmerman such clear justification to use deadly force after two or three weeks of investigation, then clearly they should have had the confidence to take those fact to a Grand Jury. If all was legal they would have been presented with a Not True Bill for criminal prosecution.
 
Without a doubt the Grand Jury should have been convened even with extended investigation timelines. If the facts surrounding the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin would lead any reasonable person to believe that Zimmerman’s action were outside of the intent of “Stand Your Ground” law or any other self defense measure then the same is true, only this time perhaps with a different Grand Jury result. In either case, Skittles versus a firearm makes the choice to act timely very clear. Authorities needed to preserve the confidence of the community that race was not involved in the decision. Instead Stamford got inaction which led to anger.

Justice for Trayvon Martin depended on it.  

Certainly the Sanford Community and it looks to be that the entire nation believes the same.

The greatest blame however may lie at the doorstep of the Sanford Police Department. George Zimmerman, regardless of his guilt or innocence based on whatever rationale in this deadly situation, was a problem waiting for a tragedy. If I am not convinced that he shot Trayvon Martin as an act of racial prejudice, I am confident it was only a matter of time until he patrolled the neighborhood long enough to find a different Trayvon Martin. 

I hate to bring superheroes like Batman into this matter, but Riddle Me These:
·        What is a person arrested for, Assault on a Police Officer doing with a concealed weapons permit?  
·        Why after 30 or 40 or 50 calls to 911 or other Emergency Dispatch did the Sanford Police Department not go face to face with Zimmerman in the weeks or months prior to February 26th and, in no uncertain terms, inform him that he was acting outside of the prescribed methods of Neighborhood Watch?
·        Is there a doubt that George Zimmerman’s over zealousness stood out and was not known to Sanford Police?

It is beyond obvious to experienced law enforcement that Zimmerman’s enthusiasm as the self appointed neighborhood Green Lantern needed the attention and intervention of the real police in a direct and professional manner.

Justice for George Zimmerman depended on it. 

I will never accept the argument that the police are there to react and react alone. This Chief of Police and Sheriff always believe that the first purpose of the Justice System in policing a community is to intervene and intervene appropriately when our developed instinct through experience signals that there is a clearly identified problem needing police action not reaction.

Allowing a “problem” situation to go un-policed is not only irresponsible it is dangerous. Intervening does not mean someone necessarily should be arrested. In fact arrest is only a vehicle of justice. However, if we delay the early intervention of the justice process long enough someone will be arrested. In this case young Trayvon’s right to longer life may have been denied. 

There will be many take-aways from the death of Trayvon Maartin. We cannot and should not avoid or ignore a just debate about race and its influence in this tragedy. We can imagine we are in pursuit of justice for all or we can actually believe that justice starts long before the demands for retribution.

George Zimmerman will be arrested. Instead of justice dispensed early or even too late by his community, now the federal government will impose a different form of justice. Zimmerman’s rights won’t be denied, they just will be different. Blame Zimmerman for his actions. Blame the police and prosecutors for the disconnect created between the early justice he did not get and the rights that could have been afforded him. …Even the right to make a different decision about February 26th.

From two different centuries we can find insight into this debacle. William E Gladstone, the four-term Prime Minister of England during the 19th century, contributed this quote in pursuit of a just society, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
Then in the past century Dr. Martin Luther King offered this…”A right delayed is a right denied”. Is it a coincidence that these quotes connect?  Is it possible Dr. King knew that the connection between the pursuits of justice means more than getting even and were inextricably linked to our understanding of how best our rights as individuals are protected and preserved?

It is probable these two forward looking leaders of their time would have been connected at the hip in these beliefs? By the way, one is black and the other white.

Bernie Giusto is a 34 year law enforcement professional. He’s the former Multnomah County Sheriff, former Gresham Police Chief and former OSP Trooper.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

AM Gurney: Violence is Violence

Screen Cap of Racist taunts. Source: Daylight Disinfectant

Note from Editor: I asked AM to write this post because the left is now raising money on the Trayvon Martin death. The MoveOn.Commie missive is disgusting. It says in part, As parents, we all have to warn our children about the dangers of the world—strangers, bullies, which streets not to walk down. But there’s a special pain in explaining to my sons the suspicion and dangers they face, simply by being young black men.” How well we know, MoveOn, how well we know. I also asked AM to write this post because she and her two sons, who are black, were called racist names, hurled insults at and intimidated by socialists, leftists (but I repeat myself) at last April 15th’s Tea Party in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Here’s what AM has to say about the Trayvon Martin situation. 

As I continue to read the absolutely tragic and senseless murder of Trayvon Martin in recent weeks, I run a spectrum of logical thoughts and feel an immense passion that his death was horrifying. It was a beautiful, young life shot down for absolutely no reason.

As a mom, with children only a few years younger than Trayvon, I am reminded of the things I must teach them. I live in a neighborhood probably similar to Trayvon’s. It is racially mixed of working class people. After dark, the neighborhood has a different feel. People occasionally walk down the street you have never seen in daylight. The neighborhood park gets a cursory check from the local beat officer to check for nefarious activities. It has a dark side that comes out at night.
What do I teach my kids?
The Author & One of her Sons
If you ever get pulled over by the police, do whatever they say, even if it is absolutely unfair. Do not put your hands in your pockets. Call us when you can. We’ll be there. Getting into a misunderstanding with the police can cost you your life. 
You wear a belt. If I see your “business”, you walk around the rest of the day with no pants, because it’s the same result. Plus, you are sending a signal that you identify yourself a certain way. It is a signal you don’t want to send.
Don’t wear certain colors, and no bandanas. Wearing those can send wrong signals again. 
So apparently, I also need to cut my kid’s wardrobe in half because hoodies seem to send an inadvertent message too. I am in the same boat, in this case. As the 43 year old mom, I wear hoodies all the time. 
However, in all of this sadness, I will not do this. I will not sign any petition that delineates the lines of color in this situation. Why? 
Yelling Racist & Homophobic Taunts at Tea Partiers 4/15/11
Two reasons. I am out and about in my neighborhood late at night. I am a runner. I run four plus miles through my neighborhood after 9 pm, often. I also run late at night wearing a hoodie. I have seen people in hoodies walking through my neighborhood. In the dark of night with the only light coming from an occasional street light, I know you cannot identify a person’s race unless you are under a street light right next to them.
That communicates to me one thing, the race issue of this outrage is media induced, not racially motivated. 
Also, violence is violence is violence is violence. The alleged shooter is 26 year old George Zimmerman. In this tragedy, while I don’t think George could necessarily see Trayvon’s race, I think he acted in pure, unadulterated violence. He shot a person who showed no immediate threat of life or limb. There was no immediate threat. George acted in violence because, at best, he was spooked. 
So give me a petition to sign that speaks out against spooked neighborhood watch volunteers that are armed, I will sign it.
Send me a petition to require neighborhhod watch volunteers to attend safety training, I will sign it.
Place the petition in front of me demanding justice for senseless violence and murders of unsuspecting victims minding their own business, I will sign it.
Ask me to message my civic leaders warning them that middle aged moms runs in hoodies late at night, I will sign it. 
However if you place a petition in front of me adding any delineation of race, I won’t sign it. Don’t ask me to send an email to a community leader in protest of racial violence. I won’t do it. 
As long as we continue to make senseless violence race-against-race based, the argument will always focus on race instead of on the victims, the violence, the injustice, and perpetrators. We will always have our focus in the wrong place.
Guess what? My kids and myself have been the victims of what Portland’s city code defines as “hate speech”. We were standing at a peaceful rally 4/15/2011 while having racial charged epithets hurled at myself and my kids. Does it matter the perpetrator of such hate speech towards my kids and others is a black man himself? It makes it kind of twisted and ironic, but it doesn’t change the fact the man broke the law yelling those hideous words. 
I have asked numerous times for Mayor Sam Adams meet with me, discuss this with me, and speak out against this kind of behavior. He has refused my requests each and every time. My kids learned several racially charged words that day that, as a mother, I had hoped they would never hear. Instead, I got the privilege of explaining them. 
So while I get my story is not in the same camp in terms of severity as the Trayvon Martin case (thankfully) if you take the idea of race out of what happened to me, then the focus is no longer on the races in my family. It is on the violence and keeps the focus where it belongs. It also gives leaders of our community (Hello! Calling Sam Adams to speak out against hate speech!) laser focus, go after the perpetrators instead of who is giving and receiving the violence. Same for the Trayvon Martin case. The focus is to bring justice to the perpetrator instead of what race the players were. 

 Violence is violence is violence. All of us have the potential to be a victim of a senseless crime and I will always speak out against that and keep the focus where it belongs.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bernie Giusto: Trayvon Martin: Is Justice Delayed A Right Denied?


When a violent action takes the life of a child senselessly and perhaps criminally, it fuels our collective anger.

Violence intrigues us. When violence involves our children it focuses and motivates us. We expect police and prosecutors to act in the interest of justice for all and pursue that justice quickly.

That did not happened in the case of Trayvon Martin.

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin on February 26th has  focused us on finding answers to such a seeming injustice. But answers have been slow in coming. There’s been near silence from authorities. Angry citizens, partisan operatives and political charlatans have filled the void with their anger and conjecture. The anger has begun boiling over.

Some of it is justified. 

What is missing is the pursuit of timely justice. But the risk is that the more hastily we try to find the fix –and fix the blame–the less we will really learn. The lesson should be more about what didn’t happen leading to Trayon’s death than the justice we seek for his family now. 

If we settle blame for this awful event on laws such as “Carry Concealed” or “Stand your Ground”, we are just cheating ourselves. We are surely doomed to chase the results of violence; not solve the obvious reasons it happened. 

Regardless of the final finding of this investigation into why George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, this fact cannot be ignored: This predictable national firestorm over the death or race– or whatever motivates us– has as much to do with police inaction and prosecutorial politics as it does the act itself.  

That is not to blame the police for the death of Trayvon Martin but more for not addressing actions of George Zimmerman before he acted out in his misdirected need to protect the neighborhood. 

I don’t blame the prosecution for the death of Trayvon Martin, but I blame this national fallout on the decision to not take the facts to a grand jury in a timely manner.  

This is not a complicated criminal investigation, at least not on its face. I don’t mean to imply the implications are not complex nor the details unimportant. But even if I don’t have all the facts I have the instincts that come with a 34 year law enforcement career.

If the State’s Attorney believed Florida’s new “Stand Your Ground Law” gave George Zimmerman such clear justification to use deadly force after two or three weeks of investigation, then clearly they should have had the confidence to take those fact to a Grand Jury. If all was legal they would have been presented with a Not True Bill for criminal prosecution.
 
Without a doubt the Grand Jury should have been convened even with extended investigation timelines. If the facts surrounding the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin would lead any reasonable person to believe that Zimmerman’s action were outside of the intent of “Stand Your Ground” law or any other self defense measure then the same is true, only this time perhaps with a different Grand Jury result. In either case, Skittles versus a firearm makes the choice to act timely very clear. Authorities needed to preserve the confidence of the community that race was not involved in the decision. Instead Stamford got inaction which led to anger.

Justice for Trayvon Martin depended on it.  

Certainly the Sanford Community and it looks to be that the entire nation believes the same.

The greatest blame however may lie at the doorstep of the Sanford Police Department. George Zimmerman, regardless of his guilt or innocence based on whatever rationale in this deadly situation, was a problem waiting for a tragedy. If I am not convinced that he shot Trayvon Martin as an act of racial prejudice, I am confident it was only a matter of time until he patrolled the neighborhood long enough to find a different Trayvon Martin. 

I hate to bring superheroes like Batman into this matter, but Riddle Me These:
·        What is a person arrested for, Assault on a Police Officer doing with a concealed weapons permit?  
·        Why after 30 or 40 or 50 calls to 911 or other Emergency Dispatch did the Sanford Police Department not go face to face with Zimmerman in the weeks or months prior to February 26th and, in no uncertain terms, inform him that he was acting outside of the prescribed methods of Neighborhood Watch?
·        Is there a doubt that George Zimmerman’s over zealousness stood out and was not known to Sanford Police?

It is beyond obvious to experienced law enforcement that Zimmerman’s enthusiasm as the self appointed neighborhood Green Lantern needed the attention and intervention of the real police in a direct and professional manner.

Justice for George Zimmerman depended on it. 

I will never accept the argument that the police are there to react and react alone. This Chief of Police and Sheriff always believe that the first purpose of the Justice System in policing a community is to intervene and intervene appropriately when our developed instinct through experience signals that there is a clearly identified problem needing police action not reaction.

Allowing a “problem” situation to go un-policed is not only irresponsible it is dangerous. Intervening does not mean someone necessarily should be arrested. In fact arrest is only a vehicle of justice. However, if we delay the early intervention of the justice process long enough someone will be arrested. In this case young Trayvon’s right to longer life may have been denied. 

There will be many take-aways from the death of Trayvon Maartin. We cannot and should not avoid or ignore a just debate about race and its influence in this tragedy. We can imagine we are in pursuit of justice for all or we can actually believe that justice starts long before the demands for retribution.

George Zimmerman will be arrested. Instead of justice dispensed early or even too late by his community, now the federal government will impose a different form of justice. Zimmerman’s rights won’t be denied, they just will be different. Blame Zimmerman for his actions. Blame the police and prosecutors for the disconnect created between the early justice he did not get and the rights that could have been afforded him. …Even the right to make a different decision about February 26th.

From two different centuries we can find insight into this debacle. William E Gladstone, the four-term Prime Minister of England during the 19th century, contributed this quote in pursuit of a just society, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
Then in the past century Dr. Martin Luther King offered this…”A right delayed is a right denied”. Is it a coincidence that these quotes connect?  Is it possible Dr. King knew that the connection between the pursuits of justice means more than getting even and were inextricably linked to our understanding of how best our rights as individuals are protected and preserved?

It is probable these two forward looking leaders of their time would have been connected at the hip in these beliefs? By the way, one is black and the other white.

Bernie Giusto is a 34 year law enforcement professional. He’s the former Multnomah County Sheriff, former Gresham Police Chief and former OSP Trooper.
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

mcginn no trafficking

In 2011, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn publically called on Village Voice Media to do more to protect Seattle’s children by ensuring no child was trafficked on its website Backpage.com. When they didn’t respond, he pledged to pull all city advertisements from the Village Voice owned publication the Seattle Weekly. Mayor McGinn’s leadership was a catalyst for advocacy action in Seattle. In response to the success of this campaign, Shared Hope International sent letters to over 50 mayors across the country with Village Voice Media connected publications encouraging them to follow Mayor McGinn’s leadership.
We need your voice. 
We’re asking you to send a letter asking your mayor to stand with Shared Hope International, 48 state Attorney Generals and nearly 100,000 clergy members and individuals in our fight to stop child sex trafficking and those who facilitate it.  

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$25.8 million
The projected revenue 
Backpage.com will earn this year from its adult section, a platform that law enforcement and service providers recognize as a major facilitation tool for pimps to traffic children.