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Arizona police ask: Now what?

A May 2010 file photo of a Tucson police officer responding to a report of a man with a gun in the city’s predominately Hispanic south side

Arizona’s police chiefs and county sheriffs hoped a U.S. Supreme Court ruling would settle their long-running debate on what role, if any, they should play in immigration enforcement. Instead, the justices’ decision to uphold the state’s “show me your papers” statute has left them with more questions than answers.

How long must officers wait for federal authorities to respond when they encounter someone illegal, especially given President Barack Obama’s new policy to only deport dangerous criminals and repeat offenders? If they release a person too soon, are they exposing themselves to a lawsuit from residents who accuse them of failing to enforce the law?

How do they avoid being sued for racial profiling? Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he anticipated no change in how he does his job, but that comes from someone who was accused of racially profiling Latinos in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department.

“We’re going to get sued if we do. We’re going to get sued if we don’t. That’s a terrible position to put law enforcement officers in,” said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose territory covers much of southern Arizona and who has long argued against his state’s requirement that local law enforcement be forced to ask about the legal status of anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

The justices on Monday unanimously approved the Arizona law’s most-discussed provision requiring police to check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons. But it struck down provisions allowing local police to arrest people for federal immigration violations. They also warned against detaining people for any prolonged period merely for not having proper immigration papers.

Feds set up hotline for immigration concerns
What the Supreme Court’s immigration ruling means for Arizonans
Immigration ruling leaves both parties scrambling
Supreme Court strikes down part of Ariz. law

The decision left police chiefs and sheriffs grappling with questions ranging from what justifies reasonable suspicion that someone is in the country illegally to how long officers must wait when federal authorities are slow to respond to a question on someone’s immigration status.

“It’s uncharted territory,” said Tony Estrada, sheriff of Santa Cruz County on the state’s southern border with Mexico. “It’s going to be challenging. It’s a complicated issue, and it’s not going to be solved by this particular decision.”

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor estimates the statute will result in 50,000 additional calls a year to federal immigration authorities in his city alone. That includes 36,000 arrests a year for suspects who are not booked into jail, typically for offenses like disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault, shoplifting, vandalism and driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit.

Those suspects, who would normally be released with a citation, must be booked into custody if immigration authorities “don’t answer the phone, they never call us back after we talk to them or whatever,” Villasenor said.

An estimated 14,000 inquiries a year will be for people encountered on street patrol who are not arrested, Villasenor said. They may raise suspicion for their manner of dress, language or other characteristics outlined in guidelines issues to law enforcement agencies statewide.

“I’m not sure (the federal government is) set up to accommodate that workload right now. I hope I’m wrong,” said Villasenor, who joined Dupnik and other law enforcement in voicing opposition to the 2010 law in a filing to the Supreme Court.

U.S. to stop deporting young illegal immigrants
Ariz. sheriff’s lawyers respond to federal suit

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledged concern about a flood of inquiries but signaled it would only deport people who meet its enforcement priorities. Those priorities are repeat immigration violators, people who pose a public safety or national security threat and recent border crossers.

“The Supreme Court’s decision raises the possibility of a significant increase in the number of inquiries, referrals and status verification inquiries from Arizona state authorities that will impact DHS’s immigration enforcement operations,” the department said Monday in a note to field offices.

Arpaio, the controversial Phoenix lawman known for his anti-immigration raids, said he was concerned whether federal agents will decline to pick up some illegal immigrants who are stopped by his deputies.

“I have my suspicions,” he said.

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Florida woman set on fire outside 7-Eleven: Police

Roosevelt Mondesir will head to jail for dousing his ex wife in gasoline and igniting her

 	Roosevelt Mondesir allegedly doused his ex-girlfriend on fire at a 7-Eleven in West Palm Beach, Fla.

A woman was severely burned Monday after being doused in gasoline and lit on fire outside a 7-Eleven store in South Florida in a dispute with the father of her child, police said.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman was severely burned Monday after being doused in gasoline and lit on fire outside a 7-Eleven store in South Florida in a dispute with the father of her child, police said.

The 34-year-old woman was waiting in her silver Mercedes at the store shortly before 3 a.m., Boynton Beach Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said. She was meeting her ex to pick up her 4-year-old son for whom they share custody.

Roosevelt Mondesir, 52, arrived in his white Jaguar without the boy and began throwing gasoline on the unidentified woman’s car and body, according to a police affidavit. She tried to run away, but police said the man chased her with a knife and then ignited her.

In graphic surveillance video, a man can be seen threatening a woman with a large knife, struggling in the doorway of the store. “Get away from me!” she can be heard shouting.

They disappear from view until she returns in a massive fireball, screaming and running around the parking lot.

fire01

Roosevelt Mondesir allegedly doused his ex-girlfriend on fire at a 7-Eleven in West Palm Beach, Fla. now.msn.com/YouTube

Officers searched by foot, with a police dog, and by helicopter before finding Mondesir several hours later in bushes near the 7-Eleven. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and was being treated for burns at Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach before being transferred to jail.

It was not known if he had yet obtained an attorney.

fire03

The woman, seen flailing on fire in the parking lot, suffered severe burns from the attack. now.msn.com/YouTube

The victim was not identified, but she is expected to survive. She was being treated at Delray Medical Center.

Police haven’t said what led to the attack.
Florida woman set on fire outside 7-Eleven: Police  

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Police: Mom found 3 adults dead in Minn. day care

By AMY FORLITI

A mother who dropped off her toddler at a home day-care on Monday returned a few minutes later to make a grisly discovery: three adults inside, shot to death.

The woman’s child was unhurt and no other children were at the day care at the time. Police had made no arrests by Monday evening, and were seeking a suspect in his mid-20s, believed to have fled on a BMX bicycle.

“It’s a tragic day for the city of Brooklyn Park,” Chief Michael Davis said. “We are going to bring whomever is responsible for this to justice.”

Two nearby community colleges were locked down for several hours after the shootings were reported at 6:30 a.m. Both had re-opened by Monday afternoon, even as police continued to search for a suspect with police dogs.

The day care, called Visions and Butterflies Child Care, is licensed to care for as many as 12 children. DeLois Brown, 59, is listed in state records as the license holder in good standing, with no adverse rulings or restrictions. The license is valid through February 2013.

No one responded to a call to the home Monday afternoon. Police did not release the identities of the victims or the woman who found them.

Police spokesman Todd Milburn gave this account:

The mother had just dropped off her toddler, speaking to someone at the house as she did so. As she was leaving the area, she saw a man on foot who seemed to be acting suspiciously.

The woman called the day care and was talking to someone when the line went dead. She returned to the home and found three people had been shot. She grabbed her child and called 911. Police confirmed the victims were dead when they arrived.

Milburn said the woman saw the same suspicious man on a bicycle when she returned to the day care.

Police said they had no information on how many children were typically cared for at Brown’s home, or when they were normally dropped off.

A neighbor, Hakeem Hughes, 18, said he heard screaming coming from the direction of the house around 6:30 a.m. but didn’t pay much attention because children often played outside the home. When he went to catch his bus to school, he said police told him to go back inside because a gunman was on the loose.

“I’m just shocked about it,” Hughes said. “They are good people. They are innocent people.”

A few hours after the shootings, police tape was stretched around the house, a gray split-level in a modest neighborhood with children’s toys in the fenced backyard. The Hennepin County sheriff’s crime lab van was parked outside, and authorities went in and out, carrying what appeared to be evidence to the van.

A small group of people stood in the street several houses down, sobbing and hugging each other.

Brown’s LinkedIn profile listed her as follow-up coordinator for Pink Purse Project Inc., a women’s and girls’ empowerment organization. She worked for nearly nine years in the nearby Osseo Area Schools system as a child care instructor and later child care site supervisor.

Ron Brown, DeLois’ brother-in-law, said DeLois had just moved her parents to Minnesota from the St. Louis area. He said his brother, Joseph, died in February, and DeLois brought her parents up to Minnesota from Illinois just last week so she could take care of them.

“She called us a week ago today, to say they made it back safe and sound with a truckload of furniture,” Ron Brown said.

Brown said DeLois and Joseph didn’t have any children together, but DeLois had some children before the pair were married.

A neighbor, Lisa Johnson, said that since Joseph died, the house had been busier, with more people coming and going. Johnson said she saw a moving van outside Brown’s home a week ago.

Police: Mom found 3 adults dead in Minn. day care

New Orleans Police Get Decades in Prison in Katrina Killings

By Margaret Cronin Fisk and Allen Johnson Jr

Four New Orleans police officers were sentenced to 38 to 65 years in prison for convictions including violating the civil rights of two people killed a week after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in New Orleans sentenced a fifth officer today to six years for covering up the crimes.

A federal jury in August convicted officers Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso of opening fire on unarmed black civilians on the city’s Danziger Bridge and conspiring with others to cover up their actions. The fifth, homicide detective Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, was convicted of conspiring to make the shootings appear justified.

“We hope that today’s sentences give a measure of peace and closure to the victims of this terrible shooting, who have suffered unspeakable pain and who have waited so patiently for justice to be done,” Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in an e-mailed statement. “The officers who shot innocent people on the bridge and then went to great lengths to cover up their own crimes have finally been held accountable for their actions.”

The civil rights violations caused the deaths of James Brissette and Ronald Madison, the jury found, which meant that the four officers directly involved faced a maximum punishment of life in prison. Bowen was sentenced to 40 years, Faulcon to 65, Gisevius to 40, Villavaso to 38, and Kaufman to six.

After Katrina

The shootings took place on Sept. 4, 2005, one week after Katrina flooded most of New Orleans and one day after stranded evacuees were airlifted and bused to safety.

A July 2010 indictment accused Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso of firing on a family on the east side of the Danziger Bridge, killing James Brissette, 17, and wounding four other people. The defendants said they were responding to a policewoman’s radio call of officers and rescue workers in danger.

The U.S. accused Faulcon of shooting Ronald Madison, a 40- year-old man with mental disabilities, on the other side of the bridge. The jury said Faulcon’s actions didn’t amount to murder.

Kaufman, the homicide detective, was charged with joining the officers in a conspiracy to conceal what happened at the bridge. Kaufman was convicted on 10 counts including obstruction of justice and fabrication of evidence.

Engelhardt said at the sentencing hearing today that he was restricted by federal guidelines or would have imposed shorter prison terms. He noted that Faulcon’s son was born after Katrina.

‘See His Father’

“He will never see his father outside a prison wall under this sentencing scheme,” Engelhardt said.

The judge said that five other police officers who pleaded guilty received much lower sentences. “One can only be astonished and deeply troubled by the plea bargains allowed in the Danziger Bridge matter,” he said.

At the time of the trial, Bowen, Gisevius and Villavaso were still on the force. Faulcon had left the department, and Kaufman was retired.

Attorneys for the four accused shooters depicted their clients at trial as dedicated officers who refused to abandon their posts, rescuing residents from Katrina’s floodwaters both before and after the shootings.

Responding to Gunfire

The defendants claimed they were responding to gunfire and that they believed the shooting victims were a danger to themselves and others. They also denied involvement in a cover- up.

The U.S. said at trial there was no evidence that any of the civilians had guns.

Engelhardt voided convictions on some counts in an Oct. 20 ruling.

Bowen was charged with kicking and stomping Madison as he lay “on the ground, alive but mortally wounded,” according to the indictment. Bowen denied the allegation, contending the witness who accused him of kicking Madison lied.

Engelhardt threw out the conviction on this count, finding the witness wasn’t credible and the government failed to provide evidence supporting the claim. “In fact, the government offered no evidence whatsoever that any type of kick or stomp, by any person, caused any bodily injury whatsoever to Madison,” Engelhardt wrote.

The U.S. also alleged that the defendants conspired to “cover up what happened on the bridge” by filing charges against Jose Holmes, a civilian who was injured on the bridge, and Lance Madison, brother of Ronald Madison.

The judge threw out convictions against Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso on the accusation of attempting to implicate Holmes. Engelhardt found that “the government failed to prove that any of these defendants specifically identified Jose Holmes by name.” He also threw out convictions on evidence grounds against Bowen and Gisevius over claims they attempted to implicate Lance Madison.

He upheld the jury’s convictions on the other counts.

The case is U.S. v. Bowen, 2:10-cr-00204, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

New Orleans Police Get Decades in Prison in Katrina Killings

Man considered victim, turned suspect in shooting

By GREG RISLING

PASADENA, Calif. — Police initially considered Oscar Carrillo a victim of an armed robbery and rushed to the spot where Carrillo claimed one of two young men pointed a gun in his face.

Now police are laying part of the blame for the fatal shooting of Kendrec McDade, whom officers believed was one of the armed thieves, on Carrillo, arresting him on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors are weighing whether to file charges.

Police say Carrillo admitted that he lied about the men being armed in a 911 call so officers would respond faster. “The actions of the 911 caller set the minds of the officers,” police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.

The unusual arrest raises questions about the role and responsibility of reporting crimes and led to criticism that police were deflecting the blame from officers.

“They can’t blame the caller because they shot an unarmed black man,” said Caree Harper, an attorney representing McDade’s family. “He didn’t pull the trigger and the officers can use discretion.”

Police arrested Carrillo on Wednesday, the same day that Harper called on authorities to prosecute him for filing a false police report.

Sanchez said a videotape shot near a taco truck where the alleged theft occurred shows a 17-year-old reaching into Carrillo’s car and allegedly grabbing both a backpack and a laptop computer. McDade acted as a “lookout” during the alleged burglary, Sanchez said.

Police declined to release the videotape

No weapons or the stolen items have been found.

The juvenile with McDade was charged with two counts of commercial burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of failure to register as a gang member as a condition of his probation.

Police said the teens matched descriptions provided by Carrillo, witnesses and surveillance footage.

Scott Thorpe, of the California District Attorneys Association, said he’s not aware of any cases in the state where prosecutors have filed charges against someone for the consequences of a false 911 call.

On the call, the dispatcher asked: “Do they have any weapons?”

“Yeah, they have a gun,” Carrillo replied.

McDade was spotted in an alley about two blocks from the spot where Carrillo told police he’d been robbed, Sanchez said. McDade ran from police until an officer used the police cruiser to block his path in an alley and rolled down his window, authorities said.

McDade made the motion at his waistband and the officer opened fire, police said. A second officer who was chasing McDade on foot also opened fire. McDade, a Citrus College student and a high school football standout, died at a nearby hospital.

As the nation focuses on the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman, the police shooting in Pasadena raises more questions about the role and responsibility of those who report or witness crimes.

While experts say it’s not uncommon for people to exaggerate the circumstances of a crime — especially if they are the victim — most are unaware about the importance of their role in an emergency response and the potential consequences.

As the nation focuses on the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman, the police shooting in Pasadena raises more questions about the role and responsibility of those who report or witness crimes.

While experts say it’s not uncommon for people to exaggerate the circumstances of a crime — especially if they are the victim — most are unaware about the importance of their role in an emergency response and the potential consequences.

Police haven’t charged Zimmerman, who has a white father and Hispanic mother. That has set off widespread public outrage and protests across the country.

Pasadena police haven’t released the officers’ names or their ethnicities.

Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, said that like the Martin case, the Pasadena shooting highlights the need for a continuing discussion about racial profiling.

“The bigger picture is bias and racism,” said Mitchell, secretary of the Legislative Black Caucus. “And while the particulars of the two cases may be different — while the perpetrator who actually fired the weapon may be different — the fact of the matter is two young black men are dead.”

The Los Angeles County of Independent Review will investigate McDade’s shooting, Sanchez said.

Harper, the McDade family attorney, said she is considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit but will hold off on any decisions until a full investigation is done.

“We will let the police do their investigation but we are mindful of the facts as they stand now are suspicious,” Harper said. “To continue to perpetrate the story they are giving only exacerbates the family’s emotional distress.”

Man considered victim, turned suspect in shooting

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