New Berlin Wisconsin Bus Driver Fired After Telling 12 Year Old Student He Should Have Been “Aborted” Because His Family Had Romney Sign In Their Yard

October 11, 2012

NEW BERLIN, WISCONSIN – A bus driver told a 12 year-old student that he should have been aborted because his family had a Romney-Ryan sign in their yard.
Freedom Eden reported:

Mark Belling discussed this story on his radio program yesterday. It’s another tale of a Leftist behaving badly.

The Leftist, a 78-year-old woman, a New Berlin school bus driver, has been harassing a student on her bus route because there’s a Mitt Romney yard sign at his home.

The child attends a Catholic school in New Berlin. He rides a Durham school bus. The company also provides service to the New Berlin public school district.

Belling read a letter from the 12-year-old boy’s mother, detailing the alleged abusive behavior by the bus driver.

Apparently, the Romney-Ryan yard sign bugs the bus driver and she’s been harassing the boy, making rude comments to him related to politics.

When the driver engaged the 12-year-old boy in a political conservation, he responded by saying that Obama is pro-abortion.

The bus driver allegedly said to the child, “Maybe your mom should have chosen abortion for you.”

Understandably, this really upset the boy. Other kids on the bus verified the boy’s account and are providing written statements.

The mom made her son’s school aware of the situation. She also went to Durham School Service in New Berlin and spoke to Michael Bennett, the manager.

UPDATE: The bus driver was fired after the report on Mark’s show.

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Milwaukee Police Killed Man In 2011 By Ignoring His Pleas For Help, Let Him Suffocate In Back Of Patrol Car – City Leaders Scrambling After Medical Examiner’s Office Is Finally Provided Police Reports, Squad Car Video, And Revises Cause Of Death

September 23, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – After learning a 22-year-old man’s death in police custody had been revised to homicide, a group of leaders met Sunday night to brainstorm ways to mount a community response.

The Journal Sentinel reported Sunday that the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office has revised its ruling on the death of Derek Williams, who died in Milwaukee police custody in July 2011, from natural to homicide, according to the district attorney’s office.

If Williams had gotten immediate medical attention, he would not have died in the backseat of a squad car while Milwaukee police officers ignored his pleas for help, James Hall, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said Sunday.

Hall and other civil rights and community leaders gathered Sunday at a church on N. 2nd St. to discuss the death.

The group urged everyone in the community to watch the video from the squad car camera showing officers disregarding Williams for more than 7 minutes as he writhes around gasping for air.

In making his initial determination of natural death more than a year ago, Assistant Medical Examiner Christopher Poulos did not review all of the police reports or a squad video recently obtained by the newspaper.

The video shows a handcuffed Williams, his eyes rolled back, gasping for breath and begging for help in the back seat of a Milwaukee police car as officers ignore his pleas. The police reports include key details about Williams’ arrest that the medical examiner didn’t know.

As a result of the new ruling, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has reopened the investigation into whether criminal charges are warranted against any of the officers involved.

Williams, who had gotten out of jail earlier in the day after being arrested on municipal warrants for loitering, vandalism and assault, fled from police after attempting to rob a couple near the intersection of N. Holton and E. Center streets, according to the reports.

His death shows that change is needed in Milwaukee, said Keith Bailey, of Milwaukee Matters, a local non-proft advocacy group.

Citizens need to let elected officials know: “We can’t take this anymore,” Bailey said. “We will not allow another person to perish the way that Derek Williams Jr. perished in the back of a police cruiser,”

Attorney Jonathan Safran, who represents Williams’ long-term girlfriend and their three young children, said this case is among the worst he’s had.

“The video is one of the most troubling things I have ever seen … it’s simply unconscionable to watch what happens in the back of that squad car.”

Safran said he receives calls daily from people who claim they have been victims of excessive force by the police department and the issue doesn’t get appropriately addressed.

He’s calling on the U.S. attorney’s office to take the case.

“The district attorney’s office is not the agency to be reviewing this. It’s the officers they work with on a daily basis,” Safran said.

Chisholm, the Police Department and the Fire and Police Commission previously had cleared the officers of wrongdoing, largely based on the medical examiner’s earlier ruling of natural death.

In an earlier interview with the Journal Sentinel, Chisholm emphasized that the revised finding does not mean a crime was committed.

In a statement, Milwaukee police Chief Edward Flynn said he did not expect any officers to be criminally charged as a result of the new ruling.

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Obama’s Having Difficulty Pushing His “Change” Fantasy This Time Around

September 23, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — Change, President Obama’s most basic rationale for reelection, remains his toughest sell.

Throughout the campaign, in high-profile speeches and private remarks, Obama has sought to maintain the theme that powered his 2008 bid for the White House, arguing that a vote for him is a vote for a new day in Washington.

He has said his reelection will “break the fever” of partisanship in Washington. He’s told voters that “only you can break the stalemate” that has crippled the divided government.

On Saturday, he raised the idea by pointing out that members of Congress had just left town for the campaign season without resolving many disputed issues of taxes and government spending.

Later, in remarks to a crowd at the Milwaukee Theater, Obama issued a call for the kind of change he suggested only a movement of the people can bring about.

“I’ve always said change takes more than one term, one president, one party,” Obama said. “It doesn’t happen if you write off half the nation before you take office. It happens when you include everybody…. Everybody gets involved.”]

It’s a slightly awkward argument for the president, who essentially is asking voters to demand something different from Washington while opting for the familiar with a vote for him.

The dilemma is a perennial one for all incumbents, but it is particularly acute for this president, a man who just four years ago distilled his first campaign’s slogan to just the one word.

Obama has tried variations on the “change” theme throughout his campaign. He has asked voters to guard the change that’s already occurred. He’s put the onus on voters, saying, “You are the change.”

The latter riff shot to prominence this week when challenger Mitt Romney’s campaign and other Republicans cast his remarks as a white flag — an acknowledgment that Obama was giving up on his promise to change Washington.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan renewed the complaint on Saturday. As Obama made his way to Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin for several campaign stops, Ryan mocked Obama’s “change equation.”

“Why do we send presidents to the White House in the first place?” Ryan told a crowd in Miami. “We send presidents to change and fix the mess in Washington, and if this president has admitted that he can’t change Washington, then you know what? We need to change presidents.”

The candidate of “Yes, we can” has become the president of “no, I can’t,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Saturday.

The back-and-forth demonstrates the potential potency of the change message — particularly as the most disaffected of voters tune in for the final stretch of the campaign. With a stagnant economy and a pile of problems awaiting the next president, the candidate who can position himself as change agent may still hold a fierce weapon in this election.

Obama’s hurdles are considerable. If he is reelected, not even his campaign is expecting the victory to be a result of the sort of Democratic wave necessary to wrest control of the House of Representatives from Republicans or give Democrats the overwhelming majority needed to have their way in the Senate. In other words, January 2013 would look much like June 2012 — divided government.

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Savage Black Beast Whore Sentenced In Milwaukee Wisconsin To Just 18 Years In Prison For Killing John Who Tried To Kiss Her – Short Sentence In Sweet Plea Deal With Prosecutors Against Wishes Of Her Victim’s Family

September 21, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – A 19-year-old woman who strangled a man because he repeatedly tried to kiss her during a prostitution encounter last fall was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison.

Precious Dupriest pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Billy W. Murray, 63, who was found naked with red suspenders wound around his neck in a room at the Village Inn, 3001 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Oct. 18, 2011.

Her attorney said events that night became “a perfect storm” for the violent reaction, after a life full of trauma for Dupriest that included early abandonment, violent sexual abuse and drug addiction.

She had been charged with first-degree intentional homicide but pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than 20 years. In addition to the 18 years, she will serve another 10 years on extended supervision.

Police tracked down Dupriest from video that showed her leaving the hotel in Murray’s car, which she later traded to someone for $50. She told detectives Murray had picked her up on the street and asked if she wanted to get high and have sex.

The two went to the Village Inn and smoked $40 of crack when Murray started trying to kiss her, she told investigators, an act she found “disgusting.” When he persisted, she choked him to unconsciousness, then strangled him with a pair of red suspenders to make sure he was dead.

In court Friday, the victim’s family asked Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Ellen Brostrom for 60 years. Dupriest “put out the light,” that was his brother’s life, said Thomas Murray. More than a dozen family and friends from several states came to court, and many more sent letters about Murray, the judge indicated.

Dupriest’s father also appeared. Robert Bartleson apologized to his daughter for not being a better father to her, then told Brostrom how he had battled crack addiction himself and left his family when Precious was just 2 to move to Arkansas.

After he cleaned up his own life, he said, he tried repeatedly to have Precious live with him and his wife in Arkansas but said he met resistance from social workers waiting for Precious’ mother to overcome her own drug problems.

Dupriest said she hates herself for what she’s done, but is currently sober after 342 days in jail and has learned from her mistakes.

“I just ask that you please have mercy,” she told Brostrom.

The judge noted Dupriest’s sincere remorse, young age and traumatic childhood, and the altered state while high on crack, but said the seriousness of the crime and huge loss to Murray’s family demanded a serious prison term.

Brostrom called Dupriest’s two dozen foster care placements “an absolute travesty,” but told Dupriest she could find redemption even in a prison term, because when it’s done she will have paid her debt to society and be able to “turn the page” and move on with a better sense of self-worth and years of treatment and education.

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Mukwonago Wisconsin Students Strike Against New Federal School Lunch Laws – “Freshman Girl Who Weighs 100 Can Eat This Lunch And Fell Completely Full…” But Others Left Starving

September 18, 2012

MUKWONAGO, WISCONSIN – By 7 a.m. Monday, senior Nick Blohm already had burned about 250 calories in the Mukwonago High School weight room.

He grabbed a bagel and a Gatorade afterward; if he eats before lifting, he gets sick.

That was followed by eight periods in the classroom, and then three hours of football practice. By the time he headed home, he had burned upward of 3,000 calories – his coach thinks the number is even higher.

But the calorie cap for his school lunch? 850 calories.

“A lot of us are starting to get hungry even before the practice begins,” Blohm said. “Our metabolisms are all sped up.”

Following new federal guidelines, school districts nationwide have retooled their menus to meet new requirements to serve more whole grains, only low-fat or nonfat milk, daily helpings of both fruits and vegetables, and fewer sugary and salty items. And for the first time, federal funds for school lunches mandate age-aligned calorie maximums. The adjustments are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 touted by Michelle Obama and use the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The changes are hard to swallow for students like Blohm. On Monday, 70% of the 830 Mukwonago High students who normally buy lunch boycotted cafeteria food to protest what they see as an unfair “one size fits all thing.” Middle schoolers in the district also boycotted their school lunches, with counts down nearly half Monday. They’re not alone in their frustration; schools across the country are reporting students who are unhappy with the lunch offerings.

The sub sandwich line at Mukwonago High used to let students pile veggies on a six-inch French bread bun. Options now include a fist-sized whole wheat roll or multigrain wrap, and the once popular line is now mostly empty.
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Milwaukee Wisconsin Police Officer Erin K. Lelinski Suspended After Drunken Wreck

September 14, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Milwaukee police Officer Erin K. Lelinski has been suspended for 30 days for driving drunk and becoming involved in a crash while off duty, according to the Fire and Police Commission.

The crash occurred around 9:20 p.m. June 7 outside Lucky’s Irish Pub, 789 W. Layton Ave., according to a complaint Chief Edward Flynn filed with the commission. The complaint does not indicate whether another vehicle was involved in the crash or whether anyone was injured. Lelinski’s blood-alcohol level was 0.21, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Wisconsin, the complaint says.

Lelinski was hired as a police officer in 2000. Her previous disciplinary record includes only an official reprimand for missing court, according to her personnel record.

A Journal Sentinel investigation published in October found that at least 93 Milwaukee police officers had been disciplined for violating the laws and ordinances they were sworn to uphold. Of those, 35 were disciplined by the department after being arrested for off-duty drunken driving since they were hired.

After the newspaper shared its findings with Flynn, he rolled out a new program to help officers deal with alcohol-related issues.

Since then, at least a half-dozen more officers have been disciplined for driving drunk, not including Lelinski.

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Savage Black Beasts Charged In Milwaukee Wisconsin After Giving Their 14 Year Old Son A Handgun That He Used To Murder

September 7, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The parents of a 14-year-old boy accused of killing a man were charged Friday with providing the gun allegedly used by the boy to shoot the victim multiple times, according to a criminal complaint.

Jammie Lewis Yerks, 42, of Milwaukee was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime/use of a dangerous weapon. Chacette M. Buchanan, 35, of Menasha was charged with intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child resulting in death, party to a crime.

The boy is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide in the fatal shooting of Dennis Smith Jr., 27, of Milwaukee, on Aug. 18 in the 2300 block of W. Keefe Ave. The Journal Sentinel is not identifying the boy because he could be waived into juvenile court. Bail for the boy is set at $500,000, and he is in custody at the Milwaukee County Children’s court center.

An autopsy revealed Smith suffered at least 23 entrance and exit wounds as a result of the shooting that stemmed from a fight between him and the boy, according to a criminal complaint.

According to witness accounts cited in the complaint that charges Yerks and Buchanan:

Smith became involved in an argument with the boy on the morning of Aug. 18. At one point, he brandished a handgun, which he then tucked in his waistband.

Smith also pushed the boy twice, causing him to fall into a porch rail, before a companion of the boy called the boy’s father and told him to bring a gun.

A short time later Yerks and Buchanan pulled up in a car driven by Yerks. He passed a large black gun to Buchanan, who then gave it to the boy.

The boy then fired a volley of shots, striking Smith. He paused and then fired several more shots.

“He showed no mercy,” one witness told police.

The complaint does not address whether a handgun was found on Smith.

After killing Smith, according to the complaint, the boy got into Yerks’ car and they fled.

Buchanan then called a son who lives in Menasha, telling him to drive to Milwaukee to pick up the 14-year-old because the boy had “gotten into trouble.”

On Aug. 31 the boy and his parents were arrested at the Menasha home of Buchanan’s son, according to the complaint.

Yerks, who has a previous record for theft, issuing worthless checks and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, was being held in the Milwaukee County Jail Friday. Bail was set at $500,000.

If convicted Yerks could be sentenced to life in prison.

Buchanan, who has a previous conviction for disorderly conduct, also was in jail Friday. Her bail was set at $500,000. If convicted she could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

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Racine County Wisconsin Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz Releases Child Molester Facing 290 Year Prison Sentence So He Can Go To The Doctor – Asst. DA Robert Repischak Didn’t Object To His Release

August 18, 2012

RACINE, WISCONSIN — In an unusual move, a Racine County judge on Thursday agreed to release a man from jail almost 16 months after he was arrested on accusations he repeatedly molested two girls for years.

George Gutierrez, 48, has been jailed since mid-April of 2011, charged with more than a dozen crimes including repeated sexual assault of a child and child enticement. The charges were filed last year after two girls told investigators he allegedly forced them to perform oral sex on him and he touched them inappropriately, according to his criminal complaint.

Until Thursday evening, Gutierrez had been held in the Racine County Jail on a $75,000 cash bond.

But Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz said he was re-evaluating the bond terms because it was such “a very unusual request:” Gutierrez wanted to be released without paying the money so he can visit a neurologist at a Chicago-area hospital. Four tumors were found to be growing more than anticipated and he might undergo brain surgery to remove them.

“I have no problem with whatever hospital you go to for a neurological evaluation,” Gasiorkiewicz said during Thursday’s hearing. “The reason the court is granting you leave is so that you can attend to your medical needs.”

Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak said he didn’t object to modifying Gutierrez’s bond.

Gasiorkiewicz agreed to grant Gutierrez’s release from jail Thursday evening so he can receive medical treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and possibly at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

But Gasiorkiewicz said additional terms include being required to live with his mother, Otilia Anderson, in Amery, Wis.; being placed on global positioning system monitoring; and having no contact with the victims or any underage children. Gasiorkiewicz also banned him from being in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Walworth counties except while en route to the Chicago area for medical appointments.

Gutierrez’s mother — who maintains her son’s innocence and said the girls’ accusations are made up — said his next appointment is today in Chicago.

Anderson said the three bone growths on top of his brain aren’t cancerous, but they don’t yet know about the fourth, located at the base of his skull.

Defense attorney Mark Nielsen said the masses — which Gutierrez has had for a while — were found to be growing more than expected after he received a CT scan in December because another inmate assaulted him.

According to Racine County sheriff’s reports, the attack occurred at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 13. Gutierrez sat on a bench and didn’t strike back during the alleged attack. An inmate punched Gutierrez in the head at least five times, correctional officers reported.

His next hearing is Oct. 25.

If convicted on all 14 counts, Gutierrez could face a maximum of 290 years behind bars.

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16 Year Old Savage Black Beast Charged With Killing Man While Robbing Milwaukee Wisconsin Grocery Store – Found Guilty 2 Months Ago Of Robbery, But Already Back On The Streets

August 17, 2012

A teenager found guilty in June, as a juvenile, of robbery was charged as an adult Friday with killing a man while trying to rob a grocery store on Milwaukee’s north side.

Deangelo Williams, who turned 16 April 23, was charged with being party to the crime of first-degree-reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon in the death of Dalbir Singh, 56.

Singh was shot to death Wednesday night at Harmony Foods, 3821 W. Locust St.

Williams was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon because of being found guilty in juvenile court June 5 of robbery, use of force before Judge Pedro Colon.

The complaint does not indicate whether Williams was sentenced and court records from the case were not available Friday afternoon.

According to the complaint in the homicide case, Singh and the owner of the store were exiting the business through a rear door at closing time when Williams appeared waving a handgun.

The two men managed to get back inside and were holding the door shut when Williams shot through the door, striking Singh in the forehead, according to the complaint.

If convicted Williams could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison.

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Case Against Man Charged With Multiple Counts Of Armed Robbery In Jeopardy After Racine County Wisconsin Prosecutor Failed To Keep Track Of Witnesses They Planned Use During Trial

August 17, 2012

RACINE, WISCONSIN — A Racine man jailed on armed robbery charges — who netted more charges after allegedly beating up and trying to rob fellow jail inmates — did not go on trial Tuesday as initially scheduled.

That’s because three prosecution witnesses have moved and prosecutors don’t have their new addresses, a Racine County prosecutor said in court Tuesday, the day Milton McCain Johnson, 19, was set to go on trial for a string of November 2010 armed robberies and an attempted armed robbery.

Investigators are trying to find the witnesses but haven’t located them yet, Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak said.

“I would not be able to proceed without them,” Repischak said.

McCain Johnson is charged with attempted armed robbery and two counts of armed robbery after he allegedly robbed two Racine businesses on Nov. 2, 2010, and tried to rob a gas station on Nov. 1, 2010, according to his criminal complaint.

Defense attorney Pamela Popken on Tuesday asked Racine County Circuit Judge Tim Boyle to dismiss the November 2010 armed robberies and attempted armed robbery charges.

“Mr. McCain Johnson has been in custody since Nov. 3, 2010, which is a substantial period of time,” she said.

But Boyle wasn’t biting.

He said since another, unrelated case was going to trial on Tuesday, he continued McCain Johnson’s case to Sept. 7. During that hearing, he told Repischak, he wants to know whether prosecutors have tracked down those witnesses.

“I will either have that information or advise the court we were unable to locate them,” Repischak said.

Boyle rescheduled McCain Johnson’s trial for Dec. 18 on the November 2010 incidents.

McCain Johnson allegedly tried to rob Raytown Enterprises Citgo on Nov. 1, 2010, and then purportedly stole $125 from Taqueria Los Willy’s and $122 from Dollar Tree on Nov. 2, 2010, according to his criminal complaint.

While jailed for those alleged offenses, McCain Johnson was accused last year of beating up and trying to rob other inmates at the Racine County Jail. Last May, McCain Johnson was charged as a repeater with two counts of battery by a prisoner, attempted robbery, substantial battery and disorderly conduct for allegedly beating and attempting to rob fellow inmates between April 14 and April 21, 2011, in the Racine County Jail.

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Suspended Veteran Fitchburg Wisconsin Fireman Capt. Robert Rittenhouse Quits After Relationship With High School Student

August 9, 2012

FITCHBURG, WISCONSIN – A captain in the Fitchburg Fire Department has resigned amid allegations he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old high school student in a cadet program he supervised.

Robert Rittenhouse, 52, a 20-year department veteran, denied the allegations Wednesday, and an investigation by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office found no basis to file criminal charges after the cadet also denied that anything inappropriate occurred, said Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

But Fitchburg officials say they are conducting an internal investigation based on a 40-page report of the Sheriff’s Office investigation that suggests a history of inappropriate behavior by Rittenhouse involving underage youths and young men.

Rittenhouse, who was put on paid leave April 11, resigned effective July 31, said city administrator Tony Roach.

At his Madison home Wednesday, Rittenhouse said he has worked with young people in the Explorer and cadet program, and students at Madison Area Technical College, for more than 20 years and “nothing ever happened.”

Rittenhouse said he had also been the subject of an embezzlement investigation but was cleared and decided to retire because he “had enough.”

It has not been determined whether the cadet program will be offered during the coming school year, Roach said.

During the last school year, five Madison and McFarland high school students participated in the work-to-learn program that helps prepare students for careers in firefighting, Roach said.

According to the sheriff’s report:

A member of the cadet program said he saw numerous inappropriate text messages between Rittenhouse and another cadet on Rittenhouse’s cellphone between August 2011 and April 2012, including exchanges of “I love you.”

In another message, Rittenhouse allegedly told the cadet he was upset and crying because the cadet wasn’t spending enough time with him. Rittenhouse, who is friends with the cadet’s parents, bought a Firebird and other items for the cadet, who planned to eventually give Rittenhouse the money for it, and also let the cadet drive another car of his.

The cadet who reported the texts said he had experienced uncomfortable touching by Rittenhouse, who slapped his buttocks and pulled him by the waist so their bodies were touching during conversations.

A Fitch-Rona paramedic who had been in the Explorer program as a youth said Rittenhouse took him to a conference in 2003 when he was under 18, and their hotel room had just one bed.

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Feds “Looked At” Sikh Temple Gunman Repeatedly Prior To Rampage

August 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Federal investigators had “looked at” Sikh temple gunman Wade Michael Page more than once because of his associations with right-wing extremists and the possibility that he was providing funding to a domestic terrorist group, but law enforcement officials at the time determined there was not enough evidence of a crime to open an investigation, a senior U.S. law enforcement official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, would not say Monday which law enforcement agency had considered investigating Page, or when.

Before his rampage Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that left him and six others dead and three critically wounded, Page was known to civil rights groups as a member of two racist skinhead bands – End Apathy and Definite Hate. He was also believed to have been a low-level member of a national white supremacist group called the Hammerskins.

Racist skinhead bands and record labels have been known by law enforcement to raise money for extremist groups in the U.S.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center had tracked Page for several years. The nonprofit organizations collect publicly available information on hate groups from Web forums, pamphlets and other sources.

But the FBI is prohibited under federal law from collecting information on U.S. citizens not suspected of committing a crime. In order to open a domestic terrorism investigation, FBI agents must believe a suspect has threatened violence, has broken federal law and is trying to advance a political or social agenda.

This sets the bar high for opening a domestic terrorism case before someone has made a specific threat of violence or committed a crime.

The mayor of Oak Creek told CNN on Sunday that he was unaware of any signs that Page had been casing the temple in advance of the shooting.

“This happens a lot where somebody will come to your attention and you do a preliminary investigation of the guy’s activities and nothing pans out,” said Bob Blitzer, a retired FBI agent who was the domestic counterterrorism chief for the FBI from 1996 to 1998. Blitzer led the investigation into Timothy J. McVeigh after the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people, including 19 children.

“Some private groups collect a lot of information, but they can,” Blitzer said. “Law enforcement can’t.”

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Shooter At Wisconsin Sikh Temple Trained To Kill By US Army – FBI And ATF Investigate Dead Lone Wolf Killer As A “Domestic Terrorist” – Psychological Operations Specialist While In Military

August 6, 2012

WISCONSIN – The gunman who opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and killed six people has been identified as Army veteran Wade Michael Page.

Page, 40, opened fire outside the temple before entering around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and killed six people. He served in the Army from April 1992 through October 1998.

Page was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a police officer who sustained “eight or nine” gunshot wounds, authorities confirmed. Officials are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism.

Though police have not given any details on the motive of the shooter, but Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Special Agent Thomas Ahern said Page had tattoos that suggested he had ties to white supremacists.

“It is being investigated. And what his tattoos signified is being investigated. They are all pieces of a possible puzzle to learn what was his motive in carrying out such a horrific act,” Ahern said.

While in the Army Wade served as a sergeant, and later as a specialist based in Ft. Bliss in Texas and at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Wade’s job was as a Hawk missile system repairman, and he then became a psychological operations specialist, defense official confirmed to ABC news.

On Sunday the FBI and a bomb squad arrived at a home in Cudahy, Wis., near Oak Creek, and ABC News Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported the action appeared to be related to the temple shootings earlier in the day.

Authorities also were trying to trace a single, semiautomatic handgun recovered at the scene, sources told ABC News.

In addition to the seven confirmed dead, three people — two adult male civilians and a male police officer — were in critical condition and were being treated at a local hospital, said officials at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin.

Page was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with the wounded police officer outside the temple and was one of the seven dead.

“The officer stopped a tragic event that could’ve been a lot worse,” Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards told reporters.

Four people were found dead inside the temple and two others were found dead outside the building.

Edwards said authorities were treating the event as a domestic terrorism incident and the FBI would be conducting a full investigation.

“The FBI is working closely with the Oak Creek Police Department and other local and federal agencies to investigate today’s shooting incident,” FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said in a written statement. “This remains an active investigation in its early stages. While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time. We know our community has been deeply impacted by this incident, and our thoughts are with those affected and particularly with the officer who was wounded in the line of duty to protect others.”

Individuals attending Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, just south of Milwaukee, fled in all directions this morning when a gunman entered and began firing. Many hid in bathrooms or other rooms within the temple while the shooter attacked, according to police.

The president of the temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was preparing to deliver remarks when he became one of the shooting victims. His son, Amardeep Kaleka, spoke by phone with ABC News’ David Muir shortly after getting a call from the priest using his father’s phone.

“I picked it up immediately thinking it was my dad, but it was the priest and he was standing right next to him,” Kaleka said. “He told me right away that right now my father can’t speak. There’s too much blood coming out of his back area and we have to get ambulances in there right away.”

Soon, he heard briefly from his mother, also in hiding in the temple and asking for information about his father.

For images of the police response and ripples of shock and grief at the scene, click here.

Edwards said 911 calls began pouring into the police department around 10:25 a.m.

The first police officer to respond to the scene, a 20-year veteran on the police force, exchanged gunfire with the suspect and sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He underwent surgery at Froedtert Hospital, the main trauma center in the Milwaukee region, along with two other injured victims.

According to information broadcast over police radio, a witness to the shooting told law enforcement the shooter was a white male, bald, with a heavy build.

Police tactical teams spent more than four hours securing the temple and, at one point, police asked media outlets to stop broadcasting aerial footage from helicopters on television because of tactical operations at the scene.

Sikh Temple Shooting: ‘Ignorance Is Not Going to Get Us Anywhere’

Members of the Sikh community in Milwaukee expressed outrage at the shooting.

“They went to church not knowing that they might die today,” said Simran Kaleka, whose family was in the temple, according to ABC News Radio. “I don’t know how sick you have to be to do that, and I don’t know if it was directed toward the Sikh culture and them having turbans and having beards, but ignorance is not going to get us anywhere.”

For images of the police response and ripples of shock and grief at the scene, click here.

The wounded president of the temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, had recently hosted state Rep. Josh Zepnick and the county district attorney to discuss a recent rise in violence against area Sikhs at their stores and businesses, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“It’s gut wrenching,” Zepnick said today in response to the shooting. “It certainly makes you wonder about how just how far this epidemic of gun violence goes, where innocent people’s lives are put at risk in ordinary day-to-day situations. it makes me sick to my stomach.”

On Sundays, Sikh temples, called gurudwaras, serve a community meal at which anyone is welcome as part of their community service. The meal, known as a langar, follows the morning services.

The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India.

“Every single member of my family was inside that church,” Simran Kaleka said. “No matter who is shot and killed in there, it’s going to affect all of us out here because a lot of people are related here. And it’s just, for me, my life flashed before my eyes because it’s my whole family.”

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Horicon Wisconsin Police Officer Brandon Mantych Arrested For Drunk Driving And Having A Handgun In His Car

August 4, 2012

HORICON, WISCONSIN – An off-duty Horicon police officer was arrested Friday after being stopped for drunken driving, then having police find a handgun in the center console of his personal vehicle, authorities reported.

Brandon Mantych, 27, was arrested and tentatively charged by West Allis police with endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon and cited for operating while intoxicated, according to a news release from the Horicon Police Department.

Mantych was stopped for a moving violation by West Allis police, and an investigation by the officer resulted in the OWI. The endangering safety allegation stems from Mantych’s blood alcohol content being above the legal limit of 0.08, police said.

The gun found in his vehicle was a personal handgun and not his service handgun, the release said.

Horicon Police Chief Joseph Adamson said in the release that Mantych has been on the force for almost three years.

“He remains on the police department and has an otherwise good service record,” Adamson said.

Adamson could not be reached for comment to say whether Mantych has been suspended.

An internal investigation also will be conducted by city of Horicon officials and the Horicon Police Department, the release states.

West Allis is a Milwaukee suburb.

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Madison Wisconsin Police Officer Rudy Natera Suspended For 30 Days After Threatening Citizen Who Told Him To Get His Patrol Car Out Of Private Lot So Snow Plow Could Work

August 3, 2012

MADISON, WISCONSIN – A Madison police officer who violated department policy twice in January was suspended for 30 days without pay, according to the Madison Police Department’s Professional Standards and Internal Affairs Division.

An internal investigation found that on Jan. 17, after being contacted by a citizen who asked that he move his squad car from a private lot to facilitate plowing and business access, Officer Rudy Natera threatened the citizen with arrest.

Officials found Natera violated policies prohibiting “overbearing, oppressive, or tyrannical” behavior in relations with the public.

A summary of the investigation also said Natera had been disciplined previously for violating the same policy.

On Jan. 27 Natera had contact with another citizen regarding a disabled parking citation. During that contact, Natera discovered the citizen did not have a valid driver’s license and issued a traffic citation for driving after suspension. But the accompanying report contained “little if any documentation” of the citation, violating a department policy to file complete and accurate reports.

Natera had previously been disciplined for violating this policy.

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Drug Addict/Dealer Wife Of 30+ Year Veteran Tacoma Washington Police Officer Arrested For Selling Meth And Oxycodone

July 24, 2012

TACOMA, WASHINGTON – Police arrested the wife of a veteran Tacoma police officer for selling oxycodone and meth. Her arrest was result of a sting operation.

Cynthia Joy Roberts, 47, was charged on July 17 with three counts of unlawful possession and distribution of the drugs. She allegedly dealt drugs while her husband was at work.

“I watched from my window and they kept coming more and more and they brought dogs to search the house,” said neighbor Linda Hanson.

Roberts insists that her husband was not aware that she was selling drugs or of her addiction to painkillers. Roberts’ husband has been a member of the Tacoma Police Department for more than 30 years. The Pierce County Sheriff said that no charges will be filed against him. He will not be named since he is not being charged with any crime.

Police became familiar with Roberts after arresting two other individuals as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.

“We have nothing to show he was involved in it this was just as much a surprise to him as it was to us,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Det. Ed Troyer.

The two people arrested each told police they had been buying drugs from Roberts. One of them told police they had known her for more than a year and began purchasing drugs from her about six months ago.They also said that Roberts had a drug problem and would pay them to shoot her up with a cocktail of meth and painkillers, court documents stated.

After setting up the sting in which the two purchased drugs from Roberts, deputies pulled her over and a search of her vehicle revealed pills, pipes and gram scales.

Roberts posted bail at her arraignment and was released from jail.

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Unusual Plea Deal Requires Pedophile Leave The State Of Wisconsin – Two Counts Of Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Minor Disappear – Says He’s Headed For Texas

July 20, 2012

STURTEVANT, WISCONSIN — A Racine County trustee has been banished from the state of Wisconsin as part of a plea agreement.in a case involving allegations of misconduct with teen girls.

Former Sturtevant trustee John Thillemann has 60 days to move out of the state, and says he plans to move to Texas.

FOX6′s media partners at the Mt. Pleasant Patch say Racine County Sheriff’s deputies reportedly found pictures of girls in their underwear, pieces of stolen underwear and a log of girls that had come to Thillemann’s house.

A criminal complaint shows during an investigation deputies came across illegal weapons, and an AK-47 tucked under Thillemann’s bed.

The plea deal banishing Thillemann from the state was reached in light of a psychological examination. The district attorney and a family upset at Thillemann’s actions agreed to the move.

Neighbors who live near Thillemann say they can’t believe what has happened.

“It’s very surprising. We’ve live here our whole life. Nobody can believe it,” Gary Joyce said.

“I don’t think it’s fair. There are other ways around it, but getting banished from the state is a little extreme. Every time I came in contact with him or dealt with him, he seemed like a very nice guy,” Megan Jackson said.

Thillemann’s attorney says two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor were dropped. The attorney says the AK-47 was a souvenir from Thillemann’s time in the military

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Pedophile Langlade County Wisconsin Deputy Sheriff Michael Brayton Arrested, No Longer With Department, And Charged After Sex And Sexual Activity With Children

July 12, 2012

ANTIGO, WISCONSIN — A former Langlade County sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with 22 felonies Tuesday for alleged sexual activity with teenage girls.

Bail was set at $50,000 for Michael Brayton, 25, of Gleason. A judge ordered that he have no contact with girls younger than 18 if he makes bail.

Brayton remained in custody after his court appearance and does not have a listed phone number. Online court records do not list whether he has an attorney.

The charges include four counts of sexual assault of a child under 16, two counts of child enticement and 16 counts of exposing his genitals to children.

All are linked to incidents with four girls, ages 15 to 18, the Antigo Daily Journal reported (http://bit.ly/NeUDVj ).

The 32-page complaint alleges a pattern of behavior with girls from Elcho High School and heavy use of social media including Facebook and text messaging. It alleges Brayton and the girls became friendly and their relationships escalated to trading explicit photographs and several instances of physical contact with one girl.
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Milwaukee Police Officers Conducted Illegal Strip Searches And Body Cavity Searches – And Of Course Assaulted Those Who Resisted

May 30, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Seven officers and a supervisor at the Milwaukee police department have had their badges taken away after allegations surfaced that police have been conducting body cavity searches on suspects with no authority to do so.

Reports of officers arresting suspects then subjecting them to cavity searches first surfaced in local media in March. On Monday, after getting access to a police report, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that officers allegedly performed these searches on a routine basis.

One Milwaukee officer, Michael Vagnini, “had a reputation” for forcing suspects he believed had drugs in their body cavities to bend over for him, said defense attorney Alex Cossi, who handled a July 2011 case that alleges Vagnini searched his client and another suspect in the booking room.

“This was not a rogue happenstance. This was a tacit acceptance of strip searches without proper procedures or supervision,” Cossi told The Journal Sentinel.

Vagnini found suspected cocaine “between (their) butt cheeks,” the police report said.

Strip searches, which Wisconsin state law defines as searching “a detained person’s genitals, pubic area, buttock or anus, or a detained female person’s breast,” can only be performed by a doctor, physician’s assistant or registered nurse. The state law requires written permission before a strip search is conducted, unless there’s probable cause to believe the suspect is hiding a weapon.

Cossi said his client was not provided with written documents before Vagnini performed the cavity search, which is a strip search involving penetration, on him. Because improper tactics were used to find the cocaine, the drug dealing charge against Cossi’s client was thrown out, The Journal Sentinel reported.

It’s not clear how many allegations of cavity searches the Police Department is facing.

“A number of people came forward so that we have many more complaints than we certainly started out with,” Milwaukee police Chief Edward Flynn said at a news conference Wednesday on April 11. “Of those complaints, I’d say a significant majority of them are of a very similar nature, which indicates that we have more people to talk to than we initially had.”

An improper strip search carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, according to Wisconsin law.

Vagnini, six other officers and a supervisor, Sgt. Jason Mucha, have had their badges and guns taken away while the department investigates the claims.

In March, an alleged victim came forward to speak to NBC’s TMJ-4 to talk about his claim, which he said happened when he was only 15.

‘They slammed me on the ground’

Kevin Freeman Jr. told TMJ-4 he and his friends were violated during a traffic stop in December.

“When they searched me they eased their hands right between my butt. I tried to reach back and soon as I tried to reach back to stop them, they slammed me on the ground,” Freeman said.

It’s illegal to conduct a body cavity search outside, where people other than the one conducting the search could see it taking place.

Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne Schwartz told msnbc.com she could not comment on the matter since it was a pending investigation. Police chief Edward Flynn said in a news conference in March the cavity search complaints go back a couple of years. The department’s internal investigation will determine whether searches violated department policy, state law, or both, The Journal Sentinel said.

Improperly conducted body searches can be construed under Wisconsin law as sexual assaults because of their invasive nature. It’s not clear how much penetration allegedly occurred during the searches.

John Birdsall, a Milwaukee defense attorney, said that if the claims are true, police are abusing their authority.

“One thing is clear, if they’re doing rectal searches in the field, that’s just illegal,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “Clothes or no clothes, you can’t do a body cavity search. They don’t have the authority to do that.”

Milwaukee County prosecutors have launched a John Doe investigation, in which prosecutors can subpoena documents without public knowledge. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office are monitoring the investigation, The Journal Sentinel reported, and could launch an investigation.

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Brown County Wisconsin Sheriff’s Department And Drug Task Force Use Lies And Scam To Steal $7,500 From Disabled Woman Trying To Post Her Son’s Bail – Money From ATM’s, Like All Circulating US Currency, Had Traces Of Drugs

May 21, 2012

BROWN COUNTY, WISCONSIN – When the Brown County, Wis., Drug Task Force arrested her son Joel last February, Beverly Greer started piecing together his bail.

She used part of her disability payment and her tax return. Joel Greer’s wife also chipped in, as did his brother and two sisters. On Feb. 29, a judge set Greer’s bail at $7,500, and his mother called the Brown County jail to see where and how she could get him out. “The police specifically told us to bring cash,” Greer says. “Not a cashier’s check or a credit card. They said cash.”

So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.

Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.

“I told them the money had just come from the bank,” Beverly Greer says. “We had just taken it out. If the money had drugs on it, then they should go seize all the money at the bank, too. I just don’t understand how they could do that.”

The Greers had been subjected to civil asset forfeiture, a policy that lets police confiscate money and property even if they can only loosely connect them to drug activity. The cash, or revenue from the property seized, often goes back to the coffers of the police department that confiscated it. It’s a policy critics say is often abused, but experts told The HuffPost that the way the law is applied to bail money in Brown County is exceptionally unfair.

It took four months for Beverly Greer to get her family’s money back, and then only after attorney Andy Williams agreed to take their case. “The family produced the ATM receipts proving that had recently withdrawn the money,” Williams says. “Beverly Greer had documentation for her disability check and her tax return. Even then, the police tried to keep their money.”

Wisconsin is one of four states (along with Illinois, Kentucky, and Oregon) that prohibits bail bondsmen. So bail must be paid either in cash, with a registered check, cashier’s check or credit card. In fact, Donna Kuchler, a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney based in Waukesha, said police aren’t allowed to insist on cash.

“I would be suspicious of why they would do that,” Kuchler says. “I had a case last year in Fond du Lac County where they tried to say my client could only pay in cash. My guess is that they probably intended to do the same thing that happened here. We brought a cashier’s check anyway, and they knew they had to accept it.”

But the Greers still fared better than Jesus Zamora, whose family and friends continue to fight for police to return their bail money. Zamora was arrested in January on misdemeanor drug possession and a misdemeanor gun charge. A judge set his bail at $5,000.

“My girlfriend borrowed some money from her sister and mother and a few friends, and they came to bail me out,” Zamora says. “But then they started asking her if she had brought drug money. They took the money away and said they were going to have the drug dogs sniff it. She asked them when I would be let out, and they told her, ‘He isn’t going anywhere’.”

The police then seized Zamora’s bail money, just as they did with the Greers’. “I stayed in jail for, I think, another 11 days. I lost count. I had never been arrested for drugs before. And this was for a really small amount. Seventeen painkillers, for which I had a prescription, and a small bag they say had traces of cocaine. And they say my girlfriend and I just had $5,000 in drug money lying around.”

Zamora’s girlfriend borrowed more money from friends and coworkers, which she promised to pay back out of her mother’s tax return. They waited until Zamora had a court date, and this time posted his bail in front of a judge, with a cashier’s check. Wisconsin law enforcement officials also are required to provide a receipt when they confiscate property under forfeiture laws. Beverly Greer and Jesus Zamora both said they were never given receipts.

Brown County Drug Task Force Director Lt. Dave Poteat says the dog alerts were not the only factors. According to Poteat, the Greers and Zamora’s girlfriend appeared nervous when they brought in the bail money. “Their stories didn’t add up. Their ATM receipts had the wrong times on them. And they were withdrawing from several different locations. The times just didn’t correspond to their stories.”

Poteat says an additional reason Zamora’s bail money was confiscated was because during calls from the jail to multiple people, he indicated that the money was drug-related. “Mr. Zamora made a number of calls in which he appeared to be trying to disguise or hide where the money was coming from,” Poteat says. “At one point, he even said to another party, ‘of course the money is dirty.'”

According to Poteat, all inmate calls from the jail are recorded, and both the inmate and the party they call are warned before the call begins.

Zamora says he was merely telling his girlfriend where to get the bail money. “There’s a guy who still owes me money from a car I sold to him. And where I’m from, everyone has a nickname. So I was telling her who she could go to that might be able to give her some money for my bail. I used nicknames because I didn’t want the police to visit their houses.”

Zamora says he was not attempting to disguise where the money was from, only telling his girlfriend and sister to find someone else to bring in the money so they wouldn’t be interrogated. “I know how police do this. My sister just got her immigration papers. I didn’t want them harassing her or threatening to deport her or to change her immigration status. I just wanted to protect them, so I told them to find someone else to bring in the money.”

Civil asset forfeiture is based on the premise that a piece of property — a car, a pile of cash, a house — can be guilty of a crime. Laws vary from state to state, but generally, law enforcement officials can seize property if they can show any connection between the property and illegal activity. It is then up to the owner of the property to prove in court that he owns it or earned it legitimately. It doesn’t require a property owner to actually be convicted of a crime. In fact, most people who lose property to civil asset forfeiture are never charged.

The laws were created to go after the ill-gotten gains of big-time dealers, but critics say they’ve since become a way for police departments to generate revenue — often by targeting lower-level offenders. In 2010, the Institute for Justice (IJ), a libertarian law firm, rated the forfeiture laws in all 50 states, assigning higher grades to states with fairer policies. The firm gave Wisconsin a “C.” When there’s less than $2,000 at stake, law enforcement agencies in the state get to keep 70 percent of what they take. If more than $2,000 is taken, departments can keep half.

But in all states, police agencies can contact the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), making the case federal, and under federal law, local police departments can keep up to 80 percent of forfeiture proceeds, with the rest going to the Department of Justice. The institute reports that between 2000 and 2008, police agencies in Wisconsin took in $50 million from this “equitable sharing” program with the federal government. According to Williams, the DEA recently filed a claim on Zamora’s money in federal court, to take possession of the money through federal civil asset forfeiture laws.

But even in the odd world of asset forfeiture, the seizure of bail money because of a drug-dog alert raises other concerns. In addition to increasing skepticism over the use of drug-sniffing dogs, studies have consistently shown that most U.S. currency contains traces of cocaine. In a 1994 ruling, for example, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited studies showing that 75 percent of U.S. currency in Los Angeles included traces of narcotics. In 2009, researchers at the University of Massachusetts analyzed 234 bills collected from 18 cities, and found that 90 percent contained traces of cocaine. A 2008 study published in the Trends in Analytical Chemistry came to similar conclusions, as have studies by the Federal Reserve and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Zamora says he was referring to the common presence of drugs on money when he told his girlfriend, “of course the money is dirty.” “I had talked to my attorney about how all money has some drugs on it,” Zamora says. “So I was trying to tell her what to say if they told her a dog alerted to it. That she was supposed to say, ‘Of course the money is dirty — all money is dirty.'”

Stephen Downing, a retired narcotics cop who served as assistant police chief in Los Angeles, says it isn’t surprising that a drug dog would alert to a pile of cash, since it usually has traces of drugs.

“I’d call these cases direct theft. They’re hijackings,” says Downing, who is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an organization of former police and prosecutors who advocate ending the drug war.

Downing says he recently consulted a medical marijuana activist in California who was told to bring his bail money in cash, despite the fact that state law allows payment with a cashier’s check, a registered check or a credit card. “It makes me wonder if this seizing of bail is a new idea getting shopped around in law enforcement circles.”

Poteat says he’s aware of some studies from the 1980s about traces of narcotics on most U.S. currency, but that he didn’t know about the more recent research. “Our dogs are trained with currency that’s taken out of circulation. So they wouldn’t alert to bills that have the same traces most other bills have.”

Steven Kessler, a New York-based forfeiture attorney and the author of the legal treatise “Civil and Criminal Forfeiture: Federal and State Practice,” said he had never heard of simply confiscating bail. “It’s abhorrent. You can reject bail if you suspect the money is dirty. But you don’t simply take it and hand it over to the police department.”

Virginia attorney David Smith, who also wrote a book on forfeiture, says he has seen other cases in which authorities have confiscated bail money, but adds, “No courts have ordered forfeiture simply on the basis of a dog alert. There has to be other evidence.”

Forfeitures like these may not hold up in court, but failed cases wouldn’t necessarily discourage police departments from continuing the practice. If the defendant never challenges the seizure, the department generates revenue. If the defendant challenges and wins, the department loses little.

Indigent defendants, in particular, may decide not to pursue a forfeiture case due to the expense, particularly if they’ve already used their savings on bail, or are more concerned with fighting pending criminal charges. In many cases, the amount of cash seized would be exceeded by the costs of hiring an attorney to win it back anyway. In addition, under Wisconsin law, indigent defendants are not entitled to a public defender in civil asset forfeiture cases.

“I would think that one of these cases would be the perfect opportunity for a court to impose punitive damages against the police department,” Kessler says. “You need to make it clear that it would be damaging for the police to attempt this sort of thing in the future. Considering how appalling these cases are, I don’t see why a court couldn’t do that.”

Poteat says it “isn’t unusual” for his task force to seize bail money under forfeiture laws. “I’d say we’ve done it maybe eight or nine times this year.”

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Two Week Investigation And Raid By Reedsburg Wisconsin Police Yields 7 Grams Of Marijuana

May 19, 2012

REEDSBURG, WISCONSIN – A Reedsburg man was arrested Thursday on drug charges, after marijuana and paraphernalia allegedly was found in his home.

Richard McCabe, 46, was tentatively charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to a Reedsburg Police news release.

Officers executed a search warrant at his home on Lucky Street in Reedsburg at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, after conducting a two-week investigation.

Alleged items found were a quarter-ounce of marijuana and materials used to weigh, package and smoke narcotics, the release said.

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Censored: White Newspapers Ignoring Black On White Crime

May 15, 2012

US – When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks — beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work — that might sound like news that should have been reported, at least by their own newspaper. But it wasn’t.

The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel was the first major television program to report this incident. Yet this story is not just a Norfolk story, either in what happened or in how the media and the authorities have tried to sweep it under the rug.

Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls, or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to try to sweep these episodes under the rug.

In Milwaukee, for example, an attack on whites at a public park a few years ago left many of the victims battered to the ground and bloody. But when the police arrived on the scene, it became clear that the authorities wanted to keep this quiet.

One 22-year-old woman, who had been robbed of her cell phone and debit card, and had blood streaming down her face, said, “About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn’t listen to us, they wouldn’t take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating.”

The police chief seemed determined to head off any suggestion that this was a racially motivated attack by saying that crime is color-blind. Officials elsewhere have said similar things.

A wave of such attacks in Chicago were reported, but not the race of the attackers or victims. Media outlets that do not report the race of people committing crimes nevertheless report racial disparities in imprisonment and write heated editorials blaming the criminal-justice system.

What the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is that the hoodlum elements in many ghettoes launch coordinated attacks on whites in public places. If there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.

It may be understandable that some people want to head off such a catastrophe, either by not reporting the attacks in this race war, or by not identifying the race of those attacking, or by insisting that the attacks were not racially motivated — even when the attackers themselves voice anti-white invective as they laugh at their bleeding victims.

Trying to keep the lid on is understandable. But a lot of pressure can build up under that lid. If and when that pressure leads to an explosion of white backlash, things could be a lot worse than if the truth had come out earlier, and steps taken by both black and white leaders to deal with the hoodlums and with those who inflame them.

These latter would include not only race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson but also lesser-known people in the media, in educational institutions, and elsewhere who hype grievances and make all the problems of blacks the fault of whites. Some of these people may think that they are doing blacks a favor. But it is no favor to anyone who lags behind to turn their energies from the task of improving and advancing themselves to the task of lashing out at others.

These others extend beyond whites. Asian-American schoolchildren in New York and Philadelphia have for years been beaten up by their black classmates. But people in the mainstream media who go ballistic if some kid says something unkind on the Internet about a homosexual classmate nevertheless hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil when Asian-American youngsters are victims of violence.

Those who automatically say that the social pathology of the ghetto is due to poverty, discrimination, and the like cannot explain why such pathology was far less prevalent in the 1950s, when poverty and discrimination were worse. But there were not nearly as many grievance mongers and race hustlers then.

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Pedophile Milwaukee Wisconsin Sheriff’s Sergeant Phil Wentzel Quits After Child Pornography/Molestation Arrest – Drugged, Molested, And Photographed Girls 6 To 14 – Uploaded Pictures To Internet From Home And Work

May 8, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – The Milwaukee County sheriff’s sergeant who has been accused of producing child porn resigned effective Monday, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

That immediately stops the internal investigation that the sheriff’s office had initiated last week.

“We did initiate an internal investigation, hence he resigned today,” Capt. Scott Stiff said Monday. “Effective immediately, he’s no longer employed with our agency, so there’s no need to conduct any further (investigation).”

Phil Wentzel, a former spokesman for the office, was accused in a federal complaint Thursday of taking photos of girls between 6 and 14 years old at a campsite in Campbellsport in Fond du Lac County, where he had rented a spot for his recreational vehicle since 2008.

Wentzel, 41, is accused of producing most of the child porn in April 2011, but files were created starting in May 2010, a criminal complaint states. He shared the photos in seven different photo albums through an Internet peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

Wentzel admitted to the FBI that he drugged and molested girls and took pornographic pictures of them, U.S. Attorney James Santelle said in a news release Friday. Wentzel also said he had a difficult time controlling his urges.

The complaint states he had accessed his accounts from several computers, including Milwaukee County computers in August 2011.

Arrested last week

He was arrested May 2 at the Sheriff’s Department and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

It was a search warrant in Denver that led investigators to the images.

According to the criminal complaint, Wentzel agreed to fully cooperate and give investigators the password to an encrypted hard drive they seized from his West Allis home in exchange for a tentative plea agreement and a reduced prison sentence.

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said in a statement to media last week that he was “disgusted with the nature of the allegations against the deputy as they were briefed to him.” He had no further comment while the issue is under investigation.

If convicted, Wentzel is facing a minimum of 15 years in jail and a maximum of 30 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Douchebag Milwaukee Wisconsin Police Officer Richard Schoen Fired After Attack On Woman Motorist – Punched Handcuffed Woman In Patrol Car, Pulled Her Out By Her Hair, And Ended With Knee To Her Abdomen

May 8, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – A Milwaukee police officer has been fired for using excessive force on a woman arrested during a traffic stop, the department announced on a website Monday evening.

Richard Schoen, 42, punched the woman in her face while she was handcuffed in his squad car before pulling her out by the hair and striking her with his knee, according to a posting on a department website, The Source.

Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Schoen on May 1, according to the website. Schoen had been with the department nine years.

Schoen pulled the woman over about 9 p.m. on Sept. 22 in the 4100 block of N. 51st Blvd. The reason she was pulled over was not disclosed. The woman was arrested after becoming argumentative and using profanity and was taken to the District 7 police station, the website states.

After arriving at the station’s garage the woman began to stomp on the floor of the squad, complaining that her left leg hurt. Schoen opened the rear passenger door and tried to pull her out by the bottom of her shirt.

He then entered the rear passenger compartment and struck the woman in the face before pulling her out of the car by her hair. When the woman was on the floor of the garage, Schoen struck her in the abdomen with his knee, according to the website posting.

The posting also did not identify the woman nor state whether she was charged with any offense as a result of her arrest.

It cited the department’s code of conduct, which states, “We use the minimum force and authority necessary to accomplish a proper police purpose. We demonstrate self-discipline, even when no one is listening or watching.”

The department posted the announcement at 6:13 p.m.

Although the posting did not state whether Schoen would be charged criminally, the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office did not file charges, according to Anne Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Police Department.

Contacted by email Monday night, Schwartz said she was not at her office and could not provide more information.

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Franklin Wisconsin: “Revenge” “Kill Whitey” And Trayvon Stickers Appear On Mailboxes

April 11, 2012

FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN – Residents in Franklin got some unexpected mail recently – along with some current events and social commentary.

According to the Franklin police reports:

On April 3, residents in the 10200 block of Scepter Circle reported that someone had taped a black and white photo of Trayvon Martin, with the word “Revenge” in red, to several mailboxes.

In a separate incident, a resident in the 10200 block of West St. Martins Road reported two stickers were placed on his mailbox, one with a picture of Trayvon Martin with “Revenge” written in red, the other was a fist that said “Kill Whitey.”

Special watches were requested in both cases.

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Whites Hold Rally In West Allis Wisconsin After Packs Of Savage Negros Beat Innocent Whites At State Fair

September 4, 2011

WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN – Members of a white supremacy group plan to rally in West Allis this weekend. The National Socialist Movement says it wants to call attention to what it deems growing violence by black youth against white people. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports, the plans have created a stir. Organizers are calling Saturday’s scheduled gathering at West Allis City Hall, “In Defense of White America.” The person coordinating the event is Harriet Paletti – a resident of New Berlin and member of the National Socialist Movement. She says the rally is in response to what she views as racially-motivated attacks in the Milwaukee area.

“Honestly, it is about the black-on-white crime. If it was the other way around, there would be plenty of outrage from the black community, while the white community tends not to have any organization standing up for them,” Paletti says.

Paletti says she decided it was time to act after a mob of black youth beat white people leaving the Wisconsin State Fair on opening day. A few weeks earlier, black teens roughed up people in a park following 4th of July celebrations, and another group ransacked part of Mayfair Mall earlier this year.

“Obviously we don’t want our city to be destroyed or mass amounts of deaths. While that may seem a little extreme, they claim that the flash mobs are the start of that. I think that if we don’t take a proactive stance on addressing the racial violence on both sides, you know it’s never going to stop,” Paletti says.

Not everyone believes Saturday’s rally is about stopping the violence. TJ Leyden is a former white supremacist who recently wrote a book about his experiences.

“They always go wherever they can get the most publicity. Wherever there’s an incident where there’s possible racial tension or anything of that nature, they’re going to try to exploit it,” Leyden says.

Leyden says the rally is really about recruiting new members, so he urges protestors to stay away.

“You’re going to have people yelling racial slurs at the racists. You’re going to have people screaming and hollering and calling them stupid and idiot. And all the name calling is just going to help them recruit the young kids who are with them. They’re going to say look, those are the same people who won’t let you be proud of being white,” Leyden says.

Leyden says at these sort of events, it’s typically the counter-protestors who end up getting arrested, not members of the supremacy groups. Charles Padgett is a deputy chief with the West Allis Police Department. He says officers from around the area will work to keep things civil.

“We work with various surrounding agencies here, county and state, and also contacted departments in different cities throughout the country that we were aware had similar types of events or rallies, if you will, occur in their jurisdictions. And we’re taking information from them on how they prepared, and we’re implementing that into our plan to prepare to maintain control and security and the safety of everyone in the city,” Padgett says.

Organizers of the rally say so far, around 50 people have committed to attending. They may find themselves greatly outnumbered by counter-demonstrators.

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US Police Use “Safe” Taser Weapons To Kill Three People Over Weekend

August 8, 2011

US – A naked man on drugs died in Wisconsin this weekend, after police used a Taser stun gun to subdue him. A student died at the University of Cincinnati after balling his fists and getting tasered by police. A man high on drugs in Manassas, Va., also died this weekend after police tasered him as he escaped, partially handcuffed, after punching an officer and a firefighter.

All three deaths are being investigated. One of the departments, the University of Cincinnati Police Department, has suspended the use of Tasers by its officers.

About 15,000 US police departments, including 29 of the nation’s 33 largest cities, use a total of 260,000 Tasers. The devices have been the objects of controversy since first being deployed broadly in the 1990s. Some describe them as an alternative to the nightstick that reduces officer injuries and saves lives. Others see the stun guns as instruments of torture whose growing use make them a symbol of reckless policing.

In some cases, the Tasers are only tangentially related or unrelated to the actual cause of death, and that may be the case in the three incidents from this weekend. But recent studies have shown that the weapons can have an outsized impact on people with health problems or who are very high on drugs and in a state of “excited delirium.”

Tasers contributed to some 351 US deaths between 2001 and 2008, says Amnesty International, which adds that 90 percent of those tasered were unarmed at the time they were electrocuted. The website Truth Not Tasers claims that 39 people have died in relation to “conducted energy devices (CEDs)” this year in the United States, an average of five per month.

On the other hand, 99.7 percent of people who are tasered suffer no serious injuries, according to a May report from the National Institute of Justice. “The risk of human death due directly or primarily to the electrical effects of CED application has not been conclusively demonstrated,” says the report.

A growing number of police departments have begun to limit Taser use, imposing stricter policies for use or even taking the instruments out of officers’ hands. Memphis, San Francisco, and Las Vegas police departments have all opted out of Taser use recently, amid growing questions about the level of threat necessary to justify electrocuting someone with 50,000 volts delivered through barbed bolts.

“Because of the criticism and the deaths, there’s been a lot of people backing off of Tasers,” says Samuel Walker, a professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, who studies police accountability. “The fact is, a lot of departments are taking some very positive, proactive steps to ensure accountability, and controlling Tasers is one of part of doing that,” he says. But in other departments, he adds, “they’re using it much too broadly and recklessly, where it isn’t appropriate.”

The current Taser debate hinges on when, not if, the stun guns should be used. Few disagree with the use of Tasers as an alternative to deadly force, but in some departments, officers can employ Tasers when someone is simply refusing to obey an order.

Tasers are often most used when police officers are dealing with unruly people who themselves are unarmed, but whose failure to comply with police instructions make officers to feel threatened. Most departments use the “billy club policy,” which holds that Tasers are appropriate in any situation where an officer would otherwise pull and be ready to use a billy club, or night stick, which tends to lead to more serious injuries than a Taser.

Taser opponents point to the public outrage over the tasering of a fan at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, and various lawsuits documenting officers using Tasers on subdued, non-aggressive, or even handcuffed people. Tasers “can be used too much and too often,” the National Institute of Justice found in its May report.

At the same time, some law enforcement officials have pushed back against setting higher standards for Taser use.

“Police chiefs are saying, don’t write the standards so that it’s going to take away decision-making … when I write my own policies,” says John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, in Doylestown, Pa. “The argument that Tasers should only be used when the use of deadly force is authorized is asinine.”

After releasing an advisory in 2009 urging police not to shoot suspects in the chest, Taser International is now marketing the old version of its gun, which allows for only a five second blast of current before officers have to make the decision to hit the suspect again. A newer version of the gun allowed officers to apply continuous current, which the NIJ said in a separate May report has been associated with deaths.

In all three cases from this weekend, the victims were acting erratically and, in at least one, in Manassas, Va., the man had already physically assaulted a police officer. But whether the occasions rose to a level where officers would have used deadly force is far from clear. None of the three men were armed.

In Kaukauna, Wisc., police responded to a report of a naked, out-of-control man running across a city bridge. When police reached him, the man appeared to be in the throes of a drug overdose, claiming he was covered in snakes. When he refused to comply with officers, a Taser was used to knock him down.

At the University of Cincinnati, a recent high school graduate, at the university for college-preparatory summer classes, was approaching the police with an “altered mental status” and balled fists when he was brought down with a Taser. The University of Cincinnati Police Department has suspended the use of Tasers as it investigates the case. One newspaper account said the officer who fired the Taser was “very distraught” by the young man’s death.

Some police departments, including Kansas City, Seattle, and Madison, Wisc., have begun publishing their Taser policies on their public websites, in an effort to increase transparency and respond to public concerns. None of the three police departments involved in this weekend’s incidents publish their policies on Taser use, with one – Prince William County – citing “tactical concerns.” Calls to the other two departments were not returned by the time this story was posted.

“This is a very important point of accountability that goes beyond Tasers, a form of openness and transparency,” says Professor Walker.

Some battles over Tasers have played out in the courts.

“Tasers and stun guns fall into the category of non-lethal force; non-lethal, however, is not synonymous with non-excessive force,” ruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009. “All force – lethal or non-lethal – must be justified by the need for the specific level of force employed.”

In July, a North Carolina jury returned a $10 million verdict against Taser International, the maker of the stun guns, for the 2008 death of a 17-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ruling that company failed to provide police with adequate warnings or instruction. Taser International plans an appeal.

The day of the North Carolina verdict, another Charlotte man died in a Taser-related incident, prompting that city’s police department – considered one of the most professional in the nation – to impose a 45-day suspension on the use of the weapons, to review their polices.

“My personal opinion is that when departments become restrictive and take away a tool, it’s generally because they’re afraid of some sort of public pressure coming from a certain segment of society,” says Mr. Gnagey. When public pressure does succeed in restricting or banning Tasers, he adds, “Later on, when things die down, we’ll just quietly introduce it back into the population.”

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Former Calumet County Wisconsin Prosecutor Ken Kratz Not Charged After Racy Text Messages To Domestic Assault Victim – More Than A Dozen Woman Reported Sexual Assault And Misconduct

March 28, 2011

MADISON, WISCONSIN –  A former prosecutor accused of sending racy text messages to a domestic abuse victim is not going to face criminal charges, the Wisconsin Justice Department announced Monday.

State investigators looked into allegations from more than a dozen women that former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz committed sexual assault and misconduct in office, the department said.

“His conduct appears to fit the connotation of ‘misconduct’ and demonstrates inappropriate behavior but does not satisfy the elements required to prosecute,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Tom Storm, who led the investigation.

Kratz’s attorney, Robert Bellin, said he was pleased with the decision. He said his office is investigating whether people lied to hurt Kratz.

“I think it’s obviously the right decision,” Bellin said of the decision not to file charges. “I don’t think we were that worried about it. We think that there were statements from individuals who came forward who were not completely truthful.”

Kratz resigned from his $105,000 per year position in October after The Associated Press reported he had sent 30 text messages to a domestic abuse victim trying to strike up an affair while he prosecuted her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge. Kratz, who was 50 at the time, called 26-year-old Stephanie Van Groll “a hot nymph” and asked if she was “the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married DA.”

Van Groll complained to police and Kratz was removed from the case. The Justice Department investigated at the time but decided not to file charges. Kratz was instead ordered to self-report the messages to the Office of Lawyer Regulation, a separate state entity that reviews attorneys’ conduct. The office declined to discipline Kratz, saying he hadn’t violated any rules.

Pressure mounted on Kratz to resign after Van Groll’s allegations became public. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle began removal procedures against him and other people began coming forward with accusations. The Justice Department and the lawyer regulation office both reopened investigations.

The Justice Department on Monday released its case summary, which said 15 women, including Van Groll, filed complaints against Kratz.

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Milwaukee Wisconsin Police Officer Lymon Taylor Arrested, Charged After Financing A Mercedes Using 7 Year Old Boy’s Social Security Number

March 18, 2011

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN — A Milwaukee police officer who allegedly bought a 7-year-old boy’s Social Security number and used it to buy a Mercedes was arrested this week.

Lymon Taylor, 33, was freed on $5,000 bond Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He was charged with felony identity theft, which carries a potential sentence of six years in prison.

The Milwaukee Police Department suspended Taylor, spokeswoman Anne Schwartz said.

Investigators said another man, Lee Ellis, told them he and Taylor discovered a California company that said it could repair credit ratings and charged a $2,500 fee. Both were given Social Security numbers and told to use them with their own names and a different address.

Taylor was allegedly using a number assigned to a 7-year-old boy in Racine, Wis. The boy’s parents insisted on prosecution, police said.

The police officer allegedly used the new number to obtain a loan for the purchase of a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550 with a Blue Book value of around $48,000.

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Wisconsin Governor Pisses Away Tax Dollars Sending State Troopers After State Senators To Beg Them To Return To Session

February 24, 2011

WISCONSIN – The budget impasse continues in Wisconsin, and the Associated Press reports that “state patrol officers are being dispatched to the homes of multiple Democratic Wisconsin state senators in the hopes that will force them to come back in session.”

But, the wire service adds, while Republican Gov. Scott Walker may hope that sending the troopers out will put some pressure on the Democrats to return to the state capital, “police can’t arrest absent members” of the Senate.

Frank’s been following the news from Wisconsin and other states where intense budget battles are underway over at It’s All Politics.

Update at 8:50 a.m. ET: The Associated Press says that “Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach says all 14 [of the missing Democrats] are out of state and won’t be returning Thursday.”

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Calument County Wisconsin Prosecutor And Advocate For Crime Victims Kenneth Kratz Remains In Office After His Sexually Suggestive Text Message To Crime Victim While Prosecuting Her Ex-Boyfriend

September 16, 2010

CALUMENT COUNTY, WISCONSIN – A Wisconsin prosecutor known for two decades as an advocate for crime victims says he is embarrassed about sending sexually suggestive text messages to a strangulation victim while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend, but will remain in office.

Kenneth Kratz, the district attorney for Calumet County north of Milwaukee, issued the statement Wednesday after The Associated Press reported on 30 texts he sent to a 26-year-old woman who had complained to police last year.

A police report shows he repeatedly sent Stephanie Van Groll text messages in October 2009 trying to spark an affair.
“Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA … the riskier the better?” Kratz, 50, wrote in one message. In another, he wrote: “I would not expect you to be the other woman. I would want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?”

Kratz was prosecuting Van Groll’s ex-boyfriend on charges he nearly choked her to death last year. He also was veteran chair of the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board, a quasi-judicial agency that can reprimand judges, prosecutors and police officers who mistreat crime victims.

In a combative interview in his office, Kratz did not deny sending the messages and expressed concern their publication would unfairly embarrass him personally and professionally. He said the Office of Lawyer Regulation found in March he did not violate any rules governing attorney misconduct, but refused to provide a copy of what he said was the report clearing him. That office cannot comment on investigations.

“This is a non-news story,” Kratz shouted. But he added, “I’m worried about it because of my reputational interests.”

Hours later, Kratz issued a statement acknowledging sending the messages and saying he “was embarrassed at this lapse of judgment.”

“I have never been the subject of attorney discipline during my entire 25-year career, and until today, have enjoyed a spotless reputation as a vigorous advocate for crime victims,” he said.

Van Groll told police in Kaukauna, Wis., where she lived, that she felt pressured to have a relationship with Kratz or he would drop charges against her ex-boyfriend.

Kratz said he “immediately removed himself” from the prosecution after learning about the complaint, and the state Department of Justice took over. Kratz said he resigned from the crime victims board, which he helped create, after more than a decade as chair as a “self-imposed sanction.” He and his wife filed for divorce last December.

Kratz has served in Chilton since 1992 and earns a $105,000 salary. Kratz, a Republican, isn’t up for re-election until November 2012.

“Nothing really happened to him and I had three days of hell,” Van Groll said in a phone interview with the AP. “They gave him a slap on the wrist and told him not to do it again. If it was anybody else that did something like this, they’d lose their job.”

Domestic violence experts called Kratz’s text messages disturbing and unethical for several reasons, including the power differential between a prosecutor and a younger abuse victim.

“If what’s being alleged is true, it’s sad a prosecutor would use the same sort of power and control over a woman who has already experienced that in her personal life,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Kratz, who flirted with a run for Congress in 2008, may be best known for prosecuting Steven Avery in the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer. The case received national attention because Avery had spent 18 years behind bars for a rape he did not commit in a separate case before DNA evidence implicated someone else.

A spokeswoman said the victims’ rights board has not received a complaint about Kratz and is not investigating his conduct toward Van Groll.

Kratz cited an undisclosed conflict of interest in stepping away from the abuse case after Van Groll reported the text messages, court records show. A special prosecutor won a conviction on one felony count of strangulation against the man, Shannon Konitzer.

Van Groll said Kratz sent the first text minutes after she left his office, where he had interviewed her about the case.

He said it was nice talking and “you have such potential,” signing the message “KEN (your favorite DA).” Twenty minutes later, he added, “I wish you weren’t one of this office’s clients. You’d be a cool person to know!” But he quickly tried to start a relationship and told her to keep quiet about the texts.

Van Groll at first was polite, saying Kratz was “a nice person” and thanking him for praise. By the second day, she responded with answers such as “dono” or “no.” Kratz questioned whether her “low self-esteem” was to blame for the lack of interest.

“I’m serious! I’m the atty. I have the $350,000 house. I have the 6-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize!” he texted.

Kratz told her the relationship would unfold slow enough for “Shannon’s case to get done.” ”Remember it would have to be special enough to risk all,” he wrote.

Van Groll said she went to police after the messages started becoming “kind of vulgar.” She provided copies of 30 messages and her responses, which the department released in response to an AP request.

The department referred the complaint to the state Division of Criminal Investigation. Van Groll, a college student and part-time preschool teacher who has moved to Merrill, said she has been told Kratz won’t be charged because “they didn’t think he did anything criminally wrong.”

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Crazed Wisconsin Appeals Court Judges Okay Warrantless GPS Tracking Of Private Citizens

May 10, 2009

MADISON, WISCONSIN – Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody’s movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was “more than a little troubled” by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals.

As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights — even if the drivers aren’t suspects.

Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.

That means “police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone’s public movements with a GPS device,” he wrote.

One privacy advocate said the decision opened the door for greater government surveillance of citizens. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials called the decision a victory for public safety because tracking devices are an increasingly important tool in investigating criminal behavior.

The ruling came in a 2003 case involving Michael Sveum, a Madison man who was under investigation for stalking. Police got a warrant to put a GPS on his car and secretly attached it while the vehicle was parked in Sveum’s driveway. The device recorded his car’s movements for five weeks before police retrieved it and downloaded the information.

The information suggested Sveum was stalking the woman, who had gone to police earlier with suspicions. Police got a second warrant to search his car and home, found more evidence and arrested him. He was convicted of stalking and sentenced to prison.

Sveum, 41, argued the tracking violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He argued the device followed him into areas out of public view, such as his garage.

The court disagreed. The tracking did not violate constitutional protections because the device only gave police information that could have been obtained through visual surveillance, Lundsten wrote.

Even though the device followed Sveum’s car to private places, an officer tracking Sveum could have seen when his car entered or exited a garage, Lundsten reasoned. Attaching the device was not a violation, he wrote, because Sveum’s driveway is a public place.

“We discern no privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment that is invaded when police attach a device to the outside of a vehicle, as long as the information obtained is the same as could be gained by the use of other techniques that do not require a warrant,” he wrote.

Although police obtained a warrant in this case, it wasn’t needed, he added.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said using GPS to track someone’s car goes beyond observing them in public and should require a warrant.

“The idea that you can go and attach anything you want to somebody else’s property without any court supervision, that’s wrong,” he said. “Without a warrant, they can do this on anybody they want.”

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office, which argued in favor of the warrantless GPS tracking, praised the ruling but would not elaborate on its use in Wisconsin.

David Banaszynski, president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, said his department in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood does not use GPS. But other departments might use it to track drug dealers, burglars and stalkers, he said.

A state law already requires the Department of Corrections to track the state’s most dangerous sex offenders using GPS. The author of that law, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the decision shows “GPS tracking is an effective means of protecting public safety.”

Appeared Here


Crazed Wisconsin Appeals Court Judges Okay Warrantless GPS Tracking Of Private Citizens

May 10, 2009

MADISON, WISCONSIN – Wisconsin police can attach GPS to cars to secretly track anybody’s movements without obtaining search warrants, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

However, the District 4 Court of Appeals said it was “more than a little troubled” by that conclusion and asked Wisconsin lawmakers to regulate GPS use to protect against abuse by police and private individuals.

As the law currently stands, the court said police can mount GPS on cars to track people without violating their constitutional rights — even if the drivers aren’t suspects.

Officers do not need to get warrants beforehand because GPS tracking does not involve a search or a seizure, Judge Paul Lundsten wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel based in Madison.

That means “police are seemingly free to secretly track anyone’s public movements with a GPS device,” he wrote.

One privacy advocate said the decision opened the door for greater government surveillance of citizens. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials called the decision a victory for public safety because tracking devices are an increasingly important tool in investigating criminal behavior.

The ruling came in a 2003 case involving Michael Sveum, a Madison man who was under investigation for stalking. Police got a warrant to put a GPS on his car and secretly attached it while the vehicle was parked in Sveum’s driveway. The device recorded his car’s movements for five weeks before police retrieved it and downloaded the information.

The information suggested Sveum was stalking the woman, who had gone to police earlier with suspicions. Police got a second warrant to search his car and home, found more evidence and arrested him. He was convicted of stalking and sentenced to prison.

Sveum, 41, argued the tracking violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. He argued the device followed him into areas out of public view, such as his garage.

The court disagreed. The tracking did not violate constitutional protections because the device only gave police information that could have been obtained through visual surveillance, Lundsten wrote.

Even though the device followed Sveum’s car to private places, an officer tracking Sveum could have seen when his car entered or exited a garage, Lundsten reasoned. Attaching the device was not a violation, he wrote, because Sveum’s driveway is a public place.

“We discern no privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment that is invaded when police attach a device to the outside of a vehicle, as long as the information obtained is the same as could be gained by the use of other techniques that do not require a warrant,” he wrote.

Although police obtained a warrant in this case, it wasn’t needed, he added.

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said using GPS to track someone’s car goes beyond observing them in public and should require a warrant.

“The idea that you can go and attach anything you want to somebody else’s property without any court supervision, that’s wrong,” he said. “Without a warrant, they can do this on anybody they want.”

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office, which argued in favor of the warrantless GPS tracking, praised the ruling but would not elaborate on its use in Wisconsin.

David Banaszynski, president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, said his department in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood does not use GPS. But other departments might use it to track drug dealers, burglars and stalkers, he said.

A state law already requires the Department of Corrections to track the state’s most dangerous sex offenders using GPS. The author of that law, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the decision shows “GPS tracking is an effective means of protecting public safety.”

Appeared Here


Heros Piss On Green Bay Wisconsin Police Vehicle – Take Pictures

May 10, 2009

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – Criminal damage: Two 23-year-old men who had been drinking were acting suspicious Thursday in the parking lot of the Green Bay Police Department, 307 S. Adams St. When asked what they were doing, one man said they were taking pictures. A camera contained 25 images, some showing the men walking over the hood and roof of a squad car and urinating on a police truck. Police found dents in a squad car, with footprints matching the shoes of one suspect.

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Heros Piss On Green Bay Wisconsin Police Vehicle – Take Pictures

May 10, 2009

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – Criminal damage: Two 23-year-old men who had been drinking were acting suspicious Thursday in the parking lot of the Green Bay Police Department, 307 S. Adams St. When asked what they were doing, one man said they were taking pictures. A camera contained 25 images, some showing the men walking over the hood and roof of a squad car and urinating on a police truck. Police found dents in a squad car, with footprints matching the shoes of one suspect.

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With Nothing Else To Do, West Allis Wisconsin Police Decide To Advertise Underaged Drinking Parties With Taxpayer Funded Yard Signs

March 31, 2009

WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN – How do you prevent underage drinking parties? By telling everyone where the parties are taking place.

The West Allis Police Department plans to fight off underage drinking parties by putting up a yard sign where the party is taking place.

Basically, if police hear about a possible party, they’ll call the parents.

If that doesn’t work, then they’ll put up a yard-sign.

Those signs will also go up outside homes where a party is already in progress.

Police tell WestAllisnow.com they expect the program to be a proactive way to prevent tragedies, like car crashes.

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With Nothing Else To Do, West Allis Wisconsin Police Decide To Advertise Underaged Drinking Parties With Taxpayer Funded Yard Signs

March 31, 2009

WEST ALLIS, WISCONSIN – How do you prevent underage drinking parties? By telling everyone where the parties are taking place.

The West Allis Police Department plans to fight off underage drinking parties by putting up a yard sign where the party is taking place.

Basically, if police hear about a possible party, they’ll call the parents.

If that doesn’t work, then they’ll put up a yard-sign.

Those signs will also go up outside homes where a party is already in progress.

Police tell WestAllisnow.com they expect the program to be a proactive way to prevent tragedies, like car crashes.

Appeared Here


Crazed Eau Claire County Wisconsin District Attorney Gary J. Schuster Charges Woman With Felony For Craigslist Prank

March 6, 2009

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, WISCONSIN – Meet Kari Heath. The Wisconsin woman, 20, is facing a felony charge for allegedly posing as an ex-boyfriend and posting a Craigslist personals ad seeking other men to call him at work and “talk dirty to him.” According to a criminal complaint, a copy of which you’ll find here, Heath placed the ad last month after arguing with her boyfriend Joseph Strasburg. The ad, which was posted in Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section, included several photos of the 24-year-old Strasburg, including one explicit image, and his business phone number. Heath’s former beau contacted cops when a man called him about the online ad. Strasburg, 24, told investigators that Heath subsequently sent him a text message admitting responsibility for the prank, which resulted this week in her arrest for identity theft. When interviewed by police, Heath admitted placing the online ad in Craigslist’s “personal column, homosexual section.” A similar Craigslist prank has triggered a criminal probe of a Texas man who allegedly posed as a female acquaintance and posted a Valentine’s Day ad offering sexual favors. The purported advertiser promised to “moan like Shamu.”

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Crazed Eau Claire County Wisconsin District Attorney Gary J. Schuster Charges Woman With Felony For Craigslist Prank

March 6, 2009

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, WISCONSIN – Meet Kari Heath. The Wisconsin woman, 20, is facing a felony charge for allegedly posing as an ex-boyfriend and posting a Craigslist personals ad seeking other men to call him at work and “talk dirty to him.” According to a criminal complaint, a copy of which you’ll find here, Heath placed the ad last month after arguing with her boyfriend Joseph Strasburg. The ad, which was posted in Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section, included several photos of the 24-year-old Strasburg, including one explicit image, and his business phone number. Heath’s former beau contacted cops when a man called him about the online ad. Strasburg, 24, told investigators that Heath subsequently sent him a text message admitting responsibility for the prank, which resulted this week in her arrest for identity theft. When interviewed by police, Heath admitted placing the online ad in Craigslist’s “personal column, homosexual section.” A similar Craigslist prank has triggered a criminal probe of a Texas man who allegedly posed as a female acquaintance and posted a Valentine’s Day ad offering sexual favors. The purported advertiser promised to “moan like Shamu.”

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Murder Charges Dropped After Dumbass Milwaukee County Wisconsin Sheriff’s Deputies Put Witness In Jail Cell With Killer

February 27, 2009

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a man suspected in a fatal 2007 tavern robbery, after an admitted accomplice reneged on a promise to testify against him.

The witness’ change of heart came after deputies mistakenly put both men in the same room at the Milwaukee County Jail before a key court hearing.

As a result, prosecutors dropped first-degree homicide charges against Joel Rivera, and a judge on Thursday sentenced Christian Colon to 46 years for his role in the crime, far more than he had expected from his original plea deal.

Both men had been charged in the January 2007 robbery and shooting death at Marty’s Party, 3735 W. National Ave., that took the life of customer Nicholas Knutowski.

Colon, 21, was charged in March 2007. He was brought this month to the Milwaukee County Jail from the state prison in Green Bay to testify at the preliminary hearing for Rivera, 20, who was charged in December.

But Colon wound up in the same area with Rivera and then refused to testify.

“It was his mom, his aunt and his brother he was concerned about,” said Colon’s attorney, Nik Kostich. “The Riveras and the Colons all live in the same area. He didn’t want them to take revenge on his family.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said Thursday he was livid that the two men were put in the same holding area but added that he doubted that the error led to Colon’s decision not to testify. Nonetheless, he said the matter is under investigation and he would refer it to the district attorney for possible charges against two deputies.

“A court order is a court order,” Clarke said, referring to directives that Colon and Rivera be kept apart. “We have to obey court orders just like anybody.”

District Attorney John Chisholm said there was no excuse for housing the two men together, but that defendants often get cold feet before testifying for the state.

The wrinkle did not set Rivera free; in February 2008, he pleaded guilty to two armed robberies and is serving five years at the Racine Correctional Institute.

Colon will spend much longer in prison. In February 2008, he agreed to plead guilty to felony murder and two counts of armed robbery, while prosecutors dismissed four felony counts from other robberies.

In court Thursday, Assistant District Attorney William Molitor said Colon had been involved in thefts and other relatively minor crimes before joining Rivera at age 18 because he was out of work and needed money to buy diapers for his two young children.

On Dec. 22, 2006, Colon went with Rivera and others on a spree of three business robberies. They all wore masks, and during one robbery, Colon fired two shots from a 45-caliber pistol, according to Molitor.

But at the Marty’s Party robbery, he told police, he had a BB gun, while Rivera was at the door with a loaded pistol, Molitor said.

According to Molitor, Colon said that Rivera told him: “I’ll be at the door. If anyone moves, leave it to me.”

Colon, Rivera and a 14-year-old boy went into the bar, Molitor said, all wearing masks. Knutowski and two female bartenders were there. A shot was fired at the jukebox, and Knutowski moved toward the shooter and was shot twice. The women had dived behind the bar and into a second room and were not hit. The robbers fled.

Colon acknowledged his role in the crimes and had cooperated with police – until he was locked up with Rivera.

Jesse Knutowski told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Patricia McMahon that the killing of his brother, Nicholas, had deeply affected his entire family.

“The affect of Nick’s murder is with us every day,” Jesse Knutowski said. “A day doesn’t go by when we don’t think of him. It affects us differently – some are angry, some want revenge, some have spiraled into depression. It’s changed how we see people, the world and ourselves.”

Colon apologized to the Knutowski family.

“I wish I could go back to that night,” Colon said. “I never meant for this man to get hurt.”

While prosecutors had initially agreed to recommend leniency for Colon, Molitor suggested Thursday that he get the heavier sentence.

McMahon gave Colon 22 years plus six years’ supervision for felony murder, and 12 years plus four years’ supervision on each of the two robbery counts, each to be served consecutively.

“You think nothing of taking things from other people,” McMahon said. “We are known by our acts, by what we do.”

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Murder Charges Dropped After Dumbass Milwaukee County Wisconsin Sheriff’s Deputies Put Witness In Jail Cell With Killer

February 27, 2009

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a man suspected in a fatal 2007 tavern robbery, after an admitted accomplice reneged on a promise to testify against him.

The witness’ change of heart came after deputies mistakenly put both men in the same room at the Milwaukee County Jail before a key court hearing.

As a result, prosecutors dropped first-degree homicide charges against Joel Rivera, and a judge on Thursday sentenced Christian Colon to 46 years for his role in the crime, far more than he had expected from his original plea deal.

Both men had been charged in the January 2007 robbery and shooting death at Marty’s Party, 3735 W. National Ave., that took the life of customer Nicholas Knutowski.

Colon, 21, was charged in March 2007. He was brought this month to the Milwaukee County Jail from the state prison in Green Bay to testify at the preliminary hearing for Rivera, 20, who was charged in December.

But Colon wound up in the same area with Rivera and then refused to testify.

“It was his mom, his aunt and his brother he was concerned about,” said Colon’s attorney, Nik Kostich. “The Riveras and the Colons all live in the same area. He didn’t want them to take revenge on his family.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said Thursday he was livid that the two men were put in the same holding area but added that he doubted that the error led to Colon’s decision not to testify. Nonetheless, he said the matter is under investigation and he would refer it to the district attorney for possible charges against two deputies.

“A court order is a court order,” Clarke said, referring to directives that Colon and Rivera be kept apart. “We have to obey court orders just like anybody.”

District Attorney John Chisholm said there was no excuse for housing the two men together, but that defendants often get cold feet before testifying for the state.

The wrinkle did not set Rivera free; in February 2008, he pleaded guilty to two armed robberies and is serving five years at the Racine Correctional Institute.

Colon will spend much longer in prison. In February 2008, he agreed to plead guilty to felony murder and two counts of armed robbery, while prosecutors dismissed four felony counts from other robberies.

In court Thursday, Assistant District Attorney William Molitor said Colon had been involved in thefts and other relatively minor crimes before joining Rivera at age 18 because he was out of work and needed money to buy diapers for his two young children.

On Dec. 22, 2006, Colon went with Rivera and others on a spree of three business robberies. They all wore masks, and during one robbery, Colon fired two shots from a 45-caliber pistol, according to Molitor.

But at the Marty’s Party robbery, he told police, he had a BB gun, while Rivera was at the door with a loaded pistol, Molitor said.

According to Molitor, Colon said that Rivera told him: “I’ll be at the door. If anyone moves, leave it to me.”

Colon, Rivera and a 14-year-old boy went into the bar, Molitor said, all wearing masks. Knutowski and two female bartenders were there. A shot was fired at the jukebox, and Knutowski moved toward the shooter and was shot twice. The women had dived behind the bar and into a second room and were not hit. The robbers fled.

Colon acknowledged his role in the crimes and had cooperated with police – until he was locked up with Rivera.

Jesse Knutowski told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Patricia McMahon that the killing of his brother, Nicholas, had deeply affected his entire family.

“The affect of Nick’s murder is with us every day,” Jesse Knutowski said. “A day doesn’t go by when we don’t think of him. It affects us differently – some are angry, some want revenge, some have spiraled into depression. It’s changed how we see people, the world and ourselves.”

Colon apologized to the Knutowski family.

“I wish I could go back to that night,” Colon said. “I never meant for this man to get hurt.”

While prosecutors had initially agreed to recommend leniency for Colon, Molitor suggested Thursday that he get the heavier sentence.

McMahon gave Colon 22 years plus six years’ supervision for felony murder, and 12 years plus four years’ supervision on each of the two robbery counts, each to be served consecutively.

“You think nothing of taking things from other people,” McMahon said. “We are known by our acts, by what we do.”

Appeared Here


Power Hungry Wauwatosa Wisconsin Police Charge 14 Year Old Girl With Disorderly Conduct For Text Messaging On Cellphone

February 18, 2009

WAUWATOSA, WISCONSIN – A 14-year-old Wisconsin girl who refused to stop texting during a high school math class was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to police. The teenager was busted last Wednesday at Wauwatosa East High School after she ignored a teacher’s demand that she cease texting. The girl, whose name we have redacted from the below Wauwatosa Police Department report, initially denied having a phone when confronted by a school security officer. However, the phone was located after the girl was frisked by a female cop. The Samsung Cricket, the police report noted, was recovered “from the buttocks area” of the teenager. The student was issued a criminal citation for disorderly conduct, which carried “a bail of $298,” and had her phone confiscated. The girl, who was barred from school property for a week, is scheduled for an April 20 court appearance on the misdemeanor rap.

Appeared Here


Power Hungry Wauwatosa Wisconsin Police Charge 14 Year Old Girl With Disorderly Conduct For Text Messaging On Cellphone

February 18, 2009

WAUWATOSA, WISCONSIN – A 14-year-old Wisconsin girl who refused to stop texting during a high school math class was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to police. The teenager was busted last Wednesday at Wauwatosa East High School after she ignored a teacher’s demand that she cease texting. The girl, whose name we have redacted from the below Wauwatosa Police Department report, initially denied having a phone when confronted by a school security officer. However, the phone was located after the girl was frisked by a female cop. The Samsung Cricket, the police report noted, was recovered “from the buttocks area” of the teenager. The student was issued a criminal citation for disorderly conduct, which carried “a bail of $298,” and had her phone confiscated. The girl, who was barred from school property for a week, is scheduled for an April 20 court appearance on the misdemeanor rap.

Appeared Here