(In the video above the “sheriff” makes excuses for unstable cops)
Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.
Bradshaw plans to use the extra $1 million to launch “prevention intervention” units featuring specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. The teams will respond to citizen phone calls to a 24-hour hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed.
The goal will be avoiding crime — and making sure law enforcement knows about potential powder kegs before tragedies occur, Bradshaw said. But the earmark, which is a one-time-only funding provision, provoked a debate Monday among mental health advocates and providers about the balance between civil liberties, privacy and protecting the public.
Bradshaw said his proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the nation, and he hopes it will become a model for the rest of the state like his gang prevention and pill-mill units.
“Every single incident, whether it’s Newtown, that movie theater, or the guy who spouts off at work and then goes home and kills his wife and two kids — in every single case, there were people who said they knew ahead of time that there was a problem,” Bradshaw said. “If the neighbor of the mom in Newtown had called somebody (SNITCHED), this might have saved 25 kids’ lives.”
Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.
The goal won’t be to arrest troubled people but to get them help before there’s violence, Bradshaw said. As a side benefit, law enforcement will have needed information to keep a close eye on things.
“We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ”
That’s enough for Senate budget chief Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who helped push through the funding last weekend.
He said he met with Bradshaw about the program and “got assurances from the sheriff that this is going to be done in a way that respects people’s autonomy and privacy, and that he makes sure to protect against people making false claims.”
Mental health advocates, however, worry about a potential new source of stigma, and the potential for erosion of the civil rights of people with mental illnesses.
“How are they possibly going to watch everybody who makes a comment like that? It’s subjective,” said Liz Downey, executive director of the Palm Beach County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We don’t want to take away people’s civil liberties just because people aren’t behaving the way we think they should be.”
Bradshaw acknowledged the risk that anyone in a messy divorce or in a dispute with a neighbor could abuse the hotline. But, he said, he’s confident that his trained professionals will know how to sort out fact from fiction.
“We know how to sift through frivolous complaints,” he said.
The proposal still needs the blessing of Gov. Rick Scott, who has line-item veto authority.
But if it goes forward, Palm Beach County’s already stretched mental health and substance abuse providers could find themselves even busier. There is no ready source of funds once the $1 million runs its course, as there hasn’t been an increase to community mental health funding in many years.
“Our community agencies throughout the state don’t have the funds to meet the needs they have currently,” said Bob Sharpe, CEO of the Florida Council for Community Mental Health. “It sounds like it could work, but with no new funding we’d have to find it within existing resources.”
If Bradshaw’s teams can keep people out of crisis units and promote early intervention, that has the potential to save money, said Ann Berner, CEO of the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network, which manages mental health care payments for the state.
To be successful, however, there will have to be close coordination with the mental health providers, she said. For example, the county already pays for mobile crisis response teams at two nonprofit mental health providers, a service that includes a 24-hour crisis call center. They, too, are trained to de-escalate conflicts and refer troubled people to care. Which ones will respond when there’s a call from a school or a home? That will have to be clarified.
Also, after troubled people are identified by Bradshaw’s teams, then what? Who will pay for their care? The state? Medicaid? The county? The Palm Beach County Public Defender has a good program to ensure qualified people apply for the Social Security and Medicaid benefits they may need, she said. Some high-level conversations have started, but more are needed, Berner added.
“I think that would be an area we really need to collaborate on, and soon,” she said.
The $1 million Bradshaw won represents a third of what he had sought from the Legislature, but it’s a 10-fold bump from what was originally earmarked before House and Senate budget leaders finalized the state’s $74 billion budget over the weekend.
Meddling is their business and business is good. This month’s slate of control freaks includes a Connecticut pol who’s bent on regulating young earlobes and a Maryland public school district that would forbid adults from hugging kids other than their own children.
But this time the Nanny of the Month comes to us from Eastchester, New York where a local official wasn’t satisfied with outlawing traditional fastfood joints like McDonald’s and Burger King. He decided to kick it up a notch and shield locals from “fast casual” restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle (and to think these newcomers, with their earth tones and organic offerings, thought they could stave off the taste police!).
Presenting the Nanny of the Month for April 2013: Eastchester Supervisor Anthony Colavita!
Approximately 1 minute, 45 seconds.
Follow “Nanny of the Month” on Twitter (@NannyoftheMonth) and submit your nominees for next month!
“Nanny of the Month” is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Research by Matt Edwards. Opening animation by Meredith Bragg.
Former Rep. Ron Paul said the law enforcement that swarmed around Boston in the days following the marathon bombings was scarier than the actual terrorist attack.
“The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” he said on the Lew Rockwell website, Politico reported. “This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”
The terror attacks on April 15 in Boston killed three and injured 264.
Mr. Paul, a former libertarian political candidate who served in Congress as a member of the Republican Party, said the door-to-door searches police conducted in Watertown for the bombing suspects were particularly alarming.
They reminded of a “military coup in a far off banana republic,” he said, Politico reported. “Force lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.”
“He was discovered by a private citizen, who then placed a call to the police,” he said. “And he was identified not by government surveillance cameras, but by private citizens who willingly shared their photographs with the police.”
CA Couple claim their sick five-month-old boy was taken away by police because they asked doctors for a second opinion
The parents of a 5-month-old were shocked when police showed up to take away their infant boy after they told a doctor they wanted a second opinion.
Caught on camera, the footage shows police entering the California home of Anna and Alex Nikolayev and asking Anna to hand over the baby.
‘I’m going to grab your baby,’ one of the several officers at the scene told Nikolayev, ‘And don’t resist and don’t fight me.’
Surprise: Anna and Alex Nikolayev wanted a second opinion after doctors at a Sacramento hospital made them too nervous to leave son Sammy (pictured) in their care
‘He grabbed my arm,’ the new mother told KXTV, ‘so I couldn’t take Sammy. And they took Sammy, and they just walked away.”
The saga began about two weeks ago when Sammy, who suffers from a heart murmur, began showing flu-like symptoms.
The Nikolayevs took him to Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, California, the hospital where Sammy had been receiving regular treatment for his heart condition.
According to Anna, the couple became alarmed after a nurse came in to give the baby antibiotics.
Uncomfortable: Anna Nikolayev (left, with Alex) says the hospital made mistakes and they just weren’t comfortable when doctors started discussing heart surgery
‘I asked her, “For what is that?” And she’s like, “I don’t know.”’
How, Anna wondered, was the woman working as a nurse but unaware of the purpose of a medication? Anna said a doctor would later tell her Sammy did not need antibiotics.
While still at Sutter, Sammy was admitted to the pediatric ICU for observation. Within a few days, doctors began discussing the possibility of heart surgery for the baby.
Motivated by fear, Anna took Sammy from the hospital without a proper discharge and admitted him to another hospital, Kaiser Permanente.
Taken: Though they got OK’d from a different hospital to take Sammy home, police let themselves in the next day and took Sammy into protective services
Harsh: Anna, left, said CPS told her Sammy was taken due to the Nikolayev’s ‘severe neglect’ and Alex, right, said he met police at the door and they threw him to the ground before entering the home and taking Sammy
‘I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,’ Anna explained.
Police then showed up at the second hospital.
‘They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms,’ Anna said.
At Kaiser Permanente, the doctor indicated on the infant’s records that he was clinically safe to go home with the Nikolayevs and that there was no concern for the Sammy’s safety in their care. They went home.
On April 24, the police arrived at their house. Alex said he greeted them and was pushed to the ground when he asked if he was being arrested. They then took Sammy away.
Extreme: Anna said the doctors at Sutter Memorial (pictured) in Sacramento, California had police convinced she and her husband were bad parents
Differing: While one hospital suggested surgery, another, Kaiser Permanente (pictured) OK’d Sammy to go home with his parents
According to Anna, a child protective services worker told her Sammy was taken away for ‘severe neglect’ but did not elaborate on the neglect.
KXTV reached out to Sutter Memorial and were told to contact child protective services. Reporters were told by CPS that they couldn’t comment on individual cases.
CPS spokesperson Laura McCasland told the ABC affiliate, ‘We conduct a risk assessment of the child’s safety and rely heavily on the direction of health care providers.’
The Nikolayevs were allowed an hour of visitation with Sammy on Thursday.
An outraged Alex told KXTV. ‘It seems like parents have no right whatsoever.’
‘We did everything,’ a tearful Anna agreed. ‘We went from one hospital to another. We just wanted to be safe, that he is in good hands.’
A court date hearing was set for April 29.
Uncertain: Sammy remains in the care of authorities, with his fate to be determined April 29
Read more: here
Feds promise crackdown on any ‘prohibited possessor’ in states where pot is ‘legal’
The Obama administration has a zero tolerance policy on enforcing federal drug laws, White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske recently told the National Press Club. So why should gun-owners be paying attention?
The website for the Office of National Drug Policy includes this warning: “Marijuana and other illicit drugs are addictive and unsafe especially for use by young people. … Marijuana contains chemicals that can change how the brain works. And the science, though still evolving in terms of long-term consequences of marijuana use, is clear: marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects.”
Why, then, hasn’t the Obama administration launched legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters last fall voted to “legalize” marijuana under their state laws – even though federal law doesn’t allow that?
After all, the White House has been more than emphatic that state laws exempting people from the federal Obamacare law are invalid, and when Arizona took it upon itself to adopt a state law to enforce federal immigration restrictions, Washington went after those renegades immediately in the courts.
Is there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington LIKES?
That seemingly strange idea may have been borne out just days ago when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the “State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.”
As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating, “The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that ‘growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.’”
What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying – or possessing – a weapon.
“With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will … consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,” they wrote.
The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated, “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”
They further wrote, “These individuals are to answer ‘yes’ when asked on the firearms transfer form if they are unlawful users of a controlled substance.”
Answering falsely, of course, is also a felony.
According to the Denver Post, the CRS report was touted by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., an advocate of legalized marijuana, for saying that while “the federal government may use its power of the purse to encourage states to adopt certain criminal laws … it … is limited in its ability to directly influence state policy by the Tenth Amendment.”
Polis told the Post, “I’ve long believed that Colorado, Washington and other states that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana for personal or medical use have acted within the legal bounds of the law.”
But Obama attacked a state decision to enforce federal immigration standards, so why, as the Post reports, are “Colorado, Washington and 17 other jurisdictions … still holding out for any word from the Department of Justice on whether marijuana possession and distribution – which is illegal under federal law – will be enforced, despite the legalization within local borders.”
Dave Workman, senior editor at TheGunMag.com, a spokesman with the Second Amendment Foundation and a former member of the NRA board of directors wrote about the possible solution last fall as the votes in Washington and Colorado were approaching.
“A source with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C. … confirmed what had been explained in a Sept. 21, 2011, letter from Arthur Herbert, assistant director for enforcement programs and services to firearms retailers…
“Washington state gun owners need to know they cannot get stoned and head for the gun range or hunting camp,” he wrote.
A letter from Herbert, at the time, blew out of the water the option for the libertarian concept of unrestricted guns and unrestricted marijuana.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such is sanctioned by state law,” he wrote. Even selling a gun to someone can catch an owner outside the law.
“An inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time,” Herbert wrote.
Workman told WND his assumption is that the Obama administration is hesitant to step on the toes of marijuana users who may support the left-leaning administration.
At the same time, with Obama’s agenda for gun rules, regulations, restrictions and requirements looming large, anything that has the potential to trip up a gun owner couldn’t be all bad.
Impacts from strategies such as this are not unknown. There are millions of Americans whose ability to obtain a firearm could be challenged under the position that they are taking a variety of mood-altering psychiatric drugs carrying the FDA’s “suicidality” warning label. An increasingly high percentage of Americans are taking these meds, which have demonstrated an alarmingly high correlation with school shooters.
And the government has been using its interaction with veterans to designate many of them – by the tens of thousands – incapable of handling their own financial affairs and therefore banned from having guns.
A lawsuit was just filed by the United States Justice Foundation against the Veterans Administration for snatching veterans’ gun rights without “due process” or any “factual or legal basis.”
WND has published multiple reports about how returning veterans were being deprived of their Second Amendment rights without a court-based adjudication competency process, based on arbitrary VA agency decisions.
The problem arises when the agency wants to appoint a fiduciary – someone to advise a disabled veteran or one receiving certain government benefits – to help with the management of those benefits.
The government then routinely notifies the FBI’s NICS system, a federally maintained list of those whose competency has been challenged, and that means they no longer can purchase a gun – or even keep the one they may have.
Michael Connelly, executive director of the USJF, told WND the initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
“The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making ‘determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,’” the legal team explained.
“The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition,” said Connelly. “This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.”
CRS attorneys, however, note that there doesn’t have to be a huge case for an American to pay huge consequences.
“Given the Obama administration’s informal statements and current approach to medical marijuana, it would appear unlikely that the DOJ is going to expend significant resources to investigate and prosecute individuals who merely possess and use less than one ounce of marijuana, in private, pursuant to Washington or Colorado Law,” they wrote.
“However, even if the probability of becoming the subject of a federal criminal prosecution for a violation … appears remote, there does exist a number of other consequences under federal law that are triggered by the mere use of marijuana, even absent an arrest or conviction.
“Most prominently among these concerns is the possibility that marijuana users may lose their ability to purchase and possess a firearm …”
SACRAMENTO, CA – A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.
The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.
It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.
For example, one day Anna asked why a nurse was giving her son antibiotics.
“I asked her, for what is that? And she’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m like, ‘you’re working as a nurse, and you don’t even know what to give to my baby for what,’” Anna explained.
According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy shouldn’t have been on the antibiotics.
A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house.
Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.
The two officers, 25-year-old Kyle Shedran and 24-year-old Greg Day, were placed on administrative leave with pay.
“They need to get rid of those men, boys with toys,” said Adams’ 70-year-old widow, Loraine.
John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police.
“I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said, sitting amid friends and relatives gathered at her home to cook and prepare for Sunday’s funeral.
News of a terror plot to attack a Via Rail train, just one week after the Boston Marathon bombings, has pushed public security to the front burner just as the Harper government seeks Parliament’s authority to curb civil liberties in the name of keeping Canadians safe.
The House of Commons was several hours into a debate Monday over a government-sponsored counterterrorism bill that would give authorities extra powers of arrest and detention when the RMCP announced they had foiled an al-Qaeda-backed plan to attack a Toronto-area passenger train.
At issue is S-7, the Combating Terrorism Act, which would authorize police to pre-emptively detain Canadians and hold them for up to three days without charging them.
Late last week the Harper government, citing the Boston bombings as a reason, cleared the legislative schedule for Monday and Tuesday to conduct third readings of S-7, a bill that has been moving relatively slowly through Parliament.
The bill would also allow authorities to imprison a Canadian for up to 12 months if the person refuses to testify in front of a judge at an investigative hearing.
The California state legislature passed a bill Thursday approving $24 million to expedite the confiscation of the estimated 40,000 handguns and assault weapons illegally owned by Californians.
SB 140, authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), seeks to remedy the gun-confiscation backlog that has left thousands of illegal guns on the streets, including those owned by those with criminal convictions or serious mental illness.
“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” Leno said in a statement. “However, due to a lack of resources, only a few of these illegally possessed weapons have been confiscated, and the mountain of firearms continues to grow each day.”
The measure will take $24 million from the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) surplus funds and give it to the California Department of Justice, which is in charge of confiscating illegal guns. The DROS account holds fees that are imposed upon every transfer or sale of a firearm in California.