Opinions are like ________. Everybody has one.

Today, Jarvis DeBerry published his opinion on the recent interest in the NOPD’s investigation into the sex crimes unit and several officers that resulted from a report by the Office of Inspector General.  Mr. Debeery’s opinion is not that of a reporter — someone interested in ascertaining the facts of a situation.  Mr. Debeery’s opinion is exactly that — an opinion — based on fallacies and prejudice.

Let’s start with what is true (partly).  Mr. Debeery charges that my statements about this investigation prove “the unions (the FOP) reflexively defend their members, no matter the details of criticism.”  I am an attorney.  Several of the officers investigated by the NOPD in this matter are my clients.  The relationship is attorney (me) client (officer).  The FOP is not a party to that relationship.  A lawyer should act with “commitment and dedication to the interests of the client and with zeal in advocacy on the client’s behalf.”  I have a responsibility to defend my clients.  That is what I was hired to do.  While it is true that the Fraternal Order of Police in New Orleans does not hesitate defend its members when it is called for, that simply does not fit into the equation in these circumstances.

Mr. Debeery seems to find it incredulous that I indicated that I did not know what the officers were accused of.  He says “But there’s no excuse for Livvacari not knowing what the accusations are.”  He then refers to the November, 2014 report by the Office of the Inspector General making which made their “transgressions” “quite plain.”

Mr. Debeery states that the Inspector General “didn’t treat it’s investigation in to the sex-crimes unit like the typical report that accuses an agency of being wasteful with its resources.”  I agree with that statement and maybe this investigation is an indication that the Inspector General should stick with what he knows.

The first thing cited by Mr. Debeery from the Inspector General’s report is that 1,290 sexual assault and child abuse cases had been assigned to five detectives and 86% of those had not been followed up on with an investigative report.  He goes on to say that 2/3 of those cases (840) were labeled as miscellaneous incidents.  On its face, this appears to be problematic for those five officers.  However, it was not long before the NOPD determined, and announced publicly, that 677 of those 840 cases were sex offender registry checks.  That is, sex crimes detectives were responsible for verifying that the information provided by sex offenders following their convictions was correct.  Those 677 cases were properly classified as miscellaneous incidents.  The NOPD has since created a new category for sex offender registry checks, but they are still not sex crimes investigations requiring follow-up.  The report also relies on the lack of supplemental reports by officers on investigations as an indication that detectives were being lackadaisical.  This demonstrates a lack of knowledge of police procedure on both Mr. Debeery’s part and the Inspector General’s part.  The investigation into this matter also revealed that some of the case identified by the Inspector General’s report had already reached their conclusion in the criminal justice system — the cases had already been prosecuted.  There were likely numerous cases which did not get the attention they deserved.  But, supplemental police reports are only required when evidence was logged in or an arrest was made.  Otherwise, updates were logged in the case management system (CMS).  This is an overly simplistic explanation, but the short version is that manpower, not indifference, was responsible for cases which were not followed up on as thoroughly as the detectives would have liked.

Debeery then goes on to recount the Inspector General’s allegation that a child younger than 3 appeared at a hospital with a sexually transmitted diseased and that Akron Davis ignored this.  The lack of follow-up by Debeery, or possibly his inattention to information learned at a later time, much like the OIG’s inattention to detail, leads to reckless allegations such as this which are damaging to Detective Davis’s reputation.  First of all, this case was not assigned to Detective Davis.  Secondly, and much more importantly, the NOPD had already investigated this case and was well-aware about this child and how this child had contracted the sexually transmitted disease.  There is a case file several inches thick on this particular child.  So, the NOPD already knew the source of the sexually transmitted disease.  How much time should Detective Davis have spent determining the source of the sexually transmitted disease when there were so many other victims the understaffed unit had to try to help.  He then points to two other cases which Detective Davis would not have enough information to defend, explain or take responsibility for.

The next case cited Mr. Debeery is when Sgt. Merrell Merricks allegedly backdated an investigative report requested by the Inspector General.  This clearly shows a lack of understanding of police procedure.  In any event, those charges were not substantiated against Sgt. Merricks.  I do not represent Sgt. Merricks.  The same is true of the allegations about Detective Williams and his report writing.  Finally, Mr. Debeery cites a statement allegedly made by Detective Damita Williams regarding the applicability of a simple rape charges.  There is no context to this statement.  Did you know there are circumstances when simple rape is not an applicable charge?  For example, a husband cannot be accuse of simple rape of his wife.  Context is important.

Mr. Debeery winds up with his opinion that this should have been enough information for me and the public.  Unfortunately, I know more about this investigation than the public.  I certainly know more about this investigation than Mr. Debeery.

The Louisiana Constitution, something I would think Mr. Debeery would favor being applied to everyone as it was intended, establishes due process for civil service employees.  The process that is due requires that civil servants be apprised of the exact violations leading to disciplinary action.  The obviously flawed report by the Inspector General is insufficient to satisfy that requirement.  I should know the details of the circumstances leading to the discipline of my client.  That is the law.

We agree on one thing:  there has been a significant change in the operation of that unit (except that the detectives are still under water with an exorbitant case load).  This is a good thing.  This is also the only thing that really addresses the problems, in general terms, that existed in the structure of the sex crimes unit.  Disciplinary actions taken against good officers are not what led to this improvement.

Help Your Local Police Union.

Americans feel we have a God-given right to express our opinion. Americans wearing badges and blue uniforms aren’t allowed to openly voice thoughts contrary to department policy or directives issued by commanding officers. The exception to this rule are police union representatives, who take to the air waves and create content on behalf of this constituency.

Law enforcement supporters should contact local police unions and build a united front. Political campaigns and use-of-force incidents are times when such unity is key.

Candidates and activists contrary to public safety must be contested in the public square. We need look no further for examples than the 2016 presidential election cycle. One candidate won his primary with a battle cry of, ” law and order. ” Clearly, this resonated with millions of safety voters concerned about the future amid ambushes and riots. He was endorsed by the nation’s largest police union, while his opponent refused to even fill out the questionaire. This is a textbook case of police and public sentiment lining up behind a safety-minded politician.

As communities are targeted by enraged mobs and dubious policy proposals, helping your local police union transitions from mere civic duty to shoring up a besieged society. It’s high time we realized we’re simply parts of the same side!

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

Public Not Police Brutality Poem

ALOT of talk/about police brutality/Very little/about responsibility/or criminality or resisting arrest or committing felonies/

Alot of talk/about police brutality/Very little/about PUBLIC brutality/killing cops & and inner cities/Callously, constantly/… 

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter. 

Safety has No Color

Now is the time for inner city supporters of police not to be drowned out by skeptics or openly anti-police elements. We pay the price of violent crime, drug trafficking and disinvestment due to lack of safety more heavily than any other Americans.

Police, not career criminals masquerading as advocates nor delusional reformers, are our natural allies in fighting back against these conditions. Too many urban youth and adults die from cross fire or, even more callously, genocidal assaults on rivals’ families.

Black Lives Matter and statue stalkers of confederate monuments won’t march for these victims nor intimidate gangs the way they do elected officials.

Safety has no color and is created by active public and police partnerships, regardless of zip code. Lack of safety, however, does have a color, red. It’s prominently seen at crime scenes across America. Creating more safety by supporting and allying with police can change this picture.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

*Donate* if you believe in creating safety together instead of awaiting rationing from government.

Commending Cops.

The anti-police, negative narrative encourages public feedback to be consistently negative. Internal affairs complaints and inflammatory media coverage is their preferred method.

Police advocacy creatively counters this narrative with formal commendations, events and supportive content produced. America is in a war of words ( and worse ) about policing. I’ve filed commendations; contacted supervisors; written editorials; interviewed union leaders and use social media to combat the negative narrative. A steady diet of allegations and literal assault make professionals wary of the public. It divides stakeholders at a time when agitators, enablers and violent criminals stand united.

Officers appreciate recognition that their work and sacrifice isn’t in vain. Administrators also favor getting good news about performance from people departments serve.

Commending cops takes on new urgency as violent demonization of policing, protests by NFL players and even high school football teams stir urban resentment to new heights. This resentment launches jeering crowds,ambushes and lethal escalation of routine encounters.

Commending cops is one way advocates mobilize the public to figuratively protect embattled protectors. The future of policing demands it.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

When Rogues Rule

Current police reform mania goes deeper than liberal allegations of bias and libertarian mistrust of armed authority. Objective police supporters can at least have civil discourse with these ideologies.

I contend reasonable liberal and libertarian voices have been lost amid a howling rogues gallery swarming in from serious anarchist domestic terrorist and inner city criminal extremes. These extremes forgo tame reform like civilian oversight or body cameras. They want police to bow down to mindless rage at traffic stops and frenzied disruption marches masquerading as peaceful protests. Abolition of police period is the ultimate stated objective.

Picture an America run by unhinged suburban socialists and inner city gangs with police and civilian self-defense made extinct? They want a monopoly on force and Fergueson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Dallas and Baton Rouge graphically show how they’ll use it. This is national captivity these rogues envision, not police demilitarization championed by US Senator Rand Paul and the NAACP after the Fergueson riots.

They don’t want constitutional policing ala ACLU recommendations. Reasonable liberals and libertarians should cease legitimizing rogues by calmly excusing inexcusable excesses. These rogues will eventually turn on them for being mainstream after serving their purpose. When liberal and libertarian sympathizers get beaten or shot, the rogues will have shed any pretense of reason. I suggest reasonable reformers unite with police supporters before it’s too late.

A reign of epic ignorance and violence is at hand and only a united public can stop it. Otherwise, America would become a Mad Max movie set, where inmates run the asylum and hostages run for their lives. Liberal civil rights, conservative traditional values and libertarian civil liberties cease to exist. That’s the sick social order, when rogues rule.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

#GeauxBlue or Go Home!

Today is #GeauxBlue Nola Day, in honor of the embattled NOPD. In what police members and supporters consider an anti-cop climate, it encourages participants to wear blue to show solidarity with our department. There is a wide divide between it and New Orleans urban majority- perhaps this is one more bridge across it? 

I communicate with officers and executives nation-wide daily as part of my #IUniteWithBlue effort. The American police officer is under political-and literal!-attack by a movement whom I suspect feels crime is a sick civil right law enforcement violates. Creative, aggressive citizen advocacy is needed to end this department-destroying scheme masquerading as police reform. 

At any rate, #GeauxBlue today or go home. Crime is organized, why aren’t we? 

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

Are Police Obsolete?

The early 21st century may well be called, ” the era when police became obsolete. ” A veteran officer told me once that police were obsolete. He arrived at this conclusion after seeing the profession face unprecedented scrutiny.

Our challenge as stakeholders is to answer this question for ourselves. The media and high profile agitators don’t have final say in the matter. There are lifelong civilians and police retirees whose passionate police support doesn’t make national news. As law abiding people, protesting and creating buzz isn’t their style. I strongly suggest they raise the volume because anti-police voices have seized the airwaves.

The cure for Fergueson Effect depolicing rests in loud, organized public support of police officers. Pro-law enforcement lobbying must hit the streets, media and ballot boxes. It must change the narrative about policing in America. Civilian advocacy for police is the gaping hole between police unions and police protesters. It can be filled by folks who feel police aren’t obsolete, but only if they’re ready to fight. Are you ready to fight for police when they can’t fight for themselves?

Your response shapes safety and society for this century.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.

Colin Kaepernick’s Non-Stance During the Pledge

*AUTHOR’S NOTE: The public safety/policing tie-in to this post is how this case illustrates what I call, ” urban outcast ” consciousness. A steady diet of alienating rhetoric produces violent criminals,  rioters and enablers from communities that can’t absorb more mayhem. It’s the basis of my ” Make Peace With America ” talk given in many forms and venues over the years as a grassroots attempt at deprogramming. Those who don’t stand for the National Anthem also remain seated when cops are killed and also during canvasses for witnesses after yet another urban hostage dies because of stray gun fire.* 

  As someone who stands during the Pledge of Allegiance ( raised by a Jim Crow vintage grandmother who always stood on arthritic knees and nerve-damaged feet when it played on TV ), I’m not angered by NFL player Colin Kaepernick‘s refusal to stand during this national tradition. 

 
He said of this national tradition, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Young men his age, regardless of wealth, often air a ” Mississippi Burning “

view of America as if no progress has happened. It’s part of a calculated hostility which must be deleted. 

 
Grandma, like my late grandfather and mother, were public school educators. They didn’t earn millions as professional football quarterbacks. The America they grew up in denied that coveted position to athletes from our strand of the American fabric.They experienced real oppression and put it in context: they rejected bias without rejecting America.
 
That’s my choice too. I never accept discrimination but also put it in context. This context allows me to stand and recite the Pledge without a hint of feeling that I’m endorsing racial wrong doing.
 
I’ll stand for Colin Kaepernick too. In a Republic, you’re even free to disrespect it and all who created opportunities you clearly have seized.
 
His non-stance during the Pledge of Allegiance gives mine added meaning. I know how far we’ve come each time I stand.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist. @nadraenzi on twitter.