January 1, 2015 |
The system failed mass murderer Bradley Stone's victims and everyone who cared about them. Montgomery County law enforcement officials should show more interest in finding out how. Police say that in just 90 minutes on Dec. 15, Stone killed his ex-wife and five of her relatives during a bloody rampage through Souderton, Lansdale, and Lower Salford. He used a handgun to shoot five of the victims and was also armed with an ax, a machete, and knives. The next day, he was found dead of a drug overdose in the woods near his Pennsburg home.
December 31, 2014 |
About a year ago, Philadelphia Police Chaplain Luis Centeno was approached by Stephen McWilliams, who teaches a social documentary film class at Villanova University. McWilliams was initially interested in profiling the chaplain, but as they talked, both began to see a more meaningful project - about a dark secret, one few law enforcement officers are willing to openly talk about. Suicide. The collaboration led to this to the release this fall of BLUE , a 40-minute documentary chronicling the occupational hazards of the job, and a related app to help officers identify and address the signs.
December 19, 2014
LET ME BEGIN with a statement of fact. Editorial cartoons are not meant to be fair and they cannot hurt you. That said, they can, in the words of one of my ink-stained brethren, punctuate the conversation with satire, mockery and gross exaggeration, ridiculing and lampooning everything from pompous politicking to holier-than-thou hypocrisy. Nobody said it was pretty, but it is oh, so American. Cartoons are supposed to provoke thought, encourage speech and usher in change. And change cannot come soon enough.
December 13, 2014 |
University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann has become the second area college president in a week to face criticism for participating in "die-in" protests held by students. Gutmann lay on the floor with student protesters when they took over her holiday party Tuesday - their demonstration symbolizing the 41/2 hours that the body of Michael Brown, a black teenager, remained on the street after he was shot in August by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Members of the Penn police force who were working at the party and witnessed Gutmann's participation were "outraged," said Eric Rohrback, president of the 116-member Penn police officers' union.
December 5, 2014
IN AN OLD "Saturday Night Live" skit called "White Like Me," Eddie Murphy went undercover as a white person. The punch line: When blacks aren't around, white people behave differently, giving one another free stuff, including no-strings bank loans. The skit played on the idea that whites and blacks suspect one another of having tribal loyalties and behaviors that they keep secret from one another, and only bring out when they're in "safe" company. Murphy's bit was funny. Not so funny is the belief among some blacks that police are out to get them, and that white society thinks their lives are expendable.
November 24, 2014 |
We love to toast the Internet as an amazing engine for connection, creativity, and growth. We rarely want to dwell on its darker side - the vast cyber-badlands where ne'er-do-wells freely roam. On the Web, you can get away with nearly anything if you have the technical skills to pull it off and the wiliness to stay ahead of the law. Just ask a Nigerian prince - or one of his sorry victims. But if it's the Wild West out there, here's reason for hope. Last week, a Texas company became one of the first reined in by frontier marshals armed with new authority out of Washington - though this time, Wyatt Earp was played by the Federal Trade Commission and state officials in Texas, Illinois, and Ohio.
November 8, 2014 |
The man charged with abducting a 22-year-old Germantown woman this week has arrived in Virginia to face charges in the earlier kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl. Federal prosecutors say Delvin Barnes, 37, violently abducted nursing assistant Carlesha Freeland-Gaither from a Germantown street Sunday and drove her to Maryland. After a frantic search that involved local and federal law enforcement from three states, Freeland-Gaither was found alive in Barnes' car in Jessup, Md., on Wednesday.
November 8, 2014 |
To his best estimate, FBI Special Agent Bill Shute had stayed awake for 60 hours by Thursday evening, enough to make any person go looney. His last few days had been rather strange. He had meticulously planned his own daughter's kidnapping - all as part of a training scenario - and developed ways to trick authorities searching for her. His best asset: the actors. An FBI agent, Shute's good friend, played "Mr. Uncooperative," the suspect who is not involved but has all the signs of guilt.
November 1, 2014 |
HAWLEY, Pa. - Eric Frein, the captured suspected cop-killer who for six weeks was the target of a Poconos manhunt involving more than 1,000 law enforcement officers, on Friday was ordered held without bail on murder charges. Frein, his hair slicked back and sporting a goatee and bruises on the cheeks, nose, and eyes, answered politely as Pike County District Judge Shannon Muir asked if he understood the charges against him and the purpose of the arraignment in the packed, one-room 19th Century courthouse.
October 31, 2014 |
A MEASURE to be introduced in City Council today could place tighter restrictions on local use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones. Not to be confused with the large, weaponized, military-type drones, these smaller, consumer-grade aerial devices are a potential problem for people's privacy, according to Councilman Jim Kenney, the bill's sponsor. "We've seen international soccer games stopped because of a drone. We've heard of people using them to spy on people in their homes . . . These things are becoming more and more available to the average hobbyist," Kenney said.