Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Book Excerpt: An Ex-Detroit Police Officer Writes About Racism and the Racial Divide on the Police Force

Mike Cowling served in the Detroit Police Department from 1972-90 and worked uniform patrol, a felony plainclothes car and 16 years as an undercover narcotics officer. The white former officer writes in his new book, “Force Divided,” about the racial divide in the department and racism he saw among white and black officers.

“Yes, the ugly force of racism is alive and well in the Detroit Police Department, and it exists on both sides,” he writes under the pen name David Stealth. Here’s the first chapter from the 368-page book, available here in hard cover, paperback or e-book.

By Mike Cowling                                                  

As I gazed at the clock, I thought. Why did I even set the alarm? I have not slept a wink all night. How could I sleep on the eve before the day I was to become part of a great fraternity, a brotherhood with approximately five thousand members. Today was the day I would become a Detroit police officer just as my father before me, a man I admired for his ethics and the fact that he was an honest lawman who loved enforcing the law.

Featured_screen_shot_2016-11-21_at_9.39.38_pm_23952

After a quick shower and a cup of coffee, I put on my newly purchased rookie uniform, which fit like a glove, if I must say so myself; I attributed my excellent physical condition to being a recently discharged Army veteran, standing at six feet and tilting the scale at approximately two hundred pounds. My sandy brown hair complimented the tan uniform; I certainly looked like a cop, my objective was now to become one.

I arrived at 1300 Beaubien (Detroit Police Headquarters) at 6:30 a.m., an hour- and- a- half early. I sure didn’t want to be late my first morning, the day I would be sworn in as one of “Detroit’s Finest.”

As I stared at this large historical, gray, multi-story building, that had obviously been built at the turn of the century, given its stately architecture along with the fabulous sculpturing in the mortar. I felt as though this grand old lady was demanding respect from all who gazed upon her including the moon that shined brightly overhead.

My stomach was in knots; the dream I had held since childhood was only a short time away from becoming true. Oh God, I thought. Please don’t let anything happen to prevent me from becoming commissioned. Just then the ringing of bells came from a distance. As I turned towards the sound a man exited a small greasy spoon that was located kitty-corner from Police Headquarters. Great, I thought, because I sure could use another cup of coffee.

The bell hanging on the door rang once again as I entered the little eatery causing the patrons to turn and look in my direction. Immediately, I observed a short chubby man dressed in the unmistakable tan student patrolman uniform, which all police rookies are required to wear during their 16 weeks in the Police Academy.

As our eyes met, we both smiled, realizing each was most likely a member of the new Police Academy class. I walked over and introduced myself, “Hi, my name is Dave Stealth; you look like a new guy, too,” extending my hand. He said, “I’m Bill, Bill Stephan” grabbing my hand and shaking it  eagerly. “Are you also being sworn in this morning?” “Yes, I guess will be classmates,” I replied. Little did I know, I had just shaken the hand of one of our class’s future fatalities.

At the end of the counter was a slightly older black officer in uniform. He was apparently deep in thought, which would explain why he ignored us, two of his new brothers in blue, oh well. We ordered breakfast; I don’t believe my food ever touched my teeth because I nervously ate so quickly. The only thing on my mind was that in less than an hour I was going to finally be sworn in as a Detroit cop!

As Bill and I entered Police Headquarters with spirits high, we observed what seemed like hundreds of officers of all ranks, detectives in plainclothes with guns and badges attached to their belts as well as those in full uniform. Some were beginning their tour of duty while others who appeared fatigued, from working the graveyard shift were obviously going home. Strangely enough, just as the black officer in the restaurant had, these officers were ignoring us as if we were apparitions. Did we exist? I didn’t expect a party; however, a simple hello or a casual nod of recognition would have been nice!

Suddenly, I realized Bill was no longer involved in our conversation or at my side. As I turned I found him silently looking at a wall that was littered with photos of Detroit officers who had given their lives in the line of duty, the Wall of Honor. There was something eerie yet holy about the shrine and I’m sure we both were sharing the same thoughts. How were they killed and would one of us experience the same fate?

It was now 7:45 a.m. as we entered the gym. Many of our fellow colleagues were now beginning to arrive, all displaying enthusiasm, and a little arrogance, on their faces. The gym quickly began filling up with tan uniforms, all awaiting our first orders or instructions. As introductions were being made between classmates, I could sense the bonding of our group taking place, even before we were officially sworn in as law enforcement officers.

Brothers in Blue

At 8:00a.m., all 28 members of Class 72 L, one of the smallest classes in the last two years, were present and awaiting the arrival of our training officers, who obviously were late. As I looked around, I noticed two distinct groups forming, one black group and the other white. Thoughts of my three years in the army came to mind where racial tension was blatant and occasionally violent. Surely the police department would be different; after all we are all brothers in blue who will be depending upon each other daily in the fi ght against our common enemy: crime.

Just then a voice from the rear shouted “Front and center people, all you wannabe’s shut up and fall into formation, now!” Our training officers, one sergeant and two patrol- men had arrived. They weren’t quite what I imagined. I had thought they would be a reflection of Sergeant Johnson, my D.I. (Drill Instructor) in the army, well built with the eyes of a shark. But these guys were your everyday Joe’s, with average builds and rather pleasant faces. The only thing outstanding about them was their police uniforms and pistols hanging from their sides.

“All right people. My name is Sergeant Mustaff and these are Officers German and Glowski. For the next sixteen weeks, we will have the misfortune of being your parents. It is our job to weed out the boys and those who just don’t have the right stuff. God only knows we don’t need any more incompetent or bad cops out there! We will teach you to respond as a team and you will learn to act as one! Now listen up for your name to be called and respond with, Here sir, student patrolmen and your last name, is that understood?” The class responded simultaneously, “Sir, yes sir!” We had an enthusiastic class, most cadets had been recently discharged from the military service, so PT (physical training) was not considered a challenge. Those of us who were physically fit would be able to assist any classmates who were having a difficult time, because we would never leave one of our own behind, a mindset we had been taught in the military.

As the weeks passed, our class began to form a strong brotherhood. We were operating as a team where color was not an issue and all were becoming more confident with each passing day. This was just how I had imagined the brotherhood to be. As well as everything was going, what could possibly go wrong?

Read more »

Trump Spokesman Declines to Show Support for FBI Director Comey

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The fate of FBI Director James Comey hangs in the balance after a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump declined to back him.

“There hasn’t been any official statement with regard to Director Comey,’’ Trump spokesman Jason Miller said during the transition team’s daily briefing, the Washington Post reports. 

Asked if Trump would ask Comey to resign,  Miller only said: “I would imagine that at some point, the two will meet.”

Comey has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

On “60 Minutes,” Trump said he hasn’t decided if he’ll ask Comey to resign.

“I haven’t made up my mind. I respect him a lot. I respect the FBI a lot,’’ said Trump, adding that he wanted to meet with Comey before deciding.

NTSB Investigating Chattanooga Bus Crash that Killed 5 Children

The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was arrested.

The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was arrested.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a deadly school bus crash in Chattanooga after authorities said the driver was going “well above” the posted speed limit of 30 mph.

The crash killed five elementary school children on Monday, and the bus driver was arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving, WBIR reports. 

Johnthony Walker, 24, of Chattanooga only had his commercial license for about seven months, according to the NTSB.

Twelve students remained in the hospital a day after the crash.

Police said the driver was speeding on a narrow, winding road.

The NTSB is expected to be in Chattanooga for 7 to 10 days.

Globe Gazette: Donald Trump Should Live in White House, Not NYC

By Editorial Board
Globe Gazette

white house big photoA president-elect who handles his transition from his hometown, not Washington. A big city and its residents cursed with traffic snarls and security measures that get in the way of normal life. An incoming first lady who entertains waiting until the end of the school year to move the rest of the family to the White House.

Donald Trump, 2016? Yes. But also Barack Obama, 2008. It may be hard to believe now, but Obama had an adjustment to make when the Oval Office beckoned. In figuring his next moves, Trump could take a page from his predecessor.

Trump lives and works in the 58-story Trump Tower, which is in midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, one of the busiest commercial arteries in America. Since Election Day, the building has been the focus of security efforts that have caused inconveniences for many locals.

Part of 56th Street has been closed to traffic. Two Fifth Avenue lanes are no longer in use. Trump Tower houses Gucci and Nike stores, which shoppers can get to only through the security cordon. Restaurateur David Chang tweeted, “All the NYPD & Secret Service checkpoints killing restaurant foot traffic on 56th St.” In New York Magazine, Justin Davidson said the area has become “the urban equivalent of the security line at JFK.”

A no-fly zone was imposed on the airspace above. In a borough that gave 86 percent of its votes to Hillary Clinton, Trump Tower also has been an irresistible lure for protesters, who create additional tangles.

To read more click here. 

Thousands of Green Cards Mishandled Over Past 3 Years, Inspector General Reports

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government mishandled thousands of green cards over the past three years, according to a new Department of Homeland Security inspector general report. 

Among the problems were electronic system errors that led to at least 19,000 cards being issued with correct information or as duplicates.

The inspector general also found that some green card applicants received a card valid for 10 years, instead of the intended two years.

But the head of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services said some of the report’s conclusions were exaggerated, ABC News reports. 

The USCIS director said none of the green cards were sent to people who were ineligible to receive them.

Federal Agents Seize Tens of Thousands of Fentanyl Pills In Huge Drug Bust in Utah

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s being billed as one of the largest drug busts in Utah history.

Federal agents seized tens of thousands of synthetic opioids – or fentanyl pills – and cash Tuesday at a home in Utah where a “pill press” was found, the Washington Post reports. 

The pills were falsely labeled as Xanax or oxycodone and shipped across the U.S.

The DEA, National Guard and IRS were involved in the raid at a home in the city of Cottonwood Heights in Salt Lake County.

“A very small amount ingested, or absorbed through your skin, can kill you,” warned Acting DEA Deputy Administrator Jack Riley in June.

Aaron Michael Shamo, 26, was charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Other Stories of Interest

Uber Driver Arrested for Joining ISIS, Supporting Vicious Attack on Times Square

Times Square, via Wikipedia

Times Square, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Uber driver from Brooklyn was arrested Monday after authorities said he expressed support for attacking Times Square with a garbage truck.

Mohamed Rafik Naji, 37, is also accused of traveling to Turkey and Yemen last year to join ISIS, the New York Daily News reports. 

Naji showed his support of ISIS on Facebook, posting a photo of an ISIS flag, videos of jihadists and a link to an ISIS spokesman encouraging attacks on Western targets.

Naji is accused of telling an informant that he supported a deadly attack in Times Square with a garbage trucking running over pedestrians.

“They (ISIS) want an operation in Times Square,” Naji told the informant on July 19.

“They want an operation in Times Square, reconnaissance groups already put out a scene, the Islamic State already put up scenes of Times Square … I said that was an indication for whoever is smart to know.”

FBI Appoints New Special Agent in Charge of Denver Division

Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Denver Division.

Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calvin Shivers, who joined the FBI in 1990, is the new special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver Division.

FBI Director James Comey announced the appointment Monday in a press release.

Shivers had been the acting special agent in charge since August.

He replaces Thomas Ravenelle, who was transferred to FBI headquarters.

The Denver division is responsible for overseeing Colorado and Wyoming.

Previously, Shivers was the section chief of the violent crimes against children section in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.