Tag Archives: Shooting

The Hill: America needs a ‘Duck and Cover’ for domestic terrorism

Despite a persistent threat and great courses like the CAT Eyes Program & “Run, Hide, Fight“, there still is no standardized effort to train citizens on terrorism and what they should do if an attack were to occur. If your local law enforcement agency, school or workplace hasn’t trained you in what to do; ask them to immediately!

In the meantime, this piece examines what can be done to try and make Americans more vigilant and mentally prepared for what may occur.

Click here to read the full story in The Hill.

How ’60 Minutes’ got it wrong about Chicago

This piece in The Hill looks at last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” segment entitled “Crisis in Chicago” and discuses how their analysis fails to truly explore the cause and effect of a violent crime epidemic in Chicago that left 764 people dead within the last year.

To read the full article, please click here.

America needs security, not the appearance thereof (The Hill)

In this week’s column in The Hill, I question America’s resolve and preparedness to address the continual rise of violence facing society. Does America learn from past attacks here and abroad, or is it collectively just trying to ‘get back to normal’? Security is an ever-evolving discipline, and leaders need to continuously evolve to protect our nation’s citizens and infrastructure.

Please click here to read the full piece in The Hill.

Mannes to Moderate Expert Forum on Violent Extremism

nccOn the morning of Friday, October 14, A. Benjamin Mannes, an elected Governor on the executive board of Philadelphia InfraGard (the FBI-coordinated public/private partnership) and Regular Contributor to The Hill will be moderating the Forum on Violent Extremism at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  This forum will be the first of its kind to bring nationally recognized subject matter experts in radicalization together with FBI and Philadelphia police leaders on a panel that will discuss this issue with attendees.

Mannes hosted a similar event to discuss active shooter incidents in 2013, following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, which was a sold-out event that joined a noted forensic Psychologist together with the Philadelphia Police, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and private security experts.  Topics covered will include ISIS radicalization and lessons learned from domestic terrorist incidents.

This two-hour session will also highlight public/private partnerships, federal, state and local resources, and suspicious activity reporting in an effort to enhance safety throughout our region. Our highly regarded panel of experts will include:

Peter Leitner, PhD
President, Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center, 
Sr. Fellow, George Washington University Center for Advanced Defense Studies Advisor on Terrorism, New York University Law School

Dale Yeager
Certified Forensic Profiler and CEO of SERAPH

Michael Batley
Faculty, Temple University Real Estate Institute

Lt. James Dambach
Commanding Officer, Homeland Security Unit/Dignitary Protection Section
Philadelphia Police Department

Janelle Miller
Assistant Special Agent in Charge
FBI, Philadelphia Division

This important event will give attendees important tools needed to recognize the behaviors associated with radicalization and violent extremism, to hopefully prevent further home-grown terrorist attacks.

The Hill: Why facts matter in police shootings

My latest piece in The Hill looks at the differences between the two lives lost in Los Angeles County this week.

As quoted:
“Black Lives Matter” vs. “All Lives Matter” is, in my opinion a false dichotomy. As someone who grew up in both New York and Los Angeles during the crack explosion, I was taught that “No Lives Matter,” until you make a name for yourself and define how your life matters to those around you.”

PLEASE READ THE FULL ARTICLE AND SHARE IT TO GET THE FULL STORY IN THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS.

The Hill: Due Process includes law enforcement officers

This column in The Hill focuses on public demand in our current, corrosive political climate for the premature release of evidence or legal action before the completion of an investigation.  The piece examines the constitutional right to due process, which is vital to public safety and criminal justice in America. Everyone should be reminded that regardless of their political beliefs, all Americans are protected by the constitution…and a riot is no excuse for the violation of those rights.

The full piece can be read by clicking here.

John Cardillo & Ben Mannes discuss tactics and the Tulsa shooting

Ben Mannes appeared again on The John Cardillo Show, which airs weekday mornings on WBIZ 880AM in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, to discuss the latest controversial police shooting of an unarmed suspect. The shooting of Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed black suspect with PCP in his vehicle by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby was, in my opinion about poor tactics and/or training, not her justification to use deadly force.

In watching the video, it was clear that Crutcher should have complied and was being given clear and lawful orders, ignoring them by walking back to his vehicle (albeit with his hands up).  Tactically, I believed this to call for nonlethal/less-lethal force such as a taser, takedown, or impact weapon. Had Officer Shelby and her backup officers bridged the distance and attempted a less lethal intervention method he got to his driver’s door, Crutcher would be alive and in custody now.

On an important note, had Crutcher listened and lawfully complied with Shelby (which is hard to do on PCP), and the officers on the scene not been afraid to go ‘old school’ and put hands on him; Crutcher would be alive today.

John Cardillo Show: Ben Mannes on Police Ambushes, Terrorism and Immigration

Mannes was a guest on the John Cardillo Show on Monday, 9/19/16 to discuss two ambushes on Philadelphia Police, his recent article in The Hill entitled Background Checks: the Achilles Heel of Immigration Reform, and the recent Terrorist Attacks on New York, New Jersey and Minnesota.

Rules to the game: Cops, criminals and the complexity of urban policing

As published this morning in The Hill:

Last weekend violent riots broke out in Milwaukee, WI, following the police shooting of 23-year old Sylville Smith, who was armed with a stolen semiautomatic handgun during a foot pursuit. Civil protests turning violent is unfortunately becoming a new norm in the divide between the African American community and the police agencies serving them, with similar protests in Ferguson, MO and Dallas, TX resulting in the unfortunate loss of life and property.  However, when looking back on the adversarial relationship between criminals and law enforcement; this new norm has not traditionally been “part of the game”.

“The game” is street vernacular in abbreviation for the “crime game” or “drug game” that encompasses the criminal activities conducted professionally in the community. Those employed in “the game” are commonly referred to as “players”.  Now, your more experienced players know that if you’re committing a criminal act and the police arrest you, chase you, or use force to apprehend you; then that’s part of “the game” and the police are doing their job in coming after you.  Examples of this are evident in the unexpected “business” relationships that arise between those in “the game” and law enforcement officers.

Outside Baltimore, MD, the name Melvin Williams may not ring a bell. Most of us remember Williams as the actor who played the neighborhood Church Deacon on the venerable HBO crime drama, “The Wire”.  However, Williams real fame is from his stint as “little Melvin” Williams, the West Baltimore drug kingpin that The Wire’s ‘Avon Barksdale’ character was actually based on.  The little known truth behind how Williams ended up inspiring the character as the drug kingpin who was the focus of seasons 1-3 of The Wire as well as how he came to be a player on the show in seasons three and four was that he was friends with Ed Burns, the show’s co-creator who was himself the Baltimore City Police Detective that helped put Williams away in 1984. In 2003, Williams was released from prison and reconnected with Burns, who put him on the show.

Also of mention is Frank Lucas, the heroin kingpin arrested by New Jersey Narcotics Task Force Detective Richie Roberts in the 1970s, inspiring the 2007 film “American Gangster”. What’s little known to the public is that while working with Roberts up to and through his 1975 conviction, Lucas and Roberts became close friends and stayed in touch through Lucas’ prison sentences from ’75-’81 and ’84-’91 and stayed friends since; to includes Roberts being godfather to Lucas’ son, Ray.  Also from New Jersey, Joey “Coco” Diaz, an actor and comedian who in the late 1980s was imprisoned for an armed drug kidnapping, stated on his podcast “The Church of What’s Happening Now” that “even though he was a career criminal he never resented the police, they had a job to do and it was understood”.

The truth is, any criminal or urban law enforcement officer will tell you, the streets are a workplace.  Law enforcement officers and members of the community make up a workplace in where no roles are 100% clear, considering the criminals are often victimizing members of the same community that they live, and good citizens in that community often know them, their relatives, and often times the law enforcement officers that come to arrest them.

So if we’re to believe the rhetoric in the media that pushes a “racially-driven, killer cop” narrative, despite all officially-collected data pointing to the opposite, then how can community policing examples dating back over forty-five years with famed examples like Williams/Burns and Lucas/Roberts exist?  The truth is that even a career criminal will you that you can’t run from the police and not expect to be chased and tackled. If you point a firearm at a police officer, then a career criminal expects that they will be fired upon.  If you’re known to the police and have multiple priors at a certain location, then you know that they can’t just walk away when you physically resist arrest.  These are long standing rules and are common-place to anyone in “the game”, so what brings upon this change in our public narrative that has people protesting, rioting, and assassinating law enforcement officers in the name of armed, potentially deadly suspects like Sylville Smith or Alton Sterling?

If nothing else has been learned from the civil-rights era riots of Watts, Newark, Detroit, the 1992 LA riots, and last year’s riot in Baltimore; it takes generations, if ever, for a community to recover from the damage inflicted in this unrest. However, it seems that the narrative behind these riots is changing, and a belief that law enforcement should simply allow a myriad of dangerous criminal behavior to exist persists in those who are taking to the streets in the protests that are too often becoming riots.  If more people took a note from the precarious “business” relationship between law enforcement and those in “the game” on the streets of urban America, maybe there wouldn’t be such outrage over the inevitable outcome of an incredibly bad choice to raise a weapon at a police officer.

A. Benjamin Mannes (@PublicSafetySME) is a national subject matter expert in public safety. He serves as a member of the Peirce College Criminal Justice Studies Advisory Board in Philadelphia and is a Governor on the Executive Board of InfraGard, the FBI-coordinated public-private partnership for critical infrastructure protection.

What’s Missing from the DoJ Civil Rights Division’s Police Investigations

baltimore police doj report

Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, discussed the department’s findings on the investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department with Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Associated Press/Brian Witte

Today, I was published in The Hill, in regards to the US Justice Department, Civil Rights Division’s release of a scathing, 163 page report on Wednesday, which details their investigation into the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD). The report concluded that BPD has exhibits systematic racial bias against African-Americans.

This DoJ report is quite similar to the ones written following investigations in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Ferguson, MO and Albuquerque, NM following controversial police uses of force.

However, in reviewing the report’s findings, one is left to wonder what elements are missing from these scathing reports that seem very quick to cite race as the pivotal factor in their conclusions.  Furthermore, one is left to wonder what the lasting effect these reports and their resulting consent decrees have on policing in their respective cities. At the end of the day, the nature of these DoJ reports can beg the question of their effectiveness.  Could a better use of governmental resources can easily be directed at the reasons crime is so high in the very communities where these DoJ reports are focused? If we, as a collective, recognize the job of the police, in responding to and preventing crime in the context of the high-crime areas where these investigations are conducted; then we can understand these statistics much better.

Please read the whole article and my talking points by visiting The Hill by clicking here, free of charge.