Mayor’s Step Son Shot and Killed by Homeowner When He Attempted Christmas Eve Burglary

shotgun stock

The step son of Cedar Hill, TX mayor Rob Franke, was shot and killed by a homeowner when he attempted to burglarize the home on Christmas Eve.

The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Joshua Slaven.

Slaven tried to enter the home through a bedroom window.

The homeowner armed himself and opened fire, hitting and killing Slaven.

According to ValleyCentral.com,

Chris Knox, an attorney for the homeowner, told The Dallas Morning News the intruder entered the Cedar Hill home through a bedroom window just before midnight Tuesday. Knox says the homeowner’s deadly actions were justified and “completely protected under Texas law.”

Slaven had been arrested over an incident at his home less than a month ago.

Texas continues to lead all other states for the highest number of documented defensive gun uses.

Advertisements

2013 – Lowest Number of Law Enforcement Deaths by Firearms Since 1887 – Yes, 1887

iStock_000017129805XSmall

We keep hearing from the anti-gunners about how gun crime is getting out of control and law enforcement officers are outgunned out on the streets. Of course, nearly all of the FBI’s crime numbers show a 20+ year low in homicide and violent crime, but why let facts get in the way?

Now we have another fact to disprove their point that “gun crime” is out of control. In 2013, the fewest number law enforcement officers since 1887 were killed by firearms.

According to the report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund,

Firearms-related fatalities reached a 126-year low in 2013 with 33 officers shot and killed, the lowest since 1887 when 27 officers were shot and killed. After increasing dramatically in 2010 and 2011, firearms- related fatalities decreased in 2013 for the second year.

Thirty-three officers died in firearms-related incidents compared to 49 in 2012, representing a 33 percent decrease.

Handguns were the leading type of firearm used in fatal shootings of law enforcement officers in 2013. Of the 33 officer fatalities, 58 percent were shot and killed with a handgun.

As the report also points out, most shooting deaths were committed by suspects armed with handguns. This further disproves the fact that officers are regularly facing suspects armed with semi-automatic rifles which are most often the target of gun ban legislation.

Traffic related fatalities were the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers in 2013.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officers who died in the line of duty in 2013 as well as their friends, families and colleagues.

33 Fascinating Things We Learned About Ourselves From Polls This Year

Chances are, you think the country is on the wrong track and are worried about terrorist attacks. And there’s a 1-in-10 shot you look at your phone during sex.
Apparently, we Americans consider this relaxing.
Apparently, we Americans consider this relaxing. (Elsa/Getty Images)

How are we feeling?
Pretty glum. In November, 70 percent of Americans said the country was “on the wrong track,” the highest number in two years (ABC/The Washington Post), and 42 percent expect the economy to get worse in the next 12 months (NBC/The Wall Street Journal). 54 percent say they’ve felt little or no economic improvement since the 2008 financial crisis (ABC/The Washington Post), and 29 percent think the economy will never fully recover (Rutgers University). That sense of pessimism extends overseas. 70 percent say the U.S. is losing respect internationally, and 53 percent believe America plays a less important role in the world than a decade ago. 52 percent say the U.S. should mind its own business and try to stay out of other nations’ affairs (Pew Research Center).

Who do we blame for America’s problems?
Politicians. 59 percent of voters disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy, and60 percent don’t like how he’s dealt with health care (Quinnipiac). Even young Americans are souring on the president, with 54 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds saying they’re unhappy with his performance (Harvard University). Voters aren’t frustrated with Obama alone — only 9 percentapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, the lowest number in 39 years (Gallup), and 60 percent would like to replace every single senator and representative (NBC/The Wall Street Journal). To get better politicians, though, we may need better voters. 55 percent say most Americans are guided by their emotions, not facts, when they vote (Rasmussen).

How has society changed?
We’re more open-minded. A record 63 percent say it is “morally acceptable” for unmarried people to have sex, 59 percent have no moral objections to gay relationships, and for the first time a majority of Americans — 58 percent — favor legalizing marijuana (Gallup). But we’re troubled by technology’s effect on the nation. 59 percent say the internet and social media are making Americans ruder (Weber Shandwick), and 69 percent think we’re too distracted by our gadgets (Harris Interactive). Evidence suggests they’re right. 49 percent of adults and 43 percent of teenagers admit to texting while driving even though they know it’s unsafe (AT&T/USA Today). 33 percent of smartphone owners say they’ve used their device during a dinner date. 9 percent admit to looking at their phones during sex (Jumio/Harris Interactive).

How do we relax?
We watch a lot of sports. Pro football is by far America’s favorite sport, with 48 percent of sports fans saying they closely follow events on the gridiron, compared with 11 percent who are devoted to pro basketball and 7 percent to Major League Baseball (Public Religion Research Institute). 84 percent of football fans say their viewing pleasure hasn’t been affected by growing scientific evidence that hard hits can leave players permanently brain damaged (HBO/Marist).

What are we scared of?
A lot. 66 percent worry about a terrorist attack on their community (Reuters/Ipsos), and 55 percent fear that a mass shooting might happen in their area (ABC News/The Washington Post). For many, Washington is what keeps them up nights. 53 percent think the government threatens their personal rights and freedoms (Pew Research Center), while 36 percent of Americans, including 62 percent of Republicans, suspect the Obama administration is secretly plotting to seize everyone’s guns (Public Policy Polling). Despite our fear of the feds, 56 percent approve of drone aircraft being used to kill suspected foreign terrorists on U.S. soil (Fox News). But there are limits to the powers we’re prepared to grant flying robots. An overwhelming 72 percent oppose using drones to monitor motorists and issue speeding tickets (Monmouth University).

10 Things You Need to Know Today: December 30, 2013

Another bombing in Russia, ObamaCare surges in December, and more
Police stand guard at the site of a suicide blast in Volgograd, Russia. 
Police stand guard at the site of a suicide blast in Volgograd, Russia.  (REUTERS/Sergei Karpov)

1. Bombing in Russia kills at least 15 people
A bomb planted in a trolley killed at least 15 people on Monday in the central Russian city of Volgograd. The attack comes a day after a female suicide bomber set off an explosion at the Volgograd train station, killing at least 17 people. The attacks have raised concerns about terrorism in Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. More than 1 million sign up for ObamaCare in December
While Healthcare.gov had a very rocky rollout, more than one million people signed up for health insurance through the federal website in December. That brings the total number of enrollments to about 1.1 million. However, the Obama administration had originally estimated that 3.3 million people would have signed up by the end of 2013 through both the federal and state exchanges. [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. Report warns that Afghan security will erode
U.S. intelligence agencies have issued a report that predicts Afghanistan’s tenuous security situation will likely worsen by 2017. The National Intelligence Estimate says that the situation will devolve even if the U.S. continues to send large amounts of aid and leaves a few thousand troops in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban from gaining power. The assessment comes as the United States negotiates a treaty to keep an international military force in Afghanistan over the next several years. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. Syria expected to miss weapons deadline
International officials warn that it is likely that the Syrian government will miss its Dec. 31 deadline for transferring a portion of its chemical weapons stockpile. The regime of Bashar al-Assad, which came under intense international scrutiny earlier this year after allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people, has not begun to move the weapons despite international pressure to disarm, citing difficulties stemming from the ongoing civil war and the weather. Weapons inspectors say it shouldn’t take long to dispose of the weapons once they are moved out of Syria. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. Formula One champ injured in skiing accident
Retired Formula One racer Michael Schumacher was badly injured on Sunday while skiing in the French Alps. Schumacher, who is a seven-time world champion, was wearing a helmet but had to be airlifted to a hospital, where he is currently said to be in critical condition. [CBS]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. Minimum wage set to rise in 13 states
An estimated 2.5 million minimum wage workers will see a bump in their paychecks come Jan. 1. Thirteen states (including Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Colorado) and four cities are increasing their minimum wage. Most of these workers will see modest increases (less than 15 cents an hour) but a few states will be offering more. New Jersey, for example, will raise the state minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 an hour. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. Israel and Lebanon reportedly trade fire
Israel bombarded southern Lebanon with at least 20 rockets on Sunday after claiming its neighbor had attacked Kiryat Shmona, a northern Israeli town near the border. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Lebanese government for allowing the militant group Hezbollah to continue fomenting violence and vowed to respond aggressively. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

8. Sotomayor to join New York’s New Year’s celebration
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will ring in the New Year in New York City, leading the 60-second final countdown in Times Square. Sotomayor will also push the button to drop the New Year’s Eve ball. [Fox]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. Northern California counties consider creating their own state
A handful of California’s northern counties are hoping to secede and form the 51st state. Two have already voted to break away and create Jefferson State, while a few others have decided to hold referendums on the issue. Residents in these mostly rural counties say they don’t feel represented in the state capital of Sacramento and are alienated from Californian politics overall. [Los Angeles Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. Rex Ryan will coach the Jets in 2014
Rex Ryan, the embattled head coach of the New York Jets, will still have a job with the football franchise next year. Despite missing the playoffs for the third year in a row, Ryan still has the backing of Jets’ owner Woody Johnson. Ryan, who is popular with the players, has amassed a 42-38 regular season record and is 4-2 in post-season play with the Jets. [USA Today]

LAPD Deploys Drug Detection Swab Test at Sobriety Checkpoints

The Los Angeles Police Department has announced plans to ramp up use of a portable tool that checks for drug use, beginning with a New Year’s Eve crackdown on intoxicated drivers. Officials cited increased medical marijuana use as a main justification.

Los Angeles, with its skyline pictured, has over 10,000 police officers. Credit: BDS2006 via Wikimedia

A state grant supplied the LAPD with a swab testing tool that will be employed at DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints and jails, Los Angeles officials said at a Friday press conference.

The conference was held to highlight use of the tool alongside breathalyzers – which check for blood-alcohol content – at sobriety checkpoints during the New Year’s holiday.

LAPD officers can ask a driver to consent to a voluntary portable oral fluids test of their gum line and cheeks. The tip of the tool is then put into a portable machine for immediate testing rather than requiring a blood test. Such blood tests have previously been necessary to verify an arrest made on the suspicion of drugged driving.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer pointed to the increased use of medical marijuana and the prevalence of dispensaries in the city as reason to step up enforcement of DUI policing.

“There’s a growing recognition that driving under the influence of drugs is something we need to be clamping down on more effectively,” Feuer said at the press conference.

The swabbing test is not completely untested, though it was only used 50 times in Los Angeles ahead of Friday’s announcement. City prosecutors said they have not used results from the test as evidence in any case thus far.

The portable oral fluids test screens for amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methadone, methamphetamine, narcotic analgesics, and THC – which indicates that marijuana has been used the past several hours.

“Traditionally, our office has focused on drunken driving cases,” Feuer said. “We’re expanding drug collection and aggressively enforcing all impaired-driving laws.”

The city attorney’s office filed 598 DUI cases in the past year that involved drugs. In comparison, the city filed 577 drunken driving cases during the 2012 winter holiday alone.

Thus far in the 2013 holiday season, over 1,500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles County on suspicion of DUI, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

It is yet unknown what other capabilities the testing method has, or how the LAPD will use biometric data gleaned from the swabbing results.

In June, the US Supreme Court ruled to affirm law enforcement’s right to legally take DNA samples from those who are arrested – even if they have not been convicted for a crime or gone to trial.

Los Angeles County has held the distinction of possessing one of the largest DNA-sample backlogs in the US, including an especially high number of unprocessed rape kits.

Woman Intrusively Probed for Six Hours by Border Patrol Agents, Receives $5,000 Bill

A 54-year-old New Mexico woman was seized by U.S. Border Patrol agents and treated like an animal. Subjected to multiple invasive searches, she was practically raped and forced to undergo six hours of invasive body cavity searches and medical exams against her will. The petite lady remembers vividly being ordered to “take off her pants and crouch as her anus and vagina were examined with a flashlight.”

A normal day turns into a cruel and humiliating six-hour drug search, as woman’s vagina and anus are probed raw

While crossing Mexico’s El Paso Cordova Bridge on December 8, 2012, a “drug sniffing dog jumped on her.” Two Customs and Border Protection agents quickly responded, arresting the lady. What they did next was downright disturbing and beyond criminal – an infringement of rights and privacy that she will never forget.

Without a warrant and against the woman’s will, the agents took the lady to a private room and searched her further for contraband. They then invasively examined her anus and vagina with a flashlight. In their sadistic search for contraband, they touched her in private places, dismembering her privacy. After finding no contraband, the agents decided to put her back in handcuffs and take her to the University Medical Center of El Paso.

The lawsuit reads, “During the car ride to the Medical Center, the lady asked if the agents had a warrant. One of them responded that they did not need a warrant.”

Upon arriving at the hospital, two doctors joined the sadistic search, as multiple invasive medical exams were ordered without her consent.

In the court statement, “the agents watched as a doctor forced a speculum up her vagina to see her insides, stuck his fingers up her vagina while pressing on her abdomen, and put his fingers in her rectum.”

The four of them were now working together, forcing the woman to suffer extensive body cavity searches and medical exams.

Afraid for her life, she was then handcuffed to an examination table, where “she was given a laxative and had a bowel movement in a portable toilet in front of both officers,” the lawsuit said.

As degraded as she was, the search for contraband was not over. After being humiliated and probed in front of agents and medical staff, they then ordered an X-ray of her stomach.

When the X-ray found no drugs, a CT scan was ordered. When the CT scan came back negative, the border patrol agents relinquished.

Agents and medical staff try to trick victim into signing away her rights

Upon realizing their insanity, the officers and medical staff approached the woman and gave her two options, trying to trick her into signing away her rights.

She was told to either sign a medical consent form (a ploy to trap her into surrendering her rights) or decline and pay for the medical probing that she didn’t consent to. If she did sign the consent form, then the border patrol said they would pay for the searches.

But this woman knew what was going on at this point. She did not sign away her rights.

Now the border patrol is billing her $5,000 for the humiliating medical exams that she never consented to. This is like pouring searing hot coals on a burn.

Now she is seeking justice in a court of law.

But even this action can’t release the memory from her mind. She says that, since the ordeal, she can no longer be intimate with her husband. She “stays at home whenever possible,” feeling as if people are staring at her in public.

Represented by attorneys with the ACLU in Houston and New Mexico, the lady seeks to remain anonymous and looks for punitive damages for the heinous civil rights violations.

“These extreme and illegal searches deeply traumatized our client,” ACLU of New Mexico Legal Director Laura Schauer Ives said in the news release. “The fact that our government treated an innocent 54-year-old woman with such brutality and inhumanity should outrage all Americans. We must ensure that government agents never put another person through a nightmare like this ever again.”

Those who face prosecution now include the El Paso County Hospital District and the board of directors, the University Medical Center of El Paso and the two doctors, Michael Parsa and Christopher Cabanillas. Defendants also include two unidentified border patrol agents and agents Portilla and Herrera.

The U.S. Border Patrol agency, a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not comment on the case.

Click here for the Facebook page of the University Medical Center of El Paso.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.courthousenews.com

http://www.elpasotimes.com

A&E Caves, Phil Robertson Reinstated to Duck Dynasty, Filming to Begin on New Season

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 10.59.35 PM

The patriarch of the Robertson family, Phil Robertson, whose family owns one of the larger hunting brands in North America, will be part of the cast on A&E’s Duck Dynasty when filming for the new season starts next year.

According to the press release from A&E,

While Phil’s comments made in the (GQ) interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the ‘coarse language’ he used and the misinterpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would ‘never incite or encourage hate.

Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family, a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A&E Networks also feel strongly about.

So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

Phil Robertson was suspended from the show indefinitely the week before Christmas over comments he made about homosexuality during a recent interview with GQ magazine.

Duck Dynasty is the highest rated show on cable and one of the highest rated shows of all time for a single episode viewing.

The Robertson family has not issued a statement following the recent A&E press release.