Thursday, March 5, 2015

Policing-for-Profit exposed in Ferguson probe; still part of South Dakota's culture of corruption

South Dakota has been doing it for decades.
If we are lucky, an unfortunate era of “policing-for-profit” is coming to an end. Ferguson, and many of the surrounding jurisdictions, has been stopping drivers without the required reasonable suspicion. That’s been happening since Garrett Morgan invented the stoplight. Law enforcement officers making arrests without probable cause and using excessive force was simply a way of life, something some people found acceptable. Focused on generating revenue to support the city’s operations, officers train their eyes on people they can bully into court, people who won’t have the money to fight with a lawyer, people who will sometimes be forced to stay in jail until a mounting fine is paid — the Constitution and federal law be damned. [Blue Nation Review]
Cannabis advocate, Emmett Reistroffer weighed in on Amicus lector, the blog of Argus Leader crime and justice reporter, John Hult:
Policing for Profit also grades the states on how well they protect property owners—only three states receive a B or better. And in most states, public accountability is limited as there is little oversight or reporting about how police and prosecutors use civil forfeiture or spend the proceeds. Federal laws encourage even more civil forfeiture abuse through a loophole called “equitable sharing” that allows law enforcement to circumvent even the limited protections of state laws. With equitable sharing, law enforcement agencies can and do profit from forfeitures they wouldn’t be able to under state law.
Hult made this chart showing where the loot from drug busts goes:

The large awards to Corson County stand out:
The racial makeup of the county was 60.80% Native American, 37.19% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.05% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. 2.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 27.3% were of German ancestry.
Proceeds from seizures are netting less cash for South Dakota's police state after interested party began alerting West Coast and Colorado patriots.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seattle Times: state should partner with tribes on legal cannabis

Funny. Where have i heard this before?
Some of this state’s most business-savvy Native American tribes are evaluating the risks and opportunity to grow or sell marijuana, as well as the relatively untapped potential in medical-marijuana research. What all this means for Washington is that, in time, tribes could be a major influence in legalized marijuana. They have the capital and business acumen to grow the market while keeping prices competitive, something that will appeal to some medical-marijuana patients and perhaps put a dent in the black market. For the state of Washington, getting out in front of this and working with the tribes is not only the smart thing to do, it’s imperative. [excerpt, Mark Higgins]
Oh, yeah: now i remember.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jackley's Aquash probe smells like money

Soon to be former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson had apparently determined that the odds of successfully completing an investigation into the murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash were low enough to close the case pending new information. One prosecutor left his job in 2012 feeling that he was “this close" to solving it.

South Dakota's Napoleonic attorney general, Marty Jackley, seems to be plying the American Indian vote as he lunges into the Aquash case:
The South Dakota Attorney General prosecuted John Graham in state court in 2010, persuading a jury to convict the Canadian Indian of murdering Annie Mae Aquash in December 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A main lesson for Jackley of the Aquash case is that “a Native American woman who was a victim” got justice - albeit decades after her murder - mostly through cooperation from other Native Americans who followed their consciences. [Stephen Lee]
If only Marty's office could be more transparent about the Bendagate Affair than about his intention to run up the GOP ladder.

JR LaPlante, the inaugural Secretary of Tribal Relations, left that post under the current GOP South Dakota governor to take a job as a prosecutor for Democrat Johnson.

Brendan Johnson has been firm in saying he can't discuss the Bendagate scandal or even confirm whether there is a federal investigation though it is known that several agencies are probing the bowels of Pierre.

There is little doubt that Jackley is grasping at the straws propping up the Janklow legacy in the wake of a Wounded Knee standoff that sent Leonard Peltier to prison. Peltier's petition for executive clemency sits at the tip of President Obama's pen.

South Dakota's GOP governor has trumpeted a clarion call to recruit white people to run for state posts at risk to being vacated by term-limited members or for those seats where the legislators are just too stupid to run again.

The anniversary of the occupation of Wounded Knee is remembered at Indian Country Today.

That Jackley is raising campaign money grandstanding as some champion of white rule as South Dakota's culture of racism is being tried in the court of public opinion is vertiginous in its hubris.

He announced his crusade to the faithful at that renowned hall of justice, The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tribe pulling contracts from Rapid City?

Go Hot Springs!
According to an anonymous source, Oglala Sioux Tribal officials are asking the tribal schools that normally have functions and events in Rapid City, South Dakota to boycott the city. These actions come in the aftermath of the racial incident last month involving the spraying of beer and racial slurs delivered towards 57 students from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation who attended a Rush hockey game. [Levi Rickert]
The Southern Hills community took this blogger's advice to ask Black Hills State University to look into ways to make the town more accessible to the area that includes the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Hot Springs could be something someday if it wanted to be: the town has recently expanded its social media platform and the Mammoth Site is at the focus of scientific research on a 9300-year-old mummified bison uncovered there.

Nearby Wind Cave National Park is a perennial favorite destination for ecotourists and is within biking distance of the Mickelson Trail. There is a movement to bring a mountain bike race to the area that would rival the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival. Real estate is affordable and historic properties abound.

If passenger rail ever happens nearby Maverick Junction will no doubt be a stop. My maternal grandparents honeymooned in Hot Springs where Evans Plunge became the Black Hills' first commercial tourist attraction.

A planning and development class at Black Hills State University recently delivered to Hill City a packet of concepts to improve access to tourism-related activities.
Students focused on promoting three of Hill City’s strengths – culture and heritage, outdoors, and wine and craft beer. These three market niches are already established in the community and provide the best options for growth, students said. The group brainstormed events that fit into these niche markets, including a history scavenger hunt, dinner tour of local restaurants and a public art walk. The group also identified several challenges Hill City faces, such as budget issues, the seasonality of businesses and website presentation to visitors. Many Hill City businesses close in October and reopen in May. Students suggested that the town support more off-season events, enticing locals or community members from the surrounding area to visit Hill City. [BHSU Communications]
This blogger passed BHSU's article on community organizing to a Hot Springs official.

The South Dakota Democratic Party should book their 2016 state convention in Hot Springs.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Younger earth haters warming to cannabis

Does anyone call it recreational alchohol? Of course not.
Pew poll data shows 63 percent of Millennial Republicans -- those born between 1981 and 1996 -- support legalized marijuana. But it's a divisive topic if the applause during Thursday's pot debate at CPAC, an annual gathering of conservatives, is any indication. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson argued for its legalization, casting it as a safer alternative to alcohol; "Having a debate right now over whether or not to legalize marijuana is kind of like having a debate over whether the sun is going to come up tomorrow," Johnson said. On that same panel, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.) said marijuana today is stronger and more dangerous than in the past. [Hunter Schwarz]