LEO Round Table – June 26, 2017

Episode 276: Travel ban / Viewer questions / Citizen arrest.

http://leoroundtable.com/should-citizens-duct-tape-burglars-for-police-leo-round-table-episode-276/

Episode 277: Barricaded suspect response analyzed.

http://leoroundtable.com/would-you-have-shot-this-armed-doctor-leo-round-table-episode-277/

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A Trail Runner’s Botched Bear Encounter

A miscalculated interaction with a black bear provides useful lessons on how to react to large predators on the trails.
Photo by Jitze Couperus / Creative Commons 2.0 / Trail Runner magazine

Trail Runner Magazine

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Published on July 5, 2017

The only sounds came from my running shoes striking the dirt road and my even breathing. Cool air stung my legs. Tall pines towered over the road and the smell of decomposing leaves and pine was thick in the air. Sweat beaded on my bald head under my cap, my heart pounded and my muscles warmed and loosened, melting my stress away. I was healthy, strong, and alive.

I felt lucky.

I was deep in the woods of North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp for a week of counter-terrorism training with members of the 101st Army Airborne Division and my DEA tactical team, as part of my job as a special agent. I’d finished each day of training with this five-mile run.

My thoughts drifted as I ran. I was thinking about home when something caught my attention—movement in a small clearing at the edge of the road. I slowed slightly, straining to see a black form through the moonless night. Was that an animal or was my mind turning shadows into monsters? I was 70 yards away when my brain recognized the shape.

Bear.

I stopped and froze. It was massive, nothing at all like the 250-pound bears that had wandered through my campsites in Maine when I was a child. This creature was 800 pounds of Ursus Americanus.

I stood in the middle of the road staring. The bear had its head down, looking straight ahead and not at me. I backed up slowly, then turned and walked towards the guard shack that marked the end of the road, glancing over my shoulder as I moved. I waited there, watching my breath rise in the air, feeling the sweat cooling on my back. I was at the outer limit of the property and this was the only road back to the training camp. I waited. Then waited some more.

After 10 minutes, I slowly jogged back towards the camp, moved quietly on the balls of my feet. I rounded the curve in the road and there he was. The bear hadn’t moved.

I reviewed my options. I could stand in the road out of sight and wait for the bear to leave, but it was cold, dark and getting late. I could keep jogging and hope the bear didn’t notice me, but I was pretty sure bears are faster than men. I could backtrack to the guard shack and ask the security guard to drive me to camp, but this would subject me to years of ridicule from the 101st Airborne soldiers and my fellow DEA agents. I’d rather deal with the bear than have to tell them I was scared.

I don’t know much about animals, having lived in cities for most of my life. My knowledge of bears came mostly from cartoon bears with picnic baskets and trips to the zoo. Maybe I could scare the bear away. I’d read somewhere that bears were scared of load noises. It worked with squirrels. I took off my gloves so I could clap my hands and pulled a small flashlight out of my pocket. The light would certainly scare the bear. Right?

I jogged around the bend and there was the bear. My heart sank, but at least I had a plan. “Hey,” I shouted and clapped my hands. The bear’s head shot up and he looked right at me. I shivered, then clapped again.

“Get out of here.” The bear didn’t move. He was 60 yards away.

I continued jogging towards the bear, clapping and yelling. If I stopped and ran, he would probably chase me and kill me. Fifty yards.

I picked up my speed and shined my flight light into the bear’s face. His eyes glowed like a demon. Forty yards.

I yelled at the top of my lungs, clapping and flashing my light at the bear. He didn’t budge. This was not how the plan was supposed to unfold. Thirty yards.

The bear stood up on his hind legs, lifting his front paws up like a boxer. He must be 12 feet tall. Twenty yards.

The bear wasn’t moving, but I was out of options and fully committed. I left the roadway and ran across the clearing directly at the bear. He loomed larger and his features came into focus. I could see his teeth. In a dozen strides I’d have to jump up and punch him in the nose. That works with sharks, right? Ten yards.

I let out my best war cry and waved my arms over my head, coiling myself, preparing to jump. Suddenly, the bear twisted violently to his left, dropped onto his front paws and fled. He hit the tree line with a crash, breaking branches and trampling saplings. It sounded like he was driving a car through the woods.

Without breaking stride, I circled back to the road. I’ve never run faster.

Back in the safety of our camp, I relayed my ordeal to an agent who had grown up in the mountains.

“You did everything wrong,” he said, shaking his head. By running at the bear I posed a threat. Waving my hands over my head mimicked the behavior of another bear challenging his territory. Since I was shinning a light in his eyes and restricting his already poor vision, I probably looked like another bear.

I should have been mauled to death. I don’t know why that behemoth backed down. Maybe the military axiom “victory goes to those who act first with overwhelming violence” also applies to bears. Maybe the bear never saw anyone act so stupidly and didn’t want to wait to see if I was dangerous.

Maybe I was just lucky.

Jeffrey James Higgins is a freelance writer and former DEA special agent.

LEO Round Table – June 19, 2017

Episode 270: Attack on Republican congressional members.

http://leoroundtable.com/capitol-police-kill-gunman-on-video-save-republicans-leo-round-table-episode-270/

Episode 271: Attack on Muslims in London.

http://leoroundtable.com/london-terrorist-attacks-muslims-outside-mosque-leo-round-table-episode-271/

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LEO Round Table – June 12, 2017

Watch five episodes of the LEO Roundtable, from the show on June 12, 2017. Jeffrey discusses terrorism, gangs, theories of deterrence, and the use of force.

Episode 264: Jeffrey urges the UK to arm their police in light of the London Bridge attack and suggests that incapacitation is the way to reduce terrorism.

http://leoroundtable.com/terrorist-attacks-abroad-recently-released-video-leo-round-table-episode-264/

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LEO Round Table – June 5, 2017

On June 5, 2017, Jeffrey discussed Islamic terrorism and police use of force on the LEO Round Table podcast.

  1. Addressing Islamic terrorism and censorship on the internet.

http://leoroundtable.com/terror-in-london-police-fight-and-arrest-12-leo-round-table-episode-258/

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LEO Round Table – May 29, 2017

Jeffrey analyzes statistical problems, shooting tactics, advances in technology, and behavioral profiling on the May 29th episode of the LEO Roundtable.

Statistical problems and why gun-free zones don’t work:

http://leoroundtable.com/why-combat-profiling-works-and-gun-free-zones-dont-leo-round-table-episode-252/

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LEO Round Table – May 22, 2017

On May 22, 2017, Jeffrey appeared on the LEO Roundtable, a podcast analyzing law enforcement issues. Below are the videos.

Part I: A terror attack in New York and a question of judicial racial bias.
http://leoroundtable.com/black-judge-makes-racial-comments-should-he-step-down-leo-round-table-episode-246/

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Principled Decision Making

The Current Newspapers

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

VIEWPOINT

The District’s advisory neighborhood commissions are routinely asked to support various license applications for both new and existing businesses. The principles commissioners use when deciding whether to support or oppose a business are critical. The government’s evaluation of a business needs to be consistently and fairly applied, and it should align with our country’s core ideals. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

For example, my own commission — ANC 2C — was asked to support a new burlesque lounge in downtown D.C. After some initial public dissent expressed at one of our meetings, the project was canceled. The commission was then asked to consider supporting the establishment of a cigar bar at the same location. The ANC voted 2-1 to oppose the business, and based on that decision the cigar bar did not pursue its license. Support or opposition by an ANC carries “great weight” when government agencies decide whether to issue licenses or permits.

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Why buying illegal drugs is immoral

The Washington Times

By Jeffrey James Higgins

Thursday, April 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Immoral Illegal Drugs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Purchasing illegal drugs is an immoral act, regardless of where one stands in the legalization debate. When drugs are legally prohibited, criminal organizations assume control of production and distribution, making violence inherent in the process. Drug proceeds are used to fund criminal and terrorist organizations, enabling them to murder innocent people, attack police and military, bleed our tax dollars, and destroy the rule of law.

Drugs are a major source of income for terrorist groups and other criminal organizations, due to the high profit margins in these illegal markets. For example, one kilogram of heroin costs $2,500-$5,000 in Afghanistan and it sells for $60,000-$90,000 in the United States. That same kilogram is worth approximately $1.5 million after is it diluted and divided into individual dosage units. Profits made from illegal drug sales are also unreported income, allowing unlawful enterprises to remain in the shadows.

There is a strong nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. According to DEA’s FY2016 Performance Budget Congressional Submission, 22 of 59 designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations had possible ties to drug trafficking. This number is probably low, because evidence is difficult to obtain, and it doesn’t address two recently designated terrorist groups. As an example, Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opium, morphine, and heroin. In Afghanistan, drug producers, traffickers, and transporters have deep connections to the Taliban, Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. Drug traffickers use terrorists for protection and terrorists use drug traffickers to fund their activities.

Terrorism is not the only violence associated with drug trafficking. Criminal groups regularly commit crimes against humanity. For example, Mexican organized crime was responsible for an estimated 80,000 deaths between 2006 and 2015, according to a Congressional Research Service report on Mexican Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations. Violent, transnational criminal gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) also fund their criminal activities through drug trafficking.

Violence is inevitable in illegal activity, especially in businesses like drug trafficking that involve large sums of money. Criminal groups exist outside of the judicial system; therefore they have no recourse with police or in the courts when they are victimized by other groups. When a criminal group retaliates against another, it engages in forms of tribalism and anarchism, where justice is determined by those most willing to use force. Drug dealers become modern warlords, operating outside of accepted institutions and societal norms.

Drugs are not the only unlawful trade that should be avoided. For example, illicit cigarette trafficking in the United States has been linked to terrorism funding. Numerous criminal investigations have shown that profits from some illicit cigarette sales support terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. The Iran-backed Hezballah, which was designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, has links to both untaxed cigarette sales and drug trafficking. Hezballah, which is also supported by Iran, is responsible for terrorist activities across the globe.

While there are compelling arguments to legalize certain drugs, the policy argument needs to be divorced from the morality of purchasing illicit drugs. It’s ironic that many celebrities and public intellectuals call for boycotts against corporations, like Nike and Apple, because of the low pay and poor working conditions these companies offer workers overseas, but some of the same people also openly admit to buying marijuana illegally. They don’t see the hypocrisy of condemning businesses, while buying marijuana from Mexican drug cartels or heroin from the Taliban; both of which murder innocent people. They mistakenly justify the purchase of illegal drugs based on their belief that drugs should be legalized, while ignoring the fact that their actions subsidize murder.

The next time one considers buying illegal drugs, one should consider that the money might be going to Hezballah, the Taliban, or a drug cartel. If one believes a specific drug should be legalized, then one should encourage legislators to change the law, not violate the law. Until the law is changed, illegal drug purchases will continue to support evil men who commit acts of violence against the innocent.

• Jeffrey James Higgins is a retired DEA supervisory special agent, with 25 years of law enforcement experience, and an expert in narco-terrorism.

 

The Moral Case against the Minimum Wage

The Moral Case against the Minimum Wage

This article was published on April 19, 2017 in The Georgetown Current, The Northwest Current, The Dupont Current, and the Foggy Bottom Current.

On March 30th, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s official Twitter account posted a tweet, which read, “Last year, we made a promise to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour and we kept that promise. #DCValues #SODA17.” Before celebrating the passing of last year’s bill, Mayor Bowser should order a study to evaluate the effects of this minimum wage legislation.

Mayor Bowser’s tweet came a week after Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh vetoed similar minimum wage legislation. Minimum wage laws are immoral and irrational interventions in the free market, which hurt the workers with the lowest skill levels and the least amount of experience. Imposing a minimum wage gives our elected officials the erroneous belief that they are helping the poor, but it actually hurts the most vulnerable members of the work force.

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Welcome to jeffreyjameshiggins.com

This is the homepage for the writing of Jeffrey James Higgins.

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