Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Media Downplaying Two Police Killing Sprees Ignoring Solutions

People relying on traditional media could have easily missed it but two federal law enforcement officers went on killing sprees in the last five weeks.

One of them was the shooting spree last week in Maryland which got plenty of coverage but the vast majority of the stories I saw on national TV didn't mention that it was a Homeland Security Officer that only recently was put on administrative leave for domestic violence complaints that has been going on for over a decade. The other one was a former FBI agent involved in a murder suicide in Texas last month. Most reports of this one didn't disclose he was a former police officer, saying that it wasn't their policy to disclose names of shooting victims and perpetrators.

I've looked at a lot of reports about both police shootings and veteran shootings including many base shootings and few if any of them claimed this was their policies; however this base ah another incident three years ago, listed below, which still hasn't disclosed the people involved, that I could find on the internet.

When ever there is a police or veteran shooting there are always people trying to defend against efforts to make it seem as if all police or veterans are damaged goods, and that it is only a small minority of them that go on killing sprees; and this is true. However there are far more that the media is letting on and there appear to be statistics and additional research that indicate that both military veterans and police are more prone to violence than the general public and have greater problems with domestic violence. I have gone into this in several previous posts listed below.

Also, the media and political establishment also fail to cover the best research about preventing violence from escalating early by recognizing and preventing the root causes of violence. One of the most important root causes of violence is child abuse or corporal punishment which teaches children to deal with their problems through violence. It also teaches children to go along with the crowd even when it is racist or supporting wars based on lies. This often escalates in military or police academies where cadets are hazed as part of a process to teach them to blindly obey orders without question.

Not all police trainers agree with this, including David Couper former police chief of Madison Wisconsin, who recommends different methods; however, in some cases this is almost certainly a major contributing cause why some veterans or police officers become more violent. More about this below as well.

One thing that everyone should agree on is that if preventing the root causes of violence protects police, their families and the general public more effectively in the long run then much more should be done to do this.

As I've said in previous posts some of the people doing the most to reduce police or veteran violence are other police or veterans, or their families. In many cases when police or veterans become violent the victims are often other police or veterans and their families.

The incident last week clearly indicates that Eulalio “Leo” Tordil became overly obsessed with military training even at home with his own wife and children as indicated in the following article:

Man arrested in Md. killing spree allegedly menaced his wife, stepdaughters 05/06/2016

When Gladys Tordil went to court in March to plead for protection against her husband, she portrayed him as a man who had menaced her and her two daughters for at least a decade.

Eulalio “Leo” Tordil, 62, a career law enforcement officer and former Army reservist with a black belt in aikido, subjected his stepdaughters to “intense-military-like discipline — push ups, detention in dark closet” and used violence against his wife, Gladys Tordil said in a petition for a restraining order filed in Prince George’s County District Court.

During one fight in 2010, she told the court, “He slapped me so hard during our altercation, my glasses broke on my face.” On March 2 of this year, she said, “He threatened to harm me if I leave him.”

The protective order was granted. Eulalio Tordil’s superiors at the Federal Protective Service took his gun and badge as a result of the complaint and put him on administrative duty. But that didn’t save Gladys, a 44-year-old chemistry teacher at Parkdale High School.

Instead, it allegedly set off a two-day rampage of violence across suburban Maryland that left her and two others dead and drove her daughters into hiding until Eulalio Tordil was taken into custody at a Boston Market on Friday afternoon. ....

He may have meant to be the final fatality, allegedly telling colleagues that he wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” according to two people in law enforcement. Complete article

The following two articles, especially the second also seems to imply that the military hazing of recruits which was "a little bit of a shame culture" almost certainly contributed to a potentially violence environment:

Former FBI agent identified as gunman in Texas base murder-suicide 04/10/2016

DALLAS – A former FBI agent who later enlisted in the U.S. Air Force was identified Saturday as the man who killed his commander at an air base in San Antonio before turning the gun on himself.

A statement from the Air Force identified the two men as Tech. Sgt. Steven D. Bellino and Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder. The statement did not name the gunman, but a federal official close to the investigation said Bellino opened fire Friday at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person isn't authorized to speak publicly about the case.

The official said Bellino was an FBI agent for less than two years before resigning in 2013 and later enlisting in the Air Force. Authorities have not confirmed why Schroeder was targeted. He was commander of the 342nd Training Squadron. Complete article

Gunman in Texas Air Force base killing had gone AWOL, then taken mental health exam 04/12/2016

A former Green Beret and onetime FBI agent who committed suicide after attacking his commander at their Air Force base in San Antonio had received a military mental health evaluation after going AWOL last summer, his attorney confirmed Monday.

Tech. Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, 41, of Parma Heights, Ohio, is believed to have opened fire early Friday in a training building at Lackland Air Force Base, killing his squadron's commander before apparently turning the gun on himself. ....

Bellino joined the Army after graduating from high school in 1992, training first as an Army Ranger at Ft. Stewart, Ga., then as a Green Beret at Ft. Bragg, N.C., according to his attorney, Daniel Conway. In 2002, he left the Army and joined the Army National Guard, serving with a special forces unit based in Ohio, according to Conway and military records.

During his time in the Army and National Guard, Bellino served multiple tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Kuwait, Conway said. From 2004 to 2007, Bellino also worked as a civilian contractor with a private security firm, the lawyer said. In 2011, Bellino left the military, went to work as an FBI special agent in the New York office but resigned after less than two years, according to an FBI statement.

He then tried to reenlist in the Army or join the Navy, but eventually settled on the Air Force because it involved the least amount of red tape, Conway said.

Bellino took advantage of a program that allows veterans to assume jobs that are hard to fill, including special operations pararescue training. That made him a technical sergeant after serving for less than a year, the highest-ranking trainee in his group.

But shortly after Bellino arrived at Joint Base San Antonio on June 30, trainers found he had "physical problems," especially swimming, said a source who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak about the case.

"There was a little bit of a shame culture down there," the source said. "There were members of the staff there that were belittling him in a way that was borderline appropriate."

On Aug. 3, the day he went absent without leave, Bellino's troubles seemed to come to a head. During a water endurance test, the source said, an instructor made him repeat an underwater swim, saying he had failed. Later, the source said, the trainer ordered him to say — while being videotaped — that he had quit the training program. Complete article

The same base also had a domestic shooting incident about three years ago according to, Army captain shot, wounded on Fort Sam Houston 06/11/2013 this one was the first shooting incident this base had in twenty years since another hostage incident took place when an employee took a supervisor hostage; but there have been plenty of other shooting incidents in bases around the country. As I said above this base doesn't seem to be slow releasing the information about either of these incidents, but most other bases don't seem to do this although they report each incident as an isolated one and rarely report on more than a handful of them so the majority of the public never realizes how common these incidents are.

An internet search at any given time often turns up more incidents which could quickly turn into long lists; after just looking at the first page of a Google search for "police officer arrested on duty" I found at least two more recent incidents by police which probably should receive a lot more attention, DC Cop Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting Civilian In Bizarre Road Rage Incident 04/22/2016 Off-Duty Officer Shot, Arrested After Firing At Deputies In Bel Air 04/21/2016. Variations of this search would almost certainly turn up many more incidents that don't get much attention, which is how I compiled some of the lists in articles cited below, and there are always a lot more.

One of the rare occasions where they do report more than two or three of these incidents at a time is, A History of Shootings at Military Installations in the U.S. 07/16/2015, which lists twenty shooting incidents at military bases going back to 1994, but seventeen of them were between 2008 and 2015, and there are many more that they don't cover.

I compiled long list of additional incidents where both police and veterans went on additional shooting sprees in A Brief History of Cops Convicted of Murder and Teach a soldier to kill and he just might. Most of these weren't on military bases but I'm sure that given time to organize them they will turn out many more than the twenty listed in the previous article by traditional media. I also went into some of the contributing causes for these shootings in these articles. A couple of the highest profile killing sprees that were both police and veterans were Manuel Pardo and Christopher Jordan Dorner.

More important than the lack of reporting on how common this is by the traditional media and the political establishment is their refusal to adequately address the best research on how to prevent these incidents by addressing the root causes. Contrary to the impression the media gives the public we do have adequate information on how to dramatically reduce, and possibly, eventually eliminate these incidents. One of the contributing causes of police shootings is almost certainly their training according to Hazing and Bullying in the Police Academy by David Couper, former police chief of Madison Wisconsin, which has had below average murder rates for quite a while especially compared to Milwaukee which is where David Clarke is sheriff and he uses a much more authoritarian manner to police and has higher rates, typically three to six times higher than Madison.

However police training isn't the only contributing cause for violence or even close but there is plenty of research on all the other contributing causes but the media and political establishment refuses to discus most of them either. In most cases the most effective way to reduce crime is to address the long term contributing causes before incidents escalate. The vast majority of reporting about how to prevent shooting incidents in the media focuses on one or two possible contributing causes. One of the causes that receives the most coverage is gun control which never leads to any action and it is almost certainly not the most important issue or even close, although there is a clear correlation between lax gun control laws and higher murder rates, and a much bigger difference when it comes to suicides.

Last year I did a series of over half a dozen reviews of various contributing causes to crime, listed below; the most important long term contributing cause of escalating violence is almost certainly child abuse and corporal punishment leading to escalating violence later in life as I explained in, Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows and numerous additional articles about this subject. In most, if not all cases, when researchers look into the past of violent felons they find that they've come from abusive childhoods where their parents, or other caretakers, often abused them, which taught them to use violence to solve their problems. Dorothy Otnow Lewis did an enormous amount of research into killers in prison and claimed that she found evidence of early abuse in every single incident, when she took the time to do enough investigation. However most researchers don't seem to be willing to look to deep and often assume that since they didn't find anything it must not be their, often even dismissing claims from defendants as biased and unreliable. Dorthy Otnow Lewis didn't rely solely on claims from defendants and even found they often denied the abuse. Instead she often found police and hospital records or other additional independent sources to support her research.

Additional contributing causes that the media inadequately reports on include poverty education, gambling, religion, gun control, income inequality, the death penalty, even life insurance, union busting and political affiliation. Republicans usually claim to be the toughest on crime but the states with the highest murder rates are controlled by Republicans, and the Democrats often try to copy the hard on crime policies of the Republicans. the areas with the lowest murder rates are often the ones with the most active grassroots efforts to recognize the best research and ensure that their elected officials don't push policies that have routinely proven to fail. My previous reviews of these contributing causes are listed below.

The states with the highest murder rates rely heavily on corporal punishment to raise their children and often fall for appeals to emotions that lead them to pursue policies that have been proven not to work by enormous amounts of evidence, including the death penalty, instead of efforts to reduce crime by reducing poverty improving education and addressing other necessary social needs.

A major part of the reason why the political establishment doesn't address many of these problems is because they're making an enormous amount of profit off of many of them. The media sells an enormous number of ads for both gambling and insurance and politicians collect campaign contributions from both of them so they have incentive to avoid discussing how they both lead to higher crime rates, including murder. The same goes for poverty and income inequality or inadequate education.

The political establishment is far more interested in control than they are in minimizing crime or war. Both of these enable them to use fear to scare the public and enable them to get the votes they need to promote policies that simply don't work.

The hazing and military indoctrination is part of that control efforts and it also leads to escalating violence. This leads to many incidents which some veterans like Chris Kyle often write about in their memoirs that don't fit the propaganda about many veterans by the media at all. He often admits that they get in lots of fights and even that the military and police often go easier on them than civilians. It shouldn't be surprising when occasionally they escalate so much the media can't ignore it like 'One hell of a pillow fight' West Point tradition turns violent; 24 concussions 09/06/2015

When it comes to military discipline they're often more concerned when potential challenges to authority take place like when West Point Cadets At Center Of Storm After Raising Fists In Photo 05/09/2016

Amazingly there appear to be an enormous amount of outrage over this incidents from people responding to this in Nice. Black Female West Point Cadets Raise Black Power Fist for Graduate Photo 05/07/2016. Aren't minorities included among those that our military is supposed to be protecting? The military doesn't protect us from massive economic inequality or pollution or many other problems; instead boot camp indoctrination often teaches people to blindly obey orders instead of addressing the root causes of violence, so instead of protecting people the military and police often do the opposite of what they're intended to do.

These are some of the pat articles about contributing causes to escalating violence posted previously:

A Brief History of Cops Convicted of Murder

The threat to police is greatly exaggerated

Debunking “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”

Is the militarization of the police leading to escalation of violence including Vegas shooting?

Ignored evidence linking corporal punishment, poverty and crime grows

Does lack of education increase violent crime? Religion?

How much does Income Inequality Affects Crime Rates?

States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations

Teach a soldier to kill and he just might

The tragedy of gambling politics in United States

How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime?

Politics, not technology, caused botched executions

Democrats do a bad job on crime; Republicans and the Media are worse!!

Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit

Life Insurance and media companies are encouraging lots of murders

Union Busting adds to corrupt bureaucracy and incites crime

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