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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, September 14, 2007

bits and pieces, and no honor among thieves...or killers

Well, folks, I'm not gonna lie. I have nothing profound to offer you today. My mind already has me about six hours ahead of now, when I will begin celebrating living another year and finally being "officially" in my mid 30s.

I'll post tomorrow afternoon some time. Until then, if you believe in anything more powerful than yourself (other than the federal government) say a prayer for the families of Jose Somohano, Jody Wright, Tomas Tunidor, and Christopher Carlin, Miami-Dade Police officers who were shot yesterday by a long-time violent con, who was wearing body armour and toting an AK-47 assault rifle. And if you think you're the highest power you know, then you can still think good thoughts for these folks.

Ofcr. Somohano died from his injuries. The suspect, Shawn LaBeet, was killed late Thursday night in a second shootout with local officers. Early reports suggest that after LaBeet was pulled over for behaving suspiciously and driving erratically in a zone where the officers happened to be conducting a robbery/burglary sting operation, he got out of his car and eagerly, aggressively, began gunning for the cops.

I was talking with an old buddy, a retired homicide detective in another city, about this case earlier today, and he said he's noticed a change in the attitudes of "violent" criminals in recent years.

He said - and he's the second cop to tell me this in the past two months - that back in the day there was a code of "honor among thieves," so to speak, in which most bad guys drew a line at when they would commit violent acts and against whom.

This detective cited maybe a half dozen cases in his 30-plus years on the job in which a cop, or women, or children were targeted by a killer. Most homicide victims he saw were "planned" victims, or they were the victims of random violence (like the occasional carjacking by a drugged or drunk offender), or they were the victims of a passion/heat of the moment killing (like a drunk stabbing another drunk over alleged cheating in a card game, or something). Otherwise, it was very rare for bad guys - even those with reputations for violence - to kill just because.

Not sure what else to say about this. So, for now, I'll stop here.

So good day. And I'll chat you up tomorrow.

Peace and hair grease.

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  • Thus reinforcing the oxymoronitude (-moronacy?) of "Honor Among Thieves."

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 4:45 PM  

  • It is sad, but think about it. You have a generation raised on "The God Father", "Dog Day Afternoon", "King of New York", and the subsequent one raised on "Good Fellas", "New Jack City", etc., etc.

    The more we celebrate violence, the more the society at large will reflect it. And that's just PART of the problem...

    By Anonymous DJ Black Adam, at 7:24 PM  

  • I'm just not willing to get into an in depth discussion of this on a lovely Friday night.

    However--I'll come back and toss in my two cents--I will say that there have been and will always be sociopaths who wreak havoc.

    I do wish you a happy birthday. It's not all that bad once you are past 35--I really need to write that birthday post--oh my--what a time. I hope you are a little more responsible that I was sugar ;-)

    By Blogger Turnbaby, at 10:10 PM  

  • Happy Birthday :)

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 10:28 PM  

  • I tried to write about the escalation of violence in society by writing about atrocities against animals. It didn't work. The violence has become worse, a lot worse, since World War 2. I never went to school where there was a metal detector, for example.

    I have no intelligent answer except I want it to stop, but I doubt it will.

    Happy Birthday! Now is when you start making a huge difference! Go get 'em!

    By Blogger The CEO, at 11:18 PM  

  • Happy birthday!

    It's very depressing to hear a cop of all people relay that kind of conclusion. Doesn't bode well for humanity does it? Or is that my cynical side coming out?

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 11:41 PM  

  • 1) Happy Birthday

    2) Good vibes and thoughts sent. Definitely. I feel, at times, as if it's a general societal decline. It's devastating.

    By Blogger Melissa, at 12:40 AM  

  • A very sad event and commentary on present-day life, quite believable.

    Have a happy birthday, James, and a wonderful personal New Year. This time next year, you'll be a daddy.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 2:52 AM  

  • Hope the birthday is a happy one for you! The aging thing isn't really ALL that bad but the term "Golden Years" really only applies to the doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc. as they're the only ones who see the "gold" there! LOL
    By the way, you might be interested in joining forces with a bunch of other bloggers, myself included, to "Warm the Globe with Friendship." Stop by my blog and pick up the details. We're trying to ring the globe in the name of friendship.

    By Blogger Jeni, at 4:30 AM  

  • Have a good birthday, relax and enjoy. Mid thirties not bad, mid fifties not bad, relish what you have learned each year and consider each year a triumph of learning.

    Don't know why the world is becoming so mean, but it seems that the cards are stacked in favor of the criminals, not the victims. Excuses for bad behavior and too many ways to not work and still live - off those who do work.
    No respect for others or self. Just greed. Sad

    My heart goes out to the families of the injured officers and the family of the officer killed. I can't help but question how this man was still on the street with felony warrants out on him.

    May things get better

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 AM  

  • I posted anonymously to protect the working situation of my spouse. The spouse works in a State Prison.

    The "older" inmates have mentioned the same thing you did.

    There is no respect, no fear, no rational thinking in the younger inmates as they arrive - and survive in a prison environment. Life and personal property be damned is the attitude.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 PM  

  • I'm frightened for our society

    By Blogger Pamela, at 3:14 PM  

  • Happy birthday man.

    By Blogger Jon, at 11:24 PM  

  • Consider, for a moment, the video games our kids play. In some of these games, players not only shoot each other in the face, but bludgeon their heads in and rape women...for fun. I honestly don't know if there is a correlation, but I have to wonder if these games somehow contribute. If a criminal mind has been raping, shooting, bludgeoning for fun since they were kids, who's to say? Just a thought.

    And how odd the add a Happy Birthday after that comment, but add it I do!

    By Anonymous Franki, at 8:57 AM  

  • Happy Birthday James! Hope you enjoyed your day.

    By Blogger fiwa, at 2:50 PM  

  • happy happy birthday, from all of us to you, we wish it was our birthday, so we could party to HEY!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 PM  

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