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The Nurse In Utah, Blood Draws, The 4th Amendment, SCOTUS Decisions And More

Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Here is a disclaimer that might be necessary because of people who want to pick at every word I write to falsely accuse me of practicing law or trying to be a lawyer.  What follows regarding the constitution and state rights are things that I learned in my senior year of high school.  My freshman year college political science class and junior college class in business law also play significant roles in what I learned and retained about courts and the law. So there!

Alex Wubbels

When I heard about Alex Wubbels, the nurse in Utah who was taken into custody for refusing to allow a blood draw on an unconscious patient, it was as if I was taken back into time.  Not only was I taken back in time to remember those political science, social studies and business law classes, but also because I thought the controversy over blood draws and hospitals had been resolved years ago.

When reading the opinions of some others,  I wonder if the books assigned to classes or even the teachers or professors fully addressed that the issue in America’s Civil War was over the rights of the states? That war was to decide whether the federal government had political power to regulate or abolish slavery within individual states.  The federal government did abolish slavery in the land, and also gave states the right to legislate their own laws as long as those laws do not violate the U.S. Constitution.

When the Supreme Court of the United States decides to hear cases involving state laws, they decide them based on the U.S. Constitution.  Read the rest of this entry

Exclusion From Restrooms And The Rockford Air Show

Rockford, Illinois has an airport.

It’s one of those airports where planes fly people for vacations, such as Apple vacations.  In other words, you can’t book a flight to New York or Texas or Atlanta to visit with family, attend funerals — stuff like that.

The airport used to have an air show each year.  The last air show was in 2015.

My son, who served in the United States Air Force, loves jets.  At the age of 6, he sat in a pilot’s seat and fell in love.  He probably loves a bicycle if it could fly.  When he was home in 2010, we attended the Air Show.

folding-camping-chairsThe event is one where you bring your own camping chair.  That is pretty common in Rockford.  Our entire family has folding camping chairs with their own carrying bags that you can sling over your shoulder.  We used to take them to On the Waterfront, a musical, eating event, but that too was cancelled after 2012.

Rockford organizers of events seem to be out of touch with the interests of its citizens.  For example, I remember attending On The Waterfront one year.  The Spinners performed, and a man swaying and clapping next to me, who was dressed in overalls and a plaid shirt said, “Why can’t we hear more music like this around here?”

The next night, The Vanilla Fudge performed, and a woman doing the dance “the jerk” said it was the best $8 concert she ever attended. (I was doing the Boogaloo.)

Although Rockford is located in Northwestern Illinois, the music that overwhelms the airways, in bars, and even for karaoke, is Country-Western. On The Waterfront brought in some big names for Country and Rock artists, but soon abandoned R&B and artists of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

The Air Show was different.  There was food and souvenirs, but the best part were the jets – unless you had to use the restroom. Read the rest of this entry

Jury Finds City of Rockford Liable For Cops Reckless Conduct

Mark Anthony BarmoreThrough the years, some of you might have read when I’ve reported on the 2009 death of Mark Anthony Barmore in Rockford, IL.

It’s not often that I write editorials or opinion pieces.   About this matter, this time is different because this case happened in the city where I live.  Although Illinois has agreed to allow the media in courtrooms, we only get a 3 to 5 second snippet of trials in local television news.

When Mark was killed in 2009, I learned first-hand that things I had heard about Rockford were true.  I had heard that those raised in Rockford do not like “outsiders.” When Oda Poole and Stan North killed Mark, sections of the community demonstrated and people came from elsewhere in their support.  The Rev. Jesse Jackson was one such person.  An employee of the county personally stated to me that she did not know why “outsiders” had to come to Rockford.  Well, because “insiders” showed no concern. Mark was reported to be the fourth unarmed Black man killed by Oda Poole.  It was business as usual.

Rev. Jackson saw Mark’s body — at least two bullet holes in his back.  There were no wounds in the front of Mark’s body.  This indicated that Mark was shot in the back. Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia remarked to the Rev. Jackson’s observation that he is not a physician.  The insult to intelligence spoke volumes, and she continued being reelected because she ran for office unopposed.

The final investigation into the killing of Mark Anthony Barmore resulted in a finding that the police officers were wrong to enter the premises with their guns drawn.

There have been lawsuits. The Estate of Mark Anthony Barmore filed suit. Five years after Mark was killed, the City of Rockford settled that lawsuit for $1.1 million. Read the rest of this entry

29 Arrests Made in Massive Rockford Drug Ring Bust

Have you ever lived in a city where business location after business location have no cars in the parking lot, yet they don’t go out of business? You check to find out that the business is “family owned” with 2 or 3 employees, and that their sales never increase or decrease after being in business for years?

Back in the late 80’s a young man told me how drug dealers operate by having straw businesses and straw customers.  He said it was a good setup to launder drug money.  Now, I don’t know if the following involves any businesses that launder money,but upon hearing the local news last night, it made me wonder.

After more than a year of investigation, authorities have charged 29 people in a drug bust.  Those charged include a former high school head football coach and teacher, two businessmen, and a dentist.  The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, Rockford Police Department and DEA conducted the investigation. The Illinois National Guard assisted.

Authorities seized $1.7 million in cocaine, 72 marijuana plants and 7.1 pounds of cannabis worth $16,223 on the street; 360 hydrocone pills worth $2,880; eight guns; $243,600 in cash, six vehicles and $50,000 in jewelry.

The investigation began in June 2014 with a single phone call from a confidential informant. The tip came in about powdered cocaine sales on the “far east side of Rockford,” said Bob Reffett, a Rockford Police Department detective.  By identifying the area as “far east side of Rockford,” local media is identifying the more “safer” area of Rockford.

Many of those arrested had few if any prior convictions and were released on bond, and many of those arrested are over the age of 40. Read the rest of this entry

Man Who Did Not Fire A Shot Found Guilty Of First Degree Murder

Illinois has statute under 720 ILCS 5/9-1, that sets forth in pertinent part:

A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits first degree murder if, in performing the acts which cause the death, he is attempting or committing a forcible felony other than second degree murder.”

That means that if John plans to rob a house and takes Sam along, and the homeowner kills Sam, that John is charged with first-degree murder for Sam’s death.  Only in Ogle County, Illinois, prosecutors saw it as manslaughter.

In October, I mentioned the following two cases in a blog article.  To refresh our memory;

Cody Moore

Cody Moore

In April 2008, Cody Moore, 19; drove Nathan Whitmire, 17; Justin Doyle, 15, and Travis Castle, 14, to a home in neighboring Ogle County.  Moore knew that the owner of the house was in the hospital, and drove the other guys there to rob the house of guns and money.  He did not know, however, that there was a house guest. The house guest heard breaking glass and coming out of the bedroom, saw 14-yr-old Travis with a gun and fired two shots.  One grazed Travis on the neck, and the other was fired into his chest, killing the 14-year-old. Read the rest of this entry

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