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Muckraker: A Carroll state of law enforcement

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Carroll State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker (L) and Sheriff Jim DeWees (R) speaking during a Tuesday Republican Club of Carroll County event

Carroll State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker and Sheriff Jim DeWees both voiced their frustration with the forces from outside the county that work against law enforcement in it, while a new poll shows that black Democrats in Maryland want stricter penalties for criminals than white ones do — all part of what amounted to a state of local law enforcement address given Tuesday by the pair during a Republican Club of Carroll County event.

“We see a heavy influence of Baltimore”

DeWees confirmed the number one priority for his office is – drugs. An issue where he said “We see a heavy influence of Baltimore.” He explained how the high-up drug dealers in the city will send their lower-level guys out to Carroll County, Westminster in particular, to distribute and sell because the location and its surrounding areas have high rates of consumption without all the violent crime the city has.

DeWees told the story of Bernard Bey, 26, a Baltimore resident on parole who local authorities tracked from Pennsylvania Avenue to Stables Restaurant and beyond during a September pursuit in Westminster, eventually arresting him and allegedly finding the fentanyl he was looking to move. Bey had been in Carroll County for mere minutes, and now faces charges of resisting arrest and drug possession with intent to distribute in local District Court.  

Guns, hatchets, and canes

Remarking on Senate Bill 1, the Gun Safety Act, which a judge recently blocked as Senate Republicans called it an unconstitutional “de-facto ban on legally wearing and carrying a firearm in Maryland,” DeWees said his office would have been unable to enforce it anyway because of how complicated it was, it being legal to carry a gun one moment and illegal the next depending on where you are standing.  

Then to demonstrate just how law-abiding and responsible Carroll’s gun owners are, he quipped pointing out how two of the most recent alleged murders his office has worked were committed not with guns but with a hatchet and a cane. The hatchet being a reference to the case of Ravi Pansuriya, 31, who is accused of dismembering his doctor father in Westminster and ditching his remains off the side of the road, while the cane a reference to Gail D’Anthony, a 76 year old Westminster woman who allegedly broke her husband’s neck and beat him to death with a cane, making for a story People Magazine would cover, Shoemaker added.     

Wal-Mart and Ulta Beauty

Drugs and the Constitutional right to bear arms aside, DeWees reminded that local retail theft is a big problem too, with Wal-Mart and Ulta Beauty being regular targets for shop-lifters and robbers. Curious how a robber can take Ulta for thousands and thousands of dollars with just a few makeup items, he cracked.

Criminal coddling

About juvenile crime in particular, Heather DeWees, the Sheriff’s wife and Clerk of Court, separately but relatedly said during an introduction speech at Kristen Zihmer’s Board of Education campaign kickoff event that the main reason there is so little of it in Carroll is because the county’s kids are in school where they should be, a nod to the district’s 95% student attendance rate

But statewide, especially in Baltimore City where WBFF reports 58% of students are considered chronically absent, Shoemaker said “juvenile crime is off the hook” and that the “legislature is not doing us any favors” with regard to fixing it. He singled out the Child Interrogation Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act as together amounting to “juvenile crime coddling” which of course is “not the answer” per a statement he gave to the local Fox affiliate. 

DeWees explained to Fox that Carroll will often see the aftermath effects of the car thefts increasingly committed by youths in the city. “They’re stealing them, coming out to our jurisdiction and committing the crime and then they’re going back to wherever they came from.”

Black and white Maryland Democrats

Spotlighting data pregnant with truth, Shoemaker referenced a recent Gonzales poll showing that 62% of black Democrats in Maryland support “tougher penalties” for juvenile criminals while their white counterparts prefer “more lenient” policies at the exact same rate (62%), a finding consistent with a nationwide trend where white liberals who are insulated from violent crime support policies that disproportionately harm the very black communities they purport to be advocating ånd social justicing for.      

Gonzales himself reacted to this revealing racial stratification, observing that black Democrats actually align more closely with Republicans than white Democrats on the issue “This is an example of white Democrats and Black Democrats within the Democratic party are on two different planets,” he told Fox

“The honor of a lifetime”

DeWees thanked the Commissioners for continuing to fund and support law enforcement while also holding his office accountable. Then he cracked at Shoemaker, joking that his dedication to law is so complete that he would prosecute his own mother if circumstances required it.

Shoemaker affirmed his oath to uphold both state law and the Constitution, then the former Delegate and Commissioner said that serving as State’s Attorney has already been “The honor of a lifetime.”

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