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by Peter Moskos

January 9, 2016

Ambush in Philly

Officer Jesse Hartnett is lucky to be alive. And bad-ass for returning fire and hitting the wanna-be killer. From ABC:
"I just have to tell you, when you look at the video - we have video that captured all of this - it's one of the scariest things I've ever seen," said Ross. "This guy tried to execute the police officer. It's amazing he's alive."

The moments immediately following the shooting were also captured in a dramatic recording of police radio calls obtained by Action News overnight.

"I'm shot! I'm bleeding heavily!" Hartnett was heard saying.
The bad guy said he was doing it in the name of Islam. His mother said:
He had been hearing voices recently and that family asked him to get help. She also said her son felt targeted by police and described him as a devout Muslim.
"Last March, Archer pleaded guilty to firearms and assault charges stemming from a 2012 case, but was released and placed on probation, court records show. His criminal record includes domestic violence and a traffic and forgery case.


Rich Giordano said...

From what I've seen of this so far I'm 99% sure this will be a case of someone with developing mental health issues who began to conflate religious ideas with those problems. The statement that he did it for ISIS is likely little different from saying a demon told him to do it. However, his cases are illustrative of a number of issues worth noting. He was first arrested in 2013 (at age 28 indicating he's not someone with a criminal orientation generally) and that case takes almost two years to be adjudicated. Look at the docket (https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/CPReport.ashx?docketNumber=CP-51-CR-0006717-2013) and see how many continuances there were all of them by the defense. What happens when there is a victim in a case like this. At some point they decide it's not worth the effort and this of course makes the pressure for a plea. That pressure is already tremendous because without most of the cases ending in pleas courts systems in large jurisdictions like ours in Philadelphia could not function. He gets sentenced right away without a presentence report (I did those for over 20 of my 36 years in the Philadelphia Probation Department). I don't know for certain but I'll bet anything that his level of supervision as a first offender was at the very lowest level. While this case is still ongoing he gets another arrest in neighboring Delaware County. It's worth noting that the judge in that case does defer sentencing after he's found guilty in November, 2015 and order a Presentence Report. I'm betting there was some indication that he was having problems and that's why the judge did so. (https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/CPReport.ashx?docketNumber=CP-23-CR-0007201-2014). In a city like Philadelphia there are literally thousands of people with this kind of profile , and many with a much more significant record, walking around. While this gets attention because it involved a cop and has the terror angle, every day ordinary citizens are assaulted, robbed and killed by these individuals. Given the numbers of them it is almost impossible to provide even modest let alone adequate supervision

David Woycechowsky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samuel glover said...

Once ISIS/ISIL became the scariest thing since Genghis Khan and Hitler spawned Godzilla, we've had this weird phenomenon: Every loser caught after a brain-dead crime morphs into a sinister colossus by saying, "ISIS made me do it".

It's almost like the highly trained professionals in the news biz never heard of the concept "sense of proportion".

aNanyMouse said...

What "sense of proportion" is being missed?
The NY paper to which Peter links said that
"Investigators believe Archer traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and to Egypt in 2012, FBI special agent Eric Ruona said, and the purpose of that travel was being investigated by federal agents."

What's so bad about presuming that a guy who was moved to travel to the home of Sunni fanaticism, SAUDI Arabia, (where so few non-Muslims go) would've killed for his faith?

Peter Moskos said...

Yeah, if a crazy guy just said, "this is for ISIS!" I'd be like, "Sure, dude." But if you travel to Saudi Arabia? Come on, now. They don't even give out tourist visas.

Adrian said...

Saudi Arabia is the home of all Islam, not just Sunni Islam, and not just fanatical interpretations.

aNanyMouse said...

OK, Adrian, it’s possible that Archer went there out of general curiosity about Islam, but it’s likely that, when he went, he knew damn well that Wahhabism is the OFFICIAL sect of that country, and that, in any case, he got converted to that sect due to his having been there (unless he went w/ others giving emotional support to his more moderate{?} version).

Seeing that Wahhabi $$ have been radicalizing Arab (and Pak) culture for c. 40 years, it’s disgusting that so few Americans are aware of this Saudi role. Thanx again, MSM, for a job well done!

Adrian said...

Given that Archer later committed violence that seems similar to other ISIS-inspired violence, his trip to Saudi Arabia seem suspicious. But about two million people make the pilgrimage to Mecca every year. They are not all ISIS wannabees. They are not all Wahhabists. That's like saying that any Catholic who travels to St Peter's Square should be suspected of future pedophilia. Remember all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.

aNanyMouse said...

I hope you’re joshing with that analogy. A Catholic traveling to St Peter's (regarding pedophilia) is not REMOTELY comparable to a Muslim going to Mecca (regarding Wahhabism). The Church never pushed or pushes pedophilia, in St. Peter’s, or anyplace else; they’ve moved heaven and earth to cover up or minimize it’s prevalence/significance, and the Faithful go there expecting anything but such pushing. The Saudi brass pushes Wahhabism from every rooftop at every opportunity, and never make any secret about this.

To your larger point, Vatican City is in one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, and Catholicism is by no means the most radical of Christian sects, so your chances of getting radicalized by a trip there are virtually zero. Mecca is in the midst of a Theocratic country the size of (most of) W. Europe, where crucifixes, Stars of David, etc., go over as well as does a fart in church (or mosque!).

Yeah, two million make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The question is, what % leave radicalized nowadays, compared to this % from 50 years ago, before the Wahhabi propaganda machine had really honed its game.

Peter Moskos said...

I think we're all speaking out of our ass here a bit. That said, I don't think the haj radicalizes anybody. It's a pious package tour with millions of others pilgrims. Radicalization would happen independent (presumably before) the haj.

The Saudi government, the house of Saud, is both afraid of and then buys off the conservatives to keep their focus away from internal politics.

The Wahhabi propaganda machine spreads its message by the funding of mosques and imams in other countries.

aNanyMouse said...

No biggie, but I’ll bet that the haj radicalizes quite a few, as might any mass Fellowship in any setting where radicals have any sway. Supporting/intensifying adherence is much of the point of organizing Fellowship interaction, whether in mosques, Commie Party meetings, or BLM mass demonstrations. All the more so when, in such settings, literature, cassettes, and other propaganda media find a ready audience; in recent decades, Wahhabis have had major coin with which to mass-produce such propaganda, and to distribute it virtually cost-free in Mecca. I’ll bet that the gov’t there is delighted when such cassettes etc. are passed out to pilgrims, so long as these media lack comments on the Royal Family etc. I’ll have to consult a very good friend’s (Muslim) in-laws about how much of this they saw there.

Please recall, this spat here started over the issue of whether the NY media was losing a "sense of proportion", in reporting that G-men were wondering if his trip to Mecca at all related to his shooting of the PO, even tho most pilgrims aren’t much radicalized by the haj.

Peter Moskos said...

Do we even know if went on a hajj? If he went to Saudi and it wasn't part of the hajj, then I'd be worried. Kind of like going to Syria, today.

If it was the hajj, honestly I don't know what you can or should do about it. It is one of the pillars of Islam. And what are you going to do anyway, with over 2 million people per year? (though only 11,000 or so come from the US).

I'd say -- having no clue at all -- that there's an even better chance the hajj would de-radicalize people. (Sort of Malcolm X style.) On the hajj you get to see mainstream diverse peaceful Islam rather than the freaky black-nationalist-inspired version you may have gotten in the basement mosque that was led by some crazy guy who converted in prison.

She's a crazy lady!!!! said...

I believe that Officer Jesse Hartnett is beyond lucky to be alive! I have read numerous reports on how this happened, and this officer is a very strong man! The shooter however, can not use the excuse, in my opinion of "mental health" issues as an escape goat to try to get out of jail, or for serving any time. Tying to use religion in my opinion is also an attempt to escape from prosecution. There are many people in our country, that will say they feel "targeted by police" for whatever reason. Sadly many of these people just do not want to either grow up mentally or socially or just simple think they are above the law. I think man of these "devout Muslims" are trying to use the religion of Islam as an excuse. If I were to try to use my religion of Christianity and a branch of that, such as a particular denomination to be the main excuse for why I committed a type of crime, I would be laughed out of court. If I attempted a mental health excuse, I would be sent off for an evaluation, in which I could attempt to manipulate however I saw fit. There is no excuse for walking up to a person, and shooting them point blank. It is not a "hey this person needs some bullet holes thought" it is a premeditated action. A person plans how to do it, they many not pick a particular person right off hand, but they plan what weapon they will use, how to execute the action and where to do it. So trying to say its religious based, police targeted me, or even mental illness then you need to stop and think about your actions and age. Quit being a child, quit trying to blame others for your actions.

A-Shon24 said...

I can understand that if someone has a mental illness they can be viewed as insane but if someone shot an officer and had the intentions of killing him, how in the world is he released on probation? There are somethings that happen in our judicial system that makes absolutely no sense. There are somethings that we need to focus more on and straighten them out because we are letting someone out that "hears voices" and shot a cop. Come on America!