Common Sense Colloquialism

You keep thinking what you thought, you keep getting what you got.

The Las Cruces City Council settled the Chris Smelser civil case with criminal charges still pending. This is a highly unusual maneuver in that municipalities generally wait and see how a criminal case will turn out before settling the civil side of it. The reason that cities wait is because of matters of information referred to in the court system as "evidence" and "verdict." To most elected politicians, and one would hope even the left-leaning liberal amateurs on the Las Cruces City Council, knowing what actually happened in a case is of importance in deciding whether to defend or negotiate it. In other words, never settle without having all the facts and always remember that time is on your side.

Not in Las Cruces. The council refuses to say how much they paid, even though it is taxpayer money, but the rumor is the amount was a little bit north of $5 million. Yep, you read that right. Five million plus dollars paid out for the death of a druggie who fought police and struggled violently to get to the weapon in his pocket. He was warned to stop struggling and when he didn't, was put in a vascular neck restraint and died. The autopsy cited neck injuries AND methamphetamines as a contributing factor in his death. He also had fentanyl in his system. Yet, the city settled.

It's no secret that we have a liberal city council that has made their dislike of agencies such as Border Patrol and ICE apparent. One gets the feeling that they detest law enforcement in general, and are part of the current sickening wave of nonthinking liberal politicians willing to bend over backwards to accommodate anyone with an agenda against law enforcement. The settlement included certain conditions, some of which the LCPD had already initiated, such as the elimination of the vascular neck restraint, and others which were already in play before this lawsuit such as racial empathy training when interacting with persons of color (note to council: in case you were not aware of it, the majority of your officers are Latino, i.e. "persons of color." There are even, gasp, black folk that wear the uniform!).

My hope is that Chris Smelser is rightfully found not guilty on this bogus charge that has been placed against him for reasons that are obviously political. My hope is that a jury asks why a police officer is charged with 2nd degree murder when the death certificate clearly states that methamphetamines were a contributing factor in the suspect's death. And my hope is that Smelser then turns around and sues the city for wrongful termination. We'll see how fast that gets settled.

And last of all I hope that people who are eligible to vote actually register and go to the polls and rid themselves of these politically correct spineless worms we have representing the city. Like most cities, voter turnout is usually around 10-15%, and when voters don't turn out in force they get stuck with what they now have.

You keep thinking what you thought, you keep getting what you got.


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J.R. Lonsway served 22 years with the Las Cruces, New Mexico, police department and retired as a Deputy Chief of Police. After retirement he served with the U.S. Department of State as a police advisor in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti, Lebanon, and South Sudan. He is a former U.S. Marine.

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