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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Crime

Re: “You've Got Hate Mail: Are This Man's Awful Screeds Protected Speech?

"I think if Kiah Morris had been living within Burlington when these incidents [targeting her] took place, the Burlington Police Department would have been as aggressive as possible in protecting her," Weinberger said"
If it is the Mayor's intent to imply that the Bennington PD did not protect Ms. Morris, he owes them an apology. In the case of Mr. Misch no crime was committed, as determined by not only the Bennington PD but also the State AG. In this case, crimes have occurred. The Mayor should be thankful that the individual went far beyond the two tweets and one incident of alleged "staring" that Mr. Misch was accused of and found not criminally liable for if for not other reason than actual crimes were committed and can be ethically be pursued against this individual.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Patrick Cashman on 03/20/2019 at 3:34 PM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

I just want to point out there's a lot false statements in the article and comments. There's always two sides to a story, and there's the truth. VSP are doing their job in keeping our town/roads safe. If anybody has a problem with an officer arresting someone that's intoxicated, there's your real problem. Why on earth would someone be afraid to drive by an officer parked or on the road? The answer to is their vehicle isn't legal or they've been drinking/drugging. That is the only logical thinking behind someone being afraid to be in town with an officer there. I want to thank all of the VSP officers and sheriffs in our state/towns for making us safe, and putting your lives at risk every day. Picking up intoxicated/drugged people should be a high priority no matter where you live. How anyone in their right mind can make DUI arrests out to be negative, hasn't lost a family member or friend to an alcohol related accident. If arrests for DUI or the scare of it,is hurting someone's business, there's a problem and a solution should be found. Threatening the VSP, and making a lot of bogus accusations about the officers and certain happenings is pretty transparent! VSP won't be bullied. The articles that have recently been published have ALL been one sided and the truth pretty tainted, in my opinion. Drinking and driving has been a way of life, but it's about time that things change, and our roads need to be made safer, everywhere. There should be some kind of shuttle bus from Montgomery to Jay, and taxi service from the bars could be included here. The local bar could incorporate this into their business, they could profit on both ends...problem solved. Proud mother of a VSP

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by vtbernergirl on 03/19/2019 at 12:52 PM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

There are several incidents involving the VSP and the Franklin County Sheriffs that haven't been reported; most of us knew nothing about the harassment and intimidation until we read the Montgomery Select board's letter.. It appears as though both agencies enjoy lighting up homes, even on private property, just to watch the response. Charlotte Hartman and Jake Renning are two that get their jollies from this activity, and it's probably no coincidence they graduated from Enosburgh High School in the same year. They should either cut the crap or hang up their uniform, as they have no respect for the law they're sworn to uphold.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Triggernometry3 on 03/14/2019 at 4:16 AM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

And the State wonders why people are leaving VT? Sadly this isn't just an issue with the State Police in Berkshire. I've been ticketed by VSP going 26 mph in a 25 mph zone and for not using my directional at 2am when no one else was visible on the roads. It's this mentality that forced me to move away from small town Vermont. Until legislators stop being cowed by the Police union/lobby, this drain of talent from Vermont won't stop.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Matt Kelly on 03/11/2019 at 9:27 AM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

This article has a major major major major error in it - easily provable when you look at readily-available town records: The Selectboard voted to send the letter BEFORE the incident that the reporter describes, not AFTER the incident. The reporter made a massive journalistic error here because that changes the entire tone of the article.

I hope it get corrected and an apology is issued.

A truthful article would (paraphrasing here for simplicity): "The town voted to send the VSP a letter, and then just days later a trooper was waiting outside a select board member's home and pulled him over for not stopping completely at a stop sign." - that would be a damning sentence, and it reflects the truth. Just days after the Selectboard motions to send the letter, the cop who has been causing this problem is waiting outside of his home. Let that sink in.

Instead, the article makes it sound like a select board member fired the letter off AFTER a run-in with the police. An entirely wrong and stupid error from what must be a sloppy or careless reporter.

And rather than hide behind "anonymous" comments, my name is Mike and I live on Main Street in Montgomery Center. I would be happy to talk to anybody about this. The things we've all seen in this town over the past 6 months from the police are horrific. And I am a huge supporter of the police. Every time I've met or worked with a state trooper, they have been amazing. I even donate money to the state police trooper's fund. I think they are heroes. But not the leadership and troopers that are suddenly pulling this crap. They need to be punished, and they need to apologize.


20 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MontgomeryMike on 03/10/2019 at 2:27 PM
Posted by KelvinHamm on 03/09/2019 at 1:31 AM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

As a Montgomery community member I believe many of us would welcome State Police patrols that kept our community safe but were respectful. The patrols have been done aggressively pulling many, many people over for minor and questionable infractions including myself. I was pulled over for not stopping at a stop sign that I did stop at. I was driving slowly and cautiously on winter roads at night. The most reckless driving I have seen this winter has been state police cars speeding through the corners of Montgomery Village. Unfortunately their behavior in town is giving them a bad name. It also has significant impact on the local businesses. I enjoy going to local music events, but knowing there is a significant chance of being pulled over and questioned even if one has not been drinking, does make one think twice! While Mr. Hughes says "he does not sense a spike in citations from Montgomery." I wonder how that compares to the high number of people being pulled over? It is the State Police's job to protect and serve. What we are experiencing feels harassing, aggressive and is truly unwelcome.

23 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Stacy Silloway on 03/08/2019 at 4:36 PM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

Amazing now that JDs is gone you see little to no police presence in town now. Cars fly through the 35mph zone going out to Montgomery all day, think they are here patrolling where they should be? Of course not. We have called them multiple times with no sight of any police patrol.

Thanks for nothing. Nazis with a piece of metal pinned to them.

15 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by BoSoxSalePrice on 03/07/2019 at 11:26 AM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

They have done the same thing in East Berkshire vt. They patrolled so heavy and for so long that it drove JD' PUB out of business, Stopping every car that leaves, Nothing but pure harassment, Shining spotlights on the building, Stopping thru traffic right in front of the entrance. And during deer season and holidays there would be a ridiculous number of state police and sheriff's parading back and forth all evening long. They have done the same thing in Enosburg and Richford. If the state wants these businesses gone they should give them some kind of a buyout. These owners are citizens and pay unbelievable taxes and licences of all kinds. And its very funny that the police don't bother the city franchise bars and restaurants like they do the small towns. After all the outerstaters have to have a place to drink and eat. They are treated better than true Vermonters. yours truly formally JD'S

44 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dp Smith on 03/07/2019 at 8:05 AM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

Get your vehicle inspected like the rest of us and you wouldn't be pulled over for it. I'm sure you'd be asking for more patrols if your business was broken into or vehicles were vandalized. They're against drunk driving but business was slow bc the public was afraid of getting a DUI bc of police presence. Makes total sense. And quit crying over an inspection sticker, we all hate it.

19 likes, 52 dislikes
Posted by saintAtaxpayer on 03/06/2019 at 8:41 PM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

"...(February 1) there were four marked cruisers and one unmarked car positioned on Rt. 118 between the Village and Center, and an additional unmarked car parked directly across from the Snowshoe. This occurred after a formal DUI checkpoint the weekend before, five additional troopers back in town on Monday, and at least two present in our community each subsequent evening. This Board cant help but wonder if there is a justifiable need for this level of activity given the coverage area for these officers. Instead, the perception developing amongst our citizens is that this is related to some form of intimidation. This perception was only strengthened after hearing from multiple patrons that on Friday night (February 1) a trooper pulled in front of the Snowshoe and illuminated the interior of the restaurant with his/her spotlight."

"The perception of harassment was made even more clear when the individual troopers stepfather, after being refused service one recent evening at the Snowshoe due to a concern about intoxicationas is required by state law and the Vermont Department of Liquor Controlthreatened both bar owners in the presence of multiple patrons, stating that, If you thought you had it bad [with the State Police] before, you havent seen anything yet."

50 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Unnamed Source on 03/06/2019 at 3:38 PM

Re: “What Happens in Montgomery: Town Asks Troopers to Cruise Elsewhere

"Birmingham and Lamothe did not return calls seeking comment, nor did Anderson. State police public information officer Adam Silverman would not comment on whether a trooper or troopers had been disciplined and said any complaints would be privately reviewed by the state police internal affairs office. "

The ongoing lack of transparency, while we continually read about LEO's being cleared of wrong doing is what sends the wrong message Mr. Hughes. I've been caught up in one of these little charades with a VSP "Drug Expert" who was anything but, and obviously so when it became clear to him that he had no case and he pressed forward anyway, only to have it eventually thrown back in his face.

The VSP needs to stop hiding from the public they have sworn to serve.

57 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by The Great Morpheus on 03/06/2019 at 10:42 AM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

"For starters, Touchette said, 756 of the 1,673 inmates being held in January were serving time for one or more of the "big 12" felony offenses, a list that includes murder, sexual assault, fatal arson and kidnapping. The vast majority of those people can't be released without putting the public at risk, he said."

These "big 12" people will mostly be released eventually. Will keeping them in prison make them less of a risk? Studies show that longer sentences do nothing to minimize risk and in fact can increase it. Would the outcomes be better if people got mental health treatment while being carefully monitored on the outside?

Research has also shown that people who serve time for murder charges are the least likely offenders to commit another crime.

It is time for Vermont government and DOC to educate itself to the latest trends and findings around criminal justice and take a long look at policies that are healthier for our communities and the state in the long run.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Meg McCarthy on 03/05/2019 at 2:21 PM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

I think it would be great if they would pause for a moment before doing the crime. Maybe then they wouldn't be in jail in the first place. But hey, it's all about choices.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ted miles645 on 03/03/2019 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

Compassionate Release was introduced in 1984, the Sentencing Reform Act, a federal program which has existed for decades (rarely used).

Ref: Time for Compassionate Release Truthout 1/23/2019
New State-by-State Report Records Compassionate Release 6/27/2018

Life without parole LWOP has increased 22% since 2008.
2.1 million in the US, 180,000 federal, 704,500 local jails.

49 States offer compassionate release, only 3 states (Texas, Utah & Louisiana freed more than a dozen under the program in 2015), Capital punishment is legal in 30 states. In Wisconsin - Class A/B felonies w/the maximum sentence of 60 years do not qualify. In Iowa no specific law/regulations. Illinois & Michigan have the program in place but no rules in place on the implementation of.

Only 13 States are required by law to keep track of and report compassionate release statistics, very few making that information available.

I believe in the sixth commandment however - against the compassionate release.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by genesis_44 on 02/27/2019 at 6:10 PM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

The State diverted the alleged rapist at UVM , a four time convicted Felony loser plus a two time sexual offender, and his re-offenses on innocent citizens are only getting worse as he just demonstrated. If you don't want to warehouse them out of State then build more prisons. Do not fool yourselves into thinking these animals are cured or rehabilitated. The State did the same damn thing with Michael Jacques when the probation officers convinced Judge Amy Davenport to release that animal prematurely too.

24 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by JimM on 02/27/2019 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

JohnGreenberg, thanks for your comment. DOC Commissioner Mike Touchette told me in an interview for this story that there are a very small number of inmates serving time for a "Big 12" offense who are eligible for release. Touchette said there are about half a dozen inmates in that group who are elderly and have health issues that are severe enough that the inmates aren't a danger to the community. This is known as "compassionate release" in the corrections field. I hope that helps!

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Taylor Dobbs on 02/27/2019 at 1:33 PM

Re: “Lawmakers Want Reforms, Not New Prisons, to Bring Out-of-State Inmates Home

With this problem, as with many, there is no single magic bullet. But the article itself provides answers that would get us a long way towards the goal Senator Ashe set.

The article notes that "756 of the 1,673 inmates being held in January were serving time for one or more of the "big 12" felony offenses." That means that 917 inmates are NOT being held for one of these offenses. That figure alone is more than 3 times the senator's goal.

Similarly, "231 of 380 people in temporary detention during the January count were facing a big 12 felony charge," meaning that 149 of them are not.

One more consideration. Of those inmates who ARE being held for of the "big 12" offenses, it is reasonable to inquire whether there are some who represent little to no risk to the community. For example, is it really likely that a prisoner who committed a major offense as a teenager and who has been a model prisoner for 2 or 3 decades will suddenly revert to his past behavior and become a major threat to the community? My guess is that there may be some who still cannot be trusted, even with minimal freedom, but that there are a good many more who could be released into at least a lesser form of custody than prisons.

I hope that legislators will think a bit beyond the parameters of this article.

8 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by JohnGreenberg on 02/27/2019 at 11:10 AM

Re: “Cops Bust a Burlington Pot Shop That Hid in Plain Sight


So what Jefferson was saying was " Hey" you know, we left this England place because it was bogus! So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, Pronto, we'll just be bogus too, yeah!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by ski pepsi on 02/18/2019 at 8:15 AM

Re: “Cops Bust a Burlington Pot Shop That Hid in Plain Sight

"Burlington Lt. Jim Trieb said that the officers were executing a sealed federal warrant."

Sealed Warrant??? That's quite interesting. Was this a Top Secret Operation? Dealing with "National Security"? Or are they trying to conceal the fact that the warrant is fictitious & they are operating under color of law, in contempt of their oath's of office? Maybe so-called journalists should be asking these questions.

If the shop owner can prove the warrant &/or process was improper, then charge all involved with interference in commerce, that's better than winning the Powerball.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by FreedomToThink on 02/05/2019 at 9:53 AM

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