I figured the snowstorm scheduled to hit Buffalo today would be the most interesting event. Instead, an underground transformer fire just outside my house by one block put me in ground footage mode for Buffalo Scan. Here are the raw videos from the Periscope footage.
The fire apparently caused a power outage for some 800 residents on the Parkside half of the event (I live on the opposite side), and, at the beginning, even resulted in some evacuations of the immediate homes. I tuned in just as the fire crews were requesting National Grid and Buffalo Police for street closure control.
Ground footage of emergency response handling to
underground transformer fire on Amherst Street.
Fire on Richlawn
No sooner had I clamped the snow off my shoes after shooting the ground footage above, a fire broke out at a home on Richlawn Avenue. The street was close enough for me to jaunt to without much hassle, so I did. It took almost 15 minutes to get the car warmed and cleaned up enough to safely drive over, so the fire was knocked out by the time arrived.
Fire knocked out on Richlawn Avenue. No sound.
This video doesn't include sound due to a Periscope malfunction of some kind. But it's just as well. A woman skirted by to get closer to the fire but hurled an epithet at me in apparent disgust of someone filming the fire, in the process. I think this is the first time I've been admonished by a random member of the public (a police officer once guilted me for filming a patient being loaded into an ambulance), but, my stance on this remains. Some people are going to gawk at a non-media professional engaging in media collection events as they are unfamiliar with the emerging culture of ground footage 'buffs' or enthusiasts, and assume the act is as frivolous as it must look.
I watched an old Adam-12 episode tonight in which I'm pretty sure red-headed Senior Police Officer Pete Malloy murdered a woman.
In Episode 24 a scorned mentally ill woman, Penelope Lang, becomes infatuated with Malloy after a routine traffic stop where he blunts her thinly veiled offer of sex to get out of the ticket.
Penelope Lang - apparently "taken out" -- somehow.
The entire episode portrays an escalating series of events whereby Lang stalks Malloy at the police station, fabricates calls for police service hoping to draw him in as part of the response, and even follows him home one night "hoping to learn where he lives".
Episode 24, Adam-12. Officer Pete Malloy Appears to Have Likely Murdered Problematic Mentally Ill Woman, Or Had Sex With Her
None of this behavior against a law enforcement officer, often taking place on the very grounds of a working police facility, triggers an internal security or investigative response of any sort against the woman. The only interest taken by police leadership is finally revealed when Malloy's sergeant confronts and warns Malloy in no uncertain terms to take care of the problem, somehow, before things get worse. Apparently their police captain is "starting to make remarks" in staff meetings.
It's just as Malloy is getting ripped about "his problem" when he learns that Lang has just delivered a brand new "foreign made" car to him outside in the police lot. Fellow officers guide Malloy and the sergeant out to the lot where the car sits with a love note in the windshield along with a waiting salesman eager for Malloy to accept the car so that he can close the deal which includes a $500 commission for himself. The salesman prods Malloy to take the car but Malloy is having none of it and declines to take possession.
At last, with his credibility taking a beating among his co-workers, and his boss warning him over any further problems caused by the woman, a frustrated Malloy appears to hatch a plan. He schedules a day off and then immediately makes a telephone call to Lang. Before she answers, his partner Jim Reed asks him straight up what exactly his plan is. Malloy looks up at him, stares him straight in the face and says he's going to "take her out" .
The episode immediately cuts to Malloy and Reed in their car on their usual patrol, apparently on the day after the date. Reed prods Malloy to reveal the details of what happened but Malloy is coy in describing it as a typical date with the usual night out for dinner, movies, and some dancing. Pausing as if to end his recounting, he suddenly remarks that there was "one more little thing". When Reed asks him what, Malloy looks at him and says ominously, "She isn't going to be a problem anymore."
The episode then cuts instantly to Adam-12's trumpeting theme song and credits, leaving the audience to guess one of two possibilities: He had sex with the woman to appease her into tranquil submission, or he murdered her. It's truly difficult to tell which.
Just a cat crawling up my coat. I've been trying to get this on camera for awhile.
Misty jaunts up the coat.
Actually the cat is one of two I share with my roommate (who, technically, owns both). Both cats, Misty and Mochi, were featured last year on America's Funniest Home Videos. I posted the clip of that to social media once but will make a point to do the same here at this blog.
Misty is exceptional and very much like a dog in terms of personality and intelligence. She's extremely "trainable" because she is so receptive to reward systems. We can communicate with her verbally very effectively. She's also got a plethora of compulsions; things and rituals she needs or has to do or she can't settle down. As cats go, she's extremely vocal when she's anxious.
What a Christmas Sunday. Last night two Buffalo Police Department SUVs roared up Amherst Street on the left of our house with lights and sirens. I went to the police scanner but didn't tune in in time to hear what it was all about. Normally I'd be glued to the receiver waiting for something to tell me what was so dramatic but as it was we were decorating the tree and doing other festive stuff so I couldn't linger.
Some time later, maybe an hour or so, I notice a Facebook ping to a neighborhood group that I belong to. Someone was reporting that police and an ambulance were convening on Vernon Place, just up the street and around the corner. The same posters began to detail a grim series of details that culminated in the report of a murder. According to the poster, a man had just killed his mother.
There wasn't -- and at this time even, a full 10+ hours later, still isn't -- any confirmation of that. But the reported details were telling and one of the posters happened to be extremely well sourced. Unless five neighbors decided to get together and paint the picture of a non-existent murder for benefit of hoax, which of course is highly unlikely, someone did in fact get killed.
The hesitation in the media could be due to the timing around the Christmas holidays, although, since then, at least one other murder in South Buffalo has made the news...one that occurred many hours after this supposed one. That leads me to wonder if the police still haven't figured out exactly what happened. Maybe someone died but it wasn't a murder?
In any event I was compelled to break the story first as part of my Buffalo Scan initiative. You can see the Periscope broadcast above. In it I avoid giving out virtually any details as I have heard them to be from the Facebook postings because, well, Facebook conjecture. Whatever we eventually learn, no matter how actually a murder it was or not, it is certain something dramatic happened. Police tape is strung up around the entire area, and car traffic was blocked from using the street for over 3 hours.
Even now I will not put out all the information as I know it to be circulating. However I believe I know the names of the victim, the suspect, and the actual house address. And from all this, I understand it to be a tragedy that shouldn't happen ever, let alone over Christmas.
I will update this specific entry when (and if?) there are any updates as to exactly what happened.
It's rare to get the whole enchilada on video like this. Not only does the Ring camera catch the prowling, someone edited in footage of the police intercept.
You might wonder, what do cops think about all these cameras? Most probably assume that they are excited about them because it helps identify perpetrators of crimes.
I myself, however, have always held the idea that they are actually nervous. Nervous about the influx of incoming calls to address creepers and porch pirates which, unfortunately, abound, and probably far exceed any one police department's surface response capabilities to such activity reported en masse. And, nervous about the plethora of other reasons, all covered fairly well in this Detroit Free Press article (warning: uncomfortable desktop web presentation).
Policing has always coped to some degree by selective attention that aligns with current resources. Cheap consumer cameras disrupt that order by exposing everything. As I know all too personally, people naturally expect that if clear images of bad guys are in hand, that police should be able to zero in on suspects immediately. Should be able to immediately canvas neighborhoods and possibly spot them still exiting communities (as happens to be the case in this video). And yet, the reality of resources is what it is.
My solution has been to create another path for the accumulation and presentation of such footage. Something that does not equal a mandate for police to exert, yet, at the same time, hones in commuity focus on bad actors whether they are criminally charged or not. That "solution" is the Crime Footage Index project which is an open web example of what many feel might just be another venue along with social media channels to show off footage from home "Ring-like" camera systems (I myself use Arlo).
PCs aren't back in vogue with regular would-be web surfers at home, the people who have forgotten about the web or the internet (even as everything they do on their phones is of course directly tied to them). But the PC desktop and laptop's place in the world is settling into its optimum use cases and subsequently the PC market is stabilizing.
Put another way, personal computers look like they're going to at least survive this world where everyone imagines that everything is best done by tapping data into a smartphone.
If the "desktop web" can survive through premium users, office workers, and content generators, it is hopeful to me that its lingering presence will be enough to help keep the mediums of HTML and blogs as strong expression platforms. Strong enough at least to convince publishers that they can produce exclusively for it without building crappy-looking mobile-desktop experiences in the same presentation.