About that so-called “shoplifting epidemic”

Judd Legum and Tesnim Zekeria over at Popular.Info do, as usual, great work setting the record straight on what the media inaccurately, without proof, have been covering as the the so-called “shoplifting epidemic” that has been allegedly gripping the nation:

For several years, Walgreens and other major retailers have been sounding the alarm about an alleged spike in shoplifting, describing it as an existential threat to their business. These dramatic claims generated a nationwide media frenzy.

Now, Walgreens is quietly backtracking.

In a conference call with investors on January 6, Walgreens Chief Financial Officer James Kehoe was asked how shoplifting and related problems impacted the company’s financial performance. Kehoe admitted that “maybe [Walgreens] cried too much last year” about the issue, adding that the drugstore chain probably spent “too much” hiring private security companies.

Kehoe added that theft at Walgreens had “stabilized” and the company was “quite happy with where we are.” Walgreens’ “shrink” — an industry term for inventory losses from theft, damage, or administrative errors — had gone down from 3.5% of sales last year to roughly 2.5% in its last quarter. Walgreens declined to specify how much of the “shrink” was due to shoplifting as opposed to other causes, like employee theft and damaged goods. Across the industry, “external theft” accounts for only one-third of total shrink. That means shoplifting at Walgreens likely amounts to less than 1% of sales.

But Kehoe’s upbeat comments gloss over Walgreens’ central role in fomenting the national panic over retail theft. Just a year ago, Kehoe said that part of the reason Walgreens’ reported lackluster earnings was because of “gangs that actually go in and empty our stores of beauty products.”

“This is not petty theft,” Kehoe insisted at the time. “It’s not somebody who can’t afford to eat tomorrow.”

Walgreens has been joined by other major retailers who have been echoing similar cries and drumming up fear: Walmart CEO Doug McMillion warned that Walmart may have to raise prices or close stores because theft was “higher than what it has historically been.” Former Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli stated on national television that retail theft was “spreading faster than COVID.”

Publicly available data, however, contradicts the theft-wave narrative. The number of shoplifting offenses dropped 46 percent between 2019 and 2021, according to the FBI’s crime data explorer. The National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade group that represents retailers like Walgreens and has amplified the theft-wave narrative, has also found that shrink declined to 1.4% of total retail sales in 2021, from 1.6% in 2020. External theft, the NRF found, made up 0.5% of total retail sales in 2021.

The article continues:

In May 2021, Walgreens told the New York Times “that thefts at its stores in San Francisco were four times the chain’s national average, and that it had closed 17 stores, largely because the scale of thefts had made business untenable.”

Months later, the retailer announced the closure of an additional five stores in San Francisco and told the San Francisco Chronicle that “organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that.” The company said it had to increase investments in private security in San Francisco by “46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

When the company announced it was closing five stores in San Francisco due to rampant theft, police data obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle revealed that “the five stores slated to close had fewer than two recorded shoplifting incidents a month on average since 2018.” Moreover, the company’s claims that thefts at its San Francisco stores were four times its national average were not reflected in citywide crime data — in 2020, shoplifting had reached its lowest level since they began collecting data in the 1970s.

Moreover, back in 2019, Walgreens announced it would close 200 stores across the U.S. as part of a larger “cost-reduction” plan. The San Francisco Chronicle, in 2021, raised the question of “whether a $140 billion company was using an unsubstantiated narrative of unchecked shoplifting to obscure other possible factors in its decision.”

The “shoplifting epidemic” played into so much of the right-wing agenda on crime, race — you name it.

The GOP and its willing suckers in the mainstream media could tie the shoplifting narrative into a false indictment of the bail reform movement that likely cost San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin his job. It was also used to bludgeon Democrats in the mid-terms as being responsible for increasing crime when, in fact, most types of non-violent crime, including shoplifting, had been dropping.

To be sure, there were some shockingly brazen shoplifting incidents during the pandemic. But there were also some before and after the pandemic. There have always been brazen shoplifting incidents.

But the statistics prove that the “epidemic” rise of these incidents is simply a false narrative begun by retailers trying to make excuses for bad business decisions, and then helped along by lazy reporters in the mainstream media.

A picture worth a thousand words

The police officer heroes of Jan. 6 were receiving the Congressional Gold Medal Dec. 6 in Washington. Former Officer Michael Fanone, who nearly lost his life in the Trump-inspired attempt to overthrow the government, was heckled during the event by some of his fellow police officers.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi, the liberal boogeyman, and Fanone shared a moment. (see pic).

Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone.

There’s a new biography of J. Edgar Hoover out, and apparently it’s quite good

New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot — for my money, one of the best writers that magazine currently has in its stable of talented people — has a review of historian Beverly Gage’s “crisply written, prodigiously researched, and frequently astonishing new biography,” “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” (Viking).

Talbot notes that there is some new information in the Gage’s book, but this part of the New Yorker review caught my eye:

Was Hoover gay? I would have thought that it was a settled matter by now, but I would have been wrong. In a recent book, “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington,” the journalist James Kirchick writes, “While it’s certainly plausible that Hoover was gay and that Tolson was his lover, the only evidence thus far adduced has been circumstantial.” In 2011, when Clint Eastwood made a bio-pic about Hoover that suggested he and Tolson were romantically involved, the Washington Post ran an article about ex-F.B.I. agents who angrily denied the notion. It’s true that, in the absence of more direct evidence, we can’t know. But Gage, who handles the question deftly and thoughtfully, will leave most readers with little doubt that Hoover was essentially married to Tolson, a tall, handsome Midwesterner with a G.W. law degree who went to work at the Bureau in March of 1928, and whom the press habitually referred to as Hoover’s “right-hand man.” Neither of them ever married, or, it appears, had a serious romantic relationship with a woman. After Hoover’s mother died, in 1938—he had lived with her in the family home until then—it was bruited about that now, in his mid-forties, he was marriageable at last. Hoover half-heartedly fanned the embers of a convenient rumor that he just might be engaged to Lela Rogers, the age-appropriate, fervently anti-Communist mother of Ginger. In 1939, he gave an interview in which he claimed to have been searching in vain “for an old-fashioned girl,” adding that “the girls men take out to make whoopee with are not the girls they want as the mother of their children.” Meanwhile, the only person with whom he seems to have enjoyed a documented flirtation, though it was chiefly epistolary, was an F.B.I. agent he had assigned to hunt down Dillinger, a young man named Melvin Purvis. In a correspondence from the thirties that Purvis, not Hoover, saved, the director dwelled admiringly on his agent’s swoon-worthy Clark Gable looks; as Purvis’s boss, he alternately promoted him and punished him for showboating and other infractions. (After forcing Purvis out of the Bureau, Hoover never spoke to him again; he did not even acknowledge his death, by suicide, in 1960.)

Beginning in the mid-nineteen-thirties, Hoover and Tolson, confirmed bachelors, as my grandparents would say, were almost inseparable. Though they did not live together in Washington, they took a car to work together every morning and lunched every day at a restaurant called Harvey’s. They went to New York night clubs, Broadway shows, and the horse races à deux, and vacationed together—Miami in the winter and La Jolla for the entire month of August every year. (Gage offers a close reading of photographs Hoover took in Miami one year, which included tender shots of a shirtless Tolson at play on the beach, and asleep in a deck chair.) Social invitations and holiday greetings from anyone who knew Hoover at all well and wanted to stay on his good side were addressed to them both. When Hoover died, he left the bulk of his estate to Tolson. F.D.R.’s son Elliott later said that his father had heard the rumors about Hoover’s homosexuality but didn’t care “so long as his abilities were not impaired.” It was possible for people to know the deal and to acknowledge it only tacitly, if at all, and for Tolson and Hoover to hide in plain sight.

What Hoover felt about all this remains elusive—a frustration, surely, for the biographer, and occasionally for the reader. We do know what Hoover did when, for example, he heard gossip about his sexuality or was asked to gather information about the sexuality of people less supremely insulated than he was. If an F.B.I. agent overheard you suggesting that Hoover was gay, you could anticipate an uninvited visit from clean-shaven men in hats, and a conversation in which you were told to shut up or else. Gage describes one such incident, from 1952, in which an employee at a D.C. bakery frequented by G-men told them that a guy he’d met at a party had asked if he’d “heard the director is a queer.” The report reached Hoover, who, Gage says, sent agents to the man’s house “to threaten and intimidate him into silence.”

Moreover, Hoover dutifully played his part in the “lavender scare” of the nineteen-fifties, which targeted homosexuals working in government for exposure and expulsion. (The excuse was that they posed a security risk, since it was thought that they were somehow uniquely vulnerable to blackmail, and that, like Communists, they made up a kind of secret society lodged in the heart of our institutions.) Hoover did not speak publicly about the issue the way he did about the Communist threat. But he obtained from the D.C. police the names of people arrested for “sexual irregularities” and passed them along to the White House. Those who worked for the government in any capacity, from filing clerk to Cabinet secretary, were supposed to be fired—and barred from all future government work. Perhaps he thought that his willing participation in a gay witch hunt would deflect attention from his own private life; perhaps he considered himself and Tolson different from the sexual irregulars the cops were rounding up. In the early nineteen-sixties, when a chapter of the Mattachine Society, a gay-rights organization, started up in Washington, Hoover immediately had its meetings monitored by informants. Some of the merrier men of the Mattachine, for their part, seemed to have got a kick out of sending Hoover invitations to their events. Gage reports on a memo in the files that reads, “This material is disgusting and offensive and it is believed a vigorous objection to the addition of the Director to its mailing list should be made.”

I, too, thought the question of Hoover’s sexuality was settled and, based on these passages, I think we can still say it’s settled.

There is much more to the review that is quite good, but if I share any more I’d be way out of fair use. In any case, I’ll buy Gage’s book based on this review alone.

J. Edgar Hoover and his lover (and co-worker) Clyde Tolson, left.

60 Minutes Australia has a new report that points to heavy police involvement in infamous decades-long gay murder and bashing spree in Sydney

I was already familiar with the long run of murders and gruesome near-murders that gripped gay Sydney in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

Officially just over 80 solved murders, 30 unsolved murders and countless violent attacks, the true number of murders and assaults will never be known.

Now 60 Minutes Australia’s Undercover Investigations unit has a new report out that links many of those murders and attacks to the New South Wales police department, where some officers actually took part in the attacks, while much of the rest of the department simply refused to investigate when the victims were gay men.

They hunted in packs and stalked their prey like a blood sport, terrorizing the gay community for more than two decades. But incredibly, on the frontline of the thugs were NSW police officers. On Under Investigation, Liz Hayes and her team of experts expose one of the most disgraceful chapters in NSW police history.

There have been other documentaries about the attacks, including this Crime Investigation Australia report, and Deep Water: The Real Story, a 2-hour documentary.

But the 60 Minutes Australia report is the first one I’ve seen that delves so deeply into police involvement in the crimes.

You can watch the entire report below.

Is the best way to lessen incarceration to actually make catching criminals easier to the point that criminals know it? (Or something like that.)

If you want to respect writer Matthew Yglesias, don’t start by reading his Twitter feed.

I still haven’t figured out whether he’s extremely bad at hot takes or if he’s just trolling people.

Either way, his Twitter feed obviously lacks the nuance for which I first started reading him at TAP.

His longer form writing has its regular home at SlowBoring.com, and he has a thought-provoking piece up about America’s mass incarceration problem and ways we might start alleviating it.

It has a headline that is typically provocative for Yglesias: “The best way to end mass incarceration is to catch more criminals.”

A couple of years ago, Anne Sofie Tegner Anker, Jennifer Doleac, and Rasmus Landersø published a really interesting paper about the impact of a law passed in Denmark that allowed Danish police to add anyone charged with a felony to a DNA database, increasing the share of arrestees added from roughly 4 percent to about 40 percent.

So what was the impact? The authors “find that DNA registration reduces recidivism within the following year by up to 42%.”

That’s a big reduction. Obviously having your DNA sample in some database does not have a lot of rehabilitative power per se. But as with the classic fingerprinting1 of perpetrators, once someone is in the system, it’s easier to catch them if they commit a crime. And indeed, the authors find that databased criminals are less likely to re-offend, but if they do re-offend, they are more likely to be caught. Using some math, they “estimate the elasticity of crime with respect to the detection probability” and conclude that “a 1% higher detection probability reduces crime by more than 2%.” So what do all these registered former offenders do instead of crimes? Well, they “find that DNA registration increases the likelihood that offenders find employment, enroll in education, and live in a more stable family environment.” This is a great paper and a very cool result, and I think it makes a strong case for the expanded use of DNA databases.

But I think it also suggests a better way of thinking about the phenomenon of mass incarceration in the United States than the mode that takes a negative view toward all punitive measures.

In this case, raising the odds that a person will go to prison conditional on the commission of a crime lead to a disproportionately large reduction in the odds of offending, meaning fewer person-hours of prison rather than more. Incarceration is costly, cruel, and has certain properties that tend to encourage crime. We should try to create a society that is dedicating fewer resources to locking people in cages in abusive conditions, and the best way to do that is to reduce the number of crimes being committed.

He covers a lot of ground in this piece, but as is usual for Yglesias when he is at his best, he makes you think a bit more deeply about the issues he presents.

My biggest concern with giving everyday police officers and police officials easier access to expanded DNA databases and enhanced surveillance technology is that I, as a middle-class white guy of a certain age, will not generally have to worry too much about these developments. It’s poor people and people of color who are most abused by law enforcement.

We have a huge, mostly unacknowledged or willfully ignored, racist cop problem in this country. I don’t want to give those bad guys any more tools to arrest innocent people of color.

Facial recognition technology — much of it already shown to be unintentionally, but functionally, racist in its mistakes — scares me the most in this regard.

How a Trump-loving cop undermined the Seth Rich murder investigation

In case you are not familiar with the murder of Seth Rich, let Wikipedia fill you in on the details:

The murder of Seth Rich occurred on July 10, 2016, at 4:20 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Rich died about an hour and a half after being shot twice in the back. The perpetrators were never apprehended; police suspected he had been the victim of an attempted robbery.

The 27-year-old Rich was an employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and his murder spawned several right-wing conspiracy theories, including the false claim, contradicted by the law enforcement branches that investigated the murder, that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016. It was also contradicted by the July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents for hacking the e-mail accounts and networks of Democratic Party officials and by the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion the leaked DNC emails were part of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Fact-checking websites like PolitiFact, Snopes, and FactCheck.org stated that the theories were false and unfounded. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post wrote that the promotion of these conspiracy theories was an example of fake news

Rich’s family denounced the conspiracy theorists and said that those individuals were exploiting their son’s death for political gain, and their spokesperson called the conspiracy theorists “disgusting sociopaths”. They requested a retraction and apology from Fox News after the network promoted the conspiracy theory, and sent a cease and desist letter to the investigator Fox News used. The investigator stated that he had no evidence to back up the claims which Fox News attributed to him. Fox News issued a retraction, but did not apologize or publicly explain what went wrong. In response, the Rich family sued Fox News in March 2018 for having engaged in “extreme and outrageous conduct” by fabricating the story defaming their son and thereby intentionally inflicting emotional distress on them. Fox News reached a seven-figure settlement with the Rich family in October 2020.

Fast forward to the present and this story in Rolling Stone:

It was the headline that made federal prosecutor Deborah Sines sit up straight in her chair.

For nearly a year, she’d been investigating the murder of 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. During that time, she had watched as viral conspiracy theories and fantastical speculation about Rich had spread beyond anyone’s imagination, overshadowing the facts about Rich’s life and death. The theories had spun so out of control that they’d interfered with Sines’ own investigation, forcing her to run down bizarre tips and rule them out. But she had never imagined what she now saw before her eyes: A pro-Trump blogger and vocal Rich conspiracist had published the name of the closest thing she had to a witness in the case.

Until that moment, the witness’s identity wasn’t public. That was by intent. Sines knew how dangerous it could be for a potential murder witness to have their identity revealed. A decade earlier she had prosecuted a notorious D.C. serial murderer who specifically targeted people in his neighborhood who had cooperated with the police and U.S. attorney’s office. Now her quasi-witness in the Rich murder had been outed, which sent the rampant speculation and conspiracy theorizing about Seth Rich into overdrive.

What Sines would later discover is that the person who leaked the name of the only witness to Rich’s murder was a Trump-loving MAGA cop in DC who owned gyms and was a sucker for conspiracy theories. Note that Julian Assange also played a big part in this, and not a flattering part.

You can read the rest of the fascinating Rolling Stone story here.

Seth Rich.

Trump keeps playing right into the hands of the Department of Justice

It’s a question that untold numbers of us have asked ourselves: How has Donald Trump gotten away with being so crooked for so long?

That question has been batted about ad infinitum.

But those days seem to have come to an end, with federal law enforcement finally using Trump well-known stupidity and lazy habits against him, as David A. Graham at The Atlantic recounts in this interesting article:

As the great American philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Omar Little each expressed in their own ways, if you go after the king, you can’t make a mistake.

The Department of Justice now finds itself in just such a can’t-miss scenario in its legal battle with Donald Trump over documents he took with him to Mar-a-Lago. Given the delicate political calculation, any error could strengthen the former president, weaken the rule of law, and imperil the Constitution. But so far, the federal government has been a step ahead of Trump at every turn.

The latest demonstration came in a filing late last night, in which prosecutors dramatically swept away the most recent excuses from Trump and his allies, who have insisted that the former president cooperated with the government and acted in good faith. The filing provides evidence that Trump and his team not only didn’t hand over all classified materials, but actively sought to conceal them by misleading the FBI. And a striking photograph, showing cover sheets with bold red block letters reading top secret // sci, preempts any claim that Trump might simply not have realized the documents were classified.

This has been the pattern of the story of Trump’s mishandling of presidential records from the start. In January, the National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago. By February, NARA had already told DOJ about classified documents, according to a letter from the agency’s head to Representative Carolyn Maloney. Although a lawyer for Trump requested that NARA not disclose the contents of the boxes to the FBI, government lawyers were already a step ahead, pointing out that “there are important national security interests in the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community getting access to these materials … Some include the highest levels of classification, including Special Access Program (SAP) materials.”

Trump is a moron, and he’s mostly now only able to hire lawyers who are also morons or near-morons. The days of him being able to sleaze and bluster his way out of legal messes is (hopefully) drawing to a close.

One of several in a rotating list of Trumpland excuses for having top secret documents is that he didn’t know they were top secret. So the DOJ shared photos of what they found during the raid of Mar-A-Lago so that everyone could see that nobody could miss that these were restricted documents, since they were clearly and ostentatiously labeled as such.

NY set to award valuable marijuana dispensary licenses first to black, brown people most targeted by old marijuana drug laws

This seems like a great idea, if it works as it’s intended:

If you or a loved one have a pot conviction, you could have a new employment opportunity. New York will give you first dibs to sell marijuana, legally.

While 19 states have legalized recreational weed, New York is the first to offer its initial dispensary licenses solely to entrepreneurs with marijuana convictions. It’s a move aimed at offering an advantage to people, disproportionately in Black and brown communities, harmed by the war on drugs.

“We think that leaning into folks who are not only justice-involved, but have that business experience means that we’re going to find a bunch of applicants who have gone through some significant challenges to still open and operate successful businesses,” Office of Cannabis Management executive director Chris Alexander said in an interview. “We just took a different approach.”

Most states have let medical dispensaries be the first to roll out recreational products, which has largely let big fish get bigger. And places like Illinois and Detroit created lotteries or restrictions to promote diverse ownership in their adult-use weed sectors only to see them mired in legal challenges and legislative fixes for years. So, New York — one of the nation’s largest cannabis markets — went further.

New Yorkers with past cannabis-related convictions and business experience will get the first chance at Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary licenses. If selected, the state will set up the applicants with a retail location and financing to help develop their storefronts — with shops openings potentially as early as the end of the year.

That “social equity” framework, as set forth in in the 2021 law as part of the state Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act which legalized the drug for adult use, underpins the state’s efforts to ensure those most harmed by the decades-long prohibition of marijuana — and not large multi-state operators — are at the center of New York’s recreational program. The Democratic-led Legislature pushed for the measure as part of the law.

Here’s the rub: California was supposed to also set up this type of program for those residents — black and brown people — most sent to prison under draconian marijuana laws.

But loopholes, along with government inertia and stupidity, have made the program a farce.

Let’s hope NY state learns from those mistakes.

You can find out more about those New York cannabis dispensary licenses at this link.

A variety of strains at a recreational marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

Insider-Only Hiring of Police Chiefs May Violate Civil Rights Law, Officials Say

ProPublica and Boston’s legendary PBS station WBUR have a piece up about a problem I didn’t even know existed: state and local laws which require police forces to hire new police chiefs from within the often scandal-plagued departments they will lead.

With police departments facing demands for reform nationwide, some experts say that one way to address problems such as racial discrimination, poor training or use of excessive force is to bring in an outsider. But Revere’s mayor, Arrigo, didn’t have that option. In 2017, he tried to change the ordinance so he could look at external candidates, but he was rebuffed by the city council.

“We absolutely welcome the help of [U.S. Attorney] Rachael Rollins to make these changes going forward,” Arrigo said in a statement to WBUR. “I have been and always will be in support of this change and am willing to work with anyone able to provide help and guidance. The work of improving a toxic police department culture cannot be done alone.”

It’s not known exactly how many cities and towns around the country are constrained to choose police chiefs who already work in the department. In New Jersey, state law requires most municipalities to choose a chief from the ranks. The city of Bakersfield, California, will hold a ballot referendum this November on whether to remove its insiders-only requirement. Bakersfield agreed to the referendum as part of a settlement with the California state Department of Justice, which had been investigating alleged civil rights abuses by city police officers. In 2020, after a sweeping overtime pay scam that implicated more than 45 troopers, the Massachusetts legislature dropped a requirement that the head of the state police be hired from within.

Police unions and local elected officials often support these insider-only ordinances to reward veterans of the force for their service and to keep political allies close. Brandon Buskey, head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project in New York, said that these requirements should be abolished because they limit cities from finding the most qualified candidates for chief, but that unions are standing in the way.

“That’s a problem that really is national in scale because we see police unions and the lobbying effort of police groups being used to really thwart necessary reforms in so many jurisdictions,” he said.

This is just crazy, but it just goes to show you how elected officials often claim to support good policing, but then go along with corrupt police unions in passing laws which virtually guarantee the opposite. These laws also maintain the racial status quo for majority Caucasian police departments.

You can read the rest of the ProPublica article at this link.

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said that rules like Revere’s that require hiring police chiefs from within are “ridiculous” and may limit the diversity of the candidate pool. Credit: Jesse Costa/WBUR

Former Trump campaign co-chair charged with sex abuse

I used to be a newspaper editor and one of our specialties was running stories about arch-conservative people who get caught doing bad things things along the lines of that which they try to pass laws to prevent other people from lawfully doing in normal, everyday ways.

Adultery? Prostitutes regularly report that business is remarkably better (yet far worse tippers) in cities that host the Republican National Convention, rather than the Democratic one.

Child enticement? I could’ve run a newsletter all these years highlighting nothing but notable right-wingers who’ve been caught on “To Catch A Predator” or exposed some other way.

Homosexual trysts and orgies? Oh, man. I witnessed over the years literally (correct use of the word literally, BTW) nearly every male leader of nearly every anti-homosexual group that’s appeared over the years, getting arrested as those leaders have been caught in either male prostitution stings or drug-fueled orgies in some location that catches the attention of law enforcement.

I’ve said it a thousand times, I’ll bet: if a person is so obsessed that they need to make a living telling others what to do sexually, chances are that person is doing (and ashamed of) the very thing they are trying to fight.

Take Donald Trump’s former statewide campaign co-chair down in Alabama:

A former Alabama legislator who served as a co-chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in the state has been arrested and charged with first-degree sex abuse, police confirmed Wednesday.

The incident that Perry Hooper Jr. is charged with happened on Aug. 16 in the 100 block of Commerce St., which is the address of the Hampton Inn & Suites Montgomery-Downtown.

Hooper, 67, was arrested Tuesday, said Capt. Saba Coleman, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery Police Department. He was booked into the Montgomery County Detention Facility and his bond set at $15,000. But there were no details about what Hooper is alleged to have done posted on the jail website.

Ahh, the the Hampton Inn & Suites — always a fine location for right-wingers to get caught illegally dipping their chicken tenders in secret sauce.

You can read the rest at this link.

Perry Hooper, Jr.