Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kansas City Gets Tough on Crime

The Kansas City Star reports on the sentencing of man for shooting at police and running a meth lab in his home.

A Platte County man has been sentenced to life in prison for shooting at police officers as he fled from an explosion in 2007.

Bryan G. Leonard, 33, of Riverside, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday in Platte County Circuit Court, two days after receiving another life sentence on multiple federal charges for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Authorities in Platte County charged Leonard in September 2007 with three counts of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer for shooting at three members of the Kansas City Metropolitan Drug Task Force.

Talk about getting tough on crime, this guy received not one, but two life sentences. And he pleaded guilty. What do they do with people who actually harm others in the commission of their crimes?

Officers went to the residence just north of Park Hill South High School. They were acting on a tip that stolen construction materials and a meth lab were at the property.

Officers knocked on the door, but no one answered. However, music was playing inside and officers detected a strong chemical odor.

Leonard came out of the house shooting.

An explosion then caused the house to burn to the ground. Leonard was arrested after a car chase through English Landing Park. No one was injured in the shooting or the explosion.

What's your opinion? Does this sound like an excessive sentence to you? In spite of what some people say about me, I'm not really soft on criminals. I would like it to be fair, though, and reasonable. Sentencing guidelines like this are bad news for everybody. Locking people up and throwing away the key is not the solution to the problem; it's part of the problem. Using this case as an example, what do you think they do with murderers in Kansas City? What about pot smokers?

Please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. My opinion, and that's all it is, is that the tough sentence is because he shot at an LEO. If he had shot at a 3 year old riding a tricycle, he would have got probation.

    Many years ago I listened to an NRP program about detective work at cop shops. A retired cop admitted that equal crimes receive wildly different responses based on who the victim is.

    He said that his department used the acronym NHI for murder cases it deemed not worthy of investigation.

    Prostitutes, gang members and homeless people fell into the NHI category which stands for "No Humans Involved."

    Take a pot shot at a cop however, and LEO's drop everything else and focus on that case alone untill the person is caught.

  2. kaveman, I think this is another thing we agree on. If we keep this up people'll start talking.

    I think the cops have a terrible double standard. I love that expression "cop-killer" as opposed to a regular killer. And you can be sure the cop-killer will pay a heavier price.