Cop of the Year, 2007

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Meet Sam Costales, part of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police Department.

In 2006, Costales was present at a roadblock set up by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team, after a carjacking investigation turned into a gunfire-laden, high-speed chase.

The roadblock also happened to be set up in the neighborhood of race car driving legend Al Unser, Sr. Here’s the initial news report of what happened as Unser approached the roadblock:

While the incident was still unfolding, Bernalillo County sheriff’s investigators allege Al Unser started going through a roadblock in an attempt to get to his property. Despite six or seven warnings to leave the area, he still refused to leave, saying it was his property–he owned it.
When the deputy told him he would be arrested, Unser allegedly said, “You can’t take me to jail,” and began cussing at the officer.

Officers report he then jerked away and said, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Al Unser.”

A short time after he was arrested, Bobby Unser showed up. Deputies said he, too, refused to leave and resisted arrest.

Both were transported to holding cells at the Valley substation before being taken to jail.

“They simply told them numerous times to leave the area, and they simply refused to do so,” Erin Kinnard of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department said. “Were not talking about a situation where we’re trying to catch a shoplifter.

“This was a serious and dangerous situation.”

KRQE News 13 was told Al Unser threatened the arresting officer, telling him he would get back at him some day.

Unser of course said that’s not the way it happened. He says the officers were rude to him, refused to tell him why he couldn’t drive home, then pulled him out of his car and tossed him into a thorn bush before arresting him for resisting arrest.

Costales is a cop with the Albuquerque Police Department, not the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, so he initially remained silent, and wasn’t interviewed as part of the investigation. But he was later contacted by a private investigator for the Unser family. That’s when he explained what he saw. His version of events were a lot more like the Unsers’ than the sheriff’s deputies.

Costales said he heard “yelling and screaming” after deputies stopped Unser’s vehicle.

“They were running and screaming at the driver, ‘Get the hell out of here,”‘ Costales said. “It bothered me. People have a right to know what’s going on. An explanation would clear them out quickly.”

Three or four deputies were involved in the confrontation, he said.

At one point, Costales said, Unser turned his vehicle around as if to leave as deputies continued yelling at him. Unser stopped and stepped out of his vehicle with his hands outstretched, he said.

Costales said it appeared that one deputy then made a shoving motion toward Unser.

“I thought, ‘This is getting out of hand,”‘ he said.

Costales testified that Unser got back in his truck and started to leave, and that he heard a deputy say, “That’s it, you’re under arrest.”

“They swung open his door, they grabbed him and threw him face down on the ground into a sticker patch,” Costales said.

The Albuquerque officer said he heard Unser tell officers as he was lying on the ground that he had an injured shoulder.

Asked by defense attorney Charlie Daniels if Unser was resisting, Costales replied, “No, sir, there were three of them on top of him.”

Costales added, “There was a right way of doing things and a rude and hateful way of doing things. I think they chose the latter.”

After Costales’ testimony, Unser was acquitted on all charges.

But the story doesn’t end there. The officers at the roadblock were never even investigated, let alone disciplined. In fact, the only action the Benalillo County sheriff took was to call the APD chief to complain about Costales’ testimony. Costales soon found himself the subject of an internal affairs investigation, one instigated by his own police chief at the behest of the sheriff. The charge? Improperly wearing his uniform while testifying in court. A police spokesperson explained to the local paper that officers are only permitted to wear their uniforms when testifying for the prosecution. When they testify for the defense, they’re to wear street clothes. Make of that what you will.

After the trial, the head of the police union in Albuquerque sent a letter to the Bernalillo County Sheriff apologizing for Costales’ testimony. It read:

As Secretary of the APOA i feel it is my duty and responsibility to apologize to you and your officers. Ofc. Sam Costales does not represent APD/APOA. The majority of our officers look at the BCSO as our brother and sisters in blue. We are embarrassed and ashamed of Ofc. Costales’s testimony in the Unser trial. If there is anything we can do to rebuild the damage caused by Sam please let me know.

Remarkable. Costales wasn’t exactly jumping up and down to sell out his fellow cops. According to a report by one New Mexico non-profit, Costales had retired from the police force three years prior after witnessing to much brutality, and feeling powerless to do anything about it. When APD asked him back as part of an effort to step up street patrols, he agreed, but only after first promising himself and his wife that he’d speak up about any abuses he saw. Even still, Costales spoke up about the Unser incident only after contacted by Unser’s defense team, then testified to what he saw when asked to do so while under oath. Seems to me he’s a pretty credible witness. He had little to gain from selling out his fellow officers (I doubt he was gunning for my “Cop of the Year” award), and quite a bit to lose.

And so much for police unions sticking up for their members, eh? Tell the truth under oath about police abuse in order to prevent a wrongful arrest and conviction, and they’ll drop you like you’ve just been tasered.

The sheriff responded to the union rep:

“Like you, I was shocked and dismayed when I learned that Sam was on the stand sucker-punching our deputies. Make no mistake, while his testimony was a work of fiction, it was pretty much game over after he finished…Sam Costales is incapable of breaking the brotherhood that bonds these great agencies.”

The internal affairs investigation of Costales ended without any formal complaint against him. But it sent a pretty clear message. And the retribution has apparently continued. Last August, Costales filed a federal lawsuit against his department, the sheriff’s department, and the police union:

Officer Sam Costales, in a federal lawsuit filed last week, alleged there’s an unwritten “blue code of silence” in which officers are expected to lie or keep silent to avoid contradicting fellow officers or situations that would make another law enforcement agency look bad.

And he said officers who break that code are punished by “derogatory comments and smear campaigns,” ostracism within the department and retaliation and by other officers refusing to back them up on calls in the field.

[...]

The lawsuit said that despite requests for transfer, Costales remains on patrol in a dangerous neighborhood, under a cloud of hostility, and wonders every time he gets a call whether other officers will back him up.

Costales said criticism by White and Schultz created a hostile and potentially life-threatening work environment and that stress has forced him to seek mental health treatment and take medication for anxiety and sleeplessness.

Seems like the lesson in all of this is clear. There may indeed be only a “few bad apples” in the police force. But if you, as one of the good ones, report their abuses, it’s you who will be punished, not them. This is also why I’m skeptical of police accounts of botched raids, shootings, and other incidents. There’s way too much incentive to lie, way too much protection for liars, and, in those cases where the police actually are at fault, too little protection for cops who do dare to tell the truth.

In my book, Sam Costales is a hero. He’s your Agitator.com “Cop of the Year” for 2007.

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41 Responses to “Cop of the Year, 2007”

  1. #1 |  LibertyPlease | 

    Good for Officer Costales, and thanks for bringing his actions to my attention.

    We (citizens) trust our police with an incredible amount of authority and lethal equipment, and additionally give them the overwhelming benefit of the doubt as if they are better than human.

    It is great to see an Officer do the right thing even though it has caused so much retaliation. It is unforgivable that those who demand trust are systematically retaliating so that they can continue to deceive us.

  2. #2 |  reddogcc | 

    you have to feel bad for this guy. and for the rest of us, when you see the reality of what law enforcement thinks of us, as demonstrated be the departments and unions named here.

    To paraphrase Douglas Adams, anybody who wants to become a cop should by no means be allowed to have the job.

  3. #3 |  David | 

    If the Unsers hadn’t been wealthy and relatively famous, we’d have never even heard of this.

  4. #4 |  whiskey | 

    Some ex-LEO comments here:

    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2730592

  5. #5 |  Persona non grata | 

    The time is nigh to equip every police officer with an audio/visual recording device while they are on the job.
    They have repeatedly proven themselves to be worse than the criminals they proport to be “protecting” the public from.

  6. #6 |  Steve Plunk | 

    A well deserved accolade. Until this “blue code of silence” is busted we are all in danger. Sam Costales is a brave man and a hero to the common man.

  7. #7 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    Kudos to Sam. And for all the bullies in blue out there…it’s a myth…being a bully shit head with a badge won’t make your penis grow any longer than the 2 inches it already is…your stuck with your little weinnie…get over it.

  8. #8 |  Frank | 

    Unfortunately, this is an exception that proves the rule. The attitude first revealed in the days of Serpico haven’t changed.

    This is why police get no respect.

  9. #9 |  lowrads | 

    Eventually they’ll have to start putting little odometers on tasers.

  10. #10 |  David Chesler | 

    In 1995 three or four members of the Boston Police Department beat Michael Cox, a black man unconscious and left him to die. This apparently would have been fine except that Cox was also a cop. The only cop criminally charged in this was Kenneth Conley, who did not beat Cox but was at the scene, for perjury. I think I remember one source saying that was because he didn’t simply keep his mouth shut. I don’t know if this follows or breaks the rule.

  11. #11 |  Frank | 

    “They have repeatedly proven themselves to be worse than the criminals they proport to be “protecting” the public from.”

    There is a reason why police are called the largest street gang in the nation.

  12. #12 |  Jerry | 

    My father was a Cop for 20 years and he left the force because of just these types of reason. I used to respect Cops but have no use for them. Cops are always saying that they deserve a pass because they put their life on the line, which they do, but the majority of us who they come in contact with are not the dregs of the earth. And when you aren’t allowed to ask questions why your stopped I have a real problem. Always sounds like my military drill instructor who always said “Yours is not to question why, yours is to do what I say”.

    I’m an upper-middle class guy with a family and a great job in the No. VA area and I wouldn’t trus a Cop to do the right thing in an cicumstance and avoid them at all costs, even though I don’t so anything wrong.

  13. #13 |  larryo | 

    “A police spokesperson explained to the local paper that officers are only permitted to wear their uniforms when testifying for the prosecution. When they testify for the defense, they’re to wear street clothes. Make of that what you will.”

    I make a constitutional violation of it. Look at Wardius v. Oregon.

  14. #14 |  Warren | 

    So how do we go about de-policing ourselves? Without violence.

  15. #15 |  DsC | 

    larryo, Wardius v. Oregon? IANAL, but it appears to be a case concerning a “petitioner’s failure to file a notice of alibi.” Pretty dry stuff…

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=412&page=470

    I didn’t read all the text, but “uniform” and “officer” fail to turn up anywhere in the doc.

    Also, it is my understanding that the prosecution is performed by the state, which employs the officer in question. When an officer testifies for the state they are “at work.” I think the idea is that since the state funds both the police and the prosecution, they have to testify as an officer. When they are a witness for the defense, even if they are recalling their actions while on duty, they are “civilians”, because they are testifying for a private party, who is not their employer. I think that’s how it works anyway.

  16. #16 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    I think the reason they have become such arrogant bastards is because we now have enough laws on the books that you could stand in one spot for 5 minutes, not making a move or saying a word, and be arrested for something. And these clowns know it.

  17. #17 |  Skip | 

    When my wife was pulled over in my driveway for not comming to a complete stop at a stopsign at the end of the road…4 officers and 3 cars were in my fron yard. I asked what was going on…and why there were 3 squad cars and 4 officers for a stop light issue…what the reply was. Is that your truck (my S-10 in the driveway) I answered yes and they called in my plates. Then one of the officers took me to the side and said I was interfering with justice. At that point I asked if it took one officer to write her a ticket…how could I be interfering by asking one of the other 3 officers a few questions. He then said I’d better watch out…he knows where I live… Now I was respectful…to a point. I called them officers but I did repeat the question why 4 officers were needed and asked if a car or 2 could leave. It is embarrasing have 3 cars and 4 officers outside your door…for a CA stop of al things.

  18. #18 |  Eduardo | 

    How amazing

  19. #19 |  David | 

    C’mon Skip! You know that failure to come to a complete stop is a red flag for “drug smuggler planning to kill police officers”.

  20. #20 |  ClubMedSux | 

    DsC- I can’t speak for larryo, but the only thing I was able to find in the Wardius decision that was remotely relevant was this:

    “Although the Due Process Clause has little to say regarding the amount of discovery which the parties must be afforded, but cf. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), it does speak to the balance of forces between the accused and his accuser. Cf. In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 361 -364 (1970).”

    I suppose you could make the argument that allowing cops to wear uniforms when testifying for the prosecution–but not the defense–upsets the balance of forces between the accused and his accuser. I can’t see a judge being particularly persuaded by the argument, however. Overall, I think it’s a horrible policy, but I’m not sure it rises to the level of inherently violating due process (and if it does, there have to be better cases out there than Wardius to support the argument).

  21. #21 |  CONCERNED | 

    I believe there are good cops and bad, it’s unfortunate that the bad ones give the good ones a bad reputation. I’ve learned from experience when my daughter had 2 incidents of domestic violence that these cops cover for each other. Her boyfriends brother is a sargent with APD and the first time some thing happened 2 cops showed up and were handeling the situation until he called his brother and he showed up everything changed to look like it was my daughter causing the problems so they never filed a report. Another time was in her own house and the minute he mentioned his brother’s name and that he was a sargent they told her she shouldn’t even be in the house when the house was in both their names. They even made her leave the house and wouldn’t let her take her car cuz they said it looked like she was drinking. Good thing she was with 2 of her friends cuz they had to drive her to my house. They also know how to intimidate people especially when their young. Another incident was in my own home. Apparently the neighbor down the street was threatening his mother and the officers. So of course as a curious neighbor my huband went out and opened the garage door to see what was going on. At that time a female officer approached him and told him to get in the house. He told her I’am in my house, she said I told you get inside your house if not I’m going to have to arrest you. He told her I’m in my gargage that is part of my house. At that time a male officer approached and asked my husband if he would please get in the house. Bingo that’s all he had to say was please. The female officer needs to learn to quit trying to throw her weight around just cuz she wears a badge. That’s some thing else they need to keep in mind if you show a little respect for people you will probably get the same respect back instead of being an ass or a bitch about it first hand unless the individual is being an idiot then they deserve to be treated in a disrespectful or angry manor.

  22. #22 |  Billy Beck | 

    “I think the reason they have become such arrogant bastards is because we now have enough laws on the books that you could stand in one spot for 5 minutes, not making a move or saying a word, and be arrested for something. And these clowns know it.”

    ~~~~~~

    “Wherever the law is, crime can be found.”

    (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn — “The Gulag Archipelago”, Vol. I, p. 67)

    Word.

  23. #23 |  Pissed off in Burque | 

    I live in ABQ, and this behavior does not surprise me at all (except for officer Costales’). APD officers are notoriously trigger happy. The Unsers are with out a doubt the most famous family in the city, and this most certainly would have turned out even worse if not for that.

    I grew up with several people who are now APD officers, and with one exception, they do now, and have, as long as I’ve known them, fit into what I would consider the “LEO stereotype”. That is to say, they seem to be arrogant, self-important, assholes who for no discernible reason feel that they are better than everyone they come in contact with and seem to get off on power.

    Somewhat OT, but I recently had the pleasure of witnessing SWAT standoff at my neighbors house here. I live in a nice middle class neighborhood on the west side of town. I’m 33 and one of the youngest homeowners in the area.

    I was awoken by the sound of police on a loudspeaker trying to coax my neighbor out of his house. When I went outside to investigate I saw at least 15 police vehicles including several armored SUV’s and a tank. I asked a police officer what was going on. She replied that the VA hospital had called about a mentally ill man who missed an appointment, and asked if the police could drop by to see if he was ok. She said he had refused to come out, but they believed him to be unarmed, because his daughter told them he didn’t keep guns in the house, and that he didn’t “believe in them”.

    Why the tank? I don’t know. Might as well ask why they let off a few flash-bang grenades in the street over a period of several hours.

    I was told if I left I would not be allowed back to my home, so I just watched the happenings from my backyard, and had a couple beers with my other imprisoned neighbors.

    The most heartbreaking part of the ordeal was when I noticed a young teenage girl trying to get into my back yard. She turned out to be the man’s daughter, and was in tears because the police would not allow her within view of the house to try to communicate with her father. She confirmed that he had no weapons in the house, and asked if she could try to get his attention from my backyard. I had a view of the window her father occasionally peered out of to yell “don’t shoot me”. She was unable to get his attention from my backyard, and she couldn’t understand why the police wouldn’t let her nearer. The frustration on her face along with her obvious concern for the welfare of her father was painfull to see.

    After 4-5 hours, with another flash-bang grenade the SWAT finally stormed the house and brought out their 150 lb prize in hand cuffs apparentally unharmed.

    Now I live in NM, and I likes my guns. There’s a gunstore not far from me called fullautos.com, but those cops had an impressive array of firepower for one little old man who missed a doctors appointment and wasn’t armed. Overmilitirization? Bah!

    Also, I have 65 and 85 lb sheppards that were locked in the house for most of the time this was going on. Shortly after the standoff, I noticed that a couple of fenceposts had been knocked down in my backyard. I went to my neighbor’s to see if I could put them back up from her side of the fence. I apologized, assuming that my dogs were the culprits as they usually are. She told me that, in fact, a cop had comming running through my backyard at some point, and knocked them off while jumping the fence. I can only imagine what would have happened if my dogs were in the backyard and met this jackass playing soldier. One cop with a rather large chunk bitten out of his ass, and two dead dogs, no doubt. Me in jail probably as well.

    Things I learned:

    1) It takes five cops and six police vehicles to block off a small residential street.

    2) A bomb detonating robot is needed to deliver a phone to your front door if you throw a guitar out your window.

    3) Cops live for that shit. Every one of them had a smile on his/her face, and were laughing and joking around even in front of the man’s teenage daughter (with the exception of the SWAT team who I rarely had a view of). Also Rambo who, not so covertly, ran through my back yard to… make sure they weren’t outflanked? must have been living out some sort of fantasy.

    4) APD has a tank, but no mental health professionals to help them negotiate.

    5) Most surprisingly, 20 or so APD officers are able to stand around for a few hours without killing anyone (or even any pets).

    I’m looking forward to the day I can say APD officers can stand around for a few hours without beating the shit out of anyone.

    Albuquerque always ranks high in the violent crimes per capita category, so I do believe there is a use for SWAT in this town. However, the “shock and awe” mentality seems to trickle down to the most mundane traffic stops here.

    Standard not all cops are bad disclaimer, I’ve met some very professional ones here in situations that didn’t really require them to be. Also, they did eventually get my truck back after I got car jacked, although I think it was a by-product of the WOD instead of any due diligence to solve my case.

    Finally officer Costales has my highest regards, and my warmest thanks.

  24. #24 |  Pissed off in Burque | 

    sorry for the length of that post. I guess I had to vent.

  25. #25 |  GreginOz | 

    Sting, Andy Summers, Stuart Coop;

    Kill The Police…

  26. #26 |  Therapeutic Ramblings | 

    Add the Burque to places I don’t want to visit. You’d think LEO would remotely keep the citizen’s interests at heart, and not just Team Blue.

  27. #27 |  cinattra | 

    Cops only enforce the laws that our wonderful politicians make up. If you don’t like the laws that cops are duty bound to enforce then change the laws. If you want to make cops more accountable for their actions then change the laws.

  28. #28 |  Just me | 

    Sorry to hear this guy told the truth and was punished for doing the very thing he took an oath for. Back in 2004, something close to what this officer did happened to me in a small rural county of Stone County Missouri. Only … when they had the guy on his belly and restrained (hancuffed) did they begin to taser him (multiple times). I physically and verbally tried to get them to stop, you see, I took an oath to protect. It was a lot worse, three people went to jail on made-up charges and they then denied them bond. No joke.

    I got a hold of my direct supervisor and informed him of what happened. He stated “…sounds like you did the right thing.” and that was that. Then I received a subpoena and 2 months later the Sheriff’s office, and the P.A. filed a formal complaint against me. Because I did nothing wrong at the Teagues residence, they began looking for anything to “punish” me for. They even went back 4 years trying to find anything, anything about me in which they could use in order to create harm to me, they even went to my ex-spouse’s office and conducted an interview but that did not go the way they wanted it to go (thank God even divorced couples can maintain a civil relationship).

    I ended up in the docotors office for the stress of all the things that had gone on, there is nothing like being punished for telling the truth and doing the right thing. A year later, the embelished charges made it to the docket and I was subpoened again from both sides. Under oath I told the truth, the complete truth and nothing but the truth, and the 12 man jury accquitted all three members of ALL the charges.

    The civil trials have yet to make it before a Judge … I am no longer a State Trooper, I am teaching at a high school. The one thing I learned from all this mess after having recovered from being hurt by this mess is this … I did the right thing, I would do it all over again if the situation ever presented itself because I would want to do the same for a member of my family.

    My personal message to all of you, not all cops are bad, not all of the cops will serve themselves before those who they took the oath for. Taking the high road is not easy, it is lonely and painful but after 4 years and a re examination of myself, I am ok. And I know that Jimmy Teague, Leta Teague, and their son-in-law (I can not remember his name right now) are thankful I maintained my integrity thru all this mess.

    Just me …

    I imme

  29. #29 |  Stephen | 

    “Cops only enforce the laws that our wonderful politicians make up. If you don’t like the laws that cops are duty bound to enforce then change the laws. If you want to make cops more accountable for their actions then change the laws.”

    cinattra, is there a law stating that a man doesn’t have a right to return to his home, or that a man cannot miss a doctor’s appointment without having armored SWAT teams come out and stage a siege around his house for hours on end? Get real!

    The issue here is not about citizen’s breaking the law anyway, it’s about the police going berserk with power, and breaking quite a few laws themselves in the process with almost total immunity.

  30. #30 |  Mike Straw | 

    The Founders correctly stipulated that the best course for any nation was a Militia, assuring each individual was responsible for both himself and his neighbors.
    The current fad of a Blue Army of Occupation is both impotent on its face and demonstrably self-defeating.
    As Gibbon explained, the end of this nation is in sight, clearly illuminated by the glowing ovens of its death camps.
    Your choices have been reduced to roast quietly or take a few with you.
    Ask David Koresh.

  31. #31 |  Wendy Weinbaum | 

    Atrocities such as those listed above offend all reasonable people. As a Jewess in the US, I can say that THESE are reasons while all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!!!

  32. #32 |  Ochressandro | 

    Cool. If I happen to see him around, I’m going to shake his hand. It’s a damned shame officers like him are so few and far between.

  33. #33 |  JoeFederalist | 

    This would be a simple problem to fix. Now IPODs and similar devices have 120 GB hard drives. Phones have cameras. Combine the two to make a device that records audio and video and can fit inside a shirt pocked. Require cops to wear them and then the video can be used to verify or refute citizen complaints. With the number of false criminal complaints against cops, good cops stand to benefit from this. This should be required for all police. Police found to have not been wearing it should not be allowed to introduce testimony and should be penalized. Police found to have destoryed evidence purposefully should be fired.

  34. #34 |  gene swank | 

    Having been recently and for the first time in my 57 years arrested for stalking. I spent 3 and a half days in the Kent county jail where they refused to treat my diabetes never gave me a phone call never gave me an attorney and was forced to plead guilty by an obviuously prejudiced Judge. I have lost all faith in our judicial system. I am having the guilty plea overturned and have file legal malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits against the police the court and the Kent county jail. My wife lied to the police then they twisted everything she said to make there case look better. She set me up lied to me and the wyoming police didnt even record the phone call she made to me from the police station. They didnt even listen to the conversation. DONT TRUST THE POLICE THE PROSECUTER OR THE JUDGE THEY AREALL CORRUPT.

  35. #35 |  Lima Ohio Police Steal 400,000 dollars, then Go Execute a Mother of Six « The Bad Idea Blog | 

    [...] Why, when one of their own testifies to the truth instead of lying to help fellow officers, is he slandered, attacked, and penalized (note the absolutely incredible regulation mentioned in this story too: officers can only wear [...]

  36. #36 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Police Officers of the Year, 2008 | 

    [...] Last year, we honored New Mexico police officer Sam Costales, for having the courage to testify in court to abuses by other officers, and was promptly punished for it. [...]

  37. #37 |  An Ex-Cop’s Story « Injustice Everywhere | 

    [...] post was left on a message board in response to an interesting story from Radly Balko’s TheAgitator about officer Sam Costales, his “officer of the year”, who has recently filed suit [...]

  38. #38 |  America's Most Successful Stop Snitchin' Campaign - Reason Magazine | 

    [...] of the San Bernalillo deputies was disciplined. By now you probably can guess who was disciplined: Sam Costales. His own chief opened an internal affairs investigation of him. His transgression: He wore his [...]

  39. #39 |  America’s Most Successful Stop Snitchin’ Campaign | News for Greens | 

    [...] Bernalillo deputies was disciplined. By now you probably can guess who was disciplined:Sam Costales. His own chief opened an internal affairs investigation of him. His transgression: He wore his [...]

  40. #40 |  Benalillo courts | Leatherandlaceofafton | 

    [...] Cop of the Year, 2007 | The AgitatorIn fact, the only action the Benalillo County sheriff took was to call the APD chief to complain about Costales’ testimony. Costales soon found himself the subject of an internal affairs investigation, one instigated by his own police chief at the behest of the sheriff. [...]

  41. #41 |  Rod McCallum | 

    Billy Beck’s statement, “…you could stand in one spot for 5 minutes, not making a move or saying a word, and be arrested for something.” – Absolutely correct. It has happened to me. They don’t a reason. Why should police need a reason? Unionized police don’t need a reason. They are the masters of the universe.
    The sooner we all realize that…the sooner there will be a hard push to ban police unions. Then we can start working at getting police under control. Civilians are supposed to be in charge, not uniform-wearing goons.
    Police aren’t very good at controlling themselves. Why should they do that? Unions turn police into gangs. As an expert on police corruption – since I’ve experienced so very much of it – I know that is the root of the growing problem of police out of control. Unions.

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