New Professionalism Roundup

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
  • FBI investigating one D.C. and five Prince George’s County, Maryland police officers for involvement in a gambling ring. The ring itself may be responsible for as many as five homicides.
  • I mentioned the case of the Philadelphia cop caught on surveillance video assaulting a woman in my crime column last week, but it’s worth noting that the store clerk in the case claims officers other than the one who committed the assault also asked him erase the videotape. They were cleared by internal affairs. Seem to be quite a few problems with the level of professionalism in Philadelphia right now.
  • A Seattle police officer who shoved an innocent man head-first into a wall, putting the man into a coma, won’t be prosecuted. The man fled when police approached after a witness wrongly fingered him as the culprit in a bar fight.
  • Officer in Hollywood, Florida rear-ends a woman. Woman wasn’t at fault in the crash, but she was intoxicated. Dash cam then catches four officers planning  a cover up and subsequent falsification of a police report to pin the accident on the woman, not the cop. They’re on paid leave. And check out this graph from a separate story on the incident: “The last major blow to the Hollywood department’s credibility came in February 2007, when four officers were charged and later convicted of delivering heroin in an FBI sting operation. Federal authorities said at the time that they could have snared more corrupt Hollywood cops had department higher-ups not alerted colleagues to the investigation.”
  • Fifteen people suing West Virginia police officer for lying, pulling motorists over at gunpoint, sexual humiliation, and a host of other fun activities. He’s on paid leave, too.
  • West Palm Beach, Florida officers fired after dash cam catches them beating a man. Fortunately, the video also caught them huddling to get their story straight after they discovered the beating had been caught on video. Not sure why they didn’t think the story-planning wouldn’t be preserved, too.
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    45 Responses to “New Professionalism Roundup”

    1. #1 |  Gabriel | 

      Not sure why they didn’t think the story-planning wouldn’t be preserved, too.

      Because criminals are stupid, as the ones in blue keep telling us.

    2. #2 |  JS | 

      wow, FBI investigating cops? Well that’s a good sign isn’t it? I mean, local police are generally accountable to no one at all.

    3. #3 |  Pablo | 

      What’s with this paid leave shit? As long as that is SOP then what’s the deterrent? As it is, a cop can commit a felony on tape and get a paid vacation while the matter is “investigated” and swept under the rug. This shit won’t stop until any cop who is caught on tape committing a crime is suspended without pay and then fired after all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. I can assure you that if a videotape showed me committing theft, perjury, aggravated assault, etc I would lose my job ASAP.

    4. #4 |  Jody | 

      This is all fine and well and good. But what about the other 799,950 or so good cops?

      Isolated incidents, I tells ya!

    5. #5 |  Michael Pack | 

      All this show one thing.If your on a jury [I've been on two] never take the cops word as stated.Of course,in our system,if it’s your word against one cop that should be reasonable doubt.This”I can arrest you for something’ crap should be stopped.

    6. #6 |  JS | 

      Great column on contempt of cop over at antiwar.com : http://original.antiwar.com/vlahos/2009/07/27/today-henry-gates-tomorrow-you/

    7. #7 |  Fluffy | 

      Maybe they didn’t think the story planning would be preserved because in these situations police routinely are able to destroy evidence, and this situation was either unique or someone fucked up.

    8. #8 |  Taktix® | 

      Where’s Patterico to defend these?

    9. #9 |  ChrisD | 

      A Philly follow-up from the front page of today’s Inquirer: those suspended drug enforcement officers have collected $15K overtime this year while suspended. Awesome.

      Forget suspension: how are these guys not being criminally prosecuted?

    10. #10 |  Marty | 

      I hate digging through the comments in these articles, but I keep doing it. Someday, I keep hoping there will be citizens voicing outrage against the abuse of authority instead of blindly defending these abusers.

      fuck da police.

    11. #11 |  notsurprised | 

      wow the floodgates are suddenly open huh?

      Not that the major media sites could be bothered.

      Except for CNN, after Gates-gate they ran an article reminding us of a man who shot up a McDonalds back in the early 80s.
      Apparantlythe incident was used as a rallying cry for re-arming the police back in the day when most of them only carried revolvers.
      I guess CNN didn’t want us uppity citizens demanding some more rights or something.

    12. #12 |  Euler | 

      I used to think those pop up ads that said “Get paid to do nothing” were a scam, but now I realize they were just looking for new police recruits.

    13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Am I imagining things or is police corruption and other misconduct particularly common in Prince George’s County?

    14. #14 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      Good lord, do all these assholes have to be corrupt and incompetent? Pick one or the other, dicks.

    15. #15 |  Euler | 

      Brandon, if they were just corrupt but not incompetent, they’d be politicians.

    16. #16 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      Touche.

    17. #17 |  Dave Krueger | 

      …the video also caught them huddling to get their story straight after they discovered the beating had been caught on video…

      Not exactly a brilliant bunch of guys, huh?

      When I was posting recently on a Mobile message board about the case of their cops tasing and arresting a deaf retarded man for being in a restroom too long, they had a cop (or maybe ex-cop) posting on the same forum. He wasn’t defending the cops who made that arrest. Nope. He was blaming it on the new caliber of college educated rookies they were getting on the force these days, although I don’t think he knew those particular cops. He apparently didn’t consider higher education to be an asset.

      Basically, he was making the point that what makes a good cop is how long he’s been on the force. I’d be willing to bet that whether a cop abuses citizens isn’t even a factor in the equation.

    18. #18 |  Hamburglar007 | 

      Oh Marty, you just don’t understand. Cops have a really really tough job. I mean the motorist with the broken taillight could be Ted Bundy for all they know. And those toy poodles they encounter may be Kujo, just waiting to sink their fangs into the cop’s ankle.

    19. #19 |  Pablo | 

      #13 Dave–yes it is a real problem. If you google “Prince George’s county” and “police dogs,” there’s info out there about a particularly disturbing history of using police dogs to brutalize innocent people.

      Re: younger cops, couldn’t agree more. In big cities the pay tends to be lower and work is more stressful than in smaller towns/suburbs. The experienced cops go to the latter jobs and most of what is left in the cities is a bunch of 24 year olds still living out their adolescence.

    20. #20 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      Oooh, an occupation where I can smash a skull in, sexually assault someone, and shoot dogs, with the worst punishment I can get would be to be fired. Sign me right the fuck up.

    21. #21 |  JS | 

      Mike Leatherwood “Oooh, an occupation where I can smash a skull in, sexually assault someone, and shoot dogs, with the worst punishment I can get would be to be fired.”

      Not fired, given two weeks paid vacation while the boys at the station figure a way to spin it.

    22. #22 |  Dan | 

      Why do you say the woman in Florida who was rearended by the cop was intoxicated? The only evidence of that I’m aware of is the word of known liars. Plus the DUI charges were dropped.

    23. #23 |  Adam | 

      It’s interesting how that last story describes the third cop who punched the suspect, but wasn’t fired.

      His defense was that the suspect spit at him, and he never changed his story, like the others had.

      He must be the good cop that these bad apples are hurting. He sticks to his lie.

    24. #24 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I propose a new national holiday. Let’s call it “New Professionalism Day.”

      On that day, freedom lovers all go up to the nearest LEO and call him every name in the book. Shit, call his mother every name too.

      Then, let’s see how many get arrested for disorderly conduct and then have the charges dropped when the D.As figure out that prosecuting the charges will eventually result in a Supreme Court decision forbidding the arrest of people for disorderly conduct when insulting a LEO.

      Shit, I’m thinking about instigating my own Supreme Court case right now for shits and giggles. I’m getting bored with all this chit-chat and no action.

      Sorry, that’s all I have. That and FUCK THE POLICE.

    25. #25 |  Matt I. | 

      “then have the charges dropped when the D.As figure out that prosecuting the charges will eventually result in a Supreme Court decision forbidding the arrest of people for disorderly conduct when insulting a LEO.”

      With this Supreme Court, including Ms. Prosecuter Sotomayor, don’t be so sure.

    26. #26 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I was just going on the analysis I’ve read lately of the Gates case, where case law seems to uphold denigrating speech to a LEO as protected by the 1st Amendment. It also explains why the charges were dropped in the Gates case. But I agree, there’s nothing certain about it.

    27. #27 |  Aresen | 

      The only surprising thing about the West Palm Beach, FL, incident is that the cops were actually fired.

    28. #28 |  Robert | 

      Here recently a local cop “road raged” on a woman that blew her horn at him after being cut off in traffic (he was undercover and driving unmarked car). He’s recorded on the 911 call he makes to get her license plate ran to get her home address. He promises to “pay her a visit” later on.

      http://www.mountainx.com/news/2009/072909buzz4

    29. #29 |  The Johnny Appleseed Of Crack | 

      Seem to be quite a few problems with the level of professionalism in Philadelphia right now.

      No, no, no, Radley you’ve got it all wrong. There’s a new professionalism among police forces in the U.S. So there’s really nothing to worry about. The new professionalism is 100% foolproof and defies human nature, so we no longer need to be concerned about unchecked power leading to abuses.

    30. #30 |  Marty | 

      #24 | Cynical in CA

      I’m in!

    31. #31 |  Marty | 

      good link, Robert- this sums it up pretty well…

      “The first officer on the scene asked if I realized I had just called in on a cop. I thought he was kidding,” says Brown. “My next thing was: So what? This person did this — whether he’s a carpenter or a cop, it doesn’t make much of a difference. But apparently it does, because they did not pull him over … or do anything else.”

    32. #32 |  SusanK | 

      How on earth do you get “overtime” when you’re on paid suspension? I’m sure they are still testifying in court and a lot of places consider the time spent in court as “overtime,” but it seems to me that if you aren’t working because you are suspended, it would be extremely hard to hit more than 40 hours in one week…

    33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “I can tell you this much: I do not trust the police now,” says Brown, adding that she’s considering a possible lawsuit against the APD for what she sees as dereliction of duty. “This has been overwhelming,” she says. “I don’t want money. But some seriously bad, wrong things are happening, and no one seems to want to admit it.”

      A convert to the cause.

      They live.

    34. #34 |  JS | 

      Cynical in CA “Then, let’s see how many get arrested for disorderly conduct and then have the charges dropped when the D.As figure out that prosecuting the charges will eventually result in a Supreme Court decision forbidding the arrest of people for disorderly conduct when insulting a LEO.”

      I think its past the point where LEOs care one way or the other what the supreme court says or whether it gets thrown out in court, hence their saying “You can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride.” They simply aren’t going to be held personally accountable so they have no incentive to obey the supreme court decisions. Today we are not ruled by laws we are ruled by cops.

    35. #35 |  Groucho | 

      assaulting a woman in my crime column last week

      How she got into my crime column I’ll never know.

    36. #36 |  johnl | 

      Re #22 above and the Hollywood DUI. If you watch the video she doesn’t look impaired at all. The charge was fabricated to shift the blame for the collision.

    37. #37 |  Aresen | 

      @ SusanK # 22

      I’d kinda wondered about that myself.

      Maybe they were billing for the time spent at Dunkin’ Donuts.

    38. #38 |  Packratt | 

      @ SusanK #22 and Aresen #36

      The articles I’ve read about the Cudjik crew is that they were put on modified duty, (read “desk jobs”), not suspended. So they would technically be capable of earning overtime for sitting around the courthouse doing nothing after a long day of sitting at their desks doing nothing.

    39. #39 |  David | 

      The man added, “I’m in my personal vehicle. … She wants to act all stupid, so I want to show her how stupid she is when she finds out who I am.”

      Translation: “I am better than you, and you should defer to me even when you have idea who I am or else.”

    40. #40 |  OneByTheCee | 

      #34 NAILED IT:

      “I think its past the point where LEOs care one way or the other what the supreme court says or whether it gets thrown out in court, hence their saying “You can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride.”

      They simply aren’t going to be held personally accountable so they have no incentive to obey the supreme court decisions.

      Today we are not ruled by laws we are ruled by cops.”

    41. #41 |  OneByTheCee | 

      … five Prince George’s County, Maryland police officers for involvement in a gambling ring…

      If found guilty of at least taking money for protection, will these steaming piles be subject to asset forfeiture laws as well?

      Wouldn’t that truly be the definition of poetic Just Us:

      The Feds stealing the ill-gotten gains of state and local law enforcement officers in order to fund future investigations/prosecutions into the many other corrupt law enforcement officers and agencies.

      *wistfully sighs*

    42. #42 |  Robert | 

      Update to link I posted earlier. Deputy in road rage incident suspended without pay for his inappropriate comments on recorded 911 call.

      http://citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090804/NEWS01/908040325

    43. #43 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “You can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride.”

      The job of the citizen then is to make sure that’s one hell of an expensive ride for Joe Taxpayer.

      As has been written before on this blog by many others, this shit won’t stop, if ever, until the payouts get BIG.

    44. #44 |  Frank | 

      #43 Not only do the payouts have to be big, but they have to be assessed against the assets of the cops who acted improperly. Make them suffer, make their families suffer.

      And speaking of making them suffer, 18 USC 241 or 242 with the death penalty for kidnapping will solve the “you can’t beat the ride” meme. Personally, I think a needle in the arm is too civilized for the likes of bad cops. Making them kneel in the street in front of their (soon to be confiscated) house and putting a bullet in the back of their heads with the family and neighbors watching is more appropriate.

    45. #45 |  OneByTheCee | 

      #42

      What a steaming pile of worthless lip service from the Sheriff’s Dept.

      The sheriff criticized the deputy’s comments….
      …“We’re taking corrective action with that,” Duncan said.
      … said the deputy didn’t communicate properly …
      (In non-sworn civilian speak, what the fuck does any of the above actually mean?)

      “That suspension will be without pay, … He would not say for how long the deputy would be suspended.”
      (a half day or one whole shift, I’m sure.)

      For the next six months, the deputy:
      …. will be ineligible for any promotion.
      (does this even qualify as punishment?)

      …. will receive a written reprimand
      (in disappearing ink)

      …. will undergo training on communications.
      (consisting of nothing more than: “911 is recorded stupid“)

      “This has been a very stressful time for all of us.”
      (How so? Because you’ve had to pretend to punish one of your own and lie about it at a press conference?)

      “I’m sure it’s been very tough on him”
      (Not getting to file “Contempt of Cop” charges always are)

      … and it’s been very tough on Ms. Brown,”
      (I’m sure, thinking you might actually be locked in a cage and have your money stolen from you for the crime against humanity: incessant horn honking, has got to be very stressful.)

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