New Professionalism Roundup

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
  • Merced, California police tase weaponless double amputee, leave him handcuffed, pantless on the ground.
  • Ex-deputy settles with county after police wrongly raided his home in search of a homicide suspect. The interesting part of this story is that a camera crew from the TV show Cops was with the raid team. The Cops producers apparently destroyed the film of the raid.
  • Ex-Chicago cops plead guilty to warrantless raids in which they stole money, beat and threatened people, and in one case detained and withheld insulin from a diabetic until he told them where they could find more cash. They’ll get six months in jail.
  • Entire Jericho, Arkansas fire department resigns in protest of charges against their fire chief, who was shot in the back in court by police while protesting a traffic ticket.
  • Lawsuit alleges drunk, off-duty Pittsburgh cop stopped, detained, beat, and shot a man after mistaking him for someone the cop says assaulted him at a traffic stop. The cop is back on the job after an arbitrator determined his actions were “inappropriate, imprudent and ill-advised,” but not criminal. He also had three previous complaints against him with the city’s civilian review board.
  • Finally, a little comic relief.
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  • 69 Responses to “New Professionalism Roundup”

    1. #1 |  SJE | 

      Note that the Pittsburgh story does the usual media soft-pedal on cop abuse stories. It starts with stating that the cop was accused of “excessive force and false imprisonment”: the average reader will think this is just another one of those dime a dozen stories of bogus allegations by career criminals making life hard for the boys in blue. Read no further.

      If they had started the story with “drunk, off-duty cop assaults and shoots innocent man” you would be sure that readers would read the rest of the story and maybe complain or at least be more critical of police stories. Of course, the cops would complain too.

      As long as the MSM continue to report these incidents with a pro-cop stance they will continue to be a barrier to reform.

    2. #2 |  Robert V | 

      “Conservative” websites, like this diary from Redstate:

      http://www.redstate.com/swamp_yankee/2009/09/22/mr-president-waterboard-that-man/

      are amazing in that they have this incredible, mind-numbing fear of terroists; yet they will not acknowledge that they are far, far more likely to be assualted and attacked by police.

    3. #3 |  Frank | 

      And this is not going to help:

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jbzG_BlkG2Hfc818EPRRn1bBlP6gD9AT92400

      The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word ‘fed” was scrawled on the dead man’s chest.

    4. #4 |  Michael Chaney | 

      The cops in the first one probably watched this video:

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=54d_1227661439

    5. #5 |  JS | 

      It’d be funny as hell if the police station caught on fire in that town.

    6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

      @ Robert V,

      That pretty much has summed up the hypocrisy of the GOP. Corporate and Police protectionism is the new American way.

    7. #7 |  Ohio Dale Boley | 

      Just think how many jobs could be created if corrupt police officers were all suddenly fired.

    8. #8 |  Nash | 

      One for the win column

      http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/21061513/detail.html

    9. #9 |  KBCraig | 

      The fired fire chief of Jericho has now been charged with two felony counts.

      It must really suck to get shot in the ass, then f*&C#ed in the ass.

      http://www.katv.com/news/stories/0909/662045.html

    10. #10 |  anonymous | 

      > Entire Jericho, Arkansas fire department
      > resigns in protest of charges
      > against their fire chief, who was shot in the back
      > in court by police while protesting a traffic ticket.

      It always bothers me that the police are allowed to carry guns into court, but civilians are not.

      One of the rationales is that court can get emotional, and therefore some hot headed gun owner might shoot somebody. This argument was trotted out by the anti-gunners for several years before Colorado finally enacted its shall-issue CCW law in 2003.

      The only court-room shooting with a lawfully carried weapon in Colorado that I am aware of occurred in 1986, when Aurora police officer Gerald Utesch shot his wife’s divorce lawyer. * The shooting prompted court houses in Colorado to tighten security [ http://www.westword.com/1998-08-06/news/fortress-of-solitude/ ], but cops — not just the bailiff’s responsible for security — are permitted to carry guns into court. Some citizens are more equal before the law than others.

      It was interesting how the hypocrisy of the anti-gunners and police forces paralleled each other.

      * That case had interesting ramifications for the state. The Utesch case was prosecuted by Bill Ritter, who went on to become Denver D.A., and is now governor of Colorado.

      Shortly after the Utesch case, Ritter left the country. Utesch’s victim “believes Ritter left for Africa in part because he feared he could not be an effective prosecutor after pursuing charges against a policeman. ” [ http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4113098 ]

      Upon returning, he became Denver’s D.A.. During his tenure, “His office sent more teenagers to prison for life-without- parole than any other DA’s office in the state.”

      But

      “Perhaps the biggest knock against Ritter’s record as DA is that he never prosecuted a police officer in more than 70 incidents where police gunfire wounded or killed someone. . . The city shelled out more than $3 million to settle 11 excessive-force cases during his tenure, an analysis of records shows. Many of those officers are still on the street.

    11. #11 |  anonymous | 

      > #30 | Waste | September 23rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm
      > There was a story on here awhile back about a gambling raid
      > in Dallas I think where a film crew was along.
      > There were some issues with getting the tape for the defense
      > in that case though I don’t think it was erased.
      > I think the charges were dropped and the tape never produced.

      The show was “Dallas SWAT.” See http://www.theagitator.com/2007/04/20/tales-of-a-dallas-poker-raid/ (April 20, 2007)

    12. #12 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #1 Nando

      Will someone explain to me how public intoxication, beating a man on the street (aggravated assault, since he used a deadly weapon), threatening the life of a person by putting a gun in his face, and shooting him in the hand is “inappropriate, imprudent and ill-advised” behavior but not criminal?

      Simple. When cops do it, it’s not a crime. It’s an honest mistake.

      If I were to do this to Joe Blow on Elm St., I’d be arrested, tried criminally, and sent to prison. This guy, because he’s a cop, gets to go back to his job?

      That’s because when you (a mere ordinary faceless expendable member of the masses) do it, it’s because you’re a cold callous irresponsible hooligan. By the way, you don’t need to assault someone to fit into this category. A traffic ticket is sufficient.

    13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #57 Ohio Dale Boley

      Just think how many jobs could be created if corrupt police officers were all suddenly fired.

      Hell, if you got rid of the corrupt cops, the crime rate would probably drop by so much that you wouldn’t even need to fill their jobs.

    14. #14 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      @58 Nash,
      That story has everything! Time for “Police Buzzword Bingo!”

      — Investigation to see if Police policy was broken? BINGO. Official policy is “Do whatever the fuck you want…you’re a cop!”
      — Fired cops? Not a bingo word, but I’ll bet $1 million that we’ll see this…
      — Cops reinstated with full back pay? BINGO (although we’ll have to wait for the appeal. Stupid Townies! Think they can actually fire a cop!?!?!?!?!!??! Paid vacation time.
      — Cop says he was struck by the tractor? BINGO! How the fuck do you get hit by a 5mph tractor coming right at you unless you’ve put yourself in danger (or are a lying scumbag)? Someone please roll the Austin Powers steamroller clip.
      — Cop says his vehicle was hit? BINGO! That’s a favorite trick to ram your police vehicle into the citizen so THEY get charged with “assaulting a police officer”.

      and finally…
      — Cheese dick cop needs a tazer to take down an old man because he needed to drive his antique tractor a block to the park instead of being directed where the asswipe cop deemed he shall go? BINGO!

      God forbid the tractor had been allowed to be driven to the park where the old man had planned on running over small children (or parking it so small children could play on it). Hero cops saved town from mass chaos.

    15. #15 |  omar | 

      Another no-knock goes wrong, cops and suspects shot. There’s no explanation in the article from the cops why they had to storm in at 2:30 am instead of apprehending the suspect at the QT while getting his morning late.

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g-k3NpbXkmGdeM_emGFzCr0lVhBwD9ATNTE01

    16. #16 |  John Wilburn | 

      @Nash #58

      I think it’s a little premature to call this a win –

      “John Robinson, an attorney representing Brown and Kavenius, said the officers will appeal the firing.”

      Cops usually win on appeal…

      “Earlier this month, Robinson said the officers acted appropriately, broke no police procedures and should be reinstated to normal duty. The officers had been on paid administrative leave since the day of the incident.”

      First things first – since they broke no “police procedures,” they get a paid vacation, courtesy of the taxpayers…

      “The town hired S.J. Miller Associates of Cheyenne to review whether the officers broke department policies.”

      Since “Department Policies” are Holy Writ, they were simply, “following orders” (we know – we heard it at Nuremberg…)…

      “The details of the internal review weren’t available Tuesday. Police Chief Tom Sweet was away from the office and unavailable for comment, a dispatcher said.
      Mayor Steve Cielinski was working at his day job at a Casper hospital and couldn’t be reached for comment.”

      Gee, what a surprise – the powers that be (who are paid by, therefore accountable to, the taxpayers) were unavailable for comment…

      “The Division of Criminal Investigation report said Grose disobeyed Kavenius’ traffic command and steered around Kavenius to head toward the town park rather than the end of the parade. Kavenius told state investigators he was struck by Grose’s tractor, but Grose denied hitting the officer.”

      Which is it Officer Kavenius – he steered around you, or he hit you? Apparently, the laws of physics don’t apply in official police reports…

      The obvious answer to all of these stories about police misconduct is to hold the police to the same standard as any other citizen. Otherwise, the police have no credibility as “Upholders of the Law, and Protectors of the People,” (which is the case now).

    17. #17 |  PW | 

      Here’s one for the new professionalism record books.

      http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20090924_Animal-cruelty_charges_dropped_against_Burlington_County_cop.html

      Officer Robert Melia of Burlington County, NJ likes having sex…with cows. New Jersey does not have a bestiality law though, so Melia was charged under the animal cruelty statutes.

      Yesterday a judge threw out the charges against him on the grounds that it could not be determined if Melia’s sexual violation of the cows was actually “cruel.” Actual quote from the judge on why he dropped the charges:

      “If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, ‘Where’s the milk? I’m not getting any milk,’ ” Judge James J. Morley asked.

      All we’re missing from this story is the local Fraternal Order of Police union rep demanding Melia’s reinstatement with back pay since his cow fucker charges were dropped.

      Fortunately though, Melia still faces prosecution for multiple unrelated counts of sexual assault against three children. Yeah, this cop is simply that horrible of a human being.

      There is something seriously wrong with this country though if a cop cannot even be charged for raping cows in a field. And that makes me wonder if he’ll ever meet justice for also attempting to rape children.

    18. #18 |  Brian | 

      Search warrants and Wii, 9 hours worth.

      http://mashable.com/2009/09/23/drug-raid-wii/

    19. #19 |  Jon Hendry | 

      Waste wrote: “After the US experience during WWII with the Japanese internment it would be difficult for something like that to occur again”

      They’re law enforcement officers.

      Change the law, and they’ll enforce it. Whatever it is.

      And they’ll use whatever level of force they care to use in order to keep themselves safe while enforcing the law.

      What they won’t do is question the law.