Independence Day Links

Monday, July 4th, 2011
  • Tennessee legislature takes on the dangerous threat posed by raunchy bumper stickers.
  • LAPD L.A. Sheriff’s Department to stop suspending cops who “have used excessive force, driven while intoxicated, falsely imprisoned people or committed other serious misconduct.” Instead, they’ll now get a stern warning.
  • Speaking of L.A., the city will settle with the family of a teen shot and killed by an LAPD cop after video evidence shows the cop lied about the incident. It’s the second time video has contradicted his testimony. Yes, the cop is still on active duty.
  • Really fantastic ProPublica investigation into how the criminal justice system handles the deaths of children. Answer: Not very well.

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

26 Responses to “Independence Day Links”

  1. #1 |  Aresen | 

    Instead, they’ll now get a stern warning.

    And sent to bed without a donut?

  2. #2 |  Mannie | 

    Instead, they’ll now get a stern warning.

    More proof there are no good cops.

  3. #3 |  marco73 | 

    Well, for LA cops the incentives are all screwed up. Their union purchases insurance so that whenever a cop is suspended, the insurance picks up paying them. So really the only thing that is changing is that the police administration is going to retain the paperwork to lead to dismissal.
    There was already a wall of silence to cover for bad cops. Then the union made sure that any pay lost to suspension was made up.
    In the article, a cop could get 3 DUIs, and just get a long suspension. Can anyone say “long paid vacation?”
    In the real world, 3 DUIs would lead to a prison sentence.

  4. #4 |  dingdongdugong | 

    Woman arrested for speaking at a city council meeting. Mayor wants to let her speak, city council overrides mayor, orders police to carry her out by force.

  5. #5 |  JC | 

    Don’t worry about those fines for bumper stickers, you are allowed under the law to argue with judge about whether or not you crossed the line from crass to obscene. Taking a couple of hours out of your day to fight a fifty dollar fine is worth it, right? Especially when the decision is based not on law but on a judges definitions.

  6. #6 |  Lori Wilson | 

    Correction on your second story. This involves the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, not LAPD. Although, other than initials, there’s not a lot of difference.

  7. #7 |  Michael Chaney | 

    “Perez and Beck, however, do not believe this sort of discipline does much to dissuade misconduct. It is particularly ineffective, they said in interviews, in a department like the LAPD, where the union representing rank-and-file officers offers an insurance program that pays officers their salaries for days they are suspended.”

    Just, wow.

  8. #8 |  Michael Chaney | 

    “The deputy in the grainy footage, taken by a passerby, appears to briefly bend down twice to touch the body, but it’s unclear whether he made contact or what exactly he was doing.

    Attorneys for the teen’s family say the reason gunpowder residue was detected on the teen’s hands was because Reyes rubbed them to make it appear that Cody had been armed.”

    I just can’t figure out why cops are so insistent that people don’t video tape them while they’re “doing their job”. Of course, in this case it looks like the video may have actually interfered with the deputy, just not in the way they usually claim…

  9. #9 |  Chris in AL | 

    Bumper sticker article: “He also suggested people report vehicles to the police if they view something on someone else’s car that they think is obscene or patently offensive.”

    I really hope they do. I hope the cops start getting 5000 calls a day. Obama stickers, Pro-Choice stickers, Pro-Life stickers, Jesus stickers. I wish I lived in Tennessee. I would call everyday. I mean, the only litmus test is if I find the sticker obscene or patently offensive. Hell, if I just don’t like the way they are driving, they better not have a sticker on their car.

    It would be even better if hundreds of people began wrecking their cars while on the phone with the cops trying to give them license plate numbers because of a bumper sticker.

  10. #10 |  MDGuy | 

    “We have to lead as if we’re going to progress past just punishing people and expecting that to get anything done,” Perez told the commission.

    Taken out of context, Perez’s statement might indicate that he favors reform for our entire criminal justice system. But we all know that isn’t true.

  11. #11 |  the innominate one | 

    Aresen, no, that would be cruel and unusual punishment. They only get half a doughnut.

  12. #12 |  Ted S. | 


    You forgot pro-cop stickers.

  13. #13 |  Discarted | 

    Chief Beck is in charge of LAPD, not LASD. It was right the first time.

  14. #14 |  John Q. Galt | 

    May I submit the following SFF (Safe For Freedom) bumper sticker for Tennessee agitators:

    “If you can read this bumper sticker you’re probably from out of state.”

  15. #15 |  Aresen | 

    Democratic State Representative Gary Moore, of Joelton, however, co-sponsored a House bill to stiffen the fine after he got several angry calls from constituents.

    “On two different instances they had their children in the car with them and they pulled up on a vehicle that had an obscene bumper sticker,” he said. “I think it will make drivers a little more aware that there is a law out there.”

    Dear Democratic State Representative Gary Moore.

    The best response to the calls from said angry constituents is to tell them to shove it up their tailpipe.

  16. #16 |  DocHoliday916 | 

    “Yes, the cop is still on active duty.”
    I’m about as “un-PC” as they come. That said, may I ask ask a favor of this forum not to refer to cops employment status as “on active duty.” The term “active duty” is a military term and since the majority of us agree the civilian police are not military, I humbly request we refer to them as, “still employed,” “on the beat,” or the converse. If there is some term that includes the word “duty,” such as “on duty,” not a problem. As I’ve posted here before, I despise grouping cops and the military together. Thank you and all the best, -DH916.

  17. #17 |  Bee | 

    Yep, sorry Lori and Radley, it is LAPD, not LASD. Beck is Chief of the LAPD, Baca is Chief of the LASD. Both departments are pretty scary, IMO.

    I gotta get out of here. Escape from LA!

  18. #18 |  Mario | 

    Perez has been pushing the notion that officers are more likely to change their behavior if they are made to think about their misconduct and how it undermined the department’s fundamental mission of protecting the city, along with its reputation and the officer’s own self-interest.

    I’ve taught middle school, and my girlfriend still teaches middle school, and this is the new style of “discipline.” Trust me when I say, this is what’s wrong with middle school. The police departments will fare no better.

  19. #19 |  EH | 

    “Reyes’ attorneys have said false memories don’t indicate any intentional attempt to mislead but are common among law enforcement officers involved in high-pressure shootings.”

    Well that sure puts my mind at ease.

  20. #20 |  Charlie O | 

    Balko, This is the state you chose to live in? You gotta be effing kidding me. Bumper stickers? To protect the children? I’m sick of that being the basis for stupid laws in this country. “We have to protect the childen” Give me a break. I’m an atheist and have many bumper stickers that are a stinging commentary towards religion. I’m sure many Tennessee knuckle draggers would find them offensive. And I hope they do. But none of them use any “foul” language or anything like that. How many drivers would be calling in my plate number?

  21. #21 |  Charlie O | 

    #4 dingdongdugong

    What I find disturbing in that video is all the other people sitting passive as the cops lead her out. Every last one of those in the audience should have stood up and beat the crap out of the cops attempting to remove the woman. That was, at a minimum, a very illegal arrest.

  22. #22 |  Highway | 

    Mario, yeah, they apply it to the wrong people. The folks who need to think about the harm these officer’s misconduct causes to the department are the administration and the union, so that both of those groups can understand how it undermines the fundamental mission. Then they need to figure out how to 1) get rid of these officers who cause this undermining, and 2) figure out how to not hire any more meatheads that will act like that.

    But giving an officer who can’t think straight in critical situations a talking to in the hope that the next time he’ll think straight in a critical situation is just not going to work.

  23. #23 |  DocHoliday916 | 

    From the Avery Cody story.

    “The other was the deputy’s statement that he took cover behind a metal newspaper rack; it was refuted by surveillance video from a nearby doughnut shop. Attorneys said Reyes made the statement to exaggerate the danger the deputy felt he was in when he shot Cody.”

    Doughnut shops can hazardous to your health. Doughnut shops are cop magnets.

    If the story was not so tragic I’d be LMAO.

  24. #24 |  Mario | 

    Highway @ #22

    I couldn’t agree more.

  25. #25 |  Matt O. | 

    Best bumper sticker I’ve seen yet was actually in Knoxville, TN: “If it ain’t King James, it ain’t Bible.” Ohhhhh…..South.

  26. #26 |  Cyto | 

    I watched the Frontline documentary on child death cases last night. It was worth your time to watch – with the bonus of covering the effects on families after the acquittal from wrongful charges.

    As a bonus blood pressure booster there is a brief but infuriating interview with the DA currently handling the Lopez case. In a response that is perfectly typical in these types of cases he opines that he didn’t prosecute the case, but he has to trust the experts that did…. so they are locked in to a course of opposing any examination of Lopez’ actual guilt or innocence. His logic is that a jury convicted him, ergo he’s guilty.

    An excellent summary in the program details the proof that he’s manifestly not guilty. It also demonstrates more callous indifference to justice. The medical examiner in the case didn’t review any of the hospital records for the child before determining that she was molested and murdered. Her reasoning? Her ‘patients’ are dead, so medical tests are not relevant. In this case they showed conclusively that the child had a severe blood disorder that caused all of the symptoms noted as reasons that Lopez should be locked away forever as a murdering child molester.