New Professionalism Roundup

Thursday, May 24th, 2012
  • NYPD precinct commander accused of imposing quotas is transferred to a new division.
  • Grand jury report: San Diego’s citizens’ review board is rife with “prejudice, fear and intimidation,” stacked with pro-police appointments, and subject to undue influence from internal affairs officers.
  • Florida judge rules that police officer who ticketed a motorist for flashing his lights to warn of a speed trap violated the motorist’s constitutional rights.
  • Interesting that the lede here isn’t about how union contracts make it difficult to fire bad cops in New York, but about the one police chief who is asking his city council to make it easier.
  • Retired Massachusetts state trooper smelled of booze, couldn’t keep his balance, and couldn’t remember that he had just smashed his SUV into a utility pole. He then continued driving, with the airbags deployed, until he was pulled over. For reasons they have yet to reveal, his fellow officers didn’t bother testing to see if he was intoxicated.
  • A Civil Service Commission has ruled that a Denver police officer who was fired after driving 143 mph while intoxicated should get his job back. In 2009, the same officer was accused of pointing his gun at a McDonald’s employee for taking too much time to fill his order. He was cleared of any wrongdoing.
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18 Responses to “New Professionalism Roundup”

  1. #1 |  cjdavis | 

    > The Denver officer’s termination was overruled based on “discretion and precedence.”

    This is the same reasoning that has prevented Cincinnati from firing multiple officers. Something tells me that if a regular member of the public tried to use that defense they’d be laughed out of court.

  2. #2 |  SJE | 

    Well done Radley. I really think that your constant exposure of these issues is starting to show results.

  3. #3 |  Juice | 

    The Reason blog called it the “San Diego civilian police review board,” which is a mistake. People should not let cops become anything but civilians. They should also call out cops who refuse to refer to themselves as civilians.

  4. #4 |  Mattocracy | 

    I have thought for a long time that people are products of their environment. When you’re in a shitty environment, you do shitty things. Hence soldiers in Vietnam and Iraq committed war crimes, partly induced by the stresses of fighting against people who are indistinguishable from their allies, etc.

    While there are a lot of parallels between an un-winnable foreign war and the un-winnable drug war, I can’t imagine that cops experience anything close to what people experience in real war torn places. So I can’t even feel sympathy for the notion that crooked cops are products of an environment that breeds this kind of corruption.

    I just can’t make sense out of it. How the fuck can cops do this? If most of us wouldn’t act like this, what the hell makes others do it? Even if I was the police cheif with zero accountibilty I still wouldn’t let one of my cops keep their job after a DUI or beating the shit out of someone. If you’re a police cheif, what benefit do you get out of having a loose canon on your squad?

  5. #5 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Damn, this is depressing.

  6. #6 |  Jim | 

    keeping the union off your ass, maybe?

  7. #7 |  Aresen | 

    A Civil Service Commission has ruled that a Denver police officer who was fired after driving 143 mph while intoxicated should get his job back. In 2009, the same officer was accused of pointing his gun at a McDonald’s employee for taking too much time to fill his order. He was cleared of any wrongdoing.

    Am I wrong to hope that, when that officer finally kills someone, it is one of the members of that Civil Service Commission?

  8. #8 |  Michael Chaney | 

    The best part of “discretion and precedence” is that it is they who create that precedence. And this newest officer just becomes part of that precedence.

  9. #9 |  nigmalg | 

    I’m seeing the same cities mentioned over and over again.

  10. #10 |  Andrew Roth | 

    I’m disappointed by the news from San Diego. I remember a previous Agitator comment thread that was full of strident comments warning that an SDPD misconduct hotline would be hijacked by the brass to retaliate against tipsters. At the time I thought that these comments were paranoid. In retrospect, they seem savvy.

    The NYPD and Nassau County stories sound like positive developments. The big question is whether Special Victims can keep DI Bartoszek from throwing his weight around. Maybe it’s dubious to give him what is widely regarded as a promotion, but getting him out of his usual element might disrupt him enough to keep him from bullying his new charges. It’s a good sign that he’ll now be in command of a more senior staff than he had at the 79. His new subordinates will probably have more confidence to tell him to stuff it if he gets out of line, and he won’t have any probationary officers to push around on a regular basis.

    Also, Radley, thanks for alerting me to the Captains Endowment Association. That group sounds like a bunch of horses’ asses devoted to bitching about how shitty commanders get a raw deal when they fuck up.

  11. #11 |  Quiet Desperation | 

    There really is just no hope, is there?

  12. #12 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    •Retired Massachusetts state trooper smelled of booze, couldn’t keep his balance, and couldn’t remember that he had just smashed his SUV into a utility pole. etc.

    More DUI attorneys should stop trying to convince a jury or DA
    that the defendant is sober and more time trying to convince them
    he/she is a “trooper.” Let’s face it, that’s the best way out of the mess…

  13. #13 |  Whim | 

    I am so glad that my local McDonald’s Restaurant provides prompt and accurate service….hence my pistol may remain holstered for the time being.

  14. #14 |  perlhaqr | 

    I just want to know how the Denver Cop could still be a cop after having his driver’s license revoked. Because surely they revoked his license after that, right? I know New Mexico would revoke mine if I was driving drunk at 143 mph.

  15. #15 |  perlhaqr | 

    Hell, they’d pull my license if they caught me doing 143 stone sober.

  16. #16 |  Tommil | 

    143 mph! Radley fails to mention it was in a 130 mph zone.

  17. #17 |  Bill Poser | 

    “Radley fails to mention it was in a 130 mph zone.”

    No, it was in a 55 mph zone.

  18. #18 |  Steve Miller Band | 

    There is hope. I keep daily, close tabs on police misconduct through a variety of venues.

    The evidence is growing, and I dare say relatively substantially. How many people can they do this to before it reaches a tipping point? How many people can continue to ignore the blatant double-standard? How many citizens carry camera phones and won’t hesitate to film these atrocities? How many evermore intrusive government programs will The People accept, before they realize we’re on the brink of America turning into East Germany?

    A tipping point will come sooner or later. It will be a struggle on many fronts, but we outnumber these clowns. It just depends on how many people wake up in time.

    Sickening, absolutely disgusting.

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