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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 12-18-08

Watching the snow from a jail window

Been in a real funk lately, so I'm a little late with this one... Let's start local as usual, then fan out from there.

Urban Golfer Falsely Accused Of "Assault" By Man Hit By Foam Ball
Jonah at The Stranger posted about an "urban golfer" who's been charged with assault for allegedly accidentally hitting a bystander in the head with a foam ball. Besides it being a stretch to call being hit with a foam ball a matter of assault, it appears as though the SPD might have been arbitrary about who they arrested and charged for this "assault".

The person charged, a 25 year old computer security expert, says he's been falsely accused and is being used as a scapegoat by the SPD... and apparently he's right.

The person who actually "assaulted" the "victim" in this case has come forward... to talk to Jonah at least, even though he just did so to let people know why he's willing to let the accused swing in his place. This one ticked me off personally, not just because the charges of assault are utter bullshit, but also because the kid who is letting his pal take the fall for him, even though it is a bullshit charge.

In Jonah's article, the kid who actually hit the ball laughs while explaining that he's sure his friend will win the case since he's innocent... but the brat doesn't realize that being put through the justice system meat grinder is punishment in it's own right even when you're found innocent and his pal could still be railroaded, it happens all the time.

Now, the kid who actually hit the guy is unemployed. The guy taking the fall has a good job... so I'm wondering if the putz who's pressing assault charges for being hit with a nerf ball fingered the wrong guy on purpose in order to help with an eventual civil suit he's got planned, maybe?

In any case, lots of idiots in this one, from the city attorney moving ahead with this misuse of the court, to the SPD for grabbing the wrong people (they detained at least three people over this, none of them was the one who hit that ball), to the moron who got hit, and finally the butthead who let his pal get the shaft for this.

What a mess.

In National News:

Critical Mass NYPD Cop Indicted
That NYPD officer, Patrick Pogan, who had been caught committing perjury by falsifying a police report against a bicyclist he body-checked in order to cover for his assault on that cyclist has finally been indicted 5 long months after the incident.

If it weren't for video footage of that assault, apparently captured by a tourist, Pogan likely would have succeeded in punishing the cyclist for being the target of Pogan's pent up aggression. Instead, the video has made the rounds throughout the blogosphere and into mainstream news, costing Pogan his badge and gun while he now sits at a desk in the NYPD facing a number of charges ranging from felony counts of giving false statements to misdemeanor assault.

New Rochelle Police Officer Sues City For Suspending Him Due To A Parking Violation
Apparently this officer feels that he might have been kicked out for a minor parking infraction when other officers have done much worse there...

Hmm, now haven't I heard of New Rochelle's police department somewhere else recently?

Oh yeah, that's right, that's where Sgt. David Rodriquez worked when he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 17 year old. In that case, Rodriquez was allowed to resign and since he plead his felony charge down to a misdemeanor which meant he could be hired elsewhere as a police officer and, as far as we know, he isn't listed on any sexual predator lists either.

Maybe he's got a point?

Four Mt. San Jacinto College Police Officers Sue After Being Fired For Reporting Misconduct
Four campus cops are suing under allegations that they were sacked because they tried to report incidents of misconduct being performed by a friend of the police chief and it seems as though maybe the chief himself was doing a little dirty on the side too.

Former Flint Michigan Cop Denied Request To Expunge Manslaughter Conviction
A judge refused former Flint PD officer Martin Brock's request to have his record cleared of an involuntary manslaughter conviction over the beating death of Lance Lockrey in the 1980's, alleging that he's having a hard time finding work because of the conviction on his record.

Brock reportedly kicked and punched Lockrey even after Lockery was on the ground and unconcious. Lockery later died of head injuries and Brock was convicted of manslaughter, a conviction that was overturned in 1987 which prompted Brock to plead guilty to the lesser involuntary charge instead of risking going back to trial again for the more serious charges.

In his decision, the judge stated that if Brock wasn't a cop at the time of the crime, he likely would have granted the request... but, according to this judge at least, police officers must be held to a higher standard.

Hamilton Mass Police Department Operated Ambulance Service Without Certified EMTs
A city's selectmen have turned to the attorney general in Massachusetts about what to do with their police chief who has moved his retirement date up in order to keep his pension safe from the city firing him over a scandal involving the police department operating emergency medical services without certified EMTs.

Seems the off-duty officers that signed up to be EMTs never attended training and the trainer never even held the classes he let officers sign attendance forms for. The town is up in arms over this and demanding that the city do whatever it can to fire the chief before they're stuck paying his pension despite how he mishandled the department.

Misconduct Case Started In Ohio Over Police Chief Who Threatened His Own Son With Gun
Apparently the chief's fellow officers tried to keep the deteriorating mental condition of their chief under wraps, even after he threatened his own son with a gun and also threatened suicide as well. Now the officers who covered for the chief are facing allegations of misconduct over how they mishandled the incidents.

And for those neighbors in the great white north...

Remind me not to drive in Canada.
The Canadian Supreme Court has thrown out protections from unreasonable search and seizure for anyone traveling on Canadian roadways.Cops there can now stop you for any reason, at any time, and search you without any reasonable suspicion. When faced with the choice of how much misconduct to tolerate, the court erred on the side of misconduct instead of justice.

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