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Friday, April 10, 2009

Police Misconduct NewsWatch for 04-10-09 - Local Edition

Comment we received last year from a Chicago cop.

Before I get to the news...

Last month I made a plea asking people to post and talk about the raid Phoenix PD performed on a blogger who posted information about police misconduct down in Phoenix AZ in order to shut him down. I was really worried that if nobody spoke up about it that other departments elsewhere would be encouraged to try this tactic on other bloggers too.

I have to say that I'm really encouraged that this story took off after Carlos Miller posted a great piece about it over at his site Photography Is Not A Crime. After that it went all over, including Simple Justice, The Agitator, Fresno Criminal Defense, and then it went national just today via AP.

I was really worried that the story was going to just die off but it's got legs now... so hopefully police departments elsewhere will think twice about trying this tactic out on the other sites that talk about police misconduct... like this one.

(for a really great post with tons of information on that story along with some awesome timelines, visit this site here!)

Now for some local police misconduct news...

Can I Get An Employee Discount Too?

Now, if some strange man was wandering around your teenage daughter's window while wearing a hoodie at night, you'd be a bit nervous, right?

Well, in Spokane WA that happened to one family. The police came out to investigate and met with a rather uncooperative individual who began to fight with officers when asked why he was prowling around a teenage girl's window at night.

He was arrested, but then the charges were dropped... because he's a cop.

The Spokane city prosecutor, Jim Bledsoe, decided to not press charges despite ample evidence against now Ex-Spokane County Sheriff's Sergeant Patrick "Pete" Bunch simply because he was a cop, no other reason.

Of his decision, he was quoted by the Sheriff as saying:
"...although what Sgt. Bunch did was a technical violation of the law and at times obviously unprofessional, he felt their job was to go after criminals and not law enforcement officers demonstrating a temporary lapse in judgment,”

“He also told me that they considered Sgt. Bunch’s career in public service as one of the factors in their decision"
Officer Bunch's distinguished career included a 2003 incident that almost cost him his job when he was caught lying about 99 hours of vacation time on his timesheets and a 2004 incident where he tried to influence his way out of a ticket by flashing his badge to an unimpressed officer. And an unspecified confrontation that he had with the son of a former prosecutor for the county.

I wonder if I would get a get out of jail free card from that prosecutor for my years of dedicated service as a systems engineer?

Et Tu, Quid Pro Quo?

A Medina WA police officer was accused of raping a woman he arrested a day after he stopped her and found she was driving on a suspended license and had some pot in her car.

The officer apparently told her "Don't worry, the charges will go away" while she was cuffed in the back of his cruiser after he commented on how cute she was. So, they exchanged numbers and the next day he brought her back to his place where the woman claims that he raped her after she said no to his advances.

...however, she apparently waited to report the crime until after the officer had urged the prosecutor get the charges dropped on her behalf.

They Let The Dogs Out... Woof?

Lawyers representing the city of Kennewick WA have lost a civil rights violation case on appeal that was filed against the city for an incident in 2003.

It appears as though Kennewick police were searching for the the vile criminal who was suspected of the insidious crime of riding a moped without a headlight or helmet when they happened on poor innocent Ken Rogers (not the country star).

Officers, worried deeply about public safety with a criminal like this on the loose, unleashed their attack dog on Rogers who caused severe nerve damage to his left hand... then officers, unsatisfied with that, beat him until he suffered hearing loss from the attack...

The problem was that Rogers wasn't the criminal they were looking for... seems their highly trained attack dog "DEKE" picked up his scent by mistake when officers were trying to find their suspect.

Kennewick has been ordered to pay Rogers the sum of $1.8 Million Dollars.


Anonymous said...

Since when is voyeurism and trespassing a "a temporary lapse in judgment"? This is not normal behavior. He could have been planning to harm the child.

Anonymous said...

Here's a story from Twitter about another pervert cop who only got a slap on the wrist.

"Geskie, 27, was in uniform last year when he spotted a 17-year-old girl sunbathing off Route 213 in Marbletown and confronted her, telling her she was trespassing and that if she performed oral sex on him, she wouldn't get a ticket. Geskie's abuse of his authority cost him his job as an Ulster County sheriff's deputy and landed him on a state sex-offender registry, but it won't cost him any prison time. State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi kept his promise and sentenced Geskie Thursday to probation"

Packratt said...

First, yes, I agree, the possibility of bad intentions should definitely be under consideration, but it that he did do something that would have resulted in felony charges against anyone other than a cop, that is he violently resisted arrest and assaulted an officer.

As for the link, thanks for sharing it. I read that a few days ago when I put it on our National NewsFeed Twitter.

Thanks for the comment and the link!

Anonymous said...

Another person who stood up to police and faced retaliation and threats from the "brave heroes" was cop busting teen Brett Darrow. Btw, his conversation with the bad cop is hilarious.

When Darrow walked outside to his 1997 Nissan Maxima, he noticed two officers sitting in a marked squad car, numbered 65. There is little question as to why the officers were there. "As I got into the car, he started to pull up the street and he and his partner just stared me down," Darrow explained. The patrol car drove away as Darrow started his car and followed....Members of the police community are on the record regarding their desire to stake out Darrow's home and harass the twenty-year-old. In late June, users of St. Louis Cop Talk, an unofficial forum for Saint Louis area law enforcement, posted Darrow's home address along with messages containing apparent death threats in retaliation for the young motorist's taping of a DUI roadblock in November and a traffic ticket in June. One Cop Talk user repeating the address wrote, "Every copper, City and County, should etch this little punks name in their memory. Brett Darrow, [address deleted], city of St. Louis." The city of St. George was forced to fire Sergeant James Kuehnlein for his threat to "come up with reasons" to "lock up" Darrow. An investigation into whether Kuehnlein's actions merit criminal charges is under way.... Darrow met on Monday with a Saint Louis County Police Department detective. "I quickly learned that this was about finding something I did wrong and not the officer," Darrow said.

Packratt said...

Yeah, I remember reading that a while back but could never remember the URL, thanks for the link!

I might post that one up in addition to the Phoenix story and the others I compiled when I do an update for this post...

There are ample stories out there to justify the fear people who write about police misconduct feel towards police officers.

I tell you, it's a strange feeling being more afraid of the police than I am of any criminal out there.

I constantly think of ways to make sure that, when they do retaliate, that the incident is captured or witnessed somehow so that people will know what really happened once I'm gone.

Thanks for the comment, and the link.

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