Author Topic: Citizen-Police interactions  (Read 276688 times)

G M

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #450 on: April 12, 2015, 06:32:47 PM »
An epic goat rope.



Crafty_Dog

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War Dog

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Don't judge too quickly
« Reply #454 on: May 17, 2015, 03:49:53 PM »
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 05:19:16 PM by Crafty_Dog »



G M

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Obama Crime Wave
« Reply #457 on: May 31, 2015, 08:21:35 AM »
I smell whiffs of anarchy. Looks like you all up there are starting to join the party. Stay safe.

A society that declares war on it's police better make friends with it's criminals.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/052615-754269-an-obama-crime-wave-spreads-across-america.htm?p=2
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 11:09:13 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 08:55:19 AM by Crafty_Dog »

DDF

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Water is Getting Choppy...
« Reply #459 on: July 14, 2015, 12:42:32 PM »
"They targeted, they ambushed, they tried to assassinate a police officer," the chief told reporters outside the hospital where the officer was treated and later released. "What we saw tonight are individuals that were armed, that targeted a police officer and had no second thoughts, no remorse about it at all."

I have to wonder if the death penalty or any other legislation deterred them? The problem is that police merely think they're the law, when really, law has always been a "majority rules" type of circumstance.

The next year or two will be interesting.


http://www.policeone.com/police-products/body-armor/articles/8657821-Mo-chief-Gunman-tried-to-assassinate-officer/


G M

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Scenes from the growing chaos
« Reply #461 on: May 27, 2016, 07:36:09 AM »
https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-la-police-commission/?singlepage=true

Grievance Theater Night at the L.A. Police Commission
BY JACK DUNPHY MAY 26, 2016 CHAT 13 COMMENTS

Pity the man who is so unfortunate as to have to appear before the Los Angeles Police Commission. First, he must endure the trip to downtown Los Angeles, an hour’s drive or maybe much more from some of the city’s outlying communities. Then he must find a place to park, no easy task amid all the construction and street closures that are often added to the customary gridlock around the civic center. If he manages to find a spot on the street, he must be mindful of the time, for his car will be ticketed or perhaps towed if it remains in the spot even seconds beyond the posted limit. If he parks in a parking lot, he will be charged an exorbitant sum for the privilege. And, no matter where he parks, as he walks to the police headquarters building he will encounter any number of panhandling vagrants who have wandered away from nearby skid row in search of “spare change.” Upon arrival at the headquarters building, he will subjected to a security screening akin to those performed at airports.

After all of that, he will be allowed to take a seat in the police commission meeting room to await his turn to speak. And it is at this point that all of the inconveniences described above will seem trivial.

Public meetings in any city or town – city council, school board, or what have you – attract their own regulars: the gadflies and cranks who appear at meeting after meeting and demand to be heard, most often reciting some variation of the tale they’ve been telling for weeks, months, or even years. The L.A. police commission has its share of these people, and in a city of four million people, that share is quite large. But lately, added to this usual roster of gadflies and cranks have been the crankiest people in town, the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement. So while our hapless citizen waits patiently to plead his case before the commission, he must sit and listen as the BLM people parade to the microphone, using their allotted two minutes (and usually more) to berate, belittle, and insult the commissioners and police chief Charlie Beck, often in language that is unprintable here.

If you want to know why LAPD officers are dispirited these days, if you want to know why they may be feeling the weight of the “Ferguson effect” and are reluctant to place their mortal hides on the line in the cause of reducing crime in the city, look no further than the commission that oversees the department. The police commission is a five-person body whose members are appointed by the mayor. It sets policy for the LAPD, and every member of the department, from the greenest rookie to the chief, serves under its authority.

 
In theory, this system of civilian oversight is an admirable arrangement. It becomes less admirable when that oversight is provided by people who are disconnected from the more unpleasant realities faced by police officers on the streets, and who in some cases are even hostile to the officers they purport to lead. Bear in mind that commissioners are selected not on the basis of any expertise they might have in law enforcement. Rather, they are chosen so as to satisfy demands for “diversity” on the panel. But this diversity, as is most often the case when the term is used today, does not extend to a diversity of thought or political opinion, only of race, sex, and sexual orientation. As it’s currently composed, the police commission is uniformly liberal, albeit with some members leaning farther to the left than others.

So how troubling it must be for the commissioners, good liberals all, to sit there and listen to the relentless invective spewing from people with whom, if the commissioners were candid enough to admit it, they are largely in agreement.

Last September, I wrote here on PJ Media on the abrupt departure of Paula Madison from the L.A. police commission. In discussing a controversial police shooting, Madison had made it a bit too clear that she was motivated by a racial grievance agenda, and in so doing she became a liability to Mayor Eric Garcetti. As I wrote at the time, “Mayor Garcetti does not necessarily object to his police commissioners being motivated by a racial agenda, but he insists that they be more guarded about it in their public pronouncements.”

So out the door she went, leaving it to Mayor Garcetti to appoint entertainment attorney Matthew Johnson to fill what we might call the black seat on the panel. Johnson was promptly voted in as president of the commission and now serves as its front man during what for it has been a tumultuous time. The commission holds its public meetings every Tuesday morning, and at these meeting members of the LAPD, most often headquarters types, make presentations, usually accompanied by PowerPoint slides, on matters which both the presenters and the commissioners pretend to understand. Members of the public are invited to speak for two minutes on agenda items, and are required to submit a written request before being allowed to speak.


All well and good, in theory if not always in practice. Rather than serving as an exercise in open, participatory governance, the commission meetings have devolved into farce, with the meetings regularly disrupted by protesters who defy calls for them to behave themselves. A typical scenario goes like this: at the time designated for public comment, BLM protesters, having submitted their cards, take turns at the microphone trying to outperform the previous speaker. When they talk beyond their allotted two minutes, Mr. Johnson gives them several warnings, including multiple “last warnings,” before asking a handful of beleaguered police officers to escort the person back to his seat or, in the case of the more obstreperous ones, out of the room. But the officers are under strict orders not to lay a hand on anyone, so things often turn into comical ballets in which a speaker dances around and continues to heckle the commission while the officers try to coral him without touching them. This brings an uproar from the offending speaker’s cohort, who themselves begin to chant and carry on, forcing the commission to interrupt the meeting and clear the room. This happens nearly every week.

In a lame attempt to curb these theatrics, Mr. Johnson wrote an op-ed piece in the May 12 edition of the Los Angeles Sentinel, a newspaper marketed to L.A.’s black community. In that piece, titled “Dialogue, not disruption, is the path to LAPD reform,” Johnson made it clear that he is very much in agreement with the sentiments of the Black Lives Matter Movement, but not its tactics. In his more than 1,500 words, he detailed the LAPD’s “checkered past which contributed to civil unrest in 1965 and 1992.” But he emphasized that he and his fellow police commissioners are now firmly in charge of the department and that those bad old days are truly over. Nowhere in the piece does he offer any encouraging words for the officers he purports to lead, nor does he address the city’s rising crime that disproportionately affects black neighborhoods. To cite just the most startling number in recent crime statistics, in the LAPD’s Southwest Division, murders are up 275 percent this year over the same period in 2015.

And Johnson is not the only member of the police commission whose priorities would seem askew. At the May 17 meeting (you can watch it here), Robert Saltzman, current occupier of the commission’s homosexual seat, opened the meeting by saying he had been a speaker at a police academy graduation ceremony the previous Friday. He went on to say how pleased he was that the graduating class was 11 percent black and 22 percent female. All well and good, one supposes, but it then fell to Mr. Johnson to address the issue of the two LAPD officers who had been shot later on that same Friday. It’s probably too much to ask, but in the future Mr. Saltzman might delay the diversity bean-counting discussion until after the matter of two wounded cops has been addressed.

In a career that lasted more than 30 years with the LAPD, I had occasion to meet just two police commissioners. I am led to believe by my former colleagues that the current commissioners are not in the habit of getting out and mixing with the troops. Watch just a few minutes of the meeting linked to above, or of any of the meetings available at that website, and it will be apparent why this is so.


G M

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #464 on: September 25, 2016, 09:33:00 AM »
 :-o :-o :-o






Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #470 on: June 23, 2017, 04:01:07 PM »
Ain't that the Truth!


G M

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Re: Video proves cops lied; man freed with $1.3M
« Reply #472 on: September 26, 2017, 04:39:05 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #473 on: September 27, 2017, 08:27:37 AM »
Ah yes, Section 1983-- I remember that one from law school.


G M

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Crafty_Dog

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« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 05:32:07 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: King: SCOTUS and "police brutality"
« Reply #477 on: December 10, 2017, 06:47:59 AM »
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-2-supreme-court-rulings-change-police-brutality-article-1.3269247

I suspect our GM will disagree , , ,



Shaun King is a literal joke. Otherwise known as "Talcum X" for pretending to be black.

G M

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #478 on: December 10, 2017, 07:04:27 AM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/?utm_term=.9883e59db289

320 million Americans. Approximately 800,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers. We can estimate that it's about 1000 deadly shootings in a year done by law enforcement. Do these numbers suggest that LEOs are trigger-happy?


Crafty_Dog

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Baltimore: Police carry plant guns just in case
« Reply #479 on: January 31, 2018, 06:54:49 AM »
It pains me to have to post this one, but around here we search for Truth.

G M

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Re: Baltimore: Police carry plant guns just in case
« Reply #480 on: January 31, 2018, 07:03:22 AM »
It pains me to have to post this one, but around here we search for Truth.

This appears to be one specific unit within the BPD. However, what has come out is horrible.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #481 on: February 01, 2018, 10:02:54 AM »
In general, Baltimore police have a very bad reputation in this regard.

Also there was the case in , , , North Carolina?  where the officer shot to death a middle aged black man fleeing on a traffic violation in the back and then was caught on civilian camera calmly planting a gun he happened to have on him at the time.

Things like this do terrible damage.

DougMacG

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #482 on: February 01, 2018, 10:59:03 AM »
"...where the officer shot to death a middle aged black man fleeing on a traffic violation in the back and then was caught on civilian camera calmly planting a gun he happened to have on him at the time.
Things like this do terrible damage."

Agreed!  There are a few bad ones in every profession and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!  Knowing your partner or fellow officer committed a felony and helping to cover it up is also a felony, right?

Shooting a man in the back is murder in most situations even if you are police, and planting evidence is another felony. 

It's strange that the whole political movement was energized by wrongly reported events, and innocent blacks in Baltimore are examples of people hurt most by the movement. 

After all the stigmatizing of inner city police, I have not seen North Minneapolis police get out of their squad cars in a long time.  In St Paul, the number of applicants is down by 85% in four years. 
https://www.twincities.com/2018/01/26/after-too-few-people-apply-to-be-st-paul-police-officers-city-extends-deadline/ 

Without an active police presence, gangs rule the streets and things like this happen (to my tenant).
http://www.fox9.com/news/jury-finds-ezeka-guilty-in-murder-of-mpls-grandmother-birdell-beeks

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #483 on: February 01, 2018, 11:23:38 AM »
Exactly so!!!

Crafty_Dog

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No duty to protect
« Reply #484 on: February 25, 2018, 07:41:56 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Is this legally sound?
« Reply #486 on: March 05, 2018, 07:57:17 AM »
GM:

Is the part about not having to ID yourself legally correct?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GspYU1Donrg

« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:01:30 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: Is this legally sound?
« Reply #487 on: March 05, 2018, 05:56:09 PM »
GM:

Is the part about not having to ID yourself legally correct?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GspYU1Donrg



Well, like many things, it depends. Know your state laws, and conduct yourself like the pastor did in the video. Bear in mind that you might avoid the rap, but you might get the ride. In Colorado, it’s not illegal to Refuse to ID yourself under most circumstances, but if you give a false name, it’s a felony.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Citizen-Police interactions
« Reply #488 on: March 05, 2018, 06:42:53 PM »
Thank you.


Crafty_Dog

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Testilying: Police perjury not rare?
« Reply #490 on: March 18, 2018, 06:37:54 PM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/18/nyregion/testilying-police-perjury-new-york.html?emc=edit_ta_20180318&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta

Testilying’ by Police:
A Stubborn Problem

Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video
evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility.

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
MARCH 18, 2018


Officer Nector Martinez took the witness stand in a Bronx courtroom on Oct. 10, 2017, and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.

There had been a shooting, Officer Martinez testified, and he wanted to search a nearby apartment for evidence. A woman stood in the doorway, carrying a laundry bag. Officer Martinez said she set the bag down “in the middle of the doorway” — directly in his path. “I picked it up to move it out of the way so we could get in.”

The laundry bag felt heavy. When he put it down, he said, he heard a “clunk, a thud.”

What might be inside?

Officer Martinez tapped the bag with his foot and felt something hard, he testified. He opened the bag, leading to the discovery of a Ruger 9-millimeter handgun and the arrest of the woman.

But a hallway surveillance camera captured the true story: There’s no laundry bag or gun in sight as Officer Martinez and other investigators question the woman in the doorway and then stride into the apartment. Inside, they did find a gun, but little to link it to the woman, Kimberly Thomas. Still, had the camera not captured the hallway scene, Officer Martinez’s testimony might well have sent her to prison.


When Ms. Thomas’s lawyer sought to play the video in court, prosecutors in the Bronx dropped the case. Then the court sealed the case file, hiding from view a problem so old and persistent that the criminal justice system sometimes responds with little more than a shrug: false testimony by the police.


“Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” a New York City police officer, Pedro Serrano, said in a recent interview, echoing a word that officers coined at least 25 years ago. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges.

In these cases, officers have lied about the whereabouts of guns, putting them in suspects’ hands or waistbands when they were actually hidden out of sight. They have barged into apartments and conducted searches, only to testify otherwise later. Under oath, they have given firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness. They have falsely claimed to have watched drug deals happen, only to later recant or be shown to have lied.

No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish. “Clenched fists” is how one Brooklyn officer described the hands of a man he claimed had angrily approached him and started screaming and yelling — an encounter that prosecutors later determined never occurred. Another officer, during a Bronx trial, accused a driver of recklessly crossing the double-yellow line — on a stretch of road that had no double-yellow line.

In many instances, the motive for lying was readily apparent: to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops. In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people — who may or may not have committed a crime — with trumped-up evidence.

In still others, the motive is not easy to discern. In October 2016, for example, a plainclothes Brooklyn officer gave a grand jury a first-person account of a gun arrest. Putting herself in the center of the action, the officer, Dornezia Agard, testified that as she approached a man to confront him for littering, he suddenly crouched behind a van, pulled from his waistband a dark object — later identified as a gun — and threw it on the ground.

“P.O. Agard testified that she heard a hard metal object hit the ground,” according to a letter the Brooklyn district attorney’s office wrote summarizing her testimony.

But prosecutors lost faith in her account in July 2017, after learning from other officers that she was not among the first officers on the scene. Officer Agard had arrived later as backup, according to the letter, which noted that the gun charges against the man were later dismissed. The prosecutors did not address why Officer Agard claimed to be a witness, or why the other officers present seem to have allowed her to process the arrest.

Police lying raises the likelihood that the innocent end up in jail — and that as juries and judges come to regard the police as less credible, or as cases are dismissed when the lies are discovered, the guilty will go free. Police falsehoods also impede judges’ efforts to enforce constitutional limits on police searches and seizures.

“We have 36,000 officers with law enforcement power, and there are a small handful of these cases every year,” said J. Peter Donald, a spokesman for the Police Department, the nation’s largest municipal force. “That doesn’t make any of these cases any less troubling. Our goal is always, always zero. One is too many, but we have taken significant steps to combat this issue.”
Shrouded, but Persistent

The 25 cases identified by The Times are almost certainly only a fraction of those in which officers have come under suspicion for lying in the past three years. That’s because a vast majority of cases end in plea deals before an officer is ever required to take the witness stand in open court, meaning the possibility that an officer lied is seldom aired in public. And in the rare cases when an officer does testify in court — and a judge finds the testimony suspicious, leading to the dismissal of the case — the proceedings are often sealed afterward.

Still, the cases identified by The Times reveal an entrenched perjury problem several decades in the making that shows little sign of fading.

So far in 2018, a Queens detective has been convicted of lying in a drug case and a Brooklyn detective has been arrested amid accusations that he fabricated the results of a photo lineup. These cases returned the phenomenon of police lying to the public eye, leaving police officials to defend the integrity of honest officers.

Kevin Richardson, the Police Department’s top internal prosecutor, said he believes so-called testilying is nearing its end. “I think it’s a problem that’s very much largely on its way out,” he said.

Indeed, it’s tempting to think about police lying as a bygone of past eras: a form of misconduct that ran unchecked as soaring street violence left the police overwhelmed during the 1980s and early 1990s and that re-emerged as police embraced stop-and-frisk tactics and covered up constitutional violations with lies.

But false testimony by the police persists even as crime has drastically receded across the city and as the Police Department has renounced the excesses of the stop-and-frisk years.

Some policing experts anticipate that the ubiquity of cameras — whether on cellphones, affixed to buildings or worn by officers — will greatly reduce police lying. For the moment, however, video seems more capable of exposing lies than vanquishing them.

Memory and Manipulation

In two recent cases, The Times found, officers appear to have given false accounts about witness identifications. These cases are particularly troubling because erroneous identifications by witnesses have been a leading cause of wrongful convictions.

After a 2016 mugging near a Brooklyn subway station, the police arrested a group of four people, one of whom was found to be in possession of the victim’s wallet. In preparing the case, prosecutors sought to pin down a few basic facts. Had the police brought the victim, who was punched and had his wallet taken, to positively identify the four suspects after they were taken into custody? If so, what had the victim said?

Getting a straight answer from the arresting officer, Chedanan Naurang, proved nearly impossible. It had been Officer Naurang’s quick thinking that had made the arrest possible: Having lost the suspects at one subway station, he followed a hunch and drove one stop down the line, where he caught up with the four men after they got off the train.

But certain details Officer Naurang gave prosecutors kept shifting over the next year, according to a February 2017 letter that prosecutors wrote in which they summarized his fluid story.

Officer Naurang said at one point that the identification had occurred inside a police station when the victim passed by the holding cells, saw the men and confirmed their involvement in the crime.

A few weeks later, he backtracked. No, the victim had actually never gotten to see the suspects at the police station, Officer Naurang explained. Instead, the victim had gotten a chance to view them on the street, shortly after their arrest. That’s when the victim got out of the police vehicle in which he had been waiting, Officer Naurang said, and pointed to one of the four men, identifying him as an attacker.

This version of events, however, was at odds with the recollection of the police officer who had driven the victim to the scene of the arrest. That officer, Christopher McDonald, told prosecutors that the victim had remained in the back seat while viewing the four suspects. And Officer McDonald said that the victim couldn’t say whether they were his assailants. He thought he recognized their clothing, but wasn’t sure.

Because of Officer Naurang’s changing story, prosecutors dropped the case against the men as part of a deal in which all four pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a second mugging they were accused of the same night.


Another case in which the police gave false information about a witness identification came after a carjacking in Brooklyn in 2015. In that case, the police began to focus on two suspects based on an anonymous tip and a fingerprint. A detective, Michael Foder, testified that he had then prepared two photo lineups — one for each suspect.

Each consisted of the suspect’s photograph printed on a sheet of paper, alongside the photos of “fillers” — people of vaguely similar appearance with no connection to the crime. The hope was that the victim, a livery cabdriver, might recognize the suspect’s photo and pick him out — an outcome that prosecutors regard as a strong indicator of a suspect’s guilt.

That’s what happened, Detective Foder testified, when the victim came to the precinct to view the photo lineup for one suspect in November 2015 and returned in February 2016 to view one for the second suspect.

But the photo lineups that Detective Foder had prepared — and were submitted as evidence in federal court — were fabrications. It was a federal prosecutor who first realized that many of the photos used in the lineups were not yet available at the time Detective Foder claimed to have shown them to the victim. The reason? The photos of some of the fillers had yet to be taken.

The lineup that was said to be from November 2015 included filler photographs that were not taken until December. And the one he claimed to have administered in February featured photos that were taken in March.

Last month, Detective Foder was indicted on federal perjury charges. The indictment accuses him of lying to “conceal the fact that he had falsified documentation” related to the photo lineups. Detective Foder’s lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on the detective’s behalf.
Photo
A prosecutor discovered that many of the photos in the array Detective Foder said he had shown the victim Feb. 14, 2016, were not even taken until after that date.

Justifying a Search

Detective Foder’s actions appear to be aimed at tilting the scales toward guilt.

But more often, The Times found, false statements by the police seem intended to hide illegal searches and seizures, such as questionable car stops or entries into apartments that result in officers finding guns or drugs. If the truth were to emerge that the case began with an illegal police search, the evidence would quite likely be thrown out and the case dismissed.

Blue Lies

A series of stories examining the entrenched culture of 'testilying' in the New York Police Department.

The story that Christopher Thomas, a plainclothes police officer, told a grand jury in December 2014 sounded plausible enough. As he approached a parked car with a flashlight in hand, he said, he saw a man in the driver’s seat pull a firearm out of his waistband and stick it between the car’s center console and the front seat. The driver was indicted on gun-possession charges.

But by July 2015, as video of the encounter was about to emerge, Officer Thomas started backtracking. In conversations with the assistant district attorney on the case, Officer Thomas acknowledged that he had not seen the driver pull the gun from his waistband. In fact, he said, he had never seen the driver with his hand on the gun.

“He stated to the A.D.A. that he did not know why he had testified to those facts before the grand jury,” according to an email prosecutors later sent to a defense lawyer. This email, as well as several similar letters that prosecutors sent in other cases, were provided to The Times by Cynthia Conti-Cook, a Legal Aid Society lawyer who has been compiling a database of police misconduct allegations.

The video undermined Officer Thomas’s original claim of having seen the gun at the outset. It shows Officer Thomas and his partner approach the car and shine their flashlights inside. Their demeanor on the video suggests that they had seen nothing so far to cause alarm. One of the two officers — either Officer Thomas or his partner — is so unconcerned that he bends down for about seven seconds, and appears to tie his shoe.


Video emerged that undermined Officer Christopher Thomas’s original claim of having immediately spotted a gun in the car.

Brooklyn prosecutors dismissed the gun case and, according to the prosecutors’ email, informed the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau about the problems with Officer Thomas’s account. An internal police disciplinary process led to Officer Thomas losing 30 vacation days and being placed on dismissal probation for a year, according to a person familiar with the case.

He is now a sergeant in a narcotics unit.

Officer Thomas is not the only officer to have tried to withdraw earlier testimony as soon as video of an encounter emerged, or was about to.


“I misspoke when I was in grand jury,” Sean Kinane, an officer with the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx, testified in federal court in 2016. That was all the explanation he gave, or was asked to give, for why he was recanting his earlier testimony about witnessing what appeared to be narcotics transactions in the moments before he stopped a heroin dealer in the street.

That claim, if true, would have given the police justification to stop the man, who was discovered to be carrying 153 glassine envelopes of heroin and eight bags of crack cocaine. But after the drug dealer managed to get a video recording of the encounter, Officer Kinane’s story changed. He had misspoken.

Reached by telephone for comment, Detective Kinane — he was promoted in 2017 — hung up.

‘No Fear of Being Caught’

Many police officials and experts express optimism that the prevalence of cameras will reduce police lying. As officers begin to accept that digital evidence of an encounter will emerge, lying will be perceived as too risky — or so the thinking goes.

“Basically it’s harder for a cop to lie today,” the Police Department’s top legal official, Lawrence Byrne, said last year at a New York City Bar Association event, noting that there were millions of cellphones on the streets of New York, each with a camera. “There is virtually no enforcement encounter where there isn’t immediate video of what the officers are doing.”

As more police encounters are recorded — whether on the cellphones of bystanders or the body-worn cameras of officers — false police testimony is being exposed in cases where the officer’s word might once have carried the day. That is true for run-of-the-mill drug cases as well as for police shootings so notorious that they are seared into the national consciousness.

Yet interviews with officers suggest the prevalence of cameras alone won’t end police lying. That’s because even with cameras present, some officers still figure — with good reason — that a lie is unlikely to be exposed. Because plea deals are a typical outcome, it’s rare for a case to develop to the point where the defendant can question an officer’s version of events at a hearing.

“There’s no fear of being caught,” said one Brooklyn officer who has been on the force for roughly a decade. “You’re not going to go to trial and nobody is going to be cross-examined.”

The percentage of cases that progress to the point where an officer is cross-examined is tiny. In 2016, for instance, there were slightly more than 185 guilty pleas, dismissals or other non-trial outcomes for each criminal case in New York City that went to trial and reached a verdict. There were 1,460 trial verdicts in criminal cases that year, while 270,304 criminal cases were resolved without a trial.

To be sure, officers are sometimes called to testify before trial at so-called suppression hearings in which the legality of police conduct is evaluated. But those are rare. In Manhattan, about 2.4 percent of felony criminal cases have a suppression hearing, according to data from the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The rate for non-felony cases is slightly more than one-tenth of 1 percent.

Officer Pedro Serrano said he doesn’t engage in “testilying,” but he said it remains a problem in the New York City Police Department. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A Crucial Court Decision

Several officers, all working in the Bronx and Brooklyn, candidly described in interviews how the practice of lying runs like a fault line through precincts. “You’re either a ‘lie guy’ or you’re not,” said the Brooklyn officer. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he described how he avoided certain officers and units in his precinct based on his discomfort with the arrests they made.

Earlier in his career, he said, a supervisor and a detective had each encouraged him to lie about the circumstances of drug arrests. Another time, he said, he had worked with an officer who, after discovering drugs while searching a suspect without cause, turned to the other officers present with a question — “How did we find this?” — and sought their help devising a false story.

Countless police officers have struggled with that question — “How did we find this?” — ever since 1961, when the Supreme Court ruled, in Mapp v. Ohio, that state judges must throw out evidence from illegal searches and seizures. Before this ruling, New York City officers could stop someone they thought might be dealing or using drugs, search their pockets and clothing, describe the encounter truthfully, and not worry that a court would throw out the drugs that they had discovered, even though the stop and search had been, strictly speaking, illegal. That changed with the Mapp decision, which greatly expanded the reach of the Fourth Amendment.

Immediately after the Mapp case, police officers saw many narcotics cases be dismissed. Then they made what one judge called “the great discovery.” If they testified that the suspect had dropped a bag of drugs on the ground as the police approached, courts would generally deem those arrests legal.

Within a year of the Mapp decision, courts in New York City were seeing a marked increase in what became known as “dropsy” testimony — in some units “dropsy” cases increased more than 70 percent, according to one 1968 study.

There was little reason to think drug users had grown more skittish. Rather, the influx of these cases was understood to be a sign that police officers were lying in a substantial number of cases. Ever since, courts in New York have been plagued with officers lying about how they came to discover that a suspect was carrying drugs or guns.

By 1994, a commission appointed to investigate police corruption noted that lying to make cases stick was common enough for “testilying” to become a well-known portmanteau.

The report by the Mollen Commission noted a few established patterns of falsehoods. Officers who illegally searched a car might later say they discovered contraband in “plain view.” Or an officer who found a gun or drugs in someone’s clothing during an illegal search might falsely claim to have seen “a bulge in the person’s pocket.”

Just like the dropsy testimony a few decades earlier, these stories of “plain view” and “suspicious bulges” became scripts that many police officers stuck to. They were rarely challenged, not even as officers in New York City began repeating them tens and then hundreds of thousands of times as police stops of mainly black and Latino men skyrocketed during the years Michael R. Bloomberg was mayor.

Embellished Narratives

In recent years, the number of times police stopped and frisked pedestrians has declined precipitously. But certain plainclothes units, such as the so-called anti-crime teams, still engage in an aggressive style of policing that relies heavily on stop-and-frisk tactics. These teams make a disproportionate number of gun arrests, but they are also responsible for a substantial number of dubious stops of pedestrians and drivers, police officers and legal experts said in interviews.

Several uniformed patrol officers said they have long suspected that the track record of plainclothes anti-crime teams for making weapons and drug arrests was bolstered by illegal searches and a tolerance for lying about them.

These officers described a familiar scene: a group of black men ordered out of a vehicle for little reason and made to sit on the curb or lean against the bumper, as officers search the vehicle for guns and drugs.

“Certain car stops, certain cops will say there is odor of marijuana. And when I get to the scene, I immediately don’t smell anything,” said Officer Serrano, one of the few officers interviewed who was willing to speak on the record. “I can’t tell you what you smelled, but it’s obvious to me there is no smell of marijuana.”

Mr. Serrano’s testimony about a secret station-house recording he made was crucial evidence in a landmark stop-and-frisk trial in 2013. He and nearly a dozen other current and former officers are suing the Police Department over what they describe as arrest quotas.




“It’s the anti-crime teams, the plainclothes officers, everyone knows they will violate the law, get what they want and then write it to fit the narrative,” said Edwin Raymond, a police sergeant who is also a plaintiff in the arrest-quota case. “The narratives will be embellished to fit the parameters of probable cause, if need be.”
‘A Surreal Journey’

To be sure, there are other motives for lying, other than to cover up illegal searches.

Some police officers have said they faced pressure from commanders to write more tickets or make more arrests. A decade ago, narcotics detectives were found to have falsely accused people of dealing drugs in order to meet arrest quotas.

And there is pressure to solve — or at least close — cases. That may have motivated Officer Martinez’s gun-in-the-laundry-bag-in-the-doorway story.

What appears to have actually happened is that Officer Martinez and other officers searched inside the apartment for evidence from a nearby shooting. They had good reason to focus on that apartment. The victim, after being shot, had rushed there, along with others. Crime-scene photos taken by the department’s Evidence Collection Team suggest that a gun was found inside the apartment, in or near a laundry bag on the floor.

But whose gun was it? That was not clear. A number of people had been in the apartment in the preceding hours. And Ms. Thomas, who lived more than a mile away and arrived about an hour after the shooting, was one of the few people there when Officer Martinez showed up.

There is little, if any, evidence tying Ms. Thomas to the gun other than Officer Martinez’s false testimony that placed her in the doorway with the laundry bag in her arms. Prosecutors acknowledged that DNA testing indicates that Ms. Thomas did not handle the gun. Moreover, court papers that prosecutors filed after the case fell apart noted that the police appear to have focused on Ms. Thomas while ignoring other potential suspects. Several other people had entered the apartment shortly before Ms. Thomas — “none of whom are questioned by the police,” the prosecutors’ papers noted.

As for Officer Martinez’s false story of the laundry bag in the doorway, the prosecution’s legal papers noted only that “there are clear inconsistencies” between Officer Martinez’s “recollection of events and the video.”

“At no time in this video is there a laundry bag in the defendant’s hands,” the prosecution’s legal papers noted. “Neither is there a bag in the doorway of the apartment, and at no time is the arresting officer observed moving a bag before entering the apartment.”

By the time prosecutors officially dropped the case in November 2017, Ms. Thomas had already appeared in court 16 times, according to a tally of appearances kept by one of her lawyers, Alexandra Conlon, of the Bronx Defenders. On the last appearance, Ms. Thomas, 39, asked to address the court. “For 396 days I have been fighting for my life, my freedom and my sanity,” she said. “This has been such a surreal journey that I don’t wish on anyone.”

Officer Martinez remains in good standing at the 41st Precinct. Shortly after the case was dismissed, he was promoted to detective and given his gold shield. When a reporter tried to interview him in January about his testimony in the case, he declined to comment, saying, “That’s not something I can speak about directly with you.”
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 06:42:42 PM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Profiling!
« Reply #491 on: May 19, 2018, 06:43:15 AM »
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article211166024.html

A major reason body cams are a good idea.

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Why Baltimore Police Have 'Stopped Noticing Crime'
« Reply #493 on: July 14, 2018, 06:13:54 AM »
https://pjmedia.com/trending/why-baltimore-police-have-stopped-noticing-crime/

Why Baltimore Police Have 'Stopped Noticing Crime'
BY JACK DUNPHY JULY 13, 2018

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

An interesting news story ran in Thursday’s USA Today. “Baltimore police stopped noticing crime after Freddie Gray's death,” read the headline. “A wave of killings followed.”

What I found most interesting about it, though, was not the facts that were reported but rather that anyone should have found them surprising. “Just before a wave of violence turned Baltimore into the nation’s deadliest big city,” the story begins, “a curious thing happened to its police force: officers suddenly seemed to stop noticing crime.”

The story goes on to describe how Baltimore’s police officers reported seeing fewer drug dealers out and about, fewer traffic violators, fewer people with arrest warrants, fewer of any type of person who previously would have attracted their attention. Note that the story does not say there were fewer of these lawbreakers, only that the police did not report seeing as many.

Surely if the officers were being candid, they would say they saw just as many as ever, but that they made the decision not to do anything about them.

And who can blame them?

For about one third of my career with the Los Angeles Police Department, I was a uniformed sergeant at four different stations in the city. The challenge I and my fellow supervisors faced every day was how to motivate the officers in our charge to go out and practice the type of proactive police work that reduces crime and the fear of crime for the law-abiding citizenry. To that end, we had to make sure the officers were properly trained and equipped for the mission. Equally as important, we had to instill in them the belief that if they received a complaint (and complaints are a tool for lawbreakers to inhibit police activity), it would be investigated fairly and expeditiously.

The most difficult times I faced during my years with the LAPD were during the years Bernard Parks served as its chief. Parks, in an overreaction to the Rampart scandal (which, though a genuine scandal, was confined to a handful of officers at a single police station), had disbanded the LAPD’s gang units and instituted a disciplinary system that placed a penalty on proactive police work. It was under Chief Parks that I attended a supervisors’ meeting after a week in which my patrol division had seen four murders and a wave of lesser crimes. Despite these grim statistics, not a single word at this meeting touched on the subject of crime. What did we talk about? Citizen complaints. And even at that we didn’t discuss them in terms of the corrosive effect they were having on officer morale. Instead, we talked about the processing of the paperwork and the minutia of formatting the reports. Fighting crime, it seemed, had taken a back seat to dealing with citizen complaints, even the most frivolous of which required hours and hours of a supervisor’s time to investigate and complete the required reports.

As one might have expected, officers reacted to these disincentives by practicing “drive-and-wave” policing. Yes, they responded to radio calls as ever, but it became all but impossible to coax them out of their cars to investigate suspicious activity when they came upon it. As one might also have expected, the crime numbers reflected this change in police attitudes. Violent crime, which had been falling for seven years, began to increase and continued to increase until Bernard Parks was let go and replaced by William Bratton.

Which brings us back to Baltimore, where, USA Today informs us, 342 people were murdered in 2017, bringing its murder rate to an all-time high and making it the deadliest large city in America. (Baltimore’s population last year was about 611,000. In Los Angeles, by comparison, with a population of about 3.8 million, there were 293 murders last year.)

The Baltimore crime wave can be traced, almost to the very day in April 2015, that Freddie Gray, a small-time drug dealer and petty criminal, died in police custody. When Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the ill-considered decision to charge six officers in Gray’s death, she sent a clear message to the rest of the city’s police officers: concerns about crime and disorder will be subordinated to the quest for social justice.

As was the case in Los Angeles years ago, the result was entirely predictable. Officers disengaged from proactive police work, minimizing their risk of being the next cop to be seated in the defendant’s chair in some Marilyn Mosby show trial. The prevailing thought among Baltimore’s cops was something like this: They can make me come to work, they can make me handle my calls and take my reports, but they can’t make me chase the next hoodlum with a gun I come across, because if I chase him I might catch him, and if I catch him I might have to hit him or, heaven forbid, shoot him. And if that happens and Marilyn Mosby comes to the opinion that I transgressed in any way . . . well, forget it. Let the bodies fall where they may, and I’ll be happy to put up the crime-scene tape and wait for the detectives and the coroner to show up.

None of this is to excuse the corruption that has been uncovered in the Baltimore Police Department, the result not only of moral defects in the involved cops but also of spectacular failures in the agency’s leadership. But it is the political establishment of Baltimore that allowed the Police Department to go so far astray, to the horror of the city’s honest cops and its vulnerable citizens.

The people of Baltimore, at least those who have supported this political establishment, have gotten what they wanted. The police are stopping fewer people and getting fewer complaints, and if the price to be paid is an all-time high murder rate, that’s just the cost of social justice. For this to change, some brave politician is going to have to stand up and say, “Enough.”





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« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 02:09:07 PM by Crafty_Dog »


G M

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Modern policing
« Reply #499 on: January 12, 2019, 06:52:13 PM »