A coalition of lawmakers and civil rights groups has a message for the National Park Service: your uniforms and vehicles are “very threatening” to Latinos. Citing hats and vehicles that look like Border Patrol Agents, the group wants changes.
Rob Duke's insight:
Um? ok, but the rangers had that uniform first....
When Alameda County sheriff's deputies reportedly beat a car-theft suspect after a high-speed chase from Castro Valley last fall, the onslaught of blows was not the only troubling revelation. None of the 11 deputies at the scene turned on their body cameras.
If it weren't for a private overhead security camera, there would have been no video record of deputies pummeling a cowering Stanislov Petrov. The episode highlighted how the accelerating adoption of body-worn cameras by Bay Area police still leaves a central question only partially answered: How -- and how often -- should they be used?
California has a very balanced policy, which was set by the court in the Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) case. The court reviews all requests for records and then examines the officer's file en camera (or in chambers). The judge then decides what is relevant and gets released. This prevents "fishing expeditions" by defense attorneys. The same defense attorneys already keep databases on known complaints (that their clients have filed) and they update those files with any information gleaned through what is now known as a "Pitchess" motion. These attorneys then charge a fee to other attorneys to access the database. It's clear that there's a potential abuse by attorneys if they have unfettered access. Having a judge review is a fair and balanced solution to the problem. We'll see if this change moves forward.
“After much consideration, meeting with the mayor, and those closest to me, I have made the decision to retire as the Chief of Police of the Bardstown Police Department. As you are aware the past events and restructuring of our department has caused much attention as I have stated that I did not agree with the direction that has been published in a directive by the mayor. I am aware that the mayor has the full authority to do this and in order to allow this to happen I will retire and remove myself as a distraction.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is one reason why the Council-Manager form of government is superior. You rarely have these roller-coaster transitions every election. Chiefs and managers have stable contracts with clauses that prohibit their removal within 6 months of an election (either before or after). All that is good will grind to a halt for years after this (perceive to be dirty) political removal....
The Washington Post won two Pulitzers yesterday, including one for national reporting for a series on police shootings of civilians. There had been little national data about those kind of shootings.
The Post created its own database that included these findings: 990 people were fatally shot by police last year. One in six officers had been involved in a prior shooting. In three-quarters of the cases, police were under attack or defending someone who was.
Wesley Lowery was one of The Washington Post’s lead reporters on this. He’s part of a team of more than 60.
A week after this report was published, on April 21st, Mr Emanuel responded by announcing his reform plan for the CPD. To the disappointment of some, his proposed changes ignore about two-thirds of the 76 recommendations of his own task force. He called it a “down payment” on the road to reform, which will include the creation of an early warning system to flag up officers who generate a high number of citizen complaints as well as speedier internal investigations of problematic officers. A third-party hotline will be created for cops to report misconduct by fellow officers and to break the force's perceived code of silence. The CPD, the IPRA and the city’s law department will work together to “review officer discipline histories, patterns of alleged misconduct, civil settlements and judgments, citizen complaints and other data”. And Chicago authorities will be allowed to conduct internal investigations at the same time as state or federal investigations.
Mr Emanuel’s first reform instalment did not include the abolition of the IPRA, the setting in motion of a formal reconciliation process between the community and the CPD or the creation of the position of deputy chief of diversity, which his task force proposes. But if the mayor's reaction to the report’s recommendations was limited it was swift, and it left the door open for further reform. At the very least, it’s a start in tackling problems that have beset the CPD for decades.
Sheriff Poindexter accused Funk of trying to extort the sheriff's office by inviting criminals into his home to encourage them to complain about the sheriff's office.
The post comes before a criminal grand jury will convene to investigate a particular deputy with the sheriff's office. According to Sheriff Poindexter, their disagreement centers around Deputy Dan Nessling and a complaint filed against him in 2014.
"He's the worst DA I've ever seen in 37 years. He's a defense attorney posing as a district attorney in my opinion," Poindexter shared about Funk.
Poindexter believes Funk is untruthful, unethical and has had an "ax to grind" against his office since being the district attorney.
An advertisement was posted in the local newspaper from the district attorney's office that said if you are a victim of assault or excessive use of force by anyone at the sheriff's office to give the DA a call. Sheriff Poindexter said the advertisement acts as a fishing expedition on the part of Funk, who seems to have his sites set on Deputy Nessling.
Poindexter accused Funk of improperly dropping charges against a known criminal in order to get the criminal to complain about Deputy Nessling.
Rob Duke's insight:
I can't speak for the facts of the case, but I was a Chief in this area of California and knew Sheriff Poindexter back in the day and always found him to be an honorable peace officer.
He seems to have a point on the fishing expedition and this D.A.'s actions would seem to embolden false reporters and have the potential to demoralize sheriff's department employees.
Details of a second batch of racist and homophobic text messages sent by a San Francisco police officer seem at odds with the image of a rainbow-flagged city that prides itself on diversity.
But people who have long complained of mistreatment by police are unsurprised, saying that the dozens of texts released by the city's public defender on Tuesday reflect a city where minorities feel increasingly harassed, whether by police or by developers eying traditionally ethnic neighborhoods for gleaming new condos.
"In many respects we have a history and tradition of progressive politics that has ironically worked against reform, because I think it took a long time for people to recognize that even in San Francisco, we can have the same problems as Ferguson," said San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, referring to the Missouri city where a black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2014, sparking a national movement for greater police oversight.
All members of the San Francisco Police Department will participate in training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace after racist and derogatory text messages discovered during an investigation »
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has some simple advice for New Yorkers - if you don’t want to get shot by cops, don’t point a gun at them.
“The best way to not get shot by a New York City police officer is not carry a gun and not raise that gun toward them,” Bratton said at a news conference Monday.
His comments came in reaction to a question about George Tillman, 32, who was killed on April 17 when an NYPD sergeant and three cops fired 13 shots at him, hitting him 11 times in Queens around 1:30 a.m. Police sources said he had a gun in his waistband and pulled it out as officers chased him near the corner of 135th St. and 116th Ave. in South Ozone Park.
His family has since hired an attorney, who has been publicly questioning whether he had a gun and if he should have been shot so many times.
“The witnesses I’ve interviewed tell me George didn’t take any gun out and that he was shot while running away from the police,” attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Monday. “Instead of trashing me in the media, Commissioner Bratton should make an effort to speak to witnesses.”
But Bratton was disgusted by those claims and stressed that his officers lives were at risk.
“My cops go out there every day and put their lives at risk and the attorneys the games they play the families that never want to believe that their loved ones were involved in anything,” he said. “I’m sorry, that individual was carrying a gun, raised that gun and was shot.”
Rob Duke's insight:
This should be a captain obvious moment, but, unfortunately, it's not.
The Tucson Police Department held a press conference Monday afternoon regarding the officer-involved shooting that occurred on March 16. Police released officer body camera video from the shooting incident.
Carlos Alegria, 41, was shot March 15 after pulling a gun on officers, according to the TPD. Sgt. Pete Dugan, spokesman for the TPD, said police received a call about a man, later identified as Alegria, with a knife who was being aggressive to workers in the neighborhood.
Dugan said Alegria pulled a gun, which was later determined to be a BB gun, on officers when they arrived on the scene. Officers Mark Molina, a 19-year veteran, and Gary Rosebeck, an 8-year veteran, both discharged their firearms during the incident. Alegria was treated at a local hospital and later booked into the Pima County Jail. He is facing three counts of aggravated assault and five counts of disorderly conduct.
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