Thursday, May 6, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
How They Hire and Fire
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Why It Won't Work Part 12 3 4 5 6
#7--It is Too Time and Money Consuming
What? For whom do they speak? The citizen or themselves? Both are equally wrong. Excuse #7 is a rookie attempt to move the focus of myriad cop screw-ups off themselves and onto pretty much anything else they can find. This excuse is professional dodging and weaving at its most transparent. It even shames the practiced liars that cops are. Once again, they are blinded by their own balls. OK, now we break down the already obvious----
TIME--The wasteful time they speak of isn’t their own, it’s that of the citizen. Cops are either hourly or salaried, and get paid accordingly no matter what they do, including nothing. They have no concept of wasted time. And since cops are not good stewards of the citizen’s time, (remember, it is cops who put people in jail for as long as it takes to decide how to make their spurious accusations stick), they are not experts on how citizens should best employ their time.
Yet somehow, looking at a CRB that will spend time learning the fallacies and downfalls of that city’s police department and is dedicated to the improvement of that department as desired by the very people that pay for it, is somehow a top concern of the PD itself. The longer we think about that logic, the dumber it gets. Highway road signs in Braille make more sense.
Maybe they are thinking of the time cops will have to spend dealing with the review board. Well, there may be the time dedicated to supplying police reports and dash cam videos to the CRB when requested, but the Chief should be archiving those things anyway. There also may be the time for a cop to explain himself to the CRB when an incident is reported, but a cop can mitigate that time by learning how not to screw up. A CRB is devoted to the sculpting process, and just as sculpting marble goes, the specifics of the vision slowly become more clear as the sculptor progresses, until all that is needed is regular, minor polishing of the finished product. The closer a cop acts to what the citizen wants, the less time it will take to keep things that way, and the more time the oversight board can spend on bigger and better refinements.
MONEY--The money they speak of is again not theirs, and if everything is done well, not even existent. A well produced CRB will run with very little or no funds at all. When a cop says money is being wasted, he should think about bogus charges to justify an arrest and the law suits that follow, not to mention the cost to the citizen in legal fees that were never necessary. He should think about the huge settlements cities are forced to pay out to citizens that were wrongfully approached and treated because the cop didn’t bother to handle himself as the citizens of his town want him to. They should think about the paycheck they earn, no….receive…no….make that steal, from the taxpayer every week when they don’t have a clue as to what the citizen wants, (assuming they are willing to providing such a thing). Cops who mention the citizen’s money or time are only providing another proof of police arrogance.
Regular readers of this blog who have clicked on my Cop-Proof CRB series already know that a working CRB needs diligent preparation and dedicated staff, but little money, and surprisingly little time to get up and running. Any cop who doesn’t get that is deep in denial.
How About Some Top-Notch Cop Arrogance
The idea that we the people need financial guidance from our PD is not a new one. Get a load of this example from a few years ago, 1994. In Boston, cops broke down the door of an apartment in a drug raid. They had the wrong address. The elderly minister living there was chased and terrorized by police and within about 45 minutes, died of a heart attack. His widow sued the police department and was awarded $1M out of the $18M she sued for. (The cop settlement offer was $600K.) The PD appealed the case, not because they believed the cops who caused Rev Accelyne Williams’ heart attack were not guilty, (both Chief Paul Evans and Mayor Menino of Boston apologized), but because they believed the widow, Mary Williams, was too elderly to “handle that much money”, and a request was made to appoint a guardian for her. They wanted the award reduced. Is that arrogance beyond all ability to measure it or what? And cops worry that citizens may find the expense of an oversight panel excessive. Thinking like that is reminiscent of the stink on day-old trout.
No Mr Policeman, we little boys and girls out here who pay your bar tab with our tax money can handle the burden, and probably with more accuracy than PDs handle their annual budget. And we won’t even have to worry our pretty little heads about it, because a smoothly operating CRB has little or no budget to start with, and works on donations from citizens and local businesses that enjoy the quality of the police department citizen control insures.
A CRB would dramatically reduce if not eliminate the lawsuit payouts to citizens who were abused or cheated out of their rights by cops. Millions of dollars go to settle lawsuits like that every month across the USA, and the taxpayer has to foot that bill. Cops cause insurmountable financial cost on a citizen with charges which are later dropped, or Constitutional violations, or physical injuries during arrests. But they think a CRB that runs on a shoestring or less is too expensive for us. They don’t know expense when they see it.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
They still don’t get it! Jordan Miles is the viola player that was beaten into pulp by Pittsburgh police last January while on his way to orchestra practice because he was thought to be carrying a gun. It was a bottle of Mountain Dew.
We have cops on every street in America who are equally clueless. When anybody cannot tell the difference between a sidearm and a soda bottle, they can’t be trusted with a license to kill. So, why does Pittsburgh hand out such licenses to a police force of about 850?
Councilman Ricky Burgess, above, without claiming guilt on the part of the cops in question, was reported as saying in the WDUQ report,
"What I have said is that this incident allows us the opportunity to go beyond it and begin to heal the relationship. What I want to do is to embark on a process, not a single piece of legislation or five pieces of legislation, but a process." Burgess says the bills are all aimed at helping to build trust between police and the community. Dowd counters that there is nothing in the legislation that would have prevented the confrontation between police and Miles. The bills deal with getting the police department accredited, putting video cameras in police cars, placing officers on administrative leave, requiring yearly reports from the chief of police and forcing the Citizens Police Review Board to investigate any case where a suspect is seriously injured or killed.
Read the report for yourself, but get the disconnect between the City Council and the real problem. Burgess says--
· Get departments accredited
· Require yearly report from the Chief
· Require CRB to investigate killings and injuries
· Put video cameras in police cars
· Administrative leave for accused cops
His own additional words only make it worse. Burgess wants to “embark on a process” and “heal the relationship”. He wants to build trust between the police and the community. He doesn’t get it. The citizens are currently dealing with the schoolyard bully and the classroom cheat in cop uniforms. What kind of relationship can we expect with that?
There is nothing to heal, there is no process to embark on. Cops do not act in good faith, and consider deception a tool of their trade. As any citizen who has tried to converse with a cop will report, if you ask a cop something, he will lie to you, if you tell a cop something, he will argue with you. Verbal communication with a cop is useless. Bringing a police representative to a negotiation is like pointing your finger at a piranha. There is virtually no respect in them.
Dealing with police on a level playing field is not the way to control cops, and control is what citizens need to apply. It must be remembered that cops are in the business of not listening to learn; they only listen to argue. (Blame the Academy.) Want proof?
“Anything you say WILL BE used against you in a court of law”.
“Will be”. Sound familiar? A police department cannot be molded into the extension of the citizenry they are supposed to be if cops are given an inch of wiggle room. The leash must be short, but the Pittsburgh City Council is giving them enough leash to wrap around every citizen’s neck by simply allowing the PD a place at the negotiation table.
Councilman’s 5-Part Plan
Why do any of the five pieces of legislation being offered by Ricky Burgess require any legislation anyway? These are things a Hire and Fire Citizen Review Board could do in one meeting. Let’s look at them--
For what? It is the will of the people the PD is hired to serve that matters. The CRB can accredit whomever they want, or not. They don’t need to be accredited.
Require a yearly report from the Chief.
If Chief Nate Harper isn’t doing that now, he is an organizational slob. Reports should be compiled daily and published weekly at least. Turning them over to the CRB is a simple formality.
Require the CRB to investigate all injuries and killings by cops.
Automatic and assumed. That is what a Hire & Fire CRB is for.
Put video cameras in all police cars.
Video cameras in every police vehicle with both forward and backward views are already in the works in Pittsburgh, so no problem there, unless the cops don’t turn them on when they start their shift. (Connecting them to the ignition may help that. Penalties of up to a day’s pay for the cop who doesn’t activate his video may help that too.)
Administrative leave for cops in question.
Well, that one leaves some room for improvement. The best way to tell a cop he has “done wrong” is to fire him, and not to give him a desk job at full pay. His firing, however, can amount to administrative leave without pay by simply providing all the proper forms to that cop to apply for a job with the PD on his way out the door. If this method is used, his work record and educational background would be reviewed and updated, his experience would be considered, and if rehired, he would be more accurately placed in a position suited to his strengths, eliminating paid downtime. Police employees need to be utilized to the best advantage for the citizens, just like all other jobs citizens hold, and it isn’t hard to do if we use citizen oversight.
It is for sure that no cop will assist in the application of any of Councilman Burgess’s legislative suggestions. It is the police department’s goal to take forever to accomplish police control. We must leave them out of the decision making.
When will the City Council get that message? When will Ricky Burgess lead the Council as well as the citizens of Pittsburgh in a direction that will solve the problem, as opposed to simply prolonging it? This is a situation for the people to determine and solve, not for the employees of the Pittsburgh Police department to judge. Empower the CRB with Hire & Fire.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Forget “Protect and Serve”, meaning the citizen. Forget “Protect and Serve” meaning the police department itself. Cops have entered into a third realm of thinking about how to carry out the job of law enforcement.
Sample Schedule of a Sample Cop in a Sample City
6:00AM-Wake up, and SSS
7:00AM-Drive to precinct in PD vehicle
7:30AM-Don & Doff (a paid procedure, BTW)
8:00AM-Begin shift looking for citizens to disagree with and arrest those found
12:00PM-Have lunch someplace where it will be comped
1:00PM-Continue looking for citizens to disagree with and arrest those found
5:00PM-Feel satisfied at the number of citizens with whom disagreement was established.
5:30PM-De-uniform and drive home in PD vehicle
6:00PM-Go to a bar and drink, hoping to find more citizens with whom to disagree
(Screaming “freeze”, calling for backup, pulling and aiming weapons, and intermittent smart-mouthing are all omitted from the above list, and assumed to take place constantly.)
Consider This Example
A few months back, man was chased by police and caught up with in the street. He knew the chase was over, and gave up. He also knew the drill. Down on the ground, hands out where I can see them. Then comes the cuff and stuff. The perp had no problem with any of that, and in a spirit of cooperation, he went face down and extended his arms. Cops approached with guns drawn, but instead of proceeding with the cuffs, they “ordered” the man to his feet. When he remained on his stomach on the ground with arms extended, shouting “I give up”, the cop tasered him. Even more unable to comply with the “order”, the man twitched and burned until the taser was shut off, at which time the cops raised him to his feet, patted him down, and cuffed him. What is the problem with this story?
That it is untrue? No way. Improper use of a TASER? Nope. That it makes the cops look like the boneheads they are? Well, that is just an unfortunate truth. This story points out that cops don’t know compliance when they see it, that CO-operation doesn’t exist for them, and they resent anybody who understands them better than they understand themselves.
Different Words, Same Meaning
Exceeding a cop in thinking speed is perceived as non-compliance, justifying cop-determined punishment, even when the compliance given is EXACTLY what the cop would have “ordered” anyway. Why does this upset a cop? It robs them. Living in the World of The Narrow Mind, cops injure if they can, kill if they feel like it, but without a doubt, find what a person doesn’t want to do, and then FORCE them to do it, no matter how irrational or contradictory. The man in the above story didn’t let the cop “order” him down to the ground, so the cop “ordered” him to stand up, something cops never want an arrestee to do anyway until he is cuffed. The man’s ability to know the procedure in advance, and then beat them to it, rendering a cop’s “orders” needless, is an act of aggression in the World of the Narrow Mind. So out came the punishment. Tasing.
These cops were faced with the fact they didn’t force the man to act against his will, which according to Academy training, must happen to qualify as compliance. Their need to feel powerful was robbed, so they were not happy. It destroyed the reason for being there. THE COP DIDN’T “WIN”.
What Comes Next
So now what? When a cop isn’t happy, they have no choice but to make a citizen unhappy. They tased him. It’s doubtful a cop can go home at the end of his shift unhappy without violating a domestic law when he gets there. Take it out on the wife, kid, dog, anything. That may calm him down. As Tom Schaffling of the Philadelphia department proved, cops will beat anything including mothers and children at a baby shower when they are unhappy, so when Mr. Toughguy cop comes home from a bad day at work, everybody would do well to hide until he can make an unrelated citizen unhappy. Somebody has to suffer or the job isn’t complete. That is the attitude living in the World of the Narrow Mind, and the only one that gets a cop job.
And cops can’t figure out why citizens want oversight to control their police department. They are bears of very little brain, it seems.