Thursday, April 02, 2009

New (un)Professionalism Roundup

In town for a conference, a director of Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty is detained by TSA at the St. Louis airport because when asked to explain why he’s carrying $4,700 in cash (it was proceeds from book and ticket sales at the conference), he asks the agents to tell him what law requires him to do so. He managed to surreptitiously record his conversations with TSA officers on a cell phone. The audio is infuriating.

From The Agitator

  • Philly cop takes journalism student through black neighborhood. J-student reports that during the ride-along, the cop refers to residents as “animals,” and the crimes he polices as “typical nigger shit.” He then adds, “People hate us here. They spit at us.” I wonder why.
  • Two Baltimore cops face federal indictment for beating a teen while the kid was shackled, then covering it up with the aid of their sergeant. Incredibly, one of the cops has been suspended with pay since 2004, even though he was convicted of assault in 2005.
  • Phoenix police raid the home of a blogger who had set up a police watch website. They also have been raiding the homes of police officers suspected of giving the guy tips about officer misconduct, including one officer who was blackballed in the department for going public about mishandling of evidence in the city’s crime lab.
  • The Connecticut attorney general’s office has finally released the report of its investigation into the drug raid police shooting of unarmed Gonzalo Guizan in May of last year. The police brought 21 cops to conduct a paramilitary raid, complete with flashbang grenades, on the home of Ronald Terebesi. Guizan was visiting Terebesi at the time. The highly aggressive raid was conducted based on a tip from a prostitute that Terebesi was using illicit drugs, not distributing them. The report does say Guizan had cocaine in his system at the time of the raid, and according to police, tried to wrestle one officer’s gun away from him. Guizan wasn’t a named suspect, and had no prior criminal record.
  • According to those who have viewed it, a dash camera video into a fatal police shooting in Fort Wayne, Indiana last year shows the shooting to be unprovoked. But Fort Wayne’s mayor refuses to make the video available to the public, stating he’s keeping the video under wraps out of respect for the victim’s family. The officer in question has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
  • Federal lawsuit claims police planted a gun after shooting an unarmed 16-year-old kid eight times, killing him. The gun police claim to have found on the scene had no fingerprints (though the police chief said otherwise in public statements), and was shown to have been in police possession at the time of the burglary (it had been seized after a burglary). According to the lawsuit, the police then filed a separate report 10 days later that swapped in a new gun. You can see security stills from the chase here. At least one video expert claims they show no gun. Doesn’t look like it to me, either.
  • The city of Santa Fe has settled with a man beaten by police officers in 2006. The settlement came after the man was able to get a court to force the city to turn over a dash cam video of the beating–a video the city tried to claim didn’t exist. The man was initially charged with felonies for assaulting the police officers. A jury acquitted him in 20 minutes. The two officers who beat him are still on the force.