Archive for sheriff’s Department

Lax Background Checks On Law Enforcement Contribute To Innocent Shooting

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Is this just a tragic coincidence or a pattern of poor judgement? Either way, it's something that the public should be made aware of and perhaps demand an accounting of practices and procedures by law enforcement.

Yesterday there was this, according to MailOnline.

'Oh you're gonna shoot me?' The sarcastic last words of straight-A student shot dead by college cop after being stopped for speeding

University student Cameron Redus, 23, was shot and killed by a campus police officer
According to police, the officer tried to pull Redus over for driving erratically and speeding
The two pulled into the parking lot of Redus' apartment block
Minutes later, Redus was shot 'four to six times' by Carter
Redus was a straight-A student set to graduate in May
Alamo Heights police and Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting
Carter is on administrative leave during the investigation

Now what is disturbing is how the Campus Officer was qualified to work for the school to start with, let alone carry a gun. Here's a bit of his background. See if you find any red flags here:

University officials describe him as having 'extensive law enforcement background.'

According to records viewed by My San Antonio, Carter has had nine jobs at eight different agencies over his eight-year law enforcement career.

He rarely stayed in any job for more than a year and the two years and seven months as a campus officer for UIW was the longest stint in his career.

The sketchy details in this story also include that this traffic stop happened off campus, on private property and the confrontation was verbal. Saying 'Oh, you gonna shoot me?' is not an invitation to actually shoot the honor student. Maybe the officer failed his class in Sarcasm 101. And to unload your gun into the unarmed student? Six bullets, four which hit their target at point blank range? Let's not even start with how trained he was in handling a firearm.

This might be a stand alone one-off incident. Something that happened in a small town but couple it with this LA TIMES article from last week:

police polygraph

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department hired dozens of officers even though background investigators found they had committed serious misconduct on or off duty, sheriff's files show.

The department made the hires in 2010 after taking over patrols of parks and government buildings from a little-known L.A. County police force. Officers from that agency were given first shot at new jobs with the Sheriff's Department. Investigators gave them lie detector tests and delved into their employment records and personal lives.

Serious misconduct found in these background check in a big city? A city that has thousands of applications every year? It's bound to happen. But here's one example that could be endemic to police thinking:

David McDonald was hired despite admitting to sheriff's investigators he had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl whom he  kissed and groped. He was 28 at the time.

McDonald had been fired from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department amid allegations he used excessive force on prisoners. A fellow deputy told a supervisor that he didn't want to work with McDonald because he harassed inmates.

So committing sexual assault on a minor with an age difference of 14 years (there's three major felony crimes there alone) wasn't enough to get him disqualified?

This is where the problems are cultivating. The police must do a better job of policing their own. They must be like Hebrew National Hot Dogs -- "We report to a higher authority."

When they turn their back on major crimes within the ranks and let those people patrol us, aren't they contributing toward the further abuse for which this officer was finally dismissed?

Ultimately, about 280 county officers were given jobs, including applicants who had accidentally fired their weapons,  had sex at work and solicited prostitutes, the records show.

These candidates weren't weeded out? Safety on the streets means safety from those who provide it as well. Or so you'd think.

For nearly 100 hires, investigators discovered evidence of dishonesty, such as making untrue statements or falsifying police records. At least 15 were caught cheating on the department's own polygraph exams.

Twenty-nine of those given jobs had previously had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies over concerns about misconduct or workplace performance problems. Nearly 200 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues.

Now Sheriff Baca here in LA has a tough job, and I think he's done a pretty good one under the circumstances. He's lasted a long time, so he's either good or he knows where the bodies are buried -- literally. Yet with my high respect for him and his staff, you really have to wonder about putting people with dubious backgrounds in certain jobs -- especially when personal safety and carrying a gun is involved.

Anyone and everyone has made mistakes. And they shouldn't result lifetime sentences. I believe in second chances. But caution must be paid. Seemingly the ultimate price was paid in Texas for giving an 8th chance. Let's hope we learn from it and it ripples across the law enforcement community nationwide. Our safety is in your hands. Use good judgment. You'll be respected more and we'll be more greatly served.

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Cops Rape Autistic Boy Of Innocence, Then Arrest Him

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bad dog

The parents of a child with any sort of physical or mental disability live a life-long sentence. As long as you have your child you're always be wondering what if they hadn't been born, or developed their affliction. What did my innocent child do to deserve this? What did we parents do to deserve this? Why my child? Why him/her? Why us?

You can ask all you want, but there generally are no answers. None that will provide comfort, anyway.

I speak from first hand experience. My younger brother at four years of age was diagnosed as mentally retarded. Then, with advances in medicine and diagnosis came new names, mentally challenged, trainable mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, then years later autistic and then he was tagged as having Asperger's Syndrome. But giving his condition a title didn't make life any easier.

Now 60, by brother is physically like anyone else his age -- you'd not know or suspect anything unusual about him -- until he opened his mouth. Then you'd realize that you were talking to perhaps a 10 or 12 year old child on an emotional level. Intellectually he's a savant. He read a Spanish/English dictionary one time through, and now knows every Spanish word and it's English meaning. He can't speak the language, but his memory is such that he remembers everything.

Yet just like in Rain Man, there are certain things he can and can't handle. Change is one of those challenges. He's Mr. Routine. If anything becomes out of the ordinary, he'll have a meltdown. Not physically a threat to himself or others, just a total emotional quagmire, lugubrious confusion.

Growing up he never had a friend. Never. And he was used and abused by the local kids. So anxious to be accepted, to be their friend and liked by them, he'd do anything they told him.

You can imagine the hurt and pain that resulted in -- both to him and those who loved him.

On one occasion the front bell rang. My mother opened the door and standing there, with dog poop in his mouth and smeared all over his face was my brother. While my mother went into shock, she saw the other kids scamper away, laughing and shouting "He ate dog shit, he ate dog shit!" as they fled.

So pain goes deep when thinking about the plight of any handicapped child for me. As I've gotten older, I've certainly learned to cope and be tolerant of others who aren't as enlightened as humanity requires.

My heart was crushed and empathy oozed when I read the Raw Story:

Parents of autistic teen arrested in undercover drug sting sue school district

Police used a mentally challenged, special needs student as a shill in a marijuana sting, then arresedt him. They played on the boy's disability... and for what?

If you don't want your stomach turned, don't go on any farther. The video is below if you have the fortitude to watch it. But in it you're going to hear how a 17 year old autistic boy came home from his first day in high school this year with startling news. He had made a friend in art class. A friend. Something he never had before. He was the happiest he'd ever been. And his parents, stunned by this news, had a ray of hope for the first time. Was their boy on the road to a seemingly normal life?

Over a few weeks, the two boys retained their "friendship". The new friend, according to the parents:

Snodgrass-Reason-TV Doug and Catherine Snodgrass

...pressured their lonely and vulnerable son with more than 60 text messages over about three weeks into buying half a joint from a homeless man.

The mentally challenged boy felt he was doing wrong but if it meant he could keep his friendship, he'd do it. The normal kid said they couldn't be friends anymore if he didn't buy a second joint. Reluctantly the challenged boy did buy the joint for his friend. When he handed it over, the normal boy slapped handcuffs on the autistic kid and arrested him. He wasn't a friend or even a real student. He was an undercover cop who used this autistic child in a sting, then arrested him for breaking the law.

The parents weren't even notified that their boy had been put into jail. They had to discover that hours later on their own.

Is this what police work has resulted to? This whole sting netted 22 students, most of them special needs kids. They were used. Want to see the disgusting whole story:

Since his arrest, the autistic boy has relapsed. He's regressed and all because the police in Temecula California and the school department needed to nab some non-violent, victim-less "criminals." These criminals are of their own making.

Is this what police investigations and sting operations are all about? If so, shame on them.

It's the crime against humanity that the police should be charged with. This boy and the others who were co-opted into this sting will bear the scars of this for a lifetime. Perhaps they'd never have lived full, productive, lives. But like my brother, who I love dearly, they'd have had a chance. Now who knows?

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