Author Topic: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch  (Read 43014 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #165 on: February 11, 2020, 05:07:45 am »
Tuesday, 11th February 2o2o
Violent talk is still wrong — even from a cop

by Post Editorial Board

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea was right to condemn violent anti-cop rhetoric on Sunday — and also right on Monday when he slammed one cop’s violent rhetoric about Mayor Bill de Blasio.

As we noted Monday:

Violent rhetoric begets violence, such as the weekend attacks that wounded two members of the NYPD.

Sunday’s tweet from the Sergeants Benevolent Association:

“Mayor de Blasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you!”

“One hundred percent, that’s inappropriate,” Shea told reporters as one of the wounded lawmen left Lincoln Hospital.

“This is a time that we need to come together, first and foremost.”

After all, the SBA was tweeting back at this from de Blasio:

“This was a premeditated assassination attempt against New York’s Finest. It was also an attack on ALL New Yorkers and everything we believe in. This MUST be a city where everyone can live in peace and respect. This individual attempted to destroy that. We will not let him win.”

We’ve been plenty tough on the mayor, including on policing issues.

But he was spot-on there, and any suggestion that he be the target of violence is way, way out of bounds.

Especially now, when New York needs everyone to take the heat down, not up.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #166 on: February 13, 2020, 06:50:12 am »
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
Barr is shredding the rule of law & others also bear blame for this moment
by Elie Mystal

Attorney General William Barr promised he would do this. In a speech before the Federalist Society last November, Barr laid out his plans for a new, shockingly authoritarian form of government—one he claimed we’d actually been living under since the country’s founding. He recast the American Revolution as a desperate fight against parliamentary government and praised the framers for the “miracle” of creating a strong executive branch.

The Republicans in attendance, all members of a group which claims to honor the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution (unless you’re black or a woman who desires medical care) did nothing. They didn’t call the cops. They didn’t call their congresspeople. They didn’t rush home to their universities and raise the alarm about the despotic lunatic who had somehow cajoled his way into real legal power. They just sat there, politely clapping and probably daydreaming about new judges they could appoint. Everybody knew then what damage Barr was willing to do to the American rule of law, and nobody did anything to stop him.

Three months and one impeachment trial later, Barr is making good on his threats. While Donald Trump was declared King by the Republican Senate, it’s Barr who has been truly unleashed. He’s seemed to take acquittal as proof that his monarchal theory of executive power is right, or at the very least has correctly absorbed the information that there is no will in the Republican party to stop him.

Since the end of impeachment, Barr has initiated a crackdown on “sanctuary cities,” filing three lawsuits trying to force the states to bow to Trump’s xenophobia. He’s started the process of investigating Trump’s political rivals (the president’s demand for an investigation into Hunter Biden, with the help of dirt dug up by Rudolph Giuliani, is now under way). And, over the past few days, he has intervened to try to spring Trump’s cronies from punishments for crimes they’ve already been convicted of.

Barr is the star of this newest low for the Trump regime, but the entire Republican party, both inside and outside of government, owns this current assault on the rule of law. Every one of them. Including current darling Mitt Romney. They may furrow their brows and performatively despair, but every Republican is responsible for laying the infrastructure of bad faith and partisan hackery that is bringing the entire Department of Justice to its knees. Republicans crying about Barr now are the same ones who supported the legalized religious fanaticism of John Ashcroft, the legalized torture dreams of Alberto Gonzales, and the unwashed bigotry of Jeff Sessions. William Barr is not an outlier. He is the logical result of a Republican agenda decades in the making.

Republicans are gonna Republican. They will find a way to get to “yes” on any legal theory or assertion of power, anything at all, so long as the Federalist Society tells them that this is the one true way the Founders intended for them to win. The Republicans have always used “law and order” merely as code for keeping women and minorities in check. So, it’s not surprising to see a Republican administration discard the rule of law when they think doing so will advance their agenda. And nobody should be surprised that when Republicans lose power they’ll go back to whining about the rules.

Republicans are to blame for this current abomination, but they had a lot of help. While Republicans have been working tirelessly to bring about one-party rule in this country, so-called institutionalists have stood by, clutched pearls, and myopically managed their little aisle of the store while the rest of the building burned. Now that their institutions are under attack, they wonder why there’s nobody left to come to the rescue.
This week, four assistant US attorneys resigned, seemingly in protest of Barr’s meddling in the Roger Stone prosecution. These people were veterans of the Robert Mueller investigation and dedicated public servants.

Their resignations are noted but come too late in the game, with too little impact. The time to resign over William Barr was when William Barr was appointed. It was when Barr came into office on the wings of a 20-page memo—the one in which he argued that the President of the United States could not be found guilty of obstruction of justice—that resignations might have shown real institutional resistance to this man. It was when Barr was allowed to put a stop to the Mueller investigation that the Mueller people should have spoken out. It was after the executive power speech in November that people of good faith and conscience should have publicly broken ranks with the man.

And you’ll note, it’s only the four guys who worked on this one Stone case who finally decided to quit rather than be part of the normalization of Barr’s effort. There are around 5,300 assistant US Attorneys in this country, all under Barr’s ultimate authority. Many of them understand that what Barr is doing is wrong. All of them could be employed with high-paying jobs at law firms, lobbying groups, or law schools by the time their next mortgage payment is due. En masse resignations from them might spark the public consciousness, or at least cripple the ability of their offices to do their work for a time.

But almost all of them are staying.

It’s the classic, useless, institutionalist response.

Barr isn’t directly threatening their work (today) so they shrug and stay and fiddle with their cases while the rest of the institution burns.

They’ll tell themselves they’re the “adults in the room.”

They’ll write books and give speeches (later) about all the “really bad” things they think they’re preventing from happening by staying.

Oh, they’ll take the lucrative job offer eventually—putting kids through college is expensive, you know—just not now, and not all at once, when their protest could mean something.

When Barr comes for one of their cases and undermines their work and Trump calls them out on Twitter, they’ll find their courage.

But not a moment before.

It’s not just the lawyers.

The Trump administration has exposed this kind of institutional rot throughout the government.

Deep state, my ass.

Our government is full of people who know better but choose to normalize this authoritarian regime.

It would be one thing if the people who stayed understood themselves to be saboteurs—double agents working behind the lines to actively destroy the regime at great personal risk.
But they’re not.

And we know they’re not.

We know because we haven’t seen any of the documents.

Trump’s tax returns remain a secret, Trump’s conversations are apparently not recorded, Trump’s internal machinations are never released unless Adam Schiff subpoenas them, and only then if the guy who has the texts isn’t writing a book.

Nobody wants to be the next Edward Snowden.

Very few people even want to be Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman—especially now.

Opposition is what happens when you are willing to fight for something.

Resistance is what happens when you are willing to die for something.

Trump has faced near constant opposition, but he has yet to face true resistance.

The Republicans are complicit, the institutions are weak, and the Democrats… we keep waiting for a savior (Barack! Bernie!) who will swoop in and fix everything. 

Barr knows this.

He knows the only pushback he’ll receive will take the form of bitching and moaning.

He knows the very institution he attacks will roll over for him.

He knows that whenever his tenure is up, there will be a car waiting for him to take him to Fox News, not to jail.

Barr is happening because we let him happen.

He is fueled by our slacktivism.

I don’t know how many thousands of protestors would have to demonstrate for how many weeks to grind the Justice Department to a halt and force Barr to resign and flee into exile in Ukraine.

But I know our country is too decadent and weak to do that.

Barr knows it too.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #167 on: February 21, 2020, 03:37:37 pm »
Friday, 21st February 2o2o
Oakland Police Chief Ousted!
by Associated Press

(OAKLAND, California) — The Oakland Police Commission voted unanimously Thursday to fire the city's first female police chief without cause.

Commission chair, Regina Jackson, said Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick's ouster comes after “the Oakland Police Department’s failure to increase compliance with the court-ordered reforms” required under a federal settlement more than a decade ago.

The decision was supported by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who appointed Kirkpatrick in 2017.

"The Police Commission is the community’s voice in our system of checks and balances, and I respect its authority and its role," Schaaf said in a statement.

“In 2016, Oakland voters created the strongest and most independent Police Commission in America. Tonight, the commissioners exercised their power," she added.

Oakland Police Officers’ Association President Barry Donelan expressed disappointment over the firing and said Kirkpatrick was well-respected in the department.

“But fighting for Oakland’s residents and Police Officers alike does not endear you to Oakland’s unelected Police Commissioners and our Mayor,” he said.

The police force has been under federal court supervision since the 2003 settlement of a civil rights lawsuit that accused officers of planting evidence, beating suspects and other wrongdoing.

Kirkpatrick took over the troubled department in January 2017 amid allegations that a group of officers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area were having sex with the teen daughter of an Oakland dispatcher.

During that time, allegations came to light that Oakland officers had exchanged racist text messages and emails.

Kirkpatrick also had been at odds with the department's federal monitor over the discipline she handed out to officers who shot and killed a homeless man in 2018.

Darren Allison, assistant chief of police, will serve as acting chief until an interim leader is appointed.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #168 on: March 07, 2020, 05:57:32 am »
Saturday, 7th March 2o2o
NYPD and NYC Law Department destroyed cop’s notes on alleged racist arrest quota system, judge rules

by Stephen Rex Brown

The NYPD and city Law Department destroyed a cop’s memo book that documented an alleged racist arrest quota system, a judge has ruled.

Bronx cop Pedro Serrano says he routinely kept notes in real time of the allegations at the heart of his suit claiming supervisors at the 40th Precinct ordered arrests of black and Hispanic men.

The supervisors allegedly treated minority cops more harshly than white colleagues and denied promotions if they refused.

“Serrano alleges that he wrote everything down in his memo books, including information regarding the quota, downgrading felonies, a hostile work environment, general corruption, and retaliations against him in the 40th Precinct,” Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave wrote in a decision late Thursday, imposing a “serious sanction” on the city.

On February 1st, 2013, Serrano filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint claiming discrimination and retaliation and told the NYPD he’d lawyered up.

Just over two weeks later, an NYPD Integrity Control Officer took Serrano’s memo book.

That was the last time he saw his notes.

Five years later, the city Law Department — after initially saying they would turn the memo book over to Serrano’s attorneys — admitted they didn’t have it.

“The city chose to ignore the ethical guidelines in which our legal system is based by destroying Pedro Serrano’s memo books,” Serrano’s attorney John Scola said.

Both the Law Department and NYPD were culpable, he added.

That missing piece of evidence had unfairly harmed the lawsuit Serrano and three other cops are pursuing against the city, the judge ruled.

If the case reaches a jury, a judge will instruct them that “there is a likelihood that the destroyed memo book would have supported Serrano’s claims of adverse employment action and retaliation,” Cave wrote.

Such an instruction puts the city at a major disadvantage.

The decision is the latest development in the long-running, unusually contentious quotas case.

The suit has revealed allegations of a “collars for dollars” program in which cops who arrested blacks and Hispanics were rewarded with overtime.

A supervisor in NYPD Transit District 34 ordered that Asian, Jewish and white people — known as “soft targets” — not be slapped in cuffs, according to the suit.

Attorneys for Serrano had sought to depose former NYPD Commissioners Bill Bratton and James O’Neill about the alleged quotas.

Cave denied those requests, ruling the questioning of the ex-top cops was unnecessary.

The Law Department stood by its argument that photos of five pages of the memo book were sufficient to have not harmed Serrano’s case.

Two of the photographed pages are blank and one has only three lines of information.

“We take our discovery obligations seriously. The court denied plaintiffs much of the irrelevant information they were seeking to support their meritless claims," Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #169 on: March 12, 2020, 05:20:17 am »
Thursday, 12th March 2o2o
Ex-LAPD officer sentenced to 40 years to life in 2015 murder of man outside bar
by Phil Helsel

A former Los Angeles police officer who was convicted of killing a man in 2015 while off duty outside a Southern California bar has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Henry Solis, 32, was a probationary officer at the time of the March 13, 2015, killing in downtown Pomona.

He was subsequently fired.

He was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury in February and sentenced Wednesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Solis got into a fight with Salome Rodriguez, 23, then "pursued Rodriguez on foot and shot him multiple times," according to a murder warrant filed in the case.

The district attorney's office said Solis was standing outside the bar before he pursued and killed Rodriguez.

Solis fled to Mexico and was arrested two months after the slaying.

Federal authorities said Solis' father walked his son into Mexico using a pedestrian bridge at the Paso Del Norte border crossing in Texas and then lied about it to investigators.

Victor Manuel Solis was charged with making a false statement to law enforcement.

He was convicted by a jury in June 2015 and sentenced to three years' probation and a $1,000 fine, according to court documents.

Pomona is a city of around 150,000 east of Los Angeles.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #170 on: March 13, 2020, 06:32:11 am »
Friday, 13th March 2o2o
Philadelphia police commander accused of indecent assault goes to trial
by Kristen Johanson

(PHILADELPHIA, Pa) - A former Philadelphia police commander will head to trial on attempted sex assault and indecent assault charges.

He is accused of forcing himself on at least two women.

At his preliminary hearing, the first accuser said she was working overnight when then-Inspector Carl Holmes called her to his office and forced his hands down her pants, as she says she went into shock and froze, but eventually got out of the room.

But the defense tried to poke holes in her story, asking for the specific date or month, which she couldn't recall, and questioning why she didn't officially report it until seven years later.

The second woman took the stand and said when she went to a party with Holmes, he followed her outside and forcefully pulled her in his car.

She said she felt like she had to go because he was her boss and she had just gotten a promotion.

Inside the Philadelphia police car, she said he forced his hands down her pants also, and forced her to grope him as she told him she wanted to just get home.

The defense also tried to poke holes in her story, and through a line of questioning, tried to infer whether the act was consensual.

The judge disagreed and held Holmes on all charges.

A third woman who was supposed to testify, but she lives outside the city and was rescheduled to take the stand in April for her preliminary hearing as she has other health issues and was advised not to travel by her doctors due to the Covid-19.

He'll be arraigned later this month.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #171 on: March 15, 2020, 11:23:32 am »
Sunday, 15th March 2o2o
Former Bossier City police officer charged with murder attempts an escape!
by Alex Onken

(SHREVEPORT, La.) - Former Police Officer and Bossier Parish sheriff’s deputy John Hardy faces new charges in Caddo Parish following a failed escape attempt.

According to Cpl. Angie Willhite, Shreveport police spokeswoman, said the incident happened just after noon on Friday, March 13th.

Hardy requested medical attention and was sent to Oschner-LSU Health Medical Center in Shreveport.

He was escorted by a Bossier Deputy Sheriff.

Cpl. Willhite said that Hardy attempted to disarm the deputy sheriff unsuccessfully — and grabbing her pepper spray and using it on her.
He then attempted to get away — but was stopped by medical staff and LSU Health police.

Hardy was then sent back to Bossier Parish Maximum Security Jail.

He now faces a charge of attempting to disarm a peace officer and battery on a peace officer.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 11:28:47 am by Battle »

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #172 on: March 20, 2020, 12:56:19 pm »
Friday, 20th March 2020
Peekskill Police Officer Indicted In Abuse Case
by Lanning Taliaferro

(PEEKSKILL, NY) — A Peekskill police officer accused of sexually abusing a woman he was investigating was arraigned on a 20-count indictment, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced.

Michael Agovino is accused by a Peekskill woman of demanding sexual favors while he investigated a larceny case in which she was accused.

He was arrested in February.

"This indictment shows that no police officer should ever get away with abusing the power entrusted to them," Scarpino said.

"And once again, we want to assure victims of any crime they should feel safe coming forward. We are here to help."

The charges in the indictment are based on several incidents when, prosecutors alleged, Agovino, while in his Peekskill police uniform, coerced the victim, illegally entered her home, and sexually abused her.

At least four separate incidents took place on several dates starting July 9th, 2019 and ending January 22nd, 2020 when the victim reported it.

Unbeknownst to Agovino, the final interaction in the victim’s apartment was audio recorded, Scarpino alleged.

The 33-year-old is also accused of filing false reports.
Agovino, a Palisades, NY resident, was arraigned before Westchester County Court Judge Susan Cacace on:
3 counts of Burglary in the Second Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony, a class C felony
2 counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, a class C felony
2 counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class D felony
1 count of Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony, a class D felony
1 count of Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree, a class D felony
1 count of Stalking in the First Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony, a class D felony
1 count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony
4 counts of Official Misconduct, a misdemeanor
2 counts of Forcible Touching/Forcibly touch other person’s sexual/intimate parts, a misdemeanor
3 counts of Coercion in the Third Degree, a misdemeanor

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #173 on: March 27, 2020, 10:50:23 pm »
Saturday, 28th March 2o2o
More Than 500 NYPD Members Test Positive For COVID-19; 4,000 Call Out Sick
by Marta Zielinska

(NEW YORK, NY) - The Covid-19 outbreak is taking its toll on the NYPD.

As of Friday, 442 uniformed officers and 70 civilian members have tested positive for the Covid-19.

Another 4,111 NYPD uniformed employees were on sick report, accounting for 11.4% of the Department's uniformed workforce.

This comes as the department suffered its first loss from COVID-19 on Thursday while there are reports that NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller is hospitalized with virus symptoms.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea posted a video on Twitter confirming city custodial assistant Dennis Dickson, who served with the NYPD since 2006, died from complications related to the Covid-19 at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn.

"Today we lost one of our own," Shea said.

"Custodial Assistant Dennis Dickson, a member of the NYPD since 2006. When Hurricane Sandy struck, he worked 17 days straight and since the coronavirus has struck New York City he's been keeping the NYPD safe so our officers can keep you safe."

The 62-year-old Dickson was a custodian assigned to Police Headquarters.

"Mr. Dickson was a revered member of the custodial staff at Police Headquarters once spending 17 days at the headquarters building during Super Storm Sandy assisting with emergency cleanup operations," the department said in a statement.

"Mr. Dickson was again on the front line cleaning and disinfecting 1 Police Plaza so that our personnel could be here safely, allowing them to continue to serve the people of the City Of New York."

The commissioner said the NYPD family is sending thoughts and prayers to Dickson's friends and family.

"The whole NYPD is grieving," Shea said.

According to multiple reports, Miller is hospitalized in serious condition with Covid-19 symptoms and is awaiting testing.

In an interview Friday morning with WCBS 880, Shea told anchor Steve Scott that he would not go into specifics on individual members and their health, but said he's spoken to Miller and he is doing well and will be okay.

Shea said keeping his members safe is paramount and for now they have the supplies they need to protect their members but the department is making the accommodations to get more equipment where needed, when it's needed.

"We're trying to be conscious, make decisions about how we conserve, but we do not want to be in a position where we have them on reserve and they're not in the hands of those who need them," Shea said.

"It's an ongoing process, and it's something that we're definitely concerned about."

As more people are self-isolating and staying home, Shea said the overall major crime reported to the department has declined significantly, but they are seeing some spikes.

"We're seeing a drop in radio calls, we're seeing a drop in people on the street for the obvious reasons," Shea said.

"We had a tough day yesterday in New York City with several homicides, we have some burglaries occurring, some car breaks occurring throughout the city. So the city that never sleeps is slumbering a little bit, but its definitely not sleeping."

Shea assures the public that the men and women of the NYPD are out on the streets to keep New Yorkers safe, fighting traditional crime, enforcing social distancing rules, making sure establishments are closed and even delivering groceries throughout the city to senior citizens who should not be venturing out at the moment.

"It's a struggle and we're pulling from different parts of the department, but we are very well resourced," Shea said.

"So we're doing all of that and we will get through this together," Shea said.

Officers have been enforcing social distancing with the assistance of clergy and community leaders and educating the public on how to flatten the curve.

The NYPD is using its helicopters over parks and pedestrian plazas to assist patrol officers on the ground.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #174 on: March 28, 2020, 11:37:46 am »
Saturday, 28th March 2o2o
'Officers Are Scared Out There'
by Associated Press

(WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan) — More than a fifth of Detroit's police force is quarantined; two officers have died from Covid-19 and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police.

For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work.

An increasing number of police departments around the country are watching their ranks get sick as the number of Covid-19 cases explodes across the U.S.

The growing tally raises questions about how laws can and should be enforced during the pandemic, and about how departments will hold up as the virus spreads among those whose work puts them at increased risk of infection.

“I don’t think it’s too far to say that officers are scared out there,” said Sgt. Manny Ramirez, president of Fort Worth Police Officers Association.

Nearly 690 officers and civilian employees at police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Associated Press survey this week of over 40 law enforcement agencies, mostly in major cities.

The number of those in isolation as they await test results is far higher in many places.

Anticipating shortages, police academies are accelerating coursework to provide reinforcements.

Masks, gloves and huge volumes of hand sanitizer have been distributed.

Roll call and staff meetings are happening outside, over the phone or online.

Precinct offices, squad cars and equipment get deep cleaned in keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

Yet, many are worried it's not enough.

This week, groups representing American police and fire chiefs, sheriffs, mayors and county leaders asked the acting-president in a letter to use the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to ensure they have enough protective gear.

“We’re in war footing against an invisible enemy and we are on the verge of running out" of protective supplies, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

“We’ve got hospitals calling police departments, police departments calling each other, and it’s time to nationalize in terms of our response.”

Police are accustomed to meeting staffing crunches by canceling vacations and leave, putting officers on 12-hour on, 12-hour off schedules and, when necessary, by shifting detectives and other specialized personnel to patrol.

And officers are used to risk.

It's part of the job.

But at a time when Americans are being advised to stay six feet from each other to combat an insidious virus that can live on surfaces for days, the perils and anxieties are new.

This crisis is unlike any American police forces have dealt with before, said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

“We're in unprecedented territory here,” said Davis, who led the police department when the Boston Marathon bombing happened in 2013.

Streets are less crowded as people hunker in their homes.

But police must prepare for the possibility of civil unrest among people who become anxious or unhappy about government orders or hospitals that get overrun with patients, he said.

In New York, which has rapidly become the American epicenter of the pandemic, more than 500 NYPD personnel have come down with COVID-19, including 442 officers, and the department's head of counter-terrorism was hospitalized with symptoms.

Two NYPD employees have died.

On a single day this week, Friday, 4,111 uniformed officers called in sick, more than 10% of the force and more than three times the daily average.

Leadership at America’s largest police department maintains that it’s continuing enforcement as usual.

But they’ve also said that if the disease continues to affect manpower the NYPD could switch patrol hours, or pull officers from specialized units and other parts of the city to fill gaps -- steps also taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

But the U.S. is now leading the world in the number of confirmed cases; more than 100,000.

Over 1,700 people have died in the country. And doctors say cases are nowhere near peaking.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, based in Washington, D.C., said police can't just go out of business.

“They need to have ways so that if one person goes down, who’s going to back that person up, so departments are having to be innovative,” he said.

In big cities and remote areas alike, officers are being told to issue tickets or summons rather than making arrests for minor crimes.

More crime reports are being taken by phone or online.

These steps to limit exposure come as police must beef up patrols in shuttered business districts and manage spikes in domestic violence.

In Detroit, officials say many of those quarantined should return to duty soon.

In the meantime, an assistant chief recently released from quarantine is heading up day-to-day operations while Chief James Craig is out.

Many officers are also worried about whether they'll be able to draw workers compensation benefits if they get sick, since Covid-19 not spelled out in the list of covered conditions.

“No one really knows,” said Robert Jenkins, president of the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police union, which covers 22,000 officers.

“Unfortunately, we have to be out there. We don’t have a choice.”

While the pandemic has so far hit American cities hardest, rural law enforcement agencies with few staff are in some ways most vulnerable.

In the tiny West Texas community of Marfa, Police Chief Estevan Marquez instructed his four officers not to pull over cars for minor traffic infractions, especially if they're passing through from areas already hit by the virus.

He can't afford for anyone to get sick.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #175 on: March 29, 2020, 11:13:05 pm »
Monday, 30th March 2o2o
Footage shows NYPD officer planting marijuana in car during search for the second time
by Francis Akhalbey

Lasou Kuyateh was pulled over by NYPD officers, Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran, in 2018 after allegedly smelling marijuana emanating from his car.

Kuyateh, who was with three other passengers, denied having the substance in possession, despite admitting they had been smoking it, The New York Times reported.

But after Pastran searched the car and found nothing, Erickson allegedly found a marijuana cigarette when he took his turn to search.

While searching, his body camera was switched off.

He, however, turned it back on after allegedly discovering the marijuana cigarette.

In the footage of the incident that was obtained by The New York Times, Kuyateh could even be heard shouting Erickson was putting something in his car.

Adamant Erickson planted the marijuana cigarette in his car, Kuyateh rejected a plea deal.

He, however, spent two weeks in jail.

Charges were eventually dropped by prosecutors after it was established the body camera footage, which was the key piece of evidence, was switched off prior to Erickson discovering the substance, according to The Intercept.

Prosecutors also established Erickson, who alleged the camera went off as a result of a “technical difficulty”, might need a lawyer.

This, however, isn’t the first time Erickson has been accused of planting marijuana in a car.

A few weeks after the first incident, the NYPD officer was caught on camera in similar act.

The video, which was obtained by The Intercept, surfaced almost two years after the incident.

This time also, the suspect, Jason Serrano, denied having the substance in possession.

The car he was in was also pulled over after Erickson and Pastran alleged they smelled marijuana emanating from the car.

“There’s nothing to say, the video speaks for itself,” Serrano said.

“I didn’t have no marijuana, I had no weed, I had no drugs, I wasn’t driving, it wasn’t my car, the taillight wasn’t broken.”

During the stop, Serrano was forced out of the car, despite telling the officers he could not move as a result of a wound he sustained in a stabbing incident which resulted in him having an abdominal surgery.
“They said I was resisting arrest, but I just didn’t want to hit the floor, the only thing I was thinking about was this,” he told The Intercept, as he pointed to his stomach.

“I still had staples in me. … I couldn’t even stand up straight.”

After several searches, Erickson, in the video, can be seen placing what looks like a marijuana bud in the car’s drink holder on two separate occasions.

According to the news platform, there are similarities with the correspondence between the officers in both incidents, including Erickson saying,

“We have to find something. … You know what I mean?”, and asking Pastran,

“You good?”

Unlike Kuyateh, Serrano, who only saw the footage of the traffic stop for the first time earlier this year, took a plea deal.

“They had no reason to stop me at all, besides harassment,” Serrano said.

“They couldn’t even tell me what I did wrong. Oh, you smell weed? You smell weed because you placed the little nugget there. You smell weed because it’s on you, that’s why.”

Erickson and Pastran are still at post.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #176 on: April 15, 2020, 06:39:36 pm »
Wednesday, 15th April 2o2o
Officer charged with murder after 'love triangle' gone wrong
by Tracy Connor/ Associated Press

(BIRMINGHAM, Alabama) — A Birmingham police detective was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of shooting and killing a woman in a slaying the police chief described as a “love triangle gone wrong.”

Police took Alfreda Fluker, 39, into custody at her home in west Birmingham, reported.

Officers responding Friday night to an alert by the city’s gunfire detection system found Kanisha Necole Fuller, 43, shot multiple times inside an unmarked police car in a city park.

Fuller was later pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

Fuller was in the vehicle with an off-duty Birmingham police detective, police said.

The male detective was not injured.

“This is not a press conference that I wanted to give today or any other day, but it’s about the facts and the realities of life,″ Police Chief Patrick Smith said Saturday.

“It’s a press conference about a love triangle gone wrong, something that happened very bad this morning.”

Smith said he didn’t know the exact relationship between the two officers and the slain woman.

“It’s something that’s been going on for a little while,” he said,

“but without our knowledge.”

Fluker, who was also off-duty at the time of the shooting, has been with the department for 15 years and was assigned to a crime reduction unit.

Investigators presented the case to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for review, and a capital murder warrant was obtained against Fluker, police said.

She was being held without bond in the Jefferson County Jail.


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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #177 on: April 19, 2020, 03:43:12 am »
Sunday, 19th April 2o2o
Racine County sheriff refuses to enforce Safer at Home order

by WISN (an ABC News affiliate)

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling is taking a stand against Governor Tony Evers' Safer at Home order.

On Friday, Schmaling released a statement that said he will not enforce the order because he believes it violates businesses' and citizens' constitutional rights.
It is unclear if Schmaling has the authority to defy the Governor's order.

People in Racine County had mixed feelings on the subject.

"There's too much of a risk there. People are dying. People are getting really sick. Elderly and some in between. I personally think it should be enforced," said Jaron Turner, who was driving to Illinois on Friday.

"I think the Governor is right. (The sheriff) should be enforcing (the order). (The Governor) has more power than the sheriffs themselves. They should listen to the governor because there's a reason we should stay home and be safe," said Manuel Ortiz from Union Grove.

"At his level, I mean he has the right to say that," said Ken Kurt, from the Village of Yorkville.

"I guess he is in defiance to a point, but as the level goes down, what are you going to do? I know I wouldn't want to be the one to make that decision."

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #178 on: April 20, 2020, 06:28:49 am »
Monday, 20th April 2o2o
St. Albans officer facing kidnapping and sexual assault charges

by WCAX (A CBS News affiliate)

(ST. ALBANS, Vermont) A St. Albans Police officer will be in court Monday after police say he and his father kidnapped a woman.

The Vermont State Police investigation began Friday after a woman told them she had been sexually assaulted.

Authorities say they learned that between 2003 and 2007 the 26 year-old victim was repeatedly threatened with bodily harm and sexually assaulted by Zachary Pigeon, 29, a police officer.
To stop her from coming forward, police say Zachary and his father, Allen Pigeon, 56, went into her house on Sunday, April 5th, while she was sleeping and forcibly removed her, physically assaulted her and threatened her.

Zachary's charges include aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, simple assault and obstruction of justice.

Allen's charges include kidnapping, burglary, simple assault and obstruction of justice.

They are both being held without bail and are scheduled to be in court Monday.

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Re: Disappearing Excellence: The Senate & Loretta Lynch
« Reply #179 on: May 12, 2020, 06:41:35 am »
Tuesday, 12th May 2o2o
Police report surfaces on how Broward sheriff killed a man in 1993 as a teen-ager
by Eileen Kelley

A police report from 1993 has surfaced, outlining how Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony shot and killed a man in Philadelphia when he was 14.

For 27 years, the sheriff has kept the killing of 18-year-old Hector “Chino” Rodriguez a secret.

It’s a revelation that came back to haunt him while he’s in a heated high-profile campaign for election this August.

The report, which briefly summarizes the circumstances of the killing, apparently contradicts some details that Tony offered in the past week of what happened all those years ago, a case he says was self defense.

Tony has said he never was arrested because he was a juvenile at the time he killed Rodriguez.

The report, though, says he was arrested a day after the killing when he turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Tony was held as an adult until a week later when the case was moved to juvenile court.

Seven months later a judge found Tony not guilty after a trial, the report says.

Where the shooting happened is another factor.

Tony told the Sun Sentinel that he and his brother had run inside their home when the 18-year-old chased them.

He said he ran into his house to get a gun, Rodriguez followed him and so he shot him.

The 1993 report says the scene of the homicide was in front of Tony’s house.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reviewing whether Tony may have violated the law when he failed to disclose on official law enforcement paperwork that he was arrested or detained by a police agency in the past.

Tony’s campaign said 27-year-old report shows the sheriff was acquitted of the killing, as he has been saying.

It also has said that his acquittal means he has no criminal history, so the campaign maintains he filled out the law enforcement forms properly.

“We are happy to see the release of the police report from the time of the incident," his campaign said.

"There is now absolute confirmation of what we have been saying all along: that Sheriff Tony defended himself and his brother’s life, and that after witness testimony heard by a judge, he was found not guilty.

"Further, it is confirmation that Sheriff Tony has no criminal record. With this concrete evidence fully vindicating the Sheriff, it is time to stop these desperate attempts by opposing campaigns to retry Sheriff Tony based on a traumatic incident from when he was a 14-year old boy, and move on to focusing on the real issues that affect the future and safety of Broward County residents.”

News of the killing has stunned South Florida since it broke a little more than a week ago.

Days later racy photos of Tony from a party-like event also surfaced.

Tony’s campaign say the matters amount to a smear campaign.

Tony’s father, Gregory Scott, told a newspaper at the time of the killing that he had seen his son and Rodriguez laughing together shortly before the shooting.

Tony has denied that Rodriguez was a friend and has told the paper that details of the event are murky.

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