Report: Rockford Police, Stan North & Oda Poole Helped Create Situation

Posted: June 16, 2010 by parchangelo in Barmore Shooting, Local Issues, Police Misconduct, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases

History was made today! The ordinary citizens of Rockford, Illinois, were given a unheard of look at the short-comings of our police department when the City of Rockford released the results of the independent review and report it commissioned from Independent Assessment & Monitoring LLP, of Oakland, CA, of the events that led to the Mark Anthony Barmore shooting and his death on August 24, 2009. The findings of the independent review are posted on the Rockford Register-Star website here, including an podcast of a press conference conducted today.

We urge readers to fully read and pay attention to the details provided in the FULL REPORT also posted on the same RRSTAR page. Any Rockfordian who reads the full report and the 27 changes the review recommends will be deeply concerned over the inadequacies shown to exist at the Rockford Police Department and the indications scattered throughout the report showing the department’s tendency to disregard and downplay critical incidents such the Barmore shooting.

There has been a lot of community criticism focused on  Barmore’s criminal history and the alleged shortcomings of other members of the Barmore family, as well as the actions of the Browns. Most commentors have implied (if not stating outright) that Barmore’s death was deserved and that the concerns expressed by other individuals are not legitimite but seek to profit at the expense of the police officers who, it is maintained, acted correctly.  The release of today’s report should put to rest all of these criticisms as it reveals a substantial and impartial basis for questioning the legitimacy of the actions taken by officers Oda Poole and Stan North during their attempt to arrest Mark Anthony Barmore.The most critical parts of the review findings with respect to Poole and North focus upon the lack of judgment it is alleged that they exhibited and a disregard for recommended police procedure they showed before confronting Barmore. The report concludes that their actions worked to create a confrontational situation that unnecessarily endangered themselves and the public.

The report goes on though to point out as contributory, a cascade of multiple deficiencies in training, supervision, investigation, and event reporting and tracking throughout the Rockford Police Department which exist and which reveal severe cracks in the foundation of the Department’s operations. At bedrock, the fault of the Barmore shooting may rest with individual decisions made by Poole and North, but the Rockford Police Department is far from blameless. The city was recently criticized for holding back for several years the release of the results of a survey of police members critical of Department operations. Now, the city has to be commended for being upfront in publicly releasing these findings. We certainly thank the city wholeheartedly and hope that it’s action was prompted by it’s recognition of the need for fundamental change in the police department rather than the pressure of the public scrutiny from the Barmore shooting.

No local police survey can compare to this thorough evaluation and comparison of the Rockford Police Department’s policy and operations to that of the comparable, modern “best practices” of other municipal police departments in the nation. The Rockford Police Department falls far short in a number of areas. Two of these primarily concern us:

We have pointed out the apparent unwillingness of the Rockford Police Department (unlike most) to videotape and audiotape suspect interrogations and how that lack can contribute to police abuses in evidence gathering. This report cites in several locations how the absence of the Department’s use of photographs, video and audio taping of the officers, witnesses, and the evidence hindered the reviewers investigation and fails to meet both professional standards and best practices used in the industry. While the review recommends these practices be revised in relation to officer shootings, there is no reason why they should not also apply to normal casework.

Scattered throughout the reviewers attempts to investigate the Barmore shooting are their findings of procedures not followed and evidence not gathered which had they been obtained could have or would likely have been critical of the individual actions of both Poole and North. In other words, failings in the follow-up and investigation of the Barmore shooting subsequent to the shooting. Reading between the lines of the report in our opinion shows an internal disinclination or inability within the Rockford Police Department to question the actions of it’s officers along the lines of misconduct. This can have serious ramifications to individual accountability within the department and to community relations. A police department that cannot police itself, cannot be trusted to be impartial by the community which it serves. It gives rise to incidents such as the Barmore shooting. Bottom line: there are still individuals who believe that if the House of Grace Church had been located on the “good side” of town, then Poole and North would probably have thought twice before acting as they did in pursuit of Barmore. And, many have pointed out that the Department’s and City’s initial quick disregard of community outrage over the incident served no one’s interests of justice.

We simply cannot urge our readers more to read the FULL REPORT for all the findings!

Some questions remain. The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office acted quickly in December in ensuring a Grand Jury review of possible criminal charges for Poole and North; did the office recognize or have advance wind of the validity of possible future review findings such as these? Could that Grand Jury review be re-opened? If the Brown’s can be prosecuted for “supposed mistruths”, should not Poole and North be prosecuted for multiple failures to follow established procedures and any omissions of information? It will be interesting to see. Certainly today’s findings open both officers, the City and the Rockford Police Department to possible liability in civil court.

Last, and where was our local media investigation in all of this?

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Comments
  1. Liz says:

    I think your facts are very mis-leading and very incorrect. Boy if the tables were turned, you would have nothing to do with this. There are enough problems going on in this community and racial tension is high and very unecessary. We need to support our law enforcement for the job they do every single day they walk out that door and never know if they will be returning home after their shift.Your comment about Wanke, a non violent theft? Are you kidding me? When is any crime considered non violent, theft? You mean to tell me if someone walked into the bank and robbed it and never showed a gun or claimed to have one, their would be a lesser charge of non violent bank robbery? PLEASE!!! Your suggestion for the Atty Clark family and others to basically suck it up is just a lack of poor judgement on your part. Instead of blame games, why dont you go to the city of Rockford and help take action in this city where crime is on the rise. You people only get involved when you want to,. You make this racist.

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    • parchangelo says:

      Liz, sorry you disagree, but the facts are not ours. They are there in the report for everyone to read, and they are not complementary about the actions of the Rockford Police department and how it handled the Barmore situation. The Barmore case was national news—for a reason; because it was an outrageously unnecessary confrontational situation that escalated out of control. Other police departments in the country are cited when they have similar situations and we cannot just sit back and applaud our police department when they cross the line in some manner. We do support our police; we pay them to do the job they choose to do, and, sorry if we expect them to do it properly. The racial tensions in town exist for reasons; because the actions of the police have created a great deal of distrust in specific areas of our community. If the police expect unconditional and uncritical support, then they have to change how they deal with those communities and residents. The Barmore situation was unmistakeably racial in nature. Anyone who lives on the west side of town will observe that the police are very aggressive during arrests there. You may not feel this way, but many believe that if the North and Poole had been in the same situation with respect to a suspect and a church on the east side of town that they would have reined in their adrenelin and thought twice about confronting Barmore without backup when he was in a closet with no exit and they were in close proximity to children and other members of the public.

      When the police show poor judgement and make mistakes, we need to correct them, not keep silent. Winnebago County hardly has a record of beating up on its police. Poole is the first officer to be discharged from the department for any sort of wrongdoing; our law enforcement often seems to be held to a much more lenient standard regarding conduct than your average citizen. Witness the Boomer case, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s department scandals, and the Rockford Park Police; all situations concerning actions which would have resulted in criminal charges to any private citizen. Sure the police have elected to do tough jobs, but so do emergency and military personnel, teachers, and people who care for others, such as the mentally ill. They too deal with unpredictable situations and individuals and often without proper training or backup. And, no one can ever guarantee that anyone will survive any given day because death is unpredictable for all of us.

      Yes, Wanke’s ALLEGED crime was a non-violent one, and he disputes his involvement. The suspect stole a laptop from an unoccupied room. That is a different situation from anyone walking into an occupied bank regardless of any gun. Neither are we suggesting that the Clark family “suck it up”? We would prefer that, if possible, they hire investigators to supplement the police investigation. We don’t believe anyone should just sit back and not question what the police say.

      Last, we have previously worked extensively to make Rockford a better and safer community. During the past thirty years, we have found that Rockford does not want to evolve; it is not receptive to change and new ideas and so, we are moving on.

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  2. Helen Jones says:

    Hello, I just now found this site and have read the above article on the shotting and murder of Mark Barmore. I attempted to read the report link, but it directed me to rrstar, and not surprisingly they have taken down the link. by any chance do you have access to it so that those of us who failed to read it during 2010 can read it today?

    I am pleased to see this site out here and it is only through the Lord’s grace that soon these events will lead to the exposure of not just the Winnebago Sheriff department, RPD, States Attorney office, Court Appointed Defenders, such as Michael J. Phillips, but the 17th Judicial system and many, many of it’s judges. My name is Helen F. Jones, I am the mother of Omarrian T. Jones, convicted murderer of Leticia and Reynalto Cardino. I do not write to defend my son, in good conscious, I cannot do that. Instead, I am attempting to submit a email of response to this ongoing, very prevalent problem to you, because of the serious infractions and illegal criminal activity I underwent during my experience with the very body of governments that these post are addressing and wisely questioning. In short, during the pursuit of my son the RPD Detectives came to my home, not once, twice or even three times without warrants, but over and over until they captured my son in July 2009. I did not allow or invite them to invade my 4th, 14th and 1st amendment constitutional rights, but I quietly watch them do it, wanting to watch them until my son was picked up from the streets. I was brought down to their precinct and questioned, even though I asked, and then begged them to allow me to leave and asked not to even go, I was forced. Needless to write, interrogation was completely illegal, intimidattion, forcing me to sign their written statements and numerous other infractions.

    July 16, 2009 they finally apprehended my son and after listening in on a call that came in on my caller-id as a Winnebago County listing. Prior to this day I became very aware that my phones had been bugged. You could literally hear noises, that were not there in the fourteen years I resided in the home. I even once heard a woman talking and I swear she sounded like Lisa Lombardi, the DA assigned to my obstruction of justice case. No proof, but I my occupation is clerical and I have an ear for recognizing voices over phones. Yes, I was and still am today under illegal surveillance and totally do not know if you will receive this information. I want you to know that your work is that of the Lord’s will, not your own, whether you realize it or not. It is His desire to expose this severe form of corruption within the judicial process of Winnebago County. I speak as a Christian, and still as a native born citizen of Winnebago County, who have experiences such as Richard Wanke, Mark Barmore, William Buck and Kevin Rice. There is much you know, but still much much more you do not know. This mess is uglier than a seven headed serpant and it goes way back, as you are clearly aware, since Paul Logli’s time that I am aware. You are absolutely correct when you write that local officers are not following protocal, not even on the basic levels, absolute corruption causes disruption of any organization, and the RPD, Winnebago Sheriff’s departments have become saturated with corruption in the worst forms. States Attorney Joesph Bruscato is a part of that corruption and the judge that Richard’s girlfriend, whom I’ve had the opportunity to see, this mild meek woman, in court before Hon. Judge Joesph McGraw, stand proudly as she should. She is being prosecuted for knowing too much as is Richard Wanke, but I believe Richard is the fall guy for a sin and crime most likely committed by the RPD. Greg Clark was a Court Appointed defender and there is a great injustice within the sytem of justices that involves court appointed attorney’s. I’ll end this with my friend, you are doing a marvelous job, like it or not, your works are of the Lord’s will and it will be an instrumental part of the exposure that is falling upon the head of this seven headed demon. Trust me, I know, through His grace. What is your take on the most recent shooting? Trust me when I write to you that the witness who came forward days after the actual shooting, is staged. Do not be shocked that he is Black, do your research. Find out if he has a criminal background, or even if he is on probation currently. One thing I learned, of many, they use quite a few of individuals with shady backgrounds, ex criminals to work on their side, I do not know what the kickback or payoff is here though. I was approached by two of them, one name Marshall Hall, another first name Ray, but I do not know his last name. Both Black and scandulous invidividuals willing to do anything for self profit. These guy’s are used as stagers to get close to victims of lawenforcers charged erroneously and then most likely they will act as isolated witnesses, but they are the pawns of this hypocrisy. God Bless, your work will not be in vain my friend. Keep plugging at it!

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