Archive for the ‘Bad Cops’ Category

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EVERYONE is concerned about crime. That’s no secret. It’s debatable whether or not there is more crime today than in the past, but people generally feel more unsafe today; perhaps because they see and hear more media coverage about crime.

Most people are not tracing the trend though and do not perceive that criminals today are really racing against technology. Reports show local police department acquiring more military grade equipment and technology to fight crime. In a few years, this investment in technology will reduce crime as long as police departments are able to keep up with processing the results they will obtain from their new toys. Over time suspect identification and evidence gathering will become more and more sophisticated from the proliferation and use of cameras and other tracking devices that your average young or middle-class offender will stand little chance of escaping detection when committing crimes.

Locally, the Rockford Police Department is working to obtain more street cameras and a means to immediately identify gunshot  source locations. On the one hand, communities are in support of police attempts to beef up technology. On the other hand, at some point in the future, community citizens may end up finding police technology intrusive and themselves lacking any protection about it and it’s potential misuse.

While Rockford Police Chief O’Shea publicly works to get more equipment, most Rockfordians don’t know that the Rockford Police Department has also quietly discontinued it’s program for police officers to use body cameras. The department now claims body cameras are not a priority and are too expensive to implement.

Police departments across the nation support body cameras for police because they generally find them helpful in defending their departments against allegations of physical abuse against arrestees. However, Rockford abandoned them during their pilot project roll-out and never even gave them a chance to work.

Read, an issue of concern: Some police Departments regressing against use of body cameras

From the Article:

“…Mann said he does still believe body-worn cameras are an effective tool for police officers.

Defense attorneys and civil rights groups say the proposed script would give officers a blueprint to explain away misconduct documented on video.

Heather Hamel, executive director of Arizona Justice That Works, a group dedicated to ending mass incarceration, said reading officers the statement about video is effectively witness tampering.

“It’s going to impact the integrity of investigations involving police misconduct or potential police misconduct. It’s going to feed officers potential excuses to explain away their behavior,” Hamel said…”

By Isaac Guerrero Staff writer
ROCKFORD – Woman shot while sitting at kitchen table in Rockford home. 1 dead, 1 injured in shooting. 5 homes hit by gunfire.

Headlines like those, posted to our website and plastered on the pages of this newspaper in recent weeks, sound scary. But experts say you shouldn’t confuse fear of crime with the actual risk of crime, which has been declining in Rockford since 2000. Violent crime, however, the stuff that captures headlines, has risen.

All but four of the 32 homicides in Winnebago County last year – the county’s highest homicide tally since 1996 – were in Rockford, where violent crime in 2015 increased 24 percent compared with 2014. The latest statistics from the FBI reveal violent crime increased 6 percent during the first six months of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015.

But is our fear of violent crime greater than our risk of violent crime? Because there’s lots of things in Rockford to be afraid of.

Rockford police reported in 2014 that there were 19 times as many people injured in car accidents – 1,211 – as were injured by gunfire – 104.

There were an average 29 suicides, 634 cancer deaths and 339 deaths attributed to heart disease annually from 2007 through 2011 in Winnebago County, according to Rockford Health Council. There were an average 20 homicides a year in the county during the same five-year period.

“People take risks on the fly every day,” said Kirk Miller, a criminologist and professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University.

“They’ll run through a yellow light, for example, which empirically represents a much larger risk in terms of your physical well-being and others’ well-being. But it’s more acceptable in society to run a yellow light because that doesn’t capture the fear and anxiety of these more dramatic events like a mass shooting or a homicide in an otherwise well-regarded location like a school or an airport or a good neighborhood.”

Source: Weighing fear and danger in Rockford as the city’s violent crime rate rises

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Read the article below about why and how a double standard exists in holding cops responsible for killing civilians such as in the Ferguson and Garner cases. The article spells out at least 10 ways the public either ignores, is not aware of, or doesn’t care about biases which are inherent and pervasive in our judicial system and police operations and which fail to hold cops responsible for actions which we would feel to be unlawful in under any other circumstances. Most of us don’t know how easily anyone can be endangered by the police who we automatically assume are always right. We never see how police departments, the courts and the prosecutors work to excuse or coverup their misdeeds when presenting to the Grand Juries and making determinations. It is shocking to read that literally hundreds of police killings have not been reported to the feds and that the exercise of excessive force is disregarded and common. Instead, we assume that our local controversies, (such as the Barmore shooting) are the rare exception in our local communities and resent being reminded of them. We need to wake and familiarize ourselves with exactly how our authorities operate. Grand juries need to stop rubber-stamping the perspectives of the State’s Attorney’s office and exercise the power they have to thoroughly independently call and investigate every matter brought before them to ensure that injustice does not continue to squeak by every day….

10 Ways the System Is Rigged Against Justice for People Wrongly Killed by Cops

Why is the legal system so biased against holding abusive officers accountable?


PASADENA — Two decades ago, a trio of Pasadena gang members stunned the City of Roses by gunning down six boys trick-or-treating, killing three and injuring three others on a night now known as the Halloween Massacre.

Now, after a 20-year police crackdown against gangs in one of Southern California’s most regal cities, the tide has turned, with crime at modern historic lows.

But instead of celebrating a hard-won victory, Pasadena police are themselves accused of kidnapping, beating and threatening to kill witnesses, withholding evidence in trials, attempting to bribe attorneys, wrongly shooting unarmed residents and a litany of civil rights abuses in their war against gangs and thugs.

“It’s gotten out of hand,” said Joe Brown, former head of the city’s NAACP branch, who has been tracking cases within the black community. “The problem is a lack of appropriate training and community policing.

via City of Thorns: Despite reforms, Pasadena police still face controversy –

Every time a criminal does something considered really dumb, their actions are quickly immortalized by national media in feature stories summarizing their actions in the “Most Stupid Criminal” news category. Here, we have three, supposedly career policemen, “detectives, no less”, who it seems put their heads together and decided that they would not only engage in questionable and possibly criminal behavior, but that they could also TRUST an INFORMANT to keep their secrets and act as a partner!

Just how many times is the public told that criminals and informants, in particular, have no honor and are not trustworthy? Cops always ding defendants for acting stupid and making poor judgements, but these guys   stretch credibility! The Schaumburg police force is not that large, and common-sense should tell anyone from the outset that the alleged wrong-doing would involve too many incidents and uncontrollable details to  remain secret for long. It does not even appear that the investigation had to squeeze the informant very hard for him to allegedly spill the beans. And, of course, like the criminal defendants police love to criticize, these detectives appear to have kept plenty in the way of incriminating evidence for investigators to recover as well as making alleged incriminating statements and admissions. At the very least, the reason O’Brien  is alleged to have given for his involvement (“for the thrill of it”) should serve to underscore to the public the power trip some cops given a certain level of power apparently fall prey to.

Of course, there is a difference between these guys and the “criminals”; there will be plenty of people ready to excuse their judgements and publicly defend them as being “good people”. They will also, no doubt get to keep their jobs and public pay-checks pending any prosecutions!


“…The offices of the Cook County state’s attorney and public defender are looking at cases in which the officers were involved to determine whether any have been compromised. Criminal defense experts said some prosecutions could be tainted because of questions about the officers’ credibility and their unavailability to testify…”

3 Schaumburg cops accused of drug ring

Prosecutors say they stole cash and narcotics, then profited from dope sales

“…They also were caught on video Jan. 12 breaking into a storage shed in Roselle to steal $20,000 in cash and a stash of drugs, Assistant State’s Attorney Audrey Anderson said.

On Wednesday, authorities executed 20 search warrants for the officers’ homes, vehicles, work lockers and other areas of the Schaumburg Police Department. Investigators recovered $20,000 and obtained incriminating statements from each defendant, Anderson said.

“(O’Brien) said he did all this just for the thrill of it,” she said.

Also charged was Nicole Brehm, 44, of Hoffman Estates, who was identified as O’Brien’s mistress. She’s accused of using her home as a “stash house,” where police found six pounds of marijuana…”

$750K Bail Set For Schaumburg Cops Accused Of Stealing From Drug Dealers

“…Audio and video recordings were played in court of the officers discussing plans to steal drugs from a dealer and delivering money to the informant. Prosecutors said the incidents occurred while the officers were in tactical clothing and police department vehicles.

Schaumburg police said in a statement Wednesday the officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the state’s attorney’s office’s investigation. The village has also begun its own investigation…”

Prosecutor: Schaumburg cop said he sold drugs “just for the thrill of it”

The Herald-Tribune examines how Florida police officers can stay on the job despite multiple complaints, crimes

This site features a thorough series of 9 in-depth media reports exposing just how flawed Florida police departments are and how despite flagrant abuses Florida police officers not only remain on pay, but are protected by their unions and retire to public pensions. The Herald-Tribune points out systemic problems in Florida which need to be addressed in order to improve the quality of the state’s police departments; suggestions which also apply elsewhere: eliminating patronage, enforcing the laws which exist with regard to police officers, correcting a too cozy relationship between the police and the local State’s Attorney’s office which declines to charge when valid offenses are reported, and stop the hampering of internal police investigations and reviews. A lot of this series explains why your local police officers are seldom brought up on criminal charges despite wrongdoing which would land your average citizen in court. The reports are downloadable as pdfs.

Obama’s record so far is no better, and even worse in some respects than the Bush Administration regarding civil liberties and government surveillance powers. Previously, it would have been inconceivable that the CIA would be permitted to blatantly operate and direct the New York Police Department to covertly spy upon US Muslins in this manner.

CIA investigates whether laws broken helping NYPD