Archive for the ‘Barmore Shooting’ Category

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?


It’s been a tough year for local law enforcement. The Rockford Police Department was raked over the coals in the review findings concerning police actions taken during the Mark Anthony Barmore shooting. Now comes  the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. In Rockford, IL, it appears that the behavior of the cops is at least as immature and may be as unlawful as some of our criminals.

Longtime Sheriff Richard A. Meyers is campaigning for reelection as Winnebago County Sheriff. Meyers may have had the election in the bag until he and the department publicly pursued allegations of wrongdoing against his political opponent, Aaron A. Booker, timed at a point interpreted by many as last-minute dirty tactics by Sheriff Myers.

If so, the tactic has backfired against Sheriff Myers disastrously. An email scandal is now suddenly revealed within the Winnebago County Sheriffs Department, the scope of which is staggering.  Literally hundreds of e-mails were widely and openly distributed and shared among the deputies and supervisory staff of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department between 2005 and 2008, containing inappropriate pictures and text messages which were in some instances sexually suggestive, borderline racist, and otherwise offensive in the nature and content. Copies of these emails abound now, and just about everybody agrees that the existence and quantity of these e-mails should never have been condoned within a law enforcement agency or any other public governmental body such as the Winnebago County Sheriff’s department. The public is shocked to learn that they were and to see that apparently an “anything goes” atmosphere existed unchecked within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department for years.

Sheriff Meyers, first attempted to clamp down on the scandal. He quickly went on record to claim that he saw only one of the e-mails in 2008, and gave it to a supervisor who verbally reprimanded the individual responsible for the e-mails. The supervisor distributed an email within the Department advising all staff to desist from distributing such material and supposedly taking care of the matter. Sheriff Myers concedes that the e-mails probably did constitute sexual harassment and that he probably could have handled the matter better. He promised a reinvestigation and reassessment of the disciplinary actions taken back in 2008. Too bad, his explanation only sufficed for a couple of days before more e-mails surfaced showing incidents also happened after the 2008 warning to staff.

Since then many allegations have come out in public commenting with respect the possibility of improper behavior within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, and the Sheriff has stopped providing explanations. Personal conduct allegations have been raised against Sheriff Meyers, including nepotism and allegations that behavior by other deputies within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department similar to that attributed to Booker also occurred without disciplinary actions.   As the e-mail scandal has expanded, Sheriff Myers turned dismissive of the significance of the email scandal and began claiming that the revelations in the scandal now are political reprisal attempts by the Booker campaign or others for his Booker investigation.

We’ve gathered some of the media articles regarding the scandal within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s department below. There are a few points to be made:

The fact that these e-mails occurred and were circulated in so extensive a manner within any local law enforcement agency is inconceivable to us in terms of stupidity and intolerable.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department has allegedly been run as a personal and political fiefdom by Sheriff Meyers for 28 years. Myers has had a reputation for being tough on crime in recent years, but what does that matter when the whole department is apparently out of control and the staff is as demoralized as the media comments suggest? Obviously, serious problems do exist at the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, and the question is, will these problems be investigated and resolved?

If the timing in the events of the Booker investigation was made to coincide with the Nov 2, 1010, election, then we are incredulous that Sheriff Meyers would have allegedly attempted this tactic. If so, it would obviously show arrogance and the unawareness that a reading of the public comments shows there are many people out there who claim to be aware of wrongdoing of some nature at the Winnebago County Sheriffs Department. Relying upon them to all stay quiet about these matters would not have been too smart.

We have watched the whole local law enforcement community and Winnebago County politicos respond to the scandal erupting within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department by silence with respect to it and Sheriff Meyers, or else they declare that they have no power, oversight, or responsibility with respect to what happens within the Sheriff’s Department. Coroner Sue Fidducia even took the unwise position (in our opinion) of standing in support by Sheriff Myers during his campaign press conference which attempted to direct the public attention from the scandal. We are not accepting the message being put out by Meyers and others that this as an election issue, not a substantive issue affecting the operations and conduct of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. We are demanding that local law-enforcement ensure that an outside review is conducted to investigate and cleanup the apparently systemic problems within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. We hope the local media also fulfill their responsibility and similarly push for investigation and review.

Sheriff Meyers has been “caught with his pants down”. If any suspect responded to official questioning by concealing knowledge of a subject to the extent that Meyers has done, they would be brought up on Obstruction of Justice and Concealment charges. How can law enforcement complain about a lack of public cooperation and honesty with them when this is the behavior they demonstrate when anyone attempts to question them about their actions?

In our opinion, Sheriff Richard A. Myers is not behaving in the manner befitting a public official. He is attempting to downplay serious problems in the department which have not been resolved by him. In our opinion, Sheriff Myers does not deserve to remain sheriff of Winnebago County. Booker has been attacked for political inexperience, but he has responded with more candor (in our opinion) regarding the allegations against him and what has transpired within the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. Booker should be given the chance to reform the department because we believe that despite stated intentions, it is clear to us that Sheriff Myers will be unwilling to do so.

This matter also raises the question concerning the behavior of the individual deputies who comprise the work force of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. Do they really need to be told up front and by the public, that immature behavior during working hours will not be tolerated? This is not a message that you would hope to have to deliver to any law enforcement officer. Their behavior cannot be excused by the stressful nature of their job. When any officer charged with upholding the law and determining what constitutes lawful behavior stoops to crude humor and indulges their prurient senses on the job, then it is time for the individual to resign because his judgment is impaired and the public cannot afford it.

Just Click on each of the red links below to read the articles:

Many similarities between candidates for Winnebago County Sheriff

Dirty emails from 2007 resurface amidst heated Winn. Co. Sheriff’s race

Sheriff’s Department seems to tolerate ‘good ol’ boys’ environment

Naked women, e-mails and the good ol’ boys of the county’s 911 center

Sheriff: Use of ’07 e-mails ‘dirty campaign tactic’

Winnebago County sheriff: E-mails were sexual harassment

The department chief also says corrective action fell short

Thursday daybook: We’re on the same page; those e-mails were harassment

Winnebago County sheriff denies ordering bump to son’s score

The allegation is made by his opponent’s campaign chairman.

Much Ado About, What???

Posted: October 12, 2010 by mikethemouth in Barmore Shooting

An RRSTAR article (read here) reports Oct 8, 2010, that the two Rockford Police Department officers who were involved in the August 24, 2009, shooting death of Mark Anthony Barmore of Rockford, are suing Kingdom Authority International Ministries, 518 N. Court St., Rockford, (where the shooting occurred) and it’s pastor, Reverend Melvin Brown, for defamation in excess of $75,000 for terming publicly terming the shooting “murder” and damaging their reputations.

This is certainly a weird turn of events in this legal saga. Poole and North are being represented by Rockford Attorney Dan Cain (generally regarded as the “best” local criminal attorney and an expensive attorney to hire). To our knowledge, Cain is generally on the other side of the fence in cases representing claims against the Rockford Police Department. Perhaps he is attempting to take a case like this to even the books? That’s just our speculation, of course. Who knows what his motivation is. Of course the RRStar article mentions that attorneys were appointed for Poole and North, so we think that we, the public, are probably paying for Cain in this situation.

Still, in our opinion, this lawsuit is something of a farce. In all the verbal and written public mud-slinging that has occurred as a result of the Barmore shooting, we think this may be a pretty tame example of the reputation-damaging jargon applied to some of the parties involved, particularly the victim. “Murder”, in our opinion is a pretty subjective term. There may be a legal description of it, but depending upon the emotional attachment to the individual who ceases to live as a result of any particular action, even state-sponsored executions are sometimes regarded as murder to some persons when giving expression in protest to their civil rights views.

There are also two-sides to this legal weapon. As mentioned before, plenty of public comments have been made of a personal and objectionable basis and directed towards Mark Anthony Barmore, his relatives and the Browns. I think that if every involved party to the case and public commenter on the Barmore shooting reviewed the public comments they have made to date on forums as public as Facebook, Craigslist, & the media, that many more individuals  could be open to being sued and cross-sued for defamation by somebody. Especially those made persistently by non-involved persons. Some of those comments and actions could possibly even be interpreted as “harassment”.

So where will this (in our opinion) legal litigation insanity lead? Probably to more legal litigation insanity…

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?

The Rockford Police say they need more money for law enforcement using cameras. We okay this believing that the police use the new cameras to tape criminal activity. The Rockford police have spent big bucks to buy these cameras. They are installed at many Rockford street intersections. Now later, we’ve learned that for the most part, the authorities do not using the new cameras to tape, but to merely monitor street traffic and activity through them. I don’t know what we are paying for. Chicago makes effective use of their cameras, and Rockford does not. Just think: what if the Rockford police had taped the vehicles entering and leaving the Greg Clark neighborhood on 2/6/08? They could have caught Greg Clark’s murderers! We asked them for the tapes. They claim to us that they have no tapes despite the cameras on the major streets by his neighborhood.  So, what good are these cameras when you pay for them and then need the facts?

Of course, the Rockford Police department seems adverse to most of the beneficial uses of cameras. Second or third largest police department in the state, yet it was slow to adopt use of cameras in city police squad cars. It also still, stubbornly refuses to tape all police interrogations, especially for serious crimes. Is this simply being behind the technology or do they have something to hide? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather trust the impartial evidence of the tape, like Chicago, then have another Barmore incident or worse.,0,1636617.story

Thousands of surveillance cameras

keep Chicago under closer watch

than any other US city