Remember that video about police complain forms in FL?


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SomeKid
March 31, 2006, 10:31 PM
Well, it seems we have a sequal to it.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/14218941.htm

No, we don't live in a police state. :uhoh:

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mcg-doc
March 31, 2006, 10:36 PM
I would like to see some comments from law enforcement members. Have they seen such BOLO warnings?

hammer4nc
March 31, 2006, 10:48 PM
"La Hermandad":fire:

Jeff White
April 1, 2006, 12:45 AM
Here's the article. I wish members would take a minute to cut and paste the article into the thread. Links on news sites go dead and in a few weeks someone may ressurect this thread with a search and they won't be able to access the article everyone is talking about.

SOUTH FLORIDA
Police strike back at television reporter
A Broward police union put personal information on the Web about a reporter for a South Florida television station after he produced a piece called `Police Station Intimidation.'
BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH
jlebovich@MiamiHerald.com
The personal information of an investigative reporter was posted prominently on a South Florida police union's website after a local television station aired a report about how police in Broward and Miami-Dade counties deal with the public.

The address, date of birth and driver's license number of WFOR CBS-4 reporter Mike Kirsch was posted as a BOLO -- or ''be on the lookout'' -- on the website of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.

BOLOs typically are issued by police departments when officers are looking for criminals or missing persons.

The BOLO reads: ``Channel 4 News is doing a series on the complaint process at police departments in Dade and Broward. They are setting up officers and instigating confrontations, then filing complaints with the various agencies.''

Kirsch first learned about the BOLO from a colleague who saw the flier in a stack of BOLOs at a local police station. New Times reporter Jeff Stratton wrote about the BOLO last week.

Kirsch's personal information was removed from the website after a letter from the television station's lawyer. Kirsch's photo is now on the site.

Alan Rosenthal, an attorney for CBS-4, a Miami Herald news partner, demanded that the union remove the BOLO, calling it false and a violation of Florida and federal law that prohibits the disclosure of ``personal identifying information contained in motor vehicle records.''

`GOING TO WAR'

The reporter said the posting had concerned him and his family.

''I told my wife about it,'' Kirsch said. 'She's from Bosnia. She said, `It sounds like the cops are going to war with you, and you need to be careful.' ''

Kirsch said the BOLO ''reminded me this is an intimidation effect,'' he said. ``It might have a chilling effect on any news media establishment from doing their jobs and questioning the system and government. It's just disappointing.''

Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, Va., said the BOLO ``absolutely is an attempt to intimidate. And it's abusive and downright stupid.''

In its hidden-camera investigation, conducted with a national watchdog group called The Police Complaint Center, one person visited 38 agencies in Broward and Miami-Dade to ask about getting a form to file a complaint against an officer.

Only three of the police departments had such forms: Florida City, Homestead and Miami, according to CBS-4.

The forms are not required by law, though they are recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Kirsch noted that at many departments, police were courteous and professional, but in others they weren't.

CHANGES AT BSO

After the piece, at least one agency pledged to reexamine the process for filing complaints. The Broward Sheriff's Office has made a ''Public Compliment/Complaint Form'' available in the lobby of BSO stations.

BSO allows a person to file an anonymous complaint and provides many ways a person's form can be returned, including sending it to BSO internal affairs.

In another part of the investigation to check on racial profiling claims, a white man and a black man were given the same red Mustang to drive in the same areas of Broward. According to WFOR's findings, the white man was never pulled over, and the black man was ''almost immediately pulled over'' by a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy on Oakland Park Boulevard.

WEBSITE WARNING

Shortly after the investigation first aired in February, Broward PBA President Dick Brickman posted the BOLO on the union's website.

The BOLO also includes information about Gregory Slate of Baltimore, who works for The Police Complaint Center, including his cellphone number.

''I put the information out so our members if they come across any of these people, they should be aware these people they're talking to probably have you on camera,'' Brickman said. ``They're trying to set you up to aggravate you so you'll make a mistake.''

Brickman said the report should have looked into whether complaints about officers are investigated, not whether there is a form.

Of the racial profiling test, the BOLO states: ``Here's how it works: A white male in a red Mustang convertible will speed down the road. Later, the same car, this time with a black male driving, will appear in the same area driving slowly. If the car is pulled over by the police, the occupant will become hostile and accuse the officer of profiling, trying to pick a fight. If the officer responds negatively, a complaint is filed with his/her department.''

The BOLO warns that the CBS-4 team ''is back out on the street'' for a follow-up story planned in May.

But Rosenthal, the CBS-4 attorney, wrote that the union ``is not distributing the BOLO to carry out any legitimate law enforcement function, but rather for the sole purpose of harassing and intimidating Mr. Kirsch, Mr. Slate and CBS 4 in an effort to prevent them from investigating and reporting on a matter of public concern.''

Slate filed an internal affairs complaint with the Hollywood Police Department, alleging one of the officers used the National Crime Information Center to provide Brickman with his driver's license number.

Diop Kamau, executive director of The Police Complaint Center, who also is a retired Los Angeles police sergeant, said it's ``inappropriate for police to be crossing back and forth over the line that is the private behavior of police unions and the public behavior of officers.''

HOLLYWOOD PROBE

Hollywood police Lt. Richard Nardello, of the police Internal Affairs Unit, wrote, ``An investigative search through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement unequivocally concluded no one associated with the Hollywood Police Department had queried your name or driver's license number.''

Nardello found the complaint to be unfounded.

John Rivera, the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association president, declined to comment about the Broward union's BOLO.

Of the CBS-4 series, Rivera said: ``It was such a joke that we ignored it.''

Miami Herald staff writers Wanda J. DeMarzo and David Ovalle contributed to this report.

I see nothing wrong with this. The union did it, not a department. I suppose you'd all be just as outraged if the Teamsters put out a BOLO on their website about a news crew that was going around trying to make truck drivers look bad. The union doesn't carry out legitimate law enforcement functions. It's a union and I'm sure it put the information out there to warn it's members so that they didn't involve the union in litigation.

There is no complaint here. No police department did anything under color of law that was wrong. This isn't a police state issue. No government agency was involved.

Don't like it, complain to the AFL/CIO....

Jeff

SomeKid
April 1, 2006, 01:23 AM
Jeff,

True, it was the Union that circulated the BOLO. However, you shouldn't overlook that their membership can do quite a few things no other person can do. The article even takes note of them doing such things:


But Rosenthal, the CBS-4 attorney, wrote that the union ``is not distributing the BOLO to carry out any legitimate law enforcement function, but rather for the sole purpose of harassing and intimidating Mr. Kirsch, Mr. Slate and CBS 4 in an effort to prevent them from investigating and reporting on a matter of public concern.''

Slate filed an internal affairs complaint with the Hollywood Police Department, alleging one of the officers used the National Crime Information Center to provide Brickman with his driver's license number.

Diop Kamau, executive director of The Police Complaint Center, who also is a retired Los Angeles police sergeant, said it's ``inappropriate for police to be crossing back and forth over the line that is the private behavior of police unions and the public behavior of officers.''

Why they assumed the Hollywood department, I am not sure. Turns out, either it was a different department that did the search, or IA is covering the other cops:

Hollywood police Lt. Richard Nardello, of the police Internal Affairs Unit, wrote, ``An investigative search through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement unequivocally concluded no one associated with the Hollywood Police Department had queried your name or driver's license number.''

Keep in mind how he wrote that, nobody in his department. It very well could have been someone from another department.

NukemJim
April 1, 2006, 01:33 AM
The address, date of birth and driver's license number
Bold type by NukemJim

Sorta kinda looks like somebody accessed some database that has drivers license data about this reporter.

Regardless of who published the data IMHO it was wrong.

If someone had a disagreement with a hospital and their confidental health info was published I would be suspicous of the hospital, I am NOT cop bashing, just stating how it appears to me.

NukemJim

Creeping Incrementalism
April 1, 2006, 04:09 AM
I wish members would take a minute to cut and paste the article into the thread.

Copyright infringement.

I see nothing wrong with this. The union did it, not a department.

Someone in the union did this with information available to the police department, and not to the general public.

Jeff White
April 1, 2006, 05:26 AM
Drivers license information is available to the general public. In many states you just have to contact the right agency and pay a small fee. There are also many information house websites where all kinds of public information can be purchased from private vendors who collect it.

It is against the rules to use LEADS and NCIC for anything but official business. The system keeps a record of what agency ran what information. The agency keeps a record of what officer ran it. It would be very stupid for someone to risk his/her career to come up with the reporter's DL file number to post on a website. It would be very easy to find out who did it. Every LEADS operator, including officers who have terminals in their cars has a unique log on and password. It would be very easy to prove the allegation, that's why Hollywood PD was so quick to dismiss the complaint.

There is likely no police misconduct here, although I'm quite certain the press release was designed to make the public think there was misconduct.

Jeff

DunedinDragon
April 1, 2006, 06:56 AM
There is likely no police misconduct here, although I'm quite certain the press release was designed to make the public think there was misconduct.

From a legal perspective, maybe or maybe not. From a civil perspective, absolutely!!! Next time you break up with a girlfriend or a wife, try posting negative and private information about her in a public forum where she can be identified and potentially targetted and see how much it ends up costing you in civil court.

Let's get real here, this was an act of retribution and harrassment pure and simple. There's no other reason for it to be posted. Is that an attribute law enforcement wants to be associated with? Then they aggravate the situation by making excuses for it and "protecting" each other?

And law enforcement seems to be baffled by the increasing lack of respect for them from the general public? Hmmmmmm.....wonder why???

Don't Tread On Me
April 1, 2006, 07:13 AM
This isn't really about these particular actions, but rather the gang-like "us vs. them" mentality of police organizations. This comes up over and over.

That behavior (I'm going to take flak for this) is thuggish.

Why do they feel the need to take a confrontational, antagonistic approach to this? It isn't their duty to be this way. We do not expect them to respond in this manner. They should stick to doing their job, and lose the clannish characteristics (not clannish as in KKK).


It troubles me when they begin acting as a party in a dispute, rather than as the neutral arbitrator/enforcer of the law.

roo_ster
April 1, 2006, 07:39 AM
Why do they feel the need to take a confrontational, antagonistic approach to this?
Perhaps because the reporter is making a name for himself by generating confrontations with local cops? Confrontations that place the cops confronted under stress to show how they respond in different stressful situations.

That does not excuse the cop union's behavior, which is essentially an act of intimidation. Anybody doubt if the cops would squeal if somebody did the same to them by posting the same information, perhaps by/for the use of local organized crime organizations?

"Be on the lookout for Detective I. B. Leo and Detective Charles O. Parker, who are investigating the delivery and sale of drugs in Dade and Broward. They are setting up your fellow dealers and instigating confrontations, then filing charges with the District Attorney.''

El Tejon
April 1, 2006, 07:55 AM
Fantastic!:cool:

I just wish gun owners would stand up to the bullies in the media like this. If I were the cops I would hire PIs, arm them with video cameras and have all the reporters followed night and day. I would then do the same set ups that they pulled on the cops and see how the media likes it.

BTW, the time for media control is now!:cool:

DunedinDragon
April 1, 2006, 08:03 AM
That does not excuse the cop union's behavior, which is essentially an act of intimidation. Anybody doubt if the cops would squeal if somebody did the same to them by posting the same information, perhaps by/for the use of local organized crime organizations?

Good point!!!! I wonder if the Union would have the same reaction if the DL's, home addresses, and phone numbers of all the cops in the area were published on a website? Obviously from their perspective it's not illegal!!!

TexasRifleman
April 1, 2006, 09:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff White
I wish members would take a minute to cut and paste the article into the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeping I...
Copyright infringement.

FYI it's not copyright infringement as long as you credit the source.

ConstitutionCowboy
April 1, 2006, 11:23 AM
As much disdain I have for the press and as much respect and admiration I have for the police, there are lines that should never be crossed. This is one of them. Kirsch should be accompanied by about ten packing citizens for the next few months, not as body guards, but as potential witnesses should abuse become apparent. The police union has shown their propensity towards intimidation and arrogant misuse of the power their members have. This union presents a danger.

Exposure of the misdeeds of this union are insufficient to halt this or any further abuses. Civil and criminal action must me taken. The good police who are the members of this union should not be besmirched by this union, nor should they be collectively held responsible for these misdeeds or for any abuses other members of the union may have perpetrated that prompted the original article in the first place.

The police are not armed for, nor are they present in our society to intimidate. Law enforcement does not require intimidation. Law enforcement is about arresting criminals and promoting comity out there in the flow of traffic.

Woody

chas_martel
April 1, 2006, 11:28 AM
To all that want to have meaningful discourse with the
LEO'bots - you are wasting your time.

Read Flatland and learn why.

TallPine
April 1, 2006, 11:41 AM
They are setting up officers and instigating confrontations, then filing complaints with the various agencies
I dunno ... it seems to me like the police should act professionally whether the "confrontation" is real or not.

If the reporters are doing anything illegal, then the police officers would of course be justified in taking appropriate action.

Sounds like a good training review to me ... how come IA doesn't do this? ;)

SomeKid
April 1, 2006, 01:01 PM
Perhaps because the reporter is making a name for himself by generating confrontations with local cops?

jfr,

If you saw the video from the earlier thread, it was a man walking in and politely asking for a complaint form. They were doing some actual investigative journalism, in this case, what do you do if you have a problem with a cop.

Generating a confrontation would be say, a fake mugging and 911 call. That should be a stressful situation for the cops. Being asked for a complaint form - politely - does not rise to deserving the treatment one should reserve for a child molester.

DJJ
April 1, 2006, 01:16 PM
No police department did anything under color of law that was wrong.

Yeah, every perp is innocent. You should know that.

Don't Tread On Me
April 1, 2006, 05:51 PM
The police are the authorities, we set it up that way. It is part of their burden as the uniform, and representation of neutral authority and of security to NEVER begin acting as a party in a quarrel. That lowers them to the status of a participant in devious actions, rather than as an unbiased enforcer of the law.


What the reporter or news agency does to aggravate, instigate, antagonize, provoke is not an excuse, nor a justification for the police organization to act in such a way. It is beyond their scope, purpose and duty.


That's a mighty dangerous line to cross. It's been done many times in our history, so it's nothing to get worked up into a lather over...however, it doesn't mean it's ok to keep doing it.


I understand that it is difficult to expect our LEO's to sit there and "take it"...when the situation seems unfair; however, that is part of the burden of being an LE in a free society.

Hawkmoon
April 1, 2006, 06:37 PM
I see nothing wrong with this. The union did it, not a department. I suppose you'd all be just as outraged if the Teamsters put out a BOLO on their website about a news crew that was going around trying to make truck drivers look bad. The union doesn't carry out legitimate law enforcement functions. It's a union and I'm sure it put the information out there to warn it's members so that they didn't involve the union in litigation.

There is no complaint here. No police department did anything under color of law that was wrong. This isn't a police state issue. No government agency was involved.
Jeff, aren't you an LEO (or a retired LEO)?

There IS a complaint here. The only way the police union could have obtained these guys' drivers license numbers is by accessing a police computer system, and accessing a police computer system for other than official law enforcement purposes is illegal.

Further, whether done by an "agency" as an official act or by a union as an "unofficial" act, any time police officers target individuals for "special attention" due to nothing more than exercising Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, it's wrong. It is unquestionably wrong morally, and I'm certain if I were an attorney I could find at least half a dozen laws that would say it's wrong.

Hawkmoon
April 1, 2006, 06:47 PM
Perhaps because the reporter is making a name for himself by generating confrontations with local cops? Confrontations that place the cops confronted under stress to show how they respond in different stressful situations.
"Confrontations that place the cops under stress?"

Since when is asking "Do you have a form I can use to file a complaint" a stress-creating situation? Granted, when I read the original reports about this "expose'" I felt the reporters' sting was stupid and ill-conceived, because you don't necessarily need a form to initiate a complaint, but I can't see that asking for a form creates any stress on the part of the officer/dispatcher/secretary fielding the question. There are two possible answers:

(1) "Yes, we do. Here it is, please fill out two copies and keep one for your records."

or

(2) "No, we don't use a form for complaints. You can speak to the shift supervisor if you want to file a complaint."

Yes, I know that at some of the departments the reporter tried to turn response #2 into a confrontation, but if the officer at the counter chose to take the bait, he/she was an idiot. And once the officers escalated #2 into a p!ssing contest (especially the cop who was ready to draw down on the reporter in the parking lot) they just made themselves appear to be total cretins.

JohnBT
April 1, 2006, 07:00 PM
"The address, date of birth and driver's license number of WFOR CBS-4 reporter Mike Kirsch was posted as a BOLO -- or ''be on the lookout'' -- on the website of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association."

Aw, what's a little public intimidation by a group of public employees? Benevolent Association? BWAAHAHAHAHAHA.

John

Jeff White
April 1, 2006, 07:17 PM
Don't Tread On Me said;
The police are the authorities, we set it up that way. It is part of their burden as the uniform, and representation of neutral authority and of security to NEVER begin acting as a party in a quarrel. That lowers them to the status of a participant in devious actions, rather than as an unbiased enforcer of the law.

So you're saying that the police are not full citizens? That's a far cry from the usual comments that we are super citizens or above veryone else. Once again, I'd like to remind you that no police department participated in this. A police union put the reporters information on it's website. Police officers have as much right as anyone else to participate in a quarrel or dispute. They cannot do it in an official capacity, but off duty and through organization such as their union, they have as much right as anyone else.

What the reporter or news agency does to aggravate, instigate, antagonize, provoke is not an excuse, nor a justification for the police organization to act in such a way. It is beyond their scope, purpose and duty.

Again no police department nor any officer acting in his official capacity put that information on the union's website. People in the medical field have a duty to provide care to people who need it, the Hill Burton Act gives hospitals and medical professionals a legal obligation to provide care, yet no one is upset about the lists that they keep and their insurance companies keep of people who have filed malpractice claims in the past. This is no different.

I understand that it is difficult to expect our LEO's to sit there and "take it"...when the situation seems unfair; however, that is part of the burden of being an LE in a free society.

No we don't have to sit and take it. We have as much of a right to protect ourselves as people in any other profession. Again, this would be wrong if it was done in an offical capacity, but it wasn't. It was done by a union.

Hawkmoon said;
Jeff, aren't you an LEO (or a retired LEO)?

Retired Army, full time police officer...

There IS a complaint here. The only way the police union could have obtained these guys' drivers license numbers is by accessing a police computer system, and accessing a police computer system for other than official law enforcement purposes is illegal.

You must have missed this from my earlier post:

Drivers license information is available to the general public. In many states you just have to contact the right agency and pay a small fee. There are also many information house websites where all kinds of public information can be purchased from private vendors who collect it.

You are quite right, it's illegal to use the computer system for anything but official business. It also is impossible to use it anonymously. If it was used to obtain the reporter's DL numer, then there was a violation. But since it's impossible to use the system anonymously, and everyone knows that, and since this was sure to be controversial, I'm betting the information was obtained from the Florida DMV or whatever they call it or through an online information broker.

Further, whether done by an "agency" as an official act or by a union as an "unofficial" act, any time police officers target individuals for "special attention" due to nothing more than exercising Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, it's wrong. It is unquestionably wrong morally, and I'm certain if I were an attorney I could find at least half a dozen laws that would say it's wrong.

So what you're saying is that police officers have no rights? Would you support legislation requiring medical professionals and insurance companies from keeping records of people who file malpractice claims? What about bars and package stores keeping lists of false IDs? Your grocery/convenience store posting a list of people not to accept checks from? Theaters and entertainment venues keeping lists of people who have been banned for disruptive conduct?

The PBA doing this is the same as any of those other professions taking measures to protect themselves. All they are saying is that if you have contact with this guy, be aware he is a news reporter and he has a history of trying to provoke a confrontation in order to make the police look bad. It's no different then the owner of a store posting a list next to the cash register saying; "Don't take checks from these people, they have a history of writing bad ones."

No one's rights are being violated.

Jeff

JohnBT
April 1, 2006, 10:54 PM
I don't think posting someone's address on the web is something to be proud of, especially when you've got a beef with them.

I don't think it's right when someone does it to a police officer and I don't think it's right when they do it to someone.

John

Zen21Tao
April 1, 2006, 10:55 PM
''I put the information out so our members if they come across any of these people, they should be aware these people they're talking to probably have you on camera,'' Brickman said. ``They're trying to set you up to aggravate you so you'll make a mistake.''

Is it just me or does this statement sound rather disconserting. Sounds like police are saying "don't act like you normally would. Instead be careful how you act because the rest of the world might see it." Shouldn't Police treat everyone they deal with as if they have some degree of accountability? I understand that people are being accused of "instigating confrontations" but Police are supposed to be professionals and as such should keep their composure in such situations.

ozarkhillbilly
April 1, 2006, 10:59 PM
So what you're saying is that police officers have no rights? Would you support legislation requiring medical professionals and insurance companies from keeping records of people who file malpractice claims? What about bars and package stores keeping lists of false IDs? Your grocery/convenience store posting a list of people not to accept checks from? Theaters and entertainment venues keeping lists of people who have been banned for disruptive conduct?

You have already decided that anyone filling a complaint form is in the wrong at best or a criminal by comparing them to people who right bad checks, false IDs, disruptive conduct.

Once again, I'd like to remind you that no police department participated in this

Any department is made up of its members and if most or all members belong to the union and the union did something then the police department did it. It might not be sanctioned but the police department did it.

Police officers have as much right as anyone else to participate in a quarrel or dispute.

Can a police officer make an arrest off duty (I already know the answer). If a private citizen is threatened by a off duty police officer can that private citizen place the off duty officer under arrest at gun point and take him to the local jail and lock him up without being place under arrest and thrown into jail himself. Can a private citizen, who say works in a factory, co-workers pull over a police officer who was going a few miles over the speed limit or driving in a suspicious manor and give them a ticket.

There is a difference between a LEO and a non LEO. Police should avoid disputes when ever possible "avoid the appearance of evil".

I watched the video and many of the officers were in the wrong and a few should have been fired for their actions. Some of them were using their positions to abuse a person who had done nothing illegal. Now these officers are mad because they got caught abusing their positions so they lashing out and trying to intimidate people they don't like, this is not defending themselves while doing their jobs.

Jeff White
April 2, 2006, 12:34 AM
Ozarkhilbilly said;
You have already decided that anyone filling a complaint form is in the wrong at best or a criminal by comparing them to people who right bad checks, false IDs, disruptive conduct.

If you saw the video then you know that the reporter was deliberately trying to push an officer into losing his temper. If that isn't disruptive conduct, I don't know what is. If the reporter had any integrity or was really looking for the truth, then he should have accepted that many departments don't hand out blank forms to be used to file a complaint on an officer and investigated exactly how those departments accepted a complaint. Instead, he chose to insist he be provided with a form that didn't exist. In some cases his actions approached what would be considered the actions of an EDP (emotionally disturbed person). Conduct that the reporter exhibited in some of the interactions would probably have gotten the police called to remove him had he acted that way in a commercial establishment.

Any department is made up of its members and if most or all members belong to the union and the union did something then the police department did it. It might not be sanctioned but the police department did it.

No, the police department did not do it. Using your logic, if the Teamsters Union put the antigun agenda they support on their website, then we would be right to boycott all union trucking companies because the Teamsters is made up of truck drivers and since the trucking companies employ those truck drivers they must buy into that agenda too, no matter how the owners of those trucking companies feel.

Can a police officer make an arrest off duty (I already know the answer). If a private citizen is threatened by a off duty police officer can that private citizen place the off duty officer under arrest at gun point and take him to the local jail and lock him up without being place under arrest and thrown into jail himself.

Yes and no. A private citizen (in a state that permits a citizen to make an arrest) can detain an off duty police officer if he catches that officer committing a crime. No, in most cases he can't haul him to jail and book him. He'll have to call on duty officers to do that.

Can a private citizen, who say works in a factory, co-workers pull over a police officer who was going a few miles over the speed limit or driving in a suspicious manor and give them a ticket.

No, but a private citizen can file complaint with the agency in who's jurisdiction the violation occurred in, sign the complaint and agree to go to court as a witness. A private citizen can't pull over another private citizen for a traffic violation either. But the same remedy is available....Sign a complaint, agree to go to court and a citation will be issued.

There is a difference between a LEO and a non LEO. Police should avoid disputes when ever possible "avoid the appearance of evil".

You can't have it both ways. Either police officers are the same as everybody else, which is what is complained about in many threads on here, that police officers are different or special; or they are actually different and special and as such have no rights to defnd themselves. Which is it? Either police officers are just citizens like everyone else and they have the same right to take action to defend themselves in disputes, or they are special and because they are special, they don't get the same rights as everyone else? You can't have it both ways.

Now these officers are mad because they got caught abusing their positions so they lashing out and trying to intimidate people they don't like, this is not defending themselves while doing their jobs.

Do you really think this was about intimidation? Just how many hits by the general public do you think the Broward County PBA website gets? I rather doubt it makes Yahoo, Google, Ask Jeeves, or any other seach engine's most requested site. If anyone is trying to intimidate anyone, it's Mike Kirsch and his attorney, Alan Rosenthal.

Let's go back and read the article:

Kirsch first learned about the BOLO from a colleague who saw the flier in a stack of BOLOs at a local police station. New Times reporter Jeff Stratton wrote about the BOLO last week.

It's not like all of Kirsch's friends called himup and said, "Hey man, your name and address is on the Broward County PBA's website, I stumbled across it while searching the web last night." No, he found out about it from another reporter who was looking through paperwork in the police station.

If you are going to use questionable tactics in an attempt to get someone to bite and let you film them acting in an inappropriate manner, then you can expect that your intended victims are going to do what they can to protect themselves.

I'm sure there was more then one descrition and photograph of Mike Wallace and the 60 Minutes crew in corporate offices and security guard shacks back when 60 Minutes was in it's prime. If the internet had existed back then, I bet their information would have been on a lot of websites.

I'm amazed how so many members here despized the media for their bias when they report on gun issues and they will gladly participate in threads where they talk of bias and agendas. But that same media is as pure as a newborn baby and incapable of an agenda or bias when they report on the police. :eek:

Jeff

Titus
April 2, 2006, 12:44 AM
''I put the information out so our members if they come across any of these people, they should be aware these people they're talking to probably have you on camera,'' Brickman said.

Well, if you don't have anything to hide, you won't mind if we have a look. :)

roo_ster
April 2, 2006, 12:59 AM
Perhaps because the reporter is making a name for himself by generating confrontations with local cops?

jfr,

If you saw the video from the earlier thread, it was a man walking in and politely asking for a complaint form. They were doing some actual investigative journalism, in this case, what do you do if you have a problem with a cop.

Generating a confrontation would be say, a fake mugging and 911 call. That should be a stressful situation for the cops. Being asked for a complaint form - politely - does not rise to deserving the treatment one should reserve for a child molester.

"Confrontation" can be conflict, or it can be just face-to-face interaction. Reporter-boy may have intended a mere face-to-face degenerate into a conflict situation, but it did not have to be if the police he dealt with did not rise to the bait and make it so (given what video we had access to).

Reporting a crime that did not happen would not necessarily be a confrontation. I have reported some crimes which never generated a face-to-face with any cop. Just a report via 911 with no follow up. Nothing as serious as a mugging, though.



Perhaps because the reporter is making a name for himself by generating confrontations with local cops? Confrontations that place the cops confronted under stress to show how they respond in different stressful situations.

"Confrontations that place the cops under stress?"

Since when is asking "Do you have a form I can use to file a complaint" a stress-creating situation? Granted, when I read the original reports about this "expose'" I felt the reporters' sting was stupid and ill-conceived, because you don't necessarily need a form to initiate a complaint, but I can't see that asking for a form creates any stress on the part of the officer/dispatcher/secretary fielding the question. There are two possible answers:

(1) "Yes, we do. Here it is, please fill out two copies and keep one for your records."
or
(2) "No, we don't use a form for complaints. You can speak to the shift supervisor if you want to file a complaint."

Yes, I know that at some of the departments the reporter tried to turn response #2 into a confrontation, but if the officer at the counter chose to take the bait, he/she was an idiot. And once the officers escalated #2 into a p!ssing contest (especially the cop who was ready to draw down on the reporter in the parking lot) they just made themselves appear to be total cretins.
Granted, the stress was minimal. Perhaps folks who crack under such ought not exercise the authority that comes with being a police officer. Just a thought.

------------------

Frankly, I would expect that the LEOs would disseminate the information that some local reporter is trying to get video of LEOs acting in a thuggish manner. I don't much mind that. I do mind posting reporter-boy's personal data on the net for all to see. The grapevine is the proper place for such commo.

Nitrogen
April 2, 2006, 01:07 AM
If a "police watch" group posted the DL, address, etc, info of a police officer, all hell would break loose.

Just saying...

SomeKid
April 2, 2006, 01:19 AM
If you saw the video then you know that the reporter was deliberately trying to push an officer into losing his temper.

Jeff, I have seen the video. I am not a cop, but I do work security. If everyone treated me as politely as that guy treated the cops, I would not whine about confrontational people giving me grief.

Also, if your union handed you a letter stating a mans personal info, and called it a BOLO, citing him as troublemaker, would that not color how you view him should you meet him? Exactly. It doesn;t matter if it was a small time website, they gave this information to the cops at the station, and disseminated it. One could very well read between the lines "This guy is our enemy. If you get a chance, nail him." You know as well as I do what this was Jeff, cross the blue line and admit it. This is something every good person (cop or not) should publicly denounce, like the gun confiscations after Katrina. You either oppose these antics, or you support them (tacitly or otherwise).

Granted, the stress was minimal. Perhaps folks who crack under such ought not exercise the authority that comes with being a police officer. Just a thought.

------------------

Frankly, I would expect that the LEOs would disseminate the information that some local reporter is trying to get video of LEOs acting in a thuggish manner. I don't much mind that. I do mind posting reporter-boy's personal data on the net for all to see. The grapevine is the proper place for such commo.

jfr, I pretty much agree with that.

Nitro, I personally would if I was the reporter. I would dig out the information of everyone involved, and publish it under the Headline "Rogue Cops and their supporters".

brerrabbit
April 2, 2006, 01:29 AM
I just watched the video. Impressive. Read the posts. No big surprises, police will always cover for there own,right or wrong.

The reporter was cool,calm and collected. Almost every clip had the police trying to change the subject so they could find out why the guy had a complaint.

Just my view,at best, at least two of the policemen on that video need to be let go with cause. One guy was a clear and present danger to public safety. At worst, put in PMITA prison for abuse of power under guise of authority.

Hope the pig grabbing his gun makes the lawdogs on the board feel real proud about how they protect society from people asking for complaint forms.

Wonder why most civilians have issues with cops?

3rdpig
April 2, 2006, 01:38 AM
I watched that video 3 times and no where did I see an attempt on the part of the reporter to intentionally aggravate the officers he spoke to. He simply asked a question and expected to get a straight answer. Instead of giving him an answer (Yes or No), they refused to answer and instead started questioning him. When the reporter played dumb, the cops got suspicious, upset, then downright angry, then threatening. All to someone that asked a simple question. Yes or No, what's so hard about that? He was about as meek and unthreatening a person as I've seen. Why follow him, with a hand on a service pistol, barking questions? When he asked "Do you have a complaint form", if the truth is that there is no such animal, why not say "No, we don't. Any other questions?". Or "No, can I help you with something?". When he doesn't understand, repeat it. Keep repeating it until he leaves or you need to call for some kind of shrink to help him.

Honestly, I dislike the media, but I didn't see one single reason for those cops to get so upset, unless it was cut out of the video.

Placing his name and address on a BOLO by the union was uncalled for and may be actionable. If they used government owned equipment to do it then action should be taken.

Still, the whole thing seems blown out of proportion to me, I wonder if there's some part of the story we're not hearing? Some real reason those cops were so suspicious and angry when a citizen came in and asked a simple question.

When I was a kid my parents told me to ask a policeman if I ever needed help. I think I'd be rather hesitant before I asked one in that county.

gunsmith
April 2, 2006, 07:28 AM
then edits the video to make them look bad.
he is an amature mike moore.unless it was cut out of the video.

I have done a small amount of video editing I assure you, all the parts when he is acting like an anal dweeb were cut out.



this is a non issue, and if he ever gets mugged he should call his editors for help.:barf:

Kirsch is a small time chump, he is a liberal version of that chump who trolls vets funerals with the god h8's fags sign

if he was online he would be a troll, he is a gnat, please apply insecticide...someone!

Baron Holbach4
April 2, 2006, 08:27 AM
Jeff, you saw the video but you did not comment about the intimidating, and in some instances downright scary, behavior of the LEOs shown on the video. Out of the 38 police stations checked, only three stations provided a complaint form. Are you defending the behavior of the LEOs who intimidated the reporter? The reporter submitted his query as meek as a lamb.

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_033170755.html

Highland Ranger
April 2, 2006, 10:33 AM
I watched the tapes.

I saw cops out of control. Watch for yourself and decide.

Publishing the reporters address is just more intimidation.

No excuses from brother officers hold water.

wayneinFL
April 2, 2006, 02:04 PM
Good point!!!! I wonder if the Union would have the same reaction if the DL's, home addresses, and phone numbers of all the cops in the area were published on a website? Obviously from their perspective it's not illegal!!!

Actually, from what I understand in Florida there is a law allowing police officers to keep their home addresses off their driver's licenses. giving them anonymity to help ensure their safety.

I don't see a problem with putting a reporter's personal info on a website as long as it isn't illegal. Look at how the media spins a story, takes words out of context, and shows the most damning parts of any video. Look at the misleading reporting in Bowling for Columbine.

If I were a cop and faced possibly pulling this guy over- I'd sure as heck like to know who he was.

brerrabbit
April 2, 2006, 02:27 PM
Hey, If its OK to post the reporters address on a website, its gotta be ok to post all the local police home addresses as well.

There home addresses may not be on their drivers licenses, but that aint nothing a little footwork would not fix.

f I were a cop and faced possibly pulling this guy over- I'd sure as heck like to know who he was.

Uh, if the cops had acted in a professional manner, this would have been a non issue.

Shield529
April 2, 2006, 04:18 PM
A quote from brerrabbit
"Hope the pig grabbing his gun makes the lawdogs on the board feel real proud about how they protect society from people asking for complaint forms".

That little comment tells me everything I would ever want to know about the type of person you are. You manage to remove credibility from a worth while debate.

My Humble opinion is, yes several of the officers did in fact cross the line in the tapes. Criminal? No I dont believe so, mostly training issues and attitudes that can be corrected. Also the officer was not reaching for a gun, that cross draw holster was his taser, but the situation was provoked by both parties and unprofessional.
We should be debating and working to soultions to this gaps and issues as a communnity not as opposing sides in a war. If I called others backwoods sheep ****ing redneck gun nuts, it would cause hate and discontent. You would be unlikey to listen to my point no matter how valid and it would alienate me from others. Same thing when you call us "pigs" and other names. Officers read this and it widens the gap and reenforces "us Vs. Them".
I my time here I have found most of the people to be smart and above this name calling, lets insure it stops. I am and know many many officers most of us are on the same side as you, and the jerks we hate to.

Jeff White
April 2, 2006, 05:01 PM
If you are prepared to believe that this footage is the unedited truth then you don't need to comment in any thread on a biased report about gunowners. You have publically stated in this thread that the media (even a reporter who is involved with an anti-police group) is infallible and has taken a sacred oath to report only the unbiased truth since the Hearst newspapers bragged about starting the Spanish American War.

You have bought into the reporters agenda. He played on your emotions by setting up confrontations using edited footage. It's been pretty common since Mike Wallace perfected the ambush interview on 60 Minutes decades ago. The tactic is used against gun owners all the time. And a search of this forum will reveal dozens of threads where those reports are debunked and the media is slammed. But you believe this report, because you want to believe it. This report confirms your own fears and biases. So it must be true. In your heart of hearts, even if you won't admit it to yourself, you believe that all police officers are jackbooted thugs. So naturally, you're going to believe this report is unedited and was made with no particular agenda. Yellow journalism is effective.

Why do you think we have some trouble with RKBA issues and the majority of the public who aren't in the gun culture? Do you think that similar reports bashing those of us in the gun culture might be playing on those same fears and biases of those who aren't in the gun culture?

The so called news report is propaganda, plain and simple. The reporter had an agenda to start with and produced a report that was designed to get those results. From the tone of many of the posts in the first thread and in this one, the reporter was successful.

As for the Broward County Sheriffs PBA chapter sending out a bolo....

If you are going to come out against them warning their members that any dealings with this subject are likely to end up in a videotaped confrontation, then you have to be against medical professionals and insurance companies keeping lists of those who file malpractice claims, business people keeping lists of those who write bad checks, bars keeping lists of fake IDs and every other list or alert professionals use to protecthemselves from people who are predators.

To do otherwise is disingenuous.

Most people aren't as open minded as they portray themselves to be.

Jeff

Baron Holbach4
April 2, 2006, 05:14 PM
but the situation was provoked by both parties and unprofessional.

Is it provocative when a reporter or anyone else for that matter, entering the local police department, meekly and respectfully puts a question to an LEO at the front desk, "Do you have a complaint form"? Why is it that police departments that have the complaint form say, "Sure, here is the complaint form," and go on about their work without further ado? Why is there the potential for intimidation by LEOs in police departments that do not have the complaint form, while departments that do have the form think of it as just standard operating procedure and make an effort to be helpful and unprovocative? Could it have something to do with training and good public relations?

brerrabbit
April 2, 2006, 06:27 PM
Shield529

I did not collectively refer to police officers or all the police officers on the video as pigs, just the ******** reaching for his weapon, taser or service gun whatever and daring the reporter to take another step. All this in response to a request for a complaint form.

If I had brandished a weapon , lethal or not, in response to a question from someone, that would be a criminal offense. Why is it not here?

What provocation was there on the part of the reporter? Requesting a complaint form is provocation. If he is provoked to the point of grabbing a weapon by someone simply asking for a complaint form, that boy is too unstable to have a weopon in public. But then again that might be why he had desk patrol too.

Maybe if the police see the gap between the civilians and the police is widening into a them or us situation, they may want to do something about it like removing a few bad eggs instead of standing up and covering for them no matter what.

Alienating the public at large is not a good way to do business and may collectively bite LEO's in the rear eventually.

I have had tickets in the past, and had dealings with police before, In every case they were very polite and professional. The vast majority of the law enforcement officers in that video dont even match up to any standard of professional behavior.
.
Your defense of that officer also tells us all we need to know about the type of person and officer that you are.

Jeff White
April 2, 2006, 06:41 PM
brerrabbit,
So it's your contention that every second of the video is a factual unedited version of the events?

I have had tickets in the past, and had dealings with police before, In every case they were very polite and professional. The vast majority of the law enforcement officers in that video dont even match up to any standard of professional behavior.

Your own personal experience doesn't make you wonder how that could happen in this day and age? A media outlet would never in a million years edit a tape to advance an agenda. That means that every hit piece that was ever done on gun owners was factual too.....:rolleyes:

Jeff

TallPine
April 2, 2006, 07:03 PM
If you are going to come out against them warning their members that any dealings with this subject are likely to end up in a videotaped confrontation
Um ... don't most LE agencies have dash cams to videotape traffic stops now...?

JohnBT
April 2, 2006, 07:11 PM
"If you are going to come out against them warning their members..."

I am against posting his home address on the web. It wasn't posted on a password-protected site was it?

My insurance company, bank, doctor, stockbroker, dentist and employer don't post my address on the web.

John

Jeff White
April 2, 2006, 07:24 PM
Tallpine said;
Um ... don't most LE agencies have dash cams to videotape traffic stops now...?

Yes, and they also have locks on the tape decks and procedures so that the tapes cannot be tampered with or edited. They would not be admissible in court otherwise.

Jeff

Shield529
April 2, 2006, 07:59 PM
I don't see where I ever defended the officer. Please point it out. Also as Jeff White is saying, why is it every time its an news program showing a topic you disagree with with such as gun control, immigration, ETC. its the d**n left-wing media with all made up lies. When the topic is law enforcment every spoken word from a reporter is the gospel.
The reporter did not in most cases "meekly" request a complaint form. They repeated the request over and over and over, until its become apparent they were trying to provoke a responce. The Sgt. who put his hand on his taser tryed for some time to help assist with the complaint in the manner his department requiers him to. He then snapped after the taunts. Yes it was unprofessional and should not have been done, but if you told someone in your job how you had to perform a service for them and they just kept repeating something else you would get upset to. In most departments Internal Affairs does not deal with most complaints such as, rude behavior, speeding officers, profiling, ETC. In most departments a Sgt. or Lt. is tasked with taking the initial complaint and investigating it or sending it to IA. The Sgt. would have possibly been subjected to discipline had he not taken the complaint himself.
I also believe firmly that if someone wants to file a complaint it should be in person, signed, and sworn. If I make an arrest I have to swear to everything I say, if it is found to be false I will be fired at best imprisoned at worst. When I swear to an affidavit and arrest you I have to go on the stand and YOU have the right to question me face to face in court.Therefore if you wish to make a complaint that could subject me to the loss of my job, pay, and freedom, why should you not have to abide by the same standards I do. Being able to file nameless faceless complaints and have them acted on without questioning is unfair.
Most smaller departments do not have camaras, they cannot afford them.

brerrabbit
April 2, 2006, 08:14 PM
Jeff White

I would love to see the unedited version of the video. I dont doubt that the video was edited, but I would believe most likely it was for time.

The master video can be can be subpeona'ed so it is doubtful if the news crew had it destroyed, plus the fact that the PD probably has a running copy of tape also. Considering we have yet to see a video response from the police from their security cameras ,,,

Unless the reporter is going totally crazy in the PD and they cut that out, There was absolutely no reason for that cop to touch any type of weapon and dare the reporter to step forward after he followed him out. It so totally looked like the desk jockey was trying to start an incident and then to escalate it.

What is the deal with the LEO's demanding that the reporter talk to them first instead of just giving them a complaint form in the police departments that had complaint forms.. Just to an uneducated observer it looks like they are trying to cover another officers possible wrongdoings and doing it thru intimidation. A professional response would have been to hand them a complaint form and to tell them to have a nice day.

My personal interactions with the police have been good, You be polite and courteous to the man with the badge and he will generally return the favor. But I have seen quite a few videos of police not being quite so professional some of them from their own dash cams. I have also seen quite a few cops incite and escalate events that did not have to occur. Dont even try to tell me 100% of cops are good all the time.

Highland Ranger
April 2, 2006, 08:39 PM
We have rabid police defenders on this board and just as many rabid police persecuters.

I like to think I'm in the middle.

We can go thorugh a transcript line by line I guess and debate the minutia but it would be pointless. Won't change most minds here.

My only statement is that as a "reasonable guy", who for the most part appreciates the police, what I saw on those tapes made me very uncomfortable.

I saw cops specifically avoiding a pretty clear line of questioning and then getting hostile.

Editing? Yeah I guess; but if so, they did a pretty good job of it. If they editied this into all that . . . .well they should be making movies.

So short of this guy mooning them off camera, what I saw looked bad.

Looked like real agressive cops protecting their own interests.

I think most people other than the rabid defenders would see it that way as well. In fact I've seen reference to this across other hobby boards in the OT sections - and that is how most posters looked at it.

The defense of these actions based on what is seen on those tapes is not credible. And speculation about editing or whatever without evidence is also not credible.

CentralTexas
April 2, 2006, 08:51 PM
when you watch the TV show "COPS" and they play that song where the chorus is "Bad Boys" over and over? I'm starting to wonder who that's about....
CT

brerrabbit
April 2, 2006, 09:17 PM
Shield259

Quote I also believe firmly that if someone wants to file a complaint it should be in person, signed, and sworn. If I make an arrest I have to swear to everything I say, if it is found to be false I will be fired at best imprisoned at worst. When I swear to an affidavit and arrest you I have to go on the stand and YOU have the right to question me face to face in court.Therefore if you wish to make a complaint that could subject me to the loss of my job, pay, and freedom, why should you not have to abide by the same standards I do. Being able to file nameless faceless complaints and have them acted on without questioning is unfair.


Guess what, if the public rules of the departments do allow the people to fill them out anonymously, then those are the rules. Any attempt by an officer to circumvent this is unprofessional. I have held jobs where I could be filed against anonymously. Guess what, If it is part of the rules you have to abide by for your job, either quit or get the rules changed. Or are you above rules?

You signed up for a job where you have to appear in court all the time and be questioned, the majority of us did not. We dont have to abide by the same standards when filing a report, If you dont like it, quit. Just on that note, I do believe that filing a false official statement is a crime, and that anonomous complaints probably dont hold much weight.

The ability to file a complaint on an officer is a way to air grievences and bad behavior of LEO's, think of it as a safety valve. Removing a persons ability to file a complaint against LEO's might end up with someone resolving their issues in a way that would be detrimental for all concerned.

SomeKid
April 3, 2006, 01:20 AM
Jeff,

Let us assume, for the sake of arguement, that the videos are edited to make the cops shown look bad.

Do you find it acceptable for the police to use such behavior for a man who might be ride, but not criminal? (Do note, I am saying he might be rude for the sake of arguement. Nothing in the tapes hinted towards rudeness.)

On to those medical professionals and insurance agencies keeping their own lists.

Can either of those groups bring down the force of law the way police can? Also, are these groups keeping PRIVATE lists, or are they sending out this information widely where anyone can view it?

Now, lastly, we hit what bugs me the most about the whole thing.

Do you honestly find it acceptable for a policemans union (keep in mind the powers police hold in this country) to send out to their members the home address, date of birth and drivers license number of a man under the form of a BOLO?

What if the BOLO was not because he was a 'troublemaker', but say, because he owned guns, and we need to watch out for this guy, because only 'we' should own guns? After all, a union must protect its membership. Would that be acceptable to you?

mcg-doc
April 3, 2006, 07:37 AM
medical professionals and insurance companies keeping lists of those who file malpractice claims

I'm surprised that this was not pointed out earlier. I'm in a medical profession; my wife is in a medical profession. I personally worked with a number of health insurance companies. A single company or an individual physician probably does keep records of claims against them. However, no physician group, whether local, state or national, tracks or disseminates such data. I needed such information for my research. It doesn't exist. Moreover, it is illegal even to list the names of patients. Identifying them as such would be a HIPPA violation.

I personally think that police union acted legally but unethically

Baron Holbach4
April 3, 2006, 07:51 AM
They used to call this Yellow Journalism

Imagine, if you will, the same reporter entered the police departments with a camera crew, transparently filming the encounter between the reporter and the desk LEO. Knowing that the cameras were rolling, would an LEO resort to intimidating behavior? Not if he wants to risk suspension, disciplinary action, or lose his job. But when the cameras are concealed or unavailable, why is it the few bad apples in the police department will resort to intimidating tactics while most LEOs are above reproach?

Jeff White
April 3, 2006, 06:11 PM
Somekid said;
Let us assume, for the sake of arguement, that the videos are edited to make the cops shown look bad.

Do you find it acceptable for the police to use such behavior for a man who might be ride, but not criminal? (Do note, I am saying he might be rude for the sake of arguement. Nothing in the tapes hinted towards rudeness.)

I never once said that the behavior of all the officers was acceptable. I don't believe that we saw the complete encounter. It's very easy to edit a tape to show anything you want to show. And there are no checks and balances on news organizations. They are not required to keep master tapes of interviews.

On to those medical professionals and insurance agencies keeping their own lists.

Can either of those groups bring down the force of law the way police can? Also, are these groups keeping PRIVATE lists, or are they sending out this information widely where anyone can view it?

The Police Benefit Association is a private group. It is not a police department and it probably has members who are police employees and who aren't sworn, such as telecommunicators who have no peace officer powers. It cannot bring the force of law down on anyone. Again, they published this information on their website. I have no idea if their website is password protected. It doesn't matter. It's not like they bought a banner ad on the Yahoo start page. The so called victim didn't even see the information on the website. Another reporter found the information printed in hard copy in a police station.

Do you honestly find it acceptable for a policemans union (keep in mind the powers police hold in this country) to send out to their members the home address, date of birth and drivers license number of a man under the form of a BOLO?

Yes I do find it acceptable. It is just as acceptable as a store owner posting a list of people who write bad checks (often those lists contain addresses and other identifying information) next to the cash register or bar owners keeping lists of false IDs. The fact that police officers are given certain powers does not mean they aren't as entitled to know about someone who will try to force a confrontation with then as a convenience store clerk is to know who will probably write them a bad check.

What if the BOLO was not because he was a 'troublemaker', but say, because he owned guns, and we need to watch out for this guy, because only 'we' should own guns? After all, a union must protect its membership. Would that be acceptable to you?

But the BOLO didn't say that. It said to watch out for this guy because he will try to force you into a compromising position. That's a fair warning in my book. If you want to start another thread about a union keeping lists of gun owners, you're free to. However it's not material to this discussion.

mcg-doc, it's a pretty common practice around here where the number of malpractice suits are driving physicians out of the area. I don't know that there is a single consolidated list, but the lists exist just as you stated through individual providers and insurance companies.

Imagine, if you will, the same reporter entered the police departments with a camera crew, transparently filming the encounter between the reporter and the desk LEO. Knowing that the cameras were rolling, would an LEO resort to intimidating behavior?

I'm not against a hidden camera. I am against the reporter forcing a confrontation in order to get the appropriate response. If the reporter had acted that way in a private business, refusing to be helped, and acting like he was fixated on something that didn't exist, they probably would have called the police to remove him.

A fair report would have went something like this:

reporter: I'd like to make a complaint about an officer, do you have a form?

Desk Officer: No, but I would be glad to help you with your complaint.

reporter: No, I don't want to talk to an officer I just want to fill out a form.

Desk Officer: You have to speak to an officer to file a complaint.

reporter: Ok, thanks....turns and leaves.

reporter (on air): The International Association of Chiefs of Police recommends that police departments have complaint forms available to the public. Our undercover crew went out and visited locla police stations today and only three area police departments have forms.


Of course you don't win an Emmy with a report like that. Your collegues don't reward you for your cutting edge investigative reporting, and no one in the audience really cares about the issue. So instead you go out with your under cover camera crew and try to create interesting video. The entire community will be concerned about the jack booted thugs sitting behind desks in our police stations, so let's see how far we can push them. And I'd be really interested in seeing all of the video of a couple of the confrontations.

The reporter had an agenda and went out and created a story to prove it. Yellow Journalism. And judging by the responses in the two threads on this subject, he succeeded.

Jeff

mcg-doc
April 3, 2006, 06:23 PM
It is just as acceptable as a store owner posting a list of people who write bad checks (often those lists contain addresses and other identifying information) next to the cash register or bar owners keeping lists of false IDs.

However, neither the store nor the bar owners disseminate this information among the local towns people or other business owners. Moreover, fake ID’s and bad checks are illegal. Complaining about the police is not.

it's a pretty common practice around here where the number of malpractice suits are driving physicians out of the area. I don't know that there is a single consolidated list, but the lists exist just as you stated through individual providers and insurance companies.

I would really like to get my hands on such list if it exists. Please, PM or e-mail me the information on how I can obtain the list or whose position you have seen it in. Such information is not available to me locally. May be things are different in Illinois.

Jeff White
April 3, 2006, 06:37 PM
The union did not disseminate the information to the local people either. It was found, on paper in a police station.

Complaining about the police is not illegal. But everyone, including the police has a right to protect themselves against people who would try to cause trouble.

I would really like to get my hands on such list if it exists. Please, PM or e-mail me the information on how I can obtain the list or whose position you have seen it in. Such information is not available to me locally. May be things are different in Illinois.

Give me a day or so to get you a contact number. I'll have to make some calls.

Jeff

JohnBT
April 3, 2006, 08:30 PM
"It doesn't matter."

To you it doesn't matter. To others of us it does.

John

Jeff White
April 3, 2006, 09:29 PM
John,
The internet is not a secure place. There are already enough public records about all of us available online that anyone with the interest and sometimes a little bit of cash to pay an information clearing house can find out just about any public information they want to.

Why is it some kind of terrible invasion of privacy for a union to post a warning like that, but it's not an invasion of privacy for any of the several online directories to post home addresses, phone numbers and even have a handy link to bring up a map to someones house on the page?

The information was published on a website that was probably only frequented by members of the union, and probably not a majority of them.

Perhaps we should just shut the internet down?

Jeff

Autolycus
April 3, 2006, 09:47 PM
Oringinally Posted by: JohnBT
I don't think posting someone's address on the web is something to be proud of, especially when you've got a beef with them.

I don't think it's right when someone does it to a police officer and I don't think it's right when they do it to someone.

John

True but the fact is that officers are immune to a lot of these efforts and it is illegal in some states to publish their personal information.

The fact is that the officers are acting childish and are abusing their power. I hope that the communities in question where the officers acted like children are calling for some firings and a loss of pension.

Autolycus
April 3, 2006, 09:47 PM
Oringinally Posted by: JohnBT
I don't think posting someone's address on the web is something to be proud of, especially when you've got a beef with them.

I don't think it's right when someone does it to a police officer and I don't think it's right when they do it to someone.

John

True but the fact is that officers are immune to a lot of these efforts and it is illegal in some states to publish their personal information.

The fact is that the officers are acting childish and are abusing their power. I hope that the communities in question where the officers acted like children are calling for some firings and a loss of pension.

Hawkmoon
April 3, 2006, 11:19 PM
Jeff, I have to say in all honesty that I think you are circling the wagons here. You keep saying that this BOLO was to alert officers so they could protect themselves if they ever encountered this reporter. That sounds nice and innocent, but I'm afraid I'm simply not willing to accept or believe that the purpose of the BOLO wasn't to let officers know whose car to subject to a bit of "extra attention" if they saw it on the streets.

And I think deep in your heart of hearts you know that to be true, as well.

Jeff White
April 4, 2006, 02:03 AM
Hawkmoon said;

I'm afraid I'm simply not willing to accept or believe that the purpose of the BOLO wasn't to let officers know whose car to subject to a bit of "extra attention" if they saw it on the streets.

If they wanted to let everyone know whose car to single out, why didn't they post any vehicle information? If this is as evil as you think it is, why didn't the BOLO say drives a red Toyota or whatever? What vehicles a person owns is very easy to come up with if, as you say someone wanted to misuse the computer system to set this guy up.

And I think deep in your heart of hearts you know that to be true, as well.

Nope. You aren't thinking like a cop. A member of the media, no matter what kind of a pain in the butt he was, is not the kind of person you'd want to harrass. The old saying about never picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel applies here. If a reporter (who already showed an anti-police bias) felt he was being harrassed, he'd certainly retaliate on the air and the officer and department would lose in the court of public opinion.

Jeff

Baron Holbach4
April 4, 2006, 07:02 AM
An excerpt from the article:

The Webster's release of Kirsch's personal data is an obvious case of illegal harassment, says Alan Rosenthal, attorney for CBS 4, including the violation of state and federal laws prohibiting the disclosure of motor vehicle record data.

On Friday, March 10, Rosenthal delivered a cease-and-desist letter to the Broward County Chapter of the PBA in Fort Lauderdale, demanding that distribution of the BOLO stop and it be removed from the Website by 5:00 p.m. (which it was, with an hour to spare).

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/Issues/2006-03-23/news/metro.html

Another excerpt:

Also named in the BOLO was Greg Slate, a Police Complaint Center investigator based in Maryland. What worries him about South Florida cops, he says, is that "there's so much centralized power and no oversight. And there's a real maturity issue with some of these guys."

He's referring to the scene at the Sea Ranch station, in which one officer, unaware he was on camera, demanded Slate's driver's license. "And I'm doing everything in my power to cooperate," explained Slate. Footage shows an officer shouting at Slate, as if trying to provoke Slate to make a move he would likely regret. "You can see me try to hand it to him. At one point our hands are about three inches apart, and he's demanding that I move it over. If someone's going to do that over some minor issue, then what would they do in a real high-pressure situation where somebody's life is on the line?"

In any case, police appear to have gotten the message. After the series aired, Slate found that all but one station stocked complaint forms. The Pembroke Pines Police Department was the exception.

spartacus2002
April 4, 2006, 07:11 AM
May I ask both sides to narrow the discussion?

I can understand the union posting the individual's name and profession and stating "look out for this guy: investigative journalist, he may set you up." But what about the home address part? Why was that necessary?

Baron Holbach4
April 4, 2006, 07:13 AM
The text of the entire article, in case the link goes bad:

It was a hidden-camera exposé that made police departments look bad. In conjunction with an independent watchdog group called the Police Complaint Center, WFOS-TV CBS 4 reporter Mike Kirsch presented remarkable footage of what happens when a civilian tries to file a complaint against a police officer in South Florida.

At cop shop after cop shop, undercover investigators were met with intimidation. In Lauderhill an officer was hostile and threatening, taunting a man who simply asked for a complaint form. A Sea Ranch officer threatened to ticket a complainant's car for "improper backing." Others simply refused to hand over a form, or denied they existed.

The footage reinforced every stereotype about arrogant and uncooperative cops.

Kirsch presented the incriminating footage to Miami Police Chief John Timoney, BSO Sheriff Ken Jenne, and other law enforcement honchos. Timoney, whose station was the only one to pass the undercover test by handing over a complaint form, asserted that any police chief who didn't make a form available should be fired. Jenne, meanwhile, looked stunned by some of Kirsch's tough questions.

Some officers had another reaction. By the time Kirsch's series aired the first week of February, the Broward County Police Benevolent Association decided to do something.

It went after Kirsch.

On the BCPBA's Website, a flashing icon alerted viewers to a BOLO — "be on the lookout" — which, when clicked, led to a warning: "Channel 4 News is ... setting up officers and instigating confrontations, then filing complaints with the various police departments." Also posted was Kirsch's personal information: his date of birth, home address, and driver's license number. The bulletin was distributed to individual stations in each municipality.

"I've been in far more dangerous circumstances," says Kirsch, who has filed stories from Iraq and Afghanistan and has won numerous awards for his work. "But when you're in a civil society like the U.S. [and] you do a story on police officers and you have them start threatening you...."

Years ago in Cicero, Illinois, Kirsch says he was pinned against his car by officers he was investigating, and he says the recent events brought back the same feeling.

"I thought it was harassment," he says of the BOLO bulletin. "It's different now because I have a wife and child. I told my wife to grow eyes in the back of her head. She was kind of concerned about it."

The Webster's release of Kirsch's personal data is an obvious case of illegal harassment, says Alan Rosenthal, attorney for CBS 4, including the violation of state and federal laws prohibiting the disclosure of motor vehicle record data.

On Friday, March 10, Rosenthal delivered a cease-and-desist letter to the Broward County Chapter of the PBA in Fort Lauderdale, demanding that distribution of the BOLO stop and it be removed from the Website by 5:00 p.m. (which it was, with an hour to spare).

Dick Brickman, president of Broward's PBA, sounded less than apologetic about posting the BOLO. "I don't think it went too far," he said last week. "We're about to put it back on the Website, but we're taking certain information off. I've been advised by our legal staff not to put it up there."

For Brickman, a retired police officer, Kirsch's credentials mean little. "These people call themselves journalists," he seethed, "but they're not reporting the news, they're creating the news." Brickman says he issued the BOLO because "we wanted to alert our members that these people were out there trying to make news by setting them up."

After the CBS 4 report aired, police reacted angrily. "Mike D.," a self-described "disgusted police officer," wrote a scathing e-mail to flacops.com, a statewide portal for law enforcement news.

"Reporters like Mike Kirsch don't care about news," he wrote. "They care about controversy, creating a villain, shock value, and ratings."

Adds Brickman: "Who cares whether you have a form or not? I'd have taken five minutes to listen to them and realized it was just a bunch of BS. I think the police department should go after them for making a false police report!"

Also named in the BOLO was Greg Slate, a Police Complaint Center investigator based in Maryland. What worries him about South Florida cops, he says, is that "there's so much centralized power and no oversight. And there's a real maturity issue with some of these guys."

He's referring to the scene at the Sea Ranch station, in which one officer, unaware he was on camera, demanded Slate's driver's license. "And I'm doing everything in my power to cooperate," explained Slate. Footage shows an officer shouting at Slate, as if trying to provoke Slate to make a move he would likely regret. "You can see me try to hand it to him. At one point our hands are about three inches apart, and he's demanding that I move it over. If someone's going to do that over some minor issue, then what would they do in a real high-pressure situation where somebody's life is on the line?"

In any case, police appear to have gotten the message. After the series aired, Slate found that all but one station stocked complaint forms. The Pembroke Pines Police Department was the exception.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/Issues/2006-03-23/news/metro.html

Baron Holbach4
April 4, 2006, 07:43 AM
A libertarian blog link with some comments regarding the complaint form investigation:

http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/03/community_polic.shtml

Baron Holbach4
April 4, 2006, 07:50 AM
Opinions from LEOs regarding media coverage of the complaint form investigation:

http://www.flacops.com/Opinion.htm

An editorial from the same site:

http://www.flacops.com/Editorials/Police-Station-Intimidation.htm

BigFatKen
April 4, 2006, 08:42 AM
BSO Sheriff Ken Jenne

I would change my initials from BS-Officer to another.

mcg-doc
April 4, 2006, 09:11 AM
If citizens want to be greeted with tea and cookies when filing an IA complaint, they need to stop filing the lies, the retaliation, and the exaggerations complaints first.

FLACops.com
Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This quote clearly shows the poor attitude of some in the law enforcement towards the citizens. Unfortunately, it supports the premise of the journalist.

'Card
April 4, 2006, 09:46 AM
Kirsch first learned about the BOLO from a colleague who saw the flier in a stack of BOLOs at a local police station. New Times reporter Jeff Stratton wrote about the BOLO last week.
The frequently-repeated claim that the Police Officer's Union is solely responsible for this looks pretty absurd when you see where the document was being distributed.

I'm generally a defender of law enforcement types, but not in this case. This type of crap crosses any reasonable line of professional behavior, and simply can't be condoned or excused.

TheEgg
April 4, 2006, 12:24 PM
Sorry, just indefensible, all rationalizations to the contrary. Solely an attempt to intimidate. Thuggish, no matter who 'authorized' it.

I hope the reporters in this case watch their backs -- don't stop for blue/red lights in a deserted area, drive to an area with lights and people before stopping, etc. Make sure they have all their licenses/permits/etc. up to date. Don't even think about drinking in public, or smoking a little weed at home. Be prepared to have their taxes audited. If they have any skeletons in the closet, best to talk about it with family now, before it appears in a paper somewhere.

It would be best not to be alone -- ever.

I agree with Jeff that it would make no sense to poke that ol' beast that buys ink by the gallon, but then it made no sense to provoke this in the first place by trying to intimidate the news people. Some cops may try to harass these reporters -- as we can see from the behaviour of some cops in this affair so far, some cops are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

And, I don't think for a second that Jeff would have posted that information about the reporter in the first place -- anyone with such an idea would have probably been given a "WHAT! are you NUTS?" from him.

Which is how the idea SHOULD have been treated in Florida.

brerrabbit
April 4, 2006, 02:33 PM
John White

your right, a fair report would have gone somewhat like this.

A fair report would have went something like this:

reporter: I'd like to make a complaint about an officer, do you have a form?

Desk Officer: No, but I would be glad to help you with your complaint.

reporter: No, I don't want to talk to an officer I just want to fill out a form.

Desk Officer: You have to speak to an officer to file a complaint.

reporter: Ok, thanks....turns and leaves.

It didnt. Why didnt any of the officers say they didnt have any complaint forms. Actually IIRC one PD said that, and it was the end of the video there. The news at that PD was that they had no complaint forms.

Instead we have the immediate mode change on the part of the policemen to "You have to tell me/desk sergeant what is going out before I will let you fill out a complaint" leading to the expectation that there are complaint forms, just the police officer aint letting the reporter have one before he finds out whats going on, or he wants to let another officer get into the reporter's business before he files a complaint. Then we have the threatening of ticketing and demands for ID because he is trying to file a complaint which was obvious harrassment.

The story was the reactions of the police to the reporter asking for a complaint form. Asking for a complaint form even after the policeman refuses to give you one is not provoking an officer, nor would a reasonable person find it so. If a person in any other job had acted half as badly as those policemen, they would have been fired as soon as the report aired. Again if I or any other civilian had initiated a confrontation, brandished a weapon and dared that same reporter to take a step forward all in response to a request for a complaint form, we would probably be in jail.

NoPhilly
April 4, 2006, 04:22 PM
Well, a few other posters mentioned it... I'd just like to say it again:

If there is nothing wrong (legally and ethically) with posting the reporter's personal information on a (public) website, then there should be nothing wrong with posting police officer's information on a (public) website.

We're all citizens, right?

Maybe a "Be wary of this officer" (BWOTO) list?

What's good for the goose is what's good for the gander, right?

Jeff White
April 4, 2006, 06:48 PM
NoPhilly said;

If there is nothing wrong (legally and ethically) with posting the reporter's personal information on a (public) website, then there should be nothing wrong with posting police officer's information on a (public) website.

We're all citizens, right?

Maybe a "Be wary of this officer" (BWOTO) list?

It's been done. That's very old news. A good search engine should bring up at least a dozen anti police sites where people are encouraged to post all kinds of information on police officers.

Jeff

JohnBT
April 5, 2006, 08:02 AM
Just because it's being done doesn't make it right. John

mcg-doc
April 5, 2006, 10:37 AM
It's been done. That's very old news. A good search engine should bring up at least a dozen anti police sites where people are encouraged to post all kinds of information on police officers.

Jeff:

In your previous posts you state that posting the reporter’s info was acceptable. What is your opinion on posting information about the police officers on the web? Are you as willing to accept them?

I personally think that both instances are clearly unethical. Publishing personal information of your opponent is just a form of harassment.

Creeping Incrementalism
April 5, 2006, 04:41 PM
Drivers license information is available to the general public. In many states you just have to contact the right agency and pay a small fee. There are also many information house websites where all kinds of public information can be purchased from private vendors who collect it

Jeff, I checked, and there is a federal law against states releasing driver's licesnse information to the public that has been on the books since 1994, and has been upheld by SCOTUS. Not all state's have laws against it. California does, but Florida doesn't. The ACLU has sued Florida for releasing this information in violation of federal law. So the police broke federal law in obtaining this information.

http://www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/15203prs20030408.html

Also, cops are expected to deal with a-holes on a daily basis and remain professional. They should always act like they are being watched, and not be upset or even feel the need to warn everyone when they actually are being taped.

Mad Man
April 15, 2006, 09:40 AM
The 2005 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS

Chapter 119
PUBLIC RECORDS

119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of public records. (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=%22public%22+AND+%22address%22+AND+%22officer%22&URL=CH0119/Sec071.HTM)

(4) (d) 1. The home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and photographs of active or former law enforcement personnel, including correctional and correctional probation officers, personnel of the Department of Children and Family Services whose duties include the investigation of abuse, neglect, exploitation, fraud, theft, or other criminal activities, personnel of the Department of Health whose duties are to support the investigation of child abuse or neglect, and personnel of the Department of Revenue or local governments whose responsibilities include revenue collection and enforcement or child support enforcement; the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such personnel are exempt from s. 119.07 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=%22public%22%20AND%20%22address%22%20AND%20%22officer%22&URL=Ch0119/Sec07.HTM)(1).


Perhaps somebody could translate this from legalese to English.



The Police Benefit Association is a private group. It is not a police department and it probably has members who are police employees and who aren't sworn, such as telecommunicators who have no peace officer powers. It cannot bring the force of law down on anyone.


But many of it's members do and can.


http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=38453&stc=1&d=1145108299

LEOs...............Members of PBA


However, the BOTO notice was published for the benefit of the non-LEOs in the PBA. So there's no reason to be concerned.



"When given a choice between privacy and accountability we always choose privacy for ourselves and accountability for everyone else. This is especially noxious when it's some all-powerful leader making the choice."
-David Brin (http://davidbrin.com/privacyarticles.html)

Mad Man
April 15, 2006, 10:28 AM
video:

http://cbs4.com/video/?id=15196@wfor.dayport.com&cid=8
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=15153@wfor.dayport.com&cid=8
http://cbs4.com/video/?id=14698@wfor.dayport.com&cid=8

Mad Man
April 15, 2006, 10:52 AM
At cop shop after cop shop, undercover investigators were met with intimidation.


If you watch the original video http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_033170755.html , that is not what happened.

16 police departments were shown. Of those, one was described as a "model department," 3 officers were thugs, and the remaining 12 were professional and (mostly) courteous.

1. Talahassee: cited by news crew as a "model department"

2. Lauderhill: thug

3. Miami-Dade: thug

4. Hialeah Gardens: no incident

5. South Miami: no incident

6. Hollywood: no incident

7. Hallandale Beach: no incident

8. Sunny Isles Beach: no incident

9. Miami Springs: no incident

10. Miami Beach: no incident

11. Rembroke Pines: no incident

12. Coral Gables: no incident

13. Village of Pincrest: no incident

14. Wilton Manors: no incident

15. Sea Ranch Lanes: thugs

16. Broward Sheriff: no incident


One or two of the officers in the "no incident" category could have been more polite: one was obviously agitated, and another was indifferent. But given that the undercover investigator was at times annoying and the department didn't have forms as a matter of policy, it's no big deal.

So less than 20% of the departments were shown in a negative light. Obviously, this was the result of Michael Moore-like video trickery.

Mad Man
April 15, 2006, 01:23 PM
A good search engine should bring up at least a dozen anti police sites where people are encouraged to post all kinds of information on police officers.

anti police sites where people are encouraged to post all kinds of information on police officers (http://www.google.com/search?&q=anti+police+sites+where+people+are+encouraged+to+post+all+kinds+of+information+on+police+officers)

molonlabe
April 15, 2006, 08:08 PM
What kind of search was that????
try this
http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=police+abuse&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&as_rights=&safe=images

gunsmith
April 16, 2006, 01:46 AM
for cheap shots and editing:cuss: :banghead:

Mad Man
April 16, 2006, 08:45 AM
that guy should win the mike moore wannabe award
for cheap shots and editing

Because the security videos from the police stations, and the testimony of the officers involved, tell an entirely different story?

Deanimator
April 16, 2006, 09:36 AM
Jeff White wrote:

"It is against the rules to use LEADS and NCIC for anything but official business. The system keeps a record of what agency ran what information. The agency keeps a record of what officer ran it. It would be very stupid for someone to risk his/her career to come up with the reporter's DL file number to post on a website. It would be very easy to find out who did it. Every LEADS operator, including officers who have terminals in their cars has a unique log on and password. It would be very easy to prove the allegation, that's why Hollywood PD was so quick to dismiss the complaint.

There is likely no police misconduct here, although I'm quite certain the press release was designed to make the public think there was misconduct."
Whether there was misconduct depends upon state law.

Ohio specifically bars certain information EXCEPT for official purposes, and that information can ONLY originate from a BMV search by the BMV or law enforcement. A record is supposed to be kept here too... doesn't mean it is... or that it can't be erased with sufficient collusion. An attorney with sufficient IT knowledge, or access to somebody who does, could... and should drag the department (and BMV) in question through a legal knot hole. In an open society, every time you try to cover something up, you uncover something else. If an officer did this, there are VERY onerous (for the department) means of discovering whom. If it was done on a department computer or terminal, things will be very embarassing and very EXPENSIVE for that city.

As for the stupidity of various acts, stupid is as stupid does. Here in Cleveland, a cop suspected of passing out White supremacist literature, committed a racially motivated battery, and held someone against their will. He was immediately arrested. It didn't stop him from doing it. When I first moved to Ohio, local police falsely arrested reporters for running stories on their dereliction of duty. That was immediately reported. They still did it. The summer I moved here, police refused to come to the assistance of a Black woman whose home was besieged by a mob of drunken Whites. A friend had to drive to her house and shotgun the mob to protect her and her children. The 911 tapes which showed the police and dispatchers joking with each other about the situation were inevitably subpoenaed when they charged the friend. All of these things were stupid... but they still happened. Cops are recruited from the general population of society, not a cadre of emotionless, analytical robots like in "The Day the Earth Stood Still". SOME of them are going to INEVITABLY be racists, drug addicts, thieves or simply STUPID.

This week's Cleveland "Scene" magazine details the horrific torture, murder, beheading and cremation of a meth head by his FRIENDS, none of whom can actually say WHY they did it. You don't get much more stupid than that... but they did it.

Never say that something is too stupid for somebody whom you don't know to do. You'll lose that bet EVERY time...

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