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Cop gets fired after 3 strikes within 4 years

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Vernal45, May 28, 2005.

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  1. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    Cop gets fired after 3 strikes within 4 years
    Alterio plans to appeal ruling
    AARON LEO aleo@ctpost.com
    Connecticut Post
    BRIDGEPORT — Jason Alterio, the city police officer accused of assaulting several women in his four years on the force, has been fired.

    But Alterio will appeal to the state Labor Board, with representation by Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159, said Sgt. Donald Jacques, the union president.

    Alterio's lawyer, Elliot Spector, of West Hartford, could not be reached for comment.

    "He's through as of today," Lt. James Viadero, police spokesman, said Tuesday. "The hearing officer's recommendation was termination."

    Though former Police Chief Wilbur L. Chapman and current acting Chief Anthony Armeno both wanted Alterio terminated, the hearing officer, James Stewart, was the only one with the power to fire him. Stewart issued his findings earlier this week.

    The department's Internal Affairs Division had found Alterio guilty of violating department regulations in three separate cases. Alterio was sworn into service in February 2001.

    In one incident, Alterio is alleged to have used excessive force when responding to a call at a city woman's home on Aug. 10, 2002. He was not charged in that case. He was disciplined by the department but returned to duty.

    The woman, Dolores Fonseca, accused him in a federal lawsuit of beating her. The suit also names the Police Department as a defendant.

    A settlement conference is scheduled for June 7 at U.S. District Court in Hartford.

    According to Fonseca's lawsuit, the incident began when she pushed Alterio's flashlight away. She maintains she was wearing a bathing suit and he was shining the light on her breasts.

    She accused him of whacking her in the head with the flashlight, slamming her face into a door and stepping on her ankles. She was arrested but eventually cleared of the charges.

    Alterio also served a 60-day suspension after his arrest in New Britain for allegedly violating a court order that barred him from contacting a former girlfriend. The woman told police he choked her during the incident.

    Alterio was stripped of his gun in 2003 because of another protective order against him. It was imposed after he was arrested for allegedly harassing and stalking a former girlfriend in Stamford.

    He pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to reduced misdemeanor charges covering all the criminal cases in exchange for a suspended six-month jail sentence and 18 months' probation.

    Aaron Leo, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6222.
     
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    If it wears a union label, I leave it on the shelf and buy something else.
     
  3. Fly320s

    Fly320s Member

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    The Union appeal is to be expected, that is why the union is there, right or wrong.

    The article is dated today, which says to me that the officer was fired today or this past week, but he was convicted January 18th. Why the long gap? :confused:
     
  4. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    Different laws for LEO's.
     
  5. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    If we threw every cop off the force everytime some person gets pissed off and files a bogus complaint, there wouldnt be any left.

    Better to get rid of the bad ones later rather than dismiss good ones with less due process.

    Still, at the risk of sounding like a cop-hater, I must ask why he isnt on trial for committing the crime of assault and battery?
     
  6. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Uh...firing someone is not a law. That's an administrative decision on the part of the business/agency that employs you. Being a LEO might be one of the few professions where you would be fired as a matter of course for engaging in activity like this. So, in that respect you might have a point. ;)

    The reason for the delay doubtless has a heck of a lot to do with union contracts and civil service rules. He's certainly not on duty, and hopefully his status is leave without pay, but that would be governed by forces beyond the department's control (contract and civil service rules, again).

    Mike
     
  7. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    For what, the flashlight incident? I dunno, but likely it has something to do with the ambiguity of the situation. Just because you can't prove a case against her doesn't mean that you have the evidence to turn around and convict him. Even running with the assumption that it happened he way she said (and, given the whole situation, I'd tend to believe her), the ability to sustain an excessive force complaint against him (which she did) does not necessarily rise to the level needed to sustain a criminal case.

    Also:
    That might be included in this deal as well.

    Mike
     
  8. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    I agree. Here in California, if you're a cop, you're far more likely to be charged/convicted if you commit a crime.

    Heck, in the Rodney King case, they were even able to get rid of that pesky double jeopardy law.

    Always looks good to show that the police are held to a "higher standard."

    Not to mention, that in most cases, you'll lose your career, and your retirement, unlike the general public.

    Oops..... guess that's not what you meant. Didn't mean to interrupt your cop bashing. I'll just take this Memorial Day weekend to reflect on the thousands of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, rather than the few bad apples.
     
  9. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    So, are you saying the cops were innocent?
     
  10. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    Well actually that shouldn't have mattered. They shouldn't have been subjected to another trial, after being found not guilty in the first.

    But in answer to your question, yes, they were innocent.....

    Do you know the facts of what happened that night? Or have you just seen the edited 17 seconds of video?
     
  11. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.But in 1959 the Supreme Court decided by a 5-4 vote in a case known as Bartkus that the doctrine of "dual sovereignty" permits successive state and federal prosecutions for essentially the same crime.


    And, you are wrong, the cops were guilty.
     
  12. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    Oh... OK. Thanks for setting me straight.

    Go back to your fun.
     
  13. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    Memorial Day has nothing to do with LEO's. Unless you view LEO's as a defacto military arm.

    Memorial day is meant to remember the SOLDIERS who died fighting in past and current wars. SOLDIERS, not LEO's
     
  14. DMF

    DMF Member

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    In what may be the only time I will ever agree with Vernal the concept of separate sovereigns does mean the officers in the Rodney King case were not subjected to "Double Jeopardy."

    However, when examining the Rodney King case it is important to note, that what the two juries disagreed on was when King had stopped resisting the officers. The jury in the CA case against King felt that even though King was on the ground the tape showed he was still fighting and therefore all the strikes delivered by the officers were justified in an attempt to subdue him. However, the federal jury felt that while some of the baton strikes were justified even when King was on the ground, they determined that King had stopped fighting before the officers stopped using their batons.

    This was hardly a clear cut case of officers abusing a suspect. The whole incident involving King was much more complicated than the very short video clip most people have seen. The controversy was not about whether the officers were justified in using the taser, or the baton strikes, and other control techniques, but rather the controversy was over whether the strikes continued beyond the time when King had stopped fighting the officers. The prosecution in both cases did not present a case that the officers were not justified in striking King at all, but rather that they did not stop striking King soon enough. The state and federal juries disagreed on that point.

    BTW, there were three other people in that car with King. Without doing an internet search does anyone know their names? That's a rhetorical question, because if people are honest about it, they don't know their names from memory. Do you know why you don't know their names? Because they complied with the lawful instructions of the officers who made a lawful traffic stop. By complying all of those men avoided any violence or injury whatsoever.

    Just some food for thought.
     
  15. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    As long as we're asking questions,

    With all the baton strikes from PR-24 batons, that are capable of breaking bones with very little effort, how many broken bones did Rodney King have?

    One.

    Cheek bone from falling down after one of the two times he was Taser'ed. He was Taser'ed twice after charging officers, who at gunpoint, ordered him to the ground.

    He pulled the darts from his chest, and screaming, continued to resist. He gave all the appearance of being high on PCP.

    King was only struck with soft tissue hits, designed to make him comply, and give up.

    The officers should have shot him. They would probably still be working today.

    And you are exactly right about the passengers.

    As to the double jeopardy. How often have you seen this tactic employed against regular citizens?
     
  16. Tory

    Tory member

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    What took so long?

    The first incident, flashlight-on-cleavage, is clearly an "iffy" situation. However, a pattern clearly - and rapidly - emerges:

    "Alterio also served a 60-day suspension after his arrest in New Britain for allegedly violating a court order that barred him from contacting a former girlfriend. The woman told police he choked her during the incident.

    Alterio was stripped of his gun in 2003 because of another protective order against him. It was imposed after he was arrested for allegedly harassing and stalking a former girlfriend in Stamford.

    Why is someone who:

    1. Has a history of violence against women; and

    2. Who violated a court order still a cop?

    Bully-boy seems to be insecure about something....... :scrutiny:
     
  17. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Vernal45 is correct. May 15th is Peace Officers' Memorial Day, not Monday.
     
  18. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    Which officer was it that failed the baton certification, prior to going on shift that night?
     
  19. DMF

    DMF Member

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    Rare, but it happens. It was used repeatedly during the 60s in cases where white defendants were acquitted of crimes against black victims. The two most recent examples of this were Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Both were convicted on federal murder charges, then were tried and convicted again in OK state.
     
  20. DMF

    DMF Member

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    You know Vernal I don't remember which cop it was, but IIRC he failed because the evaluator said he was not hitting hard enough, not because he did anything related to improper judgement in use of the baton.
     
  21. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Federal and state charges for the same crime are
    that rare. I know of several cases personally. And I haven't gone looking for examples.

    Personally, I think that it is double jeopardy.
     
  22. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    isn't this thread about the cop not the R King case?

    anyway,having been on the recieving end of 3 false accusations myself I will give the cop the benifit of the doubt.
    especially with the first flashight incident,women criminals who get in trouble always claim sexual harrasment.
    criminals often feel that the baton is unfair,they have been coddled and gotten away with their devious behavior for so long they think it's their right...
     
  23. DMF

    DMF Member

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    Byron, I beg to differ. As I said it happens, but it is not a common event. AUSAs will regularly turn down cases if they know a state or county prosecutor is already pursuing the same charge under state law. What is common is someone getting charged in both federal and state court, based on different charges related to the same criminal activity. For example, it's rare that someone will get jammed on a felon in possession case in both fed and state court. Usually it goes fed, but if the county or state want it's unlikely the feds will bring the federal charge too, because it is essentially the same charge.

    What you will often see is someone getting some charges brought by the state, and other different charges broght by the feds. Such as a prior felon getting a busted while commiting an assault with a deadly weapon (gun), and being charged in state court on the state charge of assault, but charged in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm - two substantially different crimes, despite being related to the same arrest.

    Regardless, even if the charges are essentially the same at fed and state level it is not double jeopardy, because it is not the same government trying the individual, but rather two separate governments. All those that support the concept of state's rights should support this idea, because essentially it says the states are free to enforce their own laws as they see fit, and the feds enforce their laws as they see fit. Other than the rare exception of a state crime being committed in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction, and charges brough under the Assimilative Crimes Act, the federal government cannot prosecute for state crimes.
     
  24. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    I have a calendar, and I'm more familiar than most with the purpose of Memorial Day. If after reading Vernal's hate posts, if I also choose to think of Peace Officer's who have given their lives, that's my prerogative.

    My first post was in support of something Vernal said:

    I couldn't agree more. The law is much tougher on cops. And the rarity of double jeopardy makes my point.
     
  25. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    Lets say this again, IT WAS NOT DOUBLE JEOPARDY.


    And there is a different set of laws for LEO's. If it was like you say, tougher, we would not be talking about incidents like this.
     
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