May 13, 2007

NEW HAMPSHIRE POLICE ARREST MAN FOR GATHERING EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM

Dover man charged with taping his DWI arrestMay 7, 2007

ROCHESTER, N.H. --A 48-year-old Dover man has been charged with tape-recording his own drunken driving arrest early Monday.

Police say they saw Christopher Power sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle with its motor running just before 3 a.m.

After speaking with Power, police charged him with drunken driving, and discovered a running audio recorder on the driver's seat. In addition to drunken driving, Power was charged with wiretapping.

COMMENTARY: Here, in San Diego, police began using video recording devices some years ago. They stopped when defense attorneys started figuring out that what the arresting cops put in their reports wasn't matching was really happened according to the videotape. The cop would write that the suspect failed all of the field coordination tests. The video didn't show that. The cop would write that the person seemed impaired. The video didn't show that. So, what was the outcome? They canned using the videotapes. It wasn't good for police business. This New Hampshire man should get a medal for taping his stop. Cops should be prosecuted if they destroyed the evidence.

May 11, 2007

SAN DIEGO CHP OFFICER ACCUSED OF BEATING DUI SUSPECT

Veteran San Diego CHP Officer Brian David kennedy, 44, accused of assaulting a drunken-driving suspect at the Vista jail, pleaded not guilty Thursday to two felony charges of assault and filing a false report.

Kennedy was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance. He faces up to 2 1/2 years in prison if convicted. He is charged with two felonies, assault while acting as a peace officer and filing a false report while acting as a peace officer, and misdemeanor battery.

Yes, folks, it happens. A veteran San Diego CHP officer called repeatedly by prosecutors for years to testify truthfully against citizens accused of DUI, is caught beating the daylights out of a suspect and he does it on video.

It happens. It happens much more than the general public would like to admit.

What is even more frightening is that the suspect allegedly had a .07 blood alcohol, below the legal limit, and his lawyer pleaded him to a DUI.

Continue reading "SAN DIEGO CHP OFFICER ACCUSED OF BEATING DUI SUSPECT" »

May 8, 2007

CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL MAY END POLICE SECRECY

Below is the text of California Senate Bill 1019 which would allow public access to disciplinary hearings regarding police officer misconduct investigations. Such information would be made available upon request by any citizen pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code sec. 6250 et seq).

Note: On the face of it, the bill purports to open police officer disciplinary proceedings to the public. However, a close reading reveals that this bill is permissive, rather than mandatory. Police officer associations will surely be gunning to kill the bill. A vote is expected in July.

police%20miscondcut.jpg

Ask yourselves: Why should evidence and investigation into police officer discipline be more protected than disciplinary hearings regarding any other paid civil servant's misconduct? Sustained disciplinary actions of state legislators, doctors, lawyers and teachers are all open to public review. So it should be for the boys in blue who carry guns and are sworn to uphold the law.

------------------------------------------------------------
|SENATE RULES COMMITTEE SB 1019
|Office of Senate Floor Analyses
|1020 N Street, Suite 524
|(916) 651-1520 Fax: (916) 327-4478
------------------------------------------------------------
THIRD READING

Bill No: SB 1019
Author: Romero (D)
Amended: 3/26/07
Vote: 21

SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE : 3-2, 4/17/07
AYES: Romero, Cedillo, Ridley-Thomas
NOES: Cogdill, Margett

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE : Senate Rule 28.8
SUBJECT : Peace officer records
SOURCE : Author

DIGEST : This bill (1) provides that public disclosure of
investigations or proceedings concerning the conduct of
peace officers or custodial officers will extend to those
conducted by a civilian review board, personnel board,
police commission, or civil service commission, expressly
abrogating the decision of the California Supreme Court in
Copley Press v. Superior Court , 39 Cal.4th 1271 (2006), (2)
provides that any charter city may elect, as specified, to
follow the practices it followed before the Copley Press
decision with respect to the release of limited information
regarding certain personnel investigations, (3) permits
departments or agencies employing peace officers or
custodial officers to release specified information with
respect to disciplinary matters, as specified, (4) permits,
in cases in which a governmental body outside the
department or agency makes a find adverse to an officer, as
specified, and the finding is overturned or the
recommendation is not followed by the department or agency
that employs the peace officer, the department or agency,
in its discretion, to release any information already
released by the outside body, as well as a summary of the
grounds for overturning the outside body's findings or not
following its recommendation, and (5) provides that
information disclosable pursuant to this section shall be
made available pursuant to the Public Records Act.

Continue reading "CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL MAY END POLICE SECRECY" »