Monday, October 18, 2010

The Few Good Apples

One of the regular criticisms I receive on this blog is that I am much too hard on cops and prosecutors. Yes, people argue, there are "a few bad apples," but most cops are honest and most prosecutors only want justice.

I wish that were true. I mean that. I believe that both police work and the roles of prosecutors are honorable. Furthermore, I have known people in both professions who fit the "honorable" category and spent time recently with a state police officer who is an investigator and who clearly has a moral compass, which he uses in his work.

Unfortunately, as Radley Balko notes in this article, the INSTITUTIONAL framework for police in this country has become something that creates incentives not only for bad behavior, but also for looking the other way when faced with wrongdoing by other cops. Writes Balko:
A few years ago, I attended a conference on the use of police informants. In one session, the "Stop Snitchin'" movement, which discourages African Americans from cooperating with police, came up. I was astonished to hear one hip-hop artist and activist say he would not cooperate with the police even if he had witnessed the rape and murder of an old woman in broad daylight. He just didn't trust the police. I told him his position was absurd: Whatever his concerns about the police when it comes to the use of drug informants (concerns I share), they shouldn't prevent him from cooperating with the investigation of an innocent person's murder. His response: "Isn't the Blue Wall of Silence really just the most successful Stop Snitchin' campaign in history?" (emphasis mine)
He gives some examples that are right out of Orwell with the ubiquitous "internal affairs" departments investigating people who stood up for the right thing. (For that matter, the original police officer in the Duke Lacrosse Case, a Sgt. Shelton, was adamant that Crystal Mangum's story was false. His reward? He was investigated by Internal Affairs. Why am I not surprised?)

This is a most depressing article, for it lays out the unthinkable: America's police departments now are run by people who stand up for what is wrong and do everything they can to crush honesty and decency. Most of the barrel is rotten.

30 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

I saw this on 48 Hours Mystery: The Whole Truth last weekend that has a example of the "Blue Wall of Silence".
Did an LAPD Cover-Up Keep Bruce Lisker in Prison For 26 Years?
Bruce Lisker wasn’t the only one to pay a heavy price. Sgt. Jim Gavin says doing the right thing cost him his career. He describes himself as "ostracized" within the LAPD.

Gavin is still working at the LAPD and was promoted to lieutenant after excelling on the civil service exam. But in a lawsuit, he claimed the LAPD retaliated by sidelining his once-promising career. The LAPD argued that Gavin, who had no training as a homicide detective, acted well beyond his area of expertise. Gavin lost the suit.

William L. Anderson said...

I read that and weep. Not only was someone wrongfully imprisoned, but the guilty went free, a police officer committed crime after crime and did not have to face consequences, and a man who did the right thing was persecuted.

Keep in mind that this was not individual retaliation. This was POLICY by the LAPD. As I have said before, the problem now is institutional, and when the very institutions that administer "justice" are fundamentally unjust, then there is not much hope for change.

Anonymous said...

Over a million law enforcement officers in America. You find a few who have shown poor judgement or have committed crimes and the whole lot is bad.

How about reporting on your collegues at badbadteacher.com.

Anonymous said...

Over a million law enforcement officers. They know who the bad ones are. Their silence is deafening.

Kerwyn said...

Anon 9:52

How about you telling us your occupation and we can see the bad in your area too.

Truly a silly post by the way. This blog is not about the good folks. Maybe they need one but that is not here.

This is about innocent people railroaded by those in control...

Pay attention...

Anonymous said...

I forgot you hide behind a fake name and your wanting to call me out. Your one of the ones in control Kerwyn who's watching what your doing? This site is worse than Nancy Grace.

liberranter said...

Bill, I'm sure you've already seen this posted by Will Grigg on today's LRC Blog, a story that fits right in with your post today.

I also see that "anonymous" trolltards are out in force again. While their presence is a sure sign that the truth is having the same effect on the criminal and ignorant (or do I repeat myself?) that mirrors have on vampires, you really should consider disallowing anonymous posters, if for no other reason than deny these creatures a place to hide.

Anonymous said...

"I forgot you hide behind a fake name and your wanting to call me out. Your one of the ones in control Kerwyn who's watching what your doing? This site is worse than Nancy Grace."

Is it asked too much that at the very least you learn to spell and use grammar correctly before you engage in baseless personal attacks?

Anonymous said...

One person posts a differant opinion and this blog suddenly has validity. Thanks for policing my grammer. You better watch out since you are in control of grammer Bill might write posts about you next. I also agree with the membership, stop letting people hide behind fake names.

Anonymous said...

Kerwyn is supervised constantly by the national certification authority, from which she has earned the right to do her job. I have no doubt, from reading her posts, that she does a competent, thorough job in her capacity as a nurse examiner. (I know you didn't need this, but I got your back girl!) I'm sure Bill welcomes differing points of view, but so far I have yet to see one that does anything more than produce ad hominem attacks and useless babble.

William L. Anderson said...

Well, the troll believes that when the LAPD or the NYPD at the highest administrative levels attempts to punish a police officer who did the right thing, then that is irrelevant. Furthermore, the "Blue Wall of Silence" is no big deal.

Actually, Kerwyn has a perfectly good reason for using her pseudonym: her testimony has put a number of rapists in prison, and she likes to have some anonymity. In other words, her reason is quite legitimate.

However, our "friend" does not have to deal with such things. Instead, he posts anonymously because he likes to make hit and run comments out of cowardice.

Radley's article pointed out something that is very important: Even if just a few cops are lying and engaging in lawbreaking, they are able to do so because entire police departments cover for them. His point is that the bad cops would not be able to get away with their crimes if the other cops did not agree to lie or to be silent in order to protect them.

For the rest of us, if we are silent, then we also are complicit. For cops, none of that holds; they have become a separate political entity with their own sets of laws and rules.

Nancy Grace, by the way, is pro-cop and pro-prosecution, just like our troll. So, I am not sure why he would lump me in with her, given that Grace herself was cited for lying while working as a prosecutor. I would think our friend would support her, since he supports lying.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Bill, the troll also likes badbadteacher.com. The people like Grace who believe in guilty until proven innocent. I won't look at that garbage or watch NG.

I think our troll doesn't understand we all have friends in LE, prosecutors & other fields of authority, but they are the few good ones. Maybe the troll needs to ask them how they feel about the state of our "system" right now. I know I have.

Also, the troll said something the other day that literally made me laugh uncontrollably. He/she/it said something to the effect that you (Bill) had never been a witness for anything, so you don't know what you're talking about. Obviously, this "person" has not read all of your blogs. It simply likes to attack you and Kerwyn who has damn good reason to use a pseudonym. I won't even use one because of my ordeal & fear for my family, but I almost always remember to finish off with my tag.

I still have an idea of who this person is, but since I don't know for sure, I will just keep my assumption to myself. :-)

UGA Mom

Doc Ellis said...

Dr Anderson, I shared the article that you linked. Thank you for this heads up.

Doc Ellis 124

William L. Anderson said...

Thanks, UGA Mom. (You also should be thanking me for the fact that the UT Vols have revived Georgia's season. Look for the Dawgs to beat the Evil and Satanic Gators next month, and I guarantee you that the Auburn-Georgia game will be a donnybrook.)

Don't forget that the "bad teachers" site had Tonya Craft front-and-center, even after she was acquitted. For that blog, all it takes is an accusation, and the person automatically is guilty.

This person has been claiming that no evidence is "proof" of guilt. Amazing. Maybe one day, he will learn how to spell.

Anonymous said...

"One person posts a differant opinion and this blog suddenly has validity. Thanks for policing my grammer. You better watch out since you are in control of grammer Bill might write posts about you next. I also agree with the membership, stop letting people hide behind fake names"

I don't have a problem with a different opinion if it is based on sound research. What I have a problem with is personal attacks from someone who doesn't have any other arguments.

By the way, it is grammar - not grammer. But what can one expect from someone who apparently thinks the Duke Lacrosse case was a valid case and Nifong a great prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Bill, since I went on vacation (and made a promise to the hubby...no computer), I didn't get to thank you for the win. :-) It should finish out an interesting season. Hubbs and I were just going over all of the scenarios & now I have a headache!!! lol. We were actual in Gator land for vacation & they are actually frightened of the game this year. Our UF alumni relatives & friends aren't talking smack this year. It's a nice reprieve. The KY & AU games scare me more.

As far as our little friend who lives under a bridge, the spelling absolutely terrifies me. I know that sounds shallow, and we all make errors now and then, but this person consistently spells the same, simple words wrong. Those aren't typos, just ignorance.

I still don't know whether to laugh at "its" posts or run for my life. To praise badbadteacher, then compare your blogs to NG, just really concerns me. It takes all kinds, but some kinds just need to go away.

I will also say, I would enjoy it if the troll engaged in some factual, mind-provoking conversations, but that's not the case, so it should just go away.

Oh anon 9:39, don't forget that our troll has a very difficult time with the word "different" & also the uses of "your & you're". It's really not complicated, but this person should at least use a dictionary or maybe should have just become educated in the first place. lol

UGA Mom

Anonymous said...

OK THATS IT!!!! We just can't have that type of anti GATOR talk on here ANYMORE!!!!

A Duke Dad said...

... Please ! ... ... Do Not Feed the Trolls

William L. Anderson said...

Remember, I ran against Gators (and the Tide, and the Tigers, and the Wildcats, and the...) in college, but in the end, it was fun. I have friends from all of my competition days, including people I beat and people who beat me.

Believe me, with Tennessee in the Tank and being the Team That Is What the Doctor Ordered, Gators and Dawgs and The Evil Tide and Beyond are going to be feasting on the carcass of Smokey for a while! (Angie Granger is going to weigh in on the Evil Tide comment, of course.)

So, never take it personally. If we cannot have fun in sports, then we shouldn't do them. But, if it makes you feel any better, Dawgs are evil, too. But, at least they no longer suck....

KC Sprayberry said...

Not to get off the whole sports thing but I'm not into football or any other sport. Sorry, guys. Give me a chance to view the countryside in a good, old fashioned Volksmarch and I'm gone but organized sports leave me a bit cold. However, I've gone over this quite a bit in my head. We all pay outrageous taxes, supposedly to insure our safety from those who enforce the laws made by our silly legislatures but has anyone ever looked into what the cops make? Luckily, I did after hearing our local PD, part of LMJC, had an opening. A person accepting a patrol position, beginning grade, is offered 28,600 annually. Honestly, I made more than that in the military, also known for wanting perfection at starvation wages. How can we expect the cream of the crop when we won't pay for them? Yes, you will get some people determined to do good at that rate, but more often than not, as we've seen constantly all over the country, we're hiring bully boys and girls to police our citizens. Perhaps the solution is to eliminate the dead weight at the top of government, lower their wages, and make a political position part-time instead of full-time and then we can find a better caliber of person to police our streets. Better yet, instead of police maybe we should go to peace officers with limited and very well-defined duties. Then again, the take-a-punk-to-lunch bunch will have to give up on the idea society is to blame for 'good boys/girls going bad' and put the blame squarely where it lies - on the offender. Then prosecutors won't have all this lovely federal money tempting them to turn law abiding citizens into criminals. Yes, we have a crime problem but that problem is exacerbated by the many laws now on the books
unnecessarily. Unfortunately, we can't start at the bottom to clean up the problem when the worst offenders within the judicial system and law enforcement are at the top.

Anonymous said...

The NYPD, for the very most part is excellent. I am sure there are a few rouge cops out there but they are definitely the minority. Good things sometimes come with living in a big city as there is a lot of oversight, much more so than in smaller communities such as Prof Anderson has mentioned.

Reader from NYC

Anonymous said...

So much for "a few bad apples" at least in Philadelphia.

http://www.policeone.com/special-operations/articles/2772324-2-Pa-officers-attempt-to-steal-drugs-and-money-from-undercover-cop

My favorite part of the article:

"Alivera and Luciano are the 14th and 15th city police officers to be arrested since early last year. The most recent arrests include a cop who was charged with using a cheating device at Parx Casino, one who was charged with beating a woman with a hockey stick and another accused of stealing more than $800 from a bar."

These are those we have chosen to "protect and defend" us. Who protects us from them?

William L. Anderson said...

As I have said before, the problem is more than some bad cops. The real problem is that the bad behavior and the covering up of wrongdoing has become institutionalized. When one sees Internal Affairs departments investigating the good guys in order to cover for the bad guys, we know that the situation is out of control.

Believe me, the so-called law enforcement and justice institutions in this country are in bad shape. There are good people employed and working in them, but we see another form of Gresham's Law at work. (You might remember that Gresham's Law states that bad money drives out good money -- if they both have the same face value.)

The Gresham's Law in the courts and police departments is that bad prosecutors, judges, and cops drive out the good people.

Kerwyn said...

Anon,

Just to let you know, there are folks on this blog, including Dr. Anderson, who know my real name, phone number and family information. As Dr. Anderson points out, in the course of doing my job, I have helped incarcerate some not so nice folks. I prefer they do not track me down. It would make me an very unhappy person.

Rather than tossing off hand comments around, I would suggest that you toss around facts. You see, I love facts. They are like a nice sharp scalpel. They do not lie (either by omission or commission), exaggerate or portray themselves in a grandiose fashion. They simply are themselves, plain and irrefutable.

I know many good cops. Many who do not dare to speak out. Many who have no vehicle in which to speak out. Many who cannot speak out. Look at this from a different angle. Here is the vehicle in which the bad do get called out and called out with facts, not supposition.

Dr. Anderson will tell you, I am all over his writing when I perceive it to be inaccurate. However, rather than tossing out pithy one liners, I actually do the research and show it to him. Given that he is an imminently logical man and one of honor as well, he corrects if he has the facts.

Do you?

Anonymous said...

So Mr. Troll, do you think the police in Catoosa County should have allowed a jailer who molested an inmate to just quit his job, rather than prosecute him for his crime? Do you know that many other boys were molested, because they protected one of their own? I am sure there are good cops out there, but in my book they are few and far between and even one bad apple in something as important as law enforcement is one too many!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I am feeding the troll in spite of myself and the 12 step program helping me stop it.

Hey TrollTard, here’s 35 more examples of “a few bad apples.” Even a raging homophobe can see that these “few bad apples” destroyed evidence after being told to preserve it by a federal judge during the discovery process. If they can successfully screw over this group of people, they can do it to any of us. That’s the point you don’t get. It is not anti-cop to expect the police to do their jobs in a fair and unbiased manner. Your pathetic blatherings are less about being pro-cop and more about being anti-civil liberties.

http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/lawsuit-police-erased-evidence-686253.html

Anonymous said...

@ Kerwyn - I have not been on this blog recently and found your comment about Dr. Anderson's integrity interesting, especially this portion:
"Given that he is an imminently logical man and one of honor as well, he corrects if he has the facts."

I admit it has has been months since I have visited this site, but I recalled seeing several posts that really were not accurate depictions of Georgia law when I visited previously. For instance (if I recall correctly), the hearsay testimony of teachers was incorrectly criticized as being inadmissible (or something to that effect) and the State's correct objection to (and Judge's subsequent ruling on) an attempt on the part of the defense to enter a doctor's note without properly laying a foundation was also wrongly criticized. After briefly perusing posts for the months of April and May, I found that these posts were no longer published! Thus, I have concluded (perhaps incorrectly?) that they have been removed because of these errors.

In truth, these (and other) misrepresentations of the law made me dismissive of this blog as a whole; however, I will have to take a closer look at the claims presented here. Perhaps I was wrong.

I do not disagree that there are bad cops and bad prosecutors and bad systems that are created by men and women. All too often a police officer or prosecutor may have a hunch that someone is guilty and reach beyond the evidence that they have. In truth, every last one of us is vulnerable to this. It has a name: Pride. The humility that Dr. Anderson has shown in taking down incorrect information forces me to reconsider my position that he is making assumptions and looking for evidence to fit his own theory. The name-calling still turns me off - I do think it would be much more effective (if perhaps not so sensational) to leave that out. But that is only a personal preference.

Thank you for fighting the good fight - not only for victims of sexual predators but for those victims of the system.

Kerwyn said...

Anon,

We are not Lawyers, so thus we have a "common man's" perception of courtroom fairness. The hearsay testimony was in regards to Joal Henke "suddenly" remembering on the stand that Ms. Craft had a homosexual affair. Our objection was that the judge refused to allow the defense to refute that statement with witnesses. I was informed by several attorneys that this, even under Georgia law, would be overturned on appeal. That being said, it goes to fairness. Our court system has become a place where the "common man" does not have a snowflake's chance in hell of surviving if they don't have half a million or better to spend on a defense. That is bluntly, wrong.

As to name calling, I normally would agree completely with you, however, let us view the names that are used by the prosecution and police and let us view them in an appropriate light. Ms Craft, for instance, was portrayed as a Lesbian, a child rapist/molester, a liar, a whore, accused of extramarital affairs that included 3somes among others.I would say, that in light of what the prosecutors are using in the way of name calling, this blog does not come near that standard.

Dr. Anderson is not always correct in his facts given the fluidity of most data the prosecution presents. Data comes in dribbles as the prosecution draws out the process as long as possible in order to bankrupt a defendant. Then at the last possible moment, they bury the defense in paper, hoping they will miss exculpatory evidence. This poses a challenge to Dr. Anderson as he is not in touch with any Attorney and he relies on other sources for access to data.

That being said, if Dr. Anderson discovers he has posted incorrect data, he corrects it immediately.

You, as the reader can assist in this accuracy, as we all do. Should you see an inaccuracy, simply post that and why you know it (I just know doesn't count). You teach us in that way, make all that read this more informed and allow all of us who read this blog to make better decisions.

I am far from perfect (don't tell my husband that!!), but as much as I enjoy being part of a team that puts bad guys in prison, I abhor injustice even more.

William L. Anderson said...

Thanks, Kerwyn. Actually, I do try to get it right and when stuff comes in quickly, I admit that I can get it wrong and I do try to correct it. (Also, Kerwyn gets on me if I have something factually wrong, and she is pretty hardcore when it comes to sticking to facts.)

I also understand about the name calling. However, I do it partially out of personal meanness (OK, I admit that), but also because I believe that the prosecutors and others, including Joal Henke and his clean-shaven wife, deserve as much ridicule as they can get. These are people who put Tonya Craft through a living hell, and they did it for selfish reasons and for pure spite.

Even though Tonya was acquitted, these people have been able to get away with depriving her of her children, of ruining her reputation, and of forcing her to spend about a million dollars -- all for a lie. So, no, I make no apologies for calling these people names. You have to understand that what I want is for people to see someone like Brian House and say, "There goes "judge" Brian Outhouse," or "There goes Len "The Man" Gregor."

These are people who deserve ridicule, since the Georgia State Bar is not interested in doing anything about their lawbreaking. I believe that Chris Arnt, Gregor, Outhouse, Buzz Franklin, Tim Deal, Sandra Lamb, and Joal and Sarah Henke are despicable people and I will give them no quarter. None.

Don't forget, after lying to a jury, suborning perjury, and generally being a two-man crime spree, Gregor and Arnt are prosecuting cases, sending people to prison. No one in the LMJC has stopped lying because they know that no one will stop them.

So, they need to have at least one person who publicly calls these people out for what they are doing. They have no right to do this, and no decency. And, having paid taxes into that district for many years, I'm just getting my money's worth. (Don't forget, I served as a jury foreman for a civil case in Walker County in 1990, so I actually have some small involvement in the LMJC.)

Anonymous said...

"Burn her!"

The lynch-mob has never died. It's alive and well even if it takes on the pretense of justice if only to make the knuckle-dragging apes feel like they've evolved. Bill, you are on God's side, the side of right, the side of good. It isn't always easy; in fact, it's frequently difficult and disheartening. It's a wonder and a blessing that there are tireless people like you who don't let the lawbots get you down.