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Posts Tagged ‘officers’

      There is a terrible abuse of power, allegedly, in the investigation of a double murder case in Arizona.  A young 8 year old child was being interviewed by the police in the murder case of his father and a houseguest/friend of the father who were shot and killed. The interview was recorded; thank God, because it shows the leading questions being asked by the officers; as well as the answers given by the child.

      This is outrageous; children are very easily led by those in authority.  This child was a potential witness and was being interviewed as such.  The officers allegedly said to the child, what if we had someone who ‘saw’ something?  Then, when a series of questions was put to the child and he was led to say that he ‘might’ have shot the gun that day, then he might have shot his father, then he might have shot the friend…before long he was shooting the gun that day and he didn’t know…if maybe he shot his father.  You see what i am saying…this line of questioning was done without an adult advocate for the child being present.

       There was no attorney in the room who represented the child…there was no parent present (father was killed…but the child had a mother who lived out of state) there was no friend or clergy present…no teacher…no person who could stop the interview when it allegedly (and in my opinion was) turned into coersion to get the child to confess to murder.  This is an 8 year old child.  Clearly, he was anxious, fearful and wanting to give them answers…he was wanting to be pleasing to the authority figures in the room so that the questions would stop.  Whether he is guilty of murder or not…this is not how questioning should have been conducted.

        Even if it is true that this child committed murder (it would indeed be a terrible thing)…the case will probably be thrown out because the ‘evidence on tape’ was done without the child being read his rights/and in lieu of not being able to comprehend his miranda rights (or to have anyone unbiased explain it to him)…there was no adult advocate present to prevent him from implicating himself in the taped ‘confession’.  What if this child confessed to a crime that he did not commit?

        This is a huge problem in our court system.  People who conduct police interviews with children, or with people who are disabled/special needs….should be required to have special training.  It is very easy to lead a person to ‘confess’ to a crime when they are being questioned by a person who is viewed as an authority figure when they are at a disadvantage intellectually (disabled) or if they are not of an age of understanding…a young minor child.

          This case will have long term repercussions in the legal system; as it should.  It was an outrageous abuse of power and the impact on police procedures should be addressed.  What do you think of this situation?  You can watch part of this interview on cnn.  http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/11/19/boy.confession.tactics/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

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        It should have been a fairly local news story…however, a mayor from a fairly large metropolitan city in America who is being accused of felony charges of perjury and other assorted charges; throw in some secret behind the scene deal, allegedly made with lawyers regarding the officers who had recordings showing alleged proof of his salacious, sexual text messages between him and his alleged former (female) chief of staff; as well as, a formal legal proceedings (initiated by the City Council and signed into motion by Govenor Granholm) trying to forcibly remove him from office…and you have a national news story worthy of a tabloid newspaper.  Still, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is basically saying, Heck No…I won’t Go.

         His basic legal argument is that the council doesn’t have legal standing to remove him from office because he says the law states that the only legal grounds a council has to remove him is a felony conviction or for a lack of qualifications. 

          So, when the council formally asked the Governor to remove Kilpatrick from office and went through the formalities….Mayor Kilpatrick vetoed the Council’s vote requesting his ouster by Governor Granholm. Wow!!!  There is some fancy footwork going on.

          No, I won’t leave office…because I haven’t been “convicted of a felony” even though i am being charged with felony charges…i haven’t been convicted yet…therefore…i don’t have to leave office (yet).   

            Can you imagine having to try to work together effectively to run a city as large as Detroit with such opposite agenda’s?  Is this fair to the citizen’s of Detroit to have this kind of standoff going on in their city’s governing body?  I wonder how long of a process this will take, to get a decision that is definate in whether he will be allowed to stay or forced out of office. 

          Some of the allegations are downright embarassing.  His wife appears to be still standing behind him.  After all, if the texts truly represent that he had an ongoing relationship with his female former chief of staff…that is damaging to a marriage and will take some major time and energy to repair (if the people involved are truly repentent for their actions…which doesn’t appear to be the case based on this ongoing legal defiance). 

           Then you get into the legal stuff and it would seem that his professional hands would be bound so tight that he would not be able to perform his duties as Mayor.   Is he in denial about the situation; or, is it just a delaying technique?  If he is going to end up removed…who is paying for all of this legal wrangling…are our tax dollars going into this legal battle?  Is there such a thing as being sued for political malpractice?  If so, this situation seems to invite such a suit.  Do you think Mayor Kilpatrick should stay or go?

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        An investigation has begun, in the city of Brotherly Love, because of a video tape shot by a television crew; it shows officers pulling three suspects out of a vehicle and then kicking and punching them. 

        The three suspects were involved in a shooting earlier.  Officers witnessed four suspects getting out of a vehicle earlier and shooting into a group of men.  One of the suspects got away by running from the scene.  The other three drove off and were chased by the officers and stopped.  The video shows the officers pulling them from the vehicle and beating & kicking the suspects, on Monday. 

          There has been a strong current of anxiety since Saturday when another officer was shot and killed.  The officer’s name was Stephen Liczbinski, and he was a police Sgt.   Three arrests have been made in the fatal shooting of officer Stephen Liczbinski.  That shooting set the atmosphere presumably for the incident on the video tape.  Emotions on all sides, the police department as well as the public, are inflamed.

           Officers, that were involved, are being pulled off of their regular beats during this investigation.  There are reports that as many as 15 officers could be involved in this video taped beating.  Of course, none of us know what went on before the video or after the video was filmed.  However, i think it would be very difficult to find any reason that would allow for such violent and extreme actions on the part of the officers.  If it happened the way it appears to look on tape, then it is nothing short of an abuse of power. 

          This is a horrible situation.  It damages everyone.  There will be more information released when the investigation is done…but in the meantime, it will be difficult to keep peace.

         When the trust of the police department in any city, or town is compromised; it creates nothing but anger, fear and mistrust.  This is not a good situation for the public safety or for the integrity of the police department.  

           The real shame is that this investigation is going to take some of the focus off of the officer who was shot and killed, doing his duty with honor.  Hopefully, a city that is being torn asunder will still find a way to mourn the loss of their officer, Stephen Liczbinski; and support his family.

         

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