Tag Archives: Bad apples

Yes, All Cops ARE Bastards; How and Why Modern Policing Discourages Moral Responsibility

ACAB All Cops Are Bastards Police Violence Corruption

The “Thin Blue Line,” that even “Good Cops” abide by almost without exception, not only protects “Bad Apples,” but also enables and even incentivizes police corruption and violence.

Note: This post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. It was originally posted at JohnLaurits.com, entitled, “All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility” and has been posted as it was originally published by Laurits. (Some links to relevant content on NVCopBlock have been added within the original text.)

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All Cops Are Bad: How Modern Policing Negates Moral Responsibility

Anyone following the news is probably aware that body-cam footage of Daniel Shaver’s murder was released earlier in December right after the officer who murdered him walked away with no conviction. A day after the video’s release, Oklahoma prosecutors chose not to file any charges after a deaf man walking with his cane was killed when police fired a taser and five bullets into his chest, pelvis, and arms after he failed to hear them shouting at him. Also during the same week, an 11-year-old black girl was held at gunpoint, hand-cuffed, and stuffed into the back of a police cruiser by officers who were searching for a middle-age, white, female suspect in Michigan. Meanwhile, an unarmed person was being shot to death in San Francisco by a rookie cop on his 4th day. As this post is written, US police have killed 1,132 human beings in 2017 so far and yet — in spite of this ongoing state-sponsored terror — questioning the integrity or usefulness of police institutions is still somehow seen as a pretty extremist thing to do.

There are a lot of very good reasons, however, that no one has ever written a song called Fuck Tha Fire Department

History & Origins of the Police:
A Tale of Two Law Enforcement Paradigms

Daniel Shaver Murder Philip Brailsford

Daniel Shaver and the cop who got away with murdering him

The police — or, more specifically, the policing institutions that exist today — are younger than most people imagine. The type of policing that exists today first emerged in France during the 1700s and the earliest use of “police officer” only appears in the USA in 1794, while the first known use of “police station” is from 1817. Just 200 years ago. The concept of policing has existed for a long time, of course — but these cops are something else…

Traditional Concepts of Policing:
Watchmen & Community Self-Policing

Long before the police institutions of today were established, policing was mostly a grassroots enterprise. In pre-industrial Europe, the law was usually enforced by volunteer watchmen who formed local groups known as the night watch or simply the watch. With the exception of large cities ( which is where empires, such as Rome, liked to keep their armies ), most towns and communities did not expect government authorities to deal with everyday criminal activity — so people did it themselves. While a lack of official oversight meant watch-groups could be prone to corruption, the fact that similar groups appear all over world-history shows that self-policing at the local level is a viable model that can spring up spontaneously in human society.

Private Security & Mercenary Forces

In cities with greater levels of crime, the watch might be assisted by inspectors or constables employed by the city’s authorities to protect commerce and help with more serious crimes. Merchants and traders who had a lot of valuable goods typically hired private security guards to protect their wares. Even with the watch and a city official on duty, businesses did not expect the government to take responsibility for guarding their interests — it was, after all, their business.

The Modern Police Department:
A Government Takeover of Policing

acab history police riot gear militarization ftp

1850 Historical Poster No Police Aberystwyth Boys Community PatrolsThen, the police changed in a big way. As the feudal power-structures of Europe broke down beneath a wave of revolutions in the 18th century, governments took a more active role in law enforcement and the first centralized policing organization was created in France by King Louis XIV. The duties of the new police were bluntly described as a mechanism of class-control over workers and peasants:

“ensuring the peace and quiet of the public and of private individuals, purging the city of what may cause disturbances, procuring abundance, and having each and everyone live according to their station and their duties

While France’s Gendarmes were seen as a symbol of oppression in other parts of Europe, the French policing model spread during the early 1800s as Napoleon Bonaparte conquered much of the continent. By the mid-1800s, modern policing institutions — publicly-funded, centralized police organized in a military hierarchy and under the control of the state — had been transplanted everywhere from Tsarist Russia to England and the United States.

Power, Paramilitary,
& Political Policing

plantation police slave patrols history of US copsPolicing became the exclusive right of governments as other law enforcement groups were absorbed into new and “official” institutions. The new police were not just tasked with serving the public, however — they also protected the political power of their new employers. It was a revolutionary era and the new police were shaped by rulers facing a particularly mutinous  population. The use of police as the vanguard of state-power was a major development and it was adapted to repress popular movements all over the world. Early police organizations in the US, for example, pretty much handed blue uniforms to former slave-patrols and anti-union mercenaries who had historically protected the interests of plantation-bosses in the South and industrial capitalists in the North.

( For more on the historical links between slavery, anti-union security, and law enforcement, read “Private Property Is the Police-State” )

The Problem of Modern Policing:
The Negation of Moral Responsibility

This was a fundamental shift — police were no longer organized as a response to the needs of communities but as an instrument of state-authority. With government officials deciding the scope and extent of policing practices, watchmen became employees of the government and ordinary citizens no longer had any control over the police. A watchmen’s authority could be challenged if they pissed off too many peasants because it was the peasants who organized the patrol to begin with — the authority of the state, however, is trickier to challenge.

FTP Don't Trust Cops Sesame Street Big Bird

Today, the police are a military hierarchy organized in a chain of command of captains, sergeants, etc — patrols do whatever their superior officers’ say, those officers do whatever their superiors say, and so on into the bureaucratic abyss. To be part of the police, officers must obey orders, just as the members in any military must. Since failing to obey orders is a pretty quick and reliable way to leave a police force, cops who disobey orders are pretty rare ( and only employed as officers very briefly ).

Because of this, cops lack what philosophers call moral agency.

Moral Agency & Diffusion of Responsibility

Good Cops Ignoring the Violence Corruption of Bad ApplesMoral agency is the ability to know whether an action is right or wrong. For example, if a bear kills a person, there is no moral issue because that’s just how bears operate but, if a person kills a person, they need to hire a lawyer because people typically have more options than bears do, which means they can be held responsible for their actions. Murder is not just killing — murder is having a choice not to kill and killing anyway. Without moral agency, there is no murder. In fact, the whole idea of “justice” assumes that moral agency exists, which is why most legal systems do not prosecute kids or folks with certain mental illnesses — if someone lacks the ability to do the right thing, it is pointless to punish them for not doing it.

Modern policing deprives cops of moral agency at a structural level. With a militaristic chain of command as the institutional core, moral responsibility for the actions of individual officers is transferred to the abstract spook of governmental authority. The result is that nobody can be held responsible and the officer becomes an inanimate tool in the spooky hand of an unseen and unaccountable bureaucracy — the police officer becomes no more than a vessel for policies, totally devoid of agency and free of its consequences.

And without agency, there can be no accountability. There can be no justice.

Why All Cops Are Bad
( Yes, Every Last One)

ACAB All Cats Are Beautiful All Cops Are BastardsIf you are stopped by a cop, then A.C.A.B. means ‘All Cats Are Beautiful’ — but, in any other situation, A.C.A.B. stands for All Cops Are Bad or All Coppers Are Bastards, depending on how edgy you wanna be. There is extreme social pressure from all sides to support the boys in blue ( as the Ninja Turtles call them) and criticism of the police is supposed to be followed by reassurances that “most cops are good” or that “it’s just a few bad apples.” But all of that sidesteps the actual problem, which is a structural problem. The fact that 3.3% of all injuries treated in US emergency rooms are inflicted by police is not because some cops are unpleasant people — it is because the institutions are structured to shield officers from being held responsible for their actions as individuals.

All cops are bad because no cop has moral agency. They might be a good parent or a good friend or even a good saxophonist — but they are not a good cop. Without agency, moral responsibility is negated and the result is that nobody is responsible for executing Daniel Shaver on his knees as he pleaded for his life. Nobody is responsible for Philando Castille being shot to death in front of his partner and her child and nobody is responsible for firing the bullets that extinguished the life of a 12 year-old black child named Tamir Rice as he played in the park.

Fuck the Police” Is a Moral Statement

Cops Beating People with Batons Police BrutalityAs the first paragraph of this post was written, 1,132 human beings had been slaughtered by US police so far in 2017 — as its last paragraphs are written, that number has grown to 1,142.  And it will grow more by the time most of you read this. (Note: It’s now up to 1,147, as of the time this was cross-posted on Dec. 20th. – Less than one day later.) Instances of particularly despicable police violence, such as the execution of Daniel Shaver, sometimes force their way onto the newsreel — but the vast majority who are killed by police simply slip into the oblivion beneath the headlines. There are not enough hours each day to report on that much suffering.

And none of this is going to change, either — not until more of us have had enough. Not until our courage to speak out against the police is greater than the social and political pressure to deny that the problem exists. Not until more of us are more offended by cops shooting kids than by someone saying “fuck the police.” Fuck the institution of policing. Fuck the structural mechanisms that rob police of their humanity as much as they rob our mothers of their children. And even if your brother-in-law or [insert family-member or relative here] is a really nice person — when they wear that badge — fuck them, too.

In solidarity,
John Laurits

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Update: NHP Dash Cam Audio Doesn’t Match Boulder City Police Version; Evidentiary Hearing Ordered Over Discrepancies

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

Boulder City Judge Victor Miller has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Dec. 20th in relation to discrepancies with audio recordings that BCPD Sgt John Glenn provided in support of charges, including obstruction and resisting arrest, against John Hunt.

Earlier this week, Stephen Stubbs, a lawyer for John Hunt, presented in court even more proof of evidence tampering by Boulder City Police and/or prosecutors. Stubbs indicated that just prior to a Dec. 5th hearing on a motion he had filed to dismiss charges against Hunt, he had received a new dash cam video from the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The audio on that video did not match the audio on a dash cam video previously received from the Boulder City Police Department, even though the two videos had been recording simultaneously during Hunt’s arrest. In fact, the motion to dismiss had itself been based on allegations that the original audio from the BCPD’s version had been altered to justify filing retaliatory charges of resisting arrest against Hunt.

As has been detailed here previously (see related links below), Hunt is currently facing several charges related to a June 2016 incident in which he was arrested. At the time, members of the BCPD were conducting a “pedestrian sting operation” where they would step into a crosswalk, then ticket drivers who did not stop early enough.

Believing that their true motivation was to generate money for the city government by writing tickets, Hunt began walking back and forth into the crosswalk himself. According to Hunt, this was done as a protest of that monetary incentive and also to demonstrate his belief that they were purposely not giving motorists sufficient time to stop in order to issue citations.

Not long after, Hunt was arrested by Sgt. John Glenn and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” Initially, the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor after surveillance footage from a nearby business contradicted Glenn’s account of Hunt’s behavior. However, just one day after Hunt filed a civil rights lawsuit, the charges were refiled, along with an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer.”

Hunt has maintained since shortly after he was arrested that things he remembered saying at the time weren’t included on the dash cam video. Subsequently, analyses conducted by two separate audio experts concluded that the video had been edited after the fact. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication reports can be found here.) Based on who had access to do so, that would have to have been done by either someone within the police department or the city attorney’s office.

Unlike that first video, the audio on the NHP video includes statements made by Hunt that support his own version of what happened that day. As a matter of fact, the audio that is not included on Sgt. Glenn’s version consists of two key exchanges that contradict his previous testimony and information he wrote within the arrest reports.

Via the Boulder City Review: 

During Tuesday’s hearing, Stubbs told Miller that there were two microphones together at the same place capturing the same event. One was Glenn’s and the other was this officer’s.

“There is a part of the video that should be the same, but it’s not,” he said.

In the subpoenaed NHP video that was provided to the Boulder City Review, there are two questions Hunt asks officers that are not present in the other dash-cam video when he is detained by Glenn.

In Glenn’s dash-cam video, the first time Hunt speaks to officers after being detained he says “No.”

According to the NHP video, after Hunt is handcuffed by officers he asks them if he is being detained. Then he said, “No,” and asks again if he is being detained.

After that he is told that he is not being detained but rather being arrested. He then asks officers what he is being arrested for and is told for obstructing a pedestrian in the roadway, obstructing traffic and resisting arrest. This portion is present in both Glenn’s dash-cam video and the NHP one.

The NHP one, however, includes the question, “How can I resist something that I’m not aware of?” that Hunt asks officers after being told why he is being arrested.

Glenn’s dash-cam video has no dialogue from Hunt during that time.

According to Stubbs, the Nevada Highway Patrol had located and downloaded this video with the full, unaltered audio all the way back in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Tuesday, just hours before the motion hearing, that they finally provided the video to Hunt’s defense team. (Almost as if they were trying to hide something.)

Based on this new evidence, Boulder City Municipal Court Judge Victor Miller scheduled an evidentiary hearing over the authenticity of the audio on dash cam footage provided by the Boulder City Police. After that hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 20th, Judge Miller could rule to exclude the dash cam evidence or even dismiss the entire case, if he finds in favor of the defense’s claims that evidence has been tampered with.

Stubbs maintains that the charges should be dismissed outright on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. That misconduct has cast sufficient doubt upon the authenticity of the entirety of the evidence against Hunt. As a result, he will not be able to receive a fair trial in light of that uncertainty.

 

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury
  8. Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Update: Nevada Court to Rule on Evidence Tampering in Arrest for Obstruction of Police Revenue Generation

Nevada Police Sgt John Glenn Motion to Dismiss Dash Cam Audio

A Boulder City judge will rule Dec. 5th on a motion to dismiss in the case of John Hunt, who was arrested by Sgt John Glenn in retaliation for interfering with their revenue generation scheme.

On December 5th, a judge in Boulder City, Nevada (located just outside of Las Vegas) will issue a ruling on a case involving a revenue-based enforcement exercise by local police, as well as allegations of a false arrest, perjury by a police supervisor, and the manufacturing of evidence that stem from an impromptu protest that day. Based on those improprieties, Judge Victor Miller has been asked to dismiss charges brought against John Hunt in a motion filed by Hunt’s attorney Stephen Stubbs.

In June of 2016, officers with the Boulder City Police Department were out early in the morning generating revenue for the city. Their scheme consisted of stepping into a crosswalk and then ticketing drivers who didn’t stop quick enough. One of the Boulder City residents that drove by that day was John Hunt, who has stated that he believes the police were intentionally stepping into traffic at a point where the cars did not have enough time to react and therefore would end up being ticketed and fined.

Hunt decided to protest what he deemed to be an unfair issuing of citations by going out and repeatedly walking into the cross walk himself. The intent was to show that the cars would stop if they were given the proper amount of time and thereby expose the true nature of Sgt. John Glenn and his cohorts. The Boulder City police have a bureaucracy to feed though, so obviously they weren’t happy about Hunt getting in the way of their morning fundraiser.

As I previously wrote here at NVCopBlock.org, Hunt was arrested and charged with “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” However, at his first hearing the charges were dismissed by the prosecutor even before it began. According to Stubbs, the reason for that quick dismissal was that Sgt. Glenn had lied on his police report in order to justify the arrest. Those lies (also known as perjury when included on a sworn police report) would have been exposed in court due to Hunt’s actions having been captured on a nearby business’ security cameras.

Not only did the surveillance video contradict Sgt. Glenn’s written arrest report, discrepancies soon surfaced involving the dash cam evidence that had been provided as part of the discovery process. As detailed in a follow up post I wrote here at Nevada Cop Block in October of 2016, Hunt questioned the authenticity of the audio included on the video that had been produced by the city. Subsequently, two different forensic audio experts testified that the audio had indeed been altered from that of the original video. (A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication Report can be found here.)

Citing the false testimony within the police report and the evidence tampering involving the dash cam footage, Stubbs filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in May of this year on Hunt’s behalf. In retaliation for that lawsuit, the Boulder City prosecutor refiled the original charges, plus an additional charge of “Obstructing an Officer,” the next month. In fact, rather than even try to mask the true nature behind refiling the charges, they were actually submitted by the city just one day after the lawsuit was reported by local news.

“I’m in awe of how stupid this is,” said defense lawyer Stephen Stubbs. “It screams of retaliation.”

Included in the motion to dismiss are several new details regarding the inconsistencies on the dash cam video’s audio track and some less than convincing excuses for them by Sgt. Glenn and city attorney’s office and police department of Boulder City:

The alleged false evidence mentioned in Tuesday’s motion to dismiss includes dash-cam video of the June 8 incident that Glenn said did not match what he had seen in the system from that day.

It was given to the defense by the city on July 5 and is different than the dash-cam footage that Stubbs received in 2016.

Two forensic experts who analyzed the 2016 dash-cam video determined that the recording had been altered.

“Two separate audio forensic experts have confirmed that the video contains the wrong unit number … proving that, at a minimum the metadata was altered …. The defense does not know how much of the video was altered or if an authentic video even exists anymore,” Stubbs wrote in his motion.”

That newer dash cam video and questions surrounding the erroneous unit number, as well as what appears to be an alteration of the text overlay on the video after the fact to replace the incorrect unit number has cast even more doubt on the authenticity of the video evidence the city has provided.

During a deposition for the lawsuit on November 20th, Glenn testified about those questions:

In that deposition, Hunt’s other attorney, David T. Blake, showed Glenn the earlier dash-cam video of the event. The video, (from) June 8, 2016, said that it was from Unit 277. The text of those items was in red print.

“As far as I know, our text is not in red,” he told Blake when asked if he’d seen that type of text overlay before. “It’s in white … It looks similar to the format that we use, but I don’t recall ever seeing any in red.”

Blake also asked him about the unit number.

In the deposition, Glenn said that his unit number the day of the activity on June 8 was 277. He also said that he had been assigned to that unit number since the vehicle was brand-new, approximately two and a half years.

Later in the deposition and in an email provided to the defense, Glenn said that although his unit number was 277, the camera in his vehicle was actually from unit 281.

“My vehicle number is 277 …. And the camera in unit 277 failed,” he said in the deposition. “It had to be sent back. There was another vehicle that wasn’t being used, which was unit 281. The camera out of that vehicle was taken out of that vehicle, placed in my vehicle and the device name was not changed when it was changed over. So my vehicle was being broadcast as 281.”

In the email Glenn added that the unit identifier was “mistakenly not changed” until around Aug. 4, 2016.

So, between the original retaliatory nature of the charges (without even getting into the exploitative financial motive for the “safety exercise” Hunt had interrupted), the inconsistencies in Sgt. Glenn’s police reports, and the evidentiary issues, logic should dictate that Judge Miller will have an easy decision to do the right thing and grant the motion for dismissal.

Stephen Stubbs certainly seems to think so:

“By manufacturing false and fraudulent evidence, the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department, or both have tipped the scales of justice so far that the scales themselves have fallen into a bog of eternal stench,” said Stubbs about Tuesday’s motion…

“We filed this because the evidence is clear that the city attorney’s office, the Boulder City Police Department or both manufactured false evidence and gave it to defense as discovery,” Stubbs said. “They cheated …. Justice requires all these ridiculous charges be dropped.”

However, we are dealing with the government and their police enforcers, so logic might not be the standard by which things are decided. Nor is there any lack of precedence for cops to get away with or even be rewarded for committing blatant acts of perjury and evidence tampering. That’s especially the case in Las Vegas area police departments.

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Surveillance Video of John Hunt Crossing Street

Sgt. Glenn’s Dashcam Video

Other Posts Related to Boulder City, Nevada:

  1. Nevada Police Chief Resigns After Protecting Animal Shelter Supervisor Who Killed Pets
  2. Fired NV Police Chief Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages in Abuse of Authority Lawsuit
  3. Former Boulder City Nevada Police Chief Charged Over Animal Cruelty Cover-Up
  4. Former Boulder City NV Police Chief Takes Plea Deal on Charges Related to Animal Cruelty Scandal
  5. Las Vegas Attorney Stephen Stubbs: “Stand Up and Tell the Truth” – Why #PoliceLiesMatter
  6. Boulder City (NV) Police “Employee of the Year” Commits Perjury to Arrest Man Interfering With Revenue Generation
  7. Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury

Update: Florida Cop Who Tried to Murder 79 Year Old Woman Worked as Male Prostitute While On Duty

Last week, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Frankie Bybee, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy who extorted cash from an elderly woman then tried to murder her in a staged suicide attempt once she filed a complaint against him. In the process, he also sold her dog on Craigslist, after charging her $1,000 to care for it while she was in the hospital.

Yesterday, an Internal Affairs report in the case was released. Not only did it contain new details concerning the original charges, including surveillance video of Bybee using the victim’s ATM card to withdraw money, but it also included some new revelations about “business deals” he was involved in.

Along with ten additional charges related to his use of the debit card and fraudulent online purchases Bybee made, Deputy Bybee is also facing new accusations that he acted as a male prostitute while on duty. The latter claim involves him having been paid to have sex with a woman, as well as to record videos of himself masturbating in his patrol car. The woman came forward after seeing media coverage of his charges for the murder attempt.

Via ABC Action News in Tampa:

According to the report, a woman, Elinor Jarvis, came forward and told detectives that they were “involved in an ongoing ‘business deal” for several years that included Dep. Bybee being financially compensated for engaging in sexual acts with her.”

The report said he met her years ago in a hotel room near Boston, Massachusetts and was paid $5,000 for their “initial sexual encounter.”

The report also said that Bybee would record himself in a sex act in his patrol vehicle while on duty and send the video to her via an app called “Tango” and then she would transfer $500 into his PayPal account.

The total payout, according to law enforcement, for these acts was more than $100,000.

The sheriff said Bybee’s actions were first brought to their attention on Jan. 9. That is when Marcia Sohl filed a complaint against then deputy Bybee.

Bybee, according to Knight, responded to a call for service at Sohl’s home on Oct. 21. He befriended Sohl and began to take advantage of her. Investigators released video they say shows Bybee withdrawing money from ATM’s across Sarasota using Sohl’s stolen debit card. In one transaction, Bybe is in uniform.

On Tuesday, Bybee was charged with ten new counts of Criminal Use of Information that involves several unauthorized uses of the victim’s credit card.

Also, according to the report, just prior to the murder attempt Bybee had used the original victim, email account to send a message to her doctor pretending to be her and expressing “suicidal implications.” As a result, the victim was involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation (commonly referred to as a “Baker Act” hold). It was later determined that Deputy Bybee’s IP address was used to send the email as part of his plot to make it appear she had committed suicide.

In spite of all that, Bybee’s bail amount was dropped from $1,030,000 to $365,620

Original Videos

FL Cop Stole $65K From 79 Y.O. Woman, Sold Her Dog, Then Tried to Stage Suicide When She Filed Complaint

A deputy with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is facing charges after exploiting and extorting an elderly woman over the course of a month. He also faces a charge of attempted murder after he tried to force sleeping pills down her throat in order to make it appear she had committed suicide after she filed a harassment complaint against him.

The unnamed victim stated that she originally met Deputy Frankie Eugene Bybee after he responded to her house on a service call in October. He then continued visiting her both on and off duty, acting as if he was a friend and wanted to help her in order to gain her trust. Shortly after, the victim was hospitalized.

Bybee then convinced her to pay him $1,000 to watch her dog during the time she was in the hospital. Instead, he sold the dog on Craigslist on December 20th. Later that month, he gained access to her check book and wrote checks in her name to himself and three of his children. The victim filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office when she discovered the checks, which totaled $65,000, on January 9th.

Three days later, Deputy Bybee broke into her house and attacked her. During that attack, he attempted to force her to swallow sleeping pills, then propped her garage open with her car running in order to allow the house to fill with carbon monoxide after she passed out. Fortunately, she regained consciousness in time to thwart his attempt to make it appear that she had committed suicide.

Via the Miami Herald:

While the woman was hospitalized, Bybee took the woman’s dog and a check for more than $1,000 in case the dog needed care. Knight said Bybee deposited the check and “rehomed” the dog on Craigslist.

On Jan. 9, four checks from the woman in an envelope addressed to Bybee were written out to him and his three children for a total of $65,000. When the sheriff’s office found his fingerprint on the checks after the victim said she didn’t fill them out, Bybee was placed on administrative leave.

Three days later, according to the probable cause affidavit, the woman, who was not identified, was sitting in her living room when she said Bybee broke into her house wearing dark clothes and blue latex gloves. He was “agitated and angry” that her complaint put him on administrative leave.

According to the affidavit, Bybee grabbed the woman’s face, forced an unknown pill in her mouth and tried to force her prescription sleeping pills down her throat.

The woman passed out and woke up to find her garage door open and her car engine running.

“Our investigation revealed that Bybee attempted to kill the victim and make it appear to be a suicide,” Knight said.

Knight said the sheriff’s office initiated the paperwork for his termination.

Bybee faces charges of larceny, exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more, forgery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, battery on a person 65 or older and attempted murder.

In response to the allegations, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight stated:
“It is beyond unacceptable that an individual who works in a position of trust and guardianship to their community, is capable of such heinous crimes. His actions are a disgrace not only to our agency. but to law enforcement professionals everywhere. I hope he gets prosecuted a little bit more exceptionally than a normal criminal because he used the uniform for public trust.”
I wouldn’t hold your breath on that, though. Like most “Bad Apples,” there were already plenty of previous red flags and opportunities to remove him from the barrel that instead resulted in a slap on the wrist or no consequences at all. Prior to this, Deputy Bybee was the subject of five internal investigations. Only two of those resulted in any discipline at all and he ended up with a one week suspension in each of those two cases.



Video of Massachusetts Detective Threatening to Kill; Plant Drugs on Teens Released (Update)

Last month, I blogged about the case of a Springfield, MA detective who threatened to beat and murder two teens. In addition, Detective Gregg Bigda stated that he would plant drugs on their bodies, in order to justify his actions. As point out in that first article, Det. Bigda has a history of misconduct and violent behavior, as well.

From that original post:

The threat to crush their skulls and then place cocaine in their pocket took place during an interrogation and was recorded by a video surveillance camera. The video has not been released publicly, supposedly to protect the identity of the teens he threatened to violently kill.

In spite of being caught red handed issuing these threats, Det. Bigda is not being charged with a crime, nor will he even be fired from the police department and forced to go work for a different department in another area of the state. Instead, he just received a suspension and will be back on the streets protecting and serving the shit out of the citizens of Springfield in 60 short days.

The two teens and another teen were accused of stealing an unmarked police car that another detective had left idling (and probably illegally parked) outside a pizza shop. As they were being arrested for that offense, an unnamed Springfield police officer kicked one of the teens in the face after he was already handcuffed and lying on the ground. There’s no indication that this officer received  any punishment at all for his assault on a defenseless teenager.

Now that video has been released by The Republican a Springfield area newspaper. And according to a post at Photography Is Not a Crime, they are as bad, if not worse than advertised:

During the videos, Detective Gregg Bigda makes a number of threats against the teens — neither of whom had an attorney or legal guardian present, or were read their rights.

The interrogations were conducted at the Palmer Police Station. Bigda tells both teens that he is eventually taking them back to the Springfield Police Station, which he stresses does not have cameras.

In the first video, he tells a 16-year-old boy in a red shirt: “See that camera up there? It don’t fucking exist [at the Springfield Police Station]. So anything happens to you at my place never happened. If I don’t write it in my report, it never happened.”

He later tells the teen: “You know I’m gonna beat the fuck out of you when you get back to Springfield right now, ’cause you just lied to my face … When we get back, I’m gonna tune you the fuck up, because you just lied to me. And I’m telling you in advance, and I’m being nice to you.”

In the second video, a teen wearing a gray-shirt says that his face hurts. Bigda responds: “You think it hurts now? You know where we’re going after this? We’re going back to fucking Springfield.”

He then explains how the Springfield Police Station doesn’t have cameras. He makes another threat to injure the teen’s face later in the video, even telling him it will require a trip to the hospital.

The threats continue: “I could fucking crush your skull and fucking get away with it.” Bigda then threatens to “fucking bring the dog back, let him fucking go after ya.”

And: “Don’t even fucking speak if you’re gonna lie to me, ’cause I’ll fucking kill you in the parking lot.”

And: “I’ll charge you with killing Kennedy and fucking make it stick … I’m not hampered by the fucking truth, ’cause I don’t give a fuck … I’ll stick a fucking kilo of coke in your pocket and put you away for fucking 15 years.”

In the third video, Bigda threatens the red-shirted teen again: [W]hen we get back to Springfield — I’m not even waiting for Springfield. When we get that fucking lying, I’m gonna bloody your body.”

In all three videos, Detective Luke Cournoyer is with Bigda and does not seem bothered by his threats and coercive interrogation techniques.

BTW, Det Bigda even had the nerve to complain about the measly 60 day suspension he received as “punishment” for his actions on those videos.

Winslow Police Officer Austin Shipley, Who Shot Native American Woman Loreal Tsingine, Has Resigned

Winslow Police Shooting Loreal Tsingine Austin Shipley

On March 27th, Winslow Police Officer Austin Shipley shot Loreal Tsingine after he and his partner responded to a shoplifting complaint in the Arizona city. Officer Shipley testified that he was “forced” to shoot Tsingine five times after she attacked him with a pair of scissors.

In April, CopBlock Network contributor Brian Sumner posted about the shooting and the many questions members of Tsingine’s Navajo tribe and other indigenous tribes, as well as other activists had about the necessity of shooting her. Also, in July, I posted the body camera video (embedded below) of the shooting, which only raised more questions when it indicated that she was only “armed” with very small medical scissors and hadn’t actually raised her arms prior to being shot.

Although, the Maricopa County Prosecutor indicated upon releasing the body cam video that they would not be charging Officer Austin Shipley with a crime in relation to Tsingine’s shooting, it has now been reported that he has “decided to resign.”

Via 12News.com, the local NBC affiliate:

Winslow police officer Austin Shipley resigned from his position Monday, according to the Winslow Police Department.

Shipley shot 27-year-old Loreal Tsingine five times near a shop in Winslow in March, killing her.

An internal affairs investigation on the shooting performed by the Mesa Police Department was concluded last week.

According to Winslow PD, the results were reviewed by the department’s interim director, Christopher Vasquez, who met with Shipley Monday.

Shipley then decided to resign.

Documents from the investigation have not yet been made public.

This obviously raises even more questions about the shooting and whether it was necessary for two police officers to shoot a small woman. Not the least of which is whether Shipley will simply go to another police department and get hired as a cop once again after the attention dies down. Although Shipley has a well documented history of complaints, including excessive force complaints, it has been shown quite clearly that the Good Cops running police departments around the country have no trouble overlooking such behavior by Bad Apples and rehiring them, regardless of previous misconduct.

Boulder City Police Doctored Audio in Arrest Video Where They Were Already Caught Committing Perjury

Boulder City Sgt John Glenn Perjury Evidence Tampering

In June, I posted about John Hunt, a resident of Boulder City a small town just outside of Las Vegas. Hunt had been arrested by Sergeant John Glenn of the Boulder City Police Department on charges of  “Failing to Yield as a Pedestrian” and “Resisting Arrest.” He subsequently spent a day in jail, as a result of that arrest.

As you can see in the original post and the Youtube video embedded below, which was uploaded by Hunt’s lawyer, Stephen Stubbs, when his trial date came the prosecutor dropped the charges because Sgt. Glenn was actually caught contradicting his sworn testimony (I.E. committing the crime of perjury) on the dash camera video.

That’s not the only dishonesty by Sgt. Glenn in this case, however. Recently, John Hunt contacted me and told me that he had evidence showing that not only did Glenn lie to justify the charges against him, but he in fact also edited the audio on that dash cam video to support his false version of the events during the arrest.

Within the video included in this post Hunt explains how and why that evidence was tampered with and why it also shows that Sgt. Glenn was involved or at the very least aware of that tampering. He also includes a report from a forensic audio expert that conclusively shows the audio was altered. A PDF containing the full Forensic Audio Authentication Report can be found here.

In addition, John included this text description:

After I crossed across the road for the third time, a police car pulled into the parking lot directly in front of me, maybe about 40 feet away. The officer inside, Sgt. John Glenn said, “Come over here. Come over here. Come over here!”

I asked, “why?”

He said, “because I told you to.”

I then said, “I refuse to comply,” because I did not view “because I told you to” as a valid legal reason to change what I was doing. I had broken no laws and was not causing any problems as I stood on the sidewalk. I was perfectly willing to talk with the officer and was looking forward to that opportunity. I had a very strong desire not to be arrested, but I was not going to follow his commands for the sole reason that he had decided to issue them. I have rights.

Immediately after I said this, Glenn got out of his car and began walking towards me. At the time I thought that he was coming over to talk to me.  Instead he walked directly up to me and grabbed me by the arm. He did not say anything to me as he was doing this. He did not say, “turn around and put your hands behind your back.” He said absolutely nothing.

I was very surprised that I was being illegally and abruptly assaulted for absolutely no reason.
I instructed him to stop assaulting me. I said, “Stop assaulting me! Stop assaulting me! Take your hands off me.”

But Glenn didn’t listen, as he had no interest in obeying the laws of the land.

Now, compare that with what you hear on the tape. To recap, here’s what it should sound like:

  • GLENN: Come over here. Come over here. Come over here!
  • ME: Why?
  • GLENN: Because I told you to.
  • ME: I refuse to comply.
  • *car door opens and closes, silence for a few seconds as Glenn walks over to me
  • ME: Stop assaulting me! Stop assaulting me! Take your hands off me.

After this, the tape plays out mostly the same as it happened in life, except for one small detail. After I had been dragged to the ground and handcuffed, I was leaned up against a cop car and a policeman started asking me a series of yes or no questions. I answered them as I was still dazed from the assault and did not have the wherewithal to understand fully what was going on.

audio-manipulation-boulder-city-policeI strongly suspect that it was one of my answers here that was edited out and transposed into an earlier point in the tape to make it appear as though I was interacting with Glenn in a confrontational manner before he “arrested” me. This is the part of the tape where John Glenn supposedly asks me “is there something you don’t understand?” And I say, “No!” This never actually happened. The only things that happened are exactly what I have described.

The recording of these events didn’t match my memory, which was very clear and vivid, and still is. So, with the help of my family, I decided it was worthwhile to hire an expert to investigate it.

I was told that this kind of editing was impossible, but I could not be convinced that my memories were mistaken.

I chose my words very carefully when I said, “I refuse to comply,” and I remember the exact reason and context in which I said them, which is very different from the context in the video.

Even despite having a very strong memory in general and despite having these vivid memories of this specific event, the edited tape made me doubt myself for a time.

When you are confronted with a video recording that does not match your memories, you tend to believe the recording. It’s in a sense like being “gaslighted.”

I believe it’s very possible that if I did not have a very strong faith in my own memory, I could have been convinced that the events on the tape were what actually happened

This may have happened to more than a few people.

The reason I know that John Glenn is aware of this, beyond the obvious, is that he attests to a detail in the report which appears on the edited tape but did not happen in life.

In his sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, he states, “I asked the subject what part he did not understand.”

This didn’t happen, but on the tape, it did.

So Glenn knows about this or is doing it himself. I suspect that there was an event or events some time in the past where Glenn actually said all of the things he said on that tape.

And I suspect that if you could see the reports of all of his arrests, you would see many instances of these exact same phrases being used over and over again.

I would also suspect that there is a computer somewhere nearby, either in John Glenn’s basement, or in a lab somewhere, with some very interesting files on it.

I can’t personally say how deep or how far the corruption goes in this department, but I think it’s reasonable to conclude that the existence of this report casts serious doubt on every single piece of evidence that goes through that courtroom, especially video evidence.

There may be many convictions issued by that court that need a second look. And there may be people in jail right now that shouldn’t be there because of what this person or group of people is doing.

For obvious reasons, having an officer who is willing to both lie under oath and tamper with evidence in order to justify arresting someone is a huge threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. Even more of a threat is a police department that at the very least allows officers to have the access and ability to do so and in reality were probably complicit in helping carry out such illegal actions.

When you consider that this is a case in which Hunt was really arrested out of spite (AKA Contempt of Cop), it casts doubt on every case the Boulder City Police are involved in, especially those involving Sergeant John Glenn.

Original Video Concerning the Perjury Committed by Sgt. John Glenn

Massachusetts Detective Caught on Video Threatening to Kill Teens & Plant Drugs on Them (Just) Suspended 60 Days

Detective Gregg Bigda, of the Springfield (MA) Police Department’s narcotics unit, threatened to murder two teens and then plant drugs on them to justify it. The threat to crush their skulls and then place cocaine in their pocket took place during an interrogation and was recorded by a video surveillance camera. The video has not been released publicly, supposedly to protect the identity of the teens he threatened to violently kill.

In spite of being caught red handed issuing these threats, Det. Bigda is not being charged with a crime, nor will he even be fired from the police department and forced to go work for a different department in another area of the state. Instead, he just received a suspension and will be back on the streets protecting and serving the shit out of the citizens of Springfield in 60 short days.

The two teens and another teen were accused of stealing an unmarked police car that another detective had left idling (and probably illegally parked) outside a pizza shop. As they were being arrested for that offense, an unnamed Springfield police officer kicked one of the teens in the face after he was already handcuffed and lying on the ground. There’s no indication that this officer received  any punishment at all for his assault on a defenseless teenager.

Via WAMC.org, a Massachusetts public radio affiliate:

A video of the interrogation, during which Bigda reportedly threatened to crush the skull of one of the teens and  plant a kilo of cocaine in his pocket, was provided to defense attorneys who are now using it to impeach Bigda’s credibility in pending drug cases.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he supports the commissioner’s decision to suspend Bigda because of the likelihood firing him would not survive a civil service appeal and the city would be ordered to rehire the cop with back pay.

” I am not happy about it. This is what was recommended,” Sarno said. ” It is a most severe suspension of 60 working days without pay and retraining.”

Barbieri told The Republican newspaper that Bigda will be reassigned to uniform duty on a day shift when his suspension ends.

Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst, joined by four of his colleagues at a news conference, complained the punishment given Bigda is too lenient.

” I think we have to ask when it comes to this case, at what point, at what standard is there when the commissioner feels a cop should be terminated,” asked Hurst?

Of course, Hurst brings up a good question. Especially since, like many other Bad Apples, Bigda has a history of misconduct, including violent acts, that all of the Good Cops in his department have a history of minimizing or simply ignoring. He even had two restraining orders issued against him for breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s house, threatening her, and engaging in a “physical altercation” against her. Det. Bigda was also involved in an illegal search of a UPS truck in 2005.

According to Mayor Sarno:

“We have to protect the integrity, professionalism, and brave efforts of our police department and in turn make sure our residents have complete confidence in our police department.”

Obviously, these sort of examples of “accountability” for cops caught (numerous times) committing misconduct and making threats or even engaging in assaults against citizens does the opposite of both those things, though.

Rep. John Walker, Arkansas Senator and Civil Rights Lawyer, Arrested for Filming the Police

An Arkansas state senator, who championed legislation that protected a citizen’s right to film or photograph in public, was arrested on Monday for doing just that. Rep. John Walker, along with another man identified as Omavi Kuskukuru (also identified as Omavi Shukur), were arrested on charges of “Obstruction of Governmental Operations” while filming the police conducting a traffic stop in Little Rock.

The arrest took place while police were in the process of arresting two people who had been pulled over in a car without a license for warrants. In all, there are four cops present, including two that are trainees. Little Rock police officers initially questioned Walker about why he was filming and then eventually asked him not to film. They also accused him of “race baiting” when he brought up racial issues regarding police.

Later Kuskukuru can be seen approaching (but still a good distance from) the area where the traffic stop is taking place and being arrested. Next, Rep. Walker can be seen walking around the same area and being followed, then arrested, by one of the officers.

Via the Arkansas Times:

Walker walks up during the stop and begins filming with a cell phone from across the street, an activity noticed by cops on the scene, some of whom know Walker. In time, two officers cross the street to ask Walker what he’s doing and why. He identified himself but said he didn’t need to explain his actions. Officers explained the traffic stop and said the driver was being treated with “total respect.” They also said they agreed he had a right to observe.

The conversation grew heated, however, as Walker explained his interest in treatment of black suspects and made reference to police use of deadly force. That raised the ire of an officer who asked if Walker had ever been a police officer. He questioned whether Walker understood the challenges police face. One officer called Walker a “race baiter” and asked if he’d be interested if police had stopped a white person. The officer said Walker had been trying to film police for years and was just trying to provoke.

Film in another patrol car, taking the driver to jail, has audio of an older officer telling a younger black female officer who’d made the stop about Walker: “His main purpose was to be arrested.” Walker, he said, had been “a thorn in the side of the police department” since he joined the force.

Within hours, the charges had been dropped against Walker, he had been released, and the LRPD had announced it was conducting an internal “investigation.” The next day the city had issued him an apology, which he refused to accept. The charges against Kuskukuru, who is also a lawyer, however were not dropped. Rep. Walker and Kuskukuru held a press conference on Thursday discussing the arrests and the treatment of minorities by police.

Via (ironically enough – #JusSayin #FTP) the NWAhomepage.com:

Walker and Omavi Shukur spoke for nearly an hour about the events that led to their arrest and also about what they say is the mistreatment of black people in Central Arkansas.

“With these tapes, you saw that we did nothing,” Walker said, speaking of dash camera video from police cruisers.

Walker says he and Shukur were peacefully exercising their right to record police interactions when they were approached by officers who made disparaging comments.

The two men were eventually arrested on misdemeanor obstruction charges which have since been dropped. The city has apologized to Walker — an apology he rejected.

“What happens to me happens to many, many people in our community every day,” he said.

Minority neighborhoods, they say, are targeted by overzealous police, but the majority of the time it goes unnoticed.

“There are countless people that don’t have the privileges that Mr. Walker and I have that fall victim to a lot of the biased and draconian practices of the LRPD,” Shukur said.

Walker says he has not decided whether he’ll file a lawsuit against the city, but that the officers involved should face consequences. He also had harsh criticism for Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner and City Manager Bruce Moore — both high ranking African American city officials.

“The system somehow or another imposes upon black people in positions of authority to act like white people… like white people would normally act in the past and that is to mistreat people who are at the bottom end of the socioeconomic ladder.”

There’s several interesting things about this story beyond the simple fact that a state senator was actually out there filming the cops and they were arrogant enough to arrest him for it. One is the attitude the cop is teaching a trainee that anyone filming them is a “thorn in their side” who is just looking to get arrested. That’s a good peek into the reason the culture of the police is so toxic. they are taught from the day they step on the job the bad habits of the “Bad Apples” that came before them.

The other is the display of several prevailing ideas among cops and cop apologists. First, the nonsense that only other cops can determine if a cop is in the wrong and the fact that they get irate if someone without a Magic Uniform dares to question their behavior, in spite of the rapidly escalating number of incidents in which they’ve been caught assaulting, falsely arresting, or even murdering people. Not to mention that all the “Good Cops,” that supposedly make up the vast majority of those behind the shiny badges, are so obviously not bothering to do that.

Their rationalization that the “challenges of being a police officer” should justify their abuses of citizens, even when those citizens are innocent, is a big part of why people have such little trust of the police, especially the poor and minorities who are constantly being harassed by them. Whether people want to acknowledge the role of racism in police abuses or not, the residents of those communities have very real, visible, and at this point well documented reasons for being skeptical of the motivations and actions of the police.

The idea that the simple act of someone filming them is considered a provocation by the police is, as always, also rather telling.