A.J. Lagoe and Steven Eckert, KARE 9:45 AM. CST March 01, 2016
BLAINE, Minn. - “Without fear or favor.” That’s the way the law should be enforced, according to the official Code of Ethics adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
An investigation by KARE 11 News has uncovered evidence that, instead of following that code, some Minnesota police officers follow the unwritten rule known as “Professional Courtesy.” It’s the notion that cops shouldn’t ticket other cops.
Police dash cam video obtained by KARE 11 after a public records request shows what can happen.
On November 7, 2015, Blaine police officers responded to an alarm call at the Lexington Avenue Fleet Farm. They found a running car in the parking lot. The man in the driver’s seat appeared to be passed out. Police reports would later say there were “open containers of silver Coors Light cans in the passenger seat …”
The police video shows the Blaine officers repeatedly banging on the car roof and door. You can hear them yelling, “Wake up!”
When they finally get the driver’s attention, the video shows he seems incapable of following basic requests. He had to be asked nine times just to open his door.
Blaine Police Officer Brad Nordby can be heard saying to the driver, “Can you open it? Ok, open the door.” He then says to his partner, “Oh, great. His penis is out of his pants.”
“Why don’t you zip up for me,” he tells the driver.
Instead of opening his car door, the driver revs the engine. Fortunately, the car was not in gear.
When the driver eventually get out of the car, the Blaine officers ask him to perform tests to determine whether he’s able to drive.
Once again, basic requests don’t seem to be understood. After repeatedly being asked to remove his hat, the driver tells an officer, “I don’t understand what you want me to do.”
Dash camera footage shows the driver, who would later be identified as William Monberg, 28, incapable of walking a straight line without stumbling.
The video shows a breathalyzer test being administered. Police records say it registered .202 – more than two and a half times the legal limit.
“William, right now I’m going to place you under arrest for DWI,” said Officer Nordby, as he handcuffs Monberg and places him in the back seat of the patrol car.
It seems to be a by-the-books DWI arrest. But moments later, things change.
The police dash camera captures the moment when Officer Norby and his partner, Officer Brandon Fettig, examine Monberg’s wallet.
“Oh crap!” one of them exclaims.
Then, without saying a word, both pull out and turn off their body microphones and step out of view of the patrol car cameras.
In the back seat of the squad car, though, another police camera is still recording video and audio of what happened next.
The video shows William Monberg, already handcuffed and under arrest, being let out of the car. Moments later he climbs back in. The handcuffs have been removed. And, instead of taking him to jail, the Blaine police officers can be heard trying to arrange a ride home for him.
Turns out, the man they originally arrested is not an ordinary citizen. He, too, wears a badge.
William Monberg is an investigator for the Columbia Heights Police Department. “I don’t condone their behavior,” said Duane Wolfe. “I wish they’d made a different decision, but cops are human.”
Wolfe, a retired officer, is a law enforcement instructor at Alexandria Technical and Community College.
He also writes for PoliceOne.com, a popular police blog. In 2009, he wrote an article about so-called “Professional Courtesy,” arguing that the badge shouldn’t be a “get out of jail free card.”
Wolfe says that article sparked more comments than any other he has even written, many of them critical.
In police circles, Wolfe says the notion that cops shouldn’t ticket other cops is contentious and fiercely debated. “A lot of police officers feel that pressure to take care of their brethren,” he said.
But Wolfe argues that officers giving other officers special treatment “doesn’t serve the profession, doesn’t serve the department and quite honestly it doesn’t serve the officer.” He adds, “They just get the attitude that there are no consequences for my actions.”
For Officer William Monberg there were no immediate consequences.
He was not taken into custody. No mugshots were taken. His car was not towed. Instead, the Blaine officers helped him arrange a ride home.
No official police reports were filed at the time. On the video from the back seat of the squad car, Monberg can even be heard asking if anything about the incident was being entered into the police department’s Computer Aided Dispatch system.
“You know what’s in the CAD notes on that?” Monberg asks. “Nothing,” answers one of the Blaine officers.
The cover-up of the incident almost worked.
However a month later, Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson assigned an investigator to look into what happened that night. As a result, Officer Monberg was officially charged with DWI in December.
Chief Olson would not do an on-camera interview, citing the pending DWI case. But he told KARE 11, “In this case inexperienced officers made a mistake. It’s not acceptable.”
“My expectation is fair and impartial policing and that didn’t happen,” he continued. “We need to treat people fairly and it shouldn’t matter what they do for a living.”
Chief Olson said he addressed what happened and his expectations going forward in a department wide roll-call.
Officer Monberg has pleaded not guilty to the DWI charges and has a court date scheduled March 2. The Columbia Heights Police Department says it suspended Monberg for 30 days on the eve of his first court date back in January.
Officer Monberg released a statement to KARE 11:
I am profoundly ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself for the incident that occurred on November 7, 2015. I extend my most genuine apologies to my agency and community, the Blaine Police Department, and the officers who were placed in an incredibly difficult position because of my actions. I accept full responsibility for those actions but insist they do not represent an accurate reflection of my personal or professional character. I have been working diligently over the past four months to ensure that a similar situation will not occur again.
Oak Forest Cop Arrested in Attack on 2 Teens in California
The teens told police they were targeted because they were speaking Arabic.
Oak Forest, IL
By LAUREN TRAUT (Patch Staff) - March 1, 2016 11:26 am ET
An Oak Forest police officer has been arrested in connection with the attack and stabbing of two teenagers in California.
Arthur Roman, 28, of Tinley Park, was arrested along with his 25-year-old brother Martin, and his brother's wife, Jessica, after attacking two teenagers who allege they were targeted because they were speaking Arabic, ABC-7 reports.
Karam Jarrah, 17, was stabbed twice on Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a fitness center in Huntington Beach. He and his brother-in-law, Asem Dghem, were walking by a car in which the three suspects were sitting, when one commented, "What's up Obama bam?'" Jarrah told police.
Jarrah told police the confrontation escalated to violence, and Martin Roman pulled a knife and stabbed him.
Police are not able to confirm the attack was racially motivated.
It is not being treated as a hate crime.
By Sheena Vasani, Tue, March 1, 2016
A North Carolina Sheriff’s Deputy was fired after a camera caught him flashing the middle finger at a driver Feb. 26.
Van Anthony, 52, gave the rude gesture to civilian driver Scott Lipe, who was filming Anthony from another car after catching him speeding, Fox News reports.
"I could see him coming up in the rear view mirror, and I was like, 'This car is flying.' So my phone was sitting beside me in the seat," Lipe said, WLOS reports.
The driver explained after he pulled out his camera, the officer waved and gave him the finger.
"He's a deputy. He's in a patrol car in a uniform with a badge, and there's people all over the place. And he's just waving his finger around like he doesn't care," Lipe said. "I mean if you look at the picture, he's just smiling and having a good time."
The sheriff later apologized to Lipe and, after being their employee for nearly two years, was fired by Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
"They hold us accountable, and sometimes they have to be held accountable," Lipe explained.
Indeed, there have been many instances where civilians have gotten into trouble with law enforcement for holding up the same gesture.
William Martin received a disorderly conduct summons after flipping off an aggressive driver who turned out to be a police officer, the Bergendis Patch reports.
“When I received a summons, I felt that my free speech rights were under attack for nothing more than expressing my frustration with someone whose driving had put people at risk,” Martin said.
The ACLU agreed and defended Martin, whose charges were later dismissed. ACLU-NJ Deputy Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero, Martin’s representative, said:
Enforcing manners rather than public safety is a poor use of police resources. Our client expressed his frustration using a peaceful, silent gesture that is protected by the First Amendment. In this case, an officer chose to initiate and escalate an encounter instead of just ignoring it. It might be rude to flip off a police officer, but it isn’t a crime.”
Martin was grateful when the charges against him were dismissed.
“I’m relieved to know that the town of New Milford recognized it wasn’t worth prosecuting me for expressing my frustration,” he explained.
Sources: Fox News, WLOS, Bergendis Patch / Photo credit: Office of the Sheriff Jackson County
A Baltimore City schools police officer is shown in a cellphone video slapping a young man Tuesday at REACH Partnership School in East Baltimore.
Liz Bowie and Kevin Rector
Law enforcement officials investigating video that appears to show officer slapping a young man.
Law enforcement officials launched a criminal investigation Wednesday after video surfaced of a Baltimore school police officer slapping and kicking a teenage youth while a second officer watches.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon on the steps outside a city high school. School Police Chief Marshall Goodwin and the two officers in the video were placed on administrative leave, and activists renewed calls for the Department of Justice to investigate the school police.
School officials have released few details of the incident, and there is disagreement about whether the youth is a student.
On Wednesday, acting School Police Chief Akil Hamm said the two officers responded to REACH Partnership School in Clifton Park after two "intruders" were reported inside. He said their presence was considered a threat.
The officers moved the two young men outside, Hamm said. He said school officials had determined that the two were not students by consulting with school administrators, who could not identify them. He said police wanted the community's help identifying them.
Attorney Lauren Geisser, who said she represents the 16-year-old youth and his parents, said he does attend the school. Geisser said the youth, whom she declined to identify because he is a minor, went to the hospital for injuries to his ribs and face.
Geisser said she, the youth and his parents went to the school Wednesday to speak to Principal James Gresham but were told he was in a meeting. Geisser said the parents wanted assurances that their child would be safe if he walked into the school.
"We waited for a significant period of time," Geisser said. "You would think the principal would want an open line of communication on this issue."
She said she was able to get a copy of the rolls that showed the youth's name on the list of students.
In a statement, Baltimore Schools CEO Gregory Thornton said, "I am completely appalled and disappointed by what is depicted in the video."
Schools spokeswoman Edie House Foster said school officials are investigating the case "vigorously."
Hamm said the school system is taking the incident "extremely seriously." He declined to identify the officers, citing the investigation and rules on personnel matters.
The Baltimore Police Department's Special Investigation Response Team will handle the criminal investigation at Hamm's request, police said. The team will work closely with the State's Attorney's Office. Police will also provide a liaison for the internal investigation that is be handled by the Baltimore City School Police.
"This is the right thing to do in a case like this," said Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Foster said the officer who slapped and kicked the boy was part of a "multi-campus" assignment patrolling an area that includes several schools, and not assigned specifically to REACH.
The video was filmed by a friend of the youth, Geisser said, and posted on Facebook.
Karl Perry, the district's chief schools support officer, said he was "appalled" by the video as a man and an educator. He said most school police officers would never act in such a way.
"This type of behavior is not indicative of our schools police officers," Perry said. "This is unacceptable. It's not behavior that will ever be tolerated by any city employee."
The reaction to the video came quickly, with students and public officials calling for greater transparency and scrutiny of school police.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described the scene in the video as "appalling," and said the officer's actions could further harm the relationship between the community and the police.
"Any time there is a law enforcement officer with that level of authority that seems to be abusing that authority, it impacts all of us across the country," she said. "It certainly is not helpful as we work to build bridges of trust to see that level of mistreatment."
Jenny Egan, a public defender who represents juveniles, said that while all the facts are not yet known, the video is "a vivid example of the criminalization of children and of treating misbehavior like crime."
She said it would be particularly unjust if young black students who come from high-crime neighborhoods in the city can't feel safe at school.
If there is "violence at the hands of people who are supposed to be there to protect you," she said, "then there is no place safe for our kids, and that is not right."
Karen Webber, director of the Education and Youth Development program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, called for better training of school police officers in de-escalation and conflict resolution.
City students and advocates have been calling for change for more than a year, after an altercation between a female school officer and three female students at a middle school was caught on film. The officer in that case pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and resigned.
Last month, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the Baltimore Police Department to include the city school police department. The two police departments operate independently.
"The video was distressing," said Monique Dixon, the fund's deputy director of policy. "It is an example of persistent police violence against young men of color."
Dixon, Webber and Egan called for greater oversight of the school police department, and said the district needs to develop guidelines for the officers.
Dixon said information the school system released to the Legal Defense Fund showed incidents in which school officers used batons and pepper spray against students. She said the use of force against students is not consistently reported.
The video is four seconds in length. It's unclear what occurred before the officer began slapping the boy.
"We are waiting for the department to conduct a full and complete investigation," said Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, president of the school police union.
When David Pontious saw the video, his first thought was "Not again."
Pontious, a 17-year-old senior at Baltimore City College High School and a core member of the student-led activist group City Bloc, said the school system has not been transparent about its efforts to improve police.
"Even though we've had a lot of meetings, a lot of input, a lot of discussions with the school system, we've still seen very little training that school police get, and very little accountability," he said.
He said the U.S. Department of Justice should be investigating school police, not just the city police.
City Councilman Brandon Scott, vice chair of the public safety committee, said that "no one's child should be treated like that."
Scott said he knows school police officers who mentor kids, coach sports teams and go out of their way to contribute to their school communities. "All of that stuff just gets forgotten" when reports surface of officers misbehaving, he said.
"It just goes to break down all the good will and all the good work that police officers, and schools police officers especially, do every day," Scott said. "That just adds to my level of disgust."
Baltimore Sun reporters Luke Broadwater, Erica L. Green and Colin Campbell contributed to this article.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A new report alleges a pattern of police misconduct in West Baltimore. The group No Boundaries Coalition presented the initial findings of their report in Annapolis on Tuesday.
They wanted the release their report to coincide with the Senate hearings on a bill to restore accountability to policing.
According to the report summary, 453 of 1500 West Baltimore residents surveyed following the death of Freddie Gray had stories of police misconduct. However, only 39 people were willing to speak on record. The group attributed that to a high level of fear of police retaliation. That's why organizers said they want to see legislators hold police accountable by implementing new laws that rebuild trust.
“Years ago, we were a community, but now we're so far off from one another. I don't know my officers, I don't know their names, they don't know me and that creates a great problem in our community, it needs to change,” said Elder Rev. Clyde William Harris, a co-founder of the No Boundaries Coalition.
The group is asking for anti-racism and de-escalation training, a community policing model, and regular meetings between local leaders, neighbors, and officers.
“We have a force together to bring people out to vote and we're looking for actions, people to represent us, lawmakers to represent us and give us what we want,” said Elder Harris.
The Senate bill would change the way officers are trained and set new requirements for people who file complaints against officers.
The No Boundaries Coalition full report on police misconduct in West Baltimore is expected to be released next Tuesday.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis released a statement on the police reform bills. “I support many of the reforms contained within these bills and believe such measures are important steps in improving the relationship between police and the community,” he said.
He added that he would be happy to talk to reform advocates and lawmakers for solutions that increase transparency within the department while still allowing officers to do their jobs effectively.
A handful of bills that aim to improve police oversight and accountability in Hawaii still have legs in the Legislature after passing key committee votes in the Senate this week.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means committees held a joint hearing and approved Senate Bill 2411, which would provide funding for body cameras and set the guidelines on how the technology should be used.
The committee also passed Senate Bill 2755, which would create a statewide training and standards board to set minimum requirements for those seeking to work in law enforcement.
Each bill has it detractors, particularly in law enforcement.
Hawaii has struggled for years to enact meaningful police reform.
Police officials worry that the body camera legislation doesn’t allow for more input from the agencies that would actually use the technology.
Government transparency groups, on the other hand, worry that the bill goes too far in keeping footage confidential.
The Honolulu Police Department — the state’s largest law enforcement agency — has also expressed concern about creating a statewide training ad standards board.
Hawaii is currently the only state without such an agency.
HPD officials say that having minimum requirements for law enforcement officers could result in the department lowering its own standards, which they say are some of the most stringent in the U.S.
Supporters of the bill say that would not be the case, since the board would only set the low end of the training spectrum. Any agencies that already exceeded those requirements would not have to change course.
The measure, however, would not address police officer certification and licensing, which many experts believe is the true means of keeping tabs on troublesome officers. At least 44 states license police officers.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2196, which would create an independent review board for police killings and cases involving serious bodily injury, also passed through its final Senate committee hearing this week.
The three bills are now slated to go to the Senate floor for a full vote.
Follow Civil Beat on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for Civil Beat’s free daily newsletter.
Detroit police to pay $100,000 for shooting a dog
John Wisely, Detroit Free Press
The City of Detroit will pay a pet owner $100,000 after a police officer shot his dog dead while it was chained up beside his home.
Babycakes, a Dogue de Bordeaux, was on a 10-foot leash beside Darryl Lindsay's home in the 11600 block of Strathmoor in January 2015 when Detroit police surrounded the house. They were there to question Lindsay, though he was never charged with a crime, according to his lawsuit filed last year in U.S. District Court.
Officer Darrell Dawson killed the dog in a shooting captured on police video, according to the lawsuit.
"Dash camera video shows Defendant Dawson walk toward Babycakes in her driveway to a position just beyond the reach of Babycakes’ steel cable leash, pause, aim and shoot her twice with his department-issued ... 40-caliber handgun, striking Babycakes in the chest area," according to the suit.
The dog died of the injuries. Dawson also can be heard on audio recordings notifying dispatchers that he was going to "take the dog down."
Dawson was attempting to enter the back yard of the home when he encountered the dog, but other officers were able to get there by simply hopping the fence on the other side of the house, according to the suit. Lindsay asked officers if it he could bring the dog inside before it was shot.
"Defendant’s dash cam audio recordings reflect a female police officer remarking that 'that dog got shot and had nothing to do with it!'" the suit said.
"On top of that, police never saw or could even describe the person that they were looking for that day," said Lindsay's lawyer, Chris Olsen of Royal Oak.
It's unclear if Dawson was disciplined by the department for the shooting, though records Olsen obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Dawson described seeing a "large brown dog" and that he "was verbally counseled ... regarding other avenues of approach one can take when entering private property for exterior searches.”
The city agreed to the settlement in November. Olsen said he expects his client to get paid in the next month to six weeks.
The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement.
Contact John Wisely: 313-222-6825 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jwisely.
wait for it....wait for it ...............
They actually believe Fairfax County is going to enact police reform.......I mean, you just kind of want to hug em you know?
Want Police reform Washington Post?
Police reform begins at home,so to speak. Stop treating cops differently than the way you treat cop victims........if a victim is named a suspected police abuse action then the cop should be named as well. Do that and watch how quickly the cops fall into line.
A group called Justice for John Geer pickets on Jan. 8, 2015, in Fairfax.
(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
By Editorial Board
EVEN NOW, nearly three years after the fact, Fairfax County officials seem slow to absorb the lessons from the coverup, foot-dragging, reflexive secrecy and mulish unaccountability occasioned by the unwarranted death of John Geer, the father of two who was shot and killed in his own doorway by a county police officer in Springfield.
Even now, after that public disgrace, the county’s elected leaders are hemming and hawing over establishing an all-civilian oversight panel that could render a clear-eyed judgment on allegations of abuse in Fairfax’s 1,400-officer police department, Virginia’s biggest local law enforcement agency.
Even now, after withering criticism of Fairfax’s inertia by a U.S. senator, a judge, citizens groups and the media, county politicians appear loath to confront police brass and rank-and-file representatives, who remain intent on subverting the oversight panel’s independence by stacking it with current and/or former police officers.
And even now, no sense of urgency impels the formation of such an oversight body, which, though it was recommended by a police reform commission last fall, seems unlikely to exist and exercise actual oversight before sometime next year — with luck.
That reform commission was formed after the shame of the Geer episode assumed such dimensions that the county’s Board of Supervisors could no longer look the other way. When it finally delivered its report, in October, after six months of deliberations, it pulled no punches and minced no words.
Among its voluminous recommendations, in addition to establishing real independent oversight of the police, was an overhaul of the department’s use-of-force policies and the setting up of an auditor, under the Board of Supervisors, who would review the integrity of internal police investigations.
The heart of the commission’s recommendations is the establishment of an oversight panel — independent, staffed by civilians and accountable only to the public. Such bodies, with varying compositions, exist in cities and other localities around the country, including New York, Philadelphia and the District. In Fairfax, officials resisted for years, insisting the elected supervisors themselves could exercise effective oversight.
The fallacy of that stance was laid bare by the Geer case, in which the Board of Supervisors appeared paralyzed, befuddled and tongue-tied as police went mum and prosecutors and the board’s own lawyers played dodge-the-blame games for the better part of two years.
Now that there is consensus on an oversight panel, some supervisors are insisting it include current or former police officers or county officials, in accord with the department’s wishes. But what is the point of an oversight panel if the oversight it exercises is tainted from the get-go by the specter of bias? Do the county’s elected representatives really think anyone will regard the oversight panel as meaningfully independent if the police themselves — or their allies or advocates — are doing the overseeing?
The takeaway from the Geer case, in which the officer who pulled the trigger now faces murder charges, could hardly be clearer. Despite many dedicated and fine officers, public trust in the department is broken in Fairfax. The county must rectify that, and not by half-steps.