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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Excessive Force Questions Arise

Albuquerque police confronting Anti-War protesters on 20 March 2003.
  1. Note the police officer on the right with his pepper pellet gun trained on protesters (click on the picture for an enlarged view).
  2. Note also the bald-headed police officer standing in front of the command post vehicle - with flashing amber lights. He is looking at the crowd. This uniformed officer is definitely a veteran as indicated by the yellow stripes on the forearms of his shirt.
  3. Note he is in the middle of the melee yet he is not wearing riot gear. He appears to be standing with his hands relaxed at his hips - kind of uncharacteristic stance if all hell is actually breaking loose on the scene as it appears to be.
  4. The question arises, if the situation is so tense, why does that experienced, uniformed officer appear so un-fazed?
This show of force which resulted after some protesters stepped into the street and obstructed traffic, led to a Federal law suit with the petitioners claiming excessive use of force by APD. One of the Officers named in the law suit was Officer Allen Hancock.
Fast forward to July 2005:

According to the Albuquerque Tribune, Officer Allen Hancock, an APD policeman is alleged to have recently beat a visiting New York doctor, Dr. Vincent Moss. It appears some kind of dispute occurred at a local downtown tavern and Moss was asked to leave. When he refused, police arrived and the situation turned from bad to worse. The incident led to the physician's arrest. Officer Hancock used force to control Moss and the story progressed from there.

As it turns out, Dr. Moss was in Albuquerque because he was volunteering his services as a physician to help indigent Navajo Indian children before he is deployed to Iraq in October '05. The Heart Surgeon's forceful arrest resulted in a dislocated shoulder and a black eye. Add to that the fact that Dr. Moss is African American and questions of racially motivated violence have also been raised regarding Officer Hancock. The story might not have garnered national attention but for the fact that Officer Hancock already has a history of four incidents of excessive force. He has also been named in two recent federal lawsuits over allegations of excessive force that occurred during the incident depicted in the photo above. (the picture of Moss is from the Albuquerque Journal)

There is an interesting discussion going on in Johnny Mango's 'Albloggerque' regarding the incident. If you visit that blog site - and I do encourage you to by clicking here - you will see a myriad of responses which take vastly different positions - some of the people are just plain loopy.

I am amazed how people will look upon any police action that is questioned as hatred of the police. Their, 'either you are with the police or you are against them' mentality is appalling because, to blindly defend the actions of a rogue police officer - or a corrupt administration - is an open invitation for more bad behavior and corruption.


I posted an article regarding police corruption and mentioned retired
Chief Roy Stamper's book 'Breaking Rank' which touches upon topics as excessive violence, racism and other reproachable phenomena that exist in police departments. I am plugging that book again because Chief Stamper has broken the silence. The two other police officers I have lent my book to have agreed with me, the Chief is talking sense. Moreover, the only police that might have a problem with what Stamper has to say are most likely corrupt and see his revelations as a threat to their security.

Poor Johnny Mango, he really took a beating from various commenters about his post regarding bad cops. I hope everyone who reads this post visits Johnny Mango's post because, while the incident happened in Albuquerque, it is reflective of a bigger problem - in this state, nation and quite likely, through out the world.

Lest we forget, police are Human Beings with the same flaws as any other people on the planet. I agree their services are important and indespensible. However,
we must remain vigilant for those who would seek to manipulate the law toward their own corrupt and contemptable ends - even police whom we trust to uphold the law and protect us.

Note: New Mexico Matters has the most complete coverage of Moss incident. You might want to check it out - click here.

15 Comments:

At Thu Aug 04, 03:09:00 PM MDT, Blogger Cricketina said...

Interesting and stunning post. It's a topic that gets me a bit riled as my brother is a police officer, as I'm sure it does you with your experience. I would like to believe that those assigned to protect us would do just that. But then, there's a lot I used to blindly accept that age, education, and life experience has been proving wrong.

I find it amusing to check your posts when I wake up, then find by the evening they've often evolved.

 
At Thu Aug 04, 03:34:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

I'm constantly editing to make certain the posts are fair and accurate.

J

 
At Thu Aug 04, 04:18:00 PM MDT, Blogger Liquidplastic said...

As I read this I am reminded of the time when I was the subject of excessive force by a policeman, and believe me when I say that he was as brown as me. He was trying to prove something to his white buddies. I proved something to all of them; because I worked with the public and had develop a good habit of carrying around a mini tape recorder.

Before I retired as an accountant I prepared Income Taxes for hundreds of police officers from different society (I don't like to use the word race because there is really only one human race) .. So I know for a fact that they are not all bad.

However, there are too many bad apples that are spoiling the barrel, and many a good officers allow them to get away with it. In these days of excessive force from police officers, I suggest carrying a mini tape recorder, a disposal camera, and/or camcorder.

The only way a citizen can stand up against officers who bend the law, is to protect yourself with these simple items, and of course, be on your best behavior. If an incident occur, always look around for witnesses … it will help you when you bring them before the judge.

 
At Fri Aug 05, 11:27:00 AM MDT, Blogger Beaver said...

It always irks me to read about police abuse... yet, it happens everywhere. In my own town, a vagrant was beaten to death by 2 police officers a few years ago because he was "begging on the wrong sidewalk".

As a licensed attorney, my instinct is to promote law-abiding behaviours and respect for the police officers (who are called, ironically, in Canada, "Agents de la paix" a.k.a. agents of peace).

Always sad to know that even those whose job it is to enforce the law should not to abide by it.

ON ON !

P.S. Just wanted to tell you thanks for doing what you do, it's useful and necessary. Keep talking, people, keep talking...

 
At Fri Aug 05, 02:16:00 PM MDT, Blogger Paul said...

To me, some police officers get into the job for good reasons. They're physically capable, want to help people, and have a temperament that takes to the kind of risk and action that can be involved.

For others, it's obviously some kind of authoratarian personality syndrome. I wish they had a reliable test for checking these guys out for that ahead of time...

(PS, I "featured" you on my post today.)

 
At Wed Aug 10, 11:48:00 AM MDT, Anonymous schmedlap said...

Indeed the Hancock story has "grow legs" in the traditional media but more so on the blogs. I have not heard any more about the video however, there was video from the establishment and a whole lot of witnesess to the events.... I just can't fathom why none of those folks are making noise unless, dare I say it??? There isn't a story here and (horrors) the officer is vindicated? I dunno, voice you used to be in that line of work, wern't you ever wrongly accused by citizens or sued for something you didn't do wrong?

 
At Wed Aug 10, 05:22:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

schmedlap,

Thanks for posting your comment. However, it does seem a bit sarcastic for my liking so; I want to lay out the ground rules here to ensure that this thread does not deteriorate into name-calling and personal insults the way it did in Johnny Mango’s blog recently.

If you disagree, please feel free to express it however, all responses are to be respectful and free of sarcasm. Any display of disrespect will be promptly deleted.

I have no problem in engaging in dialogue with you but I am not altogether convinced that you are not one of those rude anonymous commenters who posted on Johnny Mango’s blog. I wonder about this on the basis of your writing style. Be that as it may, I welcome your disagreement and intend to respond this time.



You wrote,
”Indeed the Hancock story has "grow legs" [sic] in the traditional media but more so on the blogs.”

Agreed – blogging is definitely the wave of the future. People no longer have to rely exclusively on a single media source or be subjected to a particular reporter’s bias for access to important information. Moreover, they do not have to rely on a potentially biased editor to decide who’s opinion is relevant for publication. Apparently this realization has not been lost on you because, after all, you are here posting your comment as you did in Johnny Mango’s “Albloggerque” thread as well.

You wrote,
”I am not certain just how true that is but it was reported as such.”

According to the media, the Moss incident took place outside of the tavern and curiously enough, just out of the range of camera coverage. I don’t know if this is true but I do recall it was reported. So, now it may simply boil down to a question as to who is more credible in the eyes of an investigator and quite possibly a Federal Jury.

You wrote,
”I just can't fathom why none of those folks are making noise unless, dare I say it???"[sic]

This sounds like sarcasm – I will indulge you this time with a response. Reflecting on Johnny Mango’s thread, I think you may be a police officer. However, for the sake of this discussion, I will assume you are not.

Regarding your point of contention about witnesses coming forward; Your point is well taken but, from what I have read in the media, it also appears that no one has come forward either to support Officer Hancock or accuse him really means nothing - witnesses often refuse to get involved.

There are a myriad of reasons why this might happen. I cannot say why. It may be as simple as this; someone who witnessed the event may have an outstanding warrant and did not want to get arrested when the information was collected and background checks were conducted as the investigation progressed. It is not uncommon for people to refuse to come forward - especially when a police officer is involved and especially when the witnesses have been drinking. Think about it, if you are at a bar, you are most likely tipsy and you see something violent happen – between a police officer and a patron. Did you really see it? Are you going to want to testify that you saw a man get beat up by a police officer? Was it a beating or was the arrestee subdued? This line of discussion is purely speculative so perhaps we should just drop it here.

Your apparent inability to ‘fathom’ seems strangely slighted in Officer Hancock’s direction. Moreover, your ability to ‘fathom’ also seems to have missed the reality that Officer Hancock has been involved in four misconduct issues in the past – two of which the City of Albuquerque has settled out of court. I am not certain which of the four cases were Federal or whether all of them are going to be but I can say this, it does appear to be an issue that the public certainly ought to ‘fathom’ because it is plain scary to think that someone whom we trust to use deadly force may abuse his power under color of law. As a citizen, I want to know. I want assurance that some rogue police officer is not out there with a taste for beating people up. I am sure there are other citizens – including police officers – out there who expect the same. Hopefully, such officers are assigned to the Internal Affairs Division. If there is nothing to the allegations then Officer Hancock should be exonerated right? Don’t you want to know?

You wrote,
There isn't a story here and (horrors) the officer is vindicated?

Still, more sarcasm.

The 'horror' that truly frightens me is that a police officer might be abusing people because of his misinterpretation of the Reactive Control model. If Hancock’s behavior is so common then every officer in the department has been sued at least four times. You know that is simply not true. There are many, many police officers who have gone through their entire careers who have not been sued for police brutality.

Now, regarding 'vindication;' There may also be a story here if the Doctor is ‘vindicated.’ The last four law suits seemed to disappear quietly. Was there not a story there?

You wrote,
I dunno [sic], voice you used to be in that line of work, wern't [sic] you ever wrongly accused by citizens or sued for something you didn't do wrong?

It is pretty simple schmedlap; you and I disagree about whether there is a story here and you seem to be convinced that it is a foregone conclusion that Officer is going to be ‘vindicated.’ I might have felt better if you had chosen a word like, ‘exonerated.’ The way you have couched your arguments here has been to place me at polar opposites with you when in fact, I am posting about something that causes me concern; officer misconduct. My major concern relating to this incident is the four other allegations regarding excessive force and misconduct.

Every officer is going to be at risk at some point in his/her career of being called to task because that is the nature of the job. Making contact with people in conflict is invariably going to lead to added stress. However, each officer is extensively trained in how to avoid or minimize the chances of having that happen. As a matter of fact, part of the Reactive Control Model used to train police cadets discusses how an officer should comport him/herself when making initial contact and then strict guidelines are set forth in the event that more control is necessary. Part of the Academy process is aimed at culling out people who are not suited for the job and that is yet another way of ensuring that individuals given to acting out violently or being incapable of handling stress never make it to the streets. Other safeguards have also been implemented in the training process to make certain that people entering the field are worthy of the trust conferred upon them by the public they are sworn to protect. Another example of training to minimize an officer’s errant abuse of power included training in, ‘Verbal Judo’ - a method of communication aimed at minimizing or eliminating accusations of abuse by citizens was developed here in Albuquerque by a retired police officer. It is my understanding that this training is still used at the Albuquerque Police Academy.

Having a tape recorder is another means of protecting a police officer from false or misleading allegations. I certainly hope the Officers involved in the Moss incident had their tape-recorders running from the moment they made initial contact until they turned his custody over to the jail. Any unrecorded breaks are going to appear highly suspect - the man they arrested ended up with a dislocated shoulder and a black eye.

Good evidence to refutes the unfounded claims. Fortunately, such accusations for most police officers are rare thanks to proper training and experience which help them communicate in such with the people they come into contact with. Good officers know it is not prudent to rob any one of their dignity or respect. I was never sued for any reason when I was a police officer.

schmedlap, it was you who rightly pointed out - in Johnny Mango’s thread - that APD’s presence downtown has become a replacement for what security guards ought to be doing at the taverns.

In Johnny Mango’s blog, you wrote;
One big problem with Downtown however is that the Police are there keeping order rather than some security provided by those who make all the money off the drinking and who's establishments cause all the problems. The bar owners do not avail themselves of the "Chief's overtime" program where they can hire officers to provide security, nor do their security personnel handle problems once it goes "outside" of the bar. Quite simply, in the Dr Moss case, that individual was purported to be problem inside a bar and tried to re-enter. The officers never should have been there in the first place... that is a provate [sic] security persons job. I would suggest that anyone interested call the "Downtown action team" (listed in the phone book) and ask why their members get free police security when other businesses have to pay.
I for one believe that if law enforcement has to spend that much time baby sitting a business, that business ought to get a bill from the city.


I agree with you completely schmedlap; they should not be there as security guards for the tavern owners – at least in the capacity they are in at present. I think the taverns should be paying for added security by hiring police officers on Chief’s Overtime. I believe the officer presence [Level one in the Reactive Control Model] does in fact deter crime in a big way and it should be bought and paid for by the tavern owners. Had there been a police officer present before the incident escalated between Moss and the Manager, this entire incident might have been avoided altogether. Instead, Hancock was left to deal with the repercussions of the upset manager and the upset customer.

Your comment about the problem falling under the purview of police after it ‘goes outside’ the bar is interesting. It raises questions whether maybe the bar manager was aware of this and intentionally acted to provoke the incident. Why did the police not stop the manager? Was he directed to leave by the police? Is this tape recorded? Did Officer Hancock and the Manager have some sort of tacit agreement to provoke Moss? Has Hancock, ‘handled’ other disturbances for the bar manager in the past? I am certain an attorney worth his salt will be asking such questions.

The police have been sent to monitor Albuquerque’s Downtown drunks and to keep the peace. It is evident that decision was made at City Hall – because taverns in Nob Hill do not have that luxury. They apparently do not have the same kind of political pull as the Downtown tavern owners do. Consequently, APD again faces yet another excessive-force allegation and quite possibly a lawsuit over it.

I am familiar with your underlying argument regarding good police officers who do their jobs right are at risk of being accused and sued. I also maintain that good police officers might stand less of a chance of getting accused and sued as well because of how they handle themselves and because of their ability to diffuse situations.

By the way, don't police officers pair up at night downtown? Why is the other officer not named at all? According to Moss, an officer made a remark about not being a doctor after Moss identified himself as such to the officer.

According to New Mexico Matters, "During his arrest, Mr. Moss said that APD officers called him "boy" and "At one point...mocked him, saying "I'm not a heart surgeon, but I stayed at a holiday inn last night."

If an officer really said that, then he ought to be easily tracked down – the remark should have been caught on tape because it was within earshot of Moss. Furthermore, that officer should be consequenced for uttering such a sophomoric remark. It was unprofessional and demeaning.

Finally, I simply do not agree with your veiled contention that because Officer Hancock is a police officer he automatically warrants ‘vindication.’ If he is not guilty then he should be exonerated. Like every officer, he knows what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

Good police officers never find police brutality acceptable - they might understand it but they wouldn’t condone it. It is a very uncomfortable feeling for police officers even associating with another officer who engages in misconduct.

If Officer Hancock is a, ‘good’ officer then his peers will know it. If he is ‘bad’ they will know that as well. In the end however, he will have his chance to present his case to internal affairs and others if need be.

Like it or not, this unfortunate incident is going to compel both him and his department to revisit issues like training in the RCM, public opinion, and all the patrol officers’ role of keeping the peace in private taverns.

 
At Wed Aug 10, 06:51:00 PM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why did you abandon your career as a law enforcement officer?
You must be close to the age of 48, considering you service in Vietnam, but 48 is not a very traditional retirement age, so I was wondering if there was something that drove you out of "service".
I know it seems a rather strange and personal question, but I am quite sure that your readers would find it interesting.
Try not to leave out any of the important details, as your voice is heard by many.
Sincerly,
ME

 
At Thu Aug 11, 01:56:00 AM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
"So why did you abandon your career as a law enforcement officer?
You must be close to the age of 48, considering you service in Vietnam, but 48 is not a very traditional retirement age, so I was wondering if there was something that drove you out of "service".
I know it seems a rather strange and personal question, but I am quite sure that your readers would find it interesting.
Try not to leave out any of the important details, as your voice is heard by many.
Sincerly,
ME”

Okay, let's address this comment point by point.


Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
”So why did you abandon your career as a law enforcement officer?”

The way you have written your comment, 'abandon' is a word that carries negative connotations. Where did you get the idea I, 'abandoned' anything? Why would you ask such a question?

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
”You must be close to the age of 48,”

I am?
Congratulations - it looks like you've been reading my blog. Be careful what you read.

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
“… considering you service [sic] in Vietnam,”

I did?
[you probably meant, 'served']

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
”…but 48 is not a very traditional retirement age,”

It’s not?

Incidentally, Vietnam was over 30 years ago. Did you ditch US History or did you just sleep through it? Arithmetic seems to be an ongoing problem for you as well.

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
“… so I was wondering if there was something that drove you out of "service".”

What is with the quotes around "service" - is that some kind of Dr. Evil imitation? Which "service" are you referring to?

What leads you to conclude I was 'driven' out of anywhere? What makes you think I am not working for another Agency? Again, why would you ask such a question?

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
”I know it seems a rather strange and personal question,”

Finally, we have a point of agreement. You are correct, it is both strange and personal. Frankly, I am starting to think you are strange and personal. Again, why are you asking? This is the internet; there are weirdoes all the way from Albuquerque’s City Hall to Sacramento to Kalamazoo dropping in here and behaving oddly. What exactly is your need to know about me? Do you not have a life of your own?

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
“…but I am quite sure that your readers would find it interesting.”

I think we would all find it quite interesting as to why you are asking such questions. Is your intent to somehow discredit me? What is your agenda? Do you not like it that I posted something about possible police misconduct? Are you the same person that has visited my blog repeatedly? Do you have ‘family’ here in Albuquerque? How many of the following visits are yours? I know. Do you?

Date Time
10th August 2005 18:25:56

10th August 2005 18:26:12

10th August 2005 18:26:29

10th August 2005 18:34:05

10th August 2005 18:34:17

10th August 2005 18:35:17

10th August 2005 18:36:08

10th August 2005 18:36:40

10th August 2005 18:41:11

10th August 2005 18:42:31

10th August 2005 18:51:53

10th August 2005 18:51:58

10th August 2005 20:50:57

10th August 2005 20:52:04

Are you a dirty cop who wants me to shut up? Are you somehow connected directly to this case? Are you taking a stab at the Karl Rove trick of trying to out anyone who you consider to be a threat because they appear to dissent with your agenda?

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
”Try not to leave out any of the important details, as your voice is heard by many.”

I’ll tell you what, you provide me with your name, social security number, personal address and both work and home telephone numbers along with a brief history of your life and why you are doing this. By the way, I have your computer’s IP address as well.

After I have verified your identity, and figured out what your agenda is, then I’ll consider sharing my personal life with you. Until then, you will just be some flake posting as, ‘Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME.”

Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,
Sincerly [sic],

ME


Sincerely has an ‘e’ between the ‘r’ and the ‘l.’ Check your spelling and grammar too.

Now, Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ - who ever you are, do us both a favor and stop with the passive-aggressive tactics. You are not going to silence me. You are making this look even worse for the subjects of this article because it looks like you are trying to silence me any way possible.

Not only that, you sound seriously creepy. I am leaving this comment posted so that people can read what you are doing and be the judge of it themselves. I have to tell you though, you sound seriously disturbed. If you want to expose me, and I am not sure what there is to expose - why be a sniper? Really, Anonymous, who signed off his/her comment as, ‘ME’ wrote,’ Who are you? We all would like to know.

Does anyone else find this kind of comment weird? Especially considering the topic of the post on this thread?

This really does sound Orwellian - very bizarre indeed.

 
At Thu Aug 11, 09:04:00 AM MDT, Anonymous schmedlap said...

Voice,
First, let me apologize for all the bad grammar. Like everyone else it stings me when I get quoted with a {sic} behind my words. I also promise not to ask bizarre personal questions like the person who follows my post. You points are all valid, and I don’t dispute your past service in L.E. I only find it unusual that in a 20-year career you never got named in any tort claims. I did the job at several ranks up to command level and was named several times in torts, often for only being present on a scene or being the supervisor who signed off on reports or charging documents. In fact most often in lawsuits the officer’s entire chain of command is named (although often dismissed from the claim later). In all of my cases I was exonerated or dropped from the claim before trial or settlement. That being said, the question to you about if you were named ever on a tort claim was not a sneaky attack but a way to reach out to you and see if there was some empathy for anyone who got falsely accused either in a lawsuit or an Internal Affairs complaint. I only hope that however any of these complaints turns out that truth is told and that justice is done. It just seems more and more unlikely in today’s society with the often bizarre verdicts that we see handed down in recent years. I am all for professional peace officers, I am not for pre-judgment. Again, sorry if I appeared overly sarcastic, but it does get to me on a visceral level when folks seem to prejudge based on media reports, which we all know are often erroneous.

 
At Thu Aug 11, 02:07:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

schmedlap,

I sincerely do appreciate your comments and I must say that your words gave me pause in the Johnny Mango post. That is why I lifted nearly all of your entire comment regarding the tavern/security guard issue. I know we have far more in common that you might believe.

I never intended to sting you with the ‘[sic]’ notation, I wanted you and everyone else to know that I had not changed your comment in the slightest way. For me, it is a disservice to change what a person has written. Owing to my academic training, Accuracy is a duty and not a right. Since people have been attacking me, I did not want anyone to attribute grammatical or spelling errors to me and I did not want them to accuse me of altering your comments. At any rate, please accept my apology – my intent was not meant to humiliate you.

Your query and thoughts regarding tort claims is well taken. Moreover, your most recent comment is far more specific that your original comment. Had you posed the question this way the first time, I would have responded in the affirmative.

You are right. I do agree that what seems to be missing in the world today is empathy – or at least it is at a profound deficit across the board. Maybe that was what was missing outside the bar that night. We will never know. In truth, my words are not aimed at bringing any agency down. I have a profound respect for anyone that dons a badge because it is a noble and often thankless job. It was my hope that you would realize this when I referenced and expanded upon your concerns about the tavern/security guard issue.

As you are well aware, people often try to use the police to ‘fight’ their battles by proxy. I think this is exactly what happened at Maloney’s that night. It certainly appears the manager was keenly aware of the jurisdiction issue and that is precisely why the events unfolded the way they did – outside the bar.

The strategy is simple; get the customer out of the bar, piss him off in front of the police and then walk away – let the police take care of your mess from there – that’s their job.

Since people who go to bars do get drunk, inappropriate behavior is sure to follow. I am concerned however that if Maloney’s is able to collect money from such patrons, then they should be liable for the results. It is unclear whether Moss was drunk before arriving at the bar or whether he had even been drinking at all. That really does not matter though because bars, bartenders and managers who collect money for offering drinks should know how to handle people who have been drinking. For the irate customer – whether s/he is drunk or not – an officer with a badge and a uniform can have a sobering effect. Having a police officer present and, being paid on Chief’s Overtime most definitely would have had bearing on the outcome of the Moss incident because his initial contact would have been with a police officer rather than with a bar manager who seemed to escalate the problem.

The vast majority of police officers are good and decent people. Because I have posted this article should not be misunderstood as my categorical indictment of APD – although I am seeing some disturbing issues arising from time to time. You, better than anyone else know that the only way for any department to maintain it’s standing in the community is to be straightforward and honest; to be above reproach. Anyone who waivers from that is simply a disservice to the rank and file because they are the ones who are most directly affected by public opinion.

In the end, a final finding and possibly a final disposition will be reached in the Moss incident and in spite of such a finding, the truth is going to be somewhere in the middle. Only Officer Hancock, the manager and Dr. Moss really know what happened that night. I just hope that the entire event was recorded – that could clear up many unanswered questions.

As to whether I believe Hancock is guilty or innocent of using excessive force; I am not sure – hopefully the investigation will bring that out. That is what happens with everyday people who are accused of breaking the law. Why should police be treated any different?

You may consider my post to be biased against the police – I believe you referred to it as, ‘prejudiced’ near the end of your latest comment - but I disagree. My rationalization goes like this; I love the badge because it represents the Constitution of the United States and I love the Constitution more than I love any person. It is worth protecting and many of our fellow Americans have died protecting and upholding it. The job of a police officer is very special and it can only be accomplished if the officer is above reproach. Whether we like it or not, police are held to a higher standard. As such, the investigation into this matter needs to be rigorous because the department’s reputation is riding on it.

A friend recently pointed out that my responses are often longer than my posts. I suppose that is true. I do that as an attempt to communicate with whoever thought it important enough to leave a comment. I do it because I want them to know they are important. It is no different with you schmedlap. I want you to know that I hear you. I really do appreciate your input. I also want you to know that the distance between what we feel is far less than you are inclined to believe.

Unfortunately, there are people who tragically adopt the, ‘either-or’ mentality and they see no way to meet on a ground of commonality. They are the ones who attack and they are the ones who – even with the best of intentions – pose the greatest threat to liberty. They are the ones who would just as soon get rid of the first amendment. Thank you for exercising yours and thank you for not interfering with mine.

Thank you for reaching out and thank you for your comment.

 
At Thu Aug 11, 06:12:00 PM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound orwellian.
I appreciate your detailed retort, though spanking might be a better word.
You read too deeply into my comment, although some of my requests might have been passive agessive, but more so to egg you on then a reflection of an actual interest.
I apologize for my grammer, as my hands do not work as quickly as my mind does.
You are right, I visit your blog, but will discontinue my comments from this point forward. I visit it not because I have relatives in MN( I don't), but because it stirs me up, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes a bad. I consider blogs much like I do the cable news racket, sometimes I watch the ones I find most entertaining.
So, with that said, I will keep my non-existant attempts to discredit you to my self, as they will be quite comfortable with my weirdness, and am sure it will be with my mis-use of the English language.
Oh, I meant "your" not "you" as far as the service comment went.
Goodbye,
ME

 
At Thu Aug 11, 07:06:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Thank you for actually responding Anonymous/ME,

I thought a long time about whether to post a response to your comment or to just delete it. In the end, I figured if you had the temerity to post such a remark then it warranted a response – if only to simply point out just how egregious and inappropriate your remarks were.

Despite the fact that this is the internet, it appears all rules regarding civility have gone out the window. With the rise of faux-journalism courtesy of agencies like FOX and rude celebrities like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly – tasteless accusatory jabs have become the order of the day. I dedicated my life to standing up to bullies and I have no intention of ever backing down from them.

Having said that, I believe a little background is in order here. I am receiving a steady stream of hate mail and much of the vitriol I can usually handle. However, the level of hate has sharply escalated lately. I take threats to my family and myself seriously. Consequently, when your comment came up, it was very similar to a threatening e-mail I received just a less than 24 hours before you posted your comment. I haven’t checked into the e-mail address so I don’t know who generated that e-mail. That is why I decided to post a response and, that is why I posted the kind of response that I did.

I apologize for the ‘spanking’ and I apologize for the acerbic response.

I am glad my blog stirs emotions in my readership but, I am really surprised because what I post does not seem all that controversial to me – in comparison to other blogs I regularly read. My posts are mostly about injustice and peace. Who could or would hate me for that?

Rather than simply accepting your goodbye, I would like to offer you a, ‘Hello.’ Perhaps we can start all over again and reach out toward where our commonalities exist. I am not seeking a readership that agrees with everything I say. I want honest dialogue - preferably without sniping.

Thank you for your most recent response - it brings a certain measure of comfort. As I wrote before - in a comment on the second post that I wrote about Ibrahim Ferrer yesterday - I don't want to waste my time making enemies. I have found making enemies far too easy. Life is too short for that. What I am attempting to do here is reach out to my fellow Human Beings. I am seeking answers and you just may have a few for me.

In the future, I look forward to discourse with you and others even if we fail to agree with each other because as long as we are discussing the issues and not attacking each other personally, then there is hope. You are welcome as long as your remarks are not disrespectful.

I respect you for deciding to return. Thank you for this opportunity. I never would have expected it. I really do appreciate it.

Goodbye and Hello,
J

 
At Thu Aug 11, 07:33:00 PM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello.

 
At Thu Aug 11, 09:02:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Hello and thank you.
J

 

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