NYPD Finally Admit That Police Broke The Rules With Pepper Spraying; May Slap Anthony Bologna On The Wrist

from the lose-your-10-vacation-days dept

After Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was caught on video tape pepper spraying protestors and then walking away (multiple times), police spokesperson Paul Browne insisted that the pepper spray was used appropriately and that the evidence proving this was, "edited out or otherwise not captured in the video." That seemed difficult to believe given multiple cameras from multiple angles all capturing the event.

So it's interesting to see NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne (surely, not the same person) now admitting that Bologna broke the rules.
The commander, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, has been given a so-called command discipline, according to a law enforcement official. Officials said investigators found that the inspector ran afoul of Police Department rules for the use of the spray. The department’s patrol guide, its policy manual, says pepper spray should be used primarily to control a suspect who is resisting arrest, or for protection; it does allow for its use in “disorder control,” but only by officers with special training.

The Internal Affairs Bureau reviewed the episode and found that Inspector Bologna “used pepper spray outside departmental guidelines,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. He declined to elaborate.
Apparently Bologna may be docked 10 days worth of pay. Though, I'm curious if we'll get an IAB investigation into false statements from police spokespeople insisting that something was done appropriately, and then later saying the exact opposite. Somehow, I doubt it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    I'm pretty sure the intitial statement by Mr. Browne was not meant to be taken as factual, and we need to just wait and see if this latest statement should be.

     

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  2.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    His superiors probably felt sorry for him. I mean, would you want to go through life with the name, "Tony Baloney"?

    Maybe, after many years of social trauma, one of the protesters said something about getting a sandwich for lunch, and Tony just snapped.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Only the Lonely can Play -->

    [Only Baloney can Spray]

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    High and Low court

    Honestly, I'm in favor or high and low courts. Only I think they ought to be reversed. Those who are enact and enforce laws, need to be held to the highest standards of those laws. I highly doubt that I would simply get 10 days of docked pay if I randomly started pepper spraying crowds of people, but then, I'm not a police officer. I guess if I want to cause lots of mayhem and get off with a wrist slap and a firm "Don't get caught doing that again!" I should join the police force.

     

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  5.  
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    TheStupidOne, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Well ...

    In defense of Paul Browne any spokesperson worth their salt will cover for anyone in their organization until a review has been completed. He may have actually thought the Inspector Bologna acted appropriately, or that he was an @$$ hat that should be removed from the force immediately. The important thing here is that they are now conceding that Bologna behaved inappropriately.

    Now about the punishment being doled out, I think docking his pay is not appropriate. If a police officer breaks department policy then they should not be shielded by the force. If that is the case then what Bologna did is assault, and he should be charged.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    S, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

    Re: High and Low court

    Any malfeasance, particularly on the part of offices given powers which could potentially infringe upon other people's civil or human rights, should automatically constitute treason. No exceptions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Well ...

    (disclaimer: I am not a police cheerleader)

    It's a complicated subject when it comes to police. Using physical violence is one of the tools at their disposal, and the line between appropriate and inappropriate can be difficult to determine in the heat of the moment. In this situation, Tony Baloney was clearly out of line. However, police are expected to pepper spray people in some situations.

    It's a lot different than if you or I decided to pepper spray someone, since we are not expected to use physical force against our fellow citizens, except in the most extreme circumstances. Yes, Tony Baloney's actions would be considered assault if he were a civilian, but civilians don't perform crowd control at protests.

    With police, it's much more difficult to determine if a use of force was an error in judgment, or downright malicious, because pepper spray is a legitimate tool of law enforcement.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    S, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Well ...

    You mean, 'any liar worth their salt'?

    If they don't actually know; that is, if they don't already have evidence either way; they're flat-out prevaricating if they state with certainty for or against the case of the accused.

     

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  9.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Solve this properly...

    Charge him with: Conduct unbecoming of an officer, assault, dereliction of duty - come on boys, fill out that report and list the charges just like you would if he was just a kid in the 'hood. We all know you have plenty of practice.

    Just saying...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Well ...

    I hit reply prematurely:

    There are some legal distinctions in addition to common-sense/logical distinctions. For one, intent matters. Was it Tony Baloney's intent to commit a crime? Probably not. A more plausible explanation was that his intention was to protect his officers, and he exercised exceptionally poor judgment and self-control in doing so.

    Think of it this way: If you're a forklift operator who isn't properly doing your job and accidentally kills someone, it's a different situation than if I sneak into a warehouse and start dicking around on a forklift and accidentally kill someone.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Solve this properly...

    In general, conduct unbecoming of an officer is a bureau-specific disciplinary policy, as opposed to a crime. It's possible this is a crime in New York, but I'm not aware of it.

     

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  12.  
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    Rekrul, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Personally, I think an appropriate punishment would be for him to get pepper sprayed by each of the people that he sprayed. I think it was a total of five different people, so he should be sprayed five times, with enough time allowed between each spraying for him to fully recover.

    In fact, I think any time a police officer is found to have acted inappropriately, they should have the same thing done to them as they did to the victims. Taser someone without valid provocation, get tasered yourself.

    Maybe if they knew they could face the same fate, it would make officers think twice before resorting to convenience tactics. After all, in the past, cops were able to do their jobs without tasers or pepper spray/mace. Today, they resort to using these things on people much too quickly.

     

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  13.  
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    TheStupidOne, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    True, but yet we can't have a class of citizens that can act with impunity and get away with it because they might have to do that while performing their duty. Police officers who abuse their powers are criminals.

    Now I will agree that they need some leniency because their is gray area and they need to be able to act in those situations without fear of being charged with a crime. But when an officer pepper sprays a group of non-violent protesters and then simply walks away, then it is obvious a crime has been committed, looks like assault to me. When a group of officers beats and already subdued suspect to death it is murder. When an officer arrests someone just for standing on their front lawn then that person has been unlawfully detained and probably assaulted.

    Every story that comes out about police officers getting away with something that the vast majority of people feel is a crime then the public loses confidence in the police and that is a terrible thing for everyone.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    WTF does this have to do with Insight Community?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    A forklift driver who isn't properly doing their job and kills someone would lose their job, their forklift license and probably end up broke from the lawsuit that followed. The cop however, gets a ten day suspension because they just can't hide it this time, but will likely quietly win his appeal (which is already in the works according to some). It is not the same for people as it is for cops.

     

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  16.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    When I saw this on BoingBoing they had reported he was going to lose up to 10 vacation days. They sourced their report here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/18/occupy-wall-street-pepper-spray-officer?CMP=twt_f d

    What he did was against policy and more than likely lead to the situation getting more out of hand. His actions and the NYPD denying the proof of what he did, on multiple occasions that day, quite possibly incited more people to react more aggressively towards the police. Rightly or wrongly people knowing that NYPD appeared to be willing to deny facts of officer misconduct would step up what they were doing so there could be no doubt the NYPD was ignoring policy and being over zealous.

    It is a game of brinksmanship, who is willing to cross what line. NYPD made it clear they would violate policy, attempt to cover it up, discredit evidence, and now they might take away up to 10 vacation or work days. To think that someone charged to "Serve and Protect" pepper sprayed contained women, who posed no threat to any police officer, gets tapped on the wrist really raises more questions about the law and its application based on who you are rather than this is the law that applies to all. Had a protester blindsided some cops with pepper spray and then pepper sprayed officers taping him fleeing the scene ... does anyone think they would get only 10 days in jail?

    Respect is earned officers, it is not granted because you have a badge. Everytime one of your police brethren does something like this, and you let the ranks close in to protect him you erode any respect you had. There are good cops and there are bad cops, but when a good cop remains silent to protect the department or image... they just became a bad cop.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    Not a defense. Maybe not even an explanation.

    But a remarkable quote all the same.

    "'Police business', he said almost gently, 'is a hell of a problem. It's a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there's nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get — and we get things like this.'"

    Raymond Chandler
    The Lady in the Lake

     

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  18.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 20th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    Was it Tony Baloney's intent to commit a crime? Probably not.

    It was clearly his intent to spray peaceful citizens in the face with caustic substances. Whether or not this constitutes a 'crime' is rather the point.

    If the victims had pulled out their own pepper spray in response, how many vacation days would they have lost?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Well ...

    You realize that you are supporting the PR right to lie?

    I'd rather have some guy say, "you know, I don't know if it was appropriate because I wasn't there. I'll get back to you when a department investigation has been concluded."

    That would be real public relations.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    RD, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    "If the victims had pulled out their own pepper spray in response, how many vacation days would they have lost?"

    Thats easy. All of them. Laws only apply to little people, never to those in charge of making or enforcing them.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    VMax, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Only the Lonely can Play -->

    Too bad his last name wasn't Bacon. Bacon spray, Yummmmm.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 10:14pm

    Would you prefer he was flogged in the public square, or perhaps put in stocks for a few days?

    SHeesh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2011 @ 10:57pm

    Re:

    Unfortunately, not an option...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    WysiWyg (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 1:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    I can agree that there needs to be some "wiggleroom", and that they need to be able to do their job.

    But that power comes with responsibility, and I think that now that he has proven that he can't handle it he should be fired.

     

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  25.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 1:45am

    Re:

    "Fired" would be nice.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    O, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 2:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    Did you see the video?
    He came out of nowhere, walked up to the protestors, pepper sprayed them and walked away.

    He clearly had no idea what was going on when he decided to pepper-spray them. Maybe some cops told him "hey can you pepper-spray these people over there" and he just did it, but he never appraised the situation himself before acting. And that is malicious and intent to commit a crime.

     

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  27.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 4:32am

    There's wrong and then there's wrong.

    "I'm curious if we'll get an IAB investigation into false statements from police spokespeople"

    I suppose that depends on whether making false statements to the public falls outside of departmental guidelines. Somehow I doubt it's in the handbook.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Re:

    "What he did was against policy and more than likely lead to the situation getting more out of hand. His actions and the NYPD denying the proof of what he did, on multiple occasions that day, quite possibly incited more people to react more aggressively towards the police"

    This is their strategy. They also have used agents provocateur multiple times in multiple locations.

    Seems they are not there to serve and protect the citizens, but rather the interests of the aristocrats - big surprise huh.

     

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  29.  
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    anzastan (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Re:

    in short...yes.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re:

    Seems you are reading the wrong site. http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/ there is the right site kid.

    Ahem, let us do the binding:

    Technology > Cell Phones > Cell Phones with cameras > Police arresting ppl recording and abusing power

    Technology > internetz > social websites > protests organized online > police abusing power and arresting ppl without any charges

    You see, how the police reacts to the technology and to stuff generated via technology is a good topic for the site...

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    Add that the mainstream media reporting in favor of the police regardless of if they ar wrong or not and we have a problem.

    https://twitter.com/#!/icanhazsake/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2Fay7eO7VI
    https ://twitter.com/#!/icanhazsake/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2FHiiSlwIT

    The tweets I posted with the pictures are a translation of what mainstream newspapers in my country are saying about the protests. It seems they are violent and the ppl participating are just a bunch of thugs. But the pics can't lie, can they?

     

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  32.  
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    Thomas (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:48am

    A slap..

    on the wrist is the best that can be expected. When it's common for the thug cops in NYC to beat the crap out of people, a mere pepper spraying isn't a big deal for Internal Affairs. Unless the cops actually shoot someone down, internal affairs doesn't pay attention.

     

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  33.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re:

    Oh and from your guardian link:

    Shortly after the incident, a hacker group Anonymous affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement posted on its website Bologna's address, his phone number and where his children went to school, among other personal details. Police department officials said that was out of line and deplorable.

    I don't recall that. And even if it was done any1 can be anonymous ;)

    If it really did happen it is indeed deplorable. But it doesn't change my support for the protests in any way. In any group there will be the good fruits and the rotten ones.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Tony Baloney will certainly end up doing better than these cops, who got off after raping and murdering.

     

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  35.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    > WTF does this have to do with Insight Community?

    It has everything to do with incite community.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    hothmonster, Oct 21st, 2011 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They did release his docs. It wasn't as nefarious as they make it sound. Has a list of known relatives, like 12 addresses and a possible phone number along with information about his current legal troubles. It does not say where his kids go to school

    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/26/18691372.php

     

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  37.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: High and Low court

    Treason is the wrong charge (what enemy is such a person assisting?)

    I do, however, think it should be a felony with mandatory prison time.

     

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  38.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Well ...

    A more plausible explanation was that his intention was to protect his officers, and he exercised exceptionally poor judgment and self-control in doing so.


    I dunno. Given his personal history and what it looks like in the video, it seems to me that the most plausible explanation is that the cop has a personality defect that makes him more prone to violence than most (common amongst cops) and he got carried away in the moment. I doubt that he was thinking that he was defending anybody. If he was, then his judgement is so exceedingly poor as to be criminal, or at least worthy of immediate dismissal.

     

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  39.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    Respect is earned officers, it is not granted because you have a badge. Everytime one of your police brethren does something like this, and you let the ranks close in to protect him you erode any respect you had. There are good cops and there are bad cops, but when a good cop remains silent to protect the department or image... they just became a bad cop


    Precisely. And this is exactly why I have come to have zero respect for the police. I can't think of a single time that a bad cop was called out by good cops, but I can think of many dozens where the "good" cops closed ranks to protect the bad one.

    This makes the police as a whole into a well-organized, state-sanctioned criminal gang.

     

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  40.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: High and Low court

    There are many different definitions of treason. The basic idea is that you owe loyalty to something or someone and you harm that something or someone. The police owe loyalty to the citizenry. When a police officer infringes upon the rights of the population, that police officer is committing treason. But I'm not attached to the name of the charge. As long as we dump them in a cage and throw away the key, I'll be satisfied. If we put a lion in with them, I'll be even happier...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Yes. Maybe also thrown in the ocean with weights on his feet. That "person" is a danger to society and our justice system should deal with it accordingly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    heyidiot (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Be Fair...

    I'm fine with the lion thing, but at least give the guy a bottle of pepper spray.

    ...and a pepper-mill to the lion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Someone needs to alert Anonymous that they own pastebin.
    I think someone else is getting the ad revenue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    Re:

    While you make an amazingly loaded statement designed to evoke the instant "eye for an eye" overreaction, I'd like to see him fired. I would like to see the spokesweasel fired.

    Both of them are entrusted with public safety, and neither of them is worthy of any trust at this point. The spokesweasel lied to our faces, denied what we could see for ourselves, and then wanted to ignore that any false statements were made on behalf of the NYPD. If he told me there was a bomb in the subway, I would really wonder if he was serious or trying to cover up another nightstick sodomy scene. He is willing to twist facts to support the position of the NYPD and we deserve better.

    The white shirted "man", for lack of a better term, who thought it was the best play to pepper spray harmless protestors was not caught up in the moment. His fleeing the scene after violating these citizens rights show that he is well aware he went to far and wants to hide his bad act. The fact he then went on and went after more people with pepper spray show a pattern of not being able to control his impulses, and we are lucky he held it together enough to use pepper spray and not his weapon. The fact he was in charge of the special unit designed to respond to protestors might be taken as a complete failure of the NYPD to understand the simple fact that people have a right to protest and their job is to balance the rights of both sides not just one.

    Police need to be held to the highest standard, and these 2 sad excuses for humans do not deserve the protection of a badge to hide their bad acts. The fact the department has opted to do nothing more than a symbolic slap on the wrist should terrify every citizen of NY. These are the people who are supposed to be protecting you, that are taking advice from a CIA officer telling them to target areas of certain ethnic and religious backgrounds not because of a spike in bad acts but because they are the "other" in society and must be viewed as less than "regular" people.

    We have case after case reported in the media of truly horrible acts committed by police officers, and those acts continue even after the department "fixes" things. How many people are afraid to speak up when someone with a badge threatens them with more of the same if they don't just take it? How many bad cops need to be exposed before we decide it isn't something that can be solved by the same department who created this bad apple? How can we expect bad apples to get run out when the good cops fear their coworkers blindly holding the blue line of us vs them even when one of their own would be in jail if it not were for the badge they are a disgrace to?

     

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  45.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 21st, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    Re: There's wrong and then there's wrong.

    I wonder if the public review board can review spokesweasels too. They public review board stating they would investigate bologna was what finally got NYPD to announce they would finally look into the incident they just got done saying never happened.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    MeanSonOfABit ch, Oct 26th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    Inspector spraying with pepper spray

    Sorry folks, but this so called "Inspector" NEEDS TO BE CRIMINALLY CHARGED WITH ASSAULT!!! And, since I'm a former law enforcement officer, and lethal weapons trainer, I know what I'm talking about. It is up the the Media Dogs to keep nipping at this character's heels until a Criminal Charge is filed (and I watched his conduct in several instances, all he did was exhibit a gross disregard for the citizens as he would walk up, spray them, then SLINK BACK INTO THE CROWD OF OFFICERS!!! HE'S BAD NEWS, AND I'D BET THERE IS MORE TO HIS TYPE OF CONDUCT TO BE FOUND!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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