After Controversial Traffic Stop, Police Chief Says He Won't Release Recordings To 'Anti-Police' Requesters

from the always-forget-the-'unless-you-don't-like-the-government'-clause-in-t dept

The Chesterfield County Police Department is willing to violate your rights. If it's not your Fourth Amendment rights, it'll be your First. And this is fine with the department's chief, who's gone on record as a supporter of rights violations.

A traffic stop for a minor violation quickly escalated into a life-or-death situation for a black college student cops. Elie Mystal of Above the Law breaks it down as only Elie can.

Yesha Callahan’s son survived his encounter with police. The Virginia State University freshman was pulled over last month on suspicion of being black (the police are calling it marijuana something or other, but I’ve long since stopped trying to sugarcoat their probable cause for them). Police saw something in his waistband, they claimed, and pulled a gun on him. For 38 seconds, the boy’s life was at the mercy of the state. But he kept his cool, and survived. No shots were fired.

If you think this is too "anti-police," here's a different take from Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who has seen the body camera footage.

In the police body camera footage, the car rolls through a red light on Chesterfield Avenue as it turns right onto East River Road in Ettrick.

An unmarked Chesterfield County police car flashes its lights and pulls the vehicle over. The traffic stop seems unremarkable until an officer wearing a body camera asks the driver — by now, standing outside the car at the officer’s request — if he’s in possession of anything illegal. The driver attempts to tell the officer he has a knife and starts to reach for it.

The knife, as it turns out, was legal. But the situation instantly spiraled from calm to chaotic.

“Don’t reach. Don’t reach. Do not reach,” shouts the officer’s partner, who points a gun at the driver from the other side of the vehicle.

“He’s got something clipped in front of his pants,” he shouts to his partner, as the driver continues to attempt to explain himself. “OK, don’t you freaking grab for a knife!”

As the driver, a Virginia State University student, is being handcuffed, the gun remains trained on him for 38 seconds. When the handcuffs are secured, the officer lowers the weapon. Throughout the encounter, a passenger in the car who is also enrolled at VSU remains still in his seat.

The knife was legal and the student compliant. But still guns were drawn by men who seem to only stop yelling when they start "fearing for their safety." No marijuana was found and the driver was released without a citation. His mother took her complaint to the court of public opinion. (She also filed one with the police department.)

Callahan, though, was not merely satisfied that her boy was spared an execution. Callahan is a writer for the Root and shared her experience there. She tweeted about it. She made herself an issue for the Chesterfield County Police Department. She filled out a FOIA request demanding that the department release the body cam footage of her son’s nearly deadly traffic stop.

The Department denied her request.

Callahan wants to know what happened to her son -- how a minor traffic violation turned into a guns-drawn situation. Police Chief Jeffrey Katz doesn't want to give it to her. At first, the department claimed it couldn't release the video because of an "ongoing investigation." It's a bullshit reason, considering no ticket was issued and no charges were filed. When this was pointed out, the police spokesman spun it, claiming it was part of an internal investigation of the officers involved in the stop. But the police chief wasted no time undercutting his spokesperson's excuse.

“This is a video we would want out in the public,” Katz said. “There’s nothing in the video bad for the officer or bad for the department or bad for the profession.”

This doesn't sound like the words of man running an investigation. This sounds like the involved officers have already been cleared. But this statement comes at the end of a string of statements by the police chief which show he's violating Yesha Callahan's First Amendment rights, along with public records laws, just because he doesn't like her.

Katz says part of the reason the department has not released the video to Callahan is that she has “an anti-law enforcement agenda.”

That's not a valid reason to withhold records. Lots of people who requests records aren't supportive of the entities they request records from. Katz is creating serious, legally-actionable First Amendment issues by stating he'll only release records to friendly requesters. Chief Katz goes further, though, suggesting he won't release records to anyone who might present them along with negative commentary.

“I believe we have a responsibility to maintain custody of the video and not put it in the public domain,” he said, “because we want to ensure that it is not spliced, that voice overs are not placed over it and that we can maintain and control the authenticity of the video. But we are more than willing to share the video with anybody who wants to come in and view it.”

This is beyond stupid. The best weapon against speech you don't like is more speech. If someone alters the video and/or adds commentary, the department can release unedited videos for comparison. You cannot withhold records just because you think you won't like how they'll be used. Chief Katz is violating Callahan's First Amendment rights because he apparently believes "anti-police" people have fewer rights than those with more neutral viewpoints.

The invitation to view the recordings on Chief Katz's home turf doesn't make the rights violations disappear. There's little to like about viewing recordings surrounded by people who don't like you. This would be a five-hour round trip for Callahan -- one she'd prefer to make with her lawyer. It would be simpler for everyone if Katz would just hand over a copy of the recordings. But he won't. And his statements make it clear he'll violate the First Amendment in the future if it keeps documents from falling into the hands of his enemies.. you know, members of the public he serves. Fortunately, he's said these things out loud to members of the press, which will come in handy for Callahan when she files her public records lawsuit against the department.

We all know public agencies will do everything they can to keep documents out of the hands of critics. But most of those agencies have been smart enough to use FOIA exemptions, excessive fees, and years of foot-dragging to withhold documents from the public. Chief Katz, however, is a transparency pioneer: one willing to tell journalists he won't release records to people he doesn't like. This isn't going to end well for him.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:13pm

    This isn't going to end well for him.

    This isn't going to end well for his department (see also: the local taxpayers). The likelihood that anything happens to him is too small to consider seriously.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:15pm

    Go figure

    Katz says part of the reason the department has not released the video to Callahan is that she has “an anti-law enforcement agenda.

    Even assuming that's true...

    A. So what?

    and B. If this is how her son was treated, and now how she is being treated, I can certainly understand why she would be less than thrilled by them. If she does have a problem with them it seems like one that the department more than earned.

    I feel it's also important to highlight what I see as a dishonest conflation of terms by the police chief, as it's one I've seen occasionally here too. Being anti-corrupt cop, or anti-abuse by police is not being 'anti-law enforcement', it's being against corruption and/or abuse of power.

    That it's done by police does not magically make it better(if anything it makes it much worse), excuse it in any way or shield it from criticism, even if some people(like the police chief here) would like to try to frame it such that attacking corruption and/or abuse of power is somehow an attack on law enforcement as a whole.

    The only way I can really see that being anti-corruption and/or abuse of power would be anti-police is if those things were so prevalent in law enforcement, so widespread as to encompass the overwhelming majority such that the instances where going after corruption and/or abuse of power wouldn't impact a particular officer/department would be in the minority.

    Until/unless those conflating the two want to admit that that is in fact the case however it is grossly dishonest to continue to claim that attacking and criticizing one is attacking and criticizing the other.

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

  • identicon
    Bruce InCharlotte, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:23pm

    It seems like the Chesterfield County PD has issues. https://youtu.be/XBcquDz4Cfk

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:24pm

    Would they refuse a court order ? That would be interesting.

    After all some out there think the courts have “an anti-law enforcement agenda.”

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:31pm

    This is an idiotic post. Not defending the chief's decision, but you're an idiot. When someone has a weapon (yes, even a legal weapon) it's police policy to ensure you don't have control of it, much less use it. So they point a weapon at you until you're no longer a threat.

    It's almost like you're fucking retarded.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      When someone has a weapon (yes, even a legal weapon) it's police policy…

      … Whenever someone merely posesses weapon, regardless of all other circumstances, it's police policy to place a reasonable person in imminent fear for their life.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      So you are saying the best way to de-escalate a situation is to scream and threaten a compliant person? Here's me thinking that a situation like that would trigger a flight or fight response instead.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Here's me thinking that a situation like that would trigger a flight or fight response instead.

        Perhaps that is the police intent, giving them justification for executing someone.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      If someone's response to one person simply having a weapon is to aim another at them, then cowards like that need to quit, and/or such a dangerous policy needs to be removed.

      Police are armed, would they accept people pointing a gun at them as acceptable behavior? I mean they might use it, better safe than sorry until they're no longer armed, right?

      If someone has a weapon and is actually attempting to use it by all means make use of de-escalation tactics, though preferably not starting at the top with 'point a gun at them'. Simply having a weapon should not be grounds for someone to worry about being shot if someone twitches a finger.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Police are armed, would they accept people pointing a gun at them as acceptable behavior?

        Point a gun at a cop, it's called assault on a police officer.

        But assault on a citizen is simply not a crime in the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      So lemme get this straight...a police officer, armed with:

      • sidearm
      • pepper spray
      • club/baton
      • taser
      • backup sidearm
      • bulletproof vest
      • ample self-defense training
      • a radio to call in more of the same
      • long arms in the car

      is afraid of a pocketknife that wasn't even out to the point where he felt his gun was the appropriate response?

      Someone should tell the cop he forgot his balls at home.

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

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        You underestimate the seriousness.

        I'll use a TSA example.

        I've got a pair of nail clippers! Stand back! Back, I say! (clip) (clip clip!) I'm going to use these nail clippers to take over the plane! Nobody will be able to overpower me with my trusty nail clippers!

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

    • icon
      OA (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      Casual desensitization to violence. Check.

      Insults used to suggest obviousness and credibility. Check.

      The 'hero of the story' acts righteously. Check.

      Interpreting an event from the POV of the powerful. Check.

      Justification after the fact based on arbitrary narrative that could seem reasonable to the unfamiliar. Check.

      Suspicious and unnecessary hostility. Check.

      Made up information presented as fact. Check.

      I see these things in comments, internet or otherwise, constantly. This comment does more of it with fewer words. Kudos.

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

    • icon
      McFortner (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:15pm

      Re: stupidity

      The WORST thing you can do is go for anything that even remotely looks like a weapon during a traffic stop. Why? Because all too often officers are killed by somebody acting complaint pulling out a weapon and stabbing or shooting them when their guard is down. Traffic stops are the most dangerous call for an officer because of this.

      So as soon as he started reaching for a weapon, legal or not, the officers had to react to prevent injury to themselves and others, including the person with the knife. Demonstrating the ability to use force will often keep people from making rash decisions that can result in bloodshed. Those times it doesn't keeps the officer officers and or the perpetrator from ending their lives there on the side of the road.

      I worked as a 911 Dispatcher for 8 years and in all the ongoing training the state certification authority required we had to watch videos of officers on pullovers. They can go from OK to deadly literally in an instant. Most of these videos are never seen by the public because of the graphic nature of them.

      The biggest tip for how to avoid problems with the police is to make no moves unless the officer tells you to do so. The passenger in the vehicle was aware of this and had no problems. Driver didn't and got into trouble.

      Now, before you start slamming me, I think that the video DEFINITELY SHOULD be released. First of all to show that the officer acted professionally and within policies and regulations. Secondly to show that the department has nothing to hide. Claiming that the video can be manipulated is not a good response if enough people have access to the unedited video. If it is manipulated then somebody who has the unedited video will make sure to release it.

      So, Chief Katz, pull your head out of your posterior and release the tape to the media and the family. You are only making things worse by doing this.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        The biggest tip for how to avoid problems with the police is to make no moves unless the officer tells you to do so.

        Just understand that whenever you're in the presence of the police, you are in imminent and substantial danger of losing your life.

        This is considered reasonable.

        Eminently reasonable. By all right-thinking people. Especially the people who sit in jury boxes.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          "Eminently reasonable. By all right-thinking people. Especially the people who sit in jury boxes."

          Perhaps you should provide clarification on this. It can be read so many different ways that it is not possible to be certain of what you a implying.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

            Perhaps you should provide clarification on this.

            No such crime as ‘assault on a citizen’ in the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

            Poll the jury—they'll tell you.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

              Again, you need to make it clear.

              The way you write leaves too much ambiguity.

              You literally just said that assault is not a crime in Virginia according to a jury and I am pretty certain that it would be.

              It looks to me that you are doing a terrible job of implying that the police are allowed to assault citizens in Virginia, and that juries ignore police brutality issues.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

                You literally just said that assault is not a crime in Virginia according to a jury and I am pretty certain that it would be.

                Perhaps your certainty is interfering with your comprehension?

                Look, I started out in this sub-thread responding to another poster who wrote—

                The biggest tip for how to avoid problems with the police is to make no moves unless the officer tells you to do so.

                The people who sit on juries are people who ‘worked as a 911 dispatcher for eight years’. Eager to convict some black dude for assault on a police officer. They just won't ever convict a police officer for ‘assault on a citizen’. So, it's no crime.

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

        • identicon
          Alphonse Tomato, 5 Mar 2018 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          "Just understand that whenever you're in the presence of the police, you are in imminent and substantial danger of losing your life."

          True. So the rational response is, as the police like to say, to be "in fear for my life". What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 8:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

            What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

            But, of course, it isn't. Not in reality.

            Police shoot you, everyone's gonna say you had it coming — but it doesn't ever flip around the other way — no set of circumstances where people ever gonna say the police ‘have it coming’.

            Just how it is.

            Sauce for the goose is just…       sauce.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:30pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        While traffic stops may be the most dangerous there is a point where the police themselve are making it more dangerous. I would need to see the video before I make judgement but it sounds like the guy was just pointing out that he had a knife on him. How many of those traffics stop deaths happened by a guy pointing out that he has a knife before stabbing them with it?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          This is all a natural consequence of everybody thinking that the police are here to protect and serve.

          The police are only here to enforce the law, not to protect or server anyone.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 6:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          "While traffic stops may be the most dangerous"

          I thought it was domestic violence calls that were considered the most dangerous. In fact, several tv shows have had cops on that said domestic is the most dangerous.

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

          • icon
            DB (profile), 6 Mar 2018 @ 9:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

            In the U.S. the most deadly aspect of the job is operating a motor vehicle. About half of those deaths are single vehicle accidents. It's appears that a significant cause of death is ignoring the traffic laws that they enforce against others. But you don't see any call to require police to obey traffic laws except during a pursuit, or punishments for not issuing/"fixing" tickets as a professional courtesy.

            Yes, domestic disputes are the second most deadly, roughly the same as the risk of a heart attack while on duty.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        The WORST thing you can do...

        You know, I see this piss poor response over and over and this time I'd like to add to it.

        The WORST thing you can do as a police officer is to pull someone over for some bullshit suspicion, get all riled up when you find out they're legally carrying a weapon, find nothing, then have your moron boss try and cover it up in the biggest dickhead fashion he can.

        The problems cops have are their own doing. Maybe once they start weeding out dickless windbags like their police chief, they'll have fewer problems with safety.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 6:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          But that is their "unofficial" job.

          Harass people of color, ensuring constant flow of felons with the side benefit that they are not allowed to vote.

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

      • icon
        takitus (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 6:07pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        The irony of the above comment is that this advice (“The WORST thing you can do…”) is probably pretty familiar to most of us—it’s the best way to act when faced with a violent criminal.

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

      • icon
        Dirk Ruffly (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 9:01pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        I have to agree with McFortner completely here, on all counts. Anyone with combat training, or even the training given to concealed carry licensees, should know that a knife is an extremely dangerous weapon which can be lethal in fractions of a second. The police in this case reacted entirely correctly.

        I am no fan of the many abuses that some, even many, police officers engage in, but we have to acknowledge that the job of a police officer is fundamentally hazardous. As McFortner said, reaching for *anything* or making sudden moves could reasonably trigger a very strong reaction from an officer who has a family to go home to after his or her shift.

        I believe in standing up for my rights, but there is a time and place; the best thing to do is recognize that for the duration of the stop the officer is in charge. Follow your attorney's recommendation to decline to answer questions as necessary, but remember that safety for both the officer and you depends on the officer knowing and approving exactly what you intend to do at any time - no surprises!

        Of course, the bodycam video should be released. The chief is clearly being a blockhead here. But a rolling stop was a good reason for the stop, and the reaction to the mention of a knife and the driver's move to get the knife was entirely reasonable.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2018 @ 5:56am

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          But a rolling stop was a good reason for the stop, and the reaction to the mention of a knife and the driver's move to get the knife was entirely reasonable.

          Seems like if all is truly as you say, then releasing the video would simply validate that, no? Everyone could then say "the police acted appropriately" and we could all get on with our day.

          Unless the video doesn't support the narrative. What other reason could there be for not releasing video of a perfectly justified stop?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2018 @ 9:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: stupidity

            You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide ... right?

            Hahahahaha - turn around is fair play unless your feathers get ruffled and then you are a terrorist

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2018 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re: stupidity

          I believe in standing up for my rights, but there is a time and place; the best thing to do is recognize that for the duration of the stop the officer is in charge. Follow your attorney's recommendation to decline to answer questions as necessary, but remember that safety for both the officer and you depends on the officer knowing and approving exactly what you intend to do at any time - no surprises!

          It's not much of a right if they're automatically suspended because a LEO 'feels' something. Because if history is any indication, there's no reliable to way to be sure that any officer will 'know and approve' anything you're doing.

          The answer is to make better LEOs and hold them accountable when they do things wrong.

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

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Mar 2018 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re: stupidity

        No.

        While it is true that one is better safe than sorry, it is not the police who die by the thousands over nothing.

        It is very, very clear from what we have seen, and what officers will even tell you, is that while they may reasonably act to lower the risk of being attacked that one time in a billion, their speech and behavior in these moments belies what is actually occurring. Much of the time, they don't act reasonably at all.

        Readying oneself and stating a simple "no, don't reach for it yourself," in a calm manner will suffice. Shouting like lunatics and acting violently will not stop anyone who actually planned to take on a cop with a pocket knife.

        So the police and trainers can tell themselves that their behavior is intended to stun and confuse a potential threat, but it is frequently clear that what happens is that 1) they are unfit to be a cop, and/or 2) they make a lot of noise to play up the "threat" for potential witnesses.

        I am all for cops, good ones and rather poor or criminal one, surviving their day unharmed. But i am also for all citizens surviving their encounters with police and not being afraid to call upon them when necessary. Some cops are just bad, some of their exalted training is bad, pseudo-militarization is bad, and their culture is rather poisonous.

        It also makes the putative job of the police harder when citizens are anywhere from leery to terrified of them. Perhaps if they translated the effort from getting "wins" (even utter crap ones) to show the public they are "doing something", over to being reasonable, accountable, and connected to the communities they supposedly serve, then things would go a lot better for them, as well as everyone else.

        For the sake of clarity, i am obviously not talking about police or departments who are better and do good work. I am not suggesting that they "be so nice they get killed". I am suggesting that they should be more effective and less aggressive.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:30pm

      Re:

      "It's almost like you're fucking retarded."

      Do tell...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 12:47pm

    We should really remove those bad apples from the barrel before they spoil the rest

    Bad Apple: STOP BEING SO ANTI-APPLE!

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

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:08pm

    Hey, can I get a copy?

    I'm not an (anti-police)-requester.

    I'm an anti-(police-requester). I promise.

    So can you please send me the recordings?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:27pm

    "The knife was legal"

    TIL that there is a such thing as an illegal knife, despite what the 2nd Amendment says.

    People really do not care about the Constitution.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      Criminal Disenfranchisement holds, occationally to knives as well. Additionally, knives which use a spring-loaded deployment/Spring assisted open, or knives over a certain length (4-6" in most applicable cases) carried without proper storage are banned in many metropolitan areas, as a basic safety measure.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re:

        You mean as a basic unconstitutional safety measure?

        The over the top fear people have is ridiculous. A spring loaded knife is no more or less dangerous than a steak knife. I have no respect for people that demand everyone become defenseless sheep so they can feel the illusion of safety. You just can't be safe, life was not designed like that. You are more likely to be killed by your doctor or drugs or in a car accident.

        Someone could walk up behind them and snap their necks with their bare hands. Are we doing to outlaw strong people too?

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

  • icon
    tom (profile), 5 Mar 2018 @ 1:59pm

    "Elie" is full of BS on the claim of "pulled over for being black". A third party looking at the video said the driver rolled a red light. Most of us do the same thing at right turns but it IS a violation in most places. The same third party reports the video shows the driver reaching for something without the officer requesting it. Again a bad move to make. Officers do have legitimate concerns during traffic stops. Too many go bad when some idiot decides that shooting a cop over a traffic ticket is a good idea. The fact that the driver didn't get a citation shows the officers weren't out to "Get a black guy".

    IMO, the Chief is being a first class idiot by refusing a release the video. Sounds like it shows a text book response to a possibly bad situation that really wasn't, where no one got hurt and the driver was let go without a citation even with the video evidence of a violation.

    The idiocy is compounded by refusing based on the requester's political views. Now the chief is getting into the realm of civil rights violations in using his office to refuse service based on political viewpoints.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      ""Elie" is full of BS on the claim of "pulled over for being black". A third party looking at the video said the driver rolled a red light."

      Facts don't matter, perceived racism, real or not, does. The racial issue for many minorities has gotten so out of hand they are only able to view everything bad that happens to them through the lens of racism, even if it is another minority, they accuse them of it to!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2018 @ 6:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah - it's only whites that are being discriminated against these days.

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

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Mar 2018 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re:

        When a fair chunk of the things you experience in life are racially motivated, you become suspicious of the rest.

        Of course, one could have simply written a ticket and handed it to the driver without all the other opportunistic bullshit, but whatever.

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

  • identicon
    We the people, 5 Mar 2018 @ 2:31pm

    "won't release records to anyone who might present them along with negative commentary."

    So if Chief Katz is worried about preventing anything changing context, does Katz realize his last name could be a code for some conspiracy theorists who might want to Kick A Thousand Zoroastrians?

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

  • identicon
    Docrailgun, 5 Mar 2018 @ 3:51pm

    This is every episodeof Cops...

    ...or Live PD ever. That doesn't make what the cops did right or the responce from the PD any better, but it's easy to see that they did what they trained to do.
    They SHOULDN'T BE trained to draw first and be ready to kill, but that's a different problem.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2018 @ 5:53am

    Virginians still don't care to be reminded:

    https://michaelchardy.blogspot.com/2012/12/sorebacks.html

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

  • identicon
    me, 6 Mar 2018 @ 6:23am

    Flood him with requests, parlay it into a class action if he keeps saying no.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2018 @ 6:46am

    It is this kids fault. Doesn't he know that he shouldn't bring a knife to a gun fight?

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

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 6 Mar 2018 @ 12:45pm

    When trying to effect better policing is anti-police.

    I think i have their number.

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


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