>> I could not believe my eyes when I saw how much you pissed off
>> the three City of Clearwater Police Officers.
>> Great idea, showing a Lisa McPherson Trust produced video characterizing
>> the CPD as corrupt! That was brilliant!
If the Clear water PD is corrupt or commiting acts of Police abuse they should be brought to light. Awhile back I wrote a lengthy post regarding Police abuse in clearwater, I have reposted it here. Bob Minton orignally replied to the post with:
"Ethen, many thanks for this very informative and helpful information.
Yesterday, when I called the Chief of Police, Sid Klein, I expressed my extreme concern with Point number 3 on your list of police abuse--namely, the obvious bias against LMT and Mark Bunker by the 2 CWPD officers UPON ARRIVAL at the scene of the hammer incident. Further, I expressed concern that one of these officers was being paid by Scientology for off duty work on Watterson Ave. in CW while patrolling the LMT no-go zone. I told Chief Klein that I thought it was completely inappropriate for any police officer working for scientology to be dispatched to any scene involving LMT people.
We have already taken steps to obtain all payroll records of off-duty CWPD officers working for Scientology.
The City of Clearwater will get to find out a lot more about Police abuse thanks to your very important help here.
It looks like LMT has done what they said they would, and Police abuse in clear water is coming to light.
Orignal post follows:
I was reading about the Mark Bunker "Hammer" Incident here on ARS. I was really disgusted to learn that two Police officers committed police abuse, and that my favorite Cult, the Co$ has influenced a Police department. Co$ needs to be taught that they cannot do that. If they are taught quickly perhaps no other police departments will be influenced by there criminal Cult.
The following is modeled on the ACLU Community Action Manual on Fighting Police Abuse I wrote in a number of points that relate directly to the Mark Bunker situation. This post is not inspired by, nor is it intended to generate, animosity toward the police, or to promote the perception that all police officers are prone to abuse. They are not. There are so many really, really good officers out there who risk their lives to protect all of us each day, and up hold the law. But it is sad when officers do go corrupt. Hopefully one day, Police abuse will be gone forever.
Police abuse is a serious problem. It has a long history, and it seems to defy all attempts at eradication.
It is also true that no police department in the world is known to be completely free of misconduct. But fighting Police injustices must be carried out locally. Each law enforcement agency is essentially independent from other agencies. While some federal statutes specify criminal penalties for willful violations of civil rights and conspiracies to violate civil rights, the United States Department of Justice has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting cases of police abuse. There are shortcomings, too, in federal law itself, which does not permit "pattern and practice" lawsuits. The battle against police abuse must, therefore, be fought primarily on the local level.
It is comforting to know that each situation of Police abuse is not hopeless. Policing has seen much progress. Some reforms do work, and some types of abuse have been reduced. Today, among both police officials and rank and file officers, it is widely recognized that police brutality hinders good law enforcement.
To fight police abuse effectively, you must have realistic expectations. You must not expect too much of any one remedy because no single remedy will cure the problem. A "mix" of reforms is required. And even after citizen action has won reforms, your community must keep the pressure on through monitoring and oversight to ensure that the reforms are actually implemented.
Nonetheless, even one person, or a small group of persistent people, can make a big difference. Sometimes outmoded and abusive police practices prevail largely because no one has ever questioned them. In such cases, the simple act of spotlighting a problem can have a powerful effect that leads to reform. Just by raising questions, one person or a few people - who need not be experts - can open up some corner of the all-too-secretive and insular world of policing to public scrutiny. Depending on what is revealed, their inquiries can snowball into a full-blown examination by the media, the public and politicians.
In order to get started fighting Police abuse one must address specific problems. The first step is to identify exactly what the police problem is for that particular situation. There are 3 top acts that constitute Police Street Justice (Police abuse) they are:
1) Excessive use of deadly force.
2) Excessive use of physical force.
3) Discriminatory patterns of arrest.
These three reasons are not the only acts of Police Abuse, but they are usually considered to be the main top 3 acts.
In this "Hammer Case" of Mark Bunker it appears that the third act of 3 main police abuse acts occurred "Discriminatory patterns of arrest. In a electronic new posting from: Stacy Brooks [email protected] to the Bunker was videotaping, a man ran out of Gottfried's house and assaulted Mark with a hammer. He hit Mark's camera twice but luckily did not hurt Mark, although Mark was extremely frightened and shaken when this man ran at him and struck him with a dangerous weapon. Fortunately Mark was able to get the assault on videotape. The man then went back into the front door of Gottfried's house, and soon after that two police officers arrived. One of them, Officer Holsombach, works for the Church of Scientology at the white lines on Watterson Avenue as a paid gun to harass the staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust in his off hours. Mark spoke to the other one, Officer Kelly, and told him that a man had just assaulted him with a hammer and asked the officer if he wanted to see it on videotape. But Officer Kelly ignored what Mark was telling him. Instead, he asked Mark if he had informed the man that he was audio taping him. Taken aback by the question, Mark replied that he had not. Then Officer Kelly told Mark that he was going to arrest him for audio taping the hammer-wielding man without his knowledge!
The atmosphere was very highly charged and I was very worried about how Mark was going to be treated by these officers. They were obviously biased against Mark because they were doing nothing to apprehend the man who had assaulted Mark. Officer Kelly told Mark he knew he was part of LMT, and he asked the two Germans if they were also part of LMT. Mark protested that nothing had been done about the man who had assaulted him with the hammer. Then Sergeant Zegzdryn called Officer Kelly across the street again and he then approached Mark to see if he wanted to file a complaint about the man with the hammer. Sergeant Zegzdryn was the first one who was willing to watch the videotape of the assault. Officer Kelly hadn't even been interested in looking at it. Mark said absolutely yes, he wanted the man arrested. The officers then spent time taking reports from everyone who had been there, and Mark repeated several times that he wanted the man arrested. But the police officers then told us that they were not going to arrest the man, that they were going to refer the matter to the state attorney's office."
If the above account posted by Stacy is correct and I have no reason to believe it isn't because it is doubtful Stacy would lie, and there is video tapped evidence.
Next we must gather the facts… First does Police Abuse occur or is this just some paranoid rant? Do you believe that law enforcement officers have a duty to protect you from harm and that they will effectively enforce the laws?" Ask yourself that question, and, your answer is?
The answer is most often yes. That is what police officers are paid to do, protect citizens and enforce laws. But we must remember that a police officer is still a human, and all humans are subject to corruption. How then can a human officer who has a personal issue or other type of influence protect someone from a group he or she is part of in this case a criminal cult know as scientology that is increasingly becoming more criminal.
There are thousands upon thousands of reports and documents that show and support the fact that Police Abuse does occur. They range from victim statements, to court inquires. All it takes is a little research. But the bottom line is yes there have been instances of police abuse, and police abuse can occur, does occur and will continue to occur. What are the facts regarding this specific Hammer Case?
1. Mark was assaulted "As Mark Bunker was videotaping, a man ran out of Gottfried's house and assaulted Mark with a hammer."
2. That police officers did respond to the situation and that the two officers present were biased to Mark Bunker. "Two police officers arrived. One of them, Officer Holsombach, works for the Church of Scientology at the white lines on Watterson Avenue as a paid gun to harass the staff of the Lisa McPherson Trust in his off hours. Mark spoke to the other one, Officer Kelly, and told him that a man had just assaulted him with a hammer and asked the officer if he wanted to see it on videotape. But Officer Kelly ignored what Mark was telling him." Why did officer Kelly ignore the video evidence? That is a sign of not investigating into both sides of the situation.
3. Mark did want his assailant arrested. He voiced his concern, it may have been looked into to a small degree but ultimately it was ignored. "Mark protested that nothing had been done about the man who had assaulted him with the hammer. Then Sergeant Zegzdryn called Officer Kelly across the street again and he then approached Mark to see if he wanted to file a complaint about the man with the hammer. Sergeant Zegzdryn was the first one who was willing to watch the videotape of the assault. Officer Kelly hadn't even been interested in looking at it. Mark said absolutely yes, he wanted the man arrested."
When the officers exhibited bias attitudes, and did not protect Mark Bunkers rights by arresting the man who attacked him, the two officers committed Police abuse by showing discriminatory patterns of arrest. So what can be done? Its clear that because of the large presence of the Co$ in Clear Water, Florida a un-biased non Co$ related police force is needed because as long as the Co$ cult is present there will always be critics, and no doubt more confrontations between the two. To fix the situation it seems community reform is needed. Members of the community must take it upon themselves and strive to make a change.
Demanding information about police practices is an important part of the struggle to establish police accountability. One of the tactics is to get the local investigative journalist sources to provide increased public awareness. Critics should tell the media in as many ways possible what happened in the "Hammer" incident Once people have this information it is a powerful tool for holding the police two police officers involved accountable for their actions. Two main sources are continually drawn upon when looking into police abuse. The arrest rate and the citizen Complaint rate. These two sources are flawed how ever.
Forget the arrest rate. Police officers have broad discretion in making and recording arrests. The Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., which conducts research on policing issues, has found great variations among police departments in their recording of arrests. In many departments, police officers take people into custody, hold them at the station, question and then release them without filling out an arrest report. For all practical purposes, these people were arrested, but their arrests don't show up in the official data. Other departments record such arrests. Thus, the department that reports a lower number of arrests may actually be taking more people into custody than the department that reports more arrests.
Forget the citizen complaint rate. Official data on the complaints filed by citizens regarding police conduct are important but present a number of problems. Many departments do not release any information on this subject. Some publish a smattering of information on complaints and the percentage of complaints sustained by the department. In more and more cities, a civilian review agency publishes this data.
Data on citizen complaints are difficult to interpret.
Some examples -In 1990, it was widely reported that San Francisco, with less than 2,000 police officers, had more citizen complaints than Los Angeles, which has more than 8,000 officers. What that may mean, however, is that Los Angeles residents are afraid to file reports or don't believe it would do any good. San Francisco has a relatively independent civilian review process, which may encourage the filing of more complaints. Also in 1990, New York City reported a decline from previous years in the number of citizen complaints filed. But many analysts believe that simply reflected New Yorkers' widespread disillusionment with their civilian review board. Citizen complaints filed in Omaha, Nebraska doubled after the mayor allowed people to file their complaints at City Hall, as well as at the police department.
Another problem is that in some police departments with internal affairs systems, officers often try to dissuade people from filing formal complaints that will later become part of an officer's file. And the number of complaints counted is also affected by whether or not the internal affairs system accepts anonymous complaints and complaints by phone or mail, or requires in-person, sworn statements.
Thus, the official "complaint rate" (complaints per 1,000 citizens), rather than being a reliable measure of police performance, more than likely reflects the administrative customs of a particular police department. When trying to initiate change in regards to Police abuse there are many things a person needs to know…
One example is the Official policies of the Clear Water police department. What is that department's formal, written policies are on how officers are supposed to behave in particular situations. How does the department treat violence complaints? With biased Co$ related officers it seems that violence complaints wouldn't be handled to well when it comes to issues related to Co$. These policies need to be evaluated in comparison to recommended standards.
It is also important to find out how many lawsuits if any, have been filled against the department, and in particularly the two officers involved in Mark Bunkers "Hammer Incident". If lawsuits have been filled before what were the charges, the number of officers involved, whether certain officers are named repeatedly in suits, what was the outcome and, in the case of successful suits, how much the city paid in damages.
The number of lawsuits filed against a police department or police officers can be very revealing. And this kind of information can be used to mobilize middle-class taxpayers and "good-government" activists, who can then be brought into a community coalition against police abuse.
Perhaps a CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD would help in monitoring the police department's involvement with Co$. The ACLU Community Action Manual on Fighting Police Abuse illustrates the concept of a civilian review board very well as follows:
Civilian review of police activity was first proposed in the 1950s because of widespread dissatisfaction with the internal disciplinary procedures of police departments. Many citizens didn't believe that police officials took their complaints seriously. They suspected officials of investigating allegations of abuse superficially at best, and of covering up misconduct. The theory underlying the concept of civilian review is that civilian investigations of citizen complaints are more independent because people who are not sworn officers conduct them.
At first, civilian review was a dream few thought would ever be fulfilled. But slow, steady progress has been made, indicating that it's an idea whose time has come. By the end of 1997, more than 75 percent of the nation's largest cities (more than 80 cities across the country) had civilian review systems.
Civilian review advocates in every city have had to overcome substantial resistance from local police departments. One veteran of the struggle for civilian review has chronicled the stages of police opposition as follows - The "over our dead bodies" stage, during which the police proclaim that they will never accept any type of civilian oversight under any circumstances;
The "magical conversion" stage, when it becomes politically inevitable that civilian review will be adopted. At this point, former police opponents suddenly become civilian review experts and propose the weakest possible models;
The "post-partum resistance" stage, when the newly established civilian review board must fight police opposition to its budget, authority, access to information, etc.
Strong community advocacy is necessary to overcome resistance, even after civilian review is established.
WHAT IS CIVILIAN REVIEW?
Civilian review systems create a lot confusion because they vary tremendously. Some are more "civilian" than others. Some are not boards but municipal agencies headed by an executive director (who has been appointed by, and is accountable to, the mayor).
The three basic types of civilian review systems are -
Type I. Persons who are not sworn officers conduct the initial fact- finding. They submit an investigative report to a non-officer or board of non-officers, who then make a recommendation for action to the police chief. This process is the most independent and most "civilian."
Type II. Sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding. They submit an investigative report to a non-officer or board of non-officers for a recommendation.
Type III. Sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding and make a recommendation to the police chief. If the aggrieved citizen is not satisfied with the chief's action on the complaint, he or she may appeal to a board that includes non-officers. Obviously, this process is the least independent.
Although the above are the most common, other types of civilian review systems also exist.
WHY IS CIVILIAN REVIEW IMPORTANT?
Civilian review establishes the principle of police accountability. Strong evidence exists to show that a complaint review system encourages citizens to act on their grievances. Even a weak civilian review process is far better than none at all.
A civilian review agency can be an important source of information about police misconduct. A civilian agency is more likely to compile and publish data on patterns of misconduct, especially on officers with chronic problems, than is a police internal affairs agency.
Civilian review can alert police administrators to the steps they must take to curb abuse in their departments. Many well-intentioned police officials have failed to act decisively against police brutality because internal investigations didn't provide them with the facts.
The existence of a civilian review agency, a reform in itself, can help ensure that other needed reforms are implemented. A police department can formulate model policies aimed at deterring and punishing misconduct, but those policies will be meaningless unless a system is in place to guarantee that the policies are aggressively enforced.
Civilian review works, if only because it's at least a vast improvement over the police policing themselves. Nearly all existing civilian review systems
-Reduce public reluctance to file complaints
-Reduce procedural barriers to filing complaints
-Enhance the likelihood that statistical reporting on complaints will be more complete
-Enhance the likelihood of an independent review of abuse allegations
-Foster confidence in complainants that they will get their "day in court" through the hearing process
-Increase scrutiny of police policies that lead to citizen complaints
-Increase opportunities for other reform efforts.A campaign to establish a civilian review agency, or to strengthen an already existing agency, is an excellent vehicle for community organizing. In Indianapolis, for example, a civilian review campaign brought about not only the establishment of a civilian review agency, but an effective coalition between the Indiana ACLU, the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other community groups that could take future action on other issues.
Your community's campaign should seek a strong, fully independent and accessible civilian review system. But even with a weak system, you can press for changes to make it more independent and effective.
I do not know whether a Civilian Review Board is needed in Clear Water or is perhaps already present. But it does appear that something must be done to prevent further incidents like the one Mark Bunker experienced. With Co$ present it is clear clashes between Co$ and critics are inevitable. But to ensure that clashes are kept from becoming lethal non-biased police officers are needed to respond to those situations. I am interested in knowing what others (who are closer to the situation in clear water) Ideas are on this Co$ related aspect of police abuse. It should also be interesting to see over time what happens regarding the two police officers and the whole Mark Bunker "Hammer" incident.
I noticed a number of critics on ARS have been expressing interest in sending complaints to the Clear Water Police Department. Some have posted the contact info for that police department. Below are some other places that would most likely be interested in knowing about the "Hammer" incident.
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (COALEA) 4242-B Chain Bridge Road Fairfax, VA 22030 Tel: (703) 352-4225 private accrediting board for law enforcement agencies. Organized and supported by law enforcement agencies. Publishes a set of accreditation standards.
2022 Blake Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
Tel: (510) 548-0425
Community-based volunteer organization, which monitors police activity in
an effort to preserve the rights of all citizens, to fair treatment under
National Coalition for Police Accountability (NCPA)
59 E. Van Buren, Suite 2418
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel: (312) 663-5392
new coalition of groups working on police abuse issues. Members include
legal, advocacy, victims, minority police and religious organizations.
Plans for annual conference, newsletter and other forms of networking.
611 S. Catalina, Suite 409
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Tel: (213) 387-3325
Model legal referral program for victims of police abuse. Some training for
police abuse litigations. Data base on incidents of abuse in Southern
Remember, This post was not inspired by, nor is it intended to generate, animosity toward the police, or to promote the perception that all police officers are prone to abuse. They are not. There are tons of really good officers out there protecting all of us. So always strive to 'back the blue' but when Police abuse does occur, we must all speak out against it.
If a person isn't a victim of police brutality, lying, abuse, harassment or theft . . . there is always the chance they could be. Look what happened to Mark Bunker.
Police corruption is growing at an alarming rate...so who protects us from corrupt police?
Wer ist der Dummkopf, der das wiseman ist, der Bettler oder König? Ob
schlecht oder reich, die alle selben im Tod.