« Reveal

The Secret List of Convicted Cops

2019-11-09 | 🔗

A reporter is threatened with prosecution, an officer outruns his past, and our host sits down with the president of the largest U.S. association of police officers to ask the question: When police officers misbehave, why does it stay secret?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey it is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restoring we, about an organization called planet aid. Our story raises serious questions about whether international aid was actually reaching the people. It was intended to help and what's more, our story was truthful and we stand by it. We believe it is our duty to fight attacks like this, but fighting a lawsuit comes at a huge costs, are legal fees alone totalled more than seven million dollars? Luckily we have pro bono legal support to help our in house counsel, but it still takes significant resources, resources that should be used to do more public service journalists, this kind of investigative,
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And all you who already support our work. I would offer a deep sincere thanks. We can't do this work without being willing afforded twenty twenty. We have big things plan, so, let's go to some good work together from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal annihilated, rabbit Louis was running on a dual track in the hills above Berkeley, California, where every time he finished a lab, he could see across the water to San Francisco, and so I finished my job and I'm starting to walk back in and, as I'm walking, I think waiting for the light. I pull out my phone and check my email and I see I have this email from says public records. Robert is a reporter with the investigative reporting program. If you see Berkeley and this
mail from the attorney general of California. It isn't just a friendly, follow up about some government documents they sent, The Sunday Glenn with email, his notice of inadvertent release of Department of Justice, confidential information and request for destruction of information, request for destruction of information, and then I get to the bottom of the first age, and it says you are here by a notice that the unauthorized receipt or possession and they ve put or possession in italics of a record from the departments Ach S or information obtained from such a record is a mistake their basically thing, you are committing a crime by having these records and then it goes on to say: if you do not destroy them, we will it legal action. So let me illustrate the state is threatening to prosecute you for having a document that state since you in the first place
how did you feel when you read that a minimum I'm angry? I was angry when I got this. I think this is counter to our first moment. I think this is counter to the principles of free press. I'm stunt I'm standing, especially when you understand what these records actually are. There It's our list of current former, an aspiring police officers in California who been convicted of breaking the law. Cops are supposed to enforce their were nearly twice a thousand names each listed next to a crime, certainly conduct into sexual assault to murder, so I did the state what Robert to destroy the list. Everything here. Every name on here is someone who has been convicted of a crime and court records are our public. Those are open is. Is it because these are police officers ass. It is, I don't know, I don't know it. It certainly seems suspicious. It seems
one more example of a kind of special treatment for police that happens all over the country with public employees. Legally take a member of the public life get to keep their worst behaviour private. Today, we're gonna dig into how all kinds of police misconduct but kept secret. What happens when the secrets get out? So essentially you have a list of cops. Have committed crimes and you have the attorney general implying that he's going to prosecute you unless you destroy the lists de destroy the list. Now might I I didn't destroyed the list. So what did you do? I may start a reporting. So where's the girl has for me it's just about it a lot this is. Where reveal stand. Our corn joined Robert at San Francisco Hall of Justice, yes, the hollow justice one of the courthouse city. We went to the court house because for each
entry on Roberts list. All we had a name, a crime and a date, and we wanted the whole story I knew The only way to get this information was gonna, be to physically go to the court house and pull these files. Ports policy I also its ten fifteen. I didn't realize how much work this is gonna be where we going first, Are we going to go to room one hundred and one at the clerk's office, this clerk's office in the courthouse in the middle of San Francisco, like a mile from Google, it doesn't have a single computer. Instead, These blue binders with like that dot matrix printer paper. You know the counter I would, though, like little falls on the side just to make sure I understand what exactly has in this giant blue book. So basically, this is every one with a last name, starting with cheap. So you open. This huge binder through you find the road that has your person's name in the case number, and then you take that case,
and you get in line to see one of the clerks, let's have a twenty two of sentencing, I have a twenty two and sent me yeah. Sometimes a clerk gets you all the court documents you need and lets you scan them right then, other times you just have to fill out these forms requesting them to look for files so one hour later leaving having made- to Levin seven requests in just a thousand more to go. Eat me tat, making real progress. This is soon tedious plague because, like if you Like you're on a beach, follow saying you're looking for one little grain and then you can always get a full minute. They got to put it back and we were trying to do that for more than a thousand means in like a hundred different court houses in
We realized pretty quickly that we couldn't do by ourselves, so we reached two three major newspaper change around the stable Mccluskey, the USA. Today paper, and the media newsgroup reporters from all these newspaper and also the nonprofit voice of San Diego. They all to their local court houses outside the ranch hook among courthouse pretty quiet day today. Courthouse. Fortunately, got a list of about. Sixteen names gonna go in here and all as many fine I can but they're still Montana reporters. So we have these to graduate students, but do so and Katy roof who drove to court houses all around the rural central Valley, So we are approving the desert of mahogany. We're about nine minutes out seven miles
and they ran and all sorts of hurdles the clerks pulling documents out of files. Some cases high Katrina clerk said we're just gone, so we requested twenty seven, but you said twelve were available. Does that mean that the other fifteen were destroyed? We phoned hundreds of case files across the state were, does Freud, and it seems that some of these places are, you know the day that they can technically by law shred of file. They are oh wow, so this it's not like those fifteen, our archived somewhere, those fifteen artists destroyed. So after six months of reporting on all the cases where you could find records. What did you find? We ultimately were able to pull about a thousand case files, and we found about six hundred and thirty. Current and former law enforcement officers convicted of a crime. In the last decade and another way to think about that number on average
more than once a week current, her former cop in California is convicted of a crime and end its undercoat, and we, the treatment or as we found the tip. The iceberg. Ina we found murders. We found beg you man slaughter, we found sexual assaults, we found child pornography and the sort of, pick. A crime and chances are good. We found a case file with fat, but there were. These two kinds of crimes that stood out. Do you I and driving offences were by far the biggest type of crime that we found after DE, why it was domestic violence, Domestic violence among police officers is unknown problem. It in the National NEWS every few years protect its like this one notorious that was on sixty minutes. It all began in the LOS Angeles suburb of Glinda California night do ninety two
this woman sister, twenty six year old, Melba Ramos, gun down by her husband and offer in the LOS Angeles police Department after this office Victor Ramos, murdered his wife? It came out that he previously beaten her and threatened her with a gun and the cops who showed up hadn't even arrested, in fact, is thanks to his being a police officer. Nothing much happened to him at all. Law enforcement come a long way in terms of how it deals with domestic violence. That's according to every expert we talk to, there's a federal law. Now that says, if you're convicted of domestic violence, you cannot own again, even if you're a cop, and the cops who showed up on our list, all of them arrested by other cops and convicted, which looks like the system working but when we took Oh sir, look at some of these cases. We found that system
has some loopholes. We number three under five, I think so on a Marcus cuts, hair in a strip. Mall she's got her initials in bright, in the window am salon. Was it always just am salon order to have a different. It used to be his name and mining candy MAR Kantian workers. The county is tony candy He was a police officer with the Marina Police Department and was also on US boyfriend, but over time so she started to feel more like his servant. I couldn't never go out with friends like never and then I was suddenly came. But they invite me to a weighty nor a continued, and then he was and what are you talking about?
the preceding their next to a bunch of Mexicans. Are you kidding me the night that lead to Tony's criminal conviction on? I was in bed and Tony was yelling at her according to her young, his daughter Ashley. It was one of the scariest night harshly watched as her older sister Diana tried to get past Tony to their moms bedside says. I hope I just need to get to my mom, like my main concern, was checking that my mama said Diana. Is this hundred pound teenage ballet dancers? Tony? Is this big dude? He weighs two hundred three pounds? She would try to push him away and like all around him, but obviously like there was nothing she could do, but it then that's when he grabbed me about the neck. Push me all the way into a wall and started. Taking me and I remember him, holding her to the wall by her throat for a full minute. When you let go, Diana called the police officers came and took a report, and then they laughed and I
remember that I was so scared because he was not arrested so over just cite terrified that he would do something in my sleep tariff, one reason Diana says she was scared was that Tony one of our most on his night stand. So all this, when he's choking you this there's a firearm within, I don't know ten guy. He could just take two steps and got a gun. Tony didn't return, my calls, but he told another, some guy the gun. Tony didn't return, my calls, but he told another reporter this wasn't domestic violence still he was actually charged with battery negligently, storing a firearm and held endangerment which would have outlawed him from key Bing those guns, but instead prosecutors led him plead guilty to a lesser charge. False imprisonment and get to keep his gun rubber. When you look at all the cases on your list was
down in getting to keep his gun robber. When you look at all the cases on your list Was this the only one like that? No, I M in roughly a third More than a third of the cases we looked at, where cops were facing pre serious domestic violence charges that would have cost them their guns pled down to something they at least, in theory, would allow the individual to keep a gun and to keep working on law enforcement. Some of the uterus who made those pleading else. Wouldn't talk to us for this story. Including the one who prosecuted Tony prosecutor, but then there's district attorney, Steve San Francisco he's been a prosecutor in San Matteo County, just south of San Francisco for forty two years, and if every prosecutor was like Steve, we might not need that list of convicted cops Steve says he emails the media. Every time he filed charges against a police officer
You know I really do admire law enforcement. I think they had so crucial, but I do think just like I think about our office if you want to get the benefits of being, a government employ then turn it. You ve got to follow the rules you gotta be willing to stand up and on every decision you make an I've really got on my so bucks, so the spirit owning every decision. I asked him: why would a prosecutor let to who committed an act of domestic violence, get away without pleading guilty to domestic violence. Why does this happen and I've seen it happen? I've authorized it on occasions, and every time we ve authorized it I hated him. In some cases he did it because the victim didn't want to prosecute their abuse her We teach every, we teach our kids, you know, respect the blue honour, the Blue trust the bill and now we're telling a jury, dont trust them or tell you. They committed a crime. They have betrayed
Oh trust, the blue and now we're telling a jury, dont trust them or tell you. They committed a crime, they have betrayed their trust and that's hard for people, and so that's a fact that doesn't exist. Other cases and that's a factor why you seem or plea, bargaining and many cases that just never get prosecuted, because we just say no jury is going to convict on this. There's another legal step that domestic violence victims can take sides. Criminal charges It's getting a restraining order on a map has got one against Tony candy, because I was thinking if you are but these restraining order, he's gonna, keep bugging me and I'm gonna go back to him. I need a restraining order. Normally domestic violence. Restraining order. Also mean Tony, would lose his guns. Bertone petty the judge saying he needed to keep his guns for work, training security guard ten police officers
that honours elder daughter, Diana came to the court hearings, and I remembered this straight up into my head thinking now. He should not be able to have a gun all the time. I worry that he was gonna down bench, the judge said it was hard to make sure Tony would only use his guns for work since he was self employed, but he let him keep all six guns: anyways they're, just cells like a big leap of trust for some but he was already violated that trust, but it's a leap that judges make pretty often and we found more than a dozen officers- are ex officers Hu a judge looked at the restraining order; instead, ok, I'm gonna. Let you keep your gun cause, you need it for work purposes. Sometimes happens in these formal court hearings: their times. It was just more of a backroom deal in this one.
In San Diego, we found a piece of paper in the court files where a restraining order and special. You can keep your guns loophole, they were literally just pencil. Then we showed TAT cops attorney. More us we're that shows it shows a. I was one hell of a lawyer to harness see my man, I don't recall exactly how there was a very definite discussion about the impact of a gun restriction would have on him. In theory, Discussion should have been a careful weighing of risks. That's the theory, but in reality, can do in reality, in a police officer walks in get the gun back when the police officers get to hold onto their guns disaster they can just go back to work. Oftentimes does
it's up to the department, it's up to the chief. So if a cop is large with domestic violence and can keep his gun. He back on the street with a badge and again responding to domestic violence, calls that that's actually correct. There was a kind of shares deputy who is accused of hand cuffing his girlfriend and slamming her face off a door frame. There is in LOS Angeles, cunning sheriffs deputy who was accused of elder abuse. After squeezing his I'm fathers arms hard enough to leave bloody marks. There is a number was those kind of shares deputy champion boxer who allegedly blackened his daughters. I all of those people dimension are still working as law enforcement officers today and all the officers he just mentioned something else in common to which is that none of their criminal convictions were reported on before. As you
to be a pattern. We found a dozen officers still employed despite a conviction- and domestic violence case. Ten of them appeared of have never been covered in the news, and while we can draw a conclusion about cause and effect in general, you go down our list. A much higher percentage of officers kept their jobs after a criminal conviction. When that conviction wasn't in the news when the public didn't know about it, the public has an oversight, role and in oversight right. I think, but you know just look at this project attorney general tried to shut it down. The courts is amid documents hard to access, there's just a shortage of- reporters already things that make our jobs more difficult. Has reporters there also getting in the way of that ability for the public to hold police officers accountable. You can't do oversight of things you can't see.
there was reveal stand airport with Robert Loose of New Sea Berkeley Investigative Reporting programme, who so far has not been prosecuted for keeping that list of convicted current former an aspiring cops. And there is a searchable database of all the officers, Robert and Teen, track down plus stories from newspapers across California to check them out sign of foreign this letter by going to reveal news dot, Org, Slash newsletter after the war will dig into the story of one officer what happens when police departments keep secrets not just from the public but from each other? That's next on reveal.
from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a mallet, its May twenty first nineteen, eighty four Oakland California, Gregg Lhasa, driving home, class led one night. We stopped at a new section, and I look They can lot. I see a police car with the door open and I see and I see a very large man and I can tell the some kind of scaffolding grid watched as the man walk towards the officer kept backing up at some point in the office, Sir pulled out his baton, and at that point things and folded more quickly. He says: love sick trip, fell backwards over small rise on the ground. What happened from my point of view is when he tripped He lost wherever
I shouldn't have left and just got a revolver out and fired it. Six shots at close range craigslist. It was a crazy moment and he felt he had to be a witness, so he parked his car. And kept watching the officer made his way to a gas station where he reloaded his gun and fired again. In total, the officer the man nine times three, the abdomen twice in the chest. Once in each hand, two bullets to the head, Gregg knew the man had to be done. And I could tell there's nothing more than I can do so. I went back to my car and pull away. The next day or the day after I read a newspaper
the story, and I was very disturbed at what I read an article in the open Tribune identified the dead man, S Jerry Stance, a thirty five year old fry cook who just been fired that night, yet a history of mental illness, the police officer was marked and diet he'd been on force only thirteen months, the article quoted a police spokesman who said stances had grab the off his baton, knocked him to the ground and beat him repeatedly before the officer shot? I did. I was blatantly lie. Gregg is convinced of what he saw that night. Other witnesses had different stories. One said he did see. Stance will beat in dire with the baton. Another remember seeing stance or holding something regardless of the conflicting accounts. Jerry stances family filed a civil rights suit against in dire the police chief and the city of opening the
case was based on the fact that stances fingerprints, weren't, found on the baton, an officer in dire only had minor injuries and a pillar court agreed that in dire had never been in serious danger and sent the case to a lower court for trial city off to settle. But the family took it to a jury who ultimately ruled in favour of the police. Earlier we heard about police officers who convicted of a crime and stay in law enforcement, but not the only police being protected by veil of secrecy. Their other officers who, despite years of serious misconduct on the job, continue to work and law enforcement. That's what happened with mark in dire over the next thirty years, Nigger saying of the show snapped judgment investigates advent seal the documents now cock
Also thank you. I'm sitting in a window this room on the sixteenth floor of the northern District Court House in San Francisco, looking through boxes of documents with Mark and dies name on them former cop at point, media and Daya when he heard I was working on the story, and I have court records show that while he was with the Oakland PD, there were two federal lawsuits against them for the use of excessive force and one slash four raw death, but except for a year stint in the military, he remained on the fire for nine years after shooting Jerry Standstill, he resigned in May of ninety ninety four, but he didn't go far forties after resigning. He joined the San Francisco police Department just across the Bay Bridge. From there it wasn't long before he had a second deadly encounter with the suspect on June. Fourth, nineteen. Eighty five
officer, and I heard a police dispatch about a burglary and blackmail seen running from the scene. And I spotted a man. He knew in the area his was errand Williams. This would indeed said later at an internal investigation, identify myself as a police, us- and I said, hey ere. I need to talk to you for a second and an answer and ran to the door of a nearby apartment building. He turned around from the door looked directly at me and shook his head got busted
Richard the closed the door. Fine after errand appeared in an open window in dire says he was incoherent. You see something like one two, three four: they started talking about something about a robbery of in the West side project, no eight say something like a b c police eventually coaxed him outside, but when they try to handcuff him, a struggle broke out. Neighbours testified as to what they saw thy sight, Erin, just walking out the front door and two or three police officers grab him there.
The struggle and eventually I saw a man in plain clothes- kicking Mister Williams. My memory of it was. It was two sets of kicking of about four times each. They were fast early hot air never got up, but he was moving and then I believe it was. The same person kicked him again in the head area about pipeline and two or three officers are grabbed his the upper part of his body and dragged him further out into the street and that their I remember, seeing that there's blood under underneath
According to police reports, officers, cuffed Erin, put restraints on his legs and then put a paper mask over his face before loading him into a patrol wagon. Then they drove him to a local police station where supervisor became concerned and ordered CPR. A short time later, Aaron Williams was pronounced. Dead I think I've heard even another door- that's limit Robinson she's errands. She help raising. She lives just a few blocks from the apartment building and ran into the night. Then he died, beer, have a this,
is your high and there are collectibles and paintings celebrate the culture and history of black Americans. There also family photos on every wall. Air Aaron's photos in a bit. Gold frame he's wearing a blue, Jean Jacket and genes. Then dark sunglasses and his clenched fists wrapped in black biker, gloves Aaron had a hard time growing up from the time he was twenty one. He had a string of burglary and narcotics convictions He was in jail where my sister die and he took it so hard. And when he got out of jail he destroyed it changes life errand, joined up to help with this addiction. He got a job at a great rate factory and he got married. He loved his family. There was a good person, but
the time of the break in Erin had recently been laid off. He had his parole suspended for failure to report and his family said he had started using drugs again. Errands on saw his body that after he died. We went to the more to go, see him in his head It's all swollen with lack a basketball when he kicked him all in this. He at the cities that will examine a report lists cause of death as heart failure, doo doo, acute cocaine, abuse with this fixy it as a possible secondary factor, Aaron's family hired their own, pathetic. Just now and while he agree the cocaine was involved. He also, on the way errand was loaded into the policeman and the blows to his body. Both contributed to his heart. Failure It had only been for years since a Rodney king, beating and allay now air, had become another symbol of police abuse. He was buried on June. Fourteen that same day
protesters disrupted irregular meeting of the San Francisco Police Commission. Ok come on. Take your seat at this time. Let this meeting began or else now one of the organizers was a young civil rights are turning name Van Jones. Those years before he became a noose commentator on CNN Jones. Told me: the protest became a regular part of the weekly Police Commission meetings, night after night, every camera crew in the Bay area came down to see this massive massive fight. It was pandemonium the police officers Union with NEO turn out twenty thirty forty thereafter week show up with a couple hundred community members than we were elbowed elbow face to face the angel. Was the enemy we didn't like Van Jones, called bomb was a young cop at the time and an active member of the police officers
You were there in mass to defend Mark and I have the police Commission room was full of police officers and supporters, and the other half the room was was full of airwaves family and those for this was a contest. The wills between a police officers union. Then? It decided that, no matter what this officer had done, he was not going to be pushed out by community pressure and They were not taken up just a lot of vitriol being thrown back and forth Why? and I just remotely one point we have to know. I said I was part of the two half their room of cop started. Chanting, shame change shape. And you can rely on. It was just Eliza was really embarrassing, says a younger carbon. I was buying into lock stock and barrel.
I agree with you The police commission hearings went on for two years. In the end, all the off these were cleared of any criminal wrong doing. However, there as an internal police hearing and die, was charge for excessive force for kicking Erin. But the only thing that stuck to him was a charge of neglect of duty. For failing to monitor, errands condition the commission but it is a spend for ninety days, but shortly after They received a letter from a citizen. Contain troubling details of his time on the Oakland force and lead to another string of hearings. This time things worked out different, in closing arguments before the police. Commission, the police departments law
they should have blown up record of the thirty seven. Complaints against an daya during his seven years on the Oakland Police Force and dial, also failed to mention two police brutality lawsuits against him, organ die was fired from the San Francisco police Department, not because of airlines death, but for an incomplete job application today, you cheer the commission's findings as Diane made his way out of the hearing room, Erin Williams, onto raised him after his mother died, hugged for supporters, very happy. What happened and I could go to my nephews brave term folly. We got some kind of justice. Let's go back a few years. Why did the San Francisco the police Department higher Mark and die in the first place in the interview he was terrific, I've got to see Reno Rapid naughty,
attorney in a retired San Francisco police officer back in ninety ninety four, he was working as background investigator for the department he was in which are reviewing and dies application. He was well ass. He had that can't bear any was in good shape. Worry you know Did a great job on the interview. Reno says he requested and dies personnel file from the Oakland pity, but they wouldn't give it to him. He says that was an uncommon. Alot of police garments, wouldn't turn personnel records and they weren't require two without the personnel file. What can you do you don't know what can train. They have. What kind of his situations involving he did disclose, they ve been investigation into a fatality that he was involved in, and I also told hiring committee that he was named in civil law suit, resulting from that fatality, but they ve been cleared in both cases, He also mentioned that he'd been suspended for thirty days for choking a suspect. The committee
ordered and die to undergo routine psychological profile. In their report to psychologist, warned- and I was unfit to become a police officer- Rina later testified that they cited, one fear that we could not higher this candidate because of a future incident at my cause department to look bad. But in dire was hired anyway. Reno says The reason was San Francisco was short of cops back then, and ninety four we needed cops. We needed and quick We and what will we wanted them already trained and they would go through. Very limited field. Training programme is more of an orientation and tie up I threw lateral transfer program. That means you didn't have to go through the full police academy. Again some unlike him, a cop from another department in another city, would be coming in. Already train and certified and ready to serve. It was either that or hire a new recruits whom or may not make it through the nine months of training
There was a real rush to get this done, We were that low and you know it. It affects calls for sir. This response times. So there was a lot of political pressure on the mayor who then gave it to the chief, and so I sell things working so the cup, George was one reason mark and I was able to move from Oakland's Police Department to San Francisco, but it turns out there's a bigger problem without Let's get hired in at least some of the eighteen thousand state and local law enforcement agencies across the country. There's an incentive within that police of culture for agencies to protect their own and reject all the flags that are raised. That's Philips, Jensen he's a former cop whose now professor a bowling, Green State University teaching criminal justice in researching police officers with troubling records he's found that even when agencies do take it.
And hang paper on someone. That's what a cop writes a memo about. Another cops, bad behaviour: they don't the share that information, so the dark figure of police crime. What we don't know is that many officers who get in trouble who are accused of very soon. Misconduct are given the opportunity to quietly resign. Another word If you resign we're not pain to charge you criminally. And you can go on your way and that's the end of it and and we don't know those numbers because They never found their way into the courts. They never were arrested in fine. There into the news articles typically in, at least a handful of officers came forward. Hang paper on in dire. I got access to any of those records and I want to see what Reno rapid nanny the former San Francisco police officer would make them.
I'm an inner office letter written by an dies, former Captain Oakland a kind of greatest hits of India's troubling behaviour in his first few years without department we're gonna Recruit Academy and I appointed and then at his head and pull the trigger several times, and I ask was observed, physically abusing their mildly uncooperative handcuffed, says what choking him to run the throat with his hands and and into the ground well, and they asked me I'll, kill you. He also was very quick to put his hands on people and became physically here, a diet till suspects I've killed before and I want and will kill again. I would make a fine recommendation to respond to this situation How should I be mealy reassigned to administrative assigned which will limit his contact with the public and not requires carrying? Aren't you so far?
I'm sure other weapons. This is from a captain captain. Please I mean this would be. This is something you were right. If you were trying to terminate somebody the one per cent, none of this information Irina when he was sitting whether or not to hire and dire after his fired by the San Francisco police. Organize seems to disappear from the record nine years go by, but then he appears again I find him in a database he's working in Contra Costa, a county less than thirty miles from San Francisco
I went to see. Aaron Williams ought to tell her the news so get out and sex, and I was required by their contracts to share. I didn't know that, and you know why I went to and we need policeman but more there was one of em. They should be. Working. Nowhere do has every day to do when a girl, because life doesn't mean anything to him. He's a killer is a murder, and I fear it will kill my nephew Animas. I'm saying right now: that's how I feel about it. While I was reporting the story I reach out to mark and die several times. I also requested an interview with his boss, the sheriff of Contract Costa, both declined to speak with me.
We go to air- and I am still a law enforcement officer with a badge and a gun. That's, We came to us from nickel sing of radio show in Podcast S, Nab judge the biggest defenders of mark in dire came from the rank and file the local police unit. I talked to the president of the National fraternal order, of police about why unions continue to back officers accused of serious misconduct. We ve gone from just a short period of time from people servants to public enemies, because that full stories not being told that's next on reveal
from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal amalgamated when a police officer is accused of corruption or brutality or killing a member of the public who are likely to hear from the local police unit after Nypd, why PDF, Sir Daniel LEO, was fired for using a band chokehold that a medical examiner said led to the death of air gardener. The head of the local police Union held a press conference Tat Day, pretty Nypd when justice has not inside the leader of this city and its police department is absolutely afraid of their criminal the kids and face as the cap disciplinary record secret? They ve negotiated contracts, they banned civilian oversight, limit investigations and destroy disciplinary records after a time leave appeal the firing of officers who have been disciplined and gotten them rehired. Now every
disciplinary record secret. They negotiated contracts that ban civilian oversight, limit investigations and destroy disciplinary records after a time leave appeal the firing of officers who have been disciplined and gotten them rehired. Now every police force every police union is different, but the national, fraternal order of police is an umbrella group that, it said it was the wrong decision that he was fired for doing his job and that it would have a chilling effect on police across the country I spoke with. Patrick goes three weeks later, Even on the firing of officer Serpents LEO in New York. It said it was the wrong decision that he was fired for doing his job and that it would have a chilling effect on police across the country. I spoke with Patrick goes three weeks later, someone your campaign flow he said that this is one of the most turbulent times in the history of the union. What do you think is turbulent?
this time, the wherein right now. What I think is our profession, the world's changing. Our professions changing with it. But at the same time, I think that is what is allowed, yes understandings are a quick rush to judgment, and things involving law enforcement. The don't tell the whole story, and I think because of that, its create an atmosphere where we gone just a short of time from public servants to public enemies, because the story, not being told but also recognised- that these changing times mean is an organization as a profession. We need to change as well, where to do some. Some pretty profound things as long officers and role that we play, but that doesn't come without public trust, I hear you saying, but also you know the one press release that you ve put out since Madam President, the union was saying that it was wrong to fire the officer in the air gardener case in the death of air garner. The police officer used
the cold. They ve been banned by the N Y, see police department. It took five years for him to be, let go from the police department and then your organization said that it was wrong for him to be found arched five years later, to come back and in administrative, we decide that that wasn't good enough. We don't agree with it that sends a message loan force. The organisation is a federal and state agencies fully investigated this and found that there were no violations of law. If there were, he would have been charged five years later to come back, and In administratively, we decided that wasn't good enough. We don't agree with it that sends a message. Of course, and also all across his country in who disappointed because actions that he's taken. He is right to do process I just because we ve on a badge we do have to be held at a higher set of standards. I totally agree with that, but just because we ve been on a badge doesn't mean that we are second class citizens. I totally what you're saying about due process. My point is that the office
in the air Garner case got more due process than most people get an. He was found at the end of of that due process that he should not have used that chokehold and therefore he should be. Let go from the police department, he wasn't locked up for it. He was literally told that I could sit here for hours and tell you about situations where officers are now names on a wall and families. Don't have their officer anymore because a situations at escalated just as this, when did I dont, say that to minimize what you're saying It said that there is a perception we know. We know how soon turned out. I could sit here for hours and tell you about situations where officers are now names on a wall and families dont have their officer anymore, because a situations that escalated just as this one didn't I needs to put two great emphasis on training of law enforcement officers in order to the escalating, because this is going to be a growing problem, it's not going to go away overnight.
Going to be these these things, but there are actions taken by everybody that escalate and I will tell you that I think clearly art every city. Every agency needs to put two great emphasis on training of law enforcement officers in order to de escalate, because this going to be a growing problem, it's not going to go away overnight in it to be something that we need to equip their offices to to to be better prepared to to deal with. Historically, police unions across the country have generally fought to keep things like officers, disciplinary records more secret, rather than pushing more openness. It seems to me that, if police, unions were willing to a little bit on that it might gain more public trust. Why so secretive I don't know if I necessarily call secretive, let's let supply to any other profession, any other professions. Employees that have certainly- that's a certain expectations and
supplying is an accusation is not necessarily something that's found. It there's a process that it goes through. Those processes are very well detailed in to information in impartial is not telling the full story, but it's one of those to its were made. It was investigated and found that the officers Do something wrong and they were discipline, Ford shouldn't the public know about that. I think the public's he has a right to know to balance the public trust. What your office personnel rights, and I think those balances need to be made and determine to a by the by the people within those given states. When it comes to officers who are off duty, should law enforcement officers be held to a higher standard did the general public. I look. I agree that law enforcement so, we have to maintain public trust him because of that then, yes, we do. We are what we have to be at. A higher standard is so if you're convicted for domestic allows Miss Milner today,
under federal law. You can't carry a gun which makes it hard to be police officer back in the nineties. The paternal order police was against the law. Organization, and other police unions pushed for exceptions for cops, so they would be able to carry a gun. If they had a domestic violence. Conviction. What's your position on that today? I I've I've, no vaguely of which you are referring to You had a provision that determine that if you were convicted of domestic violence, you are not allowed, carry a weapon but blood backup offs who were involved in situations made the decision that they were going to plead guilty to put something behind em. Had they known that debt would affect them in their job, in our ability to compete there'll, be a police officer, they may have taken a different path. They may have pointed to trial and decided not to just stopped the guilty. So that was the position. That organization took what your position today, though,
position today is that I think that we have a process that processes to evaluate and determine the actions and if the actions that determine an agency feels at it. It erodes the public trust and agency is going to follow the due process that they have with flakes out on the streets. Why? I think it we're talking in general terms in general terms, I think that that is not done. That should not be there You know when they get a hold of guns, tend to use those guns. If someone is sorting to vows to resolve conflict in their own home. Why should we trust him area Badge and Gunnar resolve conflicts out on the streets. I think we're talking in general terms. In general terms. I think that that is a matter that should not be the case here condoning that, someone who should not be in a uniform and carry a gun you'd be doing so. Our argument is that an officer has a right to due process, just like, like anyone else. Magic is. Thank you so much for sit down and talk to me today. You got it
Since our interview patch ago says, put out a lotta statements, one defending enough. Virginia had been suspended by the police chief for calling immigration and customs enforcement to the scene of a car accident to arrest one. The drive you put out another one in the case of Dallas officer Amber Geiger after she been found? You of murdering her neighbour in his own apartment, the statement attack the prosecutor. Who said it was wrong for the head of the local police union to come to the scene of the crime and asked the officer to turn off. The DAS came in the car were officer, Geiger was being here and then there was the release that wasn't about police officers at all. It attack a name members of Congress, for quote violating process to score political points. It said the fraternal order
these exists in part to defend due process rice and I'm calling here not just for police officers but for all citizens at every level, from the indigent living on the street to the president, living in the White House, only produce for this week show is stand out. Point the editor Stabber George, thanks to all the journalists who helped out on the story of the secret list of criminal cops, especially David about Jason Pasadena Jesse marks Katy Steagall Franco and John Temple, and thanks to Jennifer Con Mary K Max Dead, Peter Alderson Tom Peel from you see Berkeley School journalism and their investigative reporting programme for help would make a sing story. Managers Monday in a host of original scorn, sound designed by the dynamic dual J Breezy, Mr Jim Briggs, and finance a man YO, a router then help this week from emu stuff.
The job of many and clear see note Mullen R C o. This is far from being met. Since our editor in chief executive producer is Kevin Sullivan, our theme music comrade of lightning support for reviews provide by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the John D, and can T Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Fort Foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation for Democracy Fund and the ethics and excellence in general. Foundation reveal is a co production of the centre for investigative reporting and p eggs. I'm Alison and remember, there is always more to the story, yeah.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-19.