BLACKS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OF AMERICA
National Information Letter
Serving 80,000 Black Law Enforcement Professionals
Police Brutality Alive and Well in Houston
Houston Police Video
A friend sent me a link to this video last night to ask me what I thought.
I don’t have words to describe this; anything I can choke out is inadequate. Even what I write here will not adequately do justice.
This is a child — a 15-year-old youth only a little older than my youngest and a little younger than my oldest. And Houston’s so-called finest are
kicking him while he is down on the ground, kicking him in the head, near his kidneys, his groin after nearly running him down with their car.
This is a child who at the time of this battery was suspected of being involved in a home burglary along with three other suspects. The other three had
been under surveillance; Holley was seen exiting a townhome with two of the suspects. When the police gave chase, Holley ran — and what appears
in this video is the outcome of that chase.
The police did not take fingerprints at the townhome; they didn’t fingerprint the stolen goods. There’s apparently nothing in the way of evidence to tie
Holley to a burglary, only association with others suspected of burglary.
And yet the police tried to run him down with their car; he was stomped, kicked and beaten by at least five officers although he was already down on
the ground. At no point in any of the coverage of this story does it appear that the officers believed Holley was an adult, or that Holley might have a
weapon, offering little excuse for the battery show in this video. It’s cruel and unusual extra-judicial punishment without any due process. . . .
Making the situation worse is the city’s handling of this tape; they did not want it released. The mayor made statements that were perceived as a threat
to anyone releasing the tape. The subsequent response of the police force also appears inappropriate. There’s no denial, no non-denial, which might be
expected, but there’s also no apparent effort to calm the community’s concern about police brutality — and residents claim this is the first time there’s
been video evidence published showing the kind of brutality they have put up with for a very long time.
This child’s civil rights were violated. There needs to be an examination of both the administration and the police of the city of Houston by the De-
partment of Justice, to find out why this happened and just how often this kind of thing has been happening to other children and adults alike in Hous-
And the mayor — once a shining light for Houston — needs to invest immediately in some serious community relations-building. Not merely damage
control, but credible, intensive effort made to restore the faith of the public in the mayor’s office and the police of Houston.
BLEA Joins the fight for Immigration Enforcement Rights
These enforcement paradigms, while radically transforming the nature of immi-
gration law and the dynamics of the criminal justice system, raise important con-
stitutional and policy-based questions. Further, such programs have increasingly
been shown to have significant adverse impacts on state and local budgets, com-
munity policing relationships, the public perception of immigrants, and the larger
Blacks In Law Enforcement of America
Ronald Hampton immigrant community.
The panel will explored both the intended and unintended consequences of these
regimes from the perspectives of immigrants, civil rights attorneys, law enforce-
BLEA Representative, Ron Hampton spoke extensively on the ment leaders, and elected officials.
negative impact of government sponsored programs like secure
communities, 287g and Arizona's SB1070. The event was held at Introduction was done by Catherine Smith, Associate Dean of Institutional Diver-
the University of Denver, Stern Collage of Law. sity and Inclusiveness and the forum was Moderated by Christine Cimini, Ronald
V. Yegge Clinical Director.
Over the last several years, immigration enforcement programs
have experienced viral growth on a federal, state, and local level. Other speakers on the panel were Alfredo Gutierrez, Former President of the Ari-
Ranging from the highly publicized Arizona SB 1070 to Colo- zona State Senate, Chris Newman, Legal Director, National Day Laborer Organiz-
rado state legislation targeting immigrant communities to the fed- ing Network Jeanette Vizguerra, Community Organizer, Rights for All People.
eral Secure Communities program, these initiatives have ushered
in an unprecedented era of immigration enforcement likely to The event was sponsored by the Constitutional Rights and Remedies Program,
impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants per year. DU Law Review, Latino Law Student Association, National Lawyers Guild,
American Civil Liberties Union, Spanish Speaking Law Student Association,
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and Amnesty International.
The NYPD Stopped Enough Black Men Last Year to Populate Wyoming
NEW TORK CITY- According to new statistics
from the New York Police Department, 2010
found more people than ever subjected to the
force's controversial "stop and frisk" measure,
which has cops randomly stop citizens for ques-
tioning and to search them for contraband.
Even just at face value, stop and frisk is a civil liberties nightmare. But what makes it even worse is how vastly disproportion-
ate the police's "random" searches are. Despite being less than 44 percent of the total population of New York City, black and
Latino males composed 85 percent of the pool chosen for stop-and-frisk searches last year. With officers stopping 601,055
people, that means a full 511,000 of those people were men of color (for reference, the population of the entire state of Wyo-
ming is 544,000).
It might not be so shocking if all the brown people the police were shaking down were guilty of a crime, but the fact is that the
vast majority of them are completely innocent citizens. In only seven percent of 2010's stop-and-frisks was the stopped per-
son arrested; another seven percent was stopped but only issued a summons. That means that in 86 percent of the stop-and-
frisk incidents from last year, the "stop and frisk" actually amounted to little more than a cop hassling a New Yorker who was
just going about their day.
Sharpton Wants Feds to Probe Miami Shootings
MIAMI-_The Reverend Al Sharpton is calling on
the federal government to get to the bottom of the
recent string of shootings connected to the Miami
The civil rights leader spoke Monday night at an
NAACP meeting for the Miami-Dade branch,
where he announced that he'd already written a for-
mal request to the Justice Department, with Congresswoman Fredricka Wilson, asking them to investigate whether police misconduct
may be to blame in these cases.
"We need to examine, from a federal level, how you can go over 20 months, I think it's 22 months, with no shootings and then all of a
sudden in seven months it's about a shooting a month," Sharpton said. "There's something that changed."
Since July 2010, seven African-American men have been shot and killed by Miami Police, two of them reportedly unarmed.
Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito has been under fire by critics, including Mayor Tomas Regalado, who say his leadership has fos-
tered a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality in the department.
Over the weekend, Exposito sent a letter to the Miami Herald, saying he has no problem with a federal investigation.
I welcome a federal probe into the Miami police-involved shootings. So much so that I invited the FBI to be present at the post-shooting
reviews conducted under my watch," Exposito's letter reads. As mentioned, I embrace a federal probe into our shootings; however, I also
welcome a probe into the political interference that is compromising the integrity of the Miami Police Department.
An Injustice Anywhere is Injustice Everywhere
There has been outrage from the Westchester Community of the per-
ceived bias of the investigation of the shooting of Danroy Henry. Many in
the community questioned why the District Attorney’s office would allow
the Mt. Pleasant Police Department to investigate themselves. Organiza-
tions like Westchester Blacks in Law Enforcement and the NAACP have
been very outspoken on the refusal
of Westchester County District At-
torney Janet DiFiore.
It is the opinion of Ms. Zelman that
the Mt. Pleasant officers had no
control and brutalized her clients
and the District Attorney’s office is
The Pace University students Daniel Parker, Joseph Garcia, Jo- merely attempting to cover up the
seph Romanick, and Yves Delpeche have returned to court in an attempt assaults by the officers. It is clear
to get their charges dismissed. These young men were charged with ob- from the cell phone video that has been shown nationally, that the officer
struction of justice and resisting arrest when they tried to come to the aide with his gun drawn was not in control, and that there was mass confusion
of their now deceased teammate Danroy ―DJ‖ Henry. and panic.
Danroy "DJ" Henry, a Pace University football player, was fatally shot by Damon Jones, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement
police early last year outside a bar in Mount Pleasant, N.Y. A Westchester of America stated of the video. "What happened to the department
County Grand Jury recently cleared the Mount Pleasant officers of any charges against the officer who was pointing a weapon at a crowd of
wrongdoing. kids? Where is the radio transmission that there were weapons at the
scene that the DA stated today? What was his rationale to draw his
As usual, the Westchester County District attorney’s office refused to weapon on a crown of teenagers when the only shots fired was from the
drop any charges as well as turn over important evidence in the case. police themselves"?
Banita Zelman the attorney representing the pace students, stood firm in The courtroom was packed at maximum capacity and more with support-
stating that the kids did nothing to deserve the beating they received from ers for these heroic Pace University students. In the audience was Mrs.
the police. Nicole Paultre Bell, the wife of Sean Bell, a young man who was gunned
down by New York City Police the night before his wedding.
"These students are heroes,‖ said Ms. Zelman ―they wanted to help their
friend, their teammate." Mrs. Bell’s father said that the court proceeding for the Pace University
students were like déjà vu . ―They are doing the same tricks and games as
"What did they do?‖ They did what any reasonable person would do when the New York City District Attorney’s office."
seeing their friend on the floor shot and bleeding for his life." Ms. Zelman
continued. The young men must appear in court on March 24, 2011 at 9 a.m. Our
Dallas Officer Fired in Alleged Beating
A Dallas police officer accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect in the Then he was arrested and taken to the Dallas County Jail. He faces a
face and pepper-spraying him was fired and then arrested Wednesday, charge of official oppression.
police officials said.
Soler, a Dallas officer for nearly three years, also entered inaccurate, false
A second officer was suspended for 10 days. or improper information on a police report, which resulted in his 10-day
suspension, officials said.
Video taken by a patrol car dashboard camera showed that officer Quaite-
mes Williams kicked and sprayed Rodarick Lyles after pulling him over McClatchy-Tribune News Service
in the 9400 block of Abrams Road on Jan. 27, police said.
Lyles was suspected of driving with a suspended license and had a war-
rant for driving without a license.
Williams, a Dallas officer for three years, and officer Edward Cruz-Done
assisted officer Hiram Soler during the traffic stop, according to a news
Lyles fell on top of Williams, but Williams got free. Then the officers
placed Lyles in handcuffs. Williams used pepper spray and kicked Lyles
in the face although he was no longer resisting, the release said.
After an investigation into use of unnecessary force, Williams was fired
for causing inaccurate, false or improper information to be entered on a
police report, the news release stated.
Gourmet Cupcakes to Order
Marchers Demand Answers In Officer's Shooting
BALTIMORE -- Six weeks since Baltimore police officers shot and "I want the world to know, not just Baltimore City. I want the
killed one of their own, surviving relatives are demanding answers. world to know how good my cousin was to everybody and how he
Officer William Torbit, 33, was on duty when fel- served the police force," said Charles Lucas, the officer's
low officers shot and killed him as he responded to cousin. "For them not to give answers, not just to the
a disturbance outside a Baltimore City nightclub public but just to the family?"
on Jan. 9. Police admitted friendly fire took Tor-
bit's his life. Emotions ran high at a rally outside the nightclub. Or-
ganizers asked why police claimed they would release
Torbit was shot more than 20 times by four uni- their report three weeks after the incident but have yet
formed officers who apparently did not recognize to follow through.
Torbit, who was dressed in plain clothes, until af-
ter opening fire. "It's very emotional. My brother gave his time to the
community and to us. It's like they took him from us,"
"I want the world to know, not just Baltimore City. said Venus Torbit, the officer's sister. "We love the lord.
I want the world to know how good my cousin was We believe in God. We know God allows things to hap-
to everybody and how he served the police force."- pen, but this is senseless, this is absolutely senseless."
Charles Lucas The marchers carried their concerns from the nightclub
through downtown Baltimore to city police headquarters
"To go from day to day not having someone that you care for and and then to City Hall.
loved, not being able to see them and them being taken away from
us and then get no answers, it's really hard," said Sherri Torbit, the "They've asked the family to be patient, they've asked the commu-
officer's sister. nity to be patient, they've asked the citizens to be patient, and
we've been more than patient," Muhammad said. "We're not stop-
A police spokesman told the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team that it's im- ping demanding answers, we're not stopping demanding account-
portant to have a complete and thorough investigation. The depart- ability until we have justice and all of those that were responsible
ment is waiting for the coroner's autopsy report, and police Com- for the death of Officer Torbit, responsible for the death of Sean
missioner Fred Bealefeld is setting up a panel of outside experts to Gamble, responsible for the injury of the other innocent bystanders
serve as a review committee. that were here that night, they should be charged."
Relatives, concerned citizens and community activists rallied and "For us, every day is a struggle to wake up and realize that this is
marched in downtown Baltimore on Monday, calling on the Police real," Venus Torbit said. "It's just difficult for the fact that officials
Department to release a report about Torbit's death. have not reached out to us and I just don't understand it."
"Tell the truth and stop the lies. Will Torbit didn't have to die, Will Also killed in the incident was Sean Gamble, 22, a patron at the
Torbit didn't have to die," the crowd chanted. club. Three women were wounded and gunfire struck another offi-
cer in the foot. Most of the incident was captured by the city's
"We haven't gotten any transparency and we haven't received any crime cameras.
accountability that the mayor has talked about," said Darin Mu-
hammad, a community activist.
NAACP Critical of Westchester County Government for lack of Oversight of
their Justice System
The NAACP is once again disappointed in the actions or lack of same The District Attorney has reneged on the Pamphlet and on fairly investigat-
by the Westchester District Attorney and the evasive right of obtaining ing police encounter with civilians and our elected officials have offered no
Justice for African Americans in Westchester County. legislation nor mandated any education for Police Officers on how to deal
with different cultures. It seems the County Executive's answer was to dis-
The White Plains NAACP as well as the New York State Conference of mantle the Westchester County Human Rights Department. Clearly, Self
the NAACP in November of 2010 requested that the Federal Justice Policing just Does Not Work. Those of us who battle for justice and civil
Department assign a Federal Investigator when the dispute over the rights are disappointed and look forward to an impartial investigation by
facts reached by the coroner's office along with the obtuse leak of infor- the Federal Government and the next Election of some of our County Offi-
mation by the involved Police Department. In our opinion, The Danroy cials. Many of our supporters should also reflect on their next voting oppor-
Henry investigation and the Grand Jury results suggest that the West- tunity.
chester DA is more interested in clearing the police than obtaining jus-
tice for the citizens she is sworn to protect. It is time that we make sure that our votes go to people who also serve our
I stated once again because the Westchester Branches of the NAAGP
and the Black Law Enforcement Officers met with our elected officials NAACP
including the Westchester DA before the Henry shooting and expressed White Plains/Greenburgh Branch
our concerns regarding Police Brutality. The only solution that was of-
fered was the creation of a comprehensive pamphlet which included a
detailed explanation of the process for the filing of complaints against
officers. The pamphlet has not yet been produced for public use.
Seattle Police Officers Article Controversial
A lot of times, when a cop sits down at his desk to write up his or her opin-
ion of a new policy, a recent event, or merely to bark at the moon, the result "How widely or deeply held are these views? How do we make
is what could be described as "an intensity of opinion." sure that anyone in city government reflects the values of not dis-
This is certainly the case in Seattle after a police officer writing in his union criminating against people? Even one officer holding these views
newspaper lambasted the anti-bias training the city employees are required is not appropriate." Police officials said the column expresses only
to take. the views of the author and not the department as a whole.
Appearing under the headline, "Just Shut Up and Be a Good Little Social- The Guardian is published monthly and contains articles about po-
ist," Officer Steve Pomper calls the city's five-year-old "Race and Social lice work written by and for officers, said Sgt. Rich O'Neill, presi-
Justice Initiative" an attack on American values. dent of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild. O'Neill defended his
members' right to say whatever they want in the publication.
He says anyone that supports the training is "the enemy."
"We have left-leaning officers; we have right-leaning officers. We
Pomper was talking about "Perspectives in Profiling." That's a class that de- try to publish a range of opinions."
partment members were required to take last year to raise awareness about
racial profiling. Mayor McGinn said his office is in "active discussions" with the
U.S. Department of Justice over calls by the ACLU and 34 other
Pomper may just have been blowing off steam, but the combative language organizations in December to investigate "patterns and practices"
and tone of the article have made national headlines. of Seattle police officers' confrontations with people of color.
In his column, Pomper asks at what point he and other officers should say City Council member Tim Burgess, who chairs the Public Safety
"Hell no!" to the city's attempts to "indoctrinate the Seattle Police Depart- Committee, said he didn't think Pomper's views represented the
ment in social justice culture." police department.
Ironically, the article which appeared in the December issue of The Guard- The comments are "not consistent with the values of the police de-
ian is renewing concerns about the culture of the police department and offi- partment or the rules of behavior the department sets for our offi-
cers' willingness to address perceptions of racial bias. cers," Burgess said.
"Officers don't give up their free-speech rights when they put on a badge," The "Perspectives in Profiling" course, which was developed by
he said. and for law enforcement, was first offered in Seattle in 2010.
Sean Whitcomb, police department spokesman, said the training
The timing of the article is problematic for Mayor Mike McGinn. involved vignettes of police stops.
He says the officer's apparent hostility to the city's anti-bias efforts adds to
public concerns over a series of highly publicized incidents in which officers Written by Jose Torres
are accused of using excessive force against minorities.
"The question is a serious one," McGinn said in interview with the Seattle
Laterals or Rookies?
If you read American Police Beat, you know that New Jersey is having a hell of a time trying to keep enough cops on the beat to provide service.
When one of the most dangerous cities in the nation is talking about laying off half the force you know it's a bad situation. With more budget cuts and
layoffs looming on the horizon, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow is calling into question the hiring decisions made recently by the
Township of Springfield regarding the police department.
Springfield's hiring committee recently hired eight police officers. Three of them do not have the necessary training certification. The Township offi-
cials claim that the untrained officers bring worthwhile skills and credentials to Springfield.
But Romankow, whose office began overseeing the police force in June due to a deficit of senior officers, believes the township should have hired
laid-off officers from other departments who are already certified. But instead of hiring laterals, Romankow said, the township will now be forced to
spend roughly $70,000 in salary, benefits and training costs on the three new officers while they train for six months.
"It's a disregard of public funds at a time when budgets are tight," Romankow told the ledger newspaper. Mayor Ziad Andrew Shehady said the deci-
sion to hire the officers was based on their credentials and the recommendations of Richard Rosell, the township's public safety director, and Capt.
John Cook, the officer in charge of the police division.
The recommendations were based on the applicants military background. Rosell said last week the three non-certified officers were selected from a
pool of more than 100 applicants and impressed officials with their decisiveness, command presence and military background.
"We don't look at these people as a quick fix, but as the future of the Springfield police division," the director told reporters. Rosell downplayed any
perceived favoritism in selecting his former subordinates. "That's ridiculous," Rosell said. "If I was going to use my influence to help somebody, I
would probably help a friend."
Romankow said he wants the township to name Cook as chief, saying he's ready to assume control. But Rosell, who said he wouldn't recommend a
candidate before next summer, said Romankow's endorsement wouldn't influence his selection.
Mayor Shehady said the three non-certified officers would be sworn in after the new year in an effort to spread out the hiring costs between two fiscal
years. The new officers will start at a salary of roughly $37,000, Shehady added.
Seattle Police Officer Resigns Over Shooting
Seattle police Officer Ian Birk, who fatally shot Native American wood- Review Board
carver John T. Williams last summer, resigned on Wednesday after a fire- decision an-
arms review panel ruled the shooting unjustified and the King County prose- nounced on
cutor announced that Birk would face no criminal charge. Wednesday al-
The resignation -- first reported by KIRO 7 Eyewitness News -- took place lows the Police
at 4 p.m., said Police Chief John Diaz on the Seattle Police Department blot- Department to
ter. begin internal
Birk's resignation came hours after the Police Department's Firearms Re- could lead to
view Board called the shooting "unjustified and outside of policy, tactics and Birk's firing or Police stand down protesters who marched to within a block
of a precinct station during a night-time protest march
training." other discipline. against Seattle Officer Ian Birk
Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer, who was on the board, wrote that "First and reached the
foremost, as a result of these findings and recommendations, Officer Birk same preliminary decision in October.
must remain stripped of all Seattle Police powers and authority."
Earlier in the day, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said he won't file Birk shot Williams on Aug. 30. Williams was holding a knife at the
charges against Birk in Williams' death. time, but questions have lingered over whether Williams posed a threat
Satterberg told reporters gathered for a news conference that state law pro- to Birk, or if his knife was even open when the shooting took place.
tects police officers from a homicide charge unless there's evidence of mal- At the court inquest into the shooting, several witnesses said Williams
ice or bad faith. didn't pose an imminent threat when Birk shot and killed him. A ma-
jority of the inquest jurors agreed Williams was at least partially turned
"What the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the away from the officer when he was ordered to put his wood carving
officer was not telling the truth, that he did not really feel like he was in dan- knife down.
ger and that when he ... exited his car to go encounter this individual, he had
every intent to kill him no matter what," Satterberg said. Susanne Chambers, who calls herself Williams' adopted sister, told
Specifically, the law, RCW 9A.16.040, states that, "A public officer or KIRO 7 Eyewitness News on the phone that she was disappointed by
peace officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force with- reports that Birk won't be charged and wants the Police Department to
out malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable." at least apologize for what happened.
Satterberg said the shooting is still troubling, and Birk could face a civil
lawsuit. Meanwhile, community activists called for a mass protest in the streets
near Seattle City Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
"Anyone who's watched the dashcam video I think is troubled by the short They said they believe the decision to not charge Birk will bring out
span of time between the time the officer got out of his car, tried to grab the hundreds of protesters.
attention of Mr. Williams and the time that he fired his weapon."
A lawyer for the Williams family said at a news conference Wednesday that I hope that I see every single person who's been following this, who's
a civil suit was a possibility. been outraged -- everybody who's seen that video who was disgusted --
Watching the dashcam recording that shows Birk moments before the shoot- to be visible,” said Stop Police Brutality activist Emma Kaplan.
ing, attorney Tim Ford said if a citizen had acted as Birk did, they would NAACP Seattle President James Bible, who has been vocal with his
face a trial. opinions about this controversy, said the decision will have a negative
ripple effect in Seattle police officers' relations with minorities.
"Are you telling me ... a reasonable juror could not find malice in that be- A rally at Westlake Park in Seattle was scheduled for Wednesday from
havior? Are you telling me if a citizen did what is on this videotape they 6-9 p.m. A Facebook page for the rally said more than 120 people are
wouldn’ t face a trial?" said Ford. "It was not necessary, not justified, and it attending
was egregiously wrong." ―it was not necessary, not justified, and it was
Mayor Mike McGinn, appearing at a news conference Wednesday after-
noon, said, "I am deeply sorry for this tragedy. And I am deeply sorry for the
loss of faith between our community and our police force."
McGinn said Birk has a final opportunity to speak with the police chief
about his future with the department, but that the Firearms Review Board
said that "Birk should never again carry gun, wear a uniform or return to
duty as a Seattle police officer."
Tenn. Ticket Mistake May Relieve Thousands
MEMPHIS, Tenn. --
A mistake on some Tennessee traffic tickets could let thousands of violators off the hook.
A new state law requires that all citations issued in lieu of arrest must display 13 specific
items. Tickets that were given out in Memphis and Shelby County since the beginning of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America
the year were outdated and were missing two of those items. National Office
P.O. Box 56553
A spokesperson for the Memphis Police Department said the department is aware of the Washington DC 20040
situation and is working on a solution. 202-744-2897
New York Office
The Attack on Civil Service is an Attack on the Middle Class
By Damon K. Jones assumptions that these dedicated civil service workers are the cause of
our financial woes and that the way to strike a balance is off the backs
of hard working civil service workers. Most can't even afford to pur-
chase a home in the city or county where they serve; we say to you: Do
not expect to remain in office or be elected if you do not truly embrace
accountability and balance at all levels!
Democracy is a political government carried out either
directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of The financial crisis in the cities and states has affected everyone. For
elected representatives of the people (representative de- the last 12 years, government has grown. This outrageous growth has
mocracy). The term comes from the Greek word: dēmok- been mostly at the top and frivolous spending can be attributed to those
ratía "rule of the people", which was coined from dêmos "people" and krátos in appointed positions and elected officials has become. Common
"power". Most democracies today are representative. The concept of repre- sense dictates that cost cutting starts at the top. Minimally, it may seem
sentative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed symbolic, but it sets the tone for fiscal responsibility.
during the European Middle Ages and the Enlightenment and in the Ameri-
can and French Revolutions. Democracy has come to imply universal suf- Many city governments have become no better than Corporate Amer-
frage, competition for office, freedom of speech and the press, and the rule ica, no different than any Fortune 500 company with profits as its bot-
of law. tom line; cut from the bottom while management is over staffed, paper
clip job titles, and some with no working knowledge of how their de-
Hypocrisy is the act of persistently professing beliefs, opinions, virtues, feel- partments are run and by whom. All the while keeping their eyes on
ings, qualities, or standards that are inconsistent with one's actions. Hypoc- the rank and file, while over staffed management goes untouched and
risy is thus a kind of lie. Hypocrisy is also of Greek origin: hypocrites ―play un affected.
acting‖, i.e. the assumption of a counterfeit persona, that gives the modern
word hypocrisy its negative connotation. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to curtail the collective
bargaining rights of public employees has ignited a sense of solidar-
The recent acts of some our elected officials involved in drug cases, domes- ity between private-sector union workers and public union mem-
tic abuse, massive government overspending, along with lack luster account- bers, both determined to fight the Republican-led wave sweeping
ability of those elected through the process of democracy is indicative of the country targeting their wages, benefits and power
hypocrisy. Those pointing their fingers in an economic downturn and scape-
goating hard working civil service workers through media connects have ―If public-sector unions lose strength, the labor movement as a whole
now shown us the face of Hypocrisy of our Democratic system. will lose power," said Marion Crain, a labor law expert at Washington
University in St. Louis.
Labor unions across the nation have been thrown under the bus by our
elected officials. The so-called ―card check‖ bill that would make it easier to In addition to the rallies, public- and private-sector unions, tradition-
unionize employees has gone nowhere. A pro-union Transportation Security ally Democratic allies, are establishing a $30-million fund to fight Re-
Administration nominee quit before he even got a confirmation vote. Addi- publican efforts to weaken workers' rights.
tionally, even though unions got a sweetheart deal to keep their health plans
tax-free under the Senate health care bill, that bill has collapsed, leaving un- "This is all about power," said Ray Holman, United Auto Workers Lo-
ions exposed again. cal 6000 legislative liaison in Michigan who was preparing to drive
seven hours from Lansing to Madison to show his support for Wiscon-
In New York, Governor Paterson showed hypocrisy by furloughing 100,000 sin state workers. "If they can break Wisconsin, they could start a dom-
state employees and then giving raises to five of his staff members. After ino effect."
massive outcry from labor groups, Governor Paterson reluctantly rescinded
the raises. James P. Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, whose 1.4 million mem-
bers include 250,000 public employees, flew to Madison to join in the
We have watched how the media, through past articles and illustrations, protests and plans to be in Columbus next week.
have slowly painted a grim picture to the hard working tax payers that the
dedicated, hard working county civil service workers are to blame for some "I've seen people from every corner of the state that I've never seen
states excessively high tax rate . before" show up at the protests, said Tim Burga, president of the Ohio
AFL-CIO and a former steelworker. "I can't even recognize somebody
These are the same hard working civil service workers that wake up early in in a crowd when I'm out there now. Usually, that's never the case."
the morning and provide crucial services for the citizens of our county; po-
lice, probation, correction, sheriffs, DPW workers, firemen and countless As a national organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals
others. All these professionals are highly trained and perform their duties in we support the preservation of collective bargaining, heath care, and
a professional manner; some without raises for 3 years and yet they perform workplace safety for all labor and civil service workers.
to the highest of standards, while believing that their hard work will pay off
with gratitude from county government.
What thanks do they get? Westchester County legislators passing a health-
care bill that mandates that non-union employees contribute up to 20% of
their salaries is unacceptable. Currently, this only affects approximately 400
Union leaders made a grave mistake by remaining silent on this legislation.
This will be the blue print for future negotiations for the rest of the county
unionized work force. With a majority of unions working under expired la-
bor contracts, any monetary raise will be erased by healthcare contributions.
Many city management and elected officials continued to fatten their pock-
ets while labor unions were forced to wait some two to four years for labor
contracts. For the county employees going this long without a raise, this is
money we will never get back and for the younger employees, they will
never catch up to the rising cost of living. With the constant barrage of the
Judge Rules NYPD Must Turn Over Shooting Reports
NEW YORK --
A New York City judge has ruled that the NYPD must hand over more than a decade's worth of reports on shootings.
State Supreme Justice Emily Goodman's decision means reports will be made public on more than 800 instances since 1997 where officers fired at
civilians. They will include details on famous cases like the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo and lesser-known cases in which no one was hit.
The release follows a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The names of officers will be made public, but other details like addresses will be left off. Identifying information on witnesses will vary.
The judge threw out the NYPD's argument that the reports would give up confidential investigative techniques and create a chilling effect on
Dallas Police to Review Dash Cam Videos
DALLAS, Texas -- David Hammock still can't believe what played out The formation of the panel follows several incidents captured on camera.
on police dash cam video, when he was arrested recently for DWI, even In one case, a rookie officer berates an NFL player who is headed to the
though he was sober. bedside of his dying relative. Some say the review panel is necessary.
"I think it will be important for law enforcement to want to have a review
"I was telling the officer that I wasn't under the influence of alcohol and system like this," former prosecutor, John Teakell, said.
at the time it wasn't enough," said the Dallas father.
Teakell says the review panel will help commanders monitor how officers
Hammock believes the police video that shows him being given a field are doing their jobs, but he says the system has to work.
sobriety test should have been enough for supervisors to realize that "I think these policies need to be established to make sure the cameras
there had been violations of policy. Police officials say procedures were capture both audio and video."
followed, but Hammock says he was unfairly tested on a sloped road.
"What other evidence did they need." Recently, Dallas officers were disciplined and could face criminal
charges after a beating was caught on tape. Officials say the review will
To help sort out fact from fiction, Dallas police videos will now be rou- find bad officers, but also help to clear officers who are wrongly accused
tinely scrutinized by a new unit. The DVR Review Team will begin of misconduct.
work this week, looking at videos for mistakes and misconduct
No one from the Dallas police department was available for comment.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America
P.O. Box 56553
Washington DC 20040
New York Office
It is our duty as peace officers and members of Blacks in Law enforcement of America to continue the fight for freedom, justice, and equality for all
citizens. We will be advocates of law enforcement professionals by establishing continuous training and support. As black law enforcement profes-
sionals, we pledge our time, honor, and talent for the uplifting of our communities. We are truly the leaders of the community, in and out of our blue
As civil service officers, it is our duty to uphold the laws of our local, state, and federal governments. However, as natural leaders it is our moral,
ethical, and human duty to reach and teach our families and youth by providing increased involvement and support, thereby enriching lives and en-
hancing our communities.