Friday, January 07, 2011

On the Erik Scott case, more up over at

Confederate Yankee, here and here. I want to post a couple of bits, for the full impact you really need to read them entire. First, from the first link,
MINDSET: Most interesting--and disturbing--is the response of the Metro police, as communicated by their Union President Chris Collins, who represents approximately 2,800 officers. According to Collins, not only will officers--even those who merely witnessed the actions of fellow officers--fail to testify at inquests, they will refuse to make statements to investigators--usually Metro homicide detectives--after a shooting or death caused by other means. Apparently Collins has gone so far as to suggest that officers will refuse to honor subpoenas.
That one piece, all by itself, says the union needs cleaning out. Or being abolished. And any officer who refuses a subpoena, or refuses to speak to investigators, should be treated just like Joe or Jane Citizen is treated.
Collins objected to the idea that officers might have to repeatedly testify about their actions. Remember that in the past, officers have typically had to testify only at an inquest, and even so, their testimony, as in the Erik Scott case, has been less than complete. “now we’re saying ‘screw it’--you only have to answer twice instead of four times: Answer in the deposition and the federal case and skip the homicide investigation and skip the inquest,” Collins said.

Collins apparently believes that all officers will have to do is to simply inform the judge and prosecutor before the inquest that they won’t answer questions--in essence telling them that they intend to take the Fifth--and they’ll be able to ignore subpoenas. Collins said that skipping inquests will be good for officers because it will allow them to avoid the embarrassment and discomfort of pleading the Fifth Amendment to every question from the witness stand.
A: Toss Collins out on his ass.
B: Inform all officers that if they act as Collins says(Because God forbid officers should face repeated questioning, as if they were just plain citizens or something) that they'll be treated- prosecuted if called for- just like any other citizen.

The second post has a lot on how
Sheriff Gillespie wants to keep control of things in inquest procedures for the benefit of the police(screw the citizens). What I want to borrow from this one is the statement from the Scott family:
SCOTT FAMILY STATEMENT: The family of Erik Scott has issued a press release to the Las Vegas media. The media has reproduced only a portion of the release in the stories linked at the beginning of this update, so as a public service, I reproduce the press release, in its entirety, here:

“The stated PPA [Las Vegas Metro Police Protective Association] policy of having law enforcement union members refuse to cooperate with investigations of officer-involved shootings and other potential abuses of police power invokes the image of a grade-school playground bully demanding that only his version of the fight be related to the principal, or the bully and his gang will refuse to cooperate at all. If that’s the way Southern Nevada police officers choose to behave, so be it. That’s perfectly fine with us and other victims’ families.

Such petulant, childish refusals to cooperate with already-questionable internal investigations may finally stimulate two backlash responses from incensed citizens and lawmakers:

• Institute a system whereby ALL officer-involved shootings that result in death must be investigated by an outside agency, ideally a U.S. Justice Department version of the National Transportation Safety Board. This federal body will have the authority to solicit testimony from any person involved in the shooting, including all officers involved.

• Pass a Nevada law similar to California Government Code 3300-3311, the “California Peace Officers Bill of Rights.” Under this statute, California police officers can elect to not cooperate with an investigation of potential police misdeeds, but, in making that choice, risk being charged with insubordination and subsequent dismissal. Officers have the right to invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, but may lose their job, if warranted.

Las Vegas-area police unions are accustomed to having complete control of homicide investigations involving officers for so long that they cannot conceive of being held accountable for their actions, under the new coroner’s inquest ordinance. But in refusing to cooperate, those unions are prompting even more outrage and wrath from their employers, the citizens who pay police salaries. When will the unions realize that those halcyon days of Southern Nevada cops doing whatever they please—and getting away with it—are over?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prosecute them for obstruction of juatice