published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Trusting police: Culture needs investigation, too

Judging from headlines, trusting police and law enforcement authorities seems to be getting harder and harder.

Two Chattanooga officers brutally beat a man as video rolls and more than a dozen officers walk past never attempting to contain the violence.

In Catoosa County, Ga., a FBI agent suspected of drinking and driving and who likes to showcase himself surrounded by civilian women who "help him" with his work on a sex crime task force, has compromised the work of that task force.

In Trion, Ga., Hays State Prison officials for months on end turned a blind eye to malfunctioning cell locks. Last week, the public learned that in January alone, searches turned up 192 weapons -- some nearly the size of machetes, along with 137 cell phones and 56 drug items.

So is it any wonder that on Tuesday, when Howard School was placed on lockdown after a student there was found dead off campus but nearby, that police (and the media) were criticized for linking the school with the crime?

By the way, the school was locked down for the safety of the students there. Police indicate the sophomore's death may be connected to other past gang violence.

On Monday, another gang-violence episode played out in a hearing in the Hamilton County Courthouse. An eye witness suddenly decided she hadn't seen anything. Perhaps what she saw as she took the witness stand and changed her story was fear, because who can she trust?

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond has come under fire recently for telling the newspaper that people have expressed to him a heightened fear of crime because America has a black president. He's not passing judgment on the president. He's commenting on fear, and perhaps unwittingly fanning it. Given the day and age and climate, the unintended consequence of his statement simply feeds the distrust of law enforcement authorities.

Clearly, unsettling things are happening. Things police, deputies, federal agents and prison guards must deal with both within and outside law enforcement circles.

Here's the thing: The public can expect and understand that gangs and criminals thumb their noses at the law and morals of our society. But the public cannot and should not understand when the authorities act the same way.

The FBI is investigating the Catoosa County allegations against Special Agent Ken Hillman, the sex task force leader.

And Georgia state authorities continue probing conditions and happenings at Hays State Prison in Trion.

The FBI also is investigating the Chattanooga police beating to determine if the human rights of Adam Tatum -- whose legs were broken not just once but eight times -- were violated.

Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd fired the two officers who beat Tatum, but no action has been taken against those who stood by while it happened. Dodd says the beating was an isolated incident.

Hmmm. Police investigators are fond of saying there is no such thing as coincidence.

They are right.

So while everyone is investigating everyone, let's look, too, at police culture.

The thin blue line is not without stain.

12
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tcrashfx said...

Now that is the absolute epitome of a deeply ingrained ink stained pot calling a thin blue line stained kettle..... like, thinly stained.

I guess it would be illogical if I re-subscribed to the TFP (And got the extra Bi-Lo coupons next Sunday) just so I could un-subscribe from the TFP, in protest, regarding this hypocritical editorial?

I guess I can see the conundrum faced by the TFP Command Staff as expressed by the slant of this editorial against a minority segment of society.... "Do we lower ourselves to the tabloid level of the National Enquirer, at the expense of a few, and sell papers by sacrificing all our credibility, the sanctity of our institution and choose to inform our readers about important stuff like stories about UFO impregnated prison guards who once allegedly, according to police reports, dated Kim Kardashian?

"Or do we do the right thing, report the facts, that we actually gathered, and really verified ourselves, without 'fear or favor', in order to report the 'NEWS', without a biased agenda, separating 'NEWS' from 'OPINION', to inform the majority of those we serve, all at the non-life-threatening risk of an economical loss to our shareholders?"

When the 'News' is assimilated into the 'Editorials', and the 'Editorials' are assimilated into the 'News', the public is not well served.

Read more here: http://sceniccity.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=police&thread=31666

March 7, 2013 at 4:26 a.m.
tcrashfx said...

"Judging from headlines....?"

I can't believe I missed this? I need to re-assess my whole reading comprehension world view.

This entire editorial is based on 'headlines' solely created, written, and directed, by the self-same media entity that wrote, rubber-stamped and published this entire editorial (All from behind their ink stained line.)

WTVC, WRCB, WDEF, WTCI, WGOW, Nooga.com, The Chattanoogan, CatWalkChatt, The Dynamo of Moxie and even Nooganomics had no such headlines regarding 'trusting police and law enforcement authorities' as a whole. (Well, I admit, the Dynamo of Moxie may have nearly approached that line!)

These other, mostly reliable, local media entities reported documented instances (Mostly documented by the good-guy law enforcement folks themselves) of heinous abuse by a few law enforcement officers.

Even the TFP coverage of the Hayes State Prison crimes blamed administrators/bureaucrats/elected officials and not the rank and file. The TFP's Joy Lukachick did not imply, or report, that all 'authorities act the same way' as this editorial does.

Indeed, almost no local media outlet extended the current TFP Editorial Staff's blanket of heinous abuse onto all local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

Maybe we need to investigate the fact that the TFP is outside the culture of the mainstream local media and maybe that needs to be investigated?

March 7, 2013 at 5:01 a.m.
TirnaNOG said...

Judging from the above 2 response, looks like this Times side article has hit a nerve.

Is it true Emmer and Cooley are back on the job?

The only thing rare and isolated about this beating is it was all caught on video outside police control.

March 7, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.
tcrashfx said...

"Judging from the above 2 response, looks like this Times side article has hit a nerve."

Yep. Since you are 'judging' all LEOs based on emotion, little 'fact' and unsupported opinions, expressed by others, even less knowledgeable than you, rather than judging others, with all the facts (Sans emotions), I'll take your response with a grain of nerve.

"Is it true Emmer and Cooley are back on the job?"

No. They are not. They'll be indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, withing 60 days, is my prediction. Then they'll be judged by a panel that actually voted and were too stupid to get out of jury duty. You happy with that?

Congratulations, TirnaNOG! You were just qualified, by the editorial staff of the TFP, as yet another expert anonymous authority on 'The police!'

"The only thing rare and isolated about this beating is it was all caught on video outside police control."

I saw President Obama's birth, in a country, outside of the United States and outside of the Democratic Party's control. I may have recorded the whole thing on video.

Since you can't provide a video of me not video-taping the President's birth, in a country, outside of the United States.... That absolutely proves, in your imbecilic point of view, that the President is an illegal alien. I'm just asking that you prove a negative as you demanded of me.

'Logic', TirnaNOG, look it up. Wikipedia has a whole page on it.

March 7, 2013 at 6:54 a.m.
jjmez said...

WTVC, WRCB, WDEF, WTCI, WGOW, Nooga.com, The Chattanoogan, CatWalkChatt, The Dynamo of Moxie and even Nooganomics had no such headlines regarding 'trusting police and law enforcement authorities' as a whole

Not at all surprising other local media outlets have suddenly become silent on this subject. Traditionally, southern media has always been either indifferent, complicit or co-conspirators wherever these type injustices were taking place.

Times got balls!!! Just be careful. They'll rally their friends, neighbors, and anyone else they can conjure up to come after you.

March 7, 2013 at 7:29 a.m.
jjmez said...

Mr. Austin, TCrash is presently having a meltdown and is already calling for a boycott of your newspaper because of this ediotorial, before the ink has completely dried. LOL

March 7, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
tcrashfx said...

"They'll rally their friends, neighbors, and anyone else they can conjure up to come after you."

Look here, Jack..... Won't be the first TFP FOIA demand on my 500+ page personnel file. I've always said, "Innocence is one's best defense." If they want to waste another $74.53, feel free. (They could've read the same stuff for free on here, and other readily accessed internets sources.)

"Not at all surprising other local media outlets have suddenly become silent on this subject. Traditionally, southern media has always been either indifferent, complicit or co-conspirators wherever these type injustices were taking place."

'Silence,' by the other local media, could mean one of two things...

(A)The entire other local media is complicit in covering up for all, allegedly endemic, local cop's misdeeds, or...

(B)The local LE misdeeds are so rare, that the very few instances, that local LE brought to light in the first place, are a such non-story (To the rest of the non-tabloid, professional and conscientious, media) that they are just a blip on the ticker, right before the Traffic and Weather reports.

"Mr. Austin, TCrash is presently having a meltdown and is already calling for a boycott of your newspaper because of this ediotorial, before the ink has completely dried."

My last official meltdown occurred several months ago when I met my new, and future, ex-wife.

Does ink really 'dry' on the internets?'

March 8, 2013 at 6 a.m.
tcrashfx said...

More here: http://sceniccity.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=police&action=display&thread=31666

Big Cat Diary is fixing to come on the TV, so I'll adjourn to the lounge......

March 8, 2013 at 6:06 a.m.
tcrashfx said...

One more thing..... At least the Knox News, the Tennessean and the Memphis Commercial Appeal media folks actually participate in their discussion forum. And, they allow editorial comments on all news articles.

A refreshing concept the TFP feels is too burdensome and above them, as they look down from their ivory tower, so they've issued a blanket censor on any view. The real reporters, editors and staff, at the aforementioned media outlets, eloquently either defend their position, or change their minds, and subsequently converse with their detractors, and their supporters.

Actual DIALOGUE seems to be lost at the TFP. Makes me wonder how confident they are in their reporting, their stated opinions and their position on important things.

Alison?

March 8, 2013 at 6:21 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

After watching the video, the best demonstration of the local mentality that the police can do no evil was the no bill returned by the grand jury.

Just hope you don't accidentally find yourself running across officers like that. What was particularly offensive was that none of the other officers coming and going seemed to care what these guys were doing to the fellow, not even a cautionary word was heard.

March 8, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
Lr103 said...

"My last official meltdown occurred several months ago when I met my new, and future, ex-wife".

Please! Whatever you do, just don't choose the path of Sam Parker and Drew Petersen! YIKES!!

March 9, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.
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