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Author Topic: Off topic - cop disccussion  (Read 1726 times)

kola

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« on: May 05, 2008, 04:18 PM NHFT »

My name is Mike I go by the nick MGMAN in the cop watch website, this is my first post on this board. I do not dislike Cops; I also do not refer to Cops as pigs or swine. I also do not group all Cops into 1 group and say that ALL are bad. HOWEVER I see Cops who abuse their First Responder status in their daily patrols and see the negative attitude many Cops have for the general public. I have seen peoples faces busted from Cop beatings and I have seen examples of stuff like what happened in NYC when those 3 Cops KILLED that man and got by with it because of a bad Judge. I get tired of reading and hearing Cops try to sweep this crap under the rug by saying it’s just a small percentage of Cops that do it. If you wear a badge and you look the other way when another Cop violates someone’s rights or harms them, and you DO NOT do anything about it as most do, you have violated your oath and have in my opinion committed a crime. Till Cops do something about that thin blue line the public are at risk, its that simple. So as I have said many many times you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem, there is NO middle ground.

I posted this in the Copwatch website a while back, I think its fitting here too.


I am not real good at explaining my meaning sometimes and I fear this post will be misunderstood, but I think if I can get my point across maybe my feelings about Cops can be better understood.

Ethics
1plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2 a: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics><Christian ethics> bplural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group <professional ethics> c: a guiding philosophy d: a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>
3plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) <debated the ethics of human cloning>

Morality

1 a: a moral discourse, statement, or lesson b: a literary or other imaginative work teaching a moral lesson
2 a: a doctrine or system of moral conduct bplural : particular moral principles or rules of conduct
3: conformity to ideals of right human conduct
4: moral conduct : virtue



I posted these definitions because they have meaning in this debate. I saw an episode of NCIS a while back and a question was asked what is the difference between a ethical person and a moral person. The Answer was something like this. an Ethical man knows its wrong to cheat on his wife but does it anyway, and a moral man will NOT cheat on his wife.

I thought about this difference as it applies to most Cops. I have pondered this a lot over the last few days. I feel that a majority of Cops are ethical people, but remember what I said before this just means they know they are wrong when they violate someones rights or stand by when another officer does it. Because the general public can't tell the difference between ethical and moral they give Cops a pass, but fail to understand Cops on average ARE NOT MORAL.


Does a Cop who is beating someone bloody think they are right in doing so, or wrong? I think most Cops know this behaver is wrong, but because of the culture of Law Enforcement they just don't care, and because a Cop knows the difference said cop will begin to cover up this behaver, and start hiding behind statements like "well something has to be done to remove scum like this from our society". Cops hide in the ethics of Law Enforcement knowing full well the public will support them.

A moral Cop will not do this, and will not stand by and let it happen.

So I have a question for all you Cops that visit this forum.
Are you an ethical Cop or a Moral Cop?


Nice Mike.
I look forward to responses from both cops.

Kola
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MGMAN

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 04:23 PM NHFT »

I want to make something clear! I am not anti cop I have said many times that there is no point in having laws if you don't allow for the enforcement of said laws. What I object to is watching a cop or reading their words that, NO I am a professional and I don't do that kind of stuff. Problem is if you see a brother or sister officer do it, ( or for that matter anything that violates their oaths) most Cops will circle the wagons and start covering up. The general public is getting tired of this activity and its costing law Enforcement the critical support they need to do their jobs. Like I said before there is NO middle ground either you are an honest cop that enforces ALL laws or you are NOT!
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highline

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2008, 04:28 PM NHFT »

I believe that many of you would be very enlightened to see the level of professionalism that New Hampshire law enforcement generally possesses. Our state has one of the most strict regulatory boards when it comes to our ability to serve in the capacity as a law enforcement officer. The agency is called Police Standards and Training Council and in addition to individual officers answering to their respective employing governmental units we also answer to the Council. I heard not long ago that New Hampshire was a leading state for revoking police certifications for unprofessional conduct. I credit the Council for making New Hampshire law enforcement some of the most professional in the country.

And, as the Lieutenant stated, the background investigation process is quite intense.

Short story long: I believe you all would be very impressed with the professionalism found in our states policing. I encourage you all to see it first hand.




I know of at least 10 states and many city Dept's that make that same claim, and these states and cities have case after case of DOCUMENTED abuse of the public at the hands of police. If your state does not have a case it just means either its kept quiet or its just has not happened yet.

Statistically, adjusted for population disparity, I am willing to bet New Hampshire has far fewer cases of serious police misconduct than the majority of the country.

It seems as if a large number of members on this forum believe that misconduct, even on a serious level, is tolerated. I personally have been disciplined, rightfully so, for making an inappropriate and unprofessional comment to someone in the heat of a disagreement. I did not even use profanity. I am sure the Lieutenant would expect the same of his officers.

If I was held accountable (and I completely agree the comment I made while upset was inappropriate) for simply saying something when I was upset, can you imagine what would happen if serious misconduct, the type you all are thinking about here, was to occur?
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MGMAN

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 04:35 PM NHFT »

I believe that many of you would be very enlightened to see the level of professionalism that New Hampshire law enforcement generally possesses. Our state has one of the most strict regulatory boards when it comes to our ability to serve in the capacity as a law enforcement officer. The agency is called Police Standards and Training Council and in addition to individual officers answering to their respective employing governmental units we also answer to the Council. I heard not long ago that New Hampshire was a leading state for revoking police certifications for unprofessional conduct. I credit the Council for making New Hampshire law enforcement some of the most professional in the country.

And, as the Lieutenant stated, the background investigation process is quite intense.

Short story long: I believe you all would be very impressed with the professionalism found in our states policing. I encourage you all to see it first hand.




I know of at least 10 states and many city Dept's that make that same claim, and these states and cities have case after case of DOCUMENTED abuse of the public at the hands of police. If your state does not have a case it just means either its kept quiet or its just has not happened yet.

Statistically, adjusted for population disparity, I am willing to bet New Hampshire has far fewer cases of serious police misconduct than the majority of the country.

It seems as if a large number of members on this forum believe that misconduct, even on a serious level, is tolerated. I personally have been disciplined, rightfully so, for making an inappropriate and unprofessional comment to someone in the heat of a disagreement. I did not even use profanity. I am sure the Lieutenant would expect the same of his officers.

If I was held accountable (and I completely agree the comment I made while upset was inappropriate) for simply saying something when I was upset, can you imagine what would happen if serious misconduct, the type you all are thinking about here, was to occur?


I agree that there is a population difference, I am not aware of the race ratio of NH either. I am fully aware that this can and does make a difference. Take my home in northeast Georgia. I live in the middle of the bible belt and most folks around here are Conservative. Because of this we don't have many problems like the big cities have. But as I said my problem is the thin blue line and the way Cops cover up abuse. If your Dept is like the one here I commend you. But please just don't try to defend all cops thats all I ask. I know Cops are people too and I know that they can and do make mistakes, its just that when a Cop under color of the law makes a mistake in a lot of cases people are harmed.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 04:37 PM NHFT by MGMAN »
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highline

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 06:27 PM NHFT »

I believe that many of you would be very enlightened to see the level of professionalism that New Hampshire law enforcement generally possesses. Our state has one of the most strict regulatory boards when it comes to our ability to serve in the capacity as a law enforcement officer. The agency is called Police Standards and Training Council and in addition to individual officers answering to their respective employing governmental units we also answer to the Council. I heard not long ago that New Hampshire was a leading state for revoking police certifications for unprofessional conduct. I credit the Council for making New Hampshire law enforcement some of the most professional in the country.

And, as the Lieutenant stated, the background investigation process is quite intense.

Short story long: I believe you all would be very impressed with the professionalism found in our states policing. I encourage you all to see it first hand.




I know of at least 10 states and many city Dept's that make that same claim, and these states and cities have case after case of DOCUMENTED abuse of the public at the hands of police. If your state does not have a case it just means either its kept quiet or its just has not happened yet.

Statistically, adjusted for population disparity, I am willing to bet New Hampshire has far fewer cases of serious police misconduct than the majority of the country.

It seems as if a large number of members on this forum believe that misconduct, even on a serious level, is tolerated. I personally have been disciplined, rightfully so, for making an inappropriate and unprofessional comment to someone in the heat of a disagreement. I did not even use profanity. I am sure the Lieutenant would expect the same of his officers.

If I was held accountable (and I completely agree the comment I made while upset was inappropriate) for simply saying something when I was upset, can you imagine what would happen if serious misconduct, the type you all are thinking about here, was to occur?


I agree that there is a population difference, I am not aware of the race ratio of NH either. I am fully aware that this can and does make a difference. Take my home in northeast Georgia. I live in the middle of the bible belt and most folks around here are Conservative. Because of this we don't have many problems like the big cities have. But as I said my problem is the thin blue line and the way Cops cover up abuse. If your Dept is like the one here I commend you. But please just don't try to defend all cops thats all I ask. I know Cops are people too and I know that they can and do make mistakes, its just that when a Cop under color of the law makes a mistake in a lot of cases people are harmed.

MGMAN, you make many good points.  The commendation should not go to me, but to the administrators I work for, who demand that their subordinates remain professional.  Of course at the time that I received a reprimand it made me upset, which I believe is human nature, in retrospect I believe it makes me a better officer.

I hope those of you reading this thread understand that I am willing publicly to admit mistakes that I have made, and discipline that I have received for it, as a way of articulating how I view the status of policing here in New Hampshire.  I know for a fact that I am held accountable.  Most of you would be surprised exactly how much we have to answer for all we do.  A simple act of writing a traffic ticket could result in my sitting in my Sergeant or Lieuteant's office for a good thirty minutes explaining the situation and my reasoning for taking the action I took.  There have been occasions where my supervisors have felt I was incorrect for the enforcement action I took and I have been counseled for it.  And this happens frequently and is initiated by my superiors, not by a citizen complaint. 

I don't doubt for a second that on the shift Lieutenant Maxfield commands he keeps track of every enforcement action his officers take.  After all, should an officer act in an untoward manner and he not recognize it.... it will be his rear that gets chewed for it.  This is called vicarious liability.

The example the Lieutenant referenced of someone being taken behind the K-Mart and physically abused is simply something that strikes me as being completely out of the realm of possibility here in New Hampshire.  Of course anything is possible.  I am speaking from my experience of working as a law enforcement officer here in New Hampshire for the past 9+ years.

I know for a fact, from speaking with officers who work for Keene PD (I went to the police academy with one), that their administration is similar to the one I answer to.  Keene is a large PD which serves a very progressive part of our state.  Accordingly the administration answers to a progressive populace.  No police chief who runs the Keene Police Department could survive if he or she allowed his or her officers to act unprofessionally. 

A police chief is the easiest officer to terminate in a law enforcement agency.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 06:30 PM NHFT by highline »
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MGMAN

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 07:13 PM NHFT »

The following story is a great example of what I have been discussing in regard to this.  Its from Jan and the link is now broken.  As you read this story think a min what would have happened here if a non Cop had did this. I would think that after being tackled in the hallway we would have been taken directly to the station and booked. In this case the Judge gave the Cop what amounted to another chance. Also I wonder if the man who was cleared that day actually did anything wrong? he was pressure washing and when he saw there was no water he turned around. Just read the story and tell me what you think. BTW this happened in NH.






Highway Patrol Officer Jeffrey Bird was ordered held in criminal contempt of court for five minutes recently after the man accused of spraying Bird's young son with a high-pressure water hose was cleared in Plymouth District Court.

Richard Hallberg, 78, was found not guilty on Jan. 11 of simple assault against a minor and two counts of reckless conduct stemming from the April 1, 2007, incident that briefly blinded the 4-year-old boy, identified only as A.B. in court records, at Hallberg's business, Earth Inc. in Bridgewater.

Bird, a safety inspector and patrol officer, stormed out of the courtroom after the not guilty verdict, damaged a door and was held in criminal contempt for five minutes, according to court records and court security.

Bernard Hughes, regional court security supervisor, confirmed Bird was arrested and held in the holding area on Jan. 11 from 11:39 to 11:44 a.m.

Bird, with his son in his truck, was doing Hallberg a favor last April 1, stopping by his construction business to certify one of Hallberg's vehicles for overweight operation, according to an order written by Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas A. Rappa Jr.

Bird's truck accidentally ran over the hose to a pressure washer Hallberg was using to clean a piece of equipment in his driveway that day.

"It is undisputed that (Hallberg) became agitated when he realized that someone had run over the hose to the pressure washer and subsequently sprayed Officer Bird's truck with a short burst from the pressure washer. In doing so, Officer Bird's four-year-old son was hit in the face with a portion of the spray. He initially complained that he could not see, (but he) fortunately suffered no significant or permanent injuries," Rappa wrote.

Reached by phone yesterday, Hallberg said he didn't mean to spray Bird's truck and son.

"Oh no, goodness no. He startled me when he drove up behind me. I spun around and sprayed the truck with water," Hallberg said.

Bird declined to comment yesterday.

Rappa wrote: "While the court did not condone (Hallberg's) actions and admonished him for spraying the truck under any circumstances, the court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state proved mens rea (criminal state of mind) for the alleged offenses and had no recourse but to enter a finding of not guilty to the charge," Rappa wrote.

The factual dispute cited by Rappa involved the distance Hallberg was from Bird's truck, whether he knew the passenger window was down and whether he knew Bird's son was in the truck.

"Upon pronouncement of the findings Jeffrey Bird jumped up and stormed out of the courtroom, smashing through the entrance door, causing severe and significant damage to the door." The judge witnessed the event and immediately ordered Bird detained.

After processing the case, Bird was ordered back in the courtroom.

"Once he had a chance to cool off, he apologized for his reaction to the findings," Rappa wrote.

The court ordered the criminal contempt charge be changed to civil contempt as a result of Bird's apology. By changing the charge to civil contempt, Bird can "purge himself of that contempt" by making restitution to the state to repair the door or replace it.

Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg.

Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of safety, said Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation as well.

"He (Bird) was unhappy with the disposition of a case, left the courtroom and slammed the door" and damaged it, Sweeney said.

Sweeney declined comment on possible discipline except to say it would depend on Bird's prior personnel records as well.
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highline

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2008, 07:22 PM NHFT »

The following story is a great example of what I have been discussing in regard to this.  Its from Jan and the link is now broken.  As you read this story think a min what would have happened here if a non Cop had did this. I would think that after being tackled in the hallway we would have been taken directly to the station and booked. In this case the Judge gave the Cop what amounted to another chance. Also I wonder if the man who was cleared that day actually did anything wrong? he was pressure washing and when he saw there was no water he turned around. Just read the story and tell me what you think. BTW this happened in NH.






Highway Patrol Officer Jeffrey Bird was ordered held in criminal contempt of court for five minutes recently after the man accused of spraying Bird's young son with a high-pressure water hose was cleared in Plymouth District Court.

Richard Hallberg, 78, was found not guilty on Jan. 11 of simple assault against a minor and two counts of reckless conduct stemming from the April 1, 2007, incident that briefly blinded the 4-year-old boy, identified only as A.B. in court records, at Hallberg's business, Earth Inc. in Bridgewater.

Bird, a safety inspector and patrol officer, stormed out of the courtroom after the not guilty verdict, damaged a door and was held in criminal contempt for five minutes, according to court records and court security.

Bernard Hughes, regional court security supervisor, confirmed Bird was arrested and held in the holding area on Jan. 11 from 11:39 to 11:44 a.m.

Bird, with his son in his truck, was doing Hallberg a favor last April 1, stopping by his construction business to certify one of Hallberg's vehicles for overweight operation, according to an order written by Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas A. Rappa Jr.

Bird's truck accidentally ran over the hose to a pressure washer Hallberg was using to clean a piece of equipment in his driveway that day.

"It is undisputed that (Hallberg) became agitated when he realized that someone had run over the hose to the pressure washer and subsequently sprayed Officer Bird's truck with a short burst from the pressure washer. In doing so, Officer Bird's four-year-old son was hit in the face with a portion of the spray. He initially complained that he could not see, (but he) fortunately suffered no significant or permanent injuries," Rappa wrote.

Reached by phone yesterday, Hallberg said he didn't mean to spray Bird's truck and son.

"Oh no, goodness no. He startled me when he drove up behind me. I spun around and sprayed the truck with water," Hallberg said.

Bird declined to comment yesterday.

Rappa wrote: "While the court did not condone (Hallberg's) actions and admonished him for spraying the truck under any circumstances, the court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state proved mens rea (criminal state of mind) for the alleged offenses and had no recourse but to enter a finding of not guilty to the charge," Rappa wrote.

The factual dispute cited by Rappa involved the distance Hallberg was from Bird's truck, whether he knew the passenger window was down and whether he knew Bird's son was in the truck.

"Upon pronouncement of the findings Jeffrey Bird jumped up and stormed out of the courtroom, smashing through the entrance door, causing severe and significant damage to the door." The judge witnessed the event and immediately ordered Bird detained.

After processing the case, Bird was ordered back in the courtroom.

"Once he had a chance to cool off, he apologized for his reaction to the findings," Rappa wrote.

The court ordered the criminal contempt charge be changed to civil contempt as a result of Bird's apology. By changing the charge to civil contempt, Bird can "purge himself of that contempt" by making restitution to the state to repair the door or replace it.

Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg.

Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of safety, said Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation as well.

"He (Bird) was unhappy with the disposition of a case, left the courtroom and slammed the door" and damaged it, Sweeney said.

Sweeney declined comment on possible discipline except to say it would depend on Bird's prior personnel records as well.

As a side note... there are no longer any NH Highway Patrol Officers, they are all now part of the Division of State Police.

I think, honestly, that this situation would have been handled the same notwithstanding the individual being a law enforcement officer.  The judge probably realized that it was simply an angry and protective parent who overreacted.... and that is probably exactly what happened.

Speaking from my own experience, our judiciary here in New Hampshire treats law enforcement officers the same as anyone else.  I am willing to bet that the judge would have reduced the penalty for what happened to civil contempt even if it was just another parent.

I am willing to wager that if this Trooper does not have an extensive disciplinary record that most likely he would receive a letter of reprimand.
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MGMAN

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 07:44 PM NHFT »

The following story is a great example of what I have been discussing in regard to this.  Its from Jan and the link is now broken.  As you read this story think a min what would have happened here if a non Cop had did this. I would think that after being tackled in the hallway we would have been taken directly to the station and booked. In this case the Judge gave the Cop what amounted to another chance. Also I wonder if the man who was cleared that day actually did anything wrong? he was pressure washing and when he saw there was no water he turned around. Just read the story and tell me what you think. BTW this happened in NH.






Highway Patrol Officer Jeffrey Bird was ordered held in criminal contempt of court for five minutes recently after the man accused of spraying Bird's young son with a high-pressure water hose was cleared in Plymouth District Court.

Richard Hallberg, 78, was found not guilty on Jan. 11 of simple assault against a minor and two counts of reckless conduct stemming from the April 1, 2007, incident that briefly blinded the 4-year-old boy, identified only as A.B. in court records, at Hallberg's business, Earth Inc. in Bridgewater.

Bird, a safety inspector and patrol officer, stormed out of the courtroom after the not guilty verdict, damaged a door and was held in criminal contempt for five minutes, according to court records and court security.

Bernard Hughes, regional court security supervisor, confirmed Bird was arrested and held in the holding area on Jan. 11 from 11:39 to 11:44 a.m.

Bird, with his son in his truck, was doing Hallberg a favor last April 1, stopping by his construction business to certify one of Hallberg's vehicles for overweight operation, according to an order written by Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas A. Rappa Jr.

Bird's truck accidentally ran over the hose to a pressure washer Hallberg was using to clean a piece of equipment in his driveway that day.

"It is undisputed that (Hallberg) became agitated when he realized that someone had run over the hose to the pressure washer and subsequently sprayed Officer Bird's truck with a short burst from the pressure washer. In doing so, Officer Bird's four-year-old son was hit in the face with a portion of the spray. He initially complained that he could not see, (but he) fortunately suffered no significant or permanent injuries," Rappa wrote.

Reached by phone yesterday, Hallberg said he didn't mean to spray Bird's truck and son.

"Oh no, goodness no. He startled me when he drove up behind me. I spun around and sprayed the truck with water," Hallberg said.

Bird declined to comment yesterday.

Rappa wrote: "While the court did not condone (Hallberg's) actions and admonished him for spraying the truck under any circumstances, the court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state proved mens rea (criminal state of mind) for the alleged offenses and had no recourse but to enter a finding of not guilty to the charge," Rappa wrote.

The factual dispute cited by Rappa involved the distance Hallberg was from Bird's truck, whether he knew the passenger window was down and whether he knew Bird's son was in the truck.

"Upon pronouncement of the findings Jeffrey Bird jumped up and stormed out of the courtroom, smashing through the entrance door, causing severe and significant damage to the door." The judge witnessed the event and immediately ordered Bird detained.

After processing the case, Bird was ordered back in the courtroom.

"Once he had a chance to cool off, he apologized for his reaction to the findings," Rappa wrote.

The court ordered the criminal contempt charge be changed to civil contempt as a result of Bird's apology. By changing the charge to civil contempt, Bird can "purge himself of that contempt" by making restitution to the state to repair the door or replace it.

Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg.

Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of safety, said Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation as well.

"He (Bird) was unhappy with the disposition of a case, left the courtroom and slammed the door" and damaged it, Sweeney said.

Sweeney declined comment on possible discipline except to say it would depend on Bird's prior personnel records as well.

As a side note... there are no longer any NH Highway Patrol Officers, they are all now part of the Division of State Police.

I think, honestly, that this situation would have been handled the same notwithstanding the individual being a law enforcement officer.  The judge probably realized that it was simply an angry and protective parent who overreacted.... and that is probably exactly what happened.

Speaking from my own experience, our judiciary here in New Hampshire treats law enforcement officers the same as anyone else.  I am willing to bet that the judge would have reduced the penalty for what happened to civil contempt even if it was just another parent.

I am willing to wager that if this Trooper does not have an extensive disciplinary record that most likely he would receive a letter of reprimand.


This bothers me greatly   "Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg."  I don't know the people in this case, I am very aware of this. But I do know for the most part that the Courts, Prosecutors and the Police are in most cases something like a fraternity. I think that most Judges are like that NYC Judge that let those 3 Cops off with Murder. So as a private citizen I see this on a different level then you seem to. Also a question what does the Troopers past actions have to do with this? I still contend that a private citizen would have came out of this with several charges and still would have had to replace that door and most likely have to do some kind of community service.
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highline

  • Guest
Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2008, 08:14 PM NHFT »

The following story is a great example of what I have been discussing in regard to this.  Its from Jan and the link is now broken.  As you read this story think a min what would have happened here if a non Cop had did this. I would think that after being tackled in the hallway we would have been taken directly to the station and booked. In this case the Judge gave the Cop what amounted to another chance. Also I wonder if the man who was cleared that day actually did anything wrong? he was pressure washing and when he saw there was no water he turned around. Just read the story and tell me what you think. BTW this happened in NH.






Highway Patrol Officer Jeffrey Bird was ordered held in criminal contempt of court for five minutes recently after the man accused of spraying Bird's young son with a high-pressure water hose was cleared in Plymouth District Court.

Richard Hallberg, 78, was found not guilty on Jan. 11 of simple assault against a minor and two counts of reckless conduct stemming from the April 1, 2007, incident that briefly blinded the 4-year-old boy, identified only as A.B. in court records, at Hallberg's business, Earth Inc. in Bridgewater.

Bird, a safety inspector and patrol officer, stormed out of the courtroom after the not guilty verdict, damaged a door and was held in criminal contempt for five minutes, according to court records and court security.

Bernard Hughes, regional court security supervisor, confirmed Bird was arrested and held in the holding area on Jan. 11 from 11:39 to 11:44 a.m.

Bird, with his son in his truck, was doing Hallberg a favor last April 1, stopping by his construction business to certify one of Hallberg's vehicles for overweight operation, according to an order written by Plymouth District Court Judge Thomas A. Rappa Jr.

Bird's truck accidentally ran over the hose to a pressure washer Hallberg was using to clean a piece of equipment in his driveway that day.

"It is undisputed that (Hallberg) became agitated when he realized that someone had run over the hose to the pressure washer and subsequently sprayed Officer Bird's truck with a short burst from the pressure washer. In doing so, Officer Bird's four-year-old son was hit in the face with a portion of the spray. He initially complained that he could not see, (but he) fortunately suffered no significant or permanent injuries," Rappa wrote.

Reached by phone yesterday, Hallberg said he didn't mean to spray Bird's truck and son.

"Oh no, goodness no. He startled me when he drove up behind me. I spun around and sprayed the truck with water," Hallberg said.

Bird declined to comment yesterday.

Rappa wrote: "While the court did not condone (Hallberg's) actions and admonished him for spraying the truck under any circumstances, the court could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the state proved mens rea (criminal state of mind) for the alleged offenses and had no recourse but to enter a finding of not guilty to the charge," Rappa wrote.

The factual dispute cited by Rappa involved the distance Hallberg was from Bird's truck, whether he knew the passenger window was down and whether he knew Bird's son was in the truck.

"Upon pronouncement of the findings Jeffrey Bird jumped up and stormed out of the courtroom, smashing through the entrance door, causing severe and significant damage to the door." The judge witnessed the event and immediately ordered Bird detained.

After processing the case, Bird was ordered back in the courtroom.

"Once he had a chance to cool off, he apologized for his reaction to the findings," Rappa wrote.

The court ordered the criminal contempt charge be changed to civil contempt as a result of Bird's apology. By changing the charge to civil contempt, Bird can "purge himself of that contempt" by making restitution to the state to repair the door or replace it.

Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg.

Earl Sweeney, assistant commissioner of safety, said Highway Patrol is conducting an internal investigation as well.

"He (Bird) was unhappy with the disposition of a case, left the courtroom and slammed the door" and damaged it, Sweeney said.

Sweeney declined comment on possible discipline except to say it would depend on Bird's prior personnel records as well.

As a side note... there are no longer any NH Highway Patrol Officers, they are all now part of the Division of State Police.

I think, honestly, that this situation would have been handled the same notwithstanding the individual being a law enforcement officer.  The judge probably realized that it was simply an angry and protective parent who overreacted.... and that is probably exactly what happened.

Speaking from my own experience, our judiciary here in New Hampshire treats law enforcement officers the same as anyone else.  I am willing to bet that the judge would have reduced the penalty for what happened to civil contempt even if it was just another parent.

I am willing to wager that if this Trooper does not have an extensive disciplinary record that most likely he would receive a letter of reprimand.


This bothers me greatly   "Former attorney general Philip McLaughlin represented Hallberg."  I don't know the people in this case, I am very aware of this. But I do know for the most part that the Courts, Prosecutors and the Police are in most cases something like a fraternity. I think that most Judges are like that NYC Judge that let those 3 Cops off with Murder. So as a private citizen I see this on a different level then you seem to. Also a question what does the Troopers past actions have to do with this? I still contend that a private citizen would have
 came out of this with several charges and still would have had to replace that door and most likely have to do some kind of community service.

Discipline, insofar as it is applied to police employees, is supposed to be progressive. Meaning that if Trooper Bird had nothing negative in his employment file this situation could largely be looked at as a father who got emotional while trying to protect his child. If the Trooper had a history of outbursts such as this it could warrant more severe punishment.

Does that answer your question?

I do not know Trooper Bird, but am willing to bet his reaction is uncharacteristic of his personality. People get very emotional when it comes to their children. For better or for worse.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 08:17 PM NHFT by highline »
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MGMAN

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2008, 08:34 PM NHFT »

Thats not my main point! I was stating that a private citizen would not have got by with that like the cop did. I still contend that a citizen would have been charged and had to at least pay a fine too.
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highline

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2008, 08:38 PM NHFT »

Thats not my main point! I was stating that a private citizen would not have got by with that like the cop did. I still contend that a citizen would have been charged and had to at least pay a fine too.

I would like to think, and hope, that would not be the case.
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MGMAN

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2008, 12:29 PM NHFT »

Thats not my main point! I was stating that a private citizen would not have got by with that like the cop did. I still contend that a citizen would have been charged and had to at least pay a fine too.

I would like to think, and hope, that would not be the case.


Thats because you are a nice person. I have friends that are Cops, we don't see eye to eye on most things related to this topic, and our discussions tend to mirror whats been said in this thread. They are my friends and we don't discuss police topics much anymore.  I don't know you and I have only your online demeanor to judge.

But I have seen this crap in practice. We had a Seneca SC police chief caught in a local walmart and when detained he said he had a heart attack, if I had tried that I am sure I would not have been believed. Would you believe it if you was called out to walmart and I was had been detained for shoplifting and said it was a medical condition?

http://www.independentmail.com/news/2008/apr/05/seneca-police-chief-medical-leave/


I am aware that this may be a true situation, but still what if a private citizen did this? This is why I said the general public is getting tired of watching Cops walk away from stuff like this.
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highline

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2008, 12:44 PM NHFT »

Thats not my main point! I was stating that a private citizen would not have got by with that like the cop did. I still contend that a citizen would have been charged and had to at least pay a fine too.

I would like to think, and hope, that would not be the case.


Thats because you are a nice person. I have friends that are Cops, we don't see eye to eye on most things related to this topic, and our discussions tend to mirror whats been said in this thread. They are my friends and we don't discuss police topics much anymore.  I don't know you and I have only your online demeanor to judge.

But I have seen this crap in practice. We had a Seneca SC police chief caught in a local walmart and when detained he said he had a heart attack, if I had tried that I am sure I would not have been believed. Would you believe it if you was called out to walmart and I was had been detained for shoplifting and said it was a medical condition?

http://www.independentmail.com/news/2008/apr/05/seneca-police-chief-medical-leave/


I am aware that this may be a true situation, but still what if a private citizen did this? This is why I said the general public is getting tired of watching Cops walk away from stuff like this.

I personally would have absolutely no hesitation for arresting another law enforcement officer in a situation like this.
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MGMAN

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Off topic - cop disccussion
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2008, 03:25 PM NHFT »

This chief was NOT arrested and the explanation by the Chief of OUR police actually made sense! The Police don't arrest for simple shoplifting, the store makes a citizens arrest and holds you till a Cop comes takes down the information and issues a summons for the shoplifter to come to court to face a Judge. My main point is the Town Officials in Seneca are buying his excuse and are not taking any action against him. If a common person was charged with this they would be guilty and this "heart attack" thing would not be believed. This man is on medical leave I agree with that, but come on you don't remember driving OVER 30 MILES and go directly to a walmart find your way to the electronics area, and then walk away with a new camera, a camera thats suppose to be under lock and key! I don't buy it and because he is a Cop he is being believed when most of us would not be. This has the very real apperance of a double standard and is the thing I have been railing against now for years.
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MGMAN

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Re: Off topic - cop discussion
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2008, 04:01 PM NHFT »

The following link is to the local paper here and the article. I am not going to cut and paste it. When I read this I am more and more convinced that this man is lying. There I said it, I charge this man for both shoplifting AND Lying about it when caught!

http://www.thetoccoarecord.com/articles/2008/04/10/news/top_stories/news9.txt
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