Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:54:50 +0000
From: Phil Mocek
To: Jason Verhoff
Subject: [NINTH REQUEST] Where is OPA investigation procedure documented? (OPA complaint 13-0235)
On Wed, Jul 10, 2013, at 9:09, Jason Vernhoff wrote:
> The web address I sent you yesterday provides quite a bit of information
> about the OPA complaint review process.
[That page] contains only the following eight questions, along with answers:
* What type of complaint can I file?
* IS IT SAFE TO MAKE A COMPLAINT?
* Will my complaint be investigated?
* Who will investigate my complaint?
* What happens if my complaint is assigned for further investigation?
* How long will it take for my complaint to be investigated?
* Will I be notified of the outcome of my complaint?
* What if I disagree or am unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?
Where can I read the process by which OPA complaints are investigated? I'm interested in something like a procedures manual, not just a brief FAQ.
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But if you were being bombastic and caustic, they STILL should have responded respectfully and politely because that is their job.
It isn't your job to be polite.
After all, you only pay their salary, while the rich pay very very little proportionally.
It's how Mercantalism works here in Soviet Amerikkaa.
(ooh, lightning strike on Lake Washington - that was fun!)
Besides, if something illegal was actually going down against the officers in question, your camera could have been the one that could have documented proper police procedure and provided the evidence needed to convict. The police should be welcoming cameras everywhere and at all times.
Hold them accountable, Dom.
Everything that happened - trying to shoo you away, questioning you about taking pictures, questioning you about who you were - fine. They CAN ask you questions but they cannot tell you that you can't be there or do those things.
That the SPD needs an overhaul is quite clear. I am surprised that once you IDed yourself as press that they didn't try to do better.
I'm in the middle of an SPD OPA complaint (number 13-0235) now. I have politely asked investigator Jason L. Verhoff #6387, who is apparently assigned to my case, nine times via e-mail since July 9 where I can read SPD's procedures for such investigations, but he continues to ignore me.
Ten actually-filed complaints of petty abusive behavior like this will do more to fix the department, and the community, than 100 deliberately orchestrated anti-cop riots ever could.
If the deputy thought that your presence could potentially escalate the behavior of the person they're interviewing (the only plausible reason to ask you to leave that I can think of), the appropriate way to do so is to ask you to back up while they work or to tell you not to encourage the suspect by filming him. This whole escalating and threatening is ridiculous and counterproductive. ...the only thing is that it has become completely routine.
anyway. good call, dom.
"If a black person wants to rise in this society he/she generally has to do more than whites do. In light of this fact, let's turn to this context and what do we see? A black woman clearly doing her best to be far better at bigotry than her white peers. The same sort of thing is true for Clarence Thomas."
And for Sgt. Saulet as well? He has certainly out- escalated the escalators over at SPD.
I believe it's steroids, and I believe all officers should be tested for them. I was told that the police guild has managed to protect officers from being tested for steroids, and I call bullshit on that. That's the first and easiest thing that we can do to lower use-of-force incidents. When the aggression is escalated so obviously for no reason, it could be steroids.
I wonder if threatening to harass you at work is illegal. It’s certainly outside of policy, I’d venture to guess. What a tool. Our police are beyond arrogant. More like outwardly disdainful. They don’t believe they have to deign to answer any pesky questions from civilians, not even civilians directly involved in a particular situation! They never answer my questions, politely or otherwise. That is treating us like garbage, and it’s part of the reason they’re in such trouble and been taken over by a federal court.
We either have the stoopidest cops on the planet here in Seattle or they’re appallingly undertrained. Or both.
“They are part of a stubborn, toxic culture of disrespect and intimidation, and until that culture is exposed and discarded—and until bad apples are fired or retired—the local police will be reviled by people who should appreciate and trust them.” WELL SAID. I hope you do follow up with a complaint because if it’s not a part of the official record, it didn’t happen.
I was PISSED, but knew it was fruitless to protest. So I empathize with wrongly detained people. However, it is not a good idea to become part of a situation in which the police are working.
Big fricking mess all round...not all of them are rotten, but obviously some are, if the feds are after them.
After I graduated high school and cut my hair, this type of treatment stopped.
I'm fortunate to be able to cut my hair and just be a privileged, normal looking white guy.
Now at the age of 41 and with a 7 year old daughter, I have again been growing my hair for the past few years (figured I should grow it out one last time while I still have all of it). I now live in Seattle, and recently, the Seattle cops have started acting just like the old Kirkland cops I knew.
Again, I can always cut my hair. Not everyone is so fortunate.
In the meantime, it's a very real object lesson to my young daughter. If you are in trouble, you go to the police. However, the police are not to be trusted and you should always be weary of them.
PS - The ACLU handles a crapload of cases where people have been arrested for simply taking pictures, and even having their cameras seized by police. It is legal and your right to take pictures of police activity, but it doesn't mean your life will be easy if you do. Also, in my experience, asking for a name or badge number is a very quick way into the back of a squad car.
While it is true that seeing everyone as an enemy is a problem, it has always been true that almost everyone a police officer interacts with in a normal day that is not also a police or court officer is probably doing something wrong and/or lying to them.
Back when I was the reg force attachment to a militia unit in New Westminster, BC, I noticed that almost all of the off-duty cops that formed the majority of our militia unit had very dark viewpoints about people, due to their own experiences as police officers.
So, being veterans may not help make you think everything is sunshine and happiness, but I don't think the conclusion is correct.
Mind you, that's just my personal observation.
See http://archive.org/details/20130724Seatt… for several videos and the incident report and http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/07/… for AP's report. There's another article on salon.com due later this week.
KCSO has been royal d-bags for ages now.
McGinn felt that because he appointed the SDOT leader who reviews street vacations (to put toward a Council vote) so certainly the McGinn campaign will recognize that Mike is responsible for this to.
But they will pick up the telephone to tip each other off, in warning, to cover it up. Old habits die hard.
Tonight there was a story on the news regarding the downtown business association and their complaining to the mayor about all the problems downtown and people not coming to shop and spend their money. I would like to say here "one of the reasons I don't go in to the inner city -down town Seattle- to shop, eat, go to a movie, etc. is because of the cops and their harassing, aggressive, bulling attitudes."
They seem to have a big chip on their shoulder and express hostility to everybody.
I don't know if its alcohol- drug- or a problem with anger, but it no excuse for how they behave to and towards the person on the street.
Stick to your... principles.
Let's leave 'guns' out of this.
(why does it take eight cops to accost a single person?)
which makes the "bad apples" description ludicrous.
unless eight "bad apples" just happened to converge in an amazing happenstance.
let's start a new conventional wisdom which states the truth- that there may be a few "good apples" in the occupation forces.
If you start looking at everyone as the enemy you're going to start treating them that way, and if you come from a military that would rather call in an airstrike than risk one of their own getting shot then you're going to get behavior like this. If you get cops coming in with the mindset that they're there to help you'll get a different attitude in these kinds of interactions.
You may have a point about cops becoming jaded after dealing with criminals all day, but that's no excuse to treat everyone like a criminal. That's a reason for counseling or a career change.
It was the King County Transit police. I know you hate McGinn but can't you fucking read?
I once had 3 police cars screech to a halt around me, guns drawn and asked to hit the ground because I fit the description of an armed robbery. It was cleared up quickly, but that isn't a wrongful detention. That's a legitimate job for the police.
Don't confuse valid use of force with invalid use.
I think his wee feelings were hurt.
They work for us. This kind of behavior from public servants should not be tolerated.
I can read, which is why I read below the fold and Saulet to Seattle Police Department officer John Marion.
As for officers with complaints being fired, I believe the transit police force is generally regarded a bit lowly (although it isn't the same as being fired).
On a lighter note, this is - allegedly - what happens when you try to photograph a cop in Sweden...
Thankfully, as I mentioned most of the department(s) are clean. We just need them to get a bit better and we'll be one of the luckier cities in the country.
@35 Totally agree. Dated some people who took steroids. Very easy to hide and they were definitely aggressive when on them. Plus, you just don't get that burly naturally.
Would love to see Stranger do a deeper investigative piece on steroids in the dept.
Thank you, Dominic!
It's amazing you let McGinn off when the cops misbehave. I don't get it. SPD is out of control, it's gotten worse over the last 4 years McGinn has been Mayor, but you want to re-elect him to fix it?
Don't take my word for it. Watch the video: http://jetcityorange.com/OccupyYourCamer…
Yes, I videotaped an incident at Westlake. Yes, I filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA). Yes, when subpoenaed with my video the city attorney dropped the charges in an unrelated #Occupy case.
Yes, your camera is a weapon that can be used effectively to combat police misconduct. Now, are there any questions about why the cops hate being photographed? Didya watch the video???
Shoot the Cops
Take your cameras out your pockets people!
While you were turning this story into an essay about yourself, did you ever manage to find out why they were corralling the young perp? You know a good crime reporter usually cozies up to officers so he can get the scoop.
Anyway, this city needs a Crackdown. South King needs a Crackdown. The crooks have been running the town for too long! Go SPD!