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Incompetent Police

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I know there are some current and ex-law enforcement personnel around this place. Your comments would be appreciated. Personally, this exemplifies a high degree of incompetency in the city police department, here in Reading, PA:

    From the local newspaper, I will quote the disturbing section:

    <i>"One tenant told police a struggle was heard somewhere in the building, then two shots were fired and two men were seen running out.
    Police said they knew shots were fired inside the building, but they did not have enough evidence to search it.
    Police said they went to the unlocked apartment about 17 hours later when tenants told them they had not seen (the victim) Tuesday."</i>
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Sure does sound strange.
  3. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    While it does sound strange, law enforcement has been hit by so many lawsuits when police try to use their own initiative that most are afraid to do anything thats not "by the book."
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    I do think that reported sounds of a struggle and gunshots provides the police all the legal justification they need to search for the source. I will also be interested to hear what our police members think.
  5. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    In other words, the cops are practicing CYA policy - Cover Your Ass.

    And you know what? With the way things are lately, with the lawsuits and whatnot, I don't blame them. I probably would have done the same thing - there are no legal grounds for them to enter a place based on what witnesses said.

    Case in point - this happened to us just this past weekend.

    We were driving down a particular busy street, close by the University, on our way to pick up some friends to go out to dinner. Up ahead, I see something glimmering, and a bunch of people. As we get closer, do you know what we saw?? A group of 3 or 4 young guys, beating the SHIT out of a kid in a WHEELCHAIR!!!!

    My husband slammed on his breaks, I unbuckled by belt and was ready to jump out of the truck, but we were on the furthest lane - I couldn't get out of the truck without getting hit my cars (it was really busy that night), so my husband starts honking like crazy, and I scramble for my purse that's laying on the floor, for my cellphone. I call 911, and talk the dispatcher into exactly where the kids are, what they're wearing, color of hair, etc etc - I knew all of this because we kept making U-turns and following them - when the kids saw me with my cell phone and talking, they went back to the kid in the wheelchair, who had managed to pick himself up and roll away towards his apartment, they knocked him down again, and started to kick him again. They also kicked his car (at least I'm assuming it was his car, they were swinging a bat at his car).

    By that point, a marked police car came and threw them all down on the floor (even the kid in the chair), and an unmarked cop rolled up as backup. The dispatcher asked me where we were standing (as I told him everything I saw), and he told me to wait, that another cop would come to us and take our report *IF* the kid in the wheelchair decided to press charges.

    The other cop shows up, and we're giving her our story, what we saw, etc, when she sees the other cops let the kids up and get in their cars and drive off. She goes to her radio, talks to someone, comes back to us, and tells us she doesn't need our statement anymore. I'm FURIOUS, and i'm like, what the hell, I want to press charges against those kids who beat the crap out of that kid in the wheelchair, and the lady tells me she understands my anger, but because the kid in the wheelchair told officers that nothing happened, they were just 'playing', and he wouldn't press charges, there's nothing more they could do but let them go.

    There out to be a new law, that if a person witnesses a crime, such as 3 kids beating the crap out of someone in a wheelchair, they ought to be allowed to press charges. I understand that many victims are afraid to press charges, but I'm not afraid - hell, I was about to jump out of the car and pull those kids off (a stupid thing, now that I think about it, but at the time I honestly wasn't thinking , I just wanted the beating to stop), but the way laws are now, unless a victim presses charges, there's nothing cops can do based on what witnesses claim. The law sucks, hardcore. But that's the law.
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    almost forgot - the female officer told me the only reason cops intervened when they got there was because the first officer on the scene saw one of the kids kicking the kid in the wheelchair. Had he not seen anything, he wouldn't have been able to stop and throw them all down on the floor like he did.
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    While I understand your outrage, I disagree with the solution. That is precisely why that law exists today, so people do not abuse it.
  8. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I understand that the potential for false accusations exists, ethics, and I see where the potential for abuse lies.

    But 'victims' raise false accusations all the time. If someone wants to mess with someone, they'll figure out a way. I see this law as another way of protecting criminals. The law does not take into consideration a victim's state of mind and fear - the law expects a victim to be super brave. What's the law going to do when a victim gets threatened? Give the victim a restraining order??? Restraining orders don't work. They only piss off attackers even more.
  9. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    I know of several people who carry video cameras with them in the car. It is not really a bad idea, in this day and age. I plan on buying one someday when I am not so cheap! ;)
  10. Sir Joseph

    Sir Joseph Registered User

    CYA covers everybody. I work for a volunteer EMS and the first thing we are taught is to CYA. The first lesson in the EMT class is CYA, not the parts of the body or pulse, etc.
    It's sad but until things change, this is the way it will be.
  11. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    a report of gunshots is no longer significant enough to investigate? ::sigh:: can't we just let cops do their job? (that was rhetorical.)
  12. Stonehawk

    Stonehawk AKA Jerry

    Well....it also depends on how big the apartment building is as well...

    And how many people called in and complained about it....

    Nowhere does it state that it was not investigated. It just states that they did not have probable cause to enter and check everyone's apartments.

    If someone calls me and says, I think I heard what sounded like gunshots in the building here and saw a couple of people running away from here.....I am going to want to speak with you AND check THE AREA....not every apartment in the building. You do not have probable cause to enter into EVERY persons apartment in a building, unless the person stated they saw the people running from THAT particular apartment.

    I know that I would check the building and try and locate the people that ran. However, I would not do an apartment by apartment check, when some of our bigger complexes have dozens of apartments in a single building....

    CYA? Nope. Just ordinary procedure is what it looks like to me....

    My .024356498723 wort anyways :)

    Stay safe all.....
  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Good post Stonehawk, what we wanted, the police perspective. Your post makes sense.
  14. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Stonehawk, this was one of those little, three-story walk-ups with a shop on the first floor. Maybe 8 apartments, max, and from the article, it sounds more like probably 4. Definitely not a multi-unit.
  15. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    What happens if the officers do make an apartment by apartment check?? What if no one answers the door?? Do they force it open??? What if, after they force the door open, they find evidence of a crime being committed that was not in any way involved with the shots fired?? If they affect an arrest, you now have a clear case of illegal search and seizure.

    What would I do?? The same thing I've done in the past... talk to the complainant, get a description of the two seen running (if they even have a description...), do a visual check of the premises to see if anything is in plain sight, write a report (to cover MY behind...) then mark back inservice and await anything further...

    BDD... :{)

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