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News that's not known, or not known enough February 12, 2007 6:27 AM

Police Chief forges documents, steals house -- gets probation
by Kimberly C. Moore, Florida Today       Feb. 8, 2007

Viera, Florida -- A judge found Melbourne Beach Police Chief David Syrkus guilty Wednesday of grand theft and principal to forgery. He was sentenced to two years probation.
"Because you are sworn to uphold the law . . . the public's confidence in us is imperative," Judge Lisa Davidson said. Davidson was responsible for finding him guilty or not guilty after he pleaded no contest.

Syrkus was charged almost a year ago with grand theft and principal to passing a forged document after it was discovered that his ex-wife's signature was falsified on real estate documents in 2000, giving Syrkus full access to $30,000 in profits on the sale of the couple's     Comment: Forged documents allowed Police Chief David Syrkus to sell a house half-owned by his ex-wife. It's still not known who forged his ex-wife's signature, because the Police Chief ain't talking. And he's still the Police Chief -- the article says his career in law enforcement is over, but he's called the Police Chief, not the former Chief.

And his punishment? Probation.

Once again it seems, a cop's badge is the real-world equivalent of a "get out of jail free" card.
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marital home. Their divorce documents state that she was entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the Palm Beach County house.

Because he is now a convicted felon, Syrkus can no longer work in law enforcement, effectively ending his 24-year police career. He had been on suspension with the Melbourne Beach Police Department.

On Wednesday, Syrkus' ex-wife, Sherry Thomas, spoke before the judge.

"I had no idea that the home had been sold," Thomas said. "I feel that in the position that he holds, which is supposed to be protecting the public, not hurting them, he deserves some kind of punishment."

Syrkus also spoke on his own behalf.

"If I had to do it all over again, I would've sought legal counsel in selling my house," he said. Davidson asked him if he thought he was entitled to all the proceeds from the home's sale and he said, "Yes. I was told I had special equity."

The forged documents were notarized by Patricia Burke, who was the town clerk of Melbourne Village. Syrkus was Melbourne Village police chief in 2000. Several Melbourne Village police officers and Syrkus' wife signed the documents as witnesses.

Although it was never determined who signed Thomas' name, Davidson asked Syrkus about the forgery, pointing out all the connections to Syrkus' job. He did not specifically answer.

"Even at this stage, Mr. Syrkus is not taking responsibility for his actions," prosecutor Dennis Craig said.

Through his attorney, Syrkus declined to comment.

"He's in one sense glad it's over and that's closure," attorney Alan Landman said. "On the other hand, he knows the impact it's going to have on his future employment."

Melbourne Beach Town Manager Jim Bursick said the search for a new police chief will start within days. Cmdr. Stephen Salvo of the sheriff's office has been leading the department since acting chief Dan Duncan resigned late last year.
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 February 12, 2007 6:30 AM

Teen driver beats lying cop in court
Jan. 20, 2007      

Seattle — A Shoreline teenager took on the King County Sheriff's Office and won, with a judge ruling Friday that she was not to blame for an accident involving a sheriff's deputy driving an unmarked police car.

In fact, the judge said the story of controversial deputy Joseph Abreu III simply didn't hold up.

"I did not find that he was a particularly credible witness," Pro Tem Shoreline District Court Judge Johanna Bender said of the deputy, who weeks before the accident had been found in an internal investigation to be cheating on his off-duty pay.

Defense attorney Michael Schwartz said the case never should have gone to trial.

"The prosecutors in any system -- here or anywhere else -- have to exercise judgment independent of the police," said Schwartz, who for 26 years was a prosecutor and assistant state attorney general. " It doesn't appear to have been done in this case."

The judge said she believed the defense witnesses, including an independent bystander who said he watched Abreu swerve his unmarked police car carelessly off a main thoroughfare, Northeast 145th Street, onto a side road where it struck Brown's Mustang while she waited to turn.

Another man who lives near the intersection testified that he looked out a window and saw Brown's car immediately after the accident, exactly where she said it was and not where Abreu claimed it was.

The Sheriff's Office and prosecutor produced no witnesses other than Abreu.

The verdict put smiles on the faces of Brown's family and friends gathered in the courtroom Friday. The family believed the stakes were much higher than the potential $153 traffic ticket.

Brown and her family said they were challenging not only Abreu's credibility, but also the credibility of Sheriff Sue Rahr and her department's internal disciplinary system. They resented having to bear the cost of the defense, which cost Krystal Brown's godfather, Wally Bornong, $4,700.

"Creating a situation that didn't happen is wrong, and they should have to pay for it," said Vicki Brown, the girl's mother. "I think there's a lot of shady stuff going on. The police are protecting their own, and the taxpayers, the good citizens, are getting screwed."

A sheriff's spokesman, Sgt. John Urquhart, declined to comment on the outcome of the case, except to say that the Sheriff's Office won't further investigate the incident unless Krystal Brown files a complaint. Vicki Brown said her daughter called the Sheriff's Office to file a complaint on Friday afternoon, a few hours after the verdict.

The case was featured in the Seattle P-I investigative series Conduct Unbecoming as an example of cases in which citizens believe they've been treated unfairly or retaliated against for complaining about officer misconduct.

"I'm really happy. I was, like, going to cry," said Brown, 19, who was a high school student at the time of the accident and who is now a community college art major.

"There was a gross violation of Krystal's civil rights, and it was intentional," said Bornong, who vowed that the family intends to seek further redress with the courts and the U.S. Justice Department.

"I think he thought he could take advantage of her, and he tried," he added.

Shoreline City Prosecutor Sarah Roberts retreated outside to smoke a cigarette immediately after the judge ruled. "I'm very disappointed," Roberts said.

She said she believed Brown committed an infraction, and disputed defense attorney Schwartz's claim that "the system just doesn't work if the prosecutor is acting as a rubber stamp for the police."

"That's ridiculous," Roberts said. "I'm not operating as a rubber stamp for the police or the sheriff."

"I feel the judge refused to look at the physical evidence in this case."

The "physical evidence" consisted mainly of grainy, almost undecipherable, photocopied pictures, taken by a sheriff's sergeant, Patrick Saulet, of a stop sign and the cars after the accident. Other photos were provided by the body shop.

Saulet testified he or the department destroyed the computer-chip record of the pictures after the accident, though he didn't know when. He said that was done because the Sheriff's Office routinely destroys photo records of fender-bender accidents.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 6:30 AM

Saulet has an extensive disciplinary record, and since the accident has been demoted from sergeant to deputy because of an unrelated investigation. He testified that he has worked with Abreu off and on for 20 years, though he said they don't socialize outside of work.

Schwartz complained that the computer record was destroyed around the time he was requesting it as part of his evidence gathering.

"This is at best sloppy and at worst questionable," the judge said of the destruction of the photo record, but she refused to dismiss the case on those grounds.

She also refused to admit testimony about Abreu's and Saulet's disciplinary records, when Schwartz tried to do so.

Neither Roberts nor the Sheriff's Office provided an estimate of the cost to taxpayers in pursuing the case, but Schwartz said "they had to have put thousands and thousands of dollars into this."

Shoreline Mayor Bob Ransom said he couldn't comment on the city's handling of the case because he hadn't followed it.

"I thought this was over a long time ago," said Ransom, who recalled a case in the late '90s in which Abreu was found to have entered the home of a City Council candidate and confronted her without a warrant.

Although the judge said she did not find Abreu credible, she added that didn't mean he lied.

The prosecutor's case relied to some degree on a claim by two deputies, Saulet and Deputy Amber Thompson, a nine-year veteran with a clean disciplinary record, that after the accident they saw debris from Abreu's car on the thoroughfare. That would suggest the accident occurred there, as Abreu claimed. Both admitted on the stand, however, that they didn't pick up or examine the debris. Thompson believed Saulet had photographed the debris, but no photos showing it were produced.

The Sheriff's Office assigned to the case two experienced accident investigators who normally handle fatal car crashes. They examined and surveyed the accident scene months after the incident and produced maps to scale. One of the investigators, Detective Jay Moloney, testified that the reported position of the debris indicated the girl was at fault. However, under cross-examination, he acknowledged that Abreu's testimony about the speed he was traveling and the time before impact when he braked wasn't consistent with the damage to the cars.

The defense hired Kay Sweeney, a forensics expert who co-founded the Washington State Crime Lab. He testified that he used photos of the car damage to reconstruct the accident, and placed the point of impact at the site where Brown's witnesses placed it.

But in the end, the failure by sheriff's deputies to collect evidence at the scene made all expert analysis irrelevant. The judge said she did not find the testimony of the witnesses, or Thompson, the investigating officer, "particularly helpful" because they were extrapolating from evidence that wasn't clear. That left everything up to the witnesses.

Schwartz said the city and the Sheriff's Office would have saved Brown's family and the taxpayers a lot of money had they simply done a proper investigation of the accident in the first place, which he believed would have led them to blame it on Abreu.

Shortly after the accident, Krystal Brown and her parents asked the Sheriff's Office to conduct an internal investigation into Abreu and the accident investigation. They sought to have the ticket quashed.

Rahr refused to open an internal investigation, saying she wouldn't do so until after the case was heard by a judge. Nevertheless, her office held a required internal hearing, a driving review, where without hearing any witnesses other than Abreu, three officers ruled that the accident was "non-preventable" -- which essentially exonerated the officer of blame for their purposes.

The ensuing accident review report concluded: "The Deputy (Abreu) was very candid in his recounting of the incident."

When sheriff's spokesman Urquhart was asked last year why the department conducted a driving review, and wouldn't also conduct an internal investigation, he said in an e-mail: "For the umpteenth time, the proper venue for Krystal Brown to argue her case is in court."

Urquhart admitted on Friday that, in an effort to challenge the P-I's coverage of the case, he used his desktop access to police databases to check the court history, going back two decades, on one of the witnesses in the Brown case. He insisted, however, that this was not an official act of "back-grounding" the witness for an investigation of any type.

Regulations prohibit the use of police computer databases for anything but official police business.

"He was not back-grounded, I can guarantee you that," Urquhart said. "I can run it (the witness' name) on my computer, I can have it (the results) in 30 seconds. That's not a criminal history. I can do it on anybody."

"Whatever the motivation, whatever the justifications, it is really kind of disturbing that they are going to these lengths," Schwartz said.
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 February 12, 2007 6:32 AM

Rape victim arrested and jailed
Jan. 30, 2007       The Tampa Tribune

Tampa — A 21-year-old woman told police Saturday that a man grabbed her off Howard Avenue and raped her behind a building during the Gasparilla festivities.

But officers investigating the case arrested her after learning she had an outstanding warrant from her teenage years for failure to pay restitution.

She spent the next two nights in jail.

Police are reviewing their policies after the arrest, which one victim's advocate said could have "a chilling effect" on the rape investigation, the woman's well-being and the desire of future victims to contact police.

The woman's family is outraged. "We're incensed. Everyone is just beside themselves," her mother, 47, said at 5:20 p.m. Monday, moments before escorting her daughter from Orient Road Jail.

The Tampa Tribune is not identifying the woman or her family because police are investigating a sex crime.

"You've got to make sure you throw somebody in jail on a four-year-old felony warrant after they've been brutally raped?" the mother said. "It was a failure to take the actual dynamics into play."

Her daughter did not speak to reporters.

Adding to the mother's ire is her claim that a jail nurse prevented her daughter from taking a second dose of emergency contraception prescribed by a nurse at a clinic as part of a rape examination. The jail nurse, said the mother and the victim's attorney, denied the medication for religious reasons.

Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter could not comment about that allegation or anything else about the woman's medical situation because of the federal health information privacy act. However, she said all medications are confiscated from inmates upon their arrival until they are verified.

The police department in 2002 issued a legal opinion under then-Police Chief Bennie Holder that advised against arresting victims of violent crime on outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

"The goal of the policy is to avoid further traumatizing the victim of a serious crime," Assistant City Attorney Kirby Rainsberger wrote at the time. Officers should use discretion to balance "the severity of the injury suffered by the victim compared to the seriousness of the crime specified in the warrant," he wrote.

The policy does not advise whether police should arrest crime victims wanted on felony charges.

"It's rare in police work that someone isn't arrested on a felony warrant, but you always want to have compassion for a victim," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said Monday. "This may be a case where we need to revise our policy."

Police supervisors did not learn the woman's circumstances until early Monday, after inquiries from the media and the woman's attorney, Virlyn "Vic" Moore III of Venice. At that point, police worked with Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich to grant her bail: $4,585 that a Sarasota County court said was unpaid in a 2003 auto theft and burglary case, McElroy said.

Moore disputed that the money was unpaid, calling it a "technical violation." The woman thought the matter had been resolved, he said.

The woman told police she went to Gasparilla on Saturday with friends but left about 1:30 p.m. She said she was walking north on Howard Avenue, back to her car parked at the University of Tampa, when a man grabbed her near Swann Avenue, dragged her behind a building and raped her.

McElroy said the rape was reported at 3:40 p.m., once the woman had returned to her car and told a friend.

Generally, in rape cases in which a victim does not suffer extensive injuries, it is standard procedure for officers to take the victim to a clinic to be examined by a nurse, McElroy said. If the victim is not at the original scene, officers will ask the victim to accompany them there to look for additional evidence, she said.

In this case, officers took the woman to a clinic on Busch Boulevard, where a nurse examined her and provided her with the 24-hour hot line for the crisis center, McElroy said. On weekdays, victim advocates from the police department provide referrals for counseling, McElroy said.

The woman did not have the opportunity to call the hot line, her mother and attorney said. As a jail inmate, she was allowed only to make collect calls. "She did not have any crisis intervention. Zero. None," her mother said.

McElroy said the woman tried to show police where the rape occurred but had trouble finding the location because it was dark. While en route, police learned through a routine check that she was wanted. Jail records show that the woman was booked into Orient Road Jail on Saturday for "failure to appear" on two felony warrants: grand theft auto and burglary. In fact, McElroy said, the "failure to appear" was recorded because of the alleged nonpayment.

Unsure of how to proceed, police drove the woman to a gas station at Howard Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard to consult with an acting sergeant, who determined the woman should be arrested, McElroy said.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 6:33 AM

The woman's mother said she received a phone call about 9 p.m. Saturday from a female officer saying her daughter "was raped today at 2, but her name came up on a bulletin and I have to take her to jail."

In her opinion, the mother said, "The rape investigation has come to a screeching halt."

McElroy disagreed, saying that officers referred their report to the detective division. A detective tried to find potential witnesses Sunday but was unsuccessful, she said. The detective did not try to speak to the woman in jail Sunday because there were no "time-sensitive leads," McElroy said.

Bonnie Bucqueroux, a victims' advocate and coordinator of the Victims and the Media Program at the Michigan State University School of Journalism, said the handling of the situation could have "a chilling effect" on this case and others.

"This is one of those cases where they made the wrong call," she said. "Spending two days in jail … certainly adds to the trauma she endured. … Why would victims who had any concerns about any dealings in their past come forward?"  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 12, 2007 6:34 AM

Cops who ignored woman's
miscarriage suspended ... with pay

Feb. 2, 2007       Associated Press

Kansas City, MO — Two police officers were suspended indefinitely with pay Thursday as an investigation continued into their arrest of a pregnant woman who had a miscarriage a day after she was thrown in jail.

The suspensions came two days after police released a videotape showing Sofia Salva telling officers during her arrest last year that she was three months pregnant, bleeding and needed to go to a hospital.

The tape shows officers ignoring her pleas. After the ninth request, the tape shows, a female officer asked: "How is that my problem?"

The officers' behavior is "inconsistent with the values and policies of this department and inconsistent with the training they received in the police academy," Chief James Corwin said at a news conference Thursday.

Salva, 32, has sued officers Melody Spencer and Kevin Schnell and the police department for wrongful death and personal injuries. Salva is seeking actual damages exceeding $25,000 and punitive damages.

She was arrested February 5 and held overnight on traffic violations and outstanding city warrants. After being released the next morning, she delivered a premature baby boy who died immediately after birth, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Corwin said he felt the incident was serious enough to suspend the officers even though an internal investigation is not complete.

"I ask for patience from the community as we investigate this incident," Corwin said. "I regret that this incident has reflected negatively on the members of this department, the vast majority of whom do their job in an exemplary fashion every day."

Corwin read from a written statement and declined further comment, citing the lawsuit.

Salva's attorney, Andrew Protzman, could not be reached for comment Thursday. On Wednesday, he said, "It's tragic, it's disappointing, it's frustrating, it's sickening at times."

"This is a lady who was in severe medical distress and clearly needed emergency medical attention and medical treatment."

The videotape was released to the media after The Kansas City Star requested it under Missouri's open records law.

The officers stopped Salva after they saw her placing a fake temporary tag on the back window of her car. The tape shows Salva telling the officers she is having a miscarriage and is bleeding.

On the tape, an officer identified as Schnell walks away from the car and tells his partner: "She just gave me a line of excuses. She said she's bleeding. She said you can check her."

Salva said: "I'm three months pregnant and I'm bleeding."

The officer identified as Spencer replied: "OK. Why are you driving to the store and then putting a fake temporary tag in your car?"

"I took it because I want to go to the hospital," Salva said. The officers made Salva sit on the curb while they searched her car, purse and grocery bags. Salva again told the officers she was bleeding and needed to go to a hospital.
"Well," Spencer said, "that will be something you can take care of when we get done with you." The officers handcuffed Salva after learning she had outstanding warrants for mistreatment of children, trespassing and several traffic violations.

She again told Schnell she was bleeding. "I don't doubt that you're possibly bleeding, but you got a lot more problems with us," Schnell said.

No tapes were available of Salva's time in the jail, but she contends in the lawsuit that her continued pleas for help were ignored. The department said videotapes from that period had been recycled before it became aware of Salva's claims.
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 February 12, 2007 6:35 AM

In wake of 2 fatal shootings, some question police tactics
Jan. 29, 2007       The Florida Times-Union

Jacksonville — After police shot to death two men in eight days during separate undercover drug operations, Jacksonville's chief prosecutor said he questions the value of the stings.

"If we're just selling drugs to addicts, I don't know what we're accomplishing," State Attorney Harry Shorstein said. "This could wind up being the tragic death of one kid -- arguably a bad kid -- and a gentleman who had the right to protect his property."

Authorities are investigating the police shootings that killed Douglas "D.J." Woods III, 18, and Isaac Singletary, 80.

Police say Woods, described by family as a college hopeful who worked at two community centers, was shot dead trying to rob an undercover narcotics officer during a Jan. 20 drug sting at Sable Palms Apartments on Emerson Street. Singletary was killed Saturday -- the day of Woods' funeral -- after confronting undercover officers that he apparently confused for drug dealers doing their business outside his home.

Sheriff John Rutherford defended the undercover methods, saying police are trying to protect neighborhoods from drug activity. Saturday's sting, which posed undercover officers as drug dealers, netted five arrests, he said. Full details of the bookings were not available Sunday.

Rutherford said he's ready to rethink any investigative weaknesses that surface during the probe of the shooting.

"The tactics we developed are based on years of police experience," he said. "Even if the officers followed procedure, we'll look at this. We're always looking for better ways and safer ways to do our jobs."

On Sunday, police said details of Saturday's shooting remain unclear. Detectives Donald Maynard and James Narcisse have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, authorities said.

Micheal Edwards, director of investigations and homeland security, said it was too early to tell if the plainclothes officers identified themselves as police before the shooting started.

Also, there are varying accounts of how it started. Witnesses and some police accounts indicate Singletary thought the officers were actual drug dealers and that he was trying to remove them from his property with the assistance of a .38 caliber handgun.

Some of Singletary's gunshots hit a tree in the yard, according to police, but none of the officers were hit.

Police said Singletary was shot at least once before going to his backyard, where police shot him again after ordering him to drop his weapon.

Singletary, whom witnesses initially misidentified as Isaac Evans, is a man people in the neighborhood off Philips Highway know simply as "Pops." He stayed outside most days, sitting in a lawn chair or, if it rained, passing the time inside his dark blue Ford F-150 that remained parked in the driveway Sunday.

Singletary had a reputation in the neighborhood for chasing drug dealers off his lawn, family and neighbors said.

"I never would have thought he would have gotten shot by a police officer," said niece Sheree Bea. "I thought if he ever got shot it would have been in a confrontation with a drug dealer."

Family members said Singletary was a retired maintenance man from Winter Park who moved to Jacksonville in the 1980s to take care of his ailing mother and sister. On Feb. 15, he would have turned 81.

He loved to garden, family and neighbors said. His collard and mustard greens swayed in the breeze yesterday as officers showed up with metal detectors and note pads to continue investigating.

Gary Evans, Singletary's nephew, said the police presence didn't make him feel any better.

"It's upsetting because they're the reason my uncle isn't here anymore," Evans said.

Singletary and Woods both are black. In light of the shootings, Mikail Muhammad, local chair of the New Black Panther Party, said he's calling on his national leaders to help protest the Jacksonville police.

"Do we have not a right to come out on our own property?" he said. "Whether we have a weapon or not, police all over America are killing us. What are we supposed to do?"

Rutherford said his officers are trying to protect communities from drug dealers that plague them.

"We do these things to try to drive drugs out of the community," he said.

Edwards said the officers involved in both incidents are fortunate to be alive.

"It's a very dangerous job. We understand there is a segment of the community that doesn't agree with everything we do, but our goal is to make Jacksonville the safest community it can be," Edwards said.
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 February 12, 2007 6:36 AM

Cop punished for being nice to homeless woman
Feb. 1, 2007       Associated Press

Bradenton, Florida — A Bradenton police officer has been disciplined for insubordination.

Officer Nicholas Evans received a 30-day suspension without pay. In early January, Evans pulled a shopping cart with a homeless woman's belongings in it to the Port Manatee Jail and a second time to a pharmacy, hanging his arm out the window of his police cruiser to drag it. The normal 15-minute drive took more than an hour.

Evans had arrested the woman for violating a court order.

Evans dragged another cart for a few blocks the next night, which led to the insubordination charge, because he had been told not to do so after the first incident.

Evans' supervisor recommended his termination, but the police chief reduced that to the 30-day suspension.

Some homeless advocates say Evans should be rewarded, not reprimanded.

"He was trying to help somebody," said homeless advocate Martha Childress. "He was trying to do his job by arresting somebody, but he was trying to consider her as a person, as a human being."
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 February 12, 2007 6:54 AM




Illustration courtesy of �Maryland Speedster.



AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WTSC
FROM COPWATCH.COM



    Washington State Traffic Safety Commission
    John Moffat, Director
    cc: Jonna VanDyk, Angie Ward, Les Pope
    1000 S. Cherry St.
    Olympia, WA
    98504-0944

    To John Moffat, Jonna VanDyk, Angie Ward and Les Pope:

    We are extremely concerned that the public is being deliberately misinformed and deceived by Washington State�s current advertising campaign warning of the so-called �Click it or Ticket� project. Having viewed the official Washington State Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) webpage pertaining to this project, we would like to review the veracity of your highly dubious claims by obtaining answers to all of the following questions. Please note that each issue enumerated below may contain numerous individual queries requiring individual answers. All of the quotations appearing below have been copied verbatim from the above-referenced webpage.

    Incidentally, we note with contempt and disgust that you have attempted to backtrack and conceal your groundless claims by removing the original version of the above-referenced page from the WTSC website. Unfortunately for you, however, Google has retained a cached version, to which we have redirected our link. In addition, we have copied the page in question and will post a complete html duplicate if the Google listing expires. We find your actions in removing the original webpage within days of the submission of our inquiry to be highly suspicious. What are you attempting to hide?

    Please ensure that Mr. Moffat is given a copy of this missive so that he may personally address our concerns.


      1. You state that �$500,000 in federal funding is being passed along to local law enforcement agencies to pay for officer overtime for the project.� Will the entire sum of $500,000.00 be spent solely on officer overtime? If not, please enumerate the amount and purpose of each non-overtime expenditure.



        Despite all their fancy graphics, expensive ad campaigns, statistical manipulation, and catchy Madison Avenue slogans, the State can�t hide the fact that this program is nothing more than another means of ripping off the innocent citizens of Washington State.


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CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 6:55 AM


  1. Why is it necessary to implement an overtime schedule for this project, when doing so requires the unnecessary expenditure of half a million dollars in taxpayer funds? Are police officers unable to enforce the seat belt law while pursuing their regular shifts? If they are unable to enforce the seat belt law while engaged in their regular shifts, why did the WTSC lobby in favor of the new seat belt law?

  2. What is your response to those critics who assert that the overtime-wage element of the �Click it or Ticket� campaign is nothing more than a pork-barrel windfall for the police?

  3. Aside from the sum of $500.000, will any additional funds be spent on officer overtime in furtherance of this project? If so, please describe the amount and source of all such funds.

  4. Will any other funds be spent in furtherance of this project? If so, please specify the amount, purpose, and source of all such funds.

    1. What is your response to those critics who assert that both the �Click it or Ticket� campaign and the new seat-belt law are primarily intended to generate revenue for various government subdivisions of the State?


    2. �Bad-ass� cops threaten and bully the public by order of state politicians desperate to raise revenue in the face of a massive statewide budgetary shortfall.
        1. Translation from Newspeak to English: �We�re looking for innocent citizens from whom we can extort exorbitant fees under color of enforcing a superficially plausible (but statistically indefensible) law.

          Alternate Translation: �We�re looking for more minorities to pull over, because now we have a convenient means of evading accusations of racial profiling and pretext stops.�

          Alternate Translation: �We�re looking for jobs which will help us get over our feelings of inferiority and inadequacy.�



    1. Given the public�s ongoing concern over law enforcement�s penchant for pretext stops and racial profiling, it is logical to presume that this law, in large part, is intended to provide yet another convenient and superficially plausible excuse for the cops to pull over anyone who attracts their attention. What is your response to the critics who are making this assertion? Do you expect the citizens of Washington State to believe that your objectives are purely altruistic, and that you have no ulterior motives? How stupid do you think Washingtonians are?

    2. Please provide us with the name, rank, and position of every law enforcement employee who has appeared in any �Click it or Ticket� advertisement in Washington State.

      Also, please provide a complete transcript of every ad promoting the �Click it or Ticket� campaign. It seems highly likely that specious statements made by law-enforcement officers will reinforce the public�s already-dismal opinion of their reputation for honesty. If police officers are willing to publicly lie in support of a shady revenue-raising scheme, then their credibility is open to question regarding ANY matter, (such as courtroom testimony), which touches upon their reputation for truthfulness.
    3. Do you dispute the fact that Washington�s original seat belt law was approved only when the WTSC and the legislature issued public assurances that the law would never be altered in a manner which would allow police to pull over drivers solely for failure to buckle up? Isn�t the new seat belt law, which directly contravenes those assurances, yet another example of the government deceiving and manipulating the public? Isn�t it also a perfect illustration of the adage (particularly applicable to legislators and bureaucrats), �Give them an inch, and they�ll take a mile�? Please remind us of what position was taken on this issue by the WTSC at the time the original law was passed.

    4. What is your response to the fact that primary seat belt laws enacted in other states have subsequently been repealed? Do you assert that Washington state residents deserve ill-treatment, unreasonable fines, and an intrusive, Nanny-state government to a greater degree than residents of other states? Do you think that legislators in states which repeal primary seat-belt laws are irresponsible, immoral, uncaring, or negligent?

    5. You have stated that $500,000 in air time �is being purchased for a statewide media blitz to advertise the project.� Who is paying for this advertising campaign? Out of what budget are these funds taken? Is it true that this �public awareness program� (which some critics refer to as a propaganda campaign) is intentionally designed to mislead and misinform the public in an effort to forestall protest?

    6. You have quoted John Moffat, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Director, as saying �You pay one way or the other. You pay with an $86 seat belt citation, or you pay with your life in an automobile collision. A ticket is the smaller price to pay.� To any disinterested observer familiar with the basic rules of logic, Mr. Moffat appears to have deliberately drawn a demonstrably false conclusion from an intentionally misleading analogy. Clearly, a very small percentage of auto  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
  •  
    CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 6:59 AM

    1. Clearly, a very small percentage of automobile collisions result in any fatalities. For Mr. Moffat to imply that every collision results in death is deceitful, false, misleading, and immoral. Because he has betrayed the public�s trust, we are ordering Mr. Moffat to resign. Do you deny that Mr. Moffat�s above-referenced statement is false and misleading?


    2. WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
      Former SPD �Commander� John Moffat.  Wanted for questioning by Copwatch.com.
      CAPT. JOHN MOFFAT
      (Director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission)
      ORDERED TO RESIGN FOR MISREPRESENTATION

      by Copwatch.com

        1. It�s certainly no coincidence that John Moffat is a retired police officer. He worked as a Seattle cop for 25 years before making the transition from money-extorting cop to money-extorting bureaucrat.

          Who does he REALLY represent? The citizens of Washington State, or all his cop buddies, who will be reaping the rewards of $500,000.00 in federal overtime pay?

          Copwatch.com orders Mr. Moffat to immediately resign, as he has clearly misrepresented the truth and deceived the public.



    3. You have stated the following: �Moffat says he is hopeful that the Click it or Ticket Project will increase seat belt use rates, along with a new primary enforcement seat belt law, which takes effect June 13 [sic]. He believes that together these changes will save at least 30 lives, prevent 900 serious injuries and spare the state $51 million in unnecessary hospital costs.� Upon what foundation does Mr. Moffat base his �beliefs�? Does Mr. Moffat have any professional training in public health administration, epidemiology, medicine, economics, or statistical analysis? Has he been awarded any degrees in any of these subjects from any accredited institution of higher learning? Is the public simply expected to take the word of a man who, to judge from his other statements, is willing to deliberately deceive and mislead the citizenry? How do Mr. Moffat and the WTSC define the term �serious injury�? Are these guesses of Mr. Moffat tied to any definite time span, or is the time span completely open-ended? Assuming, simply for the sake of argument, that Mr. Moffat�s prognostications are accurate, and 30 lives are saved as a result of the new primary seat-belt law, (we must further assume, in a necessary effort to make sense of his assertion, that Mr. Moffat intended to state that this number of lives will be saved during the first year in which the new law is enforced), then the question which arises is this: what is the cost of saving those lives? (In other words, please add together the total amount of money which you estimate will be generated through fines assessed against citizens under the primary seat-belt law; add to that sum $1,000,000, representing the $500,000 in overtime wages paid to police officers, and the $500,000 expended in your propaganda campaign; and divide that sum by 30). Clearly, your unjustifiable obsession with attaining �zero highway deaths� has reached a point of inexcusably miniscule returns, in that each life saved comes at a price so exorbitant to the rest of society that the costs vastly exceed the benefits (at least to everyone who is not a government bureaucrat or a police officer).



     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
    CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 7:02 AM

    1. WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
      Washington State Patrol Sgt. (and part-time State Representative) John Lovic, a tireless advocate for his cohorts on the State Patrol.
      SGT. JOHN LOVIC
      (Member of the Washington State House of Representatives,
      and primary sponsor of the new seat belt law)


      by Copwatch.com
        1. It�s certainly no coincidence that the primary legislative sponsor of the new seat-belt law is Rep. John Lovic, a part-time politician whose full-time career is with the Washington State Patrol. Currently holding the rank of Sgt., he has worked for the State Patrol for 28 years.

          As Washington State Governor Gary Locke stated,�This law didn�t reach my desk on its own. I would like to thank the bill�s prime sponsor, Representative John Lovick, who also is a state trooper, for his hard work in getting this bill passed. *** The governor also acknowledged John Moffat and� Washington State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas ....�

          Sadly, Mr. Lovic�s actions confirm a widely perceived truism regarding African-American police officers. For a variety of complex psychological reasons, African-American police officers are often the most ardent supporters of police-state practices and the strongest defenders of the �Blue Wall of Silence�. In addition, they often have the biggest chips on their shoulders. It�s as if they feel compelled to prove at every turn that they can be more brutal and more arrogant than their colleagues. To label Mr. Lovic an �Uncle Tom� would be only a little too simplistic.

          It is interesting to note Lovic�s credentials.Like most cops, he is far from being highly educated. He obtained a 2-year degree from a community college, and then graduated from the �Washington State Patrol Academy�.

          To give credit where credit is due, at least he has an AA degree. Many cops are barely able to graduate from high school.

          It seems readily apparent that Mr. Lovic�s primary political agenda is to represent the interests of his fellow law-enforcement officers, regardless of the interests of the constituency that actually elected him.



    2. You have stated the following: �Research shows that a seat belt increases a person's chance of surviving a collision by up to 70%. This means that a person wearing a seat belt has a 70% better chance of surviving a collision than someone who is not buckled up.� This is a false statement. Even if we were to accept your unsubstantiated claim that using a seat belt increases a person�s chance of surviving a collision by up to 70%, it does NOT follow that a person wearing a seat belt has a 70% better chance of surviving a collision than someone who is not buckled up. There are at least two logical problems inherent in your formulation. To begin with, you state that seat belt usage increases the chances of surviving a collision by �UP TO 70%�. Then you claim that this alleged �fact� proves that any given person involved in a collision will, if wearing a seatbelt, have their odds of survival raised by 70%. The first half of your equation is modified by the caveat �up to�, while the second half assumes that the highest possible benefit will ALWAYS be attained. This is obviously a false assertion. Secondly, I would ask you to provide additional information so that we may determine whether the implication you are attempting to convey is accurate. The vast majority of collisions do not result in fatalities, regardless of whether seat belts are worn or not. Given this fact, your assertion that wearing a seatbelt increases your chances of surviving a collision by either 70% or �up to� 70%� becomes highly misleading, since it is very probable that the actual numbers (as opposed to the percentages) are minuscule. Please provide us with the sources and actual numbers behind the statistics you have cited.

    3. You have stated the following: �About 630 people die each year on Washington's roads.� This statement, by itself, is completely irrelevant, but nevertheless, you offer it in a seemingly blatant attempt to deceive and mislead the public, since you imply that all these deaths occurred because the victims were not wearing seat belts. In order to gauge the import of the �fact� you cite, we must first obtain answers to all the following questions: How many of the individuals who died as a result of auto collisions were wearing seat belts? Of those fatally injured parties who were not wearing seat belts, how many would have escaped death if they were wearing seat belts. (E.g., if they were decapitated by carriage underride, seat belts would have done them no good at all). How many unbuckled collision victims died in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? (Probably very few- thus undercutting your claim that seat belts are the preeminent safety device). How many buckled collision victims died in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled collision victims were fatally injured in cars without airbags? How many unbuckled collision victims were fatally injured in cars without airbags? How many occupants were killed by non-collision related injuries?





      �There�s lies, damn lies, and statistics.� Mark Twain

    4. You have stated the following: �Some  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
    CONTINUED... February 12, 2007 7:03 AM

    1. You have stated the following: �Medical costs from collisions amount to about $276 million each year in Washington.� Again, this alleged fact, by itself, tells us nothing. By failing to provide complete information, and by implying that all the referenced collisions involved unbuckled individuals, it seems apparent that you are attempting to deceive and mislead the public. Please answer the following questions: How many of those individuals who required medical care as a result of auto collisions were wearing seat belts? Of those injured parties who were not wearing seat belts, how many would have escaped injury if they were wearing seat belts? How many unbuckled occupants were injured in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled occupants were injured in cars equipped with air bags which properly deployed? How many buckled occupants were injured in cars without airbags? How many unbuckled occupants were injured in cars without airbags? How many occupants were injured from non-collision related causes?

    2. You also state the following, with reference to the alleged $276 million in medical costs resulting from collisions: �Your tax dollars pay 30% of that price tag.� This statement, even if true, provides no justification whatsoever for forcing all Washingtonians, the vast majority of whom are responsible, financially self-sufficient, capable individuals, to comply with an intrusive, unnecessary, Nanny-state law, the real purpose of which is to generate revenue for the State. Do you disagree with this assessment? If so, please state your rationale.

    3. You also assert the following: �An unbelted driver's medical costs average $11,000 more than those of a seat belted driver.� This statement is false and misleading. Are you truly attempting to claim that the average unbelted driver who is involved in an average collision pays an average of $11,000 more in medical costs than the average belted driver who is involved in an average collision? How can such a statement be true, when the average collision victim does not require any medical care at all, regardless of whether a seatbelt is worn or not? Are you claiming that the allegedly increased medical costs borne by unbelted drivers are solely the result of injuries sustained in collisions, or are you using this purported statistic in the manner of insurance actuaries, to include medical expenses resulting from other causes (e.g. smoking)? Are you taking into account the presence or absence of airbags?

    4. How many tickets do you anticipate issuing statewide during the �Click it or Ticket� campaign?

    5. Do you have any numerical targets for ticket issuance during the �Click it or Ticket� campaign? If so, please describe.

    6. How much revenue do you anticipate will be generated by the �Click it or Ticket� campaign?

    7. How much of the revenue generated by a seat-belt ticket issued by a police officer during the �Click it or Ticket� campaign goes to the issuing police department?

    8. How many seat-belt tickets do you anticipate will be issued on an annual basis subsequent to the cessation of the �Click it or Ticket� campaign?

    9. Do you have any numerical targets for annual seat-belt ticket issuance subsequent to the cessation of the �Click it or Ticket� campaign? If so, please describe.

    10. How much revenue do you anticipate will be generated on an annual basis from enforcement of the primary seat-belt law subsequent to the cessation of the �Click it or Ticket� campaign?

    11. How much of the revenue generated by a seat-belt ticket issued by a police officer subsequent to the cessation of the �Click it or Ticket� campaign goes to the issuing police department?

    12. Please provide bibliographical information for every statistical claim you have made on the above-referenced webpage.


    We are writing a cover story on this issue for publication on Copwatch.com.

    In an effort to solicit a wide variety of perspectives and comments, this letter has been forwarded to a number of other recipients in both the public and the private sectors.

    In addition to answering the questions posed above, please feel free to offer any other information you deem relevant.

    Thank you for your assistance.

      Cordially,

        The Copwatch.com staff





    COPWATCH.com home

    copwatch@lokmail.com

    COPWATCH.com DISCUSSION FORUM  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     February 12, 2007 7:07 AM

    A Brooklyn cop accused of trying to ditch her husband's car after a bloody shootout claims she had no idea the victim was one of her fellow Finest, her lawyer said yesterday. But the father of the injured cop said it's a "disgrace she's wearing a badge."
    FULL STORY  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     February 12, 2007 8:06 AM

    This is DA who put donald in prison Monday, 10:30 AM

    So your finding out the truth about HAIRBALLS among us.

    Its like this and only has to be said once about the Hairball their @ C.C.
    listen up everyone, and you check this out yourself, he did it to himself.
    On a cover of C.C. in 2002 issues (my issue is storage ) He had a interview with a SUPER HAIRBALL by the name of Mike Ramsey, Or Mike Donnally, Or Big Bud Mike, Or Deacon, get what were saying here, further insult, this person that calls himself a human being, is also a D.A. in Chico California, and a underground agent for the DEA, lets start the list of truths and who is marc emery's friends out there in the world, lets begin who Mike Ramsey is.
    1.) Mike Ramsey stole a Corp. acct. to go undercover in the underground world of Cannabis and Bikers.
    2.) Mike Ramsey is responsible for ALL the Busts concerning OUTLAWS MC
    And Hells Angels MC and other bike clubs.
    3.) He did this by forming HIS own bike club with other LEOS from other agency's as we know as the ASSOCIATION.
    (a group of sheriff's ,police, and other agency's in law enforcement)
    there funding is hiddin with the little support stickers they pass out for donations to "GOOD Causes " school, DARE, Kids programs in the ghettos that they hassle more than help in.
    4.)Bike Club he formed The Revends MC Tehama County California.
    5.) Mike Ramsey wore OUTLAWS MC COLORS from to Canada to get inside the OUTLAWS MC. pictures to confirm this are in a book published by, Micheal Upright, Called 1%er by Action publishing
    6.) pics of him posing as a biker are on pgs. 12 with his wife Susan who is really a blond, He's wearing a hat camo floppy riding along side Taco Bowman.
    His partner in crime a fellow cop from Chico Henry Hunt pg # 37
    Again Ramsey wearing color Canada pg # 26
    Get where were going saying and seeing.
    7.) These people who work for the US govt. ARE CONFIRMED CRANK USERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND ARE A DANGER TO ALL.
    8.) Mike Ramsey posed as Big Bud Mike who was running the acct.'s for the cannabis clubs in California and caused and we have the black and whites as they say in law land, busting and conspiring on and with others in med clubs for outside and inside deals and then having busted by other agencies and other outside sources / so know one would know what's up.
    A good example, Renee Bojie, Ed rothhairball,m and all that may have heard about in the years between 1995 to 2003.
    9.) Solely responsible for operation pipedreams and headhunter deals and info to make busts happen even if that met RICO against the innocent.
    10.) Able to get inside and get info on Canada markets in cannabis trade thru idiots that are into showing off like Marc Emery, You Can Blame HIM FOR LETTING THE CAT IN SO TO SPEAK.
    He showed it all to Ramsey just so he could be SOLE SEED POT KING OF THE WORLD.
    11.)How do I know all of this, Mike Ramsey was in my living room trying to make a deal with me and trying to bust me ( RICO ) till I showed him the book, should have saw the look on that crooked DA face.
    And NOW I DON'T SEE HIM< BUT I SEE EVERYONE ELSE IN PLACE OR GETTING BUSTED SO WHO'S MAKING DEALS AND MANY NARCS ARE HERE.
    MAKES YOU THINK !!!!
    Food for thought, time to expose
    Peace
    LB.

      This DA must be stopped,this is the one who put my son in prison Joann  [ send green star]

     
     February 14, 2007 5:02 AM

    I sure don't like that guy!!!!!   With so many wrongs how in the heck do they find anything right with him or his judgement for his job???

    It is beyond me why this "CRIMINAL" is still allowed to practice law let alone remain free in our society..

    This D.A. a so-called Authority of the Law, seriously needs to be stopped!!!  It is an outrage when such representatives of the legal system are also one of the most harmful criminals to are country and to our freedom...  then they wonder why U.S. citizens have lost respect and don't trust them anymore??  Well DUH!!!!

     [ send green star]  [ accepted]
     
     March 04, 2007 7:43 AM

    Here are just a few from so far into March ONLY!!!!

    Latest from  Guardian Unlimited   http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/0,,339240,00.html

    It's the police who have a gun problem
    March 4, Henry Porter: Chief constables already have lavish powers to fight crime without the need for bobbies armed with Tasers.

    Disgraced judge


    Senior judge charged with exposure
    March 2: One of Britain's most senior judges was charged today with exposure, British Transport Police say.

    Sharon Beshenivsky


    Man jailed for 20 years over woman PC's killing
    March 3: A 26-year-old man was jailed for 20 years for the manslaughter of PC Sharon Beshenivsky following a failed robbery at a Bradford travel agents.

    Spiked wine


    Man who spiked wine jailed despite being 'no great risk to women'
    March 3: Waiter warned woman about drugged drink
    · Stash of powerful sedative found in defendant's car

    London nail bomber


    London nail bomber must serve at least 50 years
    March 2: High court judge rules that neo-Nazi will stay in prison for at least 50 years.

    Salt case


    Court clears couple of poisoning boy with salt
    March 2: A married couple were cleared today of poisoning a toddler they hoped to adopt.

    Contract killings plot


    Jail for millionairess who plotted to kill ex-partner and his wife
    March 2: 'Hitman' given £5,000 was undercover police officer
    · Judge brands 'role model for women' a manipulator
    01.03.07: Couple jailed for contract killings plot

    Comment and debate


    Black and blue
    March 2, Leader: It is now eight years since Sir William Macpherson's inquiry damned the police for institutional racism, yet tensions between the Met and its top ethnic minority officers remain widespread.

    Special constable murder


    Husband remanded over special constable's murder
    March 1: The husband of Nisha Patel-Nasri today appeared in court charged with her murder.

    Crime policy


    Scheme for victims could be extended
    March 1: The constitutional affairs minister today suggested a scheme using victim impact statements in courtrooms should be extended.

    MI5


    MI5's role in hounding of Met officer revealed
    March 1: One of Britain's most senior police officers accused MI5 last night of 'smearing' him after it emerged that the security service told Scotland Yard it suspected him of being an Iranian spy.

    Public inquiry into Lynch stabbing

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