Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

From sea to shining sea

Marie Rose Dorismond made a 28 hour pilgrimage to New York City, by bus to attend the funeral of Sean Bell, 23, who was shot and killed by five NYPD officers. Her son was Patrick Dorismond who was also killed by NYPD officers several years ago.

She was traveling by Greyhound at the age of 59, to offer her support to Bell's family members as someone who had been in their shoes, according to an article in the New York Times.

Police shooting reunites circle of common loss


"I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Mrs. Dorismond, a Haitian immigrant who came to New York at 18 to study nursing, said of the relatives of Amadou Diallo and others who died in encounters with the police.

“Nobody can understand that pain but me, Mrs. Diallo and the others. When it was my turn, everybody came.”

So she traveled to the place where she had lost her own son, to offer comfort to other women like her, who are also members of what is a growing family, whose members are decided not by blood, but by fate.

Even though most of their loved ones' deaths resulted in large cash settlements from the city to resolve civil litigation, that doesn't soften the blow for members of this "family" who reunite at funerals to support its newest members.

Also, discussions at the Empire Zone at the New York Times, on the shooting and its aftermath continue and comments come in including this one by a former NYPD detective.

A former detective's plea


"I wish we all could spend time in a uniform as a cop to give us a better understanding of the type of decisions and consequences that are associated with just trying to do this dangerous and often stressful job. Although during my shooting I fired only three times after being blindsided by an array of bullets during an undercover sting, I can definitely relate to the fear that can contribute to what appears to be excessive behavior under the circumstances. There’s no room for error, and it happens so fast. "

Nichole Paultre, who was Bell's fiancee told the media that she was not angry with the police officers who shot and killed him.

Fiancee of Sean Bell not angry at police

(excerpt, International Herald Tribune article)

"I'm really not angry," a subdued Nicole Paultre told CNN interviewer Larry King in her first extensive comments since fiance Sean Bell's killing Nov. 25. "I'm more just trying to be strong. We just want justice.... That's it, and that's what we're praying for and hoping for."

In the New York Daily News, Bell's friend, Joseph Guzman, who was also shot by police, said that he didn't want any violence committed in his name or on his behalf. Guzman is still hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Bell's friend speaks out

"You could put this in the newspaper," Guzman said as he grasped the hand of a Daily News reporter. "I took 16 shots, but a superstar died that night."

Trent Benefield, who was also shot by the same police officers who took the life of his friend also spoke out in the same newspaper. He was shot three times, and delivered his statement from a wheel chair.

My friend is dead

The NYPD claimed yesterday that one of its confidential informants had purchased crack cocaine from Bell, but the department stated that it did not arrest him at the time because it was interested in learning who his suppliers were. Bell had been arrested twice in the past year, according to the department. The lawyers for Bell's two surviving friends said that the NYPD was going after the victims to avoid addressing its own role in the shooting.

Al Sharpton has announced that there will be a march down 5th Avenue on Dec. 16 to protest the shooting. Bell's family will participate and will march alongside him. Sharpton had distanced himself from an earlier march sponsored by the New Black Panther Party, but apparently has decided that marching is the appropriate reponse to take, after all.

Al Sharpton to march

(Excerpt, New York Daily News)

"Last year [transit workers union leader] Roger Toussaint shocked the city," Sharpton said. "This time we will."

A closed door meeting was held with select people from what the newspaper called a "Who's Who" of community leaders. Discussions of civil disobedience melded with talk of asking for the resignation of NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Calvin Butts, of the Abysssinian Baptist Church in Harlem was one of the most vocal.

"That might be something we need to consider," said Butts, who organized a public hearing in Harlem last week to discuss police abuse. He said he was surprised by the big response his hearing evoked.

"There are a number of people who have had encounters with the police," Butts said. "These are truly horror stories that happen every day in communities of color."

Michael Daly of the New York Daily News, in his latest column writes about NYPD officer, Maryann Andrews whose husband, Det. Rodney Andrews and his partner Det. James Nemorin were shot to death. She returned to her job, but continues to mourn her husband at the same time Paultre mourns the loss of her fiancee.

Anguish of a good cop


She doesn't want people to feel sorry for her," a longtime detective recalled yesterday. "She came to work and she did her job. It had to be hard on that woman. Most people would lay down and not do anything."

The detective then repeated that highest praise among dedicated cops.

"She does her job," he said, adding, "Maryann's aces."

In California, other police agencies came under scrutiny, including one in Orange County. Only that agency came under scrutiny when alleged misconduct was found to have occurred, only it wasn't treated as misconduct.

A man arrested during a traffic stop recently filed a complaint against officers at Huntington Beach Police Department because he alleged they planted a gun in his vehicle, which was “discovered” during the traffic stop. The department found that his allegation was true, but exonerated the officers involved.

Say what?

Yes, it’s true that the department exonerated the officers, citing a little known policy that permits, even encourages its officers to engage in this practice, for training purposes, according to an article in the Orange County Register.

Huntington Beach Police Department officers plant evidence as part of training exercise

Thomas Cox said he stood and watched as an officer tossed a gun in the trunk of his Hyundai. A few minutes later, an officer “found” the gun.


"I was thinking, 'what the hell is this?'" said Cox, a 45-year-old construction superintendent. "I thought I was going to get a weapons charge. I thought I was going to get my ass kicked."

An officer found the gun minutes later, Cox said.

"That's not my gun!" Cox said he shouted.

Planting evidence in unsuspecting people’s cars to train officers how to find contraband not surprisingly had its critics.


"I've never heard of anybody doing that," said George Wright, chairman of the Criminal Justice Department at Santa Ana College. "You're using someone else's property, and that can lead to other problems. … What if someone forgets about the gun and just leaves it behind?"

Still, Chief Kenneth Small defended his officers.


"I didn't feel comfortable holding one officer accountable for it when others were doing it as well," Small said. "I think the department did something wrong because we didn't make sure people understood what our policy really was."

As if that’s the only problem here.

In Riverside County, a former Riverside County Sheriff's Department deputy landed a sweet-heart deal after pleading guilty to two charges of residential burglary and three charges of indecent exposure and faces a little more than a year in state prison.

Originally, John Wayne Leseberg, who had worked for the department for 15 years, had been charged in the sexual assaults of three women and the sexual harassment of an elderly woman.

If convicted, he would have faced up to 15 years in prison. Of course, the Riverside County District Attorney's office and Leseberg's own attorney had different explanations for the sudden decision to bring this case, one of a series of different cases involving deputies in the courts right now, to an end.

Ex-deputy pleads guilty in sexual assault case

In Rivercity, questions keep emerging in the officer-involved shooting death of Lee Deante Brown, including the issue of taser, taser who's got the taser.

After the shooting, where was the taser?

(according to transcripts of interviews by investigators):

Det. Mike Medici: "Okay, so last you saw of him, the taser was actually in his hands?"

Officer Paul Stucker: "I couldn't see it but I thought the taser was in his hands."

Officer Terry Ellefson: "At one point, I remember Officer Stucker came in and kicked the taser away from him."


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older