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

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Investigations and inquiries

In Atlanta, Georgia, an announcement came out that a federal investigation has been launched into the fatal officer involved shooting of Kathryn Johnston, an elderly Black woman by police officers who were part of a eight-member narcotics team conducting "no knock" raids.

CNN: Federal probe launched into shooting

All the police officers on that team have been placed on administrative leave.


"The officers are saying one thing. The confidential informant is saying something else," the chief said.

The decision to turn the case over to the FBI, federal prosecutors, the Fulton County district attorney's office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, came in the middle of "intense speculation and suspicion" surrounding the shooting, said Pennington.

He promised to make "every document, every witness and piece of evidence" available.

Police said Johnston opened fire on police who tried to enter her home last Tuesday. Three officers were wounded, and Johnston was killed when police returned fire.

Neighbors and relatives said the raid had to have been a mistake. Johnston lived alone and was so afraid of crime in the neighborhood that she wouldn't let neighbors who delivered groceries for her come into her home, they said.

Relatives gave her age as 92, but Fulton County medical examiners put her age at 88.

Other information on the shooting that has galvanized a large reaction from city residents.

Wsb tv: Police shooting of elderly woman, "tragic", "unfortunate"

Asst. Chief Dreher referred to the incident as a, “tragic and unfortunate incident.”

The woman's niece, Sarah Dozier, says that she bought her aunt a gun to protect herself. Relatives believe Johnston was frightened by the officers and opened fire.
Her relatives say Johnston had lived in the house for about 17 years.

"They kicked her door down talking about drugs, there's no drugs in that house. And they realize now, they've got the wrong house," Dozier said. "I'm mad as hell." Officials say they had the correct house and that the warrant they had was legal.

She says the officers "shot her down like a dog."
Police say the investigation is continuing.

Police officers did mention they were looking for a mystery man in this case for questioning. Did they try looking in Queens?

The Johnston shooting is being discussed here, here and here.

The New York City Police Department and the Fire Department finally will be on the same wavelength with the purchase of new radio equipment, according to the New York Daily News. This is good news for both agencies.

Radios finally finetuned


"Across the board, the communication systems in New York over the last five years and in the Fire Department have been tremendously improved," he said.

The Fire Department's hand-held radios can now be configured to operate on the same channels as those used by the NYPD, said FDNY Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano. Yesterday, Scoppetta also unveiled the Vertex radio, which is a dedicated frequency for the FDNY, police and OEM.

"All of the agencies can be on the same frequency all the time," Scoppetta said. "We have complete interoperability with the other city agencies at the time of a crisis."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly agreed, saying radio communication "has never been better."

That's good because it was the lack of communication between these two service agencies which contributed to the high loss of life among both the city's fire fighters and police officers during the 9-11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

One of the recommendations at the top of the list included in the report submitted by the 9-11 commission was to create and implement a system of communication between the various emergency response agencies. But relations between the fire and police camps in New York City apparently has had its problems, punctuated by a fist fight that took place at ground zero when the site was being closed down for further search and rescue of physical remains, which resulted in several arrests.

So the technology is a start, but it's up for members of both agencies to work out their differences, because when tragic events like this happen, it helps for them to be on the same page and if the 9-11 Commission is right, it saves lives.

This of course does not mean that any bonding should occur while riding on racist floats in Labor Day parades, as was the case involving one NYPD officer and two FDNY employees in 1997.

The Riverside Police Department has recently changed its policy in relation to the selection process involving its public safety officer of the month, according to a council member who emailed me yesterday. I had emailed all the city council members a month ago about what this process involved and Andrew Melendrez was the only one who responded without crying, administrative interference.

There's a huge difference between administrative interference and asking for clarification or information on a process of government or one conducted by one of its departments. A situation arose recently where this search for further information was warranted.

Under the old process, the candidates were selected by their captains or those under the captain's supervision and then forwarded to the city. Now, any candidates will be reviewed by the police chief or the deputy chief before being approved. Which is as it should be, because then it makes it appear that the department is actually involved in the process of selecting those in its ranks which it wishes to honor and which are deserving and it is less likely to allow inappropriate choices to slip through the cracks.

Here's the story behind how former Riverside County District Attorney Grover Trask earned his nickname from Press Enterprise columnist, Dan Bernstein. Personally, I don't think he's that striking but to each his or her own I guess.

At a community meeting, it was brought up that one of those who may be participating in the annual Martin Luther King, jr. walkathon in Riverside might be our very own United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. The announcement turned more than a few heads, as it should. It wasn't too long ago that this agency spent some time in Riverside under very different circumstances.

Martin Luther King, jr. would probably appreciate the irony, but he wouldn't enjoy this.

Coming soon, the next installment of Lee Deante Brown and the CPRC and how the die for an election has just been cast by the newest quartet.

"Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.

And while Lennon read a book of Marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died."

---Don McLean, "American Pie"

To be continued...


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older