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Fatal shooting by police officers may not have been recorded

Original post made on Nov 19, 2014

Only two of three Menlo Park police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a burglary suspect on Nov. 11 were wearing body cameras. One camera may have been turned on after the shooting, and one may have been left off, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 9:28 AM

Comments (96)

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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

"but does allow exemptions for urgent, dangerous situations."

Exactly the situations where the use of the cameras is most important.


5 people like this
Posted by lessons learned
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

lessons learned is a registered user.

The tasers weren't working. The cameras weren't working. How utterly convenient.

The thief was no shining example of humanity, but those of you who think he deserved a trial by bullet should be careful where you draw those lines.


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Posted by The usual
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:26 am

Union lawyers, according to Alison Berry Wilkinson's website.

We need speedy and transparent release of all data to the public. The public has, and will be paying for all this all the way through and including the retirement of our employees. One assumes that the wages/tax-dollars that go to union dues are paying for the representation as well.

No excuse for hiding. No excuse for turning off cameras. No excuse for faulty equipment (tasers.)


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

What, exactly, are commenters suspicious of in this case? That Matheny didn't have a gun? That he had one but didn't pull it out? That he pulled it out but didn't fire it?

If a camera was in for repairs, and a taser wasn't working (and was it working?), is this the responsibility of the officers? Why do commenters keep saying that the taser wasn't working?

How would commenters feel if an armed Matheny had escaped with his firearm, in a residential neighborhood on a school holiday?

Was Matheny to become a three striker if he'd been caught? This was a wanted career criminal, an older, experienced white male burglar, not an unarmed black kid scared of the cops who was killed.

"I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6."


3 people like this
Posted by My two cents
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Hmmm, you make many valid points. Here's the problem: there can't be a situation with cameras (that we taxpayers pay for) in which an officer turns it on when s/he thinks it's going to help him/her justify a situation, but gets to turn it off when it won't. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but the cameras are there to protect the public from abuse of police authority as well as police from unfounded complaints, and it needs to cut both of those ways. The policy needs to be the camera is on all the time.


1 person likes this
Posted by The usual
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

"policy requires that all on-duty contact with citizens be recorded"

You get a call about a suspect, and while driving to the scene, you decide that confronting a potential burglary suspect doesn't meet the criteria "all on-duty contact with citizens be recorded"?

Sounds like they think cameras are voluntary. Who's in charge here?


2 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm

It is absurd that police and firemen are not required to have active body cameras on at all times while on duty in the field.


2 people like this
Posted by Alarmed Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

HMMM -- Didn't Matheny also have the right to be "judged by 12 instead of carried by 6"? The debate is not over whether law officers have the right to defend themselves, but whether they kept their cool and handled the situation in a way that minimized bullets flying across Willow Road. And we may never have that answer because the cameras they were supposed to be wearing were either broken or not turned on. So it's their words against a dead man who stole a wallet.


1 person likes this
Posted by question
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Recording a police officer's entire shift sounds useful, but does this technology really exist? I know that my GoPro barely lasts 2 hours before the battery dies and there are disk space limits, too.


1 person likes this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Regarding on and off of cameras etc. Simple solution for officers in police vehicles is upon exiting the vehicle the camera goes on automatically, tech is advanced enough to handle that. Pressure sensors on driver and passenger seats could accommodate that.

Also were there cameras on the front of the vehicle, were they on, what's the policy on the car cams?

As to the taser - nothing said it wasn't working, could have missed the guy, hit his wallet or belt or something else he was carrying.


7 people like this
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I'm not prepared to argue this, but it is my firmly held conviction that the nature and culture of the police in the entire US has changed over my generation. It looks like an ever increasing militarization of the police who have internalized the idea that we civilians are the enemy. (Therefore, shoot first and ask questions later, or not.)

This militarized arm of our government at the local, regional and state levels have become a highly self-protecting bureaucracy that intends to conceal rather than reveal as much information as possible about their actions. Surely the proliferation of weapons throughout our culture has played a deleterious role in this confrontation between us, the citizenry that pays their salaries, and the armed forces that are tasked to keep us safe.

At the very least, the burden of proof rests with the police when fatalities occur during any confrontation. There can't be too much evidence. All personal video cameras should work -- all the time. As well equipped as they have become, there are no excuses for failure. Perhaps it is the media which inflate all these police violence stories, but even accounting for this, there has been just too much excessive force by too many cops over the past several decades. (See "Ferguson" for the most recent example.)

A comprehensive and independent inquiry into this event in Menlo Park is called for lest we make false judgements and accusations prematurely. By all means let's find out just what did go on there at that time and who did what. But, beyond that, I am eager for far more extensive screening of new police recruits and training of the current cohort about developing a far more benign and cordial relationship with the community. Unless so judged in court, we are not the enemy.


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Posted by The usual
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

"Unless so judged in court, we are not the enemy."

Awesome.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

lessons learned:

[portion removed.]

Officers have "burners." Complete nonsense.

Tazers "weren't working." Are you implying the officers tried to fire the Tazer and it didn't discharge? A Tazer is not 100% effective. Two barbs must penetrate the skin in order for it to work. those same barbs have to pass through clothing. If a subject has on a heavy coat those barbs often don't penetrate and thus the Tazer is not effective.

"The cameras weren't working." According to this one camera wasn't working and thus wasn't even being worn by the officer, one was turned on but information is incomplete as to when and the third was not turned on. If the officer was bailing out of his car and immediately in foot pursuit it is perfectly understandable he didn't turn on his camera. He was busy chasing the suspect.


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

alarmed neighbor:

you haven't a clue what it is to be faced with someone pointing a gun at you do you? When that happens you don't wait to see what they're going to do with it. If it is pointed at you or someone else you must assume they are going to fire. Ever been told not to point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot? Here's yet another reason why.

I just love people like you that have never spent anytime behind a badge. Have never had your life placed in peril and have never had to make a life or death decision in a split second. You think you can second guess from the comfort of your easy chair. If you think it is so cut and dried I suggest you go on a ride along. Or better yet try doing the job.


6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

No Martin, we're not the enemy. I've never been treated as such by the police. Have you?

I'm sorry but deadly force doesn't get met with a "benign and cordial" response. It gets met with equal force. The suspect had a gun. He pointed it at an officer. He got shot. that's what happens when you point a gun a the police. That would be what happens if you point a gun at me.

Your comment about Ferguson is out of line. They have not finished the investigation and the physical evidence suggests that the officer was defending himself.


1 person likes this
Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 19, 2014 at 4:53 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

I think we should just take a deep breath.

First of all - I don't know of any video system that will work for a complete shift. Try running video on your iPhone for 8 hours. Even with the display off - those photo sensors/processing electronics will run the battery down. The other problem is storage. How many gigs of solid state memory to hold >8 hours of data.

So officers will have to turn this stuff on at critical times - and that will require training. How long have these guys had the cameras? Is it voluntary to wear them? Do they get trained so that turning on the camera is second nature? This technology is pretty new and just saying cameras should be operating all the time misses some key points.

I am willing to let the traditional forensics science guys do their thing. Which guns were fired? Gun powder on people/clothing? I believe there is evidence out there. Willow Road was blocked off there for about 4 hours.

I have been treated by police as the enemy - including having a gun pointed at me (and I was unarmed - not charged etc). Even with that I'm willing to wait and hear what the DA says.

I would love to see the end if "trial by comments section".


2 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

There are helmet cams for bicyclists that will hold 5 hours of recording, coming up with a solution to cover an entire shift is not rocket science. Especially for officers operating out of a cruiser, batteries could easily be swapped out partway through the shift. There are cameras that are on all the time, where the user can push a button to flag a moment in time for later review. The technology is there.

I'm troubled that two of the officers involved in the shooting have lost civil cases for excessive force and still didn't have their cameras on. I know that we have some very good officers and I think that Chief Jonsen is doing a great job. But I've had the unhappy experience of having a cop stick his nose in my business when I was doing nothing wrong, and it's extremely unpleasant. Like formerly formerly no charges were ever filed, but given my own experience with the police I think that those cameras should be on almost the entire time they are on duty, and if the officer turns the camera off and something happens, then the fact the officer turned the camera off is a fact in evidence against the officer.

If the cameras aren't on, why did we bother paying for them?


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

A County Wide Policy would be great if we could make it happen. That way we could expect the same response from a Sheriff Deputy or any of the City/Town Police Officers.

I agree with Menlo Voter if a gun is out and pointed toward an officer, it is game over. What I do expect is the officers to named which happened after a slight hitch, and I would like blood test if officers are involved in shootings. Other employees do that Drivers, Engineers etc.

I support a Citizen Oversight Panel or Committee County wide.


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Posted by letstalk
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

letstalk is a registered user.

The only justification why no body cameras were turned on would be that all three officers arrived at the exact same time, and all three officers engaged the suspect at the exact same time-constitutuing exigent circumstances. But, we all know that was not how it went down. Their arrival times were staggered, which allowed for the half second it takes to activate their body cameras. One could possibly accept this from three rookie officers, but not from seasoned officers including a sergeant. Do these officers have a track record of not turning their body cameras on? I read that one of the three was not equipped with a body camera that day. How come the police department does not have spare body cameras for situations when an officers camera is down for repair?

I read that the dead suspect moved? The only reason and need to touch the body would be to render first aid or handcuff the suspect, where one would only roll him over-not drag the body the distance that he was moved.

I read that a firearm was found near the dead suspect. Did the officers move that too, or did they leave it where it fell to the ground from the suspect? Who's fingerprints and DNA are on the gun? What is the serial number history of the gun, and where did it come from-was it stolen-did it have a registered owner?

What happened out there? I am anxious to read about the district attorneys findings.


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

letstalk:

[portion removed.] One of the officers didn't turn his camera on BECAUSE IT WAN'T ON HIS PERSON due to its being non-functional.

One of the officers turned his camera on, but it is not clear at what time he did so.

The third officer may not have turned it on, but it is quite possible it wasn't turned on because he was bailing out of his car in pursuit of the suspect.

Your other questions [portion deleted] and will be answered by the investigation.

Let's stop trying to trash these officers that did EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING in this situation shall we?


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Posted by JimTurner2
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 21, 2014 at 2:42 pm

JimTurner2 is a registered user.

There couldn't be a clearer case of self defense on the part of the officers. The criminal drew a gun on them. Whether the criminal shot first or not is irrelevant. In that situation the officers must assume that the criminal is trying to kill them. They have every right to open fire. It's not even a close decision.


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Posted by letstalk
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

letstalk is a registered user.

Do your research, because it happens more often then you think. Do not be so quick to ignore this possibility or rule it out. Remember-the incident should have been captured on a body camera, but for some reason (a ridiculous excuse) it was not.

"Thirteen current and former Miami police officers are facing federal corruption charges, accused of planting guns at crime scenes and covering up the incidents. All were members of an elite SWAT team or other specialized crime-suppression units, and one had served as an assistant to the police chief. These officers planted weapons. They lied about their roles in the shootings. They lied about what they saw. They falsified reports. They tampered with crime scenes, said U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis. They stole money, personal property, and guns from people being arrested; guns that then were later used or dropped during the course of several of these police-involved shootings."-ABC News

"NEW ORLEANS — A former police detective testified Monday that he participated in a plot to fabricate witnesses, falsify reports and plant a gun to make it seem police were justified in shooting unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina."-Huffington Post

"Slawomir Plewa, a former Chicago cop caught up in a “hare-brained” scheme to plant drugs and a gun in a suburban woman’s car — a scheme that led to a $375,000 city payout"-Chicago Sun-Times

"The L.A. County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday that felony charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and altering evidence were filed April 16 against Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32. Martinez faces additional counts of perjury and filing a false report. The two former deputies are accused of planting guns inside a medical marijuana shop located on West 84th Street in South L.A. on August 24, 2011."-89.3KPCC


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

lets talk:

sure it happens, but it is an aberration. You're statement was essentially "all cops carry "burners"" That's absurd. And I can tell you from experience it's flat out wrong. I'm sure you'll continue to believe everything you think, but those aren't facts.


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

I didn't realize this earlier - but there are special body cameras for police using low resolution VGA sensors. Battery life is 12 hours - and a full shift can be recorded at medium resolution.

Web Link

I don't know if this is the system MPD uses.

Very different cameras than a GoPro or an iPhone.


4 people like this
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2014 at 11:07 pm

t3 is a registered user.

On Tuesday, 7 days after the shooting, DA Steve Wagstaffe didn't know whether anything was recorded on the cameras. That is either extreme incompetence or negligence or it was a bold face lie. Either of which is justification for removal from office for any competent investigator would have known whether or not anything was recorded on the video cameras within hours of the incident. Thus, Wagstaffe, the crime lab and Menlo Park Police Supervisors should have known within hours of the incident whether or not the cameras recorded anything, yet they did not know for a week or more if anything was on the cameras. A week to come up with, "one was broke, one was not turned on and the third was turned on after everything happened."

Really? Anybody who buys that is either a homer or living in denial.

Here are two incidents that determined within hours to have had the cameras been turned on and recording in mens' bathrooms the illegal assault and battering of a person.

Web Link

Web Link

and here is the incident in which Oscar Grant is shot in the back while face down:
Web Link

Notice of what all of these incidents have in common? The police are not in control of video cameras.


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 23, 2014 at 7:46 am

formerly formerly is a registered user.

@t3

The videos you linked to were not police videos. They were shot with cell phones. By bystanders.

Police body cams are much more like surveillance cams - low resolution VGA screens.30fps. Very different from the high res 16:9 1080p cameras in our phones.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 23, 2014 at 8:51 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

I agree Wagstaffe is either incompetent or a liar or both. He has repeatedly demonstrated it in the past. In this particular case I think the police would be happy to have independent video. It would show that what they say happened, happened.

The guy had a gun. He pointed it at the police. The police defended themselves. End of story. Unless of course you think the police just shot him because they didn't feel like chasing him?


2 people like this
Posted by letstalk
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

letstalk is a registered user.

@t3

I enjoy reading common sense, thank you.

The Menlo Park Police use a Vievu body camera system, with an in house server. Per police policy officers upload their recordings at the end of each shift. The video is immediately accessible to view (not alter or delete) by administrative staff. Therefore, no possible excuse why it took the DA's office a week to determine if video existed.

I encourage readers to do their own research on the Vievu system.


1 person likes this
Posted by acomfort
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

acomfort is a registered user.

Some thoughts.
To keep everything legitimate a little more checking of the equipment is in order.
There were three officers with three guns that all worked.
There were three officers who were issued three cameras but no pictures.

If the officer's gun doesn't work the officer would get another one.
The officer's safety depends on it.

If an officer's camera doesn't work the officer should get another one.
The public's confidence depends on it.

When starting a shift:
An officer should check to see if their gun magazine is full and
an officer should check to see if their camera battery is full.

It is now imperative that every confrontation is recorded because it can be and because currently the public's confidence in the police has diminished too much in this country.
This may have been historically impossible and unnecessary but times have changed.

Other possibilities if feasible:
If memory space is a problem, have the camera record over the oldest recording.
The camera should inform (beep) the officer when it is re-recording to allow time to save the recording and replace memory chip if needed.

Carry a body camera that turns on when the gun is withdrawn from the holster.
Provide a camera mounted to the gun, which turns on when the gun is withdrawn.
The recording should be stamped date and time.

There should be 360º dashboard cameras on every car and turned on during the entire shift.
There should be no battery or memory problems here.

This is high-tech country there are places to go and knowledgeable people to talk to.
Let's find out what can be done and do it.

This sounds punitive but I think we might also get to see some great touching moments of police doing positive things for their/our community.

It would like to see some police officers post their thoughts on the pros and cons of cameras at the scene of every police action.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Rev. Loon
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 23, 2014 at 10:42 am

The Rev. Loon is a registered user.

Fact: police use of force drops dramatically when cameras are REQUIRED to be used.

See Web Link

Fact: Police unions disfavor required use of cameras for obvious reasons. Optional use of cameras, sure, that can only help a police officer. They feel required use might capture the officer doing something that was justified though the video suggests otherwise.

One of the most telling comments on this thread is from t3: none of the famous situations of wrongful use of police force was videotaped by cops themselves. Obviously. No one, cop or not, is going to videotape himself or herself doing something wrong if they have a choice.

The trouble is, everyone realizes this. It's so obvious. Unfortunately, a large percentage of affluent voters convince themselves it's okay, since the "bad" behavior by police helps them (at the expense of the so-called wrongdoer) by cracking down on crime. A very, very, slippery slope.

Sure, there are some great cops, just like there are some great people, mediocre people, and lousy people. Lousy cops have the potential to do brutal damage to human beings and society, however.

Was there any bad behavior by these three Menlo Park cops? We have to take their word for it there was not. As Menlo Voter points out, a common sense argument could be made there was not. But what if they mistakenly fired before the culprit drew his firearm? We'll never know.

Certainly the preposterous comments by Steve Wagstaffe, about not knowing whether cameras were even present for more than a week, suggests to the average citizen there is something to hide. [Portion removed. Please don't use Town Square to accuse people of misconduct of criminal behavior.]


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 23, 2014 at 10:52 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Rev.Lon:

you make some valid observations, however, weather the subject drew his gun or pointed it is a distinction without a difference.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is a superb reports on Body Worn Cameras:

Web Link

Clearly when and how to use these cameras is not a simple issue and the report is well worth reading if you are interested in a fact based discussion.


Here are two interesting excerpts:

“Legitimacy in policing is built on trust. And the notion of video-recording every interac- tion in a very tense situation would simply not be a practical operational way of deliv- ering policing. In fact, it would exacerbate all sorts of problems. In the United Kingdom, we’re also subject to human rights legislation, laws on right to privacy, right to family life, and I’m sure you have similar statutes. It’s far more complicated than a blanket policy of ‘every interaction is filmed.’ I think that’s far too simplistic. We have to give our officers some discretion. We cannot have a policy that limits discretion of officers to a point where using these devices has a negative effect on community-police relations.”
– Sir Hugh Orde, President, Association of Chief Police Officers (UK)
********
"In Daytona Beach, Chief Chitwood requested that the officers with a history of complaints be among the first to be outfitted with body-worn cameras . Although he found that usually the videos demonstrated that “the majority of the officers are hardworking, good police,” he has also seen how body-worn cameras can help an agency address discipline problems . Chitwood said:
We had an officer who had several questionable incidents in the past, so we outfitted him with a camera . Right in the middle of an encounter with a subject, the camera goes blank, and then it comes back on when the incident is over . He said that the camera malfunctioned, so we gave him another one . A week later he goes to arrest a woman, and again, the camera goes blank just before the encounter . He claimed again that the camera had malfunctioned . So we conducted a forensic review of the camera, which determined that the officer had intentionally hit the power button right before the camera shut off . Our policy says that if you turn it off, you’re done . He resigned the next day ."


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2014 at 11:57 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Peter, Good article and a great policy.

I have no problem with the Menlo Park Police on this one, I do have a problem with District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe not being truthful about his knowledge of were the videos on or not.


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

Thanks all. Great discussion. Thanks Peter - good article.

Infeel like I'm learning some things.

I do have a question regarding DA saying the cameras may not have been turned on.

Why make a non-definitive statement at all? Why not wait until the DAs office knows absolutely what happened - was there a gun at the scene. Was the gun fired? Who fired a gun? How many shots were fired? Were cameras used or not? When will the DA complete the preliminary investigation?

Just prematurely stating non-definitive comments doesn't make ke feel the DA is being professional. Is he using his office to pursue a personal grudge?

Crazy!


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ formerly formerly - It's not the camera's ability but who is in control of the video of that camera which in the examples provided are private citizens.

If the police were in control of this video do you think the public would ever see it:
Web Link

It took only one day for the Palo Alto Police to upload a video of burglars to the internet.
Web Link

Why couldn't the Menlo Park police do the same?

I noticed that some of VIEVU cameras have wifi capability.
google: vievu, products, hardware

Simple solution to forgetting to turn on a camera. Stream the video back to the dispatch center where the dispatch can see if an officer turned on his camera or not. If not, then the dispatch can remind the officer to do so.

Furthermore the video can then be immediately uploaded offsite to "drop cam" servers in San Francisco so that it becomes impossible for law enforcement to suppress or destroy the evidence.

Atherton police and San Mateo DA Wagstaffe suppressed a police report from Atherton resident Jon Buckheit. PC 135. It was later proved that an officer changed the police report with false statements. That is a violation of PC 118.1. I guess the Atherton police were able to escape prosecution because the officer who changed the report was not the officer who actually filed the report.
Web Link

There is absolutely no privacy in a 7-11 store for employees and citizens alike. In fact the employees are being video taped for their entire 8 hour shift. Surely the interactions between citizens and police officers are of greater importance to the well-being of our society than video taping potential shop lifters.


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm

t3 is a registered user.

P.S. the VIEVU camera used by the M.P.P.D. can record for 12 continuous hours. Just like 7-11, no need to ever turn the camera off during a shift.
Web Link


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

@t3

I didn't get the gist of your first post "police not being in control of the video". I assumed you mean the police couldn't turn the video recording off. I still don't know what you mean - if there is no one around taking video - is there no incident?

Back to the technical aspects - I see that both the VIEVU and the Taser body cams can operate for 12 hours on a single charge (assuming the battery is in good shape.) The question is how much can they record - looks like about 9 hours in medium resolution mode - if the VIEVU body cams were outfitted with 16GB of storage. I'm much more familiar with cell phone camera designs - which are more event cameras. The police body cams are lower resolution - and much more akin to surveillance video cams.

Regarding your comment about WiFi - I don't see how that would work. Standard WiFi is really only good for a few hundred feet. To me, that is most useful when downloading videos from the body cam to the server in the station after the shift is done (and both are sitting within a few feet of each other - the body cam in a charging station - the server in a protected room.) There is no way I know of that the police could be sending WiFI video from their person on Marsh Road or wherever to police headquarters on Laurel.

There are two things bothering me right now --

First - why did the DA make an insinuating non-definitive statement regarding the videos (i.e. "may not have been recorded".) What good is that? Why not just wait and say what does or doesn't exist - including which guns were fired - who fired them - were bullets recovered at the scene? Why say "may not have been"? Seems very unprofessional to me - lawyers, in my experience, are usually much more careful with language.

Second - if the body cams weren't turned on - why not? What is MPPD's official policy regarding body cams? (They should be able to tell us that right now.) How long does a police department retain these videos?

When is the expected date to release all this information to the public?

In some states people have been requesting body cam videos under FOIA coverage.

Peter Carpenter's link was pretty interesting regarding ACLU driving the use of body cams - and potential times when it would be legitimate for an officer to turn them off. The more I look at it - the more complicated it seems to be.

"The job is always easiest for the person that doesn't have to do the work."


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 24, 2014 at 7:09 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"The job is always easiest for the person that doesn't have to do the work."

Absolutely.

@formerly: t3's insinuation is that if the police want to do something untoward, they'll turn the video off. They're in control of the video rather than a bystander.

I don't see how continuous wifi would work either without installing ports all over the city kind of like cell towers that the body cams could be in contact with. I'm not real familiar with the technology but I don't think they work that way.


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Posted by Juris
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

Juris is a registered user.

Continuous recording ...

Do we really need to record officers for an entire shift? Would they reasonably object to the privacy intrusion of having the camera rolling when they use the bathroom? How about when they in personal conversations with colleagues or family?

I speculate less than 1% of any video recording during a 12 hour shift would have something relevant. And much less than 1% would capture the taking of a life by the hands of the government. Continuous recording and storage doesn't seem to be a reasonable approach or expense. How many petabytes of video does the government need to store to capture that small fraction of relevant data? How long does the agency need to keep the video under the public records act?

Body cameras are only one possible source of footage. What about in car cameras that automatically activate when the red light goes on? Even if the officer didn't have the time or opportunity to turn on the body camera, the in car camera might have captured the incident. Privately owned security cameras are becoming more prevalent and are possibly sources of criminal evidence, including police misconduct. Municipally owned surveillance cameras are also increasingly popular.

I believe Taser already has pre-recording on their body camera, a form of continuous recording that captures the 30 seconds prior to activation. This will likely become a standard feature in all body cameras. Future developments will include automatic activation features, triggered perhaps by when an officer draws a weapon, exerts certain g-forces, runs, or the camera detects a gunshot. Stabilization and automated pan-tilt-zoom features might be available in the future too. All better ways of accomplishing what continuous recording might achieve.

I can only think of airline pilots as a profession subject to continuous recording .. and even then with strict policies and legislation governing when those recordings can be reviewed. Ironically, in the case of continuous body camera recording, the ACLU might side with the cops who object to its implementation.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Airline Cockpit Voice Recordings retain only the last 120 min of cockpit activity before an accident or before the aircraft systems are shut down. A similar limited interval could be used for BWCs plus allowing an officer to proactively save a longer period if he/she desires because of a specific event that they wish to have retained.

The ACLU, see above report, actually supports the use of BWCs:
" Scott Greenwood of the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) said at the September 2013 conference:
The average interaction between an officer and a citizen in an urban area is already
recorded in multiple ways. The citizen may record it on his phone. If there is some conflict
happening, one or more witnesses may record it. Often there are fixed security cameras
nearby that capture the interaction. So the thing that makes the most sense—if you really
want accountability both for your officers and for the people they interact with—is to also
have video from the officer’s perspective."

I encourage interested posters to read the COPS Report linked above. This is a complex issue and there are many perspectives that need to be considering when establishing a police BWC policy.

I recommend that police departments follow the Fire District's example on our acquisition and use of drones wherein the District drafted a drone use policy and held public hearingson that policy before authorizing the purchase and use of drones.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here ia another excellent article on Body Warn Cameras:

Web Link


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Posted by acomfort
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

acomfort is a registered user.

Juris said "I can only think of airline pilots as a profession subject to continuous recording . . . " Off the top of my head I could add a few more, nearly all clerks at convenience stores, clerks at major retail stores, all bank tellers and probably many others. This would include recording the employees and the customers even when they are in a private conversation. This is the current practice that I see around us.

I'm not saying this makes body cameras right, just that it is not a very big step from the recordings being done now.

Another option for privacy of an officer would be a button to temporarily pause the recording for 5-10 minutes.


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Posted by Juris
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Juris is a registered user.

@acomfort

Are you suggesting that AUDIO is being recorded in stores and banks, or merely video? Can you provide specific organizations and locations? I ask because there is a body of law in this state (the California Invasion of Privacy Act) that would place these organizations at risk of criminal and civil penalties for audio recording.

By the way, the cops are exempted from CIPA, perhaps explaining why security guards, store clerks, and bank tellers don't run around with body cameras attached to their clothing.

"The Legislature recognizes that law enforcement agencies have a
legitimate need to employ modern listening devices and techniques in
the investigation of criminal conduct and the apprehension of
lawbreakers. Therefore, it is not the intent of the Legislature to
place greater restraints on the use of listening devices and
techniques by law enforcement agencies than existed prior to the
effective date of this chapter."


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm

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The more I research the issue of Body Warn Cameras the more I appreciate how complex this issue is. There is no simple answer or simple policy. Hopefully we can have a community dialogue on this issue to develop BWC policies which are both effective and have broad public support.


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter
@juris

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. The more I think about BWCs - the more complex/interesting the issue seems to me as well.

"...Hopefully we can have a community dialogue on this issue to develop BWC policies which are both effective and have broad public support."

I do wish MPPD would issue a statement regarding their policy for BWCs. I think that would be a good place for a community discussion to start. For example - are BWC's voluntary or mandatory? If mandatory what's the policy for activating/deactivating the BWC? ....


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

t3 is a registered user.

The police cameras can record for up to 12 continuous hours. The entire 10 hour shift does not need to be stored only those portions that have to do with the beginning of any call for service to its completion and any interaction with the public.

I assume that the VIEVU wifi works just like the GoPro camera utilizing cell-phone wifi access to the internet enabling secure upload of video to servers.
Web Link

If not than any video footage that has been captured in the course of an interaction with a citizen should be uploaded to servers, (like "drop-cam"), independent of law enforcement prior to the officer going off duty on the day of duty where the footage can be accessible to the media and the public.

Police officers are human beings. If they did something wrong they are not going to turn over evidence that incriminates themselves.

As far as other members of the public providing citizens with evidence to counter police officers statements is extremely rare because the police are in control of all the evidence. The Menlo PD directed all citizens who witnessed this burglar not to make any statements to the media or public about it.

Why? Because the PD does not want to have to deal with contradictions in its story. This is why the police keep citizens and the media as far away from a crime scene as possible. They don't want the public to see what is going on at the crime scene because the PD wants to control how that crime scene is presented to the courts and later to the public.

Rest assured the MPPD did not want the pubic to be informed that its officers moved the body of the burglar.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 25, 2014 at 12:47 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

@t3:

You make some valid points but you lose all credibility when you start in with your conspiracy theory nonsense. We're you at the scene? How do you "know" they moved the body? Do you know why they did?


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Posted by Juris
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2014 at 8:23 am

Juris is a registered user.

@t3

The VIEVU camera documentation is available at the manufacturer's website. The VIEVU camera is not a GoPro. It is not a DropCam. VIEVU's law enforcement cameras have no ability to transmit wirelessly. The videos (and audio) are uploaded via a cable connection to a computer and stored on a server. The agency has the choice to store the video locally or subscribe to a cloud based storage service.

You suggest the public and media should have access to the videos. I suppose this would be transparency at its purest. But, it is a theoretical proposition ...

Would you like the recorded statement of a juvenile sexual assault victim posted on the Internet?

How about the witness to a gang shooting, including their name, address, and phone number? Would that further chill witness willingness to become involved??

Should the agency publish the statement of a domestic violence victim who desires privacy, something guaranteed by law?

Does the driver in a traffic stop need to have their image and address subject to public review? Would that information be helpful to the stalker or former spouse who wants the new address??

These questions are rhetorical. I put them out there to prompt you to consider the implications of what you suggest.

Body cameras have the potential to capture a wide variety of information, much of which is subject to protection by law. I suggest it would be too burdensome to require a government agency (at taxpayer expense) to dedicate the resources necessary to routinely edit, redact, and publish videos for the public and media.

Similar to continuous recording, routine publication is rife with privacy issues. On its face, it appears a simple solution, but it is actually quite complex.


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Posted by formerly formerly
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

formerly formerly is a registered user.

@t3

I read the GoPro link you supplied - that WIFI connection is to remotely control the camera - not off load data. this is irrelevant.

Juris' comments are much more on point. There are lots of unforeseen consequences to Wikileak-style posting all videos to the public.


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Posted by The Rev. Loon
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm

The Rev. Loon is a registered user.

I don't think we need to argue about posting all police videos for the public to see. What needs to happen is videos are mandated, and available to persons charged with crimes (to defend themselves), victims of crimes, and certainly the families of anyone killed by police, as well as the police officer himself in case he is accused of doing something wrong also.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"What needs to happen is videos are mandated,"

IF you read the reports that I have linked to above then you will realize that there are many police encounters which should NOT be videoed.

BWC are a complex problem and there are no simple solutions like " videos are mandated."


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter: I believe it was in the November 12, Daily Post article about the shooting in which the reporter interviewed a 12 year old boy who witnessed the officers move the body. The MPPD spoke person attempted to give a justification as to why they moved the body but it didn't really fly.

@The Rev. Loon: The problem with your position is that the law, the justice system, does not require the police or DA to turn over evidence as soon as is practical but within 30 days of an actual trial. A significant amount of time, often months, elapses from an incident until a trial. Furthermore they are under no obligation to provide a citizen the evidence if charges are never brought or if the charges are dropped. That is what happened in the Buckheit case.

There is no expectation of privacy in public which is what allows officers to record citizens in the first place.
If the police had control of these videos the public would have never seen them.
Web Link

@ Juris: "Would you like the recorded statement of a juvenile sexual assault victim posted on the Internet?"

Actually the police already do this with adults.

As far as witnesses are concerned they are protected from being revealed by law. AS far as conspiracy is concerned, the fact is police officers are trained to manipulate evidence and their police reports in such a manner as best to to obtain a conviction through plea deal. 95% of all felony convictions in the United States are obtained through plea deals.
Web Link
The police, the DA are under no obligation to produce the unadulterated truth, they are charged with putting on a prosecution. Some of you will disagree with that but that is the truth. Since they have more of a vested interest to win the case than produce the truth they develop an innate conflict of interest which clouds their judgment when it comes to producing evidence. This is how innocent people end up in prison.
Web Link



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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Palo Alto uses WatchGuard video Cameras.

Car Cam:
Watch Commander™ is the secure Live Video Streaming (LVS) solution that works with any WatchGuard 4RE™ in-car video system to give agencies complete situational awareness in real-time. It allows command staff (or any authorized officer) to see and hear what is happening as a situation unfolds.
Web Link

Lapel Cam:
9 Hours Of Continuous HD Recording On A Single Charge
Integrates With Evidence Library And 4RE® In-Car Video Systems
Record-After-The-Fact® Provides the Ultimate Safety Net
Web Link

The ADIXXION camera itself turns into an access point, allowing you to enjoy a variety of wireless functions. For example, you can stream images from ADIXXION “live” over the internet using USTREAM, or upload a freshly recorded video directly to YouTube without going through a PC.
Web Link


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:01 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

I was in law enforcement. I didn't "manipulate" evidence or facts. I recorded them. In fact, because I wanted to make sure the person I was arresting would be convicted I LOOKED for exculpatory evidence that might be used. There's nothing worse than having a case thrown out because you didn't do your job thoroughly. Most of the cops I worked with did the same.

Most felony convictions result from plea deals because they're GUILTY.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Well, turns out there is a MPPD Policy on BWC"S:

Web Link

Based on the COPS report cited above I think there are a lot of oversights and shortcomings in the MPPD Policy 450.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:51 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Great Job Peter


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It turns out that the text of MPPD Policy on BWC's on the web page is copy protected and cannot therefore be posted here.

1 - Why is it copy protected?

2 - Can another poster suggest how to circumvent the copy protection? This IS a public document.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Well no copy protection is unbreakable. While it is easier to look at the web page none of the content on the web page can be copied as a pdf or Word doc. Fortunately you can always do a screen photo.

Here are jpg's of the document:

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link


It appears to be a generic policy prepared by Lexipol and it contains some worrisome language like all citizen contacts are retained for 2 1/2 years.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

It's also contradictory. It says all recordings whether made by MPPD equipment or personal equipment and then later says recording using personal equipment is forbidden,


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Nov 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Good discussion.
Re: activation of cameras, the dispatcher could be given remote access to turn on cameras. Another simple solution would be voice activation by the officer when he has been dispatched to a situation. Car cams must be an integral part of the solution. Palo Alto seems to have a grasp on the issue of camera use.
Gun shot detection could trigger automatic upload of real time video, and previous minutes.

Question: What information did the officers have about the suspect before the incident? Violation of parole due to drug possession(for personal use?)is not my idea of a priority situation.
Was the suspect known to have carried a gun in the past?
Where's the police reports filed by the officers? Are they public record?

And, while the suspect apparently was not a "saint", would he have been treated differently if he were non-caucasian?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Jack:

you mean would they not have shot him if he was non-Caucasian?


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 3:24 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ Menlo Voter:
Perjury, standard operating procedure for officers:
Web Link

New Study Predicts Wrongful Conviction Rate in U.S. at 5,000 to 10,000 Per Year
Web Link

Neal Edward Trautman, Ph.D.; the Director of The
National Institute of Ethics published a report "Police
Code of Silence Facts Revealed" that identities the
code of silence within the police community. Mr.
Trautman found among other things that:

1. The police Code of Silence exists.
2. Some form of a Code of Silence will develop among
officers in virtually any agency.
3. The American criminal justice system and in particular
law enforcement, has been negligent by not attempting to
resolve the negative impact of the code.
4. The Code of Silence breeds, supports and nourishes
other forms of unethical actions.
5. Because the code is an essentially natural occurrence,
attempts to stop it all together will be futile.
6. The Code of Silence in law enforcement is more
dominant and influential than most other vocations or
professions.
7. It is virtually impossible for a law enforcement agency
to effectively determine how extensively the Code of
Silence exists within its own organization.
8. Whistle-blowers are generally not supported by the
administration of law enforcement agencies.
9. The Code of Silence is prompted by excessive use of
force incidents more than for any other specific
circumstance.
10. The Code of Silence usually occurs within cultures
created by the role-modeling of leaders.
11. A culture which acts as fertile ground for the
destructive features of the Code of Silence to grow is one
that promotes loyalty to people over integrity.
12. Leaders themselves lie at the core of both the cause
and solution to corruption and the Code of Silence.
13. The “rotten apple” theory that some administrators
propose as the cause of their downfall has frequently been
nothing more than a self-serving, superficial façade,
intended to draw attention away from their own failures.
Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm

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Since African Americans are shot at a disproportionately higher rate than Caucasians, it's a moot question, but here's the answer: he likely would've been killed, whether or not he was armed.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

hmmm:

your response is not clear. Are you saying a non-Caucasian would have also been shot?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

That was not my experience over 10 years.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Oops, sorry, MV. I meant that: Jack's question was a moot point. Matheny being killed, statistically, was more due to exhibiting a firearm, and of course firing it, than due to his race. Does that make sense?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

hmmm:
yes it does. That's what I was getting at. The introduction of the gun into the equation made race a moot point. You point a gun at a cop I don't care what your race you're going to get shot. Period. People should stop trying to drag race into everything.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

two of your sourced documents are from 2000. Fourteen years ago. A lot has gone on during that period of time. Do you have any recent research to support your contention that the police are a bunch of lying,racist pigs?


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Has it been confirmed that the alleged weapon was in fact fired?

"due to exhibiting a firearm, and of course firing it,"


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"Has it been confirmed that the alleged weapon was in fact fired?"

Not that I've seen. Again a distinction without a difference.


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Menlo Voter, I've never called the police racists and I would never call a cop a pig, pigs don't lie.

“It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors,
defense lawyers, and judges that perjury is widespread
among law enforcement officers … police lie to avoid
letting someone they think is guilty, or they know is guilty,
go free.” Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

You just can't handle the truth. Police are human beings just like the rest of society. Police are as prone to committing crimes against their fellow man as any non-cop.

I can point to dozens of recent incidents in which the police are not held accountable for their crimes but you will come up with an illegitimate excuse for every one.

If producing false evidence is not a part of your job then explain why thousands of innocent people are convicted of crimes every year?

Here is one for you,San Francisco police officers on trial in federal court for a number of crimes including stealing property, selling drugs and falsifying police reports.

None of these officers were disciplined by their own department nor charged by the DA or state AG for violating state crimes, which are numerous. These officers were only disciplined after federal charges were levied against them.
Web Link
Web Link

Web Link

You claim that you never experienced police officers doctoring evidence and reports. What police department or departments did you work for and what years. I bet I can find some fellow officers who contradict your assertion.

If producing false evidence was not routine then how is it that thousands of innocent people are convicted every year?

"For anyone who has practiced criminal law in the
state or Federal courts, the disclosures about rampant
police perjury cannot possibly come as a surprise."
"'Testilying' -- as the police call it -- has long been an open
secret among prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges."
Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor Emeritus of Harvard Law


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

I worked in a large bay area police department for 10 years. The department had over 1000 officers. I was there from the mid 80's to the mid 90's.

Do some police lie? Of course. Do all police lie? No. You're painting with awfully broad brush.

There's no point in discussing it further as your mind is already made up given that any of my assertions are "illegitimate."


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Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

pogo is a registered user.

"If producing false evidence is not a part of your job then explain why thousands of innocent people are convicted of crimes every year?"

Seriously? You really need help figuring that out?

And often with overwhelming evidence, thousands of criminals are let go. I wonder if you are equally puzzled.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 11:36 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Menlo Voter Thanks
I had only asked that because of a previous blog. I agree just the gun out is enough if that is what happened.

"Has it been confirmed that the alleged weapon was in fact fired?"

Not that I've seen. Again a distinction without a difference.


2 people like this
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm

t3 is a registered user.

The reason why you do not want to debate the issue is because you know that your position would be exposed as a fraud. Thus, I win because you forfeit.

"Former OKC Officer Federally Indicted For Training People To Beat Polygraph Test"
Web Link

He's not being targeted by the feds because he trained cops how to lie, but because he has exposed the truth of the fraud of polygraph tests.
"On CBS 60 MINUTES, Doug Williams proved that the polygraph is not a "lie detector" - innocent truthful people were called liars on a crime that never even happened! Go to the MEDIA page to watch this eye-opening investigative report. It proves that just telling the truth does not work!"
Web Link

"Police lie. It's part of their job."
Valerie Van Brocklin: former state and federal prosecutor international expert trainer for law enforcement tactics.
Web Link

Case law which provides the police the right to lie to citizens which is illegal for citizens to do to the police.
Arthur v. Commonwealth, 480 S.E. 2d 749 (Va.
1997),
Sheriff, Washoe Co. v. Bessey, 914 P. 2d 618
(Nev. 1996),
People v. Henry, 518 N.Y.S.2d 44 (N.Y. App. Div.
1987),
State v. Whittington, 809 A. 2d 721 (Md. App.
2002),

"Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." Thomas Jefferson


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Pogo, presently most crimes goes unsolved in which perpetrators are never even charged. Are you suggesting that because some criminals get away with crimes they have been charged with due to insufficient evidence or other faulty due process problems that the police should be allowed to violate the "rule of law" to ensure that they obtain convictions?


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Menlo Voter: Second comment above directed to you.


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Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

pogo is a registered user.

What I'm suggesting is that people get convicted because a jury believed they were guilty. Perhaps that "innocent" defendant had an extensive prior history, was in a compromising situation (like being in the wrong place at the wrong time), was caught in a lie and discredited or had a bad attorney.

And perhaps a guilty defendant was later released because the prosecutor couldn't prove a chain of evidence or that a right was properly given ... which doesn't necessarily equate to innocence.

A guilty verdict of an innocent party isn't necessarily because the police manufactured evidence. There are far more reasons that are far more frequent.

Do police lie? Of course. So do attorneys, judges, jurors, defendants and even Presidents. That's not especially newsworthy.


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Pogo: Thank you for your candid thoughts.

So I gather what you are saying is that it is okay for the police and DAs to prosecute innocent people based upon erroneous evidence so long as the police and DA BELIEVE that the evidence is true and is sufficient to obtain a conviction.

"He who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him." Abraham Lincoln

"It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape." "A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither" Thomas Jefferson

I have to go and enjoy the freedom of Thanksgiving that was won by colonists who overthrew tyrannical British legal system, so I will catch up to you tomorrow evening.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

t3:

as I said I won't debate with someone who has a closed mind. There's no point. God forbid you should pay attention to someone that actually did the job. If you think you "win" I'm happy for you. [part removed.] Good day.


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Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Nov 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

pogo is a registered user.

So I gather what you are saying is that it is okay for the police and DAs to prosecute innocent people based upon erroneous evidence so long as the police and DA BELIEVE that the evidence is true and is sufficient to obtain a conviction.

I said no such thing. Ever.

First, police don't "prosecute" people, prosecutors do. Police arrest and charge crimes. Prosecutors decide if the charges are sufficient for them to prevail in court. Prosecutors drop charges ALL THE TIME because they believe the case is flimsy. Prosecutors may even drop more charges than they pursue for all I know.

With regard to your suggestion that it is okay for prosecutors to pursue cases as long as they "believe" the evidence is true, it's difficult to answer. What's the difference in believing the evidence is true and the evidence really being true?

If your point is that a District Attorney knowingly fools themselves by pretending evidence is solid when it really isn't, that would be a horribly risky career strategy. Most judges don't appreciate an attorney misrepresenting a case or pursuing a bogus case. There are consequences for their actions. In addition to making the wrongfully charged person very rich, they can be sanctioned, suspended, disbarred, lose elections and jobs, and even be prosecuted themselves.

A better question for you - what personal gain would they possibly have pursuing bogus cases? Getting their jollies?


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Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Pogo: "In addition to making the wrongfully charged person very rich, they can be sanctioned, suspended, disbarred, lose elections and jobs, and even be prosecuted themselves." Pogo

Actually very seldom do people who are wrongly charged and prosecuted receive any kind of compensation. The media coverage of the high profile cases in which an innocent person spends 20 years in prison has resulted in this fallacy.

"Prosecutors drop charges ALL THE TIME because they believe the case is flimsy." Pogo

Thus you acknowledge that police officers often file charges that should not be filed in the first place.

And actually the investigating agency is also a part of the prosecution:
"In every criminal prosecution there exists an entity which the courts call the ―prosecution team.‖ ―Courts have thus consistently ‗decline[d] to draw a distinction between different agencies under the same government, focusing instead upon the ‗prosecution team‘ which includes both investigative and prosecutorial personnel.‖
(In re Brown (19198) 17 Cal.4th 873, 879.) The prosecution team has four component parts:
The prosecutor‘s office;
The investigating agency or agencies;
Assisting agencies and persons;
and Agencies closely tied to the prosecution. (See Pen. Code, § 1054.5.)"


"what personal gain would they possibly have pursuing bogus cases?" Pogo

"civil asset forfeiture" or "asset forfeiture" laws being one and the for profit prisons being the other just to name two.

If the three below are not enough I can provide you with more factual support.
Overcharging: Web Link

Prosecutorial Misconduct Goes Unpunished: Web Link

Web Link



Like this comment
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ Menlo Voter: who acknowledges that he is the one with the closed mind for refusing to look at evidence that supports a position that is contrary to his own; to the one he is biased for.

Calling someone names, "small minds" is a typical Ad Hominem response from someone who cannot handle public debate or refute the opposing argument so he resorts to discredit the person rather than the argument so as to deflect away the fact that he is the one who sits in error.

Rather than discrediting the evidence put forth, the "closed minded" attempt to discredit the opposition through character assassination, (law enforcement is trained to do this by the way), refusing to accept the truth of a matter. Contrary to the "closed minded" the "open minded" are willing to allow their position to be challenged and when it is proved that their position is in error the "open minded" conform their world view and volition to be in line with that which was previously thought to be in error.

The "closed minded" refuse to conform to the truth of a matter and hold onto the error for personal/corporate biases and prejudices.


Like this comment
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm

t3 is a registered user.

Here is a few more incentives for you:

"newly obtained documents reveal that local police agencies have indeed used the number of low-level drug arrests to sustain critical law enforcement funding from the federal government under a program called the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program."
Web Link

"Qualls Jones' defender, Ariel Boyce-Smith, got the officers to admit they were on overtime and that the police department receives grants for these types of operations.

"He didn't accept a dime, they made up this crime, while they were getting paid overtime."
Web Link

" But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so. That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly. Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”
Web Link





Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 28, 2014 at 8:35 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

t3 - I think you are grasping for statements from anyone about police misconduct. None of these have any apparent connections to MPPD. There are always citations that can be used as a generic condemnation of any group of people but such statements are not proof of anything.

Just because you find a statement that somebody found a red bird does not mean that all birds are therefore red.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For another perspective t3 and others should watch this vide:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Peter, Great video, I don't recall seeing that on any news media.


Like this comment
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2014 at 11:11 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ Peter Carpenter: "I think you are grasping for statements from anyone about police misconduct."

Another dismissive statement to deflect away from facts and data provided by law professors about law enforcement in general.

You criticize me for providing evidence that supports my position because the documents about police/prosecutorial misconduct do not cite the Menlo Park Police, yet you then cite a video of a sheriff from state 2,000 miles away who is commenting on an incident that has occurred in state that he himself does not live in which is also 2,000 miles. This sheriff goes on a diatribe about AG Eric Holder being a political homer again which has nothing to do with Menlo Park revealing your hypocrisy for doing that which you criticized me of doing.


"Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice."
The study reveals ``a basic truth about how the criminal justice system operates,'' said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor who teaches criminal law and ethics at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Levenson was one of seven experts in criminal procedures and ethics who reviewed the Mercury News findings. ``A lot of sausage gets pushed through that machine. Errors that help the prosecution are common. The uneven nature of criminal justice is a serious concern.''
Web Link

In nearly 100 cases, prosecutors engaged in questionable conduct, including withholding evidence, defying a judge's orders or misleading juries. "Experts say individual prosecutors reflect the dominant culture in their office, and too often it's all about winning rather than ethics and fairness."
In over 160 cases, judges failed to oversee trials impartially—allowing improper evidence or improperly favoring the prosecution—and repeatedly failed to properly instruct juries. This may partly come from the fact that judges are elected, and no one wants to appear "soft on crime." (This also means that judges tend to come from the ranks of prosecutors, and the relationship between the two groups is fairly cozy.)
Web Link

"The Use of Force / Officer's use of force is excused - until a camera documents it"
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2014 at 11:25 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ Peter Carpenter:
"Mr. Kaditz filed a claim with the city last September, alleging that he was injured after Officer Mackdanz slammed his face into the hood of a patrol car after he was pulled over while driving home. The designated driver after an evening out, he was driving with three friends in the car, according to the claim."

"Mr. McClure said that even though the jury in the McBay case awarded the plaintiff $27,000, it didn't award any punitive damages. The award included payment for "pain and suffering," medical expenses and lost wages, he said.

"Essentially they found that it was an unfortunate incident where the guy was injured and shouldn't have been injured," Mr. McClure said."
Web Link

Mackdanz, the same officer involved in this shooting in which three officers show up all supposed to be wearing a lapel camera and recording all of their actions before they exited their patrol cars yet not one of them recorded the incident and then DA Wagestaff come out with a prophecy that he believes it is possible that none of the officers recorded the incident a week after looking at the cameras to see if anything was recorded on them.

"The unfiring of a Menlo Park police officer
How police officer Jeffrey Vasquez got his job back, and why shrouding binding arbitration in secrecy serves neither the public nor law enforcement......."
Web Link


Lawmakers demand probe of sheriff's Las Vegas brothel visit
U.S. representatives say San Mateo County's top cop needs to be held accountable
Nearly one year ago, Las Vegas police broke down the door to an illegal brothel, caught San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks inside and marched him at gunpoint out of the building and into the street....
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

t3 - you missed the point of my posting the Sheriff Clark video; I was hoping that you might begin to understand the damage that posters like you do when you indiscriminately demean those who serve us. [Portion removed; be respectful of other posters.]


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

The elephant in the room is that far more black and brown people are killed, injured and victimized by other black and brown people than have ever been "victimized" by the police.

Yet we never hear about the daily shootings that kill young black and brown men do we? No, we hear about the unusual case of a police officer killing a young black man. And in this particular case it was an ARMED white man.

I would take the minority community's complaints more seriously when they take to the streets protesting a rioting every time a young black or brown person is murdered. Of course, in short order there wouldn't be anything left to burn down.


1 person likes this
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 29, 2014 at 12:10 pm

t3 is a registered user.

@ Peter Carpenter:

are you saying that exposing police and prosecutor wrongdoing is damaging to law enforcement?

Do you mean like revealing how former district attorney and judge Ken Anderson receiving a 10 day sentence for withholding exculpatory evidence from Michael Morton and then placing Michael Morton in prison for 25 years by using false evidence and would still be there if it were not for people working for truth?
Web Link

Michael Morton lost his wife and then was denied 25 years of raising his young child. What is demeaning and damaging to law enforcement is that Ken Anderson walks away without spending 25 years of his life in prison.

Is it damaging and demeaning to law enforcement to reveal to the public that there have been 1,480 people exonerated of the most serious crimes imaginable?
Web Link

So, are you saying that media should only report on the wrongdoing of citizens and not the wrongdoing government and government's agents?


SOP of Plea Deals:
"Bowers and Walker went on trial together in Santa Clara County Superior Court in August 1991. While the prosecution was still presenting its evidence, Bowers agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and testify against Walker."
"A new defense attorney for Walker later found five witnesses who testified that Walker was not at the murder scene. Dunbar admitted that she had lied to implicate Walker because she was promised leniency on a drug charge—a deal that the prosecution failed to disclose to Walker’s lawyer prior to trial.
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Holly L.
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Holly L. is a registered user.

t3 has raised some legitimate questions in this discussion, which has now gone too far afield.

One of the questions raised was whether the San Mateo DA was being professional in his comments on this issue. As in other incidences, I believe the DA was NOT professional in what he said. The point for reporters in the Bay Area is to have a healthy amount of professional skepticism about anything that comes out of the DA's office and to put statements made by that office to an extremely rigorous and extensive fact checking test.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There are over 800,000 sworn police officers on the US and it is irresponsible to weaken the public's trust in all of those officers by repeatingly posting allegations that some very small fraction of a percent of those 800,000 exhibit bad behavior.

The riots and lootings we are now seeing reflect the kind of mistrust that such unbalanced postings encourage.


1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

[Post removed. Please don't use Town Square to accuse people of criminal behavior or other misconduct.]


1 person likes this
Posted by t3
a resident of another community
on Nov 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm

t3 is a registered user.

[Post removed. Please discuss the topic without characterizing other posters and their comments.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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