Police Union Challenge Halts SJPD Body Camera Program

The failure to charge police officers in two separate killings of unarmed black men has sparked protests across the country, and along with them, calls to outfit cops with body cameras. It's with this backdrop that the San Jose Police Department received praise last week for 12 officers volunteering to wear body cameras as part of a pilot program.

What several reports failed to mention, however, is that internal politics has temporarily derailed the program.

SJPD’s Research and Development division has acquired three types of cameras, including one worn on pairs of glasses. Steps were being taken to begin testing the devices in the field, but in late October the Police Officers Association challenged the process, arguing that it should be negotiated as a “meet and confer” issue.

On Oct. 22, Sgt. Elle Washburn sent an email to stakeholders in the process to test body-worn cameras, or BWC:

"Our office learned last week that our BWC Pilot is currently on hold," Washburn wrote. "The Chief received word from our Union that the BWC Pilot is now a ‘meet and confer’ issue. This came to our office without warning, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  We currently have a meeting mid-November with the Union to discuss the pilot."

San Jose Inside spoke with department spokesperson Sgt. Heather Randol and it seems that meeting has still yet to take place has not led to an agreement. (UPDATE: Randol sent an email to San Jose Inside on Tuesday morning clarifying her earlier comments about the department meeting with the police union. "The POA has met with the Department to discuss some of the meet and confer issues," she wrote. "We have not had the final meeting to finalize policy issues but there have been 2 meetings in which the POA brought up their concerns.")

Calls for comment to POA officials were not returned. A change in union leadership will begin Jan. 1, when Paul Kelly takes over the role of president from Jim Unland.

Washburn said in her email that she hopes the program will start in "early 2015," but both she and Randol say there is no specific timeline.

San Jose's independent police auditor, LaDoris Cordell, applauded the department and Police Chief Larry Esquivel for moving forward on acquiring body-worn cameras, noting that they can help protect citizens from potential abuse as well as officers and the city from false claims and lawsuits. But she called the POA's attempts to delay implementation "shameful."

"This is all political," Cordell said. "It has nothing to do with the efficacy of cameras. It’s shameful."

SJPD reportedly acquired two BWC systems made by Taser International and one by Vievu. The latter company supplies cameras to the New York City Police Department and thousands of other agencies, according to news reports.

Some studies suggest that wearable cameras reduce citizen complaints against police officers and reduce the chance that cops will resort to violence. For years Cordell has lobbied for their use, especially with the increasing number of officer-involved shootings.

But as the killing of Eric Garner showed, the problem in some cases isn't a lack of evidence. Garner's death was ruled a homicide by a coroner, after Staten Island police aggressively took him to the ground and cut off his air supply. But a grand jury handed down no indictment against the officer who put him in a chokehold.

Spurred by the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the White House announced a plan to get 50,000 officers in the US to wear body cameras. President Obama proposed a three-year $263 million program to increase the use of wearable cameras, expand training for police and provide resources for law enforcement reform. The program sets aside $75 million specifically for small lapel-mounted cameras. Local law enforcement agencies would match half the cost, if they qualify for some of that federal money.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

40 Comments

  1. Josh…thank you for finally coming right out front with the bias that you wouldn’t own up to during the election. The POA isn’t against cameras, but does want to ensure that procedures are in place prior to their implementation that are fair to officers and the public. Obviously, a camera that has the potential to record every second of someone’s day also holds the potential for intrusiveness and abuse. The public as well as officers will be affected by their implementation. What if someone doesn’t want a camera rolling inside their private residence?

    There’s nothing wrong with establishing ground rules for when the cameras are required to be used, how the footage is stored and who has access to what has been stored. Is that really so hard to understand? I guess for someone like you, who holds a strong anti-police bias, maybe it is. As for Cordell, the simple fact that she holds the position she does is “shameful.”

    • Pete you do bring up some good points. I’m for cameras, but it’s what we do with the video that is my highest concern.

      Just read an article the other day how one municipality received a records request for all lapel camera videos. The worry is there is predators that request these things. Example, in Nevada all mugshot photo’s are public. There are websites that charge $1000’s of dollars to remove your mugshot photo from their websites.

      Now do we really want to make embarrassing video of a dui arrest public? Probably not.

      • Until the POA stepped in, the SJPD Administration was about to start up the camera trial program without any procedures in place at all. Not a very bright move by the Administration, which unfortunately isn’t surprising.

          • Why does there need to be anything in place now? SJPD cannot use it. Aside from al the policy issues didn’t the FAA just advise that operators must have some sort of license to fly it and currently the only officers with an FAA license already are assigned to the helicopter?

            Did anyone know that the bomb squad already has a couple (maybe) more drones? Robots that are equipped with cameras and can be out fitted and often are outfitted with….gasp…. remotely operated SHOTGUNS!

            Bigged difference is the”robots” are ground operated drones. S-U-C-K-A’s!

      • Mr. Cortese, sir,

        I can stop all police brutality incidents and complaints and without the use of cameras. The process would be simple. First, like the mafia and San José’s gang problem, we would stop denying the existence of the “Race Industry” and acknowledge and legitimize it. California would then classify any ethnic activist organization as a non-profit organization (a group could not be officially recognized, however, if it is comprised of non-minority members, or composed of a minority group that no one cares about, i.e., one whose members have assimilated and gotten ahead through hard work) so that donations to it can be taken as tax deductions and its donors can remain anonymous.

        Candidates for employment in “The Industry” can submit their applications, in the form of criminal rap sheets and proof of ethnicity, and once hired, they will be issued a company identification card. Also, once hired, the “employee” agrees to resist arrest and/or not to follow any lawful direction of the police whenever stopped or arrested. The employee agrees to escalate any contact with police into a use of force situation, of as a violent a nature as possible. When the “employee” is arrested, and/or (thinks) they have been “profile stopped” (a non-rebuttable presumption, the accusation is sufficient sustain it) or treated rudely in any way (real or imagined), he or she simply presents their “Race Industry” identification card. The cops are then required by law to request that a city attorney and a “Victim Appraisal Officer” respond to the scene. The Appraisal officer will examine and document the “Employee’s” injuries (physical and/or emotional), apply an established rate scale and the city attorney representative will issue a check or cash, at the Employee’s discretion, right there on the spot, as well as making a direct deposit into the account of the “Racial Subsidiary” or Activist contractor for who the Employee works. However, checks would be issued only after an “agreement of non-disclosure” of the incident is signed, to help insure the success of the program. Franchise opportunities would be available but only for specified victim groups.

        This would eliminate nearly all police use of force complaints and probably save the city money in the long run, due to the reduction in litigation and its inevitable pay out anyway, and most important of all, it would preempt political embarrassment and controversy. It would also be less expensive than hiring more cops.

        Sadly, the more one thinks about this, the less sarcastic it becomes and the more sense it makes.

  2. I’m for body cameras for all elected officials starting with President Obama, Jerry Brown, DIanne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer.

    Finally, we’ll be able to find out what they’re promising to big donors and special interests.

    • Mr. SJOUTSIDE THE BUBBLE, sir,

      Cameras for the politicians you mentioned would be a bad idea. If Feinstein or Boxer accidentally left their cameras on in the the dressing room or boudoir and the footage ever got out, no amount of counseling would be able to erase that psychological scar. Now Bill Clinton on the other hand…

  3. LaDoris Cordells opinion means less than squat . It is most definitely a “meet and confer” issue . The POA wants and needs all information as to what how and why the cameras will be used . For this Potato head of a Chief to sign off on it with out having a plan of action is just sheer stupidity. This is exactly why The City of San Jose is involved in so many lawsuits . Because it refuses to think “Big Picture” . The POA is NOT against Cameras , they just wish to know all the info , before it is implemented.

  4. OK so now I’m bothered, apparently officers have a double standard.

    So they have no issue with purchasing a drone (behind closed doors and without public input) No real plan in place with the drone other than, “Fly the thing!” Meanwhile, a mandate from Obama says, “All cops should wear cameras now” and they (the SJPD) protests.

    • Robert,

      Although Josh Koehn and Ladoris Cordell would love for you to believe the Body Worn Camera – Meet and Confer issue came to a head within the past two weeks with Obama ushering the idea into the media, it did not.

      The Union, just as they have over the last 40 years with nearly anything procedural which would require extensive written policy, wants to make certain it does not infringe upon the officers rights. This has been going on for decades, and it is nothing new. There has to be a very clear understanding of the guidelines prior to something like this being launched due to the fact Administrators, the IPA, politicians, and lawyers will undoubtedly be champing at the bit to get their hands on video footage and do what they wish before any “rules” are in place. In simple terms, important policies cannot simply be ad-libbed when there are huge liabilities at stake for not only officers, but Victims, Witnesses, and the city as a whole.

      Regarding the policy with the drone – do you understand there is existing SCOTUS precedent which allows for airborne and remote surveillance? Due to current discussion simply educating “concerned citizens” on the aforementioned precedent, the issue regarding potential video footage has not been touched.

      Now, addressing your asinine claim of a “double standard”, between drone video and Body Worn Cameras – this is apples to oranges. #1, BWC’s document direct contact between officers and Suspects, Witnesses, Victims, Reporting Parties, bystanders etc. A drone, under the proposed guidelines, would document surveillance footage of dangerous situations with the small potential to view interactions from a distance. #2, The drone is a tactical surveillance device. BWC’s are documentation devices. #3 The drone would be used on rare occasions. BWC’s would be used VERY often. Aside from being having video recorsing capabilities, they are in no way the same.

      • Steve,

        You claim there is a distinction between body cameras and drones, and you say that drones are tactical while body worn cameras (will call them BWC from herin) are documentive.

        I claim the purpose of either is not mutually exclusive as proper documentation is tactical.

        Weed,

        I’m a pretty avid RC plane dude. Pretty much discovered com hill for slope gliding (after it was bought by the city and opened up)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B444WCSO8tE

        A lot like that ^^

        The FAA doesn’t require a license for anything under 20lbs. Might be a good idea to get an AMA (american aeronautics association) license. Comes with $10k in liability insurance. These quadcopters pretty much fly themselves out of the box.

      • Steve Rogers wrote: “The Union… wants to make certain it does not infringe upon the officers rights.” What rights would those be, please?

        • JMO’ your an educated respected individual and I realize this forum doesn’t lend itself all that well to conveying individual meaning and intents behind commenter’s posts.

          Your request asking for an enumeration of “officer’s rights” comes across as implying that perhaps officers have no rights – a gross conceptual error that so many in society and especially our biased media hosts have long espoused as if it were a well known fact.

          Sure as government officials, the police have a diminished expectation of privacy and perhaps almost none when acting in their official capacity.

          Consider the fact that these BWC devices officers will soon be ordered to wear have the capability to record everything in there presence 24/7 whether worn on the body during duty or hanging in an officer’s locker while he /she is off duty far from San Jose. Recording everything officers may be discussing in the lockeroom and later deemed “public”….

          Or… the fact that these devices record and save activity that occurs at least 30 seconds prior to the officer wearing the camera switching it on to record a contact and 30 seconds after switching it off. Let’s say the officer is on the phone to a spouse or otherwise engaged in conversation or activity (maybe taking a leak in a restroom) in that 30 seconds prior to turning the device on to record a contact with a citizen who later file a complaint or FOIA request for the recording which catches the officer shaking and zipping up…. or mumbling “adam henry” well out of earshot of the citizen… part 2 becomes the object of a complaint against the officer. ALL that occurs while the government official is on duty drawing a taxpayer paid salary and now it’s all on TMZ and youtube… Josh and the MercTro staff are banging the drums to hold the officer accountable… and on an on it goes.

          Dont get me wrong The 30 second before and after feature is valuable it puts the contact with the citizen in context. Officers can’t wind a person up then turn the camera on and justify what may take place… also can’t turn the camera off and get one last off the record punch/kick in… but it also allows for violations of an officer’s privacy rights.
          There are e plenty of rights in Gov’t Code 3300+ that also must be protected.

    • Mr. CORTESE, sir,

      Beyond the logistical nightmares of storage and retrieval, these are the questions that must be answered before any officer receives a “camera implant”: How will the camera be started and stopped, by the officer, his supervisor, the Records or Communications Unit? Who will retain the video and where? Can the video be edited for court room presentation or does the jury have to watch 30 minutes of walking around to get to the 5 seconds of evidentiary value? If editing is allowable, who determines when, how, and how much editing will occur? Can defense attorneys be present during editing? Does the officer have access to his own copy of his own recording and can he play it back to assist in report writing or in response to supervisory requests or is it locked up somewhere else once it’s recorded? What is the storage duration? These are not insubstantial questions. These and more are necessary to prevent allegations that officers only start cameras when they want to and shut them off before they do something bad, or that they alter the footage etc, etc, ad nauseum.

      What expectation of privacy can a crime victim rely on if an officer is wearing a camera?

      Does the officer have to advise and get consent to run a camera every time he goes into the home of a crime victim, or even a suspect? Does the victim of a rape, robbery, domestic violence assault or even just a burglary or broken window, have to be recorded? If not, who determines that and at what point in the investigation is that decision made?
      Police cameras in someone’s house are intrusive. Maybe victims and witnesses don’t want video taken of their kids, or likewise taken of pictures on walls that might indicate where they work, where their kids go to school, who their friends are etc. There are all manner of very personal things that can be learned simply by glancing around someone’s living room or kitchen and even more from the inside of bedrooms and closets. Do people want cops recording all this? These issues need to be addressed because everything on that recording is potentially discoverable by a suspect and his attorney and it is extremely more difficult and expensive (some may even say prohibitively expensive) to redact video footage to protect innocents.

      Cameras may have a chilling effect on information gathering. How? Imagine you live in an area of town that has more than its fair share of drug dealing and violent crime. You witness something and want to tell it to the cops there. You know that if you approach and say something like, “Hey, officer, the dude in the red shirt threw the gun in the bushes over there”, you can then probably blend back into the neighborhood without being noticed, especially if you leave before the cops can get your name (or just give a fake one because you just wanted the gun found before some little kid got it) Your risk of being identified by the gang-bangers is probably acceptable under those circumstances. However, if cops are all wearing cameras, you know your face is going to be recorded and some gang banger could potentially recognize you later. As well, since you were recorded talking to the cops, you, the witness, can’t even deny you did it if confronted later. Word will get around quickly and there will be more potential witnesses intimidated and reluctant to come forward and fewer crimes solved. Try it yourself. Go up to someone and ask for directions. Then hold up a camera or a tape recorder and watch how reluctant they are to talk to you, just about simple directions. Do it next time your boss calls you into his office. I doubt the IPA would give you a copy of her last interview with a complainant, even if it was redacted to protect the complainant’s identity. If the IPA has to do all the extra work redacting it, I guarantee you she won’t do it.

      Please don’t mistake IPA Cordell’s call for cop-cameras as a way to protect the public. It is nothing more than floundering for relevance by someone whose main focus is getting someone to acknowledge her existence. Look in to her background, past public statements, comments; connect the dots and you will likely find the sketch of her agenda and preconceived bias. Cordell’s only clamoring for cameras on cops so that she can show ONLY the bad or questionable things cops might do but she will NEVER show any acts of selfless, serious,risk taking or heroism that might appear on any video. Also, with selective editing and particularly without audio, it is very easy for someone to shape the perception of a piece of video.

      A picture might be worth a thousand words but it often takes more than a thousand words to describe a picture.

      • Beyond the logistical nightmares of storage and retrieval,
        You know I get paid a lot of money to solve these kinds of issues. I don’t see a “Logistical nightmare” as you put it. The only time the cameras will dump their video is when they need to present evidence, so all that’s really needed is some sort of NAS with a few terabytes of storage.

        What expectation of privacy can a crime victim rely on if an officer is wearing a camera?
        Same as if they weren’t wearing a camera.

        Imagine you live in an area of town that has more than its fair share of drug dealing and violent crime.
        Don’t have to imagine. Lived there done that. Name any scummy area of SJ and I’ve probably lived there.

        Here’s an article about a town in CA (Rialto) that gave every officers cameras. It’s worked out real well.

        http://www.policefoundation.org/content/body-worn-cameras-police-use-force

        • Mr. Cortese, sir,

          I’m not sure where you have worked and I was not saying that the storage and retrieval issue could not be solved. However, San Jose PD Records Unit staffing has been so devastated that they can barely index and enter data from the reports they have now. When last I checked, the back log for data entry on field interview cards alone was almost 1 year. The Comm Center seldom has anyone, at least not anyone who isn’t willing to use their own break time, to pull a simple MDT call print out, or even worse, for a radio tape record on those few occasions it is requested.. The channels are all simulcast often and the supervisors can barely find the resources to simply answer the phones, much less dispatch calls. Neither Unit has the resources or time for extra work to be dumped on them.

          Sir, having read many of your previous posts, I have found you to be a thoughtful and intelligent person. The fact that you don’t see the difference between the police coming into a house to interview a rape victim without a camera rolling, and coming into that same house to interview a traumatized, bloody, crying rape victim with her clothes half torn off and recording it all, surprises me. Victims can be interviewed and recorded in ways other than when they are beaten all to hell and often in emotional shock. Some of these poor little things are so emotionally stunned that they don’t even realize they are only half clothed. They don’t need that sort of thing recorded, without their knowledge, by some cop, male or female, wearing a camera they can’t shut off.

          Can I come to your house to investigate your burglary and incidentally have my cop-cam record your kids and the photos on your mantle that can show what school they go to, or their baby shoes sitting next to the framed pictures of their birth and/or baptismal certificates? People have things like this and more, just in their living rooms. Remember, whatever is on that cop-cam is POTENTIALLY DISCOVERABLE BY the 3rd striker, PAROLEE PERVERT who just broke into your house to take your valuables and your teenage daughter’s underwear. (I’ve investigated at least 3 burglaries where things like this have happened). REMEMBER, that cop-cam just recorded a school photo that shows what high school your daughter attends. If I can’t shut off that cop-cam, ON ALL investigations, I can’t shut it off on ANY investigation and I can’t edit it later to protect your family because it is evidence and I can’t alter it! Of course, I can get an evidence camera and record just things of an evidentiary value alone, but the cop-cam gets everything, wherever I turn.

          I have no idea what parts of town you lived in but if you have been able to find a witness or develop an informant who was willing to let you record them telling you which little “banger” just shot or stabbed the other little “banger, or just burglarized a house, sold dope, or robbed the liquor store, if you can talk them in to letting you record them giving you information that might get them killed later, well, then you’re a better cop than I am. Out of curiosity, how many drive-by shootings have you witnessed in the “scummy areas” in which you lived and how often have you talked to the cops about them, knowing that your statement might mark you for retaliation? It’s difficult to do that normally but knowing that they are being recorded, at the scene, reduces the odds of someone doing it. It is much easier to get a recorded statement in the (victim perceived) safety of the police station that in any manner at the scene.

          As for the link you provided, I can only reply that there are advantages and disadvantages to any technology in police work. If an officer has no discretion and therefore no control of a crime scene and the immediate environment, as I have described, the disadvantages outweigh. the advantages.

          I admit that due to my personal experiences, my mind is closed regarding this matter even though that may not be good but it is true. I believe you feel the way you do because you are naive, and please, that is absolutely not an insult. I probably wouldn’t understand your job either. I intend no condescension or offense.

          • I just got it from the “logistics” part of your post. If you didn’t mean storage logistics, then please excuse the brevity of my post.

            I live in D9 now, right next to Hammer Elementary. A few years back some gang bangers wrecked their car on Bouret. I witnessed them moving guns from the disabled car to a working one. When I told them, “Can you move your car?” (they were parked side by side, to faciliate the movement of firearms” I had what looked like an AK-47 (could have been a SKS, hard to tell at that distance) pointed at me while they flipped some gang signs.

            I wish this was all sarcasm :(

            Thing is, I grew up around a lot of these folks. As a teen, freshly out of the childrens shelter and years of abandonment, I gravity towards these types for a sense of belonging. I understand them well.

            Anyhow, let’s touch on a camera incident I’m sure you’re familiar with…

            Phoung Ho
            http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_13635707

            My old friend (haven’t talked to him in about 4 years) recorded that cell phone video. Unfortunately it was a one sided deal. SJPD didn’t have any documentation on what happened preceding the incident other than their word against his.

            The cost for the city to settle? $225,000. Not including the legal fee’s.

            Now as your boss (aka a taxpayer paying [email protected] in property taxes now) I don’t like having to pay out that kind of money. If we could have avoided that single settlement, it would have covered the costs for cameras.

            Let’s talk about another settlement (that I had no personal involvement with) Cau Thi Tran.
            http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SAN-JOSE-1-8-million-settlement-in-killing-by-2558796.php

            $1.8 million dollars to settle that.

            Your philosophical debating aside, I am purely looking at this from a cost-benefit analysis. Is there a cost benefit to not having cameras? I don’t think so.

            If you can point out the savings from not having cameras, then I’m all ears, but semantical arguments paired in with philosophical ones are not going to fund your pensions or restore your pay. Having cameras will.

          • Could have sworn I had a reply here…

            JS can you tell me how much the city has had to payout in settlements in the last 15 years? I don’t have an exact number, but 2 incidents I do know about.

            Phuong Ho – $225,000
            Cau Bich Tran – $1,800,000

            Now purely from a business standpoint.

            Total of settlements – $2,025,000
            Cost of Cameras – $300,000
            Difference -$1,725,000

            Would have left us with a cost benefit return rate of around 5.75 dollars to every dollar spent on cameras.

            Look, I know why the cops don’t want the cameras, and it has nothing to do with anything you’ve said so far. Cops I know have to bend rules sometimes to “Get Schit done” It’s the fear of getting caught rule bending that’s the root reason why you don’t want them.

            Instead of looking at this as a personal offense to you guys, look at it another way. $1.7m would have kept at least 3 officers employed for 5 years.

            And for the record, I grew up in ESSJ, went to Sheppard Middle and James lick. I’ve been around some of the scummiest people you guys deal with daily. My wife being from Almaden Valley REFUSED to move out there, so we live in D9. I must say, I enjoy not having every person I pass on the sidewalk not give me hard looks.

        • Mr. Cortese, sir.

          I am often amused and occasionally entertained by people who believe that statistics are the only valid form of argument. While we are on lawsuit pay out numbers, do those you have put forth include all the “nuisance value” suits wherein the city simply paid out the money because it would cost more to litigate the matter than to simply pay it? Or where the officer’s actions were found to be reasonable by Internal Affairs, the DA’s office, the Grand Jury and maybe even the state Attorney general but the city paid out anyway to quell controversy and the cost of litigation? Unless the cop-cam captures, or allows explanation of, the officer’s state of mind at the time, his training and experience etc, that video may well do more harm than good.

          Police work is unfortunately, inherently and inevitably a violent business. Cops are not Steven Segal or Jackie Chan and actual street fights with suspects who violently resist arrest cannot be “sanitized” by Hollywood and will therefore be shocking to most people who have never thrown a punch or had an eye swollen shut due to blunt force trauma. The face of violence is ugly and video tape of such incidents may shock people and expose the City to as many problems as the video might solve. In “Hollywood fights” fists make that ridiculous clicking sound (rather than a mild thud or no sound at all) when they land and there is seldom, or very little, blood, cut and bleeding knuckles and torn clothing and bloody abrasions. These Hollywood fights are what most of the public believes a fight should look like so when reality appears, they are shocked by the “brutality” of an actual violent encounter.

          Some people understand a bloody MMA fight or boxing match but there are probably more that have never seen someone get knocked out, or heard someone scream when an elbow joint was dislocated with an arm bar hold. The cop-cams never show that ultimately the majority of suspects whose resistance to arrest had to be overcome by force, are left with no serious or lasting injuries, so the public generally doesn’t realize that someone who appears to have been beaten senseless actually had only a bloody nose, the treatment for which was nothing more than an ice pack.

          For homework, find a piece of video, with as long of a distance camera shot as you can find, where a boxer was hit in the face so hard that his mouth piece was knocked out of his mouth and flew across the ring. Set it up by telling the viewer, “Wow, boxing is too violent, it should be banned. Watch, this poor guy gets his teeth knocked out, it’s gross”. Much, if not most, of the time, for a brief moment, the video gives the (comical) impression that the suspect’s teeth were knocked out of his head. Imagine the sports caster yelling “Joe Blow’s teeth were knocked out of his head!!!! Ladies and gentleman, I’ve never seen anything like it! Joe Blow’s teeth were literally knocked clear out of his head!!!! You might be surprised how many people who have never been in a fight, will believe it, at least for a short time, the first time they see it together with the sports caster’s repeated, suggestive, description.

          • I am often amused and occasionally entertained by people who believe that statistics are the only valid form of argument.

            Ahh but it is said, “Math is truth” Truth is a funny thing. We either revel in the joy of finding it, or sometimes we can’t handle the truth. When we can’t handle the truth, we sometimes pretend the truth is not real. We become so wrapped up in not knowing the truth we become drunk with the opposite of it.

            We suspend reality for so many reasons.

            Police work is unfortunately, inherently and inevitably a violent business. Cops are not Steven Segal or Jackie Chan and actual street fights with suspects who violently resist arrest cannot be “sanitized” by Hollywood

            Nor am I. Outside of some schoolyard fights as a kid and wrestling with my friends and dad, I was never an Andre the Giant or Hulk Hogan. I can’t make Hulkamania run wild through my veins brother. But a little “HollyWood” has saved my neck on more than one occasion.

            I had a rough job working in a bar, and myself, as well as many liquor store and 7-11 owners could tell you, having cameras was the truth. I remember one particular night, where we had a really drunk guy, and a macho man who wanted to beat him up. Macho man was pushing drunky around, and using Akido holds on drunkys wrists. As soon as I said, “You’re on Camera” Macho man started changing his tune.

            “I’m not trying to beat him up I’m trying to help him!” How many times have I heard bullies say that? Or “He’s punching himself!”

            For homework, find a piece of video, with as long of a distance camera shot
            Here you go. Not MMA, but certainly a video of how camera’s get people to stop “Suspending Reality” as I put it. That is me, saving drunky from Macho Man, with a camera. Didn’t have to get violent or throw a punch.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY4Xgy1M4v4

          • Mr. Cortese, sir,

            While “Math is truth”, math deals in absolutes. With math equations there is always a solution that is always correct. The principal is not applicable to police work , where the problems themselves, much less the solutions, are not always clear and where there may be no good solution or positive outcome. I doubt that any of the officers in the New York or Ferguson cases had the opportunity to step back, cock their head to one side while rubbing their chin with one hand and, with detached reflection, ask themselves, “What would Bruce Lee do?”

            I am no Hulk Hogan either and more than once I have been tossed around like a rag-doll by some PCP freak. While you and I both know that Hulk Hogan is a fiction, there are still people who believe that professional wrestling is real and that a suspect would be able to get up, stagger around a moment, unbloodied, then continue fighting even after a cop got up on the hood of his patrol car and delivered a “bombs away”. These people might have the same expectations while watching a cop-cam video of police fighting with a violent suspect,

            I am not as articulate as I would like to think if I have given the impression, in any fashion, that I thought I was some sort of tough guy. I’m not. All I was trying to convey was that while most people like babies, many would be made queasy watching the video of the bloody mess that is childbirth and delivery of the afterbirth. As well, I was never bothered by dragging some bloody pulp out of a wrecked car but I must admit I was a bit uneasy watching the doctor shave the area of the injury then stitch up the nasty head wound as if it were a football, but it didn’t seem to bother the doctor at all. While I could manage watching the Coroner gut a corpse like a fish, remove, and weigh the brain and other organs, the Coroner could be talking about the latest sporting event while doing it, then go have lunch right afterwards without another thought. However, I doubt even he, and certainly not I, would want to watch the “brutality” of the autopsy video on the living room TV.

            My point is that while people might understand the necessity of certain actions, they would be dismayed by seeing what is involved in accomplishing the necessary result. The cop-cam captures only the police use of force and does not explain the why of it. To an uninformed public, it creates the impression that cops are nothing more than knuckle dragging brutes. Activists rely on this phenomenon to lend legitimacy to the” racial outrage” so necessary for their continued existence from which they derive Federal “study grants” and public donations. The cop-cam might capture the thousands of times each day that cops talk down a violent suspect but these incidents would never be shown since they do not fit the agenda of the “Race Industry”, or the narrative from IPA Cordell..

            Your threatened use of a camera to deter the suspect in your bar scenario was obviously effective. I have done something similar by the threatened use of a taser. However, a cop-cam video of me displaying the taser spark arcing between terminals in a menacing manner, while asking the suspect if he would rather submit to arrest or be “lit up like a Christmas tree”, might be something you would understand, given your experience, it is something that the general public likely would not. (It worked too by the way, he gave up).

          • Let’s see if this falls in the right place, god I hate how threaded discussions work here…

            Gonna try bold italics.

            However, a cop-cam video of me displaying the taser spark arcing between terminals in a menacing manner, while asking the suspect if he would rather submit to arrest or be “lit up like a Christmas tree”, might be something you would understand, given your experience, it is something that the general public likely would not.

            Ya, you’re right. Which is why I think having an “Off” button is a great idea. (BTW I find your writing to be extremely articulate, thank you) The public, and the news tend to only record when it best serves their case. Why can’t the police have the same advantage and recording strategies?

            Makes me think of an incident I had with the sheriffs as a young man. Went to a buddies house, and this guy had been staying with him. Sheriff comes with the guys ex-wife. The guy was being a dick, and kept all the kids clothes. The Sheriff was there to make sure they got the kids clothes back.

            The guy scrambles up on the roof to hide, so the sheriff lines us all up on the sidewalk by the guys car. “I know those clothes are in that trunk, you guys better get this trunk open or I’m hauling you all in!”

            Without a second of hesitation I ran to the garage. I knew there was a crowbar and screwdrivers in there. I ran back out, bent the back of the trunk to expose the lock, and used the screwdriver to activate the lock mechanism. It flew open, and inside was a treasure trove of toddler clothes.

            I don’t always deal in absolutes as you put it. I hold no grudge or ill will towards that sheriff, and fully understand what it takes for you guys to get things done. Not easy. Still though, I think cams are only good if LEO’s can use them as strategically as the public does, which means an on off button.

  5. Issuing safety equipment and requiring it’s use is not a Meet and Confer issue.

    http://youtu.be/v9kAO8aJfSk Watch it. SJPD received $250,000.00 in 2009 and bought the head cams. They bragged about how the Real Bad People (citizens) would be exposed, well repeated review of citizen complaints matched with the video told a different story. Police contacts were mostly antagonistic or just indifferent or rude. The shooting videos disappeared. The jumping out in front of suspect cars as they drive away shootings caused City attorney Rick Doyle to cringe. DA Rosen had his retired SJPD Investigators review tapes and asked for a description rather then review them himself. Plausible denial just like the infamous SEX TAPES on innocent molestation defendants.

    A department with educated, emotionally stable, well trained supervised and lead officers would have no problem. Not SJPD, a gang of thug cops who are self employed and answer to no one. They have developed a stringent, legal misinformation a d access program that protects them against any inquiry by anyone in the City. Warren v. D.C. allows them to sit on their hands, while Copely v. San Diego allows them to hide ALL activity they engage in on and off duty. They have put in place transparency walls that are so thick that not a smidgen of light can get through with the truth of their conduct.

    Now 200 have said they would leave if Liccardo got elected and we would like to pay their moving costs if they all leave town on the same day at the same time. We’ll even pay for the other 700 to leave the same way. Let the S.O. contract SJPD’s business. The first order of business is to disband the POA. The second is to hire and train new officers w/o contact with the current herd of cats.

    You don’t need cameras, you need one PTE (personnel termination expert) for each officer to be with them at all times and after 30 days, the authority to terminate them period. Out of the question but wouldn’t it save time and money so we could start over.

    Can you imagine the arrogance of saying “Wearing the cameras is a Meet and Confer Item”.

      • Both. I didn’t know they had internet access over at Barbara Arons.. Or Crestwood Manor, or wherever this conspiracy theorist is conserved.

    • Is it any wonder why this guy was fired… Unfit for duty at the very least…

  6. I see we are still pretending that evidence and truth have a place at the table when discussing cops and black criminals.

    That obese career criminal who expired on the streets of New York did not die from a choke hold, yet that continues to be the news headline, the moron’s mantra, the rioter’s rant. A common sense viewing of the video reveals he died from the following sequence of events: breaking the law and becoming subject to lawful arrest, physically resisting that arrest, forcing the officers to use a takedown maneuver (during which time an officer’s forearm did momentarily pressure the throat), and being held in a prone position on the sidewalk (which, when combined with his poor cardiovascular health and massive body weight, restricted his breathing and put him in a state of panic).

    Whatever there was that could’ve qualified to be described as a “choke hold” was brief in duration and followed by the person’s continued complaint about not being able to breath (people who are choking cannot speak). His being put in the prone position was necessary in order to handcuff him. If the officers made a mistake, and that remains questionable, it was in not turning the bloated carcass on its side (or whatever position may have relieved his distress) after cuffing, and thus removing the threat of positional asphyxiation. However, it could very well be that, due to the man’s wretched physical condition, he might’ve died anyway, as he appears to be a classic candidate for sudden death due to excited delirium syndrome.

    So, of the four components of his demise, the only two that would’ve absolutely prevented his death had they been avoided were the first two, his breaking the law and resisting arrest. The other two, effected by police in order to take him into custody, can never be carried out risk-free. There simply is no 100% safe way to physically overpower and take control of another human being. Had an officer utilized a leg sweep or baton strike to a lower extremity the arrestee might have been upended, landed his head on the concrete, and died. Had he been maced or pepper-sprayed he may have broken free in a blind panic and been hit by a garbage truck. Had he simply been overpowered by the body weight of a gang of cops his heart might’ve given out on the way down. Given his poor medical condition, a taser jolt might have proved fatal.

    But, as is always the case, I am always ready to learn. So I ask those of you so certain that the fat man died because the racist cop’s saw him as just another black guy, please offer up your own, prejudice-free, 100% safe strategy for how this resisting lawbreaker might’ve been taken down.

    • If you keep slapping SJI with truth and reality, they may ask a Grand Jury for battery charges…

    • > please offer up your own, prejudice-free, 100% safe strategy for how this resisting lawbreaker might’ve been taken down.

      The fat black guy died because he failed to pay the thirty cents of tax on the “loosey” cigarette he was selling to a renegade tobacco consumer.

      My solution is for the NAACP and Weight Watchers to organize a joint task force to provide on site monitoring of all fat black loosey cigarette vendors, and when a transaction occurs, immediately notify the NAACP by text message who will immediately initiate an electronic transfer of thirty cents to the New York tax authorities, who will immediately post a tax receipt on their web page and send out an all points bulletin to the New York copsters alerting them that the tax receipt is available online, and to back off.

      Either that, or the New York cops could organize a special, racially diverse special weapons unit armed with pillow guns that shoot small, sticky pillows at the perp which form a cocoon that immobilizes him. I think that would be safe, as long as the copsters don’t shoot him in the face or in the private parts.

    • Also, I have yet to hear or see mention in the mainstream press that this Staten Island supposed victim had over thirty prior arrests spanning over 30 years. Another media attempt to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

  7. “… small, sticky pillows at the perp which form a cocoon that immobilizes him.”

    Confining a renegade black man in a giant cotton ball… non-lethal and humane, yet politically very incorrect.

  8. Two bozos ranting for !2:49, neither listening to the other, each just repeating a position over and over again.

  9. FYI:

    Here are some highlights of the federal budget bill passed by the Senate on Dec 13 (the “cromibus bill”):

    – The bill doesn’t contain funding for body cameras for police,

    – The bill also doesn’t include funding for high-speed rail, for the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” education program and for the International Monetary Fund.

    – The bill permits trustees of underfunded pension plans to adjust benefits, saving troubled plans without a federal bailout.

    – The bill includes language repealing part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that will allow banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to directly engage in derivatives trading.