Cop Review Panel Passes, With Teeth

Markeshia Ricks PhotoA 22-year quest for justice culminated Monday night as Emma Jones watched New Haven’s Board of Alders vote to create an all-civilian review board (CRB) with power to investigate officers accused of misconduct.

The Board of Alders voted unanimously during its first meeting of the year to create the new version of the CRB.

That vote came after weeks of public pressure and behind the scenes negotiating among alders and activists. After Monday night’s votes were cast, Jones— who became the most visible proponent of such a board after an East Haven cop chased her son Malik into Fair Haven in 1997 and shot him to death — was given a standing ovation by alders and activists who took the efforts that she started across the goal line.

The 15-member CRB is charged under the new ordinance “to monitor, review, and conduct independent investigations of civilian complaints of police misconduct by police officers.” It will have access to the same files available to the police department’s internal affairs division. It will hire independent investigators to conduct the probes, and make recommendations to the chief based on the findings.

Jones said she was relieved and resolved: Relief because the fight to establish a new CRB has come to an end. Resolve because it was the best that could be done at this time. Activists and alders agreed that the proposal isn’t perfect, and they agreed to improve it based on how it rolls out.

“Coming from a selfish standpoint, I would have said that the best civilian review board in the whole world is the one that I put together and I put together a number of them on several different occasions,” Jones said. “But in the real world I look around at so many people around the table and so many people across the state and this community, and I’m forced to look at what is it that all of these people together can do and end up being in the best interest of this community and that’s what matters to me.”

Jones said it was not in the best interest of the community for people to continue to bicker on forever. Some had called on the alders to delay a vote yet again on the plan, which has been mired for years in debates over its details.

“I don’t want that,” she said. “And I don’t think any of the victims of police abuse would want that. They would prefer, I believe, to have a somewhat reasonable foundation that we can work from and move toward greatness and more stability I think.”

“So I’m hopeful about the opportunity to continue to come to the table with the leadership and structuring how the CRB is to function, the staffing of it and all of those important things,” she added. “It is really critical.”

The words “subpoena power” are not expressly written in the ordinance alders passed Monday night. (You can read the text of the final ordinance in full further down in the story.) But lawmakers acknowledged that the new CRB, unlike a previous one, will indeed have that power. That had been a sticking point contributing to the delay of passage of a new version, which was mandated by a 2013 referendum. Until last week, leading alders were hesitant to acknowledge that the new CRB has the power.

The CRB is granted its investigatory powers under the City Charter and the Special Act of 1899, Section 131. For good measure, a member of the Board of Alders also will serve as one of the 15 members of the CRB.

Beverly Hills Amity Alder Richard Furlow, who also serves as majority leader, was quick to point out that it was not the board’s intention to define whether the Special Act of 1899, Section 131 gives the CRB subpoena power.

“That should be left to the courts,” Furlow said of any potential challenges to the board’s ability to subpoena cops accused of misconduct.

The new board also will have its own staff and a budget, $50,000 to start. Westville Alder Adam Marchand said alders are prepared to provide more money for the CRB should it be needed. But he also noted that they will have to find that money in the upcoming 2019-2020 budget, which will be a challenge.

Jones said more money definitely will be needed. “I can tell you now that $50,000 is nowhere near enough in the long run,” she said.

Getting To Yes

 

Some activists had initially hoped to once again delay Monday’s vote particularly given they were not be allowed to see the amended draft ordinance alders were expected to vote on until just before the start of the meeting.

In a rally on the steps of City Hall ahead of Monday night’s vote, activist Kerry Ellington noted that there were still concerns that needed to be “ironed out” though she pointed out that the board’s recent public acknowledgment of the CRB’s ability to have subpoena power was “a huge win for the community.”  (Click ton the Facebook Live video to catch the full rally.)

Activists had four major areas of concern heading into Monday’s vote—a more explicit acknowledgment of subpoena power for the CRB, staff for the new board, the use of community management teams to find nominees to serve on the board, and the removal of language in the preamble that affirmed police use of force.

Ellington, in the end, concurred with Jones that the ordinance is a good foundation to build upon and activists looked forward to the next step of working with alders to shape the future board.

“We’re really happy that the alders listened to the community and our call to acknowledge its right to subpoena,” Ellington said.

Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker-Myers said the real work starts now.

“What we want is to have the police policing our people in a way that we won’t need a body to look at the transparency because it will be clear,” she said.

Closure

Jones said she hopes Monday’s unanimous vote will set the tone for how the community moves forward.

“I’m hoping this would set the tone for us all coming back together in harmony and some peace and some love,” she said. “I’ve been trained to come at every situation peacefully. Love and peace are more powerful than force. It showed tonight too.

“Thank goodness for the period on this part—the closure,” she added.

The board’s 15 members will include representatives from each of the 12 policing districts, nominated by the mayor and approved by the Board of Alders; two at-large members selected by the alders; a member of the Board of Alders. No members of law enforcement will be allowed on the board.

Earlier Monday, Mayor Toni Harp said she is prepared to sign any version of the CRB law that the Board of Alders ends up passing.

She said her main concern had been “getting people to serve.” “Something as small as that” — an inability to muster a quorum — can end up jeopardizing the mission, Harp said.

Seven members of the board will constitute a quorum.

Harp praised the alders’ leadership for taking time to include the police union and activists critical of the police in fashioning the bill. “They worked really hard on it,” she said.

ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF NEW HAVEN ESTABLISHING THE CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD

WHEREAS, in the 2013 Charter Revision, the public voted to institute a Civilian Review Board.; and
WHEREAS, with this new addition, New Haven can continue to boast of a trustworthy and efficient corps of peace officers as are to be found anywhere.; and
WHEREAS, the City of New Haven and its residents depend for their peace and security upon the services of a professional municipal police department employed by the City of New Haven, and a police department authorized to act with the powers of a municipal police department employed by Yale University.; and
WHEREAS, it is the unique power and privilege of police officers acting within the scope and course of their employment in these departments to use force, even deadly force, in making arrests.; and
WHEREAS, the powers and duties of local police officers to interfere with, to restrict, and to abridge the liberty of citizens, guests, and visitors to the City of New Haven, by way of arrests, searches, investigative stops, interrogations, and other means, are extensive and are securely anchored in state and federal law.; and
WHEREAS, the state and federal courts have shown an increasing reluctance to review the day-to-day exercise of police powers through the development of legal doctrines such as qualified immunity, limitations on supervisory liability, and other means that effectively deprive jurors and ordinary citizens from exercising effective oversight over police officers in their communities.; and
WHEREAS, public confidence in law enforcement is undermined by secret, non- transparent, and unaccountable police use of force and exercise of police powers generally.; and
WHEREAS, police departments generally conduct internal reviews of civilian complaints in secret proceedings; and.
WHEREAS, the Civilian Review Board and its procedures are governed by the provisions of the City Charter and the Special Act of 1899, Section 131;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED, the City of New Haven hereby enacts a Civilian Review Board, for the sole and exclusive purpose of assuring public confidence in the use of police powers in the City of New Haven by means of providing a mechanism for fair, independent, complete, and transparent review of civilian complaints of alleged police misconduct.

Section 1. Civilian Review Board.
a. The Civilian Review Board has the authority to monitor, review, and conduct independent investigations of civilian complaints of police misconduct by police officers empowered to act with municipal police powers in the City of New Haven.
b. The office and the professional staff that provide assistance to the Civilian Review Board shall be located in the Office of the Commission on Equal Opportunities.
c. The Office of the Civilian Review Board shall be funded permanently by annual allotments for personnel, services, equipment, supplies, and facilities in an amount no less than that of similarly sized existing departments, offices, and agencies of the City of New Haven.
d. The Office of the Civilian Review Board may not be eliminated by any action of any part of the executive branch of government of the City of New Haven.

Section 2. Objectives.
The Civilian Review Board’s function is to create a public, transparent, and impartial means by which to review, monitor and independently investigate any civilian complaints of police misconduct against a police officer employed by a police department empowered to act with municipal police powers in the City of New Haven.

Section 3. Membership.
a. The Civilian Review Board shall consist of an odd number of members, with no more than fifteen (15), and with a quorum of seven (7), and shall, at a minimum, consist of members selected as follows: one member from each of the Police Districts in the City of New Haven, one member of the Board of Alders, and, at least two, at-large members.
b. All members of the Civilian Review Board shall be residents of the City of New Haven.
c. No member of the Civilian Review Board shall be a current sworn officer of any police department or law enforcement entity. 
d. Except for the member of the Board of Alders appointed by the President of the Board of Alders, no current elected official shall be a member of the Civilian Review Board.

Section 4. Appointment.
a. The Mayor shall nominate all members of the Civilian Review Board, except the at-large members, who shall be nominated by the Board of Alders, and the aldermanic representative, who shall be a member of the Board of Alders appointed by the President of the Board of Alders.
b. All nominees shall be confirmed by a majority vote of the Board of Alders.
c. Mayoral nominees shall be selected from among the names recommended by each Community Management Team, which shall make said recommendations at a mandatory biennial meeting, where it elects officers. Said recommendations shall be made from among the names submitted to each Community Management Team by community engagement organizations and similar neighborhood-based organizations in each respective Police District.
d. The Board of Alders shall maintain a list of community engagement organizations or similar neighborhood-based organizations, who are interested in offering names of prospective Civilian Review Board members.
e. The Civilian Review Board shall be reflective of the city’s diversity.
f. If there is no recommendation to the Mayor from a Community Management Team within ninety (90) days of a vacancy, the Board of Alders in consultation with the Mayor will nominate an eligible resident to fill that vacancy.
g. For initial implementation, each Community Management Team shall make recommendations of names to the Mayor within ninety (90) days of the passage of this ordinance. The Mayor then shall make appointments pursuant to Article II Section 8 and Article VII Section 1 of the Charter.

Section 5. Term.
Except for the initial term of the representatives for the odd number policing districts which shall be three (3) years, the term of office for each member shall be two (2) years. The terms shall be staggered as follows: initial appointments to odd-numbered police districts shall be for a period of three years only, and all other and all subsequent appointments shall be for a period of two years. The initial term of the member of the Board of Alders shall end on December 31, 2019, or until a successor is appointed and duly qualified.

Section 6. Duties.
The Civilian Review Board shall have the following authority, and such other authority as may be set forth by ordinance:
a. To monitor, review and independently investigate civilian complaints of alleged police misconduct against any police officer acting in the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers; to monitor and review the processing of Internal Affairs complaints by any police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers in order to make sure such processing is complete, accurate and factually supported; and to make recommendations to the police chief alongside any recommendations made by Internal Affairs;
b. To receive a copy of any civilian complaint of alleged police misconduct filed against any police officer acting in the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers within five (5) days of the filing of said complaint;
c. To receive, in writing, a copy of any findings of fact and/or recommended disposition of a complaint at the same time it is forwarded to Internal Affairs, before it is submitted for final action to the relevant chief of police and to interview the officer(s) preparing such proposed findings of fact and/or recommended disposition;
d. To hear appeals from any civilian complainant within ninety (90) days of the completion of an internal affairs investigation by any police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers;
e. To require any police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers to investigate civilian complaints of alleged police misconduct in the event no investigation has been commenced after an initial complaint;
f. To prepare an annual report to the office of the Mayor and the Board of Alders indicating (1) the number, type, and basic facts of complaints filed; (2) The number of police officers against whom complaints were filed and the number of police officers against whom multiple complaints were received; (3) the Civilian Review Board’s findings and recommendations on the complaints; (4) Internal Affairs’ findings and recommendations on the same complaints; and (5) the disposition of the complaints, provided such disclosure does not violate confidentiality laws and regulations;
g. To require any police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers to reopen any closed investigation and to continue an investigation, if in the judgment of the Civilian Review Board, an initial investigation was incomplete, unfair, or otherwise unresolved;
h. To recommend revisions to policies, the manner of processing civilian complaints, training protocols, and/or provisions of general orders or departmental standards, to any police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers;
i. To develop policies and procedures for the filing and processing of civilian complaints to the Civilian Review Board, for the operations of said Board, and for the training of members of said Board and the community-based agencies and organizations, as selected by said Board;
j. To develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the Yale University Police Department designed to effectuate the goal of assuring transparent civilian review of any civilian complaint of an alleged police misconduct by an officer employed by a police department acting within the City of New Haven pursuant to municipal police powers.

Section 7. Investigations.
a. When the Civilian Review Board by simple majority vote of members present determines it in the public interest, the Civilian Review Board shall contract or hire the services of certified independent investigators who are not active, sworn police officers. The Civilian Review Board shall rely upon the findings and investigative reports of the independent investigator in making recommendations.
b. The independent investigator shall have access to the same files and reports as Internal Affairs, as allowed by existing statutes or requirements of law.
c. In appropriate circumstances, the Civilian Review Board may take sworn testimony from witnesses concerning the alleged misconduct which is the subject of the complaint. Any officer or member of the police department may be called to attend and participate, as allowed by existing statutes or requirements of law.
d. Following the review of a civilian complaint, the Civilian Review Board will promptly report its findings and recommendations to the police chief, the Board of Police Commissioners, and the complainant. These recommendations may include discipline or other actions the Civilian Review Board deems appropriate.
e. The police chief shall not make a decision regarding a civilian complaint until she or he has received the findings and recommendations of both the Civilian Review Board and Internal Affairs. Should the police chief elect not to accept either the findings or the recommendations of the Civilian Review Board, she or he shall promptly notify in writing the Civilian Review Board of her or his decision and the reasons for said decision related to the specific civilian complaint. In the event the police chief adopts the findings or accepts the recommendation of the Civilian Review Board, she or he shall promptly notify in writing the Civilian Review Board.
Section 8.Staff.
The Civilian Review Board shall have the authority to hire, with the approval of the Board of Alders, such staff as is necessary to perform the duties herein described and to perform such other tasks as the Civilian Review Board may in its discretion require with the exception of the first Civilian Review Board Coordinator, who shall be hired by the Board of Alders

Section 9. Applicability of other laws.
Nothing in this article shall exempt any person from applicable provisions of any other laws of the city, state, federal, or other appropriate jurisdiction.

Section 10. Confidentiality of records.
The provisions of this chapter are intended to preserve and enhance the security of persons and property within the City. Where public release of certain information may put someone in jeopardy, it shall be the intent of the Civilian Review Board to preserve the confidentiality, where permitted by law.

Section 11. Severability.
The provisions of this chapter are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or portion thereof, or the invalidity of the application of any portion of this chapter to any person or circumstances, shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this chapter or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances. ‘

Section 12. Conflicting Ordinances.
All other ordinances of the City of New Haven that conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.

Section 13. Effective date.
The ordinance from which this article derives shall become effective upon passage.

Section 14. Review of effectiveness.
The joint Legislation-Public Safety Committee will hold a Public Hearing to assess the effectiveness of the Civilian Review Board within one year of the first meeting of this Board.


Cick the play arrow below to listen to alders discuss and vote on the CRB.


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Comments

posted by: robn on January 8, 2019  11:06am

So instead of reforming the Police Commission we already have, this clueless BOA has added another soon to be expensive layer of bureaucracy to New Haven govt. And the hero of our radical activists is someone who’s son was killed by an officer of a DIFFERENT town’s police department. What a sad state of affairs.

posted by: Trustme on January 8, 2019  11:38am

This is such an awful idea, the civilian board will head hunt for nonsense. This will push even more officers to leave this clueless city and for the ones that are staying I bet they won’t do a bit of proactive work. Good job New Haven.

posted by: publikskooled on January 8, 2019  12:19pm

pandora’s box.
bad idea jeans comes to new haven.
goodnight and good luck.

posted by: TheMadcap on January 8, 2019  12:34pm

The board can only make recommendations, if that is a headhunt then you ned to reexamine exactly how much freedom of operation you are willing to hand out to police

posted by: WhatTheWhat on January 8, 2019  1:07pm

Not sure how this makes sense… They’ll have access to NHPD IA records, but don’t allow cops on their board? And because of that, the people on the board will not have any clue as to what doing police work is really like….
Sounds like New Haven, all right. That’s really too bad.
And, robn, good point!

posted by: WereUthere? on January 8, 2019  1:08pm

@ROBN

Couldn’t have said it better.

New Haven, BALANCE YOUR CHECKBOOK before adding more burden to the people that actually pay taxes in your city! SMH.

That $50K is only going to get bigger and bigger!!

posted by: ShadowBoxer on January 8, 2019  2:06pm

As in any profession, there are good apples and bad apples. And in a profession where bad apples carry guns, and take liberties both figuratively and literally, I think the alders did the right thing and I applaud them This, and body cams should help weed out the bad ones from the bunch.

Having said that, my understanding is that police body cams are only turned on AFTER the initial encounter, and someone who knows a little about stop and frisk and the 4th amendment, I think this is questionable.  Now, I don’t know the storage capacity of those devices, and I wouldn’t want to be on camera my whole shift, but I think that issue is problematic.  Could they perhaps, like an airplane’s black box, run on a loop?

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 8, 2019  2:33pm

I’ve had a few ‘interactions’ with NHPD over the last few months, and I have found the officers to be polite and respectful—which is a noticeable ‘shift’ from ‘past patterns of behavior’. 

Cultural change is a ‘long game’ that has to happen on the ‘inside’ as well as the ‘outside’.

The best thing NHPD can do to thwart the perceived machinations of the CRB is to ‘self-police’....
After all, the good cops know who the ‘bad’ cops are! (or at least what their ‘limitations’ lie)

posted by: Xavier on January 8, 2019  3:08pm

Kerry Elllington. Class act. Your respect and deference to Ms. Jones is noted and appreciated. Your work and continued presence will produce much good fruit. Adelante.

posted by: ElmCityLover on January 8, 2019  3:08pm

@ShadowBoxer I agree cameras are a great tool, but constant recording does have some drawbacks (bathroom trips, talking to confidential informants, etc). One solution is the “Signal Sidearm” product that automatically activates nearby cameras when an officer draws his or her gun. Incidents with where guns are drawn (god forbid, used) are the ones where its most important to get the footage, but also presumably, the ones where “turn my camera on” probably isn’t the officer’s first thought.

https://vimeo.com/217524144

I believe the cameras NHPD currently uses are Axon so there should be no issue integrating these into the current system (if they aren’t already).

posted by: WhatTheWhat on January 8, 2019  3:20pm

It is my understanding that body cams are always on standby when they’re not recording, so footage can always be captured after the fact, if needed - even if the cop doesn’t start recording right away.
I can understand that pressing the “record” button is not always the first thing a cop will think of when responding to a call.

posted by: concerned_neighbor on January 8, 2019  4:30pm

For sure, the exodus of New Haven police officers to the suburbs will continue unabated. Don’t mistake my observation as either a criticism or endorsement of the CRB.

Rather, the CRB seems to be an effort to properly manage a police department that has not had effective leadership for decades and the mayoral leadership above that has been similarly lacking.

What is most interesting to me, however, is the groundswell of support now for the “empowered” CRB for police accountability but no one can put into action the sort of fiscal reforms and monetary discipline necessary to keep the City alive and pay for all of this.

Baby steps, I guess.

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 8, 2019  4:33pm

The Civilian Review Board was mandated by the charter Revision Commission in 2013 and was required to have the support of the people of New Haven.
  Since neither the Internal Affairs office of the NHPD nor the Board of Police Commissioners have much credibility with the people, a CRB is a necessary entity.
  The room was strangely silent when the proposal actually was passed by the Board. The public saw the final proposal 30 minutes before the meeting of the Board of Alders started. The amendments proposed were all passed, which really improved the document, but left it far from ideal.
    What exuberance you see in the photos was about a heartfelt tribute to Emma Jones, an attorney, activist and mother of Malik Jones for her 21 years of dedication to seeking justice. And for Kerry Washington who pled her case to save the lives of her friends and neighbors while shedding tears over the pain she had personally witnessed.
    No, there was no celebration that the ideal had been achieved, but an acceptance that, politics being about compromise, this was the start of an effective CRB and not the end. The one year review is sure to bring many suggestions for improvement.
    For those of you who think a CRB is unnecessary, how much of the personal testimony over the last 5 years did you hear? Any?
    I would have like to see a time limit on the Mayor’s appointing members because so many Boards have had chronic vacancies, such as the Democracy Fund and the Board of Ethics. Zoning, however, is always full.
    Filtering nominations thru the Management Teams raises concerns about political control of who will be appointed. I hope the activists who worked so diligently on this topic will promptly join their management teams and submit their names for appointment directly and with the support of their community based group.
    For those who fear a mob is coming , I hope at least one retired police officer will serve, provided he is not a party operative.

posted by: ElmCityLover on January 8, 2019  5:50pm

Atty Kane: your open call for “activists” to serve on the board is exactly why people see the board as a hammer looking for a nail. Your “hope” for 1 (of 15) members to be a retired cop, does not do much alleviate that fear either. The board should be composed of those who are most able to fairly evaluate police actions to see if they violate any existing policies, laws or the rights of others. Activists, by definition, “campaign to bring about political or social change”. While there is a need for much change in our criminal justice system this should not be the venue through which it is created.

I understand the need for police review outside of IA. However, I am doubtful that this board will not be equally, if not more, biased than IA (albeit in the opposite direction). I wish the focus had been on improving the existing commission.

However, the vote has passed. All we can do now is hope for the best. I did see a comment on a prior article suggesting that the members be required to do ride-alongs with the PD. I hope that is implemented as well as good training so that their decisions are based on facts, not feelings.

If not, this well-intentioned board (I see bias, not malice) will result in unintended consequences…
-lawsuits from cops punished by an overstepping board
-a rise in crime as police are less proactive in doing their job out of fear of the board
-a further experience vacuum in the PD as officers leave to work for towns/cities where they feel city leadership has their back

Only time will tell. Fingers crossed for the best.

posted by: JohnDVelleca on January 8, 2019  6:57pm

I am entirely supportive of police oversight by the community, as well as transparency by all public officials (I believe Paul Bass can confirm this).  I believe that the CRB is a positive endeavor, but this process didn’t seem to be fair to the police officers.  I saw a room full of activists, CRB proponents and alders, but i didn’t see ONE person from the department advocating for the rights of the officers.  Additionally, I haven’t heard anything from the police commission about this matter.  Fortunately for the activists I’m not the chief of the NHPD because I would have fought the creation of an anti-police hit squad, under the guise of an objective reviewing body, with every fiber of my being.  This will serve only to create, or increase, a huge divide between the community and the police.  This is not what this city is about, at least not what I remember.  I thought community policing was about everyone having input, not just the loudest “barking dog.”  I sympathize with Emma Jones, I truly do.  Losing a child is a devastating, life changing incident.  Furthermore, I respect her resolve in her pursuit of social justice.  However, the death of Malik was not at the hands of the NHPD.  I was there that day and I recall the shift commander saying distinctly that there would be “hell to pay” if any New Haven officers were involved in that incident.  The NHPD is a good department with the same employee problems as any other organization.  Some may point to the recent arrests of NHPD officers in order to smear the department’s credibility, but I say that it is those very arrests that prove that the NHPD can police themselves.  The NHPD doesn’t seem to have a problem arresting their own, while in other jurisdictions those incidents may have just “gone away.”  I agree with the creation of a CRB.  I agree with police oversight.  I agree that police misconduct occurs.  I agree we need controls in place to try and prevent police brutality.  Just not like this…

posted by: challenge on January 8, 2019  7:58pm

I’m not understanding why people are so upset about this board. First of all there is no guarantee that there is funding beyond this year and $50,000 is going to provide what? The Alders made it clear they were not cosigning granting the board subpoena power. They are leaving that to the courts.  The extent of the board’s power is to “recommend” discipline. It’s up to the chief to accept or deny. With the chief that is in office which outcome do you think these investigations will receive? Settle down. The Alders simply provided breadcrumbs to pacify the hungry. NHPD will be business as usual for a long time to come.

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 8, 2019  8:09pm

btw re: Police Commission Chair Anthony Dawson

I know politics have a short memory in New Haven, but remember when Dawson ran for Mayor in 2011 as a Democratic ‘spoiler’ against Jeffery Kerekes? 

For his ‘skin in the game’, Dawson got appointed to chair the Police Commission by King John.
Before that, Dawson was basically a ‘Rent-A-Cop’ at the Hospital.

However my first ‘real’ experience with Mr Dawson harkens back to 2001 when ‘my character’ Little Miss Mess-Up crashed the Mayoral Debate, and was summarily escorted ‘out of the building’ by Stooge Dawson and his portly cohort, both of whom called me ‘a disgrace to humanity as I peaceably left the Historic Society.

There you go people…. that is the real truth!

I wouldn’t trust one of these ‘democratic commissioners’ as far as I can throw them, especially since their three votes can constitute a ‘majority’ with a quorum of five.

posted by: unprotected on January 8, 2019  8:26pm

Well, Officer Involved Shooting in the Hill.  Let’s get that CRB out there to parallel jnvestigate.  They need to be there for the walk through..

posted by: 1644 on January 8, 2019  9:47pm

PK:  The problem is much greater than New Haven’s chief or police commissioners.  We have legal system that values officers’ rights to continued employment above public safety.  The result is police that are undisciplined and unaccountable.  The courts and unions, which, of course, are a reflection of the overall police force, all want officers like Alex Morgillo to remain on the force. Were he a teacher, he would almost certainly be fired.  In a normal, at-will, private employment situation, he would have been fired as soon as he was arrested.
https://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Judge-affirms-that-former-Danbury-Police-officer-13472068.php
https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/judge_gives_girlfriend-slugging_cop_a_break/

posted by: Tupac on January 8, 2019  11:07pm

The amount of stupidity in the comment section never ceases to amaze me. Someone suggest the CRB should go through a walk thru of tonight’s incident? Lolll leave the police work to the professionals. One of the more absurd things I’ve read on this website. Saying a lot

posted by: unprotected on January 8, 2019  11:59pm

@Tupac… its called sarcasm.

posted by: unprotected on January 9, 2019  12:06am

@Tupac… More importantly, the CRB will need training in the CGS, Use of Force, Search and Seizure,  Probable Cause, and more.  Sounds like policing…

posted by: BevHills730 on January 9, 2019  1:09am

The NHI comments section has become an “All Lives Matter” reddit thread.  I wonder if the Proud Boys will coordinate their next action on one of these sections.

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  10:45am

@ElmCityLover: The people who worked on advocating for a CRB consistent with the mandate of the Charter Revision Commission are the most knowledgeable about the issues related to police mis-conduct. And you want to eliminate them from serving on the CRB? So it’s better to have people who stood by passively for years and let others do the heavy lifting? It’s better to have people who know nothing and start with a blank mind?
I have NO doubt that the selections by the Mayor will be based on their acceptability to the administration, starting with the community management teams which are top heavy with Democratic Party officials.
If supporters of the CRB are eliminated from consideration, then the process fails - again.
we have already established that Internal Affairs has failed, the Chief is a bystander and the Board of Police Commissioners has also failed to protect the public.
Your assumption is that people who care about public safety can’t be fair and deal with facts. I disagree.
There will no doubt be lobbying to appoint people friendly to the police, so let’s not pretend that they are more deserving of a spot.
And I do believe a retired officer could contribute some working knowledge of the job and provide a helpful perspective.
If the CRB is to have community support - as mandated - it will have to reflect the community and that includes activists.

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  12:17pm

@ john d velleca - its nice to hear someone would have fought. The silence from the soap box administration is deafening. For the average officer in NHPD, there seems to be no support. The administration appears to be a bunch of speech giving, political hacks who just want to see their faces in the news. The actual officers in patrol are just a political pinata between the protesters, activists, and an administration that apparently doesn’t care about them to step up and say enough.

Does anyone in the administration have backbone or are they just snakes in the grass?

@ Patricia Kane you hope one retired cop who is not a party operative? That’s laughable at best! My hope is the ppl who serve on this kangaroo board aren’t party operatives themselves! So let’s check “party affiliation” of voting registrations of board members prior to the board being created. The City of New Haven voted 84% Democrat in the last election.

Im sure no one will be unbiased.

The city is inherently biased. Hence, kangaroo board. 

This will lead to nothing but lawsuits. And it should. The city deserves to pay for its stupidity! Tax em Toni deserves to face the city as she raises taxes again for pandering!

Hopefully the NHPD union will protect its officers

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2018/03/court_rules_police_review_board_cant_have_subpoena.html

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  12:35pm

@ patricia kane- you talking about police being heavy handed is hypocritical at best!

https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/westville_crime_wave_riles_neighbors/

You want police to arrest people for speeding?! Thats not even reasonable! A lot of city residents can barely afford food, nevermind being arrested for speeding. Even a ticket means a resident’s food bill for the month could be jeopardized.

And lets not forget, “enforce the noise ordinance”. But paid political protester NORM CLEMENT can run around in the streets with a BULLHORN and create havoc for city dwellers. Isn’t a permit needed for protests in the street and bullhorns?

And lastly, “couping”. If you understood tactics, you would understand why police do that. But you only like to politicize issues without thinking first. Officers “coupe” when they write legally mandated reports.

If you need to further understand a subject you polticize but know nothing about, read this article:

https://nypost.com/2014/12/20/2-nypd-cops-shot-execution-style-in-brooklyn/

and then, maybe next time instead of trying to score political points as you bash the department, maybe just apologize to the members of their families. What you say and do is dangerous.

Maybe when you stop bashing NHPD, they’ll go arrest your “speeders”. God, I hope I don’t live in a city where the department does that.

posted by: robn on January 9, 2019  12:41pm

PK,

How many of those police shootings happened in NHV?

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  12:52pm

“top heavy with Democratic party officials ” But not unbiased 😂😂😂😂😂

Honestly, I can’t with this city. According to pk, its inherently biased. How about having half the people on it Republican or Libertarian? Oh, no. Can’t do that! It won’t help weaponize the board the way the activists intended it to.

I sincerely hope the officers here protect themselves. And leave. Quick. No one deserves to be treated this poorly.

posted by: ElmCityLover on January 9, 2019  1:06pm

@Ms. Kane: I missed section 6h. You are right in terms of that mandate. Those with knowledge of the issues, from the community, police and legal perspectives are best suited to serve. This includes activists.

However, the perception, discussion or debate of this board has not been about that. Its been about review of civilian complaints. I already stated I totally see the need for a group outside of IA to investigate these. Reading the commission minutes you see many complainants never follow up, I’m sure this is because they have no faith anything will be done by the PD against their own. For this mandate, I do think of this board as needing to be a jury, where they come in as a blank slate and evaluate the facts of the incident in question.

While you support a retired officer on the board, there was an amendment Joint_Amendments_-_Brackeen_Reveiz_Winter section 3.C. (available on this article on the paragraph beginning “Furlow said those delays” by the poll https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/furlow_crb_subpoena_power/) proposed to explicit ban retired cops and even their relatives from serving. I agree the board (same as the PD itself) should be representative of the community. The supporters of this amendment (some of them surly the activists you are calling on to serve) have proved themselves as not being for a representative group.

Ultimately what will happen is the board makes a recommendation for punishment of an officer based on a complaint that amounts to judicial activism. The chief will abide by the existing policies, contract, laws and legal precedents and not follow that recommendation. There will be outrage. There will more division.

There is a need for change, I just see this board not working out as intended. Those wishing to make change should get on themselves in positions with the actual authority to make policy, not create a board to interpret it as they see fit.

I hope I’m wrong and this board builds needed trust.

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  1:07pm

@Robn: Is that the standard you want to set? If it’s not a shooting, just a concussion or broken bones or heart attack from a taser, it doesn’t count?

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  1:18pm

@fcastle1984: Enforce the laws that exist or repeal the ones that don’t make sense - like the bogus, politically motivated War on Drugs.
“Cooping” is NOT time on the job by definition. It is hiding out. Write your reports in plain site if you’re working.
@JohnDVelleca: A police union rep did appear at one meeting and spoke at length in opposition to the establishment of any CRB.
  Chief Campbell appeared at that same meeting and asked for a CRB to be established and with subpoena power.
  The present set up does not satisfy those most experienced with police violence that there is a path to holding citizens safe and police accountable.
  No one is above the law.
  The City should pay its officers better, limit their overtime and mandate a wellness program to ensure their safety and longevity.
  The union should support that too.

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  1:36pm

@ElmCityLover:
We all want a Board that works and is fair to all the parties.
We have entities already, but we are here with a CRB because other institutions have failed.
It’s unlikely that extremists of any kind will volunteer, much less be approved to serve on a CRB.
If the only appointees are politically acceptable to the powers that be, it won’t work.
This has to be an independent board, that means independent of political interests or political agendas.
There will be a learning curve and even some of the people who initially opposed having a retired police officer serve are beginning to see how such a person could contribute substantially to a working understanding of police work in real life.
There is much fear on both sides. Police feel targeted. Civilians feel political interests might undermine the effectiveness of a CRB.
If good people step forward to serve, this new entity can work for all.

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  1:47pm

@ pk - AMR does the same thing! So does that mean it’s not working? Just because not on a call? Its a similar tactic that FD uses too!

And plain site? So everyone has to do a job according to you? Be a lawyer but have an open air office so everyone can hear how youre gonna repesent law breaking, paid political protester, norm clement!

I imagine the patrol commanders DEPLOY people according to vectors or “beats”. Those “beats” are usually areas that need “attention”. In other words, a posh house on the water is less likely to need more attention than let’s say walmart

https://www.npr.org/2016/08/24/491242745/wal-marts-crime-problem-overwhelms-police-across-u-s

(I mean, who am I to refute NPR) DUR DUR DUR!

Oh, and Walmart happens to sit smack dab in the middle of Smith Avenue, Donna Drive, Quinnipiac Meadows, Eastern Terrance, and Bella Vista housing complexes.

Strategic development. But, I digress to your lawyerly expertise!

Fyi, cops dont typically park in the middle of foxon. Neither does amr, or nhfd. Probably for safety reasons.

https://www.wtnh.com/news/connecticut/new-haven/pedestrian-suffers-life-threatening-injuries-after-hit-by-car-in-new-haven/1688200923

Because the law abiding citizens of New Haven never try to drive past emergency vehicles…

🙄

posted by: robn on January 9, 2019  1:56pm

PK,

Then what you did is called hyperbole…don’t post lists of police shootings that don’t happen in NHV.

Since you mentioned it, how many arrestees in NHV were tased into a heart attack?

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  1:59pm

And while we’re at it, let’s petition the city to repeal speeding laws and noise ordinances. Two more problems citizens can stop asking the dept to enforce. Two less things taxpayers will have to pay for when citizens sue to pd for enforcing.

Actually, lets just have anarchy!

I, i wanna be, anarchy!

And youre right pk. Stop the bogus war on drugs. Lets let drug dealers sell, and shoot people. Let them give away drugs to everyone. We need more ODs on the Green. Nothing like being a black eye on world wide news like BBC or CNN. Lets become a BIGGER laughing stock.

This city needs federal intervention. And I hope it gets it.

Nothing, nothing, can stop the stupidity.

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 9, 2019  3:13pm

fcastle,

More Sex Pistols quotes!!!!!!!
God Save the CRB???

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  3:32pm

@Robn: So it has to have happened in New Haven for anyone to be concerned? Read the national data on tasers. They kill. But you prefer to wait for a death here before acting or even devising guidelines? Fortunately the NHPD is smarter than that.
  Also, there are national standards adopted by the Chiefs of Police asserting that the “sanctity of life” should drive all police policies and procedures.

posted by: Patricia Kane on January 9, 2019  3:34pm

@fcastle1984: I hear your head exploding.

posted by: robn on January 9, 2019  5:03pm

PK,

Yes it has to happen here to be concerned enough to form a completely new bureaucracy out of whole cloth.

posted by: fcastle1984 on January 9, 2019  5:25pm

@ patricia kane- my head only explodes when self- entitled, limousine Democrats demand speeders be arrested. When the same people whine for noise ordinances to be enforced. Law enforcement action is only supposed to favor them.

But when a bunch of lawbreaking provacatuers stop people from getting to medical centers, stop people from going home, stop people from going to work, and interupt the lives of taxpaying citizens, that is supposed to be OK.

Yes, my heavy handed elite friend, that makes me angry. Im against a war on public servants and against a war on the people you want “arrested”.

I suppose those “arrests” will go real far healing the rift that’s been created!

posted by: ElmCityLover on January 9, 2019  5:29pm

@PK (can I call you that?): just when I thought we were starting to agree you go and rail against Tasers.

1-How many people have been tased instead of justifiably shot (wielding knives, other weapons)?
2-How many people who resisted arrest have not been met with more damaging means of gaining compliance (ie fists, batons, etc)?
3-How many officers have not been injured in physical confrontations thanks to tasers?

And while $ is secondary to the physical well of citizens/officers of being how much has this saved us in workers comp, overtime to replace officers who are out, and disability pensions (point 3) and lawsuits (pts 1,2)

Yes 1 life lost is too many. But the ratio of taser lived saved to taken absolutely makes these tools worthwhile. Occasionally cops get into car accidents, but that doesn’t mean that we should force all officers to walk. The Board of Police Commissioners routinely reviews taser usage and policy (and all use of force). Last month’s minutes, for example, show there was an improvement in methodology of tracking data. https://www.newhavenct.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=33236

Its funny to me how while we seem to agree on ends, we have VERY different ideas on means.

posted by: JohnDVelleca on January 9, 2019  5:47pm

@Patricia Kane

    We agree on a lot, just not on this Patty.  It just seems like both sides have met in the middle of the ring, been instructed about the rules and have now retreated to their corners and are awaiting the bell to ring.  I know policing in New Haven is challenging and I also acknowledge that the NHPD hasn’t got the best history, but that was a long time ago.  Many of us worked very hard to make the transition into a more trustworthy police department.  Even when things were at their worst, I never felt like the community in general hated us (the NHPD).  I understand some officials showed up to a single meeting, but I don’t think that was an adequate show of support.  The officers need to know that they have support and that someone actually gives a sh*t about them too.  They have been vilified for no good reason.  I don’t think I could have sat by idly while my cops were compared to Ferguson, Baltimore or Chicago.  That’s total BS…you would have certainly heard my big mouth at that point.  It’s a shame that the only support the cops are getting comes from a broken down, old, retiree in the comments section of the local blog.