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Thread: John Cosgrove wants SECRET POLICE in Virginia

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    John Cosgrove wants SECRET POLICE in Virginia

    This would be the first in the nation:

    Virginia bill to keep officers' names secret would be first in the nation, experts say
    A bill that would allow all Virginia law enforcement officers’ names to be withheld from the public would be the first of its kind in the country, police accountability and open records advocates say.

    The proposal by Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake – SB552 – excludes the names of law enforcement and fire marshals from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and makes them a personnel record.

    Cosgrove said he worked on the bill with the Fraternal Order of Police and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. He acknowledged that officers’ names could be secret “under the broadest scope of that bill.”

    It passed the Senate 25-15 this week and will soon be taken up by a House of Delegates subcommittee.

    The bill is part of a growing movement inside the law enforcement community to shield officers from scrutiny after a rash of controversial police shootings around the country prompted protests and increased focus on officers, said Samuel Walker, professor emeritus of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha and a longtime law enforcement scholar.

    “This is part of the broader culture of shielding officers from being held accountable for their actions,” Walker said. “And this is in the absence of any specific credible evidence that officers are targeted for that request. There’s no basis for that position.”
    Both the names and the training records of LEO's would be secret.

  2. #2
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    Cosgrove said he worked on the bill with the Fraternal Order of Police and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. He acknowledged that officers’ names could be secret “under the broadest scope of that bill.”
    Sounds like grounds for impeachment to me. Why on earth is he working with government to protect government from the people they're supposed to serve, instead of working with his constituents to improve their ability to hold government accountable?

    This secrecy business also runs afoul of the VA constitution:

    Article I. Bill of RightsSection 2. People the source of power

    That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them. (emphasis added by Citizen)

    http://law.lis.virginia.gov/constitution/article1/

    It is already way, way too hard to hold a cop accountable. Along comes cell phone video, and suddenly cops want their names out of reach?

    I know from personal experience how difficult it is to pry information out of police by FOIA. While you can't really find out what discipline a cop received after a sustained formal written complaint, you can at least badger the PD into complying with the FOIA and disclose that a record of the discipline exists and how many pages there are.

    Also, if a cop's name is secret, you can never come forward at a later date if you recognize in the press the name of a cop you complained about. For example, you file a complaint for dangerous driving about a cop whose name you obtained from FOIA. Two years later, you see the same cop's name in the press for causing a serious-injury crash for running fast without lights and siren. You call the attorney of the injured family and offer to testify about your own situation, or you tell the attorney there is a history there. If you cannot reach the cop's name the first time, you cannot contribute to holding him amenable the next time.

    This country already has SWAT raids with masked cops and no name badges; the last thing we need are secret cops.
    Last edited by Citizen; 02-22-2016 at 08:16 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    This country already has SWAT raids with masked cops and no name badges; the last thing we need are secret cops.
    Yup. If anything, I'm of the mind that those who are the force aspect of government should be well documented and that documentation should be very public. The idea that I am to be held accountable to the law by a nameless badge wearer whose details are shielded from public scrutiny is disgusting to me and undercuts the idea that law applies to government actors. The entirety of any law enforcement's crew should be easily accessed by the public who is subject to potential abuse by these men and women.

    If you don't want public exposure of your details, then stay out of public office and position.

  4. #4
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    citizen, et al., nothing new...

    2014
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-records-laws/
    quote: As it turns out, a number of SWAT teams in the Bay State are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. These LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments.

    According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against.

    2015
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ts-swat-teams/

    quote: Last month, the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), the corporation that overseas that region’s SWAT teams, settled with the Massachusetts ACLU and released records related to how SWAT teams are used.

    The results are similar to what we found in other situations in which these records have been made public — the widespread use of the kind of militarized tactics, weapons, and gear that was once reserved only for emergency situations, when lives were at immediate risk. Most notable: Of the 21 times a NEMLEC SWAT team was deployed to serve a search warrant for drugs, the SWAT team reported finding drugs just five times. unquote

    last article was quite interesting read...

    ipse
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  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Nay! A thousand times nay.

    No anonymous agents of the state. No secret police.

    Won't even make the comparison with the gestapo.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    There's sumthin' wrong with the world when you can get the President's name and address, your Senator and Representatives names and addresses, your Governor's, Mayor's and City Council's but it's a state secret when it comes to the arm of government with arrest powers that carries lethal weaponry on a daily basis.


    Of course, seeing what some police have down with a citizen's information, it's no wonder they don't want the public knowing theirs.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    There's already a Va law against publishing LEO names/addresses under certain circumstances. (I'd have to look up the court case - Hanover IIRC - that slapped down some lady who was out to get/expose the drug task force.)

    As for making all LEOs and Fire Marshals names "confidential" - there's going to be a few folks who will use this to push even harder to put teeth into the penalties for non-compliance with FOIA.

    Thing is, if this weree to get passed it would also cover not disclosing names of "heroes" or names of those dying/killed in the line of service. Could not use the LEO's name when announcing the memorial/funeral service. Could piss off some family members. Might even go back to requiring names to be ground off existing monuments. Sure would lie to see Va Dept of General Services weenies showing up at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in DC to grind off names. (If the ticket price stays under $25 I might show up to watch that one.)

    If a locality takes down a memorial (even plaques/pictures posted on the wall) they are going to have to turn them over to the State Library which has some "interesting" retention and access laws governing how it operates. Might just create a conflict of interest also worth watching.

    OK, the point is that somebody got whacked up side the haid by the idea fairy but never bothered to think it through before committing cranio-rectal inversion.

    Attending the committee meetings and raising questions on the cost of purging old records and complying with records retention laws might create quite the spectacle.

    Running around screaming "The sky is falling" might feel good, but there are ways to address the stupidity of not thinking this through. Forget "secret police" and demand to know where the money will be coming from to comply with the bill as written. Especially when they cannot offer much evidence for the need of a blanket exclusion.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  8. #8
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Cop names secret in the age of Instagram/Facebutt/Tweeter...oh-kay.

    So, is a civil suit to now be John Q. Public v. Officer [redacted]?
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  9. #9
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    P4P = Privileges for Police

    Sadly, this trend had become a variation of P4P -- here as defined

    Privileges for Police
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 02-23-2016 at 05:20 PM. Reason: rule #19

  10. #10
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    So, does this mean they'll no longer wear name-badges?

    Just wait until John Cosgrove is stopped in a DUI - he'll put in a bill to repeal it.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I'm well versed on this but.....

    If you hire an organization (say, a 501(c)(3) organization, or the Hell's Angels, or Baskins&Robbins 31 flavors, for that matter) to perform a government function, do they not have to operate under the same rules as if they were actual government actors? I mean, you can't say "Oh, nooooo, there is no Fifth Amendment here because you're being asked by the ice cream guy, not a police officer. Or, "No, no Fourth Amendment violations, the Fourth only applies to the government seizing and searching and the guy rummaging through your car is a Hell's Angel we brought in as a consultant."
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 02-23-2016 at 09:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    I'm well versed on this but.....

    If you hire an organization (say, a 501(c)(3) organization, or the Hell's Angels, or Baskins&Robbins 31 flavors, for that matter) to perform a government function, do they not have to operate under the same rules as if they were actual government actors? I mean, you can't say "Oh, nooooo, there is no Fifth Amendment here because you're being asked by the ice cream guy, not a police officer. Or, "No, no Fourth Amendment violations, the Fourth only applies to the government seizing and searching and the guy rummaging through your car is a Hell's Angel we brought in as a consultant."
    no cuz they are consultants...similar to blackwater, aka Xe Services, aka Academi who, quote: Academi provides security services to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. The Obama administration contracted the group to provide services for the CIA for $250 million. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.

    (2003) Blackwater was also hired during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by the United States Department of Homeland Security, as well as by private clients, including communications, petrochemical, and insurance companies. Overall, the company received over US $1 billion in U.S. government contracts. (my comment: 2003)
    unquote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi (fascinating read)

    different set of rules without oversight...

    ipse
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Heard the BW/Academi turned down the Treasury Dept. invitation to provide First Family security - apparently they have a limit on who may benefit from their services.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    It all depends on what the hired help is doing. In simple terms, the question is: are they acting as agents of the government?

    Ferinstance - IT company scours records, aggregates and catalogs it, then offers to sell it to the government. Private business conducting private business.

    BUT

    IT company is hired by the government to scour records, aggregate and catalog it for the government who then uses it for whatever purpose. Acting as government agents and subject to constitutional and case law limits on how, when, what they can do.

    To say "it's complicated" is an understatement.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  15. #15
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    It just means that when you sue a cop, you'll have to file suit against "john doe" or "person or persons unknown" and then do a subpoena to the pd to get the actual name and address.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  16. #16
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    Subpoena the pd...sounds like a fantasy given the fact that cop shops can ignore any judges order to release any type of information without fear of any criminal consequences.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  17. #17
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    probably just limiting temptation

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Heard the BW/Academi turned down the Treasury Dept. invitation to provide First Family security - apparently they have a limit on who may benefit from their services.
    Hard to guard those you might see as the opposition.
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