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Thread: Why you should ALWAYS have an audio/video recorder...

  1. #1
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    For some reason the original thread in the "General Discussion" area was closed. But I recently found a new article concerning the on-going investigation and pending lawsuit by the victim, and I though I'd post a link to the article and video...

    Remember those U.Md. students John J. McKenna and Benjamin C. Donat that were set upon by riot gear-clad police and beaten on March 3? If not, let me refresh your memory:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4148815/c...ught-on-camera

    Well, it turns out that the Price George's County police dropped all the charges against McKenna and Donat, when it became known that another student has recorded the entire incident on their cell phone, and the video was posted on YouTube.

    It also turns out that the officer who filed the report (but was NOT on the scene, or involved in the incident) falsified the report, made up charges, and coached the involved officers in their depositions. He has been put on leave. His name is Officer Sean McAleavey. Four other police (the ones that were actually involved in the beating) have also been placed on leave, pending the investigation, but PG County has not released their names.

    But wait, it gets better...

    It turns out that McKenna's grandfather was retired MD district Court judge, and has a LONG career in the MD judicial system as a defense attorney, and is not willing to just back down and go away after the false charges were dropped against his grandson. They have filed suit against PG County, in which they subpoena'd the U.Md. campus security camera videos of this incident. U.Md. delivered 31 DVDs with over 60 hours of video to them.

    But interestingly enough, there were 90 minutes of video missing--and they were from the ONLY camera on campus that had a view of the area where the beating occurred, and were from the time when it occurred. (Shades of Nixon's missing 18 minutes...)

    But wait, it gets even better...

    The university police lieutenant in charge of copying the videos, Joanne Ardovini, is married to John Ardovini, one of the officers on horseback who was involved in the beating and filing the original report.

    http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/2...n-beating-case

    (be sure to click on the video that accompanies this article...)


    Here is an extended interview with McKenna's grandfather:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fOg-eOwTug

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCr5a...eature=related


    So what does ANY of this have to do with OC, you may ask?

    Had some quick-witted person with a cellphone camera not made a video recording of this incident, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that John J. McKenna and Benjamin C. Donat would probably be in jail, or at the very least would be facing serious charges of assaulting a police officer and more.

    It was because this video surfaces that these two students were cleared, because without this video, it was the word of two college boys against the entire PG County police department. And the fact that they even tried to delete the campus security camera recordings of the beating just shows that they will go to ANY length to maintain the "wall of silence".

    These two college kids could just as easily be an OCer. It's going to be your word against theirs. And we all know how often the cruiser cameras just happen to be "malfunctioning" or "not activated" in these sorts of encounters.

    We need to audio- and/or video record ALL encounters we may have. Because if we should be in a situation where the LEO in question has less-than-honorable intentions, there is a PROVEN record of falsification, destruction of evidence, and intimidation on the part of LEA's.

    And remember, this happened to a rich white kid who's grandfather was a prominent judge. Had McKenna's family not been WWW (wealthy, white, and well-connected), and this independent video had never come out, the outcome of this event would have been VERY different.

    Never put on your OC firearm without at least a voice recorder in your pocket, because in a court, your word as a victim means ABSOLUTELY nothing against a LEO's, but a recording can't be denied...

    I'm actually sort of surprised that the MD AG hasn't brought charges against the person who took this video under MD's "wiretapping" laws. Perhaps the fact that the victim is a rich white kid with a Judge for a grandfather, AND the fact that the FBI has started a Federal Civil Rights Violation investigation against PG County might be why the videographer is getting a pass on this one.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    You mean to tell me that a bunch of police officers from Maryland lied and purposely tried to ruin two young peoples lives?

    Come on now, that could never happen..........
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    I'm actually sort of surprised that the MD AG hasn't brought charges against the person who took this video under MD's "wiretapping" laws. Perhaps the fact that the victim is a rich white kid with a Judge for a grandfather, AND the fact that the FBI has started a Federal Civil Rights Violation investigation against PG County might be why the videographer is getting a pass on this one.
    The "two-party consent" provision, as I understand it, presumes a reasonable expectation of privacy between the parties. In a public setting such as this situation, that goes right out the window, so I would not expect a complaint over the video to hold water.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Mr. H,

    Although I agree with that assessment, the fact is that MD case law is non-conclusive. In some cases, the courts have rules in favor of the "reasonable expectation of privacy", but in other cases, they have ruled in favor of the position that interactions with LEO's DO have a reasonable expectation of privacy because they are conversations between two individuals...

    Usually, these cases revolve around whether or not the prosecutor thinks they can get away with applying this law in questionable circumstances...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    Usually, these cases revolve around whether or not the prosecutor thinks they can get away with applying this law in questionable circumstances...
    Sadly, I must agree.

    I was raised in MD, brought my sons back to grow up in MD... wonderful place, until you start having to deal with all this sort of hooha.

    Now that they're on their own, I'm glad they're in VA and PA. Wifey and I don't have that luxury at this point, but it's becoming an interesting factor in retirement planning!!!

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    More allegations of brutality at U.Md. surface:

    http://wjz.com/local/police.brutalit...2.1672153.html

    When will it end?

    You'd think PGPD would learn their lesson after having to pay out $125,000 on 3/12/10 to a guy they pepper sprayed, assaulted and falsely arrested in 2008 for no reason...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...031104228.html

    Or maybe these U.Md. incidents are their way of sending the message to the citizens of PG County how they REALLY feel about being "called out" for their lawless abuse of "authority"...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Audio or video is an absolute necessity. As was stated above the cops word is always worth more than yours.

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    If they don't criminally prosecute this corruption or any others like it, its never going to get better.

    A corrupt officer and a corrupt police culture is far more dangerous to a community or state than any drug dealer or drug kingpin could ever be.

    I hate to have to come off as anti-law enforcement because in some respects, its a neccessary evil. I do think that they have an incredible potential to be deadly and dangerous. If these cops lied, (which looking at the video, I know they did) and this is shown in a court of law. They need to go to prison, not lose their jobs, not get suspended, they need to go to prison.

    The fact that any officer could use his power and partial immunity to knowingly put an innocent person behind bars is sickening. What's even worse though, is when the system that holds the rest of us accountable for our actions, gives those corrupt servants a free pass.

    If they don't actually go to jail and receive a criminal record for these blantently corrupt actions, its a travesty of justice.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    We need to remember that when we criticize individual LEO's for committing acts of unwarranted brutality, an engaging in corrupt practices and coverups, this is NOT being "anti-law enforcement". It is being anti-criminal. Crime is crime, regardless of who commits it. Assault, providing false information to a subpoena, conspiracy to hide a crime, and violating people's civil rights are CRIMES. If the person committing these crimes just happens to be wearing a badge, it DOES not make the crime any less a crime.

    And criticizing criminals for their unlawful behavior is just that--criticizing criminals.

    Saying that such criticizm is "anti-law enforcement" is like saying that criticizing an MS-13 member for murder, rape, or drug-dealing is "anti-Hispanic", or criticizing the Bloods and Crips is "anti-African American", or criticizing a Department of Education employee for embezzlement is "anti-education".

    The social, racial, or professional affiliations of a criminal have NOTHING to do with the heinousness of their crimes. These factors are mere coincidence, and are nothing more than red herrings when people play these cards.

    Law Enforcement should be held to a higher standard of behavior. When someone who is SWORN to uphold the Constitution, and the Laws of the Land engages in an organized program of committing crimes, and then actively engages in an organized attempt to cover up those crimes, they are NO LONGER acting as a law enforcement officer. The Federal Civil Rights statutes clearly spell this out.

    These officers should be prosecuted under Federal Civil Rights statutes, AND the RICO statutes, for operating a criminal conspiracy. They should NOT merely be fired. They should be treated like the lawless, conspiratorial members of a criminal enterprise that they so obviously are.

    The law is clear. There is video evidence. There is a TREMENDOUS paper trail of criminal conspiracy. This should be a slam-dunk case.

    But I'm not holding my breath. The Courts in MD are generally very supportive of this sort of behavior, and IMO, are often part of the same criminal enterprise.

    For instance, look at the case of Prince Jones. He was a young African-American man in PG county, a college graduate, a personal trainer who worked a Bally's, a religious man, and was engaged to be married. By all accounts he was a model middle-class citizen.

    The undercover PG county officer (6-year veteran, Cpl. Carlton Jones) who, after following him into Fairfax County VA, shot him 5 times in the back (he actually emptied all 16 rounds in his Beretta in the event) in a case of mistaken identity on 1 Sept. 2000 was puled from "street" duty and reassigned to the "technical services division" . The good Cpl. was absolved of any criminal charges. PG County was found liable in a civil suit for "wrongful death" in VA courts. Prince Jone's survivors were awarded $3.7 million by the VA courts (6 years later--in 2006), but it is unclear whether or not they will ever see any of that award, due to extended appeals, and the fact that there is a cap under MD statutes of $200,000 for liability payouts made against County agencies and employees.

    From an article in "Washington Monthly", from 2001:
    For those who'd followed the news in the county over the past few years, Jones' killing was only the latest in a string of suspicious shootings, murders, and beatings that had occurred at the hands of P.G. County police officers. Jones was the 12th person shot over a 14-month period in the county. Five of those 12 died. Two other men, who were not shot, died in police custody.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...3/ai_75434981/


    The PG County Police department is a criminal enterprise. It needs to be disbanded, and rebuilt from the ground up with properly trained, properly screened, and closely monitored staff.

    If it is allowed to continue it's current policies and procedures, I think we can all expect that they will continue to function under the old discipline policy of the Pirate Blackbeard:
    "The beatings will continue until morale improves"...
    The people of MD need to wake up, or they will soon find themselves wearing little colored symbols on their clothes, and being required to "have their papers in order" at all times...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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