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Thread: Talking with Police Investigator after a Complaint

  1. #1
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    Talking with Police Investigator after a Complaint

    I had an incident a couple weeks ago (I'll go into details after I weigh all my options) and, as a result, I filed a complaint with MNPD.

    I was contacted my the officer investigating the complaint yesterday, who wants to set up a meeting to discuss my complaint. Should I obtain legal representation and have such at any meeting with the officer? Who would be a good lawyer to contact should I need one?

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    Is this a complaint about another citizen or a complaint about a cop?

    If a complaint about a cop, something smells fishy. There is no reason to "discuss." If he has any questions about your complaint, he can write them to you.

    Otherwise, whoever makes the final decision about your complaint just needs to tell you the final decision and outcome, to the degree that he can without violating personnel privacy policies.

    I personally would not "discuss" anything. This is not a negotiation. An event occurred, facts were presented, investigated, weighed, and decision made--hopefully.

    We've read a few reports here where the supervisor just tried to "explain" why the cop did what he did and sweep it under the rug.

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    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    IMHO - NEVER talk to the police without representation. Even if you are talking about someone else...

    As for a pro-gun owner attorney, I know of a couple. Stegall Law Firm, and Cain Law Firm.

    If it is a serious offense by the police officer in question, going in without an attorney would be unwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Is this a complaint about another citizen or a complaint about a cop?

    If a complaint about a cop, something smells fishy. There is no reason to "discuss." If he has any questions about your complaint, he can write them to you.

    Otherwise, whoever makes the final decision about your complaint just needs to tell you the final decision and outcome, to the degree that he can without violating personnel privacy policies.

    I personally would not "discuss" anything. This is not a negotiation. An event occurred, facts were presented, investigated, weighed, and decision made--hopefully.

    We've read a few reports here where the supervisor just tried to "explain" why the cop did what he did and sweep it under the rug.
    Yes, its a complaint against police officers. Nothing is fishy, though. There is a special department in the MNPD that handles citizen complaints against police officers. Much like internal affairs.

    HvyMtl, thanks for the names of the law firms. I'll be contacting them on Monday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post

    If a complaint about a cop, something smells fishy. .

    Me too. This just doesn't sound right. My first thoughts are DONT TALK TO THE COPS! But you have initiated a complaint that you want addressed, so now you are on their tip. Make your own decision about it, but be weary of their tactics.

    a bit of conspiracy theories on this.... maybe they want to talk you down off of the complaint and sweep it under the rug. Maybe they want to get you in "their house" to intimidate you into this.

    If you are in "their house" be mindful of taqctics used to put you off, break your resolve, and intimidate you. These thinks put people in a bad state of mind and helps them gain the upper hand in a conversation. Don't be surprised if they get you to "sit in this room, we will be right with you", then they "ice" you for about 20 minutes. When he comes in, he asks you to change chairs with him. one reason is to position himself between you and the door, to "put you in a corner". other reason this is to get you into the "special" chair, the most uncomfortable plank of wood in the station, also they like to remove the foot from one leg of a chair to make the chair wobble, (you might have been sitting in the stable chair - now he wants you to move)

    Also, with out the background of the story, is there any possible way they could be wanting to arrest you for anything??? I've seen it done before, get a "suspect" to come in for a "witness interview" or complaint review, they will start off on another topic, but are headed toward arresting you for something totally different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCrawford View Post
    SNIP Nothing is fishy, though.
    Yes, there is. I have been through the formal complaint process at least four times. There was never, ever any reason for discussion. None. Zip.

    In almost every case a cop contacted me to ask some questions for clarification. No discussion. Just questions to clarify and/or exclude circumstances that might have justified the cop's actions. With two exceptions:

    Once, I was interrogated. Meaning, the investigator started asking me questions from the angle of investigating me.

    Once, a supervisor called me to state the supervisors disagreement with the officer's actions; but, then the supervisor began justifying the officer's underlying anti-rights attitude, which of course was inappropriate and unnecessary discussion.

    So, no discussion is needed--literally. If you inadvertently left out some detail important to resolving some question, they can call or write you. Otherwise, there is no discussion that can benefit you. All you need is whatever resolution you requested, or a reasonable alternative proposed by the police--and this can, and should, come in writing so there is a written record. The only people that can win in a discussion is the police.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Yes, there is. I have been through the formal complaint process at least four times. There was never, ever any reason for discussion. None. Zip.

    In almost every case a cop contacted me to ask some questions for clarification. No discussion. Just questions to clarify and/or exclude circumstances that might have justified the cop's actions. With two exceptions:

    Once, I was interrogated. Meaning, the investigator started asking me questions from the angle of investigating me.

    Once, a supervisor called me to state the supervisors disagreement with the officer's actions; but, then the supervisor began justifying the officer's underlying anti-rights attitude, which of course was inappropriate and unnecessary discussion.

    So, no discussion is needed--literally. If you inadvertently left out some detail important to resolving some question, they can call or write you. Otherwise, there is no discussion that can benefit you. All you need is whatever resolution you requested, or a reasonable alternative proposed by the police--and this can, and should, come in writing so there is a written record. The only people that can win in a discussion is the police.
    Now I understand where you are coming from and you point is taken. I heard the word "discuss" and figured it would mean to clarify any points about my written complaint. When I do speak with the investigating officer, I will be on my guard, and I plan to have an attorney present or in conference call with me.

    I appreciate the advise, and I'll spill the beans about the incident once I feel the situation is resolved in a satisfactory manner.

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    If you decide to go, and you decide to take a lawyer, will you tell them in advance that you will bring a lawyer with you?

    I probably wouldn't, try to see what their reaction is.

  9. #9
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    What happened with this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwikrnu View Post
    What happened with this?
    Well, until today, nothing has happened. I have been unable to get any lawyers to return my calls about my incident.

    Today, I received a letter that the MNPD's Office of Professional Accountability has exonerated the officer I complained about.

    Now I need to get a good FOIA request letter for the info. Its been difficult to get anything done due to my work hours and unpredictable schedule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCrawford View Post
    Well, until today, nothing has happened. I have been unable to get any lawyers to return my calls about my incident.

    Today, I received a letter that the MNPD's Office of Professional Accountability has exonerated the officer I complained about.

    Now I need to get a good FOIA request letter for the info. Its been difficult to get anything done due to my work hours and unpredictable schedule.
    I took me more than 6 months for me to get get anything from professional accountability from MNPD on the Radnor Lake deal. Of course, they also exonorated the officers. Cops don't throw other cops under the bus, that takes a lawsuit. I doubt you will find any lawyers to take your case.
    The FOIA letter does not have to be anything special, but I would quote the code and that they have to respond in 7 days. Don't forget to date the letter and include your contact info. I always send these return receipt requested certified mail. If you have problems call Elisha Hodges with the State Open Records. LINK

    SAMPLE

    Central Records Division
    Attn: (person in charge)
    200 James Robertson Pkwy
    Nashville TN 37201
    615-862-7650
    Hours:7-6pm,7-3:30pm

    RE: Public records request for information regarding blah blah blah.

    Authority for this records request is given by:
    Tennessee Public Records Act Request (T.C.A. 10-7-503 & 8-4-604)
    Nashville Mayors Executive Order 34

    (Letter body)
    Be specific in what you want. remember you are requesting records. Those records may include audio, video, transcripts, documents, memos, forms, emails, etc. For example if you want an emails between two people regarding a certain subject in a specific date range, state it.

    I request a response to this request in 7 days as required by law. If the charges for the request exceed $25 I must be contacted for approval at the above address.
    Last edited by kwikrnu; 11-02-2010 at 11:06 PM.

  12. #12
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    Today, I received a letter that the MNPD's Office of Professional Accountability has exonerated the officer I complained about.


    the old lie and deny is alive and well in Tenn, also in Madison Wis too!

  13. #13
    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    Zero surprise. And forget complaining to the Mayor's office. In his eyes the Police cannot do anything wrong.
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    Well, guess you can't even count on gun owners to have your back either. I told my story, in brief, over at TGO and everyone decided I was Kwikrnu.

    I'll write up my story in the next few days and post it all here (in a new thread) of course.

  15. #15
    Regular Member HvyMtl's Avatar
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    um. Yeah, TGO does not like Kwik, they think him an anti-sheep in wolf's clothing...

    Look at the thread titled: "the fun starts on page 13" or something like.

    Sorry they think you were he.
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