Bad apples

August 22, 2008

What in the world is going on with the Indianapolis Police Department? Ten officers have been charged, jailed or investigated for alleged wrongdoing this year. Now there is this case

An incident that led to an Indianapolis police officer being charged with rape Thursday began, prosecutors say, with a proposition.

“I’m going to give you an option,” officer Anthony S. Smith reportedly told a woman with an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. “I can lock you up, but I really don’t want to . . . or you can ride with me for an hour.”

Marion County prosecutors filed charges of rape, criminal deviate conduct and other crimes, saying Smith later forced the 19-year-old woman to have sex with him or go to jail.

“Things don’t get much worse than this case,” Police Chief Michael Spears said during a news conference with Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

No kidding. Everybody from people who work with children to caregivers for the elderly have to go through exhaustive background checks, character references and psychological testing. Would it be too much to ask for a little more care in selecting those who have so much power over all of us? A retired professor of criminal law praises the Indianapolis Police brass for the apparent “zero tolerance” policy toward any level of misconduct. That praise was perhaps due for the first five or six misdeeds. But 10?

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10 Responses to “Bad apples”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    Would it be too much to ask for a little more care in selecting those who have so much power over all of us?

    I don’t think that’s sufficient. Pick a good apple, and when there’s a little pressure, you have cider, but that’s still good, but before you know it, the cider has mothered, and you have vinegar.

    A city employee who campaigned for, and then was hired by the Win Moses administration once told me that Moses started out honest and sincere, trying to do all the right things, getting help from a lot of different people out at IPFW. First, he started taking shortcuts in order to help the citizens. Then he started taking shortcuts in order to help his party. Then he started taking shortcuts in order to help his backers. Finally, he started taking shortcuts in order to help himself.

    She blamed Moses’ wife.

    She no longer worked for government when she told me this, and I don’t know if she quit in disgust (as she claimed), or got disgusted because she was fired (my suspicion). Maybe it was just sour grapes on her part….


  2. I used to have respect for the Police until I felt their wrath. I asked a Northrop Principal if the school had signed consent and release forms to sell videos they were making and selling of show choir performances. The assistant principal did not know. I attempted to inform this assistant principal that they could face unforseen consequences if they sold these videos without signed releases. This is no different than making a copy of the movie “Pirates” and selling it. It is called piracy and is against the law.

    Apparently, this did not sit well with an off duty cop who told me he would arrest me if I video taped my daughter on public property at a public event for which I the parent had spent over $1,000 for her music, costume, makeup, chorography and more while they allowed a company to pirate all the performers rights as well as the artists who wrote the music.

    When I asked the off duty police officer what law would be violated by videotaping, he could not identify one, but said it was a rule. The fact is no one knows who put signs up stating, “no videotaping or flash photography allowed.” FWCS has no policy against videotaping and Northrop stated they do not care one way or the other if a parent videotapes.

    Was I videotaping, no? My camera case was in a camera case, under my seat along with my tripod.

    The US Supreme Court and Federal Courts have ruled many times that Photography is free speech. It is protected. A person has the right to photograph or videotape anything that can be seen from public property. They only catch is you may not be able to sell the image unless you have the consent and release of the owners of the property.

    Because I questioned the state when they attempted to extend by implication a statute or in this case no statute, beyond its plain and literal language given it by duly elected representatives and signed by the duly elected executer, I was attacked from behind without any notice, choked unconscious and dragged from the gym.

    It does not surprise me that there are rogue police in Indy since I know there are a minimum of two in Fort Wayne.

  3. Doug Says:

    Copyright isn’t created until the work is fixed. Singers probably don’t have copyrights in songs that aren’t recorded. If someone else tapes an oral performance, it’s very possible they haven’t violated any rights. But, I suppose this is pretty far afield from the bad apple cops about which Leo posted.

  4. Harl Delos Says:

    If the song was copyrighted, recording the performance would be a violation of the song’s copyright. The author and publisher of the song, and possibly the arranger would have rights that could be enforced.

    Copyright infringement is both civil and a federal criminal offense. Unless you are selling the recording, and you are getting more than $10,000, the federal prosecutor will decline to act.

    If admission was charged for the performance, then recording the performance might be considered a violation of the contract between the ticket-seller and the ticker-buyer. That’d be civil law, not criminal law.

    You may be disruptive by taking a flash photo. People taking videos often stand up in front of others, dart about, and otherwise annoy the hell out of others. They could charge you with disturbing the peace, I guess.

    In Pennsylvania, it’s illegal to tape anyone without their consent. I don’t think that’s true in Ohio and Indiana. Since call centers can’t be certain where your call originates from, you’ll get a warning that your call may be recorded no matter where you are calling from.

    And if you have a snapshot of Elvis you took in 1958, it appears to be illegal to slap it on t-shirts and sell them. I’m not sure exactly why; perhaps his face is a registered trademark?

    I’m thinking of trademarking the word “the”, and suing all the major publishers for royalties. I can be reasonable about it. A dollar per book, no matter how many times they use the word “the” in it, or if they agree to pay me without legal action, I’ll agree for five cents per book. Seems cheap, doesn’t it?

  5. Bob G. Says:

    Police departments will always have their “bad apples” and their “rambos”, but we should not summarily dismiss the entire agency because of these few.
    Even I admit to having “good” and “bad” days when it comes to law-enforcement. And stories such as this remind me to think accordingly.

    I take pictures of suspicious behavior (w/o the peoples’ knowledge) and I have every right to do so, if it impacts on my quality of life and/or my safety or the safety of the citizens of my community.
    And I’m not afraid to post them on my blog when needed to make a point. I make NO money from ANY of it…call it my version of a “public service”…GRATIS!
    I know Phil Marx does likewise…and he has my blessing in doing so.
    If people ask what I’m doing…it’s a HOBBY of mine, and America is not a communist country.

    B.G.

  6. Harl Delos Says:

    I take pictures of suspicious behavior (w/o the peoples’ knowledge) and I have every right to do so, if it impacts on my quality of life and/or my safety or the safety of the citizens of my community.

    Sometimes, you have every right to do so. Sometimes you don’t.

    If you’re taking pictures in a locker room, in a military installation, in a post office, near a nuclear power plant, or any number of other places, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

    If people ask what I’m doing…it’s a HOBBY of mine, and America is not a communist country.

    Some people smoke dope as a hobby. Some people drag race on city streets as a hobby. Some rape little kids as a hobby. Some people turn their cars into huge boomboxes as a hobby.

    Calling something a hobby is not a particularly good legal defense.

  7. Bob G. Says:

    I take the pictures from…ON MY PROPERTY, and I can even carry a firearm…ON MY PROPERTY.
    And I would be more than willing to drop ANY perp from…(where else?) ON MY PROPERTY.
    And photography IS a damn GOOD hobby…you ought to TRY it some time.
    It’s even better than PONTIFICATING.

    😉

    B.G.


  8. The entire problem was that all I did was ask a question. I was not loud, disruptive or rude. I was simply trying to find out if they had consent and release forms, which as it turns out they did not. The Supreme Court as well federal courts have ruled that photography is protected free speech. I ast day and was going to watch the show. Had I indended to videotape, I would have had my tripod assembled, camera attached and the lens cap off. The fact is, the camera was in its case, under a folding seat and next to the tripod.

    The Copy Right act of 1976 states that as soon as a performer sings, dances, etc, that performance is protected. Starting in 1978 a person no longer had to file for a copyright.

    In Tinker v Des Moisne Board of Education the Supreme Court ruled that you did not leave your first amendment rights at the doorstep of a school. It furthered stated that passive free speech could not be restricted if the same form of free speech was being allowed elsewhere. In this case another entity was allowed to videotape. This means anyone else is allowed to videotape. You cannot allow one entity more rights than another.

    Northrop high school certainly did not have ownership or any property rights to any other schools performance. The only ones who could possibly have any property rights were the performers and the owners of songs. The songs were licensed to be sung when the choir purchased the sheet music. The sheet music gave permission to sing, not record and sell.


  9. Harl Delos wrote “And if you have a snapshot of Elvis you took in 1958, it appears to be illegal to slap it on t-shirts and sell them. I’m not sure exactly why; perhaps his face is a registered trademark?”

    The reason is that everyone has the right to photograph or videotape ANYTHING that can be seen from public property. The problem is they cannot sell it without the persmission of the owner. In this case the owner is the Elvis Estate.

  10. Harl Delos Says:

    The reason is that everyone has the right to photograph or videotape ANYTHING that can be seen from public property.

    Where did you got that notion?

    Not everyone agrees with your assertion.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=photography+prohibited+site%3Amil&btnG=Search

    I invite you to go down to a neighborhood park and start videotaping little kids at play, and see how long it takes before you get arrested for stalking.

    The Copy Right act of 1976 states that as soon as a performer sings, dances, etc, that performance is protected.

    Where did you get that idea?

    Not everyone agrees with your assertion. Section 102(a) specifies that copyright protection subsists “fixed in any tangible medium of expression”. A recording of a performance would be automatically copyrighted, the performance itself cannot be.

    In Tinker v Des Moisne Board of Education the Supreme Court ruled that you did not leave your first amendment rights at the doorstep of a school.

    Yes, but the first amendment only gives you the right to express yourself. It doesn’t give you any particular right to collect data.

    In Tinker v. Des Moines Board of Education, the SCOTUS said that students were allowed to wear black armbands, which was an expression of opinion. It didn’t say that you could take pictures in the girls’ locker room, xerox pages of students permanent records, or stand on the sidewalk, taking pictures of primary students.

    You cannot allow one entity more rights than another.

    Where did you get that notion?

    Not everyone agrees with that assertion. If my wife wants to take my car without asking, I allow her that right. If someone else wants to do that, they can go fish.


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