Sgt. Myers Given Probation: Torture of Inmates Goes Unpunished by State’s Attorney

On Monday, February 26, former Sergeant William Alan Myers pleaded guilty to charges of felony disorderly conduct and misdemeanor aggravated battery. Charges of felony obstruction of justice and felony aggravated battery were dropped. He received two years probation, a $500 fine, and 100 hours community service. This is the third cop in less than two years whose abuse of power has gone unpunished by State’s Attorney Julia Rietz (whose husband is, incidentally, a cop). In July 2005, Urbana officer Kurt Hjort was accused of rape by a 25 year old woman. Hjort was fired from the force but special prosecutor Jim Dedman refused to even file charges against him. In November 2005, Champaign County sheriff’s deputy Ryan Garrett lost his job after reports of physically abusing his wife, who later left him, and threatening her boyfriend by telling him, “I’m a cop. Watch your back.” Garrett pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense and received a two years conditional discharge. Garrett was represented by Tony Novak, the attorney who also defended Sgt. Myers. In all three cases, the loss of their job has been considered enough punishment for these rogue cops. The response by Myers’ attorney Tony Novak is revealing: “Alan Myers was a Champaign County Correctional Officer for over 13 years. In November 2005, he was a sergeant and shift commander. It is a thankless job. Pursuant to his duty, he was attempting to control an extremely disruptive inmate through use of a taser. He failed to follow protocol and then attempted to cover up his violation, ultimately admitting the false report as contained in the charge of Disorderly Conduct. The guilty plea to the misdemeanor battery charge was a compromise of a very close question of whether Alan Myers’ use of the taser went beyond what was necessary to control an extremely disruptive, mentally unbalanced inmate. Alan and I decided it was in his best interest to accept the plea agreement although he has paid a heavy price in that he is unlikely to ever work in law enforcement again.” Drawing attention to the length of Myers’ employment, and his service to the public for what is a difficult job, Novak says that Myers has paid heavily for his abuses. The suggestion is that Myers suffered enough because he lost his job. Of course, if you or I, the average citizen, were caught stealing money at our job, or if we committed aggravated battery against an individual, we would not only loose our job, we would do some jail time. Because of the police officer’s unique position of power, the expectations of them to uphold the law are not higher, but actually lower than the ordinary citizen. The 8th Amendement protects the public from “cruel and unusual punishment.” This is one of the cornerstones of the American Constitution and what makes it such a radical document. It says that even the worst criminals in our society still have basic human rights. Myers’ attorney Tony Novak makes it clear that inmate Ray Hsieh, even though he may have been mentally imbalanced, was being disruptive and deserved what he got. The Constitution apparently has no jurisdiction in the remote cornfields of downstate Illinois. The evidence in the case was that inmate Ray Hsieh was fully restrained in a chair, his hands and ankles handcuffed, while Sgt. Myers used a Taser on him four times. Tony Novak said, “There was no torture here.” This was conceded to by the State’s Attorney’s office. Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler said that Myers “pleaded guilty to what he did.” Ziegler would not answer my questions: Why did he not pursue felony aggravated battery against Myers? Why he did not file additional charges against Myers for falsifying a police report on Michael Rich? Why did he not even bother to call Trina Fairley, another one of Myers’ Taser victims? The Sheriff was tight-lipped and had no comment. The plea bargain given to Myers was covered by the News-Gazette, Daily Illini, WDWS 1400 AM, and WILL 580. Still, none of these paid journalists ever read the investigation into Myers where it reveals his abuses against three other inmates. Independent media journalists who broke this story received no acknowledgement for bringing it to light. Local activists who have worked for over three years to stop Tasers were not called for a statement. These people are volunteers who receive no pay and dedicate themselves solely because of their belief in justice. And then we are led to believe that it is police officers who have a “thankless job.” Justice is a sham in Champaign County. BD

No punishment?

Although Rietz didn't have the option of personally shooting Myers, the plea deal still involved a felony conviction. This means that he won't be able to work in law enforcement again, and because he was convicted of a felony in connection with his job, he'll also lose his pension. As far as I know, Dedman was appointed to the Hjort case by a judge, so there wasn't much Rietz could do about that. Perhaps Champaign County needs someone like Dexter. Would it have been usual for the court to ask for opinions about taser use or acknowledge IndyMedia at the time they accepted a plea bargain? I've never heard of anything like that happening before.

Jail time

Rietz's office began with charges of felony aggravated batter against Myers but reduced this to a misdemeanor. The claim was that "no bodily harm" was done to Ray Hsieh. Two years probation for what Myers did to Hsieh is hardly punishment. Let alone what Myers did to Michael Rich, Trina Fairley, or Michael Alexander. The St. Atty. failed to follow up on any of these three other cases. Fairley and Alexander were punished for battery and alcohol related charges with extended jail time, not to mention their additionaly punishment of being Tasered by Myers. Myers did one night in jail for battering four people in the jail. Again, Wayward, your argument is that Myers was punished because he lost his job. As stated in my post, this is the wrong line of reasoning. If you or I committed these abuses, we would do time. Others get 15 years for three rocks. I saw one young femail student get two weeks in jail for $300 stolen property at Wal Mart. Has justice been served to Myers? BD

Ya Gotta love BD "Often in error, never in doubt"

Mr. D. Wrote: "This is the third cop in less than two years whose abuse of power has gone unpunished by State’s Attorney Julia Rietz (whose husband is, incidentally, a cop)." Wrong-O Sparky! Two pled guilty to criminal charges and one was referred to a special prosecutor who declined to press charges. While you may not be happy with the sentences handed out, they did not go "unpunished," and the one who arguably did does not have Ms. Rietz to thank for it. The fact that you keep quoting Myers' defense attorney and somehow manage to construe those comments as being indicative of the attitude of the prosecutor's office just helps to reveal your colossal ignorance of the legal system in general. They are in a directly adversarial role. Of course Myers' paid advocate is going to try to spin the facts in the favor of his client. That's HIS JOB no matter who his client is or what he has done. Again, let me state that I have no sympathy for Myers. He broke the law, violated his position of trust and he got what he deserved. Did he deserve more? Maybe. Just bear in mind that a lot of cosiderations go into the resolution of any criminal case. Perhaps Mr Hsiegh was not a very good witness? Maybe Rich and Fairley weren't much better. Who knows? I do know that Myers will be checking the "yes" box on every job application he fills out for the rest of his life where it asks "Have you ever been convicted of a Felony?" That's certainly going to limit his prospects. Furthermore, Wayward is absolutely correct. Bring in local "activists" to pontificate at a sentencing hearing would have been completely unprecedented. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Hsieh

Perhaps Mr Hsiegh was not a very good witness? More like a missing witness. According to the N-G article, he could not be located to testify.

Example Case

Ishmael, Often, local african american youth are told at sentencing that their long prison sentence needs to be levied to "set an example" or "act as a deterrent for the rest of the community." In the Myers case you have a jail guard who tortures inmates and lies about it to superiors, enlists other officers to the same, and files untrue, false police reports with the State's Attorney's office. Would you want your drunk college student who got arrested for a fistfight at the UnOfficial St. Patty's Day Celebrations to be under the supervision of a sadistic Sgt. Myers and other officers willing to brutalize and falsify reports?, an inmate grievance system that ignores the pleas of inmates?, and a state's attorney's office with a conflict of interest who stalls and excuses the behavior because the taser doesn't leave a permanent mark? Would you want such a system to protect your child from being tied in a chair, and repeatedly electracuted with 50,000 volts by a taser and then read an untrue report that says your child started the fight and the 50,000 volts used against your child was "justified"? The sentence in this case sends a clear message: Violent Police Officers Who Betray the Public Trust can remain among us in the community-no jail time is necessary. I thought you law enforcement people justified the locking up of people in prisons as a necessary endeavor to protect of us from violent people? Myers gets to sleep in his bed while hundreds and hundreds from our county do serious prison time for DUI, drug dealing, possession of drugs, possession of stolen goods, ect....read a newspaper sometime to see it for yourself. And Yes! Myers is a repeat offender. Read the County Sherriff's investigation. Or you can leave it to BD to do all the reading for you. Inmates don't make credible witnesses? Then stop using informants for these drug cases if having a case pending or past conviction renders you unable to tell the truth. Were that the standard, prosecutors wouldn't even accept a drug case filed by police in this county. The reasoning of not being able to sell it to a jury because of the reputation of the witnesses does not excuse the lack of pursuit and the lack of proscecution- credibility of a witness is for juries to decide- not prosecutors. When you consider the State's Attorney is given by law the duty to defend the county against civil complaints involving county officers, you have to wonder why there was such an effort to minimize Sgt. Myers' behavior. Defender Novak could spin it because his adversary was willing to accept the spin- especially when the facts of the case opened the County to so many lawsuits. Maybe the State's attorney should back off the Elementary School Teacher/Pedophile case because afterall, the case relies on the testimony of children. And you know how unreliable kids can be.... and besides, if they find that teacher guilty, the parents could sue the school district and the district can't afford that right now....such were the operating principles driving the Sgt. Myers case. The Sgt. Myers Torture Case should be studied at law schools everywhere. It is a travesty of justice, a denial of due process, represents a pure prosecutorial conflict of interest, and cronyism to the extreme- all at the expense of people's safety while in the county jail. She should resign. Now. Bottom Line: The state's attorney's office refused to recommend jail time for an officer caught torturing numerous people and lying about it. And in three of the four documented cases of torture by Sgt. Myers, prosecutors ignored the behavior altogether. They were more concerned about the Sherriff allowing a known rouge officer(s) to work at his jail, than protecting inmates from torture. You are completely right- there is alot that goes into a case in Champaign County alright. The Sgt. Myers Torture Case has Rietz doing a Brady Smith Case, ala Piland. The new boss is the same as the old boss. And the Wilhelm family will have the indignity of watching her do backbends to explain why she went easy on Basketball Star Jamar Smith's "distracted driving" and "negligent behavior". No jail time for Smith. Watch. This criminal justice system is racially prejudiced, economically biased, and unprincipled. The statistics and case comparisons expose it everyday. And where are the black community leaders now, who are so upset by a cartoon?

Sad to Say...

To Whoever Just Posted That Jamar Smith Won't Get Jail Time- Our State's Attorney is so obsessed with her public image, that your post probably just guaranteed Jamar Smith a 364-day or less stay in the county jail. The Smith family can thank people like you for their child having to drop out of school. You people should watch what you post on this website....hopefully, the State's Attorney will ignore the claims here and do what's right for such a gifted athlete and academic scholar as Jamar Smith. The victim in Jamar's case has forgiven him. And bringing in the plight of the Wilhelms was a cheap shot. The Wilhelm's have been assured that the State's Attorney takes very seriously the issue of distracted driving. It is her office that is spearheading the efforts to make cellphone use while driving a jailable offense. Besides, as we will see this Friday, everybody drinks a little tequila now and then.

Ummm...

Our State's Attorney is so obsessed with her public image, that your post probably just guaranteed Jamar Smith a 364-day or less stay in the county jail. The Smith family can thank people like you for their child having to drop out of school. You people should watch what you post on this website....hopefully, the State's Attorney will ignore the claims here and do what's right for such a gifted athlete and academic scholar as Jamar Smith. The victim in Jamar's case has forgiven him. I hate to break this to you, but Rietz actually does not consult with UCIMC about what sentences she should seek. Perhaps that's why activists never get to pontificate at sentencing hearings.

That's Correct...

The victim in Jamar Smith's case did forgive him. That was exactly the reasoning given to NOT prosecute basketball star Luther Head when he and some others committed a Class 1 Felony of Residential Burglary. Those victims, whose $3000 worth of stolen property was taken while they were home in bed sleeping, forgave Luther and Aaron Spears; and John Piland had the sense to not press charges. Had Piland prosecuted that case, Luther would not have been able to shoot the winning basket against Purdue later that season that secured the Big Ten Championship. I almost wish Piland were still the State's Attorney. He would have never touched the Jamar Smith case with a ten foot pole. Citizens don't understand the complicated decisions prosecutors have to make. It's important that they don't prosecute everybody, because some defendants might be somebody society needs, so they deserve extra breaks. Our laws don't have to be enforced all the time. Prosecutorial discretion. Go look up what that means. I'm sure our current State's Attorney is only trying to be somewhat consistent with her charging of Mr. Smith. But we basketball fans don't have to worry since Smith's attorneys will negotiate an acceptable plea bargain that keeps independent media centers and other media types from ever learning about the college hijinks done on a particular evening. It's none of our business what college students do when they drive a car- nor is it none of our business how our tax dollars are used to prosecute cases. I support the State's Attorney giving Jamar Smith all the breaks she can. Like Piland did before her, she will do the right thing.

Damn Straight

Wayward, You are absolutely right, Rietz does not consult the UCIMC website when she considers the sentences her and her assistants seek. Thank heavens! Some of the posts on this thread are simply uninformed. Our State's Attorney is doing an excellent job against drunk drivers and the case against Jamar Smith is just a misunderstanding. I agree with the above post- Jamar needs to get to class and shoot more threes much more than pedestrians, passengers, and bicyclists need protection from people who drink and drive. The nerve of some people to suggest Jennifer Starks should have gone to jail for ramming into Matt Wilhelm. Leave Rietz alone, BD! She's got a law degree! You don't.

Unfortunately

You are absolutely right, Rietz does not consult the UCIMC website when she considers the sentences her and her assistants seek. Thank heavens! Some of the posts on this thread are simply uninformed. The disappointing thing is that some of the posts here really are uninformed. I'd like to see better fact-checking because I think that UCIMC has the potential to do a lot of good. But personal attacks full of inaccurate information really don't help.

She's got a law degree!

Leave Rietz alone, BD! She's got a law degree! This was a quote from a post.

My answer... Not for long!

GO BD GO!!!

Rietz and Distracted Drivers

I remember in 2006 Rietz recommended 4 year probation sentence (over Judge Hiedi Ladd's objections) to a Purdue graduate who drove the wrong way on I-57 and killed a 55 year old mother while this Purdue graduate registered something over like .2 on the alcohol richter scale. (.08 is legal impairment) Thankfully, Rietz understands how important these cases are. I'm glad she never sends young people to prison and ruins their lives. Jamar Smith will get a second chance, just like all young people do in this county. The numbers of youth being sent to prison from the Champaign County Youth Detention Center proves that.

Roseberry case

Well, according to the N-G article, the Kristen Roseberry case was actually handled by Troy Lozar. The light sentence happened because the victim's family requested that Roseberry not be sent to prison. Here's an excerpt from the article by Mary Schenk (published June 6, 2006 in the News-Gazette).

Ladd asked Lozar if the Payne family was consulted about Roseberry's sentence, and he responded that they agreed she should not be sentenced to prison. Roseberry faced as much as 14 years for the Class 2 felony offense.

"But for the fact that the family has asked for forgiveness, had this been an open plea, you would be going to the Department of Corrections right now," Ladd told Roseberry. "I ask you to think about that carefully in the future before you make any decisions about whether you want to consume alcohol."

Ummm....anonymous.....(last 3 posts)

I think you should leave satire to the professionals. Or maybe consider moving to better ventillated workspace. Can a person be sentenced to prison for torturing the English language? "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Oh.....I see

Does Lozar ask the victims of burglaries, the drug buyers who buy drugs from a defendant, the victims of fistfights, the victims of whatever what he should do in every case? I suppose if a woman, who was battered by a man, told the prosecutor she didn't want to press charges (does happen alot), Lozar/Rietz et al would be glad to not charge him then and that's the proper thing to do? If somebody shoplifts and the storeowner says, "Naw, it's okay, we got insurance for that kind of petty theft" the prosecutors would drop the charges immediately? It's refreshing to learn that prosecutors have absolutely no control over anything and are responsible for nothing that happens in the courtroom. And arguments don't count if yer grammer and spellin' is not goodly. Oh that's right, rather than debate logically, just attack the person making the argument for poor speech. Frankly, I found the above posts by these annonymous folks to be reflective of the popular sentiment. And what facts do you dispute, Wayward? You still refuse to answer BD's query. Is 2 years probation an acceptable plea bargain in light of other sentences handed down in this county and the actual police reports in the Myers case? The facts are these: 1) local african american youth and low income people go to prison routinely for non-violent crimes. And those prison sentences can be extremely heavy. 2) Sgt. Myers tortured 4 other human beings while they were in his custody. Which of those facts are "misinformed"? Gosh, I hope I didn't mispell anything.

The sentence

Actually, I think it would have been great if they could have gotten a stiffer sentence for Myers. However, given the missing witness, maybe going to trial would have been risky. In statistics, there's a concept called "expected value." For example, if there's on 0.6 (60%) chance that you'll win $5 when you play a certain game, then your expected value is 0.6 * 5 = 3. I'd sensed that there was similar reasoning going on with plea bargain deals - it wasn't just a matter of how bad the crime was, but also about the prosecution's likelihood of winning if the case went to trial. Some of the drug cases may have better chances of conviction - e.g., the cops caught the guy with x crack rocks, so there's not as much incentive to offer a generous plea deal. As far as "misinformed" posts, there is something nonsensical about a headline that states "Sgt. Myers Given Probation: Torture of Inmates Goes Unpunished by State’s Attorney." Last I checked, probation in itself was a form of punishment.

Actually, I suspect.....

...that the three anonymous posts were all made by the same person, and very possibly by YOU. I think that, in some instances, it's entirely appropriate to consider the feelings of the victims when prosecuting cases. Far too often the victim gets overlooked by the system in general. My comment had nothing to do with the grammar or spelling but trying to discern if it was a poor attempt at satire or if it was intended to construct a "straw man" opponent coming to the defence of Ms Rietz while using obviously flawed examples. Either way, it was painful to get through. I think what Wayward is saying is that it does nothing to promote this board as a forum for the serious discussion of issues, when posters attempt to mischaracterize the actions of others or to intentionally misstate the facts. Finally, you may feel that Myers got off easy. That's your right. But, without knowing all of the fatcs available to the prosecutor, the true situation may be other than you perceive. Regarding your final assertion of fact 1: The FACT is that people rarely go to prison for lengthy terms, unless they're convicted of extremely serious crimes, or unless they're repeat offenders. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Mary Schenk's account

Check out Mary Schenk's account of the Myers incident on Feb 27 - its a real doozy. It is a complete rationalization of Myers' abuses. Again, the News-Gazette willingly participates in the cover up. First, the claim that Ray Hsieh can't be found. He is still on a conditional discharge and the County should know his whereabouts. Of course, they knew he was a homeless man and should have taken steps to keep tabs on him. Second, Schenk quotes at length from an interview with Myers conducted by Sheriff's investigators. I do stand corrected. Schenk did look at some of the testimony in the case file 05-CF-2105. But she only presents Myers' side of the story. What is especially heinous is that she trusts Myers' account of the Hsieh incident without question, even though it has been proven that Myers has falsified his story. Schenk uses Myers' own words to defend his actions. In her account, Myers looks like a nice guy just trying to do his job. She ends with the statement by Myers: "I panicked. I tased this guy when I was by myself and I shouldn't have and I panicked. I thought I could reason with the guy." Schenk did not quote from other eye witnesses, whether from other police who were interviewed, or other inmates who saw what happened. She did not quote investigator Kris Bolt who himself told Myers: "when someone does that, then they question the integrity of us all." Schenk did not quote Sgt. Mennenga who heard Myers boasting about the incident, saying "it seems like I am the only one with enough balls to use the Taser." She takes Myers' comments at face value. She reports that he told investigators he had used a Taser on two other inmates. Schenk knows that there were three other incidents: Michael Rich, Trina Fairley, and Michael Alexander. Why does she not print their names? Even Sky Opila, a student journalist, printed their names in his article that appeared in the DI. When we had a press conference with Michael Rich, one of Myers' victims, the News-Gazette covered the event but did not even mention that Rich was there. How the News-Gazette can have any pretense of journalistic integrity or claim that they are "objective" is beyond my comprehension. Schenk should be fired. And the NG should find a writer of color to replace her. Insensitive cartoons are one thing. But this significant breach of journalistic standards is too much to stomach. BD

Excuse me?

Schenk should be fired. And the NG should find a writer of color to replace her. Do you see black people as fungible? It sounds like you're saying that the N-G just needs to find a "writer of color" - it doesn't really matter who they are, or what their qualifications may be. Personally, I find this appalling.

Winning Isn't Everything

"I think that, in some instances, it's entirely appropriate to consider the feelings of the victims when prosecuting cases. Far too often the victim gets overlooked by the system in general." Yep. Michael Rich. Trina Fairley. Michael Alexander. All tortured by Sgt. Myers. All that information was available to the State's Attorney's office. All of it was ignored. Sheriff Walsh said in the December 2, 2006 News-Gazette, "We looked into the past incidents and didn't find anything." Funny, BD found it no problem. As did Lt. Ogle and the other investigators of the Sgt. Myers case. "when posters attempt to mischaracterize the actions of others or to intentionally misstate the facts." What's been mischaracterized? What facts have been intentionally mistated? "The FACT is that people rarely go to prison for lengthy terms, unless they're convicted of extremely serious crimes, or unless they're repeat offenders." The News-Gazette must be lying to us all then. Again, Myers repeatedly tortured people at this county jail. Torture is considered extremely serious. Police officers breaking the law is usually considered extremely serious. Falsifying police reports ought to be considered serious. Regardless, anyone sentenced for a year in prison for theft or drugs can look at the Myers case and know that something is very awry that they are in jail and Myers remains free. Remember too, Hsieh was not the only witness in this case. There were other officers present at 3 of the torture sessions Myers inflicted. Oh yeah, police officers sometimes falsify reports. Yeah, better not put those officers on the stand. Their word would never hold up in court. And anyone using mathematical logical games to comfort themselves that injustice is perfectly okay, should know that kind of thinking yields what we have today: women get raped- and police and prosecutors figure "they can't win" so they don't arrest and prosecute. There is no defense for how the Myers case was handled.

Expected values

And anyone using mathematical logical games to comfort themselves that injustice is perfectly okay, should know that kind of thinking yields what we have today: women get raped- and police and prosecutors figure "they can't win" so they don't arrest and prosecute. Actually, calculating expected values is a pretty simple operation, and most people probably wouldn't consider it a "mathematical logic game." I've never seen basic math described as people "comforting themselves that injustice is perfectly okay," either.

Patrick Rolman

"How the News-Gazette can have any pretense of journalistic integrity or claim that they are "objective" is beyond my comprehension." Really BD, what would you know about "journalistic integrity"? Your sense of yellow journalism and misrepresentation of facts not only discredits this site; it reduces it to extreme radical mantra that turns away even the most progressive socialists. In all sincerity you need to search that empty vessel of a soul and stop the extreme hatred. It only reduces your occasional credibility to little more than the angry government hating white man that you are. We have enough of that in every profession. “Schenk should be fired.” That’s nice, BD. Schenk produces her own style, some like it, some don’t. Should reporters be fired simply for their style of writing or are you the UCIM spokesman for journalistic style now. “And the NG should find a writer of color to replace her.” White people can’t report on issues concerning minorities? Where do you fall on this race issue? Are you not the savior for race equality here? “Insensitive cartoons are one thing. But this significant breach of journalistic standards is too much to stomach.” No, the insensitive cartoon is NOT one thing, it is a MAJOR thing. That attempt at making an analogy to the Chief issue is what should turn your stomach inside out. How in the world could you even compare a report by Schenk to be worse than your opinion of THAT cartoon. BD, seriously man, check yourself into a diversity class that is taught by someone other than you. That cartoon was over the top, you need to retrace your roots back to the West coast and pick up some serious liberal indoctrination.

Brian, is the sky green on your planet?

Just to try to be fair, I went back and re-read Mary Shenk's account of the hearing in the News Gazette and your "article" on the IMC web site. While a reasonable person could read her account and be angry about what they perceive to be a light sentence, I certainly don't believe that they would conclude "she has an ax to grind." It appeared to me that she reported what was said during the hearing and the outcome of same. She didn't endorse anyone's version of events, she just said what they were. Conversely, it would be unlikely that a person could read your posting and find themselves wondering "How does Mr Dolinar feel about this?" I certainly hope your formal training isn't in journalism. If it is, even conferring an associate's degree upon you would be tantamount to educational malpractice! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Do Yourself An Educational Favor

Wayward said, "Actually, calculating expected values is a pretty simple operation, and most people probably wouldn't consider it a 'mathematical logic game'." Why don't tell this "expected values" routine to Trina Fairley, Michael Alexander, Ray Hsieh, and Michael Rich? While we're at it, why don't explain this "expected values" stuff to the next sorority girl crying because she just got raped. Maybe you could tell her something like, "You see, the expected values of our statistical chances of getting a conviction from a jury when the defendant comes from a good family, goes to college, and you, sorority girl, dress like a sexually prosmicuous person, and you do drink often and you have had numerous sexual affairs gives a very low expected value score, therefore we can't prosecute your case." Go ahead. Explain that to a real victim. Stunning someone as smart as you, Wayward, would rationalize injustice with logical games. And the word stunning is an understatement.

Reality check

Stunning someone as smart as you, Wayward, would rationalize injustice with logical games. And the word stunning is an understatement. Look, I'm not that smart, but I am enough of a realist to know that it's impossible to ensure that everyone who commits a crime receives a just punishment. Most counties don't have the resources to take every single case to trial. Given this, it makes sense that the SA's office would factor in the seriousness of the crime and their chances of getting a conviction and offer a plea bargain deal. Is this perfectly just? Maybe not. But I can't think of any system that would both deliver ideal justice and also work in the real world.

no such thing

No such thing as ideal justice. There is justice. BD

Wayward is right and It makes perfect sense..........

If you start off accepting some cold hard facts. The county has resources for "X" number of jury trials per year, period. The law says that people are entitled to a "speedy" trial, so the clock is running. The State's Attorney receives "X times 100" criminal cases each year. (Although, I suspect that the number is probably much larger than that.....) You can't possibly take all of the cases to trial and not lose a majority of them due to failing to comply with the "speedy trial" requirements. Consequently the S/A's office has some very tough decisions to make. Some of the weakest cases get dismissed outright. Others result in plea agreements. Like it or not, time in prison or on probation, is the "currency of the realm" and compromises have to be made. It's easy to sit back and criticize and complain that this or that person "got off too easy." Just know that if a large number of cases didn't proceed in this way, the whole system would collapse. Having to set priorities among criminal cases is a very difficult job. Every victim's case is important to them. If you try to put yourself in Ms. Rietz's shoes and keep in mind EVERYTHING she has to deal with, you might not be so quick to excoriate her everytime you don't like the outcome of ONE case. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

This One Case

"Just know that if a large number of cases didn't proceed in this way, the whole system would collapse." So....torturing 4 people in the county jail needed to be plea bargained down to dismissing the violence and heinous lying because it helps the State's Attorney's Office stay on schedule? I see the problem here- you two think the arguement is about Myers' sentence. Not entirely. The problem is hundreds and hundreds of people from this county go to real prison for FAR LESS and even NON-VIOLENT crimes, and the defendants were not in the public trust. Can you really explain to a drug dealer sentenced to 3 years in prison that the guy who tortured 4 people, while acting as a police officer in his official line of duty is going to the movies tonight? The real point here is that the State's Attorney and the Sherriff's department chose to ignore 3 cases of torture by this officer and minimized the 4th as much as they could. They knew this was going on and did nothing. (Susan McGraith, of the civil division of the State's Attorney's office offered Michael Rich a cash settlement in January of 2005 over what Myers did to Rich. In exchange for the little bit of money, McGraith wanted assurance from Michael Rich he wouldn't "press charges" against the county.) Only when his fellow police officers ratted him out, could the State's Attorney no longer avoid the Sgt. Myers problem.- but already 2 more people were tortured by Myers before then.. It's about the State's Attorney's priorities. What are they going to do, tell the parents that the Elementary School teacher/pedophile they are trying in the media, that "due to scheduling constraints and limited resources, the State's Attorney needs to plea bargain Mr. White's crimes down to 1 count of misdemeanor battery and Mr. White will be given the very grave punishment of 2 years probation. Good news though, he'll never work in an elementary school again." Oh wait- we've already seen that case in this county, haven't we? Brady Smith, 2001. Assuming Novak would have had the gall to insist on a trial, it would have been worth it to use the trial to act as a deterrent to other officers who are getting crazy on the job. The sheriff's department's investigation was actually fairly good. There would have been no problem winning this case, and Novak would have had to operate like the public defender's do- plea out to a lesser prison sentence of some kind. The State's Attorney could have charged Myers with more serious charges for the crimes he did. They could have added charges in November of 2005 for the three other victims. Instead they ignored it. They didn't have to accept the terms of an open plea. They could have recommended a prison sentence due to the gravity of the crimes. They did not. They could have taken it trial to expose how torture was allowed to happen. They did not. They chose to hurry it up and bury it for two reasons: 1) The State's Attorney proving in open court or charging him with serious offenses would have had our State's Attorney putting it on the record that a county employee was allowed to break the law and hurt people- and those facts on the record could have been used by Michael Rich's attorney, Trina Fairley's attorney, and Michael Alexander's attorney and Ray Hsieh's attorney to walk over to federal court and sue the county budget into the red. And who would have defended the county in those lawsuits had that happened? BY LAW, it's the State's Attorney. Can you say CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Hence, they minimized the charge. It's possible Trina Fairley and Michael Alexander could still show that it's 51% likely Myers tortured them, but don't thank the State's Attorney for providing any help with that. They actually hindered it. If they were really serious about this crime, Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler would not have waited to call Michael Rich to be a possible witness 2 years to the day when Rich was brutalized by Myers. Why? Because Rich's 2 year time to file a civil lawsuit had run out. And again, Ziegler avoided it. In fact, this State's Attorney charged Michael Rich with Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer based on a police report filed by guess who? Mr. Disorderly Conduct himself...Sgt. Myers! 2) Sheriff Walsh and other officers are very liable in this matter- and it comes at the worst time. If Myers had been shown to be torturing people in the jail, like he did to Michael Rich, that throws the whole Joe Beavers, June 26, 2004 suicide in booking into a huge question. The Sheriff's department is claiming Beavers hung himself by using the metal cord on a pay phone and sitting down while he was in booking during a disorderly conduct arrest. (Beavers was an angry drunk) Anyone who has ever been arrested in this county knows that killing yourself in booking is highly unlikely. Walsh, Piland, and Rietz have been trying to brush "the suicides" under the rug, again to avoid county liability. There never has been a public, independent investigation and the coroner's hearings have been one big hearsay joke. No evidence gets presented at these hearings. Only the word of Investigator Friendly who wasn't even there. Myers was not prosecuted until his fourth torture session because the other brutalities came at a time when the county was in the middle of telling the News-Gazette there were just a few "copycat jail suicides" in 2004. And this after the Champaign Police had killed Greg Brown in 1999. (yes, the city paid out a cash settlement to Brown's family.) The last thing this county needed in the midst of public outcry over the suicides was a officer arrested for torturing an inmate, in the middle of November 2004. The prosecution of Sgt. Myers was driven by the CYA principle and saving the county budget from further lawsuits. Not justice. Not the protection of human rights. Not the protection of inmates at the county jail. And certainly not the protection of the word of police officers. Officers did investigations into serious crimes. The State's Attorney's office chose to disregard the reality of that investigation. This administration and the News-Gazette have some really twisted values. I suppose the real criminals, too, are all those officers over at that county jail tonight who sit on their hands, knowing what really happened with Myers and SAY NOTHING. And still, the gavel will fall tomorrow on another young african american male who will be sentenced to prison for grams of whatever, and selling them to a willing customer who wanted to get high with something besides alcohol. Now that's appalling. The Myers Torture Case has deligitimized the entire criminal justice process and has deligitimized most of the prison sentences coming out of this county. But as usual, the likely response will be just another clever dismissal to all this injustice. At least READ THE POLICE REPORTS or the quotes from the police reports in BD's numerous articles on this subject before laying claim to know what really happened. Lest we have to rely on Mary Schenk's "style" of quoting a man who just pled guilty to falsifying his police report as a summary of the case.

Anonymous....you use more words.....

to say less than practically anyone else on this board. What you're really communicating is that you're a consipracy theorist with no reseravtions about playing fast and loose with the "facts." I could go through your written tantrum point by point, but you'd still be paranoid so what's the use? Facts mean nothing to you if they don't fit into your twisted paradigm. Greg Brown's autopsy showed no signs of asphyxiation or ANY blunt force trauma (they didn't HAVE tasers so you can't blame that). He was an extremely overweight man who died after engaging in rigorous physical activity. It happens. The city (actually, their insurance carrier) paying a settlement is not a sign of guilt or culpability. It's a routine ocurrence and strictly a dollars and cents decision. "We can spend $300,000.00 defending this or offer one-tenth of that amount to see it go away." Often the police agency involved has no voice in whether or not a deal is offered. It's about Money! Joe Beavers was a very sad and troubled individual (I knew him), who had been to prison and who probably knew he was about to go back. Perhaps he didn't want to. Only he knows for certain. You're piecing together of lot of unrelated misinformation to arrive at a faulty conclusion that supports your pre-existing opinions. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

BTW

BTW, you were probably right about the three anonymous posts being made by the same person. In fact, every anonymous post in this thread with the exception of "Patrick Rolman" at 10:52pm on Feb 28 appears to come from the same source. This really feels a little like sockpuppetry, especially since "Anonymous" made a second post agreeing with an earlier one.

Sock Puppetry!! I like that......

Regarding the second post aggreeing with the earlier one, an new cyber version of the "Bully Pulpit?" He may be onto something there.... at least you can always find someone to agree with you. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Sockpuppetry

Well, if you google on "sockpuppetry," you'll get a lot of hits, and this wikipedia article is pretty useful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_sock_puppet . Of course, posting anonymously rather than with one's established user name is a little more of a gray area, and that's what happened in this case. The anonymous second post agreeing with the first anonymous post does seem deceptive, however.

More Questions then.....

Well, Ishmael, I do apprectiate your attempts at reasonable debate, and since you seem to actually believe what you write, I'll indulge you further, though I imagine both our schedules probably don't allow for this much longer on this thread. You seem intent to defend this criminal justice system, and perhaps we both share a common respect for what law enforcement attempts to do- though I would be the first to say, it's an impossible job to prevent people from making the choices they do. Nonetheless, people really do go to prison. Alot of people. This is an expensive project that yields little return. We may be protected away from a few demented, angry people, but the statistics tell us that those people are rare, and that most people in the penetentiary, where all sides of the law enforcement issue readily admit does NOT rehabilitate anyone, are there because they got caught doing what the Campus Bar Association does everyday- especially today. So why should someone be sentenced to the penetentiary? Define repeat offenders. Define extremely serious crimes. Are you claiming that what Sgt. Myers did was not extremely serious? You write: "...you're a consipracy theorist with no reseravtions about playing fast and loose with the 'facts'." Yes. Ishmael, when I consider all the "facts" of the Sgt. Myers case, which, by the way, are based on the Sheriff's department's investigation (which you still refuse to read); when I consider the "facts" of what the Illinois criminal statutes say about how the State of Illinois legislators define Sgt. Myers' behavior, when I consider the "facts" of what the State of Illinois says about State's Attorneys duties by law and how a conflict of interest is defined, when I consider how police procedure and protocol are supposed to work defined by their own Citizens Police Academy, several tours of the county jails, and their own rules at the County Jail and the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and when I consider all the reasonings I've read and been told why Champaign County needs to send about 500 people a year (I wish the State's Attorney would start publicizing that number- 500 is a guess) to the state prisons, Yes, Ishmael,... ...there are excellent reasons to believe the State's Attorney conspired, "negotiated" if you will, ways to minimize and hide what Sgt. Myers did to 4 people so as to avoid civil lawsuits. Who initiated Greg Brown's "rigorous physical activity" ? There were witnesses in the apartment building on 3rd street who heard Greg Brown plead for his life during his "arrest". They went on public record and in the media (The Octopus, January 2000). Investigators ignored it because it didn't fit their "pre-existing opinions"; or need to not appear like they were too rough. Police brutalize people. It happens. You've probably brought people to the booking area in the satellite jail. Is it possible someone could hang themselves with a phone cord in the booking area? Explain how that could occur. Have you read the criminal file on the Sgt. Myers case? Now try to stick to the issues. Attacking the writing and the messenger is not an debate about the issues. You disparage BD without reading his research.

This is going to be like trying...

to nail Jello to a wall, but I'll try....... I'll try to respond to what I think your point is, paragraph by paragraph: P1) I think its an overstatement to say I'm defending the "system." Like anyone, I see cases where I think it fails at times and it hurts us all when that happens. It's not perfect, partially because it involves people and they're not perfect. That being said, it's still probably the best in the world. I agree that prison does not rehabilitate people. I've always hated the polically correct term "corrections." It makes it sound they're getting "a good talking to!" It does however serve the purpose of keping SOME really dangerous and anti-social people away from the rest of us. P2) People should be sent to prison when they're convicted of a serious enough crime and the circumstances indicate that drug programs and other alternative sentecing options are either inappropriate or have ALREADY been proven ineffective. I think prison should be saved for the worst of the worst. By repeat-offenders, I mean people who have been repeatedly convicted of serious crimes over a significant period of time. Not a kid who broke into 15 cars in two weeks and finally got caught. Someone who has engaged in a pattern of antisocial activity over many years. By serious crimes, I mean major felonies such as Rape, Murder, Attempted Muder, Kidnapping, Drug Trafficking, Arson, etc. No, I am not claiming that what he did was not serious. If it were up to me, I would have sent him to prison, but it wasn't. I do think that it is significant, however that he was forced to plead guilty to a felony. Those of you who poo poo that aspect really don't understand how much that affects someone's life from that point on. Forever, he is a "convicted felon." There are a lot of restrictions placed on them. If you don't believe me, ask one. P3) (This one's a doozy but I'll try to hit the high points....) I never refused to read the reports. I Know what the State's Attorney's responsibilities are and I'm glad I'm not one. Thank God we have people who are willing to take that job. If you're going to claim to be an expert on law enforcement by attending the Citizens' Police Academy, then I guess you believe that all graduates of Space Camp are astronauts. I have no inside information as to Ms. Reitz's actions regarding this case. Like you, I only what I've read and heard from others, some who were directly involved at various points. I DO NOT believe for a minute that Ms. Rietz or Sheriff Walsh "conspired" to do anything. I think that they did their best to expose, remove and prosecute a bully and they succeeded. (IMHO) P4) Greg Brown initiated the activity when he attacked Officer Kim, who, by the way is about 1/3 Brown's size. Like you, I heard about the "anonymous" witnesses who went "on record" with such stalwarts of jounalistic integrity as the Octopus, but never came forward to the police or the courts. Incidentally, I've also read the accounts of people who have "gone on public record" with the media with stories of being abducted by aliens and given anal probes. Furthermore, from what I read, I recall that Mr. Brown had some mental health issues, consequently who knows what he may have been yelling or why? Again, I repeat the post mortem examination of Mr. Brown revealed NO INJURIES consistent with being beaten or choked. P5) It could happen very easily. It did. And, it wasn't in the booking area, it was in the holding cell on a wall-mounted pay phone with one of those heavy duty metal receiver cords I believe. You might be surprised how quickly manual asphyxiation through hanging can occur. Two minutes or less? P6) I've read parts of it. P7) I think I did stick to the issues, as best I could discern them. Regarding the intrepid Mr. D, when he jumps to conclusions, asserts HIS opinions and (dubious) conclusions as fact and pontificates on matters he undertsands very little about, I laugh and then I call him on it. He nearly always has an agenda and anyone who reads his posts should bear that in mind. They are entertaining though, I'll give you that! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Repeat offenders

By repeat-offenders, I mean people who have been repeatedly convicted of serious crimes over a significant period of time. Not a kid who broke into 15 cars in two weeks and finally got caught. Someone who has engaged in a pattern of antisocial activity over many years. Actually, I've been studying some of the sex offender registry records released by the state police, mostly because I was curious about spatial patterns. But I took a look at some of the case histories, and a few of the folks I looked at had extensive records. Many of them had had rough lives, but there were a few who sounded pretty chilling. If you're going to claim to be an expert on law enforcement by attending the Citizens' Police Academy, then I guess you believe that all graduates of Space Camp are astronauts. Are you saying that watching a season of "Reno 911" episodes does not make me an expert on law enforcement?

Ishmael, Ishmael, my son...

Ishmael, Ishmael, my son... I applaud you for trying to reason with the unreasonable. However Anonymous’ fleeting vapor logic only seems reasonable to those who want you to prove something that has never been proven in the first place. This is the same logic that proves people who eat bread are serial killers because serial killers eat bread. Simple and useful for a flawed argument, and it allows the thinker to stop the cerebral function and simply spew their bias. Man fights police, man dies, police killed him. This is the typical line of thinking that Dolinar uses for every blog, and yet, he is a journalist by profession. Sadly, his years of searching for that white whale will continue, and you Ishmael, a gold coin anyway for your efforts. Queequeg

Questions

Are you saying, Ishmael, the citizens of this community do not have access to the law, and to the rules governing police and court procedure?

More Questions and some you won't answer....

Can you really explain to someone sentenced to 3 years in prison for stealing property that the guy who tortured 4 people, while acting as a police officer in his official line of duty is going to the movies tonight? Will the State's Attorney's office tell the parents that the Elementary School teacher/pedophile: "Due to scheduling constraints and limited resources, the State's Attorney needs to plea bargain Mr. White's crimes down to 1 count of misdemeanor battery and Mr. White will be given the punishment of 2 years probation. Good news though, he'll never work in an elementary school again."? Should an attorney who represents the county in civil litigation in cases where the county is sued for the behavior of a county employee be the same attorney that presents evidence against that county employee? Won't the evidence in that trial be the same evidence in the civil case that the attorney will be defending against? Is that a conflict of interest or not? Compared to alcohol selling, why do you list drug trafficking as an "extremely serious crime?" If you need help with this question go to this website: www.leap.cc (But based on your "jello on the wall" comment, the authors in that website, like this one, are not going to be people you would respect as knowledgable) Are people, ages 17-24, ever sentenced to prison from this county? Do all the prison sentences that we read in the News-Gazette fit your definition of serious crimes? (major felonies such as Rape, Murder, Attempted Muder, Kidnapping, Drug Trafficking, Arson, etc.) Since John Piland was willing to the job you don't want to do, did John Piland do a good job as State's Attorney? Are informants to the police allowed to have their identities concealed? How, then, are annonymous witnesses that heard Greg Brown plead for his life, be unreliable? Why didn't investigators find these witnesses? Did the journalistic integrity of the Octopus publish falsified information like Sgt. Myers did?

Dang!! There goes the Jello again....

Well, no one can say I didn't try....but I had a feeling... One last time with brevity....( as much as possible) P1) The person sentenced to prison obviously had an extensive criminal record. I have no idea what Myers is doing tonight, but I know he's not voting, lawfully possessing a firearm, or working as a cop. P2) I doubt it. In my opinion, he's screwed. P3) If you don't like the law change it. P4) One is legal and one is not. Residents of many crime riddden neighborhoods will be happy to fill you in on the ravages of Crack Cocaine and Meth if you're really clueless enough top believe what you just asked me. Example: I really can't remember the last time the owner of one liquor store gunned down another, along with innocent bystanders, for the right to sell liquor in a given neighborhood. My Jello comment referred to the futility of trying to explain something to someone who won't accept it no matter how plainly its stated. P5) Yes. And I've seen 23 year olds with criminal records that would make John Gotti proud. A 17 year old would just about have to kill or do irreversable harm to someone to get there but it could happen. P6) Yes, or the crime they were "convicted" of was a reduced charge after a plea agreement, or other pending charges were dismissed pursuant to their plea and sentence, or they have multiple convictions and multiple failure at alternative sentencing, etc. P7) Lets put it this way, I didn't vote for him last time. P8) Sometimes P9) Perhaps they did and found them to be "not credible." One last time "The fact is he was not KILLED ergo nobody KILLED him. Read the Autopsy results! Viola'! Jello on a wall ala Ishmael! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

One more since you might know....

There was a payphone with a metal cord in the holding cell at the Satellite jail?

whoops, a few more....

Is the Citizen's Police Academy then providing false information? During the Q's and A's allowed after every presentation, do the presenters lie? Ishmael writes: "I think its an overstatement to say I'm defending the "system." Like anyone, I see cases where I think it fails at times and it hurts us all when that happens. It's not perfect, partially because it involves people and they're not perfect." Doesn't the Sgt. Myers case fit your description above?

C.P.A.

P1) It's a (very) cursory overview, like Space Camp. It does not qualify you as an expert or even as a lowly rookie police officer. P2) It does for some, obviously. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Felony Conviction Won't Stop Him From Working In Law Enforcement

Some comments have been made concerning the felony conviction preventing Myers from working in law enforcement. Anyone who has conducted even the most rudimentary research would be well-aware that felony convictions many times are overlooked and disregarded when it comes to employment in "law enforcement" - especially prisons, and private prisons in particular. Just one example: http://detnews.com/2005/specialreport/0505/24/A01-190120.htm Furthermore, many private security corporations and military contractors would not be averse to hiring him - in fact, they'd love him for his "experience" and "qualifications". Ruling class political and economic operatives will be sure to "take care of their own". And with the never-ending global War of Terror being perpetrated by the Bush regime, there will be plenty more opportunities for the likes of Sgt. Meyers to bring his "expertise" to the people of the world who need the loving touch of the iron fist of "democracy" and "freedom"... Thank you for the great work, BD. Unfortunately, justice is a sham not only in Champaign County...

Setting the Jello Free Again

"P1) The person sentenced to prison obviously had an extensive criminal record. I have no idea what Myers is doing tonight, but I know he's not voting, lawfully possessing a firearm, or working as a cop." Define extensive criminal record? Would you say, 3 past offenses is an "extensive criminal record"? And what kind of offenses?-Is it your "extremely serious" criteria of Rape, Arson,ect. or is a "extensive criminal record" comprised of any offense? "P2) I doubt it. In my opinion, he's screwed." Define screwed? Would that be "screwed" as in the cheating sense, as in "the State's Attorney is cheating Mr. White"? or is it "Screwed" as in "Mr. White is definitely going to prison"? If you are saying White is going to prison, then why is that? Why would the State's Attorney recommend a prison sentence for Mr. White?

Obvious Troll

Ishmael, Anonymous is a troll. The continuation of questions is a tactic that is used to deflect their own lack of ability to argue a point. You cannot compare the results of defendants that have been charged, convicted and sentenced with those who have not. Myers was charged with a felony, not torture, not multiple crimes, not an extensive criminal background. Address the facts, not the agenda. If Anonymous wants to talk about comparing first felonies with other examples of first time felonies let’s do so. If Anonymous wants to continue to talk about the fact that Myers did not get as much as he should, that’s ok too. But clouding the issues by comparing “extensive criminal records” to “in my opinion he tortured four people” is not reality. There has been no case of “torturing four people” to the courts for a disposition. Likewise, bringing the suicides and the Brown case into the picture only serves to show the obvious bias and does not lend itself to reasonable discussion. These might be issues to discuss individually but not using the comparison to Myers light sentence. Yes, I said light sentence. The fact is that he might have received a light sentence but that conversation is lost on the asinine arguments trying to show a pattern with Brown, suicides, lying Citizens Police Academies instructors and so on. Alas poor troll is it better to argue without substance or to reason with facts. Patrick Rolman

Ishmael Help!

"There has been no case of “torturing four people” to the courts for a disposition." Patrick Rolman has nailed it! Why wasn't there a disposition for torturing four people? That's the injustice BD is trying to get you to see. Ishmael can tell you that it is pretty damn frustrating to go to all the trouble of doing an investigation, collecting the evidence, writing the reports and then,..... the State's Attorney ignores it, dismisses it, minimizes it by offering a sweet plea bargain that puts the offender back on the streets. Tell him Ishmael, tell Patrick Rolman all about the frustration that officers have with attorneys who mishandle their reports. This phenomenon is exactly what led to John Piland's demise and why people like Ishmael didn't vote for him. Piland had a stack of over 300 police reports he was just sitting on where police officers worked hard, collected the evidence, wrote it out for him, were willing to testify, and Piland,.....did nothing. Likewise, Rietz had the police reports that several sherriff's deputies had done about the other 3 tortures and Rietz, like Piland, CHOSE to disregard it.

Actually...My understanding is....

That the other persons' (MA, MR and TR's) versions of events had their own unique problem with their ability to be of any use in court. Ergo, it was not an option to charge him with Aggravated Battery.....let alone "Torture" which *alas* does not exist in the Illinois Compiled Statutes.... They convicted him of the best felony that they could. God bless them for doing so. Regarding Patrick Rolman (sp?) (I hope I got it right) I suspect that we (he and I) would disagree on a number of political issues, but he's intellectually honest enough to point out idiocy when he sees it. You may continue to try to attribute, by virtue of your own biases, misconduct on the part of Ms. Rietz, but I think that you're still way off base. I still believe that she is an honorable person with a difficult job who cannot possibly please everyone. Nobody could. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Strange Turn

Actually I am not sure why anyone would get the impression that I think Rietz has done anything wrong in this case. While personally I think Myers might deserve more is not based on other allegations of misconduct but simply on the felony charges that he pled guilty. In fact, after reading Dolinars information I have my doubts regarding anything that the other three alleged. Of course, that might be simply because Dolinar suggested it. I also think that Patrick Thompson has been out of jail way to long and should be given double digit years for the Home Invasion that he committed and was found guilty. That being said, given the absence and/or quality of the victim in the Myers case, a felony plea bargain was the most prudent thing to do. My post was more appropriately aimed at the troll not Ishmael. The fact that I continue to address Ishmael is because I don’t feed trolls. Patrick Rolman

The Jello Troll Returns....

Ishmael's answer to Rietz having a conflict of interest "P3) If you don't like the law change it." There is nothing wrong with the law that says the State's Attorney defends the county in all litigation where a county employee has caused harm and a liability. The problem is that the State's Attorney's legal standing disqualifies the State's Attorney from prosecuting a county employee that the State's Attorney will later have to defend. They can't argue "He did it." in the criminal courts and then come back in the civil courts and say, "The county is not liable because he didn't do it." And no, the excuse that the State's Attorney sends civil matters to another outsourced attorney does not erase the possible bias in the prosecution. The State's Attorney can't be the one to define the defendant's behavior, select the charges, present the evidence and argue for conviction when,......the court record from the criminal proceeding is what the civil litigation will be based on. Nor should the State's Attorney be the one trusted to bring the criminal case to resolution or trial before the 2 year period where the victims would have had their day in civil court. The prosecution was biased and flawed and the People of Illinois should be allowed to get the Appellate courts to overturn the conviction and sentence and have a new trial with a special prosecutor in another county. Appellate Judge Robert Stiegmann said publicly that it is for the above reasons and the appearance of impropriety that State's Attorneys should never be prosecuting police officers. Ishmael admits earlier and he is right: "Like anyone, I see cases where I think it [the system] fails at times and it hurts us all when that happens." Sgt. Myers has confirmed and justified the mistrust of the police and the bias of the attorneys that prosecute. It is officers who should be most upset by the way this was resolved. The above is a possible explanation why the State's Attorney handled the Sgt. Myers case the way they did. The law is not bad, the State's Attorney disregarding the law is. Perhaps bad is not accurate. How about this for a conspiracy?: Julia Rietz likes Dan Walsh. They're friends. If she had acted upon Lt. Ogle's entire investigation of the three other torture sessions by Myers, guess which friend of Ms. Rietz' would have been sued for allowing Myers to remain employed and disregarding Michael Rich's complaint, Trina Fairley's complaint, and Michael Alexander's complaint, well before Jeremy Heath finally grew two and had the integrity to turn Myers in during the Hsieh incident? In answering how drug trafficking is a [more] "serious crime" than alcohol, Ishmael writes: "P4) One is legal and one is not. Residents of many crime riddden neighborhoods will be happy to fill you in on the ravages of Crack Cocaine and Meth if you're really clueless enough top believe what you just asked me. Example: I really can't remember the last time the owner of one liquor store gunned down another, along with innocent bystanders, for the right to sell liquor in a given neighborhood." Ishmael, do yourself a favor, really: go to this website: www.leap.cc type it in exactly that way, with the cc. It will explain why your above answer sounds good but in reality, arrests and jails won't ever lead to a reduction in drug use and the turf violence you mention. (the last liquor store owner to be gunned down by another was during Prohibition). Prohibition is what causes the violence. As for the potency and destructiveness of Meth and Crack, again Prohibition is causing the unregulated black market to offer products that are indeed destructive. Like the Chief, we will someday watch the drug laws repealed and apologies issued from our governments. And thank heavens. It's ridiculous for us to demand that Ishmael enforce these laws. The unnecessary searches of cars, people and homes would end and officer safety would improve. There are dozens of books on the subject and the website I referred you to might be a place where you would respect the authors- unlike us Jello Trolls. I would be interested in your reaction to this website. If I were Ishmael, I would throw my badge at the drug czar and make him go arrest everybody in a crack house. It is wrong, wrong, wrong to expect people like Ishmael to be our babysitter and monitor what we put in our mouths. It puts him in harm's way unnecessarily and does NOTHING to stop the purchase and availability of drugs. Like alcoholics, the abuse of the drug is the user's punishment. (except for DUI and such) It doesn't require Ishmael to chase someone down and slap the handcuffs on. Rarely does someone stop abusing for that reason anyway. Add jail time and poverty to the addict's life and you only get an addict who now needs to steal. I do wonder about addicts who have kids. How should that be handled? Well, the main point is, jail time has done nothing to stop drug use. Not to mention how unevenly the laws are applied.

More Jello.....

In response to the question if 17-24 year-olds go to prison, Ishmael writes: "Yes. And I've seen 23 year olds with criminal records that would make John Gotti proud. A 17 year old would just about have to kill or do irreversable harm to someone to get there but it could happen." Regular readers of the News-Gazette know that 17- 24 year olds are sent to prison for far less than a killing or irreversable harm. In fact, most are sent for stealing and drugs. Keep your eye on the sentences and the ages folks, it's all there. As for youth getting violent. As Ishmael has said so many times before "It happens." What is particularly disturbing in our county is the violence among the college students is excused and dismissed (for example read Sgt. William Emery's quote in the March 3, 2007 News-Gazette about how DUI's were handled last night. Likewise, the college students' rapes and fistfights rarely get prosecuted in this county.), while local poor youth are thrown in the adult prisons that Ishmael has already admitted doesn't rehabiliate. In fact, we, the community, get upon a return of about $15,000 a year, a more disturbed person than when they went in. And now they can't get a job. In response to the question if the prison sentences handed down from our county were all for serious crimes, Ishmael said, "P6) Yes, or the crime they were "convicted" of was a reduced charge after a plea agreement, or other pending charges were dismissed pursuant to their plea and sentence, or they have multiple convictions and multiple failure at alternative sentencing, etc." This answer is a little different than what he had claimed earlier, "People should be sent to prison when they're convicted of a serious enough crime...." and "I think prison should be saved for the worst of the worst." Ishmael had earlier defined serious crimes "By serious crimes, I mean major felonies such as Rape, Murder, Attempted Muder, Kidnapping, Drug Trafficking, Arson, etc. " Ishmael's professional experience knows that the vast majority of prison sentences are not for the above crimes, except drug trafficking. So he accurately nuances his answer with a few other conditions as to why people should be sentenced to prison: "and the circumstances indicate that drug programs and other alternative sentecing options are either inappropriate or have ALREADY been proven ineffective." which squares with his latest answer, which includes the "multiple convictions and multiple failure at alternative sentencing." He is right that probation violations for traffic tickets, dirty drops (urine that tests positive for alcohol and drugs), missed appointments with probation officers, failure to pay the fees and fines, and repeat offenses- no matter how small will get you sentenced to prison in this county. The State's Attorney and the Circuit Judges believe probation violations are a sign that people don't respect the law and therefore, in you go. Sounds logical and explains why so many in our county are sentenced to prison for small offenses even though it contradicts Ishmael's earlier belief: "I think prison should be saved for the worst of the worst." It should be understood that there are two systems going on at the same time. Both race and class are factored in. Police prefer to arrest the poor, the mentally ill, the addicted, and the black kids. Police prefer to let college kids and the white middle class slide. (The demographics in prison don't lie) So even though we all play our radios loud, we all get drunk from time to time, we all get into a fight, we all steal, we all do a little weed now and then, ect.; it's only "certain people" (i.e. the poor, the mentally ill, the addicted, and the black kids) who police have the courage to arrest routinely. If they catch white people and rich people doing shit, they either let it slide or know that the State's Attorney's office will not prosecute it to the fullest, if at all. Knowing the unfair prejudice practiced by police and prosecutors, most young people today have little respect for cops and lawyers, the system in general. So,....the poor, the addicted, the mentally ill, and minorities will "catch a case" early on, often before they are 20. The State's Attorneys office will overcharge these cases with prison time felonies. For example, all drug cases north of University Avenue are considered Class X or Class 1 felonies because the Park District has set up bogus parks everywhere, the result is the "1000 ft." rule will always be in effect. The main point is that police and prosecutors racially and economically target these people because few will raise a stink about them. The felony docket call is predominantly the poor, the mentally ill, the addicted and minorities. Go to the courthouse and sit in a pre-trial docket call and see it for yourself. It should also be pointed out that developers insist that the shoplifting cases and petty theft cases out at the malls and big box stores be prosecuted as felonies. Bonds are set beyond the capability of these people. The County jail is full beyond capacity, (until prosecutorial and officer discretion recently began to respond to the criticism of the overcrowded jails.) with 85% blacks and always poor people. About 30% are mentally ill. Take a tour of the jail sometime and see it for yourself. The defendants cannot afford a private attorney. Attorneys in this town cost, on average, $100 an hour- and need, on average, about a $1500 retainer upfront to even look at your case. Enter the court-appointed public defender. The exact numbers are available, but the summary is, the public defender's office is overwhelmed with the number of cases. PD Rosenbaum handles 435 cases a year. American Bar Association recommends a single attorney only handle at the most, 150 to adequately represent all the cases. The PD has one part-time investigator who resides in Danville, and only 5 felony attorneys, total staffing at 16 and a budget of $800,000. Versus, 16 felony attorneys in the State's Attorney's office with a total staff of 38 people, with a budget of about 1.9 million. This also includes 2 full-time investigators and the 400 or so police officers from the 4 departments. The adversarial system, you see, is not being fought by two equal adversaries. The public defenders rarely have much contact with their clients, don't investigate the police reports, i.e. take them at face value, and simply plea the cases out to whatever the State's Attorney offers. The retort to this unfair situation is always, "Well, the public defenders try really hard." Perhaps, but defendants still don't get adequate represetation. Ishmael is right. If all the cases were taken to trial, the system would collapse. What would you say, Ishmael? The 4 departments average how many arrests per night? 50? 100? Depends on what Scott Cochrane dreams up next, right? The $40 million dollar a year criminal justice jaugernaut in this county generates about 40,000 traffic tickets, about 4000 felonies and misdemeanors a year. What gets compromised is proper legal representation for defendants and sometimes the truth. Another reason the Myers case needed to be resolved quickly is one of the cats got out of the bag: falsified police reports. Testimony from far too many defendants in this county are that the cases against them are fabrications by police officers. Now let's be clear- NOT all police reports are untrue, and NOT all officers practice this kind of policing, but as Ishmael likes to say, "It does happen." We don't know how many, because the public defenders don't have time to check them out. Sgt. Myers is not the only "bully" on the force and we still have officers who need to go and should get the prison time they gave to an innocent person. I have to stress, these bullies are few but they are there. Some have claimed that the 3 other torture sessions by Myers are themselves fabrications by BD. Well, 'ol Sgt. Myers doesn't deny he tased the other three people, for he filled out police reports to explain his use of the taser in the jail. In fact, Michael Rich, the first victim, was charged with Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer by this State's Attorney based on a report filed by Sgt. Myers. A year later, when Sgt. Myers tortured Hsieh, and gets outed by his fellow officers, Myers admits to Lt. Ogle in a taped interview, he falsified his report about the Hsieh tasing. Any intellectually honest person has to doubt Myers' accounts in the Alexander, Fairley, and Rich tortures. Mary Schenk however, decided that quoting Myers was an accurate way to summarize this case. Astounding. Back to the two systems: we have thousands of poor people, mentally ill people, drunks and druggies, and minorities on probation because they wish to get their cases over with, they know their lawyers won't bust a grape for them, and so they agree to plead to whatever just to get out of jail. Now they got a felony conviction. As Ishmael has said, having a felony is a huge barrier, often making a good paying job difficult to find. They see the double standards, the trumped up charges, the racist, hypocritical attitudes of some of the police, lawyers, and probation officers, and surprise! they often could care less about abiding to the terms of their probation. Neither has their situation changed. They are still broke, (especially after spending time in the county jail) probably still addicted, and probably still not getting any kind of healthcare, job re-training, or psychiatric services. Many can't afford the fines and fees, many don't have phones or transportation to get to all the appointments they require, many are parents of toddlers, and many just don't won't to be bothered by crazy white people who call them a felon when they themselves do the same thing or it's celebrated on campus and tv. In the digital age, however, the computer never forgets. Probation officers and state's attorneys may be backlogged to the extreme but eventually, 6 months to a year, the violations will be discovered, counted, and the paperwork does get filed. Warrants are issued, and defendants are back in jail months, sometimes years later- not really understanding why or caring about their case so long ago. Also, police now have the capability to check license plates for possible probation status and outstanding warrants. It's not unusual for defendants to suddenly get a series of traffic tickets after they have been placed on probation. Officers often believe a probationer may be carrying drugs in the car and it's those cars they stop for the "routine traffic stop". The financial stress, the stress of their lives turns some back to re-offending, often drugs. A Probation officer asks for a random drug test, they test positive, and then months later, the State's Attorney starts processing the revokation paperwork. I won't claim that one single violation revokes your probation, but rarely do probationers commit Ishmael's definitions of "serious crimes" other than drug trafficking. In fact, if you look at the February 26, 2007 News-Gazette, using "the Ishmael's serious crimes list" would have us only imprisoning 144 people in 2005, 117 people in 2006, assuming there were no serial murders, rapists and arsonists and every incident had a guilty offender. No telling how many kidnappers and attempted murderers there were, and I may be dead wrong about Ishmael's "serious crimes list" since he might include batteries/agg. assaults and robberies in his "ect." Regardless, all this is to say, we don't send the majority of people to prison according to Ishmael's standard: "I think prison should be saved for the worst of the worst." nor his definition of repeat offenders: "By repeat-offenders, I mean people who have been repeatedly convicted of serious crimes over a significant period of time. Not a kid who broke into 15 cars in two weeks and finally got caught. Someone who has engaged in a pattern of antisocial activity over many years." Read the News-Gazette, folks, pay attention to the sentences and for what and their past convictions. People go to prison for comparatively nothing next to Sgt. Myers' crimes. Meanwhile, the system is pouring gasoline on fires and crime doesn't go down (it fluctuates year to year), drugs don't stop coming to town, and now we have a system that favors some, and crushes others. Usually the crushed people are the people the cops don't live next to in their sundown towns. And the above are the pre-dominant trends, and always, there are a few exceptions. But this is the overall state of our current system perceived by those that have been in the system. The police and lawyers have been very careful to not take the drug war to the white middle class, the college students, and the homeowners in the suburbs lest their kids feel the wrath of the criminal justice system. Few taxpayers really know about the massive waste of money, time, human lives, and ideal principles the system is currently ensnared in. And sadly, good cops are suffering it too. One of the biggest ironies to this entire thread is that Ishmael agrees with BD. Ishmael's assessment of the Sgt. Myers case: "If it were up to me, I would have sent him to prison,..." as does Wayward: "Actually, I think it would have been great if they could have gotten a stiffer sentence for Myers." as does Rolman: "The fact is that he might have received a light sentence..." That's his main point. (IMHO)

Mr Troll......

I understand that some people can't help being stupid. They just shouldn't be so proud of it! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Not Here Please

If you're going to revert to nothing but a personal attack, then you're about to skate over the line. Besides, the troll is odd man out in a community, by definition. That's not him, Ishmael. That's you. Don't be calling out trolling, when you're engaged in it. Your stubborn refusal to engage with the disparities of race in this conversation demonstrates your own ability to troll.

Here comes God again

ML, Again, I don't know who the hell you think you are. Quit busting in an making threatening statements about people 'skating over the line.' I think you're 'skating over the line' since your only posts are ones that threaten to take someone else's voice away. Just shut up or take a stand on the issue, but don't try to bully people around.

Actually..."Troll" is a name he took for himself

Consequently, I addressed him as such in my reply. Especially since "anonymous" doesn't narrow the field much....and my post said "some people." Who would that be a "personal attack" on? Furthermore, I made two good faith attempts to answer his questions, knowing the answers would be lost on him and he would just continue to go farther afield and continue roiling the waters with hyperbole. Since when is "race" even a salient point in this debate? It seems that a lot of people saw it as off topic and "out of left field" when BD suggested Mary Schenk by replaced with someone "of color." I don't deny that some people like to redirect unrelated discussions to matters of "race." When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. At least a few people here seem to get me. Some others even seem to agree with me at times. Once again, ML, (may I call you M?) since I don't always go along with with the prevailing philosophy espoused here, you swoop in with an implied threat to silence me. That's pretty cowardly and small minded if you ask me. Yes, I mean you. Is that what you mean by a personal attack? You mean like this: "the troll is odd man out in a community, by definition. That's not him, Ishmael. That's you." "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

race

Why are 64% of those shot with Tasers African American? Of Myers' victims, 3 of 4 were people of color: two African Americans, one Asian, one white. FYI, BD is a gringo. How would you call me a racist for suggesting that the News-Gazoo hire at least one African American reporter on their staff? Currently, they have no writers of color. BD

Point of information.....

Once again, Brian, you got it wrong. I didn't call you anything. I merely pointed out that when YOU brought race, rather inexplicably, into the discussion it earned you some rebuke from other posters. NOT FROM ME!! Go back up and read it again "purfessur!" (yes, I know it's misspelled) Regarding your question, assuming your numbers are correct (which is always a big assumption), maybe it has to do with where they're being used. For the percentage to mean anything we'd have to know the racial make up of the cities, states, counties and institutions where they're being deployed. It has already been pointed out that African-Americans are over-represented in the jails and prison systems. Therefore it doesn't seem to be a big stretch to surmise that they are also over-represented among those being arrested in the first place. Before someone goes on another rant about the "racist system," bear in mind that African-Americans are also over-represented among CRIME VICTIMS, pregnant teenagers, high school drop outs, those living in poverty and the unemployed. We as a society need to address all of these things. I hope that we find an answer sometime soon and change all of that. In the mean time, its the unfortunate truth. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

troll

A troll is a troll is a troll. BD

Brian

And a Brian is a Brian is a Brian. I "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

It's worth repeating...

That the majority of crime victims are people of color. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think it's quite frequently watered down on this blog. It seems like some posters like to over-simplify the problem and blame it on a 'racist' system. Let's be honest, it's much more complex than that. As much as the other anonymous likes to talk about how african-american men are overrepresented in the criminal justice system (which, statistically speaking, they are), it always seems to be lost on him that african american men are also way overrepresented as victims of violent crime. There are a lot of people here like Brian that love to stick up for the poor crime offenders, but rarely seem to remember the crime victims. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, in 2005 about 49% of murder victims were white, 49% were black, and 3% were Asians, Pacific Islander, and Native Americans. U.S. Population (by percent) as of July 1, 2005 White - 80.2% Hispanic or Latino - 14.4% Black or African American - 12.8% Asian - 4.3% American Indian and Alaska Native - 1.0% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander - 0.2% NOTE: Percentages do not add up to 100% due to rounding and because Hispanics may be of any race and are therefore counted under more than one category.

More Buckets of Jello

Ishmael writes: "I understand that some people can't help being stupid. They just shouldn't be so proud of it!" and then Ishmael writes (only when the cops come to investigate a troll and he wants to keep his job monitoring the IMC website): "Actually,...troll is a name he took for himself. Consequently, I addressed him as such in my reply. Especially since "anonymous" doesn't narrow the field much....and my post said "some people." Who would that be a "personal attack" on?" Since Ishmael is NOT calling me stupid, proved by the above spectacular defense above, I'll continue,.............Okay, that's the last satirical joke I will play on you, Ishmael, I promise. You were half accurate. You are a very smart person and I have enjoyed this debate. I admit I've been a little mean-spirited at you myself with my snide asides that are prideful. I can't hide that. So I'll try to do better. I know I don't know everything, in fact, a very small amount. Sometimes I put things out there just to see IF they're true, not necessarily because I absolutely know it or remember it in my far too few readings. Don't you hate it when I write like that? It's hard to read stuff like "....in my far too few readings." I imagine it's irritating. But I wasn't a straight A student in college like you were, Ishmael. I don't write as well as you do. I didn't do four and out like you did, probably working part-time while you were at school. Nor do I always work as hard as you do, Ishmael. Nor am I as wealthy as you are. Perhaps those last two things are related, eh? I don't own a nice car like you do. My best year was about a third of what you make nowadays. I have never owned a home. I have never owned a credit card. I have never had health insurance like you have, certainly not the good policy you now have. I don't have a computer, a vacation, and Christmas parties with the hot secretaries. And you know, what Ishmael? If you have all these things, you are entitled to them. You probably earned them with self-discipline and obedience to your instructors. I couldn't be envious or jealous of you if I tried. You have earned your status and priviledge to wear a gun on the right side of your hip. I pray you will be dedicated to serving and protecting. And if you are, I better be darn grateful for the risks you take on my behalf everyday. You see, Ishmael, I know who I am. I am Annonymous, who can't afford an attorney. The man you put in jail every week. And alot of times I admit, I deserve it. I did drink too much. I did get into an occasional brawl because I got angry and lost my temper. I've stolen money when I thought I wouldn't get caught. Sometimes, I do stuff just for the fun of it. Break something, vandalize something or squeal the tires just to hear them- see how long I can make a skid mark. The funny stories I could tell you when me and my pals were drunk. Boy, did we do some crazy shit. But we didn't get caught, didn't "catch a case" very often back then. You guys don't patrol my neighborhood. And you wouldn't have enough officers and squad cars if you tried. I think we ask too much from our police departments. If there is one thing we could all do to start "fighting" crime and accidents, it would be to look in the mirror, and decide today not to be a fuck up. Then repeat the decision everyday. But instead, we do what we do. So does every human. Good days and bad days. It's not been fair for us to put the burden of making sure no one ever gets hurt, ever, ever, ever, into police officer's job description. It's impossible. It's crazy of us to expect it. The Sgt. Myers Torture Case represents a breakdown in the relationship between the community and law enforcement, the government and it's citizens. Trust has been betrayed once again at all levels of the system. My criticism is because I want to help. I don't want it to be this way. Having been where I've been, being who I am, the Annonymous man you put in jail every week, I see The Sgt. Myers Torture Case from the perspective of Michael Rich, Trina Fairley, Michael Alexander and Ray Hsieh- all flawed people to be sure. But they still deserve to be treated like they were once and ARE somebody's child, sister, brother, grandkid, mother, father, aunt and uncle. It's tempting to see the Detected and Arrested as striped in Hamburglar Suits and carrying the label "criminal" or "alcoholic" or "inmate" or "lawbreaker" or "offender" or "suspect" but:.. they still are one of the high school classmates we passed by on the way to class. Sure, I didn't say hello to them because they were a "black", or a "grit" or a "nerd" or a "jock", or a "slut", or a "dork", or a "faggot" or a "pussy" or a "homo" or a "farmboy", or a "stoner", or a-... but they were and ARE United States Citizens of America, with full rights and protections under the United States Constitution and it wouldn't be long before I would have to work and be neighbors with those same people as an adult. Even so, the police too often see some really nasty, despicable bullshit. Humans can be some of the most vile, lyin' ass, cruel motherfucka's ever conceived. The horror we sometimes inflict upon others, and ourselves, is too brutal to watch. The police don't get the choice to turn away and hide from the madness like the rest of us Jello Trolls, with our TV's and Computers. They've got to deal with it. Little wonder they would turn to shooting darts with 50,000 volts of electricity into us in the name of officer safety. They see us at our absolute worst every day. The taser the police use now is the weapon we have made for ourselves. No, I've never experienced these new techniques, these space-age tasers, that allow any officer, no matter how often he doesn't stay in shape, to bring the wildest of weirdos down with a single shot. And look! they don't get hurt! Permanently, that is. No marks, no bruises, not even lasting side effects.... so we are told by the manufacturers and the people who possess them. Yes, we all can agree, I'd rather be shot by your taser than by your sidearm. But the taser opens up more complex issues. The Sgt. Myers Torture Case is about the use of force by officers- when and how, why and what for,- that we've been struggling with since Rodney King, Greg Brown, Anthony Luima, etc. You will admit, Ishmael, other municipalities have had scandals with police brutality? Some officers do step out of line, right? Wasn't there a Champaign Police officer the night of Dec. 31, 2000 who pulled the "sweet release" to his own horrific death? The photographs we saw from Abu Graib, for instance, faked or real? I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, like me, the Annonymous man who you take to jail every week, officers are prone to the same vices and follies, greeds and lusts the rest of us are. Myers, by your own admission, (you wrote:"Again, let me state that I have no sympathy for Myers. He broke the law, violated his position of trust and he got what he deserved. Did he deserve more? Maybe.") did something wrong. You've been led to believe that The Sgt. Myers Torture Case is about the sentence he got. IMHO, Annonymous, the man you take to jail every week, I wouldn't want to put William Alan Myers in general population at Statesville, Pontiac Correctional Facility. That would be cruel and unusual punishment to Alan and his wife-and against the law in this country. Because any police officer knows what could happen to young William if it were known to his cellies what he's in for. Eye for an eye does not stop the removal of eyes. And police officers also know that mercy is not the norm in the penentiary- for it is not a merciful place- nor are the sentences Champaign County often hands out to the Annonymous people like me, who can't afford an attorney. I actually don't mind William Alan Myers is home tonight, safe and sound. I don't have much guarantees he won't do it again, and again, and again, and again in the future-like Sheriff Dan Walsh let him do while he was employed- but I trust the State's Attorney is mandating William Alan seek anger management therapy and if he doesn't show up to his appointments, or he re-offends by breaking the law in any manner- stiffer penalties will take effect. Like it is for everybody else. Like it is for everybody else, the sentence of probation in the Sgt. Myers Torture Case offends our sensibilities of justice because we read everyday in our local newspaper, that if William Alan gets to go home for what he did, then thousands upon thousands ought to go home too. And who is it that needs to go to the state penetentiary? Who does go to the penetentiary? Your answers to those questions, Ishmael, have been unsatisfactory to me. Part of the The Sgt. Myers Torture Case is about the treatment of people in our county jail, the grievance process for inmates, and making sure police officers aren't breaking the law. Part of the Sgt. Myers case is about what do we do when we discover there is such an abuse of power. The same discussion that Champaign County Correctional Officers Jeremy Heath, Craig Wakefield, Arnold Matthews, and Joshua Jones had during the early morning hours of November 15, 2005 at the Tod and Jon's Bar and Grill in Urbana, Illinois. The problem with debating you, Ishmael, and your criticism of BD's reports; is that you wouldn't ever admit such a meeting ever occured that November night. And why is that? You argue BD with comments like, "I certainly hope your formal training isn't in journalism. If it is, even conferring an associate's degree upon you would be tantamount to educational malpractice!" BD draws some heavy conclusions in his reports, and I sometimes cringe too when he lays it out there the way he does sometimes. But the man is doing what you require: he does the research, he gets the facts. If police reports are not good enough for you, what do you want? To think that because someone is in jail, automatically makes them a liar, and therefore not to be believed is a rational argument maybe to some. But based on what we know now, what are we to make of Sgt. Myers' police report filed November 6, 2004 in Case #04-CF-2053 against Michael Rich? Based on your professional experience, Ishmael, and based on Myers' own plea of guilt to lying to his superiors about the Ray Hsieh case, and more importantly, the testimonies of his fellow correctional officers that got him into trouble, I ask you to answer in an intellectually honest manner: Do you believe that the narrative contained in the police report in Case #04-CF-2053 is likely to be the truth? Ishmael, I know who I am. Do you know who you are? My brother. I vote you stay and debate this through. I would appreciate your expertise to the discussion.

I'm wondering?

I just saw a video on CNN where some family members were allowing a two year old and a five year old smoke pot. I would just like to know where you stand on that issue, since there doesn't seem to be any limit on drug use in your perfect world. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/04/pot.kids/index.html

Re: wondering?

I just saw a video on CNN where some family members were allowing a two year old and a five year old smoke pot. I would just like to know where you stand on that issue, since there doesn't seem to be any limit on drug use in your perfect world. It's hard to tell whether you're trolling or just stereotyping IMC members, but I'll try to answer. Personally, I'm not into drugs, but I think that there may be some situations where pot should be legal (e.g., making things more bearable for cancer patients). It's also not clear whether pot's worse than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal. That said, it seems pretty clear that forcing a child to smoke pot is appalling. Would any sane person think that giving a child everclear-spiked fruit juice was OK? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that most people are in favor of reinstating prohibition.

Whomever said......

"There's always room for Jello" obviously wasn't talking about band width! ;o) My Friend: Partially because of your, shall we say "broad reaching" style and because of your earlier attempts at "sock puppetry (thanks Wayward), I can't really tell if your current desription of yourself as a sympathetic, well-meaning misfit is accurate or another character you're trying to create. I can tell you that your suppositions about me, while irrelevent, are mostly incorrect. Even though I should know better, I'll correct you on a few other problems with your post: You wrote: "The Sgt. Myers Torture Case is about the use of force by officers- when and how, why and what for,- that we've been struggling with since Rodney King, Greg Brown, Anthony [actually his name was Abner] Luima." The only thing that they have in common is that none of them was killed by the police. You wrote: "Wasn't there a Champaign Police officer the night of Dec. 31, 2000 who pulled the "sweet release" to his own horrific death?" No. It was a U of I Officer. You wrote: "The same discussion that Champaign County Correctional Officers Jeremy Heath, Craig Wakefield, Arnold Matthews, and Joshua Jones had during the early morning hours of November 15, 2005 at the Tod and Jon's Bar and Grill in Urbana, Illinois. The problem with debating you, Ishmael, and your criticism of BD's reports; is that you wouldn't ever admit such a meeting ever occured that November night. And why is that? Because I have no freaking idea whether it did or not. Unlike Brian, I don't shamelessly proclaim things to be fact when I don't KNOW them to be. You wrote: "BD draws some heavy conclusions in his reports, and I sometimes cringe too when he lays it out there the way he does sometimes. But the man is doing what you require: he does the research, he gets the facts. If police reports are not good enough for you, what do you want?" His "research" does not impress me in the slightest. Anyone who can spell "google" can find activist organizations to provide "facts" for them to support their opinions. My problem with Dolinar is that he is completely tone-deaf to the difference between opinion and fact. A curious malady for a "journalist" no? "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Quick Question, Ishmael

Ishmael, you write in response to the idea that Champaign County Correctional Officers Jeremy Heath, Craig Wakefield, Arnold Matthews, and Joshua Jones had met during the early morning hours of November 15, 2005 at the Tod and Jon's Bar and Grill in Urbana, Illinois, discussing what they were going to do about Sgt. Myers: "Because I have no freaking idea whether it did or not. Unlike Brian, I don't shamelessly proclaim things to be fact when I don't KNOW them to be." You have no idea whether this meeting occured or not, because you weren't there, nor was Brian. Brian shouldn't be telling the entire world that this meeting happened because he wasn't there. Is that your line of reasoning? Correct me if I'm wrong.

police reports

Again, BD makes the claim about these officers meeting at Todd and Jon's because he read the police reports. Police reports which clearly still haven't been read by Ish. The same kind of police reports no longer available to the public. Is Rietz concered about identity theft? Or is she concerned about indymedia journalists exposing dirty deeds? BD

No...my point about you...

...was not directly tied to whether this meeting did or did not take place. It has to do with my aversion to stating things as fact that I do not personally KNOW to be true. Something that you seem to have no reservations about doing. My credibility is more important to me than my ability to shock and incite people. Apparently you feel differently, and that's up to you. Even in this one small thread you incorrectly accused me of calling you a "racist." (I still defy you to find that statement.) You assert in your initial posting that 3 officers went "unpunished by Rietz", even after just stating that two were sentenced after pleading guilty to criminal charges. Furthermore even though it has been repeatedly pointed out to you by Wayward and others that a judge appointed a special prosector in the Hjort case, and the decision was made by a person outside of Rietz's office not to pursue charges, you continue to try to hang that one on Ms. Rietz. Perhaps a more responsible way of putting it would be "I FEEL that the punishment given to the officers in the two cases litigated by Ms. Rietz's office was not severe enough." "I also FEEL that the special prosecutor was incorrect in his decision not to charge Hjort criminally." The opinions would be more clearly understood for what they are, OPINIONS, and your reputation would still be in tact. See the difference??? Isn't this type of thing covered pretty thoroughly in some college class ending in "101?" My God, I would hope so. Finally, I would never presume to speak for Ms. Rietz, but I doubt that she's doing anything because of concern about YOU. Flatter yourself all you like Doc, but you don't scare anybody. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

The same kind of police

The same kind of police reports no longer available to the public.

Is Rietz concered about identity theft?

Or is she concerned about indymedia journalists exposing dirty deeds?

Actually, at least one of the earlier complaints about the police reports came from me, because I was appalled that personal data that included names, SSNs, and birthdates would be available to the public. "Indymedia journalists" aren't too important to the SA or the police, but people using police reports to steal victims' or witnesses' identities are a serious risk. In fact, that's what happened with Esley Carter recently.

Police Reports Are Not Facts?

Ismael writes, "No...my point about you... ...was not directly tied to whether this meeting did or did not take place. It has to do with my aversion to stating things as fact that I do not personally KNOW to be true." This aversion to stating things as fact without personal knowledge is not a standard that juries, lawyers, and judges get to do. The criminal justice system does not function this way when it comes to police reports. The information in a police report is assumed to be true. Indictments, prosecutions, and prison time is based on police reports. If those reports can't be relied upon as true, then we have a MAJOR problem. Sgt. Myers admitted he falsified police his report in the Hsieh incident in a taped interview with a county sheriff investigator on November 15, 2005. And yeah, the last thing Rietz and the entire system wants the public perceiving is the police don't always write and tell the truth. So they have clamped down from letting the actual reports get out to the public. Now it will be Rietz and the Sheriff's office providing the public the information that the public won't get to see until after the case is over. What if....an officer pulls a "Myers"? As for identity theft being reason for the clamp down because of a recent case, that represents the first case since the Difanis Era (1976) that this has ever happened. And what is identity theft? It would not be that hard to keep people's social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, or whatever else that allows people to raid bank accounts and credit cards out of public viewing. Names need to be in there, but otherwise, there is no reason to have secret police reports. Citizens review boards are being requested because many people feel the police, like any other government function needs oversight and accountability. The Sgt. Myers Torture Case reveals how necessary this oversight is. It's difficult to understand why the police wouldn't want oversight. As the police like to tell drivers when asking to search the vehicle, "What have you to hide?" DNA evidence keeps exonerating inmates every week. Mistakes do get made. Sometimes they are legitimate mistakes, like a witness lying to an officer.....and sometimes, like in the Myers case, the officer fudges the facts deliberately. That cannot be tolerated. Justice is not served by prosecuting an innocent person. So again, BD's conclusions are drawn from the police reports. The facts collected by the investigators in the Hsieh case, give us every reason to suspect there were problems with how Michael Alexander, Trina Fairley, and Michael Rich situations were handled. And that may leave the Sheriff culpable in a cover up over a year's time.

What?

"Mistakes do get made. Sometimes they are legitimate mistakes, like a witness lying to an officer.....and sometimes, like in the Myers case, the officer fudges the facts deliberately." I've been watching this from the sidelines, but now I can't help myself - How is a witness lying a "mistake," and an officer lying "deliberate?" There's an intentional, glaring, and uncalled for double standard at work in your whole train of thought, anon. Certainly, police should be held to a higher standard than the average Joe, I wouldn't even try to debate that, but the Average Joe needs to be held to a minimum standard. Lying to an officer is NOT a mistake - it is a crime (obstruction). Of course, a geniune failure to remember facts, or the simple fact that every witness to an event will naturally remember it slightly differently is one thing - but that's not "Lying." "Lying," by definition, is deliberate.

"Government Certified" Facts

I think it's rather amusing -- and revealing -- how conservatives try to argue that ONLY government certified facts represent reality. They're skeptics about everything government does -- look at the nick of the guy posting just above -- but when it comes to crime and the police, they insist that only when a court make as a finding of fact is it "real". And Ishmael's white privilege is showing, even if he isn't actually sitting at the keyboard in a pointy, white hood or using the n-word. He absolves the justice system of its systematic racism by playing games with words and statistics. Yet studies of drug use show that whites have consistently higher rates of that than blacks do. Yet the prisons are full of black kids. One doesn't have to be a racist when working within a racist system -- the whole Chief thing proves that -- but quit making excuses for racism. The obvious systemic biases that see sky-high incarceration rates for African-Americans are NOT because they're more criminal than others. It's RACISM at work with our tax dollars and it needs to stop. I'm appalled that someone who appears to be in law enforcement seems so oblivious to the reality that so many in our society suffer under -- or thinks he can pass such nonsense off as an argument.

Anon..Either your reading skills are lacking.....

Or you're just intentionally misstating facts and being obtuse so that you can keep repeating the same drivel. This is what I wrote above: "Before someone goes on another rant about the "racist system," bear in mind that African-Americans are also over-represented among CRIME VICTIMS, pregnant teenagers, high school drop outs, those living in poverty and the unemployed." Where in there did I say anything about drug use? Furthermore where did I say to trust the government or that they have some kind of proprietary interest in TRUTH? Regarding racism, I agree it exists but when non-thinkers like you use it to excuse every tragic or unpleasant circumstance in the human experience, you do disservice to those that are true victims. Come on! "sitting at the keyboard in a pointy, white hood?!" Gimme a break! Face it, you're out of ideas. When you can't win an argument, try to villify your opponent. Do yourself a favor, try to put at least 8 hours between the bong and the keyboard! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

You're basing information off of my screenname?

"look at the nick of the guy posting just above" Isn't that a little...prejudiced?

Police Report Mistakes

What was meant, GI Skeptic, is that a false claim in a police report is not necessarily the officer's fault- as in a witness lying to an officer for example. Of course, lying to an officer is a crime.

REITZ HAS GOT TO GO

We need someone who represents OUR interests, not HER interests/the interests of her idiot husband and his friends. REITZ HAS GOT TO GO

Come on!!!!

We meaning the four or five people on this board who constantly post negative comments on the criminal justice system? I am sure there are many more in Champaign County that feel otherwise. In addition, where does her "idiot husband and his friends” fit into this conversation? Just because he is a well respected police officer in the community? When you resort to name calling, you lose all of your credibility, not to mention the fact that I am sure, with out a doubt, you have never met the man. You may disagree with Reitz’s opinions but that does not give you the right to disrespect her or her family and friends. If that was the case, I know I will disagree with you on numerous topics so are you granting me the right to tell you what I think of you on this thread?

Meh

When I met Al Johnston 4-5 years ago, he seemed like a nice enough guy. As far as your right to say what you think ... hey, it's not like the civility standard has been that high on this thread anyhow, so I'm not sure how much difference it'd make.

The difference is..

that it's a double standard on this thread (this whole site, really) as to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. If Ishmael would have wrote that, it would have been removed in a heartbeat and you know it. ML would have come swooping down from his pedestal and threatened to block him from the site. I've made comments in the past about some people who post being convicted felons (to prove a point, not just to try to smear someone) and sure enough, those posts were removed in a matter of minutes. So how is it okay to call someone an idiot but not okay to use their criminal convictions to show that they have an obvious bias on certain subjects? Let me answer that question. It's not okay; it's just how it's done here. I'll continue my assertion that IMC is nothing more than a bulletin board for the far left, just like Ann Coulter's site is a bulletin board for the far right. It's disappointing, to say the least. I guess I was just too idealistic to think that we could do something better and actually make a site that allowed free exchange of thought, even if it was not agreeable to the majority of people who post here. IMC has devolved into what it was created to counterbalance.

Ad hominem

I've made comments in the past about some people who post being convicted felons (to prove a point, not just to try to smear someone) and sure enough, those posts were removed in a matter of minutes. So how is it okay to call someone an idiot but not okay to use their criminal convictions to show that they have an obvious bias on certain subjects?

Well, that still sounds like an ad hominem attack. I mean, you could dredge up anything you wanted from someone's past and claim that you were trying to show their bias. However, it might also look like you were just trying to publicly humiliate them. Personally, I didn't care for the post calling Al Johnston an idiot either - not only was it rude, but it was also content-free.

The point is...

that a comment calling someone an 'idiot' should have been removed as quick as it was put up.

Removing posts

that a comment calling someone an 'idiot' should have been removed as quick as it was put up. OK, the thing is that there are multiple people on UCIMC with "editor" capabilities. Some of us, including me, remove very little that isn't spam. Others are more likely to hide posts. So I saw it and thought, "Oh goody, another gem from the courageous Mr. Anonymous." But it wasn't advertising or hate speech, so I left it alone.

As Has Been Often Suggested Before

If you want to have a discussion about editorial policy on this website, then send an email to imc-web at ucimc.org This option has been offered numerous times to posters like you, Mr. Gripey. Guess what? We rarely get emails. It turns out that some people are more interested in acting out how "oppressed" they are by UC IMC --never mind there are millions of other places on the internet where UC IMC can do absolutely nothing about such comments. Or they want to point out how they don't like such and such a post, that it somehow proves that certain anonymous, but irritating posts, illustrate how UC IMC as an organization has no "credibility." Or that we're "hypocrites" because editing policy here appears different to them that that over at, say, IP. Get over it. Or send us an email. Or come to the Web meeting at 8:30pm on Wednesday. But it is time that you shift back to the topic at hand, because discussions about UC IMC editorial policy typically are considered off-topic here. Now you have yet another reason to gripe about me. Do it elsewhere.

more on hidden posts

I just did a quick little check about hidden posts here at UC-IMC.

Since this site went live, on Oct. 1, 2006, and with the lone exception of a duplicate post, every single comment hidden by the editors has one thing in common: it's anonymous.

Not anonymous as in "I don't know the true identity of who posted it," but anonymous in the sense that no UCIMC account has been associated with it.

UCIMC strongly encourages users to register for an account. It gives you site features you don't otherwise have -- new posts marked "new," the ability to edit your posts and comments after posting, that sort of thing. It also greatly reduces anono-pissing matches, making for a nicer site. Signing up requires an email address, but there are any number of free email services available if you're worried about anonymity.

We're much more inclined to believe a post is trollery when there is no account associated with it. And history justifies that inclination.

@%<

reality check

Let me answer that question. It's not okay; it's just how it's done here. I'll continue my assertion that IMC is nothing more than a bulletin board for the far left, just like Ann Coulter's site is a bulletin board for the far right. Any reader of this board can go to the bottom of this page, find the link that says "Hidden Comments," and see what the editors of this site have actually hidden. Doing so in this thread shows that, out of the seventy or so comments made so far, exactly one has been hidden. In other words, nice little stump speech, but it collides with reality. @%<

Moreover

If you do this, you might also notice that the only hidden comment in this thread isn't critical of UCIMC - it's actually an incoherent comment bashing Rietz.

Correction

The date when Sgt. Myers entered his plea bargain was February 26, 2007. You should speak to my Puerto Rican friend Ivan Ruiz, who was falsely accused of hit and run, about how he feels about officer Johnston. BD

Thanks for letting us know...

the race of your friend. That really makes a difference. You are so cultured, O great one. We can all only hope to be as racially sensitive as you are one day. I'm personally disowning all of my caucasian friends in favor of a more colorful crew. That will do a lot to reverse all of the evils of the past. Ask my friend Joe Schmoe, who had to sit through a liberal arts class, how he feels about BD. It's just as pertinent as BD's friend Ivan's opinion.

Since Brian Seems Determined......

to bring this thread (as he does with many) down to a perceived racial component lets explore the dysfunctional thought process of the racist mind. The racist percieves the group(s) that he hates as a monolythic entity, all members of which possess what he feels are evil or inferior attributes. He views the entire world through a prism that bends reality to suit his biases. He gleefully points to any misdeeds on the part of individuals within that group as evidence that his hate and distrust is valid and justified. He convinces himself that he is not evil but is merely responding to the evil nature of "THEY." Am I the only one that notices that this is eerily similar to the way that Brian and a few of his more shrill brethren behave toward the police. In his view of the world, THEY (the police) are a monolythic group, guilty of conspiratorial conduct and evil intent. He points to any news story or rumor of police misconduct with unbridled enthusiasm and exclaims "See?...I told you this is how THEY are!" THEY rise from their crypt each day to manipulate and control the weak and underpriveledged, without regard to right and wrong, good or evil. Any report of good intent or meritorious conduct on their part, he haughtily dismisses as "propaganda." The truth is that there are liberal cops and conservative cops, gay cops and straight cops, good cops and bad cops. I suspect that any intellectually honest person would allow that this is the case in ANY legitimate profession. (Even part-time faculty at any given community college for instance.) I realize that this posting is lost on Brian and some of his followers. They will continue to "drink the kool aid" right along with Brian. I just hope that some of the more fair-minded readers of this forum will at least indulge me in this: The next time that they read one of Brian's harangues about the evil police based on his so-called research, ask themselves this question. "Were these conclusions drawn by a position-neutral seeker of truth....or did Brian simply cherry pick the facts that supported his pre-existing opinion and ignore the ones that did not?" I'll leave it to the reader, but its at least something to consider. The fact is that a hate-sickened mind is a dysfunctional mind and it does not matter at which group of people the hate is directed. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

There Is No Such Thing

Your definition of racism is simplistic and fails to reflect much scholarship on the issue in the last couple of decades, for starts. And I doubt that it applies to anything except the strawman argument you've been struggling to make against Brian. Then, it's "monolithic." Finally, do you really believe anyone can ever be a "position-neutral seeker of truth"? I doubt if there is such a person and certainly the News-Gazette and their self-serving corporate journalists do not represent such a thing, although they're pretty good at creating that impression in the gullible. And your comments here definitely are not written by a "position-neutral seeker of truth."

Thanks for correcting my spelling...

and enjoy the kool aid. If they ever put together an Olympic "missing the point" team, you'll be the one in the team picture holding the ball. "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

racism

i thought i knew what racism is, but thanks for letting me know about all the new scholarship. i heard next we'll be told we don't know what "cat" means because the UI vet med has done all kinds of new scholarship we haven't read. BTW, this site is full of typos and misspellings, so it seems kind of unfair of you to pick on ishmael

Furthermore, ML......

My one-paragraph example was not an attempt to define "racism." That would be an ambitious undertaking, to say the least, don't you think? That word has been, and will continue to be, redefined and argued about in perpetuity. It was an attempt at illustrating how personal bias can induce dysfunctional reasoning and errant conclusions, regardless of the subject of the bias. Maybe in an absolute sense it's not attainable, but (call me crazy) I think that a journalist SHOULD strive to be a "position-neutral seeker of truth." If they're not, they should say so up front. Regarding my input, I have never purported myself to be a journalist or a "position-neutral seeker of truth." I make it clear that my opinions and observations are just that.....and, since I'm not being paid to write them I guess you can't accuse me of being "corporate." "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

“Your definition of racism

“Your definition of racism is simplistic and fails to reflect much scholarship on the issue in the last couple of decades, for starts. And I doubt that it applies to anything except the strawman argument you've been struggling to make against Brian. " Great come back ML. How can you continue to pretend to advance open discussion on any issue until you ACTUALLY ALLOW THE DISCUSSION TO BE OPEN! Is this site only for one political agenda if so, say it up front and we can all move to a site that actually allows different points of view with reasonable discussion. What are you and BD afraid of, a new idea might slip into that conspiracy infested persona that you call an enlighten opinion? I have read many fine points coming from both sides, yet you then bring the above response into this conversation. That scholarly statement really explained decades of defined enlightenment regarding racism. Never let a little truth help explain an issue that is better explained by conspiracy and misrepresentation of facts. Ok, go ahead now and attack the spelling and grammer. Patrick Rolman

Police state takes over New York

Officer in Diallo Shooting Sues to Return to Duty In New York, one of the four police officers involved the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo has filed suit against the New York Police Department to return him to active duty. Kenneth Boss says he has been effectively blocked since his acquittal and his time served as a Marine in the Iraq war. Boss and three other officers were cleared in Diallo’s killing eight years ago. The unarmed Diallo was shot forty-one times. 1,700 Police Readied for Sean Bell Indictment Decision And finally, a grand jury in Queens could decide today on whether to indict any of the police officers involved in the shooting of the unarmed African-American Sean Bell. Bell was killed the morning of his wedding day. New York Police commissioner Raymond Kelly says seventeen-hundred police officers are on standby to deal with any unrest following the grand jury’s decision.

Thank you Brian...as if on cue!!

Let me paraphrase Mr. Dolinar "Seeeeeee.....I told you this is how THEY are!" Nice going Brian these two NYC examples prove your point "all cops are racist murderers!" If I were reading this thread, and was a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect that Ishmael stole Brian's sign-on just to prove a point. Thanks buddy! "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

31337

If I were reading this thread, and was a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect that Ishmael stole Brian's sign-on just to prove a point. Because Ishmael, like most Urbana cops, is an 31337 H4X0R.

31337 H4X0R.

31337 H4X0? reference lost on reader

Re: 31337 H4X0R

31337 H4X0R = "Elite hacker" :)

Sort of like this guy:

Hear that?? I'm an Elite Hacker!!

Wait.........that's good right? **Drat** "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

d00d

2B N 31337 H4x0R, U JuSt N33d 2 R1t3 L1K3 tH1s. Th3N U C4n aSk R34LLy t3cHn1c4L Qu3st10nz l1K3, "d00d, U g0T W4R3Z?"

c00l!

Wh3n d0 1 l34rn 7h3 s3cr3t h4ndsh4k3??? "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Hackers

Well, Encyclopedia Dramatica has an introduction at http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/index.php/Hacker . At the end, it says, "Being a hacker is deceptively simple. All you have to do watch the 1995 movie "Hackers" and emulate absolutely everything the characters do. This will not only make you a proficient hacker, but will also earn you respect from already established hackers." Sort of like the way you can watch "Reno 911" and become proficient at law enforcement.

BD; Does the Criminal

BD; Does the Criminal Justice System work when it acquits or when it finds guilt? Or does it depend on who the defendant is or their race. Because I can’t seem to understand your selective criticism of when it is wrong or right! Patrick Rolman

Rolman and Ishmael- the fact avoiders

This thread is supposed to be about one cop who did horrible things, and how the State's Attorney used its prosecutorial discretion to cover the Sherriff's butt. Rolman and Ishmael can't seem to deal with it, so they've been attacking BD personally. It's unclear why they bother to debate the issues since reading this thread, they answer few of the pertinent questions and avoid the real issues. They won't even come out and say police reports are facts. Fellas, go over to the IL Pundit. They'll believe you over there. BD is reporting on what you won't read. Again, are the police reports the facts or not? I guess not, when Myers writes one, eh? And yeah, when an officer is allowed to falsify his report, then it really does throw the whole system into question.

Ahhh Anonymous... you are so

Ahhh Anonymous... you are so right. It is about ONE cop who most certainly did a terrible thing. That one cop was prosecuted and plead guilty and was sentenced. These are facts. Now can you see the difference between facts and opinion? "State's Attorney used its prosecutorial discretion to cover the Sheriff’s butt"...opinion. "when an officer is allowed to falsify his report"...opinion. "They won't even come out and say police reports are facts"...I don't even know what you are implying here? You and BD fail to understand that reasonable people can have differing opinions. I believe that Myers did a terrible thing according to the facts. But because you imply the States Attorney covered this up does not make it fact, regardless of how many times you say it. To answer, in my opinion, of when an officer should be allowed to falsify a report, I would answer never. But there are no facts ever stated that Myers was “allowed” to falsify his reports. Myers falsified his reports because he was a bad cop. Bad people do bad things, but bad people do not make an entire profession bad as indicated by you and BD. Finally to answer your obviously rhetorical question of “they won't even come out and say police reports are facts”, here’s your answer. Police reports are facts of an incident provided by the officer. If an officer were a liar, then the reports he submits would be in question. That does not mean every officer is a liar. Once again, that might be your opinion and as misguided as you are, I respect the fact that you have an opinion. I’m sure that it gives you some hope that the voices in your head might be telling you the truth. As for me, I’ll deal with the facts, give you my opinion, and understand that the world is actually pretty good place to be given the alternative. As for the IP, you might be surprised with the outcome of opening your mind to all sides of life, because isn’t that what you preach here, tolerance and diversity. Patrick Rolman

Alright then...

Reasonable answer, Rolman. "Allowed to falsify police report"- whoops, granted, he was forced to plead guilty to disorderly conduct. There were more charges that could have been filed against Myers. Official Misconduct, Armed Violence, Aggravated Battery, Unlawful Restraint, etc., This case could have been an "example" case, like we hear in so many other cases come sentencing time. What remains is the other 3 victims, who's grievances went unanswered. I've read in this thread many times a sincere appreciation for law enforcement. It's surprising other officers aren't more outraged. Myers, Walsh and Rietz have discredited the entire process. Do we throw away law enforcement? No. Do we continue the critique of this "Buddy/buddy" system that takes lightly serious crimes to avoid civil lawsuits? Yes.

And It Was All Agreed Anyway....

One of the biggest ironies to this entire thread is that Ishmael agrees with BD. Ishmael's assessment of the Sgt. Myers case: "If it were up to me, I would have sent him to prison,..." as does Wayward: "Actually, I think it would have been great if they could have gotten a stiffer sentence for Myers." as does Rolman: "The fact is that he might have received a light sentence..."

Wrong!!

You're correct that I said that, if it were up to me I would have sent him to prison. I even said that reasonable minds could differ as to whether the sentence was appropriate. Brian Dolinar, however includes mutually exclusive "facts" in his "article," by both reporting the plea and sentence of two officers and then saying that both went "unpunished" by Ms. Rietz. Go look up the word "unpunished" in the dictionary if you don't believe that these "facts" contradict one another. He even goes on to assert that Ms. Rietz failed to punish a third officer (Hjort) when (for the fiftieth time!) that case was assigned to an independent special prosecutor (NOT MS. RIETZ) who declined to file charges. Whether he reports this "fact" out of incompetence or malice, only he knows (or does he?). Unlike Mr. Dolinar, I understand and appreciate the difference between opinion and fact. Not that I would pretend to speak for Wayward and Rolman but they clearly gave their OPINIONS about the SEVERITY of the sentence, like I did. They obviously understand this distinction and that, even an arguably "light" sentence is not the same as going "unpunished." If find it humorous and ironic that one who pompously asks to be referred to as "Doctor," apparently does not understand this distinction. Regarding Myers' sentence, I find it odd that the same people who would lament that a felony conviction has "ruined the life" of a more sympathetic defendent, would turn around and gnash their teeth because a more "villianous" defendent "got off easy" by pleading guilty to a felony! A little consistancy please? "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

To anonymous

If "This thread is supposed to be about one cop who did horrible things, and how the State's Attorney used its prosecutorial discretion to cover the Sherriff's butt," then why is there no outcry when BD and others go off on tangents about cases that are happening in New York City? Seems a little inconsistent, using your own logic.

And if we want to get really picky...

Why do all of you keep bringing up Garrett and Hjort, since this thread is 'supposed to be' only about Myers?

context

context (kon'tekst), n. [L. conetxtus; pp. of contexere, to weave together , com-, together + texere, to weave) 1. the parts of a sentence, paragraph, discourse, etc. that occur just before and after a specified word or passage and determine its exact meaning: as, it is unfair to quote this remark out of its context. 2. the whole situation, background, or environment relevant to some happening or personality

And Context Is Relevant Here

To realize the importance of context in the Myers case in relationship to other cases of police misconduct, we need only look at this thread. Several times in it, those who have strongly implied that they are themselves police officers have made comments to Brian to the effect, "Watch your back, I know where you work." That is disturbingly like the case of the sheriff's deputy who sent his ex-wife's current beau the same basic message -- "I'm a cop. Watch your back." The police are not monolithic. There are good cops. I've seen no one here make a claim that they are universally evil, except those who've attacked Brian as they try to set up their strawmen. But it's also clear that there are a number of unfortunate patterns that seem to repeat in the social circles of local law enforcement: * Intimidation of civilians and journalists by police officers. * Police misconduct is treated a a problem to be hushed up, to protect the workings of the system, instead of dealt with the same severity with which many non-violent civilian crime are dealt with, let alone violence between civilians, who are so often sent off to prison as "an example" to others. Apparently, cops don't need or are assumed to be immune to having examples set for their conduct. * Drug use is typically found to be higher among white people than those of other races. Yet of those who Champaign County sends to prison, 80%+ are typically African-American and the vast majority of these crimes are drug-related. That is either very sloppy policing in comparison to the racial profile of the problem (shouldn't more whites than blacks go to prison if whites are doing more dope?) or -- much more likely -- the workings of systematic racism. This does not mean that all cops are racists. It means that they need to be especially conscious of the fact that they work within a system that has a tendency to foster racially disparate outcomes for which no other interpretation is statistically possible, except as the workings of systemic racism. These are serious problems and they seem to be drawing little effort from elected officials responsible to correct them. A few scapegoats, like Myers, have been offered up in an attempt to convince the public that "something is being done" but the unanswered questions asked by those willing to dig beneath the stage-managed reality about the local justice system portrayed by the News-Gazette are profoundly disturbing disturbing. Apparently so disturbing that those offended by anyone raising these difficult questions are subjected to attacks that claim some sort of twisted objectivity while accusing Brian of failing to be objective, even though he has made no such claim. It isn't a question of fact versus opinion. Some people, including those attacking Brian, would just prefer to limit the debate to a particular set of facts they favor so that no other context is admissible. Attitudes like that are a lot like the ostrich with it's head in the sand -- or in someplace darker.

"One of the biggest ironies

"One of the biggest ironies to this entire thread is that Ishmael agrees with BD. Ishmael's assessment of the Sgt. Myers case: "If it were up to me, I would have sent him to prison,..." as does Wayward: "Actually, I think it would have been great if they could have gotten a stiffer sentence for Myers." as does Rolman: "The fact is that he might have received a light sentence..." " I do not find this ironic. Once again, none of the three of us have indicated that he has not been punished, other than BD. My opinion of a light sentence might not be in your definition of reasonable. I would push for stiffer sentences for many offenders, including, but not limited to, Patrick Thompson. So it would be a mistake to compare my thinking with BD's unless BD also believes that someone found guilty of home invasion should do 30 years. Likewise, White's eventual sentence will never rise to the level of his offenses. But this is not the fault of States Attorney. There will always be other considerations and final judgement, of course ,by the Judge. The system does not function in a vaccum and subjectivity is a part of human nature. One should keep in mind that even if the States Attorney and the Defendants attorney comes to an agreement, if the agreement is so far outside reasonable limits the judge does not have to accept the plea. So, the checks and balances continues throughout the system thus greatly eliminating the vast conspiracy theory possiblity posed by BD and others. Granted, the mere nature of humans is conditioned to see causation even if none exists, and those connections are what causes these parnoid thoughts. However, BD, evolution of the human brain allowed us to set aside animal instincts that protected us in the forest thus using reasoning to know the difference the wind making the leaves move or a bear. Patrick Rolman

"Several times in it, those

"Several times in it, those who have strongly implied that they are themselves police officers have made comments to Brian to the effect, "Watch your back, I know where you work." " Please elaborate this claim. I have yet to see any cops on this blog imply this.

For Instance:

Ishmael – March 6, 2007 – 8:49am "Isn't this type of thing covered pretty thoroughly in some college class ending in "101?" My God, I would hope so." Ishmael – March 14, 2007 – 9:41am "The truth is that there are liberal cops and conservative cops, gay cops and straight cops, good cops and bad cops. I suspect that any intellectually honest person would allow that this is the case in ANY legitimate profession. (Even part-time faculty at any given community college for instance.)" Take this out of context, like I'm sure you probably will, and it means nothing. In context, it is just creepy. And I find it both offensive and indicative of the larger problems I've already noted -- and that you once more ignore in your obsession with sticking to a small subset of convenient facts as you attack those calling attention to the inconvenient facts.

College courses

Somehow, I don't think that there's any danger of Ishmael signing up for courses that Brian teaches. I'd guess that the point of the "community college" comment was that instructors at community colleges are not usually referred to as "Professor." However, there's really nothing wrong with community colleges - they provide some great opportunities and they're more affordable than most four-year colleges.

Is this like the .....

Is this like the Paul is dead rumors from the late 60's and early 70's?? Maybe if you play my posting backwards it says something menacing....I'll have to try that and see if it works. Otherwise: "Isn't this type of thing covered pretty thoroughly in some college class ending in "101?" My God, I would hope so." Means that distinguishing between fact and oipinion SHOULD be a very BASIC element of journalism covered in an introductory class....as in "Journalism 101." "The truth is that there are liberal cops and conservative cops, gay cops and straight cops, good cops and bad cops. I suspect that any intellectually honest person would allow that this is the case in ANY legitimate profession. (Even part-time faculty at any given community college for instance.)" Means that even his own (you'll notice I called it "legitimate") professsion has many different types of peope in it. Is it a secret that Brian teaches a class at Parkland? Sorry if I blew the lid off something. What I write may threaten some people intellectually but I have never made any threats to anyone. I have no pesonal issues with anyone on this board. Earlier in this post, anonymous wrote: "but:.. they still are one of the high school classmates we passed by on the way to class. Sure, I didn't say hello to them because they were a "black", or a "grit" or a "nerd" or a "jock", or a "slut", or a "dork", or a "faggot" or a "pussy" or a "homo" or a "farmboy", or a "stoner", or a...." (and) "Humans can be some of the most vile, lyin' ass, cruel motherfucka's ever conceived." (and) "We need someone who represents OUR interests, not HER interests/the interests of her idiot husband and his friends." ....and yet you single out my posts as "creepy" and "offensive." Hmmmm........... "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

more than 100 comments and

more than 100 comments and no resolution. I bet most of us agree that Myers got off lightly. But in fact he did get punished. If you looked at a lot of judicial sentences, you'd see a disparity between fairness and the result. It's why lawyers get the big bucks. They're negotiators. This is a fairly small sample from which to make huge generalizations about the SA office or the News-Gazette.

"You are right. Although

"You are right. Although Myers has enough on his plate. Maybe he should get some encouragement to pursue an order of protection against Dolinar. I think maybe even slander charges as well. Dolinar is an expert at intimidation.... " Anon. Would this be in your definition of "it is just creepy". It seems like when the harassment is on the other foot it becomes a journalistic techinque. If Dolinar wants to keep his hands clean then he needs to stop slinging mud. Patrick Rolman

NO

"Dolinar is an expert at intimidation...." Way too much credit.

The credit for this argument

The credit for this argument is found on another thread on this site. While I agree with you, it has the same credibility as the argument that... "those who have strongly implied that they are themselves police officers have made comments to Brian to the effect, "Watch your back, I know where you work." Wayward is correct about her doubt that Ishmael would sign up for a Dolinar class, but I think she might be over estimating the other professions who would. Besides, Ishmael doesn't need an intro to liberal arts/science class. Patrick Rolman

Not exactly

Wayward is correct about her doubt that Ishmael would sign up for a Dolinar class, but I think she might be over estimating the other professions who would. Besides, Ishmael doesn't need an intro to liberal arts/science class. I didn't speculate about students who were taking Dolinar's classes, since I don't know anything about them. However, it seemed like a safe bet that Ishmael would not be on the roster.

You did not, and I stand

You did not, and I stand corrected. My sincere apologies for misrepresenting your intent. patrick Rolman

No worries

Oh, it's no problem. I was just sort of amused by the idea of Ishmael signing up for one of Brian's classes. "Dr. Dolinar, could you help me understand this paper Alan Sokal wrote for Social Text?" (See http://physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/#papers if you're curious.) Of course, the comment calling Al Johnston an idiot made me imagine a short bus that said "Urbana Very Special Police" on the site and had flashing lights and a siren.

Back to the Topic...

Ishmael writes: "But there are no facts ever stated that Myers was “allowed” to falsify his reports." In Case #04-CF-2053, Sgt. Myers filed an aggravated battery to a peace officer and an obstruction of justice charge against Michael Rich, one of the victims of Myers' torture sessions. The State's Attorney charged Rich with a crime based on this falsified police report. NOTHING was done about the falsified report, as Michael Rich's complaints went ignored. Myers also falsified information against Trina Fairley and Michael Alexander, "jail tickets" I believe they are called, in order to cover up his abuse in those incidents. NOTHING was done about that. And yes, Wayward, as you go a-fact-checking, the criminal charges against Michael Rich were eventually dropped 8 months AFTER the Ray Hsieh Debacle, 20 months AFTER the torture against Rich. The charges were dropped only when Attorney Michael McClellan refused any plea deals and Rich had been continuously going to the FBI with his case. Why no action was taken against Myers in Rich's case has remained unexplained. The Sheriff, testifying in front of the County Board in early February of this year, called all past allegations of torture by Myers, "bizarre". He said these allegations were "bizarre" because had he, The Sheriff, been tortured by Myers, he would have had himself photographed, hired an attorney, gone to a doctor to document the injuries. Ironically, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT MICHAEL RICH DID. And still the mild mannered Sheriff DID NOTHING. Based on the above, the opinion here is falsified police reports were allowed to occur. And another falsified report would have been accepted in the Ray Hsieh incident if Officer Jeremy Heath had gone along with Sgt. Myers' plan to do a little "creative report writing." Officer Heath's, Wakefield's, and Jones' refusal to conspire with Myers in November of '05 is the only thing that stood in the way of Sgt. Myers getting away with another falsified report.

I don't know where...

I don't know where you got that quote but I don't THINK it came from me......... "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

I don't know where...

The quote came from Patrick Rolman, March 14.

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