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See on ametlik: NYPD politsei ei saa teid enam avalikus kohas joomise eest kinni pidada

See on ametlik: NYPD politsei ei saa teid enam avalikus kohas joomise eest kinni pidada



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New York City dekriminaliseeris avaliku joomise, püüdes keskenduda raskemate vägivallakuritegude likvideerimisele

Enam ei hiilita metroosse õllepudeleid ... Me kõik teadsime, mida te teete.

Kas olete kunagi kahetsenud asjaolu, et te ei saanud Central Parkis pühapäevasele piknikule kaasa võtta mimoose? Või et pidite Rangersi mängus natuke vedelat lõbu varjama? Mitte rohkem.

New York City on avalikult joomise vaikselt dekriminaliseerinud, The New York Timesi andmetel. Vahistamise asemel saate kohtukutse või trahvi, et NYPD saaks keskenduda teistele, linna kimbutavatele vägivaldsematele kuritegudele.

"Ükskõik, kas nimetate seda vahistamiseks või mitte, olete võtnud temalt vabaduse," ütles Robert Gangi, politseireformi korraldamise projekti asutaja. „Olete selle isiku vahi alla võtnud. Tõenäoliselt panite selle inimese käeraudadesse ja panite ta mingisse politseisõidukisse ning ajasite ta kriminaalkohtusse, kus ta kohtu alla antakse. ”

Et olla selge, on alkoholi tarbimine New Yorgis endiselt tehniliselt ebaseaduslik. Politsei lihtsalt ei võta teid kuriteo eest kinni.

Praeguseks on vaid vähesed Ameerika linnad avaliku joomise dekriminaliseerinud, sealhulgas osad Las Vegasest ja New Orleansist, kus avatud konteinerite seadused on leebed või neid pole üldse.


Siit saate teada, mis juhtub, kui kaebate politseinikele politseinike kohta

Lõppkokkuvõttes sõltub siseasjade protsessi tugevus vastutavast isikust, ütlevad eksperdid.

"See sõltub tõesti sellest, kas politseijuht tahab teha õiget asja. Mõnes jurisdiktsioonis mitte nii palju. Teistes jurisdiktsioonides on inimesed tõelised väljapaistvad," ütles California Irvine'i politseiosakonna endine asetäitja Jeff Noble. kes on palju kirjutanud politsei üleastumisest, sealhulgas raamatu Alpertiga.

Üks politsei vastutuse suur takistus on see, et kodanikud ei viitsi sageli kaebusi esitada, sest nad ei usu, et nende muresid tõsiselt võetaks. Ekspertide sõnul on politseiosakondadel vähe motivatsiooni julgustada tsiviilisikuid kaebama ning paljud siseasjade ametnikud teevad kas kaudselt või selgesõnaliselt kodanikele oma kaebuste edastamise keeruliseks.

2013. aastal, aasta enne rahutusi Fergusonis, laekus St. Louis'i maakonna kutsestandardite politseibüroole 69 kodaniku kaebust, mis on umbes sama palju kui varasematel aastatel. Ametnikud teatasid sellest numbrist kui saavutusest, viidates lõhele kaebuste arvu ja arreteerimiste (üle 26 000) ning kodanike kontaktide (üle 1,6 miljoni) vahel, mis tõendab, et politseitöötajad "jätkavad kogukonna teenindamist väga professionaalselt" "ja amet" on jätkuvalt võtnud positiivseid meetmeid kodanike kaebuste vähendamiseks ja kõrvaldamiseks. "

Selle loogika järgi oli 2014. aasta - aasta, mil St. Louis'i maakonna politsei juhtis Fergusoni rahutustele esialgset õiguskaitseorganite vastust - agentuuri jaoks fantastiline edu: vaid 26 kodanikku esitasid kaebusi, mis on hämmastav 62 protsenti vähem kui eelmisel aastal aastal. Arvestades erakordselt vastuolulist ja põhiseadusega vastuolus olevat taktikat, mille politseiametnikud kasutasid Fergusoni meeleavalduste ajal, on ebatõenäoline, et need arvud tähendavad üldse midagi.

St. Louis maakonna politsei teatas, et sai augusti 2014. aasta protestide ajal ametnike käitumise kohta vaid ühe ametliku kaebuse. Tegevusjärgne aruanne tõi välja kaks asjaolu: kaebuste esitamine oli „raske või võimatu” ja usalduse puudumine "kaebuste menetlemise suhtes. Kuid isegi Fergusoni meeleavaldustele eelnenud aastatel laekunud kodanike kaebuste vähene arv - 2012. aastal 64 ja 2013. aastal 69 - pole millegagi kiidelda, väidavad eksperdid.

"Ma kahtleksin nendes numbrites," ütles Noble. "See on lihtsalt liiga palju ametnikke, 800 ohvitseri - saate ainult 60 kaebust? Esimene asi, mida ma sooviksin vaadata, on nende kaebuste esitamise poliitika. Mida nad peavad kaebusena vastu võtma? Kes on kohustatud selle vastu võtma? "

Noble ütles, et töötas kunagi linna politseiosakonnas, kus oli ligi 2000 ohvitseri. See agentuur väitis, et aasta jooksul laekus talle vaid 30 kaebust, mis on vähem kui pool kaebuste arvust, mille tema endine osakond Irvine'is tavaliselt aasta jooksul laekus, vaid 200.

"Ma mõtlen, see on lihtsalt naeruväärne. See on absurdne. See ütleb mulle, et nad ei liigita kõike kaebuseks, nad ei aktsepteeri, vaid heidutavad," ütles Noble.

Ühes föderaalses uuringus leiti, et nende inimeste seas, kes teatasid, et 2008. aastal kasutati nende vastu jõudu või neid ähvardati jõuga, leidis 84 protsenti, et politsei on käitunud valesti, kuid ainult 14 protsenti sellest rühmast esitas kaebuse.

"Kui te ei saa osakonnas palju kaebusi, võib see tähendada, et jah, osakond on väga hea, ohvitserid tegutsevad hästi," ütles politseiekspert Walker. "Kuid see võib tähendada ka seda, et usaldus kaebusprotsessi vastu on nii sügav, et keegi ei viitsi kurta."

Esimene märk sellest, et minu kaebust St. Louis'i maakonna politseiosakonda ei võeta tõsiselt, tuli kohe pärast seda, kui olin kaebuse vormi täitmise lõpetanud. Ütlesin ametnikule, kes võttis vastu minu kaebuse kutsestandardite büroos, et kuigi kõnealune ametnik keeldus end tuvastamast, olid mul tema iPhone'is fotod. Olin fotosid juba säutsunud, kuid eeldasin, et nad tahavad pilte minu seadmest välja tõmmata või lasta mul saata algfailid e -posti teel. Kuid kontor ei teinud seda lihtsaks. Selle asemel öeldi mulle, et pean trükitud koopiad sisse andma. Võtsin telefoni välja, kaardistasin marsruudi lähimasse kopeerimiskeskusesse, jalutasin sinna, et fotod välja printida, ja kõndisin siis tagasi, et need ära anda.

Esialgsele kirjale, mis tunnistas mu kaebust, järgnes mitu kuud vaikust. Osakond ei täitnud oma eesmärki vastata 90 päeva jooksul. Möödus kuus kuud, siis kaheksa, siis 10. Vahepeal ei õnnestunud mitmetel avalike registrite taotlustel avastada mind arreteerinud ametniku nime.

Paar kuud tagasi kinnitasin tema nime - Michael McCann - pärast seda, kui see ilmus kohtuasjas, mille politsei oli esitanud teiste inimeste poolt, kelle ta oli vahistanud. Natuke uuristades sain teada, et McCanni oli St Louis maakonna politsei varem ilma palgata peatanud pärast seda, kui ta väidetavalt kukkus oma patrullautoga läbi elurajooni aia ja põgenes sündmuskohalt.

Juunis, rohkem kui 10 kuud pärast vahistamist, sain kirja St. Louis maakonna politseijuhilt Jon Belmarilt. Kirjas, mida St. Louis'i maakonna juristid hoolikalt kontrollisid, kirjutas Belmar, et "väga põhjalik uurimine" on toonud "toimunu kohta vastuolulisi versioone".

McCann oli eitanud, et olen peaga vastu ust löönud, ja Belmari siseasjade meeskond väitis, et McDonaldsi turvamaterjalid ei näita juhtunut lõplikult. Nii et Belmar - "tuginedes veenvate faktide puudumisele" - käskis uurimise lõpetada.

"Tahaksin teid siiski tänada, et juhtisite selle küsimuse minu tähelepanu alla," kirjutas ta. Hiljutine sõltumatu hinnang Belmari osakonnale leidis "kerge distsipliini mustri eetiliste ebaõnnestumiste ja ebaõigete uurimiste uurimisel".

Augustis, mõni nädal pärast süüdistuse esitamist, ülendas St Louis'i maakonna politseijaoskond Michael McCanni seersandiks.

St. Louis maakonna politseijaoskonna soovituse alusel esitas St. Louis maakonna nõunikuamet 2015. aasta augustis Wesley Loweryle ja Ryan Reillyle süüdistuse väidetavalt ligi aasta varem politseiametnike "üleastumises" ja "sekkumises". Lowery ja Reilly on öelnud, et nad vahistati alusetult alates päevast, mil nad vahi alla võeti, ja võitlevad süüdistustega.


Siit saate teada, mis juhtub, kui kaebate politseinikele politseinike kohta

Lõppkokkuvõttes sõltub siseasjade protsessi tugevus vastutavast isikust, ütlevad eksperdid.

"See sõltub tõesti sellest, kas politseijuht tahab teha õiget asja. Mõnes jurisdiktsioonis mitte nii palju. Teistes jurisdiktsioonides on inimesed tõelised väljapaistvad," ütles California Irvine'i politseiosakonna endine asetäitja Jeff Noble. kes on palju kirjutanud politsei üleastumisest, sealhulgas raamatu Alpertiga.

Üks politsei vastutuse suur takistus on see, et kodanikud ei viitsi sageli kaebusi esitada, sest nad ei usu, et nende muresid tõsiselt võetaks. Ekspertide sõnul on politseiosakondadel vähe motivatsiooni julgustada tsiviilisikuid kaebama ning paljud siseasjade ametnikud teevad kas kaudselt või selgesõnaliselt kodanikele oma kaebuste edastamise keeruliseks.

2013. aastal, aasta enne rahutusi Fergusonis, laekus St. Louis'i maakonna kutsestandardite politseibüroole 69 kodaniku kaebust, mis on umbes sama palju kui varasematel aastatel. Ametnikud teatasid sellest numbrist kui saavutusest, viidates lõhele kaebuste arvu ja arreteerimiste (üle 26 000) ning kodanike kontaktide (üle 1,6 miljoni) vahel, mis tõendab, et politseitöötajad „jätkavad kogukonna teenindamist väga professionaalselt” "ja amet" on jätkuvalt võtnud positiivseid meetmeid kodanike kaebuste vähendamiseks ja kõrvaldamiseks. "

Selle loogika järgi oli 2014. aasta - aasta, mil St. Louis'i maakonna politsei juhtis Fergusoni rahutustele esialgset õiguskaitseorganite vastust - agentuuri jaoks fantastiline edu: kaebusi esitas vaid 26 kodanikku, mis on hämmastav 62 protsenti aastal. Arvestades erakordselt vastuolulist ja põhiseadusega vastuolus olevat taktikat, mida politseiametnikud kasutasid Fergusoni meeleavalduste ajal, on ebatõenäoline, et need arvud tähendavad üldse midagi.

St. Louis maakonna politsei teatas, et sai augusti 2014. aasta protestide ajal ametnike käitumise kohta vaid ühe ametliku kaebuse. Tegevusjärgne aruanne tõi välja kaks asjaolu: kaebuste esitamine oli „raske või võimatu” ja usalduse puudumine "kaebuste menetlemise suhtes. Kuid isegi Fergusoni meeleavaldustele eelnenud aastatel laekunud kodanike kaebuste vähene arv - 2012. aastal 64 ja 2013. aastal 69 - pole millegagi kiidelda, väidavad eksperdid.

"Ma kahtleksin nendes numbrites," ütles Noble. "See on lihtsalt liiga palju ohvitsere, 800 ohvitseri - saate ainult 60 kaebust? Esimene asi, mida ma sooviksin vaadata, on nende kaebuste esitamise poliitika. Mida nad peavad kaebusena vastu võtma? Kes on kohustatud selle vastu võtma? "

Noble ütles, et töötas kunagi linna politseijaoskonnaga, kus oli ligi 2000 ohvitseri. See agentuur väitis, et aasta jooksul laekus talle vaid 30 kaebust, mis on vähem kui pool kaebuste arvust, mille tema endine osakond Irvine'is tavaliselt aasta jooksul laekus, vaid 200.

"Ma mõtlen, see on lihtsalt naeruväärne. See on absurdne. See ütleb mulle, et nad ei liigita kõike kaebuseks, nad ei aktsepteeri, vaid heidutavad," ütles Noble.

Ühes föderaalses uuringus leiti, et nende inimeste seas, kes teatasid, et 2008. aastal kasutati nende vastu jõudu või neid ähvardati jõuga, leidis 84 protsenti, et politsei on käitunud valesti, kuid ainult 14 protsenti sellest rühmast esitas kaebuse.

"Kui te ei saa osakonnas palju kaebusi, võib see tähendada, et jah, osakond on väga hea, ohvitserid tegutsevad hästi," ütles politseiekspert Walker. "Kuid see võib tähendada ka seda, et usaldus kaebusprotsessi vastu on nii sügav, et keegi ei viitsi kurta."

Esimene märk sellest, et minu kaebust St. Louis'i maakonna politseiosakonda ei võeta tõsiselt, tuli kohe pärast seda, kui olin kaebuse vormi täitmise lõpetanud. Ütlesin ametnikule, kes võttis vastu minu kaebuse kutsestandardite büroos, et kuigi kõnealune ametnik keeldus end tuvastamast, olid mul tema iPhone'is fotod. Olin fotosid juba säutsunud, kuid eeldasin, et nad tahavad pilte minu seadmest välja tõmmata või lasta mul saata algfailid e -posti teel. Kuid kontor ei teinud seda lihtsaks. Selle asemel öeldi mulle, et pean trükitud koopiad sisse andma. Võtsin telefoni välja, kaardistasin marsruudi lähimasse kopeerimiskeskusesse, jalutasin sinna, et fotod välja printida, ja kõndisin siis tagasi, et need ära anda.

Esialgsele kirjale, mis tunnistas minu kaebust, järgnes mitu kuud vaikust. Osakond ei täitnud oma eesmärki vastata 90 päeva jooksul. Möödus kuus kuud, siis kaheksa, siis 10. Vahepeal ei õnnestunud mitmetel avalike registrite taotlustel avastada mind arreteerinud ametniku nime.

Paar kuud tagasi kinnitasin tema nime - Michael McCann - pärast seda, kui see ilmus kohtuasjas, mille politsei oli esitanud teiste inimeste poolt, kelle ta oli vahistanud. Natuke uuristades sain teada, et McCanni oli St Louis maakonna politsei varem ilma palgata peatanud pärast seda, kui ta väidetavalt kukkus oma patrullautoga läbi elurajooni aia ja põgenes sündmuskohalt.

Juunis, rohkem kui 10 kuud pärast vahistamist, sain ma kirja St. Louis'i maakonna politseijuhilt Jon Belmarilt. Kirjas, mida St. Louis'i maakonna juristid hoolikalt kontrollisid, kirjutas Belmar, et "väga põhjalik uurimine" on toonud "toimunu kohta vastuolulisi versioone".

McCann oli eitanud, et olen peaga vastu ust löönud, ja Belmari siseasjade meeskond väitis, et McDonaldsi turvamaterjalid ei näita juhtunut lõplikult. Nii et Belmar - "tuginedes veenvate faktide puudumisele" - käskis uurimise lõpetada.

"Tahaksin teid siiski tänada, et juhtisite selle küsimuse minu tähelepanu alla," kirjutas ta. Hiljutine sõltumatu hinnang Belmari osakonnale leidis "kerge distsipliini mustri eetiliste ebaõnnestumiste ja ebaõigete uurimiste uurimisel".

Augustis, paar nädalat pärast süüdistuse esitamist, ülendas St Louis'i maakonna politseijaoskond Michael McCanni seersandiks.

St. Louis maakonna politseijaoskonna soovituse alusel esitas St. Louis maakonna nõunikuamet 2015. aasta augustis Wesley Loweryle ja Ryan Reillyle süüdistuse väidetavalt ligi aasta varem politseiametnike "üleastumises" ja "sekkumises". Lowery ja Reilly on öelnud, et nad vahistati alusetult alates päevast, mil nad vahi alla võeti, ja võitlevad süüdistustega.


Siit saate teada, mis juhtub, kui kaebate politseile politseinike kohta

Lõppkokkuvõttes sõltub siseasjade protsessi tugevus vastutavast isikust, ütlevad eksperdid.

"See sõltub tõesti sellest, kas politseijuht tahab teha õiget asja. Mõnes jurisdiktsioonis mitte nii väga. Teistes jurisdiktsioonides on inimesed tõelised väljapaistvad," ütles California Irvine'i politseiosakonna endine asetäitja Jeff Noble. kes on palju kirjutanud politsei üleastumisest, sealhulgas raamatu Alpertiga.

Üks politsei vastutuse suur takistus on see, et kodanikud ei viitsi sageli kaebusi esitada, sest nad ei usu, et nende muresid tõsiselt võetaks. Ekspertide sõnul on politseiosakondadel vähe motivatsiooni julgustada tsiviilisikuid kaebama ning paljud siseasjade ametnikud teevad kas kaudselt või selgesõnaliselt kodanikele oma kaebuste edastamise keeruliseks.

2013. aastal, aasta enne rahutusi Fergusonis, laekus St. Louis'i maakonna kutsestandardite politseibüroole 69 kodaniku kaebust, umbes sama palju kui varasematel aastatel. Ametnikud teatasid sellest numbrist kui saavutusest, viidates lõhele kaebuste arvu ja arreteerimiste (üle 26 000) ning kodanike kontaktide (üle 1,6 miljoni) vahel, mis tõendab, et politseitöötajad "jätkavad kogukonna teenindamist väga professionaalselt" "ja amet" on jätkuvalt võtnud positiivseid meetmeid kodanike kaebuste vähendamiseks ja kõrvaldamiseks. "

Selle loogika järgi oli 2014. aasta - aasta, mil St. Louis'i maakonna politsei juhtis Fergusoni rahutustele esialgset õiguskaitseorganite vastust - agentuuri jaoks fantastiline edu: kaebusi esitas vaid 26 kodanikku, mis on hämmastav 62 protsenti aastal. Arvestades erakordselt vastuolulist ja põhiseadusega vastuolus olevat taktikat, mida politseiametnikud kasutasid Fergusoni meeleavalduste ajal, on ebatõenäoline, et need arvud tähendavad üldse midagi.

St. Louisi maakonna politsei teatas, et sai augusti 2014. aasta protestide ajal ametnike käitumise kohta vaid ühe ametliku kaebuse. Tegevusjärgne aruanne tõi välja kaks asjaolu: kaebuste esitamine oli "raske või võimatu" ja usalduse puudumine "kaebuste menetlemise suhtes. Kuid isegi Fergusoni meeleavaldustele eelnenud aastatel laekunud kodanike kaebuste vähene arv - 2012. aastal 64 ja 2013. aastal 69 - pole millegagi kiidelda, väidavad eksperdid.

"Ma kahtleksin nendes numbrites," ütles Noble. "See on lihtsalt liiga palju ametnikke, 800 ohvitseri - saate ainult 60 kaebust? Esimene asi, mida ma sooviksin vaadata, on nende kaebuste esitamise poliitika. Mida nad peavad kaebusena vastu võtma? Kes on kohustatud selle vastu võtma? "

Noble ütles, et töötas kunagi linna politseijaoskonnaga, kus oli ligi 2000 ohvitseri. See agentuur väitis, et aasta jooksul laekus talle vaid 30 kaebust, mis on vähem kui pool kaebustest, mille tema endine osakond Irvine'is aasta jooksul tavaliselt sai, vaid 200.

"Ma mõtlen, see on lihtsalt naeruväärne. See on absurdne. See ütleb mulle, et nad ei liigita kõike kaebuseks, nad ei aktsepteeri, vaid heidutavad," ütles Noble.

Ühes föderaalses uuringus leiti, et nende inimeste seas, kes teatasid, et 2008. aastal kasutati nende vastu jõudu või neid ähvardati jõuga, leidis 84 protsenti, et politsei on käitunud valesti, kuid ainult 14 protsenti sellest rühmast esitas kaebuse.

"Kui te ei saa osakonnas palju kaebusi, võib see tähendada, et jah, osakond on väga hea, ohvitserid tegutsevad hästi," ütles politseiekspert Walker. "Kuid see võib tähendada ka seda, et usaldus kaebusprotsessi vastu on nii sügav, et keegi ei viitsi kurta."

Esimene märk sellest, et minu kaebust St. Louis'i maakonna politseiosakonda ei võeta tõsiselt, tuli kohe pärast seda, kui olin kaebuse vormi täitmise lõpetanud. Ütlesin ametnikule, kes võttis vastu minu kaebuse kutsestandardite büroos, et kuigi kõnealune ametnik keeldus end tuvastamast, olid mul tema iPhone'is fotod. Olin fotosid juba säutsunud, kuid eeldasin, et nad tahavad pilte minu seadmest välja tõmmata või lasta mul saata algfailid e -posti teel. Kuid kontor ei teinud seda lihtsaks. Selle asemel öeldi mulle, et pean trükitud koopiad sisse andma. Võtsin telefoni välja, kaardistasin marsruudi lähimasse kopeerimiskeskusesse, jalutasin sinna, et fotod välja printida, ja kõndisin siis tagasi, et need ära anda.

Esialgsele kirjale, mis tunnistas mu kaebust, järgnes mitu kuud vaikust. Osakond ei täitnud oma eesmärki vastata 90 päeva jooksul. Möödus kuus kuud, siis kaheksa, siis 10. Vahepeal ei õnnestunud mitmetel avalike registrite taotlustel avastada mind arreteerinud ametniku nime.

Paar kuud tagasi kinnitasin tema nime - Michael McCann - pärast seda, kui see ilmus kohtuasjas, mille politsei oli esitanud teiste inimeste poolt, kelle ta oli vahistanud. Natuke uuristades sain teada, et McCanni oli St Louis maakonna politsei varem ilma palgata peatanud pärast seda, kui ta väidetavalt kukkus oma patrullautoga läbi elurajooni aia ja põgenes sündmuskohalt.

Juunis, rohkem kui 10 kuud pärast vahistamist, sain ma kirja St. Louis'i maakonna politseijuhilt Jon Belmarilt. Kirjas, mida St. Louis'i maakonna juristid hoolikalt kontrollisid, kirjutas Belmar, et "väga põhjalik uurimine" on toonud "toimunu kohta vastuolulisi versioone".

McCann oli eitanud, et olen peaga vastu ust löönud, ja Belmari siseasjade meeskond väitis, et McDonaldsi turvamaterjalid ei näita juhtunut lõplikult. Nii et Belmar - "tuginedes veenvate faktide puudumisele" - käskis uurimise lõpetada.

"Tahaksin teid siiski tänada, et juhtisite selle küsimuse minu tähelepanu alla," kirjutas ta. Hiljutine sõltumatu hinnang Belmari osakonnale leidis "kerge distsipliini mustri eetiliste ebaõnnestumiste ja ebaõigete uurimiste uurimisel".

Augustis, paar nädalat pärast süüdistuse esitamist, ülendas St Louis'i maakonna politseijaoskond Michael McCanni seersandiks.

St. Louis maakonna politseijaoskonna soovituse alusel esitas St. Louis maakonna nõunikuamet 2015. aasta augustis Wesley Loweryle ja Ryan Reillyle süüdistuse väidetavalt ligi aasta varem politseiametnike "üleastumises" ja "sekkumises". Lowery ja Reilly on öelnud, et nad vahistati alusetult alates päevast, mil nad vahi alla võeti, ja võitlevad süüdistustega.


Siit saate teada, mis juhtub, kui kaebate politseinikele politseinike kohta

Lõppkokkuvõttes sõltub siseasjade protsessi tugevus vastutavast isikust, ütlevad eksperdid.

"See sõltub tõesti sellest, kas politseijuht tahab teha õiget asja. Mõnes jurisdiktsioonis mitte nii väga. Teistes jurisdiktsioonides on inimesed tõelised väljapaistvad," ütles California Irvine'i politseiosakonna endine asetäitja Jeff Noble. kes on palju kirjutanud politsei üleastumisest, sealhulgas raamatu Alpertiga.

Üks politsei vastutuse suur takistus on see, et kodanikud ei viitsi sageli kaebusi esitada, sest nad ei usu, et nende muresid tõsiselt võetaks. Ekspertide sõnul on politseiosakondadel vähe motivatsiooni julgustada tsiviilisikuid kaebama ning paljud siseasjade ametnikud teevad kas kaudselt või selgesõnaliselt kodanikele oma kaebuste edastamise keeruliseks.

2013. aastal, aasta enne rahutusi Fergusonis, laekus St. Louis'i maakonna kutsestandardite politseibüroole 69 kodaniku kaebust, mis on umbes sama palju kui varasematel aastatel. Ametnikud teatasid sellest numbrist kui saavutusest, viidates lõhele kaebuste arvu ja arreteerimiste (üle 26 000) ning kodanike kontaktide (üle 1,6 miljoni) vahel, mis tõendab, et politseitöötajad „jätkavad kogukonna teenindamist väga professionaalselt” "ja amet" on jätkuvalt võtnud positiivseid meetmeid kodanike kaebuste vähendamiseks ja kõrvaldamiseks. "

Selle loogika järgi oli 2014. aasta - aasta, mil St. Louis'i maakonna politsei juhtis Fergusoni rahutustele esialgset õiguskaitseorganite vastust - agentuuri jaoks fantastiline edu: vaid 26 kodanikku esitasid kaebusi, mis on hämmastav 62 protsenti vähem kui eelmisel aastal aastal. Arvestades erakordselt vastuolulist ja põhiseadusega vastuolus olevat taktikat, mille politseiametnikud kasutasid Fergusoni meeleavalduste ajal, on ebatõenäoline, et need arvud tähendavad üldse midagi.

St. Louisi maakonna politsei teatas, et sai augusti 2014. aasta protestide ajal ametnike käitumise kohta vaid ühe ametliku kaebuse. Tegevusjärgne aruanne tõi välja kaks asjaolu: kaebuste esitamine oli "raske või võimatu" ja usalduse puudumine "kaebuste menetlemise suhtes. Kuid isegi Fergusoni meeleavaldustele eelnenud aastatel laekunud kodanike kaebuste vähene arv - 2012. aastal 64 ja 2013. aastal 69 - pole millegagi kiidelda, väidavad eksperdid.

"Ma kahtleksin nendes numbrites," ütles Noble. "See on lihtsalt liiga palju ohvitsere, 800 ohvitseri - saate ainult 60 kaebust? Esimene asi, mida ma sooviksin vaadata, on nende kaebuste esitamise poliitika. Mida nad peavad kaebusena vastu võtma? Kes on kohustatud selle vastu võtma? "

Noble ütles, et töötas kunagi linna politseiosakonnas, kus oli ligi 2000 ohvitseri. See agentuur väitis, et aasta jooksul laekus talle vaid 30 kaebust, mis on vähem kui pool kaebuste arvust, mille tema endine osakond Irvine'is tavaliselt aasta jooksul laekus, vaid 200.

"Ma mõtlen, see on lihtsalt naeruväärne. See on absurdne. See ütleb mulle, et nad ei liigita kõike kaebuseks, nad ei aktsepteeri, vaid heidutavad," ütles Noble.

Ühes föderaalses uuringus leiti, et nende inimeste seas, kes teatasid, et 2008. aastal kasutati nende vastu jõudu või neid ähvardati jõuga, leidis 84 protsenti, et politsei on käitunud valesti, kuid ainult 14 protsenti sellest rühmast esitas kaebuse.

"Kui te ei saa osakonnas palju kaebusi, võib see tähendada, et jah, osakond on väga hea, ohvitserid tegutsevad hästi," ütles politseiekspert Walker. "Kuid see võib tähendada ka seda, et usaldus kaebusprotsessi vastu on nii sügav, et keegi ei viitsi kurta."

Esimene märk sellest, et minu kaebust St. Louis'i maakonna politseiosakonda ei võeta tõsiselt, tuli kohe pärast seda, kui olin kaebuse vormi täitmise lõpetanud. Ütlesin ametnikule, kes võttis vastu minu kaebuse kutsestandardite büroos, et kuigi kõnealune ametnik keeldus end tuvastamast, olid mul tema iPhone'is fotod. Olin fotosid juba säutsunud, kuid eeldasin, et nad soovivad pilte minu seadmest välja tõmmata või lasta mul saata algfailid e -posti teel. Kuid kontor ei teinud seda lihtsaks. Selle asemel öeldi mulle, et pean trükitud koopiad sisse andma. Võtsin telefoni välja, kaardistasin marsruudi lähimasse kopeerimiskeskusesse, jalutasin sinna, et fotod välja printida, ja kõndisin siis tagasi, et need ära anda.

Esialgsele kirjale, mis tunnistas mu kaebust, järgnes mitu kuud vaikust. Osakond ei täitnud oma eesmärki vastata 90 päeva jooksul. Möödus kuus kuud, siis kaheksa, siis 10. Vahepeal ei õnnestunud mitmetel avalike registrite taotlustel avastada mind arreteerinud ametniku nime.

Mõni kuu tagasi kinnitasin tema nime - Michael McCann - pärast seda, kui see ilmus kohtuasjas, mille politsei oli esitanud teiste inimeste poolt, kelle ta oli vahistanud. Natuke uuristades sain teada, et McCanni oli St Louis maakonna politsei varem ilma palgata peatanud pärast seda, kui ta väidetavalt kukkus oma patrullautoga läbi elurajooni aia ja põgenes sündmuskohalt.

Juunis, rohkem kui 10 kuud pärast vahistamist, sain ma kirja St. Louis'i maakonna politseijuhilt Jon Belmarilt. Kirjas, mida St. Louis'i maakonna juristid hoolikalt kontrollisid, kirjutas Belmar, et "väga põhjalik uurimine" on toonud "toimunu kohta vastuolulisi versioone".

McCann oli eitanud, et olen peaga vastu ust löönud, ja Belmari siseasjade meeskond väitis, et McDonaldsi turvamaterjalid ei näita juhtunut lõplikult. Nii et Belmar - "tuginedes veenvate faktide puudumisele" - käskis uurimise lõpetada.

"Tahaksin teid siiski tänada, et juhtisite selle küsimuse minu tähelepanu alla," kirjutas ta. Hiljutine sõltumatu hinnang Belmari osakonnale leidis "kerge distsipliini mustri eetiliste ebaõnnestumiste ja ebaõigete uurimiste uurimisel".

Augustis, paar nädalat pärast süüdistuse esitamist, ülendas St Louis'i maakonna politseijaoskond Michael McCanni seersandiks.

St. Louis maakonna politseijaoskonna soovituse alusel esitas St. Louis maakonna nõunikuamet 2015. aasta augustis Wesley Loweryle ja Ryan Reillyle süüdistuse väidetavalt ligi aasta varem politseiametnike "üleastumises" ja "sekkumises". Lowery ja Reilly on öelnud, et nad vahistati alusetult alates päevast, mil nad vahi alla võeti, ja võitlevad süüdistustega.


Siit saate teada, mis juhtub, kui kaebate politseinikele politseinike kohta

Lõppkokkuvõttes sõltub siseasjade protsessi tugevus vastutavast isikust, ütlevad eksperdid.

"See sõltub tõesti sellest, kas politseijuht tahab teha õiget asja. Mõnes jurisdiktsioonis mitte nii palju. Teistes jurisdiktsioonides on inimesed tõelised väljapaistvad," ütles California Irvine'i politseiosakonna endine asetäitja Jeff Noble. kes on palju kirjutanud politsei üleastumisest, sealhulgas raamatu Alpertiga.

Üks politsei vastutuse suur takistus on see, et kodanikud ei viitsi sageli kaebusi esitada, sest nad ei usu, et nende muresid tõsiselt võetaks. Ekspertide sõnul on politseiosakondadel vähe motivatsiooni julgustada tsiviilisikuid kaebama ning paljud siseasjade ametnikud teevad kas kaudselt või selgesõnaliselt kodanikele oma kaebuste edastamise keeruliseks.

2013. aastal, aasta enne rahutusi Fergusonis, laekus St. Louis'i maakonna kutsestandardite politseibüroole 69 kodaniku kaebust, umbes sama palju kui eelnevatel aastatel. Ametnikud teatasid sellest numbrist kui saavutusest, viidates lõhele kaebuste arvu ja arreteerimiste (üle 26 000) ning kodanike kontaktide (üle 1,6 miljoni) vahel, mis tõestab, et politseitöötajad „jätkavad kogukonna teenindamist väga professionaalselt” "ja amet" on jätkuvalt võtnud positiivseid meetmeid kodanike kaebuste vähendamiseks ja kõrvaldamiseks. "

Selle loogika järgi oli 2014. aasta - aasta, mil St Louis'i maakonna politsei juhtis Fergusoni rahutustele esialgset õiguskaitseorganite vastust - agentuuri jaoks fantastiline edu: vaid 26 kodanikku esitasid kaebusi, mis on hämmastav 62 protsenti vähem kui eelmisel aastal aastal. Arvestades erakordselt vastuolulist ja põhiseadusega vastuolus olevat taktikat, mille politseiametnikud kasutasid Fergusoni meeleavalduste ajal, on ebatõenäoline, et need arvud tähendavad üldse midagi.

St. Louis'i maakonna politsei teatas, et sai augusti 2014. aasta protestide ajal ametnike käitumise kohta vaid ühe ametliku kaebuse. Tegevusjärgne aruanne tõi välja kaks asjaolu: kaebuste esitamine oli "raske või võimatu" ja oli usalduse puudumine "kaebuste menetlemise suhtes. Kuid isegi Fergusoni meeleavaldustele eelnenud aastatel laekunud kodanike kaebuste vähene arv - 2012. aastal 64 ja 2013. aastal 69 - pole millegagi kiidelda, väidavad eksperdid.

"Ma kahtleksin nendes numbrites," ütles Noble. "See on lihtsalt liiga palju ohvitsere, 800 ohvitseri - saate ainult 60 kaebust? Esimene asi, mida ma sooviksin vaadata, on nende kaebuste esitamise poliitika. Mida nad peavad kaebusena vastu võtma? Kes on kohustatud selle vastu võtma? "

Noble ütles, et töötas kunagi linna politseiosakonnas, kus oli ligi 2000 ohvitseri. See agentuur väitis, et aasta jooksul laekus talle vaid 30 kaebust, mis on vähem kui pool kaebuste arvust, mille tema endine osakond Irvine'is tavaliselt aasta jooksul laekus, vaid 200.

"Ma mõtlen, see on lihtsalt naeruväärne. See on absurdne. See ütleb mulle, et nad ei liigita kõike kaebuseks, nad ei aktsepteeri, vaid heidutavad," ütles Noble.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


Here's What Happens When You Complain To Cops About Cops

Ultimately, the strength of an internal affairs process depends on the person in charge, experts say.

"It really comes down to whether a police chief wants to do the right thing. In some jurisdictions, not so much. In other jurisdictions, people are real standouts," said Jeff Noble , the former deputy chief of the Irvine Police Department in California who has written extensively on police misconduct, including the book with Alpert.

One major hurdle for police accountability is that citizens often don't bother to file complaints because they don't think their concerns would be taken seriously. There is little motivation for police departments to encourage civilians to complain, experts say, and many internal affairs officers either implicitly or explicitly make it difficult for citizens to air their grievances.

In 2013, the year before the unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Bureau of Professional Standards received 69 citizen complaints, about the same number it had received in prior years. Officials reported that number as an accomplishment, citing the gap between the number of complaints and the numbers of arrests (more than 26,000) and citizen contacts (more than 1.6 million) as proof that police personnel "continue serving the community in a very professional manner" and the agency "has continued to take positive measures to reduce and eliminate citizen complaints."

By that logic, 2014 -- the year that St. Louis County Police led the initial law enforcement response to the unrest in Ferguson -- was a fantastic success for the agency: Only 26 citizens filed complaints, a stunning 62 percent drop from the previous year. Given the extraordinarily controversial -- and unconstitutional -- tactics deployed by police officers during the Ferguson protests, it's unlikely those figures mean anything at all.

St. Louis County Police reported receiving just a single formal complaint about officer behavior during the protests of August 2014. An after-action report pointed to two factors for that: It was "difficult or impossible to lodge complaints," and there was "a lack of confidence" in the complaint process. But even the low number of citizen complaints received in the years before the Ferguson protests -- 64 in 2012 and 69 in 2013 -- is nothing to brag about, experts say.

"I would be suspicious of those numbers," Noble said. "That's just too many officers, 800 officers -- you're only getting 60 complaints? The first thing I would want to look at is their complaint policy. What are they required to accept as a complaint? Who is required to accept it?"

Noble said he once worked with a city police department that had close to 2,000 officers. That agency claimed it received only 30 complaints over the course of a year, less than half the number of complaints typically received in a year by his former department in Irvine, which had a force of just 200.

"I mean, that's just laughable. It's absurd. What it tells me is that they're not classifying everything as a complaint, they're not accepting, they're discouraging," Noble said.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


Here's What Happens When You Complain To Cops About Cops

Ultimately, the strength of an internal affairs process depends on the person in charge, experts say.

"It really comes down to whether a police chief wants to do the right thing. In some jurisdictions, not so much. In other jurisdictions, people are real standouts," said Jeff Noble , the former deputy chief of the Irvine Police Department in California who has written extensively on police misconduct, including the book with Alpert.

One major hurdle for police accountability is that citizens often don't bother to file complaints because they don't think their concerns would be taken seriously. There is little motivation for police departments to encourage civilians to complain, experts say, and many internal affairs officers either implicitly or explicitly make it difficult for citizens to air their grievances.

In 2013, the year before the unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Bureau of Professional Standards received 69 citizen complaints, about the same number it had received in prior years. Officials reported that number as an accomplishment, citing the gap between the number of complaints and the numbers of arrests (more than 26,000) and citizen contacts (more than 1.6 million) as proof that police personnel "continue serving the community in a very professional manner" and the agency "has continued to take positive measures to reduce and eliminate citizen complaints."

By that logic, 2014 -- the year that St. Louis County Police led the initial law enforcement response to the unrest in Ferguson -- was a fantastic success for the agency: Only 26 citizens filed complaints, a stunning 62 percent drop from the previous year. Given the extraordinarily controversial -- and unconstitutional -- tactics deployed by police officers during the Ferguson protests, it's unlikely those figures mean anything at all.

St. Louis County Police reported receiving just a single formal complaint about officer behavior during the protests of August 2014. An after-action report pointed to two factors for that: It was "difficult or impossible to lodge complaints," and there was "a lack of confidence" in the complaint process. But even the low number of citizen complaints received in the years before the Ferguson protests -- 64 in 2012 and 69 in 2013 -- is nothing to brag about, experts say.

"I would be suspicious of those numbers," Noble said. "That's just too many officers, 800 officers -- you're only getting 60 complaints? The first thing I would want to look at is their complaint policy. What are they required to accept as a complaint? Who is required to accept it?"

Noble said he once worked with a city police department that had close to 2,000 officers. That agency claimed it received only 30 complaints over the course of a year, less than half the number of complaints typically received in a year by his former department in Irvine, which had a force of just 200.

"I mean, that's just laughable. It's absurd. What it tells me is that they're not classifying everything as a complaint, they're not accepting, they're discouraging," Noble said.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


Here's What Happens When You Complain To Cops About Cops

Ultimately, the strength of an internal affairs process depends on the person in charge, experts say.

"It really comes down to whether a police chief wants to do the right thing. In some jurisdictions, not so much. In other jurisdictions, people are real standouts," said Jeff Noble , the former deputy chief of the Irvine Police Department in California who has written extensively on police misconduct, including the book with Alpert.

One major hurdle for police accountability is that citizens often don't bother to file complaints because they don't think their concerns would be taken seriously. There is little motivation for police departments to encourage civilians to complain, experts say, and many internal affairs officers either implicitly or explicitly make it difficult for citizens to air their grievances.

In 2013, the year before the unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Bureau of Professional Standards received 69 citizen complaints, about the same number it had received in prior years. Officials reported that number as an accomplishment, citing the gap between the number of complaints and the numbers of arrests (more than 26,000) and citizen contacts (more than 1.6 million) as proof that police personnel "continue serving the community in a very professional manner" and the agency "has continued to take positive measures to reduce and eliminate citizen complaints."

By that logic, 2014 -- the year that St. Louis County Police led the initial law enforcement response to the unrest in Ferguson -- was a fantastic success for the agency: Only 26 citizens filed complaints, a stunning 62 percent drop from the previous year. Given the extraordinarily controversial -- and unconstitutional -- tactics deployed by police officers during the Ferguson protests, it's unlikely those figures mean anything at all.

St. Louis County Police reported receiving just a single formal complaint about officer behavior during the protests of August 2014. An after-action report pointed to two factors for that: It was "difficult or impossible to lodge complaints," and there was "a lack of confidence" in the complaint process. But even the low number of citizen complaints received in the years before the Ferguson protests -- 64 in 2012 and 69 in 2013 -- is nothing to brag about, experts say.

"I would be suspicious of those numbers," Noble said. "That's just too many officers, 800 officers -- you're only getting 60 complaints? The first thing I would want to look at is their complaint policy. What are they required to accept as a complaint? Who is required to accept it?"

Noble said he once worked with a city police department that had close to 2,000 officers. That agency claimed it received only 30 complaints over the course of a year, less than half the number of complaints typically received in a year by his former department in Irvine, which had a force of just 200.

"I mean, that's just laughable. It's absurd. What it tells me is that they're not classifying everything as a complaint, they're not accepting, they're discouraging," Noble said.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


Here's What Happens When You Complain To Cops About Cops

Ultimately, the strength of an internal affairs process depends on the person in charge, experts say.

"It really comes down to whether a police chief wants to do the right thing. In some jurisdictions, not so much. In other jurisdictions, people are real standouts," said Jeff Noble , the former deputy chief of the Irvine Police Department in California who has written extensively on police misconduct, including the book with Alpert.

One major hurdle for police accountability is that citizens often don't bother to file complaints because they don't think their concerns would be taken seriously. There is little motivation for police departments to encourage civilians to complain, experts say, and many internal affairs officers either implicitly or explicitly make it difficult for citizens to air their grievances.

In 2013, the year before the unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Bureau of Professional Standards received 69 citizen complaints, about the same number it had received in prior years. Officials reported that number as an accomplishment, citing the gap between the number of complaints and the numbers of arrests (more than 26,000) and citizen contacts (more than 1.6 million) as proof that police personnel "continue serving the community in a very professional manner" and the agency "has continued to take positive measures to reduce and eliminate citizen complaints."

By that logic, 2014 -- the year that St. Louis County Police led the initial law enforcement response to the unrest in Ferguson -- was a fantastic success for the agency: Only 26 citizens filed complaints, a stunning 62 percent drop from the previous year. Given the extraordinarily controversial -- and unconstitutional -- tactics deployed by police officers during the Ferguson protests, it's unlikely those figures mean anything at all.

St. Louis County Police reported receiving just a single formal complaint about officer behavior during the protests of August 2014. An after-action report pointed to two factors for that: It was "difficult or impossible to lodge complaints," and there was "a lack of confidence" in the complaint process. But even the low number of citizen complaints received in the years before the Ferguson protests -- 64 in 2012 and 69 in 2013 -- is nothing to brag about, experts say.

"I would be suspicious of those numbers," Noble said. "That's just too many officers, 800 officers -- you're only getting 60 complaints? The first thing I would want to look at is their complaint policy. What are they required to accept as a complaint? Who is required to accept it?"

Noble said he once worked with a city police department that had close to 2,000 officers. That agency claimed it received only 30 complaints over the course of a year, less than half the number of complaints typically received in a year by his former department in Irvine, which had a force of just 200.

"I mean, that's just laughable. It's absurd. What it tells me is that they're not classifying everything as a complaint, they're not accepting, they're discouraging," Noble said.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


Here's What Happens When You Complain To Cops About Cops

Ultimately, the strength of an internal affairs process depends on the person in charge, experts say.

"It really comes down to whether a police chief wants to do the right thing. In some jurisdictions, not so much. In other jurisdictions, people are real standouts," said Jeff Noble , the former deputy chief of the Irvine Police Department in California who has written extensively on police misconduct, including the book with Alpert.

One major hurdle for police accountability is that citizens often don't bother to file complaints because they don't think their concerns would be taken seriously. There is little motivation for police departments to encourage civilians to complain, experts say, and many internal affairs officers either implicitly or explicitly make it difficult for citizens to air their grievances.

In 2013, the year before the unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis County Police Bureau of Professional Standards received 69 citizen complaints, about the same number it had received in prior years. Officials reported that number as an accomplishment, citing the gap between the number of complaints and the numbers of arrests (more than 26,000) and citizen contacts (more than 1.6 million) as proof that police personnel "continue serving the community in a very professional manner" and the agency "has continued to take positive measures to reduce and eliminate citizen complaints."

By that logic, 2014 -- the year that St. Louis County Police led the initial law enforcement response to the unrest in Ferguson -- was a fantastic success for the agency: Only 26 citizens filed complaints, a stunning 62 percent drop from the previous year. Given the extraordinarily controversial -- and unconstitutional -- tactics deployed by police officers during the Ferguson protests, it's unlikely those figures mean anything at all.

St. Louis County Police reported receiving just a single formal complaint about officer behavior during the protests of August 2014. An after-action report pointed to two factors for that: It was "difficult or impossible to lodge complaints," and there was "a lack of confidence" in the complaint process. But even the low number of citizen complaints received in the years before the Ferguson protests -- 64 in 2012 and 69 in 2013 -- is nothing to brag about, experts say.

"I would be suspicious of those numbers," Noble said. "That's just too many officers, 800 officers -- you're only getting 60 complaints? The first thing I would want to look at is their complaint policy. What are they required to accept as a complaint? Who is required to accept it?"

Noble said he once worked with a city police department that had close to 2,000 officers. That agency claimed it received only 30 complaints over the course of a year, less than half the number of complaints typically received in a year by his former department in Irvine, which had a force of just 200.

"I mean, that's just laughable. It's absurd. What it tells me is that they're not classifying everything as a complaint, they're not accepting, they're discouraging," Noble said.

One federal survey found that among individuals who reported having force used against them or being threatened with force in 2008, 84 percent felt that police had acted improperly, but only 14 percent of that group actually filed a complaint.

"If you don't get many complaints at a department, that might mean that, yes, the department is very good, officers are performing well," said Walker, the policing expert. "But it could also mean that trust in the complaint process is so deep that nobody bothers to complain."

The first sign that my complaint to the St. Louis County Police Department might not be taken seriously came just after I'd finished filling out the complaint form. I told the official who accepted my complaint at the Office of Professional Standards that while the officer in question had refused to identify himself, I had photos of him on my iPhone. I had already tweeted the photos, but I assumed they would want to pull the images from my device or have me send the original files via email. But the office wasn't going to make it easy. Instead, I was told I'd have to turn in printed copies. So I pulled out my phone, mapped the route to the nearest copy center, walked there to print out the photos and then walked back to drop them off.

An initial letter acknowledging my complaint was followed by months of silence. The department failed to meet its goal of responding within 90 days. Six months passed, then eight, then 10. In the meantime, several public records requests failed to unearth the name of the officer who arrested me.

A few months ago, I confirmed his name -- Michael McCann -- after it came up in a lawsuit filed against the police by other people he'd arrested. With a bit of digging, I learned that McCann had previously been suspended without pay by the St. Louis County Police after he allegedly crashed his patrol car through a fence in a residential neighborhood and fled the scene.

In June, more than 10 months after my arrest, I received a letter from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. In the letter, which was carefully vetted by St. Louis County lawyers, Belmar wrote that a "very thorough investigation" had produced "conflicting versions of what occurred."

McCann had denied slamming my head against the door, and Belmar's internal affairs team claimed that the McDonald's security footage did not definitively show what had happened. So Belmar -- "based on the absence of conclusive facts" -- had ordered the investigation closed.

"I would, however, like to thank you for bringing this matter to my attention," he wrote. A recent independent assessment of Belmar's department found a "pattern of light discipline in investigations involving ethical failings and untruthfulness."

In August, a few weeks after I was charged, the St. Louis County Police Department promoted Michael McCann to sergeant.

Based upon the recommendation of the St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis County Counselor's Office filed charges against Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly in August 2015 for allegedly "trespassing" and "interfering" with police officers nearly a year earlier. Lowery and Reilly have said they were wrongfully arrested since the day they were taken into custody, and are fighting the charges.


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