Is there a bounty on filing police complaints?
The communications director for the Policy Werkes spoke too soon and has been exiled to MSNBC.
The Madison Common Council is not done hectoring the police after all. Not done at all. Lodge a complaint against Chief Koval and you may be a winner. The Council cabal is frustrated that they did not dun Koval a few thousand dollars in his claim for having prevailed before the Police and Fire Commission agaisnt the frivolous charges of Sharon Irwin, grieving grandmother.
So some of the leading pests are sponsoring legislation to allow the Council to pick a number, any number. The long and short of the proposed legislation is that it would:
- Reimburse citizens for their legal costs if THEY prevail with a complaint. Is there any doubt this will encourage complaints?
- Permit partial recompense for anything short of a “total vindication.” Or, in the words of one of its sponsors, “make adjustments in the fees to be paid if some claims are successful and others are not, including if the PFC finds a violation of standards but imposes no punishment.”
As to the latter point, it is my contention that the Council could have done just that when it voted May 2 to reimburse the chief the entirety of his $21,953 legal bill. (Recounted here.) City attorney Michael May insisted on all or nothing. The PFC admonished Koval but did not suspend, demote, or fire him — those being the only remedies available to it.
The authors are Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Maurice S. Cheeks, Denise DeMarb, Rebecca Kemble, Larry Palm, Matthew J. Phair, Marsha A. Rummel, and Ledell Zellers. Note that Phair and Cheeks join up with Progressive Dane’s Kemble and Rummel.
Crime is ‘definitely worse’
On her WIBA 1310 AM program Friday, May 26, journalist Vicki McKenna interviewed Madison police union president Dan Frei about the on-going Council harassment of the chief. Here are excerpts from Frei’s comments.
“It lends to that general feeling that your are under siege from numerous fronts. ,… continuing this narrative that police are always at fault … almost implying that they will continue to harass chief Koval or any police office with complaints that don’t have any merit to drive home a point that has already been litigated.
“One of the things we put on our union site is “remember why you got into this job … because it could be demoralizing. … We want to help people, make a difference in people’s lives …
“I know police officers saying (to their children) no, go into a different profession. … It’s taking a toll nationally and locally on recruiting and retention … where you don’t necessarily face the scrutiny we face.”
(Crime) “is definitely worse. When I started (24 years ago) now we’re getting shots fired almost daily and finding evidence that shots were (indeed) fired. The degree of gun violence has risen exponentially.”
“Somebody is not letting these people know that this is not the way to express your anger. At some point, somebody’s going to be hurt. …
Vicki asks if cops are “dialing back” become of the scrutiny and the criticism?
“We try to keep reminding ourselves of the reasons we got into this job. To resist that temptation that easiest way to avoid criticism is not to do as much. But it is a sort of natural human response.”
Could things be better with a different chief?
“No, we’re extremely happy with Chief Koval. We think he’s doing a tremendous job. … There is the belief that a silent majority out there that stands with the police. he has that platform that he can stand up and say some of the things that police officers would like to say for themselves.”
A teachable moment, but for whom?
Michael Johnson of the Madison Boys & Girls Clubs is going to lecture us on how we must not rush to judgment in the wake of fights between middle- and high school kids that closed the BratFest carnival down Saturday.
As quoted by the Wisconsin State Journal, Johnson excused the behavior thusly: “Young kids are going to be young kids. Kids fight at school. Kids fight in after-school programs. They’re going to make mistakes.”
Three arrests were made and police are searching for the instigator.
Johnson is going on the Mitch Henck show at 5:30 this afternoon (5-30-2017) to, as he Facebook posts:
“Talk about young people, the recent incidents over the weekend and the gang and thug labels being unfairly placed on young kids of color. Let’s have a productive and honest conversation. Tune in and let this be used as an opportunity to learn from each other.”
None of the indentured servants here at the manor started any fights at Brat Fest this year, so what can we learn from you? I can think of some young folks who could be taught a lesson, tho.