Friday, January 10, 2014

Two Tiered Justice

The Judicial system like our economic one is two tiered. We have the haves and we have the have nots. In the economic system, the "Poors" or the "have nots" outnumber the "Rich's" or "haves" somewhere around 99 to 1.

But then we have the Justice system and this is the polar vortex opposite. Fewer in number but by far more powerful and well protected in many ways.

And today I found not one but three articles that while they occurred locally I believe accurately describes the imprudence in our Jurisprudence.

First up the Cop arrested for being a rowdy 12th man. Seattle Seahawk fans have become nationally known for their voracious fandom. And Police are no exception unless it is according to the law then they are excused.

In the news:

Bellevue cop punished for run-in at Hawks game resigns

Troubled Bellevue officer resigns amid a drunken-driving investigation; officer was suspended for 30 days in late 2012 after a profane run-in with Seattle police outside Seattle Seahawks game.

By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter

A Bellevue police officer who was disciplined in 2012 for his profane and drunken behavior at a Seattle Seahawks game has resigned in the midst of an internal investigation into a November drunken-driving incident.

Andrew Hanke, 38, an eight-year department veteran, was suspended in November after Chief Linda Pillo learned that he had been stopped on Interstate 90 by another Bellevue officer, who concluded that Hanke was “hammered,” but let him go home rather than citing him or booking him into jail.

Hanke was eventually charged with drunken driving, even though the officer who pulled him over did not conduct field-sobriety tests or obtain a blood-alcohol level, according to a report he filed a week after the incident.
Those charges remain pending in Issaquah District Court.

The actions of the arresting officer, Doug Brennan, remain under internal review by the department, Pillo said in a prepared statement.

“As we move forward, my hope is that we rebuild the public’s trust and continue our focus on the great work that the men and women of this department do every day,” the chief said Thursday.

In late 2012, Hanke was suspended for 30 days and removed from his position on the department’s bomb squad after an investigation into an off-duty incident in which he and another officer, both admittedly intoxicated, got into a tense exchange with a Seattle police officer after one of Hanke’s companions littered in a crosswalk outside CenturyLink Field before a Seahawks game.

Inside the stadium, Hanke and another officer, Dion Robertson, got into a profanity-laced exchange with a fan and his family and got thrown out of the stadium before the end of the first quarter. Hanke later told investigators he did not remember driving home to Snoqualmie.

Robertson was demoted from corporal to officer and removed as supervisor of the bomb squad.

On the night of Nov. 20, Brennan was off duty but in uniform and driving his squad car home from work when he was passed in the eastbound lanes of I-90 by a speeding Jeep Cherokee.

According to a report Brennan filed Nov. 27, a week after the incident, the Jeep was traveling at more than 70 mph and “swerving all over the roadway.”

Brennan pulled the car over and said he found Hanke behind the wheel, eyes glazed and reeking of alcohol. “I told him he was drunk,” Brennan wrote. “I told him he was hammered.”
Even so, Brennan called Hanke’s wife and told her to come and get him. After she arrived in her own vehicle, she drove Hanke home in his car while Brennan waited with her vehicle until she got a ride and came back for it.

In a previous statement, Pillo has said Brennan’s decision not to arrest Hanke was under review to determine whether he used “poor judgment” or failed to perform his duties.

Officer Carla Iafrate, the department’s spokeswoman, said that the Brennan case remains under review. She said Hanke resigned Thursday, before the internal investigation was completed

Next up:

Seattle cop gets 90 days for explicit Web photos of ex-lover

Seattle police Detective David Blackmer was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to cyberstalking by posting sexually explicit photos of an ex-lover after she told his wife about their extramarital affair.

By Sara Jean Green
Seattle Times staff reporter

EVERETT — Detective David Blackmer, a 17-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail for cyberstalking an ex-lover by posting sexually explicit photos and videos of the woman online in retaliation for ending their extramarital relationship.

Though Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Randy Yates had asked District Court Judge Tami Bui to revoke Blackmer’s right to possess a firearm — which would have ended his law-enforcement career — Bui opted not to do so based on the facts of the case.

Defense attorney Ryan Wood had argued that Blackmer was charged with cyberstalking/domestic violence, a gross misdemeanor that is not among the domestic-violence crimes listed in state law that require revocation of a defendant’s firearms right.

Blackmer is tentatively scheduled to report to the Snohomish County Jail on Feb. 4, he said.

“Having a police officer incarcerated is unusual,” Wood said, noting there are “logistical issues” jail officials must first work out to ensure Blackmer’s safety while he’s behind bars.

Blackmer, who was arrested in July and placed on paid administrative leave, will remain on leave while the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) conducts an internal investigation. The OPA investigation was put on hold until resolution of Blackmer’s criminal case.

“His status remains the same,” Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a department spokesman, said Wednesday.

Blackmer, a 44-year-old father of two, made $102,580 last year, according to a database of the city payroll.

Blackmer had vowed to “ruin” the life of the victim after she went to Blackmer’s home in unincorporated Snohomish County in July to tell his wife about their affair, according to prosecutors.

While there, the woman argued with Blackmer, who grabbed her by the neck and pushed her to the ground, charging documents say.

Blackmer and the then-31-year-old Auburn woman had begun a sexual relationship in December 2012 after meeting on an Internet dating website, according to the documents.

Within hours of the confrontation at Blackmer’s home, the woman noticed the explicit photos and videos on a phony Facebook page Blackmer created, the documents say. Some of the photographs and videos were taken by Blackmer while Blackmer and the woman were engaged in sexual activity.

She reported the incident to Seattle police, telling investigators she felt “violated” and “degraded.” Police disabled the Facebook page.

Blackmer originally was arrested on investigation of second-degree identity theft — a felony — and cyberstalking/domestic violence, but court records show the case was dismissed because prosecutors didn’t file charges by July 31.

He was charged with the gross misdemeanor on Dec. 10 and pleaded guilty at his arraignment a week later, according to the records.

Bui sentenced Blackmer to 364 days in jail, but suspended all but 90 days, with credit for the two days Blackmer already has served in jail. Bui ordered him to serve five years on probation, pay a $1,000 fine and have no contact with the victim for five years.

Noting that Blackmer underwent treatment for 30 days at a Florida treatment center, Bui said probation officials will decide if that program meets Washington standards; if not, Blackmer also will have to undergo domestic-violence batterers’ treatment as part of his probation.

Blackmer told the judge he was diagnosed with an “attachment disorder” while at the Florida treatment center, which made him emotionally detach from his wife and led to self-destructive behavior and the relationship outside his marriage.

Since returning to his Everett-area home, Blackmer said, he’s been involved in a Christian-based recovery program through his church.

Saying he takes full responsibility for his actions, Blackmer apologized “for my actions to the victim, my family and those I’ve disappointed.”
Then we have a member of the general and great unwashed of society. Her outcome not as good.

Kirkland woman found dead expected a violent end

A 28-year-old Kirkland mother of four, who was found slain Monday, had twice sought protection orders against an ex-boyfriend. In her petition to the courts, she wrote, “A piece of paper isn’t going to save my life when he finally gets me, but at least you will know who killed me.”

By Christine Clarridge
Seattle Times staff reporter

Despite obtaining protection orders against her boyfriend, Amy Rene Hargrove had few illusions about her safety.

“A piece of paper isn’t going to save my life when he finally gets me, but at least you will know who killed me,” wrote Hargrove in a 2012 petition to King County Superior Court for a protection order against her former boyfriend, the father of her third child.

The 28-year-old mother of four was found dead in a bedroom of the Juanita neighborhood home she’d grown up in on Monday.

Hargrove, who also went by Amy Gang, died of “manual strangulation,” according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Some of the victim’s friends told reporters Hargrove had moved back into her mother’s house because of fears about her safety.

Kirkland Police Department spokesman Lt. Mike Murray said the victim’s 27-year-old former boyfriend has been interviewed but not arrested. He said detectives are still investigating the case, following other leads and waiting for the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab to process evidence.

The ex-boyfriend is not being named by The Seattle Times because he has not been charged in connection with the slaying.

According to court documents, Hargrove first sought an order of protection against the man in 2012 during a custody battle.

Hargrove wrote that she had endured years of violent abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend.

In addition to calling and threatening her repeatedly at all hours of the day and night, she said, he threw her across a room during a visit with their child, stole her debit card and drained her account.

On other occasions, he fractured her eye socket, injured her cats, broke 13 cellphones and led police on a high-speed chase from Bellevue to Lynnwood with her children in the car.

The chase, in which the former boyfriend is alleged to have reached speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, ended when a police pit maneuver, a technique to stop fleeing vehicles, caused the car to flip into a ditch, she wrote.

Hargrove said her former boyfriend assaulted her while she was pregnant, raped her at gunpoint and forced her to have sex with someone else.

The 2012 order of protection was granted and 10 days after it expired in 2013, Hargrove sought another one, which was to remain in effect until May 2014, court documents show.

In the 2013 request — which also ordered the ex-boyfriend to seek anger-management treatment and drug and alcohol counseling — Hargrove wrote that her ex had violated the protection order numerous times even though he had been in jail for much of the year.

“I still live in great fear of him on a daily basis,” she wrote in April.

Court documents show that Hargrove’s ex-boyfriend has a criminal record that includes drug crimes and multiple domestic-violence-assault charges, including one that was filed when he was a juvenile and another in 2009.

Former girlfriend hit

In 2009, prosecutors said the man had punched his then-girlfriend in the face eight times with a closed fist. He was angry, the woman told police, because she wanted to go home.

He allegedly assaulted her, then took her cellphone away and took her to his house, court documents say.

The former girlfriend initially did not want to give a statement to police or assist prosecutors, saying she did not want to report the incident, provide a written statement or have her name associated with the case “because she feared retaliation,” court documents say.

When reached Thursday night, the Mercer Island woman sobbed when told of the slaying and investigation.

“Oh my God, oh my God,” she said before declining to talk further.

In Hargrove’s initial request for protection, she wrote about her fear and her resignation.

“I have come so close to dying due to (his) anger,” she wrote. “He has no control and leaving him I thought I would (lose) my life. ... He wants revenge on me because I left him. ... He will do anything to get revenge after I file this order.”

According to the law once you have been punished and served your time you are employable but for many who have had similar run in's with the law, public drunkeness, drunken driving, spousal abuse, rowdy behavior and fights, relationships that end badly that may end up on the end of a billy club, a mug shot end up checking a a box on an employement application that says "felon." Now for the police officers they apparently get as we now know, pensions, disability (I mean being a drunk raging anger management pervert certainly must qualify right?) and maybe even just desk duty but gun permit removals and felony prosecutions.. not so much.

As for those who actually need the help and protection of Police well "F" you. Some victims of domestic violence, rape and assault never get the help they need. They don't get relocation assistance, child care or even medical attention, they get a piece of paper to wave about as if some type of shield. It clearly is working well.

Here in Washington State they have found that the required domestic violent offender program is a massive failure. The skill set and course requirements of said "counselors" only rivals the State CPDT trainers for drugs and alcohol. Having a week long class, 8 hours a day on the complex issues that surround domestic violence is not only laughable it is insulting. But thanks Legislators for that one!

It appears that in reality both program is tantamount to fraud where in some of the alcohol and drug class they teach you nothing but how to make a drink correctly (yes that is correct and quite verifiable) or watch old episodes of Intervention. Add the DUI panel of victims (aka the MADD men/women) who are mostly reformed alcoholics who were their own victims; as we already know that real victims don't feel the need to abuse and scold others as a form of recovery. What those panels are are really a part of the AA apology tour. Some should end theirs well sooner vs later as going on about something over decades old really loses its relevance or intent. I can't see the Officers gaining much insight or knowledge from either program but they will meet some of their own "clients." Should make for some interesting bonding.

So expecting any of these officers to uphold the laws they break and seem not to care about when it comes to enforcing it when necessary tells me all I need to know. I am sure the Legislators will immediately respond with harder laws that are even more unenforceable and expensive to maintain and uphold. But hey it shows they care right?

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