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Fired police officer subject of two more Internal Affairs investigations

Friday, October 21, 2011 | 9:58 p.m. CDT; updated 10:31 a.m. CST, Friday, November 25, 2011
This is an excerpt from a July 17 security tape from a Columbia Police Department holding cell.

COLUMBIA — Former Columbia police Officer Rob Sanders, who was fired last month for excessive use of force against a prisoner in a holding cell, has become the subject of two more Internal Affairs investigations.

One investigation centers on Sanders' use of force against a 17-year-old male in a holding cell in the early hours of July 17. Video surveillance tapes show Sanders pushing the young man to the floor, dragging him by his T-shirt collar to the cell's back wall and handcuffing him. Sanders then used a second pair of handcuffs to chain the man to a metal ring on the concrete floor of the cell.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Jill Wieneke said Friday that the prisoner in the video had been arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery. Sanders responded to a report near Old 63 and Broadway, where a man told police he had been robbed by four men who had taken his wallet and about $60 before driving away.

Wieneke said Sanders saw a car matching the vague description the man gave and pulled it over. She said he found a pellet gun, and the men in the car were taken to the police department for booking.

Sanders' direct supervisor, a sergeant, reviewed the surveillance tape and took it to Internal Affairs investigators.

"Because there was a use of force, there was already a mandatory review of that incident," Wieneke said. "A lot of this was already in the pipes somewhere."

Wieneke said using the metal rings in holding cells is common practice when prisoners become unruly — she herself has used them to restrain people. But the rings have recently been removed from the cells, and officers will soon receive training about how to effectively handle prisoners in holding cells.

"We're looking at some alternative ways to handle those things," Wieneke said.

Wieneke said the department is taking cues from how the Boone County Sheriff’s Department handles prisoners and seeking tips from other cities with similar-sized police departments.

The second pending Internal Affairs investigation of Sanders involves a video made by Citizens for Justice, a group that aims to serve as a resource for "recognizing, acknowledging, and curbing misconduct in the local legal system," according to its website. The Missourian recently published a story about the group and its founder, Matthew Akins.

Wieneke said that when she saw a video of Sanders stopping Akins, there were aspects of it she found "concerning."

"It is my job as a supervisor to refer things if I think there might be a policy violation," she said.

Wieneke showed the video to the chief, who brought the incident to the attention of Internal Affairs. Wieneke said the group hasn't filed a formal complaint with the department.

Sanders has been advised against commenting about the internal affairs investigations by his attorney, Scott Jansen, because of pending charges by a special prosecutor assigned to his case. Amy Sanders, Rob Sanders' wife, said her husband is appealing his termination suit against the department.

Amy Sanders said she hadn't heard about the two pending investigations involving her husband.

"He's terminated," she said. "I don't know why they continued to seek out to defame him."


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Comments

Matthew Akins October 22, 2011 | 2:34 a.m.

I just want to say that it's coming up on two months since the internal investigation was opened in response to our video and we still have been contacted by no one from Internal Affairs.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 5:54 a.m.

Matthew,

In the other local paper there is a story in today's edition about the police being short-staffed. You might find that story of interest for your concern here. It has been said and passed along to several (not by the police but by someone who would know) that they are stretched tight, and they still want you to call, but they are patrolling and watching, too. They are establishing priority calls, evidently, with the most dangerous first - from the message I got - but they are still on the job and nothing is going to go unnoticed. All that taken in consideration, I am certain if you leave little reminders that they will get back with you, too.

My heart goes out to the officers who are dedicated to duty and will try to the utmost to serve in all fairness and help people who are need of safety and protection help.

I think that sometimes there is a whole lot they cannot tell us, and when the time comes, we will know - just as this is all coming out about Sanders now. If I am recalling correctly it took the Chief several weeks to thoroughly view the tape and to make his final decision on it.

There is probably a lot more going on, no doubt, that they would tell us about if they could - about a lot of things - and they might in the future - or they might not for security and safety sake - and for our own present well-being.

That is where trust comes it - and we can wait upon them and trust - and just help them when we can - if we ever can - or if we should just step aside and let them do their job. We may not fully understand at the moment, and it may seem all the pieces do not fit together with what we do know, but they know a whole lot more than they can tell us, sometimes, and we just have to go along with what is there and trust them, though it may seem to come through to us in a fragmented way that contradicts itself. Because that is when they do their best work, when we do not see them, and when we do not know all that is in the picture at any given time. Way it is.

There has to be a Rios or a Sanders for human flaw to be present in the occupation, most likely, but we can appreciate the ones who really do their jobs well (our heroes) who lay their lives on the line for us (the ones who are the Molly Bowden character) every day on every shift.

God bless our heroes.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 7:42 a.m.

[Here are some actual quotes from the article in the other local paper...maybe this will help explain why they sometimes have to regroup in answering calls or responding...but they do get it all done - sometimes they just have to prioritize?]

The Columbia Police Department is taking a second look at its 12-hour shift patrol schedule...

the more pressing reason for the examination is because there is a shortage of officers working Sundays and because the schedule causes a problem when officers must undergo training...

created staffing issues on Sundays, which become apparent over time as officers respond to incidents that require backup...

Burton said the root of the scheduling problem is a lack of officers, which is not going to increase in the near future.

Burton said he is open to alternatives, but he has two requirements: Alternatives cannot reduce the level of service currently provided to residents, and officer safety cannot be affected...

“The bottom line is we have to provide police services 24 hours a day,” he said.

A main component of increasing from 10- to 12-hour shifts was to place more officers on the streets during the days of the week and nighttime hours when calls for service peak. With more officers on the streets, the idea is that officers would stay in their beats more because they would not have to cross the city to answer calls for service.

The new schedule was imperative to implementing Burton’s geographical policing model, which requires officers to stay in their beats.

The department recently has hired a number of new officers, but those additions do not address Columbia police’s needs until they have completed training.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:00 a.m.

http://www.fox2now.com/news/ktvi-kids-le...

This really does concern me that I would call an officer about something I could be strong enough to maintain the peace about around me, and keep law and order for all around me that never would try to hurt anyone. That is the least I can do for the community I live in, and the people who have been so nice here. I think I owe it to the police and to others who do nothing to try to hurt anyone or anything to quietly be strong and not make a call when the possibility of something like the above link is going on.

I should add that, when you see an officer out, smile and let him (or her) go first in any line. If you listen closely, you can hear the alerts go off on something the officer is wearing on the uniform that requests officers' presence at some very serious things.

We are always going to have those who will try to push the buttons of others, but when you look closely something as small as jealous/spite may be motivating them to try to make a major problem for you, when you are doing nothing but being inside your own house. These sort of jealous troublemakers will try to push very close to you and shove you in the meanest of possible ways. They have issues, and very often criminal records. Others are just mean. That is their nature. Let everyone see that in them, not in you.

My educated guess would be that the police have no qualms about answering for any questions but they have these very serious matters to attend to. They actually manage the safety and well-being of the entire city, day after day after day.

It can be a thankless job for them.

But would you, or I, want to make a request that we could handle on our own by simply using manners and discretion and just letting anything else become less than anyone wants to make it big, by just not letting it into our hearts and homes to begin with - or would we want to be tying up an officer's time while someone's life is at stake like the lives of these children were?

I - for one - am not going to be calling them, but I am going to send a Thank You card to a few of them who have been so nice to me in the past.

Wouldn't that be great if everyone in Columbia sent at least one Thank You card to an officer they knew who had been helpful/kind in the past to them?

I know if I have been sleep-deprived, that I can get cranky and short-worded. I hope that if/when I have ever sounded that way to any officer in particular, that he (or she) would know what was the reason for the tone/reaction.

Maybe they get tired, too. Maybe they really would want to just spend time answering all your questions and tying up all the loose ends of anything that troubles you.

The ones who do their jobs well have the deepest of compassion - that is a given.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:00 a.m.

I think sometimes we just need to put ourselves in their place for even a second and think how hard it must be on them sometimes.

There are some mean people in this world. They want to try to get you mean, too - and because they are miserable their life will be about trying to make you miserable, too.

Smile real big, be happy - and know that you can be bigger than what anyone else does to you.

I am sure, if they had the time, they would welcome the moments spent in such an endeavor. Sometimes their shift timeline is pushed to the limit and with more waiting.

Let us be thankful that such people are willing to serve in some of the sorry situations that some people create for no other reason that immature pettiness of jealousy and strife.

The police and we have better things to do than be a part of that. I applaud your effort, but I understand why sometimes, they just do not have the time - but they will when they can, so we should help them in every way we can to help with peace and happiness for the good people in our lives.

:)

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 22, 2011 | 10:04 a.m.

The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project compiles national, state, and local information and statistics on police misconduct.

http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/

An interesting tidbit from the 2010 annual report:

Sexual misconduct among police officers is more than twice as prevalent than among the general public (28.7 vs 67.8 per 100K pop.), and over HALF (52%) of those sexual misconduct incidents involved sexual abuse of minors.

(Report Comment)
Terry Juhlin October 22, 2011 | 10:09 a.m.

I am a recently retired police officer with 30 year history in law enforcement (all those years were spent working in the patrol division). After viewing this video, I observed nothing that I deemed to be excessive force. Though the incident is not shown in great detail or in full view, I believe the officer(s) used the correct amount of force. When you are dealing with an arrestee in the small confines of a holding cell the chances of an individual getting hurt (both the officer and the subject) is greatly increaseed. Pardon my ignorance, but I saw no information given on the arrestee regarding his mental state. Was the arrestee under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Did the arrestee threaten to hurt or fight the officers? In viewing the video, I saw no blows thrown, no kicks, just two officers going "hands on" and taking control of the arrestee. I do not know if the officer or if the department allow officers to carry Tasers per their "Use of Force" policy (I do not like Tasers nor have I used them to subdue a subject). If the officers had used a Taser and the subject went down hard and hit the concrete floor or sink, the injuries that the arrestee could have sustained could have been more severe. The officers did the right thing by entering the cell quickly and taking the subject to the floor and restraining/controlling him. Most officers are not martial arts experts nor mixed martial arts fighters. We as police officers have every right to be safe. Our job description as police officers does not include getting hurt. We are authorized by the "State" to be able to use the "Necessary Force To Make An Arrest". We are allowed by law (no matter what state we are certified in) to be able to protect and defend ourselves and others just like all citizens of the great country of ours. During my career as a police officer I observed both aggressive and passive officers. In my opinion, the best officers combines both those traits and knows when to use them. I hate to think that this officer has been fired just to appease certain special interests groups in the community nor that he be sacrificed by the police department's administration to lessen the political fallout. I do hope that this officer is given his entitled "Due Process" rights. Depending on what state a certified (sworn), police officer works in, those officers are either allowed or not allowed the same Rights to be given "Due Process" as the average citizen. The public also needs to know that this officer's firing will be reviewed by Missouri's Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) for a final determination. In this process, an officer can loose their state peace officer license or be given a form or type of discipline if POST determines there were any violations of both state law or departmental policy.

I encourage both the department's admin and the citizens of Columbia not to "jump" to conclusion when viewing police related videos without knowing the full story.

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 10:09 a.m.

It is an absolute mistake for citizens to "trust" the police department. Years of organizational dysfunctionality, lack of competent civilian or legislative oversight and access to unappropriated seizure money have created an environment where the worst kind of corruption and evil flourishes. Moreover, the police department maintains an active policy of denying Columbia citizens public information through the abuse of the Sunshine law.

I urge the City Council to grant the Citizens Police Review Board subpoena powers and to allow a special prosecutor to investigate many of the coverups and hidden crimes perpetrated by this department, with a particular emphasis on the crimes committed by Tom "Dog-shooting" Dresner and his mercenary SWAT team during the 2007-2010 period.

Sincerely,

Eapen Thampy
Executive Director, Americans for Forfeiture Reform
3630 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO, 64109
Phone: 573-673-5351
Email: Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com or Eapen.Thampy@gmail.com
Web: http://www.forfeiturereform.com and http://www.facebook.com/ForfeitureReform...

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:16 a.m.

How many of the general public are asked to give their life in regard to their job? That is one of the requests we might have to place on any given officer as he (or she) steps into the hedge wall of harm and death for us. These officers do this every day for the general public. What we are seeing with the Chief is that the police are help accountable. What we can see from the general public is that the police often have a thankless job. There are people who use them just to impede spite tactics on others or to harass others in a continual fashion. Could the general public, just for once, see the police who weather the storms for us, so that we might have peace and safety? When are they really at peace and safety on their jobs? Not all are there to readily beat the stew out of you, and looks like they are getting rid of the one(s) who would. Those who serve well are the ones that are the stuff of which heroes are made. Let's be thankful for them. May the tribe increase, and let's help them by being nice and shunning any trouble that may try to enter our lives. Let the bad guys fizzle out.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:19 a.m.

@Eapen Thampy:

I totally disagree with you. I know better about them. They are not only worthy of the trust, but they serve and protect those who do not trust them, as well.

Think about it.

Do you see the Gangster Mobs at your door? And why not?

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:21 a.m.

@Terry Juhlin:

Thank you for your service.

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 10:40 a.m.

Gangster mobs? Try Tom Dresner's SWAT team. These thugs viciously invaded Columbia's homes and residences for 3 years to shakedown college students and American citizens for cash and valuable property. Ms. Crockett: Can you tell me how many caged and innocent dogs were shot by this thug squad?
Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:41 a.m.

I know some Columbia Police heroes, and they know who they are. I feel badly that they have been put through some of the stuff they have been put through. They, instead, have some serious things to attend, and not be pulled down to the level that some people want to pull them down to. Our police and our communities deserve better.

Let's smile, be thankful for them, pray for them and hold out for the good and the good folks when trouble tries to provoke.

We will be the better for it in the long run.

Go, Columbia!

:)

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 10:45 a.m.

Here is the video of SWAT raid victim Jon Marsh discussing the "Gangster mob" at CPD and how they brutally violated his rights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCc62Mn6...

Here is the CPD SWAT team going into a family home with no intelligence or surveillance while an entire family is home (check out the 16 year old girl who opens the door to find a gun in her face): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05gLm6mSZ...

Here is the Kinloch Court raid. I hope the family gets a million dollar settlement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwSwvUaR...

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:54 a.m.

@"Ms. Crockett: Can you tell me how many caged and innocent dogs were shot by this thug squad?"

Listen closely. (Or read closely).

The SWAT team came to the door. The man was inside the house with a small child and a dog. When the police enter the front of your property, have the front door open for them. Say, "Hello, officer, how may I help you?" Invite them in.

If you have a dog that will bite or nip a stranger, and even if there is that possibility, then have the dog not in the range of the stranger that will be at your door. Contain/restrain your pet. Consider your child and pet above the stash of drugs you have in that house.

You do not sit behind a close door with a child and let the police have to break it down. If you have a small child, then you should know who in entering your property from any angle. If you have drugs, you can automatically expect the police. That is their job to find the drugs.

Was there another parent of this child? Where was that parent? My guess would be that parent was not with the child or the dog, but flushing down the drain any amount of drugs possible while the police were not invited in.

Now the SWAT team is in your house, because you have not met them and asked how you could help them.

Do you surrender to the police and ask for safety of your child or pet? Or do you provoke the pet and scar your child by resisting the police?

No, none of this makes sense. These people should never get his child back, and if anyone has any drugs they do not need to bring them to Columbia.

That is it.

Don't do the crime and you won't risk never seeing your child again.

The parents in this scenario are the sorriest parents and example of the poorest parenting in the world. Even if it is sensationalized on youtube, or elsewhere - it turned out this way because of poor parenting skills in these folks. I hope the child is tucked away in some very safe home and is given full counseling to feel safe from here on out.

I hope you know that if you have drugs, then you can expect the police - sooner or later.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:57 a.m.

The parents are home and they put the 16-year-old up to answering the door? How nice of them. (Sarcasm.)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 10:59 a.m.

The family gets a million? And who pays that to the ambulance chaser and people who sue the police? You know who.

:(

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 11:01 a.m.

I see millionaire wanna-bes copy-catting this into forever.

"Hey, we can get a million dollars from the taxpayers. Let's just get the police here and sue them."

Cha-ching!
Cha-ching!
Cha-ching!

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 11:07 a.m.

Lady, you are delusional. Drug crimes are typically victimless crimes, and there is no reason to come to a family house without any intelligence or surveillance with a paramilitary goon squad to kick in the door like it's the Soviet Union under Beria. Clearly, too, you are completely ok with the shooting of defenseless pets or domestic animals who pose 0 threat to an officer.

Please stop your offensive defense of the thugs and greedy cops who conduct this kind of enforcement for the hazard, overtime, and holiday pay they can expect; who seize property and cash from people who will never be tried in front of a jury; who break the law with impunity under the color of law.

Columbia Police Department is a disgrace; I am sure there are honest people of integrity there, but that's like finding a couple good apples in a cesspool.

Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 11:09 a.m.

And for the record, I am excited about the prospect of any of these lawsuits forcing the city and the police to pay for their misconduct. I hope the attorneys get their cut, for helping bring justice to society through their hard work. I hope the police officers who have dishonored their badge and their oath to the Constitution be prosecuted in a fair trial by a jury of their peers.
Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 22, 2011 | 11:21 a.m.

Drug crimes? Is that a oxymoron, or are drugs a crime?

Insults will get you no where.

You are still wrong.

Columbia has one of the best forces there is, and it is getting better all the time.

You just do not know some of the officers I have met here.

And the drug crimes are not all they deal with.

If anyone sues the police, they should be asked to make a case for criminal complaint, and not get a dime. If they can prove the criminal complaint, then the officer should be held accountable. For example, what Rios did, he is held accountable, and Sanders will, most likely, suffer the same fate of accountability for his actions - or, at least, it is my humble personal opinion that he should.

That way, you can respect the responsible officers who serve us every day - and they are there - whether you want to generalize and lump them all into one cesspool thought is your opinion and yours only.

You sound bitter, as if you have some sort of grudge to bear.

Your anger could use some management.

:)

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy October 22, 2011 | 12:20 p.m.

Columbia's police force is broken, corrupt, and dysfunctional. Lack of leadership and civilian oversight have created a culture of corruption so pervasive that Tom Dresner was able to maintain a 7 year relationship with a subordinate (who was rewarded with promotions and salary bumps) while leading a marauding group of paramilitary thugs around town to steal from the politically weak and powerless. Almost every month another story of brutality or corruption comes out of the police department...what do you say about the guns the police steal from people and then keep as trophies in violation of the law?

And when the police violate your rights, it is so absurdly difficult to get justice...you complain to Internal Affairs, who buries the complaint, and if the CPRB rules in favor the police won't apologize...and as for prosecuting these corrupt thugs? Dan Knight's office makes too much money from their crony relationship with the police to ever care much about actually prosecuting official misconduct. I know this, because I've scoured thousands of pages of warrants and affidavits, and I know where the prosecutors spend their time and money.

Yes, I'm angry. I'm angry at a system that has slowly dissolved our rights of democratic governance, at a culture of misconduct that continues to fester and spread. I'm angry that my rights have been sold to agency bureaucrats for profit. As an American, I remember this nation was founded on the the principles that law enforcement should be impartial and just; you should remember that patriots once fought a Revolution to rid themselves of the tyranny of a British king, whose police perpetrated the same kind of injustice on American colonists. As Patrick Henry once eloquently stated: Give me Liberty or give me Death!

You're just a shill for the cops. Maybe you're actually a cop (and we know how CPD is willing to break the law and reveal sealed records on the Tribune website). Your voice is one that asks Americans to lie down and accept the boot at their throat. I reject you and your false message, your lies and elision.

Perhaps one day we'll have a better police department. It will take a commitment to democratic change that is only now starting to emerge in society. This is my task: to vote you and your ideology out of power.

Sincerely,
Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)
Doug Seacord October 22, 2011 | 3:01 p.m.

Ms. Crockett, I find it strange that you'd espouse the virtues of the police on the one hand and then hold the threat of criminal prosecution over the heads of individual officers on the other for acts of official misconduct. Are you advocating imprisonment for misbehaving officers? What if their conduct is sanctioned by their direct superiors, and only after the fact is it found that their behavior was unlawful? Do you think the threat of jail-time would have a positive effect on law enforcement? Furthermore, what use is it to the victim of police misconduct for the perpetrator to face criminal prosecution? If a drunk driver totals your car as it sits parked outside of your house, not only will the driver face criminal charges, but he will be required to compensate you for the loss of your vehicle. If that driver is a UPS delivery-man who'd been boozing on the job, who pays out for that? The company, because its actor was the one responsible for the loss. If a police officer knocks your teeth in during an interrogation for a crime of which you are innocent, you'd want some compensation for that, right? And because the officer is acting in the course of his employment for his local department, it would make sense for the department to be responsible to you, given that one of its agents created your dental bill. And if you're later found guilty of that crime? It doesn't matter, because all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the action was unlawful in the moment of its commission. I gather you object to this arrangement because tax-payers end up paying for it, but so what? Does that mean that the victim has less of an entitlement to compensation? And furthermore, doesn't that arrangement provide an objective way for citizens to measure the performance of their local police department? Wouldn't you want some way of knowing if your local police department had been taken over by crooks?

Also, I think you missed the point of calling drug crimes "victimless crimes." I don't think Mr. Thampy was suggesting that they aren't crimes-- though whether they ought to be is a different question-- but rather that victimless crimes shouldn't be policed with such a heavy hand. There's nothing oxymoronic in that. You wouldn't expect a police officer writing a parking ticket, for example, to start flashing his shotgun. Although a great deal of over-zealousness can be forgiven on the part of an officer who's trying, for example, to prevent a rape from occurring, busting a mom because she has some pot in her closet doesn't require the same kind of urgency. Official policies should recognize that-- hence Mr. Thampy's objection to the use of SWAT teams, which seem more appropriate for raids on terrorist compounds than family homes.

(Report Comment)
Doug Seacord October 22, 2011 | 3:02 p.m.

(continued from above)

I'm also struggling to understand this money-making scheme of yours. If police officers have enough evidence to establish probable cause for the warrant needed to carry out a SWAT raid on a person's home, it should be a pretty simple matter to get an arrest warrant and to simply arrest the person outside her home-- anywhere outside her home. Or, conversely, to carry out the warrant when no one's home (surveillance is a tremendous tool). And if a person has been taken into custody and is in a holding cell, why would extreme force ever need to be used against a suspect? Why are these situations ever coming up in the first place? If excessive use of force is such a predictable trait of the Columbia Police Department that an enterprising sucker for punishment could make a killing getting roughed up by cops who show up to confiscate drug paraphernalia, there's something pretty badly wrong with the department.

One final question: Your use of the term "ambulance-chaser" tells me that you share in the bizarre national distrust of attorneys. Why?

(Report Comment)
Walter Lane October 22, 2011 | 5:26 p.m.

If you go and look at the affidavit for the search warrant for the Kinloch raid, you will see that it was quite flimsy. Pulled plastic bags from the trash that smelled like "marijuana". Really? That's it. They could have blown into his yard and he picked them up and put them in the trash. Shoddy work all the way around on that one. IJS

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 22, 2011 | 6:02 p.m.

Terry Juhlin, Officer Sanders did not "restrain/control" the arrestee in the cell, he flung him into a concrete wall and fractured one of his vertebrae. He had two other officers with him. I'm confident the three of them could have restrained the arrestee, using pepper spray or a Taser if necessary, without Sanders resorting to the unnecessary force he did. Thankfully Chief Burton feels the same way.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis October 24, 2011 | 9:01 a.m.

I'm confused Eapen Thampy said Drug crimes are typically victimless crimes I could not disagree with this more. Wasn't that why the (drug cartel) came about? You know the ones who were killing on our streets and the ones in Mexico who are killing innocent people now. Also let's look at how many drug related deaths there are in this country every year. Or we could look at how many of our youth die because they use drugs. That is the dumbest statement I have ever heard! Tell that to a parent who lost a child related to drugs either because of overdose or just being caught up with the wrong people.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 24, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.

Sally, what do you think kills more people - drugs or cars?

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub October 24, 2011 | 10:38 a.m.

People are people, wearing a badge, or a frock, or robes does not change that. Most people are basically good and some are bad. I find it strange that some will defend so strongly acts which are obviously bad, only because the perpetrator is wearing a suit of respect, as if to admit there is a bad seed will somehow make all the seeds bad. We have become such a competitive society that we often fail to see that there is sometimes a fault in the side we have taken. "If you are not with us you are against us." This is the ideology of stagnation, because it clouds our ability to have an open mind. This is leading us into a state of mediocrity that will ensure we won't have the best of anything. We need to right wrongs whenever possible, not make excuses for them. I think that it is time we get our priorities in order and focus on our problems so we can fix them instead of creating a huge lump under the rug.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 24, 2011 | 10:43 a.m.

Drug deaths now outnumber car crash kills:
http://rt.com/usa/news/drug-deaths-presc...

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub October 24, 2011 | 10:58 a.m.

Sally, people die from using drugs, people kill for money. There will always be cartels, organized crime as long as we make things a large number of people want illegal. It is always about the money, some people choose to break laws for it, like those who have brought our country to it's knees in this latest episode the robber barons have bestowed upon us.

FYI the vast majority of drug addicts get their drugs legally from prescriptions. You want to go after some real evil, go after those who get us hooked on drugs because we trust them. They are even allowed to push their merchandise legally by advertising in all the media.

Why people find it so easy to forgive a bad doctor, a bad police office, or a bad priest, but so easy to condemn someone in the confines of their own home doing something to them-self that is not approved, is a mystery to me.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis October 24, 2011 | 12:18 p.m.

When I was growing up my best friend was a beautiful girl she got involved with drugs at a young age started seeing a man who was twice her age and abusive. She had four children before she was twenty one years old, now her boyfriend is in prison so to support her habits she sleeps with men for drugs and has abandoned her kids and goes from flop house to house and to look at her makes me sick she is sickeningly thin her teeth all rotten and eyes are suck in. So no one will ever make me believe drugs are victimless. She is a victim her kids are victims and her family are victims! But hey let's just hand out drugs out to the kiddos this halloween since their okay. I have worked with adicts trying to stop using and it's no joke if you ever see an adict in withdrawl you will know what I'm talking about.

(Report Comment)
Leyka Vyre October 24, 2011 | 1:13 p.m.

@Ray Shapiro "Drug deaths now outnumber car crash kills:"

This means it is probably a good time for you to go clean out your medicine cabinet. From your article:

"Now prescription drug-related deaths surpass fatalities caused by cocaine and heroin abuse combined."

(Report Comment)
Leyka Vyre October 24, 2011 | 1:23 p.m.

@Sally Willis

"Wasn't that why the (drug cartel) came about? You know the ones who were killing on our streets and the ones in Mexico who are killing innocent people now.""That is the dumbest statement I have ever heard!"

I couldn't agree more. It's exactly why they came about. The more your government tries to eliminate something by the use of force the more profit there is to be made and the more resolve there is on the part of those doing it. Remember the effect of alcohol prohibition. Someone undoubtedly used the violence associated with the illegal sales as a justification for it's continuance. But what is the life of an innocent person if society can be made to appear as you would like it to?

(Report Comment)
Leyka Vyre October 24, 2011 | 1:28 p.m.

And it's sad that the discussion of an officer who experienced difficulty controlling the effects of his hormones degenerated into this. It's sad also that all of society must be asked to sacrifice because your friend couldn't control the effects of her selfish impulses.

(Report Comment)
Sally Willis October 24, 2011 | 2:30 p.m.

I didn't turn it into this go back up a few comments and it's ignorant statements like that that make it so hard for addicts. It's not her selfish impulses she was exposed as a child I don't think that makes it her fault. Most users are exposed as young people or have influences who they should trust.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 24, 2011 | 3:39 p.m.

("John Schultz October 24, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.
Sally, what do you think kills more people - drugs or cars?")
I post a link to:
http://rt.com/usa/news/drug-deaths-presc...

So, Leyka, you think the article I linked to is a bad response to John's question or are you saying that it's only abuse of one's prescription meds which are bad?

(Report Comment)
Leyka Vyre October 24, 2011 | 6:55 p.m.

Everything you dislike is bad.

(Report Comment)
Leyka Vyre October 24, 2011 | 7:26 p.m.

Let's think about all you said, Sally. If the girl who abandoned her kids and sells her body for drugs is not at fault because she was young when she started and most people who use drugs start young then it is, by your logic, not the fault of the person selling the drugs either because they likely started when they were young. Is personal responsibility that hard of a thing?

Not everyone who uses drugs is irresponsible like your friend. Should they all be made to suffer because your friend and a few people like her don't have enough motivation to be functional?

Should people who had little or nothing to do with drugs be made to suffer because they happened to be caught in the middle of a turf war that was generated by the profits that come along with prohibition?

(Report Comment)

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