In the wake of police brutality complaints and escalating hostility toward police following the incidents in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore, Houston and the Department of Justice report on police misconduct in the Ferguson Police Department, Former Houston Police Officer Katherine Swilley founded the Cops Holding Cops Accountable Organization (CHCA).
The mission of the (CHCA) is to save lives, to protect and serve everyone, to bring awareness to retaliation against “Good” Cops who report police misconduct, this includes discrimination, to bring public awareness to the Code of Silence, a culture that protect “Bad” Cops.
There’s a Ferguson PD in every police department, “Good” Cops who witness fellow cops misconduct, but afraid to speak up.
We believe in order to continue to restore public trust of the police, there must be transparency and accountability. There must be reforms in police departments and communities to support “Good” Cops who report police misconduct and denounce police misconduct and purge “Bad” Cops out of law enforcement, to avoid an Anti-Police climate that endanger the lives of ALL cops and citizens.
“Good” Cops should not have to feel like they’re under siege by the communities they serve while trying to do their job, a job made more difficult and dangerous by “Bad’ Cops who have tarnished the badge, nor should “Good” Cops be forced out of law enforcement, after reporting “Bad” Cops.
We believe keeping “Bad” Cops on the job is a Public Safety threat, that endangers the lives of all cops and citizens and cost tax payers billions of dollars each year in lawsuits and efforts to retrain “Bad” Cops. While more training is always good. However, holding law enforcement agencies and officers accountability is important in restoring public trust of the police.
We believe law enforcement agencies efforts to retrain “Bad” Cops without holding “Bad” Cops accountable is not the answer, it’s a waste of tax payers money, money that can be used for officer “friendly” programs in schools.
In school officer “friendly” programs like Dare, Texas Cops & Kids, or the Kids at Hope program in Phoenix, Az builds trust of the police in young children, leading children to want to become police in their community. Investing in officer friendly programs is money well spent, and an investment in community policing.
Another problem in Law Enforcement is racism, which threatens police relations in the communities officers serve. While most police departments have mandatory culture diversity training, there should be mandatory screening process during the hiring process to eliminate cops who have ties with violent racists hate groups or have racial bias towards minorities.
This country is facing a crisis where violent racists hate groups are in police uniforms working in predominantly African-American and Latinos neighborhoods.
According to the FBI one of the most compelling but unexplored explanations may rest with an FBI warning in October 2006, which reported that “White supremacist infiltration of law enforcement” represented a significant national threat.
The Department of Justice and the Military have also reported that gangs and violent racists hate groups have infiltrated the military and law enforcement.
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist websites and magazines. The report said that neo-Nazi groups like the National Alliance, whose founder William Pierce wrote “The Turner Diaries,” the novel that was the inspiration and blueprint for Timothy J. McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, sought to enroll followers in the Army to get training for a race war.
The U.S. Defense Department has stepped up efforts to purge violent racist hate groups from its ranks. However, according to Carter F. Smith, a former military investigator who is now a professor of criminal justice at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, said “We let them out after prosecution or when their time was up and we didn’t let the police know.”
We believe not letting law enforcement agencies know about these violent racist hate group has caused clear and present danger for law enforcement agencies who have hired many of the former military officers with ties to violent racist hate group. This lack of judgment is a threat to the entire nation and will, if not already will cause great harm to minority citizens.
The military has now started training in Texas, Georgia, Fort Lauderdale and Utah, leading some to believe the military is training for urban warfare. See Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military and Law Enforcement (U.S. Army fights racist within its own ranks).
It is time for the military and police departments to work together to track these violent racist hate groups, place their names on a watch list, so police departments can start a screening process during the hiring process and start purging cops with ties to violent racist hate groups out of law enforcement.
Racism in Law Enforcement is not a Black and White issue, it’s a Public Safety threat that, according to the FBI represents a significant national threat.
Racism in law enforcement and retaliation against “Good” Cops who report police misconduct, discrimination and sexual harassment must be addressed on a national level in Congressional Hearings.
In many cases female and minority officers are terminated on false charges and issued dishonorable discharges, ending their law enforcement careers.
The growing Race Gap of minority officers in African-American and Latinos neighborhoods are alarming and should be a real concern for minority citizens in these communities.
We do not believe all cops are racist, nor do we believe all cops are bad, but many cops, including racist cops abuse their power, because they can.
They abuse their power because they are protected by fellow cops who are willing to lie or look the other way and because most Police Departments have a culture of keeping “Bad” Cops with a history of excessive and deadly force and other misconduct complaints on the police force, after they repeatedly commit misconduct against citizens.
The other problem in law enforcement is the “Code of Silence” that protects “Bad” Cops, while retaliating against and terminating “Good” Cops who report police misconduct.
While we believe there are “Bad Apples” in every profession.
However, in law enforcement the Code of Silence protects these “Bad” Apples. As in the words of Officer Bernard Cawley NYPD who admitted to corrupt and brutal practices, Officer Bernard Cawley, testified that he never feared another officer would turn him in because there was a “Blue Wall of Silence. Cops don’t tell on cops….[I]f a cop decided to tell on me, his career’s ruined, or as reported in A Police Foundation survey that reports even when it came to reporting serious criminal violations, a surprising 6 in 10 report that police officers did not always report serious criminal violations involving abuse of authority by fellow officers.
According to Neal Trautman, a former Winter Park, Fla., police officer and head of the National Institute of Ethics said, it is “virtually unheard of” for any police agency not to have a code of silence.
Michael Quinn, a former Minneapolis police officer and author of a book on the subject, Walking with the Devil, the Houston Police Department is the only Police Department that has advertised that they think there is no code of silence,” “Most believe it’s there and are trying to fight it”.
The Houston Police Department is promoted as a model police department for the 21st Century, because its leaders claim that most of the police complaints come from cops reporting fellow cops.
However, according to HPD records between 2000-2011 there were over 2100 use of force complaints filed against HPD officers. All the complaint were found to be Unfounded. IAD defines a complaint unfounded as; Allegation is false or not factual.
While it may be true, that Houston cops report fellow cops, it does not stop the retaliation against cops who “Break” the Code of Silence to report discrimination or sexual harassment in the Houston Police Department, including using “Last-Chance” Compromise Waiver Agreements based on trumped-up discipline charges, including baseless criminal investigations to intimidate and coerce officers under economic duress, to relinquish their constitutional rights by dropping any and all discrimination complaints they may have with EEOC, or drop discrimination/retaliation lawsuits, in order to save their jobs.
The Houston Police Department has an ongoing pattern and practice of retaliating against female and minority officers who report discrimination or sexual harassment. Since 1998 -2015, the City of Houston and the Houston Police Department has been held liable by EEOC and the Courts for retaliating against officers who reported discrimination and/ or sexual harassment. Between May 2005 and May 2010 approximately 100 officers reported discrimination, and or retaliation, including 31 sexual harassment complaints with HPD.
The latest case Zamora v City of Houston dated August 19, 2015, Zamora’s expert testified that the Department operated under a “code of silence” in which officers would retaliate against those who complained, spoke out against others, or filed complaints or lawsuits.
The US Civil Rights Act states any entity receiving federal financial assistance cannot engage in discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Yet the Houston Police Department has a documented history of a pattern and practice of violating officers civil rights, while continuing to receive federal financial assistance.
According to the White House reports between 2009 and 2014, the US federal government provided local law enforcement with $18 billion in funds and resources, including 10 million to the Houston Police Department in 2011.
We believe the US government should cut off federal funding to police departments that have a pattern and practice of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
We believe Police Departments must start holding “Bad” Cops accountable, to avoid an Anti-Police climate that endanger the lives of all cops and citizens.
We also believe not holding “Bad” Cops accountable Police Departments run the risk of fewer men and women willing to go into Law Enforcement, because no one wants to be part of a system, or culture, a Code of Silence, Blue Wall of Silence that protects “Bad” Cops, while retaliating against “Good” Cops who report police misconduct.
It’s time for everyone, including President Trump to speak out against Police Departments that keep “Bad” Cops on the job.
It’s time for Law Enforcement Agencies to (1) Implement mechanisms to identify problematic cops and setup efforts to purge “Bad” Cops with a history of excessive and deadly force out of law enforcement (2) Implement mandatory screening process during the hiring process to eliminate cops who have ties to violent racist hate groups or have racial bias towards minorities (3) Join the Military in purging Cops who have ties to violent racist hate groups out of Law Enforcement (4) Implement Whistle Blower Laws, to protect “Good” Cops who report police misconduct, this includes discrimination from retaliation
“If you are neutral in situations of Injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmond Tutu
We are challenging retired Cops and Citizens to support “Good” Cops, to speak out on behalf of hard working “Good” Cops who are unfairly faced with hostility while trying to do a difficult and dangerous job, sometime made more dangerous by the misconduct of fellow officers.
We believe Police Reform Starts with you, please support calls for;
- Independent Police Review Boards with subpoena power, to investigative complaints of police misconduct, this includes discrimination and retaliation in police departments.
- Whistle Blower Law to protect “Good” Cops who report police misconduct, this includes discrimination from retaliation
A Cop Explains How Good Officers Are Turned Into Bad Ones
According to former St. Louis police officer, Redditt Hudson, there is a method to how good police officers are turned into bad ones. In his article, Hudson uses the premise of his colleague K.L. Williams who suggests that 15% of police officers will always do the right thing, 15% will always abuse their power, and the remaining 70% could go either way depending on with whom they are partnered. Hudson echoes this sentiment throughout his article giving examples of the abuses of power that he witnessed first hand while on the job in St. Louis.
“That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist…they may end up doing terrible things.”
Hudson forwarded the idea that many activists and scholars clearly have argued: racism and the abuse of authority by police officers is not solely a white issue. “It is not only white officers who abuse their authority, ” Hudson writes. “The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what the color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown.” Here, Hudson is speaking to the fundamental nature of both institutional racism and white supremacy. Many black and brown people have, overtime, become the instrument through which racism is carried out.
Hudson gave five points that he wished every American would understand about police officers in America:
- There are officers who willfully violate the human rights of the people in the communities they serve
- The bad officers corrupt the departments they work for
- The mainstream media helps to sustain the narrative of heroism that even corrupt officers take refuge in
- Cameras provide the most objective record of police-citizen encounters available
- There are officers around the country who want to address institutional racism.
Nevertheless, Hudson explains that in the absence of meaningful efforts by leadership to reverse the trend of police abuse of power which disproportionately affects communities of color, the 70% of officers that vacillate between doing the right thing and the wrong thing are left to the influence of the 15% who consistently abuse power. According to Hudson, this fact is the direct result of the disproportionate affect on police culture the bad cops have. “They exert an outsize [sic] influence on department culture and find support for their actions from ranking officers and police unions.”
This is how good cops are turned bad. They are left to the undue and out-sized influence of the 15% percent of cops who will always do the wrong thing. That small portion of the police force shapes the culture and nature of the department that those “potentially” good/bad cops grow into. According to Hudson, their behavior is learned and is passed down from one generation of police officer to the next.
Retired Police Officers Applaud Arrest in SC Shooting of Unarmed Black Man
Cheryl Dorsey Speaker, Police Expert & Community Advocate
Posted: 04/10/2015 11:10 am EDT Updated: 04/10/2015 11:59 am EDT
NCLEO4J demands justice in shooting by white cop of black unarmed SC man.
North Charleston, South Carolina authorities were swift and decisive in their response to the video depicting a white police officer, on duty, shooting an unarmed black man as he ran away. Now we want justice!!!
The National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice Reform & Accountability (NCLEO4J) consists of a diverse ethnic group of veteran, retired police officers from across the nation. The NCLEO4J applauds South Carolina authorities’ quick response in the arrest of Police Officer Michael Thomas Slager who was charged in the death of, unarmed, Walter Lamer Scott, 50.
The mayor and police chief received a cellphone video that appeared to show Scott fleeing as Slager fired approximately eight shots in his direction; charges were filed less than an hour later.
Now that South Carolina has taken this very important first step in arresting and charging Slager with murder, the NCLEO4J along with the Scott family and an outraged community demand justice and accountability. NCLEO4J is looking forward to an equally swift and aggressive prosecution in this case.
It would appear that failure, by some police agencies, to aggressively pursue prosecution of egregious acts perpetrated by police officers has created a “teflon cop” type of atmosphere. Some police officers have been shown to act with impunity when it comes to the killing of black and brown men and exacerbated by the officers subsequent willingness to manufacture (false) probable cause to justify that thing that we all know is unjustifiable.
When police chiefs and police commissioners coddle dishonest police officers and circle the wagons to protect their police department rather than the community to which they promised to protect (& serve) we are left to scratch our collective heads in disbelief.
What is it going to take to stop this madness? When are police officers who abuse their authority going to be held accountable? Are we as a society finally ready to require our police officers to articulate that “fear for safety” in a real and undeniable way before we just “take their word?”
But for that cellphone video, Officer Slager’s version of the deadly shooting would stand alone. We have seen too many times where eyewitness testimony is discounted, if you come from the wrong side of the tracks; victims of deadly force are vilified and the exaggerating, fabricating police officer lives to offend again as in the deaths ofMike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford III and Ezell Ford.
This latest incident in South Carolina is not the first time that the South Carolina authorities have demonstrated a willingness and desire to seek justice. Remember in September 2014, when Levar Edward Jones had been stopped by a South Carolina state trooper, Sean M. Groubert, in Columbia and asked to show his driver’s license?
As Jones reached inside his SUV to retrieve the license the SC trooper shot at him four times. Thankfully, Jones survived. Groubert was fired within two weeks and charged with felony assault and battery “of a high and aggravated nature.”
The National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform & Accountability will be watching as we continue to advocate on behalf of and with the families of victims of police brutality and deadly force.
It is the intention of the NCLEO4J to stand in support of victim families, movements and legislators like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, co-sponsor of the” Build Trust Act.” NCLEO4J stands with a group of USC students who are involved in legislative research and advocacy entitled, “End Racial Profiling Act 2015.”
We endeavor to end the institutional racism that shapes every part of the United States criminal justice system, and work to end police culture that shields abusive and criminal officers from accountability while attacking those who point out their crimes and abuses — this is the NCLEO4J mission.
Follow Cheryl Dorsey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sgtcheryldorsey
Black & Blue (The Creation of a Manifesto): The True Story of an African-American Woman on the LAPD and the Powerful Secrets She Uncovered (Volume 1) by Cheryl Dorsey
Real War on Cops Continues, 2 Officers Attacked by Dept for Exposing Fellow Cops’ Corruption
By William N. Grigg on October 10, 2015
The free thought Project.com
When he saw two of their colleagues committing unprofessional, potentially criminal behavior, Dallas Police Officer Christopher Worden did precisely what the public expected him to do: He intervened to prevent the abuse, and then reported the misconduct to his supervisor,Sgt. Jason Scoggins, who filed the appropriate paperwork with the department.
According to a whistleblower lawsuit filed by the officers, for “crossing the Blue Line”both of them were hit with spurious excessive force complaints that led to lengthy internal affairs investigations and unwarranted administrative punishment.
On April 25, 2014, Officer Worden responded to a call at a downtown Wal-Mart. Officer Nicholas Smith and his supervisor, Sgt. Fred Mears, were already on the scene. Upon his arrival Worden witnessed an argument between Smith and a juvenile suspect, who was handcuffed in the back of a squad car.
Sgt. Mears told Worden to unshackle the teenager. Worden did as instructed, then Officer Smith removed his badge and gun belt in an effort to provoke a fight. Rather than taking charge of his subordinate, Sgt. Mears actually encouraged him to escalate the situation in the apparent hope of punishing the mouthy teenager for “contempt of cop.” As the only practicing adult on the scene, Officer Worden moved to prevent what could have been a vicious episode of “street justice” by handcuffing the teen and putting him back in the cruiser. He then reported the incident to his superior, Sgt. Scoggins.
“They did exactly what every citizen of Dallas wants their police officers to do,” attorney Chris Livingston, who represents the whistleblowers, commented to the Dallas Morning News. “They said `This needs to be investigated because it’s wrong.’”
Mears and Smith each admitted their actions and were given administrative punishments. Within a few months, similar treatment was handed out to Scoggins and Worden as well – but in their case, it was done for the purpose of retaliation, not legitimate disciplinary action.
In September 2014, reported Dallas’s CBS affiliate, Scoggins and Worden responded to a “shots fired” report. Following a vehicular pursuit the officers cornered the suspect, who was still armed and refused commands to keep his hands raised. Instead of shooting and killing the suspect, the officers took him to the ground and handcuffed him.
Rather than being commended for apprehending an armed suspect without killing or injuring him, Scoggins and Worden were accused of excessive force. According to the lawsuit, Worden was placed on administrative leave and then given a punitive transfer to a less desirable assignment. In the case of Sergeant Scoggins, the Internal Affairs department recommended a demotion. The officers appealed the disciplinary recommendation to Chief David Brown, who overturned that finding and restored them to their previous duty assignments. The damage to the officers’ reputations on the force had already been done, however, and a message had been sent to other potential whistleblowers.
“Officers are being told, `You better not report it because, if you do, we’re going to punish you for it,’” comments Livingston.
Richard Todd, president of the Dallas Fraternal Order of Police, denies that the complaint was an act of retaliation by Sergeant Mears for reporting the incident in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Speaking on Mears’ behalf, Todd said that the officer “recognized that his behavior that day was wrong” while insisting that he “wouldn’t retaliate against the officers who reported it.”
However, according to the whistleblower suit, when Mears heard that Worden had been placed on administrative leave, he “celebrated … with a fist pump in front of at least two other sergeants.”
Assuming that allegation is true, Worden’s behavior says a great deal about what passes for his character. Something very different can be learned about Scoggins’ character from a commendation he recently received.
In August, Sergeant Scoggins (who also provides off-duty service as a private security guard for the Dallas Jesuit Prep School) was one of four officers awarded a Medal of Valor for their actions in apprehending an armed burglary suspect at an apartment complex called The Glass House. The memorandum nominating the officers for the commendation recounts that Sergeant Scoggins and Officer Derrick Evangelista “voluntarily placed themselves in the line of the suspect’s gunfire in order to protect potential innocent bystanders and to protect the lives of the officers inside the lobby.”
Unlike most police officers, Scoggins has actually faced potentially deadly situations in the field. Like a growing number of law enforcement whistleblowers, he can testify of the professional perils posed by the real “war on police” – the ever-escalating campaign within law enforcement to stifle and punish conscientious officers who are unwilling to countenance corruption and abuse behind the Blue Wall.