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News :: Human Rights
#409 - A Bully with a Badge
15 Jan 2005
Either the officer does not know the law - and therefore should not be on the streets in "law enforcement" or, as I actually suspect, was knowingly fabricating laws to harrass us for asking for his badge number and should not be on the streets as a "bully with a badge".
On the morning of Saturday, January 15th, 2005 at approximately 1:40 AM, a Cambridge police officer (Badge #409} pulled over a car in which I was a passenger.

The officer proceeded to the front of our vehicle and, as he approached, screamed to the passenger in the front passenger seat "Hey ... what are you doing! What are you digging for!" and drew his gun from the holster. The driver told him imediately "He's getting the registration! Are you going to shoot me for getting the registration?!"

The officer replaced the gun in the holster, then
proceeded to explain that he had pulled us over
because "There's been an armed robbery reported. Four people. I pulled you over because you have four people in the car." He then ducked his head, glanced in the car and pronounced that "Okay. You don't fit the description. You're free to go."

As he walked away from the window and the shock of the absurdity of the statement that we were being stopped for something so stupid wore off, a passenger asked incredulously, "Wait. You stopped us because we have four people in the car? Ae you serious?" The officer responded threateningly, so the passenger requested to have his badge number.

As soon as the request was made, the officer went into a rage, immediately called for another car to come and told the passengers of the stopped car, "Okay. If you want to make this hard, we'll make this hard." - clearly signalling that contrary to his earlier assertion that we were free to go, that we were now being detained for the mere act of asking for his badge number.

He then asked for identification (never at any time
did he provide his own badge number during this
exchange, we only were able to get his own badge
number from the ticket despite repeated requests) and - after being told only moments ago that they were "free to go" the passengers refused to provide identification as they had done absolutely nothing wrong and were being harrassed merely for asking for the badge number of the officer.

The officer then pulled every person except the driver out of the car and searched them, claimed that "If you don't have ID, then we'll take you down to the station and take your fingerprints and we'll keep you in jail until we figure out who you are." When the passengers still refused to provide identification, he then announced that "if you don't give me your ID, then she [referring to the driver] will be getting a citation". The other officers who had arrived by this point looked at #409 in obvious confusion and the officer explained himself as "failure to ID at night". The passengers replied that there was, of course, no such
law and the officer repeated "You wanted to make this hard, we'll make it hard."

True to his word, the officer returned to the car
after a waiting period of approximately 15 minutes - During the searches of the pasengers, he had
improperly and illegally stolen the identification of
the passengers from within their respective wallets, and made a show of "running" them to see if we had warrants. We of course did not. - and handed the driver a ticket for a broken left tail-light and two more citations for "refusing to ID at night.

As is obvious from the very beginning of this
altercation and his drawing his gun to his absurd
reason for stopping us "you have four people" to his telling us we were "free to go" only to then start dragging passengers out of the vehicle when asked for his own badge number, this officer was obvious not fit for duty on this morning. The citations on the ticket he presented to the driver, however, were ever more peculiar.

Defective Tail-light. Citation: 90/7. The left
tail-light was not broken, obviously, and he did not
even mention the tail-light while stopping us and then telling us we were "free to go".

Refusing to ID at night. Citation: 90/11. There were three passengers, but he only charged two passengers with "refusing to produce ID at night". There are only three lines on the tickets of this type, so adding the third erroneous ID charge would have forced him to write on another piece of paper all the same information. The officer was not only abusive of power and physically threatening with both his body language and his gun itself, but was also evidently too lazy to fill out another form with what he knew to be complete fabrications. As a matter of note - for those of you who may not be clear on this, 90/11 is the statue requiring DRIVERS to ID, not passengers. Passengers
are not, of course, required to provide a driver's
license because .... THEY'RE NOT DRIVING! The
laughable "at night" addendum is as irrelevant as it
is pathetic. Either the officer does not know the law - and therefore should not be on the streets in "law enforcement" or, as I actually suspect, was knowingly fabricating laws to harrass us for asking for his badge number and should not be on the streets as a "bully with a badge".

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Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
17 Jan 2005
this was forwarded to UJP, and the following is their response (I think they thought it was about me):
I have been asked by UJP to respond to the police complaint which you sent to them.

My suggestion is that you file a complaint with both the Cambridge Police Department and the Police Review and Advisory Board. You should
write up the incident identifying the officer and including as many of the details as you can remember. Others in the car can either file
additional statements or sign on to one ogether. If you think that race or ethnicity played a role in the incident please address that issue identifying the race of those detained and the race of the officer.

You can file with the police directly by either delivering the statement in person to Police Headquarters, room 202, 5 Western Avenue
(in Central square), or by mailing it in. You can also file it by email to cburke@cambridge police.org. Phone is 617 349 3385. They probably
have a formal complaint form that they will want you to submit at some point along with the statement.

The Police Review and Advisory Board is a civilian review board. They are located at 51 Inman Street, 2nd floor. You can get information
about them at www.cambridgema.gov/PRAB/. They exist to handle this kind of complaint.

If you have questions you can contact me, or go the web site of the City of Cambridge (www.city.cambridge.ma.us) and check out both the Police Department and Police Review and Advisory Board for more information.

John Roberts
jwrhuron (at) comcast.net

_________________________________________
hope this helps. -Amanda
Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
19 Jan 2005
it sucks that you were yelled at and probably "traumatized" by this officer, but what about the 150 or so Police Officers who die in the line of duty every year, the vast majority of which die during traffic stops. Suggestion, next time you need help call the blac bloc.
Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
19 Jan 2005
Let's take a look at the breathtakingly 'dangerous' job of police officer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 150 police fatalities a year, over 3/4 come from motor accidents not related to arrest situations. Even counting the motor accidents, police work is still among the safest professions, listed as slightly safer than gardener.
Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
19 Jan 2005
shame on you, think of all the heroic gardeners who die in the line of duty every year!!!
Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
20 Jan 2005
Badge #409, huh?

Could it be this officer?
http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=16079
or this officer?
http://www.odmp.us/officer.php?oid=16171
or this one?
http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=1672
Hmm, that one was shot in a traffic stop...

You might be eager to criticize the police now, but take it from your elders: it's a slippery slope to the "cop killer" mentality. So just because you see number 409, doesn't mean you can get away with assaulting him.
Re: #409 - A Bully with a Badge
20 Jan 2005
My name is Marshall. There must be a thousand other dead people with the name marshall. It proves nothing. Those fucking pigs should learn something from those brave courageous gardeners.
Actually
21 Jan 2005
In 2004, out of 154 officers who died in the line, 57 ( that's about one third for those of you who are mathimatically challenged) died from gunshot wounds ( criminal assault). This doesn't count the literally thousands of officers who are injured or wounded every year.