Two more claims of excessive force, the FBI requested more files from Internal Affairs, more allegations of police brutality, the Kokopellis chaos continues with another arrest and yet another video, racial tensions show no signs of easing and the lawsuits keep piling up with, I am sure, more to come.
I won’t reiterate anything that has already been written, but click the links at the bottom to see the reports.
Terry Kindlon an attorney representing Archie Davis, who was allegedly beaten by Officer Isaac Bertos after he allegedly resisted arrest last October, said it best (and I paraphrase what Channel 13 said): “A few bad apples reflect poorly on all the good officers on the force.”
I know that to be true. The great majority of Troy cops don’t randomly beat people. The majority are not racists. The majority just want to show up and do their job to the best of their ability – and that doesn’t include beating people just because.
That said, for a city the size of Troy to see this many allegations of excessive force in a relatively short period of time also reinforces another of Kindlon’s comments: “Something is peculiar in the City of Troy Police Department.”
Despite what some have claimed, I don’t think there is a departmental policy of targeting and beating black people. Two of the higher profile cases prior to the Kokopellis melee – Brian Houle and Frank Fogarty – involved a cop, Kyle Jones, beating white guys.
I think there are a handful of rogue cops – out of a force 130 strong - who really had no one to answer to for the better part of two years so they went out and did pretty much what they wanted without any fear of repercussion. As Chief John Tedesco was quoted as saying, the department will be looking for patterns of behavior among some of the officers. I won’t be surprised if he finds a few. And I won’t be surprised if he takes swift and appropriate action against them.
If in fact it is determined that some officers did use excessive force then they should be punished accordingly and/or retrained. If that doesn’t cut it then they should be removed from the force. It’s as simple as that, really.
To paint the entire Police Department as a bunch of racist, out of control, nightstick wielding, renegades looking to bust heads every time they go out on patrol is simply not fair. It’s the same as saying every member of the Assembly is a pervert because six of the 150 got arrested for groping interns.
There was a time when I think the TPD engaged in racial profiling - like arresting people for not having a bell or a light on a bike and jaywalking and the entire Street Crimes Unit experiment - but even then it wasn't excessive force. Offensive and likely a violation of a person's Civil Rights, but it wasn't geared around random acts of brutality.
Here are the links:
-The Times Union story about the FBI wanting more files.
-The Times Union story about the other two excessive force complaints.
-The Channel 13 story about the guy getting arrested for attempted robbery for trying to steal a cops nightstick - yes you read that right - including an interview with the arrested guy, a new cell phone video and an interview with attorney Terry Kindlon.
-The Channel 13 story about an officer, Isaac Bertos, throwing a guy head first into a patrol car and then charging him with a felony. Includes a video and an interview with the guy's attorney, Joe Ahearn.