Wednesday, April 1, 2015

see text below--->
see text below.. as a VICTIM OF POLICE HARASSMENT-
its hard not to say FCK TH EPOLICE- SO FCK THE POLICE COMMAND STAFF- for continually allowing this sort of  mis-behavior to continue..The Police arent above the laws.. but sure act like they are..

red alert! red alert! Damage control teams report for duty!
 lets add up the police action shootings- the prosecutors never ever disagrees with the  verdict- but why all the HUGE  out of court settlements? see text below..


the fort wayne police department is full of bad cops, crooked cops, cops that need to be retired- per"mandatory retirement age of 6o; and too much to list here..

Just another reason to avoid fort wayne like the plague!
arrive on vacation, leave on probation..

key paragraph:
At other times, however, race has been very much a factor in dividing the FWPD from part of the community it is privileged to protect and serve. In the 1990s the U.S. Justice Department investigated allegations that police had targeted minorities for physical abuse, and black officers complained about being unfairly disciplined -- a claim echoed just last year by City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, in relation to a case involving a 33-year veteran who "retired" in October.


Fort Wayne's no Ferguson, but comparison shows old wounds heal slowly

Don't let old grievances get in the way of positive change

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 12:01 am

With apologies to Richard Stevenson, the most obvious proof that Fort Wayne is not Ferguson, Mo., is its people's refusal to be incited by inflammatory political rhetoric.
Even so, it would be a mistake to dismiss the Democratic mayoral hopeful's recent comparison of the two cities without also acknowledging that Stevenson's concerns are neither unique nor new. The relationship between Fort Wayne's Police Department and minorities has had its ups and downs for years, and Stevenson's insistence last week that the FWPD "needs to be cleaned up" was especially jarring because he insists it was directed not at the rank and file but at the department's leadership -- a group that includes Garry Hamilton, Fort Wayne's first black chief, whose appointment in late 2013 was intended in part to change things for the better.
The problem is that change takes time, and bad memories linger. And so even though the 69-year-old Stevenson told me he's running for mayor because he believes in the city's tomorrows, he also acknowledged being a "product of yesterday."
And in Fort Wayne and elsewhere, that history has too often been one of confrontation and suspicion -- conditions that, justified or not, will not be erased easily or overnight.
That was evident in the violence that occurred in Ferguson and other cities following the fatal shooting last August of African-American Michael Brown by white officer Darren Wilson, which even before the facts were known became a symbol of historic grievances. Stevenson, on the other hand, hurt his own argument by citing a case even most critics considered an example of poor judgment and excessive force, not racism.
In 2007, Baudilio Lemus-Rodriguez was shot and killed by white officer James Arnold after the Guatemala native, who had been drinking, reportedly tried to ram police with his car following a traffic stop. A private consultant hired by the city to review the case ruled the shooting "objectively reasonable," but the city paid a $335,000 settlement and changed some of its procedures as a result. Five years later Arnold was suspended for 30 days for using excessive force in a different case.
"(Arnold) should have hit the streets for unemployment," Stevenson told a candidate forum at the Urban League office earlier this month.
At other times, however, race has been very much a factor in dividing the FWPD from part of the community it is privileged to protect and serve. In the 1990s the U.S. Justice Department investigated allegations that police had targeted minorities for physical abuse, and black officers complained about being unfairly disciplined -- a claim echoed just last year by City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, in relation to a case involving a 33-year veteran who "retired" in October.
Whatever the legitimacy of those suspicions, they are real -- and part of the yesterday shared by Stevenson and others. And although his Fort Wayne-Ferguson comparison will hurt Stevenson politically in some quarters (it may have cost him local firefighters' endorsement and was blasted by the police union), it will no doubt help him in others.
The politically incorrect demographics of crime are of course responsible for some of those suspicions, but one need not ignore reality to alleviate them.
Henry clearly understands that, acknowledging last December that former Chief (now Safety Director) Rusty York had difficulty breaking through the color barrier. Hamilton does too, telling me in January that he would try to make the department more diverse and racially and culturally sensitive. But Hamilton is also aware of something else: the expectation that, as a black man, he will either be expected to deliver more than he can produce or is nothing but a "white man in a black man's skin."
Whether intended or not, Stevenson's criticism reinforced the latter perception, possibly weakening the very man most able to address his concerns. So it was good to hear him apologize for giving offense, adding: "I respect what (police) do."
Time may or may not heal all wounds. Among people of good will, perhaps it will heal this one.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Kevin Leininger at or call him at 461-8355.


Letter to the editor: Reckless judgment in candidate's statement

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 12:01 am

I feel that for Richard Stevenson to compare Fort Wayne to Ferguson, Mo., is reckless, to say the least. What environment will this create here in this city? We seen what happened when people rushed to judgment. I think for a mayoral candidate to say such a thing is in effect saying the Fort Wayne Police Department is like the police department of Ferguson, and we know as citizens that the saying “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch” does not apply here.
There are a lot of wonderful officers who work very hard to protect this wonderful place we call home. Can they seem aloof, or maybe cautious? It’s called being ready for anything. They don’t know if someone is going to harm them; they must be on and always on the defensive, period.
But trying to incite another Ferguson, or New York City, getting the people all in an uproar, isn’t what makes a good mayoral candidate for this city. I know that my fellow citizens know when someone is trying to whitewash a case for votes.
I have seen the officers at work in my area of town, so before you condemn these very brave men and women, I suggest that the facts, Mr. Stevenson, be brought forward. But I must agree with you on one point: Officer Arnold needs some serious reviews, or maybe even fired, but that isn’t my call or yours.
Even if you do become our next mayor, you, by the statement you made, just threw the officers under the bus. Even though you have apologized, the damage has been done.
Charles A. Sizemore

First, special thanks to everyone who has called, text and private messaged me this news—especially those who have asked me to re-engage on this matter. I am honored and humbled by your requests.
Second, I do not know whether or not Mayor Henry knew or did not know about the ill-timed “homeless eviction.” That matter, in and of itself, raises a series of questions: (1) How could the Mayor NOT know about the “homeless evictions”? Doesn’t he, his family or at least one person on his staff watch TV? If not, perhaps the Mayor should start making some changes within his administrative staff—and maybe surround himself with people who will tell him the truth about what he needs to hear versus glossing over facts and situations to tell him what he wants to hear. (2) If the Mayor truly did not know about this police action and the Parks Department did not know about this police action, then this police action was rogue. Since when does the FWPD start engaging in public policy actions (evicting the homeless) on their own? And what is the Mayor going to do to make sure that non-sanctioned public policy actions of this nature do not happen again? Also, what administrative procedures will the Mayor develop and put into place that creates a public paper trail that restores public confidence in the ability of the Mayor’s office to thwart these sort of non-sanctioned police activities in the future?
Thirdly, the City’s “official” statement on this matter, as released this morning, is nice and “fluffy” and offers no real substance. It does not answer questions that many people have, such as who ordered this police action. It doesn’t answer questions as to why were the homeless threatened with arrest when the police could only issue tickets and fines. The City needs to stop passing the buck on this matter, admit that a mistake was made, acknowledge that the approach was indeed heavy-handed, and own up to who ordered this police action or…..OR….alternatively, admit that FWPD engaged in this action on their own and admit that this was a non-sanctioned police action.
Lastly, while it is easy to hold the Mayor accountable for this transgression against the homeless—and ultimately, where police actions are concerned, the buck does stop with the Mayor—we must all remember that these homeless people are also supposed to be represented by members of City Council. The part of the Rivergreenway that is in question lies within the geographical boundaries of the 5th District (Democrat Geoff Paddock) and on the border of the 2nd District (Republican Russ Jehl). The Rivergreenway is also within the political boundaries of City Council At-Large members, which includes Republican John Crawford, Democrat John Shoaff, and Republican Marty Bender, who also serves as a member of FWPD leadership. Where is the outrage from these members of City Council?
City council silence on this matter screams of bipartisan hypocrisy—and of consent that its somehow permissible for Fort Wayne citizens to be coerced and threatened with illegal arrests. Once elected, representatives are supposed to REPRESENT everyone within their district—those who helped get them elected, those who voted against them, those who didn’t vote, and those who may not have known they could vote due to questions of residency because they are transient and homeless. Homeless people may be “undesirable” but they are still PEOPLE, and citizens of Fort Wayne….and as such, they have the same right to representation as anyone else does. City Council members seem to have forgotten their duty or have chosen to be in dereliction of that duty.
Shame on FWPD for allowing themselves to be used as a heavy-handed means to a river development end. Shame on the Mayor’s office for passing the buck on the “homeless eviction” matter and for passing off “fluff” as a proper response instead of owning the police action, acknowledging whether it was sanctioned or not, and outlining the administrative steps that will be taken in the future to thwart such an action. Shame on the bipartisan five-member majority of City Council for failing to do the duty for which they were elected to do—for not speaking out against the “homeless eviction,” especially the illegal threats of arrest and the forced coercion tactic of “move or FWPD will take your private property” aimed directly at citizens.


Fort Wayne mother sues FWPD over son's 2013 shooting death

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 9:10 am

A Fort Wayne mother filed a lawsuit Monday in federal district court alleging her late son’s civil rights were violated when Fort Wayne Police shot him to death April 27, 2013, after he ran from a vehicle that police had stopped at Congress Avenue and Gaywood Drive.
TaVontae Haney, 19, was shot multiple times by two or more Fort Wayne Police officers after they caught up to him two or three blocks away from the traffic stop, despite him being unarmed at the time they confronted him as he was posing “no imminent threat of harm to officers,” the lawsuit filed by his mother, Rosie Haney, alleges.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, names as defendants the city of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Police officers John Drummer and Cameron Norris, and unknown officers.
The lawsuit accuses police officers of “excessive and unreasonable force, a negligent use of force, and battery,” and violating the younger Haney’s rights to freedom from unreasonable seizure. The lawsuit also alleges that police denied him adequate medical care.
Police said non-police witnesses told investigators Haney was armed, did not drop the weapon after being ordered to do so, and began to aim the weapon toward officers. A firearm allegedly was found with his body in the 4300 block of Spatz Avenue. In February 2014, the Allen County prosecutor’s office ruled the shooting was justified and that the officers fired in self-defense.
Haney asks the court to award her an unspecified amount of damages for the loss of the love and services of her son, as well as for the grief, emotional pain, mental anguish and other damages she suffered. Instead of or in addition to those damages, she seeks an unspecified amount of damages for the pain and suffering her son suffered before his death.

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