Sunday, February 19, 2012

News flash: Cop calls Grits a liar

Grits is a liar, says Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo! Go here to read why then come back here for, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.

Let's start by quickly granting what was incorrect  in my original post about getting stopped twice Friday night a week ago with my granddaughter on the way home from roller skating (an account which received, much to my surprise and without my assistance, an almost absurd amount of social media attention until eventually the Statesman picked it up). Throughout, with the chief's approbation, I declined comment.

Basically two things I wrote were flat-out wrong, both of which are detailed in an Update/Correction posted at the end of the original item on Friday. First, I recalled an officer pulling his taser out when in fact his hand hovered over his weapon but it remained holstered. After I finally got to see some of the video for myself, I posted a correction. I also posted another correction: I originally thought the deputy constable (the first officer who detained us) had called in the rest of the cavalry and assigned blame to her when I shouldn't. Turns out, she did the right thing and IMO it was APD who overreacted, an opinion which explains why the chief is mad.

What's still in dispute? Mostly red herrings. I never alleged police brutality nor misconduct. In fact, in the comment section and more than a few emails to reporters I insisted there was none. I did say in the post I was "roughly cuffed." And if the tape rolls long enough (I don't know what was released to the media) at some point I asked them to loosen the cuffs as they were cinched up tight enough to be painful - a small thing, perhaps, if it's not you, but a "lie"? To his credit, one of the officers loosened the cuffs shortly before I was released.

Acevedo also pretends in the Statesman article that his officers stopped us because I refused to identify myself to the deputy constable. In fact, the deputy constable's written report, which the chief let me read in his office but would not give me a copy of, she said she stopped us, asked Ty a few questions, seemingly did not think the situation required further investigation and had begun to return to the Millenium Center. It was then that APD was told a deputy constable was on the scene, and they had her patched through via dispatch. Moments before APD was about to roll up on us, the deputy constable told APD that she'd spoken to us, gave them the child's name, told them I was her grandfather, and began to run toward the scene. She never told APD I did not identify myself before I was handcuffed, so that fact-bite was irrelevant. (Judging from the one-sided account, Acevedo apparently did not release the constable's written report, nor the dispatch tape of her saying that to APD along with the materials he gave the Statesman Friday.)

What aspects of my original recitation were correct? Well, basically everything else. Despite Acevedo's inflammatory attack on my credibility, not much is actually in dispute. Someone called 911 when I left the Millennium Center with my granddaughter. I was stopped not once but twice. I did, in fact, allow the Constable to question Ty and she left understanding that I was Ty's grandpa. We were then stopped by several APD officers. I counted six cars initially, with three more arriving soon thereafter and a supervisor arriving later. Acevedo didn't dispute any of that. I was handcuffed. Ty was taken away from me, pulled into a police car and questioned. We were not immediately released. Some minutes later, after they finally called my wife and daughter, we were let go without an apology. And the child had numerous questions and opinions about the incidents that I tried to accurately recollect.

So, on the basis of one factual error which I readily owned after seeing the conflicting video, I am a liar, says the chief. The strangest part is, Acevedo brought me into APD headquarters Thursday afternoon to meet with him and his staff, proposing that we do a media interview together and try and make all this a "teaching moment" for the public (his words). He was upset that the issue was being discussed without him getting to "frame" it. I'd turned down more than two-dozen requests for media interviews on this topic, from every local print and TV outlet to Anderson Cooper, but because the media frenzy had gotten so out of hand even without my participation, after mulling it over with the family, I agreed to do a joint interview with him (now decidedly not happening).

My first hint that Acevedo was about to show me an especially Janus-faced visage came Friday afternoon, when he began leaking emails and launching personal attacks on a local listserv through his favorite stalking horse, retired Texas Monthly publisher Mike Levy. Then Saturday in the paper he's calling me a liar. "Teaching moment" my ass.

It would be convenient for him if I were. Grits has been a bit of a thorn in the department's side dating to the mid-'90s when I co-founded a political action committee that successfully pushed for the creation of Austin's Police Monitor Office and ran a website publishing police misconduct reports from the department garnered under open records. So taking this opportunity to try and discredit me personally must have been just too tempting to pass up.

Did I intentionally make up the drawn taser? Of course not, no more than a witness who falsely identifies a suspect by mistake. In 2001, I helped pass the legislation to require cameras in police cars, for heaven's sake, I knew full well the incident was being taped! I said what I remembered and remembered that detail wrong. Vision and memory is not the same as a videotape. Anyone who follows innocence issues knows much of our vision of constructed from memory and witnesses make mistakes. Carl Reynolds from the Office of Court Administration once recounted how, after he and several others were accosted in a robbery in Atlanta, he "learned later that [he and his] colleagues ... did not even agree on the number of young men." Were some of them lying? I don't think so. Neither was I, and I'm man enough to admit I was wrong. Hence the correction.

Similarly, I was wrong to assume the deputy constable called in the cavalry. With 20/20 hindsight, having reviewed all the materials the chief showed me (which is more than the press has seen so far), she's the one who did it right, investigating a serious allegation without needlessly scaring a child or applying more restrictive force than was necessary to contain the situation. She also told APD moments before they detained me that she'd spoken to the child, gave them her name, and said I was her Grandpa. My apologies for my original, false interpretation, both to the deputy and Constable Danny Thomas' shop.

Many, many people have asked whether I will sue or file a complaint, so let me reiterate here, just as I said in the blog comments and in writing to Chief Acevedo and Ms. Osborn (though somehow she didn't find it fit to print): "Not only am I not going to sue the police, I doubt anyone even violated APD policies so a complaint wouldn't do much either - they're TRAINED to respond like that, which is my main beef with what happened. This wasn't a bug in the system, it's a feature."

As I said in Grits comments and to the Chief, both face to face in front of a roomful of brass and in writing, I don't believe what those officers did violated any law, departmental policy or court ruling, and in fact it likely conformed to APD's training and the expectations of their supervisors. I never said otherwise. It was completely "by the book." But there are some really good books that may not be completely appropriate for a five-year old. I'm not saying don't investigate, I'm saying exercise some self-restraint, discretion and common sense, like the deputy did. When your investigation is happening in front of a small child and there's no immediate threat, I prefer the deputy constable's book to APD's approach. That's the full extent of any policy criticism I have on the incident.

What bugs me most about the Statesman article wasn't some cop calling me a liar - that happens twice a week if you read Grits comments. No, what gets my goat is the chief spent nearly two hours glad handing me on Thursday and never once called me a liar, never once alleged bad faith, said he wanted us to move forward to respond together, blah, blah, blah. Then the next day he ropes in some in-the-can Statesman reporter, dripping out partial information to do a hatchet piece.

There are many types of courage in the world. The kind of courage to confront criminals on the street is certainly one type. Then there's the courage required to admit a mistake. And there's having the grit to look a man in the eye and say the same things to his face that you do behind his back. Or perhaps that last one has become an outdated virtue?

RELATED: Just so Grits can say they've been published as prominently as the original post, here are the two corrections I appended to the original blog post on Friday:
UPDATE/CORRECTIONS (2/17): Yesterday afternoon I had the opportunity to review the documentation, video, audio and police reports related to this incident in Art Acevedo's office and heard his pitch why this blog post was unfair. There are really only two corrections I'd make having now seen the videos and other documentation Chief Acevedo showed me yesterday. (I'm probably going to write about it again over the weekend.) First, I recollected in the blog post that an officer had a taser drawn and from the video the officer's arm was only crooked and prepared to draw. It happened in a flash and like many eyewitnesses, when under a perceived threat, my mind filled in some pieces erroneously, I'll be the first to admit in light of the video evidence. It was not an intentional error. That said, I correctly perceived that all of a sudden a LOT of cops were on us out of nowhere and if I'd made any sudden or untoward moves I'd be tazed or worse. I think it wasn't unreasonable for either of us to feel threatened by them rolling up on us like that.

The other error was that the original post cast unfair blame on the deputy constable. Her report said that after we'd spoken, she was heading back to the Millenium Center thinking the incident was over when the dispatcher patched into the constable's frequency because they'd heard from the Millenium Center she'd gone after us. In the dispatcher's audio, she tells APD just before they roll up on us that she'd spoken to us, gave them Ty's name and told them I was her grandpa. Though I blamed her (unfairly) both at the scene and in the initial post, falsely thinking she'd called in the cavalry, she did not. In fact, in the scheme of things she got it right. Basically two departments with overlapping jurisdictions responded to this complaint: One came at us based on a community policing approach where she walked up calmly, asked a few questions, and according to her report was satisfied and had begun to return to her shift until she heard on the radio APD was coming. By contrast, APD handcuffed first and asked questions later. That's the big difference between the two departments' approaches.

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
quash said...

Attaboy. Across the board.

Anonymous said...

Next time Anderson Cooper, et al. The best defense from a lying chief is a powerful offense. :~)

Anonymous said...

Cuban Communist Police Chief Art Acevedo at his best trying to cover for his soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Next time tell them your name and cooperate and it wouldn't go down like it did.

You still are congenitally unable to say you made it up about the tasers, eh?

Your credibility vanished on this one.

Anonymous said...

If anyone was smooching anyone's behind it was you in your email begging the chief not to release the video. What a whiner.

Prison Doc said...

It used to be said that one should not pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

I suppose there is an electronic media equivalent to that, and Grits obviously has barrels of "bytes".

gravyrug said...

Stand your ground, Scott. APD's policies on this are simply wrong, and need to be challenged. Avecedo is showing his true colors by attacking you because he's embarrassed.

Scott in South Austin said...

The ability to serve as a law enforcement office in Texas is termed a "peace officer." A lot of officers out on the streets don't worry about "keeping the peace" but instead have the lock em up and throw away the key mentality.

Stan Knee and Camille Cates-Barnett were far better police chiefs than Art Acevedo. They both advocated and provided resources for community policing. Art brings the California Highway Patrol mentality of we're right and you're wrong. Art wants bigger badges (got em), bigger guns, more airships, 300 Crown Victorias, and more officers. His officers are the highest paid LEOs in the State of Texas.

I'm not going to Monday Morning Quarterback this incident. But I am getting pretty tired of paying more money every year in salaries and pension benefits to LEOs who seem to becoming more omnipotent and fail to respect the law abiding citizens. I sense that we're about to reach a tipping point where the costs of litigation because of overzelous officers begins driving up payments for wrongful arrests.


Thank you Grits for sharing this story. I first learned about this from a Mike Levy e-mail, who champions himself as the all knowing potentate of public safety. I like Mike but sometimes he's not correct. I'm personally in the Bill Spelman camp, i.e., we need to be spending tax dollars on our infrastructure and the non civil-service City employees. APD has more than enough resources and can easily utilize DPS and Federal resources for bigger operations.

And no, I don't work for the City.

Anonymous said...

"Next time tell them your name and cooperate and it wouldn't go down like it did."

Okay, I assume your a cop. So, tell me the law that says you have to provide your name to the police? It is absolutely scary to read some of the comments made by cops on here. You either are completely ignorant of the law and the constitution or you simply believe that police make the laws and anyone who asserts otherwise is a criminal. Which is it? Apparently the academies are no longer training officers in the law.

We used to fear a communist country where people were required to show their papers when asked. Have we become what we feared? Many police officers would be good loyal communists.

Anonymous said...

Like I said in an earlier post, it's part of a cops' training to make them narrow-minded. This often leads to the mentality that there are only two kinds of people: cops and everyone else. So, guess which category the REAL bad guys fit into.

Also, as I outlined earlier, there were better ways to handle this situation. But, when it takes a dozen people to collectively make one brain, it won't happen.

Anonymous said...

Scott, you were truly lucky in this incident. Had you said the wrong thing you would have been arrested for "contempt of cop." It happens every day. I can tell, without seeing the video that you did not behave too badly towards the police simply by the fact that you were not arrested. Had you uttered the wrong words you would have been arrested.

I know this because I was arrested for "contempt of the DA" in Smith County. I said some things I shouldn't have to Mr. Bingham. As I was leaving his office his investigator, Fabio Martinez, tackled me from behind. I was told I was being arrested for disorderly conduct. Later they concocted a story saying I assaulted Martinez. Contempt of the DA resulted in a felony charge. Unfortunately, there was no video. If there had been I would have had a great case for false arrest and excessive force. Without the video, it was my word agains theres. I hired an attorney they were afraid of and they offered to drop it to a misdemeanor. While I was innocent, I took the deal because I knew they would lie to send me to prison.

So, Scott, you were lucky, very lucky.

Texas Connie Gray said...

My son suffers with schizophrenia/bipolar. COUNTLESS times there have been interactions with police officers who want to impose force rather than understand the person and the situation. One day he had a problem at the Travis County Tax office and the officers who responded pushed him up against the wall outside the building. Unlike your case, it would be impossible to view any video tape to find out exactly what happened because the officers pushed him to the wall exactly between where the two cameras were located. Fortunately he had been able to call me on his cell phone and then pass it to his wife as the officers grabbed him. I was able to call the constables office and ask for them to send a mental health officer to intervene on his behalf. There are ways to interact with the public and a large majority of officers don't exercise that skill.

College Cop said...

I remember when reading the original account thinking "who, that's a lot of dumb assumptions, how does he know the Deputy Called anyone"? I've seen that before myself, people thinking I called the city cops when the fact is EVERYONE has a cell phone and many times multiple people see something and call 911.

The fact that Mr. Grits coulod make so many bad calls and mistakes automatically makes anything he says about anyone (like APD) suspect.

Lots of interactions in life are a matter of perspective, and when someone is "automatically suspicious of law enforcement" (Grit's own words from a post on this blog), I become automatically suspicious of their side of a story.

I don't think you lied intentionally Grits, I just think "this is the way Grit's views the world". It's no different from 5 witnesses to a crime describing 5 different suspects (I've had this happen lol).

What IS a shame is that you don't seem to be able to see that you (like all of us) carry biases that, if not understood, can lead to unfair treatment of others (such as your unfair treatment of the Deputy Constable, no doubt fueled by your general dislike of Law Enforcement and specific dislike of Constables). it makes you not much different (in mentality) from the unfair minded cops, judges and prosecutors you love to blog about.....

College Cop said...

Oh, sorry for the types (like saying "who" instead of "wow"), not used to this iPhone contraption.

Phelps said...

Here's the problem, College Cop. Grits doesn't enjoy arrest privileges and all the other perks that come with being a LEO. A lot of the anonymous bullies hoving in to the other thread in bunches (and this one, as soon as the mass-email goes out at APD) DO enjoy those powers. Frankly, they show a LOT more bias and unfair treatment than Grits did.

You say, "it makes you not much different (in mentality) from the unfair minded cops, judges and prosecutors you love to blog about". I would agree. When you deal with violent, bullying gangs, you are forced to deal with them on their level -- especially when they have official sanction.

I really think you should turn your attention from the mote in Grit's eye to the beam in Acevedo's. The fact that many of the anonymous cowards in the other thread echoed his exact words ("liar", "toothpaste back into the tube") strongly suggests that he or someone close to him was at the top of an astroturf campaign to bully a private citizen.

Phelps said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Chief didn't call "Grits" a liar, he said YOU lied and he supported his statement with evidence. You support your denial with excuses. You're such a hypocrite. You cry foul when the police DON'T release video and here you are trying to teach the Chief loopholes to keep the evidence of your lying from the public. Shame on YOU Mike. You're noble cause corruption has destroyed your credibility if ever you had any..

Phelps said...

The Chief didn't call "Grits" a liar, he said YOU lied and he supported his statement with evidence.

Wow. The smear campaign really is on its last legs.

Lee said...

All is ok and forgiven Scott. I trust you long before I would ever remotely considering believing the word of the state. The Police and the state have a much longer accomplished history of transgressions against integrity than you (or our current prison population does).

Anonymous said...

Does it matter, in any material sense, whether one police officer in this crowd pulled the Taser from his holster or merely held his hand over it -- communicating that threat and making the possibility that he would use it more imminent?

Either version of the story makes me feel less safe to live in East Austin.

sunray's wench said...

Speaking from a country where the police are not armed when they walk the beat, the fact that APD officers feel the need to even carry tasers is beyond me. When everyone is scared of everyone else, someone is going to get hurt.

And I still don't understand why 9 police cars turned up. Is that an efficient use of police (public) resources?

Anonymous said...

I would suggest your next blog be about corruption of the Noble Cause and how it is not just isolated to police. Activist such as yourself can get caught up in trying to establish that all government and policing agencies are evil and start to embellish stories to fit your image. After all, the ends justifies the means right? So what if you told a little fib, what matters is cops are all evil and can't do anything right. So why pass up a golden opportunity involving a child? Or you could just blog about the taste of crow.. I've often wondered about that..

Anonymous said...

Sunray, I believe the article said the call was about a man kidnapping a little girl and chasing her into the woods. How many cops would YOU think it might take to find them in the woods? I say send every cop that is available because you may only have one chance to catch the kidnapper, don't worry about what Sunray will think later on when it's discovered the information was incorrect...but that's just me

Anonymous said...

They were responding to a 911 call reporting the possible abduction of a young child, for God's sake! It just astounds me that the "pro-criminal" element on this thread conveniently continues to overlook this fact. Only in the "People's Republic of Travis County" would a Hispanic police chief be so roundly criticized when his officers go above and beyond to protect a young black girl from some old white guy. Talk about "damned if you do, damned if you don't." You liberals don't deserve any police protection because nothing law enforcement does will ever please any of you. And, no, I'm not a cop.

rodsmith said...

what suprises me grits is that you expected anything else from the chief but LIES!

He's a perfect example of a politician

"how can you tell he's lieing!"

answer!

His lips are moving!


ahh shit grits! your now using that stupid two word verifier!

i hate that thing!

i have no depth perception and it makes reading that thing a royal pain in the ass! and to top it off the one your using is so so crude you can't even refresh it and get a diff set of word!

Anonymous said...

Scott,

You've been exposed as a lying, opportunistic weasel and entitled cry-baby who used a child for publicity, and now want to hide behind your wife's skirt to keep evidence of your errors from being released to the public. You clearly loved the adulation and sympathy from your gullible sycophants with beehive mentalities, who spewed the most vile hate speech against public servants who acted properly in this case. You're still trying desperately to back-peddle and spin this self-serving drama, but only your most fanatical cop-bashing fans will fail to see right through you.

I don't much care if your fans believe it, but I'm a civilian who's been very critical of police in the past, but actually bothered to go on numerous ride-alongs and ask questions to understand police processes, like I think all tax-payers should. We have a much more professional police force than when I arrived at UT over 20 yrs ago. We have a right to expect that and have mistakes corrected, but in this case the only mistake was your entitled attitude and intent to garner sympathy and manipulate facts. Good luck with karma.

Sincerely,
KC

Anonymous said...

The years you have spent criticizing the police and the intensity with which you have done so calls into question your objectivity.

Anonymous said...

You're not making yourself very clear, but if you seek objectivity, the G for B blog is one of the last places to search.

Anonymous said...

The reaction of the police (to a call, to a perception) isn't the problem, it is the OVER reaction. This is a situation where asking the girl and getting a response is appropriate. The rest, and sheer show of force through presence alone, is over the top.

That is the issue. What Grits remembered in detail about the events only supports his claims about the reliance on witness statements about what was observed.

I see it all the time on the roadways. People driving 50 in a 55 slow down when they see an officer. It makes people (people who are doing nothing wrong) nervous. Why? Simply because of the power possessed by the state. MLK Jr. stated it beautifully, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Grits - thanks for your blog and the conversations that come as a result. The fact that your blog stirs this kind of reaction is evidence of the importance of this kind of forum.

Anonymous said...

"The way Grits views the world".

He sees the world in only one way--just the way people in Manhattan and Berkeley see it.

Anonymous said...

From: Michael Levy

Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 11:56 AM
To: ANCtalk@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ANCtalk] Re: APD brutilizes grandad walking granddaughter home...This story is wrong
Importance: High

This story is wrong.

In this incident the 911 tape has a hysterical woman describing what she thought was a kidnapping in progress. The gentleman was detained for 13 minutes, so the cops could separate all of the parties (routine in many incidents) to insure that all accounts were the same. When everything is released by APD in the next few days (911 tape, and the audio/video tapes from the patrol cars), everyone will see what the truth really is with an accurate replay of the situation. They will be impossible to refute. The story of “abuse” at best is highly exaggerated, and at worst just completely fabricated.

If it turned out to be a real kidnapping attempt, or even worse, a successful kidnapping, in any part of the city, if APD did not respond in this way, the neighborhood would most appropriately have gone nuts. Remember that in the tragic incidents on New Year’s Eve, all units were tied up and only one unit showed up, even though more were obviously necessary and appropriate as per APD’s dispatch protocols, and would have been dispatched if they were not on other calls and available? Remember that incident in South Austin 2 weeks later in which a car was being stolen, and an innocent young man was killed by the suspect, and an appropriate number of cops showed up to roam the area and eventually found the suspect? Similarly a reported kidnapping in progress is taken very seriously by APD, and rightly so.

Mike Levy

Anonymous said...

How full of crap can one guy be?? If you want to leave this with ANY degree of credibility left (except for those nuts that will agree with any anti-APD sentiment you post without regards to logic), admit that you were pissed off and opened you mouth and said what you did because you were upset.

Just as evident as it was in in your e-mails demanding, well, begging that Acevedo NOT release the videos and/audio of the event, you've realized that you'll be exposed for the biased LIAR that you are when they are. Now the back peddling begins. No, you aren't man enough to stand up and said that you lied. You say you were only "mistaken."
You are obviously one of those that “want your cake and want to eat it too” types. You complain that no one explained things yet you then turn around and wrote YOURSELF that “A supervisor arrived and began floating around among the milling officers (I have no idea what function most of those cops thought they were fulfilling). Finally, she sidled up to repeat the same lecture I'd heard from the young pup officer who'd handcuffed me: "When we get a call about a possible kidnapping we have to take it very seriously," etc., etc.. By this time, though, I'd lost patience with that schtick. Interrupting her repetitive monologue, I explained that I could care less how they justified what they were doing, and could they please stop explaining themselves, focus on their jobs, and get this over with as soon as possible so Ty and I could go home?”

How do you want them to explain themselves and then “please stop explaining themselves”?? Can’t have it both ways Scotty!

I also see, as I suspect most of those that had PREVIOUSLY supported you do also, that there is a BIG difference in being “roughly cuffed” and being uncomfortable and asking for the cuffs to be loosened “as they were cinched up tight enough to be painful – a small thing perhaps, if it’s not you, but a “lie”? Yes, it’s a lie. You didn’t claim that the cuffs were put on tight, you claimed that you were “roughly cuffed” to try and do exactly what you did. Create a FALSE image to your readers that the police brutalized you. I’m not proud to say that I’ve been in handcuffs before and you’re right, they’re not comfortable. However, they are designed to restrain people, not be comfy.

Even as you post your “correction” you can’t even own up and be truthful. You still try and make it look like Acevedo (and the department) are not telling the whole truth “And if the tape rolls long enough (I don't know what was released to the media) at some point I asked them to loosen the cuffs…..” Why don’t you post those e-mails so your readers can see how you flip flop on the "facts" in your blog? Let them see how you begged him, demanded, etc. for him NOT to release ANY of the video, audio and reports about this incident??? Hmmmmm, one hand you want to imply that the whole story isn’t being put out there AFTER you demanded that Acevedo not put the whole story out there?!?! Oh, I see....You only want YOUR story out there. They have a word for that….Hypocrite.

Please continue to back peddle so that they rest of the readers of your “blog” will see you for what you are, a pathological liar who will say whatever is necessary to further your cause de jour.

I can’t help but notice how dramatically the number of people writing in and to support and console you seems to have dramatically decreased since your original post. Hmmmmmm, I guess I’m not the only one that had their eye opened wide. ….by a hypocrite.

P.S. I wonder if Anderson Cooper would take a call from you now????

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way "Scott in S Austin", just as Scott should, you need to check your facts before you hit the "enter" key. "Stan Knee and Camille Cates-Barnett were far better police chiefs than Art Acevedo".

Camille Cates-Barnett was the City Manager, not a Police Chief you moron. And Stan Knee was a scared little mouse that Acevedo is just now beginning to fix.

At least act like you know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

So basically the big story here is that the police did their job properly and you were inconvenienced by it?

And since you were inconvenienced, you decided to use your blog to exaggerate(lie) about the incident and got caught?

You are leaving out the fact that the police responded to a hysterical caller saying you were chasing the child (kidnapping in progress). Based on the information available at the time, the cops did their job and they did it well.

Nice crawfishing though.

Anonymous said...

Scott,

Let me get this straight.

Your defense against being called a liar is to claim that you are so profoundly incompetent as an observer that you weren't able to reliably determine if the police had their weapons drawn when they approached you?

If I were a journalist, I think I would sooner be accused of lying than observational incompetence.

Anonymous said...

It is so sad to see that Scott has "stepped into it." While his passion is unexcelled, he found little value in opposing viewpoints. Balance, sadly, always seemed to be absent. It was, I guess, to be expected.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't feel all that good having horrible things said about you does it Scott? The difference here is, while you run your mouth about all manner of unsupported claims, there is PLENTY of evidence, mostly from your own emails begging the Chief not to release the video, that you ARE a piece of work. Nice job there Scott. The ONLY thing worse than a cop who will lie to put someone in jail is a "journalist" who will lie to fit his agenda. Congrats on becoming the very thing you detest.

Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

I fully support police doing their jobs as per police policy, regardless of their opinion as to that policy. The biggest problem is when they think the policy is wrong, or DON'T follow it.

A senior counsel I have briefed said something quite pertinant to me: "The witness box is the only time they (police) are accountable."

We had a senior police officer who had read out the rights, but then hadn't actually given him access to a lawyer. It wasn't until he was in the witness box with a barrister hammering away at him that he finally admitted that he had screwed up.

RAS said...

Grits, welcome to the world of a JCO.

Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

Oh wow, having read through the comments:

A: ok, bad call on the tasers, bad call on the cops.
B: Good on you for making your corrections.
C: This is a blog. It is an 'opinion piece.' Hence, opinions.
D: Loving the abuse: "You are still congenitally unable to say you made it up about the tasers, eh?"
"First, I recollected in the blog post that an officer had a taser drawn and from the video the officer's arm was only crooked and prepared to draw." That sets it out quite clearly, no?
E: I hate 'anonymous' comments. Grow a pair and put your name (or your online ID) out so you can be called out and answered.

Anonymous said...

You're exactly right 2:08. I think one reason so many are seemingly enjoying seeing Scott with egg on his face is his frequent unwillingness to consider the perspective of others. The inability to be objective or admit when the other side might have a point is just as much of a character flaw for him as it is for those who are so frequently the targets of his criticisms.

BarkGrowlBite said...

Well said KC. You've pretty well described Grits' part in this unfortunate incident.

It's refreshing to see that a good number of comments are from readers that are not cop haters.

Grits, while I like your blog, what I detest is that you often feed the hunger of cop haters who crawl out from under their rocks to make vile and far-out anti-police comments. But since you're a leftie, why should I expect anything different?

Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

@ BarkGrowlBite:
Bravo!
"Grits, while I like your blog, what I detest is that you often feed the hunger of cop haters who crawl out from under their rocks to make vile and far-out anti-police comments. But since you're a leftie, why should I expect anything different?"

I disagree with what you say, but thanks for having the balls to say it under your own name. Bravo again.

Anonymous said...

Once again our differences show. The people who have experienced excess police force and the ones who believe it never happens. Once you have experienced the tactics now used by your local law enforcement your tune will change.

Atticus said...

Hope you can appreciate the humor in this observation -- your experience is kinda a backhanded demonstration of the fallibility of eyewitness testimony...

rodsmith said...

well all you anon twits taking pot shots at grits!

better be on your knees thanking god you are dealing with him!

This is the SECOND time you keystone screw ups have harassed him over the crime of walking with his goddaughter!

if it had been ME! that first officer the other night would have had like 10 sec's to get away from me or been on the ground!

We have a LEGAL RIGHT to walk the street! I am NOT responsible for the actions of idiots on the phone or bigger idiots who take what they say and blow it out of all reason!

after the first time once i get done chewing your boss up one side and down the other! there would have been a great big photo of me and her in your squad rooms with a notice under it!

"WARNING you have harassed this individial for the legal action of walking his goddaughter! Any further interferience in said walks by APD will be met with whatever force needed to remove said keystone cop! upto and including lethal force!"

Anonymous said...

subject,Anonymous at 2/19/2012 02:25:00 PM said:

"You are leaving out the fact that the police responded to a hysterical caller saying you were chasing the child (kidnapping in progress). Based on the information available at the time, the cops did their job and they did it well."

So, by your logic, if someone shouts "fire" in a movie theater full of police, then we can expect them to trample each other to death trying to get out, rather than tactfully looking to see if there really is a fire. Then, pat each other on the back for a job well done.

Anonymous said...

I was perfectly ready to be outraged when I read the original story, then perplexed by how Chief Acevedo handled it. At the end of the day, you were handled roughly by the police who were investigating a call. So what if you got the detail about the taser wrong? the larger point is that citizens of a free country should have no fear of the police and this episode is just one of so many that show that we do indeed have something to fear from some people on the force.

sunray's wench said...

So many Anons, so little courage.

I wonder how many Anon posts are from the same IP address.

Those who think every cop in the force should show up for a suspected kidnapping seem to have forgotten that a SINGLE police woman showed up first, questioned Scott and his granddaughter and was satisfied enough to let them walk on.

Only after that did the cars show up. Don't these officers have radios?

Cat said...

Backroom back slapping between the media and police chief, 'pick and choose' tactics in releasing reports and audio/video, and two faced glad handing by the chief of police...

As you know, I've almost choked to death on all of the above and it's an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.
As bad as the initial event may be, it quickly pales in comparison to the manipulations and maneuvering employed to avoid accountability. Worse still that, for the most part, they get away with it.

Again, I'm sorry you've been put through this - all of it.

Anonymous said...

“Above all else hold these two things in the greatest of circumspection; government and self.” —The Fishing Physicist

doran said...

Scott, you deserve some kind of commendation for causing the APD Disinformation Wurlitzer to go into full panic mode. Those LEOs posting comments here -- all of whom have the same name....wonder if they share the same DNA -- are working their Wurlitzer hard, with the "bamboozle" stop fully engaged and the volume turned up to the max.

You have again demonstrated your commitment to open and vigorous dialogue by allowing all those gutless anons to post their vitriol and lies. I wonder if there is an APD blog out there, and if so, if their gate-keeper would allow the kind and volume of vitriol -- directed toward police misfeasance and malfeasance -- to be posted on that blog.

Incandesio said...

It sounds like the constable's intent in returning to the scene might have been to stop APD from making fools out of themselves...It's too bad she got there late.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks both for the kind words and criticisms. All are welcome.

A few responses to the latter, followed by some observations:

First, I want to make clear exactly why I've discouraged media and didn't want the chief to release video of my granddaughter's interrogation, etc. in the emails referenced. Please understand that immediately after this went viral, I began deleting racist/white supremacist comments aimed at her and her mom ("nigger" this, "nigger" that -and quite a few of them), and I immediately realized that if only for that reason I'd made a mistake writing about this. Much of the voluminous commentary around it was outright vicious and I didn't and don't want her to take hits for my bad decision. For that reason I tried to keep the media story from spreading (since as I've said many times to many reporters, while personal stories are fine for blog posts, they're not all "news"). That's the context in which I turned down all media interviews and requested they not release records related to the child and her family. For her sake, I'll take a lot of abuse - certainly everything in this comment string and much more.

As a corollary, please understand that I'm not the only one involved here: Because of the vitriolic responses, the child's mom didn't want her picture on the TV over this, and I completely understand why. I have to respect that even if you don't.

Those who point out the relation here to criticisms of eyewitness testimony are spot on, and Atticus I can indeed see the humor - not only my mistake about the Tasers but all the assumptions and falsities projected by the 911 caller speak to that as well. This is an episode where eyewitness - her and me - got key facts wrong.

It's worth mentioning, this was a very rare Grits post based on a narrative of events that happened to me personally and I prefaced it as such. Almost everything else I write is source-based policy stuff, often from documents, news stories, hearings where I've taken notes, etc.. Here, I wrote something based on memory about a 20 minute episode and didn't get to review sources until much later. (Even then, the chief wouldn't let me leave with copies.) There were errors. I regret them and corrected them when I discovered them.

Indeed, I made several mistakes on this which I'll readily own: The two corrected in the post and the mistake of mentioning my granddaughter anywhere near an issue that's such a massive culture-war flashpoint. For those errors I apologize to the readers but most especially to her mom. My bad.

Finally, for those who think my credibility is shot, you're welcome to your opinion. If you think so, please do us both a favor and don't come back here anymore or read anything I write. That way you won't be offended by my lack of credibility and I promise I won't miss you.

Anonymous said...

Wake up, people! This guy is lying to all of you. He exaggerated an incident with the police to get you all ruled up. He said that things happened, which never happened, and stretched things out of proportion to play on your emotions (an your distrust of the police).

He's using you. All of you. But you are too blind to see him for what he's worth, because you want to believe his lies.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to see how long it will take Mr. Henson to disable comments.... I have a strange feeling that his expectation of free speach doesn't extend to those who question him.

As for Hr. Henson's distaste for people choosing to post anonymously on his blog, it's really no different that him not identifying himself the Deputy Constable that night. Now, is it?

If you can't stand up to the scrutiny, maybe you shouldn't be writing a blog. REAL journalists know that they have to back up their words with facts.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

8:14/8:38, Doran's right. I'm allowing all you anonymous trolls free rein to say whatever you want in this string (with the exception of the type of comment mentioned at 8:02), because I'm a man, I made a mistake, and so I'll take the hit. But one wonders, why don't my critics man up themselves and blast me under your own names, especially if you're going to make personal attacks? You may not like what I say, but I don't hide behind anonymity like a child behind her mother's skirt.

Anyone who writes as much as I do will eventually make mistakes. Perfection is desirable but unattainable. The measure of a writer is not whether their work is mistake-free, but whether they acknowledge and account for mistakes when they inadvertently happen. That's what I tried to do here. Enjoy your moment.

The comparison of anonymous trolling, however, to exercising my 5th Amendment rights with the Constable on the street is completely a bogus one, indeed. I don't speak with cops who want to question me over false felony allegations without a lawyer. (There are an array of Texas DNA exonerees who could explain to you exactly why, and perhaps hearing so many of their stories has mde me hypersensitive - we're all constrained in our understanding by our own experiences.) By contrast, you face no such threat of false arrest, etc., commenting here. You just feel freer to take cheap shots when they can't be traced back to you. Also, anonymity lets you comment over and over while pretending one or two people's opinion is a groundswell.

As I said in the post, there are many types of courage, and as a corollary there many types of cowardice. Making shrill personal attacks without writing under your own name is an example of the latter.

John Q Public said...

One thing I will have to say is that this is an unfortunate incident all around. The fact is that race is one of the first things that comes up in the identification of a person as it is the easiest distinguishable identifying factor. Tell me how different mistaking the relationship would be if Scott came up to you and told you that Nelson Linder was his brother. I'm pretty certain that almost everyone would question that statement.

What initiated this series of evens was a citizen called in and made the report of a "white" man chasing a "black" child towards the woods. Do we expect the police to treat this as a bogus incident to begin with because of the race of the child or in general? I hope not, as every child regardless or race, needs to be protected.

Your granddaughter is 5 years old. Do you accept everything that she tells you as the truth? A child is easily influenced by an adult and a 5 year old very easily influenced. Let's think about this: three well known child abductions, Jaycee Dugard-11 years old, Elizabeth Smart-14 years old, Stephen Stayner-7 years old. All of them were older than your granddaughter and were manipulated into saying and likely believing that their abductors were their parents/family members. All of them had even been in public with their abductor and did not alert anyone. Granted, the full manipulation likely took time, but a 5 year old can easily be manipulated in a short amount of time to say exactly what someone wants them to say to provide enough time to get out of the area with them. And we all know that if you, Scott, said that she was your granddaughter, that should be sufficient because people never lie to the police, right?

Your own reaction to the deputy constable was one that should have caused her to investigate further. You blew her off and instead of realizing that someone had made a mistake and being cooperative in clearing it up, you took offense to it. Yes, it has happened to you before, so you should know that unless you are surrounded by family and friends, it is possible that it may happen again.

To what extent did she question your granddaughter? Was it simply "Who is this person to you"? If it was, do you expect that to be sufficient to absolutely prove relationship in that case, especially since you refused to give her your name? Perhaps if you would stop and think that although I am a loving grandparent, my granddaughter is a different race than me and therefore, people are likely to question our relationship.

Arachne646 said...

In Canada, police get paid a lot more than in the US. They get trained a lot more too. They all get trained to use words to de-escalate situations the way the first deputy did when she encountered Grits and his grand-daughter. That doesn't mean they all perform that way.

I really am not surprised at the public relations "spin" placed on the whole incident by Chief Acevedo. The whole Janus-faced (lets just call it dishonest, shall we)approach to get Grits to believe the police department was truly repentant until Acevedo could drop the press-conference bomb is as universal as bureaucracy.

I'm sorry that your granddaughter and her mother had to go through this, and that the original incident couldn't have just been handled the deputy's way.

John Q Public said...

Now to the question of lying or not... Had the police put erroneous information in their report, you would consider it lying, correct? You, yourself with your wife being an "expert" in open records requests, could have taken the time to obtain all the facts before making assumptions and blogging erroneous information. Did Acevedo not recently fire two officers for lying, or were they maybe reporting erroneous information as well? The fact is that the erroneous information--tazers being pointed at us and the deputy constable "calling in the cavalry" changes the story quite a bit.

As to the "roughly handcuffing" statement, that is something that is going to be a matter of three different opinions: yours, the police, and any independent person making a judgment based on the video. A good measuring stick on this is what one person considers reasonable discipline for their child, is what another considers child abuse. Take the incident with the judge in South Texas whipping his teenage daughter with a belt: In discussing this with co-workers I found roughly half thought it was reasonable, and half thought it was abuse--I thought it was abuse. But, who is correct in that instance, them or me? If it was out-and-out "rough", then an independent majority would likely say so. We know that the Statesman is not exactly a mouthpiece of the police department and the reporter didn't think it was "rough".

Lastly, as to your request that video not be released, did you really think that they are going to release footage with your granddaughter's image? I am reasonably certain that almost all media outlets that would pick that up would blur her face due to her age. This is standard procedure. If you truly wanted absolute protection of her, you shouldn't have put her name in your blog.

Phelps said...

They aren't hiding behind their anonymity like a child behind her mother's skirt.

They are hiding behind it the same way they hide behind badges.

You mob think that you are rehabilitating yourself with the angry, vile anonymous comments. You are wrong.

Anonymous said...

You were beginning to show a modicum of humility and possibly genuine contrition until now when the prickliness reared itself up again. Funny that you had no objection to your unquestioning suppporters posting anonymous, incendiary comments calling for hatred of all police up to and including murder.

I posted 1 comment before now under my real initials, and a reply to some inane retort, which was clearly from me. The only purpose of demanding full names would be to invite violent retalliation by the more lunatic among your fringe, and you wouldn't want to incite that, or would you? I guess my comment touched a nerve, so if you have something you want to say to me more directly, I'll be happy to email you.

KC

John Q Public said...

For all of the "Consitutional Rights" advocates who throw out there that you have the right to not give your name... I guess then you would be happy if the call came in and when approached by the deputy constable Scott exercised that right and just kept walking? What if it turned out to be a true kidnapping? Would you be happy with the explanation from the police that the individual exercised his constitutional right to not provide ID; therefore, we could not investigate, so we just let him walk and unfortunately he was kidnapping a child? There are a few things that although constitutionally are true, unfortunately, for the safety of the public, are necessary and I have no problem in doing so. I, by no means, advocate cops being able to bust in your door and do what they want, but look at the big picture and what the intent was, to investigate what was reported to be a kidnapping and corroborate what a 5 year old said. Which do you prefer?

And for those of you who are going to throw out there, give up one right and see how many others they take... What would be your way of handling this situation?

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

You seem to have lots of issues with people hiding behind the Anonymous tag, but I'm looking and Phelps and the link to see who you are don't really have much information as to who you truly are.

Like the fellow above, really smart to post my real name so some lunatic can come after me. It doesn't make my opinion any different. And as G. Gordon Liddy says, "We'll just have to agree to disagree".

Phelps said...

There's a difference between anonymity and psuedonymity. I've written about that.

http://phelps.donotremove.net/2004/01/pseudonymity/

Psuedonymity is a identity. You say you couldn't find much about me, but that isn't true. What you didn't find is my government name. You could find all the thousands of posts I've made on my blog, the thousands of comments I've made on blogger, on discus, etc, and know quite a bit about how I think and what sort of reputation I have online.

"Anonymous" and "John Q Public" (with no link to an online identity) is strictly anonymous, though. It's a drive-by, throw away comment -- and generally worth just that, throwing away. I allow psuedonyms on my blog, as long as they come with a valid email address, but I don't allow drive-by anonymous comments. Grits does, and that's his prerogative.

So far, the anonymous mob has not done themselves any favors.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that Scott has permitted anonymous comments on this blog. He could, if he wanted, require a sign-on. If Scott has decided to allow anonymous comments, it hardly seems fair to criticise people for taking advantage of that option.

This thread excepted, the vast majority of anonymous commenters on this blog seem to favor Scott's viewpoints. So the outrage against anonymous commenting on this thread doesn't really seem to be an objection based on principles.

Anonymous said...

We get a lot of lying cops here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-to-survivors-of-child-sexual-assault-by-law-enforcement-officers/180584842010594?sk=wall

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

One other thing, you seem to think that everyone who posts supporting the police, are the police. Well, using your logic, then everyone who posts hating the police are persons who hate the police. So, who are you: Nelson Linder or a member of the NAACP, Debbie Russel or a member of the ACLU, or Jim Harrington or a member of the Texas Civil Rights Project?

Your logic is flawed. There are people, like me, out here that believe that the police do a genuinely good job. Acevedo has fired quite a few officers since becoming the Chief and rightly so.

Sit back and hate all you want, but remember, if you pick up the phone and call 911 when you are having an emergency, they are going to respond and possibly put their life on the line to protect you or the ones you love.

If there are rogue cops, by all means, fire them. Generally, police are good. But as a citizen, it behooves you to cooperate.

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

So, Pseudonymity is not Anonymity? Interestingly, you state that you work for a law firm and want to protect them from having to answer for things you blog. Sounds like you like the anonymity that your pseudonym provides. The fact is that if you were not worried that your statements could possibly affect your job, you would just publish them under your true name.

The problem with the internet is that you never know when you are dealing with a level-headed, differently-minded person, or a true psychopath. You can count on me using the pseudonym John Q Public if and when I post here from now on.

sunray's wench said...

I do wonder also if, when a witness is found to have misremembered something, those same Anons would scream in the witness' face that they had lied. I suspect only if it meant a case was about to colapse and the Anons were sure they had the right guy (even if the witness was now telling them they didn't).

I have nothing to gain or lose by believing that Scott misremembered a few things. I have nothing to gain or lose by feeling that the APD, top to bottom, would rather cover up some badly handled situations rather than look at them objectively and see if they could be handled in a safer way for all concerned.

But what surprises me the least is that some Anons picked up on the fact that Scott's granddaughter is not white and used that as a stick to beat him with. I think perhaps Texas has the police officers it deserves.

John Q Public said...

sunray's wench,

Do you perhaps, think that possibly Scott could have handled the situation in a different way as well, that possibly would have changed how it went? I am sure both sides, looking back, would rather it have been handled differently, but unfortunately we don't have a do-over button.

I will agree with you 100% and also sympathize with Scott if, as he said was the case, people were writing racially motivated posts about his granddaughter. That is uncalled for in any way.

Phillip Baker said...

Oh my, how this thing has unfolded! After reading the original post I tried to call Chief Acevedo. No returned calls. Then I spoke with A. Hipolito with the public liaison office of APD(OK, the exact title may be incorrect. (Just a heads up to those who seize the most insignificant detail to support their views.) Hipolito kept asking me whether, if this were my kid. I would not want 100 cars there. Yeah, probably would. BUT...That is not my call. It is APD's job as professionals to react appropriately. And I simply do not buy the current notion at APD that "shock and awe" is always the right response. Could not one or two cars go out first, verify what is going on, and then call in the entire force? After all, those cops are only a radio call away. As to "rough handling", I, as a free citizen (a claim that always seems to inflame cops, leading to a sarcastic referral to "civilians" said with NO respect), handling is in the eye of the witness. Cops routinely are very aggressive in their physical handling of persons of interest. Now, in this case, you have a man with no known past brushes with the law and- theoretically at least- innocent. Until there is solid reason to doubt that innocence, respectful treatment should be employed. As to the Chief, who I generally think is doing a great job, claiming someone lied in a news story was uncalled for and unprofessional. Cops make mistakes all the time, yet the Chief chooses less inflammatory language to deal with them.

As a training, APD should randomly pick out a cop, off duty with family, and accost him publicly, immediately handcuff him and put him to the ground, snatch up the wife and kids at the same time, call in huge backup- and only after 15 or 20 minutes, release them all and just walk out. Now that would be a valuable lesson for cops- to be treated as we citizens have come to expect to be treated by our police. And it just might give these cops a clue as to why so many people fear and/or hate them.

Finally, it is clear from the huge change in tone and quantity of posters here, that word went out to cops, family and friends to stand up for their own and deluge this blog with vitriol and character assassination . This is supposed to be helpful, to induce the people to trust cops? It's not working. But really, man up and do it with your name and not hide behind "anonymous".

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that mistakes were made by everyone involved in this. APD could have handled it differently. Scott could have handled what happened on the night in question differently, as well has how he posted about it later. I believe it is over the top for the Chief to call Scott a liar, if he did in fact call him a liar. What we have is the account of a reporter. And I think anyone posting on this site that calls him a liar is an idiot. From everything I have read he didn’t lie. He was mistaken about what he perceived and he has owned up to that fact. But what someone perceives is the reality from their point of view. That doesn’t make you a liar. Scott has admitted his mistakes, from thinking the constable called in the cavalry, to thinking a taser was out of its holster (and so what if it was), and finally to posting about the incident in the first place. He appears to realize that he should have looked into it a bit more, got his facts straight, and then maybe he could have posted about his perceived over reaction by APD with accurate details. But his mistake of memory does not make him a liar.
As to the taser, folks are getting worked up about tasers being at the scene of the temporary detainment, but there were also pistols, OC spray, and ASP batons. Having the taser out or still in its holster is irrelevant. The cop keeping his hand close to the taser is irrelevant.
They responded to a possible kidnapping, detained those involved until they could ascertain what was really occurring, and released everyone once they were certain everything was fine. Now, had they assaulted Scott with their taser, OC, or ASP batons, then I think we would all be justified in our disgust. But that didn’t happen.
I feel terrible for Ty, for now she has a perception that police are not her friends and don’t have her best interest at heart. I trust, hope, and pray that Scott or Ty’s mother have taken the time to explain this to her, so she doesn’t grow up with a chip on her shoulder concerning cops.

John Q Public said...

Anybody here remember how Jaycee Dugard was recovered a few years ago? It was only because the officers who were there didn't just gloss over the whole incident. Imagine if when confronting Garido, and his explanation was that they are my daughters and none of the girls saying anything different, they let them all walk away. Jaycee Dugard would still be a prisoner to him and subject to his torture on a daily basis. I'm sorry, but you are dealing with a 5 year old providing information and an adult who, because he was upset, was being uncooperative. When Scott blew her off when asking for identification, that there would be all the more reason to look into it further.

John Q Public said...

Philip,

Do you not realize that by the number of cops showing up when they did, that if it were in fact, a true kidnapping (again, that's what was called in) then there are more eyes on and a greater chance of catching someone? I know that if someone is breaking into my home and I'm not there, I would rather have 20 cops show up than 2 to increase the chance of catching the burglar(s).

Now, for your comment about for training, subject a cops family to something like that: how about since you think their number and response was overboard, a pedophile can kidnap your child and then only have one or two cops respond and when no others come and the person gets away and does horrible things, then you will have a realization why things were done as they were.

It's always when someone is the victim, they want all the resources possible, but when they are judging a response, then it is too many and was handled wrong. Remember how the community was upset with how many cops showed up when the lady was attacked just before Esme Barrera was killed? Which do you want, not enough, or a lot. For all you or anyone else knew, the initial incident was just an isolated one, so why send so many cops. What is your suggestion to that? Or was it handled appropriately?

Phillip Baker said...

Anonymous 12:45-I read the Injustice Everywhere blog every day. Maybe just a few samples from this single day will help you understand why parents like me teach their kids to be extremely wary of cops:

-Tennessee prosecutors have dismissed 95 cases involving a trooper who is being sued and was fired for letting a man he chased burn to death in a car crash.
-Wilcox Co GA sheriff was indicted on 14 counts for taking part in an assault on 2 inmates along with his son, a jailer & another inmate.
-Desert Hot Springs CA cop was convicted on excessive force civil rights charges for unecessarily pepperspraying one detainee and then tasering another cuffed detainee in separate incidents.
-San Diego CA police are being sued by the victim of a cop recently convicted on sexual battery charges. She claims the department encouraged his actions by protecting him from previous allegations.

Remember, from a single day's post.

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't figured it out, John Q, most of the followers of this liberal, anti-law enforcement blog don't give a damn about people like Jaycee Dugard or the protection of children in general. All they care about is their own pathetic little lives and whether they might be inconvenienced by the police for 12 minutes. They would quite willingly sacrifice the life of a child than be forced to undergo the terrible indignity of telling some officer their name. But don't be troubled. Their comments, thankfully, are not representative of the feelings of the overwhelming majority of law abiding Texans. In fact, I would guess that most of the people posting on here are criminals. They have either been to prison or have been on probation and the feel the need to be bitter at our civil society for their own criminal behavior. They don't like the police because they were caught and brought to justice. They don't believe in personal responsibility or accountability. They had a bad experience with the criminal justice system and they want to blame someone else. Their anti-social ramblings and opinions are fairly typical of those you'd find among inmates in any prison. They were all innocent and framed. At the end of the day, other than whatever entertainment value you might get from reading their paranoid rambling, their opinions are pretty much worthless. Although not perfect, the State of Texas (and City of Austin) has a very good criminal justice system. We are still, by and large, a law and order state and haven't become California yet---much to the consternation of Grits and many of his readers.

Phelps said...

lulz

If you think I am a liberal, you REALLY didn't look at my blog.

The fact is, no one passes a cop car on the side of the road and feels safer. That says everything we need to say about American police work.

Anonymous said...

Philip Baker...

Just 4 officers? Is that all you've got? Even if you take 4 officers a day over a year to get 1460 officers (4x365), the total for the year that would commit this type of crime is miniscule. According the BLS.gov, in 2008 there were approximately 883,000 law enforcement officers (all ranks and positions) in the US. So if you divide 1460/883000 you get 0.0016534541336353 or a whopping...

0.1%

of the total law enforcement officers.

Is there room for improvement? Absolutely! Is it an epidemic? Hardly!

Instead of teaching your kids to be wary of police, how about you teaching them to be intelligent and open minded rather than a prejudiced bigot like you clearly are?

John Q Public said...

Philip,

Wow, from a one day's post. Interesting fact is that cops are people too! I wonder if you took every crime that was committed and persons convicted in a day, that that number of cops in a one-day's posting is relatively low--but really, they are people too, so lets just, rightly, lump them in as people.

As I indicated above, I do not believe that all cops are good. They area cross-section of our society and unfortunately, there are those who tarnish the image of others. If someone who works where you does commits a crime, does that mean every person at your company is a criminal too? If you have a family member that is a criminal, does that make your entire family a criminal? I would hope that you would base your opinion of a person based on your interaction with that person, not based on news accounts of others who just so happen to be in the same profession. The term for that type of categorizing of a group based on one is "prejudiced". Now, I know that the word "prejudiced" has a negative connotation, but that is exactly what you are indicating that you are based on that type of generalization.

Phelps said...

There are lot more dirty cops than kidnappers. There are far less than 140 stereotypical kidnappings in America yearly, much less 1400 -- and that's from the general population, not a subset of one profession.

Stranger Danger is not an excuse for police overreaction.

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

Really, just what is the number of dirty cops out there? You are basing this on your own ideas of how many dirty cops are out there. Just as I said above, cops are people too, so lump them in with everyone, including lawyers (since you work for a law firm) and see what the percentage of dirty people is.

How about this one for example: the prosecution must present all evidence against a defendant (and rightly so), but if a lawyer knows that his client is guilty, even based on his admission to him, he is not required to divulge that--attorney client privelege. I'd venture to say that with how screwed up America is because of lawyers filing frivolous suits and getting people who are guilty either totally off of charges, or a greatly reduced sentence--that lawyers are probably right on par with being hated as much as cops.

Phelps said...

I was replying to the comment that supposed that there were only "1440" dirty cops fired every year.

Phelps said...

How about this one for example: the prosecution must present all evidence against a defendant (and rightly so), but if a lawyer knows that his client is guilty, even based on his admission to him, he is not required to divulge that--attorney client privelege. I'd venture to say that with how screwed up America is because of lawyers filing frivolous suits and getting people who are guilty either totally off of charges, or a greatly reduced sentence--that lawyers are probably right on par with being hated as much as cops.

Do you have as much of a problem with the blanket immunity that prosecutors have -- to the point that they can say, "yes, I knew he was innocent from the start, but I still prosecuted him until he was sentenced to life in prison" and still be immune to even being charged, much less tried himself?

Our process is adversarial. There's a lot more damage done by prosecutors who fail to disclose exculpatory evidence or who conduct misconduct in their prosecutions than defense lawyers. If a defense lawyer helps a criminal "get off" then that's a lot less damage than sticking an innocent man in jail -- and these United States put far, far too many innocent men in jail.

Frivolous lawsuits? It's a fair cop. I fully support the law the lege passed flipping the costs of defense to those who file frivolous lawsuits, and would support other reasonable measures against abuse (including disbarring lawyers who help clients file them.)

man with no name said...

Speaking of red herrings... The comments section of this blog has sunk into a personal soapbox for Phelps to spew his irrational drivel, instead of a forum to comment on the real issue. That Scott Henson twisted the facts, exaggerated, and flat out lied about how he was treated by the cops, and what they did.

Mr. Henson's little lemmings here are more than willing to gloss over his lies, and attribute them to "a simple mistake". None of you would be so understanding if one of those cops made a "simple mistake."

You don't care, because it suits you not too.

For the record.... In his original piece, Mr. Henson said "police officers" pointed tasers at him. That was used in the plural sense. As in more than one. Now really the same thing he's saying now, is it?

The lies continue...

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't feel safe with all the drunks we have on the road these days. I try to be a safe driver and do my best to abide by the rules of the road. Yes, I've gotten a few tickets over the years and deserved them. I'm glad the officers are out there doing their best to keep us safe.

moneymike said...

i just lost what little respect i had for you

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

I will wholeheartedly agree with you on it being wrong that prosecutors withhold evidence and an innocent person goes to jail while they have immunity (I believe I indicated that). I personally feel that if it is proven that the WillCo Judge who was a prosecutor and allegedly withheld evidence, is found to have done so, should spend time in prison. I have no qualms with equal application of laws. I also believe that cops who get DWIs should be prosecuted and lose their jobs and not get them back (it was a mistake is a bunch of garbage--it was a conscious decision). The same thing if they go out and violate any other law. The same goes for politicians and things they get away with (insider trading for instance) when you or I would be doing time like Martha Stewart.

But, is it really no big deal if a lawyer gets a guilty person out of charges??? How about if that individual goes out and does the same thing again, when they should have been behind bars? Then is it no big deal? Remember, Garido who kidnapped Jaycee Dugard, had already done time for kidnapping--now he didn't get off of the charge, but didn't spend a whole lot of time in prison either (judge and possibly legal code's fault). What about an individual whose lawyer gets him out of a DWI by having evidence thrown out that shows they are intoxicated (happens all the time with requests for items to be suppressed) then they go out and do it again--maybe killing someone. If you work for criminal defense attorney's how would you feel if one of them represented someone who while intoxicated, crashed into and killed a loved one of yours? What about Casey Anthony--Do you honestly believe that she had nothing to do with Kaylee's death (much of that one lies with the jury). I'm pretty certain that Jose Baez and many of his staff probably even believe she did it... Come on, don't report her missing for weeks, go out partying, give police false leads--that all stunk of her covering up her ass).

I will say that this world is not perfect, cops are not perfect, people are not perfect and again, cops are people.

Phelps said...

I didn't say it was no big deal. I said it was less harm.

Guilty guy goes free and commits another crime is one option.

Innocent guy gets imprisoned and guilty guy goes free and commits another crime is the other.

The second is obviously worse than the first. Without the exculpatory rule, the courts have absolutely nothing else to attempt to keep cops honest.

John Q Public said...

Phelps,

Ok, yes you did say less harm rather than no big deal. Just like ol' Grits for Breakfast on some of the facts, I'll own up to that mistake of mine. But is it necessarily less harm if is a life taken by that same individual who got out of a charge? I don't think that Jaycee Dugard thinks she had "less harm" done to her once Garido got out from his light sentence (which the justice system and I'm sure his lawyer both had something to do with). I don't think someone who has lost a loved one to a DWI in which the person charged has had other DWIs or gotten a prior one pled down to "obstruction of roadway" (straight from an article on Travis County DWI statistics) will think it's less harm.

I am not downplaying the travesty that it is if and when an innocent person is imprisoned for something that they did not do. The gentleman who spent the last 25 years of his life in prison for murdering his wife when he didn't do it is an absolute travesty.

When you say "Without the exculpatory rule, the courts have absolutely nothing else to attempt to keep cops honest"., is that totally true? I think not. Didn't Philip Baker above post his 4 articles in one day about cops being prosecuted for crimes? As with any criminal action, people commit criminal acts all the time, whether it be John Q Public or a police officer and sometimes it goes on for years before they are caught. I am sure that many decent cops out there do not want that type of person working with them and representing who they are, but the same happens with people not reporting family members and friends.

Answer this please: Do you believe that there are any good cops out there? If so, why paint the picture that every cop out there is someone who is dishonest and a criminal with a badge? I've already said that I absolutely believe there are bad cops, just as there are bad individuals in every profession there is. Those persons have no right to be the ones we entrust our safety and freedom to and if they are abusing our trust then they need to be removed and/or prosecuted.

Now, another question is, working at a law firm (if it is a criminal defense one), what if an attorney there took a case of an officer/former officer who was charged with something that caused his firing. What if your attorneys got him off on the charges, are you still of the same mind that it was "less harm"?

Phelps said...

Answer this please: Do you believe that there are any good cops out there?

I believe there are very few. This is my reasoning. A good cop turns in bad cops, right?

This doesn't happen. The cops that are prosecuted are the exception, not the rule. Like this case:

http://www.theithacajournal.com/article/20120219/NEWS01/302190001/Why-wasn-t-crime-Tioga-County-taxpayers-will-pay-price-settle-civil-lawsuit

That's far, far more typical than the cases of cops being prosecuted. In fact, APD's firing of two cops for lying has been held up as some sort of laudable thing -- where are the referrals and prosecutions for perjury? They aren't coming. They've been fired. "That's enough for a cop."

The police hold themselves above the citizens. Instead of holding themselves to a higher standard because of the authority they wield, they've allowed that authority to corrupt them until they are held to no standard but the barest minimum of human decency.

So no, I don't think there are very many good cops at all. I think there are a few very horrible cops, and I think that the cops who could be good instead rationalize the bad cops away, make excuses for them, cover it up when the horrible cop beats someone, abuses someone's civil rights, or railroads an innocent man, and says to themselves, "well, he does good stuff too."

Phelps said...

Now, another question is, working at a law firm (if it is a criminal defense one), what if an attorney there took a case of an officer/former officer who was charged with something that caused his firing. What if your attorneys got him off on the charges, are you still of the same mind that it was "less harm"?

The firm I am at is not a criminal law firm, but we are sometimes appointed by the courts. We give every client the vigorous representation he has a right to. If the state fails to prove its charges, then that's a failure of the state, not of the defense.

Here's the problem. I reject this entire "got off" mentality. The state has to prove its case. That they fail to do that because they are opposed by the defense is not a problem, it's a feature. It is supposed to be hard to convict someone because of the danger of convicting an innocent man. Thankfully, most criminals are really, really stupid and that means that the state can convict them reliably.

Yes, dirty cops get a full defense. Con men get full defenses. That doesn't mean arguing that they didn't do something that you know they did -- that's unethical. It would also be unethical to fail to argue that the state has not proven a charge when it hasn't.

The problem isn't that cops get good defenses. It is that they are never charged in the first place.

(FWIW, I am also not an attorney.)

Nick Pell said...

For me the main question is: why did they handcuff you? Acevedo claims it was because you refused to reveal the Constable. That seems to be the issue which this whole thing hinges on. And at this point, it's clear that someone is lying.

Now, is not giving your identity to a cop when they ask grounds for handcuffing/detaining? I'd love to know the answer to that one. I don't think it should be, especially if the original call was from an anonymous caller.

Nick Pell said...

Meant to say "Acevedo claims it was because you refused to reveal your identity to the Constable."

Anonymous said...

Last Friday Acevedo said that he would release the video this week but the girl's face won't be shown.

Anonymous said...

I know that all police officers are not all bad but we forget sometimes that they too are human and capable of mistakes, corruption, unethical standards. My friends and family are law abiding, solid people and time after time we have witnessed various events which have evidenced unnecessary force and aggression. I do not trust police officers whatsoever and I thank the bad apples out there for taking away that security. It is the abuse of power that is so terribly unnerving.
I value Grits.....not only well researched but ethical to speak of truth.

Thomas said...

I am a grandfather and this story broke my heart. Who wants our grandkids to see something as horrible as this? That's a 5 year old child. Remember folks - love has no preference for race and excellence has no color.

Henson, I will be calling APD and filing a complaint as I think everyone who read this should.

For the love of God - I cried when I read this. I am sorry that happened to you Scott Henson.

sunray's wench said...

So now I'm a lemming and a criminal. Dear sweet Anons, you'd have more credibitity if you didn't resort to insults all the time.

rodsmith said...

well 5:51 i'll answer this question!

"Answer this please: Do you believe that there are any good cops out there?"

OF course there are if you look at the numbers you will find that probabley 80-85% of good cops.

The problem is the 15-20% that are not worth the bullets it would take to get rid of them!

They are the bad apples that make the rest look bad!

Then you add joke politicians pretending to be police and it gets worse!

The of course you add in the almost complete lack of criminal enforcment by the courts WHEN they are caugt testilying and hiding evidence.

Sure the court will hammer SOME of them for crimes that happen OUTSIDE the court! but you seldom seem ANTHING about their perjury and fraud that happens IN the court!

Same with the DA's YOU work with!

as for scott. Sure he could have handled it better. He might even had done that if it had not been the SECOND time he'd been harassed for the crime of babbysitting while WHITE!

like i said earlier if it had been me...i'd have put the constible on the ground and informed her this was second time they had interfered with my life over LEGAL activity and she needed to get away from my before getting hurt! and then i would have followed it up with a FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT!

Anonymous said...

“like i said earlier if it had been me...i'd have put the constible on the ground and informed her this was second time they had interfered with my life over LEGAL activity and she needed to get away from my before getting hurt! and then i would have followed it up with a FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT!”

And then you would have committed an arrestable offense for assaulting the constable when you put her on the ground. Your thought process on this is laughable.
Someone else claimed it was an anonymous 911 call that led to the events of that night. But, typically 911 operators capture the name and phone number of the person calling 911.
Like I said earlier, APD definitely could have handled this differently, but so could Mr. Henson in his actions, responses, and assumptions that night, as well as the way he blogged about it after the fact. Mistakes were made by all involved, which is not surprising, as all involved are but humans, prone to mistakes. Seems the only one to handle this correctly was the Constable.
I also find it laughable that the discussion has turned away from the actions of that night but to the majority cops are rotten apples. So funny, sad, but typical.

Daniel Simon said...

To all you troll cops out there, let me explain why I have little respect and zero use for you.

1. APD writes tickets that violate 2 State laws and extract "promises to plea"...that are antithetical to American Jurisprudence. Your tickets violate Transportation Code 543.006 a AND b...in that they neither specify a time or place to appear. This is actually the crime of "official misconduct" on your part pursuant to TRC 543.008. This happens hundreds if not thousands of times a day.

2. Even when someone points out the law to you...you are too ignorant to go read it and instead misapply it to citizens. Take "failure to ID" for example. If your interaction with a citizen is "casual contact" OR "detention" there is NO REQUIREMENT TO ID on the part of the citizen. Only if you have "lawfully arrested" the person, are they required to give Name, Date of Birth OR Residence...and they can give it orally...and are only obligated to do so if you ask. They are not required to carry a State issued ID...but if they are driving...you can give them a ticket for not carrying driver's license...BUT they can still ID verbally if they were arrested...That is what the friggin STATUTE provides. You may charge them with "failure to ID" if they were arrested OR detained and (in the case of detention) VOLUNTARILY give you false information...that is part B of the STATUTE...but you guys are too stubborn/stupid to go read the law and will arrest detainees for failure to ID.

So in Scot's case unless one of the officers TOLD him he is under arrest and asked for ID information...he is not required to give it.

3. Any honest citizen would tell you that they do not feel safer when a cop is around...instead they get paranoid about...were they going little fast, did they forget to signal, is a light out on the car...or anyone of the 100s of traffic "crimes" you can stop and harass us for...yet we have all seen you guys light up the cherries because you want to go through a red light or make a u-turn. Then cherries off as you sedately cruise onward! People don't like hypocrites!

4. Finally, I have no use for you because across Texas Cops refuse to enforce a felony found at Penal Code Section 25.03 Interference with Child Custody...on instruction from Texas DAs. This law makes it a State Jail Felony for mommy or daddy to take or retain the children from the other when it comes to court ordered possession and access and DAs don't want their lawyer cronies to lose the civil contempt business.

So, you cannot drive down the road without a radar or traffic "officer" under every bush and around each bend...but when it comes to real crime they lie and refuse to act.

Dan Simon

Daniel Simon said...

One last thing, every single one of you cops is operating in violation of Federal Law found at 4 U.S.C. Sections 101 and 102. (Google it)

This law requires a special oath of loyalty to the Federal Constitution that you have not taken making every one of you technically guilty of "impersonating an Officer".

You can read more about it on my website http://www.wilcoshyterbuster.com just check out the oath page.

Why don't you try obeying the law yourselves before you presume to tell citizens what to do!!

rodsmith said...

hmm

"And then you would have committed an arrestable offense for assaulting the constable when you put her on the ground. Your thought process on this is laughable."

nope! sorry the constutin gives me the right to defend myself and last time i looked there was no exception in that document for govt officials! not even law enforcment. In fact you could say the 2nd amendment was specificaly placed in it to HELP with said defence against govt!

Like i said i'd give you the first time. Second time you no longer have the ignorance defence and i'd have no problem removing you with withever forced was required!

Chuck said...

You made it a news story when you sat down at your blog, in a nice quiet room, and made up your own, inaccurate version of the events. You lied and exaggerated the incident, and tried to make the cops look ignorant and unprofessional. You also accused the cops of using excessive force (roughly handcuffing) on you, but you have apparently chosen to not file either an IA complaint or report the incident to the Citizen's Review Panel/Monitor's Office. You only partially retracted what you wrote, after you were outed by dashcam video of the event. There are times that cops do wrong/bad things and they should be held up to public light, when it happens. That obviously didn't happen in this case, and you owe those cops a public apology. You would demand the same of them.

Anonymous said...

(Simon, 12:02) I have no use for cops either. Not in any way.

Anonymous said...

Rodsmith, you said:
"like i said earlier if it had been me...i'd have put the constible on the ground..."

Once you had her on the ground, then what would have done. What would have been your next step?
ZZ

Anonymous said...

"Those that shall sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind." This means you, idiot.

You lied, you were caught, and now you're backpedalling and trying to twist the facts to fit your skewed original post. Be an adult and admit that you made it all up, rather than trying to squirm and come up with BS explanations while trying to absolve yourself of your responsibility toward truthfulness as you claim to be some sort of "journalist." You're not. You're a loser with an axe to grind who got his little pee-pee slapped and now wants to cry foul about it. I personally hope Chief Acevedo's salvo in protecting his officers and department makes you crawl into a dark hole where your venomous, baseless attacks on law enforcement will have no further effect. Or at least stop lying about your interactions with public safety personnel in the future.

Phinnean said...

I would think that, considering that there was a small child involved, that the appropriate thing to do would have been to accompany the two of them home and talk to Ty's mother. What no one has seemed to mention is that Scott made no attempt to flee. This doesn't exactly sound like behaviour that warranted handcuffing him and frightening his granddaughter.

That being said, there are either an amazing amount of foul mouthed trolls on this site, or just one that can't stop posting. Makes me glad to NOT live in Austin.

I do hope it doesn't keep you from writing. It's a very interesting blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Snuffy Smith! Step away from the meth and moonshine, you silly varmint!

Anonymous said...

The police were doing their job to protect and serve, period. They responded to a call from a concerned citizen and you were more than happy to get into a confrontation with the police you hate so much and live out the fictional fantasy you posted in an attempt to denigrate people better than you. You have revealed yourself to be the ass-clown those of us who went to UT with you knew you were all along. You have zero credibility, and only the angriest of losers in Austin still support you. (And I will remain anonymous as you also had a reputation for being unpredictable and even violent when called out on your hypocrisy.)

Pinkdome said...

Chief Acevedo has been caught just this side of a lie many times since he came to Austin. While the incident may have been "by the book" since when is it not appropriate to evaluate a scene and react accordingly. To ever put you in handcuffs is ridiculous. No offense, but you aren't the type I would feel threatened by if I were to meet you in a dark alley..and I DON'T have a gun.

Menwa said...

Okay, to Anonymous who said they would like to know where it says you have to supply your identification information to the police, Texas law states: Sec. 38.02. Failure to Identify.
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.
(b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has:
(1) lawfully arrested the person;
(2) lawfully detained the person; or
(3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.
(c) Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an offense under this section is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).
(d) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the defendant was a fugitive from justice at the time of the offense, the offense is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or
(2) a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).
(e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, the actor may be prosecuted only under Section 106.07.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1009, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Secondly, for all you bashing APD, the Travis County Constable, and law enforcement in general, I would LOVE to hear what you would have to say if Mr. "Grits" posted that his black granddaughter was kidnapped by a white male and APD failed to stop and thoroughly question a white male walking with a young black female who turned out to be his kidnapped granddaughter. Would you blast APD for failing to be vigilant?

You people kill me, you really do! How many of you call APD every year when you see something suspect or if something happens to you that needs a LEO to respond? And how many of you thank the LEO for their assistance then turn around and bash them behind anonymous screen names?

It is true that Law Enforcement agencies nationwide do have bad officers on their payrolls, as do all other employers nationwide. But does that mean we should bash law enforcement for every stop they make, for every suspect they handcuff, for every person they arrest? No. It means we should step back, get BOTH sides of the story, then make a determination.

Reading his follow-up blog it is obvious Grits continues to hold contempt for APD and refuses to even thank them for showing concern over the possible kidnapping of a black child by a white male. Instead he uses the incident to grandstand atop his political soap-box, yet again. What a shame. I can only imagine what you are teaching your poor granddaughter.

Anonymous said...

I believe the video catches Scott in another lie...it looks like 3 chili dogs and 2 Big Macs for breakfast, not grits!

Anonymous said...

I'm the father of two biracial daughters. The same thing has happened to me, both with my daughters, and two of my nieces. It's amazing how many people panic at the sight of a man walking with a child of another color, even when they ought to realize the child is family. I've even been stopped by the police walking *into* an HEB with my daughter, then 4 years old. Doesn't make a lot of sense.

What makes even less sense is the bitterness of the anonymous posts against you. Even light criticism of the police isn't allowed in these parts, I guess.

Anonymous said...

"Even light criticism of the police isn't allowed in these parts, I guess." Scott's criticism of APD has never been "light" and his original blog post regarding this incident contained flat-out lies. If you continue to defend someone who has been caught lying in an attempt to destroy the reputation of hard-working dedicated professionals who were responding to a call and then had to deal with an uncooperative individual, you are a tool.

Doc Ellis said...

I regard cops as enemies. I don't call cops for anything. Grits is on the right track to criticise these guys for their behaviour.

Speaking only for me- cops are scum. I approve of folks killing scum in self-defence.

I believe that cops know about Grits and are looking for excuses to kill him. I believe that a lot of commenters on this thread are cops and cop-suckers who hope to persuade readers that Grits is a bad guy because his accounts offend the critics.

Doc Ellis 124
http://docellis124.blog.com

Anonymous said...

"Speaking only for me- cops are scum. I approve of folks killing scum in self-defence (sic)." Yeppers, a perfect example of the semi-literate, anti-social cretins that constitute Scott's supporters. I doubt you have the cojones or skillset to kill a half-dead cat, and you are WAAAAY over your head posting such a threat in public and including your name. Good luck with that, you angry little person in a big, big world.

Scott Clark said...

You're a fucking cocksucking idiot. Your flat out lying has ruined it for everyone after after you that suffers at the hands of police that fail to follow the law. Shut your fucking tiny dick-sucking mouth and limit the damage you've already done.

Scott Clark said...

You're a fucking cocksucking idiot. Your flat out lying has ruined it for everyone after after you that suffers at the hands of police that fail to follow the law. Shut your fucking tiny dick-sucking mouth and limit the damage you've already done.

Scott Clark said...

You're a fucking cocksucking idiot. Your flat out lying has ruined it for everyone after after you that suffers at the hands of police that fail to follow the law. Shut your fucking tiny dick-sucking mouth and limit the damage you've already done.

rodsmith said...

hmm

"Anonymous said...
Rodsmith, you said:
"like i said earlier if it had been me...i'd have put the constible on the ground..."

Once you had her on the ground, then what would have done. What would have been your next step?
ZZ

2/21/2012 03:36:00 PM"

Well that that point i'd be pissed off and agravated. So i'd simply tell her the next time she or any of her gang brothers in blue bothered me i would not be so nice and one of them would simply BE DEAD! not laying on the ground.

Scott Clark said...

You're a fucking cocksucking idiot. Your flat out lying has ruined it for everyone after after you that suffers at the hands of police that fail to follow the law. Shut your fucking tiny dick-sucking mouth and limit the damage you've already done.

Doc Ellis said...

anon 8.27 pm 2012.02.21
I merely said that I approve of self-defence killing of scum.

Anonymous said...

"I merely said that I approve of self-defence killing of scum. " You called cops scum on the same line in your post - at least have the balls to stand by your comments, you craven coward. Henson is assisting the APD's case with his biased and childish dishonesty, and you do the same with your despicable and violent rhetoric. Go ahead and keep calling cops scum and calling for their death, but realize the intelligent working men and women of Austin respect the police, and think bottom-dwellers such as yourself are the absolute worst this society has to offer. In fact, they would likely pay any police officer a large bonus for removing a threat like you from our midst. Again, please publish another threat against police officers and galvanize this community behind the APD even more. I'll take Acevedo over a slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, ineffectual, angry little pissant like you any goddamn day of the week.

Anonymous said...

"i have no depth perception and it makes reading that thing a royal pain in the ass! and to top it off the one your using is so so crude you can't even refresh it and get a diff set of word! "

You seem to have no perception at all - there is indeed a refresh feature in the verifier. Your inability to see the whole picture and your pitiful grammar are typical of the average "Grits" fan. Y'all are wasting your life making up things to be mad about when there are so many REAL injustices going in the world (for example, a public school system that produces way too many ill-informed, semi-literate tools such as yourself). The cops received a report of a possible kidnapping and responded accordingly. Henson acted like a dick and then lied about it, revealing his underlying bias and trashing his credibility. End of story.

JoJo said...

these same cops who all you anonymice defend will slay an unarmed kid this spring. if you're lucky it won't be yours.

Anonymous said...

JoJo said...

"these same cops who all you anonymice defend will slay an unarmed kid this spring. if you're lucky it won't be yours."

Unarmed? Hmmm, let's see...

"Quintana fatally shot Sanders in a Northeast Austin apartment complex parking lot after the two struggled for a gun that Sanders, who had been asleep in a car, had at his waist."

"Carter was fatally shot May 30 east of downtown Austin after a car in which Carter was riding charged toward Wagner and his partner, officer Jeffrey Rodriguez, police have said."

These "kids" were known criminals (Sanders had a particularly violent history) who were trying to kill the police, who were trying to protect us. In both of these cases the police were summoned by citizens sick of being victimized by these habitual criminals. If another "kid" like this gets killed while engaging in deadly behavior, he won't be missed.

RAS said...

Grits, I think you should shut this down; these people are nuts.

Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

@John Q Public:
Thank you for posting your comments under a consistent name. It has enabled people to have a rational (of emotive) conversation with you, and, quite honestly, gives your comments some more weight. Although I initially disagreed with you quite vehemently (and to some extend I still do) I actually agree with some of your comments, particularly when you qualified them in subsequent posts.

I invite you to go the next step and create a blogger profile. That way people can email you directly. I would be interested to hear/read your opinions on a broader range of topics.

@Menwa
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.

As an Australian lawyer, not an American lawyer, I read this as saying that you don't have to give your name unless you have been arrested. By Scott's account (and indeed by Aveco's) he was not arrested by the deputy.

It is different in Australia; it is an offence to fail to give your name when lawfully requested to do so; this does not require an arrest or even a detention. (Although you can be detained/arrested if you fail to give your name)

Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

Uh, spelling fail.
*(*if emotive)
*to some extent*

Richie B said...

I love how cowards like rodsmith and doc ellis (no capitalization on purpose) talk tough about how "this would've gone such-and-such way if I were involved." And yet none of you has the testicular fortitude to stand up and actually try any of the BS you threaten the officers with.

"Put her on the ground?" "They'd be dead, not just on the ground?" Please. That's exactly the kind of imbecilic, grandiose empty threats I've heard from countless other losers who haven't got the sack to back it up. Grow up, you prepubecent punk and either stand to or shut your mouth, because everyone in your life can see what a pathetic lying sack of water trash you are, and how every story that's managed to combine itself together and fall out of your mouth is nothing more than a delusion of granduer.

And doc ellis (disrespect still totally meant), you don't even have the guts to come out and threaten an officer. You hide behind your thinly veiled threats and hope and pray that someone else will do your dirty work, all the while beating your chest and talking up how you wouldn't stand for such treatment. I've got news for you, tough guy, watching a bunch of action movies and attending a sovereign citizen meeting doesn't make you a bad ass, it makes you dumber than when you started. And judging from your posts, you started a LONG time ago, and attended a LOT of meetings.

News flash, you morons: the police are better armed than you, better trained than you, better staffed than you, and if they TRULY wanted to get in your house or to kill you or this pathetic spotlight seeking liar who pimps his grandaughter for "readership," there's not a single thing any of you could do to stop them. The only reason you sleep peacefully is because the Constitution says you can, and none of you has the wherewithal to actually go through with any of your self-agrandizing BS threats.

But I don't have to insult you, do I? The greatest insult comes when you look in the mirror and are faced with what you truly are: a pathetic, small person who couldn't make an impact on any part of this big wide world on your best day, which all of us know has long ago come and gone, am I right?

You're pathetic, and I pity all of you.

Doug Deaton said...

PART 1 of 2:

I am a police supervisor for a large PD in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I began following your blog while in grad school at the University of Texas at Dallas and have been with you for almost two years. I have not always agreed with your posts but I still followed your blog and used it to educate myself on the legal, procedural, and public relations challenges faced by Texas law enforcement.

I have always given you the benefit of the doubt, even when I suspected you of cherry picking data, misrepresenting facts, or exhibiting confirmation bias. In the absence of incontrovertible evidence or probable cause to believe you were lying, I have always made the conscious decision to regard your most inflammatory posts as a reflection of your passionately held beliefs which were sharply honed by years of professional-level work as a researcher, journalist, director of the ACLU’s Police Accountability Project, and consultant for the Innocence Project of Texas.

Even after you posted your account of the incident involving you and your granddaughter, I refrained from making conclusions about your veracity; despite the fact that your story possessed several major “holes.” After carefully comparing all available news reports, emails, and videos for this incident to the words written by you about this same incident, there is no doubt that you intentionally misrepresented the facts. Chief Acevedo is right: You lied.

Separate from your lies and flawed accusations of wrongdoing, one of the most disturbing aspects of this mess is the fact that in your email to Chief Acevedo (in which you requested that he not release the video of the incident) you used language nearly identical to that used by the police chiefs and prosecutors whom you regularly excoriate for their lack of transparency. You wrote, “Despite the fact that media have filed open-records requests, it’s not at all clear that you’re obligated by law to release everything. Under Section 552.108(a)(2) of the Government Code the department is not required to release records ‘in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication.’ You ‘may’ do so at your discretion, but it is not mandatory.” I’m not sure how your email to Chief Acevedo aligns with the phrase ”The facts belong to everybody.” in the “About Me” section of the Grits for Breakfast blog. You have become the thing you most despise: A dishonest public figure who does not want the truth about his behavior to be released to the public.

Doug Deaton said...

PART 2 of 2:

The second most disturbing aspect of this mess is that you have chosen to couch your dishonesty as merely another example of how eye-witness testimony is not reliable; thereby excusing your falsehoods while attempting to divert attention back to one of your favorite causes. You’re a professional, Scott, not an amateur. Your experience as a professional researcher, police critic, and subject matter expert on the dangers of eyewitness testimony should have prepared you for this moment. If this were merely a problem with perception, then you wouldn’t have written so eloquently and precisely about the “looks,” behavior, and body language of the Constable, the APD, and you. This is not an eyewitness perception issue. Your account of this incident goes far beyond a mere mistake of perception. This is an example of a bitter critic who has proven that he is willing to post blatant fabrications to support his worldview and garner support for his advocacy.

When police officers are proven to have lied in their written reports or affidavits, they are no longer able to file cases with the DA’s office because they have impeached themselves as witnesses. Proven liars in uniform are never allowed to testify in court again because they are not credible. A cop who cannot file criminal cases and who can never testify in court is no good to us (the police) or the citizenry. That’s why we fire them. We fire them because they’re no good. That’s the way it should be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Scott, you have impeached yourself as a writer, blogger, journalist, and advocate. You have destroyed your credibility. You will never again be able to righteously accuse others of malfeasance, lying, obfuscation, or opaqueness. Your continued association with the Innocence Project of Texas will only serve to damage that organization and its cause.

I’m sorry Scott but I have no choice but to “fire” you as a reliable source of information. I’ll still read your blog but at least now I know what you really are. I can never trust you or anything you write again. I hope you understand.

Doug

Anonymous said...

you're a fraud.

Anonymous said...

YOU grits are a jack booted thug. You just use a keyboard as your weapon of choice to spread your propaganda. I have heard that "The Onion" is looking to add a writer to their staff. Perhaps a more appropriate forum for you.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Doug, thanks for saying all that under your own name. Good for you. I respect your opinion and you for signing it.

Since you were man enough to put your name on your comments, here are a couple of responses: Truly I recollected it wrong, was mortified when I saw the video, and corrected what I'd written after I'd seen it. I can't do any more than that. You (and everyone else) are welcome to think what you like about my intentions, but that is the truth.

Yes, there was detail about conversations, body language, etc., in the post, but none of that is what's being called into question, is it? The only thing I'm accused of lying about happened in a split second during the most confusing moment of the episode with my attention diverted by cops rushing at me from all directions and a five-year old at my side. You're right I'm a "professional researcher," but there's no "research" involved in recording one's memories. This was a very rare Grits post that wasn't based on documents, sources, news stories etc.. That's in part why I prefaced the original post saying it was a personal narrative, not something I'd researched. Apparently most folks don't get that distinction.

Normally I cite my sources and admit mistakes when I make them (something that happens incidentally, with research sometimes as well as personal recollections - nobody's perfect). In this case the only source was my memory. I made an error, I owned it, it is what it is.

Finally, I explained above at 8:02 why I requested they not release the video of the child. If the explanation doesn't satisfy you, I can't help it.

As for whether this discredits me for good, we'll see. Clearly lots of the APD anons here (and Chief Acevedo) hope so. But honestly, folks, and Doug, this goes for you too: If you don't find what you read here credible, don't visit. If you feel that way, I honestly don't know why you would.

Nick Pell above asks why the cops handcuffed me. Acevedo said it was for the officers protection and my own. I asked who I needed protection from and he said it was so none of the officers would shoot me.

Also you're only required to identify yourself if you've been arrested.

I think those are the only non-anons who had any criticisms of substance following my last comments above. The anons aren't worth replying to.

Anonymous said...

Handcuffing someone in order to keep police officers safe during an investigative stop is not against the law or the constitution. The fact that they were looking for a white male who chased a young black girl into the woods, and that this guy and his granddaughter fit the description, would give a reasonable officer the ability to question them. They did not use any excessive force and his statement that there was no threat of violence because a young girl was present isn't correct. Just because a child is around doesn't mean there is no threat of violence. Violence happens in front of kids all the time.

Doc Ellis said...

Doug Deaton-
you wrote "When police officers are proven to have lied in their written reports or affidavits, they are no longer able to file cases with the DA’s office because they have impeached themselves as witnesses..."

Maybe in your area. But at Lookout Mountain, in GA, not so much. See William Anderson at http://williamlanderson.blogspot.com/2010/04/railroading-of-tonya-craft.html and continuing...and here http://williamlanderson.blogspot.com/2012/02/lawless-lmjc.html. Note that the folks who lied two years ago, are still employed in their capacities.

This is Grit's blog line comment thread, so I will respond to the two critics who ignorantly criticised me on my own blog-line. Those who criticise me here get no further response from me, other than that I comment openly and not behind secret identities.

Anonymous said...

There wouldn't be as much vitriol in these comments if Acevedo had his cops out doing their REAL job (protect and serve, remember that?) properly instead of writing traffic tickets for drivers doing 36 in a 35 mph zone.
Been to the hike and bike trail lately? Been to the greenbelt? Look around at all the broken safety glass from burglarized vehicles. Put a unit down there and bust the perps. NOPE. Gotta write traffic tickets.
I feel safer knowing that APD is out there protecting us from rogue packs of roving grandfathers.

Phelps said...

When police officers are proven to have lied in their written reports or affidavits, they are no longer able to file cases with the DA’s office because they have impeached themselves as witnesses.

That's not even the case here in Dallas. The DA is currently fighting against having to disclose the criminal records of testifying officers to defendants, and has apparently gone as far as to try to bring the judge to a grand jury in an attempt to intimate her into making the issue go away.

The key part of what you said is "proven". By that, I'm assuming you mean perjury charges. The problem is, cops are never referred to the DA for perjury, and when they are, the DA refuses to file, even when they are directly contradicted on material issues (and not minor details like whether a taser was drawn, but on major details like, "he stumbled during the entire sobriety test and that is why I determined he was intoxicated.")

Cops, above all others, operate on the "you can't prove anything" system.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for the innocent child, having this man as a grampa will impact & scar her more than this situation ever would. God bless her and family.

Anonymous said...

oh please...i read your original and then i see the video, and I realize you are just a lying wigger that wants to join the black race so you can feel oppressed. Damn those dash cams!

Anonymous said...

So many angry, anonymous cops posting here. Its almost like they have a Fox News-type memo telling them to attack your "credibility" and talk about how they could once "trust" your blog, but no more. Its kind of sad that cops can't take any form of criticism or admit when they are at fault over anything. You should just do what they say and never question it (or be upset if they are in the wrong).

Look, I've got blue in my family, including cops who worked for a real police department - the NYPD - not some candy-ass PD like in Austin. See, Austin cops only get a few murders every year. So they have to get their jollies busting coeds on Sixth Street and detaining grandfathers out on walks with their grandchildren. I understand that. But if your goal is to "protect and serve" maybe Austin cops could learn to talk with civilians like real people. Not everyone is a criminal. Not everyone needs to be tasered or cuffed or detained.

Want to learn something from a ride along? Ride with the NYPD. You might learn something from a real cop.

Anonymous said...

Well, having now watched the video you didn't want anyone else to see, I can see why you didn't want it made public. It makes you look really bad. It's clear that the APD acted entirely appropriately based upon the information they had available to them at the time. Clearly, they had your granddaughter's best interest at heart. As a parent, I'm very comforted by the fact that they responded the way they did when there was a report of a possible kidnapping. You were not abused or mistreated in any way. The officers at all times conducted themselves professionally toward you.

What does bother me greatly is that YOU allowed your granddaughter to be placed in this situation due to your initial uncooperativeness. If you had just spent a little more time satisfying the concerns of the original deputy, I feel confident this who situation might have been avoided. It never was just about YOU. Why in the world you couldn't have set aside your obvious anti-police attitude for the benefit of a child is completely beyond me. Your actions in that regard reflect a level of selfishness and self-centeredness that you should be ashamed of. It's obvious from watching the video that your granddaughter was very upset at being separated from you. But you can't really blame APD for that based upon what they knew. If you had taken just a moment initially to consider things from some other perspective than your own--like maybe what was in the best interest of your granddaughter--I think this would have had a far better outcome.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:47 writes that: "YOU allowed your granddaughter to be placed in this situation due to your initial uncooperativeness. If you had just spent a little more time satisfying the concerns of the original deputy, I feel confident this who situation might have been avoided."

Sorry, the record simply doesn't support that. It's just not true. According to the deputy constable's report (which the Chief chose NOT to release in his selective document dump) her concerns had been satisfied and she was heading back to her post. Problem is, she didn't know the complainant had also called 911 and APD was rolling up on the same call. She tried to tell them on the radio she'd already talked to us, but it was all happening simultaneously. APD's reaction had NOTHING, zero, zilch to do with how I interacted with the constable. I won't call the chief a "liar" for saying that, since I won't stoop to his level, but he certainly knows what's in the deputy's report, even if he chose not to release it to the press.

Phelps said...

I just went and watched the video on the KVUE story.

1) It was a rough handcuffing. There wasn't a, "put your hands behind your back", one hand holding both his, cuffs applied. This was a pressure hold putting his arms way into his upper back. It was an aggressive move.

2) The officer who starts out right in front of Grits has his hand on his Taser the entire time. It's easy to see how that threat would be foremost in his mind.

3) From before they have even handcuffed him you can hear his granddaughter saying, "he's my grandpa" and running from the cops. She says it twice before they stuff her into the backseat of the car.

All in all, it's despicable. Liar? Hardly.

All this over a kidnapping call that had already been checked out? When the officers can plainly see no coercion as they drive up? When the first words out of the child's mouth are "he's my grandpa"? When there is no attempt to flee or even resist?

Stranger danger my ass. The only time that child has even been forcibly snatched from her family and held against her will was when the APD did it.

Debcarla said...

I think you are too kind to the APD in terms of their behavior and over-reaction. I watched the video and in my humble opinion they, once again, over reacted. While they were scaring your grand-daughter, the grand-mother and mother, other things needed attention in the city. Perhaps one or two patrol cruisers would have sufficed. You were cooperative. Ironically, as I read your blog, you helped in passing the OOPM act in 2001. I can only imagine how you felt. No you didn't say it but this was obviously a 911 call based on a bias.Kudos to the Travis Cty. CONSTABLE! Sadly neither you nor the mother were offered an apology (i.e. common courteousy when we make a mistake as human beings). I, as your fellow Austinite, apologize for the way you were disrespected as a person.

PC Guru Austin TX said...

At least the tape has been released: usually the just vanish or "malfunctioned" when a defense attorney asks for one.

I hear a frightened little girl ask "what are you doing with my grandpa" which is not what you would expect a kidnap victim to say. The officers should have apologized and withdrawn. Yet we then hear her screaming as she is snatched by a police officer and carried away. If this is APD policy, and Chief thinks it OK, we need a new police chief.

TenPeeEm said...

Grits, saw this story on the local news reel and tracked down all the posts here to get the context. I'm sorry to hear of the (tragically recurring) scares your granddaughter is forced to face.

Getting a copy of the first responding constable's report would be the really damning piece of evidence to sink Acevedo's leaky account, but even without it your side of the story holds a lot of water. If there's any good to come from this, your story is one more of the many that discredit the public accountability and brash policies of the APD.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Phelps, thank you so much for that (I wasn't going to say it, but I'm glad you did), but just to say it, I wince when you write: "you can hear his granddaughter saying, 'he's my grandpa' and running from the cops. She says it twice before they stuff her into the backseat of the car."

I appreciate your comments and personally agree, but what you said there, exactly that, is why I didn't want this video released at the middle of a media/web frenzy. I want her as far away as possible from the center of the zoo this debate has become. I don't want video of her scared, crying and running away from police to be at the center of the kind of culture-war garbage-fest this thing turned into online. Even if it helps my case, I'd rather appear discredited (in some people's eyes, anyway) than do anything to risk that.

I feel especially strongly about protecting her on this because, frankly, I owe her big time. My granddaughter is an incredibly brave little girl, far FAR braver than any of the cowards trash talking anonymously here, including all those wearing badges. At the moment of truth she was completely selfless, worried only about me and never once about herself. As we were walking home (I think I said this in the original post), she told me she was most scared that the police wouldn't believe her and I'd be taken away.

I'm so proud of her I could bust, and if she's that protective of me, you can bet I'm going to protect her come hell or high water. Call me a liar, a hypocrite, scoundrel, whatever you like, as long as it's aimed at me. I'll take the hit and continue to do everything in my power to keep her and the rest of my family out of it. After all, she did everything she could to protect me when the time came.

Oh, and a reporter sent me a copy of the deputy's report. It's kind of a messed up version (one page is upside down, last page first, and one is blank), but I just uploaded it here onto Google Docs.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Oh, and PC Guru is probably biased because they just fixed my computer last week. :) Thanks guys!

Anonymous said...

If the police stop you, it is best to walk away. Don't give your name - they could frame you. Don't tell them anything.

Anonymous said...

You are a freaking loser. You write a blog...That is right up there with man living in parents basement.

Anonymous said...

Scott Henson you are a fraud - obvious from the "no taser" video.

SteveL said...

I'm stunned by the vitriol apparent in the comments here.

Take just a moment please, anonymous critics, to consider how you would feel if you were accosted by the police, handcuffed, and had your child or grandchild terrified in this way, while going about your lawful business.

The police were right to respond, but some consideration would be appropriate for the likelihood that they have just harrassed an innocent citizen.

It's shameful for the APD that they did not offer Mr. Henson and his granddaughter a sincere apology, and that Mr. Acevedo took this opportunity to escalate.

Shame on you too, Mr. Deaton, for your firm determination that Henson lied intentionally. You cannot know that and the evidence does not allow such an unambiguous interpretation. Your post speaks more to your prejudices than anything else.

I want cops to pursue reports of possible crimes, but I would like them to do it with some sensitivity to the perspective of the citizens who may be innocently caught up in such situations. Is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

Steve L: Acevedo did his job. Scott lied about the taser and got caught. Scott refused to give his name to the responding officer, hoping to escalate then blog about it. Scott got busted. I don't know Scott and I don't know Acevedo so I have no bias toward either. My neutral, unbiased opinion is that Scott is a worthless joke. He is a blogger not a journalist. And thank God that Acevedo busted him so we all know he's a fraud before wasting one second reading his blog.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...so it appears that the initial complaint was made by a black woman? And there were two other black males at the Millenium Center that were later told that the deputy constable "needed assistance?" I would be willing to bet those two details are contrary to the original stereotyped impression that a lot of people had in regard to this story. It sounds like whatever happened when you were walking away from the center caused multiple people to be concerned and excited.

I'm really glad this didn't turn out to be a real kidnapping. However, I do believe that if you hadn't copped that "We're done here" attitude with the deputy constable you would not have had the later confrontation. Apparently, neither she nor you knew that A.P.D. was responding to the same call. Evidently, it was just a matter of seconds between the time that you walked away from the constable and encountered the police. I wonder how things might have been different if you'd stuck around for a moment, showed the deputy your driver's license and been a little more cooperative. Just because you have the "right" to do something doesn't always mean it's the right thing to do.

Doc Ellis said...

Sniper 2/22/2012 01:20:00 PM wrote
"...so we all know he's a fraud before wasting one second reading his blog."

Are you ignorant or trolling? How did you get this far in this blog and thread without "wasting" time to read them? How is that possible?

rodsmith said...

this was so funny richie b i just had to respond!

""Put her on the ground?" "They'd be dead, not just on the ground?" Please. That's exactly the kind of imbecilic, grandiose empty threats I've heard from countless other losers who haven't got the sack to back it up. Grow up, you prepubecent punk and either stand to or shut your mouth, because everyone in your life can see what a pathetic lying sack of water trash you are, and how every story that's managed to combine itself together and fall out of your mouth is nothing more than a delusion of granduer."

If you were here i'd put my baretta up your nose and ask you if YOU had the guts to repeat it in person. i did my time in the military i know many ways to kill in 3 sec's or less do you?

Plus this would not be the first time i had to control an out of control cop!

Had to stop one years ago from forcing his way into my home he got said baretta pointed at him and was told if he crossed the threshold of my home without either a warant or was chasing comeone thought the door i'd put a bullet right though his empty head!

Fortunately for him at that moment my next door neighbor showed up and told him to get back in his squad car or he would not be resonsible for the results! At the time my neighbor was the Mayor of the city!

Anyone who's followed my posts over the years know if i think the cops are right i will say so. Just as i will say so when they are wrong!

IN this case they acted like an out of control set of stormtroopers against an old man and a 5 year old! as for the handcuffing. Sorry in my book if you have been hancuffed YOU have been arrested! that bit of stupidty has did not exist 30 years ago! Some where some idiot cop did something they were not supposed to and that bit of mis-direction was the only way to save the case! and the retards on the court bought it! The excuse it was for the cops protection. hmmm 50 to 1 If they are that sorry that they are worried about him they need NEW JOBS!

justforgrits said...

Fine- here you go:
Grits- you are a douchebag. I just watched the video and you are a liar. Agenda much?
http://www.khou.com/news/APD-video-refutes-claims-by-local-blogger-139992463.html

Anonymous said...

Some of you folks just don't get it, do you? He was stopped and asked for ID because someone reported a possible KIDNAPPING and the Police were trying to make sure an INNOCENT KID was not being kidnapped!!! Good God! If Grits were black, it would be all about that, but now, you twist it to be a white guy with a black kid. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!!!! The Police were protecting a child they thought was in danger. The "suspect" was white and the kid was black. THAT IS NOT RACISM!!! It is protecting and serving!!!! How pissed would you have been, Grits, if someone DID kidnap your granddaughter and the Police did NOTHING??? You obviously have a vendetta against the Police and are one of the vast majority who make stuff up against the Police. Thanks to the videos, your bluff has been called and you exposed for falsifying things. Videos do catch bad cops and I am all for that. It is a profession of honor and those that dishonor it are ones most in the profession are happy to see punished. Like anything, there are bad apples, but not the majority. People like you who jump on the defamation bandwagon do nothing but perpetuate and exacerbate the problem. Good job to the Officers for protecting your Granddaughter. You should be THANKFUL that they made sure she was safe. Instead, you fabricate lies. Now, you have been caught and the video is going to be out. Already, you try to make excuses, but; the video does not lie. I hope they sue you for defamation and if you actually filed a report, lock you up for filing a false report and perjury. Makes me sick!!!

Anonymous said...

This incident results in some good happening! Now, the only people who will read Scott Henson's blog are people who hate the Chief and enjoy reading lies. Chief Acevedo can now save five minutes per week by ignoring the B.S. generated by Scott Henson, because no legitimate citizens will every ready his blog of lies again. Thank you Scott. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

They could have handled a report of a possible kidnapping differently? I bet of your grand daughter had really been kidnapped you would want more cops there. Just a thought.

And you don't want the video to be released again why?

Maybe to hide the truth? Weird.

Anonymous said...

I'm left wondering whether it just one young pig on steroids leaving all the nasty comments or several different piglets. At least they didn't say you spit on them Scott.

Richie B said...

Hey rodsmith,

Playing Call of Duty doesn't mean you've done any time in any sort of military, nor that you "know how to kill in 3 seconds." You're pathetic, and your response post about what a bad ass you are just goes to prove that incontrivertably.

Again, I've dealt with far too many gun store commandos like you who talk tough behind a keyboard or when cleaning their guns and watching cowboy movies not to laugh when you talk about putting your beretta up my nose or pointing it at some cop's head. You're full of it and everyone knows it, and the more you insist you're some kind of ultra killer, the more transparent you become.

Enjoy your pathetic little life, and may we never meet, because I promise you, if you even imply you have your famed Baretta, I'll shove it down your throat and pull the trigger until it goes "click."

Oh, and grits, you're still a lying douchebag race pimp. :)

justforgrits said...

Richie B: Where does that come from? "a lying douchebag race pimp?" That hurts...

Anonymous said...

This whole blog just reeks of overreaction. Lets start with your poll in the upper right. "Would you talk to the police without a lawyer present" to paraphrase it. No, no one would.

That's not what happened to you. You refused to give your name. The police didn't ask you what you'd been doing for the past 72 hours, they asked you for a name or photo ID. You respond with a hostile attitude. They have a report of a young black girl being kidnapped by an old white man. You're an old white man with a young black girl. One who is refusing to even providing a name. It's not that shocking that suddenly detainment is on the table.

By all means though, lawyer up. Go after Art Acevedo and the APD for their horrible profiling and aggressive treatment of you. Go for it. Except you won't, because you know deep down in that heart of yours no jury is going to side with you on this.

Keep blogging though, maybe the local police have some more videos that make you look dumb.

Anonymous said...

Your lies caught up with you. It's ok to be critical of the police, but do it in a just and fair way. Way to go there buddy.

Richie B said...

Lying because he was caught in a lie, flat out. Not "mis-remembered" or any such silliness. A lie. Plain and simple.

Douchebag because he won't own up to having an agenda and getting busted out on it. He'd rather do some song-and-dance about how he's STILL the victim here, and that the responding APD officers were analagous to Nazis or some such BS.

Race pimp because he cried racism (yes, yes you did!) with his little "babysitting while white" comment. And then, he trots out his grandaughter, who he only seeks to protect and shelter, posts a picture of her innocent little face when it suits him, and begs and pleads with Chief Acevedo "on her behalf" when he realizes that things aren't breaking his way.

So yes. I stand by my original statement. A lying douchebag race pimp. :-)

Anonymous said...

Paranoid lying fool.. Henson. Anyone on this that has reacted to your lies, you immediately say they are part of a conspiracy or are cops themselves. You attack those who are out doing a job you wouldn't or couldnt do, and this time in your exagerated BS.. karma (and a camera) caught up with you. It is good to see justice has been served all over your grits.

rodsmith said...

well anon and riche b you can talk all you want.

You will NEVER get past the fact that he TALKED to the constable and she LET HIM LEAVE! If there was any problem what so ever! all she had to do was utter those magic words

"YOUR UNDER ARREST"

she did not do that SHE LET HIM LEAVE! then and ONLY then did the stormtroopers come out of the woodworks like a bunch of cockroaches! to swarm an old man and a 5 year old! that could have been handled by ONE squad car! wonder what a foia request would show if someone demanded to know how many calls DIDN'T get answered while a big hunk of the APD was watching that threatening OLD MAN!

Anonymous said...

I've seen both officers and citizens get sued for making false claims......

Darkman said...

Cops think we are really stupid... When they shoot dead someone, confusing a wallet or a cellphone for a gun, they say:"Oops, my bad. Honest mistake". But when someone confuse their actions, that's a liar.

This video is even worse than your story. They jumped on you like dogs on a bone! You were smart to raise your hands immediately otherwise, you could be dead by now and Ty too, striken by a straight bullet... I can't imagine if you were black and she was white...

I beg you, go on TV. Now that they release the video and want you to be the bad guy, your duty is to defend your honor and point nationwide that cops are poorly trained, as you suggest. It may give someone a chance, chance Ramarley Graham didn't have...

Anonymous said...

You are a fraud, for some reason you feel the need to cause trouble. You are creating a problem where there is none. If your black grandaughter was actually kidnapped you would be crawling down the necks of the police to find her. Be happy the responded like they did. Your just a hypocrite troublemaker. Get a life and apologize to the police for your lies.

Anonymous said...

Name calling doesn't impress anyone. Let's stop it.

Anonymous said...

Did he set this whole thing up with the 911 call?

Anonymous said...

You only "corrected yourself" after you saw the video. Well then, you owe the police department and Chief Acevedo an apology. You LIED. you claim you made an error but if an eyewitness to a crime makes an "error" that "error" can lead to the wrong person going to jail. If you didn't remember the incident clearly, you should not have attacked the police dept for their response. If your black granddaughter had been really kidnapped, how would you want the police dept to respond? You are teaching her and other young african americans that the police can't be trusted and that is inexcusable. You LIED! Be a man, admit you lied, apologize and teach your granddaughter a more valuable lesson on accountability.....

Herb H said...

Maybe you should change the name of your blog to Crow for Breakfast.

Big shock that someone who runs a blog with a left leaning anti-police overtone would purposely embellish an encounter with police to further your agenda.

BarkGrowlBite said...

Of all the comments, including those from Grits, those made by Doug Deaton were the most reasonable and made the most sense.

As for Grits, when you look at his bio, it becomes clear that he is a left winger who has made it his mission to correct what he perceives to be the wrongs within the criminal justice system. Many of his perceptions are correct but many are also flat-out wrong.

As I've said before, I like Grits for Breakfast and think it is a good blog. But Grits attracts the sorriest bunch of cop haters as evidenced by many of the comments that I have been reading for the past hour.

As for the police not treating people with kindness and respect, if that's the case, it's because they constantly run into a bunch of sorry ass worthless pieces of shit like some those who have submitted those hateful comments. Cops are subjected to hostility day in and day out, and no matter how you put it, that is bound to affect the way they deal with the public at large.

Oh, by the way, the dipshit that belittled the Austin PD as compared to NYPD, I've got news for him. NYPD officers are constantly accused of mistreating the good citizens of New York City. So don't give us your crap about the Austin PD. It may not have the resources of NYPD, but it's just as good as NYPD in every other respect.

Grits, you blew this one!

whiskeydent said...

At the end of the APD tape, an officer says something like "I'm not going to lose any sleep over this one."

Perhaps he hasn't since then. However, I would ask that officer if it would have been more professional -- even more humane -- to have simply apologized for detaining Grits under what turned out to be a false emergency.

"I'm sorry you had to go through this trauma and we're sorry about scaring your granddaughter," the officer could have said.

Is that too much to ask. Merely saying that "we're just doing our job" is not the same folks.

Moreover, wouldn't it have been better if one of the officers had addressed the child and said that her granddaddy had done nothing wrong and that they were sorry for pulling her from him.

I ask all the officers commenting here to re-view the tape and listen to the childs screams as she was pulled away. That's the sound of a child that's real, real scared.

And I bet she's losing sleep over it.

whiskeydent said...

I hate typos. Danged editor.

Anonymous said...

Take a step back from the question of how police and citizens ought to interact. It's sad that biracial families still don't look like families. My wife and I are of different races -- this makes me scared to have children.

That's not a criticism of anybody involved.

Anonymous said...

A lot of contempt towards the police here. According to the FBI statistics there were in 2010: 38 Murders, 265 Rapes, 1231 Robberies, 2,256 Aggravated assaults and 45,826 Property Crimes in Austin. Another unrelated quick search rates the crime rate in Austin as around 4 times the national average. This sounds like quite a stressful workload for the men in blue there and seeing the released video the incident which has drawn mine and the worlds attention seems a bit overblown. Mr. Hanson seems to want to let this issue blow over and I commend him on that. On a positive note I would suggest he use the knowledge gained from incorectly remembering the incident to support reforming the idea of placing too much credence on eye witness testimony and perhaps giving an ear towards those incarcerated on solely that data and the chance they may have been innocently convicted. Living in a better world means striving to achieve it, not just in complaining about what is wrong.

BarkGrowlBite said...

I forgot to mention the Anon(s) who referred to the website that keeps track of cops charged with sex offenses and other misconduct. That website and its sponsors are despicable lowlifes. With almost 900,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers in this country, the number of police engaged in illegal conduct barely registers on the Richter Scale. But that website makes it look like the cops are corrupt through and through.

And finally, Grits you referred to the Anons who blasted you as trolls. When I see what your supporters are saying about the police and suggesting they be killed, I'll take those trolls over your cop hating supporters any day of the week!

Richie B said...

Whiskeydent,

I would argue that there is no need for an apology to grits. They responded in a professional manner, in keeping with the law, department policy and more importantly, common sense.

They were simply "doing their job." No other profession that I know of offers an apology if while doing their job, a precieved negative interaction took place. And it was merely percieved, seeing as the tape totally exonerates the officers involved.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Grits for breakfast, it is time to let this go. You thought you would get away with making what happen to you worse than it was to see what kind of mileage you can get out of it for this thing you call a blog. You didn't get tased or get one pointed at you. You didn't get manhandled or roughed up. You didn't even get cursed at. All that happened was you were handcuffed and detained while they confirmed this was not what was reported to the police by someone who called 911. You started all this with all your garbage. Lets ask some people who have missing children how they would have liked the police to respond to a call like the one they were sent to?
You are clearly very full of yourself. I have never heard of you or this blog. To think that you think you are so important that anyone at the police dept gives you a second thought is very funny.
Again i have never heard of you and am only on your blog for this story and this is the last time i will be here.

Anonymous said...

Chief Acevedo, please don't release the video of the incident. It will severely damage my claims against your department and reveal that I'm full of it. PRETTY PLEASE???

Phelps said...

They were simply "doing their job." No other profession that I know of offers an apology if while doing their job, a precieved negative interaction took place.

Except for, you know, every other industry in the country. It's called "customer service." At one time, the police had the motto of "protect and serve." Now I guess the motto is "everyone goes home... and by everyone, we mean everyone wearing a badge."

If you're just doing a job, then stop expecting some sort of reverence for "putting your life on the line." So do fisherman, construction workers and convenience store clerks, who have more dangerous jobs. Everyone's just doing their job in that case.

You don't get it both ways. Either it is just a job, or it isn't just a job.

Richie B said...

First of all phelps, the motto "to protect and serve" was a tagline used by the Los Angeles Police Department, so don't go assigning it to every Police Department across the country.

Further to that, I would argue that law enforcement isn't a customer service industy. It's a profession based on...wait for it...enforcing of local, state and federal laws. I know this seems tough for you to grasp, but enforcing laws is their primary job, and everything else is ancillary based on department policies or the whims of their Chief. In this case, Chief Acevedo (along with everyone watching that possesses common sense) felt his officers were not out of line and had met whatever "customer service" criteria the Chief set forth. Demanding an apology because grits or you or anyone feels they should have gone further is ridiculous, as again, they were doing their job.

Furthermore, while I am not a Police Officer, I know several, and none seek credit for putting their lives on the line. One even went so far as to research that the most dangerous, deadly job in America is cab driver, followed by farmer, with police officer down around 13 or so. But obviously you can't think or do any research for yourself, since you jumped right to fisherman (watch Deadliest Catch much?).

Tell you what phelps, the next time some nut walks into your work, your local mall or your child's school armed with a rifle and starts mowing people down, you feel free to call any fisherman, construction worker or convenience store clerk you want. I'm sure the officers protecting your ungrateful sorry ass would love to step aside and let you and your crew of dangerous job holding people step into the line of fire so that they can go home to their families at night, instead of the other way around.

Phelps said...

Tell you what phelps, the next time some nut walks into your work, your local mall or your child's school armed with a rifle and starts mowing people down, you feel free to call any fisherman, construction worker or convenience store clerk you want. I'm sure the officers protecting your ungrateful sorry ass would love to step aside and let you and your crew of dangerous job holding people step into the line of fire so that they can go home to their families at night, instead of the other way around.

I'm going to defend myself and not rely on the cops, because they won't do any good anyways. Time and time again, rather than confronting an active shooter, the cops just establish a perimeter, and wait until the shooter gets tired and kills himself.

This idea that the police "protect" anyone is the most dangerous. They don't. It isn't their policy. The SCOTUS has ruled that they have no duty to. The only duty they have is to investigate after it is all over, and that is all they do.

Anonymous said...

We have too many cops -- in Austin, and in Texas, and everywhere in this country. They're stepping on eachother toes (see the number of APD involved in this incident) trying to make themeselves seen as useful. We pay these "sheepdogs" a fortune with our tax money, and they produce little that is of use to the "sheep". This is a recipe for bankruptcy.

The situation will get a lot worse, with the military (many of whom are PTSD) returning from Iraq and Afghanistan getting into law enforcement jobs. We in Texas are way past the "police state" stage. (I should know, having been reared in the Soviet Union).

Red Leatherman said...

I've had a gun pointed at me by a cop threatening to kill me after I somehow accidentally got between him and the car he was chasing. I've had a cop walking up slowly to my car window with his hand on the handle of his revolver after being pulled over for doing 35 in a 35. (not a typo I was suspicious because I was the only person NOT speeding)
I can honestly say that I felt every bit as much threatened from one as the other.
In either case I knew the slightest thing could cause a fatal case of lead poisoning.
I think the sight of 1 or more cops poised with hands on a tazer or any other weapon ready to draw is close enough to having it pointed to assume it's pointed. Hand on the handle of a weapon is pointed in my book.
I have read several times that someone was shot because they reached for their waist and that movement was considered enough of a threat to justify killing an unarmed man. Even without actual visual of him having a hand on the handle of a non existant weapon. I'd consider hands on weapons even if holstered as good as pointed.
You know that's how a Cop would see it in a confrontation if it were the other way around.

Anonymous said...

It bothers me that cops can stop/detain/handcuff/harass people based on a call from some random about circumstances which, had the cop witnessed such circumstances personally, would not rise to the standard of reasonable suspicion that he normally needs to stop/detain/handcuff/harass people.

Anonymous said...

If you have read all 190 plus comments up until now? This one will be worth your time and promises to be void of any B.S.

I ask that everyone take a chill pill and read it, then log off & get back to the beat. It looks like every cop in Austin and beyond is either texting or typing about this while on duty.

And yes the Union & Police Associations have sent out a copied and pasted mass email to visit this blog and voice your concerns.

And no, we 'all' don't hate the authorities. Grits damn sure doesn't hate them or advocate for any hatered, for he has many active and former cops that he considers his friends.

And yes, if your supervisor instructs you to comment here multiple times, without reading the Post, or watching the video, it's best you do so or you'll be on his/her list.

And no, everyone sure as hell isn't innocent.

With that, I ask again that both active/retired LEOs and those that have bad run ins with them to take another chill pill and consider this.

*A crime victim describes a suspect to you and your partner, he/she positively picks out the suspect from a squad-car back seat, or a photo array or from a line-up that ends up being the wrong person. The Detectives and DA ignore the fact and charge him/her anyway. You also fail to speak up about this suspect having nothing similar with the description given to you.

Despite being shown copies of the report showing the orginal description, copies of the suspect's D.L. & police photo, not one single person admitts that they conspired to obtain a false arrest and wrongful conviction. If you can name one cop. Det. or ADA that has publicily admitted to
making a mistake then he's a friggin anomily.

The difference here is that Grits was shown his 'one' mistake (No drawn weapon) and publicily admitted to it. In the end he taxpayers get to pay for the entire mess, including cops concentrating on key boards vs. protecting and serving.

Please don't think that we all hate cops just because you are in a pissing match with someone via a Comment section of a blog. Who knows, you very well could be arguing with the other cop parked in the other Wallmart parkinglot or the nursing home's retired cop of the month and don't even know it?

Now, Log off and don't let me see anyone else spending the taxpayer's dime on attacking a citizen or what you think is a a cop hater.

whiskeydent said...

I actually agree with Richie B. about the the customer service analogy. It doesn't fit. A criminal is hardly a customer.

However, he went on to say "enforcing of local, state and federal laws" is a police officer's job. Note that he said nothing about "keeping the peace," which I think is very revealing.

I wish today's officers would focus a little more on being peacemakers and a little less on being enforcers.

Patrick said...

This episode aside, I'm increasingly uncomfortable with our Police Chief sprinting to the microphone banks every time the slightest accusation of wrongdoing is leveled at any one of his officers, and usually well before all the facts are in. The sneering, condescending tone he adopts in his pressers whenever this occurs is telling. As in the NYE incident where the guy was arrested for filming another arrest, Acevedo immediately called Jeff Ward and fully defended his officers regardless of the facts, then later had to admit the officer lied in his report about being spit on. The Chief is supposed to be protecting the citizenry first. The relative reputation of his troops should always be secondary to that.

Chris Mallory said...

A citizen who is not under arrest should NEVER be handcuffed, for any reason.

Chris Mallory said...

Richie B,

Maybe you should do some research. The "most dangerous job" changes almost yearly, according to the Department of Labor. For the last couple of years, fishermen and loggers have swapped back and forth holding the top spot.

Cops don't seek credit for "putting their lives on the line" (sic). Funny every time I turn around I am hearing how their unions telling me how they need higher pay, more benefits and a lower retirement age.

When seconds matter, the cops are minutes away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chief Acevedo ,

Your request for an apology from Mr. Henson is ludicrous.

I find it interesting that you, Chief Acevedo, only released the camera footage from one car. It is also worth noting that the officer that approaches Henson has his hand near the area of his belt where his gun/pepper spray/taser would be. The officer also immediately asks Henson “put up your hands” upon exiting his vehicle. But, why do I find this problematic?

In your response to Mr. Henson you claim, “Had that been a real, legitimate, kidnapping, and we would have responded with one or two officers, in a nonchalant manner, the same, exact critics that are criticizing us now would be saying that Austin Police Department did not care about about an African American little girl being kidnapped from the millennium center.” Your use of counterfactual reasoning to justify the actions of your officers reeks of ill-formed post hoc justification. Law Enforcement should be sensitive to both false positives and false negatives. When officers err on one side, and detain an innocent man, they are overbearing. When officers err on the other side, and release a guilty man, they are too lackadaisical. But, both can be avoided; this is not an all-or-nothing game. However, to be able to accomplish both this would require two things of your officers: better training and better use of their discretion. If you support the actions of the officers and continue to support actions of this sort in the future in similar instances, you are tacitly acknowledging that you are willing to foster and perpetuate a style of law enforcement that is willing to sacrifice civil liberties in exchange for a law enforcement system that is unnecessarily overbearing. The citizens of your municipality get the “raw end”—so to speak—of both aspects of this sacrifice.

Reporter Quita Culpepper cited you, Chief Acevedo, as claiming “Their quick response shows that race wasn't a factor in this case, but the safety of a child was.” Really?! So, Mr. Acevedo, are you claiming that in Austin when dispatch receives a report of kidnapping, your officers will handcuff every man walking with a child regardless of whether they have the same skin color or not? I find that hard to believe. Since you poorly invoked the use of counterfactuals to defend your officers, consider the following counterfactuals. Would your officers have responded the same way to Mr. Henson if Mr. Henson and his granddaughter were both Caucasian? What about if they were both African American? In either instance do you think dispatch would have even received a call? Probably not. The officers compounded the ignorance of the 911 caller with their actions towards Mr. Henson. It seems like the only way this incident can happen is when a man and a child differ in skin color.

Mr. Acevedo, do not allow the pride you have for your officers cloud your judgment. If you want to restore the name of the Austin Police Department that has been sullied by this incident, you must do so through good deeds, and not hollow words alone... If you are able to admit that your officers could have handled this incident better, and you are willing to institute training such that this sort of incident does not happen in the future, only then will you take the first steps towards restoring the name of your department.

Sincerely,
A concerned Oklahoma philosophy student

Bad Whiskey said...

Dear Chief Acevedo,
I concur with Oklahoma and believe your self-righteous ego has gotten the best of you. Mr. Henson owes you nothing less than the middle finger he is presenting by posting this blog.

It’s clear your department was wrong and you need to man up and accept responsibility for your officer’s rush to judgment.
Had Mr. Henson been the pedophile he was profiled to be, then I’m sure we’d seen his asshole and elbows running like a 40 plus year old white man out of shape being pursued by the Austin elite.

Problem is, he didn’t. He immediately surrendered.

Handcuffing Mr. Henson was excessive considering he immediately surrendered upon command. This should have been your first clue. Justifying handcuffing Mr. Henson so he wouldn’t get shot clearly justifies the need for the APD to be monitored by a community council and now brings attention to your use of force continuum policy. It sounds to me as if your thinking errors call for a shoot first – ask later and that’s simply dangerous.

As for your “force” of officers making these negative comments – we, as innocent citizens – don’t cry. No sir – we multiply. Keep it up and you’ll see L.A. activity in ATX.

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