Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fourth Case of CMPD Misconduct Discovered Another Officer Resigns

The Charlotte Observer is reporting the resignation of CMPD Officer, Brian Cloninger who is accused of misconduct. Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office says Cloninger tried to rig a robbery suspect line up among other things.

As a result at least 70 pending cases including drunken driving, assault and drug charges have also been dismissed.

"Officer Cloninger tainted the case from the start," says prosecutor Jeff Davis. "A victim's identification of a suspect should be based on memory and not because a police officer has shown the victim a mug shot."

Prosecutors say when they confronted Cloninger, the 15-year veteran was unrepentant and told them he was "just trying to get a bad guy off the streets."

The balance of the Charlotte Observer story details other cases that have been dropped due an other CMPD officer who has resigned. You can read the story here.

Not surprisingly when the Observer sought comment from CMPD Chief Monroe declined citing privacy concerns.

Why would a 15 year veteran risk it all just to convict one bad guy? Is this latest development just symptomatic of the pressure Chief Monroe has created by his "numbers" oriented management style. Law enforcement at any cost?

The bigger question is what is going on at CMPD? If Chief Monroe is unwilling to talk about it honestly how can we trust any officer? We already know that Chief Monroe hides behind lies and misstatements. How long before another officer is forced out? When will Charlotte's elected officials wake up and begin an investigation of CMPD.

The citizens deserve honesty and truthful answers and frankly we deserve better than Rodney Monroe.


Anonymous said...

I dont agree with the way the officer went about doing what he did but I can understand why he did. It becomes frustrating when criminals have the upper hand when they are actually winning. They know the laws how to tork them and how to get away with murder. They committ these herendous crimes go to jail ocassionally and then are back out to committ more. The upstanding individual that was involved in this case is a first class P.O.S and if he were in any other country he probably would have been sentenced to death or atleast some limbs removed. But because our DA's office is worthless and there are to many bleeding hearts they roam free. So no its sad to see an officer loose his job over some p.o.s but I do understand his train of thought.

ThaQueenCity said...

I can tell you ALL that I KNOW this cop VERY well! HE was ALWAYS doing HIS job no matter HOW much he liked you! TRUST me for Cloninger to do this HE HAD TO BE GETTING PRESSURE FROM SOMEWHERE! This cop NEVER let me off the hook when I was "out there"! Yes, he liked me and talked to me BUT HE DID HIS job and always made it clear HIS job came first!

He was the type to talk to ya when you were in his grips, telling ya what he saw! THIS IS NOT HIM! He used to work Metro, at that time it WAS the hell hole to work! I GUARANTEE he was being pressured from some where, and my bet is RUTTMUTT!

I know some of you think, God who is this girl, well let me tell who I am, I used to be PART of the problem, but due to GOOD COPS LIKE HIM I am part of the solution and will continue to be that! I may not have liked D. Stephens when he was in Chief BUT he NEVER forced officers to go against their OWN ethics!

The General said...

OK Here goes. You wont like it but it has to be said. WTF was he thinking. I dont care how much pressure comes from above or below or anywhere else you NEVER, and I mean Never coach a witness. The POS criminal is not worth it.

And to coach an attorney. Not even. I am so sorry Brian got caught up in this. He was a great officer and always wanted to do the right thing. But you just cant do it this way. The DA's office, especially peter g., is the reason the crime rate climbed so high in meck co. The thugs knew it was no big deal to murder, rape, or rob anyone because good old peter would throw the cases out or dismiss them or bargain them down so his precious work load would be kept in some kind of control. He needs to go.The blame goes to peter also. I dare say ROMO has nothing to do with this and the argument he does just doesnt stand up to scrutiny. I dont like romo but unless someone can show me proof this is his doing, then Brian, as he did, has to eat this one.

Now the POS is back on the street like the rest of them and will be commiting more robberies.
There are a lot of officers out there now that do not understand what PIG really stands for. (this would be due to the lowering of the hiring standards) Maybe you are too young to have ever learned the real meaning. Or maybe with the new methods of training at the academy you were never taught what it means. I fear it has been removed from websters since romo got here.
For GOD sake dont punish yourself and your families and all other officers just to screw the bad guys on the streets.
My gun is always by my side. The thug will suffer if ever i become the intended victim.

To Brian: If I can help you in anyway you can reach me here!!

ThaQueenCity said...

Hey General:

I agree with what you say, but I am SO angry right now! Yes, Cloninger went against his own ethics from when I knew him! And it does bother me that he felt he had to do this? BUT where did this pressure come from?

My biggest complaint and fear is that officers like Cloninger get canned (maybe even setup) and yet officers like Jackson are protected...notice the difference? One white the other black?

My only hope is that Cloninger can now come out and tell us what is really going on at CMPD! IF there is as much corruption as we think there is (which I am pretty sure there is), because MOST of us citizens who use our brains would believe HIM over ROMO!

Someone has to speak out and TELL US! And Cloninger HAS that opportunity now!

I only WISH there was a way to help him, I would lvoe too....great guy...

And Cloninger if you are reading this "thanks for all the times you TRIED to talk to me and help me" (BB).

By the way the POS is now back in jail! Have you SEEN his record?

Anonymous said...

He must accept personal responsibility for what has happened, as we all do for the mistakes we make (that is all of us except rodney monroe).....

But from all I am told, the pressure is EXTREME, EXTREME to get the almighty NUMBERS down.

It's been said before, rodney and his regime have created a hostile work enviroment, and one geared to focus all on the NUMBERS. People are being asked on a daily basis to sacrifice their ethics and integrity to conform to what COMPSTAT and rodney and ray/ray REQUIRE of them.....lower numbers at any cost.

That is no excuse, just the very reality of the situation.

Good cops are being asked to sacrifice their honesty, integrity and ethics to get the NUMBERS RESULTS rodney wants.

At what cost, at what cost....

Anonymous said...

This is the result of Compstat. RACs read the report and felt that they had a "good" victim, meaning one who is truthful, and one who would come to court, so why not give the victim some help.

Pressure is not about hounding officers to clear cases. It is more subtle, it is a question in roll call, it is a question in passing. It is asking to avoid wasting time investigating other crimes, for example:

Officer to Sgt or RAC: Don't you know that last night I arrested a known drug dealer and seized 100 rocks and $2,000 in cash and a gun?

Sgt's response. Why would you waste your time. That arrest does nothing to impact my numbers. I need that robbery cleared. Call the victim. You need to do the right thing. As Chief Medlock says, We need to do what we need to do.

So Charlotte, if you live next to a drug dealer, remember if you wnat them arrested, think again. Drug dealer arrests and drug seizures DO NOT affect crime numbers that RACs and Chief's look at. It is not a priority.

The General said...

Oh yes I agree romo plays the race card and always has. Protect the brothers, out with whitey. Its just a plain fact. Look at the promotions, the changing of staff at the academy (thats his way of saying he implemented new procedures) the firings. I bet the black/white ratio is way above the 27% he wanted to get cmpd up to his standards at the academy.

As an officer you will go thru your career trying to change peoples lifes. It appears brian changed yours. Good for you!!! I changed a few people myself during all those years. Too bad more of them didnt listen because it is now their siblings that are committing crimes.
Brian , if you ae out there , talk to us.
I would love to be there and have one of them ask me to defer to their unethical standards.OH i forgot they already did and I "QUIT" I wont work for anyone who lies, cheats, is a racist, promotes racism, convinces those officers we raised to #^$^* on their friends and be on his side so they can take over. Who gives a crap who is in charge as long as their is honesty, ethics and professionalism. I have seen so many of them convert from being a nice guy to way beyond being an A$&^ H%$## Its pathetic.

You hired a bunch of idiots in the last few years ROMO, so live with it. Note I said the last few years. The great ones are gone, retired, left or quit. The supervisors of today have no clue how to supervise these young people. They were way to young and ill advised as to what it takes to be a real supervisor. You people who always bitched about the tough supervisors are now seeing the results of no supervisory skills. But yet there they are. Changing the numbers to play romo's game. to make him happy. to maybe get a promotion so they can be like him. God help you. Get out there and learn what it takes to gain the confidence of your men and women.

The General said...

I just looked at his arrest record. POS. I like good ole peters comment about how he helps maintain the jail population by dismissing cases, or consolidating them. What an idiot. and what idiots people are to beleive that crap..Well the proof is in the pudding. City council must have eaten the same pudding...
I personally was in contact with dulin and kinsey, to no avail I might add, about romo, or rutt mutt, They dont beleive a word anyone tells them. wait till election time comes around. And for the command staff surrounding him, yours is coming.

Anonymous said...

It's not RoMo or anyone else pressuring numbers to cause such situations. It's the DA's office (P.G.) letting the same criminals commit the same crimes over and over again with a slap on the wrist in order to get "golden" plea deals. I know you hate to hear it, but it sure wasn't D.S. coming out years ago making light of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree, unless you are blind and don't talk to anyone at CMPD.

The pressure of COMPSTAT and how it operates puts undue pressure on officers to "fudge" crime stats, in many creative ways.

And rodney and ray/ray are completely aware of this, and from what I have heard have asked officers how they can make certain numbers appear better or "different".

Of course it's a revolving door, but that is a separate issue than the manipulations of crime stats and the undue pressure it puts on officers to compromise their ethics and honesty.

The General said...

As an officer I would complete my report as the law dictates, not how the sgt or cpt or romo or ray ray want it. If they want to change the calssification let them. Then the info gets sent here to prove what you are saying. It can all begin with the officers in the me. they cannot fight this forever. There is no way , under oath or in a deposition they can continue to lie and get away with it. Let the sgt declassify one of my reports to suit their needs. He will be the first to be exposed. Stand against them, you are better than they are.

Who did ray ray or romo ask about how to manipulate numbers.??? It starts with you or who ever it was.

Anonymous said...

I am not blind and know plenty of officers. Millions of people in millions of jobs can't stand their superiors and still bust their tail everyday. Your supervisor does not make you the person you are. This officer was busting his tail for years and unfortunately made a decision that most don't agree with, but it was his decision that he has to live with. I have to agree with the General.

Anonymous said...

And the revolving door syndrome is not a seperate issue. How do you think officers feel when they continue to bust their tails and make cases for the DA's office to reject their cases or dismiss 80-90% of their cases to make a plea deal and send the same criminals back on the streets.

Anonymous said...

the DA's office needs to be set up like other large cities. For example DA's go on raids with the officers and are assigned to a certain division. This way they work as a team and not as competitors. Now police arrest a criminal and the DA works harder at dismissing the case than trying the case.

Anonymous said...

It's all a money game. Repeat offenders put money in defense lawyers pockets and it's paid by the state. State law of North Carolina makes it legal for defense attorneys to pretty much bribe a judge. So why send these criminals (cash cows) to prison when they all can make money off of them every time they get arrested.

Anonymous said...

We will have to agree to disagree.

But what I was talking about is the revolving door is separate from the issues with bogus crime stats and compstat and the pressure created.

And I think I did say that it is ultimately personal responsibility.

And the culture of "it's okay to cut corners" that has been created by rodney, starting with his lying about his college degree.

The one at the top sets the culture for the whole department/company, etc.

And rodney has set the bar pretty low.

Anonymous said...

I know Brian Cloninger well. This article was a hack job by the DA's office to get back at the police department for pointing the blame where it lays: with the DA's office. This case was almost 2 years old and Brian has been out of the Dept for a year. Chief Monroe did not have anything to do with this case. The DA's office is trying to point the finger back at the PD for not prosecuting cases. Bottom line is that our DA's office has the lowest prosecution rate than any county in NC. Gilchrist and the DA's office like to point out the few bad cases and make it sound like the norm. In reality, Gilchrist has been here way too long and gotten complacent. He has forgotten that he is here to serve the citizens of Mecklenburg County and do something about the crime. Brian's biggest mistake was that his bad decision has given the DA's office ammunition to say this is common with the PD. Its not. Gilchrist needs to go sooner than later and this hack job is pathetic. Good luck to you Brian.

ThaQueenCity said...

Anon 10:04 PM

Thanks for clearing up "who/how/why" this story got to be front page news! I saw that he had already been gone for well over a month! I wondered who's agenda this was...

And I think everyone on this Post is supportive of Cloninger! And we ALL wish him the best because HE deserves it! He served out city for 15 years and did a damn good job too from what I saw with my own eyes!

I agree re:Gilcrest too! I thought he was leaving, now if we can only get RuttMutt gone!

charleywest said...

I'm suprised that the DA did not release everyone that this officer has ever arrested? Or for that matter anyone has been arrested by the dept thru-out his career. You know guilty by association. Maybe outgoing Mr. Gilchrist could solidify his rep by releasing everyone ever arrested. Quit a legacy...

The General said...

Hey Cedar. Looks like we need a two front assault from your news reporters on our side. One being to stay on romo and the other to push gilchrest out. Back in the early 80's gilchrest changed his way of thinking, for whatever reason, and began picking and choosing who would be prosecuted. Now of course there are always better cases than others but his new way made all cases bad unless he and his ada's wanted to look good.
What do you think? Will they take up this cause to (1) to get rid of peter (2) prosecute more cases.

And for ANON 2/28 1020am
we can start with the RAC's name (what a waste of money) who made that statement. send the info to cedar by email, not here.

The General said...

Andrew Murray, Republican, is running against Michael Barnes, Democrat, for District Atty.

Barnes is like darryl stevens. He likes hugs and kisses and it will make it all better.

So lets see what you think? What do you know about Murray and Barnes??

I'm looking for someone to get the job done!

Anonymous said...

straight from the observer...

Cloninger's handling of the robbery case first came to light in April 2009 when the victim - a Charlotte lawyer - decided she had to report the officer's behavior.

The robbery happened after midnight in August 2008.

Police suspended Cloninger and recommended he be fired last June, say sources who asked not to be named because personnel information isn't public. A disciplinary hearing was set for Jan. 25, but Cloninger quit Jan. 4.

Cloninger went on to assert that police "do what we have to do," and that he was just trying to get a criminal off the streets, Davis recalls.

Prosecutors dismissed the two remaining robbery charges against Gaskin.

The robbery of the two teens was dropped because a detective involved had resigned in the wake of allegations that he had filed a false report in an unrelated case.

The robbery of the four teen girls was thrown out because the only victim who identified Gaskin as the assailant later refused to cooperate. In a letter, she wrote there hadn't been a robbery and that the girls made up the story.

Anonymous said...

I posted the above to point out the facts as they were reported.

the hearing was scheduled for late Jan. 2010. He quit Jan 4th.

1 robbery case dismissed because the detective had been accused of filing a false report.

The other because the only witness that identified the suspect wrote a letter confessing that they "made it up"

then there is the officers statements that we do what we have to do

Anonymous said...

I thought I could walk away from this with out expressing my thoughts, but I cant.

This situation is making me sad and sick.

this is one of the very few sites that I try to read regularly. I do this because I felt that it was where the good guys go and where I could see the truth in situations.

unfortunately right now it looks like spin and agendas, because instead of making the officer accountable for his actions, somehow the DA and everyone else is responsible.

Thats what romo does(For the record, I do believe that romo should be removed, but only for the things he did do. nothing else).

I just think that if you cant expect an officer to be accountable for his own choices than that officer does not have the mental competency to handle that type of job. Many people dont, and its not for everyone, thats for sure, but I like to believe that officers hold themselves to a higher standard because of their position.

the bottom line is that this guy obstructed justice to put someone in jail. He took justice out of the justice system.

Who is scarier? the guy commiting a crime or a guy with a badge and his own agenda who is obstructing justice (also a crime) who could cause an innocent person to be accused of a crime or sent to prison or who knows what.

To me, its the guy with the badge because he hides behind assumed integrity and you cant see him coming and dont want to believe that he would do such a thing anyway. Plus it would be a lot harder to get anyone to listen or believe you.

Police officers do not need to try to change peoples lives. That is automatic. When officers are doing the right thing for the right reason, it comes through. Unfortunately, When an officer does the wrong thing for any reason, this also changes peoples lives.

No one can force you to obstruct justice or lie about anything. That is a personal choice. Unless you were held at gun point there is no excuse. Also, the officer could have gone to the DA and said, look, sgt whomever is trying to force me to ...(insert offence) I dont know what to do, can you help me? At the very least, he would have tried to do the right thing.

I once saw a police officer lie. it didnt directly effect me, but I could never figure out why he did it and not a day goes by that I dont think about it. I can truly say that this changed my life, because I used to believe that people automatically wanted to do the right thing. but then when I saw this and what I saw as a direct result of this told me that many people, officers, government, etc just want their agenda to look like the right thing regardless of the truth in the situation.

Its haunting and causes a pain that I cant explain. Its always there.

to those officers that are willing to allow anyone to reclassify reports or withold information, or lie about anything, those actions are hurting someone. maybe it seems like its just about doing what you have to do to keep your job, but, you are hurting someone in some way nonetheless. Is lying to keep your job worth hurting someone else? (actually there are wistleblower laws that protect you) EX: when Stephens wanted to deny gang crimes, but then people were oblivious to those crimes and not looking out for it thus becoming the victim of those types of crimes. Or knowing that it happened to you but having that very fact denied by the people sworn to serve and protect (There are many examples, that was just the easiest to explain)
Does anyone care how that makes those citizens feel? Violated, thats how. I can get my head around the fact that bad people do bad things, and I can get over being the victim of that but its stepped up a whole other level when part of our justice system violates justice.

So please, protect us from reclassified reports that result in someone else getting harmed because crimes were hidden, and officers and sgts, command staff etc that are willing to lie to us to serve their agenda. We need to know who we can trust.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 6:40
Thank you. You said this better than I could.

Cedar Posts said...

Here is my take on this, the officer in question was from what I hear, and from what I've read in private emails and from the comments a good cop.

But as much as I would to give major kudos for doing what many of us would like to do, it was still wrong.

The old line "he fell" or the suspect made a sudden move can only get you so far and then it catches up with you.

There are many who say LE has one hand tied behind their backs, that back in the old days a rubber hose or telephone book was pretty good encouragement.

I'm sorry today it is what it is and sometimes the bad guys get away with a lot.

OJ Simpson was without a doubt guilty of the murder of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, but the police work was just all kinds of wrong and a cold blooded killer went free. It took a long time for karma to catch up with Simpson and I don't think karma is done with OJ yet.

Sometimes you just got to let it go. In this case it is clear that karma may be long in coming but when it does it will be a bitch.

And as much as sometimes we would like to hurry karma along we can't it just doesn't work that way.

ThaQueenCity said...

So now per the DA's office, Cloninger is going to be blamed for ALL cases getting dismissed?

Anonymous said...

and lets all not forget that all the judges are attorneys also...... thats just not right ! they all know each other......