Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CMPD Chief Monroe is Disappointed

The much anticipated trial of Demeatrius Montgomery took an un-expected left turn before it even started today as Judge Forrest Bridges ruled that Montgomery should not face the death penalty. His basis was a detective’s misconduct during the investigation.

The trial will continue but the judge found the investigator's mishandling of evidence in the case serious enough to take the death penalty off the table.

"The officer in question admitted being untruthful in meetings and in violation of police procedures," Bridges said. He added that the issue of Fants notes "questions the integrity of the trial." - Judge Forrest Bridges

Bridges had the option to dismiss the case, post-pone it, create sanctions, or allow it to move forward. He chose only to remove the capital punishment aspect.

"Dismissal would be excessive," Bridges said at one point as he announced his decision.

According to the Charlotte Observer and WSOC TV, Chief Monroe who has been in and out of the courtroom for the last two days stated that Fant has been placed on administrative leave and is under investigation.

"Let me just start off by saying I was disappointed, both personally and professionally, in the fact that we lost the ability to seek the death penalty in this particular case," said Monroe. "First and foremost, we have lost two great officers in a very cold-blooded manner in which I believe the individual responsible for those officers' death warranted the death penalty."

According to the Observer Fant, a former homicide detective was reassigned to patrol over the weekend.

Montgomery’s lawyers argued that Fant’s actions violated N.C. laws that require sharing of evidence before a trial. Fant’s revelation Tuesday, they said, indicates such disorganization and disregard for evidence rules that the whole investigation is tainted.

Cedar's Point of View:

Clearly Chief Monroe is guilty of failure to command and supervise.

Second Fant while clearly at fault is not the first detective to lose a file or two. It is doubtful he did it deliberately so why the posturing by the chief?

So why have the missing notes been such a secret? Who else knew of this problem?

Someone knew this was an issue, or no one in homicide or the DA's office was doing their homework. Was Fant just hoping this day would never come and no one would find out, or are there more players behind the scenes? This wouldn't be the first time Chief Monroe found a goat to throw under the bus.

Finally could it be that Judge Bridges is against the death penalty? There is nothing out there to suggest Bridges is a anti-death penalty supporter, while at the same time there is nothing to say he supports the idea.

Perhaps he has made his position public in the past, if not maybe he just saw an opening and used his authority to move the case along and keep himself out of the hot seat of a death penalty case.

Can justice be served without the death penalty?

I personally don't think so, but the Chief's suggestion that the DA's office appeal the judges decision is just more posturing.

One more thing, you would think that with all the taxpayer money Monroe spent on his uniform he would at least wear the damn jacket to court.

Cedar Posts Extra:

The Meck Deck's Jeff Taylor offers up some detailed insight as to what went on prior to yesterday's removal of the death penalty here.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget, that all of this started when Stephens was Chief. This was the culture that was in place before Monroe arrived. This mess was already in motion.

Anonymous said...

You can't really put this one on the Chief. Maybe on the supervisor of the Detective in question, but mostly on the Detective himself. I'm not a Monroe supporter by any means, but you are kind of reaching with pointing the finger at Monroe for this one. Regardless, taking the death penalty off the table sucks.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree...The tragedy took place when Stephens was Chief, this incident did not.

It is ONLY under Monroe that this Officer thought he could pull this off.

The culture of no integrity started with Monroe.

Stephens was totally vocal about truthfulness, integrity and honor being paramount objectives with CMPD. There is no way this Detective would have tried this with Stephens as chief....no way.

So yes, this one CAN and should be put on Monroe.

The WHOLE culture at CMPD has totally changed since Monroe came.

As someone said, lies, half truths, cutting corners, that's the modus operandi of Monroe.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

DWright1 said...

I just can't reconcile removing the death penalty with the detective's actions. It's tit-for-tat; we goofed so we'll trade you one mistake for one death penalty. I could have easier understood throwing the whole thing out the window.If the error wasn't serious enough to derail the entire trial, then just play on.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the major that is over Homicide who was also the captain at the time bears some responsibility for this. Wow, a leadership problem...

Anonymous said...

Major Zinkann (promoted by Monroe) is also the same person that makes sure that all of CMPD complies with discovery rules. Unbelievable!!!

Anonymous said...

Major Zinkann over Homicide, former Captain Zinkiann over Homicide, cannot be held responsible. He did not have time to supervise the Homicide detectives or sergeants because he had his head up Monroe's butt agreeing with everything Monroe even thought about. What a disappointment in Zinkann. What an butt kisser. But it paid off in the short run. Put him on the witness stand.

Anonymous said...

According to news reports this morning, Fant has done this as far back as 2003. So, evidently, the problem was in fact going on while Stephens was Chief.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57
What do you mean "has done this"?
And there is NO COMPARISON between Stephens and Monroe......Stephens stood for honesty and integrity, Monroe has no honesty or integrity.

And it says something when Monroe tries to blame all his crap on Stephens, doesn't it?

Was Stephens EVER called out for being dishonest about ANYTHING? I think not.

With Monroe, seems to happen all the time....but he never takes responsibility for anything he does, he would rather find a scapegoat, past or present.

Just wait until others he has "promoted" get into stuff, and it will continue to happen as the caliber of the people leaves much to be desired, as does Monroe.

And Zincann was his CAPTAIN, and is/was his MAJOR.......

And Anon 12:27
How right you are!!!!! He only had one thing and one thing only on his mind, GETTING HIS CONSIDERABLE ASS PROMOTED.

Anonymous said...

Hey cedar......check out the raw video of the Chief on WBTV.....I think the Chief said "Uhm" around 106 times...LMAO!!

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Fant is a lazy cop. Promoted for his color he is beyond an embarrassment to the CMPD.

He should thank God he isn't with Boston or New York cuz he'd be sleeping with the fishes.

I doubt he did this to help out a "brother" but Cedar is dead on Webster didn't waste anytime throwing the "brother" under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Cedar I think this is a clear sign that Chief Monroe has his head somewhere other than leading a police force.

Somewhere like a golf course, or sucking up to the Bobcats, Panthers or the Mayor. Why weren't they prepared? Why didn't CMPD and the DA's office know this was an issue?

Cedar Posts said...

Just for the record.

Cedar Posts is opposed to the Death Penalty. I firmly believe that state sanctioned murder makes us less of civilized society.

On the other hand I don't have any trouble with medical euthanasia when a person is so far off the charts there is no reason for their continued existence and the caring for this person would create such a burden for the community as a whole that it would be unfair to the rest of us.

In other words, I don't think we need a guilty verdict to put this guy down. I think there is plenty of proof this guy is not right and its only day 3 of the trial.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he's only semi-literate.

I've seen it before.

Even people with degrees from some schools can get by without ever having to write a coherent sentence in English.

And with CMPD's emphasis on education coming from the top, even illiteracy is probably not seen as a serious problem.

I know of at least one guy who was given special treatment to get through CMPD's training because he could write.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Fant and I don't know how he works. I am also not justifying anything he did. I also don't know the specifics of the 2003 case.

With that being said, I'd imagine the one was never written down, which is why it could not be produced. A lot of people will say "yes, I gave a statement to the police" thinking it's the same thing they are being asked. When in actuality a written statement is different than a verbal statement. If I canvas the neighborhood and you say "I didn't see anything, I don't know what's going on" I am not going to take a written statement from you unless you were directly involved in the incident.

Now if they were both written statements and they both went missing, then that needs to be addressed rapidly.

Anonymous said...

A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION.

JAT said...

Anon, 9:38 AM, in the Muhummad Jaaber case, one witness statement went missing and another, well, one witness testified that they gave a statement and Det. Fant said that was "probably" wrong, and that no statement was taken.

The Court of Appeals in its 2006 ruling on the case:

"While it is of great concern that the State has apparently lost at least one, if not two, of the statements from witnesses regarding the crimes with which defendant is charged, in light of the totality of the circumstances and the materiality of the missing witness statements, we cannot conclude the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to grant a mistrial in this case."

Question: Was Fant disciplined over performance which caused "great concern" to the appeals court?

Anonymous said...

JAT:

Good luck in finding out if he had been disciplined before.

Remember a few short months ago when City Council voted NOT to even LOOK AT Marcus Jackson's file?

Rodney does all he can to KEEP INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLIC!

We'll never know.....you would not believe some of the things that go on "behind the curtain" with rodney....

Anonymous said...

Stephens was just guilty of being a horrible police chief. Great person to know and great personality but horrible when it comes to fighting crime. The crime rate soared out of hand under his watch because CMPD had to many lounge lizards hanging out in the office. At least Monroe has made the ones with experience hit the streets.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:30 You ought to check the data before you speak. Crime was already trending down when Monroe came in and has taken credit for many things started under Stephens, like the Priority Offender and electronic monitoring programs.

Anonymous said...

Yes that was because the business association was pretty much calling for Stephens's head for the robbery rate. That is why CMPD officers were pretty much told to list some robberies as larcenies to drop the rate.

Anonymous said...

Stephens never let the public know about how useless the court system in Mecklenburg is. It was like he had a agreement with the DA of I cover your butt in the media and you cover mine. He also had to many hug a thug policies that tied officer's hands.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about Stephens, he stood for honesty and integrity....

And it is true he started many programs little rodney has taken credit for.

Monroe has taken CMPD and made it into something totally unrecognizable.

Monroe is not in the same league as Stephens. People laugh at Monroe and his tactics and his celebrity schmoozing and his lack of integrity.

He is a joke, and the joke is on Charlotte.

M.E. Pellin said...

Um, somebody remind me who was chief during the late, great Police Academy cheating scandal.

But I digress with ancient history that has little to do with the current culture of CMPD command, which has produced a steady string of disastrous outcomes and begs the question: What is going on with the CMPD?

The place to start looking for an answer is with Rodney Monroe.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:21
It was Stephens, and he came down HARD on everyone involved, and was transparent and DID NOT TRY TO COVER IT UP AND SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG, AND DIDN'T LIE ABOUT IT TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE.

Unfortunate things can happen on anyone's watch....it truly is how you handle those things that shows your integrity and character.

What is going on at CMPD:

NO LEADERSHIP FROM RODNEY, just leading through fear and retaliation.

CRONYISM AT ITS' WORST, promotions based on who you know, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, period.

HUBRIS is the word of the day, OVERBEARING arrogance. Rodney thinks he is playing in the major leagues, but he doesn't have the equipment to play in the major leagues.

NO FREAKING OVERSIGHT, none.

SURROUNDS HIMSELF WITH YES MEN/WOMEN.

DISCOURAGES thinking for yourself.

HAS NOT BEEN TRUTHFUL IN MANY situations.

HAS SPENT CMPD MONEY LIKE a drunken sailor, once again, with NO OVERSIGHT.

MISLEAD THE PUBLIC FROM THE VERY beginning.

Curt Walton and City Council are afraid of racial backlash if they question Monroe, so they are allowing an horrendous situation to become much worse.

And once again, NO LEADERSHIP....everyone is just running scared....he has created a hostile workplace and a culture of divisiveness and a singular lack of integrity, honor and fair play.

I could go on, but you get the picture, right?

M.E. Pellin said...

Anon, 11:22 PM
Darrel Stephens was a very nice guy, but at heart a suit-coat politician who for years was content to turn a blind eye on Charlotte's exploding gang problem.

"came down HARD on everyone involved" - in the cheating scandal. If memory serves, there were some suspensions and a few transfers, but nobody fired.

The picture on Rodney Monroe has been crystal clear since he arrived in town with his bogus degree, Compstat shake-downs, chronic cronyism, and Capt. Stubing command whites.
But thanks for the refresher course.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:38:

You're welcome.....for the "refresher course".

Given the choice between Monroe and Stephens, I would take Stephens any day of the week. But it's not about Stephens right now, no? It's about Rodney Monroe and his gang....now that's a "gang" problem.

Anonymous said...

Mark,
You have no idea what you're talking about. It was Stephens who created the Gang Unit and put resources toward that problem. Stephens was often saddled with the comment that NOWICKI, who came from CHICAGO, a city with a MAJOR gang problem, said about the gang problem in Charlotte. Stephens did not ignore the gang problem. And as far as the Academy issue went, as I recall, there were an awful lot of people on the outside of the PD who didn't see why developing a study guide was as big a problem as Stephens did when he LAID IT OUT PUBLICLY. There was no "media" discovery of that problem because it was Stephens who made it public. When you deal with people, you have problems and police departments are no exception (just like tabloid rags). How they are dealt with is a mark of a true leader and we have seen none of that from Monroe since he blew into town. So take your "I find fault with everything everyone else does" schtick and peddle it elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:24

Well said.

And absolutely true.

Anonymous said...

Stephens was a nice guy but was not an effective cop. He was to much about books and not enough about common sense. Other agencies disliked him because he would be quick to throw them under the bus and say that would not happen here with my policies. But with his policies you did catch crooks which is what police are suppose to do. He was into choir boy hiring students and veteran cops. I believe the whole ordeal in St. Petersburg with the riots under his watch made him soft and took the cop out of him when the city pretty much ran him out of town.

Anonymous said...

*typo- hiring only choir boy students and not veteran cops.

Anonymous said...

Well, Stephens is history and what CMPD is dealing with in Monroe is about one hundred times worse.

Corrupt, behind the scenes behavior is far worse than anything CMPD has had in the past.

It still amazes me that Charlotte and City Council accept a lying Police Chief and turn a blind eye to every one of his "transgressions".

How bad will it have to get before they stop caring about politics and start caring about what is going on at CMPD, and just about every other corrupt government department in Charlotte?

Become another Detroit?, we ARE another Detroit.

M.E. Pellin said...

Anon, 11:24 AM
The Gang Intelligence Unit during Stephens’ tenure focused largely on prevention and intervention, not enforcement, mostly because of a lack of funding, a chief with a bent for the outreach side of community policing, and a D.A. with a propensity for plea-bargains. I’d run out of fingers and toes counting the number of city council meetings I sat through where Stephens shamelessly downplayed Charlotte’s gang problem.

Kudos for his coming clean on the cheating scandal; doesn’t negate the fact that it happened under his watch, although he certainly handled it with more transparency and honesty than any of the myriad problems that have erupted with Monroe at the helm.

If you want to tag a newspaper that won multiple awards for investigative journalism as a “tabloid rag,” more power to you; but it’d be as fallacious as painting Stephens as a crime-busting caped crusader. Talk about peddling schtick.

Anonymous said...

Focusing on the here and now, it's clearly Monroe that is the problem.

He has taken CMPD in directions that ANY prior Chiefs I am sure could not envision.

And the big question should be, why is he being allowed to destroy the department?

Why is City Council,(and Curt
Walton), enabling his behavior?

Anonymous said...

Pellin,
Your memory is awfully selective.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VN4yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AjwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4850,2219003&dq=gangs+in+charlotte+nc&hl=en

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/11455634/detail.html

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/11119497/detail.html

Anonymous said...

I know Fant.

He is a good officer, but apparently a lousy secretary or note keeper.

I still believe he is a good cop.

All you people writing in, you have no idea about "Notes."

It has become ridiculous about the capture of information. The turning over of discovery was when 2 ADAs withheld information that would have cleared a person convicted and sent to prison. ADAs! not police. Police gave the information to the ADA. Attorneys wrote this law at knee jerk reaction.

Did Fant know the "Real Killer." No! Hell he probably was doodling on the note pad.