Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Odds and Ends

In Doggie News:

MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog. A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in Mason.

Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning.

Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal. Walker reported that Stephens said "the dog started it" when asked why he was harassing the animal. The officer said Stephens appeared highly intoxicated.

Supreme Court Fail:

The Mainstream Press won't cover this because its just too deep. But given the depth of the North Carolina’s SBI Lab misdeeds and the Duke Lacrosse fiasco this is a pretty note worthy development.

In 1985, John Thompson was convicted of murder in Louisiana. Having already been convicted in a separate armed robbery case, he opted not to testify on his own behalf in his murder trial.

He was sentenced to death and spent 18 years in prison, 14 of them isolated on death row. Several weeks before an execution scheduled for May 1999, Thompson's private investigators learned that prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence that would have cleared him at his robbery trial. This evidence included the fact that the main informant against him had received a reward from the victim's family, that the eyewitness identification done at the time described someone who looked nothing like him, and that a blood sample taken from the crime scene did not match Thompson's blood type.

Both of Thompson's convictions were overturned. When he was retried on the murder charges, a jury acquitted him after 35 minutes.

He sued the former Louisiana district attorney for Orleans Parish, Harry Connick Sr. (yes, his dad) for failing to train his prosecutors about their legal obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense. A jury awarded Thompson $14 million for this civil rights violation, one for every year he spent wrongfully incarcerated.

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict. An equally divided 5th Circuit, sitting en banc, affirmed again.

But last week, the Supreme Court tossed out the verdict. The finding of the court makes you wonder if any of the Conservative justices even read the case of if they have become so Hollywood that they have lost touch with the real world. The case is more detailed than any blog can cover, but Slate makes a good effort and the rest of the post is here.

CMPD News: The much awaited promotion of Vicki Foster to Deputy Chief seems to be back on track. This time Chief Monroe is floating the idea of also promoting a "white" male to the DC position as well as promoting Sherri Pearsal, in an attempt to calm the troops.

Cedar Posts wonders if Foster and Pearsal will be co-deputy chiefs?

Foster of course is not qualified or deserving to the DC position, but Monroe is intent on promoting "diversity over ability" and in doing so is willing to pass over career male officers who are more than qualified.

Other CMPD Developments:

Long faces and much time spent behind closed doors this week for Chief Monroe's inner circle. No word on what or who but one would suspect this is not good news and that a major announcement is in the works once the spin has taken hold.

Mecklenburg DA's Office Punts:

What looked like a sure win for CMPD has turned to dust, following a series of missteps. Back in February CMPD officers had charged 3 individuals with a number of South Charlotte break-ins only to have all charges dismissed by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney last week.

Justin Aldrich, Caleb Allen and Anna Hoard were thought to be connected to robberies on Wendover Road, Vernon Lane, Colony Road and Sharon Lane. Stolen property was discovered in a rented home where Aldrich lived. But police apparently entered the home without a proper search warrant and later used information gathered during the unlawful search to prepare and obtain a search warrant.

Seems like Allen who would be a likely suspect in just about any case, was just that, and while he fits the profile its clear he wasn't the right guy.

So that leaves Aldrich and Hoard.

The DA's office states the following reasons for the dismissal of 3 counts of Possession of Stolen Goods against Aldrich.

"The defendant was linked to these offenses primarily by his possession of property stolen from several break-in, however, his proven possession of the property came days or weeks after the break-ins, and the evidence is somewhat inconclusive."

"Weeks after a victim's iPad was stolen in a break-in, Defendant sold it to a pawn shop. Standing alone, her mere possession of the stolen iPad is insufficient to prove he either stole it or knew it was stolen."

"Other items stolen in several break-ins were found in a rented bedroom that he and a co defendant shared, however neither of them was present when police fist searched that room. Neither of them gave permission to search the room and the officers had no search warrant. Defendant's landlord kicked in their locked bedroom door and invited officers to enter and search the room. He had no authority to do so. Officers later decided to withdraw and seek a search warrant, but the application they submitted to the Magistrate includes a description of the things they'd already seen in Defendant's bedroom, which describes as things similar to items listed in the breaking and entering reports, arguably this taints the application and undermines the validity of the search warrant, making it more likely than not that a court would suppress all evidence flowing from the search of the bedroom."


More on this from Broome Street Blues.

Duke Energy Faux Pas:

According to the Duke Energy press release this AM there are still about 21k without power and more than half in Mecklenburg County. In the aftermath of Hugo, city county leaders called on Duke Energy to put more power transmission lines underground. This of course fell by the wayside as Duke cited cost considerations. But it really makes you wonder why the "trunk" line over 485 was not put underground when the loop was constructed.

One estimate is that the utility poles that run along highway 51 where nearly forty years old.

The entire event on 485 illustrates an “Epic Failure” of local government, law enforcement and Duke Energy.

The weather system that passed through Mecklenburg County was without a doubt a strong one but the inability to respond in a timely manner does seem to be in question or at least should be. The response time from Duke Energy was nearly six hours.

Pineville Police, NC SHP and CMPD were ill prepared to handle the resulting traffic quagmire. Imagine if another Hugo size event happened today, how would we deal with it? I’d suggest not very well based on Monday’s response.

Correction: The lines over 485 are owned by Pineville Electric a hold over from the days of Rual Electical Co-op's I'll guess. Which might explain some of the delay, no one know who to call?


Anonymous said...

Duke Power did not own the lines that fell on I-485. They belonged to Pineville Electric. Why NCDOT allowed one of the smallest power companies in the area to have lines overhanging one of the busiest sections of Charlotte interstate is the real question.

Anonymous said...

Cedar what is up with all the "doggie" stuff? Just wondering?

Tho the drunk saying the dog started it was pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Cedar my power wasn't restored until today, I'm pretty pissed and you're right this was a nothing storm what the hell happened?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think anything will be done about the crap that goes on in the command at CMPD? With all that has gone on since the new chief arrived there has been nothing done. These activities will continue as long as the current city manager and board are in their seats. Charlotte is quickly becoming the city of Atlanta and the corruption and discrimination are only beginning.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:53
You are 100% correct!!

Anonymous said...

would you please explain what you mean about what you think is happening in the closed door meetings at the CMPD all week? I am really interested... also, is this diversity thing official or just rumor?