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Thursday, June 30, 2011

[IL] Sheriff's Deputy Pugesek Found Not Guilty Of Injury Domestic Battery

Lake County Illinois Sheriff's Deputy Leroy Pugesek was found not guilty of a Class A misdemeanor “domestic battery/physical contact” charge after first denying that it had happened, then stating he was defending his property. The ex-girlfriend said that he had grabbed her out of a chair and thrown her down a flight of stairs. He said she fell down the steps and after he had thrown her out of his door and locked it that she repeatedly charged his door. Though media reported that the woman "suffered injuries to her head, neck and breast in the attack", McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham ruled Deputy Pugesek not guilty citing that the girlfriend's testimony was inconsistent. ("Inconsistent" is not further defined and could mean a variety of things.)
[Backdated 9/15/2013]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety illinois state politics]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[IA] Des Moines Police Union Bargaining Unit Association Executive Officer Chief Steward Drake arrested for DV

DES MOINES OFFICER, FACING ASSAULT CHARGE, IS PUT ON LEAVE
desmoinesregister.com
Tom Alex
8:27 PM, Jun. 27, 2011
[Excerpts] A Des Moines police officer charged with domestic assault with injury on Saturday is on paid administrative leave while officers conduct an investigation. Stewart Drake, 44, was arrested about 5 a.m. Saturday at his residence on the east side of Des Moines. He joined the police department in January 1990. He has been assigned to the vice and narcotics unit in recent years... Drake was released from jail Saturday on bond, but a no-contact order forbids him from entering his home or having a firearm... At some point, the discussion became physical, police said. [Alleged victim] said she ended up on the couch with Drake on top of her, holding her down with his forearm across her neck. The police report says: "She states the physical altercation happened so fast she does not remember how she got the black eye... Drake denied any physical altercation... "Stew was adamant nothing became physical," the report says. "No visible scratches or other injuries were observed - his shirt appeared normal. Stew had been drinking and alcohol could be smelled." The report goes on to say that [the alleged victim] was visibly shaken and that she "appeared to be evasive in answers relating to how the injuries occurred"... Assistant Chief David Lillard said he could not think of more than two other officers from the department charged with domestic assault in the last two decades. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety iowa state politics uncooperative non-cooperative]

Sunday, June 26, 2011

[CO] Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner on screening police recruits


WHEN POLICE OFFICERS BREAK THE LAW
Greeley Gazette
Vanessa Dominguez
June 26, 2011
[Excerpts] With the recent “bad cop” stories in the news, most wonder; do they hire just anybody?... What would cause someone to be disqualified? Lying or falsifying any information on the police officer application packet, a felony arrest, a past including domestic violence, and not giving permission for the department to check your social media sites would automatically disqualify someone in the consideration process... The paperwork used for the application process for a police officer includes a thorough investigation of a candidate's past activities, Facebook page, traffic tickets, credit history, and personal history... Those applicants who score in the top ten percent on all of the tests above undergo another extensive background check. Former employers, neighbors, and criminal records are checked. This is where some applicants are eliminated due to "drug use, arrests, domestic violence, or other records. Even if someone passes all of the tests and looks good so far but there is a doubt in the oral board's mind, the tie always goes to the city... Is it true there is a polygraph test? Yes, the polygraph and psychological tests are the last pieces of the puzzle. With the polygraph, applicants are told the questions prior, providing the opportunity to tell the truth. Many are eliminated due to this process... Can police officers have mental disorders? If someone is on prescription medications for a mental disorder, "It's something if you've got a psychological or physical condition that is maintained through medications that does not exclude or disqualify them." Someone who has a temper, has a power trip, displays irresponsibility, or may be a danger to self or the public would not be a model candidate. The psychology test takes four hours and includes a written test and talking with the psychologist... Why do police officers break the law? Some may slip through the cracks as people "change over their lifetime." Someone may have no issues and years down the road may experience a life changing event that alters behavior. "There may be no red flags in an applicant's background at all, people will do unexpected things...They gave no indications, what we're looking for in our investigations is that someone does not have an integrity problem... You try and look for those red flags, the person who has the courage and intelligence and won't do anything stupid while he's doing the job... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety misconduct colorado state politics]

[TN] 23 year veteran retired Memphis Police Cpt. Daniel dies, wife Regina injured, in domestic double shooting


FORMER MPD OFFICER DEAD, WIFE INJURED IN ATTEMPTED MURDER-SUICIDE
WMC-TV
By Jason Miles
Posted: Jun 24, 2011
Updated: Jun 25, 2011
[Excerpts] A retired Memphis Police officer died Friday and his wife was injured after what investigators call an attempted murder-suicide near Millington. Regina Daniel was in extremely critical condition at the MED Friday night. Investigators believe her husband, Troy Daniel, shot her before turning the gun on himself. It happened around 6:30 p.m. Friday at their home in the 6500 block of Walsh Road near the Woodstock community of Shelby County. Troy Daniel was reportedly a retired Memphis Police officer... "He had a stroke a year or so ago and you couldn't really talk to him and he seemed kind of said about that," said neighbor Deidra Bailey... [Full article here]

RETIRED MEMPHIS POLICE CAPTAIN DEAD IN DOUBLE SHOOTING NEAR MILLINGTON
The Commerical Appeal
By Scott Carroll
Posted June 25, 2011
[Excerpts] A former captain in the Memphis Police Department has been identified as the man found dead in a Millington-area shooting on Friday. Troy Daniel, 63, was found by Shelby County Sheriff's deputies in the kitchen area of his home... with two gunshot wounds to the chest... Deputies reported that his wife, Regina Daniel, 51, suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the incident, which Sheriff's Office spokesman Chip Washington called a "domestic situation." She was taken to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis in extremely critical condition... [Full article here]

MILLINGTON SHOOTING LEAVES NEIGHBORS BAFFLED
myfoxmemphis.com
Lynn Lampkin
Saturday, 25 Jun 2011
[Excerpts] ...63 year old retired Memphis Police Captain Troy Daniel died on the scene, and his wife, 51 year old Regina Daniel was airlifted to the Med in critical condition... Investigators have not confirmed whether the incident was an attempted murder-suicide. "Troy had had a couple strokes and heart attacks in the last few years…he wasn't able to do things he'd done in the past and I'm sure he was depressed about that," said [neighbor Perry] York. The stroke caused paralysis to Daniel's right side and he was using a cane and wheelchair at times. Neighbors say the couple was also battling financial problems and would argue at times... [Full article here]

DOUBLE SHOOTING LEAVES RETIRED MEMPHIS COP DEAD, WIFE IN HOSPITAL
abc24.com
Jackie Orozco
6/25/2011
[Excerpts] Many unanswered questions remain about why a retired Memphis police captain, Troy Daniel, was shot to death inside his Millington home. His wife, Regina Daniel, was also shot and is in serious condition at The MED. Investigators said it's domestic abuse case. Police were called on the couple's home in the 6500 block of Walsh Road about 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2011... Many [neighbors] didn't want to be on camera. They said it's a tragedy for the neighborhood to lose a well-respected and caring man... Investigators said Troy Daniel was found in the kitchen with two gunshot wounds to his chest... Neighbors visited his wife, Regina, at the hospital and said she has three gun shot wounds. One of the bullets punctured her lungs. York said the neighborhood will never be the same... Neighbors said Regina Daniel underwent surgery Saturday afternoon. They said she's doing much better and is able to talk. No charges have been filed in the case... Regina Daniel is a former employee of the Shelby County Register's Office. She was indicted in 2010 on charges of theft and official misconduct... [Full article here]

WIFE SAYS HUSBAND RESPONSIBLE FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER-SUICIDE
WMC-TV
By Lori Brown
Posted: Jun 25, 2011
[Excerpts] A retired Memphis Police officer was killed and his wife injured after a double shooting at their home Friday. The woman found shot in her home, 51-year-old Regina Daniel, told family members that her husband, 63-year-old Troy Daniel, was responsible. She said her husband then turned the gun on himself. Troy Daniel was a 23-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department. Action News 5 reporter Justin Hanson is a family member of Regina Daniel. Hanson said Regina Daniel was alert Saturday and remembers everything that happened... "Apparently, shot her in the neck and she put her hand up and it got her hand and elbow. The bullet that went in the neck ricocheted into her torso, causing her lung to collapse, I think." Hanson said she and her husband were in an argument Friday afternoon at their home on Walsh Road near Shelby Forest. "He walked in with some kind of rage and look in his eye, and pulled out a gun and shot her," said Hanson. She told family members that Troy Daniel shot her three times. She said she then ran into a bedroom and heard two more shots... The two were married for 12 years... Hanson said Troy Daniel suffered a stroke that nearly killed him a couple of years ago. His only daughter died several years ago... Hanson said a bullet is still lodged near Regina Daniel's lung, making it difficult for her to breathe. "She blessed," he said. "Lucky to be alive"... A [Shelby County Sheriff's Department] spokesperson said the case is still under investigation. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities attempted murder-suicide tennessee state politics captain brass]

Monday, June 13, 2011

[PA] 17 year old Stephen Schmitz - who police Lt. dad said he killed in self defense - painted as the kindest would-be killer ever

Stephen Andrew Schmitz

Hatfield Police Lieutenant Eric Schmitz fatally shot his son Stephen Andrew Schmitz in the chest. It is reported to have been self-defense. Some articles say that Stephen attacked Lt. Hatfield with a 10 inch hunting knife (5 inches of that being it's handle). Some say that Stephen *attempted* to attack his dad. Articles say his dad was treated at a hospital for inuries.

Lt. Schmitz talking on the porch with personnel right after the shooting:



There's no mention whether Hatfield Police Lt. Schmitz needed stitches, a bandaid, or if the wounds are consistent with those caused by an attack. (This blog has recorded all kinds of scenarios, including officers convicted of murder despite having cut themself to demonstrate self defense.)

If someone only read the news articles they might quickly accept that Stephen was just a very disturbed kid. In the initial articles there was a focus on the fact the fact that Stephen had made "vague threats" (?) to kill himself in the past and had just been released from an *involuntary* commitment - but no details. The police had been called to the house before but Stephen's explanation of course is missing from all of this.

Stephen isn't the first 17 year old on this blog shot by his cop dad. When Stephen's death hit the news I thought right away to the shooting death of Brian Macias. Violent teens can be in anyone's family but police are often believed at the scene and not brought under the same scrutiny that others are when there is a domestic death. They are often offered support rather than have their homes treated as a potential crime scene.


A few people have emailed me asking did Stephen's dad have to kill him? Couldn't he have shot his shoulder or his leg. I don't know.

I didn't post this right away - assuming the media would ask a few more questions when the avalanche of people leaving online messages about Stephen described him over and over again as the nicest person they have ever known. Stephen just seemed to radiate something wonderful to everyone.

The media picture initially used by some was a cropped photograph - his Facebook profile picure where Stephen and friend are having fun making faces. By the time the media chopped his friend out of the photo, coupled it with dad in uniform, reported that Stephen was a mental patient, and that he allegedly tried to stab his dad - you could get an incomplete idea of who Stephen was to his school mates and those he participated in other activities with.

Talk about making an already bad situation worse - and painting an unfair picture to the public of a boy who can't speak up for himself anymore:

THE ORIGINAL:

We don't know what Stephen and his family were going through but Steven evidently embraced the world and the world embraced Stephen back when he wasn't at home.

I wish Stephen was here to speak for himself, but he's not. It would be assuring to hear him say "Yeah I really screwed up and attacked my dad." And "I was so scary and dangerous that a fatal shot was the only thing that could have stopped me."

I really am not accusing. It just doesn't make sense. As it is, anyone can say anything about him, without limits. From an editorial:

"...I cannot fathom the band of demons that haunted young Stephen Schmitz's soul... and only one day after his release from the Horsham Clinic, a facility for teens with mental health and/or substance problems... The friendliest kid dreamed of visiting California. Then the demons came..."

My heart goes out to all. Even if somehow shooting to kill Stephen was the only option available, this has to be so hard for everyone close to Stephen and Eric. I'm praying too for the mother's heart.


EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLES BELOW:

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has confirmed the deceased as the 17-year-old son of Hatfield Township Police Lieutenant Eric Schmitz... Stephen Schmitz, a junior at North Penn High School, a member of the lacrosse team, chorus and theater programs, died after attacking his father with a 10-inch knife with a 5-inch blade, police said... There were reports of an argument between the 17-year-old and his father earlier Wednesday... At North Penn, Stephen Schmitz played on the lacrosse team; was a member of the Green Room, a group for students interested in theater; and sang in a select concert choir... “It’s a tragedy,” said [North Penn High School Principla Burt] Hynes. “It’s incomprehensible. This was a nice, thoughtful, young man who was bright and kind”... Katie Berger, an owner of Lansdale's Distelfink Bakery, where Stephen worked two days a week, called him "a wonderful employee. Everyone here loved him dearly"... Moments after the shooting, the elder Schmitz sat on his porch, emergency workers trying to console him as his son's body lay inside the home... County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman said Thursday that the death has been officially ruled a homicide, and the cause of Schmitz’s death was two gunshot wounds to the trunk of the body... When asked about defensive wounds or signs of a struggle, he said he could not comment on any other findings... Detectives continued to process the shooting scene and conduct interviews Wednesday night. They asked that anyone with information about the behavior of the teen, including threats he may have made, call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368 or Towamencin Township police at 215-368-7600.

STORM OF TRAGEDY HITS NP FAMILY
phillyBurbs.com
Phil Gianficaro
Sunday, June 12, 2011 12:00 am
[Excerpts]
The three words stood out from the others, identifying Stephen Schmitz like strands of DNA: The friendliest kid. That's what they called him. Grieving classmates, shocked neighbors, and stunned teachers, all of them. Stephen Schmitz, the friendliest kid. Through their sorrow and tears, the rest of exactly who the 17-year-old North Penn junior was sprayed through like a busted fire hydrant. He was the nicest kid, they said. The happiest kid. An awesome kid. A funny kid. A sweet kid. A smiling kid. A talented kid. A warm, caring kid. A big-hearted kid. An amazing kid. But sadly, the one person with whom the friendliest kid could not become friends with was himself. I cannot fathom the band of demons that haunted young Stephen Schmitz's soul. The ones that on Wednesday afternoon at his Towamencin home, and only one day after his release from the Horsham Clinic, a facility for teens with mental health and/or substance problems where he had spent the previous 13 days as an involuntary patient, caused him to take a 10-inch knife and attempt to stab his policeman father, who in self-defense pointed his revolver at his son and did the unimaginable, taking his son's life and an irreplaceable chunk of his own... Stephen Schmitz had friends everywhere. Everywhere but within himself. The friendliest kid dreamed of visiting California. Then the demons came... [Full article here]


DA: SUBURBAN PHILLY OFFICER SHOT AND KILLED SON, 17, AFTER REPORTED ATTACK WITH HUNTING KNIFE
The Associated Press
June 08, 2011
[Excerpts] Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say a police officer shot and killed his 17-year-old son after the youth reportedly attacked him with a hunting knife inside the home... Hatfield Lt. Eric Schmitz was treated for injuries sustained in the violence Wednesday afternoon at his home in the township. Officials said a 10-inch knife was recovered, and township police had been called to the home twice recently. They said the youth had been released a day earlier from the Horsham Clinic, where he had been involuntarily committed for nearly two weeks after threatening to kill himself... [Full article here]


UPDATE: DA CONFIRMS HATFIELD POLICE OFFICER SHOT, KILLED SON IN TOWAMENCIN HOME
The Reporter
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
[Excerpts] More than a dozen neighbors gathered near the scene along a portion of Oxford Road that was closed to traffic by Towamencin police, but all but one declined to comment on the shooting. A medical helicopter had been put on standby but was then called off. The Montgomery County Cororner’s office removed a body from the home shortly after 6 p.m... The house was completely cordoned off on Wednesday afternoon, as was a portion of Oxford Road; police said Wednesday night that they will keep the house closed off as a crime scene... Detectives are continuing their investigation, and anyone with information about the recent behavior of the deceased, including threats made towards family members or others, is asked to contact the Montgomery County Detective Bureau or the Towamencin Township Police Department. [Full article here]


DA: FATHER SHOOTS SON AFTER BEING ATTACKED WITH KNIFE
Action News
By JOHN RAWLINS
Thursday, June 09, 2011
[Excerpts] Police have released more information concerning a fatal shooting inolving a police lieutenant and his teenage son. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman has confirmed the deceased as the 17-year-old son of Hatfield Township Police Lieutenant Eric Schmitz. Friends tell Action News the teen's first name is Stephen. It all happened at a home on the 100 block of Oxford Road in Towamencin Township around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to police, Lt. Schmitz fatally shot his son after the teenager attacked him with a large, fixed blade hunting knife inside their home. Authorities say the knife has a five inch blade and has an overall length of ten inches. A source tell Action News the shooting appears to have been in self defense. Police say Lt. Schmitz has been cooperative with detectives and is being interviewed at a local hospital where he is receiving treatment for his injuries. Towamencin Township police have received calls from the home twice in the recent past. On April 30, police were called because the 17-year-old was reportedly enraged. There were reports that he had made vague threats to harm himself in the past. According to officials, the tensions caused by Stephen subsided and Lt. Schmitz indicated to police that he did not believe any further action was necessary. On May 26, police were called and responded to the home based upon a report that Stephen was threatening to kill himself. Lt. Schmitz prevented his son from harming himself on this occasion, and the teen was involuntarily committed that same day to the Horsham Clinic. The teen remained committed at the Horsham Clinic for thirteen days. He was released on June 7... Police are asking anyone with information about the recent behavior of Stephen, including threats made towards family members or others... [Full article here]


COPING WITH THE DEATH OF A TEEN
phillyburbs.com
by Matt Coughlin
Jun 9, 2011.
[Excerpts]
[Excerpts] A 17-year-old boy's internal struggle ended Wednesday in his family's very public tragedy, according to authorities. Stephen Schmitz, a junior at North Penn High School, a member of the lacrosse team, chorus and theater programs, died after attacking his father with a 10-inch knife with a 5-inch blade, police said. Eric Schmitz, 56, a Hatfield Township police lieutenant, had just finished his shift and was still in his uniform when he returned to the home he shared with Stephen, his other son Drew and his wife Lori for the past 18 years on Oxford Road in Towamencin. The lieutenant, who'd never fired his weapon other than in training in more than 30 years as an officer, shot Stephen once, killing him, police said. The coroner's officer ruled Thursday that Stephen died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Moments after the shooting, the elder Schmitz sat on his porch, emergency workers trying to console him as his son's body lay inside the home... There were reports of an argument between the 17-year-old and his father earlier Wednesday. And then came the tragic ending about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and Towamencin police said they are investigating the backgrounds and health records... [Full article here]


OFF-DUTY HATFIELD POLICE OFFICER FATALLY SHOOTS HIS TEENAGE SON AT HOME
Philadelphia Inquirer
By Kathleen Brady Shea and John P. Martin
Posted on Thu, Jun. 9, 2011
[Excerpts] ...[Hatfield Police Lieutenant Eric B. Schmitz] is listed on the Hatfield Police Department's website as its "right to know" officer and the lieutenant of administration, "responsible for the internal police department function." Hatfield Township Manager Andrew Haines, who had apparently left for the day and rushed back to the township building, said: "We have no comment at this point until we ourselves learn more." Tom Zipfel, president of the five-member Hatfield Township Board of Commissioners, said he had known Eric Schmitz for about five years. "He's a wonderful police officer, there is no doubt about that," Zipfel said. "He has served us fantastically for many years... You couldn't find a more decent man or a more decent police officer." Zipfel said he did not know enough about the shooting to comment, but he added: "Our township as a whole is thinking about him and his family"... [Full article here]


COMMUNITY REELS AFTER FATHER’S SHOOTING OF SON
Philadelphia Inquirer
By Larry King and Kathleen Brady Shea
Jun. 9, 2011
[Excerpts] Eric Schmitz, 56, is described by peers as a calm, unflappable Hatfield Township police lieutenant, the consummate professional. At home, friends say, he is a loving, devoted husband and parent, a man who never spoke ill of anyone. His son Stephen, 17, was a North Penn High School junior whose interests ranged from lacrosse to theater. Teachers described him as a bright and caring student. "They were the ultimate family," said Ed Justice, a longtime friend and former assistant chief of the Montgomery County detectives... Stephen, who struggled with mental-health issues, apparently had attacked his father with a fixed-blade hunting knife soon after getting home from school, authorities said. An autopsy Thursday afternoon found that the teen died from two gunshot wounds to the body, Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman said. District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman declined to give details Thursday of how the clash occurred or what might have precipitated it... Many acquaintances said they knew little or nothing of any strife in the home. Those who were aware of Stephen Schmitz's recent problems were stunned by how they ended. Katie Berger, an owner of Lansdale's Distelfink Bakery, where Stephen worked two days a week, called him "a wonderful employee. Everyone here loved him dearly." She had spoken with Eric Schmitz about his son's problems, especially when the young man was at the Horsham Clinic. "He was doing absolutely everything he could to get Stephen help," she said... The Schmitzes worship at Central Schwenkfelder Church, where Lori Schmitz serves on the Christian education board and their children - Stephen and older siblings Drew and Kris - went on summer mission work trips... At North Penn, Stephen Schmitz played on the lacrosse team; was a member of the Green Room, a group for students interested in theater; and sang in a select concert... Principal Burt Hynes said Stephen Schmitz was interested in film and was considering a career as a filmmaker... [Full article here]


EX-D.A. PRAISES FATHER INVOLVED IN SHOOTING OF SON
Philadelphia Inquirer
By Larry King, Kathleen Brady Shea and John P. Martin
Jun. 9, 2011
[Excerpts] Calm. Rational. The consummate professional. The day after Hatfield Police Lt. Eric Schmitz shot and killed his mentally troubled son in an apparent act of self-defense, mention of the veteran officer elicited such descriptions in law enforcement circles. "He's actually one of the guys in law enforcement I've admired the most," said Bruce L. Castor Jr., a former Montgomery County district attorney. Now a county commissioner, Castor cal... Eric Schmitz was cooperating with the township and county investigation and was being treated at a hospital for injuries from the attack, Ferman and Dickinson said... Investigators cordoned off the property with yellow police tape and put up a blue tarpaulin near the side of the house. About 5:30 p.m., a county coroner's van arrived... [Full article here]

FROM ONLINE CONDOLENCES:

...i absolutly have no words for what has happen...i knew you and you were the most kind and caring guy. im thankful for being able to know you. u have no idea how many people you impacted. honestly no one could ever have anything bad to say about you. i still cant even comprehend what had happened...

...Stephen, Rest in peace, This has sadden so many people, you obviously were well liked, I didnt know you super well, but the times we talked you were always so sweet, I remember being in a bad place myself, and you popped up on chat and asked me if I was okay and talked with me through some stuff, you were also so persistant in trying to make peace between me and someone... you made me see that situation was dumb, Im forever thankful for our chats, your were one of the nicest guys who for no reason just wanted to listen and help and give advice and now taken away way to early. Rest easy Stephen, your family is in my prayers. So sadden...

...R.I.P i dont even happened and i havent seen u since i moved but dang man ive known u since kindergarden and this happened :( You have always been such a nice person...

...stephen, i wish i couldve helped you with everything, you were always my bestfriend to talk about anything to and made me laugh, your an amazingg loyal kind sweet hilarious kid and im gona miss you everyday of my life.. i hate walking down the hallway and not seeing you to say hi or give you a hug :(( everyone loves and misses you beyond belief, you really changed all our lives for the better and im soo happy i knew you, i love you sooo much stephen ? ? forever in my heart...

...It's raining, you're crying because you see how many people really do care, love, and support your family in this tough time; it's thundering, you're stomping your feet to be heard, but dont you worry- no, no ... you've been and you're ALWAYS going to be heard; it's lightening, too ... I suppose this means you're actually in peace. You forever remain in MANY of our hearts...

...RIP Stephen Schmitz, you will live forever in the hearts of everyone you have touched...

...A TRUELY GREAT PERSON AND A KIND SOUL. IVE KNOWN YOU SINCE 5TH GRADE AND TO THIS DAY NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON I KNOW WHO KNEW YOU CAN EVEN THINK OF ONE BAD THING ABOUT YOU STEPHEN. YOU WERE SUCH A GREAT KID AND OF ALL THE PEOPLE THIS COULD OF HAPPEND TO I WOULD OF NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE YOU. I KNOW YOUR UP IN HEAVEN FOR A 100% FACT. GOD HAS A BRAND NEW ANGEL. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE AND GOD BLESS...

...I have the 2 page letter you wrote to me in my journal from Horsham. Every time I read it, I just cry more. We had so many memories and good laughs just from that one week. You were my best friend, and such a good guy.. you didn't deserve this...

...i really appreciate everyone's kind words and thoughts though.. my family does too. stevie was a neat kid and we will all miss him very very much...

...Mr. Schmitz is still n always will be a great man. i really hope people dont jump to any angry towards him bc thats not the way to handle this...

...i really appreciate everyone's kind words and thoughts though.. my family does too. stevie was a neat kid and we will all miss him very very much...

...i love ur family so much n my thoughts have not changed a bit about u guys. I adore ur family n my heart breaks for u guys. But u still have all of us to help u through this. He was a great kid n ive never had a bad thought about him n never will...

...I wish this had never happened to you because there aren't a lot of people in this world that had your enthusiasm. You were a person that was easy to talk to and listen. You always new when to funny and how to make each person laugh! A great soul like yours people don't find very often and it is a shame that I wont be able to share one last laugh with you. I will remember you for forever and love you toO...

...I got my hug from you yesterday in school?, all the great times we had will never be forgotten...i love you, rest in peace stephen...

...he was such a funny kid...

...Stephen, I don't even know where to start. I've known you literally my whole life, and the thought of you not being around anymore has not sank in yet. The neighborhood will certainly never be the same without you here. I hope heaven is everything you wanted it to be because I'm sure you're up there looking down on us. Rest easy Stephen, you'll be missed by all...

...Stephen, it has been a delight to know that you were my friend. You meant so much to so many people, and for that you have left an everlasting mark on this school and humanity. You were the best friend to so many people, it's incredible :) You will be missed. RIP...

...Rest in peace Stephen. You were truly an amazing person. I will mIss you soo much. I know your in heaven looking down on us all. God bless your family. This should never have happened to you. You were one of the nicest people I've ever met. u r gonna b missed...

...You deserve better than this, we miss you...

...i'll miss you hun. your smile, your laugh and just you. this shouldn't have happened. especially to someone like you...

...No one knows the full story other than the family....

...Let's not point the finger of blame when nobody but him and his father know the full story...

...ill always remember the memories i had with you. i have known you my whole life & im gonna miss you so much. oxford rd will never be the same. your whole family is in my prayers. i love you so much
...i absolutly have no words for what has happen...i knew you and you were the most kind and caring guy. im thankful for being able to know you. u have no idea how many people you impacted. honestly no one could ever have anything bad to say about you. i still cant even comprehend what had happened...

...you were the nicest kid i ever met...

...i can't believe this. . . stephen was the sweetest kid in the WORLD! i was just talking to him today in chorus and had a great time in communications with him. we will never forget you stephen! you were the nicest guy i ever have known and you will never be forgotten! rest in peace stephen...

...rest easy , your gone and he's going to pay for what he did.. god doesn't like ugly.. too young R.I.P stephen your in all of our hearts...

...i can't believe this! It seems so unreal, saw you in 4th period today. you were such a nice guy...

...i love you stephen rest easy. you were nothing short of incredible...

...Stephen! you were sooo sweet and this is not fair! i cant believe your gone...im glad i got to see you today, ill always remember you! - rest easy...

...Please everyone understand. We Don't Know the whole Story of what happened today...

...Stevie, words can not express the sadness we all feel over the loss of you. I always considered you and the rest of your family like my own. Being friends with Kris and getting to spend so much time with your family were some of the greatest moments in my life throughout middle school and high school. You and Drew were always like the little brothers I never had. You will be missed dearly by all. You were a bright and funny kid with such a big heart. We all miss and love you so much. rest easy kid...

...we'll miss you so much Stephen. you will most certainly never be forgotten...we love you...

...dude you were an awsome neighbor and funny dude im gonna miss you bud...

...You were the sweetest, funniest, nicest person Stephen, and I'll miss you. RIP...

...I don't believe this ... I've known you since middle school and haven't talked to you since ninth grade, but every time we did talk you were so kind and helpful..I'll always remember your kindness.. RIP Stephen...

...We were in Spanish together in 9th grade, and it was so nice to see someone with a smile on his face everyday. You have such a good heart, and you are truly loved. RIP...

...I just saw you today at lunch and I wish i couldve had one last goodbye. I'm going to miss you so much Steven. You were such a fantastic person and always had a smile on your face. I'll never forget our times at applebees and midweek. RIP...

...Stephen you were like my brother. I caint belive this is real but I love you , you are in my whole families blessings . You were one of a kind, I love you will always remeber the times we had...

...You were one of my best friends ill never forget you R.I.P...

...stephen you were such an amazing person. your smile and laugh always lightened the mood and your presence could brighten everybodys day. ill cherish the times in chorus and when we used to have neighborhood get togethers. ill miss and love you forever...

...stephen you were one of the sweetest and funniest people i knew...

...Stephen, i only met you a few times, but you seemed like a great, funny, nice guy who loved life and never took anything for granted. we will all miss you greatly, and i hope that all of us don't remember your death, but the life you lived. You definitely did not deserve this. Rest In Peace, our prayers are with you...

...you were the nicest person at horsham, you were cute,funny I'm really sad that this has happened. RIP stephen - I'll never forget you...

...Stephen, I know I didn't know you as well as Nicole did but every time I think of you now, I remember you and Nicole, Shannon, Amanda, and Alexa hanging out and laughing. Every time I saw you, you always got excited to see me and I'll miss you're smile forever. I can't believe you're gone and I wish you weren't. So many people miss you so much. And even though I wasn't as close to you as some other people, I'll always miss seeing you at random times and talking to you. You mean more to more people than you'll ever know and I'll miss you so much. See you up there, rest in peace. Love you...

...You were one of my first friends when i moved here. Thanks for being nice to "the new kid". i will remember your kindness. I regret we didnt talk much this year though. Everyone will miss you! R.I.P...

...Always loved and never forgotten....thank you Stevie for always being there when I needed you. You've always been the greatest friend anyone could ever have. You're funny sweet and sensitive and don't ever change. I wish I could have told you how much you actually meant to me. I always thought of you as another one of my brothers. You've sprouted your wings and flew away and now you're in a better place. I'll always remember you Stephen. I'll always love you. Rest easy bro.....rest easy...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv child children abuse law enforcement brass unsolved unresloved public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder pennsylvania state politics]

Sunday, June 12, 2011

[NYPD] Retired Officer Fowler should have to serve his sentences the same way he shot his wife Michelle - consecutively

Ex NYPD Officer Darryl Fowler gets to serve the sentences for 6 serious charges concurrently instead of consecutively, while his wife Michelle has had to take each step in her recovery one after the other. What happened to Michelle is just one of the reasons victims of officer-involved domestic violence are afraid to report any crimes in the home. She reported, he was fired, he came after her, and she reported that he did... then pow pow pow pow pow. Not five shots at the same time - 5 one after the other - the same sequence Darryl Fowler should have to serve his sentences.

The article below is from early this month - and the formality of the actual sentencing is scheduled for later this month.

PREVIOUS POSTS:

EX-COP PLEADS GUILTY TO 2009 MIDDLE ISLAND SHOOTING
North Shore Sun
By Grant Parpan
June 1, 2011
[Excerpts] An ex-cop from Amityville who shot his estranged wife after breaking into her Middle Island home in 2009 pleaded guilty Tuesday to a top charge of attempted murder and will be ordered to 20 years in prison, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. Darryl Fowler, 44, entered Michelle Fowler’s home on Dorado Court on October 20, 2009, shot her and then fled the scene in his SUV, sideswiping the ambulance that was responding to the call for aid at the Fowler residence, the DA’s office said. Prosecutors testified at Mr. Fowler’s 2009 arraignment that he showed up at the house that night after learning he had lost his job after his wife filed an order of protection against him. The former NYPD officer then returned to the house for a second time after his wife filed a report at the Sixth Precinct in Selden, saying her husband had violated the order, prosecutors said. State Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle will sentence Mr. Fowler to 20 years in prison June 28 for attempted murder in the second degree and concurrent sentences of 20 years for both first-degree assault and first-degree burglary, according to a DA press release. He will also serve concurrent sentences for criminal possession of a weapon, aggravated criminal contempt, and first-degree criminal contempt... [Full article here]

Last word was that Michelle Fowler was suing the Suffolk County Police Department for negligence. A few hours before she was shot Michelle was reported to have been assured that Darryl would be arrested right away for violating her stay away order - but he wasn't. (Could they find him? Did they try? I don't know.)
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder new york city state politics]

[NM] Firefigther Otero's wife says she's sympathetic to his abuse because his job is dangerous, stressful

...She blacked out for a moment, the criminal complaint states. [Albuquerque Firefighter Chris] Otero threw her to the ground a second time and kicked her... but that she was sympathetic because his “dangerous,” “stressful” job causes him to be violent...

FIREFIGHTER FACES CHARGES
Albuquerque Journal
By Rozanna M. Martinez
Thu, Jun 9, 2011
[Excerpts] ...[Albuquerque firefighter] Chris Otero, 34, has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the matter, Albuquerque Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero said... Otero insisted that [his wife] sleep in the room with him. He then picked her up, dragged her to the bedroom area, and threw her on the floor causing her head to hit the floor. She blacked out for a moment, the criminal complaint states. Otero threw her to the ground a second time and kicked her in the tailbone. He then emptied the contents of her purse and told her “grab what you can,” according to the complaint.... She told police that she had pain in her arm, head and tailbone, but did not want medical attention. She was reluctant to be treated by someone who knew Otero, the complaint states. She said Otero has a history of being abusive, but that she was sympathetic because his “dangerous,” “stressful” job causes him to be violent... Police later arrested Otero at the hotel. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center and charged with false imprisonment, court records state. He later posted a $5,500 bond... [Full article here]

[domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal repeat hx brutal new mexico state politics]

[CO] Bruised-necked Officer Huffman's normal victim tug-of-war set Officer Martinez free and caused her own arrest

...Deputy District Attorney Mike Fisher told the jury that Huffman was experiencing an internal “tug of war” over the incident, something not uncommon in domestic violence incidents...

Colorado Springs Police Officer Sydney Huffman didn't want to admit she broke her own restraining order the night she ended up with bruises on her neck being treated in a hospital. She lied, making up another scenario. The truth and the lie crashed into each other, Manitou Springs Police Officer Jarrott Martinez was acquitted, and now it is she who is under arrest.

...Sydney Rose Huffman said she later felt bad about agreeing to meet Jarrott Paul Martinez that night at a time when she had a restraining order against him. “If I hadn’t met him, none of this would have happened...

Excerpt from last year before Martinez's acquittal:

...The detective who later took Huffman’s report at Memorial Hospital said he saw bruise marks on her neck. She was coughing and had difficulty swallowing and turning her head, he said. Police said Martinez had a history of violence toward Huffman and other family members, including three previous strangulation incidents. Huffman said there were also unreported incidents in which Martinez held firearms to her head and to her father’s head. She also told police that Martinez had previously threatened to kill both of them and added “that if she ever called police he would kill her before the police would arrive”...

There's something very sad and unsettling between the lines for victims who are also officers.

CURRENT NEWS:

COLORADO SPRINGS OFFICER HUFFMAN FACES CHARGE OF ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE A PUBLIC SERVANT
The Associated Press
June 11, 2011
[Excerpts] A Colorado Springs police officer is due in court Monday to be advised she faces a charge of attempting to influence a public servant. Prosecutors say Sydney Huffman was arrested Friday. Formal charges haven't been filed yet... 24-year-old Huffman told police last year that her estranged boyfriend Jarrott Martinez, who is a former Manitou Springs officer, had strangled her after trying to talk her out of testifying against him in a restraining order case. Martinez' lawyer contends Huffman lied about the incident. Martinez was acquitted of charges earlier this year... [Full article here]

SPRINGS POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED ON FELONY CHARGE
The Colorado Springs Gazette
Joel Millman and Tom Roeder
June 10, 2011
[Excerpts] A Colorado Springs police officer who accused a former Manitou Springs cop of assault last year has been arrested for allegedly lying to authorities. The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest of Springs police officer Sydney Huffman on Friday, saying she was held on investigation of attempting to influence a public servant. Huffman claimed to be the victim in a June 9, 2010 attack by former Manitou Springs policeman Jarrott Martinez... Now, authorities say Huffman, a decorated three-year veteran of the department may have misled investigators as the alleged victim in an unspecified a domestic violence case. Police declined to release details of the Huffman case, but the information they did release coincides with Huffman’s allegations against Martinez. Police say they learned of the issue on April 21, then turned over the investigation to the DA’s Office... The case against Martinez was hampered by inconsistencies in Huffman’s account. She first told police that Martinez pulled up behind her car and forced her into the parking lot, but later said she had agreed to meet him there. In court, Martinez defense attorney Daniel Deters told jurors that Martinez was not in the parking lot that night and Huffman lied about the entire incident... Huffman was held in the El Paso County jail Friday in lieu of a $20,000 bond on investigation of the Class 4 felony. She is on paid administrative leave pending the filing of formal charges... [Full article here]

NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT ARRESTED OFFICER: A Springs police officer has been arrested on felony charges. The arrest involves two separate cases in which the officer may have lied.
KKTV
Jun 11, 2011
[Excerpts] ...11 News has obtained court records that show [Springs police officer Sydney] Huffman was the plaintiff in a restraining order and domestic abuse case year. The case involved former Manitou Springs officer Jarrott Martinez, who Huffman later accused of trying to strangle her. Martinez' lawyer maintained that Huffman lied about the incident; Martinez was acquitted of charges this year. CSPD said in a statement that the department began to question Huffman's story after the failed prosecution. "There's probably not a group of people more disappointed about this outside of any victims than the police department itself. We do want to let the community know that we're going to be honest and transparent," Colorado Springs Sgt. Steve Noblitt said... 11 News will continue to place calls to CSPD to get further information. [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER ARTICLES:

EX-MANITOU SPRINGS COP ACCUSED OF STRANGLING FORMER GIRLFRIEND
The Colorado Springs Gazette
John C. Ensslin
August 11, 2010
[Excerpts] A former Manitou Springs police officer has been ordered to stand trial on charges that he strangled his ex-girlfriend and fellow officer after forcing her off the road in Colorado Springs. Jarrott Paul Martinez, 30, is accused of second-degree assault, intimidating a witness, false imprisonment and violating a restraining order in the June 9 incident... At the time, Martinez was a Manitou Springs officer. However, his lawyer indicated in June that he had left the force... [Sydney Rose Huffman] said they both parked. Martinez came over to her car and after a brief conversation she agreed to get into the cab of his pickup. Once inside, she said he activated the locks on the doors. Huffman said Martinez began to blame her for his financial problems and the possibility of him losing his job. He asked her not to testify in a pending misdemeanor case. To appease him, she agreed not to testify against him. When she tried to get out, Huffman said Martinez grabbed her by the neck with both hands. “I began to get dizzy and saw black dots,” she later told a Colorado Springs detective. “It felt as though my eyes were going to pop out of my head. I thought this was it. He would finally kill me and get away with it.” Huffman said she briefly blacked out. When she came to, she said Martinez began to cry, apologized for what he had done and leaned over to kiss her. She kicked him, got out of the truck and fled. The detective who later took Huffman’s report at Memorial Hospital said he saw bruise marks on her neck. She was coughing and had difficulty swallowing and turning her head, he said. Police said Martinez had a history of violence toward Huffman and other family members, including three previous strangulation incidents. Huffman said there were also unreported incidents in which Martinez held firearms to her head and to her father’s head. She also told police that Martinez had previously threatened to kill both of them and added “that if she ever called police he would kill her before the police would arrive.” Following a preliminary hearing Tuesday, 4th Judicial District Judge David L. Shakes found there was enough evidence for Martinez to be tried. The judge set a Jan. 11 trial date... [Full article here]

SPRINGS POLICE OFFICER CLAIMS EX-BOYFRIEND STRANGLED HER: Defendant was a Manitou cop at the time
The Colorado Springs Gazette
John C. Ensslin
January 31, 2011
[Excerpts] A Colorado Springs police officer testified Monday that her ex-boyfriend - who was then a Manitou police officer – strangled her in his pickup in a restaurant parking lot. But Sydney Rose Huffman said she later felt bad about agreeing to meet Jarrott Paul Martinez that night at a time when she had a restraining order against him. “If I hadn’t met him, none of this would have happened,” Huffman said... She had a gun in her holster at the time, but did not draw it. Deputy District Attorney Michael Fisher asked her why not. “I have no family. Jarrott’s all I had,” she said. “He’s not somebody that I’d try to fight. He’s no stranger to me. With him, I couldn’t do that.” Martinez’s lawyer Daniel Deters questioned Huffman about statements she gave to a Colorado Springs detective about two weeks after the incident. In those statements, Huffman said she wanted to help Martinez and “work out a plan of how we could do it.” When Deters asked what she meant by that, Huffman said she didn’t remember... [Full article here]

JURY ACQUITS EX-MANITOU COP ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING COP
The Colorado Springs Gazette
John C. Ensslin
February 03, 2011 2:21 PM
[Excerpts] A jury Thursday acquitted a former Manitou Springs police officer who’d been accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend, a Colorado Springs police officer. A nine-woman, three-man jury took about three hours to find Jarrott Paul Martinez not guilty of second-degree assault, intimidating a witness, false imprisonment and violating a restraining order in the June 9 incident involving Sydney Rose Huffman in a parking lot at 5430 E. Woodmen Ave. Martinez hugged his defense attorney Daniel Deters... “It’s a very gratifying victory to know that the defense evidence, such as it was, exonerated Mr. Martinez,” Deters said... The prosecution’s case, however, was complicated by the fact that Colorado Springs police later discovered that part of Huffman’s original account was not true. Initially, Huffman, 24, told a detective that Martinez had come up behind her car in his pickup and forced her to pull into the parking lot. Later police determined that they had agreed to meet there. Deputy District Attorney Mike Fisher told the jury that Huffman was experiencing an internal “tug of war” over the incident, something not uncommon in domestic violence incidents. “She doesn’t want people to know what happened to her,” Fisher said in his closing argument. “She doesn’t even want you to know.” But he urged the jury to focus on the physical evidence, particularly a photograph taken after she went to the hospital the next day with bruises on her neck. Fisher cited the testimony of one nurse who said in her opinion, “she (Huffman) could have died from what happened to her.” Deters told the jury his client was not in the parking lot that night and that the incident never happened... [Full article here]
[cop-on-cop police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety colorado recant perjury colorado state politics female perp perpetrator]

Saturday, June 11, 2011

[US] Police and community come together to say good-bye to Wynetta & Jaylin Wright

Wynetta Shamonta Wright & Jaylin Ariel Wright


PREVIOUS POST:
[US] DC Vice Officer Phillips charged with murdering Wynetta Wright. Little Jaylin's 1 year birthday is in heaven today. - ...The night before the hearing Wynetta got a call from DC Metro Police Vice Detective Richmond Phillips to meet in an isolated spot - Oxon Run Stream Valley Park in Temple Hills. She was hopeful that this was the beginning of his wanting to start a relationship with the daughter he had never met...

GATHERED FROM THE WEB:

WYNETTA & JAYLIN WRIGHT [NEW MEMORIAL VIDEO] HERE

"...Wynetta is the loving daughter of Wyvette Wright and Everett L. Tucker; beloved mother of Janiya and the late Jaylin Wright. Also survived by brothers, Damont, Michael, Vernon and MarKeith; grandparents, Maddie and Everett Tucker, Cynthia and Samuel Wright; and a host of other relatives and friends. Jaylin is the loving daughter of the late Wynetta S. Wright and beloved sister of Janiya..." [LINK]




WYNETTA S. WRIGHT GUEST BOOK HERE





"Today is the day the LORD has made i shall shout praise and be glad in it. This morning I rose with a smile on my face, but a tear in my heart. While in route to work for my 24 hour shift, i was redirected by the spirits to visit my sis and niece, Wynetta and Jaylin in there final place of rest. So i arrived with a burden on my chest and when I left after spending 30 mins of praying and crying, I felt the pain lifted from my heart and the tears dried from my eyes. And the sound of a voice that said "Cry no more my love one, where HOME in a place like no other. We have passed thru the gates of heaven and recieved our wings, so go my good and faithful servant and allow me to be your guide." RIP my sister Wynetta and niece Jaylin. For your work here on earth is done."
~~ BJay Williams [LINK]





FUNERAL FOR WYNETTA AND JAYLIN WRIGHT, MOTHER AND DAUGHTER MURDERED IN PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
By myfoxdc
Friday, 10 Jun 201
[Excerpts] Family and friends gathered at the Temple of Praise Church in southeast Washington, D.C. Friday for the funeral of Wynetta Wright and her infant daughter Jaylin. The mother and daughter were found dead in Prince George’s County on June 2. The family had reported them missing several days earlier. Police found Wynetta’s body in a wooded area in a Temple Hills park. Jaylin’s body was found inside of a nearby car. Investigators have charged Richmond Phillips, a Metropolitan Police Department officer, in connection with the deaths. Officers say Wynetta and Phillips were scheduled in court for a paternity test to determine the father of Jaylin the same day the murders were believed to have occurred. [Full article here]





ANOTHER TRIBUTE VIDEO: R.I.P WYNETTA WRIGHT


WYNETTA AND JAYLIN WRIGHT LAID TO REST, DC OFFICER ACCUSED IN DEATHS
WUSA9
Jun 10, 2011
[Excerpts] A large contingent of law enforcement officers turned out to grieve for a 20-year-old woman and her daughter who were murdered last week, allegedly by a DC police officer trying to duck paying child support. Wynetta Wright and her infant daughter Jaylin were mourned as innocent victims. Wright hoped to join the ranks of law officers in the future. She was a volunteer in the Prince George's Explorer's Program, which is designed for young people hoping to go to the agency's academy... "This was good young woman who wanted to make a positive contribution to our community," said Prince George's County Sheriff Melvin High... [Full article here]




EMOTIONAL FAREWELL FOR MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
NBC Washington
By Derrick Ward and Samantha Loss
Friday, Jun 10, 2011
[Excerpts] Today loved ones gathered to say goodbye to Wynetta Wright and her baby daughter Jaylin... The 20-year-old mother laid to rest with her one-year-old daughter in her arms. The service was attended by hundreds of mourners, including family, friends and a large contingent of law enforcement... Many mourners were from the Prince George's County Sheriff's Department. Wynetta Wright had been a member of its Sheriff's Explorer Program and wanted to be a deputy. Police believe that Wright and baby Jaylin were killed by the man believed to be Jaylin's father. Richmond Phillips, 39, was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department... He faces first and second degree murder charges in Wright's death, and manslaughter charges in the death of baby Jaylin. He is being held without bond... [Full article here]


[MPDC Metro police officer involved domestic violence fatality fatalities double murder child children baby funeral district of columbia state politics God faith]

Friday, June 10, 2011

[NYPD] 14 years ago today Bliss Verdon's life was stolen. NYPD failed to act on her complaints about her cop ex

Bliss Verdon thought the Police Department could help her when her former boyfriend, a transit police officer, began harassing her in May 1997.

FROM FAMILY:
"It's been 14 years since the murder-suicide that took both her and Rodney Dilbert's lives at the 77th and Roosevelt train stop in Queens... It wasn't Rodney Dilbert who failed her. It was the New York Police department who failed them both. His gun had been taken away from him before, and he was demoted to a transit cop, still carrying a service revolver despite his public suicidal ideations..."

FROM NEWS:
..."This tragedy could have been averted if the hierarchy of the NYPD had acted promptly on the victim's complaint"... Ms. Verdon's case is an example of why domestic violence experts say the spouses of abusive police officers are especially vulnerable. Officers are often reluctant to turn in their colleagues. And some abusive officers use their connections inside the criminal justice system to block their victims' appeals for help. Some women are so sure the law enforcement system is stacked against them that they will not report the crime, the experts said. "These women are really all alone out there," said Maria Guarracino, of the Archdiocese of New York, who counsels victims of police spousal abuse. "There are just so few places for them to turn"...


FROM A FAMILY MEMBER:

At around 7 pm, CST, I was finishing up dinner, getting ready to put my not-yet-one-year-old to bed, when I started to get agitated and panicked. Then I felt empty. Alone. I was up the whole night, crying, feeling lost, holding my chest in pain, and in shock.

The next morning, my mother walked through the back door of my house and I knew. "He killed her." I knew.

My dear cousin Bliss was like a sister to me, a best friend with unconditional love that still had years left of ebbs and flows. Sometimes we saw each other many times a year, other times barely once. She was planning a trip to Minnesota to see us in August, but no more. Now, she was dead, by the service revolver of a man whom she had reported to his superiors on more than one occasion.

It's been 14 years since the murder-suicide that took both her and Rodney Dilbert's lives at the 77th and Roosevelt train stop in Queens. She would be 39 years old. She likely would have been thriving in a career and might even have her own family. Instead of being a dead relative that my kids see pictures of, she would have held my babies, and we would have laughed and cried with each other and held each other's hands and hearts through the rest of our lives.

It wasn't Rodney Dilbert who failed her. It was the New York Police department who failed them both. His gun had been taken away from him before, and he was demoted to a transit cop, still carrying a service revolver despite his public suicidal ideations.

Mental illness should never be discounted or hidden. I want to go the rest of my life without EVER hearing that another superior officer in ANY Police Department talked about handling a domestic violence situation, "cop to cop." Police departments attract people who like power and control. Some of that is necessary. But not when mental illness is involved. Not when young women who are being stalked by officers are involved.

I remember saying to Bliss, when she was dating Rodney, "Oh, Bliss, not a cop!" And when she broke up, I remember feeling relief. But getting away from him alive was not part of her story. Having her life ended in her early twenties is not the life anyone should ever have.

Bliss, you are and always will be missed.

P.S.

Bliss had a passion for animals - all of them. She rescued whatever should could, and loved those that she couldn't rescue. She was the most beautiful person I have ever loved. From the day I met her. . the sparkle in her eyes was intense and magical. They brightened with each and every laugh. I will never, ever forget that. Even when times where tough, she was logical, smart, practical and hopeful. She was a free spirit who did things her own way. Always.



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FROM A FRIEND:

I met Bliss at our high school, Notre Dame, in Manhattan, during our freshman year. She was a cute, punky, pierced girl from Queens who somehow, managed to make our Catholic school uniform look cool, always wearing her white collar up under her blue sweater. I did not get to know her well since she transferred to the High School of the Humanities after the end of our freshman year, but in just one school year she made an impression on me. I always felt like she was a cool person with a good soul.

In 1997, Bliss made several complaints to the the police about her ex-boyfriend's stalking and harassing phone calls. Her ex-boyfriend, Rodney Dilbert, was a NYC transit cop. She began calling the police in early May. When her calls appeared to have taken no action, she went to the police precint on May 29th, her ex was still harrassing her. The police kept passing the buck. On June 10th, Bliss was fatally shot near a subway station at Roosevelt Avenue and 77th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens. She was 25 years old. Dilbert then shot and killed himself. Unfortunately, Bliss's attemtps to get police protection were ingored by the NYPD. This caused a media outrage and the dismissal of Sgt. Taggert, who was the first person to interview Bliss about the harrassment, but he failed to make a police report.

I will always remember Bliss as the smart, sweet, gothic girl teenager who I am sure grew up to be a brilliant young woman. My deepest sympathies go out to her family.

I took this photo of Bliss during a field trip to Ellis Island, with our freshmen Notre Dame class in 1986. A volunteer named Nick was kind enough to visit the cemetery and photograph Bliss's headstone, and sadly her mother's too, buried beside her. Her mother, Jo-Ann Cote, died of cancer four years after Bliss, her only child.

Cristin
a
[LINK]



THE BLISS VERDON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The Bliss Verdon Memorial Scholarship is available annually to one or two outstanding students at Stony Brook University, State University of New York, in recognition of strong academic performance and demonstrated commitment in the area of African issues. The Bliss Verdon Memorial scholarship has been established to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Bliss Verdon, a 1995 graduate of SUNY Stony Brook, who completed her BA in Africana Studies and Anthropology after spending a semester in Accra, Ghana. Ms. Verdon had planned to begin her graduate studies in International Relations with a focus on African issues in the Fall of 1997, but on June 10th of that year she was murdered in Jackson Heights, Queens, by an ex-boyfriend, a New York City police officer. ELIGIBILITY The Bliss Verdon Memorial Scholarship is open to full-time, upper-division students (junior or senior standing). Candidates must demonstrate an academic focus on and commitment to African issues in their university coursework, as well as a need for financial assistance, and a commitment to helping others... [LINK]

FACEBOOK: In Memory of Bliss
a group to remember and honor those who have died, especially those who have died young. Founded on June 10, 2008, the 11th anniversary of the murder of Bliss Verdon at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, a NYC transit cop. [LINK]

VERDON, BLISS
New York Times
Published: Friday, June 13, 1997
Her friends and colleagues at New York University are deeply saddened by her tragic and senseless death. We extend our hearts and loving sympathy to her family and to all her friends. ''There is not room for Death, Nor atom that his might could render void; Since thou art Being and Breath And what thou art may never be destroyed.'' Emily Bronte.



New York Times
Jun 12, 1997
[Excerpts] A police officer who killed his former girlfriend and himself in Queens on Tuesday had been the subject of a harassment complaint she filed two weeks ago, and the Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau had been planning to question him about it, police officials said yesterday. "Internal Affairs was brought in," said Officer Olga Mercado, a Police Department spokeswoman. "He was going to be questioned on it, but they never got to it." The officer, Rodney Dilbert, 28, who was assigned to the Transit Bureau in Manhattan, shot his former girlfriend, Bliss Verdon, 25, three times in the chest as she talked on a pay telephone at the corner of 77th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. Officer Dilbert, who was off duty at the time, then committed suicide with a single gun shot to the head. He used a Glock 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun, the Police Department's standard-issue service weapon... On May 29, Ms. Verdon filed a complaint against Officer Dilbert at the 115th Precinct in Queens, accusing him of aggravated harassment, Officer Mercado said. The complaint alleged "harassing and annoying behavior," including threatening phone calls and letters, Officer Mercado said. Deputy Chief Lawrence F. Loesch, the commander of Queens detectives, said on Tuesday night that Officer Dilbert and Ms. Verdon had been involved in a relationship for about a year but had broken up sometime in the last few months...


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Newsday
Jun 12, 1997
[Excerpts] The woman [Bliss Verdon] who was shot on a busy Jackson Heights thoroughfare Monday evening had filed harassment charges last month against her former boyfriend, a police officer who killed her and himself, police said. Although Bliss Verdon, 25, filed charges, she told investigators she felt more annoyed than threatened by him, law-enforcement sources said. "All she wanted was for the telephone calls to stop," the source said... Apparently Verdon did not realize to what extremes the former boyfriend, Police Officer Rodney Dilbert, 29, would go to keep her. Dilbert walked up to Verdon as she made a telephone call from a pay phone on Roosevelt Avenue at 77th Street... pulled out his service pistol and shot Verdon three times. Dilbert then put the barrel of the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger... Verdon began dating Dilbert last year, investigators said. Verdon broke off the relationship. On May 29, she filed an aggravated-harassment charge against Dilbert, said Lt. Steven Biegel, a police spokesman... "She filed a complaint for aggravated harassment, and he was annoying her with telephone calls and letters."


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BLISS VERDON
Albany - Times Union.
Jun 14, 1997. p. B.8
QUEENS, NY -- Bliss Verdon, of Queens, NY, died tragically on June 10, 1997. Loving daughter of Jo-Ann Cote; beloved niece of Teresa Lothian; cherished friend of many. Visiting will be held at the McCaddin & Sons Funeral Home, 24 7th Avenue Park Slope, NY Sunday 2-5, 7-9 p.m., the Morse Funeral Home, 33 Railroad Avenue, Middletown, NY Monday 2-4, 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass Tuesday 10:00 a.m. Holy Name Church, Otisville, NY. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Brooklyn Animal Resource Colition, 253 Wythe Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11222. For further information please contact DeVine Funeral Home (516) 922-6700.


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Newsday
Jun 16, 1997
[Excerpts] ... Here's the department's version of its dealings with Bliss Verdon shortly before she was shot to death last week in Jackson Heights by her ex-boyfriend, transit Police Officer Rodney Dilbert. On May 29, Verdon filed a complaint at Queens' 115th Precinct of aggravated harassment against Dilbert, consisting of letters and telephone calls he'd recently made to her. Internal Affairs was notified, as were Queens Duty Capt. Kenneth Wegweisner and Duty Insp. Charles Gunther. On June 4, Verdon informed Dilbert's superior, Capt. Stephen Savas, of Dilbert's harassment but added she didn't feel threatened by him. Savas notified the Transit Bureau's inspections unit and Dilbert's squad commander. Here's what DCPI isn't saying. Sometime after Verdon filed her complaint, a sergeant was said to have visited her at home and tried to talk her out of pressing charges. He himself may now be facing them...


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SERGEANT IS DISMISSED FOR HANDLING OF CALL
New York Times
Aug 7, 1997
[Excerpts] A veteran New York City police sergeant has been dismissed for mishandling an emergency call from a woman who later was killed by her ex-boyfriend, a transit police officer. The sergeant, John Taggart, was assigned to investigate a May 4 call for help from Bliss Verdon, 25, who complained that she was being harassed by the officer, Rodney Dilbert. Sergeant Taggart spoke with Officer Dilbert but failed to notify superiors of the accusation of misconduct, an internal police trial found... Sergeant Taggart's lawyer, George Cerrone, said his client had been made a scapegoat to protect higher-ranking officers who mishandled the case.


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I'M SCAPEGOAT, AXED NYPD SGT. SEZ
New York Daily News
By MIKE CLAFFEY
Thursday, August 7th 1997
[Excerpts] An NYPD sergeant fired for botching the harassment complaint of a woman who was shot dead by her cop ex-boyfriend lashed out at the department yesterday, charging he was a scapegoat for cop brass. Sixteen-year veteran Sgt. John Taggart, a delegate in the Sergeants Benevolent Association, also said he was targeted because of his union activities and pledged to fight the firing in court. Taggart, a supervisor in the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, Queens, was fired after a departmental trial in which he was found guilty of lying under oath when he said the victim never told him her harasser was a cop. Taggart said higher-ups in the Internal Affairs Bureau and Transit Division erred by letting 11 days pass before assigning an investigator to look into a complaint by Bliss Verdon... "This tragedy could have been averted if the hierarchy of the NYPD had acted promptly on the victim's complaint," Taggart said yesterday... The sergeant visited Verdon's apartment May 4 to investigate a harassment complaint. He insisted she never mentioned the man harassing her was a cop. Taggart's firing was based on a statement by Verdon's roommate, who said she overheard Verdon telling the sergeant the harasser was an officer... Police Commissioner Howard Safir said last week that other high-ranking officials will face charges as a result of the deadly foulup.


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ERRORS ADDED UP TO MURDER 'THEY PASSED THE BUCK' - SLAIN WOMAN'S MOM
New York Daily News
By JOHN MARZULLI
Monday, September 22th 1997

Police supervisors failed to take the required steps that might have prevented the fatal shooting of a Queens social worker by a city cop who was her ex-boyfriend.

Bliss Verdon, a vibrant, caring coordinator at a violence-prevention program, gave cops every chance to protect her life. She called 911, filed a stalking complaint and then made a followup call after nothing was done.

But it wasn't enough.

A police investigation has revealed how Verdon, 25, was slain after lapses in police judgment and lax supervision.

Reports reviewed by the Daily News and interviews with police investigators provide a rare look at the anatomy of a murder.

Verdon was gunned down June 10 as she used a pay phone on Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights, Queens. Transit cop Rodney Dilbert fired eight shots from a 9-mm. pistol at her, then fired the ninth into his mouth.

According to the investigation:

Verdon went to the 115th Precinct stationhouse May 29 to file a stalking complaint. But cops didn't assign it to an investigator until June 10 the day Verdon was slain. They were required to do it immediately.

Dilbert's record his gun had been taken away temporarily in 1994 was never checked.

The morning after Verdon filed her complaint, a sergeant offered to reinterview her to determine "how aggressive [Dilbert] may be," but a captain rejected the offer. Investigators questioned the captain a week after Verdon's murder. The next day, the captain called the sergeant and asked: "Did I do this?"

Verdon telephoned Dilbert's commanding officer June 4 to find out why nothing was being done on her complaint, but the captain didn't interview Dilbert because the cop worked a different tour, from 4 p.m. to midnight.

A traffic ticket issued to powerful Queens State Sen. Emanuel Gold preoccupied Transportation Bureau Chief Kenneth Donohue who commands 6,000 transit and traffic cops when he was notified about Verdon's initial complaint June 5.

The police handling of Verdon's complaints has devastated her mother, Jo-Ann Cote.

"The fact that my daughter complained, she called 911, she went to a police station all that should have gotten Rodney relieved of his guns," said Cote. "This girl died because there is evidently no way to set off bells and whistles about an officer who carries a gun."

Police Commissioner Howard Safir has admitted that cops mishandled the case. In August, he fired 16-year veteran Sgt. John Taggart the only cop to interview Verdon for botching the initial interview and failing to make a report.

But Taggart's errors in responding to Verdon's 911 call on May 5 were merely the first of many.

Verdon and Dilbert met in a Manhattan nightclub in May 1996 and quickly became intimate, spending most weekends together.

She grew up in Maspeth, Queens, attending the High School for the Humanities. She graduated in 1995 from SUNY Stony Brook, where she majored in anthropology and minored in African studies.

Her senior year at college was spent in Ghana.

"She believed that democracy was for everybody and the standard of living we have here was something that all the African countries needed," her mother said.

When Verdon died, she was a program associate at AmeriCorps Project Safety Net, a nationwide network of violence-prevention programs.

Less is known about Dilbert, a cop for four years assigned to District 4 in Union Square. He lived on Staten Island, where his brother is a highway cop.

He was crazy about Verdon, whose co-workers described her as "fiercely independent, bright and caring."

The relationship began to deteriorate by the end of 1996. That Christmas, Verdon told her mother that she had wished for "a new boyfriend."

They broke up around the start of this year, and within a month Verdon took in a roommate, childhood friend Carol Gose.

Gose told police that Dilbert often phoned the apartment. She said Dilbert was desperate to resume the relationship, begging her to put in a good word for him.

Cote said her daughter told her that she was changing jobs and moving to a new apartment and she swore Dilbert was not going to find out where.

At some point, Dilbert's phone calls evolved into threats. In a telephone message left on Verdon's machine, Dilbert launched into a curse-laden diatribe, calling her "white fking trash" and blasting her for breaking up with him.

He ended the message by saying: "You can't do st to me, you dumb bitch. Just shut up. Whore!"

Dilbert's aggression spurred Verdon to call 911 on May 5 her first contact with the police. She told the operator about Dilbert's harassment. The information was forwarded to Taggart because any allegation against a cop must be investigated by a sergeant.

Taggart visited Verdon in her Jackson Heights apartment. While he was there, Dilbert called. Taggart grabbed the phone and warned Dilbert to stop calling or he would be arrested.

Taggart who maintains that Verdon never told him her ex-boyfriend was a cop left without taking a report or notifying the Internal Affairs Bureau, as required. Taggart is suing to get his job back. He told The News he was the "fall guy."

Taggart's errors were just the first of several mistakes.

On May 29, Verdon made her second complaint, visiting the 115th Precinct stationhouse, where she was questioned by a civilian clerk.

The clerk filled out a report noting harassing phone calls and an incident in which Dilbert followed Verdon on the train on her way to work, confronting her and becoming "somewhat aggressive."

The clerk failed to notify any supervisor about the accusation against a cop violating police procedure.

About 4:30 a.m. on May 30, Verdon's complaint, No. 005780, was discovered in a pile of paper work by a desk sergeant, who called the duty captain, Kenneth Wegweiser responsible for supervising eight precincts in Queens North.

Wegweiser was preoccupied with updating Donohue about a summons issued the night before to Gold (D-Forest Hills) for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, a police report shows.

Gold had phoned Safir's office to complain. Now Wegweiser was trying to update First Deputy Police Commissioner Patrick Kelleher, Chief of Department Louis Anemone and Donohue.

Wegweiser told Internal Affairs Bureau investigators that he tried to brief Donohue about the Verdon case. According to Wegweiser, Donohue said he was chiefly concerned about updating Kelleher on Gold's ticket, the IAB report said.

Police spokeswoman Marilyn Mode said Donohue denies Wegweiser's account. Donohue did not return calls for comment.

"My daughter's life is far more important than any politician's ticket," said Verdon's mom. "No one along the line has been willing to take responsibility. Right up the line they passed the buck."

If proper procedure had been followed, Verdon would have been interviewed immediately after her complaint May 29. Super-visors should have been immediately notified, and Dilbert's record should have been checked.

Dilbert's background revealed that his guns were taken from him in 1994 after he pointed his weapon at his head and another officer's head in a bar pulling the trigger several times, police investigators said. The gun was unloaded.

Wegweiser also failed to comply with an NYPD Interim Order in February dealing with the handling of domestic-violence cases involving cops. It compels the duty captain to "commence an immediate investigation."

Wegweiser, who refused to comment, did exactly the opposite.

After getting the complaint May 30, he called the inspector on duty, Charles Gunther, and read it to him. They agreed that the details were vague and deemed it "not serious," Gunther told IAB investigators.

Around 6:15 a.m. on May 30, a sergeant from the Queens North inspections unit arrived for work at the 115th Precinct and was briefed by Wegweiser about Gold's summons and the Verdon case.

The sergeant, Peter DiBlasio, told investigators that he offered "two or three times" to interview Verdon, but the captain told him it was not necessary, NYPD records show.

Wegweiser had decided the case would be examined by the transit investigations unit because Dilbert was a transit cop.

Wegweiser faxed his report to the investigations unit, but nothing was done because transit does not open a probe until directed to do so by IAB.

A lieutenant in the investigations unit told IAB later that he thought Wegweiser's report was merely for informational purposes, according to a police memo.

Verdon's case, meanwhile, was still in bureaucratic limbo, landing at IAB on June 2, where an assessment team kicked it back to the chief of patrol's office for referral to Queens North inspections.

Verdon was becoming concerned that she had not heard from anyone. The harassing calls were continuing.

So on June 4, she called Dilbert's commanding officer, Capt. Steven Savas, at District 4 to inquire about the status of her complaint.

Investigators familiar with the case said Savas had concluded that Verdon did not feel in danger and just wanted the harassing calls to stop.

Having been assigned to the district for three months, Savas consulted with Dilbert's immediate supervisor to determine whether he was acting erratically. Savas was told the cop appeared fine. He could have taken away Dilbert's guns. Instead, he told the supervisor to keep tabs on him.

The next day, the case arrived at the chief of patrol's office, sitting there for five days. It was finally assigned June 10 the same day Verdon died.

SINKING TOWARD TRAGEDY

May 5, 1997

2:12 p.m. Bliss Verdon calls 911 to report harassment from Officer Rodney Dilbert, her ex-boyfriend.

2:30 p.m. Cops visit Verdon. When Dilbert phones her, Sgt. John Taggart threatens him with arrest. No report is filed.

May 29, 1997

8:30 p.m. Verdon goes to the 115th Precinct to file stalking and harassment complaint against Dilbert. No one tells a supervisor that an allegation of misconduct has been made against a cop.

May 30, 1997

Midnight 4 a.m. The Queens duty captain, Kenneth Wegweiser, is ordered to look into a traffic summons just issued to State Sen. Emanuel Gold.

4:30 a.m. Wegweiser is finally notified of Verdon's complaint. Preoccupied with the Gold matter, Wegweiser and a duty inspector determine there is no immediate threat and take no immediate action.

June 2, 1997

The police Internal Affairs Bureau refers Verdon's complaint to the chief of patrol, to be forwarded to the Queens North Inspections Unit.

June 4, 1997

4:30 p.m. Verdon calls Dilbert's boss, Capt. Steven Savas, to find out why nobody has called her about the complaint. Savas consults with Dilbert's immediate supervisor, who reports no unusual behavior. No one questions Dilbert; no action is taken.

June 5

Paper work on Verdon's complaint finally arrives at chief of patrol's office in Police Headquarters.

June 10

11:15 a.m. The complaint is sent to the transit bureau inspections unit because Dilbert is a transit cop.

6:03 p.m. Dilbert, who is off-duty, fatally shoots Verdon, then kills himself.


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CAPT. FACES FIRING FOR COP SUICIDE
New York Daily News
JOHN MARZULLI
Apr 6, 1998. p. 6

A veteran police captain is facing dismissal for failing to properly investigate a domestic violence complaint against a cop who later killed his ex-girlfriend and himself, the Daily News has learned.

Capt. Kenneth Wegweiser is the highest-ranking police official facing disciplinary charges to date in a case marked by repeated blunders in judgment and lax supervision that might have prevented the Queens tragedy.

The series of mistakes, uncovered by The News last year, has resulted in the dismissals of a sergeant and a clerk from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights. A second sergeant is also facing charges.

The victim, Bliss Verdon, 25, was shot dead June 10, 1997, on Roosevelt Ave. by transit cop Rodney Dilbert, who had been stalking and harassing the woman since their breakup about six months earlier.

Dilbert, 28, then placed his 9-mm. handgun in his mouth and fired.

Wegweiser, a 24-year veteran, was the duty captain last May 30 when Verdon filed an aggravated harassment complaint against the cop.

According to internal investigative reports, Wegweiser was preoccupied at the time with investigating a traffic summons issued to an influential Queens politician for allegedly driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

State Sen. Emanuel Gold (D-Queens) had complained to Police Commissioner Howard Safir about the ticket, and Wegweiser was fielding calls from the first deputy commissioner and top chiefs who wanted updates.

Wegweiser told Internal Affairs investigators that when he tried to brief former NYPD Transportation Chief Kenneth Donohue about the harassment complaint, Donohue indicated he was more concerned about Gold's summons.

The captain rejected a sergeant's suggestion to interview Verdon immediately, deciding it would be handled by transit officials since Dilbert was a transit cop.

Verdon's complaint bounced around the NYPD bureaucracy for 11 days while top brass tried to figure out whose jurisdiction the complaint fell under. She was gunned down the day her complaint was finally assigned to a detective.

Sources said Wegweiser has been offered a deal to avoid a dismissal trial by forfeiting 30 days' pay, then retire.

His lawyer, Philip Karasyck, declined to comment on any negotiations.

"It is our hope that the department will deal with him in a fair and judicious manner based on his record and the facts," Karasyck said.


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WHEN ABUSE WEARS BLUE - A special report.; New York Police Lag in Fighting Domestic Violence by Officers
New York Times
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI AND KEVIN FLYNN
November 1, 1998
[Excerpts] ...Bliss Verdon thought the Police Department could help her when her former boyfriend, a transit police officer, began harassing her in May 1997. When Ms. Verdon, a 25-year-old social worker, reported that Officer Rodney Dilbert had left an angry and abusive diatribe on her answering machine, a sergeant went to her home in Queens to investigate. While he was there, Officer Dilbert called and the sergeant took the telephone, saying he would handle the matter "cop to cop," according to a police report. He scolded Officer Dilbert, but filed no official report with the Internal Affairs Bureau. Three weeks later Officer Dilbert was back. He trailed Ms. Verdon on the subway, shoved her into a parked car and tried to force his way into the office building where she worked, according to police records. Frightened, she went to the 115th Precinct station house near her home to file a complaint. But police commanders who would speak only on the condition of anonymity said precinct supervisors were delayed in investigating the complaint because they were busy handling another matter... Two days later, officials decided Officer Dilbert was not an imminent threat and took no action. Although Ms. Verdon called the station again, it was not until June 10 that her complaint was assigned to transit investigators. By then it was too late. That evening, Officer Dilbert killed Ms. Verdon, shooting her eight times with his service pistol while she used a phone booth near her home. Then he killed himself. Police Commissioner Howard Safir fired one of the six supervisors involved in the Verdon case and forced another to retire, but he said the tragedy was caused by a failure of "individuals, not the system." Ms. Verdon's mother, Jo-Ann Cote, still blames the department. "My daughter didn't have to die," Ms. Cote said. "She did everything she could do to make them aware of this man threatening her, this man who had their gun. The Police Department just didn't want to deal with it." Ms. Verdon's case is an example of why domestic violence experts say the spouses of abusive police officers are especially vulnerable. Officers are often reluctant to turn in their colleagues. And some abusive officers use their connections inside the criminal justice system to block their victims' appeals for help. Some women are so sure the law enforcement system is stacked against them that they will not report the crime, the experts said. "These women are really all alone out there," said Maria Guarracino, of the Archdiocese of New York, who counsels victims of police spousal abuse. "There are just so few places for them to turn"...
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder-suicide new york state politics]