About . . . . . . Classes . . . . . . Books . . . . . . Vita . . . . . . . Links. . . . . . Blog

by Peter Moskos

February 10, 2010

No Sh*t

"A doctor testifying for the defense in the NYPD sodomy trial told jurors on Wednesday that the alleged victim's injuries couldn't have come from a police baton.
...
'Do I have an opinion on it? I don't believe it happened.'"

Both these quotes are from this Daily News article on Mineo.

39 comments:

From Canada said...

PCM,

Have you heard about this huge story up here in Canada?

An Air Force colonel who is the commander of Canada's largest airbase may turn out to have been a serial killer. He's been charged with two murders, and two separate home invasions. They are currently examining cold cases from around the country where he's been posted in the past. He was considered a rising star, and was a possible candidate for commander of the Air Force.
This is the biggest story here in Canada right now.

PCM said...

Heard of a Canadian news story? Sheeeee-it, I'm an American; I've barely heard of Canada!

Seriously though, no. But I'll check it out.

Buddy Hinton said...

Let me see if I have this straight. Officer Maloney says that the incident happened because he was there and saw it happen.

Professor Kubic says that it could not have happened because he punched holes in a couple pairs of boxers and everytime he managed to make the hole come out a different shape than what Mineo's had.

The Doctor says that everybody he knows who has objects put up in that place ends up with tons of bruises and a broken tailbone. Oh, and he also says that Mineo had a pre-existing infection of some type so that is another reason it couldn't have happened the way Officer Maloney said because people with pre-existing infections are never brutalized by policeman.

They were on a subway platform, but somehow there was no video.

Hmmmmmm. Guess which side I am leaning toward.

PCM said...

How did Officer Maloney say it happened? He was there and testified that no baton went up anybody's rectum.

And what does "somehow there was no video" mean? Er... most of the subway has no video.

Buddy Hinton said...

Maloney testimony:

A half inch to an inch of the baton disappeared from his sight, he said, as it was pressed into “Mineo’s butt crack.”
. . .
After Mr. Mineo was handcuffed and helped upright by the officers, he asked, “Why did you stick that walkie-talkie up my ass?” Officer Maloney testified. Soon afterward, he said, Officer Kern described Mr. Mineo as an “E.D.P.,” police shorthand for an emotionally disturbed person.

. . .

But Officer Maloney said he did see Mr. Mineo show the officers his hands after they placed him in a patrol car. “There is blood on it,” Officer Maloney said.


Surveillance cameras on NYC subways:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/19/terror/main1726990.shtml
(over a thousand cameras)

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7129075

PCM said...

A baton on somebody's buttcrack is far different than a baton going in anywhere. I'm not saying either is good, but there's a big and important difference there. Not the least of which one is a crime and one isn't

And I kind of discount much of what Mineo says because I think he's a liar.

And regarding subway cameras... I don't think you have any idea of the scale of the system. 1,000 cameras is nothing.

There are 468 subway stops in NYC. And each platform (and most subway stops have two or more) is more than 300 feet long. That's like 12 miles of platforms, not counting entrances and turnstile areas and mezzanines. Or bus stops!

No doubt the MTA has Grand Central well covered. Probably with 50 cameras. But most subway stops have none at all.

Buddy Hinton said...

Couple of points:

1. The Prospect Park station has at least one:

http://www.examiner.com/x-31526-Brooklyn-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m1d26-Tempers-flare-in-2nd-day-of-alleged-NYPD-sodomy-attack-trial

Just none that show alleged sodomy somehow.

2. How many inches of penetration is required for aggravated sexual abuse in NYS? I am ashamed to say that I honestly don't know.

3. But, lets forget about the cameras for a sec, and forget even about the fact that the transit Officer was not in a position to accurately measure the penetration depth. You know they are guilty for the lack of a police report. If policemen justifiably rough up an detainee who then turns around and falsely claims that he was anally raped during the arrest, then that encounter gets documented. That is not a case where police are trained to let the detainee go. That is not a case where the police are trained to overlook the pot charge (which had justified a hard takedown moments earlier). That is not a case where the obstruction charge is excused (at least not be the police). However, the officers involved in this thing didn't arrest the man and didn't otherwise document the incident in any meaningful way. Now I now that this kind of criminal defense work (as opposed to the regular kind) can be good scratch for a professor, but c'mooooooon. Don't let the scent of the money throw off your moral compass like it did to Joe Key and Prof. Kubic. You are better than them!

PCM said...

I wish I were getting paid for this. Money doesn't change my opinions, but I sure do like getting paid for my opinions!

1) There is an camera outside the Prospect Park subway station. And it shows Mineo to be lying (or at least walking awfully well for just having been the victim of of an anal rape).

I'm done debating the point about cameras. There is no camera where this incident happened. If you can find a camera there, then we can continue this camera discussion. If not, please consider your overly active imagination.

2) Any penetration would be enough. The point is there was ZERO penetration. Hence no crime.

3) I write here in large part to education non-police about the police world.

So here goes, please understand why it seems absurd to defend standard legal operating procedure against some grand conspiracy charge

There is no reason for a police report in this situation. I understand that in some ideal world perhaps it would seem like there should be some written documentation of this and all police actions. A criminal citation is considered documentation. No further documentation is required or expected.

If cops had to write on everything (and the paperwork is already overwhelming) they could do nothing else. Just for fun, you try writing on everything that happens to you one day and see how much you do.

Their supervisor testified how these officers were under orders not to arrest minor offenders. OK? That is not hard to believe. It happens a lot.

So this is a case where police are told to let the guy go. That's what criminal citations are for. That's what they game him. Everything makes sense.

Now let me add this: I will not defend Officer Kern's actions as Officer Maloney testified. If what Maloney says is true, Kern seems like an asshole and bad cop. Fuck him.

But what Mineo says happened simply did not happen. He is a liar.

Buddy Hinton said...

If you can find a camera there, then we can continue this camera discussion.

Freeze frame at 1'20" right edge of screen, one quarter of the way down from the top.

Buddy Hinton said...

Further to prev, Forgot link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epWprXoCYJw

PCM said...

But... that's not where it happened!

Buddy Hinton said...

There is another at 2'10" upper left hand quadrant.

PCM said...

The 2:10 camera I can see. But that's not a security camera. That's a camera linked to a live TV screen also on the platform so the driver or conductor can see the whole 300-foot platform before closing the doors. It is not recorded.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

(And yeah, I am a bit of a foamer who knows far too much about trains and the NYC subway)

Buddy Hinton said...

Look, first there were no cameras there.

Then there was a camera outside, but not inside.

The there are a couple inside, but you think they don't record.

The point is that there are a lot more cameras there than you or I know about or can see or are even allowed to know about. The New York Subway is a prime terrorist target and it is bristling with cameras. The reason that there is no footage of Kern's sexual assault is the same reason that there is no surveillance footage of Oscar Grant's shooting -- that is, the executive branch deletes video that makes them look bad.

And if you think it is impossible to walk normal with an anal fissure, all it means is that you haven't experienced enough anal fissures to understand.

PCM said...

Buddy, what I said is:

1) "Most subway stops have none at all." And they don't, not if there are 1,000 cameras. Not even if 2,000.

And if they do they're watching the entrance and the Metrocard machines (where the money is) and not the platforms.

2) There's no security camera on that platform of that station.

That's it.

If you can show me a security camera in the area where the action happened, I'd like to see it. But you can't because it doesn't exist.

Hey, it might! It's not like I know that subway stop like the back of my hand.

Go there and find it. I'm sure Mineo's lawyers never thought of that one.

Buddy Hinton said...

We won't know what Mineo's lawyers thought of until the civil suit rolls around. At that point, I am sure that the other side will be looking for experts that can say with a straight face: "the only cameras in this station are the ones the public can see and, in my training and experience, none could possibly be hidden. Besides, the MTA has never confided in me that it destroys video that is a potential liability, so it must be that they never destroy video even if it is a potential liability."

Who knows, the civil court might even allow Prof. Kubic to bring in his underwear poking contraption. I, for one, would love to see it. Because it is weirder and more interesting, somehow, than boring old eyewitness testimony. I have even given his device a name. I call it Chewbacca (or "Chewie" for short).

PCM said...

A correction: Mineo alleges that the assault happened on the mezzanine level, near the Metrocard machine. This matches the account of the cops as to where they caught him

A friend of mine went to that exact location and confirms that there are no cameras there.

The prosecution agrees that there are no cameras at that location.

The only camera footage shows Mineo walking away, apparently fine, after all of this.

Nobody thinks police are perfect. But this does not change the fact that Mineo is a lying bastard.

Buddy Hinton said...

First, the camera in the video at 1'20" I pointed out above is on the Mezzanine level by the Metrocard machine.

Second, the metrocard machines themselves have cameras that you cannot see.

Third, the prosecution is not trying very hard for a conviction. Example, when the prosecution's expert said that the blood on Officer Kern's dildo "might" be a match for Mineo, that was intentionally weak. Any DNA match only "might" be a match. No DNA match is 100% certain. DNA experts know how to deal with this when they want a conviction (basically by quantifying the probability of a match). When DNA experts don't want to convict (but cannot exclude) they merely say that there might be a match and leave it at that -- just as they did here. the fact that the prosecution did not hire an independent expert to check for blood in Kern's unmarked car (they had a policewoman do this check instead) is another sign that they are not entirely interested in a conviction here. Prosecution is doing the 1919 White Sox routine. Of course, the prosecution agrees that there are no cameras -- they don't want to win.

Fourth, are you saying that you can tell who has been anally penetrated recently by watching them walk for a few seconds from behind. I can't even tell if he is walking normally, but even if he is, that doesn't mean anything.

Fifth, as bad a liar as Michael Mineo may be, Officer Kern is lying worse.

Sixth, how many disorderly conduct tickets (as opposed to disorderly conduct arrests) did you give?

Buddy Hinton said...

On a side note: what kept Kern from graduating anyway? Was it grades or something else?

Johnny Law said...

"The reason that there is no footage of Kern's sexual assault is the same reason that there is no surveillance footage of Oscar Grant's shooting -- that is, the executive branch deletes video that makes them look bad."

How do you know this? It is easy to make that claim but the simplest explanation is that there is no camera. Cities have released video of cops breaking the law. Why would they cover this up when they are actively having a trial? Makes no sense.

FYI, I've given numerous disorderly conduct tickets. What about it?

Buddy Hinton said...

I think you knew what I was driving at, but let me rephrase so that there is no misundertsnading:

How often have you used your baton to subdue a suspect and then ended up not arresting that suspect?

Johnny Law said...

As a general rule, if I have to use force on someone, then they go to jail instead of a ticket. However there are always exceptions. I remember breaking up a fight one night and we tased a guy who wouldn't stop swinging. We put him in the back of the arrest van with the intent of taking him in a few minutes. It was a busy night with many fights going on so the decision was made to write him a ticket for disorderly conduct even AFTER we tased him. So what?

I also remember another incident where we pepper sprayed several people while fighting and only gave them citations due to us being short on the street. These things happen. It is no big deal.

PCM said...

I maced a guy once and didn't want to lock him up. But then my sergeant gave me one of those, "Are you friggin' crazy" looks. So I locked him up.

And then, Gramps appears and tells me that if I'm going to lock this guy up, I needed to lock up this other guy. There were two brothers fighting and Gramps said it was the other guy, the guy who wasn't maced, who started it all.

I respect my elders.

So they both went.

Buddy Hinton said...

The question was: have you ever used your baton to subdue a suspect and then not locked her up?

Johnny Law said...

And my answer is no I personally have not used my baton and released someone. My point, if you care to hear it, is that if it can happen after a taser is used or a pepper spray, it can happen if a baton is used.

PCM said...

Especially if you're under orders not to arrest people for minor charges.

Buddy Hinton said...

I don't think anything where the officer has to use the baton is considered minor.

I think police officers will OC or taser much more readily than they will resort to baton.

I think both of you two know this, but your blue wall instincts are getting the better of you on this thread. You both seem sincere in your respective beliefs that the tip did not break the briefs, so I don't think there is any way to convince you guys with reason at this point. Nothing short of video would do, and even then I think you would say that Cleetus made a good faith mistake, mistaking Mineo's bottom for his face.

Jury may very well agree with you (this case is impossible to call) in the short run, which would be good for your side. In the long run, it is going to get harder and harder to suppress the relevant videos, which will be good for my side.

Johnny Law said...

What is your side exactly?

Buddy Hinton said...

I usually call it "antithesis" or "yang." More generally speaking, it is the side that value truth and freedom over order and vengeance.

Johnny Law said...

Well I don't think I would call it that. You insist on the idea that there exists video even though you have no such evidence. You would believe that multiple police officers not only ignored but condoned another officer sodomizing someone in the middle of a public area.

However you refuse to believe that a career criminal would be capable of making up such an allegation to collect on a big paycheck from the city. You continue to refuse to believe this despite expert testimony from medical personnel that there is no evidence of such an assault happening.

In my department, I have known officers to turn other cops in for something as minor as using profanity towards a citizen. One got turned in for throwing away a sleeping bag that a homeless person had abandoned. It is ridiculous to think that other officers would risk their careers by covering up sodomizing someone.

You should study up about Occam's Razor and spend less time spinning up conspiracy theories about hidden videos.

Buddy Hinton said...

One of them did turn on Cleetus, saying he saw a butt jab and then blood afterwards. At least one of the others contradicted Cleetus in other respects, while taking the position that he was not watching Mineo's bottomnal area when the rape happened.

As far as the blood in the police car, they sent a fellow policewoman out to clea. . . errr see if it was there. Naughty, naughty.

As far as the DNA and DNA expert, I addressed that in a previous post on this thread.

To summarize: most police did the blue wall thing here, some only partly did it and one outright broke with the blue wall. Diff'rent strokes for diffo cops, I guess.

Buddy Hinton said...

Looks like they just put a policeman (whom the media is calling a "traffic enforcement agent") on the jury. Good news for the rapist. Bad news for the Crip.

Johnny Law said...

"Good news for the rapist."

No innocent until proven guilty when it comes to police huh?

PCM said...

And a strange concept of "rape." Now the officer is guilty of things he's not even accused of! (Though it's worth repeating that Kern, if anything Maloney said is true, is not deserving of our respect or sympathy).

But you do effectively, and no doubt unwittingly, describe the fiction of the "blue wall." If some officers observe it, some don't, and some sort of do... well it's not much of a wall is it?

Buddy Hinton said...

Let's be clear, the Blue Wall was totally in effect here. This case was not started because one of the policemen squealed of his own accord. The case was started because there was some physical evidence of an anal assault, and then later one of the policemen perceived (probably incorrectly) that the damage was going to be pinned on the wrong policeman. IOW, even the one who snitched didn't snitch because a popo object raped (that is what it is called, btw, GOOGLE "Fatty Arbuckle" if you don't believe me) a regular citizen, but rather squealed to protect a fellow brother in blue (the one who said "you liked it" to Mineo).

If there was somehow not a Blue Wall, Officer Kern would have left the subway station in handcuffs, and Officer Cruz would have taken Mineo to the hospital when he saw the blood on his hand, instead of saying "you liked it". That is how this would have gone without a Blue Wall in effect.

Anway, incredibly, they have now put a policeman on the jury and that means that the Blue Wall is back up and Kern will probably walk. And then FOP will have a party. And, yes, the prosecutors will be invited (albeit secretly) because they have managed to win the case for Kern with what they have done and what they have failed to do.

Johnny Law said...

"If there was somehow not a Blue Wall, Officer Kern would have left the subway station in handcuffs, and Officer Cruz would have taken Mineo to the hospital when he saw the blood on his hand, instead of saying "you liked it"."

I know that this is getting circular but, once again, these charges have not been proved in court. I find it very interesting that you are convinced it happened and have already set up in your head some massive conspiracy if the officer is found not guilty. That shows me that you cannot accept the fact that this possibly didn't happen.

Buddy Hinton said...

Not guilty verdict in. Not surprising. No justice.

PCM said...

By definition it is justice. You just don't like it. There's a difference.

PCM said...

In another subway station: "The investigation was hampered because that station has no surveillance cameras in place, a gap in security that is pervasive throughout the subway system."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/nyregion/02arrest.html?ref=nyregion