WTF Law Enforcement? Robert Powell & Paul Schene Exercise Authority

By Garth O'Brien | March 30, 2009 
Filed Under OFF TOPIC

Dallas, Texas. This post will get a lot of heated comments. The cop haters will come out of the wood work to disparage police officer Robert Powell. They will call for his job and some will demand he suffer physical pain.

Then a wave of supporters will comment stating it is alright for cops to make mistakes. That they risk their lives and put up with the dregs of society so they should be allowed an off day here and there. Some people will actually claim it is okay for a police officer to act the way Robert Powell did when he stopped NFL running back Ryan Moats.

Here is the story and then we will move on to my rant and utter disgust for law enforcement because of incidents like this. Ryan Moats was on his way to Baylor Regional Medical Center with his wife and father in-law as passengers. They received word that his mother in-law was dying and the family needed to arrive soon to say their goodbyes.

As Moats neared the hospital he was confronted with a red traffic light. Since time was of the essence and there were no vehicles in the intersection or approaching the intersection Moats proceeded against the red light. Officer Robert Powell was observed this and conducted a traffic stop. Moats came to a stop in the parking lot of the hospital.

Moats and family informed Powell about their situation, but Powell needed to exercise his authority and detain everyone. Of course tempers began to rise and so did everyone’s voice. Powell drew his gun. Please keep in mind Moats ran a red light, and then explained they were at the hospital to see their dying mom, wife and mother in-law. Powell drew his gun. Moats’ wife, Tanisha, ran into the hospital against Powell’s commands. This further aggravated Texas’ finest.

Moats and his father in-law did not disobey the officer and while they were detained Jo died. Officer Powell is on leave and has since apologized.

Now for the rant. What is with our law enforcement? Why do so many think they deserve to treat every citizen they come into contact with in a rude and abrasive manner? Why do they continue to ignore the facts they are presented? Why do they act above the law?

These are timely questions and can easily be answered in part with the recent incident in Oakland. Two officers were killed conducting a traffic stop. Two more were killed by the same individual during an arrest attempt. Traffic stops can be just as dangerous are serving an arrest warrant or apprehending criminals in the act.

However, the police need to start using their deductive reasoning and perspective powers. Moats and family were not a threat. Moats and family did not deserve Powell’s treatment. Let them visit the dying relative and write the ticket later.

Then we have the stellar King County Deputy Paul Schene that royally beat a 15 year old girl, Malika Calhoun. The suspect was already in custody and being placed in a cell. This means she has already been searched for weapons and processed or will be processed. As Schene is shutting the door the Calhoun kicks her shoe at Schene. Schene takes this opportunity to ultimately destroy this foul mouthed disrespectful teenager and destroy her he does. She is slammed head first into the wall. Yanked by her hair to the ground. Punched mutliple times to the back and head.

Schene claims the shoe caused him to bleed. Even so buddy, just shut the door and add a criminal charge of assault. Then go get a band-aid and fix your boo boo.

What is wrong with our law enforcement? Of course the response is, “only a few are the bad apples.” Yes, but there are so many bad apples, and good cops ignore the bad ones. The public does not know or hear the truth. I have several friends from various law enforcement agencies, and I know many former staff members of various local enforcement agencies.

I have been told our men in blue use our confiscated illegal fireworks at their parties. I know that quite a few officers have been stopped for DUI, but are allowed to continue on their way home or are allowed to hail a cab instead of being arrested. I know some officers that like “investigating” the drunks at Pioneer Square because they usually make one mistake that will lead to a “legal” beat down. That is the problem because these incidents are widely known among the ranks.

The majority of the good cops turn their eye or condone the conduct and behavior of the bad cops. They protect the thin blue line and betray their oath to protect and serve. I could care less if you never break a rule and treat every citizen with the utmost respect. If you turn a blind eye to the actions of officers like Schene and Powell you are just as bad.

How many of you citizens work for a company that would tolerate you hiding evidence that your colleague is embezzling? How many of your supervisors would be fine with your entire team missing a deadline because your team is protecting one colleague that created the poor software code, or missed a legal brief filing date? In the real world the citizens suffer consequences for the failure to do their best. Our police officers are only punished when caught on video like Schene or they mess with someone famous as did Powell.

Please comment away. Tell me how I am crazy and cops should act anyway they want because of their stressful job. Tell me how we should burn them at the stake because all cops are bad. However, I really hope someone out there believes there is a happy balance and what is needed are adequate performance reviews and serious misconduct investigations that lead to serious and reasonable consequences. Burn the thin blue line and start running your organizations properly. It only takes a few bad apples to turn an entire community against the majority of good officers.

DUI Blog Comments

11 Responses to “WTF Law Enforcement? Robert Powell & Paul Schene Exercise Authority”

  1. Las Vegas DUI Lawyer on March 30th, 2009 10:30 pm

    Ok the first story, almost made me cry. I assume everyone in the car was black. I would have told the father to run inside as well. That has to be the most… no i take that back, I have even more ridiculous cop stories. Here in sunny Las Vegas, cops have done MULTIPLE drive by shootings.

    What’s insane is [and I’m thoroughly researching our DUI laws, compared to other countries] our laws are out of whack with the crimes. And, it stems from private prisons, not from a lack of citizen cooperation.

  2. george on April 15th, 2009 5:05 am

    You are an idiot. If the officer beat her so badly, why were there no injuries? Why was medical care not required? The truth is that he roughed the disrespectful junior criminal up, but did not really hurt her. It was a very measured response, not a beating as you say. If anyone with fighting skills were to really try to hurt a person, serious medical care would be required (like the Chris Brown incident)

    Quite honestly, the disrespectful little brat deserved a \roughing up.\ Her verbal abuse of the officers and overall disrespect was the greater “moral” offense.

    One who respects authority and the police.

  3. Garth O'Brien on April 15th, 2009 7:40 am

    You have issues if you think it is a police officer’s duty to “rough up” anyone to teach them respect.

    Watch the video. Her shoe would not have caused a bleeding injury. Having her head slammed into a concrete wall and then smashed against a concrete floor is going to hurt. And you say this is necessary because she is a brat?

    Our police officers are supposed to protect and serve. They are not supposed to determine which crime the suspect will be charged with, and they do not determine guilt of the punishment if found guilty. They stop crimes using a level of force proportional to the occasion.

    Clearly, he went above and beyond. Why do we know this? Because he is now criminally charged with assault. Prosecutors DO NOT criminally charge police officers unless that officer seriously messed up.

    Thank you for expressing your opinion in such a civilized manner.

  4. george on April 15th, 2009 4:39 pm

    Your are a fool and probably have a low IQ as well as evidenced by the conclusions you draw based on limited information. I have no compunction to be civilized with you: you are making a judgment based on information you added to the facts and are condemning the officer on that uninformed basis. You are playing with a public servant’s life here. You are adding your uninformed interpretation of what you think happened. While you may think she was “beat”, she was not. There were no injuries that required any medical care. If anyone with any fighting training were to “beat” someone, they would require serious medical care.

    The police are assaulted all the time and very often those assaults are by women and, yes, young women too. Largely because people think they are “weak” and not a threat, society also lets them get away with it. The police lay their lives on the line for American’s fat lazy asses and they are entitled to the benefit of the doubt.. You are not giving that benefit. Just because she is small doesn’t mean she wasn’t dangerous and wasn’t going to throw something else at the officer.

    And yes, I think morally the teenager’s abuse of the officers was a worse moral offense the roughing up she got. Do you know that that little hood was changed just recently with threatening someone’s life? Personally, I would treat the verbal and physical abuse of the officers alone as a crime in its own right and use a penalty like caning (Singapore has the right idea!). Such disrespect for authority should not e tolerated.

  5. george on April 16th, 2009 6:39 am

    As civilians we don’t typically have the experience of people assaulting us in our work and we don’t have the fear or the memories of someone trying to kill us (the Pedro Jo shooting) and believing we would have died had we not prevailed (read the transcript of the incident). We have not seen out fellow workers (officers) die through the actions of a criminal when our fellow officer did not react forcefully enough to protect himself. Such incidents scar officers emotionally and mentally. Given a choice between choosing to act or even over react to defend one’s self, or choosing to weigh every situation giving the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt and raising the probability that I might die, I would choose the quick and even over reaction rather politically correct passivity.

    Even though I am a civilian, in some sense I can identify and officer might have. I was brought up in a rough school and was beat up all the time until I studied martial arts (30 years practice now). I have the memories of being threatened, hurt, and bruised and bleeding. I was hurt quite badly in one case. My rough neighborhood gave me the opportunity to use my training multiple times. If a teenage girl had thrown something at me (I make no distinction between gender or size in the case of a physical threat), I believe I would take her down hard enough to stop her from throwing something else. Grabbing by the hair is a standard take down and come-along technique: it’s no big deal.

    Even if there was an overreaction, perhaps given the stress of the job and memories of friends dying or almost being killed one’s self, I see such an over reaction as understandable even if not entirely justifiable. The officer has served the community and country for years and protected you, me and your family and put himself at risk to do it: does all that service count for nothing simply because of one incident? Is his entire life defined by society by this one video?

    The court has the facts and the court will decide: I suspect their judgment will be far less harsh than I have been reading on the messages boards.

  6. DUI Lawyers on April 22nd, 2009 9:28 am

    I agree Garth, George has got issues. I hink George is maybe a police officer and is standing up for his fellow officers.

    I think we all understand that police work can be very stressful and that each police department needs to implement regular performance reviews and psychological reviews to make sure that the officer in question is capable of handling a certain situation.

    The video clearly shows that there was no imminent danger and the officer did not need to use excessive force to control the suspect. I would be very curious to know as to whether or not he officer in question has had disciplinary problems in the past.

  7. Chuck on April 24th, 2009 11:32 am

    George, what barn were you raised in? I assume you don’t have kids and if you do, I worry about their welfare. Do your research. The girl had breathing problems after the beating. This is what prompted the removal and viewing of the video. I know of a school cop who was charged with sexually harassing a junior high boy at school. Of course, he was exonerated because almost always, they usually are.
    My own daughter and her best friend told me about how they observed this same cop press his crotch into a girl’s backside at the school. Yes, let’s just blindly respect him and his “authority and power”. Now go watch some more cartoons.

  8. Garth O'Brien on April 24th, 2009 2:46 pm

    George,

    My IQ is probably as high as all the prosecuting attorneys that reviewed the evidence and decided to file criminal charges against the officer. Our law enforcement officers are not responsible for teaching individuals manners or respect. They are also not allowed to use disproportional levels of force given the circumstances. Schene did and therefore is facing criminal charges.

  9. George on April 26th, 2009 8:28 pm

    Chuck,

    The girl probably had breathing problems related to anxiety…nothing more. I think, everything the officer did was reasonable up to the point where he swung at her on the ground: we don’t know if he actually hit her.

    Problem is that the vast majority of Americans are not trained in fighting or take down techniques and so they tend to over interpret the video. The push kick is a standard defensive technique and grabbing the hair is a widely used come along and take down technique. I learned both of those techniques in my training and I can use the techniques on people without hurting them. It is not a big deal and it didn’t hurt her.

    No, I am not a cop. I am a former martial arts teacher and I do work with cops at times in some volunteer work I do. I also have relatives who are cops.

    I would refuse to convict the cop if I were on his jury.

  10. George on May 1st, 2009 11:30 pm

    Chuck,

    I have 4 children, all grown. My children never did and never would never speak so abusively to or assault a police officer as this hood did. . If one of them did, I would shake the officer’s and thank the officer for teaching my child a lesson and respect for authority. I would then take my child home, we would put on the martial arts sparring gear and I would rough him up myself for second “lesson” of respect.

    This was a very controlled response from the officer and he did not hurt the girl, just roughed her up. I would have a different view if he actually hurt my child. I would even offer that such an object lesson might even save my child’s life: threaten people, assault people and treat them with such contempt and abuse and odds are that she will eventually come across a person who will retaliate and really hurt her. I actually know of a class bully from my high school who was shot and killed in his mid 20’s by an 80 year old man he was “road raging” at. The man emptied both barrels of shotgun into him and the tough bully died a few minutes later.

    This teenager has a history of offenses and repeated run ins with authority and treating people abusively.. This is not the girls first run in and from what I know of her she has many more from school incidents, as well a changed for felony assault. She is about as close to evil incarnate as any one I ever known and I predict she will live out her life in jail or die young.

    I am astounded at the depravity of your value system where you attribute the worse offense to the officer. On a moral scale of 1-10 (10 being worst) I would rate the officers action a 2 and the girls abuse of the officers a 7.

  11. km...uk on May 23rd, 2009 1:31 am

    george u f_ckin wanker