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I blew a gasket over the idiotic coverage of New Mexico State Trooper Bert Lopez, caught on surveillance cam in uniform, having sex with a woman on the hood of a car.  (TYT’s coverage was among the most obnoxious — surprise!).  Many civilian males, including Cenk, thought that was awesome, no harm no foul.  At most they were annoyed about the waste of tax dollars.  ::face palm::

Now we have Santa Fe PD Sergeant Mike Eiskant, forced into retirement after being caught on dash cam masturbating.  Fortunately there were some actual journalists involved in this, and they did their homework instead of giving him a big pat on the back and a gift subscription to Brazzers.

From the Huff Po article (which got tagged “weird news,” though it’s common as dirt IMO):

On Thursday, he entered a plea of no contest before Bernalillo County District Court Judge Reed Sheppard to two counts of attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment), one count of stalking, two counts of harassment and other charges including larceny and possession of marijuana, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Seven of the charges occurred in 2011 and the counts of false imprisonment, stalking and harassment relate to traffic stops involving female drivers, according to the criminal complaint.
This is why the Bert Lopez thing was not OK, in case you’re still not clear on this concept.  Or if you still think Cenk makes the team.
Former officer Shannon Brady told KOB-TV in a follow-up report that … she … tried to bring a harassment complaint against Eiskant years ago to the Santa Fe police department’s human resource division that was handled by then human resource compliance officer Raymond Rael, who has since been promoted to chief of police.
“They had plenty of opportunities over the course of many years to do something about it and they refused to,” Brady told the station.
Almost as if there were a down side to the whole “boys will be boys” culture, go figure.  Note that Brady is now a “former officer” (like Calvin Chang, who complained about UC Davis’ own “Sergeant Pepperspray” Lt. Pike) and Eiskant retired a sergeant.
The former officer said when she went to file her claim, Rael … offered mediation with Eiskant which she declined.
So Rael, instead of supporting this female officer against a male co-worker, about whom there were many rumors of sexual misconduct, wanted her to have a sit-down with him; he accused her of just making it up because so many other women had also complained about him doing the same things.  Then when the local news caught him on tape, Rael had no knowledge of any misconduct.  He gets away with that because of people like Cenk.
Rael also denied knowing why Eiskant was given the badge number 69 when he was promoted to sergeant.

“Is it possible that it is coincidental?” Rael said. “I suppose, but I can’t speak to that issue one way or another.”

From my amateur observation, the three main self-destruct mechanisms for public safety personnel are alcoholism, PTSD, and sexual misconduct.  When you see one of those, be on the lookout for the others.  This job kills people, understand that.  Any unhealthy tendencies the person already had are likely to increase.  Once any of these issues becomes a problem, it’s not going to get better without help — which doesn’t happen in our broken system.

The kicker, though, is this:

In return for pleading no contest, Eiskant agreed he “will never again become a law enforcement officer anywhere in the United States,” according to a statement from Attorney General Gary King’s office.
Why is that necessary?  Because bad cops get re-hired through the good old boy network all the time.  Especially in New Mexico.  For example, if you work in the City of Albuquerque, that’s in the County of Bernalillo, in the State of New Mexico; those have three separate, large police departments.  Then there are neighboring jurisdictions you can bounce to, if nobody’s interested in finding out what a bad cop you are, which they aren’t.  There should be no question of him "agreeing not to," he should be "automatically and permanently barred."
Eiskant does not face any jail time, but the attorney general’s agreement states “probation length, at initial sentencing, shall not exceed one year, and may be converted to unsupervised probation, in the discretion of the court, after any mandatory counseling has been completed.”
Is that OK with you folks, especially you fans of The Young Turks?  This cop pulls women over, falsely detains them for his sexual gratification, takes their personal information from their driver’s licenses and stalks them, intimidates female co-workers, does whatever he wants to any woman he encounters, and nobody does a damned thing.  Does that work for you?

You may be saying, “C’mon, Xave, this is a New Mexico thing.”  Check out the Cop Talk Radio show about Charlie Hoeffer, (among other dirtbags) still on the job doing pretty much the same things Eiskant did, but in Florida.  This stuff is deeply ingrained in the culture.  Don’t take my word for it, take it from a cop on the anonymous police boards for Palm Beach County:

Anonymous poster:  Everybody seems shocked that this Hoeffer is still a cop? It’s real simple, he’s one of many examples of the bad cops that the PBA [PBSO's union, linked to the Colombo family] protects. Just look no further than their reps and lawyers for Christ’s sake. The background checks and job performance history are as bad or worst than the cops in the Shores. He has been a union rep in every department he has worked and is now one here at Palm Beach Shores. These dirty cops continue to hide behind the PBA’s badge of protection unfortunately mostly just the bad cops need defense mechanisms.

Originally posted to Xavier Onassis EMT-P on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group and Whistleblowers Round Table.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They assumed it was consensual ? (3+ / 0-)

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:32:03 AM PDT

    •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, ruleoflaw, Lorikeet, phonegery

      Incredibly, Cenk never for a second considered that (a) the police officer was definitely on duty, and that woman isn't his wife, (b) she could be someone he pulled over at a traffic stop, (c) she could be a prostitute he's shaking down, (d) she could be someone who, for example, runs a meth lab that he somehow never discovers, (e) someone may be in dire need of police assistance at the moment which they're not getting.

      It's a major problem.

      •  I can see if they jumped to the conclution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xavier Onassis EMTP, phonegery

        that it was consensual they would fail to see the problems .
        If after what you have said they don't see the problems , that would be something to really question .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:59:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, they don't! (0+ / 0-)

          Actually Cenk, after having my numerous objections brought to his attention, punched down at me (and another DK blogger) on air about it, making it clear that we were ridiculous.  It was obvious he hadn't bothered to actually read the information, either.  Here's my blog on it:
          http://medic343.wordpress.com/...  

          Check out 33:48 in this clip.

          He doesn't give a shit about journalism, especially not citizen journalism.  He's a sensationalist, self-serving, sexist hack.

          •  "in fact we did find out it was consensual" ? (0+ / 0-)

            34:14 ish

            He claims to have found out that it was "consensual" ?
            But he does not put up the method he used to find that out ?
            How did he find it to be in fact "consensual" ?

            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

            by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:22:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's part of the whole (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indycam

              thing that drives me insane about these people.

              The IA report concluded that it was consensual.  So in other words, his friends who already know he's a prick checked to see if it was cool, and surprise! they found it was cool.  They did fire him though, because whether it was consensual or not, there was nothing OK about it.  

              I note that Cenk has called bullshit on self-investigation by both Wall Street and the Catholic Church.  Not sure why he thinks it works fine when dirty cops do it.  Maybe because they tickle his balls.

              Even if it was consensual, who is that woman?  Does she have any criminal history?  There are so many ways consensual sex can be terribly wrong.

              This article is written in a humorous style to address a timely issue, however if you go down to the middle you'll see a mind-boggling litany of misconduct that one department has admitted to, including sexual and criminal.

              Ultimately it would be really helpful if civilians could follow our lead when we bring up issues, rather than forcing us to argue every little point.  (I'm not saying you're doing that, but it happens a lot when I try to bring stuff up.)

              •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Xavier Onassis EMTP
                There are so many ways consensual sex can be terribly wrong.
                I read a story once that cops "get a lot" .
                That they get rewarded / gifted sex a great deal .
                It might have been in the New Yorker .
                That they get some so that the cop will go easy on the woman's man , so that the cop will protect the woman from her man , etc etc etc .

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:57:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I don't care if it were consensual (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xavier Onassis EMTP, stunvegas

          The PD's motto is "to protect and to serve" Any cop having sex while on duty may be servicing but he is not serving and may be using protection but he is not protecting

          •  That's my point too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord

            Aside from the many different ways this could be a serious criminal problem, as you mentioned below -- public safety is a team sport.  While he's doing this, there's one less person running calls.

            Put it this way:  how does TYT know that there isn't a woman stranded in a broken down car out in BFE, not getting cell phone reception out in the desert, with a screaming child boiling in a car seat, while this is going on?  If only a state trooper would come by and help out.  

            And you know, if someone had died from lack of assistance while Lopez was doing the above, and TYT found out about it, they'd be screaming for blood because that jerk was off doing the nasty while he should've been working.  Seriously, they make my head explode with their aggressive stupidity.

          •  It does matter . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xavier Onassis EMTP

            Its two very different things .
            One is a wrist slap the other is jail time .
            And in this case , I'm thinking jail time .

            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

            by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:24:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The fact (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              indycam

              that this guy has unlawfully detained women at vehicle stops for sexual purposes should be a humongous red flag.  I'm willing to bet that if there were any interest in prosecuting him -- which there obviously isn't -- they'd find a lot of women who've been seriously harmed by this out of control asshole.

              •  Some jail time for the people helping him (0+ / 0-)

                avoid jail time would not be bemoaned by me .

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:47:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The most important thing (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  indycam, entlord

                  IMHO would be to have more civilians understanding the dynamics at play, and supporting those of us who seek to change the system from inside.

                  We have an uphill battle in getting people to understand what we're trying to tell them; unfortunately it's not a level playing field in terms of information, whereas the public generally perceives that it is.  

                  See:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Also, a lot of people are heavily invested in not criticizing Cenk.  Please help us to help you.

                  •  I've said in the past , (0+ / 0-)

                    when I am made king all cops will video everything they do on the job . From the moment they start their working day by punching the time clock until they punch out .

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:16:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Honestly (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't think that's the right approach, though I get where you're coming from.  Think about it, would you agree to that in your work environment?  These people are under extreme stressors anyway, does that seem likely to make them more stable?  Who would want to work under those conditions?

                      I think the main thing that needs to happen is for citizens to take up the habit of listening to us.  If we were allowed to create some transparency -- and garner significant civilian support -- we could drastically improve the quality of public service.  Seriously, ethical cops get crushed by the system, and no civilians pipe up in support, then civilians wonder why cops are such a bunch of jerks.

                      It's a bit maddening, really.  The key is for civilians to take more responsibility, which is why it doesn't happen.

                      •  They are given great power over people . (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        stunvegas

                        They are allowed to break laws that you and I are fined for .
                        They are given fire arms .
                        With all that they are "powerful" .
                        We expect them to hold themselves to a high standard .
                        They are our employes , we should be able to watch and judge what they do while we are paying them .

                        Think about it, would you agree to that in your work environment?  These people are under extreme stressors anyway, does that seem likely to make them more stable?  Who would want to work under those conditions?
                        There are many jobs that are videoed , bank tellers , casino employes , cash register people , etc etc etc . Working and having everything you do on tape is already done .
                        And it works both ways , it protects cops from false claims against them also .

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:42:55 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Right (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          entlord

                          I understand that.

                          I think what civilians don't really get a sense of is the internal friction.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of people inside public safety agencies who definitely understand that they work for the public, and who do go above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis.  There is a huge sense of duty among ethical first responders.

                          I guess it's counterintuitive to people, that sometimes the right way to get someone to respond is to back off a little.  Civilian pressure is definitely needed to force change; however, it won't work under civilian direction.  That's maybe the counterintuitive part.  

                          Put it this way:  ethical officers have a much clearer picture of what needs to change, and how, than civilians ever could; if they had strong civilian backing, the system would be forced to change in a way that worked for the citizens overall.

                          People don't see that they need to address the root causes.  Constant video surveillance would only treat the symptoms -- ineffectively.  For one thing, cops do all kinds of things that would be very hard to videotape.  Secondly, someone has to review the tapes and confront wrongdoing -- who?

                          This is the thing:  they already know who the no-goodnicks are.  They don't need video.  They know.  They protect them.  That's the problem.

                          •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Xavier Onassis EMTP
                            For one thing, cops do all kinds of things that would be very hard to videotape.  Secondly, someone has to review the tapes and confront wrongdoing -- who?
                            In my case the judge would have , he could have seen who was and was not telling the truth .

                            If a civilian thinks he or she has been treated unfairly , abused , etc , the tape could be played back before the officers superiors and the person . If it backs up the complaint then its no longer a civilians word against a cop .

                            As is now , the cop has the home field advantage , knows from day in and day out practice how to play the games to win against an unpracticed civilian .  

                            A tape allows the superiors to see what is being done now out of their sight . It allows supervisors to supervise what is really happening out in the field where the cop is now unsupervised .

                            If the cop wore a video camera , it would be hard not to see / hear problem behavior . Cameras have become very small and light weight .
                            Have you ever seen the cat cams ?
                            Someone put a small camera on a cat and watched where it traveled around to .
                             

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:34:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cat cam!! (0+ / 0-)

                            wheeeee!!!!  Love that.

                            I see what you're saying.  I think there's another distinction to be made, though.

                            The deal is, there's a lot of shady crap between police departments, prosecutors and judges.  It's one of those things where you can't force anyone to see what they refuse to see, even with a videotape.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
                            http://medic343.wordpress.com/...

                            I think that if citizens got on board with ethical first responders, pressure could be much more effectively applied.  For example, the people at PBSOtalk.com have started a "Brady list," where anyone can go to find out who the cops are that other cops would warn you about if they could.  But they can't.  Then if you went to court it wouldn't just be your word against his; you'd have the same inside knowledge that the prosecutors surely have.  As it stands now, they leverage the fact that you don't know.

                            There are a lot of situations where, if there were some way for a decent cop to get a citizen's attention, that citizen would walk out of court and probably sue the city and win, on top of it.  Here's another example:
                            http://medic343.wordpress.com/...

                            I think that if civilians could understand this tweak that needs to happen in their viewpoint, we would win this.

                          •  The best press in the world would not (0+ / 0-)

                            have helped me . They were not there .

                            A list of bad cops would not have helped me . I could not ask him to stop while I checked a list to see if his abuse of me was a one off or part of a pattern .

                            There are a lot of situations where, if there were some way for a decent cop to get a citizen's attention, that citizen would walk out of court and probably sue the city and win, on top of it.
                            If a decent cop tried to help me , I don't know that it would do any good . He was not there , he can't get on the stand and say much .

                            Your two links seem to go to the same same .

                            Time for lunch .
                            Talk with you in a few hours if you are still around / care to .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            indycam

                            Second link s/b:
                            http://medic343.wordpress.com/...

                            The thing is, when good cops are allowed to spill the beans on bad cops, and citizens listen, prosecutors and judges can't pretend that the bad cop is legit -- which is likely already known to them, because they see the same goober cops in court all the time.  

                            Good cops hate working with these douchebags for this reason; if the defendant's lawyer is on the ball, they can find out about serious credibility problems with bad cops and bring them up in court, forcing the judge's hand.  Judges are prone to going with the flow for political reasons, until they're forced not to.  The question isn't what they know, it's what you can prove they know.

                            This is a really important subtlety that I'm not sure people understand.

      •  we actually had such an event locally (0+ / 0-)

        Mayor used his influence to help guy make it through academy since he was functionally illiterate and was on his last attempt to pass certification.  Once on the job, there were complaints about his taking female motorists back to town hall and pressuring them for sex in exchange for dropping speeding charges (speed limit is 15mph).  He was also caught padding his time card, clocking in and then going home or even leaving town for the weekend.  He was logging 100 hrs per week.
        His downfall was shaking down a motorist who took him to a bank ATV where he was videoed receiving $150 in a bribe.  The motorist filed a complaint with the state law enforcement division immediately along with his bank receipts  and he had retained the ripped up ticket fragments.  
        The outcome?  Guy agreed in a plea bargain to resign and never work in LE again    

      •  Amen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xavier Onassis EMTP

        Cenk releases his inner horndog in the video and, not surprisingly, sounds like a douchebag.

        The Gospel according to X:

        From my amateur observation, the three main self-destruct mechanisms for public safety personnel are alcoholism, PTSD, and sexual misconduct.  When you see one of those, be on the lookout for the others.  This job kills people, understand that.  Any unhealthy tendencies the person already had are likely to increase.  Once any of these issues becomes a problem, it’s not going to get better without help — which doesn’t happen in our broken system.
        You nailed it, X.

        In the system I worked in, we had an Employee Assistance Program that saved some people's careers (and a few marriages as well). It was, however, totally voluntary.

        There were cases where officers played the system to avoid write-ups and discipline by pretending to seek help with no intention of changing their behavior. There were other cases of fools whose denial was so deep that they got themselves fired without ever admitting they might have a problem.

        The remedial program worked if you really wanted help.

        I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

        by ruleoflaw on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:16:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks Al (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ruleoflaw

          Glad to know I'm not losing my mind.

          In other news, have you heard of narcotic addicted prisoners being given methadone on their way into jail (to prevent withdrawals) then being beaten until they puke by other inmates, who then eat the puke to get the methadone?  I heard this from another medic who swears it's true.

          Also, do you know Chief Crouper's blog, improving police?  He's in your AO.

  •  Is that a dog watching them? (0+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:38:55 AM PDT

  •  There is a phenomenon called "gypsy cops" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP

    though they exist in every profession, who are minimally competent but also have major problems in carrying out their job duties.  They usually are hired and then when everything hits the fan, are given the choice to resign or be fired, even when they have committed crimes.  They always resign and move on with a sort of OK recommendation. Tulia TX is the most egregious example perhaps
    http://www.csdp.org/...
    but there are other examples out there, too many examples.  For just a few
    http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/...
    http://videos.mitrasites.com/...
    http://blogs.findlaw.com/...
    http://www.republicmagazine.com/...
    http://www.policeone.com/...

    •  Thanks for that (0+ / 0-)

      that's interesting.  I'm going to have to read up on it some.

      My gut reaction to it, though, is that it's an attempt by poor leadership to deflect attention.  Basically everyone in these jobs judged everybody else, from the minute you walk in the door at the academy.  They're very small worlds, too.  So it shouldn't be really surprising when you find out someone is a criminal or just a dope.

      What I've seen an awful lot of is management promoting bad people.  Sounds counterintuitive, I know.  But basically our leadership works for local politicians, who have (a) little or no knowledge of what our jobs actually entail (except Corey Booker!), and (b) their own self-serving agendas.  They despise transparency as a rule.  So they promote shadier people into leadership, who will bridge the gap between Mayor Quimby and getting the calls run.

      Then, if you're that chief, it's very difficult to manage bright people with strong integrity.  So they drive out whistleblowers and promote shithooks.  And it shows in the quality of service to the public.

      Lather, rinse, repeat.

      •  for a quick and dirty look (0+ / 0-)

        the video link has amassed the videos dealing with the topic and gives the most bang for the buck in terms of providing a large number of sites economically, whereas the other sites are primary sites

  •  Immature, but not incorrect (0+ / 0-)

    Cenk always plays the frat boy on the show as he does here. But the take is basically correct: since there is a possible scenario where the activity portrayed in the image could represent nothing more than consensual sex and some poor judgement, we should wait until the facts come in before condemning the officer in the picture.

    As a launching point to talk about police sexual misconduct, therefore, you may be a bit premature. If it turns out the woman is his long-time girlfriend getting a birthday present it's a non-sequiter to talk about stalking, rape, and false imprisonment. Those are serious crimes and I don't doubt police are involved in them more than we are aware, but the connection to the image is at this point an implied one.

    I was bothered that your diary contained no further information about the TYT piece and immediately dove into topics not directly related to it. You jump around talking about several different officers and a completely different police force (Santa Fe PD) from the one the pictured officer is a part of (NM State Patrol). You ask if I'm bothered by cops that use their authority to essentially rape women? Come on. Nothing in the TYT piece implies any such thing.

    •  Thanks for your comments (0+ / 0-)
      Cenk always plays the frat boy on the show as he does here.

      My position is that that's not acceptable, and contributes to the same culture of bad policing that people on DK and TYT fans love to complain about.  You can't have it both ways.  That's why it's included here.  Do you disagree with me that media coverage of public safety stories has a huge influence on public safety culture?  If so, please tell me where you get your information.

      But the take is basically correct: since there is a possible scenario where the activity portrayed in the image could represent nothing more than consensual sex and some poor judgement, we should wait until the facts come in before condemning the officer in the picture.
      Can I ask from what you draw that conclusion?  Like what is your familiarity with law enforcement procedures and culture?  As I discussed in other comments here, even if it were consensual, there is no scenario under which it's A-OK; worse yet, the idea that the facts will all come right in is not borne out by reality.
    •  Not if you tried to do it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP

      There would be ALL KINDS of charges leveled on you.  This is in public, not private.  

      If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

      by tacklelady on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:57:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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