LE Friendly vs. LE Hostile — Spokane Police Guild’s Forum Discussion
Posted by Arroyoribera on September 3, 2007
(See the end of this article for an update to it added on September 4, 2007 at approximately 11:45 PM)
As readers of this blog know, the Spokane Police Guild maintains a password protected website.
Shortly after I began this blog, I began to notice that my page was being reached by a link or links placed on the forums page of the Spokane Police Guild website. For ex., one of the referring site links which appeared on my blog was http://spokanepoliceguild.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=730 and variations on that (instead of v-web another variation uses ipw-web.)
In an interaction at Frank Sennett’s Hard 7 blog, Spokane Police official Jim Faddis stated first that there was no link to my blog on the Spokane Police Guild forums page and than latter in the same Hard 7 blog wrote that there is such a link to my blog but that it is there by mistake. My response was to tell him not to take us for fools and that obviously it was no mistake.
As far as it goes, it is perfectly fine that the Guild has posted a link to this blog on their website. In fact, I had in a previous post here cordially invited the SPD and its Guild to visit this blog frequently.
I noticed however that when I clicked on the link back to the Spokane Police Guild website, I was taken one page inside their password protected website. This meant that while I could not see the actual comments posted by Guild members — which were also password protected — in their several forum discussions, I could at least see their discussion topics.
You will see in my earlier post about this discovery that I have included a Word version of the text from that Guild forum page.
The topics of discussion at the Guild forum page as of August 3, 2007 were:
1) Guild Business
2) Legislative Announcements: The latest political news from the Guild’s Legislative Reps.
4) General Topics: Rumor Mill and the Kitchen Sink–What’s on your mind? Anything goes.
5) Funny Police Stories: Have hilarious story to share with everyone? Please use common sense!!
6) For Sale: Got something for sale? Is that hard earned cash burning a whole in your pocket? Take a look inside for a great deal.
7) LE Friendly / Hostile Businesses: Do you know a business that is pro-Law Enforcement? How about anti-Law Enforcement? Post them here and let everyone know.
8} Old General Topics Threads
9) Forum Talk: Questions and Help
I must admit I would love to see if stolen property ever shows up on the For Sale forum. And I am certain that there is a great story behind why the Funny Police Stories category of the Guild forum is qualified with the warning “Please use common sense”. (Could it be because police officers have a tendency to embellish stories?)
But what is most interesting and of greatest concern to me is the category “LE Friendly/Hostile Businesses: Do you know a business that is pro-Law Enforcement? How about anti-Law Enforcement? Post them here and let everyone know.”
Are there local espresso stands on the list of law enforcement (LE) hostile businesses because of a lack of “cooperation” by young baristas?
Is the Spokesman-Review characterized by SPD officers as a “law enforcement hostile business” for its consistent and aggressive reporting of police actions over the last few years?
Are local minority-owned independent businesses (as opposed to the large, mall-based stores) associated with the hip-hop culture considered hostile by Guild members?
Is Police Practices Consulting, LLC treated as a “law enforcement friendly business”? Spokane Police Chief Ann Kirkpatrick, in her testimonial on the Police Practices Consulting, LLC, website, would suggest so when she states “[Mike Worley’s] review, I think, has been thorough, it have been independent, it has been complete, and it has been fair.” Career police officer Mike Worley and his Police Practices Consulting were hired in summer 2006 by Mayor Hession to investigate the Otto Zehm murder, the Spokane Firehouse Sex Scandal, and the dysfunctional Citizens Advisory Commission. It bears stating as I did in this post that–to my knowledge–Worley’s report is not complete in that he passed on investigating the Zehm murder because of ongoing investigations. The Zehm case remains unresolved and stands as a permanent scar upon the SPD, Spokane city government, and other law enforcement agencies in the area.
Is it possible that the conversation going on under the category “Law Enforcement Friendly and Unfriendly Businesses” on the Guild’s forum is of interest to Spokane area defense attorneys seeking to defend their clients against prejudicial Spokane Police attitudes and conduct?
What sort of racist, sexist, or other prejudicial and discriminatory types of information and characterizations of people and businesses are shared there?
Who decides what a pro-law enforcement or anti-law enforcement business is in Spokane? What if Officer Torok characterizes business ‘x’ as anti-law enforcement? Do other officers file that “warning” away in their mental data banks and carry it into the field with them? Do they access it from the field over their wireless internet connections? What if Officer Applewhaite holds a different view of that same business, has always had good relationships with that business, and understands the business owners and customers? Does Applewhaite speak to Torok? Does Applewhaite contradict Torok by posting his contradictory view on the forum? What if Torok outranks Applewhaite? What if Torok shoots the owner of that business in a dispute on the street? Are his comments on the Guild forum discoverable for purposes of criminal investigation and judicial action? What if Torok and Applewhaite are of different racial backgrounds and Torok’s characterization of the business as hostile to law enforcement, as opposed to Applewhaite’s view that it is not hostile, is impacted by his race and his relationship to the business?
Who monitors the Guild’s website — in particular its forum — for legality, appropriateness, professionalism, etc?
An extremely long blog discussion (some thirty pages printed out) at Frank Sennett’s Hard 7 came to an end when I asked SPD bloggers Officer Dan Torok and Officer Jim “Kevin” Faddis for a second time what they meant by “law enforcement friendly and law enforcement hostile” businesses. After an attempt at jail house humor by Faddis, he and Torok simply abandoned the blog conversation.
It is now up to defense attorneys, the media, concerned citizens, the City Council and Mayor, and Chief Kirkpatrick to figure out what impact the casual and unofficial characterization of businesses as hostile and friendly has on police response times, investigative quality and integrity, abusive practices, use of force decisions, and other critical operational, legal, and ethical concerns.
Whether or not questions like these will be addressed in the future will depend in large part on whether or not Spokane’s citizens demand and receive an independent oversight mechanism.
Unfortunately, this depends on negotiations with the Guild. Comments on the Guild’s forum discussion entitled “Negotiations” would be fascinating to read. The attitudes of the Spokane Police expressed by the likes of Torok and Faddis in public forums and other officers blogging anonymously or under pseudonyms suggest that neither the SPD nor the Spokane Police Guild intend to ever, ever come under civilian independent oversight and control.
Is there an SPD whistle blower willing to break ranks with the Thin Blue Line and disclose the nature of Spokane Police Guild forum chatter to the public?
(Clarification: The WordPress statistics page provides a list of links which people have clicked on to reach my blog. However, it provides no information on individuals who visit my site. Be assured that in relationship to my blog your anonymity is protected.)
Found on Google by searching for “David Brookbank”:
(quote from Google search)
SPOKANE POLICE GUILD :: Memberlist Dave Adams, PSB “Lower Level Suite”, 17 Feb 2004, 104 …. LE Friendly / Hostile Businesses, Old General Topics Threads, Discussions About David Brookbank …spokanepoliceguild.com/v-web/bulletin/bb/memberlist.php?sid=5cb758f01d4dba664238b9ccc1fd4d4e – 70k – Cached – Similar pages
(end quote from Google search)
The above Google search results are simply an ordinary copy of the text produced as a result of the above mentioned Google search. The links automatically reproduced when pasted here.
Also be aware that if your experience is the same as mine, if you click on this link produced by a Google search, you may find as I did two cookies placed on your computer by the Spokane Police Guild website, one expiring at the end of the session and one expiring in one year. You know these guys have some high paid techie-types working for them. You can delete the cookies by opening your browser “Preferences”, go to “Cookies” (probably under Privacy and Security) and either delete the specific cookies for the Spokane Police Guild or delete all your cookies (I am not an expert on these matters and accept no responsibility if you delete all your cookies and later have difficulties of any sort).