Thursday, July 19, 2018

An Update: Our Justice System at Work

by Geddy (writer), Katy, Texas, August 09, 2007

Welcome to part 1 of my 1 part series of updates to "Our Justice System at Work". When last I left you I was awaiting word on the appeal of my trumped up citation. Oops, I mean my trumped up ALLEDGED citation. To my shock and amazement the appeal was denied. Fear not; I do not give up easily!

I was fortunate enough to form an alliance with a reporter for the Houston Chronicle who covers the City Hall beat. I have promised to keep his name out of this for the time being as he has to work with the Mayor, and others there, on a regular basis. He has let me know that there is a kind of "Top Ten" of these officers that bend the rules for their own benefit (read: load themselves up with overtime so they can make a fortune). Some go too far though. There was a different officer in the paper yesterday who resigned (retired) after it was discovered he was taking bribes for fixing tickets he wrote.(yes he still gets the OT pay for showing up in court and a nice pension). But I digress. The reporter has access to police records that would cost me a small fortune to see under the (free?)dom of information act. He said he would look into things for me. Meanwhile, since I had found out one of the officers listed as a witness on the ticket wasn't on duty that day, I decided to go in front of City Council and the Mayor.

I arrived early, and anxious, since I'd never done anything like this before. I watched as other's presented their concerns or kudos to the Council. Each is alloted up to 3 minutes to speak and most are then asked questions by the Council, extending their total time to 10 minutes in some cases. When, finally, I was called I started reading my prepared statement but was little more than halfway through when the time bell rang. I looked up, expecting questions from the members. The Mayor only offered, "I stand behind the police." That's it. No questions, no appearance of concern, nothing. I had just stood there and accused an officer of perjury and falsifying government documents yet got no indication of interest on their part. Not sure why I was surprised.

I walked out of chambers disgusted. The reporter followed me out and asked if I could prove anything I had said. I produced a letter from HPD saying one of the witnessing officers was off duty that day. I had to confess the rest was only my personal knowledge of events. The reporter said he would get back to me. The reporter also said he wanted to do more research but there was possibly a blockbuster story behind this if officers were manipulating hours to receive OT they weren't entitled to. Then his cell phone rang. It was Officer Davis. How odd. I was only out of chambers for 5 minutes when he called, I guess he had been watching. Reporter didn't answer, only seeing who it was on caller I.D. and showing me.

After a couple of days reporter friend (RF) emailed me that the other "witnessing officer" didn't come on duty till 5 hours after the ticket was written. He also stated that it was against departmental policy for more than 2 officer's names to appear on the citation. With officer Davis and his 2 "witnesses" I was sure that added up to more than 2. I finally thought I was getting somewhere.

Silly me.

RF called me back a few days later and told me that officers can be on duty without actually being on duty. That is, they can give out tickets while not actually on the clock. If they have court scheduled that day, and are waiting for the case to come up, they can go out and write tickets without officially being at work. No records of this would then exist saying what hours he worked doing that. Apparently that was the case in this instance. Also RF said that the Chief of Police never officially issued a memo stating how many names could appear on the ticket; it was supposed to be unofficial policy.

Wow. A complete 180 from a couple of days prior.

Being of suspicious mind it dawned on me; why did Officer Davis have RF's personal cell number? Are they friends?
Which side of the block is RF really working? Did he befriend me to find out information to feed Davis? So many questions. RF did offer that Davis was now going around telling people that, "I was not all there". So I decided to go back to City Council with this new information. RF asked me again to keep his name out of it. The following is the text of my speech:

Though I must question the credentials of M.L.Davis in making a psychological assessment of me by telling others that, "I'm not all there". I must admit that in this case he is partly right.
The part of me that believed all police officers were there to protect and to serve us is gone.
The part that believed if a person were accused of wrongdoing that they could get a fair trial is missing too.
The part of me that thought that someone with authority would care enough to make it right if all of that wasn't true has gone up in smoke.
And sadly, the part that thinks it will never happen to anyone again has vanished.I will also have to question WHY he would say it. I have nothing to gain by my accusation if(when) it proves true other than the possible dismissal of a citation I never should have received. Officer Davis, however, has a lot to lose if it is true. I believe that he is trying to shift the focus from his misdeeds as I have yet to hear him say he did not falsify this charge then lie about it during trial. I find it ironic that several people have asked if I can prove he lied when he was under no such burden in court. His statement alone is apparently enough for conviction without any evidence. I also stated that since a citizen is being ignored by the council over this issue, that it might be time for a new Mayor. (The Mayor Pro Tem, however, was sitting in for the mayor at the time). I don't what nerve I touched but he seemed outraged over what was going on and promised action. We shall see.

Stay tuned for part two of my one part series: The Resolution.

About the Writer

Geddy is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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