Connecticut Cop Charged With Sexual Assault of Teenage Girl: Time to Start Tracking, Penalizing, Maybe Even Firing Problem Cops

nah, points on your license palTrumbull PDPolice from five Connecticut towns participated in a botched raid in Easton in 2008, one that was predicated on a warrant that permitted cops to “search for a small quantity of drugs and to seize anything in the house where a box the size of a breath mint container and two glass pipes might be hidden,” as the Connecticut Post reported on the disastrous raid. It ended with alleged drug user Gonzales Guizan killed at the hands of police. An attorney’s general report cleared cops, based mostly on their own testimony, but while Easton tried to fight a decision to allow a civil lawsuit to go forward, it ended up on the hook for $3.5 million. None of the police officers or the supervisors who thought a five-force raid on an alleged petty drug user was worth the effort and exertion of violence were held accountable for their actions. But now the arrest of one officer involved in that raid, William Ruscoe of the Trumbull police department, on charges of sexual assaulting a teenage girl, with the possibility of more victims coming forward, calls to question the systemic policy decision not to hold police officers accountable in the kind of fatal and unnecessary situations like the one they created in Easton in 2008.

If you’ve ever had to go on your state’s DMV website to pay a ticket, you might have noticed the state reminding you that “driving is a privilege, not a right,” usually by way of explaining why in addition to paying a fine “points” are added to your license. Accumulate enough points, and your license is suspended. Participate in a raid that ends with the fatal shooting of a citizen while in the employ of the government, however, and have access to more labor protections and due process “rights” than almost any other profession in the world. Incidents of police abuse and nothing else happening are available aplenty. There is something seriously wrong with our relationship to government  when we accept driving as a privilege and carrying a badge and gun and exercising a monopoly on violence as a right.

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  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the problem is these one-sided "agreements" that municipalities sign with the police unions that mandate that all complaints first go through the Police Review Board prior to any criminal action going forward.

    What's it going to take for some of these local governments to reconsider these arrangements, possibly to the extent of having to fire the whole force and begin anew?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    And it doesn't seem to be unprecedented, though the cities on this list apparently did it for mainly financial reasons:

    http://247wallst.com/investing.....-forces/2/

  • R C Dean||

    mandate that all complaints first go through the Police Review Board prior to any criminal action going forward

    Sounds totally unenforcable to me.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Yes. It's time that the process involved a check whereby if competent authority decided that the law had indeed been broken, the Police Union is also named as a defendant.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    They should get RICOH'd

  • Invisible Finger||

    What's it going to take for some of these local governments to reconsider these arrangements,

    Ghost towns.

  • Paul.||

    A very earnest commenter yesterday suggested we were "close" to losing control of our nation's police forces.

    My guess is the rape was within his training guidelines.

  • ||

    He was clearly never trained not to rape. More training oughta clear that right up, amirite?

  • Hugh Akston||

    To be fair, something can still be close if it's behind you.

  • Paul.||

    Or has you in a choke hold.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Maybe he had a warrant to seize anything in the woman where a box the size of a breath mint container and two glass pipes might be hidden?

  • Invisible Finger||

    +1 cop (a feel)

  • Paul.||

    as a privilege and carrying a badge and gun and exercising a monopoly on violence as a right.

    Ed, all due respect, but as long as I can [legally] carry something which allows me to kill at a distance, the state does not have a monopoly on violence.

  • Dweebston||

    Many monopolies are undercut by a black-market.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    On unaccountable violence?

  • Paul.||

    Well played, sir, well played.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    It's a the legitimate use of violence. The cop can shoot you but you can't shoot the cop without penalty.

  • R C Dean||

    Technically, its a monopoly on the initiation of violence.

  • fish||

    Penalizing the valiant members of the "thin blue line"? That's just crazy talk.

  • ||

    I swear part of this problem is the ballooning of police forces in general. To use another Connecticut example, my cousin's town (about three times the population of mine) had four cops when we were growing up. My town had no police force. My town still has no police force, but his town's police force has gone to something like 12 or 15 officers, maybe more. They're completely unnecessary, they built a completely new station costing tons of money, and it's ludicrous. And these cops have almost nothing to do. Coventry, CT isn't exactly a hotbed of crime.

    So not only are there too many cops with nothing to do except presumably raid houses over petty drug possession, in order to pad the employment rolls, they must be taking the bottom of the barrel. What actually effective/young/not horrible person would want to be cop in Coventry?

    Not only are cops not held accountable, there are just way too fucking many of them, and all they have to do is fuck with people. Combined with the type of people who will seek out the job, that is a recipe for disaster.

  • John||

    The ballooning police forces are a huge part of the problem. There are only a finite number of people who have the temperament to be a good cop. As we have exceeded that number we have filled the ranks with bullies and outright sociopaths.

    It would be as if every politician in America demanded "more doctors on the streets" for 40 years until med schools were taking and graduating anyone who showed up regardless of their actual ability to be a doctor. You think the number of incompetent and corrupt doctors might go up? Same thing with cops.

  • Paul.||

    Local governments have laws and regulations that don't allow a Dr. on every corner. Literally. If the market has too many doctors, healthcare prices and health services could collapse, or something.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's only because doctors have private practices.

    Once we force doctors to be paid with public funds, we'll be flooded with sociopathic physicians.

  • Paul.||

    My town still has no police force, but his town's police force has gone to something like 12 or 15 officers, maybe more. They're completely unnecessary, they built a completely new station costing tons of money, and it's ludicrous. And these cops have almost nothing to do. Coventry, CT isn't exactly a hotbed of crime.

    in one of P.J. O'Rourke's books, he ended it with a description of a town meeting he attended (might have been in CT or maybe VA) and described in his awesome O'Rourkian humor the absurdities of local politics.

    He described how many chimney fires these northeast wood tinderbox houses would have during the winter, and they had a tiny volunteer fire department, yet for a town with nearly zero crime, they had a well staffed police force of professional officers.

    Had lots of other funny local color too, like all the people who lived adjacent to some dirt road wanted the road closed because the locals drove their 4wd vehicles up and down it at all hours of the night.

    The locals wanted the road to remain open so they could drive their 4wd vehicles up and down it at all hours of the night.

    Anyhoo, the bottom line is, no matter how small the town, people seem to like them a police force. Surprised your town doesn't have one.

  • ||

    Many towns in Connecticut, and New England in general, do not have police forces (and usually volunteer fire departments). My town doesn't need a fucking police force, and it would be absurd to create one. On the very rare times you might want one, Troop C of the State Police is a few towns over. The same goes for Coventry, but since they had one, it of course ballooned totally out of control. Remember that these towns are not big. You can drive across them in a few minutes. They really, really do not need police forces. They have almost no crime.

    It's even worse where I had my house in New York State (Orange County). Village cops, town cops, county sheriffs, and state police all over the place.

    It's all part of what John and I are talking about above; because people demand more cops on the job, even though crime is lower, we've had a massive increase in the number of officers. That will automatically mean general quality (which wasn't high to begin with) goes down, and then combine it with them having absolutely nothing useful to do, and there's a large part of your problem right there.

    And you do not, ever, want to a attend a town hall meeting unless you really like yelling at neighbors and bitterly arguing over property taxes funding the elementary school. My mom took me once when I was a kid. I walked home rather than stay.

  • Brendan||

    On a recent trip to MA to visit family, I noticed that all the little town PDs in Worcester County all had nice new cars.

    Grafton, MA has new Explorers and whatever the hell the new sedans are called. They also changed their paint scheme to be nearly all black and the sedans have no light bar (for efficiency I'm sure). They have their own FD, but from what I can tell on their website, about the same number of cops as firefighters.
    http://graftonpolice.com/home-1.html

    Same with Upton, Wrentham and some other little town I rode through. Lots of nice new cars, low profile lights, etc. and I believe I saw MDTs in the Upton police cards. A town of maybe 10,000 needs computer dispatch I'm sure.

  • Brendan||

    I was wrong, 19 cops, 4 dispatchers vs. 30 firefighters. Still amusing though.

  • ||

    Yeah, the reason I used the Coventry example was because I had the same experience. I hadn't been along that particular stretch of road for years, and when we were teenagers we had a game where if all four cop cars were at the station, you had to pass every single car between there and the turn-off for my cousin's house. Imagine my surprise when I drive by and reflexively check to see if all four are there and see the old station shuttered, and down the road a big new station with tons of brand new cop cars and SUVs in the lot, way more than four. It was total, absurd overkill for a town with 11,000 people. I still don't know why the townspeople allowed it.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    when do they get their Iraq-war surplus APC's?

  • Invisible Finger||

    There has to be some sort of federal money being funneled into police forces. Even the people who say they want more police don't want to pay more local taxes for them.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I want to remind everyone that this professional officer, who should not have been named, is innocent until video evidence that could not have been tampered with or misconstrued by those not out there on the front lines enforcing the laws everyday in a life and death struggle with criminals shows that he is guilty.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Wouldn't that qualify as child porn?

  • Brendan||

    You clearly didn't read 205.37364(a)(5), which states
    1.Peace officers are exempt from the above section
    2.Fuck You, That's Why

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    No, I meant the victim would be convicted of making child porn had she recorded the assault.

    No wait... it's not Maryland.

  • Brendan||

    That falls under 205.37364(a)(5)(2).

  • John||

    I am not clear, is the indicted cop one of the officers involved in the drug raid?

  • Paul.||

    That's how I interpreted it.

  • John||

    Me too. But Ed didn't make that clear. He should have.

  • Ed||

    Sorry guys, I thought I had made it clearer. I've edited it now

  • Adam330||

    What's the connection between the raid gone bad and the cop assaulting this girl?

  • Brendan||

    If they had canned him then, this wouldn't have happened now.

    This is how the government justifies all sorts of overreaching penalties and prohibitions.

    Some guy shoots someone. Turns out he had a conviction for disturbing the peace 10 years ago. Time to make disturbing the peace one of the offenses that results in a lifelong ban on firearm ownership.

  • R C Dean||

    If they had canned him then, this wouldn't have happened now.

    Maybe, maybe no. If all he is, is fired, he can get rehired.

    Now, if he's in jail . . . .

  • GILMORE||

    " It ended with alleged drug user Gonzales Guizan killed at the hands of police. "

    Reports indicate he may also have been an alleged masturbator, blasphemer, and also let his front yard go into such disrepair that neighbors complained.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    The uniform of a New York Yankees player was found in his home, as were chemicals commonly used by kids to get high.

  • Andrew S.||

    Including dihydrogen monoxide, one of the most addictive, deadly substances on earth.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    alleged masturbator, blasphemer, and also let his front yard go into such disrepair that neighbors complained.

    Uhhh... I feel a sudden need to cut the grass...

  • Almanian!||

    JESUS CHRIST! Police kill people wrongly and NOTHING HAPPENS TO THEM??!!

    Why is no one talking about this?!

    Fuck tha poe lease, and thanks Reason, IJ, Radley B and others for keeping the nutpunches coming. Maybe someday "POS civilians" will be able to hold their "valiant, public servants" to account.

    But I ain't holding my breath.

  • Outlaw||

    They have the means, but not the will.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm issuing a citizen's search warrant.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I am remind, more and more, of the history of the Vigilance committee of San Francisco, where armed citizens stepped in and enforced (*gasp!*) vigilante justice on an ostentatiously corrupt local government.

    The Liberal Left in general, and the gun-grabbers in particular, seem to think that vigilante justice was never good. That it always came down to an unthinking lynch mob. But they're fantastically historically ignorant, and nowhere morse so than when they deal with the Old West. They really BELIEVE Hollywood's version of the West, which has about as much to do with reality as Kabuki Theatre has to do with the actual History of medieval Japan.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "...a warrant that permitted cops to “search for a small quantity of drugs and to seize anything in the house where a box the size of a breath mint container and two glass pipes might be hidden,”

    Has a Judge ever been part of a civil suit filed against the cops? Cause the cops can just say, "hey, we followed procedures, just did what the warrant said we could do, etc".

  • R C Dean||

    What kind of fucking idiot signs a search warrant for no more drugs than fit in an Altoids box?

  • Paul.||

    A lore and order judge, that's who.

    Not in his town!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Someone who doesn't support checks and balances?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Can't do it. Judges possess judicial immunity. So long as they have subject-matter jurisdiction over the issue, and are acting in their capacity as judges, they are immune from suit.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Thanks

  • Pro Libertate||

    While true, there is a tradition under the common law of tarring and feathering officials who do annoying things.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    I remember when Conor Friedersdorf proposed that every cop who shoots an unarmed person never gets to weild a gun again; it doesn't matter if it's found justified, that's your one shot. I think that makes sense. Some kind of incremental penalty that gives the cop some self-interest that's completely outside their own department's decision. You shoot a few dogs, an unarmed guy, and a couple windows in a wrong door raid? maybe this isn't the job for you, regardless of what your state of mind is.

  • Andrew S.||

    Had to check... this was not the officer who mistook a flash bang grenade for being shot, screamed "I'm hit!", shot Mr. Guizan dead, for all of which he received the Officer of the Year award. So at least there's that.

    Buncha savages.

  • RishJoMo||

    NAh, cops are cops, it will never change.

    www.Anon-Works.com

  • ||

    Calif. Police Officers Arrested in Car Theft Scheme

    [...]

    According to investigators, Carillo headed the scheme. Investigators say for every 10 or 15 cars impounded, Carillo would receive one to keep or sell. One of those cars, authorities said, was given to then-Police Capt. Bruce Miller.

    In the only interview he has given, Miller told a KSWB-TV reporter he was shocked by the charges, saying, "The charges they are looking at is receiving or requesting a bribe, and I've never done that. I was aware of the investigations, but I didn't know that I would become a suspect. My reputation is spoiled. There's no coming back from this, even if I'm found innocent."

    [...]

    Authorities said most of the cars were taken in by the same towing company. The operator of that towing company, Brian Miller, is the brother of the acting police chief. He was also arrested.

    [...]

  • thorax232||

    I don't think there is really an "we" accepting it. It's people with guns enforcing their will on others.

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