Police

An Update on Citizens-Recording-Cops Cases in New Haven

|

The New Haven Police Department's internal affairs division has released two reports on recent incidents involving police and citizens with cameras.

The first report concerns the department's SWAT raid on a nightclub where police suspected there was some underrage drinking. (My post on that raid here.) That report found no fault on the part of any individual officers, but did say the SWAT team was inappropriate and that police officers were wrong to forbid the nightclub's occupants from recording the raid with cell phone cameras. Instead, the report blamed the incident on a lack of proper training.

The second report addresses an incident between then-New Haven Assistant Police Chief Ariel Melendez and Luis Luna, a student who attempted to record two police officers in the process of making an arrest. (My post on that incident here.) Melendez ordered subordinate officers to arrest Luna, to confiscate his camera and to delete the video. The second report is actually quite critical of Melendez, concluding that he behaved in an "intimidating" matter, and that the arrest, confiscation, and destruction of the video were all unlawful.

Melendez has been the subject of at least two other misconduct investigations, including the nightclub raid. He has since resigned from the New Haven Police Department. According to the New Have Independent, he'll get to keep his $124,500 annual pension.

Last month, the New Haven police union President Sgt. Louis Cavaliere called Mayor John DeStefano's decision to lay off 16 of the city's 448 police officers due to budget constraints a "disgusting embarrassment". New Haven cops also called in sick and took to the streets and blocked traffic to protest the layoffs. When asked how those tactics protect New Have from crime, Cavaliere suggested residents take up arms.

NEXT: BATF Agent Says Guns Deliberately Allowed by BATF to Cross Border Used to Kill Border Patrol Agent

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Take up arms and do what? Perhaps shoot the ones responsible for infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens…

  2. Hell yeah! Let the people take up arms and fire all those lazy, cock-sucking criminal scumbags that are currently “employed” as cops. Give it a week and they will show their true “colors” by committing crimes and the people can take care of business and clean up the streets.

  3. So, is anyone’s career going to be held responsible for the lack of proper training? A lower pay raise, even?

  4. Melendez has been the subject of at least two other misconduct investigations, including the nightclub raid. He has since resigned from the New Haven Police Department. According to the New Have Independent, he’ll get to keep his $124,500 annual pension.

  5. Couldn’t people start making citizens arrests of these cops who are stopping traffic and preventing people from using the roads.

    As I understand it, they have to abide by all traffic laws unless their siren and flashers are on.

    1. If they called in sick they shouldn’t be wearing uniforms, using company cars, or using any taxpayer funded items during their demonstration- not even department guns.

      Regular jackoffs standing around or parking in the street, blocking traffic and making a commotion.

      1. Call in the state police to get their asses out of the way.

  6. “Instead, the report blamed the incident on a lack of proper training.”

    Get used to hearing this one. Hey, we’d like to stop being jack-booted thugs, but you people cut our budget.

    1. “Lack of proper training”? I have it on good authority that ignorance of the law is no excuse…

      1. Yeah, why is it they always assume they can do anything they want unless trained to not do it, when they should assume they can’t do a damn thing unless they are specifically directed that it’s legal and within the parameters of their job.

        I know, I know. Fuck!

        1. They couldn’t afford the training to explain that to them. Plus, even if they had the money they can’t fit the 15 seconds it takes to read your post in between ‘paid leaves’.

          1. How about some paid leave in between (double) posts?

            ba-dum-tshhh.

            (Server squirrels have a great union. Try the veal.)

        2. They couldn’t afford the training to explain that to them. Plus, even if they had the money they can’t fit the 15 seconds it takes to read your post in between ‘paid leaves’.

    2. My Justice Department will support and defend all law-enforcement agencies.

  7. The second report is actually quite critical of Melendez, concluding that he behaved in an “intimidating” matter, and that the arrest, confiscation, and destruction of the video were all unlawful.

    So, when is the arraignment and is it open to the public?

  8. The mayor is a PC-infatuated liberal (as they have been for decades in New Haven) and the police leadership is chosen to reflect and further those ends (though this particular chief assclown has managed to avoid impregnating any crack-whores unlike his predecessor). The rank&file; officers are squeezed from above, and forced to work with substandard candidates to ensure a proper diversity in the workforce. Just like the fire department.

  9. he’ll get to keep his $124,500 annual pension.

    The most perfect cop in the universe shouldnt be receiving a 124k pension.

    1. Robocop does, but that’s just to pay for his maintenance.

  10. Slightly off-topic:

    Seattle Police Officer Guild president declares that police accountability is an issue that gets worked out at the union bargaining table.

    Sgt. Rich O’Neill, recently elected to his third term as president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, says recent calls by city officials to modify Seattle’s police-accountability system will have to be hashed out at the bargaining table.

    Great, so if a cop shoots you four times in the back because he thinks he might have seen something sharp and shiny in your hands, it’s an internal union issue. Fuck these police with highly polished brass knobs on, and fuck public sector unions.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c…..ez04m.html

    1. Why would you want to use anything smooth? You should use the Garden Claw.

  11. Isn’t that the town where Richard Jordan was adjudged too intelligent to be a cop?

    1. Robert Jordan, that is.

  12. Dammit, Balko. These are supposed to come out on Monday, so that I’m ready for them.

    Then, at worst, you’re ruined my week, not my weekend!

  13. Lack of proper training=free pass for policeman

    Ignorance of the law=conviction of private citizen

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

  14. “The second report is actually quite critical of Melendez, concluding that he behaved in an “intimidating” matter, and that the arrest, confiscation, and destruction of the video were all unlawful.”

    I other words illegal- thus criminal. The cop committed a crime and should be charged.

    1. Yes, I am looking forward to seeing him indicted for false imprisonment, theft, and tampering with evidence.

      1. Oh, you’ll respond to StupendousMan, but not my comment upthread.

        [clears throat]

        Fuck you, buddy!

        1. Well you don’t give out StupendousPoints?
          for replies.

          *StupendousPoints? are refundable at all StupendousMarts and other fine retailers carrying StupendousGear? brands.

  15. That report found no fault on the part of any individual officers,

    police officers were wrong to forbid the nightclub’s occupants from recording the raid with cell phone cameras.

    Which is it?

    the arrest, confiscation, and destruction of the video were all unlawful.

    Indictments are forthcoming, I assume?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.