Friday, October 23, 2015
OCTOBER SURPRISE - DAY THREE
Thought we'd start Friday with a little tune to brighten your day.
We don't want to flog a dead hedgehog (except in mixed company) but the press seems focused on how the Gordon 911 tape went public. A story to be sure. But notice how the press is ignoring the other story: Was Mayoral candidate Jim Gordon subject to mandatory arrest? Why aren't they covering that aspect of the case? A mayoral candidate is visited by members of a police force run by a financial supporter. Is that a story? Fuck it. Will find the answer for ourselves and for you, loyal readers (feel free to leave something in the tip jar).
The Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 amended section 140.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law, to mandate arrest in certain domestic violence situations.
The law states:
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, a police officer shall arrest a person, and shall not attempt to reconcile the parties or mediate, where such officer has reasonable cause to believe that:
(a) a felony, other than subdivisions three, four, nine or ten of section 155.30 of the penal law, has been committed by such person against a member of the same family or household, as
defined in subdivision one of section 530.11 of this chapter; or...
(b) a duly served order of protection is in effect...
(c) a misdemeanor constituting a family offense, as described in subdivision one of section 530.11 of this chapter and section 812 of the Family Court Act, has been committed by such person against such family or household member, unless the victim requests otherwise. The officer shall not inquire as to whether the victim seeks an arrest of such person.
Nothing contained in this subdivision shall be deemed to restrict or impair the authority of any municipality, political subdivision or the division of state police from promulgating rules,
regulations and policies requiring the arrest of persons in additional circumstances where domestic violence has allegedly occurred.
The misdemeanors outlined in Section 812 of the Family Court Act include:
"disorderly conduct, harassment in the first degree, harassment in the second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, stalking in the first degree, stalking in the second degree, stalking in the third degree, stalking in the fourth degree, criminal mischief, menacing in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, reckless endangerment, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree or an attempted assault between spouses or former spouses ..."
Harassment in the Second Degree:
1. The defendant, struck, shoved, kicked or otherwise subjected to physical contact or attempted or threatened to do the same; followed in or about a public place or places; engaged in a course of conduct or repeatedly committed acts which alarmed or seriously annoyed and which
served no legitimate purpose; and
2. That the defendant did so with intent to harass, annoy or
Therefore, if Gordon's acts, as referenced in the 911 call, could be harassment in the Second Degree, arrest is not mandatory. The victim may ask that an arrest not be made. The officers may not ask whether the victim wants the suspect arrested. While arrest is not mandatory, it is not prohibited. It is discretionary.
Brendan Lyons over at the Times Union was the first person to unveil the 911 tape. The Record and Jim Franco, over at Talk 1300, pounced on the story. Franco, over at his blog, did some sleuthing and discovered that two Troy Police Officers, Sgt.'s Colaneri and Millington has access to the recording. He also notes that both investigate Domestic Violence matters. He notes that Millington has a family relationship with Deputy Mayor Pete Ryan. Finally, he notes that Millington signed a document that prohibits unauthorized disclosure of the 911 calls contents.
Franco is clearly implying that one or both officers were involved in releasing the tape. Or, he wants to manufacture that controversy. He doesn't say it but we're all adults here and know what's going. Interestingly, Franco did not believe that initial story, a domestic disturbance call to a Republican politician's home, was worthy of mention at T-Spin. Odd, given the nature of some of his other posts and old Talespin stories. Rumors never seemed off limits, let alone actual news.
So, does Franco owe the officers an apology? He has, through implication, cast them as the wrongdoers. Is that what a journalist does? What we need a journalist to do is discuss the 911 system, how it works, where calls go, how they are preserved, who has access and what, if any laws, are implicated. That would help the citizens understand the process. Slinging mud, albeit by implication, seems unworthy of the journalism label.
As a supporter of Jim Gordon, what did Chief of Police Tedesco know and when did he know it?
How did police arrive at the determination that no arrest would be made and who was involved in that determination?
Who would have access to the 911 tape, both at the police station and the County?
How do we get a CD copy and will it have special features and a director's commentary?