Friday, July 29, 2011

Who's the police chief there? Tammy Wynette?

The now-infamous Officer Harless of the Canton, OH PD has apparently lacked adequate adult supervision for some time now.

This guy had better hit his knees at night and pray he never actually has to shoot somebody, because he has thoughtfully provided even the most wet-behind-the-ears graduate of Draw Tippy Turtle U. Law School everything he or she'll need to convince a jury that Harless was a murder just looking for a place to happen.

You'd think that even a fairly callous "us v. them" department would have tossed him out of the sleigh long ago, if only for calculated liability reasons. Every time he clocked in, Canton was in danger of a massive lawsuit for the next eight hours.


Lewis said...

If Murray was right, and the state is just a gang of thugs writ large, well, I can see the virtues of having a truly whacked-out thug around. (Rothbard.) Besides, even in the event of a whopping liability hit, who pays it off? Does that come out of the chief's pocket? Does a jury award for (s)1983 deprivation of rights under color of law come out of the offending officer's pockets? Yeah, yeah, he might get fired after a huge 1983 hit, he might even do time. But the taxpayers are the ones whose pockets get picked. (Again, if I need to point that out.)

Once more we run into the "third party payer" problem. Gun magazines, health insurance, civil rights liability.

Bubblehead Les. said...

I remind anyone who plans on attending Breda's NorthCoast Blogshoot over Labor Day Weekend that if they head up using the Southern Route (Interstate 77), you will be passing right through the Heart of Officer Harliss land. Feel free to take a close look at how his Politcal Defender, Canton City Council President Allen Schulman and his cronies have done a Wonderful Job of making it a truly safe place to stop and stroll around. Be sure to let them know you have Weapons, though. That way you will be Properly Protected in case you have to use them.

Odysseus said...

Not just Officer Harless, any lawyer suing over ANY police brutality in Canton now has background evidence to argue the department's culture.

North said...

Odysseus is right. This is a very public stain on the entire department/force/city now that is has been viewed so publicly. Good cops get a bad name from this guy.

Cops need to stop sticking up for other cops that are like this. It degrades the public perception of police officers. There should be no land to run to.

Bram said...

When we were fresh out of Boot Camp - in Infantry then Radio school - my buddies and I would take turns doing funny Drill Instructor imitations. Eventually the joke got old and we saved it for special occasions.

Somebody should tell this guy that he’s using it too much and civilians don’t really get the joke anyway (unless they are big fans of Full Metal Jacket).

russell1200 said...

Maybe, but the case against the City of Durham by the Duke Lacrosse players has been dragging on, it is my understanding that it has not been going well for them.

Durham is simply stating that you cannot sue the government, and that is still generally the case. In North Carolina, you can generally only sue a municipality if they carry liability insurance.

It goes back to very old English Common law, so I suspect that it is the norm rather than the exception.

The advantage of the liability insurance is that it makes it a little less likely that individuals within the goverment will be sued. But most areas have some sort of shield law for government officials, police, fire fighters, etc.

Brad K. said...

@ russell1200,

I think a case can be made on Harless' video that his actions and words, and lack of attention to his safety, his partner's, and active threats to a confined prisoner, that criminal charges including reckless endangerment, aggravated assault (the good officer was armed, and threatening use of his weapon for things other than defense of self, community, and lawful order).

The good officer's partner and supervisor had to be falsifying their assessment of Harless' fitness to serve -- his outbursts create liability to the department, and an active threat to members of the community.

As for other policemen standing up for the guy -- that smacks of union obstruction of good order. It certainly doesn't endear me to unions or to cops sticking together in the face of negligence, terrorism, and lack of emotional control of someone entrusted with an automobile, let alone a firearm.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand your statement:
"The good officer's partner and supervisor had to be falsifying their assessment of Harless' fitness to serve -- his outbursts create liability to the department, and an active threat to members of the community."

It seems obvious that "an active threat to members of the community" is exactly what the Canton PD wants in their officers. Wouldn't you expect them to fire anybody who is so timid they won't threaten to murder anyone who makes them angry?

Six said...

This is a clear leadership failure all the way from the local government and the PD command staff to the line supervisors and the training staff. I've been screaming about this for years. We are now in the habit of hiring and retaining hysterics who are frightened of the job and who have a limited (or no) ability to control their fear based reactions or who lack the motivation to do so. The culprit is money. By the time an agency has hired, trained and paid an officer for the 10 months to a year it takes to produce a solo patrol officer they've used up a sizeable chunk of their training budget. Until agencies understand the terms Failure to Train, Negligent Training and Negligent Retention and stop just hoping it doesn't come back to bite them in the ass we're going to continue to see douchebag harless and his ilk. And lest you take me for a cop basher I am a retired, 24 year veteran police officer with an extensive training history and education who has written about this subject many times. Policing is a difficult, complex, nearly impossible job to do competently. It's time and past time we stopped hiring and retaining those least capable of handling the rigors of the profession. I'd rather (much rather!) work alone than with a hysterical bully.

SewerDweller said...

But, but... it's an -isolated incident- Tam.. The Department spokesdrone even said so...

WV: Knifiw - wirelessly enabled knife?

Justthisguy said...

Six, I see by yer icon that you might be some kind of arty person. What you wrote tends to confirm that for me with its obvious wit and understanding. Artillerists are the only sojers who understand the correct application of violence.

Firehand said...

Six, wouldn't think of calling you that; I've heard the same from too many cops to think that.

I've sat in a car with five long-service(15,20,25 years) LE officers and listened to them bitch about the attitude problems of young/new officers; that tells you something's really wrong.

Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

He'd better pray that he doesn't run into anyone like David Codrea, who has decided that the Canton, PD, is an enemy, and will respond accordingly.

Tam said...


"He'd better pray that he doesn't run into anyone like David Codrea, who has decided that the Canton, PD, is an enemy, and will respond accordingly."

He prays every night that he runs into some mouthy militia type who wants to commit blue suicide.

He'd be a lot more scared of a lawyer.