Friday, January 12, 2007

Report on injuring of inmate draws rebukes

The following are excerpts from a Miami Herald article dated January 13, 2007, along with corrections and clarifications regarding the reporting in the story.

"...BSO records of the investigation show detectives did not question under oath a number of witnesses, including the deputy who found Jones lying in a pool of clotted blood."

CORRECTION: Every inmate present in the group of cells during the incident was questioned under oath. Approximately 40 interviews were done. Both the deputy who found Jones as well as a second deputy on the scene was questioned by investigators at the scene, and both deputies followed up that questioning with signed statements that are part of the investigation.

"...Likewise, detectives did not re-interview under oath three prisoners and two guards after they were accused by an inmate late in the investigation of conspiring to beat Jones. Two other inmates identified by that prisoner as witnesses also were not questioned under oath."

CORRECTION: The inmate who made the accusations was an individual with a history of lying to detectives in previous cases. His credibility was suspect from the beginning. Never-the-less, detectives interviewed him on two separate occasions and gave him a lie-detector test to see if he was being truthful about the new allegations. He failed the test which showed he was not telling the truth in this case as well.

"...The Jones report, written Sept. 25 but only recently released..."

CORRECTION: The report is public and has been available since September to any member of the public or media who would have asked for a copy. It was only "recently released" because someone only recently thought to ask for a copy.

"...Finkelstein also criticized BSO for investigating itself. He said police have ''every motive and incentive'' to absolve the agency of fault."

CORRECTION: Just about every police agency in the country has an internal affairs division whose job it is to investigate cases involving its own department members. It is common practice for a police agency to "investigate itself." While most internal affairs cases involve possible violations of policies and procedures, any evidence of a criminal nature is also included in any internal affiars investigation and leads to criminal charges when appropriate. In fact, recently a deputy was criminally charged after a BSO internal affairs investigation uncovered evidence that led to his arrest.

"...Neither Palmer nor Derrick Gordon, the control room deputy Palmer had asked to summon help, were questioned under oath."

CORRECTION: Both deputy Palmer and deputy Gordon were questioned extensively by investigators at the scene. Both also submitted signed statements attesting to what happened. Their statements are part of the investigation.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

BSO Fire Rescue Live Fire Aircraft Training

Broward Sheriff's Office Firefighters train in Dallas.

On Wednesday, January 10, 2007 firefighters from the Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue traveled to Dallas to take part in live fire training aboard an aircraft. The drill was staged at DFW Airport, and simulated the conditions and challenges of saving multiple victims trapped inside a burning aircraft. Under Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, BSO became the first sheriff's department in the nation to include a full-service Fire Rescue Department. The Dallas Star-Telegram profiled BSO Fire Rescue during the training, and their video can be seen by clicking the link above.