Sunday, June 1, 2008


BLEATER OF THE PACK: There’s plenty of grist for the mill again today and apparently Kaua`i Police Chief Darryl Perry is still doing his best to not only fiddle while his Roman Centurions burn-out but claims the flames are actually nothing but maliciously-placed pieces of deceptively-decorated construction paper, with another tone-deaf head-scratcher in his weekly newspaper column “Ask the Chief”- presumably subtitled “But don’t expect a direct answer or for me to pick anything but the fluffiest of all fluff questions”.

In a week where, laid end to end, the criticisms of Perry and his Department would reach the long way from Ke`e to Polihale, da Chief chose to answer this questions- and we couldn’t make this up:.

“Boy, you and KPD have been getting blasted in The Garden Island by Juan Wilson, an opinion columnist. You seem to be doing a good job from the guys I talk to and there hasn’t been bad news in the paper since you took over. What’s going on?”

Well maybe we could- he could have found someone to ask “Chief it must be hard to sit at the right hand of God. Do you ever get tired of being right all the time and soooo perfect? How can we end all these insidious and subversive lies and ignorant condemnations of you and your department from naive fools and natural-born criminals?

And here’s the chief’s actual answer:

I really don’t know why the animosity or undue criticism. Perhaps the honeymoon is over, or perhaps it’s just misinformation, personal attitudes, bad past experiences or just wanting to bring things to my attention. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above. Either way, I don’t let personal feelings sidetrack me or KPD from our primary mission. But it saddens me to think that there are people, albeit a few, that would attempt to malign the good we’re trying to accomplish.

Oh that’s right, Darryl- we forgot that everything you do is faultless by definition and that anyone daring to questions anything you do is a miscreant and so their questions are always “undue criticism”. Why answer any questions when you can claim that they all stem from “misinformation, personal attitudes (and) bad past experiences”.

He then says:

Don’t get me wrong, I welcome public input, but in some cases, these types of comments are inappropriate and reckless. And although it does take time and energy away from working on more important issues, I still have to react to them because the public might believe some of the half-truths.

So if the Chief does “welcome public input”, where are the answers to the questions that aren’t “inappropriate and reckless”?

Is it true that there are myriad concerned of citizens out there who are making specific inquiries and are disturbed about publicly-reported charges of abuses of power, a lack of community-policing policies and who want to publicly discuss the necessity for purchase and protocols for use of tasers and riot gear?

Or is it just that Perry treats all comments and criticisms as “half-truths” that waste his “time and energy”?

It’s now gotten to the point where the lack of attention to the community’s trepidation over actual policing, process and departmental issues might no longer be the main issue. Concerns are now centering on the complete stonewalling of all comments regarding the force’s activities and policies.

We haven’t seen the Chief address any issue in anything resembling a straightforward way. Not once. All we hear is pooh-poohing, if we hear anything at all other than a declination to comment.

And when the Mission Statement is revised- as it again appears it has been according to their web site today- it is an “inside job” without any community input, perhaps in violation of state law, unless Perry has a specific ruling or opinion to the contrary.

Given the Chief’s persistent attitude how can we feel that, as required by law, we have any civilian control over our police force at all?

One of the issues that started this whole thing was the Chief’s apparent ignorance regarding the issue of use of tasers. He still apparently clings to the taser industry’s “are you going to believe us or your lyin’ eyes” assertions of non-lethality. We next expect their trade organization to claim they’re providing free shock-treatments to the mentally ill who routinely get zapped.

And Perry refuses to discuss the shift of protocol for use of tasers from “in lieu of deadly force” as originally sold, to using them “in lieu of coercive force”.

While the Chief may dismiss any discussion of this with a waive of his insularity wand he seems to be living in a dream world nonetheless and this article from Canada (thanks to Larry Geller for the directional arrow) shows again what happens when police get stun-happy, this time on an 82- year-old bedridden hospital patient who wouldn’t let go of a knife he was holding but not reportedly brandishing.

RCMP subdue hospitalized man, 82, with Taser

An elderly man in Kamloops, B.C., was zapped three times on the torso by a police stun gun while lying on his hospital bed, CBC News has learned.

Frank Lasser, 82, appeared fragile Thursday when he showed the Taser marks on his body and talked about the ordeal he went through Saturday.

"They [police] should have known I had bypass surgery," Lasser told CBC News.

Lasser has had heart surgery and needs to carry an apparatus to supply oxygen at all times. He was in the Royal Inland Hospital Saturday due to pneumonia but has since been released...

"I was laying on the bed by then and the corporal came in, or the sergeant, I forget which it was, and said to the guys, 'OK, get him
because we got more important work to do on the street tonight,'" Lasser said.

"And then, bang, bang, bang, three times with the laser, and
I tell you, I never want that again."

Kamloops RCMP said Thursday that officers had no other option but to deploy the conducted energy weapon when Lasser refused to drop his knife.

Canadian officials have been debating the use of tasers in recent weeks, some with an eye to banning them.

But an incident like that could never happen here despite multiple recent allegations including reported incidents of vice officers breaking down doors yelling to the innocent-until-proven-guilty and even mistaken-identity victims cringing on the floor with guns to their heads, “you have no rights- you’re a drug dealer”.

But none of our boys would never tase someone just for the heck of it or because they were late for their coffee break.

So tell us Darryl- just how does the community stand up and say (warning: humorist handbook mandatory reference) “bad cop, no donut” when were told that every complaint is presumed to be the result of an “attempt to malign the good we’re trying to accomplish.” and stonewalling is the order of the day, every day.

Let’s be surreptitious out there.

And speaking of the good they’re trying to accomplish, just what is that good and what are they actually doing?

When we criticized the unyielding obstinacy of the bad apples in the barrel and Perry’s apparent lip-service to “eventually” rooting out the corruption, we learned that a top priority for the Chief was to form an Internal Affairs (IA) Division, a quasi-separate internal division traditionally and ubiquitously used by PDs to investigate and if necessary sanction their own.

But during the discussion just prior to passage of the budgets and tax rate by the County Council at last Wednesday’s meeting, Councilman Ron Kouchi was speaking about budgeting choices and said “we talked to the Police Department about doing an internal affairs bureau but instead the determination was for some assistance on the clerical end.”

So was the department given a choice to either fund clerical positions or an IA division and chose the extra clerks? And if it was the Mayor or Council and not the Chief that made the decision, where was the protest from Perry?

Yet Darryl The Naked Emperor and Tom Tom The Clown Prince Commissioner continue to talk about their new IA Division that is now apparently at least another 13 months away from reality.

The problem is no longer just the tasers, the abuses of power; the “us vs. them” attitude, the lack transparency and adherence to state open records laws or the alarm caused by over-militarization of the department without sufficient civilian oversight and consultation.

It’s the fully tone-deaf nature of the who-the-heck-are-you-to-criticize-me tirades from the leadership of the Department and the Baptiste Administration’s and councilmembers’ complicitous silence and their seeming penchant for living in a state of denial regarding those pesky flames are lapping up against the walls of gleaming new Ka`ana St. KPD fortress.

But the Chief just sits in his office figuratively sipping ice-cold drinks and turning up the air-conditioning, asking “is it getting a little hot in here or is it me?”.

As usual, it’s a little o’ both Chief.


Roland said...

Right on, Andy!

It seems that instead of solving the department's problems, Chief Perry's strategy seems to be covering it all up with some pretty canny PR spin.

You know, his (or whoever's writing it!) tactic is probably going to be successful for the same reason that "support the troops" really means shut up about the war. (I mean, why feel guilty when you can feel good, huh?) The police department is to become a sacred cow where criticism is verboten, apparently.

The (obviously cooked-up) dialog nicely implies that everything is fine and dandy with the police department. And with little to contradict that from the press, people are happy to believe that's true.

What we really need is for a cop to come forward and call bullshit. We malcontents don't have the right kind of credibility.

Anonymous said...

I think the Chief should experience his latest technologic toy.......da taser-lazer. In fact, all the proponents who support its use should break it in with their skin to prove how safe it is.