Police detective resigns over jokes he made about shooting up station if not transferred
Dark humor or a threat to an agency? That’s what was being debated before a Florida detective resigned.
It happened in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Detective Steven Bergren resigned Thursday before his interview with internal affairs investigators.
Police say they were going to be questioning him around two sets of comments he made about shooting up a police station.
He claims saying, “There would be an active shooter situation” if he did not get an assignment to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Countywide Narcotics Task Force was an “ill advised” attempt at humor.
But the officers who heard his comment – which he called a “jest” – said it was made in a “stoic manner and not giving any indication that this was a joke.”
According to investigators, Bergren made that comment twice.
Local media is reporting that the detective would have been fired if he hadn’t resigned. On Friday, the case was formally closed.
The investigation began on Aug. 6. That’s when Bergren was stripped of his weapons and placed on paid administrative leave.
Police said he took responsibility for his words in writing.
Now it’ll be up a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Standards Commission investigation to determine the fate of his certification as a cop in Florida.
In the meantime in Boston, an officer is on administrative leave over accusations by students that he used racist slurs. And although the investigation has just begun, he’s already under attack by the mayor.
Students from a Hyde Park charter school said that last week, the officer pushed them and used racist slurs after he responded to a noise complaint at a fast-food restaurant.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
With the investigation just starting, Police Commissioner William Gross and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins decided to visit Roxbury Prep High School Thursday to hear from students.
They say the point of the visit was to foster trust in police officers.
“They’re walking away from this encounter on Friday feeling attacked and racialized and dehumanized,” Rollins said as she left the school. “We have to wait and see what the investigation shows, but the allegations are hate-filled and fuel distrust of law enforcement.”
Here’s what allegedly happened. The students involved are in the ninth and 10th grades. Parents said they were at a McDonald’s down the street from the school before classes began and they were being so disruptive that the manager asked them to leave.
They didn’t, and so someone at the restaurant called the cops.
Parents said the officer got angry when they didn’t listen.
“The police officer was asking them to leave, but then he changed his attitude and started pushing the kids and using bad language toward them,” said Rafaela Martinez.
Her son was one of the students.
He says the officer followed them up the street to the school. The students claim the officer used the n-word, and called them “monkeys.”
Mayor Martin J. Walsh released a statement in which he called the students’ allegations “incredibly disturbing.”
“No one should experience racism or discrimination, not in a place of learning and not anywhere,” Walsh said.
He said it’s a good thing they are investigating.
“We have to be better. I commend Boston police for taking action as soon as they were made aware of the allegations, and I am confident they will investigate this case to its full extent.”
Martinez said her son, who is 15, knows to obey the cops if given orders.
“They’re still kids. For me as a mom, I’m seeing both sides. The kids were really loud, up in his face trying to record him,” Martinez said. “The police officer is still a human being. Sometimes we just have a bad day.”
The officer in question is Joseph Lynch, a 16-year veteran of the department who was assigned to District E-18 in Hyde Park.
Sergeant John Boyle, a department spokesman, said Lynch will be on administrative leave as the department’s internal affairs section investigates.
Gross is trying to walk a fine line between not affect his department’s internal affairs investigation and apologizing to students.
“My apology was that they had a negative interaction, and that could have caused them to not trust the police,” he said. He also wanted them to know that he and Rollins “will listen to their voices, and just as importantly, [want] to thank them for using their voices.”
According to Rollins, it’s all about hearing the concerns of the community.
She wants them to know “know we’re listening, and if what they allege happened, the Boston Police Department is far better than that.”
In Boston, Roxbury Prep has three middle school and two high schools – the Hyde Park location houses kids in the ninth and 10th grades, most of whom are black and Latino.
Barbara Martinez is a spokeswoman for Roxbury Prep. She shared appreciation from the school Rollins and Gross came to listen to the students.
“Numerous students and staff have come forward to express deep concerns about the officer’s behavior, both in terms of his actions and language,” Martinez said. “The entire Roxbury Prep community — students, families, administrators, faculty, and staff — are shocked and deeply upset by what occurred.”
Oren Sellstrom is the litigation director for Boston-based Lawyers for Civil Rights, and spoke to local media, which said “negative interactions with law enforcement can be especially harmful when they come at a young age”.
“It’s particularly damaging when the conduct is directed at children and young adults,” Sellstrom said. “Do you look to officers to protect you, or do you see them as a hostile or racist element of your community?”
It’s amazing what happens these days with simple accusations.
Two weeks ago, we reported about how an entire Pennsylvania fire company was closed by town officials. Why? Because one of its volunteer firefighters once attended Proud Boys social gatherings.
You read that right.
The department is in Haverford Township, part of Delaware County.
The day after it happened, the township’s manager David Burman released a statement. He said the department was informed on Aug. 12 that a volunteer with the Bon Air Fire Company was affiliated with “an organization described as an extremist group”.
Burman said the township immediately launched an investigation, which included interviewing the volunteer. He apparently admitted he had been briefly involved with the Proud Boys, having attended social gatherings hosted by the group and passing two of the group’s four initiation steps, “which includes hazing.”
Burman’s statement then talked about the group’s “self-proclaimed basic tenet,” which is posted on their website. It says they are “Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which itself has come under fire for being a far left organization, has designated them as a “hate group” who “are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric”.
Women and transgender men are not allowed in the group, which has apparently made them a hate group.
According to Burman, the volunteer “indicated that he had attempted to distance himself from the group in recent months”.
Burman says he and a police official met with Bon Air Fire Company officials on Aug. 14 to address “the seriousness of this matter and urged the fire company to address it.”
According to Burman, he was informed the next day that the volunteer had offered his resignation over having attended the events a year before.
The Bon Air Fire Company chief had refused to accept it.
Burman seemingly lost his mind when, a week later, he received an email that said the fire company’s board had “found no basis for terminating the volunteer’s membership.”
“The email included no indication that the fire company would take any action whatsoever,” Burman’s statement said. “The Bon Air Fire Company’s failure to address this matter conflicts with the public policy of Haverford Township, which includes ensuring that all persons are treated fairly and equally, and that all persons enjoy the full benefits of citizenship.
So he shut down the department, announcing the Bon Air Fire Company was “relieved of duty indefinitely”.
The Bon Air Fire Company put out a statement, saying the township stripped the station of its equipment and trucks.
In that statement, they said the company had investigated the volunteer’s involvement with the “outside organization” and found that he had “limited interactions” with the group and that he had ultimately decided not to join.
“He never attended any rallies or protests, and he disassociated himself from the group more than one year ago,” the statement said.
The volunteer was a six-year veteran with the company. He was not identified in the statements from the company or the township.
We do know, however, that he was recently honored by Bon Air Fire Company. They said he “has always acted as a caring person dedicated to serving his community” and “has not acted in any way which suggests his behavior would be influenced by this organization,” the statement said.
“For these reasons, the Fire Company decided not to terminate the services of the volunteer.”
The statement was written by two attorneys. In it, they lambasted the closure of the station. They also said the township was depriving the community of 37 firefighters and three firetrucks during emergencies.
There are some 50,000 people who live in Haverford Township.
The fire company urged residents to “please let their commissioners know that the Township is wrong to close the Bon Air Fire Company.”
In the meantime, if you’re a college professor, you can apparently declare “I am Antifa” and talk about attacking President Trump and killing Christians and there are no consequences.
Jeff Klinzman, a Kirkwood College adjunct English professor, has gone on the record to confirm that he is Antifa.
For those who are unfamiliar with Antifa, let’s get you up to speed. Antifa is a group of people who claim to be anti-violence while deploying violence.
They claim to support freedom of speech while violently shutting down the speech of those with whom they disagree. These individuals will agitate and instigate in hopes of throwing punches, swinging bats, hammers and crowbars
The Washington Times calls Antifa a group that has been behind multiple violent protests nationwide, saying they are focused on physically fighting far right and white supremacist groups. The FBI has monitored the group and President Trump is considering designating it as a domestic terrorist organization.
Klinzman, told a local TV station’s investigative team, “I affirm that I am ‘antifa.’”
He declined to take part in an interview citing safety concerns but said in an email he makes no apology for what he has posted online.
It is a bit ironic that Antifa does not care about the safety of its targets, but they do carry a deep concern for their own.
Klinzman said what he has posted on social media drew complaints at Kirkwood Community College.
A quick view of the “Iowa Antifa” Facebook page details many far-left statements, conversations and photos.
One of them features a tweet from President Trump calling the group, “Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting… people over the heads with baseball bats”. The professor wrote in response, “Yeah, I know who I’d clock with a bat…”
The Secret Service says that they are aware of the posts but would not confirm if they are investigating it as a threat to the President.
An attorney from Cedar Rapid, Sara Riley said that while what Klinzman posted may suggest an act of violence against the president, she does not expect him to be charged.
“It’s so ambiguous that there is just no way that he’d ever be considered a true threat,” said Riley.
According to KCRG, a search through Klinzman’s Facebook page shows over the years that he has also made statements expressing his desire to “stop evangelical Christians” where he included a poem that said:
“Kill them all and bury them deep in the ground”.
Klinzman went on to explain:
“It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud, but seeing what evangelical Christians are doing to this county and its people fills me with rage, and a desire to exact revenge.”
Klinzman as the utmost contempt for those of the Christian faith.
The investigative team also shared posts between the professor and Pastor Dave Doyle of Hope Christian Fellowship in Cedar Rapids. Doyle thinks Klinzman should be removed from the classroom immediately.
“This is not something you can just dance around the topic,” said Doyle. “You have to confront it, you have to face it, you to deal with it, sometimes very bluntly and I don’t see that is what Kirkwood is doing there right now.”
Klinzman did say in a statement that his comments about killing Christians may have gone too far but he said he would only apologize to those Christians who share his “commitment” to various issues facing the country.
It is mighty nice of him to be so willing to apologize to Christians for the hateful wishes of death he made towards Christians, as long as they were amongst the Christians who happen to subscribe to his particular brand of hatred and intolerance.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say, that while a person’s eternal salvation (or lack thereof) is a matter known only to the individual and God, I would have to question how anyone could legitimately claim to be a Christian while also espousing the beliefs, ideology and hate-filled thought process that Klinzmen and the rest of the Antifa ilk possess.
A Kirkwood spokesperson declined requests to interview someone with the college about this situation.
As it turns out, students of the college had plenty to say about Klinzman. It is noteworthy that an English professor spends so much time inject his beliefs and agendas into Shakespearean soliloquies and dangling participles. Users of Rate My Professor said the following:
“Way too opinionated and grades fluctuate based on your ideology. Very little consistency, and he’s often having to struggle to regain his composure after being challenged. He will not admit he made an error and will punish you for showing him it. Most of the assignment topics were taken from other college website curriculum.”
“Whatever you do, don’t interrupt him when he’s telling stories about his glory days of protesting, and how much of a rebel he thinks he still is. He’s mean, he’s a bigot, and he’s sexist as heck. He treats the female students who aren’t hairy-pitted feminists like they are garbage. He’s arrogant and condescending. Just really a bad instructor.”
“He has no clue about teaching pedagogy, grading scales, and just common-sense communication skills. What he says and what actually happens are two totally different things. He needs to think about what the class focus is, not just his personal agenda.”
“If you only want to write about and talk about race and gender, take this class with him, but that is all you will talk about. Also, his grading scale is messed up. if you do an assignment exactly how it should be done, you will get a C, in order to get better than that you have to do double what the requirements ask.”
It is unfathomable that a state-funded community college would continue to employ someone who readily admits to being a member of a group that encourages and practices violence against those with whom they disagree.
While they claim to be fighting against the “bigoted” right-wing of America, they also have no problem beating a gay man of Asian descent in public and broad daylight.
The photojournalist and members of law enforcement were reportedly attacked and assaulted by masked antifa members during a massive protest in downtown Portland on Saturday.
“I just got beat up by the crowd — no police at all — in the middle of the street,” journalist Andy Ngo said in an online post. “And they stole my GoPro. And they punched me several times in my face and head, and I’m bleeding.”
The scuffles began with a small gathering of the Proud Boys group. Officers within the city noted that they had also been struck with flying items like eggs, milkshakes, rocks and more.
Ngo showed signs of cuts and bruises on his face and neck and evidently had a milkshake and other projectiles thrown at him while he was trying to get away.
A video of the scene shows the moments that the masked protesters rush Ngo, throwing items at him while also throwing punches and harsh kicks. The crowd pulls back after an original punch was delivered, but then a number of black-clad individuals rush in, attacking Ngo as he is surrounded.
Rose City Antifa had reportedly called out Ngo in an online post promoting the “Community Self Defense Against Proud Boy Attack,” calling him a “[l]ocal far-right Islamophobic journalist.”
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Published at Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:19:29 +0000