In Schenectady, New York, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he’s in charge of the maintenance department. That’s when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.
Ten years after his arrest, Steve Raucci broke his silence and gave an interview to Paul Nelson at the Times Union in Albany.
This is literally how he got started auditing. Then they wonder why there’s so many auditors
Man: “Get out of my car!” Lady cop: “Don’t tell me what to do!” What a child, sheesh. I wonder what she would’ve done if he had been more verbally aggressive.Let’s be honest, they were going to find a reason to search the car no matter what. They weren’t traffic cops trying to give out seat belt tickets.His last comments said it all. “They are narc cops, they don’t pull people over for seatbelts.” “The pulled me over because I am a white man in a black neighborhood.” This is EXACTLY what these fishing expeditions are all about. To quote my cop friends “We are like sharks, constantly circling, lokking for a reason to pull people over.”If an officer accuses you of something and then doesn’t show up in court, you better not be liable for any lost revenue / court costs. I would be pissed.The police really need more accountability. They shouldn’t have any type of immunity. They should be held to a higher standard, not lowerThe officer says “relax” to the man surrounded by several people with (I assume loaded) guns and other weapons. I can only wonder how relaxed the officer would have been if the situation were reversed.The “word” of cops has been taken for truth far too long! It is outrageous that the officer searched his vehicle without his consent and “after” he repeatedly said “NOT” to.Cops telling people to “stay calm” after or while stripping them of their rights always gets me on this channel lol… The audacity!They should get a F, for not turning over all footage when requested. To use their logic… Why not just comply with the request “if you have nothing to hide.”Quote from a cop who wishes to remain anonymous, “every traffic stop is a fishing expedition“. Educating us & protecting us is NOT what cops do!“Officer safety”. The magic words that allow the cops to order, detain, search, escalate, abuse, assault, humiliate and retaliate.I think you missed another point about officer safety justifying the search: once they removed him from his car, whatever might have been there was no longer a factor as he couldn’t reach it. By taking him out, maybe even closing the door, they assured their safety from anything that could have been there. Thus, the search, while perhaps legal by the letter of the law, exposes their likely intent to find more “dirt” on him and NOT about officer safety. The search reveals the stop to be almost certainly pretextual to try to find more serious crimes. Legal, yes, but not community-endearing.The Courts allowing officers to search because they “believe” something, is in direct contradiction to the 4th Amendment. “You need a warrant, unless you decide for yourself that you don’t…then, no problem.” Makes zero sense.Why were there so many officers present for a “seatbelt” violation? This was a pretextual stop for being in the “wrong neighborhood”Police Departments MUST be overseen by citizen review boards. Additionally, all body cam videos need to be uploaded within 24-hours and archived by such boards in addition to the departments’ evidence database so they cannot go “missing” or be tampered with. I find it highly “suspicious” (one of cops’ favorite words) that the female cop’s body cam footage is one of the two missing from the FOIA request.I love the inherent conflict between “people leaning over to the passenger side of their car” being a valid excuse for cops to suspect someone is hiding something and the fact that the glovebox, where most people keep their cars information, requires you to lean over to the passenger seat.Should have received all 4 body cams, such bullshit to have a system to retrieve information and information can be denied when it contains the victim and may contain information that would put liability against officers or a department. We seriously need further protections and extensions to laws and systems to gain access to information, especially when it directly contains information relating to ourselves and interactions with law enforcement.A lot of the time, it seems like ATA gives the police “outs” all the time. The idea that the female officer could use some obscure rule, when I’m almost certain she wasn’t thinking of it, gives off the idea to me that these officers can use videos similar to their cases to find loopholes and whatnot.The supreme court really screwed us with this rule of cops being able to order citizens out of their vehicles for no reason!So let me get this straight, when you are pulled over, if you act like a helpful, normal member of society and try to get your insurance out of your glove department while waiting for the cop, YOU CAN BE SHOT OR SEARCHED because of something far less likely going through the cops heads? … WHAT?!?“Why are you acting like this? Why are you using the law to defend your rights?” This is really what they want to say.Pisses me off how these officers are telling him to relax while they blatantly violate his rights.She was already searching the car when he said he didn’t consent to it. True, he did eventually admit to getting his phone, but I believe he would still have a very strong case against the search.Auditor: “Do you know the 4th amendment” Cop: “Yeah I do” Auditor: “What is it” Cop who clearly doesn’t know: “I don’t have to explain myself to you”Ah yes search the vehicle for “police safety” whilst he’s not in the vehicle and has already been searched and has 4 police officers surrounding him. Yes he lent over but he told them he was putting his phone up“Just stay calm” sheesh they are so calm and borderline respectful towards him. Yet, I understand where he’s coming from. Hell, if you walk up to a cop car you’ll have 3 or 5 cops wondering why you’re around their vehicles. They were illegally in his vehicle and they wonder why he was irate. I swear it obviously doesn’t take much intelligence to become a cop.When he said “leaned over” he was quoting what the cop previously said.Your rights are neutered when you’re in a car. It’s crazy how much leeway courts have given law enforcement over the years.Every one of those cops are corrupt. They gaslit him and they told him to remain calm. And how did that one cop not know how to read an expiration date?Officer: “I’m going to search this vehicle whether or not I get permission.”4th amendment: “you can’t do that.”Supreme Court: “you CAN do that if you don’t feel safe (hint hint)”Officer” “I don’t feel safe so I’m going to search this vehicle without permission.” 4th amendment: “WTF?”I love how cops will say “we are recording too” and then when you try and get the footage they some how only give you half the footage.The problem here is that he lost his cool and never got it back. You make a lot of mistakes when you’re controlled by emotion. He was not thinking clearly.Mr. Disorderly- “I don’t talk to cops” Cop- “Cool, get out of the car” Mr. Disorderly then talks for literally the entire stop.Who trained these officers to tell an irritated person to calm down? When in the history of man has that ever worked? All that has ever achieved is to further irritate the person. Well, it’s Chicago and you’re not exactly dealing with the best and brightest.Police have been taught that it usually has the opposite effect when someone is being violated. They say “calm down” because They want their victim to give them a reason to be violent.@A Bike and Its Boy telling people what to do, when they didn’t ask you for it. Just like Karen. Bye FeliciaBeing that the individual was outside the vehicle when the search of his vehicle began, he would not have been in a position to obtain the weapon if he had one. This rendering the officers claim invalid as to officer safety. Have a great day 😊.I love how they kept distracting him with the same questions repeatedly to draw attention away from the officer who they were not going to interfere with while she was going through his stuff. If I learned anything from this, it’s to keep a stash of uncapped hypodermic needles on hand just to toss under the seat as a deterrent for any such actions. Let them learn on their own… 🤷🏾♂️ One thing he did wrong, which I do anytime I get stopped, roll up all the windows and lock the doors. She’s never should have been able to open that door to begin with.One of the most offensive things is that cop who keeps saying “Just relax” and “Relax. Relax”. If I were a judge, I’d lock him up with a Lexis/Nexis computer and would not let him out until he printed out for me the statues that say “failure to relax” is a cri’me. That cop wasn’t issuing lawful orders. That cop was just on an ego-trip. There’s no law against not relaxing. He was clearly way out of his rights and just trying to make the subject kow-tow by issuing UNlawful commands. (And after the cop gives up and says “I had no right under law to tell him to relax” then I’d give him a trial for abusing his authority and throw him in jail for the rest of his life. And that’s because I don’t believe in the death-penalty. There’s just no excuse for bossing people around gratuitously just because it makes someone feel superior.These guys tried soooooo hard to implicate him in admitting to “furtive movements 🙄” so that they can justify an unconstitutional search. DisgustingAudit the Audit gets an F on this one. A furtive movement is one that “attempts to avoid notice or attention”. Leaning isnt furtive, its obvious and everyone pulled over leans to retrieve their wallet or ID. If anything Audit the Audit suggested were in fact lawful, every single movement in a vehicle could be considered furtive and warrantless searches would be common place as the 4th would be moot. The problem with taking a sentence out of case law is that each case is decided on a totality of the circumstances. In this case the police only had “leaning over”. They couldnt cite a violent criminal history or history of gun possession. They couldnt claim location was a hot spot of criminal activity. They couldn’t claim there was a high risk to the nature of the stop. They had nothing and likely the two body cameras they didnt send footage for showed the police intended to pull the car over to conduct a search, just like the guy asserted.SO CORUPT! If a cop doesn’t show up for court they should never be allowed to be a cop because it shows they will use there power for bad and then simply not show up for accountability... One of the main reasons why the Supreme Court has shredded the 4th Amendment is to help cops and prosecutors wage their failed drug war against Americans. The war against drugs is actually a war waged by the government against its own citizens.In essence, a cop can just make up anything they want to make your life hard and they are covered by qualified immunityGet that incompetent “officer” out of his car. She falsely accused him of having expired car insurance 😵💫 She is clearly not capable of muchThe cops were trying to get him to say exactly where the insurance was so they could say he gave them implied consent to get in his car.If you’ve got nothing to hide, then why didn’t you show up to testify, officer?>> Same thing happened to me in Illinois. 44 in a 30 as I’m crossing the sign that says 45 mph. Cited for 44 in a 30 and they no showed after trying to get in the car. I yelled way worse than he did 😂>> You’re suggesting that the officer didn’t show up because he/she has something to hide? I guess that’s possible, but I’m thinking that this is a minor seat-belt citation, and it is not uncommon for law enforcement not to show up for such minor violations when there might be other priorities. Therefore, if you have the time and it’s not too inconvenient you should always contest a minor infraction – there’s a good likelihood the officer will not show up.@Captain Ron I totally agree with you. Always contest the ticket to the magistrate and if you lose there appeal to see the judge. Most cops would rather be getting private overtime work for more pay, They can’t pass up the easy money and I don’t blame them one bit.Captain Ron. If it’s not important enough to show up to testify, then it’s not important enough to write the ticket! This was a pretextual stop, because, as he stated,he drove through a known drug trafficking area! She was searching for drugs, not a gun!i love how the cop hands the insurance to the lady bc she’s the one dealing with the power trip. so funny how they support each other. he couldn’t just check?If I were this guy, I’d have said two things (among others): 1. STOP CALLING ME BRO! 2. STOP TELLING ME TO RELAX!It’s funny how the vehicle paint states “we serve and protect” when the highest court of the land ruled they have no obligation to our safety.From what i have seen in my lifetime is most officers know the loop holes of the law way better then the actual law they are to followIt’s hard to stay calm when you think you are being violated I feel for the dudeWhen I’ve been pulled over I’ve HAD to reach over to get my license and registration, as I assume most people do. Who has all that stuff in a spot where they can just grab it without reaching?“I don’t answer questions…I don’t answer questions…Now let me go ahead and answer all your questions.” ….. There is NEVER a benefit to say ANYTHING to the police in ANY circumstance other than “Am I being detained”, “Am I free to go” or “I want my lawyer”. Anything else can ONLY hurt you.The guy is out of his vehicle, the windows are down and it’s broad daylight but yet she’s searching his car without good reason or his permission. It’s like they’re trying to distract him with questions but they wouldn’t stop what they were doing.>> I just couldn’t imagine being a police officer and then apparently being so dang scared of every single encounter they initiate.>> @Ash Williams they’re not scared, it’s their excuse for acting illegally and controlling people.>> “He leaned over therefore it’s reasonable to believe the cops life may be in danger” -the justice system We need to break the back of the justice system on these issues.I’m pretty convinced at this point, having had similar things happen to me (getting pulled over and searched for drugs when there were not drugs or even suspicion of any), that cops just do this to piss you off/get back at you for something you said/inconvenience you. They know you won’t be busted for anything, but they know how to ring you through the system to make your life at least miserable and inconvenienced. And then there is a record that you had an encounter with them, which makes you look more suspect each time you run into a cop. I’m not sure if there is a name for this phenomenon. I just call it ringing you through the system. This is how they attack you without actually attacking you.
.. I always love to listen to police calmly tell citizens to “relax bro” – AFTER they have stopped, harassed, illegally searched, belittled, frisked, and made the citizen leave the vehicle and put their hands on the top of the car. In what universe does this silly expression, “relax bro” not serve to further anger a justifiably outraged citizen?Reminds me of when I got charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, plus another half a dozen of bs charges and when I showed up to court. The state trooper never showed up and everything got dismissed.IMO this is fascism in America full stop. These cops operate without any regard for the law
>> It is Authoritarianism, not Fascism but all Fascism is Authoritarianism.
Isn’t that contempt of court when they don’t show up for court? I thought if you don’t show up a bench warrant goes out for your arrest? That would have been awesome to see those cops get arrestedThe “protective search” of the car is straight bs and should not be allowed or justified. Being allowed to remove the occupants of a vehicle for officer safety and doing a terry pat down should be sufficient. In that case any police officer can use the argument, as what you used in this video, that the person(s) leaned over to justify any search of a vehicle where other items (“evidence”) other than illegal weapons are found.I also believe they wrote the citation to jam him up and screw with him just for arguing. That citation is a straight up contempt of cop citation. Im sure like the driver in this video pointed out, those officers are not worried about seatbelt violations, though using any be traffic violation to create a legal reason for the stop.It seems like the police could just say “I saw you reach for something” and use that as articulable suspicion to be able to search the vehicle, regardless of whether the suspicion has any factual basis.He was out of the car when the search occurred. No way was this for officer protection. He could not reach for anything on the passenger side when he is outside and on the drivers side and controlled by two officers. They were looking for drugs or another reason to arrest him.We’ve given government so much power that there’s almost no way to know if you’re in the right or wrong. There’s the 4th amendment but all kinds of exceptions to it. The fact that he can lean over in his own car and that’s apparently suspicious, is insane.I do appreciate that the officers tried to calm him down and de-escalate after realizing they were completely in the wrong regarding the initial search. Though they SHOULD have apologized.Here’s a thought, maybe police should stop doing “hazardous roadside encounters” if they are soooooo afraid of everyone that moves, and clearly violates the 4th amendment. That why it protect the police and keeps our 4th amendments intact. Just a thought.So, all a cop has to do is “Claim” they saw someone lean or reach over and they can do a warrantless search. Nice to know we are safe from accusations. Even if the claim had been true, they could have asked him to step out for their safety. Confirmed he was unarmed and then proceeded with stop as normal. Instead you have 4 cops for a random for a traffic stop? Four? And one immediately opens the car and starts searching rather than a cursory visual inspection from outside that would be more than enough to verify if a weapon was present. This was intentional instigation. On top of that the woman couldn’t even read the insurance right, or was lying in order to enter and search the car again.Ugh, so much ambiguity built into the law to protect police corruption. “I smell weed” “You leaned over” All subjective, requires no evidence, and leaves the door wide open for them to do what they want, regardless of actual observable facts.This is what everyone is overlooking, he was stopped in a black neighborhood . that means those cops are doing the same thing every day all day to that community. Every black person that interacts with these cops are not criminals….and just imagine is this was at night.Never in the history of “calm down/relax” has anyone ever calmed down nor relaxed 😂When I first saw this and saw plain clothes officers all ready to go I knew it was a prejudged stop. They knew what they were trying to do.Got to love it when officers assert their Authority and dominance to scare people into conforming. She could have easily said sorry and backed away but instead she wanted to justify her actions and fight with the person to assert dominance. What happened to the good old days when they told officers not to argue with people and just do their job???I bet the “stay calm, relax” guy knew what they were doing was wrong, but wasn’t brave enough to stop itLet’s get this straight as I hear this a lot from people being harassed by cops. They’ll say ‘In a hard working American with a job/ business. I pay my taxes’ etc. It does not matter if you are. It does not give your Rights any more juice than a unemployed homeless person.I get what you’re doing by clearly breaking down the letter of the law, and it is often helpful. But It would really lend your channel a lot more credibility and popularity if you would point out how some case law and even supreme court rulings clearly fly in the face of the spirit of the constitution and are outright tyrannical in nature. Any excuse to search a person’s vehicle without a warrant are plain examples of this. The idea that officers safety outweighs the safety of the citizenry is itself a crime. Do better man.Seems like the courts rule to give the impression of freedom’s while leaving enough loopholes so the police can act with impunity. You act like the police know the law, whereas I feel they know that they can do whatever and will find a law/create a reason to back them up later.The female officer searched his vehicle not on direct suspicion of a crime having been committed but instead trying to see if a crime has been committed. Shame on these cops and I hope the lawsuit is fat.All those exceptions… The biggest danger for the constritution is the supreme courtWhen he said “You want to see what I was leaning over to get… it was my phone!” he was only repeating the words the cop used, not admitting it himself. He follows it up with “it’s on me.” Meaning it was in his pocket and not on the passenger side, where they claim “he may be trying to hide something.”
“Because I’m white in a black neighborhood” this actually happened to me and the cop pretty much admitted to it outright during the stop. In 2016, my aunt was working for a company called Niantic and she convinced me and my mom to check out Pokemon Go. I kind of got into playing it for awhile😂 there was this website that showed where rare Pokemon spawns were and a rare Pokemon was spawning a few miles from my house in a city called Inkster. So I drove to the area and was trying to find the Pokemon. I was driving slowly down a rough street, where the stupid Pokemon should have been but it didn’t spawn so I drove around the block
As I was driving, I got pulled over. It was daytime, but the cop claimed he pulled me over because the license plate light on my SUV was out(which, it was my mom’s car and I didn’t even know she had one, my car didn’t. It isn’t a requirement to have) He asked me to step out of my vehicle and offered to show me what he was talking about and then asked if I minded if his partner “took a look around in the car”
I was naive, dumb and terrified. I thought if I said no they would suspect I was doing something wrong or hiding something so I said sure. We got to the back of the car by the license plate and I remembered the car was off so he couldn’t show me the light. He began asking me who I knew in this area, which house I was going to, I said I did know someone who lived like a half mile down but I wasn’t going to anyone’s house and explained that I was looking for a Pokemon and he said “Oh that explains why you were looking at your phone when you stopped on the street back there” He told me this was a bad neighborhood, that I didn’t “exactly look” like I “should be here” and he made it very clear that they thought I was here to buy drugs. As if that is the only reason I would possibly be in a predominantly black neighborhood 😤
Once they finished casually poking around in my car, they told me to start the car and they go “oh look at that, your license plate light is working again, you don’t need to worry about getting it fixed”. I was baffled. They lied to pull me over. When I was a teenager my boyfriend’s cars brake lights were shorting out apparently, we got pulled over and the cop just let us know that our brake light was out but when we went over the railroad tracks, it turned back on and that it was probably a wiring issue and gave us a fix it ticket. These cops were telling me I didn’t need to worry about the fact that the light was magically working again. It was all very weirdLove how AFTER violating this guys rights they keep saying ‘relax’ and ‘calm down’…99% off drivers have their insurance and registration in their glove box. So anyone who reaches for that stuff before the cop walks to the car gives the cops reasonable suspicion to search the car I guess>> Good point. It’s probably better to wait until the cop asks for the documents before reaching for them. Except that Philando Castile was shot and killed because he reached into his back pocket to get his wallet. And the cop who killed him was found not guilty by a jury.>> @Jon Stone ANNNND he only reached because the officer told him to give him ID… as a PASSENGER… who previously VOLUNTEERED that he was legally carrying a concealed weapon! If someone takes the initiative to tell you they’re carrying, and afterwards you request ID, it was 100% YOUR responsibility to instruct them how to provide it in such a manner to allay your fears of them drawing their weapon.
>> That’s why I keep my registration and insurance in my driver side visor
>> Truth is if your black than almost anything you do puts fear in the cops minds. And the most dangerous thing you can do is challenge a cop and hurt their ego.Not really sure how an “officer safety” search can be valid…ever. Once they removed him from the car and patted him down, any weapon he had in the vehicle is no longer accessible.Regardless of if they had reason to be suspicious of him, they still continue to blame him for the incident and tell him to calm down, rather than just admit their suspicions were wrong.People gotta remember that there is a law called deprivation of rights on the color of law. It is a federal crime for any person who can utilize the law to deprive you of your rights while under that color of law. A violation of your rises also a deprivation of your rights. This is punishd between one and 10 years and a federal prison. If a life is lost during the deprivation of rights then the death penalty can automatically be on the table at the federal level. You have to file these charge with the feder yourself. It is time we start filed these charges with every single deprivation of your rights. Also when I please have some breaks the law starting system the weapons related charges are also included. Because the more they broke the law there in Alanna protected by the law or at least should not be which means, their possession of firearms while committing crimes! It’s time we start holding them to a higher level. Nobody’s expecting them to be perfect and above reprieve. But knowledgeable of the law respectful and professional, hell yes!
However when the officer asked him to get out and he willingly complied, they lost all right to enter the vehicle. Since he’s now outside the vehicle, there’s no reasonable assumption for him to be able to reach the supposed weapon they thought he was hiding. Therefore they have mitigated officer safety by removing him from the vehicle instead.I believe the fact that not even one of the four officers showed up for the court date says about all we need to know about their case and how well it would stand up against questions in court.My lawyer is filling a motion to suppress as I type. I was never charged with the reason for the stop (Invalid plate). Because they were valid. The DMV even sent me a certified document agreeing with me. Pulled over in 2018 Document received in 2020 Motion filled in 2022 30 court dates 1 public defender quit because he didn’t want to file the motion! If I had money for a real lawyer this would be history. If you’re still reading this ..my charges are driving without a license and possession of paraphernalia (pot pipe) In my defense….you can’t get fruit from the poisonous tree. In the last 4 years I’ve learned a lot from videos and if I could do it again I’d ask for a supervisor and have them run my plates, then I could have caught the officer lying on the spot! I was on probation and a registered co-owner of the car. Yet the cop said no name was associated to the plates. And yet here I am 4 years later with the DMV ( a State entity) saying the plates were legal, trying to defend myself from the State. Morale of the story….if you want things done and you have a public defender…you must do them yourself. They won’t defend you, all they will do is represent you.Did u know that it even turned out that their reason for the stop “the seatbelt” wasn’t even valid and this was based on where the cop was at the junction as dpn passed him because there was no way he would have been able to see his seatbelt from the passenger side window as he passed the crossroad where the cop was stopped at the traffic lights to his right! THATS probably the reason they didn’t turn up in court, because they knew the stop was bullshit in the first place! 🤬🤬🤬🤬.. He’d been a black man he’d already be in handcuffs.. They really thought they could mess with him until he said Terry v Ohio. Their whole demeanor changed after that most holy of prayers>> Sad that you need to be a lawyer to keep cops off your rights. But still the best way should be to just remain silent and file a complaint/go to court later instead of resisting in any way beyond expressing your disagreement.@Shawn Moses Oh ok, but how is it exactly in the US? Where I live, if you win in court you get back all your expenses. Plus you can have an insurrance for legal expenses too, which covers all possible costs. But I figured thats not popular in the US…“Officer safety”, that is the most obscene excuses used to justify illegal searches and detainments by LEOs.Clearly an extremely controversial search of that man’s vehicle, over an alleged seatbelt violation. I’m a retired police officer and before I search someone’s vehicle, certain parameters need to have been met. What these officers did was uncalled for, unprofessional and likely illegal. The officers, based on the number of them and how they were dressed, seemed to have been on a fishing expedition that went horribly wrong for them.I guess all vehicles can be searched when drivers lean over to get their documents out of the glovebox.I didn’t know that driving while white was a thing. I guarantee this guy was not pulled over for a seatbelt violation. I also guarantee that the cops wish in retrospect that theyhad taken a pass on playing with this guy. He was a handful for sure.Almost all the cops I have come across, have that air of entitlement. As if, we are cattle and they are the royalty, and has in good graces, let us “work” there… It’s not like it’s the other way around. No wonder, why a few just loose their marbles and end up blasting these people sometimes. I just hope, when that thing happens, none of the good ones get caught in that sh!t storm!I love how they say that they are recording… yet their recordings go missing or they are muted or they are not uploaded. When will these stupid ass LEOs start behaving smarter than a 5th grader???I have to disagree with the finding of the PD. They get an F for all the reasons stated in the video, but for also failing to ensure the capture or protection of the two officers’ worn bodycamera footage. These cameras are there for the purpose of keeping an honest, unbiased record of the events, so when 50% of those responding fail to produce/protect said video evidence, it is a clear dereliction of their duty, OR a gross indication of their department, one willing to do what it takes to avoid public scrutiny. Any organization whose success record is tied directly to the collection of evidence that also has such flagrant disregard for video footage collection which may in fact exonerate their behaviour, for the simple reason that it MAY catch them acting poorly, should more than likely have the entire leadership removed, the officers retrained, and the staff sacked or transferred.It always amazes me when out of control cops tell people to relax.How TF did you give the cops a C, after they purposely hid Incriminating evidence? There was a reason he only got 2 bodycam videos. There is always a reason… they always suppress the videos that makes cops look bad. Often it’s conversations between each other as they conspire to create a crime that didn’t exist. It is what they believe their job is.
What did Justice Clarence Thomas know, and when did he know it?
The question usually gets directed at politicians, not judges, but it’s a fair one in light of the revelation on Thursday that Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginni, was working feverishly behind the scenes — and to a far greater degree than she previously admitted — in a high-level effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
As The Washington Post and CBS News first reported, Ms. Thomas, a supremely well-connected right-wing agitator, was in constant communication with the White House in the weeks following the election, strategizing over how to keep Donald Trump in office despite his incontrovertible loss. “Do not concede,” she texted to Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, on Nov. 6, the day before the major news networks called the election for Joe Biden. “It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back.” (To date, Mr. Trump has not conceded.)
In dozens of messages with Mr. Meadows over several weeks, Ms. Thomas raged over baseless allegations of voter fraud and shared unhinged conspiracy theories, including one that the “Biden crime family” was in the process of being arrested and sent to Guantánamo Bay for “ballot fraud.”
“Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!” Ms. Thomas wrote at one point. “The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
Ms. Thomas had already acknowledged some involvement in the fight over the 2020 election count, recently confirming that she attended the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally in Washington, but she said she went home before Mr. Trump spoke to the crowd and before a mob of hundreds stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to block the certification of Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory. The texts reveal that her efforts to subvert the election were far more serious than we knew.
Now recall that in January, the Supreme Court rejected Mr. Trump’s request to block the release of White House records relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Mr. Meadows had submitted a brief in the case supporting Mr. Trump. The court’s ruling came as an unsigned order, with only one noted dissent: from Justice Thomas.
Perhaps Justice Thomas was not aware of his wife’s text-message campaign to Mr. Meadows at the time. But it sure makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
And that’s precisely the problem: We shouldn’t have to wonder. The Supreme Court is the most powerful judicial body in the country, and yet, as Alexander Hamilton reminded us, it has neither the sword nor the purse as a means to enforce its rulings. It depends instead on the American people’s acceptance of its legitimacy, which is why the justices must make every possible effort to appear fair, unbiased and beyond reproach.
That may seem naïve, particularly in the face of the crippling assaults on the court that Mitch McConnell and his Senate Republicans have carried out over the past six years in order to secure a right-wing supermajority that often resembles a judicial policy arm of the Republican Party — starting with their theft of a vacancy that was President Barack Obama’s to fill and continuing through the last-second confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett while millions of voters were already in the process of casting Mr. Trump out of office.
And yet the public’s demand for basic fairness and judicial neutrality is not only proper but critical to the court’s integrity, as the justices, whoever nominated them, are well aware. Partly in response to the court’s tanking public-approval ratings, several of them have grown increasingly outspoken in defense of their independence. (Though not all of them.)
The most obvious way for justices to demonstrate that independence in practice, of course, is to recuse themselves from any case in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. It does not matter whether there is, in fact, a conflict of interest; the mere appearance of bias or conflict should be enough to compel Justice Thomas or any other member of the court to step aside.
Many of them have over the years, out of respect for the court as an institution and for the public’s faith in their probity. Just this week, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson vowed that if confirmed she would recuse herself from an upcoming case challenging Harvard’s affirmative-action policies, because of her multiple personal and professional connections to the university. Legal-ethics experts are not even in agreement that her recusal would be necessary, but Judge Jackson is right to err on the side of caution.
Justice Thomas has paid lip service to this ideal. “I think the media makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference,” he said in a speech last year. “That’s a problem. You’re going to jeopardize any faith in the legal institutions.”
Bench memo to the justice: You know what jeopardizes public faith in legal institutions? Refusing to recuse yourself from numerous high-profile cases in which your wife has been personally and sometimes financially entangled, as The New Yorker reported in January. Especially when you have emphasized that you and she are melded “into one being.” Or when you have, as The Times Magazine reported last month, appeared together with her for years “at highly political events hosted by advocates hoping to sway the court.”
Ms. Thomas’s efforts, and her husband’s refusal to respond appropriately, have been haunting the court for years, but this latest conflagration shouldn’t be a close call. “The texts are the narrowest way of looking at this,” Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor and one of the nation’s foremost legal-ethics experts, told me. “She signed up for Stop the Steal. She was part of the team, and that team had an interest in how the court would rule. That’s all I need to know.” He said he has over the years resisted calling for Justice Thomas’s recusal based on his wife’s actions, “but they’ve really abused that tolerance.”
Yes, married people can lead independent professional lives, and it is not a justice’s responsibility to police the actions of his or her spouse. But the brazenness with which the Thomases have flouted the most reasonable expectations of judicial rectitude is without precedent. From the Affordable Care Act to the Trump administration’s Muslim ban to the 2020 election challenges, Ms. Thomas has repeatedly embroiled herself in big-ticket legal issues and with litigants who have wound up before her husband’s court. All the while, he has looked the other way, refusing to recuse himself from any of these cases. For someone whose job is about judging, Justice Thomas has, in this context at least, demonstrated abominably poor judgment.
If Justice Thomas were sitting on any other federal court in the country, he would likely have been required by the code of judicial ethics to recuse himself many times over. But the code does not apply to Supreme Court justices, creating a situation in which the highest court in the land is also the most unaccountable.
This is not tolerable. For years, Congress has tried in vain to extend the ethics code to the Supreme Court. For the sake of fundamental fairness and consistency, the code must apply to all federal judges; it would at the very least force the hand of those like Justice Thomas who seem unmoved by any higher sense of duty to the institution or to the American people who have agreed to abide by its rulings.
The court is in deep trouble these days, pervaded by what Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently called the “stench” of partisanship — a stench arising in no small part from the Thomases’ behavior. It is hard to imagine that the other justices, regardless of their personal politics, aren’t bothered.
No one should have to choose between their devotion to their spouse and their duty to the nation. But Justice Thomas has shown himself unwilling or unable to protect what remains of the court’s reputation from the appearance of extreme bias he and his wife have created. He would do the country a service by stepping down and making room for someone who won’t have that problem.
Prosecutors caught a Baltimore cop making an illegal arrest on body cam, prompting a lengthy investigation. Their findings lead to a major indictment, so will the police department release the rest of the evidence?
If police body camera footage isn’t being reviewed regularly, then that means that police are working without supervision.Look at all the good cops stopping his bad behavior. Oh no they just help him out. I hope this cop takes his charge like a man. This is how organizational culture is built. Sergeant does it and bosses don’t say anything I’m guessing that’s what they want.
Wasilla Police 5/24/18 They had to let him go
The worst part is not the takedown, not the detainment…it’s the lying, gaslighting, and twisting the story to save his own hide. He’s a coward and doesn’t deserve a badge. Period.
Wow the officer didn’t even give him a chance to comply before tackling him.Cop said I’m arresting you because he was not cooperating. The cop grabbed him right away without commands or time to respond to demands. This pisses me off.The officer said that he always has people being aggressive towards him – this is a sign that this officer escalates situations rather than de-escalate. He is a liability for his agency if this is true.I like how he tells the by standing citizen, when questioned, “its none of your business”. Actually, it is, you work for the citizens and its our right to redress grievances under the 1st amendment as well as file a complaint at anytime with any officer under most department policies.Notice how his attitude changed when he knew he was wrong. Was wrong in the first place he’s on public property. Tyrant scared cop. This idiot doesn’t deserve to be a cop. Then just leaves the scene like a coward or dog with his tail between his legs. Then the distain for the public when confronted by another citizen over his actions. What a disgrace to the badge. 11 yrs and still doesn’t know his job. Hope this guy sues this so called cop, and take his QI as well.The copy who tackled the man for no reason needs to find a different line of work, nothing but a THUG. I hope someone filed an Internal Affairs complaint against this officer. It’s amazing after the Officer is told by the Sergent that the man had NOT trespassed and committed no crime, the Officer asked, what he wants him to do with the guy in cuffs. Perhaps, the officer had some drugs to plant. AMAZING.The taxpayers of Wasilla won’t be happy with the lawsuit settlement or jury trial award. The cop needs to be fired. Eleven years of experience and he acts like this? He has been getting away with illegal crap far too long.Cop – “I have people fight me all the time.”. If that is your typical approach, it is no wonder why. Walked up to the man, asked if he had any weapons on him, and immediately took him to ground.This kind of treatment by the police will never stop until we abolish or at the very least modify the concept of qualified immunity. we have all Been watching this for years and it doesn’t change. Why should it? There is no incentive on the part of the police to change their behavior because the municipalities are picking up the cost. So we had all better just get used to this brutality from the police, because it’s not going to change it’s just going to get worse.Gets out of the patrol car, asked if he has any weapons on him and then proceeds to assault him by throwing him on the cement. Walks him over to the patrol car and detains him. Then, and only then, does the officer conduct an interview. Guilty until proven innocent. Not only should he have never been given a badge, he certainly should have lost it after an internal investigation. Nor should ever be allowed to pocess a badge in the future. The only reason that man was treated so blatantly disrespectful was because he was black. Period. And it’s instances like this that CRT is meant to address. The protestors mistreatment occurred because of a lack of CRITICAL THINKING on the part of someone the public had put their trust in to uphold the rule of law. 🤬Witness to police assault of another citizen demands name/badge and is told he does not deserve info…witness responds with “I am a citizen you are a police officer and you are required to provide name &badge upon request!”Cops should not be able to turn off their sound or body cams!This cop was wrong from the second he put his hands on this man who is exercising his first Amendment right to protest. The cop knew he was wrong and that is evidenced by the fact he lied to this man saying he tried to resist, then question the man without giving him his Miranda rights, gets butt hurt when he has to let him go and never apologized for the “miscommunication,” then lies again to the bystander who ask what was going on. You are a public servant receiving public funds to protect and SERVE the public. Your calls for that SERVICE and your conduct are public record and you know it. You’re a very thin-skinned white cop that assaulted a black man and couldn’t justify it. And when the black GENTLEMAN (who’s hella smarter than u) called you out on it, you stuck your tail between your legs and got tf out of there as quick as you could. Cops like you are the very reason people don’t and shouldn’t trust the police. The laws and rights of people are documented in books and case law. They are intentionally not left to the opinions of a ignorant and deluded policeman on a power trip. To the victim in this video… sir I sincerely hope this 8 minutes made you a millionaire.
Are Texas police laying the groundwork to thwart cop watchers by sending them to jail for simply using cellphone cameras to film them? This is the serious question raised by a series of charges that accuse a group of Texas cop watchers of engaging in organized crime. In this episode of the Police Accountability Report, hosts Taya Graham and Stephen Janis investigate the basis for the accusations and possible consequences for the First Amendment, YouTube activism, and the future of citizen auditing, and speak to one of the men facing decades in jail for filming police to understand just how far police will go to evade accountability.