Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brooklyn Man Allegedly Sodomized by Police

CNN reports today on the disturbing story of a Brooklyn man who claims he was sodomized by policemen in the subway.

Lawyers for Michael Mineo, 24, allege he was jumped by five officers inside a Brooklyn subway station, then sodomized with the antenna of a police radio.

NYPD chief spokesman Paul J. Browne told CNN that several people who were near Mineo when he was arrested "do not support Mineo's story that he had been sodomized."

It's hard to give the benefit of the doubt to both sides in a case like this. Initially, I leaned towards the police, which is against my nature. But the more I read, the more I believed Michael Mineo's story.

The World Prout Assembly site has some pretty gory details that support the victim.

Especially damning for the cops is the Brooklyn View site and the All NY Blog, the latter of which contains a picture of a distraught Michael Mineo in the hospital bed.

I'm still taking it all with a grain of salt; I think that's wise when reading stuff on the internet. But, it certainly brings up some of our favorite questions. Do cops tend to abuse their power? How frequent is that? I'll bet law enforcement supporters would be offended at the mere questioning of it, and like the gun enthusiasts, they'd surely claim the percentage of abusers is minimal, perhaps even less than 1%. What do you think?


  1. I don't know.

    I guess there are cops who will abuse their power, but I have to believe that if one cop wants to shove an antenna up some poor schlub's ass for no apparent reason that one of the other four guys is gonna say "Whoa, Fred! No need to stick anything up this guy's ass now, is there?"

    Sounds (smells?) fishy to me.

  2. So a guy being arrested for marijuana possession and use (crime 1), flees(crime 2), hops the turnstile(crime3) resists arrest(crime 4); did I miss any?
    [Yep, from the World Prout, swallowing the pot(crime 5 destroying evidence)]

    So this guy claims in the middle of a subway station cops take the time to sodomize him and there aren't multiple verifying witness statements in the news already? In a town where the cops aren't universally loved?

    Then on top of everything else, instead of locking him up where he can't talk to anyone but a lawyer or other cops, after all this abuse they let him go?

    Sorry, call me skeptical on this one.

  3. I'm with Bob. This is like Gun-Free zones, in that if somebody is willing to commit multiple serious crimes the possibility of one more smaller charge (carrying a gun in a gun-free zone) changing their outlook aproaches Zero.

    This guy obviously has no respect for the law, and likely this isn't his first time in the back of a Cop Car. But now we can expect him to have repect for the truth?

    +1 to the Subway. Lots of witnesses, and frankly all one has to watch is that video of the NYC Cop pushing over the Bike Protestor to see how trusting and Compliant the general populos of NYC to the police. Nope, if such activities ACTUALLY happened, there would be witnesses...but also a CRUSH of people calling "Facist" and such, and there would be no fewer than 5 videos of the sodomy on youtube.

    This man's word is worth NOTHING because he has proven himself to be untrustworthy. And the words of others are silent.

    Also I need to address this:
    "But, it certainly brings up some of our favorite questions. Do cops tend to abuse their power? How frequent is that? I'll bet law enforcement supporters would be offended at the mere questioning of it, and like the gun enthusiasts, they'd surely claim the percentage of abusers is minimal, perhaps even less that 1%. What do you think?"

    Again with the whole-cloth statistics. The only fact on the issue for this is Police who abuse their power is a non-zero number.

    Still numbers can be easily gleaned for both local and national. Look at the record of reprimands and convictions of cops acting improperly, and you'll get a baseline number, give that we can be sure that not all abuses are either caught, or convicted, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to think a small number might be covered up, but cover-ups are VERY difficult to do in the electronic age, and when every police cruiser is heavily recorded in duty hours.

    These numbers would be all public data. One just needs to collect and crunch it.

    Its not as scary as it may seem.

  4. Yeah, that was my initial reaction, but the district attorney said there's enough evidence to warrent an investigation. I'm waitin' for more info.

  5. Mike,

    The District Attorney is an elected office, of course he's going to investigate if he wants to keep his job next year.

    I missed the whole offended at the questioning of police abuse. I've mentioned David Codrea's blog many times here, check out War On Guns. Here is a site that highlights the abuse of power.

    As far as the statistics, why don't you tell us what the number is? Surely a little research could find some numbers, you could decide whether or not the numbers are accurate, right?

    Or is this a case of "I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts"

  6. Bob, you and Weer'd are really trying to get me going. He's suggesting that I'm afraid to look at stats and you're asking if I might not want to be confused with facts. That's why I love your comments, the laughs.

    I don't trust statistics, which is not the same as being afraid of them or not wanting them to disprove my pet theory. They're usually biased, and no offense, but I wouldn't expect you to produce any that didn't support your ideas.

    As far as what the number of cops who abuse their power is, it obviously depends on how you define abuse. I say nearly all of them in minor ways, half of them in fairly significant ways, and a good 10% to 20% in seriously anti-social ways.

  7. Again Citing numbers you just made up.

    Sorry Mike, that's just fostering Ignorance.

    Yes, analasys of Stats can be both partisan and leading....but statistics is a SCIENCE. There is a method of collecting the numbers and tests to be done to the numbers to produce usable data.

    A statistics study is either ethical or unetheical.

    Your citation of out-of-thin-air numbers is firmly unethical, and shouldn't be done.

  8. Mike,

    You are welcomed to have your opinion and state it. But when you start putting numbers to those opinions, don't you expect people to ask how you got them?

    I'm not asking you to believe my statistics, I'm asking you to put some evidence with the numbers you site.

    In 2006, there were approximately 940,000 police (source nationmaster.com), 1% would put it at 9,400 law enforcement officials a year abusing their power.

    Define abuse please?
    So any evidence to support that number or higher?

    20% abusing their powers in a serious anti-social manner would be 515 law enforcement officials per day, every day of the year.

    Is that a reasonable number?

    I got into the pro-second amendment rights issue after looking into the statistics the "news media" was using.

    You've questioned repeatedly the possibility of a percentage of gun owners being irresponsible but discount the evidence provided.

    I can provide evidence to convince you of a more serious social ill then gun violence, affecting more families, higher financial impact, hurting more innocent victims. If I can convince you this ill needs to be addressed, will you call for the same restrictions you do for firearms?

  9. I hope Mike answers this, but I'm loosing faith. As far as my observations go, Mike is appearing to only discuss an issue so long as it doesn't require his pre-conceived notions being questioned (Hence why he refuses to read or post gun or Police stats....yet has no problem posting Obama's poll numbers)

    I hope to the high-heavens I'm wrong in that.

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  11. Weer'd

    It does look like you're right which is very sad indeed.


    Here is an example of a "common sense" restriction on firearms. You talk frequently about how we need to stop guns from getting into the hands of criminals but those restrictions don't affect law abiding owners. Guess What?

  12. You're both wrong, at least about why I haven't responded. And I find it a little strange that you could accuse me of these things after some of the lively threads we've created together.

    These days I've let life interfere with my blogging, that's all.

    I don't believe reliable stats are possible for what I'm talking about. So does that mean I can't put out a guess and we talk about it? All of a sudden that's not allowed?

    The variables of what constitutes abuse, minor, significant and serious, is one thing we could discuss. Then the percentages of cops who fit into those categories is another.

  13. Mike,

    I wasn't talking about your response time but your lack of continuing the conversation.

    I've tried to talk about whether or not the same restrictions should be applied to other constitutionally protected rights, about how there are other activities more dangerous then shooting but those don't get much of a response.

    I've tried to talk about statistics and you state you just don't trust them. A single statistic can be misleading but dozens of them should be convincing or at least supportive of a position.

    Information on abuse by cops is out there, so an uneducated guess seems to indicate a) laziness, b) unwillingness to let facts get in the way of an opinion or c) just being argumentative for the sake of the argument.

    I had the impression that you were really trying to learn but rejecting information out of hand doesn't help.

    You talk about common sense restrictions and how to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and kids but when I linked to a story about how those restrictions affected a law abiding citizen you don't comment.
    Care to comment on how background checks kept the lady of the story safe?
    How about the violation of the laws by the state?

    Ignoring questions doesn't help further understanding.

  14. "So does that mean I can't put out a guess and we talk about it? All of a sudden that's not allowed?"

    Everything is "Allowed", its your blog, do what you want with it.

    Just a random guess on a number is perfectly allowed, but hardly ethical for any further speculation.

    You continuously get upset with us for applying to you that you support gun bans and knee-jerk gun-control. That's just our guess, why is that not cool?

    Also you seem to have a purely phobic avoidance of statistic when it appears that your guesses might be proven to be VERY wrong...meanwhile stats are cool for things that support your beliefs.

    Also you talk about numbers being unreliable....but never why. I'll agree, some studies are VERY unreliable or use very bad Methods, and EVERY study should be screened for such ethics violations or data interference.

    Some of the data cited here might be a little suspect...meanwhile others are IMPECCABLE...you make no distinction....or as far as I can tell even an ATTEMPT to look at said data.

    I like to discuss issues (and better yet, solutions to problems) but what you seem to want to present is nothing but gossip.

    Nothing is WRONG with that....but I would say a quite a bit is unethical.

  15. Mike,

    It took a few minutes, very few, to find the Civilian Complaint Review Board website for New York city.

    From the website:
    In 2007, the CCRB received 7,559 complaints against New York City police officers that fell within its jurisdiction, a small decrease over 2006, but significantly more than the 4,612 received in 2002. The agency saw a major complaint increase from 2002-2006

    In 2007, the board found misconduct in 8% of the cases it investigated fully. This number is below the five-year
    average of 12%.

    8% of 7,559 = 605 confirmed misconduct.
    Population of New York City - 8,274,527
    Number of cops in New York City - approximately 36,000.

    So, number of complaints 7,559 divided by number of cops 36,000 = means that 21% of the cops have complaints against them, assuming each complaint is against a different cop.

    Number of confirmed valid complaints 605 divided by 36,000 = 1.68% ... drastic reduction.

    What constitutes a valid complaint:
    Force, Discourtesy, Offensive Language and Abuse of Authority

    Offensive language in New York City...I thought that was the default language not a complaint.
    Discourtesy, that is very subjective and should be addressed but isn't it a minor issue?

    I haven't found a breakdown yet on how many complaints are for Force or Abuse of Authority.

    But this provides a starting point and this is just for New York City, is the level of abuse likely to be higher or lower in other cities