It’s 4/20! We chat about the double standard between how citizens and police are treated when someone is fatally shot, what’s the latest on the secret list of bad cops (aka the Laurie’s List), the end of the governor’s mask mandate, and more! You can read more about why I’m excited about 4/20 HERE.
Nothing screams INTEGRITY like Sununu’s proposed appointment of a judge, Patricia Conway, who in 2015 was involved in having her husband removed from the Laurie’s List, followed by a firing of the whistleblower who made that public, which then lead to a $80,000 settlement that taxpayers had to foot. But it seems entirely plausible, that, as they claimed at the time, the removal of her husband from the secret list of bad cops was like, totes, “an error.”
But y’all keep believing this cabal in 2021 when they say, “So we must avoid an approach that is primarily punitive in nature, but rather is supportive and transparent with clear consequences for bad actors. No good officer wants to work with a bad officer, not one.” (From today’s Union Leader op-ed, “We are all in this together” by Charlie Dennis, Mark Morrison, and Marc Beaudoin.)
If ya’ll are “good cops,” trying to “put your best foot forward,” why HAS NO ONE LEAKED THE LAURIE’S LIST? Why do you always testify AGAINST ANY REFORM measures? Y’all are, if you’ll pardon my French: Full. Of. Shit.
Over the course of the past six years, various “police accountability/we’ll do better, we promise, just don’t change anything” commissions, including the most recent 2020 LEACT Commission, made recommendations, none of which actually go anywhere.
And, if you don’t think there’s a problem in NH, did you know in 2017, 25% OF ALL HOMICIDES WERE COPS KILLING CITIZENS? I haven’t run the numbers for 2020 yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be another bumper “justified killing” year! Justified, even when shooting fleeing people in the back.
In the meanwhile, two court decisions including one from the NH Supreme Court last year, have said to release the FULL Laurie’s List, without the redactions that shocked thousands of Granite Staters when it was printed in the Union Leader a few weeks ago. WHERE IS THE LIST, SO-CALLED “GOOD COPS” AND PROSECUTORS?
What can we do?
The best defense citizens have at this stage is to END QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, which is basically a cop’s personal “get out of jail free” card. Know how you’re told “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” well, get this, for the enforcers of the law, IT IS AN ABSOLUTE DEFENSE. Yup, they are held to a LOWER standard than the rest of us. No kidding!
Your legislators will be voting on HB 111 to END qualified immunity sometime over the next 3 days. I’ve heard due to support from liberty folks and Democrats, it will pass the House. We then need to keep the pressure on the Senate. Stay tuned!
As the government asserts more and more control over every aspect of your life, going so far as to unlawfully claim they have the right to tell you what face coverings to wear in public, our NH police become less and less transparent.
They spy on us with ill-gotten surveillance cameras, but hide their actions from us. Does this sound right to you?
Traditionally, in Manchester, we had access to the police scanners. This was a simple way for the press and public to exercise some oversight over police actions on our streets, and to know when militarized tools like the BEARCAT was deployed. Around 2016, Chief Willard, in a backroom deal with the City, simply encrypted the scanners. NO PUBLIC INPUT/HEARING WAS HELD.
Today, since it is #SunshineWeek, and I serve on Right-to-Know NH, a statewide nonpartisan coalition of open government advocates, I asked Chief Aldenberg about how he will approach MPD transparency.
The Chief refused to answer whether any active MPD are on the current redacted Laurie’s List/EES. The NH Supreme Court overruled Fenniman last year, and the “personnel record” exception no longer applies. Nor, frankly, should it ever be permissible, in a functioning open society, for state agents, especially those permitted to use lethal force, to hide their own bad behavior from citizens. Watch this week’s episode of Manch Talk for a primer on the Laurie’s List, the court cases, and where we currently stand.
When asked about the dark scanners, the Chief suggested “that’s just how it is.” Chief, you have an opportunity to reverse course on this issue, and be more open and transparent. Please consider this.
The Chief also incorrectly stated the police log is updated every 30 minutes. It’s not. AND, not all calls are logged. Why’s that?
If the police log online is now the public’s sole “check and balance,” what reassurances do we have about the veracity or timeliness of the information on the log? How can we exercise any oversight? Is this how you establish trust? I think we can do better…
Please consider your duty and oath to the NH Constitution:
[Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted. The public also has a right to an orderly, lawful, and accountable government…
ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIVE.
Thanks for doing the Q&A, Manchester NH Police. I look forward to seeing us make progress on these issues to improve citizens’ oversight of your department.
In honor of Sunshine Week, this Sunday, the Union Leader printed the entire redacted Laurie’s List to show Granite Staters the shocking number cops with “sustained findings of misconduct” being hidden from public view. We discuss your Constitutionally-protected Right-to-Know, recent court successes, and suspicious rollbacks being attempted at the State House. Tune in to learn more!