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  1. #1
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    Your husband or your job

    Police felon-association rule may change
    Miami city commissioners want new rules governing police officers who associate with felons.

    By MICHAEL VASQUEZ
    mrvasquez@MiamiHerald.com


    Miami commissioners on Thursday unanimously asked City Manager Pete Hernandez to come up with new police department rules regarding police officers' dealings with ``persons of ill repute.''

    Some say the Miami Police Department's current policy, which prohibits cops' associating with felons or prostitutes, for example, is discriminatory.

    It can be a particular problem for women and minorities, said Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, the five-person commission's only black or female member. Spence-Jones pushed for a new rule, arguing that the current one has been enforced inconsistently and is not working.

    JOB OR HUSBAND

    ''This selective enforcement has led and can lead to the breaking up of families,'' Spence-Jones told fellow commissioners. ``It can lead to a wife making a decision between a job or her husband.''

    Last week, the Miami-Dade NAACP protested the police department's policy during a news conference, where Miami Police Officer Viona Browne-Williams said the city offered her the following option: leave your husband or lose your job.

    Her husband is a convicted felon.

    Browne-Williams chose to stay with her husband, served an 80-hour suspension and faces a civil-service hearing in September.

    Despite the controversy -- and commissioners' demand that he work toward finding new guidelines -- the city manager, at times Thursday, defended City Hall's previous actions.

    ''Whether we like it or not, police is a paramilitary organization, period,'' Hernandez told commissioners. ``They are held to a much higher standard of integrity and character.''

    MATTER OF TRUST

    Commissioners stood firm that they want new guidelines to vote on by July.

    ''The problem is that we are not trusting our police officers,'' Commissioner Tomás Regalado said. ``I believe in the members of the police force.''
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
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  2. #2
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Wow. That is an ugly situation.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    How'd she even get hired in the first place?

    And, if he committed the felony after she was hired, what kind of suck-ass cop is she?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
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  4. #4
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    some more details

    Kiss and Expel
    Miami Police administrators dole out cold-hearted dating advice
    By Francisco Alvarado
    Published: July 20, 2006
    If you are a black female officer on the Miami police force, standing by your man can get you fired.

    Jacqueline Carini


    Take Ofcr. April Hardemon. The 42-year-old has known Gregory Barnes since the two were teenagers attending Miami Northwestern Senior High. They became reacquainted in October 2003 after running into each other at a party.

    Pretty soon they were dating.

    Then Miami Internal Affairs investigators got involved. On May 24, 2004, IA questioned Hardemon about her relationship with Barnes. She admitted he was her boyfriend and they were living together.

    Then came the kicker. Barnes, the interrogators said, is a convicted felon. He had been released from federal prison July 3, 2003, after serving eleven years on cocaine-trafficking charges. Hardemon says she had no idea.

    Despite a virtually blemish-free record, she was fired. Her bosses cited a controversial police rule that prohibits officers from knowingly fraternizing with criminals unless they are working a snitch for information or undercover.

    "It's the worst type of governmental interference in a sacred relationship," says Hardemon's union lawyer, Ron Cohen. Police Chief John Timoney, Deputy Chief Frank Fernandez, and department spokesmen did not return phone calls or respond to e-mailed questions seeking comment.

    Hardemon isn't alone. Two other Miami officers — Rronniba Kamarakafego and Viona Browne-Williams — might also lose their jobs for the same reason. All three are black. They contend their problems are a result of racial discrimination.

    Whites and Hispanics are treated differently, the trio says. For instance, Lily Warshaw, a Hispanic administrative assistant in the police chief's office, is married to Donald Warshaw, the disgraced former city manager and police chief who was convicted of defrauding a children's charity. And Ofcr. Mercedes Corazco, a Hispanic female officer, was investigated by IA for dating a man with a criminal history but was only reprimanded, Hardemon claims. (Corazco did not return a phone call seeking comment.) "They won't explain why she gets to keep her job," Hardemon fumes. "It's just not fair."

    Kamarakafego's case is even more complicated than Hardemon's. The 40-year-old Carol City native joined the Miami Police force in 1994. According to her personnel file, she has never been reprimanded for shirking her police duties.

    She was fired in late 2004 after IA verified Kamarakafego had once had a relationship with Jason Patterson, a 27-year-old who was convicted in 2001 on a felony drug-trafficking charge in Lexington, Kentucky. Kamarakafego says she and Patterson dated for several years before he left for Kentucky in 2000. Together they had bought a two-bedroom house at 282 S. Biscayne River Dr.

    The issue might never have come to light had Kamarakafego not married fellow Miami Police Ofcr. Roderick Passmore in 2001. Soon the two began having marital problems. Then Passmore drove by the house on South Biscayne River Drive and saw Patterson — who had been released from federal prison — mowing the lawn, Kamarakafego says. "He got mad and made a complaint with Internal Affairs," she explains.

    Kamarakafego says she had no romantic relationship with the felon. "He wanted his half from the house we bought together," she says. "I agreed he could stay there, help me fix the house, and sell it." (The house sold last year for $253,000.)

    She filed for an arbitration hearing to get her job back, which is pending. "It's ridiculous," she says. "Jason served his time, and I was just trying to help him out."

    Viona Browne-Williams, a 45-year-old officer who began her career in the department as a public service aide in 1989, hasn't been fired yet. But she expects to be the next black Miami policewoman on the chopping block. In 2002 she married Larry Lee Williams, her longtime beau, who was released from prison in 2000 after serving time on felony armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

    The couple has a seventeen-year-old son and a five-month-old granddaughter. "I have another four-year-old son that he takes care of as if he was his own," says Browne-Williams, choking back tears. "He's been a part of my life for the past twenty years. You just don't stop and start all over."

    Browne-Williams says Internal Affairs informed her this past February 14 that she was in violation of the department's order prohibiting officers from associating with known criminals. "They said they couldn't tell me what to do," she recalls. "But I got the sense that they didn't want me to reside with my husband anymore."

    She discussed the situation with Williams, and they agreed he would find a separate apartment. He moved out of their house in late March. Browne-Williams provided Internal Affairs with rent receipts as proof her husband had moved out. "It's been very hard for us," she says. "Every time he visits me and the kids, he is always worried that IA is watching the house."

    Browne-Williams's superiors at the 62nd Street substation have requested she receive only a reprimand for misconduct. "It's a shame that I have to choose the city over my family," she says.

    Even if Browne-Williams is allowed to stay on, the issue is likely to intensify in the next few months. A twenty-year-old federal court ruling should have provided cover for all three women. It exempts officers whose blood relatives, spouses, or significant others have been convicted of a crime.

    In May the city's civil service board recommended that Hardemon be reinstated, but administrators have so far declined to do so. In June she filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice claiming the police department discriminated against her.

    The result is anybody's guess, but in a memo arguing on Hardemon's behalf, Miami Lt. Rafael Suarez claimed the department had unfairly singled out the cop: "If we are to punish officers for associating with undesirables under the current guidelines, it should be carried out across the board, not excluding any other member of the department."
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
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  5. #5
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Association is one thing. That could include infomants. But why have an intimate relationship with a felon in the first place?
    jmo
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  6. #6
    Rhino's Avatar
    Rhino is offline Meat-eater & Fire-breather
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    Don't like the rules? Find a new job.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
    Kpdpipes is offline Master Officer
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    Gonna be hard to fight, especially with that shooting the NYPD officer tried to cover up for her Felon Boyfriend/Husband last year..they can scream "Discrimination" all they want, but the rules are clearly stated. what i DO expect to see is a backlash of complaints against guys now for going to go-go bars, and the like.

  8. #8
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    This has me really pissed off... first off it could happen to a f*cking WHITE female cop or better yet... ANY F*CKING COP... male or female...

    this could also happen to cops kids... when cops kids go bad.. to me the senario is the same...and those are out there.

    anyway... since this is in the public section i wont go to the family part of my discussion any further...

    if this is a rule that she or anyone signs up for then its cut and dry.. follow it or deal with the consequences.
    I cant handle the my baby felony daddy crap lol
    http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl

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  9. #9
    nsb22's Avatar
    nsb22 is offline Crazilicious
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    Goz beat me to the race card BS. I just love how she feels it's because she is black. Technicaly, my FIL is a felon, albeit for something completely stupid, but I kinda feel akward being around him while armed.

    Which reminds me, I need to go back and re-read our policies and see what it says about that.


    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
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  10. #10
    BigDawg's Avatar
    BigDawg is offline K-9 Officer
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    If they knew before this was policy, then later on violated it, then they deserve the punishment.


    Enough said.
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper


    Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!

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