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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Cop's Facebook status: "watching 'Training Day' to brush up on proper police procedure

    In pictures, Vaughan Ettienne is a champion bodybuilder of surreal musculature. In conversation, he is polite and thoughtful.
    And in the looking glass of his computer screen, he becomes a man of fierce, profane views on how to keep law and order. A few weeks ago, he posted a description of his mood on a MySpace account. “Devious,” he wrote.
    The next day, a man accused of carrying a loaded gun would go on trial in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn — and in large part, the case rested on the credibility of Vaughan Ettienne, bodybuilder, Internet user and arresting officer.
    What seemed like a simple gun possession case became an undeclared war over reality: Was Officer Ettienne a diligent cop who found a gun after chasing an ex-convict weaving through traffic on a stolen motorcycle? Or was his story a “devious” facade in keeping with the ruthless character he revealed on social network Web sites?
    “You have your Internet persona, and you have what you actually do on the street,” Officer Ettienne said on Tuesday. “What you say on the Internet is all bravado talk, like what you say in a locker room.”
    Except that trash talk in locker rooms almost never winds up preserved on a digital server somewhere, available for subpoena. The man on trial, Gary Waters, claimed that Officer Ettienne and his partner stopped him, beat him and then planted a gun on him to justify breaking three of his ribs.
    Suddenly, Officer Ettienne was being held to the words that he wrote in cyberspace.
    Besides the “devious” mood setting, the jurors learned that a few weeks before the trial, the officer posted this status on his Facebook page: “Vaughan is watching ‘Training Day’ to brush up on proper police procedure.”

  2. #2
    swaggon is offline Master Officer
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    I heard of some troopers getting axed for posing in uniforms and having other pictures that were unsavory. Oh yeah and they were in the Academy at the time.
    Un-ass my AO!!

  3. #3
    swaggon is offline Master Officer
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    Just to illustrate how serious this is, look at how many posters here provide disclaimers in their signatures.
    Un-ass my AO!!

  4. #4
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is offline Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    That was pretty stupid on his part. There is a reason why I am not on any of those social networking sites.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud

  5. #5
    jmur5074's Avatar
    jmur5074 is offline Moderator
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    Nothing on my social networking page has anything that identifies me as a police officer, especially pictures or sarcastic comments like that.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  6. #6
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    My oldest daughter talked me into getting a page so I could see pictures of my grandkids. Then I started getting all sorts of friend requests from people I know. The most personal thing I have is some pictures of my yard after the last snow.

    If I were working, there would be even less on it.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  7. #7
    jcsdscott's Avatar
    jcsdscott is offline The short minister
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    This is why I'm careful about what I post on facebook, you never know who's watching!
    Romans 8:28-31

    "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano"

    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Sheriff, County Board, or any member of my department.

  8. #8
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    That sort of disclosure that is not relevant to the case would breach article 8 of the European convention of human rights right to private and family life, I'm sure the US must have something in the constitution similar to this.
    "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
    "the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Anything having to do with the character of the witness is eligible for disclosure here.

    Remember the O.J. Simpson trial where the focus was on the detective, Mark Furmann lying about ever using the "N" word? If he's said he'd used it, then it would have been a flash in the trial. Because he was caught lying about it, it turned into an inferno. It had nothing to do with Simpson killing his wife, but it had a lot to do with Furmann's credibility. If you're caught lying once, are you lying now too? Legitimate question. That's why police have to be meticulous in telling the truth.

    The prosecution does the same thing with defense witnesses all the time. It allows the jury to decide how much weight to give to a witnesses testimony.

    I don't think this cop should be fired by any means, but he better clean up his act in the future. Anything we do out of court that can affect our credibility is open for review in court.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  10. #10
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I mainly don't have a Facebook or MySpace page because I'm on the Internet too much already just harassing you guys

    (\__/)
    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
    (")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.

  11. #11
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Dave View Post
    That sort of disclosure that is not relevant to the case would breach article 8 of the European convention of human rights right to private and family life, I'm sure the US must have something in the constitution similar to this.
    Here it would be more the interpretation of the law and trial procedure by magistrate. Most magistrates, (so I would hope, and given an objection by the prosecutor), rule such introductions inadmissible as irrelevant, yet when given the argument of the credibility of the testimony of the officer, it could be allowed.

    Just one more reason that officers, whose entire career can be based upon their objectiveness, reasonableness, and the credibility of their testimony, must be certain that they remain stainlessly ethical. We are, (and I believe should be), held to a higher standard.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  12. #12
    10-42Adam's Avatar
    10-42Adam is offline Major
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    I always watch what I say on sites like that, it's just plain dumb to put yourself in a position to be attacked for something like that...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

    A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
    -Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Rhino's Avatar
    Rhino is offline Meat-eater & Fire-breather
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    Also guys don't forget you can control who sees your facebook page (which is why I use it instead of myspace). If you have it set so everyone can see your profile, well, everyone will see your profile.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton

  14. #14
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    I see if the defence want to introduce evidence of bad character about prosecution witnesses they have to allow bad character about the defendant to be given in open court which is usually very counter productive for them.

    The prosecution can apply to introduce bad character on the defendant but it's up to the judge or legal clerk if it is allowed before the jury or magistrates and it's not supposed to be allowed to support a poor case.
    "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke.
    "the world is a dangerous place place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who do not do anything about it" Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Dave View Post
    I see if the defence want to introduce evidence of bad character about prosecution witnesses they have to allow bad character about the defendant to be given in open court which is usually very counter productive for them.

    The prosecution can apply to introduce bad character on the defendant but it's up to the judge or legal clerk if it is allowed before the jury or magistrates and it's not supposed to be allowed to support a poor case.
    Here all that is standard procedure for both sides. It's up to the jury to decide if the character evidence is enough to discredit the witness or perhaps give it less weight.

    Personally, I like it. W/o it a lot of lying dirtbags could get up and provide alibi's for the defendant and the jury wouldn't have a clue as to their history or trustworthiness. The flip side is that the prosecution is subject to the same rules and I see no problem with that either. I don't think anyone should be convicted w/o a good case. I've had informants that would tell me anything they thought I wanted to hear. I wouldn't want one of them ever testifying about me without my attorney questioning their veracity.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  16. #16
    Jenna's Avatar
    Jenna is offline sheep
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    The internet is scary!

  17. #17
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
    Retdetsgt is offline How did I get here!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    The internet is scary!
    It frequently has me cowering in a corner....
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  18. #18
    Billy Mack's Avatar
    Billy Mack is offline Officer First Class
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    Within reason, I'm pretty open about innocuous stuff on the internet.

    On the other hand, I keep in mind that anything that I say may be found if I post it on Facebook or in an open forum. Hell our IA lieutenant has a Facebook account, and we have friends in common. How hard would it be for stuff to get back? It's a little frustrating since I want to vent sometimes, and FB is the perfect place for a one liner.

    On LJ, sometimes I'll post some vents under filters. Even that could get found.

    Heck, I was involved in something last week that I really wanted to vent about on the LE forums, but I figured that it was too easy to get back to the defendant. He has friends who are cops.

  19. #19
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    I did ALL my venting in the locker room face to face with people. I didn't even do it at home. And I sure wouldn't put it in writing anywhere!
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  20. #20
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    Bear in mind for those who use LJ, MySpace, or FB - the filters or locks will not work for a subpoena.

    The data never goes away when you delete it.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



 

 
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