Right now there are so many important things to write about. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, this story is need-to-know. The quick and dirty:
Kudos to Palm Beach Post Staff Writers Cynthia Roldan and Sonja Isger for reporting on these two petty criminals:
Off-duty West Palm Beach officers Clark and Pike were arrested vandalizing cars while drunk. The local reporters got a boilerplate statement from the chief, they’re being put on administrative duty pending IA investigation. No further comment from Chief Bush (herself the subject of numerous allegations of impropriety and incompetence, including a parody video about her alleged drunkenness at an officer’s retirement party).
This is why we need local news media.
If you want to know why we need anonymous police message boards, note the follow-ups from co-workers on the www.pbsotalk.com anonymous board. My notes in brackets, original posts edited only for clarity and profanity]:
Anonymous poster: Just thought I’d give an update on what happened to these two a**holes. Officer Clark is back on patrol [this post approximately 5 weeks after the article in the Palm Beach Post] not giving a s*** about his job and DETECTIVE Pike was promoted shortly after his arrest (Yes DETECTIVE, see at WPBPD apparently when you become a criminal and get ARRESTED you beat honest hard working people in getting a promotion).
I think it’s disgusting how criminals get promoted yet hard working HONEST people get stuck on patrol due to supervisors being biased. No wonder officers get bitter and start to not give a s***… DISGUSTING.
Breakdown on the mechanics of how corruption is institutionalized:
Anonymous poster: You know how it works, these guys are all connected just like the MOB. Here’s how it goes, supporters of these hypocrites for cops go back to the victims and either threaten or beg them to drop the charges saying hey we will apologize and pay for the damages we caused.
The victims agree, then the police union goes to [State's Attorney] Big Mike McAuliffe [frequently accused of corruption on this board] and says, ‘Hey you owe us and [Sheriff Ric] Bradshaw so let it go.’ (Bradshaw put in the WPB Chief [Delsa Bush] and did much worse crimes in his day.) [Bradshaw is frequently accused of corruption, brutality, racism, theft, and other documented issues on this board.]
Now a State’s Attorney with integrity would say, ‘No way we can tolerate criminal acts by cops and prosecute to the fullest regardless!’ But we all know this office is far from that and Mikey will do what the sheriff and union tell him to do. So there you go, no different from the MOB.
REMINDER: These outraged posters are police officers.
Anonymous poster: You’re all a bunch of thugs over there. Thank the Lord you’re never going green! [Working for Palm Beach Sheriff's Office as opposed to West Palm Beach Police Department.]
Anonymous poster: TALK ABOUT BRIBERY, EH? I WONDER HOW MUCH OF YOUR UNION DUES WENT TO BAILING OUT THESE MORONS?
Anonymous poster: How does the State Attorney Office and FDLE not pursue these guys criminally regardless if the police union convinced the victims not to proceed? McAuliffes Ethics Commission should take this case.
There are other comments on the linked page if you’re interested. Bottom line, ethical police officers are at the mercy of corrupt losers who reward bad behavior. Ethical officers get bullied and demonized to keep the dysfunction in place.
The public, when they notice that they’re paying the price, criticise ethical officers for not weeding out bad apples.
If not for the existence of this anonymous message board — which is the exception in America, not the rule — this story would have been a tiny blip, explained away as a few bad apples, rather than many good apples suffering in a rotten barrel.
If citizens want to end corruption, misconduct and brutality, they need to insist on secure, anonymous message boards for every public safety agency — including fire departments and EMS services — in this country. As long as public safety personnel are excluded from the discourse, the broken system will remain intact.