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Old August 3, 2011, 10:40 PM   #51
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If he is highly regarded by his peers there is something wrong in the whole dept....
Maybe he was a good cop at one time. Probably was.

He's got 14 or 16yrs(don't remember) on the force. He's no doubt seen his share of scum. Maybe just burnt out. It happens and its a shame.

I doubt Harless's actions of late are highly regarded by his peers.

Regardless, his carreer in law enforcement should be over and it will be up to the arrested ccp holder to file criminal charges.
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Old August 3, 2011, 11:06 PM   #52
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Eghad, ltc44's point is that due process does not imply immunity from normal criminal charges that anybody else would have faced.

Officer Harless should be receiving due process, as defined by the departmental agreement with the union, for interdepartmental charges.

He should be receiving due process, as defined by the 4th and 5th Amendments and applicable state of Ohio laws, for those actions that went beyond inappropriate and met the gate for criminal charges.
Its not immunity from anything... why do people want to put words in posts that are not there?

I did not say anything different from what you just said.

Can you show me anywhere where I said that he should receive any favors and privileges that is not contained in the union contract or the laws of the land and the policies of his police department?

some posters "ASSUMED" that is what I meant.....

Does due process mean that you are afforded the protections you are entitled too in a contract, policy or law?
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Old August 3, 2011, 11:40 PM   #53
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Eghad, I know people who have been arrested and spent days in jail for allegedly having made threats while they were not armed, nor in the presence of those allegedly threatened.

Yet this officer has not been charged...

So, to what due process were you referring?
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Old August 4, 2011, 12:24 AM   #54
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Aguilar, thank you

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Maybe one of his fellow officers thinks his record is good, but he has a history of complaints for excessive violence, and there's another video out there of a stop a year ago in which he threatened to blow the detainee's effing head off and sleep well that night. In that video he repeatedly called the occupant of the vehicle "M-Fers".

If that's their idea of a good record, the entire department needs to be replaced.
I was unaware of this.
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Old August 4, 2011, 12:26 AM   #55
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1)shortwave

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Regardless, his carreer in law enforcement should be over and it will be up to the arrested ccp holder to file criminal charges.
I'll tell you one thing, the victim would be wise to get it while he can.


2)mleake,
this happened on duty, so it is a little different. They are going thru this with a fine-toothed comb, and the "brass" so to speak are involved. They are going to do things by the book, and the officer is entitled to that due process while the internal investigation is going on.

It is odd he is on sickleave though - that seems more like volunatry leave...he is probably one of the ones who saved a bucnh of it(hence the burning out quicker possibly). Also, I apologize, but I am unsure of the due process myself of exactly how it pertains.
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:25 AM   #56
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More than likely allowing him to go on sick leave was something worked out with the union to avoid putting him on suspension. A suspension would stay in his record if he gets cleared and returned to duty. Sick leave is not a disciplinary action, so no gigs in the personnel folder if they manage to make this go away. Just another example of the thin blue line taking care of their own, even in a case where the guy is blatantly in the wrong.

There is zero question that if any ordinary citizen threatened to shoot someone else, the ordinary citizen would be arrested and charged posthaste. The evidence in this case (and the one from a year ago) is indisputable -- it's on the department's own dashcam footage. He should be in jail or out on bail while they pursue their internal investigation. He should not be allowed to be home on sick leave.
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:22 AM   #57
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yeah that sickleave bit is odd. I am wondering if this guy has family in the dept(or past retired)? That is only one of other possibilities, but this guy must have friends or connections in the dept(or be respected from some past on-duty history; the spokesman for the dept in one article stated he was a very respected officer but maybe I read it wrong). Usually it is an automatic to be put on admin leave(with pay if they like you or can do this) or just with leave without pay while invest is conducted. He avoided desk duty too...just basically burning free time and getting money. Then again, if it is his sicktime and he requested it, no one can say he is lying: it is like if you call into work. They aren't even supposed to ask questions these days. I'm not agreeing with this on this case, but who knows what reasons he used.
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Old August 4, 2011, 08:24 AM   #58
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Another problem is that this officer probably did lock up quite a few people who needed to be in jail or prison - and now every one of those cases is going to get looked over with extreme skepticism. A lot of guys who probably should be in jail are going to have an opening to challenge that again - more cost for the court system and the city of Canton on top of this incident.

And of course, the passenger of the CHL gave the officer a fake name - which means that while the officer was busying arresting and threatening the CHL, he was releasing somebody who probably had warrants.

The incident where Officer Harless was reprimanded for turning off his dash cam? Can you imagine how that one is going to go now?

Truthfully, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the CHL here; but I can't decide if I'm more aghast at the way Harless handled the CHL or the low-quality police work displayed (illegal search, putting himself and his partner in a dangerous situation, releasing a guy who gave him a fake name, losing his cool so dramatically as to jeapordize previous arrests).
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Old August 4, 2011, 11:21 AM   #59
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I'll tell you one thing, the victim would be wise to get while he can
Agree.

I may be wrong but doesn't the victim have to pursue the criminal charges himself or direct his attorney to do so in his behalf... and if thats he case, isn't there a time frame in which this has to be done?

I'm glad a few attorney's chimed in on this thread. Maybe they could answer these questions.

Hopefully the victim and counsel for the victim handles the situation correctly.

On the 'sick leave' issue, the City of Canton may be looking at this as a 'pay him now, pay him later' situation. More then likely, if/when Harless gets relieved of duty, he's due, in money, the balance of any time (sick or vacation leave) he's accrued at the time of termination.

Canton officials may not have fought Harless's request for sick leave so they can pay him out for his sick time gradually rather then in a lump sum....but in 33yrs as a public servant, I've seen many times where an employee gets in trouble and before his/her departmental charges are officially presented, the employee falls out on some kind of bogus sick leave claim and if the employee is slick enough, there's really nothing that can be done till the employee returns to work.

IA can do their investigation and have enough evidence to the departmental charges to relieve Harless of duty without having to interview Harless. Thats one scenario... but second scenario could be, if in IA's investigation, they have to interview Harless and Harless is out on sick leave due to mental issue's and his doctor feels that in Harless talking to IA(or anyone) about this or other LE incident's, may impede his mental condition, then the IA investigation may be prolonged until Harless is deemed fit by his doctor to answer questions. In short, if Harless handles things right he could prolong IA's investigation for awhile. He'll just meet the piper later rather then sooner.

Also, if I were in his(Harless) shoe's, I'd probably try to prolong facing hearings on departmental charges as long as I could. Kinda the same line of thought that the longer you can keep a legal case out of court the better your chances are. People tend to 'cool off' with time.

If its the second scenario, you can bet the city officials will be trying to work some kind of deal with the victim to get this whole mess put behind them as cheaply/quietly as possible.

But while talking about IA's investigation into departmental charges, they should not be confused with the victims rights and being threatened with his life according to the law.

Again, union contracts and the law are two seperate issue's altogether.

Union contracts deal with rules set up between employer/employees and in no way supercede the law.

In other words union contracts do not protect an employee when breaking the law which is what Harless was filmed doing.

Also, many city LE Depts. and their employee's pay into a retirement system known as Public Employee's Retirement System(PERS). Many citys/unions have negotiated the amounts they pay...i.e. employee pays half his required amount into PERS and the city matchs the other half for the employee. This is usually negotiated in lieu of an hourly raise for each employee.

Here's the catch. If employee gets into trouble and employer gives the employee a chance to resign, then employee recv's. all monies paid into his retirement by him and the employer.

If employee is flat out fired, he only gets what he/she has contributed to his/her retirement, not what employer has matched.

This can amount to several thousand dollars, Especially with the amount of time Harless has in.

Harless is entitled to 'due process' within his department for DEPARTMENTAL CHARGES according to employer/employee union contract.

Another catch in many union contracts is that you cannot use any accumulated time(sick , vacation leave or comp. time) if you're incarcerated.
If victim presses criminal charges and Harless is locked up, it would be interesting to see if tax dollars are still being paid to him via his sick leave while locked up.

Harless is entitled to 'due process' in a court of law if criminal charges are pressed by the victim according to the laws of the land.

Big difference in 'due process' between the two and we need to be careful not to confuse the two.

Last edited by shortwave; August 4, 2011 at 03:38 PM.
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:26 PM   #60
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hopefully some others will chime in shortwave and that was a good read...

annual leave is always paid upon termination or resignation(and usually an be used to retire early). sick time many times does not work that way. I know some agencies who do not pay sicktime upon resignation, retirement, termination, etc. In this case Harless is making out like a bandit.That is why many older people are willing to give people leave in the 'voluntary leave program': basically if someone is sick, human resources sends an email notification to every employee(sometimes nationwide after locally sending it) asking for donations to help the fellow employee.

also you're probably right that Harless probably doesn't need to report to IA until coming back to duty. Not only that, he could be working on his disability early retirement, favorable resignation, etc while all of this is going on.

There is a new law for govt I believe(at least federal I read), that will allow these employees to retire early with the saved sicktime otr retie early by adding it towards their retirement deadline. I believe it has partially taken effect and within the next 2 yrs or so(jan 1st 2013 at the latest), 100% protected for the future.
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Old August 4, 2011, 07:20 PM   #61
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Thanks youngunz.

Our donation leave time according to contract, was only allowable after the person that was off on leave had exhausted all his/her time on the books. Then we could donate.

Another thing worth mentioning about accumulated sick time at separation of employment. Union contracts are negotiated differently but I don't know of any local LE or other government agencies around here that pays out sick leave balances on a day for day basis upon separation.

I know a few that pay out 1 for 2...thats you get paid 1 day for every 2 accumulated day. Many are at the rate of 1 for 4.

If you're under this type of contract, the only way to get paid 1 for 1 is to go out on sick leave prior to separation, exhaust your time, then separate.

Good possibility this is what Harless is doing.

Again, getting arrested for criminal charges and going to jail while on paid sick leave , may throw a big wrench into the sick leave scheme since most contracts will not grant ANY paid leave time for being incarcerated. That time is classified as AWOL in most contracts.

Unfortunatly, unless someone is monitoring the situation closely, Harless could get arrested, go to jail and still continue to be on paid sick leave.
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:38 AM   #62
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I may be wrong but doesn't the victim have to pursue the criminal charges himself or direct his attorney to do so in his behalf... and if thats he case, isn't there a time frame in which this has to be done?
The victim usually must file a criminal complaint. Typically, it is up to the grand jury and/or prosecuting attorney on whether to prosecute the complaint. If no charges are prosecuted criminally, the victim can always bring a civil suit seeking damages.

I would imagine that the lawyer for the CHL already has the civil suit drawn up and is just delaying filing it while he negotiates with the city. If the statute of limitations starts to be an issue, he'll file it.
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Old August 5, 2011, 09:40 AM   #63
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It has recently come to light that this is the second time that Harless has threatened to execute someone during a stop. There is now another dashcam video in the public domain of Harless expressing the same to another (in that one someone who actually had an issue, a pistol under the seat of a car illegally, that person was convicted).

It is going to be interesting to see what happens on the 8th, If he bothers to show up in court and what happens when they play both videos in court for the jury to see and the gentleman's lawyer starts picking him apart. Playing it over and over again, stopping at each point where the man was trying to notify and Harless telling him to repeatably shut up.

Canton PD doesn't have the "bestest" reputation amongst its citizens due to other incidents that have happened over the last couple years.
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Old August 5, 2011, 02:59 PM   #64
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The victim usually must file a criminal complaint.
Thanks for the response Bartholomew Roberts.

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Typically, it is up to the grand jury and/ or prosecuting attorney on whether to prosecute the complaint
...and with the Canton prosecuting attorney trying to make the deal with the victim that they would drop the original charges against him if he wouldn't sue, thats scary.

Also, given the circumstances of the chain of events in which the P.A. had to be aware of in order to offer the deal in the first place, is that even legal,let alone ethical for the P.A. to do that?

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Old August 5, 2011, 03:12 PM   #65
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We have a golf outing in Canton and from experience their LEO's reputation is of being di**s.I've been stopped twice in Cincinnati since i got my CCW ,and the first time i was asked did i have my weapon in the vehicle,and the second time what do i carry.
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Old August 7, 2011, 02:04 AM   #66
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I guess it is coming in threes in OH in some form or another for LE

a young man just died as college campus PD stunned him w/their stun gun:

http://www.fox19.com/story/15222274/...icer-tases-him
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Old August 7, 2011, 11:09 AM   #67
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Boy oh boy has this gotten interesting since I last checked (I've not had an available internet connection for the past week). It seems to me that there's some confusion over Harless's rights to due process. I think what many people are upset about is that Harless has not been arrested or charged with anything yet. While Officer Harless certainly has the right to a fair trial just like anyone else, his actions in the video (I've only seen the first one) would certainly seem to represent sufficient evidence for criminal charges to be brought and an arrest warrant to be issued. As far as I am aware, however, no charges or warrants have been brought against Harless.

Now, it seems to me that there are a couple of possible reasons for this. First, the city of Canton may be trying to "protect their own". Given the less-than-stellar behavior that we're hearing about from both the President of the City Council and the DA, that is certainly plausible. The other possible reason is that perhaps the CCL holder has not filed a criminal complaint yet. According to the information Bartholomew gave us, a criminal complaint probably has to be filed by the victim before further action can be taken. It would not be suprising to me if the defendant's lawyer advises him not to take such action until his own legal troubles are resolved.
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Old August 7, 2011, 12:41 PM   #68
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It would not be suprising to me if the defendant's lawyer advises him not to take such action until his own legal troubles are resolved.
It would seem to me that filing such a complaint would leverage his own legal troubles.
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Old August 7, 2011, 01:47 PM   #69
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It would seem to me that filing such a complaint would leverage his own legal troubles
I wouldn't think the CCL holder has much worry at this stage of the game as to the level of legal trouble he's in, given the PA offered a deal of all charges being dropped if CHL holder would agree not to sue the City of Canton.

If the charges the CHL holder was arrested for was valid(or strong), no deals would have been offered in the first place. The charges against him won't stick anyway.

Me thinks, at this point, the CHL holder is in the 'catbird seat' so-to-speak. There has more than likely been many behind the scene meetings with Canton officials from the Mayor on down,the CHL holder and his attorney as to how this whole thing can be rectified as cheaply,quietly and quickly as possible.

In other words, Harless's actions has got the City of Canton in big 'do-do' and IMO, its now about 'damage control'.

Using flemsy charges against the CHL holder as a negotiating tactic for the City of Canton at this stage of the game, would almost be laughable, would only make this whole embarrassing situation for Canton even worse and would only cost the city even more than its already going spend.

Wouldn't it be bad if the CHL holder collected money for being threatened by a Canton LEO and then turned around and collected again for false arrest?

Not to mention that if the CHL holder is married, Mrs. CHL holder may also sue due to the fact that Mr. CHL holder can no longer perform his husbandry duties cause of the depression he's been in since the incident.
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Old August 7, 2011, 03:06 PM   #70
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Quote:
It would not be suprising to me if the defendant's lawyer advises him not to take such action until his own legal troubles are resolved.

It would seem to me that filing such a complaint would leverage his own legal troubles.
Possibly. I'm not a lawyer, so my comments are really just speculation on my part. I wonder, however, what if any effect the filing of a criminal complaint against the Harless might have on the defendant's ability to sue the officer, department, and/or city in civil court. As I said before, I'm not a lawyer nor am I nearly as well versed in legalese as many others here, so if anyone can shed more light on the subject I'd be very interested to hear an analysis.
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Old August 7, 2011, 03:32 PM   #71
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In today's Akron Beacon Journal there is an ad for a LEO job in Canton Ohio. Is is coincidental, or prophetic I/we could only speculate? Regardless, with everything going on, I found it quite interesting that they have an opening or openings there.

Tomorrow will be the day that we will find out if Harless even shows up in court, or even if they let it go to court. You never know, the city might be sitting on the curb with a wheelbarrow full of money tomorrow morning.
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Old August 7, 2011, 05:56 PM   #72
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The Phoenix AZ police department once ignored a flat-out murder by one of their officers. The reasoning was obvious: if they admitted that he killed, they would give the family of the deceased a major leg up in the inevitable civil trial against the department.

The same thing is going on in Canton .

As an aside: what happened in Phoenix is fully documented. A low-level bad guy had fled from a female cop the day before. The male cop-boyfriend of the lady cop caught the guy the next day and tasered him to the chest continously for 53 seconds per the taser's internal log. There's zero difference between that and smothering somebody to death - and trust me, when they're struggling, 53 seconds is plenty because they're using oxygen to fight. Muscle spasms under a taser are even more severe at O2 usage.

The Phoenix PD ruled this "within their policies". Based on that official, published ruling, I do not consider tasers in the hands of any Phoenix PD officer to be non-lethal force.
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Old August 7, 2011, 06:48 PM   #73
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this all being said, just because someone gets in a fight and says something like, "I'm gonna kill you" the said individual isn't locked up with the key thrown away. The same goes here, the cop lost his temper and he had his reasons. It isn't determined yet how much they got on him and usually when preparing a case you get as much as you can before bringing charges.
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Old August 7, 2011, 10:34 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by younggunz4life
this all being said, just because someone gets in a fight and says something like, "I'm gonna kill you" the said individual isn't locked up with the key thrown away.
But the individual IS arrested and locked up, until he gets released on bail, with charges pending. They don't throw away the key until after a trial with a verdict of guilty. Due process does not entail allowing people accused of threatening murder to wander the streets, uncharged, for indeterminate periods.

Quote:
The same goes here, the cop lost his temper and he had his reasons. It isn't determined yet how much they got on him and usually when preparing a case you get as much as you can before bringing charges.
But his reasons were not valid. NO reason is valid for allowing an officer of the law to threaten to execute a citizen. They have the video. They have the victim's statement. They do NOT need anything more in order to bring charges. The video speaks for itself -- eloquently.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; August 8, 2011 at 02:15 AM. Reason: typo
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Old August 8, 2011, 12:39 AM   #75
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I hear you Aguilar

but that doesn't change the fact that this guy is drinking a beer and watching espn right now while collecting fullpay. Like it or not, there are obviously some people that do not see this situation in as serious light as others. I am not one of them, but it just seems like it has partially been swept under the rug(whether or not it stays that way is another story...)
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