It's "under investigation"

I've been brooding a lot lately about a couple of local police misconduct cases that are "under investigation." That's the phrase that the cops and their apologists slap on matters they don't want to talk about and that they hope you'll forget.

One case is the slandering of a Portland city council member, Jo Ann Hardesty, by members of the city's wayward police force. As you may recall, when a local resident falsely accused Hardesty of hit and run on March 3, police officers added what they thought was her license plate number to their report, then leaked the report to right-wing wingnuts for internet dissemination.

Who did the leaking? Was it Brian Hunzeker, the police union president who abruptly resigned after the leak, having made an unspecified "mistake"? They asked the police chief again this week. He said it was "under investigation," and he didn't know.

Lovell on Wednesday said he had not spoken with Hunzeker personally about the leak and said he does not know what action Hunzeker took. But Lovell indicated that the public will eventually learn about what led to his resignation.

“I do think he will reveal that during the process that we have laid out and that we all agreed upon,” Lovell said.

Notice, he didn't say he couldn't talk about it because it was "under investigation." He said he didn't know what happened because it was "under investigation."

He doesn't know what happened in his own department. Wow. At the time the chief made that revelation, the incident was three weeks old.

Then there is the continuing "investigation" of the October 29 police shooting of Kevin Peterson Jr. in Clark County, Washington. In the last couple of weeks there were two developments. First, Peterson's family formally notified the county that they are going to sue. But more distressingly, it was also revealed that all the cops who shot him to death were back in their old jobs less than four weeks after it happened.

Not reassigned. Not sent away for training. Just back on the streets for some more of their excellent drug stings.

Remember, it took 11 days for the cops who killed Peterson to even be interviewed. Jeremy Brown was interviewed November 5, Robert Anderson November 6, and Jonathan Feller November 9. By November 24, they were all back on duty like nothing ever happened.

Meanwhile, we're told, the case is still "under investigation," supposedly by some d.a.'s office in another part of the state. Maybe that 's why we can't see the autopsy report on Peterson, which would show where the bullets hit him. From the video, it certainly appears that the first shot that hit him, hit him in the back as he was running away.

Peterson was killed five months ago tomorrow. But they're still "investigating." That wasn't a wink; the sheriff's eye just twitched a little. Honest.