20 October 2005

Faith in humanity, or something like that ... whatever

A couple of week ago, on October 5th, FAB angried up everyone's blood by relaying a less-than-endearing story involving the Atlanta police. I suggested that people contact the Office of Professional Standards, took my own advice and emailed them on the 6th, and just today received a response (on the 20th) with a letter from the Chief of Police dated the 11th. Here's the story thus far:

My original email was cautiously angry. I've only second-hand knowledge of the situation, and with all due respect to FAB (who I've only met once) and the injured party (who I never met), I was in no position to demand satisfaction--only to ask for an internal review of what appears to be an injustice or at least an ignoble act. My email:

Subject: Officers' disrespect for the handicapped

On Tuesday the 4th of this month, Preston Craig was given two citations for disorderly conduct. While those citations may or may not be justified, the conduct of the Atlanta officers involved was deplorable: the officers parked in a handicapped spot (with no apparent emergency), refused to move when requested, and destroyed the private property of Mr. Craig when they were threatened with being reported to their supervisors. I would like to know that these actions are considered unacceptable by our police force. Please reply with how your department is dealing with this breach of public trust.

I learned about this--as have many in the Atlanta community--from a friend's Web site:


Although this may seem only a minor offense, it represents a certain disrespect towards citizens on the part of some officers. I hope that this gets addressed so that the story can be reported with an outcome that Atlanta as a community can be proud of.

- Scott

Today, I received an email with no subject and a DOC attachment (that just barely survived my delete-finger (which is the same as my right index finger)). The email text--scrubbed of miscellaneous public servant names just to be kind--was:

Mr. Stradder [sic],

I have attached an email version of a letter from Chief Richard J. Pennington [the Atlanta Chief of Police]. If this is not sufficient please forward to me your mailing address and I will mail you the hardcopy version.


Officer XXXX



The DOC text was:

October 11, 2005

Mr. Scott D. Stradder [sic]


Re: 05-C-0747-CTSY

Dear Mr. Stradder [etc...]:

I am in receipt of your e-mail, dated October 6, 2005, referencing an incident involving Mr. XXXX [different from above, but similar] and City of Atlanta Police Officers XXXX and XXXX, which occurred on October 5, 2005.

I have instructed Major W. Harris, Jr., Commander of the Office of Professional Standards [link referenced above], to initiate an investigation into this matter. Upon completion of the investigation, you will be notified in writing as to the final disposition of the investigation. If you have any questions or concerns with regards to this investigation, you may contact Major Harris at XXXX [different from the Web site].

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.


Richard J. Pennington

Chief of Police


c: Assistant Chief XXXX

Major W. Harris, Jr.

I've replied appropriately and will keep an eye out in the next few weeks or months. Maybe the system works. Who knew?

[ posted by sstrader on 20 October 2005 at 11:46:10 PM in Culture & Society ]