Tape captures officer intimidating driver

I thought they were Airport Security and they asked me if I was aware I was standing on the side of the road.I informed them that I was completely aware that I was standing on the side of the road while waiting for my ride home.After his arrest, Hernandez persuaded Thomas to detail his earlier crimes.

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Yet some police officials in Minnesota have taken issue with the app, worrying that the witness function could do more harm than good, escalating situations by drawing crowds.

“If you create a crowd, it is possible that the crowd could turn on an officer,” said Andy Skoogman, spokesman for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

Feelings were already running high since the officer went uncharged while the injured man in the wheelchair, Gerry Mitchell, was served with a ticket in his UVA hospital bed.

In the months following the accident, Mitchell– a longtime AIDS sufferer– alleged that he was hit not only by a police car but by a cascade of additional health woes.

(Minn Post CEO Joel Kramer is on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Minnesota; he had no involvement in this story.)Using cell phones to record police isn’t a new concept.

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“We’re experiencing a national moment in this country right now where communities all over the nation are demanding accountability,” said Teresa Nelson, legal director for the ACLU, at a press conference in St. “This app will add another layer to that accountability.”The technology comes in the aftermath of high-profile incidents around the country, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray during encounters with police.

“I think it’s pretty clear that there have been some pretty serious issues of police misconduct in Minnesota and across the country,” said Nelson.

Hernandez learned that most of the victims’ complaints in the prior assaults had been classified as criminal trespassing, so the incidents never reached the detective squad and, in turn, were never declared a pattern, which would have triggered an intense campaign to capture the perpetrator.

He says Thomas told him that with each new assault, his brazenness and level of violence increased: “I asked him, ‘Weren’t you ever afraid that you would get caught in any of these locations? I looked around, I never saw any cops,’ ” Hernandez says.

(See “The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy’s 81st Precinct” from May 5, 2010 and “The NYPD Tapes, Part 2” from May 12, 2010.) But none is more alarming than the story being made public by retired NYPD Detective First Grade Harold Hernandez.

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