AURORA, CO – A police lieutenant who had served the Aurora Police Department for 20 years announce his retirement on October 1st by way of a rather scathing criticism levied toward city council members in an email.
This 20-year APD veteran, who’d also served five years in law enforcement prior to joining that specific department, conveyed a sense of bittersweet emotions regarding the reason why he decided to leave the APD.
“I can honestly say that my retirement is a result of you. I am disheartened by your lack of respect for the occupation I’ve revered for so long. The double standards between us and you is a difficult pill to swallow.”https://t.co/FIZpoZ0yuq
— The Denver Gazette (@DenverGazette) October 3, 2020
Lt. Dave Cernich wrote the following in the email addressed toward Aurora city council members:
“It is with great sadness that I inform you of my retirement after 25 years in law enforcement. I spent the past 20 years in Aurora and it was a pleasure to do so, until this year.”
Obviously, 2020 hasn’t been the most kind to law enforcement since late May following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. Lt. Cernich pointed the proverbial finger at the city council in his email when explaining why he feels it was time to leave the department:
“I can honestly say that my retirement is a result of you. I am disheartened by your lack of respect for the occupation I’ve revered for so long. The double standards between us and you is a difficult pill to swallow.”
There’s been a lot going on in Colorado, which managed to pass what’s known as SB 217 in a mere two weeks’ time after it was presented.
The bill is most known as a form of sweeping police reform, which ended the likes of Qualified Immunity being able to be used as a defense if police officers get subjected to lawsuits for alleged rights violations.
The act also banned the likes of chokeholds and creates a sort of database come 2022 that aims to track alleged “untruthfulness” and “termination for cause” of police officers.
Depending on who you ask about SB 217, some would coin it as welcomed police accountability measures while others may say it’s far too reaching against police duties.
The State of Colorado passes extraordinary measures in police reform with SB-217, the first in the country since the murder of George Floyd. Read the bill for yourself here: https://t.co/zypC4ydB7a
— UnfilteredAct (@UnfilteredAct) June 21, 2020
While the death of Floyd in May might’ve kickstarted the passing of SB 217, Aurora Police have been dealing with the controversially of an in-custody death from their own department that happened in August of 2019. Namely, the death of Elijah McClain.
The McClain death is one that has caused unrest within the community of Aurora since the D.A. found in 2019 that there wasn’t enough evidence to allege the officers’ actions during his arrest were completely responsible for McClain’s passing.
However, a carotid hold was used during that very arrest and SB 217 has specifically banned then use of them by police within the state – which illustrates the case’s influence on the recently passed bill as well.
Also, public image for the APD wasn’t exactly helped when a photo featuring three police officers outside of the site where McClain died had posed for a picture while reenacting a carotid chokehold while smiling.
Aurora’s interim police chief has fired two of the three officers who posed for a photo reenacting a chokehold at the site of Elijah McClain’s violent arrest — the third already had resigned — and terminated another who received the photo. https://t.co/Pp3pXxWay8
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 3, 2020
But the actions of a few officers have caused a collective disdain for the whole department and profession, which some of the city council members in Aurora have noted creates a culture that can compel good police officers to want to leave behind policing.
Recently, councilman-at-large David Gruber examined the disturbing trend of rising crime within Aurora and a diminishing police force via voluntary departures:
“The result is that almost 10% of our officers have resigned or returned and our crime rate has increased dramatically. I’m sorry to say I can’t blame our officers for leaving our city. Council needs to better understand the challenges our officers face and support the oath they have taken on our behalf.”
While Gruber did make mention that there are some police officers that engage in “poor judgement”, he remarked that the over-700 officers from the APD “have dedicated themselves to serve and protect the residents of Aurora.”
Councilwoman Francoise Bergan also acknowledged how the current climate can drive good officers to thrown in the proverbial towel when it comes to policing. Aurora’s public safety committee was recently trying to ban officers from using pepper spray, which that initiative was luckily placed on hold earlier in October.
Bergan remarked on that recent pausing of trying to ban pepper spray as being illustrative that many police officers have concerns over whether they’ll be depleted of non-lethal means of protection when deadly force can be avoided:
“I think some of those things are a concern to our officers in terms of how they are supposed to protect themselves in situations where they don’t want to use lethal weapons.”
Much like Gruber, Bergan addressed this increase in crime and decrease of police officers in the city as being “unsettling” to locals within Aurora:
“At this point with a loss of officers and an increase in crime, it’s something that is unsettling for them.”
Retiring Portland officer sends letter to every city cop – absolutely destroys Antifa and city leaders
Editor note: Before releasing the letter, Law Enforcement Today confirmed through multiple sources within the city of Portland that this was written by a retiring police officer. We’re also told efforts were made to prevent it from being distributed… but it was too late.
Now it’s time …. to say goodbye….to all the lunacy! (Mickey Mouse Club for those who didn’t pick up on it).
After 26.5 years of blood, sweat, and tears it all comes to an inspirational end.
I reflect back on my first night out of the advanced academy (12/19/94) and remember Dave Howe getting shot 4 times by a cowardly gangster hiding under a bed at some apartments at 122/Glisan.
I got the joy of telling his wife what happened when she arrived at the hospital that night. Today, that same thug would be hailed a hero or martyr.
After I returned to work from Admin. Leave, I was partnered with an officer that should never have been hired (but they were desperate for cops) and unbeknownst to me, Brad decided to keep a bunch of dope we discovered on a traffic stop.
I had zero reluctance testifying in Grand Jury against him, giving him no pass although an argument could have been made for the lack of help he had received following an officer involved shooting when the wife of the man who had tried killing him with a hatchet began stalking Brad at home and work.
Brad was responsible and should and was held accountable.
1999 was a hoot too.
I was nearly killed by a drunk driver, got attacked by two drunk men at Food for Less at 82/Powell celebrating the new year, and was drug off my horse when I attempted an arrest of a crack dealer in Old Town and the driver drove away with my arm trapped in the car.
Accountability being at an all-time high, I saw the DUI get no time; one of the two men (the other testified against me and got off scot-free because I could not identify him) at Food for Less get a 15 day sentence, served on weekends (even though this was his second attack on police); and the crack dealer get 3 days in jail, which was less than the suspension I got for bad language and preventing her escaping while handcuffed later.
This was only the 12th time I had been assaulted in my first five years.
For the next 21 years, I spent time with victims of criminal acts, usually right after they happened when emotions were high.
I also spent time patrolling the streets preventing crime and the fear of crime through the best methods.
See a crime, arrest a criminal.
See a person about to commit a crime, prevent the crime.
See a picture from a wanted poster, arrest the wanted person.
See a street level drug deal, arrest both parties. Ask anyone who works in the area of a drug house, it has a positive effect.
I’ve seen numerous officers held accountable through discipline, firing, and jail.
I’ve seen an appalling number of live time criminals continue to prey on the poor, weak, elderly and young and because they are rarely ever held accountable, continue with their wicked ways.
There is no lack of excuse makers for them.
“Nobody ever gave them a chance” is one of my favorites.
Of course since I have a job, it’s because of all my theoretical privilege and totally disregards the fact that I was once homeless with numerous siblings and a single mother who worked 2 jobs in high school (51 hours/week) and managed to graduate.
Don’t you hate when the facts don’t fit the narrative??
Things got really exciting when a certain flu came into the country. Apocalyptic times ahead.
Leaders blamed each other for the future of countless deaths. Mistakes were made by all, but this was new territory and nobody was prepared for what flew into the country.
Most made the best decisions they could, while others took the best advantage of the uncertain times they could for both profit and political gains.
First responders were suddenly heroes again. I watched the military jets fly over the city, from empty emergency room to empty emergency room, to honor health care workers.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more exciting, the nation watched in disgust and horror as George Floyd died in police custody, all caught on film.
The city this tragedy happened in didn’t matter, because it was not the fault of all cops.
Systemic racism. The new buzz word to accompany de-escalation and equity.
Now, since so many officers had chose to step in harms way to be on the front lines in the fight against crime in ALL neighborhoods, we were all labeled racists.
After all, we were the enforcers of laws set up by the citizens of our country, states, and cities. Nobody called law makers systemic racists.
What is really impressive is all the armchair experts on the subject. Don’t dare bring up statistical data regarding numbers of homicides or other criminal activity, because emotion reigns and “I feel like that just can’t be true” is the response.
I’ve yet to see charges of systemic racism against judges who sentenced criminals to prison, yet they are part of the same system.
Everyone has jumped on board with the condemnation of police which is great because we definitely need more people to demonize officers risking their very lives for strangers.
I hope everyone got to see the extremely brave Quentin Tarantino’s speech about how he’s “not going to stand by while these murders are out here.”
Wouldn’t it be grand to see him take the stance every Monday morning in Chicago following another appalling weekend of homicides against Blacks?
I watched in sadness at the first major press conference here in Portland following the first riot and our Portland Fire Chief Boone described how she lived in fear that she would be shot in the back (by the police) every time she walked across the park to city hall (YouTube video available).
I did some research and couldn’t find a single incident of this ever happening to a fire chief or a Black female here in Portland, so clearly the narrative was more important than the facts.
Things rings equally absent of fact when I witness the police being blamed for the deaths of Travon Martin (Hispanic neighborhood watch member), Sandra Bland’s jail suicide, and Ahmaud Arbery’s death at the hands of two civilians whose murals are all along side of other high profile deaths.
It’s been great being the scapegoat for all these high-profile deaths. I’m probably one of the few Americans who actually bothered to read the very lengthy DOJ findings on the Michael Brown shooting that inspired death and destruction.
One of the early complaints was about how long Brown’s body was in the street, how many people knew the police had to take cover during two more subsequent shootings at the scene?
It seems like the only thing people agree on is that these deaths are tragic. I am of course speaking about us people who recognize the sanctity of human life.
I am not talking about those who laugh on YouTube videos following death like we just witness last Saturday.
I have reserved my biggest congratulations for the Anarchists who in a genius public relations scheme, skillfully changed their name to Antifa.
Who doesn’t hate fascists? Wonderful!
I remember working Occupy Portland when an Anarchist actually complained to me about the tweakers stealing all of their stuff while the Anarchists were marching through downtown.
I’m impressed with a group of people who mask up (pre-Covid), dress in helmets and armor, arm themselves with weapons and attack free speech.
The most incredibly brave pack of hyenas in nature. I think police departments should hire the Anarchist P.R. firm so we can come up with a name that city hall can get behind.
I was so proud to watch Commissioner Hardesty chant F the police on videos. Too bad we don’t have a cool sounding social just warrior name like they do.
This goes hand in hand with the constant media characterization of “peaceful” or “mostly peaceful” protests. Has to be peaceful because the first amendment to the constitution only guarantees “peaceful assembly.”
As long as it is characterized as peaceful, they are not infringing on other people’s rights to things such as free travel. No civil rights violations going on here, that only applies to the police.
There is zero doubt among the officers of the Portland Police that our new District Attorney feels the same way. Impressive campaign financing and agenda driven law enforcement will certainly lead to justice for all.
I recall beaming with pride as Mayor Wheeler traded barbs with President Trump, even at one point telling the President to not tell him how to do his job.
Wow, coming from the guy who has been telling the police to do their job. No police experience needed, but definitely better at it!
I recall that after Commissioner Hardesty call the officers of the Portland Police Bureau a bunch of thugs, Mayor Wheeler rushed to our defense and criticized the President for building the wall along the southern border.
I marveled at the walls being constructed around the buildings downtown, including City Hall.
Mirroring the Mayor’s message to the President during yesterday’s press conference, “wouldn’t it be great if the Mayor stood with the police against the blatant haters just down the hall from him?”
Commissioner U. has done nothing but stick up for “Antifa” in every public statement about the rioting.
Every wonder why so many people died during Hurricane Katrina? Look no further than what has happened here in Portland for the last 100 days.
“The water will subside” strategy is working great!!!!
Let’s get rid of all of the helicopters and boats to rescue people by defunding the purchases and laying off the pilots and boat captains. Instead we’ll send out an army of paddleboarders.
Of course we won’t have anyone trained on paddleboarding or even have purchased any paddleboards to be used rescue all those who need help, but at least it’s better that they die by drowning, starvation and disease than have to breath another breath of fossil fuel.
Brothers and sisters, there is a dark storm on the horizon. It is darker and more ominous than anything any of us have ever seen before. Prepare!
The only one that is going to save you is the one next to you.
50 gone in the month of August, the line just got thinner. Re-imagine there being very few left.
Don’t let the fools divide you! They are already trying.
We as a police department have come so far and I would gladly have put myself in peril for any one of you, regardless of all the things they are trying to divide us (sex, color, religion, orientation). It takes a lot of guts to put on a badge in Portland, It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what is right, but IT IS RIGHT.
We’ve seen the low quality of brain power it takes to scream like spoiled brats while packs behind a mask. Now that they’ve canceled COPS and LIVE PD, most public won’t know us like before.
It is up to us to tell the citizens that mob rule does not get to decide policy and law, but democracy must. I appreciate all the well wishes. I love you all and I pray the Lord watches over each and every one of you.
10-79 for the last time, West
Acting DHS Chief warns Portland – get your act together or the federal government is stepping in
This editorial is written by a former police officer and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
PORTLAND, OR- If 2020 was an awards show, the finalists for worst mayor of the year would be Bill de Blasio of New York, Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, Jacob Frey of Minneapolis, Jenny Durkan of Seattle of Seattle, and Ted Wheeler of Portland.
The winner would be no contest…Wheeler. De Blasio would be a close second.
Actually, the other four would probably be tied for second.
For the past 90+ days, the once beautiful city of Portland more closely resembles Baghdad after Desert Storm, or Mogadishu after…well, pretty much any time.
Portland has devolved over the past maybe ten or so years, but 2020 took it to a whole other level. Now, the Department of Homeland security is warning Wheeler to get his sh…act together, or the feds will step in and do it for him.
According to Just the News, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has “encouraged” Wheeler to seek federal assistance for his beleaguered city after nearly 100 straight days of rioting. Make no mistake about it—these have generally been riots—anything but “peaceful protests.”
On Monday, Wolf sent a letter to Wheeler in which he cited the fact that the Department of Homeland Security had made 255 arrests and declared 23 instances of riots and unlawful assemblies…and that was just in August.
Wolf slammed Wheeler by stating that he had “stood passively by, arguing that nightly violence ‘will ultimately burn itself out.’ The evidence demonstrates otherwise,” Wolf wrote.
Last Friday, Wheeler once again turned down federal assistance, which President Trump has repeatedly offered to the city as it burns out of control.
“On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks,” Wheeler wrote.
“Portlanders are on to you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.”
If Wheeler wants to take about a “bumbling response,” he need look no further than the bathroom mirror. But I digress.
In response, Wolf wrote:
“Ignoring criminal behavior is no way to protect the citizens of your community, the same citizens who entrusted you to hold elected office. I urge you go prioritize public safety and to request federal assistance to restore law and order in Portland.”
said that Wolf’s letter urged Wheeler to look again at the offer:
“The chaos, destruction, and suffering in Portland are evils you can stop—and must stop. Consider what happened recently in Wisconsin—where the State of Wisconsin requested and received federal law enforcement assistance and the violence and looting there ended.”
“Accordingly, I urge you to prioritize public safety and to request federal assistance to restore law and order in Portland. We are standing by to support Portland.
At the same time, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that there will come a point when state and local officials fail to protect its citizens from violence, the federal government will have no choice but to protect our American citizens.”
The back and forth between the Trump administration and Wheeler comes at the same time that a suspect believed to be an Antifa member is a suspect in the murder of Aaron J. Danielson, 39, of Portland.
Danielson was a member of the Patriot Prayer group, a right leaning group that is active in the Pacific Northwest, according to Reuters. Danielson was said to be a supporter of President Trump.
KTVZ said that according to Joey Gibson, head of the Patriot Prayer group, members of the group had gotten into an altercation with Black Lives Matter protesters in downtown Portland Saturday night.
According to video taken during the altercation, it appears that Danielson may have been separated from the rest of the group. He was wearing a hat with bearing the Patriot Prayer insignia, according to The Blaze, and may have also been carrying a side satchel with what appeared to be a Blue Lives Matter flag on it.
After the shooting, a crowd dressed in all black was apparently celebrating the man’s death.
“And tonight, I just got word, the person who died was a Patriot Prayer person,” said a woman with a megaphone. “He was a fucking Nazi. Our community held its own and took out the trash. I’m not going to shed any tears over a Nazi.”
Meantime, the reported that Portland Police Bureau investigators are looking for a person of interest in connection with the murder. The man, 48-year-old Michael Reinoehl is apparently a former professional snowboarder and self-professed member of Antifa on social media.
The Journal said that Reinoehl’s sister identified a picture shown to her by the Portland Police Bureau as being her brother.
An autopsy performed by the medical examiner on Danielson confirmed that he had died of a gunshot wound to the chest and was classified as a homicide, according to a police department press release.
The Journal said a law enforcement official confirmed that Reinoehl is indeed a person of interest in the case.
According to an Instagram account bearing Reinoehl’s name, there were a number of pictures from protests which took place over the summer. The outlet noted that the person behind the account had “identified himself as an enthusiastic supporter of the left-wing antifascist group Antifa,” the Journal said.
“I am 100% ANTIFA all the way! I am willing to fight for my brothers and sisters!” he wrote in a June 16 post. “We do not want violence, but we will not run from it either! If the police continue to pick on and beat up innocent citizens that are peacefully voicing their objections, it must be met with equal force!”
Reihoehl actually fits the description of your typical Antifa member. According to his sister, she said that she didn’t know him well, although he “showed up every once in a while to demand money from Mom and then disappear.”
Sounds about right.
The fact remains that by doing nothing and standing by as businesses are destroyed, police are assaulted, and now people are being killed, Wheeler, District Attorney Mike Schmidt, and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty are complicit in these crimes.
Perhaps the United States Department of Justice should investigate these three amateurs for U.S. Civil Rights violations.
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