"Recently, a Tulsa Police official complained in public that the TPD was having trouble investigating the shooting of a man crossing a street in North Tulsa. He attributed it to a “don’t snitch” mentality, as if no one could possibly be telling the truth that it was night and they weren’t looking out at the time, or be wary of dealing with a Police Department they might think is a nest of bigots.
I have some personal experience with that. I know there are bigots in the TPD because I’ve met them and suffered from their bigotry. A few years back, after I complained to my apartment management that he wasn’t keeping his dog on a leash, a disabled man in a power chair chased me down on a public street just west of the apartments. He blocked me with his chair and made threatening references to what might happen if I didn’t stay out of his business. Having been threatened with death and assaulted more than once in my life, I call the TPD. When I tried to tell the responding Officer about how this bothered my PTSD, he immediately took the side of the cripple and threatened me with legal action. It took a letter to the TPD complaining about this discriminatory behavior to get a reasoned response. Sometime later, the cripple started accusing me to the apartment management of stalking and taking videos of him. I did no such thing. I’ve been an amateur photographer for decades, and often took pictures around the apartments and neighborhood. The guy was more that a little paranoid.
When I got into it with a new apartment manager, and got very upset over an impossible deadline to get my several thousand pounds of property out of my apartment, it seems the manager sicced COPES (the Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services) and the TPD on me. Several people from COPES and two TPD Officers showed up to interview me. One Officer did all the talking. The other sat there with a superior looking smirk on his face, as is to say that he wouldn’t waste his time dealing with a nut case. Long after the TPD showed up to arrest me in front of my neighbors and friends, and cart me off to the local loony bin, I found out from neighbors, who could have testified that the manager and at least one of her employees were habitual liars, that the TPD had not bothered to interview any of them. At various times during the next 66 days after my arrest and detention, the loony bin “professionals”, the Mental Health Court and the District Attorney’s Office beat me over the head with false, unsworn allegations, as if they had been proven to be true.
My neighbors, whom the TPD did not interview, have refused my requests to voluntarily testify in my defense. I can’t blame them much for feeling that way. They watched what happened to me when I went up against the management with mere satire. They watched the TPD do it. They are poor and afraid of being evicted, too, if they say anything. They know that the TPD and District Attorney will look out for the business before its customers, and has absolutely no duty or interest in protecting them. They may even have some legitimate fear of being dismissed outright, as being out of touch with reality, as was I.
There are two cases of special interest to me: Arpin v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency, 261 F.3d 912 (9th Cir. 2001), in which a PD was successfully sued for not pursuing an independent investigation; and Wilson v. Lawrence County, 260 F.3d 946 (8 Cir. 2001), where the court denied police qualified immunity because they failed to investigate other leads in a murder case. As the Court said in Wilson, “Law enforcement officers, like prosecutors, have a responsibility to criminal defendants to conduct their investigations and prosecutions fairly as illustrated by the Brady line of cases requiring the state to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense.” The reviewer of the case at the IACP conference noted: “If Wilson’s evidence proves credible at trial, the failure to investigate could lead to a finding that their inaction was reckless or intentional, thus supporting a due process claim.”
Until the TPD and its Officers change their attitudes on how they protect (for which the courts have declared they have no legal duty) and serve (which they only do on their individual senses of responsibility), who’s going to trust and cooperate with them, but those whom they _prefer_ to serve and protect. "