The Faces of Fear

The Faces of Fear

July, 08, 2011, by Khaner

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I, along with most everyone from Raleigh, love New Hanover County. Its shiny beaches are a short two hours away and for the most part, two turns from my house (right on I-40, left on Hwy 74 towards Wrightsville Beach). Camping on Masonboro, four-wheeling on Carolina Beach, running the Loop, or simply enjoying the battleship or downtown district are always fun, and are a convenient get-away for many of us in the 919.

My best friend is a cop. I feel law enforcement gets a bad rap most of the time. But you always welcome that wave of relief when say for instance you hear someone breaking into your house late at night, or you’re robbed at gunpoint and that person is later caught – as what happened to me last summer in Charlotte.

While I was in Wilmington last weekend for 4th of July, I was both impressed by the amount of police out maintaining order, and sorry for the very rough crowd they had to deal with. At the same time, I wondered how two State Troopers patrolling the same county, could turn law enforcement into a wrongful weapon of fear and blatant abuse of power.

Imagine the one person you care for most in this world, being practically abducted in front of you by law enforcement, when no crime had been committed. Now you’re following that person, held captive in a State Highway Patrol car to the county magistrate’s office and you’re pulled by another SHP car, in what cannot be a coincidence.

I cannot explain the sense of fear and anger you might have for your loved one, much less for yourself, but I imagine it might be one of the colder sweats you’ll ever have.

(If you haven’t read the story, WRAL has a good write-up here)

This chilling incident is only one in a string of not-so-stellar events for the State Highway Patrol and Governor Perdue:

·         2008: Patrolman Michael Steele Jr. is sentenced to seven years in prison for abducting and fondling Hispanic women at traffic stops.

·         July 2009: Perdue appoints long-time friend Randy Glover to commander of the NC Highway Patrol (nearly a decade after an FBI investigation closes their case on his promotion and transfer by then, state senator Perdue who sits on the committee overseeing his agency’s funding).

·         May 2010: Capt. James Williams Jr. is caught driving drunk and is bounced from the patrol.

·         June 2010: NC Patrolman Larry Lovicka resigns during investigations of alleged misconduct by a woman during a traffic stop.

·         June 2010: Maj. Everett Clendenin resigns amid findings he used a state-owned BlackBerry to fuel a romantic relationship with his secretary, who is also married to a trooper.

·         June 2010 (last June mention): Master Trooper Timothy Swiwinter resigns after a drunken driving ticket received in Asheville.

·         July 2010: Glover resigns amid the trouble.

·         July 2010: Gov. Perdue appoints an advisory panel to gosh-darned it, find out what’s wrong with the SHP.

·         Fall 2010-Jan 2011: Panel looks into it and after a year, the hefty seven-page report, reports that the misbehavior should be looked into.

After three years of violent misconduct, one would think we’d be close to a non-sexually threatening State Highway Patrol, but it appears the end is far from sight.

North Carolina deserves far better than to live in fear of the very people hired to protect them.

http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/Contact.aspx








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Politics, Other posts by Khaner.

Tagged

Governor Beverly PerdueEdward WyrickAndrew SmithNC State Highway Patrol

Related

  • Jonn
    07/08 11:45 AM

    Wilmington cops have an incredibly long history of corruption, it’s a sad thing.

  • Francesco Zappa
    07/08 12:51 PM

    Live near a trooper myself. He seems alright although he’s most likely a misanthropic mentally unbalanced lunatic with a grudge against the world. Other than that he’s great.

  • WILLNCSU
    07/08 12:54 PM

    That’s the difference between state and local law enforcement.  Local is usually much better in my experience.  Sheriffs departments are usually pretty terrible though.  Just google “operation tarnished badge”.

  • Aaron
    07/08 02:32 PM

    Super Troopers!

  • SameOldRaleigh
    07/08 04:26 PM

    The NC State Troopers have been a joke for ages.  They run around with anger management issues and a constant need for control.  This has been going on for a long time, it’s just that it is now getting the press it deserves.  I say scrap the whole group and staff up the local cops.  I took a criminal justice class at Wake Tech one time and it was full of these meatheads that wanted to be troopers so they could bust someone’s ass.  I love the Top Gun-esque haircuts myself.  These guys are all the same, they were losers in high school that now think they can go around bullying others because they got their Associate’s degree in criminal justice and learned how to shoot a handgun.  Try having a conversation with one of them and see how quickly they turn it into a pissing contest if you disagree with anything they say.  Seems like we might need to do a better psych evaluation before we hire these clowns in the future.

  • Aaron
    07/08 04:36 PM

    Look SameOld that’s the best goddamned comment all week.

  • ital lion
    07/08 09:35 PM

    just because you got the power dont me you got the right

  • Foster
    07/09 01:49 AM

    Meow

  • proud supporter
    07/10 01:53 PM

    Some people really need to think about things before they post them.  This absurd article only tells half of the story, which has already been proven to be false in all accounts.  Maybe some people need to do some real research before they make such accusations and comments, because these two troopers (who I both know personally) are two that I know take their job seriously, and are honest patrolmen.  They have families too, and I’m sure don’t appreciate their names and faces being slandered by the media and people that are quick to judge.  I’m sure you’d feel the same if one of these troopers were part of your family.  Seriously, read the REAL truth before you post.  They have been judged for what they have (or haven’t) done, and you will one day be judged for what you say.

  • C
    07/10 05:50 PM

    Whatever you know them, you know how all your friends act when you are not around ?? The corruption within the State Highway Patrol speaks for itself. I agree with SameOldRaleigh, I have met plenty of them too, and it is the same thing. I am not saying they are not good cops, but let’s be real here, if the woman blew a 0.0, should have been let go, even if she was angry, I WOULD BE TOO !! I have to say law enforcement do not get paid enough to deal with what they have to deal with. That said, if proud supporter knows them, and they are such honorable, decent, hard working cops, explain the vulgar, redneck text messages ??? Would they let their families read some of those ??

  • proud supporter
    07/10 11:26 PM

    your comment just makes me laugh like all the rest of the one-sided stories on this case.

  • CombatWx
    07/11 03:00 AM

    C are you familiar with NC State Law?  Upon refusal of a field sobriety test, you are then arrested and taken to the station for testing.  You cannot just be let go, your arrest is then reviewed.  The woman admitted to drinking wine, which has quite the odor, but you probably would not know that not being of age.  As far as the text messages, are you going to honestly say the way you speak with close friends is the same as in your professional life… I doubt that!  Like proud supporter said, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!  These men and women put their lives on the line, to protect and crap from people like you!

  • ScrewTheCops
    07/11 09:47 AM

    Just like everywhere else in the world, if you are not wealthy, law enforcement generally works against you.  I have a friend whose house got robbed and his neighbor caught them red-handed and was an eye witness.  They got off because the police failed to find any evidence in his house they were the ones that broke in.  Now, granted, that’s at least partly the DA’s fault.  However, this is anything but an isolated incident.

    As for highway patrol and other traffic cops, the way they generally patrol is pointless.  Setting up speed traps and pulling over anybody 5-10 over the limit does not make highways safer.  In fact, accidents can occur due to the Pavlov’s dogs response to smacking the break pedal causing an instant 5-10 MPH deceleration.

    Looking for the truly wreckless drivers in a non-trap style constant patrol, pulling only them over, would help.  But that’s not as profitable for the department as speeding tickets.

  • David Menconi
    07/11 09:48 AM

    “This absurd article only tells half of the story, which has already been proven to be false in all accounts.”

    Okay, proud supporter—where is the proof that it’s “false in all accounts”?

  • Mike Alfred
    07/11 11:31 AM

    See: the N.W.A. song about “Tha Police.”

  • Dr Jones
    07/12 12:08 PM

    So, the guy in that picture is the product of inbreeding, right? That is one UGLY mofo.

  • Edward D. Wood, Jr.
    07/20 03:34 PM

    If by inbreeding you mean that troopers are breed in a secret basement laboratory, in a jungle hell of a swamp, utilizing dangerous genetic experiments designed to create a race of Atomic Supermen, who will take over the world!!!

  • Southernscout
    09/30 11:51 PM

    FORWARDED MSG SENT SEPTEMBER 28TH TO INTERNAL AFFAIRS

    On September 19th I contacted Governor Purdue’s office to file a complaint against Trooper XX XXXXXXX.I was contacted later the same day by 1rst Sgt. X. He stated that he would be opening an investigation based on the information I provided. I received a letter later in the week stating my complaint was received and an investigation had been opened signed by Captain Ward. I spoken with Lt. X yesterday and set up a time for a formal interview next week. I am unsure what the proper procedure is in investigating a complaint, however it seems to me that two weeks after the initial complaint was filed is rather long time. The statement was made to me yesterday by one of the officers that he hoped that I got the outcome I desired. Trooper X has hurt me deeply on a personal level, as well as my 6 year old daughter. That does not change the facts that I stated to Internal Affairs. Trooper X has violated numerous policies set forth by the Highway Patrol. In late May/Early June of 2011 Trooper X was working either 2nd or 3rd shift when he took me for a ride in his new unmarked Charger. We left around 12pm from xxx xxxx. He drove to I-40, he pulled over and began running a rear radar. He issued two tickets while I was in the vehicle. One to a gentleman in a tow-truck. The other to an older gentleman traveling with his wife, I believe in a white Toyota, he was in his early 70’s I believe Mr. X  told me. I was also in the vehicle when he received a call for an abandoned vehicle on Arthur Minnis Rd. I believe the address was 1910. When arriving at that location a young man came out of the woods, as well as a young female who was believed to live at the residence. He received a message on his computer from another Trooper while I was in the vehicle as well. He received a call on the opposite side of the County, shortly thereafter he dropped me off at my residence. I was with him for at least a hour. As I previously stated to Sgt. X there was an intimate exchange between us, we did not have intercourse in the vehicle, nor commit any other sexual act.

    I rode with him from my home to the Loop for lunch in late August in his Patrol car while he was on duty. I rode with him from his residence in Burlington to mine, vise versa on at least two other occasions.

    I would think the above mentioned would have been enough to take immediate action, as what I have stated can be easily proven.

    The following are known facts to me as well that are violations of Patrol Policy.

    Mr. X primarily resided with me at xxxxxxxxx. from August 2010 to August 2011. Not at his Burlington home.

    I personally have witnessed numerous racial jokes sent via text to Mr. X from other Troopers which he then forwarded as well to fellow Troopers, and my youngest son.

    Mr. X stated to me and I witnessed telephone conversations where he was given answers and confidential information for his promotional exam in February 2011. He stated to me that one of his friends was on the advisory board and told him the topic or question that he would have to give a presentation on.

    Mr. X would regularly divulge information to me from calls he had been on. Including but not limited to a picture of a older drunk man that he had taken into custody.

    Although hard to prove Mr. X and I did have numerous sexual encounters while he was on duty. Never in the patrol car or at the patrol office.

    The individuals I have spoken with at Internal Affairs have been very courteous towards me, however I do not feel that I am being taken seriously nor the complaint that I have filed.

    In light of Mr. X’s behavior towards me I am very upset to learn that an Investigation was previously opened against Mr. X for similar behavior in Alamance County. In speaking with reporters yesterday that covered the case involving his misconduct it appears that Mr. X  has been blatantly violating Patrol Policy since 2004, with no accountability for his actions. I am sad that anyone could justify or not hold a man of any caliber accountable for behavior that dishonors his uniform and brings shame to his community and family. I am convinced that had Mr. X  been properly investigated previously I and my children would have been spared a great deal of unnecessary pain. Because of the uniform and the position Mr. X  held I at one point had the highest regard and respect for him. When coloring community helpers recently my daughter stated, but Mommy they aren’t nice, XX makes me sad and he makes us cry. There are no words to describe how Mr. X has affected my life on a personal level. However as I stated earlier whether Im a scorned woman, vindictive etc is irrelevant. A Master Trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol has violated policy and endangered my life by stopping motorist while I was in the vehicle, I had no idea when I got in the patrol car he would stop a motorist. As stated previously I have been treated with respect and kindness by Internal Affairs thus far, which is greatly appreciated. I do feel strongly that in light of my history with Mr. X . The facts of the complaint are not being taken as seriously as if presented to the Highway Patrol from another source.

    September 28, 2011 at 9:46 AM
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