The cnn.com video starts off their news report with “One less drug dealer to deal with”. I personally did not hear it in the video but the audio quality was not the best.
The beginning of the video shows the off-duty officer mocking a dead victim, Rondale Jennings Sr, he encountered on the job, and then making fun of the victom’s grief stricken mother. While this may be totally distasteful and disrespectful, I don’t know if it warrants him losing his job. Maybe a suspension to give him time to recollect about how he really thinks about people? Mr. Cousins however was involved in his own internal affairs investigation and with another officer tried to locate the person who posted the video on youtube.com and then brought up the possibility of a federal wiretap charge. This seems like it could be a form of intimidation especially since this was recorded in public place and there is not really any basis for a wiretap charge. When Cousins located the brother of the man who posted the video online, Cousins was apparently in tears as he tried to find a way to have the video removed. The man also did not want his name used as he feared police reprisals. Are there more stories to be told about the Erie police department abuses? We would like to know.
So it is not necessarily the initial actions that were abusive, they were more just very disrespectful. It is the actions afterwords that appear to be an abuse of power and a very poor lack of judgment to the commanding officer that would allow Mr. Cousins to be involved in his own internal affairs investigation.
What are your thoughts?
Facts and information was used from “Erie Times News” and goerie.com http://goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090419/NEWS02/304199926 and http://goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090417/NEWS02/304179948