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  • *** BREAKING NEWS *** OFFICER JOSE DE LA TORRE

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 Becky 17 comments

    MOONLIGHTING, RETIRING OR
    GIVEN TIME TO RESIGN?

    Jose De La Torre      I am honored to be part of the RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster team! I am new to this fantastic career but certainly not new in dealing and speaking with the public as I have over 20 years of exemplar people skills working as a Police Officer in the City of Lancaster, Pa! As I transition into this new line of work I hope to bring my people skills to a whole new different level!! If I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact me!! 
    Jose De La Torre, real estate agent for RE/MAX (click here).
          De La Torre is the Lancaster City Police Officer who shot and killed Gregory Bayne on June 10, 2013.
    Please check back for this developing story!  

  • *** FINAL UPDATE – ** SECOND UPDATE – *UPDATED – *** BREAKING NEWS *** 2ND SHOOTING IN 24 HOURS

    Posted on July 4th, 2014 Becky 9 comments

    THIS IS NOT POLICE WORK!

          It has been almost 24 hours since a man was shot at the McDonalds at 575 N. Franklin Street.  The inside fighting and outside shooting were caught on McDonalds’ security cameras.  There were numerous witnesses as well.  And yet, no description of the shooter, let alone his photo, has been released to the public. 
          A description and his photo should have been released hours ago and there should be a full-on manhunt by the police to arrest this shooter before he shoots someone else.  This is not police work!  These Lancaster detectives need to be investigated – now!
         There is no explanation for this!  

    PROTECT THE PUBLIC!

    McDondals1 (2)
          The video camera right inside the front door of the McDonalds at 575 N. Franklin Street where a man was shot immediately outside yesterday in broad daylight at 6:45 pm after fighting inside.  The entire incident was caught by McDonalds’ surveillance cameras and there are multiple witnesses as well. 
         The police need to make an arrest or release the shooter’s picture now so the public can protect themselves and help identify and get this shooter off the street!  Where is his photograph, DA Craig Stedman, Mayor J. Richard Gray, Police Chief Keith Sadler and  Lt. Mike Winters?  Why aren’t you protecting the public?  This is outrageous!
    (The picture of McDonalds’ surveillance camera was taken this morning and is courtesy of Jerri of “Must See Pics an Vids” Facebook page).

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***

    McDonalds (500x243)

         Several windows at the McDonalds were shot out (photo taken this morning courtesy of “Must See Pics an Vids” Facebook page).  The McDonalds also has security cameras and a manager is reporting the shooting was caught on video. 
         Please check back later for this breaking story!

    NO INFORMATION
    IS BEING RELEASED!

    Mike Winters

         “There was some kind of disturbance outside the restaurant and shots were fired,” Lancaster police Lt. Mike Winters said. “We’re not sure how many shots were fired, or how many people may have been shooting. But there was at least one gun involved.”
    From LNP’s story (updated today at 7:31 am according to their website), “Mountville man, 21, shot outside Lancaster city McDonald’s,” (click here).
         This is the second shooting in twenty-four hours! Could the public have some information besides the obvious that Lt. Mike Winters states?  A 10-year-old could “figure” that out!  The public has a need and a right to know every possible detail to protect themselves.
         How is the public willing to accept this non-information from a highly paid, seasoned Lancaster Detective who is paid by the public to protect and serve them? 
         Where is Police Chief Keith Sadler?  Where is Mayor Gray?
  • HAVE I BEEN HACKED?

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 Becky 2 comments

    A VERY SAD ANNIVERSARY
    & FUN WITH JOHN & LNP!

    Ubaldo Ramos
         Before I have some fun and go on holiday break, I want to post this picture of Ubaldo Ramos that I meant to post previously.  He is the subject of a lawsuit against the city and several police officers that I ran two weeks ago (click here).  Today is the one-year anniversary of his death after never recovering from an alleged fall at the Lancaster City Police Station on August 31, 2012.  When I stated that he was a “robust” man several days ago, I think this picture clarifies that.  My condolences to his family and friends.  I hope this gets easier for you and I hope you can enjoy the holiday.
    *****************************************
         I realized today that LNP President, John Kirkpatrick III, has devised a devious and devilishly clever way of trying to shut my website down.  He is trying to bore my readers to death!  Horrors!  Who could have ever foreseen such a masterful stroke?
         But I am on to him now and I need to tell him to get back to his staff and tell them to clean up their acts! 
         Example number #1:
         “Hitting the grill this weekend? Check out these hacks and safety tips,” by Claudia Esbenshade (click here).
          I read the headline in horror thinking someone had made a huge mistake – and I mean more than hitting your grill – don’t hit your grill – be nice to it!  But what is with this “hacks?”  And then her first paragraph:
         The pros at Steakhouse Elite have passed on these hacks to make your grilling experience even better. Yes, there are some that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
         Am I getting old?  Am I out of the swing of things?  I googled “hack” and “hacks” looking for a new definition I was not aware of.  I checked major dictionaries and urban, hip ones and I didn’t find it!  Could someone please explain this to me?  Oh, and Claudia, none of them made me say “Why didn’t I think of that?” but then again, and not to sound too egotistical, I watch a lot of cooking shows.  And do NOT try her propane tank “hack” at home!  Just don’t do it.  Or do it and your family can sue her and John when you pass.
          Example number # 2:
         And then we have this:  “Got corn? Make corn cob jelly,” by Lynne Schmidt (click here). John, please try and get your staff writers off whatever drugs they are taking!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  And after all that work you still have the cobs left and some nasty, sugar laden goop that supposedly tastes like honey?  So why does she call it jelly?  And do yourself a favor and just buy honey!
         John, you should consider paying me for correcting all these huge errors and blunders your writers are making!  Have mercy!  Throw boiling water on a propane tank!
          But, perhaps they have a brave leader in John.  Below  is John’s explanation for joining LNP as their president (huh?, I think you nailed it with “money!”).  If you can read this whole thing and then explain it to me in two simple sentences, you are the LIP News reader of the year and will be awarded a jar of corn cob jelly!
         Have a great and safe (do not do the propane tank thing) July 4th!  LIP News will be back to daily publishing this Sunday unless there is breaking news!
    *********************************

         That’s a good question.

         I was — and am — very proud of what we accomplished at The Patriot-News/PennLive.

    We were Newspaper of the Year for five of nine years and finished second the other four. We were the smallest operation competing against the biggest newspapers in the state. We also won the Pulitzer for our Sandusky coverage. In addition, we made the extremely difficult decision to create a new digital future — which has been very successful — which involved taking the printed product to three days a week.

         I loved many of the people that I worked with who helped climb those mountains. I loved the communities we served.

         In Lancaster I saw a great community that would truly embrace the kind of news and information that makes a difference in ways both big and small. I also saw an operation that had the potential to make that happen. I saw many businesses that would helped by print and digital solutions to their marketing problems.

         As readers of this website know, I recently married to the Publisher/President of the York Newspapers. Lancaster looked like a wonderful place to live and get involved with the community.

         I am at the back end of my career through not winding down. Working with the folks here to help create a first class organization that would meet the needs — both in print and digitally — of Lancaster County residents was and is very appealing.

         So, I made the jump.

         We’ll see how we do in the coming months and years. There is work to be done. But that is the goal.

         So there you have it.

         As an aside, I look forward with interest to see my connection and knowledge about people I have never met and had no idea even existed until I moved here. But maybe I’ll learn something.

  • ARREST THE SHOOTERS!

    Posted on July 3rd, 2014 Becky 16 comments

    Shooting5     CBS 21 is reporting a shooting at 11:30 Wednesday night at Poplar and New Dorwart Streets in Lancaster.  The victim reportedly walked into Lancaster General Hospital last night. His name, age and condition are unknown at the time.
         LIP News will publish this afternoon and then go on holiday break until Sunday, July 6th, when daily publishing will resume.

  • A CIRCUS PARADE OF ELEPHANTS!

    Posted on July 2nd, 2014 Becky 11 comments

    WHY IS HE THROWING
    AWAY HIS ENTIRE CAREER?

    John Kirkpatrick

         What Mr. Kirkpatrick is failing to address is the circus parade of elephants in the room which LNP are choosing not to address.
         Will Mr. Kirkpatrick please answer the question of why investigative reporters have not been assigned to keep any of the unsolved murders in the public eye?
         Will Mr. Kirkpatrick please answer why, when it comes to crime, reporters are just spokespersons for the police department? Where is the original investigation? Where are the independent, even confidential, sources?
        Will Mr. Kirkpatrick please answer why a full-disclosure exposee on the Convention Center finances is not reported by LNP? LNP is the newspaper of record in this area. If they don’t print it, the public has no idea what is going on. The problem is that we already know the answer to this question and that is the conflict of interest because of LNPs unholy involvement in the financial dealings.
         Disgusted.
    This excellent comment in from Anonymous2 today under “STEINMANS: ABOVE ETHICAL STANDARDS!” below. 
         I have always said that LNP has to promote from within – especially for their higher level editorial positions.  There are no journalists who would be willing to stoop so low and turn their back on every journalism code of ethics to come and work for LNP. 
         So John Kirkpatrick’s willingness to throw his reputation and whole career down the drain to join LNP as their new president still astonishes me.  Being from Harrisburg, he had to know their involvement in the convention center.  He had to know about owner and president Beverly (Peggy) Steinman’s huge monetary donations to right-wing politicians.  He had to know that LNP has blatantly discriminated in their hiring for years.  He had to know that LNP has literally given the police free rein and have never questioned a single one of their actions or non-actions in years. I even believe he knew about Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler’s ex-wife and her book and I will tell you why I believe that later.
         So, my huge question is:  Why did John Kirkpatrick III leave an apparently successful job to come to Lancaster and end his career with a company he knows breaks every code of journalism ethics, decency and humanity every single day?  Why is he throwing away his whole reputation?  That is the question I would like Mr. Kirkpatrick to answer.   
  • * UPDATED – QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS!

    Posted on July 1st, 2014 Becky 8 comments

          Frank is the only one who gets an answer today.  The other two will come tomorrow.  Someone using the name John Kirkpatrick sent in several questions/comments today about their series on the Columbia schools under the “STEINMANS: ABOVE ETHICAL STANDARDS!” thread below on this site.  Kirkpatrick is the new LNP President, of course, and I obviously cannot confirm it is actually him, but as I noted in the comments, the IP address of the commenter is absolutely coming from the Lancaster Newspapers. 
          Thank you very much for writing and hopefully we can keep the conversation going.  Okay – for Frank: 
    ********************************
          Frank, I don’t know if he broke the law or not. The dockets don’t state the location where he was given the citations or what type of container he had that was allegedly “open.”  I do think the Lancaster Police had far more important things they could have been doing.  And the reason I didn’t post your comment originally was out of respect for his family.
           I can’t say a lot about this – there is a lawsuit – but his family is still grieving and went through a terrible 10 month ordeal.  It is a close family, but Ramos didn’t share much about his drinking with them. He had never been in trouble, never been arrested, raised a family and had grandchildren. At 71-years-old, if he wanted to drink, well, that is legal in this country (except for public drunkenness and open containers). He was a proud, robust, independent and private man before his death and he didn’t share all the details of the arrests/citations with his family.
          He was arrested because the police stated he was a danger to himself and then he is somehow critically injured while under their care and control at the police station. This should not have happened. Plain and simple. His family wants justice for him and money for the bills they incurred and the emotional stress, heartache and loss they endured for 10 months and continue to today.
          A slick Philly lawyer? I don’t know. Lawyers do not take suits against police personnel and departments lightly. They are hard to win and people in Lancaster often go outside the county for representation because local lawyers don’t want to take these cases because they have to deal with the same police in court on a regular basis.
          If one of your children had been killed in one of the defective GM cars, would you sue? Would you see $$ signs in your eyes or would it be for totally different reasons.
          If Mr. Ramos had been of a different ethnicity in a different part of town, would the police have just driven him the several blocks to his home and let him sleep it off?

    THE LOWEST OF PEOPLE?

         These comments in over the last week which I haven’t posted but will respond to later today:

     Robert – under “WE HAVE A NEW PROGRAM!”

         Is this all you can do Becky is make fun of people on your blog. You’re the lowest of people. I know many cops plus a couple detectives and they work long hours for a not so great salary. They might not be perfect but they do the best they can. 

    Frank Lee – under “SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT POLICE OFFICERS!”

          Real simple. Did he break the law-yes or no? The police were doing the job-enforcing the law. You don’t like the laws on public intoxication, and open container? Work to change them. But don’t bash the police because they’re doing the job you and I and every taxpayer pay them to do. The “grieving” family with $$ in their eyes gets a slick lawyer from Philly and sues. Where were they in trying to help Ubaldo deal with his alcohol issues? 

    ? – under “QUITE FRANKLY, THIS DOES NOT HELP!”

         You do know that they have to follow rules when it comes to hiring. Civil service and 3rd class city code. You don’t like these guys cause they are white but they scored the highest on the physical agility, test, and oral interview. White guys want to be cops, you can’t hire what’s not there. Pull records from the surrounding area police academies and look at those demographics. Going to be white guys. Look at the State police, the majority are white males. You can’t hire a minority just for the sake of diversity.

  • STEINMANS: ABOVE ETHICAL STANDARDS!

    Posted on June 30th, 2014 Becky 24 comments

    LNP: FAILING IN FAST MOTION!

          Despite new management blood, Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. continues its same self-serving and journalistically unethical practices when its financial interests and that of its business friends are involved. It has turned its back on honorably acknowledging past mistakes and offenses and asking pardon of the public. It seems determined to pursue its craven business practices, the public be damned.
         It is sad to say that today’s Steinman family apparently considers itself above ethical standards.
    NewsLanc.com on the “Lancaster Sunday News,” (click here).
         The Steinman family has not cared about ethical standards for years!  They are not a news organization.  They are a business trying to maintain their power and control over all things in Lancaster County.  And one of their biggest “concerns” for years, has been keeping the power structure in the County white and elite.  And that’s a fact and I’ll detail it more tomorrow.
         And LNP reports that their three “investigative reporters” spent months on their “in-depth” report on Columbia and their schools.  And today, the new Superintendent Carol Powell and Board President Tom Strickler made mincemeat out of all of them in LNP’s “live chat,” (click here).  They held their ground, were optimistic and thoughtful. I  don’t know why the Lancaster Newspapers decided to pick on Columbia, but this is currently the last comment in the live chat and has been for some time:
            I have to agree with Barry F regarding LNP coverage of Columbia. The economic section of the series seems weak and not well investigated. Almost as if the narrative was chosen before the facts were gathered. Missed mentioning Turkey Hill on the dole getting corporate welfare. Missed national recognition of Columbia on a par with Sedona ACZ and Williamsburg, VA.
         By “Barry F,” they are referring to Barry Ford who made this offer to LNP reporter Jeff Hawkes:
         Jeff, anytime you would like to sit down and talk about our town, I am available. Think I have a pretty unique view of our town after 25 plus years in the newspaper and now on boro council.
         Why don’t you do that Jeff, before you have another major fail!

  • AN ALL WHITE AFFAIR!

    Posted on June 30th, 2014 Becky 7 comments

     CAUCASIANS ONLY
    NEED APPLY!

    Beverly Steinman      Lancaster Newspaper owner Beverly (Peggy) Steinman threw a garden party on Saturday for winners of the Steinman Memorial Scholarships over the past 50 years  (click here). 
         When I first started this site, they used to run yearly articles with the winners that made it sound like any college age teen was eligible to win these scholarships as long as they had good grades and performed community service.  That, of course, was not the truth and only newspaper carriers or the children of Steinman employees are eligible.  
          That means that this garden party was definitely an all white affair!  And what makes this newsworthy?  Well, when you own a newspaper you can get your picture in print whenever you want.
         Does anyone cares that Ms. Steinman only employs Caucasians and doesn’t want to have to pay her taxes to the School District of Lancaster?
         And in other news, two young men were shot and killed in Manheim Township within one week this month.  Will their killers ever be caught?  Doesn’t District Attorney Craig Stedman have 15 County Detectives on his payroll just for this purpose?
    Please check back later today.

  • * UPDATED – THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION?

    Posted on June 29th, 2014 Becky 6 comments

    * I’ve seen a lot of questions on social media about a drone flying overhead during Saturday’s “Celebrate Lancaster” festivities.  Of course, Jerri of “Must See Pics an Vids” has the answer!  Click here for “FLYING A $1,200 DRONE IN DOWNTOWN LANCASTER!”

    THE GREATEST CHALLENGE?

    columbia12

        

         So what’s the opposite of Columbia?  I mean town wise?  Who’s doing it right?
         These questions were posed on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page under one of the Columbia stories. 
         LNP reporter Daniel Nephin, who thinks he’s really cool and important, came on with this response:
         That might be the million dollar question here.  I’ll pass it on to our editors.  The answer is likely complicated and obvious – but impracticable in all places.
         So the original questioner went on Lancaster Online’s website where there is also running commentary and asked the exact same questions.
          LNP reporter Jeff Hawkes, who wrote most of the series, was not amused and  did not think it was the million dollar question and responded with this:
          Peter, it’s not about who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong. The point is Columbia’s schools must operate under the most dire financial circumstances in Lancaster County. They serve lots of needy children while having a tiny tax base. Other local districts have challenges, too. But Columbia has the greatest challenge.
         I think this just about sums about their Columbia series.  I’m still not sure what the point of all this is and whether it will help.  It started out grandly with huge photos and headlines and fancy words – and has fizzled down into wordy nonsense.
    Please check back later today.

  • * 6-28-14 – WE HAVE A NEW PROGRAM!

    Posted on June 27th, 2014 Becky 15 comments

     * 6-28-14 – Like LNP’s Gil Smart, I’m taking a 10 year vacation!  Oops!  I mean I’m taking today off!  Back tomorrow.

    KATE & TODD TALK!

    katelyn Smith1   Todd umstead1

    Kate, this is Todd!

    Todd, who?

    Umstead, Kate! Your charming Lancaster Police spokesperson.

    Oh, Todd, I’m sorry!  It’s been a while since I talked to you.  How is your handsome self?

    I’m great! I have a story for you, Kate! Can you get your cameras down to the station right away?

    Absolutely! We’ll be right there! Has there been a break in one of the unsolved murders?

    No.

    Has there been a break in one of the unsolved shootings? Some of those happened right under the cameras.

    Um, no.

    Has there been a break in one of the unsolved stabbings? Some of those happened right under the cameras.

    No.

    Has there been a break in one of the unsolved robberies. Some of those happened right under the cameras.

    No.

    Has there been a break…

    Kate, no! It’s an exciting new program! We need more cameras! You know, the 161 cameras we already have on the street are always rotating so sometimes they don’t catch the crime.

    I didn’t know that, Todd!

    Yes, Kate. Now you understand. We need more eyes!  We need those lazy citizens to help us out!  I mean we’re at the station playing cards, oops, I mean working our butts off everyday, but these Lancaster criminals are smart – really smart.

    Well, I guess so, Todd! You can’t seem to arrest any of them. So what’s the new program?

    We want the citizens to register all their private security cameras with us. That way we’ll know where every camera in the city is. Our guys will know where they can rough up a street thug and where they can’t. They’ll know where they can plant evidence and where they can’t!

    Todd!

    That’s a little police humor! Seriously, this way we’ll know immediately if there’s a camera in the area and we can get the video right away.

    Oh, Todd, you are so smart! I’m surprised you can’t solve more crimes.

    Hey, we caught the guy who broke in and stole from Molly’s Pub.

    I thought he turned himself into Molly’s after the owner posted his picture all over social media.

    A minor detail, Kate! We’d prefer if you forgot about that. Are you coming?

    Channel 8 is always on top of the news!  We’ll be right there. Comb your hair so you look nice for our cameras, Todd!

    You know I will, Kate. We love cameras here in the Lancaster Police Department.

    To be continued…

  • AND RACIST!

    Posted on June 26th, 2014 Becky 10 comments

    LANCASTER POLICE:
    OUT OF CONTROL!

          There are four shockers today that I will have to come back to over the next week:
     
    —–   “We’re calling on citizens to help us out.”
              Lt. Todd Umstead in the WGAL piece on the cameras – see immediately below.
             How dare he?  If the police did their job the citizens wouldn’t have to buy these expensive cameras to protect themselves and their property!  Do some damn work, Umstead, and earn your $100,000 salary and solve some crimes!  The citizens try to help you all the time and you ignore them!  There will be much more to come.
     
    —–  And while on the camera topic, the below is a photo of a response from LNP “investigative reporter” Gil Smart on his “Smart Remarks” Facebook page regarding the cameras in Lancaster (this is one of the many reasons I dislike Facebook – I cannot link directly to it but it is from his post on June 17th and he wrote “New Blog Post” and links to his “Smart Remarts” blog where he has posted a blurb called  “The Matrix”).  If Gil is correct in his response, it is deeply disturbing on many levels and I will return to this as well.
    Smart (650x306)
     
    —–  And another LNP “investigate reporter,” Susan Baldrige,  posted this as a comment on their fizzling “in-depth” story on Columbia’s schools:
         What is fair about kids getting such different levels of education, depending on where they were born (where they go to school)? It’s not the child’s fault. Shouldn’t education across the state be equal?
         Shouldn’t employment opportunities across the state be equal, Susan?  It shouldn’t depend on your race or ethnicity, should it Susan?  I mean, we’re all born equal! 
         But Susan works for the Lancaster Newspapers who have blatantly discriminated for years and years and have no minorities on their editorial staff – so they don’t raise an eyebrow or discuss or ever write about the obvious discrimination in hiring for the Lancaster Police Force!  Nice, Susan! 
     
    —–  Below is the breakdown of the Lancaster City Police force mailed to me by city business administrator Patrick Hopkins on June 18th.  The U.S. Census numbers quoted from 2010 are here (the remaining percentage out of 100 is Native American and Native Hawaiian).  The total number of employees is 207 (not counting the three Mayor Gray swore in earlier this week) and I used a round figure of 200 to calculate what the numbers should reflect and the difference in the numbers.  There will be much, much more on this to come.
    ********************************************************** 
    Current LCP               U.S. Census %      #’s       
    Employees                      (2010)           Should Be     Difference
                       
    Caucasion  -    155           41.3                  82             73 – too many
    Hispanic     -      30           39.3                  78             48 – too few
    Black          -      19           16.3                  32             13 – too few
    Asian          -        1             3.0                    6               5 – too few
    Not Identified –   2
  • *** BREAKING NEWS *** NOT ENOUGH CAMERAS?

    Posted on June 26th, 2014 Becky 16 comments

    RELEASE THE VIDEO!

    “Private cameras could make Lancaster safer”

    WGAL-TV video by Katelyn Smith (click here). 

         Do you know how many times I have run headlines like the one above demanding the police release video of crimes?  And now the Lancaster City Police want to know if you have a camera and want you to register it with them?  And they never release videos and never solve crimes!  And there are 160 cameras in the city already that the public helps to pay fort?

         And Katelyn Smith talks about Molly’s Pub!  The owner had to release the video of the burglar on social media to get any attention or the police to do anything.  And attention he got.  And Katelyn, the police did not “catch” him – the burglar turned himself in to Molly’s Pub.  Could you at least try to get your facts correct?

    —–  Spencer Houston who was murdered and had his own camera pointed at his door.  The police took the video and have never released it to the public and never arrested his killer!

     —–  The Image Clothing store where two employees were shot and they have state of the art video of the robber they turned over to police and  the public has never seen it and the robber/shooter never arrested.

    —–  The Belvedere when they were robbed by two men who were caught on their cameras and the video was turned over to the police and the public has never seen it and the robbers have never been arrested.

         I could go on and on and will at another date but this is simply outrageous and unbelievable!  The Lancaster Police Department is completely out of control and they want to blame the public for not solving any murders or crimes - again!

  • IT’S NICE TO BE WHITE!

    Posted on June 25th, 2014 Becky 6 comments

    & WHO KNOWS THE LAW?

    Dawn Matheny

    Posted by Dawn Matheny on her Facebook page a day before her arrest!
        
         I am pulling a drastic switch-up today, because on Lancaster Online’s Facebook page the moderator made a major point of this entry in today’s police log (click here): 
     
    COLUMBIA: Dawn Matheny, 44, of Columbia, slapped her husband during a domestic incident in the 500 block of Union Street early Friday, borough police said. She ran out a screen door and it struck a police officer on the steps, causing him to fall into a street sign. Matheny started hitting her husband again and scratched and tore his shirt. Police handcuffed her and she tried to kick out a window in the police car. She also kicked an officer at the police station. Police charged her with simple assault domestic violence, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
     
          After reading this, I knew she was white.  You see, and someone should tell the Columbia Police, when you kick/hit/bite/spit-on or in any other way assault a police office, no matter how “minor,” the charge automatically rises to aggravated assault.  Yes, that’s a fact and that’s the law and you can look it up! 
         So, how is she getting away with a simple assault charge?  And why is this just an entry in a police log and not a full story on Lancaster Online?  I mean she assaulted a police officer and tried to kick out a window of a police car!  If she were Black, it would be a full article with her mug shot and she’d have a charge of aggravated assault!
         So I checked her Facebook page and she is white and she has a charming, loving picture of herself and her husband as her profile picture and she’s made multiple posts about God since her arrest.  While she’s at it, she should thank the Lord she’s white!
         And of course, this happened in Columbia!  The Lancaster Newspapers have taken their three “investigative reporters” and they have spent months doing in-depth stories all this week on why Columbia is the pits of the county!  It’s true!  There will be more on that later this week – tomorrow back to the Lancaster Police breakdown.
  • * UPDATED – UPGRADE YOUR COMPUTERS, MAYOR GRAY!

    Posted on June 25th, 2014 Becky 1 comment

    * For everyone who thinks it’s just fine and dandy that businesses offer free coffee to the police, I’m sure the Prince Street Café agrees!  They have one of the coveted four photos on the city’s website under business (click here)!  I guess that free coffee for the police really, really does pay off (click here for ‘IT’S FIRST FRIDAY AND…”)!

    prince street cafe (480x220)

    AND DIVERSIFY YOUR
    POLICE FORCE TO REFLECT
    THE COMMUNITY IT SERVES!

    Police Honor Guard

    The Lancaster Police Honor Guard
         Five sheets of paper with two columns on the far left that run down the entire page like this: 
     SEX          RACE/ETHNICITY
        M                C
        M                B
        M                C
        F                 H    
        F                 C
        M                H
        M                C
         This is what Lancaster City Business Administrator Patrick Hopkins mailed me in response to my request for a breakdown of the police force by gender, race and ethnicity.  I guess he has an old computer program that can’t perform any mathematical functions!   
         It took me several hours of counting and recounting – there are 207 employees listed – but the totals are in and they will come this afternoon.  The date of his letter to me is June 18th - well before they hired three new white males yesterday (see immediately below).  
    Please check back later today.   
  • Posted on June 24th, 2014 Becky 5 comments

    QUITE FRANKLY,
    THIS DOES NOT HELP!

    Austin (169x225)            Christopher (169x225)           Timothy (169x225)

          The Lancaster City Bureau of Police welcomes three new officers. Officers Austin Krause, Christopher Kophamel, and Timothy Sinnott were sworn in by Mayor Richard Gray during a ceremony at City Hall earlier today.
    Posted today on the Lancaster Police website (click here).  The officer’s pictures above from left to right are in the above named order.
         Just as I was about to announce the results of my Right-To-Know request to the City for the racial and ethnic breakdown of the members of the Lancaster City Police force, Mayor Gray swore in these three new officers today.  This is not helping!  This is not helping one bit with the outrageous disparity between the make-up of the community and the officers who serve it.
         I will have the shameful, updated figures tomorrow.  Apparently, city business administrator Patrick Hopkins thought it would be fun to make this as difficult as possible for me!  Details tomorrow.

  • * UPDATED 6-24-14 – THE WORST POLICE WORK (AND REPORTING) EVER!

    Posted on June 23rd, 2014 Becky 4 comments

     * UPDATE – 6-24-14 – This story is in today’s print edition on Page B-1.  It was just replaced as one of the top three stories on Lancaster Online’s website, but remains as a major story on their home page.  This is simply unconscionable!  As a commenter noted – this is not, as I state below, astonishingly dreadful police work – this is  more like non-existent police work. 
         And speaking of the police, remember this from LNP when Keith R. Sadler was sworn in as Lancaster’s Police Chief (click here):
         Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray this morning said he believes Sadler is Lancaster’s first black police chief.
         “Philadelphia is a very diverse community, and that was part of the attraction to Lancaster,” said Sadler, whose wife is Puerto Rican. He said he was impressed with the diversity of Lancaster during the five visits he has made to the city in recent months.
         So, this afternoon we’ll check the numbers to see if Sadler has made any progress whatsoever in diversifying his police force so it resembles and reflects the community it serves!

    THEY DID NOT EVEN
    SEARCH THE CAR!

    Diaz

         This picture of Anibal Diaz is on the Lancaster Online website as one of their top three stories this afternoon (click here).  I am going to skip the absurd “reporting” by police reporter Ryan Robinson and going straight to the Police Press Release of the arrests which Robinson copies almost word for word (click here).  Please read this unbelievable release.
    1.  A car was stolen and somehow the police felt the “auto theft was likely related to the burglary at the school.”  The police don’t tell us how the connection was made.  Are they mind readers?
    2.   The police don’t locate the car.  A relative of the owner spots the stolen car.
    3.   From the police press release:
         Upon arriving home the victim discovered a number of MacBook computers in the back of her vehicle. The victim also found items that belonged to the suspects of the burglary at JP McCaskey. 
    4.   The police did not search the stolen car even though they somehow felt it was related to the McCaskey theft of 23 computers?  But even without that knowledge – you search a stolen car!  You fingerprint a stolen car!  This is simply unbelievable!  She drove home with the stolen computers in the car!
    5.  The police did not fingerprint the car or gather any other evidence (hairs, DNA, etc.) from the car let alone search it!
    6.  So how can they connect Diaz to the stolen car?  How can they connect anyone in court to the stolen car without fingerprints?  And Diaz has reportedly confessed.  If he gets a smart lawyer and denies the confession, how will they prove he stole the car and the computers?  Neither were fingerprinted or checked for DNA!
    7.  And there are no dates as to when Diaz was arrested in the police press release.  According to his docket, he was arrested on June 19th, almost two weeks later!  What were police doing all that time and how did they finally make the connection?  Will it hold up in court?
         I received this in an email today:
         Did the Lancaster Police really release this car to the owner without inspecting it? Looking in the trunk?  She took it home and found the computers?  She should get the collar and their salary for the day!
         Yes, she should!  And the police who turned the car over to her should be fired.  There is no possible explanation for police work that is this astonishingly dreadful!
  • THIS HAS TO STOP!

    Posted on June 23rd, 2014 Becky 31 comments

    Breaking News1 (363x480)

  • RATS! THIS IS A SHOCKER!

    Posted on June 22nd, 2014 Becky 11 comments

    PRETZELS FOR MAYOR GRAY?

    shocked dog (216x199)      Yes, it’s rats on the front page of today’s Sunday News (click here)! I could help reporter Cindy Stauffer (who obviously enjoyed this assignment just a bit too much) find some big rats in the city!  Oh, yes!  And which brilliant editor had a light bulb go on and said, “Let’s put rats on our front page?”
          The rats on page one are followed by how to shock your dog into submission on page B-1 (click here):
         But I did get to something else.
         A remotely operated shock collar.
         If I called her and she ran away. Shock. If she went after the horses and became deaf to my voice, shock.
         Oh, my Lord!  Poor, poor Wallis!  What a horrible person LNP reporter Susan Baldrige must be!  After LNP telling us recently that we should never, never use corporal punishment on children, Baldrige resorts to a shock collar to train her dog who she says they have been too “nice” to!  And then she has the nerve to sound like an expert on raising children.  This is just too much and I believe her husband should be extremely, extremely concerned:
          I’ve never used a shock collar on a dog before Wallis, although I sometimes fantasize about using one on my husband when he chews pretzels loudly.
         This has been a shocking kind of day.  Rats!  The Lancaster Newspapers and their crazy reporters have ruined it!  
         I wonder if they make a large enough shock collar to fit Mayor Gray?  It could be shaped like a bowtie…I’ll send him some pretzels…

  • *** BREAKING NEWS *** ABSOLUTE LAWLESSNESS!

    Posted on June 21st, 2014 Becky 14 comments

    WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?
    LIVE POLICE DISPATCH
    SITE SHUT DOWN!

    Broadcastify      The Broadcastify site where you could listen to the Lancaster City Police Dispatch has been “Discontinued by Feed Owner” (click here).  It is “Offline.”
          This is outrageous!  The public has a right and a need to know what is going on around them!  Who holds these police accountable?  What are they trying to hide?  This is a public safety issue for everyone in Lancaster.  I will call the Mayor and the Police Chief Monday morning!

  • “AN ATMOSPHERE OF LAWLESSNESS”

    Posted on June 20th, 2014 Becky 5 comments

    NIEVES V. CITY OF LANCASTER

    [Editor's note: This suit was filed on February 7, 2014 by Kevin C. Allen of the Lancaster law firm of Crystle, Allen & Braught, LLC in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania.  According to the District Justice Dockets, Nieves was charged by Officer Justin Miller with Public Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct as a result of the incident in the lawsuit.  At a summary trial before District Judge Janice Jimenez on July 24, 2012, he was found not guilty on both charges.
          The lawsuit has seven counts, among them -  Use of Force, False Arrest, Malicious Prosecution, State Law Tort Claims of False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution and State Law Tort Claims of Assault and Battery.]

      COMPLAINT

    INTRODUCTION 

    1.  This is an action for money damages against the City of Lancaster, Lancaster City Police Chief Keith R. Sadler, Lancaster City Police Officer Justin Miller, Lancaster City Police Officer Adam Flurry and Lancaster City Police Officer Willard Smith for the violation of plaintiff’s constitutional rights.  

    2.  On or about February 27, 2012, Plaintiff Joselito Nieves was on the front porch of his home at 548 North Shippen Street, Lancaster, PA, conversing with friends.

     3. Defendant Police Officers Miller and Flurry were driving by and without provocation or probable cause, stopped, exited their vehicle and demanded that everyone produce identification documents.

     4. As one of the Plaintiff’s guests went inside the house to obtain his identification, defendants Miller and Flurry followed him in over the protestations of Plaintiff.

     5. Defendants Miller and Flurry then arrested the Plaintiff and handcuffed him without probable cause.

    6.  Defendants Miller, Flurry and/or Smith tasered the Plaintiff and forced him to fall down resulting in injuries.

    7.  Defendant Miller and Flurry then charged Plaintiff, without probable cause, with public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

    8.  Defendants Miller, Flurry and Smith, with reckless disregard for Plaintiff’s safety, unlawfully used excessive and unnecessary force by pulling Plaintiff’s arms behind his back, forcefully pushing him to the ground, preventing him from entering his residence, placing him in handcuffs inside his residence and using a Taser multiple times on Plaintiff’s body. The actions of defendants Miller, Flurry and Smith were without legal justification and in violation of Plaintiff’s rights under the laws and Constitution of the United States, in particular the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. & 1983, and his rights under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By assaulting plaintiff as aforesaid, defendants Miller, Flurry and Smith directly violated the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the rules and regulations of the City of Lancaster regarding the excessive use of force.

    9. Defendants Miller and Flurry arrested and charged Plaintiff with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness while he was on his own property at his residence, without probable cause or legal justification and in violation of Plaintiff’s rights under the laws and Constitution of the United States, in particular the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 42 U.S.C. & 1983, and his rights under the laws and Constitution of Pennsylvania.

    10.  Plaintiff alleges that the City of Lancaster through its supervisors and Police Chief Keith R. Sadler failed to provide training and supervision to defendants Miller, Flurry and Smith concerning the rights of citizens and the lawful use of force by police officers, amounting to gross negligence and a reckless and/or deliberate indifference to the safety and lives of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania including plaintiff. Further, defendant City of Lancaster and Police Chief Keith R. Sadler are directly liable and responsible for the acts of defendants Miller, Flurry and Smith because, upon information and belief, they repeatedly and knowingly failed to enforce the laws and guidelines of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the regulations of the City of Lancaster Police Department pertaining to the use of force by police officers, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution, thereby creating within the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster City Police Department an atmosphere of lawlessness in which police officers engage in misconduct in the belief that such acts would be condoned and justified by their superiors.

         WHEREFORE, Plaintiff files the within civil action complaint and requests judgment against defendants City of Lancaster, Police Chief Keith R. Sadler, Officer Miller, Officer Flurry and Officer Smith, jointly, severally and in the alternative in a sum in excess of One-Hundred Fifty-Thousand Dollars ($150,000.00), plus punitive damages (as to individual defendants only), interest, costs, attorneys fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. & 1983 and damages for delay.

  • LANCASTER POLICE: TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL!

    Posted on June 20th, 2014 Becky 9 comments

    “WITHOUT PROVOCATION
    OR PROBABLE CAUSE”

    JOSELITO NIEVES
                V.
    CITY OF LANCASTER
    POLICE CHIEF KEITH R. SADLER
    POLICE OFFICER JUSTIN MILLER
    POLICE OFFICER ADAM FLURRY
    POLICE OFFICER WILLARD SMITH
    Is coming later today (click here).

  • * WHO IS HOLDING THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE?

    Posted on June 19th, 2014 Becky No comments

    * Taking the afternoon off.  Back tomorrow.

    WHAT DO THEY DO?

         It’s a rhetorical question I ask a friend quite often – particularly in regard to the Lancaster City Police Detectives - “What do they do all day?”  Yesterday, I received a partial answer.  Before they killed him, they used to cite Ubaldo N. Ramos for an open container violation every few months or weeks. Seventeen different police officers somehow found Ramos with an “open container” and cited him.
         Look at the names of the Police Officers in the story immediately below.  You have Detectives Michael J. Gerace, William H. Hickey and William E. Genetti! Apparently the open container ordinance is more important than all of the unsolved murders and violent crimes in the city    
         I wonder if Ramos knew that screwing a top back on a bottle of beer still means it’s an “open container” according to the city.  In fact, if you read the ordinance below, you can’t take a half-full bottle of wine up the block to drink with a neighbor at dinner or a liquor bottle that has been opened outside your home in Lancaster.  That’s right, if the seal has been broken, you can’t take it outside of your home or anywhere in the City of Lancaster.
         And the Lancaster Police knew Ramos either was not aware or didn’t care or maybe didn’t even have an “open container” every time, but if the police needed something to fill their time and make them look busy, they would go and cite him for an “open container” violation.
         This is shocking beyond words!  How many others are the police targeting?   How many more will die?  How many lawsuits will it take to clean up the Lancaster City Police Department?  
     
  • * UPDATED – SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT POLICE OFFICERS!

    Posted on June 18th, 2014 Becky 7 comments

    * “OPEN CONTAINER”

    Article I. Open Containers
    [Adopted as Article 705 of the Codified Ordinances]

    § 88-1. Definitions.

    As used in this article, certain terms are defined as follows:
    PUBLIC PLACE
    Any street, alley, sidewalk, park, playground or place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose, but does not necessarily mean a place devoted solely to the uses of the public. It shall also include the front or immediate front of any store, shop, restaurant, tavern or other place of business.

    § 88-2. Possession in public places prohibited.

    No person within the city shall transport or have in his possession an open or unsealed bottle or container of alcoholic beverage when such person is in a public place.

    § 88-3. Possession in nonpublic places regulated.

    No person within the city shall enter upon the private property of another having on his person an open or unsealed bottle or container of an alcoholic beverage without the permission, consent or invitation of the owner, occupant or other person having control of such private property.

    § 88-4. Violations and penalties.

    A. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before a District Justice, be fined:
    (1) Twenty-five dollars for the first offense;
    (2) One hundred dollars for any subsequent offense.
    B. In default of payment thereof, such person shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days.
    C. The fines collected by the District Justice for violations of the provisions of this article shall be paid over to the city.

    *** BREAKING NEWS ***
    AN EASY “TARGET?”

         Did the police target Ubaldo N. Ramos?  Below are his District Justice dockets (he has no dockets in Common Pleas Court).  Where both Public Drunkenness and Open Container are listed, there are actually two dockets, as one is a State Violation and the other a Lancaster City Violation.  

         The Lancaster City ordinance on open containers states the fine for the first offense is $25.00 and $100.00 every time after that.   There are a total of seventeen different police officers named on the left who filed charges against him and then the date they did so is listed.  The final arrest by Henry C. Barrie on August 31, 2012 resulted in the alleged fall at the police station that led to his death and the lawsuit. 

         The location where these violations allegedly occurred are not listed on the dockets. 
    *************************************
    Thomas J. Cole         12-17-02    - Public Drunkenness
    Steven G. Flick            6-6-03      – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Michael J. Gerace        3-15-07    – Open Container
    Matthew W Odenthal   4-14-08    - Open Container
    Todd Andrew Grager     7-8-08    - Open Container
    Scott W. McDonald     10-10-08   - Open Container
    William H. Hickey       11-29-08   - Open Container
    Jared Lamar Snader      6-1-09    - Def. Tres
    James M. Boas             6-10-09    – Open Container
    Todd Andrew Grager    7-24-09    - Open Container
    Jason Matthew Hagy    9-15-09    - Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Aaron J. Szuborski        1-4-10     – Open Container
    Adam C. Flurry            1-16-10     – Open Container
    Ben Bradley                3-25-10     – Open Container
    Adam C. Flurry            8-14-10     – Open Container
    William E. Genetti II      4-2-11     - Public Drunkenness
    Richard L. Mendez       7-30-11     – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
    Ryan Andrew Work      8-12-12     - Open Container
    Henry C. Barrie           8-31-12      – Public Drunkenness & Open Container
  • HIS FATHER BEAT HIM…

    Posted on June 18th, 2014 Becky 14 comments

    IN FRONT OF
    POLICE OFFICERS

          Please forgive me for what I am about to write.  I am responsible for so much pain my ex-husband and I caused to our sons.
         My sons were victims of Domestic Violence and it was wrong.  No justification will erase any pain or damage which was caused.
         For the past eleven years, I have expressed to my sons repeatedly that living with this abuse was wrong.  There is no excuse.  It was wrong.  I was wrong.
         I will take full responsibility because as their mother I did not protect them as I should Have.  I have been reminded of the hurt my ex-husband and I have caused to our sons.
         I remember when my son was a teenager and his father beat him like a man in front of several police officers; I am to blame for what happened.  As his mother, I should have been able to stop it.
    Rosaura Torres Sadler in her book regarding Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler, “Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge,” page 241.
         How is this allowed to go on?  Why hasn’t Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler had to answer the allegations of domestic violence?  Why hasn’t he had to answer the allegations that he beat his ex-wife and children?  Because the Lancaster Newspapers and Mayor Rick Gray have decided the public does not need to know.  That’s why.
         Of all the dirty, nasty, huge  and impactful secrets in Lancaster, this has to the most shocking of them all.
    Please check back later today.

  • COUNT V – MONELL CLAIM

    Posted on June 17th, 2014 Becky 4 comments

    DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE

    [Editor's note:  The attorney representing Aida DeJesus in this case, Leonard K. Hill,  also represents Ramona Silva in "Silva v. Sgt. Ray Corll" and there will be an update on that case shortly -  click here for "EXCESSIVE FORCE."]

     DeJesus v. City of Lancater, et al

    COUNT V – MONELL CLAIM

    Plaintiff vs. Defendant – CITY OF LANCASTER  

    73. The allegations of all the preceding and subsequent sections and paragraphs of this Complaint are incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.  

    74. The decisions and actions of the officials of the Defendant City as set forth herein represented and constituted the official policy and/or customs of the Defendant City.

     75. As reflected in the actions taken against Plaintiff, it was the policy, practice and/or custom of the Defendant City and its police officers to use excessive force.

    76. Prior to the events described herein, the Defendant City developed and maintained polices, practices and/or customs exhibiting deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of persons within the City, which caused the violation of Plaintiff’s rights; namely, the City did not adequately require appropriate in-service training or re-training of police officers who were known to have engaged in civil rights violations, the City did not properly discipline, investigate, or remedy known problems within the department concerning the use of force.

    77. The City has maintained an inadequate system of review of instances of misconduct, abuse of police powers or violation of citizens’ rights by police officer, which system has failed to identify instances of abuse of police powers or violations of citizens’ rights by police officers, or to discipline, more closely supervise, or retrain officers who abuse their police powers or violate citizens’ rights, including the police officers named as parties herein.

    78. The City was deliberately indifferent to the need for more or different training rules, regulations, investigations and discipline relating to police officers’ use of excessive force.

    79. The following acts, omissions, systemic deficiencies, practices, customs and deliberate indifference constitute the policies, practices and customs of the City and have caused police officers of the City, including the police officers named as parties herein, to violate the constitutional rights of citizens, including Plaintiff.

    80. The violations and injuries suffered by Plaintiff were a foreseeable result of the policies, practices, customs and deliberate indifference of the City.

    81. As a direct and proximate result of, or by virtue of an affirmative link or causal nexus thereto, the aforesaid acts, omissions, deliberate indifference, systemic deficiencies, policies, practices and customs of the City, as more fully described above, the City violated Plaintiff’s rights under the laws and Constitution of the United States, in particular the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments thereof and 42 U.S.C. & 1982, in particular their rights to be free from unreasonable seizure, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process, unreasonable or excessive force, to be secure in their person and property, and to due process of law, all to their great detriment and loss.

    82. The City did not provide adequate training or supervision to its police officers, and, in particular, failed to train and supervise the officers regarding the policies and procedures for proper procedures for questioning persons and taking persons into custody, and protecting the rights of individuals.

    83. The City has, with deliberate indifference, failed to adequately train, supervise and discipline their officers to prevent civil rights violations within the City, and the injuries to Plaintiff were caused by, and were a foreseeable consequence of, such failure.

    84. The City has, with deliberate indifference, failed to adequately train and supervise their officers concerning the proper use of force and deadly force, and the injuries to Plaintiff were caused by, and were a foreseeable consequence of, such failures.

    85. The City has, with deliberate indifference, failed to adequately train and supervise their officers concerning the proper provision of medical care to injured suspects, and the injuries to Plaintiff were caused by, and were a foreseeable consequence of, such failures.

         Wherefore, Plaintiff, Aida DeJesus, Administrator of the Estate of Ubaldo N. Ramos, hereby demands judgment against the Defendant City of Lancaster for compensatory damages and all other recoverable costs and fees.