Jim Ginger's insane nitpicking
By Dennis Domrzalski
If you want to know just how badly the independent monitor in APD's reform case is nitpicking the department to death, read this case from the 12th report he submitted to the federal court judge who is overseeing the reform process.
It involves a call of possible sexual abuse against a two-year-old boy and the cops having to carry an uncooperative naked fat man out of his apartment to a squad car. It took three cops to carry the guy, and at times, because he was so heavy, they dropped him and his knees and forehead were scraped on the ground.
The monitor, James Ginger, said this was an appropriate use of force, but he criticized APD supervisors for calling it a Level Two use of force instead of a Level Three. He also criticized cops for failing to report, and maybe possibly notice, that the guy had a scrape on his forehead. And cops, who were responding to a call of a possible sexual abuse of a child, didn't shout, “Police!” when they banged down his door to get into his apartment.
This case is just one of the many examples of where Ginger expects perfection from cops who have to react instantly to dangerous, chaotic and stressful situations.
It's insane. So since Ginger can sit back after the fact and criticize cops for not being perfect, we're going to do the same to him. Here is the case from Ginger's report to the judge, and our comments after each paragraph.
Ginger: Case #3 IMR-12-12 (Show of Force x2)
In February 2020, an afternoon SWAT activation occurred in response to a request to arrest a suspect regarding an attempted sexual assault. The suspect, who was in his apartment with his two-year old son, was not responsive to officer attempts to contact him in the residence. The suspect was known to have mental health issues, in addition to having made threats against police officers, and was known by the police to possess weapons. After all communication attempts failed, the SWAT team made a forced entry into the suspect’s apartment and successfully arrested him, while at the same time safely removing his son who was in the same bed with him.
Our comment: So far, so good, sort of. Notice that the cops tried to communicate with the guy before they went in to the apartment. But, while Ginger often criticizes cops for leaving things out of their reports, as he does in this case, he has some dramatic and glaring omissions in his report to the judge. For instance, what did the 911 caller say, and what did Dispatch tell the officers? Meaning, what did did the caller say to 911 regarding attempted sexual assault of a two-year-old? I'm guessing that the cops thought this was a very urgent call and that they had to act quickly and forcefully.
Ginger: Case Observations:
1. When a sergeant was conducting an on-scene investigation, two APD members self-reported that they “covered the suspect with the muzzle of their weapons as they advanced towards a room where the two occupants…were located.” However, the individual written reports of the officers indicated one officer’s “muzzle may have unintentionally covered the suspect,” while the other officer reported he needed his “rifle mounted light to observe the male” and that he did not have a sight picture and did not have the intention to cover the male with my muzzle.” These discrepancies were not noted in the supervisor’s review.
Our comment: Screw you, Ginger. Just screw you. I'm guessing that the sergeant was mostly concerned with having rescued a two-year-old from a potential sexual assault and getting the kid into some kind of protective custody, not whether one of his officer's “muzzle may have unintentionally covered the suspect.” And, if a sexual assault had actually occurred, or was occurring, what the hell were the cops supposed to do, be nice to the guy?
Ginger: 2. Due to the darkness in the room and the legitimate movements of the SWAT members during the entry or arrest, no inappropriate use of force (especially with firearms) was noted on videos reviewed by the monitoring team. Audio on these videos confirmed this determination. Thus, the subsequent investigation’s conclusion on the shows of force was appropriate. However, the investigation and subsequent chain of command reviews largely failed to appropriately investigate and classify other force events in this case.
Our comment: Should it have been a Level Two use of force? No, Level Three. How about Three B, or Four C? And Ginger, what else about this case did YOU fail to include in your report to the judge?
Ginger: 3. The review of videos in this case revealed officers carried the handcuffed suspect from the bedroom, through the apartment, and outside the apartment through the courtyard to an APD vehicle. The suspect refused to walk and had to be carried. The suspect, who is a heavier male, was completely naked and “dead-weight.” He was carried face-down by two (and at times by three) officers, who held his arms (behind his back) and ankles. The suspect also appeared to be partially dragged through gravel a very short distance due to the strain of carrying the heavier, uncooperative male. This resulted in the suspect sustaining scraped knees, what appeared to be other smaller abrasions, and an apparent cut to his right forehead.
Our comment: Apparent smaller abrasions and an apparent cut to his forehead? Good god! The cops are struggling with a naked fat guy who has mental issues, trying to keep a two-year-old safe and they don't notice “what appeared to be other smaller abrasions, and and apparent cut to his right forehead.” Of course they didn't. They had other things to worry about, like the kid, and maybe getting some clothes on the naked man. So in the midst of what appears to be a really crazy and tense situation, the cops are now supposed to notice and report every single scratch, cut and broken toe nail? Just wondering how perfect Ginger would have been in this situation. Would he have met his own standards? We doubt it.
Ginger: 4. The sergeant’s review of the shows of force (reported as shows of force from the onset through the Commander’s Review) indicated photos were taken of the individual at the scene. However, the monitoring team was only provided with photos presumed to be that of the victim. Pursuant to BlueTeam reporting, these were the only photos in this use of force investigation. It appears no one at APD noted this apparent “loss” of evidence.
Our comment: Ginger, you're insane! How about your missing details about this case to the judge? What did the 911 caller report? How urgent did the cops think this was? Was it nighttime or daytime? If it was nighttime, how much light was there to illuminate the fat guy's bruises and scrapes? Ginger, you violated policy with these glaring omissions to the judge. You should be held in contempt!
Ginger: 5. The lieutenant’s review noted the abrasions on the suspect’s knees (attributed to being carried) but failed to identify the injury to the suspect’s forehead.
Our comment: Well, James, you've got the luxury of hindsight, the comfort of a well-lit office and hours and hours to leisurely view lapel can videos to see these scratches . Do you expect officers in the field, who are dealing with a very tense and chaotic situation, to see and document everything?
Ginger: 6. The reviews conducted (sergeant, lieutenant, and commander) failed to mention the appropriate force used by the officers to physically control and move the handcuffed suspect that resulted in his visible injuries.
Our comment: Just guessing here, but maybe they thought that carrying an uncooperative guy who was suspected of sexual abuse of a two-year-old to a squad car was sort of normal and routine and didn't deserve special mention. Does every police report now have to contain every single detail of an event, including a suspect's religion, sexual orientation and the color of his or her clothes?
Ginger: 7. From the point of breaching the door through making physical contact with the suspect, at no time did any officer on the entry team announce “POLICE.”
Our comment: Again, maybe the police were so intent on protecting and saving a two-year-old from being raped, and so overwhelmed with emotion, that they forget to yell, “POLICE!” And remember, the officers had tried to contact the fat guy—probably by phone—before they entered his apartment.
Ginger: The monitoring team determined that the injuries appear to have occurred to the suspect while he was carried and dragged. While this would normally be a Level 2 use of force, in this scenario the suspect was handcuffed when he was carried and dragged (and apparently injured). Thus, according to APD policy, this Level 2 use of force became a Level 3 use of force. For this reason, the monitoring team deems this case to be an unreported and uninvestigated Level 3 use of force.
Our comment: Nitpicking to the umpteenth degree and true insanity. And this is why Ginger should be fired. He's already said that carrying the uncooperative, fat naked guy out of his apartment and to a squad car was a proper use of force. So if it's a proper use of force, who cares if it's mislabeled as a Level Two instead of a Level Three? What does that matter if it's already justified? And again, the insanity of the strange James Ginger. He's already said it's OK, but now he's saying it's an unreported and uninvestigated Level Three use of force? Arrrrrgggghhhh!
This is insanity. Do you wonder why officers are leaving APD? This one case says it all.
And if you think this nitpicking is going to reduce crime and keep you safe, well ...
Oh, and remember, we're all paying Ginger $1.5 million a year for this stuff. Is he worth it?