Third Internal Affairs Complaint

Internal Affairs Complaint by Marc Perkel

Against Sgt. Robert Greer

Internal Affairs Supervisor

Conspiracy to cover up Police Misconduct

On September 11th 1998 I filed an internal affairs complaint against Officer Kevin Hollie and Officer Shipley for false arrest. On September 15th 1998 Sgt. Greer determined the complaint to be "Unfounded" and that the allegations I made did not occur. Eventually I got a copy of the police report and according to the officers own story, what I accused them of did occur. On September 23rd 1998 I filed a request to reconsider pointing out that even if you believe everything the officers said, that I was still falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned. In response, on September 24th 1998 Sgt. Greer sent me a certified letter indicating the internal affairs will not conduct any further investigation. The relevant undisputed facts are as follows:

  1. On September 8th 1998 at 10:30pm I was arrested at my home for a violation of a city ordinance 26-152 for a trespass that allegedly occurred 3 days earlier. I was then put in the intoxication tank where I was forced to spend the night.
  2. This ordinance violation is an infraction and is not a felony.
  3. An officer can only arrest a person for an infraction "on view", which means that the officer is required to see the infraction take place to make an arrest. These officers knew or should have known this.
  4. According to the officers own police report, the officers admit that they did not see the infraction occur.
  5. Therefore, my arrest was illegal and my subsequent imprisonment was illegal.

If this kind of behavior were legal, then I could call the police and say that I saw the Mayor run a stop sign. The cops would be able to go to the Mayor's home, in the middle of the night, and arrest him, and drag him off to jail, throwing him in the intoxication tank over night. The public will not stand for this. Springfield Missouri is not going to have a police department that has the power to show up at your home in the middle of the night, without a warrant, and drag off to jail anyone who they don't like or want to question on an unrelated matter. And we're not going to tolerate an Internal Affairs department that covers up for the cops who try to get away with this.

I'm sure that you don't get to be the Internal Affairs supervisor without knowing the basics of normal police conduct. If Sgt. Greer thinks this is normal police conduct he needs to be retrained or replaced immediately. It's his job to ensure that the officers comply with the law and not to cover up for them when they don't.

I would remind Internal Affairs that they work for the public and not for the police. The mission of the police is to protect and to serve. When these incidences of misconduct are covered up by Internal Affairs, it hurts the reputation of the honest hard working law enforcement officers who play by the rules. The people of Springfield start thinking that all cops are thugs, which they are not. When cops are allowed to arrest people so as to pressure people like myself to reveal confidential information between a third party and his lawyer, it undermines the courts and the rule of law. This is the kind of behavior that causes evidence and testimony to be thrown out and undermines the ability of the prosecutor to do his job. One of the reasons it is so necessary to have a functional Internal Affairs department is to ensure that the police don't ruin cases for the prosecutor. Cover-ups like this don't help the police, it hurts the police.

Additionally, I don't like the tone of Sgt. Greer's letter of September 24th 1998. In his letter he refuses to conduct any further investigation of my complaint. It urges be to contact an attorney for both criminal and civil action. The threat of civil action looks like little more than a thinly veiled threat that that they are going to sue me for filing an internal affairs complaint. I believe that Sgt. Greer's determination that my complaint is "unfounded" positions the officer to sue me for filing the complaint in the first place.

Several people warned me that this sort of think would happen. That Internal Affairs has a reputation for cover-ups and that after you file the complaint the only thing that happens is that you get sued. I was warned to not file this complaint because they will come back after me. This has a chilling effect on members of the community coming forward to report problems with the police that need to be fixed. Most people would be too scared to file an Internal Affairs complaint. Why should Internal Affairs be allowed to intimidate the public? The Internal Affairs department is not only unresponsive, but defensively hostile to legitimate complaints.

I therefore demand an investigation of Sgt. Robert Greer and the Internal Affairs department by an external agency to determine what is wrong and fix the reasons behind this Internal Affairs coverup. Surely Internal Affairs isn't going to attempt to investigate itself! I recommend an FBI investigation.

I hereby certify that the statements given by me herein are true and accurate to the best of my personal knowledge. I understand that making intentional false declarations to public servants or untrue statements under oath or affirmation may be punishable by law.


Marc Perkel * 09-28-98


Copyright Terms

People before Lawyers

A project of the People's legal Front