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As soon as I released my column last week the mayor announced that after a long talk with the feds he asked Police Chief Nate Harper for his resignation, and the Chief resigned after 35 years on the force. The mayor made it a point several times to let the media know that he was not a target of the investigation.
I stand by everything I said last week. I never said the Chief didn’t do anything wrong, I said he shouldn’t resign or be fired until charges have been made other than from the media. And I still haven’t read, seen or heard any charges coming from the feds.
They are investigating.
So far only Black folks have been asked to step down or aside. I find it extremely hard to believe that the only people involved in any illegal, or wrongdoings are Blacks. And I also find it hard to believe that if Chief Harper did all the things that he appears to be accused of how is it nobody else knew anything? He had the authority and power to do all these things without any checks and balances within the system? I think he’s being used as the fall guy.
And who’s providing all this inside information on what’s going on within the police department?
If Chief Harper did all these things he’s being implicated in then he should be punished, but so should everyone else involved, if they were stealing money. I’m still reading a bunch of smoke and mirrors. When is concrete evidence coming out about who did what, and when, and by whom, and how much?
If the Chief is guilty of something then charge him. But I find it hard not to believe the FOP or the mayor knew nothing about nothing especially the “Detail Mafia.”
It has been indicated that more than $7 million have come to the city through the “Detail” program, and that money is suppose to go directly to the Treasurer’s office. However, it has been implied that the money in the Savings and Loan accountpulled by the FBI came from this fund.
It has also been brought to light by a former bodyguard for Mayor Ravenstahl that the mayor did know about the account and that he had charge cards from this account.
It’s beginning to sound to me that this whole mess may have started because of disgruntled police officers who felt they weren’t getting their fair share of the details from the “Detail Mafia” and now are telling all, because the probe appears to be dated back to the beginning of this program and shortly after Ravenstahl took office. On a Sunday morning program Michael Lamb said the programs began shortly after the mayor took office and made changes that established the Details program and other changes.
Both Lamb and Bill Peduto on the show questioned the need for three bodyguards by the mayor instead of the one used by previous mayors.
Moving to another issue, the Leon Ford incident. The young man who was shot by the police in a routine traffic stop is lying paralyzed with many questions still not answered.
All police officers are required to video and record the audio of every traffic stop. Well, for some mysterious reason the audio went off when the officer left his car to talk to Ford. So all they have is video. Now nobody knows what went wrong, because the officers are to make sure the video and audio are running before they get out of the car. They are not to turn it off under any circumstances or leave it in the car. Now there’s a young man lying paralyzed with nothing to tell us what really happened other than what the police say. If his license and registration were good, why wasn’t he cited for the traffic violation and let go? Now we will never know for sure.
We need to know if this has happen before with the equipment. And what is the percentage of malfunctions of this equipment in other stops? Or do the officers just leave them in the car. What is the punishment?
(Ulish Carter is managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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