Saturday, March 12, 2005


Unbelievable Missteps By the Police

More hedging at the pressers today. Atlanta police are trying to make themselves appear to be the driving force in the arrest instead of marginal bystanders while the Gwinnett police got their man. Rita Cosby reports that Police Chief Pennington was exploring the possibilities with her as to whether Nichols had left the state when the capture was announced. Clueless!! The two people in Buckhead were assaulted at 10:40 last night, and they reported that Nichols was on foot, and no one thought to get the Marta tapes to review and see if he used the system during the day because they were assuming he was still in the car. Incompetence!! And once the car was recovered at 11:30 pm, it appears that Marta was still not contacted for their video footage. Incredible Incompetence!!! Marta has cameras at ALL of its stations, inside and out and in the parking areas, and the police didn't apparently bother to alert Marta to the BOLO because they figured he was still in the Green Honda? My goodness, the Centennial Park Parking Garage is all of 5 minutes walk to the Philips Arena/Georgia Dome Marta station. BTW, the SEC tournament is going on at the Georgia Dome next to the Marta station and rich with targets, and he was able to traverse the area through all of the security on hand for the games, board a train, and none of the officers saw him. Unbelievable Incompetence!!!! Don't these cops have comunications walkie-talkies that they can monitor for problems? Even if he walked to a different Marta station, they all have extra Marta security personnel on hand to handle the crowds for the basketball tournament, and none of them were scanning the crowds for him? Holy S***!!!!Were they even aware of the BOLO? And I'm glad to know now that the video output from the Marta stations is not observed 24/7, but the traffic cameras on the interstates are. I'll keep that in mind if I ever go downtown again. Osama should move to Atlanta....he could hide in plain site here forever.

Speaking of troubles with the Atlanta cops:

The following CYA sales pitch from the Atlanta police is especially galling - even if it contains a grain of truth - because it shifts the debate to the wrong issue. The pitch goes something like this:

Sure, we didn't do an exhaustive search of the parking deck. No doubt it would have turned up the green Honda right away. But it's unfair to blame us directly, or to hold us to this level of perfection after the fact, because no one realized the car might still be parked there - not us, not the FBI, not even the smart-ass media or the public that wants to criticize us for it now.

You can argue that we ought to have searched the deck as a matter of routine, and you may be right. But no routine is perfect, no procedure can anticipate every contingency, and there are bound to be oversights and mistakes in any investigation. Don't forget, we were under a lot of pressure. We were also told that the Honda had been driven out of the deck, for the love of Peter, and at the time we had no reason to doubt that report.

(The "no reason to doubt" assertion is B.S. - a cursory examination of the "report" would have shown that no one saw the car leave the deck - but I'll get to that in a sec.)

Even if the Atlanta cops have a minor point, it is trumped by a much bigger "smoking gun" that lays bare the true scope of their ineptitude: they never checked the security camera videotape.

Just imagine: even if the APD "knew" the Honda had been "driven away", shouldn't they have wanted to look at the tape anyway, if only to see which exit had been "taken", and which way the vehicle was "headed"? ("Gee, was it making a left or a right turn out of the deck?")

Had they taken the minimal, Common Sense 101 step of going to the security booth right away to rewind the tape (by some 10-20 mins.) and look at the relevant footage, they'd have seen Mr. Nichols walking away wearing a blue blazer. (Don O'Briant could have reported the blazer's color. BTW, did the cops ever even visit the parking deck?) Though the tape might not have easily revealed the Honda (or color, license plate number, etc.) - given that it was nestled somewhere inside the bowels of the garage - the entrance/exit cameras would have had an excellent chance of showing how the perp left the area. Simply put: No matter how Nichols left the parking deck, the police had a way - at 10 o'clock Friday morning - to see the form, location and direction of his egress. Period.

In contrast to the weak argument they are now trying to make, this obvious blunder has no excuse whatsoever. None. What basic moron wouldn't ask: "Gee, which way was he headed? Let's look at the tape & find out!"

I rant more about the consequences of this here on Michael King's blog.

Thanks :-)
A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the car.
"I'll make a deal with you," said his father. "You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little, get your hair cut, and then we'll talk."

A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car.

"Son, I'm real proud of you. You've brought your grades up and you've studied your Bible, but you didn't get hair cut!"

"You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that. Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair."

"Yes son, and they walked everywhere they went
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