FSPD Street Crimes: Pants & Discretion Optional

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For reasons that will soon become obvious, this is the kind of post that feels like it needs a disclaimer.  So, at the risk of being repetitive, let me restate part of what I said in a previous post:

[W]ell over 90% of the 160+ sworn officers of the FSPD are good police.  They come to work, they do their jobs proudly and properly, and they deserve not only your gratitude, but your respect for what they do for the city and the community.

This post is not about those officers.

I’m sure, if you’ve been following along, you recall when Sgt. Daniel Grubbs[foot]Who you might recognize from his Barney Fife-esque, overzealous loss-prevention at your local Harp’s.[/foot] took some umbrage with my post about an undercover Street Crimes detective’s getting a brief rub-and-tug in his efforts to clean up the menace that is backpage.com.  Sgt. Grubbs apparently believed that the full narrative — rather than just the probable-cause affidavit — made the detective and, by extension, Sgt. Chris Harris’ whole unit look better than my first post had suggested.

Sgt. Grubbs’ suggestion, while ridiculously off-base in terms of content, raised a more interesting question, however: was the officer’s nudity and sexual contact with the suspected prostitute in that arrest a one-off, or was it merely part of a larger pattern of behavior from detectives working street crimes?  As I mentioned in the last FSPD post, my intent was to leave this topic behind.

However, the more I thought about the underlying issue that Grubbs’ email raised, the more I began to wonder if this was something worth looking into further.  This was confirmed when Muldrow (OK) Police Chief (and former FSPD officer) George Lawson made the following comment on Facebook:

Lawson Comment

A “threshold”? Really?  So we’re to believe that Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue and one or more judges authorized the use of nudity and sexual contact to make misdemeanor prostitution arrests?

I’m gonna go ahead and just say, no, that can’t possibly be accurate.  No chance.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let’s see just how common such actions are.

The first thing you notice over the last three-ish years of arrests is this: from November 1, 2011, to October 1, 2013 — two full years — the FSPD made 26 prostitution arrests.[foot]I went with October 1 because Sgt. Harris began running the Street Crimes unit unofficially at some point in early to mid-October, prior to officially taking that title in early November.[/foot]  From October 1, 2013, to present, they have made 39 such arrests.  So, hooray for increased police work, right?

Ah, but that’s just the tip.[foot]Heh.[/foot]

From November 1, 2011, through October 1, 2013, there were exactly zero arrests where the detective got naked.  Zero.  There was one where a detective got down to his underwear, but, when the suspected prostitute began to move to take those underwear off, he called in the arrest team.  In that same span, there were (arguably) two arrests where the detective had any sort of contact with the suspected prostitute, and, both times, it was her breasts and was minimal at worst — in one, she exposed a breast and asked the detective to touch it to prove he wasn’t law enforcement, so he brushed it with his hand (per the report); in the other, she was topless and pushed her breasts toward the detective’s face before he called in the arrest team.

From October 1, 2013, to present, however?  Let’s just say that Sgt. Harris brought change.  Dirty, dirty change.  This was from the first month that he was in Street Crimes:

“As we entered the room, she made some small talk about the room, but the conversation soon turned to her asking me to get undressed so she would feel more comfortable. At that point, I removed everything but my boxer briefs, but she insisted that I remove those as well, so I did. She immediately sighed heavily and said that made her feel ‘so much better’ and removed her clothing. She then moved to the bed I was on and scooted up beside me. I then asked if I would be required to wear a condom and she said yes. She then told me to let her give me head first without one and began leaning over toward my genitals. At that point, I told her that I was ‘that cop’ she had remembered from court and told her she was under arrest.”

And this?  You couldn’t make the arrest prior to the last sentence?

“I pulled alongside the house and exited my vehicle. I began to walk around the rear of the residence and in doing so saw a female looking through mini-blinds on the door. XXXXXXXXX opened the door in bra and panties and told me to come inside. She then asked me why I was so nervous and I told her I had not done this before. She told me to put my hands on her and I could see that she was not a Police Officer. I placed a hand on her rear and she removed a breast and placed my hand on it. She then undid my pants and removed my penis. Afterward she knelt down and was about to perform oral sex on me, when I made her stop and informed her that she was under arrest for prostitution.

Sgt. Harris’ tenure in Street Crimes has also had the occasional not-cop-nudity-but-still-WTF? moment as well.

“Mrs. XXXXX let me in to the residence and led me to a bed room in the rear of the residence.  Once inside Mrs. XXXXX ask if I brought the money and condom.  I gave her the money and threw the condom on the bed.  Mrs. XXXXX took the money and told me to put on the condom as she took off her pants.  I then retrieved a large vibrating dildo from my front pocket and ask if Mrs. XXXXX was fetish friendly.  Mrs. XXXXX ask what I wanted and I said for her to use it on me while we had sex.  Mrs. XXXXXX said that would be extra, but that she could masturbate with it while I watched.  I then told her if it was extra we could just set it down and placed it on her dresser.  Mrs. XXXXX then crawled onto her bed and spread her legs to begin having sex.  I then pulled my handcuffs out and informed her I was the police and she was under arrest for prostitution 1st.”

But, really, the story here is the nudity and sexual contact.  This one raises some questions.

“Next she told me that we should both relax and I should make myself more comfortable by taking off my shirt and shoes, which I did.  I then asked her what I could get for my $200; she said that we should get to know one another better first.  After some small talk she asked me to take the rest of my clothes off and lay on the bed.  When I did this she went to the bathroom where she removed all of her clothes.  She came back and sat at the head of the bed, I was laying on my left side crossways on the bed.  I asked her again what I could get for my $200, and she reached over and grabbed my penis while at the same moving her head toward my penis with her mouth open.  I then placed my hands on her shoulders and pushed her back up to a sitting position.  I told her I’m the police and that she was under arrest.

And yet another one where it appears that the arrest could have been made at least a few moments before it was:

“I asked if we were going to do it on the floor and she said yes and apologized for not having a bed. She then picked up the comforter and spread it out on the floor. Then, she looked at me as if to tell me to take my clothes off, so I began disrobing. As I took my underwear off, she opened a condom and handed it to me. At that point, I made reference to the fact that I was ‘not ready’ and that I couldn’t put it on like that. She then told me to put it down and to lie back on the comforter because she had been ‘doing this for 2 years’.  At that point, she picked up the opened condom and tried to put it on my penis, but I immediately stopped her and identified myself as a police officer and told her she was under arrest.”

Variations on a theme:

Once there I met with XXXXX and paid thirty five dollars ($35) for a full body massage.  I ask Julie what I would receive and was informed I would get a full body massage and I would leave Happy.  I was then ask if I wanted my cheeks rubbed and was told to disrobe and lay down on a table in her kitchen.  I did so and Julie began massaging my back then my legs then my buttocks.  I was then asked to roll over and she began massaging my chest then legs.  Julie then began getting closer to my genitals and I ask if she was going to take her bra off.  Julie stated she would slide it down but that was it and pulled it down to expose her breasts.  Julie then grabbed my Penis and applied the lotion that was on her hands.  I then told her to back up and stand away from me and that I was a Police Officer.

And this one that we’ve previously covered:

A very short time later, she asked if I wanted her to “do my front” so I turned over. When I turned over, I noticed she had placed a Trojan Ecstacy condom on the bed next to her.Then, she began rubbing on my chest and worked her way down to my hips. Then, without warning, she began fondling my penis. Then, she stopped, applied more lotion to her hands and asked if I would mind if she put some lotion on it. When I said no, she began masturbating me so I immediately grabbed her hand and identified myself as a police officer.

And this one, which, for “whoa…that’s some shady, skeezy stuff” purposes, you’d be hard-pressed to top:

She began asking me questions trying to determine if I was affiliated with law enforcement. I accused her of being affiliated with law enforcement. She asked me to expose my genitals. I did so. She touched my genitals. She then removed her panties and asked me to touch her vagina. I did so. She then directed me to penetrate her vagina digitally. I did so. I stepped away from “Christy” and asked her what services I would be receiving in exchange for my three hundred dollars. She would not verbalize what services I would receive. I told her I was hoping to “get a little head”. She said “whatever you want”. At this time she directed me to a room on the north side of the structure. She went to the door and looked out. She locked the door. I could see a person through the blinds and asked who was outside. I realized Detective XXXXX XXXXXX was at the door. I identified myself and informed “Christy” she was under arrest.

So, to recap, you have a Street Crimes unit that, prior to October 2013, did not feel that it was necessary to get naked making a misdemeanor arrest of a suspected prostitute.  Once Sgt. Harris — who, remember, is an officer once suspended from duty for having sex on duty with a suspected prostitute — took control of the unit, they started looking almost exclusively at online ads (rather than actually looking for crimes in the street), and they decided that, as part of making those arrests, if they needed to engaged in some sexual contact, that was all good.

You might think, given the attention that the previous posts received, that the powers-that-be at the FSPD would have taken some steps to … I dunno … remove Sgt. Harris from his position in Street Crimes and try to regain some of the public respect and trust in that unit.  Of course, such a move would require either a chief of police that wasn’t completely impotent as a department head or a city administrator that actually cared about the reputation and safety of the municipal police force.  Every bit of available evidence that we have about Kevin Lindsey and Ray Gosack, however, suggests neither of these scenarios.[foot]Which, again, raises the question that we previously asked: when one of these officers gets naked and is hurt or killed while lying there in a vulnerable situation, what excuse will Ray Gosack and the rest come up with, given that they know about all of this right now?[/foot]

Here’s where it gets really funny, though: Around the same time that Chief Lindsey was not doing anything at all about the issues in Street Crimes, he literally made Cpl. Wendall Sampson leave a meeting of all corporals and officers under the guise of Sampson’s being a party in a lawsuit against the department (never mind that Lindsey and Cpl. Greg Smithson are also parties and were in the meeting, and never mind that the meeting had nothing to do with the lawsuit).  Once Cpl. Sampson left the room, however, the conversation actually turned not to the lawsuit, but to a handful of disgruntled officers asking, “what can we do to stop Matt Campbell from making us look like inept jagoffs?”[foot]I’m paraphrasing, but just barely.[/foot]

Chief Lindsey and a corporal who is too insignificant to name came up with the brilliant plan that maybe they could arrest me for obstructing governmental operations.

No, seriously. They actually considered and discussed whether they could arrest me for submitting FOIA requests and writing about the documents I received in response.

It’s ok.  You can go ahead and laugh.  I did.  It’s far too funny and insane to dignify the idea with an actual response on the merits, so I won’t bore anyone with that.

Though…I suppose it’s entirely possible that word of this post will get back to Chief Lindsey.  So, maybe some sort of response is warranted.

Let’s leave it at this: I’m in Fort Smith two to three times per week.  I’m very easy to find.  If the Chief thinks he has the political capital, probable cause, and testicular fortitude to have me arrested, PLEASE do it.  Seriously.  Because that lack of understanding of the law and the limits of his own authority and institutional support would be amazing to behold.