Police Charged For Playing Football with a 7 year old

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Alissa_Sal's picture
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Police Charged For Playing Football with a 7 year old

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/09/19/police-charged-for-tossing-football-with-7-year-old/?ncid=txtlnkuscare00000002

Should the police be allowed to be your friendly neighbor?

If that means tossing around a football with a 7-year-old while you are on duty, then perhaps not. Four members of the New York police department were patrolling the Webster Houses in the Bronx last summer when they came across a scene worth checking out.

"It was the Fourth of July, it was 96 degrees out and we were interacting with the community," said Officer Catherine Guzman, a 17-year veteran of the force. "I don't think throwing a football to a 7-year-old boy is misconduct."

But that's what the football four were charged with, as they received command disciplines. Two of the four also accepted a penalty of two vacation days. And now Guzman along with fellow officer Mariana Diaz are appealing the ruling and taking the case to the departmental trial room, according to the New York Daily News.

As a post on Gawker notes, how long the four remained playing football is unclear. But their upcoming case will turn on whether the police "did fail and neglect to remain alert," according to police codes.

Taking note of where the Bronx football case fits in with the current atmosphere between the police and citizens in New York City, a post at New York magazine's website went with the headline: "Cops Can Dry Hump the Locals, But Can't Throw Them a Football."

The New York-based weekly magazine was referring to another incident that drew wide attention in New York from this past summer. The celebration for West Indian cultures and communities, held over the Labor Day weekend, gained notoriety when a video surfaced showing policemen "dancing, grinding, and outright humping some barely clothed women," as New York put it.

No one was disciplined, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seemed content that his force was interacting with the community.

"[It's] great advertisement for New York [and] it sends the message that police officers are our friends, not our enemies," he said, according to a separate report from New York.

Do you think that having police officers playing football with kids means that they are not doing their real job of watching over the community, or do you think that it is a good way for them to connect with the communities that they serve and show that they are not "the enemy?"

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/09/19/police-charged-for-tossing-football-with-7-year-old/?ncid=txtlnkuscare00000002

Do you think that having police officers playing football with kids means that they are not doing their real job of watching over the community, or do you think that it is a good way for them to connect with the communities that they serve and show that they are not "the enemy?"

I'm with the mayor on this one. How can they prove that they neglected to remain alert if they were in full uniform and can hear calls to report to? I think it's awesome to see police officers mingling with the community. We have one who goes to all of the high school games and chats and passes out stickers to the kids while on duty. I think it not only builds the community, but it also helps officers build a rapport with the kids so in the event something happens, they feel more comfortable confiding with the officers.

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The Air Force promotes interaction with every community we are in; I can't understand why a police force would expect officers not to? If they were negligent in their duties, then shouldn't a policy be in place to outline something like this?

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I think this is silly, however, I will also say that my opinion is really dependent on how long they were playing football for. If they stopped for a few minutes while on patrol and threw the ball around then I am totally OK, if not really supportive of that. If however, they stopped for a half an hour and played a game of touch football, then I do see the problem and negligence in that.

While I am supportive of the police being friendly and interacting with the community, I think there is a limit to how long they can be off patrol and distracted for.

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"Beertje" wrote:

I'm with the mayor on this one. How can they prove that they neglected to remain alert if they were in full uniform and can hear calls to report to? I think it's awesome to see police officers mingling with the community. We have one who goes to all of the high school games and chats and passes out stickers to the kids while on duty. I think it not only builds the community, but it also helps officers build a rapport with the kids so in the event something happens, they feel more comfortable confiding with the officers.

Tracey,

I believe you may have misunderstood the quote about the mayor. *That* remark was made in reference to members of the NYPD "dirty dancing" with the women over Labor Day weekend. Here's the link to the article quoted in the OP:

NYPD Cops Dance Dirty With Women During West Indian Day Parade (VIDEO)

The mayor defended *those* officers as merely "interacting with the community" when touching women's butts, literally humping and grinding the dancers in the streets ... all in fun of course. :roll: His words that the video "sends the message that police officers are our friends, not our enemies."

Meanwhile, he's allowed these other officers that were tossing footballs with neighborhood kids to be disciplined.

"It was the Fourth of July, it was 96 degrees out and we were interacting with the community," said Officer Catherine Guzman, a 17-year veteran of the force. "I don't think throwing a football to a 7-year-old boy is misconduct."

But that's what the football four were charged with, as they received command disciplines. Two of the four also accepted a penalty of two vacation days. And now Guzman along with fellow officer Mariana Diaz are appealing the ruling and taking the case to the departmental trial room, according to the New York Daily News

I notice that at least two of these were female officers. I'm curious whether the other two were as well. Either way, I believe they do seem to have grounds for this to be overturned based upon how the other "incident" was handled if both are to be based upon "policy".

For the rest of your post Tracey -- I totally agree. I think that casual interaction does encourage the kids (and teens) to be able to come to the officers for help (or to give asst.) later on.

But UGH on this case!

~Missy

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"MissyJ" wrote:

Tracey,

I believe you may have misunderstood the quote about the mayor. *That* remark was made in reference to members of the NYPD "dirty dancing" with the women over Labor Day weekend. Here's the link to the article quoted in the OP:

NYPD Cops Dance Dirty With Women During West Indian Day Parade (VIDEO)

The mayor defended *those* officers as merely "interacting with the community" when touching women's butts, literally humping and grinding the dancers in the streets ... all in fun of course. :roll: His words that the video "sends the message that police officers are our friends, not our enemies."

Meanwhile, he's allowed these other officers that were tossing footballs with neighborhood kids to be disciplined.

I notice that at least two of these were female officers. I'm curious whether the other two were as well. Either way, I believe they do seem to have grounds for this to be overturned based upon how the other "incident" was handled if both are to be based upon "policy".

For the rest of your post Tracey -- I totally agree. I think that casual interaction does encourage the kids (and teens) to be able to come to the officers for help (or to give asst.) later on.

But UGH on this case!

~Missy

You're right, I did misunderstand. I thought he was referencing to supporting this particular incident. In that event, I retract that statement entirely. Shame on the Mayor! Thank you for catching it! Smile Are you thinking there may be gender inequalities in this case as well?

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I read both cases and IMO, the police touching up those women should have been disciplined instead!

I doubt they stayed and played for half hour but yes, a little interaction with the kids is great IMO.

xx

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"Beertje" wrote:

You're right, I did misunderstand. I thought he was referencing to supporting this particular incident. In that event, I retract that statement entirely. Shame on the Mayor! Thank you for catching it! SmileAre you thinking there may be gender inequalities in this case as well?

I'm not sure, but definitely would question it strongly if it the other two officers disciplined in the football tossing incident were also female. I've not had time to research.

All of those officers shown in the dirty dancing video were male and far more (imho) inappropriate behavior of officers than those choosing to interact with the kids on the 4th of July.