Greetings Ryan Parr, Jeff Magnan and Ed Holmes
As you may be aware, I have just posted on my blog the story of my observations and photos from the MI homecoming parade.
One or more people have been visiting and reading that blog post, according to google analytics.
The story includes the fact that I requested MIPD support officer Anna to take my complaint and follow up appropriately with a man who twice hit my hand while I was attempting to photograph him.
As part of becoming a police officer, persons normally take some kind of oath to enforce the law and that includes the law against assault. Therefore, Anna may have had some duty to see that she or others took my complaint and interviewed the man whom I allege hit my hand.
Instead, Anna brushed off my complaint by saying now is not the time or words to that effect, but I do not believe that is an appropriate and reasonable response to a report of assault.
Investigating or stopping a report of assault has a higher priority than observing pedestrian traffic, especially since there was no telling, from Anna’s point of view, who might have been armed at the time, and since simple assault at times progresses to more serious assault or fighting.
Did Anna know which, if any, of myself or the irritated man were carrying weapons? Probably not; I assume she is not psychic.
In light of the potential for escalation in any cases of assault, would it not be far more reasonable for Anna to have interrupted her pedestrian watching activity and separated and interviewed the two parties?
Also, now is published on the web the story of one MIPD officer intentionally refusing to take a complaint of assault and investigate it. This story is likely to be read by a variety of MI residents.
Is it not a poor example that Anna has set in your otherwise excellent department, given that in some cases, some people do not report crimes, and at time, one of the reasons that they do not report crimes is that they believe, rightly or wrongly, that they will not be taken seriously?
In any case, at the present time, people are and have been reading that MIPD support officer Anna declined to take or follow up on my complaint against a man in our presence for assault.
I have doubts that this reflects well upon you and I am sure that Anna is a caring person with good intentions who was perhaps caught off guard by this unexpected situation or perhaps she is constitutionally not well suited to confronting people. However, for any normal MIPD officer, it seems to me that the immediate action of his or hers should have been to weigh the competing responsibilities and given that there were already a number of MIPD officers participating in the parade or handling traffic, that that meant that Anna could and should take and investigate a complaint of assault without that drain on her time creating a risk to public safety.