Thursday, November 5, 2015

Scripted media coverage of Joe Gliniewicz's "suicide" is incomplete at best

We're now being told that the Death of Fox Lake, Illinois, officer is a 'carefully staged suicide' (11/04/2015) in reports that seem to be heavily scripted and repeated all over the traditional media. However some aspects about this story are suspicious, especially the fact that they have already made one arrest in relation to this case a month and a half ago but the recent reports don't even mention it.

According to the following article they arrested former Chicago police Officer Joseph Battaglia for threatening the investigators if they didn't declare his death a suicide. On top of that the coroner made statements indicating that he wouldn't rule it out, yet the carefully scripted media talking points say that they only considered this possibility within the past two weeks and they down played the disagreement with the coroner and didn't even mention that they had made an arrest, which should be considered a major omission.

Ex-cop charged with threatening officials in Fox Lake officer shooting case 09/13/2015

Former Chicago police Officer Joseph Battaglia, of southwest suburban Oak Lawn, was charged Sunday with two counts of disorderly conduct after threats were made to harm two key officials investigating the death of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, officials said.

The 54-year-old Battaglia, who is being held in the Lake County Jail after being assigned a $100,000 bond, is accused of calling Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd's office Friday and threatening Rudd and George Filenko, who heads the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, officials said.

Battaglia described himself as a retired police officer. He was denied a public defender because of his police pension, the judge said.

Battaglia allegedly threatened to harm Rudd and Filenko unless they declare Gliniewicz's death a suicide.

According to a news release Sunday morning from the Lake County sheriff's office, someone called the coroner's office at 2 p.m. Friday, blocking the phone number so caller identification would not work. The caller said he was a "retired police officer" and made threats against "all of the Task Force members" and others investigating the Gliniewicz death unless that death was declared a suicide.

After investigating, the sheriff's office determined the call came from Battaglia, who they said is a retired Chicago police officer who lives in Oak Lawn. He was arrested at his home in the 5600 block of West 103rd Street.

According to the release, Battaglia had not been involved with the Gliniewicz investigation.

The release went on to say that Battaglia had made calls to other police agencies and to media outlets over the last several days but did not say what those phone calls involved. The sheriff's office is continuing to investigate and further charges are possible, authorities said. Complete article

The latest reports including, Death of Fox Lake, Illinois, officer is a 'carefully staged suicide' (11/04/2015) acknowledge that at least two other people are involved but there is no indication if Joseph Battaglia is one of them. The description of how he allegedly committed suicide is highly suspicious, they claim that "two shots hit Gliniewicz -- one stopped by his bulletproof vest, and another entered his torso at a downward angle."

This hardly seems to me to be the way a 'carefully staged suicide' might be inclined to take place especially if they think he was trying to preserve his image and avoid making it look like a suicide. A murder is highly unlikely to get a shot going under a bullet proof vest at a downward angle. If this was intended as a suicide he could have simply not worn his vest and avoided this problem. Furthermore if this led them to the conclusion that it was a suicide it is hard to imaging why they wouldn't have come to this conclusion much sooner.

It is virtually guaranteed that national politics about police shootings are having as much, if not more, impact on this investigation, one way or another, than the evidence.

With the incompetent information given by the media and flaws it is virtually impossible to know for sure what happened; however there is a strong possibility that there is more corruption that is going on. It also appears to be a reasonable assumption that efforts to cover it up might be ongoing and there might be some police involved in it as well. With the information they're providing I also wouldn't rule out the possibility that others involved in this corruption might have attempted to use him as a scapegoat hoping he would take all the blame. This hardly seems like a rational way that a well planned murder would take place anymore than a well planned suicide, assuming things went according to plan; however if something went wrong then it is conceivable that they shot him in a manner they didn't intend, which could conceivably explain how this happened.

If that is the case then people involved in the investigation must know there are problems with it; however even if there is another explanation there also appears to be problems with the way this is being reported.

Regardless of what the full explanation is the disclosures made have indicated serious problems with their claim that this is part of a war on the police. It also adds to the long list of corrupt events by police that spurred the major protests. It is increasingly obvious that police like Sheriffs David Clarke, Mike Lewis and union representative Patrick Lynch who act as if there are no significant problems with police have little or no credibility.

Many of the critics of police, including myself, may put most of their emphasis on the problems with the police but, it is clear that this doesn't apply to all police and some of the best ones admit they have problems and want to fix them. Quentin Tarantino recently made this point on MSNBC

Also as I indicated in a previous post about The threat to police being greatly exaggerated the fewest number of police were killed in 2013 in decades; and on a per capita basis it was the safest for police since at least the civil war if not the creation of this country. The most dangerous times for police were in the 1920s and 1970s both were times where police corruption was much higher. There is additional evidence that can be easily found to indicate that reducing police corruption will almost certainly also reduce threats to police. I also indicated this in Is the militarization of the police leading to escalation of violence including Vegas shooting?

Also a couple of the most outspoken police about not blaming police include Sheriffs David Clarke and Mike Lewis; and their own jurisdictions have some of the highest murder rates in the country. Their rhetoric doesn't hold up and they clearly seem to be trying to scapegoat their critics without addressing legitimate concerns.

Edit: Since posting this additional stories about Joe Gliniewicz have been coming out faster than most people could possibly keep up with. One of the most widely reported stories is that he may have considered putting a hit on a village administrator who was investigating financial problems. There was another story about him threatening a dispatcher, getting caught passed out at the wheel of his truck drunk, a letter from other officers complaining about him, sexual harassment allegations, and even a sham marriage for his son that he allegedly arranged.

It is hard to imagine how these problems could have gone on for so long unless he had some kind of political support or that there was more extensive corruption in the police department, otherwise he almost certainly would have been fired or charged with criminal activity long ago. If anything this seems to make a stronger case for the possibility that they might be trying to use him as a scapegoat for bigger problems.

The allegations that he may have tried to hire a gang member to put a "hit" on an administrator and past sexual harassment charges seem to provide stronger indications of possible corruption within the force. Most citizens couldn't possibly hope to get away with hiring a hit man. On the few occasions where they do think they can they typically wind up on tape and TV since it makes such a good media story and police know this. The exceptions are people with connections to organized crime, and police also know this. Also some of the claims made in the sexual harassment claim about the Explorers program seems to have been partially confirmed in recent report and there is a possibility that the reason the victim didn't show up leading to dropped charges might be intimidation, which is more likely in a corrupt police forces.

The following are a handful of the stories coming out about him and at this rate there could easily be much more:

Fox Lake cop tried ‘to put a hit’ on village administrator, official says 11/05/2015

Fraud Cop Joe Gliniewicz Once Allegedly Threatened to Kill Dispatcher 11/06/2015

Gliniewicz's personnel file shows troubled tenure on Fox Lake police force 11/07/2015

Fox Lake's Lt. Gliniewicz may have arranged 'sham marriage' between son, mistress, report says 11/07/2015

Lt. Gliniewicz faced sexual harassment complaint years ago 11/04/2015

It should be clear that not only is this death not supporting the claim that there is a war on the police but it raises much more questions about problems with the police. It should be clear that the people in total denial have no case especially since at least a couple other high profile stories are making the news, 2 Louisiana Officers Charged With Second-Degree Murder in Killing of Boy, 6 11/06/2015 and Shaun King: In the trial of white Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw accused of raping multiple black women, every single member of the jury is white 11/05/2015, while some police chiefs and sheriffs are trying to sweep problems under the rug; and there have always been many more of these stories reported at the grassroots level by activists that track these incidents. The mainstream media only reports on a small fraction of them at any given time, although when they do pick one up they often turn it into an obsession.

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