And now, something completely different…

Why isn’t Buffalo Police Officer Robert Eloff not in jail?

When it comes to police misconduct, few do it better than Robert Eloff.  The fact that he’s still employed by Buffalo is astonishing, but that may finally be changing.  Currently Eloff is on unpaid leave pending the investigation into an incident at Molly’s Bar in Buffalo.  Bar manager, and Eloff’s off duty employer, Jeffrey Basil is currently facing 1st Degree Assult charges over an altercation that occurred in Molly’s on May 11th.  Little is known about the event, since police are actively investigating, but what is known is not looking good for Eloff.

Witnesses claim that Basil pushed William Sager, Jr. down a flight of stairs.  Sager’s family reports that the doctors believe he was already unconscious before he was pushed, since there is no evidence that Sager tried to protect himself in any way.  It is clear that Sager was unconscious and bleeding from his nose and ears when he landed at the bottom of the staircase.  That’s when Eloff got involved.

Eloff and another officer allegedly dragged Sager out of the bar.  This is a violation of every medical text and concept about what to do for someone with a traumatic head injury.  Eloff should have known better than to move Sager at all.  But it gets worse.  It is reported that Eloff propped him against a wall quite a distance from the bar and then handcuffed him.  Eloff called 911, but didn’t give the bar’s name or location, instead a nearby cross street.  It is important to note that Eloff was under the employment of the bar at the time.  When medical personal arrived, Eloff removed the handcuffs and Sager was rushed to the hospital, where he remains unconscious today.  At some point after Eloff and his partner, also off duty and working for the bar, moved Sager, the video system inside the bar stopped working.  The tapes (reports differ, but it seems to have been some sort of electronic device, and not tapes) were found in the dumpster of a nearby convenience store.

As a result of this incident, Eloff was put on unpaid leave, and cops in Buffalo no longer are allowed to work directly for bars.  The fact that New York state law banned them from working directly for bars, and has for decades, is irrelevant.  Buffalo had allowed off duty officers to work for the bars as long as they stayed outside to handle crowds.  At the time of the assault, both off duty officers were inside the bar.

Being so directly involved with such an assault is bad enough, the fact that Eloff, to the medical detriment of Sager, attempt to cover it up is repulsive.  Eloff also arrested one of Sager’s friends who came to check on him for trespassing, a charge that didn’t stick.  The goal would seem to be clear, Eloff was trying to protect Basil, his employer, by getting Sager as far from the bar as he could before calling for help.  Instead of acting like an officer and preserving the scene of the crime and securing the evidence from the video system, Eloff conspired to try and hide the crime.  There really is no other way to view it.

Christopher Kozac after his run in with Officer Eloff.

Had this been Eloff’s first brush with police misconduct, it might be understandable.  But it isn’t.  Since Eloff’s been on leave, at least four more have come forward with testimony that he used excessive force with them.  Just this week, a man filed notice that he is suing the city of Buffalo over Eloff’s unprovoked attack outside of the Bottom’s Up Bar, where Eloff was again working as security.  This event was back in March 11, 2014.  Video from the event shows Eloff tackling Christopher Kozak right after he left the bar after witnessing an altercation inside.  Eloff and other officers tackled Kozak to the ground, leaving Kozak bloodied and bruised.  And what was this level of force used for?  Absolutely nothing, Kozak was not charged with any crime.  This is how his attorney put it:

“Assault and excessive force, assault battery and excessive force against my client. I can not charge them with false arrest and malicious prosecution because they didn’t even charge my client,” said Cercone.

– Ronald Cercone as reported on WIVB’s Website

Video of the attack can be found here.

On St. Patrick’s Day, just a few days after the beating Kozac suffered, Eloff was implicated in another incident.  A woman was filming police breaking up an altercation during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  She has video of Eloff walking up to her and knocking her phone out of her hand.

Eloff has also been implicated in a double incident from January 2013.  In this incident, Devin Rooney was at one of two bars that are side by side on Elmwood in Buffalo.  He noticed a young black man handcuffed sitting in the entrance to Toros Tapas Bar, the bar next door to the one he was in.  Rooney stepped out on the sidewalk and snapped a photograph of the man, because he suspected that he was being mistreated.  After snapping the picture, Rooney returned to the bar next door, but off duty and again working for the owner of both bars, Eloff followed Rooney into the bar, demanding that he turn over his phone.  When Rooney didn’t comply, Eloff reportedly slammed Rooney’s head into the wall of the bar three times, handcuffed him, and forced him out of the bar and back to Toros.

With all of these incidents, and more coming forward since the assault at Molly’s, the question isn’t why Eloff isn’t working, but why he isn’t in jail.

H/T To Scott Greenfield

Congratulations

Running Wolf Blog extends hearty congratulations to the defendants in the Kimberlin v Walker Et Al case for the rulings they received today.  RWB has not been blogging about what we call the Kimberlin Kerfuffle to much of any detail, but recognize the importance to the Bloggers involved in today’s ruling.  Essentially, the case has been neutered, only defamation and false light remain, and the plaintiff is facing sanctions for failure to comply with discovery.  More details can be found in this post at Hogewash, by following @bombersues or by following @aaronworthing.

Again, congratulations!

A GHOST of a chance!

Well, comments exploded with my revelation of Ghost.  I thank everyone for the input and apologize for any confusion from me answering while at work.  That damn smart phone seems to grow smaller ever day.  They really want my thumbs on those keys?

That said, I took yawls advice and I did a bit of research.  I started here:

You can get some pretty good info about Neal at TheOtherMcCain.com. Here is the link to a Neal search of the site:
http://theothermccain.com/?s=Neal

– monitor2112 in an approved comment on this site

So I followed that link, and was a little surprised by what I found.  It seems this “Neal” character really is a Ghost.  I had no idea when I tried to, on the spot, give my deep source a cool name that, if it turns out to be Neal, then it really is an appropriate name form him as a source.  From what I gather, Neal doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get served a summons in his child custody case, he doesn’t have a driver’s license and he doesn’t have a car.  He does what he can to stay invisible.  He is trying to be a ghost.

I didn’t just read what McCain has about Neal, but searched out other sources.  Some of you are going to scold me for this, but I think that it is possible that Matt Osborn at Osborn Ink may have described Neal the best.  Looking at posts about Neal at McCain, Stranahan, Hoge, and elsewhere I think Matt hit it on the head when he said that Neal is the “SuperVillian” of the anti-Kimberlin crowd.  (Okay, Matt said of the Right wing blogosphere, but I don’t subscribe to the right/left thing as we discussed yesterday.)  Here’s what Matt had to say…

They made Neal Rauhauser into a left-wing supervillain because they wanted and needed one so badly. And for a moment, right wing bloggers seemed to finally be picking on someone their own size, because no one could find Rauhauser to engage him in “lawfare.” So they wrote with what little information they had, embellished and inflated it, and called the whole fiasco their finest hour.

– Matt Osborne on his blog, Osborne Ink.

Now that doesn’t mean I believe all Matt has to say about Neal.  In fact, I’m working on a post about Matt, since he’s a fellow Alabama blogger I thought I’d introduce myself.  Hold off on your judgement till you see that, I ask.  And I’ve not forgotten the anonymous poster who suggested that Ghost may actually BE Matt.

At any rate, whoever Ghost is, it is clear that Ghost is more than familiar with the very early days of Neal’s activities, and thinks all this ties in with the timeline of Neal’s online antics.  Some key words from his lengthy scribe.  Brietbart.  Weinergate.  Bean dogs.  Gulgaggers.

So, I don’t know if Ghost is Neal, or is Matt, or is some as yet unknown watcher in the wings.  I don’t care right now.  I’m not going to use anything he sends me without it being clearly vetted through other sources.  That’s how you do things with anonymous sources, you don’t just run with it you have to back it up.  Because one of your goals is to protect that source.  The other is that you need to verify your facts anyway.

So here’s the deal I offer Ghost, if he wants to go forward.  I will listen to whatever you have to say.  If I find any of the information interesting, and I can vet it through other sources, I will use it.  If I can’t vet it, but I still find it interesting and want to use it, I will post it here as clearly coming from Ghost and asking my readers for more information.  I have no desire to know your location or identity.  That’s the best I can do, and the information will be one way.  I won’t be sharing information, mainly because I don’t have any.  Also, because any information I have is protected by the same deal I’m offering you.  (Yes my friends, Ghost isn’t the first behind the scenes anonymous source I have, just the most mysterious.)

An Apology to a Few People Online

I find myself apologizing to more and more people since playing in the mud with Schmalfeldt. I find myself having to do it again, this time to a man I’ve never met, but have defended.

I’ve shared at Hogewash and elsewhere how I came to be in this mud hole. I still stand behind that.

A brief recap, I first learned of it through a writers group about the poor author in Maryland who was being attacked through the court system for exercising his first amendment right to free speech. I entered the mud pit thinking I was firmly on Bill’s side, but learned over a short time that maybe I’m wrong.

The cause that was the final straw was the case of the photographer Lee Stranahan. As a photographer, I found Bill’s attack on Lee offensive. But it was the attack on Lee’s art that upset me.

I also knew of Bill’s attack on the mother of home birth twins where one of the twins tragically died in utero. A sad and disturbing case.

Tonight, as I write on a break from my new business venture, I had the chance to talked to an old friend. She is a home birth advocate and her husband is a mentor to me in photography.

She reminded me of Bill’s disgusting attack on a home birth mother. Apparently he’s quite well known among that crowd for what he did. I remember her being quite upset about it at the time it happened, and I found his actions fairly disgusting then.

So here is my apology. I didn’t put the two people together. Guess I’m slow, but I’ve been so focused on Bill’s hypocrisy over Lee’s art that I didn’t put Bill’s attack on Lee’s family together.

Till today.

In a comment over at Hogewash, a commenter thought I was very up to date on the photographer issue. I’m embarrassed to say, not as up to date as I should have been. Had I recognized Bill sooner for his behavior over Lee’s daughter, I never would have given him the benefit of doubt I did recently.

So Lee, we’ve never spoken directly as I recall. But you now have my public apology for not putting the whole thing together sooner, and for letting my bias keep me from doing it sooner.

And to Hoge and others, I didn’t do you guys right either. My concern for writing and photography blinded me for a while. My apology extends to you as well. I wouldn’t have taken so long to come around if I’d put the whole thing together soon.

A reasonable request…

I’ll start this with a simple request.  Bill Schmalfeldt, I’ve shown that I am not currently in possession of a copy of the documents under seal in a Maryland court.  I’ve also shown that I did not say that you posting a document that was under seal in a Maryland court was in any way nefarious or wrong.  Please issue a retraction on these tweets:

Screenshot 2014-06-09 15.01.45Screenshot 2014-06-09 15.09.42

 

In Re ELH-14-CV-1683

I tried to warn him. I really did. I tried to tell him that Fair Use was an affirmative defense, and would get him into trouble and now it has. And his latest claim of ToS is simply laughable. But I’ll let Hoge point out the joke.

hogewash

Yesterday, I filed three sets of court papers in the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt copyright suit.

These filings speak for themselves, so I don’t intend to comment further on them until after the court has ruled on them.

UPDATE—This morning, I filed a motion to strike one of The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt’s™ filings.

The motion speaks for itself. I do not wish to comment further until after the court has ruled on it.

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Writer Excommunicated For Writing

I’d actually forgotten about this post from 2009. I’m reblogging it today to show that I’ve been concerned about writers and writer rights since before I ever heard of Schmalfeldt. And the book is really good, if you like vampire fiction.

Running Wolf

I wish that the title of this post wasn’t true.  I know that like maybe three people read my blog, but I need to write this for other reasons.  It’s just so horrible I can’t believe it actually happened.

One of my new favorite writer and blogger , JF Lewis, got excommunicated from his church for writing an urban fantasy novel with a vampire protagonist.  You can find the story here, but below is a quick synopsis.

Lewis adds that the elders of his church believe that “by writing the book, I committed the sins contained within it. They also felt that I’d aimed the novel at young children (which boggles the mind) and that it teaches and encourages the use of vulgar language. Though I disagree wholeheartedly with their decision, I can’t really say they took the action they took in order to be mean… they appear…

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