Law Enforcement Specialties >> Military Law Enforcement >> Army Needs a Lesson in Preservation of Evidence

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Army Needs a Lesson in Preservation of Evidence

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Posted almost 4 years ago

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101015/ap_on_re_us/us_fort_hood_shooting

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

That's the Cop Mindset. The Sgt that ordered the videos deleted was not a Cop, and I cannot question his reasoning without hearing his reasoning behind the order.


Having said that, I hope that Piecevof Garbage gets the death Penalty. Does the Army still do Hangings?

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Better yet, was this NCO acting on his own in "ordering" the destruction of the videos or was he directed by a senior NCO or an officer....I am willing to bet it was on his own and not madated from higher.

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

I know in the civilian LE world, there can be penalities associated with willful destruction of evidence, does anyone know if the military has any sort of similar regulations?

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Casscocop says ...



I know in the civilian LE world, there can be penalities associated with willful destruction of evidence, does anyone know if the military has any sort of similar regulations?



That's what I was referring to. As a Non-LEO,he may not have realized that it was evidence. You have to realize that what is common sense to us may not be to someone outside of LE. And the Military has the same basic laws as the civilian world. The differences are we have a few more, and we deal with them differently.

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

When one gives an order to do something, I would have to say that they knew what they were doing.  As a NCO, I don't think he is naive to the presence of "evidence" as he would want to be able to prove someone had not followed his order. . . .he would be presenting "evidence" to support his position.  Personally, I think by deleting the "evidence", maybe he thought he was "helping out" that department of the military by nobody having any evidence to come back on his higher ups. . . .or maybe even himself.  Destruction of evidence is not an "oops" thing with two people involved. . . it is a concious act and should be treated as such.  He knew better.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

msp1672 says ...



When one gives an order to do something, I would have to say that they knew what they were doing.  As a NCO, I don't think he is naive to the presence of "evidence" as he would want to be able to prove someone had not followed his order. . . .he would be presenting "evidence" to support his position.  Personally, I think by deleting the "evidence", maybe he thought he was "helping out" that department of the military by nobody having any evidence to come back on his higher ups. . . .or maybe even himself.  Destruction of evidence is not an "oops" thing with two people involved. . . it is a concious act and should be treated as such.  He knew better.



Bearing in mind they will give stripes to anyone with time in grade/service and who can pass a pt test/height&weight and there are some dumb freakin sergeants out there, I tend to agree....this individual should have known better. He may escape charges because honestly the military isnt about enforcing as many laws as civilian law enforcement is, however, that still doesnt change the fact that he has made this case however much harder it will be to prosecute.


The truth is, we would have been better off WITH that evidence. And I hope its not a case of some attitudnal power tripping 23 year old E5 who wanted to force a private (or a full bird private..ie specialist) to do something he "had the power" to do....

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Question for you. . . . .Destruction of evidence is a big no no, i.e. - violation of the law.  As a member of the military, a subordinate is only required to follow LEGAL orders and is actually prohibited from following illegal orders. . . if memory serves correctly.  Thus, the person that had the recording had also "screwed himself" in that he violated laws by following a direct order that was NOT a VALID direct order. . . .correct?  Thus, he is ALSO subject to prosecution if the "authorities" so desire.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

msp1672 says ...



Question for you. . . . .Destruction of evidence is a big no no, i.e. - violation of the law.  As a member of the military, a subordinate is only required to follow LEGAL orders and is actually prohibited from following illegal orders. . . if memory serves correctly.  Thus, the person that had the recording had also "screwed himself" in that he violated laws by following a direct order that was NOT a VALID direct order. . . .correct?  Thus, he is ALSO subject to prosecution if the "authorities" so desire.



That's kinda thin ice to tread on, and I doubt you'd go far in that case. I think you may be able to prosecute the NCO, but the private, I doubt it. The Army usually takes it to heart that privates are as dumb as a stump. When they say you shouldn't follow an illegal order, they generally mean something that you immediately know is wrong, i.e. Go Kill Private Soandso. Everybody knows that is wrong. Chances are the Sgt walked in on the private sharing the video with another private, and told him to delete it out of respect for the deceased or something like that.

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Right, if anyone would be targeted for prosecution or administrative punishment it would be the NCO who directed the private to destroy the evidence....as it should be

8494_bozo_pd_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

I think there is a different perspective that isn't being seen here.  We know that the video was evidence, but I'm going to say the NCO didn't have a clue.  I would be willing to bet the kid who took the evidence was showing his friends, the NCO saw that and ordered it deleted to prevent the YOUTUBE effect.  Military doesn't like their dirty laundry aired.  There is a bunch of stuff that goes on at military bases that nobody will ever know.  The military keeps it that way for a reason.  Think of recruitment, image, and the likes.  We, where I work have NCO's destroying evidence all the time. It's not ucommon practice. 


Photo's and video are prohibited to be taken by Law in certain areas of military installations.  Could it be that the NCO went overboard and applied a blanket policy to a specific law or regulation? Could it be that the NCO was doing the Public Affairs Officer a "favor". I can't answer, but I know from my many years working on a military installation that dirty laundry is never allowed outside the fenceline unless cleaned up by the PAO or too big to hide. 


PL Mentoring Team Member

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

msp1672 says ...



Question for you. . . . .Destruction of evidence is a big no no, i.e. - violation of the law.  As a member of the military, a subordinate is only required to follow LEGAL orders and is actually prohibited from following illegal orders. . . if memory serves correctly.  Thus, the person that had the recording had also "screwed himself" in that he violated laws by following a direct order that was NOT a VALID direct order. . . .correct?  Thus, he is ALSO subject to prosecution if the "authorities" so desire.



And it definately sounds like there needs to be some education process going on in WLC (used to be PLDC) to instruct new NCOs about certain legal aspects to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. NCOs have the authority to detain/apprehend, same as an on duty MP, there needs to be more education with that.


Its important to remember that the military by and large polices itself, especially when outside the USA. Military Police have no special credentials, many units form "Unit Police" (similar to the old Navy practice of a "shore party"), and commanding officers have certain punishment authority.

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

As this occurred (the original incident) on a military base and then I can only assume that the destruction of evidence ALSO occurred on a military base, then the obvious conclusion would be that state law does not pertain to this what so ever.  If my understanding is correct though, at the very minimum a JAG officer would be the determiner of how this played out in reference to the military's viewpoint. . .but with the federal courts having jurisdiction over the original terrorism crime itself, they might see the whole thing a little differently.


For some reason the federal agencies seem to have nothing to do but argue over whose turf this or that happened on, so I know the courts themselves won't let a lot of stuff like this fly.  I know it is all about the Benjamins but lets get real. . . .for the last 9 years all we have heard is how this agency had a piece of the 9/11 puzzle and that agency had a different piece of the 9/11 puzzle and on and on and if the agencies would have dumped ALL of their pieces onto the same board. . . .HEY, A PICTURE COMES ABOUT!  Would it have been the correct picture?  I don't know, but the red flags would have been there and visible for ALL to see.


Now comes along a terrorism incident on a military base and we find out that someone in the military may have destroyed a valuable piece of evidence. . .and under orders . . .don't think that is going to go over very well.  I guess only time will tell.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Prior to my time as an MP I served in the Armored Cavalry at Fort Irwin, and Fort Irwin was an active Army post BUT it was leased by the federal government by the state of California therefore california civilian laws DID pertain on Fort Irwin. I think its reasonable to conjecture that there are other active posts which are actually state property. We did at times have California highway patrol, Barstow Police, and San Bernardino County SD come on post and arrest Soldiers for civilian infraction with nothing more than a simple "we are coming on post to arrest this Soldier" notice to unit commands. Dont know if that is still going on there, but it was early to mid 2000s.


Something tells me though, with Ft. Hood, that is probably a purely federal installation.

Silver_warrior_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

I remember a cousin on the ex's side that had gone into the Marines a number of years ago and during our discussions on many topics, some were true, some he was trying to BS me on and others that I would not know if he was BS'ing or not.  One of the topics was about assaults on military people.  According to him, if Citizen A assaults Military Person B (simple assault), not only can Citizen A be charged with the assault through the local courts but the military would also want "Damage to Military Property" charges added on as that military person is military property until the contract is up.  As he is not the only one that I had heard that from, I have to wonder how much truth is in that claim.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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msp1672 says ...



I remember a cousin on the ex's side that had gone into the Marines a number of years ago and during our discussions on many topics, some were true, some he was trying to BS me on and others that I would not know if he was BS'ing or not.  One of the topics was about assaults on military people.  According to him, if Citizen A assaults Military Person B (simple assault), not only can Citizen A be charged with the assault through the local courts but the military would also want "Damage to Military Property" charges added on as that military person is military property until the contract is up.  As he is not the only one that I had heard that from, I have to wonder how much truth is in that claim.



Ive heard that before, personally have never heard of it happening. Civilian LE was always quick to remind us in California that 'in there, you all are military....out here, youre a civilian.'

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

Civilians with a little catch. . . .obviously depending on how bad the military needs a specific person will depend on how quickly things go through the court system if that person gets arrested for say. . . .OWI (our version of DUI).  Downside to that, from what I've been told, is that once you go through the civilian court system and for sake of the argument you get convicted. . . .that person not only has sentencing issues to worry about from the civilian court. . . .but also has just started their legal issues with the military.  From all of the military people that I've talked to, the civilian courts can only hold a candle to the military's punishment if the civilian court maxs out on all of the sentencing aspects. . . otherwise the civilian court can't hold a match to what the military starts with.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

I guess the question that I will eventually be getting to is. . . . .will this individual that killed his fellow soldiers be tried in federal court with the death penalty hanging over his head?  If convicted will he spend the rest of his natural life of 20+ years awaiting sentence to be carried out or will they just go ahead and carry out the sentence quickly?  If the federal court doesn't go as far as the military would like. . . .do they have a remedy of their own that they could inject into this individuals legal problems that would cause this individual to WISH he were dead?


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"