Newly Released Docs Show Retired GPD Detective’s History Of Misconduct

The following report chronicles eight internal investigations, three civil lawsuits, three citizen complaints and two news stories related to former Geneva Police Detective Brian Choffin, who retired in July 2020.

Choffin served under three police chiefs during his career: Frank Pane, Jeff Trickler, and current Chief Mike Passalacqua.

Top (L-R): Former GPD Chief Frank Pane, Former GPD Chief Jeff Trickler, Current GPD Chief Mike Passalacqua. Bottom: Former GPD Detective Brian Choffin

All of the civil lawsuits in this report resulted in settlements between the City of Geneva and the plaintiffs, although the amounts of any monetary settlements are not disclosed.

In some cases, names and other information have been redacted from the attached documents, and one name has been replaced with a pseudonym in the accompanying summary.

Some readers might find this information to be deeply concerning, considering Choffin’s responsibility as a detective to investigate alleged crimes and provide courtroom testimony in many of those cases, and the system that allowed him to continue serving in this capacity for years.

*Warning: This article includes graphic language and descriptions.*

January 12, 2007 (Civil lawsuit)

A civil lawsuit is filed by Brian D. Barlow of Shortsville, NY for injuries he sustained during a controlled drug buy in January 2005. Three Geneva Police officers, who were later identified in court documents as Detective Brian Choffin, Officer Carmen “Scott” Reale, and Sergeant Randall Phillips. are accused in the lawsuit, along with two Ontario County Sheriff’s deputies.

According to court documents, Barlow was working as a confidential informant in a staged “drug buy” that took place in Phelps. Barlow stated that he told the two deputies he had previously broken his left wrist, and if he was “arrested” during the staged buy, officers should exercise care.

After the “buy” took place, the suspect and Barlow drove to a nearby convenience store parking lot. According to court documents, this surprised the GPD officers, who decided to make the arrest immediately, rather than wait to pull the vehicle over between Phelps and Manchester as originally planned. Barlow claimed that his wrist was re-broken by the arresting GPD officer, even after Barlow told the officer that his wrist had recently been broken.

In 2009, the case was dismissed by Judge Charles Siragusa, but on August 18, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit sent the case back to federal court in Rochester.

In a September 20, 2011 Finger Lakes Times article, Choffin accused Barlow of lying and claimed that Barlow ate lunch with the arresting officers at the Village of Phelps Police station, which Barlow denied.

Former GPD Detective Brian Choffin

“Brian Barlow is totally fabricating this entire story,” Choffin said in a recent e-mail to the Times. “We have never been to court on the matter and have never even been subpoenaed.”

“We all ate lunch together, even Brian Barlow,” Choffin said. “When we were done eating lunch, myself and P.O. Reale gave Barlow a ride back to his apartment. Not once did he complain about pain or injury.”

Barlow said he didn’t have lunch with the officers after the buy and found his own way home.

 

“I’ve heard the story about eating pizza,” Barlow said. “That was a freaking lie. I didn’t have pizza with them. We got to the jail in Phelps and I was screaming in pain and told them to take these damn cuffs off. He took the cuffs off and it swelled up.”

Although Choffin seemed to vividly recall several specific details about the day of Barlow’s “arrest” more than six years prior, he told the newspaper that he could not remember who actually handcuffed Barlow.

The article also reported  that Barlow was “seeking $10 million in damages, claiming he underwent three surgeries to repair his wrist and couldn’t get a job.”

On June 1, 2015, both parties agreed to a settlement.

On October 13, 2015, a “stipulation of discontinuance” was filed, and the lawsuit concluded more than 8 1/2 years after it was filed by Barlow.

Less than one year later, Brian Barlow passed away at age 59.

May 20, 2011 (Civil lawsuit)

Around 10:30pm on May 20, 2011, five Geneva Police officers stopped a vehicle with three passengers near the intersection of N. Exchange Street and Buffalo Street. The police were seeking to speak with the passenger in the back seat, an unarmed 34-year-old black man named William “Corey” Jackson, about a robbery that had occurred earlier that day.

Officers Brian Choffin, Steven Vine, Randall Grenier, Nicholas Bielowicz, and Carmen Reale “had blockaded the roadway and stopped the vehicle pursuant to a pre-existing plan.”

Police ordered all three passengers from the car, and the two-front seat passengers exited the vehicle, but Jackson remained in the back seat, “surrounded by a cadre of police officers who were heavily armed, with semi automatic weapons and assault rifles.”

Sgt. Carmen “Scott” Reale fired a shot through the vehicle’s rear window, hitting Corey Jackson in the head. Two days later, on May 22, Corey Jackson died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

In early July 2011, an Ontario County grand jury ruled that the use of deadly force was justified in the killing of Corey Jackson.

On June 29, 2012, The Estate of Corey Jackson brought a civil action against Brian Choffin, Carmen Reale, Steven Vine, Nicholas Bielowicz, Police Chief Frank Pane, and the City of Geneva for the killing of Corey Jackson.

In 2013, Jackson’s family was offered a $40,000 settlement, which they declined.

In August 2016, a settlement conference was held.

On December 6, 2016, five and a half years after the killing of Corey Jackson and four and a half years after the civil action was filed, attorneys for both sides agreed to file a “stipulation of discontinuance” to end the case.

July 1, 2011

Lieutenant Jeffrey Trickler becomes the new Geneva Police Chief, succeeding Frank Pane.

Former Geneva Police Chief Jeff Trickler

March 15, 2012 (Internal investigation)

Choffin received an “Employee Warning Record” from Lt. Eric Heieck instructing him to “refrain from Emails, comments or suggestions that create a hostile or questionable workplace, specifically between that of Detective & Supervisors.” The warning was the result of Choffin’s participation in an email thread with several GPD officers, including future Chief Mike Passalacqua.

July 19, 2013 (Internal investigation)

Choffin was suspended for three days without pay for his actions during an investigation into a disturbance at a city residence. The suspension was the result of an internal investigation.

According to the letter from Chief Trickler informing Choffin of the suspension, Choffin “failed to control (his) temper while engaging in an argumentative discussion…after being told to leave the immediate area by (Trickler) and Sgt. Valenti…in front of several other officers…and numerous onlookers in the community.” Trickler added that Choffin’s behavior “had the potential of escalating a volatile situation.”

According to internal investigation statements from officers on the scene:

Matt Valenti: “On (date redacted) at or about 12:54pm, all units responded to a Disturbance in progress on (address redacted). Upon investigating the incident it was determined that the victim had run into (address redacted) with a head injury…the victim was located hiding in the basement.

(The victim) stated that he was fine and that an unknown male struck him in the head with a hammer…(The victim) was speaking with Officer Felice in the kitchen of the apartment and had a good demeanor with Officer Felice…(The victim) was walking through the living room of the apartment (with Officer Felice and) Det. Choffin looked at (the victim) and stated “Keep smiling Fuck Face”…Det. Choffin stated something to (the victim) along the lines of selling drugs.”

Mike Passalacqua: “Detective Choffin told (the victim) he was a piece of shit and told him to get the “fuck” outside…”

Kenneth Greer: “At this point Det. Choffin walked back towards the 4-5 subjects sitting on the couch area and other officers left the apartment. I remained in the front living room area. Det. Choffin stated to the subjects “Who are we going to arrest today?” One subject stated “We didn’t do anything” and Det. Choffin responded “You can all be arrested for endangering the welfare of a child because there is a baby here.” At this point, Det. Choffin began to argue with a subject that was sitting on the couch about the whereabouts of (the alleged assailant). I could not hear what was being said at this point, but I could tell that all the subjects on the couch were becoming angry. I then walked to the open front door to signal to P.O. Felice to come inside the residence for safety reasons due to the fact that myself and Det. Choffin were the only ones inside the apartment at this time.”

Former GPD Detective Brian Choffin

Mike Passalacqua: “When Detective Choffin got outside to the front porch he immediately was yelling for (the tenant)…Once Detective Choffin located her, he told her that he was going to take her kids away from her and came off the front porch and approached her.”

Matt Valenti: “I was outside the apartment on the sidewalk… when Det. Choffin exited the apartment and yell(ed) something to (the tenant) about “us taking her kids”. I do not remember the exact words. (The tenant) immediately looked in our direction and yelled “Chief! Chief! Do you hear him?! He’s harassing me!””

Eric Heieck: “(Detective Choffin) continued to chide and demean (the tenant) with his words while being told to stop by both Chief of Police and on-duty Sergeant.”

Matt Valenti: “I clearly heard (Chief Trickler) advise Det. Choffin several times to walk away from and to stop talking. (Chief Trickler) then began to speak with (the tenant) and Det. Choffin continued to say things to (the tenant). I then walked over in an attempt to remove Det. Choffin from the area.

Mike Passalacqua: “Detective Choffin disregarded both the Chief and Sergeant Valenti and kept verbally harassing (the tenant). Detective Choffin told Sgt Valenti, “I don’t care Matt, she knows where (the alleged assailant) is and that’s what this is all about.”

Matt Valenti: I put my hand on Det. Choffin’s shoulder and stated “Brian, let’s go. Get away from the Chief.” Det. Choffin did then look at me and stated “Don’t put your hands on me Matt”. I again advised Det. Choffin to stop and leave. Det. Choffin just stood there staring off and I could tell that he was angry. That is when (Chief Trickler) turned around from (the tenant) and advised Det. Choffin again to leave which he complied.”

In his response to his three-day unpaid suspension, Choffin inexplicably stated that his actions were “due to circumstances that were beyond (his) control.”

“Due to circumstances, that were beyond my control on that date, I acted unprofessionally. That is not an excuse and my actions on that date will never happen again…My punishment is well deserved and it will never happen again.”

October 21, 2013 (Internal investigation)

Choffin received an “Employee Counseling Memo from Lt. Eric Heieck for his actions related to an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of October 20, 2013.

According to the heavily-redacted documents related to the incident, two Geneva Police officers were dispatched to a city residence at 1:13am after a call from a resident who reported two individuals, including Choffin, were at her location and refusing to leave. After GPD arrived, Choffin and the other individual left, and the victim declined to give a written statement.

Heieck’s counseling memo to Choffin stated in part:

(In) an off-duty status you (Choffin) proceeded to (the location)…at a late hour in an attempt to gather information…The report further indicated that both you and (unnamed individual accompanying Choffin) smelled of alcohol.

 

Your presence at that residence involved members of the Geneva Police Department including Sergeant Middlebrook to respond to said location.

 

Your actions are viewed in a manner that brought discredit upon yourself and this department…Your conduct was inappropriate and brought discredit upon yourself and this department in direct violation of General Order 305, RULES OF CONDUCT, SECTION 3-A-2a UNBECOMING CONDUCT, contained in the Geneva Police Departments Police and Procedural Manual…Your actions could have compromised your position with the Geneva Police Department.

The documents related to this incident that were received in response to the FOIL request do not indicate whether any discipline was recommended or imposed by Trickler.

July 12, 2014 (NY Times Investigation)

An investigative report entitled “Reporting Rape, And Wishing She Hadn’t” is published in the New York Times. The piece, by reporter Walt Bogdanich, describes the alleged assault of an 18-year-old Hobart William Smith freshman (“Anna”), and the aftermath of the incident.

The article addressed the response to Anna’s complaint by Hobart and William Smith, the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office, and the Geneva Police Department, specifically an “error-filled report” by Choffin that was sent to the prosecutor.

“Detective Choffin mischaracterized witness statements, put the words of one student in the mouth of another, and stated that he “never saw any discrepancies or alterations” in what the two football players told the authorities, even though they had initially lied about having sexual contact with their accuser. And while Anna’s blood-alcohol tests had been done many hours after she last had a drink, he also stated unequivocally that her level “would not make a person impaired to the point of blacking out.”

 

The detective defended his report, which disputed much of Anna’s account, calling it “thorough and based on facts.””

In response to the New York Times story, Geneva Police Chief Jeff Trickler stated “I can tell you that Detective Choffin and Lt. Heieck worked tirelessly on this from start to finish.”

March 21, 2016 (Citizen complaint)

A citizen complaint accuses Choffin of failing to return the citizen’s driver’s license and New York State benefit card after an arrest.

According to the complaint, the complainant was having a heated phone conversation when Choffin arrived and asked the complainant for identification. After giving Choffin his driver’s license and benefit card, the complainant was arrested, and later released after being given an appearance ticket for a 2nd degree harassment charge. However, the complainant’s identification cards were not returned.

On July 5, 2016, the complaint was resolved when Trickler sent a letter to the complainant stating the following:

“During the course of the investigation the items you reported missing were located and returned to you. It was concluded the items were misplaced by officers during the course of your arrest.”

The documents related to this incident that were received in response to the FOIL request do not indicate whether any discipline was recommended or imposed by Trickler.

April 11, 2016 (Citizen complaint)

Choffin is named in a citizen complaint related to an incident on October 16, 2015.

According to the complaint, a woman arrived at the Geneva Police Department after her son (“James”) was arrested for attempted burglary. At the window, the woman was told by Officer Potter that her son was “on something, he is out of his mind.”

Shortly thereafter, the woman spoke with Brian Choffin who stated that her son was “on something bad and is out of control.” The woman then told Choffin that her son had been struggling with drug addiction. But rather than provide medical assistance to “James,” Choffin  transported him to the Ontario County Jail.

From the complaint:

Knowing (“James”) was under severe drug intoxication he was transported to the Ontario County Jail by Detective Choffin. Instead of bringing my son to the hospital to be observed for drug overdose he sat in jail until his breathing was shallow. He was transported to FF Thompson where he stopped breathing two times.

According to a statement from the co-defendant who was transported to the jail in the same vehicle as “James:”

“James” and I where (sic) in the back of Chaufan’s (sic) car both heavily intoxicated on Xanax when I looked over and seen that “James” was drooling and appears that he was nodding out. I said something to Chaufan (sic) and his words were “If he pukes I’m cleaning it up with his shirt and putting it back on him.”

 

We then finally pull up to OCJ (Ontario County Jail) and we both get out of the car and could not walk at all. It took both of the officers to drag him into the jail…If the officers were to let go of him he would of fell straight to the ground.

Former GPD Detective Brian Choffin

The complainant also stated:

While out on bond my sons friends have been pulled over for no reason, harassed for no reason, I myself have been followed and tailgated by police, they sit outside my sons job and my house quite often. Detective Choffin uses his power to intimidate, harass citizens of Geneva.

On September 8, 2016, the internal investigation into Choffin’s actions related to the case was completed, and two of the eight allegations within the complaint were sustained.

  1. That the condition of the arrested suspect at the time of his interview and/or incarceration was poor or involved intoxication and/or stupor.
  2. That Detective Choffin and Detective Vine did fail to render first aid or provide necessary medical care to the arrested suspect.

In a letter to the complainant dated September 2, 2016, Chief Trickler assures the complainant “the officers will be dealt with internally by my office,” but the FOIL request did not include the release of any documentation of discipline being recommended or imposed by Trickler related to this incident.

November 22, 2017 (Civil lawsuit)

A lawsuit is filed against the City of Geneva, Geneva Police Department, and Detective Brian Choffin. The complaint states that an African-American man (“James”) from Geneva was experiencing “severe drug intoxication” after being arrested, and that Choffin denied the man adequate medical attention by transporting him to the Ontario County Jail instead of the hospital.

From the complaint:

…When the Plaintiff’s mother told Defendant Choffin that she was going to call the Plaintiff’s lawyer, Defendant Choffin threatened the Plaintiff’s mother by saying “you call his lawyer and I will make sure he [the Plaintiff] hangs by his balls.”

 

Moreover, Defendant’s Choffin’s conduct (as described above) was driven by racial animous and hostility. When explaining his treatment of the Plaintiff, Defendant Choffin told the Plaintiff’s mother “that’s what you get for being a nigger lover….

On October 18, 2017, court documents state that a settlement agreement had been reached.

On January 2, 2019, the case ended when a “stipulation of discontinuance” was filed.

November 2017 Complaint and Summons

October 2018 Mediation Certification/Settlement

January 2019 Stipulation of Discontinuance

December 21, 2017 (Internal investigation)

Choffin received a 5 day suspension for pointing his TASER, with the laser activated, at GPD Sergeant Tyler Turner on June 2, 2017 inside the Public Safety Building.

Turner completed a “City of Geneva Workplace Compensation Program” form for injured workers after the incident.

According to Chief Trickler’s letter to Choffin related to the incident:

…you entered the Sergeants office with a TASER and pointed the taser in the direction of Sergeant Turner who was sitting at his desk. You further had the laser activated. Sergeant Turner stated that he observed a flashing red light on his chest and when he looked up the laser was on his face. Sergeant Turner complained of (redacted).

 

The pointing of the TASER in the direction of a fellow officer was reckless and was not the intended use of the department issued equipment or in accordance with established departmental procedures regarding the use of the TASER.

GPD Sergeant Tyler Turner

The documents related to this incident that were received in response to the FOIL request do not specify whether the suspension was paid or unpaid, and do not indicate whether any discipline was recommended or imposed by Trickler.

April 9, 2018 (Internal investigation)

Choffin receives an Employee Warning Record/Employee Counseling Memo from Lt. Valenti for failing to properly log and store two cell phones that were obtained as evidence in a 2nd degree murder investigation.

(Redacted) was arrested for Murder 2nd. During the booking procedure all of his property was taken and secured. Among that property was his IPhone which was taken for evidence purposes. (Redacted). The IPhone was never logged into evidence, instead it was put into your case file in your office. It has been 4 months and the IPhone was never logged into evidence which turns into a Chain of Custody issue in Court.

 

Also there was a grey LG smartphone in a case with a note that read (redacted) in you (sic) mailbox for several months. This phone was also not secured into evidence.

 

This type of carelessness and substandard work is in direct violation of General Orders 905 Property and Evidence Management.

The documents show no indication that Chief Trickler recommended or imposed discipline for this incident.

May 25, 2018 (Internal investigation)

Choffin receives an Employee Warning Record/Employee Counseling Memo from Lt. Valenti for failing to conduct interviews, obtain depositions, and properly follow through on a criminal investigation.

“After the Search Warrant you subsequently arrested (redacted) for CPM 4th and closed the case out. You stated in your report that Officer Eveland would have additional charges, even though the case was assigned to you.

 

You failed to continue the case further, locate and interview the owners of the possible stolen items, obtain depositions from the owners and pursue further criminal charges on (redacted). This type of carelessness and substandard work is in direct violation of General Orders 305 Rules of Conduct.”

The documents show no indication that Chief Trickler recommended or imposed discipline for this incident.

July 27, 2018

Lieutenant Mike Passalacqua becomes the new Geneva Police Chief, succeeding Jeff Trickler.

Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua

May-December 2018 (City of Geneva website)

According to the Internet Archive, Choffin’s job title changed at some point between May 18 and December 6, 2018.  Choffin was no longer listed under Command Staff as a Detective, and was now listed as the department’s Court Liaison Officer.

April 25, 2019 (Internal investigation)

Choffin receives an Employee Warning Record from Lt. Jeff Potter for using a city communication network to send a message to seven other GPD officers that included “insolent language” that “ridiculed” Lt. Matt Valenti, a superior officer.

Valenti had conducted the two most recent internal investigations into Choffin and provided Employee Warning Records in both cases.

On the morning of February 4, 2019, you used the (redacted)board to send a message to the following signed-on officers; Lt Potter, Sgt Keyser, Det Colton, Det Winter, SRO Arroyo, Officer Peters, Officer Tapscott, in which insolent language towards Lt Valenti was written, which ridiculed a superior officer, while using the City’s network and (redacted) send said message.

GPD Lieutenant Matt Valenti

The documents show no indication that Chief Trickler recommended or imposed discipline for this incident.

November 13, 2019 (Internal investigation)

Choffin is suspended for two days without pay after an internal investigation finds that he failed to properly tag and save body camera footage, and then lied about it.

According to a letter to Choffin from Chief Passalacqua, the investigation started after Lt. Matt Valenti emailed Choffin and several other officers on October 7th, 2019 and requested that those officers properly tag and save Body Worn Camera videos within their Evidence.com accounts.

(The videos in question were recorded on August 28th, 2019 when Choffin was assisting
another officer on a warrant arrest. The videos were not uploaded, meaning the Body Camera was not docked, until 22 days later on September 19th, 2019.)

After no action was taken by Choffin, Valenti emailed Choffin again on October 9th with the same request to tag and save the videos.

After no action was taken by Choffin, Valenti sent another email on October 16th, after which the videos were tagged by Choffin.

In addition to Choffin’s failure to follow the Body Worn Camera policy, Choffin was found to have lied to Valenti when asked about his failure to tag the videos:

In a response letter to Lieutenant Jeffrey Potter you stated that you did in fact try to tag these videos from your smart phone but failed to hit save after doing so. Evidence.com produces audit trails for every video which is recorded within the system. Every time a video is accessed, either by a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer an audit entry will generate showing the date and time amongst other information of when the video was accessed no matter if the user saves any tagging/category/ID information. Your audit trail does not indicate that any of the videos were ever accessed prior to October 16th, 2019 which was the date Lieutenant Matthew Valenti sent a third email to you…

 

…As part of this investigation a test video was produced. That test video was accessed via a smartphone and was closed out without first saving what had been done. On the audit trail far that test video, a record of the video being accessed was present, as it should be, which is further proof of your untruthfulness regarding the videos in question and you saying they were accessed but were not saved by you.

 

It is also worth noting that 16 other officers were emailed originally along with yourself regarding the tagging of videos. Compliance was gained by all of the other 16 officers’ after the request was initially made.

In his response to the internal investigation and his subsequent unpaid suspension, and in the face of undeniable proof that he had lied to Valenti about his failure to save the videos, Choffin refused to admit that he had lied:

“I still stand that I did not lie, nor would I lie to you in regards to the issue of the body camera video.”

Choffin also requested that he be allowed to serve his unpaid suspension during his scheduled Christmas vacation, and that request was approved by Chief Passalacqua.

June 30, 2020 (Finger Lakes Times article)

In a Finger Lakes Times article, Choffin makes the false claim that police training budgets have been “cut year after year.” A review of annual budget documents from the City of Geneva’s website showed that training budgets actually increased by a total of  $19,087 between 2016 and 2018.

July 30, 2020

Brian Choffin retires from the Geneva Police Department.

September 15, 2020 (Citizen complaint)

An investigation into a citizen complaint against Choffin results in three “sustained” violations of the GPD General Orders .

The complaint, filed by this author (Geneva Believer founder and editor Jim Meaney), was in response to a dozen comments Choffin made on a post on the Geneva Believer Facebook page. 

Choffin had been making inflammatory posts on social media for several weeks before the complaint was filed.

The complaint was filed on July 6th, but the investigation was delayed. Choffin retired on July 30th, so he faced no discipline or consequences for this complaint.

Within an approximately 20 minute span, Choffin:

  • falsely claimed that I had been fired from two previous jobs,
  • repeatedly called me a “liar” and  a “hoax,”
  • claimed that the city attorney and the city’s attorney “on retainer” were preparing a lawsuit against me on behalf of him for libel and defamation.
  • challenged me several times to meet with him face to face,
  • made a reference to where I live,
  • made a reference to where I work

The three sustained rules violations and their explanations were:

G.O. 305 (Rules of Conduct) III. Rules of Conduct

“Simply, the conduct of Brian Choffin during this social media engagement are not professional in any manner. His comments put the Geneva Police Department, and himself as a police officer in an unfavorable light, which drew attention of random posters. As a sworn police officer, Brian Choffin is held to a higher standard and did have the resources to know this was violating the department’s General Orders.”

 

G.O. 307 (Social Media), IV, Procedure

“When engaging in this thread, Choffin failed to represent the Geneva Police Department’s core values and Mission statement. This was a public comment, on a public thread and Choffin commented nonfactually and libelous. Choffin’s comments did negatively affect the public perception of this department as confirm by a random comment by (redacted).”

 

G.O. 307 (Social Media), IV Procedure

“This policy was violated when Choffin mentioned (Mr. Meaney) ’s personal employment history and clearly commenting in a fictitious manner. The information of (Mr. Meaney)’s employment history is not public and Choffin has no direct knowledge of this.”

Chief Mike Passalacqua (R), Detective Brian Choffin (L), Geneva Police Department

Believe!

One Comment on “Newly Released Docs Show Retired GPD Detective’s History Of Misconduct”

  1. Thank you for this thorough reporting on the failures of the GPD as institution (basically keeping Choffin on regardless of accumulating offenses) and of the individual. Without a robust Police Accountability Board or Police Review Board, sociopaths like Choffin endanger not only citizens (and particularly Black citizens) but also fellow officers. This report indicates that there is no substantial disciplinary action that the GPD takes as Choffin continued to harass and assault others. The police union no doubt supports Choffin–there is a glimmer of a suggestion that the City Attorney’s office prefers to pay off victims rather than to prosecute sociopathic officers like Choffin . . . such action is certainly coming at the behest or pressure of the police union. One wonders just how much the city is paying out to victims to silence them from having a day in court and how much the city is paying for Choffin’s pension (no doubt with substantial health care). This report should not be read as in support of the “few bad apples” theory about the failure of policing; the sheer number of incidents regarding Choffin indicate that it is institutional. Furthermore, in the case of Corey Jackson for example, Choffin is not the only officer involved, nor is he the one who pulled the trigger. In fact, it took the whole department to pull the trigger–in fact it takes the whole village/city to do that. As long as there is no accountability, as long as the police are funded to the excessive levels that they are, and as long as the city continues in its racist city planning, this shit will continue unabated.

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