[Vision2020] Hate Crime on the Palouse (Very Long)

Debbie Gray dgray@uidaho.edu
Mon, 07 Apr 2003 23:47:59 -0700 (PDT)


Donovan wrote:
> First, the minimum age of a GED graduate is not 17, it is at least 16. And
> the minimum age to smoke is 18 not 21. When I was 16, my brother was 18, a
> senior, and my sister was 20. That put many of them at 18 and 19. The
> reason that many of them took the GED was because they dropped out at 17
> or 18 and took the test, then came into the force 18, thus our age.

I didn't say anything about the minimum age of smoking or GED'ing. The
minimum age for MPD and LCSO patrol officers is 21. Most cities and
counties in Idaho are 21, though some ARE as low as 18. See:
http://www.idaho-post.org/EmployRpts/EmployRpts.htm for current minimum

Donovan wrote:
> The bottom line is, we knew who this kids were, what their names were, and
> they never finished High School. they were stupid, and asked us stupid
> questions

Perhaps your 'stupid' classmates were reserve officers instead of police
officers? That is a whole different classification. And I highly doubt
that even Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (of Hazard County fame) would put a
bunch of reserves in charge of a homicide investigation.

Donovan wrote:
> Personally, I think it is bad policy to allow anyone without at least a
> bachelors degree a badge and gun. It is stupid, and irresponsible.

You make the biased assumption that 'educated' equals 'smart'.  Therefore
all people without education are stupid? Why is it stupid and
irresponsible to allow anyone without a b.s. a badge and a gun? You don't
need a 4 year degree to be in the Secret Service or Border Patrol. You do
for the FBI, whew! Thankfully none of those people are 'stupid'. Most
police departments are moving toward requiring 2 years of college and some
require 4. I agree with that trend, and hope more departments become more
stringent in their requirements. This does not preclude the fact that
officers receive a great deal of training as a requirement of their job.
There are stupid cops. There are smart cops. There are stupid cops with
PhD's, there are smart cops with PhD's. There are smart criminals, there
are dumb criminals, etc. What is your point? Some homicides in Moscow have
not been solved. Does this justify the conclusion that 'Moscow cops are
stupid'? I think not. I know cops w/high school diplomas that are smarter,
more professional and make better officers than those w/master's degrees.
How does that apply to your preconceived box?

Furthermore, I am not clear on which crimes you are talking about, Wil
Hendrick or the student who hung himself or what? Either way, I don't see
how you have such privileged information into their investigation. I
certainly don't but would assume they didn't investigate Mr. Hendrick's
disappearance as a homicide from day one, rather they treated it as a
missing persons case. Looking back, perhaps that was not a good thing. But
neither would investing thousands of hours of work to all initial missing
persons reports. This does not make them stupid. It doesn't make them
right, or wrong. If they learn from it and change procedures that might be

As for the Iranian student who hung himself, I recall that a suicide note
was found and that his friends had said he had tried to hang himself once
before. How does that add up to racially motivated homicide? And how does
a suicide become a 'caused by discrimination suicide'? Suicide is a very
serious, personal decision that has many causes and that a person thinks
will bring various solutions to their seemingly overwhelming problems. A
very personal decision you trivialize when attributing it to simple

Donovan wrote:
> SO you explain to me why is that you defend the actions of the police
> department?

I am not defending or criticizing the actions of the police department. I
am SIMPLY analyzing/rebutting your statement that "half of the MPD had
GED's" and are therefore "stupid" (a favorite word of yours). I know
police make mistakes, just like every other person and profession. I also
know that it is much easier to take the path of least resistance and
yell about how stupid the police are and how incompetent they are and how
they are to blame for all crimes which happen rather than accept the
frightening truth that people die, people are beaten up, people are
threatened, people are killed in drunk driving accidents, harassed, etc.
EVERY SINGLE DAY and there is only so much that can be done to prevent
that. Why are you so angry at the police for all the terrible things that
have happened?

Donovan wrote:
> When you see people and your friends get beaten up, chased, and even go
> missing, when you see the police ask stupid questions and harass members
> of your family. When you see the police do nothing at all to stop this
> stuff,You can then come back to me and tell me what great and fair and
> wonderfully trained people that the Moscow police are?

Please don't assume what my life experiences with crime, victims of crime,
police officers, etc. have been. I also think you are asking a lot of your
police to prevent every crime from happening.

Donovan wrote:
> But I am sorry, you don't know what you are
> talking about

Isn't that the whole underlying theme of Vision2020. <haha>

Donovan wrote:
> I grew up in this town, and I know what they police do and
> don't do. Certainly they are not all bad people, but they do not take any
> intiative to make sure that all people in Moscow are safe and treated
> fairly. I attributed this to ignorance over prejudice, but thanks to you,
> I am starting to see that maybe they are smart but just don't care.

I'm sorry you have had terrible experiences with such people and events. I
think, have observed, and have experienced that the MPD and LCSO are made
up of a large majority of professional, competent and intelligent people
who take plenty of steps to provide security to residents. However, this
is not 1984/Big Brother and their actions are rightly limited by civil
liberties/personal rights. Unless you are willing to give up some of
those, you cannot prevent or solve many crimes. I am not calling for a
suspension of civil rights, either, so settle down.

Donovan wrote:
> You can hide behind all the documents you want, but until you actually go
> to High School here, grow up here, and experince being someone subject
> to the police, on both sides, you will never know.

Clearly I can never be an informed, active, contributive citizen in this
city since I did not go to high school here. Hahaha. Whatever.

Donovan wrote:
> I am just curious though, how it is that you can stand before the entire
> Moscow CIty Council on local Public television and say that the Moscow
> Nudity Ordinance is wrong because it puts the interpretation of
> enforcement on the Moscow Police Officers and then defend them when
> when they ignore investigations against missing gay students?

Umm. I have NO idea what you are talking about. I have never even attended
a Moscow City Council meeting and have certainly never been on local TV
talking about anything. And I certainly have never argued against the
nudity ordinance on those or other grounds. Apparently you have me
confused with someone else. I will not make a direct connection to other
confusions you may or may not have made.

Also... you mention 'missing gay students'. Are there more missing
students the uninformed masses of people who did not go to high school in
Moscow are not aware of, gay, straight, bi, transgendered or other?

Donovan Wrote:
> Yes, that was my point, you said they could not get in with just a GED,
> this proves otherwise.

No, I did not say they couldn't get in with just a GED. I said the minimum
age requirement was 21, meaning the minimum age requirement to be hired as
a police officer at MPD or LCSO was age 21. You misinterpreted it all to
mean something completely different. I know the minimum education level is
a high school diploma or a GED.

Donovan wrote:
> Many police officers don't stay, and thus they have to hire younger
> people, believe it or not, the Moscow Police Department does not pay
> much so young people join, get some experience, and then move to get
> more pay, even during a recession Moscow can't keep good cops because
> they pay so horribly

1. Honestly, you're preaching to the choir when you talk about the low
level of pay that police officers receive. And MPD makes a significantly
higher wage than LCSO.

2. Wrong. You assume that all good cops immediately flee the area to get
jobs elsewhere with better pay. Some people do that, others leave better
paying jobs to move here for the small-town, high quality of life, etc.
Others go to college here, graduate and find employment and recognize this
is a wonderful place to raise a family AND not get shot at 34 times a
shift. Regardless of pay.

Donovan Wrote:
> This is irrelevant, Kaminsky test is only 5 hours long, 8 hours if you
> take the specialized course. I hardly find this detailed and skilled training.

You are not reading what I wrote. The Kaminsky program is a METHOD of
teaching. The trained officers at MPD and LCSO use it in their 12 weeks
of field training to train others. And the training to learn how to train
(get it? Train the trainers? Teach the teachers?) is not 5 hours, it's a
5 day course. See:
http://www.kaminskyfto.com/index.htm for more info.

Donovan wrote:
> Well, wouldn't be hypocritical for me to defend the actions of a
> department that were ignorant, racist, sexist, or homophobic if I was
> against them?

You don't have to defend their actions. Conversely, you don't need to make
broad, uninformed statements about their training. And be consistent in
your statements. You've said:
1. One-half of MPD in 1991 only had a GED
2. A sizable number of officers on the streets in 1991 had just a GED
3. Maybe four or five officers had only a GED

Currently there are 35+ officers at MPD. So is it 1/2? A sizable number?
Four or five? And, I suspect maybe those you talk about were actually
reserve officers, could that be a possibility?

Donovan wrote:
>>How does 3PM on Friday sound? We can go to Moscow Police Department and
>>then the Moscow High School Library.

No thanks. I make it a practice to not meet complete strangers lest I end
up as another missing person that competent or incompetent police may
never find.


  Debbie Gray      dgray@uidaho.edu      http://www.uidaho.edu/~dgray/
  We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to
  have the life that is waiting for us." --Joseph Campbell