Friday, January 15, 2016

ActNow Worcester's Letter to Police Chief Gemme

To: Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme
From: Rich Aucoin, Act Now Worcester
Subject: WPD Police Reporting Protocols
Dear Chief Gemme,
I am a local civil rights advocate known for practicing Martin Luther King-style victimless protesting in the city.
On December 10th, I was wrongly accused by an angry public official at city hall of assaulting him. Officer Angela Consiglio responded to the call and talked me out of being arrested at the scene, saying it would be a waste of the department's time and resources. I heeded her advice and chose to leave without hand cuffs. However, a few days later I went to the WPD records clerk to see what had been reported by Officer Consiglio. The records clerk said that she could not provide me a copy of the report (#2015000123444) because I had been listed as a "suspect" by the responding officer and suspects are not allowed to see the reports. I persisted and three weeks later I was finally given a copy of the report by Lt. McKiernan, who said that Officer Consiglio had been forced by protocol to list me as a suspect, and that he understood my concern.

Several questions arise:

1. Why are WPD officers boxed into reporting all accusers as "victims" and all accused as "suspects," irrespective of the facts and circumstances found?

2.  When and how was this reporting protocol introduced?
3. Does the FBI or any other non-city entity have access to WPD police logs and/or reports?

4.  How do wrongly accused persons in Worcester go about petitioning for corrections to police reports that contain false or misleading information?

5. Why is the WPD records clerk required to automatically refuse copies of police reports to anyone and everyone listed as a suspect, even in cases involving no charges filed, no investigation pending, and even, as in my case, where the wrongly accused had offered, eagerly, to be arrested?

6. How many Worcester residents are currently listed as suspects?

7. How difficult would it be to notify all Worcester residents who are currently listed as suspects that the WPD has them listed as suspects and that, consequently, they may be denied access to certain public records?

8. Is there a sunset clause on suspect status or is it once a suspect, always a suspect?

Your responses will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Rich Aucoin
Act Now Worcester

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