BLAINE, MN – Seems like we can’t go one week without a politician threatening to fire police officers for doing their jobs.
OK, allegedly threatening – but this one’s all on body cam.
Police say that Richard Aluma Paul, a city councilman in Blaine, Minnesota, crossed the line from being a concerned dad to becoming a problem when he threatened an officer’s job for arresting his son on a warrant, court documents say.
Paul, 52, council member for Ward 3 in Blaine, was charged with misconduct of a public officer or employee and code of ethics – standard of conduct, stemming from an incident Nov. 3, 2021, according to the criminal complaint filed in Anoka County. The charges are misdemeanors.
The Blaine City Council on Thursday will meet in special session to talk about comments Council Member Richard Paul allegedly made in connection with misdemeanor charges he faces for threatening police officers who arrested his son. https://t.co/HnRVElGNLD
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) March 10, 2022
On the night of Nov. 3, officers from the Blaine Police Department stopped a man who was riding a bike without a headlamp, rear lamp or any reflective equipment. According to the complaint, when the officers stopped him and told him the reason for the stop, he told them his name was Joseph Richard.
When officers ran his name, they found an active warrant for theft out of Anoka County. The complaint noted that while he was being searched, Joseph Richard told officers that his father was a councilman for the Minneapolis suburb.
He then called his father to see if he could pick up his bike so it wouldn’t have to be impounded.
During the phone call, Joseph Richard told officers that his dad wanted to talk to them. While on the phone with the officers, according to the criminal complaint,
Richard Paul identified himself and then ordered the officers to bring his son home.
The responding officer explained that his son had a warrant out for his arrest and the only place they would be bringing him was the jail.
According to the complaint, the officer “continued to try to explain to the defendant that he could not bring his son home and defendant continued to tell him to release his son and began to threaten” the officer. Paul then told the officer:
“Don’t force me to do the other thing.”
When asked what he meant by that, Paul allegedly said:
“What do you mean, what do I mean?”
Documents say that when the officer asked Paul if he was going to pick up his son’s bike and backpack, Paul responded:
“I’m going to call the chief and you gonna be out of work.”
He then hung up the phone.
A short time later, as the officers were putting the bike into the squad car, Paul arrived on the scene and blocked the northbound lanes with his car. According to court documents, he then got out of his car and began demanding that the officers release Richard from custody. When the officers told Paul that they couldn’t do that, he told them:
“You’re out of work.”
The officers continued trying to work with the angry father, telling him that he could go to the jail that night and bail his son out. Instead, though, Paul allegedly told the officers:
“If I go tonight, you’re both going to jail.”
When the officers asked Paul what he meant by the statement, according to the complaint, Paul wouldn’t explain and got back into his car.
But Paul wasn’t driving away to cool off; he wasn’t done. Instead, he allegedly drove his car in front of the officers, again insisting that Richard be released, threatening:
“It’s gonna be easy or it’s not gonna be easy.”
The officers exhibited infinite patience with him, offering to help put Richard’s bike into Paul’s vehicle. The city councilmember declined and then drove off, according to the criminal complaint.
A spokesperson for the city of Blaine confirmed to Minneapolis station KARE 11 that Paul is an active member of the city council.
Blaine Mayor Tim Sanders released a letter to residents, assuring them that the incident between Councilman Paul and two Blaine police officers would not go unaddressed. He stated that the incident pointed out a weakness in the city’s charter regarding public officials who run afoul of the law.
According to the city’s charter, the city council does not have the power to remove Paul from office. Sanders stated:
“There have been many requests or inquiries on consequences for Councilmember Paul. The Blaine City Charter dictates the criteria for vacancies on Council but does not provide authority for the Council to independently remove an individual member.
“This situation has brought to light the confusing and limiting language in our City Charter around member removal.
I am asking the Charter Commission to research and review this issue and consider an amendment to our charter allowing language for residents to be able to recall and replace councilmembers if future conduct of members rises to that level.”
Mayor Sanders told KARE 11 that the city council would address the incident.
Speaking to a reporter, Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany said he has reviewed the body camera footage and the officers conducted themselves with integrity. He said:
“We’ve received multiple comments and contacts from citizens who have expressed concern in regards to the incident involving Council Member Richard Paul. We also expect a lot of our officers, who conducted themselves with the integrity that should be expected of law enforcement.”
The maximum sentence for misconduct of a public officer or employee is a year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine. The maximum sentence for a code of ethics – standard of conduct misdemeanor charge is up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Law Enforcement Today will update this story to include the disposition of the councilman’s case.
‘You are going to regret doing this’: Top city official arrested for DUI, threatens officers with arrest
December 31, 2021
NEW ORLEANS, LA – A senior official with the City of New Orleans was arrested for DUI along with other charges on December 17th.
Officers allege that the suspect threatened them with arrest if he was not released from jail.
As a former exec of the short term rental company contributing to our housing crisis, Peter Bowen should never have been given a role in the @mayorcantrell admin. Now he's been arrested for a DWI and threatened an officer. He must be fired. https://t.co/ak7pnXTdYr
— Daniel José Older (@djolder) December 30, 2021
The New Orleans Police Department reported that they had arrested the Director of New Orleans Office of Business and External Services, Peter Bowen, for allegedly drunken driving on December 17th.
Bowen was also charged with reckless driving, driving on a roadway laned for traffic and no proof of car insurance.
While any type leader being arrested for any crime makes news, it is especially notable when that leader, Bowen, reportedly conducts themselves in the least professional manner possible during that arrest.
Reports from the New Orleans Police Department allege that Bowen was verbally abusive, uncooperative, and threatening during the investigation.
The New Orleans Police Department responded to a vehicle crash near the intersection of Dumaine and Chartres Streets.
When officers arrived on scene, they discovered a truck had struck three different cars and support posts for holding up a balcony on a French Quarter building.
When officers contacted those involved, they were allegedly informed the driver of the truck that caused the crash was Bowen. Officers contacted Bowen who allegedly was asleep behind the wheel of the truck.
Officers allege that when they were able to wake up Bowen, he began fumbling through the truck looking for some type of badge to show them. Bowen then alleged demanded the officers contact the New Orleans Police Superintendent, Shaun Ferguson.
Officers allege that Bowen went further and told officers:
“You are going to regret doing this.”
Officers attempted to get Bowen to comply, however, he instead allegedly told officers that he could bench press 400 pounds and would not be cooperating.
Left with no evidence to dispel their fear that Bowen’s faculties were impaired to the point that he could not safely operate a motor vehicle, he was placed under arrest.
New Orleans Police Officer Larry Adams reported that Bowen was unhappy with being arrested and even told the officer that the cop he would be arrested if he refused to allow him to go free. According to the report, Bowen said:
“[He] was close friends with Superintendent Ferguson and that Officer Adams would be put in jail if he was not released.”
Officer Adams noted that Bowen attempted to escape while in the backseat of the police vehicle by pulling on the handle (which is disabled in a cop car) several times. When the door would not open, Bowen allegedly pulled hard enough that the handle broke.
Bowen also became belligerent while being transported from the scene after his arrest by kicking and banging his head in the backseat. The officer noted:
“[Bowen] was kicking the passenger doors repeatedly as well as slamming his body and head into the divider between officer and prisoner.”
Bowen was transported to the Tchoupitoulas Street which is a New Orleans Police Department DUI testing office for processing. Bowen allegedly refused to be cooperative at the facility by refusing to sit when directed and began taunting officers.
In the cells, Bowen’s actions took a stranger turn when he allegedly threw himself on the ground while handcuffed, apparently to harm himself. The report claimed that Bowen’s actions were “much like a fish” out of water.
Carnival coming#sonder #airbnb #cityofyes #peterbowen #NewOrleans pic.twitter.com/2W5sBzubJx
— NOLA Contendere (@lafcadiohearn2) December 29, 2021
New Orleans Democratic Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s communications director, Beau Tidwell, advised her administration is aware of Bowen’s arrest. Tidwell advised that Bowen has been suspended from his post without pay and released the following statement:
“The Mayor’s office is aware of the incident, which is under active and ongoing investigation by the NOPD. Mayor Cantrell expects full accountability in this matter.”
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