Shielded

Comments on the paper, the website, the mobile site and all other Isthmus-generated products go here.
Fat.The.Gangster
Forum Addict
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:05 pm
Location: Easy Street

Shielded

Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:17 pm

This is an amazing piece of reporting. Congratulations to Dylan Brogan, the Isthmus, and anyone else who worked on the story. Absolutely tremendous. While I disagree with the premise that the Department's failure to discipline him for hiding the rifle would have prevented Paul Hennan's murder--he would have still been working while the Department conducted its investigation or during the grievance process if he had been disciplined--the number and depth of interviews as well as the documentation show that he was a problematic officer, at best. The tenacity and patience to report this story is remarkable.

snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 15023
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:42 pm

Re: Shielded

Postby snoqueen » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:42 pm

I thought last week's piece on the energy grid (and much more) was excellent as well.

I know it's practically taboo to actually discuss Isthmus articles on the Isthmus forum, but it's important to note some of us actually appreciate the journalism.

This week's piece on the police department comes out not only on International Women's Day but also in the middle of the #metoo movement when women are revealing a lot of the harassment (not only sexual harassment) that comes with working in the real world. While the article wasn't presented in that light, it certainly fits.

gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 9850
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Shielded

Postby gargantua » Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:53 pm

snoqueen wrote:I thought last week's piece on the energy grid (and much more) was excellent as well.

I know it's practically taboo to actually discuss Isthmus articles on the Isthmus forum, but that doesn't mean some of us don't appreciate the journalism.

I didn't know that (the practically taboo part). Why would that be?

narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 4739
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:35 am

Re: Shielded

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:04 am

^ Yeah, I'm unaware of this too. I've mentioned articles before and never got much response but I just figured nobody cared.

Donald
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 2956
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:53 pm
Location: Madison
Contact:

Re: Shielded

Postby Donald » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:15 am

Yes, there has been a uptick in good journalism lately at the Isthmus. Isthmus is getting hard again. It had gotten bogged down in soft "lifestyle" features.

snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 15023
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:42 pm

Re: Shielded

Postby snoqueen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:46 am

gargantua wrote:
snoqueen wrote:I thought last week's piece on the energy grid (and much more) was excellent as well.

I know it's practically taboo to actually discuss Isthmus articles on the Isthmus forum, but that doesn't mean some of us don't appreciate the journalism.

I didn't know that (the practically taboo part). Why would that be?


Maybe narco said it better and nobody cared when the articles were mentioned. This doesn't seem quite fair -- after all Isthmus hosts this forum -- but you can't make people talk about something if they don't feel like it.

Doesn't mean no one read them or appreciated them.

gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 9850
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Shielded

Postby gargantua » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:57 am

Donald wrote: Isthmus is getting hard again.

He said "hard". Huh-huh-huh-huh.

Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 26655
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all
Contact:

Re: Shielded

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:38 am

Walter, We hardly knew him.

Bwis53
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 8353
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:39 pm
Location: Bay Creek
Contact:

Re: Shielded

Postby Bwis53 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:04 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Walter, We hardly knew him.
I wonder what he's up to and if he's being harassed...

Cadfael
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 2675
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:46 am

Re: Shielded

Postby Cadfael » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:13 pm

Hunh. The posting history sure doesn't fit the investigation results. It sure is easy for a bully to look like a nice guy if he wants to.

Yes, that's a good piece of journalism. And brave. That's going to piss off at least a few Madison cops and I'm sure none of them are happy that they've just aired their dirty laundry in public, even if that's what they should have been doing in the first place.

The thing that really annoys me is that they gave Heimsness "a full state disability retirement" but are barely giving Anderson anything. She may or may not be a good fit for the job but turning her into a pariah for a minor fuckup wasn't the way to integrate her into the force. As with a whole lot of jobs that claim to be flexible, the truth is that people who don't fit the current corporate social structure get hazed and harried out of the job until someone with the "right" social skills and attitudes shows up.

gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 9850
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Shielded

Postby gargantua » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:33 pm

I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts about this article. I imagine that it must have been difficult to write about it in an objective matter.
First of all, we have the benefit of hindsight in knowing that Paul Heenan shouldn't have died that night. We know about Heimsness's record. It's certainly relevant. I think that the article got the basic facts right and presented them well. I do have a concern about the opinions of Ms Anderson. She had a beef with Heimsness, and while it may be justified, she's not exactly an objective source. I guess my problem with it is it seems to want to wrap it up in a bow with "this wouldn't have happened if only they'd gotten that awful cop off the streets ".
We can't know that. We may have had the same result with a different cop. Advancing on a cop, in the middle of the night after being ordered to stop, pretty good chance the officer will shoot you.

Madsci
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1693
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Shielded

Postby Madsci » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:59 pm

Walter was a dirty cop - get over it.

Amelia Royko Maurer
Senior Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Shielded

Postby Amelia Royko Maurer » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:35 am

gargantua wrote:I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts about this article. I imagine that it must have been difficult to write about it in an objective matter.
First of all, we have the benefit of hindsight in knowing that Paul Heenan shouldn't have died that night. We know about Heimsness's record. It's certainly relevant. I think that the article got the basic facts right and presented them well. I do have a concern about the opinions of Ms Anderson. She had a beef with Heimsness, and while it may be justified, she's not exactly an objective source. I guess my problem with it is it seems to want to wrap it up in a bow with "this wouldn't have happened if only they'd gotten that awful cop off the streets ".
We can't know that. We may have had the same result with a different cop. Advancing on a cop, in the middle of the night after being ordered to stop, pretty good chance the officer will shoot you.


We can know that.

1. Had Heimsness been investigated, they would have found this and taken him off the streets:

On Oct 5th 2012, Officer Stephen Heimsness wrote to a colleague on the MDC computer: "i'm going to kill somebody. Dispatch, coworkers, who ever," That was 3 days after hiding Sarah’s gun and traumatizing her, which is unethical, amoral and against the law.


On Oct 9 2012, Officer Stephen Heimsness wrote to a colleague on the MDC computer:
”I’m ready to go on a shooting spree up in dispatch" That was 1 day after Heimsness lied to his superior about stealing and hiding Sarah’s gun, which is unethical, amoral and against the law. 1 month before killing Paulie.


2. MPD cops almost never kill unarmed disorderly people. The greatest mistake MPD has made with Heimsness is not treating him like the anomaly that he was and is with regards to how he handled a disorderly person in the night and especially while knowing his back up was there. MPD cops don’t normally shoot unarmed disorderly people by day or by night whether they are alone or with back up. But instead of letting Heimsness be the anomaly he was and trying to eliminate the possibility of having that happen again, they chose to pretend he was the standard while Ozanne pretended Paulie’s behavior was the anomaly. What’s insane is they got away with that nonsense for a little while until Sarah came back again and pretty much forced them to investigate. They still didn’t change voluntarily.

As the story shows - speaking out in Oct 2012 cost Sarah dearly and worse in 2013 and still no one had heard her story. MPD made an example of her by allowing Heimsness to go untouched, destabilizing her internal work environs and forcing her out for not tolerating it. The city and police union backed MPD up by abandoning her. Now, MPD is fighting her duty disability. They really want to send a message, it seems and based on the stories of women in the dept, it’s working. Hopefully they and others having to tolerate bad cops will speak out now that Sarah has paved the way...alone.

Sarah’s work was held in high regard prior to Heimsness’s behavior towards her. Anyone who thinks that the destabilization of a cop's internal workforce environment wouldn’t cause some form of trauma is an idiot on the subject or, they're being coerced into saying dumb things so they don’t lose their job. Ask cops who have blown the whistle. Ask Serpico and Beckmann. Ask Sarah Anderson.

david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 2200
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

Re: Shielded

Postby david cohen » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:37 am

I hope "Walter" is getting the necessary counseling and is leading a productive life in the wake of this tragedy. Kudos to Isthmus for dredging up all of this. I hope Sarah is getting counseling too. I hope Heenan's friends and the family whose home he invaded got counseling too. Shit happens in life and you have to learn how to move on.

gozer
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 4926
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 1:35 pm
Location: everywhere
Contact:

Re: Shielded

Postby gozer » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:51 pm

Amelia Royko Maurer wrote:
gargantua wrote:I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts about this article. I imagine that it must have been difficult to write about it in an objective matter.
First of all, we have the benefit of hindsight in knowing that Paul Heenan shouldn't have died that night. We know about Heimsness's record. It's certainly relevant. I think that the article got the basic facts right and presented them well. I do have a concern about the opinions of Ms Anderson. She had a beef with Heimsness, and while it may be justified, she's not exactly an objective source. I guess my problem with it is it seems to want to wrap it up in a bow with "this wouldn't have happened if only they'd gotten that awful cop off the streets ".
We can't know that. We may have had the same result with a different cop. Advancing on a cop, in the middle of the night after being ordered to stop, pretty good chance the officer will shoot you.


We can know that.

1. Had Heimsness been investigated, they would have found this and taken him off the streets:

On Oct 5th 2012, Officer Stephen Heimsness wrote to a colleague on the MDC computer: "i'm going to kill somebody. Dispatch, coworkers, who ever," That was 3 days after hiding Sarah’s gun and traumatizing her, which is unethical, amoral and against the law.


On Oct 9 2012, Officer Stephen Heimsness wrote to a colleague on the MDC computer:
”I’m ready to go on a shooting spree up in dispatch" That was 1 day after Heimsness lied to his superior about stealing and hiding Sarah’s gun, which is unethical, amoral and against the law. 1 month before killing Paulie.


just how common is it for police officers to write this kind of thing on an internal network where people can see it, much less utter it? it could be somewhat common -- not being a police officer i wouldn't know, and from what we know it is a well-nigh-unto-impossible and comparatively thankless job to start with made even more difficult by politicians, states attorneys, headline grabbers in the vortex of publicity and all that micro-managing and looking out for their own narrow and often inimical interests . . .

still, i think a large percentage of the public would have been alarmed reading -- from anyone, not to mention a police officer -- especially the 09.x.2012 message back in the uucp days or on fidonet or the mainframe messaging systems preceding the unix wall(1) command years ago, long before it became such a common thing for people to go on rampages, which certainly does seem to be something of a new type emerging in the xxi. century -- even the ringiest anarchists of the first third of the previous century or members of organised crime groups never were able to bring themselves to shoot down random citizens in their dozens with guns* in broad daylight, and surely not kids . . .

then there is the human resources/conventional workplace harassment/political terrorism/gaslighting angle: lord knows anyone with any reason to want the officer out of the way or some kind of payback could use it for a breathtaking amount of leverage . . . if they really wanted to sack the guy, someone could have complained to personnel that he or she heard the officer say something similar, and then the narrative fills itself in -- easy as pie and as quick as a hot knife through opium . . . at that point, one may not even need the facts if they get in the way of a good narrative . . . but they had reason to know he was trouble and nothing happened . . .

---
* which may be part of that issue: the experts are of the opinion that it is easier, psychologically, for a murderer ostensibly to kill people with dynamite than it is with a gun, after all, they need not even be present . . . and probably easier with a gun with a long effective range and especially a high cycle rate, and either that or a pistol may be acceptable for someone who would never consider trying to stab or strangle 50 people . . . . so u lower the boom until these kinds of mass-casualty events stop, i guess . . .


Return to “Comments on Isthmus & isthmus.com”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests