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May 17, 2024 37 mins

Molly, Mia, and Shereen celebrate National Police Week by deconstructing some of the myths about line of duty deaths and sharing the stories of several of the officers being honored this week.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Cool Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:04):
Hello, and welcome back to It Could Happen Here. I
am once again your occasional host Molly Conger joining me
today for a very special episode. Are my friends and
yours Scharen and Mia So Sharin Mia. We're here today
to honor and reflect upon a very somber and important holiday.
It is May fifteenth, as we are recording this today,

and today is actually recognized the world over as Knackba Day,
a day to remember the first Nakba, the founding of
the state of Israel, and the forest displacement of the
Palestinian people. And this year, as a new Knakua continues,
as the genocide is being committed against the Palestinian people,
it's more important than ever to remember that these atrocities
did not start last year. But that isn't the memorial

day I invited you here to talk about. Here in
the United States, the holiday officially on the books today
is not knack Ba Day. It is National Peace Officers
Memorial Day. In nineteen sixty two, President Kennedy signed a
proclamation establishing May this National Peace Officers Memorial Day and
the week it falls within as National Police Week. It's

an entire week to honor and commemorate the brave boys
in blue who've lost their lives in the line of duty.
And I can't think of a better way to spend
this afternoon with both of you than to talk about
how this holiday is celebrated and to share some of
these incredible stories of courage and sacrifice. So one of
the most frequently cited sources during Police Week and year

round when you're talking about the mortality rate of police
officers is a website called the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Highly encourage you to visit it, make an account, browse
the pages. The website is run by a nonprofit organization
by the same name and has had tax exempt status
since two thousand. According to their IRS Form nine nineties,
the tax form that tax exempt nonprofits have to file annually,

they're pulling in around seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars
a year, a third of which goes directly toward executive compensation.
And why why shouldn't someone make a quarter of a
million dollars annually to do such important work? Public records
show the website's founder, Chris Cosgriff, is a police officer
himself in Fairfax County, Virginia. Available salary data from twenty

eighteen shows him making a policeman salary of about sixty
nine thousand dollars. According to his LinkedIn page, Cosgriff still
works for the Fairfax County Police Department as a recruiting
supervisor the officer down memorial page. Tax documents show he
paid himself a paltry twenty four thousand, five hundred dollars
in twenty twenty three as the executive director of the nonprofit,
though they list key employee compensation at an expense of

two hundred and fifty thousand dollars that year, with no
indication of who's being paid that remaining two hundred and
twenty five thousand dollars or what that person's position is.
When the organization received a thirty thousand dollars PPP loan
in twenty twenty, they indicated on their loan documents that
there were five employees at the organization. I'm not an accountant,
so I won't hazard any kind of guesses here, but

I am having trouble making sense of that twenty twenty
four nine ninety, which lists five company officers by name
and only Cosgriff is drawing his salary. He paid himself
fifty thousand dollars that year. So that same document from
twenty twenty shows that the organization had expenses of two
hundred thousand dollars for compensation of officers, but it doesn't
say where that remaining one hundred and fifty thousand dollars went.

Speaker 3 (03:16):
Hmmm, I worry.

Speaker 2 (03:20):
Maybe they have a secret employee that they're not counting.

Speaker 3 (03:24):
His son, his wife, his other wife.

Speaker 2 (03:28):
The website indicates that donations to the nonprofit go towards
maintaining the website, making posts on their Facebook, maintaining the
site's companion mobile app, and historic research, claiming that their staff, again,
those five people have uncovered records of over two thousand
fallen officers that otherwise would have been forgotten to time.
The site has memorial pages for officers who died as

far back as seventeen seventy six, so it's as old
as America.

Speaker 4 (03:52):
That's that's not.

Speaker 2 (03:54):
Real, it's not We didn't actually really have what is
considered modern policing back then. So they're really kind of
stretching definitions, are they including.

Speaker 4 (04:04):
Like people that went after slaves, like you know what
I mean?

Speaker 3 (04:07):
Yeah, it's yeah. Tax collectors.

Speaker 2 (04:11):
Yes, olive stretching, Yes, a lot.

Speaker 4 (04:15):
You want to go that far back, but I mean,
do you.

Speaker 2 (04:19):
Donations also help fund their No Parole for cop Killers program,
which tracks the cases of the people they call convicted
cop killers and flood local parole boards with letters advocating
against release. The donation page claims to have sent out
over ten thousand such letters in the last six months alone.
They also have a merch page where you can buy
a lovely trio of thin blue line Christmas ornaments in

a gift box for the low reasonable price of sixty dollars.

Speaker 4 (04:47):
Jesus, out of all the things I thought you were
going to say, I did not think you were going
to say, Christmas ornaments.

Speaker 2 (04:53):
Oh yeah, beautiful, beautiful memorial ornaments. You can get them customized.

Speaker 5 (04:57):

Speaker 2 (04:59):
The site list information about American law enforcement officers, prison employees,
and police dogs who have lost their lives in the
line of duty. Kind of see. While the website is
the source cited in every local news puff piece when
May fifteenth rolls around every year, putting their version of
the numbers in the headlines, the organization's stats don't match
those in the FBI's annual report on the subject an

official annual report called the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and
Assaulted or LEOCA Report. The data used by the FBI
is collected as part of the uniform Crime Reporting system,
and if you take just a minute to look at
the Officer down Memorial page's annual data, the reason for
this mismatch is immediately clear. They're padding their numbers by
including deaths by natural causes on duty, deaths due to

accidents or incidents unrelated to the officer's duties, and they're
including law enforcement adjacent personnel that the FBI does not
consider to be law enforcement deaths in their reporting. The
FBI's LEOCA report has really clear criteria for inclusion. To
be considered a law enforcement line of duty death, the
must have been a duly sworn law enforcement officer acting
in their official capacity at the time of their death,

So they have to be a real cop, somebody who
carries a badge and a gun and has full arrest powers.
And the FBI specifically excludes death binatural causes like heart
attacks or COVID deesth the occurred on duty, but quote
attributed to their own personal situation, such as domestic violence,
neighbor conflict, et cetera, which like that they have to

list that by name. If you died doing a domestic
violence in uniform, that doesn't count. How often is that happening?

Speaker 3 (06:33):
Yeah, I hope people who killed them are getting parole, like.

Speaker 2 (06:36):
Good God, right, Like if your wife kills you while
you're beating her, but you're on the clock, the FBI says, no, dice.
They also specifically note that they do not include corrections officers,
Bureau of Prisons officers, bailiffs, judges, probation and parole officers,
or US attorneys and assistant US attorneys. So just cops,
not the people who sort of work in the industry

around them but are not.

Speaker 4 (06:58):
Cops, not people that basically are cops, like actual cops,
you know, and actual cops.

Speaker 2 (07:03):
Yeah, And the FA is really aware clearly that the
numbers on the ODMP get cited more often than their own,
because the FBI's Crime Data Explorer page offers this weasly
little caveat quote. The FBI's LEOCA program is one of
a number of entities that report information concerning line of
duty debts and or assaults of law enforcement officers in
the United States. Each organization has its own purpose and

may use different methods to collect and report information, or
focus on somewhat different aspects of these important topics. Therefore,
care should be taken not to compare LEOCA data to
data provided by other entities, such as the Officer down
Memorial page. So they're specifically saying, we know these numbers
don't match. We know these numbers don't match because a
few years ago we gave them a few hundred thousand

dollars in grant money to make numbers that are fake.

Speaker 3 (07:50):
Wow. Incredible Wow.

Speaker 2 (07:53):
So the ODMP is patting out their numbers with off
duty accidents, prison guards, parking lot, heart attacks, and COVID deaths.
The database includes nearly nine hundred COVID deaths, causing massive
statistical anomalies in their twenty twenty, twenty twenty one, and
twenty twenty two data, they include officers who died of
natural causes years after sustaining minor on the job injuries, which,

you know, if you're involved in a civil lawsuit after
the death of a loved one, you could maybe argue
that this was sort of a you know, a downhill
kind of thing if you're trying to getting a settlement
from the state. Maybe you could say that, you know,
the injury sustained contributed to the death, but that's you
can't tell me that slipping in the parking lot and
then dying six years later is an experience unique to
the dangers of law enforcement. A district attorney who flipped

his car after hitting a log that fell off a
truck on the highway on a Friday night is not
a law enforcement line of duty death because that not
only was that not a cop it was a single
car accident. And when DeSoto County Search and Rescue Director
Deputy William Nichols went on a beach vacation and took
his family into the ocean despite red flag riptide hazard
condition warnings, he lost his life trying to rescue his son.

And that's very sad, But drowning on vacation is not
a line of duty death. When Indiana Department of Natural
Resources Sergeant Ed Bowman and his friend drowned in the
middle of a frozen lake while ice fishing, that wasn't
a line of duty death. It's just a sad accident
while dudes were hanging out.

Speaker 3 (09:21):
These people they really, they really should have a bad
time around water float.

Speaker 2 (09:32):
There is a shocking number of drowning deaths where the
cop just like the second his feet caught when he
just disappeared. Don't get them wet. It's not a gremlin situation.

Speaker 4 (09:42):
Include swimming in the cop test, right, I don't know.

Speaker 3 (09:47):
I mean, these people barely know how to point their guns, like,
expecting them to be able to swim is the standards
or that that's a bit too high of a standard
for them.

Speaker 2 (09:56):
Wan to be fair, most of these deaths are single
car accidents. One guy died after t boning a school bus.
The children were fine.

Speaker 3 (10:04):
The children, Oh, thank god, Okay, thank god.

Speaker 2 (10:07):
Oh and so, rather than a detailed statistical analysis relying
on uniformly reported official data, the ODMP relies on user
submitted content. So people are submitting things and then Wikipedia. Yeah,
Wikipedia for bootleggers, no, no thanks. But when National Police
Week rolls around, it's their inflated numbers in every infographic,

not the FBI's methodologically consistent data. And if I'm being generous,
you know you could write that off on the ease
of access to the data on ODMP. It's very user friendly.
It shows you a little picture and a bio of
each officer. It's very easy to use. You can search
by year, agency, cause of death, state, or an officer's name.
It's not a wall of small text with little data

tables and links to zip files of more data tables.
The FBI's report is ugly, and it's uncompelling, and it's
sort of overwhelming to navigate if that's not something you
are interested in doing, so I don't want to be
too hard on the twenty two year old news anchors
scrambling to put something on the screen at six o'clock.
The officer down memorial page makes it a matter of
a few easy clicks for your local news anchor to
find a handful of local interest stories to run on

May fifteenth. But the people who run the website know
exactly what they're doing, and it's an intentional ideological project
to perpetuate the myth of the courageous, noble policeman doing
America's most dangerous and thankless job, a job that is
uniquely and outlandishly perilous, standing apart from any other profession,
and that that's not true. That's not true. And for

this I take you to another government agency's annual reports,
the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Speaker 3 (11:41):
Oh, I love this report. This is the best one.

Speaker 2 (11:46):
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently reported, I'm talking,
you know, for the last thirty years, consistently since the nineties,
a fatal workplace injury rate for police officers of around
fourteen per one hundred thousand full time equivalent employees. You know,
it varies year to year, but it's consistently a little
under fourteen per hundred thousand. And of course, yes, that

is higher than the national average for all labor categories.
So for all workers in the US, the workplace fatality
rate is about three point seven per hundred thousand. So
the cops are dying at a rate of four times
higher than the average worker. And of course it's more
dangerous if your job requires driving all day most of
these cops die in car accidents, or if your job

involves mishandling a firearm every day. Of course it's more
dangerous to do that than it is to do data
entry or be a cashier. I mean, obviously we do
not have a high mortality rate for the average desk job.
But while it is more dangerous than being a receptionist,
policing doesn't even crack the top ten for most dangerous professions.

Loggers are seven times more likely to die on the job.
Roofers are more than four times more likely than a
cop to die due to a workplace incident. Being a
fisherman is more than three and a half times more
dangerous than being a cop. General construction work is more
than three times more dangerous than police work. Delivery drivers
are more than twice as likely to die at work

than a cop. It is more dangerous to be a
day laborer on a farm picking fruit or to drive
a garbage truck. Being a cop has a similar level
of risk of death by workplace incident as being a groundskeeper,
So it is about as safe as being the guy
that cuts the grass at the park.

Speaker 3 (13:24):
Yeah, and I think there's a real issue with a
labor reporting for like the category of farm worker, because
whenever you see data that says like farm worker, that
can either mean someone who's actually a farm worker, or
it can mean like a guy who sits in an
air conditioned office every day. And even the buer of
labor sistics is not very good at actually sifting those

out because there's been a sustained effort by like farm
owners to make sure this data is like as non
transparent as possible. So I am I will say, I
am fairly confident. I cannot say this is nasty effect.
I am confident that farming is actually significantly more dangerous
than the real Labor Statistics says, so like it is
so much more dangerous to like pick your food that

it is to be a cop.

Speaker 2 (14:11):
And because I think for a lot of industries there
is a lot of incentive to under report workplace accidents,
I think policing is one of the only industries where
they are incentivized to over report accidents. Right, So the
data is I mean, even for as skewed as the
data may be at the point of entry, it's still
a lot safer to be a cop than it is
to drive a truck.

Speaker 4 (14:31):
And this is with the numbers of them like falling
into a puddle.

Speaker 3 (14:35):

Speaker 2 (14:36):
Well, so I think the buera of labor statistics is
probably using something closer to the FBI numbers, okay, which
is still I mean, you know, on the.

Speaker 3 (14:44):
Other hand, cops are the biggest babies about this in
the entire world because.

Speaker 2 (14:50):
They get paid leave. If every time you had a
booboo at work. You could just go home for a week,
you'd do it too.

Speaker 3 (14:57):
Yeah. But also, I mean, just like in the media,
it's like these people never shut up about how dangerous
their job is, and it's like your job is more
safe than like most of the actual hard jobs people work,
like please shut up? Oh my god.

Speaker 2 (15:14):
And the one thing that all those jobs have in common,
aside from requiring you to be braver, smarter, and stronger
than a cop, they don't typically come with platinum level healthcare,
paid leave for minor booboos, state subsidized life insurance, a pension,
a discount at the coffee shop, and a license to kill.

Speaker 3 (15:32):
You know what else has a license to kill?

Speaker 2 (15:34):
Okay, I was gonna say, but before we get into
really honoring our boys on this special day, I think
we should take a quick ad break that is hopefully
not an ad for the Washington State Patrol. Okay, And

with all that background out of the way, would you
care to join me in commemorating some of the officers
our nation is honoring this National Police Week.

Speaker 4 (16:06):
This is what I came here for.

Speaker 3 (16:08):
Yeah, so excited.

Speaker 2 (16:10):
Now, before we get into the handful I picked out
for us today, I want to be really clear for
the boys over at the officer down memorial page, because
their website specifically prohibits the use of their content for
commercial purposes. So I will say I found these names
on their website, but I don't trust their methodology enough
to take their content at face value, so I wouldn't
use it as a source anyway, even if I were

allowed to do that. So for each of these vignettes,
I pulled original contemporaneous local reporting on the incidents, and
in some cases, actual court records, so you can't get me.
In twenty ten, Saint Joseph, Missouri police officer Dan Dacry
was participating in a training exercise. During a break, he
and another officer put down the training weapons they've been using,

which were loaded with something called simmunition, so simulated ammunition.
It's not real bullets, it's a plastic, non lethal object
that goes in the gun. Before leaving the training facility,
which was a recently closed elementary school, to walk to
a nearby convenience store to get a soda, the officers
put down their training weapons and holstered their duty weapons,
so to walk down the street to get to the

seven eleven they needed their real guns. So they put
their real guns back on in case they encountered any
emergency situations. Yeah, in case, you know, in case they
saw it. We'll get to a dog. So they holstered
their duty weapons. Upon returning after their break, drinks in hand,
Officer to Cry asked his colleague, officer Jason Strong, to
shoot him with a simmunition round because he wanted to

know what it would feel like.

Speaker 5 (17:42):
Oh my gosh, that's just a beautiful desire, you know,
just curious. He's just curious, you know, a good day
would be curious. And so Officer Strong drew his weapon
and shot Officer to Cry in the back. I guess
they both forgot that they put their real guns back

on and not their training weapons. So I don't know
if you ever probably know this, but the if it's
not a real gun, if it has fake bullets in it,
if it is a training object, it has an orange tip.

Speaker 4 (18:15):
I was going to ask that. I was going to ask,
you can't look identical to a real gun.

Speaker 2 (18:19):
They're easily visually distinguishable for an important reason. And I
guess he didn't look so he pulled it out and
shot him in the back, and the officer Decry died
later that day.

Speaker 3 (18:30):
Wow incredible.

Speaker 2 (18:33):
Later reporting on the incident indicates the department did say
they were going to revise some of their policies regarding
standard procedure for checking weapons in and out at training exercises.
So you have to check your weapon in when you
get your toy gun, and then you check it back out.
They did not do that previously, but they revised those
procedures and declined to comment further. The officer who killed

Dan Decry was not charged and remained with the department.
Officer Deacraie's family received a settlement of three hundred and
seventy six thousand dollars from the City of Saint Joseph. Again,
settlement money does not come from police departments. It comes
from the municipality. It comes from just the taxpayers. It
does not affect the police's budget to do this.

Speaker 4 (19:12):
That enrages me.

Speaker 3 (19:15):
You know, to give to give credit to that guy
though actually hitting your cop hitting their target on the
first shot is pretty remarkable. That that is a shooting
the guy in the back on the first tries a
pretty remarkable feet of cop marksmanship, so he might have
been maying for his knee though that's true. We don't
know he was hitting for the back.

Speaker 2 (19:35):
It's just remarkable. I just want to know what it
would feel like.

Speaker 4 (19:38):
I wonder how close he was too. He must have
been close.

Speaker 2 (19:42):
Yeah, I imagine there was sort of a conversational distance.

Speaker 4 (19:44):
That's insane. That is just I cannot well, wow, well.

Speaker 2 (19:50):
Well, our next story of a cop who should not
have gotten wet, it is not actually even about a cop.
In two thousand and seven, David Polling d in the
Ohio River Polling, who's thirty two at the time, had
previously been employed as a police officer with the Gallipolas
Police Department and at a different time as a sheriff's

deputy with the Galia County Sheriff's Office. So by thirty two,
he's been both a police officer and a sheriff's deputy,
but he is neither of those things anymore. In two
thousand and seven, he was working as a parole officer.
In the reporting from the time, it's not actually clear
why he was present, but he was nearby when a
police officer stopped a pedestrian on the sidewalk and firsked

him because he suspected this man may have just come
out of the house where he believed drug deals were
being conducted. So he's doing a stop and frisk on
a guy mined in his business. The man was not
charged with a drug offense when this was all over,
so I guess they didn't find drugs. But during the encounter,
the man bolted and Polling, who again had a cop
just a guy who's nearby, chased after him. The man

jumped into the Ohio River, and Polling jumped in after him.
The suspect, Joseph Hair, made it quickly to a small
island in the middle of the river, but pulling immediately
after hitting the water, sank and disappeared.

Speaker 3 (21:09):
No, he did not.

Speaker 2 (21:11):
It took hours for divers to recover his body.

Speaker 4 (21:14):
When you said they didn't float, that wasn't a joke.

Speaker 2 (21:17):
No, he just disappeared like the second the water he
was just gone.

Speaker 4 (21:21):
That is its comical. I can't believe that's real.

Speaker 2 (21:25):
Like did he did he know? He couldn't swim, like he.

Speaker 4 (21:32):
Just sucked down to the bar.

Speaker 3 (21:33):
It's it's so good too, because it's like, you know,
you could attribute this to just purely like the first
story of a drowning where it's like Okay, the cop
clearly went into a situation he shouldn't have been in
because he's a cop and doesn't think about, oh wait,
the ways you get to kill me. But like, no,
clearly this river was symable, the other guy made it.

Speaker 2 (21:52):
The other guy was fine. Well, the other guy was
fine until they charged him with manslaughter and he did
four years in jail.

Speaker 4 (21:58):
Oh but wait, this is the guy that didn't have
was in charge with drugs but was charged with man.

Speaker 3 (22:04):
Kind of manslaughter because the other guy jumped in.

Speaker 4 (22:08):
Wait for manslaughter for the cop that sunk.

Speaker 2 (22:11):
Yeah, yeah, wow, But like some guy who's not even
a cop is just chasing you. That's kind of on him. Yeah,
he was convicted of manslaughter.

Speaker 4 (22:20):
That is I hate that. But also can you just
to imagine just this cop like Mario jumping into like
a river and just completely just like like the video
game sound and he at the bottom, And.

Speaker 2 (22:37):
You do have to wonder how he had worked for
two different police agencies and then didn't work for either
of any more by the age of thirty two.

Speaker 3 (22:46):
I did.

Speaker 2 (22:46):
I did a little looking. I couldn't find anything about that,
but it's it's an unusual career trajectory.

Speaker 3 (22:51):
Yeah. Yeah, it's like he's getting bounced down to lower
leagues every time. It's like, are you that it's you're
a like, it's how do you screw that? Up?

Speaker 5 (23:03):

Speaker 2 (23:03):
It would seem that he wasn't a cop anymore because
he wasn't allowed to be a copy. Yeah, and now
this third one is the one that I had in
mind when I first started writing this episode, and it's
really just, on its surface, kind of the perfect encapsulation
of this foolish project. Right. It's got a guy getting
shot in the crotch, it's got a cop trying to
kill a dog. It's got a dirty cop. It's got
a cop staying on the force after a string of

expensive mishaps. This is just policing. But when I started
looking for primary sources about this incident, actually just kept
getting weirder. And now I'm kind of down a new
rabbit hole of got some requests out for more documents,
Like I'm gonna figure this out. Something happened here. But
before I tell you about Officer Henry Macalene and Junior,
we'll take another quick ad break, all right. I hope

he used that ad break time. Not only did about
products and services, but to reflect on the sacrifice of
the parole officer who drowned in the Ohio River. On
August twenty first, two thousand, Miami Dade Police officers Henry
Macalene and Junior and his partner Itala Elias responded to
a request from a home alarm company to check out
what turned out to be a false alarm at a

residential home in southwest Miami. Arriving on the scene, they
found no sign of a break in, nothing unusual, and
no one answered the front door. Normally a cop would
probably just leave. They don't really like working. They don't
really like doing their jobs. It's hard and it's boring,
and they have candy crush to play Molly.

Speaker 4 (24:36):
It's dangerous. It's dangerous.

Speaker 2 (24:39):
It was a weekday, afternoon in a nice neighborhood in Miami,
but the home belonged to a retired Miami Police detective,
so they took you know, they did the extra mile. So,
after determining there was no sign of the breaking out front,
no one answered the door, they went around the back
of the house and entered the backyard, where two rottweilers
quote came running at them. According to a South Florida

Sun article that week, Machaelinn pulled out his expandable baton
and began beating the dogs. Well, they were really just
doing their job in their own backyard.

Speaker 4 (25:10):
Yeah, yeah, like.

Speaker 3 (25:11):
That that's the noble thing that happens when you walk
towards a dog. Is it runs towards.

Speaker 4 (25:16):
You're invading its territory. You shouldn't be there.

Speaker 2 (25:20):
You gotta figure a guy who has a home alarm
system and two rottweilers like that is that dog's job?

Speaker 3 (25:25):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I keep thinking about that. Uh that
picture of Mike Bloomberg when he was running in twenty twenty.
They were like he just grabs the dog's face.

Speaker 2 (25:35):
Oh yeah, where It's like there's.

Speaker 3 (25:38):
Just something like on a fundamental level, like we co
evolved with this animal, and like if you like cannot
do the basic this is a dog and your response
is like I'm gonna grab his face, or your response
is I Am going to beat this dog up with
a baton, like you have somehow fundamentally failed at like

the process of being human.

Speaker 2 (26:01):
And also like if the dogs are immediately reacting to
your presence in the yard and they were not previously
reacting to anything. Maybe you could assume there was no
break in. Maybe you could assume the dogs have it
covered and you maybe don't break into the yard. But
our boy, Henry, he's beating these dogs with a stick,
and I guess maybe he was struggling, so his partner,
Officer Elias, drew her service weapon and attempted to shoot

the dogs as he is beating them.

Speaker 4 (26:26):

Speaker 2 (26:27):
Now, we talked before about some problems with aiming, right,
Cops don't have great marksmanship when you're talking about a
little complicated physical situation. Right, they're sort of entangled. The
dogs are small, the man is big. She shot him
in the dick. So he's beating these dogs. She shoots

him in the groin. It doesn't say what happened to
the dogs, but it doesn't indicate she fired her service
weapon multiple times, so maybe she just shot him and
then put it up. He was airlifted to the hospital
to undergo emergency groin surgery, and he did survive.

Speaker 5 (27:05):

Speaker 2 (27:06):
Officer Mackleenen continued to serve with the Miami Dade Police
Department for another sixteen years, and he was still with
the department when he passed away in twenty sixteen. At
the age of sixty six. His own obituary does not
list a cause of death, only that his wife was
at his bedside for thirty six days before he passed.
The first mention of Mackleenan's passing being a line of

duty death is in a National Police Week local news
piece the following year, which lists his cause of death
as accidental gunfire. A year later, in twenty eighteen, a
Police Week story indicates that he was quote killed by
gunfire on the date that he died in twenty sixteen.
It's not until years later that you start to see

claims that his cause of death was due to complications
from the sixteen year old wound. So it's not clear
where that claim even originated. But he did die sixteen
years after being shot, and during those intervening sixteen years
he was well enough to continue to serve on the force.

Speaker 4 (28:07):
I mean, if you know, if the family went with
that lie, maybe they got money out of it.

Speaker 3 (28:12):
I don't know.

Speaker 2 (28:14):
I guess it's possible.

Speaker 4 (28:16):
Well, I mean, there was what other motive is there
other than I don't know.

Speaker 2 (28:21):
I see an indication that there was a wrongful death
lawsuit after he died. He did file a civil lawsuit
in two thousand and four against the homeowner retired Miami
detective Heyesu's caames, but that was dismissed and he didn't
even recover attorney's fees. He didn't get anything out of that.

Speaker 3 (28:36):
Wait, so he tried. So he started beating two dogs
with the baton, and his partner shot him in the balls.
Tried to hit the dog, and he tried to sue
the guy whose house you broke into. I mean, this
is incredible.

Speaker 2 (28:52):
If the guy, if the homeowner, hadn't been a retired
potentially dirty cop. I found some articles in the eighties
alleging that this so not alleging in the in the eighties,
this officer Haes Whu's Karamas, who is deceased now, but
was suspended briefly during an investigation into a ring of
Miami officers who were trafficking cocaine. Of course, I don't

know how that turned out. Well, I mean probably it
went fine, like well, yeah, he didn't get fired because
he was still on a force in nineteen ninety seven
when he shot a guy during a traffic stop. Wow,
but no, his his lawsuit against the homeowner, the alarm company,
and the woman who shot him. The cop did not succeed.
Did not succeed.

Speaker 4 (29:34):
I mean, at least there's that he loved being a
cop so much getting his or did I say Crosser cop?
He loved being a cop so much as Crosser shot
off and that didn't stop him. I didn't stop him.

Speaker 2 (29:48):
I do have a request into the court clerk in
Miami to see if I can so. The documents are
so old that they're not all uploaded on the court website,
but I would like to see the original civil complaint
because maybe it goes into more detail about or the
severity of his injuries and the ways in which that
he truly suffered from this. Maybe that'll give us some
more insight into how it killed him sixteen years later.

So hopefully hopefully the clerk in Miami gets back to
me with that, because I do want to know what
happened to the dogs.

Speaker 4 (30:13):
Oh yeah, that's all I really care about there now.

Speaker 2 (30:16):
The officer who shot Macleena in the crotch, Etala Elias,
had been on the force for about five years at
the time of the incident. In that time, she had
wrecked her patrol car six times wow, injured her hand
slamming it in a car door, and racked up fifty

thousand dollars in workman's comp and medical expense reimbursement after
falling off a bicycle during a training exercise. Oh As
of twenty twenty two, Ittala Elias is still an officer
with the Miami Dade Police Department, earning one hundred and
eight thousand dollars a year.

Speaker 4 (30:55):
Wow, that's just I mean, I wonder how many more
car accidents she's she's been in if that was her
record in five years. Wow, that's uh impressive.

Speaker 3 (31:08):
Like I am trying to think of another job that
you could keep after crashing your car six times on
the deb I'm shooting someone in the dick, yeah, jod cops, Wow, cops.
Cops have the kind of job security that was previously
reserved for like workers in the state owned industries in

Maoist China. Like no one else has ever had this
kind of job security before.

Speaker 2 (31:35):
And so I will end our stories here because Sophie
will put one of us in the pit if the
episodes keep coming out over an hour long. But there
are an unbelievable number of stories of cops getting hurt
doing shit they were not supposed to be doing. A
cop who died because he didn't know which antibiotics he
was allergic to when he went to the hospital because
he was messing around with an injured feral cat and

got scratched the fuck. A prison guard who tripped in
the wreckyard and hit his head. A shocking number of
accidents at the shooting range or during training exercises.

Speaker 4 (32:08):
Thease want know what it felt like. They just want
to know what it felt like.

Speaker 2 (32:11):
Including one very weird one where they were role playing
a scenario. And so there these were cops in the
Gaming Commission, so casino cops, but during a training exercises,
during a training exercise, they were role playing a scenario
where one of the cops was being attacked by an
assailant and he was supposed to, you know, roleplay it
out right. They're pretending this is pretend they're in a
conference room. But he got scared and drew his real

gun and really shot and really killed the director of
the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Almost every cop death was completely preventable.
They're careless and they're reckless, and they're doing shit they
should not be doing. They're counting normal wear and tear
like knee injuries and heart attacks, as though these are

noble deaths of martyrs. And it's all part of this
ideological product of myth making around American policing, right, because
you have to believe that this is a uniquely dangerous
and frightening job that only the bravest boys can do.
Because they're under so much risk, they have to react
the way that they do. They have to react with
extreme violence. They have to shoot first and ask questions

later because their job is just so dangerous, right, And
I think it's it's interesting as we drove to a
close to draw a comparison here, right, because they react
with great violence against us because of their fear of
imaginary violence that they might face. So the FBI prepares
this meticulous report every year with rigorous and mandatory data

collection processes, so we have a comprehensive set of data
about not just every cop who dies, but every cop
who is assaulted on the job. The LEOCA report includes
on the job assaults and injuries, so we have a
very clear idea of how much violence and how many
accidents cops are exposed to, mostly in the form of
single car accidents, but we have the data. There is

no equivalent data for the kinds of violence police perpetrate
on others. The FBI only started collecting information for the
National Use of Force Database in twenty nineteen, and participation
in that data collection process remains optional. Police yeah, three
years ago, four.

Speaker 4 (34:23):
Year it is.

Speaker 2 (34:24):
That was prevoluntary. It's voluntary, so police departments do not
have to tell anyone. They do not have to tell
the federal government when they kill someone, they don't have
to report that. So comprehensive data on police killings is
something that only exists when newsrooms and nonprofits scrape the
information together on their own. The Washington Post has a

very thorough police shooting database, and nonprofit websites like Mapping
Police Violence do their best to document each case, but
even they admit they aren't capturing every fatal encounter with police.
So while the FBI reports literally just a few days,
officers a year fall into the feloniously killed category in
the Lioga report, so not the car accident one. So

there's a few dozen actual killings of officers a year.
We can only hope to know the names of the
average of over twelve hundred people who are killed each
year by a cop, and that does kind of send
a message about whose lives matter. So as you celebrate

National Police Week this week, I guess you'll be hearing
this on Friday if you listen to it the day
it comes out, just take a moment to remember our
brave boys like Lonnie Burton, who tripped on a curb
outside of the Wayland Baptist University Police station and later
died of complications, or brave officers like Trooper Jack Holland

who died because he was allergic to yellowjackets, or officers
like Deputy Sheriff Joseph Baka who was trying to tackle
a suspect to the ground and fell into a bee's nest.
It turns out he was allergic to bees. It's beautiful. Yeah,
I should have I should have asked you both your
hometown so I could get you a local boy, because

one of my favorites is patrolman Billy Toot. Billy Toot.
He was a jailer in Richmond who died when two
inmates were trying to escape after they obtained pistols that
were smuggled into the jail inside of a baked turkey.
That just sounds like a cartoon.

Speaker 3 (36:30):
Hell not how it worked for them?

Speaker 2 (36:32):
Yeah, well it it was in nineteen thirty four. I
don't think you would put guns inside of a turkey anymore.
I just have a whole turkey.

Speaker 4 (36:39):
A security detector or something.

Speaker 2 (36:42):
But yes, And I hope you're all having a safe
and healthy police week and that you celebrate that by
not encountering any policeman. It could happen here as a
production of cool Zone Media.

Speaker 1 (36:59):
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
coolzonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can
find sources for It could Happen Here, updated monthly at
coolzonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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