To protect and serve themselves

Published On January 28, 2013 | By CopBlock | Articles

To protect and serve themselves
Clive McFarlane
[email protected]
www.telegram.com/article/20130123/COLUMN44/101239887

The handling of the case involving former Worcester Police Officer Neil Shea and his ensnarement in a sting operation targeting sex predators might have some wondering whether the priority of law enforcement is to protect and serve the community, or to protect and serve itself.

That is understandable.

How can you explain the abrupt termination of the online conversation in which Mr. Shea appeared to have been deeply engrossed in a highly improper chat-room encounter with an undercover officer, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl?

We are told Mr. Shea did not commit any crime, but that it was determined by Police Chief Gary Gemme that Mr. Shea committed several violations, including incompetence, neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Mr. Shea resigned before the investigation, in which all allegations were sustained, was completed. He is free to receive all retirement benefits.

Good for him, but one has to ask whether the community was served by this process.

According to the disciplinary files on the case, we know that the sting operation was mounted by the Worcester district attorney’s office and other state and local police departments and agencies, including Worcester police.

We know that at some point during Mr. Shea’s online conversation with the undercover officer, law enforcement officials discovered the Worcester police officer’s identity. This discovery was based partly on tracing the cellphone number Mr. Shea provided online to the undercover officer.

We know that once his identity was discovered, someone from the command post alerted the Worcester Police Department Detective Bureau, which confirmed that Mr. Shea was indeed a member of the department.

We know that once this confirmation was made someone decided to terminate the conversation with Mr. Shea.

We know that the termination was suggested by the Worcester Detective Bureau on the grounds that if Officer Shea had not at that point made “any offers, or broken any law, and that he had not crossed the line, then we should just move on to other more promising subjects.”

To its credit the Detective Bureau did suggest the transcript of Mr. Shea’s conversation be preserved for possible disciplinary action.

Still, you judge whether Officer Shea was a promising subject. Here are snippets from the chat. He is Latenightcop171.

Latenightcop171 — So you want to learn things

Undercover — What can you teach me

Latenightcop171 — Lot of things

Latenightcop171 — We’d have sex

Undercover — Of course silly, but anything special or weird.

We also learned that later, after the undercover officer went offline, law enforcement officials later went back to check the transcript of the chat room conversation and found that “Latenightcop171” had made additional contact, including leaving a friend request.

Tim Connolly, spokesman for the DA’s office, said neither the “DA nor any of his representatives” made the call to terminate the online conversation between Mr. Shea and the undercover officer.

Mr. Connolly said he couldn’t say whether the DA’s office, which was involved in all aspect of the operation, was privy to the decision to terminate the conversation.

According to Chief Gemme, the “on scene MSP (Massachusetts State Police) supervisor made a decision that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal complaint.”

Regardless, all of this leads me to believe that the issue wasn’t whether Mr. Shea had committed any crime, but that local law enforcement officials didn’t want to know if he would, thus leaving the community in jeopardy.

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  • underoath

    Should have continued the operation and took his ass down. Not a fan of the decision.

  • shawn

    This is another example of the nonexistant habit of LE protecting their own trash. But we are told this never happens. Funny, since it isn’t hard to find.

  • shawn

    Oh, and of course he is now still free to prey upon children. Thanks assholes. Preciate that. A child will probably get abused because of tbeir choice to protect a brother officer.

  • certain

    You being 2-faced under? You going to say you’ve never seen another cop break a law and done nothing about it?

    Shit like this is why more and more people think cops are just about as bad as the crooks they are supposed to be chasing.

  • Common Sense

    WORCESTER – A veteran Worcester police officer resigned in October after he allegedly shared sexual messages with someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl. The teen was actually an undercover state trooper working on a prostitution sting.

    Former Police Officer Neil J. Shea, who identified himself in chats as a 45-year-old police officer from Worcester, resigned Oct. 13 while an internal investigation was under way, disciplinary records obtained by the Telegram & Gazette through a public records request show.

    Police Chief Gary J. Gemme reviewed the investigative materials on Jan. 3 and sustained several allegations against Mr. Shea.

    Allegations of incompetence, neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer were sustained in the Worcester Police Department Bureau of Professional Standards investigation. After reviewing the report, the chief recommended firing Mr. Shea, but the officer had already resigned.

    Allegations of failing to report illegal activities and not assisting someone in need were also sustained by Chief Gemme. In total there were six violations by the officer, the records show.

    Mr. Shea was allegedly involved in a Yahoo.com chat room discussion and used the handle “Latenightcop171.” Mr. Shea’s badge number was 171.

    The report states Mr. Shea thought he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl. He apparently identified himself in chats by his name, badge number and gave out a cellphone number that investigators identified as his, according to the reports.

    “The conversation was sexual in nature,” the report states.

    No charges have been filed against Mr. Shea.

    A reporter left messages for Mr. Shea at his home. City records show the 21-year veteran sought retirement benefits from the city. That was on the agenda for a Retirement Board meeting Oct. 18.

    Chief Gemme ordered an investigation into the matter in late September. On Sept. 29, then-Officer Shea was placed on administrative leave.

    In early 2012, Worcester police agreed to participate in a multi-jurisdictional investigation targeting sexual predators. Involved were the Worcester district attorney’s office, Fitchburg police, Northboro police, federal agencies and state police detectives.

    State police detectives posted an online advertisement in an effort to keep an eye on chat rooms and monitor people looking for sex from underage girls, the records said.

    The sting, called Operation Checkout, took place in late September and involved posting an advertisement on Backpage.com, a website that lists escort services.

    “The purpose of this sting operation was to develop a strategy to target individuals with a sexual interest in the on-line solicitation of sex from prostitutes and juvenile females,” the report states.

    Part of the sting involved undercover state troopers chatting online. Troopers began chatting, or typing and transmitting online messages, with a person they believed was a Worcester police officer.

    Transcripts of the Sept. 28 chat were in the public records requested by the Telegram & Gazette. The identity of the handle used by the undercover state trooper was redacted. A few portions of Latenightcop171’s chat were redacted as well. Mr. Shea was a police officer at the time of the chat.

    In the chat, Latenightcop171 is told that the girl is 14 and she is from Fitchburg. They chat about the girl being home alone and Mr. Shea allegedly tells the girl he is a police officer.

    “So you want to learn things,” Latenightcop171 says, according to the transcript.

    “What can you teach me?” the undercover trooper responds.

    Latenightcop171 asks for a picture, but the trooper states she has no camera. Latenightcop171 asks if she was “being naughty” with her computer camera in the past.

    At one point, Latenightcop171 talks about going to the girl’s home.

    “And when I knock on the door the SWAT team arrests me lol, (laugh out loud)” Latenightcop171 writes.

    “There is little doubt that at this point ‘Latenightcop171′ knew what he was doing was wrong based on his remarks referring to getting arrested,” a Worcester Bureau of Professional Standards investigators wrote in a report.

    The chat moves toward Latenightcop171’s job. The undercover trooper asks if he can wear his uniform if he visits her.

    “Maybe another time,” Latenightcop171 replies.

    Worcester police investigators were made aware of the chat by a trooper involved in the sting. The Worcester investigator said the chat was stopped because Mr. Shea had not made any offers, broken a law or crossed the line, and those involved in the sting should move on to more promising subjects, the report states. Mr. Shea was never charged with any criminal offense.

    Worcester police asked to interview the troopers involved in the sting. Bureau of Professional Standards investigators were told of the sexual nature of the chat. Another state police detective told Worcester investigators that the cellphone number given in the chat was tracked.

    “I then queried the address on the secure RMV site, found the name Neil Shea attached to the address, and further queried and found that the subject was issued a firearms license to carry,” the trooper said. “His license to carry showed him in a Worcester police uniform.”

    Mr. Shea was asked on Oct. 2 to answer several questions put forth by the chief. He asserted his right to remain silent on almost all of the 19 questions. He only confirmed that he worked in the Worcester Police Department operations division on a day shift, records show.

    A Bureau of Professional Standards investigator notes in a report that Mr. Shea should have seen the “red flags” in the chat, especially when learning of the age of the girl, who was actually an undercover state police trooper.

    Worcester internal investigators said Mr. Shea had opportunities to remove himself from the chat or assist the “teen” and talk to her about the dangers of online chatting with strangers. Mr. Shea could have reached out to law enforcement and he had an obligation as an officer to act on behalf of the “teen.”

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    Sounds like a typical cop to me. Hell, maybe it was common sense or underoath for all we know.

  • Common Sense

    I wonder what the entire transcript reads and if there was in fact some relationship between either the UC trooper, the MSP supervisor and Shea.

  • Common Sense

    Nope,

    …and what’s up with your baby-momma Glenn! You must be so proud.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e06_1359380173

  • steve

    hes a cop you know he gets away with everything he wants . you can plainly see the state can see no wrong in the pervert. sick pigs they are all crooked.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Homeland security buying 7000 full auto AR-15’s for “personal defense” for government agents but wants to ban them dirty semi auto versions for the public. You fucking hypocrites. You nasty frog schmegal looking troll janet napolitano come take my “precious” bitch.
    It’s no longer a matter of cops vs civies, it’s cops and civies vs. the feds. Arguing amongst ourselves is pointless their are bigger fish we need to fry.
    Hey CS,
    Still the copy and paste legend, man you are sooooooo smart buddy…..
    Hey T.,
    How’s your day son
    Hey OATH,
    suck a dick

  • BluEyeDevil

    Hey common scent,
    Let’s get off mama’s son cause I just got off yours. oh ya, tell that bitch to take a bath, she stinks.

  • 1605

    “underoath says:
    January 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Should have continued the operation and took his ass down. Not a fan of the decision.”

    You’re full of shit. You would go along with the blue crew and you know it. You never have, and you probably never will be the man you think you are. Try to be brave.

    “Common Sense says:
    January 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I wonder what the entire transcript reads…”

    It’s not Penthouse letters you pervert. I’ll bet you’d pay good money to get a copy to read late at night when you need a little stress reliever.

  • Common Sense

    Devil, way to go, glad you were able too, ha ha ha, what a dipshit…”since I just got off yours” way to put in the extra effort.

    Hey, if there’s anyone else out there, Devil will be happy to get you off, line forms to the right.

    Ha ha ha.

  • BluEyeDevil

    AHAHAHAHAH I knew it, common sense, you are a paid schill. You commented as soon as I insulted your dumb ass LOL. You seem to be here all the time, LOL. I thought this was just for fun and some laughs, you mean this is a PSYOP on a tiny scale. I am familiar with what you are trying to do. Remember the military taught me better than to fall for your meager attempt at provocation. Your trying to convey information and look for indicators to influence through emotion, motives and objective reasoning, LOL, I am here for a laugh, you, my friend are here with an ulterior motive. Your mini PSYOP is laughable, I knew if I waited long enough you would show your true intent. An easy read.
    COPBLOCKERS, Remember these paid schills are trying illicit a
    COMMONSENSE=LIAR
    T.=CONFUSED SOUL
    SLAPPY=STUPID AT A NEW LEVEL
    OATH,
    SUCK A DICK

  • Common Sense

    Hey Devil, my mother is a bit cranky, can you stop by again and lick her? You do such a good job, I think you’ll get some offers from Shady Oaks Retirement Community. My mother said she’d give you a shiny nickel next time for milk.

    I know, you being a Rambo and all, its great you take time from digging bunkers and stockpiling soup to eat that snatch. You’re a true patriot.

  • underoath

    Way to tell me what I’m thinking or how i feel, 1605. I didn’t know mind reader was on your résumé.

    What a joke.

  • YankeeFan

    Underoath,

    His comments are based on the stories that anyone can look up where police do exactly what he says they do. Look at the University of Maryland beating where the cop, who cried he was being treated as a criminal, beat the guy down then claimed it was a police horse until video surfaced showing he lied and also explained why he failed to submit a use of force report. The thin blue line cracked even those cops realized they couldnt defense the indefenseable.

    There is the officer Trejo DUI where 7 cops showed up at his accident where he was cut from the truck. Hic aptain stated he showed no signs of intoxication even though he was .205 according to hospital reports. 7 officers showed up and engaged in a pattern to hide, deastroy and cover up and tell the lies that go with. 4 of the 7 were members of the chain of command. Assistant Chief, Captain, Lieutenant and a Sergeant were 4 of the 7. If the CoM was willing to do this, whata re the odds the rank and file have the same attitude. All 7 were punished in some way. Nothing speaks to integrity of public service like 7 cops showing up to cover up and lie for a cop who was DUI huh?

    An oldie but a goodie was the…Jeffrey Robinson shooting. I think thats the name. Shot in a raid in which small amounts of drugs were found in an ajoining building. two and a half years later all 7 were suspended when the civil trial ended and the jury concluded 3 main things. 1) the box knife he supposedly ahd in his hand had been planted it was never finger printed. 2)The shirts worn by the shooting victim and the deputy came up missing from evidence and according to 1 article, a brand new shirt still in the wrapper was submitted into its place in evidence. The shirt they had, had no blood or bullet holes even though he had been shot and died sometime later due to complications. 3)A blood splatter expert as well as the medical examiner testified the police version of events could not have happened the way they claim. Below is 1 link about this case.

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/374/memphis.shtml

    Call me crazy but I am willing to guess its cases like these and many more and the fact, i believe that youa re a cop, that is going to cause 1605 to make his statement. No Underoath, these exapmles are sad as it proves the oath you cops take is about as useful as used toilet paper!

  • underoath

    Well if that is how we are going to establish opinions then 1605 is probably a murderer. No, wait, a rapist. How about a woman beater? Yeah, that’s it.

    My basis for assuming that? There are murderers, rapists, and woman beaters in the general population so he must be one!

    Odds are, he is none of the above, but if we are going to generalize then lets just go all out!

  • shawn

    @Under

    Sorry, but yankee is dead on. When time and again multiple cops choose to cover the crimes of another, that sends a clear message to the public and prospective cops that the law doesn’t apply to them.

    You want to be offended that people assume you adhear to the thin blue line? Remember this. Any group will be judged by the worst behavior that goes unpunished. And if cops will cover a child preditor, what wont they cover? Cops earned the reputation they got. That isn’t the opinion of criminals, but everyday citizenswatching cops cover for criminals that happen to be their friends and family.

    You guys can say the TBL doesn’t exist, but we see it all the time.

  • 2minutes

    Gotta agree with you Shawn – the TBL does indeed exist, despite claims to the contrary. But then again, a large number of people in jail or prison also claim that they didn’t do it, so there’s that. Interesting how if comes down to this: cop or criminal, when confronted with their own malfeasance they immediately claim innocence, in spite of the evidence demonstrating otherwise. Looks like they have something in common after all.

  • YankeeFan

    Where is the generalization? Thats 3 examples of the TBL in 3 different cities, in 3 different states and I will wager you anything this is the attitude that exist in law enforcement in general. Maybe not all departments but it does exist. The point you make is interesting but we are talking about whole departments not singular officers. Take a trip around the nation and tell me about all the police departments and then tell me the basis for my opinion or generalization is without merit. In fact lets list them:

    Seattle pd agreeing to federal monitors, 1 in 5 use of force incidents deemed excessive. The Oakland pd under court ordered changes…SINCE 2001. 11 years and still not unfucked. The story of the Milwaukee pd and their illegal body cavity searches which went on 2 years where 32 cops had testified againts the main officer. This wasn’t the firsts tory of this behaviour. This was also the same department that beat frank jude so bad medical staff couldn’t document his injuries. If it wasn’t for citizen outrage, the feds wouldn’t have got involved. 3 main officers went to jail for 15 years. Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent behaviour of the NOPD. 2 citizens murdered by police another arrested for the so called attgempted murder of cops was released when it was determined he was framed by the police, the Lieutenant placed in charge of the investigation encouraging officers to lie and submit false reports. 5 officers in prison for 32-65 years and many more receiving various forms of punishment.

    The NYPD stop and frisk being ruled in part unconstitutional. The story on here about the young man stopped and being called a mutt and being threatened by the police. He was simply walking down the street. He was recognized by one of the cops as being in the police explorer program at his school. Nothing like poetic justice. Show up and tell kids all about how good the police are then show them your true colours on the streets. East Haven PD agreeing in a letter with the DOJ, if I remember to sweeping reforms after their chief resigned and 4 officers arrested by the feds for the jack booted thuggery the constitution protects us from. The Baltimore PD creating 6 pages of guidelines and then the DOJ giving them 11 of their own on how to handle citizens who record them in public. This must be very hard for your profession to figure out as we hear stories daily almost of citizens being harrassed at some level by police for doing this lawful behaviour. In 1 page posted they discourage the practice of police always using exigent circumstances to sieze cell phones as it leads to the potential rights violations of citizens. Exigent circumstances are supposed to be emergency situations, not a standard practice and that is what is has become. Aim a cell phone at a cop engaged in some behaviour that even Chief Wiggum would call out of line and see what happens to said citizen. OH, let me ask this since this topic came up. Did police all of a sudden start telling their lies and only engage in coverups with the proliferation of cameers and other recording devices or have they always been doing it?

    I am sure if i did more looking I could find more but here is a simple question…what is a reasonable person supposed to think of this? Let me remind you I am no copblocker. I am a regular joe that found this site by accident and comment from time to time and I do not hate cops and in fact never had a bad run in with one.

  • BluEyeDevil

    Hey everyone got some good news (sarcasm),

    0An Indiana woman falsely raided by a SWAT team is suing the city of Evansville and the police department after cops smashed down her door and threw flash grenades into her home in response to “threatening” Internet posts that she wasn’t even responsible for.

    “Police came up empty-handed in a search for evidence about threatening Internet posts but only after damaging the house, handcuffing the woman and her granddaughter and seizing their computers, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court at Evansville,” reports the Courier Press.

    Police claim the raid, which occurred back in June, was justified due to Internet posts traced back to 68-year-old Louise Milan’s house which threatened to attack the police department, but the posts had been made by a suspected gang member who had hijacked Milan’s wi-fi connection because it was not password protected.

    The lawsuit states that the actions of the officers “were done with malicious intent to cause severe mental and emotional distress to Milan.”

    After smashing Milan’s window and her storm door, police threw two flash grenades into the home before ordering Milan and her daughter onto the floor at gunpoint. The two were handcuffed and paraded in front of their neighbors before police seized computers and a cellphone.

    The police even ensured that a news camera crew was there to document the raid in order to “memorialize” the incident.

    Alleged gang member Derrick Murray, who lived nearby, later admitted to a federal court that he had used his smartphone to hijack Milan’s wi-fi connection to make the threatening posts.

    SWAT raids which turn out to target the wrong houses are a routine characteristic of America’s increasing decline into a police state.

    – In October last year, police in Middletown, Delaware searching for a “person of interest” raided Steve and Jennifer Tuppeny’s house and held them at gunpoint before realizing they had the wrong house.

    – In July 2010, a Minneapolis-St. Paul SWAT team raided the wrong house, shot the family dog and forced three children to sit next to the bleeding corpse of their beloved pet for over an hour.

    – Police in Adams County, Colorado falsely raided the home of Jeff Fisher before shooting and killing his pet dog Ziggy when the animal attempted to run away.

    – Lebanon, Tennessee resident John Adams was shot to death by cops as his wife was handcuffed in another room following another wrong house raid in September last year.

    – A 12-year-old girl suffered second degree burns after police used flash grenades in executing a raid on a house in Billings, Montana last October over an alleged meth lab that never existed.

    These are just a handful of cases from the last few years in what is turning into an epidemic of police abuse as a result of the failure to properly verify that such raids are targeting the right people.

  • Crunch

    Cops protect each other and serve the sleazy politicians who make new criminal laws every day.

    That’s what “Protect and Serve” means to them.

    The war on drugs has empowered cops to a level that simply makes no sense whatsoever. End the war on drugs, and we could reduce the number of cops on public payrolls by 95%. That will still leave us with too many cops, but it will at least be a more manageable number.

  • Eye4aneye

    This is perhaps the most appalling “organization”, I have ever come across. Facts are facts that much is correct, but it makes me sick to know that there really are a group of civilized human beings in this world that hold all cops accountable for what every other cop has done. There are good and bad people in every profession out there people, it’s not just police officers. How about the corrupt teachers out there who are having underage sex with our children, or how about the doctors who intentionally mis diagnose patients, and what about the professional athletes that take undigressed advantage of the readily avalaible yet still illegal steroids. Do you hear about them? Of course you do, but it really interests me to know that there is an entire organization of cop haters. Are there some pretty bad cops out there, yeah you had better believe there are. But it’s organizations like this one that put law enforcement, yes I said LAW ENFORCEMENT, since there is no peace left to keep thanks to you all, in positions of resorting to forceful acts.
    The men and women of law enforcement spend countless hours away from there families to protect yours. And are all of them as dedicated to the job in the same manner or even the same amount, nope. But who’s out there? They are. And who isn’t? You most certainly are not. Majority, again I cannot speak for all, but majority are in the profession for the public, because trust me; They certainly aren’t in it for the salary. Because for a profession that places a big bright red bulls eye on their back every single day, it certainly comes at a minimal pay back.
    And of course they all stick together, that’s naive and ignorant to think they wouldn’t. Please tell me which one of you out there is perfect! If you have never made a mistake in your entire life please let me know because you certainly must be of a different world. Mistakes happen people, it’s called LIFE. In regards to the “raid on the meth lab that never exhisted,” story that would have been a blow out either way. They made a mistake and it came out in the news, but had they made a mistake and rendered the meth lab inexhistent when it wasn’t they would have been outed for that as well. Make up your minds people. You bitch about law enforcement not doing enough but then you bitch about them doing to much. And next time you’re in trouble, call a crackhead, and let me know how that works out for you.

  • http://none/???? marty golubow

    I have been harassed & persecuted for almost 11 years for no reason….corrupt authorities are all around SC? Because I know that they are crooked & I won’t stop until justice arrives….or they kill me? Just recently again I called emergency 911….a guy threatened to f*** me up & kill me… Immediately, I went & called….the dirty cops show & arrest suspect on my property….then, grab me & roughhouse me + cuff me? I am going to jail….disturbing the peace they told me? Later, written as disorderly conduct…..a $1,092.00 charge….I am the victim twice! Sorry, hypocrites looking to get their hands on me????? Corruption is their game….they don’t care, because they think they can be criminals wearing badges to protect themselves + the local authorities are all in cahoots????? God will be on the just & righteous…..I am victimized, again!

  • http://www.epostmailer.com bulk email marketing services

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.