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January 28, 2011

Baltimore Police sued for $420,000 over "unlawful arrest" by Don't Know Tavern chef, two others

The Baltimore Police department was sued Monday for $420,000 by three men who allege they were "unlawfully" arrested outside South Baltimore's Don't Know Tavern last year. 

The lawsuit, filed with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City January 24, also names two officers, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore City Council.

The plaintiffs, which include Don't Know's executive chef Chad Novak, seek $210,000, plus $70,000 each in damages.

Baltimore police declined to comment on the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, police officers, including Andre Smith and Stephen J. Sloan, turned up at Don't Know around 7:50 p.m. in late January of last year to respond to a call.

Novak, a chef at Don't Know for nearly two years, said in an interview Smith and Sloan were questioning his 13-year-old brother.

When Novak tried to ask if his brother was in trouble, he was brushed off by the officers, he said.

One of the officers, Novak can't recall which, told him it was none of his business and demanded he step inside the bar.

"I made it ten feet, and I heard officer Smith say, 'just get him," Novak recalled.

As Novak was being handcuffed, plaintiff James Kowatch stepped out of the bar and was arrested himself, according to the complaint. The officers told him they were under orders to arrest the next individual to walk out of the bar.

Police then arrested plaintiff Kieron McNelis, who was inside the bar taking pictures of the situation, according to the complaint.

From there the men were taken to central booking, and hours later - Novak said between six and seven - were released without being charged, or an explanation for the arrest. 

In the suit, the plaintiffs say they were arrested "without probable cause" and allege the defendants acted "with malice, ill will and bad intent."

Baltimore police did not elaborate on the lawsuit, citing standard practice to not comment on pending litigation, said detective Kevin Brown.  He did not know if the officers named in the suit are on active duty. 

Novak and the other two men filed complaints with the Civilian Review Board, the department's office for dealing with complaints, within weeks of the incident, but he said they were not addressed.

Now, they're charging the department with 21 counts of unlawful behavior, including false arrest, and seek damages that total $420,000.

A year ago, when he filed the complaint with the review board, he said he just wanted a formal apology.

A trial date has not been set.

Photo: Don't Know Tavern (600block)


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Posted by Erik Maza at 4:20 PM | | Comments (98)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

Is anyone really surprised at this? The Balto. Police are OUT OF CONTROL and have been for a long time! Nothing will change and nothing will come of this. It never does. The thugs in the Balto. police will never be reigned in no matter what.

I was working at a Canton establishment a couple years ago. We called 911 when we had a fight between a guy and girl. When Cops responded the owner went outside to meet the officers and point out who it was, he was slammed to the ground, cuffed put into a paddy wagon and carted off. People ran out of the bar asking if the cops are insane and the same thing happened. After 4 hours he was let go with no $$ & no phone with no charges filed. Later some of the regulars that are police officers tried to find out what the hell happened, and there was no record of anything happening. and no, its not the owner that ran in his bar with a shotgun..lol

I have seen nothing but unprofessional policing by the Baltimore Police Department. In my experience the police have been nothing other than rude, confrontational, and even threatening. Community policing? HA!

crazy - did they running out of skater at the inner harbor to harass or something?

$420k....Wow.....put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!!!

I am very pro-police, but Baltimore City PD is made up of some of the laziest, power-tripping POS' I've ever had the misfortune of having to call. They will not take a report of any kind - treat the people who call 911 like criminals - and essentially roll through their shifts doing as little as humanly possible. Any questions asked to them, are regarded as threats and they immediately overact and go into thug mode. Not bright people. All trying to lateral to other agencies - but, no one wants them.

A lot of these city police are kids that got pick on in school. They get a gun and badge and try to act tough now.

I don't know - I think these cops have to put up with so much crap for so little money that they eventually go insane.

I take my hat off to the Baltimore City Police for having to deal with abusers, molesters, DRUNKS, murderers,and just plain idiots,and the list keeps going. When your on the other side of the law people can't stand them until your the victim, than you run to them.These men & women are under paid & over worked & get very little respect. They put their life on the line every time they put on that uniform protecting YOU!!!!! You should be ashamed!!!!!

It's a shame that there is such an "us versus them" mentality with the BCPD. I have literally never had a good experience with a Baltimore City police officer. I am always amazed at how incredibly rude and unconcerned they are. Reporting a break in seemed as if I was inconveniencing and annoying them, if I acted that way at my job I would be fired, no questions asked.

@Marge- I was there that night and I am pro-police very much so, but they were wrong. The police overreacted and it seems that all they wanted was an apology. 420k, wow! that's a lot but it seems that they always ask for more anyway. They definitely deserve some compensation for being in jail. By the time it is done with, the city will give each of them 30k and everybody will move on.

Maybe he's just a stoner who thought suing the cops for '420' would be funny.

Ever think that maybe the police are there to help you BUT need to protect themselves as well? I don't know anything about this case except for what I just read....but I do not believe for one minute that the plaintiff saw his 13 year old brother outside of a BAR being questioned and calmly walked out and politely asked what was going on and when told to leave the scene politely walked away and was confrontational at all! Give me a break! I have a sister that is 10 years younger than I am and I know I wouldn't be the most calm person....there is definitely more to this story......

Ever think that maybe the police are there to help you BUT need to protect themselves as well? I don't know anything about this case except for what I just read....but I do not believe for one minute that the plaintiff saw his 13 year old brother outside of a BAR being questioned and calmly walked out and politely asked what was going on and when told to leave the scene politely walked away and was confrontational at all! Give me a break! I have a sister that is 10 years younger than I am and I know I wouldn't be the most calm person....there is definitely more to this story......

People go to the civilian review board because they have no faith in the police internal investigative division or internal affiars as some people still call it all he wanted was an apology but he got brushed aside like dust on a desk now he wants to sue good for him that may teach the city officials that if you ignore us (balto citizens)you will pay one way or another if not by wallet then by ballot box My question to everyone is this if you can't go to IA or the civilian review board who will police the police.

if they win the $420k, can they please by observant some punctuation? pay it forward and all...

lol $420,000

HI Di Ho Neighbor,
Since I'm sure you only came in on the ending & did not see the whole ordeal. As Jen said I'm sure the Executive Chef,( I didn't know they had them in corner bars),wasn't as cool headed as he claims.You have no idea the confusion & chaos in a situation like that ,especially in bar situations. On top of that dealing with intoxicated indivuals as well as employees. Police do need to estabish some type of order when abating a situation. It seems people in this day & age cannot take authoritive direction (must be an ego thing). When individuals are arrested for minor infractions, the States Attorney's office will release the arrestee without charges. This is called abated by arrest and is a very common practice,but thats a State thing not a BCPD maleficence.

Why is something that happened over a year ago just being filed now? How does someone honestly remember exact details of what happened a year ago to be able to file a lawsuit. It is clearly said that "he doesn't remember what police officer told him it was not his business". So if you are unable to remember which police officer told you a simple comment, how can you be so sure you remember exactly what went on during the situation.
Secondly, what was a 13 year old doing at a BAR. Honestly, your brother should have never been there. And if he was, when something that "serious" was going on, would you be fully calm and simply question what was going on, or would you have had the "sibling instinct" and have been a bit more concerned.
And lastly, I'm not sure if people realize but the police are out there to protect our lives, so that we feel comfortable going places. Do you really not think that at times they have to worry about THEIR lives. They do have families to go back to and it is funny how when you need the police you want them there to help you, but any other times they are just in the wrong and its their fault for everything. Get real, and let out the rest of the story about what REALLY happened.

For all of those that are so against the BCP, next time you need help in the city, call the local drug dealer....maybe he or she will be better at getting you the help that you need! Who is the first number you think of dialing when you are in an emergency? 911 or 311...if all the police officers are so nasty, rude, ignorant, and arrogant maybe you should call someone else when you are in need!

To all the Anti-Police people reading this...next time you are in trouble call your local drug dealer, sexual predator, thief, abuser, or alcoholic to see if they can come to your aid and do a better and more polite job for you!

What is wrong with society today? Police are out there to fight crime, enforce laws, save lives, and protect us! They are not out there to bow down and kiss your feet because you think you pay their salary with your tax money! If that's the case, THEY PAY TAXES TOO--SO THEY OWE YOU NOTHING EXCEPT TO GO OUT AND DO THEIR JOB! They are not waiters and waitresses and don't have to smile and make small talk with you to make extra money!
SUGGESTION:
If you hate the police so much, why don't you call your local station and schedule a ride along....and go and see and experience what these officers do daily! For the ones that for whatever reason are not physically capable or are to scared to go out on the street ... Go sit in the local 911 center and listen to the BS that comes in every minute and then come back and maybe then you will have a different outlook...if you don't, then maybe you need to go again and again...I guarantee that you'll have a new outlook on the police and will respect their career choice they made to serve you!

@Marge- you could be right, but there are two sides to every story. Enough said.

Who am I to argue that Don't Know Tavern has an executive chef, are they a corner bar, have you been there lately. Last time I was there, they were as big as any bar on Cross Street

Personally, I don't know what happened between the chef and the police officer, I didn't see it, what I did see was how the police handled arresting the last three individuals. They were wrong and I know it and they know it. Officer Sloan knows he was wrong, I can't wait til the Sun addresses him.

@Kari- I love when people try to put 2 and 2 together. The suit wasn't filed a year ago, it is just coming to the press now, it was filed right away.

To my knowledge, the cook's brother lived with his brother above the restaurant next to restaurant/bar. That is why he was there, he was more/ less hanging outside his/ her apartment.

Thirdly, the police were wrong, a lot of people reported Mr. Sloan to the police department. they should've just apologized to the plaintiff's. Once again, I got there towards the end when the gentleman was getting arrested for shooting the video and the other guy got arrested for going outside.

The police got carried away and I bet they pay 30k each to the plaintiff's, if not more,

Morons.

Geesh!!!!

@ Marge - then it would be just be malfeasance for malfeasance's sake!

It's hard for me to fault the police - they have the 2nd worst job in Baltimore City. The first being the City School Teacher (at least get to carry guns)

When is the last time a Baltimore City school teacher a) got killed b) killed a student c) killed another school teacher while on the job? I'm not saying all cops are bad but they give anyone with an IQ over 50 and a HS diploma a gun and a badge. Hell did our recruitment in Puerto Rico stop or is that program still going on?

On various points:

---
"For all of those that are so against the BCP, next time you need help in the city, call the local drug dealer....maybe he or she will be better at getting you the help that you need! Who is the first number you think of dialing when you are in an emergency? 911 or 311...if all the police officers are so nasty, rude, ignorant, and arrogant maybe you should call someone else when you are in need!"
---

The lack of a better option doesn't automatically make the primary one "good"... just less crappy than the rest.

---
"I don't know anything about this case except for what I just read....but I do not believe for one minute that the plaintiff saw his 13 year old brother outside of a BAR being questioned and calmly walked out and politely asked what was going on and when told to leave the scene politely walked away and was confrontational at all! Give me a break! "
---

So here we have an example of somebody drawing conclusions about firsthand reports of the incident when they themselves weren't anywhere near the incident. Priceless. And by priceless I mean pathetic.

---
"HI Di Ho Neighbor,
Since I'm sure you only came in on the ending & did not see the whole ordeal."
---

To be fair, he apparently saw more than you did.

---
"You have no idea the confusion & chaos in a situation like that ,especially in bar situations. On top of that dealing with intoxicated indivuals as well as employees."
---

Yeah, I hear this all the time. The problem is that it's become an excuse to respond poorly to a situation rather than a reason to work a little harder at being more prepared for it.

---
"To all the Anti-Police people reading this..."
---

For the record, I'm not anti-police. I'm anti-anybody who sucks at their job to the point where it starts having a negative affect on others. However, I certainly won't EXCLUDE police from this just because they're police.

---
"Ever think that maybe the police are there to help you BUT need to protect themselves as well?"
---

You know, that's really what it comes down to, but not in the way that you think. Police make mistakes, just like everybody else. The problem is that their mistakes can come with a higher cost, which actually gives them MORE of an incentive to lie than somebody who's just been wrongly arrested and is going to spend an evening sitting in a police station and then get released with no charges.

---
"You should be ashamed!!!!!"
---

Why, because you never took a science class? I'm not ashamed for questioning authority and I never will be. If the authority ends up being right, I will concede. But that's no reason not to ask the question in the first place. That's how power becomes abused, when people DON'T stand up for themselves. Authority doesn't always equal "right".

...end rant.

Anon & Dave: I think it would be educational for the anti-police or pro Police, to do a ride along. When a police officer directs someone to stay away from their situation, you stay away, and if not, you can be arrested for interferring. It sounds as if that's what Ofc. Sloan did. Short order cooks work in bars not Exec. Chefs. To the person who is anti- anybody who sucks at their job. How do you know if someone sucks at their job unless you've done their job! People critisize others for a terrible job when the outcome doesn't benefit them. Mr. Anon. you got there when the arrest was made for the person who came out to shoot the video and the other for just coming outside, but were you there when Ofc. Sloan told everyone in the Bar not to come out until the Situation was cleared ?

Marge, the gentleman shooting the video was inside the bar. Last time I checked you were legally allowed to videotape the inside of a bar/ restaurant. Please get ur facts straight.

--
"Anon & Dave: I think it would be educational for the anti-police or pro Police, to do a ride along. When a police officer directs someone to stay away from their situation, you stay away, and if not, you can be arrested for interferring."
--

Define "stay away". It's a public street. Was there yellow tape marking off a section of the sidewalk where the person was being interrogated? The problem with this is that it's subjective, and if the officer has a poor concept of what's reasonable and what's not, he may end up arresting somebody who was well within their rights for being present.

--
"Mr. Anon. you got there when the arrest was made for the person who came out to shoot the video and the other for just coming outside, but were you there when Ofc. Sloan told everyone in the Bar not to come out until the Situation was cleared ?
--

What if he wasn't? How do you know he wasn't in the bathroom when the officer came in and told anybody not to leave? And, on that point, did the officer actually enter the bar and make an announcement that nobody can leave? Or did he just tell one person as they were walking outside? While those are all reasonable questions, they still don't even address the fact that you can't actually detain an entire building of people who have nothing to do with the reason the officer is there while he has a conversation with somebody on the street.

--
"To the person who is anti- anybody who sucks at their job. How do you know if someone sucks at their job unless you've done their job!"
--

Pretty sure most people with a reasonable IQ can tell if somebody is or is not doing a good job without actually having done the job themselves. Although, by your logic, unless YOU'RE a cop, how can you be so sure the officer was doing a GOOD job? That argument cuts both ways.

--
"Short order cooks work in bars not Exec. Chefs."
--

Just so we're clear, the officer's behavior would have been totally unacceptable if we were REALLY talking about an executive chef, but since it was only a short order cook, it's OK?

Neighbor/ Anon/Dave: When the Ofc directed the cook to stay away because they were INVESTIGATING an issue, then he needed to stay away, (no police tape needed). YES you can actually detain everyone in a building. first of all, the others being arrested were friends of the cook or at least associates,and had they listend, they would not have been arrested. second its probably an Ofc. saftey issue. Think of it as a large room of friends that have been potentionally drinking, (you think) or coming out to see a friend or assoc. being arrested this equates to mayhem. As individuals came out of the bar they were told to go back inside, (that takes care of the bathroom excuse,) and they didn't go back they just ran their mouths to the police. I don't know if the Officer was doing a good job or not, but I'm not the one saying someone sucks at their job either. Why don't you go around to others in the neighborhood that might know Ofc. Sloan to see what kind of job he does in the neighborhood, instead of judging him on one incident. Of course the persons being arrest won't have anything nice to say they just had a bad experience, and they are seeing $ dollar signs $ Maybe you should ask Ofc. Sloan his side of the Story. . .Hmmm now there'se a thought! AT No time, (SO WE ARE CLEAR) is it ok to be arrested based you what, or who, you are in life. Its the garnishing (bull crap) that the paper editor wrote in the paper . . or was he told this stuff by the cook to make himself look alittle more prominate, pretentious if you will. Again, this all about $ money $ It will be interesting to see if they do win the suit, what they'll do with the money. Maybe donate to Johns Hopkins Research ? Naaa. Maybe give it to the Police Dept. for better training, Naaa. I know to celebrate, "the drinks are on me, let's go to the Bar Yaaah ! ! JUST SO WE ARE CLEAR !!

Marge yur quite a spinster. Halfway makes me think yur actually that jobless Margeret T. Burns who spun Jessamy's crap for the past few years

As long as we're being clear, I never said that "he" sucked at his job. I simply pointed out that I don't have any particular disdain for the police, just people who suck at their jobs. It had more to do with your implication that people are simply "anti-police" because they point out misconduct when they see it. Different point, not applicable to what you're talking about now.

And while we're on the subject of getting both sides of the story, my position all along has been that neither of us were there and therefore can't draw definitive conclusions about what happened. That's the whole point. I posed hypothetical questions/scenarios to address what may have been the reasoning behind some of the decisions that were made, but at no time did I pretend to know what happened. You, on the other hand, are somebody who WASN'T there but is still adamant that the testimony of several people who WERE there was false.

Now that you've successfully talked yourself in a circle, I'm content with being done with this.

First of all, what is a thirteen year old doing anywhere near a Tavern? Second, officers when conducting an interview or investigation do not need citizens approaching them as they always do. It's a safety issue for all involved. As far as not being being charged, that's nothing new, the system is backwards and they're trying to conserve space in the jail. Murderers hardly get charged anymore. It doesn't mean they're not guilty it just means the SA's don't want to deal with it. Police have a kind of job that most can't even phathom, internally and on the street. They have to take immediate control quickly or people get hurt...it's that simple. At least the Plaintiffs are alive today to be able to sue. The police go "out there" everyday to help people they don't know and who do not like them and say goodbye to their familys not knowing if they will come back to the ones that do love them. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

@Marge and Pete

The 13 year old lived upstairs next door to the restaurant. The gentleman shooting the video did nothing wrong, he stayed inside the whole time, he didn't leave the establishment. So why was he arrested?

The reason this is going to trial is because several people also reported the irrational behavior of Officer Sloan.

Isn't it illegal in MD to record police? I think there was a story about a guy on a motorcycle that got in some pretty big trouble for doing it.

@James It went to the supreme court who said it's not unlawful

Hey Tiff: yeah thats me, you got me. Try staying with the subject.
Hey Dave: for the info you are assuming that I wasn't there! If you were not there, how can you say there was miconduct? If you were not there how can you talk about others who went to complain about the Officer. There is no circle, you're just talking like you are backed into a corner. So Maybe it's best that you are done with this. Overall this is a one sided story.This is no different from when you watch the news and a drug dealer or hood gets killed, the family is always crying "He was such a good boy"
I do know one thing you can't unring a bell and with that profession there are no manuals no cut & paste and no carbon paper. Whether the ofc. was wrong or not, they do the best they can. I'm glad that they are there for me when I need them. The decision an Ofc. makes is always going to make one party happy and not the other.

Few questions: How can you make the assertion that any human in any working capacity does "the best that they can"? And does only apply to cops? Did the two officers that got busted for stealing and selling drugs steal and sell drugs "the best that they can" Finally: who's Tiff?

Marge,
if the officer is wrong then they should be compensated. Even if they do the best they can, they can't just go around arresting people for no valid reason. He panicked when they saw they guy videotaping the scene.

Marge,
if the officer is wrong then they should be compensated. Even if they do the best they can, they can't just go around arresting people for no valid reason. He panicked when they saw they guy videotaping the scene.

I wonder, if the Ofc. is right will he be compensated.

--
"Hey Dave: for the info you are assuming that I wasn't there! If you were not there, how can you say there was miconduct?"
--

First of all, if you had been there, you should have said, "hi, I was a witness, and here's what happened", instead of "As Jen said I'm sure the Executive Chef,( I didn't know they had them in corner bars),wasn't as cool headed as he claims."

Why would you have to back into the conversation with assumptions as to what happened if you HAD BEEN there? Which leads to the million dollar question: if the officer told everybody who was leaving the bar to go back inside, leaving the only people on the street the officer and the "criminals" he was questioning/arresting, where does that leave you? Obviously you're siding with the officer, which either makes you HIM, or you weren't there. Otherwise it means YOU were disobeying an order to return to the bar as well.

Secondly, I never said that this particular incident was misconduct. I said that you seem to label people who point out "misconduct" as "anti-police".

Thirdly, the direction this debate is going is an old story. It has nothing to do with this particular incident or police in general. If you've actually been attempting to comprehend anything that I've been saying, you'd understand that the point I've been alluding to is that there are multiple possibilities for any given scenario, and unless you were there, all you can do is speculate as to what really happened. I've not said at any point that I claim to know what really happened. All I've been doing is challenging those who have a contrary opinion to what was stated in this article, who also haven't offered any evidence that they were actually there. Emotions run high in situations like this, yet they are the last thing that should be relied upon when making a judgment call of this sort.

--
"Overall this is a one sided story.This is no different from when you watch the news and a drug dealer or hood gets killed, the family is always crying "He was such a good boy""
--

Really? How do you know? Because this article didn't actually cover what the initial complaint was. So, if you know something more, please share.

--
" Whether the ofc. was wrong or not, they do the best they can."
--

Do I really have to point out what an ignorant statement this is? If the officer was right, he was right and he should be upheld. If the officer was wrong, he should be held accountable. This isn't the 3rd grade, no points awarded for best effort. Solid effort ending in a wrong conclusion doesn't change the fact that the conclusion was wrong. Period.

Dave F.,

I can't help but notice your insistence on using logic and rational thought as you evaluate the incident at hand. I must insist you stop this nonsense immediately. You're either pro-police or anti-police. Please pick a side and abandon your thoughtful approach.

Cordially,
BA

@Dave F.
@ BA

I've been laying low, but I gotta agree with BA and Dave F.. I wasn't there so I can't make a comment, it's just all heresay to me.

Now Dave,
I thought you were done with this yesterday, but, here you are still hanging on.I would love to see you walk a mile in their shoes. Just for one night do a ride along & see what they deal with day in & day out.I am not condoning an officer that uses a badge to be a thug,but, I DO support an officer that may have to use excessive force to get order in a crowd. They have no idea who might be holding a gun or knife, they can't take that chance nor should they.Too many officers have lost their lives because they gave people the benefit of the doubt. Very few people have respect for the law these days, but,these same people want respect from police . I lived in South Baltimore for 40 years & I have seen first hand, when someone does something wrong and the police get involved the whole neighborhood backs them knowing they were in the wrong & that doesn't matter, they'll never admit it,the police are the bad guys .

@Marge-

So a cop can't be wrong??? Maybe you should try to see both sides of the story instead of calling the chef a line cook and asking why his brother was outside of a restaurant when he actually lived upstairs.

I have never heard a cop say, the next person that comes out of this establishment is going to get arrested over a 13 year old boy.

Open your eyes

--
"I thought you were done with this yesterday"
--

Yeah, so did I. Apparently I just can't seem to ignore stupidity as much as I'd like to be able to.

--
"I would love to see you walk a mile in their shoes. Just for one night do a ride along & see what they deal with day in & day out."
--

What does any of this do with the fact that you don't actually know what happened that night? All you're doing is distracting from the issue at hand, which is whether THIS particular officer behaved properly in THIS particular situation. I could go on a hundred different ride-alongs with a hundred different officers, and it still wouldn't change what happened outside of Don't Know Tavern around 7:50 p.m. in late January of last year.

--
"I am not condoning an officer that uses a badge to be a thug,but, I DO support an officer that may have to use excessive force to get order in a crowd. "
--

This may be a matter of semantics, but I think it's actually more revealing than you intended. The definition of "excessive" is "beyond what is necessary". If you need to resort to force to control a crowd, that's one thing (assuming it is actually necessary in the first place). But far too often I hear about cases where force is used in an inappropriate manner, i.e. beyond what is actually necessary. You could make the argument that this is a judgment call, and I would agree; where we would likely disagree is that you're content with accepting that as an excuse for excessive force, whereas I would point out that the judgment itself was poorly made.

It's also interesting that you're willing to point out that you don't support using a badge to be a thug, yet you seem unwilling to acknowledge that it's actually possible for this to happen.

@ i witness,

I think you need to look back in the comments. I did not say anything about a 13 Year old boy, that was a comment made by someone else. Also anyone could be wrong, especially Mr Novak our cook. Maybe he's not telling the whole story because he can't remember the whole story.Why are you still stuck on the line cook, What does that have to do with both sides of the story or any side of the story?
Davey:
How can you point out the judgement was poorly made when YOU weren't there or were you , maybe YOU'RE Mr. Novak????

It doesn't matter if the 13 year old lived next door, upstairs or around the corner. Juveniles or anyone else are not to be stationary within 100ft of an establishment that sells alcohol. Furthermore, juveniles can and have been just as dangerous as adults. So when police are conducting an investigation or interview they have to control the situation and the area around them for safety. If you are given a direct lawful order by a police officer, whether your a neighborhood citizen or the President of the United States you follow it..PERIOD! As far as officer Sloan, he has provided a safer community and taken pride in the same for over 7 years, as per the citizens and community leaders. He also was awarded officer of the month last year. We need to stop judging and deal with the "facts". Everything I've stated here is a fact.

--
How can you point out the judgement was poorly made when YOU weren't there or were you , maybe YOU'RE Mr. Novak????"
--

Stop clutching at straws. I was speaking to the general use of excessive force, and the decision to use it; not this case in particular. As I've repeatedly said, I don't know what happened that night. You seem content to ignore that fact and continue this charade of A) pretending to know what did happen, and B) trying to turn my points into a "side" that you can beat. The whole point of this is that I'm not on a particular side, I'm just looking at what's going on here from a 3rd party perspective (i.e. through the eyes of reason). This isn't an argument you can "win" unless you can prove you were there and that what you're saying happened actually happened. Until you can do either of those things, why don't you just quit the dramatics and concede that you don't know what happened.

Hi Pete,

BRAVO!!!!

@ Dave (Mr. Reason): I wish I had a dime for every time your statement repeated itself. None of us no what happened. None of us were there,we concede, we concede,uncle,uncle. Where's Your Mashgiah Now ! Now stop talking like a bufter.

"I wish I had a dime for every time your statement repeated itself."

Yeah, me too. I realize that what I've been saying is repetitive. Believe me, that frustrates me much more than it does you. I'm not repeating myself because I like doing it, I'm repeating myself because the point doesn't seem to be sinking in.

"we concede, we concede,uncle,uncle."

Grand of you, but I'm pretty sure your concession doesn't speak for those who should actually concede.

"None of us no what happened."

Would you like a dime for every time YOU repeat myself?

@ Dave:
I just got on,but Yes Dave, Please Oh yes!

@Dave- mmmmmm ssshhhhh what's that I hear....silence The tranquile serenity of stifelness.

Hey I'm not finished yet!
How about it. . . ,Marge, Pete, Neighbor, Witness, Jason Z, Jen, Kari, Stongo, Foo, Anon, big mouth Mike B, Crazy Double B, Canton Resident, 420, KGM801, Ben, Max, 21224, James, The no Punctuation Observant, come on guys I'm just getting started! How about you, Tiffer,the spinster. . .Somebody! (wow) I can't believe that the cat has Dave F's Tongue since he's the authority of our very existence. I know! let's talk about how Police man handle kids on skate boards as, the idiot, Double B suggested. You bunch Of Jack Wagons! Get a box of cleanx's !!

The Tiffer a)hangs out and drinks with more cops than any of you and knows they are as or less human than any of us b) has saw more injustice in the past week by law enforcement than any of you probably will in your lives and c) wishes he lived the life of Marge and Pete

@ PB, LOL @ Tif, the injustice that you've seen is probably committed by the "cops" you're drinking with! The department keeps those officers but makes life and work hard for the officer's who try to do the right thing, and do their jobs with good intent. Officers are human, they feel pain, they do bleed, they do have families. With what they face everyday inside and outside the district doors it's a wonder you're not drinking with all of them. Yet they get paid so little and get kicked around verbaly so much. They put on that uniform, kiss their wives/husbands/ children goodbye never knowing if "today" is the day their families get that dreaded home visit or call.....I appreciate your wish Tif but, I love my life. Just keep doing the right thing and I'm sure your life will improve.

@Pete lol, I didn't say anything was wrong with my life [*knock on wood] but can you imagine facing 10-20 years for watching your best friend get killed in front of you and the courts interpreting witness accounts as you being a co-conspirator?

Yeah, i drink with cops- one was so pissy he fell got up and dropped his Glock- I reluctantly gave it back to him- what was I to do call the 911 and say "hey I got a gun that fell off a drunk cop and I refuse to give it back to him until he sobers up"?

In law, silence is acceptance. Statutory laws like the ones most commonly enforced by a police department, ANY police department are only as good as the Public accepts them to be. The Bill of Rights is what allows the citizens of this precious United States to be Sovereign and perfect in his own right to question the actions of any government actor or "authority" figure while engaging any private citizen.

The Constitution ensures your right to be secure in your freedom to travel, your person and your property, thus the 13 or 31 is assumed to be rightfully in a place. Was the minor inside of the bar? Were there any indications or exigent circumstances proposing he was violating any civil or criminal laws? Where is the injured party?

First we need to be educated beyond accepting the Status Quo or what is commonly practiced and accepted. I have every right to be treated with Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect by any government official at any time. "Marge" may well be a member of the elitist team leaking information about the case. Anybody can go to their local County Clerks Office and inquire about the length of tme it takes to bring suit. Most of us aren't party to the "Bar" or members of the exclusive club that represents its own system _ The legal System.

Any law or statute that is in conflict with your Constitutional Rights is nullified. It's a lot easier to go along with the flow than it is to STAND UP and not get flushed down the toilet!

Research some Case law (google) on Colorable Law Statutues and Qualified Immunity and Fourth Amendment Rights Violations...
The problem is we are so far removed from what our rights are we don't know them. We rely on a system of figures to "protect" us so we surrender our rights in its place, in order for that system to have power you must relinquish power. This is how we obtain a police state.

i don't know all the facts but I applaud any individual for utilizing the face of the Constitution as grounds to envoke their Sovereign Rights as given by God. Law is only as Good as the People it Serves. Let us not forget, a government that doesn't answer to its people soon becomes Rogue. Look at Tunisia, Egypt, Remember America less even than 100 years ago. Barbaric!

The Benefit of the Doubt can not be given to either party because abuse runs rampant but the system of checks and balances on the side that's supposed to uphold even their draconian prima facia laws fails greatly and thus we lose faith in it.

Do your own research before coming on here supporting life as you know it - you are undoubtedly riding the backs, blood, sweat and tears of some poor, unfortunate soul! You are misguided and not truly seeing the overall point of the matter.

Yes, police power has its place but not at the cost of innocent lives, on any level. Because its procedural to arrest someone does not make the malfeasance proper, duly needed or within the framework of jurisprudence. The Police system is not PERFECT and needs to be updated to reflect the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND - THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!

@Keys

Yes you are so right about the Police system not being perfect. But, I will add that the civil system is just as unperfect and needs to be updated to reflect human morals,respect,pride,ethics & so on! In other words not acting like animals!

@Keys- according to the situation as been stated YES the 13 year old was violating a law of being within 100ft of an alcohol establishment.The injured party is the law obiding citizens that have to put up with this from bars and juveniles day in and day out. It's never mentioned how many times an officer has the absolute right to an arrest but decides not to. @Tif- The pissy cop SHOULD have been reported...THAT is gross neglegence. These are the ones that will stay on the street and the "good" ones will get tossed aside. If that pissy drunk cop would have left, shot someone do you know YOU would have been in trouble as well? These are the ones that give the honorable police a bad name. Back @Keys Not sure what you were trying to say with most of the rest of what you wrote Andy Rooney would be proud!

@Pete LOL! ! and so would have been Paul Harvey. Good day.

@ Tiffy, ~ but, can you imagine facing 10-20 years for watching your best friend get killed in front of you and the courts interpreting witness accounts as you being a co-conspirator?
This wasn't decided by Police this was anI Assist. States Attoy. act

@ Tiffy, ~ but, can you imagine facing 10-20 years for watching your best friend get killed in front of you and the courts interpreting witness accounts as you being a co-conspirator?
This wasn't decided by Police this was an Assist. States Attoy. act

@Keys- Oh one other thing, "Rights" are voted on and given to us by an assembly of politicians...GOD has nothing to do with it. GOD granted us free will and that was the extent of it. What we do from there is on us, and with what some of us have done with that free will, GOD is probably not so proud. That's why(in some religions) GOD created an army of soldiers (angels)headed by what would be a biblical police Captain, Saint Christopher. I believe this is a symbol commonly used by officers today.SO...God bless the police!!!

@Pete Bravo! !

@PB-I prefer Tiffster, Tifmeister, Tifinity, etc. I was speaking on injustice as a whole. Take this one for size- ever been locked up for killing yourself? Great police work there but those are extremes, I can write a book on deliberate police mishaps from first hand witnessing and their own mouths.

the 13 year old lived in an apartment next to and above the bar. so even while sleeping he was within 100 ft of the establishment. Does that make it a crime? I can agree to an extent with the way police in baltimore act, if i had to deal with so many drug dealers, addicts, and general criminals i would approach every situation with the mind set that the person in question is a piece of shit. But to act on those thoughts without proper judgement of the situation would mean the officer assumed, and we know what happens when you assume things.....

@anonymous- first, I hope you were being sarcastic with the 13 year old statement because it was a silly question. In case you were serious, no that isn't a crime and that wasn't the case. The crime is for anyone being visible to the public and stationary within 100ft. It's not a good look for a community. Well i don't think EVERY police approaches thinking everyone is a piece of doo doo but they SHOULD approach every situation with safety for everyone in mind. Error on the side of caution. I know I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

@ Pete,

I know I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6.

NICELY SAID !!!!

how do we know if the kid was even hanging outside, maybe he was just stopped by a cop walking home.

You all weren't there and neither was I, yet you are all so judemental. At issue is the fact that the cop overreacted and arrested these kids. One for videotaping and not saying anything. The cop could have easily had sat them down and let them go, but no he arrested them and sent them to Central. That is how he overreacted.

@ Anon ~ You all weren't there and neither was I, yet you are all so judemental. At issue is the fact that the cop overreacted and arrested these kids:
If this statement isn't judgemental, I don't know what is!
Secondly there were no juveniles arrested.
Thirdly since we were not there, we do not know why or what percipitated that resulted the arrest. Hence who knows if an overreaction occurred.

@Anon- how do you know the cop overreacted if you weren't there? yes, the cops should let everyone go...hey and direct them to your neighborhood! Yes, making an arrest for a crime is overreacting. So lets all not overreact and have complete chaos...good plan.

its hard for kids to not be seen in public within 100 ft of an establishment who serves alcohol, considering there are bars and liquor stores on just about every other corner in federal hill. instead of harrassing them to go home or get off of the streets people should be fighting to make more places for kids to go. The library is outdated, parks arent taken care of and good luck getting a good game of pick-up football without stepping in dog poo or someones used needle. School rec centers close too early. Weve learned that we cant skateboard in baltimore.... so what now?

@Pete- if the cop is going to arrest them, then he should have charged them with a crime, they were never charged with anything and just released. I am upset that my tax dollars are going to pay them for this overreacting cop.

@Anonymous- I agree that there is not too many places in the city for kids to be kids, and "stationary" within 100 ft was the key. I've never seen a kid arrested just walking by a bar. This is where proper parenting comes in. Parents need to involve their children with healthy activities and know their friends and their families. We can skateboard in Baltimore, just not in a public place...IE: parking lots, inner Harbor etc. Their are parks in Baltimore like Riverside, Druid Hill, Leakin, Patterson etc. The library, park, dog poo, needle problem needs to be addressed by city council. Since their taking 2% salary and pention from the police, maybe they can spend it on clean up. After scool rec closes, maybe enjoy a nice board game at home or family movie night...@anon- An arrest can't be made without a charge, now what the asst states attrny does with it is something else. Police arrest individuals things that they are in the right to arrest. and the State/City system gives a slap on the wrist.I've heard that usually they are out before the paperwork is done. As far as overreacting, I'm not repeating what I've said above again. I've already commented above.

@anon- YOUR tax dollars?? Do you think the police don't pay taxes? YOUR tax dollars and everyone elses are probably going to pay for it because the city politicians don't stand their ground and say..."it was a lawful arrest and we back and support our officers" " if you don't like it, there are plenty of places to get drunk and be a fool in the counties" Just like your taxes and everyone elses are paying for the speedway coming to Baltimore, and it was paying for gift cards....this is what I would get fired up about!!

Who said the boy was arrested? Novak was the one arrested!!!! Where was it said the boy was pulled up for standing within 100ft of an alocohol establishment? This reminds me of one of those things where you have a group of people in a room & you tell the 1st person something & watch how it changes as it goes around the room. Maybe Mr Novak & the bar buddies over reacted, everyone knows how alocohol intensifies a situation. Has anyone ever thought of that one. No! of course not, it's always easier & better to put fault on the police. Like every group, job, family, there's always a bad one, that doesn't mean everyone should be crucified for it. Why is everyone so quick to defend Mr Novak, unless maybe your all his buddies. With all of the crime that takes place in the city, I can't imagine this officer arresting Mr Novak just because he had nothing better to do that evening. Heck! I always here how the police do nothing but sit around drinking coffee & eating donuts.Make up your minds.

@LuLu- not the jelly ones though...too messy.

Especially those powdered ones. Ohboy!

@ Anonymous:

You don't know you weren't there. Don't judge,just keep paying taxes !

@ Pete,Marge,Lulu & Badge :

I'm glade I don't live in the City, the mercury and lead contaminate levels must have be worse then what was once thought !

@pete, how was mr novak overreacting and/or drunk as the chef of a busy restaurant in the middle of restaurant week?and at 7:45ish, or the bar manager who was also arrested for asking a simple "why is my CHEF (google him, chef chad novak) being arrested, and then also grabbed, thrown to the ground, spit on, and accused of resisting arrest, even though the police officer in question was standing on top of him (while his hands were under him to brace his landing, instead of falling face first into the sidewallk) and all of the while as a TAX PAYING CITIZEN asking the officers (all on patrol that evening) what was the purpose of such force, being told to "shut the fuck up" because as a regular patron of dont know tavern and a neighbor, as well as a passer by (trying to pick up my take out order from sun hing) was told to "get the fuck off the street, or i will go with them" why did the police throw all of things in their pockets into the streets? on a cold rainy night, a few cell phones, drivers liscences, credit cards, cash cigarettes, keys, i even saw a bottle oppener get thrown a half a block away? things that are surely not a threat to a man wearing a badge and a gun... all officers and a few of them were friends of mine from childhood couldnt look me in the eyes, not even a word while the officer pranced around the street pounding his chest like hitler.... good example to children even if 13 and outside of a bar..... tax payers money my ass... send mayor dixon some more gift cards and a bigger pention and raise my parking fees too huh?

i think its more ironic that 2 blocks away you always see police sitting in parked cars near thomas johnson #84 (light and heath st) and always seems to be drug activity but no police response? as a resident who pays my taxes, i see it, and im sure the police do as well, in fact ive seen the police stop and chat with the same people ive seen out at all hours of the night, hanging around my house or breaking into cars. i just finished reading the book "COP IN THE HOOD" and its hard to pick sides, but as an officer of the law you cant be so nieve or humble to not realize that these people are doing harm to our community and im sure the police know their ways around legal/illeagle search and seisure, ive seen it.

@ CN :
This just proves alot of issues with you, but I will only mention a couple and probably the most important! YOU know nothing about the law or civil rights. What you should do is go to that Ofc. and explain to him or her just what you wrote,and they will explain and educate you.

@ Pete : Please answer/address The comments from Anonymous Feb.7 timed at 1:31 & 1:44. I just can't, and have three words. OH! MY! GOD!

@PB- I sure will. @Anonymous- first, I never mentioned Mr. Novak. Second, the bar manager should have stayed in the bar...is he Mr. Novak's parent? what is the big TAX PAYING CITIZEN thing? we all pay taxes or go to jail. Unless...well that's another subject, i won't comment. Keys and bottle openers can and have killed people, they are potential weapons. As far as the other stuff during a search for weapons the officers are not going to take the time and neatly place them in a safe place for the arrestee. I never mention Dixon, and oh by the way she no longer holds the title of Mayor. I ecourage you not to be so angry sounding, it's not good for your health. While you were waiting for take out if YOU were less then 100ft from the bar just be lucky you didn't get a free ride to central booking. Good Day.

@PB- Wait'l they get a load a me!

All you need is a high school diploma and common sense on testing day...then months later your labeled as a "police officer" let's be REAL! Too much like Right for the Department to be ran smoothly! At the End of the Day it's all Politics!

It is a great someone standing for their right. Police have been abused their authrity to arrest people.

I was arrested by police, too. Please tell me where I can find a great lawyer to help my case

I don't know - I think these cops have to put up with so much crap for so little money that they eventually go insane.

Welcome back Anon. Do you have either one. I'm sure your such an upstanding citizen, never had any wrong doing in your life. As I said before, their are some not so great upstanding police on the force,but, don't put them all down. No more than those hypocritical citizens that do no wrong (in their own eyes). I'll say it again,in todays society most people have no respect for anyone, whether it's their mother, father,children, priest and yes the POLICE. I can understand why it's hard for police to give back the love that's so strongly given to them. I get so sick of hearing I pay your salary. Well, you don't pay their salary. Police pay taxes too! This is a public street, I have rights too! Well police have laws they must uphold & people they have to answer to. The streets today are filled with drugs, rapists, murderers,child molesters,obnoxious drunks that know everything & do no wrong & the list goes on. Imagine what the streets would be like without police enforcing these laws.The problem is, when they do their job,the people on the receiving end don"t have much love for them. They all can't be bad,people keep calling on them for help. When their home or car is being broken into. Show some repect! When I was growing up, the thought of disrepecting an officer was never heard of. You were in big trouble if you disrepected your elders, now the scum on the streets beat them & rape them or the 2 or 3 yr old that gets sexually assaulted & the police are the ones that deal with these situations. Forgive them if they seem to have become a bit calloused. I would be too.

@ 传奇私服
Yeah, something like that.

@ Anonymous. All you needed for your. . what ever it is that you do, is some schooling, maybe straight D's that would get you through, no common scence, oh yeah the money from mommy & Daddy to pay for that schooling,and you became what it is that you do. Wasn't that easy ?

@anonymous: thank you for stating that police have common sense, i think most do to. @ Li Zhou: you're obviously an outstanding citizen! @ NAN: well said!

The Baltimore Police are rude, uneducated, and foul. They abuse their power, overstep their boundaries, and break the law on a daily basis. In the past they have been charged with police misconduct, sexual assaults, kidnapping, and drug dealing. They treat victims like fugitives and frame undividuals for crimes and charges they never committed......There's no hope for them so you might as well sue them

@ Terry-Thomas, first of all great job in the movie "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad World.... Although some police are rude in any agency you will find a rude officer. However, they need a certain level of education to apply for the job. Some I know to even have a law degree but choose not to be a lawyer because they love being police so much. If I were you, I wouldn't talk about education since your spelling of individuals is wrong. You stated, "They abuse their power, overstep their boundries, and break the law on a daily basis." hmmm, sounds as if you really don't like police. My question to you is how much time did you do? Oh, by the way, they aren't being paid very well so sueing them won't get you a dime. Oh, just one more thing, in your life time the chances of you being a victim of some crime is probable, but don't call the police. Maybe a money hungry drunk at a bar will help you, or the drug dealer on the corner. Good Day.

@ Terry-Thomas,
This is what this country has come to. Sue Everyone !!! Police don't go around looking for innocent people to pick on. You take an obnoxious drunk that thinks he's above the law & refuses to cooperate with the police. There should be less drunks/alcoholics on the streets, Your rude, smell of alcohol & full of liquid courage & no it doesn't make you look better. You drive under the influence of alcohol, text, talk on the phone, cut people off , cause accidents, sometimes fatal. Most times you don't even know what you've done the night before. WOW, What a life, but don't let the police officer that's doing his job be rude and interfere with what you call not doing anything wrong. He's picking on me. HOW PATHETIC !!!! Grow Up, Learn some Responsbility & Do What's Right. Laws are inforced for a reason. If you want to point fingers of breaking the law, look in the mirror. I'm sure you break more than one law every day of you life, oh !, but lets not judge !!!! Besides, why would police go out of their way to make more work for themselves by seeking all of you innocent people out when they could be relaxing at Dunkin Donuts. The atmosphere is much sweeter. LOL.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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