Bad Apples: The Deadly Power of Bad Examples

by Helen Gerhardt.

This is a Valentine’s Day post dedicated to the memory of my friend and co worker Ka’Sandra Wade, who was murdered on New Year’s Eve. She called 911 for help and the call was interrupted by “a commotion” according to the dispatcher. Neighbors report that gun shots were heard only after two police officers left her apartment, after they spoke to Anthony Brown and he reassured them that everything was okay. They did not speak to the woman who had called for help. Brown later wrote a note that claimed that the police could have saved her. 

In light of the recent spate of newsand commentaryregarding the professional performance, ethical consistency and supervisory duties of our Chief of Police, Nathaniel Harper and the continued “confidence” of our Mayor in “his” chief, I present a hypothetical scenario sent to me from an anonymous commenter by email under cover of a pseudonym – this person directly echoed my own thoughts:

“Imagine if the police were in a rush to leave Ka’Sandra Wade’s place because they needed to get off-duty on schedule, without getting hung up — so they could get to their second job, working security at a SouthSide bar.”

No, as the commenter was careful to make clear, that suggestion was not a tip-off from a whistleblower within the Pittsburgh police force.  It’s a rational extrapolation based on well documented, prevailing patterns of institutionally supported moonlighting. It’s a bitter guess based on the evident exploitationof the powers vested in our public police force to satisfy private profit motives. I’m willing to bet that email is only one example of many such darkly cynical speculations that express common erosions ofpublic confidence when bad examples are rewarded within power structures that have been entrusted with deadly force to “protect and serve.”

13 thoughts on “Bad Apples: The Deadly Power of Bad Examples

  1. Anonymous

    So, has anyone noticed that Tonya Montgomery-Ford does not live in the city, but as reported in gthe Post-Gazette this AM, lives with her husband, also a Pittsburgh Police officer, in Homestead.
    I was under the impression that it was required that Pittsburgh Police live in the city.

  2. Shawn Carter

    “Officer Montgomery-Ford's New Homestead residence, which has a Homestead mailing address. She lives there with her husband, Pittsburgh police Detective Dale Ford.”

    New Homestead is one Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods. The ZIPCode is 15120, which is the Homestead Post Office, but plenty of people live in City neighborhoods that happen to have suburban ZipCodes.

    The USPS uses different catchment areas for their zipcode regions than the City's subdivision boundary.

  3. Anonymous

    Never fear – when Peduto is Mayor, the city residency requirement will waived, he'll catch each snowflake before it falls on the city, and he'll fund the pension out of his changepurse, etc.

  4. Bram Reichbaum

    I continue to love how Peduto gets mocked for having the gall to suggest there is room for improvement. Like the idea things can get better implies the need for a miracle worker or messiah. It's called focusing on operations and giving the internal politics a rest, nothing more.

  5. Anonymous

    New Homestead is a surprisingly isolated neighborhood of just a handful of suburban-type streets. When the wind blows off the Mon and up over the ridge, New Homestead feels like the Scottish moors.

  6. Anonymous

    “If there were monies diverted to a non-approved depository of the city I'd have to think, well, I don't know what you would characterize that other than as a theft.” This is a nice way to accuse someone of a crime without actually doing so.

  7. Anonymous

    Wrong again Bram, Peduto doesn't get criticized for wanting improvement. he gets criticized for what everyone knows is a bunch of baloney. I can assure you, no doubt in my mind, that if he wins (fortunately he won't) he will fill boards and commissions with his supporters, hand our URA money to connected E. End developers and generally do the exact same stuff he complains of. The only difference is that you all will rationalize his actions. No one is buying your bs and you will see it in the election just like Fox News spin doctors learned in November. For proof we don't have to look any further than your and Bill's continued support of Fitzy who might be the worst old school machine Democrat, fracker, strong arm politician to hit the County in decades.


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