Rad Geek People's Daily

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In Their Own Words: “Just following orders” edition

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 16 years ago, in 2008, on the World Wide Web.

Trigger warning. The following video of a local news story may be triggering for experiences of sexual assault.

Stark County Sheriff Timothy A. Swanson:

Will a local television channel try to defame the Stark County Sheriff's Office over yet another story? Swanson said in a prepared statement Monday. Will the truth be told to the citizens or is there just a sensationalist aspect trying to be conveyed while creating another story?

With the media, there has been a lot of misinformation, Swanson said. We follow all guidelines by the Bureau of Adult Detention to avoid such actions and we following them to the tee.

… Swanson contends that his deputies followed procedures when handling Steffey.

Each individual knows how difficult it was getting into the profession and the difficulty meeting the requirements set forth day to day in their chosen careers, the release said. They constantly meet the required training, refresh themselves on changing laws, complete any and all mandated requirements placed on them by either the Federal, State or their own agency.

Swanson said there may have been 20 or 30 incidents like Steffey's in the last 16 months, with people in jail who appear to be unstable.

In those situations, they are people who are not taking care of themselves and in those instances we have to take action, he said.

(For those that watched) the video, (the deputies) acted in accordance to our policies and procedures, he said, and I'm sorry that they have to go through such (a hassle) with the media and be ridiculed for something that they did exactly the way that they are supposed to do it.

— Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson, quoted by Michael Freeze, for the Massillon, Ohio Independent (2008-03-07): Sheriff's department denies wrongdoing in strip-search case

Further reading:

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  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-05-10 – Cops are here to protect you. (#3):

    […] male guards wrenching her arms and holding her down, we are informed that these gang rapists were Just Following Orders. Cops are also elaborately trained in the use and abuse of the legal system, and know very well […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-05-10 – Rapists in uniform #3: a sixth woman comes forward:

    […] GT 2008-03-08: In Their Own Words: Just following orders edition […]

· June 2008 ·

· November 2008 ·

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-11-13 – Rapists in uniform #4: Standard Operating Procedure:

    […] GT 2008-03-08: In Their Own Words: Just following orders edition […]

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-01-31 – Rapists in uniform #5: on invasions of privacy:

    […] GT 2008-03-08: In Their Own Words: Just following orders edition […]

  2. John

    This is the BCI report that Agent Christy S. Palmer sent to John D. Ferrero, Prosecuting Attorney Stark County Ohio. Dated April 16, 2008 BCI Case #: SI-76-08-14-0147

    This is part of page 3


    Sheriff Swanson has ALWAYS maintained that Steffey was ASKED & REFUSED to remove her cloths. But here’s the BCI’s OWN REPORT that PROVES this is a LIE! And then they try to explain away their first lie with another lie, about why it was done this way without asking Steffey to do it voluntarily.

    They are trying to say that Steffey was resisting enough that EIGHT people (5 women, 3 men) couldn’t take the chance of ASKING her to remove her cloths, or EVEN TELL HER WHAT WAS GOING ON!!! What a crock!!

    I did NOT see any resisting in the video, I saw eight cops parading her to the cell, with her in cuffs.

    In fact EVERY video I have seen she is in cuffs! And the ONLY times I have seen her react to the cops is after they have assaulted her or in the process of stripping her naked. And all the rest of the jail videos are posted on YouTube to prove that these accusations are lies too. (Look for Zemo999’s videos)

    But apparently catching the sheriff’s dept in a lie isn’t a big deal to our “independent” BCI investigator, Christy Palmer, who seems ready to accept ANY excuse the sheriff’s dept wants to use.

    The report also goes on to say that they lowered Steffey in a slow controlled manner to the floor. Except that Steffey says she was thrown to the floor. She also told her husband in a phone call that she thought the cops had broken her nose. And she was treated by the nurse for the injury. And in page 4 of this report Christy Palmer even states that Steffey reported that her nose was making “crunching noises”.

    So I guess this is proof of a second LIE! (Or third)

    And still Christy Palmer, the “independent investigator” doesn’t think twice about accepting the word of the cops over the VICTIMS in spite of proof. BTW, Christy also references a video that she says “proves that she was lowered in a slow controlled manner to the floor”. As far as I know, THIS would have to be on the ‘non-existent’ beginning of the strip video. On May 5th when I asked about the “missing” video, I was told it would soon be released. Now here again it looks as though it’s referenced…even though they NOW claim it does not exist. Interesting. (I have filed a request for this video.)

    Its no wonder the grand jury found that the cop’s actions didn’t rise to the level of “criminal culpability”. How could they with the BCI investigator spellchecking the sheriff’s own reports and passing them on as FACT.

    This isn’t so much an investigation report as it is a smear campaign against Hope Steffey.

    The cops can polish this turd as much as want, this STILL STINKS!

    BTW I don’t know why they bothered to black out the names of Nurse Coren Lennon and the jail psychologist Thomas Anuszkiewicz, aren’t they PROUD of the work they do?

  3. John



    Ok here’s a video you won’t see on the news.

    Here’s the cops taking Steffey to the cell to strip her naked. This shows what was going on outside in the hallway.

    But as you can see after they have closed up the cell after assaulting her, they IMMEDIATLY open her cell again, and some of them enter it. The rest all stand around and seem to have a good laugh, so this will add some more time to the video.

    As you can see from the video the big guy in the white shirt, he stays at the door to the cell looking in all the time Steffey was being assaulted, and then he stays back around her cell afterwards, looking in….GEE, I wonder WHY? Then afterwards he’s joined by another officer who didn’t get a chance to help strip Steffey and he starts walking down to have a look too.


    BUT THEN the camera seems to malfunction, and the next thing you see is a empty hall. BUT only ONE second has passed on the time marks! WOW, …..MORE “missing” video from Stark County Sheriff’s Dept.

  4. John

    I was always puzzled by the news saying that there was “confusion” when the cops arrived.

    I’m thinking what “confusion”?? They have everyone there saying that Steffey was the victim, even the female cousin is saying it on video.

    Heck even the cop testifies that he went to his car to document Steffey’s injuries…and the cops are on tape talking about Steffey’s cousin getting arrested the month before for another domestic battery charge, and even her brother mentions her other assault charge when he calls 911 & the cops on his OWN SISTER! Plus Gurlea has everyone looking for Steffey’s missing hair, and Gurlea is on tape talking to Steffey as if he knows she is the victim, telling her that he will still investigate her assault even though he is arresting her. Plus he also names her as the victim in his radio traffic! So WHY are the papers saying there was “confusion”, there is none in the evidence!?!? It didn’t make any sense.

    Then Richard T. Gurlea Jr testified under oath that the investigation was never finished, because Steffey was !!!@@e2;20ac;2dc;unable to contribute to the investigation’. HUH?? You mean ANY victim that is knocked unconscious or killed will never have their case solved!?!?! Because Steffey had gone back to the sheriff’s dept 4 days later to file abuse complaints & the assault. So are they trying to say she was STILL unable to “contribute to the investigation'”?? This makes no sense at all!

    Then the cops got only TWO written witness statements, despite the fact that there were several people there. Again it doesn’t make any sense.

    Then I found the last piece of the puzzle that would make sense of all this…the cops tried to FRAME Steffey for the assault that she had reported!!

    Here’s PROOF the cops were actually trying to charge the VICTIM for the crime she was reporting!!


    NONE of the papers have EVER reported that Steffey was actually arrested for assault too. But this incident report clearly shows the cops were trying their best to get her charged with the assault too.

    It’s all an attempt to cover the cop’s abuse of Steffey, when witnesses said he exploded in a rage at her. They even went so far as to take ONLY TWO written witness statements, and they were from Steffey’s attacker & her brother…(who she no doubt threatened into it, since she didn’t know at that time he was the one to call the cops)…and she DID threaten the aunt that she thought had called them.

    The arresting cop, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., testified at Steffey’s trial that the ‘investigation’ into the assault was never finished.

    REALLY?!!? Then how do you explain the assault charges against Steffey in the incident report they filled out??

— 2010 —

  1. John

    Deputies drop suit vs. WKYC over Hope Steffey report

    Just as I have said all along this would NEVER get to a trial. There is just no way for the cops to justify what was done to Steffey.


  2. John

    Ok want some more stuff that NEVER made it to the news about this case?

    Sheriff Swanson always tried to sell this story as Steffey being drunk & abusive.

    But witnesses at the scene TESTIFIED that she is not that drunk, now you might try to write that off as Steffey’s relation, but there is one problem with that theory. The BCI investigation ALSO finds that the next shift at the jail also says that they can detect NO smell or effects of alcohol on Steffey. (This would have been an hour & 1/2 after they stripped her.)

    Want another piece that NEVER made it to the news? Swanson plays seconds of a audio tape where he claims Steffey admits to being suicidal, when you can tell she actually being SARCASTIC, NOT SUICIDAL! Plus he fails to mention that the BCI investigation found that she DENIED being suicidal THREE TIMES!

    Want yet ANOTHER piece that NEVER made it to any NEWS source?

    Swanson claims that jail psychologist Thomas Anuszkiewicz put Steffey on suicide watch. But I called the sheriff’s dept they say they have NO evidence that backs up this claim, and the evidence that is there shows ONLY Coren Lennon put Steffey on suicide watch. So we have Swanson caught in ANOTHER LIE!

    How about one more for the road? Ok the “missing” beginning of the strip video, so is it REALLY missing? I called the sheriff’s dept May 5th 2007 and asked if the sheriff was ever going to release this video. They didn’t ask WHAT video, they knew exactly which one I was referring to, and they said it would be released during discovery. A week and a half later they deny that it existed! But the story doesn’t end there, because the BCI investigation report MENTIONS THIS EXACT SAME PIECE OF VIDEO! So I called Paul Scarsella (614-644-0729) of Special Prosecutions Ohio Attorney General’s office and ask for this video. Now Paul says this video doesn’t exist, and that the description that Agent Christy S. Palmer made in her report was her “interpretation”. HUH??? Agent Christy S. Palmer has an “interpretation” for NON-EXISTENT video?!?!?!? AMAZING!

    Wow makes a difference when you start to get the whole story huh?

    And these are just some of the LIES these people have been caught in.

    Sheriff Swanson says there were not enough women there & thats why they had to have men there.

    Video CLEARLY shows that this is a lie. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Zemo999/Steff1.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Zemo999/Steff2.jpg

  3. John

    When I contacted the investigators I asked a few questions to see just how through this investigation was.

    I asked of any of the other 5 women had been interviewed to show a pattern of abuse at the jail? ANS: NO

    Did you examine the camera that magically fixes itself, or see if it had ever failed before or after this case. ANS: NO

    Did you polygraph anyone to verify the TRUTH of their statements? ANS: NO

    Did you go over all the jail policies concerning a “suicide prevention”? ANS: NO

    How can someone be TOO suicidal for a suit DESIGNED for the purpose?

    ANS: None, no answer at all…NO ONE I have ever contacted could answer this question, including Swanson

    Wow they really dug for the TRUTH in this case huh? (This also is SARCASM, since I know none of the Stark County cops know the difference.)

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