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Rapists in uniform #4: Standard Operating Procedure

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.

It’s done a lot. We have a lot of prisoners in there totally naked. — Timothy Swanson, Sheriff of Stark County, Ohio.

Trigger warning. The link is to a local news story, which includes a video with short clips from a police video which may be triggering for experiences of sexual assault.

For the past several months, Sheriff Tim Swanson has refused all requests for interviews about the Hope Steffey case, claiming that it was inappropriate to comment on the case in the media while it was still being reviewed in court. Of course this was complete bollocks; as he just proved, the real issue was that he had an election coming up in November, and he didn’t want to say anything on teevee that could be used against him, and now that he has been safely re-elected he is happy to wallow around in front of a camera and say any damn thing he pleases about the case. For example, that his gang of hired muscle down at the jail are doing this sort of thing all the time, and it’s not his fault because he can’t ship people down to the local mental ward anymore and that it’s O.K. for his crew to strip down women with men in the room because he just can’t be bothered to figure out how to hire enough women that he won’t be routinely sexually traumatizing women in his jail, for their own good, but, hey, it’s all O.K. for the Stark County Sheriff’s office to be running their own personal Abu Ghraib, because the mixed-gender hired muscle that strips women down in cells and leaves them there naked for hours at a time has a nifty four-letter acronym, which makes it all official and O.K.

There is absolutely no conceivable excuse for treating anyone this way, ever. Whether man or woman, calm or belligerent, nice or nasty, crazy or sane. This is gang rape, professionalized and excused by Official Procedures. What is becoming clear is that Sheriff Tim Swanson and his goon squad, not only have convinced themselves that this kind of brutality is sometimes acceptable, but also that they have an especially broad understanding of the sort of situation that calls for it. They are a pack of dangerous predators, and their uniforms and badges don't make them any better than any other gang of serial rapists.

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9 replies to Rapists in uniform #4: Standard Operating Procedure Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. "Nick Manley" - The Curious "Deviant"

    Time to ship “our” worst cops off to the Hague.


  2. Zargon

    And the moral of the story is that we live in a world where evil behavior is acceptable so long as they engage in said evil behavior on a regular basis.

    If they only did it on the first Tuesday of every month, well then we’d have to string ’em up, but since they do it day in and day out, I guess it’s ok.

  3. Black Bloke

    It should probably read, “for their own good” and not, “for their own god”.

  4. Laura J.

    “The Investigator Tom Meyer asked Swanson if he would want his wife treated that way if she was being held in jail. Swanson said, ‘If they deemed it necessary and she was out of control, it is what it is. You are responsible for your actions or inactions.'”

    And if someone deems it necessary for Mr. Swanson, seeing how out of control he is, and his refusal to take responsibility for his actions or inactions?

    I feel sorry for Mrs. Swanson. How sad to live in a house of people who say they would turn her over to strangers at strangers’ discretion and let them do with her whatever they saw fit without intervention. I suppose the belief that it could never actually happen to her is one way of coping.

  5. Reverend Draco

    People like these are why walls and bullets were invented. . . stand ’em against the wall, and put one right in their left eyeball. . .

  6. betty brown

    everything about this story is horrifying. i came across this story/site while perusing feministblogs dot org. what a repulsive reminder of what many of us already know; those hired to protect us do not always have every citizen’s best interest/protection as their priority. this reminds me of all the women who end up tasered or the victims of excessive force because they (the women) did what they’ve been told to do when a car, that may or may not be a police car, attempts to pull them over on a dark and/or isolated road – they drive home, or to a well populated area. and, as someone with “functional” bipolar, i’d like to thank the person who has been writing this story for pointing out what can happen to a person who either honestly answers the question “do you want to harm yourself?” or who doesn’t instantly give a clear “no” right away to that question. it’s yet another shameful aspect of this country, the way both law enforcement and emergency rooms treat anyone who for the slightest of reason could be deemed mentally unstable or suicidal.

— 2009 —

  1. John

    The first thing wrong with his excuse is that there were FIVE women and THREE men there in the Hope Steffey case. I would think FIVE women could handle a cuffed Steffey. The second thing wrong with his excuse is the law regulating strip searches and cavity searches. The law says that it HAS to be same sex. So what does he do then, if he says he doesn’t have enough women?

    See, his excuses don’t even make sense. Its all BS.

    Being reviewed in court? The county’s insurance company is in talks with Steffey’s lawyers. This case will NEVER make it to a trial in a court. Guaranteed. EVERYONE has to KNOW this was all a BS arrest and ‘suicide prevention’.

    Theres just TOO many conflicting versions, TOO much evidence “missing”, a MONTHS long “investigation” that leaves too many questions, a enhanced (out of context)last minute video “confession”, and too many illogical explanations for everything that was done.

    This will be settled just like the three teen girls that were unlawfully strip searched in Stark County, quietly, and with a big hunk of taxpayer’s money.

    Officials at Stark County & the State saying they could see nothing wrong with this video. BUT just so we’re all on the same page, lets review the video….

    First of all, this video STARTS after Steffey is already forced down on the bunk. The camera operator tells investigators she doesn’t know WHY the whole recording isn’t there. And the piece that is “missing” is exactly when Steffey claimed she was never asked to remove her cloths & was assaulted by the staff. No problems with the !!!@@e2;20ac;2dc;magic’ camera…RIGHT? (I contacted the sheriff’s office May 5th and was told the video would “probably” be released in discovery. They never denied its existence THEN.)

    Plus what Swanson & the officials are saying is that not only is it ok for 8 people, men & women to be present, the men are also allowed to remove a woman’s cloths. EVEN if there are enough women there to do it.

    And if a woman !!!@@e2;20ac;2dc;reacts’ to being stripped by men & women, with spectators also standing there, while being videoed, the men are not ONLY allowed to RESTRAIN her, they are also allowed to pull her arms in submission holds, while yelling for her to “STOP IT”.

    And then AFTER she is already stripped naked, its STILL ok for the men to put her in an arm bar submission hold, if she starts screaming while they force her crossed legs against her butt, while waiting to “change a mat”.

    And its also ok for the camera, which is supposed to be on the prisoner at ALL times, to deliberately swing away so you can’t tell what they are doing to her. Plus they have no explanation for WHAT they are doing. No problem here too RIGHT?

    ===== Yeah, just having a couple men TWICE her size, and a couple women, JUST restraining her isn’t enough, if she doesn’t cooperate, they can also TORTURE her into SUBMISSION. =====

    And then once they leave, these “professionals” can have a good laugh…I guess they didn’t realize the camera was STILL running.

    THIS is what Swanson is good with?

    Because the “investigators” are OK with it.

    The full video: WARNING WARNING WARNING This video WILL affect you.


  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

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

    […] GT 2008-11-13: Rapists in uniform #4: Standard Operating Procedure […]

  3. 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.

    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?




    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.

    The quality of the video is pretty bad. It will seem to ‘skip’ frames for quite a while in some places, but then take a bunch in a row at other times. Why it does this, I don’t know. All the cameras at the sheriff’s dept seem to be in bad shape and “malfunction” right at critical moments.

    I had to cut this video in half, it was 20 minutes long, from the time they took her in to the time they left the hall in front of her cell. So I cut off the front of it when they took her in. Heres a link to the whole thing that should be good for a while: http://rapidshare.com/files/232400098/Production_Done.wmv

    WHY does it take 20 minutes outside the hall to show a “suicide prevention” that only took 4 min?

    The building camera, seems to skip a lot of frames, so you’d think it would be a shorter video.

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

    As you can see from the video the big dufass 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.

    Heres the first video in a series that shows Steffey as she comes into the station. As will become obvious, the cops lies about how “physically abusive” she was is disproved by the videos.


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