The above link is for the City Council meeting of May 19 2014. Richard Berry’s two heroes, Scott Greenwood and Tom Streicher addressed the city council at this meeting. Questions have swirled regarding just who these two are, how did Berry find them, what is there connection with Schultz, what will they do for Albuquerque and what is their track record.
Starting at minute 24:00, Scott Greenwood makes some very disturbing comments. First, Greenwood states that he and Streicher opened their business “a couple of years ago”. Well checking online with the Secretary of State of Ohio we see that Greenwood & Streicher LLC was opened on April 19, 2013. That’s thirteen months, not a couple of years. (entity number 2192938, document number 201311200624).
Next Greenwood talks in detail about their “experience”, but an online search shows that Greenwood & Streicher have only reviewed one police department, Hamilton County Sheriff, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Streicher was police chief of Cincinnati). http://www.hcso.org/.
Reviewing a police agency is a lot different than being the target of an investigation, as Streicher’s Cincinnati Police Department was. So were these guys the most experienced team that Berry could find? We won’t know because it was not opened to competitive bid. Apparently Greenwood & Streicher LLC was the only company contacted. Sounds a lot like the Taser Axon Lapel Camera contract doesn’t it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,??
Then at 25:40 things get really interesting. Councilor Rey Garduno asks Greenwood how they were contacted. Greenwood says that “the city called twice. First was from our (Albuquerque) old chief (Ray Schultz) when the city received the Department of Justice letter. Ray called them and asked, “What happened? What happened?”
This is a strange way for Schultz to phrase his phone call to Greenwood, “What happened?” Could it be that Greenwood & Streicher had already been working behind the scenes with Schultz? Was the DoJ investigation not supposed to happen? And Schultz was surprised when it did? Could this be another “greased” moment?
We deserve to know why and when did Schultz first contact Greenwood & Streicher. And the connection between Schultz and Greenwood & Streicher has a very disturbing common denominator: Taser.
Was Taser involved in any of this? Who first put Schultz in touch with Greenwood? Schultz, Greenwood and Streicher all have very strong ties to Taser, was it these ties that brought Greenwood & Streicher LLC to Albuquerque? We are hearing they worked together at a Taser conference,,,,,,,
Consider this, Greenwood & Streicher LLC did not open until April 19, 2013. The Department of Justice announced their investigation into APD in November 2012. Did Greenwood & Streicher LLC decide to open their company because they already had the inside track for a lucrative contract with the city of Albuquerque? I would surmise that Albuquerque taxpayers will be on the hook to Greenwood & Streicher LLC for well over a million dollars by the time this is all finished, and everyone is saying this is going to take years.
The questioning by Garduno continues and Greenwood says this to him in response, “That was the recommendation of the Department of Justice, that they (Albuquerque) reach out to us.” Really? The Department of Justice told Schultz / Berry to call Greenwood & Streicher LLC? If this is true there would be a paper trail and I believe all of us would like to see those documents and emails. I find it hard to believe the DoJ would tell APD / Albuquerque to call a private attorney and his pal from Cincinnati at the beginning of the investigation. Or even at the end of the investigation. Since when does the DoJ recommend legal counsel to the police departments they are investigating? This makes no sense and the Department of Justice needs to come forth and explain. If they did direct Albuquerque business to Greenwood & Streicher LLC, why? Is that ethical? Legal? If they did not then what is Greenwood saying? What is the real story?
Greenwood then says they did not hear anything for a year and a half. Then suddenly he gets a phone call from the mayor (Berry). So Schultz still had Berry’s ear (just like he promised Taser he would) and he told Berry to call Greenwood. This is the entire vetting process? We are about to spend probably millions for these two guys from Cincinnati and the entire background is Schultz telling Berry to call them. I feel very sick to my stomach that we might not have the best counsel money can buy, but I am sure they are going to make us pay, dearly. Who does business like this? Would you spend your money this way? Would Berry spend his own money without checking around first? Oh it’s not his money, it’s ours.
Greenwood does say they work for the city of Albuquerque. What is not asked is Greenwood and Streicher’s ties to Taser and was it those ties that put Ray Schultz into contact with them? If the DoJ demands that Taser guns be removed from APD or moved back up the Use of Force Continuum, will Greenwood & Streicher LLC agree or will they fight this because this means less money for Taser? Have Greenwood & Streicher severed all ties with Taser? If not, why? And what capacity is their employment?
Below are several links that should concern all of us with how deep the Taser influence is in Albuquerque. It should also make us wonder what happened to Greenwood & Streicher LLC regarding the New Orleans Police Department.
Demand that the city council and Berry publicly ask these questions!
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/video-camera-article-1.1363219 (written by Greenwood & Streicher, the only body camera reference is made by Taser June 2013)
Power Point Presentation by Scott Greenwood for Taser May 2011 (attached). Ends with the statement “I am a believer!”
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/83120565/TASER-Electronic-Control-Devices-_ECDs_(May2011) Greenwood quote, “There is zero justification to be against these weapons.”
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=129937&p=irol-newsArticle_pf&ID=700935&highlight= (Taser press release for investors, listing Scott Greenwood)
http://www.taser.com/videos/on-officer-cameras/chief-tom-streicher (from Taser’s website featuring Tom Streicher).
http://www.evidence.com/ (from Taser’s Evidence.com website featuring this quote by Tom Streicher, “ Evidence.com is undoubtedly the best solution for any police agency seeking to leverage the power and economic advantage of cloud technology.”
We could go on and on with links connecting Taser with Schultz, Greenwood and Streicher but I think you get the point. There is nothing wrong with these guys liking the Taser product, where the problem comes in is that they appear to be selling the Taser product. At a time when Taser abuse in Albuquerque received special notice in the DoJ report. This also goes hand in hand with the Taser Axon Body Camera no bid contract that Schultz handled for Taser while he was still chief. Now we have Taser people, Greenwood & Streicher being the only folks contacted to defend the city in talks with the DoJ. Can these people serve Albuquerque citizens and serve Taser? Is there a conflict of interest?
Are there other departments that Taser International is corrupting?
It certainly seems that there is a very cozy relationship between Taser and Rialto Police Chief Farrar and Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank, both of whom are speaking on Taser’s behalf at upcoming Taser Technology Summit June 6, at Taser Headquarters in Scottsdale (along with recently retired APD Chief Ray Schultz). Burbank, in the article linked above, went so far as to stress that he does not work for Taser. Now why would he say that? Is he and Farrar being paid by their towns while selling Taser products in Scottsdale? Is Taser providing the airfare, food and lodging for them while in Scottsdale? Working for Taser or being compensated by Taser or being provided gifts by Taser, what is the difference? Both of these chiefs are walking down the same road that Taser and Ray Schultz have done in Albuquerque. Maybe the Department of Justice needs to review these two chiefs of Police and Taser’s relationship with them. It is one thing to say body cameras should be used by law enforcement, it is entirely different to have active members of law enforcement selling a certain type of body camera. Add to that that these members of law enforcement are chiefs of police who have the final say in approving multi-million dollar contracts and you can see where this activity has crossed the line.
Albuquerque certainly looks like it is owned by Taser International. Towns like Rialto, California and Salt Lake City, Utah look like Taser has its prongs into them as well. Is it illegal for these chiefs of police to be working on Taser’s behalf, while still working for their community? I hope the Department of Justice decides to investigate and answer this question. Is it ethical? Not by anyone’s standards.
Welcome to the new age of the Law Enforcement Industrial Complex.
Taser owns us, their advocates are here, are we OK with this?
P.S. We found it very interesting that on June 12, 2013, Schultz REDUCED the use of a taser in APD’s use of force procedure to that of pepper spray (check APD Procedural Order 2-52-9 G). We all know what that means, lower justified use of force means MORE use of that particular weapon…..