Charges have been dismissed against the Massachusetts man who was arrested for wiretapping earlier this year after openly recording a cop in public, but that doesn’t mean police will return his phone anytime soon.
It just means they will open a second investigation as to how George Thompson’s footage mysteriously disappeared while the phone was in the evidence room of the Fall River Police Department.
Police are insisting that Thompson deleted his own footage remotely, so they’ve hired an outside company to prove this.
But the company they contracted, Ken Bell and Associates, is owned by a former cop and self-described “training consultant” who lists all kinds of expertise on his website, ranging from “motivational talks,” “mentor training,” “street gangs,” “teacher-staff training” and “stress management.”
But nowhere on his website does it state his company has any specialized skills in forensics when it comes to deleted video from a smart phone.
However, Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine is under the impression that Ken Bell and Associates is “a private and external forensic investigation company that specializes in computer and cell phone forensic investigations,” according to his press release announcing the dismissal of charges against Thompson.
The truth is, Racine knows his own cops deleted the footage, but he figures he’ll prolong the facade of justice while sending a few taxpayer dollars towards a man who makes a living consulting law enforcement agencies around the country.
The Bay State Examiner attended Friday’s hearing in which Thompson’s charges were dropped, then attempted to interview Fall River Mayor William Flanagan, Racine’s supervisor, to see if he would initiate an investigation into the police department to see who tampered with the phone.
But as you can see in the video above, Flanagan provided the typical canned response, which most likely got him elected, stating that he supported the way the chief was handling the investigation, even though he admitted he was clueless about the details of the case.
Last month, Racine told a Massachusetts news station that if it turns out one of his officers deleted the footage, then that officer would be fired and most likely criminally charged.
“If a Fall River police officer erased that video, he’s fired and I would suspect the district attorney would take out charges,” Racine said. “If any other individual did that, we will take out felony charges.”
But when you have police investigating police, even if it’s a former cop who makes his living out of billing cops, then you can be rest assured a cop will never be found culpable.
It turns out the company contracted by the Fall River Police Department to investigate how a man’s video footage mysteriously disappeared from his phone while it was in the evidence room is not the one I initially reported earlier this week.
I mistakenly reported that Ken Bell Associates, a California company operated by a former cop turned consultant, would be conducting the investigation, finding it odd considering it’s not something he specializes in.
The company is actually Ken Bell & Associates, a mysterious company that has a website proclaiming to be “an industry leader in digital forensics and cyber security,” encouraging people to “call us today and find out why people are talking about us.”
Read more here.