Janet Lee

Janet Lee
Photo:Janet Lee, injured by a taxi partition.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

FBI Letter June 12, 2003

U.S Department of Justice 
Federal Bureau of Investigation
2901 Leon C. Simon Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70126
504-816-3000
June 12, 2003

Mr.  Steve W. Carlsen-Crowell
2111 Westbend Pkwy. #233
N.O.,LA 70114

Dear Mr. Crowell,

         The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received your letter dated May 25, 2003. After reviewing its'  contents we have determined there is no violation over which the FBI has jurisdiction.
          
          If you receive any further information you feel may be evidence of a federal crime, please forward the information to the FBI.

Sincerely yours,

Louis M. Reigel, III
Special Agent in Charge

BY: (signed) Charles L. McGinty
Supervisory Special Agent

“No Federal violation?”
This is hard to believe. In a 1984 letter the USDOT Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Safety Director mentions a “trade off of passenger safety”, with the use of partitions, which are not certified, or in compliance with Federal Standards. This so-called “trade off of passenger safety” is not only blatantly illegal under any circumstances, but it is done in the name of hollow allegations that partitions protect drivers in assault scenarios.

There is a 1997 Federally funded study out of North Carolina State University authored by Dr. John Randolph Stone, which contends that partitions are viable because they satisfy a cost/benefit ratio analysis. The contention asserts that a 20% drop in cab driver assault results in a decline in emergency medical care expenditure. When that amount of cost is compared to the cost of partition installation, it is revealed that Stone believes that an INCREASE in cab driver murder is tolerable and actually beneficial, because it is less costly.

Of course ‘medical attention costs’ for fatal assault attempts on cab drivers is costlier than BURIAL. This assertion is nigh on Genocide.

Additionally, there exists a scenario where widespread cowardly vicious felonies are bragged about openly by police officers nationwide. When an officer uses inertia to thrust the handcuffed prisoners’ face into the steel grid of the illegal partition by slamming on the brakes, what we have is institutionalized police brutality. Is it not the venue of the FBI to address civil rights violations? Police departments, nationwide, buy substandard partitions and then assert that because they are in the business of public safety and law enforcement they have the right to use substandard dangerous illegal equipment. This is inversely logical and disgusting.

I have started production and sales of a partition design which addresses all of the drawbacks of conventional partition design only to be put out of business with unfair bidding practices and illegal restraint of trade measures committed by police departments.

Police officers have been rendered unconscious in high speed rear-end collisions by impact with the partition and as a result perish in the occasional fire because they do not exit the vehicle when it catches on fire. A less rigid design would help to minimize this likelihood.

Police departments have an obligation to provide a safe work environment. When they choose partition designs, which do little or nothing to preclude the intrusion of possibly contaminating bodily fluids from the rear seat into the front seat area, these departments are not doing all that is reasonable to provide a safe work environment. Officers and sensitive equipment are at risk because many of the partition designs allow bodily fluid transmission from the back seat. My design also addresses this.

If you actually read the letter that I sent on May 25th, 2003, you will be aware of the fact that it is not just I who has noticed these hazards, which are illegal. The letter also quotes many doctors who are aware of the hazards.

I know it is not the business of the FBI to see that I can sell partitions. It is, however, the business of the FBI to be certain that these current scenarios be addressed. One of your agents once told me that the ‘FBI will never, never, never, never” address this issue. Charles Cunningham seemed to understand, last April, that this is wrong.

The USDOT should enforcing mandatory standards, not endorsing their subversion.

Police departments should be aware that what is used is illegal and they (police departments) should not ban compliant partitions. They have banned partitions, which are compliant. They have also gone as far as to require the removal of compliance certification labels.

Will your office please address these issues before more officers and other members of the public, such as people in cab industry, are killed because of illegal partition hazards?


Thank you,

Steve Crowell
Crowell Manufacturing Co.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Tim Ray - a police officer of Monee, Illinois - wrote the following message to me on the internet.

 This message was available for anybody in the world to read.

"HERE'S  SOMETHING I LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU GET AN UNFRIENDLY PASSENGER IN YOUR CAR WHO LIKES TO RUN HIS MOUTH, PUT HIM ON THE PASSENGER SIDE WHERE THE WIRE SCREEN IS, AND WHILE HE IS RUNNING HIS MOUTH TELL HIM THAT YOU CAN'T HEAR HIM SO HE GETS RIGHT UP TO IT, AND WHEN HIS FACE GETS RIGHT THERE. SLAM ON YOUR BRAKES, I GUARANTEE IT SHUTS THEM UP EVERY TIME. "

The procedure that Officer Ray is speaking of here is a process called "waffling or noodling the prisoner."
I am no prisoner coddler nor am I a cop basher. I just don't think it is, in any way, appropriate to make suspects eligible for thousands of dollars in settlement cash, only to fulfill the officers' desire for a moment of sadistic satisfaction.
      I wrote to Officer Ray suggesting that he be a part of the solution. I wanted him to jump the fence from being a criminal police officer to becoming an aide to me in my efforts to get police departments to more seriously consider purchasing only partitions which are certified to comply with applicable Federal standards. He responded with this note.

STEVE,
JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE PRISONER SMASHING. OUR PRISONERS HAVE TO BE SECURED IN THE REAR SEAT WITH A SEAT BELT. NOT ONLY BECAUSE IT IS A DEPARTMENT REGULATION. BUT IT IS A STATE LAW IN ILL.. OUR CAGES ARE OF THE LATEST DESIGN AND ARE PADDED COMPLETELY. MY DEPARTMENT UPDATES EQUIPMENT AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. YOU ARE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. PRISONER SAFETY WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED IN MY OPINION IS NOT TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY. THAT PERSON IS IN YOUR CUSTODY AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIM NO MATTER WHAT HE HAS DONE, AND ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO HIM FALLS ON YOUR SHOULDERS. GOOD LUCK!!

TIM


      Evaluate the relative believability of the two prior letters

On Dec. 6, 1996 Prof. John Stone said in a speech:

"Drivers and passengers do not fully accept shields in taxis. Drivers want to detach shields from cars they may use privately during off‑duty hours. 

Some passengers perceive shields to be an uncomfortable inconvenience. Driver safety objectives should not be considered in isolation from passenger service objectives. 

A word of caution, we should all think about whom is ultimately responsible for the safety of a taxi driver.  Is it the Driver?  The company or taxi owner?  Or a regulatory agency?  Should the taxi industry take care of its own?  Or should a regulatory agency  adopt a "parental" approach to the welfare of taxi drivers?  

If a regulatory agency mandates safety equipment, it accepts some responsibility, and companion liability if a safety device fails to protect a driver.  And unfortunately no safety device or method guarantees full protection."

In a 1997 phone call I asked Professor John Randolph Stone if he realized partitions were mandated in response to murder, not mere assault. He agreed that the bulletproof claim was intended to address drivers who were shot. I asked if he knew that his own figures in his June 1999 Taxi Partition Effectiveness Study NCSU showed that murders not only continued, with so-called bullet-proof partitions, but actually increased!

I then asked asked Dr. Stone if he thought that partitions were worthwhile, when his own figures show a mere 20% decline in non-fatal assault, accompanied by a 400% increase in murder. He said yes. I asked why. He said,"One needs to look at the real number difference, rather than the percentage difference - before and after partition installation mandates. There we see the real number reduction in non-fatal assault is 16 fewer for each additional murder."
I replied, "And the murder rate increase went from 2 in 12 months at worst, to 3 in the first three months of partition installation mandates. 
Can you rationalize this? Can you endeavor to ameliorate a loved ones' grief by explaining that... "Yes, your husband is dead, but the value of his sacrifice, means 16 fewer cab drivers will be non-fatally assaulted, because of this?"
He said, "Yes."

How to end the murder rate of cab drivers in New Orleans

Shielding taxi drivers

         Looking for reasons why requiring bulletproof shields in taxis is a bad idea? That's easy. They would block the flow of cool air to the backseat, leaving passengers wilted in New Orleans heat. They would block the flow of friendly conversation between drivers and their customers. That would muzzle some highly entertaining goodwill ambassadors. They're expensive, which would put a financial burden on drivers.            They aren't an assurance of protection. A determined assailant could come at a driver through a front-seat window or the windshield. Those are legitimate arguments against Mayor MoriaI's push to require the shields. But all of them together can't overcome the best argument for them: 12 New Orleans cabbies murdered in the past three years; four this year, and two this month. Those numbers take on greater significance if you consider that there are only about 1,700 taxis in the city. That equates to an appalling murder rate among New Orleans cabbies and demands an intense response. That won't necessarily make the mayor's proposal popular.             Drivers talk about other, they say better, solutions. Allow them to refuse passengers who don't call from a verifiable home or business phone. Allow them to make change for nothing greater than a $20 bill. The latest victim, 30-year veteran driver Joe Johnson, shows those solutions to be far from perfect as well. Mr. Johnson, friends and family said, was a cautious driver. He kept little cash in his cab and was extremely careful about who he picked up. He was the kind of guy who warned other drivers to take the same kind of precautions. 
           Still, he was found early Aug. 14 stabbed to death on Magazine Street. Police believe he died in a holdup after picking up a fare in the French Quarter. Ironically, the completion of the study Mayor Morial ordered in May on the usefulness of bulletproof shields coincided with Mr. Johnson's death.
   It is a convincing document. The message from officials in almost all of the 10 cities surveyed is that the shields have made cab driving a safer occupation. In Newark, N.J., where the requirement has been in place since 1966, only one cab-driver has been killed in the past 15 years. In Boston, only seven cabbies have been murdered since the shield law was passed in 1969.
  There are success stories in cities that, like New Orleans, have come to this idea in recent years. Five cabdrivers were murdered between 1990 and '94 in San Francisco, but there has been only one slaying in the past three years.
  No one is arguing that the shields erase all risk of attack. But they clearly reduce the risk - and save lives.
  In addition to putting a physical barrier between drivers and would-be assailants, the shields serve as a deterrent in a more general way. They are a very visible anti-violence symbol.
  There is no getting around the expense of buying and installing the shields. The mayor's task force found they ranged from $300 to $800, with a variety of features. Some have vents for air flow. Some open and close electronically, like power windows. Some can be removed and used again if a driver changes cars. They're all quick to install.
  Those options could answer some of the complaints drivers have about shields. They also affect the cost, usually pushing it upward. Concerns about passenger comfort must be given high priority, particularly since the New Orleans economy relies so heavily on tourism.
  Mayor Morial is considering a fare increase to offset the cost. That is an obvious option, but we hope it isn't the only one considered. A permanent rate increase seems to be overdoing it for what will most likely be a one time expense.
  There are still many questions to be answered: Which shield or shields would be best; how would the requirement be phased in; how to pay for them.
  We wish there were no need for a barrier to keep cabbies safe in our citv. And
what we really hope to see is the dramatic drop in violent crime that Superintendant Richard Pennington promises

  A safer city is the best way to ensure safe cab drivers.

For many years the news media and the police in New Orleans made a fatal mistake. That is, until 1997. Boston, New York and many other cities still have it wrong and more people die from being shot, because of this policy error.

In 1997 - the New Orleans Times Picayune changed their editorial policy from the usual story; "Witless, vulnerable dupe of a cab driver - easily slain in a remote area, by a lone gunman, who used the taxi for his get-away. Police have few leads" This actually inspires more aggression against the apparently unarmed cab driver.

When it becomes less apparent that the driver is unarmed, crime goes down.

The Times Picayune newspaper published an editorial that called partitions ineffective but also said they probably should be required for taxis. I called the writer of the editorial and suggested that portraying cab drivers as vulnerable... is risky, for cab drivers.

The standard operating procedure, as advised by the police authorities, is, for the driver to yield to aggressors and surrender anything demanded by the assailant.

I suggested that the Times Picayune newspaper start describing New Orleans cab drivers as deadly, when faced with a deadly threat. I suggested they run with the angle that it is dangerous to try to rob a New Orleans cab driver, not easy. After all, it is true, that many New Orleans cab drivers DO carry firearms.

That conversation took place in 1997. From 1994 to 1997 - 13 cab drivers were shot dead. After the change in the editorial policy took place in 1997, the murder rate went to zero for over ten years. This happened in the deadliest city, in the deadliest occupation. Had the usual editorial policy remained in place, as many as 30 cab drivers might have been shot dead in those ten years.

Boston Police Captain Arthur Cadegan letter to Dr. Ronald Malt


July 16, 1985



Ronald A. Malt, M. D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts  02114


Dear Dr. Malt:


I am in receipt of your letter to Mayor Raymond Flynn relative to the safety petition in the Boston taxicabs.  The issue of safety petitions was addressed by the Police Commissioner's Office and became mandatory for all Boston taxicabs on June 1, 1969.  At this time, the metal shield was adopted to protect the torso of the driver and a plastic material, with a sliding door on the right side, was mandated for the area above the back seat to the roof of the taxicab.


The reason for the safety factors mentioned above was to protect the taxi drivers from some of their customers who used knives and clubs to effectuate robberies.  The plastic section of the partition was initially made of plexi-glas but changed to 3/8" Lexon in 1982 after the death of a driver from a bullet wound inflicted by his passenger. The Lexon material has been tested by the Police Department Ballistics Unit to determine its bullet resistant capability.  The tests proved that the material will stop a .22 cal, .38 cal.and .45 cal. round fired from the rear compartment of the taxicab.  In late 1984, one taxicab operator had the unfortunate experience of being subjected to a passenger attempt­ing to rob him and firing a .38 cal. round at said partition.  The round was deflected by the Lexon material and located on the rear shelf of the vehicle behind the rear seat.


Captain Arthur Cadegan, Hackney Carriage Inspector,has been the recipient of several writcen communications from officials of the U.S. Department of Transportation plus follow-up telephone calls from these officials.  The subject matter of these communications dealt with the Lexon partition, not the metal shielding.  The metal sheathing is similar to the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission specifications for their leased taxi­cab  The purpose of this shield is to stop a .45 cal. bullet fired from the rear seat at the driver of the taxicab.  This Department has not been put on notice that any children riding in the rear compartment of our taxi­cabs have suffered any facial injuries.  We are in constant communication with attorneys involved in civil litigation with members of the Boston Taxi industry.





I
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An investigation by this office disclosed that a Boston taxicab driver and former owner of a Boston taxicab has been posting notices on the back of the Lexon partition stating that the partition does not conform to DOT standards.  He is the same person who raised the issue about two years ago with DOT officials.  His primary reason for this crusade was due to the rejection by the Hackney Carriage Unit of a modified Lexon partition which he installed in a few Boston taxicabs.  His partition was deemed to be less safe for the taxicab drivers than the currently authorized partition.


The Department specifications for the cash-transfer device require a Lexon-hinged unit, not a rigid unit.  The Boston Cab Association taxicab, medallion #209 will be recalled for police inspection to determine whether the change device is metal or Lexon and hinged or rigid.  If metal, the owner will be ordered to remove it and if rigid, whatever its composition, it must be replaced.  Unless the passengeridriver is placing currency in this device, the device must not project in the direction of the passenger. Thus, no part of the device would be a danger to the passenger.


A notice will be sent out to the owners to insure that the change transfer device is Lexon and hinged.


One should conclude from the above that the protective parti-tion is mandated for the protection of the drivers.  The Police Department's decision to require the installation of the partitions, including the metal shields, came about after a series of public hearings with the Boston taxi drivers and owners.  Some of the letters complained of the additional cost factors, but the drivers were strongly supportive.  Each instance wherein a driver is killed or seriously injured by a passenger, the majority of the drivers demand more protective measures.  Why taxicab drivers from cities with a greater number of personal violence crimes do not demand some protective partitions, including protective shields to protect their backs, may be explained by psychiatrists.  They are either macho-types, like the thrill of Russian roulette or some similar personality trait.  Boston has endeavored to protect passengers and drivers alike.



Sincerely,
                                                                                                                                    Captain Arthur C.                             
Inspector of Hackney Carriages


CC Linda Jenkins Consumer Affairs







L


CABBIES CAN CARRY GUNS, SAYS JOE JORDAN... Then ROBERT JORDON says GUNS WON'T STOP CAB-DRIVER ATTACKS


Published on 02/14/1984.
SOURCE: By Frank Mahoney Globe Staff
Boston taxi cab drivers who have firearm licenses will be allowed to carry guns to protect themselves, Boston Police Comr. Joseph M. Jordan announced at a press conference yesterday.

Jordan’s ruling comes in the wake of the second murder of a cab driver in four days in the city and cancels a long-standing order of the department’s Hackney Carriage division that forbids cab drivers to be armed.

ROBERT A. JORDAN GUNS WON'T STOP CAB-DRIVER ATTACKS

                 Published on 02/16/1984. 
                       SOURCE: ROBERT A. JORDAN

                       On the issue of guns, violence and cab drivers, there are people of
                       good sense, but Boston Police Commissioner Joseph M. Jordan is not
                       among them.

                       For Jordan to allow cab drivers with firearm licenses to carry
                       weapons is, at best, an overreaction to the recent murders of two

                       drivers in four days

Cab Drivers Shouldn't Carry Concealed Weapons, D.C. Police Chief Says in October, changes in November


ASSOCIATED PRESS

FILE In this Nov. 30, 2010 file photo, Washington Police Chief
Cathy Lanier speaks at the National Press Club in Washington.
 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says taxi drivers should be
banned from carrying concealed handguns.
Lanier  made the recommendation during a hearing on a bill
that would allow District of Columbia residents and visitors
to get concealed handgun permits for the first time in nearly
40 years.
At Lanier's urging, the bill also includes restrictions on
carrying guns near dignitaries or at high-profile events. But
she says carrying a weapon should be  restricted areas
where carrying a weapon would be prohibited to the grounds
and parking lots surrounding government buildings.
The bill has widespread support from the District's political
leaders, and Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray has already
signed a temporary version. But Thursday marks the first
public hearing on the bill. Advocates for gun rights and gun
control are also scheduled to testify.
Gun-rights advocates say the bill doesn't fully comply with the
Second Amendment because it requires people to show a
reason why they need to carry a gun for self-defense.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gavin DeBecker

"I have a message for women (cab drivers) 
who feel forced to defend their safety concerns: Tell Mr. I-Know-Everything-About-Danger (cab regulators)
that he (they have) has 
nothing to contribute to the topic of your personal
security. 
Tell him (cab regulators)  
that your (cab drivers) survival
instinct is a gift from nature that knows a lot more about your safety than
he (cab regulators) does. 

And tell him (cab regulators)  that nature does

not require his approval."      


My input - in parentheses                                                                                                                    

William James

"Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake."     

Ernest Tollerson - NY Times Editor

"Their anonymous suffering should not relieve the commission of its responsibility to move quickly. A culture that can clone mice should be able to solve this (partition) problem. "                                           

Henry Longfellow

"Persistence is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody."        



maybe... eventually
              

$400,000 Partition Settlement paid by City

  • Middletown settles excessive-force lawsuit for $400,000

  • Middletown — A $5.50 chicken dinner that cost a Middletown cop his job 
  • wound up costing the City of Middletown $400,000.
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  • Patrick Moser
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    Photo providedPatrick Moser


    • By Oliver Mackson
      Posted Nov. 21, 2006 at 2:00 AM 


      Middletown — A $5.50 chicken dinner

      that cost a Middletown cop his job wound

      up costing the City of Middletown $400,000.
      That's how much the city and one of its

      insurance carriers paid to settle a

      federal lawsuit against the police

      department earlier this year, according to documents reviewed by the Times Herald-

      Record. The city paid $150,000 out of its own pocket, while Selective Insurance Group

      covered $250,000.
      The lawsuit accused Officer Patrick Moser of using excessive force and violating

      the civil rights of a 29-year-old man named Jacob Fitzgerald during an arrest

      last year. Moser was booted from his job after he was caught lying about a detail

      of the arrest and faces jail time. The settlement shows the price that the city as a

      whole had to pay for Moser's misdeeds.
      The story begins about 3 a.m. on April 9, 2005. Police got a call from the Kennedy

      Fried Chicken restaurant on North Street, complaining that Fitzgerald had left without

      paying for his $5.50 chicken dinner.
      Fitzgerald claimed Moser punched him without provocation. He suffered a broken jaw

      during the arrest.
      Moser contended that Fitzgerald was drunk and belligerent and

      hit his face on a divider (partition) in the police car.