Free Pop Kohanowich

From an emailed GPD press release on the arrest of  Alexander “Pop” Kohanowich during last week’s Obama rally near the Greensboro Coliseum…

“… the Department has received an inordinant number of inquiries regarding the circumstances surrounding the arrest.  Therefore, the Department is conducting a review of the arrest and will provide a statement regarding that review when it is complete.”

The “inordinate number of inquiries” is likely due to less-than-flattering-to-the-GPD coverage by the N&R’s Jeri Rowe, today’s (unposted) Rhino Times story and national exposure via Michelle Malkin (via Noteworthy).

I, like Pop, instinctively touch people when I speak to them.  I’ve had, over the years, people flinch - and even recoil - when I communicate in that way, which comes very naturally to me.  Such reactions of repulsion tell me more about the person I’m addressing than hours of conversation could ever reveal.  Such people are insecure, self-centered, arrogant, generally unfriendly,… and their mama’s didn’t love them near enough.

Pop’s recounting of his ordeal reveals to me that he encountered such a man-jerk.  Hopefully, the Department’s planned inquiry will include a psychological evaluation of the arresting officer which will likely reveal what a maladjusted and unhappy man he really is.  They’ll find that his mama is likely to blame for his turning out to be an ass in uniform.

There had to be a better way to handle a 78 year-old man carrying a sign professing his patriotism even if he was standing in the wrong place.  Had to be.

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  1. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Obama has secret service protection, assigned to him early last year. 78 year-old man was standing in the median directly across from the drive where Obama was exiting the coliseum after his speech according to the article in the N&R. Now, I don’t know this man, but if he had pulled out a gun and shot into Obama’s car…what would you have to say about the GPD officer’s NOT providing security?
    When President Ford visited Greensboro many years ago, the Secret Service went to my neighbor’s house the day before and told them to keep their dog in the house the next day when President Ford would be passing on his way to make a speech. They told the neighbors they had noticed their dog running to the street and barking at passing cars.(which was true) So the Secret Service takes its job seriously and I don’t think a barking dog is nearly as serious as an unknown man standing in striking distance.
    I think the police officer did his job and may have even saved this man’s life. After investigation, however, I don’t think he should be charged…but he surely should be supervised by his relatives to stay out of the streets for his own safety!
    Don’t criticize GPD officers that are doing their jobs. Stick to the ones that are NOT doing their jobs or who are suspended WITH pay!

  2. Jim Rosenberg
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  3. Posted April 4, 2008 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Andy, My point is that that officer OVER did his job. Do you honestly think it was necessary to handle Pop the way he was handled?

    It was an over-reaction to a non-threat from my perspective.

  4. Shirley
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    David, I can appreciate your indignation at the incident as it was related by Jeri Rowe. I also think it’s important to note that the police investigation so far has shown NO USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE and that Mr. Kohanowich has not filed a complaint. Maybe, just maybe, things didn’t happen exactly as Jeri Rowe — who was not there when Mr. Kohanowich was arrested — reported them. So maybe the cop did overreact … but maybe he didn’t. None of us know because we weren’t there. For once, let’s let the police officers do an investigation without all the criticisms and critiques from the peanut gallery. Who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us and report back that they’ve decided to drop the charges. Let’s give them a chance to investigate and explain before we skewer them yet again.

  5. Posted April 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Good point, Shirley.

  6. Posted April 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I am normally a pro-police guy. But taking an unarmed 79 year old guy to the ground is uncalled for……under any circumstances.
    I think that around the country, the police are being trained to use force, not judgement, first. Force of any kind should be the last resort, not the first, as it seems it was here. The pundits in my office are applauding the cops non-use of tasers.

  7. Posted April 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This man meant no harm to this police officer. When can common sense come in to play. The man had a bad ear and couldn’t hear what the Police officer, if I can call him one, was saying.

    This is so absurd to see the Greensboro Police take this man downtown for this. If I was a lawyer I would take this case in a heart beat and wouldn’t charge him a penny for my service. Maybe Spag can help him out.

    David I am with you on this issue this police officer is a man jerk and needs to get counseling because that treatment to Mr. Kohanowich was uncalled for.Take care and I still need your help on Protest Petitions.

  8. Stephen
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Forget excessive force. Why was ANY force used. The fact is a trained officer could not talk a 78 year old man into crossing the street.
    A while back I was listening to the A&T radio station. After the Gospel music went off they did a live interview with two GPD officers who had been newly(within a year) hired or transfered to Recruiting. The sworn GPD officers said the whole reason the team was created was to bring in minorities to GPD. A caller to the show stated that on Phillips Ave. white people were not getting tickets or arrested while our people were getting all the tickets. The officers stated this is why we have to have more minority officers, so our people can be out there to interpret the laws so our kids are not clogging up the courts.

    hum? I guess 78 year old men don’t clog up the system…

  9. Posted April 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    79 or whatever age you do not, you DO NOT, touch a police officer when communicating with him.
    The officer did his job.
    Had Kohanawich put one hand on the officer’s shoulder and stuck him with a knife with the other what would the story be?
    My opinion is to concentrate on the real bad apples. By now, some have turned to cider and disgrace the decent and caring officers who are truly heroes to us all.

  10. Posted April 4, 2008 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Where is this rule, law, or whatever written , Tony? And don’t cite “common sense” as the guiding principle.

    I’m sure my 13 year old son doesn’t know not to touch a police officer should he have the need to communicate with one or otherwise get the officer’s attention in a noisy or otherwise confused environ. Would the officer be justified in throwing my son to the ground and handcuffing him?

    I don’t think so.

    Look… I’m not trying to pile on the police department over this… I just think, from the accounts I’ve read, that it was an over-reaction by an officer who made a bad judgement call.

  11. Stephen
    Posted April 4, 2008 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Andy “if he had pulled a gun what would you say about GPD NOT providing security?”

    Tony “stuck him with a knife, what would the story be?”

    These points and any others about this guy being a threat just don’t work. Remember, the officer turned his back on this guy. Thats why Kohanawich had to tap him on his shoulder. So, either the officer made a life threatening mistake by turning his back on this “situation”,or, he overeacted when he took the old man down.

    Tony, I too think we should concentrate on the bad apples.That is why I stated in earlier post some things I heard on the radio. Do cops wink at the bad guys to keep crime stats down, and then take down anything that gets near them just to be “in control”?

  12. Posted April 4, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    david , was I correct in saying “common sense” as a guiding principle?

  13. Posted April 5, 2008 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Aboslutely, Keith.

    One would hope that a pre-requisite for earning a police uniform would be oodles of “common sense”. However, there is no such assumptive pre-prequisite for being a 13 year-old… or a citizen of ANY age for that matter.

  14. Posted April 6, 2008 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I have since spoken with several active duty and retired GPD officers about this incident and all told me the police officer was in the wrong. Now why do these officers believe the officer was in the wrong and why does GPD continue to stand behind this officer? Are higher ranking officers playing favorites in dealing with problem officers?

    Officers must use a certain amount of common sense when doing their jobs. This incident is another sign of how understaffed and poorly qualified our police department has become and for those wanting to point fingers you only need look to the Mayor, City Council, City Manager and Police Chief who have all been guilty of under funding and micro managing GPD.

  15. Kurt Kohanowich
    Posted April 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Way to go, Uncle Alex! My opinion? Sounds like the PD did thier job, and Uncle Alex did his job: The only problem is the police in this country are in a lose/lose situation, that only gets worse and worse as the years go by. Just like the troops in the field, on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have the bad guys on one side, and a beauracratic nightmare of possible outcomes on the other side….No wonder they choose the safest outcome for themselves and the families they support at home…
    If we now have to train our officers the difference between a patriotic man and a screeching anarchist bent on disrupting the peace, we’re in serious trouble. Let’s all get more involved in our local police effort, and make sure they know what we expect from them Kurt Kohanowich, San Diego, CA

  16. Posted April 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    David looks like this episode took a turn for the best with the charges being dropped,

    But to hear that the review found that the police – particularly Prescod, 43, a 14-year veteran with the police department – had acted appropriately is very disturbing to me.

  17. cynthia kohanowich
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    He is a father of very untrustworthy children and his wife is evil I am his X daughter in law and he is a great man but his kids unlke his grandchildren are much different! Do not trust them they are only out for themselves. Cynthia