gregrparker
Jun 1, 2018

How cops use the media

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Edited: Jun 1, 2018

This is just one example of many from a single case.

 

For those not familiar with the case of Lee Harvey Oswald... he was accused of killing JFK with a carbine rifle from the 6th floor of a text-book building and then later killing a cop with a pistol at close range.

 

The cops not only had a problem tying the weapons to the ownership of Oswald; they had a tough time putting either weapon in his hands.

 

One test used is a paraffin test where paraffin is painted on to the hands to draw out microscopic gun shot residue (nitrates) which is supposed to show you have recently used a weapon.

 

With Oswald, the lab techs were ordered by the head of Homicide to not only do the tests on both hands, but also on the right cheek (to show a rifle had been used).

 

The person ordered to take the tests, later testified by the President's Commission that they had never performed such a test on a cheek before simply because no such residue can escape from a rifle chamber. The head of Homicide would have known those when he ordered the test.

 

It was a "given" that Oswald would test positive for nitrates on his hands because nitrates can be found in a number of places - not the least being from printed paper... such as he handled all morning in his job. Again, the head of Homicide would have safely assumed a positive result on the hands - and he got it. Likewise predictably, the test was negative for the cheek.

 

So what was the real purpose of ordering the test on the cheek despite knowing it would be negative?

 

Simple: it was for the sake of the press. The police advised the gathered reporters that he would be having the tests. At a later news conference. the reporters asked about the results of those tests. The response was that he was tested on the hands and right cheek and that the result was positive for nitrate residue - leading the reporters to assume that both the hands AND cheek were positive and thus providing proof he had fired both weapons.

 

They misled the press without actually lying; simply by not giving all of the details.

 

Oswald was tried in the press using these underhanded methods and then summarily executed before all of the false/misleading claims could be tested in court.

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From the testimony of WE (Pete) Barnes:

 

Mr. BELIN. In this case, did you take it of any other portion of the body other than the hands? Mr. BARNES. Yes; I did. Mr. BELIN. What other portion of the body did you take it of? Mr. BARNES. The right side of his cheek and face. Mr. BELIN. The right side of Lee Harvey Oswald's cheek and face? Mr. BARNES. Yes. Mr. BELIN. Who directed you to take it there? Mr. BARNES. Captain Fritz. Mr. BELIN. Did he particularly say why he wanted it taken there? Mr. BARNES. I didn't ask the questions why he wanted it. I was ordered to take it from him, and I took it because I had the order to take the test. Mr. BELIN. Was there an order to take the left cheek also, or not? Mr. BARNES. No. Mr. BELIN. How long did you say that you had been making paraffin tests? Mr. BARNES. Since 1956. Mr. BELIN. Roughly, how many of those do you do in a month on an average? Mr. BARNES. It would be hard to say. If I hit it lucky, I won't make too many. If it hits on some other man's duty. It would be hard to say how many I have made over a period of time. I can say that I have made many. Mr. BELIN. Over these years, do you think you have made as many as 100? Mr. BARNES. It would be hard to say. I am not going to go into any actual figures because it would be guesswork. Mr. BELIN. Well, let me ask you this. Of the paraffin tests that you have made, how many have you made of a cheek or cheeks? Mr. BARNES. One.

Mr. BELIN. Was that with Lee Harvey Oswald? Mr. BARNES. It was. Mr. BELIN. Other than that, you have never made a paraffin test of anyone's cheek? Mr. BARNES. No. Mr. BELIN. Any particular reason why you might not have in any other case? Mr. BARNES. It has never been requested of me before. Mr. BELIN. Based on your knowledge and information about the science of paraffin tests, do you know whether or not it is a common practice or not a common practice to make it of one cheek? Mr. BARNES. It is not a common practice. Mr. BELIN. Any particular reason it is not a common practice, that you can think of or know of? Mr. BARNES. Firing a revolver, should he fire a revolver, I would say the revolver most likely would be far enough away where powder residue wouldn't reach his cheek. Mr. BELIN. What about a rifle? Mr. BARNES. Firing a rifle, you get your chamber enclosed with steel metal around it, and the chances of powder residue would be very remote. Mr. BELIN. Have you fired a bolt-action rifle at all before? Mr. BARNES. Many times. Mr. BELIN. How close would the chamber be to the check as you would be looking through the sight of the gun. Mr. BARNES. Be several inches to the rear of the chamber. Mr. BELIN. Would this have any effect on the paraffin test at all? Mr. BARNES. It sure would. Mr. BELIN. What about telescopic sights? Would that push your face back further or not? Mr. BARNES. Push it even further back. Mr. BELIN. Would this have an effect on the paraffin test? Mr. BARNES. The further you get from the chamber, the less possibility of getting powder residue on it would be.

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The framing of innocent people are not isolated incidents. Police will do anything to make their jobs easier, to meet quotas, to gain promotion, or to make clearance rates look politically respectable - as highlighted recently in Victoria where it was revealed that police had faked around 250,000 roadside breath tests over a 5 year period to meet quotas.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • gregrparker
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Croy on the other hand, testified to the Warren Commission that his sole actions were in passing three witnesses to other police when they arrived (Croy was a Reserve Officer and not authorized to act alone). One of those witnesses was described as a taxi driver. This was William Scoggins who was one of two witnesses who had set off after the killer, taking Tippit's revolver with them. The other man was Ted Calloway. Both Scoggins and Croy assumed Calloway was a detective. Here is what Croy said in testimony: Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you talk with the taxi driver? Mr. CROY. Yes; I did. I talked to the taxi driver. Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did you talk with him on the scene of the crime? Mr. CROY. Yes. Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember what his name was? Mr. CROY. No; I didn't get his name. There was a private detective agency. There was a report that a cabdriver had picked up Tippit's gun and had left, presumably. They don't know whether he was the one that had shot Tippit, or whether the man, I think it was he, brought someone out there , something. Anyway, he saw it and he picked up Tippit's gun and attempted to give chas e or something like that. Mr. GRIFFIN. There was a detective who was an eyewitness? Mr. CROY. No; he brought the taxi driver back to the scene. Mr. GRIFFIN. But the taxicab driver was an eyewitness? Mr. CROY. As far as I know. Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you talk to the taxicab driver? Mr. CROY. No; I took Tippit's gun and several other officers came up, and I turned him over to them and they questioned him. From Scoggins' testimony: Mr. BELIN. What did you see him do? This man came up and picked up the policeman's gun. He picked it up and said, "Let's go see if we can find him?" Mr. SCOGGINS. 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  • Greg R. Parker

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