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FATAL SHOOTING BY COP REQUIRES INDEPENDENT PROBE

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY SEPT. 6, 2017) — Pittsfield Police Officer Chris Colello has now shot two suspects in the line of duty in the past seven years. The latest involves the fatal shooting of a man that the district attorney’s office says charged Colollo while carrying a knife. A  large question involved in this legal gunplay: Was the shooting justified?

The facts seem clear:

  • Police responded to a domestic disturbance.
  • They say they encountered a drunk man carrying a knife.
  • They ordered the man to drop the knife.
  • Police say that the man charged.
  • Police put seven bullets into the man.

Immediate questions:

  • Why seven bullets?
  • An old street fighting rule is “flee a knife, charge a gun” on the logic that you can’t outrun a bullet. Why didn’t police respond in this way?
  • Is there a video of this killing? THE PLANET‘s sources say yes.
  • If so, should the film be released to the public? THE PLANET says yes, in the interest of transparency. Our sources, which include police personnel speaking with condition of anonymity, say that claiming the victim “charged” the police is “highly subject to interpretation.”
  • How will the public obtain an accurate, truthful account of the event?

——– *  *  * ——–

Society requires safe streets and a police force to help provide them. Police must be granted wide but nonetheless limited latitude in the enforcement required in service of that directive. At the same time, citizens must have the assurance that its police officers exercise proper restraint, using only that degree of force required for the containment of the situation.

It sounds simple, but of course it is anything but. Police calls often involve incredible amounts of stress, adrenaline, and emotion. Actions must sometimes be taken — that is, decisions made — hastily. While no amount of training can fully prepare all-too-human officers for every situation that groans under the oppressive weight of these factors, citizens have the right to expect that the professionalism of its public safety officials will provide reasonable safeguards, even guarantees, that rash actions will not rule over reasoned response.

As usual, Pittsfield public officials have not been as transparent as they need to be. Mayor Linda Tyer did not call a press conference with acting police chief Michael Wynn, where questions could be asked. That should have been done immediately. Granted, the killing makes mockery of the mayor’s tired fiction of a “vibrant” Pittsfield, but is it too much to ask the city’s chief executive to perform her duty in a case such as this? Moreover, not one councilor commented officially, on the record. The onus here is on council president Peter Marchetti, but like Tyer, Marchetti has remained silent. The best explanation for this is that both are too cozy with the PPD leadership to respond appropriately to citizens. Are they both hearing “their master’s voice?”If there’s a better explanation, we would like to hear it. THE PLANET invites the mayor, the council president, and for that matter District Attorney David Capeless to provide it either for posting to this blog or by appearing on PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION.

This is where Tyer has consistently fanned. Her past response to serious public-safety issues has been to punt, either to ignore the situation in favor of her “vibrant” fixation or to save reaction until she has enough time to talk it over with her kitchen cabinet and then make a safe, staged, scripted public appearance. The previous time, she called an open press conference at city hall with a lineup of every department head, councilors, Judge Crater, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver, conveying the message, accurate or not, that she was too scared to do it alone with Wynn. Like her predecessor, Tyer does not react in real time to crises, which is when citizens need her the most. In situations of gravity such as a killing-by-cop rather than ribbon-cutting photo ops, Tyer she acts afraid of her own judgments to lead.

Not good enough.

——– *  *  * ——–

Until proven otherwise, THE PLANET takes the restrained view that trust must be invested in the police generally and Colollo specifically. We will assume for the moment that he acted reasonably against a serious threat to his life. With that said, the incident requires investigation. We assume Wynn will order an internal probe. All well and good, but citizens need more, since they believe they cannot trust “official” Pittsfield. The findings must be credible, and we need to ask if the police administration can be trusted to properly and justly police itself.

Police sources speak of a “divided department” under Wynn, hopelessly split along political lines. Citizens must be assured that Colello will be found innocent or guilty not based on whether he is a political “in” or “out” but on the basis of the dispassionate truth.

That is a question we now pose to you, our readers, and to the community at large: Can the city be trusted to investigate itself? If not, what person or persons, office or offices, would you trust to find justice here?

—————————————-

“And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water”Leonard Cohen, “Suzanne.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLI.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The Usual Disclaimer.

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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
3 years ago

I do NOT trust anyone involved in Pittsfield politics!

Once again, I am posting my blog page about “The Twilight Zone” episodes I have been through over the years due to Pittsfield’s inbred, evil Prince Luciforo!

http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/andrea-nuciforo-jonathan-melle-month-of.html

– Jonathan Melle

War Pigs
War Pigs
3 years ago

Dan, all good points and questions except for the flee a knife fight one. The police don’t have the option to flee a man brandishing a knife. They are there to protect the public and some drunk or high guy who kicks in his ex girlfriend’s door (violence), is in a home he has no right to be in (aka home invasion), brandishes a knife (threat of more violence), confronts the police and refuses to drop the knife is to be considered a dangerous individual and needs to be handled like one.

War Pigs
War Pigs
Reply to  War Pigs
3 years ago

I am mistaken about that not being his house – my apologies on that.

War Pigs
War Pigs
Reply to  danvalenti
3 years ago

Disagree that a drunken lunge with a knife can be easily dodged. I’ve seen plenty of fights involving drunken fools and they were still very dangerous fighters.
I think we would all like to see the video. Radar stated that it was on the web briefly but was yanked. They should do the right thing and release it.
Pittsfield is quiet about everything that doesn’t have some positive spin put on it. I think we’d all wish that would change too.

Mother Daughter Combo
Mother Daughter Combo
Reply to  danvalenti
3 years ago

Valenti is great.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Why wasn’t the old lLady with the pearling knife blown away? She was two feet away from the officers.

SojournerTruth
SojournerTruth
3 years ago

It’s rumored that the deceased’s family may be requesting a civil rights violation investigation. These are usually conducted by the FBI and/or other federal agencies. I can’t imagine federal agents from Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming, or wherever having a political allegiance to the tired, old, entrenched Berkshire Brigade and local municipal power structure.
Hell, in Henrietta, Oklahoma they never even heard of Dobelle, Ruberto, Doyle. TFB, Maximillian, Phelps, Dewes, etc,, etc.(well maybe Dobelle, the favorite son of Hawaii).

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  SojournerTruth
3 years ago

Maybe an FBI baboon like Jackubowicz will investigate.

Radar
Radar
3 years ago

Public posts on other forums have questioned the officer’s fitness for duty. It is alleged that the officer had to take an extended period of time “off” after being cleared in his last civilian shooting after being deemed unfit for duties.

Sometime last year the mayor DID hold a press conference. A giant one. Flanked by officials from every woodwork, she addressed the public with a message that that police department was severely understaffed and unable to meet the policing needs of our modern community. This leads one to ask – was officer Collello reinstated because of the immediate need to expand the number of officers on the street? Was his fitness for duty – or lack thereof – overlooked in favor of bolstering the numbers?

If so, the mayor, Chief Winn, and any other person involved in manipulating the staffing numbers are just as guilty in that man’s death as the officer who slain him.

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

Everyone is questioning the cops past. What about the guy who was killed? What’s his past? Why was he fired? Where was he fired from? Will toxicology results be released? Was he on any drugs? Why did his X call police? Was he a frequent flyer know to be violent? Did he beat the x girlfriend? Why is she a x girlfriend? Did he ever do time? Did he have an arrest record? So many questions. Why were seven shots fired? Maybe because six didn’t stop him.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

If police have to resort to using their gun, they are trained to shoot until the threat has been stopped.
A good old fashioned nightstick would have done a good job against a drunk with a knife. I don’t think they even have nightsticks anymore. Too bulky.

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

Have any of you been so drunk that you would refuse to drop a knife and then attack cops with said knife? I am no stranger to a drink but I have never been that drunk.

We are seeing on social media that some think that the cop should have shot the suspect in the leg. But it’s obvious that those who make this suggestion have zero experience with handguns. It’s just not easy to hit a moving target (person) in the leg. Shots not hitting center mass can be very dangerous to innocent bystanders.

Secret Tapes From Baltimore
Secret Tapes From Baltimore
3 years ago

Maybe the city officials were too busy preparing for their three day weekend picnics. Hey Linda, I’ll take a medium rare hamburg.

Spagirl
Spagirl
Reply to  Secret Tapes From Baltimore
3 years ago

As for Officials in the City of Pittsfield,……Pittsfield has not had anyone deserving of the title of Official since Peter Arlos. The local representatives do what they do because they can. Who stands up to them?Who calls them out? Who rides their ass for an answer? This City is a mess. Driving on roads that are not painted and listening to excuses. Going silent on crime. Ignoring citizens concerns, and acting like everything is fine. Raising taxes when Citizens are not even getting a voice. Like the Taconic High School Monstrocity. Heads should roll in this City.

Spagirl
Spagirl
3 years ago

He was ordered several times to drop the knife. Then he lunged forward. I can understand English.

Spider
Spider
3 years ago

Hoyt is so right in all he said! The police and military are taught to shoot to stop the threat not to maim the person with a shot to the arm or leg. As Hoyt said, a difficult thing to do.

And I, too, would like to hear more about the victim’s background. People lose their jobs every day and don’t result to violence. So before we rip the officer apart, let’s do some real investigation.

Radar
Radar
Reply to  Spider
3 years ago

Just like a woman dressed in a skimpy outfit deserves to be raped?

What on Earth does the man’s background have to with deciding if it’s okay to KILL him or not?

Being armed with a knife does not necessarily indicate violence. This man had not harmed anyone. He had not committed a crime or an act of violence.

People walk around every day with guns (legal licensed gun holders) right? Does this make them violent people? No. It means they are armed.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Are you for real? Didn’t you read the paper? He came after the officer with a knife. You don’t call that “violence”? And all the events that took place before (breaking into the house, etc.).

Stupid!

Radar
Radar
Reply to  Spider
3 years ago

I saw the video. He did not charge the police.

What events took place before? It was HIS house. How did he break in?

War Pigs
War Pigs
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Radar, reports all say he kicked in the door to the house. Haven’t read any details on what exactly led up to him doing that. His ex girlfriend called the police so I think she was pretty scared by his behavior.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Tell us how you happened to see the video.

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

So he was still living with his ex-girlfriend?

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Again…..Radar. Tell us how you happened to see the videol.

h
h
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Believe a man was picked up last night in possesion.

Radar
Radar
Reply to  h
3 years ago

I have not seen one report that says he kicked in the door to his own house. Please link if I have missed this…

Nor have I read anywhere that his girlfriend called the police. Media states that a “domestic disturbance” and/or reports of a “distraut man” were called in. No where have I read that the girlfriend called the police or contacted police regarding her safety. Could have been a neighbor or observer…Again, still no proof of violence or a crime
committed.

He was IN HIS OWN HOUSE. Not a crime.

He had a knife, presumably that he owned. Not a crime.

He refused to let police in his home. NOT A CRIME. Every heard of a person’s 4th amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure…?

Imagine he approached the police – not charged, not violently – and demanded they leave his property…Imagine that…and they pump seven shot into him…

War Pigs
War Pigs
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Radar, here is the link to the iBerkshire articles where it states he kicked in the door and the ex girlfriend called the police.
http://www.iberkshires.com/blog/3485/ManShotAndKilledByPittsfieldPoliceDuringDomesticDisturbance.html

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

If the cops background is relevant so is the background of the guy who got shot.

Tricksie
Tricksie
3 years ago

LT can’t hold a press conference because it’s impossible to move her lips to Barry’s voice in front of the camera – she’ll have to wait until he writes it out for her – since she is a former secretary perhaps he will dictate it to her –

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
3 years ago

We are relatively safe.

Two Cents
Two Cents
3 years ago

To the editor of the Berkshire Eagle:

Enough already with the museum stories!!!!!

You have beat this dead horse so much that not even the bones are left. This story does not have legs…It doesn’t even have a pulse!

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
Reply to  Two Cents
3 years ago

Oh come, I was just getting used to the Colorado Pot stories.

Ruttenberg
Ruttenberg
Reply to  Two Cents
3 years ago

How about enough of the coffee, tea, or me with Fred crapola?

Who in the H, E, double hockey sticks cares?

Seriously.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
3 years ago

Who’s Art actually is it?

GhostRider
GhostRider
3 years ago

For the unreasonable, the cop haters, the liberals, the naive and uninformed that watch too many movies or tv shows, please watch this training film that has been around for decades. AND, mind you, the distance has recently been increased to 25′ because of the popularity of the blade, the influx of bad asses from “gun free” countries that rely on the knife and the softer, gentler approach that is being taught in the LEO academies now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js0haocH4-o

H
H
3 years ago

No.

Marty Milner
Marty Milner
3 years ago

On the old Adam-12 beat we were taught that your main concern as an officer was to finish your shift ALIVE.

If you’ve known cops, as I think our host here has, then you know what they face every day.

Training videos they watch show people popping out of doorways, alleyways, anyways, and shooting the POlice dead.

Live to tell about it . . .

Marty Milner
Marty Milner
3 years ago

Oh, right, and none of this Warren Christopher “can’t you just shoot them in the arm or leg” stuff.

Take them down. And you better damn well get your own piece with knock-down power (.357/.45) not the cap pistol they issue to you.

Not saying that this particular officer did right, or that there haven’t been other very questionable, if not felonious, police shootings in this nation. Just some general context.

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
3 years ago

I heard on the BEEB overnight a scholarly gentleman talking about a US president who had a back-channel connection to the Kremlin, wanted to invade Cuba in full force, and was generally a very risky actor.

That president?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The good man said that people just need to calm down about Trump–Donald ain’t no Jack.

mi
mi
Reply to  Edward R. Murrow
3 years ago

I knew Edward Murrow, you’re no Edward Murrow.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
3 years ago

The Mayor States she has been working behind the scenes over the summer, exciting things are coming to Pittsfield when the weather gets cool and hopefully things will heat up. Wonder what’s going on?

Still wondering
Still wondering
Reply to  Shelly Liver
3 years ago

New banners for Tyler Street?

Madame Du Barry
Madame Du Barry
3 years ago

Is the Eagle getting anything for these Museum art and cannabis adds?or is that part of reporting?

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  Madame Du Barry
3 years ago

Starting Monday the Eagle will start printing the entire newspaper on high grade rolling paper. Look for ads by Nuciforo.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  Fugimoto Hockalugi
3 years ago

Finally, a way to get young people to buy the newspaper….Great Idea!
I remember buying Cheech and Chong’s Big Bamboo album just for that reason…lol

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
3 years ago

TEENAGERS….Tired of being harassed by your stupid parents? ACT NOW!

Move out,get a job,pay your own bills….While you still know everything.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

i would not trust ANY local officials to do an honest investigation about anything including which cat vomited on the rug. All these people protect one another. It is what they do best and nobody is going to give a different opinion unless they want to lose their job.

that is the Pittsfield I am familiar with

Wild in the Streets
Wild in the Streets
3 years ago

Wtf is the Mayor on this?

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

I believe that PPD uses .40 Smith & Wesson pistols. This is a fairly substantial round. If it took seven rounds to stop this suspect I have to wonder if he was using more than alcohol.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

Hoyt, do both get a substance test, or just the dead guy?

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

I believe it’s standard procedure to test the cop. Doesn’t matter who it is.

Wild in the Streets
Wild in the Streets
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

Hoyt, what if the dead guy was full of booze and the cop steroids or vice versa, or both, what happens then?

Ham Anex
Ham Anex
Reply to  Wild in the Streets
3 years ago

Then they call in Gerry Doyle.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
3 years ago

Yeah if it really took 7 shots to stop the suspect I don’t think the Taser would have done the job. Tasers don’t always affect people using substances harder than alcohol. In fact it just enrages them more. Oh I thought the PPD carried 9mm Berettas, but that may have been years ago.

Hoyt Clagwell
Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  acheshirecat
3 years ago

I think they carry Glocks in .40 S&W but am not certain.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Checking out bike paths, Chesnut seeds, and Gelato. And hip buildings on Tyler.

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  Bill Q
3 years ago

What about Jamal’s undocumented pharmacie on the corner of Tyler and Parker?

Wild in the Streets
Wild in the Streets
Reply to  Fugimoto Hockalugi
3 years ago

?

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  Wild in the Streets
3 years ago

Jamal moves around.

Rocky Creed
Rocky Creed
3 years ago

People. If the girl involved was your daughter you’d be ok with what the cops did. Combative crazy behavior while armed usually does not end well for said person. In today’s crazy world the last thing we need is gun shy cops while protecting the public. The cop who shot was off duty for over 2 years for his last incident, which ended up in Dalton after a chase, the perp had daused himself with gasoline. Maybe he should have given him a match instead of shooting him.

Rocky Creed
Rocky Creed
3 years ago

The Dalton incident was in 2010. The guy who was shot recovered and was charged.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

So if they reinvent Tyler street and slow the traffic down (even more) then many of the people east of that crosstown road may just decide to do more of their shopping in the Coltsville area rather than turtle drive to North street. We need a bypass across town, not the degrading of an existing roadway.

I guess the consultants and other politicians who will benefit financially from this overlooked that aspect. Or just do not care about such things.

At least that is what Johnny Kickback told me.

Spagirl
Spagirl
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

The stale clueless leadership in Pittsfield would not know vision if it hit them over the head. Pittsfield Ma. could well qualify for the laughing stock model of the Country.

SisterGoldenHair
SisterGoldenHair
3 years ago

Dan, how about a midterm grade on the mayor. Granted, she is only halfway through, but it has been 2 years, just like for the councilors and school committee members you graded, and obviously your loyal readers didn’t support a 4-year term for mayor. I think you owe us a midterm grade. After all, you are a distinguished professor. By the way, she is claiming crime is down 18 percent since she became mayor.
Ok, now for all you posters out here in cyber space, exercising your first amendment rights by flying off the handle, flipping your lid, and jumping to conclusions, about the cop shooting the fleeing barricaded drunk person armed with a knife who charged the police, one of my friends with benefits in law enforcement asked me to pass this on to you all:
You shoot to stop, and you aim center mass, and you shoot until the threat is over, if you are in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury by the person you shoot. A drunk and barricaded person who charges police with a knife is his hand is an imminent threat. You don’t aim for extremities, you don’t fire warning shots. 7 shots go off in under 5 seconds and people don’t just stop charging you and fall dead like in an old western because you shoot them once, especially people all jacked up. He told me also that most cops are too hesitant to shoot when justified, especially after Ferguson and Obamas war on cops, and that every year cops get killed because they don’t shoot when they should. He says from what he knows, it’s a clear cut justified use of force.

Cosbiesaladies
Cosbiesaladies
Reply to  SisterGoldenHair
3 years ago

If that’s the case, then you could justify killing someone calling from long distance, if it was possible,let’s see the video.

Radar
Radar
Reply to  SisterGoldenHair
3 years ago

Except there’s a video (now hearing multiple?) showing the man walking across his lawn, getting popped, and instantly falling upon the first couple of shots. Not charging – merely approaching. And to say this exit from his home was an imminent, deadly threat is ridiculous. If that cop was so extremely in fear, shame on him. He was in the wrong line of work….
The truth will come out. The “spin” will disintegrate.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Radar
3 years ago

Radar, you have already been asked why you have access to said video and have not answered. Put up or shut up.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  SisterGoldenHair
3 years ago

Sister, everything you said about shooting a suspect is true. Anyone who wants to trade places with these officers are welcome to apply to the police academy. Then they can enjoy dealing with the slugs of society and put their life on the line with these nut jobs. I’ll bet it’s fun in the dark when you know how many of these scumbags have guns and knifes.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Paul
3 years ago

Sounds like Sister is already getting her own law enforcement probe.

Richard Arnold
Richard Arnold
3 years ago

So Dan now we have a gym in the basement of City Hall isn’t that great

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  Richard Arnold
3 years ago

Most not get used much…Because it’s extremely obvious that no one at City Hall or on the City Council wants to do any heavy lifting.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
Reply to  Two Cents
3 years ago

Is it Coed! Then there you go.

Chico
Chico
Reply to  Trumped Up
3 years ago

You get a coed and two pair of pants.

Ham Anex
Ham Anex
Reply to  Richard Arnold
3 years ago

I thought that the air in the City Hall basement was unfit to breathe. Amazing how it was cleaned up. Is this gym available to taxpayers or do we still have to pay gym memberships to private sector gyms?

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
Reply to  Ham Anex
3 years ago

Lol. Exactly, who’s using it? Two ton Tony?

Richard Baculum
Richard Baculum
Reply to  Ham Anex
3 years ago

Where do I sign up? I’d love to be around TFB in spandex and those Bettie Page bangs drive me wild. Will you be working out there TFB? Can you find time in your busy schedule of doing not too much?

War Pigs
War Pigs
Reply to  Ham Anex
3 years ago

HA,
Excellent question. If someone can work out – which involves heavy breathing – in the basement then they can certainly work there too. But we all knew that was made up BS from the start anyways.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Richard Arnold
3 years ago

Seriously? they keep raising taxes and they have a gym in the basement of city hall? Is this fake news or just another gross waste of taxpayer money? Did the city council approve funding for this?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Matt Kerwood will put on his Richard Simmons suit (bow tie included) and lead the city employees. Maybe they can wake up Al Belanger, the king of calisthenics, to help Matt out.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  12 Gauge
3 years ago

Is it true that instead of lifting traditional barbells they work out with boxes filled with excess tax payer money? Has any commoner ever been allowed access to this perk or is it restricted? Can someone get pictures?

Spider
Spider
3 years ago

Radar – You are way too mouthy to be believable. You’re still not telling us how you have access to the video. Maybe it’s because you haven’t and you’re a liar.

Radar
Radar
Reply to  Spider
3 years ago

Okay. I never said I “had” the video. I said I SAW the video. Before it was taken down…

Either way there is absolutely no reason for you to believe or not believe me. I’m purely commenting for the sake communicating what a dead man won’t be able to tell you…

The truth will come out.

And honestly I gotta say, I’d sleep better knowing it was a clean shoot instead of ultimately confirming it was a bad one. A trigger- happy cop on the street not brave enough to confront an otherwise un-threatening drunk guy is not a good thing for anyone in our community….

Madison Ave Blues
Madison Ave Blues
3 years ago

Valenti is Great, no doubt.