An ugly job, but it’s a living

Exposing yourself

Get your mind out of the gutter please, we’re talking about cops who blog and the risks they assume when they do.  Or in this case, when they post on Facebook and somebody doesn’t like what they see.

Deyna Carabajal is a police officer in Houston and she’s riding a desk rather than working the streets while IAD investigates her work-related Facebook postings.   Another Facebook user complained that Carabajal’s page contained postings that were inappropriate.  Apparently she doesn’t like Hondurans, or more accurately she doesn’t like Hondurans who are illegal immigrants and otherwise find ways to break the law.

The postings on Facebook were discovered by a Honduran woman who was connected as a “friend” with the officer on the popular social networking site, allowing her to read the officer’s posts on the World Wide Web.”At first, they were offensive to me and I just thought she wasn’t doing her job,” said the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”I just feel uncomfortable and, to be honest, she’s in law enforcement and they should protect and guide us to the right path,” said the woman, who has never met the officer in person.

Numerous postings by Officer Deyna Carabajal, 32, spelled out her dislike for Hondurans, including numerous posts where she suggested she would arrest them for various reasons.”Zero tolerance 4 yall today,” she wrote in one of her posts. “Y’all look at me wrong at all today — y’all riding,” she wrote. “Riding” is police lingo for taking a trip to jail.

I’ve seen this before too many times, and I’ve discussed it in detail before: Staying Low And I’ve outlined my research on the legal issues as well as laying out my rules for cops who want to blog and stay out of trouble: Freedom of Speech and Internet Publishing for Da Pohleece. If you don’t want to read all of that – what you need to know is, don’t post work stuff where the general public can see it. Yes, you do have 1st Amendment rights like everyone else, but when it comes to publishing work related information your rights get limited. And, if you are going to post work stuff on the internet, you have to balance the public’s interest to be informed against your agency’s interest to run without being embarrassed by its employees.

If you’re wondering if Officer Carabajal is going to get zapped – the answer is almost certainly that she will.  If she’s lucky she gets to keep her job, but at the very least she’s going to get some form of discipline.

The first problem is that she publicly said that there is a nationality, Hondurans, that get no slack from her.  That is the sort of thing that makes police administrators’ jaws start clenching.

Chief McClelland said, “This is not the first time an individual, if that’s true …what you’re saying, have been disciplined for this type of behavior. It happens from time to time and we certainly have policies on the books to deal with that.”

That’s chief-speak for, “I already know what policy violations we’re going to cite her for”.

And to be fair you have to concede the man’s point here. While real cops are rolling around in the street wrestling crooks, guys like the chief spend their days talking with politicians and their uglier cousins, “community activists”. (I’ve played the police game both of those ways and I would rather ‘rassle a thief than swim in the shit with a politician any day of the week – the street cooks are more honest.) But chiefs of police have to listen to shit from the politicians, and they listen to the community activists. Plus, for every drunk, law-breaking Honduran that Officer Carabajal ever met, the chief has met Hondurans who are titled “Professor”, “Doctor”, or “His Excellency the Ambassador of Honduras”. When one of his officers publishes something that says all Hondurans are all crazy and have no regard for the law, it makes the chief’s life considerably less pleasant when dealing with Hondurans who aren’t crooks.

The other issue is a more practical one.  She has damaged her professional credibility.  Every criminal defense attorney in town will have this story in hand if they ever find themselves working a case in which Officer Carabajal is a witness.  The shysters love to twist things, but it just makes sense to attack the credibility of a witness who leaves themselves exposed like this.  If the defendant is a Honduran then the defense attorney is going to smell blood in the water.  And it won’t be limited to Hondurans, a good attorney will just throw this thing out there to see what damage he/she can do.   “Well, we know you hate Hondurans and discriminate against them.  How do we know what hatreds you harbor towards Pakistanis like my client?   The practical problem here is pretty easy to see – what good is a cop who can’t testify on the stand and be believed?

Watch your asses folks.

Original KPRC story here

5 responses

  1. Rosie

    People that know her like myself&a whole bunch of other people know who she is&what a good hearted&hard worker she is,she is out there protecting ALL of our asses.This was a public forum that this 1 individual chose to read&she should have just walked away but took it way too far,ALL OF OUR VOICES will be heard loud&clear,you can be sure of that! TEAM CARABAJAL ALL THE WAY!!

    1 July, 2010 at 11:01

  2. Marie

    I know Deyna myself and have never seen her in any way act racist towards anyone. The person that read what she read happens to be Honduran and got upset. Do you go to the page of someone you don’t know and read lets say something they wrote about a white person..and am i to get upset beacause i am white? i don’t know you and you are entitled to your opinon . Now should she have watched what she said about something since she is a police officer..maybe. But why is it when someone gets in trouble..they blame the police? Its on the radio all the time about all the crooked hpd officers we have in the city. so what do you do? As far as Deyna being a bad person..never..she wouldn’t hurt any one. she has always been kind and nice around myself and my family…GO TEAM CARABAJAL!!!!!

    20 July, 2010 at 0:25

  3. Laura

    Finally Deyna will get what she deserves, it feels so better that she is off the streets and something is being done about it! Her friends can say everything about her being awesome and such a wonderful cop and a great friend but honestly she has a problem she is RACIST just see this: No one made anything you can see exactly what Deyna wrote on her FB, its in black and white Deyna wrote that no one else, not KPRC or Denia Rivera!!!!! I know for a Fact her friends are intimidated by her and don’t have the courage to go against her. The good thing is that is being investigated they are looking into this and Denia Rivera is not the only person that has come forward on this issue there are other people that know more things about Deyna. Her friends know that she will be “packing (carrying a GUN)” in clubs, festivals, everywhere while she was drinking! I don’t think because she is a Police officer she can do things like this. I have also seen her using illegal substances just hours before she had to go to work. I hope justice is done and just remember that anything you write here or anywhere else about this case the investigating dept is watching and are still investigating. We need respect and everyone regardless of their legal situation here. We all have our dignity and we all have rights. Let’s treat everyone with Dignity and respect, to be racist at this time is just pure ignorance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    19 October, 2010 at 8:16

  4. Rhonda

    FINALLY New HPD Rule Bans Social Networking Posts: Police Chief Charles McClelland has issued General Order Number 200-41. So no more:
    Photos or images depicting crime scenes or potential evidence
    Photos of city property, such as police computers, patrol cars, or weapons
    Pictures of co-workers performing their duties
    Photos of any officer assigned to undercover duties
    Any comment that is derogatory or offensive related to an officer’s official duties
    Any information about an ongoing investigation
    Any abusive or inappropriate comments about fellow officers, the department, or city leaders
    Any uniformed officer in “compromising or inappropriate positions, locations, or circumstances” (such as drinking at a bar)
    Confidential or privileged records or information they obtain through their position as a police officer
    It’s a great day HOUSTON justice has been done! Let’s never forget we are the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!! WE ARE THE PEOPLE!!! So happy our law enforcement will be doing they jobs now. Everyone deserves to be treated with DIGINITY AND RESPET ALWAYS!!!!!
    If you have not seen the report go to: they have the report and the video there! Great Job Chief Charles McClelland.

    21 October, 2010 at 11:22

  5. privateinvestigator

    Singapore private Investigators

    Good article!

    15 September, 2011 at 7:55

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