20 May 2007

KingCast asks, "Did Officer McKay ever call for backup in the Franconia tragedy?"

Some people have taken exception with my argument that the city and the Kenney family had a standing agreement that Liko Kenny could call for another officer. Well in light of the ongoing NH Insider Forum discussion comment, I want those people to ask why in the hell he wouldn't have called for backup, given that on an allegedly routine traffic stop, he believed he had to:

a) engage in a vehicular pursuit;
b) ram Mr. Kenney's vehicle off the road;
c) deploy pepper spray (then turn his back)

Read the comments section for the entire exchange, as well as an online exchange between a petite woman from the area and me. See, as a law clerk for Terry Gilbert, Esq. and as a young solo attorney after 4 years with Ohio's AG office I studied a lot of police protocol in cases including the bogus traffic stop of Michael Isreal on our way to a $58,500.00 settlement, and I can tell you the minute someone drives away from a routine traffic stop, it immediately ceases to be a routine traffic stop and it's time to call for backup for everyone's safety.

Of course we never will know whether he called for backup, nor will there be any inquiry into that trigger-happy Viet Nam vet named Floyd who has a history of threatening police because as noted in the new BostonNOW daily, the entire investigation was -- incredibly -- halted within 24-48 hours.

None of this changes the grief and sorrow I feel for Officer McKay's family (and for the Kenney family) but terminating this investigation like that is crazy.


Christopher King said...

How to prevent this? Don't have a police force if it is untrained, inexperienced and unproffesional. Just one of the many "whys" is why the hell did Mckay turn his back on people he just felt a need to pepper spray??? Sadly Mckay was not trained properly and felt he was some sort of larger than life authority figure and never once called for back-up during this time ... and what of the posts I have read about this guy who shot Kenny then demanding the passanger pick-up the gun??
May 19, 2007 | John Poole


That has been a very troubling image to me as well:

While the major press is only focusing on what Mr. Kenney did, I have mentally played back the events from the time that he was allegedly speeding and have to wonder why in the hell Officer McKay could have a situation in which he had to pursue someone, physically strike the car, hit both occupants with pepper spray.... and NOT call for backup???

Pardon my French, but what the.....

Christopher King said...

I grew up in that area, and I can say that folks always had problems with cops in many towns in the north country--particularly the young people. I knew a different cop that would stop me on the rural back roads just to harrass me, hand on his gun the whole time, and I am a petite woman.

........Yep. I've had problems with white cops who hassled me even as they watched another black friend of mine help put out a garage fire, then they stop us on our motorcycles for no friggin' reason while a young white male rode by with his young white girlfriend with no eyewear and she was barefoot. That's three violations right there and we had none. I wear boots, helmet, gloves, etc. The situation grew better over the years not because I approached the police any differently but because the age on the license was older and later on in my 30's I had that certain license plate that said "Civil Rights." Most police in Columbus knew who I was and most didn't bother me (some of us were drinking buddies) because they knew I only went after the rogues.

Yet that doesn't mean a cop should be killed, not at all.


The situation with Floyd (he lives in the actual town I am from) is strange to city dwellers but not to me. I'm not saying it's right, but it's not unexpected as I remember the kind of law that is practiced in northern New Hampshire.

.....and it is the same pathetic sort of attitude that led to the bogus indictment I faced and in which I (eventually) prevailed:


I wouldn't be surprised if they never open up the Floyd case again. He must be friends with someone.

........that's possible, and what's even more possible is that anyone who kills a cop-killer gets a pass.

Namaste my Sister.


Christopher King said...

Oh, and cops who lie often get a pass too:


Get hired back on staff even after their lies result in a man doing time on Death Row.

I personally know all about that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping up with this story. It really is ridiculous that the AG didn't investigate more, esp. given that the guy who shot Kenney seems pretty disturbed. I grew up in Franconia and know some of the players involved in this whole thing, although I no longer live there. I just wanted to add one little note about all the news stories that say Liko Kenney assaulted the officer a few years ago - the story covered in the police report that apparently justified the AG's actions (in their eyes). I grew up just a couple minutes from the parking lot where this incident occurred. It's a little dirt lot by a short path through the woods. The police report that was released by the AG said this was a spot known for drug and alcohol use. This is really ridiculous. There's hardly ever anyone there. You're about as likely to see an elderly person walking their dog through the woods there as anyone. The officer said in his report that he was driving by this dangerous hotspot and saw Kenney sitting in his car, where he said he was waiting for a friend for a Super Bowl party. The officer asked Kenney for his driver's license, and this eventually lead to Kenney being arrested, handcuffed and taken to the hospital (and beaten up, at least according to Kenney). This incident really speaks to the whole sad event, in my opinion. Whatever civil rights we're supposed to possess in this country, you can still sit in your car in small town America and be expected to answer questions and identify yourself with your driver's license. The claim that this was necessary because this was a 'drug hotspot' is just silly. The policeman rousts the kid for no reason at all, the kid puts up a fight, and the situation escalates into a pretty serious crime. (And it's important to keep in mind that the report of what happened is written, probably self-servingly, by the officer in question.) This is pretty typical small town police-type stuff, but I feel it justifies the many people from Franconia who say that Officer McKay was overzealous. No one can seriously defend what Liko Kenney did, but I hope that the extreme tragedy of the whole event will convince the Franconia selectmen in the future to step in when they suspect their officers (who are ALL hired from elsewhere, and not longtime citizens like the Kenneys) are being heavyhanded and not respecting the civil rights of the people they are going after. Liko Kenney did shoot a policeman, but it's amazing that you can read all the reports of the 'bad blood' between Kenney and McKay and come away with the impression that Kenney didn't do anything worse than drive his car too fast. I think the AG decided not to investigate further because they wanted to simplify the case and turn it into a simple case of black and white, hero vigilante vs. cop killer, in spite of the contrary evidence. This is ultimately an embarrassment to New Hampshire, and to our system of justice.

Christopher King said...

" I think the AG decided not to investigate further because they wanted to simplify the case and turn it into a simple case of black and white, hero vigilante vs. cop killer, in spite of the contrary evidence. This is ultimately an embarrassment to New Hampshire, and to our system of justice."

You've got that right. And it reminded me of the ridiculous case in Columbus, where they used a proven dirty cop whose false testimony was used to incorrectly put a man on Death Row to later testify against my client for alleged criminal trespass at the school board.


We smashed them up good, but at substantial cost, headache, heartache, taxpayer dollar.

But it just goes to show to what depths the Government will sink in order to quash dissent, including basic First Amendment Rights of Peaceful Assembly/Association (Mr. Kenney in the parking lot) and political speech (my client Jerry Doyle).

You might get the feeling that I'll be following this case for at least as long as I've been following the Columbus cases, in other words for the rest of my life.

You would be correct; it's in my blood.


Anonymous said...

Law Enforcement is about enforcing the laws. There are four tenants for a legally 'justified homicide,' and zero evidence revealed to show any of those tenants had been satisfied. Even a rookie detective aspirant in community college if considering a a wide-ranging tragedy as this would know detective 101 procedures...
1. release the video tape in total, with time-line and transcript. If it's been edited, prepare for jail.
2. release radio, scanner and personal phone call records from all involved parties, starting a day or two prior to the incident.
3. arrest the shooter (already sadly way past due); he'd have full presumption of innocence, but must be interviwed in detail and on tape and in great detail. He is an ex-con with a felony rap sheet.(The 'heroic' passerby has a conviction for assaulting and threatening officers, and others, always informing them of his sharpshooter status as an ex-marine, and suggesting that he could provide easily provide "a third eye" to any officers responding to a report that he had threatened a meter reader with death...there's your semper fi 'passerby' hero convict...
Gosh, D.A. St. Hillaire didn't go into any of that, did he? or Attorney General Ayotte...
why don't the just fly to the Caribbean if they're not going to their jobs...then they'd come back relaxed and refreshed and could maybe remember respect for law enforcement.
did the shooter have a scanner with him in his truck? if so, why? etc..etc...
where's the extensive video debriefing of the shooter, his kid, the kid in the car with kenney at the time of the shooting...where is the result of all this careful questioning? did it take place in the first regard?

where's the telephonic and scanner evidence, or lack of same, and why?
we need an actual detective on this job but no one seems to respect law enforcement, despite the solemn parades...
4. Attorney General Ayotte's refusal to come through on a promised "thorough investigation" reveals her to have an inherent disrepect for law enforcement.

It is sad to see law enforcement and 'prosecutorial communities' come together in such solidarity if it means obfuscating a tragedy, refusing to investigate and report as is their job as public servants...i'm talking about "report"...
the public dosen't need a summation by career politicians, they need the facts released, which they have paid for and have a right to, and then we'll go from there...
the truth has it's own power and will make these villages safer and even sweeter places for the residents and the resident/officals...
unfortuantely, it will now take agressive lawsuit actions against the figureheads who are preventing the law from being enforced, and that they do so in the name of law enforcement shows, if not their incompetency, then their unwillingness to respect the law. They can't be that ignorant of it. So it's politics. Don't play politics with dead kids and fallen police officers...
This sloppy and unacceptable case management is an embarassment to professional law enforcement officers, detectives and first responders of all kinds.
Ayotte made this a political coverup the same night of the incident.
I respect law enforcement, even if new hampshire law enforcement authorities don't want to get anywhere near it...
so there have been a lot of funerals last week up thereyah huh??
and a convict shooter walks free; where's his police interview, where are the facts and the tape so things can be juxtaposed against each other in a timeline and facts can be revealed?
Or isn't that important.
It's only laws.
Which need to be enforced.
But they are not...
nor even investigated as properly as someone coming out of junior college aspiring to law or police work would...
Ayotte's political career is over. So is St. Hillaire's...that's what you get for not respecting law enforcement...more to be revealed...and to come to light...with the exception of the concord monitor and boston now, the press are just eating the spin...and there is a double tragedy, and a rug to sweep things under, and the rug installers are your attorney general and your prosector...
parades of police solidarity at the funeral were appropriate and a deep expression of understandable support and sadness...respect for the families in these heartbreaking personal tragic circumstances, so deeply inherent in each affected family and family of friends...
but what about the law, and law enforcement, and proper investigations by experienced and mature detectives who care about the truth...
that's not forthcoming...
and among the tens of thousands clever, caring and committed law enforcement professionals in the country, it's only a matter of time before someone shows an actual love and respect for the actual law...
one would hope.
the press, as usual, sells whatever spin it's fed, as well it did in 2003 as we were fighting a war against a terrible threat that did not exist, a terrible time of fear mongering and disinformation in out culture...right about the time Kenney was smashed in his face while being detained and shackled, tho that's your a historical reference, I see no direct connection, just thinking back to the incidents that lit the long fuse...and so it goes.
so as for press coverages of this incident, well, that's why the press has become so increasingly irrelevant and has lost circulation hugely; because it's a joke full of lies for the most part...that's why the 'people' are the Time Magazine person of the year...the bloggers, etc...
Ayotte can't sweep this away, but her giddy political aspirations are in serious question now...what a thing to sacrifice your career on, a cover-up, when one was never necessary...she has thrown her credibility away. Why dosen't New Hampshire Law Enforcement care about enforcing the law? What are they afraid of? Truth? That's the message the youth, and all other ages of New Hampshire residents are getting, subliminally and overtly, and there will be a critical mass, and soon.
The bedrock of our justice system? Truth. Law. A lady of fairness with blinders and a scale...not a lady with tv camera in her face posturing as she erases an investigation as she calls promises one in true Orwellian manner.
Ayotte's actions move past ironic, past absurd, and all the way into criminal cover-up perhaps?
someone will investigate.
either in the department or outside of it..
and someone will report.
Too bad it's not the people who are being paid to do so...to protect and serve the communities...to be a shining bastion of blind justice...to be together, as Americans, under rule of law and the mercy of God and the courts. Not in New Hampshire...That's not the way they do it in New Hampshire. And the nation knows. and more will be revealed. And those in authority who did not do their jobs, will be exposed as well. Why? Because the law is precious. And law enforcement is important. And we demand it. Or we are a lawless society. Too many unanswered questions...Why are they afraid of questions? Why won't they ask them? Why are they keeping the evidence out of the publics hands? Why is a convicted police assaulter with a house full of guns and a violent histroy sitting free in his cabin or driving around free in his truck...What of the four provision of 'justified homicide' did he satisfy? Prove it. It's all going to come out; these politicians learn nothing. And their coverups ALWAYS bring them down...
without the spin, without the posturing and misrepresentations, this was still a clear and a heartbreaking tragedy to all concerned in the North Country. Those villages didn't need a politician from a hundred miles away to come up into the mountains and assure that for generations to come, generations of citizens will know that push come to shove, the law will not be respected or enforced, but selectively used in the protection of obfuscations, spin and cynical lack of respect for the law, their jobs, or their sworn responsibilities...
So let's start with the 'justifiable homicide' laws, and get all the investigatory materials, and Ayotte, St. Hillare et al...you played politics with the law and you are going to lose your careers in the next elections...(either that or cynically campaign as 'strong on law'...and tout these illegal, immoral and imcompetent lack of investigations, to spin their way into greater power. And care nothing of the law, or the buried residents of our towns last week...except as political tools...Law Enforcement in New Hamshire deserved better. And so do the residents who emply them to protect and serve the communities. Now Ms. Ayotte, Mr. St. Hillaire, and various police departments in those towns...you are on trial.
Because the law counts.
And law enforcement is important. And you are the last people we are supposed to be reminding of this.

Christopher King said...

You said a mouthful.

So much truth that I am making it a separate blawg entry (I will post the link later here) and I want to make sure you ask the seminal question: "what if Liko Kenney wasn't speeding in the first place?"


Show us the video footage from that fateful night in its entirety.

Meanwhile, from the post I linked above asking that question, remember this:

PS: The black box of Officer McKay’s car would likely tell us how fast he was or was not going prior to ramming Mr. Kenney’s car off the road. As a car enthusiast, I know that much.

And I like what you said:

"....where's the extensive video debriefing of the shooter, his kid, the kid in the car with kenney at the time of the shooting...where is the result of all this careful questioning? did it take place in the first regard?"

Something stinks here, and it's not the voice of dissent, it is the blue wall of silence that needs some chlorox splashed on it.


Christopher King said...

Here you go:



John P. said...

This event has bothered me greatly and everyday I hope to read an investigation is done and those who work for us in government, share the findings and evidence.

So very very sad when anyone is killed by the hands of another out of anger or premeditatedly be it for profit or "legal" execution but...

Let me take a chance here and go against what is politically incorrect and say that Liko's life was more worth saving than McKay's. The thought reminds me of when I think of the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of innocent family members killed in Iraq and for simply being in the wrong place.. I would much rather see the numbers reversed and see this many soldiers (from any country including our own) killed as they have made a choice to be in this war but all we hear is the number of dead US Soldiers and not the number of dead Iraqi children which is much greater.

So, I have to wonder with two people gone in New Hampshire whose life is going to be missed more. As a cop McKay may be in a position to save more lives but somehow I believe Liko would have stepped up possibly more if in the event if a burning building with people inside. Often people who abuse power are cowards. However, this is completely an opinion and with out facts of good deeds either has done I must look at the negative.

A person with a badge who clearly got off on making people, especially the young, feel threatened, intimidated and feel a dislike for authority. Clearing helping to create the fears and anger Liko felt. Helping him to feel so powerless and scared that he needed a gun (like Mckay) to have some sense of security and in this case mainly from McKay.

Now you have Liko who clearly has been abusive to others, especially those he was closest.

People have good and bad things to say about both but Liko was a kid likely to grow out of much of this if given the chance as many of us have. He was troubled and a cop who could have used his position to help him instead helped push him down the road that led to this incident.

Sorry, but McKay was grown and was who he was and Liko never had the chance to be real adult and McKay's badge allowed him to abuse many many more people than Liko could even imagine helping to create others than in the coming decade we may hear about as they too make decisions out of fear and how they view authority, in part because of their exposure to Liko.

Even if McKay managed to scare a few kids straight in this crime ridden metropolis the call Franconia ... what kind of life is that to live in fear?

My point here is that I am sick of hearing how as a cop McKay’s life meant more because if one of them had to go, I would choose him but let me make it very very clear ... I wish they were both alive and McKay used his authority to diffuse the situation and since that was not his style, I wish Liko would have not taken a lesson from McKay about power and felt the need to carry a weapon as he clearly was a person who reacted with emotion as many troubled young people do though most grow out of it.

I do hope the two families can come together and help each other heal but hope to God that Caleb files a suit so the video and facts come out and if there was a cover up that each person be held accountable ESPECIALLY those who hold positions of authority as those in charge who are a danger and corrupt are much more dangerous to us than the Liko's or the Floyds ... except for the fact they have empowered Floyd greatly by giving him this pass of no investigation. Trust me; we will hear more of his heroic acts like this before his life is over.

Christopher King said...

Here is my letter to NH AG Kelly Ayotte seeking production of the video:



John P. said...

I feel terrible for suggesting that one life is more important than another but I am also sick of hearing and seeing Police be put above others when in reality most citizen's experience with the police is a negative one and you leave it feeling scared, knowing it is going cost you money (fines) or in the best case the ain't never going to find your stolen TV and they certainly are trained to make you feel better about having just been the victim of a crime.

By far being a cop is not the most dangerous job in the country. And truck driver's who deliver the food that keeps us alive are probably more at risk.

We had parades for the cops who helped in NY with 9/11 but what of the many many regular folks who truly acted as heroes. They did not choose that life nor were they trained. Cops like soldiers make a choice to be what they are. We should all be grateful as they do serve a hugely important issue but instead of giving them a pass when they do something wrong they need to be treated more harshly than a citizen as we MUST believe they are the best and most honest we have in society ... we have to be able to trust them for society to work.

Things have got so bad that we watch the show COPS on TV and actually see police lose their temper and abuse suspects. We feel it is okay because sometimes these suspects appear to be asking for it but it is WRONG and we can only imagine how they act when there is no camera there. What of the cops who arrest those internet predators after they allow then a 30-minute conversation with a reporter? As soon as they leave the house they are tackled or held at gun point but just moments ago, the cops felt no worry about the reporter but are now scared of the guy because there are ten cops surrounding him with guns??!?!?

We are breading our cops from those in society who want the power to abuse and not those who want to be heroes or serve and protect. It is time for us to wake-up!! It is not most cops are good and there are a few bad Apple. The truth is that most cops abuse their power and even those who are good and have good hearts are turned into abusive people because it is a job like no others were they only stick to their own kind and you must become part of the gang.

Cops approach everyone they come in contact with as a potential criminal regardless for their own safety and yet they have guns, radios for back-up, emergency triggers they can press when in trouble, mace, clubs... yet does a bank teller make their black customer be searched or crawl on the ground before they handle a transaction?? Yet, they are at risk much more than a cop of getting a gun pulled on them.

What makes me sick most of all is that so many people who speak so well about the police have NEVER been involved with a cop and have been lucky enough to never have been at the wrong place at the wrong time as they would have found out very quick that most cops are dishonest and abusive.

I do hope a good cop or two read this and get mad and then look into their hearts and instead of getting mad at me realize they should be mad at themselves for not applying the law and standards they do to others to their fellow officers.

That alone proves most cops are not good because even the good ones allow the bad ones to continue to abuse the citizens they are charged with protecting ... A cop turning on another cop is rarer than a mafia informant.

AND DON"T EXPECT AN INVESTIGATION OF FLOYD OR THIS INCIDENT as it would need to be done by cops and even on the Local and Federal Level there is a bond between cops and your don't cross a line when a cop has been killed. There is no such thing as a corrupt or bad cop when they have been killed in the line of duty.

With all this said their can be exceptions especially in small town America but any large police force there will only be a handful of officers who can look into their hearts of hearts and know they are upholding the laws equally and within the law. An entire division was corrupt in LA and it was for many years many years and this is the largest police dept. in the world and viewed by others as the greatest. Hundreds of cops transferred in and out of that division over those years and NONE ever said anything even anonymously ... until one was caught robbing a bank nothing was said and they even tried to keep that guy quiet and once he opened his mouth the plea deal he struck was more about keeping his mouth closed.

A police officer who violates his oath should be sentenced twice as hard as a normal citizen, just as a citizen should be sentenced twice as hard for acts against someone with a badge. Yet, the police have so much power; they have allowed only one side of this equation to be true.

This blind loyalty in this country has got to stop if we truly want to believe it when we say we have the best system ... WAKE UP!! How can we say we are the country that is Free when we have a larger percentage of our population behind jail than any mainstream country or how can we speak of equality when the cops target both our children and the minority in this country but if you are middle age and white you become invisible to them?

Christopher King said...

I have two posts for you:

"New TV shows, same old police state"



"Why do some cops think it's okay to violate people they don't like?"


Take a look.