Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Body snatching should't be legal

Most of you would agree, I hope, that body snatching should be against the law. But my previous post about ADA accomodations for firefighters reminds me that Norwalk has been told that body snatching is a legal right. At least, a policeman who snatches bodies while in uniform cannot be fired for cause. [Note: this link is now dead. Current links with similar information can be found in the Connecticut Law Tribune and at topix.net ]

NORWALK, CONNECTICUT – The city will not appeal a state Labor Department ruling to reinstate police officer Liam Callahan, a nine-year veteran fired last fall for taking a skull fragment from the scene of a May 2005 accident.


Callahan was one of the first officers on the scene of the accident last year on Flax Hill Road that killed Alfred Caviola, 62, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.

According to the panel’s report, Callahan, who was assigned to direct traffic at the one-car accident, picked up “a small skull fragment”; told an officer at the scene he intended to keep it; placed it in his duty bag and placed the bag in his locker; and reported the fragment to a superior officer two days later, after being confronted by the head of the police union.

The panel concluded that Callahan’s testimony that he had forgotten about the fragment was not credible and called his handling of the body part “negligent” and “offensive.”

But the panel supported the police union’s contention that the skull fragment was not evidence in the accident investigation and that Callahan had been excessively disciplined.


“To state that it’s not crucial to the investigation is true. It’s not a piece of evidence,” Rilling said. “But it still needs to be treated with dignity and respect. I doubt whether any officer, including Officer Moerler, would find it acceptable to kick a piece of remains into the bushes.”

According to his colleagues, Officer Callahan intended to use the skull fragment to make an ashtray. Am I hopelessly out of date to think that "Dignity and respect" is the least we should expect from our government?

1 comment:

Caviola said...

What if it was your loved one or even you then would it be acceptable?? Would you like someone taking a piece of your mother or fathers skull and using it as an ashtray? This is completely insane! A police officer is suppose to protect and serve us...Not disrespect us. This is disgusting. The thought of someone doing that to my grandfather hurts me so bad inside. That day was all bad for my family in the first place then we had to deal with something that should have never happened! People shouldn't have to worry about things like that we should be able to trust our officers. I don't understand how "officer" Callahan was only suspended for three months WITH PAY!! WTF is that?? a vacation for doing something like that? He must have family or good ties in the department. My grandfather was such a great man and I loved him so much. Callahan did one of the worst things you could do to a family in that situation as we went through our grieving process. I am completely outraged! And for the record we didnt want to settle out of court because we wanted to prove a point. It wasn't about the money at all. We got less then half of what we would have got out of court. We wanted to make a statement that he was wrong and that this is wrong and that things like this should never happen to anyone. He should honestly be put into an looney bin! He's crazy. He thinks like hitler. It's been almost 5 years but it still hurts inside and it has affected my families living situations greatly. We will rise above this but we pray that no one has to go through the digust and dissapointment we did. I don't even trust cops now. Thats not right. Thanks to all of the people who understand our side and don't understand how people could think otherwise. Most judges don't even stand for DWI's but they hardly fought for a reasonable punishment for him. This man still has his job. Does this make any sense? Does anyone want this man to come to your house and help you if their is a problem? Not me! RIP AC