Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Patrick Gilman is an asshole

Who is Patrick Gilman?

Gilman is the Scranton, Pennsylvania, police officer who used his police connections and knowledge of the law to abuse a neighbor who rubbed him the wrong way. That neighbor is Dawn Herb, of West Scranton, who loudly cursed her toilet when it backed up and overflowed on the floor. Gilman overheard Herb through her open bathroom window, and got into what the Scranton Times-Tribune describes as a "brief verbal altercation" with her about her choice of language. A report in the Philadelphia Weekly suggests he may have told her to "shut the fuck up."

Apparently she didn't shut the fuck up, or maybe she did, but gave him more lip than he liked in the process. Gilman then called his buddies at police headquarters to have disorderly conduct charges brought against Herb. She now faces 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. The ACLU has taken her case.

Disorderly conduct for cursing at an overflowing toilet? Hmmm. I'm sure this has nothing to to do with Gilman's connections and status as a police officer.

As Mary Catherine Roper, an ACLU attorney told the Times-Tribune "You can’t prosecute somebody for swearing at a cop or a toilet." It's just not illegal -- nor should it be. But power has its own logic. If ticking off a servant of the state isn't formally illegal ... well ... he and his friends will just find a charge among the dusty racks of general-purpose statutes that will stick, effectively criminalizing any behavior they don't like.

So Patrick Gilman is certainly an asshole, but he's not a standout, bad-egg asshole. Instead, he's the sort of banal abuser of authority that you can expect any institutionalized system of coercive force to vomit up on a regular basis. Undoubtedly, he thinks he's fully justified in finding a semi-clever way twist the law to penalize a neighbor who had the nerve to mouth-off to a police officer. His colleagues surely agree. The lot of them are likely scratching their heads and wondering what all the fuss is about.

I certainly hope that Ms. Herb emerges from this ordeal relatively unscathed -- and with a clear idea about the predatory way in which our supposed protectors view us common folk.

And the rest of us can just hope we don't live next door to any Patrick Gilmans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He may be an asshole, but more importantly, he's a felon and belongs in jail. Its a felony to violate someones constitutional rights "under color of law", and speech is a constitutional right.

But, like all the other criminals in blue, he won't get prosecuted, while his victim's best outcome is to be "relatively unscathed" she'll never be compensated for the crime that has been perpetrated against her.

Thus, even if she wins, she loses: the ordeal alone is enough to realize that she doesn't have the right to get angry in her own home.

October 18, 2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all incorrect

the ACLU wont represent her anymore because no consitutional rights have been violated

she was swearing at her kids and Gilmans children hear her two houses down.

she was issues a citation for domestic disturbance and it carries a small fine. SHE WAS DISTURBING THE PEACE

This would also apply to someone who had a loud party. The cops get called and you get a ticket. You pay the fine and go on your way.

It funny how you open your mouth without knowing the facts. So you can shut up now.

October 19, 2007 9:46 AM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

Hmmm ... As of Sunday, the 21st, the local paper reports that Dawn Herb is still fighting the charge on free speech grounds and the ACLU is still involved.

October 21, 2007 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like this idiot Gilman has virgin ears being a cop.... what is he a wimpy woman?? Cant take the cussing? Do you paint your toenails too Copper? Do you have penis that why you carry a gun and cry about vulgar words???Please, like the courts dont really have better things to do. What an asshole!! DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT AN ASSHOLE YOU ARE?Please get me his phone number so I can call him and let him know in person.

December 12, 2007 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it looks like she was acquitted. Good for her. I'd like to see some civil charges against the Cop. Maybe cops would think twice about abusing their power if it could hurt their pocket book.

December 14, 2007 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this Patrick Gilman is the one I remember growing up in Scranton, he was a shithead asshole then and a shithead asshole now. Some things never change...

December 16, 2007 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical Bovine Scatology! Obviously this cop IS an asshole of the greatest magnitude! Its Freedom of IFS ands or Butts!
I'm surprised they didnt bust down her door and haul her away, and put her kids in state home!
First we need the cases not be dropped...but appealed all the way to the State Supreme Court. Obviously, the prosecutor or cops wont press the case since inevitably like the case in Pitsburgh they prefer to just drop it so that can continue to act as Jackbooted Thugs.
What we NEED in this country is not more Cops, but a citizen watch group that files charges against cops everytime THEY break the Law!

How does one go about this in PA?
Obviously you cant just go to the Police station to file a complaint. Do you go to the local magistrate?

Second, folks have to start exercising ALL their Constitutional Rights. Many cops dont respect citizens since there is no fear of consequence.
What need sto happen is that some "citizen" just happens to pass by and see him abusing his kids or one of the other things he's probably guilty of himself.
Why do the police keep abusing citizens?

Part of the problem is the ACLU itself. They have a lot of "bark" but limited "bite". They also do not take Second Amendment cases.

Look at Police abuse after Katrina...thats the future of America right there!

January 22, 2008 10:20 AM  
Blogger syd said...

This post has been removed by the author.

December 8, 2008 1:36 PM  
Blogger syd said...

patrick gilman is my dad and if you ever say anything like that again i will ell everyone the truth because i was the one who overheard her so hahahahahahahahahahah.ha

December 8, 2008 1:39 PM  
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March 18, 2009 11:32 PM  
Anonymous psf said...

so she got 19k plus her legal bills paid. what i want to know is if anyone got canned over this. it's bs if not. and not necessarily her neighbor, but the asshole who decided to go to the mat over it. what the hell was that all about?

May 10, 2009 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick was just doing his job and that is trying to keep this city peaceful and u can all shut ur mouthes because you weren't there i was and i know what was happening u don't sooo leave him alone what did he ever do to u.... exactly nothing all of u just like to torture inosent people and all i have to say is get a life and mind ur own bussiness.... because im sure you all just thinks cops are bad people well they aren't they are sweet and they care about the city unlike u.... And if u are to stupid to realize it than well thats it u just are STUPID soooo that is all i have to say... and you might want to think before you comment....

February 11, 2010 8:58 PM  

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