Friday, July 27, 2012

A Real Head-Scratcher Involving GPD

Why Did Greece PD Help
420 Emporium Owner
Evade Media Questions?

In an apparent attempt to intimidate news reporters from covering the activities of her stores, the woman who has identified herself online as the owner of at least four outlets of The 420 Emporium contacted law enforcement on Monday and accused The Batavian's publisher of harassing her.
A police officer with the Greece PD contacted Howard Owens at 9:18 p.m., Monday, and ordered him to not have further contact with Amber Snover.
Snover was the subject of a story on The Batavian on Monday identifying her as the self-proclaimed owner of 420 shops in Brockport, Fulton, Henrietta and Syracuse. It's unclear if she also owns the Batavia store at 400 Ellicott St.
When contacted via phone on Monday, Snover denied ownership of all five locations and Owens followed up with a text message question and an exchanged ensured in which she accused Owens of harassing her even though it was his first contact with her.
Owens, who had identified himself clearly on the initial call, informed Snover further via text that he was a reporter with legitimate questions.
When Owens told the Greece PD officer the same thing, the officer told Owens he had no right to contact Snover, that she was "alarmed and annoyed" by the contact and that if he contacted her again "we will issue a warrant for your arrest."
The Public Information Officer for the Greece PD, Capt. Steve Chatterton, said today the contact by the officer was a typical courtesy call placed by a police officer at the behest of an individual who wanted to request no further contact.
Chatterton said no police report was taken and no charges are pending. He said if Owens felt obliged as a journalist to seek an interview in the future with Snover, an arrest warrant would not be automatic. He said the circumstances of the case would be reviewed with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office before deciding how to proceed.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the Greece chief should be investigating why one of his own officers or higher up is so interested in protecting the manager and live-in girlfriend of the titular owner of those head shops. His and her Greece house were raided and cash and other items were confiscated according to the reports and the video footage. Could this be another incident where the officer is a card playing buddy of the duo? Or is he a patron of the shop. The DEA might want to know about this also.
And isn't anyone upset that a writer for a news organization can be told by the police to stop asking someone for a quote? It's not like he was running after her and trying to snap her picture. Now that he has been warned by the police is he forbidden from asking her for any reaction to her residence and the store she manages being raided and subject to search warrant ? Who is allowed to ask them questions? Who is the officer that tried to silence the reporter?

Anonymous said...

Is this the woman that lives in Greece in West Hills? I am confused as to the connection of the GPD when the shops are not in the town of Greece.

I do not believe that it is the GPD job to call a reporter to "protect" the accused. There must be a connection...

SCATS said...

To 9:05AM ~~ Yes, she resides there with her boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

Police intimidation of media to keep the Greece connection out of the headlines is status quo. Nothing to see here folks.

Anonymous said...

It's a jurisdiction thing.
GPD coppers threaten people, they're good at it from years of experience protecting Greece Politicians.
Greece coppers also illegally arrest people for harassing politicians, and because people don't know their rights, GPD never has to settle any claims for illegal arrests.

Greece coppers also entertain punk Jr Hockey players and provide them with texting material.

RPD coppers date skank massage parlor girls, lurk in massage parlor parking lots and shoot bad guys in Greece.

Once again folks, coppers exist to protect politicians, not citizens.

Anonymous said...

Who at the D&C would cover such a story? Would a reporter showing up at GPD HQ with a list of questions be helpful? What other authorities would investigate these rascals? It appears that the GPD is still corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Here is the story in the Batavian:

Someone from the media, state, or federal authorities needs to go after the GPD and clean that rat's nest out!!!

SCATS said...

To 6:14AM ~~ Why focus only on the D&C? I'm fascinated by the fact that TV media danced all around the fact that Fitzgerald/Snover owned the Greece home located at 21 West Hill Estates that was raided. They did NOT provide the house number or names, but did show the home as it was raided while very quietly saying it happened in Greece. Even more interesting was the fact that Sean Carroll from 13WHAM provided a photo of the couple's mailbox displaying their names to The Batavian, but FAILED to give that info or show that on their coverage. Why the secret that Greece is involved in a MAJOR DRUG BUST?

To 6:26AM ~~ That link is to a more recent story. Thank you.

Howard Owens said...

(comment edited for typos and resubmitted)

While I continue to be bothered that a police officer would accuse a news reporter engaged in legitimate news gathering practices of a crime, I think some clarification is necessary:

-- At the time the officer called me he was almost certainly unaware of the impending DEA raid. While I don't think he should have called me at all based on the available evidence he had, once he did, before accusing me of a crime and threatening me with arrest, he should have tried to ascertain why a reporter would be calling the subject. He could have asked me, but also, before the call a simple Google search would have provided him with some important information, as I had already published my story about the subject.

-- By the time I spoke with Capt. Chatterton there was a very good chance he knew about the impending raid. Certainly his chief knew because I know that the chiefs from other jurisdictions involved in the raids knew about the DEA plans by this point. That knowledge may have in encouraged Capt. Chatterton to want to continue to politely dissuade me from contacting the subject again (of course, at this point I didn't know of the planned raids .. I wouldn't find out until Thursday morning (and I had no immediate need to contact her again)).

-- While I continue to believe the officer in question owes me an apology, I don't believe this event is a sign of corruption or of a poorly run department. It's a minor training issue and hopefully the officer will not make this mistake again. From my interaction with Capt. Chatterton and the feedback I've received from others in the media, the Greece PD has quality, professional leadership and is turning the corner toward becoming a better police department. I would encourage the residents of Greece to support their department's leadership because the best way to fight crime is to do it as a unified community.

Howard Owens, Publisher, The Batavian

SCATS said...

To Howard Owens ~~ Thank you for clarifying the timeline issues.

Like you, I continue to be bothered that a Greece police officer would accuse a news reporter engaged in legitimate news gathering practices of a crime!! (Especially so after all that our PD has been through in recent years.)

Unlike you, I can't help but question whether or not intimidation of this type is used routinely to keep connections to crime in Greece out of the headlines. After all, our Town Supervisor is stuck on getting us back to "Safest City" standing despite the fact that ALL signs point to those days being long gone!

In this particular story about the 420 Emporium's involvement, it was YOUR story that led the way to discovering WHO FROM GREECE was involved! TV media danced all around the address/owners of the home raided by authorities. Can't imagine why ... IF things are as they should be within GPD.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Owens in my humble opinion you have unwittingly kicked a hornets nest of corruption. One of the GPD's skills is perception management, as they did with you. There is a general disregard for proper police procedure and rule of law within the GPD. In a properly functioning department, an officer would not feel like he could "free lance" as did the one who called and threatened you. This is THE STORY here! As many residents in Greece know this is hardly the first time this type of shenanigans has been practiced by GPD.

Anonymous said...

SCATS... been kinda quiet on this subject lately. Did someone tell YOU to "back off?"

SCATS said...

To 7:17AM ~~ Told by whom?? To back off of what?? Have you ever seen me back off on a hot topic before? Why would you think that?

Anonymous said...

Mr Owens forget about telling people on this site the true facts as you knew them. Unless you are willing to make critical comments about the PD , don't waste your time.
The truth does not play well on this site. Only rumors, negative innuendoes are met with favorable reactions that is the tenure of this site. They are content to stir the pot of discontent rather than accept a positive comment that does not fit their personal agendas what ever they are Remember, this is Greece NY and not Batavia. Consider yourself lucky that you don't live in this STUCK IN THE MUD one horse town.
Thanks for trying but followers of this site would not recognize or accept the TRUTH even if it came from on HIGH

Anonymous said...

I've said this before. When it comes to the D& C and channel 13, look. No further then the news directors office for your answer. Therin lies your problem about comprehensive coverage of negative news about Greece.
The boss of gets into print lives in Greece and on the Board of Directors of theGreece Chamber. no that's thereal GREECE CONNECTION . In media circles it's known as news management. In the town of Greece, news management is job one about anything negative about this town whose motto is DISCOVER THE PROMISE. Prior to Auburger changing the
motto, under Riley's rule it was GREECE IS THE LIFE.
neither one has anything to do with reality of what it's like to live in Greece.

SCATS said...

To 9:15AM ~~ Sorry to disappoint you, but Mr. Owens & I have had a very friendly exchange of several emails. Next time I receive one of your poorly-written comments (example: where you can't discern the difference between words like "tenure" and "tenor"), I think I will just deep-six it. It usually takes a lot away from a criticism when the complainer doesn't know what he's talking about. Clearly, you don't ;)

To 10:38AM ~~ The kinds of connections you mentioned at the C of C is what makes Greece DYSFUNCTIONAL. Maybe our new town motto should be: "Town of Greece ~ The Dysfunction Junction ~ Where We Put The "Fun" in dysFUNctional!"