I grew up in a law enforcement family. I have had many friends who were police officers. In my career publishing small town newspapers, the local police agencies in the communities where I owned publications considered me a friend, and knew I could be trusted to use discretion when needed, unlike some of my competitors, who had an ax to grind and were always looking for anything they could find to make the police look bad.

That being said, I’ve been around the block enough times to know that while most police officers are fine people and dedicated public servants, there are also some real jerks out there, who have no business being entrusted with the kind of responsibility a cop has.

A good example is this video, which I will warn you ahead of time, has some very graphic language in it.

In the video, Daniel Harless, a Canton, Ohio police officer repeatedly threatens to smash the face of a man who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, going to far as to say he "should have pulled my Glock 40 and just put 10 bullets in your ass and let you drop. And I wouldn’t have lost any sleep.”

The man, William E. Bartlett, was charged with a traffic violation and with not notifying the officer of his concealed weapon, though the police car’s dash camera shows him holding out his concealed weapons permit and informing the officer that he has a gun, and the cop repeatedly shouting him down.   

 

 

The video shows that the two officers involved made a series of grave procedural errors, and they are damned lucky the armed citizen was not a criminal, or both might have been killed.

Bartlett and a friend were stopped in an area known for prostitution, and were talking to a female who may or may not have been a hooker. We’re they trying to buy sex? I have no idea. But even if they were, that’s not a felony. Regardless, nobody deserves to be treated this way during a routine stop.

Bartlett’s attorney said the city prosecutor has offered to drop the charges against him if he agrees not to sue the city 

Officer Harless has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation. I hope he loses his job, because in my opinion, he’s nothing but a bully with a badge. Worse yet, a dangerous bully. If this idiot is allowed to continue on the job, I’d give you very good odds that sooner or later, he’ll be involved in a shooting. He has no business carrying a gun. What do you think?  

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21 Comments on Bully With A Badge

  1. T & R Martin says:

    Officer Harless realizes (after some length of time) he is “damned lucky the armed citizen was not a criminal.” He may have visualized a shooting incident that truly scared him, but that is no excuse for his behavior. I think he felt like a real jerk when he remembered it was all on tape for the world to see. He certainly did not learn that at the Police Academy. Also, he needs a better command of the English language.

  2. Art. Kramer says:

    I was a police officer in Pittsburgh for 27 years and have never seen an officer so far out of control. That SOB scares me! He has serious psychological issues and needs to be out of law enforcement.

  3. Henry Williams says:

    Its only a matter of time before this cretin shoots somebody if they keep him on the job. He does not deserve the title police officer. To call him that dishoners the millions of fine men and women past and present who have worn the badge.

  4. Steven H. says:

    We part company on this one Bad Nick. The perp and his buddy were obviously up to no good and breaking the law. Who knows what he may have done if the police officer had not taken control of the situation. Yes, the officer was upset, but if you have not been out there in the dark with the bad guys, you have no idea what its like. Policemen are people too, and who can blame them when they sometimes react as humans instead of robots when faced with danger?

  5. P. Gray says:

    I think the cop was out of control and I agree with Henry. He didn’t even talk to the driver at the very begiinning which was stupid and when he did he immediately said he was lying even before listening that he was trying to show him the permit. The reason he got so mad was because he realized that he could have been shot while he was searching in the back seat and that made him mad. I agree with you Nick. The officer didn’t handle it professionally. His buddy should have talked to the woman and man in the back while he talked to the driver finding out why they were there in a civil manner. I can’t believe it took over 5 minutes before they even acknowledged the driver. Those are the type of people who are supposed to be protecting us???? What is really funny was watching them look for the permit and the poor driver still had it in his hand. Now that was stupid. LOL

  6. Jim says:

    Canton, Ohio is just a few miles from our home. My brother is a retired officer from a neighboring city and in spite of what Steven H. says he thinks Harless needs to be fired and sued because of his actions. Brother was part of the a drug task force and had many encounters, after dark, with scumbags much more dangerous than someone with a CCW permit following his instructions as to the law of notification. That he was in an area of ill repute has nothing to do with this situation.
    Harless has quite a few administrative writeups (poor) so it was just a matter of time until this guy exploded. The city officials knew he was dangerous and should have acted much sooner.
    Now we have the ultra liberal anti-gun city council president, a very succesful attorney, crying because he and his fellow councilmen are being bombarded with e-mails in support of the victim and bad mouthing Canton. Think you’d like to visit the NFL Hall of Fame in good old Canton, Ohio? Better be sure “officer” Harless isn’t on duty if you’re a CCW permit holder and/or packing heat.
    Other than the National Felony League Hall of Fame, Canton doesn’t offer much so you wouldn’t miss anything if you drove on by.

  7. Francis Callahan says:

    My father was a police officer and he always said if you run into a jerk officer go along with him at the time and get even later. There was a jerk in the east that was found one night naked aqnd his 38 specisl jamed up where the sun dosen’t shine and was the laughing stock of the whole area and finally quit

  8. Palmsrv says:

    After watching that video, watch this one and you’ll see another cop under pretty much the same circumstances handle it the proper way.

    http://reason.com/blog/2011/07.....on-youtube

  9. John says:

    I saw this a couple of days ago and am simply stunned by the behavior of the officer. The comments by the president of the city council and now the attorney for the city, after the public found out about the incident, are even also troubling. The statement by the attorney that he would drop the charges, if the VICTIM signs off on his right to sue is extortion, plain and simple.

  10. As an ex police officer and training academy staff member I am ashamed that the profession is sometimes contaminated with that kind of vermin. In the academy we were constantly aware that issuing someone a badge and a gun does not make them a law enforcement professional – it just makes them dangerous. Training and supervision has to be constant with some parties and expulsion from the ranks must always be available.

  11. Raymond G. says:

    Man, that is one very scary cop! Me thinks that if this is the kind of police they have in Canton, I will avoid the place like the plague! And his partner was just as bad for not stepping in and stopping the abuse. I bet if Harless would have shot the guy, his partner would have covered it up.

  12. Louisa Gladner says:

    I just started reading your blog, but I’m done with it now. My husband is a police officer and I don’t appreciate your demeaning Officer Harless for doing his job. How dare you armchair quarterback this officer! You weren’t there and you don’t know what all took place before the film started rolling. If just once you had to encounter a dangerous armed felon on a dark street you might think otherwise!

  13. Henry Williams says:

    And you were not there either Louisa.

    FYI – the camera was recording BEFORE the police pulled up behind the car.
    FYI – dash cams don’t “roll tape.” They are digital
    FYI – the victim of this cop’s abuse was NOT a felon
    FYI – Nick HAS encountered a dangerous felon in the dark. And he handled himself much better than the cop in this video. Read about it at http://gypsyjournalrv.com/2009.....encounter/

  14. Mel Harrison says:

    Harless, and I won’t dignify him by calling him an officer, was so far out of line he certainly is not deserving to be a police officer. He, and his partner, should be fired immediately. Harliss for his unacceptable behaviour, and his partner for not stopping it. They are both a disgrace for law enforcement. Harliss needs some really serious anger management and physiological help, plus a basic and advanced course in the proper use of the english languauge. None of which should be paid by the Police Department. This action doesn’t say much for the Canton Police Academy and the FTO’s to let this guy slip through. Both of them made grave errors in traffic stop procedures. I only hope Mr. Bartlett takes his case to court and sues all concerned.

  15. Katie says:

    Louisa,
    Are you by any chance related to Officer Harless? That is only thing I can think of that justify your inept twisted thinking. You are in total avoidance and really need to seek help!!

  16. Marci T. says:

    I’m not sure what frightens me more, that there are cops like this walking around or that the City of Canton didn’t fire this idiot and his partner both, and instead are trying to blackmale the victim into not suing them.

  17. Tom Halmuth says:

    And people wonder why many of us don’t trust cops or the government any more. If I were Mr. Bartlett, I’d be thanking God this psycho didn’t kill me, and then I’d be suing the city and the cop involved for millions of dollars. We will be avaoiding Canton in the future, and I plan to write the City Council and tell them so.

  18. Jim says:

    And now if you go to cantonrep.com you can see another article about “officer” Harless performing his tricks a year or so ago.

    This is more incriminating evidence caught on digital video from the cruiser.

    More stupid comments by the city council president too.

  19. Bill Daines says:

    During my 34 year career as a LEO I had to talk some folks down because of statements “all LEO are BAD” I had this experience with this jerk officer or what do I think of this officer! Granted I was not present on alot of situations. Dash cams don’t lie.
    When we had them installed some comments were, the administration just wants to spy on us. Please,,,,, they were the best addition along with a mobile computer period!
    Complaints against officers were either proven or just unfounded.
    What makes it hard to believe is knowing your unit is recording your own behavior and the behavior of the citizen and you go crazy, darn stupid!
    If you are the type of officer that forgets this then you don’t need to wear the BADGE!
    Gad,,some and I can say some,,do give the best a bad name. I can say we’re all not like that officer. I can only wonder whether that jurisdiction has a paid up insurance policy because it may be needed. Bill

  20. Tom Halmuth says:

    Jim I went to the website and they have another video, where the same cop is cussing people out and threatning to shoot them. Yet Canton has kept him on the job. Why? This lunatic is going to kill somebody sooner or later, and I’m betting sooner.

  21. chris h says:

    This officer has been involved in two shootings already. If memory serves me correctly one was very suspicious.

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