Alb. Deputy Accused of Sketchiness

In March, an Albemarle County sheriff’s deputy claimed that he was shot by a “suspicious” black loiterer on Berkmar Drive; now he’s being investigated by the county police, and has been accused of lying about what happened. Deputy Stephen Shiflett claimed that he saw a suspicious-looking black man standing out front of Pet Food Discounters that, when the deputy approached him, show at him, hitting his bulletproof vest and his patrol car. The man was later found, but not arrested. Turns out Deputy Shiflett had attacked and arrested a couple who had reported an unlocked convenience store when Shiflett was a Louisa deputy in 2000, with a federal judge consequently awarding half a million dollars to the couple for having their constitutional rights violated. Sheriff Ed Robb, who declared the March attack to be a “hate crime” at the time, says that he’s “established very high standards for Albemarle County’s sheriff’s deputies,” citing Deputy Shiflett’s lack of a criminal record and punctuality. Reed Williams has the story.

78 thoughts on “Alb. Deputy Accused of Sketchiness”

  1. A couple of observations:

    Why is it that, so often, when these guys want to make up a story in which they’re the victim, the fictitious perpetrator is always black? How many poor guys got dragged in for questionning on this one, because their skin was the wrong color?

    And, what kind of leadership is this from Sheriff Robb? First of all, he jumps right in to inflame the situation by calling it a "hate crime" before there’s been any investigation, whatsoever. Now, he defends his shoddy hiring practices by saying the deputy hadn’t been convicted of a crime and was punctual? This is a disgrace.

  2. I think if people could really see into some of these police / sheriff departments all over Virginia, including Albemarle, folks would puke out of disgust. The ethical standards these "officers of the law" maintain are repugnant.

    On the other hand, these guys are at the forefront to see how illogical and impractical state legislature is. So much is open to interpretation. Laws are maintained on the books only to be retrieved when it’s convenient or a powerful entity summons them. Training of staff and resources are sub-standard. Etc.

  3. Yeah, according to the Sheriff "not having a criminal record and showing up on time" constitutes evidence of high departmental standards, but where does "giving a false crime report" and "costing your county 1/2 million dollars because you violated a citizen’s constitutional rights" fit in there?

  4. Ed Robb is up for reelection and it’s too bad that the County Democrats have their heads up their collective asses. The time to nominate a candidate came and went and they opted not to hold a convention even though there were people out there who wanted to run. What an embarrassment. Ed Robb is ripe to be picked off in the middle of a scandal and the democrats couldn’t be bothered to try.

    Whoever is running that tea-party in Albemarle should resign and let some real democrats take charge. I’m sure there are plenty of them around with that wacky notion that the purpose of a political party is to win political office for its members.

  5. I only know of one person who was actively seeking the nomination, but if a convention had been scheduled and announced perhaps that could have had the effect of rustling up a few more.

    This is a good example of the principle that a successful party should run a candidate for every office every time. Even if there isn’t much money to back them with, there is always the chance that the encumbent will fall flat on his face or become incapacitated. A successful party will always be sure to give a candidate the nomination in order to be prepared for such a contingency.

    In Albemarle County, this should definitely be the case. Mark Warner carried Albemarle, as I recall. Half of Albemarle’s 70,000 or so residents are apparantly willing to vote Democrat. That’s an enormous pool of potential voters, contributors and volunteers to draw from. Certainly among 35,000 people they can find a handful of presentable candidates.

    Whatever the problem is, it’s clearly not the demographics.

  6. While we’re on the topic of police ineptitude, can anyone explain to me the (seemingly) blase attitude of the Charlottesville PD regarding the serial rapist? I just received another warning from UVA, which I assume means he has struck again.

  7. Well, many years ago, I was a Criminal Investigator, for a short time (less than one year thank goodness) and I recall about 10% of my associates were involved in sleaze such as on the take, badging their way in to paying events, breaking laws at misdemeanor level, etc.,-It was really a wakeup call for me as to the way this 10% were tolerated and protected (by each other).

    I don`t say this applies to present day activities in any police force but I think it is very well known the practice of never "ratting" on a fellow police officer is very close to reality. When this attitude is a standard one must wonder what we have on our police forces.

  8. How hard is this? All of the crimes occured in the same area, we have a good description of the suspect, couldnt a handful of cops keep a watch for suspicious men casing houses in the area?

    Perhaps if more women kept shotguns next to their bed we’d have ourselves one dead "suspect" by now. If you want a job done right, do it yourself.

  9. Reply to your warning message originator and ask them might be a good way to start.

  10. I’ve always said there are 3 kinds of police officer.

    Criminals who think they can get away with more with a badge.

    Control freaks who were picked on in school.

    Genuinly caring individuals who are delusional and think that police actually prevent crimes and not just mop up after the fact.

  11. It was nice to see Bob Gibson mention Ed Robb’s situation in his Sunday column:

       …the case of a former Albemarle County sheriff’s deputy who claimed in March that he was shot in a parking lot off Berkmar Drive. The deputy provided, and the media reported, a description of a shooter as a black man wearing a red-and-white baseball cap and a heavy coat.
       An outraged Albemarle Sheriff Edgar S. Robb declared the incident a “hate crime.” The media reported the facts as they were presented by authorities, including the convenient, and now believed to be false, racially tinged stereotype of a suspect description.
       The media’s mistake here is likely to be the lack of full follow-up to explain what this purported “hate crime” really was.

  12. Have you noticed how "heated up and intense" )and pull out all the stops and work overtime )the cops get when "one of their own" is a victim and all other crimes are routine with a noticeable lack of intensity and application of manpower?

  13. Earlier this year, a student at UVa running for Student Council President claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime when a white male supposedly attacked her. To date, this attacker has not been identified or caught. Does this mean she too went overboard by claiming this was hate crime?

  14. I would strongly suggest walking in their shoes before you judge how they work their cases.

    You have no idea.

  15. There is a distinction to be made. The UVa student (Daisy Lundy) said that somebody attacked her and made racially derogatory remarks during the course of the attack. That is, she was clearly in a position to know if that particular crime was racially based. You may not believe that the event happened as she claimed it did, but if the facts are as presented, she wasn’t going overboard.

    As for the Robb situation, he wasn’t the victim. All he knew was that a deputy claimed to have been shot by a black man. I’m not aware of any reports of racially tinged comments or actions that accompanied the shooting. But, Ed Robb didn’t waste any time in tossing out the "hate crime" charge.

    We now have reason to believe that the deputy’s story of the black man who shot him was concocted (although we still don’t know what did happen). Robb’s charge has clearly been discredited. The failure to apprehend a perpetrator isn’t enough to discredit Lundy’s charge. Maybe that story will fall apart in the future, but unless and until it does, I belive she’s entitled to the benefit of any doubt.

  16. Yeah, so what’s next? Kiss their feet and beg they’ll <do the right thing>? The same old shit arguments time and time again. I call this the "Serpico factor".

  17. no, asshole, I’m just curious as to what other things our local law enforcement may or may not be doing.

  18. Do you really think the police are going to publicize their plan or tactic to catch this rapist, fucknut? I agree with "luvmycop" Maybe some of us should walk in their shoes before we judge them!

  19. LOL, hey don’t even try to talk to Sym, he once told me to take walks in nature or some wierd crap to pay my bills I dunno, i guess too much free love and drugs in the 60’s might do that to a person.

  20. Ha! That’s a good one! I’ll try not to let his off-the-wall views get me so worked up.

  21. Thank you BetterLife.

    Police officers are people too. There is always a few bad apples in every bunch.

    Folks need to realize that you can’t judge everyone by one person.

    When "my cop" walks out the door everyday, who knows if it will be the last time he does?

    And, believe me, you choose to be a cop because you want to. There is definately NO MONEY in it :o)

  22. To hell with gratuitous pats-on-the-back! The real question, the one that’s useful in this debate, LuvYourCop, is how many of you are "good". If you leave an apple orchard in a state of disarray, then the crop will be mostly bad as opposed to mostly good. After a sustained lack of attention, you might as well bulldoze and start anew.

  23. Get A Life Please!

    And where do you work? 7 Eleven, McDonalds? No wait…Taco Bell?

    You have no idea.

  24. I think that for the most part, cops in Charlottesville do a very good job. Crime is not particularly out of hand and there aren’t many places I’d be afraid to walk at night in this town. The police here are honest and hardworking with very rare exception.

    However, I’ve had some unpleasant experiences. A few years ago I was driving on 5th street extended and a car behind me opened fire on me. Fortunately, he missed, but a car chase ensued. I pulled over at a gas station, ran inside and called 911. When the police showed up, they wouldn’t even file a report, let alone investigate the fact that someone had tried to kill me. The excuse was that ‘these kids race up and down here all the time and we’ll catch ’em eventually.’

    What would have happened if I had been a police officer? Enormous hue and cry. It’s not that I don’t think that we should take attacks against cops seriously (we should)- it’s that I think we should take it seriously when anyone is attacked.

    Every time that I have known someone who was robbed, mugged or hit by a drunk driver, the same kind of apathy was encountered. Police officers who establish that the situation is now under control, take a few notes and then fail to follow up on the most rudimentary leads. I suspect that they want to do a better job but are being stretched too thin.

    If they are understaffed and doing the best they can with so much being asked of them, then let’s hear about it. Let’s find out how many more patrol officers and detectives they need. What crucial items are missing from their budget? How can the city do more to help?

    Any cops reading this who have some suggestions?

  25. I once heard straight from a well known local detective’s mouth that they weren’t issued mobile phones. The excuse they were given was that using on-site phones created more personal contact or something. Sounded more like a dodge from higher ups that just didn’t want to spring for phones for the detectives. Which is stupid nowadays because there can’t be all that many detectives, and it would probably only be a couple of hundred dollars a month, especially if they were doubled up such that 1 phone is used by 1 or two on-duty detectives and could be used later by another shift. This was over a year and a half ago that I was told this, and I hope that the situation has changed since then.

  26. No, I’m sure Symp is probably a liberal, granola-eating, career protester that is pissed because some cop stepped on his leather sandals and confiscated his pipe.

  27. Yeah, I heard he was mad the war ended too quickly. He had all these plans for protesting and such. *gasp*

  28. I’ll say this (even though it’s not very original): instead of hiding behind median obstacles to catch regular citizens "speeding" at 66mph on roads that more often than not could accommodate safely 80 or 85 mph), or issuing parking tickets, why are they not employing their time, energies and resources to much more productive ends?

    We all know why! It’s their quotas they must meet (not directly officially, mind you, and they’ll never admit it) to show they’re busy and they’ve done their job. What kind of measuing stick is that? I’ll tell you why: because it pays to issue fines, however fundamentally unuseful. The county admins do it for their budget, the cops do it for the recognition. Advertised example: Greene county. All that ticketing (and refusal thereof) was all about who gets the money. The county admins wanted it for themselves, the Sheriff for his personnel (and ultimately himself too).

    This is one of the most aggravating things about this country to me: it feels like every fuckkin’ county has a Judge Roy Bean just waiting for passersby. Freedom? Yeah right!

  29. <i>Get A Life Please!</i>

    Okay, I think I’ll get a life now. Sorry for bothering you.

  30. And where do you work? 7 Eleven, McDonalds? No wait…Taco Bell?

    What’s wrong with those jobs? You’re appear to be a HausFrau, so who are you dissin’?

  31. No wait! I’m a liberal be/c I want cops to be tough on crime and let regular citizens live without fear of being stopped in their everyday activities? Get a clue!

    Granola eater: Yes.

    Career protestor? Nope. But what has that got to do with anything here?

  32. Sorry, but I don’t know what a HausFrau is.

    I also didn’t know that ‘dissin’ was a word.

  33. Don’t feel bad. Sometime’s Sympatico starts writing in entirely different languages. Hausfrau means housewife. Haus is spoken exactly like house, and you get the Frau. But the implication that housewives and fast food employees have opinions that aren’t worth taking seriously is a wee bit obnoxious, eh?

  34. Because I read your posts daily. And while I respect your opinion, you just strike me as the typical Charlottesville whiner about how "the man" keeps people down and the government is out to nail everyone, say no to war, and all that stuff. But they are your views and I can respect that. It’s just that I am not from here and laugh at what a different world C’ville is. Believe me, my job is the only thing keeping me here. I can’t stand liberals and I despise art, activists and inconsiderate bicyclists. Further, I would like to see some regular, american mom & pop restaurants open up here. Everytime you turn around there is some new, snot-nosed eatery opening up where you pay an arm and a leg for a piece of some sprout on a huge plate. I guess I just ain’t sophisticated enough to live in C’ville. What do you think Symp?

  35. Symp sounds like one of those french sophisticated hood rats with that kind of language!

  36. I believe there’s an Applebees by the Toys R Us. Your description of "artsy-fartsy" food leads me to believe that you haven’t really eaten at many of the places you’re making fun of. And you don’t seem to have been to Ruckersville, either.

  37. No, I haven’t. I guess I am referring to the stuff on the Downtown Mall. I ate at Metro once, Bizou, and that place on the end across from the ice park. Believe me, I tried.

  38. Escafe. Yeah, they are *that* restaurant. My advice is to avoid anyplace that describes their cuisine as "California." Bizou can be good, they try to go for an upscale comfort food thing, but their menu lately sucks and gives me heartburn. My all-time favorite is Michael’s Bistro above Little John’s on the corner. Good luck in your restaurant quest.

  39. I couldn’t resist. Diss is now an officially recognized word. From the Cambridge dictionary:

    diss, dis (-ss-) verb [T] US SLANG

    to speak or behave rudely to someone or to show them no respect: ex. Don’t diss me, man!

    The other day I read that bling bling is now in the dictionary too. Cool.

  40. Maybe all of those *that* restaurants are the reason the Outback Steakhouse is always pack on the weekends.

  41. …and what kind of lettuce would you be? Would you be romaine, arugula, mesculin, butterhead, mizuna or frisée? Certainly not iceberg as far as I can tell.

  42. "Walk in their shoes?"

    Then one must be president of the US for a time before they may criticize his action?"

    Criticism goes with the territory. I f you can`t stand the heat ………………………….

  43. Well, he obviously didn’t read my previous post very well if he thinks I’m a housewife!

    I mentioned that cops do what they do because they WANT to, they certainly don’t do it for the money!

    So, his comment obviously makes NO sense whatsoever!

    My hubby is a cop, and makes decent money, but not enough for me to stay home and be a "HausFrau" ;)

  44. According to McDonald’s there are over 26 kinds of lettuce. That’s all you could come up with? I’m shocked.

  45. you didn’t respond to his basic question, which is who are you to be slamming jobs at Taco Bell, McDonald’s, etc? I thought honest work was honest work. You sound awfully snobby about people who take low-income fast food jobs.

  46. Oh no, I’m acquainted with plenty more. I was simply nudging you along; or so I thought…

    Oh well. I guess you’re a frisee in my mind.

  47. Exactamundo. This is especially troubling from someone who appears to be the spouse of a cop. I thought cops were poorly paid? If "LuvMyCop" feels worlds apart from low-income fast food workers, then maybe the "take"-home isn’t too shabby after all. I mean, I can’t affirm this with any certitude, but it sure is odd. Btw, these kinds of assumptions are what cops do all the time… like being black in a dark spot?

  48. ALL of you simply need to get over it. Nothing that a cop does will ever satisfy any of you.

    I don’t feel "worlds apart" from fast food workers or anyone else for that matter!

    If you don’t like what they’re doing…do something about it, instead of complaining all the time. I’ve watched and read this board for so long, and all that many of you is just complain, complain, complain. Quit complaining and do something.

    Like I said before, GET OVER IT and get a life!

  49. Your gut reaction equating working at Taco Bell with ignorance or "smallness" as opposed to the alleged greatness of a police officer is what this is all about.

    I’ll put my cards on the table: when I see virtually every cop whizzing by me at 75-85 mph on my country roads, with no other place to go but home or to McDonald’s (no lights on and obviously not on a call), then having 5 cruisers over 10 miles hidden to ticket hard-working folks on Route-29 at the end of the month, that makes me sick. There’s something very wrong in Wonderland and no one has the courage to even speak out about this situation. It is like during medieval times when the land lords did whatever they wanted within their fief. In fact, fief is the root word for “fee” and that’s what you find on a speeding ticket: there’s a fee for the courts, a fee for the admin personnel, a fee for processing and lastly, a fee for going over the 1973 oil-crisis fabricated 55mph speed limit.

  50. Once again: GET OVER IT!

    This just is not an adequate response. People shouldn’t have to “get over” inequality and unfairness, especially when it’s perpetrated against them by agents of their government.

    It’s very easy for you to say “get over it” –because you’re on the side that gets away with everything — but it isn’t a very convincing argument.

    This strikes me as a typical cop strategy: Say “I’m right; you’re wrong,” and then try to end the discussion. And maybe beat up a prisoner for good measure. That arrogance goes a long way toward explaining why people have the negative feelings that they do.

    Lemme guess: Albemarle police, right?

  51. <i>WRONG! </i>

    Ah, well, it was just a guess, based on the number of innocent and/or harmless people shot per capita. Whatever, though. All cops are the same.

    Otherwise, your tone has proven my point nicely. Thanks for making it easy.

  52. Everyone has their own opinion, and is entitled to it. I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinion. Never have, never will.

    Law enforcement officers risk their lives everyday for others. They must treat every situation with caution…they have no idea what the next person is going to do.

    As for the quota mention … most departments don’t even have monthly quotas on writing tickets. Get your facts straight before you start blasting something you know nothing about.

    And my "tone" has proven nothing. All cops are not the same. Once again, get your FACTS straight first.

    This topic has gotten way too heated. It’s amazing the way an individual is attacked when they are a newcomer. And I’m sure my previous comment to Sympatico will be brought up…well, sorry, but he/she deserves it. He/she is nothing but rude to everyone on here.

  53. That’s ok luv, you’ll figure out quickly who the moronic liberals are on here. They hate the cops until they need one. Tell your husband to keep up the good work.

  54. Thank You BetterLife. You can certainly tell who the liberals are :)

    I appreciate your message.

  55. Idiotic. I’m incredibly liberal, but does that mean that I hate cops? No. My dad was a cop, I wanted to be a cop when I was little, I love guns, and I’ve even been on the cuffed end with cops. But I don’t hate them. Some people shouldn’t be cops, and they’re the ones that you hear about all the time. The ones that speed around town, that don’t use their blinkers and pull people over for no reason. The ones that beat people who are already in their custody. People who just scraped by on the psych profile and are there for the power that they can hold over others. But there are also the nice guys/gals who just want to help people, and who are willing to hear you out and not act threatening. The ones who aren’t genuinely good people and know that their job is to enforce, not to judge. There are a lot of people out there that look at each person individually instead of lumping them all together. Give it a try. ***** about liberal policies, not liberal people.

  56. "The ones who aren’t genuinely good people"

    I meant *are*.

    I must say I’m surprised that bi+ch got edited. That’s out of hand.

  57. I’m not saying that all liberals hate cops! How could I say that? I’m sure there are liberal cops! Get Real!

    You can’t say that they pull people over for no reason. You’re not them. You don’t know. You have no idea why they pulled that certain car over.

    I don’t appreciate being called idiotic. I agree with a lot of your points. You’re right, some people shouldn’t be cops, and that some cops do use their position to better themselves.

    My statement was that I can certainly tell who on this board is a liberal. I didn’t mean I could tell by the discussions on this topic. I read this board frequently, and the views of others are quite clear!

  58. It was directed more at betterlife along with those who were saying dumb things about cops. I just can’t bear nastiness and poor generalization. We’re all good. :)

  59. What’s wrong with those jobs? You’re appear to be a HausFrau, so who are you dissin’?

    Whats wrong with them? Less than living wage pay, menial mindless labor, absolutely no room for advancement, no hope to get a job outside that industry, oh yeah, and people make fun of you.

  60. I really don’t mind so much when cops go 90mph, whenever I see a cop in my rear view mirror, I politely pull over to allow him to pass. Then I follow him at 90mph and make great time. When I’m lucky I get the satisfaction of watching him take a dangerous drunk off the road ahead of me.

    Cops are great, its the laws that suck. Everyone knows that if you wrap a car around a tree at 55mph you’ll be dead. And if you wrap a car around a tree at 80mph, you’ll be JUST as dead.

    The thing is, the federal speed limit funding gotcha no longer exists, most states are up around 75mph now. Virginia is just an ass backwards hillbilly state, and we don’t like to change things. Apparently the voting public doesn’t want to drive fast, even tho the interstates flow along at about 75mph. Go figure.

  61. The word quota has gotten a nasty reputation, so they replaced it with "productivity goals" or somesuch. They exist, trust me.

  62. He should be fired, not for sketchiness, but for BEING A BAD SHOT.

    How on earth does someone put a slug in a cops vest and NOT get perforated with several .45 cal holes?

    Perhaps they need more time at the range? And less time spent hiding behind medians irradiating their gonads with a radar gun?

  63. The thing is, the federal speed limit funding gotcha no longer exists, most states are up around 75mph now. Virginia is just an ass backwards hillbilly state, and we don’t like to change things. Apparently the voting public doesn’t want to drive fast, even tho the interstates flow along at about 75mph. Go figure.

    It’s not hard to figure: It generates loads of perfectly legal extortion money for all the counties in this redneck state. Hello? Anyone home. I’ve been harping on this for a while already.

  64. Keep in mind that these guys aren’t "real police". The sheriff’s deparment is responsible for carrying out duties such as serving civil summons, transporting prisoners and providing courtroom security. It’s not their job to get involved with criminal law enforcement. I’m not even sure if they should have guns.

  65. Good point, it’s never a good idea to have a gun around prisoners. Thats why prison gaurds don’t have them (at least on their person).

    It is interesting to note that in the rest of the country the sheriff’s department is the county police. It is a strange situation in albemarle county.

    I think we have too many different police departments. City police, county police, UVA police, sheriff’s department, state police, FBI. Think of how efficient they would be if they were one organization, no redundancy, improved communication, etc.

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