Lady Copper Needs To Apologize

Time to call an end to the controversy of the copper caper and the viral video.

The now infamous YOU TUBE video of the Boise police sergeant engaged in a verbal altercation with a guy who has made it a personal campaign to “assert his rights” by shooting video of on duty coppers has gone viral and done nothing constructive.
The GUARDIAN has watched the video repeatedly and comes to the following conclusions:

–Sgt. Lori Sperry initiated the confrontation by approaching the guy with a cell phone camera. She was WRONG.
–Sgt. Sperry called for a “cover or back up.” She was RIGHT.
–Gavin Seim was within his rights to shoot video and no doubt purposely aggravated her. He was RIGHT & WRONG.
–She came back to confront Seim after a traffic stop to renew the exchange of words. She was WRONG.
–Seim has filed an official complaint. He is WRONG.

Sgt. Sperry needs to make a simple apology for her actions to Seim, the department, and the citizens. She is a 23 year veteran of the department and has a pretty impressive service record in several assignments. For this rather minor verbal confrontation to be her lasting legacy would be a travesty.

The GUARDIAN will gladly provide the space for her to dispel the negative comments from readers, viewers, and citizens with a simple admission “Seim pushed my buttons.” Explanations and defensive statements will only prolong the matter.

As for Seim, he needs to do the same. He brought out the worst in the sergeant, made his point, and its now time to withdraw the complaint and shake hands.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. This is WAY beyond apology territory. You said it yourself. She initiated and was wrong. Everything…EVERYTHING …that followed as a result need s to be looked at critically. Her past record with the BPD is meaningless. The retirement rolls are full of 30 year vets that made that ONE contact that ruined their “legacy” She is nothing special.

  2. She should apologize but that will NEVER happen!

  3. I agree with your assessment Dave. The officers career should not be defined by this single lack of good judgement. I say apologize for the inappropriate contact and get back to work.

    EDITOR NOTE–Isn’t this what they call a “learning moment.?”

  4. David in Eagle
    Oct 15, 2013, 8:59 pm

    Lady Copper needs to resign. I agree with “idisagree”

  5. Grumpy ole guy
    Oct 15, 2013, 9:07 pm

    Unfortunate all around. It is unfortunate that too many times too many long term “civil servants” forget what their mission is and come to believe that they are, somehow, owed some ill-defined fealty / respect by those they are supposed to serve.

  6. idisagree and have to chuckle
    Oct 15, 2013, 10:22 pm

    So an apology would make things right. Good gosh, read the infamous OMBUDSMAN investigative reports sometime. This city paid a man 80k a year to investigate if a cop said @@@@ or %%%% or had a surly attitude, or was rude. This city has got to get it’s collective &&&& together at some point. Either the standards that have been so harshly implemented to oversee the cops stand or get rid of them all. I could care less if a cop utters a profanity or has an attitude. If he is doing what he supposed to do who cares!!!!……..but this scenario had no end game. She initiated an unnecessary contact, demanded information that any cop should KNOW was not justified and then grabbed the individual in an attempt to search for the ever present “weapons” that she never confirmed were there. If this kind of situation is cleared up with a handshake then eliminate the ombudsman and get rid of the clowns that work in the BPD’s internal investigations division. There is no point to any of them.

  7. Idahocrystal
    Oct 16, 2013, 1:11 am

    I don’t agree at all – I think Mr Seim is just a jerk looking for his 15 minutes trying to provoke a reaction. The only mistake the Sgt. made was stopping after finishing her traffic stop and allowing him to continue provoking her, when she should have just driven away.

  8. She does not need to resign or be fired. What she does deserve is a reprimand and be forced to issue a formal apology. This unfortunately is just a very small example of what is wrong with LE in this day and age. If a person can stand as he said 50 yards away (I would guess it to have been more like 25 to 30) and video tape a traffic stop will insight LE there is something critically wrong with the type of people who we allow to carry a gun, tazer, pepper, ASP, ect and wear a badge.
    This guy did nothing against any law that I know of. Videoing LE is not illegal he was not hindering her in any way and compared to her he acted very professional. IF and only IF she felt like he was a threat to her she should have preformed a Terry frisk if he had no weapon she should have went back to the traffic stop that she abandoned. There is NO excuse for her driving up and getting out of her car after the stop was completed. The only reason she did that was so she could try one more time to insight the individual to commit an offence that would allow her to arrest him. If this is the type of behavior we can expect from a SGT with 23 years and as Dave said “a pretty impressive service record in several assignments” what would have happened if this had been an average Joe. Kinda scarry

  9. Why does she have to be categorized as a “lady copper”? I have never seen a post about “man copper”. Seems like the guardian is inferring only men can be police officers. Thought maybe we would have moved past bigoted labels in 2013.

    EDITOR NOTE–Good point. We actually hesitated a bit, but the gender does play into the story. Same as identifying a day car worker, nurse, or elementary school teacher as “male” when most in those jobs are female. Must admit with lawyers and doctors, for example, the gender gap is much narrower and seldom plays into events.

  10. If I felt aggravated by a cop, and I grabbed the cops arm, I would be in handcuffs and hauled downtown. Why should a cop have a different set of rules?

  11. Any officer should be trained and qualified to handle situations where someone is trying to provoke them. Obviously, Gavin was a lot better at provoking her then she was at being a 23 year professional. Given the negative publicity I don’t see where the BPD has much of a choice other then to throw the book at her. Her grabbing of his arm without an arrest gives him the ability to destroy her life in the court system for a very long time.

  12. I disagree with the Guardian that Seim was wrong. In fact he should be praised because hopefully this publicity will bring change to the BPD. Seim did the citizens of Boise a favor bringing to light the bully mentality of many police officers. This pales in comparison to some of the unprofessionalism from the BPD I have witnessed first hand. Police officers have weapons and control, with that control comes a responsibility to stay composed during interaction with the public. A police officer has a duty to diffuse hostile situations not incite them. Sgt. Sperry shouldn’t be fired, or suspended, but write her up and stick in the file and use this incident as a teaching moment for other officers on how not to act. Lastly give Seim an apology and move on with it.

  13. I do think this controversy is more of a tempest in a teapot. While the cop made some poor decisions, I don’t think any of them were egregious. I think she should get some training in dealing with people with cameras. I honestly think most police departments need regular training on how to handle videographers and photographers in their vicinity. The world has changed a LOT in the 23 years she has been a cop.

    Everyone makes mistakes, your learn, you move on. I don’t think this sort of mistake should stain a record.

  14. People really? Seim was looking for the spotlight. He “acts” like he knows his rights but does not know the difference between assault or battery (he was battered) He is also was pushing for exactly what she did and then continued to push the second officer. This a typical standoff. If she apologizes he’s right (which he is not) and if she does not apologize she’s wrong (which she might be). Again people fail to realize what it takes to be a police officer in this day and age.

  15. I found this online and thought it applies.

    1. Everyone is an idiot sometime.
    2. Don’t be an idiot.
    3. Realize the inconvenience caused by the idiots in your life – expect it.
    4. Repeat 1-2-3

  16. “Officer” Mike and “Officer” Really? I think both of you have shown you true colors here. To Mike I would say, in my opinion he did nothing to provoke her. He was well within his rights to do what he did… He said nothing to her.. she initiated the contact between them… seems like she was the initiator of the confrontation… at the very least she attempted to bully… a tactic that seems way to common in LE these days. I guess to LE standing in a place where they do not want a individual to stand is a provocation. When it comes down to it anything a person does that LE does not like will be considered by LE to be provocative. Whether it is within a persons rights or not seems to be of no consequence to members of LE.
    Really, you are right she did not assault him, she battered him, your knowledge of the nuances between the two gives away your affiliation with LE.
    Rifter to your comment about moving on I would say this. I do not feel like her actions rise to the level that warrant charges of her being fired but…. look at it from the other view point… had he reached out and grabber her arm he would be facing felony attempted battery on LE. Not to mention what the rest of the boys in blue would have done to him…
    Clem… get over it… not every comment made is intended to be an affront… this LEO is a female… so referring to her as “a lady cop” is in no way bigoted… seems like Dave only pointed out that the individual in this story was a female…

  17. Interested Citizen
    Oct 16, 2013, 1:27 pm

    How many “law enforcement” actions are undertaken by “law enforcement professionals” to make an example of some quite harmless conduct? Isn’t what is good for the goose good for the gander?

    I am not so sure that handling her with kid gloves is what is needed or appropriate. The ombudsman or internal affairs will surely whitewash it and otherwise dismiss it as they always do.

  18. I agree with you Dave.

  19. This really will end the debate
    Oct 16, 2013, 6:27 pm

    Terry vs Ohio. She failed to meet it and it’s serious. …and it isn’t any ridiculous “POLICY ISSUE”.

    EDITOR NOTE–Remember, she NEVER searched him! Half hearted grab at the arm, but no search or pat down.

  20. David in Eagle
    Oct 16, 2013, 6:47 pm

    what is a “Half hearted grab at the arm”

    WOW, if he had “Half hearted grab at the arm” to the officer where would he be..

    Lady Copper needs to resign.

  21. This really will end the debate
    Oct 16, 2013, 6:48 pm

    Then you have missed the point….her intent and her actions are all that were needed. She didn’t search him because he refused her commands. She tried and tried to spin him around…it’s on the tape. Tell me the difference between a robbery and an attempted robbery. This is fundamental cop stuff……..”youre making me nervous” does not rise to the level of articulating why you may think someone has a weapon. Someone with over 20 years on needs to know this . This is a FEDERAL decision not some Boise City podunk making up POLICIES. It is very disturbing from many different levels to watch this video. Lack of understanding seems to be the problem here…..the cophaters will always be out there. But this is in your face a major issue.…and we have not even touched the CCW issues here.

  22. Interested Citizen
    Oct 17, 2013, 6:57 am

    Let Canyon County Prosecuting Attorneys prosecute her. It will be so bumbled, bungled, and mismanaged that it will be unrecognizable after six months!!

  23. Seems like a whole bunch of arm chair quarterbacking and angry citzens on here! Do any of us really understand what they do everyday…..? Think about it and do you really need some idiot amature “American Pictorialist” with nothing better to do filming it? Yeah she needs to be more composed and could have definitely handled it better, but asking for her job. Come on folks use some common sense and stop overreacting. Please note that this tool bag seeks her out by walking in the direction of where the officers drove out and even makes the comment that they might have parked in the back, behind Cabelas. To say he was so innocent by “just filming” is to really be ignorant in what we all know his motivation was. The problem here is she gave him what he was looking for and he will milk his 15 minutes and then return to his sad existance which offers very little to this wonderful country. While the Sgt will continue to do a job that most can’t and don’t have the guts to do.

  24. Stephen, what is your affiliation with BPD. Sounds like you must be one of her colleagues. Personally I think that everything LE does should be filmed from several angles. Any entity that feels they need to do their job without oversight is obviously doing things they should not be allowed to get away with. Any “idiot tool bag” should be able to comprehend that. You are right we know what his motivation is and was. To give BPD some much needed oversight, something that they obviously need, have not had,and do not want. As to people not have the guts to do the job that is laughable.

  25. Really Rick? “…give BPD some much needed oversight”, didn’t you just post that another ombudsman is needed on another article? Isn’t there still an ombudsman office open that is handling complaints? Yes there is. Isn’t there and hasn’t there always been a Internal Affairs that look at complaints like this? Yes there is. Cameras at every angle, get a friggin grip pal, there are so many people already filming every aspect of what occurs at some crime scenes, that they are asked for their films because of that. Get off your high horse, how would you like to be under a microscope? Maybe you already are, ie probation/parole? That’s my guess.
    Almost forgot, its laughable that there are people that won’t do there job, or people like you that don’t qualify?

  26. Rick why do you feel the need to assume that everyone that doesn’t agree with you is an officer? You seem very upset at Boise PD. I wonder why? Anywho lets make something very clear in regards to officers being “filmed from multiple angles”. They already are and much more effectively then the “American Pictorialist”. It is called a dash cam which offers a much better point of view then Mr. Civil Liberties video does. What does his filming of this traffic stop accomplish, seriously, what? You seriously believe that he was expecting to witness some breach of someone civil rights during a traffic stop. As I understand it he does not live in Boise, therefore it is safe to assume that he has no idea of the status of Boise PD. So with that why would he feel they need oversight? With that said Rick do you know if Boise PD needs more oversight? Do you even live around here to have a decent perspective or are you basing your arguments on this one video? I certainly hope not as that would be very, very short sighted of you. Again I will say the officer should have handled it better, but it should not end her career as you have called for. BTW there is nothing laughable about what they do, it is not easy in any way and extremely thankless as you have so easily demonstrated.

    EDITOR NOTE–Most BPD cars do NOT have dash cams.

  27. Interested Citizen
    Oct 17, 2013, 7:32 pm

    Internal affairs or ombudsman? Let us all please get a clue!

    It would all be termed a “phony scandal” and then swept under the rug. They are merely shills who cover up the bullying, wrongdoing, and bungling.

  28. Dear alleged Interested Citizen, go to the Ombudsman website. You can review his reports for the past few years and count how many sustained complaints there are. Also, Internal Affairs release statistics yearly, and as I recall they sustained a higher percentage then the Ombudsman did!

  29. I do not agree that it is merely a simple apology moment. The BG is opining as if this is an isolated matter and it is not. The BG ought to expand it’s report to post the awards to the victims of the Boise PD and it’s not pretty. This officer should be obligated to complete a civics course focusing on constitutional studies. I don’t give a rat’s ass how many years of service or her reputation. she works for the citizens. This demonstrates how irrelevant years of service is. It’s only relevant to the adoring fans of authority. If her expertise is to exemplary why did she bother with accosting a bystander?

  30. For all you who feel that an officers job is so simple please read this. (Hope the link works)

    I happened upon it and couldn’t help but think about the folks on here that want to over-simplify what officers do for a living. Sure Seim was just a guy with a cellphone camera. These two were just a couple of teenagers with a broken down vehicle. This officer did what you all seem to want all officers to do, just blindly believe that there aren’t really bad people out there. You want to know who wishes an officer would search someone based on training and rules, the family of that guy at the truck stop who these kids killed. By your definition a search of these kids would have violated their civil rights as the officer had no right to search them or ask for identification. One keystroke kept the license plate from alerting the officer so he just thought he was being a good person by helping out. Seems like you all are placing officers in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation, but you know that already don’t you.

  31. You say a search by “your definition…” What you really mean is by the definition of that pesky old US Constitution! It always seems to get in the way of people who want to impose on me their idea of what is best for me.

  32. Interested Citizen
    Oct 18, 2013, 9:49 am

    The popos have become quite imaginative regarding “probable cause”. They imagine that it exists in nearly any case!

    A related issue and problem is that the local governmental entities and cities crave the fines that the popos, prosecutors, and judges can coerce out of the hapless citizens that can get caught up in their nefarious and scurrilous schemes.

    The police departments tag team with the prosecutors, who tag team with the judges, to coerce and extract monies from both guilty and innocent defendants.

    It has become a self-serving and gluttonous monster that masquerades as “public safety”.

    It is spinning out of control as the craving for the resultant fines revenues escalates with the crumbling of municipal budgets and finances.

  33. Stephen
    So you believe that because one did wrong all are wanting to do wrong…. No I know you are a cop. I will bebunk some of your previous comment it a bit… stand by

  34. Lady looks like a dude…

  35. Actually Sal I said they need to hire 3. Internal affairs, the rubber stamp division of the dept. even worse if that is possible than an ombudsman who is an ex cop. I think that every traffic stop, hell every interaction that happens between LE and a citizen should be at least audio recorded and preferably video recorded by an independent entity so it will not be erased. LOL get off my high horse… I have been a cop… albeit a reserve and I’ve been under your so called microscope. If these individuals do not have what it takes to do the job professionally and with oversight then they need to find another line of work. Instances like this prove that LE needs much more supervision. As to your “guess” you would be dead wrong, but it goes to show that you cops are pathetically narrow minded. Why do you all believe that anyone who thinks you need keepers has to be either on probation or parole? You did get one thing right though, I do not qualify, I’m too old and have had too many knee surgeries.

    I wonder why, you wonder why I do not like the actions of this cop. Everyone should be appaled by the actions of this cop. I am sure you like all of your kind feel that anyone who wants some adult supervision for LE has to be on probation or parole an idea that is so ludicrous it is as most of your points are is a joke. I believe exactly that he was expecting to see a breach of the drivers civil rights. What he got was an up close video of the attempted breaching of at least 2 of his civil rights, plus he was harassed, and “battered”. On those points there is no discussion they are documented facts, watch the tape.
    Why do I feel they need oversight, hum, if a cop with 23 years of service tries things like this when she knows she is being filmed what goes on when the camera is not rolling. Cops do these things because they know they will not be reined in by their supervision so the public has to take the reins and hold these guys accountable. Am I from here… yes, I have live in the valley since 1984, with the exception of when uncle sam moved me. How long have you been here? How long have you been a cop?

    You say it’s a thank less job, again what a joke. A BPD Sgt’s pay “averaged” is $78660 a year, look at the BPD site and do the math if you do not believe me. She gets 78 thousand thank you’s every year. A cop in the academy gets over 40 thousand thank you’s every year pretty good for a job that requires no college degree and no experience. You guys need to do your job and quit whining about how people do not like us. The public, according to you should not want to insure they are getting their money’s worth. Put on your big boy pants do your job correctly and quit violating peoples right because you don’t “feel” safe. Most people who get pulled over by a cop don’t feel say either. If your that big a chicken s-it get into another line of work. You’ve got at least one gun, a tazer, pepper spray, an ASP, a bullet proof vest and probably 3 or 4 knives, you have every advantage and yet you still whine and cry. Wal-mart will hire people with the same amount of education and experience, but they will expect a lot more in the way of customer service, so that might not be a good fit either.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rick, you are off a bit on the salary. Latest info we got is Sgt. Makes $93K and a 20 yr. corporal gets $88,000.

  36. I stand corrected.. I took the numbers directly from BPD’s sight which gives ranges. I averaged the Sgt pay and took bottom end for new recruit. Your numbers make it even worse.

  37. Do your researcch Rick, Ombudsman Office, even with Murphy gone, is up and running. Has and always has had 3 investigators or more. For a guy that was a reserve cop, sounds like its bitter sweet with you, must have been disciplined a few times for your errors in judgement huh? Anyways, enough of this, you will always have your beliefs and rest of us ours, so enjoy life and press on!

    EDITOR NOTE–Ok, we’re done with cop bashing and baiting. Moving on…

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