While briefing the press on Tuesday morning, the GSU Commander, Inspector Mark Flowers, spoke out for the first time about several allegations of police brutality in which his name has been called. While they are being investigated by initially the Professional Standards Branch of the Department and eventually the Security Services Commission if approved, Inspector Flowers was intent on clearing his good name and going after his accusers.
He specifically accuses Channel 7 of running a campaign to defame his character, a charge the television station denies.
According to Inspector Flowers, Allan McKoy, who has alleged a brutal assault at the hands of the GSU after being accused of knocking down officer Dejohn Cayetano, has told the Ombudsman’s office that he was not menaced by Inspector Flowers as he originally claimed in press interviews. He offered as proof a statement Allan McKoy gave to that office.
Mark Flowers – Commander, Gang Suppression Unit
“He says this is about three o’clock a.m., Mark Flowers head of GSU arrived on the scene. I asked him if he knew me. I have worked on government vehicles. He said ‘No’.
I told him that what the GSU is doing is wrong. I kept telling him to check with MJ’s. He asked me ‘Who you?’ All this time I was laying down in the truck.
Now never once did Mr. McCoy in this statement to the office of the Ombudsman say that Mr. Flowers ever touch him or Mr. Flowers ever did anything to him, but you know the sensationalism that exists and persists, so I am saying to you that there is nothing. There is no allegation from Mr. McCoy’s own written complaint, to suggest that Mr. Flowers other than ask him who he was had any contact with him. I can make copies of this statement available to everybody
Inspector Flowers promised to make the statement available, alleging other inconsistencies with it and what Allan McKoy has told the press, but has yet to do so. He also claimed to have a surveillance video recording which he said shows Mr McKoy’s vehicle near the scene. The matter remains under investigation and Allan McKoy is still in danger of charges.
Meanwhile, an allegation of menacing a family on Wilson Street a few weeks before that was dismissed by Inspector Flowers as being before the courts, precluding him from commenting. But he had no such reservations in shooting down a story run by Channel 7 on Tuesday night, October 7, after holding off for several days, in which Joshua Wade accused Inspector Flowers of running into the back of his parked vehicle on the night of October 2 around 8:00 p.m.
Mr Wade says he has not been paid the $250 in damages for his vehicle. But Inspector Flowers says the station was explicitly told not to run the story and did so anyway.
Inspector Mark Flowers
“That matter as you know, and for which I have command unceasing attack from your news channel is before the courts. I know that you all don’t like to hear this.
But not only that, I have a recording right here from a gentleman who has come forth to say that Channel 7 tricked him and induced him into saying certain things, and when he ask Channel 7 not to air the interview, they went ahead and not only did they aired it, they said that they had the man’s permission.
We have the interview here recorded, and we will be sharing that with the other news media, so you will have an opportunity to hear.”
“Sir, but we also have recording which we asked him permission.”
Inspector Mark Flowers “I will not get into any back and forth.”
“The next allegations that have been brought against you…”
Inspector Mark Flowers “There have been no allegations.”
“Mr. McCoy, he says that you joined…”
Inspector Mark Flowers “Except for what your station is doing. I have statements recorded from Mr. McCoy, or whatever his name is, where he said no such thing.”
Channel 7, who was represented at Tuesday’s briefing by reporter Daniel Ortiz, in turn fiercely defended its reporting.
There is another breaking allegation concerning Flowers’ work a few years ago. Channel 5 has come forward with documentation alleging that Mark Flowers was part of a smuggling operation of Salvadorans across the border five years ago.
The Inspector says he was cleared of such allegations.
Inspector Mark Flowers
“There is no such thing, and that assertion my friend, I don’t know where you get it, or how you come about saying you have documentation. There never was such case.
I know of a case where during an operation that I was involved in, and I can’t readily give all the details because of the sensitivity of the case. But I don’t know about any Salvadoran being smuggled. There is no such thing. There is no truth to that.
There was a time where I had to bring certain people into this country, who are now in prison, and it is that time I know when there were some concerns. That was a legitimate police business. I will not go further than that, but to say that whatever your assertions are, are untrue.”
Inspector Flowers defended the GSU’s reputation when PLUS News asked if Tuesday’s summit with Roger Anthony was a step toward returning the Unit to its stated goals and away from its soiled public image.
Inspector Mark Flowers
“We’re here today to share with you what it is we’re doing.
Mr Roger Anthony is a testament to the kind of things we are doing. If that is not evidence enough, or if that is not suffice enough, I don’t know.
Let us not dwell on rhetorical and just things we hear other people say. Let’s have meaning to what we ask and what we say.”