National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

SWAT Team Raids a Poker Game

From the Washington Post:

On a quiet weeknight among the stately manors of Great Falls, ten men sat around a table in the basement of a private home last November playing high stakes poker. Suddenly, masked and heavily armed SWAT team officers from the Fairfax County Police Department burst through the door, pointed their assault rifles at the players and ordered them to put their hands on the table. The players complied. Their cash was seized, including a reported $150,000 from the game’s host, and eight of the ten players were charged with the Class 3 misdemeanor of illegal gambling, punishable by a maximum fine of $500….

[The police cut the players] a deal: stay clean for six months and the gambling charge would be dismissed, and eligible to be expunged from their record. And for those who had cash seized from them — one player had more than $20,000, the regular player said — the police agreed to return 60 percent of the money, and keep 40 percent….

The regular player said the police told him, “The reason we’re here is there are Asian gangs targeting these games,” and it’s certainly true that some private gambling events in Fairfax County have been robbed by nefarious elements. The player said he wanted to respond, “So you robbed us first,” but he did not.

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Recap 01-27-15

These are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 27, 2015:

  • Atlantic City, New Jersey: A now-former officer pled guilty to official misconduct and sexual assault of a minor. In addition to instances of sexual contact, he exposed himself while on video chat with the girl while on duty. ow.ly/I17xa
  • New York, New York: The district attorney for Brooklyn is investigating claims that officers planted guns on innocent people. ow.ly/I1dd6
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer was arrested for domestic battery. ow.ly/I1hw9
  • Chesapeake, Virginia: A deputy was charged with DUI and misdemeanor hit and run. He allegedly collided with and spun out another car and drove away. The driver of the car was discharged from the hospital but had not yet returned to work at the time of the news report. The deputy was arrested at his home. ow.ly/I1ps7
  • Yellow Springs, Ohio: A sergeant was charged with assault, interfering with civil rights, and disorderly conduct for forcefully taking away a witness’s camera. ow.ly/I28Lf
  • Update: Sturgis, Michigan (First reported 10-31-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to DUI. He crashed his pickup and had a BAC more than twice the legal limit.  ow.ly/I2Q8Q
  • Darke County, Ohio: An auxiliary deputy pled guilty to sexual contact with a minor. He had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl who attended the high school where he worked. ow.ly/I38D2

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-24-15 to 01-26-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked from Saturday, January 24 through Monday, January 26, 2015:

  • New York, New York: Two undercover narcotics officers are under investigation for an illegal stop and excessive force against a decorated Marine veteran. The officers allegedly jumped out of a blue van and ordered the veteran, lunching in his car, to get out of his car and forcefully pulled him out of it. When he asked for identification to prove they were police officers, the veteran says he was punched in the face. Two of the veteran’s brothers are police officers in the NYPD.   ow.ly/HWvKM
  • Niles, Illinois: A retired officer is facing trial for theft and misconduct charges from 2010. If convicted of crimes committed while he was an active duty officer, he would lose his pension in addition to whatever sentence he received. ow.ly/HWuoZ
  • Bayonne, New Jersey: An officer was arrested at his home. The FBI had been investigating brutality charges against the officer. The officer “stormed into” the victim’s home where he and his colleagues pepper sprayed the victim and his mother.  According to the  news report,  the lawsuit alleges that the victim was beaten with a “flashlight or other blunt instrument” that caused “permanent injury or disfigurement” after he had been handcuffed.  ow.ly/HWtxY
  • Walsenburg, Colorado: A now-former officer was sentenced to five years in prison for aiding her husband to possess heroin for distribution. ow.ly/HXCg6
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was suspended after a one-car accident in his police vehicle while off-duty. He was charged with DUI.  ow.ly/HXFcw
  • Dallas, Texas: A corporal was arrested for driving while intoxicated. ow.ly/HXIRM
  • Hightstown, New Jersey: A officer escaped criminal charges but faces disciplinary action for having sex while on duty. ow.ly/HXRQ7
  • Sacramento County, California: The sheriff’s department is being sued for unlawful arrest and excessive force. Responding to a noise complaint, a deputy approached a man at the residence from behind and shoved him into a trash can. The man was arrested for public drunkenness but the charge was later dropped. The family has video of the incident.  ow.ly/HYjvv
  • Carbondale, Illinois: An officer is being investigated after a man recorded him sleeping on duty in his patrol vehicle. After waking up, the officer falsely told the man that it is illegal to film police. ow.ly/HYOB3

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-23-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 23, 2015:

  • St. Francis, Minnesota: A now-former officer is under criminal investigation for illegally accessing private data. He’s alleged to have found and shared information on candidates applying for promotion within the department. He was fired earlier in the month.  ow.ly/HMxk4
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: An officer was arrested for domestic assault. He had already been on administrative leave for a DUI arrest when he allegedly struck his mother-in-law. When she threatened to call the police, he allegedly said “Go ahead and call the cops, they will believe me before you because I’m a cop.”  ow.ly/HMK1Y
  • McLean County, Illinois: A now-former sheriff’s deputy was indicted for embezzling more than $100,000 from the police union. According to the news report, the money was originally intended for a variety of charities. ow.ly/HN30V
  • Des Moines, Iowa: An officer resigned after allegations he peeped into the women’s locker room at the department.  ow.ly/HPqnA
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan: An officer was charged with misconduct in office and unauthorized access of a police database.  ow.ly/HPtZ8
  • Orange County, Texas: A detective was arrested for DUI after routine traffic stop. ow.ly/HPGoV
  • Travis County, Texas: A detective was fired after his arrest for DUI. He was also charged with unlawfully possessing a weapon and possession of controlled substances for two types prescription pills he had in his pocket.  ow.ly/HPIl6
  • New York, New York: An officer with the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (MTA) was charged with drug distribution and conspiracy charges. He was apprehended collecting a shipment of MDMA from a mailbox registered under a false name.  ow.ly/HPLSB
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts: An officer pled not guilty to three charges of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year-old girl. He has been suspended without pay.  ow.ly/HQ3tm

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-22-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 22, 2015:

  • Shelby County, Tennessee: A now-former sheriff’s detective pled guilty to official oppression and assault. He told a 22-year-old woman involved in a domestic assault case to undress and pose for pictures on two separate occasions. He also made inappropriate sexual comments to her during those sessions. http://bit.ly/1842iXh
  • Update: Des Moines, Iowa (First reported 01-07-14): An officer who was fired after a domestic assault arrest has been reinstated by the City. ow.ly/HIyv7
  • DEA: The agency settled a lawsuit for $134,000. They used woman’s identity, including her name and personal photos, without her permission to lure suspects in facebook-based sting. ow.ly/HL7Ek
  • Cleveland, Ohio: An officer was arrested for possessing a weapon while intoxicated and public indecency. ow.ly/HLKqT
  • Dupont, Pennsylvania: A now-former officer goes to trial for role in Oxycodone distribution scheme. He and an officer from another police department allegedly broke into a police desk to steal pills turned-in by the public and sold them. ow.ly/HLM7v
  • Pinole, California: A now-former officer was sentenced to 66 days in jail and five years of probation for lying on a bankruptcy filing. He had been on trial for elder abuse and fraud, but the victim had dementia and could not testify capably on the witness stand, prompting the plea bargain on the bankruptcy charge. He was alleged to have befriended an elderly woman and convinced her to make him an heir to her estate. He retired as second-in-command in his department when he learned he was being investigated. ow.ly/HLWsJ
  • San Francisco, California: An officer was seen on video attempting to dump paralyzed man out of his wheelchair. The department has launched an investigation into the matter. ow.ly/HM1mZ
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina: An officer was arrested and charged for stealing three tractors. ow.ly/HM0rs
  • Update: Rio Arriba, New Mexico: A now-former sheriff was sentenced to 10 years in prison on civil rights and firearms charges. He engaged in an unnecessary high-speed pursuit and then beat up the driver of the car, assaulting him with his firearm and slamming his badge into the victim’s face. The victim required surgery for some of his injuries. The U.S. Attorney on the case said, “When he attacked a defenseless innocent civilian, [the sheriff] chose to abuse his power rather than uphold his oath to protect the public.”  ow.ly/HMssj

When Cops Cause Automobile Crashes

From NBC News:

On Nov. 23, 2007, Jessica Uhl, 18, and her sister Kelli Uhl, 13, were in heavy post-Thanksgiving Day traffic on Interstate 64 as they headed home to their mother, Kim Schlau, in Collinsville, Illinois, after a holiday photo session at their father’s home in the Illinois town of Mascoutah.

Matt Mitchell, an Illinois state trooper, was also on Interstate 64, responding to a call while talking on his cellphone and using his police computer. He crossed the median and plowed into the sisters’ car at an estimated speed of 126 mph, killing them both instantly. Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving, lost his license, and can never be an officer again.

“After we learned all of the facts, we knew that this crash was completely preventable,” Schlau said. “I had no idea that a lot of police officers have more training with their firearms than they do with their driving, yet they drive every part of their job.”

Police officers are often brave and heroic, and their jobs are harder than ever, frequently requiring them to talk on their cellphones and police radios and even type on computers as they drive. The results can be tragic.

The Tamir Rice Case

From the New York Times:

Within two seconds of the car’s arrival, Officer Loehmann shot Tamir in the abdomen from point-blank range, raising doubts that he could have warned the boy three times to raise his hands, as the police later claimed.

And when Tamir’s 14-year-old sister came running up minutes later, the officers, who are white, tackled her to the ground and put her in handcuffs, intensifying later public outrage about the boy’s death. When his distraught mother arrived, the officers also threatened to arrest her unless she calmed down, the mother, Samaria Rice, said.

Officers Garmback and Loehmann did not check Tamir’s vital signs or perform first aid in the minutes after he was shot. But Officer Garmback frantically requested an emergency medical team at least seven times, urging the dispatcher to “step it up” and to send medical workers from a fire station a block away. It would be eight minutes before they arrived.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-21-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 21, 2015:

  • Moundsville, West Virginia: An officer was arrested for sex with a minor. He allegedly contacted the then-15-year-old girl on a social media site and met her at his residence. ow.ly/HGNy4
  • Stamford, Connecticut: An officer was arrested for breach of the peace after he allegedly put his wife in a headlock. Following his arrest, he checked-in to an alcohol abuse treatment facility. ow.ly/HGO0n
  • New York, New York: An officer was nabbed in a prostitution sting. ow.ly/HHtzc
  • Michigan State Police: A trooper was arrested on DUI and open container charges. The 15-year MSP veteran was placed on leave.  ow.ly/HHzsd
  • Update: Aledo, Illinois (First reported 12-17-14): A now-former officer pled not guilty to aggravated sexual assault with a weapon. He was forced to resign from the department earlier this month. His is alleged to have touched the breast of a minor who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the incident. ow.ly/HHEvG
  • Jefferson County, Ohio: A deputy was arrested for firing a gun in city limits. He is suspended without pay. ow.ly/HHQgG
  • Knox County, Tennessee: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence and drugged driving. He allegedly got in an argument with his wife over his prescription drug use, broke her cell phone and the house phone when she tried to call 911, and pushed their 15-year-old son down some stairs.  ow.ly/HHSK7
  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested for battery after altercation with his wife. He is suspended pending investigation into the incident.  ow.ly/HHUFY
  • Danbury, Connecticut: An officer was fired for violating professional standards after unnecessary force used during arrest. The deputy mayor wrote in the letter of termination, “I expect that all police officers act professionally, treat all persons with dignity and respect, (and) refrain from threatening persons with arrest or use of force simply because they appear to disrespect an officer.”  ow.ly/HI4NZ

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-17-15 to 01-20-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 17 through Tuesday, January 20, 2015:

  • Columbia, South Carolina: An officer was suspended without pay after a use-of-force incident was caught on video and made public. He is shown in the video repeatedly striking a suspect who appears to be  subdued. The internal investigation is ongoing. http://ow.ly/HBrGp
  • Holly Springs, Georgia: A now-former officer was indicted on false statement and theft by deception charges. He is alleged to have lied about receiving the Purple Heart on several official documents which allowed him to receive tax benefits to which he was not entitled. http://ow.ly/HEpjM
  • Washington, Pennsylvania: An officer’s plea deal was rejected by a judge. He’s accused of tipping-off a prostitute to a police sting. He is alleged to have had an ongoing sexual relationship with the woman. ow.ly/HBodm
  • West Monroe, Louisiana: An officer was arrested and charged with negligent homicide in shooting of a homeless man.ow.ly/HBs9T
  • Prescott Valley, Arizona: A police commander has resigned after he was caught stealing prescription drugs that had been turned-in by the public to be destroyed. ow.ly/HDpBe
  • New York, New York: The city and police department settled a lawsuit for $75,000. The suit alleged two officers used a chokehold against a driver during a traffic stop. Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD since 1993. ow.ly/HDtw8
  • Pine Beach, New Jersey: An officer was charged with DUI after accidentally shooting a friend in his car in an off-duty incident. The wound was not life-threatening.  ow.ly/HDB3m
  • North Miami Beach, Florida: An officer faces disciplinary action for ‘conduct unbecoming’ after his arrest at a protest. He allegedly refused to remove his mask or provide identification until he was found to be carrying a firearm.  ow.ly/HEhf2
  • UPDATE: Wichita Falls, Texas (First reported 03-24-12): A now-former officer was convicted on three manslaughter counts in fatal crash and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was driving his patrol car at approximately 75 miles per hour while on prescription medication. He was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the accident that killed a 13-year-old girl and her pregnant 17-year-old cousin. Wichita Falls settled a lawsuit brought by the surviving family in 2012 for $500,000.  ow.ly/HEyAz

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-16-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 16, 2015:

  • Pinellas County, Florida: A deputy was charged with grand theft for cashing paychecks that had already been paid to his account. He is currently on leave without pay. ow.ly/HnTVR
  • Highland Park, Michigan: Two officers were caught on video beating, kicking, berating handcuffed suspect. The state police are investigating the case. One of the officers had been named in previous lawsuits for mistreatment and had been fired from his previous law enforcement position for tasering a female officer in his department. ow.ly/Ho032
  • Update: Huntsville, Alabama (First reported 12-16-14): A one-time officer of the year pled not guilty to federal bribery charges. He is alleged to have attempted to bribe a fellow officer to cover up a cocaine arrest of a friend. ow.ly/HoNLl
  • Update: Washington, District of Columbia (First reported 11-11-14): An FBI agent stole drugs from evidence for his own use. That has resulted in dismissal of at least 28 cases he worked on and potentially jeopardizes 150 more. ow.ly/HrFsf
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 09-07-12): A now-former narcotics detective was found not guilty on a wanton endangerment charge but was found guilty for DUI. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine. These charges stemmed from an off-duty incident in which the intoxicated detective pulled over a speeding motorist and shot him in the leg after the motorist allegedly “lunged” at him.  ow.ly/HrxMu
  • Hancock County, Indiana: A now-former deputy was sentenced to probation and must take anger management classes after pleading guilty to domestic disturbance. ow.ly/HrBH4
  • Update: Ocala, Florida (First reported 11-03-14): The officer arrested for soliciting a 16-year-old prostitute has been fired. The 41-year-old Navy veteran faces two criminal counts of sexual activity with a minor. ow.ly/HrtC9
  • Update: El Paso, Texas (First reported 07-22-14): A now-former officer’s plea agreement was rejected by a federal judge. He withdrew his guilty plea to charges related to his medical insurance billing company. The terms of the agreement suggested he spend one month in jail and nine months of house arrest, as well as pay $20,000 in restitution to the IRS. ow.ly/HrTRX

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