National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Problems at U.S. Border Patrol

One of the greatest challenges to resolving police misconduct allegations is the opaqueness of internal investigations in any police department or agency. This is true at the local, state, and federal levels.

Today, the Los Angeles Times has a report on the backlog of use-of-force cases, particularly fatal shootings, at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There is an added wrinkle here, due to bureaucratic overlaps, that other agencies in the Department of Homeland Security share responsibility for oversight and have been unable to further these investigations.

Nearly a year after the Obama administration vowed to crack down on Border Patrol agents who use excessive force, no shooting cases have been resolved, no agents have been disciplined, a review panel has yet to issue recommendations, and the top two jobs in internal affairs are vacant.

The response suggests the difficulties of reforming the nation’s largest federal law enforcement force despite complaints in Congress and from advocacy groups that Border Patrol agents have shot and killed two dozen people on the Southwest border in the last five years but have faced no criminal prosecutions or disciplinary actions.

Customs and Border Protection, which has more than 60,000 agents and officers, saw most of its abuse investigations outsourced to a sister agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to the Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. Internal affairs instead conducted lie detector tests, did performance reviews, and dealt with questions from outside agencies.

Read the whole thing here.

You should also check out this Cato Policy Analysis calling for the abolition of DHS.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-20-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 20, 2015:

  • Broward County, Florida: A deputy was arrested for falsifying reports about an arrest during a traffic stop outside of his jurisdiction.
  • Adams County, Ohio: A now-former deputy was charged with two counts each of rape, sexual battery, and sexual conduct with a minor. The charges stem from an incident at his home with a 15-year-old girl in December. He resigned after his arrest.
  • Berkeley County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Iowa City, Iowa: An officer was arrested for DUI. He was reported to be passed out in the driver’s seat at an intersection.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for felony misconduct in connection with an ongoing investigation.
  • Fresno, California: A now-former officer was arrested on charges related to auto theft and perjury. He was fired from the department in January.
  • Houston, Texas: An officer was arrested for shoplifting $60 in ammunition from a sporting goods store.
  • Maricopa, Arizona: A now-former detective pled guilty to fraud and theft for stealing $1,300 from a drug smuggling operation.
  • Kansas City, Missouri: An officer was indicted for his conduct during a shooting incident in June. He is currently on unpaid leave.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-19-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 20, 2015:

  • Kentucky State Police: A now-former trooper faces misconduct and tampering charges. He allegedly pulled over underage girls who he found to be intoxicated and let them drive away. He then pulled them over a second time and initiated inappropriate contact with one of them.
  • Houston County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for domestic assault after an altercation with his stepson, who is a minor.
  • Update: Ottawa Hills, Ohio (First reported 02-07-14): A now-former officer who had been convicted of shooting and paralyzing a motorcyclist will get a new trial. He had been sentenced to ten years, in part because of the use of the gun in the incident. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the law was not written to apply to police officers who were acting against someone they thought was armed.
  • New York, New York: A now-former officer was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for credit card fraud and identity theft. The officer provided a confidential informant with someone else’s name and driver’s license number.
  • Update: Shreveport, Louisiana (First reported 02-13-15): The corporal that was suspended for policy violations last week was arrested for aggravated rape and intimidation. The incident allegedly happened at the police station.
  • Greensburg, Indiana: The now-former police chief admitted to stealing $70,000 in cash from evidence seized for criminal cases.
  • Washoe County, Nevada: A deputy was indicted for having sex with a detention center inmate.
  • Update: Orlando, Florida (First reported 07-10-14): An officer was fired for excessive force. He attacked a handcuffed man who was facedown on the ground, contrary to the officer’s statements. He had been charged with assault and perjury, but the charges were later dropped. According to the news report, the victim has filed a lawsuit against the city.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-18-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, February 18, 2015:

  • Broward County, Florida: A now-former deputy was sentenced to five years in prison for coercing undocumented immigrants to have sex with him. As part of the plea deal, he will not have to be placed on the sex offender registry.
  • Update: Marysville, California: An officer was convicted of repeatedly molesting a teenager in the 1990s. His employment with the department was terminated upon his conviction.
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana (First reported 04-25-14): An officer was acquitted of a domestic violence charge.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for punching a woman while he was off duty.
  • Albany, Georgia: A woman filed a lawsuit alleging that her arresting officer was too violent when she was arrested at the jail. The suit also claims that the subsequent denial of medical treatment for the night she was held in the jail contributed to her miscarriage.
  • Daytona Beach, Florida: An officer was arrested for groping a suspect during her arrest.
  • Owasso, Oklahoma: The City agreed to pay $280,000 in back pay to an officer fired for excessive force who was subsequently reinstated by an arbitrator.
  • Lubbock, Texas: An officer was arrested for hiring a prostitute while he was off duty.
  • Update: Waupun, Wisconsin: A now-former officer pled no contest to one count of burglary in each of seven counties.  The prosecutor recommended the former officer be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in exchange for the plea. The former officer had been accused of over 60 robberies and other offenses during his crime spree.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-14-15 to 02-17-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct reported for Saturday, February 14 through Tuesday, February 17, 2015:

  • Update: Lafayette, Indiana (First reported 07-03-14): The city and an officer face an amended federal lawsuit alleging officer pushed over a man in a wheelchair and conducted an illegal search.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 09-09-14): A suspended officer was acquitted of assault for kicking a handcuffed suspect. The department’s internal investigation is ongoing.
  • Broward County, Florida: A now-former deputy was acquitted of tampering. He was accused of interfering in a separate racketeering case against Ft. Lauderdale detectives.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: The City settled a $140,000 lawsuit alleging an officer choked a high school senior.
  • Update: Rothschild, Wisconsin (First reported 10-08-14): An officer pled not guilty in sexual assault case. He has resigned from the department.
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 09-19-14): A vendor that was seen on video being kicked by a now-suspended officer at a street fair finally had his resisting arrest charges dropped.
  • Update: Nassau County, New York (Last reported 05-06-14): A grand jury did not indict a now-former officer for shooting and wounding an unarmed cab driver after a night of drinking. According to the news report, key witnesses were never called to testify before the now-expired grand jury. The officer was fired last year.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: An officer was arrested for assaulting his 12-year-old stepson.
  • New York State Police: A trooper was arrested for DWI in Lockport. He was pulled over for speeding and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Problems in Cleveland


The U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report in December, claiming that the Cleveland Police Department routinely violated citizens’ civil rights. But taxpayers already had been paying a heavy price: more than $8.2 million to resolve lawsuits that accused officers of brutality, misconduct or making wrongful arrests….

In a number of cases, the people who alleged brutality were the ones who called police for help in the first place.  [!!]

More than a year ago, The Plain Dealer and Northeast Ohio Media Group submitted public records requests to the city, in an effort to determine how widespread allegations of misconduct were and how much police behavior was costing the city. The records were turned over on the eve of the Justice Department’s release of its report….

Mayor Frank Jackson says the settlements don’t prove any pattern of police conduct. They don’t even mean officers were at fault for wrongdoing, officials have said.
But viewed as a whole, the details show that high-level city officials were, or should have been, on notice about allegations that officers too often used excessive force, escalated confrontations and needlessly disrespected citizens in the community they were hired to serve.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-13-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 13, 2015:

  • Update: Madison, Alabama (First reported 02-11-15): The officer who seriously injured a 57-year-old Indian national has been fired and arrested for the incident. A video of the violent encounter has been released.
  • Lakeside, Colorado: A man was put in handcuffs and had his phone seized for recording a shoplifting arrest.
  • Pasco, Washington: Three officers were placed on leave after one or more of them fatally shot a man throwing rocks into traffic. Video of the incident appears to show the suspect running away when he was shot.
  • Mansfield, Ohio: An officer was indicted on 40 charges, including 25 felonies, related to sexual battery, burglary, and tampering. Seventeen of the counts are for abusing a police database. The initial complaint that led to the investigation alleged the officer offered to destroy criminal evidence in exchange for a sexual favor. The officer has been on leave since late November.
  • Toledo, Ohio: A lieutenant has been charged with obstruction, felonious assault, and tampering. He is accused of conspiring to shoot a witness.
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A sergeant already on house arrest for lewd conduct was arrested again for child pornography possession—some of which he produced. He was suspended with pay after the first incident in August.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into unspecified policy violations.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Montana Vista, TX): An agent who was recently arrested for domestic violence took his estranged wife and another man hostage. He shot the man in the head during a standoff with police before surrendering.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-12-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 12, 2015:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was arrested for DUI after causing accident that caused two cars to flip over. Remarkably, no injuries were reported.
  • Webb, Alabama: An officer was arrested for domestic
  • Flower Mound, Texas: An officer was arrested and charged with felony DWI. She was driving 77mph in a 35mph zone with her 6-yr-old in front seat.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: An officer was charged with DUI and an open container violation after crashing his truck into a ditch.
  • Carencro, Louisiana: A now-former officer was indicted for extortion, illegally using a government database, and lying to federal agents. He is alleged to have taken money in exchange for allowing prostitution at a gentlemen’s club.
  • Williamson County, Texas: A sheriff’s detective was arrested for falsifying government documents. He allegedly lied on his timesheets and was working another job when he was claimed to be on duty.
  • Update: Wewoka, Oklahoma (First reported 10-01-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a 15-year-old girl who had been enrolled in the department’s police explorer program.
  • Update: Bayonne, New Jersey (First reported 01-26-15): An officer already indicted for brutality faces new charges, including embezzlement from United States government.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and his Investigations

From the Sandusky Register:

An Ohio attorney general spokesman told the Register last week that state prosecutors hadn’t yet determined if recordings made by former Put-in-Bay police Sgt. Steve Korossy of interviews and interactions Korossy had just prior to arresting three island hotel employees was relevant to the ongoing police misconduct investigation.

The employees were cleared in October by a jury of all the criminal charges Korossy filed against them 13 months after they were arrested. They, and others, contend the employees were falsely arrested and wrongfully put on trial….

The fact DeWine cannot even acknowledge the relevancy of that material is an indicator just how seriously he’s taking the complaints, the lawsuits and the judgments against the PIB police department….

After four decades as a public servant, it seems obvious to us DeWine forgot a long time ago that public service is meant for the public. DeWine, it’s clear, serves the bureaucracy first and doesn’t appear willing to serve the people at all.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-11-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct for Wednesday, February 11, 2015:

  • Madison, Alabama: An officer used enough force to put a 57-year-old Indian citizen in the hospital, temporarily paralyzed and with fused vertebrae, after an altercation. The man, who was visiting the United States and speaks no English, was walking around the neighborhood his son just moved in to.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was arrested on assault and sex offense charges after a domestic dispute.
  • Pennsylvania State Police: A trooper was charged with reckless endangerment after a firearms mishap during which he fatally shot a colleague.
  • Lake County, California: A now-former deputy was charged with vehicular manslaughter for an October 2013 car crash. He had been responding to a call of  home invasion and vehicle pursuit when he hit the victim’s car head-on at a high rate of speed.
  • Update: Berkeley County, South Carolina (First reported 01-06-14) : The sheriff who had been arrested for DUI has resigned and has been indicted.
  • Richmond County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested and fired over allegations he abused a 12-year-old while off duty but still in uniform.
  • New York, New York: A sergeant faces numerous criminal counts related to the alleged rape of a girl under 15 years old. Internal Affairs is continuing to investigate.
  • Miami, Florida: Two officers were fired for falsifying police reports to protect informants. No criminal charges against them appear to be forthcoming.

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