National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Chicago is Ready for Reform

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

We stand at a watershed in the long history of efforts to address patterns of police abuse in Chicago. On March 10, the state appellate court held in Kalven v. Chicago that documents bearing on allegations of police misconduct are public information. On July 11, the Emanuel administration announced that it will not appeal Kalven and that it has adopted a set of procedures for implementing the decision…

As the plaintiff and attorneys in Kalven, we engaged in extended negotiations with Corporation Counsel Steve Patton and his staff in order to settle the case. The Emanuel administration is to be commended. Not only does its new transparency policy conform to Kalven, in some respects it goes beyond what the decision requires.

This is real reform. It is important to understand why.

The documents at issue are: (1) the investigative files generated when a citizen files a complaint charging police misconduct, and (2) lists of officers who accumulated repeated complaints of abuse….

Until now, the city has fiercely resisted any and all efforts via the Freedom of Information Act and civil discovery to make public the identities of officers with repeated complaints and the contents of police misconduct files. From our perspective, it has often seemed to allocate more resources to maintaining official secrecy than to addressing the underlying problems.

The Emanuel administration’s new policy breaks with the past. From now on, the city will honor FOIA requests for police misconduct files, subject only to the redaction of private information such as the names of complainants and the accused officer’s address and Social Security number. If it believes a request is unduly burdensome, it will provide summary digests, detailed narratives of the investigation. Requesters will then have the option of asking the city for a subset of the requested files or specific documents they have identified within the files.

This policy will allow the public and the press to assess the quality of investigations and to identify groups of officers with a pattern of complaints. It will create incentives for investigators, knowing their work is subject to public scrutiny, to conduct rigorous investigations. And it will ultimately, we believe, move the department to address patterns of police abuse.

Death by Chokehold

From the New York Times:

The 350-pound man, about to be arrested on charges of illegally selling cigarettes, was arguing with the police. When an officer tried to handcuff him, the man pulled free. The officer immediately threw his arm around the man’s neck and pulled him to the ground, holding him in what appears, in a video, to be a chokehold. The man can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” over and over again as other officers swarm about.

Now, the death of the man, Eric Garner, 43, soon after the confrontation on Thursday on Staten Island, is being investigated by the police and prosecutors. At the center of the inquiry is the officer’s use of a chokehold — a dangerous maneuver that was banned by the New York Police Department more than 20 years ago but that the department cannot seem to be rid of.

Read the whole thing.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-16-14 to 07-17-14

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 16 to Thursday, July 17, 2014:

  • Update: Berthoud, Colorado (Previously reported 04-28-14): A now-fired police officer was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl for years.
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police chief has officially barred officers from making up phony 911 calls in order to gain access to private residences without a search warrant. Several officers lied about 911 hang-up calls to convince residents to consent to searches of their homes, an officer said under oath.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer accused of trying to kill his girlfriend pled not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and simple battery.
  • Miami, Florida: Two police officers are under investigation after getting into a fight during a traffic stop, and it was all caught on camera.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A second police officer has been charged with a felony stemming from an alleged domestic matter.
  • Jefferson County, Arkansas: A sheriff’s deputy involved in a shooting at a bar and grill has resigned amid an internal investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 06-25-14): The sheriff’s deputy who is at the center of a police corruption scandal distributing drugs was fired by the sheriff. “[The officer] violated his oath, the trust of his fellow deputies, and the trust of the citizens of King County,” the sheriff said in a statement. “He does not deserve to be a police officer.”
  • Ashtabula, Ohio: A police officer was pulled over twice in one night under suspicion of driving under the influence before he was arrested.
  • Simsbury, Connecticut: An attorney has filed a lawsuit against police, saying he was falsely charged with stealing from a pellet company that he represented in a lawsuit brought by the state.
  • Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Police officer says the dog wasn’t a “vicious pit bull,” as initially reported by the police department in a news release, but a 2-year-old black Labrador.
  • Evansville, Indiana: A well-decorated police officer was suspended for four days because of his driving. According to police records, he has been involved in six accidents in which he was determined to be at fault.
  • Update: Green Bay, Wisconsin (First reported 04-22-14): Police have cleared an officer in an internal investigation into his use of force in an arrest. Police say the officer has been exonerated, which means he followed the appropriate department policies and procedures and did not use excessive force during the arrest.
  • Update: Plymouth, Massachusetts (Previously reported 02-21-14): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He was convicted of using excessive force on a man who was handcuffed and then covering it up by falsifying police reports on the incident.
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island: A police officer is accused of biting a man’s ear while attending a premiere party for his wife’s reality show. Police are conducting an internal investigation into what happened.

30 Days in Jail for Years of Abuse?

From the Denver Channel:

LOVELAND, Colo. – Fired Berthoud police officer Jeremy Yachik was sentenced Monday to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl.

A Larimer County judge also ordered Yachik to perform 80 hours of community service and to undergo a domestic violence evaluation to determine if he will be required to participate in a domestic violence-treatment program.

According to court records, the girl told Loveland police investigators that Yachik abused her almost daily for years. The abuse allegedly included restraining her hands with handcuffs or plastic zip ties and then slamming her head into a wall hard enough to leave a hole and choking her until she blacked out, according to a Loveland Police Department arrest affidavit.

The girl also said he beat her with ropes, restricted her food, shackled her in a darkened room for hours and force-fed her “ghost pepper sauce” that’s roughly 10 times hotter than habanero peppers, the affidavit said.

During a voluntary Sept. 27 interview with Loveland investigators, Yachik, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, admitted doing many of these things to the girl, the affidavit said.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-15-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 15, 2014:

  • Cleveland, Ohio: A police officer was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor 10 years or older. He is also charged with four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to the court website.
  • Fulton, New York: A police officer has been arrested and charged with three misdemeanors, police said. They include 3rd degree assault, falsifying business records, and making a punishable false written statement.
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 05-06-13): A now-former police officer has been convicted of two counts of rape involving a student from Rhodes College. He was also charged with three counts of assault and four counts of official misconduct.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer was arrested and charged with attacking and pointing a handgun at a parking valet.
  • Revere, Massachusetts: A police officer resigned after admitting that he stole money used in a controlled drug buy.
  • Fruitland, Florida: The deputy chief resigned and another officer was fired after the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement turned over a report to the city describing their link to the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Chesterfield County, South Carolina: An officer was arrested on one count of filing a false police report. The offense is a misdemeanor which carries a fine up to $500, 30 days in jail or both.
  • Springfield, Missouri: A police officer here who said he meant to fire his taser, not his handgun, has been charged with a misdemeanor in the shooting of a fleeing panhandler.
  • Update: Miami Beach, Florida (First reported 06-10-14): A police officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison after striking and seriously injuring two people while joy-riding with a woman on the beach using a police all-terrain vehicle.
  • Houston, Texas: A police officer, who used a squad car and badge to protect a load of cocaine for a drug trafficker, was sentenced to probation and home confinement.
  • China Grove, Texas: The police chief was arrested on a DWI charge while he was driving his marked patrol unit.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-12-14 to 07-14-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 12 to Monday, July 14, 2014:

  • Grady County, Georgia: Four law enforcement officers have been indicted on charges in connection with an incident. According to the Department of Justice, a now-former deputy used excessive force during an arrest. As a result of the assault, the victim sustained injuries to his face, including cuts, bleeding, swelling and bruising.
  • Boone County, Kentucky: An off-duty sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
  • Update: Placer County, California (First reported 06-17-14): A decorated sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a teen who was volunteering at his department, according to authorities.
  • Update: Washington, DC (Previously reported 11-18-13): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir. After he gets out of prison he will have to register as a sex offender.
  • Bexar County, Texas: A deputy was arrested after allegedly choking his girlfriend. The nearly six-year veteran of the sheriff’s office will face a charge of assault with bodily injury – choking. The assault came during an argument and caused his girlfriend to lose consciousness, authorities said.
  • Dayton, Ohio: A police officer charged for allegedly interfering with a police investigation pled not guilty to all counts.
  • Harris County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver following an investigation.
  • Aberdeen, Mississippi: A dispute between the police chief and the city building inspector could lead to the chief being charged with verbal simple assault.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-11-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 11, 2014:

  • Isle of Palms, South Carolina: A now-former police officer twice pawned her service weapon and stole items from the evidence room, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
  • Frisco, Texas: A police detective who investigated major crimes from 2011 to 2013 had inappropriate relationships with four women tied to his cases, possibly jeopardizing future criminal trials.
  • Hughestown, Pennsylvania: The federal drug case against a now-former police officer took another step forward with the filing of criminal information against him. He allegedly distributed oxycodone on numerous occasions while he was employed as a borough police officer.
  • Oswego, Illinois: Police assaulted an unconscious man, flipped his body in somersaults and hogtied him, and permanently disabled his mother as she tried to intervene, the family claims in court.
  • Update: Bull Shoals, Arkansas (Previously reported 05-12-14): The police chief pled not guilty to federal charges accusing him of using excessive force during an arrest.
  • Heartland, Missouri: The sheriff was arrested and faces five felony charges. Documents state he is charged with two counts of tampering with a witness and three counts of permitting escape.
  • Pasadena, California: The police chief said he has launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct against a detective. In an audio recording the detective was heard telling a colleague he would “pin it on anybody, that’s how we roll.”
  • Update: Edwardsburg, Michigan (First reported 06-10-14): A now-former police officer who admitted to stealing prescription medication from a residence where he responded to a 911 call was to two years of probation.
  • Indio, California: A federal court jury awarded the parents of a 23-year-old fatally shot by police $1.9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, its chief of police and a veteran police officer.
  • Sanford, Florida: The city has settled with a man injured when two officers hit him with a Taser. He face-first onto the road after the confrontation with the officers. The department is going to pay him $75,000.
  • Update: Wyoming Borough, Pennsylvania (Previously reported 10-23-13): A police officer pled guilty and agreed to serve two to four years in state prison, followed by five years probation. He pled guilty to four separate criminal cases, including two counts of statutory sexual assault and one count each of unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors.
  • Spanish Fork, Utah: A police officer who killed his wife, their two children, his mother-in-law and then himself received text messages from his wife just hours earlier threatening to leave him and take their kids and confronting him for raping her.
  • Blue Island, Illinois: A police officer and church camp counselor is charged with having and distributing child pornography.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Reacp 07-10-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 10, 2014:

  • New Bern, North Carolina: A now-former police officer pled guilty to stealing pills from the police department’s evidence room. She was sentenced to between 12 to 25 months in prison.
  • Orlando, Florida: Police confirmed they are investigating an officer who was videotaped kicking and punching a man while he was handcuffed and forced to the ground.
  • Round Lake Beach, Illinois: A 17-year veteran officer has been charged with 13 counts of theft and official misconduct for allegedly paying for $3,700 worth of gasoline with department money.
  • Update: Chillicothe, Missouri (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former police officer who faces rape and sodomy charges now faces new allegations of tampering with prosecution.He was charged with a felony of tampering with a victim/witness in felony prosecution while being incarcerated on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy.
  • East Point, Georgia: A lawsuit is pending against police following the death of a man stunned by a police taser, the man’s family says.
  • Update: Cincinnati, Ohio (First reported 06-21-13): The family of a father of eight who died after being shot in the chest with a Taser stun gun settled their federal civil rights police department for $650,000. Policy changes were also put in place at the department regarding Taser use.
  • Update: Chesapeake, Virginia (First reported 02-24-14): A now-former city police officer was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stealing more than $3,000 from three prostitutes. He pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor embezzlement.
  • Kenner, Louisiana: A police officer has been accused of negligence in a recently filed lawsuit that claims he ran over a pedestrian.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-09-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 9, 2014:

  • Fremont, Nebraska: The body responsible for oversight of the police department announced it will launch an investigation and review into the department and its internal investigation in connection to an incident in which an 18-year-old man was killed in a drunk-driving accident after allegedly drinking with off-duty police officers.
  • Huntsville, Alabama: Police say one of their officers is on administrative leave after being charged with domestic violence.
  • Bradenton, Florida: A police officer found himself on the other side of the law when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He has been fired.
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York (First reported 02-05-14): A now-former police sergeant has been charged with 20 more hate crimes in an indictment that accuses him of repeatedly targeting and stealing from Hispanic motorists.
  • Update: Santa Rosa, California (Previously reported 11-06-13): Prosecutors said they will not file criminal charges against a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun he mistook for an assault rifle.
  • Hallowell, Maine: A private investigator will examine a second allegation of sexual misconduct against the police chief. A woman said he took a pornographic picture of her while she slept, with other policemen posing in front of her.
  • Update: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (Previously reported 07-24-13): A police detective charged with stealing prescription drugs from the department’s evidence room was ordered to spend 30 months on probation, according to state court records.
  • Kronenwetter, Wisconsin: An officer resigned after an investigation began into allegations that he had solicited a prostitute multiple times.
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: The police chief said he felt termination was the only proper course of action in the case of an officer accused of making inappropriate comments to a female officer and “stalking” a man with whom he had a confrontation over a parking space.
  • Update, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (First reported 05-05-14): Accused of a cover-up, the sheriff and four of his deputies are named as co-defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit. When a deputy T-boned her car, the victim suffered more than a broken neck. She suffered the indignity of a false arrest for driving while intoxicated.
  • Update: College Park, Georgia (First reported 12-19-13): A police officer was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to immigration fraud.
  • Sweetwater, Florida: A police officer was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery after he and his wife got into an argument. According to the police report, he allegedly bit his wife on her upper lip. Police said he was in uniform and armed on the day of the alleged battery.
  • Update: Chesterfield, Missouri (First reported 06-09-14): A police officer accused of secretly recording victims in a men’s restroom was indicted by a grand jury.

Bizzare Police Work

From the Washington Post:

A Manassas City teenager accused of “sexting” a video to his girlfriend is now facing a search warrant in which Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection, the teen’s lawyers said. A Prince William County judge allowed the 17-year-old to leave the area without the warrant being served or the pictures being taken — yet.

I should add that it is bizarre work by prosecutors and judges too.  A near complete system breakdown.

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