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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-04-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 4, 2013:

  • Wichita, Kansas: A woman who was sexually attacked by a police officer filed suit, and the city settled for $89,000. The officer pleaded guilty a year ago to sexual battery in the case. The civil suit against the officer alleges that he handcuffed and sexually attacked the woman, whose screams were so loud that he released her, allowing her to run into her home.
  • South Bend, Indiana: A family has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department accusing officers of entering their home without a warrant, and tasing and punching a 17-year-old boy in the home while he slept.
  • Kalkaska, Michigan: An officer was sentenced to 5 days in jail, 4 months probation and more than $600 in fines after pleading no contest to assault and battery charges. He assaulted his neighbor.
  • Oxford, Ohio: The city paid $750,000 to a family whose son was tased and killed by officers to settle the lawsuit they filed. The 24-year-old was tased outside of a bar and went into cardiac arrest. The lawsuit’s allegations said that the officers used excessive force and the city failed to adequately train, supervise, and control its employees.
  • Champaign, Illinois: An officer, who fired his gun in a residential neighborhood, killing a dog, and sending a round through a nearby apartment, has been suspended for one day without pay. The teenage owner of the dog that was shot was there as he fired seven shots.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer has been arrested on charges related to armed robbery and narcotics trafficking.
  • Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: A sheriff’s deputy who just completed her training was arrested when undercover officers spotted her and a companion using heroin in a vehicle parked in a store lot. “Obviously, we are very disappointed,” said the county sheriff.
  • Seattle, Washington: A police officer was charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly hitting a handcuffed man being detained by other officers.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-03-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 3, 2013:

  • Hazlet, New Jersey: An officer in training was charged with driving while intoxicated after a car accident. He allegedly struck three cars parked in a driveway.
  • Lorain, Ohio: An officer was suspended without pay for two, 12-hour shifts this year in connection with an incident involving a DUI accident. He refused to take a field sobriety test at the scene, and was cited for failure to control and driving under the influence.
  • Springfield, Illinois: A woman eight months pregnant was tased by police after she reported a car accident in a parking lot. The incident was captured on cell phone video.
  • Update: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (First reported 02-08-13): An officer under investigation for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest has now also been cited for harassment in an unrelated case.
  • New York, New York: Officer pepper-sprayed three little children, including 2-year- and 5-year-old babies, because they thought the kids’ mom jumped a subway fare, the family has said in court. “The aggressiveness of the officers’ demeanors had upset the four-year-old daughter, and her mother bent down to console her and tell her, ‘everything will be OK,” the complaint states. But then, the officers pepper-sprayed her.
  • Waikiki, Hawaii: An officer was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, and has been placed on restricted duty in the police department’s specialized services division.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A grand jury indicted an officer on charges of wanton endangerment, official misconduct, and driving while under the influence. The officer admitted that he had been drinking and initially lied to police officers when he claimed he wasn’t driving the car.
  • Update: McAllen, Texas (First reported 03-07-13): A seventh former deputy of a sheriff’s department appeared in court on drug conspiracy charges in a federal investigation. He is the latest member of the department who prosecutors say helped steal or protect drugs to be resold by a trafficker.

Protecting Pets From Police

From the Associated Press:

Dog lovers concerned about recent cases where law enforcement fatally shot people’s pets lobbied Colorado lawmakers on a bill Wednesday that would require new training for law enforcement on how to handle canine encounters in the line of duty, a legislative idea that appears to be unique in the country.

The bill unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be considered later by the full chamber.

Several dozen dog owners rallied outside the Capitol before the bill was heard. Some held signs that read, “Officer, please don’t kill me,” with an accompanying picture of a dog.

This is going to catch on with lawmakers around the USA.  Long overdue.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 2, 2013:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: A rape case has ended in a mistrial and a sheriff’s deputy has been suspended after allegations of jury tampering. He is accused of talking to jurors about the trial during a lunch break. The judge added that she was outraged.
  • Update: Omaha, Nebraska (First reported 03-27-13): A command officer and a second police officer are on administrative leave after accusations of excessive force. Two other officers have been reassigned. There is an ongoing investigation into incident involving unlicensed vehicles being towed.
  • West Allis, Wisconsin: A police officer has been charged with obstructing an officer after an investigation into whether he had a sexually suggestive conversation with a woman. The officer is currently on paid administrative leave.
  • Orlando, Florida: The family of a man who died after being shot with a taser by a police officer filed a lawsuit against the police department. The family said that the officer used the taser on the man two or three times after he was defenseless on the ground. The officer said that he was being unruly.
  • Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: A former sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty to charges that he engaged in a scheme to kill a man to prevent him from reporting the deputy’s alleged theft and misuse of his debit card. The FBI and the sheriff’s office investigated the case. The officer was fired after the incident.
  • Ottawa, Kansas: A sheriff has been accused of tipping off his lover about a meth investigation. The sheriff and his lawyer say the allegations are untrue. The prosecutor wrote that he “willfully engaged in misconduct while in office.”
  • Blytheville, Arkansas: A Criminal Investigation Division officer was arrested after an incident at a bar which resulted in public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges. He is on administrative leave as a result of the charges, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Meridian, Mississippi: A former police officer has been sentenced to house arrest and probation after being convicted of forging a subpoena, while employed as a police officer, to obtain his wife’s phone records. He was given one year house arrest followed by five years probation.
  • Salisbury, North Carolina: A resident was awarded $25,000 after she filed a civil lawsuit against the city. She said she was manhandled and arrested by a police officer after she shot video of a traffic stop and high speed chase that happened in front of her house.
  • Pierce County, Washington: A man is suing the county over a police dog attack. The lawsuit says the man didn’t act aggressively toward the dog or officer and posed no risk to them. The sheriff’s department disputes nearly all of the man’s assertions.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-30-13 to 04-01-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 30 to Monday, April 1, 2013:

  • Knoxville, Pennsylvania: A woman filed a lawsuit against the city and a now imprisoned former officer, alleging the man was allowed to continue working for four years even after she filed a complaint against him for soliciting sexual acts from her. “We rely on the police. If somebody else did this to our client, and somebody threatened her and demanded sexual favors, you would hope the police would get involved, her attorney said. “But when it’s a policeman doing that, who do you turn to?”
  • Duluth, Minnesota: An officer was placed on paid administrative leave after his department said he twice backed his car into a parked car in a parking lot.
  • Battle Creek, Michigan: A 24-year veteran of the police department was fired from her job as a patrol officer after a two-month investigation revealed that she was stealing things in the locker room from other officers.
  • Update: Jennings, Louisiana (First reported 01-14-13): A former police chief who was accused of taking items from the department’s evidence room has pleaded innocent in state district court to malfeasance and other felony charges. He resigned three days before his arrest.
  • Palmdale, California: A jury has awarded $1.1 million to a teenager who, while holding a toy gun, was shot in the back by a sheriff’s deputy. The officer used excessive force when he shot the boy, the jury found.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Department of Justice officials say a former state trooper has been sentenced to a year in prison after forcing a woman to perform sex acts. He told the girl that she would be charged with a felony unless she did them.
  • North Versailles Township, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He reportedly hit two vehicles. He was off-duty at the time.
  • Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania: Three officers are being sued by two people claiming the officer used excessive force against them in two separate incidents. According to a press release, portions of both incidents were caught on videotape.
  • Berkeley Springs, West Virginia: A man had his lawsuit against a deputy settled for $200,000. According to the suit, the officer kicked in the man’s door in an effort to enter his home. After making a second unsuccessful effort to kick open the door, he then fired two shots with his handgun. One hit the man in the abdomen and the other in the right hip.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-29-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 29, 2013:

  • East St. Louis, Illinois: A police officer has been accused of being drunk on the job. He was responding to a call that someone broke into a home and set it on fire. A witness said. “He smelled of alcohol and he was very belligerent, cussing my stepdaughter and boyfriend out.”
  • Canton, Texas: A police officer has been arrested for federal drug violation. The narcotics officer was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with six counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation.
  • Salisbury, North Carolina: The second officer in four months was fired. Police sent him a letter stating he was “hit by a simulation round fired by a subordinate and responded to the individual in a manner that was unbecoming of a supervisor.”
  • Rialto, California: A former police officer was sentenced to more than six years in state prison for committing a series of sex acts with a teenage relative. As part of the plea agreement he also received two strikes and will have to register as a sex offender. Prosecutors said he was facing more than 40 years if he had gone to trial.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer has been indicted and is facing several charges including driving drunk on an ATV. They are a result of an accident that occurred on the ATV.
  • Huntsville, Texas: An officer was arrested after being indicted by a grand jury. He was charged with official oppression for allegedly mistreating a person who was in his custody. Court documents indicate that he assaulted a man while he was in handcuffs.
  • Freestone County, Texas: Authorities say the sheriff has been indicted and a sheriff’s captain arrested for submitting fraudulent information to the state agency that oversees law enforcement training standards.
  • Update: Kent County, Michigan (First reported 03-25-13): A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge. He is currently on paid leave with the sheriff’s department.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-28-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 28, 2013:

  • Waveland, Mississippi: The city settled four of ten federal lawsuits over its police force’s use of tasers. Though a settlement is not an admission of guilt, it spares the city the risk of exorbitant costs if a jury finds in favor of plaintiffs. The terms of the individual settlements are confidential by order of the court.
  • Update: Robbins, Illinois (First reported 12-28-12): The police chief, who retired after being charged with his second DUI in the past three years, is continuing to be paid by the government into next month, records show.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer has been indicted on misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He allegedly shot a police trainee in the head during a training exercise
  • West Pittston, Pennsylvania: A state police trooper has been charged with unlawfully accessing her then-boyfriend’s cellphone account and filing a false report that he assaulted her.
  • Clinton, Maine: A police officer who was accused of assault and was fired for conduct unbecoming a sheriff’s deputy. He was charged with assault and domestic assault.
  • Trenton, New Jersey:  A city police officer was indicted by a grand jury on charges of official misconduct for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest. If he is charged, he faces five to ten years in state prison if convicted of the second-degree charge.
  • Update: Buffalo, New York (First reported 12-18-12): A now-former trooper who admitted to organizing parties with prostitutes while off-duty was sentenced to three years probation and 300 hours of community service.
  • Update: Murray County, Tennessee (First reported 09-04-12): A former sheriff’s office captain pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in setting up for arrest a woman who had complained about sexual advances by a local judge. The case involved planting drugs into the woman’s car.
  • Detroit, Michigan: A police officer and a civilian were arrested in connection with an armed robbery investigation. The men are accused of a series of robberies of several businesses.
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: An officer has been charged with felony child cruelty and aggravated assault in the beating of his girlfriend’s 13-year old son.
  • Update: Williamson County, Illinois (First reported 03-11-13): A 23-year veteran sheriff’s deputy, who was arrested on DUI charges, resigned. It was his second DUI.
  • Fresno, CA: A sheriff’s deputy on courthouse detail brutalized a 66-year-old attorney after finding a child’s toy wrench in the purse of his client’s family member, the attorney claims in court.
  • Detroit, Michigan:  A police officer is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a teenager he met through a boot camp program advertised for troubled youth.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-27-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 27, 2013:

  • Raleigh County, West Virginia: A man is alleging that that an officer used excessive force against him after charging him with expired registration of his motorcycle. Along with violation of his constitutional rights, the man says he suffered “unnecessary infliction of pain and suffering” as a result of the arrest including “abrasions and contusions” to his “back, wrists, shoulders and elbows.” His suit includes claims of excessive battery and intentional outrageous conduct.
  • Omaha, Nebraska: The police chief responded to allegations officers used excessive force during two arrests that were recorded and  posted to YouTube. “I will get to the bottom of this. There is an internal investigation in full swing and the investigation will be conducted thoroughly, fairly, and as swiftly as possible.”
  • Burnett County, Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Attorney General has charged an officer with disorderly conduct for an argument with his girlfriend. The deputy’s conduct has sparked an investigation into a cover-up inside the sheriff’s office.
  • Johnstown, New York: A city police officer who was suspended last summer resigned in the midst of his disciplinary hearing. The chief said he cannot say publicly the reason for his resignation or why he was suspended.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer who was involved in a deadly crash was charged with counts of vehicular homicide and great bodily injury by vehicle. The officer has claimed he was trying to track down a drunken driver before his police cruiser slammed into another vehicle. The crash killed a 21-year-old woman and seriously injured her younger sister, who was driving the SUV.
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: A jury decided that two of four officers are liable for framing a mentally challenged 15-year-old in a 1983 rape and murder case. The man spent 26 years in maximum security prisons before DNA evidence set him free in 2009. He has been awarded $7 million in damages.
  • Greenville, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested after being accused of disposing evidence in a 29-year-old homicide case. “As a result, continuing the case and pursuing defendants [will be] extremely difficult,” said a court solicitor.
  • Mauldin, South Carolina: A police officer resigned after allegations were made that he sent inappropriate text messages to a female student. The case was referred to prosecutors, who will determine if any charges should be filed.
  • Janesville, Minnesota: An officer is facing a felony third-degree assault charge after an altercation at a club. The officer allegedly kneed the victim in the face four times. On the scene he told officers that he didn’t see a fight take place; witnesses say they saw the officer commit the assault.

Avoiding Tickets

From  msn money:

To increase your chances of a receiving a warning rather than a ticket:

  • Make it an easy stop. Pull over quickly, turn your interior lights on and keep your hands in sight on the wheel. When an officer approaches a vehicle, says Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright, he or she will be looking at how many people are in the car and where their hands are.
  • Be respectful. If you were looking for a way to ensure a ticket, being argumentative, angry or rude is a great way to do it. “There is no guarantee that a driver will receive a warning based upon behavior,” says Colorado State Patrol Capt. Jeff Goodwin, “but it certainly helps to be respectful and less confrontational.”
  • Save the excuses. Law enforcement officers have heard them all, so save your sob story. Answers to any questions should be brief and noncommittal. (For example, if the officer asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, say no, legal experts advise.) Don’t argue. This isn’t a court.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-26-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 26, 2013:

  • West Valley City, Utah: Nineteen criminal cases are being dismissed by the DA because of possible illegal actions of a police detective. He is being investigated and could face criminal charges.
  • Creal Springs, Illinois: A police chief is facing unlawful restraint and domestic battery charges. He allegedly detained a woman in a home by blocking the doorway with his body in the presence of a child. He is on unpaid leave while the investigation continues.
  • Covington, Louisiana: Two officers were arrested and booked into jail on charges of simple battery and malfeasance in officer. The department’s internal affairs unit concluded its investigation into an incident in which the two officers allegedly used excessive force on an arrestee.
  • Update: Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (First reported 02-20-13): The police officer who was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of a child has resigned, according to the police department. The 14-year-old boy told police he remembered the officer telling him he was not trying to be rude with regard to his age, but that he could lose his job.
  • St. Louis, Missouri: A police officer has been suspended and criminally charged with domestic assault and resisting arrest after police say he assaulted his boyfriend.
  • Waltham, Massachusetts: An officer was arrested by the FBI and is facing child pornography charges. He will be arraigned in federal court.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: The woman who said she was punched by a police officer has filed a civil lawsuit against the officer.
  • Oxnard, California: A former officer pleaded guilty to two counts of workers compensation fraud and was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution to the state. He faces up to four years behind bars but will not likely get a harsh sentence. “Other than committing workers’ compensation fraud, he doesn’t have anything else on his record,” the prosecutor said. “The guy is a former cop.”
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: A detective has been fired after a preliminary investigation into a hit-and-run accident determined the sergeant violated several departmental procedures and his car may have been involved in the accident that injured two pedestrians.
  • Saratoga County, New York: A longtime deputy resigned to settle charges that he slashed the tire of a woman’s car. His case was adjourned pending good behavior.

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