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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

The “Lazy, not Lawless” Defense

From the New York Times:

The picture painted in court of the New York Police Department’s officers was not pretty.

Ten percent of them were malcontents who worked as little as possible. Unless they are being paid overtime, officers seem to avoid writing summonses. Indeed, some police officers need to be weaned of the idea that they are paid to drive around in their patrol cars, eating doughnuts.

And those sentiments came not from critics of the department, but from police commanders and city lawyers.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-27-13 to 04-29-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 27 to Monday, April 29, 2013:

  • Update: Newark, New Jersey (First reported 02-22-13): A police officer was sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting a civilian. He was found guilty of pistol-whipping the man, and it was captured on video. The man he hit was never charged with a crime.
  • Marysville, California: A reserve police officer was arrested by sheriff’s detectives in connection with a report of child molestation. He has been placed on administrative leave because of the incident.
  • Hialeah, Florida: Detectives arrested a police sergeant. He has been charged with one count of cocaine possession, non-trafficking amount, and one count possession of drug paraphernalia. He is currently in custody.
  • Lawrence, Indiana: A suspended police officer, who is already facing drunk driving charges in the death of a motorcyclist, has been arrested again. He was arrested after running his truck into a guardrail, a sign, and a power pole. According to the arrest report he told the arresting officer, “I know you know who I am. I messed up today. If you guys can cut me a break, I promise I will never drink again.”
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: A police officer was arrested on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge. He was stopped for poor driving and failing to maintain a lane. It will be investigated by the internal affairs unit and he will be on administrative leave.
  • Cordell, Oklahoma: An officer was arrested for allegedly having sex with a minor. He was taken into custody for two counts of rape in the second degree and one count of forcible sodomy.
  • Sheboygan, Wisconsin: A man has accused a police officer of using excessive force, alleging that officer punched him in the back of the head before arresting him. Police Department officials confirmed they had received a formal complaint from the man.
  • Clackamas County, Oregon: A deputy has been arrested in connection with a domestic violence case. He has been on administrative leave since the accusations arose. The Sheriff’s Office says it has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to employee-involved domestic violence.
  • Orlando, Florida: An officer was suspended for 40 hours after an Internal Affairs investigation revealed he violated several OPD policies and procedures during an altercation inside a Walmart.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-26-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 26, 2013:

  • Elkhart County, Indiana: The sheriff announced that one of his deputies, a seven-year-veteran, had been arrested. “We have an expectation of professionalism and high standards from our officers and staff, and conduct outside those standards will not be tolerated,” he said.
  • Town Creek, Alabama: A former police officer pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation during the course of an arrest in a case that involved excessive force. The officer ran up to a suspect, who had already been placed under arrest by another officer without resistance, and “unjustifiably and repeatedly beat the man in the head with an object that was either a baton or a flashlight causing the man to suffer physical injury,” according to the DOJ.
  • Marion, South Carolina: Two officers were charged with misconduct in office. They were arrested and booked into the detention center for charges connected to an excessive force incident.
  • Update: Atlanta, Georgia (First reported 04-16-13): A former state trooper who pleaded guilty in a crash that killed a woman has been sentenced to two years in prison. He was also ordered to serve eight years of probation and educate law enforcement on dangers and responsibilities associated with their jobs.
  • East St. Louis, Illinois: A former assistant police chief faces up to five years in federal prison for lying to investigators about selling a gun to a registered sex offender. The officer admitted he got the gun while working as a police officer and kept and sold it. A U.S. attorney said he “threw away his career, tarnished the badge, and endangered his community for a few dollars.”
  • Eric County, Pennsylvania: A former state trooper was sentenced for homicide while driving under the influence. He was given three to six years for the drunken driving incident.
  • Chatham County, Georgia: A deputy has been indicted by a grand jury on four charges. They include sexual assault, public indecency, two counts of making false statements to deputies and obstruction of an officer.
  • Baltimore County, Maryland: A police officer has been arrested and charged. He was engaging in sexual activity while on duty, and the charges come after an internal and criminal investigation.
  • Canfield, Ohio: The parents of an 11-year-old girl cleared of false rape charges are suing the city, police department, and investigators. They say investigators pursued the case because of political connections even after they learned the accusations were false. The lawsuit says that the girl fell asleep on her mother’s lap during a five-hour interrogation, that she was eventually charged with multiple counts of rape, and was held in a juvenile detention center on charges despite detectives believing the girl was innocent.
  • Franklin County, Ohio: A deputy sheriff pleaded guilty to a charge of physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. He was placed on one year of non-reporting probation and fined $350.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-25-13

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 25, 2013:

  • Modesto, California: The city has paid $120,000 to a woman and her two adult daughters to settle a lawsuit they filed against the city after police officers entered their home without a warrant, refused to leave when asked, and threatened to arrest the woman.
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts: A former police officer was arraigned in court on allegations that he unlawfully collected expired prescription drugs from elderly residents. He allegedly knocked on resident’ doors, while on duty, and collected their prescriptions without notifying a supervisor.
  • Darby Township, Pennsylvania: A woman is suing a former police officer and the township police department, claiming the officer stalked her and forced her to have sex with him inside the police station. The harassment only ended when the officer was arrested.
  • Bladensburg, Maryland: The manager of a restaurant was awarded $160,000 in a civil suit against a police officer who the manager claimed had falsely arrested and mistreated him.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested after being accused of striking a man at a parade. He will be suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss, according to the department. He faces charges for simple assault and official oppression.
  • Dearborn, Michigan: An off-duty police officer was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: A former sheriff’s deputy will be sentenced after pleading guilty to theft and forgery-related charges. The charges stem from the theft and attempted repayment of $5,000 intended for a confidential informant.
  • Washington County, Indiana: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with felony improper disposal of a dead animal and misdemeanor animal neglect involving alleged mistreatment of cattle. If convicted, he faces up to six years for the felony charges.
  • Update: Houston, Texas (First reported 05-17-12): Two fired police officers accused of beating a black teenage burglary suspect during an arrest that was caught on video were each sentenced to two years of probation as part of plea agreements.
  • Orange County, California: Officials have unanimously approved a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed Marine sergeant who was shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy in a darkened high school parking lot.
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania: A police chief was arrested on witness intimidation and obstruction charges after authorities say he had sex with an alleged victim in a criminal case and told her not to tell anyone. He also allegedly provided the woman with confidential information about the probe she was involved in.
  • Portland, Oregon: The U.S. attorney’s office says a former police officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for receiving child pornography that included images of infants and young children being abused by adult males.
  • Spokane, Washington: Another police officer has been accused of lying about the beating death of a man suspected of stealing money from a convenience store. He was charged with making a false statement.
  • Sioux City, Iowa: The city has reached a $6,500 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a woman who was attacked by a police dog. In the suit she said that she was at her home when her then-husband pulled into their driveway, and four police officers arrived to arrest him. When one officer released her police dog, it attacked the woman.

Damn the Evidence, Just Arrest that 11-Year Old!


The parents of an 11-year-old Canfield girl cleared of false rape charges is suing the city, police department and investigators for $5 million, alleging investigators pursued the case because of political connections even after they learned the accusations were false.

The parents alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. Northern District Court in Youngstown that Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci pressured investigators and juvenile prosecutors to pursue the case against the girl despite investigators believing that her three accusers were lying to get her in trouble.

Colucci “in turn applied political pressure to Detective McGivern, demonstrating to McGivern that this prosecution was a personal priority of the chief’s that would affect McGivern’s career at the Canfield Police Department if he did not listen to” him.

The suit says police questioned the girl April 20, 2012 for about five hours without food, water or rest. …

The girl was arrested April 24, rape charges were filed against the girl and she was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center “without her parents even having a chance to say goodbye,” the suit alleges.

One of the accusers later told police they conspired to lie during the investigation, yet the case against the girl continued the suit says.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-24-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 24, 2013:

  • Charlotte County, Florida: A deputy is off the job for conduct unbecoming of an officer. Two women claim they saw the former deputy with his pants down in a park while he was with a woman.
  • Houston, Texas: A woman who couldn’t find her family at a rodeo said that a deputy constable groped her after she turned to him for help. He then threatened to arrest her, she said. The officer has been charged with misdemeanor official oppression.
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A former police officer has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for stopping female drivers on a pretense so he could have suggestive conversations with them. He was convicted of six charges of depriving victims of their civil rights.
  • San Diego, California: A police detective avoided a jail sentence for a crash in which he admitted he had been driving recklessly and under the influence. He was facing 60 days in custody but received 5 years on probation and 25 days of community service.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A police officer pleaded no contest to four felonies and four misdemeanors stemming from his practice of conducting illegal strip searches and cavity searches on male suspects, but avoided conviction for sexual assault.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: The family of a man shot and killed by police has expanded their wrongful-death suit. They originally sued one officer but added three more and the city in an amended complaint.
  • Long Beach, California: A jury found police officers violated the civil rights of a man who was shot and killed without warning, awarding his family $6.5 million in damages. “Amazingly, they didn’t give him any commands until after he stopped breathing,” the plaintiffs’ attorney said. “We have to expect better out of police, we really do. We don’t want innocent people being killed.”
  • Bay County Florida: A local judge threw out a case against a man caught with 13 pounds of marijuana, ruling sheriff’s deputies used an illegally placed GPS unit to track his movements, violated his due process rights and then misled attorneys about it and destroyed evidence.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-23-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 23, 2013:

  • Clay County, Florida: A deputy has been charged w driving under the influence after he was involved in a traffic crash. He was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
  • Washington Co, Pennsylvania: A state trooper is facing charges after police said he held a knife to his wife’s neck during an argument at their home. Authorities said  he is suspended without pay following the alleged incident.
  • Update: Denver, Colorado (First reported 04-09-13): Sheriff’s deputy was formally charged with aiding the escape of an inmate from the Denver Detention Center.
  • Imperial County, California: Sheriff’s deputy was arrested today on suspicion of oral copulation by a public official against the victim’s will.
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 01-30-13): An officer pleaded guilty to charges that he extorted a tow truck driver and also sold firearms to a convicted felon. He is the eleventh officer to be charged in the incident. Under the plea deal, he faces up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $750,000, a period of supervision following release, fees related to his court costs and restitution for money he received during the investigation.
  • Update: Miami, Florida (First reported 02-04-13): An officer was convicted of accepting hundreds of dollars in bribes to protect a Liberty City check-cashing business. He has been sentenced to one year and three months in prison.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A former police officer who had been drinking when he hit a construction worker, and left the scene, has been sentenced to 60 days home detention. He must also pay restitution.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-20-13 to 04-22-13

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 20 to Monday, April 22, 2013:

  • Lake City, Iowa: The assistant police chief allegedly harassed a woman with hundreds of text messages, sent photos with offensive comments about her, and, when he was caught, bribed someone else to take the blame. He has been fired.
  • Update: Sacramento, California (First reported 03-25-13): A former police officer was sentenced to one year in jail for falsifying drunken driving reports and lying at a State Department of Motor Vehicles administrative hearing. The judge said that he was particularly disturbed by how the officer’s actions threatened the integrity of the criminal justice system and violated due process of the accused.
  • North Charleston, South Carolina: A police officer is facing charges of driving under the influence after the Highway Patrol says she wrecked an NCPD cruiser while off-duty.
  • Orange County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on charges of domestic battery. Officers said they observed him scream obscenities and push a woman while they were facing each other.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A former officer pleaded guilty to improperly accessing a law enforcement database to provide information to a drug dealer who was under federal investigation. He was fired after the allegations came up.
  • St. Mary Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s office deputy has been arrested in an investigation of drugs being brought into the parish jail. He was booked on multiple counts and has been fired.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (First reported 02-08-13): An officer already facing allegations that he raped a juvenile girl was arrested again as new charges came up. He sent explicit messages and photos of his genitalia to an 11-year-old girl.
  • Twin Falls County, Idaho: A deputy has been arrested on charges of felony domestic battery. He was arraigned on three counts, including inflicting traumatic injury.
  • New York, New York: A veteran police officer is accused of filing phony tax returns for himself and others. He was charged with filing fraudulent tax returns over 5 years.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington (First reported 04-04-13): A police officer pleaded not guilty to an assault charge stemming from a confrontation with a handcuffed man who had assaulted the officer’s wife.
  • Beaverton, Oregon: A police officer was arrested on accusations that he lied to obtain public assistance, including food stamps.
  • Update: Delcambre, Louisiana (First reported 12-12-12): A former police officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery. He committed the crimes, while on duty, after pulling over a woman during a traffic stop.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A now-former police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but will serve only seven, for allegedly selling seized guns. He had been assigned to a task force that seized guns from people unqualified to own them. Prosecutors say he then sold some of those guns to known criminals over the course of up to three years.
  • Mercer County, New Jersey: A deputy has been fired for driving under the influence of alcohol.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-19-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 19, 2013:

  • Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: A police officer, caught on video tasering a man, has been placed on administrative leave. An internal investigation is underway. The man in the video says he didn’t deserve the treatment he received from the three officers.
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama: A former police sergeant pleaded guilty to a criminal civil rights charge for using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually assault a woman. “This former officer did the unimaginable when he used his police powers to sexually assault this victim,” said the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.
  • Schenectady, New York: A police detective has been put on unpaid leave after being arrested for an alleged “road rage” incident. He has been charged with menacing and placed on unpaid leave from the department.
  • Davie, Florida: A suspended officer is on trial. He has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting his teenage step-daughter. He faces a maximum 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
  • Update: Mobile, Alabama (First reported 12-14-12): A former police officer pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge, admitting that conspired with a narcotics dealer to sell marijuana. He resigned his position amid the drug investigation.
  • Harford County, Maryland: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested and suspended without pay for allegedly giving a towing company privileged information about people whose cars were subject to being repossessed and then being paid for the information. “Police are empowered with specific tools and resources to do their job effectively. Misuse of those resources is not only unethical, it is illegal,” said the sheriff.
  • Northampton County, Pennsylvania: A deputy sheriff was charged with illegally providing a confidential firearms permit application to a councilwoman. He faces a felony of illegally disseminating firearms information and a misdemeanor of obstructing the administration of law.
  • San Luis Obispo, California: A narcotics officer is facing criminal allegations of perpetuating a scheme to acquire and sell drugs while on the local beat. He entered not guilty please to a felony charge of bribery and one felony charge of extortion.
  • Erie County, New York: A former sheriff’s deputy admitted she used pepper spray on a handcuffed inmate being escorted by two other deputies. She pleaded guilty to a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law.

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