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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-14-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 14, 2012:

  • Highland Heights, Kentucky: The former police chief pleaded guilty to two felony counts in federal court. He admitted to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by using police credit cards: “I abused credit cards entrusted to me… and I am extremely remorseful for that.” He faces a maximum of 22 years with a $225,000 fine for each count.
  • Update: Providence, Rhode Island: The police chief accused of stealing $714 from a stripper’s pocketbook was sentenced to serve six months in prison.
  • Miami, Florida: A police officer was fired after an internal affairs investigation recommended his termination for habitually speeding in his patrol car.
  • Jermyn, Pennsylvania: A police officer was dismissed for “legal violations for obtaining and presenting a first aid card.” All officers are required to have a first aid card.
  • Moulton, Alabama: An officer was charged with torture and willful abuse of a child. He allegedly whipped an 8-year-old girl so severely that she had to be taken to the hospital. “Theses are very serious allegations, and this is very disheartening for the department,” said the police chief. “When you go into law enforcement you are charged to uphold the law. Not only are these allegations disheartening to me and our department, but law enforcement in general.”
  • Aransas Pass, Texas: Two officers have been fired following claims of misconduct and mistakes involving criminal investigations. They were fired following claims of missing evidence and shoddy criminal investigations.
  • Seattle, Washington: A police lieutenant was charged with violating a court order to stay away from his wife, adding a new allegation in the case against him. He was initially arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.
  • Update: Prince George County, Maryland: An officer was given five years in prison and a $2.7 million fine for extortion in a cigarettes scheme.
  • Twin Rivers, California: A lawsuit alleges the abuse of five young men by police officers. It states that they were arrested for no apparent reason and three of them were brutally choked by an officer. The suit, which seeks monetary damages, alleges constitutional violations, including unreasonable seizure, excessive force, and derelict supervision and training.
  • Portland, Oregon: Federal civil rights investigators have found “reasonable cause” to believe that police use “unnecessary or unreasonable force” with persons who have mental illness, reports the U.S. Justice Department. In the 42-page letter, there is an outline for remedies including training and new policies to investigate police misconduct. “We found instances that support a pattern of dangerous used of force against persons who posed little or no threat and who could not, as a result of their mental illness, comply with officer’s commands,” says the report.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-13-12

Here are the 8 stories of Police Misconduct Tracked for Thursday, September 13, 2012:

  • Pinellas Park, Florida: The man shot by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper Monday morning at a cemetery was the cemetery’s owner. He is a Tampa man who has no criminal history and has held a concealed-weapons permit. Clifford Work remained hospitalized in fair condition as questions lingered about why a trooper shot the 48-year-old businessman.
  • New York, New York: A man has filed a lawsuit against officers who he says engaged him in a “brutal and sadistic” beating.
  • Update: Reading, Pennsylvania: Two officers were reinstated after being fired for a stun-gun scandal.
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts: Police Chief Bonilla has been indicted on multiple charge by a grand jury. They include trick, scheme or device to mislead in the procurement of supplies; fraudulent conversion of city property; unlawful use of official position; conspiracy; and extortion or attempted extortion. “These indictments allege that Bonilla, acting in his position as deputy police chief, fraudulently transferred ownership of 13 motor vehicles that belonged to the Lawrence Police Department to an automotive sales agency with a close affiliation to Mayor William Lantigua,” according to the District Attorney’s office.
  • Upland, Pennsylvania: A lawsuit has been filed against officers for assault and battery, failure to investigate, and malicious prosecution.
  • Brentwood, New Hampshire: A police lieutenant who retired after an internal investigation into missing evidence has been indicted on felony theft charges. Those charges include counts of receiving stolen property and theft by unauthorized taking for allegedly stealing a rifle from an evidence room.
  • Wheatland, California: An officer was charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal crash.
  • Kansas City, Kansas: An officer scratched a trooper, and head-butted a colleague during his drunk driving arrest. The officer pleaded guilty in court.

Government Installs Cameras to Monitor Speed Cameras

From the Washington Post:

This is 100 percent “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” crazy. But true. It has to be true: My brain is not sophisticated enough to create something so meta and surreal from scratch.

WTOP’S Ari Ashe is reporting that Prince George’s County is mounting cameras to monitor its traffic cameras. This comes following a half dozen incidents of vandalism and general meanness toward the cameras in the county.

No Time to Consider Elderly Lady’s Medical Condition

From ABC News:

A Texas police department is defending an officer who is seen on a dashcam video pulling a 77-year-old woman out of her car during a traffic stop.

Sgt. Gene Geheb, an officer from the Keene Police Department, pulled Lynn Bedford over Aug. 19 for driving 66 mph in a 50 mph zone. But their stop grew heated when Bedford refused to hand over her driver’s license and insurance card, according to police reports and video from the officer’s dashcam. The officer was also wearing a microphone and camera.

Video at the link above.  This officer should have been much more patient.  He was polite at the start, but his fuse was much too short.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-12-12

Here are the 11 stories of misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 12, 2012:

  • Quartzite, Arizona: The police chief was fired for gross negligence and willful misconduct; he had workers run criminal background checks on people that he didn’t like.
  • Update: Fresno, California: An officer pleaded not guilty to raping an unconscious woman. His lawyer said that the charges are a “mischaracterization of a consensual encounter.” The complaint, however, says that the officer drugged and raped the woman, and  also accuses him of taking nude photos of her.
  • New Rochelle, New York: An officer was arrested for allegedly trying to send a sexually explicit video to an undercover investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl.
  • Duson, Louisiana: The assistant police chief was suspended amid allegations of wrongdoing, including unlawful arrests. He is also accused of giving false testimony and making an illegal search and seizure during the investigation into a missing 15-year-old girl.
  • Tooele County, Utah: A deputy had his law enforcement credentials suspended for driving drunk. “Drinking and driving is totally intolerable in our department,” said the county sheriff.
  • Piedmont, Alabama: An officer was fired for violations, including conduct unbecoming an officer. The department declined to release the details.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut: Two officers are being disciplined after either failing or refusing to take a drug test. “We take these kinds of offenses seriously,” said the police chief.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Two officers are accused of a utility theft scheme that netted them thousands of dollars. The warrant for the officers says that they were running the identical scheme at four residential properties.
  • Portland, Oregon: A man has filed a lawsuit against officers who shot him on his own property after he went outside with a gun to investigate what he thought were intruders on his lawn. He says the officers were negligent for failing to identify themselves, or give him any warning or command to drop his gun. According to the suit, once the man was shot by the front door of his home, his wife and five children, between the ages of 5 and 17, were ordered to leave the house – having to step around or over his wounded body – before officers moved in to get him medical care. Law enforcement never apologized to him or his family, the suit says.
  • King County, Washington: A 70 page report was released that says the sheriff’s review board has an “absence of serious deliberation and explicit reasoning.”
  • Madison County, Wisconsin: A woman is suing officers for using excessive force when they tased her no less than ten times during an arrest.


And Find Out Why Your Police Dept Destroyed Evidence

From the Dallas Morning News:

MESQUITE — A Garland police officer is on restricted duty after authorities say he fired as many as 41 shots at an apparently unarmed man last month, killing him.

Garland police also said Tuesday that dash-cam video revealed that Officer Patrick Tuter crashed his squad car into a truck driven by the suspect, Michael Vincent Allen, before the shooting started. Initial reports had said Allen had hit Tuter’s car, prompting the officer to open fire.

“It’s still under investigation,” said Garland police spokesman Officer Joe Harn. “We’re trying to find out exactly why he started shooting.”

Well, isn’t he cooperating?  Perhaps a video would shed some light on this, but note:

Wallace took cellphone pictures and video after the shooting stopped, but he said Mesquite police confiscated the phone and deleted the video and pictures.


H/T: Carlos Miller.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-11-12

Here are the 8 stories of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 11, 2012:

  • Albemarle, North Carolina: Investigators are probing the police department over allegations that a former drug detective may have taken evidence from crime scenes.
  • St. Louis, Michigan: A local family says their dog was shot and killed at the hands of a police officer. Lori Walmsley, a neighbor, says she saw the incident. Walmsley said the officer asked if the was dog hers.  She said “no,” but told the officer Scout wasn’t dangerous. She says the officer tried to catch the dog, who apparently didn’t want to be caught. The dog tried to run away and when cornered by the officer, let out a little growl. Walmsley says she couldn’t believe what happened next. “He just started shooting him, he just kept shooting him in the head,” she said. “I said, ‘What are you doing? He’s just a puppy!'”
  • Yonkers, New York: A man has filed suit against the city and officers, claiming that excessive force was used against him. He says officers struck him in the face with a baton and fractured his jaw while questioning him about a hit-and-run accident.
  • Opa-locka, Florida: When the FBI launched a sting at a notorious drug den, and later tied its members to a fatal armored car heist, they discovered that one of the alleged operatives at the helm of the narcotics ring was an Opa-locka police captain. Capt. Arthur Balom accepted bribes, provided the armored car killer with a bulletproof vest and helped sabotage the FBI’s drug sting, according to allegations made in court documents.
  • Fairfield County, Ohio: A deputy is on paid administrative leave after he was charged with domestic violence and abduction.
  • Fortuna, California: Parents, whose son was shot by an officer, are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit says that the man was unarmed and “posed no imminent threat of death or serious physical injury.”
  • Centreville, Maryland: A sheriff was accused of retaliating against a deputy. That deputy now seeks $10 million in damages in a lawsuit, alleging she was fired for accusing the sheriff of inappropriate touching.
  • Camden, New Jersey: An officer has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in planting drugs on suspects. He receive the maximum sentence from the judge, even though his lawyers asked for leniency.

Corrupt Police Department in Florida

From the Miami Herald:

When the FBI launched a sting at the notorious drug den, and later tied its players to a fatal 2010 armored car heist, they discovered to their surprise that one of the alleged operatives at the helm of the Back Blues narcotics ring was an Opa-locka police captain.

Capt. Arthur Balom, 44, accepted bribes, provided the armored car killer with a bulletproof vest and helped sabotage the FBI’s drug sting, according to allegations made in court documents.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-08-12 to 09-10-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 8 to Monday September 10, 2012:

  • New York, New York: An officer was fired for ticketing dead people. He says he did it to meet the NYPD’s supposedly non-existent monthly quotas.
  • Collingdale, Pennsylvania: An officer was suspended after she was arrested for an alleged DUI.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Two officers were arrested in one week. The chief has expressed his disappointment saying, “This agency shouldn’t be judged by the actions of one officer. We’re not going to sweep things under the rug, we’re going to take the appropriate action. If that means arresting and terminating an officer for those offenses, than so be it.”
  • Chicago, Illinois: An off-duty officer who crashed into a disabled car and killed two men pleaded guilty to a DUI. He was found walking away from the crash when he was apprehended. When taken to the hospital, his blood-alcohol level was about triple the legal amount. Previously, the officer has been involved in two other serious wrecks.
  • Update: Little Rock, Arkansas: Officer John Hastings has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 15-year-old boy. The autopsy indicates that the boy’s head was turned to the right, looking over his shoulder when he was shot in the head.
  • Collin County, Texas: A sergeant was arrested and accused of family violence assault, a misdemeanor. He is on administrative leave while the investigation continues.
  • Allen Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was arrested and accused of using the Sheriff’s Office credit card to purchase 6,949 gallons of gas with an approximate value of $24,300. If convicted he faces 15 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.
  • Palm Springs, California: A deputy has been arrested and booked on charges of possession of a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a hypodermic needle.

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