National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

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.  ow.ly/IQBAp
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was arrested on assault and sex offense charges after a domestic dispute. ow.ly/ISpj8
  • Pennsylvania State Police: A trooper was charged with reckless endangerment after a firearms mishap during which he fatally shot a colleague. ow.ly/ISqkH
  • 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.  ow.ly/ISXEx
  • Update: Berkeley County, South Carolina (First reported 01-06-14) : The sheriff who had been arrested for DUI has resigned and has been indicted. ow.ly/ISYwC
  • Richmond County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested and fired over allegations he abused a 12-year-old while off duty but still in uniform. ow.ly/IT02n
  • 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. ow.ly/ITDjW
  • Miami, Florida: Two officers were fired for falsifying police reports to protect informants. No criminal charges against them appear to be forthcoming. ow.ly/ITF5V

Grandfather Paralyzed by Police

From CNN:

It started out as a morning walk, but ended up with a 57-year-old grandpa laying partially paralyzed in an Alabama hospital bed.

Sureshbhai Patel required spinal fusion surgery to repair damage to his back when his family says police twisted his arm and forced him to the ground.

Video at the CNN link.   When the police department was asked for an explanation, a spokesperson said that Patel reached into his pocket while speaking to the officers on the scene.   Hmm.

Will ‘Community Policing’ Help?

From the New Republic:

On January 30, the USCM released a report on strengthening “police-community” relations in American cities. The six-page report came full of recommendations for everything from “youth study circles” to new equipment. The report was completed with the help of a working group of police chiefs, including Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the man appointed by President Obama to chair his Task Force on 21st Century Policing in response to rising unrest around around the issue of police brutality.

Absent from their suggestions, however, was a single mention of officer discipline….

What the #BlackLivesMatter protests made clear is that communities of color are increasingly fed up with the over-policing of our neighborhoods, extrajudicial killings of unarmed black people and the failures of the justice system to hold killer cops accountable. To ignore those complaints and suggest that the issue is merely one of distrust is dishonest, and it evades the very obvious fact that police brutality is a national problem that persists, in part, because cops can get away with it.

I’ve commented before on “community policing,” but it’s worth noting again how troubling that term is. “Community policing” reframes the conversation around police reform from one that addresses police brutality to one that addresses the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, as though they’re mutually combative. The relationship between the two isn’t the issue. It’s the manner in which law enforcement relates to communities of color that’s proven deadly, time and time again.

Comedian Chris Rock provided an apt analogy for this during his recent New York Magazine interview.

“If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, ‘Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.’ It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner.”

Similarly, ending police brutality isn’t up to the communities that are brutalized.

Read the whole thing.

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-10-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, February 10, 2015:

  • Kensington, California: An officer who also serves as head of the police union was suspended after having his gun, badge, handcuffs, and ammunition stolen by a sex worker in Reno, Nevada. The incident happened months ago, but the officer had not been disciplined until the incident received media attention. ow.ly/IKXhK
  • Cedar Grove, West Virginia: The police chief was arrested and charged with two counts each of domestic battery, domestic assault, and brandishing for pointing a gun at his wife and striking her brother with the gun. This is the chief’s second arrest. Last year, he pled guilty to assault for an altercation in a parking lot.  ow.ly/ILd7v
  • Detroit, Michigan: The City settled with an innocent man wrongly convicted of rape because police withheld evidence from the prosecutors and defense attorneys. The victim was awarded $2.5 million for the 26 years he spent in prison. ow.ly/ILbrV
  • Isle of Wight, Virginia: A deputy was charged with sexual battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor. He was working as a school resource officer when the alleged crimes took place. ow.ly/ILgAn
  • Lexington, Kentucky: An officer was charged with harassment and misconduct for altercation with a suspect. ow.ly/ILhuh
  • Perth Amboy, New Jersey: The police chief was indicted on official misconduct and tampering charges. He allegedly assigned department mechanics to illegally work on personal vehicles.  ow.ly/ILjwt
  • Richland County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested for DUI. ow.ly/ILTaO
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 11-21-14): The officer who fatally shot a man in a public housing complex was indicted for manslaughter. According to the news report, the police commissioner called the victim, Akai Gurley, ““totally innocent” and characterized the shooting as an “unfortunate accident.”” http://nyti.ms/1E1X0FE
  •  Falfurrias, Texas: An officer was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.ow.ly/IPJyi

Baltimore’s Top Officials Struggling With the Basics

From the Baltimore Sun:

While seeking approval this week for a $150,000 settlement in a lawsuit alleging brutality by a Baltimore detective, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration did not tell the city spending board that taxpayers had already paid $100,000 to settle another lawsuit against the officer….

The administration vowed to provide more details about settlements after a Baltimore Sun investigation found that taxpayers had paid nearly $6 million since 2011 in lawsuits alleging misconduct by officers — including some who had been sued multiple times. The investigation also showed that city officials lacked a comprehensive system to track such misconduct.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-07-15 to 02-09-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, February 7 through Monday, February 09, 2015:

  • Coffeyville, Kansas: An officer was arrested in a prostitution sting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ow.ly/II7zK
  • Davidson County, Tennessee: A deputy was charged with aggravated assault, burglary, and vandalism after an alleged domestic dispute while on duty. ow.ly/II7YA
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: A now-former officer was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison after she pled guilty to reckless driving, violating her oath of office, and two counts of vehicular homicide. She was going 74 mph in a 35mph zone when she crashed into another car, killing both women inside. ow.ly/IIfyr
  • Fairfax County, Virginia: The sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a woman in custody. The 37-year-old woman apparently went into cardiac arrest after being tased. She had been taken into custody for assaulting a law enforcement officer. The Fairfax County Police will also investigate the incident. ow.ly/IKiJv
  • Paterson, New Jersey: The city settled a lawsuit that claimed officer recklessly caused an auto accident while in a police car. ow.ly/IKp8M
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (First reported 07-22-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to one day in prison and six months of house arrest. During a traffic stop, he took a driver into custody and drove him around in the back of his squad car until he learned the driver was a military veteran. The officer was charged with false imprisonment, official oppression, and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted on the first two counts but was convicted on the obstruction charge. According to the news report, the officer’s “career had been littered with complaints and lawsuits filed against him for incidents of police brutality and other inappropriate behavior.” In siding against the district attorney’s suggestion of 23 months in prison, the judge cited the officer’s “stellar” record and that such a sentence would be “unfair.” The former officer intends to appeal the conviction.  ow.ly/IKCU8
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (First reported 11-16-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to robbery and conspiracy charges. He and his accomplices robbed drug dealers and drug buyers of both cash and drugs. He was not offered a plea deal and faces up to 120 years and a $1.5 million fine for all charges. ow.ly/IKIFd
  • Adams County, Colorado: A deputy has been charged with perjury. His testimony in past cases is being investigated, as a result. ow.ly/IKOr1
  • Update: Salem, Virginia (First reported 12-16-14): A now-former police officer and DEA task force member was sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison. He solicited and received sexual favors from at least one suspect in exchange for potential support at sentencing. http://ow.ly/ILWlN
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: An officer was charged with ten felonies for selling police equipment to a pawn shop. http://ow.ly/IKTdG

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-06-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 6, 2015:

  • Broward County, Florida: A deputy was arrested for firing his gun out of the window of a car.  ow.ly/IByZE
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Two officers were arrested for beating a motorist in 2013 after a video surfaced that contradicted their account of what happened. ow.ly/IBBsA
  • Victoria, Texas: An officer was indicted for DUI and criminal mischief for hitting a parked car while intoxicated and off duty. ow.ly/ICkVS
  • Niles, Ohio: A patrolman was suspended for 30 days for violating policies related to use of force and unlawful detention. He followed and threatened a romantic couple, he knew the woman personally. He has completed the suspension and is back on duty. No criminal charges will be filed. ow.ly/ICsmB
  • Huntsville, Alabama: An officer was arrested for knocking a man unconscious in an off-duty altercation at a restaurant. She is on leave pending the outcome of her case. ow.ly/ICCEv
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer ran a red light and hit another car. According to the police report, the officer was doing just over twice the speed limit and was distracted at the time of the accident.  ow.ly/ICLmz
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: A detective was arrested for DUI after he was found asleep in his car after a night out. ow.ly/ICSw2
  • Yamhill County, Oregon: A now-former deputy was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for assaulting his then-girlfriend’s 4-year-old son. According to the news report, the boy suffered serious brain injury as a result of the assault. ow.ly/ICTCN
  • Providence, Rhode Island:  A now-former detective pled guilty to misdemeanor assault. In exchange for the guilty plea, his earlier felony conviction for striking a suspect with a flashlight was expunged from his record, as the judge for that case declared a mistrial. He was sentenced to one year in jail, suspended, and probation. After five years, he can move to expunge the misdemeanor conviction as well. http://bit.ly/1AbZ6nj 

Accountability Measures Getting Talked About. Awaiting Enactment…

From the Washington Post:

More than a dozen states are considering new legislation aimed at increasing police accountability in the wake of incidents in Ferguson, Mo.; Staten Island, N.Y.; and Cleveland that left unarmed black men dead at the hands of officers.

Dozens of bills addressing body cameras for police have been filed in at least 13 states. Other proposed measures would change the way police departments report officer-involved shootings, racial profiling and the way courts deal with low-level offenders.

“There is a concrete coherent legislative agenda that we are pushing for,” said Cornell Brooks, president and chief executive of the NAACP. “We’ve been doing this from state capital to state capital, as well as here in Washington, D.C.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-05-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 5, 2015:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A sergeant was charged with providing false identification information when turning in three guns to a gun give-back program. He became nervous and tried to leave but other officers stopped and questioned him. Upon stopping him, they determined he was carrying a firearm and told him to provide his permit to carry. His identification did not match the name and birthday he provided when turning in the firearms. The three weapons had been reported stolen.   http://ow.ly/Iw4tV
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was reassigned to administrative duty after use-of-force incident against three middle school students. The three female students were taken to the hospital. The police union stated that the use of force was justified, but the investigation is ongoing.  ow.ly/IxLVQ
  • Update: Fort Collins, Colorado (First reported 09-19-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to charges related to stalking a woman. He used police resources to find out where she lived and worked. ow.ly/IxNyY
  • Horry County, South Carolina: An officer was fired after his arrest for DUI. He was driving the wrong way down a state road. http://ow.ly/IytlZ
  • Pasadena, Texas: The school district and school resource officer are being sued by a former student who claims he was beaten with a metal baton for swearing at the officer. http://ow.ly/IyMuy
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas: An officer was placed on paid leave during an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident at his home. http://ow.ly/IyQQc
  • DeLand, Florida: An officer resigned after being pulled over with a known gang member in his car and marijuana that was found on the floorboard. http://ow.ly/IySHj
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A homicide detective was indicted for obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. He allegedly lied to investigators and helped his lover flee the jurisdiction. His paramour was wanted for stabbing her husband to death. ow.ly/Izu5G

Two Philly Cops Charged With Brutality

From Philly.com:

[The arrest] on May 29, 2013, was allegedly so violent that District Attorney Seth Williams on Thursday charged two Philadelphia police officers with aggravated assault, conspiracy and related crimes.

After seeing the blood, [girlfriend] Scannapieco began asking questions.

She eventually found surveillance video, at a barber shop-auto detailing business on the block, that would exonerate Rivera and lead to the arrest of the officers who prosecutors say beat him without provocation and then falsely arrested him.

“This type of behavior has absolutely no place in our city, and I will prosecute these two officers to the fullest extent of the law,” Williams said.

The accused officers, Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight, turned themselves in to police Thursday.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey suspended the officers with intent to dismiss. Before the video of their arrest of Rivera surfaced, the officers’ account of what happened had been accepted as fact, Ramsey said….

Without the video, Rivera would have had little chance challenging the testimony of two police officers.

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