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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-06-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, February 6, 2013:

  • Herkimer, New York: A police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in his son’s shooting at a motel. He says he shot his son after mistaking him for an intruder. ow.ly/huahy
  • Swansea, Massachusetts: A long-time police officer is facing drunken driving charges. He reportedly left the scene of a crash; the responding officer claims the offending officer drove over a snow bank and away from the officer when he first approached the car. ow.ly/htTg9
  • Abita Springs, Louisiana: A police lieutenant was found guilty of cocaine distribution. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison after a judge decided that he fit the definition of a habitual offender. ow.ly/htPzr
  • Update: Vero Beach, Florida: A now-former officer has been sentenced to life in prison on three counts of lewd or lascivious sexual battery. He was convicted on the charges involving a victim who is now a senior in high school. ow.ly/htPaL
  • Henderson County, North Carolina: A state trooper has been arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol. His driver’s license was immediately revoked during his arrest, and he resigned from his position. ow.ly/htCmV
  • Martinsburg, West Virginia: A woman has filed a lawsuit against a sheriff’s deputy and the Berkeley County Council for being falsely arrested and wrongfully imprisoned after spending a night in jail. ow.ly/ht6nj
  • Houston County, Georgia: An appeals court affirmed a federal court ruling that a former state trooper did not have arguable probable cause to arrest a man who cursed him during an incident. They found that the man’s speech was protected.  ow.ly/ht4mB
  • San Luis Obiuspo, California: A detective has been arrested by the FBI and charged with one count of bribery in a criminal complaint. The Department of Justice Report says, “he allegedly took cash and narcotics from two individuals. In return, the police officer allegedly provided these ‘cooperating witnesses’ with narcotics for their own use, as well as fake drugs to sell to drug dealers.” ow.ly/ht3V2

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-05-13

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, February 5, 2013:

  • Miami-Dade, Florida: The police department has fired a sergeant and two officers and suspended three others without pay in what is considered one of the worst incidents of delinquency in the department’s history. The accusation include: failing to respond to emergency calls, pretending to be on calls when they weren’t and falsifying police records. ow.ly/hrQER
  • Valrico, Florida: A now-former officer  charged with possessing child pornography changed his plea deal to guilty. He retired nine days after federal authorities searched his home and seized a computer, saying they found illegal images of children. ow.ly/hrwry
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer has been charged with three counts of robbery and three counts of official misconduct. He is accused of robbing men during traffic stops. ow.ly/hredj
  • Tattnall County, Georgia: A deputy was sentenced to nine years in prison for selling illegal drugs he stole from the evidence room. ow.ly/hrd95
  • Cobb County, Georgia: Another deputy was arrested in connection with alleged sexual assault of a female inmate. ow.ly/hrcQ1
  • Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania: An officer has been fired. He allegedly used “unreasonable force” on a suspect in custody and then lied about the incident. The mayor recommended he be fired for “conduct unbecoming a police officer.” ow.ly/hr9wW

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-02-13 to 02-04-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, February 2 to Monday, February 4, 2013:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged; he fired 13 bullets in the direction of a building. After the police were called to the scene, he made a false 911 call to distract them. http://ow.ly/hoLTn
  • Independence, Iowa: A police officer who had an expired driver’s license when his cruiser hit a woman’s car is being sued. A councilman says that they city will defend the officer, but that the officer clearly screwed up and got caught in this situation. ow.ly/hnX7K
  • Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested on drug and child endangerment charges. She called the police to her house after a dispute with her son, and they found her drug paraphernalia and it smelled of marijuana. http://ow.ly/hnXci
  • Northbrook, Illinois: A 12-year veteran has been charged with felony counts of residential burglary and official misconduct. He was caught on video stealing jewelry from a home he had been sent to check on. http://ow.ly/hnXkx
  • Lake County, Illinois: A deputy who tracked predators is being investigated. He allegedly had sexual contact with a teenage boy. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.  http://ow.ly/hoIja
  • Orient, Ohio: An officer has been accused of sexual assault on a female staff member at a prison. He has been placed on indefinite leave. http://ow.ly/hnXtY
  • Update: Miami, Florida: Another officer has been charged. He recently resigned while under investigation and pleaded guilty to extortion charges. The charges are related to a FBI corruption probe involving a police-protection racket for a sports-betting ring operating out of a barbershop. http://ow.ly/hoOnU
  • East St. Louis, Illinois: An officer who lied to federal agents about demanding sex from a traffic violator was vilified in federal court as a prime example of poor law enforcement that fosters rampant crime in his community. He was ordered to 30 months in prison, which is 2 ½ times the maximum recommendation under sentencing guidelines. He pleaded guilty to lying about the encounter. http://ow.ly/hoVbe
  • Hanford, California: An officer entered a no-contest plea to carrying narcotics with intent to sell. He has resigned from the department. Two witnesses testified that the officer supplied them with prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia, and meth. http://ow.ly/hoWmD
  • Macon, Georgia: A police officer pleaded guilty to violating his oath of officer and was sentenced to five years probation. He was on duty when he drove a 20-year-old to an inn, where he had sex with her. http://ow.ly/hoZPa

The Truth About Police Lies

Professor Michelle Alexander in the New York Times:

Exposing police lying is difficult largely because it is rare for the police to admit their own lies or to acknowledge the lies of other officers. This reluctance derives partly from the code of silence that governs police practice and from the ways in which the system of mass incarceration is structured to reward dishonesty. But it’s also because police officers are human.

Research shows that ordinary human beings lie a lot — multiple times a day — even when there’s no clear benefit to lying. Generally, humans lie about relatively minor things like “I lost your phone number; that’s why I didn’t call” or “No, really, you don’t look fat.” But humans can also be persuaded to lie about far more important matters, especially if the lie will enhance or protect their reputation or standing in a group.

The natural tendency to lie makes quota systems and financial incentives that reward the police for the sheer numbers of people stopped, frisked or arrested especially dangerous. One lie can destroy a life, resulting in the loss of employment, a prison term and relegation to permanent second-class status. The fact that our legal system has become so tolerant of police lying indicates how corrupted our criminal justice system has become by declarations of war, “get tough” mantras, and a seemingly insatiable appetite for locking up and locking out the poorest and darkest among us.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-01-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 1, 2013:

  • Quantico, Virginia: Virginia State Police are conducting a criminal investigation of the Quantico Police Department after an audit revealed $1,000 in cash was missing, along with marijuana and a handgun belonging to the police chief. The chief resigned after he took a polygraph test. http://ow.ly/hjnYw
  • Boulder City, Nevada: Police Lieutenant Pieter Walkers murdered his wife and son before committing suicide. http://ow.ly/hjohH
  • Petersburg, Virginia: The son of the police chief, also a police officer, is facing a DWI charge and allegations of driving that could have endangered lives. He failed all standard field sobriety tests and refused a breath test. Another officer obtained a warrant for his blood, but test results have not yet returned an exact blood alcohol content reading. http://ow.ly/hkjq6
  • Huntington, West Virginia: A men has filed a federal lawsuit against a police officer and the city, alleging the officer violated his civil rights by beating him with a deadly weapon after he had been handcuffed. http://ow.ly/hkmdl
  • Update: Everett, Washington: The death of a mentally ill man at the jail has been ruled a homicide. Homicide is a medical term that means a person died as a result of another’s actions. It is up to police and prosecutors to decide whether those actions may constitute a crime, such as manslaughter or murder, or were legally justified. Police officials said the case remains under active investigation. http://ow.ly/hkn2H
  • Dayton, Ohio: A lawsuit filed by a mother and her mentally challenged son against the city and two police officers has been settled for $10,000. The suit claimed police officers assaulted the boy after mistaking his speech impediment for disrespect. http://ow.ly/hknDO
  • Update: Culpeper, Virginia: A jury found an officer guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman. He could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter conviction, one to five for shooting into an occupied vehicle and two to 10 for shooting into a vehicle resulting in death. http://ow.ly/hkpdV
  • Ahoskie, North Carolina: A police officer was arrested and charged with raping a teenager. Officer Andreas Snape was charged with more than 20 counts. Snape was fired. ow.ly/hlqKV
  • New York, New York: The family of a 7-year-old New York boy is suing police and the city for $250 million, saying cops handcuffed and interrogated the boy for ten hours after a scuffle over lunch money at school. ow.ly/hlq1x
  • Update: San Diego, California: Six women arrested during the Occupy protests are suing the law enforcement agencies over a range of alleged civil-rights abuses. One has said that law-enforcement officers used excessive force to arrest her. ow.ly/hlpb7
  • Camden, New Jersey: An officer was sentenced to 46 months in prison. While in uniform and on duty, he engaged in a conspiracy with other officers to deprive individuals of their rights by charging them with planted evidence; threatening certain individuals with arrest using planted evidence if they did not cooperate with law enforcement; conducting illegal searches without a search warrant or consent; stealing money during illegal searches and arrests; paying for cooperation and information with illegal drugs; failing to report found drugs and stashing them to use as planted evidence; and preparing false police reports or testifying falsely in court to conceal his actions. ow.ly/hlmSO

Corruption in the Philadelphia Courts

From Philly.com:

Nine current and former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges were charged with conspiracy and fraud Thursday, capping a three-year FBI probe into what authorities said was rampant ticket-fixing and pervasive corruption on the bench.

The charges, outlined in a 77-count indictment, described “a well-understood conspiracy of silence” that created two distinct courts: one where typical citizens paid for their infractions, and a second where offenders with the right connections won acquittals or saw their fines or cases disappear.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 1-31-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 31, 2013:

  • Update: Twin Rivers, California: About four months after five men filed a lawsuit accusing officers of brutality and false arrest, the district has paid $650,000 to settle the matter. The suit claims they were arrested for no reason and taken to the district police station, where one officer allegedly choked three of them. They were all eventually jailed, but the District Attorney’s Office declined to file any charges against them. ow.ly/hjn6o
  • Salida, Colorado: The police arrested a lawyer who shouted, “Don’t forget your constitutional right to remain silent,” to a man who was being detained. The “obstruction” charge was later dismissed. ow.ly/hjkOi
  • Update: Grand Forks, North Dakota: The officer accused of holding a gun to another man’s head at a party pleaded not guilty in court. He faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison if he is convicted because a weapon was used. The felony charge of terrorizing carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. ow.ly/hjckH
  • Eric County Pennsylvania: An officer has been sentenced to two-to-six years in prison for drunkenly striking a motorcyclist stopped for a red light blood. He was blood tested and was three times the legal limit. A black box in his car showed he had been going 60 mph. ow.ly/hiWgr
  • New Bern, North Carolina: An investigator with the sheriff’s officer has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a woman he has charged with a crime. The investigation is ongoing. It is not a crime to have relations with someone he or she has charged with a crime, but it would be a conflict of interest in court. ow.ly/hiRKk
  • Morrow, Ohio: A judge found a police officer guilty of stealing from a fallen deputy’s memorial golf outing and then repaying the funds with money stolen from a client of his printing business. http://ow.ly/hkdCI
  • New Haven, Connecticut: An officer was arraigned in court on charges that he allegedly hit a woman whom he had been dating. He is charged with third degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and threatening in the first-degree. He has been placed on administrative leave. ow.ly/hisqr
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer has been suspended from duty after being charged with domestic assault. ow.ly/hipQY
  • San Mateo County, California: A sheriff’s deputy faces felony grand theft charges after he stole a trumpet from a hotel. It was valued at $2,000. ow.ly/himyf

7-year old Arrested, Handcuffed, Interrogated

From ABC News:

Wilson Reyes, a student at Public School 114 in the Bronx reportedly got into a fight with a fellow student in December after he was accused of taking $5 of lunch money that had fallen on the ground in front of him.  Responding to a complaint of assault and robbery, the police were called and took the boy to the local police precinct where officers allegedly handcuffed and interrogated him for ten hours, according to the lawsuit.

NYPD says the lawsuit is exaggerated.  The amount of money sought–$250 million–seems to be.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 1/30/13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 30, 2013:

  • Nora Springs, Iowa: A police officer was arrested and charged with child endangerment. He allegedly choked his victim, causing him to have difficulty breathing and leaving a red mark on his neck. http://ow.ly/hgEhZ
  • Law Cruces, New Mexico: The city has settled a civil rights lawsuit filed against police alleging unlawful arrest and excessive use of force by three officers. In exchange for the money, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against the officers. http://ow.ly/hgTIr
  • Update: Irving, Texas: The trooper who conducted a roadside cavity search will be terminated. The Department of Public Safety called it an unconstitutional search without probable cause. ow.ly/hgC04
  • Chicago, Illinois: A now-former police officer whose undercover work led to charges in separate public corruption probes was himself charged with extorting a tow truck operator and selling firearms to a convicted felon. He is the 11th police officer charged in the tow truck scandal. ow.ly/hgxVc
  • Update: Evansville, Indiana: A 68-year-old Evansville woman, who was at home with her granddaughter when police in SWAT gear tossed in flash grenades into her home, and forced their way inside to serve a warrant, has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department. Police came up empty-handed in a search for evidence about threatening Internet posts but only after damaging the house, handcuffing the woman and her granddaughter and seizing their computers, according to the lawsuit. http://ow.ly/hgUjo
  • Galveston, Texas: A woman allegedly assaulted by a police officer expressed relief after learning that the officer was fired from his job. “To have a member of this organization violate the trust of the public just cannot be tolerated,” said the police chief. ow.ly/hglVA
  • Chicago, Illinois: A family is furious over what they claim was an unjustified shooting of their 7-month-old miniature bull terrier. They also say that after shooting the dog, the officer put his gun back in his holster, and calmly finished writing the ticket for their van. The officers came back, three days later, after the family had contacted the media, to give them a ticket for not having their dog on a leash. ow.ly/hgkpL
  • Update: Sacramento, California: A now-former police officer accused of raping a woman in her 70s has a court date, and the alleged victim is supposed to testify. ow.ly/hgAUc
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A National Guard lieutenant colonel has filed a lawsuit against several Metro Police officers, alleging he was assaulted and wrongfully detained when they took him to the ground and handcuffed him after a confrontation. ow.ly/heE25

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