National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-22-12

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, May 22, 2012:

  • A Prince George’s County, Maryland police officer has been charged with DUI after he crashed his patrol car. Officer Daniel Gonzalez was off-duty when the crash occurred
  • A Connecticut police officer is on trial for manslaughter for killing a teenager. Authorities say Michael Koistinen had been drinking and speeding when he struck Henry Dang. Koistinen was fired from the force and his father, Police Sgt. Robert Koistinen awaits trial for hindering the investigation
  • East Ridge, Tennessee officer Sean Merriman pleaded guilty today to leaving the scene of an accident. Merriman wrecked his Jeep Cherokee, but his blood was not drawn to determine if he was over the legal limit. Merriman is on paid leave and the incident will be expunged from his record in 30 days
  • Porter County, Indiana officer Ryan Fenters pleaded guilty to OWI on Election Night 2010 – after celebrating the election of Sheriff Dave Lain. Fenters was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident, but that charge was dismissed under an agreement with prosecutors
  • A former Jersey City man who accused an officer of excessive force in 2005 will receive a $185,000 settlement approved by the city council. Samy Gattas said Officer Michael Gonzalez shoved him into a police car after Gattas questioned the officer’s demands. Gattas was initially charged with disorderly conduct, but that was dropped by prosecutors
  • Canton, Ohio cop fired for a pattern of verbal abuse and threats is seeking reinstatement through arbitration proceedings

Police Chiefs Unable to Discipline Bad Cops

Sunday’s Wall Street Journal reported that Thomas Dale, the Police Commissioner of New York’s Nassau County is asking the legislature for the power to fire his own officers (subscription only), a prerogative that few New York police officials have.


The legislation comes after months of embarrassing news for the 2,400-member Long Island police department.

A former officer is being investigated over allegations he met with a mistress dozens of times while on duty before resigning in April. Just weeks earlier, in March, the Nassau County district attorney’s office charged three former high-ranking police officials with helping to cover up a theft allegedly committed by the son of a major benefactor. The officials have pleaded not guilty.

Before Mr. Dale took office, County Executive Ed Mangano closed the crime lab last year after faulty procedures came to light. Before that, more than a dozen officers were disciplined after an internal investigation found they failed to investigate claims of domestic abuse by a 24-year-old woman who was later killed by her ex-boyfriend.

Dale wants to fire seven officers on his force, but under the present union contract, officers can call in outside arbitrators in disciplinary matters. The union has vowed to challenge the reform legislation after its likely passage.

Welcome to

Welcome to! My name is Tim Lynch and I work on criminal justice issues here at Cato.

This site is one component of our new National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (NPMRP). The purpose of the project is to gather news reports about police misconduct in America in a fair and unbiased way. Our objective is to study the scope of the problem and to identify policies that can minimize misconduct.

We welcome feedback from readers — so if you think we have made an error, let us know. And if you have seen a credible news story about police misconduct that we have not already reported, we would like to hear from you — please use this form for that purpose.

This project is a work-in-progress. As time goes by, we will expand our reporting capacity and make other improvements. One easy way that you can help this project is by spreading the word about this new site in the coming weeks and months. Thanks for visiting!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-11-12

Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misonduct News Feed for this Wednesday, April 11, 2012:

  • Jonesville MI police chief accused of hitting cuffed autistic 8yr-old who left school with a baton in the back of a police car after he left school while it was in session. [2]
  • Louisville KY cop w/history investigated after caught on cellphone camera slapping a cuffed teen during arrest [1]
  • 7 Clarkstown NY cops subject of suit by man claiming they beat him on video during a false arrest at a bar [3]
  • UC Davis CA report faults dysfunctional dept in pepperspray case where now-infamous Lt Pike used an unauthorized large type of pepperspray canister unnecessarily [0]
  • New Orleans LA cop sentenced to 20mo prison for lying about Katrina shooting death at Convention Center [0]
  • Suffolk Co NY police sued by videographer arrested after NYPD sgt ordered him to stop filming an arrest [3]
  • Bakersfield CA police dog attacked and injured the Kern Co CA sheriff’s ex-wife while police served a drug warrant on sheriff’s son and released their dog when they thought nobody was home. [0]
  • Toronto ON cop faulted by court for routinely arresting people before investigating to see what he could charge them with [3]
  • Cincinnati OH cop indicted on bribery, theft & record tampering over illegal immigrant extortion allegations [1]
  • Skiatook OK cop charged with perjury, resigned in January in investigation involving car chase [1]
  • Spokane WA cop under investigation after 8yr-old daughter shot herself in the leg with his duty weapon [1]
  • Seattle WA police policy keeping dashcam videos secret until they are destroyed criticized, but found legal by judge who fined the dept $2,300 for delaying the release of dashcam logs after a public records request. [5]
  • Fruitland Park FL cop resigns, other faces discipline for allegedly bribing informant to lie in drug case [0]
  • Pittsburgh PA police sued by road rage cop victim claiming dept failed to discipline him after prior outbursts [3]
  • Carbon Co UT sheriff’s capt resigns after charged with vandalizing 3 vehicles, including 2 gov cars, at auto shop [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-10-12

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • Washington DC police sued by mom of teen fataly shot in back, cops say he had BB gun, witnesses contradict [3]
  • Chicago IL & 4 cops lose $1.15mil in suit by family of trucker who died from crash injuries the family claims were ignored while he was detained by cops for too long. [0]
  • St Louis MO settles suit for unspecified sum to man shot by drunk off duty cop while trying to stop bar brawl [2]
  • Kansas City MO settles suit for $1mil to truck driver shot by cop walking out of donut shop during diabetic episode [0]
  • Albermarle Co VA deputy gets no jail in plea deal to assault charge after accused of raping incapacitated relative [3]
  • Corpus Christi TX cop arrested for allegedly coercing 15yr-old girl to engage in sex acts via internet [0]
  • Boise ID cops fatally shoot dog neighbors call friendly after letting it out then blaming owner, who wasn’t home, for failing to control his dog. [4]
  • 3 Zion IL cops subject of suit for hitting pregnant woman & kids w/pepperspray during man’s false arrest at BBQ [3]
  • Bergen Co NJ sued by internal affairs sgt claiming he was demoted & retaliated against for reporting misconduct [5]
  • Carter Co MO deputy pleads guilty to possession of stolen firearms after sheriff pleads to similar charges [0]
  • Santa Fe NM cop caught masturbating on cruiser dashcam accused of harassing 18yr-old coffee shop employee [3]
  • US Border Patrol agent and his girlfriend charged w/conspiracy to buy firearms & ammo to smuggle into Mexico [0]
  • Honolulu HI cop arrested on multiple drug charges for allegedly growing marijuana & possessing 1lb of marijuana [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-09-12

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, April 9, 2012:

  • Beloit WI settles suit for $265k to teen injured by cop when thrown against cop car then strip searched in public [0]
  • Minneapolis Park MN cop sentenced to 18yrs for child porn possession & molesting 15yr-old boy over a period of 3yrs [0]
  • 2 Vernon CT cops sued by East Hartford CT cop claiming they used unreasonable force during his arrest on DV charges [0]
  • Louisville KY police sued by family whos dog was shot to death while teathered in yard by cops chasing suspect [0]
  • 2 Denver CO cops fired, rehired on appeal, now fired again after losing city’s appeal in DeHerrera beating case [0]
  • Seattle WA police questioned for detaining men at gunpoint after news story about them being falsely arrested [3]
  • Dartmouth MA cop resigns after arrest for groping dept store worker while on duty at mall assignment [1]
  • Lubbock TX airport cop arrested for trespassing & allegedly soliciting prostitution on public school property [1]
  • Anchorage AK police review policies over allegations of mishandled sexual assault complaints against convicted cop [0]
  • Edwardsville IL DARE cop suspended after arrested for allegedly taking cellphone videos of women at tanning salon [0]
  • Centerville TN cop arrested on official misconduct & bribery charges, wife & step son arrested for false report [0]
  • Hollywood FL cop in “Walt Disney the truth” case gets 90 days jail for role in cover up of his at-fault crash [0]
  • Port Jefferson OH cop gets probation for staging fake shootout scene to cover up for crashing his police cruiser [0]
  • Frankfort NY cop pleads guilty to official misconduct & forgery for illegally seizing fellow cop’s phone records [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 04-07-12 to 04-08-12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed over this weekend of April 7-8, 2012:

  • Pasadena CA police subject of FBI investigation over fatal shooting of unarmed teen in fake armed robbery call case [0]
  • 2 St Louis MO cops charged w/assault for punching cuffed teen suspects in the head in separate incidents [0]
  • Minneapolis MN police accused of assaulting news cameraman during #Occupy rally arrests [3]
  • Grand Junction CO ex-cop arrested on sexual assault of a child charges over alleged incident while still a cop [0]
  • Mocksville NC sued by 3 former high-ranking cops claiming they were fired for reporting police chief’s misconduct [5]
  • Connecticut state trooper fired for lying about income to get emergency food stamps while earning $124k [0]
  • Prince George’s Co MD cop faces theft & misconduct in office charges for allegedly stealing from evidence warehouse [0]

Stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-06-12

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, April 6, 2012:

  • Chicago IL sued by family of unarmed woman shot in back of head by off-duty cop who claimed self defense [4]
  • Pine Bluff AR cop investigated for using pepperspray on jr-high kids because they didn’t get to class fast enough [0]
  • Des Plaines IL cop suspended 4mo for his involvement in an excessive force incident instead of fired in apparent deal to testify against other cop in brutality case [2]
  • El Paso Co CO deputy w/history found guilty of careless driving in crash that killed female Air Force captain [0]
  • Pocahontas Co WV deputy indicted on 12 counts for sexually abusing 4 girls & 1 woman in the course of duty [0]
  • 3 New Haven CT cops arrested for interference, reckless endangerment & illegal discharge of firearms outside of bar [0]
  • Minnesota state passes police union-backed law that effectively kills civilian oversight of police in Minneapolis [5]
  • Santa Fe NM cop gets probation in plea to larceny, drug possession, stalking harassment & false imprisonment charges [0]
  • Westminster CO cop fired for unspecified reasons involving his investigation of high school sexting case [3]
  • Santa Fe NM cop caught on dashcam talking dirty to himself while masturbating in police cruiser while on duty [0]
  • Durham Co NC deputy resigns after arrest on assault charges in domestic dispute at his home [1]
  • Logansport IN cop fired for alleged misuse of city money involving unspecified purchase using city credit card [2]

Entering our third year of doing this I’m coming to the realization that I no longer have the ability to consistently track reports like I did when I started this project due to the changing nature of my employment. As I’ve said many times, if I had a choice and it paid enough to feed and house my family this would be my one and only full time job… however, the world just doesn’t work that way and I have an obligation to provide for my family.

Of course, I would rather not let the project die. But my only other option is to hand it over to someone else who may have a different agenda than I did. Throughout the years I’ve been resistent to letting others do work on this project because I felt strongly that it was important to make it difficult for others to suggest there was a bias involved in the data I produced. However, at the same time, my reluctance to take the limelight and preference to make this about the project instead of about me ultimately limited how much I could promote it. So maybe it will be better off in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the same ideas that I had about it.

Of course, I want you, the readers and supporters of this project, to have a say in this as well. I plan on making the decision and handing things over within a week, so come up with your suggestions and proposals by Tuesday and we’ll see if any make sense by next Friday, and hopefully switch things over then.

Until then, and as always, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-05-12

Unfortunately, my current job interfered with my ability to track reports yet again today, still, here are the 9 reports I was able to track in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, April 5, 2012:

  • Harrodsburg KY cop sentenced to 3 years as part of a plea deal to 148 rape, sodomy & sex abuse charges involving a 14yr-old girl [0]
  • Calgary AB cop charged with assault over unspecified on-duty incident in July of 2011 [3]
  • Southern View IL cop is under investigation after accused of groping women at traffic stop. He had resigned from the Springfield PD in the midst of a sexual misconduct case before he was hired on at Southern View. [0]
  • Illinois 2 ex-cops in center of several false confession cases teaching state-funded police investigator classes [0]
  • St Cloud FL cop accidentally shoots a fellow cop during a drug raid, claiming he was concerned for his safety. However, police won’t say if they found anything or arrested anyone during the raid. [3]
  • New Orleans LA cop suspended after arrest on DUI charge while driving unmarked police cruiser, refused breath test [0]
  • Los Angeles Co CA sheriff’s capt investigated for taking ex-golf pro inmate to golf resort to get golf lessons [0]
  • Clinton Twp NJ cop suspended arrested on possession of steroids w/o prescription charge after investigation [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

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