Ah, another weekend has come and gone and time yet again for another weekend review of the police misconduct reports our National Police Misconduct News Feed captured on Saturday and Sunday, April 10 and 11 of 2010.
- Farmers Branch Texas police have been accused of racial discrimination after allegedly arresting an Hispanic man for public intoxication and assaulting an officer… after he saved his neighbor from a house fire. The man claims that officers arrested him after he became angry that firefighters refused to help while he suffered from smoke inhalation after the rescue and when officers shoved his son… police claim he pushed one of them while drunk. This story actually came out earlier this month but a reader let us know we missed it… Thanks!
- Sidney Nebraska has settled one of two lawsuits filed by two women who were injured by an officer, who allegedly wasn’t paying attention while responding to a call, rear ended one vehicle and sent it spinning 100 feet into another car. The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum as part of a non-disclosure agreement within the settlement agreement. The other woman’s lawsuit is in the discovery phase and the officer resigned while under investigation after the accident.
- A Florida State Trooper died of a self-inflicted gunshot after he allegedly shot his wife to death during a domestic dispute. Police were called to the home by the trooper and apparently the shooting had happened before they arrived. Authorities say there were no red flags and the trooper had no record of complaints. Frankly, I don’t like to record these kinds of cases because they seem more tragic than anything else… but it is an instance of domestic violence and part of the statistical information this project gathers is meant to determine if domestic violence rates for police are higher than the norm as many people suggest they are. The couple had two sons, neither was home at the time.
- The Page County Virginia sheriff’s department is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a man claiming he was falsely charged and imprisoned after he was victimized in a type of extortion scheme by a police informant who had the help of the sheriff and other deputies. The informant bilked the man of 0ver $13k by telling him his ex-wife was involved in drugs and that he could save his son from her if he came up with the money. He alleges he was arrested after he complained about the scheme. He’s also suing the jail after he had two surgeries due to a MRSA infection he suffered while imprisoned. The former Page County sheriff is now in prison after being convicted for racketeering.
- A Rutland Vermont police officer who was shown in a video released earlier this week repeatedly shooting a shackled detainee with pepper-ball rounds is now the subject of a state criminal investigation. The police chief there claimed he didn’t see anything criminal about what happened, but the chief has been under fire already for failing to suspend another one of his officers who was under investigation on possession of child pornography allegations. The article cited above claims the rate of police misconduct in Vermont is 1%, however our 2009 statistical data indicates it was actually more than twice that at 2.2% and the rate, based on the first three months of this year, appears as if it will be the same this year at this pace.
- Two Prince George’s County Maryland police officers have been accused by witnesses of using excessive force on man who refused to leave a pizza shop where he was allegedly trying to get a job. Police and the shop owner claim the man was high and wasn’t rational. But witnesses say he didn’t seem to be a threat when officers beat and maced him outside the shop. The man claims he wasn’t on drugs and is demanding the results of the drug test he was given after his arrest when officers had him committed to a psych ward late last month after the arrest, but those were not released to him. He was not charged over the incident.
- Terrebonne Parish Louisiana has settled a lawsuit for $300,00 to four female Houma Louisiana Police Department employees who claimed that the police chief there had sexually harassed them. The article doesn’t specify why the parish was liable for what Houma’s police chief did but the chief has been on paid leave since the allegations first came out in 2008 and is planning to take a medical retirement soon.
- A Longboat Key Florida police officer was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 24 months of home detention after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. The female police officer pulled a gun on a woman with children in her car when she pulled into the officer’s driveway in order to turn around after picking the children up from school in September of 2009. The officer was fired in October after an internal investigation.
- A Montgomery New York police officer has been sentenced to probation in a plea deal for his role as a lookout while on-duty for a theft ring that included another officer while they stole auto parts. He was convicted on reduced charges of official misconduct in the deal because he testified against the others.
- The Portland Oregon police union president has admitted to being involved in two instances of road rage against the same family in January while an internal investigation into the incidents is ongoing. A local station got a hold of the 911 tapes and, during an interview, the officer told reporters that he’s embarrassed about the whole thing and would like to apologize.
That’s it for this weekend, stay safe out there!