National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Fort Lauderdale ‘Raiders’ Arrested

From Local10.com:

Three Fort Lauderdale police officers bonded out of jail Thursday night after they were arrested on charges of falsifying a police report and sworn testimony in connection with an officer-involved crash.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said that Sgt. Michael Florenco, Detective Matthew Moceri and Officer Geoffrey Shaffer surrendered Thursday at the Broward County Main Jail.

Their arrests stem from an investigation initiated after Kenneth Post filed a complaint following his Nov. 22, 2009, arrest.

According to the arrest warrants, the three officers responded to a report of the thefts of some liquor bottles that morning at the Hilton Hotel on Southeast 17th Street and saw Post, a suspect, trying to flee the scene. The officers followed him, and at some point, Post’s vehicle and an unmarked police vehicle driven by Florenco collided, police said.

Surveillance video shows Post stealing several liquor bottles from the hotel bar and three Fort Lauderdale officers arresting him.

Investigators said Moceri and Shaffer were also in the vehicle and helped Florenco arrest Post, who was charged with attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer, burglary, aggravated fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence, aggravated assault and felony vandalism.

“The police say that he basically turned his car to intentionally try to kill them,” Local 10’s Bob Norman said to said Assistant Public Defender Kelly Murdock.

“And since Day 1, Kenneth has denied that that has ever happened. That’s something that the police said once he was beaten so bad. He was in the hospital. He suffered a broken nose because of this,” Murdock said. “They had beat him up and … they lied to cover themselves.”

The Public Corruption Task Force alleged in its investigation that physical evidence and at least one witness’ statement contradicted the officers’ reports, probable cause affidavits and sworn testimony. Crime scene photos did not show any damage to the front of Post’s white Cadillac nor to the side of the officer’s unmarked police car. Witnesses told investigators that what they saw was not what the officers said happened.

“This went from someone with an allegation of stealing liquor bottles to, ‘He’s out trying to kill police officers.’ And that never happened,” Murdock said.

All three officers face four counts of official misconduct and one count of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, both felonies, and four misdemeanor counts of falsifying records. Florenco and Moceri also face one charge of perjury in an official proceeding.

Breaking Bad

Former Secret Service agent is a candidate for the local sheriff position, but his candidacy has been put on hold because he has now been arrested for plotting to kidnap a judge:

Solicitor Chrissy Adams said evidence was captured on audio surveillance, and Bartee gave a person money to buy items needed for the kidnapping.

Bartee, who is a retired U.S. Secret Service agent, is one of four candidates for Oconee County sheriff. He is accused of trying to arrange to have retired circuit Judge James C. Williams Jr. kidnapped.

Bartee is accused of trying to arrange the kidnapping after Williams filed an action asking for a judgment on whether Bartee was qualified to run for sheriff. The action also asked for an injunction against creating ballots with Bartee listed as a candidate.

Williams’ filing claims that Bartee is ineligible to run for sheriff because he was never a certified law enforcement officer under state law.

New Map Available

For interested persons, we took the 2009 Aggregate Reports and 2010 Aggregate Reports previously compiled by David Packman and exported them to a single Fusion table, which we then linked up with a Google Map to visually display the incidents in those reports. To increase the usefulness of the map, we integrated the ability to focus the map on a specific locations, and also to filter the displayed results by words in the incident descriptions (so for example, searching “rape” will display those incidents with “rape” in the description). Thanks to Cato intern Will Hayworth for his efforts on this.

We will be working on other improvements to the site in coming weeks.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-30-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, May 30, 2012:

  • A Culpeper, VA police officer has been indicted on a charge of murder for a fatal shooting of a female motorist during a confrontation earlier this year.  The officer has also been charged with malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in death and use of a firearm in commission of a felony http://wapo.st/LDM6tx
  • Martin County Sheriffy’s deputy and former Florida Marlin, Kurt Abbott, was charged with a DUI.  According to the arrest affidavit, Abbott was aggressive and cursed at the booking staff and refused a breathalyzer test.  Abbott has been placed on administrative leave http://bit.ly/LDzVQI
  • A lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department alleges negligence in the fatal shooting of unarmed disabled man. The lawsuit also claims that Metro’s Crisis Intervention Team, who are specifically trained to deal with mentally distressed people, were never called to the scene http://bit.ly/L0t8l2
  • Former Logansport, Indiana police officer turned himself in for theft charges alleging that he misused a city issued gas card and filed questionable paperwork seeking compensation http://bit.ly/LGqUlW
  • A Charleston, South Carolina deputy’s DUI charge has been reduced to reckless driving.  The officer was arrested after he crashed into an on-ramp on Interstate 526 at 2 a.m. on May 5 http://bit.ly/KWJANr
  • Vallejo, California Police Department agrees to pay a 61-year-old man $4.15 million to compensate for severe police-inflicted injuries and for violation of his federal civil rights http://bit.ly/KcLq2L
  • A Milwaukee police officer is fired after his misconduct was captured on video. “The evidence was very strong and there was no reason to delay,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. “We took appropriate action, and now it will be in the hands of the review authorities.”  http://bit.ly/MDMTg9

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-26-12 to 05-29-12 (Memorial Day Weekend)

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for May 26-29, 2012:

  • Former Wheaton, Illinois police officer stole $30,000 from a charity for fallen officers has been sentenced to 2 years probation.  Prosecutors accused the officer of using the stolen money to pay for a lifestyle of women, motorcycles, and alcohol http://bit.ly/LBFD1Z
  • A Birmingham, Alabama police officer has been accused in a string of arsons.  The Birmingham Police Department obtained warrants against the officer on Friday, May 25.  http://bit.ly/M2r2m2
  • Loveland, Colorado officer has been charged with possessing child pornography.  The officer faces felony charges of sexual exploitation of a child.   http://bit.ly/Ka18wh
  • A Barnstable, Massachusetts ex-cop has been sentenced to 6 months in jail for driving drunk while transporting a  Little League baseball player to Rehoboth, DE.  The officer pled guilty to drunken driving and child endangerment http://bit.ly/KBVIYa
  • A Fort Worth cop responds to the wrong address, where he shoots and kills a dog.  The owners claim the shooting was unnecessary.  “As the dogs were getting closer to attack/bite the officer, the officer fired his service weapon, striking the dog closest to him,” said police spokesman Sgt. Pedro Criado http://bit.ly/M3bwqd
  • Mesa, Arizona off-duty police officer engaged in a road-rage incident. Now police have concluded that the veteran officer was to blame, not the other man involved in the incident, who was originally arrested for the confrontation http://bit.ly/M3pcBq
  • 2 Pasadena police officers are under internal investigation for allegedly intimidating suspects and witnesses.  “We are investigating this complaint,” said police spokeswoman Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle.  “It’s a complaint.  If we took every officer off of their assignment when a complaint comes in, there would be no due process.”  http://bit.ly/KhNEK5 

Culpeper Police Officer Indicted for Fatal Shooting

The Washington Post  notes that this prosecution is “highly unusual”  — “There have been few cases in the United States in which an officer has faced so serious a charge in connection with actions taken while on duty.”

Why is that?  Why is the prosecution “highly unusual”?  Because the investigation was unusual.  First, a separate police agency was brought into the case.  All too often the same agency ends up investigating itself.  Second, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case.  That was another important move.  The local prosecutors work with the local police week to week.  They depend on the police to help them win in court.  Even if there is evidence of wrongdoing, prosecutors often look the other way so as not to “rock the boat.”  Third, a special investigative grand jury was convened to hear from more than 45 witnesses.  In sum, this seems to be the model for how questionable police killings should be investigated.  The fact that this is the exception, not the rule, exposes a very serious problem that we must confront.

 

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