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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-11-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 11, 2012:

  • Plymouth, Massachusetts: A police sergeant has been charged in federal court with using excessive force and covering up his actions by falsifying police reports. A suspect was in a holding cell, with his hands cuffed behind his back, when the Sergeant allegedly hit him in the head and kneed him in the body.
  • Update: Des Moines, Iowa: A police officer has been suspended for just three days, without pay, for the death of his K-9 partner, Harley.
  • Bridgeville, Delaware: A police officer has been charged with stealing money from the evidence locker at headquarters. He no longer works for the department.
  • Brooks County, Georgia: The ex-sheriff has been sentenced to just over a year in prison for embezzling from programs receiving federal funds. Investigators say he stole at least $63,000 while he was the sheriff.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: A deputy was arrested by the FBI on charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and theft of government property.
  • Camden, New Jersey: An officer was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for stealing money, illegally searching homes, planting evidence, and lying in court. He was one of four officers arrested on corruption-related charges.
  • Lorain County, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy will be disciplined after he went off the road and struck 2 parked cars in a driveway. “He wasn’t violating any policy by doing anything stupid or reckless, but he did not take the weather into consideration. It is his job to maintain control of the vehicle,” said the police captain.
  • Westerly, Rhode Island: A man has accused local police of using excessive force, including pepper-spray, while arresting him.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-10-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 10, 2012:

  • Lexington, South Carolina: A deputy has been arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.
  • Lafayette, Tennessee: The former police chief was arrested after investigations into allegations that he assaulted a prisoner. He allegedly assaulted the suspect while he was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car. He resigned his position as police chief, but now works as a police officer in a neighboring city.
  • Portland Oregon: A woman who was pepper-sprayed has filed a lawsuit against two officers and the city. The complaint accuses the officers of using excessive force. Her attorney says that she followed officer’s instructions, but that when one of the officers pushed her nightstick against the woman’s throat, she protested, and was pepper-sprayed in the face.
  • Trenton, New Jersey: An officer who had sex with a 14-year-old girl while he was off-duty has been sentenced to two years of probation.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A deputy who was charged with raping a detainee faces a $15 million civil lawsuit. The deputy was indicted on 12 counts, including charges of second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense, and misconduct in office.
  • San Bernadino, California: A female deputy has been arrested on suspicion of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old inmate at a detention center.
  • Spokane, Washington: Prosecutors have asked for nine to eleven years for an officer who was convicted of using excessive force and lying about the beating death of a mentally ill suspect.
  • Grapevine, Texas: A 17-year veteran has been arrested on child pornography charges. “It’s a very serious issue anytime a police officer is arrested. And this is going to be a very serious offense,” said a U.S. attorney. “Penalties for possession and transfer of child porn are very severe.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-12

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 9th, 2012:

  • Burke County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy was charged with exchanging a schedule III controlled substance for sexual favors. He was terminated from the department.
  • Milwaukee: Wisconsin: Four officers were charged with crimes as a result of conducting rectal searches for drugs on the street, according to a criminal complaint. The charges include felony sexual assault, felony misconduct in public office and conducting illegal strip searches, a misdemeanor. “Crime cannot be fought with criminality,” said the police chief. “A hard-earned reputation has been tarnished.”
  • Sarasota, Florida: An 9-year-veteren officer was suspended after he was caught on surveillance video attacking a suspect. The police chief has ordered an internal investigation into the incident.
  • Flomaton, Alabama: The police chief pleaded guilty in court. He had been charged with third-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment relating to a suspect he allegedly chased from Alabama over the state line.
  • St. Charles County, Missouri: A deputy was sentenced to five years in prison for breaking the law while he and other officers were at a home to apprehend a wanted meth cook. The jury found the deputy guilty of felony burglary and misdemeanor assault and property damage. “It appears that this defendant was intoxicated with the power of the badge,” said the presiding judge.
  • Harris County, Texas: Six Harris County Jail employees have been fired for sexual misconduct and related allegations. “The ugly truth is that the misconduct involved the failure to take action as supervisors,” said the sheriff. He called their behavior “inexcusable” and “intolerable.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-06-12 to 10-08-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 6th to Monday, October 8th, 2012:

  • New York, New York: An unarmed Army National Guardsman was pulled over on a highway and shot to death by an officer. The DA is now probing the incident that the victim’s friend is calling a case of police “road rage.” The Guardsman had his hands on the steering wheel of his car moments before the detective shot him once in the torso, said the woman sitting in the front passenger seat.
  • Buena, New Jersey: The now-former Police Chief admitted to obtaining a drug prescription by fraud, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: Officials say an officer has been suspended with pay after striking a squad car while driving on a suspended license. He was given a misdemeanor citation.
  • Vanceboro, North Carolina: The police chief has been fired over personnel issues, officials say. They declined to comment further, citing human resources privacy.
  • Update: Houston, Texas: An officer was sentenced to life in prison for raping a waitress in the back of his patrol car. During the sentencing phase, jurors heard from three other women who said that the officer also assaulted them and threatened to have them deported if they told anyone.
  • Olathe, Kansas: A now-former deputy has been charged with inappropriately touching a female inmate.
  • Fayette County, West Virginia: An officer was arrested after he was accused of invading an apartment. He was attempting to steal from the tenants, but got away with nothing. During the arrest he was already on administrative leave. “After this latest incident, if he’s guilty of this, put him in jail – he knows better… To go out here and be serving and protecting and somebody who obviously has a drug issue shoots and almost kills me, and then it turns out one of my own officers is doing it as well – yeah I’m not happy with it at all,” said another officer.
  • Lincoln County, North Carolina: A deputy is facing drunk driving charges after he was injured in an off-duty motorcycle crash.
  • Harris County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for interfering with the arrest of one of his wedding guests.
  • Elkhart County, Indiana: A detective has been disciplined for making a mistake about evidence. Detective Dennis Chapman said a fingerprint on a pill bottle in Helen Sailor’s apartment belonged to Lana Canen, and she was then convicted of Sailor’s murder. Chapman now is saying it wasn’t Canen’s fingerprint. “He made a mistake, an error, and as a result of that, someone was convicted. We don’t take that lightly,” said the Sheriff.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-05-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Boynton Beach, Florida: A man and his mother have filed suit for alleged false arrest. They were arrested while sitting in the man’s car in front of his own home and were taken to jail. But, later, the charges against the man were dropped, and there were never charges filed against his mother. “No probable cause existed for the seizure and arrest of [the two] for any offense whatsoever,” said their attorney.
  • Update: Duluth, Minnesota: The officer who was caught on videotape punching a man in a wheelchair was charged with 5th degree assault and disorderly contact. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Miami, Ohio: A deputy facing a drunken driving charge was fired by the Sheriff. “The level of misconduct was so egregious and a complete violation of the public trust and the standards and code of ethics of the sheriff’s office that I had no choice but to dismiss him from his employment as a deputy sheriff. His conduct is not and should not be viewed as a reflection on the hardworking men and women of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office,” said the Sheriff.
  • Greenwood County, Kansas: A sheriff’s deputy was charged with multiple counts of having child pornography.
  • Riverdale, Illinois: A 70-year-old man was arrested for ‘impersonating an officer.’ He was actually in a costume in his own restaurant for a comedy show.
  • Premont, Texas: The assistant police chief was suspended after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Robbins, Illinois: A woman who was arrested while two months pregnant is now suing. She alleges that officers used excessive force on her, and it caused her to miscarry her child. She says that after she was arrested for no reason, the police put hand cuffs on her so tightly that her shoulder “popped,” causing her to scream in pain. Instead of loosening the cuffs, the officers threw her in the backseat of a patrol car, face down, and tased her several times.
  • Prosperity, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested on two counts of marijuana distribution and misconduct in office.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-04-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 4, 2012:

  • Brick, New Jersey: After flushing her drugs down the toilet, an officer asked a woman for sexual favors, he admits. He pleaded guilty to criminal coercion and tampering with physical evidence in a plea bargain that calls for a probationary term.
  • Prince George County, Maryland: A Washington, D.C. police officer has filed a $3 million lawsuit against two Prince George County officers. He says that they beat him with a baton and struck him in the face while he was handcuffed during a confrontation.
  • Orlando, Florida: An officer who was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence was suspended following an internal affairs review.
  • Monroe, Georgia: A sheriff’s deputy is facing DUI charges after authorities say that he wrecked his patrol car.
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The officer that punched a woman at a neighborhood street party is being suspended for 30 days with the intention to dismiss him. The incident was caught on video and posted to youtube, which led to an investigation.
  • Update: White Plains, New York: A third party review of the incident deemed a shooting death justified. Said one of the committee members who reviews the case: “the shooting of Mr. Chamberlain was totally justified and took place only after negotiations and all non-lethal means were unsuccessful and Mr. Chamberlain came at a police sergeant with a knife.”
  • Los Angeles, California: A jury has awarded $3.2 million to a mentally ill woman who sued after police shot her and shocked her with a Taser. Jurors found the officers were negligent, malicious and used excessive force in their confrontation.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: A federal jury has convicted a police officer for beating a man who was handcuffed and secured in the backseat of a patrol car.


NY Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Driver

From today’s New York Times:

A New York police detective shot and killed an unarmed man, whose hands, a witness said, were on the steering wheel of his Honda, after he had been pulled over early Thursday for cutting off two police trucks on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the authorities said.

The shooting, which occurred at 5:15 a.m., was the latest in a series of episodes in which police officers fatally shot or wounded civilians. While the Police Department had explanations in the other instances, it could not immediately provide one for the shooting on Thursday.

Note this:

In all police-involved shootings, investigators are barred from talking to the officers who fired their weapon to prevent them from later claiming immunity from prosecution for what they said in an interview.

So all the witnesses are interviewed–except the officer that fired his weapon?  That’s a policy that needs to change.  When a civilian is involved in a shooting, detectives are anxious  to question him/her right away.  There’s no good reason for treating officers any differently.

Conrad Black on the American ‘Prosecutocracy’

From the  New  York  Sun Opinion Page:

The Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments guarantee a grand jury (implicitly, though this is not expressly stated, to ensure against capricious prosecutions), just compensation for seized property, due process, access to counsel (of choice), prompt justice, an impartial jury, and reasonable bail. All of these guarantees have been sliced and pulverized to varying levels of granularity in the 50 states. Grand juries are rubber stamps that almost never withhold what is asked by prosecutors, and their proceedings are often unknown to suspects and targets as they occur.

The seizure of property, especially if that property is being relied on as a source for paying the legal bills of notoriously rapacious American lawyers, frequently occurs just before the prosecutors lay their charges, freezing the civil proceedings and rendering the defendant’s property unavailable as a source of sales or borrowing to pay for counsel, who almost always demand hefty retainers at the outset. The process — from identification of a target to the end of a trial — can often be several years, during which it is practically impossible for an accused person to function normally.

Juries are subjected to an intense propaganda blast from prosecutors in the areas where the case will be heard and the jurors selected, almost invariably echoed by the media, descending even to the likes of Nancy Grace, who routinely demands to know why uncharged possible suspects, whom she names, are “still at large.” Impartial juries in such circumstances, which obtain in all high-profile cases, are hard to come by.

Bail is not just a surety against flight but a tool of impoverishment against defendants, and is frequently far from reasonable. (I posted $38 million when I was a criminal defendant several years ago. It was a stretch but I managed it, despite an illegal asset seizure, but few people have the resources to defend themselves and even face the daunting odds against them in the courtroom.)

Read the whole thing.  For more info about Conrad Black and his case, go here.


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