Here are the 31 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Tuesday, December 21, 2010:
- Kansas City MO police are accused of using excessive force by a man who was shown on dashcam video, shown above, being thrown to the ground as he was getting out of his car as ordered by the officer who threw him during a traffic stop. Police are claiming the use of force was justified because the man allegedly “tensed up” while getting out. 
- Three Richmond KY police officers were the subject of a lawsuit that was settled for an undisclosed sum to a criminal justice instructor who claimed they used excessive force when they repeatedly tasered, beat, and peppersprayed him while he was being arrested on charges that were later dismissed with prejudice. 
- Brook Park OH has settled a lawsuit for an unspecified sum to the family of a man who died in custody after they claim he was denied medical care when he complained of being sick. 
- Baltimore MD police hid the details of a $200,000 lawsuit settlement made to a man who was wrongfully arrested and jailed on molestation charges due to a warrant filled out with only his last name and first initial, a name which was similar to the real suspect. He was a Russian immigrant who fled that country due to religious persecution and he likened his nightmarish experience with American law enforcement with how he felt when he was interrogated by the KGB for making jokes about Russia. 
- Syracuse NY police are being sued by the mother of a 15-year-old student she claims was tasered then handcuffed in front of his fellow students when he tried to stop a fight between two girls by standing between them. The suit claims that officers did this despite the protests of several students who told officers he was only trying to stop the fight but police insist the tasering was justified, even though one portion of the article suggests the officer hit the boy while aiming for one of the girls. 
- Webster Groves MO police are being sued by a woman claiming officers used excessive force on her when they barged into her home and wouldn’t let her change out of her robe when they arrested her on suspicion of DUI and fleeing the scene of an accident, charges that were later dismissed. Seems she had her son stay at the accident site to answer any questions but police just cuffed him and forced him to let them into the woman’s home instead. 
- Two Daytona Beach FL police officers have been fired after a judge acquitted them of criminal mischief charges when they were accused of damaging a woman’s home by denting the exterior walls and door when they came back while she wasn’t home after searching her home earlier for a suspect. 
- A Terrebonne Parish LA sheriff’s lieutenant has been demoted for tasering his 11 and 15-year-old stepsons to show them what it felt like when they had asked him about it. 
- A controversial San Bernardino CA police sergeant who was previously investigated on allegations that he would holding people “on ice” by jailing them without charges and for questionable searches he conducted has now been charged with misusing police databases and illegally sharing that information with others. 
- Fair City LA has hired a former St. Tammany Parish deputy to lead their DUI task force. The problem is that the officer was fired from the sheriff’s department earlier this year for lying about his role in an off-duty bar fight along with two other deputies who were involved. 
- The Kenova WV police department has been ordered by a judge to pay the $1,500 settlement that they agreed to last month in a wrongful arrest case. Apparently it seems as though the department cut the man they settled with a check but he was unable to cash it when he tried. 
- The New York NY police department is accused of violating state law by withholding information from press that they used to have no problem releasing in a lawsuit filed by the NY Times. 
- A Parma OH police sergeant who wrote a book on police ethics has been charged with tampering and falsification for lying about having color blindness when he was hired and for conspiring with the doctor who gave him his pre-employment screening to hide it. 
- An Anne Arundel County MD police lieutenant has been sentenced to 5 years in prison on child porn charges for possessing explicit pics of a teen girl that he had sex with after developing a relationship with her that started when she was 14-years-old. 
- A Maywood IL deputy police chief has been charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct on allegations that he hit a man he was friends with in the head with his pistol after that man tried to fend off his sexual advances while the two were driving around. The obstruction charge is on allegations that he then lied about the incident by claiming the man tried to carjack him. 
- Another Maywood IL police officer who works in the gang unit has been charged with theft of government property and official misconduct after agents were approached by him, searched, then had their money taken by that officer during sting operations launched after several similar complaints were made against him. 
- A McAllen TX police officer has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for his role as one of the leaders of a drug smuggling ring and for his role in orchestrating an escape from jail for him and several of his co-conspirators. 
- An Akron OH police officer has pled guilty to felony unauthorized use of police database for using police records to look up information on parents of children to determine whether they lived in a school district as a private investigator for that school district. 
- A Conshohocken PA police sergeant has been arrested on theft charges on allegations that he was skimming money from the coins he collected from parking meters. 
- A Prescott Valley AZ police officer has resigned after arrested on domestic violence charges while he was already on disciplinary leave for trespassing charges involving an ex-girlfriend. 
- A Cocoa FL deputy police chief has been suspended while he’s under investigation over allegations of date violence in an incident that prompted a police response. 
- A Pojoaque Pueblo NM police officer has been arrested on domestic violence charges after his bruised girlfriend told police that she feared for her life. 
- A Hancock County IN deputy has been charged with driving under the influence after he crashed into a Dept of Transportation vehicle with his police cruiser while he was on-duty. He tested with a BAC of .16 after the accident. 
- A Juneau County WI sheriff’s detective has been arrested on an off-duty drunk driving charge after his squad car ended up in a ditch. 
- A Ravalli County MT sheriff’s sergeant has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and a suspended sentence for stealing over 40,000 rounds of ammunition from the department and selling it. 
- A Fort Wayne IN police officer is on administrative duty after he was arrested on a drunk driving charge while on vacation. 
- A Massilon OH police officer is under investigation after alcohol use was suspected when he crashed into a utility pole. 
- An Edgerton ID police officer was sentenced to 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to a DUI charge. The officer resigned after arrested. 
- A Tacoma WA police sergeant is on paid leave after arrested on a DUI charge when he rear-ended a car while speeding after cutting off another car. 
- A Fargo ND police officer is under investigation for possible disciplinary action after she left her service firearm in a sporting goods store restroom while off-duty. 
- And finally, a Pinellas County AZ deputy has been disciplined with a reprimand for calling another police officer and yelling at him for pulling over her domestic partner and giving her a ticket even though she tried to get out of it by claiming she was involved with a fellow law enforcement officer. 
Before I close this day’s reports out I have to say that I’ve been on the fence about a number of reports I’ve seen and have been told about that involve regular traffic accidents by police officers that occur while they are on-duty. I personally think that these cases ride a fine line between possible misconduct and just simple accidents that really shouldn’t belong in our database.
For example, a story that came to my attention from a reader today that involves a Boise Idaho police officer who is facing a minor infraction for operating his emergency vehicle in an unsafe manner and causing an accident with two other vehicles in an intersection while he was responding to a call. There were only minor injuries to the officer himself and no others were hurt.
Now, this case is strange because the officer was speeding to the call but then turned around to chase someone with a loud muffler when the accident occured, which would indicate the call wasn’t important enough to speed for… Also there is the fact that the investigation took months to come to the point where a minor traffic citation was deemed necessary.
…but, does something like this, a traffic accident without injuries, qualify as misconduct that is significant enough to be included in our statistics?
Let us know what you think in our poll or comments.
That’s it for today, stay safe out there!