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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-20-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 20, 2012:

  • Beach Park, Illinois: A family is still wondering what happened when a package was delivered and then 10 minutes later drug raiders burst through the front door. Their home was raided and left in shambles, and nothing has been done to fix it, even though the officers found nothing illegal.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A public school police officer has been charged with nearly two dozen counts of sex crimes stemming from a police investigation into former students’ accusations that he sexually assaulted them. He was  arrested and suspended, and then he resigned.
  • Bellevue, Washington: The police department is investigating three officers after they allegedly taunted Seattle police officers at a Seahawks game. A Bellevue police chief released a statement that said she personally called the Seattle police officer to apologize and said it was unacceptable behavior and did not represent the Bellevue Police Department.
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois: An officer was charged with felony bribery and official misconduct. He solicited and accepted a $5,000 bribe to let a driver off after a traffic stop.
  • Colonial Beach, Virginia: An officer was charged with felonious assault following a reported fight in an apartment building. The officer got into a fight with another man and officers had to break up the fight after they responded to a 911 call.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for working to traffic heroin. “Using a police officer’s badge and gun to commit crime is a particularly egregious threat to the community. This case highlights the fact that the law enforcement community will not tolerate crime, especially when committed by those sworn to oppose it,” said the FBI agent in charge of the investigation.
  • Boise, Idaho: An officer abused his position as a high school resource officer to sexually abuse a boy for months, the student says. The student is now seeking punitive damages.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Friends and family of a high-profile attorney found dead inside her home have always maintained she was murdered, even though medical investigators and police ruled her death a suicide. But a document has been obtained, filed by an APD officer who was at the scene two years ago, that alleges it was a staged murder. APD was criticized for its response at the scene. An inordinate number of officers were at the scene and there are accusations that officers were making jokes. One officer was punished for posting on the Internet that there’s “a special place in hell for her.”

Police Raid Wrong House, Kill 61-Year Old Man

From ABC News:

A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house.  Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.

One official, later in the article, claims that they did “the best surveillance we could do.”  Really?  Well, that’s  not good enough.

The Cato raid map disproves the claim that these wrong door raids and violent deaths are “rare mistakes.”

UPDATE:  We saw this item on the ABC News web site the day before this post, but an astute reader informs us that this incident is not recent and actually happened more than ten years ago.

Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Agency & Dept of Justice

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s internal watchdog on Wednesday faulted the agency for misguided strategies, errors in judgment and management failures during a bungled gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that disregarded public safety and resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. …

The inspector general found fault with the work of the senior ATF leadership, the ATF staff and U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix and senior officials of Justice’s criminal division in Washington. He also said that poor internal information-gathering and drafting at Justice and ATF caused the department to initially misinform Congress about Fast and Furious, beginning with a Feb. 4, 2011, letter.

“The inspector general’s report confirms findings by Congress’ investigation of a near total disregard for public safety in Operation Fast and Furious,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating Operation Fast and Furious since early 2011. Horowitz is to testify before Issa’s panel Thursday.


David Kopel provides background here and here.

Victim of Police Raid Says ‘It Changes Your Frame of Mind’

Paul Brown 58 Beach Park outside his home thwas raided by Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group officers. The officers damage

From the Sun Times:

Architect Paul Brown was in the basement of his home at the end of Adelphi Avenue when he heard a “huge noise” Friday afternoon that drew him up the stairs where he was met by gun in his face….

“They crashed things, they smashed things,” Brown, 58, said. “You couldn’t walk into a room because everything from the drawers was thrown around and emptied onto the floor….

“The door’s ruined and they left my house in a shambles and they don’t care. Now they won’t return my telephone calls. They’re supposed to be on our side,” he said.

Read the whole thing.  Sounds very similar to what happened to Mayor Cheye Calvo in the Maryland suburbs of  Washington, DC — package left on the door step and then a police raid.   That makes all of us vulnerable.   If you agree, please remember to tell that to the next person that says the police only raid the homes of people involved in drugs.  Not so.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-19-12

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday September 20, 2012:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada: The families of two men who died during encounters with police officers have each filed a lawsuit. The lawsuits allege that the officers were negligent, which proved to be fatal.
  • Mount Joy Borough, Pennsylvania: After being tasered by an officer 15 times, the man being tasered died, claims a lawsuit. “They knew this man had mental issues. Rather than getting a crisis team … you have something going on that is just beyond the pale,” said the family’s attorney.
  • Kernersville, North Carolina: The police chief has been charged with failure to slow down to avoid a collision. His patrol car hit two handcuffed suspects sitting beside a road.
  • Dahlonega, Georgia: A former deputy sheriff pleased guilty in federal court to charges of producing child pornography involving a then 6-year-old girl.
  • Long Branch, New Jersey: Two men are dead while a third is in critical condition following a high-speed car chase and crash. One of the officers who conducted a motor vehicle stop saw that a passenger had a gun and tried to grab it. A chase ensued when the driver took off.
  • Robbinsville, New Jersey: An officer was arrested after he broke into an apartment and assaulted a mother in a wheelchair and he 4-year-old son. He was charged with official misconduct, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, and one count each of burglary, harassment and criminal mischief.
  • Pasadena, California: A complaint alleging that an officer perjured himself during the investigation and prosecution of a man has been filed with the police department.
  • Sturbridge, Massachusetts: A police spokesman described the assault allegations against a trooper as “deeply disturbing.” If true, they “are diametrically opposed to the morals, values, and principles of the Massachusetts State police,” he said. The trooper was relieved from duty last week, following his indictment on indecent assault and battery and open and gross lewdness charges.
  • Miami County, Ohio: Sheriff’s Deputy is on paid administrative leave after police said he was arrested for OVI. A bystander called in his erratic driving. “We are saddened by the arrest, but commend the good Samaritan for being alert and calling 911” said Chief Deputy Dave Duchak.
  • Chicago, Illinois: A police officer was arrested for allegedly taking a bribe to fix a traffic-related case. He has not been formally charged yet. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he was saddened the officer potentially threw away his career for allegedly taking graft.
  • Newark, New Jersey: An officer has been charged with allegedly conspiring to plant drugs on an individual and then falsely arresting the individual. The charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
  • Update: Madison, Wisconsin: A jury ruled that officers were not overly forceful in the arrest of a woman when she was drunk.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-18-12

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 18, 2012

  • West Point, Utah: A high-speed chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph ended with a rollover crash. The chase began after an off-duty officer witnessed a store alarm going off when a man ran out. He appeared to be taking an electronic appliance.
  • Worcester, Massachusetts: Police have indefinitely suspended without pay a state trooper who was indicted on sexual assault charges. He was indicted on three counts of indecent assault and battery and two counts of open and gross lewdness involving an 18-year-old girl.
  • Burlington, Vermont:  A former state trooper who allegedly stole taxpayer money in an overtime scam is now accused of writing hundreds of fake traffic tickets.
  • Berwick, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested on charges that he stole evidence to support his drug habit. He allegedly stole more than 800 packets of heroin from police at one time. Police are investigating to see if it was an isolated incident.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was charged in a complaint alleging the transportation of individuals in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution. The incident happened while the officer was on-duty and using his patrol car. “Human sex trafficking is a horrific crime that has a devastating impact on its victims and the community,” said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “What makes this case worse is that the alleged perpetrator is a law enforcement official who was sworn to protect and serve. Those who betray the public trust insult the integrity and honor of all law enforcement officials who risk their lives upholding the law.”
  • Brunswick County, North Carolina: A deputy is facing charges after a crash that killed a motorcyclist. He is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield.
  • Madison, Wisconsin: An officer who worked in a school was suspended without pay for eight days and reassigned for violating department policies.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: An officer was suspended again after accusations of sexual misconduct while on duty came up.
  • Milton, Delaware: A lawsuit has been filed against the City of Lewes and their police department. It claims the police unnecessarily used a taser to shock a man while he was handcuffed and shackled. The man says that he suffered permanent injuries from the arrest. The defense attorney for the city says that the man was intoxicated and he resisted efforts to administer first aid. He also said that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by his clients.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-15-12 to 09-17-12

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 15 to  Monday, September 17, 2012:

  • Everett, Washington: Officers tased a mentally ill man and then put him in an isolation cell, claiming it was for safety reasons. His family says that three hours later they found him dead in the cell. “My dad had a name, he had a face. He was a real person,” said the man’s son. “He was not some piece of garbage to be tased to death.”
  • Princeton, West Virginia: A 16-year veteran officer who was involved in a domestic incident resigned. The incident was recorded on camera.
  • Delaware, Ohio: Two deputies and one trooper were charged in connection with the death of a man left at a Taco Bell. The officers picked up the man when they said he was drunk in his vehicle, and then left him at the Taco Bell. The man was then struck by a car and killed.
  • Youngstown, Ohio: An officer resigned instead of facing termination, and possible criminal prosecution. The resignation came after he was placed on administrative leave during a corruption investigation.
  • Jamestown, New York: An officer resigned amid allegations that he was pocketing prescription medicine that was evidence. “Because of his problem, every defense counsel wants to say, ‘Oh, everything is tainted. Everything has got to go. I need either a new trial or I need a plea far below what your guidelines would ordinarily give me,'” said the district attorney.
  • Webb County, Texas: After stealing a purse at a local hospital, a deputy was arrested and faces misdemeanor charges.
  • King County, Washington: A judge has ruled that King County deliberately withheld information on a sheriff’s deputy’s troubling behavior from attorneys of a man who was left permanently brain-damaged when he was tackled by the deputy. “This reckless indifference in its failure to produce these three documents — documents that were indisputably relevant — is the functional equivalent of intentional misconduct,” the judge said of the failure to turn over the information after the man’s family sued. The county settled with the family for $10 million. The man was left brain-damaged, paralyzed and unable to speak after he was tackled and pushed into a wall by the deputy. Harris had been wrongly identified as a suspect in an earlier bar fight.
  • Caledonia, Minnesota: A deputy wasn’t disciplined for drag racing his squad car, while on the job, against another officer. The decision to not discipline the officers is now being discussed by the County Board.
  • Pownal, Vermont: Following an investigation into allegations that he shot and killed a neighbor’s dog, a deputy resigned.
  • Los Angeles, California: A suspended sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 90 days in jail for sexual relations with a teenage girl.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: A lawsuit says that an officer tried to strangle an 18-year-old. In the lawsuit, the boy says that he strangled him to the point of unconsciousness. He went to the doctor after and the doctor found evidence of “injuries consistent with strangulation.”


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-14-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 14, 2012:

  • Highland Heights, Kentucky: The former police chief pleaded guilty to two felony counts in federal court. He admitted to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by using police credit cards: “I abused credit cards entrusted to me… and I am extremely remorseful for that.” He faces a maximum of 22 years with a $225,000 fine for each count.
  • Update: Providence, Rhode Island: The police chief accused of stealing $714 from a stripper’s pocketbook was sentenced to serve six months in prison.
  • Miami, Florida: A police officer was fired after an internal affairs investigation recommended his termination for habitually speeding in his patrol car.
  • Jermyn, Pennsylvania: A police officer was dismissed for “legal violations for obtaining and presenting a first aid card.” All officers are required to have a first aid card.
  • Moulton, Alabama: An officer was charged with torture and willful abuse of a child. He allegedly whipped an 8-year-old girl so severely that she had to be taken to the hospital. “Theses are very serious allegations, and this is very disheartening for the department,” said the police chief. “When you go into law enforcement you are charged to uphold the law. Not only are these allegations disheartening to me and our department, but law enforcement in general.”
  • Aransas Pass, Texas: Two officers have been fired following claims of misconduct and mistakes involving criminal investigations. They were fired following claims of missing evidence and shoddy criminal investigations.
  • Seattle, Washington: A police lieutenant was charged with violating a court order to stay away from his wife, adding a new allegation in the case against him. He was initially arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.
  • Update: Prince George County, Maryland: An officer was given five years in prison and a $2.7 million fine for extortion in a cigarettes scheme.
  • Twin Rivers, California: A lawsuit alleges the abuse of five young men by police officers. It states that they were arrested for no apparent reason and three of them were brutally choked by an officer. The suit, which seeks monetary damages, alleges constitutional violations, including unreasonable seizure, excessive force, and derelict supervision and training.
  • Portland, Oregon: Federal civil rights investigators have found “reasonable cause” to believe that police use “unnecessary or unreasonable force” with persons who have mental illness, reports the U.S. Justice Department. In the 42-page letter, there is an outline for remedies including training and new policies to investigate police misconduct. “We found instances that support a pattern of dangerous used of force against persons who posed little or no threat and who could not, as a result of their mental illness, comply with officer’s commands,” says the report.

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