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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 11-27-12

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, November 27, 2012:

  • St. Lucie County, Florida: A deputy flipped over a 62-year-old handicapped woman’s car when he used a Precision Immobilization Technique to stop her car by hitting her bumper. The deputy reported that a woman driving a car seemed slumped over the wheel and she did not slow down from her “consistent 57 mph” when he turned on his blue lights. He determined that she was a flight risk. The posted speed limit was 55 mph. ow.ly/fCxKW
  • Utica, New York: A police officer was charged with driving impaired while in Niagara Falls, Canada, and is now suspended without pay. The department will not pay his attorney fees. ow.ly/fCa9q
  • Smyrna, Georgia: A veteran officer has been arrested and charged with simple assault, simple battery, and third degree cruelty to children for allowing a minor to witness family violence. ow.ly/fC5NC
  • Williamston, North Carolina: A police officer has resigned two days after he was arrested for drunk driving. His blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when he was arrested. ow.ly/fAMa7
  • Barrington, Rhode Island: After already being charged with threatening his ex-wife, an officer has not also been charged with misdemeanor cyber-stalking and felony obstruction of the judicial system. ow.ly/fAMv6
  • Update, Coweta County, Georgia: The deputy who fired his taser at a 16-year-old as the student streaked in boxer shorts across the field at the recent football game has been suspended.
  • Oldham County, Kentucky: A deputy has resigned after an incident involving an erotic masseuse at his home. He allegedly solicited sex from her, and, when she refused, stole her cell phone. ow.ly/fAy2r
  • Charles City, Iowa: An officer has been charged with misconduct in office. The criminal complaint against him claims he failed to perform his duties when he had reason to believe a sexual assault occurred. http://ow.ly/fAvEv
  • Update: Nogales, Arizona: The police officer who had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to two months in jail and three years probation. He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual misconduct with a minor. ow.ly/fAArr

Another Victory for First Amendment and Recording the Police

From the Chicago Tribune:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal of a controversial Illinois law prohibiting people from recording police officers on the job.

By passing on the issue, the justices left in place a federal appeals court ruling that found that the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free-speech rights when used against people who audiotape police officers….

Illinois’ eavesdropping law is one of the harshest in the country, making audio recording of a law enforcement officer — even while on duty and in public — a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Public debate over the law had been simmering since last year. In August 2011, a Cook County jury acquitted a woman who had been charged with recording Chicago police internal affairs investigators she believed were trying to dissuade her from filing a sexual harassment complaint against a patrol officer.

The government keeps losing in court on these matters, the main problem right now is a practical one (not so much a legal one)–when cops out on the street overstep their bounds and threaten people who have their smart phones out and are recording.   If bogus charges against a citizen-journalist are dropped, the cops likely face no adverse consequences–so it continues.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-22-12 to 11-26-12

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 22, to Monday, November 26, 2012:

  • Middletown, Pennsylvania:  A police officer was suspended for three days for “conduct unbecoming to a police officer.” The exact reason for the suspension has not been made public. http://ow.ly/frjmd
  • Manhattan, New York: An officer was arrested for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after she allegedly shoplifted from a store on Black Friday. She has been suspended without pay. http://ow.ly/fANjR
  • Belle Plaine, Minnesota: An off-duty officer was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after a state trooper reported him driving 96 mph. The officer is now on indefinite leave. http://ow.ly/fAsdd
  • Hurst, Texas: An officer is on administrative leave after being caught on camera kneeing a teen in the back of the head while cussing at him and threatening him. http://ow.ly/fAEvr
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer has been arrested on a drunken driving charge. He failed field sobriety tests, and was speeding. http://ow.ly/fAQoD
  • Oldham County, Kentucky: A deputy has resigned from his position after an incident involving a masseuse at his home. According to the police report, he solicited sex from the masseuse and, when she denied him, he stole her cell phone. http://ow.ly/fAy2r
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Officials are investigating whether police officers used excessive force while arresting a man. The officers were caught on camera beating him with a baton. ow.ly/fAd0w
  • San Francisco, California: A deputy sheriff is facing misdemeanor charges stemming from an off-duty incident when she, accompanied by two friends, allegedly forced her way into a man’s house, brandished a pistol, and threatened him. She has been assigned to administrative duties pending the investigation. ow.ly/fAdPv
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An off-duty Memphis officer has been arrested on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving. He has been suspended with pay while the incident is investigated. ow.ly/fAbLR
  • Broward County, Florida: A deputy who was arrested after a prostitution sting was sentenced to 6 months of probation. He has also been fired, but is seeking to re-join the agency. ow.ly/fAaIJ
  • Bledsoe County, Tennessee: The sheriff was arrested for disorderly conduct following an incident outside of a restaurant. He was allegedly involved in a fight with several other men and women. ow.ly/fzUpe
  • Clarksville, Tennessee: An officer shot a dog that was on a chain, and clearly within it’s property, in the head. http://ow.ly/fs2J1
  • Update: King County, Washington: A family has reached a $1.478 million settlement with the county. An officer assaulted a man, and the department covered up the evidence. The judge said, “Defendant King County’s lack of effort and pattern of deliberate indifference with respect to producing responsive information to Plaintiff Harris is reprehensible. This reckless indifference in its failure to produce these three documents – documents that were indisputably relevant – is the functional equivalent of intentional misconduct.” ow.ly/fAoEh

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 11-20-12 to 11-21-12

*Note* This is the recap for both Tuesday and and Wednesday as I was out of the office Wednesday.

Here are the 23 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, November 20 to Wednesday, November 21, 2012:

  • Newark, New Jersey: The ACLU says police have reached a settlement with a teenager who was handcuffed and detained for phone video. The teen says police illegally seized her phone and deleted a video from it. http://ow.ly/frucK
  • Asheville, North Carolina: An officer has been charged with misdemeanor child abuse after investigators found bruises on a child after a spanking. The arrest warrant states that the officer is not the child’s father. http://ow.ly/fpBLU
  • Glasgow, Kentucky: The sheriff who is facing federal civil rights violations has been indicted on additional counts of excessive force and falsifying documents. He is facing 13 counts; his term as sheriff ends in December. http://ow.ly/fpCJG
  • Washington Township, New Jersey: An officer is facing charges of committing official misconduct, submitting a false report to law enforcement, harassment and tampering with public records. “At some point the decision will be made to see if he stays on [the force,]” said the police captain. He also said that the officer was required to turn in his badge, all police equipment and is not to identify himself as a law enforcement officer. http://ow.ly/fpXls
  • Lee County, Florida: After an internal investigation revealed that he stole merchandise from a Publix store while in uniform, an officer was fired. He then lied about stealing the items because “I was afraid of being labeled a thief.” http://ow.ly/fpJlT
  • Eastpointe, Michigan: A detective has been charged in the theft and exchanging of tires, slot machines, watches, and other items from a police forfeiture shed for drugs and money. He was a 14 year veteran, and resigned during the investigation. http://ow.ly/fpTQF
  • Greeley, Colorado: A police officer has been charged with a class four felony theft for allegedly falsifying his time sheets. http://ow.ly/fpWyk
  • Broward County, Florida: An officer is again accused of falsifying official documents. He faces a felony count of official misconduct, a misdemeanor count of falsifying public records, and two counts of petty theft. The charges are punishable by up to 6 years behind bars. “We do our best to weed out people that we don’t think are worthy of wearing a badge and being in law enforcement,” said the Sheriff. “Those that betray the public trust shouldn’t be working here. This isn’t the first, of numerous times, where internally we’ve done our job to weed those people out only to have them return due to binding arbitration and the ruling of an arbitrator.” http://ow.ly/fpX0d
  • McLeod County, Minnesota: A deputy has been indicted by a grand jury in relation to a shooting incident. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings. http://ow.ly/fpFtP
  • Piedmont, Oklahoma: An officer who wrote a $2,500 ticket to a mother on a public urination complaint against her three-year-old son has been fired. http://ow.ly/fs2VX
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer has been charged with federal tax evasion. He didn’t file tax returns for three years, and, in all, he took $68,000 from the federal government. http://ow.ly/fs3s
  • Huntsville, Alabama: The city council has agreed to pay $22,500 to a victim of excessive force. The man was beaten after being taken into custody. The officer involved in the beating lost his job after the incident. http://ow.ly/fs3It
  • Uvalde County, Texas: A police officer was arrested for allegedly possessing and promoting child pornography. He was immediately fired after the arrest. ow.ly/fs4yg
  • Update: Pocahontas County, West Virginia: More claims have been filed against a deputy saying that he used his position to exert influence over a woman for sex. http://ow.ly/frriA
  • Saratoga Springs, New York: A city police officer has been charged with misdemeanor 3rd degree assault. The charges stem from a bar fight. The officer, has been suspended without pay since the incident, along with two other officers. http://ow.ly/frikp
  • Rock Hill, South Carolina: An officer was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. He failed field sobriety tests, and is now on procedural suspension. http://ow.ly/fq00v
  • Rogers City, Michigan: A former officer pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors resulting from an investigation into his activities during his time in the department. He pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle, interfering with a crime report and willful neglect of duty by a public officer. http://ow.ly/frdJA
  • Martinsville, Virginia: The second in command at the sheriff’s office is on leave after being charged with a DWI. She is on administrative leave and disciplinary sanctions are being taken. http://ow.ly/frei1
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer was fired for working as a bouncer at a nightclub, and participating in a “lube wrestling event,” while on convalescent-duty status. http://ow.ly/frfsn
  • New Haven, Connecticut: A Yale University football player is suing the police, saying that he was seriously injured when they used a taser on him during a nightclub raid. The police chief said that an assistant chief, who is now retired, was supervising the operation and lost control of the inspection.  “It was poor planning, poor decision making and poor leadership,” he said. “I take full responsibility and the department learned some valuable lessons.” ow.ly/fs47h
  • Jacksonville, Florida: A detective has resigned after making threats directed toward the president. The secret service is now investigating the incident. ow.ly/fs3Wo
  • District Heights, Maryland: The FBI raided a family’s home and shot at an 18-year-old girl. No one in the home had a gun. The FBI has only said that agents from the Baltimore field office were there exercising a search warrant and shots were fired. Neighbors in the quiet neighborhood heard the gunfire and were stunned. There have never been any problems at the home. http://ow.ly/frqep
  • Pascagoula, Tennessee: A grand jury has indicted the commander of the Narcotics Task Force on a charge of misdemeanor simple assault. The charge comes from a shooting. “The shooting at the task force office was disappointing. As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard. The laws should apply to us as well as anybody else in the community. We should all be held accountable for out actions,” said the police chief. http://ow.ly/fq291

Finality Over Justice: The 21-day Rule

From the Washington Post:

The immediate cause of the legal logjam keeping him behind bars is Virginia’s noxious 21-day rule, which prohibits trial judges from reviewing newly discovered evidence if it is presented more than three weeks after sentencing. Exceptions are made only in the case of biological evidence such as DNA.

This month, the judge who sentenced Mr. Montgomery to prison in 2008 was presented with new evidence that his accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, had admitted lying about her accusation. Appalled, Judge Randolph T. West ordered the sentence vacated and the inmate freed.

But the evidence came to light only in recent weeks, when Ms. Coast came clean about her deception. New evidence or not, the 21-day rule applies. So Judge West was acting beyond his authority, as the state attorney general’s office ruled, and his order was voided.

The government had to make the exception for DNA evidence so it wouldn’t appear completely mad.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-17-12 to 11-19-12

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, November 17, to Monday, November 19, 2012:

  • Polk County, New Jersey: An officer was charged with aggravated battery after he attacked a fellow officer who was in town to testify at a hearing. http://ow.ly/fk3JB
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: After admitting to stealing evidence from a drug case, a narcotics officer has been sentenced to two years in prison. He stole 3 shotguns and $27,000 in cash. Several cases had to be dismissed because of the missing evidence. http://ow.ly/fk60g
  • Meriden, Connecticut: An officer was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of police brutality. He shoved a handcuffed prisoner into a jail cell and cracked his skull. The charge has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. ow.ly/fk1d3
  • Wilmette, Illinois: An officer was put on probation for two years after she ordered a DUI suspect to pay an unnecessary cash bond. She pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor theft. ow.ly/fjPak
  • Loudoun County, Virginia: An undercover detective was charged with driving while intoxicated. He was placed under administrative leave after a car crash. ow.ly/fjOqY
  • Jackson, Tennessee: An officer was suspended without pay for ten days. It was found that he violated several department regulations, including regulations of an order, personal conduct and moral conduct. ow.ly/fjD2e
  • West Hollywood, California: A deputy was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a man while off-duty. He is a 17-year veteran of the department. “He’s been stripped of all law enforcement power,” said the department spokesman. “It causes a pall over the scores and scores of deputy sheriffs that every day do their job.” ow.ly/fjBJu
  • Warren County, Virginia: Two deputies were charged with unlawful hunting. One was also charged with hunting, trapping, or fishing without a license and leaving wanton waste. The officers voluntarily resigned after the incident. ow.ly/fiomd
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The police lieutenant who was caught on video punching a woman was charged with simple assault. He was fired from his post for the incident. ow.ly/fm2d2
  • San Bernardino, California: Officers shot and killed a man after he reportedly threw a stick at them as they investigated a disturbance. ow.ly/fm1gG
  • Sarasota, Florida: A homeless man spent the night in jail after police arrested him for charging his cell phone at a public picnic shelter. The city offers free electrical power charging stations throughout the city for those with electrical cars. ow.ly/flUd6
  • Spokane, Washington: An officer was sentenced to more than 4 years in prison for using excessive force against a mentally disabled janitor who died after being erroneously suspected for stealing money from an ATM. ow.ly/flR0a
  • Selma, North Carolina: An officer handcuffed a nurse in the ER when she refused to draw blood because he didn’t have a court order. The nurse who called 911 said the officer “came and just arrested and made a huge scene with our house administrators. He just handcuffed her – he could care less about anything – in front of the middle of our ER. And this whole ER is in complete chaos, and frankly, somebody needs to come here and handle it.” The officer has been suspended with pay. ow.ly/flIbA
  • New York, New York: An officer reported he was stabbed by an intruder when he wasn’t. He has been charged with falsely reporting an incident. ow.ly/fkPNL
  • Tiltonsville, Ohio: An officer has been charged with a misdemeanor count of assault. The charges stem from an alleged beating incident; the officer was masked when he got out of a car, tackled, and hit the victim repeatedly. ow.ly/fkPF4

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-15-12 to 11-16-12

*Note* I was out of the office Friday, so the Thursday recap is also included in this post.

Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 15 and Friday, November 16, 2012:

  • Polk County, New Jersey: An officer was charged with aggravated battery after he attacked a fellow officer, who was in town to testify at a hearing. http://ow.ly/fk3JB
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: After admitting to stealing evidence from a drug case, a narcotics officer has been sentenced to two years in prison. He stole 3 shotguns and $27,000 in cash. Several cases had to be dismissed because of the missing evidence. http://ow.ly/fk60g
  • Meriden, Connecticut: An officer was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of police brutality. He shoved a handcuffed prisoner into a jail cell and cracked his skull. The charge has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. ow.ly/fk1d3
  • Wilmette, Illinois: An officer was put on probation for two years after she ordered a DUI suspect to pay an unnecessary cash bond. She pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor theft. ow.ly/fjPak
  • Loudoun County, Virginia: An undercover detective was charged with driving while intoxicated. He was placed under administrative leave after a car crash. ow.ly/fjOqY
  • Jackson, Tennessee: An officer was suspended without pay for ten days. It was found that he violated several department regulations, including regulations of an order, personal conduct and moral conduct. ow.ly/fjD2e
  • West Hollywood, California: A deputy was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a man while off-duty. He is a 17-year veteran of the department. “He’s been stripped of all law enforcement power,” said the department spokesman. “It causes a pall over the scores and scores of deputy sheriffs that every day do their job.” ow.ly/fjBJu
  • Warren County, Virginia: Two deputies were charged with unlawful hunting. One was also charged with hunting, trapping, or fishing without a license and leaving wanton waste. The officers voluntarily resigned after the incident. ow.ly/fiomd
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The police lieutenant who was caught on video punching a woman was charged with simple assault. He was fired from his post for the incident. ow.ly/fm2d2
  • San Bernardino, California: Officers shot and killed a man after he reportedly threw a stick at them as they investigated a disturbance. ow.ly/fm1gG
  • Sarasota, Florida: A homeless man spent the night in jail after police arrested him for charging his cell phone at a public picnic shelter. The city offers free electrical power charging stations throughout the city for those with electrical cars. ow.ly/flUd6
  • Spokane, Washington: An officer was sentenced to more than 4 years in prison for using excessive force against a mentally disabled janitor who died after being erroneously suspected for stealing money from an ATM. ow.ly/flR0a
  • Selma, North Carolina: An officer handcuffed a nurse in the ER when she refused to draw blood because he didn’t have a court order. The nurse who called 911 said the officer “came and just arrested and made a huge scene with our house administrators. He just handcuffed her – he could care less about anything – in front of the middle of our ER. And this whole ER is in complete chaos, and frankly, somebody needs to come here and handle it.” The officer has been suspended with pay. ow.ly/flIbA
  • New York, New York: An officer reported he was stabbed by an intruder when he wasn’t. He has been charged with falsely reporting an incident. ow.ly/fkPNL
  • Tiltonsville, Ohio: An officer has been charged with a misdemeanor count of assault. The charges stem from an alleged beating incident; the officer was masked when he got out of a car, tackled, and hit the victim repeatedly. ow.ly/fkPF4

Code of Silence ‘Alive and Well’

From the Chicago Tribune:

Obrycka was working at a Northwest Side tavern when Abbate, after an afternoon of heavy drinking, staggered behind the bar. She tried to stop him; he threw her to the floor and repeatedly punched her in the face and head, pressing his foot against her body for leverage as he swung his fists. When other patrons intervened, he left the tavern. She called 911.

Rather than investigate her claims fully and arrest Abbate, responding officers left crucial information off their reports, according to her lawsuit. They did not include Abbate’s last name, even though she wrote down how she thought it was spelled. The officers were told that a security camera recorded the beating, but they didn’t mention it in their account, or ask to view it. Obrycka says she told them the offender was a police officer. That detail? Also missing.

Obrycka was the lady bartender beaten by off-duty Chicago cop, Abbate.  Previous coverage here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-14-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, November 14, 2012:

  • Update: Chicago, Illinois: A woman who was brutally attacked by an officer, while working as a bartender, was awarded $850,000. The Jury deemed that there was a widespread attempt to cover it up by officers within the police department. The officer was previously charged criminally and fired, but was given no jail time. http://ow.ly/fih4y
  • Augusta County, Virginia: A now-former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of petty larceny. He falsified his time sheets, and investigators say he pocketed at least $4,000 off of it. He was banned from law enforcement, and must pay back the city. http://ow.ly/filqk
  • Halifax County, Virginia: A grand jury returned 21 indictments of forgery and embezzlement against the Sheriff. Search warrants issued in the case indicated that up to $113,180.50 in funds intended for law enforcement activities — including drug interdiction — was missing from the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff lost the most recent election. http://ow.ly/fibnb
  • Beaver, Pennsylvania: A police officer who was suspended 10 days by the mayor after he was the subject of a protection-from-abuse order last month has been suspended an additional 20 days without pay by council. He will also face a hearing on undetermined charges, according to a motion approved by council Tuesday, and could face further disciplinary action. http://ow.ly/fhLvU
  • Greenfield, Wisconsin: After investigators obtained evidence he was  sexting a woman who was a suspect in a jewelry theft, an officer was placed on administrative leave and suspended with pay, police said. He has now resigned from the police department. http://ow.ly/fhL1R
  • Ouachita, Louisiana: The sheriff was sentenced to six months of home confinement as part of a federal plea deal involving unauthorized access of a protected computer. Prosecutors dropped felony charges against him, in exchange for his guilty plea to nine misdemeanor counts of fraud and related activity. Also, he cannot work for any law enforcement agency again in any capacity. http://ow.ly/fhHRv
  • Rockingham, North Carolina: A police chief has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that he stole tens of thousands of dollars in seized drug money. He worked for the department for 21 years and was even president of the Rotary Club. But city officials said after he resigned, they discovered “significant irregularities” in financial records. http://ow.ly/fhFUs
  • Los Angeles, California:  A former officer and a suspended officer were convicted for conspiracy to obstruct justice and commit perjury. The conviction was in connection with a drug possession case. http://ow.ly/fhvHA

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