National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-25-11

Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, January 25, 2011:

  • Philadelphia PA has settled a wrongful death lawsuit in the middle of the civil trial for $500,000 to the family of woman who was shot by police five times, two of those shots hit her in the back. Her family claimed that was because she was walking away at the time. [0]
  • King County WA has settled an excessive force lawsuit for $10,000,000 to the family of a man who was left in a permanent comatose state due to catastrophic brain damage he suffered when a deputy launched him head first into a wall with a shoulder tackle in a case of mistaken identity. The family needed the money to pay for the constant care he will need for the rest of his life. [0]
  • A Houston TX police officer already facing sexual assault charges on allegations he handcuffed and kidnapped a waitress at her place of work then raped her on the trunk of his cruiser while on duty has now been named as a suspect in five other sexual assault cases. [1]
  • At least two New Jersey State troopers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they used unnecessary force when they threw a mentally disabled man to the ground then beat and kicked him repeatedly on dashcam video after they asked him to step out of a car he was a passenger in during a DUI traffic stop, after the driver passed all sobriety tests. [3]
  • Two Toronto ON police officers have been found guilty of assaulting a disabled man in an excessive force case where the judge ruled the officers had no grounds to have arrested the man, let alone fracturing his ribs and leaving him with facial lacerations indicative of being struck repeatedly by the officers. [0]
  • A Humble TX police officer’s actions in the accidental shooting death of a car burglary suspect are being questioned by police tactical experts who say it’s against any known training they know of for an officer to use a loaded gun to break a car window, precisely because of the risks of an accidental discharge. The officer is currently under investigation over the incident. [1]
  • An Ontario County NY sheriff’s lieutenant is the  subject of a lawsuit filed by a corrections officer and a deputy alleging that he sexually harassed them then retaliated against them when they complained about their mistreatment and made allegations that he assaulted a detainee. [3]
  • A Rockaway NJ police officer and a Denville NJ police detective are the subject of a lawsuit filed by a man claiming the detective assaulted him inside a gym where both of the men got into a dispute and that the responding Rockaway officer falsely arrested him for assault when it was the detective who was the aggressor. The assault charges agaisnt the man were dismissed later. [3]
  • A Phoenix AZ police officer is under investigation on allegations that he assaulted a man while off-duty. The same officer was the subject of a high-profile incident last year where he was accused, and later cleared, of roughing up a councilman at the scene of a house fire. [1]
  • A Chattanooga TN police officer has been suspended after he was arrested on a domestic simple assault charge on allegations he shoved a woman of unspecified relation to him. [0]
  • Concord CA has settled a sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit for $150,000 to a female police lieutenant. [0]
  • A Hamilton ON police officer has resigned after pleading guilty to an obstruction charge over a strange convoluted prank 911 phone call case that even I had a hard time figuring out. [0]
  • And finally, I don’t know if I can classify this as “misconduct” but it was WAY out there and seemed pertinent to at least discuss… An Akron OH police officer who was suspended last year for charging a woman with a felony for videotaping him then refusing to give him her camera is now suing his employer claiming that the disciplinary action was nothing more than a racially motivated plot because he’s a white officer, the woman was black, and the black mayor wanted to use the case to get more votes… uh huh. [?]

Before I end today’s review I wanted to thank the folks at The War on Guns site for helping us out in our time of need, we truly appreciate the help and support right now. They put up a post asking their members to help us out if they can and did so completely on their own without my asking them to. That really means a lot to me! I also wanted to thank the people who have donated so far, thank you so much for your help and support!

Speaking of the situation we’re in, I finally spoke with the recruiter about what was going on with the contract I was supposed to start working on this week. Apparently the hiring manager’s boss’s boss put the breaks on the project for at least 2 weeks while he decides whether he’ll approve it or not. If they go ahead with it they’ll want me to do it, but that’s up in the air now and, even if they do choose me, chances are that it will likely be too late to avoid eviction at that point.

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-24-11

Here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, January 24, 2011:

  • A Los Angeles CA police officer was found liable by a jury in a civil case over the fatal shooting of an autistic man in 2008. The city was put in a strange predicament defending the officer over the shooting that they claimed was justified based on nothing more than his word even though he was later fired from the department for dishonesty. The jury has not yet made a decision on the final liability amount. [3]
  • Prince George’s County MD settled a lawsuit for an unknown sum but also pledged to institute reforms involving drug raids and how officers dealt with family pets over the high-profile bungled drug raid that took place at Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home based on a faulty investigation which resulted in the shooting death of his two dogs. [0]
  • The Denver CO police are again the subject of a lawsuit based on allegations of excessive force. This time the suit involves a faulty warrantless drug raid on a Hispanic family that was based on stale information where the suspects being sought had moved out several months previous. The family alleges police barged in and roughed up their small sons, half the size of the officers, while the officers claim the kids attacked them and that they were given permission to enter. [4]
  • A Jacksonville FL police officer who was detained “for his own safety” last week over an outburst he had with a trainer while he was already suspended over another case is now the subject of yet another complaint alleging he punched a handcuffed detainee on video, sending him reeling backwards where he was almost hit by a passing van. [4]
  • A Donna TX police officer has been arrested for official oppression, assault and for violating the rights of a teen that he peppersprayed w/o cause in a holding cell, all of which was captured on surveillance cameras. [0]
  • The Seattle WA police department will apparently be the subject of a US DOJ pattern & practice investigation that was requested by several civil rights groups and two former US Attorneys after several high-profile excessive force incidents last year. [0]
  • The now-former police chief of Salisbury MA may be facing charges after an investigation reportedly found that he had violated several departmental rules and regulations before he resigned which includes allegations that he exchanged drugs and cash for sex with suspects, that he had falsified reports and even hid or tampered with evidence in criminal cases. [0]
  • The sheriff of Yadkin County NC may be preparing to resign and hasn’t shown up at work for a week now that he’s the subject of multiple state investigations looking into possible financial irregularities. [2]
  • A Fulton County GA deputy has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for accepting money to protect what he believed to be cocaine dealers handling large shipments of drugs but were actually federal agents taking part in a sting operation. [0]
  • A Miami FL police officer has pled guilty to fencing a shipment of 10,000 Bluetooth headsets for sale in the black market. In addition to the plea, he’s still the subject of an investigation into two fatal shooting incidents last year. [0]
  • Two Sebastian County MO deputies were disciplined with 1 day suspensions without pay over unspecified violations of the department’s code of conduct based on unspecified complaints. [3]
  • A now-former LaPlata MO police officer has been sentenced to probation on a felony count of making false statements for lying to FBI agents about having sex inside the police station while he was on duty with a woman that he arrested on a DUI charge. [0]
  • A now-former Louisville KY police officer was fined and was given a conditional release after pleading guilty to public intoxication and assault charges for getting into a bar fight with an off-duty officer who was trying to arrest her sister for throwing a drink on someone. [0]
  • A Horry County SC police sergeant has been arrested on domestic violence charges for allegedly hitting and choking his girlfriend in a fight over their planned superbowl party. [0]
  • A Superior WI police sergeant has been arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge on allegations he punched his girlfriend in the face. [0]
  • A Flint MI police officer who is also the president of that police union has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence over an altercation he had with his wife. [1]
  • The Grosse Pointe Woods MI police department is being sued by the family of 1 of 16 students who were questioned and had their cars searched at school after a police dog triggered on all the cars, but no drugs were found in any of them. This suit apparently isn’t over the search itself, but an effort to get information on how the dogs are trained, if at all, in order to determine why this dog made false hits on 16 of 16 cars that day and the department is refusing to release that information. [4]
  • A now-former Putnam County NY deputy has pled guilty to grand larceny in a workers comp fraud case for claiming she was injured on the job when she actually fell from a horse while off-duty. She was fired after being convicted for perjury involving a case she worked on as an officer. [0]
  • And finally, a Rhode Island State trooper was arrested on a drunk driving charge after he was involved in a car accident with an off-duty police officer. [0]

Also, I’m sorry the feed was a bit sporadic today. I received some really bad news about that contract job I was supposed to start this week and I’m just really devastated about it. It’s been put on hold for at least 2-3 weeks and, because of that, I don’t see how we’ll be able to avoid eviction here. I’m just really at wit’s end here and utterly frustrated about this endless string of bad luck. Nothing else to do but keep trying to survive I guess.

Anyway, that’s it for today, stay safe out there.

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 01-22-11 to 01-23-11

Here are the 18 reports that we’ve tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend, January 22-23, 2011:

  • The video above, showing a Utah State Trooper repeatedly punching a 53-year-old woman in a car after a police chase has received a lot of play in the news. The trooper is now on paid leave while under investigation over the incident which occurred almost five months ago and the trooper claims he was using “distraction blows” because the woman refused to get out and was still trying to drive away after her car was blocked in and he was too close to use a taser. While that argument may work if the woman was still trying to flee, it can also be argued that the officer put himself at undue risk by putting his arm in the car while other officers tasered the woman instead and should have let them handle it since they were in better tactical position than he was. But questions about when he was suspended and why this took so long to go public tied with his relation to the patrol commissioner may make this more about accountability than potential excessive force. [1]
  • A New York NY police officer claims he accidentally shot an apparently unarmed 76-year-old man who was the father of the subject of a search warrant during a drug raid at a Queens apartment building, though there haven’t been any details released describing exactly how it was an accidental shooting. [2]
  • A US Border Patrol agent is the subject of a lawsuit over the fatal cross-border shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was on the Mexican side of the border when he was shot. Border Patrol officials have claimed that the boy was among a group of teens who were throwing rocks at agents as justification for the deadly shooting but at least one alleged 3rd-party witness has contradicted that claim. [3]
  • Four Lake Station IN police officers are the subject of a lawsuit by a man claiming they used excessive force when they broke both of his arms during an arrest… To be honest I’m a bit on the fence about adding this one due to the absence of any details here and may remove it if more information comes out contradicting his claim. If anyone hears more about this one let me know. [3]
  • An unknown number of Uniontown PA police officers are accused of needlessly shooting a family’s dog seven times, six of which with handguns and once with a shotgun, after the owner of the dog called police to report a prowler that the dog apparently chased off. [4]
  • At least two West Virginia State police officers are being sued by a 63-year-old man and his wife who claim that the officers used excessive force on both of them while serving a warrant for the man’s arrest. They claim officers beat the husband on multiple occasions before and after arrest while they also dragged his wheelchair-bound wife across the ground, injuring her too. However, he also claims officers used anti-Semitic slurs against him during the beatings and some of the claims seem a bit questionable even for the problematic WV police. Police claim he was armed with a screwdriver or knife and had barricaded himself in the home and that his wife attacked and clawed at them, which also seems a stretch… It seems likely the truth is somewhere in between the two claims, but seemingly excessive anyway given the pair’s ages and condition. [1]
  • A North Carolina trooper is still the subject of a criminal investigation eight months after he allegedly detained a woman without explanation in his cruiser during a traffic stop and exposed himself to her before releasing her without charge. The officer resigned after he was notified about the investigation about a month after the incident but details of the incident have only now gone public. [4]
  • A Niagra Region ON police officer has been arrested on allegations that he assaulted a woman while he was already suspended over another unrelated, but unspecified, matter. [1]
  • Details about how Chicago IL police arrested a woman for recording internal affairs officers she claims refused to take her complaint about an officer who allegedly raped her because she had violated that state’s wiretap laws by doing so came out this weekend in a report about that state’s laws that make it a felony to record the police. We recorded the passage of that law last year along with another case that will hopefully test that law. Both of the people we’ve tracked so far arrested over that law face up to 15 years in prison for it. While some may not think this is misconduct since it’s perfectly legal for the officers to arrest the woman based on that state’s laws, we do feel that the law in that state is a very serious threat to police accountability and transparency and how police apply that law in cases where it appears they are avoiding accountability by doing so should be tracked. [5]
  • A Detroit MI police officer is accused of refusing to help two women who struggled to detain a car burglar that they detained and tried to take back to the police station after the Detroit police never sent a unit out when they called. Apparently the officer, that the woman spotted while dragging the man in, refused to even get out of his car then took off after a college campus cop stopped to assist. The chief of police insists he’s looking into it. [3]
  • Cleveland OH police detectives are accused of violating departmental rules and federal laws by improperly clearing 52 rape cases as closed without ever even identifying any suspects in those cases, just to make their case closure statistics look better than they were. [3]
  • The now-former sheriff of Ramsey County MN is accused of lying when he claimed there were 33 active terrorist organizations in that county. The current sheriff is making the allegations after he tried to locate the studies and reports those claims were allegedly based on and, found nothing at all. It’s being claimed that the sheriff made up the information to secure funding for his anti-terrorism task force which was allegedly nothing more than some highly-paid officers sitting around searching the net and spying on groups such as PETA and the CUAPB (Communities United Against Police Brutality). [3]
  • A Palatka FL police officer has resigned after he was arrested on drunk driving charges with a .15BAC when he blew out the tires on his police cruiser after hitting several curbs. [0]
  • A Washington County WV sheriff’s captain has resigned and filed for retirement benefits after he was placed on leave when medication was found to be missing from the jail where he was assigned as administrator and he was allegedly the only one with access to that medication. [1]
  • Independence MO police supervisors were ruled to have misled the police chief and manufactured a case against a police sergeant in order to retaliate against him for voicing his concerns about staffing levels. [3]
  • The sheriff of Osceola County IA is being sued by a former deputy who claims he was wrongfully fired in violation of his First Amendment rights for offering to testify in a civil case against the sheriff’s office in a case where a man was denied a gun permit because of his political views, which was also ruled a fist amendment violation. [3]
  • And finally, the Seattle WA police union is in the news over articles in their newsletter, especially one that criticizes the city’s anti-profiling and anti-discrimination efforts in which city officials are called “the enemy”. Now, I’m not classifying this one as misconduct because I do believe that police have a right to express their honest opinion, so long as it’s on their own dime, and should be encouraged to do so, even if what they think is controversial or unpleasant. Of course, the opinion expressed in this case isn’t very politically tactful given all the calls for a federal investigation into the department over a string of several excessive force cases involving minorities lately. But, at the least, I do think there’s some value in getting a glimpse at the unvarnished and honest opinions of those officers in the light of those cases. [0]

That’s it for this weekend, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-21-11

Here are the 21 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, January 21, 2011:

  • The top story today is that the infamous Chicago Illinois “torture cop”, Jon Burge, has been sentenced to a light four and a half years in prison after he was convicted on perjury charges for lying about torturing several people into false confessions in his testimony for a civil suit. [0]
  • 12 Philadelphia PA cops are accused of using excessive force in addition to uttering racist and homophobic slurs against a gay couple and then conspiring to cover it up when neighbors started videotaping it. [4]
  • Minneapolis MN police are accused of using excessive force and causing extensive damage to an apartment during a questionable raid that only resulted in minor charges. [4]
  • 2 Atlanta GA police officers are under investigation for allegedly intimidating a woman who videotaped excessive force incident by pulling her over for no apparent reason after they spotted her recording an arrest. [4]
  • A St Louis MO police officer was sentenced to probation for perjury and obstruction over false statements he made that would have sent an innocent man to prison for 10 years if not for contradictory video.  [0]
  • Garden Grove CA police are the subject of a claim, generally a precursor to a lawsuit, alleging that masked officers clad in black raided a home without showing a  warrant just to make a misdemeanor drug arrest. [3]
  • A Minneapolis MN police officer has been charged with felony assault on allegations that he beat his wife then pistol whipped her in front of their 3-year-old son then threatened to kill her after she sought medical treatment. [0]
  • A Clovis NM police officer has been indicted on a vehicular homicide charge on allegations he caused a fatal accident when he ran a stop sign while speeding in cruiser and crashed into a woman’s car, killing the passenger and severely wounding her passenger. [0]
  • Tarpon Springs FL police are accused of arresting a college student for refusing to turn over a video he took of officers while they were making an arrest and then confiscating another person’s cell phone for recording that arrest. [5]
  • A Long Branch NJ police officer was sentenced to probation in a plea deal to a simple assault charge for his role in a bar brawl that left a man with a broken jaw in a situation the judge called nothing less than bullying. [0]
  • A Los Angeles CA police officer is the subject of a lawsuit alleging he threatened to kill a 14-year-old student that his wife, a teacher, had sex with. [3]
  • Two Washington DC police officers have been indicted on illegal suplementation of pay charges for taking protection money from liquor store, another officer was convicted of the same last year. [0]
  • A Jacksonville FL police officer was detained after an outburst against an instructor at a training center while the officer was on administrative leave while under investigation over other misconduct allegations. While police claim it was for his own safety, they also warned a judge and attorney he had issues with, as a precaution. [0]
  • A Michigan State trooper was sentenced to 1 week in jail in a plea to an assault & battery charge for groping a female trooper’s breasts during training. [0]
  • A Lorain OH police officer with a history of disciplinary problems was suspended twice in the last 2 months for misuse of his position and for making false claims against one of his supervisors. [0]
  • An Oregon County MO deputy has been fired after arrested on 8 felony burglary & theft charges when he tried to sell stolen goods to an undercover officer. [0]
  • A Grand Traverse County MI deputy accepted a plea deal to an attempted assault on an officer charge even though he was originally charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and two domestic violence charges. [0]
  • A Kingston NY police lieutenant was charged with grand larceny involving $9,000 that was stolen, however, how he stole it depends on whom you ask since officials aren’t being clear about whether it was due to double-dipping or that he directly stole it from the department. [2]

Before I call it a day though, for those who are curious, I found out today that I managed to win the contract job so I’ll be able to take down the donation buttons and fund this myself again soon. Thank you all for your help and donations that saw us through, both are greatly appreciated!

…and, as always, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-20-11

Here are the 24 reports from the US and Canada tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, January 20, 2011:

  • An Arlington TX police officer is accused of threatening members of a SWAT team… who arrested him on an aggravated sexual assault charge where he is accused of choking and sexually assaulting a woman… which occurred while he was on unpaid leave on allegations he arrested an innocent man… which happened while he was under investigation for allegedly making sexual advances on a woman he pulled over in October… in fact, all in all, the officer in question has a history of 21 complaints filed against him. [2]
  • Warwick RI has settled an excessive force and false arrest lawsuit for $40,000 on allegations that police detained a 71-year-old grandmother and telling her to shut up when she asked why, ordered her grandson to put his 7-year-old son down at gunpoint, punched him in the head while he was cuffed in front of the young boy, then illegally searched their apartment before realizing… they had the wrong address. [3]
  • Los Angeles CA was ordered to pay a $1,200,000 jury award to a bounty hunter who was shot by a police officer who thought he was robbing the fugitive that he was apprehending. [0]
  • The now-former police chief of Inman KS has been found guilty of 15 felony charges for molesting and solicting 3 young girls for sex and a misdemeanor charge for abusing a young boy he was also accused of molesting as well, though he was found not guilty of those charges. [0]
  • An Oklahoma City OK police sergeant has been suspended after he was arrested on allegations of committing lewd acts on a child under 16 and forcible sodomy.
  • UPDATE: It appears as though the allegations against the officer were “a misunderstanding” involving one of the officer’s several foster children, according to the alleged victim’s family who say the boy has recanted the allegations against the officer. So we’re taking this report out of our database.
  • The police chief of Norfolk VA is claiming that he failed to reveal that a police recruit police claim died because he accidentally ran into another recruit during training more likely had died after he was repeatedly punched by a police trainer because the city attorney advised him not to reveal that information… but a reporter found out anyway. [2]
  • A Hardeman County TX deputy was fired and charged with sexual assault of a child and possession of a controlled substance. He was actually fired in September due, in part, to those allegations but he was then rehired by the Bayou Vista PD while under investigation. [0]
  • The RCMP police officer out of Kelowna BC who may be facing charges over the videotaped incident where he kicked a compliant suspect in the face is also under investigation on a complaint filed before that alleging he repeatedly punched a man he detained when he mistook him for a thief when he caught the man repossessing a boat due to unpaid repair bills. [3]
  • A Baltimore MD police officer who claimed that someone shot him in the leg at a parking garage next door to the police station may have been lying after investigators apparently determined that there was no sign of an assailant in that incident. [3]
  • Prince George’s County MD lost a civil suit judgment for almost $3.1 million to a woman who was severely injured after an unmarked cruiser drifted into her lane and struck her car head-on. [0]
  • Sturgis SD has settled a lawsuit for an undisclosed sum to a woman claiming she was subjected to illegal body searches by police during an annual Sturgis motorcycle rally. [3]
  • An Austin TX police officer has been suspended after he chose to take a lunch break instead of responding to a call requesting that someone check on a woman’s husband after she claimed he had a gun and she was worried about him. The man was later found dead of a self-inflicted gun wound. [0]
  • Two Denver CO police officers are accused of mistreating and issuing a false citation to a byciclist who is an intern at the Westword weekly in Denver. The intern alleges an officer shoulder-tackled him when he road away after confronting a cop who had almost caused a car to hit him while directing traffic. Instead, the bicyclist got a $50 ticked for failing to obey traffic laws. [3]
  • A York Regional ON cop is under investigation after being videotaped telling a G20 protester that he wasn’t in Canada anymore and had no rights when the man refused to allow his backpack to be searched. [3]
  • A Tucson AZ police officer has been sentenced to probation in a plea deal on computer tampering charges stemming from the misuse of a police database. [0]
  • A Kern County CA deputy was sentenced to 1 year in jail but will be allowed to transfer out into a drug treatment program in 30 days as part of his plea deal for being under the influence of meth while armed. [0]
  • A Harvey IL police officer was suspended without pay after his son stole his unmarked police SUV and seriously injured someone in a multi-car crash. [0]
  • An Elkhart IN cop faces termination after he was convicted on a felony forgery charge for forging his wife’s signature on a check he cashed. [0]
  • A Stuttgart AR cop was sentenced to probation, a fine and community service in a plea deal to abuse of public trust and abuse of office charges. [1]
  • A Sandwich MA cop was suspended after he was caught on a gas station surveillance camera hitting a light pole with his car and then fleeing the scene of that accident. [0]
  • A Dougherty County GA school police officer has resigned after being arrested on multiple charges including theft on allegations he tried to pass off a used cell phone as being new while trying to return it for a refund. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-19-11

First I wanted to mention that the NPMSRP had a great mention and was cited in an article in Denver’s Westword weekly about one of the latest cases of alleged excessive force out there. It’s a recommended read.

Next, if you’ve been around for a while you’ve noticed that we do two formats for these daily reviews, a long format which we add details about the incidents listed, and a short format which we just import the reports from the news feed with minimal changes. If you want an example, yesterday’s report was long format, today’s is going to be mostly short format.

A few people have mentioned that they prefer the short format and it hasn’t been the first time. However, last time I put it to a vote readers stated they prefer the long format. But, I figured it was time to ask yet again, so here’s a poll… let us know what format you prefer.

*Note: Survey Closed, results above, thanks for voting!

With that said, here are the 26 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Wednesday, January 19. 2011:

  • A Maricopa County AZ deputy’s version of events in a fatal shooting incident are disputed by a witness alleging that the shooting was unnecessary. [3]
  • Monterey CA & Monterey County CA are being sued by the family of man who died in a fire caused by flash-bang grenade during a questionable raid where he wasn’t even the real suspect. [2]
  • An Illinois State trooper has been sentenced to probation in a plea deal for reckless homicide for a 126mph on-duty crash that killed 2 teen girls. [0]
  • In the same case, an Illinois court awarded $8,000,000 to the parents of those teens. (Note: If you’re curious how the database handles these, we keep the reported amount of the suit in our database but don’t assign any numerical values to the victim, officer, or other fields to avoid double counting an incident yet keeping the monetary award data for statistical reporting.) [0]
  • 2 Columbia MS police officers are accused of using excessive force and falsely arresting a man in court after a cop on the witness stand became enraged when that man’s friend called him a liar, the judge did nothing to stop it. [4]
  • A Denver CO cop is sued alleging she used excessive force and falsely arrested a business owner who asked her to move her cruiser that was blocking his entrance. She happens to be the 2nd female Denver cop in trouble for excessive force who was also on the American Gladiator TV show. [3]
  • A Lubbock TX police officer has resigned before he was arrested on 2 counts of sexual assault of a child and indecency w/child involving his 16 and 12-year-old adoptive daughters. [0]
  • Liberty PA cop charged w/involuntary manslaughter after his 5yr-old son fatally shot self with the officer’s service weapon. [0]
  • A Michigan State trooper is charged with 2 counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual misconduct with a girl under the age of 13. [1]
  • A La Crosse Co WI deputy charged with negligent homicide after crashing into a teen’s car with his cruiser at about 96mph. [0]
  • A Simi Valley CA cop who was the subject of a previous excessive force settlement involving his police dog is being sued again on allegations he intentionally and needlessly ordered his dog to attack a man he detained. The suit also alleges that officers took pictures of the attack and taunted the man with it in repeated attempts to intimidate him. [5]
  • A Saguenay QC cop was arrested for violating bail conditions set after he was charged with several sexual assault and drug trafficking charges. [1]
  • A now-former Gallatin County IL sheriff was sentenced to 2 life terms in prison for dealing drugs on-duty and for plotting to kill the witnesses. [0]
  • A Louisville KY cop was suspended 15 days for charging a 7-year-old boy with criminal mischief for hitting his truck with a ball even though there was no damage. [0]
  • 3 Chicago IL cops are being sued by an alderman alleging she was falsely arrested on DUI charges because she demanded a cop’s badge number when he blocked the road with his cruiser. [3]
  • A San Bernardino County CA deputy was charged with DUI after a 2-car accident. Oddly, he was immediately released but the woman he hit was jailed even though she passed a breathalyzer 3 times. No explanation was given for that. [4]
  • A Winter Haven FL police officer was suspended & arrested after caught stealing marijuana from evidence by a fellow cop. [0]
  • A Worcester MA police officer was convicted on federal conspiracy to distribute marijuana charges. Can’t give more details because the only site carrying the report was pay-per-view subscriber-based. [0]
  • A Dakota County NE sheriff’s sergeant resigned while subject of federal investigation over unspecified computer crimes. [3]
  • 3 Oak Hill FL cops are under investigation for cheating on tests while the police chief is also accused of covering it up. [3]
  • A Trenton NJ cop & 2 aides were charged with record tampering & falsified documentation for failing to check on a man who was later found dead in his cell from liver failure. [0]
  • A now-former Santa Fe NM sheriff was arrested on 251 counts of embezzlement & 1 fraud charge for allegedly selling county equipment on E-Bay to pay gambling debts and other personal expenses. [0]
  • An Ozaukee County WI sheriff’s lieutenant was sentenced to 6 months in jail & probation for stealing over $8k before he retired. [0]
  • An RCMP cop was charged with theft on allegations that he stole $40-$70 in change from a desk at a community policing office. [0]
  • A Salisbury MA police chief resigned while the subject of an ongoing investigation into unspecified misconduct allegations. [2]
  • And finally, a South Bend IN cop faces a 30 day suspension for interfering with the investigation into allegations he stole his ex-wife’s license plate. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-18-11

First, I had a great interview for a job this morning and I think I might get this one, I’ll know more on Wednesday so keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully I’ll be able to finally take down the donation button and get things stabilized again!

Anyway, here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, January 18, 2011:

  • A Beaumont TX police officer has been sentenced to a brief stint of probation for official oppression over a videotaped incident where he needlessly tasered the passenger of a car after a fellow officer had beat him repeatedly with a baton during a traffic stop even though he was being compliant. [0]
  • A Rancho Cordova CA police officer is accused of tasering a woman who they mistook for a shoplifter even when she begged to let her show them her receipts. Even though they finally figured out she didn’t steal anything they still arrested her for obstruction. [4]
  • Two Seattle WA police officers are accused of using excessive force by a reporter who claims she witnessed the officers chase down a man who appeared to be in his 50′s for jaywalking and tackled him from behind, causing his head to bounce off the pavement. She then claims that one of the officers repeatedly punched him in the face. This would be the latest in a long string of excessive force complaints associated with jaywalking arrests in Seattle. [3]
  • A Terre Haute IN police officer has been sentenced to 2 years of home detention after pleading down to a reduced charge of sexual assault when he was originally charged for molesting a 13-year-old girl. [0]
  • A Windsor County VT deputy has been charged with lewd & lascivious conduct with a child after a lengthy investigation by state police, though details haven’t been released about the allegations. [1]
  • A San Antonio TX police officer has been sentenced to a year in jail in a plea deal to official oppression charges for sexually assaulting a tansgendered person he detained while on-duty. [0]
  • A Baltimore MD police officer currently charged with murder is the subject of a lawsuit alleging that he shouldn’t have even been a police officer at the time he fatally shot an unarmed man during a dispute while he was drunk because he had been in a similar shooting incident previously. [0]
  • Pittsburgh PA has settled a lawsuit for $40,000 to a man who was shot in the hand by an off-duty officer who was under the influence when he mistook that man for being one of a group of people he alleges punched him in the face while he was driving. Apparently the officer pistol whipped him in the head and when the man put his hand up to block the blows the officer shot his hand, all this despite bystanders telling him he had the wrong guy. [3]
  • An Altoona PA police officer has resigned while waiting for his disciplinary hearing for a bar brawl where he and a fellow off-duty officer were accused of assaulting two men. He’s the fourth officer to lose his job over the incident, two other on-duty cops who responded to the incident were also caught up in it. [0]
  • Three Conyers GA cops, a Rockadale County GA deputy and a Johns Creek GA cop are all under investigation over an alleged bar brawl started by an officer hitting a doorman who refused to allow a 19-year-old with the officers to enter a bar. The officers were also accused of trying to intimidate witnesses and trying to convince responding officers to cover up the incident.  [2]
  • Maricopa County AZ sheriff Arpaio is the subject of yet another lawsuit related to his alleged efforts to use his office for political retaliation against county officials, six of which have already filed suits against him. This suit was filed by a family of real-estate developers claiming they were wrongfully caught up in those political reprisals when the sheriff served a search warrant on them in an effort to find dirt on a county official, even though that warrant was later revoked as being, well, unwarranted. [3]
  • An Eastlake OH police sergeant has resigned after an investigation into allegations that he put his hands down the pants of a female city employee who was in his police cruiser while participating in a police ride-along program. [0]
  • A Moss Point MS police officer has been arrested on an assault charge for allegedly choking woman then damaging a wall and a table when he threw her. [1]
  • The police chief of Beloit WI has retired amid controversy over lawsuits and allegations of racism that include a videotaped admission that he used a racial slur when addressing his own officers. [1]
  • A Davidson County NC deputy who worked as a resource officer has been charged with a misdemeanor larceny count on allegations he stole diesel fuel from the school he worked at. [0]
  • A Phoenix AZ cop who happens to be the mayor’s son is on leave while under investigation for an unspecified allegation of “inappropriate contact”. [1]
  • And finally, a Grant County WA deputy is the subject of a lawsuit alleging that he needlessly shot man’s dog to death for sniffing his police dog’s butt while officers were searching a car for drugs. However, the officer says the two dogs fought and, even though the dog fled after the officer kicked it, he though it was coming back to attack again. [3]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-17-11

We tracked an unusually low number of reports today. Most of that probably had to do with it being Martin Luther King Day but also probably had to do with several things going on at once that kept me away from doing searches for most of the day… while I already mentioned most of the ongoing bad stuff going on that continue to keep me from doing this work as well as I would like. Still, I did want to say thank you so much for those who sent messages of support and donations yesterday, I truly appreciate it.

With that said, here are the 6 reports of police misconduct I was able to track in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, January 17, 2011:

  • Albany NY has settled a wrongful arrest lawsuit for $40,000 to a man who was confronted by two police officers in a case of mistaken identity based on an extremely vague description of “a tall black man in a brown T-shirt and with Afro-style haircut” then peppersprayed and reportedly struck him with a baton when he questioned why he was being detained. He was then arrested for obstruction, resisting and disorderly conduct but the charges were dismissed outright. [0]
  • Two Abbotsford BC police constables are to be the subject of a public hearing over an excessive force complaint based on a YouTube video that was recorded during a 2009 arrest. Apparently the department itself ruled the use of force as justified but the BC Complaint Commission has ordered another review. [0]
  • An Ottawa ON police officer has pled guilty to 2 counts of assault for beating his young children with a belt buckle for over a period of 8 months. He’ll continue to earn his normal pay until he’s sentenced. [0]
  • An Albany NY police sergeant who is also the police supervisor’s union president has been suspended without pay for at least 30 days while he’s the subject of an unspecified investigation. [3]
  • And finally, the police chief of Geary OK has resigned after he was arrested on DUI charges. Apparently, according to the deputy who arrested him, the chief flashed his badge and asked for a bit of professional courtesy, but apparently the deputy didn’t fall for it and did his duty. [0]

Also, while it’s not in our feed since we don’t track the start of civil trials as a report status change, I do get regular questions about the Christopher Harris case out of King County Washington so I did want to mention that the civil trial in that case starts tomorrow and the Seattle PI has the latest information on what was voted as the 2nd worst police misconduct video of 2009 by our readers last year… it’s terribly tragic I’m sorry to say.

When The Going Gets

It’s been a tough weekend… who am I kidding, it’s been a tough few years, but it all came to a boil this weekend really. In fact, so rough that I’ve come very close to just throwing my hands up and quitting this whole thing… I apologize for that, but truth is that it’s easier said than done.

When I started this I really expected a lot of hate mail from police officers but, surprisingly, only one cop has ever written anything angry to me and he just called me a stupid asshole and that was it. Meanwhile I’ve received correspondence from at least 6 current and former officers who support what I’ve tried to do here… I was blown over by that and it made me realize just how much potential this project had. After all, if what I’m doing is fair and honest enough to convince some police officers that this is an issue that needs to be out in the open, then that’s a huge step!

Meanwhile, however, I’ve gotten plenty of hate mail and angry messages from people who claim to hate the police, one even went so far to say I deserve to be shot for not agreeing with him that all cops are bad and should be killed. That has been the most demoralizing thing to me in all this, that while police are mostly receptive to the idea of bringing this issue to light in a constructive and rational way, it’s been self-professed police accountability activists who have fought me the hardest and hated me the most.

This weekend it came to a boil though, a few different activists lashed out at me through the whole weekend and went into fever pitch when I posted that I was thinking about possibly going to a subscription access model in an attempt to bring enough money in to survive while I’m out of work and facing the prospect of losing our home.

Angry words and recriminations flew and I withdrew the idea right away, even taking down the post I made which mentioned it since it wasn’t serving any useful purpose and the last thing I needed was more hate mail at a time like this when I’m already stressed. But, one person took it personally that I deleted the post, and his angry comments with it, and started a campaign to kill this project because of it… even though the truth of it was it had nothing to do with him personally until he took it personally and blew up about it.

Honestly, he’s come close to succeeding. As I said, I don’t need more grief on top of the problems I’m already facing; especially grief for trying to do something I think could do a lot of good. So, I was exceptionally close to just shutting it all down, removing it all from the internet as much as I could, and just forgetting I put all that work into something that brought me nothing but grief and pain.

…I still am close to that point. But I can’t bring myself to do it.

Why? Especially when doing this has been such hard work, utterly depressing due to the type of things I have to read and write about day after day, when it may be making it harder for me to find work when hiring managers to searches on the internet for my name, and just plain demoralizing due to some of the negative responses I’ve received for doing it?

Well, it’s hard to shut it down when fellow victims of police misconduct tell me that this gives them hope. It’s hard to shut it down when I can see some faint signs of progress being made because of what I’m doing. It’s also hard to shut it down when it’s my only hope to bridge the gap until I can find work again… but mostly, I think, it’s my own foolish but impossible to ignore urge to do what I think is right even though it’s gotten me into trouble in the past.

I may get discouraged from time to time, I may even get grumpy about it… but the fact is that this is something I believe in and I have a hard time setting it aside because of that. I’m not perfect, nobody is… and the plain fact of it is that this is the essence of this project, to show people that nobody is perfect, not even the police in whom we often put so much faith in. It’s not to vilify them, but to get people to accept that they are human and that, given the power they are granted, they need to be subject to checks and balances because they are human. They, like the rest of us, need accountability.

With all that said, while I do hope to keep doing this, it’s ultimately up to you, the readers, as to whether this continues or not. I can’t do this if nobody wants to read it and, until I find work again, I can’t do this without donations. (Though, to tell the truth, I really really hate asking for donations to be honest and can’t wait to stop asking for them when I find another job).

So, I’ll leave it all in your hands instead of making that kind of decision by myself.

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 01-15-11 to 01-16-11

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend, January 15 – 16, 2011, in short format:

  • Canada – Barrie ON police officer suspended after charged with 2 counts of sexual assault [0]
  • Kalamazoo MI cop resigns after driving drunk to Obama event, crashing into trooper’s cruiser, & using badge to get in [0]
  • Milwaukee WI cop fired, but never charged, on allegations he raped 19yr-old who called 911 now investigated by FBI [4]
  • Shawnee County KS sheriff’s lieutenant writes impressive public apology over off-duty confrontation w/Topeka KS cop [0]
  • Los Angeles County CA sheriff accused of personally ordering questionable investigation as favor to powerful donor [3]
  • Polk County FL deputy suspended after arrested on drunk driving charges with a .144 BAC while off-duty [0]
  • Annville Twp PA police chief placed on leave while facing possible disciplinary action over unspecified issues [4]
  • Ball LA police chief pleads guilty to fraudulently over-reporting expenses in order to recieve FEMA funds [0]
  • Winkler Co TX sheriff indicted along w/others for retaliating against nurses reporting popular doctor’s malpractice [4]
  • Crescent City CA settles suit for $250k to police sgt claiming 3yrs of sexual harassment & physical abuse by chief [0]
  • Bernalillo Co NM deputy investigated for making lewd comments to store workers & visiting felon girlfriend in cruiser [0]
  • Horry County SC police officer arrested on drunk driving charges by state trooper [1]
  • Farmington NM cop suspended after cited for possession of weapon while intoxicated during altercation w/friend [0]
  • 5 West Haven CT police officers named in suit alleging excessive force & bias in raid on house party w/o warrant [4]

Sorry it’s early and in short format, which is nothing more than a direct import from our news feed. I’m just feeling really demoralized about the project today so I just don’t have the motivation to do it, so the news feed won’t be updating either. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Stay safe out there.

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.