National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-01-11

First, sorry for the technical issues with the link shortening service we use, not sure if they’ve gone down for good or not, but if they did go away that presents a lot of work for me to try and track down good links for all the reports we’ve ever captured…

Next, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been working on a switchover designed to make the project more professional so that more people feel comfortable using the information this project generates. The new site will be http://www.npmsrp.org (which is still under construction) and the corresponding news feed will be at http://twitter.com/npmsrp. There might be more changes too, so stay tuned. Still a ways away since I have to redo all links on all posts and move/relink all images in the posts that I’ve ported over. *sigh* It’s a lot more work than I bargained for.

Also, we still need donations very badly right now, in case you didn’t know… though I’m sure most of you do.

Anyway, here are the 17 reports of police misconduct that were tracked (then retracked to find the original URLs since the shortened URLs are bad now) in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, February 1, 2011:

  • An Florida Atlantic University FL police officer has been arrested on an attempted murder charge after he admitted to shooting a female escort multiple times in an apparent dispute over payment for sex after he had contacted her via an internet advertisement. The shooting left  the woman in serious condition and she will likely be paralyzed, according to doctors.  [0]
  • Two Carver County MN deputies are the subject of a lawsuit alleging they illegally entered a woman’s home while she was baking cookies with her 4-year-old granddaughter then used excessive force when they arrested her on false obstruction charges when she requested that they leave when they asked to search the home after a neighbor called 911 about a verbal dispute in her driveway between her daughter and her husband that she wasn’t even aware of. The charges were later dropped against the woman. [3]
  • A Yonkers NY police officer was indicted on multiple charges including assault, official misconduct, and filing false reports on allegations that he went into a bar while on duty in response to a call from his brother and he attacked two people there, arresting one of them on false charges in order to cover up for the assault. His partner, who was with him that night, is also the subject of an internal investigation regarding that incident. [0]
  • Honolulu HI has settled a lawsuit for $240,000 to a US Army veteran who was detained by a SWAT team and held on a mental health hold all because a police officer thought he might be a terrorist because of his middle-eastern heritage. [0]
  • A New York NY narcotics officer has been convicted of conspiring with his narcotics team to steal drugs from suspects and use them to pay off informants. He’s the second officer to be convicted in association with the alleged conspiracy so far. [0]
  • A Brookshire TX police officer has been fired and arrested on official misconduct and theft of a person charges after he was caught in a sting operation stealing money from an undercover FBI informant posing as a motorist during a traffic stop. The sting was performed after police received complaints about thefts by the officer. [1]
  • Six Glendale CA police officers are on paid leave while under investigation over at least four different incidents but the police chief and officials are refusing to elaborate as to what the allegations against the officers might be. [4]
  • A Martin County NC deputy was arrested on assault charges for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face, knocking her two front teeth loose in the process. Oddly, he was arrested by officers he used to work with at a different police department. [0]
  • An Ely MN police officer has been charged with malicious punishment of a child on allegations that he shoved his 6-year-old daughter into a wall then slapped her across the face. [0]
  • An Inkster MI police lieutenant was awarded $700,000 by a jury that found the police chief had racially discriminated against him and retaliated against him over his testimony in another discrimination lawsuit by transferring him afterward.  [0]
  • A Pinellas Park FL police officer has been charged with official misconduct after resigning during an investigation over drugs and a gun that were missing from evidence in cases that he was involved in. [0]
  • A Texas State trooper has pled guilty to delivery of controlled substance charges after he was caught selling $800 worth of illegal steroids to an undercover officer in a sting operation. [0]
  • A Mobile AL police officer has retired while he was the subject of an internal investigation over allegations that he was caught shoplifting at a WalMart, even though he was never charged. [1]
  • A Proctor MN deputy police chief who also serves as a councilman has been sentenced to probation on drug charges and a related firearm charge that he pled guilty to. The judge in this case expressed doubts about the man’s story that he merely misplaced evidence, saying if a suspect he arrested gave him the same story that he wouldn’t have bought it either, but gave him the suggested sentence anyway. [0]
  • A Hackensack NJ police officer has been suspended for 75 days for driving her police cruiser with a suspended license and for personal use of a departmental computer while on-duty. [0]
  • And finally, a New Haven CT police officer has been suspended with pay after the police chief found out that he had already been convicted on a DUI charge and sentenced to 10 days in jail after he was already in jail. The officer was arrested on that charge after he had called in sick that day, which led to a disciplinary suspension before that. [1]

Before I go I did want to mention that my wife and I celebrated our 17th Anniversary today. I mention it because, if it wasn’t for her faith in me and the work that I’m doing with this project, it wouldn’t still be going, especially in the face of all the hardships that we’re facing now.

Interestingly, one of her friends wrote her today asking what to do after she had her own experience with police misconduct last night. We gave her the best advice that we could, but I did find it interesting how the whole thing goes full circle and I still remember how she and I were both so lost and left without anyone to turn to for advice when we went through it years ago… I’m happy we were able to be there for a few people since then with what we learned…

…and I’m even happier that she stuck with me through that horrible time and standing by me with what I’m doing now.

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-31-11

Unfortunately I’ve been fairly ill today, kept passing out and falling asleep so I’m sure I missed a few reports, but here are the 14 reports of police misconduct that I was able to track and put in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, January 31, 2011:

  • A Harris County TX deputy is under investigation on allegations that he beat a 72yr-old mentally ill man so severely in an empty visitation room that he died. There is some speculation that the beating was caught on camera but it seems unlikely. [4]
  • Antioch CA has settled a lawsuit for $750,000 to a former police officer who claims that police illegally broke into her home when she was having a dispute with a tenant then tasered her before falsely arresting her on a resisting arrest charge. [3]
  • Two Clearwater FL police officers have been suspended after internal investigations. One received a five day unpaid suspension for chipping a detainee’s tooth when he hit him in the head with his flashlight and the other received a single day without pay for hitting a metal pole with his police cruiser. [0]
  • A Las Vegas NV police officer is facing felony charges on allegations that he gave a handgun to a felon. The same officer was involved in the controversial Costco shooting incident last year that took the life of a soldier under questionable circumstances. [0]
  • A number of Wildwood NJ seasonal police officers are under investigation over a YouTube video that shows the officers harassing the person filming them and threatening to have him arrested for interference. However, it’s unclear of the seasonal officers are sworn law enforcement officers and it’s something I’m trying to verify before adding this to our database. [0]
  • The sheriff of Franklin County NC resigned a day before state officials announced that they are investigating allegations that funds are missing from the sheriff’s department. [2]
  • A North Charleston SC police officer was arrested on DUI charges after crashing his police cruiser into a ditch. It wasn’t clear at the time of the article’s publication if he was on-duty or not but it seemed to indicate that he was. [0]
  • A Gresham OR police detective was arrested on drunk driving charges after he crashed his unmarked cruiser into a ditch, though this officer appeared to be off-duty at the time. [1]
  • An Austin TX police officer who was mired in controversy a year ago after he fatally shot a teen under questionable circumstances and is current appealing his termination over a domestic violence charge has pled guilty to a DUI charge that he was fired for, then rehired after he appealed that disciplinary action. [0]
  • Two East Bank WV police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they harassed a woman for petitioning against a “police protection fee” by misleading her about needing to appear at court over a neighbor dispute so that she then became the subject of a bench warrant and subject to arrest.[3]
  • A Thunder Bay ON police officer has been suspended after charged with official misconduct on an unspecified neglect of duty allegation involving a subordinate officer. [2]
  • And finally, two Prince George’s County MD police officers who were assigned to desk duty while under investigation on different misconduct allegations, including one for excessive use of force, have been reassigned again now that they are under investigation for misbehaving while on desk duty by shooting property containers with bb guns. [0]

Before I call it a day I did want to mention that Radley Balko at Reason Magazine wrote a piece debunking the latest rhetoric about an alleged “war on cops”. We did the same thing debunking earlier claims made in December and even back in July by police groups making claims on very questionable statistical grounds that were easily proven false with a little research.

It’s important to understand that these same groups, especially the LEOMF, have also been instrumental in efforts to reduce transparency through “police officer bills of rights” in several states by using similar claims that making police misconduct transparent to the public put police officers at risk.

With the same rhetoric being carried heavily by the media now, (which is surprising given they stand to lose the ability to report on police misconduct if this “war on police” rhetoric is acted on), it’s clear that yet another push to keep information about misconduct from the public is underway. Most likely in the form of another push for a national “Police Officers Bill of Rights” legislative effort, similar to HR 1972 and the HR Bill 413 we talked about last year that had been pushed by the current Vice President. Such laws would keep disciplinary records sealed in every state while also making it impossible for individual departments to improve how they investigate and discipline their officers.

So, it’s something to keep an eye on, because these groups aren’t making up this stuff up for no reason and we definitely can’t challenge groups like these who have millions in funds and can afford to buy press releases like there’s no tomorrow on our own… heck, we can’t even afford housing… so we need people to spread the word and be aware of these tactics and be ready for where they’re leading.

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

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 01-29-11 to 01-30-11

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct that were tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend, January 29-30, 2011:

  • Four Reading PA police officers are the subject of a lawsuit filed by a former Philadelphia police officer who claims that he was run over by a police cruiser then, after he filed a complaint about it, three officers took him into an interrogation room then beat him while yelling at him about being a snitch. [3]
  • Two Westland MI police officers are accused of overstepping their authority and using excessive force in an incident that was accidentally captured via one of the officer’s lapel microphones and that recording may overturn the resisting arrest conviction against that man. The tape appears to contradict the officers’ claims that the man assaulted them and instead captures one of the officers saying “Let’s take him. Fuck him.” before the man can be heard crying out and complaining about being punched in the face then his wife pleading with officers to stop. [4]
  • Sacramento CA has settled an excessive force lawsuit for $96,000 to a man who claims that an officer needlessly beat him outside of a bar while he was restrained and injured him so badly that the jail refused to allow him to be booked without being taken to the hospital first. The suit then alleged that the officer drove him to the hospital and told him he was free to go. The officer resigned later but the department still refuses to say if it had anything to do with the case. [2]
  • An Elk Grove CA police officer is under investigation after he shot a man in the face with a rifle while he was handcuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser. The department described the man, a domestic violence suspect, as being “out of control” at the time but didn’t specify exactly how the man was so dangerous while he was handcuffed so as to justify the use of deadly force. The shot apparently only grazed the man’s face and he was treated at the hospital. [2]
  • A Philadelphia PA police officer was fired after he was arrested on aggravated assault charges and other charges on allegations that he threw a trash can at a donut shop waitress then pointed his gun at her and threatened to shot her… all because he got mad that she wouldn’t get off the phone. [1]
  • A Valencia County NM deputy was arrested on a domestic violence charge for allegedly hurting his girlfriend with a wristlock during an argument that began when she refused to go to Home Despot with him. [0]
  • A Philadelphia PA police officer was fired after charged with theft for allegedly getting caught shoplifting a $25 bottle of dietary supplements from a nutrition store. [1]
  • And finally, a Rocky Mount VA police officer was given a special deal that will allow him to avoid trial for misusing a police database so long as he doesn’t work as a police officer for one year. The special deal isn’t even a plea bargain and came about because a loophole in the state laws governing use of police data apparently doesn’t apply to officers who have authorization to access the data they improperly share or use. [0]

An update before I finish with today’s review…

I’m planning on revamping our news feed and site in order to allow us to capture more information per report and generate our statistical analysis faster than we currently can in addition to making the site look more like it’s part of an actual project than it does now.

The news feed change definitely won’t be popular because entries won’t be descriptive anymore. Instead each report will be a comma-delimited package of data that will go directly into our database. Each entry will include details like agency name, state, officer name, victim name, incident type, incident status, incident date, report date, fatalities, race, a transparency index number, a link to the report, and other data. This extra data will allow us to more efficiently and effectively create statistics and track individual cases.

For example, what used to be this:

4 Reading PA cops subject of suit filed by ex-cop claiming 1 cop hit him w/car & others beat him for “being a snitch” [3]http://is.gd/lGjh4u

Will look like this instead:

Reading Police,PA,Ofc Christopher Cortazzo,Roberto Clemente,EF A,Lawsuit,Active,0,On,10/06/08,01/31/11,H,5,http://is.gd/lGjh4u

Reading Police,PA,Ofc Angel Cabrera,Roberto Clemente,EF ,Lawsuit,Active,0,On,10/06/08,01/31/11,H,5,http://is.gd/lGjh4u

Reading Police,PA,Ofc Jeffrey Reichart,Roberto Clemente,EF,Lawsuit,Active,0,On,10/06/08,01/31/11,H,5,http://is.gd/lGjh4u

Reading Police,PA,Ofc Unnamed,Roberto Clemente,EF,Lawsuit,Active,0,On,10/06/08,01/31/11,H,5,http://is.gd/lGjh4u

While I know it won’t be a popular move since the news feed won’t be reader-friendly anymore. I do think it’s a good move because so many others are doing something similar to what we do with the news feed now that it doesn’t make sense for us to keep doing it the same way. After all, why have multiple sources for the same information all doing something similar, albeit with their own slants, when this project is designed to do more than just aggregate reports.

Remember, one of the main complaints we get from people like who want to cite our data for serious uses is that it’s just doesn’t look professional enough yet. So I want to change that perception and I have good reason to do so I think. After all, I didn’t put all this work into this project just to win a popularity contest, I want it to make a real difference. Hopefully most of you will agree with that reason for changing it up…

…who knows, maybe doing that will help us finally secure funding for this project so we can really stabilize it and make it more effective. Because, face it, right now we’re struggling to survive here, literally.

Besides, we’ll still do the daily reviews where will get into more detail about the reports covered each day, so it’s not a complete wash. But, if you think this is a bad move, let me know why because I’m certainly open to suggestions.

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-28-11

Here are the 20 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, January 28, 2011:

  • A Lawrence MA police officer has been found guilty of rape and three counts of indecent assault for repeatedly raping a woman that he detained in his cruiser behind the police station. [0]
  • An Uplands Park MO police officer has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for using his position to sexually assault and rob at least four paid escorts that he called from ads he found then, while in uniform, force them to have sex then take their money. [0]
  • A Jacksonville FL police sergeant has been convicted for official misconduct and filing false reports. Apparently he wrote up false burglary reports to justify a warrantless raid on a home in order to keep himself and his team out of trouble. He’s also awaiting trial on allegations he beat a handcuffed suspect with a police radio. [0]
  • At least two Baltimore MD police officers have been named in a lawsuit alleging that they wrongfully arrested a chef outside of his workplace when he asked why the officers were detaining his brother… then arresting another man when one of the officers said “arrest the next person who comes out that door”… then arresting a third man because he was taking pictures of what was happening. [5]
  • Three Atlanta GA police officers who are members of an elite drug unit have been suspended while under investigation on allegations that they strip searched and performed a body cavity search on two men in public during a traffic stop. [1]
  • A Las Vegas NV police officer is on leave while investigated for shooting at man who got into a car but was only given a citation for obstruction then allowed to leave the scene. The bullet struck the car but didn’t hit anyone. [2]
  • The sheriff of Shelby County OH apparently tried to file charges against a reporter for asking him questions about sexual assault allegations that he’s facing. So far the DA has refused to charge the woman though. [5]
  • The police chief of Bokoshe OK is under investigation by the sheriff’s office after a councilman filed a complaint alleging that the chief assaulted him during a dispute over a council vote while the pair were outside of a convenience store. [2]
  • A Phoenix AZ police officer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to solicitation to commit theft in a deal that dropped 8 other charges including armed robbery, kidnapping, and money laundering related to the robbery of suspected drug dealers while he was on duty. [0]
  • A Muskegon County MI deputy has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct involving a female inmate, he already faced 3 other counts for an alleged relationship he had with a former inmate. [1]
  • A Sanford NC police officer has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle over a three car accident he caused that killed one person while he was off-duty. [0]
  • A Byron IL police officer was arrested on a possession of child pornography charge after an investigation that was performed by the Wisconsin State Department of Justice. [2]
  • The sheriff of Kidder County ND has been sentenced to probation after he pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge for sexually harassing an employee. [0]
  • A Waterloo Regional ON police officer has been arrested for drug trafficking and another officer was suspended as part of an ongoing investigation that began last year when one officer was arrested on drug charges. [0]
  • The Seattle WA police department is accused of violating the state public records act by withholding an email in a public records request by a local paper that was sent to the department by a councilman urging the department to have an outside agency investigate the fatal shooting of a Native American woodcarver by a police officer. [4]
  • A Miami FL police officer has been charged with extortion on allegations he wrote false police reports and protected stolen goods in exchange for cash. [1]
  • And finally, a number of Miami FL police officers are accusing the police chief of abusing the internal investigation process by using it as a means to harass, intimidate and threaten officers while the chief is fighting to keep his job in the face of mounting criticism. Normally I question these kinds of allegations as they are usually nothing more than attempts by police unions or individual officers to weaken a department’s disciplinary process or make the public question when officers are accused of misconduct. However, there was a case cited which backed the claims alleging that one sergeant is under investigation after trying to arrest the deputy police chief’s daughter after she allegedly attacked an officer. Sometimes the disciplinary process is abused, which seems like a good reason for police officers to support the idea that police departments shouldn’t police themselves, but should be subject to an independent external review mechanism. [3]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-27-11

Here are the 20 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, January 27, 2011:

  • Police in Los Angeles CA are accused of performing a heavily armed raid on the home of Jeremy Marks, the teen who was charged with “inciting a lynching” when he recorded a police officer in an altercation with a student. Police allegedly confiscated all computers, cellphones, and some other electronics during the raid on the home. While the source for this story, the only one I could find right now, seems slanted, the claim of a raid appears credible. The site also claims that police performed another raid the same day on the home of another student who posted videos that appeared to contradict police accounts of the incident. Needless to say, if true… and there doesn’t appear to be reason to doubt it, this would be a disturbing escalation of an already disturbing case. If police can get away with this, then what would stop them from doing the same to someone who does what I do? (UPDATE: This piece came via a comment on Reddit about the incident which appears to be confirmation from the boy’s lawyer that the raid in question took place. Also, a person claiming to be the one who bailed Jeremy out also confirms that the raid occurred as described.) [5]
  • The Montgomery County NY sheriff’s department is the subject of a lawsuit alleging they denied medical care to an inmate in jail who complained of sinus problems and that, by the time the jail did have the man examined months later, the man suffered brain damage from it and died. The suit further alleges that the sheriff’s office added insult to injury by ordering the man’s complete release from jail right before he died so the sheriff’s department wouldn’t be responsible for the medical bill. The suit alleges that the sheriff’s department exhibits a pattern and practice of denying detainee access to medical care. [3]
  • Orlando FL has settled a lawsuit for $150,000 to a man who was tasered by a deputy while he was strapped into a gurney for refusing to allow nurses to insert a catheter so that he could be forcibly tested for drugs that the officers claimed he swallowed while chased. A judge later ruled he was within his rights to refuse and a drug test voluntarily done later showed he didn’t take any drugs. [0]
  • A Bryan County OK deputy is the subject of an FBI investigation into allegations that he mistreated detainees by needlessly tasering them after they had been strapped into a restraint chair. [1]
  • Charlotte NC has settled a lawsuit for $350,000 to a 17-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a now former police officer who is currently serving a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting six women while on duty, often during traffic stops. [0]
  • The now-former police chief of Shenandoah PA and one of his lieutenants were convicted on some of the charges against them for allegedly trying to cover for teens who beat a Hispanic man to death in a racially charged incident that sparked international media coverage. The chief was found guilty of hindering a federal investigation and falsifying records while the lieutenant was convicted for making false statements. A third officer was acquitted of all charges against him. The police chief and one of his former captains still face trial on extortion-related charges next month and a civil suit alleging a covered up the fatal beating of a Hispanic detainee by officers by making it look like a suicide. [0]
  • A Cobb County GA police sergeant has been sentenced to 4 years in prison on after pleading guilty to violating his oath of office, lying to police, and second degree homicide by water vessel after he hit a pylon while driving a boat under the influence, sending a friend overboard where he drowned. The sergeant then lied to police about the incident, claiming that was an effort to cover up an affair he was allegedly having at the time with a woman who was on the boat. [0]
  • A Buffalo NY police lieutenant has retired in order to close two internal investigations against him. He was under investigation on allegations of grabbing an officer by the neck in a briefing room dispute and for his alleged role in a bar brawl where a transit officer was attacked for suggesting the uniformed Buffalo officers drinking at the bar behave themselves because they were being videotaped. The officer is still the subject of a civil suit alleging excessive force against two teens, including the son of another officer, in a bb gun incident. [1]
  • Two Shelbyville TN police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging they falsely arrested a man on a public intoxication charge while he was on probation just to send him to jail. Apparently video of the arrest, along with testimony from jail employees, contradicted the officers claims that the man was drunk. [3]
  • A Los Angeles CA school police officer has been arrested for filing a false police report. The officer is accused of making up being shot in the chest by a car burglary suspect which triggered a massive police search and the lock-down of several schools, homes, and businesses across an entire neighborhood. Seems to be a trend lately. [0]
  • Lane County OR has settled a lawsuit for $20,000 to the family of an 11-year-old boy who was coerced by a sheriff’s deputy into confessing to shooting a neighbor’s dog with a bb gun even though he didn’t do it and a subsequent forensic examination proved it. [0]
  • A Riviera Beach FL police officer was rehired thanks to an arbitrator’s ruling after he was fired on allegations that he gave personal information about his fellow officers, including their addresses, to gang members who allegedly wanted to exact some revenge against the police. [0]
  • Internal FBI documents leaked to CNN reporters indicate that over 300 FBI employees each year are disciplined over acts of misconduct but that information is never released to the public. Some of the cases mentioned are pretty salacious but, since the article does not give a timeframe for the incidents/disciplinary actions nor does it distinguish between sworn agents and non-sworn employees we can’t really use this data for our statistical analysis, which is exceptionally disappointing. [5]
  • A number of Tupper Lake NY police officers are under investigation after GPS devices in their cruisers indicated that one of them slept on duty and others had remained at home for hours after their night shifts began.[1]
  • A Niagra Frontier Transit police officer in New York state has been suspended without pay on allegations that he had been taking items confiscated from passengers at Buffalo airport as his own personal property in violation of policy. I guess he had an impressive fingernail clipper collection. [0]
  • A Burr Oak MI police officer has been arrested on drunk driving charges after he got his police cruiser stuck in a ditch while on duty. [0]
  • A Detroit MI police officer apparently loved his job so much that he took his work home with him, literally. He’s been charged with illegally swapping license plates on his car and using his personal car to conduct traffic stops in the neighborhood where he lived while he was off-duty. Police are investigating the incidents further to see if there were any ulterior motives for his doing so. [0]
  • A Hamilton ON police officer has been charged with arson and insurance fraud for falsely reporting car was stolen twice then setting it on fire after the first try failed to net him any insurance money. [0]
  • And finally, a Somerville MA police officer has resigned after he was allegedly caught on camera stealing a bag of candy that was donated to the department for a Halloween event. [0]

Before I finish with today’s review I wanted to thank the folks at Western Rifle Shooters for letting their readers know about our financial plight and asking them to help out with donations. I really am amazed that people I’ve not really talked or worked with have stepped up to try and help out. While I don’t expect it to save us from being evicted, we will still need all the help we can get once that does happen whether it’s to help us survive on the streets or find some sort of temporary shelter. It will also help me keep this project going despite that happening. So thank you all for helping, I truly appreciate it.

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-26-11

Before I start I wanted to thank Hermis Yanis for having me on his Hermis Live show earlier tonight, despite technical difficulties it was an interesting interview with some questions I hadn’t been asked before.

Anyway, here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for January 26, 2011:

  • A Los Angeles CA jury has awarded $1,700,000 to the family of an autistic man after that jury ruled that a police officer used excessive force when he shot the man to death. [0]
  • Five Lufkin TX police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging they barged into a Hispanic man’s home without cause or warrant while the man was in the bathroom then took the bathroom door off the hinges after tear-gassing him. The suit then alleges that the officers beat him before arresting him on charges that never stuck. All, allegedly, because he didn’t speak English. [3]
  • In this YouTube video sent to us by “CreepCops” on Twitter, A San Francisco CA police officer is accused of falsely arresting a street performer on unknown charges when the man asserted his rights by asking if he was being detained and why, questions that were never answered even though he was then taken to jail. He further alleges that the officer used excessive force on him, causing a head injury and that officers at the jail tried to coerce him into signing a waiver saying he wasn’t injured. While the video, taken by the alleged victim, does seem to show a very questionable arrest, it does not appear to show any use of force that can be seen, though you can hear him protest that he’s being hurt. So, for now, I’ll classify this as a false arrest allegation since the excessive force claim isn’t substantiated. [3]
  • A Smith Township PA and a Hanover PA police officer are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that one of the officers used excessive force when he broke a 64-year-old man’s arm when he reached for a pack of cigarettes on his porch then threw him to the ground. The suit does not mention any charges or the reason why officers confronted the man on his porch so I’m a little concerned about adding this one, but it’s hard to see why officers would have used enough force to break the man’s arm to the point where he required surgery afterward as alleged in the suit. [3]
  • A Pittsburgh PA police officer was issued unspecified disciplinary action after an investigation sustained a conduct unbecoming complaint when video contradicted his arrest report that alleged a woman assaulted a witness at court. The same officer was suspended last year after he was implicated in a wrongful drug arrest but returned to duty when a judge dismissed the case against him. [1]
  • The Spokane WA ombudsman is questioning how the police chief there decided to exonerate two officers in an excessive force case that was initiated when witnesses to the incident filed the complaint, not the person who was arrested and despite their statements which supported the allegations. The victim apparently didn’t file a complaint because he can’t even remember what happened other than that he was knocked out somehow. The police chief says he doesn’t care what the ombudsman thinks because he doesn’t have the authority to overrule the chief’s decisions on disciplinary matters. [5]
  • The Aurora CO police department was forced to rehire a police officer they fired for excessive force when he broke a woman’s eye socket with a knee strike while she was handcuffed after a civil service commission took his side of the story which was that her face must have hit his knee on accident somehow, though he doesn’t quite know how. [0]
  • A now-former Louisville KY police detective is now facing yet another accuser as a 6th person has joined a lawsuit against her alleging that she had a pattern of falsely arresting people to boost her numbers and that she perjured herself in court as well as intimidated witnesses in order to make the charges stick. [0]
  • The US Border Patrol is being sued by a former agent who claims that he was fired for saying that he believed legalizing marijuana would reduce crime and law enforcement-related violence. [0]
  • A Springhill NS police officer has been charged with theft and obstruction on allegations that he stole marijuana from evidence and other items from the department. [0]
  • A Dallas TX police officer who was in charge of that department’s crime stoppers program has been arrested on federal charges over allegations that she and a friend defrauded that program’s reward program. [1]
  • An Asbury Park NJ police officer has been charged with forgery and falsifying records for using forged military orders in an effort to get out of a lease. [0]
  • An Urbana OH police officer has retired after being cited for DUI and leaving the scene of an alcohol-related accident without injuries. [0]
  • A Fargo ND police officer was given a letter of reprimand as discipline for leaving her handgun in sporting good store bathroom. [0]
  • And finally, a Pasco County FL deputy has been charged with illegal compensation and for introducing contraband on allegations that he would call up the girlfriends of inmates when they were on work details and allow them to visit in exchange for chewing tobacco. I don’t know about this one, seems odd actually so it should be interesting to watch. [0]

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

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!

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