National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 01-08-11 to 01-09-11

First, as some of you know, I’m very busy analyzing the over 5,000 reports of police misconduct we tracked in 2010 to create our complete 2010 police misconduct statistics report, so if I don’t answer all emails right away, please be patient until after I complete the report and publish it… it really is a ton of work. (If you’re new here and don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s our 2010 Q3 report).

Next, we’re still begging for donations I’m afraid, so if you can help out we really appreciate it more than you probably know.

Anyway, here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend, January 8th and 9th, 2011:

  • An RCMP officer in Kelowna BC Canada is under investigation after this video came to light showing him kick a man in the face as he was kneeling next to his truck during a traffic stop. The man was a golf course employee and part of his job was to scare away geese with a shotgun he was licensed to use for that purpose but police charged him with careless use of a firearm anyway and he’s still currently in jail. [0]
  • Baltimore MD police are being accused of overreacting and indiscriminately firing into crowd after an undercover officer allegedly pulled his firearm during an altercation that some say started when he was confronted for being rough with an unidentified woman. The resulting gunfire killed the undercover officer and another person while leaving three women and another officer wounded. So far, police can’t say that anyone other than the police opened fire. [4]
  • Eight Springfield MA police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they intentionally broke a man’s ankle while arresting him on drunk and disorderly charges then forced him to walk on it while taunting him and denying him medical attention. Two of the officers were ultimately disciplined over the incident with three days off without pay. [3]
  • The Gatineau QC Canada police apparently made a mistake when they raided a man’s home after officers mistook the scent from a skunk under that man’s porch for marijuana but police are refusing to say it was a mistake, instead insisting that it was by the book though nothing was found and no charges made. [3]
  • The Davidson County TN sheriff’s office is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a US citizen who was mistakenly kept in jail on a immigration hold twice despite offering ID, a valid Social Security number and even his original birth certificate as proof he was born in the US. The suit, interestingly enough, challenges the sheriff’s right to enforce federal immigration laws due to the wording in the Nashville city’s charter and state laws which limit that sheriff’s department’s law enforcement role. [0]
  • A Cheyenne WY police officer has been charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and false imprisonment on allegations that he kicked and handcuffed his wife then threatened her and their infant with his gun during a domestic dispute. [0]
  • A Sacramento CA police officer has resigned as part of a deal that will dismiss felony charges against him for brandishing a weapon during an argument with his girlfriend. [0]
  • A Snohomish County WA deputy has been arrested on felony domestic violence changes in an unspecified incident and no details released include what the relationship was with the person he allegedly assaulted. [2]
  • The police chief of Hubbard OH has been placed on paid leave for second time in his career while he is under investigation over various allegations including insubordination, misuse of city property and “jeopardizing the health of the police department”. However, the specifics aren’t being released and some of what’s going on seems a little suspect so I’m not sure about adding this one to the database yet, we’ll see how it unfolds. [2]
  • A Schenectady NY police officer has been charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident after he crashed his father’s car then left the scene. A snowplow driver asked if he needed help and reported his license plate when he thought the man seemed drunk. Police then tracked him to his dad’s house where he lives. [0]
  • And finally, a Guam police officer has been arrested on drunk driving charges after he apparently fell asleep at a restaurant drive-thru window then refused to let someone else drive for him. This wasn’t the first time he was in the news, several years ago he made headlines when he crashed into an ambulance while driving under the influence. [0]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-07-11

Here are the 24 reports of police misconduct from the US and 1 report of police misconduct from Canada tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Friday, January 7, 2011:

  • A Pulaski County KY deputy is accused of using excessive force on several occasions by witnesses that include police officers from other departments who have been testifying at a pretrial hearing for a criminal case. Oddly, the trial isn’t against the officer but against a person he arrested who is trying to prove the officer has a long history of using excessive force then filing false charges to cover for it. Included the nine incidents described are allegations that were caught on dashcam showing the deputy beat a cuffed person with a baton and testimony from an officer claiming he saw the deputy punch and repeatedly kick a handcuffed man to the point he felt it should qualify as assault. The judge heard the testimony to determine if the line of defense can be used in trial. [3]
  • A Houston TX police officer is under investigation after two witnesses stepped forward to contradict his version of a fatal shooting incident that left a young woman dead. While the officer claims he shot the robbery suspect when she pointed a gun at him and refused to drop it, the witnesses are saying they saw no gun and the officer opened fire immediately after he stepped out of his cruiser and announced himself. [1]
  • The Monterey County CA sheriff’s office is investigating one of their own SWAT raids that left a man dead when a flash-bang grenade set his home on fire. Apparently the swat team raided the home because they thought the man in question was with a suspect in a shooting case but it turned out that he wasn’t. The department claims they wanted to get him anyway because he was wanted on unrelated warrants, though it’s not clear that those alleged warrants would have justified a raid like this. [1]
  • A Hamilton County TN deputy is on leave while under investigation for accidentally shooting suspect in the leg with his rifle during a heavily armed SWAT raid for the manufacture of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.[0]
  • A Washoe County NV deputy has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and community service in his plea deal on charges for fatally striking a bicyclist with his police SUV. [0]
  • An Edmonton AB Canada police officer has been charged with assault in an incident that left a prisoner injured after the officer attacked him when he became enraged over an argument they had. [0]
  • A New Haven CT police officer is now facing his 9th excessive force investigation within the last 6 years. While only one of the previous complaints was ever sustained by internal investigations the officer has never been disciplined. This time he’s accused of tasering and choking a handcuffed refugee from Colombia who was visibly shaken while filing his complaint despite facing military officers in the war-torn nation he fled who would threaten him with death for his human rights work there.[0]
  • A Philadelphia PA police sergeant has been charged with assault, unsworn falsification and abuse of office after he falsely arrested a Uhaul manager, who called police to report a truck he reported as stolen was found, for assaulting him but a video instead showed the officer ripping up a paper the manager had written his cruiser number on to file a complaint and then lifting him off the floor by his neck until he went limp. The officer was no stranger to complaints, the city settled a suit two years ago after he fatally shot a 15-year-old in questionable circumstances and had an altercation with a doctor at a mental facility early in his 21-year career. He’s been suspended with intent to dismiss. [0]
  • A Windsor Locks CT police sergeant has been arrested on allegations that he interfered with an investigation into a fatal accident his son, a police officer, has been accused of causing while drunk even though police never tested him that night… even though video showed him drinking at a bar prior to the accident. [0]
  • A Knox County TN deputy has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for stealing a crime victim’s ID and using that information to open fake credit accounts to buy furniture for herself. [0]
  • A Louisville KY police officer has been fired on 68 separate violations of departmental policies while she is facing a lawsuit filed by five separate people who claim that officer falsely arrested them then lied in her testimony at trial, claims which were part of that investigation. [0]
  • A Connecticut state trooper and a Cromwell CT police officer are the subject of a lawsuit claiming that the trooper stopped a man while off duty then ordered a Cromwell police officer he called to arrest him even after the man explained he wasn’t drunk but had MS instead, which can be confused for intoxication. The man was then give two breathalyzer tests which showed a 0.0 BAC but the trooper insisted that he be charged anyway. The case was eventually nolled which means it will eventually be expunged from the man’s record. [3]
  • An East St Louis IL police lieutenant has been suspended after he tried to get into a council meeting that he had been ordered to stay away from after he was accused of threatening a councilman during a previous council meeting while he was on duty. [0]
  • A Ball LA police officer has pled guilty to theft of FEMA funds that occurred after a hurricane. As part of the plea deal he has agreed to testify against the police chief, mayor, and others who were also implicated. [0]
  • Two Prince George’s County MD police officers have been suspended while under investigation on allegations that one of them allowed a former officer to use his police cruiser on multiple occasions and to determine how he got possession of the other officer’s uniform which he used to perform fake traffic stops and rob people. [0]
  • A Clarksville TN police sergeant has been suspended while under investigation on allegations he sent threatening text messages to his son and another police officer, though it appears as though the messages weren’t threats directed at either of the two. [1]
  • A Henderson County TN deputy has been fired after a judge jailed him on a contempt charge for defying a court order demanding he give his wife certain pieces of property in their divorce case. [0]
  • A Floyd County GA police officer has been sentenced to probation for slashing the tires of a truck he had chased which ended up belonging to his suspect’s uncle. [0]
  • The sheriff of Washington County ME is requesting investigative files from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency involving at least two of his deputies who he suspects may have committed criminal acts while they were assigned to that agency. [0]
  • The Fond du Lac WI police department is being sued by a reporter claiming the department is violating that state’s open records law by refusing to release a disciplinary investigation report involving a police officer who received a 3 day suspension for slamming a handcuffed detainee’s head into a table. [4]
  • And finally, the Hastings MN police officer who was in our review yesterday, the one that had been forced to be rehired by an arbitrator who insisted that running down a suspect with a police cruiser was grounds for being fired and who was under investigation on allegations that he stole a $10 corkscrew from a restaurant, has been charged with theft over that incident which was apparently witnessed by an off-duty officer from a different department. [0]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-06-11

Here are the 18 reports of police misconduct from the US and 2 reports from Canada that were tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Thursday, January 6, 2011:

  • Framingham MA police are investigating what appears to be the accidental shooting death of a 68-year-old man that occurred during SWAT raid on his home to serve a drug warrant on his girlfriend’s son. Police are being rather tight-lipped about it but it appears as though he was unarmed when he was shot in the neck and no firearms were found in the home. [2]
  • A Washington County FL sheriff’s sergeant is being sued for 5th time since 2006. This time he’s accused of using his taser to punish a person he arrested on a drunk driving charge while he was cuffed in the back seat of his cruiser for saying something about his wife. The man was later found unresponsive in the back seat and ended up having to be hospitalized. [3]
  • A Kern County CA deputy has been arrested on grand theft charges over allegations that he falsely detained at least five people under color of law and stole money from their wallets during traffic stops. [0]
  • In Calgary AB Canada, a police sergeant is under investigation after a judge questioned his testimony during trial and called it “disquieting” in his ruling that dropped charges of driving on a suspended license against a man who accused the officer of purposefully targeting and harassing him at home and work. The sergeant was already disciplined for illegally searching the man’s car but now police are looking into the perjury allegations. [3]
  • A Los Angeles County CA deputy has been sentenced to 1 year in jail for falsely reporting that her husband molested a child and for child endangerment when she fired her gun in her home and the round went outside to hit near where several neighborhood children were playing. [0]
  • A now-former New Haven CT assistant police chief has retired amid two investigations involving his ordering the arrest of a man for videotaping police making an arrest and for his ordering a questionable raid on a private college party where attendees allege police threatened to arrest anyone who tried to record them and that excessive force was used… all over allegations that the venue had exceeded capacity. For retiring he’ll receive a pension of $140,000/yr while he was only being paid a little over $100,000 a year while working. [0]
  • A Golden Beach FL police officer has been charged with official misconduct, grand theft, fraud and insurance fraud for making false claims about an accident and the status of his former K9 partner in order to get an insurance payoff. The officer was hired after he was forced out of another police department under “unfavorable circumstances”. [0]
  • The Mount Vernon NY police department is defending their decision to hire a now-former Eastchester NY police officer while he was still under investigation on allegations that he was making cop who was still under investigation for making unlawful arrests [0]
  • A Hastings MN police officer who was fired for running down a fleeing suspect with his patrol car, shattering his knee, but then rehired thanks to an arbitrator is now the subject of an investigation into allegations that he stole a $10 corkscrew from a restaurant. [0]
  • A Lee County FL sheriff’s captain has resigned after an invesitgation into allegations that he was abusive towards his subordinates, took sexually-oriented pictures of a female deputy, and attempted to find out who complained about him by questioning at least one deputy for hours. [0]
  • The police chief of Worcester MA is being accused of transferring a female lieutenant who complained that her subordinate officer had cursed at her and threatened her instead of investigating her complaints. The chief now says she never complained even though the police union claims she did. The officer accused of threatening her is the police chief’s brother. [5]
  • A Philadelphia PA police officer has been sentenced to a $500 fine after convicted on felony wiretap charges for recording conversations with his estranged wife. The judge said that losing his police job was punishment enough… prosecutors were a bit perturbed about the ruling. Interestingly there were some strange references to heroin in those recorded conversations that are raising a few questions now. [0]
  • A Las Vegas NV police officer has been sentenced to a fine and community service in plea deal to a misdemeanor charge for ignoring an order to stop a high-speed chase that damaged several cars and ended in a fatal crash. [0]
  • A Marquette County WI deputy accepted a plea deal for stealing drugs from evidence that resulted in 8 other charges against him being dismissed and no jail time. [0]
  • The police chief of Palm Springs CA has retired after an investigation contradicted his claims that he didn’t utter homophobic slurs during a sting operation targeting the gay community. [0]
  • The police chief of Center CO has been charged with possession of cocaine, evidence tampering, and possession of marijuana which stem from allegations that arose before he resigned last year. [0]
  • The Richmond City VA police department has petitioned the court to order the return of police documents that apparently include policies and regulations after those documents went on the internet after the person who filed a legal FOIA request received them from the department. The ACLU just got involved and counters that the department has no right to try and censor the documents they released especially now that they entered the public domain. [4]
  • And finally, when the report of a now-former Lansing Kansas police officer being charged with child enticement went public a few days ago we didn’t add it because the allegations stemmed from actions he took a month after he resigned from the department and as a school board member in November. However, I did find it curious that the charges occurred so close to his unexplained hasty resignation. Now it’s been released that he resigned when he was facing the prospect of an investigation into unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct involving an 18-year-old while on-duty… so we can include that part of it in our database now. [3]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-05-11

I’m sorry to say that we’re still in some pretty dire straights here. I’m still looking for work after the contract job I had ended early and, if I don’t find something soon, we’ll be facing our second eviction in less than 12 months, which will make it nearly impossible for us to rent elsewhere. While I expected some sort of repercussions for starting this project, I never expected it to impact my career like this. Not sure what I can do to get out of this mess at this point. Just hope for the best and keep trying I suppose.

With that said, here are the 21 police misconduct reports from the US and 1 report from Canada tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Wednesday, January 5, 2011:

  • San Francisco CA police are investigating the videotaped incident shown about where a man in a wheelchair who stabbed an officer in the shoulder was shot in the groin. While I held off on adding this one because the man was armed and he already injured one officer, the video threw some questions into the mix in that officers apparently reported that the man stood up and threw the knife at officers when he was shot but the video appeared to contradict that report, showing instead that it appeared as though the man threw the knife down when shot. Also, in the linked article, use of force experts are questioning why officers approached so closely, putting themselves at risk. [1]
  • Six Fair Lawn NJ police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging they used excessive force when they beat, kicked and maced a man on video in a holding cell. The man claims they attacked him for no reason when he went to zip up his sweater but officers claim it was because he put his hands in his pockets, pockets they searched three times before uncuffing him. [3]
  • Anchorage AK has settled a lawsuit for $35,000 to a woman claiming an officer used excessive force when he used a hobbling device on her when he arrested her in her home on suspicion of drunk driving charges after she protested when he allegedly dragged her through dog shit. [0]
  • San Joaquin County CA has settled a lawsuit for $130,000 to a 5-year-old girl and her mom who were hit by bullet fragments when a deputy shot their dog. [0]
  • Canada – 2 Toronto Ontario police officers who were investigated on allegations that they beat a man who was already beaten by other officers during a G20 protest are now the subject of another excessive force investigation. [4]
  • A York County SC deputy is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the family of 74yr-old Holocaust survivor who was killed when struck by a deputy’s cruiser while he was out for one of his routine walks. The family claims the deputy failed to properly inspect his cruiser before taking it out because it had a non-functioning headlight. [2]
  • Four Kansas City KS police officers who are members of a SWAT team have been suspended after they were arrested, but not charged, by FBI agents following a sting operation triggered by unspecified complaints of misconduct and corruption. It’s rumored that the ongoing investigation involves allegations of thefts during raids. [2]
  • A Jennings MO police officer has been suspended while under investigation for firing at a fleeing car after the chase had been called off because an officer from another department spotted a baby inside that car. [0]
  • A study of police records in Illinois indicated that only 44% of searches triggered by drug-sniffing police dogs actually ended up finding any drugs. Worst still is that only 27% of searches involving Hispanics resulted in drugs being found after the searches were the result of a hit from a drug dog, indicating that officers may be influencing their dogs to falsely signal for drugs due to bias. It is interesting to note that the Illinois State Police and Chicago Police Department refused to release records for the study. [0]
  • A Pittsburgh PA police officer has been convicted on multiple charges over a road rage incident where he broke a man’s window then punched and choked him after a minor fender bender. [0]
  • A Warren Twp OH police officer has been sentenced to probation for violating a protection order, but he still faces aggravated burglary charges. [0]
  • A Pinal County AZ deputy who was involved in a controversial case where he claimed to have been shot by drug traffickers from Mexico that were never found has been fired after an investigation into claims he made to a reporter during an interview that included death threats on that reporter. The official reason for the disciplinary action is that the deputy lied to the reporter when he made those claims… which should make people wonder about that shooting case again perhaps, maybe? [0]
  • A Louisville KY police officer under investigation on allegations she falsely arrested multiple people and gave false testimony during trials is facing a lawsuit from 5 different people after three alleged victims asked to be added to an existing lawsuit filed by two others. [3]
  • A New Orleans LA police sergeant who admitted that he lied to federal agents investigating the Glover shooting case during that trial has resigned over that admission. [0]
  • A Montgomery County TN deputy has been arrested on forgery and official misconduct charges on allegations that he fraudulently claimed paid military leave that he wasn’t entitled to. [0]
  • A Cottonwood Heights UT police officer who once ran for sheriff and as a congressional candidate is now the subject of a criminal investigation into allegations that he was misusing a city-issued credit card. [1]
  • A Lansing MI police officer who was already arrested on allegations that he drove off from a gas station without paying for gas and 2 bottles of wine has now been charged with passing bad checks too. [0]
  • The police chief of Liberty MO has been placed on indefinite leave for unspecified reasons and city officials refuse to discuss any circumstances involving that apparent disciplinary action. [3]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-04-11

As I mentioned a few times towards the end of last year we’re going to start trying to track reports from Canada in addition to the reports we already track in the US. Our first such report is in tonight’s review. But, I know, some of you might be asking, “why don’t you just track reports globally?” Well, the problem is in two parts…

First, I already have a hard enough time tracking what I do and managing the data flow into our database and I’m already pushing it by adding Canada data to the mix. But there’s been a strong demand for it and I think it will be valuable to have something to compare US rates to. Second, I have data on the sworn law enforcement employment rates by agency for the US and Canada but I don’t have that data for other nations. Because of that, I wouldn’t be able to build statistical data around what I track in other nations where no such rate data is available… and statistics gathering is the primary objective here.

Anyway, here are the 19 reports of police misconduct from the US and 1 report from Canada tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Tuesday, January 4, 2011:

  • A St Louis MO police officer is under investigation after a YouTube video surfaced apparently showing him beat a man several times with an metal ASP baton then pepperspraying him while he was working an off-duty security job at a gas station. The officer in question was the subject of two excessive force lawsuits in the past, one which is known to have ended in a settlement and the other is of unknown status but appears as though it settled too. Police are not only investigating the use of force, but also questions about what the officer did afterward since there was no report filed and the man was not arrested or charged. [2]
  • In Coquitlam British Columbia Canada, two RCMP Mounties have been charged with assault in an apparent excessive force case after a review of an alleged altercation with a driver during a traffic stop was conducted using audio from the police dash cameras. [1]
  • A Fulton County GA deputy has been accused of shooting at a neighbor, barely missing him but hitting his pet dog in the head twice after tackling the neighbor’s son and accusing him of trying to break into their home. [3]
  • An Ellwood PA police officer is the subject of a lawsuit alleging he used excessive force when he threw a woman into a holding cell after questioning her and tore her rotator cuff with an audible pop. The suit also alleges that she was falsely arrested and the charges against her were dropped. [3]
  • A Palatine IL police officer who was working at a high school is the subject of a lawsuit along with the assistant principal of that school alleging they severely injured a student when they threw him over a chair then tackled him before handcuffing him for refusing to follow the asst principal to his office for an unspecified reason that the student claims was nothing more than his being targeted for being friends with a problem student. [3]
  • A San Rafael CA police officer has been suspended after arrested on allegations that he threatened a man with a gun at a restaurant while he was off-duty and then fled the scene. [0]
  • A Weymouth MA police officer has been charged with indecent assault and battery on a person over 14-years-old (a more recent release claims the alleged victim is 38). Police and other officials are refusing to release any details in this case. [3]
  • A Little Rock AR police officer along with a US Dept of Veterans Affairs cop and a Univ of Arkansas Medical School police officer have all been indicted for conspiracy to rob an armored car along with two other people, one of which is accused of being involved in an armed robbery of an armored car a few years ago. [1]
  • The now-former police chief of Brazil City IN who was fired in 2009 on a variety of misuse of funds allegations has been arrested and charged with misuse of funds and official misconduct on allegations he misused funds from a federal grant while he was chief. [0]
  • An Elgin IL police officer has been charged with domestic battery after an investigation into allegations that he struck his girlfriend. [1]
  • Brookfield WI has settled a lawsuit for $7,500 to a woman who was arrested for openly carrying a holstered firearm to her church, which is legal in that state. However, police officials insist that the settlement is just the price they pay for arresting people for what they think the law should be, not what it is and they don’t plan on stopping that practice… which I guess means that open-carry activist will be arriving soon to get their share of the free taxpayer money the department will be handing out. [0]
  • A San Leandro CA police K9 officer is under investigation after his police dog mauled a family’s pet dog at a park while being walked by someone other than the officer, which may be a policy violation. The dog that was mauled died a day later from the injuries. [0]
  • The Pennsylvania State police have settled a free speech rights lawsuit filed by the ACLU by agreeing to stop issuing citations to people for swearing so long as the use of objectionable language isn’t done in a threatening manner. [0]
  • An Akron OH police officer has been sentenced to probation and must attend drug treatment after pleading guilty to felony steroid possession charges. [0]
  • A Collier County FL deputy was cited for causing a 3-car accident after he hit a police cruiser which pushed that car into another while the deputy was distracted while using his dashboard computer. While there was property damage there were no injuries, fortunately. [0]
  • A Manatee County FL deputy has been suspended for 26 days for leaving a bible passage that he called the “Obama Prayer” on a fellow deputy’s desk. That deputy felt it was a threat against the president as the verse said “Let his days be few, and let another take his office.” [0]
  • A Bradenton FL police officer has been fired while he’s still the subject of an unspecified internal investigation. While police refuse to say what the investigation is about they did say he was still in his first year on the force so was in a probationary period which means he could be fired for any reason. [2]
  • An Ohio State patrol lieutenant has been demoted and transferred for conduct unbecoming and for being untruthful to investigators who were looking into allegations that he was having a sexual relationship with a person under his command. [0]
  • A Fort Myers FL police officer has been fired for being untruthful during an investigation into allegations that he was having on-duty sexual trysts with another man’s wife. [0]
  • And finally, Shreveport LA police are being criticized by the ACLU for handcuffing and arresting two 6th grade students in school over their involvement in an every-day garden variety schoolyard fight that should have been handled the usual way, with in-school discipline, not criminal charges and frog marching 12-year-old kids in front of their peers. [1]

Well, that’s it for today… as always, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-03-11

Here are the 17 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Monday, January 3, 2011:

  • Rocklin CA police are accused of using excessive force by multiple witnesses who attended a New Years Eve party where officers were partially caught on video, seen above, beating a man with a baton after tasering him as he, according to witnesses, laid face down in a fountain and didn’t resist. Police claim he was resisting and fighting officers while being arrested for assaulting his girlfriend but his girlfriend and some witnesses are contradicting the police version of events and that he even assaulted the girl during an argument. [4]
  • Six Bethlehem PA cops are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they falsely arrested a man after they were called to a domestic dispute that he wasn’t involved in and found a gun that wasn’t his in a car that didn’t belong to him. The man was later acquitted but not before being discharged from the National Guard. [3]
  • A Barre VT police officer has been arrested  cop arrested on charges including burglary, trespass and resisting arrest on allegations that he broke into a neighbor’s apartment and stole their brand new television from under their Christmas tree while he was drunk. When police arrived the box for the television was outside of the officer’s apartment door but he demanded that the officers get a warrant before searching his apartment… however, when officers left they claim they saw him trying to throw the TV off of his balcony and they later heard a splash. When asked about it the officer said he threw it because he didn’t want stolen property in his home… but the officer pled not guilty to a judge and then told reporters at the court that they better not mention his name. [0]
  • A Washington DC police officer was arrested on multiple charges including resisting arrest and reckless endangerment after he was caught on surveillance cameras brandishing his duty firearm after threatening bouncers with a bottle when they told him to leave as they were closing. The officer then ran away when police arrived. [1]
  • Seven Sanford FL police officers are under investigation and the department’s police chief was forced to retire almost a month ahead of schedule over allegations that officers were trying to protect the son of a police lieutenant by not arresting him after he was caught on video assaulting two people. [1]
  • An Ohio State trooper has been arrested on drunk and disorderly charges and criminal damaging charges in an unspecified incident during a Browns vs Steelers game at the Cleveland Browns stadium. UPDATE: Apparently he was arrested for allegedly becoming belligerent when officers confronted him about throwing peanuts at them. The property damage charge stems from him breaking a holding cell door by kicking it open, breaking the latch.  [2]
  • Two Miami-Dade FL police officers have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a drug dealer shakedown scheme. One of the officers was sentenced to 24 months in prison while the other recieved 21 months. [0]
  • A Marblehead OH police officer has been suspended after he was arrested for supplying a 19-year-old woman with alcohol in a motel room. However, he may also be facing sexual assault charges based on allegations being made by that woman. [1]
  • A Tampa FL police officer has resigned after he was caught having sex while on duty in his police cruiser at a city park. Police had him under surveillance after receiving several complaints about his behavior. [0]
  • An Indianapolis IN police officer has been suspended pending an investigation after witnesses reported seeing his cruiser being driven erratically while he was off-duty. While the department hasn’t come out and said it, the allegations appear to indicate that they suspect he was drunk and an investigator responding to the complaints took his badge and gun after interviewing him at his house. [2]
  • A Newton County GA deputy has been arrested on domestic violence related battery charges for a fight with an unspecified family member at a New Years Eve party. [1]
  • A Schenectady NY police officer has been charged on allegations that he falsely reported that there was a fight a bar on New Years when there wasn’t one. No word on why he allegedly did it. [1]
  • A US study released recently indicates that at least 42% of police officers who have been killed in vehicular accidents in last 30 years may have died because they weren’t wearing seat belts. It could not be determined if officers were or weren’t wearing seat belts in about  [0]
  • A Sandy Springs GA police officer has filed a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against that department claiming, in part, that he was simply following instructions given to him by his superior officers when he had sex with women during a sting operation on a massage parlor, just like all his fellow officers were doing as well. But that when he documented what he did in his reports he was disciplined with a 2-day suspension without pay, unlike his fellow officers who are white who received no discipline for the same. [3]
  • And finally, our first quote of the week for this new year allegedly came from the Baltimore Maryland police commissioner’s spokesperson who, in a report that has since been rewritten, was quoted as saying that the kind of conduct by police officers that has cost the city over $7 million in civil litigation costs in the last 2 and a half years is not going to change when he was asked about it by a reporter after a press conference where the police chief and the mayor absolutely refused to answer similar questions. However, since the article publishing that quote has been completely rewritten, removing that alleged quote, there’s no way to know for sure if that’s what he really said… though it seems to be a pretty accurate assessment based on how officials are completely refusing to discuss the issue. [2]

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

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 01-01-11 to 01-02-11

First, as you may have noticed we have the Donation button back in high-prominence, this means we’re in desperate need of help again. (when I say desperate I mean we’ll have to shut down for lack of funds between 01/07/11 and 01/15/11 unless we get serious donations soon) If you can afford to donate it is greatly needed and much appreciated. Hopefully I’ll find more work soon and will be able to take the donation request down again then.

With that said, here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this first weekend of 2011:

  • Des Moines Washington police have released dashcam videos and audio of officers shooting someone’s pet Newfoundland along with the reports associated with the investigation that cleared the officers. In the video marked as being from police unit 521 you can hear the first gunshot at 14:18:44 followed by an officer shouting “niiice” shortly after the shot. Police say the dog was aggressive though Newfoundlands are known as a non-aggressive breed and, from the audio, it didn’t sound like they were too concerned about being attacked. I can’t embed the videos, but they’re all available for download here along with related PDFs from the investigation. This report is already in our database from 2010 so this won’t result in an update to our data, but it seemed important enough to mention. [0]
  • A Jackson Mississippi police officer apparently dropped his gun, causing it to discharge and apparently hit an unarmed man as he turned to run away. Officers arrived in the area reportedly in response to a shots fired call but the person they approached wasn’t involved. He was still charged with possession of marijuana and resisting arrest though. [1]
  • An unspecified number of East St Louis Illinois police officers are suspected of participating in a “blue flu” work stoppage when almost an entire shift called off sick an hour before they were due into work on New Years Eve. The union insists they really were sick because of stress related to council voting to lay off 16 officers combined with the recent change in weather. Department officials seem pretty wishy-washy about the whole thing. [2]
  • An Albany Georgia police officer has been suspended after being arrested by a Lee County deputy for illegally discharging his firearm to celebrate the new year. [0]
  • A Medical College of Georgia police officer has been arrested on drunk driving and hit & run charges in an unspecified incident… and yes, just about every organization seems to have their own sworn police force these days. [0]

In addition to the reports tracked for this first weekend of 2011 there are two other reports that weren’t in the news feed for unrelated reasons.

First, a disturbing video of a no-knock raid performed by the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force in Utah and an associated article describing more details on how that raid didn’t conform to standard planning practices may prompt the family of a man who was shot to death during that raid to file suit.

The multi-agency task force decided to rush into performing a raid on a home they suspected housed a meth dealer in September of 2009. However, the raid only turned up a small amount of marijuana by one account or a small amount of an unidentified substance according to a different report. Needless to say, it appears as though their target wasn’t a dealer but, at most, an addict who died with $4.00 in his possession.

If you watch the video below, which is graphic and depicts the shooting itself, think about how much time the man was given to comply with commands, the distance between him and the heavily armed and armored officers, and whether it appears as though he’s advancing or stationary… then keep in mind that the police and prosecutors have all ruled this raid and shooting as justified.

Again, a warning, the following video is graphic and disturbing.

We didn’t include it in the news feed because it belongs in 2010′s data but I did put it straight into the database as a raid-related incident with an allegation status since the family alleges it was unjustified and it appears as though they may file suit.

Next, a man who claims to be a regular contributor to CNN’s iReport program is seeking to have his video, shown below, plastered everywhere he can get it and posted links to it a number of times on our Facebook page and several other places insisting that it shows a Marinette County Wisconsin deputy violating his rights while he was trying to film the scene of a house fire he came across.

I’m not going to say what I think of this one, I want to see what opinions our readers have first. What do you think?

[SURVEYS 2]

So far, after 93 votes, the tally is:

  • 34% say yes
  • 46% say no
  • 19% don’t know

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

The Worst Police Misconduct Videos of 2010

The polling is closed and the results of our reader’s votes have been tabulated in our Worst Police Misconduct Videos of 2010 Reader’s Poll.

This is the second year that we’ve run this poll here at this site and the third year that it has run overall. Each year we do this we don’t post every single videotaped instance of police misconduct out there because, well, many people don’t have the bandwidth to load that many videos on a single page and it’s very difficult to keep track of them all. In fact, this year, at least two potential candidate videos came out shortly before our polling ended.

While it’s important to remember that these are not all of the police misconduct related videos that were released in 2010, videos are rarely released in association with an incident of police misconduct. In fact, out of the over 5,000 reports we tracked, only a little over 200 of those reports had known video associated with the incident and, of those 200, only a little over 50 of those videos were released to the public. So it’s important to understand that, while the videos are horrific, they are not necessarily representative of the worst cases of police misconduct overall.

I know it’s a lot of me to ask our readers to view all of these videos and pick which one seems worst to them when all of them seem wrong in their own right. But I do think that it helps drive home that police misconduct happens anywhere, can happen to anyone, and it makes it far easier for people to put themselves in the shoes of a victim. This poll helps me understand public perspectives of police misconduct and helps bring more attention to the issue. It would be worse, I think, if they were just ignored or forgotten after they were originally released.

For those who are interested, the candidates that were voted on for 2010 are available for public review here. The Worst Videos of 2009 are here while the candidates used for that poll are available for review here.

With that said, here are the 5 worst police misconduct videos of 2010 as voted on by our readers:

5th Worst Video of 2010


This March 16, 2010 videotaped incident in Denver Colorado involved Denver Police officers John Diaz and Jeff Cook who were captured on video grabbing Mark Ashford and wrestling him to the ground while trying to take his camera from him after he had told a motorist they were giving a ticket to that he saw what happened and would testify on the motorist’s behalf that the ticket was wrong. Ashford, who was walking his dogs to the park at the time, had to be treated for a concussion and was arrested on interference and resisting arrest charges but those were dropped later. Last we knew the officers were still the subject of an investigation with no known disciplinary action taken against them. But it’s interesting to note that officer Diaz was the subject of a 2007 Denver Post report on how the Denver Police Department kept a tight reign on police records and mentioned Diaz as being disciplined for an honesty issue.

4th Worst Video of 2010


This March 3, 2010 incident in Prince George’s County Maryland was captured on surveillance cameras which contradicted police reports describing the arrest of University of Maryland student John J. McKenna during student celebrations after their team won a basketball game over Duke University. Police reports claimed the student was taken down and arrested after he assaulted a police horse but the video showed he was complying with commands to back up when riot-gear clad officers rushed him and repeatedly beat him with batons.

To date, three Prince George’s County Police officers; Reginald H. Baker, Anthony J. Cline and James Harrison Jr, remain on paid leave or modified duty for their alleged roles in the beating while a fourth officer, Sean McAleavey, was briefly suspended for writing the flawed report but was quickly returned to duty without punishment and it is unclear if he’s still the subject of an investigation that has just been taken over by the FBI.

3rd Worst Video of 2010


The video of this November 11, 2009 incident involving a Texas State Trooper was just released this year showing the officer slamming a handcuffed woman, 23-year-old Whitney Fox, face-first into a concrete highway retaining wall shortly after he reportedly told her that she was “fixing to get hurt” while he was arresting her on drunk driving charges after she had called police to report an accident she was involved in. The woman suffered facial lacerations and was never charged but the now-former state trooper, Arturo Perez, was charged and ultimately sentenced to 6 months of probation for misdemeanor assault.

2nd Worst Video of 2010


This February 11, 2010 videotaped raid on a Columbia Missouri family’s home was based on questionable information Columbia Missouri police received from a paid informant. That raid resulted in a family’s corgi and bull terrier being shot while a 7-year-old was nearby inside the home. The cops say they did the evening raid because they expected this guy to be some big dealer but all they found was a pipe with resin and a grinder. The couple was charged and took a plea deal for simple possession and child endangerment but the raid and backlash sparked a civil rights lawsuit listing 12 officers as defendants that is still pending as well as promised reforms from the department itself about how it conducts raids and performs investigative work prior to raids… even though the police chief initially reacted to the backlash by claiming “I hate the internet.” and still backs his officers who were not disciplined or found to have violated any departmental policies.

Worst Video of 2010


This August 30, 2010 incident in Seattle Washington was partially captured on dashcam video in which you can see Native American woodcarver John T. Williams walking across the street with a piece of wood and his legal-length carving knife before Seattle police officer Ian Burke exits his car and approaches Williams who was wearing headphones and was deaf in one ear. While both are out of visual range you can hear the officer ordering Williams to drop his knife and then, about four seconds later, five shots are heard, four of which fatally hit Williams in the back and the side.

Initial reports released from the police department insisted that the officer fired after Williams charged him with his knife but that version of events was quickly withdrawn after several witnesses contradicted that and said Williams didn’t even appear to hear the officer. Subsequent information released indicate that Williams’ knife might not have been opened at the time and an initial review of the incident ruled that the shooting was unjustified. Burke is still suspended pending an inquest scheduled to occur this month but Burke still insists he opened fire because he feared for his life. This incident was one of several occurring over the last few years that have sparked calls for a federal investigation into the department from multiple groups not associated with this project.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-31-10

We’re shutting down the feed early today as I don’t anticipate any new reports due to the holiday. I want to devote some time to my family and to start preparing the 5,000+ reports we’ve tracked in 2010 for statistical analysis.

Speaking of, I just want to quickly thank everyone for their support throughout this really difficult year. We’ve come close to becoming homeless and shutting down but we survived and we did it thanks to everyone’s help. From those who sent us links to reports they thought we missed to those who donated and kept us alive we thank you. Without you we wouldn’t have finished our first full year of operations. With a lot of luck, hopefully we can make it through the next year as well.

On behalf of the NPMSRP I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year and hope that the next year brings us all fewer hardships and fewer reports to track.

With that said, here are the final 3 reports of 2010 tracked today, New Years Eve of 2010, in our National Police Misconduct News Feed:

  • Honolulu Hawaii police are being accused of detaining a public access television news crew and injuring their producer in the process of ripping a camera out of her hands and smashing it on their vehicle when they were stopped for trying to record video of President Obama while he was on vacation in that state. [2]
  • The sheriff of Upshur County Texas, along with the county commissioner and a county judge, have been indicted by a grand jury on official oppression charges that stem from them banning all public commentary at county commission meetings and for kicking out one person who protested by taping his mouth shut. [0]
  • And finally, a Galveston County Texas deputy was arrested on drunk driving charges on the same night that the assistant District Attorney was arrested on DUI charges as well, all during a publicized DUI crackdown operation. [0]

That’s it for this year, stay safe out there and we’ll see everyone next year!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-30-10

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, December 30, 2010:

  • Four Hamilton County OH deputies are the subject of a lawsuit alleging they tasered a man seven times and severely beat him after they pulled over on a suspected DUI stop and dragged him out of his car. The suit further alleges they then falsely arrested him even after they discovered he wasn’t drunk but was a diabetic suffering from extremely low blood sugar. In this case, a state trooper arrived as the man was begging the deputies to stop and began pulling the deputies away from the man they were beating because he feared for the man’s life and then reported what happened as being a case of excessive force. As a result the four deputies were disciplined and the charges against the man were dropped. A portion of the incident was captured on the trooper’s dashcam as shown above. [1]
  • A Gadsen AL police officer and the Etowah County AL sheriff’s dept are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that the Gadsen police officer severely beat a man he arrested on DUI charges while he was cuffed at the jail and after he was informed by a jail nurse that he wasn’t drunk but a diabetic suffering from excessively high blood sugar. The suit goes on to allege that all of this was captured on video and that deputies at the jail did nothing to stop the assault as the man begged for help and suffered broken teeth and bones as well as several lacerations that required stitches. [3]
  • Quinton OK police claim they don’t know how a man they arrested on public intoxication, misdemeanor possession, and resisting arrest charges ended up with a blunt head injury that killed him three days later and now the FBI has launched an investigation into the death. [4]
  • Ecorse MI has been ordered by a judge to pay $215,000 to a family who sued over a violent wrong door drug raid that was intended for the home next door. [0]
  • A Lewis County MO deputy has been arrested on a statutory rape charge involving a 15-year-old girl he allegedly had sex with in July of last year. [2]
  • Sanford FL police are being investigated on allegations they were protecting a police lieutenant’s son by not arresting him even after a video came out showing him sucker punch a homeless man from behind without provocation, resulting in that man being hospitalized. A warrant for his arrest was finally filed today but not by the Sanford police. [3]
  • Three New Orleans LA police officers were arrested in one night in unrelated incidents. Two of the officers were arrested on drunk driving charges while the third was arrested for illegal use of a weapon related to a domestic violence incident. [0]
  • A Plattville WI police officer has been sentenced to 1 year in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to allegations she turned her home into a crack house and was doing crack while on-duty. [0]
  • A Lansing MI police officer has been charged with theft by false pretenses on allegations he intentionally drove off from a gas station without paying for gas and 2 bottles of wine. [0]
  • And finally, a Cincinnati OH police lieutenant has been transferred to the records department after he was caught having sex with his girlfriend in an unmarked cruiser that was parked at police headquarters. [0]

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

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