National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 07-16-11 to 07-17-11

Before I start on this weekend’s reports I wanted to mention an interesting report about how few law enforcement agencies track how many of their officers are convicted of criminal misconduct by Alia Wong from the Honolulu Civil Beat. She did a good job trying to present both sides of the issue which included references to the NPMSRP.

With that said, here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend of July 16-17, 2011:

  • Passaic NJ secretly settled a lawsuit for $350k to mentally ill man beaten on video by cop later acquitted of criminal brutality charges, the settlement appears to have contained a confidentiality clause. [3]
  • US Park police accused of excessive force by witnesses to pedicab driver tasering incident amid ongoing allegations of abuse [2]
  • Ottawa ON cop subject of internal excessive use of authority charge for allegedly beating motorist while off duty then having a fellow officer falsely arrest him [4]
  • 2 Knoxville TN cops accused of excessive force & false arrest of man who opened his apartment door after hearing commotion outside. [3]
  • Washington DC arbitrator says cops can’t be fired just because past misconduct makes their testimony untrustworthy when he forced the department to rehire the 5th officer fired for that reason. [5]
  • Quartzsite AZ police chief accused of abusing power to punish political foes, own officers beg for investigation, this is the same police chief who declared martial law in response to critical response to a video showing him and a fellow officer kicking a reporter out of an open council meeting when she had the floor. [3]
  • 2 Plainville CT cops injured by friendly fire from 2 other cops during arrest of unarmed child porn suspect [0]
  • El Paso TX cop accused of falsely jailing a jogger for alerting motorists to his speed trap up the road [3]
  • Bremerton WA police probe revealed an improper relationship with a teen explorer & favoritism in way officers were disciplined [3]
  • South Carolina state trooper indicted on possession & distribution of child porn charges in federal investigation [0]
  • Florida state trooper sentenced to probation in plea deal after facing 34 counts of possession of child porn [0]
  • Philadelphia PA cop arrested w/boxer & 4 others for attacking Atlantic City cop working security at Bally’s [0]
  • Doral FL police chief subject of unspecified corruption probe conducted by state dept of law enforcement [3]
  • Fife WA police chief suspended over unspecified investigation that may involve at least 2 other police employees [3]
  • Tulsa OK police accused of targeting federal witnesses w/investigations to discredit them in police corruption case[5]
  • Las Vegas NV police mgmt union quietly closes a case against their union boss who accused of stealing $38k but never charged in order to avoid publicity [3]
  • Houma LA cop charged with disturbing the peace by fighting over altercation with woman outside of a bar [0]
  • Midway GA police chief shuts down 10&14yr-old’s lemonade stand since they didn’t have $50/day vendors license [0]
  • Pennsylvania state trooper tells cop “you’re screwing me out of pension” when arrested for .361 BAC DUI accident [0]

That’s it for this rough weekend. Please do stay safe out there!

Why we pulled the 7/16 San Francisco shooting report

Around 4:45pm on Saturday San Francisco police fatally shot a young man who fled after being detained for jumping fare on a light rail vehicle. Initial reports were that police insisted the young man was armed and had opened fire and officers returned fire without being injured. However, police could not find the alleged weapon and people claiming to be witnesses were contradicting their version of events by insisting the man was not armed and had his arms up when he was shot.

I initially added this to the news feed since it did meet our reporting criteria with 3rd party witnesses alleging misconduct and a lack of evidence supporting the police narrative. However, as time went by the story changed and finally came to a point where I felt it was no longer sufficiently credible to keep for our database.

What was the turning point? An alleged bystander’s cell phone video posted to YouTube in the aftermath of the shooting appeared to capture what seems to be a firearm on the ground approximately 6-7 yards away from the victim which, according to the person posting the video, was retrieved by a person in the crowd who later disappeared.

A clip from the video with an enlargement of the object alleged to be a firearm.

Now, this does not mean that either narrative is correct. After all, it seems strange that the person who took the video doesn’t alert anyone to the alleged gun, that others appear to walk right past it, and at least 5 officers with a line of sight on the alleged weapon do not react to it either. It is also questionable as to how the person who shot the video claims to know who picked up the gun when the video doesn’t pan over to where that alleged incident occurs but does capture someone picking up a cell phone that may have belonged to the victim.

However, it does cast enough questions on the incident to make the police version of events plausible where it wasn’t before. So, in fact, this may well be an incident where private citizens videotaping police may turn in favor of the police, which at least should make officers who want to make recording the police a crime think twice about that stance.

What are your thoughts on the case? Take our poll or let us know in the comment section.

[poll id="4"]

*UPDATE: The SFPD now say they have retrieved a weapon they believe was used by the person they shot during the incident. They claim that a number of videos taken by witnesses led them to the person who is accused of picking up the alleged weapon in the aftermath of the officer-involved shooting incident.

Another update: Police are now saying that the young man had a criminal record in Washington state and was a person of interest in a Seattle WA shooting that injured 4, including a pregnant woman who later died from her injuries.

Review Update: As new footage comes to light a reader comments that a second video does not appear to show the object alleged to be a gun that was shown in the first video we reviewed. I’ve taken a look at the second video, available here (caution, it is very graphic and upsetting), and have highlighted a frame taken at full screen resolution between 1:03 and 1:05 and compared that to a frame from the initial video where the object appears closest to the viewer. Since this site is 3-column you’ll have to click the images to see them full size.

Image of alleged gun from 1st video

Image of unknown object from 2nd video

The grid lines are my best effort at trying to line up reference points between the two videos to determine whether the object that appears in the second video is in the same approximate position as what is alleged to be the gun in the first video and the position does appear to correspond as best as I can tell. Though, due to the poor quality at distance of the second video and because these are grabs from copies of the videos on YouTube instead of the raw video files I cannot determine for certain if they are the same object.

Unfortunately this is the best analysis I can do with the rather limited equipment and resources I have at my disposal. But it does appear as though the second video does not debunk the allegations of a gun appearing in the first video.

Now, again, I feel I have to say that I know being skeptical about this report isn’t going to earn me any friends and would appear to be counter to what some people might think this site is about. But this project must maintain a degree of credibility since we use our data to create statistics about police misconduct so it would be counter to our mission to record an incident in our database when there is evidence that it isn’t a case of misconduct.

Again, that’s not to say that there may or may not be some other component of misconduct involved here, but there just isn’t enough evidence to support that this was a case of non-defensive use of force at this time and there is no other evidence that I’ve been presented with that indicates that it is. Yes, it is difficult and upsetting to watch a young man suffer and die like this. But I cannot let my feelings about that affect how I analyze the evidence I’m shown. If anyone has any other videos or witness claims they feel should be weighed in this case, please do let me know.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-15-11

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, July 15, 2011:

  • Lake View IA police chief & a fellow cop subject of suit alleging they helped cover up racially motivated beating by falsely arresting the victim [3]
  • 2 Braidwood IL cops found liable in $60k jury award to female electric meter reader falsely arrested on the job [0]
  • Decatur Co IN deputy on paid leave after charged w/misd battery for groping sleeping 17yr-old’s genitals [0]
  • Rockford IL cop involved in fatal shooting of unarmed man in church is fired after fitness evaluation [0]
  • New Roads LA cop arrested on felony theft & malfeasance charges for allegedly stealing $800 while responding to call[0]
  • 3 Kansas City KS SWAT cops indicted on conspiracy charges over sting that caught them stealing during raid [1]
  • Chicago IL cop arrested on agg battery of an officer when allegedly caught w/felon during drug raid [1]
  • Peoria IL cop subjected to no-stalking order by judge barring him from contact w/fellow cop & having gun off duty [0]
  • Smithfield UT cop resigned after leaving runaway dog to die in heat then trying to cover it up [0]
  • Oakland CA police accused of giving preferential treatment to Council members [1]
  • Decherd TN police chief never disclosed incident where he fired gun in his apt while drunk [3]
  • US ICE officer investigated after leaving his firearm in Bush Airport bathroom were it was found by cleaning crew [0]

Sorry the feed was down most of the day, I’ve been fighting a nasty case of food poisoning. Hopefully I’ll be doing better tomorrow.

Stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-14-11

Here are the 21 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, July 14, 2011:

  • Houston TX cop suspended after caught on video, shown above, walking up to cuffed suspect & punching him in the face [0]
  • Washington DC police officer indicted on 9 counts for allegedly using firearm to sexually abuse 3 women [1]
  • Haines City FL cop resigns after arrested for sex w/teen prostitutes as young as 14 in exchange for favors [0]
  • Isle of Wight Co VA deputy sentenced to 4mo jail in plea deal on 6 counts sexual abuse of a minor under 15 [0]
  • Arkansas State police forced to rehire trooper after fired 2x & pleading no contest to negligent homicide [0]
  • Chula Vista CA cop sued by Navy surgeon alleging false arrest & excessive force in front of his family [3]
  • Ashville NC police investigate allegations of excessive force on musician arrested while handing out fliers [2]
  • 2 Altoona PA cops charged w/agg assault, record tampering & other charges for bar fight & cover up attempt [0]
  • Rutland VT cop gets $1,000 fine in plea deal for watching porn that was evidence in child porn case while on duty [1]
  • North Carolina state trooper suspended 4 days after investigation into DUI arrest of woman who tested 0.0 BAC [0]
  • Seattle WA police sgt suspended 10days w/o pay for failing to supervise “I’ll beat the Mexican piss out of you” cop [1]
  • Lancaster NY cop fined $1,000 for beating up a 17yr-old during a New Years Eve house party, resigned after charged [0]
  • Sanford FL cop rehired by arbitration now investigated for breaking into home to arrest man for traffic violation [1]
  • Gatineau QC cop faces 10 internal disciplinary charges related to the shooting death of man outside his mom’s home [0]
  • Spokane WA cop fired for obstructing illegal hunting probe after long string of misconduct including brutality [0]
  • Chicago IL cop investigated for shooting neighbor’s dog to death after it got into fight w/his dogs while off duty [1]
  • Newark NJ cop & a bank loan officer indicted on bank fraud charges involving $1.9mil real estate loan [0]
  • Norfolk VA police sergeant w/fugitive squad arrested on a solicitation charge in Virginia Beach [1]
  • Worcester MA cop sentenced to 1yr prison and 1yr home confinement on conspiracy to distribute marijuana conviction [0]
  • New Mexico state trooper subject of arrest warrant after failing to appear in court on DUI & child abuse charges [0]
  • Martin Co FL deputy arrested on drunk driving charges after crashing truck into barbed wire fence [0]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-13-11

Here are the 20 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Wednesday, July 13, 2011:

  • 2 New York NY (Bronx) cops charged w/assault for allegedly beating teen who quipped about cop who stepped in crap [0]
  • San Bernardino Co CA deputy takes plea deal to felony oral copulation w/minor for sex acts w/teen police explorer [0]
  • Bridgeport CT deputy police chief subject of FBI probe into alleged obstruction of murder investigation in 1977 [3]
  • Several Chicago IL police detectives & ex-Cook Co prosecutors subject of fed probe into Burge torture testimonies [0]
  • Miami FL cop who is VP of police union subject of mounting brutality & false arrest complaints after news report [3]
  • St John the Baptist Parish LA deputy arrested on fugitive warrant for indecent behavior & carnal knowledge of minor [0]
  • Adams Co CO deputy charged w/several felonies for allegedly breaking 15yr-old’s jaw while he was strapped to gurney [0]
  • Birmingham AL cop sentenced to 12yrs for fatal 120mph DUI crash that killed minister on way home from church [0]
  • Greenwood IN cop faces discipline for allegedly threatening man w/taser & cuffing him for calling cops on him [0]
  • Paragould AR settles suit for $52k to sex offender alleging he was beaten by cops after judge finds cover-up [3]
  • Cook Co IL deputy w/history arrested after 3yr-old son found wandering streets in underpants while she was drunk [0]
  • Ohio Co KY deputy fired after road crew claims he buried a dog alive after he tried to beat it to death with a garden hoe because it was injured [0]
  • Provo UT cop sentenced to probation in plea to possession charges after caught on camera stealing drugs on calls [0]
  • Zavalla TX police chief suspended while subject of criminal investigation into unspecified allegations [2]
  • East St Louis IL unnamed cop subject of unspecified discipline after caught abusing sick time to work 2nd job [2]
  • Waterloo Regional ON cop suspended after arrested on unspecified criminal harassment & mischief charges [2]
  • Roanoke VA settles suit for $50k to cab driver arrested after woman left purse in his cab & he took it to dispatch [0]
  • Avon Park FL police chief subject of state investigation over alleged retaliatory investigations of city officials [0]
  • Spokane WA forced to gut police accountability program after arbitrator rules in favor of police union [0]
  • Denver CO police monitor report indicates that Denver cops give preferential treatment to fellow cops in DUI cases [3]

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

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-12-11

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked in our national police misconduct news feed for this Tuesday, July 12, 2011:

  • Stamford CT police sued by woman alleging cop punched her in the head then filed false charges against her [2]
  • New York NY police sued by 2 brothers claiming false arrest, suit cites NYPD audio tapes about quotas [3]
  • Eglin ND now former police chief & district judge takes plea deal for continual sex abuse of minor dropping 49 other counts [0]
  • Quartzsite AZ police chief declares martial law over video showing cops throwing woman out of public meeting [5]
  • Portsmouth VA cop pleads guilty to distributing child pornography, was able to retire while investigated [0]
  • 1 of 2 Portland TN fired for threatening to pistol whip city council over cuts is rehired after threatening suit [0]
  • Midland MI cop suspended after charged w/misd larceny on allegations he stold flat screen TV from Rent-A-Center [1]
  • Clinton NJ cop suspended after charged w/theft, misconduct & forgery for allegedly selling DARE equipment on e-bay [0]
  • Thebes IL cop arrested on official misconduct charges after investigation into unspecified allegations [2]
  • Barnstable MA cop arrested for DUI & child endangerment, kid he gave ride home said he was drinking when he crashed [0]
  • Jackson MS police sgt indicted on receiving stolen property charge after stolen computer allegedly traced to him [1]

Sorry for another spotty day in the news feed, but now with my business trip over with things should return to normal, whatever that may be. Also, sorry this report is late, didn’t get back in until midnight and promptly passed out at the keyboard again. So remember, any reports you think we may have missed, please let us know about it!

Also, I really hate to ask, but we could really use some donations right about now. If you haven’t donated yet and if you like what we’re doing, please help out!

Thank you, and stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-11-11

Here are the 13 10 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Monday, July 11, 2011:

  • 2 New York NY (Bronx) cops suspended after charged w/assault & official misconduct for allegedly beating informant [1]
  • Kern Co CA deputy investigated for fatally shooting unarmed ex-NFL player in front of teen son in disputed incident [3]
  • Bayonne NJ settles suit for $100k to 2 men claiming 4 cops assaulted them & 1 watched but didn’t stop it [3]
  • Birchwood WI cop takes plea deal for reduced charges for molesting 50yr-old woman in her home while drunk [0]
  • North Port FL police face 2 false arrest lawsuits, 1 stemming from illegal search & other for false DUI arrest [3]
  • Camden NJ cop investigated for allegedly enforcing non-existent law by ordering businesses to close for curfew [0]
  • Newark NJ sued by ex-cop claiming he was fired after he reported that a group of detectives were stealing money [5]
  • Los Angeles CA cop suspended after turning self in on 9 prescription medication fraud charges [1]
  • Statesboro GA police officer resigns during unspecified investigation, officials refuse to comment [3]
  • Savannah-Chatham GA cop suspended after arrest on stalking charges what caught wating for woman outside her work [0]
  • Ontario Provincial Police officer in Lambton arrested on drunk driving & flight from police charges [1]
  • New Mexico state police lieutenant arrested on drunk driving charge while off duty [0]
  • Baltimore Co MD police lieutenant & wife charged w/trespassing after trying to forcibly take their dog from a shelter w/o paperwork [0]

Sorry it was a light day today, I’m still suffering from the lack of sleep I had yesterday and I passed out in my hotel room bed twice while trying to look up reports and write today’s report. Fortunately I leave this afternoon and hopefully things will return to normal then.

In the meantime, if you see reports you think we missed over these past couple days, do let us know so we can add them in to the reports. Thanks!

Stay safe out there!

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 07-09-11 to 07-10-11

Due to travel and work over the weekend I wasn’t able to track reports too well. Hopefully I’ll have some time to catch the reports I missed and pull them into Monday’s report.

With that said, here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend of July 9-10, 2011:

  • 2 Baton Rouge LA cops are shown on video repeatedly slamming a cuffed man on the hood of a cruiser after that man declared he wanted to file report. [3]
  • A Manheim PA cop was arrested on corruption of a minor charges on allegations of inappropriate contact with a teen girl over a period of 4 years. [0]
  • Adrian Twp MI police chief left dept under allegations of unprofessional conduct, but officials won’t say if he was fired or resigned. [2]
  • 1 of 17 Denver CO cops on a Brady list for dishonesty, criminal records or disciplinary issues. However it appears that this info is not well shared with defendants and their lawyers. [3]
  • Detroit MI cop rescued from burning car by good Samaritan is suspended after testing positive for alcohol & drug use in that crash. [1]
  • Marinette WI cop cited for drunk driving after colliding with another motorcyclist while off duty a day after that town’s mayor got a DUI as well. [0]

Again, sorry for the lag on the news feed, I didn’t sleep for about 38 hours yesterday and it was non-stop work from the moment I arrived in LA until I finally made it to the hotel they put me up in Korea town, where I appear to be the token non-Korean today. It doesn’t help that I haven’t had time to eat either. Didn’t wake up till now, hence why I’m finally writing this weekend’s report.

The next few days will be hectic for me, but I’ll try to keep the feed going as best I can.

Stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-08-11

Here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, July 8, 2011:

  • 3 Humphreys Co TN deputies & 2 Waverly TN cops investigated over dashcam video purportedly showing them strip, taser & beat man for 14mins [2]
  • Pennsylvania settles suit for $50k to man claiming 2 troopers beat him at barracks after he called 911 for ambulance [3]
  • Jefferson Co AR p/t deputy working for judge sued alleging he beat a shackled juvenile over a comment [3]
  • Maricopa Co AZ settles racial profiling suit for $200k to father & son ziptied for 3hrs during immigration raid [0]

  • Seattle WA cop charged w/assault for stomping on cuffed man’s head on video after cop’s drunken altercation at bar [0]

  • Inkster MI drunk off-duty cop may face suit but no discipline for beating man who followed him to report him for DUI[3]
  • Norfolk VA cop gets suspended sentence & community service for killing bicyclist in on-duty crash [0]
  • Peel ON Regional police face suit by woman mauled by police dog on nature trail by cops looking for suspects [2]
  • 2 West Reading PA police sergeants under investigation that they tasered fellow officers & other people on video for fun [0]
  • Norton KS cop to face trial on 2 counts rape, aggravated rape & aggravated sodomy involving 2 women at his home [0]
  • Fort Wayne IN cop investigated for entering business w/o warrant & arresting business owner w/o charges [0]
  • 6 Atlanta GA cops fired, 9 disciplined & 1 allowed to retire for roles in Atlanta Eagle gay bar raid & cover up [0]
  • East Haven CT cop on leave while investigated for allegedly waiting outside business & asking all Hispanic workers for immigration papers [0]
  • Muscatine IA cop sentenced to 5yrs on drug & theft charges for cash missing from evidence & drugs found in car [0]
  • St Cloud FL cop resigns after arrested on stalking charges for series of texts & calls to estranged wife [0]
  • Raleigh NC cop, ex-union pres, fired after probe into unspecified sexual misconduct involving 2 other now-former cops [1]
  • Orleans Parish LA deputy arrested for allegedly smuggling “synthetic pot” & tobacco into jail [0]
  • 4 Waterloo ON cops disciplined after admitting to roles in drug scandal that involved drug use at cop parties [0]
  • Las Vegas NV police detective arrested on DUI & criminal endangerment charges after high-speed crash in Montana [2]

As I mentioned before, I will be traveling this weekend to a big tech conference in Los Angeles at my employer’s behest so the news feed and daily reports may be delayed a bit but I anticipate the trip shouldn’t cause too many problems as long as I’m still allowed to fly. The trip comes at a sort of bad time because I can’t really afford much of the associated expenses due to the short week since I don’t get paid for holidays. While donations would help and are always appreciated, I’m trying not to ask or press for any since I really hate doing that.

That’s it for today, wish me luck and stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-07-11

Here are the 20 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Thursday, July 7, 2011:

  • Salt Lake City UT cop may face charges after prosecutor says shooting of juvenile car theft suspect not justified [0]
  • Paterson NJ set to settle suit for $710k to woman claiming a cop ruled unfit for duty sexual assaulted her in cell [0]
  • Daytona Beach Shores FL loses suit for $200k to strippers & bartenders strip searched by male cops during raid [0]
  • Philadelphia PA cop w/history of false arrests & excessive force sued by man claiming she falsely arrested him [3]
  • Boston MA cop reinstated after fired for infamous ’99 beating now faces firing for excessive force & lying about it [0]
  • Liberty Co TX sheriff’s Capt sentenced to 1yr after convicted on federal firearms & mail fraud charges [0]
  • Tennessee state trooper convicted for official misconduct & delivery of drugs to informant posing as prostitute [0]
  • Major Co OK deputy arrested on stalking, computer crimes & child porn charges after protection order violation [0]
  • Albany OR cop takes reduced charge plea deal during trial for sexually abusing another man at a party [0]
  • Boca Raton FL cop suspended 84hrs for porn on work computer, disciplined earlier for taking pics of his genitals [0]
  • Mishawaka IN cop suspended on allegations that he had sex while on duty approx 16 times within one month [0]
  • RCMP (Island District MB) cop investigated after leaving 10mo-old police dog in cruiser while boating on day off [0]
  • New Haven CT cop sentenced to 2yrs for hit&run motorcycle crash that left 14yr-old girl badly injured [0]
  • Dallas TX cop arrested on DV & child endangerment charges for allegedly hitting girlfriend while she held baby [0]
  • NFTA NY police officer arrested on allegations he sent explicit image of self to a minor in attempt to solicit sex [0]
  • Brookneal VA police chief sentenced to probation after convicted of grand larceny resulting from undercover sting [0]
  • Osawatomie KS police sgt resigns before arrested on theft, evidence tampering & unlawful use of dept credit card [0]
  • Findlay OH cop pleads to unauth use of police database & attempted ID fraud by posing as his stepdaughters online [0]
  • Oklahoma City OK cop arrested on 3 felony & 10 misd charges for allegedly taking pay for hours not worked [0]
  • Delta CO cop resigns after charged w/leaving the scene of a single car accident & careless driving [0]

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

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