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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Trooper of the Year

From the New York Times:

Ms. Steed pulled over Julie Tapia for speeding as she was driving home. Ms. Tapia was giving a ride to her ex-husband, who had been drinking, but Ms. Tapia herself does not drink, the suit said.

Ms. Steed claimed Ms. Tapia failed a field sobriety test and arrested her. But blood tests showed no presence of impairing drugs or alcohol in her system, according to the suit. The charges were ultimately dismissed.

Michael Studebaker, another lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said that he believes there are at least hundreds of additional tainted arrests involving Ms. Steed. “The 40 or so individuals that have contacted us have to be the tip of the iceberg because Steed arrested many other people,” he said. “Her actions are so blatant, that it is probable that she acted like this in an untold number of cases.”

Wake up, put uniform on, smear some innocent people with false charges, then call it a day.   She was thriving — Trooper of the Year!  Promotions seemed “inevitable.”   If the evidence turns out to be as damning as it seems, her exposure is so much more than a “bad apple.”  It exposes  a dangerously dysfunctional system.


Federal Agents Riding to the Rescue to Protect Us

From the Wall Street Journal:

Peter Gleason was a psychiatrist who devoted much of his professional life to caring for what government officials call “underserved populations.” He would have been thrilled to learn that on Dec. 3 in New York, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ringing opinion that vindicated the conduct for which he was indicted and arrested in 2006.

Unfortunately, Gleason did not live to see this welcome reversal of the federal government’s crusade against him and the promotion of Xyrem—a drug widely used by physicians, including Gleason, to treat a number of medical conditions beyond what the federal Food and Drug Administration approved it for. Hounded for years, he saw his career and finances ruined by the relentless war waged against him by FDA bureaucrats and Justice Department prosecutors. Gleason committed suicide on Feb. 7, 2011.

Harvey Silverglate is a Cato adjunct scholar.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12/28/12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, December 28, 2012:

  • Detroit Lakes, Minnesota: A police officer has been charged in district court with reckless discharge of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A 37-year veteran was indicted for allegedly accepting $600 in bribes to steer city business to a tow truck company.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: A former Sheriff’s officer entered a plea to solicitation of a prostitute charges and will spend the next four months on probation. He has resigned.
  • Robbins, Illinois: The police chief was charged with drunken driving, his second DUI charge in three years.
  • Tucumcari, New Mexico: A former police officer was found guilty of criminal damage to property of a household member. The officer resigned after the incident.
  • Maryville, Illinois: A former police officer was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to fake worker’s compensation claims. He has been charged with two counts of felony theft and two charges of unlawful violation of the Workers Compensation Act.
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: An officer was found guilty of two counts of child molestation and sentenced to 25 years in prison. “We are dedicated to protecting our citizens from all predators,” said the District Attorney in an email statement. He was initially suspended without pay and eventually terminated.

Woman: ‘There should be other tactics for such situations’

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Eventually, Eric Hill proved his identity to the officers, and they took him out of handcuffs, the couple said. But the couple said the officers never further identified themselves or explained why they had come to their house.

Melanie Hill said one of the officers made a comment about her husband coming to the door with a bat, saying that had it been a gun, the officers would have “blown you away.”

“It was a split decision to grab that bat,” she said. “They could have killed him in his house for no reason in front of me and my kids. There should be other tactics to handle this kind of situation.”

Policing in Prince George’s County, Maryland

From the Washington Post:

Other Maryland students were roughed up and badly injured by the police after the basketball game. At least three were knocked unconscious; two of them required medical care. Nine students (in addition to Mr. McKenna) received a total of $1.6 million in settlements from the county stemming from police violence.

In the absence of video evidence in those cases, the officers who used Maryland students as punching bags faced no disciplinary consequences. Amazingly, the police department’s internal affairs division, which handled the abuse complaints, did not even interview most of the students who were injured. It follows that if no video had surfaced of Mr. McKenna’s beating, that too would have been swept under the rug of police impunity and official indifference.

Read the whole thing.   You really should do it.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-27-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 27, 2012:

  • Update: Des Moines, Iowa: An officer was given five more years prison on top of the twenty months in prison he was already sentenced to. The extra sentence was in connection with an excessive force traffic stop.  ‪
  • Greensboro, North Carolina: A sheriff orders officers to discriminate against Latinos, telling them, “go out there and get me some of those taco eaters,” and blew off the federal government’s order to stop it, calling a Justice Department report “meaningless,” the United States claims in court.
  • Sacramento, California: Police arrested a former officer on suspicion of raping a 76-year-old woman while off duty, the department announced. Sacramento Chief of Police said, in a written statement, that the incident does not reflect the rest of his department.
  • Update: Moulton, Alabama: A former police officer has been indicted for allegedly beating two 8-year-old girls. The charges are felonies punishable by a minimum one year and maximum 10 years in prison.
  • Half Moon Bay, California: An officer who has been accused of stealing $5,700 was sentenced to 90 days in jail for felony embezzlement.
  • Novato, California: An officer is suspected of stealing, using and distributing narcotics that were meant to be destroyed. His involvement has caused a murder sentencing to come to a standstill.
  • Update: Miami-Dade, Florida: An officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release for his role in cocaine smuggling.
  • New York, New York: Two former police officers convicted of official misconduct over their interactions with a drunken woman they had helped get home have started their jail sentences.


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

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct racked for Saturday, December 22 to Wednesday, December 26, 2012:

  • Hollywood, Florida: A trooper has filed suit against other officers. She says they accessed her personal information and intimidated her after she pulled over an officer going 100+ mph on the highway. He was fired.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An officer is facing a fourth-degree assault charge. He has been accused of repeatedly hitting a man while off-duty.
  • Winona, Minnesota: A police officer was charged with two counts of third degree driving while intoxicated.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A judge found an officer guilty on four criminal counts related to inmate abuse. The four counts he faces are simple assault, official oppression, terroristic threats and intimidation of a witness. The intimidation charge is a felony, the others misdemeanors.
  • Dagsboro, Pennsylvania: A man is suing two officers. He says they shocked him with a stun gun because they thought he was somebody else.
  • Wappinger Falls, New York: An officer has been arrested. He has been accused of conning thousands of dollars from immigrants seeking drivers licenses and immigration assistance.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: An officer was arrested on a drunken driving charge after he wrecked his patrol car while on-duty.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-21-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, December 12, 2012:

  • Oviedo, Florida: A police officer has resigned from the force after being accused of stalking a woman. An internal investigation found the officer violated several department policies when he followed a bank teller after asking for her phone number hours earlier.
  • Commerce City, Colorado: An officer was charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals. He shot a dog and it was caught on tape.
  • Update: San Diego, California: A woman filed a claim in court, accusing an officer of pulling her hair during a struggle in front of her burning home.
  • Gallatin, Tennessee: An officer pleaded guilty to drunken driving. He was sentenced to serve two days in jail for the charge.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: Former Police Lieutenant has been convicted of theft and forgery three years after she was put on leave for stealing money from a police organization.
  • Hertford County, North Carolina: A former chief deputy sheriff has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating an inmate’s civil rights. He was charged this summer with assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault after an altercation that took place in a courtroom involving an inmate
  • Greene County, Tennessee: A former deputy pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of a woman. While on duty, he admits to pulling a man and woman over during a traffic stop. Court documents state the woman told the officer she would do anything to get out of charges. They met, and the woman performed a sexual act with him.
  • Catabwa County, North Carolina: A former sheriff’s deputy says she was sexually harassed by a superior officer and the sheriff retaliated and fired her when she complained.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-20-12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 20, 2012:

  • Lexington, Kentucky: A University of Kentucky officer has been fired after a student posted a video of officers entering his room and searching it.
  • Chicago, Illinois: The officer in charge of an “elite” Special Operations Section that ransacked homes without warrants and shook down drug dealers for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash pleaded guilty to those crimes. He also pleaded guilty to ordering a hit on another officer.
  • Oroville, California: A Chico police officer pleaded no contest to charges stemming from an off-duty incident outside a casino.
  • Maury, Tennessee: An officer was charged with solicitation of sex with a minor and booked into jail on a $15,000 bond. He has been terminated.
  • Houston, Texas: A Philadelphia police officer was arrested at the Houston Texans’ stadium for resisiting arrest.
  • Albany, New York: An off-duty state trooper was arrested after police say he crashed his own car while driving drunk.
  • Denver, Colorado: A police officer, charged with sexually assaulting a woman he pulled over, was found guilty.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-19-12

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, December 19, 2012:

  • Little Rock, Arkansas: An officer faces a third-degree battery charge stemming from a domestic incident.
  • Naples, Florida: An officer was arrested by deputies for driving under the influence and resisting an officer with violence. “It’s unfortunate that one of our officers is involved in this type of situation when it’s something we work very hard at combating on a daily basis,” said the police chief.
  • Waterloo, Illinois: A state police officer was charged with aggravated domestic battery and unlawful restraint. He is accused of choking his girlfriend, and preventing her from leaving his house.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer with 8 years on the department was arrested on suspicion of theft while on duty and misconduct in public officer. He is currently suspended with pay, per state law.
  • Update: Delaware, Ohio: A highway patrol trooper and a sheriff’s deputy have been convicted of dereliction of duty in relation to an intoxicated man who was taken to a fast-food restaurant and was later struck and killed by a vehicle.
  • Dover Township, Pennsylvania: A state police trooper is facing criminal charges and has been suspended without pay after a domestic incident was sparked over Facebook.
  • Irving, Texas: Two women are suing two state troopers and the police department head. They allege that there was an illegal “roadside body cavity search” during a traffic stop.
  • Seattle, Washington: The police arrested two off-duty officers following a hit-and-run crash. A witness saw the incident.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer has been arrested after being accused of receiving stolen property.

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