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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-2-12

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, November 2, 2012:

  • Muskego, Wisconsin: After he was arrested on domestic abuse violations, an officer was suspended. He is now on administrative leave.
  • Fullerton, California: A police officer has been sentenced to probation for destroying an audio recorder that captured his interactions with a drunk-driving suspect who later kill himself in the city jail. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of destruction of property and vandalism.  
  • Cerritos, California: A sheriff’s deputy who oversaw a youth explorer program has been sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service on charges of having sex with a 16-year-old girl enrolled in the program.
  • Fargo, North Dakota: After posting a photo on Facebook of cash seized during a drug investigation, a detective has been suspended for two days without pay.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A detective was charged with lying in a search warrant affidavit to gain entry to a home, and then trying to obstruct the ensuing internal affairs investigation. The raid resulting from the warrant led to drugs and guns, but the case then had to be dropped. “As today’s charges demonstrate yet again, we are committed to fully investigating alleged misconduct by public officials of any kind, and, where appropriate, prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law,” said a state’s attorney.  
  • Cherryville, North Carolina: The police chief has resigned as the FBI investigates the department. Three Cherryville police officers, a Gaston County sheriff’s deputy and two other Cherryville men have been arrested in a bribery and extortion investigation.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: A police officer admitted to scamming immigrants and taking their money. He pleaded guilty to reduced charges of theft and records tampering. He will spend up to a year in jail and has agreed to repay his victims $9,600.
  • Sulpher Springs, Texas: A former police chief was sentenced to 3 years in prison after admitting to molesting a family member more than a decade ago. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of indecency with a child.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana:  For the second time in under two months, an officer has been accused of injuring public records, forgery, and malfeasance in office. He was arrested and accused of falsifying a misdemeanor summons. He is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: The officer who pleaded guilty to a drug charge resulting from an FBI sting was sentenced to four years in prison. The officer says that he purchased the drugs for his wife, who suffers from nerve damage and chronic pain, and got a reduced sentence because he was not a distributor, wasn’t seeking profit, and had a number of character witnesses.
  • Webster, Texas: A court claim says that an officer used excessive force against two women. They insist that they “were unarmed and did not pose a threat to (the) defendant or any officer.”
  • Update: Edmonds, Washington: An officer who was accused of having sex with a woman he detained has been charged with felony first-degree custodial sexual misconduct.
  • Kirkland, Washington: A couple and a police officer were sentenced for being involved in a mortgage fraud scheme. The policeman was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for taking $6.2million and was order to pay back $1 million in restitution. The scheme collapsed when the real estate market collapsed.

‘This is the most disgusting, disgraceful, despicable thing that could ever happen’

From the Miami Herald:

The U.S. Justice Department shut down Bal Harbour’s celebrated federal forfeiture program and ordered the police to return more than $4 million, slapping the agency with crushing sanctions for tapping into drug money to pay for first-class flights, luxury car rentals, and payments to informants across the country. …

One former prosecutor who ran the South Florida Money Laundering Strike Force said he was stunned by the development.

“Bal Harbour is going to have to answer for their transgressions,” said David Macey, a former Miami-Dade assistant state attorney who specialized in forfeitures. “I’ve never read any correspondence to a law enforcement agency threatening the entire agency with penalties and criminal sanctions.”


Oakland Police Chief Only Wants to Read Complimentary Email

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response.

That’s because he used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line, according to a federal court filing Monday. Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.” Instead of landing in his in-box, those messages went straight into his junk mail folder, which he apparently never looked at.

Because of those filters, Jordan missed e-mails from other city officials and a federal court monitor, who oversees the department’s compliance with court-ordered reforms stemming from a police abuse scandal.

Robert Warshaw, the monitor, had sent Jordan an e-mail with the subject line “Disciplinary Actions-Occupy Oakland.” Jordan told the court on Oct. 18 that he never saw those e-mails, infuriating Thelton Henderson, the federal judge in San Francisco who appointed Warshaw.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-01-12

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 1, 2012:

  • Cherokee County, Georgia: The parents of a 16-year old boy who was suicidal had called police officers in for help when he took a gun and threatened to kill himself. The boy wound up being shot by a sniper, and now the parents say they regret their decision to call the police in the first place.
  • Tularosa, New Mexico: A ten-year-old boy was tasered by a police officer with 50,000 volts of electricity on a school playground after refusing to clean the officer’s car. The officer responded to the boy’s refusal by saying, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” He then tasered the boy, who weighs less than 100 pounds, causing him to black out. When the boy came to, instead of calling for emergency medical assistance, he took the boy to the principal’s office. The boy was left with scars resembling cigarette burns and has since been suffering from PTSD, often waking up in the middle of the night grabbing his chest, fearful of never waking up again.
  • Colleton County, South Carolina: A now-former lieutenant pleaded guilty to giving false statements to the FBI. He faces up to five years in prison and could be forced to pay a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors say the officer told a suspected drug trafficker that he was being followed by federal agents, and then denied doing so. Telephone calls proved that he was lying.
  • Brownfield, Texas: A police officer has been fired from the department after allegations were confirmed of his lying on an application about his inappropriate past in Kermit. He was accused of falsifying court documents and perjuring himself to conceal his improper past with a minor while he was a police officer.
  • North Chicago, Illinois: The police chief was arrested and charged with theft of more than $140,000 that had been seized from drug arrests. He was accused of using the money to buy a new car and do home repairs on his kitchen, among other personal expenditures.
  • Lincoln County, Oklahoma: A Gary, Indiana police officer was caught with 48 pounds of marijuana in her suitcase during a traffic stop. She did not show up to her court date, and is now considered a fugitive.
  • Pennington Gap, Virginia: The police chief was arrested on prescription drug distribution and gun charges, and is also accused of burglarizing a Rite Aid. He was fired.
  • Flomaton, Alabama: Two officers were arrested and charged with an ethics violation each and tampering with evidence. One was released on a $30,000 bond, and the other is being held on a $50,000 bond.
  • *Note* The link originally attached to this story when we tweeted it was, by mistake, the Kaukauna, WI link. This link is the correct one. Thank you to a reader who pointed this out.
    Bryan County, Oklahoma: A now-former chief of police was sentenced to time in jail; he was convicted of embezzlement after being accused of taking guns out of evidence.
  • Kaukauna, Wisconsin: A trooper tried to pull a man over for a seat belt violation, and he sped away. The chase that resulted reached more than 100 miles per hour before there was a crash, putting the man in an ICU.
  • Knox County, Missouri: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested after a warrant was issued. He is charged with a felony count of stealing and a count of disposing of stolen property. He as also been charged with resisting arrest by fleeing. He is no longer employed with the sheriff’s department.
  • Long Beach, California: An officer was sentenced to at least 12 years in prison for repeatedly beating his wife using a police-issue baton, a flashlight, and sometimes a broom. He was arrested during a stand-off with other officers.
  • South Barrington, Illinois: An officer is charged with official misconduct, forgery, and possession of a controlled substance. He has resigned from the police force.

LAPD Withholds Key Details

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Los Angeles Police Department’s news release on an Oct. 12 officer-involved shooting seemed fairly routine.

Officers searching for several suspects who had fled after being stopped for questioning found one hiding under an SUV on Woodlawn Avenue in South L.A. The officers pulled the suspect out by his ankles, saw what looked like a metallic object in his hands and opened fire, critically wounding him.

But one crucial piece of information was left out of the release: The suspect’s hands were cuffed behind his back at the time and he was lying on his stomach.

Hope Springs Eternal Award

From the Associated Press:

A Metro Nashville police officer charged with domestic violence has been disciplined 31 times in his 24-year career.

The Tennessean reports ( ) Andre Johnson was decommissioned earlier this month after he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. Last week he was booked on another domestic violence charge.

Johnson remains employed while criminal and internal investigations continue.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-27-12 to 10-31-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 27 to Wednesday, October 31, 2012:

  • Ash Flat, Arkansas: The sheriff says that a detective resigned after sexually explicit photos of him were found on a county-owned cell phone. He turned in his letter of resignation after being told he could either resign or be fired.
  • Nashville, Tennessee: A police officer charged with domestic violence has been disciplined 31 times in his 24-year career. Despite this, he has never faced termination, in part because they occurred over a span of many years.
  • Dallas, Texas: A police officer got a ten-day suspension after an internal investigation concluded he put a handcuffed mental patient in a chokehold and pushed him up against a wall, causing his head to hit the wall.
  • Orange County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested and accused of insurance fraud. The sheriff’s office said the officer, who bonded out of jail, was suspended without pay.
  • Update: Whitaker, Pennsylvania: A police officer who was charged with breaking a woman’s car window and threatening her with his gun has been suspended from the force, without pay, for 10 days.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. He used his badge to extort protection payoffs from heroin and crack dealers. The judge called it “outrageous” that a police officer would violate the trust placed in him to protect a neighborhood ravaged by drugs and crime.
  • Homewood, Alabama: A police officer has been fired after authorities say an 18-year-old girl complained he pulled her over for no reason and later sent her a series of inappropriate text messages that frightened her. He was fired for conduct unbecoming a classified employee, failure to record the traffic stop and for acting in such a manner that brings discredit upon the officer and the police department.
  • La Joya, Texas: A state trooper fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter and killed two illegal immigrants during a chase. An expert on police chases said that the decision to fire on the truck was “a reckless act” that served “no legitimate law enforcement purpose.”
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: An officer has been found guilty of 123 counts. The counts include child exploitation and pornography, including that he touched the children. The prosecution hopes the case sends a message to the community that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what authoritative position you are in; if you sexually abuse children, you will be prosecuted.
  • Bradford, Pennsylvania: A state trooper is facing false-arrest claims against a mother. He ticketed her and detained and accused her of drunken driving for over an hour, while her daughter was throwing up in the back seat of the car. The mayor of the city where she was stopped even took photos of the incident.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-26-12

*Note* Due to Hurricane Sandy, Cato was shut down 10-29-12 and 10-30-12. When Cato shuts down, there will not be tweeting/blogging on  Back up now :)

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 26, 2012:

  • Trenton, New Jersey: A trooper has been suspended without pay after he allegedly punched a man, cutting him above and below the eye. He was charged with simple assault and threatening a police officer.
  • Washington, DC: A FBI agent has been charged and convicted with vehicular manslaughter and related charges. He killed one teen and injured another in a car crash.
  • Update: Dallas Texas: A deputy got a 38 day suspension for stopping a motorcyclist without cause and seizing his helmet camera. When the motorcyclist was pulled over the officer told him, “the reason you’re being pulled over is because I’m gonna take your camera and we’re gonna use it as evidence of in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers.” Said a criminal justice expert, “I think we should applaud the agency. There were days in American law enforcement when nothing would’ve happened.”
  • Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania: An officer was accused of murdering his wife almost 30 years ago. He has been suspended and is currently being held in jail.
  • Cokeville, Wyoming:  A motorist has filed suit the town after he says that the police chief took cash from drivers for ‘traffic tickets’ and then took the money and disappeared.
  • Varnall, Georgia: An officer was indicted for 1st degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving in the death of a contract newspaper carrier. He has resigned. The police chief said that an internal investigation showed the officer violated several department policies.
  • Parkersburg, West Virginia: An officer was suspended after he was arrested in Ohio. He was charged initially with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He failed a series of field sobriety tests, at one point losing his balance and nearly falling onto the parking lot, says the report. “He talked to the police officer and the prosecuting attorney and said they were not going to charge him with DUI, but with another offense,” said the Parkersburg Mayor.
  • Dekaulb, Georgia: A police chief was sentenced to three years and seven months in prison for conspiring to take bribes. He admitted that “no one should sell their badge” and that he did just that.
  • Update: Downey, California: An officer who killed a man he mistook for a robbery suspect will not face criminal charges.

Police Shoot From Helicopter, Kill Two

From the Associated Press:

A Texas state trooper who fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter and killed two illegal immigrants during a chase through the desert was trying to disable the vehicle and suspected it was being used to smuggle drugs, authorities said Friday.

It is astonishing when police officers disregard the most serious rule governing their conduct–the use of deadly force.  Even if the police were 100 percent certain the vehicle had a trunk full of marijuana and cocaine and that the vehicle was highly likely to elude capture by the police on the ground, that would not justify the use of deadly force.  Not even close.   The story reminds me of one of the early scenes in the movie Black Hawk Down, where Delta snipers disable the engine of a vehicle from an Army helicopter in order to capture one of the occupants.  This may be another example of military tactics spilling over to the civilian world of policing.

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