Before I start with today’s reports of police misconduct I wanted to say thank you to some very generous people out there who are trying to help us stay afloat right now. A big thanks to the folks at Western Rifle Shooters Association , Sipsey Street Irregulars, Cliffs of Insanity, and The War On Guns for mentioning our situation and a big thanks to their readers for their tremendous outpouring of support. Whether it’s been through donations, words of support, prayers, or even just kind thoughts I truly appreciate everything. I can only promise that, even if the worst does happen soon and we go under, I’ll do what I can to start back up again if and when I can. It’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for your support… I wish I could offer more and I’m honored that you think so much of this project to try and save it.
Also, I did want to note that we’re monitoring an anomalous rash of officer-involved accidents that were reported within days of each other, most of which involving pedestrians hit with police cars, that caught our attention. However, since few details were released in each case while they are under investigation, we can’t add them to the feed yet. They involve a Kentucky State Trooper who fatally struck a pedestrian, A Columbia South Carolina cop who struck a 12-year-old, A Baltimore Maryland cop who hit a 6-year-old, a Washington County NY deputy who hit an elderly pedestrian, and a Louisville Kentucky police officer who fatally struck a moped driver right outside of his home when he says he closed his eyes and crossed into the moped’s lane because he was blinded by the sun on his way home from work.
With that said, here are the 23 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Wednesday, August 4, 2010:
- A now-former King County Washington deputy has filed a legal claim, a precursor to a lawsuit here, against the sheriff’s office alleging that he was subjected to retaliation so severe by his fellow deputies that he wondered if he would make it home alive each night he worked after he reported a fellow deputy and testified against him at trial for allegedly punching a man while he was cuffed in the deputy’s cruiser for “giving him lip”. The man who was punched was released after the deputies discovered that the woman who claimed he had assaulted her had lied when they noticed he was bleeding. When confronted about it the deputy allegedly said “back in the day when someone called a cop a motherfucker that equaled dental work.” However, despite deputies testifying against him a King County jury, notorious for favoring cops, acquitted the officer who was later fired but is appealing that disciplinary action.
- Four Easton Pennsylvania police officers who are facing an excessive force lawsuit were apparently contradicted in court when the man suing them, who they arrested on allegations he assaulted them, was acquitted of those charges. Apparently police tasered, punched, and kicked the man while they attempted to arrest him for DUI even though he tested at a .01 BAC, well below the legal limit. Officers had claimed they merely tasered him when he resisted but, on the last day of the trial, the defense finally got access to a booking photo that showed the man’s injured face, directly contradicting the arrest reports filed by the officers. Assaulting an officer is one of the charges that typically make up what’s called “The Triad” of false charges including resisting and obstruction that are often used to cover for excessive force cases.
- A Thibodaux police officer is the subject of a lawsuit filed by two people claiming that the officer unnecessarily beat one of them 30 times with a baton and then falsely arrested the other man, who didn’t know the alleged beating victim, for complaining about the man’s mistreatment during a traffic stop for following too closely.
- A Summit County Ohio deputy has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault over dashcam video that shows him repeatedly kick three prone individuals who appeared to comply with his orders to get out of their car after they had crashed into his cruiser while trying to get away from a fight at a party. His defense attorney tries to paint the officer’s actions as heroic saying that he had to effect an arrest with his legs because his arms were injured in the accident.
- A South Bend Indiana police officer has been suspended for 30 days without pay after a disciplinary hearing where he refused to defend himself for being captured on surveillance video punching a restrained man in the face without justification.
- A deputy US marshal has been arrested in a bizarre domestic violence incident where he is accused of chasing a woman while brandishing a firearm outside some condos where the woman can be heard screaming in the recorded 911 calls residents made. He’s also accused of hitting the woman with his car which he then used to ram a police cruiser as he tried to flee. The police are also looking into allegations that he might have also fired at least one round out of one of the two guns they found on him.
- An Ohio State Highway Patrol lieutenant is under investigation on allegations that he engaged in sexual activity with an underage girl after police spotted him parked in an unmarked cruiser with a teen girl. Officials aren’t saying what it was about the incident that made them suspect there was sexual activity involved.
- A Provo Utah police officer has been arrested on investigation of forcible sexual abuse and obstruction of justice on allegations that he coerced women into having sex with him under threat of arrest if they didn’t.
- A Mendocino California “Major Crimes Task Force” is accused of needlessly shooting a dog to death while it was fenced in during a raid on an innocent family’s home that resulted in nothing being found. The family says that the dog ran into the bedroom and died on the bed where it slept each night and they discovered it thrown on the floor in a pool of blood along with the contents of their room scattered on top of the dog and it’s blood. All, apparently, because police saw a drug suspect near their home one day. Hat tip to Radley Balko for this one.
- The US Marshal’s Service has apparently admitted that they’ve been recording and storing thousands of images taken from electric body scanners that can peer through clothing at checkpoints even though the TSA swore up and down that the scanners would be incapable of allowing that to happen. Despite the new revelation the TSA insists that their virtual mass strip-searches are completely constitutional and that they didn’t lie about anything else they can and can’t do with the scanners… but they haven’t said when we can expect to see the new line of TSA Body Scanner Porn on the shelves.
- Washington DC is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a former cop who claims that the city is running a protection racket and intentionally targeting their business rivals in the way that they force businesses to use off-duty police officers for private security through the city’s “Private Security Branch” for which the city takes a cut of the profit for each officer used as a security guard at a rate of $55 an hour. The officer in question says he suffered retaliation when he tried to form his own private security business and the city fired him for going to the media about it.
- The police chief of Antioch Illinois is on paid leave while under investigation on allegations that he attempted to assault a candidate for state representative. The politician is claiming that the chief had to be physically restrained by the mayor and another police officer during a meeting they had over whether the man’s son and his teenage friends needed permits to do door-to-door campaigning after they were confronted by an Antioch police officer who the candidate could hear over the phone swearing at his son.
- A US Drug Enforcement Agency officer has been arrested for the possession and distribution of child pornography on a personal laptop that he also used for work-related purposes. The images and videos found on his laptop allegedly show children from age 7 up to age 14.
- A now-former US Capitol Police sergeant has pled guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography charges after he was arrested in April and admitted to using peer-to-peer file sharing to distribute child porn involving children of all ages.
- Two Houston Texas vice cops are accused of taking nude cellphone photographs of a prostitute they were arresting during a sting operation and refusing to let her get dressed. The charges against the woman were dismissed but prosecutors aren’t saying why.
- Also, a Houston Texas police officer has been arrested on intoxicated assault with a vehicle charges after he allegedly caused an accident with another car that left three people injured.
- A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter pilot is on administrative leave after he was arrested on DUI charges when stopped by police who spotted his pickup truck weaving down the road and discovered a cup of beer in his truck. At least he wasn’t flying while intoxicated.
- An Albany New York police officer has been suspended without pay after he was arrested on a second degree harassment charge on allegations that he shoved his ex-girlfriend during a dispute.
- A Cape Coral Florida police officer has resigned after an investigation found that he had used a diploma mill to get a masters degree that qualified him for an extra $4,000 of pay that he actually didn’t earn.
- Two San Luis Obispo California police officers who were arrested last year at the Mexican border and had pled guilty to misdemeanor charges for attempting to transport pharmaceuticals in mis-marked containers across the border have been fired over that incident.
- A Calhoun Falls South Carolina police officer has been suspended while he’s the subject of a state investigation involving possible criminal charges but officials are refusing to specify exactly what the investigation is about.
- And finally, a Marshall North Carolina police officer has been suspended after he was arrested on a charge of assault on a female. He’s accused of grabbing a woman and… um… “slapping her in the crotch area.”
That’s it for today, stay safe out there!