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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-12

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 9th, 2012:

  • Burke County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy was charged with exchanging a schedule III controlled substance for sexual favors. He was terminated from the department.
  • Milwaukee: Wisconsin: Four officers were charged with crimes as a result of conducting rectal searches for drugs on the street, according to a criminal complaint. The charges include felony sexual assault, felony misconduct in public office and conducting illegal strip searches, a misdemeanor. “Crime cannot be fought with criminality,” said the police chief. “A hard-earned reputation has been tarnished.”
  • Sarasota, Florida: An 9-year-veteren officer was suspended after he was caught on surveillance video attacking a suspect. The police chief has ordered an internal investigation into the incident.
  • Flomaton, Alabama: The police chief pleaded guilty in court. He had been charged with third-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment relating to a suspect he allegedly chased from Alabama over the state line.
  • St. Charles County, Missouri: A deputy was sentenced to five years in prison for breaking the law while he and other officers were at a home to apprehend a wanted meth cook. The jury found the deputy guilty of felony burglary and misdemeanor assault and property damage. “It appears that this defendant was intoxicated with the power of the badge,” said the presiding judge.
  • Harris County, Texas: Six Harris County Jail employees have been fired for sexual misconduct and related allegations. “The ugly truth is that the misconduct involved the failure to take action as supervisors,” said the sheriff. He called their behavior “inexcusable” and “intolerable.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-06-12 to 10-08-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 6th to Monday, October 8th, 2012:

  • New York, New York: An unarmed Army National Guardsman was pulled over on a highway and shot to death by an officer. The DA is now probing the incident that the victim’s friend is calling a case of police “road rage.” The Guardsman had his hands on the steering wheel of his car moments before the detective shot him once in the torso, said the woman sitting in the front passenger seat.
  • Buena, New Jersey: The now-former Police Chief admitted to obtaining a drug prescription by fraud, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: Officials say an officer has been suspended with pay after striking a squad car while driving on a suspended license. He was given a misdemeanor citation.
  • Vanceboro, North Carolina: The police chief has been fired over personnel issues, officials say. They declined to comment further, citing human resources privacy.
  • Update: Houston, Texas: An officer was sentenced to life in prison for raping a waitress in the back of his patrol car. During the sentencing phase, jurors heard from three other women who said that the officer also assaulted them and threatened to have them deported if they told anyone.
  • Olathe, Kansas: A now-former deputy has been charged with inappropriately touching a female inmate.
  • Fayette County, West Virginia: An officer was arrested after he was accused of invading an apartment. He was attempting to steal from the tenants, but got away with nothing. During the arrest he was already on administrative leave. “After this latest incident, if he’s guilty of this, put him in jail – he knows better… To go out here and be serving and protecting and somebody who obviously has a drug issue shoots and almost kills me, and then it turns out one of my own officers is doing it as well – yeah I’m not happy with it at all,” said another officer.
  • Lincoln County, North Carolina: A deputy is facing drunk driving charges after he was injured in an off-duty motorcycle crash.
  • Harris County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for interfering with the arrest of one of his wedding guests.
  • Elkhart County, Indiana: A detective has been disciplined for making a mistake about evidence. Detective Dennis Chapman said a fingerprint on a pill bottle in Helen Sailor’s apartment belonged to Lana Canen, and she was then convicted of Sailor’s murder. Chapman now is saying it wasn’t Canen’s fingerprint. “He made a mistake, an error, and as a result of that, someone was convicted. We don’t take that lightly,” said the Sheriff.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-05-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Boynton Beach, Florida: A man and his mother have filed suit for alleged false arrest. They were arrested while sitting in the man’s car in front of his own home and were taken to jail. But, later, the charges against the man were dropped, and there were never charges filed against his mother. “No probable cause existed for the seizure and arrest of [the two] for any offense whatsoever,” said their attorney.
  • Update: Duluth, Minnesota: The officer who was caught on videotape punching a man in a wheelchair was charged with 5th degree assault and disorderly contact. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
  • Miami, Ohio: A deputy facing a drunken driving charge was fired by the Sheriff. “The level of misconduct was so egregious and a complete violation of the public trust and the standards and code of ethics of the sheriff’s office that I had no choice but to dismiss him from his employment as a deputy sheriff. His conduct is not and should not be viewed as a reflection on the hardworking men and women of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office,” said the Sheriff.
  • Greenwood County, Kansas: A sheriff’s deputy was charged with multiple counts of having child pornography.
  • Riverdale, Illinois: A 70-year-old man was arrested for ‘impersonating an officer.’ He was actually in a costume in his own restaurant for a comedy show.
  • Premont, Texas: The assistant police chief was suspended after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Robbins, Illinois: A woman who was arrested while two months pregnant is now suing. She alleges that officers used excessive force on her, and it caused her to miscarry her child. She says that after she was arrested for no reason, the police put hand cuffs on her so tightly that her shoulder “popped,” causing her to scream in pain. Instead of loosening the cuffs, the officers threw her in the backseat of a patrol car, face down, and tased her several times.
  • Prosperity, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested on two counts of marijuana distribution and misconduct in office.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-04-12

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 4, 2012:

  • Brick, New Jersey: After flushing her drugs down the toilet, an officer asked a woman for sexual favors, he admits. He pleaded guilty to criminal coercion and tampering with physical evidence in a plea bargain that calls for a probationary term.
  • Prince George County, Maryland: A Washington, D.C. police officer has filed a $3 million lawsuit against two Prince George County officers. He says that they beat him with a baton and struck him in the face while he was handcuffed during a confrontation.
  • Orlando, Florida: An officer who was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence was suspended following an internal affairs review.
  • Monroe, Georgia: A sheriff’s deputy is facing DUI charges after authorities say that he wrecked his patrol car.
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The officer that punched a woman at a neighborhood street party is being suspended for 30 days with the intention to dismiss him. The incident was caught on video and posted to youtube, which led to an investigation.
  • Update: White Plains, New York: A third party review of the incident deemed a shooting death justified. Said one of the committee members who reviews the case: “the shooting of Mr. Chamberlain was totally justified and took place only after negotiations and all non-lethal means were unsuccessful and Mr. Chamberlain came at a police sergeant with a knife.”
  • Los Angeles, California: A jury has awarded $3.2 million to a mentally ill woman who sued after police shot her and shocked her with a Taser. Jurors found the officers were negligent, malicious and used excessive force in their confrontation.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: A federal jury has convicted a police officer for beating a man who was handcuffed and secured in the backseat of a patrol car.


NY Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Driver

From today’s New York Times:

A New York police detective shot and killed an unarmed man, whose hands, a witness said, were on the steering wheel of his Honda, after he had been pulled over early Thursday for cutting off two police trucks on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the authorities said.

The shooting, which occurred at 5:15 a.m., was the latest in a series of episodes in which police officers fatally shot or wounded civilians. While the Police Department had explanations in the other instances, it could not immediately provide one for the shooting on Thursday.

Note this:

In all police-involved shootings, investigators are barred from talking to the officers who fired their weapon to prevent them from later claiming immunity from prosecution for what they said in an interview.

So all the witnesses are interviewed–except the officer that fired his weapon?  That’s a policy that needs to change.  When a civilian is involved in a shooting, detectives are anxious  to question him/her right away.  There’s no good reason for treating officers any differently.

Conrad Black on the American ‘Prosecutocracy’

From the  New  York  Sun Opinion Page:

The Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments guarantee a grand jury (implicitly, though this is not expressly stated, to ensure against capricious prosecutions), just compensation for seized property, due process, access to counsel (of choice), prompt justice, an impartial jury, and reasonable bail. All of these guarantees have been sliced and pulverized to varying levels of granularity in the 50 states. Grand juries are rubber stamps that almost never withhold what is asked by prosecutors, and their proceedings are often unknown to suspects and targets as they occur.

The seizure of property, especially if that property is being relied on as a source for paying the legal bills of notoriously rapacious American lawyers, frequently occurs just before the prosecutors lay their charges, freezing the civil proceedings and rendering the defendant’s property unavailable as a source of sales or borrowing to pay for counsel, who almost always demand hefty retainers at the outset. The process — from identification of a target to the end of a trial — can often be several years, during which it is practically impossible for an accused person to function normally.

Juries are subjected to an intense propaganda blast from prosecutors in the areas where the case will be heard and the jurors selected, almost invariably echoed by the media, descending even to the likes of Nancy Grace, who routinely demands to know why uncharged possible suspects, whom she names, are “still at large.” Impartial juries in such circumstances, which obtain in all high-profile cases, are hard to come by.

Bail is not just a surety against flight but a tool of impoverishment against defendants, and is frequently far from reasonable. (I posted $38 million when I was a criminal defendant several years ago. It was a stretch but I managed it, despite an illegal asset seizure, but few people have the resources to defend themselves and even face the daunting odds against them in the courtroom.)

Read the whole thing.  For more info about Conrad Black and his case, go here.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-03-12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 3, 2012:

  • Broward, Florida: A deputy is being accused of punching a handcuffed homeless man while he sat in the back of a patrol car. He was charged with battery, official misconduct and falsifying official reports.
  • Long Beach, California: A police officer was convicted of more than a dozen felonies for assaulting his wife. He faces 20 years in state prison, and is currently being held, without bail, and was removed from payroll.
  • Pueblo County, Colorado: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of holding  a woman against her will at gunpoint. The deputy reportedly took the victim captive in her home after she returned from an errand. When she entered, he appeared from around a corner and pointed a handgun at her head, according to the affidavit. “Get down on the ground or I am going to kill you,” he reportedly told the victim. He has been placed on administrative leave.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer is under investigation for rape allegations. He has been accused of raping an unconscious woman in the back of his marked policed case.
  • Detroit, Michigan: The Mayor suspended Police Chief Ralph Godbee, after a subordinate claimed the two had engaged in a sexual relationship for about a year. Godbee was suspended for 30 days “pending a full and thorough investigation of the matter.”
  • Lebanon, Pennsylvania: An officer was recently fired for violating department policy. Citing the city’s employee confidentiality policy, the police chief would not provide details on the reasons for the officer’s dismissal.
  • McCook, Nebraska: An officer was fired for incompetence pertaining to duties, acts unbecoming, and absence from duty without leave. The termination stemmed from what his supervisors referred to as a noted decline in performance combined with several alcohol related incidents and came after multiple administrative actions were taken.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-02-12

Here are the 7 reports of Police Misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 02, 2012:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer was caught on video punching a woman in the face, knocking her to the ground during a Puerto Rican Day Parade. The officer’s name and status have not been released but an “open and active” internal affairs investigation is under way.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer has been fired for drunk driving and crashing into a house, and for falsifying time cards. The officer had a BAC more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
  • Raymond, New Hampshire: An officer is facing a misdemeanor simple assault charge for allegedly lifting his wife off the floor and throwing her to the ground during a domestic dispute. He has pleaded not guilty.
  • Update: Harrodsburg, Kentucky: In a lawsuit, a young woman claims the police chief was aware an officer was repeatedly raping her while she was underage but did nothing to stop the conduct. The officer was charged and convicted of rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse, and is currently serving a three year prison sentence. The woman seeks damages for among other things, failure to report child abuse.
  • Update: Bristol, Connecticut: An officer has been convicted of drunk driving, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment after crashing his patrol car into a utility pole at high speed.
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts: The family of a man who died while in police custody has filed a civil rights and wrongful death suit against officers. The man had been handcuffed on the ground at the time of his death. Officers did not call an ambulance until nine minutes after he stopped moving and CPR was not performed until four minutes after officers realized he did not have a pulse.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: Another Memphis Police officer has been charged with DUI. The officer has been relived of duty, with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-29-12 to 10-01-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 29 to Monday, October 01, 2012:

  • Moulton, Alabama: An officer was fired for violating city policies. He had been suspended earlier after the department discovered he was being investigated by the Department of Human Resources for child abuse.
  • El Paso, Texas: After allegedly driving his take-home county vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a sheriff’s deputy was arrested.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: An officer was suspended for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to an underage girl that he had given a traffic citation.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A former police officer has resigned after being arrested, for the second time, on hit-and-run charges. The 15-year veteran, who was already on desk duty pending investigation of a 2011 hit-and-run, confessed to hitting a car, leaving the scene of the accident, parking his police cruiser at another location, then reporting it stolen.
  • Hanover, Township, NJ: A teenager is suing the police department claiming officers arrested him because he was videotaping a confrontation with cops. The officers were going to charge him with obstruction, vandalism and being in the park after dark, but because of the videotape, all the charges were dropped, except being in the park. “The officer, once he saw that video, it’s clear he got angry he was being video recorded and immediately retaliated,” said the family’s attorney, “And this officer didn’t like it and he jumped on [the boy] in response. That’s illegal, inappropriate, and the excessive use of force.”
  • Update: Grayson County, Texas: A deputy pleaded guilty to stealing from the sheriff’s office. He was accused of stealing more than $20,000 worth of items, including guns, from evidence.
  • MarionCounty, Indiana: Following his arrest on child pornography charges, a sheriff’s deputy was fired from the department. The sheriff’s captain said that the disciplinary actions show that illegal conduct “will not be tolerated.”
  • Freehold Borough, New Jersey: An officer was sentenced to probation and other penalties. He was convicted of shoplifting from Home Depot.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An off duty officer faces 3 counts of aggravated assault after confrontation with three youths. She has been relieved of duty with pay pending an investigation.
  • Washington, DC: Police surrounded a woman trying to leave the World Bank protest, slammed her face into a car, and threw her to the ground, she claims in federal court.

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