National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-10-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 10, 2015:

  • Update: Des Moines, Iowa (First reported 05-07-13): A now-former officer faces his second trial for excessive force. He kicked a man in the head during a traffic stop, causing the man to lose two of his teeth and get stitches. He was acquitted in his first trial of falsifying records about the incident but the jury was deadlocked on the violation of civil rights charge.
  • Update: Indianapolis, Indiana (First reported 06-12-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to 60 days in jail for OWI. He showed up to work drunk. He drove from his home in Martinsville, roughly a 45-minute drive away, and his blood alcohol level tested at three times the legal limit.
  • Update: Henderson County, North Carolina (First reported 01-24-14): A now-former school resource officer was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old student.
  • Update: Starr County, Texas (First reported 11-28-11): A now-former deputy was given one year of probation and 30 days of house arrest for illegally hunting while on duty.
  • Update: Barron County, Wisconsin (First reported 02-19-14): A now-former deputy was sentenced to community service and probation. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct as a result of being arrested for domestic violence. He had pushed his wife and repeatedly punched her brother in the face.
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested for selling police information to a gambling operation. He was the second GCSO deputy arrested in a week in relation to that gambling ring.
  • Hagerstown, Maryland: An officer was charged with DUI after an off-duty auto accident.
  • Redding, California: An officer was arrested for DUI after a high-speed roll-over accident.
  • Memphis, Tennesee: An officer is being investigated for embezzlement. He has a long disciplinary history with the department, including being fired and rehired by the MPD.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-06-15 to 03-08-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 6 through Monday, March 8, 2015:

  • Update: Orange Beach, Alabama (First reported 08-05-14): An officer was indicted on two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old.
  • Update: San Antonio, Texas (First reported 07-08-13): The officer who held his family at gunpoint and had a standoff with police has been fired. However, due to his plea arrangement, he was allowed to keep his state law enforcement license.
  • Jackson County, Mississippi: A deputy was fired after audio was released of him threatening another player in a video game chat. The argument got personal, and the now-former deputy told the other player his real name and home address when it escalated to threats of violence, saying “I get paid to beat-up n*****s like you.”
  • Pasco County, Florida: A deputy was fired and arrested after sending photos of a suicide scene to his ex-girlfriend via cell phone.
  • Signal Hill, California: A now-former officer was charged with excessive force and assault with a firearm, stemming from an alleged road rage incident last year.
  • York & Chester, South Carolina: Two officers from separate departments were arrested for abusing their three-month-old child. The child was admitted to the hospital with neck and brain injuries.
  • Rochester, New York: A sergeant was charged with hit & run after hitting a 52-year-old woman with his automobile. She was treated and released from care.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol: A now-former agent stationed in Brownsville, Texas pled guilty to conspiracy for knowingly allowing drugs to cross the U.S./Mexico border. He took no plea deal and thus faces a minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment.

Dept of Justice Report Clears Darren Wilson in Shooting Death of Michael Brown

In our view, a prominent case deserves a prominent Update.  Last week, the Department of Justice concluded its investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown.  Here is the key finding from that report:

[T]he Department has concluded that Darren Wilson’s actions do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242, which prohibits uses of deadly force that are “objectively unreasonable,” as defined by the United States Supreme Court. The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. Accordingly, under the governing federal law and relevant standards set forth in the USAM, it is not appropriate to present this matter to a federal grand jury for indictment, and it should therefore be closed without prosecution.
Full report here. More here and here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-06-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 6, 2015:

  • New York, New York: A Sunset Park man had charges for assaulting a police officer dropped after video showed he was assaulted by police officers for filming them. His attorney said, “Basically, my client was a victim of a gang assault by the 72nd Precinct…Five officers slammed him against the gate of a closed store. Batons came down on his head.” This is the second assault against a 72nd Precinct officer thrown out recently after video showed officers engage in unprovoked violence.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was shown on video possibly using excessive force during a traffic stop and arrest.
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 01-06-15): The officer who got into a bar fight on Christmas Eve has been fired.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: A labor arbitrator ordered the City to re-hire an officer who was fired for sexting and kissing crime victims.
  • Putnam County, New York: A now-former investigator was indicted for misconduct and attempted assault. He allegedly abused a jail inmate.
  • Update: Greece, New York (First reported 09-11-09): The Town settled with two women who were coerced into having sex with a now-former police officer.
  • Syracuse, New York: An officer was suspended for having sex with a woman who called police for a welfare check on her daughter.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: Two officers were arrested and fired for stealing two trailers from a local business.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-05-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 5, 2015:

  • Alton, Illinois: An officer was suspended for improperly disposing of forensic evidence. The evidence included 12 lbs. of marijuana, some crack cocaine, and firearms. He has filed suit to be reinstated or receive pay while on leave.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: An officer was arrested for DWI after he was involved in a one-car accident. The 28-year-old officer previously pled guilty to public intoxication after crashing his SUV and abandoning it on railroad tracks.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer arrested a man for recording police and he is now suing for false arrest. The judge threw out his free speech claim, despite a growing consensus of a First Amendment right to record police in both state and federal judiciaries. The city solicitor said in his opening statement, “Like many other college students, [the plaintiff] has some very high-minded ideas about government, the role of government in interactions with its citizenry and the role of the media in observing those interactions.”
  • St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana: A detective resigned after his arrest for domestic violence and battery against a police officer.
  • Elgin, South Carolina: An officer was arrested for exploitation of a child.
  • Volusia County, Florida: A deputy fatally shot an unarmed man in the face during a drug raid.
  • North Port, Florida: An officer was arrested for battering his fiancée.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: An officer was arrested for his participation in a bar fight while he was off duty.

Worst of the Month — February 2015

So the worst case for February goes to an officer with the San Antonio, Texas Police Department.  Daniel Lopez held his wife and children at gunpoint, striking his wife in the head with his gun, and had a 20 minute standoff with police before surrendering. He pled no contest to disorderly conduct. But get this: He was sentenced to just one day of probation and ordered to pay a $100 fine!   According to the news report, “The plea deal struck out any reference to a gun or family violence,” and so Lopez will retain his peace officer’s license whether or not the SAPD terminates his employment.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-04-15

Here are the seven reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 4, 2015:

  • Columbus, Ohio: An officer was arrested for drunk driving after a police chase.
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: A now-former officer testified at a criminal trial that he planted evidence—an identification card and a bullet—in a backpack that was seized during a homicide and robbery investigation. He resigned when an investigation was launched into his conduct. Making matters worse, the defense attorney claims the prosecutor’s office did not reveal the potentially exonerating information until days into the trial.
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 02-05-15): An officer was charged with multiple assault and endangerment charges. She was assigned to a middle school and got into a violent altercation with three female students.
  • St. Louis County, Missouri: An officer was charged with felony theft for moonlighting during his shift. He claimed to be working for the County when he was working as a private security guard and collected $6,000 in inappropriate pay.
  • Update: Washington Township, New Jersey (First reported 05-01-14): The officer who was accused of falsification and misconduct for a bad DUI arrest of assemblyman was acquitted.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for misdemeanor solicitation.
  • Dothan, Alabama: An officer was charged with multiple counts of identity theft and fraud. He was asked to resign after his arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-03-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 3, 2015:

  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A deputy was charged with selling police information to an illicit gambling operation.
  • Pickens County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired for inappropriate use of force. He twice Tasered a 65-year-old wheelchair-bound man and also threw him out of the wheelchair.
  • Lansing, Michigan: A federal judge threw out an excessive force civil claim against the city but allowed the case to proceed against the officer involved in the case. The plaintiff’s 17-year-old daughter broke into a bank and was apprehended by the officer and two others present. The suspect was shot in the stomach after producing a sharp object. However, the plaintiff alleges that her daughter had already surrendered and was on her knees when the officer fatally shot the suspect in the head. The prosecutor had previously ruled the shooting justified.
  • Put-in-Bay, Ohio: The police chief was charged with aggravated menacing, dereliction of duty, and falsification.
  • Orient, Illinois: The police chief brandished his weapon at bars twice in one night. He has been charged with intimidation and official misconduct.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer is accused of performing a lewd act and solicitation of a minor. He allegedly picked up a teen on the way to school and masturbated while she was in the car.
  • Ottawa, Kansas: An officer was arrested for DUI after crashing his truck into a utility pole while off duty.
  • Hawaii Island, Hawaii: An officer was arrested for negligent homicide after fatally striking a bicyclist with his car on a narrow roadway.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan: An officer was charged with home invasion and sexual assault of his ex-girlfriend in Wyoming. He resigned upon his arrest.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-28-15 to 03-02-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, February 28 through Monday, March 2, 2015:

  • Red Bank, Tennessee: A grand jury will examine an officer’s actions during a forceful arrest. The internal investigation cleared him of wrongdoing, but the prosecutor referred the case to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The incident was caught on video but was not initially released by the Red Bank Police Department. The prosecutor decided to present the case to the grand jury after reviewing the report from the “months-long” investigation by the TBI. According to the news report, the officer punched the suspect “in the arm and face while other officers held him down, stun-gunned him and tried to handcuff him. The encounter left [the suspect] with a swollen-shut eye, a fractured eye socket and cuts and bruises on his face.”
  • Bogalusa, Louisiana: A disabled veteran on a fixed income will not go to prison after a video proved his alleged battery of a police officer never happened. The veteran acted as a process server to deliver notice of a police brutality lawsuit to a police officer. Although the handoff went smoothly enough, he was accosted by the served officer’s companions, who were also officers. He was later pulled over and arrested for battery against the officer. Because of a prior cocaine conviction, the veteran faced up to 80 years as a multiple offender. The officers swore depositions that he assaulted the served officer. But the veteran had members of his family use their cellphones to record the delivery of the envelope to the officer. Charges were quickly dropped against him when the video was brought to light. However, the veteran had already spent almost a year fighting the case. A federal lawsuit is pending.
  • Miami Gardens, Florida: The police chief was arrested and fired after being caught in prostitution sting.
  • Los Angeles, California:  Officers fatally shot a homeless man after a scuffle on Skid Row. A bystander’s cell-phone footage and nearby surveillance video have been released, but police body cam footage is currently being withheld.
  • Denver, Colorado: An officer with 40 citizen complaints against him was taken off patrol duty. Despite previous civil lawsuits for his behavior costing the City more than $1,000,000 in settlements, this suspension is his first discipline.
  • Update: Shreveport, Louisiana (First reported 02-13-15): An officer was fired for violation of department policies.
  • Broward County, Florida: A deputy dragged mentally ill woman through a courthouse hallway.
  • San Francisco, California: An officer was shown on video beating homeless man with a baton after an argument on a city bus.
  • Los Angeles, California: An officer’s case ends in a mistrial. The officer was shown on video kicking and shoving suspect who later died in custody.

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