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Protests in Cleveland Follow Brelo Acquittal

From the Associated Press:

The acquittal of a white Cleveland police officer Saturday set off angry but mostly orderly protests while shining little light on how an event that started with a car backfiring could end in a 137-shot barrage, the patrolman firing from the hood of the car and the deaths of two unarmed black suspects.

Michael Brelo, 31, put his head in his hands as the judge issued the verdict followed by angry, but peaceful, protests outside the courthouse. Police blocked furious protesters from going inside while across the city others held a mock funeral with some carrying signs asking, “Will I be next?”

As demonstrations continued into the night, police in riot gear made multiple arrests.

The acquittal came at a time of nationwide tension among police and black citizens punctuated by protests over the deaths of black suspects at the hands of white officers–and following a determination by the U.S. Department of Justice that Cleveland police had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-21-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 21, 2015:

  • El Dorado County, California: A deputy who was also a narcotics team member was arrested for drug possession and trafficking charges in Nevada.
  • Glasgow, Kentucky: An officer was arrested for public
  • Houston, Texas: A now-former officer had a warrant issued for his arrest. He illegally used police database and gave the information to a man accused of theft. The man allegedly stole $200,000 worth of law enforcement equipment from a private contractor and re-selling it online.
  • Whitehouse, Texas: The police chief suspended himself and three of his officers after a chain of events that allegedly involved intoxication, drunk driving, unwanted sexual advances, and physical violence. The Texas Rangers are investigating the episode, which ended with one officer arrested for beating up the chief.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer was arrested for DUI.
  • Lincoln County, Wisconsin: A deputy was arrested and charged with molesting a 15-year-old girl. He has resigned.
  • Update: Chatham County, Georgia (First reported 01-14-15): The sheriff fired nine deputies who were involved in the detention of Matthew Ajibade, a 22-year-old mentally ill man who died in their custody.
  • Update: Hudson County, New Jersey (First reported 01-12-10): Two officers were sentenced for giving a bounty hunter credit for fugitive captures that were actually apprehended by law enforcement. They would split the bounty proceeds among themselves.
  • Update: Covington, Louisiana (First reported 03-26-13): A now-former officer had a battery charge dropped for allegedly beating a man in custody. Video evidence indicated he was not the officer responsible for the man’s injuries. Another officer was previously convicted for his role the incident and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-20-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, May 20. 2015:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was arrested for domestic assault. Authorities determined he had been drinking at the time of the incident.
  • Henry County, Virginia: A deputy was arrested after an off-duty shooting.
  • New York City Dept. of Homeless Services: A peace officer was arrested for an off-duty assault outside of Yankee Stadium.
  • Update: Honolulu, Hawaii (First reported 05-07-15): An officer pled guilty to assault during gambling raid. He also resigned.
  • Update: Santa Fe, New Mexico (First reported 12-14-12): The city settled with eight women who accused a now-former officer of stalking them on duty. In 2012, he pled no contest to a bevy of charges including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, stalking, and false imprisonment, among others. He successfully completed probation and all of the charges have been wiped from his record. He was allowed to retire before entering his plea.
  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was one of four people arrested in a housing scam. They allegedly stole abandoned houses and re-sold them. He had been a property crimes investigator but he was fired after his arrest.
  • Update: Buffalo, New York (First reported 08-12-14): A labor arbitrator ordered the city to pay nearly $200,000 to a now-former officer who was fired and eventually convicted for participation in a marijuana grow operation.
  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: Two officers were fired for a jail cell beating caught on video. The prosecutor is now considering whether to file criminal charges.
  • Montgomery County, Texas: A deputy was arraigned for a fatal motorcycle crash that killed a young colleague after a night out. His BAC was more than twice the legal limit.

Three Year Mark For

So today marks our three year anniversary here at!  One of our prime objectives has been to draw more attention to the problem of police misconduct across the country.  Long time readers must be amazed (as are we!) at the attention this subject has been receiving the past few months.  The President himself has acknowledged the “slow-rolling” crisis has been on-going for many years and also that some “soul searching” is in order.   Yes, it’s long overdue.  Better late than never.

The victims of police misconduct are too often without a voice and the extent of the problem was (is) unknown because few seemed interested enough to study it.  We at Cato thought it important to lend some institutional support to this critical area.  And, increasingly, the media (and others) have found this site to be a valuable resource.  Over the past year, we’ve been cited by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the Economist, ABC News, the Atlantic, and Frontline.  If the first step toward addressing a problem is recognizing that a problem exists, then we’re there.

Of course, there’s much more to do.  Just wanted to mark this occasion and provide our friends with an update on our work.  One easy way you can help us is by spreading the word by taking a moment to blast a note to all your contacts via twitter and Facebook.  Thanks for your consideration and support!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-19-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, May 19, 2015:

  • Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania: An officer was charged with vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, and other charges for a fatal collision he allegedly caused while he was on duty. He was in pursuit of a vehicle who had illegally passed in traffic. At the time of impact, his cruiser’s speed was estimated at more than 110 miles per hour.
  • Dayton, Ohio: A now-former officer was sentenced to five years’ probation, 100 hours of community service, and a small fine for disorderly conduct. She attempted to disrupt an investigation in favor of her friend who fled a fatal auto wreck.
  • Greenville, Mississippi: An officer was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband.
  • Richard Stockton College, New Jersey: A now-former officer was sentenced to more than 2.5 years in prison for selling pills to an undercover agent when he was off-duty.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (First reported 04-06-15): An officer who threatened to break a teen’s legs during his arrest has been suspended pending an investigation into the incident.
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 2012): The twelfth and final officer involved in a long-running tow and extortion scheme was sentenced to one year in prison.
  • South Bound Brook, New Jersey: The chief was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run and appeared to be intoxicated when he was questioned after the accident.
  • Altavista, Virginia: An officer resigned while under criminal investigation by the Virginia State Police.
  • Cherokee Indian Police Department (North Carolina): An officer faces several charges of domestic

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-16-15 to 05-18-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, May 16 through Monday, May 18, 2015:

  • Union City, Georgia: An officer’s statements about his shooting of unarmed teen Ariston Waiters are getting a second look after new video evidence was discovered by media. According to the report, “The video differed from earlier statements that [the officer] had given, so much so that an expert called his statements “self-contradictory” and inconsistent with the forensic evidence….In his report on the Waiters case, [the expert] recommended charging [the officer] with making false statements, calling [his] actions contrary to all professional law enforcement standards and citing “a disregard for human life that is unacceptable.””
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: An officer was arrested for sexual assault.
  • Chicago, Illinois: The City settled a lawsuit with a woman who was sexually assaulted by two now-former police officers. She was so intoxicated she was unable to give sexual consent to the officers, who were on duty at the time of the incident, after they offered to give her a ride home. Both officers pled guilty to felony misconduct and were sentenced to probation.
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 09-16-14): An officer was sentenced to six months in jail after he pled guilty to assaulting a man at a bus stop.
  • New York, New York: Two now-former officers were sentenced to 30 days in jail for beating up a teen outside of the police station.
  • Monroe County, Florida: A deputy was arrested on an outstanding warrant for domestic battery.
  • Billings, Montana: An officer was investigated for an off-duty fight. The fight was with an off-duty officer from another department who needed to be hospitalized for his injuries.
  • Update: Washington, District of Columbia (First reported 03-17-15): An officer who was arrested for sexual abuse of a minor had child pornography charges added to his case.
  • Columbia County, Georgia: A deputy was fired after his arrest for DUI.
  • Newtown, Connecticut: A sergeant was indicted for distribution of steroids, prescription medication, and counterfeit drugs.

Obama to Curtail Military Weaponry to Civilian Police


The White House on Monday announced new limits on federal programs that supply local police with military-style equipment.

After four months of study, a Cabinet working group tasked by President Obama to reform the initiatives unveiled eight categories of military supplies local law enforcement will be banned from acquiring from federal agencies or with federal funds.

The list includes grenade launchers, tracked armored vehicles, armed aircraft, bayonets, and guns and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher.

Boston Pays $36 Million to Settle Police Lawsuits

From the Boston Globe:

The City of Boston has spent more than $36 million to resolve 2,000 legal claims and lawsuits against the Boston Police Department over the past decade, with most of the money going for cases alleging wrongful convictions or police misconduct.

The bulk of the payouts, $31 million, went for 22 cases worth $100,000 or more, including nine awards for well over $1 million apiece, according to data provided by the mayor’s office in response to a public records request filed by the Globe….

Some of the biggest payouts in Boston went to the families of victims who died after encounters with police during celebrations of major sports victories in Boston over the years.

In one high-profile case, Boston paid $5 million to the family of Victoria Snelgrove after the 21-year-old college student died when police fired pepper-pellet guns into a crowd reveling in the Red Sox pennant victory in 2004 outside Fenway Park.

Snelgrove was hit in the eye by one of the projectiles as police tried to disperse the revelers.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-15-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, May 15, 2015:

  • Reno County, Kansas: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Jackson, New Jersey: An officer was arrested for hindering a murder investigation. He is allegedly a friend of one of the suspects.
  • Onslow County, North Carolina: A deputy was charged with solicitation of child pornography.
  • Lake County, Colorado: A now-former deputy was convicted of stealing four firearms taken from evidence. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
  • Fowlerville, Michigan: An officer was arrested for his involvement a  fight outside of a gentlemen’s club. He is alleged to have been intoxicated at the time.
  • Update: Adams County, Colorado (First reported 07-03-14): A now-former deputy was acquitted of child sex abuse and incest charges.
  • State College, Pennsylvania: An officer was suspended during an investigation into whether he’d been stealing items from evidence.
  • Boston, Massachusetts: An officer is under investigation for intimidating videographer. He apologized after the incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-14-15

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 14, 2015:

  • Sarasota, Florida: A man died after traffic stop where he was tased and struck several times with a flashlight. Use of force was not mentioned in the initial police report. A subsequent news account indicates that 37 seconds after the ambulance was called for the man, an officer called-off medical treatment saying “he’s had a miraculous recovery.” Three officers have been placed on leave.
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was arrested for theft for the second time in eight days.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested on drug and paraphernalia charges.
  • Update: Miami-Dade County, Florida (First reported 04-03-15): A second officer has been arrested in a federal investigation into a fraudulent credit-building scheme.
  • Spotsylvania, Virginia: A deputy resigned after being charged with assault. The incident was caught on video.
  • U.S. Marshals Service: A male employee of the agency pistol-whipped a man in an off-duty road rage incident. His name and title have been withheld to this point.
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (First reported 08-01-14): Six officers who were on trial for robbing thousands of dollars from drug dealers over several years have been acquitted on all charges. A now-former 24-year veteran officer who cooperated with the prosecution testified against them. According to one news report, he testified “I was very loyal to the guys….I would lie for them. I would steal for them. I would abuse people for them. I wanted to be part of the squad.”
  • Los Angeles County, Calfornia: The now-former undersheriff and a now-retired captain were indicted for obstruction of a federal investigation into brutality at the jail.
  • Pasco, Washington: A now-former officer was criminally charged for allegedly raping a relative.
  • Orange County, Florida: A now-former deputy was arrested on child pornography charges. He resigned shortly after the investigation began.
  • Los Angeles, California Port Authority: The chief was charged with 16 federal counts including fraud and tax evasion.
  • Bossier Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was fired after being arrested for solicitation of prostitution.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A now-former officer was convicted of assault and endangerment charges for striking a student at the school where he served as SRO.
  • Pacific County, Washington: A now-former deputy will spend 14 days in jail for intimidating children who egged his personal car and attempting to coerce their families to pay for the damage. His sentence includes 350 days that were suspended. He was also fined over $1,500. He is appealing his dismissal from the department.

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