National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Truck Driver Turns the Table on State Trooper

From ABC News:

When truck driver Brian Miner was pulled over by an Illinois state trooper for honking his horn unnecessarily, it was the trooper who got an earful.

Miner, with his camera recording, brazenly turned the tables on what he believed was a police trooper driving recklessly, with video of the encounter viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was uploaded on YouTube last week.

Miner says the trooper was speeding and holding his phone while driving on a wet highway. So when the trooper approached, threatening to give him a ticket, Miner started asking questions.

The trooper never said he was speeding, and said he doesn’t remember having his phone in his hand. But he did tell Miner that the law is on his side, as seen in the video.

“Police officers can actually use technology when they’re driving,” the trooper said.

“Oh, so you guys are above the law?” Miner asked.

“We’re exempt,” the trooper said.

Illinois law does allow officers to use technology while driving and also drive above the speed limit while on official business.

But Miner remained persistent. More than two minutes into the conversation, the trooper walked away from the truck, and when he returned, he thanked Miner for his concern.

“I understand you using the horn,” the trooper said, “You saw me speeding. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my speed.”

The trooper declined to give Miner a ticket.

Miner says he’s not surprised that the trooper changing his tune. “And that’s what happens when they know you’re recording,” Miner said.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-27-14 to 06-30-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 27, to Monday, June 30, 2014:

  • Broward County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy is fighting to get his job back after he went on a joyride with friends in his police car. A police officer pulled over the cruiser thinking it was stolen, but it wasn’t. They found the deputy behind the wheel and two of his friends drunk inside the car, according to police documents.
  • Covington, Louisiana: A police lieutenant who testified at a former officer’s misdemeanor simple battery trial has been placed under investigation by the department, the police chief confirmed. The investigation of the lieutenant is related to his testimony.
  • Maplewood, Missouri: A man who says he sorts through trash bins to help feed the homeless is suing a police sergeant over what he calls the use of excessive force.
  • Update: Baltimore City, Maryland (First reported 06-18-14): Two officers now face felony animal cruelty charges that carry jail time for their role in the killing of a Shar Pei named Nala. One of the officers held the dog down while the other slit the dog’s throat.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A man has filed suit against police officer. The incident was recorded, showing him being pistol whipped, pulled through a car window, thrown on the ground and further assaulted. This all took place after he had surrendered, holding both his hands out the car window, for the officers to clearly see.
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York (First reported 04-11-12): A freelance videographer has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the police department, after he was arrested an arrest following an order by a police sergeant to stop taping the arrest of a suspect.
  • Florence, Alabama: A police officer’s wife has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming officers violated her civil rights. According to the suit, the woman claims several officers and staff at a hospital held her on a false arrest, confinement, and involuntary hospitalization.
  • Update: Cedar City, Utah (First reported 06-05-14): A police officer has resigned after he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in his patrol car while off-duty and leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: Court records say a police officer arrested on drug charges had been prescribed a slew of pain medications from three doctors; a Veterans Affairs doctor, a family physician and a workmen’s compensation doctor. He was arrested on suspicion of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deceit.
  • Wilmington, North Carolina: A grand jury indicted a police officer on charges related to the use of excessive force.
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police officer has been disciplined after investigators say a handcuffed teenager shot himself in the back of a squad car. The police chief announced the officer had been suspended for a week without pay.

National Police Misconduct NewFeed Daily Recap 06-26-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, June 26, 2014:

  • Pickens, South Carolina: A police officer has been suspended after allegations of misconduct in office. A release from the police chief said the alleged misconduct involved a woman.
  • Madison Township, Ohio: A police officer was detained by his own colleagues today after police said they found drugs in his house. He was charged with one count of possession of more than 200 grams, but less than 1,000 grams, of marijuana, a fifth-degree felony. His wife was also arrested and faces the same charge.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer who allegedly pushed her own children to fight other kids – and who, on at least one occasion, allegedly jumped in a fight to punch a 14-year-old girl – was arrested on numerous assault and child-endangerment charges.
  • Toledo, Ohio: A 14-year veteran police officer was cited for drunken driving.
  • Lake City, Florida: An officer has been terminated after an internal-affairs investigation involving a DUI charge revealed that she violated department policy.
  • Marco Island, Florida: An officer was fired due to separate incidents that included beating and kicking a man, repeatedly punching another man and pursuing an intoxicated driver and wielding his gun during a DUI arrest.
  • La Vergne, Tennessee: A man who said he was beaten by police plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers who were at the scene. He will take legal action for the incident, which was caught on cell phone video.
  • Laurens County and Fulton County, Georgia: A woman who says she was misidentified and wrongly imprisoned has filed a civil rights lawsuit against officers in two Georgia law enforcement agencies.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-25-14

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, June 25, 2014:

  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 06-20-14): The police corruption investigation has spread to an officer at the Seattle Police Department. The SPD found one of its own officers linked to a budding drug, theft and prostitution scandal. The SPD Officer is accused of buying testosterone pills from a King County deputy.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: captain arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • Bloomington, Illinois: A police department captain was arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • Update: Wood River, Illinois (First reported 08-30-13): A now-former police officer charged with official misconduct is now facing a lawsuit claiming he used a cell phone number obtained through his job to send sexually suggestive texts to a woman.
  • Salem, Oregon: A now-former captain state police resigned from his position after he pled guilty to fueling a personal vehicle using a department-issued fuel card.
  • Camden County, New Jersey: A police officer has been removed from street duty and is facing drunken driving charges after he allegedly drove a pickup truck through three street signs, struck a building, and knocked down a neon sign.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-24-14

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, June 24, 2014:

  • Update: Millvale, Pennsylvania (First reported 11-27-13): A police officer has pled not guilty to a charge that she violated a man’s rights by repeatedly using a stun gun on him while he was handcuffed.
  • Genesee County, Michigan: A now-former sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to probation after she pled guilty to two drug charges. She was sentenced to 18 months probation after she pled guilty to possession of less than 25 grams of cocaine and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, both four-year felonies.
  • Update; Jennings, Louisiana (First reported 11-15-13): A now-former police chief has been sentenced to five years at hard labor with credit for time served after taking drugs and money from the police department’s evidence room.
  • Nashville, Tennessee: An off-duty police officer was arrested on charges of DUI, violation of the implied consent law for refusing to submit to a breath alcohol test and unlawful gun possession while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Update: Chatham County, Georgia (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former deputy sheriff lieutenant pled not guilty to a 25-count indictment charging him with child molestation and related crimes.
  • Update: Park Forest, Illinois (Previously reported 04-29-14) The family of a WWII veteran, who died after police shot bean-bag rounds at him, filed suit against the police department.
  • Update: New London, New Hampshire (First reported 04-05-13): A woman who accused the former police chief of offering to drop a drinking charge against her if she posed for nude pictures has filed a lawsuit against him and the town.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-21-14 to 06-23-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, June 21 to Monday, June 23:

  • Pascagoula, Tennessee: A police officer was sentenced to 1 year in prison and five years post-release supervison for the hit-and-run death of a teenager.
  • Update: Fort Smith, Arkansas (First reported 09-18-13): A now-former police officer pled guilty to 5 counts of sexual assault in the 2nd degree. He was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl five different times. Police said at least one of the incidents happened while he was on duty as a patrol officer.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: Prosecutors say a police officer has been indicted for causing the death of a motorist as the officer rushed to assist with a traffic stop. A grand jury indicted the officer on a count of manslaughter.
  • Update: Taylor, Michigan (First reported 06-06-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to one year of probation and $1,600 in fines for misusing the statewide Law Enforcement Information Network computer system.
  • Richardson County, Nebraska: A sheriff’s deputy was fired and arrested after an investigation revealed he lied about a gun-shot wound.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: A police officer was arrested in a human-trafficking and prostitution sting on suspicion of soliciting prostitution and sexual abuse. He reportedly made unwanted sexual contact with an undercover detective.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
  • Update: Washington, DC (Previously reported 12-12-13): A now-former police officer admitted in federal court that he forced underage teenagers to work as escorts out of his apartment. A judge expressed concern that the eight-year sentence negotiated by the prosecution and defense was too lenient.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-20-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 20, 2014:

  • Daytona Beach, Florida: A police officer was arrested on DUI charges after crashing into a drainage ditch, according to authorities.
  • Laceyville, Borough, Pennsylvania: An officer has been suspended for allegedly selling an AK-47 out of the back of the patrol car last week. He was on duty at the time of the apparent gun sale.
  • Update: Roseville, Minnesota (First reported 04-17-14): One of the police officers named as a defendant in a police brutality lawsuit has filed a response to the case, denying the alleged abuse.
  • Update: Rains County, Texas (First reported 04-24-14): A now-fired sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to an animal cruelty charge in the shooting of a farm dog that later had to be euthanized.
  • Update: West Valley City, Utah (First reported 06-14-13): A now-former police detective has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of a woman. He faces 15 years in prison if convicted.
  • King County, Washington: A sheriff’s office deputy was arrested on suspicion of helping his wife start a prostitution business, as well as stealing ammunition from the sheriff’s office firing range and dabbling in a number of illegal drugs.
  • New York, New York: The mother of a mentally ill man who fell 10 feet to his death from a building ledge after an officer tasered him has accepted $700,000 from the city to settle a federal lawsuit., Maine: A man has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police chief and three officers in connection with his arrest. He filed a complaint alleging his civil rights were violated because police falsely arrested him and used excessive and unreasonable force against him.
  • Update: Arundel County, Maryland (First reported 02-04-14): A police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in killing the dog of a family, whose lawyer said they are disappointed in the outcome.

Problems in San Diego


The San Diego Police Department enforced an “unwritten policy” that encouraged police misconduct and led to scandals involving former officers Anthony Arevalos and Christopher Hays, a new lawsuit against the department alleges….

The lawsuit claims officers felt they could get away with such inappropriate behavior after former SDPD Chief William Lansdowne and other officials disbanded the anti-corruption unit called the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) around 2003.

“The elimination of the PSU, this specialized unit, was a signal and affirmation to the SDPD, its police officers and its supervisory officials that those police officers who chose to exploit their positions of power, authority and trust by victimizing members of the very community they had sworn to protect would not be investigated, prosecuted, pursued or punished for their actions,” the lawsuit reads.

As an example, the court document claims another officer reported to his supervisors that Arevalos had taken Polaroid pictures of a nude, mentally disabled woman, taunting her to pose in a lewd manner with his baton.

Instead of punishing Arevalos or reporting the incident up the chain of command, the lawsuit claims his superiors instead destroyed the pictures and evidence of the incident and intimidated the officer who had reported it.

The lawsuit says the alleged cover-up is part of a “long-standing, unwritten SDPD policy that encouraged a two-tiered system of justice.”

That system includes laws that apply to ordinary citizens and a set of privileges and immunities that apply to SDPD officers and other members of the law enforcement community, according to the suit.

Additionally, the SDPD is accused of instituting a process that prevented the public from lodging complaints against officers directly with the internal affairs unit.

$40 Million Settlement in NY Central Park Case

From the New York Times:

The five men whose convictions in the brutal 1989 beating and rape of a female jogger in Central Park were later overturned have agreed to a settlement of about $40 million from New York City to resolve a bitterly fought civil rights lawsuit over their arrests and imprisonment in the sensational crime.

The agreement, reached between the city’s Law Department and the five plaintiffs, would bring to an end an extraordinary legal battle over a crime that came to symbolize a sense of lawlessness in New York, amid reports of “wilding” youths and a marauding “wolf pack” that set its sights on a 28-year-old investment banker who ran in the park many evenings after work….

The five black and Hispanic men, ages 14 to 16 at the time of their arrests, claimed that incriminating statements they had given had been coerced by the authorities. The statements were ruled admissible, and the men were convicted in two separate trials in 1990….

The lawsuit had accused the city’s police and prosecutors of false arrest, malicious prosecution and a racially motivated conspiracy to deprive the men of their civil rights, allegations which the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg denied and fought vigorously for more than a decade in federal court….

If the proposed settlement is approved by the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, it would then be submitted for approval to Judge Deborah A. Batts of Federal District Court in Manhattan. In 2007, Judge Batts rejected the city’s motion to dismiss the suit and allowed most of the claims to proceed.

In such settlements, the city typically does not admit liability or wrongdoing

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-19-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, June 19, 2014:

  • Opa-locka, Florida: The police sergeant has been accused of false imprisonment. He allegedly illegally handcuffed and detained a man at the police station after the man tried to file a complaint.
  • Fair Bluff, North Carolina: A police officer faces several counts of secret peeping.
  • Lake County, Illinois: A sheriff’s lieutenant under fire for insubordination and misuse of county electronic devices will keep his job despite his boss’s attempt to fire him. But, he will be demoted under a disciplinary ruling.
  • Honesdale, Pennsylvania: A police officer who works for departments in Jessup and Honesdale was arrested after officers said he crashed into several parked cars. The officer refused to submit to a blood test, according to officers, and was charged with DUI and reckless driving.
  • Update: Cherokee County, South Carolina (First reported 01-28-14): A now-former deputy facing federal corruption charges pleaded guilty. The sheriff says the deputy is accused of acquiring electronic gambling machines and selling them for personal gain, rather than turning them in as contraband.
  • Update: Douglasville, Georgia (First reported 08-30-13) A now-former officer entered a guilty plea on driving under the influence charges and will serve three days in jail, pay a fine and lose his license for a year.
  • Ewing, New Jersey: A city woman received a $155,000 settlement after she was allegedly beaten by township officers.
  • Update: Little Rock, Arkansas (Previously reported 10-30-13): A now-former police officer has been convicted on one of five charges related to his escorting a van, while on duty. Prosecutors say the officer thought the van was carrying marijuana.
  • Update: Warren, Ohio (First reported 05-04-14): An officer plead not guilty to grand theft, theft in office and breaking and entering. He is accused of stealing a car from the locked garage of a vacant home by having it towed to a garage over which he has control.

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