National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-10-10

Here are the 21 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Wednesday,

  • Two South Jordan Utah police officers are the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed man who was shot to death after a high speed chase by officers who’s accounts of the entire incident seems to contradict what was captured on their dashcams. The officers were cleared by an internal investigation and the DA but the family is claiming it’s a cover-up. The video in the linked report is quite interesting. [1]
  • Wyoming state has settled a lawsuit for $110,000 to a truck driver who was kidnapped by a state trooper who had planned to murder him and then stage a fake accident scene so that he could collect insurance money from the truck driver’s employer. Fortunately for the trucker, the officer backed out of the plot at the last second and let the trucker go. The trooper was sentenced to 15 years in prison over the incident. [0]
  • The police chief of Tipton Oklahoma has been arrested and faces a charge of forcible sodomy on a child under the age of 16 after a boy who spent the night with the chief came home and allegedly reenacted what happened in front of his parents. [0]
  • An Elizabeth New Jersey police officer is under investigation after being accused of slamming an innocent woman’s face into a car window, giving her injuries that required hospitalization while the officer was responding to a fight that the woman, who was celebrating her birthday with her family, wasn’t involved with. [2]
  • An Alameda County California deputy has been arraigned on 10 felony child molestation charges involving 3 children under age of 10 for incidents which allegedly occurred from 2005 through 2009. [1]
  • Six Orange County California deputies subject of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he just wants answers about why he was treated so roughly when arrested by deputies, shackled so tightly he couldn’t walk, tasered, and then had his shoulder dislocated at the jail, all of which was caught on video which is available at the linked report via the Orange County Register. [5]
  • The recently created Columbia Missouri police review board has ruled that an officer used excessive force against a bartender who was also a former cop when he was cuffed and thrown to the ground even though it ended up that he didn’t do anything wrong. The ruling contradicts an internal investigation that ruled there was insufficient information to support a finding of excessive force even though the officer apparently turned off his microphone which is against policy. It’s unclear if the finding will have any actual consequences. [0]
  • A Montgomery Alabama police officer has been disciplined, though officials refuse to say how, after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a police dog that was left in his cruiser overnight. [3]
  • A Jeffersonville Indiana police officer who was fired last month was apparently dismissed as an emergency measure in order to protect public safety while the officer was the subject of a still-unspecified criminal investigation which apparently involves his police-issued cell phone which is in the custody of the secret service. While these revelations don’t qualify as a status upgrade for the case in our database, it’s an interesting development in that I’ve never heard of a similar type of situation. Definitely a story to keep an eye on. [3]
  • A US Border Patrol officer is under investigation by the FBI after an initial investigation determined that a distress call made by that officer claiming that he was forced off out of his cruiser at gunpoint was fake. [1]
  • An Austin Texas police officer who was recently fired over a domestic violence incident after he was forced to be rehired after fired for a DUI arrest has been arrested on multiple charges over that 2009 domestic violence incident. [0]
  • A Houston Texas police officer is allegedly under investigation after petitions are made accusing him of having a personal vendetta against anyone who rides a motorcycle and taking that vendetta to the streets where he has issued at least 200 citations for noise violations in the last 9 months to anyone he catches riding a motorcycle, even including fellow officers. Interestingly, even the HPD’s own police motorcycles violate the same ordinance that the officer has been using to ticket motorcyclists. [3]
  • An Atlanta Georgia police commander who was in charge of the professional standards office which is responsible for investigating other officers has been found to have lied about totaling a police car. He resigned while under investigation. [0]
  • North Branch Minnesota has settled a lawsuit for $60,000 to a female cop who claimed that the then police chief retaliated against here for filing a sexual harassment complaint against him. [1]
  • A New Orleans Louisiana police officer has been placed on desk duty while under investigation on allegations of payroll fraud after an investigative reporter’s story into the case aired on television. [1]
  • A Tulsa Oklahoma police officer received a deferred sentence with probation in a plea deal for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia after a search of his police car and home. He originally faced drug trafficking charges as well but those were apparently dropped as part of the deal. [0]
  • A Lakewood Washington police officer is under investigations that he allegedly tried to flash his badge to influence officers who responded to an unspecified alcohol-related incident he was involved in during Oktoberfest. [2]
  • A Murfreesboro Tennessee police lieutenant is being investigated for potential ethical violations when he “un-arrested” his son who was in a group of 24 bar patrons who were arrested on various charges. [0]
  • A Montgomery County Ohio deputy in an organized crime unit has been fired for using his cover to rent hotel rooms in order to have sex with a female informant against departmental policy. [0]
  • And finally, a Snohomish County Washington deputy is under investigation on suspicion that he had sex while on-duty. The investigation revolves around a minute-long transmission from his radio that he apparently triggered accidentally in which a woman could be heard moaning. [1]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-09-10

Here are the 25 reports of police misconduct tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Tuesday, November 9, 2010:

  • Two Westland Michigan police officers are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they beat and kicked a woman in a holding cell because she was making noise after she was denied medication for her diabetes. Strangely the original charges against her that landed her in the cell were dropped, police replaced those charges with assault on an officer charges though she claims video from the police department support her case. [4]
  • A Seattle Washington police officer on the gang task force who was caught on video earlier this year on video threatening to “beat the mexican piss” out of an innocent man before stomping on his head is also under investigation on allegations that he choked a handcuffed man in the back of his cruiser twice before turning his dashcam on and turning it to point at the back seat as required by policy. [4]
  • A Ridley Pennsylvania police officer has been sentenced to probation and anger management classes after he was convicted on harassment and assault charges for beating an assistant manager at a store when she requested his ID for a tobacco purchase. He had apparently been complained about before for losing his temper at the same store for exactly the same thing but the department is now being sued for failing to address the complaints. [0]
  • Bethlehem Pennsylvania has settled an excessive force lawsuit for $850,000 to a 51-year-old man and his teenage son who claimed that fourteen officers were involved when they were beaten to the point where the father had to have spinal fusion surgeries to repair his injuries. Apparently the two were beaten and arrested while they were waiting to give witness statements to police for an assault that they witnessed at a music festival. [3]
  • The Modesto California police department has requested that an outside agency investigate allegations made in an unsigned letter whose author claims that several police officers would be willing to testify about a pattern of excessive force that exists within the department. The letter came on the heals of a revelation made about an e-mail sent out by a recently-retired cop who claimed that it was an understood practice that anyone running from police was fair game for a beating. [1]
  • A Pomeroy Ohio police officer has been suspended indefinitely, which is just about the same as being fired, over multiple unspecified allegations which allegedly include excessive force allegations but the officer has appealed and requested a public hearing over the matter claiming that the firing was actually an act of retribution against him for blowing the whistle on allegedly illegal activity within the department. He has requested a polygraph and that all officers in the department be drug tested as part of that appeal, though I doubt he’ll get his wish on the second request. [4]
  • The Oakland California police version of the shooting death of a barber shop owner by police officers has been contradicted by witnesses who claim that the man was unarmed and was actually the victim of a domestic violence incident that apparently started when an unidentified woman started hitting him with a cane and was wrecking his shop. Police claimed that he ran when police asked who he was and that he was shot when police thought he pulled something metalic from his pants. While police refuse to say what that alleged metalic object was, they did apparently admit that it wasn’t a weapon. [3]
  • Two Michigan State Troopers, two Lenawee County Michigan deputies and a Cambridge Michigan police officer are the subject of a lawsuit filed by a family who claim that the officers illegally burst into their home and searched it after the family refused their entry without a warrant when the officers reponded to a 911 call placed by the family requesting medical assistance for their son over a suspected drug overdose. The suit also alleges that officers wrongfully arrested all family members including the son who spent about a month in jail before released. [3]
  • A Tucson Arizona police officer has been suspended pending intent to dismiss after being charged with three felonies including assault on a person under 15 and assault with a deadly weapon in a domestic violence incident. [1]
  • The now-former sheriff of Lee County South Carolina has been found guilty on over 30 different counts including racketeering and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute over allegations that he would sell drugs from his police cruiser and that he would protect other dealers from local and federal investigations in exchange for cash. [0]
  • A Lawrence Massachusetts police detective has been placed on paid leave after indicted on two counts of witness intimidation and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim but no other details are available in this case because prosecutors have apparently sealed the case without explanation. [3]
  • A Windsor Locks Connecticut police officer is allegedly seen on a surveillance video drinking at a bar shortly before he fatally struck a 15-year-old riding a bike with his car while off-duty. State police have been investigating the case and are trying to figure out why the officer wasn’t tested for alcohol after the accident. [3]
  • A now-former Ocean Springs Mississippi police officer has been arrested on six possession of child pornography charges after month-long investigation. Officials initially claimed that the officer resigned last month for unrelated reasons but ultimately it was released that the officer resigned just before he was to be interviewed as part of an investigation into allegations that he used his cell phone as a router to download child porn depicting images of kids as young as 2-years-old to his work computer while on duty. [1]
  • A Fayetteville Georgia police officer was apparently caught on his own dashcam threatening to arrest a man for gesturing for him to slow down when the man, a former cop himself, saw the officer speeding without his lights and siren on. The officer claimed he was on his way to an alarm call but it leaves the question open as to if he was in a rush to a call… then why did he have time to stop and harass a motorist for motioning him to slow down? [3]
  • A Utah State Trooper who was once praised for making over 900 DUI arrests is now facing a lot of questions over a number of allegations of improper DUI stops and other questionable arrests after an investigation into why she arrested a man with cerebral palsy on DUI charges when he wasn’t under the influence of anything while riding his moped. [3]
  • A Felicity Ohio police captain has pled guilty to an evidence tampering charge for seizing drugs without putting them into evidence or filing any charges against people he took drugs from. [0]
  • A Camden New Jersey police officer who was already facing charges for falsifying records and official misconduct has been arrested after caught stalking his ex-wife. [0]
  • A New York NY police lieutenant is under investigation after a female officer claimed that he exposed himself while the pair was conducting a surveillance operation and then began sending her explicit text messages and photos. [3]
  • Concord California has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $750,000, with $250k going to the officer alleging she was sexually harassed and $500k going to her lawyer, with the strange provision that the lawyer agree to never file another similar suit against that city again. [0]
  • The newly promoted Highland Park Michigan deputy police chief apparently has a history elsewhere which included felony assault charges which resulted in a conviction on aggravated assault for clocking someone with a beer mug at a bar. The incident resulted in her being fired from the Detroit Michigan police department but Highland Park officials say they were well aware of the conviction and say it makes no difference to them… [3]
  • And finally, the police chief of Avon Connecticut has been  reprimanded for obtaining one of his officer’s personnel files from that officer’s previous employer… I’m tempted to not record this as an act of misconduct against the chief but as a serious accountability issue for the city when a person responsible for the behavior of his employees isn’t allowed to look into one of his employee’s, a public employee mind you, employment records. [5]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-08-10

Here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Monday, November 8, 2010:

  • An El Paso Texas police officer has apparently been disciplined with a reprimand for forcing a motorcyclist off the road in a traffic stop that, at best, could be described as unusual and then allegedly beating the motorcyclist during a profanity-laced tirade because he “lost his cool because his cruiser got scuffed when he forced the man off the road. That officer already had 11 complaints against him including one that cost the city a $15,000 settlement. (video of the incident is available at the link). [1]
  • A Toledo Ohio police officer is the subject of two lawsuits stemming from two different incidents including one fatal shooting case and another where she allegedly hit a surrendering suspect with her police cruiser intentionally, at least according to uninvolved bystanders. [2]
  • Two Colorado Springs Colorado police officers are being sued by a code enforcement officer claiming that officers used excessive force when they detained him after mistaking him as a robbery suspect but then filed false charges against him anyway to cover for the use of force. [3]
  • East Brewton Alabama has settled a lawsuit for an unspecified sum to a couple claiming that an officer continually harassed them and then used excessive force when he falsely arrested the woman and searched her in a sexually suggestive manner. The suit alleges that the arrest and mistreatment caused the woman to prematurely deliver the couple’s baby. [2]
  • Tybee Island Georgia has settled a lawsuit for $250,000 over the needless tasering of an 18-year-old autistic teen who 2 now-former police officers mistook for being drunk while he waited outside a restaurant/bar for his brother.  [0]
  • A Minneapolis Minnesota police sergeant is accused of wrongfully and forcibly disarming a concealed carry permit holder outside of the police chief’s office while he was waiting to meet with the chief for an appointment and then wrongfully threatening to arrest him on baseless charges, all on camera and in front of witnesses. [3]
  • Kenner Louisiana police are being sued by a woman who had to have her finger amputated weeks after it was crushed in a jail cell door when police closed it on her for wanting to use a restroom to urinate instead of a hole in the floor of the jail cell where she was being held over an unpaid traffic ticket. [3]
  • A Los Angeles California police officer was the subject of a $160,000 jury award in a federal civil rights suit where he was alleged to have caused a woman to suffer nerve damage when he ignored her repeated requests to loosen the cuffs he had over-tightened on her wrists. [3]
  • A Phoenix Arizona police officer may be fired after he was arrested for strangling his wife during an argument and then assaulting an officer who responded to the call made by an eyewitness to the incident. [0]
  • A Latta South Carolina police officer is under investigation on allegations that he showed employees at a convenience store pictures of his penis while he was on-duty and asked them to send him photos of themselves. [0]
  • A Sandusky Ohio police sergeant has been demoted after and investigation into allegations made by fellow officers that he was failing to respond to calls found dashcam video showing him urinating off of a dock while on-duty. [0]
  • A Philadelphia Pennsylvania police officer has been suspended with intent to dismiss on allegations that he was drinking while on-duty when he failed a breathalyzer after fellow officers smelled alcohol on his breath. [0]
  • A Crowley Louisiana police officer has been fired for an unspecified policy violation that occurred during an arrest but another officer was cleared of a complaint which was made by the same man over a different incident. [3]
  • The Orange California police department and the Orange County California District Attorney are being sued by the ACLU alleging that their enforcement of gang injunctions is illegal because it bypasses people’s due process rights to fight allegations that they are gang members in court. [0]
  • Three Trumbull County Ohio deputies are on paid leave while under investigated over allegations that they violated wiretapping laws when they used the department’s intercom system to eavesdrop on meetings and other officers. [0]
  • Two Mill Creek Washington police officers have resigned after an investigation found that they had sex while on-duty on at least ten different occasions in various locations including an abandoned home. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

2010 Q3 National Police Misconduct Statistical Report

Figure 1. Map displaying number of officers involved in reports tracked per county from 01/10-09/10 (clicking on this map will redirect to interactive map at www.targetmap.com)

Introduction

This is the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) Police Misconduct Statistical Report for the third quarter of 2010. This report is the result of data captured from January 2010 through September 2010 by the NPMSRP consisting of reports that meet credibility criteria which have been gathered from multiple media sources throughout the United States. For more information about the NPMSRP, the process used to gather data on police misconduct, and other information about our reporting process please visit our FAQ page or About page. You can also review older statistical reports and ancillary reports here.

Summary

From January 2010 through September 2010 the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project recorded 3,814 unique reports of police misconduct that involved 4,966 sworn law enforcement officers and 5,711 alleged victims.

  • 3,814 – Unique reports of police misconduct tracked
  • 4,966 - Number of sworn law enforcement officers involved (263 were sheriffs or chiefs)
  • 5,711 - Number of alleged victims involved
  • 193 – Number of fatalities associated with tracked reports
  • $213,840,800 – Estimated amount spent on misconduct-related civil judgments and settlements

Misconduct by Type

Of the 4,966 officers involved in reported allegations of misconduct that met NPMSRP criteria for tracking purposes, 1,242 were involved in excessive force reports which were the most prominent type of report at 25% of all reports. This was followed by sexual misconduct complaints at 10.4% of officers reported then drunk driving and drug investigations at 7.9% of all officers reported, (62% of those were DUI allegations). The following chart displays the breakdown of misconduct types by percentage of reports and the number of reports each by type.

Figure 2. Police misconduct by type

Excessive Force

Figure 3. Map displaying number of officers involved in excessive force cases within the first 3 quarters of 2010. (clicking on this map will redirect to interactive map at www.targetmap.com)

Of all 1,242 officers involved in excessive force complaints, 735 (58.4%) were involved in cases of physical use of force complaints which include fist strikes, throws, choke holds, baton strikes, and other physical attacks. 175 officers (14.1%) were involved in firearm-related excessive force complaints, 126 (10.1%) were involved in taser-related cases, and the remaining officers were involved in other cases involving use of police dogs (1.7%), police vehicles (0.2%), chemical weapons (3.1%), or mixed use of force cases that involved a combination of attacks (11.6%).

Figure 4. Excessive Force by Type

There have been 92 fatalities associated with credible excessive force allegations within the first three quarters of 2010, which means 7% of excessive force cases involved fatalities. Of these excessive force fatalities, 68 were caused by firearms, 15 were caused by physical force, 11 by taser, and 3 by other causes. *Note: fatalities listed are only those involved in cases where excessive force or unnecessary force was reported. This does not include all fatalities related to police use of force.


Figure 5. Excessive Force Fatalities by Type

Sexual Misconduct

Officer-involved sexual misconduct describes an entire subset of police misconduct that includes non-criminal complaints such as consensual sexual activity that occurs while an officer is on-duty, sexual harassment, and acts of sexual assault or molestation. Sexual misconduct is the second most common form of misconduct reported through the first three quarters of 2010 with 517 officers involved in sexual misconduct complaints during that period, 297 of which were involved in complaints that involved non-consensual sexual activity such as sexual assault or sexual battery.

Figure 6. Officers involved with sexual misconduct by percentage of incidents involving children or adults.

Of all sexual misconduct complaints, 197 officers were associated with complaints that involved children, 86 were associated with sexual harassment complaints, and 234 officers were involved in more serious sexual misconduct complaints.

Figure 7. Alleged victims of officer-involved sexual assaults by age.

For all sexual misconduct complaints there were 419 victims of misconduct that could be classified as sexual assault, rape, sexual battery, or molestation. Of these 419 victims of more serious types of sexual misconduct, 219 were minors. This would appear to indicate that officers involved with sexual misconduct would appear to be more likely to have multiple victims when minors are involved than adults.

Misconduct Per Capita

Figure 8. Map displaying the Police Misconduct Rate by state. (clicking on this map will redirect to interactive map at www.targetmap.com)

The current US average projected police misconduct rate is an estimated 992.81 officers per 100,000 officers (mean 909.61 per 100k) as calculated using data gathered from the first 9 months of 2010. This is also a slight increase over last year’s estimated average of 980.64 officers per 100k and an increase over last quarter’s midyear reported average of 970.57 per 100,000.

Figure 9. Police misconduct rate by state with corresponding number of officers involved per state.

When current data is filtered to examine only incidents that can be classified as violent crimes as specified per the US FBI/DOJ Uniform Crime Reporting standards and then compared with the 2009 FBI/DOJ UCR Crime in the United States report as a per capita general population and per capita law enforcement basis the results indicate that overall violent crime rates are not too divergent between the two population groups with a difference of only 20.1 per 100k point between the two. However, there appear to be some more significant differences at a more granular level with robbery rates for police far below those reported for the general population but assault and sexual assault rates significantly higher for police when compared to the general population.

Figure 10. Violent Crime Rate comparison between general population UCR data and law enforcement population NPMSRP data.

Geographic Distribution

On a state by state basis, 20 states currently have a police misconduct rate above the US average of 992.81 per 100k and the states showing the lowest misconduct rates include Kansas with a rate of 276.09, Maine with 310.97, and Virginia at 502.10. Here are the 20 states with misconduct rates currently above average:

Figure 11. States with misconduct rates above the US average.

(Note: This chart includes our “Transparency Index” which is a method under development to rank agencies or states according to how transparent misconduct reporting appears to be in order to determine if data reported is under-reported or closer to actual rates. The current average index is 1.32 and 0.0 is the most transparent.

At the agency level the NPMSRP splits groupings by agency size in order to reduce the effect that small sample sets in agencies with fewer officers might have on the resultant rankings. Currently this split divides agencies into four different groups with the first including agencies with 1,000 sworn law enforcement officers or more. The second grouping includes agencies with between 500 and 999 officers, then 100 to 499, and finally 50 to 99 officers. We do not rank agencies that have fewer than 50 officers since the sample sets for those agencies are too small for reliable comparative statistical analysis.

1000+ Officer Agency Rates

The following chart displays the 20 agencies with 1,000 or more sworn law enforcement officers with the highest misconduct rates for that group of agencies:

500 – 999 Officer Agency Rates

The following chart displays the 20 agencies with between 500 to 999 sworn law enforcement officers with the highest misconduct rates for that group of agencies:

100 – 499 Officer Agency Rates

The following chart displays the 20 agencies with between 100 to 499 sworn law enforcement officers with the highest misconduct rates for that group of agencies:

50 – 99 Officer Agency Rates

The following chart displays the 20 agencies with between 50 to 99 sworn law enforcement officers with the highest misconduct rates for that group of agencies:

Police Misconduct Trending

While the overall US average police misconduct rate appears to be climbing in comparison to both last year’s rate and the previously reported rate 3 months ago it is difficult to see a clear causative factor for the increase and it isn’t clear what type of misconduct is increasing to cause this trend though the number of officers involved in excessive force reports appear to be demonstrating an overall trend increase since the beginning of 2010.

Figure 12. Officers involved in misconduct reports tracked per month.

Figure 13. Officers involved in excessive force reports per month


Figure 14. Officers involved in sexual misconduct reports per month

While overall misconduct appears to be trending higher, disciplinary actions against officers and the number of convictions on criminal charges appear to be relatively flat overall. Also, while conviction rates do not show any correlation with the number of reported officers, internal disciplinary rates do appear to show a very slight matching trend.

Figure 15. Trends for officers reported compared officers disciplined and officers convicted

When examining the trending data on a state by state basis we see that states that are trending upward outnumber states with a downward trend for misconduct by 28 to 24. The largest differentials between 2009 and 2010 have been in Washington DC with a decline from a 2009 PMR of 2313.33 to a 2010 PMR of 685.60 and Oklahoma with an increase from 1027.41 to 2013.90 per 100k.

Figure 16. Misconduct Rate comparisons by state from 2009 to 2010

Conclusion

With general misconduct rates showing an increase over last year and over the previous reporting cycles this year as well, it is difficult to pinpoint why the rates are climbing slightly, especially since excessive force rates don’t appear to be climbing at the same rate, though excessive force rates are climbing as well. While some states have exhibited large fluctuations between 2009 and 2010, most states showed a deviation of under +/-25% and 7 showed a deviation of under +/-10%. 8 out of 10 States showing the largest deviation between 2009 and 2010 had law enforcement populations under 10,000 which is as expected since smaller sample sizes tend to be most susceptible to individual incident influences. Since the NPMSRP has only been operational since April of 2009, trending data is limited in scope and long-term trending data is unavailable at this time, hopefully we will be able to generate more meaningful and useful trending information as the project continues.

General responses to police misconduct on a judicial/criminal justice level appear unchanged with no corresponding fluctuation to the increase in general misconduct rates which demonstrates a possible bias built into the justice system which continues to limit prosecutorial effectiveness against law enforcement officers charged with criminal wrongdoing. This appears to correspond to a previous study performed by the NPMSRP showing a large disparity in conviction and incarceration rates between law enforcement officers and the general public.

Accordingly, we’ll perform another comparison between conviction and incarceration rates in our end-of-year statistical report in order to examine the issue further and look to trend that data as well. However, on potential positive was to see an apparent correlation between report rates and internal disciplinary rates.

One of the persistent problems the NPMSRP faces is determining whether reporting rates are abnormally low for any given state or agency based on how effective that agency or that state’s laws are at keeping misconduct information hidden from the public. The NPMSRP is currently in the process of implementing a “Transparency Index” that might be used to determine if laws or actions meant to hide misconduct information from the public are affecting rates for a given agency or state. While currently in a beta phase, we hope to have that index fully functional for our 2011 reporting cycle.

About

The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project began in April of 2009 in order to address the lack of statistical data concerning police misconduct in the United States. Despite becoming a more prominent issue in landscape of American public opinion, police misconduct is still a largely unstudied issue and no other sources of current statistical and trending data exist with which we could use to analyze the nature, persistence, and prominence of police misconduct in America. The NPMSRP has been created to address this gap and, in doing so, hopefully help address the causative factors of police misconduct in the process.

The NPMSRP utilizes the only consistent source of data available for police misconduct information since most states currently have laws that prevent the examination of police misconduct information recorded by individual agencies themselves by the public and no other agency tracks police misconduct data in any publicly available way. Therefore the NPMSRP must rely on media reports of police misconduct in order to gather data for statistical and trending analysis.

Reports of police misconduct are recorded in an internal database where these reports are analyzed at the end of each quarter in order to filter out duplicate reports and adjust for status changes for previously recorded incidents. This filtered data is then used to generate our quarterly and yearly reports which are also tied to a public release of the underlying data for public review. In order to maintain credibility the NPMSRP does not record all reported police misconduct allegations but uses a set of criteria in order to limit recorded reports to only those reports which appear to be credible and which exclude minor internal matters such as tardiness or other minor policy infractions.

For more information about NPMSRP processes or policies please contact us via email at davidp@npmsrp.org

Police Misconduct NewsFeed Weekend Recap 11-07-10

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked by the National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend, November 6-7, 2010:

  • At least 5 East Lansing Michigan police officers were involved in an alleged instance of excessive force on allegations that one of the officers tasered a 17-year-old student at school while he was being held down by four other officers just because he was trying to escort his girlfriend off school grounds when she became upset about being suspended. The boy’s mother made the allegations after she viewed a video recording of the incident captured on school surveillance cameras. [3]
  • Two Westminster Colorado police officers have been placed on leave after the results of an internal investigation into allegations they held down a woman and ripped off her clothes while attempting to rape her at one of the officer’s homes had been forwarded to the district attorney for potential prosecution. [3]
  • A Marion South Carolina police officer is under investigated over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while on duty. The woman also claims that two other officers allegedly assigned to investigate the allegation had tried to pressure her into recanting the allegation by threatening her with jail time and telling her they didn’t believe her because rape victims don’t report it. State investigators say that it would have been improper if the Marion police department sent their own officers in to investigate the claims. [5]
  • The city of Mentor Ohio has settled an excessive force lawsuit for $110,000 to a man who claimed he was suffering from an insulin reaction he was roughly arrested by police after he was involved in an accident. [2]
  • A Boswell Oklahoma police officer has been arrested on assault and battery charges over an alleged domestic violence incident between him and his wife in which he claims he was so drunk that he doesn’t remember it. [0]
  • A Cocoa Florida police officer is accused of having a repo man falsely arrested for trespassing when he attempted to repossess her car and, when answering the allegations, a representative of the department falsely claimed that the man had an extensive criminal record when, according to research done by the reporter, the man had a clean record. [4]
  • A recently hired Chattooga County Georgia deputy was fired just before she was due to start her first shift after she admitted that she was living with a convicted felon. Just days later she was arrested during a drug buy bust when she showed up to deliver the goods. [0]
  • A Teton County Wyoming deputy is facing disciplinary action after he lost 28 grams of methamphetamine that was intended for use in training his K9 partner. He apparently left the box containing the drugs on his bumper when he drove away. [0]
  • A Port Barre Louisiana police officer has resigned on allegations that he dropped an inmate at his girlfriend’s home so he could have sex before he took the man to another jail. [0]
  • And finally, two Lafayette Parish Louisiana deputies have been fired after their patrol car ended up submerged in pond when the two took turns joy riding through some fields after they had been drinking at a party at one of the officer’s homes. [0]

That’s it for this weekend, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-05-10

Sorry folks, today was another rough day for keeping the news feed updated, capped off with an internet outage last night… so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up this weekend.

BTW, the Q3 statistical report should be out on Monday morning.

So, here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Friday, November 5, 2010:

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit California police officer Johannes Mehserle has been sentenced to two years in prison for fatally shooting Oscar Grant in the back while he was being held face-down on a train platform by fellow officer Tony Pirone in an incident that was captured by several cellphone video cameras shortly after New Years 2009. However, since the sentence is with time served, it’s likely Mehserle will only see 7 months behind bars and over 150 have reportedly been arrested in the resulting protests against the light sentence. [0]
  • A Burkburnett Texas police officer must surrender his police certification and pay a $500 fine in a plea deal to record tampering charges related to a DUI investigation. [0]
  • In Phoenix Arizona, 10 more officers have been added to the ongoing fraud probe regarding officers claiming pay for unworked off-duty security details, bringing the total number of officers under investigation there to 30. [0]
  • A Dallas Texas police officer has been suspended for 2 weeks after he failed to report crashing his police cruiser into a metal post and then lying about what happened when the damage was discovered. [0]
  • Indianapolis Indiana police are investigating an incident where a police K9 escaped it’s handler and attacked 2 people outside a church. One victim was an 18-year-old female who tried to fight off the attack by holding the dog’s muzzle and biting it and the other man was injured while trying to stop the attack. The dog, by the way, was apparently previously handled by the officer who fatally struck a motorcyclist while driving drunk on duty. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-04-10

Sorry these are late again and coverage has been sporadic. Things are still pretty crazy for me but hopefully things will calm down a bit and be a bit safer after we move out and into a motel this weekend.

Anyway, here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked on Thursday, November 4, 2010:

Macon Georgia police are being sued by a man and his son alleging that several officers used excessive force when the officers burst into their home while hunting for a fugitive based on faulty information given to them by an jail informant. [3]

A Wayne County Michigan deputy accepted a plea deal that reduces charges that had him facing a potential life sentence if he would have been convicted for sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint. [0]

A Huron County Ohio deputy is on paid leave while he’s under investigation over his alleged use of excessive force on a detainee who was the passenger in a car involved in a high-speed chase. That man apparently ended up suffering from a seizure in the police cruiser afterward but he wasn’t the one who filed the complaint. [2]

A Columbia County Georgia deputy has been fired and arrested after an investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in his custody were deemed credible enough to charge him. [0]

An Anne Arundel County Maryland police lieutenant has pled guilty to manipulating a 16-year-old girl into texting him explicit pics of herself, which he was found in possession of. [0]

Philadelphia Pennsylvania is being sued by ACLU of PA on behalf of 8 men alleging the city’s police department’s “stop and frisk” practices are violating civil rights when officers stop people without any reasonable suspicion. [0]

Over 20 Phoenix Arizona police officers are the subject of an investigation into allegations of billing for off-duty security details that were never worked. [2]

A Plymouth Connecticut police officer has been suspended for 90 days without pay for an unspecified violation of department’s code of conduct. Officials refuse to elaborate but 90 days is a pretty significant disciplinary action, in most departments it’s the most discipline you can get short of termination. [4]

And finally, a Johnson City New York police officer has been convicted on 17 counts of mail fraud after he apparently tried to apply for disability benefits for officers injured in the line of duty after he had stabbed himself then filed false reports alleging that he was attacked by two men who never existed. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-03-10

Here are the 16 reports of police misconduct tracked by our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Wednesday, November 3, 2010:

A now-former DeKalb County Georgia deputy has been found guilty of murdering his wife and a day laborer by shooting both of them to death and then trying to stage the murder scene so as to implicate the day laborer that he killed. [0]

Portland Oregon police are being sued by the family of a man who was unarmed and attempting to surrender when he was hit by a volley of beanbag rounds and then fatally shot in the back when he reached back in pain after a stand-off situation that stemmed from him feeling suicidal after the death of his brother. Police blamed communication and tactical failures at the scene for the incident. [0]

A Baltimore Maryland police officer has been sentenced to 5 years in prison on a civil rights conviction for beating a teenager in the face with a baton during an arrest. [0]

Maricopa County Arizona has settled a lawsuit for $2,000,000 to a man who was unarmed when deputies stopped him then shot him in the face, destroying his eyeball while the deputies were in New Orleans Louisiana assisting with Hurricane Katrina. [0]

Three Detroit Michigan police officers and a dispatcher are the subject of a lawsuit alleging that they not only used excessive force when they barged into a man’s home and tackled him over a noise complaint, but also that recordings of their radio transmissions prove that they conspired beforehand to beat the guy up. [4]

A Prince George’s County Maryland police officer has been suspended while investigated over allegations that he punched a man in the face, breaking a tooth, then put him in a choke hold while he was working as security for an event while the man was asking for help because the crowd was too thick and he couldn’t move. Unfortunately, while he was asking, he was pushed forward by the crowd and the officer allegedly attacked. He wasn’t charged though he was apparently detained briefly by an on-duty officer who was there. [0]

A Fulton Georgia police officer has been arrested on allegations that he repeated, and forcibly, raped his 12-year-old step-daughter and held her against her will by threatening that she would never see her family again if she didn’t cooperate. [0]

A now-former Fordland Missouri police officer has been sentenced to 12 years on 3 counts of statutory sodomy for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. [0]

Two Norfolk Virginia police officers have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving for fatally striking a cyclist with their police cruiser. [0]

A White Township Pennsylvania police officer has been charged with animal cruelty after a dog was found dead in his home and another was found near death from starvation. [0]

Dayton Ohio has settled suit for $92,000 over an officer who was deemed negligent when he ran a red light in 1999 and caused a multi-vehicle pileup. [1]

A Roanoke Virginia police officer is facing disciplinary action after he hit a vacant home with his police cruiser while speeding in response to a call that didn’t merit such a response in violation of departmental policy. [0]

A Rome Georgia police officer on the DUI task force has resigned while he was under investigation on allegations revolving around funds that were missing from his tenure as treasurer of a police union. [0]

A Sauk County Wisconsin deputy has been arrested on DUI charges after he was stopped for running a stop and driving on the wrong side of the road. [0]

A Porter County Indiana police officer has been arrested on DUI charges after he hit 2 parked cars while leaving a sheriff’s election party then fled the scene. [0]

And finally, an Indianapolis Indiana police officer was arrested for driving under the influence of oxycontin after he crashed into a mailbox with a police cruiser and responding officers found him asleep at the wheel. Interestingly, a news station received an amateur video filmed from a car showing a police cruiser weaving down the highway that was taken shortly before the accident occurred. Police are reviewing that tape to see if it’s the same officer. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-02-10

Here are the 17 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for Tuesday, November 2, 2010:

  • A Kershaw County South Carolina deputy has been indicted on a federal civil rights charge over his use of excessive force when he was caught on surveillance cameras repeatedly beating a handcuffed detainee with a metal baton while another deputy watched and shoved the man back when he tried to get away from the blows, that other deputy was fired over the incident as well but no word on charges against him. [0]
  • Ridley Township Pennsylvania is being sued by a store clerk who was assaulted by a police officer after she asked for his ID when he tried to purchase chewing tobacco. The officer was already convicted and fired for that incident and we usually don’t track civil suits after a criminal conviction except when a monetary award or settlement is made, and even then only to track how much is spent on misconduct litigation. However, the suit is alleging that the department failed to stop the officer from continuing to harass the clerk and prevent the assault after she had complained to the department about his previous outbursts about being carded while he was undercover. So this incident counts against the department, not the officer. [3]
  • A Henderson County Tennessee deputy has been indicted on federal child pornography charges over allegations that he coerced a 10-year-old girl into posing for pornographic pictures that were found in his possession. [0]
  • An Omaha Nebraska police officer is under investigation after he allegedly threw a man onto the hood of his truck while off-duty. The incident was apparently started when the officer grew angry when he was waved on to pass a motorist who was signing a petition being handed out by a man on the side of a 3-lane private drive. The officer claimed he was arresting the man for obstructing traffic but no charges were filed. [3]
  • An El Paso Texas police officer has been indicted on a sexual assault charge over allegations that he fondled a passed-out woman’s genitalia last year. The indictment didn’t specified if he was on-duty or not at the time of the incident, but the department has confirmed that the officer is still on active duty despite the indictment. [1]
  • The police chief of Rosebud Texas has resigned and turned himself in after he was charged with two counts of evidence tampering in an apparent attempt to cover-up a drunk driving investigation. [1]
  • A New Haven Connecticut police officer was arrested after an investigation that lasted nearly three months over a high-speed chase that he led his fellow officers on when they tried to stop him while he was off-duty. [1]
  • A Franklin Tennessee police officer was arrested on a domestic violence charge after a fellow officer stopped him when he saw him grab his wife by the arms and violently shake her. [0]
  • A Cameron County Texas deputy has been arrested on federal bribery and smuggling charges for accepting payments from an undercover agent in order to smuggle weapons across the Mexican border. [0]
  • A Polk County Georgia police officer has been sentenced to two and a half years on obstruction, witness intimidation and possession of vehicle with an altered VIN charges for his role in protecting a chop shop. [0]
  • A Rome Georgia police officer has been fired and a supervisor has resigned in lieu of being fired over unspecified, but possibly related, misconduct allegations. The department claims that they cannot release the reason for the disciplinary action until after the officers have a chance to appeal it. [3]
  • A Versailles Ohio police officer has been fired for sending inappropriate text messages and images to an acquaintance and then lying to investigators about it. [1]
  • A Haubstadt Indiana town marshal has been sentenced to 60 days jail in a plea deal for theft and official misconduct charges for filing fraudulent time sheets to bilk that town out of thousands. [0]
  • A Faribault County Minnesota deputy has been charged with felony theft on allegations that he used the county gas card for personal use and that he claimed expenses that were not approved. [0]
  • A Los Angeles California police officer was awarded a $4,000,000 judgment by jury in a lawsuit that alleged he was fired in retaliation for testifying against the city in another officer’s lawsuit for unpaid overtime. [0]
  • Clackamas County Oregon has settled a lawsuit for $4,000 to a man claiming his free speech rights were violated when he was detained for flipping off a deputy. While the man claims the county promised to put deputies through civil rights training, the county denies that claim and says they’ll supply training for deputies who want it. [0]
  • And finally, a Milwaukee Wisconsin assistant police chief has lost his drivers license for six months and must use an ignition interlock device for one year after pleading no contest to drunk driving charges. No word on whether he’ll be fired or if the department will be refitting some cruisers with a breathalyzer lock. [0]

That’s it for today, stay safe out there!

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.