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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-08-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 8, 2013:

  • Seneca County, Ohio: An officer was arrested, fired, and sentenced to 6 months in prison for stealing from the village while he was in office.
  • Vineland, New Jersey: An officer admitted to siphoning $40,000.50 from his union while serving as the treasurer, and then the president, of the organization.
  • Grand Junction, Colorado: The Colorado State Patrol has agreed to pay $1 million to the family of a man shot by officers in his home. The ACLU director stated that not only did the troopers violate the man’s Constitutional rights when they kicked open his door, shot and killed him, but that the supervisors at Colorado State Patrol were responsible for “recklessly deficient training that was the ultimate cause of this needless and preventable death.”
  • Hampton County, South Carolina: A deputy was accused of sexually abusing a child while working as a school resource officer. He has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and misconduct in office.
  • Update: Irving, Texas: The Department of Public Safety has suspended a second trooper in connection to the highly publicized roadside body cavity search of two women.
  • Newton, Massachusetts: Three officers were caught egging the house of a police sergeant, who is their superior officer.
  • San Antonio, Texas: A police officer has been arrested after federal officials accused him of blackmailing a person with drug possession charges to obtain a $500 payoff.

Disorderly Deputy Arrests Orderly Man With Video Camera


He had been filming from about 30 feet away, he said. Henderson said deputies gave him no warning before Muellner took his camera.

The deputy wrote on the citation, “While handling a medical/check the welfare (call), (Henderson) was filming it. Data privacy HIPAA violation. Refused to identify self. Had to stop dealing with sit(uation) to deal w/Henderson.”

Henderson appeared in Ramsey County District Court on Jan. 2. A pretrial hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 30.

The allegation that his recording of the incident violated HIPAA, or the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is nonsense, said Jennifer Granick, a specialist on privacy issues at Stanford University Law School.

I like this quote from Henderson:  “I’m in the right,” he said. “If they don’t drop it, I’m definitely going to trial.”    He needs some Patriot-Attorney(s).

Judge Finds ‘Deliberate Indifference’ by NYPD

From the New York Law Journal:

In sum, while it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx,” Scheindlin said. “For those of us who do not fear being stopped as we approach or leave our own homes or those of friends and families, it is difficult to believe that residents of one of our boroughs live under such a threat.

For more background, go here.

Does Facebook Help the Prosecution, But Not Defense?

From Wired’s Ryan Tate:

[P]rosecutors generally have an easier time than defense attorneys getting private information out of Facebook and other social networks, as highlighted in an ongoing Portland murder case. In that case, the defense attorney has evidence of a Facebook conversation in which a key witness reportedly tells a friend he was pressured by police into falsely incriminating the defendant.

Facebook rebuffed the defense attorney’s subpoena seeking access to the conversation, citing the federal Stored Communications Act, which protects the privacy of electronic communications like e-mail – but which carves out an exemption for law enforcement, thus assisting prosecutors. “It’s so one-sided … they cooperate 110 percent anytime someone in the government asks for information,” one Oregon attorney told the Portland Oregonian, citing a separate case in which Facebook withheld conversations that could have disproved a rape charge, but turned over the same conversations when the prosecution demanded them.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-05-13 to 01-07-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked from Saturday, January 5, to Monday, January 7, 2013:

  • Blackville, South Carolina: A police officer is out of a job after he was arrested for DUI.
  • Sacramento County, California: According to a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in federal court, a jail inmate died a year ago because a sheriff’s deputy and a nurse refused to give him help for constant vomiting of blood over at least 12 hours.
  • Deptford Township, New Jersey: A police officer has been charged in a shooting of a 27-year-old man, in the head, at the officer’s home. He is now on paid leave
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer has been suspended with pay while the department investigates claims that he abused his girlfriend.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: A state trooper has been arrested and charged with statutory rape. He is now on administrative leave without pay.
  • Seattle, Washington: A man has filed a formal complaint against the police, claiming that he was bullied into a beating at the hands of police officers.
  • Vernal, Utah: A resident has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, police officials and two police officers who showed up at his home shortly after his wife died of an illness to count and confiscate her prescription drugs. The man was still by his wife’s side in their bedroom, saying goodbye and crying, while waiting for a mortician and hospice workers. When they arrived, two police officers showed up at the home at the same time, and made him to help them with the prescription drugs.
  • Muscle Shoals, Alabama: The mayor has upheld the termination of an officer who was accused of shooting and killing a dear on federal land, while he was on duty.
  • Camden County, New Jersey: The police chief was charged with harassing a female employee. The interactions included “touching, rubbing, and hugs” that persisted after the employee “indicated this behavior made her uncomfortable,” authorities said.
  • Windsor Locks, Connecticut: The officer whose vehicle hit and killed a 15-year-old boy on a bike was arrested and charged with first-degree manslaughter.
  • Clark County, Nevada: A jail sergeant was booked on charges of felony child abuse or neglect. He has been suspended without pay.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-04-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 4, 2013

  • Sevier County, Utah: A highway patrol trooper was arrested and jailed on allegations he had sexually abused a young female relative over the last 8 years. He is on paid administrative leave, pending the investigation.
  • Los Angeles, California: Two officers are under investigation for allegedly preying on women over a period of five years, luring them into an unmarked car and forcing them to perform sex acts, according to court records. Investigators had planned to confront the officers in a surprise operation, but were forced to accelerate those plans, when one of the women unexpectedly filed a lawsuit against the officers. Fearing the officers might destroy evidence, investigators rushed to sequester the officers and seize their computers and phones, police confirmed.
  • Hurst, Texas: A police officer has been fired after being recorded on video threatening a teenager and using profane language. “You can’t help but be embarrassed — not only for the officers that work in our department, but for anybody in the law enforcement profession,” The Hurst Assistant Chief said. “You just expect when an officer shows up, they’re going to be in charge. You don’t want the foul language, anything that looks like it might be overreaction. You just want to be professional, calm and in control of the scene.”
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg, North Carolina: A police officer was arrested and charged with drunk driving on New Years Eve, troopers said.
  • Hearne, Texas: An officer is on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into a shooting in which he was involved that left a mentally challenged man dead.
  • Creve Coeur, Missouri: An off-duty officer was arrested in connection with the aggravated battery of two high school students on school property. He allegedly beat them up for harassing his girlfriend’s son, and is now under paid administrative suspension while the investigation continues.
  • Mogadore, Ohio: A police officer was arrested for allegedly point a gun at another officer while drunk.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-03-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 3, 2013:

  • Greer, South Carolina: A police officer has been suspended after authorities say he was arrested for public disorderly conduct.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: A police officer has been arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The police chief said, “Our organization works hard to keep our streets safe during all holidays. It is extremely troubling that one of our police officers, especially a DWI enforcement officer, has been arrested in this manner… Our residents can be assured that this matter will be handled expeditiously and to their expectations.”
  • North Chicago, Illinois: Police Chief James Jackson said an officer was terminated for taking property from another police officer. The chief described the conduct as “outrageous,” though he would not give details.
  • Liberal, Kansas: An officer is no longer a part of the police department, after the discovery of an outstanding arrest warrant for him. He was accused of stealing a work laptop from his previous job, and when he would not return the company’s calls or respond to their attempts to contact him, an arrest warrant was filed, stating “offense(s) committed/anticipated charges(s)” of embezzlement.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: A police officer has been temporarily released of his duties for alleged policy violations.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Seventeen felony and misdemeanor charges have been filed against an officer who was arrested. The officer faces charges including criminal confinement, intimidation, battery and criminal recklessness after a domestic violence incident involving his wife and their neighbors.
  • Indian Lake, New York: An off-duty state trooper was arrested for allegedly driving his snowmobile under the influence of alcohol.
  • Reading, Pennsylvania: A fired police officer has lost a federal court battle to get his job back and more than $150,000 in damages from the city and police chief. A federal jury said the city had the right to fire him for repeatedly fraternizing with a motorcycle gang while he was off-duty. The jury agreed that violated a contract clause that bans police from associating with a felon or someone with a reputation for criminal behavior. He also was accused of alcohol abuse and lying during the internal affairs probe.
  • Lowell, Massachusetts: A veteran police officer, who recently confirmed he was questioned in a department internal-affairs investigation, is facing assault charges.
  • Update: Whitaker, Pennsylvania: A suspended Whitaker police officer will stand trial on charges that he used his gun to break a driver’s window during a traffic stop and threatened charges unless she paid to fix his damaged gun.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-29-12 to 01-02-13

*Note* I was out of the office Monday, December 31, so there were no stories tweeted/recapped that day. This recap reflects the weekend, and the Holiday.

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, December 29, 2012 to Wednesday, January 2, 2013:

  • Seattle, Washington: A protester who was arrested has filed a lawsuit. Video shows that police officers lied about an altercation that occurred; an officer said the protester cursed at, and punched, her.
  • Fort Lee, New Jersey: A teenager who was left locked for hours in a police van with six others has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the town, the police department and several officers. He alleges that the officers falsely arrested and unlawfully detained him, and that borough officials failed to implement appropriate policies or practices and were negligent.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Deputy Commissioner, one of Philly’s top officers, allegedly instructed an aide to browse the police department’s computer personnel files for photos of female officers so that he could select those he’d like to meet, according to court documents. The former longtime aide said the Commissioner would look at the photos, pick out some he wanted to meet and then direct his aide to find out where they worked.
  • Sedgwick County, Kansas: The County Sheriff says that a detention deputy has been suspended without pay for an incident; he said two inmates at the work release facility reported they were fondled by a deputy. Information was presented to the district attorney’s office, and a complaint was signed charging the officer with unlawful sexual relations.
  • Cumberland, Kentucky: An officer was let go from the police department when city property was found to be missing. He has been arrested and is charged with theft by unlawful taking.
  • Gainesville, Georgia: Authorities say a former jailer has been charged with using excessive force. The officer punched an unruly inmate in his head after the inmate was under control and in handcuffs.
  • Loudoun County, Virginia: Sheriff’s deputy charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and strangling another causing wounding or injury. He has been placed on administrative leave and his law enforcement powers have been suspended while the investigation continues.
  • Albemarle County, Virginia: The police department announced the arrest of a now former employee; Lieutenant Ernie Allen has been charged with embezzlement of public funds.
  • Henry County, Georgia: An officer has been arrested and charged with domestic battery and two counts of cruelty to children.

Trooper of the Year

From the New York Times:

Ms. Steed pulled over Julie Tapia for speeding as she was driving home. Ms. Tapia was giving a ride to her ex-husband, who had been drinking, but Ms. Tapia herself does not drink, the suit said.

Ms. Steed claimed Ms. Tapia failed a field sobriety test and arrested her. But blood tests showed no presence of impairing drugs or alcohol in her system, according to the suit. The charges were ultimately dismissed.

Michael Studebaker, another lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said that he believes there are at least hundreds of additional tainted arrests involving Ms. Steed. “The 40 or so individuals that have contacted us have to be the tip of the iceberg because Steed arrested many other people,” he said. “Her actions are so blatant, that it is probable that she acted like this in an untold number of cases.”

Wake up, put uniform on, smear some innocent people with false charges, then call it a day.   She was thriving — Trooper of the Year!  Promotions seemed “inevitable.”   If the evidence turns out to be as damning as it seems, her exposure is so much more than a “bad apple.”  It exposes  a dangerously dysfunctional system.


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