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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct Daily Recap 09-28-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 28, 2012:

  • San Clemente, California: An LAPD officer was charged with threatening a woman with whom he had a relationship. The charges include a felony count of criminal threats.
  • La Grange, Kentucky: A police officer has been charged with using electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, official misconduct, and third degree unlawful transaction with a minor; he was sending a juvenile sexually explicit messages. The officer resigned after being charged.
  • Rockford, Illinois: The family of a teenager who was shot and killed has filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department. The suit claims excessive force and failure to provide basic medical care. The shooting occurred while an officer was trying to stop a robbery. However, there is no evidence that they boy even knew the restaurant was going to be robbed before he was shot in the back three times and killed while trying to run.
  • Duluth, Minnesota: The police chief said that an officer is on administrative leave while the department investigates a charge of excessive force against him. He allegedly repeatedly hit a man in a wheelchair.
  • Update: Los Angeles, California: A third officer has been charged in the beating death of mentally ill homeless man. The charges came as a result of a grand jury indictment. The officer pleaded innocent to one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of use of excessive force.
  • Powell, Wyoming: A former officer is accused of using his position of authority to get a woman to submit to unwanted sexual contact.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer has been charged with sexual misconduct involving a suspect that was in lockup. The officer allegedly performed oral sex on the suspect, and then told him that he could get him released early from custody if he kept quiet about the incident.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A woman says she lost her pregnancy after police used a stun gun on her 7 times outside her home. She has filed a lawsuit against the city and three officers involved. “There is really no excuse,” said her lawyer. “The city needs to crack down on excessive force by police officers. This case never should have gone to trial.”
  • Campbell County, Virginia: A second deputy was charged with providing alcohol to a minor. He is no longer employed at the Sheriff’s office.
  • Jasper, Alabama: An officer has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for soliciting and accepting a $5,000 bribe. The officer had borrowed money from a drug dealer and later sold the same person drugs from confiscated police evidence. “Most police officers work hard every day to protect the citizens and the communities they serve,” said a U.S. attorney. “On the occasion that an officer does violate his oath and the law, we will vigorously pursue prosecution because the citizens of this district are entitled to trust law enforcement.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-27-12

Here are the 8 reports of Police Misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 27, 2012

  • Richmond, Virginia: Authorities say a police officer was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. A sheriff’s investigation will determine whether charges will be pressed against him.
  • Two Harbors, Minnesota: A state trooper showed up for a morning training session smelling of alcohol. He was arrested for drunken driving and is on leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: An officer was given three years of probation after a misdemeanor conviction for violating the civil rights of a man. The officer was accused of choking a man who was under arrest and had his hands handcuffed behind his back.
  • New York, New York: A 19-year-old man has filed a civil rights lawsuit against two police officers claiming they beat him after chasing him into his Bronx apartment. Luis Solivan had been charged with assaulting an officer, but his case was dismissed by a grand jury after it watched a video of the encounter.
  • Tukwila, Washington: Two brothers have filed a formal complaint, saying that officers used unnecessary force and refused them medical treatment in an effort to cover up the assault. A dashcam captures the two officers pouncing on the brothers and throwing them to the ground.
  • Bradley County, Tennessee:  A trooper was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. His grandson was accidentally shot and killed.
  • Canton, New York: In legal papers filed in state Supreme Court, a man alleges that the police slandered him, damaged his reputation and caused him mental humiliation. According to the suit, he was held “against his will” by police in a holding room and his cellphone was seized illegally and never returned. The police that day also prevented him from getting the keys to his home, the suit alleges.
  • Dalton, Georgia: A deputy was put on paid administrative leave amid allegations that he pawned two guns that he was issued. A routine check of the local pawn shop revealed a shotgun and the rifle the deputy was issued.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-26-12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • Update: East Haven, Connecticut: More charges are pending against one of four police officers charged with conspiring to violate and violating civil rights, and more “overt acts” of three of the four officers originally charged are included in a superseding indictment that came down.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A medical examiner ruled the death of a 22-year-old man, who was in police custody, a homicide. If Williams had gotten immediate medical attention, he would not have died in the backseat of a squad car while Milwaukee police officers ignored his pleas for help, James Hall, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said Sunday.
  • Rocky Mount, Virginia: The former County Sheriff was convicted of misconduct for failing to warn other authorities that one of his deputies planned to kill his ex-wife.
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts: A police officer has been indicted by federal authorities for an alleged kickback scheme with a towing company. He was indicted on charges of bribery, making false statement to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.
  • Harford County, Maryland: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of altering program documents that stated he complete his required community service hours. He is charged with two counts of false swearing and one count each of tampering with public documents and perjury.
  • Walters, Oklahoma: A police officer pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of lewd molestation of a then-15-year-ld girl.
  • North Charleston, South Carolina: An officer was officially charged with misconduct in office. The police department says that he wrongfully detained and then physically assaulted a man before leaving him stranded.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-25-12

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 25, 2012:

  • Truckee, California: An officer was arrested on accusations that he committed sex acts on a minor in his home.
  • Update: Baton Rouge, Louisiana: A jury found that an officer used excessive force in his use of pepper-spray, but that he did not kick a man. The resident who filed the lawsuit was awarded $239,000.
  • East St. Louis, Illinois: An officer who stole a Rolex planted by federal agents was sentenced to 66 days in prison. The Rolex was planted as part of an integrity test; it was part of a covert investigation into allegations of corruption within the police department.
  • Fort Myers, Florida: An officer was arrested for the alleged aggravated battery on his pregnant wife. “This is not the conduct that we would expect from one of our officers … Officer Jackson has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal investigation and an internal affairs investigation,” said the police chief.
  • Update: St. Louis, Michigan: An officer who shot a dog in its own yard won’t be charged. The family still wants to charge criminally.
  • Macon, Georgia: An officer was arrested and charged with DUI and speeding. He was driving 89mph on a road with a 45mph speed limit when he was pulled over.
  • Tacoma, Washington: A state trooper pleaded not guilty to charges that he fled the scene of an injury accident and then attempted to elude authorities. The pursuing officer observed that the trooper had an odor of intoxicants on his breath and that he was uneasy on his feet.

Man Dies in Police Custody. Medical Examiner Rules Death a Homicide.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The Journal Sentinel reported Sunday that the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office has revised its ruling on the death of Derek Williams, who died in Milwaukee police custody in July 2011, from natural to homicide, according to the district attorney’s office. The decision came after the Journal Sentinel alerted an assistant medical examiner to newly released records.

If Williams had gotten immediate medical attention, he would not have died in the backseat of a squad car while Milwaukee police officers ignored his pleas for help, James Hall, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said Sunday.

Video at the link above shows Derek Williams handcuffed in the backseat of police cruiser gasping for air and begging for help.   The police do not take his pleas seriously and seem to think Williams is drunk or under the influence of narcotics.

Kudos to the Journal-Sentinel for pursuing the case and obtaining the  police records and video.  The medical examiner did not have the full picture—Hmm—and reversed his conclusion only after the newspaper brought the new information to his attention.

Mayor of Memphis Says His Police Dept Has Problems, Orders Full Review

From the Associated Press:

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is ordering a review of internal police procedures following repeated cases of alleged officer misconduct as well as an off-duty officer’s involvement in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy.

Wharton said Tuesday that he is bringing in an outside consultant with a law enforcement background to look into the Memphis Police Department’s procedures on officer accountability, recruitment and hiring practices, education and training, and the effectiveness of the department’s internal affairs arm.

Wharton said the consultant will have the full cooperation of the police department. The mayor acknowledged that jobs are on the line, depending on results of the review.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-21-12 to 09-23-12

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 21 to Monday, September 23, 2012:

  • Cleveland, Ohio: A police officer was arrested for domestic violence charges. She was assigned to restricted duty pending the outcome of the criminal case against her.
  • Reading, Pennsylvania: An officer was sentenced to 38 months in prison for attempting to prevent the communication of information to investigators of his involvement in a prostitution business.
  • New Britain, Connecticut: After an investigation into allegations that he punched his wife, a police officer was arrested and charged with third-degree assault. “He was placed on administrative duty immediately after I was notified by police that he was the subject of a criminal investigation involving domestic violence,” said the interim police chief.
  • Update: Worcester, Massachusetts: An officer pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges on an 18-year-old girl. His attorney blames the accusation on a contentious divorce. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay while his case is resolved.
  • East Haven, Connecticut: An officer was charged with violating the civil right of Latinos; he pleaded guilty in federal court. “This is an issue of a few officers behaving badly,” said one of them men whose civil rights were violated. “We’re looking forward to the case continuing to move on and hopefully one day we’ll have a police department in East Haven that everybody can feel safe with.”
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: A mother is speaking out against the police department. She says her son was tased excessively during an arrest and he  ended up in the hospital.
  • Smyrna, Georgia: A man will file a complaint against officers who shot and killed his dog. The officer admitted the dog didn’t try to bite them. Cobb police say the officers did what they are trained to do and the case is closed. “I had to watch him bleed to death and gasp for air, and they just stood there looking at me like I was stupid,” said the owner.
  • Houston, Texas: An officer fatally shot a mentally ill double-amputee in a wheelchair. This is the third unarmed person police have shot in less than 3 months. The officers say they felt threatened by the man, who was waving a silver pen. “How difficult is it, if nothing else, to get away from someone in a wheelchair who has no weapon, has only one arm and one good leg?” asked Arlene Kelly, co-founder of a support group for victims of police violence that tracks misconduct. “It’s totally and completely needless. Those officers should have had that matter well in hand. The gun should have never been out of the holster.”
  • Buncombe County, South Carolina: A detective resigned from his job after deputies say he pushed a man at a volleyball game.
  • Stoughton, Massachusetts: A state trooper was charged with his second OUI offense. He was found asleep behind the wheel of his car with an open container.
  • Pickens, South Carolina: After he wrote Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney a ticket, an officer blogged about it. He was subsequently fired. “I regret having to let him go, but the confidentiality of this department and the citizens cannot and will not be violated,” said the police chief.
  • Seattle, Washington: The city has agreed to pay $42,000 to a man who was kicked by an officer during an incident. The settlement stemmed from a lawsuit, in which a 19-year-old alleged that an officer violated his civil rights.
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts: An officer was relieved of his duties indefinitely following an FBI raid on his home. “He’s the subject of an investigation, which resulted in his being placed on paid administrative leave. We can’t comment on it beyond that because it’s an ongoing investigation,” the chief said. The officer has been a supporter of Mayor William Lantigua, whose administration has been the focus of a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving allegations of bid-rigging, narcotics and weapons trafficking at local clubs, suspicious out-of-country travel and more, according to law enforcement sources.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-21-12

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 21, 2012:

  • Honolulu, Hawaii: An officer pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about the fact that he revealed the identity of an undercover officer.
  • Warminster, Pennsylvania: An officer has been charged with prisoner harassment and assault following an altercation that happened. According to the complaint, video surveillance shows the officer, with another officer, allegedly removing the prisoner from a cell and placing him face down on the floor. The officer then slapped the prisoner several times on the back of the head and gave him a 10-second dose of pepper spray.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: The police chief says that he fired an officer based on “credible” allegations. The officer reportedly kicked and pepper-sprayed a handcuffed man who later underwent surgery for a ruptured bladder.
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: A North Carolina sheriff and his deputies routinely discriminated against Latinos — whom he called “taco eaters” — by making unwarranted arrests with the intent of maximizing deportations, according to a U.S. Department of Justice two-year investigation.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: An officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 15 years of sex offender probation. He pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery and custodial sexual battery.
  • Prince George County, Maryland: An officer who was indicted for assault is now facing a $5 million lawsuit. He was accused of holding a gun to the head of a 13-year-old boy after hitting the child in the face for no apparent reason.
  • Montgomery County, Maryland: An off-duty officer has been accused of pulling out his gun during a traffic incident on a college campus after striking a man with the mirror of his car.
  • Lebanon, Tennessee: A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in the other room. The incident occurred during a drug raid on the wrong house. Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door. John Adams was watching television when his wife heard pounding on the door. Police claim they identified themselves and wore police jackets. Loraine Adams said she had no indication the men were police. “I thought it was a home invasion. I said ‘Baby, get your gun!,” she said. The two officers were placed on administrative leave with pay.
    UPDATE: ABC News put this on its web site the other day, but a reader informs us the story is from 2000.
  • East Chicago, Illinois: An officer is facing criminal charges; he has been accused of punching his fiancé in the face and shoving her. The officer has been reassigned pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
  • Trenton, New York: An off-duty state police investigator has been charged with drunken driving after he crashed his vehicle

Federal Guilty Pleas Soar As Bargains Trump Trials

That’s the headline of a front-page Wall Street Journal article today (sorry, subscription only).

It’s great to see more attention to this subject.  The average American has no idea how lopsided the numbers are.  All across the nation, in both state and federal court, fewer than 5 percent of the criminal cases are resolved by jury trials.  Prosecutorial threats of more charges and longer sentences pressure many people into surrendering their right to a jury trial.  For background, go here.

Police Seize Smart Phone From Bystander

The actions of the officer are troubling to some.

“A loitering ticket is the sort of thing that generally the crime, the offense is so miniscule that you would not normally be confiscating items. It looks to me like a dodge to try to justify what was arguably an improper act,” said State Senator Martin Looney.

Full story here.

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