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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-29-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 29, 2015:

  • Update: Kirtland Hills, Ohio (First reported 10-14-14): The now-former police chief was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud and tampering charges. According to the news report, “Prosecutors say he defrauded the village out of at least $80,000 by making unauthorized purchases of clothing, tools and goods for his own use.”
  • Update: Miami-Dade, Florida (First reported 08-06-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to aiding and abetting marijuana distribution. He faces a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for tipping off marijuana growers to when the police were investigating them and how to avoid capture.
  • Sweetwater, Florida: An officer was arrested and suspended for buying cocaine.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: The department released a video that led to the firing of a detective. The now-former detective knocked out an 18-year-old man’s teeth after he surrendered.
  • Allen County, Ohio: A now-retired sergeant was charged with 112 counts related to 35 thefts from the evidence room. The alleged thefts occurred while he was employed with the department.
  • Sidney, Nebraska: The chief was charged with obstructing government operations by a state attorney. Allegedly he did not pursue a criminal case that he should have.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was fired after a lengthy investigation. He fought a man after a fender bender in 2013 and though he was acquitted of criminal charges, his position was terminated after a disciplinary review.
  • Update: Prescott Valley, Arizona (First reported 01-20-15): A now-former commander was sentenced to three years of probation. He pled guilty to stealing drugs from the evidence room.

New York Considers Reform Proposals

From the Times Union:

As Baltimore smoldered following the death of an unarmed man in police custody, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered lawmakers a choice about future oversight of similar controversial cases in New York state.

If lawmakers don’t approve his call for an independent monitor to oversee legal proceedings that follow such deaths, Cuomo will use his executive powers to go even farther and create a special prosecutor who would have the power to pursue charges against officers….

Calls for greater scrutiny and oversight following the deaths of unarmed civilians emerged after Garner’s death and a grand jury’s decision not to indict any of the officers involved. But they haven’t gained traction in the full Legislature.

Senate Democrats have pushed for a creation of a special investigator within the Attorney General’s Office to investigate unarmed deaths, but Republicans who control the majority haven’t moved it forward.

The creation of a special prosecutor is opposed by many district attorneys and police unions around the state.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-28-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 28, 2015:

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: An officer was arrested for aggravated battery. He allegedly hit a suspect during an arrest. The officer and his partner were suspended. The department learned of the incident through a police cadet who was shadowing the pair on the call.
  • Detroit, Michigan: An officer was arraigned on weapons charges after a drive-by shooting.
  • Update: Marion, South Carolina (First reported 04-24-14): Two now-former officers were sentenced to prison for repeatedly Tasing a mentally ill woman. After the victim was on the ground and in handcuffs, and having Tased her several times already, one of the officers “offered to let her go if he could shoot her in the forehead one more time with his Taser.” That officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The other officer received a sentence of one year and one day.
  • Los Angeles County, California: The sheriff’s office is being sued by a woman who claims her son was beaten to death while in the jail there. The coroner’s autopsy results indicated that the man hung himself in his cell. The family’s autopsy indicated he died of blunt force trauma to the head.
  • St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was fired after his domestic violence arrest.
  • Grant County, Washington: A deputy was arrested for assault after an incident while off duty.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina: An officer pled not guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.
  • North Dakota State Police: A trooper resigned amid allegations that he wrote fake traffic tickets without distributing them.

Fraternal Order of Police Opposes Bad Cops

James Pasco, executive director of the National FOP, as quoted in today’s Wall Street Journal:

The fact of the matter is no self-respecting member of the law enforcement community holds any brief for a bad cop.

Of course.  It would be news if Mr. Pasco would have said the opposite.  Yet, too often police unions lobby against measures that would bring greater accountability to the bad cops.


Settlement in Civil Rights Lawsuit

From Reuters:

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an accord on Tuesday with the U.S. Justice Department to settle findings that the country’s largest sheriff’s department systematically harassed and intimidated low-income minority residents….

The report concluded that county sheriff’s deputies, along with authorities in the towns of Lancaster and Palmdale, routinely targeted blacks and Hispanics in a “pattern and practice” of unlawful traffic stops, raids and excessive force.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-25-15 to 04-27-15

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 25 to Monday, April 27, 2015:

  • Hodgeman County, Kansas: A deputy was arrested for killing his 2-month-old child.
  • Columbia County, Georgia: A deputy was sentenced to three years’ probation and a $300 fine for giving accident reports obtained from a law enforcement database to injury lawyers.
  • Clay County, Missouri: A deputy was arrested for assaulting his estranged wife.
  • Dunn County, Wisconsin: A deputy was arrested for DUI.
  • Waynesburg, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested after an alleged drunken burglary and assault. He subsequently resigned.
  • Update: Berkeley County, West Virginia (First reported 10-27-14): A now-former captain was acquitted on a fraud charge, but the jury was hung on an embezzlement charge. The State plans to re-try the embezzlement case.
  • Belmont, North Carolina: The City suspended and fired the police chief. Allegations of intimidation and payroll manipulation led to the dismissal. A captain also resigned as a result of the investigation.
  • Redstone Township, Pennsylvania: An officer was indicted for striking a suspect and then lying about the incident to justify the violence.
  • Update: Shreveport, Louisiana (First reported 09-23-14): An officer was sentenced to 20 days in jail for an off-duty bar fight. He has been fired.
  • Update: Fruitport Township, Michigan (First reported 12-01-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to one year of probation for DUI with a minor in the car.
  • Vermont State Police: A trooper was arrested for DUI and has resigned. He responded to a late-night call and colleagues smelled alcohol on his breath.
  • Peachtree City, Georgia: The police chief was indicted for shooting his wife in an apparent accident at home.
  • Update: Ipswich, Massachusetts (First reported 04-28-14): A now-former officer and brother of the chief was sentenced to two years of probation after plea deal for off-duty assault. He also agreed never to work in law enforcement again.

Freddie Gray Funeral

From the Baltimore Sun:

In a funeral service Monday that was both personal and political, family, friends and strangers alike said farewell on Monday to Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man whose death from injuries sustained in police custody has sparked a national furor…

[S]peaker after speaker drew both cheers and tears.

“The eyes of the country are all on us,” former judge and Gray family attorney William “Billy” Murphy told the crowd. “They want to see if we have the stuff to get this right.”

Murphy denounced “the blue wall” that he said protects police from accountability.

“Let’s don’t kid ourselves. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for video cameras,” he said of the cellphone recordings made by bystanders of Gray’s arrest on April 12. “Instead of one cover-up behind that blue wall after another cover-up behind that blue wall … and one lie after another lie, now we see the truth as never before. It’s not a pretty picture.”

Gray was transported in a van to the Western District police station, emerging with what turned out to be a severed spinal cord and crushed voicebox, dying a week later.

Here is a Cato Institute podcast interview with Billy Murphy about police tactics, minorities, and constitutional rights.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-24-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 24, 2015:

  • Dallas, Texas: A grand jury declined to indict two officers who fatally shot 38-year-old Jason Harrison.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: Recently released dashcam video contradicts statement by deputy who had been cleared in the 2013 shooting of unarmed black man.
  • Latimer County, Oklahoma: A now-former deputy was arrested for stealing drug evidence. The drugs were discovered in his patrol vehicle during a routine cleaning.
  • Oakland, California: The city paid $275,000 to two innocent teens. One of the teens was shot in the jaw by a police officer because he was mistaken for robbery suspect, the other was present at the time of the shooting. The officer who shot at the boys was, at the time, a field training officer. He claimed the victim made “a sweeping motion toward his waistband.”
  • Coral Springs, Florida: An officer was arrested for domestic battery. He allegedly dragged his wife out of a car and drove off with their one-year-old son
  • Update: Inkster, Michigan (First reported 03-30-15): An officer was fired and charged with assault after violent arrest video was released. The police chief resigned in the wake of the incident.
  • Dallas, Texas: Two officers were fired for maintaining inappropriate personal relationships. One officer had a relationship with someone in their Explorers program. The other had a relationship “with a person of immoral character.”
  • Mt. Juliet, Tennessee: An officer was suspended for falsifying time cards.
  • Greenwood, Mississippi: An officer was suspended after arresting activist who is also a candidate for lieutenant governor. The activist was recording a traffic stop.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-23-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 23, 2015:

  • Vermont VA Medical Center: An officer was arrested after a road rage incident. She allegedly pointed her gun at another vehicle while driving in Maine.
  • Houston, Texas: The department is investigating an accusation that officers illegally searched a business and under-reported the cash seized. The sum of money that was inventoried and returned to the business owner was roughly $23,000 less than the amount the owner claims was taken.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 02-04-15): A now-former SRO was indicted for assaulting 13-year-old student at the school where he worked. The incident was caught by surveillance cameras.
  • Update: Kansas City, Missouri (First reported 02-20-15): The officer indicted in February for actions in a non-fatal shooting had his charges dropped by the prosecutor.
  • Lakewood, Washington: A fatal officer-involved shooting was caught on video. A man was hiding in lumber yard before being shot by the officer. Police claim the man reached for his pocket.
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts: An officer was charged with assault and placed on leave.
  • Harlandale Independent School District (San Antonio, Texas): An officer was arrested for forgery after stealing blank checks from school, writing them out to himself, and then cashing them.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Three officers face arrest for separate incidents. The officers are accused of perjury, animal cruelty, and theft of an iPhone from a motorist.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (El Paso, Texas): An agent was arrested for possession of ounces of marijuana.

The Samantha Ramsey Shooting


The family of Samantha Ramsey filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death suit Wednesday against Boone County Deputy Tyler Brockman and Boone County.

A grand injury declined to indict Deputy Brockman in November of last year in the death of 19-year-old Ramsey.

Attorney Al Gerhardstein, one of the attorneys on the case stated, “This deputy was not indicted or disciplined. He was wrong to jump onto the car; shoot while Samantha was slowing down; and wrong to shoot at this young lady at all before he jumped back off the hood.  Samantha’s shooing and death was completely unnecessary and avoidable.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Covington.  The issues raised by the shooting match those raised in numerous other police shootings across the nation where police have killed unarmed civilians, according to a release.

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