National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-14-15 to 02-17-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct reported for Saturday, February 14 through Tuesday, February 17, 2015:

  • Update: Lafayette, Indiana (First reported 07-03-14): The city and an officer face an amended federal lawsuit alleging officer pushed over a man in a wheelchair and conducted an illegal search. ow.ly/JafQl
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 09-09-14): A suspended officer was acquitted of assault for kicking a handcuffed suspect. The department’s internal investigation is ongoing. http://ow.ly/Jai2k
  • Broward County, Florida: A now-former deputy was acquitted of tampering. He was accused of interfering in a separate racketeering case against Ft. Lauderdale detectives. http://ow.ly/Jakqf
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: The City settled a $140,000 lawsuit alleging an officer choked a high school senior. http://ow.ly/Jalpe
  • Update: Rothschild, Wisconsin (First reported 10-08-14): An officer pled not guilty in sexual assault case. He has resigned from the department. http://ow.ly/Jc9mE
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 09-19-14): A vendor that was seen on video being kicked by a now-suspended officer at a street fair finally had his resisting arrest charges dropped. http://ow.ly/JchCq
  • Update: Nassau County, New York (Last reported 05-06-14): A grand jury did not indict a now-former officer for shooting and wounding an unarmed cab driver after a night of drinking. According to the news report, key witnesses were never called to testify before the now-expired grand jury. The officer was fired last year.  http://ow.ly/JcC6y
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: An officer was arrested for assaulting his 12-year-old stepson. http://ow.ly/JcQrf
  • New York State Police: A trooper was arrested for DWI in Lockport. He was pulled over for speeding and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.  http://ow.ly/JcWGv

Problems in Cleveland

From Cleveland.com:

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report in December, claiming that the Cleveland Police Department routinely violated citizens’ civil rights. But taxpayers already had been paying a heavy price: more than $8.2 million to resolve lawsuits that accused officers of brutality, misconduct or making wrongful arrests….

In a number of cases, the people who alleged brutality were the ones who called police for help in the first place.  [!!]

More than a year ago, The Plain Dealer and Northeast Ohio Media Group submitted public records requests to the city, in an effort to determine how widespread allegations of misconduct were and how much police behavior was costing the city. The records were turned over on the eve of the Justice Department’s release of its report….

Mayor Frank Jackson says the settlements don’t prove any pattern of police conduct. They don’t even mean officers were at fault for wrongdoing, officials have said.
But viewed as a whole, the details show that high-level city officials were, or should have been, on notice about allegations that officers too often used excessive force, escalated confrontations and needlessly disrespected citizens in the community they were hired to serve.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-13-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 13, 2015:

  • Update: Madison, Alabama (First reported 02-11-15): The officer who seriously injured a 57-year-old Indian national has been fired and arrested for the incident. A video of the violent encounter has been released.  ow.ly/J0bZm
  • Lakeside, Colorado: A man was put in handcuffs and had his phone seized for recording a shoplifting arrest. ow.ly/IXGAC
  • Pasco, Washington: Three officers were placed on leave after one or more of them fatally shot a man throwing rocks into traffic. Video of the incident appears to show the suspect running away when he was shot. ow.ly/J0U8l
  • Mansfield, Ohio: An officer was indicted on 40 charges, including 25 felonies, related to sexual battery, burglary, and tampering. Seventeen of the counts are for abusing a police database. The initial complaint that led to the investigation alleged the officer offered to destroy criminal evidence in exchange for a sexual favor. The officer has been on leave since late November.  ow.ly/J0tVS
  • Toledo, Ohio: A lieutenant has been charged with obstruction, felonious assault, and tampering. He is accused of conspiring to shoot a witness.  ow.ly/J1vkH
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A sergeant already on house arrest for lewd conduct was arrested again for child pornography possession—some of which he produced. He was suspended with pay after the first incident in August.  ow.ly/J1IVC
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into unspecified policy violations. ow.ly/J1F0G
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Montana Vista, TX): An agent who was recently arrested for domestic violence took his estranged wife and another man hostage. He shot the man in the head during a standoff with police before surrendering. ow.ly/J1VB3

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-12-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 12, 2015:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was arrested for DUI after causing accident that caused two cars to flip over. Remarkably, no injuries were reported. ow.ly/IWhvD
  • Webb, Alabama: An officer was arrested for domestic violence.ow.ly/IWhYH
  • Flower Mound, Texas: An officer was arrested and charged with felony DWI. She was driving 77mph in a 35mph zone with her 6-yr-old in front seat. ow.ly/IWiTE
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: An officer was charged with DUI and an open container violation after crashing his truck into a ditch. ow.ly/IWSMS
  • Carencro, Louisiana: A now-former officer was indicted for extortion, illegally using a government database, and lying to federal agents. He is alleged to have taken money in exchange for allowing prostitution at a gentlemen’s club.  ow.ly/IX0OA
  • Williamson County, Texas: A sheriff’s detective was arrested for falsifying government documents. He allegedly lied on his timesheets and was working another job when he was claimed to be on duty. ow.ly/IXd5e
  • Update: Wewoka, Oklahoma (First reported 10-01-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a 15-year-old girl who had been enrolled in the department’s police explorer program. ow.ly/IXgbO
  • Update: Bayonne, New Jersey (First reported 01-26-15): An officer already indicted for brutality faces new charges, including embezzlement from United States government. ow.ly/IXhX3

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and his Investigations

From the Sandusky Register:

An Ohio attorney general spokesman told the Register last week that state prosecutors hadn’t yet determined if recordings made by former Put-in-Bay police Sgt. Steve Korossy of interviews and interactions Korossy had just prior to arresting three island hotel employees was relevant to the ongoing police misconduct investigation.

The employees were cleared in October by a jury of all the criminal charges Korossy filed against them 13 months after they were arrested. They, and others, contend the employees were falsely arrested and wrongfully put on trial….

The fact DeWine cannot even acknowledge the relevancy of that material is an indicator just how seriously he’s taking the complaints, the lawsuits and the judgments against the PIB police department….

After four decades as a public servant, it seems obvious to us DeWine forgot a long time ago that public service is meant for the public. DeWine, it’s clear, serves the bureaucracy first and doesn’t appear willing to serve the people at all.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-11-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct for Wednesday, February 11, 2015:

  • Madison, Alabama: An officer used enough force to put a 57-year-old Indian citizen in the hospital, temporarily paralyzed and with fused vertebrae, after an altercation. The man, who was visiting the United States and speaks no English, was walking around the neighborhood his son just moved in to.  ow.ly/IQBAp
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was arrested on assault and sex offense charges after a domestic dispute. ow.ly/ISpj8
  • Pennsylvania State Police: A trooper was charged with reckless endangerment after a firearms mishap during which he fatally shot a colleague. ow.ly/ISqkH
  • Lake County, California: A now-former deputy was charged with vehicular manslaughter for an October 2013 car crash. He had been responding to a call of  home invasion and vehicle pursuit when he hit the victim’s car head-on at a high rate of speed.  ow.ly/ISXEx
  • Update: Berkeley County, South Carolina (First reported 01-06-14) : The sheriff who had been arrested for DUI has resigned and has been indicted. ow.ly/ISYwC
  • Richmond County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested and fired over allegations he abused a 12-year-old while off duty but still in uniform. ow.ly/IT02n
  • New York, New York: A sergeant faces numerous criminal counts related to the alleged rape of a girl under 15 years old. Internal Affairs is continuing to investigate. ow.ly/ITDjW
  • Miami, Florida: Two officers were fired for falsifying police reports to protect informants. No criminal charges against them appear to be forthcoming. ow.ly/ITF5V

Grandfather Paralyzed by Police

From CNN:

It started out as a morning walk, but ended up with a 57-year-old grandpa laying partially paralyzed in an Alabama hospital bed.

Sureshbhai Patel required spinal fusion surgery to repair damage to his back when his family says police twisted his arm and forced him to the ground.

Video at the CNN link.   When the police department was asked for an explanation, a spokesperson said that Patel reached into his pocket while speaking to the officers on the scene.   Hmm.

Will ‘Community Policing’ Help?

From the New Republic:

On January 30, the USCM released a report on strengthening “police-community” relations in American cities. The six-page report came full of recommendations for everything from “youth study circles” to new equipment. The report was completed with the help of a working group of police chiefs, including Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the man appointed by President Obama to chair his Task Force on 21st Century Policing in response to rising unrest around around the issue of police brutality.

Absent from their suggestions, however, was a single mention of officer discipline….

What the #BlackLivesMatter protests made clear is that communities of color are increasingly fed up with the over-policing of our neighborhoods, extrajudicial killings of unarmed black people and the failures of the justice system to hold killer cops accountable. To ignore those complaints and suggest that the issue is merely one of distrust is dishonest, and it evades the very obvious fact that police brutality is a national problem that persists, in part, because cops can get away with it.

I’ve commented before on “community policing,” but it’s worth noting again how troubling that term is. “Community policing” reframes the conversation around police reform from one that addresses police brutality to one that addresses the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, as though they’re mutually combative. The relationship between the two isn’t the issue. It’s the manner in which law enforcement relates to communities of color that’s proven deadly, time and time again.

Comedian Chris Rock provided an apt analogy for this during his recent New York Magazine interview.

“If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, ‘Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.’ It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner.”

Similarly, ending police brutality isn’t up to the communities that are brutalized.

Read the whole thing.

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 02-10-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, February 10, 2015:

  • Kensington, California: An officer who also serves as head of the police union was suspended after having his gun, badge, handcuffs, and ammunition stolen by a sex worker in Reno, Nevada. The incident happened months ago, but the officer had not been disciplined until the incident received media attention. ow.ly/IKXhK
  • Cedar Grove, West Virginia: The police chief was arrested and charged with two counts each of domestic battery, domestic assault, and brandishing for pointing a gun at his wife and striking her brother with the gun. This is the chief’s second arrest. Last year, he pled guilty to assault for an altercation in a parking lot.  ow.ly/ILd7v
  • Detroit, Michigan: The City settled with an innocent man wrongly convicted of rape because police withheld evidence from the prosecutors and defense attorneys. The victim was awarded $2.5 million for the 26 years he spent in prison. ow.ly/ILbrV
  • Isle of Wight, Virginia: A deputy was charged with sexual battery and taking indecent liberties with a minor. He was working as a school resource officer when the alleged crimes took place. ow.ly/ILgAn
  • Lexington, Kentucky: An officer was charged with harassment and misconduct for altercation with a suspect. ow.ly/ILhuh
  • Perth Amboy, New Jersey: The police chief was indicted on official misconduct and tampering charges. He allegedly assigned department mechanics to illegally work on personal vehicles.  ow.ly/ILjwt
  • Richland County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested for DUI. ow.ly/ILTaO
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 11-21-14): The officer who fatally shot a man in a public housing complex was indicted for manslaughter. According to the news report, the police commissioner called the victim, Akai Gurley, ““totally innocent” and characterized the shooting as an “unfortunate accident.”” http://nyti.ms/1E1X0FE
  •  Falfurrias, Texas: An officer was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.ow.ly/IPJyi

Baltimore’s Top Officials Struggling With the Basics

From the Baltimore Sun:

While seeking approval this week for a $150,000 settlement in a lawsuit alleging brutality by a Baltimore detective, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration did not tell the city spending board that taxpayers had already paid $100,000 to settle another lawsuit against the officer….

The administration vowed to provide more details about settlements after a Baltimore Sun investigation found that taxpayers had paid nearly $6 million since 2011 in lawsuits alleging misconduct by officers — including some who had been sued multiple times. The investigation also showed that city officials lacked a comprehensive system to track such misconduct.

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