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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-29-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 29, 2015:

  • New York, New York: An officer was found to have used excessive force by the CCRB. He will now face a disciplinary hearing for throwing a handcuffed teen through a window.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (El Paso, Texas): An agent was arrested for smuggling people across Mexico/U.S. border.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: An officer was arrested for misconduct and false reporting.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina: An officer was arrested for DWI.
  • Update: University of Cincinnati (Ohio) (First reported 07-24-15): The officer who fatally shot Sam Dubose, an unarmed black motorist, has been arrested and charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. He pled not guilty during his arraignment. Video of the incident was released when the Hamilton County prosecutor announced the indictment. The camera footage contradicted statements and reports of the officer.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington (First reported 01-29-15): The City’s police watchdog agency recommended firing the officer who falsely arrested an elderly black man last year. The man, William Wingate, had been using a golf club as a cane to walk. The officer claimed the Wingate swung the club at her, but seven minutes of video contradicted her statements. Charges against Wingate were dropped with an apology from the City. His $750,000 lawsuit against the City is pending.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for DWI and placed on emergency leave.
  • Dallas County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store while in uniform. He allegedly used self-checkout on several occasions but did not pay for some of his merchandise.
  • Osceola County, Florida: A deputy was arrested for attempting to buy prescription pills from an informant.
  • Update: Ottawa County, Michigan (First reported 05-07-15): A deputy pled guilty to driving with BAC over .17, violating state’s recently passed ‘super drunk’ law that tacks on extra penalties for driving more than twice the legal limit.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-28-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 28, 2015:

  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: An officer received a 60-day suspension for repeatedly shoving bystander and injuring him.
  • New York, New York: The City is being sued by two men who shot at, one was hit several times, by a drunk off-duty officer. The officer is facing attempted murder and DUI charges.
  • Update: Cincinnati, OH chief viewed video evidence of a University of Cincinnati’s officer’s fatal shooting of Samuel Dubose. He said “It’s not good.” (Since this was posted to Twitter, the officer was indicted for murder. You can read about that here.)
  • New York, New York: Several officers were shown on video punching a subdued man they were arresting in a Target for trespassing.
  • Central State University (Ohio): An officer was arrested for OVI and possessing a firearm while
  • Sarasota, Florida: An officer made a homeless man play humiliating games for food and eat it off of the floor while in custody.
  • Medford, Massachusetts: A detective was suspended after threatening to shoot a driver in the head during a traffic stop. (with video)
  • Fresno, California: An officer resigned after being caught in a prostitution investigation.
  • Vermilion, Ohio: An officer was suspended from duty for driving with a suspended license. The car he was driving also had illegally transferred tags.
  • Vermilion, Ohio: An officer was suspended for 10 days after he drove to police shooting range while intoxicated.

Murder Indictment for U. of C. Officer who Shot Sam Dubose

The Hamilton County, Ohio prosecutor, Joe Deters, announced the indictment of University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing in the shooting death of motorist Sam Dubose. Tensing was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The Washington Post has a write-up here. A snippet,

“This office has probably reviewed upwards of hundreds of police shootings, and this is the first time that we’ve thought this is without question a murder,” [Deters] said.

While a university police report stated that Tensing said he had been dragged by the car before shooting, Deters said that the officer not dragged. Rather, Tensing fell backwards after shooting Dubose in the head, Deters said.

Deters called the situation “a pretty chicken-crap stop.”

Dubose was shot in the head after no violent action or involvement with Tensing. Without the video evidence from Tensing’s body camera, and no living witnesses to the shooting to counter Tensing’s initial statement, it is likely that these charges would never have been brought.

For more on police use of body cameras, check out our explainer written by Matthew Feeney here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-25-15 to 07-27-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 25 through Monday, July 27, 2015:

  • Watervliet, New York: An officer was arrested for allegedly having oral sex with two minors in public spaces.
  • Costa Mesa, California: An officer was arrested for insurance fraud. Allegedly, he falsely claimed he was injured on the job.
  • Update: Los Angeles, California (First reported 03-02-15): A now-former officer was sentenced to 36 months in prison, with 20 of those suspended, for assaulting a suspect in custody. The suspect, Alesia Thomas, later died.
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 07-18-14): A judge ordered the release of disciplinary actions records against the officer who choked Eric Garner.
  • Update: Española, New Mexico (First reported 02-24-15): A now-former officer had embezzlement charge dropped against him for lack of mens rea (criminal intent). He allegedly traded department ammunition for custom-made t-shirts.
  • Update: Minnesota State Police (First reported 07-09-15): A trooper pled guilty to driving 94 mph in a 55 mph zone.  He was fined $535.
  • Yell County & Danville, Arkansas: Two now-former law enforcement officers, who are also brothers, were charged with battery for actions against a 13-year-old detainee.
  • Update: Williamsburg, South Carolina (First reported 02-21-14): A now-former sheriff and a now-former deputy were indicted by the state for misconduct in office. The former sheriff has already convicted and sentenced to 30 months in a related federal case.
  • Update: Brusly, Louisiana (First reported 02-07-14): The now-former chief was sentenced to three years in prison, all suspended, and three and a half years of probation after pleading no contest to two counts of malfeasance in office. He had been charged with several felony counts for stealing seven department firearms and selling them. This was the second batch of criminal charges he faced for his conduct in office. He resigned after his first arrest in 2014 for using government credit cards to pay for his personal fuel in his car and boat 29 times totaling over $1,100 worth of fuel. He pled guilty to those charges and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
  • New Haven, Connecticut: An officer was arrested for stealing several hundred dollars in cash from a local restaurant.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-24-15

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

  • Hartsville, Indiana: A deputy town marshal was arrested for child solicitation.
  • Georgetown, Texas: An officer was fired for tampering with the rifle of a colleague.
  • Palm Bay, Florida: An officer was disciplined for using a confidential police database to investigate people she did not like.
  • Update: Mt. Juliet, Tennessee (First reported 04-24-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to federal fraud charges. He claimed $13,000 worth of overtime payments that he did not earn.
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio): A local prosecutor is investigating a fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist by university policeman.
  • Update: Richmond County, Georgia (First reported 04-17-15): An officer who had been accused of rape was cleared by investigators.
  • Iberia Parish, Louisiana (First reported 10-11-13): A now-former deputy was sentenced to one day in jail, on year of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service for striking a handcuffed teen in custody.
  • Portland, Oregon: An officer was placed on leave after he was accused of demanding sexual acts and a massage from a woman.
  • Update: Miami Beach, Florida (First reported 08-19-13): An officer will not face charges in the tasing death of an 18-year-old man in 2013. The family is likely to file suit.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-23-15

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

  • Buffalo, New York: An officer was indicted on federal civil rights charges for initiating a false arrest of a person.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer was arrested for DUI after allegedly striking a pedestrian while off duty.
  • Española, New Mexico: An officer was placed on leave and charged with battery. He has a history of excessive force complaints in two police departments.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: The sheriff’s office settled the discrimination and racial profiling lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Austin, Texas: An officer was fired for failing to report injuries on a call. This is his second termination from the department. He was fired previously for failing to report, but was reinstated by a labor arbitrator.
  • Update: Maypearl, Texas: The chief was terminated and charged with sex crimes against a minor.
  • Pocatello, Idaho: An officer was charged with assault.
  • Weston, West Virginia: An officer was placed on leave after a man died from injuries sustained during an arrest. State authorities declined to launch an independent investigation so it was referred to the
  • Update: Houston, Texas: A now-former officer pled guilty to aiding and abetting drug distribution. She faces 40 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-22-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 22, 2015:

  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested on dog fighting charges.
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer was fired after his arrest for sexual assault of a child.
  • Summerville, South Carolina: An officer was arrested for assault and battery of a woman.
  • Anderson, Indiana: An officer was arrested for OWI in Noblesville.
  • Update: Sacramento, California: A now-former officer was convicted for repeatedly raping an elderly woman in a senior living facility.
  • San Francisco, California: A now-former was officer convicted of bribery. He accepted roughly $25,000 in bribes over a two-year period.
  • New York, New York: Two officers were shown on security footage beating a man who had his hands up.
  • Habersham County, Georgia: A now-former deputy was indicted for lying on an affidavit and search warrant. The subsequent SWAT raid seriously injured a toddler when a flash-bang grenade was thrown into the child’s crib.

The Sandra Bland Case

From NBC News:

Last week, Sandra Bland was found dead from apparent “self-inflicted asphyxiation” in her cell in a Texas jail, three days after her arrest following a routine traffic stop.

Her puzzling death — she had just gotten a new job that she was excited about, her family said — has become the latest flashpoint in a national discussion about law enforcement in America. State and federal authorities are investigating, while Bland’s family and supporters say they don’t believe she killed herself and don’t trust the official version of events….

Waller County authorities have asked the Texas Rangers and the FBI to investigate Bland’s death, which was ruled a suicide by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston. Bland’s family has asked for an independent autopsy.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-21-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 21, 2015:

  • Greenville, North Carolina: An officer was arrested for assaulting a woman. The report noted that the woman had visible injuries.
  • Austin, Texas: An officer was suspended after his fifth automobile crash on duty in one year. After this latest incident, he failed to properly report the accident and left the scene.
  • Update: San Mateo County, California (First reported 01-06-14): A now-former deputy will be retried for assault because new evidence may support his self-defense claim made during his trial. He was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. The ex-girlfriend has since testified that the boyfriend had assaulted her before the former deputy was involved.
  • Update: Charlotte-Mecklenberg, North Carolina (First reported 04-28-15): An officer’s trial for the voluntary manslaughter of Jonathan Ferrell is underway. Ferrell had been in an auto accident and was seeking help when the officer shot him. The officer claimed he mistook him for a burglar.
  • Mission, Texas: An officer was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
  • Essex County, New Jersey: An officer was charged for tipping-off dealers in a sprawling heroin conspiracy.
  • Franklin, Alabama: The police chief was arrested for selling a firearm and ammunition to an undocumented immigrant.
  • Marshall County, Mississippi: A constable was arrested for He had previously been accused of DUI.
  • Update: Waller County, Texas: The death of Sandra Bland is being investigated by state and local authorities. Those investigations are being overseen by FBI. The arresting officer has been placed on leave. Video of her arrest has been released. Irregularities in the video have prompted deep skepticism.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-18-15 to 07-20-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 18 through Monday, July 20, 2015:

  • New York, New York: Nineteen officers in a Bronx precinct face administrative charges that they downgraded criminal charges in 55 cases over four months.
  • Apopka, Florida: An officer resigned during an investigation into his alleged illegal solicitation of prescription pills.
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer has been placed on leave during the investigation into his fatal shooting of nineteen-year-old Darrius Stewart while in custody. Stewart’s family claims that he had been taken into custody improperly because of mistaken identity.
  • Update: South Congaree, South Carolina (First reported 06-18-14): The now-former police chief was sentenced to four years’ probation for federal perjury after accepting a plea bargain. He still faces state charges for misconduct.
  • Buffalo, New York: An officer was suspended without pay after a five-year-old video surfaced of him striking a handcuffed suspect.
  • Put-in-Bay, Ohio: A now-former officer was indicted on 15 counts of misconduct while he was employed there. The same day, he was fired from Volusia County, Florida sheriff’s office. Ohio authorities expect him to turn himself in but have been unable to contact him directly.
  • Update: King City, California (First reported 02-27-14): The now-former chief faces trial for perjury and embezzlement. Three now-former officers have already pled guilty to various charges involving the scandal-plagued department.
  • Chandler, Arizona: An officer illegally entered a home and handcuffed a woman who was wearing only a towel. Charges will not be filed, but the woman intends to file a lawsuit against the City.

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