National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Two Year Anniversary

It’s now been two years since we launched — so here’s a brief update on our efforts.   We still consider the project a work-in-progress.   We’re pleased with what we have thus far produced and with the steadily increasing queries we receive from academics, university students, reporters, local activists, lawyers, and victims of police misconduct.  We also know that we are not catching all of the misconduct stories out there (much less the actual number of (the unreported) misconduct incidents).  Thanks to folks who send us stories–especially those who do it on a regular basis!  We will keep working to improve our reporting.

A simple and easy way you can help us out is to spread the word about our web site with social media.  So if you haven’t blasted one of our stories/posts to all of your friends lately, now would be good time to do so.   Thanks for your support.

Defunding Armed Federal Units

From Newsmax:

Federal agencies are increasingly granting agents the authority to carry weapons and execute search warrants, a trend that one congressman is hoping to reverse.

Rep. Chris Stewart is preparing legislation to defund the law enforcement units of agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency, whose primary purpose is regulatory.

“The fundamental challenge is that people like me simply do not trust the federal government any longer. We see examples of non-law enforcement agencies taking a very heavy hand, using armed SWAT teams against citizens, and that leads to an even deeper mistrust,” the Utah Republican told Newsmax.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-21-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, May 21, 2014:

  • Shreveport, Louisiana: A police officer who has been on administrative leave was arrested. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a single count of malfeasance in office, police said.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer was arrested on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.15 percent.
  • Trenton, Ohio: A now-former police officer was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he pled guilty to committing two felonies while in office. He resigned after being indicted on felony charges of tampering with evidence, theft in office, and unauthorized use of property.
  • Update: Battle Creek, Michigan (First reported 04-21-14): A police officer accused of using excessive force has been cleared of any wrong-doing.  He was seen throwing a man to the ground outside a liquor store.
  • St. Joseph County, Michigan: A prosecutor has called for the firing of a state trooper who pulled a gun on an 18-year-old woman whom he had stopped for speeding. A video shows the trooper leaving his cruiser with gun drawn, then handcuffing the woman and putting her in the backseat of his cruiser.
  • Davie, Florida: A police officer was fired after being involved in a hit-and-run while off duty. He lost his job after pleading no contest to leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, a second-degree misdemeanor.
  • Update: Washougal, Washington (First reported 03-21-13): A police officer who assaulted a mentally ill man, was fired and later ordered reinstated has now resigned. He was fired from the force for violating the police department’s use-of-force policy when he repeatedly punched a man. The man, who was mentally ill, was restrained and seated in the back of a patrol car when the assault occurred.
  • Dallas, Texas: The city council approved a $105,000 settlement for a man who alleged that officers used excessive force on him during the execution of a search warrant at his home.
  • Update: Fort Myers, Florida (First reported 07-12-13): A police officer, who was fired for using excessive force, is getting his job back. It was all caught on camera, but an arbitrator says the officer was doing his job during this arrest.
  • Chicago, Illinois: A police officer hit a handcuffed, kneeling woman in the head, while another shouted racially charged comments at her and threatened she’d be murdered during a raid of a tanning salon. The woman has filed suit, accusing the officers of a hate crime, excessive force, and attempted cover-up by framing her.
  • Update: Mount Pleasant, New York (First reported 01-24-14): The now-former police chief pled not guilty to child pornography charges in federal court. He is accused of downloading more than 120 files, videos, and images of child pornography.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-20-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • Pike County, Mississippi: A highway patrol trooper accused of raping a woman during a traffic stop is no longer employed. The trooper was accused, but not arrested when a woman claimed she had been raped.
  • Camden County, New Jersey: A high-ranking police official has been charged with lewdness after allegedly exposing himself in a coffee shop. His chief calls the allegations “deeply troubling.” Authorities say the officer pulled down his shorts while seated at a table and masturbated.
  • Clayton County, Georgia: An man filed a formal complaint against local authorities after video surfaced of an officer slamming him to the ground in front of his own home.
  • Aurora, Colorado: Motorists who were detained at an intersection while officers attempted to locate and apprehend an on-the-run bank robber have sued the city for violating their Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure.
  • Update: Pooler, Georgia (First reported 01-14-14): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for his role in hiding a multi-state pill mill operation.
  • Los Angeles, California: A sheriff’s deputy who allegedly fired his service revolver into the air after neighborhood kids pulled a prank has been arrested on suspicion of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
  • Pike County, Illinois: The sheriff has been charged with official misconduct and failure to perform duties in his role as the county’s coroner in connection with a death investigation. He is facing a Class 3 felony, which is punishable to between two and five years. He could also be fined up to $25,000. Serving as county coroner is part his duties as sheriff,
  • Chicago, Illinois: A woman is suing the city of and several police officers after her 5-year-old daughter watched an off-duty officer shoot and kill their pit bull puppy near their home.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An off-duty police officer was arrested on an allegation of drunken driving.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-17-14 to 05-19-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, May 17 to Monday, May 19, 2014:

  • Pottawattamie County, Iowa: A man says he’s still recovering from a brutal beating he took at the hands of the SWAT Team. Investigators agree false claims started the incident. The man is now suing the sheriff’s department for using excessive force.
  • Saline County, Arkansas: The now-former county sheriff was arrested and is being charged with felony abuse of public trust, felony theft of property value and misdemeanor theft of property. He is accused of reducing a friend’s community service sentence in exchange for having granite countertops installed in his house.
  • Update: Long Beach, California (First reported 07-05-12): A man who claimed police brutalized him during a raid on a medical marijuana dispensary two years ago is set to receive a $50,000 settlement from the city. Surveillance video that was uploaded to YouTube showed an officer stepping on a young black man. The officer is seen placing both feet on the back of the man, who was prone, before stepping on his neck while arresting him.
  • Pontotoc County, Oklahoma: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested, allegedly for not turning in evidence. The sheriff said the deputy was arrested after he failed to log an item into evidence as required by law. The item, a part of an assault rifle, was confiscated by the officer during an arrest.
  • Gueydan, Louisiana: A police officer was arrested after an investigation into unauthorized use of a fuel access card, officials said. The officer was booked into a correctional center on one count each of unauthorized use of an access card and malfeasance in office.
  • Los Angeles, California: A father who saw his unarmed son fatally shot by police on live television filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against the city. The lawsuit alleges that officers violated his state and federal civil rights when they fatally shot him.
  • Update: Birmingham, Alabama (First reported 10-04-12): A federal appeals court has ordered a new sentence for a now-former police officer who was convicted of beating a handcuffed man in the back of a patrol car. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a five-year probationary sentence issued to the officer falls short of the 70 to 87-month prison term federal sentencing guidelines call for. The appeals court says his initial sentence wouldn’t adequately deter other police officers from using excessive force.
  • Sheffield, Alabama: A police officer has been suspended from duty for what the chief of police describes as not following department procedures.
  • Pinellas County, Florida: A 19-year veteran was demoted from corporal to deputy and received a 56-hour suspension this month for his arrest on a DUI charge, records show.
  • Chandler, Arizona: Authorities say a police officer has been arrested after arriving at a job while drunk. The officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after arriving at an extra-duty job.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-16-14:

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, May 16, 2014:

  • Ocala, Florida: A police officer has been fired after being accused of stealing oxycodone from a woman from whom he was taking a burglary report.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: The attorney for a man’s father says he will file a lawsuit in federal court that alleges the 22-year-old was shot dead by two members of the SWAT team after he had surrendered to police with his arms in the air.
  • Hillsborough, New Jersey: A 69-year-old township man has filed suit against the township’s police department and two officers on allegations he was falsely arrested and the officers used excessive force.
  • Long Beach, California: The family of a man shot to death by police has taken the first step in filing a lawsuit against the city. Cell phone video of the incident appears to show him fleeing down a set of stairs toward the beach, his hands up and grabbing the handrail.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: A police officer was suspended after a chain of command board found he lied about an accident he was involved in. The officer was not supposed to be driving the car; it was issued to his wife. The board said the couple then persuaded the victim in the accident to lie to authorities and say that his wife was the driver.
  • Holcomb, Missouri: A police officer is accused of trying to hide someone involved in an investigation, according the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The officer faces felony hindering prosecution charges.
  • Update: North Port, Florida (First reported 03-21-14): A police officer who is facing charges of false imprisonment and being a principal to sexual battery, has resigned from the police department. She pled not guilty to charges stemming from an alleged assault of a woman at a birthday party.
  • Salem, Oregon: A police officer’s use of force is under investigation after he used his Taser on a 19-year-old man. The man said he’s looking for the police to admit his treatment by the officer was “out of line.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-15-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 15, 2014:

  • Flatwoods, Kentucky: The city council voted to fire the suspended police chief after finding him guilty of the charges that had been lodged against him. Those charges included insubordination, inefficiency, conduct unbecoming a police officer and violation of the city’s personnel policy.
  • Sunnyvale, California: The family of an alleged methamphetamine dealer shot dead by undercover officers has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, saying police shot an unarmed man without justification. The man was shot by five police officers and a sheriff’s deputy when he verbally threatened an officer and then “made a movement” that led them to believe he was armed. But no weapon was found, police said.
  • Helotes, Texas: A police lieutenant is on an unpaid suspension after surrendering to the sheriff’s office on a charge of choking the mother of his child.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: Authorities partly closed a freeway as they made a “high-risk” traffic stop to detain a motorist who allegedly brandished a gun at another driver. Turns out the driver was an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A man has filed a lawsuit against an officer, claiming the officer struck him in the head with a flashlight and “fabricated charges in an attempt to cover up the assault.”
  • Washington County, Arkansas: A sheriff’s deputy was fired after being arrested in connection with the rape of a man, according to a news release.
  • Update: Kannapolis, North Carolina (First reported 07-31-13): A now-former police officer and his wife have been sentenced for their involvement with child pornography. They were arrested by the FBI and charged with receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography and making false statements.
  • Update: Spartanburg, South Carolina (First reported 11-16-13): A former police officer pled guilty to a weapons charge; he fired a gun into a home.
  • Henning, Tennessee: A police officer is facing charges after an altercation with his ex-girlfriend. He was booked into jail on charges of official misconduct, official oppression, and felony vandalism.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-14-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, May 14, 2014:

  • Redford Township, Michigan: A couple is devastated after they say police shot and killed their 10-month-old puppy while they were chasing a suspect through their fenced-in backyard.
  • Update: San Jose, California (First reported 03-13-14): A police officer accused of raping a woman while on duty pleaded not guilty to two new felony assault charges.
  • Update: Los Lunas, New Mexico (First reported 05-04-14): The state police officer arrested after an altercation with a repo man has resigned.
  • Eugene, Oregon: A now-former police officer is the subject of an investigation into possible internet crimes against children.
  • Mountain View, California: A police officer was arrested on suspicion of felony possession and distribution of child pornography.
  • White Plains, New York: A now-former police chief has been indicted on child pornography charges. The federal indictment says he downloaded and shared three videos containing child pornography. He had taught sex-abuse awareness classes to schoolchildren.
  • Daytona, Florida: A police officer has resigned following an incident in which his body camera did not record an entire confrontation, which included another officer sticking a flashlight into a woman’s mouth, a report states. The second officer was fired.
  • North Olmsted, Ohio: A now-former police officer accused of allowing teenagers to drink at his house during a New Year’s Eve party will face only one charge rather than 31.
  • Update: Johnstown, New York (Previously reported 03-06-14): A now-former city police officer was sentenced to a year in jail. “I apologize,” the 32-year-old stated. “I was the adult in the situation. Quite frankly, I’m disgusted with myself.”
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A 17-year veteran has been dismissed for numerous violations. Police say the internal affairs division has been conducting an ongoing investigation into the officer. He knowingly falsified department reports and records in addition to lying about facts during an investigation.
  • Sherwood, Oregon: A teacher sexually assaulted a boy, and her police officer husband, and others, then intimidated, harassed and coerced the boy into not taking any action against her. The lawsuit that has been filed claims civil rights violations, assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment and intentional infliction of severe emotional distress.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: A man has sued a police officer whom he says beat him after he asked for his badge number. He claims the now-retired patrolman left him with lasting physical and psychological damage because of the beating.
  • Boynton Beach, Florida: A police officer has been placed on administrative duty after cell phone video that seemingly shows him assaulting a boy has surfaced on the internet.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-13-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, May 13, 2014:

  • Update: Scott Township, Pennsylvania (First reported 11-13-13): The President Judge agreed to defer a police chief’s sentencing until the state confirms that he will receive his pension, a determination that may not be made for seven years.
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (First reported 04-28-14): A now-fired lieutenant admitted that he abused his official power and accepted cash payments and other perks. He pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit extortion and violate civil rights and faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced.
  • Salinas, California: Police said two officers shot a man to death who acted erratically and attempted to stab officers. But, one witness said that the man was already on the ground and stunned from a Taser when police shot him at least four times. Police, on the other hand, said the officers felt like their lives were in danger.
  • Trumbull County, Ohio: The now-former chief deputy resigned as a result of an investigation that turned up evidence he used his position to aid his son, a deputy. An ethics commission found that he broke ethics laws that govern conflicts of interest.
  • Woodland Park, Colorado: The police are conducting an internal investigation into allegations of excessive force by an officer regarding the arrest of a 22-year-old woman at a local residence.
  • Pinellas County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after reportedly daring a St. Petersburg police officer to take him to jail.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Previously reported 06-14-13): A now-former police officer who used the internet to lure adolescent girls into sexual encounters was sentenced to 30 months in prison, minus 197 days for time already served. With good behavior, his remaining prison time could be reduced to less than 14 months.
  • McAllen, Texas: A now-former state trooper and sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to money laundering after a traffic stop revealed more than $1 million in the trunk of his car.
  • Jefferson County, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy is now suspended after a two month investigation; another deputy has resigned. It all comes after they went to serve a warrant and ended up inside a home which was a violation of department rules.
  • Greenwood County, South Carolina: The Attorney General says a now-former sheriff’s deputy has been indicted on a charge of taking more than $10,000 from the sheriff’s department.

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