National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Cop Pulls Gun on Boys Building a Tree Fort


A fifth-grader says he was terrified when a police officer pointed a gun at him and his friends while they built a tree fort.

Omari Grant, 11, said he and his friends often play in a wooded area behind his home and were building a fort when a neighbor in the next subdivision called police to complain about what the boys were doing.

But no one anticipated what Omari and his mother say happened next….

Omari told Diamant that two officers, one with his gun drawn, rolled up on him and a few of his friends as they built a fort in the trees behind his home.

“I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said,” Omari said.

More here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 2, 2014:

  • Galveston, Texas: Twelve people say they were brutally beaten when more than 30 police officers burst into a wedding party at an outdoor bar. Police say the accusations are exaggerated and any force used was justified.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A now-former police officer withdrew his guilty plea to charges relating to drugs, assault, and promoting prostitution.
  • Bennington, Vermont: A man who police arrested after a car and foot chase is suing the town, police department, and an officer for at least $500,000 over an incident in which he was allegedly hit in the face with an object and denied medical attention while he bled profusely.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer pled guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. A state’s attorney said the officer sexually abused a child after knowing her and her family for years.
  • Dallas, Texas: A police officer was fired and arrested on a charge of sexual assault. He was accused of raping a woman without her “consent or awareness.”
  • New York, New York: A woman spent seven years in prison on an attempted murder conviction before it was dismissed. She said never laid eyes on the man she was accused of setting up to be attacked with gunshots to his chest and stomach. Her attorneys are filing a notice of claim charging false arrest, wrongful conviction, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other civil charges.
  • Charles County, Maryland: A sheriff has denied allegations of excessive force during a traffic stop. The victim says he plans to file suit.
  • Opelika, Alabama: A police officer shot an Air Force Airman in the stomach after the Airman and a tractor trailer had pulled over to the side of an interstate following a seemingly routine, minor traffic accident. The Airman was told he would likely have to wear a colonoscopy pack his entire life. His father says this is a case of excessive force. OPD, which has yet to file charges against the Airman, has suspended the police officer with pay as the state investigation continues.
  • South Bend, Indiana: Local pastors and activists gathered to call for the firing of a police officer accused of excessive force. A man was seriously injured and hospitalized after being arrested. The man has yet to be formally charged by the county prosecutor’s office and his family complained about the force used.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-01-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 1, 2014:

  • Dallas, Texas: The police department reopened a criminal and internal investigation into a police officer’s shooting of an unarmed man.
  • Harford County, Maryland: A sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to reckless endangerment stemming from an incident when he discharged his weapon after a confrontation with a driver.
  • Cascade County, Montana: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence. He was off-duty when he was arrested.
  • Warwick, Rhode Island: A rookie police officer and two other officers were suspended. Details about the rookie drinking and texting before he was involved in an off-duty head on collision were omitted from the initial police report.
  • Edison, New Jersey: Three police officers, including one who is already facing charges, have been charged with planning to retaliate against a North Brunswick police officer who arrested another man for drunken driving.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A white police officer should be fired for arresting a black teacher after a community meeting that addressed police relations with Pittsburgh’s black community, a board that investigates citizen complaints of police misconduct has concluded.
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 01-23-13): The city has agreed to pay $100,000 to a man whose beating by police officers was capture on surveillance video. Police were called by a security guard to say he found the man sleeping on a couch in a synagogue. The charges were later dropped after the synagogue confirmed he had permission to sleep there.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona: A 72-year-old man’s son says in court that an officer killed his father as he backed his truck into his own driveway. The claim says the officer needlessly fired 11 shots at the man.
  • Norwich, Connecticut: The family of a man killed by police has sued the city and police department, saying the shooting was wrong. The suit says the man was not holding a weapon when police began shooting, firing 41 shots, 6 of which hit him.
  • Orleans Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay after being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in a marked Sheriff’s Office car.
  • Spokane, Washington: A police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested for DUI.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-29-14 to 03-31-14

Here are the 22 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 29 to Monday, March 31, 2014:

  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 11-02-12): A police detective pled guilty to perjury in an affidavit and misconduct in office for obstructing and hindering an investigation.
  • Mansfield, Louisiana: A man twice-arrested for a homicide has filed suit in federal court, claiming the arresting officer fabricated evidence and lied during court proceeding. The first time the man was arrested a jury declined to indict the man, and the second time the charges were dropped.
  • Update: Newton County, Georgia (Previously reported 12-11-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  • Bayonne, New Jersey: The wife and daughter of a slain man, who was shot by police when a routine welfare check went awry, have filed a lawsuit against the department, claiming wrongful death and excessive force among other claims.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A now-former officer got three months’ house arrest and six years’ probation. He accepted $5,000 and skipped court so a man he arrested on gun charges could skate free.
  • Hidalgo County, Texas: Four people claim members of the Panama Unit illegally raided their home. They claim they were illegally detained as the armed men searched their home looking for money and contraband.
  • Update: New Hanover, North Carolina (First reported 11-04-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 12 months of probation, two days of community service, and stripped of his law enforcement credentials after using a stun gun on a utility worker.
  • Evanston, Illinois: A man has filed a federal court suit claiming a police officer used excessive force when the officer repeatedly hit him in the head with the officer’s gun.
  • Dallas, Texas: The city gave $1.1 million to a man for his claims that he was beaten and falsely arrested by police, and then spent 15 months in jail as a result. Dashcam video exonerated the man and showed an officer lied about the incident. That officer resigned. The police chief said that since this incident happened he has enacted stricter policies on investigations like this one.
  • Ramsey County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy who allegedly ran a car containing three children off the road has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
  • Flint, Michigan: A man has filed a lawsuit on claims he had to spend Christmas in jail when he was stopped by police while legally openly carrying his pistol. Police argue the man’s gun was concealed when he was stopped and the officer was within his rights to detain the man.
  • St. Cloud, Florida: A police officer was arrested and charged with domestic violence. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation.
  • Update; Eunice, Iowa (First reported 02-12-14): Three police officer face a lawsuit in federal court based on a video that appears to show use of excessive force on a man.
  • Franklin County, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy faces two counts of child pornography after authorities discovered the material on his home computer.
  • Portland, Oregon: A former U.S. Air Force Sergeant, who is now disabled, is suing the federal government and four federal officers for allegedly tasing him several times and striking him in the head and back as he tried to go through security at a downtown office for an appointment.
  • Tucson, Arizona: A University of Arizona student caught footage of a police officer knocking down a woman who appears to be walking by. A police spokesman said the department is aware of the video and it is being reviewed by internal affairs.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: A man said that he almost died after a car accident because police failed to get him medical treatment in a timely matter. When he finally did get to a doctor, they realized he had a serious head injury and needed emergency surgery to stop bleeding on his brain.
  • Hamden, New Hampshire: A police officer was given a 30-day unpaid suspension along with a verbal reprimand by the police commission after he was found guilty of two charges in an ethics and integrity case. He allegedly accessed a police system to help a female acquaintance.
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana (Previously reported 10-10-13): A now-former homicide detective agreed to spend three years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting three young girls.
  • Hall County, Georgia: A now-former deputy has been charged with stealing county property and violating his oath as an officer. The item he stole was valued at less than $1,500.
  • Update: Monterey, Tennessee (First reported 07-11-13): A now-former police chief will serve no prison time after entering a best interest guilty plea on charges of misconduct involving a surplus bulldozer.
  • New York, New York: An aspiring rapper brought a federal lawsuit against two police officers. He alleges that the officer barged into his apartment without a warrant to question another man, and then handcuffed him and ordered him to perform some “spits and bars” for his release.

On Improving Trust between the Black Community and the Police

From the Associated Press:

Henderson had just left a meeting of the Community Empowerment Association, which seeks to address problems in poorer black neighborhoods, and that night, had discussed ways to improve communication and trust between the black community and the police.

Henderson was speaking to a photographer for the New Pittsburgh Courier, a newspaper that covers the city’s black community, in the street next to Henderson’s car when Gromek’s patrol car drove by close enough that Henderson and the photographer pressed against Henderson’s car for safety.

According to his lawsuit, Henderson said, “Wow!”—referring to the speed with which the officer was driving down a narrow street.

Gromek then turned around, stopped and confronted both of them and asked Henderson, “Do you have a problem?” eventually arresting the teacher when he and the photographer started using a cellphone to record the encounter as onlookers gathered.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-28-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 28, 2014:

  • Cockrell Hill, Texas: The police chief has resigned after the city’s mayor says information showed he sold impounded cars from the front window of the police department.
  • Update: Manchester, New Hampshire (First reported 05-25-13): A police officer has been sentenced to one year in jail for leaving the scene after he struck two teens with his unmarked police car. He had been charged with conduct after an accident. Prosecutors said he was off-duty when he struck the teens from behind.
  • Rockport, Indiana: A police officer has been suspended following allegations of sending lewd photos of herself. She has been suspended for three weeks without pay for conduct unbecoming a police officer.
  • Tyler, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. He pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and less than 28 grams of crack cocaine, He was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: The parents of a 24-year-old man, who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy, have sued the officer and sheriff, claiming the shooting was unjustified. Sheriff’s officials were not immediately available for comment. However, the sheriff has repeatedly said the shooting of the unarmed man was justified.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer was arrested after being accused of mishandling evidence in five investigations he handled. A grand jury indicted him on three criminal counts of official misconduct, false reporting, and criminal conversation after an investigation.
  • Caldwell, Idaho: A family has filed a lawsuit saying that police violated their rights in a raid on the wrong residence. Papers filed by the police’s attorney dispute these claims, saying the officers did kick in the door, but followed proper procedures and policies based on information they had in an attempt to find a potential suspect and victim.
  • Tahlequah, Oklahoma: A police officer was fired after a six month internal investigation. The officer was charged with harassment after he allegedly threatened a woman he had been dating.
  • Update: East Hartford, Connecticut (First reported 11-09-12): A now-former police officer has pled guilty to possessing child pornography. He resigned from the police department after his arrest and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-27-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 27, 2014:

  • Las Cruces, New Mexico: Facing misdemeanor charges related to an early-morning crash, a police officer has resigned. He resigned after a hit-and-run crash involving his personal pickup truck.
  • Spokane County, Washington: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of on-duty misconduct and is suspected of having an affair with a woman while he was supposed to be on patrol.
  • Orlando, Florida: A police officer was fired after being accused of acting inappropriately by contacting and intimidating a witness during an internal investigation.
  • Oxford Township, Ohio: An officer resigned from his job after a meeting of the township’s trustees. He voluntarily quit his position after he was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence.
  • Huntsville, Alabama: A man who was badly beaten during an arrest has sued the sheriff and eight of his deputies, claiming false arrest and conspiracy to cover up a “revenge beatdown.” The man was arrested during a traffic stop, but had been involved in a bar fight with one of the deputies weeks earlier while the officer was in plainclothes.
  • Carter County, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested after he allegedly received sexual favors in exchange for not serving an arrest warrant.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: Three Secret Service agents were sent home after one of them was found passed out after a night of drinking in Amsterdam.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Two officers fired three rounds each at 38-year-old homeless man, who police say was camping illegally. The man died the next morning at the hospital. Police have said he repeatedly threatened them during an hours-long standoff and was armed with knives. Hundreds of people have protested the incident.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence. He and his girlfriend were involved in a verbal altercation, and the officer assaulted her by grabbing her around the throat.
  • Rockaway Township, New Jersey: An officer has been charged with official misconduct for allegedly trying to arrange a dismissal of charges for a relative.
  • Chandler, Arizona: A police officer was arrested on several domestic violence charges. He surrendered to the police department after he was contacted about allegations that he had assaulted his live-in girlfriend.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-26-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 26, 2014:

  • Shreveport, Louisiana: A police officer has been fired for violating departmental policies. He was previously arrested on charges of obstruction of justice after being placed on administrative leave.
  • Update: Schaumberg, Illinois (Previously reported 05-01-13): A former police officer accused of operating a drug ring with two colleagues was sentenced to 24 years in prison. He pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence
  • Salem, Oregon: Two towing company employees thought they were following their towing company policy and city code when they asked for proof of ownership and identification before releasing three impounded cars. The cars turned out to be unmarked police cars and the officers, who were in uniform, arrested the two men when they wouldn’t return the cars based only on the police badges the officers had. The men have filed a federal complaint.
  • Sabinal, Texas: A fired police officer was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography.
  • Update: Mille Lacs, Minnesota (Previously reported 02-11-14): A now-former sheriff’s deputy who volunteered at a summer camp has pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct. He could face 33 years in prison.
  • Beardstown, Illinois: A family has filed a federal lawsuit against a half dozen federal agents and the police chief over a search during which they claim they were assaulted and subjected to violations of their constitutional rights.
  • Chandler, Arizona: A police officer has been arrested for possession of heroin. He has resigned from the police fore. “Our drug policy is very simple, you cannot have any illegal drugs in your system,” said a detective.
  • Colchester, Vermont: A police officer is being charged with driving under the influence. He now on administrative leave.
  • Harris County, Texas: A deputy has been fired for stealing money he was supposed to have confiscated and held as evidence.
  • Bunnell, Florida: A police officer was arrested on child pornography charges after officials said he posed as a 16-year-old girl to solicit teen boys on Facebook. He was relieved of duty without pay following his arrest.
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (First reported 10-24-13): A federal jury has acquitted two former police officers in a case of alleged misconduct and civil violations. Prosecutors alleged one officer ordered the woman to undress and then masturbated in front of her. The defense attorney said that the act was ‘gross’ but consensual.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-22-14 to 03-25-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 22 to Tuesday, March 25, 2014:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer was suspended without pay after he allegedly sped away from a traffic stop. The officer led another officer on a high speed chase, but the pursuing officer ended the chase because of possible danger to others. The offending officer was booked on numerous charges including speeding and battery.
  • Los Angeles, California: A police officer accused of beating a teenage relative over poor grades and behavior has been charged with child abuse and causing corporal injury. He faces up to six years in prison if convicted.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer was arrested and charged with drunk driving after he allegedly crashed his car into a parked vehicle.
  • Key West, Florida: An officer was arrested on two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior for allegedly molesting a child younger than 12. He resigned from the department after being placed on paid leave.
  • Robbinsdale, Minnesota: The police chief resigned after his arrest during a prostitution sting. He was taken into custody at an apartment building after police said he paid $150 cash for sex and offered an additional $50 for sex without a condom.
  • Pitt County, North Carolina: A deputy was fired after being charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The officer worked closely with doctors and a pharmacist to curb the crime of misusing drugs. The sheriff’s office says a local healthcare provider reported him.
  • Yuba County, California: A sheriff’s deputy is facing charges that he beat a man unconscious and then intimidated witnesses. He posted bail after being arrested on suspicion of battery and threatening those who called 911.
  • Sewickley, Pennsylvania: A man who works for the FBI as a subcontractor claims police officers from three municipalities retaliated against him when he used his cellphone to take pictures of them after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
  • Update: Los Angeles County, California (First reported 03-14-14): A now-former sheriff’s deputy pled no contest to rape and bribery charges for a pair of incidents. He entered a plea to one count each of rape under color of authority and soliciting a bribe. He will be sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison and then must register as a sex offender.
  • Fort Worth, Florida: A woman has sued the city, alleging police officers assaulted her during an unlawful arrest while she was eight months pregnant, then took her to jail despite a paramedic’s recommendation that she should be evaluated by a physician.

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