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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

The Walter Scott Case

Yesterday, South Carolina’s Post and Courier released the video of a North Charleston police officer fatally shooting a fleeing man, Walter Scott, in the back. After the North Charleston mayor’s press conference late yesterday afternoon, the State Law Enforcement Division arrested the officer and charged him with murder. Under Tennessee v. Garner (1985), it is illegal for an officer to shoot a fleeing suspect absent an objectively reasonable fear of danger to the public or himself.

Post and Courier

Photo courtesy of the Post and Courier.

The officer had originally stated that he “felt threatened” before deploying lethal force against the 50-year-old man. The police report also stated that the officer performed CPR on Scott after the shooting, but video shows the officers left him handcuffed and on the ground with no attempt at CPR.

You should read the full story here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-04-15 to 04-06-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 4 through Monday, April 6, 2015:

  • Vineland, New Jersey: The police department is being investigated by the county prosecutor concerning the death of a man in custody.
  • North Augusta, South Carolina: The city settled with the family of a 68-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police for nearly $1.2 million.
  • Broward County, Florida: Three deputies were arrested for illegal protection and security at a gentlemen’s club.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: An officer was recorded threatening a 17-year-old while handcuffing him during traffic stop. According to the news report, the officer said, “Plain and simple, if you f— with me, I’m going to break your leg before you get the chance to run. I’m being honest, I don’t screw around.”
  • Update: Eugene, Oregon (First reported 05-14-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to seven years for child pornography and hiding a camera to record people urinate in the police restroom.
  • North Carolina State Police: A trooper has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, and burglary. According to the news report, he allegedly broke into the home of his estranged wife and assaulted her.
  • Vidalia, Georgia: An officer was suspended without pay and charged with statutory rape of 15-year-old girl.
  • Victoria County, Texas: Two deputies were indicted by a grand jury for separate incidents of misconduct. One was charged with perjury, tampering, and official oppression. The other was charged with sexually harassing a suspect in custody and having a “sexual relationship” with her. He allegedly told her not to tell anyone, but she told her probation officer.
  • Ohio State Police/Lorain, Ohio: A trooper was fired for giving a ride home to a Lorain police officer who was driving drunk and the wrong way on a highway. The now-former trooper is the wife of a Lorain police officer. The officer she was driving home pled no contest to OUI and was ordered to pay a fine. He was suspended for two days in December and remains employed with the LPD.

Worst of the Month — March

For March, it has to be the conspiracy to frame an innocent man, Douglas Dendinger, in Bogalusa, Louisiana.

Mr. Dendinger agreed to take on the task of a “process server.”  That is, he would hand-deliver legal papers to a person who has been sued–putting that person on notice about the legal action.  In this instance, Mr. Dendinger was to serve papers upon a former police officer, Chad Cassard, who was being sued for police brutality.  Mr. Dendinger found Mr. Cassard as he was leaving the local courthouse and made the delivery.  At that moment, Mr. Cassard was in the company of several police officers and prosecutors.  These people became hostile and furious with Mr. Dendinger over what this lawsuit would mean for their friend/colleague.

Then the story takes a bizarre and disturbing turn.  Later that day, the police arrive at Mr. Dendinger’s home and place him under arrest on several charges, including two felonies (1) obstruction of justice and (2) witness intimidation.   Mr. Cassard and a few of his cohorts claimed that Mr. Dendinger had served the papers in a violent fashion.  Mr. Dendinger was in very serious legal trouble.  He was looking at many years in prison.

Fortunately, a cell phone video of the “incident” emerged.  Turns out, Mr. Dendinger did nothing wrong.  All he did was peacefully hand-deliver an envelope to Mr. Cassard.  The charges were then dropped.

But we now know that local police and prosecutors leveled false accusations about what happened that day.   Had the case proceeded to trial, it would have been Mr. Dendinger’s word against several witnesses with law enforcement backgrounds.  A jury would have been hard pressed to disbelieve several witnesses who claimed to see the same thing.  A miscarriage of justice was narrowly averted.

The cell phone video exposes an outrageous criminal conspiracy by officials in Bogalusa.  More here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-03-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 4, 2015:

  • Update: Brooklyn, Illinois (First reported 03-27-15): An officer allegedly ran a towing scheme to boost revenue for the city and his family’s towing business. The entire department is under investigation for its practices.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: An officer was suspended for four weeks after showing up to work drunk. He tested at .17 BAC.
  • Country Club Village, Missouri: A now-former officer was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to theft charges.
  • Tompkins County, New York: A deputy was arrested on assault and robbery charges.
  • Leadwood, Tennessee: An officer faces a felony child abuse charge for allegedly throwing a four-year-old against a wall in frustration.
  • Scotland County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s lieutenant was fired after a restraining order was filed against him for abuse.
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: An officer was indicted for fraud. He allegedly filed false ID theft reports to aid in an illicit credit-building scheme.
  • Hill County, Texas: The sheriff and chief deputy were arrested for falsifying documents and tampering.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 2, 2015:

  • New York, New York: A detective who is also a member of terrorism joint task force was suspended for verbally berating Uber driver. The incident was caught on video by the Uber driver’s client.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: An officer was arrested for pointing a rifle at his girlfriend during their breakup.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: An officer was arrested and terminated for fighting with a fellow officer. According to the news report, she was “clearly the aggressor.”
  • Jackson, Mississippi: An officer was arrested after an altercation with her girlfriend.
  • Update: Linden, New Jersey (First reported 03-24-15): The officer who was driving in a fatal wrong-way crash had eight prior crashes and one prior arrest for DUI.
  • LaGrange, Georgia: A detective nearly hit two cars before crashing into a home. He was arrested for DUI.
  • Galloway Township, New Jersey: An officer resigned after he was arrested for aggravated assault.
  • Update: Titusville, Florida (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting drug distribution.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-01-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 1, 2015:

  • Update: New York, New York/U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (First reported 09-06-13): Two brothers, one a now-former officer with the NYPD and the other a now-former border patrol agent, were sentenced to three years in prison for using their positions in law enforcement to smuggle assault rifles to the Philippines. A third brother remains a fugitive from the law.
  • Meeker County, Minnesota: A deputy was charged with assault. Allegedly, he used a Taser on a police chief from a local department after the two had an argument.
  • Update: Atlantic Beach, Florida (First reported 09-25-14): The now-former chief was sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to steroid possession and tampering.
  • Nye County, Nevada: A deputy was arrested for pointing his gun at his wife during a domestic dispute.
  • Update: Chattanooga, Tennessee (First reported 09-10-14): A detective who was arrested twice in four months—the first for DUI, the second for domestic violence—has been fired. His criminal cases are still pending.
  • South Carolina State Police: A now-former trooper was indicted on a narcotics conspiracy charge.
  • Larimer County, Colorado: A deputy has been accused of hit-and-run after crashing his pickup into a fenced-in yard on his way to work. According to the news report, when the police asked him why he drove away from the scene, he responded ” that’s a good question.”
  • Update: Leflore County, Mississippi (First reported 12-18-14): A now-former deputy to plead guilty to cocaine trafficking.
  • Frankton, Indiana: An officer was arrested for assisting a criminal who had outstanding warrants.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-31-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 31, 2015:

  • Tate County, Mississippi: A deputy was indicted by a federal grand jury for abusing a pre-trial detainee.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation: A now-former agent was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He pled guilty to 11 charges of bribery and obstruction of justice. He was part of a broader scheme to obstruct an investigation into defense contract kickbacks.
  • Update: University of Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX) (First reported 01-06-15): A now-former officer will not be indicted in shooting death of a student.
  • San Francisco, California: Sheriff’s deputies are accused of forcing inmates into ‘gladiator style’ fights. Four deputies have been reassigned from the jail pending an investigation.
  • Update: Cherokee, Georgia (First reported 03-23-15): A now-former deputy was sentenced to serve one year of probation, pay a $500 fine, and pay over $1,800 in restitution for taking paid leave under false pretenses.
  • Euharlee, Georgia: The chief and assistant chief of police were fired and arrested for theft of government funds and violating their oaths of office.
  • Indio, California: An officer is being investigated for releasing confidential information.
  • Update: Winston County, Alabama (First reported 06-05-14): A now-former deputy was sentenced to three years and nine months for extorting a woman to cook methamphetamine.
  • Indiana Excise Police: An officer was arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-28-15 to 03-30-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 28 through Monday, March 30, 2015:

  • Inkster, Michigan: Recently released dashcam footage shows an officer punching black man he already had in chokehold 12 times during a traffic stop.
  • Update: Madison, Alabama (First reported 02-11-15): The now-former officer who seriously injured and Indian national has been indicted by federal grand jury.
  • Update: Independence, Missouri (First reported 09-17-14): A now-former officer was indicted on federal civil rights charges for violating the rights of a minor. The officer allegedly tased the minor despite not being threatened and then deliberately dropping the minor head-first onto the ground, causing injury.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer arrested for driving his police cruiser while intoxicated. The arresting officer noticed him trying to park his cruiser and realized it had three flat tires and bent rims. He allegedly resisted arrest when he was being booked. This is his second arrest—he had been arrested and fired for assaulting his girlfriend but was reinstated after the charges were dropped.
  • Update: Greece, New York (First reported 09-25-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to child pornography possession.
  • Drug Enforcement Agency and Secret Service: Two federal agents have been charged with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the high-profile case against Silk Road. According to the investigative news report, “[The Secret Service agent] is accused of placing $800,000 of Silk Road bitcoins he obtained in a personal account on the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. … [The DEA agent] allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin payments from the Silk Road as part of his undercover investigation and transferred them to a personal account rather than confiscate them as government property. He’s also accused of secretly working for the bitcoin exchange firm CoinMKT, using his DEA powers to seize a customer’s funds from the exchange, and later using a subpoena to the payment firm Venmo to try to unlock his frozen funds there. He put the Bitcoin in a personal account instead of turning it over to evidence. He allegedly also tipped-off Silk Road as to the progress of the investigation against them.”
  • Idaho State Police: A major was arrested for misdemeanor DUI and placed on leave.
  • Falmouth, Kentucky: A now-former chief was indicted for theft. He allegedly took $10,000 from a drug task force and also sold a firearm purchased with government funds for his own profit.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-27-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 27, 2015:

  • Fresno, California: A deputy chief was arrested on federal drug distribution charges.
  • Brooklyn, Illinois: A now-former detective is accused of mishandling evidence. The department is now being investigated for broader infractions.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for repeated sexual assaults on a minor. He allegedly met the 16-year-old victim at the church where he was also pastor.
  • Burlington, Vermont: An officer was arrested for domestic assault.
  • Update: Carencro, Louisiana (First reported 02-12-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to federal extortion charges for protecting a prostitution and drug ring operating in a gentlemen’s club.
  • Marshall County, Alabama: Three deputies were arrested for criminal mischief. They’re accused of destroying campaign signs of the current sheriff’s opponent.
  • New Jersey State Police: A trooper was charged with assault for kicking a suspect in the head when he was handcuffed and on the ground.
  • Algona, Washington: The now-former interim police chief was arrested for stealing from a law enforcement youth program.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-26-15

Here are the six reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 26, 2015:

  • Thibodaux, Louisiana: An officer pled guilty to reckless driving in Florida. He was originally charged with DUI.
  • Omaha, Nebraska: An officer resigned after he was involved in a fatal shooting at a robbery scene. This was his second on-duty shooting. A grand jury declined to indict so there will be no criminal charges filed.
  • Update: Williamsburg County, South Carolina (First report 02-21-14): The now-former sheriff was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He was found guilty of fraud for filing false stolen identity reports. A credit agency “suppressed over $11 million in trade liens and public debt from over 130 consumer credit reports that falsely and fraudulently improved credit histories and scores.”
  • Montville Township, Ohio: An officer was convicted on one of two charges of animal cruelty for leaving his K-9 partner in a hot car. The K-9 died. The officer was sentenced to pay a $500 fine. He was suspended by the department for two weeks for violating procedures.
  • Olmstead Township, Ohio: An officer pled not guilty to a DUI charge. He failed a field sobriety test.
  • New Haven, Connecticut: An officer was placed on administrative duty after video of his takedown of a 15-year-old girl sparked protests.

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