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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-21-15 to 11-23-15

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, November 21 through Monday, November 23, 2015:

  • Update: San Antonio, Texas (First reported 07-30-14): Three officers who beat an innocent man under mistaken were suspended for five days. The man endured many injuries and was recently paralyzed in a surgery to repair damage to his back.
  • Update: Inkster, Michigan (First reported 03-30-15): fmr officer found guilty of assault and misconduct for beating Floyd Dent.
  • Albany, New York: An officer was suspended for 30 days for a Halloween altercation with children outside of his home.
  • Elyria, Ohio: An officer was indicted on charges of bribery, solicitation, voyeurism, and menacing-by-stalking.
  • University of Mississippi: The police are investigating contracted officer who assaulted a fan at the LSU game over the
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (First reported 02-20-15): A deputy was acquitted of falsification of documents related to an out-of-jurisdiction
  • Update: Shreveport, Louisiana (First reported   fmr officer charged w/ weapons violation for incident in Jan in which he shot at another man.
  • Middletown, Connecticut: A now-former deputy chief lost wrongful termination suit. He was fired for drinking while armed and in uniform on multiple occasions and being untruthful about
  • Denver, Colorado: A deputy was suspended for 30 days for using racial slur against inmate.
  • Bakersfield, California: A detective was indicted for bribery and drug trafficking.
  • Update: Orleans Parish, Louisiana (First reported 07-10-15): A now-former deputy pled not guilty by reason of insanity for violent string of incidents in July.
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A court has thrown out another 88 drug cases from the ‘Philadelphia 6’ police officers charged and acquitted for robbing drug dealers. 648  cases have been dismissed so far and another 600-700 are still to be reviewed.
  • Update: Blackfoot, Idaho (First reported 09-18-15): A now-former SRO pled not guilty to opioid possession. His trial is slated for January 16.
  • Mississippi Highway Patrol: A trooper was arrested for domestic violence and fired.

When Protectors Become Predators

From a Special Report for the Buffalo News:

A Louisiana police chief ushers a drunken woman to his office and forces her into sex.

A Utah officer takes advantage of a suicidal woman before escorting her into a hospital.

A Buffalo cop insists a vulnerable mother give in to him whenever he pounds on her door.

In the past decade, a law enforcement official was caught in a case of sexual abuse or misconduct at least every five days. Nearly all were men. Nearly all victims were women, and a surprising number were adolescents….

More than 700 credible cases from the past 10 years are now detailed, county by county and state by state.

The violators pulled over drivers to fish for dates, had sex on duty with willing or reluctant partners, extorted favors by threatening arrest and committed rapes.

In more than 70 percent of the cases, officers wielded their authority over motorists, crime victims, informants, students and young people in job-shadowing programs.

Read the whole thing.


Fullerton to Pay $4.9m to Family of Kelly Thomas

As longtime readers of this blog may remember, the Fullerton, California police violently beat Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old mentally ill homeless man, who died from his injuries. The arrest was recorded, and Thomas could be heard calling for his father as the officers relentlessly beat him into a coma.

Kelly ThomasTwo officers were fired for the incident but ultimately acquitted of criminal charges in the case. As opening arguments were set to begin in the wrongful death suit, the City of Fullerton agreed to pay the Thomas family $4.9 million as a settlement.

Ron Thomas said at a news conference that while the city acknowledged no wrongdoing in the settlement, it was a clear indication to him of its liability and guilt in the death of his 37-year-old son Kelly Thomas. Thomas said he feels vindicated by the settlement.

It is not uncommon for municipalities to disavow any culpability in settlements like this. But lawsuits are important nonetheless because they bring some measure of closure to the families who do not find justice in the criminal courts and incentivize governments to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

On Tuesday, December 1, Cato will host “Policing in America,” an all-day conference dedicated to discussing the policies and impacts of law enforcement around the country. The event will be live-streamed on the Cato website.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-20-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, November 20, 2015:

  • Athens-Clarke County, Georgia: A now-former deputy was charged with stealing money from a suspect he arrested.
  • Lee County, Alabama: A now-former deputy was arrested for sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old.
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina: An officer pled guilty to misdemeanor death-by-motor vehicle for a fatal crash in May.
  • Tallahassee, Florida: A now-former assistant police chief pled guilty to obstruction of justice, deprivation of rights, and marijuana distribution. He coerced a confession out of child sex abuse suspect through violence. As a result, many of the charges the man was facing were thrown out. In a separate incident, he was discovered to have sold marijuana. He is scheduled to be sentenced February 26, 2016.
  • Update: Bibb County, Georgia (First reported 03-13-15): A now-former deputy was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in a908 federal corruption case.
  • Marion County, Indiana: A deputy was arrested for drug dealing due to authorities’ cooperation with a confidential informant.
  • Update: Kern County, California (First reported 11-09-15): A deputy was convicted of recklessly firing his weapon outside of a casino.
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 06-18-14): A now-former officer was acquitted of cruelty charges for fatally slitting a dog’s throat.
  • Update: Millis, Massachusetts (First reported 09-08-15): A now-former officer was indicted for an elaborate hoax including a school bomb threat and staging a fake shootout.
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana: An officer who was fired for calling the police on his ex-girlfriend on false claims lost his appeal for job reinstatement.

The Donald Gates Case

From the Washington Post:

THE DISTRICT of Columbia’s agreement to pay $16.65 million to settle the federal civil rights lawsuit of a man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit should not be the end of this troubling case. That a jury found there to be egregious police misconduct demands rigorous review of other cases handled by the detectives involved, to ensure there haven’t been similar miscarriages of justice. Also needed is resolve by prosecutors and others in the criminal justice system to tackle the systemic issues that contribute to wrongful convictions.

Last week, Federal Judge Alex Kozinski was here at Cato to debate problems in our criminal justice system, including the problems that contribute to wrongful convictions.  That event can be viewed here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-19-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 19, 2015:

  • Carroll County, Tennessee: A now-former lieutenant pled guilty to federal civil rights charges for inappropriately tasing a pretrial detainee.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer was charged with assault and endangerment for off-duty February altercation at a donut shop.
  • Columbus, Ohio: An officer pled guilty to attempted unlawful restraint and ordered to pay $50 fine for actions while trying to break up a minor dispute.
  • Denver, Colorado: An officer was suspended for 10 days and sued for false arrest.
  • Dinwiddie County, Virginia: A now-former deputy was sentenced to one year in jail, with six months suspended, for assault and battery of a motorist.
  • Niagara Falls, New York: A now-former officer pled guilty to third degree assault for striking man with his motorcycle helmet during a road rage incident while off duty.
  • Bullitt County, Kentucky: A now-former detective was charged with unlawful access to law enforcement files while she was serving a suspension. She was fired in July for lying to investigators and continuing to have a personal relationship with persons known to be under federal criminal investigation for drug trafficking.
  • University of Massachusetts: A now-former officer was acquitted of all charges related to sexual assault of a minor.
  • Fair Lawn, New Jersey: An officer was suspended and accused of stealing supplies from a volunteer ambulance squad.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-18-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, November 18, 2015:

  • Update: Columbus, Ohio (First reported 09-08-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to embezzling more than $89,000 from Veterans Affairs. The VA continued to deposit benefits into her late mother’s account, and she used an illegal scheme to withdraw the money and use it for her personal expenses.
  • St. Lucie County, Florida: A deputy was arrested for her role in a large marijuana selling business.
  • Brown University: A safety officer was suspended and placed under investigation for assaulting a Dartmouth student. The university has since apologized to the student.
  • Ocala, Florida: A detective was arrested after confessing to drunk driving when an officer stopped to check on him.
  • Update: Colorado Springs, Colorado (First reported 07-29-15): A now-former detective pled guilty to a felonious attempt to influence a public servant. He was given a four-year deferred sentence that will be expunged upon successful completion of probation.
  • Fremont, Ohio: A captain was suspended with pay for an undisclosed reason. An investigation is ongoing.
  • McLean County, Illinois: A now-former deputy pled guilty to misconduct. He lied about his actions that led to an auto collision.
  • Cowley County, Kansas: A deputy was arrested for domestic battery and is no longer with the department.
  • Bexar County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child and subsequently fired. He was the fourteenth BCSO deputy arrested in 2015.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-17-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, November 17, 2015:

  • Update: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (First reported 10-20-15): The officer who fatally shot Corey Jones has been fired.
  • Danville, Kentucky: An officer was suspended for pulling over a school bus to confront child who was mean to his daughter.
  • Sonoma County, California: The sheriff is being sued by 18-year-old woman who was arrested with injury at her high school graduation party. The sheriffs’ office says the deputy acted appropriately. The body cam footage of the incident has not yet been released.
  • Denver County, Colorado: Two deputies who were fired were reinstated by the Career Service Authority. One was fired for using a racial slur that sparked unrest at a
  • Commerce City, Colorado: An officer was arrested for staging a shooting of himself during a fictitious traffic stop and filing a report that someone else did it.
  • Warner Robins, Georgia: An officer was arrested for DUI after crashing his car at the airport. He has resigned.
  • Pharr, Texas: A now-former officer was sentenced to four years for sexual assault against a child. He met 16-year-old girl while on patrol and pursued a sexual relationship with her.
  • Update: Orlando, Florida (First reported 07-10-14): A now-former officer was acquitted of battery and perjury despite video of him punching and kicking cuffed man and a report that did not match the incidents in the video. He was fired from the department when the video came to light.
  • Apopka, Florida: An officer was suspended for 20 hours for taking down a man who was standing outside of a cell phone store waiting for a bus.
  • Duval, Florida: A school resource officer was suspended for mishandling marijuana and not reporting a use of a baton against a student.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-14-15 to 11-16-15

Here are the 15 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, November 14 through Monday, November 16, 2015:

  • Update: Calhoun County, Michigan (First reported 06-18-15): A deputy was sentenced to probation and fined for a DUI crash and possession of a firearm while intoxicated in June.
  • Billings, Montana: An officer was reprimanded for inappropriately requesting personal information from law enforcement database. This same officer has been involved, but cleared, in two separate on-duty shootings and was investigated for illegal animal ownership.
  • Bethel, Alaska: A now-former officer apprehended in Anchorage. He was wanted for sexual assault and misconduct.
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation: A now-former agent was arrested for child molestation and related crimes for actions while he was employed there.
  • Michigan State Police: An officer was arrested for solicitation of prostitution in Lansing.
  • Nassau County, New York: A retired 20-year-veteran officer filed a lawsuit for false arrest and malicious prosecution. She claims she was stopped and arrested by white officers because she is black. She was acquitted of the resisting arrest charges filed against her due to the incident.
  • Kissimmee, Florida: A school resource officer was arrested for assault of a 13-year-old child. He was served notice for the department’s intent to terminate his employment. He has the right to appeal.
  • U.S. Secret Service (The White House): An officer was arrested in a sting for sending an explicit picture and other texts to a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
  • Lowndes County, Georgia: A deputy pled guilty to collecting over $300,000 in disability from the State of New Jersey. He had retired on disability from his New Jersey department and claimed he could no longer work in law enforcement, but moved to Georgia and held several law enforcement positions.
  • Saline County, Arkansas: A now-former chief deputy was sentenced to 18 months’ probation and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution for violating the public trust. She used her position to waive a fine in exchange for the offender to redo the flooring in her personal kitchen.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: A sheriff’s officer was arrested for smuggling contraband magazines and cigarettes into jail.
  • Yukon, Oklahoma: An officer was arrested for aggravated assault and battery against a woman in Oklahoma City.
  • Update: Seabrook, New Hampshire (First reported 04-11-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to 21 days in jail for assaulting a jail inmate.
  • Update: Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (First reported 04-27-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to assault for drunkenly breaking into an apartment and assaulting a man he believed was now dating his ex-girlfriend.
  • Houston, Texas: Three officers have pled guilty to ticket fixing. They received deferred adjudication, meaning their convictions may be expunged if they successfully complete their terms of probation.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-13-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, November 13, 2015:

  • Alachua County, Florida: A deputy was suspended while under investigation for domestic violence.
  • San Mateo County, California: A deputy lost his appeal of his suspension for dishonesty. He was accused by co-workers and inmates of inappropriate intimate physical contact.  He also faces criminal charges for smuggling contraband into the jail.
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was suspended for 20 days for threatening a woman in a nail salon. Video of the incident has been
  • Denver, Colorado: An officer was accused of having sex with an intoxicated mentally challenged woman while he was on duty. He was suspended for 20 days for failure to report to dispatch, but no administrative or criminal charges will be forthcoming because the investigation found that the encounter was consensual.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer who was arrested for domestic battery in January had charges dropped and was reinstated.
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 04-07-15): The personnel board reinstated an officer who was fired for having body cam off during the fatal shooting of Mary Hawkes.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida: An officer resigned after two fellow officers accused him of using excessive force and subsequently lying about it to cover it up.
  • Houston, Texas: An officer was arrested for smuggling people across United States-Mexico border.
  • Pharr, Texas: An officer was arrested in connection with a shoplifting incident by another person. He is accused of assaulting the store’s loss prevention officer who attempted to intervene with the alleged shoplifter.

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