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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 03-04-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 4, 2013:

  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania: An officer was charged with perjury and assault for attacking a man and lying about whether the man was drunk at the time of the incident.
  • Bradenton, Florida: An officer resigned after he asked out a domestic violence victim instead of filing the no contact order she asked him to prepare.
  • Saline Township, Ohio: The chief was arrested for OVI.
  • Richland County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired for writing a racial slur in a crime victim’s garage and charged with misconduct.
  • New York State Police: A trooper was arrested for stealing $22,000 worth of landscaping equipment.
  • Alabama State Police: A trooper who had been charged with rape and sodomy of a female driver pled to a misdemeanor. He allegedly put the woman in the backseat of his cruiser and threatened her with jail if she didn’t consent to sex. He was sentenced to six months in jail, to be served at his discretion.
  • Evanston, Illinois: An officer was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after ab off-duty hit-and-run of a motorcyclist.
  • Update: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (First reported 12-21-15): An officer had assault charges against him refiled for an off-duty incident during which he was working security at Heinz Field. The previous charges were dismissed, and he has been suspended pending expected termination.

Worst of the Month — February

So for February we have selected the reported misconduct of Officer Matt Rush from Champaign, Illinois.

Last month Precious Jackson filed a lawsuit against Rush and his employer for excessive force when Rush arrested her.  According to the lawsuit, Rush’s actions caused Jackson to lose her unborn baby.  Jackson also says that she begged to be taken to a hospital but that Rush and the other officers on the scene ignored her pleas and took her to the jail instead.

Local news agencies report that the City of Champaign has settled several similar lawsuits involving Rush to the tune of $320,000.  The police chief actually fired Rush for lies in police reports and omitting important details in the incidents he was involved in.

A labor arbitrator overturned the police chief’s discipline and reinstated Rush to his job.



National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 03-03-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 3, 2016:

  • Pasco County, Florida: A deputy was fired for planting drugs on a suspect. No criminal charges have been filed yet, but they are under consideration.
  • Stevenson, Alabama: The interim chief was arrested for domestic violence. He is the second Stevenson chief to be arrested in 2016. The man he was replacing is under federal indictment for civil rights violations.
  • Update: San Francisco, California (First reported 03-31-15): Two current deputies and one now-former deputy were charged for staging gladiator-style inmate fights by threat and assault.
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas: An officer was arrested for DWI after refusing a breath test. He resigned.
  • Oak Forest, Illinois: An officer was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing a teenager in an alleged hate crime in California. The victim believes that he was attacked for speaking Arabic.
  • Baltimore, Maryland Schools: The chief was placed on leave. Two officers were reassigned and investigated after video shows officer assaulting a student. One of the officers under investigation was fired from the Baltimore County Police in 2003.
  • Update: White, Georgia (First reported 01-26-16): The chief and one of his officers were charged with false imprisonment and theft for jailing people to extort them for cash.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer was placed on administrative duty for allegedly shooting up a car while intoxicated. He faces felony charges.
  • Columbia Heights/Blaine, Minnesota: A Columbia Heights officer was charged for an off-duty DWI in Blaine. A video revealed he was given “professional courtesy” after the arresting officers had discovered he was a police officer, at which time they disabled their personal microphones. The Blaine officers did not book him and drove him home.  The officer had a BAC that was two and a half times the legal limit. The video’s release prompted his arrest. It is unclear whether the Blaine officers will face any discipline for their actions.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 03-02-16

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 2, 2016:

  • Henrico County, Virginia: An officer was charged with malicious wounding for his firing service weapon into the car of a fleeing suspect.
  • Schuyler, Nebraska: A now-former officer pled no contest to domestic assault. He was sentenced to one year of probation.
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida: A detective was arrested for grand theft after stealing $1,300 in cash during a drug bust.
  • Montgomery, Alabama: An officer is under investigation for fatally shooting 58-year-old Greg Gunn, who was unarmed.
  • Maryland State Police: A trooper was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.
  • Update: Habersham County, Georgia (First reported 07-22-15): A family was awarded $1,650,000 in damages by two other counties for their officers’ role in a drug task force raid that maimed a toddler.  This suit was the last civil litigation from the incident. The total payout to the family from all parties was approximated at $3,600,000.
  • Naples, Florida: An officer was fired for lying during two separate investigations and suspected of other misconduct.
  • Update: Longwood, Florida (First reported 09-23-14): The now-former chief was sentenced to four years in prison for accepting $32,000 bribe from a felon to hire him as an officer.
  • Update: Texas State Police (First reported 07-16-15): The trooper who pulled over Sandra Bland and was indicted for perjury has been fired.
  • Kosciusko County, Indiana: The sheriff was indicted on ten charges of bribery, intimidation, criminal assistance and misconduct.
  • Cheektowaga, New York: An officer was arrested for DWI after a crash. His BAC was .19, over twice the legal limit.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 03-01-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, March 1, 2016:

  • U.S. Secret Service: An agent was captured on camera choke-slamming a Time magazine photographer at a Donald Trump campaign rally. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: An officer is under investigation for a domestic incident and a possible DUI. He was not arrested after he was found unconscious in his patrol car. He admitted to drinking and had a BAC well within the legal range. He has been placed on leave.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: An officer was suspended after he was charged in domestic assault incident.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An officer was arrested for a domestic violence incident.
  • Update: Richland County, South Carolina (First reported 11-05-14): Two now-former deputies pled guilty to tax evasion and agreed to testify against three other deputies who were allegedly were involved in the same scheme.
  • Newport News, Virginia: An officer was arrested for domestic violence against her husband.
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York (First reported 06-27-13): The now-former chief pled guilty to corruption charges after attempting to cover-up the beating of a suspect.
  • Washington, District of Columbia: A now-former officer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls.
  • Syracuse, New York: An officer was charged with grand larceny for double dipping.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 02-29-16

Here are the 20 reports of police misconduct tracked for Monday, February 29, 2016:

  • Jackson Center, Ohio: The chief was indicted for sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman. The incident allegedly happened at his home while he was in uniform.
  • Update: Christian County, Missouri (First reported 05-27-15): A now-former sheriff was formally sentenced to one year and one day in prison for embezzlement. This sentence was worked out in a plea deal in May 2015. He was accused of submitting around $50,000 worth of phony invoices.
  • Louisiana State Police: A trooper was charged with stealing drivers’ licenses and insurance cards to obtain prescription drugs.
  • Salem, Massachusetts: An officer was placed on leave and charged with drug possession for buying Oxycodone while off-duty.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: An officer was placed on leave and charged with DWI after crashing his truck.
  • Milwaukee County, Wisconsin: A deputy has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges for illegal importation of hunted wildlife from Canada. He was placed on leave for not reporting he was under federal investigation.
  • Harris County, Texas: A deputy was fired for a March 2015 use-of-force incident at the inmate processing center.
  • Worthington, Indiana: A deputy marshal pled guilty to conversion for stealing money from the evidence room. He was sentenced to one year in jail, with all but two days suspended, and ordered to pay restitution.
  • Thomaston, Georgia: An officer was arrested for signing an inspection slip for a truck that was stolen and that he never inspected.
  • Update: Chaska, Minnesota (First reported 05-05-15): An officer’s firing for racially profiling drivers was upheld.
  • Update: Clinton, Maine (First reported 03-28-13): A now-former officer was sentenced to 120 days in jail after he pled guilty to theft, perjury, and tax evasion for taking more than $16,000 in fraudulent workman’s compensation from the department. A domestic violence arrest cost him his job with the department and triggered the investigation that revealed these charges. The domestic violence charge was dropped, but he and the City were sued as a result of that incident.
  • Update: Hawaii Island, Hawaii (First reported 03-03-15): An officer was fired for fatally striking a cyclist one year ago. Although he was arrested at the time, the criminal investigation is still open and ongoing.
  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested and fired after he allegedly choked, kicked, and held his girlfriend against her will.
  • Update: Dover, Delaware: The officer acquitted of criminal charges for kicking and breaking the jaw of Lateef Dickerson has resigned as part of an agreement with the department. That agreement also included a payment of $230,000 in back pay and other compensation.
  • Iberia Parish, Louisiana: Five deputies (pled guilty to civil rights charges for the jailhouse beating of an inmate.
  • Austin, Texas: A officer who had been suspended four times for dishonesty and insubordination has been fired.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A now-former sergeant pled guilty to charges of voyeurism of a child. He was sentenced to time served, a term of just under two years.
  • Vancouver, Washington: An officer who also worked as an SRO was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Oakland, California: Four officers were suspended, one of whom was arrested, for an off-duty assault in December.
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts: An officer was placed on leave after a hit-and-run of a bicyclist. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

KVUE’s “Conduct Unbecoming” Part 3

Last week, Austin television station KVUE aired two of their four-part series on police corruption, “Conduct Unbecoming.” Last night, they aired the third installment, which tackles police misconduct’s price tag for taxpayers.

By their estimate, Texas taxpayers have paid out about $54 million in lawsuits related to police misconduct since 2009. In one case they highlight, Austin paid one million dollars to a Carlos Chacon, who was repeatedly tased and suffered lacerations to his face after he called the police at a motel. The judge in the case said, “[T]he worst decision he made that night was to call 911.”

In a separate incident, the same officer who tased Mr. Chacon was suspended 90 days for tasing a suspect twice. He is still an Austin police officer.

You can check out the full piece at KVUE here. You can read our take on part one here, and part two here.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 02-26-16

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, February 26, 2016:

  • U.S. Marshals Service (Albuquerque, New Mexico):  A raid on the wrong trailer killed the occupant, 23-year-old Edgar Alvarado. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
  • Newburyport, Massachusetts: An officer was allowed to resign without criminal charges after he was caught performing a lewd act in public.
  • Update: Fairview, Tennessee (First reported 02-08-16): The chief retired amid an investigation into the questionable hire of a man who was soon after caught in a prostitution sting.
  • Galveston, Texas: An officer was indicted on a criminal trespass charge for searching the vehicle of a man who was recording him.
  • Goshen, Ohio: An investigation and audit revealed missing money from evidence. All of the affected cases involved the same officer.
  • Lee County, Florida: An officer was arrested after a standoff with police. The officer allegedly fired his weapon while highly intoxicated during a family dispute.
  • Update: Albany, New York (First reported 11-23-15): An officer who had been suspended for a Halloween altercation with a child has been hired by Schenectady County Sheriff’s
  • Update: Del Rio, Texas (First reported 01-20-16): An officer who was suspended last month was arrested on assault charges.
  • Benton County, Arkansas: A deputy was arrested and fired for having sex with a minor.

National Police Misconduct Newsfeed Daily Recap 02-25-16

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, February 25, 2016:

  • Update: Spokane, Washington (First reported 07-17-15): An officer was suspended for five days after pleading guilty to misdemeanor trespassing for domestic violence arrest.
  • Marion County, Florida: Three deputies resigned after they were accused of misconduct. Dash cameras revealed one deputy was using excessive force, conducting traffic stops without sufficient cause, and conducting searches pursuant to those stops without proper consent. The other deputies’ violations were related to suspected drug use.
  • Columbia County, Georgia: Two deputies were arrested and fired for stealing cellphone accessories from a crash scene.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: An officer was arrested for threatening and hitting his wife with a gun. He is alleged to have said, “You know I can kill you.”
  • Winston County, Alabama: The sheriff resigned amid allegations he pressured deputies to give him marijuana.
  • Update: Chesterfield, Missouri (First reported 06-09-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to recording men in bathrooms engaging in sexual acts in two jurisdictions. He is slated to be sentenced in both cases in April.
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was fired again. He was reinstated after the DWI that led to his termination was thrown out of court. This time, he was fired for getting in a bar fight the night he was celebrating his reinstatement.
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 01-12-15): A review panel has recommended firing the officer who shot and critically wounded an undercover officer during a drug operation.

“Conduct Unbecoming” Part 2

On Tuesday, I shared the first part of KVUE’s four-part investigation “Conduct Unbecoming,” tracking police misconduct through the Texas criminal justice system. Part Two on conviction rates aired last night. You can view the video here.

KVUE’s data indicates that police are convicted at a lower rate than the general public, but the data is inconclusive due to the difficulty in obtaining records of the final dispositions. Many times, police officers’ convictions may be expunged after successful completion of probation or other non-carceral sentence. (N.B.: The general public gets these too, but the expungement makes collecting data about their prevalence virtually impossible to track and, thus, compare.)

KVUE also found repeat offenders who demonstrate histories of violence and other misconduct but remain eligible for law enforcement positions for lack of felony conviction:

KVUE’s findings also identified some officers have repeat offenses cleared in court. That includes former Austin Police Officer Leonardo Quintana, who shot and killed 18-year-old Nathaniel Sanders in 2009 while on duty.

A grand jury investigated and declined to indict him. The decision ignited outrage in Austin.

One year later, police arrested Quintana for assaulting his girlfriend. A jury found him not guilty. His records were likely expunged because the Williamson County Clerk’s office no longer has evidence of his arrest, despite numerous media reports of the assault.

A few months later, police arrested Quintana for a DWI. He was given a year probation. Today, he’s a sheriff’s deputy in south Texas.

As regular readers may recall, last February’s NPMRP Worst of the Month was a Texas law enforcement officer who held his family at gunpoint and had a standoff with police. He pled to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and was ordered to pay a small fine. Although he was fired from the San Antonio Police Department, the absence of a felony conviction means he is still eligible to be a law enforcement officer in Texas.

Read or watch the KVUE report here.

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