National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

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.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-21-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 21, 2014:

  • Mesa, Arizona: Police detectives coached patients of a doctor to make false sexual assault accusations against him, of which he was acquitted after his name was smeared, the doctor claims of court.
  • Manteno, Illinois: A police officer sexually assaulted a woman and his partner and a Highway Patrolman covered it up, the woman claims in court. She sued the village, its police officers, and an Illinois state police officer in Federal Court.
  • Butler, Wisconsin: A police lieutenant has been charged with official misconduct by the county District Attorney. A summons to appear in court was issued after the DA filed a criminal complaint alleging the lieutenant took inappropriate photographs of a stripper who was being held, perhaps improperly, at the village police station
  • Dallas, Texas: The father of a 19-year-old shot and killed by a police officer has sued the officers and the city in federal court. The father says the officers are responsible for the wrongful death of his son. They initially believed he had broken into a house. That house turned out to be the boy’s childhood home, and the suit claims that the 19-year-old was “lawfully within [the] home” during the moments leading to the fatal shooting.
  • Montgomery, Alabama: A man claims he was run over, yanked and verbally abused by two officers and is suing the city for $100,000. The man is seeking compensation for insults to his race and damages to his leg, which he said separated from the bone after two white officers drove over him in their patrol car.
  • Homewood, Illinois: Three residents filed a federal lawsuit, claiming two police officers allegedly barged in to their home and injured an 82-year-old woman. The suit claims the officers came to the home and entered “without legal basis.”
  • Montgomery County, Maryland: A  police officer pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife during an argument inside their home. The 12-year veteran of the force pushed his wife against a wall, put his hands around her neck and threw her against a large desk, according to prosecutors. She was examined by doctors, and had bruises consistent with her account, prosecutors said.
  • North Port, Florida: A veteran police officer was arrested on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment, while a fellow officer took his own life before a warrant for his arrest was served.

San Diego Police Dept Now Under Review

From NBCSanDiego:

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an independent audit of the San Diego Police Department after allegations of sexual misconduct by uniformed officers.

The audit is expected to look at both the professional and personal aspects of the police department. It will examine the department’s hiring process, the supervision of officers and the process in place to detect misconduct, as well as staffing levels, salaries and vehicle locator records.

Former San Diego Chief William Lansdowne had asked for an outside audit on the department after allegations surfaced of uniformed officers giving women improper pat downs and exposing themselves to women.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-20-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, March 20, 2014:

  • Atlanta, Georgia: A police officer has been dismissed from the force for showing up to work under the influence of alcohol.
  • Bardstown, Kentucky: A now-former police officer who was under investigation has been indicted on drug charges. The officer was indicted “on obtaining a controlled substance by a misrepresentation, fraud or forgery.”
  • Update: Arlington, Texas (First reported 11-18-13): An assistant police chief will not be charged after being accused of domestic violence. A grand jury declined to indict him. He was arrested last year after being accused of assault by his wife.
  • Update: Normangee, Texas (First reported 01-27-14): A now-former police chief has been sentenced to 2 years of probation after he pled guilty to abusing access to a crime database at the request of a drug trafficking suspect.
  • Sebeka, Minnesota: Recently cited for driving while intoxicated, the police chief has decided to retire.
  • Detroit, Michigan: A police officer is charged in the rape of a woman who called 911 to report being assaulted by her boyfriend. The county prosecutor’s office says the officer was arraigned on second-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault and misconduct
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer has been arrested for sex offenses against a teenage girl. The officer will be charged with third- and fourth-degree sexual offense and sexual solicitation of a minor. He is a 19-year veteran assigned to the Special Enforcement Section.
  • Liburn, Georgia: An attorney is suing the city, its police chief, and a pair of officers, claiming that he was unjustly assaulted and detained while speaking to a client outside of court.

A Fundraiser for Corrupt Police?

From ABC.Local:

Some San Francisco police officers are coming to the aid of five fellow cops who were recently suspended without pay after being indicted on fed corruption charges.

Martin Halloran, the head of the Police Officers Association, talked with us exclusively about the fundraisers planned to help five fellow cops who are no longer collecting paychecks following federal indictments.

“They have mortgages and car payments just like everyone else,” Halloran said.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-19-14

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, March 19, 2014:

  • Fresno, California: A police detective has been arrested and is accused of taking a bribe. Federal investigators say he accepted a $20,000 bribe from a marijuana distributor and made that person a confidential police informant.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: A deputy is accused of speeding down a street and slamming into the side of a vehicle, killing the driver. He was traveling 81 mph in an unmarked SUV with no emergency lights or sirens activated when he crashed into the other vehicle.
  • Update: San Antonio, Texas (First reported 01-08-13): A now-former police officer was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for theft of honest services by wire fraud. He offered to not file a marijuana possession charge in exchange for $500.
  • Orange County, Florida: A man is suing the city and a police officer in federal court after he says he was arrested and put in jail for shooting video of an arrest on his phone.
  • Hickory, North Carolina: A police officer has been indicted in connection with an alleged beating of a female that the officer had in custody. He has been indicted on a charge of assault with inflicting serious injury.
  • Melbourne, Florida: A police sergeant and now-former officer are accused of burning a boat and then filing a fraudulent insurance claim. The sergeant collected $45,066.72 on the boat, but investigators said they believed the men conspired to burn the boat.
  • Update: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Previously reported 01-03-14): A police officer was fired for driving drunk and for other alleged incidents of misconduct. The city council voted 7-0 to terminate the officer.
  • Charleston, South Carolina: A police officer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
  • Brandenburg, Kentucky: A grand jury has indicted a former state police trooper and a former police officer on sex abuse charges. They are accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old. “We protect and we serve, to the best of our ability, and at times thing happen that may not represent our agency the way we want it represented,” said a state trooper.
  • Update: Collinsville, Illinois (First reported 03-17-12): A judge has ruled that an officer will stand trial for unreasonable seizure, false arrest, and unreasonable search after reviewing video of an incident.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: A detective has been charged with attacking his wife and father-in-law. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found the officer “extremely intoxicated” in the front driveway.
  • Update: Bloomington, Illinois (First reported 11-20-13): A now-former police officer pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol. He has resigned and is awaiting sentencing.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota: A man is suing the city, along with a current and former police officer, after alleging that police entered his home and pepper-sprayed and tased him while responding to a call about loud music.
  • Cecil Pennsylvania: A police chief was arrested by state police who said he used his debit card to take more than $10,000 from his department, sometimes to gamble. He has retired from his position.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-15-14 to 03-18-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 15 to Tuesday, March 18, 2014:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: A police officer has been arrested on charges of possessing a firearm in commission of a felony and conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
  • Wagram, North Carolina: The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing claims made by a business owner that a highway patrolman assaulted him without cause following a car accident
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer who’s already in hot water with the department was arrested. She was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest after a fight with her boyfriend.
  • Sussex County, Delaware: A state trooper was arrested for allegedly using a law enforcement criminal history database to stalk his ex-girlfriend.
  • Perry Iowa: A police officer pled guilty to an assault that happened when he was on the force. He has since resigned from his post.
  • Irwindale, California: A police officer pled not guilty to kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman during a traffic stop.
  • Boise, Idaho: A police officer charged with sexually abusing infants has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. He’ll have to serve 12 and a half years before he is eligible for parole. Prosecutors say there were likely up to 20 possible victims.
  • Fannin County, Texas: A now-former police officer has been indicted on five federal charges. The indictment alleges the officer sexually assaulted four women while serving as a sheriff’s deputy. The charges include deprivation of rights under color of law and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
  • Odessa, Texas: An officer was charged and arrested with two counts of violations of the civil rights of a person in custody and improper sexual activity with a person in custody. Police said in a press release, “The behavior [the officer] is alleged to have engaged in is unprofessional and illegal. It will not be tolerated.”

The Perils of Reporting Police Misconduct

From Radley Balko at the Washington Post:

A pretty awful new bill (PDF) in the Kansas legislature would require anyone filing a complaint against a police officer to swear an affidavit before the complaint will be investigated. If any portion of the complaint is later shown to be false, the complainant could then be prosecuted for perjury….

[T]he bill would prohibit any police agency from investigating a complaint against an officer if another police agency has already found the complaint to be without merit. In practical terms, that means a sheriff’s department or the state police couldn’t investigate the possibility that a city or town police department was covering up misconduct. It doesn’t happen often, but on a few occasions that sort of investigation has exposed corruption and patterns of misconduct. (This case from Kansas City is instructive, though it occurred on the Missouri side of the border.) Once an officer’s own police agency clears him of wrongdoing, he’s home free.

So you’re welcome to file a complaint. But the cop you’re complaining about will be investigated by his colleagues — and only his colleagues. If they find that he did nothing wrong, as they nearly always do, you could then be arrested for a felony.

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.