As seen in...
Washington Post
The Economist
ABC News
The Atlantic
National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-04-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, December 4, 2015:

  • Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin: An officer was arrested for opioid possession.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: An officer was arraigned on felony weapons charges and suspended.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A now-former detective who is already imprisoned for sex crimes is now under federal investigation for witness tampering while he was still on the force in an unrelated case.
  • DeKalb County, Illinois: Two deputies are facing administrative charges for engaging in a high-speed pursuit that ended in a fatal crash.
  • Marion County, Florida: Two deputies were suspended without pay and ordered to retrain on the use-of-force for their involvement in a beating and false reporting case involving other deputies. Four deputies were terminated and convicted on criminal charges.
  • SUNY-Brockport: An officer was arrested for falsifying records to access police database for background checks on tenants.
  • Orange, New Jersey: An officer was arrested for groping a woman during a traffic stop.
  • Marion County, Florida: A deputy was reassigned and suspended 40 hours after threatening a state trooper via cell phone.
  • Update: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: Two officers who were acquitted of perjury and their supervisor have been fired.

DOJ Will Now Investigate Chicago Police Department

This morning the Department of Justice announced that it will be launching a broad civil rights investigation of the Chicago Police Department.  Federal investigators are already conducting their own probe into the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.  Today’s announcement goes well beyond that particular case and will be looking at whether there is a pattern or practice of police misconduct in the City of Chicago.

Civil rights advocates and police reformers typically welcome these announcements from federal authorities.  They believe federal intervention will finally bring about needed reforms.  That view is sadly mistaken.  The scrutiny on the Mayor and City Council is now intense.  There is no better time to overhaul the department. The immediate effect of this announcement is to postpone action.  The opportunity for real change is going to slip by.  Chicago does not need another report and more promises of reform.  It needs an overhaul–and it needs one now.

Related Cato work here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-03-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, December 3, 2015:

  • Village of Holley, New York: An officer was arrested for
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: An officer was arrested for solicitation of prostitution.
  • Update: Prince George’s County, Maryland (First reported 03-23-15): An officer was convicted of assault for pointing his gun at a man’s head during videotaped altercation.
  • Update: Spokane, Washington (First reported 10-30-15): An officer was charged with 2nd degree rape of a county sheriff’s office employee. Two others have been suspended in relation to that case.
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer is under investigation for fatal shooting of Ronald Johnson III. Dashcam footage is scheduled to be released Monday.
  • Mt. Prospect, Illinois: An officer pled guilty to resisting arrest during a domestic violence arrest. He filed to retract his plea in the face of termination.
  • Lafayette Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was arrested for conspiracy to harm jail inmate. The deputy is accused of trying to transfer an inmate to an area of the jail where the deputy knew other inmates intended to harm the inmate.
  • Dillon County, South Carolina: A deputy was arrested in Florence County for a domestic violence incident.
  • Update: Huntsville, Alabama (First reported 11-20-12): A now-former officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with four having already been served, for an excessive force conviction. He also lied about the incident under oath and had kept the victim’s boots as a trophy of the incident, but the judge cited his exemplary military record as a reason to sentence him well below the sentencing guidelines and the prosecutor’s recommendations.
  • Update: Denver, Colorado (First reported 07-18-14): A deputy who had been fired for striking inmate in the face was reinstated by Career Service Board.

‘Policing in America’ Conference

This week, Cato hosted an all-day conference, “Policing in America.” We brought together experts with different perspectives to discuss the opportunities and pitfalls facing police organizations today. The video of the event is below and will be available in the Cato event archives.

It was a great event all around. The speakers were able to distill complex problems and incentives into easy-to-understand presentations. Experts and laypersons alike came away with some new information that can be used to frame the policing debate in the months and years ahead. I encourage you to check out each panel and guest speaker in the videos below.

Welcoming Remarks and Panel 1: The Costs and Benefits of Emerging Police Technologies

Remarks by Jonathan Blanks, Cato Institute

Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, American Civil Liberties Union
Alex Rosenblat, Researcher and Technical Writer, Data & Society Research Institute
Lynn Overmann, Senior Policy Advisor to the US Chief Technology Officer at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy
Moderated by Matthew Feeney, Cato Institute

Continue Reading →

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 12-01-15 to 12-02-15

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 2, 2015:

  • San Francisco, California: A well-known officer was arrested for felony hit-and-run on two pedestrians who were treated for injuries.
  • Pittsfield, Massachusetts: An officer was fired after an Internal Affairs investigation revealed he stole $150,000 from the police union.
  • Chelsea, Massachusetts: Two officers were cleared by Suffolk County district attorney for the 2014 Tasing death of Dominic Graffeo.
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer was arrested for DWI while on duty after colleagues reported smelling alcohol on him.
  • Update: Pitt County, North Carolina (First reported 03-18-15): A now-former deputy was sentenced to four months in jail (time served), with 13-16 months suspended, and three years of probation for initiating and maintaining a sexual relationship with a student where he was SRO. The student was 15-years-old when the relationship started and continued through her graduation from the school. He will be required to be on the sex offender registry for at least ten years.
  • Update: Los Angeles County, California: Two now-former deputies were sentenced for severely beating a handcuffed jail visitor. One was sentenced to six years in prison; the other was sentenced to seven years. Their supervisor, who also pled guilty with them in June, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (First reported 03-17-15): A deputy was granted a Stand Your Ground hearing for an intoxicated off-duty shooting of the boyfriend of a woman the deputy had been visiting.
  • Update: Miami-Dade County, Florida (First reported 06-19-15): A detective pled guilty to stealing jewelry, including a Cartier watch, during the execution of drug-related search warrant.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer was suspended and arrested for felony assistance of a criminal and providing false statements. The officer allegedly covered for his live-in girlfriend who had missed court dates and violated no-contact orders from the court.
  • Watervliet, New York: An officer was suspended and is now under investigation for misconduct. The case is related to the case of Jason Spratt, a now-former officer who was arrested for sexual misconduct against a student where he was SRO. The alleged misconduct by this officer is not, however, reported to be sexual in nature.
  • Chilton County, Alabama: A deputy and SRO pled guilty to sex crimes against students including enticement, sex with a child, and second-degree rape. He originally faced 47 charges of sexual misconduct. The prosecutor is recommending 20-year sentences on all the charges to which he pled guilty, to be served concurrently.
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for indecent exposure and DWI after he was found unconscious in his car with his genitals exposed.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested for assaulting a woman, perhaps breaking her nose, during an off-duty domestic incident on Thanksgiving.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-26-15 to 11-30-15

Here are the 16 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 26 through Monday, November 30, 2015:

  • Update: Chelsea, Massachusetts (First reported 08-13-15): An officer pled guilty to assault & battery and false reporting for assaulting a man in custody and then trying to cover it up. 
  • Update: Omaha, Nebraska (First reported 08-11-15): An officer was found not guilty of third-degree domestic assault in a bench trial. 
  • Update: New Albany, Mississippi (First reported 11-23-15): An officer has been suspended for the duration of an FBI investigation into an alleged assault at the LSU/University of Mississippi football game. He was working part-time for the university police. 
  • Germantown, Tennessee: An officer was suspended for lying and other violations after mistreating a motorist during a traffic stop. 
  • Update: Murfreesboro, Tennessee (First reported 11-25-15): An officer who had been arrested for aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor was fired. 
  • Sabine Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was arrested for domestic battery. 
  • Cleburne, Texas: An officer was arrested for DWI. 
  • Florida Department of Corrections: Nine officers were among 50 people arrested for roles in a prescription opioid distribution ring. 
  • Update: Kissimmee, Florida (First reported 06-02-15): An SRO was fired for assaulting a 13-year-old student in May. He faces criminal charges for the incident. 
  • Hammond, Indiana: An officer was fired and named as a person of interest in the shooting death of the mother of his children. 
  • Nazareth, Pennsylvania: The City settled two lawsuits by now-former officers for $500,000. The suits claimed retaliation, racism, and sexual harassment. 
  • Adams County, Colorado: A deputy was indicted for assault for kicking a restrained man in May. 
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: An officer was arrested for attacking his wife’s family member. This is his second arrest for family violence. 
  • Mishawaka, Indiana: An officer was on leave after an arrest for OUI. He also was cited for speeding. 
  • Los Angeles County, California: A deputy is under investigation for sexually abusing female jail inmates. 
  • Albertville, Alabama: An officer was arrested with his wife for domestic violence. 

Trouble in Chicago

From a New York Times editorial:

The cover-up that began 13 months ago when a Chicago police officer executed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on a busy street might well have included highly ranked officials who ordered subordinates to conceal information. But the conspiracy of concealment exposed last week when the city, under court order, finally released a video of the shooting could also be seen as a kind of autonomic response from a historically corrupt law enforcement agency that is well versed in the art of hiding misconduct, brutality — and even torture.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel demonstrated a willful ignorance when he talked about the murder charges against the police officer who shot Mr. McDonald, seeking to depict the cop as a rogue officer. He showed a complete lack of comprehension on Tuesday when he explained that he had decided to fire his increasingly unpopular police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, not because he failed in his leadership role, but because he had become “a distraction.”

Mr. Emanuel’s announcement that he had appointed a task force that will review the Police Department’s accountability procedures is too little, too late. The fact is, his administration, the Police Department and the prosecutor’s office have lost credibility on this case.

Still more on cover-up allegations here.

NewsFeed Break–Policing in America

Today, Cato is hosting an all-day conference to discuss the state of American policing. Consequently, the NPMRP NewsFeed will be on hiatus for the day but will be up and running again on Wednesday.

You can livestream the ‘Policing in America’ event here starting at 9am ET. The program is scheduled to run until 4pm. You can follow and interact with the conversation on Twitter at #PolicingUS. For those who can’t watch live, the event will be archived on the Cato website later this week.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-25-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, November 25, 2015:

  • Duluth, Minnesota: An officer was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee: An officer was arrested on child pornography charges.
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois: The superintendent moved to fire officer who fatally shot Rekia Boyd from a moving car while he was off duty. The officer was previously acquitted of criminal charges in the case.
  • Loveland, Colorado: A detective pled not guilty to attempting to influence a public servant.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: A deputy was arrested for stealing $20,000 from the police lodge.
  • Mahnomen, North Dakota: An officer was arrested for DWI.
  • Update: Brevard County, Florida (First reported 09-14-15): Two now-former deputies will not be charged in connection with a prostitution
  • Update: North Chicago, Illinois (First reported 12-06-11): The City settled with the family of a man who died a week after he was beaten by officers for $3,000,00.
  • Update: Sacramento, California (First reported 12-27-12): A now-former officer was sentenced to life in prison for repeatedly raping elderly stroke victim in a nursing home over two years.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-24-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, November 24, 2015:

  • El Paso County, Colorado: A deputy was arrested on an assault charge for actions against jail inmate in September.
  • Panola County, Mississippi: A deputy was arrested for DUI.
  • Update: Fullerton, California (First reported07-28-11): The City agreed to pay $4.9 million to the family of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death by police in 2011. Two officers were fired because of the incident but were ultimately acquitted of criminal charges.
  • Chicago, Illinois: Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. Video of the shooting was released to the public Tuesday evening. Protests were largely peaceful.
  • Hidalgo County, Texas: A deputy was arrested for DWI.
  • Del Rio, Texas: An officer was arrested for DUI.
  • Blue Island, Illinois: An officer was arrested for sexual assault.
  • Lyon County, Kansas: A deputy was suspended after his arrest for involuntary manslaughter and other charges as a result of 2012 automobile crash.
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida: An officer was fired for actions at a bar and being untruthful about those actions afterward.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: An officer pled guilty to participating in a mortgage fraud scheme. He allegedly prepared and submitted false documents.

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