National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-15-15

These are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 15, 2015:

  • Update: Buffalo, New York (First reported 08-12-14): A now-former police officer was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 for his role in a large marijuana grow operation.
  • Titusville, Florida (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former officer was found guilty on drug conspiracy charges. He accepted $500 to guard what he believed to be a cocaine deal while he was in uniform. He also accessed police database in furtherance of his illicit activities.
  • Los Angeles County, California: Three deputies have been suspended while they are investigated for bribery involving a towing scheme. No criminal charges have been filed yet so their names and other details have not been released. 
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 06-18-14): One of the two officers charged with animal cruelty for slitting a dog’s throat had his case dismissed. Charges against the other officer are still pending. 
  • Shelby County, Tennessee: A deputy has been suspended while he is investigated for assaulting his girlfriend’s two-year-old child. He allegedly disciplined the child for having a dirty diaper. 
  • Durham, North Carolina: An officer was suspended because he is being investigated for domestic assault against his wife. 
  • Update: Bridgeport, Connecticut (First reported 08-08-14): One of the three police officers caught on video “stomping” a suspect in a park was acquitted for civil rights violations after a three day federal trial. The other two now-former officers previously pled guilty and did not testify in this trial. 
  • Update: Tuckerton, New Jersey (First reported 04-15-14): An officer was indicted on falsification charges stemming from an incident where he sicced a K9 on a 57-year-old woman in custody. The prosecutor alleged the officer lied on official documents to cover-up his conduct. 
  • Coraopolis, Pennsylvania: The police chief was charged for his role in a vehicular accident that left a woman seriously injured. ly/HnOXX 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-14-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 14, 2015:

  • Polk County, Florida: A deputy faces a domestic violence charge after an argument with his wife at their home. Both he and his wife were charged in the incident.
  • Update: Irwindale, California (First reported 03-18-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually assaulting woman during a traffic stop. He had pled no contest to charges of oral copulation under color of authority and sexual battery by restraint. 
  • Chatham County, Georgia: Two deputies were put on leave for “inappropriate actions” after a mentally ill man died in custody. The man’s girlfriend had given the arresting officers his medication and requested that he be taken to the hospital because he was having a bi-polar episode, but he was instead taken to the jail. He was found non-responsive in a restraining chair in his cell after an altercation with deputies at the jail. The investigation into his death is on-going. 
  • Orlando, Florida: An officer was suspended for eight hours for inadequately searching the area after a car was reported to have been driven into a pond. The body of the driver was found in the car in the pond one month after the first report of the incident. The department announced it changed policies regarding searches in bodies of water. 
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 07-13-12): A now-former officer was sentenced to 15.5-23.5 years in prison for fraud, counterfeiting, and conspiring to kill a witness. According to the news report, this sentence will run concurrently with the 12.5-14.5 years he is serving for robbery and drug charges. The officer’s actions were uncovered in an investigation originally opened to look into his ticket-fixing scheme. The investigation uncovered widespread misconduct and corruption in the NYPD, resulting in the indictments of 15 officers and administrative sanctions against “hundreds of others.” 
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for domestic violence and home invasion. According to the news report, the officer kicked down a door during a domestic argument in the middle of the night. 
  • Miami-Dade, Florida: A police officer was jailed for aggravated assault for shooting at a correctional officer in alleged road rage incident. The officer was off-duty when he allegedly shot out of the window of the vehicle he was in and hit the taillight of the corrections officer. 
  • Update: Jersey City, New Jersey (First reported 08-06-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing 600,000 cigarettes and extorting $20,000 from a suspected drug courier. The courier was actually an undercover FBI agent. 
  • Update: Trumbull, Connecticut (First reported 02-26-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and 10 years of probation for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a police youth program. He took her to his home, ordered her into his bedroom, and sexually assaulted her there. He received half of the 5 year sentence agreed-to in a plea bargain because of his “years of good service with the police department,” according to news reports.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-13-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 13, 2015:

  • Pacific Grove, California: A now-former commander already convicted of extortion, fraud, and criminal threats pled guilty to fraudulently accepting dozens of firearms on behalf of the department. A police academy at which he had been an instructor closed its doors and its guns were to be liquidated. Instead, he consigned many of them to a dealer who sold them for profit. 
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (Salt Lake City, Utah): An agent was arrested for aggravated assault in a domestic incident involving his live-in girlfriend. According to the news report, the agent is accused of being belligerently drunk when he “grabbed her by her hair, threw her to the ground caus[ed] her head to hit the floor and “strangled her.”” 
  • Ocean County, New Jersey: A detective arrested a man for video recording car accident scene. According to the television news report, the citizen-journalist had been granted access to the crash site by other first responders and had promised to provide a copy of the evidence to investigators afterward. After about 45 minutes of filming, the detective approached the man and demanded he relinquish his device under penalty of arrest, saying “This is not a negotiation. Does it sound like I’m negotiating with you?” After the arrest, the prosecutor told the television station that the obstruction charges against the man would be dropped and that another detective from his office had been involved in the accident.
  • Homerville, Georgia: An officer arrested was for sexual assault of a female jail inmate. The officer is alleged to have taken the inmate to another location in the county where they had consensual sex. Afterward, he returned the inmate to jail. 
  • Signal Mountain, Tennessee: An officer was charged with domestic assault. According to the news report, the inebriated officer got in an altercation with his girlfriend near a downtown Chattanooga hotel. 
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina: An officer was arrested for DWI. He is the sixth officer from the department that has been arrested in the last six months. A local attorney said, “It lends a lot of credibility to the …department that they have charged and arrested one of their own for a criminal offense.” 
  • Duluth, Georgia: An officer was fired after being arrested for sexual battery of an acquaintance. He allegedly touched her buttocks without permission. 
  • Brooklet, Georgia: An officer was fired for improperly sharing personal information of the candidates applying to be the next chief. He shared résumés and other materials to one of the candidates who was also a member of his department. 
  • Update: Placer County, California (First reported 06-17-14): A now-former deputy was sentenced to 150 days in jail after he pled no contest to charge of sex with a minor. The minor was a 17-year-old sheriff’s department volunteer. 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-10-15 to 01-12-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 10 through Monday, January 12, 2015:

  • Savannah-Chatham, Georgia: A now-former officer pled not guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute ecstasy. He is alleged to have been involved in an ecstasy distribution scheme while he was employed by the department, though not  while he was on duty. 
  • Plano, Texas: An officer was arrested for possession of child pornography on his phone. He had been arrested three weeks prior to this incident for indecent contact with a minor, allegedly inappropriately touching a nine-year-old girl. He is on administrative leave pending the investigations. 
  • Sarasota, Florida: A department sergeant was arrested for battery. After finding his wife seated to another man at a bar, the sergeant allegedly put the patron in a choke hold after accusing him of having an affair with his wife. 
  • Marion County, Florida: The sheriff’s office settled a lawsuit for $30,000 stemming from an incident at a party. The plaintiffs, a couple, alleged they were unlawfully arrested for disobedience when the police showed up to a party at their place. Specifically, one of the arrests was for filming the officers and thus the arrest violated her constitutional rights. The sheriff’s office refused to accept culpability in the settlement. 
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 12-15-14): A now-former officer received a one year suspended sentence and two years of probation in a sexual misconduct case. The officer pulled over a car with two men in it, instructed the passenger to get out, and told the other occupant of the car to perform a sex act. The victim reported the incident to the police six days later. 
  • Hodgenville, Kentucky: The police chief was charged with misconduct for sharing DUI dashcam footage with members of the media. 
  • Little Silver, New Jersey: An officer was arrested and charged with domestic violence. He is alleged to have gotten into a physical altercation while driving with a friend or acquaintance. 
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 03-27-14): The two officers shown on video shooting a homeless man who was camping have been charged with murder. 
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police lieutenant shot an undercover officer during a methamphetamine bust. The investigation is on-going. 
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 06-09-14): The officer who had been fired for attempted theft from a Make-a-Wish family has been indicted by a grand jury. In a scuffle at the airport, the now-former officer allegedly tried to steal a bag of t-shirts and a credit card meant for a family as part of the Make-a-Wish program. 

California’s Secretive Policies

From the Sacramento Bee:

California has one of the nation’s most restrictive laws for public access to information about police officer misconduct. State law bars disclosure of all police personnel records – a restriction that prevents the public from finding out which officers have engaged in serious misconduct. What’s more, courts and police agencies have interpreted that confidentiality broadly to cut off public access to nearly all information that might be used in personnel decisions, including internal affairs investigations and hearings on civilian complaints.

Under California law, civilians who file complaints against officers find out little about what happens next. To avoid violating state law, departments often don’t disclose even whether the officer was found to have violated policy, much less exactly what policy the officer violated, what kind of discipline resulted, or any explanation of why the department reached the result it did.

National Police Misconduct Daily NewsFeed Recap 01-09-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 9, 2015:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was suspended without pay after he was arrested for domestic disturbance. 
  • Oakwood, Ohio: A now-former police officer was indicted for embezzling more than $90,000 from Fraternal Order of Police lodge. He resigned the day the findings were brought to the police department by the lodge. 
  • Update: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (First reported 03-14-13): A now-former police officer received three years of probation and 200 hours of community service for her obstruction of an investigation. Specifically, she lied to a grand jury about a loan sharking scheme run by a fellow officer. 
  • Welch, West Virginia: An officer was arrested for stalking and harassing a woman. Among other allegations, he pulled her over and sexually propositioned her.
  • Celina, Ohio: The city settled a lawsuit for wrongful death in officer-involved shooting for $800,000. Although the settlement does not include an acceptance of culpability in the shooting, the department agreed to outfit all officers with body cameras and underwent a thorough review of internal procedures. City attorneys also issued a formal apology to the family. The officer resigned from the department in 2013 after he was arrested for DUI. 
  • San Antonio, Texas: An officer was arrested for felony theft. He is alleged to have stolen an unspecified amount of marijuana, a rifle, and thousands of dollars in cash from a couple after responding to a domestic disturbance call.
  • Brigantine and Atlantic City, New Jersey: Two officers were indicted for sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl. The prosecutor alleges that the men provided alcohol to the teen and took photographs of sexual acts. 
  • Update: King City, California (First reported 02-27-14): The police chief resigned and three officers have been fired for their roles in an ongoing corruption case. Six officers were arrested in February for involvement in a large tow truck scheme and bribery. 
  • Update: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (First reported 08-22-14): The officer facing multiple counts for sexually assaulting female drivers he pulled over has been fired. 
  • Louisiana Department of Public Safety: An officer was arrested for groping a woman and trying to kiss her during traffic stop. 


National Police Misconduct Daily NewsFeed Recap 01-08-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 8, 2015:

  • Wichita, Kansas: An officer was arrested on seven counts of domestic violence. The officer is a 19-year veteran of the department. 
  • Los Angeles, California: An officer was charged with exposing himself to five people at the Huntington Beach nature preserve. The victims, all female, range between 12 and 80 years of age. He is alleged to have victimized one 12-year-old girl twice. 
  • Update: Park Ridge, Illinois (First reported 03-07-12): A police commander had aggravated battery charges reinstated. He is accused of beating two teenagers. 
  • Update: Greene, New York (First reported 04-30-14): The now-former police chief was sentenced to pay restitution for buying personal items—tires and a vacuum cleaner—with public money. 
  • Cedar Park, Texas: An officer was fired for lying about his personal relationship with a “known criminal.” The police found pictures of the officer and the suspect together on the suspect’s cell phone during the course of an investigation. According to the news report, the police department said that not only did they fire the officer for being dishonest, but because he accessed police databases about the suspect without legal reason to do so. The suspect has a history of sexual assault and is characterized in other reports as a potential “serial rapist.” 
  • Tipton County, Tennessee: A sheriff’s deputy was fired for crashing his cruiser while off duty and intoxicated. His six-year-old son was in front seat of the car and not properly restrained in a booster seat. No injuries were reported from the accident. 
  • Edwardsville, Pennsylvania: An officer was charged with obstruction of emergency services. He arrived at the scene of a one vehicle accident and knew the driver. He attempted to get the other first responders to not write-up the driver’s intoxication in their reports. 
  • Update: Chattanooga, Tennessee (First reported 09-10-14): A detective who was already suspended for DUI in September was arrested on domestic violence charges. He is alleged to have struck his mother-in-law in the face. 
  • Irvington, New Jersey: A police captain was arrested and charged with stalking, criminal mischief, assault, and weapons charges. The captain had been promoted to that rank the morning of the incident and had been at a celebration of that promotion beforehand. She allegedly confronted a city councilman at his home around 11 P.M. that night and repeatedly rammed her car into his. 

Worst of the Month – December 2014

It goes to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Seven now-former deputies conspired to hide a career criminal from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI was investigating allegations of abuse and poor conditions in the L.A. County Jail, and the inmate in question was apparently willing to testify against the sheriff’s department. To protect themselves, the deputies effectively kidnapped the prisoner to obstruct the federal investigation. According to the news report, the prisoner’s “name was changed, his records jacket was hidden and computer records were altered to make it appear that [he] had been released from LASD custody.”  The last of the former deputies was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the cover-up in December. The other six former deputies involved were also convicted and sentenced.

National Police Misconduct Daily NewsFeed Recap 01-07-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 7, 2015:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina: An officer was arrested for DWI. 
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources (Frederick County): An officer was arrested for second degree assault and resisting arrest following a late night encounter with the Montgomery County Police. The former park ranger is currently suspended with pay. 
  • Macon County, Illinois: A sheriff’s detective was caught in prostitution sting with several civilians. He retired 12 days after his arrest. 
  • Boston, Massachusetts: An officer was charged with assaulting his Uber driver. Allegedly, the officer told he driver it was the wrong address and then used racist slur before striking the driver. According to the news story, prosecutors allege that after the driver was struck and got out of the vehicle, the officer drove the car away. Another motorist gave the driver a ride and caught up to the officer in the Uber car, when the officer again struck the Uber driver. The officer had left the scene by the time police arrived, but turned himself in later. 
  • Update: Victoria, Texas (First reported 12-17-14): A police officer has been fired for tasing a 76-year-old man during a traffic stop for expired tags. The video of the incident went viral. 
  • North Charleston, South Carolina: An officer was arrested for domestic violence. He allegedly punched the victim five times in the face after picking her up from an appointment that made him late for work. 
  • Drug Enforcement Agency: An agent stationed in Mexico has been charged with fraud and lying to investigators. The Department of Justice alleges he exchanged legal favors for gifts like luxury travel and accommodations. 
  • Update: Honesdale Borough, Pennsylvania (First reported 06-19-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to his second DUI. He had crashed into three parked cars in June, totaling two of them and his own. 
  • Crisp County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested and fired for illegal deer hunting. He was intoxicated, trespassing, and hunting on a roadway at night. 
  • Idaho State Police (Coeur d’Alene): A now-former trooper was sentenced for fraud, property damage, and hunting charges. He received a three year suspended sentence, 600 hours of community service, and 120 days in jail for using a false name on a title when he bought a motorcycle and failing to tag a deer he killed. 


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-06-15

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 6, 2015:

  • Update: Massachusetts State Police (Boston) (First reported 12-14-14): A trooper was reinstated after he was suspended for pepper spraying a peaceful protester at a rally against police violence. The incident was caught on video and went viral. The MSP reached out to the victim, but he declined to file charges. 
  • Berkeley County, South Carolina: The sheriff was arrested by a state trooper for DUI and leaving scene of an accident after hitting another car and causing injury. The sheriff was apprehended during a traffic stop four miles away from the scene of the accident. South Carolina law states that only a coroner may arrest a sheriff, so there is a lingering question as to the legality of the arrest. 
  • Waterbury, Connecticut: An officer was fired after an internal investigation showed he made false statements on official documents. According to the news report, “a statement he made about a confrontation with an armed robbery suspect was “completely lacking in credibility.”” 
  • Cook County, Illinois: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested and charged with three felonies related to an attempted sexual assault. Allegedly, while off duty, the deputy picked up a “known prostitute” in his car. When she attempted to get out of the car, according to the news report, he made reference to his gun and threatened the woman. 
  • Update: Tulsa, Oklahoma (First reported 04-04-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $2300 restitution after pleading guilty to bribery, drug, and misconduct charges. Specifically, he was paid by a confidential informant to use a police database to find the home address of someone who had a large amount of cash in their home. He also pled guilty to a cocaine distribution. 
  • University of Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX): A campus officer resigned one year after fatally shooting a student following a traffic stop for erratic driving. According to the news report, the officer and the decedent had been in an altercation before the shooting. The officer claimed he told the decedent to put his hands behind his back 14 times and to stop resisting arrest 56 times. The former officer now faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of the student. 
  • Phoenix, Arizona: A police officer was arrested in Goodyear for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 
  • Wisconsin State Police (Hudson): An off-duty trooper was charged with driving while intoxicated after suffering a car crash that left his passenger seriously injured. Onstar services called 911 from the original crash site, but no vehicle was there when police arrived. The trooper later called 911 from a parking lot. At the time of the news report, the injured passenger was in the intensive care unit. 
  • Update: Lexington County, South Carolina (First reported 06-18-14): The now-former sheriff pled guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to aid undocumented immigrants. In exchange for his plea, the other nine charges were dropped. He, and two others, arranged for two undocumented people to escape processing at the jail the he supervised. The judge had previously rejected a plea deal that would have kept the disgraced sheriff out of prison. He awaits sentencing. 
  • Memphis, Tennessee: An officer was arrested after Christmas Eve bar fight. The argument had started indoors but moved outside into the parking lot. The officer and other suspects drove away before the police arrived, but a witness wrote down their license plate numbers, thus allowing the police to apprehend them. 
  • Minnesota State Police: A trooper was indicted on manslaughter charges for a fatal July 4 car crash while on duty. The trooper was responding to a motorcycle accident (with injury) when he broadsided the vehicle occupied by two senior citizens, who died from their injuries. 

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