National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-30-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 30, 2013:

  • Wyoming, Pennsylvania: The police chief avoided jail time after reaching a deal with prosecutors on charges he stole from the borough. He must repay the stolen money, serve 50 hours of community service and he faces a lifetime ban from serving as a police officer.
  • Update: Arlington, Texas (First reported 06-13-13): A police officer has pled guilty to passing unauthorized information to a drug dealer who authorities say gave him and other officers anabolic steroids. He entered his plea to exceeding access to a protected computer.
  • Hilliard, Ohio: An officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after he was accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct while on duty. The 10-year veteran was ordered to turn in his two police shields, city issued ID cards, and city-issued weapons, his marked police vehicle, and his officer canine.
  • Murray County, Ohio: A prosecutor says a police chief pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges of receiving stolen property from a murder suspect.
  • Updates: Sarasota, Florida (Three stories: Reported 02-26-12, 11-08-12 & 11-16-12): Three men are suing the city, claiming they were treated harshly and falsely arrested by police officers. One was arrested while writing peace messages on a sidewalk with chalk. The second man’s arrest was caught on video; the officer beat him until he was unconscious. The third man, who is homeless, was arrested for charging his cell phone in a public park.
  • Cherokee County, Oklahoma: A sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he was indicted on forgery and embezzlement charges. He has called the accusations a “misunderstanding.”
  • Update: Little Rock, Arkansas (First reported 07-01-13): A police officer who escorted what he believed to be a 1,000-pound shipment of marijuana through the city while on duty has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison. He has since been fired.
  • Santa Rosa, California: Locals are expressing their outrage over deputies who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica assault rifle that they thought was real. Ismael Mondragon said he saw the boy moments before he was killed with the gun in his hand. Mondragon said he warned the boy to get rid of such a real-looking weapon. “I saw him with that rifle in his left hand,” Mondragon said. “And I said, ‘Throw that thing away, the police are right behind you.’” The sheriff sent out a personal statement, saying he had two boys about the same age and “can’t begin to imagine the grief.” He vowed to be transparent in releasing information about the shooting as the investigation unfolds.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A woman says federal agents who raided her home got the wrong house. Following the incident, agents showed her a picture of a man that she did not know. DEA Officials in charge of the early morning raids as well as other law enforcement agencies had no comment on the incident.
  • Lawrenceville, Georgia: A nurse is suing four police officers for excessive force. The lawsuit said her Fourth Amendment rights were violated and excessive force was used at the Hospital.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-29-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 29, 2013:

  • Littleton, Colorado: A police officer pleaded guilty to firearm and drug trafficking charges. He was purchasing and using illegal drugs.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of assaulting a 19-year-old arrestee in the back seat of a patrol car. He entered his plea and was immediately given three years of probation and ordered to get a year of counseling.
  • Berkeley County, West Virginia: A sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a wreck after he left a strip club. He was indicted on charges of giving false information to state police, filing fraudulent insurance claims and DUI. He has resigned.
  • Lead Hill, Arkansas: The police chief was arrested on suspicion of selling guns that he seized from a resident. He was arrested on suspicion of felony theft, abuse of public trust, abuse of office, and release or disclosure to an unauthorized person for allegedly misusing information from the Arkansas Crime Information Computer.
  • St. Charles County, Missouri: A drug task force officer charged in the beating of a wanted meth cook during an arrest pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor peace disturbance charge. He was given a suspended imposition of sentence and will be on probation for a year.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer was suspended after he was charged with driving under the influence. He was driving an unmarked cruiser.
  • Lansford, Pennsylvania: Authorities say an off-duty deputy sheriff took another off-duty officer hostage at gunpoint and then shot himself. He took ammunition and an unmarked police car from the station first.
  • Columbus, Ohio: Jackson A man has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and several city police officers, contending they violated his civil rights during a “brutal unjustified physical attack.” “As a direct and proximate result of the wrongful acts and omissions of the defendant officers, [the] plaintiff sustained severe and permanent injuries,” alleges the lawsuit.

Rights Violations in Memphis


Twice in five days, Memphis Police officers have been accused of interfering with citizens who were using their cellphones to record police activities.

The First Amendment guarantees people the right to film public activities, civil liberties experts said Tuesday. Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court strengthened such protections when it refused to hear an appeal concerning an Illinois law that would have made it illegal to record police.

In both Memphis cases — one at a Midtown homeless shelter, the other a hip-hop gathering on South Main — those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct or obstructing a highway or passageway. Handcuffs effectively ended those recording attempts.

Civil liberties experts worry that police are using general laws to arrest people who disobey orders to put their cameras away.

“The people who are recording are winning in court. But the problem is that, out on the streets, police officers can informally order people to put their phones away or threaten them with arrest if they don’t,” said Tim Lynch, director of the criminal justice program of the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-26-13 to 10-28-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 26, to Monday, October 28, 2013:

  • Hamilton County, Ohio: A highway patrol trooper who pleaded no contest to a citation after striking two people on a motorcycle with his law enforcement cruiser was sentenced to a six-month license suspension.
  • Durant, Oklahoma: A police officer involved in an off-duty crash was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Hallandale Beach, Florida: A man has filed suit against an officer and the city. He claims the officer made a wrongful arrest and used excessive force when the officer punched and pepper-sprayed him. The man who filed suit was acquitted of all charges against him.
  • New Hanover County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy has resigned after he was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated. He resigned before an internal investigation began.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Previously reported 06-04-13): A now-former police officer received a one-year sentence in the county workhouse and six years’ probation as part of a plea agreement. He also faces multiple charges for allegedly using social media to try to lure girls into sexual encounters. Authorities say he had sex with two of them.
  • Raytown, Missouri: A police officer has been charged in connection with thefts of drugs and valuables from a police evidence room. He faces three felony counts of theft of a controlled substance and two other felonies.
  • Brooklyn, New York: A woman has filed a lawsuit. She says he body was repeatedly probed and prodded by an overzealous state trooper determined to prove she was a drug mule. She also says she and her boyfriend were pulled over and their car was illegally searched. The police found nothing on her or in the vehicle.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer fatally shot his ex girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and then killed himself.
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey: Two police officers have agreed to pay a settlement to two men whose civil rights they violated. A jury found the two officers guilty; they were accused of illegally stopping two men.
  • Worcester County, Massachusetts: A former police officer has been indicted by a grand jury on charges he pocketed more than $25,000 from the patrolman’s union during his time as the group’s president.
  • El Monte, California: A police officer is under investigation on suspicion of sexually assaulting a transsexual woman while on duty, officials said. The woman recently filed a federal civil rights and assault lawsuit against the officer and the police department. She says she was stopped on a city street and alleges that the officer groped her, forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her.
  • Pinecrest, Florida: A police officer was arrested on four counts of sexual activity with a minor. “This moral character violation, of the standards for Florida law enforcement officers, represents a serious breach of discipline,” read a statement from police. “Officer McKenzie has violated the public trust, dishonored his oath of office and tarnished the badge.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-25-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 25, 2013:

  • Hollywood, Florida: A police officer was arrested after he crashed into another car while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Bryant, Arkansas: A police chief has been suspended for five days for seeking reimbursement for a steak dinner purchased at a strip club.
  • Glendale, Arizona: A man is suing a local police officer who he alleged used excessive force when he used a Taser on him after stopping him for speeding.
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 03-14-13): A police officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison on drug and weapons charges. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm to further drug trafficking.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: A police officer was arrested on charges of felony fraudulent used of a credit card and misdemeanor theft. The police found he was using a department-issued gas card while he was off-duty for a Ford Mustang.
  • Update: Dallas, Texas (First reported 10-21-13): A police officer who shot a mentally ill man in a disputed incident caught on tape has been fired. In a police report the officer wrote that the man threatened him and another officer with a knife. But video captured by a neighbor’s surveillance camera shows the man didn’t appear to move toward the officers before he crumpled to the ground from the gunshot.
  • Montgomery, Alabama: A police officer has been charged with using his position to unlawfully enter the home of a local resident. He was arrested for first-degree criminal trespass.
  • Update: Swisher County, Texas (First reported 11-10-11): A now-former sheriff has been accused of making improper advances to a female county worker. He was charged with misdemeanor official oppression and was freed on $1,500 bond.
  • Fort Worth, Texas: A police officer has been charged with stealing a pair of athletic shoes during a drug raid.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-24-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 24, 2013:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer has been arrested for impaired driving. He was placed on emergency suspension without pay, pending the outcome of an investigation.
  • Panama City, Florida: A police officer is being charged with battery for pepper spraying a woman while on duty. She was handcuffed in the back seat of his patrol car.
  • Update: Livingston Parish, Louisiana (First reported 01-11-12): A sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He entered a guilty plea to one count of the felony count. He was fired after his arrest.
  • Jacksonville, Florida: A disabled man filed a federal lawsuit against the city and one of its police officers, claiming excessive force. The man contends the injuries he suffered during the arrest required treatment at a hospital. He accuses the city of looking the other way over what the lawsuit describes as “practices, policies and customs of … excessive force during arrests.” Those named in the lawsuit have yet to respond with their version of events.
  • Point Marion, Pennsylvania: The police department police department has paid $65,000 to settle a lawsuit from a man who was arrested last year for using his cell phone to audio record an officer. The charge was withdrawn by the district attorney and the cell phone was returned, but without the recording.
  • DeKalb County, Georgia: A police officer was arrested and charged with child molestation, police said. He admitted to the charges and offered his resignation.
  • Update: Berthoud, Colorado (First reported 10-16-13): A police officer, who has been on administrative leave, was arrested on four counts of child abuse and one count of false imprisonment. He was accused of child abuse by his ex-fiancé.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The feds have indicted a police officer and his former partner in a civil rights case. A woman says that the officer instructed her to remove all of her clothes and sit naked while he performed a sex act in front of her. He has been fired.
  • Update: Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (First reported 10-03-13): A sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to assaulting a detainee at the parish jail. According to a document, he used excessive force when he kneed the handcuffed inmate and punched him in the head.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-23-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 23, 2013:

  • Nashville, Tennessee: A state trooper has been fired for brutality, gross misconduct, and conduct unbecoming a state employee during a traffic stop.
  • Update: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (First reported 07-16-13): Two police officers accused of failing to intervene when an officer conducted illegal strip and body-cavity searches pleaded no contest. Both are expected to resign.
  • South Bend, Indiana: A police officer was arrested on a drunken driving charge after wrecking his vehicle. He was taken into custody and charged.
  • Penns Grove, New Jersey: An officer charged with battery of another officer was sentenced to one year probation. He pleaded no contest to his charges. He is still currently suspended from his position, and it is under review.
  • Update: Wyoming Borough, Pennsylvania (First reported 10-11-13): A police officer, who was suspended earlier this month for reportedly hosting underage drinking parties, was hit with new charges alleging he repeatedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl on his mother’s bed.
  • Wayne County, New York: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested for filing a false document in his office. The sheriff’s office says he falsified his payroll and was paid a benefit that he did not earn.
  • Moore, Oklahoma: A police officer was arrested on complaint of driving under the influence. He was arrested after running into the back of another car.
  • Lee County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy is suspended for three days after admitting to interfering with an official investigation.
  • Update: Old Forge, Pennsylvania (First reported 09-10-13): A jury has reached a split verdict in the case of a suspended police chief accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. He has been found not guilty of four of six charges, including felony counts of aggravated indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor. The jury did find him guilty of two misdemeanor charges: corrupting a minor and failing to report suspected child abuse.
  • Indian River County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on a warrant for DUI following a single vehicle crash. He resigned his position prior to turning himself into the county jail.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-22-13

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 22, 2013:

  • Hephzibah, Georgia: A police officer has been charged with DUI for the second time. He is on administrative duty while the department performs an internal investigation. It is the second time in eight months that he has been charged with driving under the influence.
  • Update: East Haven, Connecticut (First reported 09-24-12): The two police officers accused of racially profiling Latinos were both found guilty. One of the officers faces up to 20 years in prison, the other surrendered to authorities inside the courthouse immediately.
  • Frederick, Maryland: A police officer has resigned to resolve a charge she used stolen gift cards to buy home furnishings. She had been charged with theft under $1000. She may not work as a law enforcement officer anywhere for the next three years as part of the deal.
  • Update: Colville, Washington (First reported 10-07-13): A police officer facing multiple felony charges for alleged sexual misconduct while in uniform pleaded not guilty. He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he followed home from a bar.
  • Andalusia, Alabama: A police officer has been convicted of harassment after a dispute with an agent at the drug task force office. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fines.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: A police officer shot and wounded an unarmed man he mistakenly thought was a homicide suspect. The officer has been placed on routine, paid administrative leave pending an investigation into his actions.
  • Cold Spring, New York: An officer was caught damaging a fellow officer’s vehicle, police said. He has been charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony.
  • Nassau County, New York: A woman claims she was molested by a police officer in the back sear of a squad car as another officer drove. She says the officer who sexually abused her is still on the job. She has filed suit.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-19-13 to 10-21-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 19 to Monday, October 21, 2013:

  • Quincy, Washington: A police officer was suspended for 10 days over allegations that he lied about his reasons for pulling over a motorist. The police chief wanted to fire the officer but an agreement limited the discipline to 10 days of suspension taken from his annual leave.
  • Richmond, Virginia: A police officer was arrested for allegedly exposing himself in a parking lot. According to police, a woman in the parking lot saw the officer in his vehicle with his genitals exposed.
  • Lockhart, Alabama: State officials say  a now-former police chief has pleaded guilty to one count of using his official position for personal gain. Attorney General Luther Strange said the 37-year-old had pleaded guilty in connection with the unauthorized use of a criminal records database in exchange for money.
  • Update: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (First Reported 03-22-13): The now former city police chief pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conspired to steal police funds deposited into unauthorized credit union accounts and willfully failed to file income tax returns.
  • Dallas, Texas: Surveillance video showing a police officer shooting a mentally ill man standing still about 20 feet away contradicts the assertion of an officer that the man threatened his safety by lunging at him with a knife.
  • Update: Osage County, Missouri (First reported 07-08-13): A sheriff pleaded not guilty to several charges, including first-degree sexual misconduct, third-degree assault, harassment and stalking.
  • Harrisburg City, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been suspended with pay while authorities investigate allegations concerning the misuse of police athletic league funds.
  • Update: Dane County, Wisconsin (First reported 06-10-13): deputy accused of having sexual relationship w a woman in jail diversion program resigned
  • Town Creek, Alabama: A sheriff’s deputy who was accused of having a sexual relationship with a woman in a jail diversion program has resigned, but the district attorney has not yet made a decision on whether to file a criminal charge against him.
  • Volusia County, Florida: A deputy is on administrative leave after being charged with DUI in her marked vehicle while her 7-year-old child was in the car.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-18-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 18, 2013:

  • Pierce County, Georgia: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on federal charges for drug trafficking. He allegedly agreed to act as “security” for people he believed were dealing meth by acting as the lookout.
  • Update: Frederick County, Maryland (Previously reported 03-25-13): The parents of Robert Saylor, a 26-year-old with Downs syndrome who lost consciousness as three off-duty sheriff’s deputies forced him from a movie theater, filed a lawsuit that describes his death as “violent, terrifying and painful” and blames it on negligence and deliberate actions.
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 10-12-12): A police officer has been charged with using fake prescriptions to get weight loss pills. She has since resigned from the force.
  • Herkimer, New York: A $2 million lawsuit has been filed stemming from a crash that killed one and injured another. The lawsuit accuses a police officer and the department in engaging in an “illegal and dangerous high-speed pursuit” of the victim’s vehicle at an “excessive, illegal and dangerous rate of speed.”
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 03-28-13): A police officer who was charged in the accidental shooting of a police trainee has been convicted of reckless endangerment. He faces up to five years in prison.
  • Toledo, Ohio: Two officers have resigned amid an investigation into their involvement in a dispute at an apartment complex where they were off-duty. A third officer is under investigation as well, and the police chief has launched a criminal investigation.
  • Cook County, Illinois: A jury awarded $1 million to a man who spent a year in jail before being found not guilty of assaulting a police officer. He sued the city for bringing false charges against him. While he was in jail, his first son was born.
  • Moreno Valley, California: His family says that Raymond Johnson died because of excessive force by police. A cause of death has not been determined and is being investigated by the homicide unit. “We don’t understand what would justify what appears to be punches, batons, stomps, and Tasers being used against him,” said their attorney. “Looking at this video, there’s no indication he posed any threat of bodily harm.
  • Lima, Ohio: A three-judge panel unanimously found that police did not have grounds to arrest an 11-year-old girl for making obscene gestures at them. It upheld a lower court ruling that the officers were not immune from false arrest, false imprisonment, and retaliation allegations. “[The girl’s] gesture was crude, not criminal, and the officers were patently without probable cause to arrest her for is,” wrote a judge.

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