National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-12-14 to 07-14-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 12 to Monday, July 14, 2014:

  • Grady County, Georgia: Four law enforcement officers have been indicted on charges in connection with an incident. According to the Department of Justice, a now-former deputy used excessive force during an arrest. As a result of the assault, the victim sustained injuries to his face, including cuts, bleeding, swelling and bruising. ow.ly/z9sae
  • Boone County, Kentucky: An off-duty sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge. ow.ly/z9mpw
  • Update: Placer County, California (First reported 06-17-14): A decorated sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of having sex with a teen who was volunteering at his department, according to authorities. ow.ly/z9ac1
  • Update: Washington, DC (Previously reported 11-18-13): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir. After he gets out of prison he will have to register as a sex offender. ow.ly/z8VcM
  • Bexar County, Texas: A deputy was arrested after allegedly choking his girlfriend. The nearly six-year veteran of the sheriff’s office will face a charge of assault with bodily injury – choking. The assault came during an argument and caused his girlfriend to lose consciousness, authorities said. ow.ly/z8qum
  • Dayton, Ohio: A police officer charged for allegedly interfering with a police investigation pled not guilty to all counts. ow.ly/z8peK
  • Harris County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver following an investigation. ow.ly/z8lDh
  • Aberdeen, Mississippi: A dispute between the police chief and the city building inspector could lead to the chief being charged with verbal simple assault. ow.ly/z89Tx

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-11-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 11, 2014:

  • Isle of Palms, South Carolina: A now-former police officer twice pawned her service weapon and stole items from the evidence room, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. ow.ly/z3Jbp
  • Frisco, Texas: A police detective who investigated major crimes from 2011 to 2013 had inappropriate relationships with four women tied to his cases, possibly jeopardizing future criminal trials. ow.ly/z3Hoh
  • Hughestown, Pennsylvania: The federal drug case against a now-former police officer took another step forward with the filing of criminal information against him. He allegedly distributed oxycodone on numerous occasions while he was employed as a borough police officer. ow.ly/z3GVB
  • Oswego, Illinois: Police assaulted an unconscious man, flipped his body in somersaults and hogtied him, and permanently disabled his mother as she tried to intervene, the family claims in court.
  • Update: Bull Shoals, Arkansas (Previously reported 05-12-14): The police chief pled not guilty to federal charges accusing him of using excessive force during an arrest. http://ow.ly/z8XVq
  • Heartland, Missouri: The sheriff was arrested and faces five felony charges. Documents state he is charged with two counts of tampering with a witness and three counts of permitting escape. ow.ly/z3id0
  • Pasadena, California: The police chief said he has launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct against a detective. In an audio recording the detective was heard telling a colleague he would “pin it on anybody, that’s how we roll.” http://ow.ly/z3JUa
  • Update: Edwardsburg, Michigan (First reported 06-10-14): A now-former police officer who admitted to stealing prescription medication from a residence where he responded to a 911 call was to two years of probation. http://ow.ly/z3O3a
  • Indio, California: A federal court jury awarded the parents of a 23-year-old fatally shot by police $1.9 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, its chief of police and a veteran police officer. http://ow.ly/z3OHn
  • Sanford, Florida: The city has settled with a man injured when two officers hit him with a Taser. He face-first onto the road after the confrontation with the officers. The department is going to pay him $75,000. http://ow.ly/z3Pvj
  • Update: Wyoming Borough, Pennsylvania (Previously reported 10-23-13): A police officer pled guilty and agreed to serve two to four years in state prison, followed by five years probation. He pled guilty to four separate criminal cases, including two counts of statutory sexual assault and one count each of unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors. http://ow.ly/z3TiC
  • Spanish Fork, Utah: A police officer who killed his wife, their two children, his mother-in-law and then himself received text messages from his wife just hours earlier threatening to leave him and take their kids and confronting him for raping her. http://ow.ly/z3Z8r
  • Blue Island, Illinois: A police officer and church camp counselor is charged with having and distributing child pornography. http://ow.ly/z3V8b

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Reacp 07-10-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 10, 2014:

  • New Bern, North Carolina: A now-former police officer pled guilty to stealing pills from the police department’s evidence room. She was sentenced to between 12 to 25 months in prison. http://ow.ly/yYdjT
  • Orlando, Florida: Police confirmed they are investigating an officer who was videotaped kicking and punching a man while he was handcuffed and forced to the ground. http://ow.ly/yYoQr
  • Round Lake Beach, Illinois: A 17-year veteran officer has been charged with 13 counts of theft and official misconduct for allegedly paying for $3,700 worth of gasoline with department money. http://ow.ly/yYbiv
  • Update: Chillicothe, Missouri (First reported 03-07-14): A now-former police officer who faces rape and sodomy charges now faces new allegations of tampering with prosecution.He was charged with a felony of tampering with a victim/witness in felony prosecution while being incarcerated on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy. http://ow.ly/yYdSD
  • East Point, Georgia: A lawsuit is pending against police following the death of a man stunned by a police taser, the man’s family says. http://ow.ly/yYe4i
  • Update: Cincinnati, Ohio (First reported 06-21-13): The family of a father of eight who died after being shot in the chest with a Taser stun gun settled their federal civil rights police department for $650,000. Policy changes were also put in place at the department regarding Taser use. http://ow.ly/yYeVD
  • Update: Chesapeake, Virginia (First reported 02-24-14): A now-former city police officer was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stealing more than $3,000 from three prostitutes. He pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor embezzlement. http://ow.ly/yYfBG
  • Kenner, Louisiana: A police officer has been accused of negligence in a recently filed lawsuit that claims he ran over a pedestrian. http://ow.ly/yYlRe

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-09-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 9, 2014:

  • Fremont, Nebraska: The body responsible for oversight of the police department announced it will launch an investigation and review into the department and its internal investigation in connection to an incident in which an 18-year-old man was killed in a drunk-driving accident after allegedly drinking with off-duty police officers. http://ow.ly/yXDfB
  • Huntsville, Alabama: Police say one of their officers is on administrative leave after being charged with domestic violence. http://ow.ly/yXE6x
  • Bradenton, Florida: A police officer found himself on the other side of the law when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He has been fired. http://ow.ly/yXODT
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York (First reported 02-05-14): A now-former police sergeant has been charged with 20 more hate crimes in an indictment that accuses him of repeatedly targeting and stealing from Hispanic motorists. http://ow.ly/yY8vr
  • Update: Santa Rosa, California (Previously reported 11-06-13): Prosecutors said they will not file criminal charges against a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun he mistook for an assault rifle. http://ow.ly/yY9gy
  • Hallowell, Maine: A private investigator will examine a second allegation of sexual misconduct against the police chief. A woman said he took a pornographic picture of her while she slept, with other policemen posing in front of her. http://ow.ly/yYaGE
  • Update: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (Previously reported 07-24-13): A police detective charged with stealing prescription drugs from the department’s evidence room was ordered to spend 30 months on probation, according to state court records. ow.ly/yXBAF
  • Kronenwetter, Wisconsin: An officer resigned after an investigation began into allegations that he had solicited a prostitute multiple times. ow.ly/yXAi5
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin: The police chief said he felt termination was the only proper course of action in the case of an officer accused of making inappropriate comments to a female officer and “stalking” a man with whom he had a confrontation over a parking space. ow.ly/yXzon
  • Update, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (First reported 05-05-14): Accused of a cover-up, the sheriff and four of his deputies are named as co-defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit. When a deputy T-boned her car, the victim suffered more than a broken neck. She suffered the indignity of a false arrest for driving while intoxicated. ow.ly/yXw53
  • Update: College Park, Georgia (First reported 12-19-13): A police officer was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to immigration fraud. ow.ly/yXtfB
  • Sweetwater, Florida: A police officer was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery after he and his wife got into an argument. According to the police report, he allegedly bit his wife on her upper lip. Police said he was in uniform and armed on the day of the alleged battery. ow.ly/yVNR4
  • Update: Chesterfield, Missouri (First reported 06-09-14): A police officer accused of secretly recording victims in a men’s restroom was indicted by a grand jury. ow.ly/yVv5O

Bizzare Police Work

From the Washington Post:

A Manassas City teenager accused of “sexting” a video to his girlfriend is now facing a search warrant in which Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection, the teen’s lawyers said. A Prince William County judge allowed the 17-year-old to leave the area without the warrant being served or the pictures being taken — yet.

I should add that it is bizarre work by prosecutors and judges too.  A near complete system breakdown.

Filming the Watchmen

Excerpt from a new paper, “Filming the Watchmen,”  from the Heritage Foundation:

Brandy Berning spent the night in a Florida jail because she used a cell phone to film a traffic stop on I-95. George Thompson of Fall River, Massachusetts, claimed that he was verbally abused, arrested, and locked up overnight for filming a profane police officer with a cell phone from his front porch. The officer was across the street in full view and within earshot of anyone who happened to be passing by his home.  Most recently, Florida police arrested and charged Lazaro Estrada with obstruction of justice for peacefully filming an arrest with his cell phone on a public street.

Why is this happening? Police are unhappy that people are using their cell phones—which often have video capabilities—to film police conduct. Some state statutes generally prohibit the recording or interception of oral communications unless all parties to the conversation consent. To prevent citizens from gathering and disseminating information about police conduct, police are relying on these statutes to arrest citizens who film police in public, even if those citizens have a right to be present in the locations from which they film.

The question arises: Are such filming and any subsequent publication protected by the First Amendment? If so, what can we do to better secure our rights?

This paper summarizes how federal courts of appeal have treated the filming of police officers in public. It then contends that there exists a First Amendment right not only to film police in such places, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, but also to publish the content of those films.

Full paper here.  Still more here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-08-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 8, 2014:

  • Worcester, Massachusetts: A police officer has been arrested on home invasion and assault charges. He forced his way into his ex-wife’s home and struck her companion in the face and neck. http://ow.ly/yVn7H
  • Hobart, Indiana: A woman claiming she was roughed up by police is suing the city’s department. She claims they verbally harassed her during transport to the police station and that she suffered injuries to her face from excessive force by the officers. http://ow.ly/yVnix
  • Lonoke County, Arkansas: A detective is facing felony charges after an investigation by state police. He is accused of accessing secure information about a case involving a family member that was being investigated by police. http://ow.ly/yVnQl
  • Greene County, Ohio: The sheriff’s office has finalized a $130,000 settlement agreement with a man who alleged deputies used excessive force. http://ow.ly/yVroS
  • Update: Fort Smith, Arkansas (Previously reported 06-23-14): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for having sex with a girl who was 16 at the time. http://ow.ly/yVuJZ
  • Sequoyah County, Oklahoma: A state trooper has been arrested in for driving under the influence of alcohol while on duty after he crashed an Oklahoma Highway Patrol sport utility vehicle that was towing an OHP boat. http://ow.ly/yVvoZ
  • Walla Walla, Washington: A man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county and several local law enforcement officers, claiming he was repeatedly tasered by a sheriff’s deputy, arrested without cause and unlawfully transported across state lines. ow.ly/yVmH6
  • Update: York, South Carolina (Previously reported 06-11-14): The police chief has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing after he was involved in a high speed police chase that ended with the suspect being stomped on. ow.ly/yVk8h
  • Update: Clay County, Florida (First Reported 06-11-14): The sheriff has suspended two detectives and two supervisors without pay and will assign them to patrol for wrongfully arresting a Louisiana woman. ow.ly/yUYGF
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: A man is suing a deputy after he says the deputy collided with his truck and then handcuffed the plaintiff when he tried to write down the deputy’s license-plate number. ow.ly/yUD0i
  • Toledo, Ohio: A foster mother is suing the city, the police department, and an individual officer claiming her civil rights were violated and excessive force was used during her arrest. ow.ly/yUC2J
  • Alamance County, North Carolina: The sheriff allegedly ordered his deputies to stop and arrest motorists who appeared to be Hispanic. The US Justice Department brought the charges after interviewing more than 125 victims and personnel over the course of several years. The investigation found that drivers who were Hispanic were being pulled over at an alarming rate for minor traffic infractions. ow.ly/yUxFw
  • Sayreville, New Jersey: A police officer has admitted stealing more than $20,000 in rent paid by the Sayreville Housing Authority. ow.ly/yUwhy

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-08-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 4 to Monday, July 7 2014:

  • Laurens County, South Carolina: A state trooper has been suspended after he threatened to use a Taser on a man during a traffic stop for speeding. ow.ly/ySiJF
  • Update: Glouster, Ohio (First reported 05-27-14): A police chief suspected of helping a woman avoid arrest pled not guilty on 12 counts, including obstructing justice. ow.ly/ySeKV
  • Montezuma County, Colorado: A civil-rights lawsuit claims that “incompetent” and “heavily armed” deputies have used “excessive force” under the sheriff’s direct supervision. http://ow.ly/ySkTN
  • Update: Brattleboro, Vermont (Previously reported 02-26-13): A now-former state trooper has paid $27,000 to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that he assaulted two men while on duty. ow.ly/yS2L3
  • Clayton County, Georgia: A police officer is under investigation, accused of losing his temper with a driver going too slow. After both pulled into a shopping complex parking lot, witnesses said the situation got out of control. “She opened her door up and that’s when he charged too her car,” said the witness, who was standing outside at the shopping center with her two children. The witness said the officer started to curse, used a racial slur and then spit on the driver. ow.ly/yRorm
  • Update: Osage County, Missouri (Previously reported 10-22-13): The sheriff pled guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor harassment. The judge suspended imposing any sentence and placed the sheriff in two years supervised probation. ow.ly/yRYVN
  • Los Angeles, California: California Highway Patrol is investigating a video showing an officer pummeling a woman alongside a freeway during an arrest that began with an attempt to stop her from walking into traffic. ow.ly/yRpWj
  • Update: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina (First reported 02-21-14): A police officer pled guilty to secretly taking photos of girls’ underwear as they participated in a youth police program. He was placed on probation for 36 months. He will not be required to register as a sex offender. ow.ly/yRQO7
  • Boston, Massachusetts: A police officer who has been on administrative leave was arrested after police said he took a vehicle he was unauthorized to use. ow.ly/yRctQ
  • New York, New York: An off-duty officer who was allegedly intoxicated when he randomly opened fire and shot at two strangers was indicted on attempted murder charges. http://ow.ly/ySWQv

 

Worst of the Month — June 2014

Earning worst of the month for June is police officer Ronald Harris.   Recall that he attempted to rob a woman at Memphis International Airport.  But this was an extraordinary theft.  Harris was trying to steal a bag from an employee of St. Jude Children’s Hospital who was, in turn, delivering the bag to a family. The bag was a gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation—the organization that grants wishes to terminally-ill children.  The bag held several St. Jude t-shirts and a $1500 credit card for the family to use for travel.  Harris followed the St. Jude employee into the airport and then struck a member of the family who tried to stop him from stealing their wish away.  Harris has been suspended pending an investigation and faces a long list of charges. Police misconduct is never good, but plotting to steal the wish from a terminally-ill child and their family is just really low.

Full story here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-03-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 3, 2013:

  • New York, New York: A now-former officer faces up to life in prison after he was found guilty ​of using his badge to help shake down drug dealers. Jurors found him guilty of taking part in a slew of stickups, sometimes while on duty and in uniform. ow.ly/yKGTv
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer is under internal investigation after allegations surfaced that he blackmailed a woman who works at a gentleman’s club. ow.ly/yKEP3
  • Post Falls, Idaho: A family is seeking an undisclosed amount of money from the city and other entities for an incident with the police department that left a man permanently disabled. ow.ly/yKEmZ
  • Albany, New York: In a notice of claim a woman alleges that officers shoved her to the ground “and proceeded to drag her out of [a] building (and) while she was still on the ground caused contusions and trauma to her entire body.” ow.ly/yKCMw
  • Update: Coupeville, Washington (First reported 02-10-14): A now-former deputy marshal said accusations that he handcuffed his former girlfriend during a roadside squabble and coached her about what to tell investigators are completely fabricated. ow.ly/yKxzf
  • Baltimore, Maryland: The family of a man who died in police custody has filed a multimillion dollar wrongful death lawsuit against 11 officers and the city’s police commissioner. ow.ly/yKvYo
  • Waterloo, Michigan: A resident who was cleared of pot-growing charges after a search warrant was deemed invalid is suing a small-town police chief and his township over what he calls a reckless investigation. ow.ly/yKv6I
  • Lafayette, Indiana: Video was recently released of a police lieutenant who pushed over a man in a motorized wheelchair when he ran over his foot. “It’s clear to us that the whole use of force in this case could have been avoided just by different positioning, by offset positioning, by moving out of the way, by not standing where he was standing,” said the police chief. ow.ly/yKpzK
  • Newburyport, Massachusetts: A former member of the police department allegedly embezzled money from a charitable organization set up to benefit injured, sick, and disabled police officers, and the families of police officers who die in the line of duty. He was charged with one count of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny over $250 by embezzlement. ow.ly/yKHoL
  • Adams County, Colorado: A now-former sheriff deputy pled not guilty to sexually assaulting a child. He was arrested by his department and was charged with four charges, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust for a victim under age 15, sexual assault as a pattern of abuse and one count of incest. ow.ly/yIz3z

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