National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-22-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 22, 2014:

  • Update: Bull Shoals, Arkansas (Previously reported 07-11-14): The police chief was found not guilty on two counts related to an arrest. A mistrial was declared on the third count of use of excessive force. http://ow.ly/zpuJr
  • Hazleton, Pennsylvania: Claims that a man pointed a gun at police before they shot him to death defy science and common sense, his sister said in a federal lawsuit filed that seeks more than $3.45 million in damages and claims that the city police routinely use excessive force against minorities. http://ow.ly/zq58I
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (Previously reported 05-13-14): A now-former lieutenant has been sentenced to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy for his role in a convicted Ponzi scheme operator’s $1.2 billion fraud. http://ow.ly/zpRyu
  • Update: Westminster, South Carolina (First reported 03-25-13): A now-former police chief who was charged with embezzlement, forgery and misconduct in office pled guilty. ow.ly/zsXKO
  • El Paso, Texas: A now-former police officer charged with tax fraud in connection with a medical billing scheme is scheduled to appear in court. He has been charged with corrupt interference with Internal Revenue laws and 14 counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements and aiding and abetting. ow.ly/zsV7p
  • Nolensville, Tennessee: An officer has been indicted for misconduct, according to a media release. He is accused of receiving inappropriate images of a minor female on his cellphone. ow.ly/zsQcc
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A now- former 10-year officer was ordered to stand trial for false imprisonment and related charges. He allegedly snatched a retired military veteran off a street, cuffed him, threw him face-first into the back of his marked SUV and drove him to a dark alley in the early-morning hours. ow.ly/zsDIQ
  • Update: Phillips, Wisconsin (First reported 03-05-14): The police chief accused of wrongdoing by the mayor will retire after an agreement was reached with the city. He been on paid administrative leave while the city’s Police Review Committee investigated the accusations. In a 16-page he was accused of falsifying an arrest document in a drug investigation and submitting a claim for expenses for a trip he never took. ow.ly/zsv9p
  • Golden Meadow, Louisiana: Authorities say a police officer and two others have been arrested and booked with manufacturing methamphetamine. ow.ly/zselX

Conservatives and the Police

From National Review Online:

Imagine if I were to tell you there is a large group of government employees, with generous salaries and ridiculously cushy retirement pensions covered by the taxpayer, who enjoy incredible job security and are rarely held accountable even for activities that would almost certainly earn the rest of us prison time. When there is proven misconduct, these government employees are merely reassigned and are rarely dismissed. The bill for any legal settlements concerning their errors? It, too, is covered by the taxpayers. Their unions are among the strongest in the country.

No, I’m not talking about public-school teachers.

I’m talking about the police.

We conservatives recoil at the former; yet routinely defend the latter — even though, unlike teachers, police officers enjoy an utter monopoly on force and can ruin — or end — one’s life in a millisecond….

But it’s time for conservatives’ unconditional love affair with the police to end….

The new video and photo evidence invites the troubling thought that this kind of behavior has long been routine. Only now is it coming to the attention of people who have led lives insulated from heavy interaction with the police. There is some statistical reason to believe that police today may actually be better-disciplined than they were in the past, and there’s certainly reason to hope that dashboard cams, wearable audio and video devices, and other technologies will lead to better outcomes for law-abiding cops as well as for law-abiding civilians.

 

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-19-14 to 07-21-14

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, July 19 to Monday, July 21, 2014:

  • Miami Beach, Florida: A homicide detective was jailed and accused of having sex in his police car with a teenage girl whose trust he gained while on the job. http://ow.ly/zpTXD
  • Clark County, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy has been indicted for tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and improperly furnishing firearms to a minor in relation to a murder investigation. http://ow.ly/zq4DP
  • Miami Beach, Florida: A police officer is being investigated by his own colleagues after he was allegedly drunk during an off-duty job, while in full uniform. He has been relieved of duty with pay while internal affairs investigates the allegation. http://ow.ly/zq87n
  • Richmond, Illinois: An officer has been charged with official misconduct, possession of a stolen firearm, and burglary after he was fired for failing to show up for work. The charges stem from incidents that happened while he was an officer. http://ow.ly/zq6nr
  • Gaffney, South Carolina: A longtime officer has been suspended after he was charged with aggravated criminal domestic violence and pointing a firearm. ow.ly/zpUnC
  • Update: Springfield, Oregon (First reported 06-17-14): A police detective pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants, interfering with a police officer and second-degree disorderly conduct. ow.ly/zp6s6
  • Shinnston, West Virginia: A now-former police officer has been sentenced on drug charges. Media outlets report that a judge sentenced him to four to 16 years in prison. ow.ly/zpSmT
  • Update: Arcadia, California (First reported 10-02-13): A now-former police officer pled “no contest” to embezzling more than $40,000 from the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association to buy motorcycle parts, exercise equipment and other personal items, officials said. ow.ly/zp3eV
  • Los Angeles, California: Deputies kicked and beat a man with fists and batons even after he was subdued and handcuffed, according to attorneys who contend he was subjected to excessive force and “street justice.” The sheriff’s department confirms the incident is under investigation by an internal affairs unit. ow.ly/zp4gV
  • Update: Exeter, Pennsylvania (First reported 04-18-14): A police officer who had been on administrative leave has been fired. According to court records, he was placed on leave for allegedly watching pornography and soliciting sexual relationships using his work computer while on duty. ow.ly/zp2rw
  • Update: Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina (Previously reported 08-21-12): The now-former police chief has pled guilty to charges stemming from an investigation involving his son, who is a convicted felon. The officer pled to willfully failing to discharge his duties as a police officer. ow.ly/zp21d
  • West Palm Beach, Florida: A now-former police officer who sold anabolic steroids while on duty was sentenced to five years in prison. ow.ly/zoRHi
  • Clairton, Pennsylvania: A 17-year-old girl claims she was beaten by police after she and her friends were stopped for a curfew violation. The girl admits she and her friends were out a few minutes after the city’s 10 p.m. curfew, and that she both ran from officers and resisted them after being tackled, but she doesn’t believe she deserves the injuries she suffered. ow.ly/zoAdn

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-18-14

Here are the 18 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, July 18, 2014:

  • Beaufort, South Carolina: A police officer pled guilty to simple assault against his 10-year-old stepdaughter, then resigned from the police department. According to warrants, he slapped her on the right side of her head. ow.ly/zkrDR
  • Warrenton, Oregon: A police officer was arrested on charges related to the sale of guns. He was booked on charges including theft, forgery, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. ow.ly/zks2Q
  • Los Angeles, California: A police officer allegedly caught on video as he used a baton to repeatedly strike a man who was on his knees has been charged with two felony assault counts. ow.ly/zkg1X
  • Update: Hidalgo, Texas (First reported 04-16-14): A now-former sheriff who pled guilty to money laundering was sentenced to five years in prison. The U.S. District Judge departed from sentencing guidelines that topped out at less than four years to impose a stiffer sentence. ow.ly/zkrOJ
  • Charleston County, South Carolina: The sheriff’s office says a detective was fired after an internal investigation discovered that the officer had a sexual relationship with a murder suspect’s mother and lied about it. ow.ly/zkthZ
  • Omaha, Nebraska: A now-former police officer facing criminal charges in connection with a controversial arrest caught on video has made a plea deal. He entered no-contest pleas to two misdemeanor counts of obstructing governmental operations. Prosecutors allege the officer disposed a memory card from a cellphone possibly used to record an incident. ow.ly/zkcGx
  • Update: Pierce County, Georgia (Previously reported 12-03-13): Federal prosecutors say a now-former deputy sheriff has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for protecting drug dealers. ow.ly/zksd1
  • Denver, Colorado: A deputy is under investigation for inappropriate force against a detainee during the booking process at the jail. A security camera recorded the incident, but the chief said he would not release it to the public, pending the investigation. ow.ly/zk8D0
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama: A police officer has been arrested on a domestic violence charge for the second time in two years. After speaking with the victim and the suspect, officers found probable cause to charge the officer with third degree domestic violence criminal coercion. ow.ly/zktCr
  • Montgomery, Alabama: A police officer is being charged with domestic violence following an arrest, according to the department. ow.ly/zk7cE
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A jury found that two police officers used excessive force during an arrest. The jury awarded a combined $105,000 in compensatory and punitive damages the victim, who accused one officer of beating him while the other officer failed to intervene. ow.ly/zk6yg
  • Update: Washington Park, Illinois (First reported 07-01-13): A now-former police officer pled guilty to bringing drugs into a jail for an inmate. ow.ly/zjL2O
  • New York, New York: A 400-pound asthmatic dad died after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk, video of the incident shows. ow.ly/zkb0T
  • Barren County, Kentucky: A federal judge ruled that a now-former sheriff’s deputy violated a man’s constitutional rights by using excessive force against the man after arresting him. ow.ly/zjKoJ
  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 01-07-14): The sheriff has fired a deputy who was arrested after being found asleep in his patrol car and showing signs of impairment. The deputy was ultimately found to have prescription drugs in his system. ow.ly/zjx6c
  • Spokane County, Washington: A sheriff’s deputy was fired after he billed a local business for work he didn’t do. The deputy left his post to work patrol but billed the store for a full 12-hour shift. ow.ly/zjAyP
  • Update: Irwindale, California (First reported 06-13-14): A now-former police officer denied molesting a 14-year-old police Explorer. He pled not guilty to using a minor for sex acts, sending harmful matter, oral copulation of a person under 16, sexual penetration by a foreign object and two counts of contact with a minor for sexual offense. ow.ly/zjvTR
  • Miramar, Florida: A police officer was arrested on petit theft and official misconduct charges after officials say he stole two bottles of liquor while investigating a shoplifting case. ow.ly/zjgf3

Chicago is Ready for Reform

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

We stand at a watershed in the long history of efforts to address patterns of police abuse in Chicago. On March 10, the state appellate court held in Kalven v. Chicago that documents bearing on allegations of police misconduct are public information. On July 11, the Emanuel administration announced that it will not appeal Kalven and that it has adopted a set of procedures for implementing the decision…

As the plaintiff and attorneys in Kalven, we engaged in extended negotiations with Corporation Counsel Steve Patton and his staff in order to settle the case. The Emanuel administration is to be commended. Not only does its new transparency policy conform to Kalven, in some respects it goes beyond what the decision requires.

This is real reform. It is important to understand why.

The documents at issue are: (1) the investigative files generated when a citizen files a complaint charging police misconduct, and (2) lists of officers who accumulated repeated complaints of abuse….

Until now, the city has fiercely resisted any and all efforts via the Freedom of Information Act and civil discovery to make public the identities of officers with repeated complaints and the contents of police misconduct files. From our perspective, it has often seemed to allocate more resources to maintaining official secrecy than to addressing the underlying problems.

The Emanuel administration’s new policy breaks with the past. From now on, the city will honor FOIA requests for police misconduct files, subject only to the redaction of private information such as the names of complainants and the accused officer’s address and Social Security number. If it believes a request is unduly burdensome, it will provide summary digests, detailed narratives of the investigation. Requesters will then have the option of asking the city for a subset of the requested files or specific documents they have identified within the files.

This policy will allow the public and the press to assess the quality of investigations and to identify groups of officers with a pattern of complaints. It will create incentives for investigators, knowing their work is subject to public scrutiny, to conduct rigorous investigations. And it will ultimately, we believe, move the department to address patterns of police abuse.

Death by Chokehold

From the New York Times:

The 350-pound man, about to be arrested on charges of illegally selling cigarettes, was arguing with the police. When an officer tried to handcuff him, the man pulled free. The officer immediately threw his arm around the man’s neck and pulled him to the ground, holding him in what appears, in a video, to be a chokehold. The man can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” over and over again as other officers swarm about.

Now, the death of the man, Eric Garner, 43, soon after the confrontation on Thursday on Staten Island, is being investigated by the police and prosecutors. At the center of the inquiry is the officer’s use of a chokehold — a dangerous maneuver that was banned by the New York Police Department more than 20 years ago but that the department cannot seem to be rid of.

Read the whole thing.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-16-14 to 07-17-14

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 16 to Thursday, July 17, 2014:

  • Update: Berthoud, Colorado (Previously reported 04-28-14): A now-fired police officer was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl for years. http://ow.ly/zjiH4
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police chief has officially barred officers from making up phony 911 calls in order to gain access to private residences without a search warrant. Several officers lied about 911 hang-up calls to convince residents to consent to searches of their homes, an officer said under oath. ow.ly/zeUYC
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer accused of trying to kill his girlfriend pled not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder and simple battery. ow.ly/zeURO
  • Miami, Florida: Two police officers are under investigation after getting into a fight during a traffic stop, and it was all caught on camera. ow.ly/zeq4E
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A second police officer has been charged with a felony stemming from an alleged domestic matter. ow.ly/zeWTq
  • Jefferson County, Arkansas: A sheriff’s deputy involved in a shooting at a bar and grill has resigned amid an internal investigation, the sheriff’s office said. ow.ly/zeprB
  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 06-25-14): The sheriff’s deputy who is at the center of a police corruption scandal distributing drugs was fired by the sheriff. “[The officer] violated his oath, the trust of his fellow deputies, and the trust of the citizens of King County,” the sheriff said in a statement. “He does not deserve to be a police officer.” ow.ly/zegig
  • Ashtabula, Ohio: A police officer was pulled over twice in one night under suspicion of driving under the influence before he was arrested. ow.ly/zdYRd
  • Simsbury, Connecticut: An attorney has filed a lawsuit against police, saying he was falsely charged with stealing from a pellet company that he represented in a lawsuit brought by the state. ow.ly/zfg1v
  • Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Police officer says the dog wasn’t a “vicious pit bull,” as initially reported by the police department in a news release, but a 2-year-old black Labrador. ow.ly/zffzn
  • Evansville, Indiana: A well-decorated police officer was suspended for four days because of his driving. According to police records, he has been involved in six accidents in which he was determined to be at fault. ow.ly/zffbP
  • Update: Green Bay, Wisconsin (First reported 04-22-14): Police have cleared an officer in an internal investigation into his use of force in an arrest. Police say the officer has been exonerated, which means he followed the appropriate department policies and procedures and did not use excessive force during the arrest. ow.ly/zfdXZ
  • Update: Plymouth, Massachusetts (Previously reported 02-21-14): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He was convicted of using excessive force on a man who was handcuffed and then covering it up by falsifying police reports on the incident. ow.ly/zf3to
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island: A police officer is accused of biting a man’s ear while attending a premiere party for his wife’s reality show. Police are conducting an internal investigation into what happened. ow.ly/zf2I0

30 Days in Jail for Years of Abuse?

From the Denver Channel:

LOVELAND, Colo. – Fired Berthoud police officer Jeremy Yachik was sentenced Monday to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in a jail work-release program for physically abusing a 15-year-old girl.

A Larimer County judge also ordered Yachik to perform 80 hours of community service and to undergo a domestic violence evaluation to determine if he will be required to participate in a domestic violence-treatment program.

According to court records, the girl told Loveland police investigators that Yachik abused her almost daily for years. The abuse allegedly included restraining her hands with handcuffs or plastic zip ties and then slamming her head into a wall hard enough to leave a hole and choking her until she blacked out, according to a Loveland Police Department arrest affidavit.

The girl also said he beat her with ropes, restricted her food, shackled her in a darkened room for hours and force-fed her “ghost pepper sauce” that’s roughly 10 times hotter than habanero peppers, the affidavit said.

During a voluntary Sept. 27 interview with Loveland investigators, Yachik, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, admitted doing many of these things to the girl, the affidavit said.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-15-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 15, 2014:

  • Cleveland, Ohio: A police officer was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor 10 years or older. He is also charged with four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to the court website. ow.ly/zby0c
  • Fulton, New York: A police officer has been arrested and charged with three misdemeanors, police said. They include 3rd degree assault, falsifying business records, and making a punishable false written statement. ow.ly/zc7Wt
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 05-06-13): A now-former police officer has been convicted of two counts of rape involving a student from Rhodes College. He was also charged with three counts of assault and four counts of official misconduct. http://ow.ly/zf8hY
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer was arrested and charged with attacking and pointing a handgun at a parking valet. ow.ly/zcbdc
  • Revere, Massachusetts: A police officer resigned after admitting that he stole money used in a controlled drug buy. ow.ly/zbHge
  • Fruitland, Florida: The deputy chief resigned and another officer was fired after the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement turned over a report to the city describing their link to the Ku Klux Klan. ow.ly/zcdC3
  • Chesterfield County, South Carolina: An officer was arrested on one count of filing a false police report. The offense is a misdemeanor which carries a fine up to $500, 30 days in jail or both. ow.ly/zbwnN
  • Springfield, Missouri: A police officer here who said he meant to fire his taser, not his handgun, has been charged with a misdemeanor in the shooting of a fleeing panhandler. ow.ly/zbusj
  • Update: Miami Beach, Florida (First reported 06-10-14): A police officer was sentenced to 18 months in prison after striking and seriously injuring two people while joy-riding with a woman on the beach using a police all-terrain vehicle. ow.ly/zbsH0
  • Houston, Texas: A police officer, who used a squad car and badge to protect a load of cocaine for a drug trafficker, was sentenced to probation and home confinement. ow.ly/zbosm
  • China Grove, Texas: The police chief was arrested on a DWI charge while he was driving his marked patrol unit. ow.ly/zbfWR

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