National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-21-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 21, 2015:

  • Moundsville, West Virginia: An officer was arrested for sex with a minor. He allegedly contacted the then-15-year-old girl on a social media site and met her at his residence.
  • Stamford, Connecticut: An officer was arrested for breach of the peace after he allegedly put his wife in a headlock. Following his arrest, he checked-in to an alcohol abuse treatment facility.
  • New York, New York: An officer was nabbed in a prostitution sting.
  • Michigan State Police: A trooper was arrested on DUI and open container charges. The 15-year MSP veteran was placed on leave.
  • Update: Aledo, Illinois (First reported 12-17-14): A now-former officer pled not guilty to aggravated sexual assault with a weapon. He was forced to resign from the department earlier this month. His is alleged to have touched the breast of a minor who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the incident.
  • Jefferson County, Ohio: A deputy was arrested for firing a gun in city limits. He is suspended without pay.
  • Knox County, Tennessee: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence and drugged driving. He allegedly got in an argument with his wife over his prescription drug use, broke her cell phone and the house phone when she tried to call 911, and pushed their 15-year-old son down some stairs.
  • Bibb County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested for battery after altercation with his wife. He is suspended pending investigation into the incident.
  • Danbury, Connecticut: An officer was fired for violating professional standards after unnecessary force used during arrest. The deputy mayor wrote in the letter of termination, “I expect that all police officers act professionally, treat all persons with dignity and respect, (and) refrain from threatening persons with arrest or use of force simply because they appear to disrespect an officer.”

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-17-15 to 01-20-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 17 through Tuesday, January 20, 2015:

  • Columbia, South Carolina: An officer was suspended without pay after a use-of-force incident was caught on video and made public. He is shown in the video repeatedly striking a suspect who appears to be  subdued. The internal investigation is ongoing.
  • Holly Springs, Georgia: A now-former officer was indicted on false statement and theft by deception charges. He is alleged to have lied about receiving the Purple Heart on several official documents which allowed him to receive tax benefits to which he was not entitled.
  • Washington, Pennsylvania: An officer’s plea deal was rejected by a judge. He’s accused of tipping-off a prostitute to a police sting. He is alleged to have had an ongoing sexual relationship with the woman.
  • West Monroe, Louisiana: An officer was arrested and charged with negligent homicide in shooting of a homeless
  • Prescott Valley, Arizona: A police commander has resigned after he was caught stealing prescription drugs that had been turned-in by the public to be destroyed.
  • New York, New York: The city and police department settled a lawsuit for $75,000. The suit alleged two officers used a chokehold against a driver during a traffic stop. Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD since 1993.
  • Pine Beach, New Jersey: An officer was charged with DUI after accidentally shooting a friend in his car in an off-duty incident. The wound was not life-threatening.
  • North Miami Beach, Florida: An officer faces disciplinary action for ‘conduct unbecoming’ after his arrest at a protest. He allegedly refused to remove his mask or provide identification until he was found to be carrying a firearm.
  • UPDATE: Wichita Falls, Texas (First reported 03-24-12): A now-former officer was convicted on three manslaughter counts in fatal crash and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was driving his patrol car at approximately 75 miles per hour while on prescription medication. He was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the accident that killed a 13-year-old girl and her pregnant 17-year-old cousin. Wichita Falls settled a lawsuit brought by the surviving family in 2012 for $500,000.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-16-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 16, 2015:

  • Pinellas County, Florida: A deputy was charged with grand theft for cashing paychecks that had already been paid to his account. He is currently on leave without pay.
  • Highland Park, Michigan: Two officers were caught on video beating, kicking, berating handcuffed suspect. The state police are investigating the case. One of the officers had been named in previous lawsuits for mistreatment and had been fired from his previous law enforcement position for tasering a female officer in his department.
  • Update: Huntsville, Alabama (First reported 12-16-14): A one-time officer of the year pled not guilty to federal bribery charges. He is alleged to have attempted to bribe a fellow officer to cover up a cocaine arrest of a friend.
  • Update: Washington, District of Columbia (First reported 11-11-14): An FBI agent stole drugs from evidence for his own use. That has resulted in dismissal of at least 28 cases he worked on and potentially jeopardizes 150 more.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 09-07-12): A now-former narcotics detective was found not guilty on a wanton endangerment charge but was found guilty for DUI. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine. These charges stemmed from an off-duty incident in which the intoxicated detective pulled over a speeding motorist and shot him in the leg after the motorist allegedly “lunged” at him.
  • Hancock County, Indiana: A now-former deputy was sentenced to probation and must take anger management classes after pleading guilty to domestic disturbance.
  • Update: Ocala, Florida (First reported 11-03-14): The officer arrested for soliciting a 16-year-old prostitute has been fired. The 41-year-old Navy veteran faces two criminal counts of sexual activity with a minor.
  • Update: El Paso, Texas (First reported 07-22-14): A now-former officer’s plea agreement was rejected by a federal judge. He withdrew his guilty plea to charges related to his medical insurance billing company. The terms of the agreement suggested he spend one month in jail and nine months of house arrest, as well as pay $20,000 in restitution to the IRS.

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. 

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