National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-03-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 3, 2014:

  • Hendry County, Florida: A deputy has been arrested on charges of felony battery on his girlfriend. The sheriff’s office reports he was arrested on the highway after a call was received regarding a woman allegedly having been beaten.
  • Update: Taylor County, Kentucky (First reported 10-04-13): A former deputy sheriff pled guilty to charges of distributing anabolic steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance.
  • Belen, New Mexico: A now-former police detective has pleaded guilty to using excessive force while arresting a man. Prosecutors say he entered his plea in federal court to violating an arrestee’s civil rights.
  • Update: Prince George’s County, Maryland (Previously reported 11-14-12): A now-former officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to sell untaxed cigarettes and cocaine. He pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking, extortion and firearm offenses. He admitted protecting the sale and transport of multiple shipments of contraband cigarettes., Maryland: A police officer pled guilty to a second-degree assault charge. He was placed on administrative duties after he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend while they were vacationing.
  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (Previously reported 08-23-12): A jury found a veteran police officer guilty of raping and kidnapping a woman. He face multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition involving two separate women.
  • Park Forest, Illinois: An officer was charged in the police killing of a 95-year-old World War II veteran who was fatally shot with beanbag rounds in his apartment at a senior facility. A Cook County State’s Attorney said the patrolman was charged with one count of reckless conduct, a Class 4 felony.
  • Update: Cincinnati, Ohio (First reported 01-30-14): Police have concluded an internal investigation of allegations by a woman who said she was raped. The woman filed a federal lawsuit against a police officer, alleging that she arrested her instead of helping her.
  • Frederick, Maryland: A police officer pled guilty to a second-degree assault charge.

Chicago Spends Hundred of Millions on Police Misconduct Cases

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Over the past decade, the City of Chicago has spent more than $500 million on police-related settlements, judgments, legal fees and other costs — raising new questions about the adequacy of training and oversight in the Chicago Police Department, according to a review by the Better Government Association.

In 2013 alone, the city shelled out $84.6 million — the largest annual payout in the decade analyzed by the BGA, and more than triple the $27.3 million the city had initially projected to spend last year….

In all, the BGA found more than $521.3 million has been spent to handle police misconduct-related lawsuits from 2004 to the present day. The true cost, though, is even higher, as the BGA counted settlements and judgments, legal bills and other fees — but not less tangible expenses related to, say, insurance premiums, investigators and the cost of incarcerating innocents.

In all, the BGA found 1,611 misconduct-related lawsuits had been filed against Chicago police from 2009 to 2013, a majority alleging excessive force.

Cop Pulls Gun on Boys Building a Tree Fort


A fifth-grader says he was terrified when a police officer pointed a gun at him and his friends while they built a tree fort.

Omari Grant, 11, said he and his friends often play in a wooded area behind his home and were building a fort when a neighbor in the next subdivision called police to complain about what the boys were doing.

But no one anticipated what Omari and his mother say happened next….

Omari told Diamant that two officers, one with his gun drawn, rolled up on him and a few of his friends as they built a fort in the trees behind his home.

“I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said,” Omari said.

More here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-02-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 2, 2014:

  • Galveston, Texas: Twelve people say they were brutally beaten when more than 30 police officers burst into a wedding party at an outdoor bar. Police say the accusations are exaggerated and any force used was justified.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A now-former police officer withdrew his guilty plea to charges relating to drugs, assault, and promoting prostitution.
  • Bennington, Vermont: A man who police arrested after a car and foot chase is suing the town, police department, and an officer for at least $500,000 over an incident in which he was allegedly hit in the face with an object and denied medical attention while he bled profusely.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer pled guilty to two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. A state’s attorney said the officer sexually abused a child after knowing her and her family for years.
  • Dallas, Texas: A police officer was fired and arrested on a charge of sexual assault. He was accused of raping a woman without her “consent or awareness.”
  • New York, New York: A woman spent seven years in prison on an attempted murder conviction before it was dismissed. She said never laid eyes on the man she was accused of setting up to be attacked with gunshots to his chest and stomach. Her attorneys are filing a notice of claim charging false arrest, wrongful conviction, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other civil charges.
  • Charles County, Maryland: A sheriff has denied allegations of excessive force during a traffic stop. The victim says he plans to file suit.
  • Opelika, Alabama: A police officer shot an Air Force Airman in the stomach after the Airman and a tractor trailer had pulled over to the side of an interstate following a seemingly routine, minor traffic accident. The Airman was told he would likely have to wear a colonoscopy pack his entire life. His father says this is a case of excessive force. OPD, which has yet to file charges against the Airman, has suspended the police officer with pay as the state investigation continues.
  • South Bend, Indiana: Local pastors and activists gathered to call for the firing of a police officer accused of excessive force. A man was seriously injured and hospitalized after being arrested. The man has yet to be formally charged by the county prosecutor’s office and his family complained about the force used.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-01-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 1, 2014:

  • Dallas, Texas: The police department reopened a criminal and internal investigation into a police officer’s shooting of an unarmed man.
  • Harford County, Maryland: A sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to reckless endangerment stemming from an incident when he discharged his weapon after a confrontation with a driver.
  • Cascade County, Montana: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence. He was off-duty when he was arrested.
  • Warwick, Rhode Island: A rookie police officer and two other officers were suspended. Details about the rookie drinking and texting before he was involved in an off-duty head on collision were omitted from the initial police report.
  • Edison, New Jersey: Three police officers, including one who is already facing charges, have been charged with planning to retaliate against a North Brunswick police officer who arrested another man for drunken driving.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A white police officer should be fired for arresting a black teacher after a community meeting that addressed police relations with Pittsburgh’s black community, a board that investigates citizen complaints of police misconduct has concluded.
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 01-23-13): The city has agreed to pay $100,000 to a man whose beating by police officers was capture on surveillance video. Police were called by a security guard to say he found the man sleeping on a couch in a synagogue. The charges were later dropped after the synagogue confirmed he had permission to sleep there.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona: A 72-year-old man’s son says in court that an officer killed his father as he backed his truck into his own driveway. The claim says the officer needlessly fired 11 shots at the man.
  • Norwich, Connecticut: The family of a man killed by police has sued the city and police department, saying the shooting was wrong. The suit says the man was not holding a weapon when police began shooting, firing 41 shots, 6 of which hit him.
  • Orleans Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended without pay after being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in a marked Sheriff’s Office car.
  • Spokane, Washington: A police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested for DUI.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-29-14 to 03-31-14

Here are the 22 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, March 29 to Monday, March 31, 2014:

  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 11-02-12): A police detective pled guilty to perjury in an affidavit and misconduct in office for obstructing and hindering an investigation.
  • Mansfield, Louisiana: A man twice-arrested for a homicide has filed suit in federal court, claiming the arresting officer fabricated evidence and lied during court proceeding. The first time the man was arrested a jury declined to indict the man, and the second time the charges were dropped.
  • Update: Newton County, Georgia (Previously reported 12-11-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
  • Bayonne, New Jersey: The wife and daughter of a slain man, who was shot by police when a routine welfare check went awry, have filed a lawsuit against the department, claiming wrongful death and excessive force among other claims.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A now-former officer got three months’ house arrest and six years’ probation. He accepted $5,000 and skipped court so a man he arrested on gun charges could skate free.
  • Hidalgo County, Texas: Four people claim members of the Panama Unit illegally raided their home. They claim they were illegally detained as the armed men searched their home looking for money and contraband.
  • Update: New Hanover, North Carolina (First reported 11-04-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 12 months of probation, two days of community service, and stripped of his law enforcement credentials after using a stun gun on a utility worker.
  • Evanston, Illinois: A man has filed a federal court suit claiming a police officer used excessive force when the officer repeatedly hit him in the head with the officer’s gun.
  • Dallas, Texas: The city gave $1.1 million to a man for his claims that he was beaten and falsely arrested by police, and then spent 15 months in jail as a result. Dashcam video exonerated the man and showed an officer lied about the incident. That officer resigned. The police chief said that since this incident happened he has enacted stricter policies on investigations like this one.
  • Ramsey County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy who allegedly ran a car containing three children off the road has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
  • Flint, Michigan: A man has filed a lawsuit on claims he had to spend Christmas in jail when he was stopped by police while legally openly carrying his pistol. Police argue the man’s gun was concealed when he was stopped and the officer was within his rights to detain the man.
  • St. Cloud, Florida: A police officer was arrested and charged with domestic violence. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation.
  • Update; Eunice, Iowa (First reported 02-12-14): Three police officer face a lawsuit in federal court based on a video that appears to show use of excessive force on a man.
  • Franklin County, Ohio: A sheriff’s deputy faces two counts of child pornography after authorities discovered the material on his home computer.
  • Portland, Oregon: A former U.S. Air Force Sergeant, who is now disabled, is suing the federal government and four federal officers for allegedly tasing him several times and striking him in the head and back as he tried to go through security at a downtown office for an appointment.
  • Tucson, Arizona: A University of Arizona student caught footage of a police officer knocking down a woman who appears to be walking by. A police spokesman said the department is aware of the video and it is being reviewed by internal affairs.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: A man said that he almost died after a car accident because police failed to get him medical treatment in a timely matter. When he finally did get to a doctor, they realized he had a serious head injury and needed emergency surgery to stop bleeding on his brain.
  • Hamden, New Hampshire: A police officer was given a 30-day unpaid suspension along with a verbal reprimand by the police commission after he was found guilty of two charges in an ethics and integrity case. He allegedly accessed a police system to help a female acquaintance.
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana (Previously reported 10-10-13): A now-former homicide detective agreed to spend three years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting three young girls.
  • Hall County, Georgia: A now-former deputy has been charged with stealing county property and violating his oath as an officer. The item he stole was valued at less than $1,500.
  • Update: Monterey, Tennessee (First reported 07-11-13): A now-former police chief will serve no prison time after entering a best interest guilty plea on charges of misconduct involving a surplus bulldozer.
  • New York, New York: An aspiring rapper brought a federal lawsuit against two police officers. He alleges that the officer barged into his apartment without a warrant to question another man, and then handcuffed him and ordered him to perform some “spits and bars” for his release.

On Improving Trust between the Black Community and the Police

From the Associated Press:

Henderson had just left a meeting of the Community Empowerment Association, which seeks to address problems in poorer black neighborhoods, and that night, had discussed ways to improve communication and trust between the black community and the police.

Henderson was speaking to a photographer for the New Pittsburgh Courier, a newspaper that covers the city’s black community, in the street next to Henderson’s car when Gromek’s patrol car drove by close enough that Henderson and the photographer pressed against Henderson’s car for safety.

According to his lawsuit, Henderson said, “Wow!”—referring to the speed with which the officer was driving down a narrow street.

Gromek then turned around, stopped and confronted both of them and asked Henderson, “Do you have a problem?” eventually arresting the teacher when he and the photographer started using a cellphone to record the encounter as onlookers gathered.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 03-28-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, March 28, 2014:

  • Cockrell Hill, Texas: The police chief has resigned after the city’s mayor says information showed he sold impounded cars from the front window of the police department.
  • Update: Manchester, New Hampshire (First reported 05-25-13): A police officer has been sentenced to one year in jail for leaving the scene after he struck two teens with his unmarked police car. He had been charged with conduct after an accident. Prosecutors said he was off-duty when he struck the teens from behind.
  • Rockport, Indiana: A police officer has been suspended following allegations of sending lewd photos of herself. She has been suspended for three weeks without pay for conduct unbecoming a police officer.
  • Tyler, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking violations. He pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and less than 28 grams of crack cocaine, He was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison.
  • Palm Beach County, Florida: The parents of a 24-year-old man, who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy, have sued the officer and sheriff, claiming the shooting was unjustified. Sheriff’s officials were not immediately available for comment. However, the sheriff has repeatedly said the shooting of the unarmed man was justified.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: A police officer was arrested after being accused of mishandling evidence in five investigations he handled. A grand jury indicted him on three criminal counts of official misconduct, false reporting, and criminal conversation after an investigation.
  • Caldwell, Idaho: A family has filed a lawsuit saying that police violated their rights in a raid on the wrong residence. Papers filed by the police’s attorney dispute these claims, saying the officers did kick in the door, but followed proper procedures and policies based on information they had in an attempt to find a potential suspect and victim.
  • Tahlequah, Oklahoma: A police officer was fired after a six month internal investigation. The officer was charged with harassment after he allegedly threatened a woman he had been dating.
  • Update: East Hartford, Connecticut (First reported 11-09-12): A now-former police officer has pled guilty to possessing child pornography. He resigned from the police department after his arrest and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced.

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