National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Civilian Oversight

From the Washington Post:

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler regularly ordered state troopers assigned to drive him to turn on the lights and sirens on the way to routine appointments, directing them to speed, run red lights and bypass traffic jams by using the shoulder, according to written accounts by the Maryland State Police.When troopers refused to activate the emergency equipment, Gansler, now a Democratic candidate for governor, often flipped the switches himself, according to the police accounts. And on occasion, he became so impatient that he insisted on driving, directing the trooper to the passenger’s seat. Gansler once ran four red lights with sirens blaring, a trooper wrote. Another account said he “brags” about driving the vehicle unaccompanied on weekends with the sirens on.“This extremely irresponsible behavior is non-stop and occurs on a daily basis,” Lt. Charles Ardolini, commander of the state police executive protection section, wrote in a December 2011 memo that said the problem had existed for five years. “Attorney General Gansler has consistently acted in a way that disregards public safety, our Troopers safety and even the law.”

Attorney General Gansler is one of the key officials that Maryland residents depend upon to oversee problems relating to police misconduct.   Hmm.

To give credit where it is due, good for the state police for not playing along with politician misconduct.

And the governor played it straight as well:

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was briefed, aides said, and authorized the police to take whatever corrective action they deemed necessary, including revoking Gansler’s transportation services.

Mr. O’Malley also seems to put up with traffic jams just like the rest of us.

Related item here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-10-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 10, 2013:

  • Update: Marion, Virginia (First reported 07-17-13): A police chief has been sentenced to six years in prison for dealing methamphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs. Some of the drugs came from the police department’s evidence room. He has been fired. ow.ly/pHgm4
  • Skokie, Illinois: A woman who was charged with driving under the influence and obstructing an officer claims in a lawsuit that a police officer used excessive force. She says that she was shoved head first into a jail cell. ow.ly/pHf7W
  • Update: New Orleans, Louisiana (First reported 04-18-13): A now-former police officer who has been in jail since April on sexual assault charges pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. He is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. ow.ly/pGYoc
  • Greenville, North Carolina: The police department says a detective has been arrested on one count of violating a domestic violence protective order. He was relieved of police powers and placed on administrative duties. ow.ly/pGFA2
  • West Columbia, South Carolina: A police officer was charged in federal court after sending explicit photos of himself to a 13-year-old girl. The police chief said that the situation is an “embarrassment” for the department. ow.ly/pGy3a
  • Grayson County, Kentucky: A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against the county Sheriff. He says that he has not been served the suit yet and also states, “I’m upset. I’m very offended. I’m actually shocked.”
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (Previously reported 07-22-13): A now-former police officer who extorted protection payoffs from drug dealers at a housing project has been sentenced to 22 months in prison. ow.ly/pGwZG

Eugene Mallory

 

Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies burst into Eugene Mallory’s home expecting to find a meth lab, but turns out there was no meth.

Police say that the 80-year-old Mallory, who was in bed, reached for one of his handguns.  That’s when the police shot him six times, killing him.

Mallory’s wife is now bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department.

Where did the police get the idea that there might be a meth lab in this home?  According to the news account, an officer had been in the area and could smell the types of chemicals that are used to make meth.   Hmm.   Perhaps enough to conduct further investigation–watching the premises, for example.   Shouldn’t be enough for raiding someone’s home.

More here.

Cassandra Feuerstein

Another case of a woman arrested for DUI and where the controversy concerns what was done to her after she was taken to the jail.

See the video below.  An officer gets angry when Cassandra Feuerstein does not follow his instructions for the mug shot and throws her head first into the concrete bed frame.

From ABC News and the Chicago Tribune:

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 9, 2013:

  • Pierre, South Dakota: The police chief is defending an officer’s use of a taser against an 8-year-old girl who was threatening to harm herself. The child was holding a knife against her chest at the time of the incident. Parents of the child, who was with a babysitter at the time, want the officer disciplined for using excessive force. argusne.ws/17nFlGh
  • Hazel Green, Wisconsin: The police chief resigned after he showed up under the influence of alcohol for an investigative interview into allegations that he had been working while impaired. bit.ly/1bHmn61
  • Trenton, New Jersey: A veteran police officer and his father have been indicted on charges of fourth-degree false swearing and workers compensation fraud. They made false statements while under oath. bit.ly/19eyl1c
  • Update: Smith County, Texas (First reported 07-12-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty in a drug dealing case that involved selling crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine out of his patrol car. The count against him alleged that he was caught in possession of more than 50 grams of meth and less than 28 grams of crack. ow.ly/pElRJ
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested and charged with committing fraud by requesting compensation for military leave even though he had retired from the military. He has been suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss. ow.ly/pEkI9
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A city police officer has been convicted of drunken driving and involuntary manslaughter in an off-duty motorcycle crash that killed his fiancé’s friend. He was found not guilty of a more serious charge that carried a mandatory minimum of three to six years in prison. ow.ly/pE5Mf
  • Tulare County, California: A deputy has been arrested on charges of sexual assault after he allegedly assaulted a woman he had pulled over. ow.ly/pE5i7
  • Update: Springdale, Pennsylvania (First reported 07-05-13): A man who claimed a police officer used a stun gun on him while he was handcuffed was paid $225,000 by a borough’s insurance carrier to settle a lawsuit. The officer has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of violating the man’s civil rights by punching and tasing him when he was not resisting. ow.ly/pE37O
  • Portsmouth, Virginia: The sheriff is under more scrutiny after he paid inmates in his custody to work on his home. Now he is accused of allowing inmates to do work on a political campaign. He admitted that he violated state law and paid inmates to do the work on his house. However, that offense happened more than a year ago. and the statute of limitations has run, so he will not be charged. ow.ly/pDXBB
  • New York, New York: An undercover police detective was arrested; investigators say he was shown on video hitting and kicking an SUV before bikers attacked the driver. He was off-duty when he joined a motorcycle rally that spiraled into violence. ow.ly/pE0lj

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-08-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 8, 2013:

  • Hayward, California: A police officer resigned after being arrested in connection with an extortion scheme in which prosecutors say he used his badge to take advantage of an alleged criminal. http://bit.ly/1bW7dGL
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: An officer was indicted after allegations of misconduct arose. He was charged with theft, tampering with evidence, and four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. bit.ly/GHIzPt
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 11-18-12): A now-former police officer pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in federal court. He faces 10 years in prison. The federal complaint reveals he agreed to transport women while on duty and in his patrol car. bit.ly/1coa3qD
  • Carter County, Kentucky: A deputy was arrested on a domestic violence incident and has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of an investigation. The Sheriff said there is no place in law enforcement for anyone who chooses to take these kinds of unlawful actions. bit.ly/16vpnhI
  • Waycross, Georgia: A family is disputing statements made by the police on how their family member was shot and killed. The family had called for an ambulance, but the police came. The police say that he was holding a weapon; the man’s mother says that her son had no weapons in his hands. ow.ly/pBWio
  • Update: Adams County, Colorado (First reported 08-21-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to five years in prison for punching a teenager in the face while the teen was strapped to a gurney. ow.ly/pBTyp
  • Kent County, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison. He was accused of inappropriate activity with a 13-year-old girl. Prosecution argued that his offense was particularly heinous because his position in law enforcement gave him a sense of authority. The victim should have been able to trust the officer, not be sexually assaulted by him. bit.ly/1bWg3nQ
  • Gary, Indiana: A man has accused a 12-year veteran of punching him in the eye during an arrest, causing broken bones. The chief is asking the Police Civil Service Commission to fire the officer for using excessive force on a handcuffed suspect, then lying about his actions to Internal Affairs Division investigators. http://bit.ly/1fXPYdj
  • Update: Troy, Ohio (First reported 09-30-13): A police officer accused of stealing money intended for the DARE program pleaded not guilty in court. He is charged with felony theft and has resigned. bit.ly/17NDOxC

20/20 Sets Up Speed Trap for Police Cars

An ABC News Crew from 20/20  set up a speed trap for police vehicles in North Carolina.

They filmed cops speeding all around town for non-emergency situations.

One of the speeders turns out to be a driving instructor for the police academy.

Question: Do you think the findings would be all that different in other states? If not, what would that tell us?

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-07-13

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 5 to Monday, October 7, 2013:

  • Denver, Colorado: Two police officers have been fired. The mayor praised the judge’s decision to fire them saying, “This city will never tolerate deceptive acts by members of the law enforcement community.” They were captured on video beating and pepper-spraying a group of women outside of a diner, and their statements did not match the video evidence. ow.ly/pAeks
  • Bakersfield, California: The family of a man shot and killed by police now plans on suing the officers involved. The police report claims the man was shot in the face, but the family’s attorney says the autopsy report proves he was shot in the back of the head. He also said that the man no longer had a weapon on him when officers approached him and that he was not a threat to police. ow.ly/pA6uG
  • Orange County, California: An officer is being investigated after he drove into a light pole. He was not wearing a seatbelt as he sped 70-75 mph into the pole. Authorities say he was not responding to an emergency call. ow.ly/pA7wS
  • New York, New York: An off-duty officer was arrested and charged with being intoxicated when he allegedly hit and killed a pedestrian with his vehicle, authorities said. ow.ly/pA2Ug
  • Colville, Washington: An officer was charged with seven criminal counts, including four felonies, stemming from a string of alleged sexual encounters with women while he was in uniform. He has been formally accused of burglary, unlawful imprisonment, custodial sexual conduct, and making false of misleading statements to a public servant. ow.ly/pA2DN
  • Glen Falls, New York: A police officer has been arrested in Georgia for allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend. He has been charged with aggravated battery, a felony, and remanded to jail. The department has taken no disciplinary action as of right now pending further investigation. ow.ly/pA0ud
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An officer is charged with misconduct in public office for allegedly using excessive force while controlling a prisoner. Surveillance video shows him driving the citizen’s head into a concrete block wall. ow.ly/pzU7t
  • Cheshire, Connecticut: Two officers are under investigation on suspicion of using police union funds for personal purposes. They have resigned. The chief says that the investigation will no longer continue, as the officers were facing discipline within the department, and since they both resigned there is no action that could be taken. ow.ly/pzRPh
  • Prichard, Alabama: An officer was arrested for alleged child abuse. The charge stems from an incident in which a 2-year-old girl was taken to a hospital for head trauma and neck injuries while she was in the officer’s care. ow.ly/pzEJY
  • Osceola, Florida: A deputy was arrested and suspended after she was accused of punching another police officer who was at a park with her husband. She was on duty when the incident occurred. ow.ly/pzngh
  • Sallisaw, Oklahoma: At least one officer is accused of sexual misconduct while on duty. Allegations surfaced of a police officer having sex with, and providing alcohol to, an 18-year-old woman. ow.ly/pvREl

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-04-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 4, 2013:

  • Taylor County, Kentucky: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on federal drug charges. He sold steroids to an undercover informant on three occasions. In one instance he allegedly met with the undercover agent while in uniform. http://ow.ly/ptsSn
  • Update: Saginaw, Michigan (First reported 08-17-12): The mother of a homeless man shot and killed by police officers has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the city and nine police officers. After a review of the incident, the then-county prosecutor determined that there was no criminal intent behind the officer’s actions. http://ow.ly/ptxHy
  • Galion, Ohio: A police officer has been suspended for 80 hours as a result of negligently handling evidence on a case. He will receive 40 hours of unpaid suspension and will have 40 hours of his vacation time bank removed. ow.ly/pvRs3
  • Dothan, Alabama: A high-ranking officer has been terminated from employment as a result of an extensive internal investigation. It determined that the officer violated “police department general orders and personnel rules and regulations of the city…to the extent that his violations were intolerable offenses.” ow.ly/puKF2
  • Miami, Florida: An officer who stole 1,000 identities from a police database to score fraudulent income-tax refunds was found guilty in federal court. His prosecution marked the first time a South Florida law enforcement officer has been convicted of identity theft and tax-refund fraud. ow.ly/puKoS
  • Greece, New York: A police officer is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into possible unprofessional conduct. The conduct was discovered during a routine internal review of surveillance video captured in the booking area. ow.ly/ptAqj

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