National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-26-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 26, 2014:

  • New York, New York: The police department says its internal affairs division is investigating after a video was posted that appeared to show officers push a pregnant woman to the ground when she tried to intervene as her son was being taken into custody.
  • Burlington, Vermont: A judge has decided a police officer should face trial on charges he shot a mentally ill man.
  • Dayton, Ohio: The father of a man fatally shot by police as he held an air rifle inside a Wal-Mart said he believes his son was murdered, despite a special grand jury declining to criminally charge the officers. The U.S. Justice Department has announced a probe to determine if his 22-year-old son’s civil rights were violated.
  • El Paso, Texas: A witness said that police stopped several men from trying to save a woman in a submerged car. The witness said she saw the woman moving her hands inside the car and that police stopped three men from attempting to get her out. The woman drowned. Now the department’s Special Traffic Investigations unit is conducting an investigation.
  • Boulder, Colorado: A detective was arrested on charges that he warned a sex crimes suspect that BPD was preparing to arrest him.
  • Galveston, Texas: A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
  • Meridian, Idaho: A police officer seen passing another motorcycle rider on the right side of an interstate has been disciplined.
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania: Lawyers for a man whose arrest was caught on a cellphone video that showed a police officer kneeing him twice as he lay on the ground, and another one punching him, have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the police used excessive force.
  • Pickens, South Carolina: The police chief said one of his officers was fired amid a domestic investigation and his arrest. The officer was terminated for violation of city policy.
  • Update: Los Angeles, California (Previously reported 08-01-14): A woman who was punched repeatedly by a California Highway Patrol officer in an incident caught on film will receive $1.5M as part of a settlement reached.
  • Janesville, Wisconsin: An officer is being charged with misdemeanor battery and domestic violence. The chief has called that grounds for potential termination.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-25-14

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 25, 2014:

  • Healdton, Oklahoma: The chief of police entered a not guilty plea to a felony gun charge. He was fired.
  • Okeechobee County, Florida: Ten months after a crash involving a deputy that killed two women, an investigation has found the deputy was at fault. Crash witnesses said the deputy did not have his lights or sirens on and was traveling at least double the speed limit.
  • Atlantic Beach, Florida: The police chief resigned in the wake of being the subject of an active criminal investigation. Sources said the investigation is related to the illegal purchase of steroids from Mexico.
  • Montgomery County, Maryland: A police officer has been charged with perjury and workers’ compensation fraud.
  • Fulton, New York: A decorated veteran police sergeant has pled guilty to beating a handcuffed man and now faces up to 10 years in prison. He pled guilty in federal court to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.
  • Greece, New York: A now-former police officer has been charged in federal court with possession of child pornography.

Internal Affairs Investigating Treatment of Pregnant Woman

From NBC New York:

The NYPD says its internal affairs division is investigating after a video was posted over the weekend that appeared to show officers push a pregnant woman to the ground when she tried to intervene as her son was being taken into custody.

The video, which the woman’s attorneys say was captured on Fifth Avenue at 41st Street in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park at around 2:15 a.m. Sunday, shows an officer who was trying to arrest another suspect grabbing Sandra Amezquita, who is five months pregnant, before pushing her belly-first onto the ground and then hopping atop her back.

The video then shows a second, unidentified woman being shoved to the ground in the middle of the street as she comes to help Amezquita.

Amezquita’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, told media Wednesday that the 43-year-old woman suffered vaginal bleeding and bruises on her arms and stomach after the encounter. He said she has persisting abdominal pain and showed a photo of bruising on her stomach.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-24-14

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 24, 2014:

  • Update: West Yellowstone, Montana (First reported 08-12-14): A police chief who was fired after a state investigation found he selectively enforced the law and violated court orders will not face criminal charges.
  • Wise Co, Texas: A man who claims a sheriff’s deputy forced him to take nude photographs while registering for the state’s sex offender database says he thinks there are other victims.
  • Update: Warren, Ohio (First reported 05-05-14): A now-former police officer has been convicted on less serious charges than those filed after he was accused of towing a car from private property to keep for himself.
  • Hamilton Co, Tennessee: A now-former deputy sheriff was indicted by a federal grand jury for sexually assaulting a woman while he was on duty.
  • Bossier Parish, Louisiana: A deputy was fired after his arrest on a domestic violence charge.
  • Tupelo, Oklahoma: Sheriff’s deputies arrested the police chief on suspicion of forgery and obtaining cash under a false pretense.
  • Hollywood, California: A man is suing city for wrongful arrest. He has accused the department of discrimination against him.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An attorney says, “It appears the actions of one of the officers — who clearly had the word “police” labeled across the back of his shirt — were illegal and unconstitutional.”
  • Tunkhannock Township, Pennsylvania: A man claims a police officer used a stun gun on him for no reason. HE filed a federal lawsuit against the officer, township and another man.

Police Shooting in South Carolina

From NBC News:

A South Carolina state trooper who was fired after being captured on video shooting an unarmed driver during a routine traffic stop was arrested on Wednesday. Lance Corporal Sean M. Groubert was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection with the shooting in a gas station’s parking lot, which was filmed by a camera in his patrol car.

On Sept. 4, Groubert pulled over Levar Edward Jones for a seatbelt violation in Columbia, South Carolina, and subsequently shot the unarmed man in the hip. In newly released video, Groubert is heard asking Jones for his license. As Jones reaches into his car, the officer is seen moving quickly while pointing his gun and shouting, “Get out of the car!” He then fires four shots at Jones as he falls backwards away from the car with his hands in the air. Groubert cuffs the injured driver, who can be heard asking, “What did I do, sir?”

Chilling video.   To the department’s credit, upon review, the officer was promptly discharged and criminal charges are now pending.  That’s the manner in which one would expect an incident like this to be handled.   Safe to say that the video was the critical factor and that’s why body cameras are needed.

City Settles Excessive Force Lawsuit for $490,000; Denies Any Wrongdoing

From the San Bernardino Sun:

City Attorney Cristina Talley announced Tuesday at the council meeting that the council agreed to settle the federal lawsuit filed July 31, 2013, in U.S. District Court by the parents of 22-year-old Trevor Taylor of Colton, who was shot and killed a year earlier on July 31, 2012.

The wrongful death lawsuit lodged against the city alleges three Colton officers involved in the shooting used excessive force, were not properly trained, committed battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of the killing, according to court documents.

Officers Todd Smith, and Sgts. Steve Davis and Lou E. Gamache are still with the department in the patrol division….

“The use of force was reasonable and consistent with our policy,” said Colton Police Cpl. Ray Mendez. “We’re not changing any policy and we’re not amending anything.”

From the on-line comments section:

My city isn’t doing anything wrong, where MY payout?

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-23-14

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

  • Richmond, California: A family plans to sue the city and the officer who shot and killed a 24-year-old man shot. Officers say that the man grabbed for his gun. The family’s attorney, however, says, “The officer’s claim is disputed by various witnesses.”
  • Longwood, Florida: A now-former police chief has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and bribery. Investigators said that a man allegedly paid the former chief more than $30,000 in bribes in order to become a police officer.
  • Johnson City, Tennessee: A state trooper resigned from the department in lieu of termination following an internal investigation into an arrest on domestic assault charges.
  • Newport, Tennessee: A police officer was arrested on charges of domestic assault with no bodily injury or physical violence.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: The police department suspended one of its officers he was charged him with second-degree assault. The officer was off duty at the time of his arrest and has been suspended with pay, pending an administrative hearing.
  • Shreveport, Louisiana: A police officer has been arrested following a fight at a local bar. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.
  • Chicopee, Massachusetts: A police officer will lose his job in connection with his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. The mayor announced he decided to terminate the officer following a discipline hearing in connection to a restraining order taken out on him by the girl’s parents.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-20-14 to 09-22-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 20 to Monday, September 22, 2013:

  • Milford, Delaware: Prosecutors dropped felony stalking, dozens of other charges against a veteran state trooper in return for a guilty plea to illegally obtaining criminal history.
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A state trooper was arrested and charged after he assaulted his wife. The victim had visible injuries so the officer was charged with criminal domestic violence.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A mistrial was declared in the case against a now-former police officer accused of theft and related offenses in a sting operation in which he was videotaped taking money from a staged vehicle.
  • Mukwonago, Wisconsin: A decorated now-former police officer was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for violently robbing a bank while he was still with the department.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: A state trooper has been fired for shooting an unarmed man during a traffic stop. He had been terminated following an administrative review.
  • Update: Sorrento, Virginia (First reported 02-12-14): The now-former police chief was sentenced in federal court to 24 months probation with no jail time on a charge of lying to the FBI in a sexual assault investigation. He was also ordered to pay $2,500 in fines immediately.
  • Haywood County, Tennessee: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into a deputy accused of sexual misconduct. He was placed on administrative leave with pay.
  • Gadsden County, Florida: A now-former captain has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he took money from an arrested man and then lied to FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators when he said he didn’t.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-19-14

Here are the 23 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 19, 2014:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: A sheriff’s deputy, who has now resigned, is accused of sexually assaulting two women at home. He was being held on $65,000 bond for sexual assault and battery complaints.
  • Update: McHenry County, Illinois (First reported 08-15-12): A 10-year veteran sheriff’s deputy, who once served on a child pornography task force, will spend the next 50 years in federal prison for sexually abusing a child and distributing images of the attack online.
  • Richland County, South Carolina: Sheriff’s deputies are investigating whether a deputy’s use of a stun gun on a handcuffed suspect was excessive force.
  • Update: Elmwood Park, Illinois (First reported 01-03-14): A police officer accused of swindling an 85-year-old man with dementia has resigned. He was arrested and charged with forging a $20,000 check from the man.
  • Iberia Parish, Louisiana: Federal authorities confirmed they launched an investigation into the shooting death of a 22-year-old black man who died in the backseat of a police car. The family had demanded a Justice Department probe after the coroner ruled that the man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, had committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a handgun. The full coroner’s report indicated that he died from a single shot to his right chest, contradicting the initial police statement that he had shot himself in the back.
  • Update: Orange County, Florida (First reported 10-24-11): Deputies violated the rights of barbers during a raid in the guise of a license inspection, a federal appeal court said in a strongly-worded rebuke of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Fort Collins, Colorado: A police officer was fired following an investigation that determined he used agency resources to discover where a woman worked and lived.
  • Palisades Interstate Parkway, New Jersey: A police officer was arrested on drug charges as part of an internal affairs investigation, the department said. The officer was immediately suspended without pay following his arrest.
  • Cheshire, Connecticut: A now-former police officer, who served as the police union treasurer, was charged with stealing about $21,000 from the union, officials said.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A now-former officer pled guilty to official misconduct, wanton endangerment in the second degree, and reckless driving. The charges stem from an incident where the off-duty officer was drunk behind the wheel and intentionally struck a man following an altercation.
  • Trenton, Georgia: Investigators say a police officer sneaked into the evidence room and walked away with hydrocodone, oxycodone and other pills. The officer resigned from the police department and was indicted on one charge of violation of oath by a police officer and four counts of theft. Because he allegedly stole the drugs while serving as a police officer, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 09-17-14): A not guilty plea was entered for a police officer charged with domestic violence. He is accused of hitting his girlfriend with his car.
  • Warren, Ohio: A man has filed a lawsuit in over a bite he said he suffered because a police dog employed by the police department bit him.
  • Myton, Utah: The police chief was charged with stalking three women. He faces five misdemeanor charges from stalking and criminal trespass to unlawful detention.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: A police officer was arrested on suspicion of third-degree sex assault. His police powers have been removed.
  • Update: Lowell, Massachusetts (First reported 08-26-14): A police officer charged with being drunk and causing a fatal car crash has resigned. He was indicted on charges of manslaughter by motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
  • New York, New York: A police officer has been suspended after a video surfaced showing the cop kick a man at a street fair. The Police Commissioner said the officer has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified desk duty while the department investigates. “As best I could tell, looking at that video, seemed to have been totally unprovoked,” he added.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty police officer at the wheel in a fatal wrong-way crash had a blood-alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit, state police announced.
  • Update: Detroit, Michigan (First reported 03-12-13): A police officer is preparing to stand trial for the second time in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl, an incident videotaped by a reality TV crew. The first trial ended in a hung jury. The officer maintained it was all a tragic accident and he has pled not guilty.
  • Clovis, New Mexico: A traffic stop caught on tape could land a police officer in trouble. The officer accused the man he was arresting of resisting arrest after the two fell to the ground, but the man’s attorney said the officer is the one who should face criminal charges for the assault and battery of his client. Police said it has launched an internal affairs investigation and the officer will be on desk duty until it is complete.
  • Hammond, Indiana: A family has filed suit against the city’s police department, claiming an officer shot their family dog three times. The accounts from police and the family differ.
  • Lake County, California: A lawsuit was filed on behalf of residents who claim they were subject to warrantless searches and unlawful abatement procedures. The resident allege officers visited more than 30 properties without a warrant. Some residents claimed they were not notified or contacted before the officers went on their property, other residents said their locks were cut and officers allegedly cut down marijuana plants without providing abatement notices or allowing time for a summary abatement to be disputed.
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 11-01-13): The city has settled with three men who sued after officers mistook Jolly Rancher candies for crystal met. The city admitted no wrongdoing on the part of the officers, arguing they couldn’t be sure whether the red and blue rocks were illicit drugs or candy.

Judge Beverly J. Woodard

From the Washington Post:

IN PRINCE George’s County, it is now clear that the police, without provocation, can beat an unarmed young student senseless — with impunity. They can blatantly lie about it — with impunity. They can stonewall and cover it up for months — with impunity. They can express no remorse and offer no apology — with impunity.

The agent of this travesty of justice, and this impunity, is Judge Beverly J. Woodard of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. Ms. Woodard has presided in the case involving John J. McKenna, a young University of Maryland student who was savagely beaten by two baton-wielding Prince George’s cops in March 2010, following a men’s basketball game on the College Park campus.

The beating of Mr. McKenna was videotaped; had it not been, the police, who filed no report and then falsely claimed that he instigated the incident and attacked them, may never have been investigated or charged. Yet despite the fact that a jury convicted one of the police officers, James Harrison Jr., of assault nearly two years ago, Ms. Woodard has now thrown the verdict out and closed the case.

Read the whole thing.



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