As seen in...
Washington Post
ABC News
The Atlantic
The Economist
National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-15-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 15, 2015:

  • Spring, Texas Independent School District: An officer was arrested for sexual assault against a minor.
  • Beloit, Wisconsin: The chief and assistant chief face administrative charges of mismanagement of the department, including several missing firearms.
  • Update: Watervliet, New York (First reported 07-27-15): A school resource officer pled guilty to sodomy charges for having sex with a 16-year-old who was a student at the school where he was assigned.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for domestic
  • San Diego County, California: The president of the deputy’s union stepped down amid accusations of misusing funds. He remains on active duty with the department as the investigation continues.
  • San Diego, California: The City fired 11 officers and several others resigned in lieu of termination during the last fiscal year. This is attributed to a new chief that stressed accountability as part of her agenda.
  • New York, New York: An officer was found guilty of filing a false instrument—putting untrue statements in his report—regarding the illegal arrest of a New York Times photographer.
  • East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania): An officer was arrested for illegally obtaining hundreds of prescription pills via doctor shopping. He was arrested in 2009 for the same practice, but the conviction was expunged after successfully completing court ordered treatment.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-14-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 14, 2015:

  • Mamou, Louisiana: Two now-former chiefs have pled guilty in federal court to abusing inmates with Tasers. One pled guilty this week and will be sentenced at a later date. The other pled guilty in April and was sentenced this week to one year and one day in prison.
  • North Cambria, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested for dealing prescription pills and anabolic steroids while he was in uniform.
  • Los Angeles County, California: An assistant sheriff will resign amid an ongoing investigation he bought a stolen car from the department’s towing contractor.
  • Washington, District of Columbia: An officer was convicted of tax fraud.
  • Update: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (First reported 11-04-11): Two officers were acquitted of official misconduct, falsifying reports, and perjury. Outside video evidence had proven the facts they reported about a drug bust they conducted were not and could not have possibly been true. Nevertheless, the jury “deliberated for 31/2 hours over two days before deciding inaccurate reports signed by both officers after a pair of drug arrests, and [Officer Brian] Dodge’s inaccurate testimony about those cases, could be explained as an honest mistake rather than a criminal attempt to manufacture evidence against the defendants.”
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: An officer resigned after his felony arrest. He allegedly had a sexual relationship with a kidnapping victim and then tried to cover it up.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: An officer was arrested for assaulting and abducting a woman.
  • Howard County, Maryland: An officer was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-13-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 13, 2015:

  • Update: Midlothian, Illinois (First reported 12-04-13): A now-former officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison for beating a man with a baton four years ago.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Imperial Beach, CA): An agent was arrested for illegally using a law enforcement database to harass a Mexican national who previously made accusations against a family member of the agent.
  • Update: Palm Beach County, Florida (First reported 03-28-14): A civil court judge lambasted the sheriff’s office for either losing or destroying video evidence of an officer’s fatal shooting of Seth Adams. The case is ongoing.
  • DeSoto County, Mississippi: A constable was arrested for DUI.
  • Somerville, Tennessee: An officer is under federal investigation for evidence tampering.
  • University of Oregon: A now-former officer was awarded $755,000 in his lawsuit against the department for whistleblower retaliation.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was caught on camera spitting on a handcuffed suspect who was laying on the ground. The officer has been suspended with pay and the investigation is ongoing.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer fatally struck a pedestrian and he may have been intoxicated at the time. The investigation is ongoing.
  • South Gate and Huntington Park, California: Three officers were charged with abusing children at a boot camp for troubled youth.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (San Diego): Two senior agents allegedly ran an illegal sting operation in Mexico without telling Mexican authorities. One informant was killed. The matter is under U.S. State Department investigation.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-10-15 to 10-12-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 10 through Monday, October 12, 2015:

  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (First reported 11-24-14): The Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office posted reports on its website that found the Tamir Rice shooting was “objectively reasonable.”
  • New York, New York: An officer lost 30 days of vacation time after he pled guilty to admininstrative charges for pulling his gun on kids playing tag in the street.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Tucson): An agent was indicted for the 2012 cross-border shooting death of teen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.
  • Clark County, Ohio: Three deputies were fired after leaving a former deputy alone, drunk, and belligerent in the jail’s lobby for two hours.
  • Dallas, Texas: The City settled an excessive force lawsuit with a man who was injured by officers during a traffic stop for $125,000. The report has video of the incident.
  • El Paso County, Colorado approved $120,000 in settlements for two civil lawsuits against the sheriff’s office for actions by the now-former sheriff.
  • South Haven, Kansas: The police chief was suspended and has been charged with felony theft and misuse of public funds.
  • Update: Put-in-Bay, Ohio (First reported 03-03-15): The now-former chief was acquitted on two charges related to accusations that he blocked a sexual assault investigation against one of his officers. He was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
  • Update: Tulare, California (First reported 04-09-14): The chief resigned. He had been absent from duty for undisclosed reasons after his previous domestic violence charges had been dropped for lack of evidence.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 9, 2015:

  • Update: Lee County, Florida (First reported 08-13-15): A deputy who resigned under suspicion of fraud has been arrested for grant theft and
  • Washington, D.C.: An officer was arrested after an altercation at cell phone store.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington (First reported 02-02-15):  An officer who pepper sprayed a schoolteacher and activist at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event was given an oral reprimand for her actions. The department’s Office of Professional Accountability had recommended a one-day suspension for the officer, but the police chief retains the prerogative to change the suggested discipline and do so without notifying the OPA. According to the report, this “loophole” came under public scrutiny during the tenure of the previous police chief, but apparently the policy was never officially changed.
  • Solon, Ohio: An officer was placed on leave after he was accused of assault at a bowling alley.
  • Update: North Charleston, South Carolina (First reported 04-08-15): The City will pay $6,500, 000 to the family of Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by now-former officer Michael Slager. Slager awaits trial for first-degree murder in the case.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 08-26-15): An officer’s trial for perjury and false swearing regarding an incident outside of her home ends in a mistrial. She will be retried in March.
  • Rosemount, Minnesota: An officer was fired by the city council after a closed-door meeting.
  • Columbia, Missouri: A now-former officer pled guilty to having sex with a jail inmate. He was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but six months of that term suspended.
  • Macon, Georgia: A now-former officer was indicted for striking a woman who was in custody. He was fired after his arrest in May.
  • Update: Illinois State Police (First reported 09-10-15): A trooper was sentenced to one year of court supervision for performing an illegal strip search of a motorist. The incident was discovered when a supervisor conducted a routine review of dashcam footage.

New York Law Hides Police Misconduct

From New York Times editorial:

The uniquely restrictive New York State law that is used to conceal the disciplinary histories of police officers — even some who have committed crimes — reared its head again last week in misconduct proceedings against the officer who brutalized the retired tennis player James Blake during a mistaken arrest in Manhattan last month.

The public has the right to be kept informed of police misconduct cases, especially at a time of heightened concern over police brutality. But when the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated excessive force charges against James Frascatore, the officer who attacked Mr. Blake, it was allowed to release its findings to Mr. Blake’s lawyer but was barred from making them available to the public. Had Mr. Blake’s attorney not released the information, the public would still be in the dark.

The state law on officers’ histories is the only one of its kind in the nation. It was enacted in 1976 to prevent criminal defense lawyers from using freedom-of-information laws to gain access to personnel records for information to use against officers in trials.

The law says an officer’s personnel record cannot be publicly released or cited in court without a judge’s approval. But municipalities and courts have since broadened the definition of “personnel record” to shield almost any information.

For additional background, go here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-08-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 8, 2015:

  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 09-14-15): The Civilian Complaint Review Board found that the officer who tackled ex-tennis star James Blake used excessive force.
  • Douglas County, Colorado: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired and arrested for punching a handcuffed suspect in the face at a medical facility.
  • Update: Seabrook, New Hampshire (First reported 01-08-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to assault against an inmate in 2009. The video of the incident was released in January 2014 and soon went viral, prompting his termination and criminal charges.
  • Richfield, Minnesota: Two officers were placed on leave after a video showing an officer striking a black teen who was standing in a park made news.
  • Farmington, Maine: An officer faces two civil counts for excessive force for 2011 shooting death of Justin Crowley-Smilek.
  • Update: Boynton Beach, Florida (First reported 10-31-14): An officer was found not guilty of raping a woman at gunpoint on his patrol vehicle.
  • Sonoma County, California: The sheriff’s office is being sued in federal court by 20 jail inmates alleging beatings and abuse.
  • East Cleveland, Ohio: Three officers face charges for ripping off thousands of dollars from drug dealers over a two-year period.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-07-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 7, 2015:

  • Oklahoma County, Oklahoma: A corporal was charged with felony strangulation for an attack on his girlfriend. He resigned.
  • Kenosha County, Wisconsin: A deputy was charged with obstruction and misconduct for stealing drugs during a sting.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Laredo, TX): An officer was arrested for pulling his gun on a driver. He was placed on leave.
  • Darien, Connecticut: Two officers were arrested for shooting a vehicle with their firearms.
  • Breckinridge County, Kentucky: The sheriff was arrested for DUI and terroristic threatening.
  • Donna, Texas: An officer pled guilty to tampering and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service for fixing a ticket.
  • Carlsbad, California: A woman is suing the city for being punched in the face while she was subdued during a 2013 arrest. There is video of the incident.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: An officer was indicted on a vehicular homicide charge for hitting a pedestrian in March.
  • University of Oklahoma: An officer was arrested for breaking into a car, stealing a cell phone, and attempting to send sexual content with it.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-06-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 6, 2015:

  • Maui, Hawaii: An officer was arrested for theft. The investigation is ongoing.
  • Update: Cleveland, Tennessee: The new chief fired three officers implicated in recent scandals. Two were fired as a result of an incident off-duty that resulted in sexual assault charges against one of them (those charges were eventually dismissed). The third officer was indicted last month for insurance fraud. His criminal case is pending.
  • Zephyrhills, Florida: An officer was fired for unjustified use of force with a Taser.
  • Update: Deptford, New Jersey (First reported 01-07-13): A now-former officer was found guilty of murder for shooting his friend in an incident at his home.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was charged with theft and misconduct for fraudulently claiming overtime pay.
  • Update: Shreveport, Louisiana (First reported 10-01-15): An officer that had been suspended for undisclosed misconduct has been fired. There is no word on whether there is or will be a criminal investigation.
  • Clark County School District (Nevada): An officer was arrested for DUI after an auto crash.
  • Update: Salt Lake City (Unified), Utah (First reported 03-23-15): A now-former officer was sentenced to two years’ probation and to pay nearly $8,500 in restitution for misuse of public funds.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-03-15 to 10-05-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 3 through Monday, October 5, 2015:

  • Santa Clara County, California: Two deputies were arrested in unrelated incidents. One illegally accessed a confidential database to find information on people he knew. The other filed a false injury claim.
  • Georgia State Police: A trooper was fired after a fatal automobile crash that killed two teens. The now-former trooper had previous crashes on his record. It is unclear whether criminal charges are being considered.
  • Update: Rochester, New York (First reported 03-09-15): An officer had criminal hit-and-run charges against him dropped. He remains suspended pending an internal investigation.
  • Lafayette Parish, Louisiana: The parish settled a brutality lawsuit brought by a former inmate for $400,000. According to the report, two deputies “sprayed him with pepper spray and beat him in a holding cell, breaking three of his ribs and puncturing a lung. He says they then left him restrained in a chair for an hour before taking him to a hospital.” Two deputies who did not report the incident were brought up on administrative charges but remain with the department. The two deputies who allegedly perpetrated the assault were fired and face criminal charges.
  • Update: Owasso, Oklahoma (First reported 06-22-15): An officer was charged in an excessive force case for beating a motorist with the butt of a shotgun in an incident caught on tape. This is the same officer who was fired and reinstated by an arbitrator in 2012 for excessive force for elbowing an inmate in the face. In February of this year, he was awarded $280,000 in back-pay for the time he was terminated before his reinstatement.
  • Buffalo, New York: A now-former officer as sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay $100,000 restitution for filing a false disability claim.
  • Orlando, Florida: Two officers were fired for rupturing the spleen of an inmate who was bound hand-and-foot. They ignored his screaming pleas for help for two hours before taking him to the hospital.
  • Elyria, Ohio: An officer pled no contest to DUI after a crash. He was given 90 days in jail, with all but three of those suspended, and fined.  The three days not suspended will be used for alcohol abuse classes.
  • Cleveland, Mississippi: An officer was accused of extortion in a ticket-fixing scheme.
  • Kentucky State Police: A trooper pled guilty to sex with a minor. Four troopers were terminated and charged for having sexual contact with the same girl.

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