National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-07-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 7, 2014:

  • Portland, Oregon: While under investigation for alleged threats and harassment of two ex-wives, a police officer resigned.
  • Nassau County, New York: Two police officers are under investigation after video surfaced that showed them violently striking a driver during a traffic stop.
  • Update: Eddy County, North Dakota (First reported 9/03/13): A sheriff says he’s innocent of child abuse charges. He was charged with felony “Abuse or Neglect of a Child,” in connection with the alleged physical abuse of his stepson.
  • Peoria, Illinois: A decorated police officer has been arrested on aggravated child pornography charges. It’s his third arrest in less than a year.
  • Trenton, New Jersey: A lawsuit filed says the destructive actions of police caused the death of a man. His mother filed suit, saying her son was killed following a high-speed chase. No criminal charges were filed against the officers involved.
  • Lower Windsor Township, Pennsylvania: A man says troopers shot his dog before they knocked on his door and identified themselves. They went to his home to issue a warrant for a girl who no longer lives in the house. Police say the dog charged, but the owner says the dog was shot in the side, indicating he was not attacking.
  • Longview, Texas: A police officer in has resigned from his position on the squad and a lieutenant has been placed on leave as a result of an investigation into allegations of  sexual contact while on duty.
  • Henderson, Nevada: A police captain is now under investigation after he apparently threatened bankers. The off-duty officer was forced to wait a few minutes to cash a check at the bank.
  • Franklin, Kentucky: The police chief has resigned after being suspended while the city conducted an internal investigation of his office. According to personnel records, the city listed several reasons for his suspension, including allegations that he falsified documents and used city resources for personal benefit.
  • Lowndes County, Georgia: A sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to conspiracy. Prosecutors say he admitted to taking money from Hispanic drivers during unlawful traffic stops and telling the victims they faced arrest or deportation if they didn’t pay him.
  • Fulton County, Georgia: A now-former deputy sheriff pled guilty in federal court to demanding money from security officers he assigned to work at public swimming pools. He hired officers and coordinated their schedules, but soon demanded payments from at least three of them in exchange for continuing to assign them more work.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-06-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, May 6, 2014:

  • Napa, California: An off-duty police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run after he allegedly lost control of his truck, struck a large tree, rolled his vehicle over and hit a parked car that was pushed into a home.
  • Wilmer, Texas: A police department is investigating allegations of an officer using excessive force against a teen. The family of the teenager says the boy was kicked in the head, but police tell a different story. Either way, a police officer is suspended and the department is taking another look at its policies.
  • Hinds County, Mississippi: Police say a 25-year-old man died after a deputy, who was acting as the referee, punched him at a basketball game. The deputy is now facing charges.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona: A deputy turned himself in after a standoff. Detectives issued a search warrant and carried away bags of evidence, according to neighbors. Deputies said they found methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. The deputy has resigned.
  • Update: Nassau County, New York (First reported 06-25-13): A police officer who was off-duty and not in uniform when he shot a retreating, unarmed cabdriver after a night of drinking with another cop was fired.
  • Elmwood Park, Illinois: A police officer is accused of using his police powers to run background checks and start a relationship with a woman while she was estranged from her husband, according to court documents.
  • Modesto, California: A mentally challenged teenager and his family are suing the city in federal court, claiming police officers violated the teen’s rights by wrongfully arresting and interrogating him and coercing a confession from him in a drive-by shooting he did not commit.
  • Adairsville, Georgia: A family is seeking unspecified monetary compensation after their family member was shot and killed by police on “illegal” warrants taken by the police department.
  • Benton County, Washington: A sheriff’s deputy accused of illegally using steroids has resigned.

Problems with the Border Patrol

From the New York Times:

On Feb. 16, 2010, a Mexican teenager caught trying to cross into the United States near Douglas, Ariz., filed a formal complaint accusing a Border Patrol agent of punching him in the face during his arrest.

Three months later, a pregnant woman in or around El Paso reported that a Border Patrol agent had kicked her during an apprehension, causing her to miscarry.

In both cases, records show, no disciplinary action was taken. And it was no different for the vast majority of cases that reached United States Customs and Border Protection’s internal affairs office, according to new data obtained through a public records request by the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based immigrant advocacy group. Of 809 abuse complaints against agents within 100 miles of the Southwest border from January 2009 to January 2012, only 13 led to disciplinary action, and typically that meant counseling, internal affairs records showed.

“These stark findings exemplify the culture of impunity that prevails at C.B.P.,” said Melissa Crow, director of the council’s Legal Action Center. “Given the tremendous resources appropriated to C.B.P., the agency must do a better job of holding its officers accountable.” …

[U]nder increasing scrutiny from Congress for its use of force and lack of transparency, the 44-page list of complaints is now among the most comprehensive — and damning — publicly available portraits of alleged border misconduct.

It shows that in 40 percent of the cases with internal affairs, no decision had been made or reported, in some cases for more than three years after complaints were filed. And in the other 60 percent where a conclusion had been reached, “no action” was the end result 97 percent of the time.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-03-14 to 05-05-14

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, May 3 to Monday, May 5, 2014:

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A woman is fighting to make things right after a sheriff’s deputy allegedly hit her with his car and then arrested her for drunk driving. Since she was unable to blow into a breathalyzer due to her injuries, the officer charged her with OWI despite causing the crash himself. Blood tests later revealed that she had no alcohol or drugs in her system at the time of the crash and the district attorney declined to file charges.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty officer was charged with reckless endangerment after he was accused of firing his gun during an argument outside an apartment building.
  • Vista, California: The Sheriff’s Department apologized, but now is facing a family’s lawsuit over a deputy who pepper sprayed and beat their 21-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, when he failed to obey the deputy’s orders.
  • Update: Mount Kisco (First reported 01-06-14): A police officer has resigned after pleading guilty to punching his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the face in front of their two-year old child.
  • Pasco, Washington: A police officer on administrative leave for lying to investigators is facing possible new charges that he tried to solicit a suspected prostitute.
  • Lincoln, Nebraska: Two officers used excessive force in separate incidents, leading one to quit and another to face a disciplinary committee internal investigators said.
  • North Andover, Massachusetts: An off-duty state trooper was arrested and charged with drunken driving and carrying a gun while intoxicated after crashing his car, seriously injuring his passenger, police said.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested after she allegedly struck several vehicles with her car and then fled the scene while she was under the influence.
  • Update: Concord, Pennsylvania (First reported 04-07-14): A K-9 police officer who resigned after being arrested and charged with stealing prescription drugs from the elderly pleaded no contest to five counts and received a sentence of 2½ years.
  • Baltimore City, Maryland: In a negotiated plea agreement, an officer has pled guilty court to driving under the influence and two counts of endangering the welfare of children.
  • Update: Dona Ana, New Mexico (First reported 04-17-14): The sheriff’s deputy who was driving 114 mph when she hit and killed a pedestrian will not be charged with vehicular homicide. An official said proof to support that charge is not present in this case. She will be prosecuted for lesser included offenses.
  • Los Lunes, New Mexico: A police officer was arrested for allegedly choking a man who was repossessing his vehicle.
  • Update: Waltham, Massachusetts (First reported 03-26-13): A now-former police officer pled guilty to charges of possessing child pornography.
  • Warren, Ohio: A police officer has been fired after investigators allege that he towed a car from private property, and tried to keep it for himself.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-02-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, May 2, 2014:

  • St. Petersburg, Florida: An officer was fired from the department for using excessive force and breaking city and department rules. He shot a teenaged boy.
  • Update: Spokane County, Washington (First reported 03-27-14): A sheriff’s deputy was fired for misconduct after an investigation showed he spent much of his on-duty time at the home of a woman who was not his wife.
  • Brazoria, Texas: A man is suing a county, its sheriff, and two deputy sheriffs on allegations they violated his Fourth Amendment rights, unlawfully arrested him and used excessive force.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: An Arizona police officer was arrested on multiple charges in Nashville. He was charged with assault, vandalism and public intoxication.
  • Beaumont, California: A jury has been for the trial of a now-former officer accused of firing a pepper spray gun so close to a woman’s face that it permanently blinded her.
  • Jones County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after she allegedly fired multiple shots at a truck that had her love interest inside.
  • Oakland, California: The father of a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the face by a police officer who mistook him for a robbery suspect has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city.
  • Update: Country Club Hills, Illinois (First reported 06-18-13): The police chief was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing more than $900,000 in state grant money.
  • Grangeville, Idaho: A couple has filed a lawsuit in federal court after a former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to engaging in lewd and lascivious contact with their then 16-year-old daughter.
  • Clearwater, Florida: Three police officers face suspension after an incident involving what appears to have been a drunken colleague getting a special treatment. Internal Affairs investigators found a fellow officer was allowed to go home without so much as a field sobriety test even though he appeared to be drunk.

Worst of the Month — April 2014

The worst misconduct for the month of April is the story of the five Chicago police officers who each took the witness stand to testify about how evidence was obtained in connection with a drug case. Each officer got up on the witness stand and told the same story, but not one of them was telling the truth.  Video evidence offered by the defense contradicted the coordinated falsehood that the police agents offered up.  This practice (called “testilying” by some) is  a serious flaw in the U.S. justice system.  Every now and then, like here, the veil is pulled back—this time thanks to video evidence.   Was this the very first time that these officers committed perjury?  How many cases like this are out there?

Deputy Crashes into Woman’s Car, Then Falsely Charges Her With DUI


From UPI:

A Wisconsin woman is still fighting to make things right after a sheriff’s deputy allegedly hit her with his car and then arrested her for drunk driving more than a year ago.

Tanya Weyker’s Camry was allegedly struck by Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Quiles’ patrol car last February and she suffered a broken neck in the collision….

Blood tests later revealed that Weyker had no alcohol or drugs in her system at the time of the crash and the district attorney declined to file charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-01-14

Here are the 16 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 1, 2014:

  • Bexar County, Texas: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on a drunken driving charge.
  • Washington Township, New Jersey: An officer who is currently suspended without pay is facing 14 criminal charges including official misconduct and falsifying a police report in connection with his arrest of an assemblyman.
  • Strafford County, New Hampshire: The family of a man shot and killed after an encounter with a sheriff’s deputy and two probation officers is suing.
  • Laurelville, Ohio: One former police chief was charged with unauthorized use of property, and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Another former acting police chief was also indicted on one count of receiving stolen
  • Erick, Oklahoma: The town is looking for a new police chief following the chief’s arrest on assault and battery charges. He resigned after being accused of assaulting a shackled inmate.
  • San Jose, California: A federal jury awarded a tech salesman $90,000 in an excessive force case. The city attorney, however, said, “The jury just got it wrong. We strongly disagree with this verdict.”
  • Forsyth County, Georgia: A father is outraged an officer handcuffed his 11-year-old special-needs son while at school. The officer claimed the boy kicked him during one of his episodes. School cameras recorded the incident. The father says he watched it along with a team of program administrators. Following that meeting, a school incident report reads, “[The boy] was not seen kicking the police officer.”
  • Plainville, Connecticut: After two days of deliberations, a jury found that two police officers were negligent in their handling of a woman’s complaints against her ex-boyfriend who later fatally stabbed her.
  • New York, New York: An off-duty officer was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. She is also accused of firing at least one shot at her ex-boyfriend.
  • Hammond, Louisiana: An officer was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled, dangerous substance by fraud. She was found by investigators to be “doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions of controlled substances.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An off-duty Baltimore police officer was arrested and charged with attempted homicide after a shooting incident that wounded a man in York, Pennsylvania.
  • New York, New York: A police officer has been charged with possession of child pornography after investigators say they found videos on his computer of underage girls engaged in lewd sex acts.
  • Update: Mendenhall, Mississippi (Previously reported 01-10-14): A now-former police chief has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for conspiring to demand money and property from people in exchange for dropping criminal charges.
  • Update: Plymouth, Massachusetts (Previously reported 10-150-13): A state trooper was indicted on two counts of motor vehicle manslaughter and drunken driving charges in connection with a two-car crash that took the lives of a mother and daughter.
  • West Palm Beach, Florida: A now-former police officer, who illegally sold anabolic steroids, sometimes to other officers, pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a firearm during the commission of a drug crime.
  • Cape Coral, Florida: A police officer surrendered to police and was charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Officer Tells Criminal to Plant Meth in Ex-Wife’s Car So He Can Win Child Custody Fight

From ABC News:

Madisonville police Sgt. Jeffrey Covington, was convicted last week of retaliation for planting methamphetamines in Laura Covington’s car in 2011 during a child custody battle. The drugs were found after she was stopped by police and she was promptly jailed….

The court determined that Jeffrey Covington and a second police officer arranged with a third person to plant drugs in Laura Covington’s vehicle. She was seven months pregnant when she was arrested and her two children were taken away from her for five weeks.

“Being arrested when I was seven months pregnant, going to jail, and then having my two young children taken from me was a nightmare that still causes me pain to this day,” she told ABC News.  “It’s like a bad dream, but the sad thing is that it’s not a dream because it actually happened.”

“Having my babies taken from me was the worst part about this entire ordeal and if Jeff would have succeeded in his scheme, I could have lost them forever.

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