National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-05-15

Here are the nine cases of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 5, 2015:

  • Madison, Wisconsin: An officer was exonerated in the shooting death of Tony Robinson. He is expected to return to regular duty soon.  ow.ly/NTwMu
  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for trespassing at an NYU dormitory while he was off duty. ow.ly/NVhLE
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer was arrested for OUI after a traffic accident. ow.ly/NVunC
  • Saratoga Springs, New York: An officer was suspended for arresting a man who gave him the finger. http://bit.ly/1cJLDdk
  • Ropesville, Texas: The chief was charged with tampering. He allegedly pawned firearms that were being held as evidence. ow.ly/NVxPX
  • Campbell County, Wyoming: Four deputies will return to duty after being cleared in a fatal officer-involved shooting. One deputy remains on leave pending further investigation. ow.ly/NVBUb
  • Update: Greece, New York (First reported 09-25-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to four years in prison, with ten years of supervised release, for his child pornography conviction. ow.ly/NVEfi
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A jury finds one officer engaged in excessive force and awarded the victim $200,000 in damages. The City’s broader liability will be determined in a later court proceeding. ow.ly/NVHAN
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 02-17-15): An officer returned from suspension after he was arrested for child abuse.  Both the criminal case and internal investigation are ongoing.  ow.ly/NVJSi

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-04-15

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 4, 2015:

  • Maui, Hawaii: An officer was arrested and charged with OUI and refusing to take sobriety tests. ow.ly/NQfAu
  • Winona County, Minnesota: A deputy was fired after his arrest for solicitation of prostitution. ow.ly/NS5Uj
  • Update: Kankakee County, Illinois (First reported 01-30-15): A now-former deputy was sentenced to two years and three months for misusing donated public funds for his private business. He was formerly the police chief of an Illinois town and former president of the organization for the Illinois chiefs of police. ow.ly/NS98E
  • Update: Secaucus, New Jersey (First reported 11-19-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to one year of probation for fraudulently purchasing steroid gel with the intent to resell it. ow.ly/NSib0
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired after he was arrested by his colleagues for DUI. ow.ly/NSjLt
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (Los Angeles): A now-former agent was indicted for stealing $100,000 of drug proceeds and obstruction of justice. ow.ly/NSMJl
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: Eleven officers were placed on administrative leave after two incidents during which officers shot at moving vehicles. ow.ly/NSo9m
  • Portland, Tennessee: An officer was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He allegedly hit a mailbox with his cruiser. The police department repaired the damaged mailbox. The officer resigned. ow.ly/NSq4r
  • Update: Jefferson County, Idaho (First reported 02-02-14): The sheriff was found guilty misusing public funds. Sentencing is scheduled for June 22. ow.ly/NSrya
  • East Chicago, Indiana: An officer was suspended for inappropriately pointing his gun at people while off duty. The news report revealed he has a history of similar encounters. ow.ly/NSu4S

Worst of the Month — May 2015

So the worst case for May was the death of Matthew Ajibade.  Ajibade’s girlfriend called the police because he was having a bipolar episode.  Georgia deputies arrested Ajibade but then took him to the jail instead of a hospital.  At the jail, he was placed in a restraint chair.  Deputies reportedly fired stun guns at him while he was restrained in the chair and then left him unattended in an isolation cell.  Ajibade, 22, died and the coroner now says it was homicide.  Nine deputies were fired over the incident and a criminal investigation is on-going.

_____________________________________________

Note: We were so busy in early May following the criminal charges leveled at the 6 Baltimore police officers that we neglected to do a “Worst of the Month” for April.   It was the death of Freddie Gray.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-03-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, May 3, 2015:

  • New York, New York: An officer was arrested for stealing a credit card from deceased man and buying herself a diamond ring with it. ow.ly/NOwpZ
  • Update: Simpsonville, South Carolina (First reported 02-24-14): A now-former chief and now-former detective had the misconduct charges against them dropped. ow.ly/NOBYu
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The City will settle two lawsuits alleging police brutality for $100,000 (combined). Those settlements put the citywide payout for misconduct over $5,000,000 since 2010. ow.ly/NOCuf
  • Update: Darien, Georgia (First reported 10-21-14): A now-former officer was indicted for stealing $1,500 worth of drugs from the evidence room. ow.ly/NP7BV
  • Update: Seabrook, New Hampshire (First reported 04-11-14): A now-former officer’s assault case ends in a mistrial. Video showed the officer slamming the victim into a wall. Three other officers were fired or disciplined for the event. According to the report, the foreman said one juror believed marijuana gave a user super-human strength and therefore he refused to convict the officer because the victim had drugs in his possession.  ow.ly/NP913
  • Austin, Texas: An officer was arrested for DWI. ow.ly/NPaVS
  • Update: Washington County, Arkansas (First reported 05-07-15): A deputy resigned after being targeted in a fraud investigation. After he was charged, he pled not guilty to insurance fraud and assault of his ex-wife. ow.ly/NPeoD
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (First reported 02-08-13): A now-former officer who lured young girls for sex was re-sentenced to 102 months in prison. The appellate court ruled that his previous sentence of 30 months was not within the permissible scope of downward departure, the mechanism by which a judge may reduce a sentence below normal range for a given crime.  ow.ly/NPhOv
  • Update: Fresno, California (First reported 07-23-12): A now-former officer pled no contest to a rape charge. ow.ly/NQagm

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-02-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, June 2, 2015:

  • Kissimmee, Florida: An officer was arrested for assaulting a child at a middle school. ow.ly/NLoUN
  • Shelby County, Tennessee: A deputy was arrested for DUI on his motorcycle. ow.ly/NLp6e
  • Carrollton, Kentucky: The police department, under orders from the chief, allegedly bought a one-way bus ticket to Florida for a mentally ill man in their custody. He was to be evaluated under court order, but the department allegedly sent the confused and possibly suicidal man out of the state on a bus full of strangers. He has been returned to Kentucky and is receiving psychiatric care. The department is under investigation. ow.ly/NLBGl
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia: An officer resigned after a video showed him Taser and pepper spray stroke victim. The department said he violated policy in his use of force. http://ow.ly/NM68A
  • Youngstown, Ohio: An officer had his discipline reduced by an arbitrator. The punishment was dropped from 15 days to four hours. He altered charging documents to protect an officer’s brother during an arrest, but he claimed—and the arbitrator agreed—that he did so under orders. ow.ly/NMprI
  • Jeanerette, Louisiana: The police chief was arrested and suspended for malfeasance in office and three counts of compounding a felony. It was related to an investigation of a gentlemen’s club that was raided for prostitution.  ow.ly/NMqYT
  • Scott County, Texas: A deputy was charged with shooting a BB gun at kids playing volleyball at a church.  ow.ly/NMtcq
  • Jackson County, Kentucky: The sheriff’s department settled with a judge-executive who was falsely arrested by the former sheriff. The payment was for $62,500. ow.ly/NMxJh
  • Update: Bullhead City, Arizona (First reported 10-29-14): A now-former officer will stand trial in December on sexual assault charges. http://ow.ly/NMXF1

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-30-15 to 06-01-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, May 30 through Monday, June 1, 2015:

  • Mobile, Alabama: An officer was terminated for misconduct and jailed for second-degree theft.  http://ow.ly/NGMDP
  • Update: Onondaga, New York (First reported 12-17-14): A deputy, one of three who have been indicted for fraud, has retired from the department. The criminal cases are still pending against them. http://ow.ly/NGNWP
  • Donnellson, Iowa: The police chief was arrested for domestic assault. He resigned a few days later. http://ow.ly/NIkrf
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: An officer faces federal civil rights charges for assaulting four people and committing perjury. http://ow.ly/NImMO
  • Update: Lafayette, Indiana (First reported 07-03-14): The City settled with a wheelchair-bound man who was hit and verbally abused by an officer. The officer was demoted after the incident. http://ow.ly/NIpW1
  • New York State Police: A trooper was acquitted on three out of four rape charges. The jury hung on the fourth charge, third-degree rape. ow.ly/NIGwZ
  • Update: Amarillo, Texas (First reported 10-06-14): An officer is seeking to overturn his discipline for actions following officer-involved shooting.  ow.ly/NIL60
  • Portland, Oregon: An officer skirted parking fines totaling more than $1,000. He resigned, but officials are pushing to revoke his law enforcement certification for life.  http://ow.ly/NJo5o

Washington Post Tracking Police Shooting Fatalities

On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a lengthy story about police shootings in the USA thus far this year.  Fatalities are now 385, about twice a day–and those are only the fatalities (if someone is shot and is crippled or is on life support, that’s not part of this tally).

Excerpt:

The most troubling ­cases began with a cry for help.

About half the shootings occurred after family members, neighbors or strangers sought help from police because someone was suicidal, behaving erratically or threatening violence.

Take Shane Watkins, a 39-year-old white man, who died in his mother’s driveway in Moulton, Ala.

Watkins had never been violent, and family members were not afraid for their safety when they called Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies in March. But Watkins, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was off his medication. Days earlier, he had declared himself the “god of the fifth element” and demanded whiskey and beer so he could “cleanse the earth with it,” said his sister, Yvonne Cote.

Then he started threatening to shoot himself and his dog, Slayer. His mother called Cote, who called 911. Cote got back on the phone with her mother, who watched Watkins walk onto the driveway holding a box cutter to his chest. A patrol car pulled up, and Cote heard her mother yell: “Don’t shoot! He doesn’t have a gun!”

“Then I heard the gunshots,” Cote said.

Lawrence County sheriff’s officials declined to comment and have refused to release documents related to the case.

Read the whole thing.  Excellent reporting.

Note that it’s a private institution that’s gathered this important information together, not the government itself.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-29-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, May 29, 2015:

  • Update: Colchester, Vermont (First reported 11-12-14): A now-former officer entered a guilty plea for stealing drugs from the evidence room. ow.ly/NAJL7
  • South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania: Three officers were suspended and demoted for undisclosed misconduct. ow.ly/NBgaa
  • Barstow, California: Officers tackled and arrested a pregnant woman after she refused to show identification. According to the ACLU statement quoted in the report, “A person who is not suspected of a crime has no obligation to identify herself. Even if an officer is conducting an investigation, in California (unlike some other states), he can’t just require a person to provide ID for no reason. The officer can ask for ID, but the person can say no.”  ow.ly/NBF64
  • Update: Pennsylvania State Police (First reported 02-11-15): A now-former trooper pled guilty to reckless endangerment for the fatal shooting of a colleague during a firearms safety training exercise. ow.ly/NBIGa
  • Update: Inkster, Michigan (First reported 03-30-15): The City settled with the man whose beating by police was recorded on a dashcam and released to the public. The settlement was for $1,400,000. The office in question was fired. ow.ly/NC1ji
  • New York, New York: An officer who had been caught repeatedly lying to Internal Affairs had evidence tossed from a felony drug and gun case. The judge ruled that the multiple instances of proven dishonesty rendered his work and testimony not credible. ow.ly/NC30h
  • Detroit, Michigan: An officer was accused of assault. She has previously been arrested for domestic and alcohol-related incidents. ow.ly/NCjLE
  • Update: Reno County, Kansas (First reported 05-15-15): A detective arrested for domestic violence has resigned. ow.ly/NCoQs
  • Update: Gasconade Co., Missouri (First reported 02-03-15): A deputy previously arrested for multiple felonies was charged with four counts of forcible rape in an amended filing. ow.ly/NCvnh

The Jermaine McBean Case

From the New York Times:

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. — The witnesses who saw a Broward County deputy sheriff kill a man who had strolled through his apartment complex with an unloaded air rifle propped on his shoulders agreed: Just before he was gunned down, Jermaine McBean had ignored the officers who stood behind him shouting for him to drop his weapon.

Nothing, the officer swore under oath, prevented Mr. McBean from hearing the screaming officers.

Newly obtained photographic evidence in the July 2013 shooting of Mr. McBean, a 33-year-old computer-networking engineer, shows that contrary to repeated assertions by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, he was wearing earbuds when he was shot, suggesting that he was listening to music and did not hear the officers. The earphones somehow wound up in the dead man’s pocket, records show.

Repeat: Somehow those earphones wound up in Mr. McBean’s pocket.

Hmm.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 05-28-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, May 28, 2015:

  • Sarpy County, Nebraska: A longtime deputy was fired and sentenced to one year’s probation, 200 hours of community service for inappropriately touching woman off duty. He claims he was blackout drunk at the time of the incident. ow.ly/NwqP8
  • Dexter, New Mexico: A police chief was placed on leave by the mayor. There is an ongoing state police investigation into his alleged sexual harassment women around town. ow.ly/NwrEY
  • Update: Chicago, Illinois (First reported 09-02-14): A commander will face trial in June for allegedly putting his gun into a suspect’s mouth. The officer is highly decorated, but had “dozens” of citizen complaints filed against him between January 2006 and July 2014. He was not disciplined for any of those complaints. ow.ly/NwvzM
  • Mission, Texas: An investigator was arrested for misdemeanor DWI after running her vehicle onto the sidewalk when she was pulled over. ow.ly/Nww1w
  • Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey: An officer was arrested for embezzling $30,000 from the police union. ow.ly/NwwB6
  • Update: San Francisco, California (First reported 03-05-14): A now-former officer was sentenced to one year for pleading guilty to drug conspiracy. He testified against other officers in the conspiracy and received leniency for his cooperation. Those two now-former officers were found guilty and sentenced to 41 months and 39 months for their roles. ow.ly/NyyH3
  • Edmonston, Maryland: The police chief faces criminal charges for alleged ticket fixing. ow.ly/NyANX
  • Update: Greenfield, Indiana (First reported 04-09-14): An officer was sentenced to a year of probation and fined for OWI. He was previously convicted of bribery and misconduct in office for which he was sentenced to a year of home detention. He still faces prostitution charges. ow.ly/NyDa9
  • Dundee, Michigan: The police chief was arrested for domestic violence at his home. ow.ly/NyFgh

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