National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Worst of the Month — June 2014

Earning worst of the month for June is police officer Ronald Harris.   Recall that he attempted to rob a woman at Memphis International Airport.  But this was an extraordinary theft.  Harris was trying to steal a bag from an employee of St. Jude Children’s Hospital who was, in turn, delivering the bag to a family. The bag was a gift from the Make-A-Wish Foundation—the organization that grants wishes to terminally-ill children.  The bag held several St. Jude t-shirts and a $1500 credit card for the family to use for travel.  Harris followed the St. Jude employee into the airport and then struck a member of the family who tried to stop him from stealing their wish away.  Harris has been suspended pending an investigation and faces a long list of charges. Police misconduct is never good, but plotting to steal the wish from a terminally-ill child and their family is just really low.

Full story here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-03-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, July 3, 2013:

  • New York, New York: A now-former officer faces up to life in prison after he was found guilty ​of using his badge to help shake down drug dealers. Jurors found him guilty of taking part in a slew of stickups, sometimes while on duty and in uniform. ow.ly/yKGTv
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A police officer is under internal investigation after allegations surfaced that he blackmailed a woman who works at a gentleman’s club. ow.ly/yKEP3
  • Post Falls, Idaho: A family is seeking an undisclosed amount of money from the city and other entities for an incident with the police department that left a man permanently disabled. ow.ly/yKEmZ
  • Albany, New York: In a notice of claim a woman alleges that officers shoved her to the ground “and proceeded to drag her out of [a] building (and) while she was still on the ground caused contusions and trauma to her entire body.” ow.ly/yKCMw
  • Update: Coupeville, Washington (First reported 02-10-14): A now-former deputy marshal said accusations that he handcuffed his former girlfriend during a roadside squabble and coached her about what to tell investigators are completely fabricated. ow.ly/yKxzf
  • Baltimore, Maryland: The family of a man who died in police custody has filed a multimillion dollar wrongful death lawsuit against 11 officers and the city’s police commissioner. ow.ly/yKvYo
  • Waterloo, Michigan: A resident who was cleared of pot-growing charges after a search warrant was deemed invalid is suing a small-town police chief and his township over what he calls a reckless investigation. ow.ly/yKv6I
  • Lafayette, Indiana: Video was recently released of a police lieutenant who pushed over a man in a motorized wheelchair when he ran over his foot. “It’s clear to us that the whole use of force in this case could have been avoided just by different positioning, by offset positioning, by moving out of the way, by not standing where he was standing,” said the police chief. ow.ly/yKpzK
  • Newburyport, Massachusetts: A former member of the police department allegedly embezzled money from a charitable organization set up to benefit injured, sick, and disabled police officers, and the families of police officers who die in the line of duty. He was charged with one count of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny over $250 by embezzlement. ow.ly/yKHoL
  • Adams County, Colorado: A now-former sheriff deputy pled not guilty to sexually assaulting a child. He was arrested by his department and was charged with four charges, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust for a victim under age 15, sexual assault as a pattern of abuse and one count of incest. ow.ly/yIz3z

Cop Overturns Man in Wheelchair

From Wane.com:

[Police Chief Patrick] Flannelly said after an internal review of the incident, he and six other members of the command staff unanimously felt Davidson used both conduct unbecoming an officer and an excessive use of force and should be fired….Flannelly said he still has full confidence in Davidson’s abilities.

Hmm.

More from Wane.com:

Flannelly said an electronic malfunction delayed the review of the case by about three months, but did not affect the outcome.

Electronic malfunction?  Hmm.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-02-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

  • Belfield, North Dakota: A police officer was fired after admitting to having sex with a woman in his patrol car while on patrol, according to employee records. http://ow.ly/yIiLt
  • Update: Rock Rapids, Iowa (First reported 08-01-13): A now-former deputy pled guilty to lascivious conduct with a minor, a serious misdemeanor. The deputy was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of $315. He will be on probation for 10 years, and must attend and complete sex offender treatment. ow.ly/yIfas
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: A police officer has been indicted on multiple federal charges. According to police sources, he was involved in an elaborate scheme involving stolen cars. ow.ly/yIerk
  • Update: Warwick, Rhode Island (First reported 05-08-14): A suspended state trooper pled no contest to a charge of assaulting a suspect who was in custody. ow.ly/yI5X7
  • Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina: A police officer has been arrested and charged with DWI after she was pulled over. ow.ly/yHEoZ
  • Chicopee, Massachusetts: A city police officer has pled guilty to drunken driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle and will serve 30 days in jail for his crimes. ow.ly/yHCl5
  • Los Angeles, California: A police officer pled not guilty to charges that he offered to furnish hydrocodone to an undercover detective on a classified ad website. ow.ly/yHyD0
  • Update: Lexington, South Carolina (First reported 06-18-14): South Carolina’s longest-serving sheriff pled not guilty to federal bribery charges. He was released on $100,000 bond after a brief hearing in federal court. A judge also ordered him to surrender his passport and guns and not to leave South Carolina without court permission. ow.ly/yHqBo

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 07-01-14

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, July 1, 2014:

  • Blackfeet Reservation, Montana: A law enforcement officer will be spending the next 24 months behind bars after being sentenced in federal court. He will also given three years of supervised release for receiving non-consensual oral sex in his patrol vehicle while armed and on duty, and then lying to investigators about it. ow.ly/yF2VH
  • Denver, Colorado: The embattled Denver Sheriff Department has 114 open internal affairs investigations, with nearly a third of those involving allegations of excessive force by deputies. ow.ly/yF2FU
  • Seattle, Washington: A police officer has been relieved of duty while the use of force against a handcuffed female prisoner is investigated. ow.ly/yF277
  • Bothell, Washington: A police officer was given a one-day suspension for his involvement in a high-speed pursuit that ended in a death. The officer should have called off the pursuit earlier, said the police chief in a letter released recently under public records laws. ow.ly/yF1KR
  • Update: Edison, New Jersey (Previously reported 06-06-13): A grand jury has indicted the police officer charged with attempted murder for allegedly setting fire to his police captain’s home. He was indicted along with his wife, who is charged with giving false information to protect her husband. ow.ly/yEZSN
  • Hodgenville, Kentucky: Kentucky State Police have charged the police chief in with official misconduct and hindering prosecution. ow.ly/yF0x9
  • Update: Cincinnati, Ohio (First reported 10-08-13): An officer pled guilty to two felony charges and resigned as an officer. He admitted guilt for attempting to tamper with evidence and for illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance. ow.ly/yEZxT
  • Update: New York, New York (Previously reported 03-14-13): The conviction of a former police officer in a plot to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women was overturned by a federal judge who said there was not sufficient evidence to support it. ow.ly/yEY5N
  • Seattle, Washington: A veteran police officer was arrested on suspicion of child molestation and related crimes. ow.ly/yEXbE
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina: A police officer was charged with DWI. He is also being charged with child abuse because he had a child in the car at the time he was pulled over. ow.ly/yCXTw
  • Fruitland, Maryland: The police chief of was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. ow.ly/yCXND
  • Rome, New York: A city police officer has been charged with raping a woman. ow.ly/yCXwy

Truck Driver Turns the Table on State Trooper

From ABC News:

When truck driver Brian Miner was pulled over by an Illinois state trooper for honking his horn unnecessarily, it was the trooper who got an earful.

Miner, with his camera recording, brazenly turned the tables on what he believed was a police trooper driving recklessly, with video of the encounter viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was uploaded on YouTube last week.

Miner says the trooper was speeding and holding his phone while driving on a wet highway. So when the trooper approached, threatening to give him a ticket, Miner started asking questions.

The trooper never said he was speeding, and said he doesn’t remember having his phone in his hand. But he did tell Miner that the law is on his side, as seen in the video.

“Police officers can actually use technology when they’re driving,” the trooper said.

“Oh, so you guys are above the law?” Miner asked.

“We’re exempt,” the trooper said.

Illinois law does allow officers to use technology while driving and also drive above the speed limit while on official business.

But Miner remained persistent. More than two minutes into the conversation, the trooper walked away from the truck, and when he returned, he thanked Miner for his concern.

“I understand you using the horn,” the trooper said, “You saw me speeding. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my speed.”

The trooper declined to give Miner a ticket.

Miner says he’s not surprised that the trooper changing his tune. “And that’s what happens when they know you’re recording,” Miner said.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-27-14 to 06-30-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, June 27, to Monday, June 30, 2014:

  • Broward County, Florida: A sheriff’s deputy is fighting to get his job back after he went on a joyride with friends in his police car. A police officer pulled over the cruiser thinking it was stolen, but it wasn’t. They found the deputy behind the wheel and two of his friends drunk inside the car, according to police documents. ow.ly/yCtCR
  • Covington, Louisiana: A police lieutenant who testified at a former officer’s misdemeanor simple battery trial has been placed under investigation by the department, the police chief confirmed. The investigation of the lieutenant is related to his testimony. ow.ly/yCsYK
  • Maplewood, Missouri: A man who says he sorts through trash bins to help feed the homeless is suing a police sergeant over what he calls the use of excessive force. ow.ly/yC9mW
  • Update: Baltimore City, Maryland (First reported 06-18-14): Two officers now face felony animal cruelty charges that carry jail time for their role in the killing of a Shar Pei named Nala. One of the officers held the dog down while the other slit the dog’s throat.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A man has filed suit against police officer. The incident was recorded, showing him being pistol whipped, pulled through a car window, thrown on the ground and further assaulted. This all took place after he had surrendered, holding both his hands out the car window, for the officers to clearly see. ow.ly/yC6sc
  • Update: Suffolk County, New York (First reported 04-11-12): A freelance videographer has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the police department, after he was arrested an arrest following an order by a police sergeant to stop taping the arrest of a suspect. ow.ly/yBvMv
  • Florence, Alabama: A police officer’s wife has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming officers violated her civil rights. According to the suit, the woman claims several officers and staff at a hospital held her on a false arrest, confinement, and involuntary hospitalization. ow.ly/yBw6C
  • Update: Cedar City, Utah (First reported 06-05-14): A police officer has resigned after he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in his patrol car while off-duty and leaving the scene of an accident. ow.ly/yBgUJ
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: Court records say a police officer arrested on drug charges had been prescribed a slew of pain medications from three doctors; a Veterans Affairs doctor, a family physician and a workmen’s compensation doctor. He was arrested on suspicion of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or deceit. ow.ly/yBghk
  • Wilmington, North Carolina: A grand jury indicted a police officer on charges related to the use of excessive force. ow.ly/yCtQP
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police officer has been disciplined after investigators say a handcuffed teenager shot himself in the back of a squad car. The police chief announced the officer had been suspended for a week without pay. http://ow.ly/yCui4

National Police Misconduct NewFeed Daily Recap 06-26-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, June 26, 2014:

  • Pickens, South Carolina: A police officer has been suspended after allegations of misconduct in office. A release from the police chief said the alleged misconduct involved a woman. ow.ly/ysGxg
  • Madison Township, Ohio: A police officer was detained by his own colleagues today after police said they found drugs in his house. He was charged with one count of possession of more than 200 grams, but less than 1,000 grams, of marijuana, a fifth-degree felony. His wife was also arrested and faces the same charge. ow.ly/ysGBv
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer who allegedly pushed her own children to fight other kids – and who, on at least one occasion, allegedly jumped in a fight to punch a 14-year-old girl – was arrested on numerous assault and child-endangerment charges. ow.ly/ysGor
  • Toledo, Ohio: A 14-year veteran police officer was cited for drunken driving. ow.ly/ysGFn
  • Lake City, Florida: An officer has been terminated after an internal-affairs investigation involving a DUI charge revealed that she violated department policy. ow.ly/ysGhR
  • Marco Island, Florida: An officer was fired due to separate incidents that included beating and kicking a man, repeatedly punching another man and pursuing an intoxicated driver and wielding his gun during a DUI arrest. ow.ly/ypGdO
  • La Vergne, Tennessee: A man who said he was beaten by police plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers who were at the scene. He will take legal action for the incident, which was caught on cell phone video. ow.ly/ypFzE
  • Laurens County and Fulton County, Georgia: A woman who says she was misidentified and wrongly imprisoned has filed a civil rights lawsuit against officers in two Georgia law enforcement agencies. ow.ly/ypFgZ

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 06-25-14

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, June 25, 2014:

  • Update: King County, Washington (First reported 06-20-14): The police corruption investigation has spread to an officer at the Seattle Police Department. The SPD found one of its own officers linked to a budding drug, theft and prostitution scandal. The SPD Officer is accused of buying testosterone pills from a King County deputy. ow.ly/ypqF7
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: captain arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated ow.ly/ypiLR
  • Bloomington, Illinois: A police department captain was arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. ow.ly/ypbMd
  • Update: Wood River, Illinois (First reported 08-30-13): A now-former police officer charged with official misconduct is now facing a lawsuit claiming he used a cell phone number obtained through his job to send sexually suggestive texts to a woman. ow.ly/ypaRH
  • Salem, Oregon: A now-former captain state police resigned from his position after he pled guilty to fueling a personal vehicle using a department-issued fuel card. http://ow.ly/yCipJ
  • Camden County, New Jersey: A police officer has been removed from street duty and is facing drunken driving charges after he allegedly drove a pickup truck through three street signs, struck a building, and knocked down a neon sign. ow.ly/yoZEX

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