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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.



National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-18-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 18, 2014:

  • Cody, North Dakota: A man claims the city’s current assistant police chief used a taser on him while he was handcuffed, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit. He further alleges he was assaulted while other officers were present, and that the incident caused severe and permanent injuries.
  • Lowndes, County, Georgia: A now-former deputy pled guilty to conspiring to use his law enforcement authority to unlawfully detain and take money from motorists.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: An eight-year veteran officer was arrested for allegedly physically assaulting his wife. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation by internal affairs and the District Attorney’s office. The officer has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.
  • Rockaway Township, New Jersey: A now-suspended police officer was indicted on charges of official misconduct and witness tampering in connection with his alleged efforts to get a relative’s drunken-driving ticket dismissed.
  • Lynwood, California: A video appears to show a police officer slugging a handcuffed prisoner inside the police station, perhaps knocking him out. The prisoner sustained a concussion and a broken nose from the ordeal.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The DA’s Office says a police officer has been charged with theft and leaving the scene of an accident following an incident.
  • Coral Springs, Florida: Three police officers were charged with stealing thousands of dollars from their own police union.
  • New York, New York: A lawsuit filed says officers used “unreasonable and wholly unprovoked force” when they arrested a woman without cause. She was waiting for her husband and their 6- and 10-year-old kids to come out from a bathroom stop at a restaurant when she was told to leave by an officer. The suit says she explained she was waiting for her family and then the officer, without any legal basis, grabbed her, turned her and pushed her against the wall and placed her under arrest.
  • Bastrop, Texas: The city and multiple officers were named in a federal lawsuit filed alleging excessive force and disability discrimination against a mentally disabled resident.
  • Update: Garland, Texas (Previously reported 11-19-13): The family of an unarmed man who was shot at 41 times and killed by police filed a civil lawsuit against the city, the police chief, and a lieutenant.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-17-14

Here are the 7 reports tracked for Wednesday, September 17, 2014:

  • Fayetteville, Arkansas: A police officer has been suspended for 30 days after an investigation into sexual harassment claims, according to the police chief.
  • Daytona Beach, Florida: A love triangle involving three policewomen ended with one of the officers jailed on domestic violence related charges.
  • Portland, Maine: A couple claimed they were illegally arrested after observing and attempting to record a police “interaction” with a woman.
  • Independence, Missouri: The FBI is investigating allegations of excessive force by a police officer during a traffic stop that left a teenage motorist in critical condition.
  • Update: Greene, New York (First reported 04-30-14): The police chief pled guilty to two counts of official misconduct and one count of second-degree criminal contempt. He was arrested after state police responded to a request from village officials to look into a complaint of missing village property.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An eight-year veteran has been arrested and charged with fourth-degree domestic assault.
  • Weare, New Hampshire: The police chief is on administrative leave from his post. A restraining order was issued against him in the wake of domestic violence allegations filed by a female employee of the department.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-16-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 16, 2014:

  • Salina, Kansas: A police officer has been suspended after being arrested on requested charges of driving under the influence, refusing to submit to a breath test, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.
  • Update: Clovis, California (First reported 06-06-13): A year after beating his ex-girlfriend, a now-former police officer pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury and was sentenced to three years of probation and 30 days in jail.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A man filed a lawsuit against a city police officer, accusing the officer of punching him repeatedly during an arrest. The incident was captured on video.
  • Update: Hebron, Illinois (First reported 08-13-14): A police officer who was fired after just days on the job and charged with several crimes is now accused of additional drug-related offenses.
  • Hebron, Indiana: Officials with the police department have confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the actions of the now-former.
  • Update: Laurelville, Ohio (First reported 05-01-14): The police chief pled guilty to unauthorized use of property. He admitted that he misused the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway to obtain information on people for purposes unrelated to law enforcement. The online secure network shares criminal-justice data among law-enforcement agencies and is supposed to be used only for official business.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: The city council approved a $200,000 settlement agreement for the family of an 18-year-old killed by a police officer. His family said the teen was unarmed and was driving away from officers at the time.
  • Update: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico (First reported 08-19-14): The sheriff pled not guilty to federal charges stemming from an off-duty traffic stop that authorities say left a driver injured. He was arraigned on charges of deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm in a superseding indictment.
  • Update: Tulsa, Oklahoma (Previously reported 08-28-14): A state trooper accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a traffic stop has been arrested. The 16-year veteran was taken into custody by his fellow troopers. “This particular matter sickens us as an agency,” said the police chief. Investigators found enough evidence to move forward with criminal charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-13-14 to 09-15-14

Here are the 19 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, September 13, to Monday, September 15, 2014:

  • Rock Island, Illinois: A sheriff accused of cyberstalking and threatening a woman he met at a gym resigned from office.
  • Update: Waldo, Florida (Previously reported 09-09-14): Another member of the police department command staff resigned after facing turmoil from allegations that included enforcing ticket quotas, using city-owned video gear for residential security and stealing hotel towels.
  • Los Angeles, California: The police department is conducting an internal investigation after an actress accused officers of violating her rights when they handcuffed and detained her while responding to a report of indecent exposure.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina: A police officer has been charged with assault after slamming a suspect that was in handcuffs into a wall. Police charged him with assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault.
  • West Lampeter Township, Pennsylvania: A police officer has been charged with DUI in connection with a one-vehicle crash. He was charged with DUI, careless driving and accidents involving damage to unattended property.
  • Delaware County, Indiana: A veteran sheriff’s deputy was drunk when he caused an accident that injured two other people plus himself, according to authorities.
  • Marshall, Texas: A pending charge has been filed in the local federal court against a now-former narcotics officer for misprision of a felony, which is withholding information on a crime or deliberately concealing one’s knowledge of a treasonable act or felony.
  • Wellfleet, Massachusetts: A man has filed a civil lawsuit against a police sergeant, alleging civil rights violations and use of excessive force, among other things, during an altercation. The chief said, “There was no discipline that needed to be taken at the time.”
  • Update: Iredell County, North Carolina (First reported 03-23-12): The sheriff and one of his deputies have settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by two women, one of whom was a domestic violence victim who’d sought the officer’s help.
  • Indian Lake, Texas: The police chief has released a video that he said proves his innocence. He has been indicted on two counts of official oppression and filing a false police report charges.
  • Henry County, Georgia: A veteran sheriff’s captain is accused of using a computer to have an inappropriate relationship a 14-year-old boy. He was after a two-month investigation. Computers and cell phones were taken from his home by police.
  • Wetumpka, Alabama: An officer will be suspended for two days without pay following an internal investigation that shows he reportedly harassed a student at the request of her father.
  • Duplin County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended after his K-9 died after being left in a hot squad car all night.
  • Update: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (First reported 09-05-14): Charges against a state trooper who was allegedly involved in a wedding night fight at Station Square have been dropped.
  • Dallas, Texas: An officer is under investigation after police say he was near the scene of a kidnapping and drove off without taking action.
  • Coral Gables, Florida: The police chief has resigned amid a controversy. There have been allegations that he was manipulating crime statistics to make the city look much safer, and that he was manipulating statistics about the city’s response times.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: A police officer is on administrative leave after being arrested. He was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer has been suspended from his job after he was charged with second-degree assault following an incident.
  • Sebastian, Florida: Police arrested one of its veteran sergeants on charges of trafficking in oxycodone and tampering with evidence, a police spokesman said. He was jailed and is being held in the jail in lieu of a $150,000 bail.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-12-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, September 12, 2014:

  • Lyman, South Carolina: The mayor said that some of the allegations leveled against the now-former police chief could lead to a charge of misconduct in office. After council members reviewed the allegations with the chief, he promptly offered his resignation.
  • Torrance County, New Mexico: The sheriff arrested one of his own deputies following a tip from a Colorado State Trooper notifying him of an outstanding warrant for arrest on a larceny charge.
  • Salisbury, Maryland: An officer is facing two lawsuits that allege excessive force. The mayor said the officer’s actions have been reviewed, “What we have done is made sure that we are looking at all of our internal records of both incidents to make sure the employee is following and doing what he should be doing. We have found that he is.”
  • Newport, Tennessee: A veteran police officer who pleaded guilty to federal gun charges and distributing hydrocodone has been fired.
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: A police officer is on modified desk duty after being charged with assaulting the retired police chief.
  • Suffolk County, New York: A detective pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct for leaking confidential information.
  • Greenville, Mississippi: The police arrested one of their own and charged him. The resigned shortly before he was arrested on a charge of statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl.
  • Windsor, Virginia: An ex-police chief is now charged with embezzlement. He is now facing one felony count of embezzlement and one felony count of obtaining money under false pretenses.
  • Fairborn, Ohio: A now-former police officer has been charged with two misdemeanor counts as the result of a department investigation triggered by a stalking complaint.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-11-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, September 11, 2014:

  • Pembroke, North Carolina: A police detective has been suspended without pay for the second time on allegations of sexual abuse.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Two police officers face charges after an off-duty incident. They have been suspended without pay, pending termination. They’re charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury and battery with moderate bodily injury after an altercation.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: A recently-promoted sergeant with a history of domestic violence accusations is under internal investigation after a security surveillance video surfaced showing him apparently beating up his girlfriend in a restaurant where she works.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: A police officer who was fired from the force but recently got his job back is under investigation again. He has been assigned to desk duty while police investigate his role in a fight outside a bar that sent a man to a hospital.
  • Durham, North Carolina: A police officer faces misdemeanor charges after he allegedly assaulted his wife.
  • Update: Hearne, Texas (Previously reported 05-12-14): A jury has declined to indict a now-former police officer who fatally shot an armed 93-year-old woman during a confrontation.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A police officer has been accused of sending explicit texts to the woman in a rape case he was investigating, including asking her to send nude photos, and filing a harassment charge against the father of a murder victim whose case he was in charge of.
  • Update: St. Paul, Minnesota (First reported 06-09-14): A police officer facing forgery charges rejected a plea deal that would have spared her prison time. She was in court on two counts of aggravated forgery and one count of electronic use of false pretense to obtain identity.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-10-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, September 10, 2014:

  • Harbor, Louisiana: A 12-year veteran has been arrested on fraud charges. Police officials say he is under investigation for alleged fraudulent use of a fuel card, and that the alleged misuse “spanned into other parishes.”
  • Memphis, Tennessee: A now-former police officer was indicted on aggravated rape charges. A back-logged rape kit finally got tested and helped lead to his indictment which stems from an attack that happened 14 years ago.
  • Cornelius, Oregon: A federal jury found that a police officer fabricated evidence in a drug case.
  • Princeton, West Virginia: The police department has placed an officer on administrative leave following his arrest on a domestic violence charge.
  • Bradenton, Florida: The deputy police chief is on paid suspension following apparently serious allegations of unspecified criminal behavior that surfaced.
  • Lamar County, Mississippi: A now-former officer pled not guilty to multiple charges. He was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery and a count of attempted sexual battery on a female under the age of 18.
  • Coconut Creek, Florida: An officer has been put on paid leave after being accused of patronizing a spa that was a front for prostitution, police said. He faces a purchasing services of prostitution charge and was put on administrative leave.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: The police chief has placed a detective on administrative leave following the detective’s arrest on DUI charges.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 09-09-14

Here are the 11 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, September 9, 2014:

  • Woodland, California: A highway patrol officer is charged with abusing his wife. He was arrested by police responding to his residence after being alerted that he was having an argument with his wife.
  • Update: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (First reported 06-17-14): A police officer who punched, pushed and swung a woman by her head while trying to break up a fight during a PrideFest parade did not use excessive force, according to the police department’s final report.
  • Lake Milton, Ohio: Township police arrested a police officer on domestic-violence charges. According to a police report he got into an argument with his wife, and then struck her on the face, causing her to fall. He reportedly caused her to fall to the ground a second time in a second altercation after she returned from a neighbor’s apartment, where she had gone to ask for help.
  • East St. Louis, Illinois: The city’s assistant chief of police is being investigated for misconduct related to a female summer youth program worker. He is on an unpaid five-day suspension after an unnamed young woman, who was at City Hall for her first day of work with a summer youth program, made a four-page written complaint involving the officer.
  • North Port, Florida: An officer was fired for sexual misconduct. The officer was terminated after a five-month internal affairs investigation found he’d violated department policies by having sex with his girlfriend while on the job.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: An officer was stripped of her police duties and charged with harassment after an investigation revealed she used excessive force during an arrest.
  • Anderson County, Tennessee: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested for driving under the influence.
  • Update: Walnut Creek, California (First reported 09-02-14): A police officer who beat a woman with a baseball bat entered pleas to two felonies. He pled no contest to felony assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and felony vandalism, and admitted to a firearm enhancement.
  • Enfield, Connecticut: A man has filed a notice of intent to sue the town, police department, and four police officers, claiming excessive force was used in an incident that caused serious injuries from bites by a police dog.
  • Update: Waldo, Florida (First reported 09-03-14): The suspended chief has resigned. He was called out by several of his officers who claimed he forced them to meet a ticket quota every night.
  • Sayreville, New Jersey: A police officer was ordered to forfeit public employment, including his job, and was placed on probation for three years after admitting he stole more than $20,000 in rent subsidies paid by the housing authority.

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