National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-18-14 to 01-22-14

Here are the 14 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 18 to Wednesday, January 22, 2014:

  • Memphis, Tennessee: A police officer is off the job after being accused of causing a wreck while driving drunk.
  • Becker County, Minnesota: A sheriff who abruptly resigned two years ago is accused of swindling the public out of money by selling the sheriff’s office a used boat, trailer, and motor he owned and passing it off as new, more expensive equipment owned by someone else. He was the sheriff at the time of the transaction.
  • Delaware, Ohio: A police officer has been charged with identity fraud and unauthorized use of city property. The indictment alleges the officer created various documents that served to assume the identity of one or more people.
  • Marion, South Carolina: A police officer was charged with misconduct in office and arrested. Warrants accuse him of stealing from a dead person’s house. The warrant states he took $100 from a woman’s purse as well as prescription drugs including Oxycodone and other substances. He has been fired.
  • Phoenix, Arizona: A police officer has resigned after being arrested by detectives in connection with a sex crime investigation. The investigation involves a sex act between the officer and a 17-year-old girl. investigation
  • New York, New York: Cops bloodied an 84-year old man and put him in the hospital when he jaywalked at an intersection and didn’t appear to understand their orders to stop, witnesses said.
  • Brevard County, Florida: A family is looking for answers after they say a deputy shot and killed their family dog. Witnesses say that their two-year-old boy was just feet from the dog when the officer shot it. The family says they will be filing a complaint.
  • Painesville, Ohio: An excessive force lawsuit claims that a man suffered brain damage caused by police using a Taser on him at his home.
  • Ocoee, Florida: A now former officer has been accused of using department resources in an illicit affair and even making a substation a hot spot for his sex acts.
  • Woodbury, Minnesota: A police officer and the city have been names in a federal lawsuit that claims the officer entered a home without a search warrant, said he was investigating the resident for hacking into e-mail, and then confiscated the computer.
  • Nelson County, North Dakota: A sheriff resigned to avoid being charged with stalking a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair.
  • San Juan County, New Mexico: A deputy and his wife were arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice after the couple allegedly drove away from state police investigators who were trying to take custody of the deputy’s stepson.
  • Linden, Utah: A police officer shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and his two young children, then himself.
  • West Valley City, Utah: Two people who were arrested by former drug officers have filed a civil complaint against the city. Their criminal cases were dismissed. The lawsuit says members of the department’s now-disbanded Neighborhood Narcotics Unit entered the residence and used excessive force when one of the defendant’s head was “slammed” into a wall, cutting it open.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-17-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, January 14, 2014:

  • Orleans Parish, Louisiana: Two sheriff’s deputies were arrested on charges of domestic abuse in unrelated instances. The deputies were arrested within one day of each other. They are both accused of beating women who lived with them.
  • Update: Deming, New Mexico (First reported 11-05-13): David Eckert, the man forced by police to undergo a colonoscopy, settled his legal case against officials. He will be paid $1.6 million by local governments.
  • Pevely, Missouri: The police department is investigating a complaint of police brutality. A 19-year-old girl claims an officer slammed her face on a carpeted floor.
  • Tarrant County, Texas: A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to the maximum time in prison for sexually assaulting a teenage girl. It took jurors less than 20 minutes to sentence him to 30 years in prison after convicting him on one count of sexual assault and one count of prohibited sexual contact. Prosecutors presented evidence that he impregnated a 16-year-old relative.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: An attorney says his client, a deaf man, was brutalized at the scene of a traffic stop, at the hospital and that it continued at the jail. One neighbor said the incident was a misunderstanding by troopers that went too far. An affidavit claims that when the deaf man was pulled over, he resisted two officers and refused to comply with repeated orders to display his hands.
  • Update: Lexington, Kentucky (First reported 11-01-13): A police officer accused of physically attacking a 13-year-old soccer referee pleaded guilty to an amended charge of harassment.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A deputy was fired and arrested. He has been charged with aggravated rape for allegedly forcing oral sex on a woman during a traffic stop. He pulled her over for speeding, and is accused of raping her in his patrol car.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: A jury has cleared all officers involved in a shooting that killed a couple. The families have said all along that the shooting was unjustified and are shocked by the decision saying the officers “are being cleared for murder.”
  • New York, New York: A woman was falsely arrested after calling police for help with her sick husband. The case was dismissed by a judge; there has been no comment from the police.
  • Houston, Texas: A man said he was wrongly targeted by police, handcuffed and detained for more than an hour, after he gave a homeless man 75 cents. He said an officer pulled him out of the car, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a police car, as ten more police cars were also pulling up. “They’re like, ‘We saw you downtown. We saw what you did,'” said the man. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? I gave a homeless man 75 cents.'” The officer asked to search the man’s car for drugs and he agreed. The officer brought in drug sniffing dogs while the man said he sat handcuffed for an hour until an officer told him their search turned up no drugs. “He said everything was a misunderstanding and that I was free to go.”

Houston Police Laugh Off the Damage They Caused

Greg Snider was sitting in his car and was then approached by a homeless man.  Snider have him some change and drove away.  A few minutes later, the police pulled him over, detained him, and a dog tore up his car looking for drugs.  When no drugs were found, the police laughed about the ‘misunderstanding’ and told Snider that he could go home.

More here.

Teaching Them a Lesson

From the New York Times:

The confusion and trouble began that day when Officer Anthony Giambra arrived at the apartment door a few minutes after the 911 call, as an ambulance and fire truck pulled up outside. Ms. LaFont started to tell Officer Giambra about her husband’s condition, but the dog broke loose and raced into the street. She went after the animal.

When she returned, Officer Giambra had thrown Mr. Peltomaa up against a hallway wall and was trying to handcuff him. The professor’s surgical wound was pressed hard against the surface, she said. She gripped the officer’s shoulder and yelled at him to stop. “You’re under arrest,” the officer told her, as another officer hustled her back into her apartment and handcuffed her….

Mr. Peltomaa denies he ever fought with Officer Giambra, though he recalls being confused about why he needed handcuffs to go the hospital. After he was cuffed, he said, the officer shoved him down face first on the tile floor, splitting open his chin and dislocating his thumb.

Then the officers flipped Mr. Peltomaa over, grabbed him by his clothes and dragged him to the ambulance. Ms. LaFont said she was taken to the precinct and put in a squalid cell. Officer Giambra, munching a candy bar, told her Mr. Peltomaa was fine and would be home before she would. “He said he needed to teach me the lesson that you are never allowed to touch a police officer,” she recalled.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-16-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, January 16, 2014:

  • Washington, DC: A police officer was sentenced for domestic violence charges. He was given a 10 year suspended sentence and 18 months of supervised probation after pleading guilty to second degree assault for strangling his wife.
  • Crossville, Alabama: A police officer was placed on leave after alleged charges for domestic violence were filed against him.
  • Update: Fort. Lauderdale, Florida (First reported 06-04-12): Back in June 2012, we reported that a group of Ft. Lauderdale police officers were charged with official misconduct.  Those charges stemmed from the officers’ sworn testimony about a chase—implicating the fleeing burglar in several additional crimes, including attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer.  It was alleged that the additional charges were fabricated in order to justify the physical force used against the suspect after he was apprehended. After a 6-day trial in February 2013, Detective Sgt. Michael Florenco and Detectives Matthew Moceri and Geoffrey Shaffer were acquitted.  Full story here.
  • Lowell, Massachusetts: An officer has been on paid administrative leave as internal-affairs investigators probed his handling of sex charges against another police officer under his command. He has been served with termination papers.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A 16-year-old charter school student says he was roughed up by police so badly it sent him to the hospital with injuries that could last a lifetime.
  • Parker, Arizona: The police chief has submitted his resignation amidst an investigation into alleged criminal activity and sexual harassment.
  • Salem, New Hampshire: A police officer is on unpaid leave and charged with two counts of simple assault stemming from an arrest he made. The charges allege he struck the victim on the head with a flashlight and stepped on his hand while the man was handcuffed and sitting on the ground.
  • Update: Lawrence, Massachusetts (First reported 09-26-12): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his role in a city towing kickback scheme. He was also sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $10,000, half of which must be paid within 60 days.

Kelly Thomas Verdict

As noted earlier this week, the police officers in the Kelly Thomas case were acquitted.   Some videos below.  Everyone is invited to draw their own conclusions.

I was interviewed for a forthcoming documentary on the Thomas case just before Christmas–so before the outcome of the trial.

Another video, produced much earlier, by Reason TV


National Police Misconduct Reporting Project 01-15-13

Here are the 13 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, January 15, 2013:

  • Update: Evansville, Indiana (Previously reported 08-29-13): A state trooper pleaded guilty to a charge of resisting law enforcement. He was originally charged with criminal recklessness and public intoxication after patrons at a bar claimed he was waving a gun inside the establishment.
  • Update: Newark, New Jersey (First reported 11-5-13): A police officer was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service for torching his SUV so he could collect on the insurance.
  • Austin, Texas: A police officer was fired after being pulled over for driving while intoxicated. He plans to appeal the termination.
  • Mono County, California: An attorney says his client was “unconstitutionally and unlawfully seized, searched, arrested, and jailed by two sheriff’s officers – a sergeant and a deputy – in a way that made him feel as if he had been baited, hunted, and trapped for no legitimate reason.” The Sheriff would not make a comment.
  • Update: Yoakum County, Texas (First reported 10-03-13): Federal prosecutors say a now-former sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to four years prison for distributing cocaine.
  • Union City, Oklahoma: A police officer was arrested on two felony charges, including possession of stolen property, and providing firearms to a convicted felon.
  • Update: Howard County, Maryland (First reported 07-08-13): The police officer who was accused and acquitted of assaulting a man in an off-duty incident resigned during the department’s internal investigation.
  • Harvey, Illinois: Police shot a man in the back of the leg without cause, threatened to “shoot the shit out of” a witness with a camera, then shot to death a witness’s puppy, the wounded man and dog owner claim in federal lawsuits.
  • Ludowici, Georgia: The Police Chief was suspended without pay last week after allegations arose from current or former officers, and 2 inmates, about everything from sexual harassment, racism, to evidence tampering.
  • Update: Kentwood, Georgia (Previously reported 9-19-13): The Police Chief pled guilty to one felony count of malfeasance in office in connection with a missing evidence case involving $2,000 in cash. This comes after he pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
  • Update: Prescott, Arizona (Previously reported 05-20-13): A now-former police officer has pleaded guilty to disorderly contact, a charge, stemming from a bar fight that left a man bloodied and bruised.
  • Lee County, Florida: A deputy has been fired after being arrested on charges of driving under the influence, according to an internal affairs investigation report.
  • Bend, Oregon: A police lieutenant who served as public information officer has resigned after an investigation determined he had sex with three city employees and a journalist. Documents say some encounters occurred while he was on duty and in uniform, and some occurred in a department restroom, his office, a storage area and a marked police vehicle on secluded streets.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-14-14

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, January 14, 2013:

  • Orange County, Florida: A deputy sheriff was suspended without pay after he was jailed on felony insurance-fraud charges.
  • Update: Fullerton, California (Previously reported 05-16-13): The two police officers who were videotaped in a violent struggle with a homeless man during an arrest were acquitted of his murder.
  • Lincoln, Illinois: Two women are seeking $500,000 in a lawsuit against a man, two police officers and the city. They said a video recording, taken without their consent or knowledge, of them changing clothes was played for other police officers and several firefighters.
  • Update: Beacon, New York (First reported 1-18-13): A suspended police detective convicted of reporting a false burglary to police to cover up an affair he had with a criminal informant was sentenced to six months in jail.
  • Update: Charlotte, North Carolina (First reported 11-16-13): Attorneys for the family of a man shot to death by a police officer have sued, saying the department used excessive force in the death of a former Florida A&M football player.
  • Pooler, Georgia: A now-former police officer has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to drug conspiracy. He is charged with aiding and abetting in connection with the illegal possession and distribution of numerous controlled substances.
  • Lyman, South Carolina: An officer has been accused of destroying evidence. He was arrested and charged with misconduct in office and obstructing justice.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 01-11-14 to 01-13-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, January 11, to Monday, January 13, 2014:

  • Brooksville, Florida: A captain has been arrested on misdemeanor battery charges. The alleged victim said the captain battered him and the altercation was unprovoked. A sheriff’s office investigation validated the accusations and an arrest warrant was issued.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: An officer admitted he used a prostitute and then helped her sell herself. He pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution and two counts of unauthorized use of the police crime computer to look up information on his girlfriend and her relative.
  • Washington, DC: A former police officer was sentenced to 40 hours of community service and six months of probation for taking nearly $1,000 in money orders from a woman who was under arrest.
  • Update: Atlantic City, New Jersey (First reported 11-25-13): Two now-former police officers were sentenced to two years’ probation. One officer admitted he was in uniform when he offered cash to a female in exchange for sexual favors in his patrol car. The other admitted using cocaine while in uniform.
  • Monroe, Louisiana: Officer faces trial for charges of payroll fraud, malfeasance in office and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
  • Pleasant View, Tennessee: The police chief was arrested and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was released from jail on $1,000 bond.
  • Cranston, Rhode Island: The police chief has been put on paid administrative leave while the State Police investigate a parking-ticket scandal.
  • Update: Delaware, Ohio (Previously reported 12-19-13): The family of a man who was killed after two deputy sheriffs and a State Highway Patrol trooper did not arrest him for drunken driving is suing the county, the law-enforcement officers and others for the man’s death. The deputies and the trooper had found the intoxicated man in his truck. They didn’t charge him, but instead the deputies dropped him off at a fast-food restaurant. He later wandered into the road and was hit by a car and killed.
  • Los Angeles, California: A woman who fell out of a moving police car has accused an officer of sexually assaulting her while she was handcuffed in the back seat of the vehicle.

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