National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-11-14 to 10-13-14

Here are the 8 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 11 to Monday, October 13, 2014:

  • Update: Walnut Creek, California (Previously reported 09-09-14): A now-former police officer was sentenced to a year in jail and three years of probation with the possibility of electronic home detention after donning a mask and beating a woman with a baseball bat. ow.ly/CGsEd
  • Lakeland, Florida: A K-9 police officer has been arrested and charged with aggravated domestic stalking against a co-worker to whom he had been engaged. ow.ly/CGs5Y
  • Update: Janesville, Wisconsin (First reported 09-26-14): A police officer arrested on suspicion of domestic violence will not be charged. “The District Attorney has determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.” ow.ly/CGrS9
  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 10-09-14): A police officer and a state trooper charged with sexually assaulting a woman in an Atlantic City casino pled not guilty. http://ow.ly/CKf67
  • Miller County, Georgia: A deputy sheriff was arrested and has been charged with aggravated child molestation and statutory rape. ow.ly/CGrjk
  • Detroit, Michigan: A police homicide sergeant has been suspended after department officials found him wearing a murder victim’s expensive watch. ow.ly/CGqZG
  • Greensboro, North Carolina: A police officer charged with indecent exposure resigned before he was to appear in an internal police hearing. ow.ly/CGh5N
  • Update: Houston, Texas (First reported 08-22-14): An officer admitted in federal court to his crimes in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy. He had been accused by federal authorities of using his position as a police officer to escort loads of drugs being moved through the area. He provided security for the illicit cargo. ow.ly/CFZJu

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-10-14

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

  • Update: Washington, DC (Previously reported 05-23-14): A judge sentenced a now-former police officer who served as a pimp for two teenage girls to seven years in prison. ow.ly/CAeIR
  • Henry County, Georgia: A police officer is facing serious allegations after a woman arrested claims he had inappropriate contact with her. ow.ly/CA41A
  • Update: Greenfield, Indiana (First reported 04-09-14): An officer was found guilty of bribery and official misconduct. According to case documents the officer said he would pay for a $200 steak dinner for another officer to pull over his ex-wife, who was driving on an expired license. ow.ly/CzyLE
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: Police mistook a black teenager for a burglar and pepper-sprayed him inside the home of his white foster parents. ow.ly/CzgJv
  • Update: Bangs, Texas (First reported 09-04-14): A now-former police chief was booked briefly into the county jail following his indictment for abuse of official capacity, jail records show. The charge is a state jail felony. ow.ly/Czc9Y
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 10-17-13): A now-former police officer was convicted of trying to frame two men for burglary. He was found guilty of tampering with or fabricating evidence, official misconduct, and two counts of official oppression. ow.ly/CzbMb
  • Pacific County, Washington: The Attorney General’s Office has filed charges against a now-former sheriff’s deputy accused of misconduct on the job. He is charged with official misconduct and reckless driving. ow.ly/Czb3M
  • Fort Pierce, Florida: A four-year police officer has been arrested on one count of DUI. The charges stemmed from a DUI investigation conducted by the police department, a release said. ow.ly/Cz8z7
  • New York, New York: The district attorney’s office is investigating allegations that a officer swiped more than $1,000 from a man during a stop-and-frisk, then pepper-sprayed him and his sister when they complained. ow.ly/Cz5fQ
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit claiming that a man was unlawfully arrested after insulting a police officer. ow.ly/CyT6N
  • Brunswick, Georgia: A police officer who took three hostages in a vacant office inside an apartment leasing center had been placed on administrative leave before the incident. He was charged with three counts of false imprisonment. ow.ly/CvePw
  • Update: Montezuma County, Colorado (First reported 07-15-13): A now-former undersheriff who used taxpayer money to pay for personal items, including firearms, has been ordered to pay more than $7,000 in restitution. ow.ly/CsYhu
  • Flint, Michigan: Authorities are asking people to step forward if they believe they were assaulted as children by a police sergeant who is charged with sexual misconduct while on duty in the 1990s. The officer, now retired, appeared in court on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was returned to jail without bond. ow.ly/CsYUe
  • Update: Albuquerque, New Mexico (First reported 03-27-13): A now-former police officer has been found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of careless driving in a wreck that killed a 21-year-old woman. ow.ly/CsY4x

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-14

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 20, 2014:

  • Lockport, New York: A police lieutenant was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest for drunken driving. http://ow.ly/Cs2qM
  • Panama City, Florida: A police officer has lost his job after being accused of stealing an iPad that was supposed to be stored in the department’s property holding room. http://ow.ly/Cs3gU
  • Bedford County, Tennessee: A high-ranking officer was dismissed following an accusation of shoplifting. http://ow.ly/Cs4S3
  • Jackson County, Tennessee: Prosecutors are recommending house arrest for a deputy in perjury case. The maximum penalty for the felony perjury offense is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. http://ow.ly/CskVR
  • Fort Worth, Texas: A deputy police chief has been arrested for cruelty to an animal for fatally shooting a dog that may have mauled the chief’s cat to death. http://ow.ly/Cslqe
  • Wichita, Kansas: A police officer is accused of getting into a fight at a bar. Court documents accuse him of causing bodily harm to a family or household member, then driving drunk. He was formally charged with domestic battery, disorderly conduct and DUI. http://ow.ly/CsuT3
  • New York, New York: A police officer and a state trooper have been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in an Atlantic City casino. Lawyers for both men say they are innocent. http://ow.ly/CswWV
  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (Previously reported 08-07-14): A now-former police officer will spend a year in prison for killing his girlfriend’s dog. http://ow.ly/CswQB
  • Yonkers, New York: Two police officers pled not guilty to charges related to a falsified search warrant at an apartment where a drug suspect died after falling out his window during a police raid. http://ow.ly/Cszeh
  • Romulus, Michigan: Three police officers pled no contest to charges stemming from a police corruption case and will lose their certification to be employed in law enforcement. http://ow.ly/CsC2d

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-08-14

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 8, 2014:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: A federal lawsuit filed blames the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety for employing a state trooper who, while off-duty, fatally shot a man outside a motel, saying the agency either knew or should have known of the trooper’s “proclivity to shoot citizens.” http://ow.ly/Crt2A
  • East Cleveland, Ohio: A highway patrol trooper was arrested and booked. He was cited for disorderly conduct. http://ow.ly/CruYw
  • Eagle County, Colorado: Authorities have arrested a sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a vacant warehouse. http://ow.ly/Crvjq
  • Toledo, Ohio: A police sergeant is on paid administrative leave after allegedly stealing a bag of popcorn that cost less than $2. http://ow.ly/CrvGg
  • Rothschild, Wisconsin: A police officer faces second-degree sexual assault and felony burglary charges after a woman told police that the off-duty officer had sex with her, while pretending to be her boyfriend. He has resigned. http://ow.ly/CrEvf
  • Update: Timberlake, Ohio (First reported 04-15-14): The now-former police chief was sentenced to six months in jail for stealing more than $24,000 from taxpayers. http://ow.ly/CrFNJ
  • Wichita, Kansas: The family of a marine suffering from PTSD who was shot and killed by police officers say that the officers mishandled the situation, letting it escalate before taking action. Officers say the marine ran at them with a knife, but the family disputes that assertion. There is an investigation underway. http://ow.ly/CrHw3
  • St. Landry Parish, Louisiana: A sheriff’s deputy has been accused of reckless driving after an incident. http://ow.ly/CrI1H
  • Goose Creek, South Carolina: An off-duty police officer has been charged with drunken driving. http://ow.ly/CrIiu

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-07-14

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 7, 2014:

  • Grand Junction, Colorado: A police officer was arrested and accused of vandalizing his ex-girlfriend’s home and her husband’s truck. He is facing three counts of criminal mischief, one count of official misconduct and one count of domestic violence. ow.ly/CoH7h
  • Hammond, Indiana: A man whose car window was smashed and who was tased by police after a traffic stop said that “it felt like my civil rights were just thrown out the window, along with my body.” He has filed a suit that alleges excessive force, false arrest and battery. ow.ly/CnRyD
  • Asheville, North Carolina: A judge determined a police officer unlawfully arrested a local activist and granted a motion to suppress any evidence derived from the encounter. ow.ly/CnNqE
  • Tempe, Arizona: Video of a police officer repeatedly punching a man in the face while he’s flat on the ground has triggered an internal investigation. The officer is still on duty. ow.ly/CnMpm
  • New York, New York: Video show two officers catching up to a 16-year-old on the street. The first officer takes a swing at the boy’s face and misses. As the teen backs up with his hands up, the second officer runs up, gun drawn, and hits him in the teeth with it. Once on the ground, the boy gets hit again. “The video fails to capture the offense that resulted in police action or the lengthy foot pursuit that culminated in the arrest,” said the police union rep. ow.ly/CnxR8
  • Enfield, Connecticut: Police have fired an officer who was accused of using excessive force while making an arrest. ow.ly/CnrU8

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-03-14 to 10-06-14

Here are the 21 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 4 to Monday, October 7, 2014:

  • Chico, California: The mother of a woman shot by police has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the five officers who fired at her daughter. ow.ly/CfSJJ
  • Denver, Colorado: A jury has awarded $1.8 million to a family in a wrongful prosecution case in which police officers executed a warrantless raid on a home previously occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes. ow.ly/CfScA
  • St. Paul, Minnesota: The city council is due to approve a $95,000 settlement to a man who was left with a fractured skull and eye socket and a broken nose after an encounter with police. ow.ly/CfNU2
  • Update: Des Plaines, Illinois (Previously reported 06-12-14): A now-former police commander who padded DUI arrest records so the department could get federal grant money was sentenced to six months in prison. ow.ly/CfUXM
  • Kingston, Pennsylvania: One of two police officers involved in an quad crash was taken into custody for suspicion of driving under the influence, according to state police. ow.ly/CfLSI
  • Plainfield, New Jersey: The two police officers accused of stealing more than $11,000 from the city by filing fraudulent timesheets have now been suspended without pay, according to the city’s department of public affairs and safety. ow.ly/CfW8v
  • Update: Eddy County, North Dakota (Previously reported 05-07-14): A jury found the county sheriff not guilty of felony child abuse. He was accused of spanking his stepson and leaving a bruise. That bruise was discounted during the trial as being caused by a motorbike accident. ow.ly/CfLn0
  • Seabrook, Texas: A police officer is under arrest, accused of a sexual assault of a woman while on the job. ow.ly/CfWt2
  • Indio, California: Two police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of ongoing administrative and criminal investigations into allegations of misconduct that may have occurred during an arrest. ow.ly/CfLIW
  • Grand County, Utah: A sheriff’s deputy was arrested following an argument with his wife that allegedly left her with serious injuries, according to investigators.  ow.ly/CfKnd
  • Update: Clark County, Indiana (First reported 07-30-14): A now-former sheriff is expected to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with alleged incidents involving a prostitute. ow.ly/CfFCJ
  • Update: Atwater, California (First reported 09-03-14): There will be no discipline of the police chief after he killed a little boy’s pet chicken that was being kept in town against a city ordinance. ow.ly/Cfh07
  • Gonzales, Louisiana: Authorities say a police officer is under investigation after the state police accused him of DWI when he was involved in an accident while off duty. ow.ly/Cfg0F
  • Amite, Louisiana: Sheriff’s deputies say a police officer accused of sexually assaulting women after deceiving them online has been arrested. He was taken into custody and faces two counts of second-degree kidnapping, one count of aggravated rape, one count of sexual battery and one count of theft. ow.ly/CfeOM
  • Rotterdam, New York: A police officer has been placed on unpaid leave for 30 days stemming from a domestic dispute at a city apartment where he allegedly assumed a boxer’s stance and then fought with cops. ow.ly/Cfdk4
  • Dallas, Texas: The police department fired a 28-year veteran officer for ignoring a woman whose children had been kidnapped as he was on his way to another call. ow.ly/CfcPy
  • Cary, North Carolina: A 24-year veteran of the highway patrol was arrested after a fight at a bar, officials said. ow.ly/CkDog
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Police arrested one of their own after an officer allegedly assaulted his female partner while on-duty. Investigators believe it wasn’t the first time the officer struck the woman. ow.ly/CkCQM
  • Amarillo, Texas: A now-former police officer is accused of making changes to a police report in connection with an incident in which he and another officer illegally entered a home. ow.ly/CkClk
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer was suspended with pay after being charged with allegedly stealing an iPad. ow.ly/CkBJN
  • Detroit, Michigan: Police say they received an emergency call about a man displaying a handgun during an incident of road rage. The man identified himself as a police officer. ow.ly/CkBrx

Worst of the Month — September 2014

The worst misconduct of September goes to the still-unnamed police officer who shot John Geer last year and the police and federal investigators who have refused to release any information on the case a year after the shooting. Fairfax County police officers responded to a call from Geer’s longtime girlfriend who called 911 because Geer had been drinking and throwing her possessions into the lawn after she told him she was moving out. When officers arrived, they trained their weapons at Geer as they spoke with him in the doorway of his home for almost fifty minutes. Friends and family gathered to watch the situation. One of Geer’s daughters shouted from a neighbor’s home “Don’t you hurt my daddy!” Geer had been speaking calmly and holding his arms above his head, resting them on the doorframe from within, but when he moved his hands down the doorframe to about face-level, one of the officers abruptly fired a shot directly into Geer’s chest, as his best friend, father, and neighbors watched. Geer spun and closed the door before collapsing. The officers then waited an hour while Geer bled to death before sending in assistance. Over four hours later, Geer’s body was still left lying on the floor of his home.

Things haven’t been handled much better in the year since the shooting. Geer’s family and friends still don’t even know the name of the shooting officer—who has been on paid desk duty since—whether the shooting was declared justified or not, or why trained negotiators were not called. State and federal investigators have taken no substantial public action on the case, and the family, which exhibited incredible patience for the better part of a year, has finally had to resort to a lawsuit.

The refusal of the police to disclose even the name of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed man is just another example of the same troubling lack of transparency that we saw in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Police officers are human, and yes they make mistakes, but what possible excuse is there for circling the wagons and denying the public—and worse, the victims’ family and friends—the right to know what their public servants have done and which of them needs to be to held accountable? The resulting feeling among those affected, as Geer’s father described it, is “Frustrating to say the least—not knowing anything and having a feeling of helplessness, sadness, anger. Just wondering what’s going on and why nobody would tell us anything.” This is a case of one man shooting another unarmed man in the chest in front of dozens of witnesses. No complication can justify forcing that feeling of helplessness and anger on John Geer’s friends and family for over a year.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-02-14

Here are the 6 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 2, 2014:

  • Columbia, South Carolina: A now-former police officer is facing charges and has been fired for what agents are saying is misconduct in office. He is accused of sleeping with a prostitute. ow.ly/CdTp5
  • Providence, Rhode Island: A 36-year veteran police officer is accused of stealing jewelry from the police department’s evidence room. ow.ly/CdTi2
  • Update: Memphis, Tennessee (First reported 07-15-14): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison without parole for raping a Rhodes College student. http://ow.ly/CaRQG
  • Flordell Hills, Missouri: An officer was fired. He has been charged with stealing prescription drugs from the evidence room. http://ow.ly/CaY76
  • Sterling Heights, Michigan: A police commander, following a one-car crash, is being charged with one count of operating while intoxicated with high blood-alcohol content of at least 0.17 percent. That is more than double the legal standard of intoxication. http://ow.ly/CaYSB
  • Tallahassee, Florida: A police officer has been placed on administrative leave after footage of an incident surfaced showing him tasing a 62-year-old woman who can be seen walking away from him, posing no immediate threat to the officer or his colleagues. http://ow.ly/CaZgL

The David Hooks Case

A criminal comes on to your property and steals your SUV.  Later, the criminal, perhaps still under the influence of meth, tells the police that he found drugs on your property.  The police proceed to sneak on to your property and, without announcing themselves, break down your back door.  Frightened that the criminals have returned to your home, you retrieve a gun to protect yourself and your spouse.  The police then open fire and you are killed in your own home.  By the police.

According to the Hooks family attorney, that is what happened to his client.  Here is an excerpt from the attorney’s statement:

On Wednesday, September 24th at 9:56 p.m., drug task force agent Chris Brewer made application for a search warrant before Faith Snell a non-attorney Deputy Magistrate of the Laurens County Magistrate Court. The facts submitted to Deputy Magistrate Snell to convince her that probable cause existed to issue the warrant consisted of the statement by Rodney Garrett a confessed burglar, thief, and a meth addict who was under the influence at the time of his arrest that the approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, and 2 firearms found on him at the time of arrest had been stolen by him out of another vehicle at the Hooks home. Investigator Brewer also stated information he claimed came from an investigation involving Jeff Frazier. That investigation was in August 2009 over 5 years ago. A search warrant was issued at 9:56 p.m. by Judge Snell. This search warrant is invalid on its face as it does not comport with the requirements of the Constitution of State of Georgia nor the United States Constitution. Armed with an invalid search warrant and with less than an hour of preparation, at approximately 10:55 p.m. several members of the Drug Task Force and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Response Team arrived at David and Teresa Hooks home unannounced by emergency lights or sirens. There is no question the Officers were aware the home had been burglarized only two nights earlier.

David and Teresa were under the impression that the burglars were back and that a home invasion was eminent. David armed himself to protect his wife and his home. Despite the fact that the illegal search warrant did not have a “no knock” clause the Drug Task Force and SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered firing in excess of 16 shots. These shots were from multiple firearms and from both 40 caliber handguns and assault rifles. Several shots were fired through a blind wall at David with the shooters not knowing who or what was on the other side of the wall. The trajectory of the shots, coupled with the number of shots infers a clear intent on behalf of the shooters to kill David Hooks.

From WMAZ:

Lauren’s County Sheriff’s department says they are not making any more statements on this case. They are directing all questions to the GBI. They’ve not responded.

Neither agencies has identified the deputies involved in the raid, said how many of them fired shots, or said how many times Hooks was hit.

Hooks was buried on Tuesday.

Read the whole thing.

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