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National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-17-15 to 10-19-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 17 through Monday, October 19, 2015:

  • Baltimore County, Maryland: An officer was suspended and charged in relation to a narcotics investigation.
  • Walton County, Georgia: A deputy was arrested for child
  • Update: Danbury, Connecticut (First reported 02-06-14): A now-former officer was acquitted of assault and threatening of an immigrant in 2013 videoed traffic stop.
  • Update: Chatham County, Georgia (First reported 01-14-15): Two now-former deputies were acquitted of manslaughter for the in-custody death of Matthew Ajibade. They were convicted of lesser charges of including falsifying records and cruelty to a prisoner.
  • Update: Anne Arundel County, Maryland (First reported 05-06-15): A now-former officer is serving one year of probation for public intoxication. He was arrested and terminated for biting a man in testicles during an off-duty fight.
  • Chicago, Illinois: Two officers were placed under federal investigation for sex trafficking of a minor.
  • Update: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina (First reported 04-28-15): The officer who was tried for killing Jonathan Ferrell has resigned. His trial ended with a hung jury, and the prosecutor declined to retry him. The now-former officer also received a cash settlement from the department.
  • Update: Old Forge, Pennsylvania (First reported 06-07-12): The now-former chief pled guilty to misdemeanor harassment. He had previously been convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption of minor, but that was conviction had been overturned on appeal. The judge sentenced him to the time he already served.
  • Tulsa County, Oklahoma: A now-former deputy was found guilty of sexual battery and indecent exposure in uniform.

Cato Conference: Policing in America

On December 1, the Cato Institute will be hosting a full day conference, Policing in America, to examine the current state and future of American law enforcement. We have collected a diverse group of expert panelists to discuss emerging technologies and crime control strategies, as well as recurring problems like accountability and negative impacts on minority communities.

Confirmed speakers include Prof. Jerry Ratcliffe, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University; Prof. Cynthia Lum, George Mason University Department of Criminology, Law and Society and director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy; Prof. David A. Klinger, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Vicki Gaubeca, director of the Regional Center for Border Rights, ACLU-New Mexico; Prof. Samuel Walker, University of Nebraska-Omaha (emeritus); Prof. Wadie E. Said, University of South Carolina School of Law; Prof. Pete Kraska, School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University; Michael Kurtenbach, Assistant Police Chief, Phoenix, Arizona Police Department; Nathan Freed Wessler, staff attorney at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project; and Prof. William Jelani Cobb, Director, Institute for African American Studies, University of Connecticut.

We’re very excited about the conference and hope you can join us. More details and speakers will be forthcoming. You can register for the free event here.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-16-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 16, 2015:

  • Update: Baltimore, Maryland (First reported 05-26-15): A now-former officer pled guilty to stealing $3,000 during a drug bust that was actually a sting to catch him. Sentencing is scheduled for February 11, 2016.
  • Update: Indianapolis, Indiana (First reported 07-02-15): A now-former officer was sentenced to two years’ home confinement for domestic abuse. He had been originally charged with attempted murder, brandishing a firearm, and obstruction of justice.
  • Jourdanton, Texas: An officer was arrested for injuring a child.
  • Update: Bothell, Washington (First reported 02-04-15): An officer’s trial for having sex with a student where she was SRO is underway.
  • Update: King City, California (First reported 07-20-15): The now-former chief and a now-former officer were each sentenced to 30 days in jail for embezzlement. The former chief also was sentenced to three years’ probation.
  • Eaton County, Michigan: The sheriff’s office is being sued for excessive force and wrongful death of an unarmed teenager. The officer claims he acted in self-defense.
  • Update: Simpsonville, South Carolina (First reported 09-14-15): A now-former officer was arrested for an assault that was partially captured by his body camera.
  • Bridgton, Maine: An officer is under investigation for firing his weapon at a vehicle after a hit-and-run with his squad car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa: A now-former officer was indicted for stealing $20,000 from police gym while he was an officer. He left the department earlier this year after he was investigated (but not charged) for peeping on female co-workers.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-15-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 15, 2015:

  • Spring, Texas Independent School District: An officer was arrested for sexual assault against a minor.
  • Beloit, Wisconsin: The chief and assistant chief face administrative charges of mismanagement of the department, including several missing firearms.
  • Update: Watervliet, New York (First reported 07-27-15): A school resource officer pled guilty to sodomy charges for having sex with a 16-year-old who was a student at the school where he was assigned.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: An officer was arrested for domestic
  • San Diego County, California: The president of the deputy’s union stepped down amid accusations of misusing funds. He remains on active duty with the department as the investigation continues.
  • San Diego, California: The City fired 11 officers and several others resigned in lieu of termination during the last fiscal year. This is attributed to a new chief that stressed accountability as part of her agenda.
  • New York, New York: An officer was found guilty of filing a false instrument—putting untrue statements in his report—regarding the illegal arrest of a New York Times photographer.
  • East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania): An officer was arrested for illegally obtaining hundreds of prescription pills via doctor shopping. He was arrested in 2009 for the same practice, but the conviction was expunged after successfully completing court ordered treatment.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-14-15

Here are the eight reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 14, 2015:

  • Mamou, Louisiana: Two now-former chiefs have pled guilty in federal court to abusing inmates with Tasers. One pled guilty this week and will be sentenced at a later date. The other pled guilty in April and was sentenced this week to one year and one day in prison.
  • North Cambria, Pennsylvania: An officer was arrested for dealing prescription pills and anabolic steroids while he was in uniform.
  • Los Angeles County, California: An assistant sheriff will resign amid an ongoing investigation he bought a stolen car from the department’s towing contractor.
  • Washington, District of Columbia: An officer was convicted of tax fraud.
  • Update: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (First reported 11-04-11): Two officers were acquitted of official misconduct, falsifying reports, and perjury. Outside video evidence had proven the facts they reported about a drug bust they conducted were not and could not have possibly been true. Nevertheless, the jury “deliberated for 31/2 hours over two days before deciding inaccurate reports signed by both officers after a pair of drug arrests, and [Officer Brian] Dodge’s inaccurate testimony about those cases, could be explained as an honest mistake rather than a criminal attempt to manufacture evidence against the defendants.”
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado: An officer resigned after his felony arrest. He allegedly had a sexual relationship with a kidnapping victim and then tried to cover it up.
  • Cleveland, Ohio: An officer was arrested for assaulting and abducting a woman.
  • Howard County, Maryland: An officer was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-13-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, October 13, 2015:

  • Update: Midlothian, Illinois (First reported 12-04-13): A now-former officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison for beating a man with a baton four years ago.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Imperial Beach, CA): An agent was arrested for illegally using a law enforcement database to harass a Mexican national who previously made accusations against a family member of the agent.
  • Update: Palm Beach County, Florida (First reported 03-28-14): A civil court judge lambasted the sheriff’s office for either losing or destroying video evidence of an officer’s fatal shooting of Seth Adams. The case is ongoing.
  • DeSoto County, Mississippi: A constable was arrested for DUI.
  • Somerville, Tennessee: An officer is under federal investigation for evidence tampering.
  • University of Oregon: A now-former officer was awarded $755,000 in his lawsuit against the department for whistleblower retaliation.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: An officer was caught on camera spitting on a handcuffed suspect who was laying on the ground. The officer has been suspended with pay and the investigation is ongoing.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: An officer fatally struck a pedestrian and he may have been intoxicated at the time. The investigation is ongoing.
  • South Gate and Huntington Park, California: Three officers were charged with abusing children at a boot camp for troubled youth.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (San Diego): Two senior agents allegedly ran an illegal sting operation in Mexico without telling Mexican authorities. One informant was killed. The matter is under U.S. State Department investigation.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-10-15 to 10-12-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, October 10 through Monday, October 12, 2015:

  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (First reported 11-24-14): The Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office posted reports on its website that found the Tamir Rice shooting was “objectively reasonable.”
  • New York, New York: An officer lost 30 days of vacation time after he pled guilty to admininstrative charges for pulling his gun on kids playing tag in the street.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Tucson): An agent was indicted for the 2012 cross-border shooting death of teen Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.
  • Clark County, Ohio: Three deputies were fired after leaving a former deputy alone, drunk, and belligerent in the jail’s lobby for two hours.
  • Dallas, Texas: The City settled an excessive force lawsuit with a man who was injured by officers during a traffic stop for $125,000. The report has video of the incident.
  • El Paso County, Colorado approved $120,000 in settlements for two civil lawsuits against the sheriff’s office for actions by the now-former sheriff.
  • South Haven, Kansas: The police chief was suspended and has been charged with felony theft and misuse of public funds.
  • Update: Put-in-Bay, Ohio (First reported 03-03-15): The now-former chief was acquitted on two charges related to accusations that he blocked a sexual assault investigation against one of his officers. He was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
  • Update: Tulare, California (First reported 04-09-14): The chief resigned. He had been absent from duty for undisclosed reasons after his previous domestic violence charges had been dropped for lack of evidence.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-09-15

Here are the ten reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, October 9, 2015:

  • Update: Lee County, Florida (First reported 08-13-15): A deputy who resigned under suspicion of fraud has been arrested for grant theft and
  • Washington, D.C.: An officer was arrested after an altercation at cell phone store.
  • Update: Seattle, Washington (First reported 02-02-15):  An officer who pepper sprayed a schoolteacher and activist at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event was given an oral reprimand for her actions. The department’s Office of Professional Accountability had recommended a one-day suspension for the officer, but the police chief retains the prerogative to change the suggested discipline and do so without notifying the OPA. According to the report, this “loophole” came under public scrutiny during the tenure of the previous police chief, but apparently the policy was never officially changed.
  • Solon, Ohio: An officer was placed on leave after he was accused of assault at a bowling alley.
  • Update: North Charleston, South Carolina (First reported 04-08-15): The City will pay $6,500, 000 to the family of Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by now-former officer Michael Slager. Slager awaits trial for first-degree murder in the case.
  • Update: Louisville, Kentucky (First reported 08-26-15): An officer’s trial for perjury and false swearing regarding an incident outside of her home ends in a mistrial. She will be retried in March.
  • Rosemount, Minnesota: An officer was fired by the city council after a closed-door meeting.
  • Columbia, Missouri: A now-former officer pled guilty to having sex with a jail inmate. He was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but six months of that term suspended.
  • Macon, Georgia: A now-former officer was indicted for striking a woman who was in custody. He was fired after his arrest in May.
  • Update: Illinois State Police (First reported 09-10-15): A trooper was sentenced to one year of court supervision for performing an illegal strip search of a motorist. The incident was discovered when a supervisor conducted a routine review of dashcam footage.

New York Law Hides Police Misconduct

From New York Times editorial:

The uniquely restrictive New York State law that is used to conceal the disciplinary histories of police officers — even some who have committed crimes — reared its head again last week in misconduct proceedings against the officer who brutalized the retired tennis player James Blake during a mistaken arrest in Manhattan last month.

The public has the right to be kept informed of police misconduct cases, especially at a time of heightened concern over police brutality. But when the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated excessive force charges against James Frascatore, the officer who attacked Mr. Blake, it was allowed to release its findings to Mr. Blake’s lawyer but was barred from making them available to the public. Had Mr. Blake’s attorney not released the information, the public would still be in the dark.

The state law on officers’ histories is the only one of its kind in the nation. It was enacted in 1976 to prevent criminal defense lawyers from using freedom-of-information laws to gain access to personnel records for information to use against officers in trials.

The law says an officer’s personnel record cannot be publicly released or cited in court without a judge’s approval. But municipalities and courts have since broadened the definition of “personnel record” to shield almost any information.

For additional background, go here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-08-15

Here are the nine reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 8, 2015:

  • Update: New York, New York (First reported 09-14-15): The Civilian Complaint Review Board found that the officer who tackled ex-tennis star James Blake used excessive force.
  • Douglas County, Colorado: A deputy was arrested for domestic violence.
  • Greenville County, South Carolina: A deputy was fired and arrested for punching a handcuffed suspect in the face at a medical facility.
  • Update: Seabrook, New Hampshire (First reported 01-08-14): A now-former officer pled guilty to assault against an inmate in 2009. The video of the incident was released in January 2014 and soon went viral, prompting his termination and criminal charges.
  • Richfield, Minnesota: Two officers were placed on leave after a video showing an officer striking a black teen who was standing in a park made news.
  • Farmington, Maine: An officer faces two civil counts for excessive force for 2011 shooting death of Justin Crowley-Smilek.
  • Update: Boynton Beach, Florida (First reported 10-31-14): An officer was found not guilty of raping a woman at gunpoint on his patrol vehicle.
  • Sonoma County, California: The sheriff’s office is being sued in federal court by 20 jail inmates alleging beatings and abuse.
  • East Cleveland, Ohio: Three officers face charges for ripping off thousands of dollars from drug dealers over a two-year period.

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