National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-16-13

Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 16, 2013:

  • Secane, Pennsylvania: A man has filed assault and civil rights claims in federal court against a police officer, alleging he was brutally beaten during a traffic stop and required two rounds of hospitalization.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: A man filed suit after two officers entered his home without a warrant, claiming it was an emergency because they had seen vomit outside the house. A judge threw out the charges and agreed with the man that the police department had no right to go into the home without permission or a warrant. “It’s our understanding that the court dismissed the case because she felt the search was illegal under the United States constitution,” said the District Attorney.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: The city agreed to settle a lawsuit involving the police shooting of two dogs for $225,000. SWAT members executed a search warrant on a home, looking for a weapon. They shot the homeowner’s two dogs. The lawsuit says that the 3-year-old daughter was sitting feet away from the dogs when they were shot. The weapon was never found and no arrests were made.
  • Streetsboro, Ohio: A police officer was arrested for felony theft. Detectives say they determined that he was involved in the theft of $16,480.59 from Lowe’s.
  • Des Plaines, Illinois: Thirteen police officers were suspended after allegations surfaced that they intentionally misrepresented their work hours to receive overtime from federal grant funding. Suspensions will range from 7 to 60 days, and some officers will be ordered to make restitution ranging from $184 to $787.
  • Escambia County, Florida: A woman who was shot five times by deputies is now suing the sheriff and four deputies. She was taken hostage in her home by a former boyfriend, and was being used by him as a shield when deputies opened fire. The shooting was ruled as justified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney.
  • Denver, Colorado: Another police officer is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a domestic-violence victim has resigned. The 14-year-veteran skirted potential discipline by resigning.
  • Merryville, Louisiana: The police chief pleaded guilty to abusing his office by falsifying arrest documents after going to Texas to find drugs on a woman whom he had released after a traffic stop. He was given a suspended three-year prison term, 60 days in jail, three years probation and $1,500 in fines.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: A police officer has been fired after two internal investigations that the police chief says found the officer committed multiple violations, including misconduct.
  • Update: Atlanta, Georgia (First reported 02-28-13): A now-former state trooper accused in a crash that killed a woman has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Officials say he failed to use due regard when traveling through an intersection before the accident.
  • Whitley County, Indiana: A detective was arrested for drunk driving after someone called 911 to report they saw a man stumble to his truck. He faces a charge of operating while intoxicated.
  • Update: Murray County, Tennessee (First reported 03-28-13): A second former officer has pleaded guilty to obstructing a civil rights investigation connected to a former judge. He was fired for lying during the investigation and now awaits sentencing.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-13-13 to 04-15-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 13, to Monday, April 15, 2013:

  • Update: Corona, California (First reported 01-11-13): A police officer who did not disclose allegations that a 13-year-old boy was possibly being abused by the pastor and other members of her church was sentenced today to three years probation and 250 hours of community service. The 23-year veteran was dismissed from the police department within days of her conviction.
  • Brooklyn, New York: An off-duty police officer shot to death her 1-year-old son and her boyfriend, who is believed to be the child’s father, before taking her own life. The officer’s 19-year-old son managed to escape and find police; he was not injured.
  • Update: Irvington, New Jersey (First reported 02-12-13): A now-former police officer has been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted for his role in the kidnapping and assault of a 17-year-old girl.
  • Los Angeles, California: A sheriff’s deputy has been charged with beating a 19-year-old inmate in the back seat of a patrol car. Another deputy and a female inmate were also in the vehicle, and the woman later complained of the assault. The deputy has been relieved of duty with pay. If convicted he faces three years in jail.
  • Sallisaw, Oklahoma: The police chief has been jailed for borrowing public money for his own use and is being held on a felony embezzlement complaint. He is still currently the police chief.
  • Update: Tempe, Arizona (First reported 09-01-12): A former police officer arrested for theft has pleaded guilty in the case. He was arrested after several items of police property went missing and money was taken from a lockbox. He resigned following the arrest.
  • Key West, Florida: A one-armed woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a police officer and the city. The suit claims that excessive force was sued against her when she was arrested. The officer says that she kicked at his groin repeatedly when he went to handcuff her, and she accuses him of slamming her into a patrol car for asking him a question.
  • Update: Minneapolis, Minnesota (First reported 07-18-12): A police SWAT team leader was convicted of assaulting a man while off-duty at a bar. The jury decided he was not acting in self defense when he punched a man and found him guilty of first-, third-, and fifth-degree assault. A seven-year sentence is recommended under Minnesota sentencing guidelines.
  • West Valley, Utah: Narcotics officers stole money and other items from vehicles they seized and may have taken drugs and money confiscated during arrests, an internal audit found. The findings will be shared with the FBI and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office to be used in their respective investigations.
  • Montgomery, Alabama: The police department has charged a police corporal with theft after a fellow officer observed him taking $20 in cash from the personal effects of a suicide victim whose property was being held by the department.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-12-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, April 12, 2013:

  • Danville, New Hampshire: The police chief has been charged with negligent storage of firearms relating to the death by gunshot of a 15-year-old boy in his home. He will be prosecuted for failing to secure his loaded service weapon, while knowing that there was a juvenile in the home.
  • Portland, Oregon: A lawsuit filed says that an officer should lose his job for suddenly firing a beanbag shotgun that he mistakenly loaded with lethal rounds at a man obviously suffering from a mental illness. The man narrowly escaped bleeding to death, but he is permanently disabled.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: A police officer is accused of altering the prices on items at a retail store and trying to purchase those products at a discount. He has been with the police department for 25 years and is currently on paid leave.
  • Boynton Beach, Florida: A police officer will not be prosecuted for misconduct in exchange for admitting guilt and giving up his law enforcement license. Authorities accused him of lying in an arrest report about finding a suspect’s gun at a crime scene. He later acknowledged he found the weapon on the suspect at the police station.
  • Fairfax County, Virginia: A now-former police officer was convicted in court of forcibly sodomizing his ex-girlfriend. He admitted having affairs, but he denies hurting the victim.
  • Washington, DC: The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a D.C. police officer accused of slamming a 10-year-old student’s head into a table so hard that the child reportedly suffered a concussion. The D.C. Police Chief issued a statement noting the prosecutors declined to prosecute and saying all officers should be given due process before anyone rushes to judgment.
  • Perry, Utah: A former police officer has been sentenced to jail and probation for trying to bribe a highway patrol trooper for help in a DUI case.
  • Coppell, Texas: The deputy police chief resigned after he and another police officer had been places on administrative leave while an internal investigation was underway. The police department declined to comment on the alleged violation or the investigation.
  • Windermere, Florida: An officer was arrested on charges of official misconduct and threatening a public servant amid an investigation into allegations that officers were profiling citizens. “I want the residents of Windermere to hear from me that these kinds of acts will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” said the police chief.

New Ken Burns Film on the Central Park Five

From Columnist George F. Will:

There were abundant dystopian aspects of New York City in the 1980s, when crime, crack and AIDS produced a perfect storm of anxiety about the fraying social fabric. This was the context — a city on edge — when on April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old white woman who worked on Wall Street went for a jog after dark in Central Park.  She became a victim of what was immediately called “wilding,” a word probably unknown by the four blacks and one Hispanic, ages 14 to 16, who were arrested and charged with raping her and beating her nearly to death.

After up to 30 hours of separate interrogations by detectives who are paid to be suspicious of suspects, four of the five confessed to a crime they did not commit. Why? Watch this documentary by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns. To see the old videotapes of the interrogations is to understand the dynamic that sent the five to prison despite the absence of evidence to bolster a rickety case that consisted entirely of those contradictory confessions.

More information here.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-12-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, April 11, 2013:

  • Long County, Florida: A deputy sheriff was arrested on three felony counts of cruelty to children and one count of violation of his oath as a public official.
  • Oxnard, California: The family of a man fatally shot by police after officers mistook him for a suspect has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the police department.
  • La Plata County, Colorado: A deputy has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography. He is being held in jail on $10,000 bail, and is under suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • Update: Pawtucket, Rhode Island (First reported: 03-21-13): A police officer arrested on domestic abuse charges has pleaded no contest to one count in the case. If he stays out of trouble for a year the charge will be removed from his record.
  • Irwindale, California:  A police officer pleaded not guilty to grand theft, second-degree burglary, and elder abuse for allegedly stealing $250,000 in cash that was hidden in his father’s detached garage.
  • Update: Newark, New Jersey (First reported: 06-11-12): A police officer was sentenced to 48 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, two courts of loan application fraud and bank bribery. He conspired to defraud a bank by providing false statements and documents so he could secure a $1.92 million loan.
  • East Hartford, Connecticut: A $20 million lawsuit filed against the town and members of the police department claims police conspired to falsely arrest a 12-year-old boy after he was assaulted by an officer at his home. The lawsuit says that, despite please to stop from a social worker and the child’s mother, the officer continued to assault the child.
  • Cabell County, West Virginia: A sheriff’s deputy has been suspended with pay while investigators look into a domestic violence allegation.
  • Monroe, Louisiana: An 18-year veteran state police sergeant was arrested on a variety of criminal violations, including narcotics distribution. “Thomas has dishonored his oath, his organization, and more importantly the community he swore to protect. We will push for the strongest possible punishment,” said the superintendent of state police.
  • Highland, New York: A state trooper faces assault charges after what police described as a domestic incident. Police say that a female victim reported that she suffered a nasal fracture during a dispute.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-10-13

Here are the 7 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, April 10, 2013:

  • Battle Creek, Michigan: A police officer was arraigned on two misdemeanor charges after investigators alleged she was intoxicated while working. She is charged with driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
  • Portland, Maine: A man shot by a police officer in the shoulder and neck two years ago while driving away from the scene of a reported burglary is now suing the city, its former police chief, and the officer, alleging that the shooting was a case of excessive force.
  • Lee County, Florida: A deputy has been arrested and charged with possession of steroids, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His salary has been stopped and the sheriff plans to let him go as quickly as possible.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Four officers have been suspended as part of an investigation stemming from the conviction of an officer for conspiring with a drug informant to orchestrate arrests. “This is part of the commissioner’s plan to root out corruption and get ahead of inappropriate, unethical, behavior,” the spokesman said. “these officers were identified as part of an internal investigation and suspended.”
  • St. Joseph, Michigan: An officer who pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny for taking prescription drugs from the county jail’s clinic will not serve jail time. He is currently on unpaid administrative leave.
  • Rice County, Minnesota: A jury decided that a now-former officer did assault a man. He was convicted of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
  • Griffith, Indiana: A police officer was suspended without pay after being accused of stealing state police grant money. He is accused of taking about $1,600 by falsifying work hour records.

Some Cops Trolling Government Database


Brooke Bass spent her legal career looking out for the best interests of police officers.

They were looking out for her, too, her lawyer says — but in a different way.

In the past eight years, more than 100 entities across Minnesota — nearly all of them law enforcement — accessed Bass’s private driver’s license information more than 700 times, her attorney said.

That would make her the subject of the biggest privacy breach to date in the state’s increasingly broad and increasingly expensive license-data debacle.

It is pretty creepy to think about strangers looking up your address and other personal info.  Some say the police may only need additional  “training” on the ethical use of databases.  Hmm.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-09-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, April 9, 2013:

  • Cincinnati, Ohio: An appeals panel says three officers used excessive force in a deadly encounter with a naked and unarmed college student. The student died after a struggle with police in which the officers are accused of tackling, punching, and kneeing him.
  • Update: Greenville, North Carolina (First reported 02-19-13): A former police officer has been indicted on charges of breaking and entering and larceny. She was a 20-year veteran when she was fired.
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee: A police officer is on paid administrative leave after he was arrested on charges of DUI, implied consent law, speeding in a work zone and possession of a handgun while under the influence.
  • Orange County, Florida: A sheriff’s officer lieutenant was arrested after a disturbance in her home. She was arrested on charges of resisting an officer without violence.
  • Update: Duluth, Minnesota (First reported 04-01-13): A police officer has been charged with hit and run after twice backing his personal car into another vehicle in a parking lot outside a bar and leaving the scene.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: The acting police chief has denied accusations from the head of the police union that she should have known about alleged malfeasance involving secret bank accounts.
  • Kern County, California: After an investigation into allegations that a deputy sheriff had sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home, a sheriff’s deputy was arrested. The victim reported a burglary in her home. While speaking to two deputies in her home she was handcuffed and led into a room by one of them to be searched. She was then sexually assaulted by the deputy.
  • Denver, Colorado: A sheriff’s deputy has been arrested in connection with the escape of a prisoner who walked out of the county jail wearing a deputy’s uniform and possibly carrying a gun.
  • Dupage County, Illinois: County prosecutors dismissed charges against 19 defendants whose pending cases involved one or more of three former undercover officers who were arrested on charges of criminal drug conspiracy.

Worst of the Month — March 2013

This is a bit tardy because of recent travels, but for March it is the story about former Police Chief Bruce Barlow from Mendenhall, Mississippi:

The indictment said Barlow instructed “his officers to seize cash at every arrest, including money from people arrested for misdemeanors.” When some of those people were arrested, Barlow offered to let them go or reduce charges if they forfeited their property and money, the indictment said. Sometimes he allegedly demanded more money “purporting to be contributions to the police department’s ‘drug fund.’ ” If the payment was in cash, the money rarely made it to the drug fund, the indictment said.

When then-Chief Barlow became aware that he was under investigation, he started committing more crimes:

Barlow tried to create and back-date an inventory list of the property he had taken and took money purported to be for the drug fund to Mendenhall City Hall for deposit, the indictment said. The former chief also is charged with attempting to “intimidate, threaten and corruptly persuade” a witness to lie to the grand jury.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 04-06-13 to 04-08-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Saturday, April 6, to Monday, April 8, 2013:

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: A family that sued a police officer over a raid of their home, one that led to the shooting of two dogs and a list of ugly allegations against officers, has won a $225,000 settlement. The allegations against 15 members of the department portray the officers as cavalier and reckless, firing weapons at targets near children, screaming profanities and racial slurs, and taking cash from the family while searching for a rifle.
  • Update: Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (First reported 04-04-13): A sheriff’s deputy has resigned after being arrested on drug charges. She was caught doing heroin in a parking lot.
  • Bolivia, North Carolina: An officer raped a 13-year-old girl while on duty, and the town hired him without any psychological screening after he had already raped an 11-year-old, the teenager has said in court.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: A police officer has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. City police officers found him sleeping at the wheel of his car at a traffic light.
  • Monroe County, Florida: A deputy was arrested after he was caught buying fake Oxycodone polls in an undercover operation. He is facing charges of conspiracy to purchase narcotics, possession of synthetic narcotics, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Nelsonville, Ohio: A police officer charged with assaulting a 15-year-old boy has pleaded innocent and still remains on unpaid administrative leave.
  • Update: Hidalgo County, Texas (First reported 12-18-12): A now-former deputy who is the latest law enforcement officer to be accused of being on an alleged drug trafficker’s payroll pleaded not guilty today to a federal drug conspiracy charge. The indictment now included 9 former officers.
  • Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: A police officer was arrested and charged with statutory rape by an authority figure for an alleged sexual encounter with a 16-year-old boy. A police captain said that the fact that the suspect is a fellow law enforcement officer makes the case more difficult, but not any different in any other aspect. “As far as we are concerned, we got the complaint and handled this like any other investigation,” he said. “We are out for the truth.”
  • Update: Greenville, North Carolina (First reported 02-21-13): A police officer charged with driving while under the influence has resigned as well as having his criminal case continued.

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