National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Prosecutor Gets Jailed

From the New York Times:

For what may be the first time on record, a former prosecutor in Texas is going to jail for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence in a murder trial. The 10-day jail sentence for the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, is insultingly short — the victim of his misconduct, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years in prison. But because prosecutors are so rarely held accountable for their misconduct, the sentence is remarkable nonetheless….

This case may sound extreme, but prosecutorial misconduct is far too common, and the remedies for it, if any, usually come long after the harm has been done.

More here.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-07-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, November 7, 2013:

  • Selmer, Tennessee: A police officer pled guilty to violating the civil rights of an arrestee. He admitted that he slammed a handcuffed man to the floor of a hospital and struck him in the face. He acknowledged that the assault was unreasonable and did not serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The police arrested a lieutenant and charged him for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He has been suspended for thirty days with the intent to dismiss.
  • Bellavue, Washington: A man was shot and killed by the SWAT team. The family is questioning the use of deadly force against an unarmed man.
  • Update: Wilmington, North Carolina (First reported 03-19-13): A police officer pled guilty to willfully failing to discharge duties in court. The charge stemmed from a botched prostitution operation.
  • Hollywood, Florida: A man who was beaten by a police officer during a false arrest won a $195,000 settlement from the city. The officer was not charged with battery, saying he was in fear for his life. All charges against the man beaten were also dropped.
  • Monongalia County, West Virginia: A sheriff’s deputy charged with domestic battery has resigned. He was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest on charges that he put a woman in a choke hold and threw her to the ground.
  • Prince George’s County, Maryland: A police officer has been charged with sexual assault and other offenses. He has been suspended.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: A police officer pled guilty to extortion and aggravated battery. She was engaged in a scheme where she would provide the names and social security numbers of persons arrested by the police department to an individual who could file false tax returns to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.
  • Chicago, Illinois: A police officer was charged with criminal sexual assault following an investigation. He is facing criminal sexual abuse charges after alleged attacks on two family members. Some of the allegations date back nine years and involve a girl who was 13-years-old at the time.

Worst of the Month — October 2013

So for October it was Atlantic City Police Officer Sterling Wheaton.  Recall that David Castellani had exchanged words with police outside a casino.  Those officers took Castellani to the ground.  Officer Wheaton then arrives on the scene and he immediately releases his dog to attack Castellani, who is still on the ground.  The dog proceeds to bite Castellani’s head and neck.

The runner up goes to the Houston police officer who raped a handcuffed woman in the backseat of his patrol car.  Responding to a fender bender, officer Adan Carranza handcuffed and arrested the victim and then waited for the other drivers involved in the accident to leave.  The victim said Carranza, wearing his gun and badge, then raped her in the back of the patrol car before driving her to jail for a reckless driving charge.  DNA evidence from the victim and back seat confirm the allegations, and Carranza has pled guilty—but only to attempted sexual assault.  Carranza’s lawyer is hopeful his client will be paroled after only two or three years of his ten year sentence, of which he could serve as little as six months if a judge agrees to “shock probation”.  One has to wonder how many rapists get that kind of deal.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-06-13

Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, November 6, 2013:

  • Update: Glens Falls, New York (First reported 10-07-13): A police officer who remains jailed on charges that accuse him of assaulting his girlfriend has resigned.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Prosecutors have charged a police officer who they said struck a person at the juvenile booking facility. He was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
  • Update: Santa Rosa, California (First reported 10/30/13): The parents of the 13-year-old boy killed by a deputy who thought his airsoft gun was real has filed suit.
  • Gila, New Mexico: Another man, with another minor traffic violation, was subjected to medical procedures, including an anal exam, after a K9 dog falsely alerted officers to drugs. The dog is not certified in New Mexico.  The man was pulled over for not putting his blinker on.
  • Update: Washington County, Minnesota (First reported 03-01-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy has been convicted in the theft of drugs from a locked pharmaceutical dropbox. He admitted to the charges.
  • Pinellas County, Florida: A deputy was fired and accused of inappropriate conduct while interviewing a 17-year-old alleged sexual assault victim. The officer said he was intentionally trying to make the girl feel uncomfortable so that she would tell the truth. The sheriff’s office said he overstepped interview boundaries and violated agency policy.
  • Update: Indianapolis, Indiana (First reported 02-15-13): A jury found an officer guilty of all charges against him. He was on trial for criminal recklessness and drunken driving charges for crashing his squad car while on duty into a group of motorcyclists. A man was killed and two other people were seriously injured.
  • Togiak, Alaska: A police officer has been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl. He allegedly had sexual relations with the girl in his city-owned cruiser.
  • Onalaska, Texas: A police officer has been sentenced to three years in prison for providing arms to a convicted felon.
  • Update: Alexander City, Alabama (First reported 10-07-13): A now-former police officer was sentenced to 89 years in prison. He pled guilty to sexual abuse, sodomy, and sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-05-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Tuesday, November 5, 2013:

  • Deming, New Mexico: A man is now suing claiming he was subjected to repeated, humiliating, forced medical procedures after a traffic stop for failing to come to a complete stop. The officers say he appeared to be clenching his buttocks when he exited the car and thought that was probable cause to suspect he was hiding narcotics in his anal cavity. He was then taken to a hospital to be probed by doctors.
  • San Joaquin County, California: A now-former deputy has been charged with two counts of grand theft after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a police canine association.
  • Manatee County, Florida: A former deputy was terminated he pled guilty to federal charges. He pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, according to court documents.
  • Greene County, Ohio: A man’s excessive force lawsuit can proceed against two sheriff’s deputies accused of slamming him into the ground so hard that he suffered a broken jaw, broken teeth, and facial fractures, an appeals court panel ruled.
  • Port Chester, New York: The police chief was arrested after refusing to leave a closed Board of Trustees meeting. He was already suspended from duty after he allegedly assaulted the acting chief.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: A police officer has been suspended after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He was arrested after officers saw him driving erratically.
  • Newark, New Jersey: A police officer has admitted to filing a false insurance claim after his vehicle was declared stolen and found torched. He pled guilty in court.
  • West Sacramento, California: An officer forced a woman to give him oral sex in his patrol car under threat of arrest. She sued the officer, the city, and the police chief in federal court.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: A police officer has resigned after being accused in federal court of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 11-01-13 to 11-04-13

Here are the 18 reports of police misconduct tracked for Friday, November 1, to Monday, November 4, 2013:

  • New York, New York: A man arrested for allegedly possessing meth rocks claims he was actually just carrying some Jolly Ranchers in his pocket. The complaint contends that the officers violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. It also says he experienced “emotional trauma and suffering” as a result of his false arrest and imprisonment.
  • Granite Falls, Washington: A police sergeant was demoted after city officials discovered that he had a bogus identification card saying he was the police chief. An investigation by outside police agencies concluded that he may have committed felony charges.
  • Richmond, Virginia: A police chief has been fired. He was placed on administrative leave last month following complaints and allegations involving fraud.
  • Brandenburg, Kentucky: A police officer who has been on paid administrative leave has resigned. This came after accusations of four police officers having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
  • Update: South Barrington, Illinois (First reported 11/01/13): A now-former police officer was sentenced to 24 months of probation after pleading guilty to forgery, possession of a controlled substance, and official misconduct. He was also ordered to pay $1,400 in fines.
  • Tuckerman, Arkansas: A police officer was arrested after investigators say he stole and pawned several guns from a police organization.
  • Lexington, Kentucky: An officer has been cited for harassment with physical contact after confronting a 13-year-old referee following a youth soccer game.
  • Update: Berthoud, Colorado (Previously reported 10-24-13): A police officer was fired after being arrested in a child abuse case. He had allegedly confessed to abusing a 15-year-old girl. According to court records, the girl told police investigators that he abused her almost daily for years.
  • Brownsdale, Minnesota: The police chief has been charged with criminal sexual conduct. The charges say that he offered a woman a ride and then sexually assaulted her.
  • Natick, Massachusetts: A police officer accused of beating a woman during a domestic violence dispute has been placed on leave by the department. He has been charged with assault and battery.
  • Update: Hampton, Massachusetts (First reported 08-24-12): A federal judge dismissed three of eight counts in a lawsuit filed against police officers accused of using excessive force while arresting a man on charges of disorderly conduct outside a bar.
  • Newnan, Georgia: A now-former police officer accused of burglarizing a child care center while he was on duty has been sentenced to probation. He admitted to breaking into the All Stars Academy during a night patrol shift to steal tuition money and petty cash from the office.
  • Update: New London, Connecticut (First reported 04-03-12): A state panel has ordered the police department to rehire an officer fired last year for shooting and critically injuring a man suspected of stealing a truck. He shot a man, leaving him paralyzed. The man was unarmed.
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana: A police officer was arrested and charged with felony attempted possession of a controlled substance following a four-month Indiana State Police probe involving illegal steroids. He was taken to the county jail.
  • Haskell, Arkansas: An officer chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts, the woman claims in court.
  • New Hanover County, North Carolina: A sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he tried to use his Taser on a utility worker at his home.
  • Madison County, Tennessee: A county sheriff admitted to having an affair with one of his female deputies, but denies her allegations of domestic abuse at her home.
  • Baltimore, Maryland: The family of a man who died in police custody has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the police, alleging that the man was viciously beaten by three officers before he died.


National Police Misconduct NewsFeed Daily Recap 10-31-13

Here are the 9 reports of police misconduct tracked for Thursday, October 31, 2013:

  • Update: Skokie, Illinois (First reported 10-10-13): A police officer has been charged after he was captured on video shoving a detainee into a cell with such force she hit her head on a concrete bench. He was charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota: A man claims two city police officers used unnecessary force when they arrested him because he wouldn’t turn down music playing in his apartment. The officers dispute all of his claims.
  • Update: Tampa, Florida (First reported 06-05-13): An officer who was fired after he spent hours drinking at a topless bar while on duty with his partner has been reinstated. Police attorneys said the officer thought his partner had logged them as off-duty.
  • Los Angeles County, California: A jury has convicted a sheriff’s deputy of repeatedly assaulting and threatening his girlfriend after she discovered he was having an affair. He faces up to eight years in state prison when he is sentenced.
  • Update: Jupiter, Florida (First reported 09-12-13): An attorney for the officer charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon said videotape released by the state attorney’s office showed the charge against the veteran law enforcement officer wasn’t warranted.
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin: The state justice department has charged a former police lieutenant with trying to steal pain pills. The officer resigned after he was arrested.
  • Whitley County, Kentucky: The now-former sheriff was sentenced to 17 years and ordered to pay $335,188 in restitution. The indictment charges him with 12 counts of abuse of public trust exceeding $10,000 but less than $100,000, 6 counts of abuse of public trust less than $10,000 and 3 counts of tampering with physical evidence.
  • Tempe, Arizona: A police officer has resigned and faces the possibility of criminal charges. Police have confirmed there is an investigation involving hindering prosecution happening within the department.
  • Macedon, New York: A police officer is accused of removing an item of evidence from the police department for his personal benefit. He is also accused of stealing approximately $2,200 from the Macedon Association of Police Officers.

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